Most scams, such as sub-prime mortgages and email scams, victimize adults. But custody scams victimize children. When government fails to protect children it throws open the doors to private contractors—lawyers and clinicians—who enrich themselves at the expense of children. (More about this child and the mother who tried to protect her appears below.)
Monday, January 14, 2008
Alienation smacks of Stockholm Syndrome
Lawyer Jeffery Leving and men's advocate Glenn Sacks have rushed here from California to rally the troops in support of the so-called Parental Alienation Syndrome ("Protect children from alienation," Commentary, July 8). Their effort illustrates the way adversarial litigation feeds on troubled families.
They ignore the guideline just published by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges that Parental Alienation Syndrome "should be ruled inadmissible and/or stricken from the evaluation report." They disregard the definitive analysis that discredits Parental Alienation Syndrome, in the current issue of Children's Legal Rights Journal.
Leving and Sacks try to dismiss me as a "women's advocate." But I have also written in this newspaper about a superb father who lost children and home, allegedly owing to collusion among lawyers and judges at Rhode Island Family Court.
They allege that Amy Neustein's "now adult daughter, Sherry Orbach, publicly refuted her mother's claim [that the girl had reported being sexually abused by her father]." Photographs suggest another story. The smiling 6-year-old became a different child after the Brooklyn, N.Y., Family Court kept concerned experts from testifying, and awarded her father sole custody. By the age of 8, Sherry appeared dazed and emaciated, and lurid in scarlet lipstick and nail polish.
Leving and Sacks say nothing about Dr. Richard Gardner, who devised "Parental Alienation Syndrome" and who lobbied to abolish mandatory reporting of child abuse.
People held hostage at any age soon identify with their abusers; like Sherry Orbach, they will say or do whatever is required. Yes, they are being alienated, but not by "Parental Alienation Syndrome." Their scientifically predictable behavior is called the Stockholm Syndrome.
It's time the Rhode Island General Assembly held Family Court accountable for the alienation it blames on victims of abuse.
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About the mother and child pictured at the top
She is one of countless children in Rhode Island subjected to severe emotional and physical trauma by Family Court when it helps abusive parents to maintain control over their families after divorce. When she turned 18 in 2007, she gave the Parenting Project permission to publish her picture on behalf of all children who have been held hostage by Rhode Island custody scams.
About the Author and the Cause