A morte inventada – The invented death

To celebrate Parental Alienation Awareness Day today, here is a brilliant concise way to say it all in 3 mins!  An English-subtitled Brazilian video: A Morte Inventada. It reminds us that Alienation is world-wide. The sincerity of the people, the gender neutrality and the clear child-focus gets this our gold medal.

This short video is the one to share by email, Facebook or Twitter today with friends, family and work colleagues. It is great because it is really hard to say everything about PA without putting off your listeners. We found it through Ron Berglas who aims to fund a programme on Parental AlienationClick to see more and donate. Ron produces and hosts a local public service TV show in LA.

They translate A morte inventada as “Fading away”. But the literal translation is far more powerful: The invented death. If you speak Portuguese, you can watch the full version in parts on Youtube. It would be great to get that with English-subtitles too.  Since the trailer is in subtitles anyway, here is the full script with stills of the speakers.

The Invented Death

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 12.44.47Sisters:  She only spoke ill of him … to a point where they didn’t even speak his name any more. So I did not know my father’s name.  … We didn’t have pictures … we didn’t have anything.

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 12.46.16Daughter: But I had to share my mother’s fate and if I had a good time with my father, it was like cheating on my mother

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 12.47.14Professional: It is when a parent alters the child’s perception of the other parent and this altering  creates hatred.

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 12.48.35

Father: There were many fathers’ days that I couldn’t be with them, many birthdays  that I missed that I couldn’t even talk to them.

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 12.48.56Son: My father went many times with an official of justice to try to see us. But we always ran away before he got there.

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 12.50.00Sister: I went after what really happened – all those stories she told me – how many of them were really true?

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 12.50.38Professional: A child having a “living dead” parent – I mean killing a parent when he is still alive, to kill the image of a father or a mother within life – that is something very complicated for a child to emotionally survive later.

Daughter: And after that I only spoke to himScreen Shot 2015-04-24 at 12.51.19 sporadically on the phone to ask for money for many years. … I didn’t see him for 11 years.

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 12.51.58Older man (passionately): Because when you take a loved one from  the family circle – without evidence, without proof – you impose one of the most inhuman penalties a father or mother and a family can suffer – especially against the child that could not defend him or herself not even defend his or her father or mother, depending on the case.

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 12.53.41Sister: I found out that everything I lived and felt through my childhood and teenage years, was a lie that my mother told me.

Post created by Nick Child, Edinburgh

About Nick Child

Retired child and family shrink and family therapist living, working and playing in Edinburgh.


  1. Nick, this is brilliant. Well done for putting it up there I have put it public on Facebook. It is very appropriate for PA day. I think the ‘invented death’ is the perfect description for PA. The end result is exactly the same as a death except we are not allowed to go through the various steps of mourning but the grief is just the same In fact it is worse because we know our children are still out there alive and we wonder and imagine what they are doing and we can live for years hoping that one day they might see the light and want to see us. There is a horrible hole in our soul which I know is an expression used before for PA that cannot heal or be closed. This video also shows that PA is an international problem which is important too. Look forward to finally meeting you in July!! Pamela


  2. Thanks Pamela. Your book Broken Lives Broken Minds gives a further graphic picture of the grief and grievous process you and your family went through. Under the grim surface you describe, though, the living death invented around your boys was even worse for them.

    One thing this short video is not able to convey – that your book does on every page – is that Child and Parental Alienation does not often happen in a simple straightforward way. The complicated disturbed unravelling scenarios, strange happenings, delusional implied reasoning, and unexpected irrational manoeuvres make for an extraordinary, unending, weird, confusing, relationship web that disables everyone’s capacity to think and intervene effectively.

    Commonly we talk as if the cure is in simply establishing contact with the rejected parent and the alienated child. That can and does happen. But often the weird relationship web can continue just as powerfully when there is regular contact. As Myrna’s work with Rob shows well. We need ways of working that can address the Alienation that parent child contact doesn’t weaken When parents support regular contact, there’s not a lot more the courts can do.


  3. Adriana

    I first watched this video during the Bem Me Quer Project, an initiative of the Brazilian Court to parents in complicated divorces fighting for their kids. Although it touched me deeply, it made me a bit upset as it sends a subliminar message that in most of the cases the favoured parent is the one that implement parent alienation. It is not true as more and more parents spend (almost) equal time with their kids after divorce. I would say that the “unfavoured” parent spend more time with their kids after the divorce than they used to when were still married. This video has to be updated. The favoured parent in fact is the one that has the legal responsibility in court for the education, health and medical appointments, etc. and not the one that spend more time with the kid. And in a video like this, there is a need to mention that an important number of alienators have in fact a mental disorder (psychopathic, etc).


    • Hello Adriana. Thanks for your comments on this and on how you see things now in Brazil. I think I understand some of what you’re saying … for many families, they face the strange change where the children may see more of one of their parents after any separation than they did before, often with more quality too. But I wonder if you’d be interested to expand on your picture of how things are in Brazil after some time with the law you have against Parental Alienation? I don’t mean here, but to send in a longer article for me to post here on this blog? If you were interested, I can arrange details. Nick


      • Adriana

        Hi Nick,
        I would be glad to write about it and add my personal and other very similar cases’ perspective other men and women have been facing. Please let me know the details. Best, Adriana


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