Author Topic: Orlando Sentinel 1974 article including links  (Read 1591 times)

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Offline GregFL

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Orlando Sentinel 1974 article including links
« on: June 15, 2005, 07:55:00 PM »
STRIPE sent me this article a couple months back and asked me to get it up for all to read.  This was published in 1974 in the Orlando newpaper and includes pictures of the St Pete and Miami seed.


 Stripe, here it is and sorry for the delay.

Thanks to Ginger for HAND transcribing the entire article and scanning the pics and providing the links.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline GregFL

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Orlando Sentinel 1974 article including links
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2005, 07:57:00 PM »
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline GregFL

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Orlando Sentinel 1974 article including links
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2005, 07:57:00 PM »
http://fornits.com/anonanon/theseed/ima ... ide-sm.jpg

Caption: Seed parents weep openly at session where daughter professes she?s ?gone straight? and she?s ?comin? home.?]

(NOTE:  THIS IS A PICTURE OF THE INSIDE OF THE ST PETERSBURG SEED LOCATED IN THE MORGAN YACHT BUILDING.)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline GregFL

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« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2005, 07:58:00 PM »
The Seed
Getting High on Getting Straight
by: Ed Bend Jr.



Attention Parents: Ex-alcoholic, former comedian Art Barker says, for $750, he?ll put your doped-up teen into a peer pressure cooker called The Seed and months later serve you an All American kid.

Jerry, an ex-druggie is talking: For me, when I came in, people said to me, ?Jerry, you can be a great person. You are not just a druggie who will never amount to anything. You have hope.?

They said ?this is how you feel?
And then they started saying, ?I used to be like you, I used to have feelings like you, I used to do drugs.? Two who did everything from pot to heroin, and who lived on the streets?I mean on the streets, no place to live but under bridges or in alleys?these two told me how they felt then, how they felt now. They said they felt happy, serene. And they said, ?This is what you do to be like us. This is how you get straight, what you do to feel like we feel. If you want to be serene, do this.?

It didn?t take that much, just being honest with myself, having a want to change.

Dan (another former drug user): There are three signs: Think-Think-Think. First Things First. Easy Does It. The Seven steps. Another sign, ?You?re Not Alone Anymore.? The Serenity Prayer. We learn how to use these tools, tools to getting straight. We talk about our beliefs a lot. We don?t say, ?Let?s sid down and talk about our beliefs,? but we talk about them.

Jerry: One person told me, ?Well they don?t make you cut your hair, but after they punch all this stuff into your head then you say, well, I want to get it cut.? And he says we are forced  to do things?sit in chairs, listen and things like that. But we?re not. I wasn?t forced to eat my lunch or dinner. And I wasn?t forced to turn around and pay attention. And I wasn?t forced to relate. And I wasn?t forced to change.

In less than four years, a controversial Florida drug rehabilitation program run by a temperamental former alcoholica and financed chiefly by parents has gotten straight 5,000 kids like Jerry and Dan.

While it doesn?t work for everybody, The Seed?located in Fort Lauderdale, St. Petersburg and until recently Fort Pierce?has worked for a very large segment of the state?s young drug-users.

What it does, through a crude form of behavior modification, is put ?clients? into a peer pressure cooker. Officially, it?s a non-residential drug rehabilitation program whith ?clients? living in foster homes during an initial phase. For all referrals, the minimum time is one month in phase one and about six months to complete the program. The time is doubled for clients sent by the courts. After the first phase, they can return home to live.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline GregFL

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Orlando Sentinel 1974 article including links
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2005, 07:59:00 PM »
What do they do? During the first phase, clients attend long daily ?raps? from 10 .a.m. ?til 10 p.m. At night they live in foster homes with ?oldcomers? (who are on the second phase of the program) or ?old timers? (graduates). On the second phase, they attend one open meeting, two 7 to 10 p.m. raps, and one 12-hour weekend day weekly.

The facilities aren?t fancy, leaving little to distract the interaction. Walls are painted white. There?s an American Flag. And the three signs. The seed has been housed in old residences, and in Dade County for a time at the vacant Tropical Park Racetrack.

Open meetings are held two nights each week. Kids and parents sit in groups facing each other and can talk to each other through a public address system.

Parents? attendance is important. The Seed boasts no failures when both parents participate fully.

A Seed ?success? is not just a kid who doesn?t use drugs anymore; it is a kid who has a positive outlook on life, who makes better grades in school, a kid who goes out of his way to do his chores at home and who looks to his own future with optimism and enthusiasm.

It is a kid with a smile on his face because he is happy.

Scene: A mother speaking to her daughter who has been in the program only a few days: ?I?m so glad to see you with a smile.?

?It feels so good to have one,? the girls answers back.


http://fornits.com/anonanon/theseed/ima ... de2-sm.jpg


Caption: At The Seed?s twice weekly open meetings, kids and parents face each other and confront the drug problem over a public address system. The controversial rehabilitation program is privately financed, chiefly by parents of participants and past participants.]
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline GregFL

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Orlando Sentinel 1974 article including links
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2005, 08:00:00 PM »
The Seed is unique. According to its founder, former alcoholic and standup comic Art Barker, peer pressure started them on drugs, peer pressure gets them off.

It is the cheapest drug rehabilitation program in the world, he says ? $500 per kid. For most, it takes only three months. And because it?s so simple, it is hard for the public to grasp. The program has mystified?and frightened?many professionals, most of whom haven?t been allowed by Barker in any of The Seed centers unless he sensed their support. It seems odd, says Barker, because it?s radically different from any delinquency treatment programs.

As one Seed mother put it, it is not a ?drug rehabilitation? program, but a ?people rehabilitation? program. Yet there are charges that what goes on inside The Seed?s ?fortress? is really brainwashing.


The Seed is not based on the premis that druggies are bad kids, delinquents who must be changed.

It is not like the much publicized drug programs that humilate kids with ego-destructive techniques, tear them into nothing with the hope they can then build ?good citizens.?

Barker says what his program tears down is insecurity, the walls of lies the drug-user has built around himself.

The Seed tears down false images (?I thought I was Clint Eastwood,? one Seed kid grins. ?I was ?Mr. Cool.? I acted like I was a real lady?s man, and I had never even had a date.?); The Seed lets them see themselves for what they really are, or what The Seed makes them believe they are?good, honest people who want to be happy, to be able to give and receive love. ?Every person wants to be great,? Barker says, echoing sentiments of Orlando Dare To Be Great promoter Glenn Turner. ?We give them the opportunity to be great.? The Seed, in this sense, is Barker?s Dare To Be Straight.


Dan: When I smoked pot I got sort of, really, dazed, really into my head. Really introspective. I was very confused. I couldn?t relate very well.

When I quit, my head cleared up. I could start thinking again. Instead of furiously analyzing everything, I could think.

Jerry: On the streets, my opinion of myself was very low because I had nothing to look to myself for. When I was a druggie, I knew what the right things were, but I wouldn?t do them. I knew I wasn?t supposed to go out and smoke pot and I knew I wasn?t supposed to go out and hurt people and break into houses, yet I wouldn?t do what was right. I saw no good in me.

Dan: I?m learning at The Seed how to help people, how to rather be right than liked. I?d rather blow someone?s ego than let it keep on going up. I?d rather tell someone he?s doing something wrong than see him screw himself up.

Jerry: What it comes down to is, I?d rather help a person than see him die.



It is not always easy but love, not force, or fear, is used at The Seed. And it usually works, though sometimes in unforseen ways.

Group sessions are large (there are 1,100 in Ft. Lauderdale Seed, 1,400 in St. Petersburg) and the kids sit and listen for the first three days.

The newcomer usually sits at first with a hard look on his face, determined he is not going to get straight, nor fall for whatever it is they are selling here.

By the second day, he begins to listen more; some softness comes to his face.

And by the fourth day, he is thrusting his hand in the air, wanting to be the first to talk.

But not always. The 16-year-old daughter of a close friend of Barker?s was on who didn?t follow the schedule.

?She had set a date to destroy herself,? Barker says. ?She was just witting there until the time to kill herself. She sat there for five weeks without saying a word to anybody, without cracking a smile. She was the meanest, toughest 16-year-old female you?ve ever seen.

?Then one day a 12-year-old girl sitting next to her turned to her with tears running down her face and said, ?You don?t love anybody. Love you, but you can?t love anybody?.?

That was the breakthrough.

Today, tow years later, the girl is a straight-A student, anxiously looking forward to college and working part-time at a major department store.



Jerry: We talk about a God, but we don?t go into detail. For me, my God is my higher power, something that I look up to. It?s not one certain thing. It?s what I believe in, whereas what I believe in may be different from what Dan believes in.

Dan: Jerry?s an my beliefs are different, definitely. But that?s the whole thing, the Seed does accept different kinds of people, from a 23-year-old black longtime heroin user to a 12-year-old white Catholic, pot and alcohol user.

Jerry: Sometimes it seems for the kids who haven?t had a rough time, you have to work a little harder to convince them what they were really headed for. The 13, 14 and 15-year-olds, we say, are the hardest.

Dan: It was like that with me. I was all messed up and knew it. When I was 14, Jerry?s right; it would have taken me longer. I didn?t think I?d done much wrong.

But when I was 18 andstarted seeing things that really went into making a life for myself, what being an adult was, my ego got blown every week, at least, and then I had to go and do things to make myself feel bigger. I almost killed myself about four times. I overdosed constantly. By the time I got to The Seed, I was just exhausted and was just praying for somebody to help me.
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Offline GregFL

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Orlando Sentinel 1974 article including links
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2005, 08:01:00 PM »
http://fornits.com/anonanon/theseed/ima ... de3-sm.jpg


(NOTE...THIS IS THE ONLY PICTURE I HAVE FOUND OF THE FT. PIERCE SEED)

Caption: At The Seed?s twice weekly open meetings, kids and parents face eacho other and confront the drug problem over a public address system. The controversial rehabilitation program is privately financed, chiefly by parents of participants and past participants.]



-----------


Art Barker got dry 18 years ago, has been helping others ever since.

He wants to help, he says, because he was fortunate enough to get straight and have a second chance at life when he was 32.

A night club comedian?he has played Playboy Clubs throughout the nation?he bagan helping other alcoholics, and from this, developed skills and insight needed to develop his unique drug rehabilitation. Program. Barker wears his hair in bangs, has a tattoo on his right arm, smokes a pipe, and talks rapidly in a New York accent. He lives with top Seed staff people in an expensive (donated) waterfront house in Ft. Lauderdale.

Barker and his ?rotten kids? stood virtually alone in the[sic] The Seed?s early days (1970), fighting those who did not understand what he was doing and who, he claims, were afraid he would take away their rederal grants if he did it too well.

?I can tell you,? he says, ?that having guts is not being brave in combat. Anybody can do that. Guts is when, every day, you stand alone to do what you believe in.?

At The Seed, you never have to stand completely alone. Of the three signs on the walls of the big factory-type buildings where the programs are held, the biggest says simply, ?You?re not alone anymore.?

?I knew,? Barker explains, ?that I couldn?t have kicked alcohilism without people to help me, people to talk to, to relate to. And I knew that without some purpose in life, I could never stay straight. I knew I?d never be straight if I couldn?t look at myself in the mirror every morning and be proud of myself.?

So it?s little wonder Seed?s seven precepts bear some resemblance to Alcoholics Anonymous? creedo (In fact, elsewhere in the country, AA has met considerable success treating alcoholics and drugs users together):

We admit we are powerless over drugs.
We come to believe that a power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity.
We admit to God, ourselves and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
We make a fearless and searching moral inventory of ourselves.
We make direct amends to those we have harmed except where it would hurt them.
We seek through prayer and medication to improve our conscious contact with God as we understand him.
Having received the gift of awareness, we practice these principles in all our daily affairs, and carry this message to all those we can help.

The Program achieves impressive results?it claims a 90 per cent success rate?and has won a lot of tough, cynical individuals to its support.

At a session not long ago, five veteran cops, including four Brevard County police officials, whose experience in law enforcement totals over 90 years, sat on the front row and wept. They cried as they watched youngsters they had ?busted? for drugs sing happily and smile. Outside later that evening the youngsters who knew them threw their arms around the leather skinned cops and thanked them for taking an interest.

According to Barker, the program works because of peer pressure.

As S.R. ?Speedy? DeWitt, chief investigator for Brevard County Sheriff?s Department explains, ?These kids won?t listen to us, but they damned sure listen to each other.?


Jerry: I could only do things that were cool. Things we were allowed to do by the Druggie Handbook of Rules, or something like that. What was cool to do. What was not cool to do, was how I lived my life. It wasn?t cool to be in before 9 o?clock. It wasn?t cool to go down to the corner store with your mother, or your parents. It was cool to tell your mom to ?screw off? and run out of the house. It was cool to knock an old lady down on the street and take her purse, and that is how I lived my life. That?s how I limited myself. I didn?t like it. I didn?t like doing drugs, I didn?t like doing any of the things I did. I felt really miserable. But that?s how I thought I?d be accepted.

Dan: Is my life really different now? There?s a lot of love involved in The Seed, it?s there for any Seedling ? but being an individual, that?s exactly what I?m learning at The Seed. Exactly.



The controversy about The Seed came after a number of ?professionals? in drug abuse treatment questioned both Barker?s methods and the results.

They charged brainwashing, ego destructive techniques and other serious matters.

At the request of Gov. Reubin Askew, through the Florida Drug Abuse Advisory Council, an investigation into such charges was conducted and recently completed by Dr. Richard N. Katon, president of Addiction Consultation and Evaluation (ACE), a consultant in the field of drug abouse who has evaluated programs in 20 other states.
And the kids sit and listen for the first three days.

Dr. Katon verified The Seed?s claim of close to 90 per cent success rate, and noted that to be considered successes, ?clients showed positive attitude changes and exhibited improvements in their family relationships and school (work) performance? as well as being off drugs.

?The program is also striving to create a drug-free population in the community,? the report noted. ?The purpose of this group would be to provide a form of peer pressure which could help to counteract the influence of young drug users. Thus, there would exist an anti-drug subculture for youth to identify with.?

An 18-year-old St. Petersburg youth who claimed he never used drugs told a New Times reporter his stay at The Seed began when a group of Seedling parents ?convinced? his parents their son was ?heavy? on drugs. After two and a half months at The Seed, he refused to say he was. Consequently, he said, his weekly visits to church were taken away. (?The Seed is your God,? he said he was told) and the pressure continued; he reported: they took away his money, timed his visits to the bathroom and locked him in his room at night and watched him apprehensively. When he ran away, the youth said, The Seed called his parents and told them if he showed up at home to refuse to let him in the house. The father ignored the advice and welcomed his son back.

Barker replies The Seed encourages Sunday churchgoing, wouldn?t have given any parent such advice, and can?t imagine who the source of the New Times charges might be.

?Despite stories of Seedlings with severe emotional disfunctioning because of exposure to this treatment,? Dr Katon?s report noted, ?the ACE staff was unable to locate any persons with such maladies even after intensive efforts to do so.?

Dr. Katon located one successful graduate who said she had begun using drugs again.

Teachers, counselors, the St. Petersburg youth, and many kids who have not gone through the program say Seed graduates are like zombies, robots who will not associate with anyone but other Seedlings.

On the surface, it appears so.

Seed graduates all seem to be stamped from a single mold, a mold that might not be what society wants according to many of the program?s critics.

And many critics still question whether the cure might be worse than the disease.

The reluctance of Barker and his staff to discuss details of his program has no doubt created some of the mistrust. And though he is reluctant to share his ?secret,? he asks people to believe in him and what he is doing. Results, he reasons, are what count.

In many cases, perhaps, the reluctance to accept The Seed, the lingering doubts about the program, come from an abstract feeling that it just can?t be this good.

Barker insists there are no flaws in his program, and many people can not accept this.

(When the Fort Pierce facility closed its doors this summer, The Seed controversy had nothing to do with it. The Fort Pierce Seed was considered too close to the Fort Lauderdale facility to be effective; Brevard and Oragnge counties are being considered for a larger new facility, that will serve populations further north, says Barker.)

It seems illogical to many that 90 per cent of the individuals who go through the program could all react the same way to the same program. But even if they do react the same way now, what will happen, it is asked, one, three, five years down the road? Some of the early Seed graduates are doing great. But what of the 5,000? Will all do so well?

Joseph R. Rowan, director of the Florida Division of Youth Services (DYS) which is charged with rehabilitation of juvenile offenders, believes The Seed ?does a very effective job with certain youngsters who have come from families where there are certain strengths?usually middle and upper class.?

Children from lower socio-economic brackets ?who?ve been through the mill a bit longer? may require more varied treatment than the peer pressure and mental attitude reinforcement offered by The Seed, says Rowan, who discredits some criticism leveled at the program and it?s mentor, ex-alcoholic Art Barker.

?Much of the criticism is against Mr. Barker, not the program,? he notes.

Sam Hill of Orlando, regional director of DYS, visited The Seed and compares it to an old fashioned, small town Sunday church meeting where emphasis is on family, faith and help for each other.

Hill said he saw nothing in the program that he felt could be harmful for the kids.

But DYS district director Steve Shacoski in Melbourne, who has sent a number of youngsters to The Seed, points out that the 12-hour a day raps for a minimum of two weeks amount to an awful lot of time.

?When you keep drumming something into a person over and over and over you eventually wear him down,? Shakoski noted.

Barker insists there is nothing in the program that can hurt any kid, nothing worse than the kids encounter on the streets when they are buying, selling and using drugs.

Shacoski says The Seed staff?all ex-Seedlings?has cooperated completely with his counselors since he met with them and talked about what his needs are. But he expressed concern about dealing with the young staff members whose only experience is using drugs and working for The Seed.

?I?m in favor of having former users for staff members,? he says, ?but I don?t think they relate too well to professional counselors.?  

A concern heard over and over is how youngsters are forced to stay, forced to participate. Newcomers who stay with Seedlings on a later phase of the program, find windows to their rooms nailed and locked. The oldcomers are confined too.

The 10 to 10 sessions seven days a week are not all the newcomers face. At home, the oldcomers help them go through their moral inventory every night, and talk Seed philosophy with them.

When they return to school, Seedlings do not associate with their former friends, their druggie friends.

?If you want to be my friend,? they say, ?go to The Seed.?

While they may be polarized in school, Seedlings manage to function quite well on the outside. Many work as sales persons in stores, and they seem to have few problems relating to the outside world.

Still, the feeling lingers that nothing can be that good, nobody can be that perfect. There must be a flaw. Barker says his biggest critics are the ?professionals? who try to treat drug abuse cases and have little if any success. They still believe in the methods and believe only professionals can handle the problem.

According to Barker, money is the real root of the problem. In Dade County, he says, fewer than 30 programs with fewer than 1,000 clients get several million dollars a year for drug treatment.

Yet the program has plenty of establishment support. There are psychiatrists who volunteer their time to help evaluate youngsters. There are professionals on the staff to help manage the administration.

The Seed has used funds from the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration and the National Institute of Mental Health, but last fall rejected all federal money.

?The Seed?s philosophy is to secure community support to operate an optimum program,? Barker wrote in a letter rejecting federal dollars.

?The local competition for the federal grants creates a hostile atmosphere among drug rehabilitation programs,? he continued. ?This competition brings disharmony and discredit to rehabilitation efforts.

?We disagree with the ?ivory tower? approach to the funding of drug rehabilitation programs,? he concluded. ?Federal, state and local agencies who have little or no experience with successful drug rehabilitation make ?life and death? decisions. Their ability to evaluate is based on textbook knowledge and observations of programs which have failed.?



As The Seed program has grown during the last four years, it has won more than criticism.

On April 20, Seed founder Art Barker received one of the most prestigious awards given in South Florida. The plaque reads:
?The crime Commission of Greater Miami hereby gratefully recognizes Art Barker as the layman who accomplished the most in the prevention and suppression of crime in Dade County for the year 1973-1974.?

It is more impressive considering the controversy in Dade County, primarily generated from drug abuse people who were running other programs on large federal grants.

Barker left Dade County, but he has been encouraged by county officials to return and establish a new Seed. He plans to do just that.

The Florida Bicentennial Commission has urged that local communities throughout the state implement The Seed program in an effort to ?have the solution (to the drug abuse problem) well in hand by 1976.?

And earlier this year, Barker was awarded a Freedom Foundation award for his work.

On Nov. 14, 1972, the Dade County Grand Jury issued a report of its own investigation of The Seed. It recommended The Seed be expanded to Dade County and throughout the state, that federal, state and local governments fund the program, that school systems should not be financially penalized by the absense of Seed enrollees from daily attendance, and that medical associations throughout Florida participate and cooperate in the program.

The jury said: ?Peer group pressure at The Seed is a kind of reverse twist which has the youngsters helping each other kick the habit instead of starting it.?

The most treasured tribute, however, comes from some who knew Art Barker in the early days. A small trophy stands on a corner of his desk, simply inscribed:

?To Art?thank you for being there when we needed you and for giving us all the love, affection and discipline that we needed so much and for The Seed in which we grow. With love from all your ?rotten kids.?
June 20, 1971?
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Offline GregFL

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Orlando Sentinel 1974 article including links
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2005, 08:03:00 PM »
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2005, 10:09:00 PM »
Hey Greg ! guess who's picture that is!! I can't believe someome sent this in! I had a copy of this, I think it was actually like a pull-out magazine / supplement. I kept it for many years but it went lost some where along with my Seed / mustard seed T-shirt and my "The Seed Loves You" lisence plate that I kept in my copper brown Camaro!!

Chris Lewis
seed 74-75
AA  91-
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Offline GregFL

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« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2005, 01:29:00 AM »
Yes, it was a pull out section of the orlando sentinel.

That was you Chris?

Tell us more...how did they end up using a caracature of you for that?
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2005, 02:18:00 AM »
WOW!!  What a blast from the past...

Thank you Greg for posting - thank you Ginger for editing  :nworthy:

The more I read, the more flooding of memories.

...and to think, this was over 30 years ago!

WOW - I need time to digest it all.
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Offline GregFL

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« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2005, 09:30:00 AM »
The real credit goes to Stripe for sending in the article.

Thanks Stripe!
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« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2005, 01:22:00 AM »
"When others demand that we become the people they want us to be, they force us to destroy the person we really are. It's a subtle kind of murder. The most loving parents and relatives commit this murder with smiles on their faces."
 
Jim Morrison
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« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2005, 08:11:00 AM »
Damn! What did ever happen to Jim?? :scared:
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Offline GregFL

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« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2005, 09:36:00 AM »
What a great quote!

I just heard about a Seed type program, mixed with christianity, that is being used to reform Gay kids...complete with moral inventories and open meetings.  

Unreal how these parents try to manipulate who their kids are.
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