“Parental Alienation Syndrome”
Rogue Psychologists/Therapists such as Paul Reitman, James Gilbertson, and others have been allowed to “infiltrate the family courts” via the Social Early Neutral Evaluation (SENE) roster to overlay what is by its very nature an unsubstantiated “bogus diagnosis” on what cannot be diagnosed. One cannot diagnose a good parent or use a diagnosis to determine or deny a parent custody. Because even if some mental illness exists, under the Civil Rights Act that parents cannot be discriminated against on the basis of some real or perceived mental disability. The big problem currently in MN is Parental Alienation Syndrome-PAS which is tantamount to Voodoo, yet our courts even at the appellate level seem to embrace PAS. Educating our courts about the true nature of PAS and to reject such “PAS-voodoo” is essential. Kim Bukstein, MN Civil Rights Advocate
A SENE is a voluntary process parents may choose to participate in when they disagree about custody or parenting issues. The ENE is used in divorce cases as well as in custody cases, and can also be used for post-decree disputes. It is an alternative dispute resolution process similar to mediation.
Judge Knutson refused to hold a hearing or to even schedule one. Minnesota Statutes § 589.29 is not applicable.
The habeas corpus statute is useless for Sandy and all other Minnesotans because of a very stupid appeals court judge and a very corrupt district court judge. The legislature may as well not have passed a law to protect citizens from wrongfully losing a liberty interest.
At the hearing on September 7, 2012, Judge Knutson declared that Sandy had the condition of Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS). He based this declaration on the reports of two whacko psychologists, Dr. Paul Reitman and Dr. James Gilbertson. In August, 2012, at the request of father’s lawyer, Judge Knutson appointed Dr. Reitman as an “expert” on PAS. Dr. Reitman was paid by the children’s father, a millionaire businessman who has an extensive history of domestic violence. Dr. Reitman reported this finding even though he had met with Sandy and her children for only about one-half hour. He did not conduct any evaluations or administer any psychological tests. PAS is widely discredited. “Although there are no data to support the phenomenon called parental alienation syndrome, the term is still used by some evaluators and courts to discount children’s fears in hostile and psychologically abusive situations.” American Psychological Society Task Force Report 40. “PAS as a scientific theory has been excoriated b legitimate researchers across the nation.” Dr. Paul J. Fink, past President of the American Psychiatric Association. “The scientific status of PAS is, to be blunt, nil.” Emery, Otto & Donohue (2005) PAS is “probably the most unscientific piece of garbage I’ve seen in the field in all my time.” Professor Jon Conte, a leading expert on child sexual abuse. “The theory positing the existence of ‘PAS’ has been discredited by the scientific community.” NCJFCJ Custody Guidelines, p.24 “PAS is not recognized by any professional associations, including the American Psychiatric Association.” National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse/National District Attorneys Association.
Below are comments on the post above from Investigative Blogger Victoria Englund-Let’s Get Honest Blog. Victoria has analyzed and written about Family and “Concilliation” Courts, Operations, Practices and the History of how these Courts have developed.
Generally speaking, the AFCC is favorable to (abusive) fathers’ rights, and the industries of supervised visitation, parent education, and of course as much custody evaluation as possible. A related organization NACC (based in Colorado) tries to get a Guardian ad-Litum (GAL) appointed wherever. From what I can tell, the GALs are rarely neutral
- In all of these groups, some of the money is made and control established through the trainings. Continuing legal education-CLE-GAL training etc can be written off
- The presence in any jurisdiction of a “Conciliation court” and with it “Conciliation Code” (usually at state level) generally means that any “rebuttable presumption against custody going to a batterer” is a moot point — because that courtroom (and presiding judge) BY LAW grabs jurisdiction and decides to order all kinds of services; a.k.a. “fees for friends.” The goal of the AFCC (ca. 1963 founded) is to transform the language of criminal law into a behavioral health paradigm, which is for control and profit.
Conciliation is about “reconciliation” (co-parenting, allegedly) and is not interested in criminal matters. We need to recognize this; it happened when no-fault divorce replaced actual criminal matters as a cause of divorce across the country, ca. 1970s.
Quick look on James Gilbertson (the Doctor).
Here he is standing by a man who tried to kill his wife by hitting her over the head with a board, as follows:
Before sentencing, Morrison County Assistant Attorney Todd Kosovich said Stuckmayer’s mistakes were having an affair, deciding to kill Natalie and intending to kill by hitting her on the head. “The defense wants a reduction in sentencing, but the victim was treated with particular cruelty when she was left on the ground for 20 – 40 minutes, when Stuckmayer pretended to call 911 and when he pretended to faint. Plus, this act was committed in the presence of a child. A good father? That’s a stretch of the definition,” he said.
The recommended sentence for first degree attempted murder is 180 months. Kosovich said that due to mitigating factors, he would ask for 90 months.
“To sentence Stuckmayer to less than 90 months would cheapen the value of life and reward him for not killing Natalie. He must pay his due,” Kosovich said.
After he was sentenced, Stuckmayer spoke to the court on his own behalf. At one point, he turned around and told Natalie he loved her.
~ ~ ~ ~The wife is talking “God” and all — who probably spared her life. Hope she’ll take precautions in the future. Here’s what Gilbertson said at the pre-sentencing hearing: “The subject of probation came up during the pre-sentencing hearing. When evaluating someone for possible probation, Gilbertson said he rated them in a low, medium or high risk tier.
“Kevin is rated low risk, statistically,” he said. “He doesn’t have a history of rebellion, counter culture, rubbing others the wrong way or not making connections with others. Any of these would go against a recommendation of probation.”
Gilbertson said Stuckmayer had always been a law-abiding person, pleased others, was respectful and a follower. He was not anti-authority. Gilbertson didn’t think there was anything which would derail him in the future. Several friends and family on both Kevin’s and Natalie’s side, testified that he was a model father, great friend and good citizen. Other members of the families testified he was not to be trusted.”
More on Gilbertson (also see Google Scholar)
In the Matter of the Welfare of M.W.W., Child. [M.W., natural father …law.justia.com › … › Minnesota Court of Appeals Decisions › August, 1996 Aug 6, 1996 – … (2) attend weekly therapy sessions, (3) undergo urinalysis (UA) testing, (4) abide … did complete the court-ordered evaluation with Dr. James Gilbertson who …. and could not rebuild his life towards reunification with his son. In January 1992, appellant did complete the court-ordered evaluation with Dr. James Gilbertson who recommended that appellant undergo a professionally guided and coordinated therapeutic effort to make his personal life more ordered.
In the Matter of the Welfare of the Children of: CMS and MDS … – Justia law.justia.com › … › October, 2007 ECFE also indicated that father “needs more in-depth therapeutic parenting services. … In November 2005, Dr. James H. Gilbertson examined father. …. services to meet the needs of the child and the child’s family” and to reunify the family.
Here’s an appeal. The mother remarried and around 2002, kids 9 & 10, they started resisting visiting time with their Dad. She allowed them to skip (probably a mistake) and along comes Gilbertson to correct the situation: http://mn.gov/lawlib/archive/ctapun/0412/opa040197-1214.htm
If you read this one carefully (and the timeline), here’s a guy who had a string of crimes, then raped his 11-year old daughter in 1989 (she got an STD), and somehow was out on parole, and acting up AGAIN within a year (i.e., more crimes in 1994, apparently he was paroled after doing 3 years for this crime).
http://www.leagle.com/xmlResult.aspx?page=3&xmldoc=in%20mnco%2020100622293.xml&docbase=cslwar3-2007-curr&SizeDisp=7 They try to civilly commit this guy in 2002, and there were two “pre-petition screeners” who said he wasn’t a high risk. It doesn’t say so there, but apparently one was Dr. Gilbertson: It goes on with more horrific crimes (false imprisonment of some more minors, impregnating one of them….)
“In 1996, while still on parole for his 1989 offense against his daughter, appellant committed his third and fourth sex offenses that resulted in a conviction. According to the complaint, appellant held two females, ages 15 and 16, at his trailer for approximately one week, providing them with marijuana, threatening them, and repeatedly having sexual intercourse with the 15-year-old, once while the 16-year-old was in bed with them. The 15-year-old became pregnant. Appellant pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sexual conduct and solicitation of a child under age 18 to engage in prostitution, and received a 90-month prison sentence.
“In January 2002, Dakota County filed its first petition to civilly commit appellant. After the two pre-petition screeners concluded that appellant did not meet the future harm criteria for commitment as SDP or SPP, the petition was dismissed. In February 2002, appellant was released from prison as a Level 3 sex offender and placed on supervised release.”
__________ Here’s one of a cold-blooded murder (by a father of a man, at the dining room table). Of the experts involved, Gilbertson and one other reversed, and found that he didn’t know it was wrong to do so. The trial court didn’t take their opinion: http://www.soc.umn.edu/~samaha/cases/InsanityOdell.htm\
“In the trial court’s extensive findings of fact and verdict, it carefully considered the evidence presented by all four experts and determined the believability and weight to be given to each expert’s testimony. Accordingly, the court decided to give greater weight to the opinions of Drs. Farnsworth and Kienlen because their reports were more consistent with appellant’s behavior and belief system. The court could not reconcile the opinions of Drs. Gilbertson and Erdmann with several facts of the case; namely, that on April 23, 2000, immediately before and after the murder, appellant was able to communicate and interact with others normally. Further, the court questioned some of the underpinnings of Dr. Erdmann’s revised analysis and found that in his first and second opinions Dr. Erdmann had relied on similar facts to support divergent conclusions. Finally, the court concluded that appellant had proved by a preponderance of the evidence that, at the time of the murder, he was suffering from a severe mental illness, but that appellant had failed to prove that because of his mental illness he did not understand the nature of his act or that the act constituting the offense was wrong.”
This is a quick search. Just checking — but is this the same James Gilbertson who doesn’t believe this mother should see her own children? Let’s get real about the relative level of risks!