Sunday, May 25, 2014

Miss Bathory at Freedom Village, Lakemont

All rights goes to the original author known as Miss Bathory who posted this statement on

I shall tell you I was at Freedom Village, which is a "Christian boarding school" in Lakemont New York from about March 2008 till May 2010 when I graduated.

The girls dorm was filthy even after we "cleaned it." We had to wear flip-flops or slippers in the girls' dorm to keep from getting foot fungus. We also got lice and ringworm regularly. The ringworm was from the shower curtains not being cleaned or changed out for fresh ones regularly enough. I knew one girl who had gotten five ringworms all up the side of her body from the filthy showers. This girl was very hygenic so it was quite the disturbance to all of us.

The schoolroom was so cold in the winter we had to wear our heavy jackets to keep warm all through the schoolday. The chapel and the new admin were the only places on campus that were air-conditioned or heated. The guys and girls dorms were freezing in winter and hot as Hell in summer.

Punishment was waking up at 5am to haul wood till breakfast, go to school, and then haul wood from after school till dinner, and then from dinner till 10 at night. We were also given much smaller portions of food than the other students when punished. In the summer, except for meals and chores, if you got into trouble you just hauled wood all day, period. Sunup to sundown. We were not allowed to talk about anything pertaining to the outside world as that was considered "evil." We couldn't even sing CHRISTIAN songs unless they were composed and sung by the boarding school's own singing groups themselves.

The kitchen had a really bad cockroach problem and these things were HUGE, not even kidding, and when we flicked on the lights to begin kitchen duty in the morning they scattered. It was like watching a huge black blanket on the floor just curl back towards the walls and under all the countertops and applicances. I was kitchen intern for a year there and so I would know...I was basically second in command when it came to the kitchen. Mama Neu was nice to me and I enjoyed my duties aside from the fact that there were roaches and I didn't get paid.

The staff people were often students who went through the program themselves and chose to stay, and they often didn't get paid because Pastor would keep the money for himself instead. It was a cult, definently, because everyone there was pretty much kept "hush-hush or else" and so they all seemed smiley and happy and convinced of what they were doing. Pastor was anti-homosexuality, anti-interracial marriage, anti-pro choice, ect.

Each day we woke up and after woodhauling (if you had to) we went to breakfast and then a chapel service. Then we would go to school, or if it was summertime you would do chores. Lunchtime was somewhere in there and then it was back to class followed by chores till dinner or if it was summer it was just chores till dinner. Then after dinner we would have a chapel service and then have "devotions" back at the dorm and then go to bed or haul wood till 10.

Some of the staff people were genuinely nice and you could tell they really had gotten sucked into the cult and into thinking what they are doing is right. Then others were power-craving asshats who were very cruel and would invent ways to get us in trouble. I have read many other people's negative testimonies and I have heard that recently most of the staff have left because Pastor had an affair behind his wife's back. I will post things other people have said about FV who have been there in following posts.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Movie: Fix my kid

A movie is being made about one of the most damaging drug rehab programs which have ever existed:

Straight Incorporated and the copies named Alberta Adolescent Recovery Center (AARC) in Canada, Kids of Bergen County, KIDS of North Jersey, KIDS of El Paso, Kids of Greater Salt Lake, Kids Helping Kids, Pathway Family Center, LIFE Inc., Kids of Southern California, Phoenix Institute, Turnabout/Stillwater Academy, STEP Inc., Growing Together, Inc., Possibilities Unlimited, Life Line Inc., SAFE (Substance Abuse Family Education Inc.), ACE, Proctor Advocate, Yes Families, Second Chance, Operation Re-Entry all used variations of a 4 level system where the teenagers in the system were locked inside warehouses and homes of foster families until they had advanced enough through the system. And the methods used were bullying of those who were on the lower levels by those who had advanced in the system.

It is no surprise that the suicide rate among those who came in connection with this so-called drug treatment program is alarming high. The text below was found of the webpage of the movie.

A Letter From The Executive Producer

In 1983, when I was 13 years old, my parents made the decision to place my 15 year old brother Steve into a program called Straight Incorporated in Springfield Virginia. Straight Inc. was a “family treatment center” that was dedicated to preventing teenagers from using drugs and alcohol.

In the two and half years Steve was in the program, he lived in our house for no more than a total of two months. He stayed on first phase for the majority of his program, which meant while he wasn't in the Straight Inc. warehouse from 7am to midnight every day, he was sleeping at someone else's home -- we weren't allowed to know where he was being kept. At the time, that's all the information I was given about my brother.

Steve ran away from Straight seven times. He was brought back against his will each and every time. Finally, on his 18th birthday in September of 1985, he withdrew himself from the program. Steve was now homeless; neither parent would allow him to come home. He stayed on couches and in an abandoned apartment for the next 8 months. In June of 1986, he checked into a hotel in Springfield and jumped to his death from his 4th floor room. Confused and heartbroken, I was told it was because of his drug use (the same thing I had been told over and over again for the last 3 years before his death).

The years passed; then in 2001, I decided to Google "Straight Incorporated." Browsing the webpages I read stories of torture and abuse, even finding a couple of different websites that mentioned my brother. It was difficult enough to lose Steve, but to relive it all knowing he went through such horror was devastating. This was the most painful thing I have ever experienced in my life.

After more research, I came to find out that not only did places like Straight still exist, but many other abusive programs had popped up. It had become an industry.

My first thought was to put up a website about my brother's story to enlighten parents so they wouldn't make the same mistake. Then came the silver lining: I started getting emails from survivors of Straight who had known my brother. People who had amazing things to say about his courage, his strength, and his kindness. How he would stand up for people, knowing he would probably get hell for it. This was very bitter sweet, but I was glad to at least get to know my brother through the eyes of those who were being held captive with him. I also found out by talking to my brother's old friends that while my brother liked to party (like plenty of teens), he was in no way an addict (like I was told), and we had been lied to.

Prior to going into Straight I thought we had a happy family; 3 years later my father had gone, and my brother was dead.

Over the next few years, I met hundreds of survivors and have made some life long friends. During that time, myself, and my friends and fellow survivors Todd, and Alex, began talking about making a documentary about Straight. Fast forward several years, and here we are.

It is our hope that this film will not only promote healing among survivors, but will be used as a tool to educate both parents and professionals about the truth of this industry, as well as to encourage people to speak out and help put a stop to the needless abuse and torture children are experiencing every day in this country and around the world.

-Kelly Matthews

The webpage of the movie

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Jake at Heartland Christian Academy (From:Topix)

This testimony was found on Topix. All rights goes to the originally author Jake:

At age 12 I was sent to heartland after my mother had died in a drug deal and my father had remarried. I had lots of anger issues and was very disrespectful. At the time I was the oldest of 5 kids in my household and my step mother could not handle my attitude any longer. I hated her for coming into my fathers life and taking the place of the mother that I had lost. I was upset at the world, angry at every turn and needed help. My father gave in to my step mothers wishes and I was sent thousands of miles away from anything I knew to enter into the program.

At the age of 12 I was the youngest kid in the program. I was subjected to 15, 16 and 17 year old kids that were placed in the program for a great deal worse offenses that I had ever fathomed possible. I was there when we lived out by the dairy and although we were not forced to work there I felt that every day I was in the program was another day in hell. I was allowed one 10 minute phone call a week to my parents which was usually spent crying and begging them to let me come home. I was broken by how strict the staff was and and belittled I was made to feel as a young kid. I remember being made to eat slop and throwing it up and being swatted for not being able to hold it down. Looking back as a 23 year old man, this was absolutely ridiculous and I wished everyday that someone would save me from the torture of the life I lived in this dorm.

At the time swats were given out without any sighning of paperwork or reason. I remember doing PT with all the guys and not being able to keep up with the pace of the older kids and being swatted everytime I could not complete push ups of leg lifts. They would pray for me right before they would swat you. I look back and just cannot understand how they would be able to scew Gods will to that extent.

We were not allowed to speak with the opposite sex a nor have any contact with kids not in the program unless at school. Everything was very seperated from the rest of the facility. I remember on numerous occasions being yelled and screamed at by staff members because of the behavior of other kids in the program. I always felt I had to be aware of my surroundings and other kids as well. It was no way to live. After three monthes of this my father came and got me after all the begging I did.

In just one short year my father sent me back and told me I was staying until I graduated. A new facility and new additions to the school had been made since I had left. I was now 14 and starting my freshmen year. A new policy had been implemented for swats and I was to sign my name on a dotted line every time I recieved swats stating I had not been abused. I spent a year in the program the second time around. Although I was older it was not any easier. The same situations that had caused me to hate my life were still there. Lying staff members. Physical restraint when you decided you didnt deserve swats, 10 minute phone calls, the beds in the new facility were concrete as well as steel mesh shelves with absolutely zero privacy. The windows were blured out so you could not see outside. Flourecent lighting 24/7 which caused headaces all the time. I always felt that i was being punished for everyone elses faults. The situations I found myself getting in trouble for were very minor and one time I was accused of seeing a girl in school and was swatted the maximum amount on the rear as well the hands, all my clothing was taken and I was given an orange jumpsuit to wear for an extended period of time. Not only had I not commited the offense, I was not ever given an opportunity to prove myself. The staff members were corrupt liars who would do anyting to cover themselves.

Heartland taught me alot of things but nothing had to do with what they did for me. It was what I learned as a young man all by myself having to fend for my own life in a situation I had no control over. Think very long and hard before sending your children there!

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