British MP John Hemming recently informed the House of Commons about the matter involving ongoing, state sanctioned, taxpayer funded paedophilia involving two New Zealand St John officers - who received awards recently and then swiftly resigned, during a five hour debate on child sexual abuse and exploitation. - Where is the New Zealand government - when is a New Zealand Member of Parliament going to speak up about this and why is this not being reported in the mainstream 'news media' in New Zealand and debated in our House of Representatives?
In November 2012 the Australian government announced a Royal Commission of Inquiry into institutional responses to child sexual abuse - where is the evidence of any New Zealand parliamentary debate? While we've regularly got over twice the national rate of suicide locally (in a country with some of the highest rates in the world), we've got local police covering up child abuse and being promoted for it, and protected from the so called 'inquiry' into it.
This what one family experienced when they found themselves unwittingly on the receiving end of unprofessional and incompetent taxpayer funded "social services" in NZ, and how NZ Police apparently refuse to prosecute child abuse in this case, while they saw nothing wrong with removing a child on the basis of a delusional statement from her father in another matter . . .
This family, like myself, and many others, went through all the proper channels, they wrote all the proper letters, took all the tedious steps, and recorded their experience for the benefit of others. Be sure to read the latest developments regarding this matter, which are at the links at the bottom of the post, they have to be seen to be believed, this is how your taxes are being spent:
Our experiences when we discovered our underage child was victim of grooming and sexual crimes in NZ:
"We are loving, capable, committed and well-educated parents for whom our family is top priority. Alarmingly, one day we discovered that adult men were having group sex with our 14-year old daughter, so we asked police to prosecute as sexual crimes had been committed. New Zealand Police informed us that they could only prosecute the men under instruction from social services (CYF), so following their advice we reported the matter to social services.
Initially, social services were very supportive of us as parents. We agreed to their suggestion to send our daughter to counselling as we expected that counsellors would reinforce the message we were giving our daughter that she was putting herself in a very dangerous position with the adult men. Three men, all employees of St John Ambulance, once united through an award from the NZ Governor-General, had embarked on a gang pimp crime spree of grooming and underage sex. Police discovered that our child was only one of 5 underage victims of the men. Unfortunately for our daughter and for our family, the CYF counsellors took a very surprising position, deciding that our 14-year old child should be removed from our home so that she could continue to explore her sexuality with the adult men, unimpeded from family influence. The counsellors determined that as parents we had no right to protect our underage daughter from sexual criminals.
1. The CYF Counsellors
CYF arranged for our daughter to be counselled by Dafanie Goldsmith of the Rosa Counselling Trust:
1. The counsellor maintained that the relationship between our 14-year old child and the adult men was “love and romance”. Even though the counsellor and her supervisor knew that two of the St John Ambulance men had conducted serious sexual crimes on our daughter including having group sex with her. We were flabbergasted when the counsellor coyly described our child’s group sex activities with adult men in this way.
2. After meeting with our daughter only for 30 minutes, the counsellor and her supervisor told us their assessment was that our daughter was “at the greatest danger in the home environment”. However, they could not tell us why, and what danger she was in at home. Later, the counsellor explained to her counselling association that she had formed extreme negative opinions about the girl’s father from the instant he walked through the door to bring his daughter to the 30-minute counselling session.
3. The counsellor refused point blank to discuss the sexual crimes with our daughter in any way because she maintained the crimes had no negative effect on our 14-year old child.
4. The counsellor said that it was impossible for any young teenage girl to be negatively influenced by her peers or adult boyfriends, and that the only reason any girl would do what she did with the sexual predators was because of poor parenting, particularly poor fathering. They believed it was impossible for any child to be sexually groomed.
5. The counsellor was adamant that our daughter had a bad relationship with her father. We disagreed strongly with this, our daughter has always had an excellent relationship with her father. However, the counsellor and her supervisor said that this was impossible because if the girl had an excellent relationship with her father she would have told him she was having sexual relationships with older adult men.
6. They taught our daughter to spy on her parents and report back to the counsellor, in their attempt to find the proof of poor parenting their crackpot theories required.
7. After meeting with our daughter for 30 minutes, the counsellor and her supervisor met with us, the girl’s parents. We attempted to explain to them the effects of the grooming and the underage sexual crimes on our daughter, however they were totally closed to all our viewpoints and attempts to be heard. The counsellor told us: “I don’t need to listen to you – I’ve had 20 years counselling experience and I’ve seen it all before”.
8. The counsellor said she was “100% certain” that the reason why the child became involved with paedophile men, was because her father was too controlling. When we asked what the father had done that was too controlling, they replied that they did not know, but that they would find out. They admitted they did not know of a single thing her father had done that was too controlling, and that the girl had not mentioned anything. The crackpot reasoning of the counsellors appeared to be along these lines: the father is a successful businessman.....and businessmen are controlling.....therefore the father must be controlling with his family....therefore he is causing the problems his daughter is facing.
9. The counsellor appealed to CYF to immediately remove our daughter from our family, setting off a chain of events that caused considerable long-term damage to our daughter and family. A CYF formal enquiry later found that as parents we have acted in the best interests of our daughter at all times.
10. The counsellor continued to have counselling sessions with our child behind our backs without our knowledge, even though we had forbidden it. The counsellor and her supervisor appeared to be hell-bent with their crackpot ideology on causing maximum damage to our family.
11. A large number of experts (see Appendix 2 below) have told us that our daughter’s reaction to the grooming and sexual crimes was typical. However the counsellors said that there was no connection between our daughter running away and the sexual crimes. The fact that when she ran away the first time was the day her parents found out about the adult men, the fact that she was running back to the men every time – the counsellors ignored this, and were adamant that there was no connection between the adult men who were having sex with her, and her running away to meet them.
12. The counsellor and her supervisor have no formal qualifications whatsoever.
2. Social Services (CYF)
Social services were initially very supportive of our parental efforts when we contacted them in order for the police to criminally charge the adult men. However, after meeting with our daughter only for 30 minutes, the counsellors recommended CYF remove our daughter from her family, and CYF’s behaviour toward us changed dramatically:
1. Immediately after meeting with the counsellors for the first time, we wrote to CYF detailing our concerns about the counselling, however CYF did not reply and refused to discuss any aspects of the letter when we tried to bring the matter up with them. After meeting with the counsellors a second time, we again wrote to CYF, and again never received any response.
2. CYF ignored our written request for an urgent meeting.
3. We expected the counsellor to support our position that our daughter was in great danger having sexual relationships with adult men, however the counsellor took the opposite view – that the sexual relationships were good for our young child and that she should be removed to an environment where she could continue her sexual exploits free from the influence of her parents. As soon as we met with the counsellor and her supervisor, we realised they were bogus crackpots, so we informed CYF we were going to stop taking our daughter to the counsellors, and asked CYF to arrange proper qualified counsellors. Karen Goodwin the CYF social worker threatened that if we did not permit our daughter to continue with the counselling with Dafanie Goldsmith, CYF would permanently remove our daughter from our care, and we “would never ever see her again”. Karen Goodwin told us that they had already commenced the process to remove our child. CYF thus placed us under considerable duress to continue to take our child to counselling that we knew was causing considerable damage to our child and our family. Our view that the counselling was damaging is supported by a huge number of psychologists / counselling experts (see Appendix 2).
4. CYF Social worker Karen Goodwin accused us of “putting ideas of prostitution into (our daughter’s) head”. She said she reached this conclusion because we had spoken to the social worker and the counsellor about our concerns regarding our daughter’s sexual relationships with older men.
5. Social worker Karen Goodwin told us (and our 14-year old daughter) that they were going to permanently remove her from our care, and that we would not see her again until she was 16 years old, and that thereafter CYF may permit weekend visitation rights if they felt the parents would behave. She could give us no reasons why. Karen Goodwin told us that we would have no say in this matter. A formal CYF enquiry would later find that we have acted in the best interests of our daughter at all times.
6. We contacted members of parliament to get CYF away from our family, and eventually CYF agreed to leave our family alone.
7. Our daughter has told us on numerous occasions that all contacts she had with CYF focussed entirely on what they told her were her “bad parents”.
8. However, the State was not happy that we wanted to hold them accountable for their inappropriate intervention in our family. Realising they had no legal grounds to remove our daughter they secretly encouraged our child to leave home on her own, promising her that when she was 16 the State would provide for all her needs on condition that she has no further contact with her family.
9. As soon as she turned 16 our daughter left home, and the State financed her to live independently. They even prevented us from paying her school fees. Our daughter moved in with school teacher/church pastor David Hayden, who cut all ties with our family, and told us he would do everything in his power to prevent our daughter ever having a relationship with her family ever again. Our daughter is now 22 and we have had extremely limited contact with her since she left home at 16.
3. We file a complaint but it simply elicits more abuse against our family – a litany of lies, shenanigans and cover-ups
The effects of the sexual crimes on our daughter were fairly typical of that of most under-age child sex victims, one effect being that she turned against her family who had uncovered her secret exploits. As described, social services and the counselling they arranged, compounded and exacerbated our daughter’s condition, making matters far, far worse for our family.
In order to counteract the negative effects of social services and the unethical counselling, we submitted a formal complaint against CYF and their counsellors – we felt that our daughter’s condition would be eased, and our family situation would be helped, if it was recognised that our daughter had experienced unethical counselling and inappropriate intervention by social services.
We are not complainers. Before this episode with our daughter, we had never complained about anything in our lives. However, when we submitted a formal complaint, and the authorities did not deal with our complaint, our only option was to submit the complaint to another body. This is the reason for the extended process we followed as outlined here and in Appendix 1.
Whenever we submitted a complaint, we focussed only on specific, observable and measurable behaviours of CYF and their counsellors. We excluded from the formal complaint all issues relating to personalities, any feelings/impressions about the person, value judgements, etc. All of our complaints were serious, none were trivial. The complaints we submitted were in this sense quite clinical – they simply described the facts, the specific, observable and measurable behaviours, and asked whether those behaviours would be regarded by the complaint-authority as ethical or not.
Complaint against the CYF counsellors to the NZ Association of Counsellors (NZAC)
- We submitted a 32-page document detailing 23 specific complaints against the CYF counsellors, to the NZAC.
- According to their complaint process, the NZAC gave a copy of our complaint to the counsellors and asked them to respond in writing. The counsellors submitted their response to the NZAC.
- Without permitting us to see the counsellors’ response, NZAC Ethics Committee Chairperson Sheena Hudson decided that the counsellors had acted ethically and decided not to hold a hearing to investigate our complaints. They informed us of this in a two-line letter with no reasons provided. When we asked the President of the NZAC for their reasons for their decision, he simply asked us not to communicate with him ever again.
- Months later, we received a copy from the NZAC of the counsellors’ submission in defence of our 23 specific complaints. From this we learn that the counsellors’ submission to the NZAC:
o Is 21 pages long, and only 9 lines of their response deals with our complaints. In these 9 lines only 3 of our 23 specific complaints are addressed. These 3 were not the most serious of our 23 complaints. The counsellors simply deny the 3 complaints, without any evidence or specific elaboration. Our remaining 20 complaints are totally ignored. The NZAC had determined that their counsellors had acted ethically even though 20 out of our 23 serious complaints are not addressed at all by their counsellors.
o Apart from the 9 lines referred to above, the remainder of the 21 pages of the counsellors’ submission comprises a vicious, personal attack on the father. Their attack is non-specific, not based on any facts, and brimming with vicious vitriol. They admit to forming an immediate disliking to the father the instant he walked in the door to bring his daughter to the first counselling session. Most ethical counsellors and psychologists would find this instant negative conclusion about someone as highly unethical, however the NZAC accepted this vicious, personal attack as evidence that the counsellors had acted ethically. The NZAC have never given us an opportunity to refute the personal attack by their counsellors. Many qualified counsellors/psychologists have written that it would have been unethical for the CYF counsellors to counsel our daughter if they had such intense negative feelings about her father.
o The uncensored portion of the counsellors’ submission to the NZAC contains 14 blatant and significant lies – all designed to portray the father in bad light. Some of these lies could easily have been refuted by the NZAC simply by comparing documents in their possession. The NZAC either did not do this comparison, or perhaps they find it ethical for their counsellors to tell lies.
- We wrote to 6 other counselling/psychological associations in NZ, the UK, USA, South Africa and Australia, and all regarded the counsellors’ behaviours with our daughter as highly unethical. None could foresee any scenario where the counsellors’ behaviour could possibly be considered ethical. For example, Dr Tlou, the President of the Psychology Society of South Africa, strongly believes that our daughter’s counsellor and her supervisor should be criminally charged.
- We wrote to about 50 esteemed psychologists/counsellors/academics in NZ and around the world – all replies indicated that in the opinion of these experts, our daughter’s counsellor has acted highly unethically (See Appendix 2 below).
- The NZAC process of handling our complaint has been widely condemned in the strongest terms by numerous counselling authors/psychologists/academics/counsellors. Without exception, they all regard the NZAC process as highly abusive toward us (See Appendix 2).
- Later, the mother, [The Mother], submitted a 35-page letter to the NZAC asking them to re-examine their earlier decision not to hold a hearing into our complaints. The letter contained comments from about 50 esteemed and qualified psychologists/ counsellors/ academics from around NZ and overseas, condemning in the strongest terms the counsellors’ handling of our daughter. The NZAC Ethics Committee Chairperson responded that they cannot hold a hearing because, she alleged, [The Mother]’s letter does not name the counsellor involved. Actually, the counsellor is in fact clearly named 104 times in [The Mother]’s letter! We felt like we were guests at the Mad Hatters tea party.
- We emailed a large number of NZAC members informing them of this conduct by their Ethics Chairperson, and their pretence to not know the name of the counsellor. The NZAC respond to our email action in their next newsletter, by reassuring all their members that they are indeed currently investigating our complaint. So we contacted the NZAC to ask them if the newsletter statement is true – are they investigating our complaint? The NZAC replied that they are not investigating our complaint and have not done so since our original application almost a year earlier. In order to mislead, the NZAC Ethics Committee thus lied through their newsletter to all their 2500 members.
Surely it would have been more ethical for the NZAC Ethics Committee to simply address our specific, serious complaints rather than go through all these lies and shenanigans?
Appendix 1 details the outcomes and processes of the subsequent complaints we filed to:
· The Regional Manager of CYF
· The CYF internal complaint authority
· The Health and Disabilities Commissioner
· The Children’s Commissioner
· The Ombudsman
Also included in Appendix 1 is the result of an investigation into the Ministry of Education psychologist Maryke Lind who recommended our child receive State money so that she could live independently of family influence.
None of the authorities above addressed our complaints. They simply engaged in lies and shenanigans in order to cover up the actions of the counsellor, her supervisor and the CYF social worker. A large number of highly qualified, esteemed professionals from NZ and abroad, have written to us that they regard the unqualified counsellors and CYF intervention in our family as highly unethical (see Appendix 2), and that serious atrocities have been committed against our family. Through a litany of lies and shenanigans, the NZ complaint authorities have successfully covered-up highly unethical, shameful behaviour.
The abuse our family has received from NZ’s complaint-handling authorities has simply exacerbated and compounded the original abuse from the sexual predators, CYF and their unqualified counsellors.
4. The abuse escalates: They take us to court to shut us up
Our daughter refused to give evidence against the sexual offenders resulting in the collapse of the criminal case against three adult men, all employees of St John Ambulance.
Our serious, specific complaints have not yet been addressed, and we were not about to give up on our family. As our daughter has been seriously alienated from her family, her future and the future of our family depends upon us exposing those who have harmed her. It is our only chance of reversing the damage. Top psychologists believe that the alienation is so extreme that our daughter is a victim of Stockholm Syndrome – a condition where the victim turns on those who have her best interests at heart, and protects those who are harming her. The condition occurs infrequently with kidnapping victims as well as under-age victims of sexual crimes. In our family the effects have been severely exacerbated by inappropriate State intervention.
The only way for the State to cover-up the unethical counselling and CYF behaviour, as well as all the lies and shenanigans of the complaint-handling process, was to shut us up – to gag us so that their cover-ups remained intact and the atrocities hidden. So, authorities convinced our daughter that her “bad” parents had no intention of seeking accountability for State atrocities, her parents simply wanted to let everyone in NZ know that their daughter had sex with men at 14 in order to prevent her getting a boyfriend. Sadly, our alienated child believed this lie.
What followed within days after the collapse of the criminal trial against the St John Ambulance men, was a chilling series of events. The State financed our daughter (now 16 years old) to take out gagging orders against her whole family – her parents and two brothers – thereby preventing us from seeking accountability for inappropriate State interventions. These gagging orders involved an attempt to set historical legal precedent in New Zealand because it required that she had to legally “divorce” her family and go into State care (even though she had already left home and was already financed by the State) in order to gag her family. As part of her legal case to gag her parents, our daughter testified to the family court that she was victim of sexual crimes by the adult men she had refused to testify against in the criminal court mere days earlier. Our daughter was displaying classic symptoms of Stockholm Syndrome – in the criminal court she had protected those who harmed her (the St John Ambulance sexual predators) and now turned on those who have her best interests at heart (family) in order to protect others who had harmed her (CYF and the counsellors). More details can be read in this cover story of a national magazine:
A total of 4 separate gagging proceedings were applied for over the next 2 years. After only a short period we had amassed $50,000 on lawyers fees, and ran out of money, and thereafter conducted our own legal defence for the bulk of the period. In contrast, YouthLaw solicitor John Hancock and their barrister Barry MacLean had an unlimited pool of public funds with which to harass our family in the courts. None of the legal cases taken out against us was ever successful.
In the courts, there were never any allegations of inappropriate parenting – ours was simply a case of the State wanting to silence us so that we could not seek accountability for their appalling interventions. The secret Family court made it very clear that they were quite prepared to send an innocent family to prison in order to keep us quiet at all costs. We were told we needed to be “re-educated”. Our daughter was only present in the court for the day of the final hearing – at all the other hearings she was not present. The lies and shenanigans we had earlier received during the complaint-handling process were to be dwarfed by those directed against us in the secret court. Some say that in a secret gagging court, the rule of law is the first casualty. Here are some of the lies and shenanigans in our court experiences:
1. At the initial interim court hearing, our daughter’s barrister Barry MacLean, launched into a tirade of lies to discredit the mother, [The Mother]. It comprised vicious vitriol - a 20-minute stream of baseless fabrications. At the end of his tirade, the judge called a recess for morning tea. When the court re-assembled after the recess, the court was surprised to see that Barry MacLean had left the building with no intention of returning. Having told his lies, he simply left, abandoning the court proceedings. As the opposing barrister was not present, we and our lawyer were now not permitted to address the court. We were thus denied an opportunity to refute Barry MacLean’s tirade of lies besmirching [The Mother]’s character. Rather than postponing the hearing or cancelling the hearing as would be required by the rule of law, the judge closed proceedings and retired to consider his verdict. Needless to say, the verdict was to impose an interim gagging order on us until the full hearing two years later, with severe repercussions for the future of our family.
2. Our two sons were gagged “ex-parte” (without notice) – they were not permitted to be present in court and were not permitted to offer any defence, or even know there was a secret legal case against them. No evidence at all was led against our elder son – he was gagged simply because he was our son. Only partial evidence was presented against our other son, a key component of the evidence that did not fit the gagging application was deliberately withheld from the court. The judge accepted the excuse that the printer ran out of paper! These secret gagging orders unjustly silencing our sons are still in existence today, 6 years later.
3. The court kept us waiting for 2 years until they gave us a final hearing – a long time in the life of an alienated, sexually promiscuous teenager. At one point we were offered a deal – accept permanent gagging and they would return our daughter to us for three months. We refused. For the State to attempt to trade time with our beloved child in return for our silence about State atrocities, is the most heinous form of blackmail. We asked if we could have a cup of coffee with our daughter. The counsel to assist the court (who is supposed to be impartial) replied that she would not put this proposition for a cup of coffee to our daughter because her school exams were coming up, and thereafter it was Christmas. She said we would have to wait 5 months until she would ask our daughter whether she wanted to have a cup of coffee with her parents. In our family, Christmas is a special time for family, however according to the court, Christmas was the reason given to keep our family apart.
4. An application was made by our daughter to imprison us (her parents) for allegedly breaking the interim gagging order. Her application was supported by David Hayden, and Madeleine Hayden’s employer the Kristin School Principal Peter Cleague. As the father [The Father] was out of town on business, so [The Mother] attended the hearing. Our eldest son accompanied his mother, but he was not a defendant. The judge opened the hearing by stating that she had not yet had time to read our affidavit submitted in defence of the imprisonment application. However this did not stop the frenzied judge threatening [The Mother] with immediate imprisonment, her first words to [The Mother] were: “Give me one reason why I should not send you to jail right now!” When Barry MacLean our daughter’s barrister spotted our son in the courtroom, he urged the judge to also threaten our son with immediate imprisonment in the same way. The judge eagerly complied, ordering our son to the stand, shrieking at him that he too would likely be imprisoned immediately. Our terrified son was not even a defendant in the proceedings. At no time was our son accused of doing anything wrong. He was simply the victim of vicious State bullying in order to frighten him into never considering disclosing to anyone what the State had done to his family.
From that day onward we felt unsafe in NZ. The message from the Family court was loud and clear – they would go to any lengths to silence us and cover up State atrocities against our family, they demonstrated that they would not be constrained in these efforts by the law or the rule of law. We were innocent yet terrified, and decided that day to flee NZ as soon as the court cases were cleared up. Fearing imprisonment from a court that seemed out of control, we hired a lawyer - she concluded that we would “never get a fair trial in NZ”. We had not contravened the interim gagging order, but our lawyer advised that in order to stay out of prison, we should accept a deal on offer – we had to swear that we would never publish a book in NZ about State atrocities against our family, and we had to pay our daughter’s barrister Barry MacLean a pile of money. We were innocent, but as we had zero confidence in the integrity of the court, we accepted the deal because prison would seriously affect [The Father]’s international business where most of his customers are in the USA.
5. Three days before the final hearing, our daughter’s barrister Barry MacLean presented another affidavit to the court. At the final hearing our daughter’s YouthLaw solicitor John Hancock read out this affidavit in the courtroom. The affidavit comprised a pack of lies. So in response, we presented an affidavit to the court providing evidence that MacLean’s 3-page affidavit contained 12 blatant lies, 9 statements of innuendo, and 2 incorrect facts. The judge did nothing at all about this, and made no reference to the lies, or any other aspect of the lawyer’s conduct in his summation.
6. At the final hearing, we were specifically barred from bringing any witnesses for cross-examination. In contrast, our daughter’s lawyers were allowed to bring witnesses for cross-examination.
7. Our final hearing lasted a whole court day. We were provided only 20 minutes at the very end of the day to present our legal argument. The whole of the rest of the day was allocated to our daughter’s legal team to present their argument.
8. During the final hearing, the judge, counsel to assist the court, our daughter’s solicitor and barrister, openly discussed whether they could declare our daughter a child until she turned 21, thus extending the interim gagging period and silencing us for a further 3 years. CYF had previously stated to the Ombudsman they viewed our daughter as an adult at 14 in order to excuse their behaviour of ignoring the under-age sexual crimes. An adult at 14, and a child until 21, the State wanted it both ways – pure shenanigans to avoid accountability. In the end the court decided they could not extend her childhood beyond the statutory 18 years.
9. During the final hearing, before we had the opportunity to present our case, the judge advised our daughter that if her present gagging application was unsuccessful, she should consider applying for a protection order to gag her parents. The judge, the counsel to assist the court, and our daughter’s solicitor and barrister, then openly discussed whether this would be an appropriate tool to gag the parents. Counsel to assist the court (who is supposed to be impartial) told us that a protection order would be appropriate to gag us because she said we needed to be “re-educated”. A protection order has provision for compulsory “education sessions”. A protection order would also mean that if our severely alienated daughter ever wanted her family imprisoned, all she needed to do was simply enter the same building as us (such as our home or workplace) - police would then be obliged to immediately imprison us without a trial. Our daughter’s gagging application was unsuccessful, and she did thereafter apply for a protection order to gag her parents, however thankfully, this too was unsuccessful.
10. In affidavits to the court, we provided a huge body of evidence of actions severely alienating our daughter against her family – alienating actions by the sexual predators, CYF, the CYF counsellors, the school, David and Madeleine Hayden, and our daughter’s State-funded lawyers. Our evidence of alienation was backed up by strong, clear opinions from top psychologists. NZ case precedence requires a judge to act swiftly and decisively to evidence of alienation of children from parents. However, throughout the two-year period, all our pleas to the judge to deal with the alienation were totally ignored, even though at one point in proceedings the judge remarked to our daughter’s barrister: “I’m sure you will agree that there has been significant alienation in this case”. Why did the judge not act if he agreed there was severe alienation? We can only surmise that the judge views the alienation of children against their parents as acceptable if it contributes to silencing information about State atrocities.
11. After the final hearing, the judge produced his summation. There is a standard basic format for judge’s summations in the Family court. Typically, the judge presents the legal argument from both sides, and then explains why he is deciding for one side and not the other. In our case, we had presented hundreds of pages of legal argument. However, even though the judge found in our favour and refused the gagging application, his summation never mentioned one word about our legal argument, or indeed anything else (such as the alienation) from the hundreds of pages of affidavits we had presented.
In only 3 court appearances, 6 out of the 8 principles comprising the rule of law, as identified by Lord Tom Bingham, have been seriously violated. One could expect these standards of justice in countries such as Zimbabwe. The St John Ambulance men who had committed sexual crimes on our daughter had got off free, but in order to cover up their atrocities, the State came after the victim’s parents and brothers with frenzied gusto in order to bully us into silence.
None of the legal cases taken out against us was ever successful. Although, as described, at one point, we did accept a deal to stay out of prison even though we had not contravened the interim gagging order, as our experience gave us no confidence in the impartiality of New Zealand courts.
5. Outcomes for our family
a) Outcomes for our daughter
For several years our vulnerable daughter has been under a constant, intensive brainwashing campaign by New Zealand State authorities, inculcating four main messages:
1. Under-age sex and unconventional sex is a wonderful thing – it is only your parents and the law who are old-fashioned.
2. Your family are “bad” - they are just pretending to seek State accountability, but in reality they are trying to let every male in NZ know you had sex at a young age so that you can never get a boyfriend – you need to do whatever the State says in order to gag your family.
3. You don’t need family - the State will take care of all your needs, and imprison your siblings and parents to silence them, if you just give the go-ahead.
4. Lies, cover-ups and shenanigans will get you everywhere. On the other hand, ethics, openness, truth, love and the rule of law, are for the old-fashioned and as you have seen, these values got your parents nowhere.
Social services’ earlier actions in alienating our daughter against her family when they encouraged her as a 14-year old to explore her sexuality, were hugely exacerbated by the numerous court cases to gag us. When the State pits a 16-year old girl against her whole family in 2-year protracted court gagging proceedings, the alienation effects are obvious and significant.
Our daughter is now 22, refuses to have any contact with her family, and encouraged by the State, she has changed her surname. She has told us that her abandonment of her family as well as the court gagging proceedings against her family were to protect the State authorities we sought to hold accountable - classic Stockholm Syndrome symptoms. A description of the State activities which have alienated her from her family, would fill a sizeable book. She has survived on State social welfare now for over 6 years even though her family have always been very willing and capable of supporting her.
Our daughter’s lifestyle has clear evidence of the consequences of living independently from good family influence since 16, for example, after she left home and while still at school, she began a 4-year sexual relationship with a TV presenter/nightclub and strip club owner, twice her age, continuing even after his high-profile wedding. We learned this only in 2010, when she sold the sordid details of this affair to a national magazine who published it as a cover story.
Psychologists tell us that severe parental alienation is often permanent – in some cases the victim never overcomes the condition. We regard the State intervention in our family as severe child abuse. Certainly, at the least, Stockholm Syndrome will likely be a long-term condition. Our only hope is that our daughter, who is an intelligent woman, remembers she has a good family whose commitment is unflinching, and who fought tooth and nail for her. If those who alienated our child against her family are exposed, we believe that her recovery will be possible. We are determined therefore, to do everything we can, to expose the atrocities which have been inflicted on our innocent family.
b) Outcome for our eldest son
Our eldest son, a quiet, reserved, sensitive boy, was dealt to with particular harshness and hostility during the secret Family court gagging procedures. He endured a vicious attack by the judge and lawyer during one court day, simply because he was our son. He was not a defendant in the court that day, he was simply an observer who accompanied his mother. However, a frenzied judge saw fit to order him to the stand so that she could terrorise him by threatening to imprison him immediately, and for no reason but that he was our son. They savagely bullied a defenceless, innocent, frightened young man to ensure his silence, so that he would never dare tell of what the State has done to his family. He had witnessed firsthand what social services did to his young sister, and experienced severe bullying in the secret courts despite never even being accused of doing anything wrong. Like us, he was terrified of a judge who threatened to imprison him simply because he was the son of parents who posed a threat to the State for wanting to seek accountability. Shortly after the court cases our son killed himself.
Ironically, the inquest into our son’s death was held in the very same courtroom in which he had been so viciously and illegally bullied several months previously. Toward the end of the inquest, the coroner asked if anyone present wanted to make any comments. The father took the opportunity to say a few sentences about some relevant items we had found in our son’s room after his death. Inexplicably, this caused the coroner to lose his temper and he angrily berated the grieving father in front of his grieving family for daring to speak when invited. Insensitive and quite bizarre. Even during our moment of intense grief we were reminded that the conduct of New Zealand’s powerful seldom fails to surprise.
c) Outcome for us as parents
We have been married now for over 30 years and regard ourselves as decent, well-respected, honest, devoted parents. Our surviving son is a fine, well-balanced, respectable young man. Before this episode with our daughter, in the history of our family and ancestors, there has never been a divorce application before the courts ever, and no family member had ever received a dollar of State benefits. Our daughter certainly changed that with her application to divorce her parents and living off State benefits for 6 years now even though she is only 22. Encouraged by the State, our daughter has sadly shunned her parents and brothers, and all extended family, ever since she left home at 16. Our experience has been an absolute parent’s nightmare. Every now and again we find images of our daughter on the internet, it breaks our heart to see the clear effects of the sexual crimes and unethical State intervention on her behaviour. It is criminal what sexual predators did to our 14-year old child, however the damage caused afterward by the State has multiplied the initial harm for both our daughter and our family, many, many fold. Every society has bad people who commit sexual crimes, however our research indicates that the brutally abusive way we were treated by NZ State authorities is probably unprecedented anywhere in the world in recent history. The appalling, unprecedented pressure on a young teenager to end all relationships with a good family should not be tolerated. Our enquiries suggest that some of the shameful wrongs committed against our family are routine in NZ. There should be consequences for the guilty so that society can learn from our tragedy.
A large number of laws have been broken by the State in their involvement with our family, both inside and outside the secret courts. In effect, we lost two children – one dead and one severely alienated. We have fully documented our experiences, however, through a campaign of terror the State effectively silenced us and prevented us from seeking redress or publicising our ordeal. To date, no one has yet been held to account.
Our multiple secret court appearances left us frightened and afraid, and concluding that it is too dangerous to live in a country where one has no protection from the law – the family courts are NZ’s Guantanamo Bay where, cloaked in secrecy, the State does it’s dirty deeds beyond the constraints of the law and the rule of law. We had endured two years of secret court terror, at the hands of a Stockholm Syndrome teenage victim empowered by a team of State-financed, ideologically-driven lawyers. She was a pawn in the legal team’s experienced hands – they callously used her to achieve their own ideological/financial objectives. Even though we eventually won the court cases, the total disregard for proper procedures and disrespect for the rule of law inside the secret court fills us with fear. The very day we won the last court case we began packing our bags – we uprooted our high-tech business, and we fled the country. The business now employs Londoners instead of Aucklanders, and is soon to be listed on the London Stock Exchange. Alan Greenspan regards the single most important contributor to economic growth as being the rule of law. Our company is a fine example of what happens when businessmen lose confidence in courts that have no appetite for upholding the rule of law. The economic consequences for NZ as a direct result of our ordeal are obvious.
A few months after escaping to London, we had the traumatic experience of having to fly back to NZ to bury our eldest son. Perhaps some breathed a sigh of relief – a brilliant, innocent, gentle, decent young man, who has never been accused of doing anything wrong, but was targeted purely because he was our son, would no longer be a threat in exposing the truth about corruption and atrocities.
Prospective immigrants into NZ should be warned that their families may suffer the same fate as ours if they try to protect their underage daughters from sexual criminals or seek accountability for misguided State authorities.
For the sake of our family, we are determined to seek justice for the atrocities committed. The general reaction to our experiences, by influential people around the world, is universally one of shock and outrage. As we continue to seek justice, will NZ authorities go to yet higher levels of shenanigans to try to shut us up, or have we reached NZ’s upper limit of corruption and someone with integrity will be bold enough to stand up and say: “Enough abuse! It is time to deal with the issues raised by this family truthfully, ethically and comprehensively”? For our part, we will never give up the fight for our family. Never, ever.
d) The future
It is against the law for anyone to alienate a child against her family:
· What chance does a young teenager have after being victim of sexual crimes, and then severely alienated against her family in an intensive and prolonged campaign by CYF counsellors, CYF, the Department of Education, a toxic church, and the Family court? Our research suggests the extent of the activities aimed at alienating our vulnerable daughter against her family are unprecedented anywhere in the world in recent history.
· What chance do good, decent parents have of protecting their family against such an illegal onslaught by the State?
· What chance does a country have when the State protects it’s own through lies, shenanigans and cover-ups when they break the law, and a court not only condones the law breaking and cover-ups but contributes massively toward the alienation?
We wonder if you can begin to imagine what it is like as a parent, who’s beloved 16-year old daughter applies to the courts to have her parents imprisoned, because she wanted to prevent us seeking accountability for the illegal actions by the State that alienated her against her family.
As we reflect on our tragic experiences, we identify the underlying causes including:
1. A lack of awareness of the effects on victims of grooming and underage sexual crimes by criminal gang pimps. We notice a growing awareness in the UK about these effects. Our daughter's reaction was typical. Sadly, this awareness is largely lacking in NZ.
2. The hijacking of the international convention of “best interests of the child” by NZ State authorities. In NZ, the State determines what is in the “best interests” of a child – parents have no say in the matter. So for example, if a NZ State authority determines that it is in a 14-year old child’s “best interests” to have group sex with adult men, the parents are powerless to intervene. If a State authority determines that it is in the “best interests” of a child that her parents and siblings are silenced, a complicit court will go to extraordinary lengths to ignore the law and the rule of law in order to suppress information as long as they are able. In this way, “best interests of the child” is used by NZ State authorities to encourage and facilitate illegal underage child sex, and cover-up State atrocities when parents complain.
3. The malicious nature of individuals we were unfortunate to come across, eager to go to extraordinary lengths to inflict maximum damage and misery on an innocent family.
4. Powerful anti-parent and anti-family sentiments in some sectors of NZ society such as within CYF and the Family court, providing an environment where malicious, dangerous individuals thrive with unchecked, frightening powers.
5. A total lack of accountability in NZ. Significant mechanisms are entrenched to ensure non-accountability (see Appendix 1). Lies, shenanigans and cover-ups are the standard modus operandi of NZ’s official complaint processes and the Family court, and the rule of law is practically non-existent inside the secret court.
Germany had it’s Nuremberg trials, South Africa had it’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission - hopefully one day society will have a just forum where families such as ours can seek redress. We believe this is our only chance to begin to reverse the damage to our daughter. Our life goals have been shattered, and never a day goes by without us suffering the consequences of the actions of social services and the secret family court.
Our experiences raise several important questions which society needs to address, such as:
1. Should parents have the right to protect their children from sexual criminals?
2. Should false allegations of child abuse be treated similarly to false allegations of rape – a criminal offence attracting a prison sentence?
3. Why is a fabricated, vitriolic personal attack against a complainant so effective in NZ in defending against serious, specific complaints of unethical behaviour?
4. Should the State be permitted to gag an innocent family in order to cover-up illegal and reprehensible State activities?
5. What recourse does a family have against illegal activities committed against them inside a secret court?
6. When last was a NZ judge or lawyer imprisoned for contempt of court?
7. Society abhors child abuse, rightly dealing harshly with parents who abuse their children. Should the same harsh penalties also apply to State employees and their representatives who cause severe child abuse through illegal and inappropriate intervention?
8. How do the actions by NZ authorities to cover up their child abuse in our family, compare with the Kahui “tight five” – lies, shenanigans and gagging to cover up and avoid accountability for those responsible for child abuse?
6. Appendix 1: Results of the complaint process – lies, shenanigans and cover-ups
In addition to the complaint we filed to the NZAC as described above in section (3), we subsequently filed the following:
a) Complaint against CYF to their Regional Manager
- We submitted a document containing 24 specific complaints against CYF to their regional manager – all observable, measurable, specific, and serious behaviours.
- CYF Regional Manager Peter Topzand initially tried to dissuade us from submitting the complaint, because of “all the paperwork involved”. We submitted it to him anyway. Peter Topzand responded that CYF had acted according to best practice – he made no attempt to address any of our 24 specific complaints.
- Alarmingly, in his reply, Peter Topzand accused us of child abuse. CYF had never mentioned anything regarding child abuse allegations when we were dealing with them, the accusation was only made long after our involvement with them had ceased, and only after we had filed the formal complaint against them. The accusation was non-specific and unsubstantiated - it did not contain any further detail about what he determined was “child abuse”. Knowing that nothing we had ever done could possibly be construed as child abuse, we immediately took his allegation to the NZ police and asked them to charge us with child abuse so that we could clear the matter up. However the police refused - they said we could not ask to be charged with an offence. This placed us in the unenviable position of being accused of a serious allegation by the State, and having no avenue to clear up the matter. Nothing further ever came of the accusation, we would never find out any specifics of the allegation, and suspect it was nothing more than a complete fabrication and smokescreen on the part of CYF. An Ombudsman enquiry later acknowledged that the child abuse accusation by CYF was false, and that CYF themselves had acknowledged the accusation as false. However the accusation would prove very valuable for CYF later in defending our complaints against them (see below). We subsequently discovered that false allegations against parents is a fairly common tactic with CYF. Falsely accusing loving, caring, capable parents of abusing their own child is a heinous act – we believe that false allegations of child abuse should be treated in the same way as false allegations of rape, a criminal offence with prison penalties.
Surely it would have been more ethical for the CYF Regional Manager to address our specific, serious complaints rather than ignore our complaints and make false allegations against us?
b) Complaint against CYF to their internal complaint authority
- As Peter Topzand would not deal with our specific complaints, we elaborated it into 65 specific, serious complaints and formally submitted it to the CYF internal complaint department. Their report drawn up by Eve Fone:
o Provides the most feeble explanations to only 9 of our 65 complaints. These 9 are not the most severe, and we doubt their feeble explanations would convince anyone.
o Completely ignores our remaining 56 serious, specific complaints.
o Contains 7 serious blatant lies. Some of these lies can be confirmed by the NZ Police. The police are furious at how CYF blatantly lied about us in order to fabricate false evidence of poor parenting. In addition to the lies, the CYF report also contained 9 deliberate distortions of the truth designed to mislead, 5 instances of clever wording and innuendo designed to cast aspersions on us as parents, and 4 incorrect facts.
- To her credit, Eve Fone concluded that as parents we had acted in the best interests of our daughter at all times. However, this is incompatible with her finding that CYF and the counsellors had acted ethically. If we were acting in the best interests of our daughter, why is it ethical for the counsellor to conclude that our daughter is “in the greatest danger at home”, and why is it ethical for CYF to take actions to remove our daughter from her home?
- Cabinet Minister Ruth Dyson personally insisted that our now 15-year old daughter had to read the CYF internal report before her parents who submitted the complaints, were permitted to read the report – she wanted our alienated daughter to read all the lies, distortions of the truth and aspersions her department had made about her parents, before we would be able to react to it. Our daughter had been previously seriously alienated by sexual criminals and then by the CYF counsellors and social worker, now the NZ Cabinet Minister personally stepped in to continue the extensive alienation of a vulnerable child against her family.
Surely it would have been more ethical for the CYF internal complaint authority to simply address our serious, specific complaints rather than engage in all these lies, shenanigans and further alienation of our daughter?
c) Health and Disabilities Commissioner complaint
- We filed a complaint with the Health and Disabilities Commissioner however he determined that he could not investigate because the complaint was made by the parents and not the 14-year old child herself. Our complaint was that the counselling had deliberately alienated our daughter against her parents. A 14-year old would not have the maturity to submit a complaint about counselling, and one whom the counselling had alienated against her parents and made victim of Stockholm Syndrome would be highly unlikely to complain that the counselling was unethical.
Using this suspect reasoning, the Commissioner would not be able to investigate any health provider who acted negligently or unethically toward a child or infant. Surely it would have been more ethical for the Commissioner to address our serious, specific complaints rather than rely on shenanigans to avoid addressing them?
d) Childrens Commissioner complaint
- We filed a written complaint to the Children’s Commissioner, and never received any reply from them. They chose to simply ignore our complaint. The Families Commissioner Dr Rajen Prasad had written to us that he found our experiences at the hands of the State “deeply concerning”.
Surely it would have been more ethical for the Commissioner to address our serious, specific complaints rather than simply ignore us?
e) “Investigation” by the Ministry of Education into psychologist Maryke Lind
- Maryke Lind, a psychologist employed by the Department of Education recommended that our now 16-year old daughter be paid the Independent Youth Benefit (IYB) so she could live away from home, despite the pleas of our family that it would not be in our daughter’s best interests. Unfortunately, Ms Lind decided that as she had met with our daughter for one hour, she knew more about our daughter’s needs than our family did.
- Ms Lind had one criticism of our parenting - she was very critical that we drove our daughter to school every day in a car. The school principal had specifically asked us to drive our daughter to school every day so that she would not mix with a bad element on the bus (one of the St John ambulance men who had conducted the sexual crimes). Ms Lind regarded our driving our child to school, thus protecting her from sexual predators, as grounds to provide our daughter with the IYB.
- Our daughter only wanted the money so that she could live away from home and continue sexual relationships with older men away from the influence of family. Ms Lind did not accept this, she maintained our daughter just wanted a short break away from family. Unfortunately, our daughter would continue to develop new inappropriate sexual partners while living off the State IYB, one sexual relationship was so inappropriate our daughter later sold the details of the relationship to Woman’s Day magazine where it formed their cover story.
- Three months after our first meeting with Ms Lind, she phoned to arrange a second meeting with us. We taped the call, as Ms Lind told us repeatedly that it would be pointless for us to meet with her, as she was going to disregard everything we would say. However, protocol demanded that she offer us a meeting.
- When we met with Ms Lind again three months after the first meeting, we presented her with graphs showing that our daughter had been truant from school for much of the 3-month period that she was paid the State IYB (and never truant when she had previously lived at home), and our daughter’s academic school performance had deteriorated markedly over the 3-month period. Our daughter had also refused to attend the family counselling which was a pre-requisite for receiving the State money. In the meeting, Ms Lind admitted to us that she had lied to us in order to withhold her report. Ms Lind was furious that we had presented evidence proving that the IYB was not in our daughter’s best interest, and she lost her temper and started shouting nasty things at us in the meeting (“You are a horrible man!”), to such an extent that another psychologist burst into the meeting, told Ms Lind to shut up, apologised to us, and told us that the process to determine whether our daughter would receive the IYB would re-start from scratch with another psychologist. The second psychologist also told us that if we filed a complaint, they would investigate Maryke Lind’s handling of our daughter. Needless to say, the process did not re-start as they promised, and we were never invited to another meeting with the department again. They continued to give our daughter the IYB illegally, without consulting us, for the following 6 years.
- Before we could file a complaint against Maryke Lind, we received a letter from the head of the department, informing us that they had already conducted not one, but two “independent” investigations into Maryke Lind’s handling of our daughter. And the findings of their investigations........everything was done according to best practice! We had not been involved in the investigation process at all. Even though we possess the only tape recordings of the two meetings and a recorded phone call with the psychologist, the department did not ask for this evidence when they conducted their “investigations”. They did not ask our thoughts on the psychologist or the process at all. When we asked what the parameters of the investigations were, and who conducted the “independent” investigations, they refused to tell us! They also refused to give us a copy of the outcome of the two “independent investigations”. Clearly there were no proper investigations at all, but simply a cover-up to protect their psychologist so that she remains unaccountable. This feeble attempt at cover-up would all be quite funny were it not so pathetically tragic, and so typical of a NZ government department “investigation”.
As Maryke Lind’s actions had been directed at our family, surely it would have been more ethical for the Department of Education to involve us in some way in their “independent investigations”? Clearly the psychologist was more interested in damaging our family than in the best interests of our daughter.
If the department is so convinced their psychologist acted properly, perhaps they won’t mind if we release anonymous transcripts of the tape recordings we have of the two meetings and a phone call with their psychologist, Maryke Lind?
f) Ombudsman complaint
- We submitted a complaint to the Ombudsman Mel Smith regarding CYF handling of our daughter. It took a year and a half to get the Ombudsman’s report – a long time in the life of an alienated teenager. The Ombudsman role is to ensure the State departments abide by the law. However, in his report, the Ombudsman made it clear that NZ law does not apply to CYF – including laws that are enacted purely for State departments:
o For example, the law states that a State department has to respond to an official information request within 20 days. In our case, it took 248 days for CYF to respond, clearly not within the law, however the Ombudsman found this acceptable.
o In another example, NZ law defines a child as a person under 18 years. CYF however regarded our daughter as an adult and not a child when she was 14. The Ombudsman found that this was acceptable, even though it is contrary to the law.
o Ombudsman Mel Smith wrote in his report that it should not have been threatening to us as parents when CYF said they would take our daughter and we would “never ever see her again”. He disagreed with our view that this statement by CYF was threatening for parents.
o The Ombudsman found that it was acceptable for CYF to unilaterally break the terms of a written contract with parents.
o The Ombudsman found it acceptable for an unqualified CYF counsellor to ignore the effects of serious sexual crimes on our 14-year old daughter.
- On some points, the Ombudsman gives as his reasons for not upholding our complaints, that CYF are social workers and parents are not, therefore, his circular reasoning goes, whatever CYF chose to do is appropriate because they have specialist insight. So, for example, according to the Ombudsman, CYF were entitled to ignore the effects of serious sexual crimes on our 14-year old daughter because apparently the unqualified counsellor has some special insight. The Ombudsman knew that a large number of qualified psychologists/ counsellors/ academics found to the contrary. According to this scam, social workers can never be held accountable for anything.
- On some points, the Ombudsman gave as his reasoning why CYF are permitted to ignore the law: because they later accused us of child abuse. The Ombudsman acknowledged that the child abuse accusation by CYF was false, and that CYF had acknowledged the accusation as false. However, his reasoning was that because CYF had accused us of child abuse, they were entitled to do whatever they liked with our family, regardless of the law. This conclusion by the Ombudsman is contrary to the law. What the Ombudsman conveniently neglected to point out however, was that the false child abuse allegation was only made long after CYF had ceased involvement with our family, and only after we had submitted the formal complaint against CYF. CYF had no record of any child abuse allegation on their file on us in their computer database. We now understand that false allegations of child abuse are a common strategy of CYF in order to avoid accountability.
- The Ombudsman’s report also relied heavily on the finding of the NZAC Ethics Committee that their counsellor had acted ethically even though he knew the NZAC had not addressed our complaints and had not conducted a hearing.
Surely it would have been more ethical for the Ombudsman to address our specific complaints according to the law rather than: (1) ignoring the law, (2) relying on CYF accusations he knew were false and made after the fact, (3) relying on an NZAC finding he knew did not investigate our serious complaints, and (4) relying on the circular reasoning that if CYF do something therefore it must be appropriate? Perhaps he realised that if he did the right thing and wrote an ethical report it would jeopardise the award (Companion of the NZ Order of Merit) he was due to receive immediately after he completed our report.
A comparison between approaches in the UK and NZ
6th November 2012:
In the latest development, we have now been informed that the Queen’s awards for members of the St John NZ paedophile gang are to be presented by a senior St John Manager and not by the Governor General as originally stated in the press. Karl Berghan and Sam Brens are to receive Queen’s awards at an undisclosed venue some time during November.
11th November 2012:
Today, yet another young girl has come forward with new information about the St John ambulance paedophile ring. A very young St John youth member. Alcohol given to under age children, followed by sex and group sex. She describes the pressure for sex by senior St John managers abusing their position of authority, and is adamant that these dangers are still current within St John NZ. She tells of the sexual exploits (some of which she was involved in) of Karl Berghan and Sam Brens. She also describes the involvement of others, current senior managers in the St John NZ organisation (the names she provides include a St John head office director and a St John Regional Manager), group sex activities at “The Farm”, etc.
7. Appendix 2: What others have commented about our ordeal
Paul Adams, Member of the NZ Parliament: “My heart goes out to you. This is an absolutely absurd situation and I will pick it up and get on to it for you. No wonder we have problems with our children in this country when we try to stop parents being parents, especially good ones, like you obviously are, trying to do what is right for your daughter caught up in a tragic situation....You have done very well and I think you need to be commended for your actions”.
Marc Alexander, Member of the NZ Parliament: “I have read your account and find myself incensed that the events you describe (with the complicity of the police and CYFs) could happen in this country!”
Professor Donald Anderson, Co-chair of the Ethics Committee of the American Counselling Association, wrote: “I (have)…deep concern”
Philip Armstrong, Australian Counselling Association: “I have read the information you have sent and have also shared this with our chairperson of the ACA complaints board. We both feel that the complaints system you have experienced has not been transparent nor equitable”
Dr Hillary Armstrong, Senior Lecturer, Critical Psychology, University of Western Sydney, wrote: “I am sorry you and your family have been through such a rough time. As a parent I cannot imagine how I would feel in the circumstances you describe”.
Roy Bowden, Senior Tutor, Counselling Programmes, Wellington Institute of Technology: “I am saddened and disturbed by the traumatic events that have ensued for you, your family and especially your daughter”.
Professor Susan Bradley, Dept of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, wrote: “This sounds quite bizarre and clearly not helpful to you and your daughter. I am not sure where you go short of your politician or lawyer. The other thing might be to go to the press. Good luck with your effort to get some accountability”.
Dr William Bukowski, Chair, Dept of Psychology, Concordia University, wrote: “My advice: Hire a lawyer”.
Dr Penny Brabin, National Chairperson, Div of Independently Practicing Psychologists, Australian Psychological Society: “…your daughter seems to have been seduced by this man/men who may have influenced her reaction to the counsellor and possible projection of the blame onto you the parents”.
Gerry Brawn-Douglas, Psychologist, Convener of the Ethics Committee for the NZ Christian Counsellors Association: “Clearly you and your family have been and continue to go through a most difficult time. I think the best course of action for you at this stage is to consult a lawyer”.
Dr Freda Briggs, Emeritus Professor, Child Development, University of South Australia, wrote to us: “Sadly I have long had the impression that your CYPFS has the worst reputation of any child protection service in the English speaking world….As a last resort, go to the media…chose whichever is the least sensational and will give you the necessary amount of time”.
Dr Joe Carver, Clinical Psychologist, Portsmouth, Ohio, a world-renown expert on Stockholm syndrome, wrote to us: “Stockholm Syndrome (SS) can exist at various levels of severity. Some are primarily relationship SS as we find in abusive or controlling romantic/marital/sexual relationships. Some may be related to a religious component as we find in religious cults. Others may be related to the immaturity or age of the victim as when teenagers have relationships with adults. Still other forms of SS involve a type of "family" of support where a non-family group of supporters encourage the victim to participate in their detachment and victim-like behaviour”.
“In your situation, you have almost all the high-risk components with the exception of life-threatening (hostage, prisoner, death threats, etc.). The support of the pastor is especially distressing as that family is using their position as supposedly moral, honest people to provide credibility and approval to your daughter's situation. It's like a physician advertising for a questionable product. When a physician supports something it implies a medical acceptance.”
“From a mental health standpoint, your daughter would be overwhelmed by these events and the complexity of the legal and social situation. She is seeking support of adults in her environment and clearly, she has adult supporters who are encouraging her and providing even financial and housing support”.
Mark Cescato, School of Psychology, University of South Australia writes: “I am very sorry to hear of your tragic situation.…my deepest sympathies for you in this plight”.
Kathy Clist (NZAC member) wrote: “This must be an absolutely devastating situation for you and your family - I was so sorry to read what has happened.”
Lyn Coker, NZAC member and ACC-recognised sexual abuse counsellor, wrote: “I was very disturbed to read of the events you outlined....and I am shocked that any counsellor would express the views your daughter's counsellor did regarding your daughter's sexual abuse…this counsellor has in my opinion, committed a serious breach of trust and crossed professional boundaries…The fact that the counsellor reacted so strongly to you without knowing you appears to be a case of transference…With regard to your daughter – if the counsellor formed an alliance with her - against you and your wife, your daughter is likely to be very confused. And once a teenager has made a stand, it is often hard for them to back down or see things from another perspective. She would benefit from proper professional help…I wish you all the best and hope you can find some resolution to this distressing and multi-facetted abuse situation.”
Dr. Cocking, Registrar of the International Society of Professional Counsellors (ISPC) in the UK: “The (counselling) code of ethics (states) that 'the counsellor will not do anything that will harm the client'. In your case the client has been harmed emotionally as have your family. I am sorry to read that you have been treated with what appears to be total disregard by the counsellors involved”.
“I am amazed that the counsellors would decide that it is love/romance. Counsellors are not there to make judgements. Saying that the crimes were insignificant is beyond me. Under ISPC rules, the type of counselling discussed (here) would be unethical”.
“This (the counsellors position of not accepting any input from the parents) does not allow for individuality. Seeing it all before would suggest to me that counsellors know it all and everyone is the same. On the contrary everyone is different and each person feels differently about his or her own experience. The attitude you describe (of the counsellor refusing any input from you as parent) however would to me seem unnecessary, especially as you have been so badly emotionally hurt by your daughter’s experience”.
“For the counsellors to say that your daughter is at the greatest risk in the home environment sounds unethical. The counsellor might be basing this on statistics that suggest that family members, more often than not perpetrate the abuse on children. However, in your case your daughter is the victim of a paedophile ring and the police are involved and they have been found guilty. It sounds that the counsellor might be suggesting something without evidence. I wonder if you can take legal action over this”.
“Again, I have to conclude that the views expressed by the counsellors that you describe would to me at least seem unethical”.
Regarding the secrecy surrounding the identity of the counselling supervisor, Dr Cocking wrote: “I can’t understand why the name of the counsellor your wife spoke to is being kept from you. I must say this sounds suspicious”.
Dr Cocking concluded: “What you describe here is tantamount to emotional abuse. This added to the damage caused by the paedophile leaves a great deal of pain for your family to deal with… If what you described happened in the UK then I believe legal action would be taken against the counsellors and the professional body they belonged to… I feel for you all that you have had to undergo such a terrible experience. I thank you for bringing this to my attention as it demonstrates what can happen in the counselling field”.
Ann Coffey, MP in the House of Commons, Westminster: “I am sorry to hear about your awful experience in New Zealand”.
Dr Philip Culbertson, NZ Association of Psychotherapists, wrote: “…some extremely serious issues…please accept my condolences for what has been an extraordinary amount of suffering for you and your family”.
David Cunliffe, Member of the NZ Parliament: “So very sorry to hear about your family's terrible ordeal. I can imagine little worse. You have my deep sympathy and so to you to your daughter. It seems incredible that the issue was not dealt with prima facile on the basis that your daughter was 14 when the issue began”.
Dr Chris Davis, Ethics Chairperson, Psychology Dept, Carlton University, Ottawa, wrote: “I am sorry that you and your family have gone through this horrible experience. You have my sympathy”.
Leigh Davison, National Co-ordinator, Real Fathers for Justice, UK: “Your email did a pretty good job of shocking someone who is usually unshockable. I thought I’d heard it all before!...The way you and your family have been treated is shocking, and the so-called experts should be removed from positions and a public inquiry instigated”.
Dr Wendy Drewery, Assistant Dean, Human Development and Counselling, University of Waikato, wrote: “This is a terrible story….my heart goes out to your daughter, you and all your family. I very much respect that you are bringing this issue to the attention of the profession, and I am very concerned that you have not had a substantive response from the professional association…I must say I recall (no other case) that falls quite into the category of your difficulties”.
Steven Dromgool, NZAC member, wrote: “I unsurprisingly think that you experienced abusive and coercive counselling and an enormously abusive response by the NZAC”.
Professor Richard Ekins, Faculty of Law, University of Auckland: “The counsellor’s attitude toward serious sexual crime is of course abhorrent”.
Yvonne Elliot, NZAC member and ACC-recognised sexual abuse counsellor: “I do hope that NZAC is able to get it's act together and be accountable and sort this situation out….How distressing, frustrating and just downright (?) words actually fail me, and I ought not to write the first word that comes to mind! Please do keep me informed of the developments, as it is very important for everyone, you firstly and your family, then practising counsellors and the profession in general that this matter is brought to a conclusion and that justice prevails. You have my support.”
Sonya Edmonds-Ihimaera, NZAC member and ACC-recognised sexual abuse counsellor, wrote: “The path your daughter is now on is fairly typical of a young victim/survivor who is confused, stressed, depressed and wants to run away from her life. One of the sad factors about child/adolescent abuse is that not only are they sexualised before they are ready, but they find themselves now in a very adult world, which means they no longer view themselves as young women/men who need to go to school, respect parents, care for those who care for them. Instead, their role and boundaries have become terribly blurred and they often feel they are wanting now to get into an independant life as they adult that they now feel they are. She has been robbed, you have all been robbed. You have a right to be angry and upset.”
Sonya Edmonds-Ihimaera continues: “Good parents sometimes interfere in their children's/teens life...bad parents do nothing...that's another form of abuse called neglect. I'm so sorry for your demise. The ripple effect of what has happened to your daughter and yourselves is huge and I can imagine that powerless that you all feel because of this. The toxic nature of abuse is so pervasive, it has the potential to take over our lives. Because of the high level of arousal involved in the type of abuse that your daughter has had to suffer, the adrenalin level and tendency to lean toward the need to feed that, can cause drama after drama for her and for her family. It seems that NZAC and CYF have let you down badly. Most of the time, these two organisations do a fairly good job in a field that is really a mine field. They are not immune to getting it wrong. It's a fairly well recognised fact that aside from the initial abusive assault on victims, they are also then forced to step into what can be an equally powerless and sometimes dysfunctional system. Even the court system can be that as well. The upside is, sometimes it works and there are not a lot of alternatives anyway. The downside is, the impact when it goes wrong is just bloody awful.”
Dr Jacqui Farrants, Dept of Psychology, City University, London, wrote: “I am sorry that you and your family have been experiencing such a hugely difficult time recently. It is important that you feel your complaint is taken seriously and dealt with appropriately by the relevant bodies. I appreciate that this is an extremely distressing time for you”.
Babette Francis, Endeavour Forum, Australia: “I was deeply grieved to read your tragic story. Sadly this kind of alienation of children from loving parents also occurs in countries such as Australia and Sweden”.
Dr Deborah Fraser, Senior Lecturer, Human Development and Counselling, Waikato University wrote: “I was most disturbed to read your account, and certainly feel for you and your family”.
Robert Fuller, author of best selling book: Somebodies and Nobodies – Overcoming the Abuse of Rank: “Surely there are many ways in which you have been treated as you pursue justice that are rankist in nature…I hope that by characterizing that bureaucracy's closing ranks--to protect the incompetence of one of its own--as rankism, you can get the attention of people who have authority over it.”
Brian Gerner, Program Director, Dept of Psychology, University of South Australia, wrote: “This situation is very, very distressing. I would consult a lawyer”
Gill Goodison (ACC-recognised sexual abuse counsellor and NZAC member) wrote to us: “The long-reaching effects of predatory sex offenders, the resulting "skewing" of your daughter's view of life, and the entanglement resulting with the counsellor have added to your nightmare…Your daughter is still in the chaotic phase of her trauma…Her values will be distorted, and so will her view of everything. You will be in a difficult place of receiving her transference about her situation: and she will be undergoing shame, a state which has people turn away from their loved ones.”
Grainne Griffin, Head of Professional Conduct, British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy: “The series of events and experiences, as described by you, are disturbing indeed and I sincerely hope that justice prevails….If your experience (with the NZAC complaint process) is accurately described, I would have concerns on a number of issues regarding the management of your complaint.”
Keith Gregory, in a published letter in Investigate magazine: “…the 14-year old undergoing statutory rape. A really tragic tale but, unfortunately, just a symptom of a malaise affecting the whole of our society from the very top down”.
“Why do we have to put up with people who know nothing about the real situation steamrolling citizens around to their method, merely ‘because we can’”.
“The complete lack of accountability in the people concerned. There appears to be no-one to bring these people to task and make them responsible for the upset they have caused.”
Christine Hatcher, (ACC-recognised sexual abuse counsellor and NZAC member) wrote to us: “The sexual abuse you describe your daughter survived is indeed extremely serious and you are right in recognising that the behaviour she is displaying could possibly be a direct result of those incidents.”
JoAnn Harjes, Director, Parental Alienation Awareness Organization, USA: “It sounds like you have been in a very difficult and tragic situation. There is alienation here though the apparent source is most unusual. The heartbreak is the same and our hearts go out to you”.
Professor Craig Hart, Brigham Young University, USA: “Thank you for sharing your tragic experience with me. This is indeed disturbing”.
Joy Hayward, Dept of Counselling, Dunedin College of Education, wrote: “I'm sorry to hear about the appalling trauma your family have suffered. It is very difficult to understand N.Z.A.C.'s response to you. I know little about NZAC's complaints procedure and it sounds incomprehensible that your complaints could be dismissed in this way. It sounds crucial that NZAC find a way to address this with you”.
Professor Bryan Hiebert, Applied Psychology, University of Calgary, wrote: “The situation you describe sounds like a travesty….it sounds like you have a strong case for pursuing litigation”.
Tony Hore, in a published letter in Investigate magazine: “For my money CYF have moved from caregiver and protector to amoral juggernaut”.
Professor Adam Horvath, Dept of Counselling Psychology, Simon Fraser University, wrote: “Your concerns certainly sound very serious indeed”.
Dr Andy Horne, University of Georgia, Greece, Editor of the International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, wrote: “The situation that occurred with your daughter sounds like a nightmare no family should ever experience…(Regarding the NZAC) it does not seem consistent with a professional organisation. I would encourage you to consult an attorney”.
Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Chaplain to the Queen in London, and Chaplain to the House of Commons, Westminster, wrote to us: “What happened to your family is a real tragedy that should never have happened. Children should be told that their family loves them and is doing their best to support them so they should stay within the boundaries being given by them (this is the type of help Social Services should be giving to families). I am simply appalled by your family's experiences. As parents it is our right and responsibility to protect our children. The State should not have been given permission to gag your family”.
Marjorie Hunt, (NZCCA member): “It is possible that your daughter believed she freely made the decision to have a sexual relationship. She currently sees herself as an adult who can make these choices. Unfortunately she does not see the power, age, and experience difference between herself and the man/men and does not see that she has been used/abused and she will probably not see this for some time.”
Jenny, a long-term family friend, in a published letter in Investigate magazine: “My husband and I are close friends of (the mother, [The Mother] and (father, [The Father]). We have known them for 28 years. Their struggle to save [their daughter] from the effects of a traumatic and psychologically damaging experience, and reconcile with her, are a reflection of their strong sense of family and moral values”.
“I admire (this mother and father) for their tenacity in fighting a system where perfect strangers are allowed to rip a family apart, slander their characters and cause untold psychological damage to the fragile mind of their teenage daughter”.
“The disgust that I feel for the misguided Rosa counsellors and a justice system that gives minors more rights than parents, in this case, truly caring parents, is nothing compared to what I feel about the actions of a liberal Christian church and its ‘pastor’, whose actions cruelly cut (their daughter) off from her parents – (mother and father) – who are the only people who truly care about her and love her. An institution that aids in the decimation of family relationships is an abomination and insult to the fundamental Christian values of love, forgiveness and reconciliation”.
“As a parent and a teacher, I am alarmed that a state school could assist and sanction a minor to ‘divorce’ herself from her family – the essence of her identity. This in itself reflects how sick and heartless the cornerstones of society have become. That the amoral and immoral amongst us, however disguised (educators and spiritual leaders), are empowered and in fact aided and abetted by the law to destroy families, is frightening!”
“(This mother and father) have now been silenced by the law. They have lost their right to be guardians of their daughter, without just cause or reason, and have been gagged from speaking out against the people who are systematically destroying their family and the psychological well-being of their child. This is madness and a reflection of a ‘sick’ society”.
“The fact that paedophiles (guilty beyond doubt in my view) are let loose and not held accountable for their criminal acts and that perfectly good and caring parents are treated like criminals is beyond belief. How can one feel anything but contempt for such a system”.
“(To the father, [The Father]): Your tenacity and instinct to reclaim and protect your daughter in the face of great loss is admirable.
(To the mother, [The Mother]): Your heartache and disbelief at the loss of your only daughter, one who you so desperately wanted to bring into the world, is tragic and I empathise and connect with your pain as would most parents. My deepest wish is that one day (your daughter) will understand just how much you care.
(To the daughter): Your parents love you more than you can imagine and are the best friends you could ever wish to have. Your other friends will come and go, but nobody will care more about you than (your mother and father). Their unconditional love will be your healing. Don’t wait too long to embrace it”.
Dr Patrice Keats, Simon Fraser University, wrote: “I…want to acknowledge the distress that you have suffered not only from the crime against your daughter, but also the experience that you have had in a counselling setting which you hoped would bring you relief rather than more stress”
Roger Kerr, Executive Director of the NZ Business Roundtable: “...your story beggars belief...my deepest sympathy”.
Dr Jeffrey Kottler, International counselling expert and author of 45 books on counselling and psychology, wrote: , you, your daughter, and family have been through a horrible ordeal…..I can certainly appreciate you feeling frustrated and angry by the way things have been handled, both by the counsellor and the N.Z. professional organization afterwards. Seek legal counsel and begin some sort of legal action to seek justice….you could take this to the media.”
Bishop Robin Leamy, Assistant Bishop of Auckland, wrote: “The continuing inappropriate actions of the Rosa counsellors, and the CYF, and the NZAC, not to mention the Health and Disabilities Commissioner DO DEMAND ANSWERS….I commend you for your courage and perseverance. It is very difficult and time-consuming, but you are performing a much-needed service for us all”
Diane Levy, Family Counsellor, motivational speaker and Author of parenting books, wrote: “I am appalled at the dreadful saga you have and continue to endure. I am particularly appalled to hear how you were treated by NZAC.”
Sandra Libeau, in a published letter in Investigate magazine: “What appears to (your daughter) to be daring and romantic now won’t appear that way in a few years time. And how will she feel when she realises she was just another notch along with many others before and later? These men are predators who deserve jail”.
Jenny Macintyre, NZAC member, ACC-recognised sexual abuse counsellor and Investigative TV journalist: “You have certainly been through an horrific journey. I am sorry to hear that you have experienced such injustice and blocked doors from NZAC. It will be a defensive reaction on their part. It is a most unusual reaction because as a member I have experienced them as diligent and ethical. However your experience has not been that…I would be interested to make a "60 Minutes" documentary with you.”
Dr Gerald Maclaurin (New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists member) wrote to us: “Clearly it is illegal for an adult man to have had sex with your daughter, and it is hard to believe that such an act is anything other than abusive, certainly in any cases I have come across, so I cannot understand the reasons for the counsellor apparently minimizing the seriousness of the situation.”
Ted Mason, Consulting Psychologist: “I am deeply sorry that things have not progressed more for you, and that there is still no real resolution. I agree that the events you describe seem unreal and horrendous.”
Ross Meurant, ex-senior NZ policeman and ex-NZ Cabinet Minister: “This truly is a disturbing tale of a family which has had its share of grief. That the State has contributed to the extent of this grief is axiomatic”.
Professor Gerald Monk, Dept of Counselling and School of Psychology, University of San Diego: “I would make an appointment with a lawyer”.
Elaine Monks (ACC-recognised sexual abuse counsellor and NZAC member) wrote: “Certainly what has happened is a crime and has issues of power being used over your daughter by men much older and more experienced than herself…It is not uncommon for the anger towards abusers to be misplaced onto others. Often the abuse is normalised by the survivor and it is only in later years that they realise that it was not OK to be used in that way and to have their youth taken away. It can also effect the same age adolescent relationships that would have been forming had the older men not intervened. The impact of the abuse can be hidden at the time and not surface until around their 30's or later having created damaged lives in the meantime. I'm sure you have read about the results of abuse and it's effects as you seem to be aware of the need to get help for her urgently. The sooner your daughter's abuse is worked with in an effective way the better the outcome will be for her”.
“Those who have been sexually abused and have no-one to turn seem to have greater difficulty in future life than those who have had family support around the abuse as those without support hold the secret and shame inside themselves. It is different for your daughter. She has a loving family and although she is not currently acknowledging her abuse, when it comes time to do so she will know that you took a stand for her and cared about her. A lot of survivors have not had this. She is very fortunate.” Elaine Monks wrote this before our daughter left home and deserted her loving family.
Arna Mountain, in a published letter in Investigate magazine: “When (the mother and father) wanted help for their situation with (their daughter) it backfired on them and they became victims”
“This whole thing is ludicrous. It seems everyone has rights except those who want to do what is right. Are there such things as parent’s rights? Surely it is acceptable to want to train your fourteen-year old daughter in the values you consider virtuous. That is considered good parenting. A teenager’s opinions are vulnerable and it is highly important that the parents have input”.
“How can a child of (the daughter’s) age make an informed decision on whether to divorce her parents? In her fragile state her counsellors, and church leaders would heavily influence her. They would be making the decision, not (the child). How can anyone in their right mind counsel (this child) to reject her family, the most basic cornerstone of relationships?”
“The fact that a school and church leaders appear to be not prepared to listen to both sides of the story and work constructively towards reconciliation means they actually fostered the breakdown in this family. Shame on you who bear Christ’s name. Mark 9:42: ‘If anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a large millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.’”
Dr Stephen Munt, British Psychological Society, wrote: “I am very sorry that your family has suffered such distress”.
Dr. Bob Neimeyer, Professor of Psychology, University of Memphis, wrote: “The anguish your family has faced leaves me concerned. (you need to) redress the wrongs you have suffered. I clearly hear your anger about this sad development for your family, and your obvious commitment to do everything in your power to seek a just resolution of a painful situation”.
Jeanette Newport, NZAC member, wrote: “As a Life Member of the NZAC I am horrified that you have been treated in this way”
Dr Michael Reid, Maxim Institute, wrote: “I am appalled at the way many State authorities have dealt with your situation. I have on file many similar stories, although yours is truly horrific”.
Dr Jan Resnick, practicing Psychologist, Perth: “I read your account with horror....It is the most horrible story. You, your wife and family must have suffered terribly. I can only say that I really feel for what you have gone through and I do hope that you find some justice in the end”.
Dr Suzanna Roffey, Senior Lecturer in Educational Psychology, University of Western Sydney: “Blaming and labelling is not helpful to anyone and should not be part of any professional counselling repertoire”.
Professor Ulrich Schnyder, President of the International Federation of Psychotherapy in Switzerland, wrote: “I would strongly suggest to seek legal advice. You have already suffered terribly over the last year, and I do think you should do everything to prevent your family from further injuries”.
John Saks, Founder and Chairman of the For the Sake of our Children Foundation in NZ, wrote: “(In your case, you) have state sponsored alienation of a family……Your daughter is considerably more fortunate than most in her circumstance as evidenced by the tremendous effort you have put into ‘righting the wrong’. Your efforts should be applauded, and I am very thankful that at least one daughter in our nation has parents hugely committed to her….It is my hope that your suffering/agony has not been in vain – and that many other sons and daughters of our nation and other nations may be better off because you ‘stood tall’ for them also”.
Jeanette Scott, NZ Psychological Society wrote: “I would also question why CYF recommended this particular counsellor….you should not have experienced this approach and treatment”.
Janne Sergison (NZAC member) wrote: “I'm sorry you had such a bad counselling experience with your daughter. Your counsellor in my opinion did not behave very professionally. Your daughter may have been seeing the whole situation as one of love and romance BUT the fact remains she is a 14 year old kid. There were crimes committed. In fact consensual sex under 16 is statuatory rape. This is because a child under 16 is regarded as being developmentally not ready to give INFORMED consent as they do not understand all the dynamics. Also the effects are just as bad as any other abuse as you are probably finding out.”
Ann Speirs, NZAP member and ACC-recognised sexual abuse counsellor, wrote: “If your perception of how the counsellor who met with your daughter behaved is accurate then there are serious concerns about both competency and ethics.”
Warwick Smith, a NZAC (New Zealand Association of Counsellors) member and recognised sexual abuse counsellor, wrote to us: “Sadly the impact of such trauma have a profound effect upon the victim that takes time and skilled help to overcome. I am astounded that any counsellor would have taken such a position in regard to what is a criminal act and viewing it "as love and romance".
Judy Smyth, a NZAC member and recognised sexual abuse counsellor, wrote: “I am sorry you had such a negative experience in counselling as I know you will be beside yourself with worry and have every right to be extremely worried for your daughters future. She is under 16 and very young and the crimes are not insignificant.”
Judge Peter Spiller, Professor in the faculty of Law at Waikato University: “....as a fellow human being, I grieve with you and your family in your distress”. Judge Spiller was not the judge in any of our gagging court cases.
Rhyll Stafford, NZAC member and ACC-recognised sexual abuse counsellor, wrote: “Its clear your daughter is a minor and that a counsellors response that this is love and romance isnt an accurate or professional intervention…Good on you for acting through the legal system as you have. You've done a wonderful job to keep your daughter at home during all this. As a parent I appreciate your distress and know that they do eventually thank you for holding firm out of love for them in tough times.”
Bede Stevens, NZAC member, commented on the short time taken by the counsellor to make her assessment of our daughter: “It is my opinion from the information … that the counsellor has stepped beyond boundaries I would place on the therapeutic setting. Half an hour to make a diagnosis on a complex situation seems a little precipitate or hasty.”
Peter Tatchell, Human Rights Activist, UK: “It sounds like you went through a torrid, horrible and truly bizarre experience.....of course a family has the right to protect their children. Goes without saying”.
Sheila Taylor, Director of the National Working Group for Sexually Exploited Children and Young People, UK: “The narrative of your experiences is horrific, it mirrors so many of the experiences of young people in this country. You have certainly been very vigilant in pursuing the cause for your daughter”.
Steve Taylor, qualified Auckland counsellor: (This story) “almost beggars my professional and personal belief”.
“Church leadership from the local church and staff from the local high school collaborated with this manifest abuse of a minor by shielding both (the child) from appropriate care, and the perpetrators from the natural consequences of their criminal actions. This was achieved by staff from both organisations stepping way beyond their pastoral boundaries of competence, and cheerfully fostering a family split”.
“In my professional opinion, such abuse has most certainly occurred in this case, perpetrated by a school and a church, which are two organisations that most reasonable people would think were safe for minors. Not so”.
“The NZAC…when confronted with overwhelming evidence to the contrary, it colluded with a member’s denial of abusive practice by default, and then vilified the parents who made the original complaint! How in the world can the New Zealand public now place their trust in ANY counsellor who displays the letters NZAC after their name?”
David Thomson, NZAC member and ACC-recognised sexual abuse counsellor, wrote: “I am apalled at the way you have been treated by NZAC….it looks as if their main role is to defend their member no matter what is said. I am interested in your situtation and would like to see justice and sanity prevail. At present it does not look like that.”
Dr Emmanuel Tlou, President of the Psychological Society of South Africa, and practicing Clinical Psychologist: “My hair stood on end when I read what your daughter went through at such an innocent age. As if that was not enough, my heart skipped a few beats after reading about the counsellor’s conduct. Her conduct is unheard of. Unprofessional is not enough to describe her behaviour”.
“The counsellor and her supervisor....must be criminally charged as accessories to paedophilia....They must also be exposed in the media”.
Cardinal Tom Williams, Head of the 500,000 member Catholic Church of NZ (shortly before leaving for Rome to elect the Pope): “I am profoundly grieved that your daughter, you and (your wife) have undergone such traumatic experience, first of all at the hands of the men awaiting trial, and then at the hands of people whose responsibility it was to care for the family”.
Ondra Williams (NZAP member) wrote: “As the law stands, it is clearly illegal for an adult to have sexual relationships with a minor, under 16. Any counsellor must respect the law and take very seriously any breach. It is bunkum to suggest such a sexual relationship would not have an effect on her, though it is more than likely that your daughter will not yet be aware of that herself and will deny it strenuously…..You could check this with NZAC, but I believe it is not legal to refuse to include you in this matter, as the parents of a minor.”
Hilary Willmer, Chairperson of CROP (the Coalition for the Removal of Pimping), UK: “Your horrific story....it is extreme even by CROP standards”
“It is common for the children of the parents to be blamed....an interpretation that completely fails to understand the experience and manipulative power of the perpetrators who know exactly what they are doing”.
“I think that your story is among the very worst that I have heard”.
Dr George Wills, Dept of Counselling and Psychological Health, La Trobe University, Victoria wrote to us that he believes our daughter is a victim of the Stockholm syndrome: “There is a syndrome called the Stockholm Syndrome in which victims identify with their persecutors and take their side against legitimate authority – Patty Hearst’s response to being taken by the Symbionese Liberation Army in San Francisco in the ‘70s was a case in point. I suspect that what happens is that the victim is vulnerable and feels helpless and adopts a vicarious feeling of belonging and strength from association with the persecutors…This aspect of your circumstances would be the most galling of all for me to manage, were I you. What I don’t understand so well is the apparent failure on the part of the counsellors you mention, to try to understand your position better…In the field of counselling, it is common for such a phenomenon to surface and counsellors are trained to look out for it”.
“There is no doubt in my mind that the men’s actions are criminal and I applaud your efforts to bring them to justice….The Stockholm Syndrome…in which victims identify with their perpetrators…would be one explanation I would offer (regarding the position of your daughter)….What I don’t understand is the apparent failure on the part of the counsellors to try to understand your position better….The phenomenon is called ‘splitting’…it seems that your daughter has been prone to think in terms of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and to pass these judgements onto the counsellors…I would have thought that it was the job of the counsellors to avoid falling into this trap…I would have to agree that their behaviour is unethical on several grounds”.
Dr Wills continued: “Ethical practice requires that we don’t exploit our clients in any way”.
“There seems to have been a tendency to rush to blame and to leave you in a position where you have felt not understood, judged and not respected. I think that this is a very regrettable situation for you to be in”.
Dr Wills concluded: “I feel very sorry that you are having to respond to such a terrible set of events”.
Ian Wishart, author, in a passage from his book Eve’s Bite in the chapter entitled “The War on Parents”: “…a New Zealand girl, statutorily raped by older men at age 14 in a public park, was subsequently removed from the care of her parents by the state and encouraged to begin legal proceedings to ‘divorce’ her conservative parents because they had dared to lay a police complaint against the men responsible for sex with a child. The girl’s state school cited ‘privacy’ issues in refusing to even divulge so much as a school report to her parents. The child was placed on an ‘independent youth’ taxpayer-funded benefit and given government legal aid for her divorce hearings”.
Andy Wotton, Fathers of New Zealand: “Your story is probably the worst that I have come across”.
The School of Psychology at Griffith University asked us if they could use our ordeal as their case study in their post graduate Ethics and Professional Practice class run by Dr Shirley Morrissey. They regard our ordeal as the most extreme example of unethical counselling.
Anonymous letter published in Investigate magazine: “No government department can become parents no matter how misguided or misdirected they may be. The undermining of parents by this government is absolutely atrocious – particularly by the heads of departments in all sorts of areas. The whole system seems geared towards this aim – state control of our children. New Zealanders need to wake up! The CYF service has a lot to answer for, but in reality is only reflecting the attitude from government and the social engineering agenda they are following”.
Anonymous letter published in Investigate magazine: “It is very clear that the rights of children over-ride the rights of parents and the Privacy Act complicates matters even further”.
“(This child) is young and immature and has been caught up in something that is beyond her ability to make wise and sensible decisions. And yes, I believe that (the child’s) decision, with the encouragement and assistance of those who should know better, to divorce her parents, is the result of ongoing manifestations of the original trauma, compounded by transference and bad counselling”.
“We are astounded that the NZAC has not taken action against the Rosa counsellor involved in this case”.
“Thank you (father and mother) for having the courage and determination to seek justice and go public with your story. You have our support and admiration. We understand your heartbreak and frustration and hope that in time there will be restoration and reconciliation with your daughter”.
Letter signed by 35 mothers, published in Investigate magazine: “This story brings fear and anger to everyone who has children. Any parent could potentially become inflicted with a tragedy of a similar scale”.
“As mothers would we get the same treatment from public officials that the parents in this story received? Would we be told that the problem is the family, and not a 14 year old engaging in group sex activities with adults? Would we be labelled as oppressive and overbearing if we wanted to save our children from the clutches of people obviously trying to exploit them?”
So please, honourable Prime Minister, give us parents the opportunity to be proud of our children. Don’t let your lax, inhumane policies take our children away from us, because they are worth more to us that you might think”.
So I'm adding my name to that list of mothers too now. This is very similar to my own family's experience with CYF." It's similar to my experiences with CYPS/CYF also.
- Stuff website: "If the Queen is all right with admitting Karl Berghan as a member of the Order of St John "then it must be OK," he says."
- Sunday Star Times: "For legal reasons, the Sunday Star-Times cannot identify the man, the award he is set to receive, or the organisation that nominated him." - which is clearly ridiculous given the earlier link in which the recipient is boasting about it as if it's a foregone conclusion and he has it on personal authority from the Queen that it's "OK" with her!
- Investigate, Ian Wishart
- Stuff, Dominion Post: "We do not believe the Queen would sanction the award to a man who has been the perpetrator of underage child sex crimes and we have communicated with the Chaplain to the Queen."We have also spoken to MPs in the House of Commons, as well as several New Zealand MPs, who are equally appalled."Should the governor-general proceed with this award, we believe he would not be representing the interests and wishes of the Queen. We also believe the award would not be supported by the decent people of New Zealand."The recipient said he was aware of the feelings of the girl's family.The organisation that had nominated him had been contacted by her father, and was in ongoing discussions with the recipient."
The confusion arises, because I have just received the following email, which is similar to that received by others who wrote to the Governor General with complaints regarding the arrogance of the announcement in the article at this link:
31 January 2012
Dear Ms Raue
Further to an email from the Public Affairs Manager, I can advise that the Governor-General, as Prior of St John in New Zealand, has now been fully briefed by the Chancellor and Chief Executive on the issue you have raised and the proposed course of action in addressing it.
As the Public Affairs Manager mentioned, Government House takes the matters you have raised very seriously. While Government House has forwarded your emails to St John, if you have not already done so, I recommend that you make contact with St John Chief Executive, Jaimes Wood. On behalf of St John and Government House, Mr Wood will keep you informed of the St John response to the matters you have raised. He can be contacted at 04 472 3600, by writing at PO Box 10043, Wellington 6143 or by email at email@example.com
11 November 2012 update:
Today, yet another young girl has come forward with new information about the St John ambulance paedophile ring. A very young St John youth member. Alcohol given to under age children, followed by sex and group sex. She describes the pressure for sex by senior St John managers abusing their position of authority, and is adamant that these dangers are still current within St John NZ. She tells of the sexual exploits (some of which she was involved in) of Karl Berghan and Sam Brens. She also describes the involvement of others, current senior managers in the St John NZ organisation (the names she provides include a St John head office director and a St John Regional Manager), group sex activities at “The Farm”, etc.
On Tuesday, the House of Commons debated the issue of child sexual exploitation for 5 hours. MPs described some horror stories of child sexual abuse. One of the most severe cases of child sexual abuse and failure by numerous State authorities that came up in this week's Commons debate, was when MP John Hemming informed the House what happened to our family in New Zealand: Group sex with our 14-year old daughter by St John ambulance employees - A CYF representative encouraging the under age sex (“love and romance”) and trying to remove our child from our home because we did not want her to be sexually exploited - the gagging of our family (parents and sons) in order to suppress information about these sexual crimes and the way they were handled by NZ authorities – non-accountability of NZ State authorities – the cover up by St John, and the presentation of Queen’s awards to the two St John New Zealand serial paedophiles.