The 'Trans Child' Is A Sacred Cow To Activists Working Inside US Child Welfare Agencies
Notes on the strategic culture of 'gender identity'
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Gender identity ideology is often likened to a cult or pseudo-religion. Here at The Distance, we have approached the gender identity belief system as an historical faith formation process because that framework has value for analysis. We are not alone in this endeavor. Just to cite one example, the inimitable Eliza Mondegreen studies online “trans communities” as cultic societies reinforcing belief, banishing doubt, and enforcing conformity. Many parents of children who experience ‘gender distress’ report the impression that “affirming” schools, therapeutic professionals, and community leaders have all joined a cult. And so on.
All cults have sacred beliefs. The cult of the “transgender child” is just one core belief of the gender cult. It wants to “save” children from non-affirming parents. For example, the state of Montana is currently “saving” a 14-year-old girl with mental health issues from her parents, Krista and Todd Kolstad, because they object to the staff of a hospital grooming their child into their cult. Although they deleted their YouTube video crying out for justice, the Kolstads defied a judge’s Orwellian ruling long enough to get the notice of Reduxx, who have now seen the receipts.
While the medical transitioning of minors was prohibited in the state of Montana at the time, Krista says the hospital told her that “social transitioning” was a “grey area” and continued to call Jennifer “Leo” and refer to her as a boy.
As a patient admitted for suicidal ideations, Jennifer was placed on 24/7 watch to keep her safe. But Krista says an aide was placed outside of her door who would regularly talk to Jennifer about “gender affirming” care.
“I came one day and she was talking about having top-surgery and being non-binary,” Krista says of the aide. She took her complaint to the on-duty Doctor, who dismissed her. “He told me, ‘why are not you more concerned that your daughter is trying to harm herself, then what [the aide] is talking about?'”
Another aide who had been set to watch over Jennifer similarly chastised Krista, telling her to “respect” Jennifer’s wishes to be called “Leo.”
It bears repeating that the type of social movement which threatens suicide, self-harm, or violence if the world does not conform to their beliefs is called a “cult.” A troubled teenager threatening suicide is exactly the sort of person that violent, harmful cults seek to recruit. This is cult recruiting, in plain sight, through the auspices of public institutions, in a state that has banned pediatric transition. This is a cult that inhabits the professional, managerial class across America.
Gender identity ideology contains many older ideas. Specifically, we have identified Gnostic and Hermeticist traditions continuing in the social justice woo woo and magical thinking of gender identity ideology. New Age themes, postmodernism, and Queer Marxism have all been identified by this website and other commentators, such as James Lindsay, who also studies the history of ideas behind these faith constructions of “trans” identification.
We may regard the “trans child” as a cornerstone belief of the cult. The gender identity faith formation projects so much sacred value on the “trans child” that supposed professional healers can lie to parents, invoke the coercive powers of the state to “save” the child, whisk the child away to another state or country, and have it all rubber-stamped by a judge, circumventing the will of the state legislature.
Concern began to set in, but Krista and Todd were assured that the most likely scenario was Jennifer being placed in a Montana-based facility, and on August 22, Krista and Todd were told that Jennifer was next in line for a bed in Billings, Montana.
But hours later that same day, Krista and Todd were called and informed Jennifer would be moved to Wyoming.
“They called and told us that a bed had opened up in Wyoming and that Jennifer needed to go. [The Doctor] said ‘she has to go. she’s not doing any good here,’ and we were really blown away,” Krista recounts. “No one talked to us about the the name of the facility — we had no one to answer our questions. We told them we wanted our questions answered before we accepted the bed.”
Ten minutes later, Child and Family Services arrived at the Kolstad residence with police.
Montana has banned pediatric transition. Wyoming has not. Now the court has given custody of of the child, “Jennifer,” to Child and Family Services, which transferred the child to her Canadian birth mother, again circumventing the Montana state law against transitioning minors. The Kolstad family are victims of a cult operating in plain sight, through offices of state agencies, to enact a group salvation fantasy on a minor, circumventing state law, kidnapping a child and taking it to another state as well as another country.
The Kolstads are not abnormal. They are the new normal in American child protective services. Their story resonates with many I have already heard from parents whose lives have been destroyed by the cult of the trans child operating in schools, clinics, and state bureaucracies.
Recently, I read and reviewed the Routledge Handbook of Strategic Culture, a textbook for a discipline that is now in its fifth decade. Strategic culture studies is different from other schools of international relations and diplomacy in that it appreciates the role of religion and other group identities which produce sacred values that the group will defend, even going to extremes. Strategic culture studies can be applied to any organization, large or small, or even a nation-state. (This is a paywalled book review at my personal website.)
According to the authors of the Handbook, “sacred values” often lead strategic cultures to make decisions that seem irrational, illogical, or beyond negotiation. Instead of an “instrumental” process, the cult of the “trans child” inhabiting Montana state agencies considers “Jennifer” to be a sacred icon that must be protected at all costs.
Anthropologist Scott Atran describes sacred values as “inscrutable propositions that are immune to logic or empirical evidence.” In the Handbook, Nicholas Taylor writes that for a strategic culture, these positions are beyond a logical, rational, cost-benefit analysis. One clear mark of sacred values (or “protected values”) is “the reluctance or refusal of their holder to negotiate or trade them.” They are “absolute.” This sense of moral purpose drives “decisions and actions in ways that are not associated with the likelihood of the decisionmaker achieving their goals.”
The sacred cows of Hindu culture are an example of a value that makes little sense to outsiders in terms of cost-benefit analysis. The “trans child” is the sacred cow of the gender cult. Strategic culture research describes five characteristics in the believer of the sacred value, all of which resonate in transgender apologetics for pediatric sex change.
They are immune to numbers. They hold the act itself to be sacred, not the result. “This can also apply to the likelihood of a consequence occurring: holders of sacred values may not accept any likelihood of a particular event occurring, no matter how slim.”
They seek power through agency capture. “The participation of the decisionmaker involved is important, rather than what the actual consequences of the decision may be.”
They feel righteous. “Actions required by sacred values are seen as moral obligations; they are not personal preferences or conventions but are seen as compulsory behaviors” (emphasis original).
They deny trade-offs. “Holders of sacred values generally tend to deny even the existence of real and sometimes significant pollicy trade-offs with their sacred values.”
They react to opposition with anger. “This is because, from their perspective, if would be a moral violation.”
“Although sacred values are often derived from religious beliefs, research suggests that they can emerge around issues with relatively little historical background and significance; in particular, this can occur when they become linked to conflicts over group identity.”
Moreover, “if material incentives are offered to someone in return for them compromising their sacred values, the likelihood of violent opposition often increases.” Believers will never bargain away a sacred cow for anything. “For holders of sacred values, even contemplating proposals to exchange those values for secular ones is unacceptable.”
We have observed these behaviors countless times by now, but let us confine ourselves to the example of Tavistock here. A Care Quality Commission review resulted in the GIDS clinic being closed. A system of regional clinics was supposed to replace it. However, the process of standing up those regional centers has stalled because the team selected to create training materials “could not agree on the content,” according to journalist Hannah Barnes.
On one side of the impasse were whistleblowers who criticized GIDS. On the other side were GIDS veterans who remain enthusiastic about the “affirming” approach and criticize the findings of the preliminary Cass Review. “One was a current senior clinician at Gids who, according to the BBC, described themselves as being “devoted” to taking an affirmative approach to working with young people,” Barnes reported two weeks ago. Any new services at all for “gender distressed” children have been delayed, and will likely miss the April deadline, because the cult of the trans child would not give up on their sacred cow of puberty blockers.
As was clear to anyone who read Barnes’s book about the Tavistock clinic, the cult is immune to evidence, numbers, or alternate perspectives. Despite clear evidence of vulnerable children being abused, bullied, even groomed, or that homophobia and autism and chaotic home lives were being swept into the discursive category of “trans child,” the cult pressed on with their campaign to “save” those children.
Secretiveness has been a value of the strategic culture of the “trans child” cult from the beginning. See, for example, the so-called Dentons report of 2019, an advisory document developed by the Dentons law firm “in conjunction with Thomson Reuters Foundation and LGBT pressure group IGLYO.”
Dentons' report states that every child has an accurate conception of their own gender identity which they should be entitled to affirm in law without impediment. "The right to legal gender recognition is crucial for young trans persons to secure all other rights", it states, advising that the UK should "eliminate the minimum age requirement" at which children can change their legal gender "on their own volition, without the need for medical diagnoses or court determination". The document emphasises that there should be "no eligibility criteria, such as medical or psychological interventions".
And UK authorities should “take action” against parents "who are obstructing the free development of a young trans person’s identity in refusing to give parental authorization when required".
Diagnosis should not be required before receiving transgender services, this activist document says. There should be “no limitations” on “gender confirmation treatment.” But it should all take place out of public sight. Activists must take over agencies from within and “avoid excessive press coverage and exposure” when they enact their agenda on unwilling families.
For example, the activists use courts to destroy families and hold them in contempt of court if they speak out. This is the strategic culture of the transgender cult at work.
We wish good luck and success to Krista and Todd Kolstad. While “the family’s legal avenues are limited,” as Anna Slatz reports at Reduxx, we suggest that their best path to change is located in Helena at the state capitol.
A cult has circumvented the will of the Montana legislature and its governor, using state agencies accountable to the people, going above and beyond any conceivable call of professional duty and putting the safety of a child at risk. Investigations and hearings and legislation are in order. Responsible parties must be named and paper trails produced. The trans cult thinks that they are righteous, that they can defy democracy. They must learn the error of this thinking the hard way, through political action and attention.
They must learn in Montana so that families in every state are protected. We sadly welcome the Kolstads to this fold.
These people all believe she will harm herself in my home so that justifies it in their eyes to “protect” her from me. We live in Oregon because of my husbands Job. We don't have family or a support system here. We also do not have other family that can help us, or that have a place for my daughter. I am forever grateful for ROGD Parent groups and parents I have found virtually as it might be the only way I keep moving forward.
And what of a “gender critical strategic culture”? As I keep saying, effective organization is the key to success for any insurgent social movement. Montana is an opportunity for such a culture to galvanize as a potent political force. The legislature does not meet again until 2025, but that also gives people time to organize. We will be watching this space with interest.
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