This testimony was found on Reddit. All rights goes to the original author:
Hi. I'm 19, and I'm a guy. I am so pissed that I must start rambling now. I can't forget what happened. This organization needs to be shut down is all, and it seams that it's legal! Well it shouldn't! So I guess, AMA, but also, how do I sue Advent Home? I was 17, and it traumatized me. I will never think of my mom the same way. I was never diagnosed with ADD, yet I went to a place for ADD kids! Not even the full-on cult/human rights violator organization Seventh Day Adventists endorse this place! It's in Chattanooga TN, and they renamed it to "behavioral therapy" rather than ADD therapy, which by the way, I have never been diagnosed with. I was bullied into going to church. They were taking advantage of my already shady mother. All for suspecting me of smoking pot, which I had been doing for years. She couldn't talk to me about it, and she would never ever debate me on it. She just payed thousands of dollars a month to send me to Advent Home and abandoned me. Ruined my education. I had to get a GED, and now my only option is Jobcorps to find a place to live. Just saying, this organization needs to prosecuted. One kid was there for 5 years against his will. And it's all christian crazy fucking people staffing it, even with tazers. You can't leave even if you are over 18, because the police will force you to come back. They bragged that they have the local judge in the bag. I was raised going to SDA schools, churches, and "pathfinders", a version of boyscouts. My entire life was encased in lies and human rights violations.
Suing them might be tough even if you had a lot of money to hire an attorney. How long have you been out and what is the statute of limitations for bringing suit in TN?
It's possible if you could document specific instances of abuse or neglect that you could take some action against them, but generally religious schools/programs enjoy a lot of legal protections. Were you injured or sexually abused?
How did you get there in the first place? Did your mother take you or did she hire men to come take you? Did they use force against you? handcuffs? Did you live in TN or were you transported across state lines?
How long were you there?
What kind of contact did you have with the outside world? Who could you write and call? Were your letters read by the staff before you could send them? Did you have visits home?
Was there a level system? What was daily life like?
What were some of the more abusive elements of the program?
Yes Freedom of thought, conscience and religion Sexual orientation and gender identity - I'm not LGBT, but anything SDA, including Advent Home, does discriminate against them. You see, you must have 250 points to leave. You can, at the max, get 5-10 points in a week. You can easily get 15 docked off though. For anything. You are blackmailed into gong to church, because they would dock off points if they have a staff keep me at the Advent Home. Although I wasn't a slave, and I wasn't tortured, I was kept there entirely against my will.
I don't know a single kid there who wanted to be there, OR benefited from the program. My mom lied to me, as the director told her to do. Dr. B. I was told that it was a boarding school. I was doing a "christian online school" and it was BS. When I arrived, my cell phone and laptop were taken away from me. They happened to have the same exact online program! The one that i had just quit! They computers had errors, and I was out of school for two months straight. I would plan pinball, and got a high score of 4 million! The next half of the day was WORK WORK WORK, terrible vegan food with no salt allowed. The diet was terrible and disgusting. Mom let me put the laptop and the cell on the plane as a bluff. They left me there just as it got dark, and never came back. Since mom and dad are divorced, dad had the authority to take me out. I was doing the online school, then I went down to california where I was almost complete with an alternative high school. I wanted a diploma fast. Mom took me out and placed me in Advent Home. I wanted to leave by the very first day.
I had no contact for the first two weeks. I got 15 minutes for each parents each week I believe, or two weeks. Everything WAS screened. They would even talk to you about you personal life. If I were to try to leave I would have been met with force. The first thing everyone told me was, don't try to escape! I had no visits home. There was a level system. There was favoritism in the highest. This one kid was a snitch to the highest degree. I would wake up at 5 or 6 and have almost zero time to take a shower and get into a super gay Advent home shirts tucked in with pants and a belt. proper shoes and everything. I bunked with 3 other guys. Oh by the way, it's male only. There were lots of meetings and crazy kids who needed their parents and more meds. They would take any kid for their money, and string along the rich parents for as long as possible, since they decide how many points the kid gets! I know that back in the day, kids got hit by the staff, and abused. I know because the older kids were in the same situation as me. A poor kid named lance and two black kids. We were all nice kids, and atleast the little kids might change a little. We were just nice kids, we didn't belong there!
I live in california when I was transported to TN. I took a plane. Two Months. No contact with my friends and my girlfriend. I had no time to say anything on facebook even! I took a staff phone and returned it, even deleting the call history. I called dad. I told him how much I hated it and he had to get me out ASAP. I was freaking out hardcore. When you get violent, they "disable you" They hold you down in a very uncomfortable way until you chill out. I did not have to go through this. The water was cholorinated. I was being poisoned by it and always felt terrible. So I started secretly drinking non-potable water, which, was delicious. As a country boy, i'm guessing it was fine because it tasted fresh. The abusive elements were the endless rules and demeaning nature of it. You always had to volunteer extra work for points they said.
When I went to church, we had our own section! And we were all looked down upon. Nobody really liked us at all. We went on a field trip or two, to an aquarium. It was fun, but we never had contact with the outside world. The kid I knew who was there, I wish I could say his name, he tried to escape three times. He even stole a car and sped on the highway. He almost got away with it. I saw the little kids terribly unhappy. All the little kids just need a parent, not some christian songs every single morning. Don't want to sing or sit up straight? docked points. If we were late to a meeting, 25 pushups. Dumb pixar movies were "theater time." I saw him turn 18 and leave the place. His parents bribed him with a cruise but he left anyways. He had to finish a few extra month of school there, even though he was 18. He came back that night wet from rain, crying. He finished up the year, idk if he got that cruise but im pretty sure he did not get to go. The school aspect was laughable.
What's your relationship like with your mom now?
What was her reaction when your dad pulled you out of the program?
Was your dad SDA also?
Superficial. I keep her up to date. She just kinda blew it again with me though. It's paper thin. I don't know if I can honestly say I even like her anymore. Since I owe money, I am blackmailed into being nice. If I am not nice, I get freedoms are taken away, or, since im at dad, she finds a way to make me miserable. When I have my own place, car, job, life, I will be able to tell her what I feel. It's funny that any parent would think they could get their kid to be good by threatening them with consequences. It just made me into a liar! Mom was always in denial that I didn't like it, kind of like schools i never liked, when they wasted my college money on elementary school and high school. Dad was SDA, like my grandma and *grandpa. Now he is just right wing super crazy. IE Churck Missler, Glen Beck, Rush and Sean Hannity, with a hint of anti-federalism and conspiracies. For instance, fossil fuels are not actually from fossils! Titanic was a conspiracy too! Biblical UFOS! Alien Pyramids! Yet Dad is way smart and cool. We get along. At least he reads like crazy, he has just been mislead, and it's far too late to convince him otherwise. In other words, Dad is a non-descript christian now.
The website belonging to the facility is down. The facility might be closed now