Tuesday, August 07, 2007

A confederacy of fools

If The Onion can say this, I can write this:

Atlanta -- Some 40,000 single parents converged on Atlanta this weekend for a week-long conference of the Association of Alienating Parents of America.

"It's more of a celebration of power than it is a stuffy old conference" said Cindy Smirk, one of the conference organizers. "This year we have succeeded as never before in getting alienating parenthood sanctioned by the courts. Custodial parents all over the country are now free to interfere in their kids' relationship with the other parent without fear of reprisal."

"Alright!" Calls out Marcia Maliciosa of an attendee from Florida, "I've got that bastard nailed down for enough money to pay for three conferences a year like this, it's icing on the cake that he can't see the kids since I complained to the judge they were soooo scared of him!" She rolls her eyes, "Hah! He even knows they're being baby-sat by the neighbor's drug-addict kid while I'm here and there's not a damn thing he can do about it!"

Besides the partying, the conference organizers have brought together a broad range of experts to help their attendees build and consolidate their control over their children and exes. Dr. Pete Snitch of the Council on Court Influence and Child Control heads a team of psychologists and lawyers presenting such workshops as "The Strategic Use of TROs, or: how to get him out and keep him out", "Cause and Effect: how to create confusion and put the blame on him" and "Conflict in the courtroom: your greatest ally".

"Oh yes", says Snitch, "times have rarely been better for the malicious custodial parent. There's a whole smörgåsbord of options for getting the ex out of the house, making it look like he's the problem, persuading the kids to take your side, and milking their dad for every penny you can."

Snitch takes a sip of Margerita, "Sure, sometimes the kids end up pretty screwed up and once in a while, dad tops himself. But hey, who cares? He was probably a loser anyhow. It's all about the best interest of the children and that can never be anything less than what the custodial parent says is best, so I think we've a right to be self righteous in our conviction that we're doing what's best for us."

Barbara Brainwasher, a blond stunner out by the pool enjoying the sun and a pina colada confesses "At first, I wasn't so sure, it seemed to be kinda dangerous. Would [my daughter] Bonnie take my side in court? But the guys here assured me, all I had to do was keep her away from her dad for a few months with a TRO or two, and make sure I badmouthed him at every possible opportunity and she'd come around. The lawyers said they'd be sure to keep the whole thing out of court until we were all good and ready. Then, bingo! when the day came Bonnie said exactly what I'd been telling her to say for the last few months. She's a dear, such a shame she turned out so badly, pregnant at 14 and stoned most of the time." She sighs, "Kids, what can you do, eh?"

Shylock T. Kirk, who has acted for many of the attendees, resplendent in his Armani suit, holds court in the hotel's executive bar in the evenings. "It's like taking candy from children" he says, with a twinkle-eyed leer, and pats his wallet, "there's nothing the other parent can do. He stays away and coughs up, or he goes to jail. Of course, you can't go too far, take him for just so much that he keeps to heel for fear of losing the rest."

"In this age of equal opportunity, it's not just for mothers" says Snitch, "fathers can get in on the game too. It's a little trickier - he needs a gullible ex and has to persuade her it's best for the kids to be with him while she sets herself up in a new life, then use that opportunity to generate, er, evidence and get the kids to see that the breakup is all her fault. 'Same as for a target male, really. Once the thin end of the wedge is driven in, the rest is easy - just get the judge to believe that her howls and complaints are all generating conflict and hurting the kids, it'd be best if she didn't see them for a while until things have settled. We can keep that one going for years!"

Kirk says that it gets easier all the time to separate kids from non-custodial parents. "The most effective, of course, is an abduction, sorry, I mean move-away. It's best if the mother has family in another state, or, preferably, a whole other country. It doesn't matter if she hasn't seen them for decades, it's her family ties that matter, after all. It's best if it's court sanctioned, of course, but these days a custodial parent can get away with just about anything. All in the name of the children, of course."

Cindy chips in: "That said, if tormenting your ex is what you want, you're best to stay nearby, but be sure to keep the kids out of reach. We have a whole session on effective techniques to drive him completely crazy. One of my favorites is to drive past his apartment every day taking the kids to school, then sue him for stalking when he waves at the car. It doesn't always work, but when it does, you should see his face in court!"

Back at the pool, Barbara reminisces about the fun times of her divorce. "Sure, it was a rough time, but that just means you've got to try all the harder to enjoy yourself. You should have been there when he found out I'd slept with his boss. Woo-hoo! What a jerk! I created such a scene that the cops dragged him off and charged him with DV without him even touching me! Good job I'd called them early about that stalker I thought I'd seen." She grinned and winked. "After that, the TRO was a shoo-in. Of course, he got fired too. They said it was because he threatened his boss, but she told me she was going to drop him first chance she got anyway, but not before the court set his child support. He was late with a few payments then, but a night or two in the joint sorted that out. I think his parents paid it in the end, but what do I care? He hasn't missed a payment in a while, but I still call him a deadbeat every chance I get."

Although many of the conference goers left their kids with friends or their own family (all appropriately protected by court order), a full creche and child minder service was available. Betty Airhead, chief child-minder, comments: "these kids are so easy to handle, if they play up, all you have to do is threaten to go and get their mom. They quiet right down, it's like magic."

At the conference banquet, the keynote speaker Professor Eminent Respected, "PhD" (East Podunk), provided an enlightening "history" of the "discredited" junk "science" of "PAS" and other laughable attempts to seek what they call "justice" by the "fathers" that have been so completely discounted by this joyful band of conferees. His conclusion, that any non-custodial parent who doesn't completely bend to the will of their ex must, ipso facto, be a child rapist and wife abuser was met with a standing ovation and chants of "PAS doesn't exist! Oi! Oi! Oi!".

After the banquet, I caught up with Eileen Onmylaurels, winner of the conference lifetime achievement award for Most Dedicated Alienator, still clutching her trophy - a beautiful statuette of a crouched man, holding his head in his hands. "Oh yes" she said "it's marvelous how we can do pretty much what we want with the kids and get away with it, for the simple reason that using them against their fathers is an entirely natural thing for us to do. Every vindictive divorcee should have the chance to really stick it their ex through the kids. There's really no arguing with it. All the better if you can get them to take the blame. I'm the living proof - my four kids say they all hate their dads whenever I tell them to. None of them have had any contact for three years now. The last one was an accidental meeting in the mall, where I didn't know his dad was moonlighting as a guard - I got him locked up for a week for it, and garnished those wages too. Every one of them is behind on child support payments but they pay enough between them that I'm doing fine anyway. If I want a bit more, I just pick the highest earner of the moment and have him tossed in jail. 'Works like a charm."

"Parental alienation?" she says "Pshaw, who cares?"

(This is not a satirical blog, but this is a satirical post.)


Anonymous said...

I personally really enjoy this site. I am Just Another Alienated Father (tm) myself, and it's nice to know that there are others out there in the same situation.

Thanks for everything you do, and everything you write.

jules said...

Perfect response to their story! It made me so mad reading The Onion's story - I am glad you came up with this as a response!

Unknown said...

"Every vindictive divorcee should have the chance to really stick it their ex through the kids." This is so true its actualy kind of funny in a sick kind of way

Thanks for the work you do.

Anonymous said...

I love it! Quid Pro Quo!