A Canadian judge ruled against members of the so-called “Church of God Restoration,” a controversial fringe group that has been called a “cult.” The group has no affiliation whatsoever with the established Church of God denomination and was founded by American Daniel Layne.

Some reporters chose to call this simply a “spanking case,” as reported by the National Post.

It seems that many within the Canadian media were essentially taken in by staged photo ops and seemingly rehearsed interviews promoted by the Layne group in an apparent effort to influence public opinion and perhaps intimidate the judge.

But Judge Eleanor Schnall apparently wasn’t taken in or put off at all.

Instead the judge ruled decisively against the parents and for Child and Family Services. In her ruling Judge Schnall effectively upheld that the child welfare agency acted properly when it removed seven children from their homes to protect them from being beaten with a belt, clothes hanger and the metal end of fly swatter.

Harsh corporal punishment is taught and often encouraged by the Layne church, which has branches in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Other parents associated with a Layne church in California were charged with “involuntary manslaughter” regarding medical neglect. Layne also teaches his followers to refuse modern medicine.

The parents involved in the Canadian case of child abuse are prohibited from further corporal punishment and are required to allow child welfare workers to inspect their children if requested.


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