Sunday, October 17, 2021

3 testimonies about Hyde School

These testimonies about Hyde School was found on the Fornits Home for Wayward Web Fora.

Survivor 1:

I think one of the biggest red flags in my opinion was during the time I was there I would self-harm a lot. While one nurse was compassionate whenever it would happen, the head nurse at the time and a couple other staff members including the dean of students Mr. Truluck would shame me for it. As far as I know these incidents weren’t always reported to my parents and there were never any sort of psych evaluations done.

One time after the death of a former student who was my best friend I attempted to go to my dorm parents as I was feeling like self harming but I was really trying to work on it and had been told by the compassionate nurse and other faculty that I had permission (as if this should of even needed to be given) to go to my dorm parents after lights out if I felt like self harming and to talk about the death. A staff member on duty happened to be walking through brook house at the moment and told me no and made me feel badly about that situation. I proceeded to return to my room and and do significantly more harm to the point I thought I might of fucked up and overdone it. I ended up going to my dorm parents who called in other staff and they simply tended to the wounds and let me go back to my room.

On another note either my junior year or senior year I tried to sign up to do big brothers/big sisters. The faculty in charge signed off on it and was excited for me to do something like that but Mr. Truluck decided to veto the decision. When I went to him to ask why he said “he did not trust me alone with a child” and other things painting me out like I was a pedophile. To this day I still believe Truluck was consistently unkind to me because I was open about being a part of the LGBT community.

Survivor 2:

In terms of self harm I encountered a very similar problem when asking for help at Hyde. Mr. Truluck was the dean still and made me feel absolutely horrible. My dorm parents were completely unhelpful and tried their best to avoid helping me. I remember asking for help once and being made to feel like a reject, failure, and weirdo.. let’s just say I did not handle their response well...and then when I brought to the nurses later that day I was only made to feel worse.

My self harming behaviors reached the highest levels while I was at Hyde. I never felt like I could talk about it with anyone, so I would hide it. Staff would gossip about it and somehow other students found out (not from me, I told no one). I remember getting a note from my then~boyfriend telling me that one of the “seniors” pulled him aside and warned him about me. (I still have that note, but it has students’ names so I won’t include it).

When I completed Hyde I was able to find the right support and was told that being open and honest about the feelings that I had that were leading me to self harm would be the only way to move forward. I did so and the self harm stopped. There has got to be a way to better help students going through this, I hope things are different now, as I was there more than 10 years ago.

Survivor 3:

I struggled with self harm a lot in high school. Especially at Hyde. One time I cut too deep and I had to go get stitches. And the staff that took me literally made jokes about it. I was on the dance team and she was one of my coaches and she made a joke saying that I should do a dance to Stitches by Shawn Mendes and completely made the situation a joke. The fact that I cut my wrist so deep that I had to get stitches was comical to her. And afterwards I got no support. Only sending me to Eustis afterwards because I was having “behavioral” issues, bc i was suicidal and they didn’t take it seriously. At all. I spent 2 years at Hyde and that was the most difficult time of my life.

The original testimony on the Fornits Home for Wayward Web Fora

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Hyde School testimony

This testimony was located on the Fornits Home for Wayward Web Fora in a message thread.

A Negative Experience

I also went to Hyde School 30 years ago and am somewhat amazed to come across this forum. I can't think of a more disingenuous and destructive place for an adolescent. While the basic premises of character building and tough love seem worthy, and may even work for some who went to Hyde, the overall environment that was created was unhealthy, not to say bizarre.

After 1972 the school became increasingly strident and hysterical. Joe Gauld threw the most outrageous tantrums, shrieking and ranting accompanied by a Hitleresque waving of arms, which in any sane place would have been viewed as unacceptable and aberrant. At Hyde these were perceived as justified and that the recipient must have provoked them by a lack of willingness to accept some deep truth about themselves. I have since learned such behavior is always a cheap, manipulative power play.

The over-emotionalism at Hyde was particularly unhealthy. Manufactured crises, whether of individuals or over the school's direction, was always accompanied by wailing and crying as people confessed their supposed shortcomings and confronted others. There was an incredible lack of privacy, with every aspect of a student's life scrutinized by both faculty and peers. The term "brother's keeper" was twisted to mean betrayal and students were acclaimed for confronting and making public others negative attitudes, which really meant maintaining a capacity for independent and critical thinking.

Seminars, now evidently called discovery groups, started out as helpful and supportive, but evolved into a hysterical feeding frenzy as students were confronted over anything from poor athletic performances, which necessarily demonstrated a lack of commitment to themselves, or an inability to "give" and open up their true feelings. After 1972, these frequently degenerated into screaming and wailing sessions.

When you are involved in this environment on a daily basis, one's own sense of reality becomes perverted. Because we were basically isolated on campus with parents coerced into supporting the Hyde Way, hysteria and tantrums became normal, even commendable. There was an illusion created that had no basis in reality. This reality was to be perpetuated by students who were willing to make a lifetime commitment to Hyde. Some of these are evidently still there today.

In 1976, one student who couldn't handle the pressure tried to burn down the Mansion in the middle of the night. As this was the main building at the time, which served as a dormitory, dining area and housed all classrooms, it was a highly dangerous act. While there was considerable damage, there were no injuries.

But perhaps the sickest incident I witnessed occurred in the winter of 1974 and involved the confrontation of a faculty member who will remain nameless. This teacher was a definite Poindexter type, socially challenged but a perfectly decent individual. Evidently he proved unable or unwilling to truly "give" of himself in the faculty seminar (discovery group). Early one afternoon, then headmaster Ed Legg announced an emergency school meeting and this teacher was hauled in front of students, faculty and staff and confronted.

What followed was a scene right out of Lord of the Flies. Ed Legg set the tone, offering up a damning appraisal of the teacher's character and deep-seated problem connecting with the school. He then opened the floor to other students and faculty and 240 people set upon the teacher, screaming and crying for two hours, confronting him with how he was not only betraying himself, but the entire school. "I can't feel anything you're saying", screamed one student. "I'm so disappointed in you, how could you let us down like this", sobbed another.

After this incredible emotional purging he was given an opportunity to "give" something of himself. Obviously in a state of considerable distress, he admitted to an affair he had during the Vietnam War with his best friend's wife. "And the damn woman seduced me", he admitted, choking back tears. This was deemed by faculty and students to be insufficiently giving and the teacher was judged to not truly be in touch with his feelings. Joe Gauld then closed the meeting saying, "But the person I feel most bad for is your son". The teacher had a two-month old baby.

It was all very hysterical, tawdry and pathetic. I remember being shocked and frightened at the time by the emotional intensity of it all. It was a manipulated mob run amuck. As with all of Hyde, the experience had no positive educational value. The only lesson learned was that frightened people in a group feed off each other, and are to be avoided.

To those who feel that people critical of Hyde need to toughen up, my response is there is a difference between toughness and manipulated hysteria and false truth. I had a great deal of unlearning to do as a consequence of my experience at Hyde, which took a number of years. After time past, my parents felt deeply guilty about sending me there. The fact that the same philosophy still exists at the school, and some of the same people, or their offspring, remain in charge is disturbing. To those considering Hyde as an educational alternative, take note of some of the more sober posts in this forum and consider other alternatives.

Frederick W. Burnside

The original testimony on the Fornits Home for Wayward Web Fora

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Book: Stolen A Memoir

This book by Elizabeth Gilpin tells the story about a teenage girl who ended up in the teenage behavior modification industry in the United States where illnesses can bring you into prison-styled so-called treatment facilities where the approach often are based on very little medical science. Instead various mind games combined with use of psychical force replace treatment which in many cases result in a life-long battle with posttraumatic stress disorder.

She is first removed by professional transport agents which are an industry where everyone with muscles can get hired and taken to a wilderness program. She survived this stay unlike some of the many teenagers who have died over the last couple of decades.

Next she is sent to Carlbrook which was a sinister boarding school which used a methodology developed in the cult Synanon (which was closed down by the authority). It took her long time to convince her family that it was time for release. Carlbrook is now closed but a family is still looking to this day for their son who vanished without a trace from the school shortly before it closed. This mystery has never been resolved. Was he murdered or did he die during his escape. No body has been found, so there is no base for an investigation.

Elizabeth Gilpin provides a good insight in the Teenage warehousing industry which boomed in the 1990's where an entire generation was close to become ncarcerated in those so-called treatment facilities.

Source: Stolen - A Memoir by Elizabeth Gilpin (Grand Central Publishing)
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