Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Albert Einstein, Target Parent

Parental alienation continues to appear in the news, the latest and most visible offering being from nothing less than Time magazine who intertwine Albert Einstein's experience of alienation from his sons by his first wife, Mileva Maric, with a chronical of his writing his theory of general relativity. Of course, Time never actually use the phrase "parental alienation", but it is a textbook case - she separated the children from him, programmed and interfered with communications between them, obstructed visits, and used the children however she could to extract from him whatever should could.

This sort of despicable behavior is common in high-conflict divorces -- let it be emphasised that it is a course of action available only to the custodial parent, and high-conflict is often in the custodial parent's personal best interest. In Maric's case, she got his Nobel prize money out of it. All of it. She bought three apartments in Zurich with it.

This news comes with the release of some of Einstein's personal correspondence, although the fact of the parental alienation has been known for a long time. I have pointed it out myself in this blog. Some of these letters show Einstein's justifiable anger and distress at the entire thing, illustrating his helplessness in the face of Maric's machinations. Pause a moment and reflect that this was perhaps the greatest mind of the twentieth century here, brought low by one vindictive woman, the mother of his children. That's the woman that PBS want to give credit for the theory of relativity. Yes, you read that right.

Believe it or not, there are people out there in the real world, in positions of power, who believe that parental alienation doesn't happen. They think that children never, ever turn against a parent unless that parent has done something to deserve it. They don't believe that a custodial parent could ever be a malicious as Maric most certainly was. It is interesting to note that many of those who make such claims have a personal, vested interest in having us believe them. Some work in domestic abuse centers and a common tactic of an alienator is a spurious claim of abuse, and that is a fact that their defenders cannot allow. Others are actual alienators themselves, and, well, the devil's greatest trick is to convince us he doesn't exist. Fortunately, there are also people out there who are prepared to stand up and face down these liars and show us that this devil does indeed exist.

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