I am excited to review the book “Sabotaged – 3 Hidden Weapons of Parental Alienation” by Ryan Thomas. Ryan made a big splash in late 2014 when he started posting videos and telling his story as an alienated child. Ryan now runs on-line classes to help parents work to reconnect with their alienated children. By all accounts and by the videos of Ryan that I’ve watched, Ryan knows what he is talking about and has good suggestions for parents of alienation.
You can learn more about Ryan at his webpage or his Facebook page:
In late 2015, Ryan wrote his book Sabotaged. You can buy his book (for $9) here:
I really enjoyed reading Ryan’s book. It is a relatively short book (about 90 pages) and an easy read (I read it in part of one evening). At the end of Sabotaged, Ryan describes the goal of this book: “My goal is that this helps you [the alienated parent] identify ‘why’ and ‘how’ the alienator has sabotaged your relationship.” I’m not sure Ryan addressed the “why” but I’m not sure I care about why (the “why” is probably because the alienator is a sick individual). Ryan absolutely nails “how” an alienator sabotages a parental relationship and Ryan absolutely nails “why” an alienated child acts in the way they act.
If you want to know what alienation is like from a child’s perspective, you should definitely read this book. If you are looking for ideas to help you build your relationship with your alienated child, you should still read this book. Sabotaged does not include many concrete suggestions to rebuild your relationship (it does have some), but no suggestions are going to do any good if you don’t understand your child’s perspective. When I went to the link above to buy the book, I received, free, a great list of concrete suggestions to rebuild a relationship. Together, this list of suggestions and the book Sabotaged are golden.
In Sabotaged, Ryan outlines what life is like for an alienated child. Ryan describes his feelings when he is being manipulated by “The Regime” (his alienating mother and her family). In the section “One Decision at a Time”, Ryan describes the manipulation and the steps that he and The Regime took to slowly destroy the relationship Ryan had with his father. Ryan describes how Ryan had no choice but to eliminate his father from his life, one step at a time. Ryan describes how there was essentially nothing his father could do to stop this elimination and alienation.
Ryan does a very skilful job at describing the manipulation from his point of view. Of course, not being an alienated child, I have no idea if every alienated child is manipulated in this way, but Ryan’s description makes is clear how easily the manipulation is, how difficult it is for the child to resist and how little there is that the alienated parent can do about it.
Ryan describes how he was able to start to see through the alienation. This occurred when Ryan was an adult and The Regime tried to push his new spouse out of “their” lives. Ryan describes the events that helped trigger the necessary self-reflection and helped him to start to see the truth. Ryan describes the increased manipulation and pressure by The Regime when the truth was coming out.
Overall, a wonderful book and I am happy to have spent $9 on this book. The understanding conveyed by this book is worth way more than 5 minutes with an attorney or 10 minutes with a therapist or 2 beers at the bar. I will definitely need to reread the book a little more carefully to find the “3 Hidden Weapons”–I didn’t see them. I did see some typos, but only a few. None of these negatives obscured the point of the book and the power of understanding that it helped bring to me. I highly recommend this book.