Nov 29, 2010


Distraught father takes son home

A boy and his father during state supervised visit July 2010.
After a year-and-a-half of disappointing court cases and state-supervised one hour visits once every five weeks with his only child, an understandably distraught father accused of no crimes against his son, took his 9 year old son, Domenic, home for an extended visit with family on Monday, November 22nd. Christer Johansson had no apparent motive other than to have more time with his son and to allow Domenic's grandparents, who had not seen their grandson in nearly a year-and-a-half, a chance to see their grandchild. On Wednesday, November 24th, Christer telephoned Alva police to inform them he and Domenic could be found at home.

Unfortunately, this visit was not approved by Gotland Social Services. This is the same social services department who took Domenic off of a plane and have held him for a year-and-a-half only allowing the parents to see their only son for 1 hour every 5 weeks. After such inhuman treatment, treatment that some might even call psychological torture, Mr. Johansson now finds himself behind bars with Domenic back in state custody. Eerily similar to what happened on the plane in June of 2009, armed police swept into the Johansson home, and dragged Domenic from his parents and grandparents. He is reported to have cried over and over, "I don't want to go back! I don't want to go back!" into foster care.

This latest event in the ongoing Johansson saga began last Monday when Chirster walked out of a state supervised visit taking Domenic with him. Domenic went happily home with his father. Since the time that armed police seized the boy 18 months ago from an India bound jetliner just moments before take-off,  Domenic has pleaded with his parents to go home. However, the Johanssons have been ordered by social services to ignore their son's pleas, and to act as if they do not want him home. 

Last Monday, Christer Johansson could ignore his son’s pleas no longer. This family has suffered so much and now the Swedish authorities plan to try Mr. Johansson for taking his own son home.  Christer was arrested Wednesday night and he was arraigned and remanded in custody on Friday. He is being held "on suspicion of unlawful detention," alternatively "heavy-handedness with a child." According to Chapter 4 section 2 of the Criminal Code, this is punishable with prison for a minimum of one and maximum of ten years. Removing a child under fifteen years from the social services can constitute a crime against freedom or the promotion of escape and is punishable with fines or a prison sentence of up to one year. Christer will be prosecuted within two weeks during which time he will be subjected to a mental evaluation. Yet, during the visit Domenic was not harmed in anyway and did not want to leave his parent’s custody.

Before Christer telephoned police on Wednesday, Domenic shared a wonderful day-and-a-half with his parents and elderly grandparents. According to his uncle, Domenic was thrilled to be home and did not want to go back into foster care. In response to Christer's telephone call to police, several squad cars descended upon the Johansson home and armed police swept in, dragging Domenic out into the unseasonably frigid temperatures without giving him an opportunity to take his coat.

The struggle between the Johansson family and Gotland Social Services began in the fall of 2008 when the family chose to home school then 7 year old Domenic. Their choice to home school Domenic was predicated on the fact that the family was planning to move back to India, where Christer and Annie had met and married in 2000. Annie is a native of India. The family was living temporarily in Sweden, Christer's native homeland, with plans to return to India in 2009. Home schooling seemed the most logical choice for the family, as Domenic's parents desired to keep disruption of his education to a minimum as the family emigrated back to India.

Domenic on the boat to Stockholm, his last hours of freedom.
Home schooling was a legal option in Sweden at the time Domenic was taken into state custody, but has since been greatly restricted when the controlling Swedish Liberal Alliance passed into law a 1500 page education bill which threatens parents with fines up to $3000 dollars and loss of custody of their children, should they attempt, or continue, to home school, unless granted permission under "extraordinary circumstances."

When the Johanssons contacted their local school administrator, they were met with resistance. The school administrator threatened the family with social services contact if they did not enroll Domenic in school. Even while still legal in Sweden at the time, many people in positions of governmental power and authority are against the practice of home schooling. The Johanssons decided to stand their legal ground in spite of the school official's threats which unfortunately triggered a nightmare for Domenic and his family. While under tremendous pressure by social services to enroll their son in school, Domenic's mother, who holds a Masters Degree in English, continued to educate their son at home through the 2008-2009 school year. 

Looking on as police storm plane moments before he's taken.
On June 25, 2009, Domenic excitedly boarded an India bound jetliner in Stockholm with his parents. Just moments before take-off and at the behest of Swedish social services, armed uniformed police stormed the plane and forcibly removed the Johansson family. That was the last time the Johanssons saw Domenic before he was forced into foster care. 

To learn more about the Johanssons and their struggle to bring their son back home, feel free to browse the numerous stories published on this blog. 

To learn more about Sweden's heavy-handed HVB and LVU laws, the laws used to govern forced treatment and forced foster care, and how they adversely impact her citizens and families, a book and video series have been authored by Daniel Hammarberg. Hammarberg, now in his mid-30s, as a teen was forced into Sweden's state care until he attained the age of 21. In direct response to his experiences with Swedish social services, Hammarberg has studied and written about the ever increasing role Swedish government is playing in the intimate lives of it's citizens. In his book The Madhouse: A Critical Study of Swedish Society, Hammarberg covers diverse segments of Swedish society, including HBV and LVU. In his 25 part video series The Socialist Utopia, Hammarberg painstakingly details the rise and devastating results of socialism in Sweden. Hammarberg has also authored a video on the LVU law, the law used to regulate foster care in Sweden which clearly demonstrates the trap of hopelessness in which parents and children find themselves once social services becomes involved in their lives. As Elin, the desperate 13 year old, penned in a Swedish orphanage just hours before taking her own life, My life is ruined, thanks to the Linköping social services. The only thing they do is destroy other people's lives, so stay away from them. If your parents need help, just tell them to ignore getting help, because that's the safest.

Nov 23, 2010

A Series of Excerpts Examining Outcomes of Swedish LVU Laws

This is the first in a series of excerpts we will share from Daniel Hammarberg's book: The Madhouse: A Critical Study of Swedish Society Mr. Hammarberg writes from first-hand experience with Sweden's LVU laws as executed by Swedish Social Services "for his good" while he was young. In direct response to his experience, Mr. Hammarberg has taken a close look at the ever increasing role Swedish government is playing within the intimate lives of it's citizens. In his book, Mr. Hammarberg has concluded Sweden, in many ways, has become a madhouse. While his book covers many diverse subjects and segments of Swedish society, the excerpts we will examine are specific to Sweden's LVU law. This first excerpt begins with Mr. Hammarberg's introduction to the LVU section of the book, followed by the harrowing story of Elin. All Elin ever wanted, as written in her diary, "was allowed to return home to mom." Links to media stories regarding Elin can be found at the end of today's entry. Will the reality of the lives of the unfortunate children we will examine over the next few weeks one day become Domenic's reality? While Sweden is bent on retaining it's tight grip on Domenic, we pray his story might have a much happier ending.

Suicides as a consequence of institution placement

By Daniel Hammarberg, human rights activist and author of The Madhouse: A critical study of Swedish society

In most of the Western world, the idea of placing children into orphanages takes people back to the time of Charles Dickens' early 19th century London. Not so in Sweden, where in 2010, orphanages are seen as an essential part of the arsenal the government has at its disposal for coming to the rescue of "vulnerable children." Yet the question is - are these children vulnerable because of their environment, or due to living under a government that wants to care for them? I'm personally more inclined to suggest the latter.

Troubling statistics concerning the mental wellbeing among the growing generation in Sweden today do indeed exist. During the summer of 2009, Gothenburg newspaper Göteborgs-Posten had conducted a survey sent to all ninth-graders in this metropolis, where they found that one in five girls had already at that age inflicted harm on themselves - what's commonly described as self-cutting. As can be expected, Swedish society has extensive public facilities available for helping these troubled children, but can the government really offer anything of value to them? Can these vulnerable children find proper support from taxpayer-financed counsellors and staff? These coming vignettes will have you thinking otherwise; the common theme among all of them is that the children ended up at modern Swedish orphanages, what's called HVB-hem or HVB homes, from its acronym. Hem för vård och boende, "homes for care and living."

Elin, begging for mercy, dead at 13

In her youth, a woman named Susanne had suffered a traffic accident and was left disabled - moving around on a walking frame, with a disability pension already at age 20 from not being able to work. The next couple of years, she has three children - two daughters and a son. The first years of the lives of these children would be very happy, though soon the father disappears from the picture and the mother is overwhelmed by the burden of raising her family with her disability. 

When her middle child, Elin, born in 1994, is six years old, the social services becomes involved in family life and Elin is relocated to a foster family, something Susanne agrees to since she admits she's not capable of being a mother at this point in time. Elin isn't treated very well by this new family, however, becoming the target of frequent insults thrown at her by her foster parents. She attempts to get the social services to listen to her when she tells them that everything isn't alright, but they don't give her the time of day, in spite of Elin showing up for school malnourished and with discarded clothes. According to her records with the social services, everything is just fine with the placement.

After a couple of years, Susanne starts feeling she's fit to take over parenting again, and Elin also has a great desire to return to her mother, but the social services isn't very interested in interrupting the placement - it's gone from entirely voluntary to thinly veiled coercion. Eventually, when Elin is twelve years old, the authorities launch a new investigation, and both Elin and Susanne want to be reunited. 

The social services has other plans, however, deciding to place Elin with a new foster family. Susanne is told that if she doesn't agree to this placement, they will go through with a forced placement under the LVU law. Elin isn't happy in the new foster family and spends as much time as she can on the phone with her mother and sister. On the other hand, she's not very interested in socializing with her foster family, and when the social services learns of this, her phone is taken away from her. As she writes in her diary:
"If you hate life, you have to be able to talk to someone... And then I don't mean psychologists, but someone you can trust."
"The only thing that gets me up when I'm sad is mom and Linda. But now the social services has decided I'm only allowed to call them once a week."
"The only thing that could make me feel good was if I was allowed to return home to mom."
Elin tells the social services she's being battered in this family. She implores her caseworker not to tell her foster parents, but they are told in spite of her pleadings. At this time, Elin starts cutting her arms.
Before too long, this foster family decides they don't want Elin with them anymore, and once again Elin hopes she can be reunited with her family. This time around, the social services actually pulls out the LVU law, forcibly placing Elin at an HVB institution some 200 km away from her mother. Now it's 2008 and her short life would soon come to an end.
26 March Placed at Carl Bobergsgården as a single girl at age 13 with up to 10 boys, ages 11 to 20, most of them placed there for conduct problems.
30 March Elin is physically assaulted by one of the boys.
3 April She's assaulted again.
7 April Elin is once again badly assaulted and her wrist is radio-graphed due to a possible fracture.
10 April She runs away from the orphanage and spends the night in the nearby forest.
13 April Elin is assaulted by six older boys at the orphanage. At around 15:00, she tells the boys at the orphanage that she's going to go hang herself. Then she walks out and spends the night in the forest again, never to return.
14 April Elin is found dead hanging from a tree - an obvious suicide - 18 days after having been placed at the orphanage.

Elin had told friends at school that she was both assaulted and sexually harassed at the orphanage, but refused to tell the authorities since she knew from experience she couldn't trust them. Among other things, she was forced to 'entertain' one of the boys sexually with her hands.

Her family was not briefed on any of the fights she had been in. During the autopsy, evidence of 19 punches and kicks is found on her body, with 43 bruises. Initially, criminal charges would be filed against two of the boys, but these didn't lead to any prosecutions, since Elin was dead and couldn't testify. During police investigations, at least one of the boys pleads guilty to assault, but this didn't make any difference. The staff remained skeptical of there having been fights at all at the orphanage. "Neither I or the staff ever saw them punching each other or anything like that," one of them said.

In her room, a farewell letter is found along with her diary. As she writes during her short stay here:

"Let me go, let me run away from Boberg. Let me run off and get out, I can't take this any more."
"Please, I can't deal with this. I'll let go of my knives and fly off to heaven."
"My life is ruined, thanks to the Linköping social services."
"The only thing they do is destroy other people's lives, so stay away from them. If your parents need help, just tell them to ignore getting help, because that's the safest."
Elin had apparently intended to become a writer and was in the process of composing a memoir entitled My Sad Life, but this life became simply too much for her to bear.

About a year later, during the summer of 2009, Elin's little brother Simon is allowed to return to Susanne from his foster home - now the social services feels she can take care of her children again. Alas, if only they had made that decision a little more than a year earlier...

(All of the names in this story have been replaced and are those used in mass media articles written about her case.)

The following links will take you to many news stories about Elin's tragic story. You will have to use Google Translate if you do not read Swedish.

Sveriges Radio: Om fallet Elin - "Mitt sorgliga liv"
AFTONBLADET:  Hennes dotter orkade inte leva, Elin, 13, blev slagen på hemmet – mamman fick inget veta

To read more on Elin, simply copy the following Swedish text into your net search engine: 
Carl Bobergsgården Elin

Watch this video to obtain a better understanding of the overreaching power of Sweden's LVU laws, watch this video.

Nov 1, 2010


While family resources come to an end, the battle for justice rages on

After 15 months of legal battles, the Johanssons have found themselves in dire financial straits. To this point, they've not accepted financial help, instead relying upon personal means and savings, as they've battled for the return of their only child, Domenic, who is now 9 years old. As you can imagine, such a battle against a government entity having endless resources has taken its toll financially, emotionally and physically on the family. As a result, the Johansson's resources have come to an end, while the battle for their son rages on. 

Help this family by using the Donate button at the top right of Domenic's blog today. While your donation is not tax deductible, 100% of the funds go directly to the Johansson family. This is a worthy cause, that of restoring family dignity, independence, justice and human rights in Sweden. When justice finally prevails for the Johansson family, the happy consequences will have potential to be felt and enjoyed around the world.

For those just learning of the case:
On June 25, 2009, armed police stormed an India bound airliner and forcibly removed then 7 year old Domenic, separating him from his parents. Their crime?  Home schooling. 

In preparation for their impending move to India, the family chose to home school Domenic in an effort to reduce disruption to his schooling as they relocated. Domenic's mother, Annie, was born and raised in India, living in Sweden with her Swedish husband, Christer, for approximately 8 years before the family finally sold all they owned and began what they thought would be a journey back to Annie's home and large, extended family.

At the time Domenic was seized by Sweden, home schooling was still legal in the country, but legislation had just been introduced in the Swedish parliament outlawing the practice, emboldening those in authority who are opposed to educational freedom. Home schooling is now illegal across the Swedish landscape and fines of $3000.00 for home schooling were just announced by the Swedish government last week.

Domenic has languished in foster care since he was forced off the India bound airliner moments before take-off. He is allowed to see his parents only one hour every five weeks and has been forced to sit in a public school classroom in Sweden, when he rightfully should be living with his parents and extended family in India. 

Ironically, Domenic's mother holds a Masters Degree in English, yet her high level of education has meant absolutely nothing to Swedish authorities. A once very close bond between father, mother and child has been forcibly destroyed by powers in Sweden purely for ideological and arbitrary reasons. To learn more about this travesty of justice, please spend time browsing this blog.