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January 17, 2004

More Publishing News

I have just received word that "off our backs" will be publishing my article about the use of specious medical syndromes against women in custody cases in the Jan/Feb '04 issue. One "syndrome" I discuss at length is Parental Alienation Syndrome. I also discuss the new crop of therapeutic "experts" who have financially benefited from the cottage industries that have grown from court-ordered representation, mediation, and evaluations. There is money to be made, and it doesn't help mothers, children, or fathers very much.

When the article is definitely out, I'll post here. I've also asked OOB if it is interested in an article about Bush's proposed marriage initiatives. I haven't written about them on my blog since Bush made his big announcement. It's not like I've never mentioned them before. They've been in the works since 1996, back when they "only" affected poor single and divorced custodial moms. You know -- those people no one really cares about. But now, that the marriage initiatives may affect gay marriage .... don't get me started.

Posted on January 17, 2004 at 05:15 PM | Permalink


Congratulations on gettng the article published!
Promoting marriage seems to rely on pathologizing single-hood. It doesn't need to, does it? Can't we just say that people, at different times in their lives, are happier being married or single?

Posted by: kim at Jan 17, 2004 9:19:08 PM

Congratulations on being published. Parental alienation syndrome being used against mothers is a scary thing. Apparently, some fathers would rather place the blame on the mothers for not having a good relationship with their child instead of working harder on that relationship.

Posted by: trish at Jan 19, 2004 9:50:47 AM

Thanks, Kim and Trish. Promoting marriage is partly a neo-conservative social experiment and yet another means for states to avoid assisting the poor. The crux of all of these programs is the collection of child support -- not to help the custodial mother and children, though, but to reimburse state welfare coffers. Welfare reform and the Dept. of Health and Human Services started defining fatherhood by DNA so that they could collect that money. Have you noticed that the promotion isn't really about marriage in general, but marriage specifically between people who bore a child out of wedlock? The state and these neo-cons not only think they can tell people to get married, they think they can tell people who they are allowed to marry!

Trish, believe it or not I occasionally hear from moms who used PAS themselves in court against their ex's. They like to tell me how mistaken I am about PAS. They know it's "real" because they've "seen it." I'm not mistaken. They are lucky their ex's didn't turn the tables on them and accuse them of having PAS themselves -- by citing PAS in their own cases. Abuse and manipulative, controlling behavior should be called what it is.

One of my colleagues wrote an excellent article about this phenomenon. I highly recommend it:

PAS: "'But I've Seen PAS!' No, You Haven't."

Posted by: Trish Wilson at Jan 19, 2004 3:57:03 PM

Thanks, I'm going to print that out since I go back to court soon. I totally agree on the welfare reform and the AG in TExas definitely uses the petitions for paternity to get child support and pay back the state for the welfare it's given the mother, leaving the mother with nothing. PAS is a scary thing when a court even considers it for use to determine custody.

Posted by: at Jan 19, 2004 4:37:41 PM

PA is nothing more than "narcissim"....Do a google search for narcisstic personality..... and you'll see exactly what I mean.. . I read an article recently about how to deal with the narcissist in court. Immediately PA came to mind. As did FR groups. LOLOL

Posted by: Chief at Jan 19, 2004 5:58:27 PM

Do you hit on Munchausen's By Proxy? A friend of mine lost custody of her daughter when the bio-dad made an accusation of MBP stick, even though the child was in good health.

Posted by: Ab_Normal at Jan 20, 2004 7:28:30 PM

I've hit on Munchausen's by Proxy, Ab Normal, but not as much as PAS and generic "alienation." There are a couple of "false allegations"/fathers' rights groups in Florida that misuse Munchausens by Proxy to take the kids from mom. Munchausens and Munchausens by Proxy are valid but rare syndromes that have been misused by these groups and "experts" to take kids from their mothers based on mere suspicion rather than any hard evidence. PAS is junk science that does not have the endorsement of reputable legal and medical professionals. It is also not recognized as a valid medical syndrome by the APA.

5,000 cases in the U. K. in which the same pediatrician who cited Munchausen's by Proxy have recently been thrown out -- BUT the courts don't plan to return the children to their mothers. I don't know if a class action suit is in the works. Here's a link to an article on the subject:

"We Can't Reunite Thousands of Mothers With Children Wrongly Taken From Them"
Daily Telegraph
U. K.

Posted by: Trish Wilson at Jan 21, 2004 1:03:24 PM

Thank you.

Posted by: Ab_Normal at Jan 21, 2004 5:13:49 PM