Respect for social norms that fully differentiated interpersonal stress from criminal acts of perversion and abuse were at one time in effect, prior to the advent of the Gardner concepts of parental alienation, marketed by his advertising firm, Creative Therapeutics, as of approximately 1980.
However, we see a cataclysmic shift beginning in the early 1980s and continuing to grow as to strength and proof of concept from the 1980s, through the 1990s.
The role of judges and their attitudes towards their subjects became increasingly stentorian and despotic as the soft sciences began to codify theories of parental alienation in the form of diagnosis, evolving from true and false allegations of parental alienation / treatment of parental alienation to the hardened position that stated that all allegations of child abuse were false.
The multiple reasons that the parental alienation concept gripped, and then rose to a guidance that overwhelmingly directed the court process/judicial rulings began with the fact that fungible arguments that related to judicial discretion and formed family law as a practice not of law but of relationships between lawyers and judges. Local norms did not provide a basis of law or scientific theory. Common sense, sensitivity to relationships, recognitions of permissible mistakes as differentiated from criminal acts was a process integrated informally under judicial discretion. Court conferences, mediations and temporary settlements became more common than trials.
It is with this determination in mind that the impact of Gardner laid the foundation for an entirely amoral, autocratic decision making process. Further, the judicial standard of investing judicial authority as the arbiter of social values is a dangerous standard, with the movement from a value laden standard of assignment to an entirely amoral standard of evaluation, which was then able to move the concept put forth by Richard Gardner MD. It allowed the Gardner concept to take precedence and to allow for an entire disregard of the psychological basis for child development, child socialization, and psychiatric health, which has to do with the child’s attachment and identification based on nurturing and care, not simply on the basis of property possession, treating the child as custody and chattel.
Creating a system that is devoid of emotional, intellectual, and psychological content treats the child as an empty vessel devoid of feeling, thought, and decision making as well as reality testing and the capacity to distinguish right from wrong.
Family violence and boundary intrusions may range from teetering on the edge between impetuous disruptive, isolated acts and chronic, conscious crimes of abuse. These were dealt with by a legal/criminal standard of assessment that resembled community standards and attended to the criminal code of conduct and prosecution of crimes of domestic violence and child abuse or neglect. Family law judges were once guided by a modicum of sensitivity to socioeconomic, religious/political local norms and morality reflective of the community’s place and time. They sought to resolve intimate family crises brought to court because of separation/divorce litigation.
The benefits of preserving dignity, integrity, and confidentiality of family members in order to prolong the integrity of the family unit, even, or especially, when that family was undergoing transformation needs to be recognized as a critical element of guiding, negotiating and even litigating a separation/divorce process.
“Tender Years Doctrines” were automatic directives that predated the concept of parental alienation. Internal issues of innate unfairness or real issues of maternal competence were of course present in this system, as there were men struggling to care for and protect children in situations of maternal abuse, neglect, incompetence and criminality, but the social order disruption was most paramount at this juncture in time and social order. This concept was chafed against as the social order shifted with movement of women in the workplace and men wishing equal rights to parenting. Issues of competence and abuse began to arise in this arena as well.
Because of the focus on equal rights and capacities of men and women to care for children not simply by sex but what began to be recognized as “The Best Interest Standard Of Care ” to define custody assignment, as Best Interest Standards were codified as palpable concerns, more complex and nuanced ideas injected competing interests related to financial support, education, and religious training.
Custody litigation as of the late 1970s was becoming a more complex arena of dispute essentially because of the concept of equal rights adjusted by changing workplace roles, a dramatic increase in divorce rates and income discrepancy. The rules move from women automatically getting custody of children, marital assets and financial support till the age of eighteen no longer applied.
The rise of the Men’s Rights movement with an initial burst in competent organization, injection of money, political organization and interest taken by the legal profession, also dramatically changed the balance of power and attention to custody assignments.
The emergence of a “Best Interest Standards” provision in custody litigation also began to raise the specter of child safety in an age where women’s rights engaged concerns with domestic violence. Increasing legislation dealing with violence against women began to shed light on the impact of violence within the family and the intergenerational impact of domestic violence and abuse on generations of children, further impacting custody laws.
The development of domestic violence shelters for women should have provided information, training and support for better protection of women and children. However, the structure of funding for DV victims weakened the position of women and children by failing to provide legal service for women and children in shelters, failing to provide adequate criminal prosecution for abusers, while at the same time allowing equal parental rights and access to children by abusers.
The Gardner perverted, debunked concept of parental alienation was generated as a result of Gardner’s manufacture of a defense for an original sample of men accused of sexual abuse of children within the context of divorce litigation. Gardner’s baseline concepts of children as sexual beings, sexual predators in their relationships with adults fit in well with Gardner’s well established hostility toward women whom he described as biased and viciously hostile against men, see “Richard Gardner In his Own Words”) created traction in the legal world originally as a defense for men seeking custody of children in the course of what should have become a pathway to criminal charges for sexual abuse of minors.
The efficacy of the Gardner parental alienation blanket denial of sexual abuse / abuse on all fronts and all forms of abuse has provided the family courts with a spurious intellectual construct for custody transfer with the simplification of complex concerns, the production of false narratives that expedite unconscionable custody transfers.
The family court system has devolved from a system of reasonable, humanitarian, empathetic forms of interpersonal communication and dispute resolution into a system that can only be defined in terms of authoritarian denial of child abuse and children’s capacity to speak, describe, and designate perpetrators of abuse.
As litigants moved from participants in a legal process to a captive audience subject to the predatory whims of an autocratic, they found themselves subject to a despotic court system that viewed litigants as a source of financial largesse subject to the absolute power of the court supported by legions of like minded participants in a power grab that recognized the potential for expansion of lucrative business advantages by the growth of a cottage industry that could morph, grow and expand financially and geographically to unknown dimensions. The world of family fracture and divorce law, which catapulted from a low-level interpersonal process seeking to be handled in a respectful, humane manner, has become a money-making market that found its voice and raison d’état to a place of prominence in the legal community, competing with areas of law from criminal, civil, and constitutional as per the areas of infringement that it has come to occupy because of the weaponization of the family law court process as a money-making enterprise. Since the early 1980s, the divorce law process has become a leading force of fraud, corruption, and racketeering, defined by the driving energy of a concept we describe as pure evil.
Family law now defines divorce as a no-fault process. This no-fault process attempted to create the divorce process as an amicable process of division of property and reasonable collaboration of the main functions of the family, which is to protect children, educate them, socialize them, and create the fabric of a democratic society. This optimistic but unrealistic framework neglected to consider that among the major driving forces of divorce are not simply that people have grown apart or disagree but that criminal violence, mental illness, and deranged behavior such as sexual abuse and incest are seminal issues related to why partners need to safely part ways for the benefit of both adults and children.
The attempts to create a no-conflict form of separation leave a portion of the population ignored, improperly attended to, and vulnerable to kidnapping by a lunatic fringe, and that lunatic criminal fringe is the focus of this writing. This writing seeks to implore public attention to a critical injury to the public body.
The history of dealing with family violence and sexual abuse, crimes of incest, and violence between intimate partners, parents, and children are sources of great fear, shame, and damage to future generations. That which was once viewed with condemnation and severe punishment is, as of 2023, and increasingly over the past ten years and beyond, been faced with an erosion of a condemnation of the crimes of violence and incest within the family.