Predatory Alienation is a powerful method of undue influence used by abusive spouses and slavers, criminal gangs and destructive cults; it is the methodical and deliberate alienation of a person from their family of origin, usually in order to gain emotional, psychological, and often financial advantage. A manipulative con artist or predator will use gaslighting, triangulation, and a variety of other subtle techniques to estrange someone from their family, their loved ones, and the rest of the community, leaving the victim increasingly isolated, with the predator or abusive group as the only point of reference in an ever-narrowing world.

Predatory alienation tears apart families and destroys relationships, stifles civil rights and poisons whole communities.

In the state of New Jersey, lawmakers understand the need for change, and the New Jersey legislature has just enacted a bill ordering a study of Predatory Alienation: on May 8, 2017, Governor Chris Christie signed into law this ground-breaking bill, calling for the departments of Children and Families and Human Services to study the tactics of predatory alienation, and requiring these departments to report their findings and recommendations to the Governor and Legislature within six months.

nj safe n soundThis law, which has enjoyed broad bipartisan support, is in response to the hard work and determination of NJ Safe and Sound, a nonprofit volunteer organization dedicated to educating the public about predatory alienation and extreme undue influence, and safekeeping the well-being of families and individuals within the Garden State. To this end, they have produced a pair of instructive booklets on predatory alienation, one for teens and youth alienated from their parents, another focusing on the specific issues of seniors and how predators can also alienate those in their golden years from their children and grandchildren.

The new act defines predatory alienation as:

“a person’s extreme undue influence on, or coercive persuasion or psychologically damaging manipulation of, another person that results in physical or emotional harm or the loss of financial assets, disrupts a parent-child relationship, leads to a deceptive or exploitative relationship, or isolates the person from family and friends.”

The study will examine:

“how online predators, human traffickers, con artists, gangs, cults, and other groups use predatory alienation to isolate young adults and senior citizens from their family and friends; the grooming practices used to target and control young adults; the high pressure tactics used in scams and exploitative relationships to manipulate, control, and take advantage of senior citizens; why young adults and senior citizens are vulnerable to predatory alienation; what young adults and senior citizens can do to protect themselves from predatory alienation; and any other information relative to the subject matter of the study.”

In order to help lawmakers gather more information about predatory alienation, NJ Safe and Sound has devised a set of questionnaires for those whose lives have been affected by this manipulative behavior, whether you have had a family member or loved one alienated from you, or if you are being pressured to detach from your family or loved ones yourself, or even if you are merely a concerned onlooker; residents of any US state are encouraged participate.

Although these questionnaires are not the property or the creation of The Open Minds foundation, we are highlighting this project because we strongly approve of the need to gather this important information. With enough cooperation and response to this important survey, and in concert with this innovative law, lawmakers everywhere will gain vital information upon the techniques, effects, and impact of predatory alienation. The time is right to protect those affected by this use of undue influence.

What do you think about this article? Do you agree?  Do you have a story about Predatory Alienation that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you!