Mothers who escape violent relationships then come forward with allegations of the abuse in Family Court, while fighting for custody of their children, face a new battle–Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS).

Dr. Richard Gardner (deceased) developed PAS to counter abuse allegations, and create avenues for abusive fathers to gain custody by inventing a bogus syndrome that discredits abuse allegations by stating the mother is suffering from a severe mental condition called “parental alienation syndrome”…and the cure is limit, reduce or take away her custodial rights. PAS states the mother invents abuse allegations to turn children against the father, and her motivation is that she has an obsessive sexual desire for her ex partner and is angry that he spurned her. The Mother then begins a campaign of denigration against the father and enlists the child as an unwilling ally—brainwashing the child to believe abuse has occurred. Dr. Gardner developed this theory exclusively for mothers—he worked as a paid court witness, and expert speaker; gaining credibility through self promotion and not through any substantial education or experience.

Other controversial beliefs held by Dr. Gardner include that incest is “not necessarily” harmful to children, babies enjoy sexual experiences and orgasm, and that court judges themselves get a sick thrill out of sitting on the bench. Gardner died a grisly death by suicide; his legacy lives on with devastating results.

This article is based on a transcript of an interview with Jane Shields, reporter, and a panel of guest speakers who have experience working in Family Court, and have knowledge of Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), it’s use in the courts and it’s effects on families. I want to extend a special thank you to Richard Ducote for posting this informative transcript, and for your tireless efforts to eradicate PAS from the courts.

This is a very informative article based on inside knowledge of the court system and from experienced professionals who have access to places unobtainable to the public. I highly recommend! Some of what is reveal includes:

* Richard Ducote, Louisiana attorney, and expert on PAS, leading a movement to remove the use of PAS in the courts has been involved in the Court system for over 22 years. Ducote believes attorneys use PAS because it is an easy–and devastating defense–to counter child abuse allegations. Further, most family court attorneys are not ”true litigators   they do not challenge evidence, they do not challenge witnesses, they don’t like to make waves, they like to mediate and they like to compromise…”

The results are tragic for children, who when placed in the custody of an unsafe parent, are  usually abused & traumatized with no one to help.

*Ducote on Dr. Richard Gardner- “When I cross-examined him shortly before he committed suicide, he acknowledged that he had not spoken to the Dean of the Medical School at Columbia for over 15 years, and that he had not had hospital admitting privileges at any hospital for approximately 25 years, so he really was out there on his own. ”

*Gardner’s ideas are widely discredited by the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Medical Association for having no scientific validity. Yet many Courts, attorneys and court officers still use PAS, and embrace it as scientific truth–or accept it blindly and rely on the word of a guardian ad litem, mediator, attorney or evaluator to verify it’s validity. PAS has spread to courts all over the world.

*PAS allegations can be made, and Court can render a decision without actually using the words“parental alienation” or calling a mother an “alienator”. This is because PAS has become so accepted in a broken legal system that it is not questioned–nor is it’s truth, and scientific basis, examined. Other labels that may be used against mothers include: crazy, mentally ill, malicious mom syndrome, unwilling to communicate, and uncooperative.

*Mothers will lose in court because a court personnel that accept PAS will be suspicious and mistrustful of the mother; and readily excuse abusive or red flag actions of the father.

*According to Gardner, the cure for PAS is almost always taking away the rights of the “alienator” and awarding full or a majority of custody to the alleged abuser.

*Thea Brown, Professor of Social Work, with Melbourne’s Monash University (AU) believes the court is promoting PAS through it’s staff: the psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers who prepare reports for the Family Court.. AND “..we found that usually, that is in 70% of cases, the judge would follow the recommendations of the court-appointed expert.”

*Cases that involve documentation, evidence, witness statements and medical evidence should not be considered to be a “false allegation” or evidence of PAS but need to be taken seriously by the Courts as substantial allegations of abuse

*According to Dr. David Wood, Director of Paediatric Health Services and Chairman of the Abused Child Trust in Queensland, and Chairman of Kids, AU) the Court is part of an “adversarial system” that is not designed to heal or resolve family issues but instead to take a side, and pick a winner and a loser. A legal culture exists within the Courts that thrives on conflict and sets aside the best interests of the children, and families involved. The Court is innately biased because this culture exists, and does not have the tools or framework to find meaningful resolution, or to protect families from abuse.

Source: “ABC Radio National – Parental  Alienation Syndrome January 14, 2012” by Richard Ducote.

“So You Support Dr. Gardner & PAS?” Quotes by Dr. Richard Gardner, and Examples of Legal Abuse by Judges Using PAS in Court:

Stop Family Violence Resources Page on Parental Alienation Syndrome: