Sunday, October 27, 2013

Elan School testimony (From:Reddit)

This place only still exist because so many people believe that it doesn't or that it can't. I believe that the internet is our #1 tool for exposing these horrid blind spots for what they are. Help me Reddit!

I was sent to a place called The Elan School in 1998 and I was only 16. The scary thing is that Elan is still open, kids aged 13-20 are there right now. Normal kids, many whom may have smoked a joint or two, or who swore at their parents. Of course there were also real criminals there, but they did not make up the majority.

The "school" accepted anyone and then held them as long as they possibly could depending on the age of the child. If you were sent at 14 (many were) you may have been looking at 3-4 years. This is because The Elan School collects $50,000 a year per child, either from the child's state, school, or parents. And, of course, money was the only motivation of the staff and directors. These were the people in charge of your "progress" in the program.

I could write for hours about it, instead I ask you to skim the following bullet points and to understand that I am telling the truth.

  • We were forced to participate in staff-organized fight clubs, none of which were fair, all were designed to humiliate one child who would be put up against at least 3 others. So even the children who "followed the rules" were forced to fight: in the name of "good".
  • Children who tried to rebel or be free-thinking were thrown into an isolation room where they had to stay for months at a time, they had to sleep at night on a dirty mattress on the floor of the isolation room The mattress was brought to them at midnight and they were woken up around 7am.
  • We were all forced to perform in a ritual called a "General Meeting" where the entire house (60 or more boys and girls) screamed at one child who stood behind a broomstick. Many times they were forcibly held up by two other students so they would have to accept the punishment.
  • Education was considered a right, but those of us who earned the right were still robbed of an education. School was from 7pm-11pm: no homework, no test, no projects. Ex: math class consisted of grabbing a math book and handing the teacher at least one page of work.
  • The other 12 hours of the day consisted of constant conditioning and brainwashing. In the beginning you obviously rejected it, but then you would be "dealt with". You would not be able to rise through the ranks of the program to earn more 'rights' until you could prove yourself to be a good candidate for more brainwashing. Eventually it became your responsibility to begin indoctrinating the newer residents (basically you, six month earlier). You had Strength and Non-Strength. Non-Strength's were not allowed to talk, interact, or communicate in any way with other Non-Strengths. It took a minimum of 6 months to earn the title of "Strength". It took some kids years to earn "Strength". Some kids never did.
  • Elan made money based on the amount of time it took for you to graduate "the program". You had to have a minimum of 7 promotions before you were a candidate for "graduation". Each promotion took a minimum of 3 months, and 90% of the kids never made it past the 5th promotion. These kids had to wait until they turned 18 and could legally sign themselves out. Other kids stayed past their 18th birthday, which is a true testament to the effectiveness of the brainwashing, I remember one dude was 23.
  • Your level of high-school had no reflection whatsoever on your ability to leave Elan. I was forced to do my senior year of high school twice, even though I was technically done after the first senior year.
  • The staff members were primarily former students who were hired by Elan after graduating from the program. Many arrived in BMW's and clearly made 6 figure incomes. None of them had degree's in psychology, education, social work, etc... Many of them never went to college at all.
  • All outgoing letters to parents were screened, many of us having to write many different drafts until they were accepted. All phone calls to our parents were monitored, we were allowed about 15 minutes a week and the person who monitored the call would have their hand hovering over the hang-up button as a constant reminder of our reality.
  • We were not allowed to write or receive letters until we earned the right (this could take 8 months or more). When someone found out where I was and wrote me, my unopened letters were ripped up in front of me as motivation to move up in the program.
  • I feel like I am beginning to write too much and I do not want to overwhelm anyone who made it this far. Because most of the bullet points honestly require further explanation to give the full impact of what Elan truly was.

    The most important thing that anyone can do is to be aware of this place and make sure that nobody you know ever gets sent there for any reason. If you are a parent then do not send your child there. If you know someone who is there now then beg the parents to do more research.

    The amount of suicides and tragic deaths of former Elan students is reason enough to take this post seriously.

    Even skimming this post once will blow your mind, most probably think thats its made up but you would be dead wrong (The original testimony on Reddit)

    Sunday, October 13, 2013

    DRruinedmylife at Discovery Ranch

    This story was originally written on the message board called the Fornits Home for Wayward Webfora.

    I attended Discovery Ranch 5 years ago when I was 15 years old.

    My parents sent me there because I was depressed, doing poorly in school instead of getting straight A's, got caught shoplifting a pack of gum from 7-11, spent too much time on the computer, and was "too angry and defiant". I had never done drugs, drank, or even smoked a cigarette at this point in my life. I had been raped when i was 12 and was unable to tell my male therapist or parents about this happening because my family is very Catholic.

    In comparison, most of the other residents had serious drug problems, were in gangs, were extremely violent, etc. Regardless of what they were there for, NO ONE SHOULD EVER BE TREATED AS INHUMANELY AS CHILDREN SUCH AS MYSELF WERE. I had repressed memories of the physical, sexual, and psychological torture i endured for five years until I watched a documentary on the stanford prison experiment in my psychology class. It brought everything back because I lived that experience, except for ten months and it was real.

    I don't believe that the people who tortured me were innately evil; i think it was a situation similar to Abu Ghraib. I was forced to do the most humiliating and degrading things possibly conceivable; I was forced to eat a girls used tampon, lick cow shit off a girls boots, unclog a toilet with my bare hands... adult male staff would masturbate to me showering, changing, and using the toilet while masturbating (keep in mind I was 15.), I witnessed a 15 year old boy be sodomized by a broom handle and have the living shit beat out of him because he tried to run away and watched a girl punch a window and slit her wrists in front of me because she couldn't take it anymore.

    They would arbitrarily lock me in a tiny pitch black closet devoid of food, water, a bathroom, or human contact for days, usually because I made an "inappropriate facial expression" like crying or raising my eyebrows when they screamed at me that I was worthless and no one could ever love me. The night staff was apparently fucked up on heroin, meth, pcp, etc the whole time and had virtually no training or qualifications, which I learned when a male staff member sexually propositioned me over Facebook when I was 18, so three years later, and told me what happened behind closed doors.

    I had no contact with the outside world except letters to my parents which were censored, and observed phone calls once a month. I had to raise a baby cow for the slaughter to "learn to deal with loss", exercise until I threw up blood, pick up cow shit every day, I could go on and on. And the scariest part was that it was fantastic during the day; we would do ropes courses and go skiing and horseback riding and talk to a truly kind therapist every day who genuinely though I was insane or a pathological liar and convinced me I was hallucinating or having nightmares.... But I fucking wasn't. I literally couldn't make this shit up.

    I thought I was actually crazy, but it was all real. I don't know why but when i was there I never wanted to leave. I felt like i somehow deserved to be treated like this and I think a part of me knew I could never stand living in the real world after all this happened. I stopped feeling emotions and didn't for two years. When I came back to real life I had forgotten how to smile and had to train myself to make facial expressions that corresponded to the emotions I should have felt in various circumstances.

    Even when I started feeling feelings again I realized on Wednesday that I had been experiencing emotions with maybe 50-75% of the intensity that I normally should, which was put into perspective when I finally accepted that these things truly happened to me and felt for the first time in my life the appropriate pain and humiliation that corresponds to being treated in such a way for such an extended period of time. Until now I had remembered my experience there as a happy one- I literally only remembered what went on during the day.

    The reason I am writing this now is because I ended up becoming an alcoholic and drug addict once I went to college and had finally had complete freedom. With the help of a REAL rehab and AA, I had achieved 14 months sober.

    After essentially being re-traumatized after remembering all this, I recently went on a five day bender started Wednesday where I got high and or drunk every waking moment, which culminated with me waking up on my bathroom floor on Monday morning covered in blood and vomit next to two empty bottles of wine and Xanax spilled across the floor with a five page suicide note on my computer that I'd written in a blackout.

    I am at a loss for what to do at this point. I'm in therapy, on medication, have been to three AA meetings in the past three days, and just feel like I am out of options and suicide or getting constantly fucked up is my only option at this point. I literally can't live with these memories. It makes me fucking sick that this place, along with HUNDREDS of others, still exists, quietly protected under the umbrella of the state government of Utah, and that parents are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for their children to be tortured and driven insane or into obedient, soulless sociopaths.

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