When the Cult Leader is Your Parent

The distortion of truth started small and built emotional dependency. Early on, Katherine missed school to accompany the alienator to doctors’ appointments for such things as “swollen legs” and a “heart condition.” Eventually, this progressed to needing assistance to complete ordinary tasks like grocery shopping and housework. By the end, Katherine had become a caretaker who felt guilty when leaving for her father’s scheduled weekends. And just like the alienator had crafted, Katherine eventually confessed that she too was having health problems and cited this as the reason for dropping out of school sports altogether.

With her reality now distorted, Katherine’s mind was ripe to embrace the lies set forth by the alienator. This was accomplished through tactics like reading court documents and emails aloud, inclusion in police and DFS reports and asking Katherine to relay messages to her father to “save minutes on the cell phone.” She didn’t dare not comply because after all, her mother was in failing health now and needed her more than ever. Overnight, Katherine became privy to adult-only conversations which secured her position as not only the alienator’s confidant but also her trusted advisor. Believing lies like her father being an abusive, alcoholic deadbeat didn’t seem so incomprehensible now.

When Katherine’s loyalty began to wane, fear was the weapon used. In February 2015, we watched as Katherine became confident and independent. It was a joy to see her finally coming into her own. Within a couple of months, she’d not only gotten her driver’s license but also her very first job. Her autonomy was an immediate threat to the alienator’s allegiance. Gaining independence was not acceptable. Within weeks, Katherine called crying hysterically, telling her father how afraid she was to work at “that place.” And how fearful she was to drive the “unsafe” car we’d bought for her.

The final act of an alienator is gaining absolute power by eliminating the competition. With Katherine’s mind now encapsulated in fear, the final strike was easy. On March 22, 2015, Jack received a text message from Katherine putting an end to their relationship for good. In the text, Katherine stated needing a “break” and that she’d “be in touch.” We haven’t heard from her since.

Her demise may have been easier to digest had her departure resulted in a better life with more opportunity. College tuition paid in full to Harvard or Yale perhaps. Or maybe just a lavish lifestyle full of ice sculptures and chocolate fountains would make more sense. Instead, she left a stable home with bills paid and vacations to boot to live in an environment that promotes dependency, government assistance and lack of basic necessities. But like a cult, parental alienation isn’t about leaving it all behind for a better life or making choices based on what makes sense. Parental alienation is about distorting reality while the victim willingly hands over free will with blind obedience. Just think, if a total stranger like Jim Jones can convince over 900 people to drink cyanide, imagine how much easier carrying out an agenda would be if that cult leader was your very own parent. http://stepparentmagazine.com/when-the-cult-leader-is-your-parent/

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