I have met and heard the tragic stories of many parents. PA is a function, by and large, of a custodial ex-partner, although some alienation can start while the couple is still together.

This blog is a story of experiences and observations of dysfunctional Family Law (FLAW), an arena pitting parent against parent, with children as the prize. Due to the gender bias in Family Law, that I have observed, this Blog has evolved from a focus solely on PA to one of the broader Family/Children's Rights area and the impact of Feminist mythology on Canadian Jurisprudence and the Divorce Industry.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Chapter 112 ~ Precedent Setting Case in Ontario

The following article which was in the Canadian Globe & Mail Newspaper on May 15, 2008 is a breakthrough and the Ontario Courts are finally recognizing the insidious abuse of Parental Alienation. I reproduce it in whole here as this kind of information is very helpful when coming from a very large circulation national newspaper like the Globe Any parent (in this case it is the Father who was the alienator) who has been targeted will be interested in reading this. Any alienator, male or female, should also heed the fact courts, particularly one this close to my own jurisdiction, are starting to recognize this sickness perpetrated on innocent children.

Judge rules father brainwashed son into hating mother

From Friday's Globe and Mail
TORONTO — A 13-year-old Ontario boy whose domineering father systematically brainwashed him into hating his mother can be flown against his will to a U.S. facility that deprograms children who suffer from parental alienation, an Ontario Superior Court judge has ruled. Mr. Justice James Turnbull ordered the boy – identified only as LS – into the custody of his mother. He said that the boy urgently needs professional intervention to reverse the father's attempt to poison his mind toward his mother and, in all probability, to women in general. “There will probably be future significant problems experienced by LS if the court does not intervene – including significant personal guilt for his part in the rejection of his mother, anger towards women, and dysfunctional relationships with women,” Judge Turnbull said. The judge flatly refused to take the boy's opinion on the therapy into account, saying that LS cannot exercise “free discretion in expressing his views” because of the influence his father has had on him. Judge Turnbull observed that the father, 54, has repeatedly breached court orders granting the mother limited access to her son. He said that the boy has come to perceive himself and his father as “intertwined and unable to distinguish one's thoughts from the other.” As part of his campaign of absolute control over LS, the father dictated toxic e-mails for the boy to send to his mother. He also removed photographs of the mother from her son's bedroom. Judge Turnbull also noted that in 2005, the father pursued an assault charge against the mother. As a result, LS, at the age of 10, was required to testify against her in criminal court. “Frankly, the exercise of such parental indiscretion stuns this court,” Judge Turnbull said, adding that the mother was acquitted. Jeffery Wilson, the mother's lawyer, said Thursday that the case is a breakthrough for parents attempting to win back children who have been intentionally alienated from them. "This is a precedent in Canada - the first time a Canadian court has recognized the lack of resources to deal with the disease of parental alienation and answered it with a private remedy - the Family Workshop for Alienated Children," Mr. Wilson said. "The age of a child is no reason to justify a lost opportunity to know and benefit from both of the child's parents," he added. In his ruling, Judge Turnbull praised the work of the FWAC and urged the Ontario government to encourage similar programs. According to evidence at the hearing from Dr. Richard Warshak, a founder of the FWAC, many children are so set against participating in a program that reunites them with a hated parent that they have to be transported by police or probation officers - sometimes in restraints. "In the case at bar, Dr. Warshak has suggested that LS would travel to the United States with transport agents on one flight, and his mother would follow closely on another flight," Judge Turnbull noted in his ruling. Dr. Warshak said that sessions focus on teaching children to assess their domestic situation critically, and to appreciate that both of their parents are essential to their well-being. Sessions, which typically last from three to seven days, lean heavily on video presentations, intensive discussion with psychologists, and opportunities for the child and his or her alienated parent to interact. Upon returning home, children receive after-care from a local psychologist. After several months, the child is usually ready to commence a relationship with the parent who caused the alienation. The parents in the LS case married in 1982 and separated in 2005. LS was placed in the primary custody of his father, a salesman.The father changed phone numbers, ignored e-mails and left the mother - a 49-year-old who works in public relations - with no alternative but to drive to arenas where her son's sports teams were playing in hopes of getting a glimpse of him. The mother launched court action last year in an attempt to win sole custody of the boy. After a nine-day hearing last fall, Judge Turnbull reserved his decision. He said that an e-mail the mother received in late 2006 was indicative of the father's control over the boy. "I don't want to see you and I never will want to see you ever again and who do you think you are to say my dad makes my decisions (sic)," it said. "I MAKE MY DECISIONS. GET IT THROUGH YOUR HEAD. If I want to see your side of the family, I will call them." A child psychiatrist who assessed the father, Dr. George Award, said in a report that he was a mistrustful, autocratic woman-hater who "built a demonic image" of his ex-wife and turned his son into his entire social life.
A week later another article is published in the Globe & Mail on Parental Alienation. I reproduce it in whole here as this kind of information is very helpful when coming from a very large circulation national newspaper.

Turning child against parent 'very common' in nasty separations

The last time Jane Smith spoke to her eldest son, he told her he wished she was dead. She hasn't had a conversation with her youngest son in seven years. When her boys graduated from high school in southern Ontario, Ms. Smith watched them get their diplomas from a hiding spot at the back of the room because she wasn't invited to attend. It's a stark contrast to a relationship that was once loving and caring. Once Ms. Smith moved out of the family home, her husband used an arsenal of emotionally abusive and manipulative tactics to turn their teenaged sons away from her. It's called "parental alienation syndrome" and the situation is hardly unique. Last week, an Ontario judge ruled a 13-year-old boy could be flown against his will to participate in a United States-based program to repair his relationship with his mother. The judge said the boy's father tried to brainwash him against his mother and that unless he received intervention, the situation could have serious consequences on the boy's life and his future relationships with women. Experts say thousands of Canadian parents going through a separation, divorce or other difficult conflict convince their children - sometimes even unconsciously - to reject the other parent. "It's very common in high-conflict parent relations," said Robert Samery, vice-president of the Parental Alienation Awareness Organization, which is based in Oakville, Ont. and has international membership. "It can be extremely devastating." The Ontario case brings to light the serious problems that can erupt when one parent manipulates a child's view of the other parent. Tactics range, but can include constantly insulting the other parent in front of the child, denying custodial visits, fabricating stories of abuse to the police to cut the parent off from the child and make him or her appear dangerous, and encouraging the child to stop talking to the other parent. That kind of behaviour has a major impact on how a child views the other parent and may cause him to reject that parent, according to Richard Warshak, a clinical psychologist and expert on parental alienation. "Often times these are very, very nice children who are well behaved in other respects," he said. "But somehow they don't show the normal amount of regret for rejecting a parent so maliciously. These children can be quite obnoxious in the way they treat a parent but they feel entitled to do that because they feel they have the permission of the other parent to do it." Dr. Warshak, who developed the one-of-a-kind U.S. program where the Ontario teen is being sent, said many cases of parental alienation remain unresolved and can persist for years, partly because the problem is still not well recognized or understood and also because of the lack of resources available to help parents in this situation. "Our offices are just swamped and we really can't handle the volume of inquiries," he said. "I get e-mails every day from desperate parents who are trying to reconnect with their children." Children in these situations may renounce their relationship with their parent, call them names, refuse to talk to them or become angry at them for trivial reasons, such as making them go to bed on time. Dr. Warshak's program, the Family Workshop for Alienated Children, lasts about four days and focuses on reconnecting parents and children through a series of educational workshops. It offers the child a "face-saving" way to get out of the middle of the parental conflict without having to choose one parent over another, Dr. Warshak said. Counsellors are also on hand to help both the parent and the child deal with the issues that arise. In some cases, parents may not even realize they are slowly poisoning their children's perceptions. "They're so caught up in their own disappointments in the marriage and their own frustration and their own anger that they fail to recognize that the children need more protection from those feelings," said Dr. Warshak, whose book Divorce Poison: Protecting the Parent-Child Bond From a Vindictive Ex, has helped shed public light on this problem. Ten years after Ms. Smith's divorce, her sons - who are now adults - still won't speak to her or answer any of her letters. Over the years, Ms. Smith had to learn about illnesses or milestones in their lives through other sources. When she called the house to talk to her sons, someone would hang up the phone. Letters were torn up before they were read. At her son's elementary school, she couldn't get past the principal's office. Whenever her son made a sporting achievement, she had to read about it in the newspaper. "It's like I don't exist," she said. While Ms. Smith holds out hope her boys will want to reconcile one day, she does her best to get on with her life. "I pray for my children every single day, that they find some peace and some happiness. That's all that I want for them," she said. "I easily could have fallen down on the ground. I refuse to be defeated by this."
My letter to the editor of the Globe May 21, 2008 which I sent following the articles they printed in their paper.
Parental Alienation is an insidious form of child abuse typically performed by a mother in over 90% of cases but certainly not restricted to the female gender. (ed note: two studies in 2009 Colemen then Bala - on PA cases going to court - show a 2-1 ratio with moms being twice as likely to alienate) No matter which parent does it the behaviour is unacceptable child abuse and ought to be a criminal offense. Until a loving parent is made a target of this damaging activity it is hard for others to understand. Like a cult the child becomes totally immersed in the behaviour of the alienator and in severe cases it creates a "folie à deux" where 2 people suffer from similar delusions - both the alienating parent and the child. Deprogramming is in the best interests of the child beyond the shadow of a doubt. I have been alienated from my two youngest daughters in such a manner and unlike a death in the family where grief dissipates over time the target parent continues to grieve every day for the love of their children. I maintain a blog on my situation at http://parentalalienationcanada.blogspot.com and this has helped my relationship to some degree by bringing attention to it. I will continue to blog until such time as the children are back in a loving relationship with me. The irony of my case is I was the stay-at-home parent from their infancy to June 8, 2005 when they were taken from me.
Mike Murphy