They Took Our Daughter | Todd & Krista Kolstad | EP 428

They Took Our Daughter | Todd & Krista Kolstad | EP 428

Tour info 2024 (00:00:00)

  • Jordan Peterson announces his new tour for 2024, starting in early February and running through June.
  • The tour will visit 51 cities in the US.
  • Peterson will discuss ideas from his forthcoming book, "We Who Wrestle with God," which will be released in November 2024.

Coming up (00:00:40)

  • Todd and Krista Kolstad's daughter started using male names and identifying as a boy in 2021.
  • She became involved in online interactions that led to the arrival of Child Protection Services at the Kolstads' doorstep.

Intro (00:00:58)

  • Jordan Peterson introduces Todd and Krista Kolstad, a couple from Montana who have had their family caught up in the child protection services system.
  • Their daughter began identifying as a boy and engaging in online interactions that led to the involvement of Child Protection Services.
  • Peterson emphasizes the importance of this story as a cautionary tale for middle-class Americans who may believe they are immune to such situations.

2021: teen bullying and the rise in popularity of gender identity (00:02:25)

  • Jennifer Kolstad, a 13-year-old girl, expressed a desire to be called Leo and identified as a boy in 2021.
  • Jennifer had been bullied at school and had few friends, leading her parents, Todd and Krista Kolstad, to seek counseling for her.
  • After counseling, Jennifer's behavior improved, and her parents believed the issue was resolved until recently.
  • The Kolstads suspect that their daughter's renewed interest in gender transition may be influenced by TikTok and friends who are already interested in gender transition ideas.
  • The parents are concerned about the negative influence of certain peer groups and are struggling to find a balance between allowing their daughter to socialize and protecting her from harmful content online.

How not being liked leads to gender dysphoria (00:11:56)

  • Todd and Krista Kolstad's daughter, who has always been a tomboy interested in computers and electronics, began showing signs of a male identity during puberty.
  • Upon discussing her feelings with her parents, she expressed a desire to transition in order to fit in and alleviate her sense of isolation.
  • The Kolstads emphasize the significance of addressing bodily discomfort during puberty, as it is a common experience for girls that usually resolves over time.
  • Their daughter's unpopularity contributed to her search for acceptance and a sense of belonging.
  • Jordan Peterson recommends ExpressVPN as a tool to protect personal data and privacy, offering a special link for an extra three months free.

Early interventions and developing an online persona (00:17:59)

  • Todd and Krista Kolstad's daughter was struggling with unpopularity at school and sought counseling from a youth group director with some counseling credentials.
  • During the six to eight months of weekly counseling sessions, things appeared positive, but it was later revealed that the counselor had put a gun to their daughter's head.
  • Despite this incident, the parents do not believe the counselor influenced their daughter's behavior and felt that communication channels were open.
  • Their daughter had a close relationship with both parents and was open about her life, although she exhibited attention-seeking behaviors and a tendency to make up stories.
  • The parents acknowledged that teenagers need privacy and independence and that their daughter was the only child living at home at the time.
  • The school did not promote gender ideology, and the parents believe their daughter's exposure to such ideas came from a specific peer group and online sources.

The danger of affirmation on TikTok and online communities (00:23:35)

  • TikTok was mentioned because it was one of the platforms where the daughter posted concerning content.
  • The daughter posted things that were not true, such as claiming her parents would beat her and that she had a twin brother who was killed by her birth mother.
  • The daughter's posts did not have any sexual component.
  • The daughter gathered a group of people from the trans community who affirmed her and told her how brave she was.

The pressure of the community makes it so you can’t go back (00:26:15)

  • People who come out with their true identity are often seen as heroes.
  • Some people use coming out as a means of obtaining false status.
  • The Biden Administration has been complicit in producing this false status.
  • If a person is unsure of themselves and finds a group that congratulates them on their bravery for taking steps towards a new identity, it becomes difficult to step back.
  • People who adopt a new identity and gather a community around them may feel guilty if they decide to change their identity back.
  • False identities take on a life of their own and are magnified by people online who encourage others to take similar steps.

Thinking she would “grow out of it,” and when the fantasy broke (00:28:22)

  • Todd and Krista Kolstad's daughter, Leo, exhibited behavioral issues at school and was often involved in confrontations.
  • Despite these concerns, the Kolstads believed Leo would eventually grow out of this phase.
  • Leo created a world where she worked as a boy and presented herself as transgender, expecting everyone to use different pronouns.
  • Leo struggled in school and experienced bullying, which was exacerbated by her presentation as a boy at work.
  • Leo's parents suggested she take a break from her summer job and focus on high school, which angered Leo as it interrupted her fantasy world.

Secretly buying hormones online, taking the wrong dosages, and experiencing side effects (00:37:19)

  • Jennifer, the daughter, started experiencing severe headaches, vision problems, hair loss, and possible hallucinations.
  • These symptoms coincided with behavioral issues and were later found to be side effects of female-to-male hormones.
  • Jennifer's friend, another 14-year-old girl, was ordering the hormones from Amazon and giving them to Jennifer.
  • The hormones were purchased without any age verification on Amazon.
  • Jennifer's parents were unaware of the hormone use until after CPS took her away.

Accusations of abuse, child protective services (00:40:21)

  • Todd and Krista Kolstad's daughter sent concerning text messages about wanting to kill herself to another child.
  • The other child reported the text messages to the police, possibly due to believing a false story spun by Todd and Krista's daughter about terminal cancer and abuse.
  • Children's Services showed up at the Kolstads' house without a warrant or speaking to the daughter, making them feel uneasy.
  • A person invited to the Kolstads' house told the CPS worker that their daughter had taken 30 ibuprofen and drank toilet bowl cleaner to end her life, which the parents knew was false.
  • Despite knowing it was a false story, they decided to take their daughter to the hospital to be safe, which marked the beginning of their problems.

Going to the hospital for suicide prevention, playing with fire (00:46:09)

  • Todd and Krista Kolstad's daughter was taken away by social workers after a false report of poisoning.
  • The Kolstads were unaware of their daughter's online fantasies and alternative worlds.
  • Upon arriving at the hospital, their daughter announced she was transgender and wanted to be called Leo, which the Kolstads objected to.
  • The Kolstads insisted on the hospital staff using their daughter's birth name and pronouns.
  • Many hospitals and organizations are now required to support the child in cases involving child welfare, which is what happened in the Kolstads' case.
  • The Kolstads believe the system is biased against parents and that they were not given a fair chance to defend themselves.

The hospital staff turned against the parents (00:50:51)

  • The hospital staff started calling Leo by her birth name despite the parents' requests.
  • The parents felt like they were being put in the "unacceptable mother Camp."

Assigned a non-binary aid when encouraged top surgery (00:52:05)

  • An aid assigned to Leo, who identified as non-binary, talked to Leo about their own top surgery.
  • The parents felt like the aid was trying to bait them into a fight.
  • The parents stayed calm, but felt like they lost because no matter what they did, they would be seen as wrong.
  • The parents felt like the aid was manipulative and sadistic, and that they didn't care about the consequences of their actions on Leo.

Covert plans to send daughter to a gender care clinic in Montana (00:54:01)

  • The parents were told their daughter needed acute psychiatric care due to suicidal statements.
  • The daughter had never mentioned other states before, but during the discussion, Wyoming and Montana were mentioned as potential locations for treatment facilities.
  • The parents became suspicious due to the covert nature of the discussions and discovered that Wyoming has laws banning transgender care, while Montana does not.
  • The daughter's unwillingness to attend high school raised concerns that this could be a way for her to avoid school.
  • The parents had concerns about the logistics and expectations of visiting their daughter if she were sent to Wyoming, which is 8 hours away.
  • The CPS worker reassured them that the chances of her being sent to Wyoming were slim, but the daughter's body language suggested otherwise.
  • The parents suspected that there was covert planning to send their daughter to Wyoming.
  • After five days, the parents were informed that their daughter was next in line for a bed at a facility in Billings, Montana, which is 4 hours away.

CPS witnessed the daughter’s tendency to lie and ignored it (00:57:38)

  • CPS observed the daughter's propensity to lie but disregarded it.
  • The daughter had one incident of self-harm, which was a scratch on her arm.
  • The parents sent a photo of the scratch to the counselor, but it was not considered a significant issue.
  • Despite the lack of evidence suggesting depression or suicidality, the psychiatric community deemed the daughter's condition severe enough to require inpatient treatment for suicidality.
  • The parents suspect that the professionals involved are covering themselves and labeling them as evil parents.
  • The parents are concerned about the potential manipulation and maneuvering behind the scenes.
  • They hoped that the daughter's placement in a controlled environment would provide a clearer diagnosis based on her behavior.
  • CPS demanded the daughter's cancer treatment records, even though she never had cancer.
  • The parents have not received a specific diagnosis for the daughter's tendency to lie, despite its severity.
  • The parents believe that the professionals involved should have provided a diagnosis based on the daughter's behavior.

Without notice, CPS removes daughter and sends her to Wyoming (01:00:56)

  • CPS removed the daughter from her parents' care and sent her to Wyoming without prior notice.
  • The parents were told that their daughter was next in line for a bed in Billings, Montana, but then they were informed that a bed had opened up in Wyoming and she needed to go there immediately.
  • The parents were given paperwork stating that they were unwilling or unable to provide medical care for their daughter, which was not true.
  • The parents believe that the decision to move their daughter to Wyoming was pre-planned and that the evidence used against them was based on their objection to the move.
  • Despite being told that they could not see or speak to their daughter, the daughter was allowed to stop and visit her friends and go to her summer job on the way to Wyoming.
  • The parents are concerned that their daughter may have told people that she was transgender, suicidal, and that her parents were abusing her.

“It feels like we are up against the devil” (01:05:19)

  • Todd and Krista Kolstad felt like they were up against the devil when their daughter was taken away from them.
  • They were upset and hurt because their daughter's bridges to her family were intentionally burned.
  • They couldn't understand why the system allowed their daughter, a child, to make such life-altering decisions.
  • They had never been involved in the child welfare system before and felt they were in serious trouble.
  • The system allowed their daughter to stop off with her friends and say goodbye, showing her how much they were on her side.
  • This was seen as a substitution for the parents, implying that her parents didn't care for her and were abusing her.
  • One of the attorneys involved in the case said that their daughter was taught how to weaponize the system by saying a few key words, such as "I'll kill myself if you don't let me."
  • Their daughter spent a month in Wyoming, during which time they received very little information about her.
  • They constantly emailed to ensure she wasn't being called Leo, allowed to live as a boy, or transitioned.
  • They also made sure she wasn't given men's hygiene products, as had happened at the first hospital.

Affirmation is not care, but it is now legally required (01:08:11)

  • Therapists are legally required to affirm a minor's stated gender, even if they believe it is not in the child's best interest.
  • Bills that ban so-called conversion therapy aim to ensure that therapists and physicians continue to affirm a child's stated gender, even if they believe it is not in the child's best interest.
  • After a month in Wyoming, Jennifer was brought to a group home in Montana run by Youth Dynamics.
  • The group home socially transitioned Jennifer, allowing her to be called Leo and use he/him pronouns.
  • The group home staff reinforced the idea that Jennifer's parents were not to be trusted and had likely abused her.
  • Jennifer became increasingly angry and manipulative, accusing her parents of being in a cult and refusing to return home.
  • Jennifer made false claims, such as seeing apparitions and accusing her parents of being in a cult.
  • Jennifer's parents were given incorrect contact information for her, making it difficult to communicate with her.
  • Even the court-appointed attorneys' numbers were incorrect, and they were given out-of-country phone numbers for Jennifer.

Part of her wanted to come home, but CPS blocked it (01:11:58)

  • Todd and Krista Kolstad's daughter was placed in a group home run by Youth Dynamics in Montana, where she is allowed to fully socially transition, including using a new name (Leo), wearing men's clothing, and participating in all boys' groups at school.
  • During a visit, their daughter expressed a desire to return home and apologized for her behavior.
  • The Kolstads believe that a counselor at the group home was contacting Child Protective Services (CPS) to prevent their daughter from returning home because they refused to use their daughter's chosen name and pronouns.

State appointed guardian, full affirmation or full removal (01:16:30)

  • Monthly court meetings were held to discuss the daughter's progress in the group home.
  • Lawyers were assigned to Todd, Krista, their daughter, CPS, and the CA Guardian.
  • Court meetings often focused on unrelated matters, frustrating Todd and Krista.
  • Their public defenders advised them to play nice and keep their heads down until the end of the group home program, promising that their daughter would be returned to their care.
  • In January, Todd and Krista decided they were no longer willing to play nice and wanted to end their involvement in the process.
  • CPS wanted to step out of the case and place the daughter with her birthmother in Canada.
  • The state-appointed guardian visited Todd and Krista's home and had a pleasant meeting with them.
  • The guardian informed them that if they did not agree to call their daughter by her preferred pronouns and raise her as a boy, she would not support them in court.
  • The guardian provided them with an article about supporting transgender children and suggested they use the pronouns their daughter wanted.
  • Todd and Krista rejected the guardian's suggestions and realized they had to either go along with the lie or face severe consequences.

Alerting the public with a video, being “put in their place” by the judge (01:19:08)

  • Todd and Krista Kolstad released a 17-minute video on social media detailing their experiences with the child welfare system in their fight to gain custody of their 14-year-old daughter.
  • The Kolstads were shocked by false statements made by the child welfare system in court documents, including claims of inadequate housing, clothing, and food for their daughter.
  • The couple attended a court hearing where the judge and attorneys questioned the child welfare system's investigation into the birth mother in Canada, who had not been involved with the child for seven years.
  • The judge expressed concerns about the birth mother's appropriateness and ordered further investigation, suggesting that reunification with their daughter might involve rebuilding a relationship rather than living together.
  • Despite not understanding the specific reason, the Kolstads were ordered to remove the video within 10 minutes or face contempt of court, which they complied with.

Daughter is sent to Canada to live with birth mother, the system failed (01:26:56)

  • Todd and Krista Kolstad's daughter, Jennifer, was sent to live with her birth mother in Canada.
  • They have concerns about Jennifer's well-being due to past allegations of abuse by the birth mother.
  • The Kolstads provided letters from a counselor stating the need for reunification therapy and investigation into the abuse claims, but CPS disregarded them.
  • Communication with Jennifer has been blocked, including with her sisters and grandparents.
  • The last time the Kolstads communicated with Jennifer was over a month ago during a monitored webcam session with a counselor.
  • CPS has blocked communication between Jennifer and her sisters.
  • Jennifer is currently living as Leo and has the support of her birth mother in transitioning.
  • The Kolstads are concerned about the availability and recommendation of gender-affirming healthcare, such as double mastectomy, in Canada.
  • They fear that Jennifer may grow out of the transgender phase and regret the medical interventions, causing potential harm to her mental health.
  • The Kolstads believe the system has failed Jennifer and express concern about Montana leading the US in child takeaways by CPS.

The fight is not over (01:30:09)

  • Todd and Krista Kolstad are in a legal battle with Child Protective Services (CPS) in Montana over their daughter, Jennifer, who has socially transitioned to male.
  • CPS is requiring the Kolstads to attend marriage counseling and accept Jennifer's transition, which they refuse to do.
  • The Kolstads believe the goal of CPS is to fully transition their daughter and cause them pain in the process.
  • Despite immense pressure and public criticism, Todd and Krista remain determined to fight for their daughter's well-being and prevent further harm.
  • They are working with legal experts and considering further legal action, including a possible contempt of court charge.

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