Patricia Joly’s article in the January 8 2010 issue of the French newspaper “Le Monde” is not primarily about parental alienation.
It is about a woman in her fifties, Chantal Clos, and her eighteen-year old daughter Anouk, being suspected of having abducted, while pretending to be two Belgian journalists, the lawyer Pascaline Saint Arroman Petroff. Saint Arroman Petroff was tied to a tree in the forest of the Parisian suburb. The kidnappers were hoping that the cold would kill their victim, who succeeded after a few hours to free herself. During her ordeal, the lawyer identified her two executioners as being the wife and daughter of one of her client, Yves Phélut. In the 1990’s, Clos asked for divorce on the ground that Yves Phélut had incestuous relationship with his daughter. Three times she pressed charges against Phélut at no avail. Saint Arroman Petroff was Phélut’s lawyer.
The article stresses Clos neighbors’ relief after her arrest. Clos was certainly a disturbing element of the 13th arrondissement of Paris. Yet what is of interest to me in Joly’s article, is parental alienation. Clos is of Natalia Borukhova‘s type. She led her daughter Anouk to embrace her plan to destroy her father, harassed the French justice system, kidnapped one of its representative – the lawyer of her former husband. Clos also threatened a physician who did not want to sign a medical certificate testifying that Anouk had been sexually abused. Among Clos’ achievements, her role in the creation of an obscure committee of mothers (comité des mères). Every time she pressed charge against her ex-husband, Clos benefited from legal aid.
Her husband, Yves Phélut, is part of the vast international club of fathers accused of child abuse, cleared of this accusation and who does not see their children (he has not seen Anouk in thirteen years). I do not see much hope on the front of fathers’ rights on the other side of the Atlantic.