Author Topic: Interview with a survivor of KHK  (Read 1946 times)

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Offline hurrikayne

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Interview with a survivor of KHK
« on: March 06, 2008, 07:09:10 PM »
Part I

My conversation with a survivor of KHK:

Where have you protested?
 
Kids Helping Kids (Pathway Family Centers) located in Milford, Ohio

When?
 
February 13, 2006 when it was still owned by tri-state drug rehabilitation and counseling programs and November 30th, 2007.
 

News coverage of this protest can be viewed at the following:  http://www.cincinnatibeacon.com/index.p ... ping_kids/

This protest was also covered by www.isaccorp.org, an organization whose mission is to expose abuse, civil rights violations, and fraud perpetuated through privately-owned facilities for juveniles.  The direct link can be found here:  www.isaccorp.org/announcements.asp


What was your personal reason for this protest?
 
I am a survivor and ex-staff member of Kids helping Kids when it was located in Hebron, KY in 1989 - 1991. I suffered abuse at the hands of staff members there when I was a client, along with sexual abuse from an ‘oldcomer’ that went unreported by the director, Penny Walker; even though I had reported it to her.  (Note:  An oldcomer is a teen, a veteran, who is in charge of another; he is responsible for his “newcomer”, someone who has just arrived at KHK.)

I saw further abuses towards the children when I was on staff there and did not want to be a part of it, so I quit.

Were you able to educate anyone about the facility and its mode of operation?
 
This nice, compassionate lady pulled to the KHK driveway to speak with me; she wanted to know what I was protesting because she had seen “Teen Oppression” on my protest sign.  I told her that KHK uses an abusive Straight, Inc. treatment modality, and that the other name for KHK is Pathway Family Centers because they own them. I referred her to all of the websites found on the flier. She was extremely interested and had actually heard of the abuses of Straight, Inc. before now; I told her a little of my story.

(Note:  I asked what treatment modality was in use, the explanation was “For one, they use the method of belt-looping newcomers still, to and from the car; KHK also currently uses the “Host Home” method, an unlicensed foster home of other people that are participating in the program; KHK continues to use group therapy sessions which hold no real therapeutic merit or validity; another hallmark is the fact that the new clients are prohibited from talking with their parents privately and must be monitored by another client from a higher phase.)

Another lady pulling out of the program driveway flagged me down said “Hey, what are you doing here?” I told her, “I am protesting the cult called KHK that is down the very driveway that you just pulled out of.” She said, “They’re called Pathway now, they’ve changed.”  I asked her, “Do you work for them?” She replied, “No, I am a program parent and they’ve changed, they’re Pathway now.”  I then asked her, “Is Penny Walker still executive director there?” Now, I asked the same question in rapid succession (five or six times) because she would not answer.  I then told her, “Since you won’t answer that question, that tells me that they have not changed.”  I proceeded to tell her a little about myself as a survivor under Penny Walkers tenure.  She claimed that this place was better than drugs and it was saving her child’s life.  I gave her a flier*, and also informed her that if she is not going to care about her child, then I will, and that is why I was there.

In the afternoon, people started pulling over and asking for information and flyers, so we obliged (our protest was now up to eight participants) and shared information with them.  The people who stopped were eager to learn more.

*Information referenced on our flier:  www.thestraights.com/, www.isaccorp.org/, www.webdiva.org/, www.melriddile.org/, www.mel.sembler.com/, www.fornits.com/, www.rickross.com/; and Google search the following -  DFAF, Miller Newton  and STRAIGHT, Inc.

A more in depth conversation with this KHK graduate/former staff member will follow soon.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
"Motivation is everything. You can do the work of two people, but you can\'t be two people. Instead, you have to inspire the next guy down the line and get him to inspire his people. " - Lee Iacocca

Offline hurrikayne

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Re: Interview with a survivor of KHK
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2008, 07:14:58 PM »
Part II

I had an opportunity to ask this particular KHK graduate/former staffer more questions and will share the responses; however, I will break these into additional parts.
 
You stated, “I am protesting the cult called KHK…” Why do you believe KHK (Pathways) is a cult?

It has all of the Hallmarks of a cult. The leaders are put up on pedestals by the program, making them models for how they want each client to emulate and aspire to. This is very dangerous because every client who enters the program is an individual. The program is attempting to use a cookie-cutter recipe for all clients. Cookie-cutter recipes do not work for a group of individuals with individual problems. This practice has been disproved many times over the years.

Another hallmark is that Kids Helping Kids (Pathway Family Centers) does not let clients have any normal contact with the outside world. For example: Let’s say “Johnny” client makes a new friend at school on third phase, another client that attends school is expected to report that “Johnny” made a friend outside of the program. This leads to “Johnny” being singled out in a group therapy session by a staff-member (or several at a time) and being confronted by not only the staff-member(s) but also by other clients of the program. This type of interaction usually ends with “Johnny” being punished in some way by staff, for having made said friend outside of the program. On the other hand, if the other client who attended school with “Johnny” did not tell on him, then the same kind of scenario could be in store for that client as well, if found out. This type of system serves as a constant mental restraint technique.

You stated that “KHK uses an abusive Straight Inc. treatment modality…” Can you define this modality in short for those who may not be familiar with it?

Yes, but it is hard keep short. As of 2005/2006 from confirmed sources, they are still using the ‘belt-looping’ method of constant restraint, even under the new owner of Pathway Family Centers; as well as ‘leg-locking’, as confirmed by a currently participating, recent graduate, by the name of Amy. ‘Leg locking’ is a method to stop newcomers (new clients) from leaving the program via the ‘host home’ car. It involves having an old-comer (a client further along in the program) sit side by side with a newer client in the car and put his/her leg over the leg of the newcomer, hooking his/her foot behind the new clients ankle. It is used to keep the new client (or newcomer) from leaving the car at any given time of their free will. Sometimes it involves two old-comers sitting on either side of the newcomer in the same fashion on either side of the newcomer.

KHK (Pathway) also still currently uses the ‘Host Home’ method. (Briefly described in part I) These ‘host homes’ are not only unlicensed but they also are a lock down location for program participants. Lock down means that all program participants staying the night at any given ‘host home’ are required to sleep in the same room, with the bedroom door locked from the outside with an alarm on the door. At the ‘host home’, the clients that are further along in the program are completely in charge of the newer client, which has, and can lead to abuse. A major hallmark indicative of the (former) Straight Inc. treatment modality is the fact that new clients are prohibited from talking with their parents privately, or without being monitored by another STRAIGHT client from a higher phase. KHK (Pathway) continues to utilize this method to this day.

Another example of the (former) STRAIGHT Inc. treatment modality that KHK (Pathway) continues to use is ‘group therapy sessions’. (Also mentioned in part I.) These ‘group therapy sessions’ consist of newer clients sitting in chairs for about 10 ½ hours a day, along with clients that are further along in the program who are expected to control the newcomers throughout the day.

I did appear on film for WCPO Channel 9 incognito to talk about deprogramming and the brainwashing and the cult aspects of the program. That was on November 13th, 2005. I appear as the “Former KHK Graduate”.

http://wcpo.scripps.com/wcpo/localshows ... a2f60.html


You stated, “I am protesting the cult called KHK…” Why do you believe KHK (Pathways) is a cult?

It has all of the Hallmarks of a cult. The leaders are put up on pedestals by the program, making them models for how they want each client to emulate and aspire to. This is very dangerous because every client who enters the program is an individual. The program is attempting to use a cookie-cutter recipe for all clients. Cookie-cutter recipes do not work for a group of individuals with individual problems. This practice has been disproved many times over the years.

Another hallmark is that Kids Helping Kids (Pathway Family Centers) does not let clients have any normal contact with the outside world. For example: Let’s say “Johnny” client makes a new friend at school on third phase, another client that attends school is expected to report that “Johnny” made a friend outside of the program. This leads to “Johnny” being singled out in a group therapy session by a staff-member (or several at a time) and being confronted by not only the staff-member(s) but also by other clients of the program. This type of interaction usually ends with “Johnny” being punished in some way by staff, for having made said friend outside of the program. On the other hand, if the other client who attended school with “Johnny” did not tell on him, then the same kind of scenario could be in store for that client as well, if found out. This type of system serves as a constant mental restraint technique.

You stated that “KHK uses an abusive Straight Inc. treatment modality…” Can you define this modality in short for those who may not be familiar with it?

Yes, but it is hard keep short. As of 2005/2006 from confirmed sources, they are still using the ‘belt-looping’ method of constant restraint, even under the new owner of Pathway Family Centers; as well as ‘leg-locking’, as confirmed by a currently participating, recent graduate, by the name of Amy. ‘Leg locking’ is a method to stop newcomers (new clients) from leaving the program via the ‘host home’ car. It involves having an old-comer (a client further along in the program) sit side by side with a newer client in the car and put his/her leg over the leg of the newcomer, hooking his/her foot behind the new clients ankle. It is used to keep the new client (or newcomer) from leaving the car at any given time of their free will. Sometimes it involves two old-comers sitting on either side of the newcomer in the same fashion on either side of the newcomer.

KHK (Pathway) also still currently uses the ‘Host Home’ method. (Briefly described in part I) These ‘host homes’ are not only unlicensed but they also are a lock down location for program participants. Lock down means that all program participants staying the night at any given ‘host home’ are required to sleep in the same room, with the bedroom door locked from the outside with an alarm on the door. At the ‘host home’, the clients that are further along in the program are completely in charge of the newer client, which has, and can lead to abuse. A major hallmark indicative of the (former) Straight Inc. treatment modality is the fact that new clients are prohibited from talking with their parents privately, or without being monitored by another STRAIGHT client from a higher phase. KHK (Pathway) continues to utilize this method to this day.

Another example of the (former) STRAIGHT Inc. treatment modality that KHK (Pathway) continues to use is ‘group therapy sessions’. (Also mentioned in part I.) These ‘group therapy sessions’ consist of newer clients sitting in chairs for about 10 ½ hours a day, along with clients that are further along in the program who are expected to control the newcomers throughout the day.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
"Motivation is everything. You can do the work of two people, but you can\'t be two people. Instead, you have to inspire the next guy down the line and get him to inspire his people. " - Lee Iacocca

Offline hurrikayne

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Re: Interview with a survivor of KHK
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2008, 07:18:13 PM »
Part III

Additional questions & responses resulting from my inquiries about this former KHK (Pathways) graduates protest of that program:

In your opinion, do you feel that KHK has changed in any other way besides their name?

No, I do not.  I feel that the KHK (Pathway) way has always been to change the name or name(s) of procedures and/or rules call them something different, and then actually keep the activities the same without really changing a thing.  I have noticed this occurrence especially when they are under any kind of public scrutiny.

A good example of this is when I was on my phases as a client and the news crews would come in to “interview” clients, or to do and expose on KHK.  Penny Walker would instruct us to act differently than we would normally in front of the reporter and crew.  We weren’t allowed to ‘motivate’ in front of them, instead we would raise our hands.  We were not allowed to talk with the reporter without a staff member present.  The staff hand picked children that were allowed to speak with the media, not allowing anyone who opposed the program to speak with them, of course, because the program was using this as publicity to get new clients for more business, more business means more money in the way of funding and in clientele increase.

I previously asked about your personal reason for this protest, would you expound beyond what is described in Parts I & II?

Witnessing the program modality from a ‘staff in training’ perspective served to wake me up from the brainwashing I had endured, enough to get myself away from the program.  I witnessed an executive staff-member tell a rape victim client that all “All men were like that, and that they were all the same, and that they would always be that way.”

I did confront that staff-member and told her that is not okay to say that to any abuse victim.  I told her it was unethical.  I was still a bit mentally/emotionally paralyzed from my experiences at the program, though so I quit and just left the program.  I was only a staff-member for my six month follow-up, they had asked me to become junior staff but I declined.

Brainwashing can be an extremely strange experience and recovering from it can be even stranger.  It has taken me years to try and deprogram myself, I feel like I will be trying to fully recover from the experience until I am long gone from this earth.

I witnessed children being restrained pinned down by other clients and staff; staff laughing while restraining a client on the ground and barely able to breathe.  A five point restraint was used frequently as part of the program, they would say “It’s part of the program, when a client gets difficult” I witnessed children, including myself, in time-out rooms filled with semen, urine, and blood for hours at a time for simply not wanting to participate or talk in group therapy sessions.  Most of these things I witnessed when I was a client, some when I was staff.

Were staff members ever reported to proper authorities or parents for abusive behavior?

Not to my knowledge other than by me.

Were any staff members ever reprimanded for abusive behavior?

Not to my knowledge other than by me.

Is there anything you’d be willing to share with potential readers about your experience there?

I was assaulted by another client, while incarcerated at Kids helping Kids.  I reported it to staff after the other client had graduated because I did not feel comfortable while the client was still there, and still had any power over me.  I was terrified.

Under Penny Walker’s direction, the staff members forced me to talk about the incident in front of both the guys’ side and the girls’ side, with the threat that if I did not, I would not graduate the program.  I was ridiculed, not believed by other clients and staff, and made to feel unworthy of having emotions from the assault.  They did not call the proper authorities or file a police report or anything.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
"Motivation is everything. You can do the work of two people, but you can\'t be two people. Instead, you have to inspire the next guy down the line and get him to inspire his people. " - Lee Iacocca

Offline Anonymous

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Re: Interview with a survivor of KHK
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2008, 09:29:26 PM »
This is great. You should stress that kids are physically forced to attend "treatment" with the effect that "treatment center" is a prison.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline hurrikayne

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Re: Interview with a survivor of KHK
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2008, 10:18:36 PM »
Stayed tuned for part IV then.  :)  (If I can get time to work on it.  It's been on hold for about a month.  Sorry guys.)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
"Motivation is everything. You can do the work of two people, but you can\'t be two people. Instead, you have to inspire the next guy down the line and get him to inspire his people. " - Lee Iacocca

Offline Che Gookin

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Re: Interview with a survivor of KHK
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2008, 12:17:42 PM »
This is a really good article.. Great work  :)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline stud

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Re: Interview with a survivor of KHK
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2008, 06:07:16 AM »
this one is a really intresting post!
keep up the good work!
 ::unhappy::
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »