Sunday, January 27, 2013

Renee at Bethel Girls Academy (From:Reddit)

The Reddit message board did just publish yet another story, which we have chosen to re-publish in full.

All rights belong to the original author.

Hello my name is Renee Newsome, I attended a school in Petal, MS called Bethel Girls Academy. I was there for 10 months. The program is now shut down. It was shut down by the DHS in Mississippi in February 2005. I was there when they shut down, to a point I was saddened because I knew I needed help but this place only made my situation worse by far.

I didn’t have the greatest childhood, i didn’t have a real mom or dad, things happened to me, I was abused and neglected. And my real dad was in prison he had no choice but to sign his rights off to the government. My great-grandmother spent money to bring me out of my mom’s side of the family to bring me into my dad’s side. Problem is, I was very young, I only knew sex and violence I didn’t have a foundation set for me as a youngster. My first 31/5 years were hell. And when my Aunt tried to make things right, it didn’t help due to I was being severely spoiled. We tried many different public schools, my social skills were lacking big time. I would pick fights I didn’t care about anything unless it was myself. I was about 4 years old and things started to happen on my dad’s side of the family. And it did not stop till I was placed into Bethel Girls Academy. I started to tell close family members and friends what was going on. When my Aunt caught word of it she did not believe it and flat out called me a liar.

She tried to seek counseling for me to have the truth covered by lies. Well I quit going to these sessions and decided that suicide was my best option. I tried twice, and failed.

The night the transporters came to take me to the school I had taken around 30 sequel that night. Hence the beginning, of my hellish journey.

I was woke up I was very drowsy and really didn’t care where I was going as long as I getting away from Michigan. I went willingly I had a man and a woman for transporters. There were very nice to me. But never did I expect what lied ahead 10 hours later. We made it down this long dirt road and I seen this building with a pool in front. I knew this place seemed like a prison and I wasn’t even inside yet. As soon as I walked in the doors I was greeted by Herman Fountain Jr. He led me to his office and asked me why I was here. I said because I was violent, and my grandfather sexually abused me, he flat out called me a liar. I knew then we would never see eye to eye while I was there. I was told to take my clothes off and put on used uniforms the program had. A higher level girl was in charge of me. I was in orientation the whole time I was there, I refused to be programmed like most of the girls there. School was a joke by far, the schooling program they had there, wasn’t even accredited by real schools. I learned this when I went to another program and I had to re-take 10-12 grades.

Level 1 girls had to ask for permission to speak, permission to talk, permission to go to the bathroom, permission to even write. If you failed to ask permission you would have to endure endless hours of military style exercising, bends and thrusts, male push-up, pull ups, duck walks, bear crawls, squats keeping your hands straight out staying in this position many minutes. To the point you were going to fall over. One day I was minding my own business, and a girl called me a whore, I called her a bitch next thing I remember I had 15 girls on top of me beating me, staff were rooting them on as I fought my way out, I cussed and screamed even at staff, I fought with a female staff member, nothing can compare what Mr. Fountain would have me do. I had to wake up at 3am go outside with a spoon and dig a hole in the ground until 8pm at night. I told him you can do what you want to me but I will not break for you nor anyone else.

Soon after I tried running from the program US soldiers and staff came after me tackled me and said we are going to make you exercise ever demon in you out, this was my breaking point to say fuck all of you and this hell, 15 hours of pure exercising and hell, at this point I was inviting demons in me lol at least they would give me energy to endure all this hell.

Mr. Fountain himself came in that day 15 hours later, took me into the orientation room and asked me if I was still going run, I said if given the opportunity again hell yes I will run. To bad i didn’t try and run again. I had to stand in the corner for 10 hours for days. Endless hours of running around in a circle outside some girls passed out, some girls were denied medical care, ie asthma breathing machine before and in middle of the running, bear crawls, and ducks walks. Water was a something you had to earn, 5 miles of running got you water, 2 miles of bear crawls got you water, 3 miles of duck walks got you water. Otherwise you suffered, and passed out. More than once girls would pass out, and ice cold water would be thrown on them and they have to keep running, this happened to me as well, the third time was a charm, they had to take me to hospital. for a heat stroke and being severely dehydrated. I was in the hospital for 20 hours give or take a few on that. At least I got 4 days vacation from exercising that when things started to look up for me.

I was getting in less trouble and started to do my program, so for the next week or two, I was in a small room with only a tape player. No food no shower for those days either. I had to listen to Herman fountains dads preaching tapes from 5am-8pm. There was as small cabinet in there I was so hungry that I went thru it and found instant coffee and flavored creamer. I tell you what, dried coffee and creamer never tasted so good in my life before this.

One day we were in the pool having a good old time in the water. All of a saddened I did not feel good. And I knew this feeling from being home and being stung by yellow jackets, and sweat bees. I went inside hardly able to breathe said I needed to go the hospital right now, no one listened to me, after about 45 minutes I could feel I was starting to slip away, I had hives covering my body, I was swollen it looked like I was a balloon. A higher level girl had to help undress me to get into dry clothes. It took this place an HOUR to make sure I wasn’t lying about being deadly allergic to bees, they called my Aunt, my Aunt told them, are you crazy when she says she got stung take her hospital immediately. We finally made it the hospital I was taken straight to ER, doctors came in and told me if they waited another 5 minutes I would have died. I was in the hospital again for 24 hours. I was on special medicine for 2 weeks for the hives and swollenness. My exercising was limited to not very much. I was placed in a room for the rest of days until the program shut down only myself, and no one else was allowed in my room. Finally got what I wanted. We were forced to go to church ever Sunday morning; we would stay at the church all day long until after Sunday night service. Some girls would sleep on the benches while some girls had to exercise for a while for any thing out of line. I remember one time a girl was sent to this program she looked at the boys, Herman Fountain Sr. at the alter told the staff to take her to the back and have her exercise the remaining of the service. I was applauded because this girl has seizures with any amount of stress or excessive exercising. Well she had three seizures that day, she was taken to the hospital, and never returned to the hell whole. Her parents came into Bethel, and had filed a lawsuit against bethel. I do not know how far they actually got with that.

Soon before Bethel shut down a girl came into the program she was 15 and pregnant, Mr. Fountain forced her to have a abortion, she came back to the program sickly, after our meal and shower time, 3 men came to take her to Tranquility Bay in Jamaica. Never heard from that girl again.

There was a snake in the kitchen, the girls were afraid, so was Herman fountain WOW! I picked up the harmless garder snake and took it outside. The staff put a child at rick, though the snake was not harmful, but what if it was???

There was a major staph infection outbreak in that place. Sanitation wise I’m surprised other infections were not caused to the body. No one had proper medical treatment so this shit was spreading from one girl to the next like a wild fire. Luckily, I stayed my distance away from these girls. Though I did get a skin condition called hydradenitis supperitva. It’s a major acne infection, and in severe conditions causes mrsa infection. Which I have had.

Girls would get bronchitis, severe colds, all that given was home remedies no doctors basically you stuck thru it and still had to do excessive exercising in summer, winter, spring, and fall.

I was threatened Tranquility Bay by Mr., Fountain, I told him my aunt would never allow it, he said we will see about that, 15 minutes later he came back and said I was right. I proceeded to say even you can’t break me. He said I’m gonna send Sgt. Knox to speak with you from the boys home.

So this short black man, with a pissy attitude worse than a rattle snakes attitude. Screamed, and spit on me saying, either get with the program or he was gonna make me sweat blood, and I could not stop until the walls would sweat blood with me. Mr. Fountain told him to give me a example. Sgt. Knox made me roll in the mud outside and come inside and exercise till my legs gave out. 2 hours later he said if he gets called back here, I’ll be transported to Tranquility Bay, I said I already told you all my aunt won’t allow it so go ahead try your luck either way I can’t and won’t be broken you or anyone else. Sgt. Knox looked at me and said you’ve been here 10 months and not much has changed with you. He said I guess your right your never gonna change people might as well give up on you and throw the keys away. He said, I was asking to be molested by my grandfather, that I was a whore, and slut and not even meds could help that. Mr. Fountain always called the girls freak shows, whores or whatever he felt like. He also had the upper level girls punish the lower levels hitting, punching, kicking, spitting, whatever that upper level girl wanted to do to a lower level. These girls were trained to be violent. But some were against it that’s why the girls started a riot and hell was shut down. Our parents had 24 hours to get us or we were going to be under Mississippi child services. A lot of girls were seriously injured by staff. The program about 3 months before it shut down Mr. Fountain had a hired a “so-called” therapist to come and talk to the girls each week. Well after about 3 weeks I noticed a lot of the girls were really flirtatious with him. My suspicion was heighten but didn’t say anything until one day a girl came to my isolated room and said can I talk to you, I said sure what’s wrong, she started crying, she said that this man (I forgot his name), had touched her in a sexual matter, I said have you told Mr. Fountain? She said no. No sooner than she said no, I heard Mr. Fountain coming down the hall in the dorms, I said this girl is saying that man touched her in a sexual matter. About 6 girls came forward and said same thing. he looked speechless I said is there a camera in that office he said no. I said I might be stupid in your eyes but you may want to get a camera in that room to see if this shit is true.

The very next day he got a camera installed in that room and come to find out the girls were telling the truth. The man was fired as far as i know no charges were pressed against him.

What I and many other girls went through was insane and crazy. Some girls would get caught, taking care of there sexual urges when they thought no one was looking. Staff would be called in and the girls forced by military personal to work out that urge thru hellish exercising and scriptures from the bible being forced down our throat for how wrong it was to do this. We were called disgusting, sluts, whores, and many other names. Almost everything was a crime in that placed. And it was all under military I felt like I was going through boot camp than getting the help I needed to be successful in life. They should have at least let us gave us a damn trophy for doing the exercises and the lengths that adults would do in basic training.

It was all about the money and not what the child needed. I admit I needed the help, to a point this place which was under the WWASPS, meaning World Wide Association of Schools and Specialty Programs. They do not care what happens to you, family, as long as you live in pain then that makes them happy. This organization is a fucking living nightmare. Please avoid sending any child to a WWASPS program do your research first. Save your child from a world of suffering, pain, and not being able to be in the real world. If you are a WWASPS survivor you can contact me personally at 517-581-4836 or and I will help you thru and give you advise. Again my name is Renee Newsome and I approve this letter.



  1. I remember you. I was there while you were there. Didnt you have glasses in the start until they broke when you were forced to roll in mud outside. I remember they had you in the hot laundry room listening to the tapes. You were so rebellious but i could see the fear in your face. I was there several months before you. So i knew what to do not to get into trouble. I am sorry for what you endured.

    1. I remember you. you and tori ran away and we never heard from you all again. I am so glad you are okay and yes Renee was extremely rebellious. I am glad she is okay as well - Randall Spencer

  2. I'm sorry you had to go through that experience. I attended the boys academy. I know all the crazy shit that happened there, so I can only imagine what you girls had to go through. Fuck the fountains! I hope they all get jailed and live like we did while we attended bethal.

  3. I'm sorry you had to go through that experience. I attended the boys academy. I know all the crazy shit that happened there, so I can only imagine what you girls had to go through. Fuck the fountains! I hope they all get jailed and live like we did while we attended bethal.

    1. Word. You probably missed Fortenberry and just had Knott. It was actually worse under Fortenberry. Believe it or not.

  4. I was there as well and I now suffer from ptsd and my kids will never understand me. But I am glad I am alive as well as all of you! Thank God for saving us from the devil

  5. I was at the boys side. It was definitely a shit show. I have many of stories about that place. Always thought it was funny that on Wednesday and Sunday at church. You couldn't look across the isle. Like what's was up with that.

  6. This place wasn't perfect but tons of this is not true. I was there as well, phase one was orientation designed to acclimate you to the rules and adapt to the physical training. I seriously doubt military schools are not similar to this. The rules were simple and only required basic self discipline. I'm 99.9% sure that in the contract that was signed there was a clause on corporal punishment. The psychologists at the female school were female during all of the 6/7 months I was there. I recall a girl standing in the corner for periods of time. She came to the school after I did. She was out of line disrespectful and blatantly disobeyed the very simple and easy to follow rules. Its not that difficult to not use curse words, this girl was warned that there would be a punishment if she continued to break the rules, yet that never stopped her. There are some stories that are true, but this place truly was not as bad as it has been made out to be. Many people came and left that school for the better. I went on to join the military. This school provided me basic discipline to build upon. Considering our instructors were Marine vets it was easy peasy. It wasn't hard not to talk during meals and bible study. We had more than enough time to hang out and talk amongst ourselves. I cannot speak about anything in relation to the boys side, all i know is they had it harder than we did. No one ever used or abused me simply because I had enough self discipline to follow the rules; I was never shown any favoritism either. The times I ended up in trouble were no ones fault but my own. No, it wasn't fun, but everyone of us was sent for a reason. Everyone of us received warnings before action of punishment. I believe many of you fellow students exaggerate greatly on the time you had spent there. Lori was proud to join the Navy, we talked about it when pulling night shift in the laundry room, I don't know what this shit about Tori running away was, but she was there the day the school was shut down. I cannot believe how many of these stories I've read are full of shit. Cuz let's be realistic... It was the end of the world having to wear uniforms, exercise, perform chores, stay silent during meals, do homeschooling and study the bible. *end sarcasm* cry wolf some more, please....


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