Friday, May 18, 2007

Have we ruffled the feathers of "NOW"?

Below is an article written by, Kim Gandy

All I have to say about that article, which sounds to me like a temper tantrum is ..

Have you heard of Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860),

Who said..

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed, and third, it is accepted as self-evident."

Here is the article I am blogging about where they seem to be out of control..

Yeah Temper Tantrum works..

Sick Joke or Sick Reality?

Below the Belt:
A Biweekly Column by NOW President Kim Gandy
May 17, 2007

I know you think I'm talking about "Opie and Anthony," recently suspended from their radio talk gig for "joking" with a guest, "Homeless Charlie," who said he wanted to rape Condoleezza Rice and Laura Bush. The hosts encouraged these horrifying remarks -- in fact they laughed and imagined "the horror" on Rice's face as she is held down and punched in the face.
No, I'm talking about another sick reality. Let me ask you first: Would you trust a guy who wrote that rape victims "gain pleasure from being beaten, bound, and otherwise made to suffer" as "the price they are willing to pay for gaining the gratification of receiving the sperm?" A guy who published his belief that "the child who has suffered bona fide abuse may very well have enjoyed the experience..."? A guy who claimed that incest is not harmful, (citing Shakespeare) only "thinking makes it so"?
And I know I don't even have to ask this -- but would you trust this guy with your kids?
I thought not. Which leads me to ponder how on earth the "theory" this guy thought up has found its way into court rooms across the country, and is currently influencing child custody decisions, especially those involving child abuse. That's right, this guy, a psychiatrist named Richard Gardner -- who, by the way, also asserted that adult-child sex is normal AND beneficial for both parties as well as for the survival of the human race -- is being given credence in cases involving the fate of children and families.
And believe it or not, it seems that nine state governors have jumped on Gardner's pro-pedophilia bandwagon. In Florida, Indiana, Connecticut, Kentucky, Nebraska, Iowa, Maine, and Nevada, there is now reportedly a whole day officially dedicated to raising "awareness" about Gardner's theory called Parental Alienation Syndrome, in which the very reports of abuse by a child against a father are themselves evidence that the child is being brainwashed by the mother (and if the child is angry at the father, or doesn't want to visit, that's even more evidence) and the only "cure" for this syndrome is to force the child to live with the abuser and deny ANY contact with the protective mother, who has no history of abuse.
C'mon, you're thinking, what judge would buy this crock? Doesn't it matter if the abuse really happened? Apparently not.
Although it may sound like it, this is no sick joke. It's a sad, sick reality. And anyone who cares even a little about children's human rights and the epidemic of family violence should take note and take action.
Let's start with the lowdown on "parental alienation syndrome" (PAS), which is also being called "parental alienation." Like I said, Richard Gardner thought it up. The late Dr. Gardner was a child psychiatrist who liked to tell people he was a full professor at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons. Actually, he was an unpaid volunteer. But hey -- professor, volunteer; child sexual abuse, fun adult-child sex -- hey, what's the difference? If you're Richard Gardner, not much.
But I digress. While Gardner was volunteering at Columbia in the 1980s, he formed some opinions and made some personal observations that, together, he decided to call "parental alienation syndrome." He defined PAS as a condition arising from one parent's (mostly mothers, he said) "programming" of the child to wage an unreasonable "campaign of denigration against" the other parent (most of the time, the father, according to Gardner). PAS, he said, arises most often during child custody disputes, usually involves false allegations of child sexual abuse as part of the programmer parent's attempt to turn the child against the other parent, and causes "enormous grief" in the alienated parent.
Gardner's diagnostic criteria included finding out from the child the parent's "frequency of programming thoughts" and the parent's "success in manipulating the legal system to enhance the programming." The ridiculousness of these criteria goes without saying. Gardner was insistent that the "programming parent" is the mother, and that the alienated parent is the father. He opined that treatment involve forcing the mother to stop expressing negative views about the father and granting custody of the child to him and denying any visitation to her. No part of the PAS diagnostic process involves examining the father's psychiatric history or conduct, or even inquiring whether he had actually engaged in abuse.
According to an article by Dr. Paul J. Fink, past president of the American Psychiatric Association, and Hon. Sol Gothard, retired judge and former faculty member for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges:
"Parental Alienation Syndrome has been used nationwide by batterers as a courtroom tactic to silence abused children by attempting to discredit their disclosures of abuse. This theory is not recognized as valid by the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, or the American Medical Association. Parental Alienation Syndrome is not accepted as a psychiatric diagnosis, and has been rejected by the mainstream psychological community. Parental Alienation Syndrome is junk science; there is no valid research or empirical data to support this unproven theory."
To date, none of the studies necessary to judge the validity of Gardner's so-called syndrome have been conducted. In 2006, the Children's Legal Rights Journal (a multi-disciplinary journal published in conjunction with the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, the National Association of Counsel for Children, and the Loyola University School of Law) and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges each published analyses finding no scientific or legal basis for the use of PAS.
And yet, PAS keeps making appearances in courts across the country, subverting and perverting the pursuit of justice one family at a time. According to the Children's Legal Rights Journal, a North Carolina court incarcerated a teenage girl who refused to visit her father, and a New Jersey court suspended a mother's contact with her two children, granting sole custody to the father despite "'foreseeable emotional upset and possible trauma'" to the children (Hoult, 1). In Pennsylvania, a court ordered a teenager into "PAS treatment," and he subsequently hung himself.
Young people who have suffered due to inhumane court rulings involving PAS are speaking out.
They are not the only ones. This month, the NOW Foundation joined other leading organizations working on family law and family violence in a complaint filed against the United States with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The complaint charges that U.S. courts are failing to protect the life, liberties, security, and other human rights of abused mothers and children by frequently awarding child custody to abusers and child molesters. PAS is one predominant strategy being used by lawyers to place children in such danger. A recent Newsweek article noted the finding of a Harvard study that in custody cases involving documented spousal abuse, 54% granted custody to the batterer, and parental alienation was used as an argument in nearly every single one.
This is not a trend that will fade away. It's junk science that's gaining momentum, amassing victims, fooling powerful government officials, and even attracting an unfortunately famous ally or two like Alec Baldwin. PAS advocates play down the theory's unquestionably absurd roots in Gardner's pseudo-science, pathologize and punish mothers fighting to protect themselves and their children, and stand faithfully by fathers' so-called right to unfettered access to their children despite any history of assault or abuse. And the judges and the media are buying it hook, line and sinker.
Do something about it. Contact the governors who've proclaimed "Parental Alienation Awareness" days and raise their awareness about what's in the best interest of our families. Contact the media outlets who are giving PAS advocates like Alec Baldwin a platform to lie to the public. Pressure your judges to educate themselves and get our justice system back on track.
Gloria Steinem said, "The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off." I'm definitely pissed off about PAS and hope you are, too. It's just what we need to set our families free from junk science, junk justice, and sick realities.


JQ75 said...

Wow, I knew that NOW was strongly against PAS. But that is an understatement. This is well beyond a temper tantrum too, it is extreme desperation.

Blending pedophilia with PAS is quite an emotional and irrational attack. It is ironic and pathetic that PAS victims of abuse are being called abusers. NOW has truly taken a radical position on this topic.

NOW is completely blinded to simple logic. This issue isn't about men or women, it is about children denied access to one of their parents. That is child abuse. And those who would be PAS apologists or propagandizers are also child abusers, plain and simple.

Thanks for bringing this radical position to light.

Louise said...

Thanks for the comment, I agree they ("NOW") are in a panic and see the walls closing in on them.

That half baked "we were only protecting our children BS" is begining to be seen for all it's worth, all we can do is keep up the pressure hopefully people are begining to see the truth.

PAS is destroying future generations and needs to be stopped!

Don't get me wrong, there are abusive parents of both genders that should be strictly supervised but never taken out of a child's life without CLEAR AND CONVINCING PROOF from a jury that the child was abused, and would be hurt by the other parent.


Anonymous said...

I agree with your statement, each and every case is individual. You don't know the truth until you investigate it. And NOT by assumption and heresay.

Louise said...