Marianne Haslev Skånland:
Dr Mengele & Co in action in Norwegian homes?

August 2011 (Norwegian edition 1995)

This article was originally published in Norwegian and Swedish in 1995, at the time of celebration of the liberation of Norway after the second world war. It appeared in the Norwegian newspapers Dagen and Kvinnheringen. It was also printed in Fremskritt, the periodical of the political party Fremskrittspartiet, two of whose parliamentary representatives had at that time proposed legislation to try to improve the standard of the Norwegian public child protection services. The Swedish version appeared in the periodical Medborgarrätt of the Swedish civil rights movement Medborgarrëttsrörelsen.
    Internet versions in Norwegian and Swedish have been published on the sites
barnasrett.no, nkmr.org, mhskanland.net, and can also be found on other websites concerned with the negative effects of social service activities.

The treatment of children and parents by the social services and by the court system has not improved since 1995, rather the contrary. Seminars and committee activities, statistics and research design, are very much the same as the examples described from the early nineteen-nineties. The essentials being the same, no revision of the article seemed called for in the translation and only a few details have been changed.

Marianne Haslev Skånland has worked as a professor of linguistics at the University of Bergen, Norway, and is now retired. She is engaged in social questions concerning human rights and health, and is especially interested in the question of the scientific basis for the views of psychology and social life favoured by the social authorities and the judicial system.


    It is no longer possible to avoid seeing the similarity between the public child care system of our Norwegian social authorities (CPS, the child protection services) and the Nazi SS, the KGB of the Soviet Union, and the Inquisition a few centuries ago.
    In the spring of 1995, Norway celebrated the 50th anniversary of our liberation from the Nazi yoke. We all said, with emotional fervour: Never must we let this happen again. We particularly react against the concentration camps and everything regarding the treatment of, among others, the Jews, which for instance took place in the following manner: First, the Jews were deprived of all their money and property. Then, those able to work were made use of as slave labourers in German industry. Finally, when they were killed, their remains were utilised to make products such as soap and lamp-shades. But before they were killed they could also serve as guinea pigs in medical experiments which could not be perfomed on free individuals. The experiments were usually very painful and harmful, or they could be aimed at investigating how the subjects of the experiments reacted, physically and mentally, to torture, to being told that they were to be executed, and so on. These experiments were carried out by "scientists", with Dr Josef Mengele in the forefront.

    A parallel to such "resource utilisation" was openly called for by the county administration of Hordaland on the west coast of Norway ("Hordaland fylkeskommune") in the summer of 1995. The county hosted "The 9th International Foster Home Conference". The title of the conference was "Building Bridges" and the programme posed seemingly touching questions such as: "How can parents be a resource in foster home care – both to the children, to the foster parents and to the professional helpers?" and "[the question of] the use – or lack of use – of the media by care workers in order to bring the voice of the children out into society".
    In plain text: The child victims are not to be allowed to go home to their parents, the adult victims are to serve their own and their children's tormentors. The real reason for the abduction of children by the child protection services does not lie in circumstances concerning parents or children, it is found in the need of CPS social workers and clinical psychologists for jobs and power. The taking-into-care business is an incomparable financial drain, a waste of several billion crowns on totally useless – even positively destructive – activities. The actions of the CPS are paid by society, by all of us. But in addition, the victims are often brought to ruin trying to get efficient help from lawyers and independent expert witness assessments in their quite lonely fight against the terrorising CPS. Because the CPS keeps the children hostage in institutions and foster homes, the parents cannot effectively protect themselves and their children against the "resource utilisation".
    In practice, parents are deprived of their statutory freedom of speech, their right to criticise the authorites, because the CPS – and the courts! – threaten them and punish them and their children if they publish in the media or in other ways make public the abuse of their families carried out by the social services. While parents are muzzled, the county administration of Hordaland, on the other hand, at the above-mentioned conference made considerable and open propaganda for the use of the media by the CPS to promote their own interest and that of foster homes, even on the pretext of representing "the voice of the children"! And sure enough: newspaper coverage of the conference presented foster homes and child protection in the way these groups wanted – a pure beautification of idyllic harmony. I am reminded of the Red Cross paying a planned visit to the concentration camp Theresienstadt, on which visit the SS presented a pretty facade for the occasion. The Red Cross predictably saw nothing much wrong with the conditions for the Jews there.
    Furthermore, the Norwegian Ministry of Child and Family Affairs (the name in 1995 of the government department concerned) now intends to spend 3-4 million on propaganda for foster homes, since they do not have enough of them (one would hope that the reason for this shortage was that decent people are beginning to wake up and understand that they should not enroll as minions of an organisation which is out of all ethical control, a regime that has developed into a pure harm-doer). I am perhaps not alone in remembering the meeting in which the SS planned the organisation of the "final solution"? Norwegian child protection services arrange such strategy meetings endlessly; they are called "seminars", "conferences" and "supplementary training courses".

    Such behaviour on the part of the social authorities is not new in Norway. During many decades our "Taters" (a travelling population resembling gypsies) were interned in work camps and threatened: if they left, their children would be taken from them. However, the children could be taken anyway and the victims be both sterilised and lobotomised. Long after the 2nd world war these atrocities against the Taters have continued. A man of Tater family made a statement in 1995 which Norwegians should take more seriously. It appeared on the news a few days before the celebration of liberation day the 8th of May. He said something like this: "No, we want no liberation celebration of the freedom hero Dr Scharffenberg. He headed the abuse of Norwegian Taters, which was carried out so that Dr Scharffenberg should be able to practice his 'theories'. Many of us are still despairingly searching for our families."
    The atrocities against the Taters have now been extended to the general population. As in the Soviet Union under Stalin, just anybody, randomly, can be subject to house search, unremitting interrogation and sustained monitoring over years, forced "treatment" for non-existing mental illness, and of course deportation of the children. It serves us right, though, to have our society destroyed in this way, we who let it happen to the Taters. Norwegians are not at all especially freedom loving! We let ourselves be impressed by authority and indoctrination just like other nations, in the way, for instance, of large numbers of Germans who could not, or would not, believe in the existence of the concentration camps.

    Among the endless series of frightening aspects shown by the conduct of our child protection services, another detail deserves a mention: Her in Bergen the CPS has lauched a so-called "Orion Project" (known generally as Marte Meo). It consists in the CPS again forcing their way into peoples' homes, this time to capture on film the unhappy parents whose children they have taken or threaten to take away, in their daily tasks in the home and e.g in their "interaction" with the children. The purpose is said to be to study them psychologically and "show the parents what they do wrong". If the parents refuse this "help", they are said to be extra unfit to have anything to do with their children. I know, for instance, of a young mother staying at Bergen Mødrehjem ("Bergen Home for Mothers") – an institution under CPS supposed to help mothers in a difficult situation. This young mother refused to let herself be filmed by the Orion Project, was thrown out from the Mothers' Home with her child, and was therefore in fact put on the street because she had no other place to go.
    When we are to assess such an action, we would do well to note what kind of proof, about home and parents, is considered by the CPS to be relevant and is in fact brought as evidence by them in court cases, evidence for "negligence", "lack of care" and "harm to the child's mental health": the mother "is clumsy with the tin opener"; she "uses too much washing powder"; the clothes "do not lie in military order in the closets"; the mother "cuts the bread into too thick slices"; the father "seems stressed when the child protection services are present"; the child "eats her food so quickly that she must have been subject to incest"; the child "eats so slowly and reluctantly that it must be the victim of incest"; the mother "does not stimulate the child verbally in the food-situation"; "when the child fell over on the floor, the mother only helped her up without comforting her verbally"; the mother and a twelve year old son "eat when they are hungry and not at set times every day"; the parents "do not notice the needs of the child"; the parents "are concerned with the child all the time and overprotect it"; the mother "will not let us into her private life and therefore gives us reason to strongly suspect that she has something to hide".

   I suggest we say that the real reason for such projects is the ever present zeal of the CPS for remunerative activities, plus their insatiable desire to poke their noses into everything everywhere, with their voyeur's lust for "research" and control of all and sundry, such always being the need of power-lovers. It seems to me that the Orion Project is Josef Mengele in a new version. In Germany it was at least over after something like twelve years. In the Soviet Union it took seventy.


Some relevant articles:

Marianne Haslev Skånland:
Human Rights in Norway – as Low as they can Go

Siv Westerberg:
Child Prisons? In Sweden?

Siv Westerberg:
The Folly of Sweden's State Controlled Families

Siv Westerberg:
Foster-children as lucrative business

Johansen v. Norway
The European Court of Human Rights

Critical comments to Norway's fourth periodic report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child – 2008
Letter to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

Eric Brodin:
Limiting the Rights of Attorneys and Denying the Right to Counsel

Arild Holta:
Letter to Amnesty

Marianne Haslev Skånland:
The attitude of social professions involved in the child protection sector

Germund Hesslow:
The Dangers of the Therapeutic Culture

Article Archives, NCHR