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The Globe and Mail

Judge rules father brainwashed son into hating mother

Globe and Mail, By Kirk Makin, May 15, 2008

Toronto - A 13-year-old Ontario boy whose domineering father systematically brainwashed him into hating his mother can be flown against his will to a U.S. facility that deprograms children who suffer from parental alienation, an Ontario Superior Court judge has ruled.

Mr. Justice James Turnbull ordered the boy - identified only as LS - into the custody of his mother. He said that the boy urgently needs professional intervention to reverse the father's attempt to poison his mind toward his mother and, in all probability, to women in general.

"There will probably be future significant problems experienced by LS if the court does not intervene - including significant personal guilt for his part in the rejection of his mother, anger towards women, and dysfunctional relationships with women," Judge Turnbull said.

The judge flatly refused to take the boy's opinion on the therapy into account, saying that LS cannot exercise "free discretion in expressing his views" because of the influence his father has had on him.

Judge Turnbull observed that the father, 54, has repeatedly breached court orders granting the mother limited access to her son. He said that the boy has come to perceive himself and his father as "intertwined and unable to distinguish one's thoughts from the other."

As part of his campaign of absolute control over LS, the father dictated toxic e-mails for the boy to send to his mother. He also removed photographs of the mother from her son's bedroom.

Judge Turnbull also noted that in 2005, the father pursued an assault charge against the mother. As a result, LS, at the age of 10, was required to testify against her in criminal court.

"Frankly, the exercise of such parental indiscretion stuns this court," Judge Turnbull said, adding that the mother was acquitted.

Jeffery Wilson, the mother's lawyer, said Thursday that the case is a breakthrough for parents attempting to win back children who have been intentionally alienated from them.

"This is a precedent in Canada - the first time a Canadian court has recognized the lack of resources to deal with the disease of parental alienation and answered it with a private remedy - the Family Workshop for Alienated Children," Mr. Wilson said.

"The age of a child is no reason to justify a lost opportunity to know and benefit from both of the child's parents," he added.

In his ruling, Judge Turnbull praised the work of the FWAC and urged the Ontario government to encourage similar programs.

According to evidence at the hearing from Dr. Richard Warshak, a founder of the FWAC, many children are so set against participating in a program that reunites them with a hated parent that they have to be transported by police or probation officers - sometimes in restraints.

"In the case at bar, Dr. Warshak has suggested that LS would travel to the United States with transport agents on one flight, and his mother would follow closely on another flight," Judge Turnbull noted in his ruling.

Dr. Warshak said that sessions focus on teaching children to assess their domestic situation critically, and to appreciate that both of their parents are essential to their well-being.

Sessions, which typically last from three to seven days, lean heavily on video presentations, intensive discussion with psychologists, and opportunities for the child and his or her alienated parent to interact.

Upon returning home, children receive after-care from a local psychologist. After several months, the child is usually ready to commence a relationship with the parent who caused the alienation.

The parents in the LS case married in 1982 and separated in 2005. LS was placed in the primary custody of his father, a salesman.

The father changed phone numbers, ignored e-mails and left the mother - a 49-year-old who works in public relations - with no alternative but to drive to arenas where her son's sports teams were playing in hopes of getting a glimpse of him.

The mother launched court action last year in an attempt to win sole custody of the boy. After a nine-day hearing last fall, Judge Turnbull reserved his decision.

He said that an e-mail the mother received in late 2006 was indicative of the father's control over the boy. "I don't want to see you and I never will want to see you ever again and who do you think you are to say my dad makes my decisions (sic)," it said. "I MAKE MY DECISIONS. GET IT THROUGH YOUR HEAD. If I want to see your side of the family, I will call them."

A child psychiatrist who assessed the father, Dr. George Award, said in a report that he was a mistrustful, autocratic woman-hater who "built a demonic image" of his ex-wife and turned his son into his entire social life.

Brainwashing Children - Divorce - Family Law

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November 7, 2009

The world of divorce is scary for any child. But when a divorce becomes especially toxic, children can become the target of an unrelenting crusade by one parent to destroy the child's relationship with the other. Experts call it parental alienation.

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What does Parental Alienation Syndrome mean? In my case, it meant losing a child. When Dash was 4 1/2 years old his father and I broke up. I dealt with the death of our marriage and moved on but Peter stayed angry, eventually turning it toward his own house, teaching our son, day by day, bit by bit, to reject me. Parental Alienation Syndrome typically means one parent's pathological hatred, the other's passivity and a child used as a weapon of war. When Dash's wonderful raw materials were taken and shaken and melted down, he was recast as a foot soldier in a war against me.  Read More ..

Parental Alienation

Divorced Parents Move, and Custody Gets Trickier

The New York Times, New York city, U.S.A. August 8, 2004

Not too long ago, Jacqueline Scott Sheid was a pretty typical Upper East Side mother. Divorced and with a young daughter, she had quickly remarried, borne a son, and interrupted her career to stay home with the children while her husband, Xavier Sheid, worked on Wall Street.

Early last year, Mr. Sheid lost his job and saw his only career opportunity in California. But Ms. Sheid's ex-husband, who shares joint legal custody of their daughter, refused to allow the girl to move away. So Ms. Sheid has spent much of the last year using JetBlue to shuttle between her son and husband on the West Coast and her daughter (and ex) on the East.

The New York court system, which she hoped would help her family to resolve the problem, has cost her tens of thousands of dollars in fees for court-appointed experts, she said, and has helped to prolong the process by objecting to her choice of lawyers.  Read More ..

The Globe and Mail

Judge rules father brainwashed son into hating mother

Globe and Mail
May 15, 2008

Toronto - A 13-year-old Ontario boy whose domineering father systematically brainwashed him into hating his mother can be flown against his will to a U.S. facility that deprograms children who suffer from parental alienation, an Ontario Superior Court judge has ruled.

Mr. Justice James Turnbull ordered the boy - identified only as LS - into the custody of his mother. He said that the boy urgently needs professional intervention to reverse the father's attempt to poison his mind toward his mother and, in all probability, to women in general.   Read More ..

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Parental Alienation Syndrome

Landmark Ruling Grants Father Custody of Children

PA News (U.K.), July 3, 2004

A key court decision to grant a father custody of his daughters after the mother flouted contact orders for four years was today welcomed by campaigners.

Fathers 4 Justice said that the High Court ruling was a vital victory and called for more judges to take a similar stance when faced with resistant parents.

The comments come after Mrs Justice Bracewell transferred the residence of two young girls to their father because the mother persistently refused him contact, despite court orders.  Read More ..

National Post

Custody judges rule on vengeance

Courts criticized for recognizing 'parental alienation'

National Post
March 27, 2009

Toronto -- The scope of the courts' reach into family affairs has long been contentious, but a recent trend in Canada's legal system has brought a new controversy that has some onlookers praising judges and others condemning them for accepting what they call "voodoo science."

More than ever before, Canada's judges are recognizing that some children of divorced and warring parents are not simply living an unfortunate predicament, but rather are victims of child abuse and suffering from Parental Alienation Syndrome.   Read More ..