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Messages - wayeast

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Straight, Inc. and Derivatives / New "KIDS" Film: Over the GW
« on: December 06, 2006, 05:40:08 PM »
Is this old news, or has anybody heard about this film?  I'd never heard of it before today.

I definitely know what you're talking about with feeling unable to respond normally to people and filtering your emotions so you don't show anything inappropriate.

I was at straight for a relatively short time, and when I got out, my self-destructive behavior was that I ended up in a cult. For a good six months after I left Straight I couldn't think clearly. I felt like I was living somebody else's life, and I didn't trust my own instincts enough to make judgment calls.

When something would happen that required a response, I couldn't just respond like a normal human being. I'd suppress any emotion and try to figure out how I was "supposed" to feel or think.  My old friends were kind of freaked out by my odd behavior, and my new cult "friends" were also trained to suppress their instincts, so I was pretty isolated.

No bad drug trip could ever be worse than that numb, isolated feeling I'd get when other people would laugh at jokes, enjoy "druggie" music, or just shoot the bull, but I couldn't. It destroyed my self-confidence.

Here's how bad it got. Right after I left the second cult, when I took a lie-detector test for a job, I failed even though I was telling the truth.  The interviewer started asking questions like "have you ever stolen from an employer."  I hadn't, but my memory was working over-time because the question was put in such absolute terms.  "Have I EVER stolen from an employer?  Maybe I goofed off on the clock one day...that could be considered stealing...or maybe I took some plywood scraps home...or maybe I stole and I've forgotten I stole..."  The interviewer told me he "knew" that I was lying because I was controlling my breathing.  My heart rate would go up but my breathing would stay even; I didn't even know that I was doing it.  I'd learned to hide my external reactions, but inside, I was agonizing.  And even when this guy was accusing me of lying, I was more tied up with how I *should* respond than to defend myself like a normal human.

Man, those were dark days.

I appreciate all that Wes Fager has done to bring the issue of Straight's abuses to light, but I think his statement is completely ungrounded. We were abused at Straight, no way around it, but it wasn't ground-breaking abuse.

Straight does have a place on the darker side of history though, as a symptom of a much bigger problem. Personally, I think that the fear-mongering, anger-filled mania that infected the Straight parents was part of the same disease that eventually took over the Republican Party. They feared they were losing control, and they were willing to do and justify anything in order to get it back. Now those who dissent are seen as trouble-makers who must be ridiculed, humiliated, and intimidated until they shut up, sit up straight, and memorize the new rules.

Brat Camp / Fame undermines therapy in reality TV's 'Brat Camp'
« on: August 18, 2005, 08:30:00 PM »
I agree with you that Lexie got better treatment because of her more sympathetic trauma. It's odd the way they've grouped these kids together.  You've got street thugs next to abused kids next to kids with medical problems like Derek and the kid with dyslexia.  

One thing I find really interesting is that Jada, the one who they've labeled the "chronic liar" was the one kid who didn't accept the naming ceremony.  I know she's got serious problems, but why was she the one who said "I like my own name, thanks."

Antigen, were you talking about something in particular when you asked about the reaction of the kids to hearing they weren't going home?

nonconformistlaw: I hear you.

Brat Camp / Fame undermines therapy in reality TV's 'Brat Camp'
« on: August 18, 2005, 02:21:00 PM »
A lot of armchair supporters of Brat Camp like to point out that the kids gave permission for their experience to be shown on TV.  Bull. That fourteen-year-old was calling for his mother because he'd been left alone for three days in the wilderness (we won't comfort him, but we'll televize his pain). He is not old enough or mature enough to sign that kind of contract, and any parent who would sign it for him is not fit to be trusted with children.

Thanks for posting that USA Today editorial, Antigen. It's always kind of a relief to see someone else saying it in public.

I have no info on the "bathroom incident" because I left in '82, but Dave Tilley was the head honcho and Dennis Buttimer was executive staff, presumably reporting to Tilley.  So Tilley couldn't have come after Buttimer left.

Straight, Inc. and Derivatives / Dennis Buttimer Executive Staff Atlanta
« on: August 06, 2005, 07:12:00 PM »
.......I wonder if these guys ever think back on some of the stupid things they said and cringe.....

Anon: "No, they think it was great work they were doing, helping the druggie bastards, tough love, that sort of shit. They don't go around boasting of it because they think it would be "misunderstood" by the public, who don't know what bastards the little druggies were."

You know, I'm sure that outwardly, many of them do take comfort in their black-and-white "we were only trying to save them" bull.  But I just don't think you can be in a group like that, whether as a leader or as follower/sheep/victim without it creating some serious cognitive dissonance.  It has to have an effect.  I never got off first phase, but I can think of other groups I belonged to that I look back and think "man, I was an idiot."  

These men and women were thuggish extremists, but they were still human.  99.99% of us have consciences.

Antigen: what made the ex-staffer call you?

Straight, Inc. and Derivatives / Dennis Buttimer Executive Staff Atlanta
« on: August 04, 2005, 06:25:00 PM »
I thought at first that this might be his son, because he looks younger than I remember him looking in '82, but it has to be him.

He used to have a moustache.

I remember him coming into my intake right as they asked me how often I smoked pot. After I answered that it wasn't that often, he squatted down to where I was sitting, looked in my eyes, and yelled "BULLSH*T!" He said had  that pot smoke clouds the cornea, and based on his two-second look at mine, he knew that I was a pot chain-smoker.

I wonder if these guys ever think back on some of the stupid things they said and cringe.

Brat Camp / Official Site of Brat Camp
« on: July 27, 2005, 09:16:00 PM »
I have four (of many) questions for the parents of these nine troubled teens:

The show periodically flashes back to some ?spontaneous? acting out behavior of these kids at home.  Having encouraged kids to act out for the cameras, is it reasonable to expect them to ?deal with their issues honestly? in the program?

Having lied to your children to put them in a hardship situation ?for their own good,? do you think it is reasonable to expect them to trust you in the future?  

Having sent your kids to a nationally televised program in which they are labeled by their problems and branded with the name ?Brat,? is it reasonable to think that they will look back on this years from now and see this as a demonstration of your ?love? for them?

I have no doubt these kids will change their behaviors. If you are allowed to lie, intimidate, and manipulate people who have no recourse, they will eventually do what you want.  Let?s assume that they deep down even want to change: do you think the kids are going to trust any change that is pressed upon them this way?

The motivation behind airing this show is no more about ?helping? these kids than the show Cheaters is about building relationships.  If legally responsible adults are willing to humiliate themselves this way, that?s fine, but it shouldn?t be legal for parents to televise such personal issues on behalf of their children.

Straight, Inc. and Derivatives / Here comes Betty (Bowers)
« on: December 18, 2004, 11:26:00 AM »
When faced with life's tough decisions and moral quandaries, I always ask myself, "What Would Betty Bowers Do?"  Then when I'm done laughing, I lighten up and take my best shot.

Incidentally, if you like Betty, you might like

I don't know who made these sites, but I look forward to burning in hell with them. :grin:

Anonymous said:

"But being right doesn't justify UNNECESSARY CRUELTY."  ?WAYEAST

Excuse me? Are you implying that Richard's actions are "Cruel"?

I'm not implying it. I'm saying it outright. He took medical information of a most personal and humiliating nature and broadcast it on the Internet. The fact that we understand what motivated him to do so, and that we can sympathize with the anger Richard feels, doesn't change the fact that what he did was cruel.

How sorry do I feel for Sembler? I'm as aware as any of you what he is responsible for, and how he's been rewarded for his actions instead of punished. But after what I've seen, I refuse to start down the same path he took, justifying my own unacceptable actions in the name of a cause.

What happened in Straight, Kids, and other programs WAS and IS ILLEGAL.

The question should be: Why have they and continue to get away with this!


I know.  You've got about a hundred good reasons there to hate Sembler and everything he stands for. We all do.  It's nothing short of an ongoing outrage.  And I hope like hell some good comes of this situation, and it might.  

I can't get on the bandwagon, though, and defend something I think was a poor choice. If Richard was my closest friend,I'd be giving him hell over what he's done, and I'd be trying to talk him into taking a less self-destructive path.

I recognize mine isn't going to be a popular opinion, so take it for what it's worth.  Please keep in mind that I don't wish anything bad for any of you, including and especially Richard.

First, though, with regard to the pump, we're not talking about the kind of thing they might sell at a porn shop. I'm pretty sure this is a pump that is used only by men who've had their prostates completely removed.  This isn't something anyone could use for anything kinky.

Second, I agree: dumpster diving is not illegal. Neither, apparently, was what they did to all of us.  Doesn't make either one desirable or acceptable.

Third, I stand by my belief that the judge is not going to let Richard explain why he has been going after Sembler.  The case is about whether or not Richard harrassed Sembler (and possibly extorted him).  Just because the defense attorney wants to talk about something doesn't mean the judge will let him. Discovery has its limitations.  

Will there be media coverage? Apparently there will. Richard appears to have found a (sort of) sympathetic reporter at the SP Times.  Others may also get on the bandwagon, and if it does get the Straight story out again, I'll be happy for that aspect of the situation. That may or may not comfort Richard if he ends up broke and/or in jail.

I understand being angry to the point of rage that this kind of bull***t still is going on. I was eaten up about Straight for years, and trust me: I'll never be able to forget what happened to my family.

But being right doesn't justify unnecessary cruelty, no matter what happened in the past. Lose track of that, and you're on your way to becoming a monster just like Sembler.

I sincerely hope Richard finds his way out of this with his life intact.

I have to believe that most of you who are cheering the E-bay ad regarding Sembler's pump don't realize he got it because he's had prostate cancer.  If the documents published on the ISAC site are true, then the medical device was taken from his trash, and his very private medical information has been broacast on the internet.

Am I wrong that you don't know this? I haven't been paying close attention to the threads, but it seems like most are as in the dark about that as I was.

I could be happy seeing Sembler in jail, and it ticks me off royally that he's being routinely rewarded for his cruelty.  Still, having had my own dignity robbed from me by Straight, I can't celebrate when someone else's is taken from them. Even Sembler.  

Understandably, some may not be able to feel any compassion for our embassador to Italy.  Fair enough.  But do any of you really think, as the ISAC site said, that this is going to result in the story of Straight being told?  They're not going to allow Richard to tell WHY he's been stalking the Semblers. They're just going to ask him factual questions about what he's done to them.  Based on those answers, he may or may not lose the suit.  When it comes to this case, information about Straight is going to be beside the point.

This is going to do nothing to harm the Semblers, and everything to destroy the credibility of the people involved in the case.  Richard, what were you thinking?

Anon, I didn't call you Satan. I was joking about Satan having inspired you. He doesn't exist, so it's not much of an insult, but I shouldn't suggested you were in league with Tom Delay.

(Somebody asked who Delay is: he's second in charge of the Republicans in the House. He's responsible for several ongoing attempts by ultraconservatives within the Republican Party to seize absolute control of the party-- and the government of Texas. He's a religious right candidate who believes there should be no separation of church and state, and that the Bible should override the constitution.)

I realize looking back over this, that I over-reacted.  I tend to cut conservative Christians less slack these days, not because of their religious views, but because so many of them seem to believe they are called to push people of other faiths out of government. You didn't specifically state that view, though, and I shouldn't have let you have it with both barrels.

Regarding your study of the Bible, I may be mistaken. I had thought you believed in the inerrancy of the Bible.  If you don't believe that, I apologize for saying you haven't studied it.

BTW, where did the cowardice accusation come from?  I can see your the Biblical reference equating my verbal response with murder (bizarre though that is), but cowardice?  

For the record, I would defend your right to believe I'm going to hell, to tell me about it, and even to enjoy the thought of my being an eternal crispy critter.  I also defend your right to evangelize.  

But if I want to point out an area where I think you're way off base, then I will. I'm not promising to challenge you on every point you make, and it isn't my mission to prevent others from becoming Christians. But you don't get a free pass just because you think you're saying this stuff in the name of God.

"It doesn't really bother me that people write off the Bible, saying it cannot be inspired, or if they say things like no one can have any authoritative understanding about God. Because what is at work in such statements is usually fear."

Who's really afraid here, buddy?  Those of us who've actually read and studied the Bible or you?

"Anyone who is willing to die a martyr's death preaching that Jesus, the Messiah, rose from the dead has credibility in my book."

The Branch Davidians would LOVE you. They died martyrs' deaths, too. As did the Nike fans at Heaven's Gate, the inhabitants of Jonestown, the folks at Ruby Ridge, the 9/11 attackers, the Hamas suide bombers, the PLO, the and those gentle folks in Uganda a couple years ago.  You're right: anyone willing to die for their beliefs HAS to be right.

"All of the "apostles of the Lamb" died a martyr's death (except Judas) and John who was reportedly dumped in scalding hot oil and wouldn't burn. These testified to the fact that Jesus did indeed rise from the dead and loved not their own lives even unto death. Even the secular records of history record the miracle working Jesus, and mention that many people saw him after his death"

No, actually, the only "secular" reference to Jesus was an obscure and meaningless mention by Josephus. Otherwise, there's no evidence he even existed.  The only references we have to the deaths of the "saints" was from those whose power be increased if there was "evidence" that Jesus was God. Where are you getting this stuff? From "Evidence That Demands a Verdict?"

"Some of us need answers that lie beyond reasoning and human sympathy. I know I do. Criticize me if you want. I don't care. It is the truth."

Once again we see the "heads I win, tails you're spiritually deceived" approach to faith.  If we point out your flawed logic, you're right because we're "rebelling against God."  If we agree with you, that's God's grace at work.

"We are suspicious. About everybody. Even God is up to no good in our demented minds."

Sorry, but this has nothing to do with God. It has to do with Evangelical Christianity. Evangelical Christians HAVE to believe that disagreement with them is disagreement with god, and the rest of us are wrong until we hand you a certificate, written in Jehovah's handwriting, saying He doesn't exist.

"P.S. Please don't kill me. Thank you."

Bless you child. Poor thing. Poor persecuted Christian. Tom Delay, Bill Pryor, Roy Moore, and Pat Robertson will salute you in your courageous stand for the faith. Maybe James Dobson will even have you on his radio show.

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