Why CT Family Court Pursues Parental Alienation to Remove Mothers and Protect Pedophiles

In Family Court, the judge alone decides the fate of children. No jury is convened to bring the common-sense standards of the community to bear on the outcome.

In most cases I hear about, the judge simply accepted the recommendation of the guardian ad litem [GAL], who often used a controversial theory created by a man who believed that child-parent sex was common and potentially beneficial.

That man was Dr. Richard Gardner, a psychiatrist. His theory Parental Alienation Syndrome [PAS] has been adopted by many practitioners in family courts all over the USA and especially in Connecticut.







Dr. Gardner believed that sexual sadism, necrophilia (sex with corpses), zoophilia (sex with animals), coprophilia (sex involving defecation), and pedophilia can have species survival value and do “not warrant being excluded from the list of the `so-called natural forms of human sexual behavior.'”

Dr. Richard Gardner: said, “We have in our society an exaggeratedly punitive and moralistic attitude about adult-child sexual encounters.”

Dr. Gardner said, “There is good reason to believe that most, if not all, children have the capacity to reach orgasm at the time they are born.”

PAS gives the Guardian ad litem {GAL], an attorney appointed by the court to represent the best interest of the children, and the family law attorneys who refer her cases, an effective tool to take mothers out of children’s lives and save affluent fathers the heavy costs of alimony and child support.

While Gardner may not have intended it to work this way, but the combination of two factors allows the removal of the mother:

  1. The family court judge trusts the GAL more than the disputing parents, for the GAL is supposed to be neutral
  2. The GAL is an attorney who bills by the hour, and the more conflict, the more the GAL makes
  3. The more affluent parent has more control over the payment of the GAL
  4. A GAL who finds the children have PAS, and finds that the mother caused it, will seek to get exclusive custody for the affluent father.
  5. The remedy for PAS is to take custody away from the mother.

Dr. Richard Gardner: “If the mother has reacted to the [sexual [abuse [of the father with his child] in a hysterical fashion, or used it as an excuse for a campaign of denigration of the father, then the therapist does well to try and ‘sober her up’… Her hysterics… will contribute to the child’s feeling that a heinous crime has been committed and will thereby lessen the likelihood of any kind of rapprochement with the father. One has to do everything possible to help her put the ‘crime’ in proper perspective. She has to be helped to appreciate that in most societies in the history of the world, such behavior was ubiquitous, and this is still the case.”

Adopting the PAS of Dr. Gardner permits the GAL some financial opportunities: She may choose to deliver custody to the affluent father, despite the wishes of the children and even in cases of rampant abuse.

For PAS to be invoked, all that is needed is for the GAL to determine that a child strongly prefers one parent and does not want to be with the other parent.

The desire of the child not to want to be with the father could be because he is abusing him.

Dr. Richard Gardner: “Perhaps [the mother] can be helped to appreciate that in the history of the world [the father’s] behavior has probably been more common than the restrained behavior of those who do not sexually abuse their children.”


Once PAS is determined, the remedy is to take the child away from the mother and place her with the father.

The theory of PAs is that, while sexual abuse may be frowned on by a punitive society, that is no reason to remove a child from her father.

Dr. Richard Gardner: “It is likely that the mother has sexual problems… In many cases she herself was sexually molested as a child… She may never have achieved an orgasm — in spite of the fact that she was sexually molested, in spite of the fact that she had many lovers, and in spite of the fact that she is now married. The therapist, then, does well to try to help her achieve such gratification. Verbal statements about the pleasures of orgastic response are not likely to prove very useful. One has to encourage experiences, under proper situations of relaxation, which will enable her to achieve the goal of orgastic response… Vibrators can be extremely useful in this regard, and one must try to overcome any inhibition she may have with regard to their use… her own diminished guilt over masturbation will make it easier for her to encourage the practice in her daughter, if this is warranted. And her increased sexuality may lessen the need for her husband to return to their daughter for sexual gratification.”

If a child dislikes the father, even if he is sexually abusive, it is because the mother hasn’t overcome her issues and instead she induced, encouraged, and manipulated her child to dislike her father.

Of course, none of this is openly admitted by GALs or therapists who subscribe to PAS. Like many things in the world, things are happening but not discussed.

This often requires GALs to call truthful children liars about their sexual abuse since it is investigated and punished severely in many states, though, in CT, where I have been covering cases, Gardner’s view is in full force.

Of course, as Gardner notes, there are many cases of false allegations of sexual abuse, and this provides the “mother who cried wolf protection,” which is needed to invoke PAS.


Dr. Richard Gardner: “There are millions of people in the United States who are either directly accusing or supporting false sex-abuse accusations and/or are reacting in an extremely exaggerated fashion to situations in which bona fide sex abuse has occurred.”


It does not always come down to who is telling the truth. And it may not be easy to determine who is telling the truth.

The indications of parental alienation and genuine parental abuse are precisely the same.

The child will not want to be with the father in both cases.

Before PAS, if a child alleged abuse by one parent, the theory was either that parent is an abuser, or he isn’t.

But with PAS, if a child alleges abuse against one parent, then there is an abusive parent – either the parent alleged to be abusive or the other parent who is assumed to have prompted the child to make the allegation as part of an effort at alienation.

PAS invariably leads to the parent accused of abuse getting custody of the children, no matter how much they wish to remain with the other parent.

Gardner Is the Father of PAS


Parental Alienation Syndrome [PAS] was the creation of American psychiatrist and court reporter Richard Gardner. Although that may not have been his intention, PAS has worked well to help child molesters portray their accusers as hostile, vengeful, pathological liars.  Gardner stabbed himself to death with a large knife. But Gardner’s followers realized his creation presented a lucrative opportunity and an industry developed; the business model is codified by the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC). Curiously, almost all major players connected to CT Family Court – judges, GALs, family law attorneys, custody evaluators, and therapists are members.


Under the GAL system, children are necessarily voiceless. The GAL system assumes children will lie because the mother alienates and coaches them to lie.

Suppose a GAL determines the children are suffering from PAS, which, based on several factors, she may be incentivized to do. In that case, she will recommend the judge discontinue the relationship with the parent that the child is safe and happy with. This usually means mothers are removed from their children’s lives.

This draconian remedy shocks the conscience, but it happens every day in America, where excellent parents see their parental rights terminated by PAS theory that alienation is the worst abuse.


GAL Jocelyn Hurwitz is a strong advocate for PAS and finds it in nearly every case where an affluent father is charged with abuse.

Of course, PAS is adult-centric; the remedy shows scant regard for the child’s happiness or the trauma it creates. Children are routinely removed from the home of the parent they prefer – suddenly – without even being told – and placed with the parent they fear or loathe.

It is often done cruelly. The children are told they have to visit the parent, for instance, for weekend visitation. Then when the weekend ends, they are told they are not going back home. The other parent is ordered to surrender the children’s possession to the other parent, often through an intermediary, and the children never see their mother again.

This sounds like a nightmare – a made-up bad dream – but I assure you it is happening every day in America based on the Gardner theory of PAS.

And that fact means GALs, family law attorneys and therapists, and new cottage industry – the custody evaluator – make more money than they ever could in the old days before Gardner came.

Of course, there is parental alienation, and mothers are guilty of it in many cases. But the profit-driven system encourages the finding of PAS because the GAL has tremendous latitude to pick and choose the reason a child fears or loathes one parent and favors the other.

There is always a conflict in determining whether it is PAS or actual child abuse.

No case of PAS on record that I know of lacked this conflict: The child says one parent, usually the father, is abusive, and PAS blames the mother as the alienator.

PAS requires a finding that the child and mother are lying and the ostracized parent is not abusive at all and that the actual child abuser is the parent the child prefers, who is alienating the child from the other parent.

PAS was developed by Dr. Gardner in 1985 based on his observations and work as an expert witness on behalf of fathers accused of molesting their children.  Gardner said the child who has sex with her father is “generally considered to be the victim,” though the child may initiate sexual encounters by ‘seducing’ the adult.” Then, “If the sexual relationship is discovered, the child is likely to fabricate so that the adult will be blamed for the initiation.”

Gardner Makes Money for GALs

The GAL, an attorney who bills by the hour, appointed by the court to protect the child’s best interest, makes the determination of PAS.

Yes, a GAL will recommend a custody evaluator, usually a psychologist dependent on the GAL for recommendations, who will meet briefly with the disputing parents, then memorialize her findings in a custody evaluation report usually find whatever the GAL wants her to find.

The conflict arises when the child’s best interest conflicts with the GAL’s best interest.

Since the GAL has near-absolute power to determine whether or not PAS is the problem and will earn much more if it is a problem, the GAL is incentivized to inform the court that the child’s fear and loathing of one parent is PAS then recommend custody be given exclusively to the parent the child fears.

The standard procedure then is to prohibit contact between the child and the favored parent for a period, under the theory that this is the only way the child will have a good relationship with the loathed parent.

The road to allowing the mother back into the child’s life is fraught with difficulties and expense. It is also filled with financial opportunities for the GAL, who then bills per hour as she orchestrates a supporting but essential cast of therapists, who provide services, including, after a period of no contact, limited but supervised visitation for the mother and child. She can no longer see the child she raised alone.

The therapist will monitor every word said between the mother child. Should the mother ask if her child is being treated well or poorly, or should the child cryingly tell her mother she misses her or that her father is abusing her, this will be taken down or recorded by the therapist and reported to the GAL as more parental alienation by the mother.

Then another period of no contact may result. The road to unsupervised visitation is difficult once a mother is blamed for her child’s PAS.

On top of the supervised visitation therapist, the GAL coordinates a reunification therapist and individual therapists for the child and another therapist for the father, and one for the mother, and yet another for the entire family. Families that never needed a therapist before suddenly find they are immersed in therapists who all adhere to the doctrine of Parental Alienation and are instructed to look for it. These therapists provide invaluable service to the GAL. Under her direction, they will all report to the court and any law enforcement agency potentially looking into the father’s abuse, that the mother is an alienator, is a liar, has coached the children to lie, and is mentally unstable.

PAS is a bonanza for the GAL and all the therapists since they all say they are pledged to bring the mother back into the children’s lives, but because Parental Alienation is so severe and abusive, it may take months or more years. And because any parent who would alienate the child is a terrible abuser, this is also an indicator of mental illness, and more therapy is required.


Dr. Gardner’s theory of PAS has had a profound effect on how the CT family court system handles allegations of child sexual abuse during a divorce.  His theory serves as a basis for decisions affecting the custody of children in CT family court.
The judges there know as Dr. Gardner said, “There is a bit of pedophilia in every one of us.”
And “Pedophilia has been considered the norm by the vast majority of individuals in the history of the world.” And “intrafamilial pedophilia (that is, incest) is widespread and … is probably an ancient tradition.”

The fact that the father might be an abuser never enters the equation. The therapists are true believers, which is good for them since their living depends on parental alienation being valid.

And for deeply suspect reasons, in family court where GALs, who are lawyers, are appointed, Gardner’s theory is being applied with disastrous results for children but most excellent results for their representatives – the GALs.

An experienced GAL knows precisely when and how to determine Parental Alienation Syndrome.

This makes sense once one realizes that the GAL, a lawyer, is not an expert on children or domestic abuse. A GAL is a person who deals with the law, and in law, there are many adversarial tricks used to favor the client and, in turn, the lawyer who the client is paying.

The law is a practice undertaken for money, and here is the reason for the failure of the GAL system — the client is technically the child, but the child does not pay the GAL. The parents do. And when one parent has the money, then that parent is the actual client, since the one who pays has a lot of control over the scope of the Gal’s work.

In turn, the GAL has a lot of control over the parents, and an unspoken understanding can occur where the GAL and the parent with money come to understand each other pretty well.

You might say this is impossible, but you do not know the world of attorneys very well if you do.

CT Family Court Judge Gerard Adelman [above], a devotee of Dr. Gardner, who said many judges have repressed pedophilic impulses” and seek “voyeuristic and vicarious gratifications.”

CT Family Court Judge Jane Grossman, a devotee of Dr. Gardner,

Custody evaluator Dr. Jessica Biren- Caverly is one of the leading disciples of Dr. Gardner, who said, “It is extremely important for therapists to appreciate that the child who has been genuinely abused may not need psychotherapeutic intervention.” And “There is a whole continuum that must be considered here, from those children who were coerced and who gained no pleasure (and might even be considered to have been raped) to those who enjoyed immensely (with orgastic responses) the sexual activities.”

Jill Plancher is a GAL in CT. She will fight for the father’s custody, siding with Gardner. He said, “Of relevance here is the belief by many of these therapists that a sexual encounter between an adult and a child — no matter how short, no matter how tender, loving, and non-painful — automatically and predictably must be psychologically traumatic to the child… The determinant as to whether the experience will be traumatic is the social attitude toward these encounters.”

They do It for money.

To use an example, let us say that during a divorce and custody case, an affluent father is sexually abusing his daughter.

The stay-at-home mother alleges this to the GAL, based on the child’s disclosures, expecting the GAL to be concerned.

If there is no physical evidence, as there often is not, it is the child’s word against the father, who denies it. Every abuser denies it.

The Department of Children and Families may be called in, but the outcome is a draw since it boils down to a child’s word against the adult. Often the children are intimidated too.  The DCF bureaucrats usually cannot substantiate the allegation. It does not mean it did not happen; it only means they can’t prove it.

The GAL does not have to prove it. The judge relies on her judgment and invariably rules with whatever the GAL says.

The presumption is that the GAL is neutral and objective, and dedicated to the children’s best interests.

The GAL can inform the court that the stay-at-home mother is guilty of coaching and prompting the child to make up the allegation. She even has the DCF report that failed to substantiate the alleged abuse.

If the GAL says the mother is alienating the child from the father, it is PAS. If the GAL says the father abused the child, it is child abuse.

Chris Ambrose, embroiled in a high conflict divorce and custody case, utilized PAS to overcome allegations by his children of inappropriate sexual contact with them.

He allegedly also viewed what some consider child porn through the models may have been over 18 but look younger.

Dr., Gardner had the prescription to help this dad fight to keep the protective mother out of their children’s lives [she even objected to him hopping in bed with the children].

Dr. Gardner said of pedophile fathers. “He has to be helped to appreciate that, even today, it [pedophilia] is a widespread and accepted practice among literally billions of people. He has to appreciate that in our Western society especially, we take a very punitive and moralistic attitude toward such inclinations.

“He has had a certain amount of bad luck with regard to the place and time he was born with regard to social attitudes toward pedophilia. However, these are not reasons to condemn himself.”

Suppose the GAL determines that it’s PAS. In that case, the mother is blamed, she loses custody, but, as a protective mother, fights to get custody back, she may battle for years, spend her last dollar, wind up homeless – and many mothers do. The grateful, affluent, sexually abusive father pays the GAL whatever she bills. If, on the other hand, it is determined by the GAL that the father abused the child, the case will likely wrap up in days.

The angry judge will order the father to pay alimony and child support – the mother will be given primary custody, and for the GAL, there are no more billings.

PAS means $100,000 or more to the GAL, especially if the mother is protective. A finding of abuse by the father – and custody to the mother – usually means case closed – and maybe $5,000 in total billings.

What lawyer do you know who will lose $100,000 to do the right thing?

“It is because our society overreacts to it [pedophilia] that children suffer,” Dr. Gardner said.

Dr. Gardner said that PAS is “a disorder of children, arising almost exclusively in child-custody disputes, in which one parent (usually the mother) programs the child to hate the other parent (usually the father).”

Gardner authored more than 250 books and articles with advice directed towards mental health professionals, the legal community, divorcing adults and their children.

He said,  “Older children may be helped to appreciate that sexual encounters between an adult and a child are not universally considered a reprehensible act.”

Dr. Richard Gardner is the father of the modern CT Family Court. Be advised when you enter it that his thinking, so helpful to the finances of practitioners, will help shape you and your children’s future.

CT. is a pedophile-friendly court, not because they happen to agree with Dr. Gardner on its common ancient natural tradition, though it seems they do in many instances, but because protecting pedophilia for an affluent father is often more profitable than giving custody to a stay-at-home protective mother. She cannot possibly afford to pay the professionals’ fees.

And that too is an ancient tradition – he who has the money, has control – especially in CT.

Viva Connecticut Family Court!


About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • False allegations of child abuse are a common ploy in divorce and custody courts.

    You can debate if a Syndrome actually exists all you want.

    But Parental Alienation is real and it is child abuse!

  • Raniere used similar justifications for pedophilia. Even claiming that the child victim would be traumatized not by the act of sex with an adult, but by society labeling it as abuse.

    Raniere’s apologists never want to bring this up.

  • Gross…hard to stomach this. No wonder Gardner killed himself.

    And this is what our “learned judges” base their decisions on?


  • Subsequent to downing a bottle of prescription drugs, Gardner stabbed himself multiple times. This is who is influencing custody decisions?

    There’s a healthy Pedo making money for the attorneys and psychologists. All while silencing children and participating in abuse of children.

  • Totally fucked up. They should have this information available for all to see if family court! Disgusting

  • Who wrote this blog post, Q? I’m sure the CT family court also eats babies in the belief it will grant them eternal life.

    • Dont be a fool all your life. No one is making egregious Q-like claims but you.

      These facts are hard as flint. No amount of lame disinfo tactics will change that.

  • They only say parental alienation as part of the ex parte hearing to steal the children. Once outside of family court, the GAL then spins that the mother is mentally I’ll and dangerous. She (usually female) gets the court appointed family therapist or custody evaluator to endorse the monied parent from the outset.

    Straight from the AFCC playbook. It’s all BS. Resistance and refusal when parents divorce are common. The courts come up with parental alienation to make claims of abuse – but not one mandatory reporter ever calls DCF – so where is the child abuser?
    Family court, without evidence of unfitness, steal children. They criminalize parents’ advocacy as “threatening” – all without filing criminal charges- because it’s all BS family court script to deliver custody for money.

    • Great point you’re making here. I was accused of parental alienation, and punished by being cut off from my child for over a year.

      If what I did was so dangerous and abusive to have all contact cut off, why was DCFS not contacted?

  • It is often done cruelly. The children are told they have to visit the parent, for instance, for weekend visitation. Then when the weekend ends, they are told they are not going back home. The other parent is ordered to surrender the children’s possession to the other parent, often through an intermediary, and the children never see their mother again.

    My kids weren’t even allowed to retrieve their possessions. That was October 30, 2019.

    Who knows what they have been told. According to CT Law, the GAL is supposed to inform the children of the final order. I wonder if Lanier told my children that I am “paranoid” and that my daughter is supposed to be in family therapy with me and that visitation with my son is entirely up to dad.

    Did I fail to mention that Dad has thwarted every attempt to engage my daughter in therapy since 2018? Any speculation on why?

    During the only solo visit with Dr. Roeder, the custody evaluator, my daughter was escorted by my ex husband’s girlfriend’s daughter. If this isn’t the ultimate illustration of coercive control, just tell me I am an idiot and send me on my way. Yes, this is on the record.

    • These are not custody cases. They are child abductions sanctioned by corrupt GAL’s, custody evaluators, and psychologists. Very rarely is a medical doctor ever involved in these cases because they would be held accountable.

      In CT the GAL and custody evaluators have complete immunity! Why would any lawyer or psychologist be given total immunity? To protect the racketeering. Simple.

      Not one time has a GAL been sanctioned for malfeasance of any kind in CT. They are protected while our children’s lives and rights are sacrificed.

  • Connecticut does not recognize parental alienation syndrome because it’s been challenged and doesn’t hold to Daubert, Frye or Porter (CT case) they just call it parental alienation

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” He also appeared in "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM, and was credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premieres on May 22, 2022.

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