Author Topic: Into the Belly of the Beast, the Comparison  (Read 13274 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Che Gookin

  • Global Moderator
  • Newbie
  • *****
  • Posts: 4241
  • Karma: +11/-3
    • View Profile
Re: Into the Belly of the Beast, the Comparison
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2013, 01:03:52 PM »
So there were no levels or stages for the students but there were stages for staff?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Muppeteer

  • Guest
Re: Into the Belly of the Beast, the Comparison
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2013, 01:34:34 PM »
Quote from: "Che Gookin"
So there were no levels or stages for the students but there were stages for staff?


Not sure which program you are asking about, but in terms of Elan, the dichotomy I posted upstream in this thread was for the students.

The staff consisted of a few different positions. There was "staff," usually a new hire, as there was plenty of turnover. When I was in Maine, Clare Woodman joined as "staff." Each house (there were four houses in my time, 3, 5, 7 & 8 ) generally had two staff. Each house also had one or two "assistant-directors" as well as a "director."

Adjunct employees also included the nurse, a residential director (Fr. Robert Allanach during my stint, who also served as Ricci's campaign manager when he ran for Governor in 1986), and a staff psycologist who saw kids from all the houses. There were also plenty of support staff (Sharon Terry was the "annex lady"  ((where we could obtain sundries, cig's and soda's)) and she was also Joe's secretary when I was there), a comptroller, a headmaster for the school, and a cadre of teachers for the nightly school sessions.

As many have already reported, Dr. Davidson was personna non grata most of the time. And thankfully, since Ricci was running for Governor at the time I was there, he also had limited involvement in the day-to-day.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Che Gookin

  • Global Moderator
  • Newbie
  • *****
  • Posts: 4241
  • Karma: +11/-3
    • View Profile
Re: Into the Belly of the Beast, the Comparison
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2013, 01:36:20 PM »
Ahh ok, was a bit confused by the way you answered Psy's question about Elan's stage system.

For the detainees/students... how were stage advancements decided?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Muppeteer

  • Guest
Re: Into the Belly of the Beast, the Comparison
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2013, 01:46:20 PM »
That is an interesting question (how did you advance as a detainee/student in Elan?), because much of the decision making in that regard was not ever made really clear to the detainees/students.

In essence, if you abided by the program rules, you advanced. If you resisted (or were percieved to be resisting) or became blatently violent, you did not advance, or would get "shot-down" for a period of time and have to work your way back up the dichotomy.

There were rewards that came with each advance, generally speaking, a higher allotment of cigarettes and soda, as well as more opportunities to leave campus to see a film, go bike riding, etc. Many trips were to the mall.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Matt C. Hoffman

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 363
  • Karma: +8/-1
    • View Profile
Re: Into the Belly of the Beast, the Comparison
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2013, 07:48:52 PM »
Cool Muppeteer and thank you for your earlier kind words, and  I thank you for speaking about  Elan during your time. It is neat to get a comparison and contrasting of the Elan program and how it modified  yet still achieved the same means, ten years later from my time.

Your discription of the dicotomy is fairly accurate - Chief expeditor was above the Shingle during my time. We had a senior Co-Ordinator as the top position in the house ,then the  full Co-Ordinators and of course the co-ordinator trainees. Guru and Jr Guru.

Haircuts could be given in any room of the house. There were also large Haircuts called the Round Robin.  

Mary O'Brien from my time has a very accurate drawing in her book titled,  My Imagination and Art  Sustained Me, concerning one that she and Jennifer Stamler received in the dining room together, they were back to back and about 25 plus people participated  ( all her drawings in her book are like pictures from many incidents that I witnessed  and remember, at least for me her drawings area treasure and are incrediblly accurate and are really cool. Her drawings are the only real pictures of elan during my time, except for the one group photo that most have from that time ) .

The full expeditor could give blasts to the expeditor trainee. Expeditor Trainees were constantly getting blasted, and to the point that they were put into a mental  state called spinning. Rushing ,running ,carreening off the walls to get those headcounts.

The same thing ,spinning could happen to residents that were shotdown, provided they had a  P.O. that were told to blast them every few minutes , some people had 2 P.O.s so they blasted in a tag team fashion. Po's were people whose only job was to follow you around 24-7   either to make your life hell  if you were shotdown or to keep an eye on you so you wouldn't split or commit suicide. Elan was insane during my time.

No one during my time got a job in Elan unless they had graduated that paid minimum wage. Muppeteer  your description of people working in the Poland Spring house #3 's kitchen for minimum wage was interesting.  

Joe Ricci created a position called re-entry staff in 1976, you got paid a stipend of 20 dollars every two weeks . Your parents were still shelling out the $1200 a month as it was back then until you graduated . Re-entry staff were still in the program, until they graduated, they still lived on the property with other folks that were in re-entry. I will expound on this  later if needed re-entry Staff were not like the paid employees -like regular Staff, Assistant Directors and of course the Directors.

I wonder what Elan was charging in 1986?

That was the ditcotomy of Staff . Staff , Assistant Directors and directors . All graduates that were tapped to be employees started out as Staff. If it was a good match( lol) then they proceeded  to become  Assistant directors, this could happen with in  4 months to 8  months of a graduate beginning to work  as an Elan Employee.

I always had respect for the staff that left and there was one person who became an assistant director and in less than 3 months he quit. It was surreal people you knew graduated and became staff anf then became assistant directors. One such fellow signed my diploma. Elan was crazy , you knew things that they had gotten general meeting for and they were now working as paid employees - some things were quite sick.

The staff  let us know that they got to go home and we didn't, amongst other things- lol.

Again Muppeteer thank you for what you have been contributing to this thread. I don't mean to step on your posts, I am simply writing about the Elan that I know and knew. I would like to get into what the groups were like  individually , you spoke that the Primal scream was still in use only at specific houses? I thought they had  gone by 1978, intersting. I called them the voodoo doodoo primal scream groups - will get into that later if anyone is interested.

Encounter groups could be like little general meetings - will expound on them also . Muppeteer did you have the sensitivity groups, that was the only decent group in my opinion ?

Psy there was no aftercare program when I was there.

edited for spelling and clarity ,may have to edit again I am a very bad speller.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 12:33:09 AM by Matt C. Hoffman »

Offline Che Gookin

  • Global Moderator
  • Newbie
  • *****
  • Posts: 4241
  • Karma: +11/-3
    • View Profile
Re: Into the Belly of the Beast, the Comparison
« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2013, 10:06:12 PM »
It's fascinating getting a generational perspective of Elan.  We've done something similiar in the past but never quite as detailed as this thread.

viewtopic.php?f=52&t=22295&start=0

Nimda used to be my old account, got a little too liquored up and depressed one night and predictable pathetic hilarity followed, this isn't the place to go into that story though.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Matt C. Hoffman

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 363
  • Karma: +8/-1
    • View Profile
Re: Into the Belly of the Beast, the Comparison
« Reply #21 on: May 25, 2013, 12:41:41 AM »
Interesting to read this  link Che - I was not reading  fornits when this topic was going on and alas did not see this topic until now.  

Thank you for posting it.

WTF2 was in the program with me,  she wrote the truth. no doubt about that.

Those were some insanely sick times in Poland Springs , she saw the evilness (that was Elan), and she knows the truth.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Che Gookin

  • Global Moderator
  • Newbie
  • *****
  • Posts: 4241
  • Karma: +11/-3
    • View Profile
Re: Into the Belly of the Beast, the Comparison
« Reply #22 on: May 25, 2013, 01:19:56 AM »
What prompted the change from the ultra-violent 70s to the less violent yet more creepy cedu-esque 80s?

Do you think this played a long term role in the eventual closure of Elan?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Matt C. Hoffman

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 363
  • Karma: +8/-1
    • View Profile
Re: Into the Belly of the Beast, the Comparison
« Reply #23 on: May 25, 2013, 08:45:13 AM »
They certainly knew that what they were doing in 1974 was illeagal or Joe Ricci and the directors wouldn't have tried to control what state inspectors were allowed to see by hiding what was going on inside the walls. Ken Zaretzky said it best ,he was an assistant director -now dead - Kenneth said " we lied thru our teeth " in referece to the state of Illinois and other state inspections.

The directors certainly didn't hide the violence or insanity because they were embarrassed,I actually believe they seriously enjoyed what they were doing,  by what they were having children and adults to do to each other . And as a resident you knew from " learning from iothers mistakes" -lol- that you were never allowed to speak to state inspectors about the horros that the directors were putting us thru.

good Question Che - I think it is possible that because elan was growing so fast during my time , maybe 110 residents in the existing two houses at the time I arrived . 50 to 55 in Elan 2 -located in Waterford ,Me. Asnd at Elan 3 in Poland Springs about 55 people when I got there in July of 74 that by January the population had more than doubled in less than 6 months. The violence was a way to control us and give us something to do. For the directors it was in my opinion it was a sick form of entertainment.  People were splitting and they had to instill the fear into us as to what happened to those that split and subsequently got caught- though people were desperate and still knowing what could await them split quite often.

Some residents had   prison hanging over their heads and I remember one person telling Gottlieb during one general meeting that he wopuld rather be in prison when he was asked if he wanted to go to prison, Gottlieb left the gm briefly  and  then came back and then told the fellow you should be careful for what you wish for and he cashed his prison ticket for him .The resident  was probably better off for this. Though his general meeting got seriously sick with graphic descriptions of prison rape and as the  homophobia of the directors was off the charts  as they really seemed to get into what could happen to a young adult in prison.

The directors were obcessed with all things realted to homosexual behavour, in the most negative fashion - mockery -shaming -and this is what will -not could but will happen to you in prison. and then the old question does any one else want to go to prison instead of being here in Elan. Elan  was insane, and the employees  were homophobic freaks. making kids sing the vasilene song - insane. Thank god that hell holes past caught up with it.

I think too that on down the road they reaslized that eventually if they didn't change that it would be closed down therefore from knowing this - And under doctor Davivsons guidance and Ricci lack of involvement they more than likely fine tuned the program over to where they knew the what would still achieve the means or out comes  thay were getting from being so violent.  

I think they went from being extremly violent in the 70s and were finding their way back to the middle the median of the stick - I don't believe the pendulm ever  sung so far to where it was ever a fun placve to be. they were learning about mob mentality -and human behavour -and certainly how far you could push certain types of personalities until they snapped or broke down.  

The directors had no formal training -schooling in the ways and means of basic human behavour - they were common thugs -con men -ex junkies or serioult sick sociopaths- I think Elan in the beginning for these cretins that helped Joe Ricci get fraudulently wealthy were getting on the job training in the sickest psychiological way possible -as a result there are many from my time that eventually committed suicide.

I don't think Elan closed because it became less violent -no one in the public eye (except for the ones in the Maine state government that aided and abetted Ricci in his fraudulent sham of a Residential treatment center ) knew just what the hell was going on in there .

Elan made sure that you knew before you left   that the abuse you received and witnessed was good for you , thru their public speaking program ,where residents went into the schools and community and gave speaking engagements. These were practiced in the house and you bet were highly cwnsored as to what you were allowed to talk about . Phrase that the public wouldn't understand therefore you should say this instead . The cult of Elan got you coming and going -

I think the past of Elan thru this wonderful thing we know as the internet was instrumental in the closing of Elan. Its skeletons that it aquired over the years finally caught up with it. II think that if what Elan did as far as brutaally abusing people and the superior job they did at getting the formerly abused residents to believe that they needed this insane abuse and were in fact better for this abuse -that elan would have been exposed many years earlier. And of course the residents that committed suicide certainly elan didn't caqre about them -they were just the expected collateral damage that Elan just wrote off as not my problem - and then play the blame the victim game -they weren't going to make it any way.

Elan back in my time- you could get in trouble -serious trouble if you spoke badly -"bad mouthed the program" - something you were taught from day one -and you could get dealt with rather harshly for this behavour. Elan left an indelible mark on our minds and a lot of us didn't wake up to what happened to us until 20 or so years after the fact, and then the truth that elan was the big lie and that the abuse we went thru was not good for us, in fact quite the opposite was/ is true.

We were treated like animals, call the house into the dining room and Tom Blanchard  ( drugged to the point that he would stand motionless in one spot ) would just start to drool.  

Elan I feel and think always reserved the right to come out sick on the  residents of the later years and I am sure there are incidents of this as to the fact that Muppeter wrote that they did se the ring in 86 though maybe 3 times in their  stay where many of us from my time saw it  close to 100 plus times or even more than likely  experienced it  during our stay  either for the house or going in the ring against the house.

Just like those ESPN missmatched early televised fights ,you always went in the ring against some one bigger than you when you went in against the house. and this could happen repeatedly in 4 or 5 rounds until the directors felt you understood your helpless situation.

Elan was a one size fits all program no regard to individuality and the employees  had many brutal tools of compliance to make you fit into it's cult based program. And you can believe some of us tried to get with the program as fast as we could, though nothing you did in Elan was ever good enough.

"the more that you give the more they  will take until you reach that fine line where you really can't fake - fire -fire on the mountain"
« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 09:18:05 AM by Matt C. Hoffman »

Muppeteer

  • Guest
Re: Into the Belly of the Beast, the Comparison
« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2013, 09:11:17 AM »
Well, good morning all, but especially to the folks posting in the nice little thread we got here.

Matt, you are not stepping on my posts at all. And I hope you don't perceive me to be stepping on yours, either :) I have much interest in this evolution at Elan (evil-loution? Lol)

We "spun" folks as well, especially in the high-stress expeditor branch of the dichotomy. I don't recall "P.O." per se, but it sounds similar to what I would call "S.P." or "support person" in my time. Essentially, you were assigned to watch another detainee, who was usually in the corner (and thus also "shot down") for some real or imagined offense, and make sure they didn't try to hurt themselves or anyone else. You were also encouraged, as an S.P. to try to talk to the person you were watching and try to get them to calm down/capitulate.

The dichotomy I posted, as I mentioned, was from memory, and I think the corrections you have made would apply to my time as well.

Re-entry, by the time I was there, was less a "staff" position than it was a position where you had more freedom to re-adjust to the outside world. One thing, however, was still the same, they were continuing to groom "staff" from the re-entry ranks. That is why I chose to work in the kitchen, heh. One of my peers from Elan 5 (I was in 8), actually got to do re-entry at home (in the mid-atlantic). Haha. She never came back for her "graduation."

We still haven't touched on parent groups and a host of other stuff we probably need to get to, and last night I was trying to go over the daily and weekly schedules in my head, they were pretty much the same as you have described earlier, but there are still a few missing blocks of time in my mind.

We also should talk about the house departments and their roles in the system, briefly, Cleaning Crew, Kitchen Crew, Broadcasting/Communications, and the Business Office. These departments existed in each individual house. Each department also had a ranking, akin to the ranking of suits in a deck of cards.

Che, I will offer some insight and speculation on why things began to change at Elan, as soon as I have a bit more time this weekend.

I also realize I have been answering but not asking a whole lot here. But I do have questions. Many, in fact, and I will get to some of those as we go, but for now, let me just toss one out there...

For you guys who went through the propheets in CEDU, or other programs, I'd like you to help me flesh out the "dreams" propheet. I have read the wiki on it and I see it kind of drops off there. I remember the can, the Jaws music, the guided imagery, and, very vaguely recall the slip of paper in the can. It seems to me the "Dreams" propheet was an exercise in guided imagery, followed by a "suggestion" which was represented by the piece of paper in the can. Does that ring true for you guys?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Matt C. Hoffman

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 363
  • Karma: +8/-1
    • View Profile
Re: Into the Belly of the Beast, the Comparison
« Reply #25 on: May 25, 2013, 09:57:43 AM »
Absolutely Muppeteer the re-entry phase was the when residents, during my time of course-lol- had to go into the community and find a job , learn how to integrate back into society . Get a girlfriend -it was said to me that you wouldn't graduate until you had fufilled those requirements .you still slept in the dorms , you were considered strength - and pretty much left alone by the isanity of the house - unless they were called upon to run a group.

Usually they got a car ride into Lewiston to get to work .  they were not staff and I never looked at them as staff. Staff were paid - Muppeteer who was the director of your houses. Was Kruglik (chief Marty ) still there - Was Rosenburg an assistant director then - he was a resident at 6 he taught me the game spades.

Yes the cleaning crew was our service crew - cleaned all the common areas of the house.  and I am familar with the Kitchen crew as having also been in that Dept.  Most new residents were placed on the service crew during their "orientation " Ha I remembered yes new residents went thru the "orientation" process which is what I described "up stream" in this topic as to the learning of the rules of Elan .

co-ordinator
dept Head
ramrod
worker

I never heard of the Propheets or ? joe Ricc was fairly active during my first few months he would give these things as well as the directors and assistant directors called "seminars " during one Joe talked alot about his time in Daytop - and how horrible it was - shaving of heads - people wearing diapers , signs He also said that his Elan was going to be better than Dasytop - not as harsh - Ironically shortly after this people were made to wear signs , costumes ,one was made to wear a diaper - hair was actually cut -though heads were not shaved during general meetings .

I actually think Joe Ricci's program became much more brutal that what he experienced and talked about during his time at Day Top.

From that seminar of joe Ricci 's about a week after I got there -there is no doubt in my mind that he based  his program from his experience at Daytop- he threw in a few twists to make it his own - I guess he was worried that Daytop or Synanon would sue him for copy right laws -(lol) sorry small joke -  and Davidson did what ever Ricci wanted. I don't think Davidson had much input on Ricci's Elan he simply supplied the credentials that Ricci needed to make his RTC legal in the eyes of licensing for the state of Maine. Davidson maybe gave parents a sense of ligitimacy when they saw a Harvard trained doctor on board as a founder, who knows - one thing true for his lack of consuling of the residents he collected a nice paycheck.

Yes I agree this is a very good topic and thread it is nice to speak openly and freely w/o having your head chopped off Elan style.

Che was 3 Springs a " wilderness program" ? What does that mean actually ? how long was the average stay and what did your "detainees have to accomplish to be able to leave. where did most of them go when they left?  Average age ?  court ordered or private placement.  

Propheets- have no idea what model or style of program thought .Wasserman? Est ? curious what was it.

Thanks again Muppeteer for contributing to this disection of Elan. The mutal respect is accomplishing a lot on this thread.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline lifeboat

  • Posts: 31
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Into the Belly of the Beast, the Comparison
« Reply #26 on: May 25, 2013, 10:31:31 AM »
Quote from: "Matt C. Hoffman"

Propheets- have no idea what model or style of program thought .Wasserman? Est ? curious what was it.



http://wiki.fornits.com/index.php/Propheets_%28CEDU%29

Propheets was the name for the Large Group Awareness Training seminars used at CEDU. A propheet was a 24 hour workshop. It was named after Khalil Ghbiran's "The Prophet". Passages from the prophet are read at one point in each propheet.

Propheets

The Truth propheet
The Childrens propheet
The Brothers Keeper propheet
The Dreams propheet
The I Want to Live propheet
The Values propheet
The Imagine propheet

Workshops

I & ME workshop
The summit workshop

During the Wasserman years, there were 7 propheets and two workshops. The propheets employed sleep-deprivation, humiliation, occasional exposure to large variations in temperature, guided imagery, loud and repetitive music, regression therapy, bizarre ritual, and forced emoting. This normally resulted in a feeling of euphoria and exhaustion after the experience. Certain propheets actually caused students to temporarily lose their voice.

Propheets contained exercises which used metaphor to convey their message. Each propheet, with the exception of the last one, also consisted of disclosures and a lengthy rap (see below) where everyone in the room was spoken to. The students are "allowed" what appears on the surface to be a one hour nap the next day. However, staff walk amongst the kids as they try to fall asleep on the floor, and when they notice that the last one has fallen asleep, they wake up the students and tell them that the hour nap is over. After you complete a propheet, you are sworn to secrecy. However, you are allowed to speak to students who have already been through the experience.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline mbnh31782

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 187
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • http://www.perverted-justice.com
Re: Into the Belly of the Beast, the Comparison
« Reply #27 on: May 26, 2013, 01:38:09 PM »
Downloaded a book that was a rare glimpse into what happens in a CEDU facility, in particular i think its been narrowed to rocky mountain academy.  Names had been changed etc.  the name of the book is "the discarded ones" by james tipper. fascinating read and really gives insight as to the fuckuppery of these places.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline lifeboat

  • Posts: 31
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Into the Belly of the Beast, the Comparison
« Reply #28 on: May 26, 2013, 10:11:21 PM »
Caroline the Wolf  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ga0nQpXa61w was my Voyageur family head and I will not be reading The Discarded Ones.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Che Gookin

  • Global Moderator
  • Newbie
  • *****
  • Posts: 4241
  • Karma: +11/-3
    • View Profile
Re: Into the Belly of the Beast, the Comparison
« Reply #29 on: May 27, 2013, 03:39:54 AM »
Christ... I know about her. Uggh. Sorry to hear you enjoyed her personal attention.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »