Gary Ezzo Sues Australian Psychologist
In Free Speech Dispute
San Luis Obispo, California South Carolina-based
Christian parenting author Gary Ezzo is currently involved
in a controversial lawsuit against Robin Grille, an Australian
psychologist who has been a longtime critic of Ezzo's
parenting materials. Ezzo is founder of Growing Families
International (GFI) and author of On Becoming Babywise.
Grille is facing a court trial in early 2004 as a result
of Ezzo's defamation lawsuit against him. The suit alleges
that an article that Grille published in Sydney's Child
in 2002 has defamed him. He is asking for an apology and
a fine from Grille.
The Ezzo lawyer prosecuting this case was so unprofessional
in his filings before an Australian judge that she went
out of her way to criticize his behavior in one of her
preliminary rulings: Ezzo
vs. Grille. Ezzo was forced to pay $40,000 in Australian
currency as a security payment before the case could proceed.
The lawsuit is odd on its face because Ezzo settled out
of court with the editor of Sydney's
Child last year over this Grille article. In an effort
to mollify Ezzo, the magazine issued an apology, allowed
Ezzo to publish his own article in the magazine, and paid
him an undisclosed sum to avoid a costly court battle.
The article, "Fundamentalism: The War Against Children,"
surveyed what Grille considered serious threats to the
well-being of children. Both Sydney's Child and Grille
assumed the issue was behind them.
It appears that Gary Ezzo's current lawsuit against Grille
was triggered by a subsequent letter that the psychologist
had sent to the editor of the Australian
Association For Infant Mental Health (AAIMH). In this
letter, he urged mental health professionals to be wary
of Ezzo's parenting materials.
His letter was thoroughly vetted by lawyers before being
published in the AAIMH newsletter in March, 2003. It quoted
numerous other parenting experts who had already spoken
out against Ezzo's questionable parenting advice. Those
experts included: Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, British parenting
expert Penelope Leach, Laura Basi Zapf, Kathleen Auerbach,
Dr. Matthew Aney, Dr. James Dobson with Focus on the Family,
the British National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty
to Children, and others.
Even though Sydney's Child settled with Ezzo over
the fundamentalism article, he is now trying to silence
the free speech rights of a prominent critic of his materials
It is clear to me that Gary Ezzo is trying to suppress
the free speech of an Australian psychologist because
this professional disagrees with his parenting materials,
said former Growing Families International Editorial Director
Frank York. Grille simply quoted what a number of
parenting experts have already said about Ezzos
flawed parenting adviceand offered his own expert
opinion as well. In the past, Ezzo has tried to punish
those who criticize his ideas and materials. Now, hes
threatening a psychologist who is attempting to inform
his colleagues about the pros and cons of Ezzo parenting
in Australia. Grille actually urges them to read Ezzos
books to form their own opinions.
Free Speech Lawsuit Is Part Of A Pattern
Ezzo is no stranger to controversy, said
York. He has attacked other critics in the pastlike
Roy Maynard, former reporter for WORLD,
a Christian magazine. He also noted that Ezzo has
been exposed for plagiarizing and fabricating quotes in
The former GFI editorial director exposed three examples
of Ezzos fabrication of quotes and plagiarism in
an article published by Midwest
Christian Outreach in 2002. MCO is a cult-watch group
based in Illinois.
Yorks article, Adventure
in Ezzoland describes how Ezzo fabricated an
interview with journalist Roy
Maynard in an effort to discredit him; how Ezzo created
fraudulent dialogue in a GFI newsletter; and how he plagiarized
the writings of syndicated columnist/psychologist Barbara
Lerner for an article he had written on narcissism
and the Columbine Massacre.
When I was working for Ezzo, said York, I
found that he had little regard for truth in his writings.
I was shocked that he was willing to publish a fraudulent
with Roy Maynard, on the GFI web site. Ezzo was attempting
to discredit Maynard for writing a WORLD article that
appeared unfavorable to GFI.
It is now clear that Ezzo continues to seek revenge
on anyone who criticizes his writings, said York.
Mr. Ezzo appears to be threatened by the professional
observations of child development experts like Robin Grille.
Ezzos filing of this lawsuit violates Mr. Grilles
freedom of speech and is designed to silence Grilles
legitimate concerns about the safety of Ezzos materials.
Ezzo Publicly Condemned By Two Former
Pastors And Dropped By His Publisher
Ezzos reputation for coloring the truth is well
known by his former pastors. Two of his former pastors,
MacArthur with Grace Community Church and Dave
Maddox, with Living Hope Evangelical Fellowship, have
both publicly rebuked Ezzo for engaging in a pattern of
lies and slander. As Pastor MacArthur has said: "It
appears rather obvious on biblical grounds that Mr. Ezzo's
refusal to heed his own church's discipline disqualifies
him from Christian leadership or public ministry in any
context. After all, the first and most important qualification
for those who would lead the church is that they be above
reproach (1 Timothy 3:2, 10; Titus 1:6).
Ezzo was dropped
by his publishing company, Multnomah Publishers, in
September, 2001. Christianity
Today detailed why. He has since created a vanity
press and now self-publishes
his materials. For additional details about Gary Ezzo,
including information on character, theological, and medical
concerns in his books, access the Ezzo.info
Robin Grille, 61-2-999-0035; email
Ezzo's attorney: Mark Friedgut, 61-2-9005-5188;
Sydney's Child: 61-2-9484-5334; email
Ezzo.info is a comprehensive resource for parents and
others who are interested in information about the Ezzo
method of parenting. The site is owned by Steve Rein and
maintained by Christian volunteers. For more information,
Frank York, 615-885-6356; email