Deprogramming Your ROGD Teen: Part 3, The steps.
This then was the situation that I faced. I had a daughter who was in a cult and was demanding that she be allowed to permanently damage her health and irrevocably alter her appearance. And the very people who should have been protecting Sinead and trying to help her had betrayed my trust in the most appalling way possible. Clearly, there was no one coming to the rescue. We were on our own. When I realised I was dealing with a cult I was strangely relieved as finally I understood what was going on. And how to fix it.
Here’s how I went about it.
Step One: Preparation and research
So, what exactly is deprogramming? It is simply removing the programming that your kid has received and allowing them to think for themselves. All you are doing is talking to your teen and telling them or showing them the truth about gender ideology. Or should I say, exposing the lies that they’ve been told. So firstly, you need to research gender ideology in order to understand exactly what your teen believes. This stage took me two weeks.
Every evening I spent hours late into the night researching gender ideology. I had to understand all the arguments that Sinead had been taught and how to refute them. You must have all arguments covered because you don’t know what has made the most impact on your ROGD teen. It’s like sitting an exam and revising everything because you don’t know what will come up. I also recommend joining a discussion site like Discord to hone your arguments. You need to take on a few TRAs and be confident in your arguments. You must be able to refute whatever your ROGD teen throws at you in a calm and confident manner. Your teenager may come across as an expert in all things trans, but they are no match for an adult who has done their research. As with all cults, gender ideology is completely illogical and absurd and you just need to point this out. We might laugh at the notion in Scientology that there are aliens inhabiting us and directing our actions but similar magical beliefs power the gender movement; The notion that men can become women just by imagining that they are, the notion that we all have a “gender identity” which can be “born into the wrong body”. Channel your inner skeptic and don’t give an inch of ground. There is no place for “be kind”, wishy-washy, half-beliefs. Steel yourself, and trust to the science.
Step Two: Modify your Parenting Style
Many parents these days are afraid of their teenage children. I am just speaking from experience, but I see examples of permissive parenting all the time, from demand feeding and co-sleeping babies all the way up to parents tiptoeing around their teenagers so as not to incur their disapproval. When things go off the rails with an ROGD teen and you have absolutely no control over them, start by having a look at your parenting style. You need to be respected and have authority before you can even think about deprogramming, and this means an authoritative style of parenting. You should be strict about rules and boundaries while still being approachable and kind. My parenting style is authoritative, but I can’t congratulate myself on handling the trans situation well either. Even if you get that part right, how could any parents be prepared for a cult that recruits our teenage children through the internet, social contagion and via trusted adults such as teachers and doctors? Secondly, were any of us prepared for the impact of the internet and social media on society and our teenagers? I have been to internet safety sessions organised by my kids’ schools and the people who gave those talks were clueless. Half the time was spent talking about the dangers of Grand Theft Auto and the rest about bullying on WhatsApp and Snapchat. This is an adult’s view of what kids are up to. What they are actually looking at is far, far worse.
Step Three: Turn off the Poison Tap
Teenagers are sneaky and parental controls over internet access are so weak I wonder if this is on purpose. Parents have no idea what their kids are looking at on the Internet and if they did, they probably wouldn’t understand it. Much depends on the mental stability of your teenager that prevents them tumbling down one of the many rabbit holes that are waiting for them such as porn, gender ideology, perverse anime etc. A teenager that has any problem—from lack of friends and struggling in school, all the way to having suffered trauma or some mental condition like Autism—is at risk.
Parents are intimidated by the brave new world of the Internet and the new language of diversity, inclusion and social justice. They want to be liked and so make the mistake of trying to be their teenager’s friend. Some even allow themselves to be “educated” by their teenager. I think that laziness or being too busy also comes into it. You need to take the time and get familiar with technology. It is very difficult and time-consuming to block access to each and every App and doing this centrally does not work in my experience. My husband spent a good day locking down access to all Sinead’s favourite sites. First, you need to find out what Apps your teen is on and then block them all individually leaving only the bare minimum needed for school. Firstly, get passwords to all devices and then see what Apps they are on. Delete them all apart from school Apps. Then lock down centrally with parental controls all Apps you know about and any others you can think of. Do not leave any App where live chats can take place with strangers (like Pony Town or Roblox.) Put blocks on internet access on the family computer, both time blocks and word searches. You need to become more of an expert on technology and social media and more of an expert on gender than your teen. And you must be vigilant in knowing what your teen is doing at all times. I did not let Sinead out of my sight for months apart from school.
Step Four: Repair your Relationship with your ROGD teen
If you were in my situation this would have seemed impossible. Sinead hated me and saw me as the enemy because the cult had taught her to distrust and hate outsiders, particularly parents. I felt that I had lost all my power as a parent. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you have a good relationship with your own ROGD teen. You only find out what they really think of you when you defy their wishes. See how much they respect and like you when you misgender and deadname them and cut off their internet access. They have been programmed to distrust all ‘cis’ people, even the allies. Be prepared for how much time and effort this is going to take.
A parent is best placed to deprogram their child because a professional could be accused of conversion therapy, and they simply don’t spend enough time with the child to do it. Secondly, a kid wants to like and respect their parents. It is a basic and fundamental need. Even if they act like they hate you, deep down they want a parent they can rely on and respect. They don’t want the responsibility of making big decisions and they need boundaries. What you are doing here is just building enough goodwill and trust so that they will listen to you and engage in discussions.
I am in the fortunate position that I only work part-time, and I have complete flexibility so I was able to drop everything and put Sinead’s rehabilitation first. Families where both parents work full time are going to struggle with saving their child because it is not something that can be achieved in a few weeks. Although the deprogramming itself is relatively quick it can take a year or even longer to rehabilitate your teen.
As a family, we immediately stopped using the trans name and went back to Sinead’s real name. The pronouns had only just started but they too stopped. The constant stream of communication and indoctrination from the internet was switched off. The silly fake trans personality of Xavier must have still been there but I no longer noticed. I spoke to Sinead or what was left of her. She was a broken person and seemed completely worn out by the constant monstrous demands of the cult. I did not hold her responsible for the actions of the trans personality, but I spent hours with her talking with sympathy about what she had been through. She seemed grateful for every cup of tea and every kind word. I never talked about gender but only about things that were relevant to Sinead. I would have expected her to be furious about the new rules, but she seemed resigned and maybe even a bit relieved that someone else was now making the decisions. Just a warning in case you have not fully understood the previous steps. Do not make the mistake of being kind to the trans personality or relaxing the rules in any way. The trans personality has gone nowhere and is not to be trusted.
Step Five: Deprogramming
I was very scared about making the situation worse but felt that I was ready to start the deprogramming. I had to be very careful initially not to alert the trans personality what was about to happen. I started by asking Sinead to watch a video called Trans kids: It’s Time to Talk presented by Stella O’Malley. Sinead put up a bit of resistance, but I had put enough work into the relationship, so she agreed. I think that she might have been a tiny bit curious, and ‘Xavier’ thought that his faith was strong enough to withstand the blasphemous film. I lurked outside to make sure the video was running, and that she was listening.
She came downstairs and said that maybe, just maybe she wasn’t trans. Not much, but I felt that a small chink of doubt had been formed. The following day my husband went away for the weekend, and I brought out my copy of Abigail Shrier’s Irreversible Damage. I had underlined what I thought were particularly good points. I would tell Sinead that I had read something interesting and what did she think in order to draw her into a discussion. It was a scattergun approach, and I would try one topic after another.
Every ROGD kid will have their own topic that causes them some doubt or concern. With Sinead, it seemed to be the gruesome surgeries and the awful side effects of cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers. She had been unaware of this as the influencers and all the LGBT websites gloss over these aspects. You must ask questions and force your teen to use critical thinking. Do not use the cult language and they will be forced to explain their understanding in plain language. Often this is enough to demonstrate the irrationality and incoherence of the ideology.
The mantra “Transwomen are women” took about an hour to demolish. But what really helped her to wake up was me telling her firmly that she wasn’t trans. No white lies about true trans. Stick to reality and science. Trans people do not have different brains, or hormones or genes. There is nothing that distinguishes a trans person physically. It is a mental disorder, a delusion. As Arty Morty would say “Trans is something you do, not something you are”. I also told her that gender was a cult, and she had no problems at all in believing this. In fact, she fell over herself giving me examples of cult behaviour.
Sinead would slip in and out of the belief that she was trans for a couple of months, but the hard work was done in the initial three weeks. When she was with me, and I was hammering away at her trans beliefs she would be nearly convinced but then all her friends were still fully signed up members of the trans church. That initial weekend we spent about six hours at it and the following couple of weeks we would spend one or two hours a day talking and watching videos. We fell into a routine of watching Exulansic who combines brutal reality with sarcastic humour. Her series on Jazz Jennings was a highlight and Skirt go Spinny and The State also did some very memorable and hard hitting YouTubes. I subscribed to Glinner and watched the Mess and generally became obsessed with all things trans. Sinead wanted to talk about gender ideology and she needed to do so for months. After the first few times, I rarely needed to do more than suggest we watch an Exulansic or a Mr Menno or something funny (and gender ideology can be pretty funny). I will put a list of videos that were entertaining and effective below. Teenagers have a short attention span so don’t waste it by showing them written reports or boring podcasts.
Step Six: The following year
I didn’t put any pressure on her to change her boy’s haircut or clothes or her friends. I knew that her friends still thought that she was trans and I think that it was embarrassment that prevented her from coming clean. About three months after the initial deprogramming Sinead asked me to phone her friends and ask them to stop using he/him and calling her Xavier. I could tell that they were startled by getting a call from the transphobic abusive monster Sinead had told them all about but in any case, by the end of the year all but one friend was gone. I see the old friends around still and they are all getting more and more entrenched into the trans world. One ex friend deserves a special mention. She is the most dangerous trans ally of all, an active recruiter. She calls herself non-binary but makes absolutely no effort to present as anything other than sexy anime girl. However, she collects all the lost lesbians she can and persuades them that they are trans. She has the most success with the ones who are also autistic.
Deprogramming someone is initially a quick process, but you can’t leave them alone or they will slip back into their familiar trans world. Sinead had been trans for nearly three years and had come to depend on that world for support, friends, an answer to her problems and a worldview. It is profoundly shocking for a young person to emerge from that safety and realise that it is all lies. Not only did she have to deal with the real world without her trans safety blanket but now she also had to deal with the real problems that she had avoided for three years. Her autism, the sexual abuse she had suffered and her ADD. Your teenager is very vulnerable in the weeks after deprogramming. Try and get them into a healthy routine again with plenty of sleep because the trans cults teaches kids to neglect their needs. Getting outside to nature is very good for perspective and healing. As Sinead’s hair grew and she started to change her clothes, her dysphoria also disappeared. It was obvious that it was trans ideology that gave her dysphoria and not the other way around.
One thing you need to watch out for is floating. This is where the deprogrammed person is triggered by something in their environment, and they feel like they are back in their trans reality. It is supposed to be a very jarring and frightening experience and takes about a year to stop happening. I helped to reassure Sinead when this happened, and we would watch a YouTube or talk about the latest gender nonsense in the news, and she would snap out of it. In fact, the book I read said that it takes about a year to recover from being in a cult and I would agree with this. It takes a long time for critical thinking to be re-established. When you take someone out of a cult you leave them to figure out their understanding of the world themselves. If you were doing conversion therapy, you would be replacing trans ideology with another ideology, but deprogramming just means revealing gender to be the bunch of lies and nonsense that it is. You must be patient and not expect that they will be able to just snap back into real life.
You need to spend a lot of time with your ROGD teen. They are going to lose most of their friends if their friends are caught up in the ideology. You have to keep talking about gender until every last lie has been uncovered and destroyed. And then you have to talk about everything else. You must catch up on years of normal growth and development. And get to know the real person who was hidden for so long in their nightmare trans prison. Even silly things like catching up on what other girls are wearing and interested in. If you have been a transman for that long, you have missed out on a lot of normal activity.
Final words of advice
I hope that this account helps other parents. More even than ROGD teens I feel sorry for their parents because I’ve been there, and I know the rage, panic and fear. I haven’t gone into how having an ROGD teenager is so damaging to a family, to other siblings and to the parents’ relationship but if you are living through it I’m sure that you are no stranger to the stress.
One last thing and this is very important. Parents must share a common approach in dealing with their trans teenager. When they are trans they cannot be trusted. They will try to turn one parent against the other if it gives them an advantage. The trans personality will lie, steal and cheat in order to keep control of your teen much like an alcoholic will do anything to maintain their habit. I told my husband what I planned to do, and he gave me free rein and supported me. Without that, it wouldn’t have had a hope of working.
I know that I did the right thing because Sinead told me so. She has thanked me many times and although I was only doing my duty and it was a pleasure to do it, it is still nice to know that she is grateful. I know that I did the right thing because she is happy again. Without even intending it I am now very good friends with Sinead (while still being the parent). I really enjoy her company and I am so grateful that I am getting the opportunity to get to know her again.
Resources for you:
Buy Abigail Shrier’s book Irreversible Damage and Helen Joyce’s book Trans. Underline and take notes. You can use Abigail’s book for your teen as well.
You will be faced with 3 big lies about Gender Ideology. Here they are and here is how to refute them. I think that Arty Morty does a great job of explaining clearly the issues.
In fact, check out all of Arty’s videos and take notes that you will need for arguments later. Transgender Trend, Genspect and Bayswater Support also have great resources.
You may also need to refute the common myth that trans brains and cis brains are somehow different. They are not, although you will struggle to find that clear answer in all the Trans activist rubbish on the internet. Here is a simple and clear analysis.
For your Teen:
I think that Stella O’Malley’s film is a good place to start the gentle questioning.
Exulansic is brilliant. She keeps getting banned on YouTube so you can also find her videos on Odysee. Her series on Jazz Jennings is entertaining and light but also check out the videos on surgeries and side effects of puberty blockers and hormones.
Isaac also does a couple of hard hitting YouTubes. The one where he rings up his therapist is just shocking.
Skirt go Spinny are great but these two, in particular, are worth checking out
The State Media are good too. I found that pointing out that Trans is a cult really helped.
Seeing the funny side is good and there are plenty of funny things about gender. My favourite are these two songs:
I think that’s everything I have on this. I hope it helps. All that’s left for me to say is good luck to you and your daughter. There is a way through this.