Another cause for concern in Norway is the ‘Change Factory’ (“Forandringsfabrikken”), also known in some circles as the ‘Propaganda Factory’. This is a youth program that incorporates foster children, children in the juvenile justice system, and those in institutions or under Norway’s Child Welfare System’s (NCWS) care.

Ken Joar Olsen knows all too well how it feels to grow up in a system. Olsen has done his own research on the Change Factory and has tried to help children who are part of it and have reached out to him. He wrote:

There was a time when children in the change factory were allowed to tell their stories, give their suggestions and share their opinions. The idea of children telling their own stories is now being replaced more and more often with a script that is written for them.

To help promote the need for more funding and further strengthening of NCWS, children are often carted off and used at gatherings to give talks about their sad experiences. When ‘pros’* are on a stage giving a talk, they feel pressured to answer with the ‘main answers’**, supposedly collected from young people all over Norway. However, many of the pros are not really sure who wrote these main answers. Was it really young people, or was it Marit Sanner*** or someone else…?

Instead of the Change Factory helping vulnerable children, it often destroys them in many ways. Children are led to believe that everything NCWS does has been done out of love. Really, with love? The type of love NCWS administers is not love at all. Children are often told their parents are bad for them, and many children believe this, when in reality it’s usually not the case.

Leaving the Change Factory is no easy business either. It’s a bit like leaving the Jehovah’s Witnesses, or the Church of Scientology. Peer pressure is like a constant force within the Change Factory and manipulation is also very extreme. When a pro conforms and uses the main answers as their answers, as the grown-ups tell them to, they can stay. If they don’t use the main answers they are considered to have made bad choices, and in some instances they are kicked out.

They destroy the children by telling them they are there to help, and the children become so grateful to be included in that. Most of the children are so vulnerable and impressionable they just go along with everything. But this is changing. More and more children are recognising how destructive this system is and what the real agenda of the Change Factory is: to force the NCWS ideology on them and expect them to accept NCWS’ actions as love.

*’Pros’, short for ‘professionals’, is the name given to children when they enter the Change Factory.

**‘Main answers’ are the ‘correct’ answers children have been programmed to use when they are out on Change Factory assignments. These answers are supposedly their own, but are in fact NCWS’.

***Marit Sanner, leader and co-founder of the ‘Change Factory’ (“Forandringsfabrikken”).

[Photo: / CC0 Creative Commons]