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Quotes By Richard Gardner

Richard A. Gardner, M.D., is the creator of the creator and main proponent for the bogus Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) theory. Prior to his suicide, Gardner was an unpaid part-time clinical professor of child psychiatry at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University . He made his money mainly as a forensic expert. PAS was developed by Dr Richard Gardner in 1985 based on his personal observation, not on scientific study, and on his work as an expert witness often on behalf of fathers accused of molesting their children. Gardner 's theory of PAS has had a profoundly detrimental effect on how the court systems in our country handle allegations of child sexual abuse, especially during divorce.  Because Gardner 's PAS theory is based on his clinical observations--not scientific data--it must be understood in the context of his extreme views concerning women, pedophilia and child sexual abuse. We provide Gardner's views so that people can understand the radical, perverse thinking of the so-called "expert" who invented the bogus theory of PAS that has done so much damage.

NOTE: Stop Family Violence does not agree with the views espoused by Gardner - we find them disgusting, offensive,  and most importantly, they are not correct.  Gardner's views are based in his own perverse thinking, not in anything scientists know, not in anything our laws condone, and not in anything our culture believes. To be clear - pedophilia is not natural, children do not enjoy, ask for or consent to sexual abuse, and mothers are not to blame if fathers commit such heinous acts against their children.
CAUTION: some readers, especially survivors of sexual abuse, may find Gardner's remarks deeply disturbing.  Indeed, we all should. 


On Pedophilia

“The child should be able to pity the father for the curse (in our society) of having pedophilic tendencies.  In other times and other places, he would be considered normal.” 
RICHARD A. GARDNER, TRUE AND FALSE ALLEGATIONS OF CHILD SEX ABUSE  592 (1992).

 “He [the pedophile] has also had 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.”
RICHARD A. GARDNER, TRUE AND FALSE ALLEGATIONS OF CHILD SEX ABUSE  593 (1992).

 “I believe that all of us have some pedophilia within us.” 
RICHARD A. GARDNER, SEX ABUSE HYSTERIA: THE SALEM WITCH TRIALS REVISITED 26 (1991).

 “Each time the accusers make an accusation, they are likely to be forming an internal visual image of the sexual encounter.  With each mental replay, the accusers gratify the desire to be engaging in the activities that the perpetrators are involved in in the visual imagery. . Each time we conjure up a visual image of the child being sexually abused, we gratify vicariously our or pedophilic impulses.”
RICHARD A. GARDNER, SEX ABUSE HYSTERIA: THE SALEM WITCH TRIALS REVISITED 25 (1991).

 “[The pedophile] has to be helped to appreciate that pedophilia has been considered the norm by the vast majority of individuals in the history of the world.  He has to be helped to appreciate that, even today, it is a widespread and accepted practice among literally billions of people.” RICHARD A. GARDNER, TRUE AND FALSE ALLEGATIONS OF CHILD SEX ABUSE  593 (1992).

On Pedophilic Impulses of Judges:

 “There is no question that abuse cases are ‘turn ons’ for the wide variety of individuals involved in them, the accuser(s), the prosecutors, the lawyers, the judges, the evaluators, the psychologists, the reporters, the readers of the newspapers, and everyone else involved— except for the falsely accused and the innocent victim . . . Everyone is getting their ‘jollies,’ except the two central figures, who are not only getting little if any sexual pleasure out of the whole thing but whose lives are being destroyed in the process.”  
RICHARD A. GARDNER, SEX ABUSE HYSTERIA: THE SALEM WITCH TRIALS REVISITED 31 (1991)

“Judges are not free from the psychopathological mechanisms. . .  They too may have repressed pedophilic impulses over which there is suppression, repression, and guilt.  Inquiry into the details of the case provides voyeuristic and vicarious gratifications. . .  Incarcerating the alleged perpetrator may serve psychologically to obliterate the judge’s own projected pedophilic impulses.”
RICHARD A. GARDNER, SEX ABUSE HYSTERIA: THE SALEM WITCH TRIALS REVISITED 107 (1991).

On Sexual Abuse As Mother's Fantasy:

In making allegations of sexual abuse, “the mother’s own suppressed and repressed sexual fantasies are projected onto the child and the father.  By visualizing the father having a sexual experience with the child, the mother is satisfying vicariously her own desires to be a recipient of such overtures and activities.”
RICHARD A. GARDNER, THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME 126 (1992).

Gardner notes that the mother might see the father as a danger to the child because of her “own unconscious desires to inflict harm on the baby.”
RICHARD A. GARDNER, THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME 128 (1992).

States that some people are more afflicted with pedophilia than others and therefore need to indulge in more frequent imagining of sexual acts with children.  Such people are more likely to “produce false sex abuse charges.” 
RICHARD A. GARDNER, SEX ABUSE HYSTERIA: THE SALEM WITCH TRIALS REVISITED 26 (1991).

On Encouragement of Abuse by Mother:

“In some cases the abuse was actually encouraged (overtly or covertly) by the mother in order to use the child as a substitute object for the father’s sexual gratification.  Such mothers view sexual encounters as odious, and the child is used as a convenient replacement – protecting the mother thereby from exposure to the noxious act.”
RICHARD A. GARDNER, THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME AND THE DIFFERENTIATION BETWEEN FABRICATED AND GENUINE CHILD SEX ABUSE  122 (1987).

“Sometimes, mothers who were sexually abused as children may have set up a situation to increase the likelihood that the father will abuse the child.  They may do this as a way of mastering their own abuse trauma.  They may secretly and/or unconsciously hope that the child’s resistance or successful working through will vicariously enable them to do the same for themselves.  Or, they may have responded to the abuse by frigidity or sexual unresponsivity and use the child as a substitute source of satisfaction for their husbands.”
RICHARD A. GARDNER, THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME AND THE DIFFERENTIATION BETWEEN FABRICATED AND GENUINE CHILD SEX ABUSE  130 (1987).

 “Sexual abuse of some girls by their fathers is sometimes consciously or unconsciously sanctioned by their mothers.”
RICHARD A. GARDNER, THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME AND THE DIFFERENTIATION BETWEEN FABRICATED AND GENUINE CHILD SEX ABUSE  194 (1987).

“Sometimes the mother’s abuse has resulted in sexual inhibition problems, resulting in their viewing sex as disgusting.  They may then facilitate (consciously or unconsciously) their children serving as sexual substitutes in order to protect themselves from involvement in sexual acts.” 
RICHARD A. GARDNER, TRUE AND FALSE ALLEGATIONS OF CHILD SEX ABUSE 185 (1992).

 “[A] mother who is sexually inhibited may view sexual encounters with loathing.  Consciously or unconsciously she facilitates the father’s turning his sexual attentions to her daughter in order to ‘get him off her back’ (or ‘front,’ as the case may be).  In this way, she avoids involving herself in the ‘disgusting’ activities and yet allows ‘the beast’ to gratify his primitive needs and keeps him ‘tamed’ and out of ‘trouble.’” 
RICHARD A. GARDNER, SEX ABUSE HYSTERIA: THE SALEM WITCH TRIALS REVISITED 36 (1991).

On the Vengeful Mother:

 “Although the mothers in these situations may have a variety of motivations for programming their children against their fathers, the most common one relates to the old saying: ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.’” 
RICHARD A. GARDNER, THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME AND THE DIFFERENTIATION BETWEEN FABRICATED AND GENUINE CHILD SEX ABUSE  86 (1987).

On Children’s Desire/Fantasy About Sex

Gardner writes that the child’s description of sexual activities is a way of coping with wishes.  It is the child’s way of saying, “It is not I who want him to rape me, it is he who wants to rape me.” 
RICHARD A. GARDNER, TRUE AND FALSE ALLEGATIONS OF CHILD SEX ABUSE 129 (1992).

“By the process of reaction formation one can turn [the child’s sexual fantasies] into unpleasant ones and thereby assuage the guilt that would be experienced if the child were to accept the fact that sexual activities are what she wants.   Instead of saying, “ I would love to have some sexual involvement with my father,” she can say, “I hate having a sexual relationship with my father.” 
RICHARD A. GARDNER, TRUE AND FALSE ALLEGATIONS OF CHILD SEX ABUSE  129 (1992).

“[T]he normal child exhibits a wide variety of sexual fantasies and behaviors, many of which would be labeled as ‘sick’ or ‘perverted’ if exhibited by adults. . . Each child is likely to have a ‘favorite’ list of sexual activities that provide interest and pleasure.”
RICHARD A. GARDNER, SEX ABUSE HYSTERIA: THE SALEM WITCH TRIALS REVISITED 12 (1991).

Incorporation of fantasies that Gardner believes are “ludicrous or pointless,” such as alleging that the offender put his penis in his or her mouth and did not move it.
RICHARD A. GARDNER, PROTOCOLS FOR SEX-ABUSE EVALUATION 61 (1995).

“Oedipal factors are sometimes operative in the alienation.  A girl who has a seductive and romanticized relationship with her father (sometimes abetted by the father himself) may find his involvement with a new woman particularly painful.  Whereas visitations my have gone somewhat smoothly prior to the father’s new relationship, following the new involvement there may be a rapid deterioration in the girl’s relationship with her father.  Such a girl may say to her father: ‘You’ve got to choose between me and her.’”
RICHARD A. GARDNER, THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME AND THE DIFFERENTIATION BETWEEN FABRICATED AND GENUINE CHILD SEX ABUSE  91 (1987).

“The child who has suffered bona fide abuse may very well have enjoyed the experience and will often suffer guilt over such pleasure because the child has subsequently learned that the act is an unacceptable, sinful, or even criminal act.” 
RICHARD A. GARDNER, THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME AND THE DIFFERENTIATION BETWEEN FABRICATED AND GENUINE CHILD SEX ABUSE  114 (1987).

“[Sexually abused children] may have considered themselves fortunate to have had a parent who provides them with such gratification.”
RICHARD A. GARDNER, THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME AND THE DIFFERENTIATION BETWEEN FABRICATED AND GENUINE CHILD SEX ABUSE  145 (1987).

“Just because a little girl presents a fantasy of her father’s involving himself with her sexually does not necessarily mean that the father did so.  It may be simply a verbalization of a wish.”
RICHARD A. GARDNER, THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME AND THE DIFFERENTIATION BETWEEN FABRICATED AND GENUINE CHILD SEX ABUSE  157 (1987).

Child as initiator. “At the present time, the sexually abused child is generally considered to be the victim.  I believe that there are situations in which the sexually abused child has been the initiator. . . Many believe that young children do not have strong urges and that they are therefore unlikely to be initiators in any kind of sexual encounter with an adult.  This assumption is not necessary valid.  I have seen many children whom I would consider completely normal who developed strong sexual urges during the first few years of life.” 
RICHARD A. GARDNER, THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME AND THE DIFFERENTIATION BETWEEN FABRICATED AND GENUINE CHILD SEX ABUSE  165 (1987).

On the Wickedness of Children

Calls children “wicked” and writes “what is striking is the degree of sadism that many of these children may exhibit.  In many of these cases I have been impressed by what I consider to be the innate cruelty of these children.”
RICHARD A. GARDNER, TRUE AND FALSE ALLEGATIONS OF CHILD SEX ABUSE 119-20 (1992).

“Well-publicized cases of sexual abuse often involve children giving testimony in which they provide the details of their alleged sexual abuses.  These testimonials can also be viewed by children on television – engendering a certain amount of envy for the widespread attention and notoriety that these children enjoy.”
RICHARD A. GARDNER, THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME AND THE DIFFERENTIATION BETWEEN FABRICATED AND GENUINE CHILD SEX ABUSE  101-102 (1987)

Many [children who fabricate] obtain morbid gratification from the attention that they enjoy, attention they may never have received before.  Some of these children are envious of youngsters whose testimonies have been shown on television.”
RICHARD A. GARDNER, THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME AND THE DIFFERENTIATION BETWEEN FABRICATED AND GENUINE CHILD SEX ABUSE  109-110 (1987).

 “There may be even a morbid or sadistic gratification in the telling of the story.”
RICHARD A. GARDNER, THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME AND THE DIFFERENTIATION BETWEEN FABRICATED AND GENUINE CHILD SEX ABUSE  113 (1987).

On Therapy with Children Who are Sexually Abused

Special care should be taken not 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 the pedophilia and rapprochement with the family have proven futile."
Gardner, R.A. (1992). True and False Accusations of Child Sex Abuse . Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics.(p. 537)

The child should be told that there is no such thing as a perfect parent. "The sexual exploitation has to be put on the negative list, but positives as well must be appreciated"
Gardner, R.A. (1992). True and False Accusations of Child Sex Abuse . Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics.(p. 572) 

Older children may be helped to appreciate that sexual encounters between an adult and a child are not universally considered to be reprehensible acts. The child might be told about other societies in which such behavior was and is considered normal. The child might be helped to appreciate the wisdom of Shakespeare's Hamlet, who said, "Nothing's either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
Gardner, R.A. (1992). True and False Accusations of Child Sex Abuse . Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics.(p. 59)

"In such discussions the child has to be helped to appreciate that we have in our society an exaggeratedly punitive and moralistic attitude about adult-child sexual encounters"
Gardner, R.A. (1992). True and False Accusations of Child Sex Abuse . Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics.(p. 572).

On Therapists

 “Parental Alienation Syndrome mothers have a way of finding therapists, almost invariably women, who reflexively join them in their campaign of denigration of the father… [who] in some cases even join the mother’s paranoid delusional system . . . some of these therapists are paranoid themselves.  Other harbor deep-seated hostility toward men, hostility so strong that they will seize upon every opportunity to vent their rage on them.”
Richard A. Gardner, Qualifications of Richard A. Gardner, M.D. for providing court testimony 149 (1992), reprinted in, Kathleen Coulborn Faller, The Parental Alienation Syndrome: What is It and What Data Support It?, 3 CHILD MALTREATMENT 100, 102 (1998).

“I believe that the reluctance by sex-abuse workers to recognize and accept the increasing frequency of fabricated sex-abuse allegations relates to certain psychological factors operative in their career choice . . .  I believe that people who have been sexually abused themselves in childhood are much more likely to enter this field than those who have not had such childhood experiences.”
RICHARD A. GARDNER, THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME AND THE DIFFERENTIATION BETWEEN FABRICATED AND GENUINE CHILD SEX ABUSE  104 (1987).

For even more appaling quotes by Gardner see
http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/pas/RAG.html 


 

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