Dr Gardner Ruined Family Court 40 Years Ago By Making Parental Alienation the Worst Offense

By Julia Donovan

Richard A. Gardner, M.D. was a psychiatrist from New Jersey who devised “Parental Alienation Syndrome.”

Before Gardner committed suicide, he traveled worldwide advocating for widespread acceptance of Parental Alienation Syndrome.

When Gardner spoke about “The Parental Alienation Syndrome” on June 24, 1999 at his “One Day Symposium at the Open University in The Netherlands,” he told family court lawyers and vendors gathered there:

“So, I’m going to tell you what I’m going to say first. And that is, that the legislators have power to give judges power to cure the disease Parental Alienation Syndrome. I repeat, the legislators have the power to empower judges, to cure, to prevent the Parental Alienation Syndrome. If the legislators do not give the judges the power to cure this disease, it will continue to grow… and get worse and worse.”

Gardner recommended: Jail time for protective parents who try to protect children from sexual abuse.

He recommended “Threat Therapy” for children who resist spending time with parents who molest them.

Attorneys and guardians ad litem are to tell sexually abused children that the protective parent will be jailed unless the children “visit” with the identified perpetrator.

Protective parents are labeled mentally ill and are only allowed to “visit” the children they tried to protect under “therapeutic supervision.”

All discussion of disclosed abuse and future abuse is prohibited.

Richard Ducote, a lawyer, explains:

Richard Ducote

The problem with this whole line of parental alienation testimony is it’s a concept that has very dubious and troublesome rootings and
origins. And it was founded by this Richard Gardner, who has very bizarre sexual theories.

And this is a defense for people who are indeed caught abusing their kids. And all it does is, it takes the symptoms of abuse and redefines it as symptoms of alienation, which is a circular defense.

Under this parental alienation and parental alienation syndrome, child abuse is the only crime that has a built-in defense.

You just say it’s alienation, and every symptom of the abuse is just simply called “evidence” of alienation.

Ducote cross examined parental alienation expert, Robert A. Evans PhD in 2021.

Dr. Robert A Evans helps fathers win custody and avoid prison for pedophilia.

From the transcript

Ducote: Dr. Evans, is it your position that this parental alienation syndrome is as bad for a child as being sexually abused by a parent?

Dr. Evans: Actually, there’s specific research to address that question. And in fact, they found out that looking at parental alienation as a form of child maltreatment, which it meets that definition according to the American Professional Society on Child Abuse, parental alienation as a form of child abuse has been documented to be as bad or worse than both physical and sexual abuse. So the answer is, yes.

Ducote: So let’s say if a child is beaten by a parent with a hammer, okay, is that worse or not as bad as parental alienation?

Evans: I can’t give you an opinion on that.

Ducote: How about tied up with ropes, would that be as bad as parental alienation?

Evans: Again, I think it depends on the circumstances and the specifics, so I can’t give you an answer on that either.

Ducote: So, what type of circumstances, hypothetically, could a parent tie up their child with ropes, and that not be as bad as parental alienation?

Evans: I really can’t speculate on all of those kinds of details. I’m telling you what I’m familiar with in terms of the literature and their research.

Ducote: Okay. How about if you have a four-year-old, and the father forces the child to perform fellatio on him. Could that be less harmful to the child than parental alienation?

Evans: Potentially, yes.

Ducote: How about the father actually fully penetrates his four-year-old daughter’s vagina with his penis. Could that be less harmful to the child than parental alienation?

Evans: Potentially.

Ducote: Let me ask you about this. On page 537 of the book, True and False Accusations of Child Sexual Abuse, do you agree with this statement, quote, Special care should be taken not to alienate the child from the molesting parent. The removal of a pedophilic parent from the home should only be seriously considered after all attempts at treatment of pedophilia and rapprochement with the family have been proven futile. Do you agree with that?

Evans: Let me check this out.

Don’t Burn Pedophiles like they did witches, urged Dr. Richard Gardner, the father of parental alienation.

If Judge Gerard Adelman had allowed Karen Riordan to present her evidence, transcripts from those hearings would have been like the above transcript.

Judge Adelman wouldn’t let Riordan present her case.

Why didn’t he?

Who allowed Adelman to call an attorney “a crybaby”?

Who allowed Adelman to tell an attorney “I’m not going to play your game” and who allowed him to tell her he would fine her $50 every time she said the word “game”?

Attorney Cunha seemed to be frustrated with the ways the judge and the other attorneys abused her client.

Did they take all the mother’s money, abuse the children and force the children to go live with the perpetrator??

Judge Gerard Adelman spoke in hard and angry earnest, if a man ever did, in taking the three Ambrose children away from their mother. Judge Adelman is an earnest man when his hatred is up. Perhaps there are those who do worse things than Gerard Adelman; but I’d rather listen to them all a dozen times than to that Adelman once.

What evidence did Judge Thomas Moukawsher help Judge Adelman keep out of court?

Judge Thomas Moukawsher’s face was stern, and much flushed. He was in the habit of ruling based more on the money than what was exactly good for the children. If he ever meant to do justice, his face belied it. If he did, the judge might have brought action against his face for libel and have recovered heavy damages.

Attorney Nickola Cunha was right about the corruption in family courts. And now, which attorney in their right mind will be raise the problem of corruption in the courts after a judge disbarred an attorney for raising the subject of corruption?

The argument that the Ambrose children were not molested because the DCF said the molestation was “unsubstantiated” is not persuasive.

When DCF says that because an allegation of child abuse is “unsubstantiated,“ it does not mean abuse didn’t occur.

It means that when the case was investigated, no one was able to, bothered to, or purposely didn’t prove the abuse occurred.

Most adults groom and molest children behind closed doors without witnesses.

“… According to the DCF’s guidelines, use of the term “unsubstantiated” does not equate to a conclusion that abuse is not present, just that it is not sufficiently verifiable …”

Who engineered the family court crisis?

Which interests allowed it for so long and for what purpose?

Since the 1980s, millions of children and families experienced and witnessed the engineered family court crisis. The worst cases are mishandled in all the same predictable ways.

Did the destruction happen in family courts beginning with Richard Gardner in the 1980s?

The political agenda to sexualize children is everywhere today. Did it start in family courts with Richard Gardner’s tour around the world?


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  • New Research on the Science of Parental Alienation
    Key takeaway message of this article at the Institute for Family Studies: Parental alienation is real and supported by a legitimate and trustworthy foundation of scientific study. Advocates who claim otherwise are wrong and either through ignorance or design are ignoring scientific advances in the field and spreading misinformation.
    #ParentalAlienation #DivorcePoison

  • Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother and Thou Shalt Not Bare False Witness; true words of wisdom for an educated mind. When an alienating parent does not follow this advice—it leads to the erosion of the very heart of a child’s mind, granting them by example an unhampered blur of reality for the rest of their life.

    This article features Dean Tong’s literary work, Elusive Innocence—Survival Guide for the Falsely Accused coveringparental alienation and false abuse allegations. Victims of Another War, a documentary about the effects on three adults who suffered an abduction and alienation of affection during childhood.

    And finally, A View For The Bench, produced by the Superior Court of Maricopa County in Arizona is an education for the judiciary on parental alienation.

    Elusive Innocence—Survival Guide For The Falsely Accused by leading foren¬sic specialist on false child abuse allegations, Dean Tong, accurately states, “We will not win the war until we win the battle against false allegations first” (Tong, 2002, p. 6). This contribution provides the knowledge to understand the scope and depth of this problem and assists the reader to prevent the false accuser or alienating parent from achieving a fully severed parent-child relationship, so often referred to as a parentectomy.


  • Have you ever noticed that often happens that the person who is most outspoken against homosexuality eventually ends up being outed as a closet homosexual themselves?

    I think you people who are obsessed with pedophilia and seem to think it’s everywhere in some societal conspiracy are closet pedophiles. You are unable to stop thinking about adults having sex with children. I think it’s because you secretly enjoy thinking about it. Sick.

  • The fact that Adelman did not allow the mother, Riordan to testify or present evidence speaks for itself. WHERE IS THE ACCOUNTABILITY???

    • Huh? The mother was allowed to testify and present evidence. The mother refused to show up at court. She is the one who made that decision.

  • Without proof, it would have been “unsubstantiated“ …

    “Berea man charged for groping 16-year-old step-daughter on camera during virtual school

    By Caitlin McCarthy and Alec Sapolin
    Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 5:31 PM UTC

    CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) – A Berea man was charged last week after being caught on camera groping his 16-year-old step-daughter during a virtual school class.

    The incident occurred Sept. 28 and was seen by the girl’s teacher and 39 classmates, police said. …”


  • Watch the documentary on the drug scandal in Massachusetts. The attorneys banded together. If this happens in family court system they will have to go back and actually do something about the fraud that has taken place. The money generated from parental alienation has currupt the system. We need heros like the criminal defense attorneys in Massachusetts.

    • “Without proof, it would have been “unsubstantiated“ …”

      Without proof or reliable testimony, you cannot convict someone. you people wanna lynch innocent people based on unsubstantiated allegations made by bitter ex spouses.

      • Valid proof of the accusing parent making negative statements.

        Had other mental health professionals been involved? The child was 16. Never made a statement I couldn’t prove. Lots of lies told to the court by former spouses Attorney. I could disprove it. Parental alienation may occur in cases but not on the level the courts are pushing.

        Parental conflict occurs. To continue to blame the other parent is profitable. Allegations of parental alienation are being abused for profit. Used to gain the upper hand in court. Absolutely nothing is being done about it. These psychologist are not addressing valid issues.

        Turning the situation into a giant mess. The lack of addressing valid dysfunctional parenting is damaging children. Abuse is being normalized. Case ended in not only parental relationship severed but siblings as well. The object was never to heal the relationship. Keep the case going until time or money ran out. That’s what is happening in all these cases.

    • Amen to that! Lawyers are so petrified to find themselves in my shoes that they simply avoid to topic all together.

  • “Gardner recommended: Jail time for protective parents who try to protect children from sexual abuse.”
    I don’t know where you got the specific claim that Gardner clubbed access to the child even if there was sexual abuse involved.

    As a parent who has not ever abused his children and who has been alienated with false claims, I find this allegation that “protection/alienation” is due to sexual abuse.

  • The breakdown of children and American families. Starts in family court and now gender change can happen as early as 8 years of age.

    Same principles behind it. Give the kids a sex change- give custody to parent who allows it. Sign kids up for decades of medical treatment and therapy.

    This government is not for the people. Wake up America. We’re all starting to face the harsh reality that our government is abusing its people and robbing us of children and life savings.

    • … war, inflation, attacks on police, gender engineering, infiltrated cults, the destruction of traditional religion, purposeful division, corrupt family courts … to weaken nations in preparation for the “new world order”,

  • It’s insane that these abuses keep happening over and over. Meanwhile, the children have no say in their outcomes.

    In the Ambrose case, as Frank has documented here on numerous occasions, the children clearly expressed their desire to be with their mother and not their father. Their entreaties were ignored by the court.

    Why has this not received national media attention? Any parent who lives in Connecticut should be mortified at the prospect of her children being taken away for money.

    • Parents who are victims of the “family courts” have asked where the mainstream media has been for the past forty years. As soon as the answer to that question is obvious to most Americans, we’ll be able to do something about it.

  • “And now, which attorney in their right mind will be raise the problem of corruption in the courts after a judge disbarred an attorney for raising the subject of corruption?”

    The answer is that EVERY defense attorney should raise the problem of corruption in the courts and be threatened with disbarment.

    Maybe then someone or some oversight entity will actually take notice and take action about what is happening in the Connecticut Family Court system!

    • Very true. Too many are involved and much like targeted parents are isolated and alone, they do the same to attorneys.

      Alisha Mathers is another attorney they drove out of Connecticut. She dared to file a malpractice suit against custody evaluator- fraudster- Jessica biren caverly – and then was silenced. She soon left town and left Riordan with no attorney for the malpractice suit- their intended outcome.

      Jessica caverly is pure evil. She defames parents to flip custody and kids go to monied parent.

      Linda Smith did this for decades- another hideous princess of the AFCC.

  • “The argument that the Ambrose children were not molested because the DCF said the molestation was “unsubstantiated” is not persuasive.”

    Talk about word salad!!!

    Ambrose could have gone to court for these allegations and been proven not guilty.. technically that does mean a person is innocent. He just couldn’t be proven guilty. But guess what? He wouldn’t go to jail. YOU want to put people who are not proven guilty in metaphorical jail by trashing their reputations and ruining their lives.

    This is a sick mob mentality. If you were born 150 years ago you would probably have a great time hanging people from trees.

    • I object to your misuse of the word “holy” and I’m sure others also object to your desecration of that word.

      The “is not persuasive” sentence is dense and I hope I didn’t write it. When editors here are kind enough to share a few of my separate comments strung together in longer article form, I’m flattered. They can do whatever they want with my comments as long as our efforts are helpful. That’s why good people are here: To help.

      Sometimes, the original context of comments about separate topics is lost and quotes are misplaced. Most understand most of the points made and we’re here to save children, not to read Shakespeare or win writing awards.

      The information in the above article about “unsubstantiated” cases isn’t about mob mentality or perpetrators’ reputations. It’s explaining the epidemic of “unsubstantiated“ sexual abuse of children. No third party witnesses, no physical evidence, gentle grooming typical in cases of intrafamilial abuse, the dynamic of adult perpetrators who easily manipulate children etc. That’s the focus.

      A “sick mob mentality” would mirror this warped thinking:

      “[A hypothetical child molester] could have gone to court for these allegations and been proven not guilty.. technically that does mean a person is innocent. He just couldn’t be proven guilty. But guess what? He wouldn’t go to jail. YOU want to put people who are not proven guilty in metaphorical jail by trashing their reputations and ruining their lives.”

      Try this: Care about children who disclose having been sexually molested by adults. Children usually don’t lie about that. If the children can’t prove the crimes because only the children and the perpetrators were there, the perpetrators’ reputations aren’t what matters.

      Please move on and don’t respond. Your comments do more harm than good.


      • “I object to your misuse of the word “holy”

        Too bad.

        “Try this: Care about children who disclose having been sexually molested by adults.”

        I do care. the majority are not making false claims; however, there is a percentage of claims that are false. That’s a well-known fact. and actually I would not second-guess their claims at all if they didn’t happen to occur immediately after the custody situation started going bad for Karen, and never before that.

        I read the entire custody report for the Ambrose case; it was provided at this blog. There was nothing in there to substantiate the abuse claims, and, in fact, it was substantiated that the mother was coaching the children to lie.

        Karen never made an accusation of abuse throughout the entire marriage. Not one. And abuse of the children was not grounds for the divorce. It was just her last-ditch effort to get custody when things started to not go her way with the custody arrangements.

      • Julie wrote “Please move on and don’t respond. Your comments do more harm than good.”

        Wow, I am so sorry I don’t want to help you ruin the lives of innocent people (not!). I think you are evil despite your hypocritical offense to a common use of the word “holy”. I advise YOU to shut up and move on. YOU are doing more harm than good. YOU are sick and hateful. Try having some human compassion.

    • You are misunderstanding the point. The point is simply that when a child comes forth with an Allegation of conduct that rises to the level of illegal conduct, that child has the right, just like any other human to have the matter investigated by the proper authorities.

      DCF is not the agency that investigated crimes. DCF reports suspected crimes to the police for investigation. In cases where there is no influence driven by money, there are times when the police disagree with DCF and don’t pursue an arrest warrant even though DCF substantiated.

      The Ambrose case is problematic on many levels. A Detective testified he relied on the DCF, investigation, without going into the significant issues with that testimony, the testimony of the DCF worker that the detective allegedly relied on contradicts the detectives reliance.

      The point in Ambrose case is when professionals took action to protect the children and seek actual investigations, too many hands were on board to tamper and interfere with the children’s claims ever being investigated.

      The entire focus was that mom manipulated the children to believe things that were not actually happening.

      Noteworthy, I personally believe that a parent can influence a child which absolutely can result in that child being alienated from the other parent. I have witnessed this occur.

      What I 100% don’t support is some psychologists or psychiatrists, or anyone else for that matter manipulating a child’s own recall and memories for the benefit of parent or anyone else. It’s a very different situation to guide an assist someone
      through healing versus manipulation.

      Parents like others are always seeking to blame someone else. There are so many dynamics in the case.
      Unfortunately for the children and both parties frankly, I don’t see how this particular case could ever get an unbiased opinion.

      The real issue is as an attorney you should have the absolute uncontroverted right to seek to have the laws enforced and the court adhere to not only the laws but the rules of practice and code of evidence.

      Family Court has been labeled as a “Kangaroo Court”, this is not ok. Family court deals with matters of extreme importance. The rulings made in family court impact each and every one one of us.
      The problems are not raised in this case have been known for way too long by way too many Public Officials in CT, Media doesn’t cover it because if the public at large really was exposed to this corruption, it would be shut down.

      To all the people that want to offer negative comments challenging the horrors of not just what this mother and children are being subjected, but many, many others, if you aren’t confident enough to openly state your opinions is speaks volumes!

      It’s one thing for the victims of this corruption to not reveal their identity, but for those challenging the exposures to hide, in my opinion is characteristic of a Coward!

  • “ The argument that the Ambrose children were not molested because the DCF said the molestation was “unsubstantiated” is not persuasive.”

  • Parental alienation is the weapon used against protective mothers throughout the US and foreign countries. It’s the basis of racketeering which the AFCC grabbed hold of and made into a financial enterprise of abuse and destruction of families.

    And parental alienation has been rejected by psychiatrists and is not included in the DSM-V. It is not a valid finding – only used in family court by criminals who hide the truth, vilify the mother and destroy the childhoods of children.

    • Patterns in nightmare “family court” cases in many “Western world” countries could be a project of the Deceitful People International Consortium (DPIC). Here’s why: family courts are like big government in which a few horrible people control the many. Weakened families, tainted education, destroyed economies, opened borders, billions of injections of Who-Knows-What and How-Many-Care. Mainstream “news” ignores actual news and few billion dollars are sent to topple a few more governments.

      How long can we afford to allow it? Strong families build strong nations.

      What’s the data lately on parent #1s and parent #2s?

    • “It is not a valid finding – only used in family court by criminals who hide the truth, vilify the mother and destroy the childhoods of children.”

      Dream on. You don’t think there are any hateful vindictive ex-spouses who can’t wait to slander the other spouse with easy accusations of sexual abuse? Making false accusations of abuse is a common tactic in contentious custody cases. I wish it were true that no parent ever makes false accusations and no parent ever coaches the children to lie. The sad reality is that they do.

  • Wish everyone would include that this used by abusive fathers- even if they don’t rape their kids- follow the money they forwards training and assessments

    • Absolutely it’s used by abusive fathers! No need for them to sexually abuse children to use parental alienation.

      Domestic violence towards women and children- they use parental alienation as the strategy to steal all the money and annihilate their spouse.

      It allows them to blame their spouse for the poor relationships he has with his children due to his own conduct. Absolutely on point! Well said.

      • And false allegations of abuse are used by abusive mothers (and fathers). Usually the abusive father will accuse the mother’s new boyfriend of molesting the kids.

  • Is Dick Gardner a molester/child rapist himself? Did Dick, start a secret family court cult and Frank’s bringing it to light?

    • Richard Gardner was one evil, crude man. I know colleagues of his that says he didn’t commit suicide soon enough.

      He had no respect for women and denigrated them constantly. His hate of women certainly contributed to the pain he wanted to inflict by stealing their children.

      • I think “Julia” is a closet pedo. “She”sees the world through pedophile eyes. I use those quotes because Julia Donovan is most likely a fake name.

          • These people who claim to be such advocates for sexually abused children seem to love to sit around and go over in excruciating detail descriptions of acts of sexual abuse of children. I mean just look at that questioning from Richard Ducote. There was no need to go into such graphic detail as that. It does make one wonder if these people get some kind of secret sick enjoyment from it that they actually want to talk about/read that trash.

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.” Parlato was also 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 premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

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Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com