Parental Alienation

The Real Crisis of Parental Alienation and the Ongoing Defensive Tactics of Disinformation by Self-Promoting Deniers

The Real Crisis of Parental Alienation and the Ongoing Defensive Tactics of Disinformation by Self-Promoting Deniers

Christine Giancarlo, Ph.D.
February 6, 2024

On January 11, 2024, Reem Alsalem, the appointed UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women and Girls, hosted a webinar titled: UN Special Report on Parental Alienation and Implications for Canada. She was joined by four panelists, all of whom represent various organizations seeking to eradicate violence against females. This is a worthy pursuit and a goal fully supported by all experts of parental alienation (PA). However:

– the topic of this webinar was parental alienation, not violence against women and girls.
– Alsalem has no research or other expertise in parental alienation that I am aware of
– there were no parental alienation experts on the panel.
– though violence is perpetrated almost equally by women as men in Canada and the United States, there were no violence against males group panelists.

Consistent with their familiar false narrative, Alsalem and her panelists reinforced the myth that parental alienation allegations are made by abusive fathers/partners seeking to escape prosecution. The peer-reviewed, scholarly and abundant parental alienation literature concludes otherwise.

Harman, Giancarlo, Lorandos & Ludmer’s (2023) Gender and Child Custody Outcomes Across 16 Years of Judicial Decisions Regarding Abuse and Parental Alienation, Children and Youth Services Review,
analyzed 500 Canadian trial level cases and found:

– only 10.9% of the 654 [abuse] allegations levied against alienated parents were founded or substantiated…this means that 90% of abuse allegations in cases of parental alienation were determined to be false or otherwise unsubstantiated.
– 25 “abusive” alienated parents were mothers and 10 were fathers, so the presumption that “abusive” alienated parents are mostly fathers is not reflected in these data… the base rate for these types of cases was very low (7.0%). Harman & Lorandos (2021) also found a low base rate of 7.9% using 967 U.S. appellate cases, so the two combined studies raise questions about how Meier et al. (2019), a prominent group of PA deniers, selected their cases, and how they obtained a large enough sample to statistically test their hypothesis.
– while Meier et al. (2019) reported that mothers’ allegations of abuse are discredited more often than fathers’ allegations of abuse, neither Harman and Lorandos (2021) nor this data-set could replicate or substantiate that claim
– replication studies have not found support for Meier et al.’s (2019) argument that their data indicate there is “widespread gender bias in courts’ handling of…abuse claims” (p. 26).

Books such as Gender and Domestic Violence: Contemporary Legal Practice and Intervention Reforms, edited by Russell & Hamel (2022), Oxford., clearly indicate that although there has been progress, arrest and intervention policies continue to reflect the gender paradigm, framing domestic violence in terms of male perpetrators and female victims. The book includes scholarly research spanning more than thirty years, highlighting the dire need for criminal justice reform.

And the book, Parental Alienation -Science and Law, edited by Lorandos & Bernet (2020), Carles C. Thomas Pub., , details the scientific basis for testimony and legal decisions relating to parental alienation. Contributors to this book are mental health and legal experts.

These authors are not advocates; they are scientists. They do not engage in confirmation biases to cherry-pick their “conclusions” but instead rely exclusively on scientific methodology.

Alsalem was wrongfully appointed to report on a subject area in which she lacks professional and scientific competency. More recently, on January 23, 2024, Dr. Suzanne Zaccour, a self-described “feminist researcher and speaker”, sexual assault lawyer and Director of Legal Affairs at the National Association of Women and the Law, said in a press conference that the “victims of family violence (i.e., women) are being disbelieved, silenced, and punished based on the sexist
and unscientific theory of parental alienation”.

Zaccour wrote a chapter in a book edited by two well-known parental alienation deniers, Mercer & Drew (2021), titled Parental alienation concepts and the law, an international perspective. This chapter, and in fact the book’s overarching theme, reflects not only the tired gender paradigm as false narrative but is a dangerous call for men and fathers to be assumed abusers and/or disposable. Zaccour and her colleagues openly dismiss the importance of fathers, especially as equal parents in their child’s life.

Dr. Jennifer Harman subsequently presented a response to Mercer & Drew’s book, Jennifer Harman -Ideology and Threats to Evidence-Based Decision-Making Regarding Families (2023) and called out Zaccour’s dangerous incompetency in the subject area of parental alienation.
The following is a snapshot of Zaccour’s chapter (her words in italics):

p. 194:
– criticizes the shared parenting paradigm for its statement that each parent is equally important and responsible for the child.
– calls PA a “belief system supported by a minority of people and not supported by scientific evidence”.
-then says that “this belief system has benefited from the empirically dubious idea that fathers’ involvement should be increased and that children benefit from frequent and regular contact with both parents”.
-says fathers’ rights groups have adopted the “PA vocabulary” and “managed to convey in popular discourse the myth that fathers are the underdogs in custody litigation and that this is a grave injustice to be redressed”.
– and “people’s desire to make the world a simpler place is what leads to this reasoning (i.e., that a shared parenting paradigm is valid); science is not so definitive”.

-p. 195-196:
“as the social science literature concludes” -there is no explanation of what literature Zaccouris referring to.
-says children do not do better in shared custody than in sole custody and some children, those in high-conflict situations fare worse, “in other words, courts are preventing children from seeing their mothers under the pretext that children need both parents”.

*Of note, both Zaccour and Joan Meier have not, to date, responded when asked by a real parental alienation expert (i.e., and psychiatrist) to provide the “social science literature” which they claim exists, nor provided Meier et al.’s (2019) “study” dataset and statistical model.

Other authors who contributed to Mercer & Drew’s (2021) edited book were Doughty and Drew, both lawyers and advocates for eradication of violence against women. They claim on p. 26 that parental alienation researchers use a strategy called “nefarious intent”, meaning these true PA scientists must have some wicked intent to cause harm. Doughty and Drew even claim that PA researchers appropriated Cold War language about brainwashing and mind-control to enliven Gardner’s (an early PA researcher) idea that some mothers induced false memories and beliefs in their children. *Of note, in reality, science has NO intent but to pursue truth. And children ARE highly suggestible, similar to cult indoctrination effects and Stockholm syndrome.

The editors Mercer and Drew (p. 14) claim that parental alienation researchers often assign sinister intentions to mothers, thus discrediting the mother before she can have the opportunity to fully present her case to the court.

And Meier’s chapter states that no one should question why a mother is using alienating behaviors to undermine a child’s relationship with its father. A mother must have a good reason for doing so as mothers only act in self defense and to protect their child.

*Of note, in a blatant double standard, Meier holds that a father can be assumed to be abusive if a mother has engaged in alienating him from their child.

Below are current rigorous reviews and a citation analysis of misinformation and disinformation about parental alienation:

1. A comprehensive review of misinformation and other inaccuracies in Challenging Parental Alienation (the Mercer Drew book above)
-2023 PASG and GARI-PA (Global Action for Research Integrity in Parental Alienation)
2. Exposing Misinformation and Public Policy Deception contained in Child Safety First: Preventing
Child Homicides during Divorce, Separation & Child Custody Disputes -Recommendations for Reforming
U.S. Family Courts -2023 PASG & GARI-PA
3. Scholarly rumors: Citation analysis of vast misinformation regarding parental alienation theory (2022). Bernet & Xu. -peer reviewed paper

Parental alienation is ubiquitous and deadly; its consequences are observed by teachers, professors, and mental health and legal experts on a daily basis. Children carry their trauma, guilt, and insecurities into adulthood, believing that their alienated parent did not love them. Or that the rejected parent was dangerous, incapable and/or unlovable. In my own experience over 32 years of university teaching, I have frequently heard from students still suffering from their undeserved and unnecessary fractured relationship with a parent. Children do not “grow out of it” (i.e., PA), nor do they usually reunite with that lost parent. Instead, they have lost 50% of themselves for much or all of their lives. Children DO need both parents; parents who are mentally healthy and safe. Parental alienators are child and former partner abusers; they engage in family violence and both fathers and mothers can be perpetrators, or victims.

On behalf of science, integrity and the urgent necessity to eradicate the massive social crisis of parental alienation, I urge the retraction of published fraudulent “research”, pseudo-scientific claims, media platforms that promote ignorance and damage, and false credentials by pretend experts.

Coercive Control Domestic Violence False Allegations Gender Agenda Parental Alienation United Nations

Exposing UN Women’s Anti-Male Bias: Reem Alsalem to Visit the UK

Exposing UN Women’s Anti-Male Bias: Reem Alsalem to Visit the UK

 Domestic Abuse and Violence International Alliance

January 9, 2024

Reem Alsalem is a Jordanian international human rights advocate. Since August 2021 Alsalem has served as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls, and is scheduled to visit the UK in early 2024. Alsalem was born in Egypt in 1976, and was educated at the American University in Cairo where she completed a master’s degree in International Relations in 2001. She subsequently graduated from Oxford in 2003 with a Masters degree in Human Rights Law.

In Womansgrid, Alsalem wrote: ‘Women and girls have a right to discuss any subject free of intimidation and threats of violence. This includes issues that are important to them, particularly if they relate to parts of their innate identity, and on which discrimination is prohibited. Holding and expressing views about the scope of rights in society based on sex and gender identity should not be delegitimised, trivialised, or dismissed.’

While most in the West would consider this to be self-evident, the UN Women’s social media posting tends to go in a different direction. Encouragement of women’s rights, activities, and achievements is frequently overshadowed by a thinly-veiled contempt for men. This puts high-minded ideas such as Alsalem’s in the shade of a controversy verging on provocation. It’s almost as if the ‘Special Rapporteur’ had no idea what was being done in her name from the UN’s marketing department.

Alsalem has also written: ‘In some cases, women politicians are sanctioned by their political parties, including through the threat of dismissal or actual dismissal’, an observation which could well be about Rosie Duffield of the UK Labour Party, who had been put under investigation for expressing such views.

Elsewhere, Alsalem has been dismissive of Parental Alienation (PA) as a psychological fact, obstreperous as it no doubt is to her wider mission, describing it as a ‘pseudo-concept.’ DAVIA has revealed,

“Ignoring the science, the UN Special Rapporteur submitted to the Human Rights Council a deeply flawed report, Custody, Violence Against Women and Violence against Children. The document refers to parental alienation as a ‘discredited and unscientific pseudo-concept,’ and recommends that countries should ‘legislate to prohibit the use of parental alienation or related pseudo concepts in family law cases.'”

We can point to numerous articles from John Barry, David Mottershead, Phil Mitchell, Mike Bell, and many more proving beyond doubt the veracity of the so-called ‘pseudo science’ of PA. But as is the way of current discourse, this evidence is dismissed at best, and attacked as biased at worst. The Parental Alienation Study Group said of the Alsalem report: ‘The Special Rapporteur literally had the resources of the whole world available to her to produce a solid report that represents the best of qualitative and quantitative research practices. The Report failed to accomplish that goal, and is deeply flawed.’

Everyone seems to have some skin in the game, and social media rewards entrenched binary positions, making it almost impossible to present mature, adult resolutions. Add to this the unlimited resources provided by VAWG (Violence Against Women and Girls) organisations and by the UN to continually drip their one-way – male-to-female – abuse narratives, and it is left to exasperated voices on Twitter to call out the relentless propaganda. The toxic bias is becoming easier and easier to spot, rewarded as it is by likes and reshares, all apparently without consequence.

In the UK, the case of Sally Challen brought out power-feminists in campaigning for the recently conceptualised ‘Coercive Control’ to become law. Challen had been given life for murder of her husband — reduced to manslaughter following this campaigning — due to his alleged coercive control being seen as a reasonable excuse for his wife’s hammer attack. The couple’s son David, who had turned to campaigning in support of his mother, has since become a media voice for the relentless promotion of coercive control as law.

As is often the case with unintended consequences, coercive control in law has established allegations of domestic abuse as 50/50 at best, going to majority female-incited when coercive control and psychological abuse is taken into account. This view is clearly unacceptable to the power-feminist’s VAWG monopoly.

The victimhood industry — along with the Andrew Malkinson Effect on the False Allegations Industry — continues to tank in terms of the public support and credibility it once enjoyed. Reem Alsalem continuing to freeze out dissenting voices to the biased VAWG narrative, permanently churned out by UN Women for the consumption by the catastrophically impressionable, needs itself to be called out.

Coercive Control Parental Alienation

Murder Suicide and False Allegations at the Hands of Female Perpetrators

Murder Suicide and False Allegations at the Hands of Female Perpetrators

By Joan T. Kloth-Zanard

December 9, 2021

The statistics don’t lie, and nor do these three stories.  Men are abused at the same rate as women, the difference is that women are more likely to use a deadly weapon or poison to do it, while men are more likely to use physical abuse.  The one thing they have in common, is they both use psychological abuse at the same rate.  But this article is not about psychological abuse but about how women are just as likely and capable of harming their male partners and their children.

John Mast

John Mast was an alienated father who was murdered by his ex-father-in-law after being awarded joint custody of his children.  He spent years fending off false allegations of abuse and many other charges.  Finally, the courts found him not guilty and awarded him back joint custody.  On February 5, 2021, the day he was to pick his children up, he was gunned down by his ex-father-in-law.  John’s ex-wife had convinced her father that John was unsafe and a danger to his children.  John was gunned him down, in the back, in a parking lot, in front of his children and family. [04-23-2021, PASI (PAS Intervention & ISNAF (International Support Network of Alienated Families) Panel Discussion with Attorney Kevin Hickey]

Rod McCall

Like John Mast, Rod McCall, was a targeted father who spent years defending himself from false allegations of abuse and neglect.  Rod is a survivor of Parental Alienation but his son was not. In the course of his divorce, his ex-wife attacked his name, his reputation and accused him of a false crime. This resulted in his losing his job, getting arrested and having his publicly ridiculed on the local Dallas/Ft. Worth news stations. He was proven not guilty and after a weeklong jury trial, the mother was stripped of her parental rights. The three attorneys, Father’s, Mother’s and the Child’s, begged the judge to make the custody exchange at the courthouse, but the judge insisted on allowing the mother to go home and say her goodbyes. Before they realize it, the mother had left and gone home to do more than just say goodbye.  On October 21, 2011, she killed their son and herself less than an hour after the jury verdict was handed down. (04-23-2021, PASI & ISNAF Panel Discussion with Rod McCall)

Ray Reynolds

Now, let’s consider the case of Ray Reynolds, whose ex-wife and the female Guardian Ad Litem Attorney (GAL) for the child, accused him of sexually abusing his toddler daughter.  It cost him $250,000, the loss of his business and severe complex emotional trauma to prove his innocence and win back sole custody of his daughter.  But before he could get his daughter back, the GAL assisted the mother in illegally leaving the USA and going to Costa Rica with the child.  But his case could have gone seriously sideways if he had not had the funding to fight for his rights, along with the support of family and friends.  He also took the unprecedented brave step to go after the GAL by filing a massive grievance against her.  He had a massive amount of evidence which may have prevented him from being attacked with another false criminal allegation by the GAL.  Sadly, he still has not got his daughter back despite being awarded sole custody.  And the GAL was not held accountable for her actions because of her strong connections.  And while she has not taken any new GAL cases, this has not stopped this GAL from continuing to have parents and anyone who crosses her path falsely arrested and jailed. (Personal Conversations with Ray Reynolds since May 2015).


These three cases are nothing new, nor are they rare.  But for many parents, they know how dangerous the other parent can be and so they just give up because they fear being murdered or harmed or that their children will be.  They realize that the other parents’ wealth, political connections, and intense hatred for them, can buy them.  So, these parents back off to save themselves and the children they love.

This leaves us with a huge concern.  After all these decades of cases of coercive control and domestic violence by proxy, these horrific events are still occurring.  There seems to be a serious lack of proper training, education and understanding of the psychological dynamics involved in custodial interference cases, where incessant allegations of abuse occur.  And there seems to be a strong underworld like current with “Good Ol’ Attorneys” network to control family court cases.  With the majority of cases of alienation involving false allegations, this is a serious issue because it wastes time, money and resources necessary for true cases of abuse.  It also means that true victims end up  being ignored or harmed.

How can this be in a Child’s Best Interest? How can this be considered okay or even normal?  We need to fix our dysfunctional family courts and the agencies around them.  We need to stop the corruption and buying of officials.  We need to stop the Mob Mafia Good Ol’ Attorneys network that allows much of the false allegations and criminal charges.  But most important, we need to be able to better recognize which parents are a danger to themselves and others.

Citations for General Reference:

1. Coalition to End Domestic Violence, 2021, Thirty-Years of Domestic Violence Half-Truths, Falsehoods, and Lies Coalition to End Domestic Violence. A pre-publication copy of this Special Report was provided to the DOJ Office on Violence Against Women to assure the report’s factual accuracy. No reply was received from the OVW.

2. Harman, J. J., & Matthewson, M. (2020). Parental alienating behaviors. In D. Lorandos and W. Bernet (Eds.), Parental Alienation– Science and Law, pp. 82-141. Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas Publisher.

3. Hines, D. A., & Douglas, E. M. (2018). Influence of intimate terrorism, situational couple violence, and mutual control on male victims. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 19, 612-623.

4. Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. (2013). SF3.4: Family violence. Retrieved from 2013.pdf

5. Tolan, P., Gorman-Smith, D., & Henry, D. (2006). Family violence. Annual Review of Psychology, 57, 557-583