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Messages - RMA Survivor

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I love all the typos and mistakes on the homepage.  Caroline Wolfe and Chuck Selent working together again.  This industry is so incestuous.  They should just marry each other to make it even more so.  None of them ever leave the industry, bouncing from one place to another.  Cooks who become therapists, laborers who become therapists, who then become escorts.  Former students becoming therapists, who then start their own schools, or become escorts.  And none of them qualified or educated in any of these fields.  

I can vouch that Chucky And Wolfe should not be working with children.  And judging by the level of abuse meted out by law enforcement these days, I don't think I would want one near my teen.  They would likely get tased, Bro!

Open Free for All / Re: New Forum Policies
« on: January 05, 2010, 07:16:39 PM »

I think this new rule will help clean up the site considerably.  I agree with the posters regarding the removal of racist threads, it really does not contribute to this site and does take a lot away from it.

I have noticed in recent days that the troll threads have significantly decreased, as have their individual posts.  I think many of us recognize that the trolls were doing most of the talking, and in their absence, we see less posts suddenly.  Now we see posts primarily from "real" users, which is the way it should be.  

I understand that there are a lot of registered users who only post as guest, but I assume they can come back and create a non-Guest account and still post.  I feel a lot of those people were only here briefly and then left, so it shouldn't hurt anything.  If someone wants to post, they'll come back, change to a real user name and get involved.  No big deal.  A minor inconvenience to keep this site healthier.  I don't think for one minute it takes anything away from discussing or debating topics.  People don't need to post as guests.  They can create a legitimate name for themselves and stick with it, and like you said, it doesn't have to be their real name, so where is the harm?  

If the last couple of days are any indication, trolls are having a much harder time spamming on Fornits now.  The racist threads suddenly stopped being added to, new ones stopped being created.  I think that is as it should be.  They are no longer controlling the discussions.  

Well done.  I for one am happy to see some action taken to clean up the site and make it a safer environment for everyone.

I went to Rocky Mountain Academy in 1984 and Tom Kray was there.  He was in charge of Quest, but within a year he was gone.  If Cascade began in 1985, it is possible he was a founding staff member.  I never knew where he went till now.  Quite a jerk.

Well, the discussion about undefeated teams didn't go so well.  And neither did the pursuit by those teams.  But saying as much puts this topic on top of the new industry trolls and their racist and homophobic threads.

Quote from: "ABd,C n'WA"
ignore prev. poster. I think they missed some of the connections RMA S was outlining.

Most likely true.  Sometimes dumb people can't follow more than a few lines of text before their memory runs out of brain cells to work with.  Mommy probably dropped him on his head one too many times.  It happens.  Statistically people like that grow up to bash gays on behalf of the RTC's.

Also, I wasn't writing a "response".  There's probably a dictionary online if you want to look up the definition on your own.  Good luck with that.

I am not related to him.  If you are looking for a Gay partner, I don't think he'd be interested.  I wouldn't either no matter how highly others recommend you.

I wasn't going in to the history of raps.  I was merely explaining how the work by Georgi seems to be a regurgitation of the same style of therapy.

The Troubled Teen Industry / Re: Group Therapy at the Mychal Institute
« on: December 31, 2009, 01:59:25 AM »
Quote from: "Ursus"
Here is how the Mychal Institute views group therapy. Note how similar -- in some spots, identical -- the wording is to that of Georgi Educational and Counseling Services' treatment of the same subject:

-------------- • -------------- • -------------- • --------------

Group Therapy

Some of the most important work you will accomplish while at the Mychal Institute will take place in group settings. The combination of both group and individual counseling improves treatment outcomes, according to scientific studies. There are four basic kinds of groups that you will experience while at the Institute: psycho-educational groups, participation groups, therapy groups and multifamily groups. Psycho-educational group are those set up primarily to inform and facilitate the interchange of ideas. They will be lead by professionals who are particularly familiar with specific content areas and will often be interconnected under the overarching umbrella of the Mychal Spiritual Platform. Participation groups, unlike in psycho-educational groups, focuses more on the guest’s involvement in the activity and the skills learned rather than an academic or intellectual understanding of the experience. Participation group activities include mindfulness/awareness, meditation, yoga, mindful eating, tai chi, and gratitude. Therapy groups are the backbone of your recovery while at the Mychal Institute. They will occur four or five times per week depending on whether or not there is a weekend workshop. Within your therapy group you will share your concerns, learn to actively ask for help while offering others help, learn about how you affect other people and they affect you, learn to speak more comfortably about your emotions, practice better self-care skills, and develop deep and satisfying connections with other people committed to recovery. You will discover that many of your issues are not unique to you and in fact connect you to others within your group. You will experience the breakdown of your isolation and withdrawal from others. It is important to underscore that groups held at the Mychal Institute are neither shaming nor confrontational. We used a modified interactional group approach which embraces the power of connection and our shared humanity. You will never be forced to divulge anything in group until you are ready. You may be asking why groups are so important. At its most fundamental level we are all born into groups, live in groups, are wounded in groups and eventually find healing in groups. Consequently the group experience is one which will receive special attention during your involvement with the Mychal Institute and one which we believe has spiritual significance.

Copyright® 2008. All rights reserved.

The more I read this stuff again, the more it sounds like made up fluff.  I can't believe that real professionals would recommend to hard core drug addicts, or anyone really, Tai Chi, yoga and mindful eating to fix anything.  Not that some period taken for relaxation and reflection doesn't serve as valuable, but it needs to be combined with something more tangible and I just don't see these as being tangible.

Additionally, what's the "gratitude" part about?  This almost sounds like a step used by alcoholics anonymous where you say sorry to everyone.  This gratitude comes off as forced rather than simply a choice by the subject.  I have always found that when someone, like say a parent, has said, "Now say you are sorry."  Or, "Now say thank you," it doesn't carry the same meaning as if you said these things on your own, with spontaneity.  

Then there are these four group types of therapy.  Again, I see this as focused almost exclusively on group, rather than individual.  But the first one described, psycho-education, is facilitated by professionals about specific topics, yet is supposed to be, at the same time, an exchange of ideas.  It sounds like any ideas would be shot down in favor of the prescribed treatment by these professionals, who would believe naturally that they have all the answers already.  

Then comes the description for Participation Groups.  Here they are saying right away that the "guests" (Odd name for a patient or student) are now going to be participants, as opposed to psycho-education, thereby confirming that psycho-ed groups are not inclusive.  The "guest" is not involved in the discussion.  This sounds like every program out there.  They have a script they are following and any deviation from the script leaves the staff unable to proceed since they know nothing except the script.  One of the reasons programs hire so few staff that have any training or education.  Following a script or recipe is far easier.
Then you get this about Participation Groups; "Participation groups, unlike in psycho-educational groups, focuses more on the guest’s involvement in the activity and the skills learned rather than an academic or intellectual understanding of the experience."  Involvement in the skills learned, but not from an academic or intellectual experience?  Is that even possible?  If I taught you 2+2=4, you would not be able to meditate your way to understanding this.  You either understand it intellectually or you do not.  This just seems peculiar.  Participation Groups also include Mindfulness/Awareness (Of what?), mindful eating,(What exactly is mindful eating?  Being aware you are chomping on food and swallowing it?) yoga,(Sit Indian-style and hum your way to no more problems?)  Tai Chi, (Solve your inner problems and issues and learn to kick someone's ass at the same time.)  meditation (More sitting and humming) and gratitude (Thank everyone for not making you do anything useful to make you better.)  

Now personally, when I went through a program, I sure wish today that all that humiliation and abuse was replaced with sitting on the floor and humming to myself and practicing martial arts.  I might not have graduated with any useful skills, but I am sure I would not have missed the abuse.    

Now comes Therapy Groups.  "Therapy groups are the backbone of your recovery while at the Mychal Institute. They will occur four or five times per week depending on whether or not there is a weekend workshop."  These sound like the Raps we went through in the CEDU program that spawned from the confrontational-style therapy made popular in the 60's.  Those also happened 3 or 4 times a week except when special workshops happened.  Workshops of course being Propheets or LifeSteps.  So this all sounds like more of the same stuff regurgitated and repackaged by some university researcher.  The descriptions of "learning to ask for help and giving help to others" sounds like the same forced, confrontational stuff we got.  Basically your peers screaming and yelling at you telling you how bad you are, how you will never amount to anything, if you're a female you're probably told you are a slut or whore.  Seen this before.  Nothing new.  "You will discover that your experiences are not unique to you." This translates to me as others spontaneously telling you their life histories, often including graphic descriptions you probably will wish you had never heard, including from staff who you might have looked up to briefly but now realize they are sexual predators with some pretty severe criminal histories.  So yes, you will realize you are not unique, but also surrounded by some pretty horrible people.  "You will experience the breakdown of your isolation and withdrawal from others" means you will be forced to participate with threat of real punishment if you don't.  In the CEDU experience, not only would you not be allowed to withdraw but you would also be forced to allow people to touch you, hug you, lay on top of you, rub against you and resisting this would entail further punishments.  

Now Mychal states that their approach does not including shaming or confrontational approaches, but from what I read above, it does.  I am pretty sure that as soon as a "guest" becomes resistant, they will soon find out how confrontational things will become.  And I am just as sure they will stop thinking of themselves as a  guest and more like a prisoner.  Yeah, this stuff looks familiar to me.  CEDU, RMA, Mount Bachelor, all the others.  Nothing new.  Just repackaged as new.

It seems pretty clear that Georgi is part of the Mychal Group, and helped write the information since the information is identical in wording.  

The whole methodology they talk about sounds so non-scientific.  It really sounds like a combination of religion and group therapy.  Even the names of different things sound cult-like.  Naranon sounds like Synanon.  This comes off to me as a package deal.  Something that can be packaged and sold as a business model.  There are individual therapists and then there are these huge companies that run therapy like Mc Donalds.  CEDU, Brown Schools, Aspen.  They want a model that is accepted and sanctioned by experts.  Individual therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, these people seem to be able to sift through research and go with what works and what is tried and true.  But the programs need a one-size-fits-all, and I think Georgi is trying to give it to them.  Or cash in on it himself.  

Just by using a name like Naranon, it sounds to me as though he has done his research on cults, found a catchy name to have his program methods identified with and intends to cash in.  Nothing I read sounded like it was designed to be one-on-one, addressing individual needs.  It sounded like the focus was all group oriented.  And group therapy is easier to sell as a model because it has less over-head costs.  Lots of one-on-one therapy gets expensive.  All of the programs are now starting to claim they have real therapists on hand, so if a student needs more one-on-one, it is available...for a fee.  Which tells me that most students only get the one-size-fits-all version of the therapy.  Yet even Georgi admits that both individual and group make up a balanced treatment.  I still only see the group therapy aspect being completely dominant and not the individual.

Did you finish Straight with a diploma, or did you have to go back to a real school to get one?  I felt sorry for the youngest kids who were not able to get at least the cheesy diplomas, returned to public schools and were so far behind they didn't finish High School till age 20.  And how do you fit in after years in a cult?

So again, the focus is on group therapy and not individual.  Not surprising the programs are going to like this.  

I am amused at how they claim on the one hand that students will not be forced to divulge anything until they are ready, they are clearly encouraged to do so.  Such encouragement can get out of hand and in group settings, become intense peer pressure to conform, as we program survivors can attest.  And it sounds to me like this is probably what indeed occurs.  

The senior clinicians seem to love it.  No feedback about how the students like it or how effective they feel it is for them. Ironic.  

This just sounds like another one-size-fits-all method.  And it sounds a lot like Alcoholics Anonymous, doesn't it?  Share your experiences and feelings about abusing substances.  Lots of feedback from peers.  Probably sit in a bunch of chairs in a circle.  So original in its approach.

And I bet you don't need a license or any credentials to start your own Georgi Orgy.  Just read from a script like a program workshop.  Anyone can do it.  Act now and receive two free copies of "How to become a therapist without all that education nonsense", operators are standing by...

On the one hand, it is nice to see a program involving people who are actually educated in a field related to what they are trying to offer.  However, the fact these people, Georgi specifically, aren't actually on campus 24/7, means as usual, the professionals don't have the direct contact with the students one would expect.  

As usual, it is the program itself which will interpret data, research and information to suit its own needs and to fit within the program they have, rather than change the program by having real experts design it.  In computer terms, this is called Garbage In-Garbage Out.  

I am also concerned that this adolescent brain research is being latched on to by Carlbrook and Lon Woodbury, and therefore I have to be suspicious of this because of the history of these programs using whatever myriad conglomeration of stuff to form their cult-like programs with.  Mel Wasserman did this in creating his CEDU schools.  Taking a little here, a little there, with no full understanding of any of it, and mashing it all together to create some kind of program, and then not having any real professionals involved in creating that program or in critiquing it.  

I also noted that the article Ursus just added mentioned cohorts, followed by students, parents, staff, how it would be individual and group oriented.  I question the individual claim.  These programs have a long history of being one-size-fits-all, with little individual focus whatsoever.  So I would gather, that though it looks good to claim this, that in reality it will all be packaged as a group thing.  And though this "after program" contact idea, where they will communicate regularly with students after they have graduated the program sounds nice, the message will probably be mass communication-oriented as well.  Not individual.  And considering that the programs focus on guilt, abuse and humiliation, I question how effective such measures will be as the graduates will no longer be forced in to accepting the threat of punishments, ridicule or abuse or be living in the same climate of fear they were inside the program.  Maybe those who are still underage after graduation might feel fear that if the staff disapprove of them their parents might send them back in, but generally speaking I can't see how anyone would truly welcome constant communication with the program for a year once they had left.  Of course, I am speaking in hindsight.  Many of us may not have come to terms and accepted that we were abused and brainwashed until many years after leaving.  I think for a year after the program, many might still exhibit feelings that the program helped them or saved their lives.  Today I could not possibly imagine accepting a call from the staff asking how I am doing?  I would give them an ear full.

I also wonder if this Georgi fellow will be given a tour of the campus and allowed to sit in on any of the "therapy" activities the students regularly undergo?  I highly doubt it.  From what I understand, most real psychologists and professionals who have directly witnessed what goes on in these places are horrified and do not approve.  But it looks good to have it appear as though there is an air of professional approval of the programs by inviting people from universities to contribute, even if those professionals do not directly participate in the program itself or have direct interaction with the kids.

Quote from: "capn' obvious"
For years, I've thought mine, and thousands of others @ Straight Inc., was a unique experience in brainwashing/thought reform. After reading  the endless lists of such places on these boards w/ different names and faces, (I can't even keep up w/ them) I start to go numb. It doesn't matter which 'program' or 'specialty school'  has a post about it, they all have so much in common.....'hey, let's try this on 'em----see what happens'....WTF is wrong with us?....I'm ashamed of (personally) even any 'half-assed' involvement in one of these places (early 80's)
Being a Wikipedia addict, I can't even find these other places on the site. That is telling to me. You read about (or experience) one, you already know about the other.

Getting back to the topic...

It is true that these places are spreading like wild fire, all over the planet, not just here in the United States.  There are indeed quite a long list of them, many based off of the original programs like Synanon, EST, LifeSpring, CEDU.  

And it truly does seem like they do have half-baked ideas of the "Let's try this on them and see what happens" mentality.  That is because so few of these programs are run by those with education and credentials to be treating or counseling anyone.  I notice you mentioned the early 80's, which is when I attended Rocky Mountain Academy, and so little has changed since then except that some of these programs are wising up to the fact that they need people with real degrees and certification and experience.  But they've only wised up enough to know they need these people to make themselves look more legitimate, whereas in reality it seems most often these trained people are not directly involved in the day to day interactions with the kids in the programs.  They are merely there to provide a sense of legitimacy.

You can find some information on Wikipedia, generally related to the original programs.  You can find some basic information on Mel Wasserman, who founded the CEDU schools.  You can get some information on Synanon and so on.  The information is certainly out there to be found and more is coming out every month now that more and more survivors and others interested in this strange industry get involved and seek answers.  

I think it is great you see the quackery for what it is.  I would love to know when you realized what it was you were subjected to?  Did you realize it while you were still in the program, or later, after you were out when you might have realized you didn't quite fit in to society as you once did.  Full, as you were now, of all those half-baked ideas they put in your head, making you believe  you had real tools to work with to make your life successful?  

I think of the industry as being similar to an ad in a paper offering an easy start up business.  No experience necessary.  Live in the beautiful outdoors.  Get free labor to make your property look better.  You don't even need a High School Diploma.  Read our simple to follow instruction guide on how to manipulate the minds of the young using time tested methods of thought persuasion and peer pressure motivation.  For just a few small kick backs, you can get access to a list of paid "independent" consultants who will direct youth to your new business by convincing their parents that they are soon to die if they are not in your program.  For four decades we have been dedicated to helping entrepreneurs like yourself enjoy the bliss of owning your own business.  If you aren't quite sure you are ready for this yet, we have many other exciting opportunities to offer including Child Escorts or Counselors.  No experience necessary and no education requirements needed.  In fact there are no qualification whatsoever.  Anyone is welcome.  And best yet, no criminal background checks.  Been to prison?  No problem.  For more information on how you too can become a part of this totally unregulated Teen Treatment Industry, contact....

Aspen Education Group / Re: Tales of Bromley Brook
« on: December 27, 2009, 06:25:15 PM »
Sounds like you managed to avoid being a parent for a while.  When you made mistakes as a kid, did your parents send you away?  Are you getting back at them through your daughter?

You allowed total strangers to kidnap your daughter from the safety of her bed, in her home and shipped her to a strange location and you think she is going to see beautiful scenery and be the happiest and most well-adjusted little girl in the whole wide world because it's scenic?  Are you delusional?

I assume you meant her anger would be replaced with happy happy thoughts about how beautiful everything is, but you let out a Freudian Slip when you suggested the scenery would not replace her anger with you.  You betrayed her and abandoned her.  That is what it is called when you get rid of your child for others to raise.  Why not just send her to a foster home?  It's the same thing.  

It sounds like the school must be terrible if you need to be kidnapped and taken there forcefully.  How much research in to the program she is about to be forced to endure did you do?  Was it one quick call with a consultant who works for the industry itself?  Did they tell you about the endless success stories and the beautiful scenery and then told you to make it easier and pay to have her kidnapped?  Did you go and see the campus in person?  Did you ask to watch some of the activities she would be subjected to before subjecting your daughter to them?  Did you ask specific questions about what exactly the program entailed, or did you not care that much to inquire?  And they let you visit her now and then?  You can't just go and see your daughter any time you please?  

It sounds like you should have just moved to a more scenic neighborhood since you seem to place so much emphasis on beautiful surroundings and nothing else.  Do you think Hansel and Gretel were thrilled by the beauty of the Bavarian forest their parents abandoned them in that they promptly forgot entirely that their parents had abandoned them?  The Wicked Witch had a program for kids too.

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