08:46, October 09 62 0 theguardian.com

2017-10-09 08:46:03
Boys with ‘narcissistic cult’ mindset removed from mother’s care

Three teenage brothers who developed a “narcissistic cult” mentality and came to believe there was no point leaving home, socialising or going to school should leave their mother’s care, a high court judge has concluded.

They formed a group identity and saw themselves as intellectually superior and separate to the rest of the world, psychotherapists told Mr Justice Hayden.

Two of the boys spoke to each other in a language they had devised, the judge heard.

Details of the case have emerged in a ruling by Hayden after a private hearing in the family division of the high court in central London. The judge said the family involved could not be identified.

He said social services bosses at Wandsworth council in south London had responsibility for the boys’ welfare and had asked him to make a decision about their future.

Social workers had raised a series of concerns and said the children had suffered neglect plus physical and emotional harm due to stress, inadequate food and a lack of medical provision.

They said the boys had not had appropriate exercise and outdoor activity. Their mother, who had mental health issues, had “failed” to allow them to attend school, socialise, play outside or take part in activities.

Social services bosses said the boys had come to believe there was no purpose to attending school, leaving the home or socialising with others.

The judge said he had been told of an achievement and award system operating at the boys’ home.

“There was an elaborate and quite rigid structure to their interactions predicated on an achievement and award system,” he said. “Achievement of particular tasks enabled time on the computer or an opportunity to pet and stroke the cat.”

Hayden indicated that the boys had been placed in residential care units temporarily pending a long-term decision on their future. He said they should remain where they were and not return to their mother’s care.

The judge made the decision after analysing legal argument from barristers Julien Foster, Rachel Gillman, and Lucy Sprinz.