The custody battle between the conspiracy theorist and celebrity broadcaster Alex Jones and his ex-wife was all over the news because it brought to light, among other things, the assertion that the "Alex Jones persona" was supposedly a fake and nothing like the real Alex Jones, father of three.
When he lost, it also showed exactly how over-confidence can cost you a custody battle even if you have money, celebrity, power, and a couple dozen experts and court officials from an earlier battle on your side. This is what you should know.
Parental Alienation Syndrome Can Even Deceive Experts
This time, it was Jones' ex-wife that claimed she was the victim of a conspiracy. She alleged that around 27 court officials, therapists, and counselors were either just deceived by her ex-spouse or bribed by him and that she was actually the victim of parental alienation syndrome.
Parental alienation syndrome (PAS) can be a real problem, especially when dealing with a narcissistic parent (as it came out in the trial, Alex Jones was diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder). The narcissistic parent is so consumed by the need for external validation, the need to "win" or be right, that he or she is perfectly willing to use the children as pawns in a game they don't know they're playing.
Victims of PAS include both the children involved and the targeted parent. The targeted parent is usually demonized and the children are often encouraged to be afraid of him or her (in this case, experts said that Jones' ex-wife had "emotional dysregulation" that made her a danger to the children). Contact with the targeted parent is limited or destroyed (like in this case, where the children's mother had seen them roughly five times in the last year).
The children are encouraged to see the other parent's ordinary attempts to discipline them or mold them into better people in a negative light. They're subtly or openly rewarded for ridiculing, defying, or otherwise distancing themselves from the targeted parent, but the narcissist is manipulative enough to keep the children thinking that it is their own idea -- not something the narcissist is coaching them to believe. There's often a purposeful attempt to paint the targeted parent with one black brush -- first all negative and then out of the picture entirely.
In many cases, the targeted parent -- especially if he or she realizes what is happening but feels powerless to stop it -- may seem more unstable than the narcissist. The targeted parent is actually reacting emotionally appropriately to what he or she knows is happening, but the rest of the world seems someone getting upset over something that seems trivial.
Presenting A Full Picture Is Important If You're Fighting PAS
Alex Jones' ex-wife did several things that were very smart:
Jones, for his part, probably did everything he could do to help her win her custody case by illustrating that he probably wasn't as concerned with his kids as he claimed. In one spectacular moment in the trial, he forgot important information about their schools and blamed it on having eaten too much chili. In another, he showed how far he was willing to go to demonize his ex-wife by theatrically asserting that he would be perjuring himself if he named, in court, even one good quality that she had because she has none.
The odds are good that Jones thought that the wall of experts and officials he'd lined up at the divorce would hold out forever -- but custody battles are something that can constantly shake up the status quo. If you lost a custody battle with your ex and believe that you and your children are the victims of parental alienation syndrome, consider talking the situation over with an attorney at firms like Kleveland Law. You may find that a fresh approach gives new results.
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