Criminal Personalities Seek to ‘Turn Tables’ on Victims

Bandy X. Lee
4 min readSep 28, 2023

… And Family Courts Oblige

Much has been said of “parental alienation” in relation to Family Courts (the phrase is almost unheard of elsewhere but is regularly employed as a “silver-bullet answer” in Family Courts). It has one and only aim: to turn tables on victims in order to engage in predatory alienation.

I have seen this a great deal in criminal court: one way criminal personalities seek to escape accountability is by playing the victim and “framing” actual victims with their own guilt. Thus, it is critically important that criminal investigations are not just cursory, or an innocent bystander if not the victim could easily be convicted instead. Skilled prosecutors and those who work within the criminal justice system must hone their critically-important understanding of criminal psychology. Forensic psychiatrists such as myself take this knowledge one step further to measure the degree of criminal psychopathology by the degree the perpetrator engages in “projective identification”: the adamant denial of characteristics and deeds one cannot tolerate in oneself by displacing them onto another — usually one’s opponent.

In Family Court, however, all a violent perpetrator has to do is to allege “parental alienation,” and all Court queries stop, all Child Protective Services investigations cease, blaming against the victim begins in unison, and all forces of the law are directed against the victim litigant instead.

“Parental alienation” is in truth a common, wishful belief on the part of perpetrators that a child’s rejection is because the other parent is making up stories about him (paranoia) and “coaching” the child (delusions), rather than because of his own actions (lack of insight). Family Courts should be containing dangerous individuals and protecting the family members subject to their abuse, but instead they have become the “hired hand” of abusers, carrying out and actualizing their fantasy of predatory alienation.

Whereas I agree with the many professional associations that have denounced the phrase and the United Nations’ recommendation that governments ban it, but the underlying psychology of predatory intent is at least as important to understand. This is because eliminating the use of the “parental alienation” concept will simply displace predators’ efforts onto another pseudo-concept that is salient, or likely to be accepted, at the time. Therefore, it is important to understand perpetrators’ underlying intent, which is to escape criminal accountability through “DARVO” (“Denying, Attacking, and Reversing Victim and Offender”). DARVO is a playbook criminal offenders use when confronted, or in order to escape being confronted in the first place.

Criminal offenders engage in this reversal because it works — and in Family Courts, it is even accelerated. This is because, it is one thing if institutions do not recognize or miss their psychological dynamic, but a whole other matter if they share in it, stoke it, and collude to produce more of it. Family Courts, by building an abuse industry around this psychological tendency in violent perpetrators, have actively engaged in criminal deflection and human rights abuses for profit!

Over the decades, I have found it frightening and alarming that the criminal personalities I used to encounter only in prisons and in jails are increasingly occupying positions of authority in society. They gravitate toward power but cannot handle it, abusing it to wreak havoc on society, communities, families, and individuals. Lately, we have seen how the corruption of the U.S. Supreme Court has made it a shameful entity that eliminates rights, rather than defending them, as is its original role. However, no other institution goes as far as the Family Courts — since no institutional corruption is as depraved as the systematic destruction of innocent children.

So far, in my short foray into the Family Courts (two years and about two dozen cases), I have not met a single “judge” who does not rely on deception, abuse of process, and abuse of power. First, they “seal” everything they do. Then, they interfere with and control Child Protective Services, appoint “guardians ad litem” to do their dirty work, and elevate unqualified “experts” to generate fraudulent reports that rubber-stamp their predetermined decisions, fabricate false “evidence”, and concoct a counterfeit narrative.

As in the street gangs I have dealt with most of my career, outliers of these dubious practices are punished: this is why female judges are often worse, for they must prove their loyalty to this system of male privilege by being more “male” than the men (more accurately, Family Courts are a system of violent offender privilege, since loving men are victims, too).

So far, in my experience, 100 percent of abused children have gone to their predators: a five-year-old rape victim, a four-year-old returning with marks of daily battery, an infant with venereal disease, and a child who is given to his loving parent’s murderer.

One hundred percent of supervised visits have been applied against the wrong parent (usually to prevent evidence of abuse). 100 percent of restraining orders have been issued against the wrong person (apparently to keep witnesses from interfering with abuse). And 100 percent of Family Court-connected “experts” deviate from standard practice (they ignore and deflect child safety issues, which are ordinarily the number one concern in all other settings). If a loving parent tried to protect her child from violence by hiding or fleeing, a truly impressive sum of detective force, full SWAT teams, combat gear, and rifles is mobilized (if we mobilized this kind of force anywhere else, there would not be a criminal left!). But we know from Uvalde, Las Vegas, or Charlottesville that this does not happen with real threats; its sole purpose is intimidation.

This is why I launched my federal lawsuit against Family Court players who exceeded their authority to interfere with my own medical fact finding and my own professional duty to protect children. Since my doing so, even more stories of victimization by the same players have surfaced, including torture and even murder.

Family Courts have become “monster factories” that rival prisons and worse. Today’s child victims are tomorrow’s adult predators, who may become the next generation of judges and guardians ad litem to perpetuate their dangerous threat to society.



Bandy X. Lee

Forensic psychiatrist, violence expert, president of the World Mental Health Coalition (, and New York Times bestselling author.