Summary of Hansman v. Neufeld Decision May 19, 2023
Special Analysis for Woke Watch Canada
By Shannon B Douglas
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Six years ago Barry Neufeld, a school trustee in Chilliwack, British Columbia, with obligations to serve the students in his school district in their best interested reviewed a new school curriculum called SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity).
Advocates sold SOGI to BC school boards with rainbows and glitter and promises of an inclusive, progressive, anti-oppression toolkit to help protect the most marginalized kids in the school system. It was created by radical gender theorists and presented by people in suits with slick power-points.
Barry had spent twenty-seven years working in BC Corrections, the majority of the time, twenty-two years, working with Youth Corrections Services and in the course of his work had seen the downstream impacts of every kind of crime imaginable upon both the victims and offenders. Relevant to SOGI, and the criticism he leveled against it, was his experience working with sex offenders, especially involving the sexual abuse of children. He recognized and understood patterns of abuse, and he understood how sexual predators behave towards children from decades of working with both victims and offenders.
When Barry looked at SOGI he saw red flags. From talking with him over tea last April in Kelowna, I learned about how he saw correlations between SOGI and grooming patterns. He described some of the process of secret-keeping, grooming, manipulation, and undermining of children’s sexual boundaries that sexual predators use. Seemingly innocent at first, predators groom both their intended victims and their caregivers, and in extreme cases, they groom the institutional systems the have infiltrated, subtly undermining the relationships between their victims and the people who protect them.
They begin to ask questions of children: about boyfriends, girlfriends, crushes; about sexual attraction, about arousal, about sexual orientation, and the sexual desires and interests of kids too young to be sexual. They might ask, “are you sure you’re straight?” all with the intention of getting kids to question themselves, and then to confide in the adult predator. In short, they start to normalize intimate conversations with impressionable children, and they keep secrets.
Sexual predators of children often know their victims and their victims’ families. They present themselves as benevolent helpers and establish themselves in positions of authority with access to children. They are often paragons of virtue that no one would suspect. This is why so many organizations like churches, boarding schools, and boy-scout troops have been rocked by revelations of widespread sexual abuse scandals in recent decades. The institutions had allowed themselves to become havens for predators by ignoring or missing red flags. As child victims became adults as the fear and the shame and worthlessness that had kept them bound to silence fell away. The secrets could no longer be contained. The structures the predators had put in place to groom their targets collapsed and truth of the abuses emerged.
In my knowledge, this was the greatest problem related to the direct abuse of children in the Canadian Indigenous Residential System. They were havens for predators completely devoid of any accountability. The mechanisms of race were used as layers of the abuse, both making the dehumanized children less consequential to the predators and giving them leverage to silence and invalidate their targets. “Who is going to even believe you, and who is going to care?”
Many people don’t realize that protections against child abuse didn’t find a place in law until the early 1970s in Canada. And it wasn’t until the Oprah and Phil Donahue generation that stories of child abuse in families and institutional abuses came to broadly public consciousness. Prior to this, the traumas and abuses of children were only talked about in whispers.
In 2017 Neufeld raised concerns that the SOGI curriculum structurally resembled the behavior patterns consistent with the sexual grooming of children by predatory adults and in a now familiar process, the defenders of gender identity and the self-appointed valiant protectors of the oppressed set about to destroy him. Attacking and destroying critics has long been one of the core tactics of abusers or abuser-controlled institutions. When the tactics of these dark-triad/dark-tetrad characters are questioned and confronted, the response can often be summed up in the acronym: DARVO.
DARVO stands for Denial of accountability; Attack the whistleblower/target; Reversal of Victim and Offender roles.
Glen Hansman, then president of the powerful BC Teachers Federation, with 50,000 members, attacked Barry Neufeld in the public commons with the usual litany of abuses reserved for anyone questioning the radical trans agenda:
To use the DARVO model to describe this, Hansman denied any problems with SOGI, both explicitly and implicitly. He then attacked Neufeld with the usual smears: “Bigot! Hateful! Transphobic! Homophobic!” making Neufeld the Offender and making the defenders of SOGI and the “poor marginalized children” they claim to protect, the victims.
Hansman went so far as to assert that Neufeld was a danger to children and made the hysterical charge that Neufeld had no business being anywhere near a school. This resulted in Neufeld, a long-serving school trustee, being barred from visiting the schools he was responsible for.
Barry decided to sue Hansman for defamation in his fight to express his concerns about SOGI.
In a bizarre set of legal arguments, taking a reverse position to the spirit of the law, Hansman’s lawyers invoked the Anti-SLAPP rules accusing Neufeld of using the legal system to silence Hansman’s speech. SLAPP stands for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, which was a law, originated to protect whistleblowers and underdogs from being dragged through the court by organizations with limitless funds who would use the legal system to silence speech. Neufeld is not a man of substantial means especially when compared to an extremely well-funded union with 50,000 members.
Neufeld was accused of being the party abusing the system to silence legitimate criticism, and the first judge, newly appointed, dismissed the case against Hansman.
Since the SLAPP laws had never been tested in this way, Barry appealed and a tribunal in BC unanimously overturned the decision awarding damages to Neufeld. One of their findings was that if the Anti-SLAPP laws were interpreted this way, they might serve the opposite of their intended purpose and have a chilling effect on speech.
Hansman, of the deep pocketed BCTF, escalated to the Supreme Court.
In preparation for the hearing, Barry and his lawyer, Paul Jaffe, submitted numerous requests for Intervenors to speak before the court, to help give credence to his concerns about SOGI, and to stress the importance of his Charter Rights to Free Expression. All were denied. The court however accepted a dozen partisan advocacy organizations to speak on Hansman’s behalf including Egale Canada, an overt purveyor of alphabet propaganda and identitarianism.
The day before the hearing I picked up Barry from the airport after he flew the red-eye from Abbotsford. We had breakfast at my place and hosted a small meet-and-greet and the next day a crowd of several dozen supporters gathered on the lawn of the Supreme Court to stand with him. There were speeches, videos, and a march around the Supreme Court Building.
By the end of the day, Barry had aged dramatically.
Rumors from lawyers I talked with over the last few months, ones with access to the whisper networks about such things, have not been optimistic about the outcome and the decision on Friday May 19th confirmed their worst fears.
The Supreme Court dismissed Neufeld’s defamation case against Hansman. The presuppositions of the court about the nature of transgenderism, is consistent with the activist narrative.
Significant legal advancements in transgender rights have only come in the last 35 years, with most change taking place in the last decade, and judicial recognition of the plight of transgender individuals in Canada is growing in the wake of legislative progress. Yet, despite some gains, courts and tribunals have recognized that transgender people remain among the most marginalized in Canadian society, and continue to live their lives facing disadvantage, prejudice, stereotyping, and vulnerability.
H’s counter‑speech fell close to the core of s. 2(b). His expression served a truth‑seeking function, and in speaking out, he sought to counter expression that he and others perceived to undermine the equal worth and dignity of marginalized groups. There is a great public interest in protecting H’s freedom of speech on such matters. The subject matter of H’s speech (commenting on the value of a government initiative, the need for safe and inclusive schools, and the fitness of a candidate for public office), the form in which it was expressed (solicited by the media to present a counter‑perspective within an ongoing debate), and the motivation behind it (to combat discriminatory and harmful expression and to protect transgender youth in schools) are all deserving of significant protection. The chambers judge’s conclusion that the public interest in protecting H’s expression outweighed the public interest in remedying the harm to N should be affirmed.
Hansman V Neufeld was a grave blow to speech in Canada, and a frightening revelation about the depths to which the trans doctrines and the legal fictions defending the educational indoctrination mechanisms that so many believe are dangerous to children.
The Dark Triad Types, and the corrupt institutions that take on a collective psychopathology when run by them, utilizing DARVO tactics, are too often successful in muddying the waters between victim and offender, that truth-seeking and sense-making functions become compromised, but this didn’t come out of nowhere. The years of strategic implementation of Trans Rights legislation and policy in Canada had already made anything to do with “Inclusive” education a sacred cow in Law.
It’s a devastating blow to people concerned about gender ideology in schools across the country, and it appears that the decision establishes an even more rigid set of protections for the radical activist tactics which often involve inflammatory defamations and ad hominem attacks. The legal mechanisms that protect the people perpetuating and promoting the ideology now seem entirely unquestionable.
The most disturbing aspect of the decision is that the Supreme Court of Canada seems to have officially made Gender Orthodoxy the state religion of Canada. At the same time, it has legitimized the types of savage abuses and reputational attacks that radical trans activists have become so well known for.
According to Barry, “The Supreme Court of Canada sees themselves as the Inquisition, whose task it is, is to punish heretics. But the state religion is a fanatical cult that punishes backsliders, as many detransitioners have discovered.”
One lawyer I spoke with said that the Supreme Court had legitimized and condoned violence against the gender critical community. They have endorsed tactics that are increasingly used to destroy lives and reputations which consequently undermine people’s ability to earn a living and provide for themselves in Canada - all because those Canadians might question the official state doctrine. They have affirmed the inquisitors and the commissar class who control the Universities, the public education system and so many other institutions in Canada.
They have made it even harder for Canadians, who believe in biology, who believe in the differences between men and women, who see the obvious problems of having male sex-offenders housed in women’s prisons, and who reject self-identification as a free pass to female spaces and for advocates for fair sporting for women to speak against the ideology, and to turn the tide on the ideological capture of our institutions. They have indeed, as the tribunal in the Superior Court of Appeals in BC warned, created a chilling effect on speech in Canada.
Worse still, as Barry warned, it is absolutely clear if one understand the patterns that predators use to access children, that the unquestionable inclusion doctrines are exposing young children to highly questionable ideas. They are exposed to patterns of grooming that Neufeld is too familiar with. The SOGI curriculum, that breaks down barriers designed to protect the innocence of children, perhaps has gained the ultimate status: that of Religious Protection from questioning, like the priests had over their alter boys, and the churches had over the residential schools.
“Are you sure you’re really a boy?” “
“Do you think you might be born in the wrong body?”
“what your sexual preferences? Tell us what turns you on.”
“There are inclusive books in our libraries.”
“We’ll just let this be our little secret.”