Huffington Post Censors Mothers’ Rights Activists

This week, Arianna Huffington announced the Huffington Post’s latest section: HuffPost Divorce. Her plug: “Breaking up is hard to do… but reading about it isn’t.” Upon Monday’s launch, however, there appeared a column that women’s rights advocates took very hard: a piece by Dr. Richard Warshak promoting the discredited “Parental Alienation Syndrome,” or PAS.

Parental alienation is a dangerous custody-battle concept that has been used primarily against mothers–and in particular, mothers trying to protect themselves and their children from hostile or abusive ex-partners and fathers. As R. Dianne Bartlow explained in her Summer 2010 Ms. article, “There’s Nothing Friendly About Abuse”:

PAS theorizes that most accusations of child abuse (especially sexual abuse) made during a custody battle are actually fraudulent. Not only are the charges false, says the theory, but they are deliberately undertaken by one parent (in most cases, the mother) to “alienate” the child from the other parent (generally, the father).

Frighteningly, PAS has allowed abusive or otherwise hostile fathers to gain custody of their children and then forbid the children contact with their mothers.

Yet parental alienation is not accepted as a valid theory by the American Psychological Association, and was rejected from the DSM-V. Without a real psychological definition, it has devolved over the years into a label for any negative testimony about the father by the mother (even if it’s true). It’s also now promoted as gender-neutral, but the parent most often labeled the “alienator” remains the mother. It’s also one hell of a cash cow for psychologists who make a living from it.

In keeping with all this, Warshak’s post, “Stop Divorce Poison”, gives an overly simplified description of “alienation” that could describe nearly any hostile or cantankerous relationship: “persistent bad-mouthing, lies, exaggerations, overlooking positives, and drum-beating negatives.”

A half dozen domestic violence and motherhood activists, including myself, descended upon Warshak’s column to leave comments describing how discredited PAS really is. But, as I witnessed and others report, by the evening of November 9, most of the comments (nearly a dozen) posted by critics had been deleted in the space of five minutes. According to those I’ve spoken with, deleted comments contained valid source material from professional organizations citing:

  • how discredited parental alienation really is
  • how parental alienation did not make it into the DSM-V
  • how it is used primarily as a weapon by abusive fathers against protective mothers

Here is an example of a comment that was removed:

Another activist and I wrote to David Flumenbaum and Arianna Huffington to inform them about the censorship of opposing, critical views. Both of us received an email in return from Social News Editor Adam Clark Estes, who wrote:

I’ve double-checked the comments and all of those missing were removed in accordance with HuffPost’s commenting guidelines. You can read more about those here:

www.huffingtonpost.com/p/frequently-asked-question.html#moderation

That said, we’re in touch with Dr. Warshak about his comments and will do our best to keep the conversation flowing in the future.

When considering the above screenshots (pure facts devoid of non-objective commentary) it’s unclear which part of these guidelines apply:

(I) The Huffington Post welcomes all users to join our community and to comment and treats all members of the community equally.

(II) We want the Huffington Post to be home to open, transparent conversations in which people connect, discuss, share ideas, and debate the issues.

(III) We are also committed to maintaining a non-toxic atmosphere.

(IV) In order to preserve a functional and civil conversation, we do not allow trolls, trollish behavior, or stalking.

(V) Members of the HuffPost community deserve to be free from spam, and we do not allow posting the same comment multiple times within one thread or on multiple threads.

It’s frustrating that the supposedly progressive HuffPost has given a platform to Dr. Richard Warshak, one of parental alienation’s most fervent supporters, but won’t give the same platform to its commenters.

On November 10, activists returned to the article to comment; it remains to be seen if their comments will be deleted–or whether they’ll fall victim to HuffPost-moderation’s thin skin. If a blog can delete comments opposing their viewpoint, then what’s the point of comments? You might as well change the name to “compliments.”

Censored Venus Photo via Wikimedia Commons user Durova under Creative Commons 3.0.

Comments

  1. It is definitely a sad day when opposing viewpoints cannot and are not allowed to be published. Sadly this is all too reminiscent of exactly what PA/PAD/PAS is all about. Abusers have been taught (or quickly discover) that all they must do is claim "alienation" and all of their abuse is gone. And why do they do this? Simply because the mother (and in most cases where PA/PAS/PAD) is alleged to have occurred, it is the father making the accusation. And that father was abusive to mother and/or children and he has lost CONTROL of these children and mother and no longer has any POWER over them. Notice anything there? POWER and CONTROL. These are the abusers two favorite words. Loss of control and loss of power over another are their least favorite.

  2. Glad you are able to write without censorship. Warshak needs to have his license revoked as step one towards stopping child abusers' defenses by psychologists.

  3. Victim of the Scam says:

    I am on Richard Warshak's mailing list, so I was alerted to this article by him…he asked for his supporters to come to the article and comment about it to secure his spot as a "divorce" columnist at the Huffington Post. As I suspected, the article pushed the concept of "parental alienation" and he used the article to hawk his book. Comments to the post I and other fellow advocates were not approved. I tried seven or eight times, risking being tossed for good. I had also tried writing the editors and got the same canned response. I tried even posting two comments to Ariana Huffington's post the same day introducing the new divorce section, about dissenting comments not being posted, and neither one of those were posted either.

    Most all of the comments I tried to submit listed all the professional organizations that have debunked the concept of parental alienation in child custody cases, including the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges warning family court judges not to accept "parental alienation" or "parental alienation syndrome" in child custody cases because of it's well know use by abusers to get child custody.

    I saw all of Warshak's nutcase supporters out there as commenters, including Mark K. Godbey above. Godbey, of Contra Costa County, California, has had three restraining orders against him by his ex-wife, and was on probation (this is easily found by Googling him). I recently got screen shots of him telling his friends on Facebook how to teach their children to abuse the other parent or start trouble with them. He was citing something on Michael Bone's site, a Florida psychologist who lost his license to practice because of unethical dealings in a child custody case.

    Warshak himself isn't without problems…he recommended two Canadian boys come to his PAS "treatment" center (noted by some of Canada's top child psychologists as quackery), at the rate of $40,000 for four days. The recommendation was so ordered, but overturned in appeal when the fact that he only talked to the parent claiming "parental alienation" and not the other parent was brought up. Warshak hadn't even talked to the two boys. He was looking to make an easy $40K, as most of these court "experts" do when pushing this concept.

    I couldn't believe my respectful and factual comments were dumped!

  4. And Godbey's comments remain, although ms lc had discredited what he had written. Now people reading will think that J. Michael Bone has credibility when he doesn't, and that parental alienation passed the Frye test which it hasn't. I have the screen captures of her comments and lots of others that were deleted.

    Censorship is a serious issue and it shouldn't be tolerated anywhere. I also noticed that the critical comments were sometimes flagged as abusive (as was ms lc's comment above). That strikes me as being a tactic to squelch critical commentary since there was nothing abusive about that comment or others from the mother's rights activists.

  5. mamaliberty says:

    If Huffington Post cares to disenfranchise a vast majority of their audience by censoring them it is apparent their tactics have fallen the way of how big corporations ignore their consumers. Just ask how far that got Amazon recently when they claim they do not censor any and all materials including a Guide for Pedophiles but yet later removed the comments regarding the vulgar material.
    I was one of the commenters that were comments were continually removed from Warshaks blog. But the usual suspects showed up praising this quack continued their love fest and petting. It should be quite telling to Huff Po that on his very first blog post there were already people complaining.
    People defending pedophiles…Warshak, Amazon and now Huffington Post….might seem like easy money as there is never a shortage of pedophiles but thankfully there is also no shortage of people outraged and willing to expose what your real agenda is.

  6. The consistent deleting of comments on Dr.Warshak's post, is the most appalling example of censorship I have ever witnessed. Indescribable damage has been done to countless children as a result of these types of – -theories. To so blatantly attempt to quash any factual statements about such a dangerous set of ideas, is mind-boggling. Why were wars fought -WW1 and WW2 -was it not to maintain a democratic way of life ???? This event around pas/pa/pad etc. falls on and around Remembrance Day. Seems some have not – remembered. Sickening.

  7. pasyeahrite says:

    Of particular relevance here, PA adherents, like PAS adherents, sometimes fail to appreciate the role of abuse in "alienating" children. They frequently discuss the damage caused by "alienation" without adequately distinguishing between children who are suffering because they are victims of "alienation" and children who are suffering because of abuse – abuse which may itself have caused both the psychological damage and the child's alienation (Johnston, Walters, & Olesen, 2005; Kelly & Johnston, 2001).

    Parental Alienation Syndrome & Parental Alienation: Research Reviews By Joan S. Meier

  8. pasyeahrite says:

    Johnston's own research studies have found that even among the children who rejected a parent, all had multiple reasons for their hostility. These reasons included negative behaviors by the hated parent, such as child abuse or inadequate parenting, or children's own developmental or personality difficulties (Johnston, 2005; Johnston et al., 2005). Yet these articles tend to discuss "alienated" children and the difficulties they experience without distinguishing between those who were hostile because of abuse or neglect and those who were alienated because of an aligned parent's wrongful alienating conduct (Johnston, 2005; Johnston & Kelly, 2004b).

    Parental Alienation Syndrome & Parental Alienation: Research Reviews By Joan S. Meier

  9. pasyeahrite says:

    This common conflation unavoidably contributes to the obscuring of abuse as a reason for children's rejection of a parent, and the tendency to erroneously characterize abused children as pathologically "alienated" while ignoring the reality that they are actually abused. It should be noted that while alienation researchers do not discuss child witnessing of adult domestic violence as a form of emotional child abuse, research has unequivocally found that child witnesses to adult abuse can be profoundly negatively affected even if they are not themselves the target of physical or sexual violence (Lewis-O'Connor, Sharps, Humphreys, Gary, & Campbell, 2006).

    Parental Alienation Syndrome & Parental Alienation: Research Reviews By Joan S. Meier

  10. pasyeahrite says:

    Some of those children were actually alienated from their mothers by abusive or battering fathers , whose alienating conduct was part of their pattern of abuse (Johnston et al., 2005; Johnston & Kelly, 2004b). Insofar as disparaging the mother is typically part and parcel of a pattern of male battering, those children are more accurately termed victims of abuse, rather than victims of alienation per se (Bancroft & Silverman, 2002).

    Parental Alienation Syndrome & Parental Alienation: Research Reviews By Joan S. Meier

  11. pasyeahrite says:

    In short, alienation theorists' own research demonstrates that wrongful "child alienation" (that which is not simply part of a pattern of abuse) is remarkably rare in divorcing and separating families. Given this empirical finding, proponents' tendency to treat alienation as the dominant problem afflicting children of divorce/separation continues the trend initiated by PAS theory – toward the marginalization and masking of genuine abuse and neglect.

    Parental Alienation Syndrome & Parental Alienation: Research Reviews By Joan S. Meier

  12. pasyeahrite says:

    Quantitative critique – minimal data on existence and impact of PA. Custody evaluators and psychologists frequently insist, as an anecdotal matter, that alienation is known to be present and to be harmful as a matter of "clinical observation" (Johnston & Kelly, 2004b; see also Ackerman & Dolezal, 2006). However, these statements do not indicate whether the relationship breaches which these clinicians observe between children and parents are a healthy or natural response to circumstances, or if the "alienation" is caused by a disorder instigated by the wrongful influence of a favored parent. And of course clinical observations do not constitute empirical evidence (Johnston & Kelly, 2004b).

    Parental Alienation Syndrome & Parental Alienation: Research Reviews By Joan S. Meier

  13. pasyeahrite says:

    Johnston and others have acknowledged that "there is very little empirical data to back up . . . [their] clinical observations" that alienated children are significantly undermined in their emotional and psychological development (Johnston & Kelly, 2004b, p. 84) . In fact, Johnston and Kelly (2004b) forthrightly state that "there are no systematic long-term data on the adjustment and well-being of alienated compared to non-alienated children so that long-term prognostications are merely speculative" (p. 84).

    Parental Alienation Syndrome & Parental Alienation: Research Reviews By Joan S. Meier

  14. Parental Alienation theory supporter Dr. Amy Baker says: We only consider PAS when there is no other reason. In other words, if a parent is abusive or neglectful or moves away or is a poor parent in some ways that results in the child saying, "You know Dad (or Mom), I really need to step back from this relationship", that's not PAS. It's only PAS when the child is being manipulated by one parent to reject the other parent in the absence of a good reason for rejecting that parent.

    But then Dr. Baker goes on to say the opposite later on in her research. Go figure. They can't even figure it out

  15. Amy said this wasn't parental alienation, and then said it was, later on. WTF?:

    "Amy: But in this other category, there were father alienators and mother alienators. Basically, rather than being narcissistic and seducing the children into their camp, so to speak, they were abusive. The parents seemed to have a more anti-social personality disorder rather than a narcissistic or borderline. They really pull the kids to them through fear of rejection, fear of abandonment and more kind of controlling, even physically and sexually abusive style."

  16. Read more about Dr. Baker's great research here: http://tiny.cc/pasignorance

  17. THE EVER EXPANDING PARENTAL ALIENATION THEORY
    http://tiny.cc/abakerresearch

  18. If parental alienation is a disorder that arises in such a specific occasion (divorce/separation and or child-custody dispute), can it be a disorder any more than the situation that created this disorder? In other words, is divorce/separation and or a child-custody dispute a disorder (causes distress or disability that is not expected as part of normal development of culture)?
    http://tiny.cc/pasfaq

  19. Alienatedkids says:

    Your vicious attacks against the concept that kids are harmed, and abused by the same behaviors that women are subject to would be just silly if it weren't so potentially damaging to our kids.

    What are you all talking about?

    Is it not common sense that a parent, while in a position during their marriage failure, wants the best for that most precious product of that marriage, their child, needs to have that child in their influence more than the ex who they want nothing more to do with? And that parent will do ANYTHING to get that child the best (which they see themselves as), will say things to help that child avoid or entirely reject the other parent?

    Of course they will.

    I'm sure you have no idea how many women you are harming by your refusal to acknowledge these brutal behaviors.

    Shame on those of you who will say that these behaviors don't cause emotional abuse to children AND their moms.

    These behaviors aren't only malicious, they can and often are unintended and done out of misguided love.

    Please, Please, Please. Look further than you already have.

    • You are wrong–

      I am THAT mother– who battered and denied access to my daughter over a decade— am transmitting PAS telepathically.

      ONLY ABUSERS use successfully the "alienation tool"– it is a tool to rip away children from their MOTHER,
      and Court GALS and Therapists like WARSHAK, BAKER, LOGAN– and the other 'Gardner Cult" followers lock in there financial future.

      Its not about the kids– it's monetary–

      It ALL about Money

      • Victim of the Scam says:

        Yes Angelfury, same with me. Abuser started abusing my children when I was out of the picture, so when they reported, I was accused of PAS, must have been telepathically too because abuser refused to let me see them, and even admitted not allowing visits in court. Uggggh…they are money-hungry court whores, these folks that accuse parents of PAS. Anything for the customer!

  20. Excellent post. PAS evolved as a legal strategy to help abuser dads harrass mothers and deflect allegations of abuse. Over time, it's become a sloppier and sloppier "diagnosis." The PAS label is slapped on any kid who has a negative attititude towards a parent–even if there is no evidence to suggest that the other parent had anything to do with the kid's attitude. Even if there is evidence that he "afflicted" parent is abusive or generally a jerk. It's slapped on situations where maybe one parent is resentful, but the child ignores the parents attitude. I've seen PAS concerns even thrown at mothers who have had no contact with the child for years–just how is PAS getting transmitted then? Through ESP? Through mysterious alien beings on the mothership? Suddenly, even a custodial father can be a PAS "victim"–even if the child has had not contact with the so-called "alienator" mom for years. It gets more and more voodoo with every passing year.

    • Yep— I know that case quite well— personally well–

      1.) Batterer keeps daughter away from her mother for a decade or more– and they use PAS on mom
      2.) Mom is alienating because- dad beat the hell out of mom regularly. tsk tsk
      3.) The Abusers do not want the child to know that DADDY is a Convicted Abuser.

      So they keep daughter in a cage locked away from the world so that she never finds out the truth, with GAL's and other Court Whores keeping her and the 'cottage industry" profiting.

      X FILES– and the MOTHER ship– You Can not chain the wind– the Truth is out there.

  21. PA, otherwise known as the Abuse Excuse is used by parents to counter claims of abuse. Harvard's Jay Silverman found 54% of parents accused of abuse gained custody and the majority of them used PA.

    Huffpo has had problems with censorship in the past. They are also not known for their scientific credibility as evidenced by articles on vaccines, pa, etc.

    Currently Huffpo has another sexist divorce-related article up – on how women misspend child support. How about articles on how women probably pay virtually 100% child support, seeing they really don't have an option of being deadbeat. (altho their rates of paying child support are higher than mens) How about women paying child support to abusers? Naw, I guess they get more readers with sexist bait.

  22. PAS is junk science and should just be forgotten about, the sooner the better. There is no amount of "brainwashing" that works on children. If children have been abused, they will fear their abuser. One cannot tell children they have been abused and make them believe it. All this PAS dribble that is being used in courts is starting a huge movement of revolt. Women are no longer reporting abuse, because if they do, they lose custody. Women are also moving toward artificial insemination as they see really good mothers losing custody to men who abuse them and their children. Since artificial insemination has come along, men are just not as important to women as they once were, the only reason we have left to marry is for love. We make enough money and don't need a man for children. When one looks at the likelihood of having their children taken away…love of a man is not all that valuable.

  23. mamaliberty says:

    I cannot believe that HuffPo actually let Warshak on with all the problems that he has with lying under oath not to mention placing children in deprogramming centers with a huge price tag. There is a fine line when getting information to parents regarding divorce and spreading propaganda for the continued wealth of the many Whores of the Court who profit from the blood of children. HuffPo has crossed the line and they are now treading in dangerous waters.

  24. Why are you giving time to those who support pedophlia but censor those against pedophila?

    Is it because the pedophile is the father of the victim.

  25. Thank you Ms. Black and Ms. Magazine for posting the truth of the issue of Parental Alienation and the CENSORSHIP of Huff Post. The below is my comment to the Huff Post article– not only was it published– then deleted I went to re publish– it stated I had been 'banned' from posting—and then my account was deleted. One would have thought I was a serial killer posting awful things–

    My comment follows below– Why was the reaction to this so extreme on huff post? I know this much– I have lost any respect that I once may have had for Huffpost– again Thank you MsMag and the author of the article Ms. Black for getting this info out!

    My DELETED COMMENT from HuffPost:

    The Leadership Council: Child Abuse Experts Applaud Legal Community for Rejecting
    Parental Alienation Syndrome http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/pas/PR_PAS.htm

    The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, includes a strong statement condemning the use of PAS which it calls a "discredited" syndrome that favors child abusers in custody determinations. [see excerpt] http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/pas/judges.htm

    PBS Documentary: Breaking The Silence Children's Stories (Where PAS was used to take them away from Protective Parents (Battered Mothers) and placed in the hands of the abusers. http://vodpod.com/watch/3314727-8-2008-bts-wmv?u=

    Family Court Crisis; Our Children at Risk A 2008 Family law Documentary exposing the use of PAS as a 'cottage' industry. http://vodpod.com/watch/3586260-family-court-cris

    Domestic Violence, Abuse, and Child Custody 'PAS and Abusers Tool" http://www.civicresearchinstitute.com/dvac.html

    136 Killer Dads: Fathers who ended their children's lives in situations involving child custody, visitation, and PAS… http://bit.ly/a4ppLq

    Petition To Inter American Commission On Human Rights- Where PAS is used A Genocide Against Mothers and their Children http://www.stopfamilyviolence.org/pages/304

  26. mamaliberty says:

    HuffPo is continuing to allow censures against commenting!!! Time to boycott HuffPo? .. .http://www.huffingtonpost.com/fred-silberberg/child-support-accountabil_b_760143.html?show_comment_id=67236084#comment_67236084

  27. 1.) Get rid of ALL the bogus theories that strip and rip children from their mothers!!

    2.) Children BELONG with their Mothers!! They are the Natural Guardian of their own children.

    3.) Shared Parenting is a excuse to not pay child support and PAS and HAP and all other 'coined' terms of the day designed to take away a mothers child is abuse!

    4.) The dying soldier in the field does not scream for his father– he cries out for HIS mother.

    5.) Any one who supports stripping mom from her children is a MONSTER!

    6.) Stop trying to erase MOTHER!

    7.) The hand that rocks the cradle–MOTHER– is the hand that rocks the world.

    Go ahead PAS supporters hit the little minus button on the hand to the top right- like you are doing to all the other EXCELLENT comments. But as MOTHERS– we will NEVER shut up, GIVE up or GO AWAY– we have only just begun.

  28. Concerned Citizen says:

    There are so many childfen affected by this problem. Please go to Stop the Abuse of Chrisitan Coffey FB page and read about this mothers case. Kimberly Harris is being threatened by the Bowling Green, Kentucky court system. THIS IS HAPPENING ALL ACROSS AMERICA! Kimberly is a domestic violence survivor and has since divorced her husband Steven Coffey.

  29. Concerned Citizen says:

    Steven Coffey beat his son Chrisitan Coffey with a belt causing injury. Chrisitian fled to a neighbors house for help, and the neighbor called 911. His mohter Kimberly Harris came to get Christian and got an immediate DVO/PPO against his father for the beating the very next day. Kimberly lives in Tenn, not to far away from Bowling Green, KY. The Judge, Cahterine Rice Holderfield only put the DVO/PPO in place for 30 days. Chrisitian was living with his mother until they went to get the DVO extended. Then suddenly the Cabinet decided Christian should go into foster care. Why? Because Steven Coffey claimed that his ex wife Kimberly Harris was allowing their son Chrisitan to have sex with his girlfriend while he was at her home every other weekend. And the Cabinet and Judge Catherine Rice Holderfield believed him and Steve Coffey's lawyer Casey Hixson. This is ridiculous!

  30. Concerned Citizen says:

    These allegations being claimed by the father and his attorney Casey Hixson are false! Yet the Cabinet for Health and Family Services in Bowling Green, Kentucky beleive this and have refused to allow Chrisitian to go home with his mother Kimberly Harris and his step father Ken Harris. Christian has said over and over again to the court, the judge and his counselors that all he wants to do is go home with his mother.

  31. HawaiiTherapist says:

    THANK YOU Ms. Magazine and Ms. Black for calling attention to all of this. My comment (below) was also pulled from the Huffington Post cite and I read and reread my reply before posting to ensure I was being respectful but authentic at the same time. The last line was the only part that I waged could be marginally offensive, but how can requesting that facts be relayed in a "fact-based" article be THAT offensive? Again, thank you for setting the record straight!

    As a Marriage & Family Therapist, I saw this article & thought "Oh good – a new article on divorce" but I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw "parental alienation". I don't know who this author is, but someone might want to tell him that PAS & "parental alienation" aren't scientific FACT but a charlatan's carefully crafted FICTION.

    Has your child ever befriended a kid who you think is a bad/dangerous influence? What do you do? You certainly don't encourage the relationship or say nice things about the kid your child thinks is so cool, right? But the more you badmouth & criticize your child's friend, the more your child will hate/resent YOU for saying such (in their minds) unwarranted & mean things. No child is going to reject someone they love simply on someone's else's say-so UNLESS there is some form of intimidation, use of force, threat, coercion or tangible punishment attached to the badmouthing. Badmouthing + threats/use of force/deprivation = brainwashing (a form of torture) & CHILD ABUSE – it is NOT "parental alienation". Children can parrot a parent, but that doesn't mean they believe what they're parroting UNLESS there are threats/use of force/deprivation. Again, it's called CHILD ABUSE, not "parental alienation".

    If you're going to print something useful on divorce, you might want to check your facts first before publishing – just a suggestion.

  32. Concerned Citizen says:

    Ms. Magazine why are you cencoring me?

  33. What I don't understand….it's not just the theory of PAS itself that is so illogical, but so many of the people involved in the PAS money train are so illogical themselves, professionally and personally. How many of the top pushers of this garbage are avoiding child support payments, have grown children who claim they were abused by these guys, they lost their licenses, never had them in the first place, and let's not forget the one that stabbed himself to death. This is all besides the fact that there is no scientific evidence supporting PAS but a lot of clinical evidence suggesting kids don't like hanging out with parents that abuse them. I know we live in a strange and bizarre world, but come on, it doesn't take a lot of looking to find out these guys have some screws loose.

    • There needs to be a class action lawsuit against all those who have punished children and women through this PAS definition.

  34. ConcernedKansan says:

    I no longer read HuffPost or watch Ms Huffington when on TV – I also had posted a comment on the Huffington Post only to have it removed. Obviously it wasn't match the Huffington Post's opinion. If the HuffPost doesn't want to hear the truth – they shouldn't have a place for comments. The Huffington Post has lost all credibility for their actions. Also everyone knows the PAS theory isn't scientific – only some pedophile's opinion.

  35. Gail Lakritz says:

    Ariana Huffington has a long history of eating her own kind, so nothing she says about or does to women surprises me. I think of her as a woman who is a user. She knows who controls the greater amount of disposable income with which to purchase her rag. She plays to the male audience while enhancing her accent and batting her eyes at them to make a buck.

    If the political and financial winds were to change in America, so would she for she has never had an original thought and sniffs after the behinds of those who know how to think.

    In the business world, we refer to her kind as a Lunch Bucket, a person with no brains who will accept anything so long as it has a monetary value attached. She better never yell censorship, for if she does, maybe Anderson Cooper can have a tirade about her.

  36. It is disgusting that Warshak is deleting comments…yes it is him doing it. The note I got back from the editors at the Huffington Post was that they would contact Warshak about the comments. It is too bad the Huffington Post doesn't have the testicles to stop what he is doing. They all must realize he has a product to sell….heck he spends a lot of time hawking his book in the article and even in his comments. He even tells parents that comment with a sad story to get his book….gag, gag, gag. Shame on the Huffington Post for allowing a snake oil salesman on their site, it really drops their credibility to me. Thanks to Ms. Magazine and Ms. Black for exposing this further.

  37. Jane Harrett says:

    Claudine Dombrowski also Censors Mothers’ Rights —- below is a comment from Ms. Dombrowski….she does not want any posts that speak about how a mother lost her child because of PAS…. I took the below right off her site when I tried to leave my comment….
    "drop the PAS as it is a bogus syndrome created by courts and i will publish your posts– u r confused it is DV By Proxy"
    Reply
    Claudine Dombrowski
    29 October 2010 at 3am

    • Jane- you have mis-interpreted. What was said/written is : it is not pas/pa/pad etc. that causes a mother to lose custody – it is abuse. Continued abuse. Emotional.psychological etc. abuse. Some title this behaviour- DV by proxy-

      Alienation theories are used by abusers to gain/continue control of their small victims. Of course she will not let a positive comment for an abuser exceuse, go unchallenged !

    • mamaliberty says:

      Refuting evidence regarding a bogus theory and being a TROLL is not the same as trying to refute evidence that pas is used as a tool against mothers in court. This video http://blip.tv/file/4375642 has a fathers lawyer admitting the "strategies" that they use which includes pas! Pointing fingers and changing the subject…. we don't feed the trolls here.

    • Morning Show says:

      claudine writes for the huffington post?

    • My site's (plural) feverishly denounces the use of PAS as a true theory PERIOD. You and all your commenter's support the whole PAS theory. Right down to referring others to pro-pas sites with links to–

      Those comments that you do not PUSH the PAS theory as a REAL theory and do not refer to pro PAS sites have been published. ( I explained this to you)
      I have tried to help you with this and even left the original post on behalf of the mother. Its not PAS.

      I also added these links below to my original comment as above– that is not posted as above–so I will post here for you again

      1) PAS does NOT exist. (even when you think it was a father doing it to a mother) see here: http://www.thelizlibrary.org/liz/lizonpas.htm

      2) PAS is a bogus syndrome created by Mental Health therapeutic jurisprudence -do gooders– see here: http://www.thelizlibrary.org/site-index/site-inde

      3) You are confused as it is NOT PAS: It is DV by proxy see here: http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/pas/DVP.html

      4) It even surpasses the above- it is complete terrorism to a mother. See new Documentary here: http://americanmotherspoliticalparty.blip.tv/

      Too many women fall into this 'trap' too many mothers wrongly believe that PAS happens to them– it doesn't. It's NOT PAS– its Terrorism- coercive control-bad behavior-cruel- torture but it is not PAS.

      The goal of my site is to not debate the validity of PAS– but denounces it completely and shows the complete destruction of the bogus use of PAS or PA (or any other silly syndrome) theory, that is used to take a good mothers children from her– in an abusive manor.

      I hope that this can better help you understand. You must have missed the entirety of my comment that you posted above.

      • Jane Harrett says:

        I am trying to be open minded about your views on parental alienation and DV by proxy. I have been doing research on Parental Alienation for a very long time. No, I have never experienced it, nor do I have children. I am one of 11 psychologists who are very interested in this issue and have followed many cases including my cousin’s in Tarrant County, Texas. I am reading your comments and the suggested reading you have all suggested. I appreciate your passion and your thoughts. I am sorry for what you have had to go through and I do wish the best to all of you. I hope you, too, will keep an open mind. I will continue to do my research study with 133 participants over the alienation of children and keep up with your blogs. Thanks, Jane

    • Ms. Harrett, what you experienced was not PAS or PA. Lots of protective moms who have lost their children to abusers and other hostile men mistakingly think that they are victims of PAS and PA. They aren't. What they've experienced (and most likely you too) is Domestic Violence By Proxy. It's a completely different phenomenon. Because abusive assholes coerce children should not be confused with a theory that comes up with something wrong to allege against primary caregiving mothers who otherwise can be shown to have done nothing wrong.

      I highly recommend you read the following articles:

      Domestic Violence By Proxy – Clarity Of The Parental Alienation Debate By Jennifer Collins http://ca3cacaca.blogspot.com/2009/09/domestic-vi

      Domestic Violence (DV) By Proxy – Why Terrorist Tactics Employed By Batterers Are Not PAS
      By Joyanna Silberg http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/pas/DVP.html

    • She's right.

      PA/PAD/PAS is a bogus syndrome and it's discredited by major medical/psych/law organizations.

      Most of the behavior described as PA can be personality, bad parenting skills, or domestic violence (if it includes coercion, threats, intimidation…)

      Jane, the domestic violence community – I think I can speak for most – is vehemently against PA. Why? Because when a parent alleges abuse, the other parent can claim PA. (PA is based on the idea that mothers falsely accuse fathers of child sexual abuse-ie Dr. Richard Gardner's ideas). The more a parent alleges abuse and tries to prove it, the more she "evidences" PA. Do you realize how dangerous this is? Do you realize how many battered women have lost their children to abusers b/c the abuser claimed she was alienating the child?

      Do you see the implications?

      Besides the fact PA has no scientific validity, can be used without evidence, it places children in DANGER. We know this. We have many cases to prove it.

  38. Alienation is a bogus label to falsely stigmatize women and children who want to be free of a MALE guardian very similar to the false mental disorder of Drapetomania given to slaves who wanted to be free from their masters.

  39. Dr. Sharon K. Araji Talks about Domestic Violence in Contested Child Custody Documentary.

    This is a MUST SEE 24 minute video of victims, lawyers who talk about what happens when a mother try's to leave her abusive husband especially if she has children.

    Domestic Violence Continued– http://americanmotherspoliticalparty.blip.tv/

  40. The fact that my ex-husband dressed-up as a suicide bomber at our nation's Capitol worked in his favor.
    The fact that my ex-husband caused a lock down at my daughter's elementary school worked in his favor.
    The fact that he assaulted a professor at the Univ. of MI with whom he had an affair, did not work against him.
    The fact that he was banned from the Univ. of MI did not work against him.
    The fact that he had no job, did not work against him.

    Please explain to me how this "Civil Justice" system is anything but a blaring oxymoron that mocks democracy.

  41. Today, HuffPo posted this: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dianne-post/failure

    It is an article about mothers going to International Courts, because their abusive exes have been awarded custody of their children. The author, a woman, says the problem is endemic, and says heaven forbid a woman even bring up her ex is abusive, or she'll be labeled as having Parental Alienation Syndrome, which is not scientifically proven.

    I think they heard us! But the censorship HAS got to go!!!

  42. Jane Harrett says:

    Dear Readers and Writers,
    I am trying to be open minded about your views on parental alienation and DV by proxy. I have been doing research on Parental Alienation for a very long time. No, I have never experienced it, nor do I have children. I am one of 11 psychologists who are very interested in this issue and have followed many cases including my cousin’s in Tarrant County, Texas. I am reading your comments and your suggested reading. I appreciate your passion and your thoughts. I am sorry for what you have had to go through and I do wish the best to all of you. I hope you, too, will keep an open mind. I will continue to do my research study with 133 participants over the possible alienation of children and keep up with your blogs. Thanks, Jane

  43. Here's an article at RH Reality Check on HuffPost, censorship, Richard Warshak, abusers gaining child custody, alienation, and other related topics.
    http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2010/11/17/huf

    Yup, word is getting out!

  44. Here's a reprint of the RH Reality Check article: http://www.angelgroup.org/articles/532-huffpos-di

    • Thanks for the article link. There is a lot to gleam from it. I do agree that a parent has the right and responsibility to protect their children and themselves from harm of any sorts.
      Taking their view, which I agree with I've also noted their views on parental alienation are through the lenses of victimization and see it as a weapon the abuser can use and I see and understand their concern, but it is my view that this blinds them (commentators) to a clear understanding of what parental alienation is. It is in my opinion that both atrosities happen in our society.

  45. An APA 1996 Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family noted the lack of data to support so-called "parental alienation syndrome", and raised concern about the term's use. However, we have no official position on the purported syndrome.
    Hopefully, my comment is not deleted.
    Take not that APA has no official position on Parental Alienation Syndrome and the 1996 report they used is a bit dated. A lot of research and debate has happened since then.

    There are 50+ researchers and mental health experts who are backing the inclusion of Parental Alienation Syndrome into the DSM-V though I have not verified if it has been included.

  46. Parental Alienation is real for I have lived through it. I can understand the concern of abusive parents using the term for their defense. That in its-self can be Parental Alienation because part of P.A. is having control.
    I have a perspective of what it is and is I have three wonderful children from two different relationships. Two of my children have been alienated from me-their father and the other has not.
    with many complexities in P.A. it is not practical to go into detail here. P.A. which is usually involved in high-conflict divorce and custody battles.
    Where the concern should be is the determination if Parental Alienation is present and is why the judicial needs to be well informed.

  47. Just to make it clear, parental alienation (PA/PAD/PAS/NameOfTheDay) has been rejected by the DSM-V.

    Mental health professionals getting update on definitions
    Monday, February 15, 2010
    By Gary Rotstein, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    [excerpts]

    There was consideration of hoarding this time as a mental health issue, but it failed to make it into the recommendations for full manual treatment. There are always lobbyists for parental alienation syndrome, but they did not win out this time either.

    More than 1,000 public comments poured forth in the first 24 hours after the new recommendations came out, he said. The psychiatrist said the work on the spectrum of mental health issues seeks neither consensus — which he said sinks to the "lowest common denominator" — nor catering to those "who scream the loudest."

    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10046/1036018-114….

    • {excerpt}
      By DAVID CRARY
      The Associated Press
      Parental alienation remains on a list of proposals that are subject to further review, though it did not pass muster with the work group dealing with childhood and adolescent disorders.

      "There is not sufficient scientific evidence to warrant its inclusion in the DSM," Regier said in a statement.

      In an interview, Regier — who directs the APA's research division — said the proposal technically remains alive pending final presentations by the end of 2011. But he described chances for inclusion of parental alienation as "slim" — given that it has not been selected for field trials that normally would be a prerequisite for official recognition.

      Bernet said it was "flatly ridiculous" for the APA to contend there is not enough information available to warrant including parental alienation in the DSM. He cited legal developments and new research in numerous foreign countries.

  48. His proposal defines parental alienation disorder as "a mental condition in which a child, usually one whose parents are engaged in a high conflict divorce, allies himself or herself strongly with one parent, and rejects a relationship with the other parent, without legitimate justification."

  49. Jane Harrett says:

    Parental Alienation Syndrome Passes the Frye Test
    It is perhaps ironic that on November 22, 2000, in the 13th Judicial Circuit here in Florida, that a Frye hearing was held wherein Richard Gardner, M.D., Parental Alienation Syndrome’s originator; and Richard Warshak, Ph.D., one of PAS’s leading psychological advocates ,testified for two days in a specifically styled Frye Hearing. The result was that the Court ruled that Parental Alienation Syndrome did indeed pass the Frye Test. The Frye test is related to a 1923 Federal Appeals Court Decision that for sceintific evidence to be admissible in court that it must be gathered using techinques that have gained general acceptance in their field.2 This ruling was the first time in the United states, that PAS crossed this important legal threshold, obviously contradicting Dr. Poliakoff’s predictions. http://www.jmichaelbone.com/jmb_site_files/jmb_si

  50. Just have to add that HP censors a lot of my comments—and other people's–as I have found out. I am talking about non-abusive, no profanity comments .
    So be prepared to be censored on HP!

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