Sunday, June 29, 2014

Freedom Village experience

This statement was made on blogspot. All rights goes to the original author who have chosen not to publish it under his own name.

My name is not important but what is important is that I at 15 years old was sent to Freedom Village by my over zealot Christian father because as he put it, I was a "troubled teen". I am now 31 years of age and still remember everything I went through at Freedom Village, USA located in Lakemont, NY. It's like this, take everything you think you know about it and multiple that by 1000 and you still have no idea what it was like being there.

I was talking to my girlfriend this eve and we got on the subject of my past and that is when I told her about my time at the "Village". When I arrived at this secluded place located deep in farm country, ( where you would find any good cult ) I was shell shocked. I did not realize that what I had done as a child warranted coming to this horrible place.

From my very first day I was made aware of what was expected of me and what would happen to me if I did not do as I was told. Mind you the location of this place is in the middle of a field that is extremely large and has/had little "guard" shacks located at either of the entrances to the "Village" and to the back past the lagoon was the train tracks that lead to Watkins Glenn and beyond the tracks was a cliff that dropped into Seneca Lake. I was told to never try and run from the property or I would be sorry. So, me being the kid I was after a few days of the crap they put me through which I will explain in a moment I tried to run. I made it about 50 yards out from the main boys dorm when I was tackled by three of the "older" boys at the dorm. One of them who's name was Kyle who told the other two that he had me and would take me back to the dorm and they could leave. The other two guys left and Kyle took me around the back of the main administration building where he stomped and beat me with a retractable club he had in his jacket. I passed out and when I woke I was in my room back in the dorm. I was unable to get up to do anything, even use the restroom, or eat. No food was brought to me until I was able to go to the mess hall myself. My roommate tried to bring me some food but he was caught and that was that.

My room had no door handle and was one room amongst two floors of other rooms within the building. There were two guys to each room. After I was able to get myself some food I was sent to the "No Level Room" which was a room dedicated to driving you literally insane. It was a white room, with white desks, and chairs. The walls were blank and once in the room the door was locked. We/ I had to sit there for eight hours a day for a week and every other time I was "bad" as they called it with Christian preaching being pumped in through speakers in the wall.

They had other punishments as well which all lasted the length of the day, eight hours. We had to carry cut wood three pieces at a time from one end of the parking lot to the other over and over again. If we dropped a piece from exhaustion the staff would make us stay out an hour extra for each piece of wood dropped without food, water, or rest. My hands and arms would be so bruised and cut from the wood it was even hard to sleep when I finally did get the chance to do it.

Then there was the times in the spring and summer months where they would make us go out into the fields and pick all the dandy lions because pastor Brothers hated looking at them. They had to be picked at their base and had to be at least four inches in length. If we were caught picking smaller flowers or not picking them at all they would make us sit in the no level room for hours on end.

The showers in the building were almost like jail showers except there was no soap on a rope. We were forced to get into the shower fifteen guys at a time and we were only allowed 6 minutes per shower.

There were girls there and we were not allowed to talk, look, listen, know that they existed. Which was messed up because they lived in dorms over the other side of the yard and ate with us in the same mess hall. If we were caught talking or looking at them we would get punished and a few of us myself included who seemed to get the brunt of the punishments were on different occasions forced into the lagoon to wash the sin from our bodies.

The lagoon was where all the excess water from the "Village" drained to. It was also were backed up toilet water was drained from the dorms. On at least twenty occasions I was forced into the water of the lagoon because I was full of sin and sinned aginst God and the "Village".

Six different times I was beaten within inches of my life and then punished and was not allowed to get even remotely close to a phone to call for help.

I was once caught talking to a girl and was beaten for it. I talked to her again in the stable and was beaten and put in the "no level room" for three days. I still talked to her and made the mistake of telling the staff that they could not keep me and this girl apart. I was wrong and in fact they took the girl and locked her away for almost two weeks. When I saw her again she told me they had done terrible things to her while she was locked away.

Her and I were caught one day in the stable as we were supposed to be doing our runs on taking care of the horses. They found us laying next to each other talking in the hay. Her name was Jess. I was grabbed by Kyle the staff member and slammed into the wall. He took Jess by her hair and litterally threw her and she busted her arm. She was crying out and I had no way to help her. Moments later two other guys came in and one of them punched me in the side of the neck and head so many times I did not know where I was. I was lying on my side on the floor in a pile of horse dung while Kyle and the other guy beat and raped Jess right in fron of me.

After that we did not see Jess anymore and I was put in the no level room for almost a month. Jess wrote me a letter that was given to me by one of the other girls at the stable. In the letter Jess told me that she was tired of the bullshit that this place had put her through and did not know what to do. I tried to get to her but was unable to. two days later she killed herself by slashing her wrists and bleeding out in the shower of the girls dorm while all the girls were out on a day trip.

After her suicide we went to a service which we had to do everyday anyways but this service was about her even though they NEVER mentioned her name. The pastor did a sermon on sin and what that can do to you and if you commit suicide you will burn forever in HELL. No one ever mentioned her again and that is when my trouble really started. All the stuff that had happened to me before was childs play. I was beaten and belittled every single day after that all in the name of God. I was forced to endure things that no one should EVER have to go through in the name of God or anything for that matter.

It came to a point when I tried everything I could think of to get out of there and nothing seemed to ever work. Until the day I carved Hail Satan in my leg and almost bled to death in the process. I dragged myself to the paster private residence and bled all over his side walk and front door. Never once did he open the door to talk to me. he yelled through it and called me all sorts of vile names. He called his "people" to come deal with me. They beat my ass one took me into the kitchen of the mess hall. One of the guards smeared rock salt into my fresh razor woulds and told me the pain I felt was nothing compaired to the pain I was about to feel in HELL. After they beat me for a while I was taken to the nurse who was a nice lady I guess, she fixed me up and after a few days I was put on a bus and sent back to my father without even an explanation about anything that happened there.

I have tried to call them and talk about everything they did to me but no one will talk to me and no one has ever returned my calls.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Collapse of Sovereign Journey

These testimonies were found on The program closed early 2014. The founders had a past at the King George School, which has also closed down. It seems that the intentions were the best possible but when employees were let go the security level for the rest of the clients became bad. Below are some testimonies from former cliets:

A former client wrote:

first off i would like to say this program was not that bad when i got there .. never did isee myself now a little over a year later making a review this bad about it.. my intention is not out of hatred or to be mean or rude to anyone specific in the proram. i am being hoenst and trying to help other parents and girls help their decision making in chosing a program. so if you have something rude to say back because you think you are defending yourself, please save your comments it looks kind of bad on ya'll.

now.. i was threatened to be kicked out of this program due to the fact they could not keep their south street location open.. then my therapist told my parents i was regressing and should be moved back to the main house where i had to pay way more money.. and her reasoning was "they were scared to leave me alone.." even though i was completely alone for 3 nights without any night staff or day staff... and i was fine.. luckily my parents saw that it was just a scam. i was so hurt that they went to this level. i was even trying to keep them in my life through apartment living for awhile to have some support. but obviously that was not good enough.. ive been living alone now for a while and i could not be doing better no thanks to them.. they lied about my so called regression to my parents.. my own therapist..:( it turns out that was not the only lies that have been told through this program. i am not the only one who has been lied to.
the girls still attending sj. have no access what so ever to cites like these so they cannot say anything about the place and the truth behind anything . they have blocked it.

they had some amazing staff there. unfortunetly most of them have been fired, let go, or have quit. and honestly its way better off for them. im not trying to be a b word i really am not. but this program has poor treatment skills for the girls, financial stability, communication, transportation, and huggggeeee problem with telling the truth. i am a very blunt person i say everything straight up. but i find it incredibly hard to do so when i talk to karen. she has a very good way with words. i honestly lost all respect for her when she lied about her husbands "inapropriate relationship" with one of the client.. i confronted her and spoke on behalf of a few of the other girls and myself saying we did not feel comfortable with her in the position she was in with us knowing what her husband did... and yet she shut me down told me nothing was innapropriate even when i knew it was she was my friend i saw the texts.. i was one of the grils that braught it forward... if someone like that really cared about us girls she would have stepped down liked she was advised but no.. its all dollar signs to her.. and i am just sad still because i use to like them so much and it hard to think back to all this. its shitty that all this has happend but its the truth.. if you want to talk to me personally you can replay to this with any question if i did not make anything clear...(i will not say was was innapropriate with her husbad and the client though i dont think thats really my place) although i dont think it should be so hidden.. thank you and im sorry i had to write something like this .. i wish it could have been a good one.

J. Friedman wrote:

I was a client here. I never really felt safe or comfortable and was continuously lied to. In November-December of 2012, they let all of the therapists go. All of the girls were (obviously) upset and had nobody to talk to about it. I remember when Jess was let go and all of the girls were shocked. Once we were at the park and a man kept harassing me and a few other girls and Jess told him to back off and seriously she was like a mother bear and we were her cubs. I could continue listing staff that clearly cared for us and proved it time and time again, however all of them either left or were let go. I remember the announcement that the therapists were leaving, and the chaos that ensued. One girl left, one punched through a window, and one walked around outside. The rest of us were left in the living room crying. I can honestly say that the only good thing to come of that situation was me suggesting ice cream and movies AND THEY ACTUALLY LISTENED! That was literally the only good part. Another issue was that my laptop was stolen from the cart and used at night by another person. They then accused me of doing it and refused to listen when I said it wasn't me. The only person who believed me was Deb. I also had a bullying issue (one of the clients was bullying me) and I spoke to Karen about it daily and nothing was done. They finally had a community meeting and basically made me bring it up (which made me very uncomfortable) and it didn't really resolve the issue. I left in January of 2013 because the lack of support (they hadn't hired new therapists and it had already been a month) and the lack of communication was only adding to my anxiety. I have made friends that will last my whole life, but I wouldn't go back even if someone paid me


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Brenda McNatt-Hausermann at Heartland Christian Academy (From:Topix)

This testimony was found on Topix december 2012. All rights goes to the originally author Heartland Christian Academy: the only thing that comes to mind. I lived at Heartland for 3 years and left as soon as I could. I left 3 weeks before the "raid." I have since been contacted and gave a deposition that was hours long a couple years ago. It's crazy to think that just 10 years ago as I was leaving I was as brainwashed as the next Heartlander. I had been sucked into the false reality that Sharpe and his empire have created. It is a total US vs. THEM mentality. "US" being Heartland and "THEM" being the rest of the sinning world. I truly believed that the ABUSE that was taking place was just discipline. I entered the "program" at a very impressionable age and was able to be "programmed." Sermon after sermon declared "they didn't want you" and "your parents are just as bad, if not worse than you." Many times Charlie declared "I tell children all the time 'it's not you that's the problem it's your parents'." This is how it begins for the children. Yes, children do work and in my experience were forced to work. Yes, underage boys worked at the dairy with no pay. Guess you can't call it child labor if they are not getting paid.

My original houseparents were very loving and forgiving. They actually taught me what it was like to be in a healthy family and protected us as much as they could from the extremists that surrounded us.

I was one of the few who made it through the program without receiving swats. I knew the right things to do and say to keep myself out of trouble and was sort of "paraded around" if you will to different conferences for Charlie's insurance company in order to give my testimony and/or sing for the different events. After all, I had been "reformed." I was one of the poster kids so to speak. I remember feeling sorry for all those who were not "chosen." Many times I pondered what the difference was between the girl in the green jumpsuit for punishment and myself. It was heartbreaking to hear the swats mercilessly doled out for seemingly harmless infractions and by "staff" that was only a few years senior of the "child" getting swats. None of which were trained professionals by any "worldy" standards because when you own the town you can make the rules. When you have a court order declaring the state must not interfere well...Swat away. Abuse...just report it to the on-call physician. He lives and works at Heartland as well. Maybe just tell the local sheriff who also lives and works at Heartland.

A degree??? What is that, around here we just say a prayer and appoint the educators...Don't get me started on the unaccredited Bible College where Heartland graduates typically go to further their fake education. It's sad when they leave only to realize they are not qualified to do anything and their education doesn't count unless your career goals involve living and working at Heartland for the rest of your life.

The big shocker came to me when I was confronted by a lawyer who asked me to testify on the states behalf. For some reason it was rumored that Heartland took this as a personal blow. All I did was tell the truth. I had no reason to lie and still don't. The things that happened were wrong. Funny how easily Staff wanted to hold everyone else so accountable but when it came time to confess and repent their paper shredder did all of the confessing and repenting for them. What incident reports????

And yes....You know who you are, all of you! Do you think your "community" would support you if they really knew how corrupt your hearts were? Do you really think they would be on forums such as this singing YOUR praises??

We were always taught about listening to our conscience and mine screamed loud and clear as I was making my exxodus "Run as far away from this place as you can!"

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