Declaration of Susan Claire Borowik - 1993-04-14

From XFamily - Children of God

Editor's note: Some names have been partially redacted to protect individual privacy or for other reasons at the discretion of the editors of

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Tribunal de Menores de MERCEDES
Juez Dr. Julio M. Cámpora
Provinicia de Buenos Aires
Poder Judicial

Causa No. 32.202, Frouman, Emanuel David y otros s/ infracion al art. 10 ley 10.067.
Cause Number 32.202, Frouman, Emanuel David and others regarding infraction of Art. 10 of Law 10.067.

On April 13, 1993. Susan Claire Borowik and Stuart Harris Baylin partially complied with Judge Cámpora May 1991 order to present all four of the Frouman minors to the court. Instead of presenting all four, Borowik and Baylin brough only the eldest two. The two minors were immediately taken into protective custody and Baylin and Borowik were summoned to appear the following day to present their declarations. Following is Borowik's declaration in which she denied having any knowledge of the whereabouts of the other two missing children and said she was unable to state the address or identity of the "friends" whom she claimed Mr. Baylin had told her they were staying with. The minors involved have strongly disputed the veracity of Borowik's sworn statements and alleged that she repeatedly perjured herself to prevent the youngest two children from ever being found by the police and returned to their father and other surviving relatives. In contrast, Mr. Baylin did not perjure himself when asked the whereabouts of the children but simply stated that he would prefer to speak with an attorney before answering the question.

In a court order dated June 28, 1993, Judge Cámpora noted that the laws of Argentina and the human rights of the Frouman children had been flagrantly and repeatedly violated and that Borowik's declaration helped prove that these violations had occurred:

This is what has happened to the FROUMANS in that their identities have not been preserved, and that they were prevented from being near their parents and and relatives and that they were not able to visit their mother before she died. Article 9 of law 23.849 was also infringed every time they were separated from their parents as has been perfectly accredited "ut supra" in the judgment of this court. Not to mention the infractions of the norms contained in articles 9, paragraph 3 and articles 11, 12, 13, 14 and 16 of law 23.849 among others. In this respect, these violations against the FROUMAN minors are profusely documented in the court's records ("sub-examine"). Moreover, as can be seen, the judicial declarations of BAYLIN, are clear in this respect.

At this point it must be said that the aforementioned judicial declaration of BAYLIN is corroborated by the declaration - also judicial - of Miss SUSANA CLARA BOROWIK, when at pages 1447/1448 she affirms: "That according to what Mr. BAYLIN has told her, she knows that the four minors came to Argentina, that Mr. BAYLIN left two of them in the house of some friends of Mr. BAYLIN, that she is not able to state the identity or address of these friends; while the other two minors were presented to this court yesterday (Tuesday 13th of April). That during their stay in Argentina the two minors Emanuel and D.P. together with Mr. BAYLIN were at the residence of the declarant. That Emanuel lived with the declarant for several years at the request of the mother, who even gave her a power of attorney before a notary which she no longer has a copy of, because she was both physically and mentally ill..." and also the declarations of the minors D.P. and Emanuel FROUMAN which can be found on pages 1454/1456 and 1457/1458, respectively, which explain the existing relationship between these persons and, most importantly, describe the continual separation from the family group.

Source: Order of Judge Campora - 1993-06-28

Preliminary Translation

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In the audience set for today's date, Mrs. Susana Clara Borowik appeared and verified her identity by exhibiting D.N.I. (National Identity Document) number 92.432.586 (which was returned to her) and having already made an oath to tell the truth and been advised of the reasons why she has been cited to appear, made her declaration.

Asked to speak about the existence of these proceedings, the declarant states:

That the declarant was invited to a congress presided by Dr. Centeno, Secretario de Cultos. That at this congress, some people took it upon themselves to speak badly of so-called sects or cults, including among these the institution which the declarant represents, "The Family." That a specific reference was made to a case in the Minor's Court of Mercedes, that Dr. Campora was named as the intervening judge and that a lawyer named Dr. Susana Marina of the National University of Buenos Aires read a few pages from the case file. That she remembers that the lawyer was seated next to Centeno and a Dr. Cardozo and that she supposes that the lawyer represented the University of Buenos Aires and that the lawyer spoke about the penal problem of the sects. That she remembers that in the reading of the pages from the case file, she also read a paper in which information was solicited about the group and which mentioned that there was an open case in this court.

That at another opportunity she was informed of the formation of the present cause in Rosario and in that case there was a file from this court. Immediately they went to this court to clarify the situation and were informed of the complaint filed by Mr. Godoy.

That later declarations from the minors were presented in which they clarified that this Godoy is not their uncle and there is no relationship between them and him.[1]

That regarding Mr. Godoy she can state that she has known him since nine years ago, when he was temporarily a member of her group, that she knows the aunt of the minors, Mrs. Mckee, formed a couple with Mr. Godoy and that there were problems with Godoy's aggression, something which is not allowed in the group, and that he left the group with Mrs. Mckee and her children (four in total).

That after these people left, the declarant went to visit them and found them living in a very abandoned bus which they had parked on Moscona street near [Gra . az].

That Mr. Godoy did not work but instead dedicated himself to making the children of Mrs. Mckee, then aged between 10 and 14, beg. That the children did not go to school, that he abused [redacted] and also physically mistreated them which was why Mrs. Mckee abandoned him and took all her children with her.

Continuing her account, she says that on different occasions, first the eldest Emmanuel Frouman and later DF lived in Pilar in the declarant's residence. That approximately 8 months ago, Emmanuel went to live in another community in Capilla del Sr., clarifying that this community was closed and thus Emmanuel went with Mr. Baylin and his brothers DF, MF and JF to Paraguay. Clarifying that Emmanuel went to live in the Capilla del Sr. community approximately two years ago. That Manoli always visited his mother, his aunt and his father and that this is the norm in the community.[2]

That once the declarant located the minors, clarifying that in Paraguay they were living in another house of the same group, "The Family," she asked them to prepare a letter testifying about their situation and that later the declarant added these letters to the case file. That after this opportunity it was convenient for the minors to come to this court.

Asked to state the exact address of the minors in Paraguay, she says that she doesn't know it. That she was in contact with another person who knew it.

Asked to identify this person, she says that prefers not to name the person because she has not asked for authorization to do so.

That, according to what Mr. Baylin has said, she knows that the four minors came to Argentina and that Mr. Baylin left two of them in the house of some friends of Mr. Baylin and that she cannot state the identity or exact address of these friends.[3] That the two other minors were presented to this court yesterday (Tuesday, the 13th of April).

That during their stay in Argentina the two minors, Emmanuel and DF, and Mr. Baylin were in Pilar in the declarant's residence. That Emmanuel lived with the declarant for several years at his mother's request and that she even granted her a power, which she no longer has any copies of, before a notary, because the mother of the minors was very sick both physically and mentally.

That during these years in which Emmanuel lived with the declarant, his father wrote him a maximum of two or three times. That since 1980 when the parents of the minors were separated, the father never provided any economic help much less moral support to his son Emmanuel and the other sons. Clarifying that MF is not the biological child of either Frouman or Mr. Baylin but rather the result of a relationship the mother had in between these two. That the youngest children, JF and MF, have never known any father except Mr. Baylin. That the minors have another brother named PF who voluntarily decided to leave to live with his father, that the community consented to and facilitated his return, clarifying that this is the norm within the community.[4] That PF didn't ["conenido" - get along?] with his father and thus left his father's home, living alone, having a very bad relationship with his father and problems with drug addiction.[5] That she wants to add that in the years she has known the Frouman minors she has observed that they have a great respect for Mr. Baylin whom they love and call papa and that he has taken care to provide for every one of their needs in a sincerely admirable form.

At this time she clarifies that every one of the homes of the group "The Family" are completely independent communities, meaning that they are financially self supporting, that decisions are taken within the same group, that the form of doing the labor is totally independent, that what they do have in common are the same beliefs and practices. The group to which the declarant belongs does not have any type of obligation towards the other communities, that it has no obligations whatsoever to the other communities, no economic obligations or any other kind of obligation.[6] That she has nothing further to say and thus the hearing is terminated and she ratifies and signs the declaration before the S.S. to which I give faith.

X. Susan Claire Borowik (Signature)

Full Text of Declaration in Spanish

En la audiencia designada para el día de la fecha comparece ante S.S. la Sra. Susana Clara Borrowik, cuyas demás circunstancias personales obran en auto, a creditando identidad con D.N.I. n° 92.432.586 que exhibe y se le devuelve, quien previo juramento que en legal forma presto, y manifestándose de los motivos por el cual ha sido citada manifiesta: interrogada para que diga la dicente de la existencia dé las presentes actuaciones dice:

que la dicente fue invitada a un congreso presidido por el Dr . Centeno, secretario de Cultos y por su personal, en esa conferencia algunas personas se encargaron de hablar mal de las llamadas sectas, incluyendo entre ellas la institución que la dicente representa, llamada “La familia” epecíficamente hizo referencia a una expediente de este juzgado de Menores de Mercedes nombrando al Dr . Campora como el juez intervieniente y leyendo algunas hojas del expediente haciendo esto una abogada llamada Dra. Susana Marina que es docente en la universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires. Que recuerda que la mencionada abogada se encontraba sentada al lado de Centeno y un Dr. Cardozo, y que supone la misma representaría a la Universidad de Buenos Aires que la misma hablaba del problema penal de las sectas, que recuerda que en la lectura de las fojas del expediente leyó un papel donde solícita información sobre la agrupación menciona que hay causa abierta en este juzgado; implicando que es con la agrupación "La familia"; y en la otro oportunidad donde se entera de la formación de la presente causa en Rosario, cuándo acude a un juzgado y en la causa consta un oficio de este juzgado haciendo mención de la presente causa.

De inmediato se dirigen a este juzgado a fin de aclarar la situación, aquí se enteran de la denuncia que hace el Sr. Godoy. Que luego de esO presentan a este juzgado declaraciones escritas de los menores donde aclaran que el tal Godoy no es su tio, no habiedndo ningún parentezco entre ellos. Que respecto del Sr. Godoy, la dicente puede decir que lo conoce desde hace nueve anos, cuando temporariamente se une a su agrupacion donde conoce a la tía de los menores causante, Sra. McKee, formando pareja con la misma y habiendo problemas a raíz de la agresividad de Godoy en la agrupación, cosa que no se permite, se retira junto a la Sra. y los hijos de ella (cuatro en total). Que luego de irse esta la di.cente los visita, viviendo los mismos en un colectivo muy abandonado que habían afincado en la calle Mosconi, cerca de la [Gra . az]. El Sr. Godoy no trabajaba se dedicaba a hacer mendigar a los hijos de la Sra. Mckee, que contaban en esos momentos entre 10 y 14 años, los menores no iban a la eacuela, abusaba [redacted] y además los mal trataba físicamente, por lo que la Sra. Mckee lo abandona llevándose conisgo a todos sus hijos.

Continuando el relato manifiesta que en diferentes ocaciones, primero el más grande EF y luego DF cunan vivieron en Pilar en el domicilio de la dicente. Que hace aproximadamente ocho meses, EF pasó a vivir a otra comuindad en Capilla del Sr., rectificándose que esa comunidad fue cerrada por lo tanto EF se va junto al Sr. Baylin y sus hermanos DF, MF, JF cunan al Paraguay. Aclarado que EF había ido a vivir a la comúnidad de Capilla del Sr. dos años atrás aproximadamente. Que EF siempre visita a su madre, su tía y su padre y que esto es norma de la comunidad. Que una vez que la recurrente ubicó a los menores Frouman en Paraguay, aclara que en Paraguay estaban viviendo en otra casa de su misma agrupación: “La Familia." les pide que redacten una carta testimoniando su situación, que luego esas cartas fueron agregadas por. la dicente al expediente, Que luego de esa oportunidad se con¬vino que los menores vinieran a este juzgado, interrogada para que diga cual es el domicilio exacto de los menores en el Paraguay dice desconocerlo. Que se contacto con otro persona que lo conocia. Interrogada para que identifique a esa persona, dice preferir no nombrarla por cuanto no pidió autorización a la misma.

Que por dichos del Sr. Baylin, sabe que vinieron a la Argentina, los cuatro menores a la Argentina, que dos de ellos, el Sr. Baylin, los dejó en casa de unos amigos del. Sr. Baylin, no pudiendo precisar ni identidad ni domicilio; mientras que los otros dos menores fueron presentado a en este juzgado en el día de ayer (martes 13 de abríl). Que durante su estadía en la argentina los dos menores EF y DF, junto al Sr. Baylin se encuentran en Pilar en el domicilio de la deponente. Que EF vivió varios años junto a la dicente, a pedido de la progenitora del mismo que incluso le otorgó un poder ante escribano del cual ya no tiene más copias en virtud de que la madre de los menores se encontraba muy enferma tanto física como mentalmente. Que durante los casi tres años que EF vivió con la dicente el padre le escribio en dos o tres oportunidades como máximo, EF, siempre contestaba sus cartas; y en una ocasíón, cuando quiso visitar a su padre, viajó a los Estados Unidos con toda libertad. Que desde el año 1980 que se separan los padres de los menor este nunca aportó ningun tipo de ayuda económica y mucho menos moral hacia su hijo EF, y los demás hijos. Aclara que MF, el más pequeño, no es hijo biológico de Frouman ni tampoco del Sr. Stuart Baylin sino de una pareja que la madre tuvo en medio de estas dos personas. Que los niños más pequeños, JF y MF no han conocido otro padre que el Sr. Baylin.

Que los causante tienen otro hermano llamado PF, quien decidió voluntariamente irse a vivir junto a su padre, a lo que la comunidad accedió facilitándole el regreso, y aclarando que esto es norma dentro de la comunidad. Que PF no fué conenido por su progenitor por lo que se retiró del hogar de su padre viviendo solo y teniendo muy mala relación con su padre y tiene problemas de droga dicción.

Que desea agregar que en los años que conoce a los menores Frouman, ha notado que los mismos tienen un gran respecto por el Sr. Baylin, a quien quieren y llaman papá y él se ha esmerado para que todas sus necesidades sean cumplidas ele una forma sinceramente! admirable.

A esta altura del acto se aclara que cada uno de los hogares de la agrupación "La familia", son comunidades totalmente independientes, significando esto que se auto fiancian, las decisiones son tomadas dentro de la misma agrupacion, la forma de desempeñar la labor es totalmente independiente, lo que si tienen n comun es la misma creencia y practica; no teniendo la aguapacion a la que pertenece la dicente ningún tipo de obligación hacía las otra comunidades, de ningún tipo, ni económicas, ni de ningun otro orden. Que. na¬da más tiéne que decir por lo que se da por terminado el acto previa íntegra lectura y ratificación firmando la compareciente y por ante mi de lo que doy fe.-


  1. One of the named minors has confirmed that he signed one of the referenced declarations in Paraguay but was not provided with a copy of his or any other declaration. These declarations are believed to have existed at one point in time but were not found in the case file provided to an editor and are thus not available for review. If and when these documents are located, they will be made available on It is not known whether Ms. Borowik's characterization of these declarations is accurate in any way but to the extent that it may be, it should be noted that in fact Mr. Godoy was the uncle-in-law of the minors and was related to them by virtue of their aunt's marriage to Mr. Godoy and that on December 10, 1990, Mrs. Frouman granted Mr. Godoy and her sister a special power of attorney to present her complaint for the return of her children to the court.
  2. While it may have been the norm for other children in The Family to "always" be allowed to visit their mother, father and other relatives such as aunts and uncles, this was certainly not the norm for the four minors that were the subject of this case. In the case of the minor Emmanuel, from April 1987 until his mother's death in March 1991, he only had two visits with his mother - in June 1989 and August 1990. From October 1981 until his death in February 1994, he only saw his father one time - in July 1989. The minors DF, JF and MF, only had an approximately 4-day visit (in October 1990) with their mother in the 1334 day period between July 18, 1987 (when she left Argentina) and March 12, 1991 (when she died). The minor DF did not see his father at all from approximately October 1981 until May 14, 1993. The minor JF did not see his father at all from approximately October 1981 until mid-1997. The minor MF did not meet his biological father until late 1997.
  3. In both oral and written statements, all four of the minors that were the subject of this case directly contradicted Borowik's sworn statement, made under penalty of perjury, that she could not state the identity or address of the "friends" whom she claimed Mr. Baylin left the youngest two children with and that her knowledge of their whereabouts was based only on what Mr. Baylin had told her. In a sworn declaration filed with the Superior Court of California in the Staughton v. Staughton child custody case, one of the minors made this quite clear:

    "In approximately late March or early April 1993, Stuart Baylin took me and my three siblings to a Family Home (known as "The Light House") in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Upon our arrival we were met by Susan Claire Borowik, who gave us specific instructions and drilled and rehearsed us for several days on a set of answers to questions that might be asked by the police officials or other officers of the court. At the time, we saw Ms. Borowik on daily basis. Although the court's order was to present all four children to the court, they decided to only show up with the two older children.
    On April 13, 1993, my two older brothers, Stuart Baylin and Susan Claire Borowik appeared before the court. On April 14, 1993, Claire Borowik was questioned by the court under oath and under penalty of perjury and then signed a sworn statement summarizing her answers. Upon being asked where I and my brother [JF] was, Borowik perjured herself by telling the Court that her only knowledge of our whereabouts was that Mr. Baylin had told her that we were staying at a friend's house but that she did not know and could not state the address or identity of the "friend." Her answer was absolutely false in that at the time she made the statement she knew our exact whereabouts and had seen us in person every single day since our arrival in Buenos Aires, Argentina."

  4. The person to whom Borowik refers has noted that the "community" did not consent to his departure until several months after he first expressed a desire to leave to visit his parents and that consent came only after they discovered that he had secretly mailed a letter requesting assistance to return to the United States to his father in defiance of explicit instructions not to do so until the leadership had made a decision after "praying" about the matter. He has also noted that his return was "facilitated" as follows: he was allowed to make collect phone calls (at a cost of $4 USD per minute charged to his relatives) from the phone company office in downtown Montevideo to his parents, that he was not allowed to call his parents directly from the Family Home because of the fear (as stated by Mr. Baylin) that the police would help his relatives trace the call and identify its location, that he was allowed to use a one way airline ticket purchased by his father and mailed to Uruguay, that before each phone call he was briefed and given instructions about what he could and could not say, that before his departure Michael Poe and Stuart Baylin used a small percentage of money sent periodically by his mother to buy him new clothes for the first time in several years, that before his departure his luggage was thoroughly searched to make sure it did not contain any Family publications or sensitive documents, that he was not allowed to call his older brother in Buenos Aires before he left and was not provided with the number despite repeated requests and finally, that he was driven to the airport where he was given $49 USD and put on a flight to New York.
  5. Borowik assertions that the minor PF was a drug addict, that he had a bad relationship with his father and that he lived alone after leaving the cult has been strongly disputed by the named minor who notes that Borowik never saw him after 1988 and thus had no first hand knowledge of his circumstances subsequent to his escape from the cult at age 13; that immediately after his arrival in Portland, Oregon on November 19th, 1988 he was enrolled in school for the first time since 1981 and this was markedly different from the time he lived in Borowik's "care" when he did not attend school and was provided virtually no education other than being required to read cult publications and was instead required to work many hours every single day; that in fact until a few months before his 18th birthday he did not not live alone but rather at various times with his mother, his father, his aunts and one semester at The Farm High School where he was a boarding student and lived, with both his parent's written permission, with an adult couple that included an attorney and a small business owner.
  6. There is exhaustive evidence which completely contradicts this portion of Borowik's declaration. In fact, far from being completely independent and having no obligations of any kind to each other, Family Homes are accountable to and controlled by a hierarchical leadership structure and have numerous obligations to other Homes and Family business units including mandatory payment of a percentage of their monthly income to The Family, payment to Family businesses for various publications and merchandise sold to the general public to raise funds, etc. In fact, during the years in which Borowik was a Family leader in Argentina, most of her living expenses were paid for by income resulting from the fulfillment of the obligation that each home in Argentina had to pay tithe.