Parental Alienation

Southern England Psychological Services

Angry Sadistic Alienators

Ludwig.F. Lowenstein Ph.D

Southern England Psychological Services


Abstract & Summary

In extreme pathological forms of Parental Alienation (PA) the alienator is very disturbed to the point of adopting sadistic behaviour to essentially prevent good contact of children with an absent parent. The sadistic tendency is not based on any unjustified behaviour of the victim and absent parent. Such alienators have total control of the child and the manner in which the child is influenced against a once loving and caring absent parent. This results in virtually no contact between the child, the absent parent and often the family of the alienated victim. Such perpetrators should never have custody of their children. This is the view of the author who considers that custody should be given to the alienated parent whenever possible, especially in the second real illustration cited in this paper.



Angry Sadistic Alienators


Alienators come in all shapes and genders. They have something in common. They tend to be controlling, angry and even sadistic as in the case of the illustrations to be given. They are on the whole successful in turning children against a loving and caring individual be it a parent or another, but it tends to be the absent parent or the non custodial parent who is the victim. Fathers are the predominant victims (70%). Mothers are alienated also by angry and sadistic fathers (30%). Sometimes the alienated parent is the step parent as is the case in an illustration to be given. The victims suffer dreadfully and what results is never in the best interest of the children in the short or long term.

Many alienators delight in the havoc they cause directly towards their victims. The victims can even part of the extended family such as grandparents. Alienators often practice a vindictive, even deranged vendetta against the target individual. Their aim is to control a child/children and to win at all cost, and to extinguish the child's good and shared relationship with the targeted victimized individual, parent or otherwise. It could be seen as a form of "emotional murder", when one loving and caring parent, or loving and caring individual is demeaned and denied even minimal contact. Such victimisers feel no guilt or conscience, in such behaviour. Instead, such vicious alienators gain sadistic satisfaction. In most cases the family courts are unaware of the strategies used by such victimisers and it is usually, or more often than not the victim of the alienation that suffers from court procedures.

Attitude of family courts

It is unfortunate that family courts and the Judges in these courts either ignore or fail to be aware of the strategies, subtle and direct, as well as the trickery practiced by many if not most alienators as they create havoc where once there was harmony including mutual affection and caring and joy between the alienated parent and the child. Family courts work on the principle that their primary concern is seeking a solution which is in the best interest of the child/children. In this they are correct. Where they go wrong is their judging of the realities of the status quo. The Judiciary fails to view the child and its needs in the long term, this being based on receiving the loving care from both parents whenever possible.

Most of the children caught up in the trauma of two parents separating have known better times when there was love and joy between the child as well as between the parents. This tends to be overlooked by the Judiciary who consider only the child/parent relationship as it is now. They fail to be aware of the process of angry and even sadistic alienation practiced against the absent parent or other individual due to the hostility of the custodial parent.

It is this which leads a child often to be unwilling, to have contact with a former absent caring parent. Such a scenario would never occur, and only occurs, if the angry custodial parent were sincere in encouraging the child/children to have good contact with the absent parent. Failure to achieve this can only mean that the alienator is still totally in control and directly or subtly influencing the child to avoid contact with the absent parent. Such a parent then attributes negative feelings within the child towards the absent parent rather than within themselves. Some children as illustrated by example 2 strongly wish to have contact with a mother/father but are deprived from having this due to the animosity of the sadistically inclined custodial parent. This often results in false accusations of sexual or physical abuse of children or the adult by the custodial parent.

Such phrases as the "sadistic and angry alienator" have frequently come into my experience when working on severe conflictual cases of parental alienation. Such parents will frequently state "I can't force my child against his/her will to have contact with father or mother". Such a statement should be ignored for if the alienator had not programmed the child in the first instance contact would certainly have occurred.

As already stated either mothers or fathers could be the culprit in this saga of being the angry and sadistic alienator. Only because mothers tend on the whole to have custody of their children, rather than fathers, the alienator is more likely to be the mother. One gender is no worse than the other and no better either. They both subtly or directly, consciously or unconsciously, seek to prevent the absent parent from having good contact with a once loved child.

Sometimes the victim is one who comes unexpectedly into the situation, possibly due to having a relationship with a separated parent, unaware of the dangers to be faced through the process of alienation. The illustration which follows is such a case, and somewhat more unusual than a typical alienated parent. In this case the targeted victim is the alienated lover or potential new partner.


Mr & Mrs X had an unhappy life together. Mr X was an alcoholic and frequently violent towards his wife especially when he had been drinking. He was always remorseful for this and swore this would never happen again. His habit of being violent towards his wife was certainly overheard and possibly witnessed by their three children. The children were frightened by their father at such times but were basically happy in his company at other times. They became even more worried when the mother left the home taking the children with her. She had a part-time job and a sympathetic employer Mr Y, who sought to do all he could to help Mr X and the children find alternative accommodations. He himself was a bachelor and somewhat older than Mrs X.

Mr Y began to spend more and more time with Mrs X and the children. Eventually he moved in with the mother and the three children. Mr Y and Mrs X developed an intimate relationship which was mutually satisfying. Mr Y also took a great deal of interest in the children, two girls aged 7 & 9 and a boy aged 10. This arrangement came to the attention of Mr X, the estranged husband. When he heard about the children having contact with another man became angry and difficult. The children still visited the father on weekends.
Mr X questioned the children intensively about Mr Y. The children spoke well of Mr Y. They described him as a kind and helpful man who looked after their mother and also helped them with their homework. Mr Y's behaviour was in direct contrast to the aggressive and sometimes bullying Mr X who had taken little interest in the children when he was living with them. Mr X, having lost his wife, now became fearful of a possibility of losing his children. He felt that Mr Y had taken advantage of his wife and appeared to also be usurping his role as a father to his children. As a result of his anger, he drank even more alcohol and eventually also lost his job as a factory worker.

Mr X was addicted not only to alcohol and cigarette but also to watching adult pornography on the internet. His children were often present when he did so although the father denied this. When the children reported this to the mother and Mr Y, Mr X was confronted by the mother who threatened the father with having no further contact with his children, if he did not cease watching pornography while the children were with him. How much influence the watching of pornography had on the children is difficult to say. What is certain is that they should not have been exposed to such experiences at such a tender age. Little is known about what occurred while the children were with the father.

The father began to show more and more anger to Mr Y and the mother. Father had put it into the minds of the children that if they had something bad to say about Mr Y there was a strong possibility that they could all get back together again in the end when the mother's relationship with Mr Y ceased. The father therefore pressurised the children in many respects to report anything untoward about Mr Y and put certain things in the children's minds which made the children feel that Mr Y should be vilified and eliminated from the family and then the family would be intact once more. Mr Y continued to enjoy life with Mrs X but the relationship was gradually becoming full of problems due to the lack of financial support from the father, and growing acrimony between Mr & Mrs X over the custody and care of the children.

The distance the children showed eventually toward Mr Y was in direct contrast to the early positive involvement which they enjoyed with Mr Y. The children became unsettled and showed signs of this in their behaviour. When questioned as to why they appeared to be unhappy one of the girls confided to a teacher that someone was sexually abusing them. This someone was later revealed to be Mr Y. When this information was passed to the police and social services, Mr Y was questioned and asked to leave the home. He denied that anything of the kind ever took place. The mother also vehemently denied that sexual abuse had taken place. Despite this he was eventually charged with a variety of sexual abuse offences following an interview of the children by the police.
Mr Y, despite everything also vehemently denied that any kind of sexual abuse ever occurred. It appeared that it was Mr X who had put this into the minds of the children, and it was for Mr Y to prove his innocence instead of others proving him to be guilty. It was very difficult when the children said things to consider that Mr Y was not an offender.

There is a view that children never lie about things like this but unfortunately this is not the case, children do indeed create scenarios or lies about things if they have been programmed to do so, and feel they can attain their objectives by doing so.
The psychologist involved, was eventually able to de-programme the children. They eventually admitted that they had lied in order to encourage their mother to be rid of Mr Y and to return to the father, and to an intact family. This illustrates the length to which an angry, sadistic alienator will go in the form of brainwashing children to report matters that did not occur and that could have significantly harmed the victim Mr Y.

Illustration 2

The second illustration is more typical of the angry, sadistic alienator, who seeks to inflict as much unjustified pain and misery as possible. The target in this case was a father who had been virtually the sole carer of two children from birth onward. The alienator, his wife, Mrs F had many psychological problems which had never been identified. Mr F fell in love and married as he termed it "The most beautiful women one can imagine." Her personality however, did not coincide with her beautiful exterior. Of this Mr F was unaware. He loved his wife to distraction totally even when she insisted going out many nights during the week to clubs and bars while Mr F was left to look after the children.

Eventually, she confessed to him that she was meeting men, and sometimes women, for one night stands. Mr F was very unhappy by this news but he doted on his wife and even more loved his children. She flaunted her interest in other men while yet engaging in sexual acts with Mr F. She insisted for example, that Mr F continue to have oral sex with her, even when she had her periods. Mr F found this distasteful and her reaction was merely to laugh at his attitude. She made Mr F feel inadequate as a man. This dreadful relationship continued for some years but worse was to come.

Mrs F moved in with a woman who was a lesbian. She insisted on taking the three children with her and told CAFCASS that Mr F had been abusive towards her physically. In fact it was Mr F who was the victim of the mother and who had suffered significant physical abuse as well as emotional abuse by her. The only thing he ever did was to apparently hold her arms when she flailed them towards him or tried to kick him. Numerous court cases followed and despite the wishes of the children to see the father, Mrs F curtailed their contact with the father as much as possible. The children continued however, to write to their father and to telephone him about wishing contact with him.

Due to the long term loving care provided by Mr F to his children, all the children wished to have direct contact with their father. The courts failed to note this and eventually decided that father was the culprit and domestic violence was the cause of the split, and father was requested to enter a course of anger management. Due to the domestic violence attributed to Mr F unjustly, he was not allowed to have contact with his children with whom there was such a strong mutual bonding. The anger management course that he attended insisted that Mr F acknowledge his aggression against his wife before he commence the course. As he could not admit to this he could never commence the anger management course and hence was disallowed from seeing his children virtually permanently. This was despite the fact that the children still desperately wanted contact with their beloved father and sent numerous text messages, phone calls and letters pleading to see him.

Mr F saved all this information and brought it to the court but it appeared to do little to change the views of the court. Mr F became increasingly depressed and on one occasion attempted suicide. Eventually Mr F decided to give up his quest for good contact with his beloved children. He no longer sought to receive justice by attending court. He realised that real justice would always be denied him in the current family courts.

Here the lies of a determined sadistic alienator are likely to be believed rather than that of someone telling the truth. Due to the alienated father giving up his struggle to have good contact with his children, it was too late for the current psychologist and expert witness to become involved in doing what was necessary, that is recommending the changing of custody from the mother to the father. Even the children wished for this to happen and indicated their constant efforts to make contact with their loving caring father. The wishes of the children were ignored. 
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