A Coquitlam man who practised “quantum health” and “energy work” in his basement was found guilty of 13 counts of sexual abuse in B.C. Supreme Court on Monday.
Raymond Gaglardi, 78, who was also known as Dr. Ray, faced charges of sexual abuse dating back more than 45 years involving 14 different complainants, all of whom were boys or young men at the time.
Gaglardi admitted to a counselling relationship with each of the complainants but denied any intentional sexual touching, asserting that the contact was: “unintentional, and incidental to consensual treatment,” according to court documents.
Gaglardi took the stance that there are major problems with the credibility and reliability with the testimony of the complainants. However, Justice W. Paul Riley noted significant issues with Gaglardi’s own credibility, including the accused’s academic credentials from Ohio Christian College.
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According to Gaglardi’s testimony, his PhD qualified him as a doctor of philosophy with a specialization in counselling, as well as a focus on natural health and wellness.
Gaglarid testified that, following his arrest in 2020, he did some research and found a legal document which “cast doubt” on the validity of his degree.
In cross-examination, Crown counsel put to Gagliardi a 1972 formal order from the United States Federal Trade Commission, which directed Ohio Christian College to cease and desist from issuing degrees or using the word “college.”
The institution had ““no faculty members who are trained and competent to teach accredited and recognized college undergraduate or graduate course of any kind,” according to the order.
Gaglardi’s response was that this document was “similar” to the one he found during his research.
“I find that it was a gross understatement for Mr. Gaglardi to say in his testimony . . . that his research merely “cast doubt” on the validity of his degree,” Justice Riley wrote. “I infer from the very circumstances in which Mr. Gaglardi obtained his post-secondary credentials, via correspondence in the 1960s, that he has always known or suspected that Ohio Christian College was not a legitimate educational institution, and that he deliberately chose not to make any enquiries.”
Gaglardi’s status as a doctor was important to the case because it was: “one aspect of the relationship of trust that he established with most if not all of the complainants,” the Justice stated.
Gaglardi worked as a counsellor at Glad Tidings Temple in Vancouver from 1969 to 1983.
Five complainants knew Gaglardi either through the church or Temple Academy or the church’s summer youth camp, according to court documents.
One complainant testified that Gaglardi touched his genitals multiple times when he was a teenager. In one incident, the witness testified that, after hurting his knee during a church summer camp baseball game, Gaglardi touched him, “ostensibly to check for injuries.”
In 1994, Gaglardi started offering “counselling, mentorship, and holistic natural health and wellness services” from his home in Coquitlam. He had a practice in the basement of his house although he also conducted some aspects of his counselling work in his home gym, which was furnished with mirrored walls, exercise equipment and mats.
Of the nine Coquitlam complainants, all of whom were between 15 and 30 years old during the time frame of the allegations, at least eight were Gaglardi’s clients.
Besides talk therapy, Gaglardi also utilized various forms of “alternative therapy,” including “quantum health,” and “energy work”.
During his testimony, Gaglardi asserted that quantum health was linked to “quantum physics.
“. . . though he admitted having no actual knowledge of quantum physics and there is no objective evidence to suggest that the link between physics and Mr. Gaglardi’s “quantum” therapy was anything other than a label or marketing tool,” Justice Riley wrote.
During one type of treatment, Gaglardi used: “a handheld device that looked like a TV remote, which he would run over the client’s body, either in direct contact with the body or a few inches above it.”
“Gaglardi testified at length about the underlying theory, which according to him has something to do with the storage of “negative energy” and “emotion” in various parts of the body,” Justice Riley wrote.
This treatment involved “touch therapy” including forms of massage.
The crown alleged that Gaglardi touched a teenager’s genitals, “ostensibly as part of a body mapping exercise, in the gym in the basement of Mr. Gaglardi’s house.”
Ultimately, Gaglardi “used his counselling techniques as a ploy to engage in sexual touching,” Justice Riley found.
The evidence reflected Gaglardi’s “opportunistic use of naturopathic techniques to intrude on the sexual integrity of younger male complainants in the context of a counselling relationship,” Justice Riley wrote.”