MUST-READ: Sweden jails father of child who was seized for being home-schooled

Teacher Union Protesting Parental Rights
Teacher Union Demanding Bigger Government

From an Alliance Defense Fund press release.


After seizing a child from his parents and holding him in custody with virtually no visitation for 1 1/2 years because he was home-schooled, the Swedish government has now jailed the boy’s father for taking his son home from a supervised visitation when he wasn’t supposed to last week. Social services officials also told the 9-year-old boy’s mother that if she doesn’t stop crying at the limited visitations, which last for one hour every five to six weeks, they will further reduce the frequency of visits with her son.

After Swedish courts upheld the government’s right to seize Domenic Johansson, son of Christer and Annie Johansson, attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund and the Home School Legal Defense Association filed an application with the European Court of Human Rights asking it to hear the case, Johansson v. Sweden. Swedish authorities will not permit the family to be represented within the country by an ADF-allied attorney and have instead required them to accept a government-appointed public defender.

“The government shouldn’t abduct and imprison children simply because it doesn’t like homeschooling. That’s exactly what happened here,” said ADF Legal Counsel Roger Kiska, who is based in Europe. “Despite the ill-advised decision on the part of Mr. Johansson, the only menace here is a government drunk with its own power.  This sad circumstance is what happens when an over-powerful government pushes a parent to the point of desperation, so social services should not pretend to be surprised.”

“The parents complied with everything expected of them, and yet the government has continued to keep their son under lock and key,” Kiska added. “Americans beware: This is coming to your doorstep if you are not vigilant about your government.”

Swedish authorities forcibly removed Domenic from his parents in June 2009 from a plane they had boarded to move to Annie’s home country of India.  The officials did not have a warrant nor did they charge the Johanssons with any crime.  The officials seized the child because they believe home schooling is an inappropriate way to raise a child and insist the government should raise Domenic instead, even though home-schooling was legal in Sweden at the time he was taken into custody.

The Democrat party, and all secular leftist parties, are opposed to the idea of parents raising their own children because it offends their sense of “equality”. The left desires equality of outcomes for all citizens regardless of how they act. And that means that all children should receive state care and instruction during daylight hourse, virtually from the time they are born until the time when they become employed (hopefully by the government). The left is especially terrified of homeschooling, because in that arrangement, the parents, (and especially the father), are able to teach the child to have the beliefs that the parents prefer. The left is allied with teacher unions who have educated themselves to the point where they believe that parents are not their partners in educating children, but instead are enemies.

Homeschooling versus fascism

A common thread in fascist regimes is the effort to separate children from parents at a young age, so that adult teachers can impose the state’s values on the children when they are least able to resist them. That is why, accoring to the Guardian, the National Socialist party abolished homeschooling in fascist Germany in 1938. (A review of Goldberg’s book by Canadian author Denyse O’Leary is here). My favorite quote from Goldberg’s book is about the role of government-run schools in a fascist state:

Hence a phalanx of progressive reformers saw the home as the front line in the war to transform men into compliant social organs. Often the answer was to get the children out of the home as soon as possible. An archipelago of agencies, commissions, and bureaus sprang up overnight to take the place of the anti-organic, contra-evolutionary influences of the family. The home could no longer be seen as an island, separate and sovereign from the rest of society. John Dewey helped create kindergartens in American for precisely this purpose — to help shape the apples before they fell from the tree — while at the other end of the educational process stood reformers like Wilson, who summarized the progressive attitude perfectly when, as president of Princeton, he told an audience, “Our problem is not merely to help the students to adjust themselves to world life … [but] to make them as unlike their fathers as possible.”

The United States is also heading in this direction. In Democrat-run California, Human Events reported that homeschooling was effectively banned by an activist court. Christian apologist Dinesh D’Souza recently explained why the left is so intent on keeping control of the schools here. He notes that secular people do not form families and do not have children, because it is too much of a constraint on their autonomy. Instead, D’Souza writes, secularists simply seize control of the children of religious parents, and pass their values on to the children in the mandatory government-run schools.

Christians and the secular left

Some people, even some Christians, vote for Democrats because they don’t want to have to pay for the things they want by working themselves, but would prefer to pay for the the things they want by having their harder-working neighbors pay for the things they want. Parents who vote for leftists are really just delivering their children into the hands of an ever growing secular humanist educational bureaucracy that will have no respect – no respect – for the traditional family. And this is even worse for Christians, because the traditional family is the nursery for Christian beliefs. When a child has to please his peers and his public school indoctrinators more than his parents, Christianity is finished.

This is something that the church is largely ignorant of, and indifferent to, because they are more focused on providing feelings of happiness to their customers. The church does this by neglecting the truthfulness of Christianity as a knowledge tradition and emphasizing Christianity as an amusing musical show. Apologetics is replaced by entertainment.

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13 thoughts on “MUST-READ: Sweden jails father of child who was seized for being home-schooled”

  1. This is a very strange story that does not make sense on the surface, so did a little bit more reading. Firstly, a longer article that supports this position but does add some information about health and mental issues of the two parents (plays this down)…here

    Second was an article which is a little bit more critical of the media reporting of the case…here

    Seems like there is more than meets the eye. Maybe nothing to do with home schooling at all (I personally support home schooling as long as there is a minimum standard of achievement which can be demonstrated)


    1. Moo, this is a great comment. Can we get anything that this guy is saying from a real news story? I need to have a news story that substantiates that the parents had problems apart from being Christians. Because it’s very relevant and people need the whole story.

      However it still stands that homeschooling is illegal in Sweden.

      Also, your first link didn’t work, just reply with the URL and I will fix it.


    2. Moo:
      Have a look at this site:

      This also mentions the father’s depression and puts it in perspective. There’s quite a bit of detail:

      National Health Care – How a man’s conscientious efforts to regain health were used against him

      Sweden is a socialist country. The country’s health care is administered by the government, as opposed to private health care where patients enjoy doctor patient privacy. In a socialist system, your health record is the government’s business.

      In the Domenic Johansson case, Christer’s health records from years previous were eventually used against him. After the earth quake and the family’s emigration back to Sweden, Christer suffered a major depressive episode. Yet he did the right thing. He recognized his condition and sought help from the Swedish health system. After a psychiatric evaluation, Christer received the anti-depressant medication Seroxat (also known as Paxil). Unfortunately, this drug can have severe side effects and Christer fell victim to some of its worst, including dependency.

      Once more, Christer did the right thing. He recognized his further deteriorating condition and sought help from the Swedish health system again, at which time he was offered the popular Swedish depression remedy: Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT). A well informed and intelligent man, Christer already knew the dangers of ECT and turned the psychiatric clinic’s offered remedy down. Christer found he had only one choice: to wean himself off Paxil, which he succeeded in doing over several months.

      Unfortunately for Christer, health records of Swedish citizens are not private. Any government agency or employee, it seems, can obtain a citizen’s records. As in countless other state child protective cases, Christer’s health records were obtained by Visby Social Services and the often conflicting diagnoses of Christer’s mental health condition in 2003 and 2004 have been used against him in 2009. In response, Christer requested a new psychiatric evaluation. Dated October 11, 2009, the newest psychiatric evaluation documents the history of Christer’s struggles and provides a new evaluation and conclusion by Visby Adult Neuropsychiatry Department. According to the report, which was submitted in full to the Chamber Court, Christer is said to be healthy and completely free of any mental illness or other diagnosis.

      Even with this latest psychiatric evaluation demonstrating Christer’s depressive illness, as well as the severe side effects he’d suffered from the psychiatric medications are safely in the past, the court continued to insist in its December decision that Christer suffers from psychiatric illness. Surprisingly, the written decision attributes this “diagnosis” as “…according to the social services’ understanding a factor that affects Christer Johansson’s ability to care.” Evidently, the opinion of a professional psychiatrist with Visby Adult Neuropsychiatry Department holds little weight in the Chamber Court at Stockholm over an “understanding” by personnel at Social Services of Gotland.


    3. I also think it’s incredibly closed-minded that they consider it some sort of child abuse if parents decide to live simply and include their child in that. It’s materialistic in the worst sense. Are they going to take children away from every set of parents who don’t own a car? Ugh!


      1. The other thing I am considering is this – should having children possibly land you in jail, and should the state seize your children and give them to a non-Christian couple? If so, then why should religious people reproduce since their kids will be raised as atheists by bureaucrats?


        1. Well, that is exactly what the state wants. Either they want Christians to let the state raise their kids or they want Christians to be so scared that they don’t have kids, so that they can have a country full of “happy” little socialist clones.

          That’s part of what drives the anti-child environmental extremism that brands having more than 2 children as “littering”. What they object to, more than the number of children per se, is that such children might (horror of horrors) be conservative or religious.


          1. Well, the current stage of secularism is that the homeschooled kids can exist, as long as they have ZERO influence. So the challenge for Christian parents is to not only keep the state off their backs, but to actually get the children to the level of a Doug Axe or a William Lane Craig. The challenge is that the teachers have the advantage in the classroom and they can ask the children (when the parents are not there) questions like “do you tolerate all our our liberal, secular, socialist and moral relativist views?”. They will ask your children this and if your children answer wrongly, then (eventually) these fascists on the secular left may seize your children and jail you for spreading hate. That is the real danger. The plan is to produce William Lane Craig or Doug Axe. Those are the only people who can put a stop to this. But that will require enormous financial resources (which are reduced by taxes and a high unemployment rate caused by anti-business policies) and enormous secrecy. It’s an incredibly difficult task, and NOT ONE THAT IS SUITED to people who think that religion and babies are about having fun, fun, fun. I have been doing interviewing of Christian women for a long time and the only ones who have these goals, are aware of the challenges and are executing the plan are married women. It is rare. People are content to drift on the fumes of a small-government capitalist Christian culture for now and to ignore the forces arrayed against them.

            The sins that people on the left commit in their own personal lives causes them to become intolerant of liberty. They begin to use schools and government to want to STOP PEOPLE OF FAITH FROM JUDGING THEM. That is the danger posed by people on the secular left who want to subsidize and celebrate sin.

            And we on the right are not really serious about producing the kind of influential Christians who can stop them. We don’t even have Christian worldviews – many church Christians are voting for big government, public schools, and subsidies for risky, costly behaviors, e.g. – single payer. I know home-schooled, farm-raised, young-earth, patriarchal Calvinist women who are “social conservatives” who favor SINGLE-PAYER. Including the IVF, the abortions and the sex changes – all taxpayer-funded. That is the level of incompetence I am seeing among Christians.


          2. And I will tell you right now. The Christian men in the church, who are the plan-makers, know NOTHING about these challenges. They are not suited to lead Christian women. Christian women are in a HORRIBLE spot if they are looking for leadership from Christian men. I am not sure if I expect single Christian women to know all about these things, but I expect them to read what I tell them to read on it, and to be as worried and thoughtful about these things as I am. I think the responsibility that the men are the strategists in the church – it’s the men’s responsibility to know what the situation is on the field. The women’s job is to follow the strategic lead and to handle all the tactics. We are getting killed out there right now and it’s getting worse. So long as people continue to cash out Christianity as a self-help source of entertainment, we are not going to turn this thing around.

            The secular elites think we are idiots. They don’t KNOW any Christians who are intelligent. That’s why they find it so easy to run roughshod over our rights. They think they are saving children from alchemy and flat-earthism when they pass these laws. That is the problem. We chose to become ignorant, lazy, cowardly fundamentalists. It is a provocation to them, just like Obama’s bowing to dictators is a provocation to terrorists to become more aggressive. They respect strength. We chose to be weak because it was easier to sing and dance in the church than to study all night in a PhD program.


  2. “Social services officials also told the 9-year-old boy’s mother that if she doesn’t stop crying at the limited visitations, which last for one hour every five to six weeks, they will further reduce the frequency of visits with her son.”

    Not even allowed to cry. I’d want to cry if they’d taken my child away from me for wanting to homeschool and given me a mere hour every five to six weeks. This makes me really, really angry, and really, really scared for any kids I might have.

    Governments should leave families the heck alone, stop trying to tell them what to do, and stop taking their children away because they don’t want to do things the state’s way.


  3. Thanks for sharing this important information! However, I don’t think churches are ignorant, they just don’t do more to emphasize the damage the public education system is doing to the faith of our children because the churches care more about not offending parents than saving children. Church leadership is either more concerned with keeping parents in the pews and taking their donations or lack the leadership and strength of character and conviction to share the hard truths with their congregations. Parents who are unwilling to make the sacrifices necessary to home or privately educate their children don’t take kindly to being called out. Southern Baptist Convention activists Bruce N. Shortt and T.C. Pinckney wrote a resolution calling on members to take their kids out of public schools and either homeschool or send them to Christian schools. The resolution was voted down after being trashed by leadership.


    1. Oh, this is a great point that I missed Tina. It’s true – I know lots of parents who are too busy working and buying stuff to care about what the little ones believe.


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