B.C. woman suing over alleged false memories: Mother of seven says counselling service prompted a false belief in satanic abuse by husband

Can West News Service/October 12, 2006
By Keith Fraser

Vancouver -- An Abbotsford, B.C., mother of seven is suing a Christian-based pastoral counselling service she says led her to falsely dredge up memories of sexual and satanic ritual abuse by her husband and others.

In a statement of claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court, Donna Marie Krahn, 46, says the Elijah House compromised her fitness and capacity to parent the children.

Divorce proceedings resulted in her losing custody and guardianship of the children to her husband, David Krahn, and being awarded limited rights of visitation, says the document.

In addition, legal fees were awarded against her for her conduct in helping to destroy and suppress evidence, says the statement of claim.

The writ says Krahn, her husband and their two oldest children were treated by counsellors in Mission and in Idaho from 1998 to 2000.

Treatment techniques by counsellors Brian and Della Headley and Stephen Oglevie included recovered memory therapy, dream interpretation and mind-control deprogramming, which is similar to hypnosis.

As a result of the treatments, Krahn says she was encouraged to recover and develop "false memories," such as that she had been physically, sexually and satanically ritually abused by her husband, members of her family and others, and that her husband had also sexually abused the children.

"The Headleys and Oglevie believed the false memories were based on actual experiences and encouraged the plaintiff to isolate herself and the children from Mr. Krahn, Mr. Krahn's family and her own family," says the writ.

Krahn claims she suffered severe emotional distress, depression, stress and anxiety and breakdown or impairment of her relationships with her children and is seeking general, special, punitive or exemplary damages and special costs.

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