Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Another Ontario Parental Alienation Case

An 18 year-old Mississauga man has asked an Ontario Court Judge in Brampton to allow him to intervene in a Children's Aid proceeding that will determine the fate of his two younger brothers. 

The youth seeks custody of his brothers, aged 14 and 12, who now languish in foster care after refusing to participate in  a court-ordered parental alienation "deprogramming workshop." 

The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star cover the case today.   

From the Star report:
The teen asked Justice Steven Clark to make him a party to the ongoing court case yesterday in a Brampton courtroom. He also asked Clark to forbid parental alienation experts from having anything more to do with his brothers.

"My brothers have ended up being committed in a hospital against their wishes, committed to live somewhere they do not want to live, exposed to psychiatrists who have attempted to carry out experimental therapy with them at the risk of severe harm to them, and if their lawyer will not do anything to stop this, I believe I have the right as their brother to be as concerned about them as each of my parents," he says in his affidavit.

The Globe's  Kirk Makin provides additional background:
The therapy, ordered in November by Ontario Superior Court Judge Francine VanMelle, was aimed at exorcising poisonous thoughts toward the mother that their controlling father had planted in the boys' minds.
Judge Van Melle granted the mother sole custody and authorized her to force her sons into a deprogramming clinic.
The court heard yesterday that, after the boys refused to go along with the deprogrammers, the mother had them returned to Toronto and committed to a psychiatric ward at St. Joseph's Health Centre.
A child psychiatrist at the hospital, Nagi Ghabbour, quickly became convinced that the prospect of forced therapy had turned the boys potentially suicidal. Dr. Ghabbour said in a letter that the boys felt "trapped in the legal system," and were filled with a sense of helplessness.
Dr. Ghabbour urged an immediate end to any further psychiatric assessments or forced therapy, and called on the Catholic Children's Aid Society to seize the children to forestall any further attempts by the mother to deprogram them.
Yesterday's hearing was to decide whether the eldest brother can intervene in CCAS proceedings to place his brothers in long-term foster care.
The so-called "deprogramming" therapies, aimed at combatting parental alienation, have been the source of much news of late.  

In January, a controversial decision by an Ontario Superior Court Justice required that three girls be removed from their mother's custody and sent for therapeutic treatment at the same Family Workshop for Alienated Children program created by Dr. Randy Rand, that is now challenged as harmful in the current proceedings.

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