Sunday, December 29, 2013

A stay at Carolina Springs Academy (From: CAICA)

As the text on the website belonging to COALITION AGAINST INSTITUTIONALIZED CHILD ABUSE states the author has asked to remain anonymous. She attended WWASPS' Carolina Springs Academy program in South Carolina. All rights belongs to the author:

When I was 14, I was acting out -- sneaking out, having sex with my boyfriend, and giving my newly divorced parents some problems. My mom claims she sent me to CSA because she didn't know what I was doing when I snuck out, although a drug test could have shown that I was clean.

I was told we were going to Atlanta to visit friends, but needless to say I was surprised when we pulled up to a solitary farmhouse on a hill. There was no sign, and no nearby homes, and my mother told me this was a specialty boarding school. After a few minutes of refusing to get out of the car, my mom left me there to go talk to the staff.

Looking back, I wish I could have turned the key and gone to California. However, I convinced myself that it might not be so bad, being under the impression that this was a real boarding school. I went into the front office, and the staff seemed normal and were nice to me, considering my mom was there.

I began asking questions -- "I need to re-dye my hair/get my blow dryer/get clothes", and upon being told I couldn't have these things, I was in disbelief. But that was nothing compared to what I faced next. Although I saw it reenacted countless times in my 14 months, the time between arrival and incarceration is a blur.

I remember seeing my mom in the doorway as they made me change into ill-fitting, old orange sweat clothes, scared and angry but unsure of what to say or do. My things were labeled, and most of my stuff was confiscated. I had to keep my hair up at all times, and wore socks with flip flops.

I'm not sure which was worse -- the shock of losing my freedom within a few hours, or the humiliation I felt deep down at where I was. I couldn't believe my mother had actually entered this building and still let me stay.

It was a double wide, and kept anywhere from 75 to 100 girls at a time. It smelled constantly, but especially during the rain, because our clothes would get wet and it was all up to the staff as to whether we could change them or not. The staff also complained of the smell, but blamed the girls -- they told us to wash better, do our laundry more, whatever the scent du jour was, despite the fact that it could take up to a week to get a load of laundry done and many of us were limited to 3-5 minute showers.

In levels 1 and 2, you showered last, so the water was always freezing. Because we were on such a tight schedule, only one shower was allowed per day, regardless of conditions. We walked from building to building, so even if our clothes and shoes got muddy or dirty or wet, we had to keep them on unless we had specific permission from the staff. I remember at least three or four times when I would take my socks off before bed, and the athletes foot had eaten through the skin between my toes.

The food was horrible. I am a vegetarian, but rather than providing protein substitutes, we got double servings of the starch or vegetables most of the time. Unless there was a documented food allergy, we had to eat at least half of each dish, I remember gagging several times and getting a correction for "being a drama queen". Most girls gained weight because of the heavy starch and grease, but when it was brought up by some parents, the "diet" food offered was even worse. It was basically the same thing, only with cheaper ingredients. Level 1 could not drink anything but water, and could not use any condiments on food.

PE was a joke -- it was either Ms. Mary (possibly one of the most miserable human beings on the planet) forcing us to run until we vomited at 7 in the morning, or just walking and talking. Talking was difficult though, because unless you were a level 3 or up, you couldn't talk to a level 1 or 2 without supervision by an upper level. This provided two problems -- many lower levels were left by themselves during PE, and upper levels were overwhelmed with people needing supervision.

"Worksheets" were the buildings behind the kitchen for punishment. Depending on the correction, you had to write 3,000-24,000 word essays, and the staff would sit there and count each word. I wound up missing 6 months of school because of this, and although I got caught up, many girls got behind in school because of worksheets. The teachers at the school were competent, but it could take up to a week to get assistance, especially from the math teacher -- there was one teacher for each subject, and they had signup sheets pages long.

I could write every stupid rule out, but I think the most ridiculous was not being able to look at the opposite sex. Upper levels and staff would actually watch our eyes to see if they moved towards wherever the boys were located, and even if it was a split second, you got a correction. The standards were much more lax on the boys' side though -- the boys were basically allowed to look, and even tried to talk to us a few times. We were forced to keep our heads bowed whenever they were around, it was degrading.

I was accused of giving sexual looks to boys during my first Discovery seminar, this was pointed out in front of the group and I was 'chosen out'. To this day, I don't know what I did to lead people to believe I was trying to get boys' attention, except the fact that I was scapegoated almost my entire time there for being overweight and "goth".

None of the staff in my time there had completed college -- some had gone into the military, but the psychologist was incompetent, and there was an extra fee to see her. There was nothing therapeutic about the staff. Some were nice, others were downright abusive or mean. There is no staff list on the website currently.

Speaking of the website, all but one of the photos used are not located on the actual CSA property. The photo of the big white house used in promo is actually the Belmont Inn in Abbeville -- at least 10 minutes from CSA. Even the brick house in other galleries is not what it leads the parents to believe. It is the office, the students live in double wides and trailers.

A few hundred feet from the girls' trailer is a mansion owned by one of the investors; the seminars are conducted in his basement. This guy is really creepy -- he's at least 50 years old, and took one of the upper level girls out driving in his car by herself.

The upper levels lived in a section of his house for a time until it was discovered they were drinking, smoking, doing drugs, and having sex after hours. If someone were doing these things in my house, I would know, so why did it take one of the upper levels coming clean for it to stop? That's just really fishy to me, as well as Narvin Lichfield's (the supposed owner) less than stellar records. I'm not an expert, but the man has been in a lot of trouble regarding scams and abuse of the program.

The worst, by a long shot, was the medical care available at CSA. Or the lack thereof. I as well as several other girls got walking pnemonia, but nothing was done to treat it; we were not even allowed bed rest. It took me four months to fully recover.

I didn't menstruate for over a year, after several months I brought it up to my family rep, and she told me that it was normal for a lot of girls, despite my complaints of phantom cramps and lethargy. Had I been treated or even examined, maybe I wouldn't be on hormonal medications for PCOS, and maybe I would be able to have children in the future without the help of medication.

But that was not the worst -- probably half of the girls were on medication of some sort, and sometimes the medications weren't filled on time, or had been stopped without the patient's knowledge. I was on 60mg of Paxil, and had to go a week without it, despite severe withdrawal.

There was also no detox program for girls with true drug addictions; a girl arrived when I was at level 3, and I remember her crying and vomiting the first few nights from heroin withdrawal. Another girl had to get her appendix removed, and she got an infection from the staples being loose (something along that line). One night, the staples came out, and the night staff just put them back in and used office staples despite her screaming. Nothing further was done.

Sometimes it took up to 6 weeks to get a doctor's appointment, but the parents have to set it up, so it's useless to go through the family rep. Sometimes the staff would refuse to give out things like Dimetapp (because of possible alcohol content) or Tylenol.

To make this very long story short, medical care was not properly administered or taken seriously.

I've been out of the program for five and a half years now, and I still have nightmares. I've met other students at my university that were in the Program, and all of them have the same horrible memories and fears I do.

I urge every parent who is considering putting their child into a WWASP program to look into the complaints and testimonies not offered on the website or other propaganda. Get the whole story. Don't throw away thousands of dollars on something that will make you and your children a slave to TASKS jargon, look into every other option.

The things CSA claims to offer are what every parent wants -- self esteem, respect, and integrity, but this is a play on emotions. CSA teaches conformity, fear, and all for one. They pit students against each other to break them down emotionally, and rebuild them. We call this "programming". WWASP is a cult, and cannot be allowed to continue.

The facility closed down in 2009. Later there was an investigation into animal cruelty when dead animals was found on the abandoned campus.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Raine at Happiness Hill Ministries

I was there in the mid 90s, and I wouldn't call it a "great place". It was supposed to be run along the lines of the Roloff homes, but they went way downhill and a lot of them degenerated into abuse after Lester Roloff died and they started being run more for profit. Happiness Hill is/was run by the Palmers, who used to be on staff at Rebekah, which was a Roloff home with a lot of abuse complaints. I was never there, but my sister was there for a few months and says it was pretty bad (She was pregnant, and got moved to another home when they found out. I think it was run by the same people. She doesn't talk about it much, but they made her give her daughter up for adoption).

As far as Happiness Hill, I was there for about 8 months, after the previous home I was at was shut down under state investigation. I think the Palmers may have had their hearts in the right place, but some of the staff was horrible, and they were who we usually interacted with (not all, a few of them seemed really nice, and that may be why some people there at the same time had good experiences and others had bad ones). There was one woman there who would make her own rules, even what words to say and how to come your hair, and make the rules/punishments harsher than they were. I spent a lot of time on "confinement", which meant talking to nobody and keeping your head down, and Debbie would make us keep our chin touching our chest, which hurt real bad to do all day. We also had to do so while going to church, even on the bus - I'm almost 30 now, and still have trouble keeping my head up or looking people in the eyes, instead of looking at the ground. She was also big on making you kneel with pencils under your knees (they hurt/bruise) and holding Bibles up on your hands for hours, which makes your whole body hurt, and then would end up with licks (spanked with a board, sometimes to the point of bruising, and more than once to where it bled) for disobeying when you couldn't keep it up. We were also cuffed to the beds at night, and if you peed or anything you were stuck there in it, then punished for making the extra dirty laundry (again, not sure if this was a policy or Debbie being too lazy to get up at night for bathroom breaks). The point I'm trying to make is the way things run all it takes is one bad staff member to really mess people up.

If you're thinking about sending your child there, or supporting them, I wouldn't unless things have changed a whole lot. Any of these homes that don't let parents visit whenever they want, that listen in on phone calls, and that censor mail going in and out are just so subject to abuse and so easy for abusers to hide behind. If you're dead set on supporting or sending someone to a place like this, I can say that I had a decent experience at Victory Village in KS, and the Cowells really seemed to care. They did use discipline but not abuse, and not all the psychological games that other places did, and they seemed to care about us and have love, not just think we were horrible like other places said. (eta: This was my experience, it may have been different for others, but it was much better there for me than the other 2 places I'd been, and I don't think I've heard any bad stories from there like I have from some other places). Also, be careful what curriculum they use for school if you plan to have a child graduate there. I was sent home early enough to graduate from a public high school (I think my mom told them I was going to Christian school, but didn't want to pay the money), but one of my friends who graduated from another girl's home that used ACE had to get a GED to qualify for her job because they didn't recognize it as a high school diploma.

I know some people support all these places no matter what, and want to discount anything someone who's been there says, because they paint us as the bad, evil girls, but that's not always the truth. I was there for running away from hope, because my mom let my sister's boyfriend move in and he kept trying to mess with me - then my sister ended up in another home soon after, and apparently he'd gotten her pregnant. One girl I knew at HH was there just because her dad didn't like her dating a black guy so he said she was into all sorts of other things. Some people had really bad problems, but a lot of girls came into the homes loving God and knowing they'd messed up, but the way God was portrayed and the things done in the name of God probably turned more people away from Him than it helped turn back to Him. I ended up with a lot of baggage from my time in some of this places, and it took me years to ever want to read the Bible or set foot in a church after getting back home, because of all the time being forced to and having to fake everything. Many others can't separate God from their abusers, and are living as atheists and hating God because of what men have done to them.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Erik at Discovery Academy

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

I attended Discovery Academy (DA) from the summer of 1997 through January of 1998. It was among the most psychologically damaging experiences of my life. Please don't send your children to Discovery Academy. DA is a very punitive place.

For example, if a student does not make his bed to the satisfaction of the DA staff, the student may be made to stand up to five "demerits", one demerit being defined as standing for 25 minutes facing a wall. Demerits are liberally doled out for any offence, from slight infractions of the rules such as cursing or complaining, to large violations, such as attempting to escape from DA. An attempted escape typically prompted between 100 and 500 demerits, or more. That is between 2 and 9 days, approximately, standing facing a wall.

Five minute breaks were allowed between each 25 minute standing session, as well as breaks for sleeping and eating. When most students arrive at DA, they are upset and they show it. As they become familiar with the way Discovery Academy works, they learn to conceal their anger and any other emotions that are indicative of problems. When the DA staff sees this, they take it as the student's problems being solved.

If the symptom disappears, the cause must have disappeared, is the logic that Discovery Academy operates by. However, in reality the student's problems remain, and are made worse by the habitual concealing of them that DA's punitive/"therapeutic" system rewards. I picked up on this rather quickly, and was able to rise rapidly through the level system and complete a good deal of coursework in a fairly short time.

In light of this, and my newfound ability to conceal my emotions, I was able to convince my parent to remove me from DA after about six months. During the time thereafter that I lived at home, I worked as hard as possible to conceal my true feelings from my parent. Those true feelings, if expressed, had the potential to land me back at DA, something which I was not about to let happen.

So, parents, the moral of this story is: If you want your children to never tell you the truth again as long as you are their legal guardians, to disown you in the future, as well as to add to their unhappiness, send them to Discovery Academy. I am not exaggerating or dramatizing the consequences. Before you send your child anywhere, I strongly recommend that you read the book Smart Love by Pieper & Pieper. If you have any questions that you'd like to ask me about this, please feel free to email at: xxxxxx@xxxxxxxx. (email-address removed due to privacy)


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Movie: Maybe I'll Come Home in the Spring

This movie is not about behavior modification facilities but it had an impact when it was produced on the industry.

It is maybe the most scariest moment in the life as a parent. The moment your children moves out to start their own independent lives. You may ask yourself: Did I do a good enough job as a parent? Are they prepared for all the dangers which is luring out there?

Then imagine that the children leaves at night without warning. You wake in the morning only to find an empty bed.

Today you will start by activating the tracking device on the cell phone you have allowed them to keep despite their behaviors and actions because you knew in advance that where the phone is, your child is.

Back in the early 1970's there were no cell phones. Did a child leave the house, the child was gone. Only expensive detectives could find the child. Did the parents ask themselves what the teenagers missed in their home? Why the children wanted to runaway and sleep on the ground instead of the comfort of their bed? No they parent focused on the symptom rather than the cause.

It was really scary for parents. Movies like this one woke the tiny little scary thought rooting deep in the back of the mind of every parent.

Maybe I could keep my child safe from ending up on their own in the world by putting decent people in charge of the child in a boarding school environment?

That kind of thought created the earliest examples of the behavior modification industry. Elan, Synanon, CEDU and SUWS all started in the early 1970's backed by movies like this.

Over 40 years of abuse was about to start.

About the movie on the Internet Movie Database

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Audio about New Bethany home

This testimony was made in a radio interview. All rights goes to the person who was interviewed

Related links to this audio track:
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