Every Child

Has Two Parents


Challenging the Pseudoscience of Dr. J. Edleson and His Belief that Felony Count Parental Child Abduction Should be Legal

by Ken Connelly on Thursday, December 30, 2010 at 1:17am


The below note or commentary was unable to be posted on the Time Magazine website, since the site is no longer allowing comments.  I have decided to post it here.  I hope you will first go to the site below and read the article and some of the comments made by Dr. Jeffrey Edleson and myself.  There is a growing movement to again make the emotional-mental and physical needs of the abducted child a side-note, much like the saying, "Children should be seen and not heard" and "I brought you into the world, I can take you out".  The pseudoscience that Dr. Edleson is practicing is harmful and one of the biggest spins I have ever read--one that would make a seasoned politician blush.  Please follow the link and then read my note.  -It will make better sense.




Now my final argument:

Much like Dr. Edleson, I also work in the area of parental child abduction.  Well that is not exactly true, I am not paid—even when I testify in a court case or am called to testify before a state or federal bill—but volunteer a great portion of my life to the crimes of parental child abduction, child abuse and child neglect.  Then again, Dr. Edleson does not work in parental child abduction either.  In fact, after visiting his websites and resume, he is primarily focused on women violence; which has been the main family-crimes group issue when fighting any form of national acceptance, of the mental diagnosis that could save the lives of thousands of children’s—that of parental alienation disorder (wow, that was a run on sentence).  Please understand, I lived through 3 years, 2 months and 5 days of a parental kidnapping (October 10, 1980 – December 5, 1983)—resulting in the first interstate felony conviction/recovery in United States history.  After being returned, I found myself in the home of a man that beat on my mother and beat on me; of which was partially due to the affects related to my father abducting my brother and me.  Even after my mother left her then husband, I underwent what many would call neglect.  Either or, I have a pretty good handle on BOTH subjects (just in case the good doctor wishes to challenge my understanding of family violence).

I have lived in some of the worst conditions a child should ever have to endure—both during and after the abduction.  I have lived in a garage (the kind with lots of holes, where the cold and daylight wakes you up; even when the doors and windows are closed or the car fumes choke and make your clothes stink).  I have lived in many state and national parks (during and after my abduction).  I was forced to take a restaurant job the day I turned 13 and pay rent until I legally on my own.  I have seen my mother picked up and repeatedly thrown by her then husband (not my abducting father or her current husband).  I’ve woken up in the middle of the night because the FBI was closing in; along with my ‘evil’ mother who hated me and left my father for another man.  The former being common statements children of parental child abduction state they were told repeatedly by their abductor; which Dr. Edleson has completely overlooked when choosing who to use to get his ‘scientific’ data.  I have had the police at my house more times than I can remember.  In fact, I could have used many of the officers as references when I went into law enforcement and emergency medicine; given the intimate nature they knew of my family life.  Yes, family violence and parental alienation is real; although I am sure, the good doctor would prefer we roll the calendar back to a time when the earth was flat and ‘children knew to be seen and not heard’.   However, it should not be the reason we let these gun-slinging-for-hire, professionals, who seek their own preconceived, pseudoscience policies, overlook and leave the thousands of innocent children hanging. 

I have seen firsthand the affects of family violence as a victim, observer, law enforcement officer and medic.  It is a horrific and terrible crime.  According to Dr. Edleson’s own ‘23’ cases, they are the sole reason to change the laws that protect the victims and punish the criminals; i.e., changing  the Hague Treaty to fit his agenda.   Dr. Edleson in my view, blatantly, grievously and without compassion, side stepped the fathers and children that have suffered at the hands of mothers who for their own reasons have destroyed the precious bond between them with their felony act.  Again, not to appear one-sided; I was abducted by my father and in his single kidnapping act, destroyed my bond with my mother and countless lives.  Did he deserve to go to prison?  Yes, with a capital Y-E-S.  The crime of parental child abduction is a crime that must be seen for what it is. 

Think about this: When a parent loses all form of custody, they are considered a ‘stranger’.  When they abduct their own child, it is treated as a stranger abduction.  Every professional uses Stockholm Syndrome or another emotional/mental diagnosis to help show the damage that was caused by this stranger upon the child.  However, it is not okay to use such heavy terminology when that same parent still maintians some rights to their child.  Why is that?  It is simple; children are viewed as the property of the parents and rendered the silent minority in these cases.  I have heard many lawyers and therapists argue that by viewing parental child abduction like the felony crime it is, would open up Pandora’s Box.  Why is that?  Why is it okay while they have no rights and not okay to protect the child’s mental-emotional- physical welfare when they do have them?  More importantly and to the point I am getting at: why is the child being sidelined for the selfish preservation of the parents?  Again, I have been through this, I fully know what it feels like to hear a judge refer to my left-behind mother and not me as the victim.  …I guess it makes sense if children are seen as property, chattel if you will, of the owner/parent.  As a parent myself and child victim, I find this appalling and much to the parallel as the saying, “I brought you into the world, I can take you out” and “Children should be seen and not heard”.

When we look beyond what Dr. Edleson would have us believe is the way it ‘really’ is, and instead look at the child-victim first, we see a much bigger problem; the problems caused by stealing one’s child and forever destroying the basic foundation of family trust.  Of course, if he did this, he may have to find new work or hop over to the dark side and actually help children; those rotten things that need not be heard but seen.  Of course, if he did this, I would be the first to greet him with open arms and kindness. The sort that comes from having been abducted, abused and learned to respect those that dedicate their lives to protecting children like me, FIRST!

I am not angry mind you, I am just sick of these so-called professionals that twist facts until we all believe that the sky is pink and the oceans are yellow.  I ask everyone reading this to take the time, look up how many thousands of cases of parental child abduction occur each year.  I know that the federal (Department of Justice) grant money blown on his research could have served the greater good and the true victims of parental child abduction—the child—by actually doing hard fact-finding science, that could make a real change.  Conservative numbers place it at 370,000 reported domestic cases annually.  However, I will say half that for argument sake—for those curious about the numbers above go to the Department of Justice website—I got it from them.  Why did I get involved (non paid but as a volunteer) after 25 years with parental child abduction?  Trust me, there are better things I could have done with my life.  I got involved because of the nearly 7 million (7,000,000) children reported abducted since I was returned; thereby holding me accountable and duty bound to my fellow child-victims.  Now out of all those cases, Dr. Edleson could only find 23 to fit his model; of course, we know why…

Lastly, Dr. Edleson stated below that parental alienation has been debunked.  Well I checked his source; it turns out he is mentioned on that site too.  That would be like me using a site I am or have worked with to prove my point—a little narcissistic.  Again, the groups, like the one he named, do fantastic and needed work with abused women and families.  It is still not parental child abduction nor an unbiased research on ALL the facets of this crime.  There are many HUNDREDS of professionals out there—medical, psychological and legal—that believes in the negative effects parental child abduction has on the child and left-behind parent.  Case in point, there is a wonderful study that was published in The American Journal of Family Therapy (Examining Parental Alienation in Child Custody Cases: A Survey of Mental Health and Legal Professionals The American Journal of Family Therapy, 37:127–145, 2009 Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. ISSN: 0192-6187 print / 1521-0383 online. DOI: 10.1080/01926180801960658).  I am not going to quote here from them, given the limited words left but I encourage you to read and discover on your own—not believing my words or Dr. Edleson’s alone.  I am neither a proponent nor opponent of the DSM-IV.  I am not a therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist or lawyer, only a victim of this crime and a 30-year case study (for those willing to ask).  However, with a quick internet search, you will find many Medical Doctors and PhD’s that question parts of the DSM.  Many of these controversies revolving around the DSM stem from:  one, Cultural aspects and two, the Political and Legal aspects. The political and legal aspects, being the area that Dr. Edleson is attempting to use for the Family Violence argument.  Again, don’t take my word for it, do your own search—I am too much of skeptic to take someone else’s views as fact and I hope you will too. 

We cannot base facts that will affect millions of children and families in the decades to follow solely on allegations and assumptions; most of which come after the crime has been committed and the abductor has been arrested and is seeking a defense argument in civil or criminal court.  We must rely on hard facts and evidence that has been ruled on in a court hearing where the evidence lead to the conviction of said allegation.  I would hope that you—and I know you are an intelligent and compassionate person—would never take hearsay and undocumented information as fact when it comes to such a serious issue; one effecting our children.  It is easy to ‘discover’ facts that meet our preconditioned ideologies.  If I am looking for green Volkswagen Beetles, I will find them tomorrow while driving.  However, I will miss the other beetles on the road or the many different kinds of cars (just like the many other cases of parental child abduction) that pass before my eyes.  Happy New Year!


The information on this website concerns a matter of public interest, and is provided for educational and informational purposes only in order to raise public awareness of issues concerning left-behind parents. Unless otherwise indicated, the writers and translators of this website are not lawyers nor professional translators, so be sure to confirm anything important with your own lawyer.

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