ICSA International Conference, June 15, 2012, Montreal
Acceptance Speech—2012 Herbert L. Rosedale Award
I was very surprised to learn this spring from Bill Goldberg that I had been chosen to receive the 2012 Herbert L. Rosedale Award. My first thought was that I should buy a new dress. But then I read Mr. Rosedale’s biography again.
I never met Mr. Rosedale, but I am well aware of the exceptional contributions made by previous recipients of this award in preserving and protecting individual freedoms. My own feet seem much too small to walk in any of their shoes.
As I mentioned at the opening of this conference, I think I am a lucky woman: I have never been in a cult, nor have any of my friends or family. But early in my career as a family law attorney, a custody case made me brutally aware of the harmful, and devastating, influences exposure to a cult can have on a child. In truth, the experience of these children traumatized me. It changed the way I understood my responsibilities, not only as a parent, but also as an adult toward all children.
Every child has the right to the love, the care, and the affection of both parents, regardless of their respective beliefs or way of life. All parents are free to follow their own beliefs; but they also have the legal and moral duty to protect their children from harm, and to assure that their offspring are raised with the ability to make, at the appropriate time, their own choices and decisions I realized that, in many groups, even with the most well- intentioned parents, these basic rights are infringed with impunity. Volunteering my time for the Info-Cult Board has always been my way to act responsibly to fight for children’s needs.
I am honored by your continuing trust and will do my best to live up to Mr Rosedale’s ideals.
Thank you again for this award. Please excuse me: I have not had time these last weeks to buy a new outfit for tonight!
Attorney and President of the Info-Cult/Info-Secte Board of Directors, Montreal