I hired Julie Clegg as a private investigator to assist me in finding my missing child, and to determine how much danger he was in after he was recruited into a mind-control cult 2 years ago.
After my child started going missing for days at a time and showing other new and bizarre behaviours; and after his close and loving family begged the local police to help him, to no avail; after I asked health, legal & cult deprogramming professionals for help, I was advised several times that my only option left was to hire a private investigator.
I tried to work with the first PI (not Julie!) who barely took time to return my calls and sounded disgruntled when I had to follow up. All he was willing to do was sit in his car outside the house where I guessed my child might be living, and charge me an exorbitant price, for work I could do myself.
After having to constantly chase his services, I decided to find a PI interested in my case.
Because my child was in a mind-control cult that brainwashed him into cutting off all contact with his family and friends, I consulted cult expert Steve Hassan in Boston, whom I heard of from my research into a documentary. Steve highly recommended that I contact PI Julie Clegg. I thought she’d also be based in the US, so I was thrilled to hear she’s based in Greater Vancouver! I called her immediately, and as she was just wrapping up another case, she got straight to work on my file.
After a very professional yet empathetic in-person meeting, I hired Julie and we set goals for my case. Here are the goals from her detailed 50-page report and the results of each goal:
1. Confirm that my child is healthy and safe and ascertain his location and address.
I was able to gather enough information through tips on my child’s last known address, and also to convince the police to check on my child in person, to confirm he was alive, as up to that point they’d only call him, leaving no assurance they were even talking to my son.
With Julie’s dedicated support & encouragement, I found the courage to face the police multiple times, in person and over many phone calls, and to persevere to get them to meet my child in person despite the repeated resistance and reluctance to help us confirm that my child was alive & well. It was scary to go up against police inaction, to question & challenge them on why they were doing nothing on my missing child’s case. Julie explained how things work behind the scenes and gave me ideas on positive ways to keep the police involved in the investigation. This was the most difficult part of my ordeal, and I can’t imagine what parents of missing children endure, who do not have the resources of a private investigator helping them.
2. Determine if the cult leader has a criminal record or a history of any illegal behaviour, complaints against him or other conduct of concern.
Julie was able to determine the answers to these questions in her online research, which she provided in her report. I was grateful for this information.
3. Determine whether my child had his identity stolen or was trying to change identity, or was being used in human trafficking, etc.
Julie was able to determine the answers to these questions through her online research, which she provided in her report. Although some parts weren’t conclusive I saw indications that my child was online.
Now I’d like to commend Julie on many specific skills she brings to her PI work.
Julie has outstanding communication skills, whether meeting in person, talking on the phone or in written reports, etc. She is a very sensitive listener and observer. She explained things clearly so that I could understand, even when I was under enormous stress. Her report was very well written, in particular the conclusion and summary.
At one point in the investigation, she stated the importance of maintaining communications with my son, even if we didn’t know whether he was receiving the messages or if he was even safe. I found writing these notes to my child each week devastating, as they were never answered, however, Julie constructed a set of messages I could send to him each week that wouldn’t challenge the cult but would demonstrate my support and deep love. I was touched by this extra gesture, as I was at a loss for words, terrified to make a mistake, so using Julie’s suggested message reduced the pain and uncertainty.
Julie has excellent judgement and initiative, which she showed in jumping into my case immediately and working full steam ahead, but also in having the wisdom and experience to know when we needed to back off a bit (from my son).
Julie possesses great patience, fortitude and ability to meet goals and deadlines, despite great adversity and obstacles. Even when she was in the hospital unexpectedly, she was still researching my case and writing my report, which was detailed and organized and showed all the research she’d conducted, and evidence gathered.
Julie demonstrated that she is highly ethical, sincere and honest. My case was highly sensitive and emotional, as my child was missing, in danger and I would have done anything to help solve his problem. She showed me the best use of my funds, as a single mom, and how to protect the confidentiality of me and my child, so as not to expose my child to even greater danger. She was honest when we hit a wall and encouraged me at my lowest points of despair so that I could maintain hope.
In early 2020 I hit another wall of hopelessness, after another fruitless trip to the cult community I was forced to face the prospect that I might never see my child again, after years of dedication to being the best mother I could be to him. It was hard to face defeat, to give up and come home. I tried to get on with my life, but I could never forget my child. I had nightmares about what might have become of him every night. I tried to keep busy and get happy again, but there was sadness behind my smile.
Then there was a miracle. I got a tip that my child had been spotted in Vancouver. I immediately called Julie and got advice as I was driving around, searching for clues as to his last location. I followed her advice, and after only minutes into my search, I saw my missing child for the first time in almost 2 years!
I worried about him bolting when he saw me, as the cult had convinced him that his family and friends were all “toxic”, that we were evil and that he couldn’t trust any of us. What would he do, run?
To my surprise, he smiled, said “Mom! I missed you!” and came forward to hug me. The answer to all my prayers. I had minutes to find out where he was staying, working, locations, and updated phone numbers.
He was on his way back to the cult community in 2 days. In those 2 days, I convinced him to just come home for dinner and a shower. Then stay the night in his own bed. Then be reunited with his brother, his father, his grandparents and his dog. I paid out the lease on an apartment he’d rented in the cult community. I convinced him to cut off contact with them and to come home. I pray that my good luck holds. But he’s home, looking for work, getting counselling, he’s doing better every day, although the cult did lasting damage. My nightmares are gone now. The future looks bright again, my smile is real now.
Julie, this story ends in success and happiness, and much of that is because of your genuine care and invaluable help. My son might never know what everyone went through to get him home, but that’s ok. He’s home.
As you can see, I give my highest recommendation to private investigator, Julie Clegg. She is the best!