Sunday, August 31, 2014

A stay at Heartland Christian Academy (continued)

This addictional statement was made on All rights goes to the original author

I mean, seriously, who pulls aside people that move into their little "private property" community and say things like:

"So yeah...I'm doing this great thing by helping all these really screwed up kids, women, and men. Our programs are great and really help people get their lives in order and get over their addictions and stuff. But don't talk to the program people, ok? They have issues and stuff. They say they want our help, and maybe they do, but a lot of them just want to keep pretending to be the victim so they never have to deal with their problems. So just keep that in mind."

Cuz that sure seems to be the speech they might get after moving to Heartland. I mean, there are families who avoid "program people" like the plague, won't let any of them near the children, won't speak to them, etc. Some even have the audacity to say to the program people that we need to stop complaining about everything and start appreciating all the blessings heartland is giving us. That we need to stop be so "ungrateful" for "everything Heartland is doing for you!"

Since they are naive, we can forgive them their cruel words. Only those who have been through the program will ever truly understand what it does to a person, and the flaws in the system, and the favoritism, and the holier-than-thou staff that beats down on you. Unless you are an inherently good person, you can't understand without having been through it. But there were a handful of them there, like the Shorts, the Palmers, the Nickersons, the Whites, the Metzgers the Powells, the Newlands, and the Kippings. They all genuinely care about the kids in the program and want to help them learn, heal, and grow. They are wonderful people who will always be in my favorite memories. I hope they continue to do the Host Parent nights every week and that these families continue to participate, because spending time with them, even for a few hours once a week, made life at Heartland infinitely better.

The weeks I spent at the Palmers playing uno and making dinner together made my senior year tons of fun. The games of hide-and-seek with the Nickerson/White kids before church and the times we goofed off during class activities/nonacademic days were always hilarious. The times Mrs. Kipping brought us to her house after school to make delicious cookies was always relaxing. The times Mama Powell interrupted our Life Studies class to go to her house and bake those perfect mini bananabread loaves and listen to hear stories always cheered me up on a bad day. Every afternoon spent working with Mrs. Metzger and the kids was so much fun, so eventful. Every class with Coach Short going on rabbit trails and telling stories and making us laugh makes me smile. I will never forget these great memories as long as I live.

But the people who treat the "program people" like the plague because they don't know better, you really have to wonder how that came to be. What do Charlie and Laurie tell them about us to get them to fear and loathe us? What do the staff and leadership say about us that makes us seem so terrible? And how can you not find it terribly suspicious when someone says that you shouldn't interact with all the program people, if you're a good Christian person who wants to help? I mean, that's like saying,"No, no, let ME handle it, because only I can fix them. Even though you mean well, you shouldn't try to help. They might try to drag you down. Let me take care of this, and please, just don't interfere." Isn that not toally screaming "HEY LOOK- NO CHECKS AND BALANCES!!"

They can't be held responsible for any wrongdoings if they insist that everyone making claims of said wrongdoings is totally crazy or out for attention, can they? If the people who accuse them of abuse, or unkindness, or unfairness are all mental, or just "trying to play the victim" then of course they don't have to ever admit to any wrongs, and then they never have to fix anything. They can do anything they please- that is BAD.


Friday, August 15, 2014

Untold Story of Elan, pt.2

Here I am pulling again, watching a new kid in The Corner. “Pulling” is Elan-speak for “staying up all night” aka working the graveyard shift. There are a couple different kinds of pulling. I am pulling on the SP, which is short for Support Person. Every time a child is sent into isolation then another kid like me is assigned to his SP. Since The Corner is 24/7, someone needs to be assigned to stay up watching him at night to make sure he or she doesn’t try to escape or get into anything they aren’t supposed to be doing. I guess we can’t just lock him in the room because there are windows that they could escape from. Not to mention the suicide risk of leaving a Corner student alone. If the kid kills himself, how is Elan going to collect his “tuition”?

The Corner is a chair is shoved where the two walls meet in a room isolated from the rest of the population. You are placed in the chair. You are inches from the wall, just enough to keep your knees in place and to make sure you don’t try to do anything that you aren’t allowed to do. You cannot talk, slump in your chair, move around, stretch your legs, or stand-up. You sit in the chair all day. At midnight your mattress is brought from the dorm and thrown onto the floor of your isolation room. You sleep on the mattress while an SP pulls on you in a desk-chair blocking the door. The next day you are woken up at 7am and brought down stairs to quickly shower and brush your teeth. Then from 7:15am until midnight you are facing the corner of the room again. If you try to do anything you aren’t allowed to do then your SP calls CHIEF and you are restrained and often times put into zipties. The worst thing about being ziptied is that is makes it much harder to eat your lunch or dinner when it arrives. Being in The Corner is hell, at least 1/3 of the people in The House have been there at least once. The usual time is a few days, but being in for a few weeks is not uncommon. Being put in for a few months happens as well. One or two people have been in for the better part of a year.

When your Corner time ends, you are taken into the Dining Room to receive a General Meeting. After the GM you are returned to the population as a Shotdown. A lot of kids resist, react, or “act out” during the GM so they are taken right back up to The Corner after everyone “gets their feelings off”. This process can go on for months and months. The thing about the Elan Program is that you won’t get kicked out. And there lies the real power of The Program. Everything that you can possibly do will be dealt with by the system. Once you get into Elan, don’t expect to be released.

Another form of pulling is called “Night Owl”. That is a kid chosen to keep count of everyone in The House, all night long. Since we have both boys and girls here, there is one Night Owl for each gender. And since Elan is not stupid enough to allow a boy and girl to be alone together while everyone else is asleep, an adult is brought in to break up what The Program calls a “1-on-1”. This adult is called the Night Guard and is paid by Elan to come in every night. We have 3 or 4 Night Guards who all come in on different nights. The Night Guard calls a “run” every 10 to 15 minutes, from 1am until 8am. The boy Night Owl stays in the boys bathroom all night. When a run is called he pops out and goes in and out of all the dorms counting the boys while they sleep and then shouts his “count” to the Night Guard who records it. The boy Night Owl then switches with the girl Night Owl, who is guarding the back door Zone of The House all night. He guards the Zone while she goes through the female dorms and counts them. She shouts her count and then goes back to her Zone. Since the Night Guard sits on the Zone guarding the front door, him and the girl Night Owl have both exits covered all the time, all night. The boy goes back into the males bathroom until the next run is called.

The “run” consists of walking into each dorm with a flashlight to count the sleeping bodies. You are required to lift the covers off of everyone to make sure they are not wearing shoes or clothes. This makes getting a decent night’s sleep in Elan very difficult and you eventually learn that if you wrap your feet in the blanket, you will be woken often. The Night Owl also shines the flashlight into the closets to check that no jackets or shoes are missing. Lastly, they walk over to the window and see that it is closed and they give the screen an examination to make sure it hasn’t been cut. It is also important to check the heaters in winter. They need to be clear because someone may try to cause a fire as a distraction to make a get-away.

This process is then repeated in every dorm.

When someone is in the Corner and another kid is on his SP all night, then the Night Owl also has to climb up the steps as part of his run and physically see us and add us to the count. I am that SP right now, and that is why I have the time to write my story into the margins of this book I am pretending to read. But every 10-15 minutes, I have to listen for his approaching steps so I can hide my pen and pick the book up to my face. If the Night Owl came up and caught me sleeping on my post then I would be in a lot of trouble. He would wake up another High-Strength to take my place and I would retire to my bed in the dorms. When I woke up I would be shotdown. Falling asleep even for a second while pulling SP on the Corner is a very serious breach of security.

Shotdown is the lowest position in The House. The only person lower is the Corner student. If you are a shotdown (verb) and a brand new resident gets thrown into The House that day, then even he or she gets to eat before you do. As a Shotdown (noun), your job is to scrub a small section of the floor with a sponge all day. Shotdowns are chosen to do all the bad things in The House: scrub trashcans, showers, toilets. All day, every day. For days or weeks straight.

So falling asleep is not an option for me. Even a long blink at the wrong time and I am screwed if the Night Owl catches it. In Elan, you are always being watched, even in the middle of the night while you are forced to watch someone else.

During the day there is a system called Headcounts. Every ten minutes, from 9am to midnight, there is someone running through The House with a clipboard and a Headcounts sheet. The Headcounts sheet has the name of every single kid in The House. It looks like a piece of graph paper, with the names going down the side followed by a string of boxes. We have codes for every part of The House: SC for the Service Crew room, BO for the Business Office, X for the Security room, DR for Dining Room, etc… Headcounts goes through the entire House in about 6 minutes, records where everyone is, and then gets his run signed off by the Chief, COD, and Staff, in that order. Each may decide to double-check the run to make sure it is accurate. An inaccurate run could get you shot-down. Most New Residents have no idea that Headcounts is running all day.

As part of Headcounts, every so often the Coordinator-on-Duty calls HOUSE IN THE DINING ROOM and the Zones echo the call. Everyone, except Corner kids and their SP’s, are expected to immediately flood into the dining room and enter their chairs with military precision. During this time the Expeditors are also paying close attention to anyone who moves too slow or anyone not looking directly up front or slouching in their chair and this is all Guilt. Once everyone is in their place, which should take about 30 seconds by Elan Program standards, the Coordinator-on-Duty (or COD for short) reads each name and each person says YES after there name is called. This naming ritual happens 10 or more times a day, reminding everyone that running away is not a smart idea.

Headcounts runs from 9am to Midnight. From Midnight – 1am, runs are made the Dorm Night Owls. 1am – 8am, runs are called by the Night Guard and carried out by the Pulling Night Owls. From 8am to 9am, runs are called by the COD and carried out by the Pulling Night Owls. In Elan, you are never NOT being counted. For as many years as you are doomed to stay here.

Besides a 24/7 system of counting the children, 24/7 Zones that protect every exit and entrance, and an entire caste system of people with clipboards observing you all day; lets pretend that you do manage to get out of 1 of the 2 doors that lead outside. The only place to run is directly into the Maine wilderness. Deep wilderness that is covered in snow most of the year and guess what: you don’t have a jacket or boots. You were dressed for the Dining Room because that is the only place you are allowed to be dressed for. Every single morning a Strength with a clipboard records what every single kid is wearing. Wearing too many clothes is not allowed and if you do it you are called a “split-risk” and taken back in the dorms to change instead of eating breakfast. Wearing dark-on-dark is also not allowed unless you are a High Strength who has earned those privileges. You don’t even have enough hair on your head to keep warm because Elan only allows long hair to High Strength who have earned it!

But it doesn’t matter if you split in Winter or split in Summer, there are another set of guards in the woods around Elan. I used to think it was a scare-story that the Staff told the Strength and the Strength blindly passed on to the non-Strength. Until I reached a position that allowed me to pull and I could watch these guards exit the woods in full camo, get into their cars and then drive home when their replacement showed up. Also, the Night Guard has a walkie-talkie and I can hear him constantly chatting with them. It must be just as lonely waiting around all night in The House as it is waiting around in the forest. Anyways, the point is that 24/7 forest-guards do exist. So even if you can miraculously make it out of The House, you now have a new threat to deal with.

Anyone who tries to run away (or in Elan-Speak: split) from The House, is punished with The Corner and GM’s upon their capture. If you try to resist capture after making your escape them you will also be charged with breaking the “No Violence” Cardinal Rule and you will end up in The Ring.

Elan School is now closed


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Untold Story of Elan, pt.1

It has taken me almost a year to reach the point where I can safely write this. I have a lot to get off my chest and before I explain anything else I really need to unload what is on my mind. I am in a place called The Elan School. It is located in Maine, deep in the forest. I am writing this in secret and I have to be careful because (even at 3am) there is a boy coming up the stairs every 15 minutes to check in on me. He is just another kid like me, barely 16 years old. My job right now is to stay up all night watching another child who Elan has placed in total isolation. He has been in isolation for the better part of 7 months now.

I am not a writer and I may not use proper punctuation and I will probably ramble on, but the story I am going to tell is unbelievable in every possible way. It is hard to organize my thoughts as I scribble these notes into the small margins of a book I grabbed earlier. The kid checking up on me assumes I am reading the book, because why wouldn’t I be? The truth is that it is the only place I can safely write. Everywhere else is compromised! Afterwards I will slip it back into the shelf amongst the hundreds of other books. I pray nobody finds it. I chose the book with the most uninteresting title I could find. If anyone finds it they can match it to my handwriting.

But if nobody does then when I finally escape this place I will bring it with me to show the authorities or anyone who will listen.

Elan is a horrible place. They make the kids here fight each other in a ritual called “The Ring”. They put the kids into isolation and they stay there for weeks and months, until they barely act human. These are kids! Some as young as 13. They have a thing called a General Meeting where they force our entire House of around 60 children to scream and degrade one poor unlucky kid chosen by the Staff. It is called a GM for short. It should be called the 30 minute hate. We have all been chosen for a GM. Sometimes The House has 4 or 5 in a single day. All day in Elan is just screaming. Kids screaming at each other in Groups, in GM’s, in Dealing Crews, in Blasts, or screaming and cheering when a kid is getting his ass kicked in The Ring.

They get away with it because all of our communication to the outside world is censored. I was not allowed to write letters for a long time and when I finally “earned” the privilege all of my letters were read and sometimes sent back to me with edits for a mandatory rewrite. The first letter I was allowed to write my parents was called a “Guilt Letter” and it was supposed to be a list of all the bad things I had ever done. No “Hi Mom and Dad” intro. No explanation of why I was writing it. Just a straight up confession of everything wrong I had ever done. And I mean everything. My first was a couple pages but after being threatened with a GM, I eventually turned it in with over 20 pages. Some kids wrote over 50 pages! Staff then read my Guilt Letter and told the other kids in the program about the content. They are encouraged to use the information against me, it is all part of “The Program”.

And I cannot tell anyone outside of Elan what is happening. All of our phone calls are monitored. Your first phone call to your parents is scripted and you work it out with Staff for weeks before you are allowed to make it. When you do it is over speaker-phone in a conference room full of the adults who run The Program. If you make any mistake or go off topic they end the call and bring you back for a GM and you get Shotdown. And then you can’t earn your weekly phone call. Even when you do earn it another kid in a higher position is always there listening to what you say. They will hang up the phone if you try to tell your parents how things really are. Sadly, I have hung up other kids calls when I was assigned to be the “Support Person” (or SP for short). It is all part of The Program. I had no choice.

I have been forced to do a lot of horrible things to the other children here. Scream and degrade them daily, monitor them and write reports on them to give to the Staff, beat them up in The Ring, beat them up when they are put in isolation. We call isolation “The Corner”. It is all a part of The Program and if I refuse then those things will happen to me! None of us ever know when we can finally leave Elan. Some kids have been here for almost 4 years with no end in sight.

Sometimes we have three-House Rings and three-House GMs. There are three Houses in Elan and I am in House 8 with about 60 other kids, both boys and girls. We never see people from the other Houses but sometimes they bring all of us to House 3 (because they have the biggest Dining Room) and all 120 people on the complex give one person a 3-House GM. A 3-House Ring means you get beat up and 120 other kids watch and cheer for the people fighting you. You see these things even once and you know you are no longer in America. You know that Elan can and will do anything to you and get away with it. That nobody will ever come here and stop them. And that you do not have the resources available to tell anyone about it. Sometimes I feel like nobody will even believe me when I finally escape from this place. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.

The entire Elan system is run by children. Staff oversees everything like Gods but The Program is strictly based on “peer accountability”. All of the children are in different positions like the military. Every House has two kinds of people: Strength and non-Strength. The non-Strength are not allowed to talk to each other. They are not even allowed to look at each other. They are kind of like the slaves of The House. Whenever one non needs to talk to another non, they have to find a Strength and ask them to “be aware” of the conversation. Being a Strength isn’t easy either, one mistake and you will get demoted back to non-Strength.

The non-Strengths of The House have to shower at night instead of the morning, sleep in top bunks instead of bottom bunks, and they cannot do anything without a Strength around to watch them, not even use the bathroom. All day they have to clean The House and since 60 of us live in this little House, it is always dirty. They also have to get their food last at meal times. Even us Strength are hungry all the time, everyone who comes to Elan loses weight. I go to sleep hungry every single night. But when I was a non-Strength, it was even worse.

This is how everything in Elan is set up. But even amongst Strength you have different levels. I am at the rank of Department Head in The Program. So while I am a Strength, I am not a High Strength. High Strength positions get to eat before Strength and they get chosen every month to go out on special trips. Everyone wants to be a High-Strength but a lot of people will never reach that level. The best High-Strength position is called Coordinator. There are higher ranks than Coordinator but most kids will never reach them. Everyone wants to reach Coordinator because if you can hold that position for 6 months or a year then you can ask Staff for Graduation dates. Every once in a while we have a Graduation in The House and we all say goodbye to him or her. There is a big ceremony and it lasts 2 hours or more. It all focuses on that one kid and how well he or she did in The Program and about all the good things they are going to do when they get “out there”. Everyone here calls the real world “out there”. I remember thinking it was strange when I was a New Resident but now even I use the phrase. I remember during one of my first meals, a kid at the table asked me “What is it like, right now? Out there?” That was a weird moment. That felt like a lifetime ago.

Everyone in our House is in different ranks but we also have different “Crews” that run The House. We have the Service Crew that basically deals with keeping The House clean, ordering new supplies, dealing with the New Residents. We have the Communications Crew that deals with how people are communicating in The House and Encounter Group rosters for the week. We have the Business Office that deals with various paperwork that needs to be done and distributing materials throughout The House. We have the Kitchen Crew that deals with meals and getting the plates/cups/utensils on time from the Big Kitchen. And we have the X’s Crew, the X is slang for Expeditor. Basically the X’s deal with House security, making sure people don’t run away, setting up people on Zones, and making sure The House is secure. There is a kid called the Chief Expeditor and they are basically the Chief of Police. Everybody in The House is scared of the Chief because he or she can basically do whatever they want. If they deem you a threat then they can order people to tackle you on the spot, restrain you with zip-ties, and then haul you off to The Corner.

When people in our House get scared they yell “Chief!” as loud as they can and the Chief and a bunch of the High Strength show up and someone usually ends up on the ground. Communication in The House is built on the concept of different kids who “echo” calls. They stand at strategic points throughout The House that we call Zones. So when someone in any part of The House yells “Chief!” then the people at the zones echo the call but add the place where the call came from, like “Chief Dining Room!” or “Chief Service Crew!”. And The House is not so big so kids in the high ranks can respond to any part of it within a matter of seconds.

But the Zones also have another, more important function: they are the guards. And I cannot stress this enough: these are kids on the Zones. The entire Elan Program is run by children. We are the ones who guard each other. We are the ones who order supplies for The House. We do everything. Too many things to list right now. Anyways, we have Zones placed strategically around The House and obviously only Strength are allowed to hold them. So every door is blocked or overseen by a Strength. Every entrance or exit to another part of The House is blocked or overseen by a Strength. And we only have 4 Zones. I told you our house was small.

Really, being in this place with 60 other people is a living nightmare. It is always so loud. It is always so dirty. Someone is always screaming or freaking out that day, usually a few people. Everyone is always running around like chickens with their heads cut off. Some kid is always watching you from a Zone. People are everywhere, holding clipboards and their job is just to fill up the clipboard with "Guilt" and suspicious things going on. I know because I used to do it, it is the rank before Department Head. And it is not an easy job. The position is called “Expeditor”.

There are usually a lot more people in the position of Expeditor than any other position in The House. It is the first Strength position and one of the most demanding, so it usually takes a kid a long time to earn the next promotion to Department Head of a Crew. I have seen people stuck in Expeditor for 6 months to a year. The most crucial part of being an Expeditor is completing your “Clipboard Packet” every day. If you do not you will be punished. All Expeditors are required to carry around a wooden clipboard and the other Strength are always trying to steal it from them, like a game. If you can take an Expeditors clipboard when they are not paying attention, you are actually praised because you have shown a hole in the security apparatus of The House. The idea is that if a Strength can manage to get one then a non-Strength could too. And if a non got a hold of one it would be a serious security breach.

Every Expeditor carries a wooden clipboard, but attached to the piece of wood is a packet of paperwork and that is called the Clipboard Packet. It is kind of like a test, with answers that need to be filled in and given to the Chief Expeditor at the end of every day. Weekends are no different. Surveillance in Elan never ends. The Clipboard Packet contains different sections. One of the pages contains something called an Attitude Report Form (ARF for short) and it names a non-Strength that you are assigned to for the day. In order to complete your ARF you need to talk to the kid and ask him questions and pretend to just be “having a chat”. In reality you are building an evaluation of them based on questions listed by the Staff. How do they feel about the program? How likely are they to run away? How many friends do they have in The House? How many are Strength? What do they talk to the Strength about? What Coordinators do they look up to? And lots of other questions that the target has no idea about, they just assume you are being friendly.

Another example from the Clipboard Packet is the Dining Room “Guilt” section. There are 3 or 4 blank pages with circles on them representing the table layout of the dining room. Using small handwriting, Expeditors are expected to fill in those pages with Guilt that the people in The House are “acquiring”. Most of the day, people are in dining room and almost everything in Elan is deemed Guilt, so an average Expeditor can fill up those pages in a day while a more ambitious one will ask for even more pages to fill up. Since Expeditors are now Strength, they are trained and put on Zones for the first time. So they are standing at the best vantage points of The House. Guilt can be doing anything from glancing out the window to taking an extra bite of your lunch after the meal time runs out. Acquiring Guilt is like breathing in Elan, everyone is doing it all the time and The Program requires that you “cop to it”.

About once a week you are handed a blank sheet of paper by another kid and told to “cop to your Guilt” and when you hand back that paper it had better be full. Sometimes Staff asks you to write down your own LE’s (learning experience) = punishments for your Guilt. So a lot of people actually end up “shooting themselves down” or being demoted to Shotdown, the lowest and most miserable rank of The House.

Guilt is a big part of the Elan program. We have three “Cardinal Rules” and they are: No Sex, No Drugs, No Violence. But since we are in the middle of the woods and in a House with constant surveillance, these rules take on a different meaning. “No Sex” is the first Cardinal Rule and it is taken so literally that even glancing at the female side of the dining room during dinner will get you in trouble. If anyone in The House were so bold as to pass a note to a member of the opposite sex they would not only be demoted, they would get a General Meeting, maybe thrown into the Corner for a while, and undoubtedly would have to “restart” the program from scratch. I have seen people in The Program for a year or more get caught passing notes and they were sent back to zero as if all the previous time never even existed. Even having a crush on a member of the opposite sex is Guilt and as Staff knows we are teenagers who cannot help it, we are constantly having to cop to our Guilt and if we DON’T name names of who we have a crush on, then that is an even more serious sign of Guilt: deception. And a sure sign that you have a whole lot more Guilt below the surface.
The next Cardinal Rule is “No Drugs” and is also taken to the extreme. We are in the middle of nowhere and getting drugs here would be next to impossible. So people do crazy things like steal the shaving cream bottles to separate the nitrus canister from inside. During Spring a kid once hid some fruit in the pockets of his Winter jacket which was hanging in the closet with the hope that it would ferment throughout the Summer months and become alcoholic.

Some kids cannot stand that we are always hungry and they secretly hide bits of food. When they are caught they are shotdown and given a GM or two. Staff will say things like “Food is your drug. And you are an addict! You are breaking the Cardinal Rules!”. It is amazing how a couple rules can be twisted so out of proportion to make our lives a living hell.

The final Cardinal Rule is taken to the extreme just as badly as the first. “No violence” is defined as anything aggressive, even a gesture or a look. If a High Strength feels threatened in any way, even imaginary, they can call CHIEF! and the person (usually a non-Strength) will be physically confronted and most likely tackled to the floor and restrained. Since the word of a High Strength is much more credible than the word of a non-Strength, there needs to be very little evidence, if any, to prove the threat. Residents are not even allowed to shake hands or give each other high-fives. Nothing physical because this is considered an act of violence by Elan. Bumping into the wrong (powerful) person in the hallway could be construed as a violent attack and lead the offended person straight into The Ring.

Elan School is now closed


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Youtube video and statement regarding the Allynwood Academy

The school previous known as the Family Foundation School is to close early august 2014.

Here is a statement from a former student. She also made some Youtube videos:

You're right the school has changed their program over the years, but the staff were in no fit state to be leading young vulnerable adults into a better life when they didn't even have a grasp of their own. I attended in 2009, and there was a lot of emotional, mental and physical abuse. It was hard for any of us to articulate the abuse to our parents because our parents were told that if we did say anything about the school we were trying to manipulate them into taking us home. Being so scared of the punishments we might receive and risk losing contact or being put on 'blackout' with our parents, it was the easiest option just to play by the rules in hope that one day you might get out.

The Argiros clan are very good at pretending to be honest and caring people, but when I was there and I expressed to them that I did not believe in God and I needed professional therapy like my parents thought they were paying for, they neglected my needs and continued to punish me and put me into isolation until I complied. They restrained me for the simple matter that I refused to go to school because my grades wouldn't transfer back to England and they failed to find me an alternative solution. They restrained me because I would not pray, as I articulated I was an atheist and that I needed professional help. I spent two weeks in isolation, my parents being as naive as they were thought that I was getting help, and were lead to believe that it was in my best interest to be put on black out. My parents had no idea of what was happening.

To this day I still question how they did not see the signs of abuse, I ran away, i got myself arrested, I slit my wrists and wrote on the walls with my own blood. I articulated in one of my letters that I constantly needed to use the bathroom, and that is a pretty clear symptom of Fear. I did things I had never even done when I was home. The Family School convinces you that your kids deserve to be there, and they constantly remind you of how 'uncontrollable, unmanageable and bad' your kids behavior was at home, they convince you to keep them there and maintain the hindsight that you're doing the right thing, and that actually it wasn't your parenting or any other experiences that your child may have been prone to growing up, but it was just the fact that you had a dis functional kid.

What they fail to do is work with you as a family and look into the deeper issues of the behavior that your child presented while they were at home, and the pain that your child expressed in a way, that unless you are a professional psychologist or an understanding parent with a deeper and professional understanding of your kid, that actually, hey, this kid isn't bad. They are just in pain, and we need to help them. Not punish them.

As a parent, you need to be doing as much self reflection as your kid will be doing over the next few years, and unfortunately this is a program that as much as it says it does, does not offer you that kind of clinical approach to therapy- that is exactly what these kids need. So please, before you start slandering those of us who have been subject to institutionalized child abuse at FFS, do your research first. Mental and emotional child abuse is a lot harder to prove than physical abuse, so the answer to your question about the NY State Investigation is because it is so well hidden. When you are that scared, you don't say anything. But you wouldn't know about that because you haven't been in the same position as us. My mum was exactly like you, but 5 years later. God is she sorry.

It is extremely hard to believe that people could do that to someone, I know. But do you really think that now as grown adults we would come out of our way to warn perspective parents of students at the school of what happens in there? No. People move on, but the reason we haven't is because we are still stuck there, and we are still searching for our justice. So who will you trust most? The people you hand over thousand of dollars a year, or people that can educate you about the program for free? & before Allynwood can shove another excuse down your throats about why we might be warning you about the school, I have a good life. I'm engaged, I have my own home and puppy. I study psychology at college, and do you know why? Because I want to be a professional that can wipe these criminals that claim to be people that they're not right off of the face of the earth. Not because I am angry, not because I am resentful. Because I am a good person, and I don't want any kid to have to go through what I did.

Below is the first part of the youtube statement:

Boarding school for troubled teens set to close (WBNG News)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Kenny aka beaner the Heritage Boys Academy

I was that 14 year old that went to heritage boys academy. I'll mever forget the first night i went there. I was so depressed my parents told me we were going to Disney and when i woke up "brother buddy" came to the car and dragged me out and then my parents left me hysterical so there was this guy named marty the biggest asshole said "keep crying, keep crying"

I was still hsterical and he made me hold 2 broom sticks infront of me for 5 minutes long and i couldn't do hold them and he brought me into the staff room which was the CC room and he made me pick them up and hold them straight out again I couldn't Marty then picked me up and threw me through the closet causing a bump on my head so that later on I had to get surgery on it was a calcified hemotoma.

I told my parents a different story because he said he would beat my ass I was a scared 14 year old boy and yeah the gay kids name was Ben. Ben said "I'm going to tell everyone im gay so I can leave this taco stand". His exact words so the boys put bengay in his underwear and when he went to use the shower after he said "my balls are on fire" but yeah my butt was beat red I have a few stripes on my but to this day their nasty scars and marcus that kid used to be in there with me and was one of the worst kids how did he end up working there???

Marcus always told me "I wish i could take hold of that switch and give the kids an ass beating" not going to lie they were the biggest rascists ever my nickname was "beaner" the "grungie garzas" s brother rob would say were 3 brothers Johnathan Zachariah and Jeremiah Johnathan was called "chickster the spickster" because he was Spanish and had chicklet two front teeth and there were two black kids they were called n word by most of the staff or "dirt".

I couldn't imagine how much more worse it would be to the kids aron russle and cliff never smiled they always walked around with this sad depressed face on them and when you ran away you got about 40CC's for everyday for a little over a month i remember when I told buddy and rob i was going to die because they didnt let me use my inhalor I'm a "phoney bologna" they said.

I then had an asthma attack after they made me keep running and they had a defibrolator in the house that they then let me use after and also my inhalor I wasn't kidding in thought I was going to die but withing the next hour I then felt better and was able to almost fully breath but yeah my conclusion is dont give them the right to open that up again sure it is good by God we read the bible everyday but the corporal correction is abuse.

The school was closed by the authorities in 2010 but managed to be cleared of the child abuse charges due to legal technicalities.


Sunday, August 3, 2014

A stay at Heartland Christian Academy

This statement was made on All rights goes to the orignal author

For those who are insisting that this school is a good idea, a loving and Christian place, and that the problem is all with the "horrible, messed up children" not being "appreciative of the chance they're given" and other such crap that people spout-- SHUT UP!! I lived there in the youth program for over 2 years, and while there are a few wonderful Christian families, the majority of the leadership is all stuck up, holier-than-thou fakes.

Before going to Heartland, I was a A-B only student, a good kid, my hobbies were drawing and reading, and I had never had any interest in drugs or alcohol. But I did suffer from some serious depression after major bullying in jr high, and my parents thought that this place could help me get better.

Wanting to take me off my meds and surround me with loving Christian people was a great idea--if only that had been the case. Unfortunately, a lot of the staff there doesn't really care about the kids. I've heard female staff tell the girls "If your parents cared about you, they'd have taken you out by now!" and "you wouldn't be here if you didn't have problems!" and other such demeaning, horrible things. It's not a very encouraging environment, to say the least. There are, of course, a handful of very sweet people who really want to help the girls, but there's only so much they can do without getting in trouble.

Want to know what's funny? I was there when Maiah's mom took her out of the program. I remember that. We were very happy that someone had parents who cared enough to listen to our pleas. When my friends tried to save up money and start a website to get me out of heartland, I was treated like a criminal for 2 weeks. They took away my part-time job (where I had been working for a year) and my teacher's aid position which I had been doing for 5 months. They interrogated me and acted as if I had done something horrible, even though all I had said on my friends' site was "please pray for the leadership cuz they need help."

Finally, before they kicked me out, here are some of the things Charlie, the founder, and his wife, Laurie, had to say to me about me: "Without Heartland, you would not have the grades you have! You would probably be dead, or on drugs, or in jail, or pregnant!" "You don't deserve the mission's trip we sent you on! you deceived the other girls into thinking you're a good example, a Christian, but you're not! the devil masquerades as an angel of light!" "you started an anime cult in my school!" (because i drew pictures for girls? because i liked to design outfits? at one point they confiscated a year's worth of sketches and threw them away, without asking at all!) Does this sound like someone who loves children and wants to help hurting teens? Does this sound like someone who can admit their wrongs and try to improve for the better of everyone? NO, it sounds like a selfish person who insists that they are doing God's work: "Look what I'VE done for God!"

At that moment, I knew that they did not love the kids in the program or make any point of getting to know them. They did not care about us or want us to be happy; they wanted to brag about what GREAT THINGS they were doing FOR GOD, using God as an excuse to do what they wanted. And you know, i'm a fairly strong person emotionally, so I really didn't care that they said these kinds of things to me. I mean, it hurts a little, when you think someone is a Godly person and cares about you, then turns around and acts like this.

But you wanna know what really hurt? Knowing that I was leaving behind some very vulnerable girls, as young as 12, in the hands of such people. Girls who had messed up family lives, girls who's step-mothers had forced their fathers to send them away(at least 2), girls who had been adopted from Russia and then abandoned here in the middle of a cornfield, never visited more than once or twice a year (I knew 3 for sure). The sad part is that we really weren't the horrible insane druggies they portray at all

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