Pope Francis was often quiet on Argentine sex abuse cases as archbishop, – Nightline: When To Believe A Child’s Word, Missing dogs, ritualistic killing confound Idaho officials
March 22, 2013 Comments Off on Pope Francis was often quiet on Argentine sex abuse cases as archbishop, – Nightline: When To Believe A Child’s Word, Missing dogs, ritualistic killing confound Idaho officials
Pope Francis was often quiet on Argentine sex abuse cases as archbishop By Nick Miroff, March 18, 2013
HURLINGHAM, Argentina — Father Julio Cesar Grassi was a celebrity in the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires. The young, dynamic, media-savvy priest networked with wealthy Argentines to fund an array of schools, orphanages and job training programs for poor and abandoned youths, winning praise from Argentine politicians and his superior, Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio.
Grassi called his foundation Felices los Niños, “Happy Children.”
Today, Grassi is a convicted sex offender who remains free on a conditional release after being sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2009 for molesting a prepubescent boy in his care.
Yet in the years after Grassi’s conviction, Bergoglio — now Pope Francis — has declined to meet with the victim of the priest’s crimes or the victims of other predations by clergy under his leadership. He did not offer personal apologies or financial restitution, even in cases in which the crimes were denounced by other members of the church and the offending priests were sent to jail….
There is no evidence that Bergoglio played a role in covering up abuse cases. Several prominent rights groups in Argentina say the archbishop went out of his way in recent years to stand with secular organizations against crimes such as sex trafficking and child prostitution. They say that Bergoglio’s resolve strengthened as new cases of molestation emerged in the archdiocese and that he eventually instructed bishops to immediately report all abuse allegations to police.
In September, after an Argentine priest from a rural area was convicted of abusing dozens of boys between 1984 and 1992, the archbishop’s office released a statement saying the case had “reaffirmed our profound shame and the immense pain that result from the grave mistakes committed by someone who should be setting the moral example.”
But during most of the 14 years that Bergoglio served as archbishop of Buenos Aires, rights advocates say, he did not take decisive action to protect children or act swiftly when molestation charges surfaced; nor did he extend apologies to the victims of abusive priests after their misconduct came to light….
Nightline: When To Believe A Child’s Word
Nightline – November 14, 1996
TURNING POINT: When Children Accuse – Who To Believe
Byline: Ted Koppel and Erin Haynes
ABC-Nightline – November 14, 1996
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?
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.
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?
TED KOPPEL: [voice-over] A convicted child molester avoids prison because there is doubt over the testimony of a child…..
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….
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….
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 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. [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…” 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.” 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….
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. 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.” 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. 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.
Missing dogs, ritualistic killing confound Idaho officials
Reuters March 21, 2013 By Laura Zuckerman
SALMON, Idaho, March 21 (Reuters) – The mysterious disappearance of about 30 dogs in southern Idaho has baffled animal control officials and raised concerns among dog lovers after a German shepherd was found with its head crushed in a suspected ritual killing.
The missing canines range widely in size, breed and age.
“The dogs seem to vanish into thin air,” said Debbie Blackwood, director of the animal shelter in Twin Falls, Idaho.
Officials say some 30 dogs have gone missing in recent months in Twin Falls and nearby communities in an agricultural region in south-central Idaho known as the Magic Valley….
The dog, found in an area known as the Devil’s Corral in neighboring Jerome County, appeared to have suffered a “ritualistic execution” ….
Brady under pressure as sex abuse victims talk of cover-up, The Parental Alienation Debate Belongs in the Courtroom, Not in DSM-5
May 2, 2012 Comments Off on Brady under pressure as sex abuse victims talk of cover-up, The Parental Alienation Debate Belongs in the Courtroom, Not in DSM-5
– Brady under pressure as sex abuse victims talk of cover-up
– Fresh claims put pressure on Cardinal Brady
– The Parental Alienation Debate Belongs in the Courtroom, Not in DSM-5
Brady under pressure as sex abuse victims talk of cover-up
By Greg Harkin
Tuesday May 01 2012
CHURCH leaders will come under renewed pressure when a BBC documentary is screened tonight outlining the widespread cover-up of clerical sex abuse here.
‘This World: The Shame of the Catholic Church’ is said to focus on Cardinal Sean Brady’s role in an ecclesiastical investigation that led to the silencing of two victims of Fr Brendan Smyth.
Victims of paedophile priests in Co Donegal will also tell how the church failed to deal with complaints which allowed one cleric to continue to abuse more victims.
The broadcaster has refused to comment on the investigation by reporter Darragh Mac Intyre but BBC sources say the documentary has “powerful
testimony” from abuse victims. http://www.independent.ie/national-news/brady-under-pressure-as-sex-abuse-victims-talk-of-coverup-3096117.html
Fresh claims put pressure on Cardinal Brady
By Andy Martin BBC News
1 May 2012
Cardinal Brady became the Catholic Primate of all-Ireland in 1996, but the appointment that may define his career was made 21 years earlier.
As a Bishop’s secretary in 1975, he was tasked with investigating a complaint of sexual abuse made against a fellow priest, the man who would later be exposed as Ireland’s most prolific paedophile, Fr Brendan Smyth….
Following two major and damning reports into the handling of clerical abuse in Ireland, it emerged that Ireland’s most senior Catholic Priest had himself been involved in a process in which sex abuse was kept from the civil authorities….
However, McIntyre’s BBC investigation reveals that the teenage victim, Brendan Boland, had also told the then Father Brady and his colleagues, about other children who were being abused by Smyth.
He even furnished the investigating priest and his colleagues with their names and addresses.
Father Brady interviewed one of those boys, who corroborated each of Brendan Boland’s claims before being sworn to secrecy.
Father Brady however, failed to inform any parent of the children in the group that they had been abused. Nor were the police told of Smyth’s crimes against them. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-17853126
The Parental Alienation Debate Belongs in the Courtroom, Not in DSM-5
Timothy M. Houchin, MD, John Ranseen, PhD, Phillip A. K. Hash, DO, PhD and Daniel J. Bartnicki, JD
J Am Acad Psychiatry Law 40:1:127-131 (January 2012) – the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law.
The DSM-5 Task Force is presently considering whether to adopt parental alienation disorder (PAD) as a mental illness. Although controversy has surrounded PAD since its inception in 1985, pro-PAD groups and individuals have breathed new life into the push to establish it as a mental health diagnosis. In this analysis, we argue that it would be a serious mistake to adopt parental alienation disorder as a formal mental illness in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5)….
The Origin of PAS
Richard Gardner, formerly a psychoanalyst and child psychiatrist on the clinical faculty at Columbia University, introduced the term parental alienation syndrome in his 1985 debut article on the subject….he openly supported abolishing child abuse reporting laws and controversially declared that sexual abuse cases are “turn-ons” for those involved in the court process, including lawyers and judges. Despite these unusual claims, Gardner was highly sought as an expert witness, testifying in over 400 child custody cases before the end of his career….
Controversial since its inception, PAS has compelled many scholars to write articles critical of Gardner’s theory. Kelly and Johnston have been noteworthy critics of PAS, writing in their 2001 article, “The Alienated Child, A Reformulation of Parental Alienation Syndrome, ” that “PAS terminology has led to widespread confusion and misunderstanding in judicial, legal, and psychological circles” (Ref. 9, p 250). They also highlighted the lack of empirical support for PAS as a psychiatric diagnosis and the barring of PAS testimony in many courtrooms….
Criticisms of PAS have not been limited to mental health professionals, as legal scholars have also been loath to accept the premise that parental alienation should be formally classified as a mental illness. For example, in her 2002 article, “Parental Alienation Syndrome and Alienation: Getting it Wrong in Child Custody Cases,”12 Carol S. Bruch, JD, voiced concern with Gardner’s tendency to cite his own, non-peer-reviewed books and publications on PAS. She noted that in one typical article, Gardner cited 10 sources: 9 writings of his own and 1 by Sigmund Freud. She further refuted Gardner’s suggestion that PAS was a generally accepted psychiatric phenomenon by pointing out that, when the validity of PAS was challenged in court, his testimony was often excluded.
In our opinion, Gardner’s approach of self-publishing books and then citing himself as an authoritative reference in the scholarly literature went beyond simple self-aggrandizement; it was frankly misleading. We agree with Ms. Bruch that the inaccurate portrayal of PAS as an accepted and credible diagnosis gets it wrong on many levels. http://www.jaapl.org/content/40/1/127.full
November 30, 2011 Comments Off on The Myth of Parental Alienation Syndrome, Sybil in her own words
The Myth of Parental Alienation Syndrome and Its Impact on Women in Child Custody Cases Thursday, December 8, 2011, 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
A diverse panel from varying disciplines will explore how the theory of ‘Parental Alienation Syndrome’ (PAS) disproportionally affects the way judges and court collaterals make decisions and recommendations in child custody determinations, focusing on New York State.
Other topics to be discussed include:
clinical and ethical issues surrounding parental alienation syndrome,
lack of clinical and empirical evidence to support PAS as valid,
biases towards using parental alienation as the defining factor in which parent receives custody, its intersection with child and intimate partner abuse, and
a first hand account of its affect on a former child involved in a custody dispute.
Program Co-sponsor: NYCLA’s Women’s Rights Committee
Faculty: Jennifer Collins; Nancy S. Erickson, Esq., MA Forensic Psychology ; Dr. Joyanna Silberg, Executive V.P. of the Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence (Psychologist); Garland Waller, Professor of Television, Boston University
“SYBIL in her own words: The Untold Story of Shirley Mason, Her Multiple Personalities and Paintings”
A kindle version is available at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/SYBIL-her-words-Personalities-ebook/dp/B0067QMNVU/
A paperback version is available at: http://www.amazon.com/SYBIL-her-own-words-Personalities/dp/0615560474/
June 10, 2011 Comments Off on Parental Alienation Syndrome: Another Alarming DSM-5 Proposal
“Parental Alienation Syndrome:” Another Alarming DSM-5 Proposal
Using a medicalizing label to mask child sexual abuse
by Paula J. Caplan, Ph.D. in Science Isn’t Golden
Using a medicalizing label to mask child sexual abuse
Among the scientifically unwarranted and socially dangerous proposals that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-5 authors have not yet seen fit to rule out is the addition of something its advocates call Parental Alienation Syndrome. This is a medical-sounding term for nothing more than “She’s a vengeful woman who’s trying to make her children tell horrific lies about their father.”
When applied to a parent in a case involving an allegation of child sexual abuse, it is nearly always applied to a woman whose child is allegedly being molested by the father. Despite not yet being in the DSM, PAS has in some courts proven an astonishingly effective vehicle for deflecting the focus from the abuser and simply claiming that the woman must be lying, and coaching her children to lie, because she has the alleged mental illness of PAS.  The claim is that without cause, she wants to turn the children against their father.
What often gets short shrift, as a result, is even the consideration of the possibility that the children are truly being molested….
The construct of PAS is unscientific, composed of a group of general symptoms with no empirical basis….
Major professional bodies, including the American Psychological Association, have discredited PAS on the grounds that it is misused in domestic violence cases and that there is no scientific evidence of such a “syndrome.” The more recent APA Online document Issues and Dilemmas in Family Violence…. particularly Issue 5, describes the tendency of family courts to miminize a context of violence, falsely accusing the mother of alienation and granting custody to the father in spite of his history of violence.
The National Council on Juvenile and Family Court Judges’ 2006 manual states that “parental alienation syndrome or PAS has been discredited by the scientific community” and “should therefore be ruled inadmissible” (p. 19). A number of prominent figures, including Dr. Paul J. Fink, past president of the American Psychiatric Association and president of the Leadership Council on Mental Health, Justice, and the Media, and Professor Jon R. Conte of the University of Washington Social Welfare Doctoral Faculty have also discredited PAS and its lack of scientific basis (see Bruch, 2001).
Because of the use of PAS as a tactic by many CSA perpetrators to influence decision makers and the court system, abused children have been placed in the hands of their abusers (Childress, 2006). It is estimated that “over 58,000 children a year are ordered into unsupervised contact with physically or sexually abusive parents following divorce in the United States” ( http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/pas/1.html ) and that PAS was used in a large number of these cases. ….
The DSM-5 editors could at any time have already struck PAS from their planned additions but have so far chosen not to.
If this alarms you, and especially if PAS has been used against you, please consider going to dsm5.org before their June 15 cutoff date for input from the public arrives, and send them your concerns. Please urge everyone else you can think of to do the same. The DSM-5 authors will do themselves and the manual’s reputation no favors if they include PAS, and they need to hear from people whom the label has harmed.
May 21, 2011 Comments Off on Parental Alienation Disorder: Why Label Children with a Mental Diagnosis?
also: Revealed, six decades of ‘ritual’ child abuse: Catholic schools and orphanages damned in report
Parental Alienation Disorder: Why Label Children with a Mental Diagnosis?
Journal of Child Custody Volume 7, Issue 4, 2010, Pages 266 – 286 Authors: Lenore E. Walker; David L. Shapiro
The proposal to include Parental Alienation Disorder (PAD) in the new proposed Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V) creates a host of problems. The first major problem is the labeling of children with a mental disorder who may simply be reacting with anger to the changes in their lives from the separation and divorce of their parents by rejecting one parent and aligning with the other. Diagnosis may bring with it shame and have a chilling impact on parents report of domestic violence.
Although proponents of PAD are aware that it is inappropriate to diagnose children who have been exposed to child abuse and/or domestic violence with PAD, they do not clarify how to make such differential diagnoses. It is suggested that there are insufficient empirical data to differentiate abused and traumatized children from those who are alienated or estranged from the rejected parent.
Nor are there sufficient scientific data to account for other child vulnerabilities such as neurological immaturity, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), other anxiety and mood disorders, or oppositional defiant disorder. There are too few comparisons between the risks and benefits of adding a new diagnosis of childhood disorders to justify its inclusion in the DSM-V.
Appropriate intervention strategies recommended for PAD children include contact with the rejected parent, which differ widely from trauma victim/survivors who need assurance of safety and healing before contact is re-established. Ethical standards that may be impacted by this new diagnosis and admissibility issues raised by its predecessor, Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), are also discussed by the authors.
“As discussed, alienation is almost always alleged when the child does not want to be with a parent when there does not appear to be any ‘rational’ reason for these feelings. Of course, the definition of ‘‘rational’’ in these cases remains totally subjective to the person making the evaluation. Although proponents of labeling these children with PAD claim that using this label will assist in formulation of treatment goals and techniques, there are no empirical data to support this position (Bernet, 2010). Using the definition put forward by the American Psychological Association (APA) which requires two scientific studies replicating each other, there are no empirically validated interventions that support evidence that forcing a child to be with an unwanted parent will promote mental health.” (p.270-271)
“PROPOSED DIAGNOSTIC CRITERIA FOR PAD AND MAKING A DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS….Perhaps the most egregious part of this newly proposed diagnosis is the impossibility of making a differential diagnosis based on the child’s signs and symptoms and not the parents’ alleged behavior. Johnston (2010) discussed the confusion currently in the courts dealing with PAS=PAD and, in particular, defining who is alienated, the rejected parent or the child? There are so many explanations other than alienation for a child’s rejection of a parent during separation or divorce that to give children a new mental illness diagnosis is neither necessary nor appropriate. Surely anxiety disorders including PTSD from abuse are primary as has been discussed herein, as are other mood disorders, particularly depression. The criteria for children’s depression often include acting-out behavior and rejection of people and things that they used to like to do.
(p. 276 – 277)
“It is not appropriate to diagnose a child with a mental illness based on the parents’ behavior. In many cases known to the authors, both in practice and in supervision of other forensic evaluators, the child’s behavior could have been diagnosed as an adjustment disorder with anxiety or depression. Separation and divorce often means a new home or even two homes, new schools, new friends, and new schedules. Even when all goes well this can be a daunting challenge for most children.” (p. 277) http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all?content=10.1080/15379418.2010.521041
full article pdf and web page until 12/31/11 http://pdfserve.informaworld.com/903178__930160339.pdf http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/section?content=a930160339&fulltext=713240928
Revealed, six decades of ‘ritual’ child abuse: Catholic schools and orphanages damned in report
By Tom Kelly 21st May 2009
Abuse was ‘endemic’ in childrens’ institutions
Safety of children in general was not a consideration
No abusers will be prosecuted
Victims banned from launch of shocking report
Church leaders and government watchdogs covered up ‘endemic’ and ‘ritualised’ abuse of thousands of children in Roman Catholic schools and orphanages in the Irish Republic, a shocking report revealed yesterday.
For six decades, priests and nuns terrorised boys and girls in the workhouse-style schools with sexual, physical and mental abuse.
But officials in Ireland’s Catholic Church shielded paedophile staff from arrest to protect their own reputations despite knowing they were serial attackers, according to the 2,600-page report, which took nine years to complete.
Irish government inspectors also failed to stop the chronic beatings, rape and humiliation, it found.
About 35,000 children and teenagers who were orphans, petty thieves, truants, unmarried mothers or from dysfunctional families were sent to Ireland’s network of 250 Church-run industrial schools, reformatories, orphanages and hostels from the 1930s up until the early 1990s.
The report by Ireland’s Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse found ‘a climate of fear, created by pervasive, excessive and arbitrary punishment, permeated most of the institutions and all those run for boys’.
It added: ‘Children lived with the daily terror of not knowing where the next beating was coming from.’
Judge Sean Ryan, who chaired the commission, said that when confronted with evidence of sex abuse, religious authorities responded by moving the sex offenders to another location, where in many instances they were free to abuse again.
‘There was evidence that such men took up teaching positions sometimes within days of receiving dispensations because of serious allegations or admissions of sexual abuse,’ the report said.
‘The safety of children in general was not a consideration.’….
The report found that molestation and rape were ‘endemic’ in boys’ facilities, chiefly run by the Christian Brothers order.
Girls supervised by orders of nuns, chiefly the Sisters of Mercy, suffered much less sexual abuse but frequent assaults and humiliation designed to make them feel worthless.
‘In some schools a high level of ritualised beating was routine,’ the report said. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1184828/Revealed-decades-ritual-child-abuse-Catholic-schools-orphanages-damned-report.html
February 19, 2010 Comments Off on Parental alienation, The Business of Sex Trafficking
Parental Alienation must be excluded from all custody hearings By Preston Thymes 02/18/10 Parental Alienation is a perilous accusation that should never be recognized in courts or viewed as particularly compelling in cases deciding the custody of a child, especially when resolving profoundly difficult questions concerning the scary scenario of placing that child back into the home of a domestic violence abuser.
By definition, Parental Alienation is a “syndrome” that manifest in the process of divorce when a parent suffering from “deflated self-esteem” as “part of a normal grieving response to interpersonal loss” to “enforce their agenda” and “The alienating parent may or may not be consciously aware of manipulating the child and the legal/social systems. Alienating parents often believe that the accusations they make are true, but have developed those beliefs by a faulty reasoning process.”
First, it is important to begin by evaluating the premise of Parental Alienation, which is not a recognized syndrome by the American Medical Association.
Second, American Psychological Association has never issued a position on Parental Alienation.
The Business of Sex Trafficking 2/17/10 Sex trafficking is a criminal business in which women and children are forced or coerced into providing sex services. An estimated 2.5 million people are victims of this modern-day form of slavery which has grown into an ugly and sophisticated $50 billion world wide business. Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world, despite the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, which went into effect on December 25, 2003. http://www.businesspundit.com/sex-trafficking