Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Jewish Week reports on fiasco Sunday night meeting and Rabbi Mordechai Tendler lies publicly about out-of-court settlement with victim

205 Comments:

At 10:14 AM, Blogger Reb Yudel said...

First post!

 
At 10:19 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/newscontent.php3?artid=10699

03/30/2005)
Congregants Stand By Rabbi Tendler
At packed synagogue meeting, he denies all RCA charges.
Debra Nussbaum Cohen - Staff Writer

At a meeting packed with his supporters at his Rockland County synagogue, Rabbi Mordechai Tendler emphatically denied all of the charges that resulted in his being expelled from the Rabbinical Council of America the previous week.

Some who attended the meeting Sunday night said Rabbi Tendler was applauded enthusiastically and given standing ovations after he, his father, Rabbi Moshe Tendler, and uncle, Rabbi David Feinstein of Jerusalem, spoke.

The gathering was billed as a public meeting to address the community’s concerns, but critics of Rabbi Tendler, including former members of his congregation who resigned over concerns about the sexual improprieties that he is alleged to have committed, were barred by security guards from entering the Kehillah New Hempstead synagogue.

The RCA, a professional association of some 1,000 Modern and Centrist Orthodox rabbis, had never expelled a member over sexual ethics violations. The move came after a 15-month investigation into allegations leveled by several women who said they had been sexually harassed by Rabbi Tendler or had been involved in sexual affairs with the rabbi.

Rabbi Tendler is married and the father of eight children.

His father, a renowned expert on biomedical ethics and Jewish law, is a rosh yeshiva at Yeshiva University’s rabbinical school. Rabbi Mordechai Tendler is a grandson of the late Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, who is regarded as the 20th century’s leading arbiter of Orthodox Jewish law.

Rabbi Tendler took written questions from the audience and “in all fairness, a lot of them were tough,” according to Arnold Engel, who attended the meeting and described it as a “stacked deck” in support of the rabbi.

In his answers Rabbi Tendler “didn’t admit to anything, he said it’s all a lie, and that he is being picked on because he has made unpopular decisions” in his rabbinic rulings, said Engel.

One questioner asked Rabbi Tendler whether he had arrived at an out-of-court settlement with a woman who alleged they had an affair.

“He denied it, said he never did,” Engel said.

But according to an Orthodox rabbi in the area who said he has firsthand knowledge, Rabbi Tendler paid the woman close to $100,000 in the summer of 2003 in an out-of-court settlement. (Others have said the sum was significant but not that high.)

Rabbi Tendler’s wife, Michelle, who has been his most ardent supporter, made reference to the settlement in a letter she wrote to a former member of the community.

Through Hank Sheinkopf, the political consultant who is serving as a spokesman for the Tendlers, Michelle Tendler declined to be interviewed, as did the rabbi.

Sheinkopf said that he has no knowledge relating to a settlement. The attorney who represented the woman in the settlement said he wasn’t allowed to confirm anything about it and had no further comment.

Those close to the saga say that another chapter is about to unfold: One source said physical evidence that at least one extramarital affair with a congregant took place will be released in the weeks to come.

But those at the meeting Sunday night were standing by their rabbi. According to Elaine Silverberg, a synagogue member, Rabbi David Feinstein issued a psak, or religious decision, “that the RCA ruling is null and void and has to be totally ignored,” she said.

Daniel Schwartz, who is counsel to Rabbi Tendler’s synagogue and a member, told The Jewish Week on Wednesday that the board will “continue to deliberate on this matter” and hopes the rabbi will be “vindicated.”

The decision has had repercussions, though, beyond the synagogue walls over the past week. Yeshiva University canceled the weekly seminar that Rabbi Mordechai Tendler had been offering to rabbinical students since 1987, explaining in a statement that the school “accepts the jurisdiction of the RCA on this matter.”

And the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, which long regarded Rabbi Tendler as an ally in advocacy efforts on behalf of women chained to dead marriages by estranged husbands, has taken down from its Web site a prayer for agunot that he penned.

It was not an easy decision for JOFA, said its president, Carol Kaufman Newman. Many JOFA board members thought the prayer should remain on the site, but Newman decided it should come down. Articles by Rabbi Tendler remain on the site, she said, while a prayer for agunot written by someone else will soon be posted.

“We’re leaving his articles up because he has something relevant to say and if we can, through his articles, free some agunot, we should leave them up,” she said. “But a prayer? For that there’s a higher standard. Prayers should be written by people with pure hearts, and now we can’t look at this man’s heart as pure if he has caused suffering to women.”

Many of Rabbi Tendler’s congregants remain enthusiastic supporters, though only Silverberg would speak with a reporter.

“Rabbi Tendler is known as a tzaddik,” or righteous person, she said. “He helps those unfortunate souls that other rabbis would stay away from. He gives everyone a sense of belonging. Many people in Monsey believe that because Rabbi Tendler has so much compassion for others, he has become vulnerable to some of them.”

“The shul expressed overwhelming support of the rabbi and decided to weather the storm,” Silverberg added, noting that members will “pursue the vindication of the rabbi.”

Some witnesses said that at least 10 former congregants were barred by the synagogue’s president and security guards from entering the building.

“They had security guards at the entrance, at least one wearing a uniform,” said Engel.

One former member, Richard Marinelli, said he cleared his attendance in advance but once at the synagogue he was informed by the congregation’s president that he was not welcome at the meeting.

The president, Eric Lafazan, did not respond to several phone messages left at his home and office seeking comment on the overall situation as well as this particular incident.

Marinelli, whose son and brother were also prevented from attending the meeting, said he had planned to ask “a number of questions” and had been assured he would be allowed to do so.

In an interview this week, Sheinkopf said that barring people from the meeting “was the congregation’s decision and had nothing to do with anything the Tendler family or its representatives are involved with.”

 
At 12:15 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

Well, Danny boy, where are your answers?

 
At 1:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just read a really interesting new blog on "JewishIdea.blogspot.com". It was really on the money.

 
At 2:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just read a really interesting new blog on "JewishIdea.blogspot.com". It was really on the money.


How interesting that at 1:07, you report on a new blog that was posted at 1:03. Did you yourself post that blog? Or did you just happen to be on that blog when this got posted?? The language seems rather similiar to the rest of the unsubstantiated ranting posted by JWB.

 
At 2:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know. I just read it and it WAS really good. "jewishidea.blogspot.com" who cares if it was written by JWB.

 
At 2:31 PM, Blogger chutzpah said...

Well-written post, but not JWB's style.

 
At 2:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JWB: Please delete the lengthy irrelevant posts that are clearly meant to clutter your blogspot.

 
At 3:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obviously, some people (posting the lengthy drivel) feel that routing out sick sex abusers is not a worthy use of time. just because someone has a rabbi in front of their name means nothing. If they only new what really goes on out there in the "frum" community with abuse of all kinds (drug, sex, alchohol, spouse, child, etc) they would take their fucking heads out of the sand and wake up!

 
At 4:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JWB, did you read the Jewish Week publisher's piece this week, trashing weblogs for having no accoutability?

Who the hell is he? He writes whatever he pleases with 0 accountability to anyone.

 
At 4:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the Jewish Week. See last paragraph referring to this blog. Right on, Gary Rosenblatt!

"...What bothers me...is that in this still emerging field, there is no accountability and there are no professional standards to be met. In the rush to get a story out first, the emphasis is on timeliness rather than accuracy, with seemingly little regard –– or responsibility –– for printing rumors or theories that are untrue. So people who are mentioned and maligned by an anonymous blogger have no recourse.

I wouldn’t seek legal or medical advice from an amateur attorney or physician who insisted on remaining nameless, yet there are countless people reading blogs on the Web by would-be journalists whose reports go unsubstantiated and unedited, and the results are often hurtful, damaging people’s characters and reputations.

...There are a number of bloggers writing on Jewish news topics, with a special interest in which scandals are being reported, which aren’t, and why. The blogs written by people who identify themselves, some of whom are journalists, tend to be more responsible and informed, though even here the standards for reporting are based solely on the conscience and professionalism of the individual.

More upsetting are the bloggers who criticize individuals by name, make accusations against rabbis and communal leaders, but don’t have the guts to identify themselves, or bother to interview the people they write about.

One of the better known Jewish reporting blogs calls for “accountability and transparency within our institutions and leadership,” a noble goal, indeed. But the “About me” area on the home page where the blogger usually posts some details about him or her self is empty. To demand full disclosure of others without identifying one’s self seems the height of chutzpah and hypocrisy to me."

 
At 5:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is it that the only person The Jewish Week could find to interview was Arnie Engel who lives with the Marinellis? The shul was packed, standing room only and the only one interviewed was Rich Marinelli (who is no longer a member and therefore not admitted to a membership meeting) and somebody who lives with the family. Anybody hear of the term "yellow journalism"? I expect this from The Forward. I really thought The Jewish Week had higher standards. Guess the Columbia School of Journalism just continues to sink to new lows.

 
At 6:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There were so many unfamiliar faces at the Sunday meeting that to say it was a members only meeting is a joke. So says a member of a decade plus

 
At 6:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

emlesh

 
At 6:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Add your heading and it's assertion of a lie, to the list of definites and facts you so self-assuredly post,none of which you have yet to sustantiate.(Why don't you post a copy of the letter if its such public knowledge?)The only "fact" you have posted is your "exclusive" e-mail from the RCA, long available to anyone, which you used as an excuse to dredge up all the old allegations. I paste a copy of the Jewish Press editorial from 3 months ago, where the allegations and the way they are being bandied about as "fact" are shown for what they are worth!

In last week`s edition of the Jewish Week, Publisher Gary Rosenblatt was transparently falling all over himself trying to get in on the Forward`s four-month-old "scoop" on the Rabbinical Council of America's investigation of charges of "sexual harassment" allegations against a "prominent [Orthodox] rabbi." But Rosenblatt — as the Forward did before him — fell flat on his face. Both came up with a pastiche of unattributed claims and innuendo, while the rabbi — who of course was named, with his pedigree duly noted — was smeared throughout the article. And Rosenblatt`s piece, though purporting to offer new information, was actually less substantial than even the Forward's flimsy story.

In its August 27, 2004 issue, in a front-page article headlined " Rabbinical Council Is Probing Claims of Sexual Harassment," the Forward told us that:

The main union of Modern Orthodox rabbis [the Rabbinical Council of America] is investigating allegations of sexual harassment against the scion of a prominent rabbinic family, the Forward has learned.

We were also told that the matter came to the RCA in January, after "several women" brought the allegations to "a member of the RCA`s executive board who specializes in religious questions regarding abuse against women and children."

We were then informed that "several sources informed the Forward that a number of women have told friends and Jewish communal figures that ... [the rabbi] had propositioned them while serving in his role as either rabbinic counselor or religious arbiter;" that "Two of [the rabbi`s] accusers outlined their allegations in interviews with the Forward, but asked not to be identified"; that "A source who has spoken to several of the alleged victims told the Forward that the women were afraid to come forth. In addition, several alleged victims have refused to air their claims publicly, for fear of committing sacrilege by shaming a prominent rabbi."

We were also told that "[T]wo prominent rabbis, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told the Forward that they first heard about complaints regarding ... [the rabbi being investigated] several years ago"; and that "According to two sources, ... [the rabbi] reached a settlement with one woman who claims to have been seduced by the rabbi while seeing him for marriage counseling. When contacted by the Forward, the woman`s lawyer declined to discuss the case." (Emphasis added throughout.)

The Forward did almost identify one accuser who reportedly told the paper that 12 years ago the rabbi "propositioned her while he adjudicated her divorce and a rent dispute." Actually, the Forward acknowledged that the name given for her is not current and that she "now goes by a different name." In any event, it is not made clear when the alleged propositioning took place, but the accuser`s landlord was said to have denied that the rabbi sat on the beit din hearing the rent dispute and the rabbi`s spokesman denied the accusation, noting that it only surfaced 12 years after it supposedly happened.

And here is what Gary Rosenblatt had to say in his catch-up article entitled "Rabbinic Abuse Case Hits Snag":

A rabbinic investigation into charges of sexual harassment against a prominent colleague seems to have sparked its own controversy.

The Jewish Week has learned that a committee from the Rabbinical Council of America, the largest organization of Orthodox Rabbis in the country, has shared the findings of an eight-month investigation with the accused ... to allow him to prepare a defense.

It is alleged that the rabbi then contacted at least one of the women named in the report and sought to intimidate her, a charge denied by the rabbi`s attorney...

Also under dispute is whether the women who spoke to the investigator knew that their names would be shared with the rabbi.

There's more, but it is worth pausing to reflect on what has already been said.

Astonishingly, it is characterized as controversial that an accused would be given the evidence against him and the identity of his accusers. For Heaven`s sake, how can anybody conceivably defend against charges without this information? Nor are we sure of what to make of the phrase "at least one of the women" who were allegedly contacted by the rabbi. But she certainly is not identified.

Rosenblatt goes on to say:

The nature of the charges and the stature of the rabbi and his family in Orthodox circles makes this a particularly difficult and delicate case....

"They [the RCA] are trying to do the right thing, but they are floundering," one rabbi, who asked to remain anonymous, said of the RCA committee. "They were hoping the investigator`s report would be more definitive one way or the other, but the nature of it is primarily he said, she said,` and now they are looking for more evidence."

Someone who has seen the report said it is not definitive, "but there is a lot of smoke," and it indicates that at the very least a number of "serious mistakes in judgment were made" by [the rabbi].

A meeting [of the RCA committee] is planned for later this month. Meanwhile, efforts are continuing to find "evidence that allegedly is out there," according to one source.

Several sources said a tape recording exists of a conversation between [the rabbi] and one of the women that indicates an intimate relationship. A cleaning woman originally from Jamaica told The Jewish Week that she worked for a woman ... who admitted to her that she had an intimate relationship with the rabbi. [Emphasis added throughout.]

Again a pause to reflect. This is pretty extraordinary stuff. Rosenblatt offers no evidence for his assertion that the RCA committee is having a problem because of the prominence and provenance of the rabbi. He also relies on the report of "one rabbi, who asked to remain anonymous" for his claim that the committee is "floundering." Rosenblatt acknowledges that there is no definitive evidence to this date but still goes on to quote someone who says "there is a lot of smoke" about "serious mistakes in judgment" by the rabbi. And his reference to the hearsay comment of the "cleaning lady" as the sole support for the existence of an incriminating tape, despite referring to several sources, defies belief.

To be sure, Rosenblatt does give names for two of the women who are accusers of the rabbi. However, one claims that an incident occurred 12 years ago and the aforementioned Forward article had reported that she has since changed her name. And the second of the two identified accusers — and Rosenblatt only gives us her maiden name in any event — claimed, according to Rosenblatt, that the rabbi was too probing in his questioning which she "felt" was "inappropriate"; "he was fixated on whether I was having an affair;" and he "used" information she and her husband gave him "to drive them apart rather than help them unite." Rosenblatt also quotes the second lady as follows: "He [the rabbi] helps so many people, but for every woman he has helped, I think there`s another he`s abused."

Why would Rosenblatt put himself through such grueling journalistic gymnastics to get into print with this — certainly at this point in time — non-story? Perhaps he'd been seething ever since the Forward beat him to the Orthodox-bashing punch in August. Indeed, he said this in the article:

The Jewish Week first learned of the allegations against [the rabbi] in November when several women attending a Jewish Week forum on rabbinic sex abuse voiced their charges privately, following the program.

The newspaper, while tracking the case through interviews with dozens of rabbis, women and others knowledgeable about the situation, chose not to report on it as the RCA investigation moved forward. But the newspaper changed its views after the story became public through an article in the Forward this fall and the RCA report was released [by the rabbi] through his attorney. [Emphasis added throughout.]

This clearly has the taste of sour grapes. Especially since Rosenblatt`s piece appeared four months after the Forward article to which he has added absolutely nothing. But more importantly, his apologia, with all of its indefiniteness, underscores what Rosenblatt was up to. This is not to pass on the merits of the charges. We simply do not know. More to the point, neither does the Jewish Week or the Forward. Right now, it's still a matter of he said-she said. Yet this did not stop either newspaper from treating the rabbi as someone already found guilty.

 
At 6:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Add your heading and it's assertion of a lie, to the list of definites and facts you so self-assuredly post,none of which you have yet to sustantiate.(Why don't you post a copy of the letter if its such public knowledge?)The only "fact" you have posted is your "exclusive" e-mail from the RCA, long available to anyone, which you used as an excuse to dredge up all the old allegations. I paste a copy of the Jewish Press editorial from 3 months ago, where the allegations and the way they are being bandied about as "fact" are shown for what they are worth!

In last week`s edition of the Jewish Week, Publisher Gary Rosenblatt was transparently falling all over himself trying to get in on the Forward`s four-month-old "scoop" on the Rabbinical Council of America's investigation of charges of "sexual harassment" allegations against a "prominent [Orthodox] rabbi." But Rosenblatt — as the Forward did before him — fell flat on his face. Both came up with a pastiche of unattributed claims and innuendo, while the rabbi — who of course was named, with his pedigree duly noted — was smeared throughout the article. And Rosenblatt`s piece, though purporting to offer new information, was actually less substantial than even the Forward's flimsy story.

In its August 27, 2004 issue, in a front-page article headlined " Rabbinical Council Is Probing Claims of Sexual Harassment," the Forward told us that:

The main union of Modern Orthodox rabbis [the Rabbinical Council of America] is investigating allegations of sexual harassment against the scion of a prominent rabbinic family, the Forward has learned.

We were also told that the matter came to the RCA in January, after "several women" brought the allegations to "a member of the RCA`s executive board who specializes in religious questions regarding abuse against women and children."

We were then informed that "several sources informed the Forward that a number of women have told friends and Jewish communal figures that ... [the rabbi] had propositioned them while serving in his role as either rabbinic counselor or religious arbiter;" that "Two of [the rabbi`s] accusers outlined their allegations in interviews with the Forward, but asked not to be identified"; that "A source who has spoken to several of the alleged victims told the Forward that the women were afraid to come forth. In addition, several alleged victims have refused to air their claims publicly, for fear of committing sacrilege by shaming a prominent rabbi."

We were also told that "[T]wo prominent rabbis, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told the Forward that they first heard about complaints regarding ... [the rabbi being investigated] several years ago"; and that "According to two sources, ... [the rabbi] reached a settlement with one woman who claims to have been seduced by the rabbi while seeing him for marriage counseling. When contacted by the Forward, the woman`s lawyer declined to discuss the case." (Emphasis added throughout.)

The Forward did almost identify one accuser who reportedly told the paper that 12 years ago the rabbi "propositioned her while he adjudicated her divorce and a rent dispute." Actually, the Forward acknowledged that the name given for her is not current and that she "now goes by a different name." In any event, it is not made clear when the alleged propositioning took place, but the accuser`s landlord was said to have denied that the rabbi sat on the beit din hearing the rent dispute and the rabbi`s spokesman denied the accusation, noting that it only surfaced 12 years after it supposedly happened.

And here is what Gary Rosenblatt had to say in his catch-up article entitled "Rabbinic Abuse Case Hits Snag":

A rabbinic investigation into charges of sexual harassment against a prominent colleague seems to have sparked its own controversy.

The Jewish Week has learned that a committee from the Rabbinical Council of America, the largest organization of Orthodox Rabbis in the country, has shared the findings of an eight-month investigation with the accused ... to allow him to prepare a defense.

It is alleged that the rabbi then contacted at least one of the women named in the report and sought to intimidate her, a charge denied by the rabbi`s attorney...

Also under dispute is whether the women who spoke to the investigator knew that their names would be shared with the rabbi.

There's more, but it is worth pausing to reflect on what has already been said.

Astonishingly, it is characterized as controversial that an accused would be given the evidence against him and the identity of his accusers. For Heaven`s sake, how can anybody conceivably defend against charges without this information? Nor are we sure of what to make of the phrase "at least one of the women" who were allegedly contacted by the rabbi. But she certainly is not identified.

Rosenblatt goes on to say:

The nature of the charges and the stature of the rabbi and his family in Orthodox circles makes this a particularly difficult and delicate case....

"They [the RCA] are trying to do the right thing, but they are floundering," one rabbi, who asked to remain anonymous, said of the RCA committee. "They were hoping the investigator`s report would be more definitive one way or the other, but the nature of it is primarily he said, she said,` and now they are looking for more evidence."

Someone who has seen the report said it is not definitive, "but there is a lot of smoke," and it indicates that at the very least a number of "serious mistakes in judgment were made" by [the rabbi].

A meeting [of the RCA committee] is planned for later this month. Meanwhile, efforts are continuing to find "evidence that allegedly is out there," according to one source.

Several sources said a tape recording exists of a conversation between [the rabbi] and one of the women that indicates an intimate relationship. A cleaning woman originally from Jamaica told The Jewish Week that she worked for a woman ... who admitted to her that she had an intimate relationship with the rabbi. [Emphasis added throughout.]

Again a pause to reflect. This is pretty extraordinary stuff. Rosenblatt offers no evidence for his assertion that the RCA committee is having a problem because of the prominence and provenance of the rabbi. He also relies on the report of "one rabbi, who asked to remain anonymous" for his claim that the committee is "floundering." Rosenblatt acknowledges that there is no definitive evidence to this date but still goes on to quote someone who says "there is a lot of smoke" about "serious mistakes in judgment" by the rabbi. And his reference to the hearsay comment of the "cleaning lady" as the sole support for the existence of an incriminating tape, despite referring to several sources, defies belief.

To be sure, Rosenblatt does give names for two of the women who are accusers of the rabbi. However, one claims that an incident occurred 12 years ago and the aforementioned Forward article had reported that she has since changed her name. And the second of the two identified accusers — and Rosenblatt only gives us her maiden name in any event — claimed, according to Rosenblatt, that the rabbi was too probing in his questioning which she "felt" was "inappropriate"; "he was fixated on whether I was having an affair;" and he "used" information she and her husband gave him "to drive them apart rather than help them unite." Rosenblatt also quotes the second lady as follows: "He [the rabbi] helps so many people, but for every woman he has helped, I think there`s another he`s abused."

Why would Rosenblatt put himself through such grueling journalistic gymnastics to get into print with this — certainly at this point in time — non-story? Perhaps he'd been seething ever since the Forward beat him to the Orthodox-bashing punch in August. Indeed, he said this in the article:

The Jewish Week first learned of the allegations against [the rabbi] in November when several women attending a Jewish Week forum on rabbinic sex abuse voiced their charges privately, following the program.

The newspaper, while tracking the case through interviews with dozens of rabbis, women and others knowledgeable about the situation, chose not to report on it as the RCA investigation moved forward. But the newspaper changed its views after the story became public through an article in the Forward this fall and the RCA report was released [by the rabbi] through his attorney. [Emphasis added throughout.]

This clearly has the taste of sour grapes. Especially since Rosenblatt`s piece appeared four months after the Forward article to which he has added absolutely nothing. But more importantly, his apologia, with all of its indefiniteness, underscores what Rosenblatt was up to. This is not to pass on the merits of the charges. We simply do not know. More to the point, neither does the Jewish Week or the Forward. Right now, it's still a matter of he said-she said. Yet this did not stop either newspaper from treating the rabbi as someone already found guilty.

 
At 7:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous says: There were so many unfamiliar faces at the Sunday meeting that to say it was a members only meeting is a joke. So says a member of a decade plus

It was a membership meeting and individuals specifically invited by the Board of Directors who have the power to do that. It was not a public meeting nor was it a meeting where anybody could invite their friend. Should there be a meeting like that can be debated but this meeting was not intended to fill that function. While I understand why those making the accusations would not like this (the article mentioned Rich Marinelli, an ex-member), it was a private shul function.

 
At 9:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gary Rosenblatt is Bogged Down By Bloggers? Why not read what sexual assault survivors have to say

http://jewishsurvivors.blogspot.com/

 
At 10:20 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

I have no problem with anyone criticizing me. I don't delete posts for doing so.

I have addressed some of the criticism of me by Rosenblatt at:

http://www.haloscan.com/comments/miriamsh/111223120990819544/

I want to be clear. I am the first to defend him when he is unjustly attacked but I will also be the first to criticize him when the criticism is legitimate.

Rosenblatt is one of the finest J-press reporters, but there are times when he could do better.

I set some of the record straight at the above link.

 
At 10:26 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

Can someone post any letters in this week's Forward or Jewish Week that are in reply to the Tendler articles.

 
At 10:55 PM, Anonymous jewishwhistleblower said...

i changed my mind and i apologize for any loshon hora that i spread. i am now convinced that rav mordecahi tendler is innocent. (just trying to save your soul- may you rest in peace)

 
At 3:27 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

Obviously not me. A legitimate post from me if you click on "jewishwhistleblower" you're taken to my profile.

 
At 4:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It was a membership meeting and individuals specifically invited by the Board of Directors who have the power to do that. It was not a public meeting nor was it a meeting where anybody could invite their friend. Should there be a meeting like that can be debated but this meeting was not intended to fill that function. While I understand why those making the accusations would not like this (the article mentioned Rich Marinelli, an ex-member), it was a private shul function."

Sure, say that to yourself 10 times- 'it was a private shul function . . . . ' It just doesn't make it so, and if it simply is a matter of the board inviting certain individuals, it was a stacked deck. Is the board interested in finding the truth, or is the board going to be a puppet regime?

 
At 5:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bogged Down By Bloggers
Gary Rosenblatt - Editor and Publisher
http://www.thejewishweek.com/top/editcolcontent.php3


Though I am getting used to it, I still find it disconcerting to read about myself –– and my journalistic motivations — on Internet blogs, especially because more often than not the information isn’t accurate. Various writers, often anonymous, claim to know what investigative stories I am working on, or not working on, and why, or why not, though none of them have ever asked me.

That’s not the way journalism is supposed to work, but there’s not much I can do about it. Over the years in this profession I’ve gotten thicker skin, but there are people whose lives are more private than mine whose reputations and character are maligned in these reports. They have no one to turn to in order to set the record straight, and that’s just not right. But it’s too late to turn back the clock on so-called progress as some hail the new age of “participatory journalism” represented by blogs.

Blogs, or more formally Web logs, are diaries or journals on the Internet to which others can reply, creating an instant and interactive environment. They are everywhere these days, covering politics to porn, and they have had a strong impact on journalism and journalistic ethics, or the lack thereof, as the rules of the game keep changing.

There is something very appealing about having one’s own blog. It’s easy to do, costs nothing, and before you know it, you can be sitting at home and pontificating on any and all topics for all the world to read, if people click on your site. Conservative estimates say there are at least a million Americans now with their own blogs. To be sure, there are some very thoughtful and worthwhile bloggers out there, and they tend to be the ones who identify themselves and have an expertise in and passion for the subjects they write about.

What bothers me, though, is that in this still emerging field, there is no accountability and there are no professional standards to be met. In the rush to get a story out first, the emphasis is on timeliness rather than accuracy, with seemingly little regard –– or responsibility –– for printing rumors or theories that are untrue. So people who are mentioned and maligned by an anonymous blogger have no recourse.

I wouldn’t seek legal or medical advice from an amateur attorney or physician who insisted on remaining nameless, yet there are countless people reading blogs on the Web by would-be journalists whose reports go unsubstantiated and unedited, and the results are often hurtful, damaging people’s characters and reputations.

Still, like it or not, bloggers have become an acceptable part of the media. For the first time, a number of them were given press credentials to cover the national political conventions last year, and some have written items that have led to major news stories. Most notable were the blog reports that resulted in Trent Lott’s resignation as Senate majority leader (for saying the United States would have been better off if segregationist Strom Thurmond had been elected president in 1948), and Dan Rather’s fall at CBS regarding documents, which turned out to be dubious, used to report on President Bush’s National Guard Service. In those and other cases, bloggers picked up on information the mainstream media downplayed or ignored, and kept the story alive.

There are a number of bloggers writing on Jewish news topics, with a special interest in which scandals are being reported, which aren’t, and why. The blogs written by people who identify themselves, some of whom are journalists, tend to be more responsible and informed, though even here the standards for reporting are based solely on the conscience and professionalism of the individual.

More upsetting are the bloggers who criticize individuals by name, make accusations against rabbis and communal leaders, but don’t have the guts to identify themselves, or bother to interview the people they write about.

One of the better known Jewish reporting blogs calls for “accountability and transparency within our institutions and leadership,” a noble goal, indeed. But the “About me” area on the home page where the blogger usually posts some details about him or her self is empty. To demand full disclosure of others without identifying one’s self seems the height of chutzpah and hypocrisy to me.

There can be a productive relationship between responsible blogging and journalism. Amateur reporting and personal publishing has its place, emphasizing the grassroots qualities of accessibility and interactivity, and prodding journalists to do better and more enterprising work. But the heart of journalism is still in original reporting based on fairness and accuracy, where one is judged by one’s output.

Call me old-fashioned, but I still think you do your best work if your reputation is on the line every time you write.

 
At 5:37 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

I have addressed some of the criticism of me by Rosenblatt at:

http://www.haloscan.com/comments/miriamsh/111223120990819544/

I want to be clear. I am the first to defend him when he is unjustly attacked but I will also be the first to criticize him when the criticism is legitimate.

Rosenblatt is one of the finest J-press reporters, but there are times when he could do better.

I set some of the record straight at the above link.

 
At 6:05 AM, Anonymous JWB- Jew Without Balls said...

HYPOCRICY OF JWB AND BLOGERS WHO COWARDLY REFUSE TO REVEAL WHO THEY ARE:

BY GARY ROSENBLATT-

Bogged Down By Bloggers
Gary Rosenblatt - Editor and Publisher
http://www.thejewishweek.com/top/editcolcontent.php3


"That’s not the way journalism is supposed to work, but there’s not much I can do about it. Over the years in this profession I’ve gotten thicker skin, but there are people whose lives are more private than mine whose reputations and character are maligned in these reports. They have no one to turn to in order to set the record straight, and that’s just not right."

" To be sure, there are some very thoughtful and worthwhile bloggers out there, and they tend to be the ones who identify themselves and have an expertise in and passion for the subjects they write about.
What bothers me, though, is that in this still emerging field, there is no accountability and there are no professional standards to be met. In the rush to get a story out first, the emphasis is on timeliness rather than accuracy, with seemingly little regard –– or responsibility –– for printing rumors or theories that are untrue.

"So people who are mentioned and maligned by an anonymous blogger have no recourse."

"yet there are countless people reading blogs on the Web by would-be journalists whose reports go unsubstantiated and unedited, and the results are often hurtful, damaging people’s characters and reputations."

"More upsetting are the bloggers who criticize individuals by name, make accusations against rabbis and communal leaders, but don’t have the guts to identify themselves, or bother to interview the people they write about."

"One of the better known Jewish reporting blogs calls for “accountability and transparency within our institutions and leadership,” a noble goal, indeed. But the “About me” area on the home page where the blogger usually posts some details about him or her self is empty. To demand full disclosure of others without identifying one’s self seems the height of chutzpah and hypocrisy to me."

THATS WHY YOU ARE :

JWB - JEW WITHOUT BALLS

 
At 6:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Jew without Balls. Means JWB has ovaries. More power to her!

What the RCA needs is more ovaries around to straighten them out.

Remember a woman's place is in the House and in the Senate (or in the case the RCA).

 
At 6:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the Jewish Survivors of Sexual Violence Blog
http://www.jewishsurvivors.blogspot.com



Gary Rosenblatt is Bogged Down By Bloggers

I say B'H' to bloggers like Steven I. Weiss, Luke Ford and the Jewish Whistleblower. If it wasn't for the three dedicated bloggers many stories about alleged and convicted sex offenders would go unnoticed.

Steven I. Weiss was able to expose the case of Michael Ozair.

Luke Ford was instrumental in having the voices of three survivors of Mark Gafni (AKA: Mordechai Gafni, Marc Winiarz) heard. Luke was also instrumental in telling the story of Rabbi Eleizer Eisgrau and Rabbi Yaakov Menken.

Jewish Whistleblower was instrumental in making sure the world was aware of what was really going on with the case against Rabbi Mordechai Tendler.

There's a problem with the Journalistic ethics on some of the blogs that are out there today, but I have to tell you that papers like the Jewish Week is NOT always a friend to survivors of abuse. I look at how the paper reported on the case of Mark Gafni, and then I learn from bloggers like Steven I. Weiss, Luke Ford and Jewish Whistleblower, the problem could stem from the fact that Gary Rosenblatt is a long time good friend of Rabbi Saul Berman, who is one of Gafni's strongest supporters. It also turned out that the assistant editor of the paper's sister is Naomi Marks. Another one of Gafni's supporters. Without the exposure of these facts one might believe that Gafni has done his repentance for his crimes, and all is hunky dory with the three survivors.

So read the article below, and then read the work that Steven I. Weiss, Luke Ford and the Jewish Whistleblower has done in exposing sexual abuse and assault in Jewish communities.

 
At 6:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>A Jew without Balls. Means JWB has ovaries. More power to her!

JWB is definitely a guy.

 
At 7:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The real Jew Without Balls is Gary Rosenblatt.

 
At 7:11 AM, Anonymous JWB - Jew Without Balls said...

Gary Rosenblatt reveals his name JWB (Jew WIthout Balls) does not. His purpose is to spew evil and hatred. There is no truth, just lies to perpetuate his devious schemes.

 
At 7:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enabler of a perpetrator wrote:

"(JWB) His purpose is to spew evil and hatred. There is no truth, just lies to perpetuate his devious schemes."

I'm sure JWD sleeps well at night, while you have to wrestle with your conscience over aiding and abetting a scumbag.

May your insomnia haunt you for many days to come.

---a survivor

 
At 7:42 AM, Anonymous JWB-Jew Without Balls said...

HYPOCRICY OF JWB AND BLOGERS WHO COWARDLY REFUSE TO REVEAL WHO THEY ARE:

BY GARY ROSENBLATT-

Bogged Down By Bloggers
Gary Rosenblatt - Editor and Publisher
http://www.thejewishweek.com/top/editcolcontent.php3


"That’s not the way journalism is supposed to work, but there’s not much I can do about it. Over the years in this profession I’ve gotten thicker skin, but there are people whose lives are more private than mine whose reputations and character are maligned in these reports. They have no one to turn to in order to set the record straight, and that’s just not right."

" To be sure, there are some very thoughtful and worthwhile bloggers out there, and they tend to be the ones who identify themselves and have an expertise in and passion for the subjects they write about.
What bothers me, though, is that in this still emerging field, there is no accountability and there are no professional standards to be met. In the rush to get a story out first, the emphasis is on timeliness rather than accuracy, with seemingly little regard –– or responsibility –– for printing rumors or theories that are untrue.

"So people who are mentioned and maligned by an anonymous blogger have no recourse."

"yet there are countless people reading blogs on the Web by would-be journalists whose reports go unsubstantiated and unedited, and the results are often hurtful, damaging people’s characters and reputations."

"More upsetting are the bloggers who criticize individuals by name, make accusations against rabbis and communal leaders, but don’t have the guts to identify themselves, or bother to interview the people they write about."

"One of the better known Jewish reporting blogs calls for “accountability and transparency within our institutions and leadership,” a noble goal, indeed. But the “About me” area on the home page where the blogger usually posts some details about him or her self is empty. To demand full disclosure of others without identifying one’s self seems the height of chutzpah and hypocrisy to me."

THATS WHY YOU ARE :

JWB - JEW WITHOUT BALLS

 
At 7:43 AM, Anonymous JWB- Jew Without Balls said...

HYPOCRICY OF JWB AND BLOGERS WHO COWARDLY REFUSE TO REVEAL WHO THEY ARE:

BY GARY ROSENBLATT-

Bogged Down By Bloggers
Gary Rosenblatt - Editor and Publisher
http://www.thejewishweek.com/top/editcolcontent.php3


"That’s not the way journalism is supposed to work, but there’s not much I can do about it. Over the years in this profession I’ve gotten thicker skin, but there are people whose lives are more private than mine whose reputations and character are maligned in these reports. They have no one to turn to in order to set the record straight, and that’s just not right."

" To be sure, there are some very thoughtful and worthwhile bloggers out there, and they tend to be the ones who identify themselves and have an expertise in and passion for the subjects they write about.
What bothers me, though, is that in this still emerging field, there is no accountability and there are no professional standards to be met. In the rush to get a story out first, the emphasis is on timeliness rather than accuracy, with seemingly little regard –– or responsibility –– for printing rumors or theories that are untrue.

"So people who are mentioned and maligned by an anonymous blogger have no recourse."

"yet there are countless people reading blogs on the Web by would-be journalists whose reports go unsubstantiated and unedited, and the results are often hurtful, damaging people’s characters and reputations."

"More upsetting are the bloggers who criticize individuals by name, make accusations against rabbis and communal leaders, but don’t have the guts to identify themselves, or bother to interview the people they write about."

"One of the better known Jewish reporting blogs calls for “accountability and transparency within our institutions and leadership,” a noble goal, indeed. But the “About me” area on the home page where the blogger usually posts some details about him or her self is empty. To demand full disclosure of others without identifying one’s self seems the height of chutzpah and hypocrisy to me."

THATS WHY YOU ARE :

JWB - JEW WITHOUT BALLS

 
At 7:55 AM, Blogger chutzpah said...

JWB is smart not to reveal his identity.

Anyone who's read through any of the comments and seen the bile and
visciousness these supporters of scumbags spew, it's obvious he'd eventually get death-threats.

Continue to whine away, you pathetic enablers and supporters.

But when the day comes (if ever) you decide to wake up, support and help will be available.

Let Gary Rosenblatt whine away about the bloggers who dare to go where he's too cowardly to venture.

 
At 8:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To my dear dear friends, Mordechai S., Chaim L., Elliot L., John E., Harry G., Freddy B., Jeffrey C., Shlomi R., Bruce M., Judy T., Harold W., Gedalia F., Simcha M., Eric L., and your wives, your children, and so many others, tsadikim of Am Yisrael.

Think. You were in doubt, weren't you? So, how did you change your mind?

Poor Rav Moshe Dovid Tendler spoke. He is a Tsaddik, but he is his father. What did you expect? So how could he convince you?

Then there was this letter, from the old Rav Elyashiv, or from his close circles. What does he know about the case? Besides, he signs on things that are not kosher. He decreed against the Jews of Gaza also. He signed against Rav Slifkin also. So, how could this convince you?

Rav Dovid spoke. He is his uncle and also he helped ban the blessed books of Rav Slifkin. So think, do you indeed agree that formalities overrule substance? Or did you perhaps accept Lashon HaRa against the RCA? How could Rav Dovid convince you so fast?

There were quite a few who did not speak. Rich M., Levi B., and a long list of women. They could not convince you, I understand.

And you also did not hear the voice of those who recinded their accusations. Perhaps you would have seen the lie in their eyes. But as it was, indeed, you could not see, and they could not convince you.

 
At 9:17 AM, Anonymous Shimon Rosenthal said...

I know it is long, but I believe this post is worth reading.

Mr. Rosenblatt claims that bloggers are unfair and dishonest because they do not print their names. He implies that he and the rest of his print journalist colleagues are honest and fair because they posts their names on their articles. The argument is so flawed and filled with contradiction that it is difficult to know where to begin.

A journalist is fair and honest because they sign their names to their stories. But what about the stories they do not print? A print journalist can hold a story for his own interest. That is corrupt and unethical, no matter how many other stories he assigns his name to. Sins of omission are no lesser crimes or abuses of the journalistic ethic than sins of commission.

Mr. Rosenblatt for example will never write negatively about anything to do with the Federation system. Why? Because UJA NY sends free copies of the Jewish Week to all its members, thereby increasing Mr. Rosenblatt's circulation and his ad revenue far beyond anything he could dream of otherwise. So, when Mr. Rosenblatt, the dean of Jewish journalism, fails to write a story about the Federation system, but signs his name to another story, is he behaving ethically? Mr. Rosenblatt would not know of this, because he is an honorable man.

Indeed, Mr. Rosenblatt covered up a story about a tremendous government fine levied against him and the Jewish Week. Had Mr. Rosenblatt believed in reporting the news or his obligation to the community, if he were truly fair and honest, he would have printed a story to show the community what happens to those people who abuse financial systems. The New York Times put the Jason Blair fiasco front and center. Mr. Rosenblatt hid his scandal while claming to uncover others. But surely, Mr. Rosenblatt is an honorable man.

Mr. Rosenblatt's diatribe against bloggers is nothing more than a pathetic attempt by a third class journalist to pick a fight with a developing new medium.

An educated person would tell Mr. Rosenblatt that anonymously written leaflets were a tremendous part of the early newspaper business. In fact, anonymously written papers were the norm and a critical component of early political life in this country. Surely, Mr. Rosenblatt knows this, for he is an educated and honorable man.

Mr. Rosenblatt is more educated and honorable than Dr. Benjamin Franklin, because Dr. Franklin took to writing anonymously. Mr. Rosenblatt is a greater thinker than Thomas Jefferson, because the third president and drafter of the Declaration of Independence, wrote anonymously. Mr. Rosenblatt is more honest than Mr. Madison who, as it happens wrote anonymously. I am sure no one will argue that Mr. Rosenblatt would have made a far superior president than Abraham Lincoln who wrote anonymously. I have no doubt that the Federalist Papers were written by men of low moral character because they too were written anonymously. But don’t worry, Mr. Rosenblatt is an honorable man.

Mr. Rosenblatt also makes the false assertion that a person signing their name to something cannot be unethical, or careless with the facts. You need only read his paper to know that that is certainly nor the case. Mr. Rosenblatt cannot point to a single issue of the Jewish Week that contained no bias, agenda or false assertion. Mr. Rosenblatt also fails to note the contradiction inherent when one puts his argument against his practice. If someone who does not sign their names to something is more apt to be careless with facts and details, then why does the Jewish Week publish stories with anonymous quotes? But don’t blame him, Mr. Rosenblatt is an honorable man.

Mr. Rosenblatt suffers from an ailment common to many self righteous people of his generation. He believes that the world began the day he was born and that all was invented under his watch. He believes he can do no wrong and that it is his job to point to the failings of those who do not follow his way, professionally, religiously, philosophically or any other ly you would like. His is a special breed of arrogance and stupidity that is reserved for those who believe they are big fish because they live in an incredibly small fishbowl.

Blogging is an evolving medium, just like newspapers were once. Ethics and standards will emerge. But to dismiss someone, their facts or their opinions for omitting their names while other people do not is wrong. But then again, Mr. Rosenblatt would not know what it is like to be wrong.

 
At 12:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After the Meeting

The meeting (read show) sunday night at "Kult New Hempstead" featured a string of lies presented by close family members and others. There was a largely successul attempt to whitewash Tendler by changing the focus to an attack on anyone who would dare question his actions. The congregants were told they had no right to think for themselves, decide where they felt comfortable praying or to investigate facts...
They were told that choosing to stand up and do the moral thing is an act of cowardace. They were told that it was disloyal to pray elsewhere- this alone should be a tip off to the true nature of the so called synogogue who's "Rabbi" believes himself to be the Messiah, who has the right to fabrocate Halchah and Torah at will.
Isn't obvious that there is something sick about a Rabbi who has sais for years that only his matzos are osher, only his selling of chmetz is valid, only his synogue is the ony kehillah in the US....
The focus was shifted to whether or not all alegations are true, and whether the investigation of the RCA was infallable or Halachikally binding- all of which is beside the point and onebig red herring. What is public knowledge and ariculated by the RCA is enough- doesn't the community at least deserve a Rabbi who acts apropriately? Is anything short of adultery (even assuming the allegation is false) too little to require choosing a new Rav???
Are we to believe his father etc. that women who are preyed on sexually are to be ignored unless there are 2 male witnesses to the sex act???
Are we to take seriously the claims of lack of evidence when he bought off, threatened and intimidated his accusors and wittnesses???
Is the fact (and I mean publically and widely known fact) that he met women behind closed doors not enough???
Is it acceptable that we have a society in which a Rabbi can do whatever he wants and not even be answerable to his own Rabbinic body? Is it not suspect that he said publicly that when the RCA report comes out he will be totally cleared- and now says there is no validity to it? Isn't it curious that everyone who has anything negative to say about him is part of one big consiracy? Or that any reliable Rabbi who is not part of his family or cult will tell you he wouldn't know the truth even if he accidentally said it???
"Kult NewHempstead- please wake up!!!Good people of KNH- rejoin the Jewish people!!!

 
At 2:12 PM, Anonymous Baalas teshuvah said...

I am a female. That is an important piece of information because a male would have a different perspective on these issues than a woman.

My intuition and experience tell me that Rabbi Mordecai Tendler is guilty as sin. Not that I ever met him myself, nor do I know any women personally who have since I live outside the US, but I know they are telling the truth.


Most women do not make up such lurid tales. Especially religious women against a revered Rabbi and they would not do so for any amount of money or any other alterior motive. Why? Simply because to do so would be demeaning, and most religious women are not interested in lowering themselves.

The conspiracy theory the Tendler faction is trying to propogate is laughable. It is utterly impossible to get such a wide variety of women, of different ages, and of different points on the time spectrum, to have lied about being involved with Mordecai Tendler. Also, these women told these stories independently, yet they all sound so similar in certain aspects---the personality of Mordecai Tendler and his approach to them ring true and share commonalities in each tale from each separate woman. Each woman described a Rabbi who showed sensitivity and compassion to the woman, each woman was lookkng for some kind of guidance and was in a vulnerable state. It would be equally ridiculous to believe that these women could make up such detailed tales, and stick to them, for such a long period of time, especailly under the scrutiny of the community and the press.

 
At 2:13 PM, Anonymous Baalas teshuvah said...

I am a female. That is an important piece of information because a male would have a different perspective on these issues than a woman.

My intuition and experience tell me that Rabbi Mordecai Tendler is guilty as sin. Not that I ever met him myself, nor do I know any women personally who have since I live outside the US, but I know they are telling the truth.


Most women do not make up such lurid tales. Especially religious women against a revered Rabbi and they would not do so for any amount of money or any other alterior motive. Why? Simply because to do so would be demeaning, and most religious women are not interested in lowering themselves.

The conspiracy theory the Tendler faction is trying to propogate is laughable. It is utterly impossible to get such a wide variety of women, of different ages, and of different points on the time spectrum, to have lied about being involved with Mordecai Tendler. Also, these women told these stories independently, yet they all sound so similar in certain aspects---the personality of Mordecai Tendler and his approach to them ring true and share commonalities in each tale from each separate woman. Each woman described a Rabbi who showed sensitivity and compassion to the woman, each woman was lookkng for some kind of guidance and was in a vulnerable state. It would be equally ridiculous to believe that these women could make up such detailed tales, and stick to them, for such a long period of time, especailly under the scrutiny of the community and the press.

 
At 2:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice trick, G.

 
At 3:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>My intuition and experience tell me
>that Rabbi Mordecai Tendler is guilty
>as sin. Not that I ever met him
>myself, nor do I know any women
>personally who have


Your statement is very revealing, and is similar to most of the accusers: no facts, no truth, but are positive that MT is guilty anyway.

 
At 3:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just read the piskei halacha from Rav Shmuel Feurst, Rav Dovid Feinstein and Rav Nachum Eisenstein. They leave no uncertainty whatsoever, that the the RCA decision must be ignored and that RMT is completely innocent. Remember, those 4 gedolei yisroel actually read the documentated defense presented by RMT proving that the accusations were false. The RCA never even read it.

Those pischei halacha and others (from gedolim who are reviewing the accusations and the defense documentation) will be made public in the very near future.

 
At 4:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I Dont Know whether R'Feinstein,or R'Feurst Paskened that the RCA is irrelevant! I do know that R'Feinstein & R'Feurst never met the victims, never heard the Tapes, Never reviewed the DNA!They also would never let their daughters meet this discusting pervert who calls himself Tendler! Any Rabbi that backs MT should look in the mirror and ask themselves if they would ever daven in a shul where this sexual predator davens!! If the answer is no! then they should keep quiet until they heard all the facts!
The fact is that the RCA did a 15th month investigation and confirmed that he is the pervert!

 
At 5:29 PM, Blogger New Hempstead News said...

Just to let readers know that Rabbi
Nachum Eisenstein, a talmud of Rabbi Eliyasav will write any letter for you if you give him $50.00. Rabbi confirmed that he may have given MT a letter but has no idea what he wrote!

 
At 5:29 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

>I just read the piskei halacha
>from Rav Shmuel Feurst

Can anyone confirm Rabbi Shmuel Fuerst is involved in declaring sexual predator Rabbi Mordechai Tendler innocent?

That would be very interesting.

Rabbi Fuerst is part of the beis din who put Aaron Thomas in cherem for taking those who allegedly sexually abused his son to a civil court (even though Thomas had permission from the Chicago Rabbinical Council Beit Din).

Aaron Thomas remains in cherem. Even a man who leaves his wife an agunah is rarely treated as harshly as Thomas has been.

see:
http://www.projecttruth.info/lawsuit.html

and

http://projecttruth.info/truth.html

 
At 5:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your readers ought to know a known fact in Israel! Rabbi Nachum Eisenstein, is one of thousands of talmidim of Rabbi Eliyasav, and will write anyone any letter! He did confirm that he might have written a note to MT but doesn't recall what he wrote!

 
At 5:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this the same Rabbi Feurst that said five years ago that any Mikvah that Mordechai Tendler controls is pasul Le'Halacha?
Is this the same Rabbi Dovid Fienstein who said that the 7th volume of Igros Moshe is a fake?

 
At 6:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder what could possibly have been said at the meeting that proved to be the 'magic bullet' for some people. I missed it. Yes, there were tough questions, all either denied or dodged (ie- I don't answer hypothetical questions). While I truly hope that in the end RT will be vindicated, vindication can not be found through faith, but rather through evidence, and so far this reader has not been afforded a chance to see any evidence, one way or another. It is ironic that the board counsel claims to 1) have the full RCA report; 2) maintains that it vindicates RT; yet 3) refuses to share it. What am I missing? Were I an attorney, and had evidence to clear my client, I would be doing my best Paul Revere imitaion, and ride through the streets, waving the report, declaring RT's innocence.

 
At 6:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone who reads this blog, I want you to consider what I'm about to say.
I was just read the article posted here and I felt a sense of outrage.

I am so disappointed, frustrated and angry with an organization that uses the word "feminist" to describe themselves.

How can JOFA (Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance) turn their back on women who have been sexually victimized by a serial rapist? How many women did he commit rabbinical sexual misconduct with? Do you NOT care about them? Are you more interested in the politics of getting what you want from the RCA then you do about women being violated?

How in your right mind can you keep articles written by a man who is an obvious sex offender on your site? Don't you understand by doing so is putting unsuspecting women at risk of harm? When a woman is in a crisis situation and read articles on your site, they are more likely to believe those people are safe. How many more women need to be sexually manipulated by Tendler, before you will take his articles off your site?

JOFA members please hear me loud and clear. If the RCA kicked Tendler out of it's organization, it should be a red flag to you to remove his articles from your site.

How can you say you care about women's issues if you allow this man's articles on your site? What are you thinking?

 
At 6:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone who reads this blog, I want you to consider what I'm about to say.
I was just read the article posted here and I felt a sense of outrage.

I am so disappointed, frustrated and angry with an organization that uses the word "feminist" to describe themselves.

How can JOFA (Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance) turn their back on women who have been sexually victimized by a serial rapist? How many women did he commit rabbinical sexual misconduct with? Do you NOT care about them? Are you more interested in the politics of getting what you want from the RCA then you do about women being violated?

How in your right mind can you keep articles written by a man who is an obvious sex offender on your site? Don't you understand by doing so is putting unsuspecting women at risk of harm? When a woman is in a crisis situation and read articles on your site, they are more likely to believe those people are safe. How many more women need to be sexually manipulated by Tendler, before you will take his articles off your site?

JOFA members please hear me loud and clear. If the RCA kicked Tendler out of it's organization, it should be a red flag to you to remove his articles from your site.

How can you say you care about women's issues if you allow this man's articles on your site? What are you thinking?

 
At 6:48 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

>What are you thinking?

They are thinking the ends justify the means. They are more concerned with overall social objectives (which are good things) but are willing to ignore individual injustices in order to pursue the bigger objectives.

Since Rabbi Mordechai Tendler supports public views they agree with they are/were willing to ignore his explotation of women.

A similar thing occured with former Nicaraguan President and head of the Sandinista National Liberation Front, Daniel Ortega.

Some women's groups and leaders were so enthralled with his social objectives and political views, that they "tolerated" his sexual abuse of his stepdaughter. He abused her for 20 years starting when she was 11.

This abuse was an open secret amongst his circle of followers. But of course, they were more concerned with the "bigger picture".

 
At 6:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this the same Rabbi Feurst that said five years ago that any Mikvah that Mordechai Tendler controls is pasul Le'Halacha?
Is this the same Rabbi Dovid Fienstein who said that the 7th volume of Igros Moshe is a fake?

well if it is the same rabbi feurst and rav dovid then they are obviously absolutely convinced of his innocence. in truth, rav dovid gives as much weight to all the later volumes to igros moshe as he does to the earlier ones bec. they are all authentic.
jwb- you talk about evidence. has there been one woman who identified herself so that a "real" beis din (to the exclusion of the clowns at the rca) can determine whether or not she is telling the truth? if there is any truth to the accusations why are there not secular lawsuits being filed? jwb- don't be quick to say evidence exists, unless you can post a name and a source. i am sure that all of you bloggers who spread loshon horah all day have a special seat with your name tag on it- in hell! and i am sure that rav tendler will look down and wave.

 
At 7:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Your readers ought to know a known fact in Israel! Rabbi Nachum Eisenstein, is one of thousands of talmidim of Rabbi Eliyasav, and will write anyone any letter! He did confirm that he might have written a note to MT but doesn't recall what he wrote!"

Rav Nachum Eisenstein is actually a famously close talmid of Rav Elyashiv, who is among Rav Elyashiv's inner circle and sometimes functions as his gabbai and spokesperson. Anyone in Israel who is familiar with Rav Elyashiv's schedule and daily minyan will confirm this. Many issues and questions are brought to Rav Elyashiv through Rav Eisenstein.

 
At 7:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is everybody getting so upset about.
The fact is ,the Shul wants him to be their Rav. If you don't like it,choose another Shul.
If someone has claims.take it to where it belongs,a beis din or a court if they allow it.
I personally do not believe one word written here.

 
At 7:43 PM, Anonymous Chicago Politics said...

For those looking for facts here are a few.

The Av Beis Din of the RCA is Rav Gedaliah Dov Schwartz who lives in Chicago and is also the Av Beis Din of the Chicago Rabbinical Council. He is considered as one of teh greatist Poskim in the non-charedi world.

Rav Shmuel Feurst is the Dayan of Agudas Yisroel in Chicago, who has eyes on a bigger position.

It is not the first time that Rabbi Feurst has openly questioned the authority of Rabbi Schwartz.
He also is known for many interesting (?!?) Piskei Halacha especially for people of means.

(One more fact- Rabbi Nachum Eisenstein is originally from Chicago)

 
At 7:44 PM, Anonymous g-less said...

LF&G - sounds like a CPA firm, no? But instead of creative accounting and fabricating numbers in high finance (like you are used to, G), you fabricate facts. But it's still all lies. You are so sick that you might believe the garbage that comes out of your keyboards on each other's sites (where you even talk to yourselves). But G, you are clueless (to add to your collection of songless, homeless, passportless, etc.) and you will end up twisting in the wind.

 
At 7:46 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

So to summarize:

The gdolim KNH now follows include:

1) Rabbi Shmuel Fuerst who put a man in cherem for taking those allegedly involved in sexully molesting his son to civil court (even though he had permission from another beis din to do so).

2) Rabbi Nachum Eisenstein:
>What about a girl or woman
>afraid to walk home by
>herself? "She shouldn't come to
>shul.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1095914104159
Sep. 23, 2004
Women told to leave shul early
By ABIGAIL RADOSZKOWICZ

Worshippers demonstrate the behavior that a new haredi directive seeks to prevent.
Photo: Karen Benzion

Women worshipers have been instructed to leave synagogue before the end of services in notices appearing in the latest issues of Yated Ne'eman, the Lithuanian (non-Hassidic) haredi daily. The notice, signed by prominent Bnei Brak-based nongenarian sage Rabbi Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz, called on gabbaim (synagogue managers) to post the directive in the women's sections of their synagogues.

Women should leave synagogues after the Aleinu Leshebei'ah prayer close to the end of the service and should not wait for male relatives near the premises so as not to create stumbling blocks for the men worshipers, the notice read. "It is preferable not to observe a mitzva than to cause transgression through it," it added.

One rabbi surmised that the timing of the directive was linked to the High Holy Days, when many more women than usual attend synagogue services.

A Lithuanian housewife of the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem expressed surprise at the directive, noting that most synagogues had separate entrances for men and women. For her own part, she said, she only followed rulings issued by Jerusalem-based Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, the leading Lithuanian sage.

"Maybe with the women dressed in their holiday best, it's more of a problem," she speculated. She added that Jerusalemites as a rule did not take kindly to such "petty" directives issuing from Bnei Brak.

Rabbi Nachum Eisenstein of the Ma'alot Dafna neighborhood of Jerusalem explained that since his own synagogue still resided in temporary quarters with only one entrance, women congregants have been leaving before the end of services for many years. "They just know to do it. No tumult is made about it."

What about a girl or woman afraid to walk home by herself? "She shouldn't come to shul. Women are not obliged to, and the synagogue is a holy place where men and women should not mingle," Eisenstein said.

When his congregation moves into new premises with two entrances that don't face each other, Eisenstein says, it will not be necessary for women to leave services early.

3) Rav Dovid Feinstein who has put Rabbi Nosson Slifkin in cherem for writing a Torah/science book that discussed (chas v'shalom!) that the world may be billions of years old.

 
At 8:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All you keep stating the same thing. He's a great man and Tzaddick, more credentials then these women. We believe him unless you prove to us. Your right your Rabbi is a saint, April Fools.

You are not reading comments made by supporters of victims and victims themselves.

You are letting continual victimization occur. Let him stay and have sex violating women??? When he has sex with your dauthers, I don't think you'll complain either as your father is Lot and not Avraham.

He is a socio path convincing you he’s great. He’s a sexual predator.

Get it once and for all.

Women already went forward. They testified. An investigation was done both by the RCA and investigating team. The RCA expelled him. A 1,000 membership body more objective then you.
YU has fired him. You are the only ones, his cult, that won't accept it. The Koolaid Nonsense Horseshit shul.

 
At 8:04 PM, Anonymous R2D said...

To question the credibilty of these mysterious anonymous women who accuse rabbi tendler of these charges (without authenticating any evidence, by the way) is seen as "attacking the women". Yet, people are feeling free to speak negatively about any of the rabbonim who have so far publicly supported rabbi tendler. Rav Eisenstein, Rav Dovid Feinstein, Fav Fuerst. (Stay tuned for more.) Must be an Adar joke, where everything is backwards. I just can't wait to hear what people have to say about the other rabbonim.

 
At 8:07 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

Rabbi Fuerst:

AARON THOMAS, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. SHMUEL FUERST, YOSEF WAINKRANTZ, CHAIM GOLDZWEIG, and DANNY SHABAT, Defendants-Appellees.

No. 1-03-0795

APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FIFTH DIVISION

345 Ill. App. 3d 929; 803 N.E.2d 619; 2004 Ill. App. LEXIS 15; 281 Ill. Dec. 215


January 16, 2004, Decided

SUBSEQUENT HISTORY: [***1] Released for Publication February 23, 2004.

PRIOR HISTORY: Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 01 L 013593. Honorable Lynn M. Egan, Judge Presiding.

DISPOSITION: Affirmed.

COUNSEL: COUNSEL FOR APPELLANT: Aaron Thomas, Pro se, Memphis, Tennessee, OF COUNSEL.

COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE: Duane Morris, LLP, Chicago, Illinois, Howard M. Hoffmann, Esq., Amy E. McCracken, Esq., Rachel G. Pontikes, Esq., OF COUNSEL.

JUDGES: JUSTICE O'BRIEN delivered the opinion of the court. CAMPBELL, P.J., and REID, J., concur.

OPINIONBY: O'BRIEN

OPINION: [**621] [*931] JUSTICE O'BRIEN delivered the opinion of the court:

Plaintiff, Aaron Thomas, a member of an orthodox Jewish community, filed a second amended complaint against defendants Rabbi Shmuel Fuerst, Rabbi Yosef Wainkrantz, Rabbi Chaim Goldzweig (collectively referred to as the Rabbinic Court), and Danny Shabat, claiming the Rabbinic Court had excommunicated plaintiff from the Jewish community in order to punish him for initiating a civil action against Shabat. Plaintiff alleged, by excommunicating him, the Rabbinic Court committed libel, violated his right to due process, intentionally inflicted emotional distress; and engaged in a conspiracy with Shabat. [***2] The circuit court dismissed plaintiffs second amended complaint pursuant to section 2-619.1 of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure (the Code) (735 ILCS 5/2-619.1 (West 2000). Plaintiff appeals, claiming the circuit court erred in dismissing his second amended complaint, as each count in the complaint states a cause of action. We affirm.

In his second amended complaint, plaintiff pleaded that he lives "in a strict orthodox Jewish community and culture wherein observance of Jewish law is universal, and wherein such observance is a prerequisite [**622] for normal societal relations and normal economic activity." The Rabbinic Court, also referred to as a Beit Din, is responsible for administering proper law and order within the orthodox Jewish community.

Plaintiff pleaded that from 1998-2001, he prosecuted a civil complaint in the Cook County circuit court against Shabat and his [*932] wife for their "sexual exploitation" of plaintiff's minor son. During February 2001, Shabat asked Rabbi Fuerst to use his position as head of the Rabbinic Court to "neutralize" plaintiff's lawsuit against the Shabats.

Plaintiff pleaded that in February, May, and July 2001, he received [***3] three summons to appear before the Rabbinic Court to "justify" his civil lawsuit against the Shabats. Each time, plaintiff agreed to appear before the Rabbinic Court, however, no hearing date was set.

Plaintiff pleaded that on October 30, 2001, Rabbi Fuerst telephoned him and demanded he immediately drop his civil lawsuit against the Shabats. Plaintiff refused and stated he was willing to appear before the Rabbinic Court to justify his lawsuit against the Shabats.

Plaintiff pleaded that on December 4, 2001, the Shabats attorney contacted plaintiff regarding the settling of his case. Plaintiff refused to settle. Later that same day, plaintiff was served with a notice of excommunication, entitled a "Writ of Defiance" (the Writ) typed on Rabbi Fuerst's official stationary and composed in Hebrew. Translated into English, the Writ states:


"To our great sorrow we are enjoined to fulfill our duty under Torah law and publicly proclaim our anguish, that there now is a man by the name of [plaintiff], on whom we have served three summonses, and to whom we have also telecommunicated, to appear before the Rabbinic Court regarding the complaint of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Shabat (they should [***4] be blessed with longevity); and he has defiantly refused to appear before the Rabbinic Court; and not only this but he has additionally sinned in laying claim to them in the gentile civil court, Heaven forfend, and even after being warned, he remains defiant and maintains his suit in civil court.

Therefore, it is our duty to uphold our holy law and proclaim in the most public fashion that [plaintiff] is a defiant scofflaw; both for his defiant refusal to appear before the Rabbinic Court, and for his resorting to the gentile civil court, proscription for which is found in Chosen Mishpat, Sections 1.1 and 26, and in Yoreh Deah, Section 334. And the severity for which is explicit in Chosen Mishpat, Section 26, that whoever resorts to the gentile civil courts is a blasphemous infidel who strikes out against Mosaic Law, and he deserves to be shunned and excommunicated.

And therefore we proclaim it befitting that all good Jews distant this man from their homes, and likewise do not let him participate as part of the worship quorum, or any religious activity until he fully repents. And we have also informed [plaintiff] that he must reimburse the Shabat family (they should be blessed [***5] with longevity) for all monies they have paid to their attorneys as a result of his civil court claim against them, as elucidated in the codes."


[*933] The Writ was signed by Rabbis Fuerst, Wainkrantz, and Goldzweig and "circulated and published *** to influential Rabbinic leaders and family members in the U.S.A and Israel." The Writ forced plaintiff to abandon his profession (designing customized sunrooms for members of the Orthodox Jewish community), and seek [**623] employment in his father's law office as a secretary.

Plaintiff pleaded that by excommunicating him via the Writ of Defiance, the Rabbinic Court committed libel, violated his right to due process, intentionally inflicted emotional distress, and engaged in a conspiracy with Shabat. Defendants brought a combined motion to dismiss, relying on sections 2-615 and 2-619 of the Code. See 735 ILCS 5/2-619.1 (West 2000). Pursuant to section 2-615, defendants argued that plaintiff's second amended complaint failed to state a cause of action. Pursuant to section 2-619, defendants argued the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction under the first and fourteenth amendments to the United States Constitution. [***6] The circuit court granted the motion to dismiss. Plaintiff filed this timely appeal.

A motion to dismiss under section 2-615 of the Code tests the legal sufficiency of a pleading. Universal Scrap Metals, Inc. v. I. Sandman & Sons, Inc., 337 Ill. App. 3d 501, 504, 786 N.E.2d 574, 272 Ill. Dec. 35 (2003). The court accepts as true all well-pleaded facts and the inferences that can reasonably be drawn from those facts. Universal Scrap Metals, 337 Ill. App. 3d at 504. The issue is whether, when viewed in the light most favorable to plaintiff, the allegations are sufficient to state a cause upon which relief can be granted. Universal Scrap Metals, 337 Ill. App. 3d at 504.

A section 2-619 motion to dismiss admits the legal sufficiency of the complaint and raises defects, defenses, or other matters that act to defeat the claim. Krilich v. American National Bank & Trust Co. of Chicago, 334 Ill. App. 3d 563, 569-70, 778 N.E.2d 1153, 268 Ill. Dec. 531 (2002). When ruling on a section 2-619 motion, the trial court may consider the pleadings, depositions, and affidavits. Krilich, 334 Ill. App. 3d at 570. The issue on appeal is whether the existence [***7] of a genuine issue of material fact should have precluded the dismissal or, absent such an issue of fact, whether the dismissal is proper as a matter of law. Krilich, 334 Ill. App. 3d at 570. We review de novo the trial court's decision to grant a section 2-619.1 combined motion to dismiss. Lawson v. City of Chicago, 278 Ill. App. 3d 628, 634, 662 N.E.2d 1377, 215 Ill. Dec. 237 (1996).

First, plaintiff argues the trial court erred by dismissing his libel claims. Although the common law originally distinguished between spoken and written defamation (slander and libel, respectively), in Illinois the same standard applies whether an allegedly defamatory statement is spoken or written. Bryson v. News America Publications, Inc., 174 Ill. 2d 77, 89, 672 N.E.2d 1207, 220 Ill. Dec. 195, (1996). To establish either slander [*934] or libel, plaintiff must show that: (1) defendant made a false statement concerning plaintiff; (2) there was an unprivileged publication of the defamatory statement by defendant to a third party; and (3) plaintiff was damaged. Stavros v. Marrese, 323 Ill. App. 3d 1052, 1057, 753 N.E.2d 1013, 257 Ill. Dec. 387 (2001).

Defamatory statements may be actionable [***8] per se or actionable per quod. Kolegas v. Heftel Broadcasting Corp., 154 Ill. 2d 1, 10, 607 N.E.2d 201, 180 Ill. Dec. 307 (1992). A statement is defamatory per se if it is so obviously and materially harmful to the person to whom it refers that injury to his reputation maybe presumed. Kolegas, 154 Ill. 2d at 10. Illinois law recognizes five categories of statements that are considered defamatory per se. Van Home v. Muller, 185 Ill. 2d 299, 307, 705 N.E.2d 898, 235 Ill. Dec. [**624] 715 (1998). One of those categories is "words that prejudice a party, or impute lack of ability, in his or her trade, profession or business." Kolegas, 154 Ill. 2d at 10.

Statements are defamatory per quod under two circumstances: (1) where the defamatory character of the statement is not apparent on its face and resort to extrinsic circumstances is necessary to demonstrate its injurious meaning; and (2) where the statement is defamatory on its face, but does not fall within one of the limited categories of statements that are actionable per se. Bryson v. News America Publications, Inc., 174 Ill. 2d 77, 103, 672 N.E.2d 1207, 220 Ill. Dec. 195. Unlike a defamation [***9] per se action, plaintiff must plead and prove special damages to recover for defamation per quod. Bryson, 174 Ill. 2d at 103.

Plaintiff contends that the Rabbinic Court defamed him by proclaiming in their Writ of Defiance that plaintiff is an "infidel" and "defiant scofflaw" deserving excommunication from Jewish society for failing to appear before the Rabbinic Court. Plaintiff contends that such language constitutes defamation per se, as it falsely imputes a lack of ability in his profession or business. Alternatively, plaintiff argues that the language contained in the Writ of Defiance constitutes defamation per quod, as it specially damages his ability to earn a living within the Jewish community.

Defendants contend that the contents of the Writ of Defiance are true and, thus, not defamatory. To determine the truth or falsity of the Writ's contents, this court would have to examine and interpret the Jewish law cited therein, specifically, sections 11 and 26 of the Chosen Mishpat, and section 334 of the Yoreh Deah, which form the basis for the proclamation that plaintiff is a defiant scofflaw and infidel deserving excommunication. However, the first [***10] amendment to the Constitution of the United States (U.S. Const. amend. I) bars any secular court from involving itself in the ecclesiastical controversies that may arise in a religious body or organization: "it would be a vain consent and would lead to the total subversion of *** religious bodies, [*935] if any one aggrieved by one of their decisions could appeal to the secular courts and have them reversed." Watson v. Jones, 80 U.S. (13 Wall.) 679, 729, 20 L. Ed. 666, 676 (1872). Where resolution of ecclesiastical disputes cannot be made without extensive inquiry by civil courts into religious law and polity, "the First and Fourteenth Amendments mandate that civil courts shall not disturb the decisions of the highest ecclesiastical tribunal within a church of hierarchical polity, but must accept such decisions as binding on them, in their application to the religious issues of doctrine or polity before them." Serbian Eastern Orthodox Diocese v. Milivojevich, 426 U.S. 696, 709, 49 L. Ed. 2d 151, 162, 96 S. Ct. 2372, 2380 (1976).

The circuit court did not err in dismissing plaintiff's defamation counts, as resolution of those counts cannot be made without [***11] extensive inquiry by civil courts into religious law and polity.

Next, plaintiff contends the trial court erred by dismissing his due process claims. Plaintiff pleaded that the Rabbinic Court denied him due process by excommunicating him without first affording him a hearing. Plaintiff's contention is without merit, as no governmental body was involved in the decision to excommunicate him. The due process clause protects individuals from actions by the state, not actions by individuals. Rosewell v. Hanrahan, [**625] 168 Ill. App. 3d 329, 331, 523 N.E.2d 10, 119 Ill. Dec. 542 (1988).

Plaintiff argues Treister v. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 78 Ill. App. 3d 746, 396 N.E.2d 1225, 33 Ill. Dec. 501 (1979), compels a different result. Treister held that courts can review the application procedures of a private association, such as a trade or professional association, when membership in the organization is an economic necessity. Treister, 78 Ill. App. 3d at 755. Economic necessity may be shown where the organization or association has a monopoly over the field or profession. See Falcone v. Middlesex County Medical Society, 34 N.J. 582, 170 A.2d 791 (1961). [***12] Here, the Rabbinic Court is not a trade or professional association, nor does it have a monopoly over plaintiffs sunroom business. Accordingly, the trial court did not err by dismissing plaintiff's due process counts.

Next, plaintiff argues that the trial court erred by dismissing his claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress. To state a cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress, plaintiff must plead facts showing that: (1) defendants' conduct was extreme and outrageous; (2) defendants either intended to inflict severe emotional distress or knew that there was a high probability that their conduct would do so; and (3) the defendants' conduct actually caused severe emotional distress. Welsh v. Commonwealth Edison Co., 306 Ill. App. 3d 148, 154, 713 N.E.2d 679, 239 Ill. Dec. 148 (1999); McGrath v. Fahey, 126 Ill. 2d 78, 86, 533 N.E.2d 806, 127 Ill. Dec. 724 [*936] (1988). Whether conduct is extreme and outrageous is evaluated on an objective standard based on all of the facts and circumstances. Fahey, 126 Ill. 2d at 90. Liability does not extend to "mere insults, indignities, threats, annoyances, petty oppressions or trivialities." Public Finance Corp. v. Davis, 66 Ill. 2d 85, 89-90, 360 N.E.2d 765, 4 Ill. Dec. 652 (1976). [***13] Liability is attached only in circumstances where the defendant's conduct is "'so outrageous in character, and so extreme in degree, as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency.'" Public Finance Corp., 66 Ill. 2d at 90, quoting Restatement (Second) of Torts § 46, Comment d (1965). The distress inflicted must be so severe that no reasonable person could be expected to endure it. Fahey, 126 Ill. 2d at 86.

Plaintiff claims that the Rabbinic Court's act of excommunicating him from the Orthodox Jewish community is so outrageous as to support a claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress. Plaintiff has aligned himself with this particular Orthodox Jewish community and by doing so has accepted its laws, rules and procedures. One of these laws, of which plaintiff admits he was aware, allows for excommunication where, as here, the Rabbinic Court determines that plaintiff has refused three consecutive summons to appear before it. Because of plaintiff's actions and knowledge of this community's rules and practices, the actions of the Rabbinical Court of which plaintiff complains are not so outrageous as to [***14] support a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress. Accordingly, the trial court did not err in dismissing plaintiff's claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Finally, plaintiff argues the trial court erred by dismissing his conspiracy counts. Plaintiff pleaded that the Rabbinic Court conspired with Shabat to libel plaintiff, deprive him of due process, and intentionally inflict emotional distress. Conspiracy is not an independent tort. [**626] Where, as here, plaintiff fails to state an independent cause of action underlying his conspiracy allegations, the claim for conspiracy also fails. See Indeck North American Power Fund, L.P. v. Norweb PLC, 316 Ill. App. 3d 416, 432, 735 N.E.2d 649, 249 Ill. Dec. 45 (2000). Accordingly, the trial court did not err in dismissing plaintiff's conspiracy counts.

For the foregoing reasons, we affirm the circuit court.

Affirmed.

CAMPBELL, P.J., and REID, J., concur.

 
At 8:18 PM, Anonymous R2D said...

oh, one other thing. JWB is suddenly AGAINST Rav Dovid Feinstein? Before Rav Dovid spoke out in favor of rabbi tendler, JWB considered Rav Dovid's opinion and judgement with the highest regard. All of sudden, after Rav Dovid makes statements supporting Rabbi Tendler, JWB decides that Rav Dovid's opinion and psak is to be dismissed because JWB didn't agree with Rav Dovid on the Slifkin controversy. JWB, you change opinions,(and names) more often than you change nationalities.


The following is what JWB said before Rav Dovid spoke and gave Rabbi Mordechai Tendler his support and backing. Rav Reuven was at a previously committed speaking engagement that night, but Rav Reuven's wife was present in support, as well as with a letter of support from Rav Reuven Feinstein:
11:54 PM, jewishwhistleblower said... Why don't you phone Rav Dovid and Rav Reuven directly and ask them if they are supporting Rabbi Mordechai Tendler and will personally vouch for his "good character"? You will be surprised. The lies you are believing are just that ... lies.
At 6:30 AM, jewishwhistleblower said...
You're missing my main point. Prominant members of his family like Rav Dovid and Rav Reuven KNOW he's pond scum.

The people here defending him, don't know him anywhere as long or as well. Maybe they should speak to Rav Dovid and Rav Reuven before defending him further.
At 7:03 AM, jewishwhistleblower said...
>do you know for sure that they
>think "he is pond scum".

Yes, and it would be easy for Rabbi Mordechai Tendler's followers to check the accuracy of my statements.
>let's say that they DO come out
>with something public in the
>future, now that it's getting
>really big, and till now they
>haven't, and only been observing
>and advising quietly, do you
>mean to tell me that you will
>believe them?

1) If you think that will happen or is happening, you're on crack.
2) They know him longer and better than others.

Not a matter of belief. Just the facts.

At 7:54 AM, jewishwhistleblower said...
>Feel free to correct me, but I
>think you're saying that if R
>Dovid and R Reuven did state
>their trust in and support of
>MT, you would retract everything
>you've said, maybe even ask for
>mechilla.

They have eyes, yet they do not see. They have ears and yet they do not hear.

If elephants had wings, they could fly?

The people here defending Rabbi Mordechai Tendler, don't know him anywhere as long or as well. Maybe they should speak to Rav Dovid and Rav Reuven before defending him further and attacking others.

At 11:45 AM, jewishwhistleblower said.
Not a matter of belief. Just the facts. Rabbi Mordechai Tendler is a Rasha, no one knows that better than people in his family.

Which is why people should take their position on Rabbi Mordechai Tendler seriously.

At 3:30 PM, jewishwhistleblower said...
They have no intention of supporting their rasha relative, unlike some of you.

 
At 8:24 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

Rov Dovid was wrong in what he did to Rabbi Nosson Slifkin, as I have previously posted, he is wrong here to.

 
At 8:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it is laughable that JWB first writes:

At 11:45 AM, jewishwhistleblower said.
Not a matter of belief. Just the facts. Rabbi Mordechai Tendler is a Rasha, no one knows that better than people in his family.
You're missing my main point. Prominant members of his family like Rav Dovid and Rav Reuven KNOW he's pond scum.
Which is why people should take their position on Rabbi Mordechai Tendler seriously.

And then, when Rav Dovid and Rav Reuven don't agree with JWB's opinion of what they should hold, JWB says that THEY are wrong.
"Rov Dovid was wrong in what he did to Rabbi Nosson Slifkin, as I have previously posted, he is wrong here to."

Can't wait to hear what JWB will answer to this one

 
At 8:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Never reviewed the DNA"

There is no DNA. If there was, the bigshot midwives would have made it public by now. The reality is that if the midwives had any real proof and they want to bring MT down, they would have made it public long long ago.

At this point the joke is on Shifra and Puah. They approached a woman I know and asked her to lie about MT and claim that he had an affair with her. Their house of cards is falling fast.

 
At 8:47 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

http://jewishwhistleblower.blogspot.com/2005/01/reader-comments-editor-of-site-that.html#comments

>JWB, you change opinions,(and
>names) more often than you
>change nationalities.

You mean like KMH going from embracing the MO and left elements of the Orthodox movement in the past and now swiching to the more right of center anti-MO elements of Orthodoxy when they need "protection" for their "Rebbe"?

 
At 8:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Halacha sometimes something "did not happen" if there are no witnesses. This can be used to find a heter if nothing else helps. We do not necessarily have to unearth the factual truth if it only hurts. For instance, if a woman wants to marry a cohen, we are not going to research the history of her sexlife.

It could be that MT applies this principle to himself. He is telling himself that as it did not happen halachically, therefore it did not happen at all. It could be that (some of) his family members know the truth but agree to the approach.

If so we are witnessing the result of a horrendous corruption. The principle can only be applied b'dieved, and not l'chatchila. You cannot use the principle to engage in forbidden acts because you will later be able to retroactively undo them. And, crucially, the principle can only be applied as a pure heter, to help another person. Not to help yourself and hurt another.

 
At 2:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shiurim as usual in KNH this week. Amazing.

 
At 3:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The women you say was approached to lie aren’t true. She initially stated she wanted to speak to them. There is no tampering here. No one is being coxed. This woman has a family and Tendler has a hold on her. Your shul is full of intimidators. Poor women who doesn't see that there is support for her as other women have. She feels that the sick world of KNH is the only one for her.

Your Rabbis is the one who has fallen. The lies members tell won't hold him up forever; they just end up remaining only with you.

 
At 3:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Answer for R2D Fridays' post.
The RCA had evidence, they didn’t spend all this time and expense in a 15 mo. investigation and on outside investigators. They are suppose to, entitled and have the obligation to protect witnesses. In the American Judicial system witnesses are also entitled to be protected. The RCA doesn’t regard the witnesses has mysterious nor does RMT. He knows who he abused. He and his lawyers were told and have a report who testified. KNH has a history of attacking women and has continued to do so since the RCA determination to cover up for him. KNH has a history of covering up for him by fixing up his image through testimonies, public relations builders, lies and especially intimidation and damaging the good reputations of women. The upside down world and joke of a Purim play in the month of Adar, for KNH takes place in Shem. Everyone else sees the truth and accepts the RCA findings.

 
At 3:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the Anonymous who said,
that RMT thinks “…halachally something didn’t happen if there are no witnesses.” How great that you bring this up. This is a statement RMT makes all the time. Please if there is a legitimate Rabbi out there can you post if this is true? RMT uses it all the time both to give people his “heter” for marriages to a cohen; and rationalizes having sex with women. The women he has had sex with have experienced him saying he hasn’t sin because it didn’t happen. And there are many more known things that RMT has said and acted out with women using his “heter” as excusing his conscience.

 
At 4:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

IF these allegations are true- I believe books will be written about this case, encompassing the psycological aspects of rationalization, pedigree ( Yechus ) and a "Jesus" complex.

What lesson can Joe Jew learn from this IF, Chas V'shalom these allegations are true?

Worship God, not man.

Learn from the Torah's description of Moshe as the humblest of all man.

I think I now understand potentially why Moshe was punished..perhaps he started to develop a " Jesus " complex about himself..

Just the thoughts of an average Jew...After all who am I but Mr. Anonymous?

 
At 5:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If anyone cares to discuss JOFA's role in putting more women at risk of harm, go to the Jewish Survivors Blog. The discussion is about them keeping Tendler's articles up on thier site.

http://www.jewishsurvivors.blogspot.com

 
At 5:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Just the thoughts of an average Jew...After all who am I but Mr. Anonymous?"


You might be surprised to know that for some of these predators (listed on the Awareness Center page) being "worshipped" is what it's all about. An intoxication with power-over-others.

 
At 5:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's where you can find the list.

http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/clergyabuse.html

 
At 5:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those naive readers who say that if there were DNA, the midwives would have showed it.I say this: There is DNA, And it has to be done with descretion! We dont want Michelle to actually see this because it is all about the pervert and not poor poor Michelle and her kids!LEt Poor Poor Michelle still think that she is married to a Tzaddik!

 
At 5:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Help me write this book. I as a victim whom he had sex with was tortured by him with his "heter" that he played on me. This issue being discussed on this blog is giving me tremendous relief. I would like to know too as requested above where is this source for halacha and when is it used? Of course if a halacha he's abused it. If he has a conscience and blocks it out by using it, I don't know or care. If not halacha it just defines the abuse for me. Is he lying about being able to marry a Cohen too?

 
At 6:08 AM, Anonymous homebirth is dangerous said...

>For those naive readers who say that
>if there were DNA, the midwives would
>have showed it.I say this: There is
>DNA, And it has to be done with
>descretion! We dont want Michelle to
>actually see this because it is all
>about the pervert and not poor poor
>Michelle and her kids!LEt Poor Poor
>Michelle still think that she is
>married to a Tzaddik!

Typical lies. You are hiding behind "protecting Michelle" to dodge the truth that there is no evidence.

It is ironic that on the one hand the midwives villify Michelle for her role in protecting Rabbi Tendler, and on the other hand they hide behind "protecting" Michelle since they have no evidence.

The midwives threatened that if MT did not step down before the Sunday meeting, they would immediately release all of the evidence in mass-mailings to KNH members. 5 days have passed and nothing has been sent.

The midwives claim to want to "protect innocent women", which is why they brought this issue public. If other women are at risk from "MT the predator", then they should have published the evidence long ago for the sake of pikuach nefesh. Their silence is deafening.

 
At 6:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why did the accusers refuse to allow a polygraph test?

If their claims are true, then they should be running to take ploygraph tests and make the results public.

 
At 6:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Help me write this book."

Fiction novel.

 
At 6:23 AM, Anonymous webbub said...

Keep changing your facts G, as often as you change addresses. You always lied with the ease of drinking water. But the noose tightens ... Hey, it's almost Shabbos.

 
At 6:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous 5.59 (and others)
I am the anomymous that raised the issue of the Halacha concerning witnesses. If you are/were a member of KNH, I probably know you, and that hurts. May HaShem bless you.

As far as the Halacha itself is concerned, it is pretty basic that two witnesses are needed for Kidushin etc. Moreover, the Talmud says about Mamzerim that they can hide their mamzerut. They can go to a different place were nobody knows them, so that they can get married. So there is a basis for these things. BUT ONLY BEDIEVED AND ONLY AS A PURE HETER TO PREVENT SUFFERING. And not in the way MT explained to you.

 
At 6:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

B'H' for the two midwives. Without their help Tendler would go on manipulating women into having sexual relations with him. Some people call this Rabbinical Sexual Miconduct. Most call it sexual assault.

If the two midwives read this. Let them know how much respect and admiration I have for them, along with so many people I know. You gave those who were victimized by Tendler a voice. You believed them and made sure the rest of the world was aware of Tendler's criminal behavior. There needs to be more people like you.

Thank you for protecting others from potential harm.

I hope JOFA people read this, and honor you at their next conference, instead of honoring a sexual preditor.

JOFA TAKE THOSE ARTICLES OFF YOUR WEB SITE!

 
At 6:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: "Jewish Week reports on fiasco Sunday night meeting and Rabbi Mordechai Tendler lies publicly.."

With a headline like that the ensuing article had to be slanted.

I was at the meeting, and the support, at the meeting, for Rav Mordechai was overwhelming. The ovation was thunderous.

I did not hear of the meeting being billed as open. It was billed as being for the kehilla--and the seats were filled. It was his response to his followers. (Judging by the questions, members of the kehilla who opposed him were not excluded. There was not room for everyone.)

I noticed that the article by D. N. Cohen contains some claims of misconduct by "..an Orthodox rabbi in the area who said he has firsthand knowledge.." and "Those close to the saga.."--annymous sources that cannot be checked. Moishe Pippik could qualify as either of those as he accuses Rav Mordechai of having three heads and three tails.)

The letter from Rebbitzen Michelle referred to the accusation of the $100,000 settlement, but said NOTHING that would sustantiate such a claim.
The article did not report anything that was said about the 15 month RCA investigation. Much of the meeting was devoted to that matter.

My conclusion, form the meeting and from what I have been able to read, is that:
1. the RCA's conduct was disreputable; a kangaroo court set-up to convict the accused whether he is innocent or guilty;
2. their conduct is a throwback to the days of McCarthyism and the witchhunts; and
3. in order for R. Mordechai to be guilty of the accusations, he would have to be a sexual Superman--having sex at a distance of 300 miles is some trick.

Let's all back off and convene an honest and thorough investigation of the matter. (The RCA one was neither.) The issue of sexual misconduct is a major one, but considering the accused as guilty will not help any victims. It will only encourage the pathetic losers who accuse innocent people just to get attention or promote their own jealousies and agendas.

 
At 7:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

IF you are unsure of JWB's motives in the Rabbi Tendler case all you need to do is search the postings in his archives (go back to October, November, December)and compare that to what his title posts have become in the last two week (week of 3/21 amd 3/28. His ridiculous posts show his true colors and how evil and vindictive s/he is. Lets see, he advises you to bring paper and pencil to the KNH meeting, he tells you that the Jewish Week reports on the "fiasco" of the meeting, however nowhere in the Jewish Week article does it mention the word "fiasco". Does JWB think its a fiasco because it showed support to Rabbi Tendler. JWB is an enabler of hatred, Loshen Hora, evil, and vindictiveness. JWB please disclose where you received your education, so we can protect the innocent.

 
At 7:12 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

No one's backing off.

He had a 15+ month investigation, where he and his followers intimidated witnesses and interfered with the investigation.

Why don't you get RMT to sign a confidentiality waiver that allows you to question his lawyer as to the existence of the settlement?

Why if it isn't true can't the lawyer simply deny it?

Oh, that's right denial ain't just a river in Egypt.

 
At 7:17 AM, Anonymous JWB- Jew WIthout Balls said...

Main Entry: en·abler
Pronunciation: i-'nA-bl&r, -b&l-&r
Function: noun
: one that enables another to achieve an end; especially : one who enables another to persist in self-destructive behavior (as substance abuse) by providing excuses or by helping that individual avoid the consequences of such behavior

YES - JWB- is an enabler. An enabler of hatred and evil. He is a preditor of the innocent.

 
At 7:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A kangaroo court, right. Who says? MT et al. Why? Because of their decision! If RCA would have decided differently, the same court would not have been a kangeroo court. They would have been sages, and MT would have been vindicated for eternity.

And thus, the next court will only not be a kangeroo court if it decides right.

Cetero Censeo (for the literate): If properly backed up by hospital care for emergency cases, home birth is not dangerous. Western-world countries with the highest percentages of home births tend to have the lowest child and mother mortality rates. Of course this depends on the quality of midwives.

 
At 7:29 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

>Main Entry: en·abler

While you were at it couldn't you have looked up mysogynist and "preditor" (predator).

Where did you learn to spell and (apparent from your language) hate women?

 
At 7:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"JWB- Jew WIthout Balls said...
Main Entry: en·abler
Pronunciation: i-'nA-bl&r, -b&l-&r
Function: noun
: one that enables another to achieve an end; especially : one who enables another to persist in self-destructive behavior (as substance abuse) by providing excuses or by helping that individual avoid the consequences of such behavior
YES - JWB- is an enabler. An enabler of hatred and evil. He is a preditor of the innocent.
7:17 AM"

Try to flip the tables all you like. JWB is a hero to survivors everywhere.

You gutless wonder, however---when the day comes you are forced to wake up, here's hoping your shock and tears are not too devastating.

Honestly. When we---survivors of these creeps----hit the day when we were forced to wake up, it is horrible, gut-wrenching, terrifying. To realize one could be so fooled is a terrifying experience, it shakes the very ground one walks on.

The same day is coming for you, trust me. Let it be sooner than later, however. Because in the end, because I know what it is like to be so fooled, when all is said and done, I have to feel sorry for you and pity you.

Wake up soon.

 
At 7:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the Anonymous who said...
is the one who raised the issue of the Halacha concerning witnesses.
Thanks.
But I am not addressing the basics about two witnesses needed for Kidushin or Mamzerim.
Could you tell me if its at all possible, halacally, that doing something like having sex, or non-pre-meditated sexual forbidden Jewish relationships; and a history of a sexual relationship with a non-Jew or Jewish man, that it "did not happen" if there are no witnesses under halacha?
Of course lets’ just put aside for clarification his abuse or that he did pre-meditated his sexual abuse.

 
At 7:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"At 7:17 AM, JWB- Jew WIthout Balls said...
Main Entry: en·abler
Pronunciation: i-'nA-bl&r, -b&l-&r
Function: noun
: one that enables another to achieve an end; especially : one who enables another to persist in self-destructive behavior (as substance abuse) by providing excuses or by helping that individual avoid the consequences of such behavior

YES - JWB- is an enabler. An enabler of hatred and evil. He is a preditor of the innocent."

(second attempt at getting this comment to 'stick'):

Attempt to turn the tables all you like. JWB is a hero for many survivors.

The day is going to come for you, just like it did for many survivors, when you are forced to wake up to the cold, hard facts.

That day is not pleasant. One feels like the very ground has been ripped from under your feet. That one could have been so fooled, so taken in. You feel so devastated. Sometimes you hold off as long as you can from facing the reality, it's much too painful. The illusion is preferable---for awhile.

And that day comes and you are left with heartbreak like no other. You mistrust your own mind, your own thinking. You lose your faith. You experience overwhelming emotions of rage, shame, and sorrow. You feel crippled by bouts of anxiety and depression.

For your own sake, whoever you are, in spite of your feeble attacks, I hope this day comes for you sooner than later.

 
At 7:47 AM, Anonymous JWB- Jew Wtihout Balls said...

The following are synonyms for JWB (besides Jew WIthout Balls, of course)



gos·sip (gŏs'əp)
n.
Rumor or talk of a personal, sensational, or intimate nature.
A person who habitually spreads intimate or private rumors or facts.
Trivial, chatty talk or writing.
A close friend or companion.
Chiefly British. A godparent.
intr.v., -siped, -sip·ing, -sips.
To engage in or spread gossip.

[Middle English godsib, gossip, godparent, from Old English godsibb : god, god; see god + sibb, kinsman.]

gos'sip·er n.
gos'sip·ry n.
gos'sip·y adj.
SYNONYMS gossip, blab, tattle. These verbs mean to engage in or communicate idle, indiscreet talk: gossiping about the neighbors; can't keep a secret—he always blabs; is disliked for tattling on mischief-makers.


libel and slander, in law, types of defamation. In common law, written defamation was libel and spoken defamation was slander. Today, however, there are no such clear definitions. Permanent forms of defamation, such as the written or pictorial, are usually called libel, while the spoken or gestured forms are called slander.
The term libel is also often used if a wide audience for the defamation is possible. Courts have split over which category radio and television are in; today's statutes generally categorize defamation occurring in those media as slander. The offenses are alike in several respects. The defamation—essentially exposure to hatred, contempt, ridicule, or pecuniary loss—must directly affect the reputation of a living person. It must be published, i.e., revealed to someone besides the subject of the attack. It is no defense that the defendant merely repeated but did not originate the defamation.

The plaintiff is required to prove the colloquium (circumstances of utterance showing that the statement was directed against him or her specifically) and, when necessary, the innuendo (the factors making an apparently innocent statement defamatory). Generally, truth is an absolute defense in a suit for defamation. A false defamatory statement may be privileged if the actor was a legislator, executive officer, or speaking in a court proceeding. The requirement of colloquium makes unactionable defamation of a large group, e.g., a racial or professional group.

Whether the charge is libel or slander is important. Most libels are deemed injurious and give immediate ground for suit. However, only certain types of statements are slanderous per se and do not require proof of pecuniary damages; these include imputation of crime, of loathsome disease, or of professional or occupational incapacity. In other cases, there may not be any recovery unless the pecuniary loss caused by the injury is proved. The award to the successful plaintiff in a suit for defamation will usually include punitive, as well as compensatory, damages if the defendant willfully lied or published the defamation repeatedly.

In New York Times Company v. Sullivan (1964), the U.S. Supreme Court provided a significant expansion of the protection of the press from libel actions. Stemming from a case in which an elected official in Montgomery, Ala., complained of defamation by civil-rights activists, the court ruled that to protect the free flow of speech and opinions, public officials could only collect damages for libel if falsehoods were made with “reckless disregard” for the truth. This ruling has since been extended to any celebrity before the public.

The Sullivan ruling shifted the burden of proof in many libel cases from the defendant to the plaintiff, who must now prove the falsehood was issued with actual malice, that is, with deliberate knowledge that the statement was both incorrect and defamatory. The ruling was a victory for the media, but left the plaintiff with the difficult task of obtaining the sources for the allegedly libelous information—sources that reporters often hold confidential. In most cases, the court requires the plaintiff to show that a reasonable effort has been made to obtain the information elsewhere before it requires the reporter to divulge any sources.

In recent years, the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed that only factual misrepresentation is to be considered libel or slander, not expression of opinion. It has also ruled that libel suits may be filed across state lines, not only in the state where the plaintiff lives. Libel suits apply not only to the media and public personalities but also to businesses, which account for approximately 70% of all suits. In recent years, producers of foods and other goods have succeeded in urging more than a dozen states to pass laws allowing them to sue critics of the safety or other aspects of their products; experts predict such laws will be overturned, but they have in the meantime had a “chilling” effect on public discussion in some cases.

Leshon ha-Ra
Leshon ha-Ra, or Loshon Hora, (the evil tongue in Hebrew) denotes gossip, slander, and defamation. The main prohibition against Leshon ha-Ra is mentioned in Leviticus 19:16 [1] (http://bible.ort.org/books/pentd2.asp?ACTION=displaypage&BOOK=3&CHAPTER=19) : "Do not go as a gossiper amongst your people". The definitive work on Leshon ha-Ra is the Chafetz Chayim by Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan (1873).

 
At 7:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Synonyms for Rabbi Tendler:

An ethicist is one whose judgement on ethics and ethical codes has come to be trusted by some community, and (importantly) is expressed in some way that makes it possible for others to mimic or approximate that judgement. Following the advice of ethicists is one means of acquiring knowledge (see argument from authority).

The term jurist describes an ethicist whose judgement on law becomes part of a legal code, or otherwise has force of law. This may be due to formal (de jure) state sanction.

Some jurists have less formal (de facto) backing by an ethical community, e.g. a religious community. In Islamic Law, for instance, such a community following (taqlid) a specific jurisprudence (fiqh) of shariah mimics judgement of a prior jurist. Catholic Canon Law has a similar structure. Such a jurist may be a theologian or simply a prominent teacher. To those outside this tradition, the jurist is simply an ethicist who they may more freely disagree with, and whose input on any issue is advisory. However, they may find it hard to avoid a fatwa or excommunication or other such shunning by the religious community, so it may be hard advice to ignore.

Outside the legal professions and spiritual traditions, ethicists are usually considered to be either philosophers or more practical mediators of disputes. Indeed, views of ethics that are not deemed to be useful in resolving actual disputes are usually frowned upon as ideology. Modern ethicists often take the view that ethics is only about such resolution.

The list of ethicists demonstrates the extreme range of people who have made, or contributed to, ethical debates. It also demonstrates that not all individuals who do so can be considered to be good moral examples by all.

Retrieved from "http://www.searchspaniel.com/index.php/Ethicist"

 
At 7:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Give it up.

As Rabbi Blau has stated, the necessity for protecting others takes absolute precedence over concerns of 'spreading gossip'.

You think you can try to silence survivors and those who want to stop predators in their tracks with this --- you won't succeed.

 
At 8:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"JWB- Jew Wtihout Balls said... "


Ha ha, you certainly *are* a Jew-Without-Balls, aren't you?

Hiding behind charges of lashon hara to protect your rebbe.

Someone is in need to be de-culted and de-mystified.

 
At 8:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As HaGaon Reb Dovid Feinstein, Shlita stated, the RCA report is meaningless.

 
At 8:21 AM, Anonymous JWB- Jew Without Balls said...

Yes, Please, please help me get some balls. Also, I made my Kool Aid mixture for Shabbos in case more "evidence" comes out. I am so distraught !!!. Only you can save me from the cult.

 
At 8:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In symapthy for the KNH members
Those sweet, good (and very taken advantage of) people who remain in the KNH cult are already the laughing stock of the rest of the Jewish world. (Unfortunately Tendler fosters the notion that KNH IS the entire world; not the insignificant speck it is.) When the evidence comes out soon, it will only get worse for them.How sad!

 
At 8:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

regarding shiurim cntinuing in the shul:
Do you mean Tendler's? Yes that is sad!
The other Rabbis have stopped their shiurim in KNH (it's about time!!!) despite what it says on their web site and e-mails! If they were honest about anything, they would remove them!

 
At 8:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A question: does anyone know if there is truth to the rumors that all of the money given for the mikveh disapeared a year or more ago? Has anyone independent checked? Can the board and or "Rabbi" be trusted regarding this? Where did the 50,000- 100,000 for the pay off of accusor/ witness come from?

 
At 9:02 AM, Blogger chutzpah said...

"3) They appreciate how the force of their own deficiencies and active faults contribute to their hapless state. They accept it as a lesson and hope to improve."

Good teachings. May all those rabbis out there who are perverting Judaism for their own narcissistic lust for power be able to receive this message.

 
At 9:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JWB please disclose where you received your education, so we can protect the innocent.

definitely YU. jwb apparently has some limited knowledge of torah sources and therefore had some type of yeshiva ed. however, his arrogance, false sense of self confidence and disdain toward the gedolim indicate that he went through the type of system that would be likely to challenge the authority of the "chareidi" gedolim. is there any other place in the world other than yu that offers this. if i had to continue guessing i would say rav rosensweig's shiur. i do not mean this to insult rav rosensweig in anyway, but jwb behavior is similar to that of r' rosensweigs typical arrogant talmidim who think that after spending two years in the gush they are capable of taking on rav eliyashiv. lets just bear in mind that every other page of the igros moshe contains strong statements in which the undisputed gadol hador sings the praises of his nephew and vouches for his character. if you want to protect the abbused, stand behind rav mordechai all the way. in the end you will find yourself standing with the truth.

 
At 10:00 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

>JWB please disclose where you
>received your education, so we
>can protect the innocent.

1) If you want to protect the innocent get rid of your Shabtai Tzvi Rebbe.

2) No secular/yeshiva education gives you the skills to deal with those who exploit/abuse women and childern.

That's why the Torah world is in such a mess. We look up to people who simply don't have the skills/training/education/experience to know what to do.

 
At 10:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is like another post I put up on another blob. This is what I said: What happens in New Hempstead will happen whether or not the blobber post their blobs. Since it is such a disgusting subject, the writers probably got disgusted writing about it and thinking about it and I don't blame him (her). Its much more nicer to think of something nice, a nice kugel, say, (a luchkshen perhaps or a pototo myself I don't care for yerushalami) or if you like to learn a blatt gemora, a nice tosfos even some divrei mussar can make a nice day. but a rabbi who says he is a king and you should have sex with him who needs this dreck that makes you want to go take a shower? We never had such things in the old days. other things we had but not like this. What I don't understand is how anyone could think that all this is just made up. Why would a bunch of women just make this up, and it sounds like they all had similar stories. A woman does not make up such a story it is an embarressment to her. And surely not ten women. How does such a thing happen? A lonely woman could be susceptible to a smooth talking rabbi with a golden tongue. that has no business making halachas. They were told certain things were halacha which they were clearly farkrumpt which means to say crooked in order to get these girls to have sex. This is what we want from a rabbi? Who needs such a rabbi he should join the church they have lots of those types there. Not that they are all bad they have some nice galachim but you have to have open eyes. I can read the paper like my son who went to college he should live and be well. He gave me this computer and I am learning to use it baruch hashem there is a lot to think about. You don't have to have a college degree to know of such things. And this could ruin a girl's life. I would only take a good laywer in a case like this and frankly a frum yid must be a michugena to take a case like this for a lawyer. that is my opinion. You will not catch me davening in such a shul I can tell you that. I prefer a rabbi with his pants on at all times in a proper manner like a gentleman. he should be helping ladies not shtupping them. have a nice day

 
At 10:37 AM, Blogger chutzpah said...

"This is like another post I put up on another blob. This is what I said: What happens in New Hempstead will happen whether or not the blobber post their blobs."


(*Pssst --- it's "blog", not "blob", even though the stuff the enablers spew certainly could qualify as 'blob'.) :)

 
At 10:54 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

As to the Rabbonim supporting Rabbi Mordechai Tendler and the obligation of klal Israel in regard to their "psaks" in support of RMT.

http://hirhurim.blogspot.com/2005/04/daas-torah.html (for full article)
...
The possibility that the greatest of scholars can err in strict halachah is explicit in Vayikra (4:13 see Rashi). Even in that case, an individual who is convinced that the Sanhedrin erred may not rely on their decision (Horayot 2b).
...

 
At 11:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Question:

What do they learn in Shiurim at KNH?

If the shiurim predominate in lessons of Mussar- it would suggest a " protest too much " complex.

 
At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>A question: does anyone know if there
>is truth to the rumors that all of
>the money given for the mikveh
>disapeared a year or more ago? Has
>anyone independent checked? Can the
>board and or "Rabbi" be trusted
>regarding this?

Neither the board nor the Rabbi control the mikvah funds. The mikvah is an entirely separate organization and the funds are controlled by them.

 
At 12:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JWB: Give us all a break from your basing your views on torah and gedolim for support. You aren't fooling anyone. It doesn't matter to you which gadol comes out in favor of rabbi tendler. According to you, they will all be wrong. Even if it is a gadol who's opinion who consider valid (if there are any), all your readers know that, like you did with Rav Dovid Feinstein, you will first bring proofs and arguements FOR your position from him, and then when you find out that the gadol REALLY holds NOT like you, you will vilify and denounce that gadol and declare him irrelevant since he disagrees with you. PLEASE give us all a break from your basing your views on torah and gedolim for support. Have any of the thus far issued any psak or even spoken AGAINST rabbi mordechai tendler? The RCA's vaad hakovod is neither posek, dayan, or beis din. There are only a few (i think 2) rabbis on the committee to begin with. The rest are counselors and psychologist type people.

 
At 12:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Reference to Harav Feinstein who said that the psak of the RCA is "null and void". What in the world is he talking about? The RCA did not pasken! All the RCA did was to throw out this pervert from their organization! Whats "null and void" about that!
Now knh should have the guts and do the right thing for their wives and daughters to remove this predator from their midst! The sooner the better

 
At 2:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When will the "Blame the Victim" mentality ever end?

 
At 2:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the big deal. The Shul wants him ,his wife wants him,that's all that matters,everything else is pure hatred on the part of his enemies.
The women should be more careful on the laws of Yichud instead of drumming up false accusations.

 
At 1:16 AM, Anonymous just curious said...

to the last poster who so "eloquently" pointed out.. "it is the WOMEN who should be more careful of the laws of yichud..(please excuse the paraphrase)..
have you no common sense? If the women neeed to be more careful, then so does mordechai tendler, as it takes two tot tango. How dare you blame only one party in what always is a two person affair. hashem should have rachmones on you as you are obviously not aware of how cluless you are. unfortunately for you, when you do become aware of the mistake that you are making, it will not be happy day for you. Moreover, to think that mt cares about you, or anyone but himself, is laughable. he is a megalomaniacal creep. you are being used, and will be discarded a s soon as you lose your value to him...

 
At 6:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the person who keeps bringing up the laws of Yichud. I think the following article would be helpful to you:


Getting Better
by Kathy Ward

Recovery from spiritual abuse and cultic thinking is like recovery from a lot of damaging things in life. It's hard to do it alone and there are many things that are helpful along the way.

*Find someone to talk to who understands.

*Work on not judging yourself - no one sets out to become a member of a cult, a person who others can guilt-manipulate. We join with these groups because we think that we're going to learn about God, find ways to serve God and our fellow man. we join for reasons that are not bad.

*It's okay that you see good things about the cult. Just as it's hard to find people who are totally 100 percent malignant, few cults or abusive religious systems are 100 percent in the wrong. It's okay to acknowledge that there are wonderful people there or that something good was there. It's okay to sit down and figure out any good things that have come into your life from the cult.

*Understand that your cult experience was a stage in your development as a spiritual person. You are going to grow from here.

*Don't be afraid to seek counseling outside of the cult parameters. Religious, don't be afraid to go to a respectful nonReligious counselor. There are organizations who have lists of counselors (Religious and non) who are well-versed in recovery from restrictive, cultic religious systems.

*Find and be around people who will support you, not condemn you, in exploring the world outside of the cult. If you want to examine other belief systems, philosophies, ways of thinking find supportive people to back you up.

*Expect to have BIG doubts from time to time. Relapses. Thoughts about going back to the cult. We all do. It's normal. It gets better with time. Sometimes it takes a lot of time - but it does get better. It's lonely on the outside. When shunning or other forms of punitive behavior is manifested toward you it can be almost unbearable. We all go through it. This is why having someone to talk to who understands can help.

*Expect to feel lost sometimes, like you're between two worlds.

*"Without the unequivocal pronouncements that once guided them, former members of restrictive groups are apt to feel lost and confused. In any transition, there is usually a period of time between the collapse of old beliefs and their replacement by a new set of guiding principles. Kuhn's (1970) account of the disorientation that occurs when a scientific viewpoint once thought to be definitive fails to fit emergent facts can be applied to the similar confusion that comes with shifts in religious belief. Bridge's (1980) concept of an "empty" middle phase as a stage in any transition can also be helpful in normalizing the ex-believer's sense of confusion and inner emptiness as a natural part of the process of moving beyond outmoded views about self and the world."

*Psychological Issues of Former Members of Restrictive Religious Groups by Jim Moyers, MA, MFCC

*Realize that you may be depressed sometimes. There is a grieving process going on here. You've lost big chunks of your life and although you're going to be moving into some new, exciting, even exhilarating territory, you're going to also be grieving for some of the things you've left behind. Take care of yourself and don't forget about the things that help depression, like a healthy diet, enough and regular exercise (even a daily walk), getting out and doing things that you enjoy, indulge yourself, make opportunities to visit with friendly, supportive people. If it begins to feel like too much - tell someone you trust - get some help!

*Remember that your feelings are just that - your feelings. They aren't evil or sinful. Because you feel something doesn't mean that you're going to act on it. Feelings are okay.

*If there was a time before the cult when you had a creative interest or enjoyed reading, art, music, or any kind of hobby or pursuit that you left behind - take the time to enjoy it again. There's healing for the soul in these places.

 
At 2:56 PM, Blogger chutzpah said...

On Cultic Relationships:

Abusive controlling relationships like cult brainwashing
The “Battered Woman Syndrome” often cited in court and by helping professionals assisting those victimized within abusive and controlling relationships parallels many of the same features identified within destructive cults.

In this sense abusive and controlling relationships, though seemingly romantic, can be seen as a type of “cult” with a dictatorial leader, usually a man, dominating a single follower as his victim.

This has been called the “cultic relationship” and/or a “one-on-one cult.”

Over the years cult intervention professionals have been called upon to apply the same expertise developed to free cult victims as an approach to free those caught within the web of abusive controlling relationships.

The Ross Institute of New Jersey has recently released an educational DVD/video titled In the Name of Love: Abusive Controlling Relationships, which shares the body of knowledge developed around this subject in an easy to follow format.

This educational tool makes an otherwise often confusing situation more easily understood.

The DVD/video offers a synthesis of what is known about brainwashing and how this process directly applies to both the Battered Woman Syndrome and most specifically to the dynamics and personalities most often involved in abusive controlling relationships.

In the Name of Love also recounts personal stories, such as the experience of singer Tina Turner and the tragic circumstances that led up to the death of Nicole Brown Simpson. Such compelling examples are helpful to better understand the personal cost, internal turmoil and dangers of such relationships.

What are the warning signs?

What can someone concerned do?

What type of individual fits the profile of an abuser?

Why don't those abused leave a bad relationship?

These and other important questions are answered within the DVD.

Darla Boughton the manager for a popular forum related to this subject says, “This DVD is a magnificent breakthrough--a must-have for every classroom, women's shelter, and abuse Web sites everywhere."

Much too often society blames the victim rather than attempting to understand the disturbing dynamics within abusive controlling relationships.

One third of American women reportedly have been abused under such circumstances, and millions more are potentially at risk.

http://www.cultnews.com/archives/000801.html

 
At 5:20 PM, Anonymous Gadi Pickholz Be'er Sheva, Israel said...

I am intruiged at the "debate" over support for Rabbi Mordechai Tendler within the family. There are, kaneh horah, over 35 cousins and 6 uncles aside on the Tendler side alone. All are highly regarded professionals and leaders in their respesctive Kehillot from Los Angeles to Jerusalem; almost all are Rabbanim in practice as well.

No one, to my knowledge, has ever contacted any of us to ask our opinion on Mordechai and the accusations and events unfolding in Monsey. Both sides of the discussion lack all credibility in this matter, and have likely avoided the obvious solution of picking up the phone and asking us for our opinions and comments after this weekend's events.

My own personal comment would be that my prayers go out to Mordechai and Michelle in these troubling times, but none of us have any better information of the events than the Presidium investigation. I believe the investigation was flawed and based on heresey, but I agree that the accusing women were hounded by nothing short of Rabbinic thuggery to keep quiet, as was the case in the NCSY scandal last year involving, in large measure, the same Rabbinic leadership.

Mordechai's innocence or guilt will never be established. At a minimum, he is clearly guilty of a lack of discretion and professionalism requisite to the public trust he holds as a pulpit Rabbi. As a spiritual leader or Rav in any creadible Rabbinic program such as Yeshiva University, he can no longer function effectively. If the accusations are false, that would be heinous, but does not alter the reality of his present lack of effectiveness going forward.

The events of the past few days, involving "political consultants" and my uncle, Moishe Tendler, putting on a virtual candidate campaign complete with supporter rallies, goes far beyond the borders of poor taste and judgment. They underscore the core purpose of the Big Business Rabbinate that Moishe and Mordechai embody with every fiber of their DNA, and the significant wealth that both Mordechai and Moishe have garnered from the unquestioning admirers in a trance of Rabbinic adulation in their Kehillot by becoming Charismatic Clergy money machines interchangable with Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. It is that Big Business aspect of the present farce, particularly thr Big Business of advising/comforting/supporting the aguna/orthodox feminist lobby in America today, that is most distasteful of all. Rabbinics aside, Mordechai has secured significant wealth in building his kehilla via his wife Michelle's earnings as a major realtor in the developing community. Similarly, he had started a similar new community here in suburban Jerusalem -- realty proceeds in large measure going to wife Michelle once again by unquestioning and adoring lambs seeking to annoint any Moral Authority and Hero. This Big Business mutation of the Rabbinate has always been a dangerous path historically in Judaism; Mordechai is simply the latest to stumble.

In the interests of the Torah True Rabbinate, to paraphrase my grandfather Rabbi Isaac Tendler of blessed memory, Mordechai and Moishe should have ended the sordid public farce in this matter long ago, before Mordechai was inevitably twisting in the wind. The damage to the community vastly exceeds the interests of one Rabbi, even a dear cousin.

It is important to note that without exception no other Rabbi in the entire Tendler clan, with the possible exception of Moishe's other son Aharon in WEst Hollywood, followed Moishe and Mordechai's lead in styling their professional personna and Rabbinic identities. Both of my other Tendler uncles, Moishe's brothers, could not have distance themselves further from the professional model developed by Moishe and Mordechai.

Therein lies the true answer of the family's perspective on the entire sordid affair -- to a man, every other Rabbi in the family rejected the Charismatic Clergy money machine model, precisely out of concern that somewhere in future risks such as those now bringing down both my uncle and cousin in Monsey were inevitable.

 
At 5:28 PM, Anonymous R2D said...

like Clark Kent in a phone booth

 
At 5:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>A question: does anyone know if there
>is truth to the rumors that all of
>the money given for the mikveh
>disapeared a year or more ago? Has
>anyone independent checked? Can the
>board and or "Rabbi" be trusted
>regarding this?

"Neither the board nor the Rabbi control the mikvah funds. The mikvah is an entirely separate organization and the funds are controlled by them."

The answer is somewhat dishonest as it fails to reveal a few salient facts. For years, the Mikvah, which was know as RT's mikvah, was solely controlled by RT & the board. Years ago when I made a donation specific for the mikvah, my check was nit made to some independent orgaization. It has only been very recently that the entire control of the mikvah project, as well as the land, was handed over to another group, not controlled by RT, and in fact, when this was done, there was no public disclosure of this transfer made within the 4 walls of KNH, although it was announced in other shuls. For years we have had a sign announcing the mikvah's completion for the following year, and every year, the sign was updated to reflect the next year. All pretense was lost as the sign still indicates completion in 2003. So, we have a big hole in the ground, KNH members had the mikvah taken away without knowledge or consent, and the lingering question is where is the money that was raised for the mikvah all those years ago. The mikvahn in this writer's opinion, has turned out to be little more than a scam, and I wonder if it has always been a scam, and we unsuspecting KNH members have paid the price, and continue to do so, for our own ignorance.

 
At 7:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

isn't it amazing that both the father Moshe Tendler and his son Mordy Tendler will be brought down by the "male member"? Moshe Tendler because of his Metzizah Psak, and Mordy Tendler because he couldnt keep it in his pants! Ironic

 
At 7:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pickholz? Gadi? Indeed, Clark Kent's phonebooth had a picture phone! The puzzle is coming together, piece by piece. In the interest of fair disclosure, you bloggers need to know that the statment by Gadi that he is Rabbi Mordechai Tendler's cousin and Rabbi Moshe Tendler's nephew are probably the only truthful statements that have left this guy's mouth in over 40 years. Look at his siamese twin's site, lukeford.net, and you will find his vicious attack against one Shira Berliner, who happens to be Gadi's ex-wife whom he left as an agunah and in poverty for years, while he absconded Israel with millions in investors' money. If not for HIS family's graciousness, Shira and good old Gadi's own children would have been left homeless and starving in the streets of Jerusalem. After years of bailing Gadi out of his messes, his family, including the uncle and cousin who he malignes in his tirade, finally got tough with him, and Gadi vowed vicious revenge against many people, but them in particular. Hmm. Interesting how JWB since inception in December, has been fixated on Gadi's cousin from New Hempstead and, fitting to Gadi's persona, has been full of proven and not-yet-proven lies. If truth gets in the way of Gadi's "facts", just change the facts. (Even his dramatic headline last week proporting to "summarize" the Praesidium Report - oh, sorry, "the portions he could release at this time", for sure (ahem!) - contained zilch beyond the much-reported cleaning lady story. Drama to get your attention so he can spew forth more filth and lies.) This is the fellow who the suckered readers of JWB get their info from. What a pair, Gadi and Luke. Oy. They are also great sources for stuff used by the careful staff at the Awareness Center. Just proves the old adage, Garbage In, Garbage Out.

 
At 10:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>JWB please disclose where you
>received your education, so we
>can protect the innocent.

>1) If you want to protect the >innocent get rid of your Shabtai >Tzvi Rebbe.

>2) No secular/yeshiva education >gives you the skills to deal with >those who exploit/abuse women and >childern.

>That's why the Torah world is in >such a mess. We look up to people >who simply don't have the >skills/training/education/experien>ce to know what to do.

C'mon JWB - tell em you received your education in Virginia!

 
At 11:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

FYI, i am familiar with the weinberg family and they are not related to the tendler family.

 
At 12:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gadi Tendler Pickholz is a very well respected businessman and educator, and a member of the Israel Father's Rights movement of divorced Jewish fathers. He was interviewed just this weekend in the Jerusalem Post magazine, both Israel and worldwide editions. He testified before the Knesset last month.

I thought his remarks the most intelligent posting on this list to date. Once again, opponents of any dialogue revert back to the most absurd (and no doubt inaccurate)character assassination in an attempt to silence discussion. That failed in the shtetl 250 years ago, and certainly today. You have no intelligent rebuttal for his remarks, so you attempt to steer the conversation into nonsensical loshon hora?

 
At 12:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous Slanderer,

I too am surprised at your remarks about Gary Pickholz, particularly your remark about his ex-wife being "an aguna" (!!!) I have had the pleasure of eating at his home on numerous occassions, and there is a humorous display on the wall of his divorce decree, Get and a letter of praise from the bet din that handled the Get, and a sworn affidavit from his ex-wife that she has been an aguna "for years". The time delay between their civil divorce and Get was LESS THAN FIVE WEEKS-- and anyone who eats shabbat meals at his very gracious table reads this and laughs at the deplorable status of our religion today.

Is that now the JOFA definition of an aguna? Pickholz's ex-wife is the poster girl for false Aguna claims. And as an aside, filing false tax records in your ex-husband's account, "forgetting" about overseas bank accounts and repeatedly lying under oath are real no-nos, even if lying about being an aguna (for considerable financial profit, I understand???) meets JOFA's unique standards of truth.

How many other JOFA cases of aguna were equally false??? How much money have these women successully raised by an unquestioning community????

Why the sudden silence from the self-righteous???

 
At 1:19 AM, Anonymous Gadi Tendler Pickholz, Beer Sheva Israel said...

Little did I imagine that a simple, sympathetic posting for my dear cousin would cause such a firestorm of loshon hora and false accusations, apparently against anyone not related to Mishpachat Anonymous. Monsey certainly is a funny little shtletl of fear; everyone has a great deal to say but flees like mice when it comes to basic attribution.

I thank David for his very kind words, and whomever the other Local Anonymous person was. Good to see the Jerusalem Post is still permitted into Monsey by the local Thought Police.

If I want to address this forum, as distinct from apparently anyone else, I will always do it by name and for attribution. If you lack the basic character and courage to match that self evident minimum criteria, stay silent.

Looking at the mess you have all made in Monsey, with its global implications for klal yisrael, most of the damage on all sides can be directly attributable to your shameful parctice, on both sides of the argument, to spread the most vile filth about one another cloaked in the veil of anonymity. The Maharal M'Prague issued a issur against this centuries ago, and actually left the pulpit in Prague for a number of years until the community complied.

My prayers and thoughts go with Mordechai and Michelle, who have clearly been railroaded by a RCA Rabbinate far more interested in maintaining their expediency of their wealth and power than going through the painful process of truthful investigation. My prayers and thoughts go with every victim and accuser, who have not gone through this Jewish Auto de Fe for the fun of it -- and have been met with the same religious thuggery as befell your community in the NCSY incidents, with the same Rabbinic leadership involved.

Additionally, will the pig who had the audacity to besmirch the reputation of the Shusgal girls identify themselves for the entire community ??!! Mordechhai, my uncle Mosihe, my other Tendler cousins and myself have all voluntarily adopted roles in the public forum --those girls certainly did not. This is all that is left of orthodoxy in America? Shameless loshon hora thrown in anonymity against anyone and everyone?

Lastly, I am truly grateful for the posting suggesting that my former wife was an aguna for a minute. Here in Israel, Rav Ben Dahan, Chief of the Batei Din, has described the True Aguna Crisis as the fact that over 70% of aguna claims before the Bet Din prove false charges, but far too late in the legal process to ever repair the lives or reputations of the men false accused and long lynched by an overzealous and self-righteous community. As a community, you need get your hand around the entire JOFA/Edah/RCA/Monsey Tendler Big Business Money Machine that the divorce industry has become for the American Rabbinate -- and its inherent conflicts of interest, not to mention outright fraud. Seize that as your kernal of positive energy going forward, because as a community your "anonymous" cross-accusations have left you with virtually nothing else but disgrace as a kehilla no matter who was right or wrong.

End the Real Aguna Crisis --the rapid rise of false claims of aguna in the community for financial and custodial reward.

From the perspective garnered here in Israel, you truly deserve one another. What a blot on klal yisrael you have all become.

 
At 1:30 AM, Anonymous Gadi Tendler Pickholz, Beer Sheva Israel said...

Dvar Torah from IFRAC - Parshat Tazria Shabbat Mevorchim HaChodesh Nissan

An Elegy for the Tragedy that has Befallen the Monsey, NY, USA
Community

The Sainted Rav Chaim Vital (the primary student and collator of the works of the Holy Ari z"l), from his introductions to Sha'ar Hakdamot, speaks of the element of Rabbinate that are referred to as the "Giborim" (men of power) as representing the very embodiment of the worst of the
five levels of the dreaded Eruv Rav:

"Be careful with the Eruv Rav, that category of Rabbis whose main purpose is to achieve honor and to make a name for themselves. These people
turn Torah into a desert...

They cause the fountain of wisdom to be removed. They build Bati
Kinasot and Bati Medroshot, they do this not for its sake but for their own honor. The Gemarah in B'rachot says regarding these people, “It would
have been better if they would have died during childbirth.” However, these people pretend to be righteous and humble they make it seem as if they learn Torah for its sake....woe is to all creatures because of this
embarrassment of the Torah.Foolish people of the world, they only look
at these outer garments of the Torah."

Rabbi Chayim Vital continues this core concept of Halachic Judaism in his introduction to Sefer Etz Chayim: "concerning the Erev Rav: All those that do kindness and toil in the Torah, all they do for themselves, and in particular through our many sins, in our times, the Torah has
been made into a hammer with which to do their own ends for many ba'alei torah, occupy themselves in the Torah in order to receive their reward
and other benefits and luxuries, and in order to be in the group of heads of Yeshivot, and judges (dayanim) in their courts, so that their names and fame spread throughout the land, and the actions of these Rabbis
resemble those of the generation of the Dispersion, those who built the Tower of Babel, with its top reaching the heavens, and the main motivation for their actions is what is written there in the Torah: “Let us
make a name for ourselves” as it is written in the Zohar (Bereshit 25b) on the verse : “These are the generations of the Heavens and earth…” that there are five types of Erev Rav and the third type is called Giborim (men of power) and on them it is written: “These are the Giborim
of old, men of name” and they belong to the side of those about whom it is written: “Let us build for ourselves a city and a tower…” and "let us make a name for ourselves" by building Synagogues and Houses of Study
and putting in them Torah Scrolls with crowns on their heads but not for G-d’s sake they do thus but for their own benefit.

Rabbi Chayim Vital concludes: And on this type of Erev Rav it was said in the Talmud (Berachot 17): “He who occupies himself with the Torah not for its own sake, it would have been better for him had his fetus overturned and would not have come out to the air of the world” And indeed
these people look humble and righteous, when they say that all their involvement with the Torah is for its own sake, nevertheless the Great and wise, the Tanna Rabbi Meir peace be upon him, testified against them that it is not as they say, when he said (Pirke Avot 6:41): “Rabbi Meir
said: He who studies the Torah for its own sake (without ulterior motives) deserves many things, and not only that, but the whole world is indebted to him. And he is called beloved friend, loved by G-d and men, he
pleases the Creator and humanity. The Torah covers him with modesty and fear, makes him virtuous, merciful, devote, just and faithful, moves him away from sin guiding him by the path of virtue, etc” “The secrets of
the Torah are revealed to him and he is turned into an endless
fountain of wisdom, and he becomes modest, patient, forgiving offenses, etc”

Gadi Tendler Pickholz is a member of the Executive Committee of the Israel Fathers Rights Advaocay Council (IFRAC), the largest representative organization of divorced Jewish fathers in the world, with over
11,000 paid membership in Israel and the Diaspora.

Israel Fathers Rights Advocacy Council/ HaNegev, 4 Tel Aviv/
israelfrac@gmail.com

 
At 5:59 AM, Anonymous a lanner survivor said...

yuor eloquence and even-handedness are appreciated. if the allegations are true, so be it. but let us not forget that the coomunity at large has been tarnished as well.

 
At 7:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Gadi Tendler Pickholz, Beer Sheva Israel.

You seem to have the biggest ego like your Family, the Tendlers, who remain Rabbis, unfortunately.
First you state that you don't like that you weren't asked for your opinion in Sundays’ meeting.
Now you are giving it here on a blog you don't like either.
You have nothing to do with this case and have no first hand information from the victims.
And you are siding on RMT and his Families side? Of course, you are Family. And supporting them by rationalizing their crime that you are speaking from the Torah is what the Tendlers do to cover up and where you learn from.
You are way off.
To come in from the outside and post Torah words that condemn Monseys' community?
There is a history here of crime committed against these women and attacking them by KNHers 'and the Tendlers. That’s’ what you should condemn.
We are getting stronger thanks to JWB; so now you want to come in God like to say it’s wrong so writes the Torah.
Not wrong for the victims and supporters of victims to react and have a voice against these attacks!
RMT and KNH are the sinners.
RMT and KNH continue to be criminal and corrupt. You say you want to bring in Torah and protect Israel. Talk about how you should pursue truth and Justice and not stand by your brother’s blood; the blood of the women.

 
At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

gadi pikholtz - sounds to me like john kerry. not sure which side he is actually on. but, at least he is not like the rest of the wicked bloggers who beleive every drop of loshon hora that comes out of jwb website. does the torah not beleive innocent until proven guilty? accusers! identify yourself. not one "poor abused woman" has come forward. i dare you! - mabye bec. she realizes that as soon as she discloses her identity, her claims will be disproven. rav mordechai and michelle, our tefilos continue to be with you. we pray that haemes yoreh darko and that all will soon realize the true tzidkus of rav mordechai.

 
At 10:22 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

1) Gadi Pickholz espouses his belief in Richard Gardner's PAS which is junk science and is an obscene catch-22 to any woman dealing with a former partner that has abused their child. I call on him to renounce those ridiculous views.

http://users.adelphia.net/~enitria/trish_wilson/womensnetwork/pas.html

2) The agunot problem is HUSBANDS refusing their wives gets. There is zero excuse for this. The number of agunot is outrageous.

>Here in Israel, Rav Ben Dahan,
>Chief of the Batei Din, has
>described the True Aguna Crisis
>as the fact that over 70% of
>aguna claims before the Bet Din
>prove false charges, but far too >late in the legal process to
>ever repair the lives or
>reputations of the men false
>accused and long lynched by an
>overzealous and self-righteous
>community.

This sounds like nonsense to me. If you have some report that indicated 70% please post. Sounds like "rabbinical math" to me. Is it proved false or is there simply insufficient aidus when things occur between spouses without witnesses?

3) There will be no discussion of non-public relatives of the Tendlers.

4)
>As a community, you need get
>your hand around the entire
>JOFA/Edah/RCA/Monsey Tendler Big
>Business Money Machine that the
>divorce industry has become for
>the American Rabbinate -- and
>its inherent conflicts of
>interest, not to mention
>outright fraud. Seize that as
>your kernal of positive energy
>going forward, because as a
>community your "anonymous" cross-
>accusations have left you with
>virtually nothing else but
>disgrace as a kehilla no matter
>who was right or wrong.

It seems to me that all of the above have been disgraceful in their refusal to protect agunot. But of course, the list certainly isn't complete and also includes the Orthodox institutions on the right as well. No one has been helping/protecting these women as they should be. The growing number of agunot testify to this.

 
At 11:10 AM, Anonymous Gadi Tendler Pickholz, Beer Sheva Israel said...

As I recall, the mud-ball immediately prior to besmirching the name and reputation of my poor Shusgal cousins was an "outing" that I was the Jewish Whistleblower, or at a minimum that we are in some sort of cahoots. Thank you for clearly putting that shtetl absurdity to rest with your last comment.

This is not the forum to discuss aguna issues, fathers rights, divorce and halacha. My understanding is that this forum was specifically established 130 postings ago to lynch my dear cousin without right of trial or identification of his accusers, as everyone in Monsey is named Mishapachat Anonymous.

One lynch mob to a forum, please.

If you care to open a forum on the other topics, I will participate providing the others identify themselves, and I will get other members of the IFRAC to participate as well -- until it deteriorates into a slur-fest.

For the record, not only do I not renounce PAS (Paternal Alienation Syndrome for the uninitiated), I believe in its pernicious presence in many cases. Luckily, so do the courts and all serious psychiatric publications in Israel and the USA today.

Rav Ben Dahan's study is published by the Ministry of Justice and the Bet Din. It does not address cases of he said/she said, as intimated. It addressed the plague of appeals that have seen overturning of original accusations as simply false. Aguna, like Rape, is a terrible occurance when accurate -- which is a far less frequent event, after sober evaluation in courts of law, than JOFA represents. Like rape, a plague of false claims only hinders everyone's ability to deal effectively with the instances when the claim is valid. It serves no one's interests, except for the special interest lobby that earns substantial wealth and contributions so long as a "crisis" is perceived to exist and that "crisis" is growing in number by the day.

I have also posted the 3 page interview from this weekend's Jerusalem Post for those who could not get copies past their local Thought Police.

 
At 11:34 AM, Anonymous Gafi Tendler Pickholz, Beer Sheva Israel said...

Jerusalem Post Magazine, April 1, 2005
Mommy Vs. Daddy
Are Fathers treated fairly in the Israeli courts?

by LAUREN GELFOND FELDINGER

Half an hour passed and his excitement quickly turned into a sinking feeling. Ofer, a separated father, had arrived early at the playground
on one of the three days a week he had visitation rights with his son, and watched a stream of pre-schoolers make their way into the first day of kindergarten, endearing little book-bags in tow. With his son nowhere
in sight, he finally entered the principal's office and was told, "Your son is not and was never registered here."

Though he and the boy's mother had agreed to make joint decisions on the boy's education, an agreement mandated by Israel's Capacity and Guardianship
Law of 1962, the mother had apparently changed her mind. She wasn't answering her cellphone, so, fighting back tears, Ofer drove from kindergarten to kindergarten around the area in a desperate search.
When that failed, he made his way to the Jerusalem Municipality, only to find them on strike. He banged on the door again and again, and eventually a
sympathetic worker let him in, checked some papers, and offered a tip on where his son might be registered.

Ofer waited all morning and when school was out, he put his son in the car to take him home for the afternoon. But suddenly the mother showed up and opened his car door and screamed, "Stop pushing me, you wife-beater." A
crowd gathered, the police showed-up, and, says Ofer, there was an
automatic presumption that he was guilty - because he is a man.

"Though it was the first time she had ever made such an accusation,
they treated me like I was a bad person, like every father after divorce is a potential murderer," he says. "They took my gun (that I use for protection when work takes me to the territories) and the courts, without an investigation, prevented me from seeing my son."

The presumption of the state, the police and society, he says, is that "men don't have hearts; don't have feelings. We are just cash machines for child
support, but our human side, our love and dedication to our children is not important."

Though Ofer says the courts eventually dropped the abuse case against him, the issues remain: He is traumatized by unfair laws and practices that keep him and his son apart, and his ongoing struggle to see his son as much
as possible without obstacles continues. Though his battle is a personal one, there are thousands of men across Israel like him, working with divorce lawyers and affiliating with a new crop of men's rights organizations
that are trying to bring the issues of divorced and separated fathers to public attention.

These fathers and activists argue that the law, as well as the public, is gender-biased in favor of mothers and against fathers, and that mothers are taking advantage of the law. This not only hurts fathers, they charge,
but more important, it hurts the children.

COMPARED TO other western countries, the Israeli fathers' movement is relatively quiet and, some say, behind the times.

Fathers-4-Justice, a largely European group, has made headlines over the last year for stopping traffic. In a public awareness campaign launched
in 2004, members dressed as Superman, Batman, Robin and Spiderman climbed a
suspension bridge in England at rush hour, flailing a banner reading "Superhero Fathers 4 Justice Fighting for your right to see your kids."
The organization apologized to backed-up commuters for denying them access to the bridge, stating in a press release that like the commuters,
"thousands of fathers are denied access to their children every day by this country's archaic family laws."

In 1979, the Hollywood film Kramer vs. Kramer highlighted the subject of gender bias in the courts through the re-telling of a real-life,
precedent-setting case. Though the movie won numerous awards, law professionals said the film exaggerated the legal issues, which had already been partly and previously redressed in the courts.

The US and many European countries have already reconsidered the legal
benefits granted to mothers after divorce, in favor of gender-neutral language that gives both parents equal legal opportunities. But even in
these countries, men argue that mothers are still overwhelmingly, and often unfairly, granted rights denied to fathers.

In Israel, by contrast, the public outcry over such issues has been more like a squeak.

Last month, the Israel Fathers' Rights Advocacy Council sent
announcements to its 8,000 members to flood the Kfar Saba Family Court for a mass
public protest against gender-biased custody laws. But only about 10 people showed up.

"People need to work, or are in reserve duty, or simply don't have the time or money to travel to protests," explains Ya'acov Schlosser, the head of the
organization and author of Zchuyot hagever b'mishpaha? ("Men's Family Rights?").

Launched in 1987 as Israel's first public awareness group on fathers' rights, IFRAC later re-focused its attention on the Knesset, "where there is
electorate strength," says Schlosser. "The laws are bad, this is a feminist country, and the rabbinate, the family court, the police, and everyone
are against men. Men are not protected in the legal system."

In 1997, in hopes of reaching the Knesset from within and not just as a lobbyist, he helped launched the IFRAC-affiliated Ra'ash Party - a Hebrew
acronym for rayon ha shivion, ("the idea of equality") and a
double-entendre
on the word ra'ash, or noise. But when the single-issue party ran for the Knesset in 2003, it didn't even get a foot in the door and was soon forgotten.

Today the party and the council work together, and with 100 activity advisers around the country, provide social, emotional and legal support to
members. One member admitted that his inability to spend time with his daughter, on top of losing his wife, and spending most of his time and money fighting a losing custody battle, has caused him to have suicidal thoughts,
which organizations like IFRAC have helped him keep at bay.

"The Internet, the information and chat rooms have served as a good support base for me and others," he said.

"Here in Israel, the 25 percent divorce rate went up to about 33%, and there are also many separations, and about one-fourth of all of these men have
problems with their wives," explains Schlosser. "Women prevent joint-custody, or even prevent men from seeing their children. Men have to pay child support even if the women are millionaires and the husbands
are unemployed."

One divorced father said he pays NIS 2,000 a month in child support of his NIS 7,000 salary, and that it is nothing compared to his friend who pays NIS
4,000 a month from his NIS 5,000-a-month salary.

"It's totally arbitrary," he says, "judges can figure a man should pay about NIS 2,000 a month per child, regardless of whether the child spends
half the time at the father's house, and regardless of whether the father is not left
with enough money to live."

IFRAC executive committee member Gary Pickholz invests a lot of his time raising funds overseas to provide financial assistance to fathers who spend all or most of their primary salaries on child support and can't afford
legal fees or even taking their children out to a movie.

IFRAC provides such fathers with basic spending money for visitations and to cover exorbitant lawyer fees in Supreme Court legal motions against
judges they say failed to apply the law, or in appeals cases against "false testimony of wives."

"It is almost impossible to afford lawyers' fees for appeals, so wives lie with zeal about the couple's income to secure higher judgments," charges Pickholz.

IT IS true that fathers are not normally granted shared custody in Israel, and it is the basic obligation of fathers to pay child support, admits Jerusalem family practice lawyer David Ernst.

"The system does not favor fathers and husbands," he says.

While the civil court does look at the parental qualifications of both mother and father, the rabbinic court can be stricter than the civil court on husbands, he says.

"I have a case where a man waited 20 years to get a get (bill of
divorce). The law in Israel is based on fault, or guilt. If you didn't do anything wrong then there is no divorce, the rabbinic court won't force it. In
this case, the wife said 'no' to the get, and after 20 years, he gave up his half of the house, his half of the car and paid her $100,000, and then she agreed
to accept the get. The husband has to get a heter (permission) - if 100 rabbis sign an agreement, then the husband can marry again."

In contrast, the problems of women in the courts, he says, are much more well-known.

What distinguishes Israeli marriage and divorce law from those in other western countries, says Ernst, is the relationship between civil law and Jewish law.

Prof. Dov Frimer, a rabbi and lawyer currently teaching family law at Hebrew University, concurs, explaining that Israel's relevant laws - the 1962
Tender Years Doctrine of the Capacity and Guardianship Act - are based on Halacha.

"Israeli law places emphasis on obligation, and that comes directly from Jewish law. Judaism is a duty - not rights - oriented system. This is opposed to American law, which is based on Roman law, which is rights-oriented. An Israeli father has visitation rights because he has
an obligation to care for and educate his children," says Frimer.

"But the fundamental doctrine in Jewish law is the 'best interest' of the child. This concept was introduced into Anglo-American law only in the 1800s. In Judaism, it goes back to Talmudic times, 1,000 years earlier."

In Jewish tradition, mothers are considered the best care-givers in most circumstances until age six (the basis for the Tender Years Doctrine).

After that age, girls are considered better off with their mothers and boys with their fathers. These concepts can, however, create a conflict between the best interest of the child and rigid gender presumptions.

The sages responded to this potential conflict, says Frimer, by ruling that the guiding principle is the best interest of the child, but if parents
are equally qualified, "then the Tender Years Doctrine principle or the gender presumption is the tie-breaker." In local civil cases involving Christian or
Muslim parents and children, the courts may also look to Christian or Muslim Sharia Law.

As a rule, though, if a mother and father are considered equally good parents, and the mother does not encourage joint custody, she will be awarded full custody, and the father will be awarded visitation rights.

Joint custody is not an Israeli legal concept, says Frimer, explaining that Israeli law distinguishes between "guardianship" and "custody." "All
the legal rights and obligations that parents have towards their children are within the concept of 'guardianship,' and that - by Jewish and Israeli secular law - is shared. When Israeli law talks about 'custody,' however, it
only means physical custody: where the child is going to be sleeping and eating on a day-to-day basis, etc. In terms of Israeli law, the only
issue is how much time each parent gets to spend with the child."

A lot of fathers do not understand this distinction, he says.

"The law will protect them if they exercise their legal rights. There is very little more the law can do because on a legal level, the father is a full partner in decisions that include education, health, welfare, where the
child lives, where the child goes to school, all major decisions have to be made equally. There is a practical problem if the child lives more with one parent than the other, but that is indigenous to divorce."

This concept of guardianship is radically different from that of the US. In the US, Frimer says, the original concept of joint custody was the maintenance of three households, one for mother, one for father, and one for
children, and the parents shuttled back and forth, not the child.

"Because the kids need stability, it was very successful, but very,
very expensive. Most people could not sustain three households, so instead of parents, the kids started shuttling back and forth," says Frimer. "Most
psychologists that I speak to say that is not so great for the kids, because they need a certain degree of stability, and that's also the opinion of the
Israeli judges."

But fathers are not quick to agree.

"We're not the men of long ago: I raised my son and when he was sick I stayed home with him," says Ziv, a divorced father.

"But now I'm always afraid they'll take away the limited time I have with him. It doesn't matter how good a father I am, the woman gets automatic
guardianship [unless she's violent, criminal, negligent, has a drug addiction, or is found physically or mentally unstable]. The law and the social workers still base their values on
old-time men. It's true some men don't pay child support and some men don't want to be guardians. But why not start the law from a 50-50 basis?"

Court-appointed social workers and psychologists help judges determine how fit fathers and mothers are. Courts usually take the findings and recommendations into consideration, but they are not obliged to do so under
the law, and may occasionally put them aside, says family practice
lawyer Louise Borochov.

A 1983 study by Hebrew University professor of social work Eliezer
Jaffe found that the Israeli social work world placed a lot of emphasis on women and mothers; and fathers were often overlooked. Today, it doesn't seem as if very much has changed, he says, after 40-plus years in the child welfare field.

"Social workers and psychologists need to know more about the problems of fathers and need to look at fathers as a subculture. Fathers are neglected and forgotten clients, but they are part of the family." Social workers in Israel, he adds, are overwhelmingly women treating women.

"It may be subconscious, but dads are very often left out of the
decision making and treatment plans."

IFRAC raised funds to pay a psychologist to help train municipal social workers assigned to divorce cases. The organization also recently paid
for the Ra'anana Municipality to hire a religious social worker, after discovering that all the Ra'anana social workers were secular while a large portion of the clients were religious and had specific concerns the
social work staff was not familiar with.

AT THE root of the legal issues facing judges, social workers and
psychologists are the fundamental questions: What is in the child's
best interest and is a mother, by definition, a better care-giver?

"Though the 1962 law... gives built-in preference to mothers for custody of children under age six, there is a slow tendency for that to be challenged.
Previously, it was challenged only if the mother was not a suitable parent, because of extreme circumstances - that she was a drug addict, a whore,
or not physically or mentally able, for example," says Borochov.

But in an August 2004 case in Kfar Saba, a judge took the
recommendations of a report and transferred custody from the mother to the father, because
the father was found to better meet the physical and emotional needs of the child. The mother was not involved in any outrageous behavior, except
that she did work almost all the time and the child spent most of its time with babysitters. The mother was also found to be a high-conflict person who
sometimes put the children in the middle of the battles with the
father.

This is not a binding precedent because it was not a Supreme Court ruling, but, says Borochov, it shows "slow recognition" of change.

In extreme cases, where children are being severely "poisoned" against the non-custodial parent to the point that they completely reject this parent, the court may even define the custodial parent as inflicting emotional abuse
on the child and reconsider custody (see box).

The same holds true in abduction cases. But across state and national boundaries, the tangle of laws becomes even more confusing, and lawyers'
fees even more expensive.

WITH THE help of disgruntled fathers' and men's advocacy groups, such issues
have been heard by legislators in recent years, in an effort to
knock-down the controversial Tender Years Doctrine.

In 2003, Justice Haim Porat of Tel Aviv's District Court, who has since retired, petitioned the Supreme Court to do away with the Tender Years Doctrine based on the argument of equality. Justice Dalia Dorner handed down
the decision rejecting the petition, arguing that psychological studies
were consistent with Israeli statutes, that the child until age six is presumed to be better off with the mother, except in extreme circumstances.

"Without shame, the court quotes psychological research that is 23-24 years old," charges Attorney Amir Shai, head of legal services for "Horut Sheva,"
an equal parenting advocacy association established in 2000. Though the organization is small, it is considered influential and meets regularly with Knesset members to lobby against the premise that a young child of
divorce needs its mother, and for the principle that a child of divorce needs both parents.

"Fathers should be allowed to participate in raising the kids through equal time, or at least 30-40%, including overnights from an early age," says Shai. "Children sleep at the homes of grandparents and in day care, and there is no psychological research that says kids have to be in the same bed
every night."

Such issues made their way to the Knesset on January 23, when the
Knesset rejected a first reading of a bill to delete the Tender Years Doctrine, with some 40 against and nearly 20 for, says Shai.

"This time, the government opposed on the grounds they need a committee to evaluate [the issue]," he says, explaining it is a move that is cause for
cautious optimism.

"There will be reforms, but the question is, how far will the reforms go and how long will it take?"

According to Shai and an official source, two new Knesset committees have already been approved in the wake of the January decision. Apparently,
one committee to review custodianship has already been formed but has yet
to meet, and another committee to review child support issues is in the process of being formed.

The Ministry of Justice did not reply to requests for confirmation.

MEANWHILE, AS legislators and advocates continue their debates, Ofer, unaffiliated with any group, is still trying to make sense of his rights and
recover from what he calls an endless series of injustices.

After his wife moved his son to a different kindergarten without
permission, and the court, as a result, gave him the power to decide where the child would go to school, he didn't move his son after all, in an effort to
avoid hurting him. But now when he comes to pick him up and asks the teachers questions, he says, "Many act like, 'that's the mother's business; not
yours,'" he says.

He also doesn't understand why it was so easy for his wife to accuse him of violence and why he was penalized before the investigation.

"Violence starts with something small, like a slap. I have never hit her back when she hit me and I consider slapping a form of physical and emotional abuse," he says. "Today I was in court and I told them the latest things she was up to; the judge said, 'ok, we'll schedule a hearing.'
But he was cavalier; if it was reversed, the whole police force would be after me."

The worst thing of all, says Ofer, is the constant fear of not being close to his son and wondering how it will affect the child.

Last Hanukka, his wife called suddenly and said his son was sick and couldn't spend the holiday with him. Ofer says this also happens periodically on visiting days.

Now, with Pessah and a visiting day fast approaching, he feels anxious about whether it will work out.

"When she calls and tells me he is sick, I never know if it's true. When I'm away from him, for even one week, I feel every minute of every 24 hours, but
she's the mother; she has the freedom to decide," he says.

"Divorce should be just between the parents, not between a parent and a child."

PARENTAL ALIENATION

It's not just considered a spat between ex-spouses. There is a name for the phenomenon in which a parent influences a child to hate, fear or reject the
other parent without grounds. When American psychiatrist Prof. Richard Gardner coined the term Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) almost two decades ago, it quickly caught on in legal and psychological circles.
PAS has even been cited in Israeli case law in recent years.
Gardner defined PAS as a childhood disorder that arises almost exclusively in the context of child custody disputes.

"PAS may not only produce lifelong alienation from a loving parent, but lifelong psychiatric disturbance in the child," he writes, adding that this
should be distinguished from true parental abuse or neglect, when the child's animosity is justified.

Gardner's work has been controversial in some circles, because he found that in the vast majority of cases, it was the mother who was doing the
"brainwashing" against the father. In 2001, he explained: "My own
observation since the early 1980s has been that in 85-90 percent of all the cases in which I have been involved, the mother has been [alienating the
child against the father]. I recently conducted an informal survey among approximately 50 mental health and legal professionals whom I knew were
aware of the PAS and deal with such families in their work. I asked: What is the ratio of mothers to fathers who are successful programmers of a
PAS? The responses indicated that mothers are the primary alienators in 60-90%
of the cases. Only one person claimed it was 50-50, and no one claimed it was 100%
mothers."

In Israel, behavior defined as PAS is frowned upon by the court.

"It stops the children from having two valued parents in their lives," says
adv. Louise Borochov. "There are extreme cases where as a result, a parent has lost custody. There was one very extreme case where a child suffered so badly [from PAS that] the court was afraid he would commit suicide...
in such cases you can't [immediately switch custody]."

In all custody battles, the custodial parent's ability to recognize the legitimate role of the other parent in the child's life is always a major factor.

"It's important for the parent to recognize the child should have an ongoing relationship with both parents to develop emotionally," she said.

The court also takes this into consideration when a parent abducts his or her child to another jurisdiction. Seventy percent of "kidnappers" are
mothers, charges Hebrew University professor, rabbi and advocate Dov Frimer.
One lawyer explained that abductions and parental alienation are committed
by both parents, but seem to be documented as being perpetrated more by mothers, since mothers are usually the primary guardians. #

 
At 3:37 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

>that I was the Jewish
>Whistleblower, or at a minimum
>that we are in some sort of
>cahoots.

No chance of that.

>Thank you for clearly putting
>that shtetl absurdity to rest
>with your last comment.

Done.

>This is not the forum to discuss
>aguna issues, fathers rights,
>divorce and halacha.

Actually it is.

>My understanding is that this
>forum was specifically
>established 130 postings ago to
>lynch my dear cousin without
>right of trial or identification
>of his accusers, as everyone in
>Monsey is named Mishapachat
>Anonymous.

RMT is the one lynching himself.

>For the record, not only do I
>not renounce PAS (Paternal
>Alienation Syndrome for the
>uninitiated), I believe in its
>pernicious presence in many
>cases. Luckily, so do the courts
>and all serious psychiatric
>publications in Israel and the
>USA today.

PAS is junk science "...it lacks a scientific basis, noting that the American Psychiatric Association and the American Medical Association have not recognized it as a syndrome."

 
At 3:37 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

NY Times - June 9, 2003

Richard Gardner, 72, Dies; Cast Doubt on Abuse Claims

By STUART LAVIETES

Dr. Richard A. Gardner, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who developed a theory about parental alienation syndrome, which he said could lead children in high-conflict custody cases to falsely accuse a parent of abuse, died on May 25 at his home in Tenafly, N.J. He was 72.

The cause was suicide, said Dr. Gardner's son, Andrew, who said his father had been distraught over the advancing symptoms of reflex sympathetic dystrophy, a painful neurological syndrome.

Dr. Gardner, who testified in more than 400 child custody cases, maintained that children who suffered from parental alienation syndrome had been indoctrinated by a vindictive parent and obsessively denigrated the other parent without cause.

In severe cases, he recommended that courts remove children from the homes of the alienating parents and place them in the custody of the parents accused of abuse.

His theory has provoked vehement opposition from some mental health professionals, child abuse experts and lawyers. Critics argue that it lacks a scientific basis, noting that the American Psychiatric Association and the American Medical Association have not recognized it as a syndrome.

They also say that the theory is biased against women, as allegations of abuse are usually directed at fathers, and that it is used as a weapon by lawyers seeking to undermine a mother's credibility in court.

Dr. Gardner, who was a professor of child psychiatry at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University from 1963 until his death, wrote extensively about divorce.

His "Boys and Girls Book About Divorce," published in 1970 when divorce was becoming much more common in America, offers children advice on coping with its stresses and tips on handling their parents. The book is now in its 28th printing.

In 1973, he created one of the first therapeutic board games, "The Talking, Feeling and Doing Game," for use in child psychotherapy.
In the 1980's, he became increasingly interested in cases of false accusation of sexual abuse, which he considered a product of a deepening national hysteria.

He wrote "The Parental Alienation Syndrome and the Differentiation Between Fabricated and Genuine Child Sex Abuse" in 1987 and "Sex-Abuse Hysteria: Salem Witch Trials Revisited" in 1991, each self-published.

He worked with the legal team that represented Kelly Michaels, a teacher at the Wee Care Day Nursery in Maplewood, N.J., who was convicted of child abuse in a highly publicized trial. Her conviction was overturned in 1993, after she had spent five years in prison.

Reporters sought Mr. Gardner's views on accusations of child sexual abuse in a custody dispute between Mia Farrow and Woody Allen in 1992. Supporting Mr. Allen, he told Newsweek that "screaming sex abuse is a very effective way to wreak vengeance on a hated spouse."

Richard Alan Gardner was born in the Bronx on April 28, 1931. A graduate of Columbia College and the Downstate Medical Center of the State University of New York, he served in the Army Medical Corps as the director of child psychiatry at an Army hospital in Germany.
His marriage to Lee Gardner ended in divorce. In addition to his son, of Cherry Hill, N.J., he is survived by two daughters, Nancy Gardner Rubin of Potomac, Md., and Julie Gardner Mandelcorn, of Newton, Mass.; his mother, Amelia Gardner of Manhattan; eight grandchildren; and his partner, Natalie Weiss.

 
At 3:42 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

Parental Alienation -- A Controversial Theory
Psychiatrist Richard A. Gardner's theory - used by parents in child custody battles - gained prominence. And critics.
By Jamie Talan - Staff Writer
July 1, 2003
http://www.newsday.com/ny-dicso070103.story

In life, Richard A. Gardner was known for single-handedly devising a psychiatric syndrome that became widely used in courtrooms by parents battling over child custody.

Gardner died in May, and only time can determine his legacy -- whether the label he created, parental alienation syndrome, can withstand critics now that he can no longer defend it.

Most mental health professionals have an opinion about Gardner's creation -- and it's not generally flattering.

"This is junk science," said Dr. Paul Fink, a professor of psychiatry at Temple University School of Medicine and a past president of the American Psychiatric Association in Arlington, Va. "He invented a concept and talked as if it were proven science. It's not."

Gardner developed the syndrome, known as PAS, almost 20 years ago, contending that a child has been alienated from one parent -- usually the father -- when the other parent makes charges of sexual, physical or emotional abuse. PAS appears to be used only in custody battles during divorces.

Gardner's online biography says he testified in about 400 cases in 25 states. Psychologists and psychiatrists who trained under him or embraced his theory also have offered testimony in such cases.

Most often, it is a father who hired Gardner or another psychiatrist in response to the mother's allegations that their child or children had been abused, Fink said. The psychiatrist then would label the mother a "parental alienator" and urge the court to prevent her from being with the children -- the ones diagnosed with PAS.

But most mental health professionals say the label doesn't meet the definition of a psychiatric illness.

It's not found in psychiatric textbooks on diagnoses. In the late 1980s, when psychiatrists were revising the profession's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Dr. Robert Spitzer, who was leading the effort and is a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in Manhattan, said Gardner, also affiliated with Columbia, asked whether PAS could be included.

"It would never be taken seriously in DSM," Spitzer said in an interview. "It isn't a mental disorder."

Dr. David Shaffer, chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at Columbia, said that the controversy triggered several in-house reviews of Gardner's ideas. (Gardner had a nonpaid clinical appointment on Columbia's voluntary faculty.)

Reviews found he "didn't do formal research."

Nevertheless, he defended Gardner's right to create a syndrome.

"Most of medicine is not based on formal research but clinical observation," he said. He saw Gardner as a "contrarian ... he liked getting a rise out of people."

Fink said the practical effect of introducing Gardner's theory in custody cases is that the issues of abuse are pushed aside.

Harvard's Dr. Eli Newberger, an assistant professor of pediatrics and an expert on child abuse, said he's been called on by state child protection agencies to evaluate ambiguous disclosures of abuse in divorce cases and believes that PAS deflects any real investigation into such allegations.

At the center of the storm, Newberger said, is Gardner and his theory.

"This is an atrocious theory with no science to back it up," he said. "This so-called diagnosis has been used to steer clear of the children's needs."

"There are lots of people who alienate their partners during a divorce," Fink said. "But it is not a syndrome, a disease or a disorder."

Joyanna Silberg, a Baltimore psychologist and strong opponent of the theory, said that Gardner used a questionnaire to determine whether a parent fit the profile of a sex offender -- then used the results to show that allegations of child abuse are lies.

But the questionnaire is "far from valid," said Massachusetts child sex abuse expert Robert Prentky of the nonprofit Justice Resource Institute in Bridgewater, Mass. Scales that Prentky has developed to diagnose sex offenders have been tested and accepted by the profession. "There is no science to back up Gardner's tests," he said.

Gardner, who was 72 at his death, trained in the heyday of psychoanalysis in New York, the late 1950s and early '60s. He then served a two-year stint in the Army as director of child psychiatry for a U.S. Army Hospital in Germany, and subsequently settled in Cresskill, N.J., where he began testifying in child custody cases, according to an entry on his Web site: "Qualifications for providing court testimony."

That he wrote a popular children's book on divorce in 1969, followed by a book for parents, helped bolster his role in custody cases.

According to Donna LaTourett, Gardner's editor at his own publishing company, Creative Therapeutics, by the 1980s he noticed that more children were having "strong objections over one parent for no good reasons." He coined the term PAS in 1985 and listed eight primary signs and symptoms.

In 1992, he self-published a book about the syndrome. Fathers' groups heralded his work. Women's organizations bashed it. After a period of observation, professional mental health organizations tried to discredit it.

Gardner had a growing group of followers and clients, mostly men. He promoted his theory around the world and built a practice as a court-appointed psychiatric evaluator and paid expert witness. Detractors say he also used his affiliation with Columbia to bolster his status.

There are no statistics on how many children have been characterized as having PAS.

"I do believe that there is a phenomenon of children who turn against the parent for no good reason," said Richard Warshak, a clinical professor of psychology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. "Children are influenced by their parents."

He is a proponent of Gardner's theory and says that his death won't stop the controversial diagnosis. He agreed that use of "syndrome" may "strengthen confidence in the expert's testimony and the validity of it" and said mental health professionals are trying to shorten the term to "parental alienation."

"Yes, he said things that were very provocative," said Warshak, author of "Divorce Poison: Protecting the Parent-Child Bond from a Vindictive Ex" (Regan Books). "Some of the stuff is outrageous, speculative and outright contrary to the evidence."

But the court's acceptance of the diagnosis without the psychiatric profession's endorsement is "dangerous," Newberger stressed.

During a hearing in Nassau County in 2000, Gardner was called to testify about PAS. According to the transcript of the hearing -- called to evaluate scientific evidence supporting the theory -- Gardner offered this definition of PAS: "The programming of the child by one parent into a campaign of denigration directed against the other."

"Courts cannot wait the 25 years or more that it would take to conduct such studies [to validate a syndrome]," Gardner told the court. "... Neither can people who have been accused of sex abuse wait for these results."

The court ruled that there was not convincing scientific evidence that PAS was a psychiatric syndrome.

But it has endured -- perhaps, said Silberg, the psychologist in Baltimore, because it is rare in family courts for lawyers or judges "to question the expert testimony of a psychiatrist with a long list of seemingly impressive credentials and dozens of professional-looking books and journal articles."

PAS "is a defense lawyer's dream," said Richard Ducote, a New Orleans, La., lawyer who has spent a decade fighting Gardner and his supporters in court.

Last year, Norma Perez of Elgin, Ill., was suing for divorce and testified that she worried that her husband's history of alcoholism might endanger the welfare of her daughter during visits. Her husband's attorneys began to talk about parental alienation syndrome and hired Gardner, who eventually testified that the mother was a parental alienator.

"He never interviewed me or my daughter," said Perez, 44, who lost custody of her daughter and was not permitted to see her for eight weeks after the judge's ruling. She now gets to see her daughter every other weekend. Her lawyers have appealed the decision.

But fathers' rights activists see Gardner's theory as a boon.

"Richard Gardner gave science to the anecdotes of alienation," said Warren Farrell, author of "Father and Child Reunion" and a board member of the National Congress for Fathers and Children. He says that PAS "is an attempt to distinguish between false accusations and real abuse."

Farrell added that parental alienation itself is "probably the most insidious form of child abuse" and charged that many women allege abuse during a custody battle to curtail visitation with the father.

But others say that in many of these cases there are confirmed reports to back up the allegations of abuse. However, so many women have lost custody battles when PAS is used that lawyers are beginning to advise them not to make allegations of abuse, Silberg said.

Gardner's son, Andrew, said that his father's death came when he was at the height of his career, when he "had to turn down case after case."

His father had undergone three foot surgeries, the last of which triggered a disorder called reflex sympathetic dystrophy, which caused sharp pain in his legs. He was taking pain medications, Andrew Gardner said.

On the last weekend in May, his pain out of control, Gardner took an overdose to end his life. He sent an e-mail to his office about the suicide.

But he awoke from the drug stupor and killed himself with a knife, said his son, who added that the suicide had no connection to his father's work.

But that work -- and that syndrome -- has left hundreds of women questioning its value.

"We are exhausted," said Lauren Smith, a 52-year-old who lost custody of her daughter in 1993. She told the court that her husband, Marshall Krause, a criminal attorney in Marin County in California, had a violent temper. He used PAS to gain custody of their daughter, Alanna, and Smith was denied visitation. In 1995, according to court records, a teacher reported to police that Krause physically abused Alanna at school. A court reversed custody upon evidence that Alanna's father had been physically violent.

Alanna, now a student at Northwestern University, has filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit alleging that she suffered years of abuse at the hands of her father.

Idelle Clarke knows firsthand how damaging an untested theory can be. "Our children are his legacy," said Clarke, a Californian whose ex-husband was twice identified and charged as a child abuser by Children and Family Services. But Clarke was characterized as an alienator and lost custody to the father.

"What's a child to think?" she asked. "I will not give up."

The PAS label "has lived a lot longer than the data that supports it," added Alan Scheflin, a professor at Santa Clara University Law School. "I expect people to come up with crack-pot theories. "But then I expect scientists to do their jobs."

 
At 4:19 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

Can someone post this full article?:

15/08/2003 Junk science has its way in court

By Tamara Traubmann

PAS - Parent Alienation Syndrome -promoted in the 1980s by American child psychiatrist Richard A. Gardner, has been rejected by the world scientific community. However, it is flourishing in the Israeli courts and helping the abusive parent - usually the father - to gain custody of the child

Junk science has its way in court PAS - Parent Alienation Syndrome - promoted in the 1980s by ... of the decision has been delayed. PAS was described in the mid-1980s by the American child ... in discussions of traumatic situations. PAS is not recognized in DSM-IV (the American Diagnostic and ... According to some estimates, rulings that use PAS and diagnoses that have become synonymous with it ...

 
At 5:11 PM, Blogger Truth said...

What were the names of the rabbis or "laymen" on the committee" that "judged" rabbi Tendler?..... Does anyone know?..... Additionally, since expelling Rabbi Tendler out of the the RCA at this present critical juncture in the present atmosphere of (Jewish)press animosity toward orthodox rabbis and the general atmosphere of abuse phobia vis a vis religious institutions would naturally be a tremendous blow for rabbi Tendlers reputation and an awesome embarrasment to him and his prominent family and considered a verification of the charges against him(even if they are not in actuality). By expelling him from the RCA the committee in the RCA essentially commited something like killing Rabbi Tendler not literally killing him but destroying his reputation and making him a target of attack and lawsuits and perhaps emboldened some of his so called enemies. "One who embarrasses his friend it is if he killed him"
Thats what the Talmud says as you know and the repurcussions of what the RCA are a lot more serious. If the RCA knows that he is guilty perhaps they would be compelled to do that to him. However, I am not convinced that they are convinced that he is guilty and even if they are who is the bet din? The Jewish paper said a company specializing in abuse investigated. It also said some accusers were interviewed on the phone. One of the accusers was not religious Halachikly who said she is to be believed. Is this committee a "Bet Din" of conscientious ethical rabbis and knowledgable rabbis?
It is very unclear what is going on here and very strange. Who are the people on the committee and what is a committee. We have something called a Bet Din in the Jewish religion? As far as R Tendler is concerned I don't know if he is innocent or not but to ruin someone based on a committee who heard of anything like this?

 
At 5:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is inappropriate conduct for an Orthodox Rabbi? To the many foes of RT, it means active sexual contact with women. But were we to take a dozen steps back, and consider Yichud, would not the RCA's statement fit the same bill? I can vouch, not through hearsay, not second hand, that RT has engaged in 1 on 1 counseling with doors closed. Is this proper conduct for an Orthodox Rabbi? No, and to anyone who listenbed closely last week, and actually attended the meeting, you would have been astonsined to hear, as did I, RT deny that any 1 on 1 closed door counseling ever took place. That was plain wrong; I know, I have been tne other "1".

 
At 6:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is very unclear what is going on here and very strange. Who are the people on the committee and what is a committee. We have something called a Bet Din in the Jewish religion?

you asked my favorite question. i will tell u who the rca is. they are a group of laymen that have some low level semicha and take pride in placing the word "rabbi" before their names. the leadership is people like a guy named herring who is as much of a torah scholar as the fish he reminds us of. some members of the rca are actually somewhat knowledgable but they were not involved in the decission and to put things in perspective are far from being the gedolei hador. if you wonder why the rca claims to have 1000 members it is bec. every john doe who goes through the yu system puts the word rabbi before their name, feels important and joins this poor excuse for a rabbinic organization. it is no way reflective of power or influence in the true torah world. by the way, i know that rav tendler is a great man who would never dream of anything that he was accused of.

 
At 6:49 PM, Anonymous wind twister said...

"The time delay between their civil divorce and Get was LESS THAN FIVE WEEKS-- and anyone who eats shabbat meals at his very gracious table reads this and laughs at the deplorable status of our religion today."

When was the civil divorce in the United States? Just so everyone understands, in Israel, the get and the israeli civil divorce are linked to one another. you can't have the israeli civil divorce without a "get". But in the United States, where the pikholz's were living, one is able to file for a civil divorce without having to give a get. If one files for divorce in an American court, and then refuses to give his wife a get, the wife is an aguna. So, when was the civil divorce in the States filed? was it 5 weeks before the civil/get procedure in israel? or was it five years? if it was 5 years, didn't that make the wife an aguna until she fled to israel? could that possibly have happened? maybe? perhaps? does anyone know?

 
At 7:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is inappropriate conduct for an Orthodox Rabbi? To the many foes of RT, it means active sexual contact with women. But were we to take a dozen steps back, and consider Yichud, would not the RCA's statement fit the same bill? I can vouch, not through hearsay, not second hand, that RT has engaged in 1 on 1 counseling with doors closed. Is this proper conduct for an Orthodox Rabbi? No, and to anyone who listenbed closely last week, and actually attended the meeting, you would have been astonsined to hear, as did I, RT deny that any 1 on 1 closed door counseling ever took place. That was plain wrong; I know, I have been tne other "1".

so let me get this straight - you are saying that you went behind closed doors with rav mordechai and that is inappropriate. psst... why did you go? mabye you are actually telling the truth (even though i am not certain). maybe you did go behind closed doors. but maybe, just maybe, you are a married woman and your husband was in nh at the time, which would make it halchically permissible. true, you may ask that sometimes it would still be inappropriate even though it is permitted. my guess is that one good look in the mirror will answer that question for you.

 
At 8:27 PM, Anonymous Gadi Tendler Pickholz, Beer Sheva Israel said...

Anonymous just filed four individual comments, completely contradicting herself one from the next. I certainly wish she would stay off list until she can determine her point of view :-)

Her one valid point, however, was accepting the core concept of my Dvar Torah about the Rabbis of Power who are the very essence of the Eruv Rav. Whatever occurred with Mordechai, he has been railroaded by his colleagues and specifically denied the basic forum of investigation and review as defined by halacha -- all for the expediency of maintaining the wealth and power base of the RCA Rabbinic leadership. The Rabbanut here is no bed of roses, admittedly, but at least they are part of the Ministry of Justice and the rules of civil procedure need be obeyed. Another important difference between Israel and Galut, apparently.

In terms of tne inquiry regarding my own personal divorce, we filed for civil divorce by joint and mutual consent in the US; on no occassion did I delay the process by one day (I actually entered 3 petitions to speed up the process of required legal separation, at one point asking for a one-sided ruling of final judgment and being denied at objection of my ex-wife's counsel, making me technically an "agun"), filed with my local bet din as instructed, and delivered the Get as scheduled and requested.

It was only after the fact that I discovered the magnitude of the false claim of aguna that had been going on, and the sheer wealth of funds that had been raised from gullible individuals and Rabbis. Orthodox Divorce in America had become a Big Bucks Business, Baby. In criticism of those individuals and Rabbis involved, not one ever contacted me or my attorney to ask what was going on --every one of them immediately assumed the worst as fact, and absolutely no one questioned a woman pleading to be an aguna --even to review public court records available online that would have instantly ended the matter. One particularly famous RCA Rabbi, whom to this day I have never met or spoken to in my life, residing on the other side of the country in a state I never resided in my life, issued an order essentially putting me in cherem. Luckily, I never discovered the siruv or heard about it until over a year after the Get had been completed, but it had been faxed around the country. As a result, there remain at least 2 RCA synagogues that request I do not daven there "for having taken too long in giving a Get" (an undefined generalization), even though acknowledging the Get was given years ago. When confronted by senior RCA Rabbis, both pulpit rabbis (small "r" intentional)
that "irrespective of facts, I had already been tried and lynched by the women of their community, and they could not permit in the interests of sholom bayit within their kahal permitting me to enter and pray. If the information was wrong, that is tragic, but they had a greater responsiblity in maintaining the tapestry of their kehilot". So much for the Eruv Rav of the RCA.
Even when I protested afterwards, the American Rabbinic response at the time was that the Get was properly conducted from the outset, and there is no other legal recourse for a Bet Din to pursue. American Rabbis in particular care only about the Get. They are loath to extend their domain once it is issued for fear of issuing rulings that will be ignored, diminishing their perceived authority within their communities, since they have no legal authority to fall back upon --simply the moral authority of those in their communities willing to go to them as arbitrators. Whatever damage to reputation, family or children occur, there simply exists no procedural recourse for false accusations of agnua in the US as exists in the Israeli Rabbanut Bet Din court process.

This is precisely what Rav ben Dahan in the Bet Din Rabbani is now cracking down upon here in Israel, and what IFRAC will hopefully begin to crack down upon in the USA as well this coming year.

End the Madness, to steal an excellent catch phrase from another worthy cause. You are destroying your own communities by tolerating this outrage, and you are undermining the effort at assisting legitimate cases of aguna by creating so many false claims that no one can rightfully determine when to act and when to stay silent.

Much as Mordechai's case represents a point of seminal soul searching for groups such as JOFA, we at IFRAC certainly hope they employ this enforced "cheshbon hanefesh" to weed out the True Aguna Crisis of rapidly rising false claims of aguna for profit and control of custody. That is why the proposed RCA pre-nuptual agreement espoused by JOFA was unceremoniously killed by the courageous act of Rav Elyashiv here in Israel a few weeks ago --a point they forgot to mention in 2 full pages of text in their Purim advertisement. JOFA and the RCA have not secured copyright to "concern for agunot", and pointing out the disastrous consequences of their proposed text as applied in the real world of 70% false claims of aguna does not make anyone anti-aguna. It makes one responsible for due process and the civil rights of fathers who risk being falsely
accused and lynched in droves were the text as presently drafted employed.

No example better personifies that risk than Mordechai's experience, and the 130+ disgracefully "anonymous" postings on this site. 21st Century American Orthodoxy has completely failed in its most basic halachic responsibilities of civic process, both to mordechai and these poor women. The last thing the community needs is the time bomb of a text such as the dreadfully drafted RCA prenuptual agreement. It will be signed by every well meaning Dati young groom without the slightest concept of its potential implications to his rights and reputation down the line as the modern orthodox divorce rate rapidly catches up to the American average.

Nothing would please all of us more than seeing groups like IFRAC and JOFA work in unison in assisting in legitimate cases of aguna, with a responsible diaspora Rabbinate willing to undertake a tenth of the responsiblity for the unpalatable truth that Rav ben Dahan has courageously embraced.

Israel Fathers Rights Advocacy Council/HaNegev, 4 Tel Aviv

IsraelFRAC@gmail.com

 
At 8:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is everyone making a big deal of nothing.So far,all we know is rumors,Lashon Haroh,a little motzei Shem Rah and nothing else. Just let go of all your hatred and get back to life. at the end,it is you people who kill yourself of making up stories that will suffer the most.

 
At 12:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=329742&sw=Gardner

Sunday, August 17, 2003 Av 19, 5763 Israel Time: 06:22 (GMT+3)
Junk science has its way in court
By Tamara Traubmann

PAS - Parent Alienation Syndrome - promoted in the 1980s by American child psychiatrist Richard A. Gardner, has been rejected by the world scientific community. However, it is flourishing in the Israeli courts and helping the abusive parent - usually the father - to gain custody of the child

For years, she relates, her husband beat her. At one stage, signs began to appear that aroused her suspicion that her husband was abusing their two sons: M., who is now 11, and T., who is now 9. In 1997 she decided to get a divorce. However, when the divorce came through and she wanted to continue to raise her children, she found out that the welfare workers and the court had decided that the children were suffering from the disorder called Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS). It was
determined that it had been their mother who had caused their hostility towards their father.

The claims that the father had sexually abused the children were perceived as one of the symptoms of the syndrome. In June 2002, the Supreme Court ruled that it was necessary to detach the children from their mother who, according to the evidence submitted to the court, had raised them in an exemplary way. It was decided to transfer them to an emergency center for children at risk, as a way station en route to their father's complete custody over them, but since then the implementation of the decision has
been delayed.

PAS was described in the mid-1980s by the American child psychiatrist Prof. Richard A. Gardner. The syndrome, according to Gardner, is a state in which a child alienates himself from one of his parents as a result of a smear campaign conducted against him/her by the other parent, by inventing false stories and
brainwashing the child. Gardner proposed the theory to describe cases in
which, in his opinion, children made up a story that they had fallen victim
to sexual exploitation and wanted to cut off the tie with the exploiting
parent. The use of the "parental alienation" approach is manifested mostly
in divorce disputes in which both sides want custody of the child.

Gardner and his supporters note that every parent is liable to alienate his
children against the other parent, but in reality it is claimed in the vast
majority of cases that the alienating parent is the mother. According to
Prof. Smadar Lavie, an anthropologist and a member of the management of the
organization Sistah - for Women in Israel, during the past 20 years the
parental alienation approach has
served the courts for forcing visitation rights for the father, for cutting
children off from their mothers and for granting custody rights to the
father. All this, despite the testimony of mothers and children who dared to
break the conspiracy of silence that surrounds violence or sexual abuse in
the family. Fathers and their lawyers often cite the parental alienation in
divorce cases. According to Lavie, studies have shown that the reason for
the popularity of the theory is economic: "The use of it saves the father
child-support payments to the mother."

"The parental alienation approach has been rejected by the scientific
community," says Dr. Shabtai Noy, a senior psychologist and one of the
pioneers of trauma research in Israel, who is frequently invited to testify
as an expert witness in divorce cases and to participate in discussions of
traumatic situations. PAS is not recognized in DSM-IV (the American
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), which includes all
the recognized psychiatric definitions and serves as the "Bible" of American
psychiatrists. It does not appear in the European manual either.

Gardner did not back up his theory with empirical data. He "has not
conducted any clinical, epidemiological or laboratory research, or even
research based on a selected number of case studies," writes Dr. Leora
Rosen, an anthropologist, expert on public health and children's rights
activist, and
Michelle Etlin, an activist and advocate for mothers and children in their
book "The Hostage Child: Sex Abuse Allegation in Custody Disputes." On the
witness stand, Gardner admitted that only 2 percent of his time is devoted
to his clinic. He devoted the rest of his time to testifying in courts.

"This is junk science," Paul Fink, a professor of psychiatry at Temple
University and past president of the American Psychiatric Association, once
said. "Dr. Gardner should be a rather pathetic footnote or an example of
poor scientific standards."

Prof. Lavie, who a decade ago was herself affected during the course of her
divorce in the United States by the parental alienation approach, wrote in
an article published on the Psakdin Internet site, a site for legal matters,
that "more and more American family court judges are currently not allowing
Gardner-type arguments into the courts. Some of them have even lost their
appointments because
of him." Last year the British court system forbade the holding of an
official convention of fathers "for equal parenting" on the issue of
parental alienation. Gardner has been banned from speaking in any official
legal framework in Britain.

However, while the popularity of the parental alienation approach is
gradually dwindling in American courts and other countries are also
retreating from the use of this definition, in Israel this definition is
penetrating more and more custody cases. "Ever since the definition came
into this country, the use of it has been constantly growing," says Tamir
Koch, an attorney who deals with family cases and who
represented the children T. and M. and their mother in the case at the
Supreme Court.
According to some estimates, rulings that use PAS and diagnoses that have
become synonymous
with it like "relationship refusal" (on the part of the child) and
"rebellious child" are handed down in family courts every week.

"The absence of a careful and scrupulous scientific analysis has allowed
pseudo-science to influence custody cases in ways that have probably harmed
children," said Prof. Carol S. Bruch, a professor of law and a prominent
expert on family law and marital property in a telephone interview from her
office at the
University of California, Davis. Previous doctrines that had been formulated
to explain accusations of sexual exploitation during divorce proceedings had
already blamed both parents of poor communication. Gardner went one step
further and placed all the blame on the mother. In an article published last
year in the journal Child and Family Law Quarterly, Prof. Bruch wrote that
PAS "shifts attention away from the perhaps dangerous behavior of the parent
seeking custody to that of the custodial parent. This person, who may be
attempting to protect the child, is instead presumed to be lying and
poisoning the child."

How is it possible that a clinical diagnosis that has not been recognized by
any psychiatric or psychological body of stature has been adopted by the
family court in Israel, and serves for taking children out of their mother's
custody? The retired deputy president of the Tel Aviv District Court, Haim
Porat, who introduced the theory into the legal system in Israel, does not
sound bothered.

"I don't know whether it is controversial," he said last week. "There is
some kind of debate, but I don't know enough details to express an opinion."

Did Porat know that Gardner had not conducted any clinical or
epidemiological study on which
to base his theory?

"I am neither for nor against Gardner," says Porat. "There are those who
blacken his reputation without knowing him, but only from reading and only
because they themselves have been affected. The phenomenon of children who
are unwilling to meet one of their parents existed way before Gardner.
Sometimes practice is much stronger than science."

Several years ago three adolescent boys applied to the family court in
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and asked that he not be required to meet with
their father because of his violent behavior towards them. The British
newspaper The Independent reported recently that based on Gardner's
testimony the court did not believe the boys and ruled that they had to
continue the meetings with their father. If they did not do so, the court
ruled, the mother would be arrested for contempt of court. Shortly
afterward, 16-year-old Nathan Grieco, the eldest of the brothers, hanged
himself in his bedroom, leaving behind a diary in which he wrote that life
had become an "endless torment."

In another trial in which Gardner was invited to appear, a difficult case
was deliberated. A Maryland physicist who had been declared an alienating
mother was murdered by her husband. In the husband's defense, Gardner
testified that the mother's lies had caused the husband to become
temporarily insane.

"At the present time," wrote Gardner, "the sexually abused child is
generally considered to be the victim," but the child himself may initiate
sexual encounters by "seducing" the adult. Pedophilia is not necessarily
bad, according to Gardner; the child's trauma does not develop because of
sexual abuse, according to him, but because of the social and cultural
attitude towards such encounters. According to
Gardner, "There is a whole continuum that must be considered here, from
those children who were coerced and gained no pleasure (and might even be
considered to have been raped) to those who enjoyed immensely (with
orgiastic responses) the sexual activities."

In Gardner's view, the pedophile should be treated in the following way:
"[H]e has to be helped to appreciate that pedophilia has been considered the
norm by the vast majority of individuals in the history of the world ...
[E]ven today, it is a widespread and accepted practice among literally
billions of people. He has to appreciate that in Western society especially,
we take a very punitive and moralistic attitude toward such inclinations ...
He has a certain amount of bad luck with regard to the time and place he was
born with regard to social attitudes toward pedophilia. However, these are
not reasons to condemn him."

Suits amounting to millions of dollars began to pile up in the United States
against Gardner, who committed suicide this year, filed by children who have
become adults and feel that they were damaged by opinions that he and his
supporters gave in courts. In Israel, opposition to parental alienation is
beginning to crystallize, and this week the organization SHIN - Equal
Representation for Women will meet with other women's organizations to set
up a coalition that will examine what action to take to root out this
approach from the Israeli court system.

Gardner held the title "Professor," and was associated with the prestigious
Columbia University. The title, say Bruch and Lavie, gave him the aura of an
"expert," but Gardner was only a "clinical professor," a title that in the
United States is given not on the basis of academic and research excellence,
but rather
for volunteering to teach courses in a medical school. In the United States
the association with an institution of this sort gives the clinical
professor an opportunity to expand his practice and charge higher fees.
Gardner published his ideas through a private publishing firm that he owned
and not in journals or thrugh university presses, which accept publications
according to the academic standard of peer review.

In Israel, Gardner's approach is supported by psychologists like Dr. Ze'ev
Bergman of the Family Therapy Institute in Jerusalem, and Prof. Eliezer
Witztum of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. In 1995, the two published an
article in the journal Sihot (Conversations), of which Witztum is editor in
chief. Judges
often cite this article in rulings connected to PAS. In the summation of
their article, the authors acknowledge that "the development of this issue
needs empirical research that has not yet been done."

But this fact, says Lavie, does not prevent the courts from basing
themselves on what is stated in this article devoid of any extensive
clinical infrastructure as authority for PAS, even though the social and
mental health sciences unanimously reject the existence of the syndrome.

Dr. Daniel Gottlieb, a psychologist and deputy director of the Shinui
Institute in Herzliya, frequently testifies against women he has defined as
"alienating mothers." "First of all I examine the claims that belong to the
child's conceptual world," he explains. "For example, a 4-year-old who says:
`I hate being with Daddy because he doesn't pay Mommy.'"

Is a situation in which a child asks his mother to buy him a new computer
game and she replies that she can't afford it because the father has not
paid child support indicative of alienation of the child?

"Clearly someone has already put ideas into his head," says Dr. Gottlieb.
According to him, when accusations of sexual exploitation arise, "Sometimes
by the time the child gets to the psychologist he has already spoken about
this so often with his mother and his aunt that it is hard to know what is
true and what they've planted in him."

Here, a paradox emerges, as society encourages children to complain if
someone abuses them physically or sexually. "In cases when you know that the
child has spoken it is harder to determine whether it happened or not," adds
Dr. Gottlieb. When a boy or a girl complains about abuse years after it
happened, this arouses suspicion. "If it really happened, why are they
speaking about it only now?" he asks.

Dr. Matti Wechsler, a member of the Equal Parenting Association, also
supports Gardner and his theory. "The syndrome affects mainly women and
children," she says. "In research studies done in Israel with the support of
the Ministry of Labor and Welfare, about 15 percent of divorce cases end in
a situation of alienation of the children from one of the parents. A clear
distinction must be made
between abusive parents and parents whose children were incited, but without
abuse," she says. "Equal Parenting does not deal with the academic validity
of the theory (which almost certainly will be proven in the future), but
rather deals with the truly awful phenomenon that is spreading like wildfire
among divorcing couples."

According to lawyer Tamir Koch, the main victims of the use of the
definition coined by Gardner are "women and poor families with very limited
means who have had to stop at the lower courts."

B. is the mother of a daughter and a son. One day, she relates, when she
came home from work at an unexpected time, she found her son standing naked
in the shower and his father beating him with the showerhead. To this day
her children find it difficult to talk about what happened to them, but from
the little they have told her a story of physical-sexual and emotional abuse
emerged. B. decided to get
divorced. Despite her pleas, her children refused to go to meetings with
their father, and then it turned out that the welfare worker had determined
that she was an "alienating mother." B., who works in the welfare system,
knows the system well. She is aware of her rights and the fact that she is
an English-speaker at the native speaker level enabled her to research the
scientific basis for Gardner's theory and construct a defense. "This is the
only reason the court did not declare me an `alienating parent' and did not
take the children out of the house."

In most cases of divorce, says Lavie, there is a big gap between the
mother's economic ability and father's ability to "buy justice" by hiring
lawyers and experts. According to Lavie, "The welfare services in Israel
have a tradition of removing children from weak populations from their
homes. The employees of the welfare system are quick to put minors whose
mothers are divorced and of limited means into the
legal category of `needy minor,' in order to continue to maintain the
infrastructure of institutions for children in emergency situations. The
family court in Israel is likely to declare a child who finally dares to
refuse to see the parent who has abused him "as suffering from `parental
alienation'." Such a
child is defined as a "needy minor," under the Youth Law: Treatment and
Supervision, and as
such he has to be taken from his mother's custody.

The use of the parental alienation approach must be examined in its context.
According to Dr.
Rosen and Michelle Etlin, society and the courts are still finding it
difficult to deal with the fact that sexually abusive men are mostly not
reprobates who ambush children in the schoolyard, but are likely to be
fathers with a respectable appearance, educators and counselors or clergy,
the pillars of society.
Moreover, a mother who appears before a court in Israel is a priori in an inferior position to her husband.

 
At 12:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=329742&sw=Gardner

Sunday, August 17, 2003 Av 19, 5763 Israel Time: 06:22 (GMT+3)
Junk science has its way in court
By Tamara Traubmann

PAS - Parent Alienation Syndrome - promoted in the 1980s by American child psychiatrist Richard A. Gardner, has been rejected by the world scientific community. However, it is flourishing in the Israeli courts and helping the abusive parent - usually the father - to gain custody of the child

For years, she relates, her husband beat her. At one stage, signs began to appear that aroused her suspicion that her husband was abusing their two sons: M., who is now 11, and T., who is now 9. In 1997 she decided to get a divorce. However, when the divorce came through and she wanted to continue to raise her children, she found out that the welfare workers and the court had decided that the children were suffering from the disorder called Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS). It was
determined that it had been their mother who had caused their hostility towards their father.

The claims that the father had sexually abused the children were perceived as one of the symptoms of the syndrome. In June 2002, the Supreme Court ruled that it was necessary to detach the children from their mother who, according to the evidence submitted to the court, had raised them in an exemplary way. It was decided to transfer them to an emergency center for children at risk, as a way station en route to their father's complete custody over them, but since then the implementation of the decision has
been delayed.

PAS was described in the mid-1980s by the American child psychiatrist Prof. Richard A. Gardner. The syndrome, according to Gardner, is a state in which a child alienates himself from one of his parents as a result of a smear campaign conducted against him/her by the other parent, by inventing false stories and
brainwashing the child. Gardner proposed the theory to describe cases in
which, in his opinion, children made up a story that they had fallen victim
to sexual exploitation and wanted to cut off the tie with the exploiting
parent. The use of the "parental alienation" approach is manifested mostly
in divorce disputes in which both sides want custody of the child.

Gardner and his supporters note that every parent is liable to alienate his
children against the other parent, but in reality it is claimed in the vast
majority of cases that the alienating parent is the mother. According to
Prof. Smadar Lavie, an anthropologist and a member of the management of the
organization Sistah - for Women in Israel, during the past 20 years the
parental alienation approach has
served the courts for forcing visitation rights for the father, for cutting
children off from their mothers and for granting custody rights to the
father. All this, despite the testimony of mothers and children who dared to
break the conspiracy of silence that surrounds violence or sexual abuse in
the family. Fathers and their lawyers often cite the parental alienation in
divorce cases. According to Lavie, studies have shown that the reason for
the popularity of the theory is economic: "The use of it saves the father
child-support payments to the mother."

"The parental alienation approach has been rejected by the scientific
community," says Dr. Shabtai Noy, a senior psychologist and one of the
pioneers of trauma research in Israel, who is frequently invited to testify
as an expert witness in divorce cases and to participate in discussions of
traumatic situations. PAS is not recognized in DSM-IV (the American
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), which includes all
the recognized psychiatric definitions and serves as the "Bible" of American
psychiatrists. It does not appear in the European manual either.

Gardner did not back up his theory with empirical data. He "has not
conducted any clinical, epidemiological or laboratory research, or even
research based on a selected number of case studies," writes Dr. Leora
Rosen, an anthropologist, expert on public health and children's rights
activist, and
Michelle Etlin, an activist and advocate for mothers and children in their
book "The Hostage Child: Sex Abuse Allegation in Custody Disputes." On the
witness stand, Gardner admitted that only 2 percent of his time is devoted
to his clinic. He devoted the rest of his time to testifying in courts.

"This is junk science," Paul Fink, a professor of psychiatry at Temple
University and past president of the American Psychiatric Association, once
said. "Dr. Gardner should be a rather pathetic footnote or an example of
poor scientific standards."

Prof. Lavie, who a decade ago was herself affected during the course of her
divorce in the United States by the parental alienation approach, wrote in
an article published on the Psakdin Internet site, a site for legal matters,
that "more and more American family court judges are currently not allowing
Gardner-type arguments into the courts. Some of them have even lost their
appointments because
of him." Last year the British court system forbade the holding of an
official convention of fathers "for equal parenting" on the issue of
parental alienation. Gardner has been banned from speaking in any official
legal framework in Britain.

However, while the popularity of the parental alienation approach is
gradually dwindling in American courts and other countries are also
retreating from the use of this definition, in Israel this definition is
penetrating more and more custody cases. "Ever since the definition came
into this country, the use of it has been constantly growing," says Tamir
Koch, an attorney who deals with family cases and who
represented the children T. and M. and their mother in the case at the
Supreme Court.
According to some estimates, rulings that use PAS and diagnoses that have
become synonymous
with it like "relationship refusal" (on the part of the child) and
"rebellious child" are handed down in family courts every week.

"The absence of a careful and scrupulous scientific analysis has allowed
pseudo-science to influence custody cases in ways that have probably harmed
children," said Prof. Carol S. Bruch, a professor of law and a prominent
expert on family law and marital property in a telephone interview from her
office at the
University of California, Davis. Previous doctrines that had been formulated
to explain accusations of sexual exploitation during divorce proceedings had
already blamed both parents of poor communication. Gardner went one step
further and placed all the blame on the mother. In an article published last
year in the journal Child and Family Law Quarterly, Prof. Bruch wrote that
PAS "shifts attention away from the perhaps dangerous behavior of the parent
seeking custody to that of the custodial parent. This person, who may be
attempting to protect the child, is instead presumed to be lying and
poisoning the child."

How is it possible that a clinical diagnosis that has not been recognized by
any psychiatric or psychological body of stature has been adopted by the
family court in Israel, and serves for taking children out of their mother's
custody? The retired deputy president of the Tel Aviv District Court, Haim
Porat, who introduced the theory into the legal system in Israel, does not
sound bothered.

"I don't know whether it is controversial," he said last week. "There is
some kind of debate, but I don't know enough details to express an opinion."

Did Porat know that Gardner had not conducted any clinical or
epidemiological study on which
to base his theory?

"I am neither for nor against Gardner," says Porat. "There are those who
blacken his reputation without knowing him, but only from reading and only
because they themselves have been affected. The phenomenon of children who
are unwilling to meet one of their parents existed way before Gardner.
Sometimes practice is much stronger than science."

Several years ago three adolescent boys applied to the family court in
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and asked that he not be required to meet with
their father because of his violent behavior towards them. The British
newspaper The Independent reported recently that based on Gardner's
testimony the court did not believe the boys and ruled that they had to
continue the meetings with their father. If they did not do so, the court
ruled, the mother would be arrested for contempt of court. Shortly
afterward, 16-year-old Nathan Grieco, the eldest of the brothers, hanged
himself in his bedroom, leaving behind a diary in which he wrote that life
had become an "endless torment."

In another trial in which Gardner was invited to appear, a difficult case
was deliberated. A Maryland physicist who had been declared an alienating
mother was murdered by her husband. In the husband's defense, Gardner
testified that the mother's lies had caused the husband to become
temporarily insane.

"At the present time," wrote Gardner, "the sexually abused child is
generally considered to be the victim," but the child himself may initiate
sexual encounters by "seducing" the adult. Pedophilia is not necessarily
bad, according to Gardner; the child's trauma does not develop because of
sexual abuse, according to him, but because of the social and cultural
attitude towards such encounters. According to
Gardner, "There is a whole continuum that must be considered here, from
those children who were coerced and gained no pleasure (and might even be
considered to have been raped) to those who enjoyed immensely (with
orgiastic responses) the sexual activities."

In Gardner's view, the pedophile should be treated in the following way:
"[H]e has to be helped to appreciate that pedophilia has been considered the
norm by the vast majority of individuals in the history of the world ...
[E]ven today, it is a widespread and accepted practice among literally
billions of people. He has to appreciate that in Western society especially,
we take a very punitive and moralistic attitude toward such inclinations ...
He has a certain amount of bad luck with regard to the time and place he was
born with regard to social attitudes toward pedophilia. However, these are
not reasons to condemn him."

Suits amounting to millions of dollars began to pile up in the United States
against Gardner, who committed suicide this year, filed by children who have
become adults and feel that they were damaged by opinions that he and his
supporters gave in courts. In Israel, opposition to parental alienation is
beginning to crystallize, and this week the organization SHIN - Equal
Representation for Women will meet with other women's organizations to set
up a coalition that will examine what action to take to root out this
approach from the Israeli court system.

Gardner held the title "Professor," and was associated with the prestigious
Columbia University. The title, say Bruch and Lavie, gave him the aura of an
"expert," but Gardner was only a "clinical professor," a title that in the
United States is given not on the basis of academic and research excellence,
but rather
for volunteering to teach courses in a medical school. In the United States
the association with an institution of this sort gives the clinical
professor an opportunity to expand his practice and charge higher fees.
Gardner published his ideas through a private publishing firm that he owned
and not in journals or thrugh university presses, which accept publications
according to the academic standard of peer review.

In Israel, Gardner's approach is supported by psychologists like Dr. Ze'ev
Bergman of the Family Therapy Institute in Jerusalem, and Prof. Eliezer
Witztum of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. In 1995, the two published an
article in the journal Sihot (Conversations), of which Witztum is editor in
chief. Judges
often cite this article in rulings connected to PAS. In the summation of
their article, the authors acknowledge that "the development of this issue
needs empirical research that has not yet been done."

But this fact, says Lavie, does not prevent the courts from basing
themselves on what is stated in this article devoid of any extensive
clinical infrastructure as authority for PAS, even though the social and
mental health sciences unanimously reject the existence of the syndrome.

Dr. Daniel Gottlieb, a psychologist and deputy director of the Shinui
Institute in Herzliya, frequently testifies against women he has defined as
"alienating mothers." "First of all I examine the claims that belong to the
child's conceptual world," he explains. "For example, a 4-year-old who says:
`I hate being with Daddy because he doesn't pay Mommy.'"

Is a situation in which a child asks his mother to buy him a new computer
game and she replies that she can't afford it because the father has not
paid child support indicative of alienation of the child?

"Clearly someone has already put ideas into his head," says Dr. Gottlieb.
According to him, when accusations of sexual exploitation arise, "Sometimes
by the time the child gets to the psychologist he has already spoken about
this so often with his mother and his aunt that it is hard to know what is
true and what they've planted in him."

Here, a paradox emerges, as society encourages children to complain if
someone abuses them physically or sexually. "In cases when you know that the
child has spoken it is harder to determine whether it happened or not," adds
Dr. Gottlieb. When a boy or a girl complains about abuse years after it
happened, this arouses suspicion. "If it really happened, why are they
speaking about it only now?" he asks.

Dr. Matti Wechsler, a member of the Equal Parenting Association, also
supports Gardner and his theory. "The syndrome affects mainly women and
children," she says. "In research studies done in Israel with the support of
the Ministry of Labor and Welfare, about 15 percent of divorce cases end in
a situation of alienation of the children from one of the parents. A clear
distinction must be made
between abusive parents and parents whose children were incited, but without
abuse," she says. "Equal Parenting does not deal with the academic validity
of the theory (which almost certainly will be proven in the future), but
rather deals with the truly awful phenomenon that is spreading like wildfire
among divorcing couples."

According to lawyer Tamir Koch, the main victims of the use of the
definition coined by Gardner are "women and poor families with very limited
means who have had to stop at the lower courts."

B. is the mother of a daughter and a son. One day, she relates, when she
came home from work at an unexpected time, she found her son standing naked
in the shower and his father beating him with the showerhead. To this day
her children find it difficult to talk about what happened to them, but from
the little they have told her a story of physical-sexual and emotional abuse
emerged. B. decided to get
divorced. Despite her pleas, her children refused to go to meetings with
their father, and then it turned out that the welfare worker had determined
that she was an "alienating mother." B., who works in the welfare system,
knows the system well. She is aware of her rights and the fact that she is
an English-speaker at the native speaker level enabled her to research the
scientific basis for Gardner's theory and construct a defense. "This is the
only reason the court did not declare me an `alienating parent' and did not
take the children out of the house."

In most cases of divorce, says Lavie, there is a big gap between the
mother's economic ability and father's ability to "buy justice" by hiring
lawyers and experts. According to Lavie, "The welfare services in Israel
have a tradition of removing children from weak populations from their
homes. The employees of the welfare system are quick to put minors whose
mothers are divorced and of limited means into the
legal category of `needy minor,' in order to continue to maintain the
infrastructure of institutions for children in emergency situations. The
family court in Israel is likely to declare a child who finally dares to
refuse to see the parent who has abused him "as suffering from `parental
alienation'." Such a
child is defined as a "needy minor," under the Youth Law: Treatment and
Supervision, and as
such he has to be taken from his mother's custody.

The use of the parental alienation approach must be examined in its context.
According to Dr.
Rosen and Michelle Etlin, society and the courts are still finding it
difficult to deal with the fact that sexually abusive men are mostly not
reprobates who ambush children in the schoolyard, but are likely to be
fathers with a respectable appearance, educators and counselors or clergy,
the pillars of society.
Moreover, a mother who appears before a court in Israel is a priori in an inferior position to her husband.

 
At 12:41 AM, Anonymous Gadi Tendler Pickholz, Beer Sheva Israel said...

Dear Jewish Whistleblower,

Despite your insistence of anonymity, you have obviously been hurt considerably by some ruling involving Paternal Alienation Syndrome, and likely custody, in a US (probably NY) court. There is no other explanation for taking this forum on such a distant tangent from its stated purpose. Even is discussions of Jewish divorce, PAS is hardly Topic 1A.I sympathize with your pain.

Nevertheless, it is important for the community to understand some of these issues, particularly as most Dati married readers adopt a 'whistling past the graveyard" approach that divorce will never occur to them or their children (just the OTHER 50% of the population) and they prefer to know as little about the topic as possible. It might be contagious.

It is particularly important for the Dati community in the diaspora, who have Jewish Disneyland perceptions of life post-aliya and little real knowledge of the legal implications of their proposed aliya. Neither Nefesh B'Nefesh nor your shaliyach are going to tell you about these dirty little secrets, folks.

The following article appeared March 30 on Fox News and AP Worldwide, and ran in at least 14 major newspapers in the US and UK. Israel is the child kidnap capital of the world these days, and over 75% of the cases are being perpetrated by the Jewish (almost all Dati) mothers --quoted statsitic of Dov Frimer, one ofnthe leading attorneys representing women in divorce in Israel to Jerusalem Post.

ISRAEL IS CHILD KIDNAP CAPITAL
By WENDY McELROY
Fox News / Israel News Agency

Tel Aviv----March 27, 2005.... While he was deployed in Afghanistan, a U.S. Navy Seal wrote a lullaby for his son Sean, whom he calls SS. The song opens: Rock a bye SS ROCK Rock a Bye you sang to me each eve And you gave me rolling rock a byes of dreams I've yet to dream. Each night I'd pray that when I'd awake You'd have safely ROCK'd me home to the greatest gift, the Lord hath given me; my little son named Sean.

Sean may never hear that lullaby again, not because his father Gary died, but because Sean's mother relocated him to Israel.

She visited family in Israel during one of Gary's re-deployments and simply stayed, seeking a divorce from abroad. Israel is notorious for it's archaic system of implementing and enforcing gender bias discrimination through an outdated law from 1962 which "presumes" that the mother will look after the child until the age of six unless the court is convinced she is incapable of doing so. This 43 year-old law, passed by Israel's Parliament is enforced today by the Israel family court system and local child welfare departments. Gender bias discrimination has been outlawed in many Western countries and replaced with best interest of the child or shared parenting.

According to the American Psychological Association, joint custody and shared parenting has been found to reduce conflict between separated and divorced parents.

Gary has unsuccessfully battled the family court system in California, which has jurisdiction over the divorce, for almost two years in order to gain some access to SS. After all, that same court demands he pay hefty child support. Gary comments "I am paying $2,100 a month not to see my son." This is the new face of father's rights, a face men's rights activists are determined you will see in coming months: the military man who is "processed" by the family courts during his tour of duty or upon his return. A father who returns 'home' to children he cannot see and, often, to support payments he cannot make. As Gary http://www.glennsacks.com/the_betrayal_of.htm states, "Sometimes I wonder what I risked my life for [in Afghanistan]. I went to fight for freedom but what freedom and what rights mean anything if a man doesn't have the right to be a father to his own child?"

On March 13th, the men's rights syndicated radio show His Side featured Gary in a program entitled "Two Years into Iraq War, Little Has Been Done to Protect the Rights of Military Fathers." Gary is not alone.
The grassroots organization American Coalition of Fathers and Children (ACFC) has just launched a vigorous ad campaign to educate the public on how anti-father bias in the courts is destroying the family. An ad currently being prepared by the ACFC highlights the dilemma of military dads who are victimized by zero-tolerance and unreasonable legislation that was passed to deal with "deadbeats." Activists are pushing the image of the military father who is victimized by family courts not merely because it is true but primarily because it is effective. That image breaks through the pervasive cultural stereotype that fathers who lose custody or become "deadbeats" are uncaring, unfit, wife beating, child-abusing losers who deserve what they get.

Do uncaring and unfit fathers exist? Absolutely. But others fathers resemble Gary — a Navy veteran with a perfect military and civilian record. It is his image that father's rights activists wish you to see. Why? Because to a large extent, it is the stereotype of the loser or abusive dad that permits family courts, government agencies and the general public to turn a deaf ear to the three main complaints of father's rights activists.

These complaints are responsible fathers are commonly denied custody or access to their children, often through the mother's relocation; paternity fraud goes unpunished or even rewarded by judges who assess child support nevertheless; and, child support standards are unreasonable. By contrast, the family court system cannot ignore the complaints of alienated military fathers with the same impunity. For one thing, public opinion will not permit them to do so.

An indication of how strong the public backlash might be came in the early '90s with the http://www.ancpr.org/bradleywtarticle.htm Bobby Sherrill case. Sherrill wasn't a member of the military proper; he was a Lockheed employee and divorced father working in Kuwait when Iraq invaded. Sherrill was held captive by the Iraqis for five months. Upon his return to North Carolina, he was arrested for non-payment of $1,425 in child support that accrued while he was a hostage. The public backlash passed, partly because people assumed Sherrill was an aberration, a bizarre exception under an otherwise 'good' law. But Sherrill was imprisoned because of the same unreasonable legislation that returning military fathers and every other alienated dad in America must face.

Phyllis Schlafly, who publicly endorses the ACFC ad spotlighting military fathers, blasts one particular piece of legislation in her February 18th column at TownHall, entitled "Reservists deserve protection from family-court mischief." She writes, "The Bradley Amendment takes us back to the cruel days of debtors' prisons. It requires that a child-support debt cannot be retroactively reduced or forgiven, and states enforce this law no matter what the change in a father's income, no matter if he is sent to war.and no matter if he is ever allowed to see his children."

"It is child abuse on a national level not to allow a child to see his father for no rational reason other than gender bias"
- Gary Pickholz, Israel Fathers Children Rights Advocacy Council

Consider one example of how the Bradley Amendment impacts military fathers. Reservists typically assume a sizeable pay cut when they transfer into military life. But child support is based on their civilian salaries and the Bradley Amendment effectively blocks readjustment of that debt. Thousands of miles away and out of communication, such fathers are vulnerable to defaults that can lead to financial ruin, as well as the forfeiture of passports, driver's and professional licenses. In some states, a default of over $5,000 is a felony that includes imprisonment.

Advocates of the Bradley Amendment maintain that taking a rock-hard line is necessary to ensure that deadbeat dads do not use loopholes to avoid their obligations. But these advocates now argue against a different image of divorced fatherhood. The military dad. He voices a message on behalf of every alienated father. Repeal the zero tolerance laws that have removed compassion and circumstance from family law. Repeal the Bradley Amendment; remove the bureaucracy that automatically separates father and child.

In Israel, serving your country in uniform also means little when one returns from Jenin, Rahmallah or Gaza to visit your children.

George, a recently divorced father who serves as a reserve officer in the Israel Defense Forces, joined the Israel Fathers Family Rights Advocacy Council after bitterly reaching the conclusion that the legal, law enforcement and the social welfare systems in Israel were all against him for no other reason than the fact that he was a man.

"There is gender bias in Israel," he told The Jerusalem Post in an interview held outside a family court in central Israel, where he was fighting for joint custody of his four-year-old child.

George, who like most people, is not overly familiar with the law, was shocked by the power that the state had over him when it came to intimate family affairs. When he concluded that "regular" lawyers did not understand his pain and his sense of ill-treatment, he sought help from the council, headed by Gary Pickholz, and the Israel Fathers Family Rights Party, headed by Ya'acov Schlosser.

George recounted a horrendous story of how he was allegedly treated by his wife during the marriage breakup and subsequent divorce. But outwardly, he was most angry at the Israel system which, he believes, has conspired to prevent him from seeing enough of his son or, more precisely, from giving him rights equal to those of his ex-wife. Some of George's complaints are based on misperceptions stemming from his unfamiliarity with the law and his deep sense that the establishment has treated him unfairly. But it appears that on the question of custody, he was put on the defensive from the start.

One day, after his marriage was already in serious trouble, George was summoned to the local police department and told his wife had lodged a complaint of violent behavior against him. The police told him that from that moment, he could not return home for a week, not even to pick up clothes or money. "I was kicked out of my house without due process," said George. The police, seeing that George was in shock and emotionally abused by his wife, attempted to calm him telling George that this was classic opening procedure used by many unscrupulous divorce attorneys in having the father's children taken away from him. Police eventually dismissed all charges.

To add to the bitterness between the couple, his wife eventually threw him out for good. It turned out that she owned the house and obtained an eviction order from the court. Several days later, George said he went to the kindergarten to see his son because he was worried about the child's emotional state as a result of the separation. He saw that he was highly distraught and took him out of the kindergarten for a few hours to cheer him up. The following day, his wife went to the Israel court and obtained an order in the presence of one side, restricting the hours he could spend with his son to three hours, twice a week. Once again, George felt the court had punished him without giving him a chance to defend himself.

Soon afterwards, however, another meeting was held in the presence of both parents. As is standard procedure in such cases, the Israel judge appointed a young social worker to examine the situation. Based on her findings, the court decided to let George see his son twice a week, including one overnight, and every alternative weekend. George was not satisfied with this outcome. He felt the Israeli court had been biased in favor of his wife. After that hearing, in the hopes of reducing the conflict with his wife and persuading her to give him more hours, he decided to accept her demand for a divorce. However, they failed to reach a custody agreement and decided to fight it out in an Israel court.

In the interim, George said, he tried to avoid a custody trial by appealing to a committee including two municipal social workers and an Israel Health Ministry official. It was "like talking to stone walls," he said. "They told me I should be happy to be seeing my child more than six hours a week. 'Why should I be happy?' I replied. 'I used to put him to sleep with bedtime stories every night and see him every morning. Why does the mother by default get custody of the child?" Nothing came of the meeting and George and his ex-wife met in Israel court earlier this week to start their custody fight.

Naomi Leitner, a veteran family lawyer, agreed that there is a widely accepted "Tender Age Doctrine" in Israel which asserts that in most cases, young children should remain in the custody of the mother. This begins with the 1962 Custodianship Law which "presumes" that the mother will look after the child until the age of six unless the court is convinced she is incapable of doing so. The law is based on a concept of the modern Israeli family which, from her 20 years of experience in Israel, still holds true today, she said. The father works fulltime and is the primary breadwinner. The mother moves in and out of the employment market and devotes a significant amount of her time to raising the children. This doctrine is also accepted by the courts and the social welfare system in Israel, according to Leitner.

Leitner has said that based on her experience, even during the hours when the child is in the custody of the father, it is usually a woman, the grandmother or a girlfriend, who looks after the child. But many male activists in Israel say the hardship faced by the father is much greater.

According to Pickholtz, even though the law in Israel states that the mother should generally have the child until the age of six, the courts apply the Tender Age Doctrine, rather than the "Best Interests of the Child" and "Shared Parenting" concept, to the age of 12. Until then, he said, they virtually never award custody of the child to the father. By then, it is too late, he continued. The child has been alienated from his father by the mother who is suffering from Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) and will no longer consider the possibility of going to live with him even when he can. Pickholtz said that during his own divorce in California, the judge described the system in Israel as antiquated. "Israel is only 50 years old but California has already been ahead of it for 100 years," he quoted the judge as saying. In California, divorces automatically entail joint custody unless one side is shown to be unfit. The same holds true for most states in the US. The Tender Age Doctrine in England has also been changed, he said.

"In order to minimize the conflict and suffering of divorce and separation it is highly recommended that children spend an equal amount of time with their fathers," said Sheila Tinman, a licensed child psychologist who practices in Ra'anana, Israel with over 20 years of clinical experience in both Israel and Brazil. "Children need both role models - that of the father and the mother to achieve a healthy and balanced emotional and psychological base for their development."

Divorced and separated fathers are no longer remaining silent. Global father's rights protests and demonstrations for equal access to their children are now taking place from London, Toronto and New York to Rome, Tel Aviv and Tokyo.

Over the weekend, two men dressed in monk's robes climbed to the roof of England St Paul's Cathedral in a protest about the rights of divorced and separated fathers. The two men stood next to a large sign that read "In the Name of the Father." Fathers 4 Justice, the group organizing the protest, is campaigning for greater rights of access to children by divorced fathers.

"The church isn't doing enough to change the laws," said Darryl Westell, 23, of Fathers 4 Justice, who was on the ground. The protesters had food and water and planned to stay on the roof until Easter Sunday, he said. Other recent demonstrations by the group included throwing bags of purple flour at Prime Minister Tony Blair in the House of Commons, sending a man in a Batman suit up the front of Buckingham Palace, and handcuffing a government minister.

The global demonstrations have resulted in an abundance of public awareness pressing governmental officials from England to Israel to seek modern, healthier and more practical civil rights reforms in basic family law.

In the States, many divorced dads are now taking issue with the state's laws and court system, claiming that they are biased toward mothers in custody disputes. The fathers back a bill before the General Assembly that promotes shared parenting, which encourages judges to have children of broken families split roughly equal time with both parents, unless one parent is deemed to be unfit.

"The court situation really is modeled on criminal situations where there's a right and a wrong, and a winner and a loser. And I think that's the exact wrong way to handle it," said John M. Clapp, chairman of the Shared Parenting Council of Connecticut. Under current state law, joint legal custody is awarded only if parents agree. And much of the time, parents who are divorcing, do not agree on anything so the mother gains the child by default or maintaining an atmosphere of conflict.

But arrangements for children spending time with both parents can vary greatly depending on family circumstances. Backers of the bill say the system doesn't encourage co-parenting because children often live with one parent and visit the other. But as lawmakers begin to assess the state's custody laws, they enter rough terrain. What works for one family will not necessarily work for another, making it difficult to impose unilateral change.

Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, said a group of lawmakers will study the issue more carefully. "The vast majority of the time, one of the two parents is going to get physical custody. The vast majority of the time it is going to be the parent that stays in the family home. The vast majority of the time that is going to be the mother," Lawlor said. "How you change that, what law you can do to change that, I'm not exactly sure."

Divorce lawyers and the state's Judicial Department say there are some practical problems with defining shared parenting as state law. Does time when a child is in school or sleeping count? What happens if a parent can't get transportation, or child care, or works hours that conflict with another parent? Is shuttling back and forth between two homes in a child's best interest? Under the current system, there is flexibility to look at individual family circumstances, experts say. "One size does not fit all when it comes to children," said Shirley Pripstein, a divorce attorney who serves on the family law section for the Connecticut Bar Association. "Shared custody does not always work. Sometimes the parents cannot continue to live in the same town. It's very hard to work a shared parenting plan when the parents live an hour apart. And the children often don't like it."

Determining if gender bias actually exists in the system also is difficult. The state's Judicial Department does not track how frequently children are given to mothers and fathers in divorce cases. Though complaints can be filed against judges, lawmakers say they are often filed by people who are just dissatisfied with the outcome of their cases.

Proponents of shared parenting look to Oregon's law as a model, which encourages parents to get out of the courtroom and into mediation to develop a parenting plan. Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New Jersey have also begun discussing how to better encourage involvement from both parents following a divorce. The issue has been studied in Connecticut before. In 2002, the Governor's Commission on Divorce, Custody and Children found that the divorce and custody process takes too long, is too expensive, and is stressful on parents and children. One of the commission's key recommendations was to change state statutes to emphasize the role of both parents in a child's life and get parents to file parenting plans with the court. The plans would detail schedules and how the parents planned to make decisions about medical matters and school, and remedies if a parent didn't adhere to the plan.

"When children have responsible and actively involved parents they do better during and after divorce," the report said. A bill before the Legislature would also put that recommendation and others from the commission into law. Clapp, the leader of the state's shared parenting group, said he's also supportive of that bill. "What could be more in the best interests of the child than active involvement by both parents?" he said. "What is better than that? Is there anything you can think of? It's just common sense."

Wendy McElroy is a columnist for Fox News and AP.

 
At 12:44 AM, Anonymous Gadi Tendler Pickholz, Beer Sheva Israel said...

Dear Jewish Whistleblower,

Despite your insistence of anonymity, you have obviously been hurt considerably by some ruling involving Paternal Alienation Syndrome, and likely custody, in a US (probably NY) court. There is no other explanation for taking this forum on such a distant tangent from its stated purpose. Even is discussions of Jewish divorce, PAS is hardly Topic 1A.I sympathize with your pain.

Nevertheless, it is important for the community to understand some of these issues, particularly as most Dati married readers adopt a 'whistling past the graveyard" approach that divorce will never occur to them or their children (just the OTHER 50% of the population) and they prefer to know as little about the topic as possible. It might be contagious.

It is particularly important for the Dati community in the diaspora, who have Jewish Disneyland perceptions of life post-aliya and little real knowledge of the legal implications of their proposed aliya. Neither Nefesh B'Nefesh nor your shaliyach are going to tell you about these dirty little secrets, folks.

The following article appeared March 30 on Fox News and AP Worldwide, and ran in at least 14 major newspapers in the US and UK. Israel is the child kidnap capital of the world these days, and over 75% of the cases are being perpetrated by the Jewish (almost all Dati) mothers --quoted statsitic of Dov Frimer, one ofnthe leading attorneys representing women in divorce in Israel to Jerusalem Post.

ISRAEL IS CHILD KIDNAP CAPITAL
By WENDY McELROY
Fox News / Israel News Agency

Tel Aviv----March 27, 2005.... While he was deployed in Afghanistan, a U.S. Navy Seal wrote a lullaby for his son Sean, whom he calls SS. The song opens: Rock a bye SS ROCK Rock a Bye you sang to me each eve And you gave me rolling rock a byes of dreams I've yet to dream. Each night I'd pray that when I'd awake You'd have safely ROCK'd me home to the greatest gift, the Lord hath given me; my little son named Sean.

Sean may never hear that lullaby again, not because his father Gary died, but because Sean's mother relocated him to Israel.

She visited family in Israel during one of Gary's re-deployments and simply stayed, seeking a divorce from abroad. Israel is notorious for it's archaic system of implementing and enforcing gender bias discrimination through an outdated law from 1962 which "presumes" that the mother will look after the child until the age of six unless the court is convinced she is incapable of doing so. This 43 year-old law, passed by Israel's Parliament is enforced today by the Israel family court system and local child welfare departments. Gender bias discrimination has been outlawed in many Western countries and replaced with best interest of the child or shared parenting.

According to the American Psychological Association, joint custody and shared parenting has been found to reduce conflict between separated and divorced parents.

Gary has unsuccessfully battled the family court system in California, which has jurisdiction over the divorce, for almost two years in order to gain some access to SS. After all, that same court demands he pay hefty child support. Gary comments "I am paying $2,100 a month not to see my son." This is the new face of father's rights, a face men's rights activists are determined you will see in coming months: the military man who is "processed" by the family courts during his tour of duty or upon his return. A father who returns 'home' to children he cannot see and, often, to support payments he cannot make. As Gary http://www.glennsacks.com/the_betrayal_of.htm states, "Sometimes I wonder what I risked my life for [in Afghanistan]. I went to fight for freedom but what freedom and what rights mean anything if a man doesn't have the right to be a father to his own child?"

On March 13th, the men's rights syndicated radio show His Side featured Gary in a program entitled "Two Years into Iraq War, Little Has Been Done to Protect the Rights of Military Fathers." Gary is not alone.
The grassroots organization American Coalition of Fathers and Children (ACFC) has just launched a vigorous ad campaign to educate the public on how anti-father bias in the courts is destroying the family. An ad currently being prepared by the ACFC highlights the dilemma of military dads who are victimized by zero-tolerance and unreasonable legislation that was passed to deal with "deadbeats." Activists are pushing the image of the military father who is victimized by family courts not merely because it is true but primarily because it is effective. That image breaks through the pervasive cultural stereotype that fathers who lose custody or become "deadbeats" are uncaring, unfit, wife beating, child-abusing losers who deserve what they get.

Do uncaring and unfit fathers exist? Absolutely. But others fathers resemble Gary — a Navy veteran with a perfect military and civilian record. It is his image that father's rights activists wish you to see. Why? Because to a large extent, it is the stereotype of the loser or abusive dad that permits family courts, government agencies and the general public to turn a deaf ear to the three main complaints of father's rights activists.

These complaints are responsible fathers are commonly denied custody or access to their children, often through the mother's relocation; paternity fraud goes unpunished or even rewarded by judges who assess child support nevertheless; and, child support standards are unreasonable. By contrast, the family court system cannot ignore the complaints of alienated military fathers with the same impunity. For one thing, public opinion will not permit them to do so.

An indication of how strong the public backlash might be came in the early '90s with the http://www.ancpr.org/bradleywtarticle.htm Bobby Sherrill case. Sherrill wasn't a member of the military proper; he was a Lockheed employee and divorced father working in Kuwait when Iraq invaded. Sherrill was held captive by the Iraqis for five months. Upon his return to North Carolina, he was arrested for non-payment of $1,425 in child support that accrued while he was a hostage. The public backlash passed, partly because people assumed Sherrill was an aberration, a bizarre exception under an otherwise 'good' law. But Sherrill was imprisoned because of the same unreasonable legislation that returning military fathers and every other alienated dad in America must face.

Phyllis Schlafly, who publicly endorses the ACFC ad spotlighting military fathers, blasts one particular piece of legislation in her February 18th column at TownHall, entitled "Reservists deserve protection from family-court mischief." She writes, "The Bradley Amendment takes us back to the cruel days of debtors' prisons. It requires that a child-support debt cannot be retroactively reduced or forgiven, and states enforce this law no matter what the change in a father's income, no matter if he is sent to war.and no matter if he is ever allowed to see his children."

"It is child abuse on a national level not to allow a child to see his father for no rational reason other than gender bias"
- Gary Pickholz, Israel Fathers Children Rights Advocacy Council

Consider one example of how the Bradley Amendment impacts military fathers. Reservists typically assume a sizeable pay cut when they transfer into military life. But child support is based on their civilian salaries and the Bradley Amendment effectively blocks readjustment of that debt. Thousands of miles away and out of communication, such fathers are vulnerable to defaults that can lead to financial ruin, as well as the forfeiture of passports, driver's and professional licenses. In some states, a default of over $5,000 is a felony that includes imprisonment.

Advocates of the Bradley Amendment maintain that taking a rock-hard line is necessary to ensure that deadbeat dads do not use loopholes to avoid their obligations. But these advocates now argue against a different image of divorced fatherhood. The military dad. He voices a message on behalf of every alienated father. Repeal the zero tolerance laws that have removed compassion and circumstance from family law. Repeal the Bradley Amendment; remove the bureaucracy that automatically separates father and child.

In Israel, serving your country in uniform also means little when one returns from Jenin, Rahmallah or Gaza to visit your children.

George, a recently divorced father who serves as a reserve officer in the Israel Defense Forces, joined the Israel Fathers Family Rights Advocacy Council after bitterly reaching the conclusion that the legal, law enforcement and the social welfare systems in Israel were all against him for no other reason than the fact that he was a man.

"There is gender bias in Israel," he told The Jerusalem Post in an interview held outside a family court in central Israel, where he was fighting for joint custody of his four-year-old child.

George, who like most people, is not overly familiar with the law, was shocked by the power that the state had over him when it came to intimate family affairs. When he concluded that "regular" lawyers did not understand his pain and his sense of ill-treatment, he sought help from the council, headed by Gary Pickholz, and the Israel Fathers Family Rights Party, headed by Ya'acov Schlosser.

George recounted a horrendous story of how he was allegedly treated by his wife during the marriage breakup and subsequent divorce. But outwardly, he was most angry at the Israel system which, he believes, has conspired to prevent him from seeing enough of his son or, more precisely, from giving him rights equal to those of his ex-wife. Some of George's complaints are based on misperceptions stemming from his unfamiliarity with the law and his deep sense that the establishment has treated him unfairly. But it appears that on the question of custody, he was put on the defensive from the start.

One day, after his marriage was already in serious trouble, George was summoned to the local police department and told his wife had lodged a complaint of violent behavior against him. The police told him that from that moment, he could not return home for a week, not even to pick up clothes or money. "I was kicked out of my house without due process," said George. The police, seeing that George was in shock and emotionally abused by his wife, attempted to calm him telling George that this was classic opening procedure used by many unscrupulous divorce attorneys in having the father's children taken away from him. Police eventually dismissed all charges.

To add to the bitterness between the couple, his wife eventually threw him out for good. It turned out that she owned the house and obtained an eviction order from the court. Several days later, George said he went to the kindergarten to see his son because he was worried about the child's emotional state as a result of the separation. He saw that he was highly distraught and took him out of the kindergarten for a few hours to cheer him up. The following day, his wife went to the Israel court and obtained an order in the presence of one side, restricting the hours he could spend with his son to three hours, twice a week. Once again, George felt the court had punished him without giving him a chance to defend himself.

Soon afterwards, however, another meeting was held in the presence of both parents. As is standard procedure in such cases, the Israel judge appointed a young social worker to examine the situation. Based on her findings, the court decided to let George see his son twice a week, including one overnight, and every alternative weekend. George was not satisfied with this outcome. He felt the Israeli court had been biased in favor of his wife. After that hearing, in the hopes of reducing the conflict with his wife and persuading her to give him more hours, he decided to accept her demand for a divorce. However, they failed to reach a custody agreement and decided to fight it out in an Israel court.

In the interim, George said, he tried to avoid a custody trial by appealing to a committee including two municipal social workers and an Israel Health Ministry official. It was "like talking to stone walls," he said. "They told me I should be happy to be seeing my child more than six hours a week. 'Why should I be happy?' I replied. 'I used to put him to sleep with bedtime stories every night and see him every morning. Why does the mother by default get custody of the child?" Nothing came of the meeting and George and his ex-wife met in Israel court earlier this week to start their custody fight.

Naomi Leitner, a veteran family lawyer, agreed that there is a widely accepted "Tender Age Doctrine" in Israel which asserts that in most cases, young children should remain in the custody of the mother. This begins with the 1962 Custodianship Law which "presumes" that the mother will look after the child until the age of six unless the court is convinced she is incapable of doing so. The law is based on a concept of the modern Israeli family which, from her 20 years of experience in Israel, still holds true today, she said. The father works fulltime and is the primary breadwinner. The mother moves in and out of the employment market and devotes a significant amount of her time to raising the children. This doctrine is also accepted by the courts and the social welfare system in Israel, according to Leitner.

Leitner has said that based on her experience, even during the hours when the child is in the custody of the father, it is usually a woman, the grandmother or a girlfriend, who looks after the child. But many male activists in Israel say the hardship faced by the father is much greater.

According to Pickholtz, even though the law in Israel states that the mother should generally have the child until the age of six, the courts apply the Tender Age Doctrine, rather than the "Best Interests of the Child" and "Shared Parenting" concept, to the age of 12. Until then, he said, they virtually never award custody of the child to the father. By then, it is too late, he continued. The child has been alienated from his father by the mother who is suffering from Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) and will no longer consider the possibility of going to live with him even when he can. Pickholtz said that during his own divorce in California, the judge described the system in Israel as antiquated. "Israel is only 50 years old but California has already been ahead of it for 100 years," he quoted the judge as saying. In California, divorces automatically entail joint custody unless one side is shown to be unfit. The same holds true for most states in the US. The Tender Age Doctrine in England has also been changed, he said.

"In order to minimize the conflict and suffering of divorce and separation it is highly recommended that children spend an equal amount of time with their fathers," said Sheila Tinman, a licensed child psychologist who practices in Ra'anana, Israel with over 20 years of clinical experience in both Israel and Brazil. "Children need both role models - that of the father and the mother to achieve a healthy and balanced emotional and psychological base for their development."

Divorced and separated fathers are no longer remaining silent. Global father's rights protests and demonstrations for equal access to their children are now taking place from London, Toronto and New York to Rome, Tel Aviv and Tokyo.

Over the weekend, two men dressed in monk's robes climbed to the roof of England St Paul's Cathedral in a protest about the rights of divorced and separated fathers. The two men stood next to a large sign that read "In the Name of the Father." Fathers 4 Justice, the group organizing the protest, is campaigning for greater rights of access to children by divorced fathers.

"The church isn't doing enough to change the laws," said Darryl Westell, 23, of Fathers 4 Justice, who was on the ground. The protesters had food and water and planned to stay on the roof until Easter Sunday, he said. Other recent demonstrations by the group included throwing bags of purple flour at Prime Minister Tony Blair in the House of Commons, sending a man in a Batman suit up the front of Buckingham Palace, and handcuffing a government minister.

The global demonstrations have resulted in an abundance of public awareness pressing governmental officials from England to Israel to seek modern, healthier and more practical civil rights reforms in basic family law.

In the States, many divorced dads are now taking issue with the state's laws and court system, claiming that they are biased toward mothers in custody disputes. The fathers back a bill before the General Assembly that promotes shared parenting, which encourages judges to have children of broken families split roughly equal time with both parents, unless one parent is deemed to be unfit.

"The court situation really is modeled on criminal situations where there's a right and a wrong, and a winner and a loser. And I think that's the exact wrong way to handle it," said John M. Clapp, chairman of the Shared Parenting Council of Connecticut. Under current state law, joint legal custody is awarded only if parents agree. And much of the time, parents who are divorcing, do not agree on anything so the mother gains the child by default or maintaining an atmosphere of conflict.

But arrangements for children spending time with both parents can vary greatly depending on family circumstances. Backers of the bill say the system doesn't encourage co-parenting because children often live with one parent and visit the other. But as lawmakers begin to assess the state's custody laws, they enter rough terrain. What works for one family will not necessarily work for another, making it difficult to impose unilateral change.

Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, said a group of lawmakers will study the issue more carefully. "The vast majority of the time, one of the two parents is going to get physical custody. The vast majority of the time it is going to be the parent that stays in the family home. The vast majority of the time that is going to be the mother," Lawlor said. "How you change that, what law you can do to change that, I'm not exactly sure."

Divorce lawyers and the state's Judicial Department say there are some practical problems with defining shared parenting as state law. Does time when a child is in school or sleeping count? What happens if a parent can't get transportation, or child care, or works hours that conflict with another parent? Is shuttling back and forth between two homes in a child's best interest? Under the current system, there is flexibility to look at individual family circumstances, experts say. "One size does not fit all when it comes to children," said Shirley Pripstein, a divorce attorney who serves on the family law section for the Connecticut Bar Association. "Shared custody does not always work. Sometimes the parents cannot continue to live in the same town. It's very hard to work a shared parenting plan when the parents live an hour apart. And the children often don't like it."

Determining if gender bias actually exists in the system also is difficult. The state's Judicial Department does not track how frequently children are given to mothers and fathers in divorce cases. Though complaints can be filed against judges, lawmakers say they are often filed by people who are just dissatisfied with the outcome of their cases.

Proponents of shared parenting look to Oregon's law as a model, which encourages parents to get out of the courtroom and into mediation to develop a parenting plan. Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New Jersey have also begun discussing how to better encourage involvement from both parents following a divorce. The issue has been studied in Connecticut before. In 2002, the Governor's Commission on Divorce, Custody and Children found that the divorce and custody process takes too long, is too expensive, and is stressful on parents and children. One of the commission's key recommendations was to change state statutes to emphasize the role of both parents in a child's life and get parents to file parenting plans with the court. The plans would detail schedules and how the parents planned to make decisions about medical matters and school, and remedies if a parent didn't adhere to the plan.

"When children have responsible and actively involved parents they do better during and after divorce," the report said. A bill before the Legislature would also put that recommendation and others from the commission into law. Clapp, the leader of the state's shared parenting group, said he's also supportive of that bill. "What could be more in the best interests of the child than active involvement by both parents?" he said. "What is better than that? Is there anything you can think of? It's just common sense."

Wendy McElroy is a columnist for Fox News and AP.

 
At 4:02 AM, Anonymous Gadi Tendler Pickholz, Beer Sheva Israel said...

Testimony of His Holiness, The Honorable Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom and British Commonwealth, before Parliament, January 2005 on Parental Alienation Syndrome after Jewish Divorce (submitted in coordinated testimony before the Knesset):

Office of the Chief Rabbi – Written Submission

Constitutional Affairs Committee Inquiry on Family Justice: The Family Courts.


1. Introduction

1.1. The Office of the Chief Rabbi (OCR) welcomes the opportunity to submit some brief comments to the inquiry of the Constitutional Affairs Committee.

1.2. The Office of the Chief Rabbi is the religious authority of the United Hebrew Congregation of Britain and the Commonwealth. In total, it is responsible for over 150 synagogue communities in the UK, including just under half in the United Synagogue, the largest synagogual membership body in the UK. The Chief Rabbi is also the head of his own Court of judges, whom deal with matters of Jewish law, including Jewish divorce. Jewish law insists that there needs to be a religious as well as civil divorce when a couple separate.

1.3. The OCR wishes to emphasise the importance of involving both parents in the raising of their children. Children deserve the chance to develop a relationship with both their natural parents.

1.4. Families are the building-block of society, and Jewish law and tradition highlights the centrality of the family to Jewish life. The Jewish tradition highlights the importance of family in the religious domain. The first commandment in the Bible is to have children. The survival of the Jews through thousands of years of dispersion was partly due to the strength of family life. However, the centrality of the nuclear family as an institution has been eroded. The breakdown of the family unit is an unfortunate feature of modern society, and in situations where this occurs, we must do everything possible to protect the interests of the children.


2. The role of both parents in the raising of children:

2.1. The Chief Rabbi has spoken publicly about the importance of children receiving support and attention from both parents, and since fatherhood is usually the neglected part of the equation in situations of breakdown, the uniqueness of fatherhood to the human species: "It's actually fatherhood that makes humanity different from most primate species. Usually it's the females who look after the young, while a few weeks after birth many males don't even recognise their own children. Motherhood is biological and almost always strong. Fatherhood is cultural and almost always in need of support. In fact I suspect that's why the Bible so often speaks of G-d as a father - not because G-d is male, nor in order to create a patriarchal society, but simply to moralise and dignify paternal responsibility. Like a good father G-d cares about his children. He protects them, listens to their hopes and fears, and when they turn to Him, He's there. Which is why we need to support both parents, even when they split apart. Children need time with both; and it's their needs that really count."

2.2. Each parent has something different to give to their children to contribute to their religious, educational, emotional, social and material needs, and it is important that both parents have the opportunity to give their children time.

2.3. When couples come to the Court of the Office of the Chief Rabbi for a divorce according to Jewish law, where appropriate they are encouraged to bear in mind the impact of separation on the children and the specific roles mothers and fathers have in their child's Jewish and general upbringing.



3. Jewish Tradition and Practice

3.1. In determining the rights of parental access to children, there are specific factors which stem from the beliefs and traditions of faith communities which need to be considered. The law refers to “meaningful contact”, and this is given a particular context by the traditions and practices of faith communities.

3.2. The Jewish religion places a high premium on people spending time with their families and communities on specific occasions. These include the Sabbath (Shabbat) and festivals, where a child learns some of the most cherished practices, traditions and customs of the Jewish faith. In Judaism, there are certain commandments incumbent on men and certain incumbent on women, and therefore the child will only have a full Jewish experience, if he/ she witnesses both the mother and father practising the commandments.

For example on Simchat Torah, “the Rejoicing of the Law”, which takes place at the end of Tabernacles in the autumn, children are encouraged to come to synagogue and celebrate the completion of the reading of the Torah. Another example relates to the festive meal eaten at Passover, where a child has a special role to ask questions relating to the Exodus from Egypt. Each week, the Sabbath has a very special place in the Jewish tradition and it can teach the child to appreciate the value of his/her heritage and provide the opportunity to spend time with family members and the community.

3.3. In Judaism, there are major restrictions concerning travel on Sabbaths (between sunset on Friday and nightfall on Saturday) and on major Jewish festivals, and these should be borne in mind when making access orders, particularly with regard to overnight stays.

3.4. In addition to festivals and holy days, it is important for children to be able to experience life cycle events (both their own and those of relatives), and this will be facilitated by exposure to the families and social networks of both parents. Such life cycle events include weddings and Bar/ Bat Mitvahs (when a Jewish child comes of age and takes on the responsibilities of being an adult). It is therefore crucial that both parents are able to spend time with their children and share these experiences and occasions with them.

3.5. Looking at the cases of parental separation in the Jewish community, it is usually the mother that gains primary custody to the children, yet the father may be the main source of potential Jewish experiences to the child. In these situations, there is the prospect of the child being denied exposure to Jewish learning and education, which underscores the importance of both parents being involved in the child’s upbringing.

3.6. Jewish tradition highlights the importance of family ties, and only by maintaining contact with both parents, will children be able to sustain relationships with both sets of grandparents and other relatives.


4. Closing remarks:

4.1. Of course, we are advocating the right of access to children for both parents on the basis that both parents are responsible, law-abiding citizens. Where this is not the case, the Courts will have to make a judgment on the safety of the children spending time with the relevant parent.

4.2. The Chief Rabbi's Office has received representations from the Jewish parents group, JUMP, who are seeking to maintain contact with their children following separation and divorce. We broadly support their aims and objectives.

4.3. Parenthood is a privilege but also a huge responsibility. Parents have a duty to children, as vulnerable members of society, to protect them and nurture them to adulthood. Hence it is the firm view of the OCR and the Chief Rabbi himself that both parents of the child, have a right to be involved in the child’s upbringing (unless proven otherwise) and can make a contribution to their religious, educational, emotional, social and material welfare.

Israel Fathers Rights Advocacy Council (IFRAC)
HaNegev, 4
Tel Aviv
IsraelFRAC@gmail.com

 
At 5:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

See Newhempsteadnews.blogspot.com on a great prospective on why KNH insists on keeping a reputed pervert as their spiritual leader! also, I noticed that Newhempstead news no longer allows comments, because they got spamed and now the spamers have hurt themselves, since they can no longer refute any comments that they print!

 
At 5:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Whistleblower I recommend that you do what Newhemsteadnews does and not allow any further comments, because of the spams, let them see what it is to read stuff about the "sadistic pervert" and not be able to respond!

 
At 7:07 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

>Testimony of His Holiness, The
>Honorable Chief Rabbi of the
>United Kingdom and British
>Commonwealth, before Parliament,
>January 2005 on Parental
>Alienation Syndrome after Jewish
>Divorce (submitted in
>coordinated testimony before the
>Knesset):

I see no reference to PAS (Parental Alienation Syndrome) which is junk science.

 
At 7:15 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

>Despite your insistence of
>anonymity, you have obviously
>been hurt considerably by some
>ruling involving Paternal
>Alienation Syndrome, and likely
>custody, in a US (probably NY)
>court.

Assumptions, you should not be making.

>There is no other explanation
>for taking this forum on such a
>distant tangent from its stated
>purpose. Even is discussions of
>Jewish divorce, PAS is hardly
>Topic 1A.

This forum is about accountability in our system, the use of junk science like PAS to attack women and destroy children needs to be exposed.

>I sympathize with your pain.

Again, ... assumptions.

I hope you and your organization are legitimately concerned for the welfare of children. If you are you should reject and distance yourselves from junk science like PAS. It is a syndrome that simply has no basis in science and has frequently been misused with severe comsequences.

 
At 7:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, but the comment section is a good thing, in order to see how these $%*#@'s operate, how low they will go, and with how much panic they cling to their denial.

 
At 7:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Gadi Tendler Pickholz, Beer Sheva Israel.

REMOVE YOUR SELF FROM THIS WEB SITE!!!!!!!
PLEASE JWB REMOVE HIM!!!!!!!

You’ve organized with Daniel Schwartz, David and another Anonymous, and or are the same person; you have the same big heads anyway, who have pasted lengthy post to deter from the issue and prevent others seriously concerned from posting by purposely taking up so much room.
How weak.
Just give the link. No just post your nonsense to your usual places, not here.
You are full of non-sense as Koolaid-Nonsense-Horseshit is.

What! You posted way above past all your words of garbage that “she has conflicting views….”
She? You know nothing.
Rest a sure-we and Hashem are 1000% correct Rabbi Mordecai Tendler has committed sexual misconduct; had violated and abused women in his position of Rabbi. And 1000% had sex with many women. Degreed by a thorough investigation, evidence, witnesses to the victims, etc….Done! No need for him to go to jail next to prove to all you “righteous” non-believers who do nothing to set up a Jewish Just system for abused women; especially to all of you who proclaim how slanderous to say terrible (but true) things about him, yet turn up the other side of your mouths to slander and malign innocent women and those who are have been victimized.
Conflicting? Gadi Tendler Pickholz your writing is diarrhea of the mouth.
LEAVE.
Use the bathroom. Don’t be like your uncle.

 
At 7:41 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

>Jerusalem Post Magazine, April
>1, 2005
>Mommy Vs. Daddy
>Are Fathers treated fairly in
>the Israeli courts?
>by LAUREN GELFOND FELDINGER

Can anyone confirm this article was printed? I can't find any link or archived version of this article at http://www.jrep.com or at any newspaper archive.

I'd like to do a new post on this subject as this article is just absolutely terrible journalism and it's the 2nd terribly researched and written article by this journalist at the Jerusalem Post in a very short time frame (if this article was indeed published, readers please confirm).

 
At 7:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PAS was used as a defense in a case in which JWB was heavily involved
more clues to come

 
At 8:03 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

>PAS was used as a defense in a
>case in which JWB was heavily
>involved more clues to come

If true (relax it isn't), it comes as a surprise to me.

Hmmmmmmm...........fishing?

Go fish!

 
At 8:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those on the outside, PAS = Parental Alienation Syndrome... Check out http://www.childrensjustice.org/PAS-AJFP.htm and http://www.rgardner.com/refs/addendum2.html for more info...

Those who claim that it is junk science ignore reality... It is recognized by the courts and by psychologists worldwide...

 
At 8:57 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

>Those who claim that it is junk
>science ignore reality... It is
>recognized by the courts and by
>psychologists worldwide...

Read what I wrote/quoted.

PAS is junk science "...it lacks a scientific basis, noting that the American Psychiatric Association and the American Medical Association have not recognized it as a syndrome."

This is the type of junk science that you see "professionals for hire"/charlatans on shows like LA Law, Boston Legal etc. get paid $1,000s of dollars to testify to in court as expert witnesses.

The fact it lacks any scientific basis as a legitimate syndrome doesn't stop these charlatans from advancing it and judges from accepting it.

"PAS is not recognized in DSM-IV (the American Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), which includes all
the recognized psychiatric definitions and serves as the "Bible" of American
psychiatrists. It does not appear in the European manual either."

It's junk science used mainly to destroy women. The catch is if you have an abusive spouse that is abusing your child and you try to keep that spouse away from your child, you must be suffering from PAS as you have all the symptoms.

The people latching on to this junk science are shameful.

 
At 9:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember the nightline or 20/20 show that was on the air back in the late 1980's or early 1990's that exposed Richard Gardner in his false theories? It was an excellent show. Just trying to remember the date of it. If anyone knows what I'm taking about please remind me.

 
At 11:37 AM, Anonymous Gadi Tendler Pickholz, Beer Sheva, Israel said...

Dear JWB,

It must take great effort not to be able to locate the SEVEN PAGE LEAD ARTICLE in the Jerusalem Post magazine...go to features.jpost.com please

There is none so blind as she who will not see

I shall forward your CV to the most influential english language newspaper in all world Jewry along with your critique of their writing style and editorial content...oooops, sorry, you are just another Monsey Anonymous-nik. That may play in the shtetl, but not in the real world.

Israel Fathers Rights Advocacy Council
HaNegev, 4
Tel Aviv
IsraelFRAC@gmail.com

 
At 12:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous says:
It's junk science used mainly to destroy women. The catch is if you have an abusive spouse that is abusing your child and you try to keep that spouse away from your child, you must be suffering from PAS as you have all the symptoms.


You misstate the facts (big surprise in this forum -huh?). That the phenomenon of parental alienation takes place is documented many times over where the custodial parent will alienate the child(ren) from the non-custodial parent. There are several DSM codes that cover this behavior. The only question is whether or not a "syndrome" exists requiring its own DSM. When DSM-V comes out in 2006-7, they will decide which way to go.

Your comment seems to say that parental alienation does not exist. This is simply a lie. Courts and psychologists throughout the US, Europe and Israel have found conclusively that this phenomenon does indeed exist and, finally, are stepping in to stop this child abuse executed by the custodial parent on their child(ren).

You sound like someone who supports this type of child abuse. So sad for your children.

 
At 3:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It doesn't make a difference whether PAS is a science or is not a science: The fact is that Tendler is one sexual bizzare predator that had sex with married women and has to be thrown out!

 
At 3:47 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

>You misstate the facts (big
>surprise in this forum -huh?).

No, you fail to read my comments.

>That the phenomenon of parental
>alienation takes place is
>documented many times over where
>the custodial parent will
>alienate the child(ren) from the
>non-custodial parent. There are
>several DSM codes that cover
>this behavior. The only question
>is whether or not a "syndrome"
>exists requiring its own DSM.

My comments were specific to the "syndrome". Please read. Obviously, claiming a mother is crazy with a syndrome is far different than determining that they have acted wrongly.

>When DSM-V comes out in 2006-7,
>they will decide which way to
>go.

It will not be there. PAS is junk science "...it lacks a scientific basis, noting that the American Psychiatric Association and the American Medical Association have not recognized it as a syndrome."

>You sound like someone who
>supports this type of child
>abuse. So sad for your children.

To the contrary. I am simply stating that the use of junk science to declare a woman sick rather than properly evaluating the situation and possibility of abuse is obscene.

The fact this fake "syndrome" is used primarily with women should give people an idea of what is really going on.

 
At 3:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The biggest problem I see is blame the other person syndrome taking place. All these allegations are just that,and what they do is try to blame your problem on someone else. This is the problem over here,blame everybody else but yourselves.

 
At 6:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While you may believe that PAS is "junk science" many psychologists and therapists believe otherwise and have compiled statistically significant studies to this effect. It is obviously politically incorrect to ever think that a custodial mother would turn her kids against their father as women can do no wrong (as evidenced in this entire blog). Fact of the matter, there is a psychosis that does indeed exist that is triggered by the sense of powerlessness and anger and even hatred. Me thinks thou dost protest too much.

 
At 8:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am still awaiting JWB's answer. S/he cites sources and masquerades as a "reporter". Just one question (with several sub-questions), when JWB released the report, why did he not also relase that the report only recommended a 3 month suspension and not an expulsion? Why did the RCA ignore the recommendation of the report? Why, if the charges were so severe, was the recommendation JUST a 3 month suspension? Why does JWB sit on this info and not release it? Surely, his/her impeccable sources provided him/her this information.

 
At 8:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

<

While you may believe that PAS is "junk science" many psychologists and therapists believe otherwise and have compiled statistically significant studies to this effect. It is obviously politically incorrect to ever think that a custodial mother would turn her kids against their father as women can do no wrong (as evidenced in this entire blog). Fact of the matter, there is a psychosis that does indeed exist that is triggered by the sense of powerlessness and anger and even hatred. Me thinks thou dost protest too much.>


It's interesting you say this. If it was a real diagnosis, you would think it would be in the DSM-IV. It's not.

 
At 9:20 PM, Anonymous Vicki Polin said...

I think it's important that prior to discussing Richard Gardner's PAS theory that everyone watches a copy of the ABC News Nightline report from 11/14/96."When to Believe a Child's Word.

If you are unable to obtain a copy, come to Baltimore and I can arrange for you to watch my copy.

When asked Gardner attested to the fact that no one has scientifyly tested his theories, not even he.

During this airing Richard Gardner, is shown saying the following:

"If it sounds incredible it's probably not true."

"In extreme cases, children who are sexually abused become like street-smart sluts."

"I believe that children who are false accusers are going to have a higher incidence of reading mystery stories."

I have to agree, this is junk science.

 
At 9:31 PM, Anonymous Gadi Tendler Pickholz, Beer Sheva Israel said...

JWB is an intellectual fraud (at a minimum):

Dear Anonymous JWB,

I comprehended your right to hide behind the cloak of anonymity in a discussion of potential sexual abuse by the Rabbinate in the suffocatingly confined shtetl of Monsey. Even within that context, the liberty was taken way out of all proportion and turned by yourself and others into nothing short of a means of hurling the worst possible loshon hora at one another -- and both sides of the local argument seem equally culpable-- and truly disgracing klal yisrael on a global scale.

At this point, the issue truly is no longer Mordechai or the RCA, it is the reprehensible conduct of the Monsey kehilla on both sides, and the blindness you all seem to possess to how you are perceived in the world as we all read these anonymous postings here and elsewhere in horror. An Amazon riverbed full of man-eating phirrana extend better kavod to one another. If this is the end product of the cumulative tens of thousands of hours of Torah you have all studied, then the American Modern Orthodox experience is truly dead. No wonder all of your children opt out.

Much more alarming, however, has been the utter intellectual bankruptcy and duplicity of your positions on the dialogue on post divorce familial damage in Jewish divorce. I have stated all positions on the record and for attribution, as do all IFRAC members, always. I have provided supporting testimony from the Chief Rabbi of the British Empire as well as articles as diverse as the lead article of the Jerusalem Post to the internationally syndicated Associated Press article of last week that Israel has become the child kidnapping capital of the world, and mostly all by Dati mothers.

You continue to hide behind enforced anonymity, and then have the audacity to critique the Jerusalem Post for running a lead article on so important a topic. There is no basis for anonymity in this discussion. No one is going to excommunicate you. No one is going to secually harrass you. You rely upon the disguise of anonymity to avoid acknowledging your (complete lack of)credentials on the topic and professional background, and to assert a guise of expertise (such as "critiquing" the most important newspaper in world Jewry) that clearly does not exist.

I am sorry you had a dreadful experience in some NY family court regarding PAS. I am certain that was devastating for the local Monsey housewife you likely are in fact. There exists no place in a serious intellectual forum, however, for your participation on an anonymous basis -- not even in as suffocating a 19th century European shtetl as Monsey.

When you are prepared to engage in professional, community service dialgoue --which obviously includes permitting others to define your expertise, come back with full identity, which major organization you represent, and accept the diatribes that come with a public personna.

Absent that obvious and basic step, you must be considered as simply another Monsey yenta-of-a certain-age who lives and breathes to spread the days rechilut and loshon hora to her neighbors at the supermarket and the clothesline (sorry, Monsey is far too upscale these days for women gossiping around the clotheslines -- I substitute nail parlor as its 21st century equivalent in American orthodoxy).

Israel Fathers Rights Advocacy Council
HaNegev, 4 Tel Aviv
IsraelFRAC@gmail.com

 
At 9:32 PM, Anonymous Vicki Polin said...

Not sure if this is the same show, since they changed the title.

TURNING POINT: WHEN CHILDREN ACCUSE: WHO TO BELIEVE: 11/14/1996
Code: U961114 01
Price: $39.95

Description: WHEN CHILDREN ACCUSE: WHO TO BELIEVE Child sex abuse is a very serious problem. In 1994 alone 140,000 new cases were investigated and found to be real. But are innocent people being sentenced for crimes they never committed because of the testimony of the young?


http://www.abcnewsstore.com/store/index.cfm?fuseaction=customer.product&product_code=U961114%2001&category_code=33

 
At 2:46 AM, Anonymous Gadi Tendler Pickholz, Beer Sheva Israel said...

Parental Alienation Syndrome in Israeli Families Post-Divorce
By William Bernet, M.D. Psychiatric Times
Edited for Israel by the Israel News Agency
December 2004 Vol. XXI Issue 14

Jerusalem-----February 7...... "Avi" and "Ruth" were married for 10 years in Israel and had two children. When they divorced, they could not agree on the custody and visitation arrangements for the children. Although they previously loved each other and still had sincere respect for each other, they were gearing up to make extremely angry allegations about each other in court.

When "Avi" and "Ruth" divorced, Ruth had custody of their 6-year-old daughter and Avi had regular visitation with her. Rather abruptly after an extended summer visitation with Avi, the girl said her father was extremely mean to her and refused to go with him for her next scheduled visitation. Ruth accused Avi of abusing the girl. Avi accused Ruth of inducing parental alienation syndrome PAS in the child.

These and dozens of similar scenarios come to the attention of both general psychiatrists and child and adolescent psychiatrists every day. There are thousands of divorces in Israel each year. Since many of these divorces involve litigation over custody or visitation, it is common for both clinical psychiatrists and forensic psychiatrists to confront these issues in their work.

Clinical Practice - Even before parents anticipate their divorce in Israel, their child may already be seeing a psychiatrist or other clinician. Once the divorce is imminent, each parent's first impulse is to ask the therapist to take that parent's side in the ensuing custody dispute. The therapist may feel it is obvious that one of the parents should have custody of the child and may readily agree to send a report to the court or to testify. However, that path has many dangers and should be avoided. Rather than try to influence the outcome of the custody dispute, it is better to simply continue as the child's therapist and help the child cope with the changes in the family.

After the parents separate and divorce, it will be particularly important for the therapist to communicate with and have a good relationship with both parents. That is unlikely to occur if the therapist has sided with one of the parents in an angry custody dispute. The same principle applies if the psychiatrist treats one of the parents. That parent may ask the psychiatrist to testify on their behalf--for example, vouch for that person's superb parenting skills, testify that the patient/parent was abused by the other parent, or testify that the parent's mental illness is not so bad after all. It may happen that the psychiatrist is subpoenaed and must appear in court. If that occurs, it is probably best for psychiatrists to present themselves as "fact witnesses" (meaning that they would simply state what they know about the patient without offering opinions or conclusions) rather than "expert witnesses" (who give opinions, conclusions and recommendations).

In Israel, joint custody is only possible if both parties agree to it. If the mother does not agree, it is assumed by family courts in Israel that the mother is the better parent and the father loses custody of his children without due process.


The goal, of course, is to keep distinct the psychiatrist's role as a clinician and role as a forensic expert. It is almost always preferable to put these hats on separate heads. Forensic practice If somebody - one or both parents or attorneys, or the judge - wants a psychiatric evaluation that will assist the court in deciding a custody or visitation dispute, the best practice is to arrange for an independent forensic psychiatric evaluation. In this context, independent means that the evaluation is done by a person who is not already the psychiatrist for one of the parties. A psychiatric custody evaluation is not for everybody - the vast majority of parents who separate and divorce do not need an elaborate and costly evaluation. In most instances, thankfully, parents work these issues out between themselves or with the help of a mediator.

Table 1 indicates the circumstances in which a forensic psychiatric custody evaluation may be indicated. A forensic custody and visitation evaluation usually consists of psychiatric and/or psychological assessments of the child and both parents. There is no standard method for conducting custody and visitation evaluations. Many psychiatrists, psychologists and legal professionals have published on this topic (e.g., Bernet, 2002; Galatzer-Levy and Kraus, 1999). The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry published a practice parameter on child custody evaluations (Herman, 1997).

Table 2 provides the usual components of a psychiatric custody evaluation. It is almost always assumed that decisions regarding custody and visitation are guided by seeking the best interests of the child. However, parents and attorneys may disagree and argue about exactly what constitutes the best interests of the child in their particular set of circumstances. There is no standard list of factors that should be taken into consideration and what weight should be given to each factor. Not only does each state have its own laws and precedents, but it is likely that evaluators and judges are influenced by their personal values when they make recommendations and hand down decisions in these cases.

The factors that many legislatures, courts and mental health care professionals consider important are listed in Table 3. Evaluation Issues - There are many issues that arise in forensic child custody and visitation evaluations that do not occur in a nonforensic clinical practice.
Lack of confidentiality - Custody evaluations are not confidential because the written report is distributed to the attorneys and the judge and may eventually become evidence in a public trial. Both children and parents need to be aware how this kind of evaluation differs from an ordinary meeting with a psychiatrist. For instance, one of the parents might bring in a lengthy diary and ask the evaluator to read it. Before accepting this document, practitioners should clearly explain that any material read in conducting the evaluation - including the diary - might eventually be shared with the other side, the judge and even the general public.

Assessing Attachment - the psychiatrist should be able to assess the child's relative attachment to the two parents. This is important because the child's attachment is an issue that the average judge is not able to determine through ordinary testimony in court. The psychiatrist has access to many sources of data that relate to the child's attachment, including information collected from parents and stepparents and observing the child together with each parent. In interviewing the child, the psychiatrist may determine the child's perception of the parents through direct questions ("Who helps you best with your homework, your Mom or your Dad?"), indirect questions ("Tell me the things you like and the things you don't like about your Mom.") and projective questions ("Let's make up a story about a baby bird that lives in a nest with a mommy bird and a daddy bird.").

The child's attachment to the parents can also be assessed through psychological tests such as the Family Relations Test (FRT), the Bricklin Perceptual Scales (BPS) and the Perception-of-Relationships Test (PORT) (Bricklin, 1995). Indoctrination and Alienation. Mental health care professionals have noticed that children of divorce may greatly favor one parent over the other and may greatly resist visiting the nonresidential parent. There are several possible explanations for the child's active rejection of visitation, including: abuse or neglect by one parent, so it is natural that the child would not want to visit that household; purposeful or accidental indoctrination of the child to favor one parent and reject the other parent; and/or the child is caught between battling parents and the tension in the child is resolved by believing that they love one parent and hate the other.

Gardner (1998) used the term "parental alienation syndrome" PAS for some of these cases, specifically, those in which one parent has consciously or unconsciously induced the child to reject the other parent.
Joint legal custody and parenting plans. In joint legal custody, both parents have equal rights and responsibilities regarding issues such as the child's education, medical care and religious upbringing. Joint legal custody works if the parents are able to communicate with each other and are willing to take each other's opinions into consideration.

The laws of some states in the US strongly favor joint legal custody; the laws of a few states limit it by requiring consent of both parents before joint custody can be ordered. On the other hand, some states have laws that favor or require parenting plans. Both concepts--joint custody and parenting plans--envision that children of divorce should be nurtured and raised by both parents. Although the operational outcomes may look the same, these are different concepts.

Joint legal custody emphasizes the legal end result (i.e., the judge orders the parents to share certain rights and responsibilities). The concept of parenting plans emphasizes the process by which divorcing parents sit down and work out an agreement regarding important aspects of their child's life. In some states that require parenting plans, the terms custody and visitation are no longer used, but the laws simply refer to each person's "parenting time."

In Israel, joint custody is only possible if both parties agree to it. If the mother does not agree, it is assumed by family courts in Israel that the mother is the better parent and the father loses custody of his children without due process. The father, if he wishes to secure full or partial custody, must then go to trial and do so coming to family court on the defensive. Israeli courts fall far behind American justice whereby they still measure a child's welfare by the "tender years" doctrine, usually giving automatic custody to the mother, while waiting for the child to turn 6-years-old before considering the fathers role. This is in stark contrast to US courts which today implement "best-interests-of-the-child" the standard used by family courts in the US, preferring joint custody and or "shared parenting".

In the 1980's, US courts began to increasingly ignore gender in determining child custody. This removed the automatic allocation of full custody rights to the mother, so she had less time with the children. Instead, the courts looked first at how the custody could be shared, and if that wasn't possible, judicial officers attempted to determine which parent was more interested and better able to attend to the best interest of the child. The Israel Fathers Family Rights Association and Horut-Shava, an equal parenting organization (horut-shava.org.il) are now addressing the benefits of equal parenting rights in Israel with discussion now taking place with members of Israel's Knesset, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Justice.

Summary - it is important to find ways to minimize the psychological trauma that is experienced by children of divorced parents. Ideally, divorcing parents would not fight so much over the children, in front of the children and through the children. When disputes do arise regarding custody and visitation, mental health care professionals can inform and assist judges by performing competent custody evaluations. These evaluations should be conducted in a systematic and unbiased manner, should consider the critical factors that are relevant to the court, and should result in recommendations that promote the best interests of the children. Almost always, the goal is for the children to have strong, healthy relationships with both parents. It is usually possible to make recommendations regarding custody, parenting arrangements, and forms of counseling and therapy that will be helpful to the family members.

Dr. Bernet is professor of psychiatry and director of the division of forensic psychiatry at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

References:

Bernet W (2002), Child custody evaluations. Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am 11(4):781-804. Bricklin B (1995), The Custody Evaluation Handbook: Research-Based Solutions and Applications. New York: Brunner/Mazel. Galatzer-Levy RM, Kraus L, eds. (1999), The Scientific Basis of Child Custody Decisions. New York: Wiley. Gardner RA (1998), The Parental Alienation Syndrome: A Guide for Mental Health and Legal Professionals, 2nd ed. Cresskill, N.J.: Creative Therapeutics. Herman SP (1997), Practice parameters for child custody evaluation. American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 36(10 suppl):57S-68S.

Reprinted with Permission from Ha'Aretz Newspaper Group

Israel Fathers Rights Advocacy Council
HaNegev, 4
Tel Aviv
IsraelFRAC@gmail.com

 
At 3:39 AM, Anonymous Gadi Tendler Pickholz, Beer Sheva said...

Dear JWB,

First you berate me anonymously as:

"his uncle and cousin whom he maligns...he vowed vicious revenge against them in particular"

I just loved that line, and used it at the family bar mitzvah this week repeatedly

"a source for the Awareness Center"
given that Tendler ego you accused me of possessing, I took particular, I take particular offense at the incomplete Tendler Family tree...if they want to do one, do it properly

and then, in virtually the same breath, you accuse me anonymously once again of being

"an apologist for the family and defender of Mordechai"

well, I for one an totally confused. That's what happens when you violate the most standards of journalism and hide behind the apron (literally, I suspect) of anonymity.

You coulda been a contendah, kid. You threw all your credibility away by reverting back to being just another Monsey yenta housefrau of a certain age, whose nectar has long turned a tad bitter to the taste.

With regret, and distinct from other blog sites, I must conclude that everything else you published here is as completely inaccurate and contradictory once exposed to the white light of scrutiny as the bizarre combination of remarks you posted about me (let alone the dear Shusgal cousins -- how shameful of you)

Should you ever want to attempt to reclaim your credibility in any form, feel free to start a new site with a big bulls-eye of attribution for your comments and those of your "contributors". In this present format, however, you are simply a fraud.

Israel Fathers Rights Advocacy Council
HaNegev, 4
Tel Aviv
IsraelFRAC@yahoo.com

 
At 5:19 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

>Dear JWB,
>
>First you berate me anonymously
>as:

At no point have I done so and as I indicated your assumptions about me are just (you are quite consistent) as wrong.

 
At 5:27 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

>Gender bias against mothers,
>combined with a culture resistant
>to believing fathers molest
>their children, has made for a
>potent mix, giving rise to a
>bogus mental disorder
>called "parental-alienation
>syndrome" (PAS) that is
>frequently employed by alleged
>sex abusers in their custody
>battles. Essentially, PAS
>involves brainwashing
>a child to allege molestation.
>The syndrome, according to the
>theory, afflicts mostly
>"vindictive mothers"
>who "program" their
>kids to fabricate claims so
>they’ll have an advantage in
>litigation.
>The brainchild of Richard
>Gardner, a psychiatrist
>affiliated with Columbia
>University (who believes that up
>to 90 percent of all child-sex-
>abuse allegations are false),
>PAS has been referenced
>in courtrooms in Massachusetts
>and across the country, even
>though it’s widely discredited
>by mainstream mental-health
>professionals.
>
>Since 1987, when Gardner first
>coined the phrase "parental-
>alienation syndrome," he has
>provided no scientific data to
>support it.
>Most of his 140 or so articles
>on the subject have not appeared
>in peer-reviewed medical
>journals, which require
>evaluation of articles by fellow
>professionals before
>publication. The American
>Psychiatric Association has not
>included PAS in its diagnostic
>manual of certifiable >disorders. "It is a non-
>syndrome," explains
>Robert Geffner, a psychologist
>who has evaluated child-sex-abuse
>allegations in family-court
>litigation for 20 years and who
>established the Family Violence
>and Sexual Assault Institute, in
>San Diego.
>"PAS [is] no medical diagnosis
>whatsoever. You cannot confirm
>a syndrome simply by stating
>that it exists."
>
>Nevertheless, Gardner’s PAS
>theory is widely accepted in a
>legal system seeking neat, >convenient ways to get rid of
>time-consuming custody battles.
>A prolific writer, Gardner has
>self-published hundreds of
>books, audiotapes, and
>videotapes and has lugged
>them across the globe to train
>family-court judges, GALs, and
>psychologists on how to
>recognize PAS. "People believe
>him," Faller says. "The idea of
>an alienating parent has taken
>on a life of its own." His
>teachings have become so
>throughly integrated
>into the language of family law
>that mothers almost always face
>a variation on them in court: a
>mother who alleges abuse is
>crazy, for instance; or she
>coaches the kids; or she is
>crazy and coaches the kids. As
>King, of Justice for Children,
>explains, "No one has to
>cite ‘PAS’ anymore. They say the
>mother is ‘delusional,’
>or that she is ‘destroying the
>relationship’ with the father.
>
>It’s the most common defense in
>these cases." Or, as Suffolk
>family judge Stahlin says, "It’s
>very common for one parent to
>say the other is ‘alienating’
>or ‘coaching’ the child. Often,
>it’s the only explanation that
>the accused can come up with for
>why the child is saying what
>he’s saying." Indeed, Gardner’s
>influence has become so
>entrenched nowadays that the
>Massachusetts Citizens for
>Children, a statewide child-
>advocacy group based in Waltham,
>organized an October 2002
>conference — attended by
>just six family-court judges,
>including Dunphy and Stahlin —
>meant to counteract the negative
>impact of PAS-like defenses.
>
>For all too often, the language
>of PAS works. Kelly Fink, one
>of the 40 women who participated
>in the recent Wellesley report,
>knows firsthand the shame and >humiliation of being labeled
>crazy and a brainwasher by
>family-court officials. The 39-
>year-old nurse and Natick
>resident comes across as a
>formidable personality — she’s
>smart, articulate, and
>persuasive. Yet her five-year
>custody battle at Middlesex
>Probate and Family Court — during
>which she criticized judges,
>GALs, and doctors for how they
>handled her allegations — ended
>last August when she lost
>custody of her school-aged >daughter to the man whom she has
>repeatedly accused of child
>molestation. The experience has
>left Fink convinced that, in her
>words, "the family courts aren’t
>at all interested in protecting
>innocent children."


Custodians of abuse
Across the nation, family court is the last place a mother concerned about child sexual abuse by the child’s father wants to find herself
BY KRISTEN LOMBARDI - The Boston Pheonix
Issue Date: January 9 - 16, 2003
http://www.bostonphoenix.com/boston/news_features/top/features/documents/0264351\
6.htm
http://www.bostonphoenix.com/boston/news_features/top/features/documents/0264351\
5.htm
http://www.bostonphoenix.com/boston/news_features/top/features/documents/0264351\
8.htm
http://www.bostonphoenix.com/boston/news_features/top/features/documents/0264354\
7.htm

IF YOU’RE A PARENT, it’s your worst nightmare: finding out that
your child is being molested — by your spouse. If you seek a
divorce as a result, or are already going through one when you
make the discovery, you hope that family court will do the right
thing: grant you sole legal and physical custody of your child.
In fact, you can’t even imagine that there could be any other
outcome in the custody judgment. But for many parents — in nearly
every instance, mothers — just the opposite occurs: the alleged
abusers don’t just get unsupervised visitation rights, they get
full custody.

How can this happen?

Easy, say family-law attorneys, child-abuse advocates, and child-law
specialists. Family courts aren’t equipped to adjudicate criminal
matters. They exist to settle divorces, wills, adoptions, guardianships,
and other matters related to litigation between family members.

Three recent studies that looked at the outcomes of custody disputes
involving child-abuse claims — one study surveyed California
courts, one surveyed Massachusetts courts, and a third tracked
300 cases over a 10-year period in courts throughout the country
— all came to the same conclusion: the nation’s family courts
are failing to protect children from abuse.

"Family courts are not in a position to litigate the complexities
of child sexual abuse," explains Seth Goldstein, a Napa, California–based
attorney who represents men and women in custody disputes involving
child-sex-abuse charges. Goldstein, who also founded the Child
Abuse Forensic Institute, in Napa, says that most family courts
are "overburdened" with cases and don’t have time for the lengthy
trials and investigations that child-abuse allegations demand.
"In many family courts," he says, "you often have only one sitting
judge to hear hundreds of matters that have to do with many,
many things, so the courts are compelled to move things along
as quickly as possible. The system is just not conducive to [dealing
with] child abuse."

Colorado attorney Alan Rosenfeld, who specializes in representing
parents in custody disputes involving child-abuse allegations
and has counseled approximately 1000 mothers trying to protect
their children from abusive ex-husbands, is blunt: "If we ever
sat down to design the worst possible system that protects the
smallest number of children, it would look a lot like the family
courts look today."

Nearly 25 experts in custody litigation involving child-abuse
claims were interviewed for this article. All had the same three
complaints about family court — regardless of which state’s court
system they were familiar with:

Family courts do not rely on criminal investigators to examine
child-abuse claims. They rely on family advocates called guardians
ad litem (GALs), whose charge is to investigate allegations of
abuse, abandonment, and neglect and to represent the best interests
of the children in disputed custody cases. More often than not,
they are licensed psychologists or social workers. Sometimes,
they are attorneys. They may be highly trained in their own areas
of expertise, but that doesn’t qualify them to evaluate physical
evidence of abuse and to interview victims and alleged abusers.
Yet in contested custody battles, they are frequently called
upon to do just that. Their recommendations carry significant
weight in judicial decisions that set the course of a child’s
life.

Normal courtroom checks and balances don’t exist in family court.
Unlike in criminal and civil court, there are no juries. And
family courts do not mandate legal representation. Therefore,
the only litigants with attorneys are those who can afford them.
In this atmosphere, judges have extraordinary powers and can
work with near-complete impunity. It is not uncommon, for example,
for judges to hold hearings in which important rulings are made
with only one party present (called ex parte hearings); such
hearings can violate basic constitutional rights of due process.

Gender bias and traditional stereotypes of how women and men
parent children continue to prevail in family court. As a result,
while conventional wisdom has it that mothers almost always fare
well in family court, statistics show otherwise. In 1996, the
Williamsburg, Virginia–based American Judges Association released
a report, "Domestic Violence and the Courtroom," in which it
noted that wife batterers and child abusers convince family-court
officials that their ex-wives are "unfit" or "undeserving" of
sole custody in roughly 70 percent of contested custody battles.
A 1989 Massachusetts study commissioned by the state’s Supreme
Judicial Court (SJC) showed that gender bias often hampers the
administration of justice for women in custody decisions. It’s
true that mothers are almost always awarded full or joint custody
of their children in divorce cases where custody isn’t disputed.
Yet the study found that when there was a fight over the children,
fathers won primary or joint custody more than 70 percent of
the time — whether or not there was a history of spousal or child
abuse. (See "Changes in Massachusetts Family Courts Since 1989,"
this page.) Although the study is 13 years old and a number of
things have changed since it was first published, at least 23
states have conducted gender-bias studies since — and all have
made similar findings.


America’s ‘darkest’ secret

IT’S HARD TO say how many children are affected in these cases.
Massachusetts family courts mediated approximately 9450 custody
cases in 2001; multiply that by 50 and you get an extremely rough
estimate of how many such cases are heard nationwide every year
— 472,500. Of these, it’s impossible to say how many involve
charges of child abuse. Massachusetts family courts, for instance,
do not keep statistics on the types of custody cases litigated.
To date, the most reliable and largest national study of the
incidence of child sexual abuse in contested custody cases occurred
in 1990, when the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts,
in Denver, surveyed 9000 custody disputes in 12 family courts
across the country. Fewer than two percent involved child-sex-abuse
charges.

The number is small. But the implications for the children concerned
are staggering. Take, for instance, Idelle Clarke’s 16-year-old
daughter, who is now living with her father, a man twice found
by Los Angeles child-protection workers to have sexually assaulted
her.

"This is one of America’s darkest, most shameful secrets," says
Clarke, a 54-year-old Southern California mother whose case has
become something of a cause célèbre among the burgeoning community
of women and advocates seeking reform of the nation’s family
courts. (See "Five Steps Toward Family-Court Reform," page 3.)
After a nine-year custody battle that began in Los Angeles County
Family Courts in 1993 and ended in California Supreme Court last
October, Clarke not only lost custody of her daughter, but cannot
have any contact with the girl. No phone calls. No visits. Nothing.
Family-court judges simply didn’t believe that the girl had been
sexually assaulted by Clarke’s ex-husband, Ovando Cowles, even
though two separate, exhaustive sex-abuse investigations by LA
child-protection workers found that she had been. Instead, judges
maintained that Clarke had brainwashed her daughter into making
up bogus charges about her father. So now, even though her daughter
lives just minutes away from Clarke’s Sierra Madre home, she
hasn’t been able to see the girl in the two years since the initial
family-court judgment, which prohibited Clarke from going within
100 yards of her daughter. "It’s a punishment greater than those
given to serial rapists," says Clarke, who is now preparing to
file a January 14 petition asking the United States Supreme Court
to hear her case. Meanwhile, Clarke’s daughter doesn’t just live
with the man who’s sexually abused her on at least two occasions.
The teenager, who is developmentally delayed, lives with her
abuser not understanding that the people who want to protect
her, can’t. And that those who can protect her, won’t.

In the small world of contested custody cases in which child-abuse
claims arise, Clarke’s situation isn’t an exception. It’s more
the rule. Colorado attorney Rosenfeld has seen mothers lose custody
of children who’ve contracted sexually transmitted diseases from
their fathers or who’ve made graphic disclosures such as "Daddy
took Mr. Cocky and I played with him and took a tissue and cleaned
it up." Nevertheless, for years, parents who’ve lost their children
to abusers have believed their cases were exceptions. Until Clarke
went public with her story.

In 1999, the now-defunct Los Angeles New Times published a detailed
account of the prolonged custody battle. (See "Additional Reading,"
page 4.) Since then, Clarke has fielded countless phone calls
from women across the country who, like her, expected to find
justice in the family courts, but found something quite different
instead. "Rarely a day goes by where I don’t get a call from
a mother," she says. The outpouring inspired her, along with
four mothers from California, Alaska, Michigan, and New Jersey,
to organize the grassroots group United for Justice, whose members
include hundreds of women in 49 states caught in Kafkaesque nightmares
in the nation’s family courts. Says Clarke, "Women are being
routinely punished and abused if they bring up child-sexual-abuse
allegations in the family courts." And it’s not just Clarke and
other mothers who’ve lost custody of their children who make
this claim.

New York–area sociologist Amy Neustein, along with two co-authors,
is writing a critique of the family-court system for Northeastern
University Press. In 1988, she established the Help Us Regain
the Children Legal Research Center, which tracks custody battles
involving child-sexual-abuse claims. Over the past 14 years,
she has compiled a database with nearly 1000 cases, and has identified
a frequent and disturbing pattern: "the penalization of mothers
for bringing these allegations to the court’s attention in the
first place."

In a 1999 study on judicial responses to mothers’ child-abuse
complaints, Neustein and a colleague followed 300 cases through
the family courts in places across the country for a 10-year
period, from 1988 to 1998. Only 10 percent of the 300 cases resulted
in what Neustein termed "a positive outcome" — meaning that the
mother had won primary custody of her children and the alleged
abuser had gotten supervised visits. In 70 percent of the cases,
the mothers had to send their children on unsupervised visits
and share custody with the alleged abusers. More than 20 percent
of the cases led to what Neustein referred to as "a negative
outcome" — i.e., the mother lost visitation rights altogether.
Too often, she concludes, "The system retaliates against mothers
with such ferocity that they lose their rights."

Her research, which entails combing through court transcripts,
depositions, sex-abuse evaluations, GAL reports, and judicial
findings from the 1000 child-custody cases in her database, has
exposed punitive measures commonly issued by judges against mothers
who continue to charge child sexual abuse. Family-court judges,
for example, hold women in contempt, throw them in jail, scale
back their visitation privileges, and even forbid them to seek
psychological care for their children. In some instances, judges
have gone to the extreme of ordering women not to have any contact
— no letters, no phone calls — with their children.

"What I have seen in the family courts goes beyond the maltreatment
of any other afflicted class in the history of this country,"
Neustein maintains. She ticks off a shocking number of injustices
committed against mothers. Family judges routinely refuse to
hear evidence of child sexual abuse; fail to give mothers a chance
to testify in court on critical matters concerning abuse; hand
down judgments against mothers in ex parte hearings without giving
them prior notice; and evade the rules that guide courtroom conduct.
She says, "People would be flabbergasted by what I have found
in the family courts.... It’s as if you’re looking into a world
that’s completely outside the normal range of legal conduct."


Documenting court abuses

NOT LONG AFTER Clarke’s story was published, the California National
Organization for Women (NOW) drafted a friend-of-the-court brief
urging California appellate judges to review Clarke’s case, as
did the Washington, DC–based legal-watchdog group Judicial Watch.
(Her case has attracted an impressive list of notables from the
mental-health and legal fields. Among the dozens who submitted
letters this year urging the California Supreme Court to review
the custody dispute were University of Southern California law
professor Susan Estrich, National NOW president Kim Gandy, and
former American Psychiatric Association president Paul Fink.)
After NOW’s brief was reported in the press, the organization,
like Clarke, began receiving e-mails and phone calls from women
nationwide describing similar problems. The vast majority of
these women, says Rachel Allan of California NOW, had lost custody
to husbands or boyfriends believed to be sexually abusing their
children. In response to the stories, the group launched a three-year
effort to examine the problems women face in California’s family
courts. In 2001, the organization posted a 21-page questionnaire
on its Web page. Feedback was overwhelming, Allan says; the group
received detailed responses from women in every region in the
country, including Massachusetts. "Women had expected to find
a family-friendly venue [in family court] to make arrangements
on divorce and custody," she explains, "but they found something
quite different."

Last June, after surveying 300 California mothers who had participated
in the questionnaire and conducting follow-up interviews, NOW
released a 134-page report on the state of the family courts
in California. Not intended as a neutral analysis, the document
portrays a system that’s "crippled, incompetent, and corrupt"
and riddled with abuses against women. Women reported being openly
insulted and called "sexist names" by judges, GALs, and court
evaluators. Some complained that judges silenced them during
hearings while allowing their estranged partners to speak. Others
complained that judges refused to let them call their own expert
witnesses who’d analyzed forensic evidence in their cases or
even to let women testify in custody disputes that would affect
their own children. Evaluators and GALs often sided with the
fathers and their attorneys, especially when spousal or child
abuse arose.

The NOW report found that the most serious problems occurred
in custody litigation involving allegations of domestic violence;
in 76 percent of the cases surveyed, the fathers were accused
of having physically or sexually abused their children. In 50
percent of these cases, the abuse was substantiated with police
reports. In 30 percent, court-issued restraining orders had been
directed against the fathers. Yet when mothers raised allegations
of child abuse in disputes, fathers won sole or joint custody
69 percent of the time. Family-court judges did not permit evidence
of the father’s child abuse to be heard in 73 percent of these
cases, even though blocking such evidence from court proceedings
violates due-process rights. Allan and her colleagues repeatedly
found that judges had disregarded compelling evidence of child
sexual abuse. Some judges deemed such material irrelevant because
of earlier rulings or similar technicalities. Others flouted
the rules altogether. "I’ve been in a family court where the
judge openly proclaimed, ‘I don’t care what the law says. This
is my courtroom,’" Allan says. "In so many cases, judges just
ignored the evidence of abuse and the word of children themselves."

Massachusetts hasn’t escaped these problems. Last November, the
Wellesley Centers for Women, at Wellesley College, issued a sharp
critique of the Massachusetts family-court system as part of
a three-year research effort known as the Battered Women’s Testimony
Project (BWTP). The November 25 report, "Battered Mothers Speak
Out," stems from interviews with 40 women from across the state
— all of whom had suffered physical, emotional, or psychological
abuse during their marriages — and 45 victims’ advocates, judges,
and other courtroom personnel. The study found that officials
who work at nearly every family court in the Commonwealth regularly
commit what the report described as "human-rights violations"
against battered mothers. Women complained about a host of offenses:
how court personnel labeled them hysterical and unreasonable;
treated them with scorn, condescension, and disrespect; failed
to give them a chance to be heard in court; and denied them access
to sensitive investigations and documents pertinent to their
custody disputes.

Fifteen of the 40 women interviewed said their ex-partners retained
sole or joint custody of the children — even though all 15 men
reportedly abused both their ex-wives and their children. Eighteen
complained that judges or family-service officers granted or
recommended that abusive fathers get unsupervised visitation
with their children. When it came to allegations of spousal or
child abuse, 38 women said judges, family-service officers, and
GALs had ignored or minimized their claims. Nine of the 40 women
said judges and GALs failed to investigate allegations of physical
and sexual abuse. And six of the 40 women said that judges and
GALs refused to take into account documented evidence of child
abuse when deciding their custody disputes. The Wellesley report
concluded that family courts across Massachusetts are systematically
failing to protect battered women and their children from further
harm. As Carrie Cuthbert, one of the report’s five authors and
co-director of the Wellesley Centers’ Women’s Rights Network,
explains, "Not only is the safety and well-being of mothers and
children at stake, but so is battered mothers’ trust in our family
courts." Within the community of battered women and their advocates,
she continues, "the family courts have gained a reputation as
a place where women don’t find justice."

Not surprisingly, Massachusetts family-court judges disagree.
They condemn the 106-page Wellesley report as skewed because
it relies solely on testimony from women with complaints about
custody decisions, not those satisfied with their rulings. "It
is incomplete and flawed in its methodology," states Sean Dunphy,
the chief justice of the Massachusetts family and probate courts.
He maintains that the report’s approach, which frames the 40
women’s accounts in the context of human-rights violations, "may
work well for systems in Third World countries, but not for a
court in the United States." He and other judges argue that the
women’s testimony would have been strengthened if it had been
verified by a review of court transcripts and by interviews with
lawyers in the cases. (In fact, the Wellesley report’s authors
fact-checked 10 of the 40 stories with court records and other
documentation. "In every one, we found the documents thoroughly
supported the women’s statements," says Lundy Bancroft, a report
author.)

Nevertheless, Dunphy finds the claim that the state’s family
courts aren’t working to be a "broad-brushed statement." It concerns
him, however, "that individuals would have such perceptions and
beliefs." Jeremy Stahlin, associate justice at the Suffolk County
Probate and Family Court, concedes that if the complaints outlined
in the report were true, "then, yes, it’s a problem." But he
also concludes: "I don’t think the court is predominantly favoring
one side or the other in these custody cases, and I find that
hard to accept as a premise."

Complaints about faulty methodology strike advocates as a convenient
way to deflect attention from the issues laid out in the controversial
reports. That so many women across the state reported strikingly
similar accounts should, in and of itself, be cause for alarm,
Bancroft says, noting, "It’s shocking that 40 women who don’t
know each other would offer the same complaints about the family
courts." He adds, "The family court’s current response to custody
disputes, particularly those that involve child-abuse allegations,
is repeatedly failing to protect children."

Losing custody to a child molester

SARAH FITZPATRICK Mandel is hunching forward, wrapping her arms
around herself as if she’s trying to contain her pain. The Orleans
resident, 30, is telling me about how she lost custody of her
two children, a daughter now four years old and a son now age
three, in Barnstable Probate and Family Court to her ex-husband,
a man who Baltimore, Maryland, child-protection workers believe
is a child molester. About how she was arrested and jailed for
six nights for refusing to hand over her children. About how
the court refused to hear charges that her ex-husband had abused
their son when he was two years old.

Fitzpatrick filed to divorce her then-husband, Marc Mandel, a
36-year-old Baltimore County state prosecutor, in June 2001,
after five years of what she describes as an emotionally abusive
and violent marriage. Six months later, pending a trial in Baltimore
County Circuit Court, the couple agreed to a temporary custody
arrangement that gave her primary care of their daughter Amy
and son James. (The children’s names have been changed to keep
their identities private.) The court order handed down a visitation
plan allowing Fitzpatrick’s former spouse to see the children
in Cape Cod, where she’d since relocated.

But last February, while changing her son’s diaper after he’d
returned from a visit with his father, Fitzpatrick saw that James’s
penis and rectum were red and swollen. Fitzpatrick phoned the
Orleans Police. In a February 4, 2002, police report, she told
the responding officer that James’s "private area ... looked
like the skin was pinched and pulled ... [and] there was redness
around his anus."

Subsequent medical examinations of the boy revealed rare physical
symptoms typically associated with child sexual abuse. Two doctors
diagnosed James as suffering from a red and swollen penis and
scrotum. The first doctor, Hope Brooks, saw James on February
4. The second doctor, Nancy Golden, who is James’s pediatrician,
examined the boy nine days later, on February 12, and found that
James also had "anal fissures," or cuts and scrapes around the
rectum. Such symptoms do not necessarily prove molestation, explains
Dr. Eli Newberger, the founder of the child-protection team at
Children’s Hospital and a renowned expert on child sexual abuse,
"but they’re extremely important indicators." Anal fissures almost
never occur in instances other than abuse, he says. The findings
prompted Golden to contact the Massachusetts Department of Social
Services (DSS), whose mission is to ensure the safety and well-being
of minors. On February 14, the department evaluated James and
confirmed he had severe redness and abrasions on his genitals
— symptoms that the DSS called "atypical" for such ordinary conditions
as diaper rash. In accordance with agency procedures, evaluators
tried to interview the boy. But James, who was just two years
old, said nothing. As a result, the DSS closed the case, though
its report cautioned that "the absence of specific findings in
no way indicates abuse did not occur."

Mandel did not return a phone call from the Phoenix seeking comment.
His Brewster, Massachusetts–based attorney, Dennis Manesis, says
his client "has steadfastly refused to speak to the press because
he doesn’t believe his children should be bandied about in the
newspapers." In court records, Mandel attributes James’s injuries
to a diaper rash that he aggravated during James’s February 3
visit by wiping his son’s bottom with a paper towel after the
boy had had a "difficult bowel movement." His attorney also points
out that the two doctors examined the boy over a period of nine
days. Only the second doctor diagnosed anal fissures, however.
"So how did the child get those injuries?" Manesis asks, emphasizing
that Mandel had not seen his son during those nine days.

His question, of course, is meant to cast doubt on Fitzpatrick.
But a July 2002 report conducted for the Baltimore County DSS
determined that Mandel had assaulted his 10-year-old daughter
from an earlier marriage. The report states that Mandel’s daughter
accused him of seven "incidents" of fondling, including one where
he "rubbed and went inside her vagina." The report concedes that
such allegations could have arisen from one of two possibilities
— first, that the girl was programmed to make false charges against
her father; or second, that "Mandel has indeed exhibited sexually
inappropriate and intrusive behavior with his daughter." The
investigator concludes, however, that the girl was telling the
truth: "I did not find signs of coaching and [the child’s] credibility
appears high." In an interview documented in the report, Mandel
maintained not only that his older daughter had repeated bogus
claims against him made by her maternal grandmother, but also
that both of his ex-wives and their mothers were "conspiring
against him" to portray him as an abuser. And according to Manesis,
Mandel’s first wife filed abuse charges against Mandel with the
Baltimore DSS only after a similar investigation by the Department
of Protective Services, in Virginia, where the older daughter
lives, did not substantiate the abuse. "After he was cleared
in Virginia," Manesis argues, "the mother ran to Maryland to
make a report." He adds that, "whatever the Maryland DSS found,"
its child-protection workers didn’t base their determination
on any physical "proof" that Mandel had abused his daughter.

For Fitzpatrick, her son’s diagnosis only reinforced her suspicion
that her estranged husband, in her words, "had done something
terribly bad" to James. She refused to comply with the Baltimore
court’s visitation plan; indeed, she sent Amy and James to live
with relatives elsewhere in the state and kept their whereabouts
hidden. "I wasn’t going to let my children see their father alone
again," she says. She then turned to the Barnstable family court
for help, filing a February 15, 2002, motion seeking to move
the pending custody matter from Baltimore to Massachusetts. The
Barnstable family court ruled instead that a hearing had to be
held on whether Massachusetts had proper jurisdiction in the
matter. Meanwhile, the Baltimore trial got under way before either
Fitzpatrick or her ex-husband pursued the Massachusetts hearing.

By the time the Baltimore trial took place in August, Fitzpatrick
had accumulated a battery of documentation and witnesses to back
up her sex-abuse claims, including the Baltimore DSS findings
that Mandel had assaulted his oldest daughter, as well as expert
testimony from Eli Newberger, who concluded after evaluating
the medical reports that it is "highly likely that Marc Mandel
had ... sexually abused" James. None of this evidence was ever
heard at trial, however. On August 21, the day trial began, Fitzpatrick’s
attorney, William Kerr, withdrew as her counsel. Kerr told the
Phoenix that he removed himself from the case because of a conflict
between him and Elizabeth Clague, the Brockton attorney who represents
Fitzpatrick in Massachusetts. Rather than listen to his advice
and attend the Baltimore trial, Kerr says, "Sarah chose to heed
her Massachusetts attorney and not appear. I felt my effectiveness
as her lawyer was no longer a factor." The move stunned Fitzpatrick,
who contends that Kerr had left her a message the morning of
the trial saying everything was all right. "He has never explained
to me why he did that," she says.

Without legal representation, Fitzpatrick was forced to request
that the trial be continued — to no avail. After two days of
testimony elicited by Mandel’s attorney, the judge in the case,
Baltimore County Circuit Court judge John Fader, issued a stinging
judgment against Fitzpatrick, in which he rejected her sex-abuse
claims and granted Mandel full custody of both children. "I fear
the mother of these children will do almost anything, and say
almost anything to get her way," the judge explained in his August
28, 2002, order. He labeled Fitzpatrick "a pathological liar,
or a purposeful liar, or both" and denied her any visitation
rights at all.

Faced with Fader’s harsh judgment, Fitzpatrick sought relief
once again in Barnstable family court, filing a September 3,
2002, motion seeking to reverse custody. Rather than hear the
complaint — and the evidence of child abuse — First Justice Robert
Terry dismissed it. Instead, he upheld an order that came from
an ex parte hearing — which Fitzpatrick had not appeared at or
known about — that the Barnstable court had granted Mandel on
August 29, 2002. Not only did this order enforce Fader’s decision,
but it also ruled that Mandel "be assisted by the Orleans Police
... in the assumption of the physical custody of the two minor
children." Terry denied Fitzpatrick’s appeal for custody because,
he wrote in his October 15, 2002, decision, "two first-rate judges
in two states have fully considered these [sex-abuse] allegations
and have rejected their veracity." In a brief interview with
the Phoenix, the judge elaborated upon his findings. He explained
that he’d honored Fader’s judgment because the Baltimore court
has "clear jurisdiction" in the case. "One of the major problems,
as family-court judges know, is forum shopping," he continued,
adding that litigants "cannot just go to any state they want
and file motions and hold hearings" because they’re dissatisfied
with a decision.

Fitzpatrick has appealed Terry’s decision, which is pending before
the state Supreme Judicial Court. Yet her continued refusal to
let Mandel see his children caused the judge to declare Fitzpatrick
in contempt of court last fall. On October 25, in another closed-door
ex parte hearing, Terry authorized a civil-detention warrant
for Fitzpatrick. Four days later, she awoke at her family’s Scituate
home to a loud bang at the door. Within minutes, she was under
arrest. Police seized her son, James, who was with her at the
time, before forcing her to the ground, slapping on handcuffs,
and hauling her off to the Barnstable County House of Corrections,
where she languished for six days. Terry, for his part, presented
the contempt proceeding as a straightforward judgment. "I determined
that there was a valid order — which there is, from Maryland
— and that she had the present abilities to comply," he says.
"She could turn over her children" to Mandel.

As it stands, the only judge who has not doubted the veracity
of Fitzpatrick’s allegations also happens to be the only one
who’s heard her testify. Last month, US District Court judge
Robert Keeton issued a scathing decision in a federal lawsuit
Fitzpatrick filed against the Orleans Police. In his December
9 judgment, Keeton blasted the police for launching a broad,
misleading investigation into the whereabouts of Fitzpatrick’s
children, during which the judge found that the department "likely
violated" the mother’s due-process and parental-privacy rights.
More important, based on testimony given by Fitzpatrick, Keeton
also determined that "there is compelling evidence that the children
have been harmed by their father."

Today, as she waits for the SJC to accept her case for review,
Fitzpatrick has a hard time believing what’s happened to her
and her children. After her October 29 arrest, police handed
over her toddler son to his alleged abuser, who has taken the
boy back to Baltimore. While her daughter remains in an undisclosed
location in this state, Fitzpatrick wonders how long Amy will
be safe. Given the reaction of the family courts to her claims
of child sexual abuse so far, she fears she may lose custody
of her kids forever. "It’s just inconceivable what’s happened
in the family courts," she says, her voice shaken. "All I’m doing
is trying to protect my kids. Any mother would do the same."

THE NOTORIOUS Fells Acres day-care and McMartin preschool child-sexual-abuse
cases have left behind a terrible legacy: That same year, Karen
Henderson of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported on problems
in her diocese and beyond. Yet it wasn’t until 2002, when the
details of sexual abuse by scores of clergy within the Boston
archdiocese were made public, that enough people believed the
charges, victims could credibly demand their abusers be held
accountable, and law-enforcement and court authorities would
finally listen.

So it should come as no surprise that family-court officials
often disbelieve charges of child sex abuse — even though few
sex-abuse allegations ever turn out to be patently false. Kathleen
Coulborn Faller, a professor of social work at the University
of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, has done extensive research into child-sex-abuse
allegations in custody cases and has found that 70 percent of
these allegations were indeed true. Of the other 30 percent,
she reports, very few involved parents maliciously conjuring
up bogus charges — only 10 out of 215 cases fit that description.
Even that number seems inflated, given that four of the 10 cases
involved one father who Faller says "admitted that he had filed
false child-abuse reports ... to obtain greater access to his
daughter." Thus, the data, she says, "thoroughly debunks the
myth that false allegations are rampant in custody disputes."

Even so, the myth persists. Combine that with gender bias — after
all, most claims of abuse are made by women against their ex-husbands
or former boyfriends — and you have situations in which mothers
find it very difficult to get their claims taken seriously. Eileen
King, director of the Washington, DC, office of Justice for Children,
a national child-advocacy group, has worked on roughly 100 custody
cases involving child-abuse allegations in many states over the
past two years, and has seen how gender discrimination comes
into play. If a mother who suspects molestation appears distraught
in the courtroom (which seems only natural when dealing with
the horror of hearing a child say, "Daddy puts his pee-pee in
my pee-pee") she often gets slapped with the "hysterical" label.
If she appears composed, the label is "cold and calculated."
Mothers, King observes, "are often put into no-win situations."

Gender bias against mothers, combined with a culture resistant
to believing fathers molest their children, has made for a potent
mix, giving rise to a bogus mental disorder called "parental-alienation
syndrome" (PAS) that is frequently employed by alleged sex abusers
in their custody battles. Essentially, PAS involves brainwashing
a child to allege molestation. The syndrome, according to the
theory, afflicts mostly "vindictive mothers" who "program" their
kids to fabricate claims so they’ll have an advantage in litigation.
The brainchild of Richard Gardner, a psychiatrist affiliated
with Columbia University (who believes that up to 90 percent
of all child-sex-abuse allegations are false), PAS has been referenced
in courtrooms in Massachusetts and across the country, even though
it’s widely discredited by mainstream mental-health professionals.

Since 1987, when Gardner first coined the phrase "parental-alienation
syndrome," he has provided no scientific data to support it.
Most of his 140 or so articles on the subject have not appeared
in peer-reviewed medical journals, which require evaluation of
articles by fellow professionals before publication. The American
Psychiatric Association has not included PAS in its diagnostic
manual of certifiable disorders. "It is a non-syndrome," explains
Robert Geffner, a psychologist who has evaluated child-sex-abuse
allegations in family-court litigation for 20 years and who established
the Family Violence and Sexual Assault Institute, in San Diego.
"PAS [is] no medical diagnosis whatsoever. You cannot confirm
a syndrome simply by stating that it exists."

Nevertheless, Gardner’s PAS theory is widely accepted in a legal
system seeking neat, convenient ways to get rid of time-consuming
custody battles. A prolific writer, Gardner has self-published
hundreds of books, audiotapes, and videotapes and has lugged
them across the globe to train family-court judges, GALs, and
psychologists on how to recognize PAS. "People believe him,"
Faller says. "The idea of an alienating parent has taken on a
life of its own." His teachings have become so thoroughly integrated
into the language of family law that mothers almost always face
a variation on them in court: a mother who alleges abuse is crazy,
for instance; or she coaches the kids; or she is crazy and coaches
the kids. As King, of Justice for Children, explains, "No one
has to cite ‘PAS’ anymore. They say the mother is ‘delusional,’
or that she is ‘destroying the relationship’ with the father.
It’s the most common defense in these cases." Or, as Suffolk
family judge Stahlin says, "It’s very common for one parent to
say the other is ‘alienating’ or ‘coaching’ the child. Often,
it’s the only explanation that the accused can come up with for
why the child is saying what he’s saying." Indeed, Gardner’s
influence has become so entrenched nowadays that the Massachusetts
Citizens for Children, a statewide child-advocacy group based
in Waltham, organized an October 2002 conference — attended by
just six family-court judges, including Dunphy and Stahlin —
meant to counteract the negative impact of PAS-like defenses.

For all too often, the language of PAS works. Kelly Fink, one
of the 40 women who participated in the recent Wellesley report,
knows firsthand the shame and humiliation of being labeled crazy
and a brainwasher by family-court officials. The 39-year-old
nurse and Natick resident comes across as a formidable personality
— she’s smart, articulate, and persuasive. Yet her five-year
custody battle at Middlesex Probate and Family Court — during
which she criticized judges, GALs, and doctors for how they handled
her allegations — ended last August when she lost custody of
her school-aged daughter to the man whom she has repeatedly accused
of child molestation. The experience has left Fink convinced
that, in her words, "the family courts aren’t at all interested
in protecting innocent children."

Fink’s custody battle dates back to summer 1997, when she filed
to divorce her then-husband, Jonathan Meier, a 37-year-old engineer
and Massachusetts resident. Their marriage, Fink says, was an
unhappy, abusive relationship that deteriorated for good soon
after the birth of the couple’s daughter, Melissa (not her real
name). After a bitter divorce trial in January 1999, Fink was
awarded full custody of Melissa. And due to allegations of emotional
and physical abuse that Fink lodged against her ex-husband —
including charges that he had bruised Melissa’s leg as a baby
— Meier got only supervised visitation. Gradually, though, as
he received positive marks from a supervisor who monitored visits,
Meier was allowed to spend unsupervised time with his daughter.

It wasn’t long after the court loosened the stringent visitation
provisions that Fink began to suspect Meier was abusing Melissa.
In October 1999, Melissa, then two, returned from a visit with
her father and, several days later, complained that, as Fink
recalls, "her bottom hurt her." Fink took her daughter to a doctor,
who diagnosed the little girl with bloody, superficial cuts and
tears around the vulva. The doctor didn’t consider the injuries
particularly revealing, though child-abuse experts like Children’s
Hospital’s Newberger say such physical injuries on a toddler
"exclude any benign or accidental cause." Yet something the girl
said gave the doctor pause. During the genital examination, according
to court records, the toddler told the doctor, "Don’t put your
fingers inside."

Taken aback, the doctor asked Melissa if anyone else ever did
such a thing.

Melissa, court records show, replied, "Dad did, I do."

Concerned, the doctor filed a report of suspected child abuse
with the state DSS. When the agency receives these reports, known
as "51-As," says DSS spokesperson Michael MacCormack, it "screens"
them to see if they warrant investigation. In this case, the
DSS called the GAL assigned to represent Melissa at the time.
But the agency then screened out the doctor’s report according
to department regulations — something that happens more often
than you might think. In 2001, for example, DSS received 64,304
reports of suspected child abuse and neglect. Of those, it instantly
threw out 21,828 because, MacCormack explains, "They did not
meet our criteria." Either the child wasn’t in immediate danger,
he says, or the alleged abuser wasn’t a primary caretaker. In
the courtroom, the agency’s unwillingness to investigate child
sexual abuse helped cement the idea that Fink’s allegations were
nothing but "distortions" and possible "delusions." A court-ordered
evaluation into the claims concluded that, according to documents,
"There is no data ... to indicate that [the child] has been sexually
abused by anyone." And so, the unsupervised visits were allowed
to continue.

More than a year later, Fink voiced concerns about abuse again.
This time, in April 2001, Melissa, who was now four years old,
returned from a visit with her father appearing upset. When Fink
asked what was wrong, her daughter told her that "her bottom
hurt." The girl’s genitals, Fink says, looked red and raw. So
Fink called the girl’s GAL, who reminded Fink about "problems
with past allegations," as stated in court records. Fink did
the only thing she could think to do: she brought her daughter
to Children’s Hospital. Melissa’s diagnosis of a "perineal rash"
does not specify abuse. But while the doctor was examining Melissa,
court records (and an audiotape of the examination provided to
the Phoenix) reveal she blurted out to her mother: "That’s where
Daddy touches me."

Melissa’s comment set off a chain reaction. The hospital performed
a rape-kit exam and filed a 51-A report with the DSS. The department,
in turn, performed a two-month investigation, interviewing Melissa,
her parents, and others. In the end, however, the department
did not support a finding of sexual abuse — because, as court
documents show, Melissa did not make "specific definitive disclosures"
about being abused. It was one of 16,637 cases in 2001 where
DSS did not substantiate suspected abuse or neglect. In accordance
with agency guidelines, the DSS referred the case to the Middlesex
County District Attorney’s Office, which opened a criminal investigation.
State prosecutors discovered that Melissa’s rape-kit exam had
yielded traces of DNA from "saliva" on swabs taken from the girl’s
genital area. The presence of saliva doesn’t prove molestation;
indeed, it could have come from Melissa’s own fingers. Court
records show that prosecutors convened a November 2001 grand
jury and issued a subpoena ordering Meier to provide a DNA sample,
which he did in February 2002. But they’ve since told Fink that
the DNA from the rape kit turned out to be too small for testing.
In other words, it’s still not known whose DNA matches the rape-kit
sample. The Middlesex DA, through its spokesperson Seth Horowitz,
declined to comment on the specifics of the criminal investigation
except to say that the office "had no positive forensic evidence"
at this time.

Her daughter’s disclosures prompted Fink to ask Middlesex family
court to issue a no-contact order against her ex-husband and
to review the visitation set-up. She filed the motion on April
27, 2001. On July 12, 2001, Meier filed a counter-motion seeking
full custody of Melissa. Meier did not return a phone call from
the Phoenix seeking comment. Through his Newton attorney, Lisa
Marino, he declined to comment on the case. Marino offered this
statement: "My client understands the importance of abuse allegations
and has always taken them seriously. However, in this case, the
allegations are not true." In court records, Meier has repeatedly
denied that he’s ever harmed his daughter. He has claimed that
his ex-wife has made "false allegations" against him and has
"physically and emotionally" harmed his daughter by subjecting
her to repeated sex-abuse investigations that fail to yield any
evidence.

In February 2002, Middlesex Probate and Family Court associate
justice Beverly Weinger Boorstein presided over the couple’s
second custody trial on the new appeals. During the three-day
trial, as many as 14 witnesses were called to testify. Yet according
to trial transcripts, the court heard far more testimony about
the mother’s mental health and parental fitness than about physical
evidence of child sexual abuse. At the end of trial, Fink says,
Boorstein requested that she bring her daughter to court so the
judge could meet her. When Fink showed up at the courthouse on
February 27, 2002, she says, the judge offered her an ultimatum.
"She said if I voluntarily gave up my no-contact order, she’d
allow me to retain full custody," Fink recalls. "I told her I
wouldn’t do that." Fink’s comments are echoed by her partner,
Jason Morse, who accompanied Fink into the judge’s chambers that
day. (Fink filed a February 28, 2002, complaint about Boorstein
with the Commission on Judicial Conduct, whose investigation
confirmed the events at the February 27 meeting yet absolved
Boorstein of misconduct.) On March 5, 2002, Boorstein awarded
joint physical custody to Fink and Meier. But five months later,
she reversed her order and stripped Fink of custody. Fink, the
judge ruled, could only see her daughter twice a week, under
strict supervision. In the August 5, 2002, ruling — an exhaustive,
28-page summary of the case — Boorstein casts Fink, who suffers
from post-traumatic-stress disorder, as a delusional woman whose
sex-abuse allegations are false beliefs unsupported by the evidence.
Boorstein declined to comment on the case for this article. In
her ruling, she states that the "mother’s mental state and her
resulting actions will destroy [Melissa’s] relationship with
her father and continue to have a negative effect on [Melissa’s]
emotional and mental development."

Fink, who’s appealing Boorstein’s decision, holds a different
view: "I feel like she reversed custody just to punish me" for
filing a complaint against her with the Commission on Judicial
Conduct. Though Fink acknowledges that the judge’s findings deal
a severe blow to her credibility, she attributes the punitive
judgment to "an effort to psychologically slam me and debilitate
me so that I will shut up." Fink — who attended a battered women’s
testimonial at the State House in May 2002, at which dozens of
mothers spoke out about problems in Massachusetts family courts
— says her experience fits a shockingly similar pattern in custody
cases involving child sexual abuse. As she describes it: "It’s
[to] pathologize the moms and turn attention away from the kids."


A threat from the judge

PARENTAL-ALIENATION syndrome also popped up in Jean Johnson’s
battle with her ex-husband for custody of their daughter. Johnson
(who asked that her real name and other names associated with
the case not be used for fear of retaliation by the judge who
presided over her custody litigation) believes that recognition
of the syndrome pervaded her three-year battle in Plymouth Probate
and Family Court for custody of her daughter Julia. Unlike Fink,
Johnson, a 40-year-old attorney and Plymouth resident, won custody
of her child. But her ex-husband, a man who the Massachusetts
DSS insists assaulted the couple’s six-year-old daughter, was
awarded unsupervised visitation rights. And the March 2002 decision
makes it clear that this arrangement will end if Johnson tries
"to alienate the child from the Father" again. In other words,
as she says, "I could lose my daughter at any time." Throughout
these cases, Johnson adds, family-court personnel try to reason
"around the abuse and turn it against you."

Johnson filed for divorce in fall of 1999. Within months of the
filing, she says, her daughter seemed strange after visits with
her father. One time, Julia, who was just three years old, asked
her mother if she knew about the "woo-woo game" that she played
with her father. When Johnson asked what the game entailed, her
daughter explained that "you take off your clothes" and "Daddy
sticks them up my bum," according to court records. Another time,
Johnson walked into Julia’s bedroom to find the little girl standing
before a mirror squeezing her nipples. Julia’s vagina and anus,
Johnson noticed, looked swollen. Johnson took her daughter to
a doctor, who chalked up the physical symptoms to stress. The
doctor nevertheless filed a 51-A report with the state DSS, which
didn’t make much of the sex-abuse allegations. After a 10-day
investigation, during which Julia didn’t offer any incriminating
details, the agency failed to substantiate abuse. Such a conclusion,
explains DSS spokesperson Michael MacCormack, "means that we
couldn’t find credible evidence to support allegations, such
as a disclosure from the child." He then adds, "It may be more
difficult than you’d expect to find credible evidence of child
sexual abuse."

While the divorce and custody trial proceeded, however, the DSS
was again pulled into the case. In April 2000, Julia’s therapist
called the department to report that during a therapy session,
the little girl had discussed the "woo-woo game" she had played
with her father. This time, another 10-day investigation found
Julia to be a telling witness. Her descriptions of the "woo-woo
game," as well as the "beatle-bug game" and the "pajama game,"
are documented in court records as played when "taking off your
clothes" and then "Daddy sticks them up my bum." As a result,
the DSS concluded that Julia’s father was molesting her. Johnson’s
ex-husband, a middle-aged scientist, has repeatedly denied the
sex-abuse charges in court records.

By the time the couple’s divorce went to trial at Plymouth family
court, in October 2001, the evidence against Johnson’s ex-husband
seemed so credible that Johnson assumed that his attempt to gain
custody "would go nowhere." The court, however, proved her wrong.
According to court documents in the case, the Plymouth County
judge issued a seemingly illogical ruling in March 2002 that
shocks Johnson to this day. Not only did the judge downplay the
DSS’s conclusions, but he assailed Julia’s therapist as "questionable."
Thus the judge ruled that Johnson’s ex had not actually molested
his daughter, and that Johnson had pushed the bogus charges "solely
[in an] attempt to get back at the Father." The judge also warned
that if Johnson "alienate[s]" Julia from her father, "a change
in custody may be the only remaining action that can be taken
by this Court to protect the child."

The decision has left Johnson, who’s filing an appeal, in disbelief.
"I’m just devastated," she says. "I’ve been made to look like
Mommy Dearest. I made up the allegations, and I harassed these
professionals into investigating" the sex-abuse claims. She then
offers, "All these social workers and therapists put their [professional]
lives on the line just to make me happy? I don’t think so."

‘Which would you rather believe?’

ACCORDING TO a well-known 1994 national study of the incidence
of child sexual abuse, one in five girls and one in 10 boys are
molested before the age of 18 — and 70 percent of them are assaulted
by their own fathers. These figures paint an ugly, uncomfortable
picture. At the end of the day, it’s probably far easier for
people — including judges, GALs, attorneys, and evaluators —
to believe that spiteful women will fabricate child-sex-abuse
allegations just to gain the upper hand in court.

"Which would you rather believe?" asks Elizabeth Clague, the
Brockton attorney who is also representing Fink and Johnson in
their appeals. When handling these custody disputes, she has
heard family-court officers, judges, and her own colleagues dismiss
sex-abuse charges as cases of "he said, she said." Clinging to
this stalemate, Clague theorizes, makes their lives less painful,
less complicated. "If you think all these women are sitting on
their front stoops and conjuring up lies," she explains, "you
can go home, flip on the television, and not have to worry about
child sexual abuse."

As the studies by California NOW, Wellesley Centers for Women,
and Neustein show, what happened to Clarke, Fitzpatrick, Fink,
and Johnson occurs more often than you’d think. As Johnson notes,
she simply assumed the courts would rule against someone the
DSS had found to be a child molester. "I believed the family
courts would listen to the facts and do the right thing because
I had truth on my side," she says. "Who’d have thought that court
[officials] would not acknowledge abuse and protect children?"


Kristen Lombardi can be reached at klombardi@phx.com




Custodians of abuse - sidebar information to article

MUCH HAS changed since a 1989 study showed that Masscachusetts
family courts were skewed against mothers in disputed custody
cases. But more reform is needed.

Changes in Massachusetts family courts since 1989

A 1989 MASSACHUSETTS study commissioned by the state Supreme
Judicial Court showed that mothers engaged in custody disputes
with their ex-husbands or boyfriends can fall victim to gender
bias. Family courts held mothers to higher standards than fathers.
Judges and other courtroom personnel, for example, scrutinized
mothers’ habits, work schedules, and relationships, as if looking
for any reason to prove them unfit. By contrast, fathers who
simply sought custody were viewed as undertaking what the study
termed " an extraordinary act of commitment " to his children.

When it came to allegations of child abuse in custody battles
— typically, allegations lodged by women against men — court
officials often presumed that the claims were false. The 1989
study showed that a majority of Massachusetts family-court judges
even agreed with the statement that mothers only charge child
abuse " to gain a bargaining advantage in the divorce. " Judicial
attitudes ranged from " skepticism " to " disdain. " And judges
made what the study described as " inconsistent and ... questionable
" rulings, such as granting alleged abusers unsupervised visits.

Court officials today say that much has changed since the study
was published 13 years ago. The Massachusetts family court has
almost completely changed its face since 1989. Only six of the
judges interviewed for the SJC gender-bias study still remain
on the family-court bench. Forty-four new and younger judges,
about half of whom are women, now hear divorce, custody, and
child-support cases in the 14 family courts statewide. " The
field of judges looks different, " says Sean Dunphy, chief justice
of the Massachusetts family and probate courts. Today’s judges
are more enlightened about domestic violence and child sexual
abuse than judges were in 1989 because, he maintains, " they’ve
been exposed to significant training. " Many family-court judges
spent legal careers practicing domestic-relations and child-welfare
law. And their knowledge of child abuse has grown and evolved,
just as society’s has.

Since the troublesome SJC findings became public in 1989, judges
say, the family-court administration has taken concerted steps
to improve judicial responses to these cases. Dunphy, for instance,
helped to create a 59-page protocol to assist judges in addressing
child sex-abuse charges in the mid 1980s, when he served as first
justice of the Hampshire Probate and Family Court. As chief justice,
he has distributed these extensive guidelines to all his 49 colleagues
on the family-court bench. Administrators, in addition, have
drafted judicial-conduct provisions prohibiting biased behavior.
And each year since 1994, they’ve devoted $100,000 toward official
training of judges and family-service officers on domestic violence.

Such reforms have had an effect, according to David Sacks, the
first justice of the Hampden Probate and Family Court. " Does
the system need help? " he asks. " Absolutely. But there is real
progress on this issue. " He then adds, " In my experience, we
treat [disputed custody] cases [with abuse charges] very seriously.
The nightmare of a family-court judge is placing a child at risk.
"

- Kristen Lombardi

AGENT OF CHANGE: Lundy Bancroft worked on the Wellesley Centers
for Women's three-year study of Massachusetts family courts.
'The family court's current response to custody disputes, particularly
those that involve child-abuse allegations, is repastedly failing
to protect children,' he says.

What we found: A catalogue of shame


• Family courts do not rely on criminal investigators to examine
child-abuse claims. They rely on family advocates called guardians
ad litem, whose charge is to investigate allegations of abuse,
abandonment, and neglect and to represent the best interests
of the children in disputed custody cases. More often than not,
they are unqualified to evaluate physical evidence of abuse and
to interview victims and alleged abusers. Yet, in contested custody
battles, they are frequently called upon to do just that.

• Normal courtroom checks and balances don’t exist in family
court. Unlike in criminal and civil court, there are no juries.
And family courts do not mandate legal representation. Therefore,
the only litigants with attorneys are those who can afford them.
In this atmosphere, judges have extraordinary powers and can
work with near-complete impunity. It is not uncommon for judges
to hold hearings in which important rulings are made with only
one party present; such hearings can violate basic constitutional
rights of due process.

• Even when child-protection service workers find evidence of
abuse, it is not uncommon for judges to refuse to hear the evidence.
A California woman, who was one of the first to go public with
her story, lost custody of her daughter to a man whom Los Angeles
child-protection workers twice found to have abused the girl.
The mother is now appealing the decision to the United States
Supreme Court.

• Gender bias and traditional stereotypes of how women and men
parent children continue to prevail in family court. As a result,
while conventional wisdom has it that mothers almost always fare
well in custody disputes, statistics show otherwise. In 1996,
the Williamsburg, Virginia–based American Judges Association
released a report, "Domestic Violence and the Courtroom," in
which it noted that wife batterers and child abusers convince
family-court officials that their ex-wives are "unfit" or "undeserving"
of sole custody in roughly 70 percent of contested custody cases.

• A 1999 study on judicial responses to mothers’ child-abuse
complaints followed 300 cases through the family courts in locales
around the country from 1988 to 1998. It showed, according to
researcher Amy Neustein, that "[t]he system retaliates against
mothers with such ferocity that they lose their rights."

• A 2002 California NOW report found that the most serious problems
occurred in custody litigation involving allegations of domestic
violence.

• Fifteen of the 40 women interviewed for a 2002 report on Massachusetts
family courts said their ex-partners retained sole or joint custody
of the children — even though all 15 men reportedly abused both
their ex-wives and their children.

• Despite a sea change in attitude toward abusive priests, we
remain a culture unwilling to believe fathers capable of molesting
their children. Yet a well-known 1994 national study of the incidence
of child sexual abuse found that one in five girls and one in
10 boys are molested before the age of 18 — and 70 percent of
them are assaulted by their own fathers.

STILL FIGHTING: 'Jean Johnson' won custody of her daughter, who
the Massachusetts Department of Social Services believes was
molested by her father. But the judge warned that if further
abuse charges are made against the father, who won unsupervised
vistiation rights, he will reverse the order. Johnson is appealing
the ruling.

Five steps toward family-court reform

THE BLOSSOMING community of protective parents and advocates
seeking reform in the nation’s family courts offers several recommendations
to address the problems plaguing the system. For custody proceedings
that involve child-abuse claims, they suggest the following five
essential changes:

• When conducting child-sexual-abuse evaluations in disputed
custody cases, replace the single guardian ad litem with a multi-disciplinary
team similar to the team many state prosecutors use in criminal
investigations. This group would consist of professionals with
expertise not only in mental health generally, but also in family
violence, child abuse, and trauma specifically.

• Mandate guidelines for all sex-abuse evaluators detailing the
proper review of pertinent documentation, the impartial interviewing
of witnesses, and the appropriate uses of psychological testing.
Such standards should also force evaluators to present all the
evidence collected, not just the evidence that supports their
own conclusions.

• Require frequent, mandatory training on spousal and child abuse
for all family-court personnel. Most especially, these educational
seminars should illuminate the tactics batterers and child abusers
often employ in the courtroom.

• Ban the use of bogus psychological disorders, such as " parental-alienation
syndrome, " under the family court’s judicial protocol for contested
custody cases involving sex-abuse claims.

• Establish independent statewide offices to serve as ombudspersons
for the nation’s family courts so litigants can file complaints
and receive resolutions. These offices would also audit family
courts periodically to ensure that problems are being effectively
addressed.

¯ KL

VICTIM OF THE COURTS: Kelly Fink lost custody of her daughter
to her ex-husband. During a genital examination of her daughter,
according to court records, the toddler told the doctor, 'Don't
put your fingers inside.' Taken aback, the doctor asked the girl
if anyone else ever did such a thing. The toddler replied: 'Dad
did, I do.'

Additional reading


"A Little Girl’s Hell," a detailed account by Susan Goldsmith
of Idelle Clarke’s custody battle, published in the now-defunct
Los Angeles New Times. Available online at http://home.earthlink.net/~idelc.

Small Justice, Little Justice, Boston University film professor
Garland Waller’s disturbing documentary about how the nation’s
family courts fail to protect women and their children. Order
it online at www.smalljustice.com or by calling (800) 553-8336.

"Girl, Interrupted," a blockbuster SF Weekly article by Bernice
Yeung on the case of Alanna Krause, a 19-year-old who’s suing
her child therapist, her guardian ad Litem, and her father for
the childhood abuse that she endured after her father won custody
of her. Read it online at www.sfweekly.com.

"Misdiagnosis," an insightful article by David S. Bernstein,
published in CommonWealth magazine, on the lack of doctors trained
to diagnosis child sexual abuse in Massachusetts. Find the story
online at www.massinc.org.

United for Justice, a grassroots group of mothers who’ve lost
custody of their children in the family courts and their supporters,
with a Web site at www.unitedforjustice.org.

Justice for Children, a Houston-based child-advocacy organization
that offers legal aid to abused children and promotes children’s
rights, with a Web site at www.jfcadvocacy.org.

Leadership Council for Mental Health, Justice, and the Media,
a Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania–based organization of mental-health,
legal, and public-policy scholars dedicated to correcting the
misuse of psychological science to further victimize abused and
neglected children. View its Web site at www.leadershipcouncil.org.

"Family Court Report 2002," California NOW’s 134-page survey
on the state of the family courts in California. Access the entire
report online at the organization’s Web site, www.canow.org/fam.html.

"Battered Mothers Speak Out," a human-rights report on domestic
violence and child custody in the Massachusetts family courts,
by the Wellesley Centers for Women. Download it at the center’s
Web site, www.wcwonline.org.

— KL

 
At 6:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Vicki. Prior to discussing Ralph Underwager or Richard Gardner, everyone should watch the taping of Nightline that Vicki Suggested. Here's the information again.




I think it's important that prior to discussing Richard Gardner's PAS theory that everyone watches a copy of the ABC News Nightline report from 11/14/96."When to Believe a Child's Word.

If you are unable to obtain a copy, come to Baltimore and I can arrange for you to watch my copy.

When asked Gardner attested to the fact that no one has scientifyly tested his theories, not even he.

During this airing Richard Gardner, is shown saying the following:

"If it sounds incredible it's probably not true."

"In extreme cases, children who are sexually abused become like street-smart sluts."

"I believe that children who are false accusers are going to have a higher incidence of reading mystery stories."

I have to agree, this is junk science.



Not sure if this is the same show, since they changed the title.

TURNING POINT: WHEN CHILDREN ACCUSE: WHO TO BELIEVE: 11/14/1996
Code: U961114 01
Price: $39.95

Description: WHEN CHILDREN ACCUSE: WHO TO BELIEVE Child sex abuse is a very serious problem. In 1994 alone 140,000 new cases were investigated and found to be real. But are innocent people being sentenced for crimes they never committed because of the testimony of the young?


http://www.abcnewsstore.com/store/index.cfm?fuseaction=customer.product&product_code=U961114%2001&category_code=33

 
At 9:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You threw all your credibility away by reverting back to being just another Monsey yenta housefrau of a certain age, whose nectar has long turned a tad bitter to the taste."

JWB is definitely a guy, so you're wrong there.

"...I must conclude that everything else you published here is as completely inaccurate and contradictory once exposed to the white light of scrutiny..."

However, those of us who have been following JWB closely for the past year or two can definitely vouch that this statement is true, a million times over. JWB is a liar and vicious scandal-monger, but what makes him so scary is that he thinks he's doing good.

 
At 1:26 PM, Anonymous PAS - the emes said...

Articles in Peer-Review Journals on the Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS)

Richard A. Gardner, M.D.
(This document last updated on April 14, 1999)

Introductory Comments on the PAS:
Excerpted from: Gardner, R.A. (1998). The Parental Alienation Syndrome, Second Edition.
Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics, Inc.

DEFINITION OF THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME

Since the 1970s, we have witnessed a burgeoning of child-custody disputes unparalleled in history. This increase has primarily been the result of two recent developments in the realm of child-custody litigation, namely, the replacement of the tender-years presumption with the best-interests-of-the-child presumption and the increasing popularity of the joint-custodial concept. The assumption was made that mothers, by virtue of the fact that they are female, are intrinsically superior to men as child rearers. Accordingly, the father had to provide to the court compelling evidence of serious maternal deficiencies before the court would even consider assigning primary custodial status to the father. Under its replacement, the best-interests-of-the-child presumption, the courts were instructed to ignore gender in custodial considerations and evaluate only parenting capacity, especially factors that related to the best interests of the child. This change resulted in a burgeoning of custody litigation as fathers now found themselves with a greater opportunity to gain primary custodial status. Soon thereafter the joint-custodial concept came into vogue, eroding even further the time that custodial mothers were given with their children. Again, this change also brought about an increase and intensification of child-custody litigation.

In association with this burgeoning of child-custody litigation, we have witnessed a dramatic increase in the frequency of a disorder rarely seen previously, a disorder that I refer to as the parental alienation syndrome (PAS). In this disorder we see not only programming ("brainwashing") of the child by one parent to denigrate the other parent, but self-created contributions by the child in support of the alienating parent’s campaign of denigration against the alienated parent. Because of the child’s contribution I did not consider the terms brainwashing, programming, or other equivalent words to be applicable. Accordingly, in 1985, I introduced the term parental alienation syndrome to cover the combination of these two contributing factors. In accordance with this use of the term I suggest this definition of the parental alienation syndrome:

The parental alienation syndrome (PAS) is a disorder that arises primarily in the context of child-custody disputes. Its primary manifestation is the child’s campaign of denigration against a parent, a campaign that has no justification. It results from the combination of a programming (brainwashing) parent’s indoctrinations and the child’s own contributions to the vilification of the target parent. When true parental abuse and/or neglect is present the child’s animosity may be justified, and so the parental alienation syndrome explanation for the child’s hostility is not applicable.

THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME IS NOT THE SAME AS PROGRAMMING BRAINWASHING

It has come as a surprise to me from reports in both the legal and mental health literature that the definition of the PAS is often misinterpreted. Specifically, there are many who use the term as synonymous with parental brainwashing or programming. No reference is made to the child’s own contributions to the victimization of the targeted parent. Those who do this have missed an extremely important point regarding the etiology, manifestations, and even the treatment of the PAS. The term PAS refers only to the situation in which the parental programming is combined with the child’s own scenarios of disparagement of the vilified parent. Were we to be dealing here simply with parental indoctrination, I would have simply retained and utilized the terms brainwashing and/or programming. Because the campaign of denigration involves the aforementioned combination, I decided a new term was warranted, a term that would encompass both contributory factors. Furthermore, it was the child’s contribution that led me to my concept of the etiology and pathogenesis of this disorder. The understanding of the child’s contribution is of importance in implementing the therapeutic guidelines described in this book.

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME AND BONA FIDE ABUSE AND/OR NEGLECT

Unfortunately, the term parental alienation syndrome is often used to refer to the animosity that a child may harbor against a parent who has actually abused the child, especially over an extended period. The term has been used to apply to the major categories of parental abuse: physical, sexual, and emotional. Such application indicates a misunderstanding of the PAS. The term PAS is applicable only when the target parent has not exhibited anything close to the degree of alienating behavior that might warrant the campaign of vilification exhibited by the child. Rather, in typical cases the victimized parent would be considered by most examiners to have provided normal, loving parenting or, at worst, exhibited minimal impairments in parental capacity. It is the exaggeration of minor weaknesses and deficiencies that is the hallmark of the PAS. When bona fide abuse does exist, then the child’s responding alienation is warranted and the PAS diagnosis is not applicable.

Programming parents who are accused of inducing a PAS in their children will sometimes claim that the children’s campaign of denigration is warranted because of bona fide abuse and/or neglect perpetrated by the denigrated parent. Such indoctrinating parents may claim that the counteraccusation by the target parent of PAS induction by the programming parent is merely a "cover-up," a diversionary maneuver, and indicates attempts by the vilified parent to throw a smoke screen over the abuses and/or neglect that have justified the children’s acrimony. There are some genuinely abusing and/or neglectful parents who will indeed deny their abuses and rationalize the children’s animosity as simply programming by the other parent. This does not preclude the existence of truly innocent parents who are indeed being victimized by an unjustifiable PAS campaign of denigration. When such cross-accusations occur—namely, bona fide abuse and/or neglect versus a true PAS—it behooves the examiner to conduct a detailed inquiry in order to ascertain the category in which the children’s accusations lie, i.e., true PAS or true abuse and/or neglect. In some situations, this differentiation may not be easy, especially when there has been some abuse and/or neglect and the PAS has been superimposed upon it, resulting thereby in much more deprecation than would be justified in this situation. It is for this reason that detailed inquiry is often crucial if one is to make a proper diagnosis. Joint interviews, with all parties in all possible combinations, will generally help uncover "The Truth" in such situations.

THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME AS A FORM OF CHILD ABUSE

It is important for examiners to appreciate that a parent who inculcates a PAS in a child is indeed perpetrating a form of emotional abuse in that such programming may not only produce lifelong alienation from a loving parent, but lifelong psychiatric disturbance in the child. A parent who systematically programs a child into a state of ongoing denigration and rejection of a loving and devoted parent is exhibiting complete disregard of the alienated parent’s role in the child’s upbringing. Such an alienating parent is bringing about a disruption of a psychological bond that could, in the vast majority of cases, prove of great value to the child—the separated and divorced status of the parents notwithstanding. Such alienating parents exhibit a serious parenting deficit, a deficit that should be given serious consideration by courts when deciding primary custodial status. Physical and/or sexual abuse of a child would quickly be viewed by the court as a reason for assigning primary custody to the nonabusing parent. Emotional abuse is much more difficult to assess objectively, especially because many forms of emotional abuse are subtle and difficult to verify in a court of law. The PAS, however, is most often readily identified, and courts would do well to consider its presence a manifestation of emotional abuse by the programming parent.

Accordingly, courts do well to consider the PAS programming parent to be exhibiting a serious parental deficit when weighing the pros and cons of custodial transfer. I am not suggesting that a PAS-inducing parent should automatically be deprived of primary custody, only that such induction should be considered a serious deficit in parenting capacity—a form of emotional abuse—and that it be given serious consideration when weighing the custody decision. In this book, I provide specific guidelines regarding the situations when such transfer is not only desirable, but even crucial, if the children are to be protected from lifelong alienation from the targeted parent.

THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME DOES NOT EXIST BECAUSE IT IS NOT IN DSM-IV

There are some, especially adversaries in child-custody disputes, who claim that there is no such entity as the PAS, that it is only a theory, or that it is "Gardner’s theory." Some claim that I invented the PAS, with the implication that it is merely a figment of my imagination. The main argument given to justify this position is that it does not appear in DSM-IV. The DSM committees justifiably are quite conservative with regard to the inclusion of newly described clinical phenomena and require many years of research and publications before considering inclusion of a disorder, and this is as it should be. The PAS exists! Any lawyer involved in child-custody disputes will attest to that fact. Mental health and legal professionals involved in such disputes must be observing it. They may not wish to recognize it. They may give it another name (like "parental alienation"). But that does not preclude its existence. A tree exists as a tree regardless of the reactions of those looking at it. A tree still exists even though some might give it another name. If a dictionary selectively decides to omit the word tree from its compilation of words, that does not mean that the tree does not exist. It only means that the people who wrote that book decided not to include that particular word. Similarly, for someone to look at a tree and say that the tree does not exist does not cause the tree to evaporate. It only indicates that the viewer, for whatever reason, does not wish to see what is right in front of him (her). To refer to the PAS as "a theory" or "Gardner’s theory" implies the nonexistence of the disorder. It implies that it is a figment of my imagination and has no basis in reality. To say that PAS does not exist because it is not listed in DSM-IV is like saying in 1980 that AIDS does not exist because it is not listed in standard diagnostic medical textbooks. The PAS is not a theory, it is a fact. My ideas about its etiology and psychodynamics might very well be called theory. The crucial question then is whether my theory regarding the etiology and psychodynamics of the PAS is reasonable, and whether my ideas fit in with the facts. This is something for the readers of this book to decide.

But why this controversy in the first place? With regard to whether PAS exists, we generally do not see such controversy regarding most other clinical entities in psychiatry. Examiners may have different opinions regarding the etiology and treatment of a particular psychiatric disorder, but there is usually some consensus about its existence. And this should especially be the case for a relatively "pure" disorder such as the PAS, a disorder that is easily diagnosable because of the similarity of the children’s symptoms when one compares one family with another. Over the years, I have received many letters from people who have essentially said: "Your PAS book is uncanny. You don’t know me and yet I felt that I was reading my own family’s biography. You wrote your book before all this trouble started in my family. It’s almost like you predicted what would happen." Why, then, should there be such controversy over whether or not PAS exists?

One explanation lies in the situation in which the PAS emerges and in which the diagnosis is made: vicious child-custody litigation. Once an issue is brought before a court of law—in the context of adversarial proceedings—it behooves one side to take just the opposite position from the other, if one is to prevail in that forum. A parent accused of inducing a PAS in a child is likely to engage the services of a lawyer who may invoke the argument that there is no such thing as a PAS. And if this lawyer can demonstrate that the PAS is not listed in DSM-IV, then the position is considered "proven." The only thing this proves to me is that DSM-IV has not yet listed the PAS. It also proves the low levels to which members of the legal profession will stoop in order to zealously support their client’s position, no matter how ludicrous their arguments and how destructive they are to the children.

An important factor operative in the PAS not being listed in DSM-IV relates to political issues. Things that are "hot" and "controversial" are not likely to get the consensus that more neutral issues enjoy. As I will elaborate upon below, the PAS has been dragged into the political-sexual arena, and those who would support its inclusion in DSM-IV are likely to find themselves embroiled in vicious controversy and the object of scorn, rejection, and derision. The easier path, then, is to avoid involving oneself in such inflammatory conflicts, even if it means omitting from DSM one of the more common childhood disorders.

The PAS is a relatively discrete disorder and is more easily diagnosed than many of the other disorders in DSM-IV. At this point, articles are coming forth and it is being increasingly cited in court rulings. Articles about PAS in the scientific literature will be cited throughout the course of this book. Court rulings in which the PAS is cited are also appearing with increasing frequency. I continue to list these on my website as they appear (http://www.rgardner.com/refs). My hope is that by the time committees are formed for the preparation of DSM-V, the committee(s) evaluating for inclusion will see fit to include the PAS and have the courage to withstand those holdouts who, for whatever reason, need to deny the reality of the world. It may interest the reader to note that if PAS is ultimately included in the DSM, its name will be changed to include the term disorder, the current label utilized for psychiatric illnesses that warrant inclusion. It might very well have its name changed to parental alienation disorder.

THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME IS NOT A SYNDROME

There are some who claim that the PAS is not really a syndrome. This criticism, like many, is especially seen in courts of law in the context of child-custody disputes. It is an argument sometimes promulgated by those who claim that PAS does not even exist. The PAS is a very specific disorder. A syndrome, by medical definition, is a cluster of symptoms, occurring together, that characterize a specific disease. The symptoms, although seemingly disparate, warrant being grouped together because of a common etiology or basic underlying cause. Furthermore, there is a consistency with regard to this cluster in that most (if not all) of the symptoms appear together. Accordingly, there is a kind of purity that a syndrome has that may not be seen in other diseases. For example, a person suffering with pneumococcal pneumonia may have chest pain, cough, purulent sputum, and fever. However, the individual may still have the disease without all these symptoms manifesting themselves. The syndrome is more often "pure" because most (if not all) of the symptoms in the cluster predictably manifest themselves. An example would be Down’s Syndrome, which includes a host of seemingly disparate symptoms that do not appear to have a common link. These include mental retardation, mongoloid-type facial expression, drooping lips, slanting eyes, short fifth finger, and characteristic creases in the palms of the hands. There is a consistency here in that the people who suffer with Down’s Syndrome often look very much alike and most typically will exhibit all these symptoms. The common etiology of these disparate symptoms relates to a specific chromosomal abnormality. It is this genetic factor that is responsible for linking together these seemingly disparate symptoms. There is then a primary, basic cause of Down’s Syndrome: a genetic abnormality.

Similarly, the PAS is characterized by a cluster of symptoms that usually appear together in the child, especially in the moderate and severe types. These include:
1. A campaign of denigration
2. Weak, absurd, or frivolous rationalizations for the deprecation
3. Lack of ambivalence
4. The "independent-thinker" phenomenon
5. Reflexive support of the alienating parent in the parental conflict
6. Absence of guilt over cruelty to and/or exploitation of the alienated parent
7. The presence of borrowed scenarios
8. Spread of the animosity to the friends and/or extended family of the alienated parent

Typically, children who suffer with PAS will exhibit most (if not all) of these symptoms. This is almost uniformly the case for the moderate and severe types. However, in the mild cases one might not see all eight symptoms. When mild cases progress to moderate or severe, it is highly likely that most (if not all) of the symptoms will be present. This consistency results in PAS children resembling one another. It is because of these considerations that the PAS is a relatively "pure" diagnosis that can easily be made by those who are not somehow blocked from seeing what is right in front of them. As is true of other syndromes, there is an underlying cause: programming by an alienating parent in conjunction with additional contributions by the programmed child. It is for these reasons that PAS is indeed a syndrome, and it is a syndrome by the best medical definition of the term.

PEOPLE WHO DIAGNOSE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME ARE SEXIST

Another reason for the controversy regarding the existence of the PAS relates to the fact that in the vast majority of families it is the mother who is likely to be the primary programmer and the father the victim of the children’s campaign of denigration. My own observations since the early 1980s, when I first began to see this disorder, has been that in 85–90 percent of all the cases in which I have been involved, the mother has been the alienating parent and the father has been the alienated parent. For simplicity of presentation, then, I have often used the term mother to refer to the alienator, and the term father to refer to the alienated parent. I recently conducted an informal survey among approximately 50 mental health and legal professionals whom I knew were aware of the PAS and deal with such families in the course of their work. I asked one simple question: What is the ratio of mothers to fathers who are successful programmers of a PAS? The responses ranged from mothers being the primary alienators in 60 percent of the cases to mothers as primary alienators in 90 percent of the cases. Only one person claimed it was 50/50, and no one claimed it was 100 percent mothers. In the 1998 edition of my book The Parental Alienation Syndrome (especially Chapter Five) I discuss this gender difference in greater detail and provide references in the scientific literature confirming the preponderance of mothers over fathers in inducing successfully a PAS in their children.

In recent years it has become "politically risky" and even "politically incorrect" to describe gender differences. Such differentiations are acceptable for such disorders as breast cancer and diseases of the uterus and ovaries. But once one moves into the realm of personality patterns and psychiatric disturbances, one is likely to be quickly branded a "sexist" (regardless of one’s sex). And this is especially the case if it is a man who is claiming that a specific psychiatric disorder is more likely to be prevalent in women. My observations that PAS inducers are much more likely to be women than men has subjected me to this criticism. The fact that most other professionals involved in child-custody disputes have had the same observation still does not protect me from the criticism that this is a sexist observation. The fact that I recommend that most mothers who are inducing a PAS should still be designated the primary custodial parent does not seem to protect me from this criticism.

My basic position regarding custodial preference has always been that the primary consideration in making a custodial recommendation is that the children should be preferentially assigned to that parent with whom they have the stronger, healthier psychological bond. Because the mother has most often been the primary caretaker, and because the mother is more often available to the children than the father (I am making no comments as to whether this is good or bad, only that this is what is), she is most often designated the preferable primary custodial parent by courts of law. Somehow this position has been converted by some critics into sexism against women.

THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME AND SEX-ABUSE ACCUSATIONS

A false sex-abuse accusation is sometimes seen as a derivative or spin-off of the PAS. Such an accusation may serve as an extremely effective weapon in a child-custody dispute. Obviously, the presence of such false accusations does not preclude the existence of bona fide sex abuse, even in the context of a PAS.

In recent years, some examiners have been using the term PAS to refer to a false sex-abuse accusation in the context of a child-custody dispute. In some cases the terms are used synonymously. This is a significant misperception of the PAS. In the majority of cases in which a PAS is present, the sex-abuse accusation is not promulgated. In some cases, however, especially after other exclusionary maneuvers have failed, the sex-abuse accusation will emerge. The sex-abuse accusation, then, is often a spin-off, or derivative, of the PAS but is certainly not synonymous with it. Furthermore, there are divorce situations in which the sex-abuse accusation may arise without a preexisting PAS. Under such circumstances, of course, one must give serious consideration to the possibility that true sex abuse has occurred, especially if the accusation antedated the marital separation.

Another factor operative in the need to deny the existence of the PAS, and relegate it to the level of being only a "theory," is its relationship to sex-abuse accusations. I mention frequently throughout the course of this book that a sex-abuse accusation is a possible spin-off or derivative of the PAS. My experience has been that the sex-abuse accusation does not appear in the vast majority of PAS cases. There are some, however, who equate the PAS with a sex-abuse accusation, or a false sex-abuse accusation. My experience has been that when a sex-abuse accusation emerges in the context of a PAS—especially after the failure of a series of exclusionary maneuvers—the accusation is far more likely to be false than true. Claiming that a sex-abuse accusation may be false also has potentially been politically risky in recent years and not "politically correct." Those of us who have stood up and made such claims, both within and outside of the realm of the PAS, have subjected ourselves to enormous criticism—often impassioned and irrational. My experience has been that sex-abuse accusations that arise within the context of PAS situations are more likely to be directed toward men than women. Accordingly, in sex-abuse cases in the context of custody disputes I am more likely to testify in support of the man. This somehow proves me "sexist." The fact that I have most often testified in support of women to be designated the primary custodial parent—even when there has been a sex-abuse accusation—does not seem to dispel this myth.

THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME AND ''PARENTAL ALIENATION''

There are some who use the term parental alienation instead of parental alienation syndrome. Generally, these are individuals who know of the existence of the parental alienation syndrome but want to avoid using it because it may be considered in some circles to be "politically incorrect." But they are basically describing the same clinical entity. There are others who will use the term parental alienation syndrome but strictly avoid mentioning my name in association with it, lest they be somehow tainted. Unfortunately, the substitution of the term parental alienation for parental alienation syndrome can only result in confusion. Parental alienation is a more general term, whereas the parental alienation syndrome is a very specific subtype of parental alienation. Parental alienation has many causes, e.g., parental neglect, abuse (physical, emotional, and sexual), abandonment, and other alienating parental behaviors. All of these behaviors on the part of a parent can produce alienation in the children. The parental alienation syndrome is a specific subcategory of parental alienation that results from a combination of parental programming and the child’s own contributions, and it is almost exclusively seen in the context of child-custody disputes. It is this particular combination that warrants the designation parental alienation syndrome. Changing the name of an entity because of political and other unreasonable considerations generally does more harm than good.

The following articles of mine on the PAS have been published (or have been accepted for publication) in peer-review journals.
Gardner, R. A. (1985), Recent trends in divorce and custody litigation. The Academy Forum, 29(2)3-7. New York: The American Academy of Psychoanalysis.
Gardner, R. A. (1987), Child Custody. In Basic Handbook of Child Psychiatry, ed.J.Noshpitz, Vol. V, pp. 637- 646. New York: Basic Books, Inc.
Gardner, R. A. (1987), Judges interviewing children in custody/visitation litigation. New Jersey Family Lawyer, 7(2):26ff.
Gardner, R. A. (1990), Childhood stress due to parental divorce. In Stressors and the Adjustment Disorders, ed. J. D. Noshpitz and R. D. Coddington, pp. 43-59. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Gardner, R. A. (1991), Legal and psychotherapeutic approaches to the three types of parental alienation syndrome families: when psychiatry and the law join forces. Court Review, 28(l):14-21.
Gardner, R. A. (1994), The Detrimental Effects on Women of the Misguided Gender Egalitarianism of Child-Custody Dispute Resolution Guidelines. The Academy Forum. 38 (1/2): 10-13. New York: The American Academy of Psychoanalysis.
Gardner, R.A. (1998) Empfehlungen für Maßnahmen gegen Elternteile, die in ihren Kindern ein "elterliches Entfremdungssydrom" (PAS) erzeugen. Translated by Schoeler, R. Zentralblatt für Jugendrecht, (in press)
Gardner, R. A. (1999), Differentiating between the parental alienation syndrome and bona fide abuse/neglect. American Journal of Family Therapy, 27(2):97-107.
Gardner, R.A.(1999), Family Therapy of the Moderate Type of parental Alienation Syndrome. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 27(3): (In press).


In addition, the following articles are devoted completely to the PAS. I am not referring here to occasional reference, or even emphasis, but rather such focus that the term is utilized in the title.
Palmer, N.R. (1988), Legal Recognition of the Parental Alienation Syndrome. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 16(4):361-363.
Goldwater, A. (1991). Le syndrome d'aliénation parentale (in English). In Développements récents en droight familial (pp. 121-145). Cowansville, Quebec: Les Editions Yvon Blais.
Levy, D. (1992), Review of parental alienation syndrome: a guide for mental health and legal professionals. American Journal of Family Therapy, 20(3):276-277.
Cartwright, G.F. (1993). Expanding the Parameters of Parental Alienation Syndrome. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 21(3):205-215.
Dunne, J. and Hedrick, (1994), The Parental Alienation Syndrome: An Analysis of Sixteen Selected Cases. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 21(3/4):21-38.
Lund, M. (1995), A therapist's view of parental alienation syndrome. Family and Conciliation Courts Review, 33(3):308-316.
Walsh, M. R. and Bone, J. M. (1997), Parental Alienation Syndrome: An Age-old Custody Problem. The Florida Bar Journal, LXXI(6):93-96.
Rand, D.C. (1997a), The spectrum of parental alienation syndrome (part I). American Journal of Forensic Psychology. 15(3):23-51.
Rand, D.C. (1997b), The spectrum of parental alienation syndrome (part II). American Journal of Forensic Psychology. 15(4):39-92.
Kodjoe, von U.O. and Koeppel, P. (1998), The Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS). Der Amtsvormund, Heidelberg, Germany. January 1998, pp. 9-26.
von Leitner, W. and Schoeler, R. (1998), Maßnahmen und Empfehlungen für das Umgangsverfahren im Blickfeld einer Differentialdiagnose bei Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) unterschiedlicher Ausprägung in Anlehnung an Gardner (1992/1997), (translation: Measurement and Reccommendations for Access Proceedings in accordance with the Differential Diagnosis in different degrees of PAS according to Gardner {1992/1997}). Der Amtsvormund, Heidelberg, Germany. November/December, 1998, 849-868.
Bakalar, E. (1998). Das "Parental Alienation Syndrome" (PAS) und der Tschechischen Republik, Zentralblatt für Jugendrecht, Jg. 85, Heft 6, page 268.
Klenner, W. (1995). Rituale der Umangsvereitalung bei getrennt lebenden oder geschiedenen Eltern, FamRZ Heft 24, page 1529-1535.
Kodjoe, U. (1998). Ein fall von PAS, KindPrax, Heft 6/1998, pages 172-174.
Kodjoe, U. & Koeppel, P. (1998). Fruherkennung von PAS - Möglichkeiten psychologischer und rechtlicher interventionen, KindPrax., Heft 5/98, pages 138-144.
Fischer, W. (1998). Das Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) und die Interessenvertretung des Kindes - Ein Interventionsmodell für Jugendhilfe und Gericht - Teil 1, Nachrichten Dienst-des Deutschen Veriens für öffentliche und private Fürsorge, Heft 10/98, pages 306-309.
Fischer, W. (1998). Das Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) und die Interessenvertretung des Kindes - Ein Interventionsmodell für Jugendhilfe und Gericht - Teil 2, Nachrichten Dienst-des Deutschen Veriens für öffentliche und private Fürsorge, Heft 11/98, pages 343-348.
Bone, J.M. and Walsh, M.R. (1999). Parental Alienation Syndrome: How to Detect It and What to Do About it. The Florida Bar Journal, 73(3):44-48.

In addition, there are many publications that focus significantly on the PAS. I am not referring here to an occasional reference but to specific focus on the PAS even though the PAS name does not appear in the title.
Huntingon, D. S. (1986), The Forgotten Figures in Divorce, and Fatherhood: the Struggle for Parental Identity. Ed. Jacobs, J.W.Washington, D.C.: The American Psychiatric Association Press
Lampel, A. (1986), Post-divorce therapy with high conflict families. The Independent Practioner, Bulletin of the Division of Psychologists in Independent Practice, Division 42 of the American Psychological Association, 6(3):22-6.
Jacobs, J. W. (1988), Euripidies' Medea: a psychodynamic model of severe divorce pathology. American Journal of Psychotherapy, XLII(2):308-319.
Johnston, J. R. and Campbell, L. E. (1988), Impasses of Divorce: The Dynamics and Resolution of Family Conflict. New York: The Free Press.
Blush, G. J. and Ross, K. L. (1990), Investigation and case management issues and strategies. Issues in Child Abuse Accusations. 2(3): 152-160.
Wakefield, H. and Underwager, R. (1990), Personality characteristics of parents making false accusations of sexual abuse in custody disputes. Issues in Child Abuse Accusations, 2(3):121-136.
Ross, K.L. and Blush, G.J. (1990), Sexual Abuse validity discriminators in the divorced or dovorcing family. Issues in Child Abuse Accusations, 2(1):1-6.
Theonnes, N. and Tjaden, P.G. (1990), The extent, nature, and validity of sexual abuse allegations in custody visitation disputes. Child Abuse & Neglect, 12:151-163.
The California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Law: Issues and Answers for Health Practitioners. State of California, 1991.
Clawar, S. S. and Riviin, B. V. (1991), Children Held Hostage: Dealing with Programmed and Brainwashed Children. Chicago, Illinois: American Bar Association.
Wakefield, H„ and Underwager, R. (1991), Sexual abuse allegations in divorce and custody disputes. Behavioral Sciences and the Law,9:451-468.
Patterson, D. (1991-92), The other victim: the falsely accused parent in a sexual abuse and custody case. Journal of Family Law, 30:919-941.
Maccoby, E. E. and Mnookin, R. H. (1992), Dividing the Child: Social and Legal Dilemmas of Custody. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Rogers, M. (1992), Delusional disorder and the evolution of mistaken sexual allegations in child custody cases. American Journal of Forensic Psychology, 10(l):47-69.
Ceci, S. J„ and Bruck, M. (1993), Suggestibility of the child witness: a historical review and synthesis. Psychological Bulletin, 113(3):403-39.
Johnston, J. R. (1993), Children of divorce who refuse visitation. In Nonresidential Parenting: New Vistas in Family Living, ed. Depner, C. E. and Bray, J.H. London: Sage Publications.
Rand, D. C. (1993), Munchausen syndrome by proxy: a complex type of emotional abuse responsible for some false allegations of child abuse in divorce. Issues in Child Abuse Accusations, 5(3)135-55.
Johnston, J.R. and Campbell, L. E. (1993), Parent-child relationships in domestic violence families disputing custody. Family & Conciliation Courts Review,31(3):2S2-298.
Sanders, C. H. (1993), When you suspect the worst: bad- faith relocation, fabricated child sexual abuse and parental alienation. Family Advocate, winter:54-56.
Ward, P. and Harvey, J. C. (1993), Family wars: the alienation of children. New Hampshire Bar Journal,. March:30.
Garrity, C.B. and Baris, M.A. (1994), Caught in the Middle: Protecting the Children of High-Conflict Divorce. New York: Lexington Books (an Imprint ofMacmillan, Inc.).
Guidelines for Child Custody Evaluations in Divorce Proceeding (1994). American Psychologist, 49(7)677-680.
Hysjulien, C. Wood, B., and Benjamin, G.A.H. (1994), Child custody evaluations: a review of methods used in litigation and alternative dispute resolution. Family and Conciliation Courts Review, 32(4):466-489.
Stahl, P.M. (1994), Conducting Child Custody Evaluations: A Comprehensive Guide. London: Sage Publications. Turkat, I.D. (1994). Child Visitation Interference in Divorce. Clinical Psychology Review, 14(8):737-742.
Ehrenberg, M. F. and Eiterman, M.F. (1995), Evaluating allegations of sexual abuse in the context of divorce, child custody and access disputes. In True and False Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse: Assessment and Case Management. ed. Ncy, T. New York: Brunner/Mazel Publishers.
Mapes, B. E. (1995), Child Eyewitness Testimony in Sexual Abuse Investigations. Brandon, Vermont: Clinical Psychology Publishing Co., Inc.
Turkat, 1. D. (1995), Divorce related malicious mother syndrome. Journal of Family Violence, 10(3):253-264.
Adams, J. K. (1996), Investigation and interviews in cases of alleged child sexual abuse: a look at the scientific evidence. Issues in Child Abuse Accusations, 8(3/4):120-138.
Jones, M.M. and Sullivan, M. (1996), Dealing with Parental Alienation in High Conflict Custody Cases. Presentation at Conference of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, San Antonio, TX.
Lampel, A. (1996), Children's alignment with parents in highly conf;licted custody cases. Family and Conciliation Courts Review, 34(2):229-239.
Campbell, T.W. (1997), Psychotherapy with children of divorce: the pitfalls of triangulated relationships. Psychotherapy 29(4):646-652.
Willbourne, C. and Cull, L. (1997), The Emerging Problem of Parental Alienation. Family Law (British Publication) December, 1997, p. 807-808.

In addition, reviews of my books on the parental alienation syndrome have appeared in the following peer-reviewed journals:
Krivacska, J. J. (1989), The Parental Alienation Syndrome and the Differentiation Between Fabricated and Genuine Child Sex Abuse. Book Review. Issues in Child Abuse Accusations, 1(1):55-56.
Levy, D. (1992), The Parental Alienation Syndrome: A Guide for Mental Health and Legal Professionals. Book Review. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 20(3):276-277.
Underwager, R. (1992), The Parental Alienation Syndrome: A Guide for Mental Health and Legal Professionals. Book Review. Issues in Child Abuse Accusations, 4(2):108-109.
Etemad, J. (1999), The Parental Alienation Syndrome, Second Edition. Book Review. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,38 (2): 223-225.
Underwager, R. (1998), The Parental Alienation Syndrome: Second Edition.. Book Review. Issues in Child Abuse Accusations, 10:178..
Utesch, W. (1999), The Parental Alienation Syndrome, Second Edition. Book Review. The American Journal of Family Therapy,(in press).

The American Psychological Association has published guidelines* for child-custody evaluations in divorce proceedings. These are the guidelines The American Psychological Association proposes examiners use when conducting such examinations. The guidelines refer to two books of mine, one on the parental alienation syndrome and one on the protocols I use for differentiating between true and false sex-abuse accusations:
Gardner, R. A. (1992), The Parental Alienation Syndrome: A Guide for Mental Health and Legal Professionals. Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics,Inc.
Gardner, R. A. (1992), True and False Accusations of Child Sex Abuse. Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics, Inc.
* Guidelines for Child Custody Evaluation in Divorce Proceedings. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association (1994).

The Family Law Section of the American Bar Association invited Clawar and Rivlin to write Children Held Hostage: Dealing with Programmed and Brainwashed Children.** The following book of mine is referenced:
Gardner, R.A. (1987),The Parental Alienation Syndrome and the Differentiation Between Fabricated and Genuine Child Sex Abuse Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics, Inc.
**Clawar, S. and Rivlin, B.V. (1988), Children Held Hostage: Dealing with Programmed and Brainwashed Children. Chicago, IL:Division of Family Law, American Bar Association.

 
At 1:45 PM, Blogger AMSHINOVER said...

At 9:20 AM, AMSHINOVER said...
This just in from the mikva:
Shatzer Matza Is NOT going to be kosher Matzah for the seder ,after the death of the last owner ,new ownership was not clearly defined,therefore whoever made shatzer matzah this year is not clearly the owner, leaving us with matzah gazoolah which halachicly is not useable at thge seder.Until now Shatzer held 60% of the market

 
At 2:12 PM, Anonymous PAS - the emes said...

The American Journal of Family Therapy, 28:229-241, 2000
REMARRIAGE AS A TRIGGER OF
PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME
Richard A. Warshak
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas, Texas, USA

Maladaptive efforts to adjust to remarriage can provoke or exacerbate parental alienation syndrome. The remarried parent, the other parent, the stepparent, and the child each may contribute to the disturbance. Underlying dynamics include jealousy, narcissistic injury, desire for revenge, the wish to erase the exspouse from the child's life in order to "make room" for the stepparent, competitive feelings between the exspouse and stepparent, the new couple's attempt to unite around a common enemy and avoid recognition of conflicts in the marriage, the child's attempt to resolve inner conflict, and parent-child boundary violations. These dynamics are discussed and suggestions for treatment are offered.

Divorcing parents frequently try to undermine their children's affection for the other parent. When such efforts are characterized by severe and repetitive denigration, the children run the risk of suffering estrangement from the parent being criticized. Gardner (1985; 1998) introduced the term parental alienation syndrome (PAS) to describe this phenomenon.

Parental Alienation Syndrome is a controversial diagnosis, in large measure because it is often used in custody litigation. Critics argue that PAS testimony lacks an adequate scientific foundation for admissibility, that it oversimplifies the etiology of the symptoms it subsumes, and that it may result in custody decisions which fail to promote childrens' welfare. (For a review of the literature and an analysis of the controversy, see Warshak (1999a, 1999b). No controversy exists, however, regarding the fact that some children do suffer alienation from a parent following divorce which is not warranted by the history of the parent-child relationship. And that often, the other parent contributes to the alienation through a variety of manipulations. Whether or not a child succumbs to these manipulations, and if so, whether or not the label PAS is used to describe the child's disturbance, the literature is very clear that exposing children to unresolved interparental hostility is distressing (Emery, 1982; Grych & Fincham, 1990; Kurdek & Berg, 1983; Shaw & Emery, 1987). Anything one can do to understand the circumstances in which this is likely to occur, and the underlying dynamics, will assist in helping families.

In Gardner's experience, parental alienation syndrome arises primarily in the context of child custody disputes. Some litigating parents foster alienation in reaction to the threat of losing custody, or with the hope that the child's expressed preferences will help them prevail in the custody dispute. Gardner regards his formulations as initial efforts that will undergo revision as clinicians and researchers become more experienced with PAS. Expanding on Gardner's concept, Cartwright (1993) reported that financial disagreements and other relatively trivial disagreements can also provoke PAS.

This article discusses another situation that often accompanies children's unjustified alienation from a parent. A parent's marriage subsequent to divorce (or breakup, in the case of never-married parents) may generate or intensify destructive criticism by either parent toward the other parent.(1) Suits to modify custody may or may not accompany such behavior. Even when the object is to win custody, parental bad-mouthing and bashing that occurs in the context of remarriage often reflects maladaptive efforts to adjust to the family transition. This article describes and illustrates some of these dynamics and provides suggestions for intervention.

JEALOUSY AND NARCISSISTIC INJURY

Cordial post-divorce relations do not insulate former spouses from the tension generated when one of them has found love again. Patients are often surprised at the intensity of their reaction to the news that an exspouse plans to remarry. They may have expected to be unaffected by such an event. Instead, they find themselves reexperiencing much of the hurt and anger that accompanied the divorce. Those who kept themselves unaware of any residual emotional attachment to the former spouse, or unaware that they harbored fantasies of reconciliation, are most likely to have difficulty coping with the jealousy and narcissistic injury triggered by the remarriage. Rather than acknowledge the source of feelings that they regard as unwanted or inappropriate, they use a variety of defenses.

A popular maneuver is to claim that one's anger stems from concern over the children being upset by the remarriage. Wilhelm Reich (1949) called. this a "pretended" motive. Therapists can recognize this rationalization when a parent says, "I don't care what she wants to do with her life. But my children are very upset by all of this." If the children had not been demonstrating signs of distress, it is a good possibility that the parent is either attempting to rationalize his own distress, or projecting it on to the children and distorting his perception of their true reactions.

Another rationalization is to claim that one is not upset by the remarriage itself, but by the specific character of the stepparent, or his manner of relating to the children. Parental alienation syndrome comes into play when a parent channels unwanted, confusing, and unpleasant feelings triggered by the former spouse's remarriage into unwarranted denigration of the former spouse and his or her new partner. As Reich (1949) recognized, "The true motive is revenge on the partner through robbing him or her of the pleasure in the child" [p. 265]. "The lack of any consideration of the child is expressed in the fact that the child's love for the other partner is not taken into account" [p. 265].

As with most cases of rationalization, projection, and displacement, facilitating awareness, acceptance, and appropriate expression of genuine feelings can obviate the need for destructive acting-out. The parent must be helped to acknowledge the lingering feelings of attachment. This will be easier if the therapist genuinely regards such feelings among exspouses as normal. Therapists who believe that any sign of emotional connection between exspouses indicates that the couple are evading the reality of the divorce that they are not "emotionally divorced" will exacerbate the problem (Warshak, 1992). The attachment feelings do not create the problem. The problem occurs when such feelings are disowned and drive destructive behavior. The therapist can assist parents to respond appropriately to the remarriage by inviting them to imagine how they would want their former spouse to react to their own announcement of a remarriage. Naturally, when a campaign of denigration is rooted in the belief that the new partner contributed to the divorce, it will be more difficult for the alienating parent to give up the desire for revenge.

Up to this point reactions of the parent who learns of his or her former partner's plans to remarry have been discussed. But as shall be seen below, destructive criticism is probably just as likely to come from the remarried spouse and the new partner. In work with remarried families, three key dynamics have been identified, in addition to seeking revenge, which often trigger, attempts to alienate children:

the wish to erase the exspouse from the child's life in order to "make room" for the stepparent;

competitive feelings between the exspouse and stepparent;

the new couple's attempt to unite around a common enemy.

These dynamics are discussed separately for heuristic purposes. But it is clear that they are not mutually exclusive, and in fact, are often interrelated. Also, they do not exhaust all the possible dynamics of PAS that occur in remarried families.

I WISH HE WOULD JUST DISAPPEAR

Parents who remarry often believe that they now have the perfect family setting in which to raise their children. But one thing mars this image: the former spouse. Many remarried couples harbor the fantasy, "If only the ex would disappear from the scene . . . " One way to fulfill this fantasy is by driving a wedge between the children and their other parent.

A parent is most likely to regard the other parent as dispensable when her child was very young at the time of the divorce, or the parents were never married, and the new marriage occurs soon after. In these cases, each parent has had little opportunity to observe the child around the other parent. A mother may believe, in the abstract, that children deserve to know their real father. But if she has not lived very long together with the father and child, she has not experienced first hand, how her child benefits from spending time with the man. Certainly a 1-year-old child cannot tell her how much he looks forward to seeing his dad.

Without a history of family interaction involving mother, father, and child, it is harder for the mother to appreciate the father's role in the child's life. When she remarries, she would rather such family history be centered around her and her current husband. The father is seen as an interloper. His involvement complicates the picture. Essentially, the mother would like to pretend that her relationship with the child's father never happened. When he won't bow out gracefully, he is seen as thwarting her second chance for a happy family. One remarried woman told her exhusband, "My daughter has a mother and a father in her home. She doesn't need you."

Some people believe that the less time the child has been with the father, the less that is lost if the stepfather replaces the father. To a certain extent this is correct. Generally speaking, younger children find it easier than do older children to become attached to, and develop a relationship with, a stepparent that approximates a parent-child bond, and to benefit from a competent stepparent's involvement (Bowerman & Irish, 1962; ; Duberman, 1973; Hetherington, Stanley-Hagan, & Anderson, 1989; Lutz, 1983; Ransom, Schlesinger, & Dercleyn, 1979). However, there is no reason why children should have to choose. They are capable of having strong ties to their father and stepfather.

Even when her child is so young that the stepfather could adequately replace the father, a mother still has reasons to promote the father's involvement. When the child is older, he or she may want to know the father. Many children suffer intense feelings of rejection when a divorced parent has not remained involved. Boys and girls who have lost contact with a parent following divorce are more likely to have problems with interpersonal relationships and lower self-esteem (Biller, 1993; Hetherington, 1972). The children's problems may, in turn, diminish the quality of their relationships with custodial parents and stepparents.

It is worth considering, too, what would happen if the mother's second marriage failed (not an unlikely event since second marriages have a higher divorce rate than first marriages). In most such cases children lose all contact with their former stepfather even when he has been a central figure in their development (Brody, Neubaum, & Forehand, 1988). Maintaining a close tie to the father is good insurance against such a loss. Much less likely, but also possible, is the death or incapacitation of the mother. In these cases, custody is usually transferred to the father. A good strong relationship with their father can help children through such hard times. A history of alienation from the father would compound the tragedy.

A parent who has simply not considered some of the issues discussed above may benefit from an educational intervention, it is essential to involve the new partner because he or she is likely to exert much influence over the ultimate decision regarding the child's contact with the other parent.

When the effort to remove the other parent from the child's life reflects the wish to deny the reality of the relationship that produced the child, the alienating parent must be helped to appreciate that this denial may satisfy the parent's short-term desires, but will sacrifice the child's interests and, therefore, the parent's long-term interest in raising a healthy child. Furthermore, denying the former relationship handicaps the new marital relationship. The new marriage will stand on a much firmer foundation if the spouses face, rather than avoid, the existence of the former partner. Therapists should attempt to facilitate communication between spouses of unspoken thoughts and feelings regarding the former partner. This can result in a general reduction of anxiety and may reduce the need to eliminate the other parent from the child's life.

If the remarried parent is genuinely worried about the impact on the child of maintaining a relationship with the other parent, these anxieties should be explored with all the adults involved. Each party should think of things that they can do, and that the others can do, to ease the anxieties. For example, a father may provide some indication to the mother of his value to their child, if he describes some of the activities and routines that father and child share. The goal is to help the mother see the reality of the relationship. This gives her a concrete experience of what she would be destroying if she succeeded in alienating the child from the father.

COMPETITION

Competitive feelings toward one's predecessor in. love, sex, and marriage are natural. In mild form, such feelings do not become a problem. They may, in fact, benefit the children by motivating a stepparent to do the very best job possible in raising the stepchildren. The children then gain an additional adult who protects and advances their interests.

When competitive feelings are very strong, however, the stepparent may resent having to share the children's affection with their other parent. Many factors contribute to such resentment. A general sense of low self-esteem is one element. This may be manifest in generally excessive competitiveness in most situations. More specifically, doubt about one's worth as a parent may stimulate a desire to prove one's superiority over the other parent. Visher and Visher (1979) describe how a man who feels that he failed as a father in a first marriage may regard the second marriage as a chance to compensate for his earlier shortcomings. The sense of failure may be particularly acute if the stepfather has not maintained regular and meaningful involvement with his biological children. For some men, their reaction to this sense of failure is to try to replace the other parent in the children's heart. To accomplish this, they instigate, or at least actively support, destructive criticism of the other parent. The result may be the child's alienation from the target of criticism.

Another situation that exacerbates competitive feelings occurs when stepparents have no children of their own and, for reasons of choice or infertility, do not foresee having their own children in the future. This dynamic, and other factors underlying excessive competition, affect stepmothers as well as stepfathers.

Nelda and Ophelia were best friends. Then Nelda had an affair with Ophelia's husband and married him soon after his divorce. Nelda had no children from her previous marriage, was unable to become pregnant, and did not want to adopt any children. Ophelia's daughter was Nelda's one chance to be a mother.

Feeling intense rivalry with her now "exbest friend" Nelda pressured her husband to move to a new town, 4 hours away by car with no airport nearby. At the same time, through overindulgence, extravagant promises, excessive badmouthing of the mother, and the cooperation of the father, Nelda manipulated her stepdaughter to ask to move with them. Ophelia initially resisted, but her daughter insisted that she really wanted to move and was angry that her mother was making it difficult. Against her better judgment, and without legal counsel, Ophelia caved into pressure and agreed to the move.

Shortly before Christmas vacation, Ophelia received a letter from her daughter. The girl wrote that she did not want to be forced to see her mother during the Christmas vacation. Her dad and Nelda had scheduled a trip to Disneyland, and she would have to miss it if she spent the vacation with her mother. The vocabulary and sentence structure of the letter made it clear that, although it was in her daughter's handwriting, it was composed by adults. A note from Nelda accompanied the letter. In her note, Nelda selfrighteously exhorted Ophelia to place her daughter's interest before her own. Nelda pleaded with Ophelia to allow them to establish themselves as a family before pressing for contact with her daughter. Ophelia took what she thought was the high road. and allowed her daughter to go on the trip to Disneyland instead of seeing her.

When Ophelia was next scheduled to see her daughter, on the girl's birthday, she received another letter. In this letter, her daughter expressed her resentment of what was now being called "forced visitation" and added that, instead of seeing her mother, she wanted to spend her birthday with her family. Nelda and her husband had succeeded in twisting this girl's mind so that she no longer thought of her own mother as part of her family! When. the author first became acquainted with Ophelia, she had been waiting 2 years and had still not seen her daughter.

Ophelia's error, all too common among parents who find themselves the target of alienation, was to wait too long before taking action This generally results from an inadequate understanding of the dynamics and course of PAS. Some parents, who recognize that their children have been manipulated, still find it difficult not to take the rejection personally. They may respond with hurt and anger and counter-reject their children. Other parents hope that patience will pay off and that the children will come to their senses and spontaneously recover positive feelings.

It is very important that target parents understand that the absence of contact with their children creates a fertile habitat for poisoned messages to take root and crowd out loving memories of the parent-child relationship. It isolates children from information and experiences that might enlighten them by contradicting the programming to which they are exposed. And it makes the children more dependent on the parent promulgating the alienation (Clawar & Rivlin, 1991).

Some therapists contribute to the process by recommending postponement of parent-child contact while they conduct traditional individual psychotherapy with the child. The hope is that therapy will result in the reemergence of the child's positive feelings for the target parent. An analogous situation would be to recommend that a school-phobic child be allowed to stay home until therapy succeeds in helping the child overcome his or her anxiety. Therapists should be aware that such an approach to PAS is not likely to meet with success. As Lund (1995) points cut, "If contact is stopped between a parent and a child, a pattern is likely to develop such that it will be difficult to mend the relationship" (p. 314). There are no reports in the literature of effective treatment of moderate-to-severe cases of PAS that does not include enforced contact between the children and the target parent (Clawar & Rivlin, 1991; Dunne & Hedrick, 1994; Gardner, 1998; Lampel, 1986).

If a target parent consults the therapist in the initial stages of PAS. The advice should be to maintain contact with the children, and work to gradually assist the children to understand the manipulations to which they are being exposed and how to resist these manipulations. When consulting with parents, such as Ophelia, whose children are resisting spending time with them, or access is being restricted by the former spouse, therapists should advise the target to reestablish regular, face-to-face contact as soon as possible. Early intervention is critical. As with all cases of PAS and other emotional disturbances, interventions in the early stages are most likely to meet with success. The longer the alienation continues, the more difficult it will be to undo. In Ophelia's case, nothing short of a court order to enforce her access to her daughter could begin to resolve the problem

In working with excessively competitive stepparents, therapists can try to help them appreciate that they can carve out important roles for themselves with a child without having to undermine the child's attachment to the other parent. It may help to frame the role of healthy stepparent as including the ability to successfully support the child's relationship with the nonresidential parent. Successful treatment will assist stepparents in accepting their competitiveness and finding healthier ways to express it. Also, anything the therapist can do to help strengthen the new marriage can lessen the stepparent's need to compete with the nonresidential parent. If a stepparent has poor relationships with his or her biological children from a previous marriage, taking steps to improve these relationships may reduce the sense of competitiveness with the out-of-home parent of the stepchildren.

Competition works both ways. After the remarriage, the former spouse can support the children's relationship with their stepparent. Or he or she may try to drive a wedge between the children and their new stepparent. When the former spouse is still single, he or she may fear that the children will prefer the two-parent household because it more closely approximates the intact family that was lost with the divorce. Driven by such fear, the former spouse may attempt to compete by undermining the child's sense of love and security in the remarried household.

Often the nonresidential parent fears that the children will come to love the stepparent more. This fear is exacerbated if the children begin using terms similar to mom or dad when referring to their stepparent. Because younger children are more apt to seek and accept a quasi parent-child relationship with the stepparent, they are particularly at risk for exposure to bashing and brainwashing of the stepparent. And they are more likely to be influenced by negative programming because of their increased suggestibility (Ceci & Bruck, 1995). For example, a father may tell his young son that his stepfather was sent by Satan. Even if the boy does not believe this, he begins to feel uneasy in his stepfather's presence.

Older children may feel more initial reserve and resentment toward a stepparent. Instead of helping their children adjust to the transition, competitive exspouses sometimes welcome their children's nascent negative feelings about the stepparent and use these transitional feelings as a foundation for a campaign of alienation. When confronted about their manipulations, such parents will usually reply with some variant of, "I can't help the way my child feels about her stepparent. But I'm not going to stop her from expressing her true feelings."

One mother with whom I worked demonstrated how parents can put their children's interests above their competitive feelings. Patty worked hard to resist strong impulses to disparage her daughter Rachel's stepmother. Through a combination of inadequate legal representation, convincing lies told by her husband, and a bad court verdict, Patty's involvement with Rachel was drastically curtailed. When her husband remarried a week after the divorce, he delegated most of the responsibility for raising Rachel to his new wife. Patty naturally resented the fact that another woman was raising the child that she had carried in her womb for 9 months and taken care of for 5 years. Her resentment acted as a filter when it came to evaluating the stepmother's parenting skills. Criticisms came easily; positive thoughts about her rival took decided effort. When Rachel complained to her mother about the stepmother's treatment, Patty felt some secret pleasure which she kept secret. Though her rivalous feelings were gratified, she knew that the stepmother was doing a lot for Rachel. And she knew it would not benefit Rachel to develop a bad relationship with her stepmother. So Patty listened to Rachel's complaints, but did not respond eagerly. As far as the girl was concerned, bad-mouthing her stepmother was not the way to her mother's heart. Patty set an inspiring example of a woman whose love for her child outweighed strong impulses to engage in destructive criticism.

It is easy to appreciate how tempting it can be for some parents to try to undermine their children's relationship with their stepparent. Therapists can help alleviate destructive competition by emphasizing the deep foundation of attachment between most parents and children and reminding parents of the many experiences that formed the foundation of the relationship. Parents can be invited to consider their own attachment histories. In most cases, new affectionate relationships do not replace earlier attachments. Most of us retain our love for our parents regardless of how many other people we come to love. Without negative programming, children's new relationships will not usually undermine existing ones. It may help parents to talk to other parents whose children have maintained strong love for them while still getting along well with the stepparent.

Adults who attempt to foster alienation must be helped to see that instigating and supporting conflict between the children and a parent or stepparent will make life more difficult for the children. This will, in turn, make life more difficult for all the adults, because they will have to cope with angry or depressed children and the associated behavioral sequelae.

THE COMMON ENEMY

Remarried families are fragile. Children do not choose their stepparents. And adults do not marry in order to acquire stepchildren. The children merely go along with the deal. It takes time for the new family to get used to each other. It takes time to feel like a family. It is even more of a challenge when each adult brings children from a prior marriage. Small wonder that divorce is common in these types of "blended" families.

One way to strengthen family cohesiveness is to unite around a common goal. Unfortunately, in some families bad-mouthing and bashing the nonresidential parent becomes that goal. It may be the glue that holds the new family together, that gives them the sense of being on the same team.

Even more significant, while everyone is trashing the other parent, they are avoiding negative feelings that would inevitably arise among them. As their anger gets channeled into criticisms of the other parent, they distract themselves from problems within their newly constituted family. Isaacs (1986) described this process as deflecting the new couple's problems through the outside parent. The motive is to deny the presence of conflict in the new relationship. This protects the couple from the anxiety generated by the prospect of another divorce. In some families, the new partner joins in a campaign of denigration as a means of ingratiating himself or herself to the spouse. The basic message is, "Your battles are my battles." Particularly in the early stages of remarriage, the new spouse may find it difficult to take a different position with respect to the exspouse's character and the type of treatment that he or she deserves.

Hal Q. and his second wife, Annette, spent much of their time colluding in trashing Hal's first wife, Melinda. The more they did so, the closer they felt. Annette's children joined the chorus of denigration. Hal's son, Tosh, couldn't resist participating. At first he felt disloyal to his mother, but he wanted to be accepted by the family, and complaining about his mother seemed to be the price of admission.

Josh had another motive. In a contest between his father and mother, Josh sensed that his father had more power. Although he was not consciously aware of it, Josh feared that the family's criticism could turn on him if he defended his mother. Like most people, Josh wanted to side with the winner. He wasn't in a position to stem the tide of denunciation, so he chose to affiliate with it. Essentially, Josh was following the strategy of "identifying with the aggressor." It is more popularly known as, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em."

Uniting against a common enemy has one fatal weakness. When the enemy is vanquished, conflicts usually arise among the former allies. That happened in this case. Melinda finally gave up her efforts to counter the trashing and she moved to another state. The family had virtually no contact with her. They lost their common enemy. Soon after, conflicts in their own family relationships began to surface. These had been present all along, but they were able to avoid them by making Melinda the target of all their hostility.

CHILDREN'S CONTRIBUTIONS TO PAS

An integral part of Gardner's formulation of the concept of PAS is that the disturbance results from a combination of parental brainwashing and the child's own contributions. Josh Q.'s behavior is a good example. In the case of remarriage, a child may join in a campaign of denigration for several reasons. As already mentioned, the child may be capitulating to group pressure in the service of aligning with the new family. The child may also be attempting to reduce inner conflict experienced as a result of the remarriage. Such inner conflict may be related to loyalty conflicts or difficulty accepting the remarriage and the stepparent.

The child who feels caught between two homes may try to resolve the conflict by declaring a clear allegiance to one household. This dynamic can result in alienation from either parent. A child who is anxious or angry about the remarriage may channel these feelings into unwarranted denigration of the remarried parent and stepparent, or the child's alienation may express the disappointment of reconciliation wishes that have been clashed by the remarriage. Most children of divorce harbor strong wishes for their parents to reconcile (Warshak & Santrock, 1983). Regardless of the child's underlying motivation, if the favored parent welcomes the child's allegiance or passively accepts the child's estrangement from the other parent and fails to actively promote the child's affection for the other parent, the child may cling to this maladaptive solution.

A central goal of therapy with alienated children in remarried families is to help them appreciate that they do not have to choose sides. We can try to help them appreciate the benefits that come from avoiding unhealthy alliances, while working with the parents to support this concept.

POOR BOUNDARIES

The dynamics discussed in this article help to explain the impulses parents may feel to tamper with children's affections. But an impulse is not an action. Parents often inhibit behavior toward their children rather than act on impulse. For example, we don't spank every time we feel like doing so. And most divorced parents go through a period when they have chronic impulses to badmouth their exspouses whether or not their children are present.

What is it, then, that allows loving parents to act on the impulse rather than inhibit their behavior as they do other behavior they regard as destructive to their children? In many cases the answer is simple: They do not regard it as destructive to their children. Many parents who badmouth are so preoccupied with hurting their exspouses or the new stepparent that they choose not to think about the impact on their children. Other parents appear incapable of recognizing that their own thoughts and feelings and their children's needs may not be identical. So they pursue, with singleminded determination, their goal of demeaning the exspouse, even when this means embarrassing the children, and even when this means confusing them, depriving them, or scaring them. By treating their children as accomplices in the campaign of denigration, these parents obliterate the usual psychological boundary that exists between adults and children.

In families with a history of inappropriate boundary violations, PAS may represent a continuation of maladaptive patterns begun prior to the divorce and remarriage. Treatment with these families is generally more difficult, because the PAS is embedded in a long-standing enmeshment between the alienating parent and child.

CONCLUSION

This article has presented some of the dynamics often found when PAS occurs in the context of remarriage. It has been shown how PAS can arise in remarried families from motivations other than custody-related concerns. By recognizing the potential for PAS, therapists consulting with stepfamilies will be in a better position to help prevent or alleviate the disturbance. The emphasis should be on early intervention and maintaining access between the target parent and children, while concurrently addressing the PAS dynamics in therapy sessions. As with other emotional disturbances, interventions in the early stages are most likely to meet with success. Also, work with these families is unlikely to be successful without the support of the court in enforcing access between the target parent and child, and in providing external motivation for the parties to engage in treatment.

REFERENCES


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Ceci, S. J., & Bruck, M. (1995). Jeopardy in the courtroom: A scientific analysis of children's testimony. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Clawar S. S., & Rivlin, B. V. (1991). Children held hostage: Dealing with programmed and brainwashed children. Chicago: American Bar Association.
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Lampel, A. K. (1986). Post-divorce therapy with highly conflicted families. The Independent Practitioner, 6, 22-26.
Lund, M. (1995). A therapist's view of parental alienation syndrome. Family and Conciliation Courts Review, 33, 308-316.
Lutz, P. (1983). The stepfamily: An adolescent perspective. Family Relations, 32, 367-375.
Ransom, J. W., Schlesinger, S., & Derdeyn, A. P. (1979). A stepfamily in formation. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. 49, 36-43.
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Shaw, D. S., & Emery, R. E. (1987). Parental conflict and other correlates of the adjustment of school-age children whose parents have separated. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 15, 269-281.
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Warshak, R., & Santrock, J. W. (1983). The impact of divorce in father-custody and mother-custody: The child's perspective. In L. A. Kurdek (Ed.), Children and divorce (pp. 29-46). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Warshak, R. (1992). The custody revolution. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Warshak, R. (1999a). Psychological syndromes: Parental alienation syndrome. In R. Orsinger (Ed.), Expert witness manual (pp. 3:32:1-3:32:27). Austin, TX: State Bar of Texas,
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FOOTNOTES 1. The process usually begins prior to the remarriage, often when the former spouse first learns of the relationship. Also, in some cases, though rare, remarriage alleviates PAS; this phenomenon falls outside the scope of this article.

 
At 2:17 PM, Anonymous PAS - the emes said...

PAS and Sex-Abuse Accusations



SPECIAL REPORT

May, 1999 Volume 2 No. 5


THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME AND SEX-ABUSE ACCUSATIONS

''The best time for your client to attend sex offender treatment is before they go trial''

A false sex-abuse accusation is sometimes seen as a derivative or spin-off of the PAS. Such an accusation may serve as an extremely effective weapon in a child-custody dispute. Obviously, the presence of such false accusations does not preclude the existence of bona fide sex abuse, even in the context of a PAS. Although the sex-abuse factor in the PAS is an important one, I only make minimal reference to it in this book. Rather, I focus primarily on the etiology, development, manifestations, and treatment of the PAS, having elaborated on the sex-abuse factor in previous books (Gardner, 1987a, 1995a) and in a forthcoming volume (Gardner, 1999). So formidable and complex is this component that a separate book was warranted.

In recent years, some examiners have been using the term PAS to refer to a false sex-abuse accusation in the context of a child-custody dispute. In some cases the terms are used synonymously. This is a significant misperception of the PAS. In the majority of cases in which a PAS is present, the sex-abuse accusation is not promulgated. In some cases, however, especially after other exclusionary maneuvers have failed, the sex-abuse accusation will emerge. The sex-abuse accusation, then, is often a spin-off, or derivative, of the PAS but is certainly not synonymous with it. Furthermore, there are divorce situations in which the sex-abuse accusation may arise without a preexisting PAS. Under such circumstances, of course, one must give serious consideration to the possibility that true sex abuse has occurred, especially if the accusation antedated the marital separation. I am in agreement with Mapes (1995), who holds that professionals conducting forensic assessments of alleged sex abuse should be knowledgeable about the PAS as a motivating factor for a false sex-abuse accusation.

Another factor operative in the need to deny the existence of the PAS, and relegate it to the level of being only a "theory," is its relationship to sex-abuse accusations. I mention frequently throughout the course of this book that a sex-abuse accusation is a possible spin-off or derivative of the PAS. My experience has been that the sex-abuse accusation does not appear in the vast majority of PAS cases. There are some, however, who equate the PAS with a sex-abuse accusation, or a false sex-abuse accusation. My experience has been that when a sex-abuse accusation emerges in the context of a PAS--especially after the failure of a series of exclusionary maneuvers--the accusation is far more likely to be false than true. Claiming that a sex-abuse accusation may be false also has potentially been politically risky in recent years and not "politically correct." Those of us who have stood up and made such claims, both within and outside of the realm of the PAS, have subjected ourselves to enormous criticism--often impassioned and irrational. My experience has been that sex-abuse accusations that arise within the context of PAS situations are more likely to be directed toward men than women. Accordingly, in sex-abuse cases in the context of custody disputes I am more likely to testify in support of the man. This somehow proves me "sexist." The fact that I have most often testified in support of women to be designated the primary custodial parent--even when there has been a sex-abuse accusation--does not seem to dispel this myth. Richard A. Gardner, M.D.

Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS)

"This condition arises as a distinctive form of psychological injury to children in high conflict divorce. It occurs when the child becomes aligned with one parent as a result of the unjustified and/or exaggerated denigration of the other parent. This leads to an impaired relationship with the alienated (target) parent and an absolute loss of parenting as a result of the hostility of the parent producing the alienation. In most cases of high conflict divorce, there are degrees of alienation. In severe cases, the child's once love-bonded relationship with the target/rejected parent is destroyed."

Diagnosis and treatment:

Whenever there is alleged, obvious or deep-seated parental alienation, the diagnosis and treatment must proceed swiftly to preclude the worsening of the condition. Diagnosis involves an estimation of the extent of the alienation and the nature of the causative factors. Attention is paid to rejecting behaviors on the part of the alienating parent that undermine the child's legitimate need for a relationship with both parents. Rejecting behaviors include: terrorizing factors by which the child may be bullied and verbally assaulted into being fearful of the target parent to the point where the child fears contact with that parent; relating factors where the alienating parent keeps the child from normal opportunities for parenting with the target parent, their relatives, friends and extended family; and corrupting influences where the child is mis-socialized and misinformed by the alienating parent about the real intentions of the target parent.

Treatment

After careful assessment of the individual case as a result of the mandated participation of both parents, a treatment plan is devised and tailored to the degree of alienation documented. Mild and moderate degrees of alienation are properly dealt with through family therapy and parent education. Therapy is begun to support the child's healthy need for both parents, to eradicate unhelpful contributions of the alienating parent and unwitting contributing factors on the part of the target parent.

Severe alienation with a phobic or hysterical reaction of the child to the target parent and alienation of the child to the point of prolonged visitation refusal or cessation must be treated aggressively to have any hope of a successful outcome. Separation from the alienating parent is often mandatory. This separation can be accomplished by mandating the child to foster care, the care of other relatives or to a hospital setting which has a specially trained staff for rehabilitation, deprogramming and reestablishment of the parent-child relationship.

The Rye Hospital Center staff is prepared to evaluate cases of PAS and implement inpatient treatment for severely alienated children and their families. During a hospital placement for the treatment of PAS the hospital staff will focus on the child's feelings about the alienating parent and the target parent. The child will be educated to the healthy realities of attachment to eliminate the distortions supporting alienation. Group sessions with other alienated children will be used whenever possible. Intensive therapy with the target parent will aim at the reintegration of the alienated child in a loving relationship. In addition, while there may be minimal contact for a significant period of time between the child and the alienating parent, an intensive educational therapy will be used with the alienating parent to create a correct understanding of that parent's responsibility for maintaining a loving connection that keeps both parents in the child's life.

A post-hospital treatment plan will be devised to continue the reintegration of the child with the target parent and his/her extended family and maintain the changes in the alienating parent. The plan will include gradual integration of the alienating parent back into the child's life, possibly through supervised visitation and carefully monitored contacts. The out-patient treatment may involve a change of residence for the child to the custody of the former target parent until the court can be assured that the behaviors that produced the alienation have been remedied.

Every case will be dealt with on an individual basis with treatment plans carefully tailored to the needs of all the parties. The goal will be the restoration of a relationship with both parents. The expectation of the program is to produce life-long benefit to the child and enable the child to have a normal psychological development even after divorce.

After-care plans describing the hospitalization, interventions and continued treatment will be a routine part of discharge planning. Blueprints for an ongoing treatment of all parties covered will be furnished to treating personnel in the area to which the child returns. Edward M. Stephens, M.D. Member, American Psychiatric Association

Committee on Juvenile Justice Member, American Psychiatric Association Committee on Mental Health in Schools

From FAMILY PRACTICE NEWS, Vol 20, #24, December 15-31, 1990, page 7.

Custody Disputes Fueling arental Alienation Syndrome

New York -- With increasing child custody disputes has come a growth in parental alienation syndrome, Dr. Richard A. Gardner said at a meeting of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis.

Abetted by one parent, the child develops an obsessive, irrational hatred of the other, who is viewed as the incarnation of evil, said Dr. Gardner, a child psychiatrist at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York.

Ninety percent of the time, the father is the victim; but in 10% the roles are reversed. There is no history of abuse. To call it brainwashing would be an oversimplification. The child jumps on the mother's bandwagon...but adds his own scenario, he said.

In the typical presentation, which may arise within days of the announcement of custody conflict, the child obsessively denigrates the father, with no empathy and little guilt. The denigration has a litany quality; every altercation of the past is used to justify his hatred.

Lack of Normal Ambivalence

When asked why he never wanted to see his father again, one little boy said that he chewed too loud and added, He used to say, `Don't interrupt.'

Bizarre charges, condoned by the mother, may be made. One child said that his father had murdered his grandfather, who had actually died, at age 85, in the hospital. The father was the kind of person who would do it, the boy declared, supplying details of the crime.

When asked what she thought, the mother said she didn't actually believe the murder had happened, adding but I wouldn't put it past him, Dr. Gardner said.

A hallmark of the syndrome is the child's lack of normal ambivalence toward both parents: He can find nothing he dislikes about his mother and nothing he likes about his father.

The hatred may extend to the father's family; grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins with whom relations had previously been good are now viewed as despicable, Dr. Gardner said.

Evidence that might counteract the distortions is met with rationalization and delusion. Asked about a photograph from happier times in which the family was together at Disney World, one boy explained that if I didn't smile for the picture, he'd beat me.

He believes the syndrome has arisen as a result of social and legal changes of the last 15 or 20 years. In the mid-1970's, the presumption that the mother is the de facto preferred custodial parent gave way to an egalitarian commitment to determine the child's best interests in a gender-blind fashion.

Custody disputes burgeoned and the erosion of the mother's position deepened in the late 1970's and early 1980's with the increasing popularity of the joint custody concept.

In severe cases of parental alienation syndrome -- the alienating parent is unamenable to therapy and so filled with rage, paranoia, and delusions that a virtual folie a deux has developed with the child - the only hope is court ordered removal of the child to the other parent's home. In this case, the primary psychological bond is strong but sick, he said.

In more moderate cases, the bond must be respected but the child induced to see the other parent. Being respectful of the child's wishes won't work, Dr. Gardner said.

To give the child no choice but to see the father provides an excuse that allows him to protect his relationship with the mother ( I still hate him, but the judge says I have to ).

In moderate and milder cases, truncating custody litigation is probably more therapeutic than any intervention in resolving the syndrome. Once the threat is gone, there's no need for the scenario, he said.

The syndrome may be seen at any age past 3 or 4 years. When a couple in their fifties divorces acrimoniously, a variant may occur in children in their twenties.

In severe cases, lifelong alienation from one parent may ensue, Dr. Gardner said.

Parental Alienation: What Can the Courts Do?
Recognize early the symptoms of alienation. Intervene quickly.
Don't let attorneys use unfounded delay tactics like continuances.
Order parents into therapy (family systems therapy), hopefully before they come to an agreement on a Shared Parenting Plan.
Order a Guardian Ad Litem to monitor compliance and report to the court.
Don't withhold visits unless there is a question about the child's safety. There is always the risk that withholding visits will reinforce alienation and increase the risk that the child will believe there is something wrong with the targeted parent.
Give the parents an opportunity to speak before the court.
If the child is already alienated, order therapy for the child.
http://www.fact.on.ca/Info/info_pas.htm

DEFINITION OF THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME

Since the 1970s, we have witnessed a burgeoning of child-custody disputes unparalleled in history. This increase has primarily been the result of two recent developments in the realm of child-custody litigation, namely, the replacement of the tender-years presumption with the best-interests-of-the-child presumption and the increasing popularity of the joint-custodial concept. The assumption was made that mothers, by virtue of the fact that they are female, are intrinsically superior to men as child rearers. Accordingly, the father had to provide to the court compelling evidence of serious maternal deficiencies before the court would even consider assigning primary custodial status to the father. Under its replacement, the best interests of the child presumption, the courts were instructed to ignore gender in custodial considerations and evaluate only parenting capacity, especially factors that related to the best interests of the child. This change resulted in a burgeoning of custody litigation as fathers now found themselves with a greater opportunity to gain primary custodial status. Soon thereafter the joint-custodial concept came into vogue, eroding even further the time that custodial mothers were given with their children. Again, this change also brought about an increase and intensification of child-custody litigation.

In association with this burgeoning of child-custody litigation, we have witnessed a dramatic increase in the frequency of a disorder rarely seen previously, a disorder that I refer to as the parental alienation syndrome (PAS). In this disorder we see not only programming ( brainwashing ) of the child by one parent to denigrate the other parent, but self-created contributions by the child in support of the alienating parent's campaign of denigration against the alienated parent. Because of the child's contribution I did not consider the terms brainwashing, programming, or other equivalent words to be applicable. Accordingly, in 1985, I introduced the term parental alienation syndrome to cover the combination of these two contributing factors (Gardner, 1985a, 1987b).

In accordance with this use of the term I suggest this definition of the parental alienation syndrome:

The parental alienation syndrome (PAS) is a disorder that arises primarily in the context of child-custody disputes. Its primary manifestation is the child's campaign of denigration against a parent, a campaign that has no justification. It results from the combination of a programming (brainwashing) parent's indoctrinations and the child's own contributions to the vilification of the target parent. When true parental abuse and/or neglect is present the child's animosity may be justified, and so the parental alienation syndrome explanation for the child's hostility is not applicable. Richard A. Gardner, M.D.

THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME IS NOT THE SAME AS PROGRAMMING

( BRAINWASHING )

It has come as a surprise to me from reports in both the legal and mental health literature that the definition of the PAS is often misinterpreted. Specifically, there are many who use the term as synonymous with parental brainwashing or programming. No reference is made to the child's own contributions to the victimization of the targeted parent. Those who do this have missed an extremely important point regarding the etiology, manifestations, and even the treatment of the PAS. The term PAS refers only to the situation in which the parental programming is combined with the child's own scenarios of disparagement of the vilified parent. Were we to be dealing here simply with parental indoctrination, I would have simply retained and utilized the terms brainwashing and/or programming. Because the campaign of denigration involves the aforementioned combination, I decided a new term was warranted, a term that would encompass both contributory factors. Furthermore, it was the child's contribution that led me to my concept of the etiology and pathogenesis of this disorder. The understanding of the child's contribution is of importance in implementing the therapeutic guidelines described in this book. Richard A. Gardner, M.D.

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME AND BONA FIDE ABUSE AND/OR NEGLECT

Unfortunately, the term parental alienation syndrome is often used to refer to the animosity that a child may harbor against a parent who has actually abused the child, especially over an extended period. The term has been used to apply to the major categories of parental abuse: physical, sexual, and emotional. Such application indicates a misunderstanding of the PAS. The term PAS is applicable only when the target parent has not exhibited anything close to the degree of alienating behavior that might warrant the campaign of vilification exhibited by the child. Rather, in typical cases the victimized parent would be considered by most examiners to have provided normal, loving parenting or, at worst, exhibited minimal impairments in parental capacity. It is the exaggeration of minor weaknesses and deficiencies that is the hallmark of the PAS. When bona fide abuse does exist, then the child's responding alienation is warranted and the PAS diagnosis is not applicable.

Programming parents who are accused of inducing a PAS in their children will sometimes claim that the children's campaign of denigration is warranted because of bona fide abuse and/or neglect perpetrated by the denigrated parent. Such indoctrinating parents may claim that the counter-accusation by the target parent of PAS induction by the programming parent is merely a cover-up, a diversionary maneuver, and indicates attempts by the vilified parent to throw a smoke screen over the abuses and/or neglect that have justified the children's acrimony. There are some genuinely abusing and/or neglectful parents who will indeed deny their abuses and rationalize the children's animosity as simply programming by the other parent. This does not preclude the existence of truly innocent parents who are indeed being victimized by an unjustifiable PAS campaign of denigration. When such cross accusations occur--namely, bona fide abuse and/or neglect versus a true PAS--it behooves the examiner to conduct a detailed inquiry in order to ascertain the category in which the children's accusations lie, i.e., true PAS or true abuse and/or neglect. In some situations, this differentiation may not be easy, especially when there has been some abuse and/or neglect and the PAS has been superimposed upon it, resulting thereby in much more deprecation than would be justified in this situation. It is for this reason that detailed inquiry is often crucial if one is to make a proper diagnosis. Joint interviews, with all parties in all possible combinations, will generally help uncover The Truth in such situations. Stahl (1994) and Hysjulien, et al. (1994) make reference to the complexity of some PAS evaluations. Richard A. Gardner, M.D.

THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME AS A FORM OF CHILD ABUSE

It is important for examiners to appreciate that a parent who inculcates a PAS in a child is indeed perpetrating a form of emotional abuse in that such programming may not only produce lifelong alienation from a loving parent, but lifelong psychiatric disturbance in the child. A parent who systematically programs a child into a state of ongoing denigration and rejection of a loving and devoted parent is exhibiting complete disregard of the alienated parent's role in the child's upbringing. Such an alienating parent is bringing about a disruption of a psychological bond that could, in the vast majority of cases, prove of great value to the child--the separated and divorced status of the parents notwithstanding. Such alienating parents exhibit a serious parenting deficit, a deficit that should be given serious consideration by courts when deciding primary custodial status. Physical and/or sexual abuse of a child would quickly be viewed by the court as a reason for assigning primary custody to the nonabusing parent. Emotional abuse is much more difficult to assess objectively, especially because many forms of emotional abuse are subtle and difficult to verify in a court of law. The PAS, however, is most often readily identified, and courts would do well to consider its presence a manifestation of emotional abuse by the programming parent.

Garbarino and Stott (1992) consider the PAS to be an example of what they refer to as the psychologically battered child and describe it specifically, by name, as one form of child battering. Rogers (1992) identifies five types of psychological maltreatment: rejecting, terrorizing, ignoring, isolating, and corrupting, and then describes how each of these types may be seen in the PAS. Accordingly, courts do well to consider the PAS programming parent to be exhibiting a serious parental deficit when weighing the pros and cons of custodial transfer. I am not suggesting that a PAS-inducing parent should automatically be deprived of primary custody, only that such induction should be considered a serious deficit in parenting capacity---a form of emotional abuse--and that it be given serious consideration when weighing the custody decision. In this book, I provide specific guidelines regarding the situations when such transfer is not only desirable, but even crucial, if the children are to be protected from lifelong alienation from the targeted parent. Richard A. Gardner, M.D.

THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME DOES NOT EXIST BECAUSE IT IS NOT IN DSM-IV

There are some, especially adversaries in child-custody disputes, who claim that there is no such entity as the PAS, that it is only a theory, or that it is Gardner’s theory. Some claim that I invented the PAS, with the implication that it is merely a figment of my imagination. The main argument given to justify this position is that it does not appear in DSM-IV. The DSM committees justifiably are quite conservative with regard to the inclusion of newly described clinical phenomena and require many years of research and publications before considering inclusion of a disorder, and this is as it should be. The PAS exists! Any lawyer involved in child-custody disputes will attest to that fact. Mental health and legal professionals involved in such disputes must be observing it. They may not wish to recognize it. They may give it another name (like parental alienation ). But that does not preclude its existence. A tree exists as a tree regardless of the reactions of those looking at it. A tree still exists even though some might give it another name. If a dictionary selectively decides to omit the word tree from its compilation of words, that does not mean that the tree does not exist. It only means that the people who wrote that book decided not to include that particular word. Similarly, for someone to look at a tree and say that the tree does not exist does not cause the tree to evaporate. It only indicates that the viewer, for whatever reason, does not wish to see what is right in front of him (her). To refer to the PAS as a theory or Gardner’s theory implies the nonexistence of the disorder. It implies that it is a figment of my imagination and has no basis in reality. To say that PAS does not exist because it is not listed in DSM-IV is like saying in 1980 that AIDS does not exist because it is not listed in standard diagnostic medical textbooks. The PAS is not a theory, it is a fact. My ideas about its etiology and psychodynamics might very well be called theory. The crucial question then is whether my theory regarding the etiology and psychodynamics of the PAS is reasonable, and whether my ideas fit in with the facts.

This is something for the readers of this book to decide.

But why this controversy in the first place? With regard to whether PAS exists, we generally do not see such controversy regarding most other clinical entities in psychiatry. Examiners may have different opinions regarding the etiology and treatment of a particular psychiatric disorder, but there is usually some consensus about its existence. And this should especially be the case for a relatively pure disorder such as the PAS, a disorder that is easily diagnosable because of the similarity of the children’s symptoms when one compares one family with another. Over the years, I have received many letters from people who have essentially said: Your PAS book is uncanny. You don’t know me and yet I felt that I was reading my own family’s biography. You wrote your book before all this trouble started in my family. It’s almost like you predicted what would happen. Why, then, should there be such controversy over whether or not PAS exists?

One explanation lies in the situation in which the PAS emerges and in which the diagnosis is made: vicious child-custody litigation. Once an issue is brought before a court of law-in the context of adversarial proceedings-it behooves one side to take just the opposite position from the other, if one is to prevail in that forum. A parent accused of inducing a PAS in a child is likely to engage the services of a lawyer who may invoke the argument that there is no such thing as a PAS. And if this lawyer can demonstrate that the PAS is not listed in DSM-IV, then the position is considered proven. The only thing this proves to me is that DSM-IV has not yet listed the PAS. It also proves the low levels to which members of the legal profession will stoop in order to zealously support their client’s position, no matter how ludicrous their arguments and how destructive they are to the children.

An important factor operative in the PAS not being listed in DSM-IV relates to political issues. Things that are hot and controversial are not likely to get the consensus that more neutral issues enjoy. As I will elaborate upon below, the PAS has been dragged into the political-sexual arena, and those who would support its inclusion in DSM-IV are likely to find themselves embroiled in vicious controversy and the object of scorn, rejection, and derision. The easier path, then, is to avoid involving oneself in such inflammatory conflicts, even if it means omitting from DSM one of the more common childhood disorders.

The PAS is a relatively discrete disorder and is more easily diagnosed than many of the other disorders in DSM-IV. At this point, articles are coming forth and it is being increasingly cited in court rulings. Articles about PAS in the scientific literature will be cited throughout the course of this book. Court rulings in which the PAS is cited are also appearing with increasing frequency. I continue to list these on my web site as they appear (http://www.rgardner.com/refs). My hope is that by the time committees are formed for the preparation of DSM-V, the committee(s) evaluating for inclusion will see fit to include the PAS and have the courage to withstand those holdouts who, for whatever reason, need to deny the reality of the world. It may interest the reader to note that if PAS is ultimately included in the DSM, its name will be changed to include the term disorder, the current label utilized for psychiatric illnesses that warrant inclusion. It might very well have its name changed to parental alienation disorder. Richard A. Gardner, M.D.

THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME IS NOT A SYNDROME

There are some who claim that the PAS is not really a syndrome. This criticism, like many, is especially seen in courts of law in the context of child-custody disputes. It is an argument sometimes promulgated by those who claim that PAS does not even exist. The PAS is a very specific disorder. A syndrome, by medical definition, is a cluster of symptoms, occurring together, that characterize a specific disease. The symptoms, although seemingly disparate, warrant being grouped together because of a common etiology or basic underlying cause. Furthermore, there is a consistency with regard to this cluster in that most (if not all) of the symptoms appear together. Accordingly, there is a kind of purity that a syndrome has that may not be seen in other diseases. For example, a person suffering with pneumococcal pneumonia may have chest pain, cough, purulent sputum, and fever. However, the individual may still have the disease without all these symptoms manifesting themselves. The syndrome is more often pure because most (if not all) of the symptoms in the cluster predictably manifest themselves.

An example would be Down's Syndrome, which includes a host of seemingly disparate symptoms that do not appear to have a common link. These include mental retardation, mongoloid-type facial expression, drooping lips, slanting eyes, short fifth finger, and characteristic creases in the palms of the hands. There is a consistency here in that the people who suffer with Down's Syndrome often look very much alike and most typically will exhibit all these symptoms. The common etiology of these disparate symptoms relates to a specific chromosomal abnormality. It is this genetic factor that is responsible for linking together these seemingly disparate symptoms. There is then a primary, basic cause of Down's Syndrome: a genetic abnormality.

Similarly, the PAS is characterized by a cluster of symptoms that usually appear together in the child, especially in the moderate and severe types. These include:
A campaign of denigration
Weak, absurd, or frivolous rationalizations for the deprecation
Lack of ambivalence
The independent-thinker phenomenon
Reflexive support of the alienating parent in the parental conflict
Absence of guilt over cruelty to and/or exploitation of the alienated parent
The presence of borrowed scenarios
Spread of the animosity to the friends and/or extended family of the alienated parent.
Typically, children who suffer with PAS will exhibit most (if not all) of these symptoms. This is almost uniformly the case for the moderate and severe types. However, in the mild cases one might not see all eight symptoms. When mild cases progress to moderate or severe, it is highly likely that most (ii not all) of the symptoms will be present. This consistency results in PAS children resembling one another. It is because of these considerations that the PAS is a relatively pure diagnosis that can easily be made by those who are not somehow blocked from seeing what is right in front of them. As is true of other syndromes, there is an underlying cause: programming by an alienating parent in conjunction with additional contributions by the programmed child. It is for these reasons that PAS is indeed a syndrome, and it is a syndrome by the best medical definition of the term. Richard A. Gardner, M.D.

Articles in Peer-Review Journals on the Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) by Richard A. Gardner, M.D. is a description of the nature of PAS and a compilation of citations by the researcher who introduced the term. This is available through a link to his company, Creative Therapeutics at http://www.rgardner.com/ This particular paper as also been captured into a PDF format (January 4, 1999 version). On the site, Dr. Gardner also has a list of legal citations indicating times that testimony on PAS has been admitted in the courts of various jurisdictions. The site is set up to allow you to order books, including his The Parental Alienation Syndrome (2nd edition) directly.

Rye Hospital Program For Treating Children Affected by Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), as published on the web site http://www.divorcedfather.com , written by Edward M. Stephens, M.D., provides some information on the diagnosis and treatment of Parental Alienation Syndrome. This particular page as also been captured in PDF format.

Differentiating between Parental Alienation Syndrome and Bona Fide Abuse-Neglect by Richard A. Gardner from The American Journal of Family Therapy, Volume 27, Number 2, p 97-107 (April-June 1999). Talk about a HOT new article! The article looks at the differences in children, but most specifically adults, under a PAS situation with false allegations of abuse or neglect, and the same where there is true abuse-neglect. Truly makes one wonder seriously about the inducers of PAS. This document is also available in PDF format.

Parental Alienation Syndrome: How to Detect It and What to Do About It by J. Michael Bone and Michael R. Walsh as published in The Florida Bar Journal, Volume 73, Number 3, March 1999, p. 44-48. This new article is meant for lawyers. It provides a higher level look at PAS, provides the indications that a lawyer or judge can use to tell if PAS is present, and deals with the absolute need of the courts to operate swiftly if PAS is detected. A quote from the article: Any attempt at alienating children from the other parent should be seen as a direct and willful violation of one of the prime duties of parenthood . This document is also available in PDF format.

Alienation Revisted as presented by Mr. Paul Lodge, FCOA, at the Third National Family Court Conference October 20-24 in Melbourse, Australia. This article is conference notes that were initially taken in PDF formation from the conference site. The conference material has moved several times so that a good link is not available. This is conference material, so make some allowances for missing points and references that are not used, please. The original PDF document is available here.

Identifying Cases of Parent Alienation Syndrome--Part I by Leona M. Kopetski as published in The Colorado Lawyer, February 1998, Volume 27, Number 2 p 65-68

(also available in PDF format), and

Identifying Cases of Parent Alienation Syndrome--Part II by Leona M. Kopetski as published in The Colorado Lawyer, February 1998, Volume 27, Number 3 p 61-64 (also available in PDF format)

These articles deal with evidence of PAS that pre-dated Gardners original work and talks about the impact of PAS on children. The final comments on the second part talks about the significance of sexual reproduction, and equivalent psychological nature of this.... If children are allowed free access to these different people, they do not need a perfect parent. It is not individual parental mistakes that harm the development of children. It is the exclusion of these different people that places them in danger.... .

The Emerging Problem of Parental Alienation by Caroline Willbourne and Lesley-Anne Cull, as published in Family Law, December 1997, p. 807-8. This document is meant for lawyers and provides an overview of things to look at that indicate parental alienation (though I doubt that lawyers see the children enough to tell) but also talks about the damage done to the children in leaving them in the residential care of the alienating parent.. This document is also available in PDF format.

Management of Visitation Interference as published in The Judges' Journal (Number 36) of the American Bar Association in the Spring of 1997. This document is meant for judges and is very strong and specific about the types of therapy and the considerations in orders that are required to handle access problems when Parental Alienation Syndrome or Divorce-Related Malicious Mother Syndrome in involved. This document is also available in PDF format.

Summary of the Practice Parameters for Child Custody Evaluation as published on the website of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry as approved in 1997 and published in their Journal. Parental alienation is recognised as the serious problem that it is. This particular page as also been captured in PDF format.

Perspectives on Parental Alienation, Child Custody and Dispute Resolution Systems by Anita Vestal was an award winning essay in the American Bar Association's Section on Dispute Resolution and can be found, in a less formatted form at http://www.abanet.org/dispute/comwin.html This is also available in PDF format. This is a good summary of PAS meant for lawyers and discusses such things as the problems with mediation and joint custody when PAS is involved.

The Spectrum of Parental Alienation Syndrome (Part I) by Deirdre Conway Rand as published in the American Journal of Forensic Psychology, Volume 15, Number 3, 1997. This came from files at Aktive Fedre, a new fathers' group in Norway (with minor cleaning by FACT) and is kept in two pieces due to the size of the HTML file. These files have also been put into a single file in PDF format.

The Spectrum of Parental Alienation Syndrome (Part II) by Deirdre Conway Rand as published in the American Journal of Forensic Psychology, Volume 15, Number 4, 1997. This came from Aktive Fedre as well (with minor cleaning by FACT) and is kept in three pieces due to the size of the HTML file. These files have also been put into a single file in PDF format. These are excellent articles and deal with not only the psychological aspects of PAS, but the legal process and judicial recognition (mostly in the US) of PAS. We would strongly recommend reading them, and then perhaps distributing them to judges, lawyers, social workers, psychologists, journalists, etc. who deal with, or are interested in, the children of divorce.

Parental Alienation Syndrome: An Age-Old Custody Problem by Michael R. Walsh and J. Michael Bone from the June 1997 issue of The Florida Bar Journal (p. 93-96). This is also available in PDF format. This is an excellent article for officers of the courts and parents in looking at the face of PAS, the problems with dealing with it, and their roles in protecting the children.

Relocation as a Strategy to Interfere with the Child-Parent Relationship by Ira Daniel Turkat, Ph.D. from the American Journal of Family Law, Volume 11, 39-41 (1996). This article talks about the unhealthy relocation of children to interfere with parental contact and identifies some of the risk factors associated with this. A good article to look at for casting some question on relocations. This document is available in PDF format.

Understanding and Collaboratively Treating Parental Alienation Syndrome by Kenneth H. Waldron, Ph.D. and David E. Joanis, J. D. from the American Journal of Family Law, Volume 10, 121-133 (1996). This is an good article and attempts to broaden the discussion of the nature of PAS by examining the alienating parent, the target parent, and the family system, as well as the techniques used in and results of parental alienation. It also discusses the adversarial system, and the roles of the parties if there is truly a concern about protecting the children. This document is also available in PDF format.

Children's Alignment with Parents in Highly Conflicted Custody Cases by Anita K. Lampel discusses the personality characteristics measured for children who aligned with a parent (the parent the child felt provided more empathy and understood the child's age-specific concerns ), nonaligned children, and their parents. In the study about equal numbers (actually a bit more) of the children indicated that father was the preferred parent . This study was published in Family and Conciliation Courts Review, Vol. 34, No. 2, April 1996, 229-239. This paper is also available in PDF format.

A Therapist's View of Parental Alienation Syndrome by Mary Lund discusses the nature of PAS and the structure of therapy groups that could be used. It was published in Family and Conciliation Review, Vol. 33, No. 3, July 1995. This paper is also available in PDF format.

Divorce-Related Malicious Mother Syndrome by Ira Daniel Turkat as published in the Journal of Family Violence, Volume 10, No. 3, 1995, p 253-264. This article takes a look at a condition involving somewhat acting like a very severe PAS inducer, but with no other mental disorder affecting behavior. It is interesting to read. This document has also been put into a PDF format.

Child Visitation Interference in Divorce by Ira Daniel Turkat from Clinical Psychology Review, Vul. 14, No. 8, pp. 737-742, 1994. This article sets the structure of the various forms of visitation interference and talks about how the courts and the lack of research have become big problems in contributing to this form of child abuse. The article has also been put into a PDF format.

The Parental Alienation Syndrome: An Analysis of Sixteen Selected Cases by John Dunne and Marsha Hedrick. This was published in the Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, Vol. 21(3/4), 1994. This article looks at sixteen cases that met Dr. Gardner's criteria for Parental Alienation Syndrome. It shows that traditional interventions in these cases were ineffective, and that the only effective treatment included a change in custody of the alienated child. This material is also available in PDF format.

The Detrimental Effects on Women of the Gender Egalitarianism of Child-Custody Dispute Resolution Guidelines by Richard A. Gardner from the Academy Forum Volume 38, Number 1,2 p 10-13 (Spring/Summer 1994), the publication of The American Academy of Psychoanalysis. This article discusses the history of custody over the ages and the possible reasons for the high incidence of parental alienation seen now. The article has also been put into a PDF format.

Parental Alienation Syndrome: A Developmental Analysis of a Vulnerable Population by Joseph L. Price, Ph.D. and Kerry S. Pioske, RN, MS, ANP. This was published in the Journal of Psychosocial Nursing, Vol. 32, No. 11, 1994 p 9-12. This article provides an overview of PAS for nurses and some description of how it fits into psychological framework of the child and the family. This material is also available in PDF format.

When You Suspect the Worst: Bad-faith relocation, fabricated child sexual abuse, and parental alienation by Carol Holstein Sanders. This was published in the Family Advocate in the Winter, 1993 edition. This article looks at alienation in context of the other common conditions associated with alienating parents using children as weapons against the other parent. This article is a simple and general piece (well, it was written for lawyers) but amply indicates the tie in on Parental Alienation with many other actions often seen on relationship breakdowns. This material is also available in PDF format.

Expanding the Parameters of Parental Alienation Syndrome by Glenn F. Cartwright as published in the American Journal of Family Therapy, 21 (3), 205-215 (1993). This is available through a link to his personal site at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. An excellent paper. He seems to have / make use of a site called P. A. I. N. (Parental Alienation Information Network ) at http://www.education.mcgill.ca/pain/ for the dissemination of material. This particular paper as also been put into a PDF format.

Family Wars: The Alienation of Children, Composite case from actual examples by Peggy Ward and J. Campbell Harvey was published in the New Hampshire Bar Journal, Volume 34, No.1, March 1993. A slightly different version, but with the same title, composed all of Newletter #9 (from 1993) of The Professional Academy of Custody Evaluators (PACE) is available through a link to PACE's Web site at http://www.pace-custody.org. This is an excellent and comprehensive paper. The PACE version is available in many different formats across the Web. The PACE version of this paper has been captured in PDF format, and the New Hampshire paper has been printed in PDF format.

Mediation: Parental Alienation Syndrome by Mary Lund from the Family Law News, the official publication of the State Bar of California Family Law Section, Volume 15, Number 1, in the Spring of 1992. It provides a very brief overview of the issues with lawyers to help them not contribute to the child abuse known as Parental Alienation. This particular paper as also been put in PDF format.

Le syndrome d'aliénation parentale (Parental Alienation Syndrome) by Anne-France Goldwater. This is an article that was originally published in Dévelopments Récents en Droit Familial 1991, P. 121-145, but that was made available through http://www.total.net/~goldwate as a Microsoft Word document. There are some other good papers there. Despite the French title, most of this document is in English. It provides a good summary from a Canadian, and specifically a Quebec, legal viewpoint. The Word version of this particular paper as also been put in PDF format.

Legal and Psychotherapeutic Approaches to the Three Types of Parental Alienation Syndrome Families by Richard A. Gardner, M.D.. This article was published in the Court Review Volume 28, Number 1, Spring 1991, p. 14-21, the publication of the American Judges Association. This paper describes the three types of PAS and gives some specific pieces of information that judges, at least judges that care, need to know when coming across PAS in the courtroom. You need to read this one. The paper as also been put in PDF format.

Custody Disputes Fueling Parental Alienation Syndrome written about Richard A. Gardner, M.D.. This is a news article was published in the Family Practice News, Volume 20, Number 24, December 15-31, 1990, p 7. The paper as also been put in PDF format.

Preventing Parentectomy Following Divorce by Frank S. Williams, M.D.. This article was the keynote address at the Fifth Annual Conference of National Council for Children's Rights held in Washington DC on October 20, 1990. This paper describes problems with the process and motivations for separation of the children from a parent and talks about some of the preventative actions a parent can take. The paper was taken from the Men's Rights Agency site at http://www.ecn.net.au/~mra/page27b.htm and reformatted slightly. This site has considerable amounts of interesting data, and can be accessed through the URL http://www.ecn.net.au/~mra/. The paper as also been put in PDF format.

Judges Interviewing Children in Custody/Visitation Litigation by Richard A. Gardner, M.D.. This article was published in the New Jersey Family Lawyer, Volume VII, Number 2, August/September 1987, p 26ff. This paper describes the problems that judges have in interviewing children affected by PAS directly, and gives some guidance on the approach and questions that a judge who wants to directly interview the children should take into account. The paper as also been put in PDF format.

Post-Divorce Therapy With Highly Conflicted Families by Anita K. Lampel, Ph.D. This article was published in The Independent Practitioner Volume 6 Number 3, July 1986, p. 22-26, the Bulletin of the Division of Psychologists in Independent Practice, Division 42 of the American Psychological Association. This paper describes the success of conventional techniques on mild cases, but indicates that conventional techniques do not work well on severe cases, and that a change in residency has a much greater chance of working. Some of the improvements are discussed. The paper as also been put in PDF format.

A Guide to the Parental Alienation Syndrome by Stan Hayward. This is available through a link to http://www.coeffic.demon.co.uk, the UK Men and Father's Rights page. An excellent paper. This particular paper as also been captured in PDF format.

The Father’s Guide: Coping with Parental Alienation by the Texas Fathers for Equal Rights (T. F. E. R.). This is is a discussion, by fathers, of some of the strategies fathers should consider in re-establishing a relationship with a child who has been alienated but is once again visiting. TFER's home page can be found at http://www.startext.net/homes/tfer/index.htm. This particular paper as also been captured in PDF format.

Dr. Douglas Darnall, a therapist, expert witness and author in Ohio, has a great collection of information on Parental Alienation - the stages that usually occur before the more serious PAS kicks at his site at http://www.parentalalienation.com/PASdirectory.htm. Information on his book is, of course, there too. There is some useful stuff to consider there. If you are interested, Dr. Parnell was the guest at an on-line chat session at Concerned Counselling on February 3,1998, and that transcript is available here.

Parental Alienation Syndrome is an article The Family Court Reform Council of America. This is a discussion of PAS in general. Their home page can be found at http://www.familycourts.com/. This particular page as also been captured in PDF format.

SOME REPORTED RESULTS OF ACCESS DENIAL AND PARENTAL ALIENATION

Increased suicidal tendencies were found in people who had experienced the loss of the father. Bron, Strack & Rudolph, Univ. of Gottingen, Germany, 1991

Children showed the most behavior problems if their parents were in a legal conflict and the visitation was not frequent or regular. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 1990 British researchers have found adults who suffer parent loss due to separation or divorce have significantly higher risk of developing agoraphobia with panic attacks and panic disorder. British Journal of Psychiatry, 1989

Scandinavian research has found a significantly higher number of adults who attempted suicide had lost a parent through divorce in childhood. Acta Psychiatrica, Scandinavia,1990, 1993

Children who were separated from their father for a period of three months or longer and between the ages of 6 months to 5 years old, suffer a higher risk (2.5 to 5 times higher) of hysteria, emotional disorders and conduct disorder than other children. Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 1988

An Irish Equal-Parenting group, called Parenting Equality has an interesting collection of Parental Alienation statistics, with good source references, on their site. You can reach the site at http://homepages.iol.ie/~pe/ for other interesting information.

A not-too-exhaustive list of sites with information on Parental Alienation Syndrome. Please note: links tend to get out of date very quickly. Please let us know if the one you wanted is broken, or a good site not listed below is online, by e-mailing us at webmaster@fact.on.ca.

http://www.rgardner.com/ Dr. Richard A. Gardner's site - the innovator of the term Parental Alienation Syndrome and a source of information, books and he acts as an expert witness.

http://www.education.mcgill.ca/pain/ The Canadian Parental Alienation Information Network (P.A.I.N.) and involves the team from McGill University, including Dr. Glenn F. Carwright and Despina Vassiliou.

http://www.parentalalienation.com/ is Dr. Douglas Darnall's site. He deals with Parental Alienation -- the state proceeding the full-fledged PAS -- as well as Parental Alienation Syndrome. Dr. Darnall also has a book available through his site.

http://www.spig.clara.net/ Shared Parenting Information Group (SPIG) UK. An excellent site in the UK with a lot of useful information. It also has a PAS section that has an exhaustive article list.

http://www.robin.no/~dadwatch/ links to Dad Watch and Aktive Fedre (a Norwegian group) with information on PAS.

http://fnf.org.uk/ Families Need Fathers is a UK group with a collection of good information, including a Parental Alienation section.

http://www.familycourts.com/ The Family Court Reform Council of America is a California-based US site with some information on PAS.

http://www.mall4us.com/pas.htm is a U.S. group calling itself the Parental Alienation Information Network (P.A.I.N.) It does provide some information on (U.S.) providers of services.

http://www.vev.ch/en/pas/ link's to VeV's PAS newsletter, which you can subscribe to or review some of the material in the current or past issues of the newsletter.

http://homepages.iol.ie/~pe/ is Parental Equity, an Irish group with information on Parental Alienation, including cited statistics.

http://www.acfc.org/, the American Coalition for Fathers & Children has an extensive site with considerable information on a number of topics, including some reports and studies on Parental Alienation.

http://www.familycourt.gov.au/papers/fca3/LODGE.PDF links to Paul Lodge's presentation material from his Alienation Revisited session at the Australian 3rd National Family Court Conference.

http://www.divorcedfather.com/ has an excellent article under the father resources on PAS. This site also promotes Serge Prengel 's book Still A Dad: the divorced father's journey.

Https://ftp3.sagepub.com/cgi-bin/fx/record/stahccc.txt is Phil's Stahl's book Conducting Child Custody Evaluations available from Sage Publishing. Other material from Sage by Stahl is found at http://www.sagepub.co.uk/books/details/a237402.html

http://members.xoom.com/WWDD/noframes.htm is an excellent site with a number of articles on PAS and other related topics.

http://www.divorcesource.com/archives/alienation.shtml provides the Ward and Harvey article above in a hypertext format.

http://www.bpdcentral.com/ deals with Borderline Personality Disorder (it is not the disorder that is borderline). This condition seems to be found in many alienating parents.

http://www.stanford.edu/~corelli/borderline.html also deals with BPD and states that some 10-14% of the population is affected, and that it is 2-3 times more common in women than in men.


Copyright Navarre & Associates, Austin, Texas 78753 (512) 836-4567. All Rights Reserved.
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At 3:27 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

>new ownership was not clearly
>defined

Apperently, there is a dispute as to ownership of the company.

I'm going to defer making a judgement call and suggest that those affected contact their Rav for an opinion.

 
At 4:33 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

To repeat:

PAS is junk science "...it lacks a scientific basis, noting that the American Psychiatric Association and the American Medical Association have not recognized it as a syndrome."

PAS is not recognized in DSM-IV (the American Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), which includes all
the recognized psychiatric definitions and serves as the "Bible" of American
psychiatrists. It does not appear in the European manual either.
...

>Dr. RICHARD GARDNER: [videotape]
>If it sounds incredible, it's
>probably not true. In
>extreme cases, children who are
>sexually abused become like
>little street-smart sluts. I
>believe that children who are
>false accusers are going to have
>a higher incidence of reading
>mystery stories.
>
>ERIN HAYES: [voice-over] Dr.
>Gardner concedes no one has
>scientifically tested his
>criteria, not even he.

Here's the Nightline transcript referred to above:

ABC NEWS
SHOW: Nightline (ABC 11:30 pm ET)
November 14, 1996
Transcript # 4039-1
TYPE: Interview
SECTION: News; Domestic

Child's Word
BYLINE: TED KOPPEL; ERIN HAYES

Doubt over the testimony of children in sexual abuse cases has made it harder to try accused child molesters, sometimes with deadly consequences, but authorities say children do tell the truth in most cases.

BODY:
TED KOPPEL: [voice-over] This week, another tragedy.

1st RESPONDENT: I don't understand this. They- they knew. Why did they let him come into this neighborhood? Or in any other neighborhood?

IPTED KOPPEL: [voice-over] A convicted child molester avoids prison because there is doubt over the testimony of a child.

STEPHEN CECI, Psychologist, Cornell University: We're never going to have - never going to have - a Pinocchio test. There will never be a test where the child's nose is growing longer when she gets it wrong.

IPTED KOPPEL: [voice-over] But when the convicted molester is sent home, he kills two children.

2nd RESPONDENT: When they do something like that, don't let them out. Just don't let them out at all.

IPTED KOPPEL: [voice-over] Tonight, the country faces a growing dilemma, knowing when to believe a child's word.

ANNOUNCER: This is ABC News Nightline. Reporting from Washington, Ted Koppel.

TED KOPPEL: This is a subject that is so controversial, about which people on both sides of the issue feel so passionately, that you should know how, in this particular instance, it was brought to our attention. Cydnea Tamarkin [sp?] has been a journalist for many years. She has devoted a great deal of attention to the subject of the sexual abuse of children by adults. Ms. Tamarkin has come to believe that, in recent years, a great many children who claim to have been sexually abused are not believed, or at least that suspects are not prosecuted because of some high-profile cases in which the testimony of children was found in court to be not credible. At one point, Ms. Tamarkin served on the advisory board of an organization called Believe the Children. She insists, however, that she remains neutral on the subject, and we have found her to be a useful, objective and reliable resource.@PGPH I'm telling you all of this because some people are under the impression, and have communicated this to us, that Ms. Tamarkin produced the reports you are about to see. That is not true. Correspondent Erin Hayes and producer Jim Hill have been especially sensitive to the suggestion that their work might be seen as anything less than objective reporting, and so have we. We are satisfied that their story is important and that Erin's report has been compiled as fairly and cleanly as possible.

ERIN HAYES, ABC News: [voice-over] Robert Jambois, a Kenosha, Wisconsin prosecutor, and his staff are preparing a case against a man accused of sexually molesting a little boy.

ROBERT JAMBOIS, Prosecutor, Kenosha, WI: He's been waking up in the middle of the night, you know, screaming, "Daddy, don't do it again."

ERIN HAYES: [voice-over] As in most child sex abuse cases, there is no physical evidence.

ROBERT JAMBOIS: Basically, it's the child's word against the word of the adult.

ERIN HAYES: [voice-over] The case will hinge on the testimony of the boy. It will not be easy.

ROBERT JAMBOIS: He's going to be called a liar, and he's going to be told that, you know, going to say that he just- he made this whole thing up, or that somebody else made it all up.

ERIN HAYES: [voice-over] Jambois says it will be doubly difficult because many potential jurors walk into court already dubious about the testimony of children.

ROBERT JAMBOIS: One of the questions that we often ask jurors, I mean, "Are you prepared to convict this defendant just based on the testimony- or based exclusively on the testimony of an eyewitness?" And many of them will say, "Yeah, yeah." And, "Well, what about- what if this eyewitness is five years old, and you believe this five-year-old, and you don't believe the defendant, are you still prepared to convict, based exclusively on the testimony of this five-year-old eyewitness?" "Oh, no," they're not really inclined to do that.

ERIN HAYES: And prosecutors from more than a dozen major cities told Nightline it is a disturbing trend. In the past five years, they say, it has become much more difficult to prosecute child sex abuse because the credibility of children's testimony has come under attack.

J. TOM MORGAN, Prosecutor, Dekalb County, Georgia: The courtroom has gotten very mean. It's gotten mean for children, and it's gotten mean for the people who advocate for children.

ROBERT JAMBOIS: If I have a credible child who's able to give a credible account of what occurred, why shouldn't that be enough? Why- why shouldn't the jury believe that a child will- is telling the truth about these matters?

ERIN HAYES: [voice-over] Because, a group of critics argues, in many cases, by the time children get to the witness stand, there has been too much opportunity for investigators to pressure children into describing abuse where there may be none. Attorney Steven Komen [sp?] has defended dozens of people charged with child sex abuse.

STEVEN KOMEN: My experience is, is that a qualified lawyer, or a psychiatrist, social worker, or psychologist, can get a child to say just about anything they want while they're talking to them.

RICHARD GARDNER, Psychiatrist: It has all the- all the criteria of a witchhunt, and the- the similarities between Salem and what we have now are uncanny.

ERIN HAYES: [voice-over] There is a history behind those charges, a spate of high-profile sex-abuse cases gone awry.

1st TV CORRESPONDENT: The community of Jordan, Minnesota has been jolted by allegations of a ring of child sexual abusers.

ERIN HAYES: [voice-over] Cases in the 1980s, charges that defied belief.

2nd TV CORRESPONDENT: Coerced into staying silent by the brandishing of guns and the mutilating of animals.

ERIN HAYES: [voice-over] But police and prosecutors had little, if any, experience with these unusual cases. Some took children's stories at face value or, worse, relentlessly interviewed some children until they finally came forward with stories of abuse.

ATTORNEY [?]: The children were never allowed to say, in their own words, what happened to them.

ERIN HAYES: [voice-over] In the years since, many of those cases have unraveled. Many of those accused had charges against them dropped, were acquitted, or had their convictions overturned.

PAUL STERN, Deputy Prosecutor, Kenosha, WI: Clearly, in the last two years there have been mistakes made in prosecution. There has been overcharging, there has been overreaching, there's been overzealous statements made by- by prosecutors, by investigators, by therapists.

ERIN HAYES: Those mistakes, prosecutors say, prompted them to change the system. Safeguards are being put in place, and interviewers are being trained not to lead children on in questioning.

PAUL STERN: This system works. This system works more effectively and more efficiently, with better results and better decisionmaking now than it did 10 years ago.

ERIN HAYES: [voice-over] But prosecutors say convincing juries of that has been extraordinarily difficult in the face of a counterattack they say is planting widespread doubt about the believability of children's testimony.@PGPH [on camera] And prosecutors say that counterattack is succeeding on the basis of unproven theories and misapplied science that they say should have no place in the courtroom.

IP[Commercial break]

TED KOPPEL: At the heart of many cases involving the sexual abuse of children is a debate over science in the courtroom. Erin Hayes continues her report.

ERIN HAYES: [voice-over] This is what is at the center of the debate, the statements of children, like this one, who told prosecutor Jambois that her father sexually molested her.

1st CHILD: He took a pen and stuck it in her- in my body.

INTERVIEWER: He did?

1st CHILD: Yeah.

ERIN HAYES: [voice-over] If you are a juror, listening to this child, should you have strong doubts? Is there reason to believe a child would make up something like that, or could be led to make it up? Many who defend the accused point to a body of research they say shows children can and do make up stories of sexual abuse. Some of they research they cite most frequently is that of Cornell University psychologist Stephen Ceci. Professor Ceci's staff has found they can elicit elaborate stories from young children, stories that are absolutely untrue, like this one.

2nd CHILD: The monkey escaped from the zoo. A man [unintelligible] he asked if- if I could help him find it, and I- and I found it.

ERIN HAYES: [voice-over] The studies have been widely cited in the media as evidence for questioning children's accounts of sex abuse. USA Today suggested questions can induce kids to falsely claim abuse. The Boston Herald said interviewers' techniques can often convince non-abused children they were truly molested, and more of Ceci's work has been cited in the courtroom as evidence of "...a high degree of suggestibility among young children...," that it's "...quite easy to distort a child's memory..." and "A child who was not abused may come to believe they were...@PGPH But Ceci says in many cases his work has been misused and misunderstood.

STEPHEN CECI, Psychologist, Cornell University: Not only do I believe children can be reliable in sexual abuse cases, I believe the vast majority of them are reliable in those cases.

ERIN HAYES: [voice-over] But Ceci says what is missing from many accounts of his work is that it is fairly difficult to convince children to make up even the most harmless stories.

STEPHEN CECI: Because in our studies we work at it very hard.

INTERVIEWER: And guess what, they found the monkey and gave it back to the lady. Did anything like that ever happen to you?

3rd CHILD: No.

INTERVIEWER: Did you ever help a stranger in a park to find a monkey that ran away from a zoo? You didn't?

STEPHEN CECI: We pursued kids repeatedly over long periods of time.

INTERVIEWER: Did anything like that ever happen to you?

4th CHILD: No.

STEPHEN CECI: I'm not talking about a single interview, where you sit down and you use a single leading question, and all of a sudden the child's giving you some highly elaborate narrative about something that never happened. That isn't how we grow a narrative. We do it over long periods of time, with repeated false suggestions by an interviewer.

ERIN HAYES: That doesn't seem to- to bear most child sexual abuse cases.

STEPHEN CECI: No. I would- I would agree.

ERIN HAYES: In fact, in his studies, most of the children ultimately do not give in to interviewers' suggestions, and while many of the interviews are about more serious subjects, medical exams, for example, they are not about sex abuse, and many in the child protection field are troubled that Ceci's research is being applied to sex abuse cases.

CHARLES WILSON, National Children's Advocacy Center: Because a child can be convinced of some event within their- within their realm of experience, such as seeing a clumsy clown at a- at a party, doesn't translate into that they can be made to believe that their grandfather had sex with them every Friday night for the last three years. It doesn't tell them about what the taste of semen is like. It doesn't tell them about the pain.

ERIN HAYES: [voice-over] Professor Ceci says he sees his research as a first step toward understanding cases where children have made false allegations of abuse.

STEPHEN CECI: It in no way denies the true instance of child sexual abuse, to say that some percentage of those claims may be falsehoods because of the way the adults have pursued the kids' memories.

ERIN HAYES: [voice-over] But those cases, he says, are not the norm.

STEPHEN CECI: Maybe 1 percent, 5 percent, 10 percent. I suspect it's nowhere near the majority. My hunch is the majority of interviews done with kids by front-line workers, child protective service, law enforcement, therapists, pediatricians, are well-done.

ERIN HAYES: [voice-over] But prosecutors say that is not the message being heard. Many jurors walk into court, they say, already doubting children, especially young children.@PGPH [on camera] In fact, prosecutors in several states told Nightline that in many cases of sex abuse involving children under the age of six, they are not prosecuting, even when they are sure the child would be a credible witness.@PGPH [voice-over] Rob Parrish, an assistant attorney general in Utah, is concerned that the cases are proving too tough for many prosecutors.

ROB PARRISH, Utah Assistant Attorney General: What I often say to prosecutors is that when we go in to a case like this, we have an extra burden. It's not just proving the case beyond a reasonable doubt. We've got to prove it pretty much beyond any doubt.

IPTED KOPPEL: In a moment, two of the men who have raised doubts about the reliability of children's testimony, when Erin Hayes's report continues.

[Commercial break]

RALPH UNDERWAGER, Psychologist: [videotape] The best thing to do, the thing that would, in fact, protect the largest number of children from being harmed is to do away with all this bullshit of child protection.

ERIN HAYES: [voice-over] Ralph Underwager, a Minnesota psychologist-

Dr. RICHARD GARDNER: [videotape] And we are witnessing the greatest wave of hysteria in the history of the country.

ERIN HAYES: [voice-over] -and Dr. Richard Gardner, a New Jersey psychiatrist, are two of the most outspoken critics of child sex abuse investigators in this country. On a past Nightline, Dr. Gardner criticized what he called "the child abuse establishment."

Dr. RICHARD GARDNER: ["Nightline," March 4, 1994] It is a fact that- a- a- a lot of incompetent zealots- zealous people, overzealous, who see sex abuse everywhere.

ERIN HAYES: [voice-over] Gardner's and Underwager's research and theories raising doubts about the validity of many children's accusations of sex abuse have been widely cited in the media, and both have been highly sought, highly paid witnesses for people defending themselves against child sex abuse charges.

RALPH UNDERWAGER: I believe the great majority of the questioning of children that is done in this country is highly coercive, highly suggestive, leading, and produces inaccurate information.

ERIN HAYES: [voice-over] Underwager has done research that he says backs him up. He evaluated taped interviews of children, children who claimed they were sexually abused. Too many of the interviewers, Underwager concluded, used leading or repeated questions, which he says cast serious doubts on the children's accusations.

RALPH UNDERWAGER: It is the case that repeated questioning is the most powerful and the- the most effective way to produce a false accusation.

ERIN HAYES: [voice-over] But his critics point out Underwager uses his own standards for determining what is repeated and leading. For instance, he has said that interviewers' questions like this one, "Okay ... I don't want you to say anything you can't remember for sure," could be considered leading. And most of the tapes he reviews come to him from defense attorneys, for whom he consults. When he testifies for them, he says, he is paid $2,500 a day. Underwager admits he has no way to known if the children's accounts of abuse in the cases he reviews are actually false.@PGPH [interviewing] How do you know, in each of these cases, that the abuse did not happen?

RALPH UNDERWAGER: I don't. That's not my function. That's the function of the justice system.

ROB PARRISH: If that's the case, then there's no reason for him to be expressing an opinion in the justice system, any more than any of the rest of us. I mean, you could call anybody in that circumstance to say, "I've viewed the tape and I think it's a bad interview, so therefore I think this child's probably not telling the truth."

ERIN HAYES: [voice-over] At least 10 courts have disallowed Underwager's testimony. One ruled he "...did not have bone fide qualifications..." as a researcher. Another said his work "...was not scientifically reliable..."@PGPH Underwager does continue to testify, which concerns many of his critics, who say is expertise is colored by what they see as a sympathetic view toward pedophiles. In a Dutch publication [Paidika] three years ago, Underwager said, "Paedophiles need to become more positive and make the claim that paedophilia is an acceptable expression of God's will for love and will among human beings."@PGPH Underwager says he has always believed sex between adults and children is harmful, but says to help treat pedophiles, they must first be encouraged to openly proclaim their sexuality.

RALPH UNDERWAGER: That's what they need to do for themselves, and that's what we need to have them do, so that we can deal with it.

ERIN HAYES: [voice-over] In the same controversial article, he said "Male sex may make women jealous," and that can "...hold true for pedophile sex too."@PGPH [interviewing] To say that a woman would be jealous of pedophile sex, what do you mean by that? Why would you say something like that?"

RALPH UNDERWAGER: What's so difficult to understand about that?

ERIN HAYES: It's almost impossible for me to understand.

RALPH UNDERWAGER: In what way?

ERIN HAYES: Why would a woman, in your estimation, be jealous of sex between a pedophile and a child?

RALPH UNDERWAGER: If it interfered with whatever the woman had as her purposes, or her intents, or whatever her relationships were, that's what could occur.

MARK ELLIS, National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse: His methods and theories are not accepted by others in his field, and have been subject to a great deal of criticism by others in his field.

ERIN HAYES: [voice-over] Prosecutors are also critical of Dr. Gardner, who not only testifies, but publishes and markets his own books on child sex abuse, books often quoted in court cases.

ATTORNEY: [law firm videotape] Now, I want to talk to you about the most common cause of false accusations.

ERIN HAYES: [voice-over] In this videotape produced by a law firm, an attorney cites from Dr. Gardner's research Gardner's conclusion that false allegations of child sex abuse are commonplace in custody disputes.

ATTORNEY: [law firm videotape] This phenomena [sic] has been examined in research and it's now been given the name "parental alienation syndrome."

ERIN HAYES: [voice-over] That disorder, however, cannot be found in the standard manual of psychiatric diagnoses. It is a term Dr. Gardner coined himself, based mainly on his own experience as a psychiatrist.@PGPH But the largest study done on the subject to date found that false allegations of child sexual abuse rarely surface in custody disputes ["...less than 2% of cases involved an allegation of sexual abuse."]@PGPH Dr. Gardner declined a videotaped interview for this report, but he sells tapes of his own, as well, in which he describes his criteria to help determine whether a child's allegation of sexual abuse is true or false. Among his criteria?

Dr. RICHARD GARDNER: [videotape] If it sounds incredible, it's probably not true.@PGPH In extreme cases, children who are sexually abused become like little street-smart sluts. I believe that children who are false accusers are going to have a higher incidence of reading mystery stories.

ERIN HAYES: [voice-over] Dr. Gardner concedes no one has scientifically tested his criteria, not even he.

ROB PARRISH: Those tests are not based on scientific reality. They're not verified, they're not validated in any way.

ERIN HAYES: [voice-over] But, prosecutors say, such work is having a real effect in the courtroom.

ROBERT JAMBOIS: It has promoted a level of cynicism among a significant percentage of the population, and when you're dealing in an area where you have to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt unanimously among the jury, a little bit of cynicism can do a great deal of damage.

IPTED KOPPEL: Balancing the rights of the accused and the abused- some final thoughts from correspondent Erin Hayes, in a moment.

[Commercial break]

TED KOPPEL: Joining us now from our Chicago bureau, ABC's Erin Hayes.@PGPH Erin, I get the sense that- that there really has been no conclusion to this story. I mean, your report ends, but it doesn't end with a conclusion. I take it that's because there isn't any.

ERIN HAYES: There really is no conclusion. There's a consensus among those I've spoken to, and that is that the pendulum just needs to swing back to the middle, that there was in the 1980s a tendency to immediately believe children's accounts of sex abuse, now there's a tendency to doubt children right away, and neither, they say, is reasonable.

TED KOPPEL: And what do the experts say can be done to bring about that happy medium?

ERIN HAYES: Well, they're trying now to remove reasons for doubt, to build more credible cases. There's a great deal of training going on now of police and prosecutors, therapists, even judges, about the best way to interview children to get the most accurate information from them. But having said that, they also say there will never be a crystal ball, an easy test, a simple way to know if an account of abuse is true or false. Each case, they say, has to be determined the old-fashioned way, on its merits, examining all the facts.

TED KOPPEL: Unfortunately, we're talking about fear on both sides, fear, on the one hand, of not believing children who deserve to be believed, fear, on the other hand, of convicting innocent people because of an easily suggestible child.

ERIN HAYES: Well, those I've spoken to say there are two things to remember. The first is that you have to remember that the accused is innocent and has to be presumed innocent until they're proven guilty. But they also say it's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, not, prosecutors say, beyond an irrational doubt. And what they're asking jurors to do is to walk into court with an open mind and a willingness to listen.

TED KOPPEL: And on that note, Erin Hayes, let me thank you. I appreciate it very much.@PGPH That's our report for tonight. Tomorrow, on Good Morning America, Sarah Ferguson, and Evander Holyfield. Then, on the Nightline Friday Night Special, an unprecedented town meeting in the Watts section of Los Angeles with the director of Central Intelligence. He'll be answering questions about the lingering controversy over the CIA's alleged role in the crack cocaine epidemic during the 1980s.@PGPH I'm Ted Koppel in Washington. For all of us here at ABC News, good night.

The preceding text has been professionally transcribed. However, although the text has been checked against an audio track, in order to meet rigid distribution and transmission deadlines, it may not have been proofread against tape.

 
At 4:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

check out the latest headline on www.newhempsteadnews.blogspot.com

 
At 5:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quoted from post on JWB sandy-hutchens-career-criminal. Well said.

We have strong prohibitions in place against Lashon Hara, against humiliating someone in public but in an age when many wrongdoers, particularly the rich and powerful, (adding that Rabbi Tendler who has a PR person for $200.000, attorneys, community officials and supporters), no functional sense of right and wrong, any more than sociopaths do; then maybe it's time for public humiliation.

Certainly there has been no compunction by them in using public humiliation via rumors, gossip, slandering and smearing against their victims (who don't have influence and power). (There has been no investigation committee by KNH members over the last 12 years since known women have been hurt, no Rabbonium organizing a Beit Din, as it would be corrupt anyway, and no chance to be heard or recourse against all the wrong doing of the Kehilah and RMT). If we were more righteous communities, or perhaps simply borderline righteous communities; there would be no need for such tactics. Gossip and slander against the victim would be rejected, no favor would be shown to the rich and the powerful or the really special person whose wife you met once at a fundraiser for Ohel and justice would be done
In the absence of that though, blogs and the internet become a simple and effective way of publically humiliating the abuser, de-hatting him digitally as it were. It is cheap, simple and unstoppable. Information from a website entered into google becomes archived there. The Wayback machine can retrieve material from years ago from defunct websites. Nothing can be lost anymore and every story can be told and pursued and even if legal justice can't be obtained or religious justice; the story can be known and though he may keep his job and his title, his hat will never hang any way but crookedly on his head ever again."

To add, the Monsey community and RMT supporters are invested in him, like an idol. They have come to him to save them and he has come to believing that is what he is. He fell into a messianic psycological saving complex, and you all feed off on him under the notion of independence and professional status of modern day success. You have enabled him and build him up needing him so. And he is hurting. Let him get help.

 
At 7:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"check out the latest headline on www.newhempsteadnews.blogspot.com"

Anonymous blogs have no credibility. Anonymous blogs that openly have lied (i.e. RMT being kicked off YSV board, etc.) and do not accept any public comments have less than no credibility.

Get lost. Your blog is boring and proven false again and again.

 
At 9:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"To add, the Monsey community and RMT supporters are invested in him, like an idol. They have come to him to save them and he has come to believing that is what he is. He fell into a messianic psycological saving complex, and you all feed off on him under the notion of independence and professional status of modern day success. You have enabled him and build him up needing him so. And he is hurting. Let him get help."

Actually, we just demand hard evidence. All we have seen is lie after lie after lie. Even if the women are telling the truth, they have told so many lies (or so many lies have been told in their name) that they have no credibility. MT was not thrown out of YSV. Rav Dovid and Rav Reuven and the family are 100% behind MT. No DNA evidence has ever been produced. The report to the RCA only recommended a 3 month suspension indicating that the investigator did not see much there. The RCA chose to ignore the report and expel MT.

 
At 5:14 AM, Anonymous PAS - the emes said...

"PAS is junk science "...it lacks a scientific basis, noting that the American Psychiatric Association and the American Medical Association have not recognized it as a syndrome.""

It's truly amazing. I bring myriads of documented evidence as to the existence of PAS. Citations and footnotes referencing many, many studies. Proof of submission to peer review in the American Journal of Family Therapy, etc. Proof that it is accepted in Australia, the UK, throughout the US. Still, some stick their head in sand and deny reality. What were the adjectives you used, JWB, to describe KNH members? Zombies? Cultists? Kool Aid drinkers? It is quite apparent that those exact same adjectives apply to YOU as regards the feminist movement. The only things you can come up with are a Nightline interview and NOW propaganda? That is pathetic.

YOU, JWB, are the zombie, cultist, kool aid drinker toeing the line of political correctness and the feminist movement. You deny hard, cold facts and live in a world of fantasy.

I am still awaiting your explanation why you, such an esteemed reporter, did not reveal to your public that the report only recommended a 3 month suspension. Why only 3 months if he is such a bad guy? Why did the RCA expel him if the report recommended a mere 3 month suspension? For this kind of shoddy reporting, we can read the New York Times.

 
At 5:17 AM, Anonymous Gadi Tendler Pickholz, Beer Sheva Israel said...

Dear Anonymous JWB,

I regret your decision to stay hidden behind your apron, but at this stage your site is fatally flawed. Reliant upon anonymity to spread late-breaking gossip and rechilut, you violated the cardinal sin of journalism. Now that you attempt to engage in a remotely intelligent discussion of a topic, albeit a very obscure on even within the context of divorce and family law, it is impossible to treat you seriously. Perhaps if you are this sincere about the PAS issue, you can start a separate blog with proper identity and organizational affiliation, and we in the community would participate --providing you preclude the ability to post anonymously. Few in the Monsey commmunity would ever tie the two together, because everyone in the Monsey community is terrified that divorce and its consequences are communicable diseases, and want to stay as far away from the taboo as long as possible, hoping it will only occur to the "other" 50% of the community.

Ultimately, given your inability now to repair the damage of your original poor journalistic decision at this site, we must all conclude that you and all the "anonymous" contributors are little more than 4 Desperate Dati Housefrau of a certain age on Hysteria Lane in Monsey, spreading the latest loshon hora from this morning's nail salon appointment -- your nectar has long turned bitter, dear, and your skin long wrinkled to the tender touch.

For the record:
PAS is the law in the USA.
PAS statutes have been UPgraded in 17 states of the union in the past 3 years alone.
There is no state of the union in which PAS statutes have been weakened during this period, either via statute or judicial precedent, nor are any on agenda.
PAS is the law in the UK, France and the European Union.
PAS statutes have recently beena sopted by another 7 European countries.
PAS statutes have been the law of the land in Israel for many years.

If I ever receive a hazmana l'eydut to appear as an expert witness (representing the largest Jewish fathers organization in the world) before the Knesset because the constitutional committee might be considering weakening the statutes, I will testify gladly --but that will not occur in any of our lifetimes, as all readers can clearly comprehend irrespective of your personal tragedy. I leave you to your 3 girlfriends, to bemoan each others fate and discuss who is shtupping whom in suburban America while getting your weekly manicure.

Israel Fathers Rights Advocacy Council
HaNegev, 4 Tel Aviv
IsraelFRAC@gmail.com

 
At 5:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

More on indications of PAS - these tactics are rampant in the orthodox community and are frequently used by agunah crowd to push fathers away from their children

http://www.coeffic.demon.co.uk/pas.htm

some women will kidnap their children to Israel in order to get custody. Others will accuse the husband of kidnapping in order to gain custody see http://www.nevo.co.il/Psika_word/mishpaha/sm04030600.doc

In the dirty agunah game, these orthodox women will do whatever it takes

 
At 6:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Actually, we just demand hard evidence."

The RCA had hard evidence. They would not have invested in an outside independent investigating team had they not fully and completely substantiated his guilt.

"All we have seen is lie after lie after lie."

The lies are about your Rabbis’ innocents.

"Even if the women are telling the truth",

What do you mean “even”, that’s not enough? That it’s the truth? The fact is the women are telling the truth. Where is your support for their abuse? Where is the community that should be protecting their women?
Where is the community to assist in the damage of these women?

Where is the community to stop lying about them, and stop covering up for him?

Where is the community to stop continual victimization of women as where they didn't take action on behalf of the women years ago that would have prevented more women getting abused.

"they have told so many lies (or so many lies have been told in their name) that they have no credibility. MT was not thrown out of YSV. Rav Dovid and Rav Reuven and the family are 100% behind MT."

They? Yes, you are “they” telling lies. Yes “so many lies have been” said about the women. You go out of your way to publicize and slander the women so you can lie the women have no credibility. But the women absolutely have credibility and the abuse is credible enough. JWB told the truth. I don't know who made a statement about YSV? The fact that KNH and YSV or any institution who supports someone who is sick and allows for people getting hurt is part of this problem of seeing him as a savior, having invested so much in him, making him bigger then life, so dependent on him who is violating ethical and moral laws. I didn't personally hold nor did many that his family wouldn't support him. It has nothing to do with the fact that he is a sexual predator with women. KNH went out of their way to get his family as it was known that JWB claimed he wouldn’t be supported therefore showing he has no credibility among his family. So KNH, you, his supporters got his family. Big deal! What his family really believes, a 100%, we won't really know. But are their reasons for his family to support him? Yes. It’s Family. A very established and pristine Family. Does he have credibility? Yes. He accomplished a lot. He has helped people. He is likable. What some of the motivations for doing all the good he has done isn't in reality so kosher as he used it to exploit women and you. KNH members can keep showing proof and get witness that will testify to his good character. It doesn't take away from the truth. It does hide it more. As it’s hard to see bad in something good, as oppose to noticing bad in something known to be bad. However, the RCA saw it, a credible organization who would not have made there determination if not true. An organization in which Rabbi Mordecai Tender who is good was a member of this good organization. As good is defined here.

"No DNA evidence has ever been produced".

I don't know who is behind claiming this particular evidence? If you were told by a court or an authority; and I think you only believe RMT is the only authority and he certainly won’t admit his quilt or repent as you believe he would being that you believe he is this integral honest Torah leader and savior; you would still support him. The fact is women courageously testified and proved it to the RCA presenting to them all possible proof. This is a delicate situation. You religious Orthodox Jews should use your learning and your heads for empathy and humility. There could be many reasons a frum Jewish women and most abused women wouldn't want to be public. It is known abuse takes place behind hidden doors and why this crime continues. In situations of sexual abuse there are many reasons you didn't witness it or that you don’t have evidence.

"The report to the RCA only recommended a 3 month suspension indicating that the investigator did not see much there. The RCA chose to ignore the report and expel MT."

You ask for proof? We want this one. Let’s see a copy of this so called 3 month suspension made by the investigating team. Or if also a lie given by the Tendler team, and not started by you, in which you believe, then you are lying further by spreading it to cover up the truth.
The investigators for a fact said they believe the women and he is guilty.

 
At 6:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JWB-Give it a break for a week. No posts, no responses.

Let's see if you can maintain self-control. After all.. it's all about self-control isn't it?

 
At 8:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You ask for proof? We want this one. Let’s see a copy of this so called 3 month suspension made by the investigating team. Or if also a lie given by the Tendler team, and not started by you, in which you believe, then you are lying further by spreading it to cover up the truth.
The investigators for a fact said they believe the women and he is guilty."

You claim 2 mutually exclusive things in your comment. The only way you can state definatively, "The investigators for a fact said they believe the women and he is guilty." is if you actually saw and read what the investigators said. Yet, you admit that you have not seen the report which is why you are unaware that the investugators recommended only a 3 month suspension. The fact of the matter is that you do not KNOW anything for a fact. Facts have documented proof. The 3 month suspension is a fact. Hopefully, the RCA will release it or make it available but I doubt it as, if they do, they will have a lot of explaining to do. You believe the women. You are entitled to your beliefs. But that is all it is. It is a belief, not a fact. DNA evidence would be a fact but it does not exist. A tape would be a fact but it does not exist. Facts are tangible. It is a fact that some women have made allegations. That does not make those allegations a fact. It is a fact that MT denies those allegations. That does not make his denial a fact. You throw around the word "fact" way too easily. This leads to poor reasoning and poor judgement.

I have no idea who is correct here. What I believe is that an individual is innocent until proven guilty (both secularly and halachically). What I believe is that you require facts to determine guilt. Supposition and stories are not facts. If there is a tape, produce it (none was produced for the RCA investigation). If there is DNA produce it (none was produced for the RCA investigation). Without facts, all you get is a 3 month suspension.

 
At 8:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You ask for proof? We want this one. Let’s see a copy of this so called 3 month suspension made by the investigating team. Or if also a lie given by the Tendler team, and not started by you, in which you believe, then you are lying further by spreading it to cover up the truth.
The investigators for a fact said they believe the women and he is guilty."

You claim 2 mutually exclusive things in your comment. The only way you can state definatively, "The investigators for a fact said they believe the women and he is guilty." is if you actually saw and read what the investigators said. Yet, you admit that you have not seen the report which is why you are unaware that the investugators recommended only a 3 month suspension. The fact of the matter is that you do not KNOW anything for a fact. Facts have documented proof. The 3 month suspension is a fact. Hopefully, the RCA will release it or make it available but I doubt it as, if they do, they will have a lot of explaining to do. You believe the women. You are entitled to your beliefs. But that is all it is. It is a belief, not a fact. DNA evidence would be a fact but it does not exist. A tape would be a fact but it does not exist. Facts are tangible. It is a fact that some women have made allegations. That does not make those allegations a fact. It is a fact that MT denies those allegations. That does not make his denial a fact. You throw around the word "fact" way too easily. This leads to poor reasoning and poor judgement.

I have no idea who is correct here. What I believe is that an individual is innocent until proven guilty (both secularly and halachically). What I believe is that you require facts to determine guilt. Supposition and stories are not facts. If there is a tape, produce it (none was produced for the RCA investigation). If there is DNA produce it (none was produced for the RCA investigation). Without facts, all you get is a 3 month suspension.

 
At 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't have a copy of the report. You’re the one who can't produce it to make and verify your claim which you have stated. But even not having a copy you lye anyway, or believe it from the Tendler team, that a hired objective team, outside of the RCA of investigators recommended only a 3 months suspension. You don't make any sense. The RCA used what these professional investigators reported which was that he is guilty. They found it to be true so he was expelled. The RCA and the professional investigators made a proclamation of quilt from substantiating evidence.
That report is not for public record. An organization, a corporation and an American citizen is entitled to privacy and the right to their own confidential private investigative reports unless there is a subpoena in a case where the law has been broken. It’s only for those Judges who were given this difficult responsibility in the RCA to use for a judgment. What else shows that the investigators said he is guilty? The women who were abused by his sexual misconduct and therefore involved in the case as RMT was were told of the findings by the investigators. KNH and the Tendlers rationalize and brainwashes the community who are invested in him that there was no Torah Beit Din, and therefore any findings can not be true. Note: even if founded and substantiated. KNH nor did the Monsey Community do anything for over a decade nor are they doing any thing now to help the women, come up with a resolution or establish a Beit Din. You never attempted. You never even established an objective team to investigate all the women who seem to be disappearing from your shul or left, who were yelling for help and crying to other community members about RMTs’ abuse. KNH didn’t investigate because they knew it was true. You never even asked the women. What you did do was attack any women who was a victim or any innocent woman that may taint his image viewed by you through out of focus lenses to cover up and keep your messianic leader. If a true righteous Beit Din is your proposal, which you have never proposed in all the claims being made even now that he was witch hunted, and a conspiracy made, then you would have Gadi Tendler Pickholz, of Beer Sheva Israel as your member. As proven RMT is part of a family who are the Ha-Rabbonium of Beit Dins, so really the women wouldn’t have a fair chance. The women never did. Supporters, witnesses, victims, their families, their friends, women the shul members’ paranoia and threaten by were all sentenced and slander to cover up for him. There reputations were hung. You didn’t protect the women of your community and continue not to.


"What I believe is that an individual is innocent until proven guilty (both secularly and halachically)."

He was proven guilty. And in fact is. The RCA and the outside investigators for hire had the proof to claim he is guilty. They are reputable and respected. They would not have expelled him if there was any doubt it wasn't true. If a 3 month suspension was recommended and this wasn't their recommendation, the RCA would have doubt it. They didn't. The RCA proceeded after the investigators report was finished to establish clearly by forming a second and third round of credible Rabbis to do a separate investigation and substantiate the accusations. RMT and his lawyers were given all equal opportunity to defend himself and to make his claims. RMT and his wife him self said he went to speak personally to the investigators, so he had many opportunities to prove him self innocent. RMT tempered with witnesses as well. The RCA isn't a Halacic Beit Din, thus they are secular to you, as you stated above that "you would believe if proven secularly", well it was, by the RCA. The victims went to them because they are not considered secular but a Jewish Organization of 1000 members of Rabbis who follow Jewish Halacha.

The women have been responsible they don’t need to prove to every Dovid, Harry, and Sarah, especially those koolaid members who want him as Rabbi anyway, have maligned women to cover-up for him, are in denial, or on the outside. They proved he’s a sexual pursuer/abuser.

The question is will KNH ever act responsibly. The RCA at least did.

 
At 12:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't have a copy of the report. You’re the one who can't produce it to make and verify your claim which you have stated. But even not having a copy you lye anyway, or believe it from the Tendler team, that a hired objective team, outside of the RCA of investigators recommended only a 3 months suspension. You don't make any sense. The RCA used what these professional investigators reported which was that he is guilty. They found it to be true so he was expelled. The RCA and the professional investigators made a proclamation of quilt from substantiating evidence.
That report is not for public record. An organization, a corporation and an American citizen is entitled to privacy and the right to their own confidential private investigative reports unless there is a subpoena in a case where the law has been broken. It’s only for those Judges who were given this difficult responsibility in the RCA to use for a judgment. What else shows that the investigators said he is guilty? The women who were abused by his sexual misconduct and therefore involved in the case as RMT was were told of the findings by the investigators. KNH and the Tendlers rationalize and brainwashes the community who are invested in him that there was no Torah Beit Din, and therefore any findings can not be true. Note: even if founded and substantiated. KNH nor did the Monsey Community do anything for over a decade nor are they doing any thing now to help the women, come up with a resolution or establish a Beit Din. You never attempted. You never even established an objective team to investigate all the women who seem to be disappearing from your shul or left, who were yelling for help and crying to other community members about RMTs’ abuse. KNH didn’t investigate because they knew it was true. You never even asked the women. What you did do was attack any women who was a victim or any innocent woman that may taint his image viewed by you through out of focus lenses to cover up and keep your messianic leader. If a true righteous Beit Din is your proposal, which you have never proposed in all the claims being made even now that he was witch hunted, and a conspiracy made, then you would have Gadi Tendler Pickholz, of Beer Sheva Israel as your member. As proven RMT is part of a family who are the Ha-Rabbonium of Beit Dins, so really the women wouldn’t have a fair chance. The women never did. Supporters, witnesses, victims, their families, their friends, women the shul members’ paranoia and threaten by were all sentenced and slander to cover up for him. There reputations were hung. You didn’t protect the women of your community and continue not to.


"What I believe is that an individual is innocent until proven guilty (both secularly and halachically)."

He was proven guilty. And in fact is. The RCA and the outside investigators for hire had the proof to claim he is guilty. They are reputable and respected. They would not have expelled him if there was any doubt it wasn't true. If a 3 month suspension was recommended and this wasn't their recommendation, the RCA would have doubt it. They didn't. The RCA proceeded after the investigators report was finished to establish clearly by forming a second and third round of credible Rabbis to do a separate investigation and substantiate the accusations. RMT and his lawyers were given all equal opportunity to defend himself and to make his claims. RMT and his wife him self said he went to speak personally to the investigators, so he had many opportunities to prove him self innocent. RMT tempered with witnesses as well. The RCA isn't a Halacic Beit Din, thus they are secular to you, as you stated above that "you would believe if proven secularly", well it was, by the RCA. The victims went to them because they are not considered secular but a Jewish Organization of 1000 members of Rabbis who follow Jewish Halacha.

The women have been responsible they don’t need to prove to every Dovid, Harry, and Sarah, especially those koolaid members who want him as Rabbi anyway, have maligned women to cover-up for him, are in denial, or on the outside. They proved he’s a sexual pursuer/abuser.

The question is will KNH ever act responsibly. The RCA at least did.

 
At 3:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the RCA wants to expel a member, they do not need a beis din. It is their club and they make their own rules. BUT, if the RCA wants to publicly announce that someone is "guilty of engaging in conduct inappropriate for an Orthodox Rabbi" they most definitely DO need a beis din. They cannot pronounce guilt on a person any more than me and my 2 Vietnamese co-workers can pronounce guilt on someone. If they want to do an investigation, they need to convene a beis din, and follow the laws of the Shulchan Aruch in running a Din Torah. Those laws include the beis din investigating, seeing the evidence from both sides of the case, hearing testimony from both sides of the case, having the accuser and accused in beis din together, and then finding the facts to be that the accused is guilty or innocent. THEN, the beis din can announce that the rabbi is "guilty of engaging in conduct inappropriate for an Orthodox Rabbi". Unfortunately, the RCA admittedly did NOT follow the procedure for a beis din. If i would proclaim someone publicly guilty like that on my own, then i would be committing motzi shem ra. So how did the RCA do that? Interestingly enough, the rabbi who allows such accusations to be publicly aired without any clear evidence is Rabbi Blau, who is the founder of the Awareness Center. Hmm.
Anyway, this is the halacha as stated in the shulchan aruch, and as presented by HaRav Dovid Feinstein. If you disagree, please first research the halachos yourself or preferably, speak to a qualified rabbi. Alternatively, you can call Rav Dovid Feinstein, or meet him in in his office outside the MTJ Beis Medrash on the Lower East Side. According to those who have seen te report, the report actually indicated that the reccomendation was that rabbi tendler NOT be expelled, and be suspended for a short time, based on whatever evidence they found. The fact that they chose to expel him seems to reinforce the widely held notion that the RCA needed to make a statement that they learned from the Lanner affair, and send a strong public message. The RCA will ultimately be called to account for their actions.
And your notion that "KNH nor did the Monsey Community do anything for over a decade nor are they doing any thing now to help the women, come up with a resolution or establish a Beit Din." The women are the ones that should go to a din torah with rabbi tendler. You are under the assumption that any woman who claims sexual abuse is automatically believed. In Jewish law, as well as secular law, a person remains innocent until PROVEN guilty.

 
At 6:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

KNH makes there own rules. You didn’t have a beit Din for the women to go; weasel out of taking responsibility; weasel out of even an idea if establish a beit Din now and if capable of one with out Tendler corruption, you still wouldn’t accept the findings. As if truly a God fearing Beit Din it would confirm the truth, his quilt. You didn’t follow the Shulchan Aruch and committed motzi shem ra and slander against the women. You actually jump on attacking and slandering the women while talking from the other side of your mouths to claim how righteous you and RT are. You think its Torah to malign innocent women and cover up the truth about him? How backwards. He was PROVEN guilty.

The RCA did receive evidence from both sides, RMT did know who accused him and what his accusers said. He had a lawyer and representation to defend and lie for him. He did not go to the RCA herring. I hope your daughter never has to be forced in front of her sexual abuser. This is up there with the rest of Tendlers biggest lies to appear he’s so innocent because he himself a Jewish Judge extrapolated a claim of protest.

The RCA found him guilty based on evidence and so have many other Rabbis who reviewed accusations made by victims prior to the RCA proceedings.

You will be the one responsible for bring your Rabbi down as you continue to allow victimization by supporting him; as you continue to white wash the RCA proceedings; as you harassed the women and cover up for him which only led to snow balling into the hands of the RCA. So too will the direction you are going will bring him closer to bigger public scrutiny. He will be held to the higher Torah standard of no more Lanner affairs, and a strong public message will be heard. Account for his actions now.

 
At 7:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why doesn't everyone just calm down and wait to see what will happen. This blog has no impact on any events, and these discussions are highly irrelevant. Talk if you want, but i think that any things that will happen will be totally divorced from all this collective wisdom and comment.

 

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