Saturday, April 25, 2009

Dr. Richard Gardner: "Sex with Children is Not a Bad Thing"

In 1985, "Paretnal Alienation Syndrome," or PAS for short, was first described by Richard Gardner, a psychiatrist who wrote that adults having sex with children is not a bad thing. Gardner described PAS as a “syndrome” whereby vengeful mothers employed child abuse allegations as a powerful weapon to punish ex-husbands and ensure custody to themselves. He further theorized that such protective parents enlisted the children in their “campaign of denigration” and “vilification” of the abuser, that they often “brainwashed” or “programmed” the children into believing untrue claims of abuse by the father, and that the children then fabricated and contributed their own stories.

Since 1985, abusers have come to convince family courts to ignore children’s allegations of abuse by invoking parental alienation and Parental Alienation Syndrome. They wrongly claim that mothers are to blame because they are brainwashing their children.

2006 – The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges also discredited the theory. It stated:

The discredited “diagnosis” of “PAS” (or allegation of “parental alienation”), quite apart from its scientific invalidity, inappropriately asks the court to assume that the children’s behaviors and attitudes toward the parent who claims to be “alienated” have no grounding in reality. It also diverts attention away from the behaviors of the abusive parent, who may have directly influenced the children’s responses by acting in violent, disrespectful, intimidating, humiliating and/or discrediting ways toward the children themselves, or the children’s other parent.

One of the most troubling consequences of Gardner’s theory is that, “PAS shifts attention away from the perhaps dangerous behaviour 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.”

As a result, some children placed in the custody of their abusers have committed suicide; others have run away, and countless others have endured the abuse and are permanently traumatized. In recent years, children placed in custody of their abusers have been coming forward to tell their stories and to warn of the danger surrounding the fictitious syndrome.

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