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O’Brien former board member of ‘cult’ prep school

Grenville closing sparks controversy

FORMER SECRETARY. Ottawa Mayor Larry O'Brien was on the board of directors of Grenville, school tax returns show.

Mayor Larry O’Brien was the secretary of the board of directors of the controversial Grenville Christian College in 2005 and 2006, according to information publicly available on the school’s tax returns.

Grenville has become a hotbed of controversy after over 1000 posts were made about the school, which costs up to $35,000 to attend, on a website forum dedicated to “cults.”

Former students allege they were interrogated in the middle of the night in dark rooms with lights shining on their faces, so they couldn’t see the staff and teachers interrogating them, according to a Globe And Mail cover story Aug 31.

Grenville is closing its doors, the “ecumenical” school announced earlier this summer.

“The past week has been a difficult week,” wrote one forum poster claiming to be a former student. “One week away from therapy and I feel like GCC [Grenville Christian College] will haunt me until the day I die. I was thinking about what I would want from GCC if I could take one thing during its closing. I would take the crucifix of Jesus in the small chapel in the stairwell to the highs chool floors. I spent many hours in there during my last year during ‘Light Sessions’ where they would try to convince me homosexuality was wrong.”

The user posted under the alias gayatgcc.

The forum abounds in accusations of the strict policing of sex and sexuality. Many of the accusations are related to alleged incidents from the 1980s and ’90s.

Grenville opened in the late ’70s as a co-ed Christian school loosely affiliated with the Anglican Church. It’s located near Brockville, Ontario. The private school admits kids from the age of six to the end of high school.

As a registered charity, Grenville’s annual tax returns, which list the members of their board of directors, are available on the Canada Revenue Agency website.

Calls to the office of the mayor were not immediately returned.