Robin Grille has authored several magazine articles supportive of attachment parenting theories. In 2002 he wrote an article "Fundamentalism: The War Against Children" which contained some highly derogatory statements about Gary Ezzo. This article was published in two Australian magazines, Sydney's Child
and Melbourne's Child
. In addition to criticizing the Ezzos in this article, Grille equates conservative Christianity and conservative Judaism with radical Islam, arguing that all are dangerous forms of fundamentalism.
When Mr. Grille's article was brought to the attention of the Ezzos, they quickly recognized much of the false information as coming from unreliable US Internet sources. The main source cited by Mr. Grille on which he based his articles was a U.S. website; ezzo.info, which is owned and operated by Steve Rein
. They subsequently sued the publications, as well as Grille himself, for libel. The publications promptly settled out of court, issuing an apology to the Ezzos. Each magazine then published an article
by Gary Ezzo to help make their readers aware of and give them a sampling of what the Ezzos actually
teach and believe. In addition to publishing the Ezzo/Bucknam article, the magazines each published the apology below twice in a two month period:
Sydney's Child (Melbourne's Child) apologises to Mr. Gary Ezzo of Growing Families International and author of 'On Becoming Babywise' for the mischaracterisation of his person, his life and his teaching on child rearing that appeared in "Fundamentalism: A War Against Children" written by Robin Grille, (Sydney's Child, August 2002) and repeated in the letters page in the September and October editions of Sydney's Child.
Based on new information received, Sydney's Child regrets publishing the allegations and demeaning character portrayals made against Mr. Ezzo by Robin Grille.
The settlements with these magazines included financial remunerations, which the Ezzos donated to an Australian charity. A third national newsletter also ran a full retraction and apology to the Ezzos and to Dr. Robert Bucknam (co-author of Babywise) for an article they published by Robin Grille.
In the libel case against Robin Grille, attorneys for Mr. Ezzo and Mr. Grille argued their cases in the New South Wales Supreme Court in June of 2004. Attorneys for Gary Ezzo argued for nineteen libel imputations arising out of Mr. Grille's article. The judge ruled that while some of the imputations would stand, others would have to be resubmitted due to matters of form. The imputations were ammended and resubmitted. On July 29, 2004 a second judge ruled in favor of Gary Ezzo and accepted the nineteen imputations of libel. This judgement led to settlement talks between plaintiff and defendant.
A settlement was agreed to, and Gary Ezzo received libel damages, as well as a court-read full and genuine apology from Mr. Grille, citing "unreliable Internet sources in the US" as the source of the erroneous information. The administrators of this site have personally read the full written apology from Mr. Grille, which is much more substantive than what appears in the court record. The official court record containing an abbreviated
version of the apology can be viewed here
. However court documents restrict the release of Grille's full apology at the present time.
It is our hope that this legal victory will cause US Internet critics of the GFI ministry to more carefully evaluate the information they present as fact. Here, the issue is not disagreeing with the Ezzos' parenting philosophy--everyone has a right to disagree and to express that disagreement. At issue are the distortions of truth that the critics use to attempt to convince people that they are right.
Note on Grille's personal religious convictions:
In a response to a reader of his article, "Is Religion Good for You," he stated on a website forum; "By the way, just to reveal some of my own colors and biasses (sic), I am not religious (nor an atheist: too busy enjoying life to fixate on any 'beliefs', of any kind)..."
Read context of Grille's comments here.
(Scroll down to final post.)