Author Topic: I personally escaped this Cult  (Read 28250 times)

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Offline TC_Saved_Me

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Re: I personally escaped this Cult
« Reply #30 on: December 12, 2011, 04:27:25 PM »
Quote from: "Xelebes"
Quote from: "TC_Saved_Me"
Quote from: "none-ya"
[attachment=0:30vye9ze]SIN.jpg[/attachment:30vye9ze]

Hahaha!  Not quite that extreme, but there is definitely alot of discipline in the more successful programs!

Care to detail?

I've been pretty transparent about kind of discipline that I endured when I was with Teen Challenge.  There was some very organized research conducted a while back to see just how successful Teen Challenge is.

Here's a pretty good link for information about the study.  It debunks some of Teen Challenge's claims about the 86% success rate, but a 70% success rate is still far superior to the average secular rehab (1-15%)

http://http://www.acadc.org/page/page/2495014.htm
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Samara

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Re: I personally escaped this Cult
« Reply #31 on: December 12, 2011, 04:52:52 PM »
Is it a longitudinal study? Because lots of programees assert undying devotion until the brainwashing wears off.

And, my thing is, whether or not someone is sober doesn't justify extreme coercive, psychologically abusive programs that depend on chronic, trenchant degradation to bring about "change."  I also could not condone any program that doesn't recognize the emotional health of personal boundaries.  Sharing should be safe and voluntary.  Also, I do not believe you build someone by tearing them down first. That is BS. I've seen too many babies thrown out with the bathwater.  Last, I would not want my mental health tied into adherence to theocratic programming.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline cmack

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Re: I personally escaped this Cult
« Reply #32 on: December 12, 2011, 05:03:13 PM »
Quote from: "TC_Saved_Me"

What is "The Seed?"

http://www.thesunmagazine.org/issues/373/the_seed

http://www.insidersview.info/theseed.htm

Quote
http://www.thesunmagazine.org/issues/373/the_seed

http://www.insidersview.info/theseed.htm

The Seed was a controversial youth drug-rehabilitation program that flourished in south Florida when I was a teen in the early 1970s. Founded by former comedian and recovering alcoholic Art Barker, it was modeled after adult treatment programs and administered by unlicensed staff. The Seed utilized coercive techniques such as aggressive confrontation, intimidation, verbal abuse, sleep deprivation, and restricted access to the bathroom to tear down a teen’s sense of self and replace it with the ready-made identity of a “Seedling.”

The Seed was highly publicized, and the attention eventually proved destructive to the program. In 1974 the U.S. Senate published a study that accused the Seed of using methods similar to North Korean communist brainwashing techniques. The bad press, in conjunction with legal pressure from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the drying up of federal funds, forced the Seed to scale back its operations dramatically. By the 1980s it had shrunk to a fraction of its former size and was officially admitting only voluntary clients. The Seed endured in this diminished capacity until it finally closed in 2001.

Today hundreds of similar programs are in operation throughout the United States and abroad. Some are even run by former Seed staffers. By most accounts, these programs are much harsher than the Seed.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline TC_Saved_Me

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Re: I personally escaped this Cult
« Reply #33 on: December 13, 2011, 09:53:57 AM »
Quote from: "Samara"
Is it a longitudinal study? Because lots of programees assert undying devotion until the brainwashing wears off.

And, my thing is, whether or not someone is sober doesn't justify extreme coercive, psychologically abusive programs that depend on chronic, trenchant degradation to bring about "change."  I also could not condone any program that doesn't recognize the emotional health of personal boundaries.  Sharing should be safe and voluntary.  Also, I do not believe you build someone by tearing them down first. That is BS. I've seen too many babies thrown out with the bathwater.  Last, I would not want my mental health tied into adherence to theocratic programming.

The study was done on 186 participants.  Six variables were used during the study:
1)  what proportion of the program participants were still drug free (urinalysis testing was conducted for all 186 participants.
2)  no legal involvements
3)  employed or pursuing education
4)  a part of a family unit
5)  participating in church activities
6)  physical and mental health.
The National Opinion Research Center of the University of Chicago developed the survey instrument, located survey participants, conducted the personal interviews, and obtained a urine sample to test for drugs. The National Medical Services, Inc., of Philadelphia, PA, conducted the drug screening detection for this population.
This study was conducted 7 years after the subject's involvment with Teen Challenge (I'm not sure how long it takes for "brainwashing" to wear off).  

I can say that I personally graduated from Teen Challenge in 2007, and have had quite the journey since I left the program.  From living/ working with my father to get back on my feet.  To living in a place, by myself, where I was living off of Raman Noodles because I was so broke.  6 years later, I have a wife and two daughters, am active in my church, and have a great job working for the Army!

I agree with you that a person's sobriety "doesn't justify extreme coercive, psychologically abusive programs that depend on chronic, trenchant degradation to bring about 'change.'"  No arguments there.  
"I also could not condone any program that doesn't recognize the emotional health of personal boundaries.  Sharing should be safe and voluntary."  I agree with you here also.  No arguments.

I really only tend to disagree with this part: "I do not believe you build someone by tearing them down first."  Just speaking from my own personal experience, I would say that this is exactly what I needed - though Teen Challenge does not do this on an emotional or physical level (moreso on a spiritual level).  I came into this program thinking that I was hot stuff!  I could turn a broke DVD into 50 bucks if you gave me a few hours!  The rules that I was expected to follow in Teen Challenge were total crap, and I was above them!  It eventually broke me down - on a spiritual level - and humbled me to the point where I finally began to acknowledge that I needed help for my addictions.  This was what eventually led me to change.

Let me ask you a question... Do you think that military bootcamp is abusive?  Emotionally, physically, or spiritually?  Do you think that our soldiers leave their training "Brainwashed?"

I'm asking this for a reason.  I am former military, and went through Teen Challenge with several guys who used to be enlisted, and it seemed like the guys who were ex-military had an easier time adjusting to the rules and the structure of Teen Challenge.  We may have fought the system at first, but we oftentimes were a little quicker to turn that corner and start doing what was required of us in this program.  Once you start to go with the curriculum, and follow the rules, the program is actually a walk in the park!

I'm trying to figure out why you talked about someone's mental health being tied into the adherence to theocratic programming..??  I guess I'd have to agree with you there also.  There are mental (often times neuro) problems, then there are spiritual problems.  Theology and mental health are seperate things, and should stay as such.  No arguments here.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline TC_Saved_Me

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Re: I personally escaped this Cult
« Reply #34 on: December 13, 2011, 10:08:49 AM »
Quote from: "cmack"
Quote from: "TC_Saved_Me"

What is "The Seed?"

http://www.thesunmagazine.org/issues/373/the_seed

http://www.insidersview.info/theseed.htm

Quote
http://www.thesunmagazine.org/issues/373/the_seed

http://www.insidersview.info/theseed.htm

The Seed was a controversial youth drug-rehabilitation program that flourished in south Florida when I was a teen in the early 1970s. Founded by former comedian and recovering alcoholic Art Barker, it was modeled after adult treatment programs and administered by unlicensed staff. The Seed utilized coercive techniques such as aggressive confrontation, intimidation, verbal abuse, sleep deprivation, and restricted access to the bathroom to tear down a teen’s sense of self and replace it with the ready-made identity of a “Seedling.”

The Seed was highly publicized, and the attention eventually proved destructive to the program. In 1974 the U.S. Senate published a study that accused the Seed of using methods similar to North Korean communist brainwashing techniques. The bad press, in conjunction with legal pressure from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the drying up of federal funds, forced the Seed to scale back its operations dramatically. By the 1980s it had shrunk to a fraction of its former size and was officially admitting only voluntary clients. The Seed endured in this diminished capacity until it finally closed in 2001.

Today hundreds of similar programs are in operation throughout the United States and abroad. Some are even run by former Seed staffers. By most accounts, these programs are much harsher than the Seed.

Oh my goodness!  That sounds like something out of a movie!  Well, I can certainly see how a program like this would really mess somebody up!  That's a horrible story, and any place like this should be shut down, and the leadership should be tried for child abuse!

I'm starting to wonder if there is some other program out there that's called Teen Challenge that I'm not aware of because this is NOTHING like the adult program that changed my life!  This "Seed" program sounds completely reprehensible!   Please, please, please believe that I'm not on here to put anybody down who has gone through something like this!  I absolutely feel for you if that is the case, and I am sorry if you feel like I've justified that actions of a program like that!

My intention was simply to shine some light on the good programs that are out there.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Ursus

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Re: I personally escaped this Cult
« Reply #35 on: December 13, 2011, 11:56:31 AM »
Quote from: "TC_Saved_Me"
Quote from: "Samara"
Is it a longitudinal study? Because lots of programees assert undying devotion until the brainwashing wears off.

And, my thing is, whether or not someone is sober doesn't justify extreme coercive, psychologically abusive programs that depend on chronic, trenchant degradation to bring about "change."  I also could not condone any program that doesn't recognize the emotional health of personal boundaries.  Sharing should be safe and voluntary.  Also, I do not believe you build someone by tearing them down first. That is BS. I've seen too many babies thrown out with the bathwater.  Last, I would not want my mental health tied into adherence to theocratic programming.
The study was done on 186 participants.  Six variables were used during the study:
1)  what proportion of the program participants were still drug free (urinalysis testing was conducted for all 186 participants.
2)  no legal involvements
3)  employed or pursuing education
4)  a part of a family unit
5)  participating in church activities
6)  physical and mental health.
The National Opinion Research Center of the University of Chicago developed the survey instrument, located survey participants, conducted the personal interviews, and obtained a urine sample to test for drugs. The National Medical Services, Inc., of Philadelphia, PA, conducted the drug screening detection for this population.
This study was conducted 7 years after the subject's involvment with Teen Challenge (I'm not sure how long it takes for "brainwashing" to wear off).  

I can say that I personally graduated from Teen Challenge in 2007, and have had quite the journey since I left the program.  From living/ working with my father to get back on my feet.  To living in a place, by myself, where I was living off of Raman Noodles because I was so broke.  6 years later, I have a wife and two daughters, am active in my church, and have a great job working for the Army!

I agree with you that a person's sobriety "doesn't justify extreme coercive, psychologically abusive programs that depend on chronic, trenchant degradation to bring about 'change.'"  No arguments there.  
"I also could not condone any program that doesn't recognize the emotional health of personal boundaries.  Sharing should be safe and voluntary."  I agree with you here also.  No arguments.

I really only tend to disagree with this part: "I do not believe you build someone by tearing them down first."  Just speaking from my own personal experience, I would say that this is exactly what I needed - though Teen Challenge does not do this on an emotional or physical level (moreso on a spiritual level).  I came into this program thinking that I was hot stuff!  I could turn a broke DVD into 50 bucks if you gave me a few hours!  The rules that I was expected to follow in Teen Challenge were total crap, and I was above them!  It eventually broke me down - on a spiritual level - and humbled me to the point where I finally began to acknowledge that I needed help for my addictions.  This was what eventually led me to change.

Let me ask you a question... Do you think that military bootcamp is abusive?  Emotionally, physically, or spiritually?  Do you think that our soldiers leave their training "Brainwashed?"

I'm asking this for a reason.  I am former military, and went through Teen Challenge with several guys who used to be enlisted, and it seemed like the guys who were ex-military had an easier time adjusting to the rules and the structure of Teen Challenge.  We may have fought the system at first, but we oftentimes were a little quicker to turn that corner and start doing what was required of us in this program.  Once you start to go with the curriculum, and follow the rules, the program is actually a walk in the park!


I'm trying to figure out why you talked about someone's mental health being tied into the adherence to theocratic programming..??  I guess I'd have to agree with you there also.  There are mental (often times neuro) problems, then there are spiritual problems.  Theology and mental health are seperate things, and should stay as such.  No arguments here.
Sounds to me like y'all were pre-programmed, bro! There are more than a few similarities between military programming and the indoctrination and behavior modification of folks who are struggling with addiction issues or whose behavior is deemed unacceptable by the status quo... :D
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Offline none-ya

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Re: I personally escaped this Cult
« Reply #36 on: December 13, 2011, 12:35:25 PM »
.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2011, 01:43:45 PM by none-ya »
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Offline cmack

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Re: I personally escaped this Cult
« Reply #37 on: December 13, 2011, 12:39:19 PM »
Quote from: "TC_Saved_Me"
Quote from: "Samara"
Is it a longitudinal study? Because lots of programees assert undying devotion until the brainwashing wears off.

And, my thing is, whether or not someone is sober doesn't justify extreme coercive, psychologically abusive programs that depend on chronic, trenchant degradation to bring about "change."  I also could not condone any program that doesn't recognize the emotional health of personal boundaries.  Sharing should be safe and voluntary.  Also, I do not believe you build someone by tearing them down first. That is BS. I've seen too many babies thrown out with the bathwater.  Last, I would not want my mental health tied into adherence to theocratic programming.

The study was done on 186 participants.  Six variables were used during the study:
1)  what proportion of the program participants were still drug free (urinalysis testing was conducted for all 186 participants.
2)  no legal involvements
3)  employed or pursuing education
4)  a part of a family unit
5)  participating in church activities
6)  physical and mental health.
The National Opinion Research Center of the University of Chicago developed the survey instrument, located survey participants, conducted the personal interviews, and obtained a urine sample to test for drugs. The National Medical Services, Inc., of Philadelphia, PA, conducted the drug screening detection for this population.
This study was conducted 7 years after the subject's involvment with Teen Challenge (I'm not sure how long it takes for "brainwashing" to wear off).  

I can say that I personally graduated from Teen Challenge in 2007, and have had quite the journey since I left the program.  From living/ working with my father to get back on my feet.  To living in a place, by myself, where I was living off of Raman Noodles because I was so broke.  6 years later, I have a wife and two daughters, am active in my church, and have a great job working for the Army!

I agree with you that a person's sobriety "doesn't justify extreme coercive, psychologically abusive programs that depend on chronic, trenchant degradation to bring about 'change.'"  No arguments there.  
"I also could not condone any program that doesn't recognize the emotional health of personal boundaries.  Sharing should be safe and voluntary."  I agree with you here also.  No arguments.

I really only tend to disagree with this part: "I do not believe you build someone by tearing them down first."  Just speaking from my own personal experience, I would say that this is exactly what I needed - though Teen Challenge does not do this on an emotional or physical level (moreso on a spiritual level).  I came into this program thinking that I was hot stuff!  I could turn a broke DVD into 50 bucks if you gave me a few hours!  The rules that I was expected to follow in Teen Challenge were total crap, and I was above them!  It eventually broke me down - on a spiritual level - and humbled me to the point where I finally began to acknowledge that I needed help for my addictions.  This was what eventually led me to change.

Let me ask you a question... Do you think that military bootcamp is abusive?  Emotionally, physically, or spiritually?  Do you think that our soldiers leave their training "Brainwashed?"

I'm asking this for a reason.  I am former military, and went through Teen Challenge with several guys who used to be enlisted, and it seemed like the guys who were ex-military had an easier time adjusting to the rules and the structure of Teen Challenge.  We may have fought the system at first, but we oftentimes were a little quicker to turn that corner and start doing what was required of us in this program.  Once you start to go with the curriculum, and follow the rules, the program is actually a walk in the park!

I'm trying to figure out why you talked about someone's mental health being tied into the adherence to theocratic programming..??  I guess I'd have to agree with you there also.  There are mental (often times neuro) problems, then there are spiritual problems.  Theology and mental health are seperate things, and should stay as such.  No arguments here.

Military indoctrination does not rise to the level of being cultic. There are certainly elements of coercive persuasion/thought reform which take place, especially in boot camp. And some segments of the military engage in this more than others, for instance Ranger School. But I don't think most military training rises to the level of brainwashing.

How the United States Marine Corps Differs from Cults
http://www.rickross.com/reference/brain ... hing2.html

The Process of Brainwashing, Psychological Coercion, and Thought Reform
http://www.rickross.com/reference/cults ... idst2.html

Coercive Persuasion and Attitude Change
http://www.rickross.com/reference/brain ... hing8.html

Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism
http://www.rickross.com/reference/brain ... ing19.html
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline cmack

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Re: I personally escaped this Cult
« Reply #38 on: December 13, 2011, 12:53:13 PM »
Quote from: "TC_Saved_Me"
Quote from: "cmack"
Quote from: "TC_Saved_Me"

What is "The Seed?"

http://www.thesunmagazine.org/issues/373/the_seed

http://www.insidersview.info/theseed.htm

Quote
http://www.thesunmagazine.org/issues/373/the_seed

http://www.insidersview.info/theseed.htm

The Seed was a controversial youth drug-rehabilitation program that flourished in south Florida when I was a teen in the early 1970s. Founded by former comedian and recovering alcoholic Art Barker, it was modeled after adult treatment programs and administered by unlicensed staff. The Seed utilized coercive techniques such as aggressive confrontation, intimidation, verbal abuse, sleep deprivation, and restricted access to the bathroom to tear down a teen’s sense of self and replace it with the ready-made identity of a “Seedling.”

The Seed was highly publicized, and the attention eventually proved destructive to the program. In 1974 the U.S. Senate published a study that accused the Seed of using methods similar to North Korean communist brainwashing techniques. The bad press, in conjunction with legal pressure from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the drying up of federal funds, forced the Seed to scale back its operations dramatically. By the 1980s it had shrunk to a fraction of its former size and was officially admitting only voluntary clients. The Seed endured in this diminished capacity until it finally closed in 2001.

Today hundreds of similar programs are in operation throughout the United States and abroad. Some are even run by former Seed staffers. By most accounts, these programs are much harsher than the Seed.

Oh my goodness!  That sounds like something out of a movie!  Well, I can certainly see how a program like this would really mess somebody up!  That's a horrible story, and any place like this should be shut down, and the leadership should be tried for child abuse!

I'm starting to wonder if there is some other program out there that's called Teen Challenge that I'm not aware of because this is NOTHING like the adult program that changed my life!  This "Seed" program sounds completely reprehensible!   Please, please, please believe that I'm not on here to put anybody down who has gone through something like this!  I absolutely feel for you if that is the case, and I am sorry if you feel like I've justified that actions of a program like that!

My intention was simply to shine some light on the good programs that are out there.

The story I linked to above is not my story.

I've read all of your posts with much interest. I sincerely appreciate you posting on fornits. I know that you have received some heat here, and now I'm sure you can understand how some can come to view all programs and program supporters with contempt.

I don't think TC is among the more abusive programs. I think people have a fairly good idea of what they're getting into when they enter, and adult programs by their very nature are different than programs for minors. I have read of accounts of teen TC centers that certainly seemed more abusive than anything you've described.

I hope you stay involved here on fornits and learn more about the industry in general. I believe you when you say that TC helped you and that you found redemption through faith. I only hope you're not too quick to suggest a similar program for your neighbor's 14 year old when he's caught smoking pot or drinking a beer.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline TC_Saved_Me

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Re: I personally escaped this Cult
« Reply #39 on: December 13, 2011, 01:39:55 PM »
Quote from: "cmack"
I hope you stay involved here on fornits and learn more about the industry in general. I believe you when you say that TC helped you and that you found redemption through faith. I only hope you're not too quick to suggest a similar program for your neighbor's 14 year old when he's caught smoking pot or drinking a beer.

Admittedly, I have been.  But the more that I've been reading, the more skeptic I've become, and will certainly urge anyone thinking of joining a program like this to do some serious research before making a decision.

I know that one of the TC Induction Centers that I was in had an outreach program for teenagers.  We weren't involved in the program, as students, but I did see our staff members interacting with the program.  I don't think this program was quite like what's being described in here either.

Thanks for being mature about this.  I have honestly gotten some good things out of these discussions - though some of the comments I've had to disregard    ;)

Teen Challenge, to my knowledge does not require staff members and counselors to get any kind of certification or professional training before getting this kind of responsibility.  I used to think this was what seperated them, and made them a stronger program (drug addicts can relate with former drug addicts and are more willing to open up to people who have been through what they are going through instead of some counselor who just got some social services degree).

But now I truely think that all of these staff members should be required to meet certain criteria before playing the role of a counselor in a Teen Challenge or any other drug rehab.  They should be properly trained and educated.  I still think that I would have opened up alot less to my counselors had they not dealt with similar struggles (most of them have criminal records like myself), so I think any regulations about that sort of thing should be overlooked - unless of course someone is a convicted sex offender or even someone convicted of a physical assualt charge of any kind (that could help to prevent the kind of abusive behavior that might take place at these sort of centers).
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline none-ya

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Re: I personally escaped this Cult
« Reply #40 on: December 13, 2011, 01:42:15 PM »
Quote from: "none-ya"
TC_Saved_Me wrote;
Do you think that military bootcamp is abusive?


Why not ask that question to the families of the kids who died there.


Quote
what is the seed?


If you've never heard of the seed that's understandable.It was closed down a along time ago. But how about straight inc.?
How about WWASP? And how about everybody's favorite (at least here),Elan? Sorry folks if I left out your program,but you get the point. But please don't take my word for this.You need to do some research.You'll see how all these programs all decended from cold war interogation technics by the military, to Synanon, to the seed and then everywhere else.



Quote
I came into this program thinking that I was hot stuff!



I don't think much has changed on that front.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Offline psy

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Re: I personally escaped this Cult
« Reply #41 on: December 13, 2011, 01:44:04 PM »
Quote from: "Ursus"
There are more than a few similarities between military programming and the indoctrination and behavior modification of folks who are struggling with addiction issues or whose behavior is deemed unacceptable by the status quo... :D
Very true, but those who enter the military usually know full well what they're getting into.  There is informed consent. They know the're gonna get made into a new person.  That's the whole reason many go.  They don't like the way they are and want some discipline, even if it comes at the cost of some individuality.  Even those who don't go into the military for this reason know it to be a side effect.  Few have any choice when they enter a program and even fewer have full knowledge of how they will be changed. They know there will be an effort to change them, just not how, and because they don't know how, they're not able to resist effectively.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Benchmark Young Adult School - bad place [archive.org link]
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Offline TC_Saved_Me

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Re: I personally escaped this Cult
« Reply #42 on: December 13, 2011, 01:51:03 PM »
Quote from: "psy"
Quote from: "Ursus"
There are more than a few similarities between military programming and the indoctrination and behavior modification of folks who are struggling with addiction issues or whose behavior is deemed unacceptable by the status quo... :D
Very true, but those who enter the military usually know full well what they're getting into.  There is informed consent. They know the're gonna get made into a new person.  That's the whole reason many go.  They don't like the way they are and want some discipline, even if it comes at the cost of some individuality.  Even those who don't go into the military for this reason know it to be a side effect.  Few have any choice when they enter a program and even fewer have full knowledge of how they will be changed. They know there will be an effort to change them, just not how, and because they don't know how, they're not able to resist effectively.

That's true.  I didn't quite expect such a strict and structured environment when I went into Teen Challenge.  But doesn't the fact that I could leave the program at any time - without any repurcussions - kind of absorb that a little bit?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline TC_Saved_Me

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Re: I personally escaped this Cult
« Reply #43 on: December 13, 2011, 01:53:33 PM »
Quote from: "none-ya"
Quote from: "none-ya"
TC_Saved_Me wrote;
Do you think that military bootcamp is abusive?


Why not ask that question to the families of the kids who died there.


Quote
what is the seed?


If you've never heard of the seed that's understandable.It was closed down a along time ago. But how about straight inc.?
How about WWASP? And how about everybody's favorite (at least here),Elan? Sorry folks if I left out your program,but you get the point. But please don't take my word for this.You need to do some research.You'll see how all these programs all decended from cold war interogation technics by the military, to Synanon, to the seed and then everywhere else.



Quote
I came into this program thinking that I was hot stuff!



I don't think much has changed on that front.

touche'   ::poke::
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline psy

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Re: I personally escaped this Cult
« Reply #44 on: December 13, 2011, 02:04:18 PM »
Quote from: "TC_Saved_Me"
Quote from: "psy"
Quote from: "Ursus"
There are more than a few similarities between military programming and the indoctrination and behavior modification of folks who are struggling with addiction issues or whose behavior is deemed unacceptable by the status quo... :D
Very true, but those who enter the military usually know full well what they're getting into.  There is informed consent. They know the're gonna get made into a new person.  That's the whole reason many go.  They don't like the way they are and want some discipline, even if it comes at the cost of some individuality.  Even those who don't go into the military for this reason know it to be a side effect.  Few have any choice when they enter a program and even fewer have full knowledge of how they will be changed. They know there will be an effort to change them, just not how, and because they don't know how, they're not able to resist effectively.

That's true.  I didn't quite expect such a strict and structured environment when I went into Teen Challenge.  But doesn't the fact that I could leave the program at any time - without any repurcussions - kind of absorb that a little bit?
True, it's better than most if you can truly do that without any repercussions, but some groups have very manipulative ways of keeping people in the group without brute force.  The simplest way is usually to convince the person that they're not ready to leave, and if they leave without the group's approval, there is a high risk they'll die / end up in jail / end up insane / go to hell / cause the apocalypse / whatever.  That's hardly the only way either.  Why is it you think that so many people stay in destructive cults and cult-like groups even when they're "technically" able to walk out the door? I'm not saying that's the case with you, but as you've pointed out, Teen Challenge was not as you expected.  I'd recommend picking up a book like Margaret Singer's "Cults in Our Midst" and coming to your own determination as to whether or not it would fit the criteria outlined.  Also, it's my understanding Teen Challenge is not totally open about the fact that conversion to Christianity is an absolute requirement for graduation.  Is that still accurate?
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