Friday, September 28, 2012

Girl from SC at The Potters house girls home (From: Insiderpages)

This story was originally written on Insiderpages. All rights and credits goes to the author known as "Girl from SC":

I also wish to not state my name as to the connections they have. I dont know about the sexual abuse cause Manny never physically touched the girls when i was there.

Hm... where to start. Well when i first came there i was court ordered so yes i was a troubled teen. Yes, they took me and the girls to church, and I can say that Manny and Sandy are NOT the ones who changed me at all. It was myself and making the choice to believe in Jesus as my lord, the people at the church are the ones who led me there. It says that you get counseling and whatnot at this program but as far as Manny or Sandy they did not. As for some of the reviews stating about precautions that you would receive being there if you made even a tiny mistake, I can vouch and say they are out of this world.

I remember being outside for hours at a time like from 8 in the morning to I wanna say 8 at night working in the summer heat. I asked to go to the bathroom and got screamed at and punished for it. Sandy does use the girls for personal slavery. I was so behind in school because all I did was slave away. All they talk about is the world is ending and if you are not perfect then you wont be in heaven. For this reason, I have serious paranoia and I cannot enjoy life like I used to. I am for 90% of the time depressed.

DCF has been called many of times on this house and nothing has been done about it because Sandy does scare you into lying to them for fear of not being able to go home because she will lie to the parents and say you did something wrong. Yes, she brings you to movies and shopping but I feel its a tactic to make you think for a bit that you are really not in such a bad situation.

They are extremely rascist and will bluntly talk about it. If you are so Christian than you should know that God created all men, not just white men. I remember staying up til 3 in the morning wrapping gifts for only their toddler. If you walk into her cottage, you cannot even go through the halls because its filled to the top with things that she takes for herself that are supposed to be donations for the girls home. Onto that note, if the parents are paying for the child to live in this home, and they receive thousands and thousands of dollars in donations, and united way gives them a grant every year why are the girls eating expired donated food from kash and karry(now sweetbay)?

I recently applied for food stamps as to I was struggling, and when I was accepted I received no card. My husband called DCF to find out what was going on and they said that I already had one. But funny thing is I never applied for food stamps in my life. They then told me it was located at the address 140 Dunty Road Lake Placid Fl. I asked my mom if she signed any papers about medicaid or food stamps cuz I know I didnt and she didnt either. I asked if it was ever active at one time and it was back when I lived at this house. So I wanna know why Sandy and Manny were able to fill three to four fridges up of food to the top and the girls had only donated food never bought?.... so they are playing the state too. But as someone else said they have so many connections that I'm sure they will never get caught.

They said that if the girls left the program early they would end up dying. Well out of all the girls that i heard of or knew only 3 out of 100's are a success. Think about that. I never finished school because I am one who got pregnant but because I was scared of not living a life as to the world was ending. I could say alot more but what is the use. Oh and speaking of therapy... I want to say the only thing Sandy considers therapy would be defacing somebodys belongings (i mean egging an exboyfriends close to new mustang) She went so far as to buy two cartons of eggs and bring a few girls dressed in black and drove them to his place of work and Sandy was the lookout.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

"believe us124" at Midwest Academy (From

This story was originally written on a webpage called, which sadly is not online anymore. All rights and credits goes to the author believe_us124, who posted the original story on has been relaunced as Unfortunately without the testimonial part and as a message board only.

yea i just found this website tryin to find someone somewhere who believed me, the only thing that gets me is the fact that there will never be a parent who will understand the experience.

I personally wet to Midwest Academy. I went there with the maximum sentence of 13 months cuz of my 18th birthday being that far away. Needless to say they hooked my parents and to this day my folks won't believe me about anything i say. To those parents who havn't been hooked line nd sinkered for the love of god would you listen to me.

I was a drug addict I'll admit i had my problems but i never thought I would actually want to kill myself. Not having the right to speak 1st off takes away my 1st amendment right of free speech but it is also torturous. I've also been to jail and that was after the program. Jail was even more habitable than the program and i mean that from the bottom of my heart.

I will also admit as someone else posted that Ben Trane and Mike Holker were good people. They were basically just drug dealers tryin to make their money by manipulating people into their product. To a parent thats a hell of a drug and seems too good to be true and like most drugs, it is.

I will say fi your child is older they have a better chance of making it through minimally brainwashed due tot he fact that the can leave, but for the younger once who can be stuck there for years, my heart goes out to you. I swear by that. The young ones dont have the disciplne for tha type of torment. I say negative words about this becase i feel negatively about it and "my experience of it is that it is permanently scarring to them."

I did not graduate. I ran on a homepass. I had to, i was afraid to go back. They didnt beat me at Midwest but the emotional abuse was horrific. I am a strong person and can handle anything just as i did the time in the program until i got my chance to break free of its grip.

The education was less than par. I didn't even have to cheat. I jus memorized the answers from the lessons as the tests were word for word from the text. I learned nothing. I did 2 years of schooling in 10 months. It was a joke. I went to school 1 day a week and passed what i was told to.

I faked my way through seminars by crying and making up fake stories about my past. I was sent to intervention once for freaking out because i did not get mail from my parents. Wouldn't you know it my 1st 4 letters were not sent home due to a "flaw" in the system.

My family rep was a retard. He was addicted to porn as he personaly told each and every single 1 of his students. His name was Derek Helling. He knew nothing of what he was doing and had n credentials as most of the staff including the teachers. O and if i didn't know an answer to a problem i would raise my hand and a "teacher" would give me the answer. What a great environment to learn.

The showers were infested with little gnats that flew around and hung out in the showers. I don't have anything to say about that except it was gross. I didn't find it sanitary. Would you?

I watched 4 kids try to kill themselves while i thought about it every single day but didn't because well i knew i was gana get out sooner or later and rejoin reality.

Needless to say i am scarred for life. I wake up with sweats from dreams of being there. I didn't gain anything there except for how messed up someone must be to want to do that to a kid. I'm still a kid at 19 and at this point its been a year and some since ive been tot he program and 1 day i will be back there. 1 day when im older and the worst part about it is... they wont even let me past the iron door that kept me locked in there because i didn't graduate.

Even a prisoner can go back and see his old cell. Why can't i go see my old bunk, they got somethin else to hide behind those walls and elelectric fences? You tell me. my name is mike and i will gladly talk to any person whose willing to listen.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mary Collins at Cross Creek Manor (

This story was originally written on a webpage created to provide statements for a GAO hearing in 2007. The address is and it waits for your statement if you believe that your stay at a boarding school included unfair treatment or even abuse. All rights and credits goes to the author Mary Collins, who posted the original story on

From 4/26/2002-4/1/2003 I attending Cross Creek Manor.

The main form of abuse I received was neglect. I went to Cross Creek Manor having just come out with the sexual abuse I endured with my father--only to be told I was lying. My mother sent me self-help books on it, but a lot of times they were held from me. I know I wasn't the only person who this happened to.

My health problems came quickly, and that's where it was hard. I had an infected gallbladder, infected kidneys and a staph infection in my vaginal tract which led to difficult problems. I endured harassment from the PA at CCM--him making horrible comments about my vagina that I'd rather not repeat again. When the doctor decided to finally take care of my staph infection (previously I had been told that I was manipulating and exaggerating) my mother drove out to be with me. I'd need time to heal.

I got to the office and prepared myself on the table. My mother asked if there would be any anesthesia. They were to be removing the damaged hymen (from my rape) among other things that I don't remember. There was NO anesthesia. I was given 1/4 of a Valium.

So, here I was, not sedated, having my vaginal tract scraped out. I was in so much pain that I don't remember everything that happened or how long it took. My mother had to tell me most of what happened, and here is what she said:

  • I nearly blacked out from the pain
  • They removed 4 anal cotton swabs of pus
  • They performed a D&C, still under no sedation

After it was done, I was given Lortabs to deal with the pain. My mother took good care of me.

However, I couldn't stay with her forever and I had to go back. Back to a place where I didn't get Lortabs, where I still had to run in P.E. and keep moving in 120 degree weather. At times I would be wearing a maxi pad, underwear, and the Dickies pants and the ice pack I was using (with a paper towel on it) would still get blood. I was able to lie in the sick room once, when a "Radio 3" that really cared about me helped me out in that aspect. I ended up getting infected again--another kidney infection and UTI that took months to fix once I left.

There were other things that happened that I remember and don't remember. I remember working in the kitchen was a privilege. I remember trying really hard not to scream in the bathroom with my UTI or infections because there was to be no talking in the bathroom. I remember feeling like I needed to go to a hospital and being told that I was manipulating my way out. I remember praying a rosary every day to help me get out. There was nothing I wanted more than to leave, to feel better, to not be forced to avoid taking care of myself.

While this is just one story, it flipped my life around. I may not be able to have children. I have vulvar vestibulitis (just extreme pain with nearly every vaginal activity) that may or may not go away. And I have blacked out, forgotten periods of time that proves it was some messed up trauma. I know it wasn't the worst center, but no 13 year old should have to deal with that.

Thank you, and I hope this assists in putting these horrible centers out of business.

Mary Collins

Datasheet about the boarding school at Fornits Home for Wayward Web Fora
The original statement on

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Tania's Story 1990-1991 (From SIA)

All rights and credits goes to the author Tania, who published this story on the homepage of Survivors of Institutional Abuse (SIA)

I was a "student" there in 1990-1991.

My name at the time was Tania (I have since changed my name). I was the first "new girl" in the Jay, FL school.

When I arrived, I was greeted by Christina and Katie, "helpers" from the California school. My stuff was searched, I was searched, changed into "appropriate" clothes, and said a very formal and unemotional goodbye to my parents.

Evening chapel that first week was obviously directed toward me.

I "got saved" every night in hopes of stopping the pointed attention to my sinful, disgusting self. (How I was made to feel- NOT what I actually think of myself!)

I had such a hard time with "the rules"-the unspoken, unknown rules. You didn't know a rule until you broke it. I lost the "privilege" of my two week break-in period when I said "yeah" instead of "yes ma'am" too many times, and rolled my eyes too many times for Mrs. Palmer's liking. I started writing lines before my first week was up.

I was force fed my first meal. There was a DESSERT I didn't like. I was made to finish it. After a long stand-off at the table, I was fed the remainder of my food. Then, made to clean up.

I had very short hair (had shaved my head) and I often heard comments from staff about appearing to be homosexual or various other comments. (Not the case. They should have been more concerned about my insane desire for a boyfriend!)

I feared the Palmers. They were calculated and unforgiving.

I was relieved every time they left to tie up loose ends in California. The Browns (both couples) were much kinder. "Ma", the Mexican lady that cooked for us, was so sweet.

When the Palmers returned, she and I both got in trouble when she comforted me for crying. She was in a lot of trouble for teaching me to say "Good Morning, How Are You, Well, Thank God" in Spanish.

Our new dorm mother, Connie, was the only person who seemed to really "get" God. Not religion, but JESUS.

Brother and Mrs Sullivan were wonderful people. I used to love hearing Mrs Sullivan come into the school room to ask if I was done with my work or if I could be spared, to go work in the yard.

For as much as I hated the school, I LOVED Mrs Sullivan, and owe being a hobby farmer to that woman.

She was one of the only staff that LOVED the girls, and showed that often.

I got my "year" started over around 6 months or so. I was sent to the GR room- a walk-in closet that was locked- for being disruptive in school. I was stripped of all my clothes except a tshirt and underwear, and given my Bible. I snuck a chapstick in with me. I kicked 13 holes into the wall, used the chapstick to write offensive stuff on the walls. I was "restrained" (tied to a chair) until I talked to the pastor.

I spent a week in that closet.

When I was allowed to rejoin the group (on "silence" restriction, of course), it was obvious the other girls were afraid- if not of ME, then of what would happen in they showed even a hint of sympathy or a kind smile.

It stayed that way until I "got saved" again.

I remember a scare tactic "lesson" on abortion. We were all told what "murderers" we would be. One girl left the room, crying hysterically.

No one was allowed to comfort her. No one was allowed to ask her about it.

Her bed was close to mine, and I listened to her cry herself to sleep that night.

After my little episode in the GR room, my mom worked it out with the Palmers to keep me until I was 18. (I was 15 when I started attending.)

I didn't stay that long.

I eventually "got with the program". I "got saved" enough to make it appear to the staff that I had repented of my sins, and followed enough of the rules to work my way to "dorm helper" status- the highest "helper" position.

I made "remarkable progress", had agreed to abandon all my old friends and ways, and was told my parents would allow me to come home to start my junior year of highschool. (total time at Victory approx 18 months)

A few weeks before going home, I panicked. Completely freaked out. To the point of losing helper status and going back on "buddy" and dorm silence.

School was bad. Home was going to be bad. There was nowhere to go.

I was sent home. Actually took a plane by myself. I contemplated running away in NC, where I had to change planes, but went home.

Ironically on homecoming, my parents told me I needed to drop all the boarding school "crap", but "better behave".

I was SO confused.

The rules of boarding school were so STUCK in my head. I failed Gym Class for refusing to wear pants. I abandoned all my "worldly friends". I tried to evangelize my parents and my siblings.

When I couldn't mesh back in to the "real world", I begged to be sent back. When my parents refused, I went the opposite direction. Back to my old lifestyle, back to biding my time until my 18th birthday. The day I turned 18, I packed a backpack and walked out, living on the streets.
That was years ago.

It took years of hard-knock life and therapy to undo my mess.

Some things still confuse me.

I hated God for a long time.

It wasn't until YEARS later that I realized they never introduce me to GOD, they introduced me to mind-control cult religion.

I eventually came to God, the REAL God, as a Christian. I DO believe in Jesus, and I want to be like Him.

Nothing about that school looks like the Jesus I've read about in the Bible (NOT that blasted King James Version, either!)

I still struggle with "religion".

I still struggle to tell the difference between FAITH and religion.

The Bible tells us that faith without love is useless.

There is no love in that school.

It's not allowed.

I remember having an argument with Brother Palmer about how the Bible says "God is Love".

He laughed at me, and told me love based faith was "out of the will of God." and that maybe I wasn't really saved.

End of argument. Back on buddy. Dorm silence. And more of those pointed sermons, determined to "save" me. Until I once again, "got saved".

Not all my memories were terrible.

There were some fun times. (Well, when you hadn't gotten so many demerits for saying "yeah" that you weren't allowed to participate in Friday Nights.)

And as sad as it is to admit, that school WAS a better, more peaceful existence than my home life (another story and more therapy!)

I hate that we weren't allowed to keep in touch with the other girls.

I've often wondered what happened to Christina and Katie. Are they still militant helpers? Did they "keep the faith"? Did they leave and look back on their time at the school fondly? Did they hate it?

I saw Sharlene's story.

I wonder what ever happened to Diane, the second new girl at the Florida school.

Or any of the other girls I knew there- though we never really were allowed to KNOW the other girls, were we?
Did we eventually turn out "normal"?

And the staff.

Did all of them believe in this school?

I always wondered if Connie thought the school was something different when she took the job. She eventually left, and Virginia (Sullivan) took over as dorm mother.

What of Brother Jimmy?

I'll never forget him spitting out, in that southern accent, "Before you lay yer head down on yer piller tonight, you'd better make sure you know Jeezus." and the lyrics to "I'll Fly Away".

Oh, music! Do you know I once got demerits and got the entire dorm's music priveleges taken away for "dancing" (swaying) to an acapella rendition of "Beulah Land"!?!?

What of Amy and Niko?

Or little Mike Palmer and his wife?

When I googled VCA, I was mostly just wondering if that place still existed.

I didn't realize there was a whole BUNCH of people who felt like that place was something they "survived" in their childhood.

I have moved on.

It took years of therapy, years of figuring things out, and years of some hard knocks.

I'm married now. I have two teenage boys (14 &16) that live with their dad- I didn't get my act together until many years after they were born.

I also have two young daughters (2 &3), and expecting another in June.

We live in Alaska (thousands of miles from my past!).

We homestead and run a small hobby farm.

We have FAITH, minus religion.

We love our neighbors as ourselves.

We live a quiet life.

It took a long time, but I learned to like me.

I wish I could say I've forgotten about VCA or Jay, FL or the way things were.

I haven't.

I probably won't.

I hope any of the other "girls" I went to school with at VCA are now living content lives.

Most of all, I hope you know the one lesson we definitely did NOT learn at VCA-

You are fearfully and wonderfully made, and LOVED.

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