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Topics - GregFL

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The Seed Discussion Forum / Me, Art Barker and the showdown at poolside
« on: August 05, 2002, 02:27:00 PM »
The Year was 1977, and my life was in turmoil. I had escaped the clutches of my father and was not speaking to him.I was bitter and angry with no one to talk to and was using drugs and getting into trouble and trying to survive with minimal guidance and no positive examples. My father was busy in St Petersburg with The Straight, my  sister and his step family. Our family had become divided into two camps, and my sister and I were barely speaking. I thought she was on his side and I was anti everything he stood for. To me, anyone whom even associated with him was a potential enemy and a threat to my freedom.

Anyway, I was living with my mother in Ft Lauderdale. After escaping my father and his plans to declare me incorrigible and throw me back into the program and spending time in Jail, Juvey, and group home all because I rejected the program , I had turned into a angry 175 pound fairly dangerous guy. My friends were all disturbed people like me and they were criminals and drug dealers/users.

One day my friend Chuck and I went over our other friend Joe's apartment. Joe lived just south of the lauderhill mall on 441 in an apartment building.  Joe, Chuck, Me, and two girls all went by the pool which was crowded with people on a Sunday afternoon. Needless to say, it was mid afternoon and we had all be misbehaving, drinking and smoking.

I was laying in a lounge chair when I noticed that the pool was filled with young women that rang a disturbing bell in me.In fact, I thought, These girls remind me of Seedlings."Naw, It couldn't be", I said to myself. I turned my head in puzzlement and all of a sudden, in the middle of the pool I saw him,  ART BARKER. I had inadvertently stumbled into one of those apartments where Girls staff lived, and Art, true to form, was cavorting in the pool with them. As I sat there, high, I became angry and stood up and walked over to the steps to the pool "hey, you, I know who you are, you fucking asshole"  The whole pool and all the people sitting around it stopped talking and looked at me. "You are Art Barker, you shithead, you fucked up my whole family, you fucking criminal I outta kick your fucking ass"

Artie got out of the pool and walked over by me, but by now I was ranting, stuck my finger in his face and unleashed my verbal assault on him. He could do nothing. He reached out and grabbed my elbow and said "son..." I cut him off, "now you did it, you fucking moron, you touched me, Now I am going to kick your fukcing ass, then call the police and have you arrested, you fuck" By now I was hyperventilating and on the verge of attacking him.

Art and all the Seed girl staff members turned at the same time and walked away and left the pool area poste haste. I went back and sat in my chair. I was on the verge of passing out from rapid breathing. My friends were pissed at me "dude, that was totally uncool" "what the fuck, Greg, I live here man, what are you doing"  I tried to respond, to make them see that my actions were not one of an insane person "you don't know who that is, That is Art Barker," they didn't/couldn't get it and the whole pool was staring at me.

I leaned back and closed my eyes. They didn't even know what the seed was, what I had been thru, how my whole life had been torn asunder and I couldn't even begin to verbalize it. Hell, I didn't even totally understand myself, I just knew I had been screwed out of a normal teenage life and had just been face to face with my own personal Satan and confronted him. My mind was racing but I was paralyzed in my chair, unable to rationalize the events that just unfolded.

Later that evening I went to my mom's place and told her what happened. "Wow, Greg, Really?" and she changed the subject to something like dinner. I called my sister frieda and told her, she didn't want to talk about it. No one would.  I buried the experience and over the years only mentioned it briefly to members of the family when the subject would rarely wander to the Seed. I often wondered if the people who were there at the pool still remember it? Did it have an impact on Art? Does he remember it today?

I would so love to hear from someone whom was there and hear the story told from their perspective.

[ This Message was edited by: GregFL on 2002-08-05 13:45 ]

The Seed Discussion Forum / cults and hallucinations
« on: July 31, 2002, 08:05:00 PM »
It is a known phenomena that members of cults experience hallucinations as their bodies physically respond to sleep and food deprivation and also ritual mind control.

The Seed was a cult, plain and simple. All the elements of a cult were there, but my research indicates at least three important differences:

1) most cultic experiences are voluntary and by people 18 and older and  The vast majority of us were forced  into this cult.

2) Most people whom join cults do so at the dissaproval of their families. This cult was forced upon us by our families, and the ritual cultic experiences were not only condoned, but encouraged and celebrated by our loved ones.

3) The indoctrination process we experienced was far more rigid, intense, and long lasting than any "voluntary" cult I can find information on.

I remember coming home after about a month and I had been experiencing "melting" hallucinations while at the seed and at home. I kept quiet about it until my sis came home and somehow it came up. We both confessed to the same phenomena but were told that it was our bodies "cleansing themselves of drugs" and no one would seriously discuss it with us. No one asked or cared  that I hadn't even smoked pot for over a month prior to going in, that my young body had not even hit puberty yet, and that hallucinations can be caused by very serious medical situations.

no one would acknowledge the stress we had been under and attributed everything negative to drugs and everything positive to the Seed. Nevermind that I was never addicted to anything prior to going in the Seed. My first addiction ever was cigarettes which was openly encouraged by the Seed and my addiction escalated to over a pack a day.

Here are several articles that discuss cults and hallucinations.

first and most important, defining a cult:

One article states that 28% of scientologists upon exiting the cult experience hallucinations. Scientologists don't endure a fraction of the indoctrination we were subject to. ... lness.html

One poster on a straight site recently said that during group he would focus just above the head of the speaker and that a circle would appear and begin to change shapes and colors.
FINALLY,MY QUESTION: Does anyone else here remember experiencing hallucinations during or after the seed? Please post detailed yes or not responses. Thank you for your help.

[ This Message was edited by: GregFL on 2002-07-31 17:12 ]

The Seed Discussion Forum / Marnie, for you
« on: July 22, 2002, 11:13:00 PM »
I just saw your post on the straight site. Wow. 11 years  old and in the Seed. Then, as a teenager, a staff member at straight. What a screwed up way to grow up.
My question to you. Do you ever wish you were able to just grow up and be a kid? You really have a unique story, and I would like to here more.
Thank you.

The Seed Discussion Forum / question for Debbie
« on: July 19, 2002, 10:19:00 AM »
Debbie, you are 43? That makes us the same age, and I think I may know you.
Do you remember a blonde guy from the Seed that went to Lakewood named Greg? Do you remember coming to a track meet at Lakewood and running into me?
I think I got the same person. We got off our program at the same time, went to a couple oldcomer meetings, talked in the parking lot of the Seed. Is this you?

« on: July 17, 2002, 03:25:00 PM »
Rodney balko, the freelance writer that wrote the fox news piece on straight, just got this:

Wednesday, July 17, 2002  
So here's the scoop. Reason Magazine agreed to let me write an article on Straight and Mel and Betty Sembler on spec (meaning they reserve the right not to publish or pay me). So I started writing. And what was to be a 3,500 word piece turned into 5,000. Once I'd finished, I sent it to Reason's editors for a preliminary look-through. They then suggested I send a copy to the Semblers and the Drug Free America Foundation (Straight's modern-day offspring) for comment. I did, and here's the message:

----- Original Message -----
From: "Radley Balko"
To: ;
Sent: Friday, July 12, 2002 8:16 AM
Subject: Upcoming Article on Straight, Inc.

> Dear Mrs. Sembler and Ms. Fay,
> My name is Radley Balko and I've just completed a 4,800 word article on
> Straight, Inc., it's history, it's progeny and the continuing influence of
> Mr. and Mrs. Sembler and DFAF over U.S. domestic drug policy. The piece
> will run in an upcoming issue of Reason Magazine.
> As a courtesy, I've attached a copy of the unedited article for your
> comments. Your response, should you send one, will be included in the
> magazine. I've been unable to locate an email address for Ambassador
> Sembler, so I'll trust that Mrs. Sembler's comments will speak for him, or
> that she'll forward the attachment on to him for his response.
> Cordially,
> Radley Balko
This morning, I got a reply from Calvina Fay, the director of the Drug Free America Foundation. I plan to publish it here soon, but it specifically says that it's not intended for publication, so I want to get some legal advice on whether or not I have to honor that before I post it for you all to read.

The letter basically threatens me and Reason with a lawsuit should the story go to press. It also says that the Fox column was libelous, though, once again, it fails to lay out any specific instances where I've libeled anyone. It also mentions the possibility of naming my current employer party to the suit -- which is little more than sheer intimidation. The piece was done on a freelance basis, and is in no way affiliated with, endorsed by, or done under the auspices of my employer. DFAF knows that. But they obviously figure that the more people around me they rattle, the quicker I'll buckle. Not gonna' happen. It's high time somebody held these bozos accountable.

Still, I am looking for some pro bono help. If Reason runs the piece and I get sued separately, I'm confident I'd win. But I'm not confident I'd have the finances to fight it to the end. So if any of you know of a libel or First Amendment lawyer or legal organization who might be willing to help me out, I'd be much obliged.

The Seed Discussion Forum / One of the beatings
« on: July 13, 2002, 11:32:00 PM »
that day is etched in my memory, but I never knew her name because of the whole guy/chick deal when we weren't even allowed to look at the girls or face certain stand up come down sessions.
I remember she clearly had a black eye. The seed used to bring parents in to do the child abuse for them, which was far worse then being beat by a stranger, IMO.  I also remember another guy that happened to, then his dad pulled him out and it made NATIONAL news. Still no one came to save us. I remember sitting in the group and actually hearing people getting hit out of sight range, and them making us sing to drown out the sound.
I still have the article about the guy and in fact passed out copies at the st pete conference.

Straight, Inc. and Derivatives / SAFE PROTEST
« on: July 13, 2002, 02:08:00 AM »
For an account of the Safe protest, go to the Seed discussion forum and review. YOU WONT BELIEVE IT until you read it.

The Seed Discussion Forum / THE SAFE PROTEST
« on: July 13, 2002, 02:07:00 AM »
It is 1:20 am and I just rolled in from the protest of SAFE in Orlando FLa.
First, a little background for those of you that don't know. SAFE is a direct descendent of straight- rehab program operating on OBT in Orlando. Safe uses substantially the same methods as the Seed and Straight did with a few tweaks.
Several years ago WAMI did a segment on SAFE that was highly critical of the methods. Around the same time we became aware of a kid named Weaver in the program that had broken ties with his mom whom was distraught, and another kid named Jeff whom had suffered severe abuse at the hands of SAFE. We got together and had our first ever straight survivors protest.
Tonight was the second protest. We arrived at the staging area around 4:00 pm and about 20 straight and seed survivors were there with a Safe survivor and our friend Jeff, whom has now grown into quite a young man.We then proceeded to SAFE and set up our protest on the edge of the parking lot. Loretta Parrish, the director of Safe, recently resigned and rumours were floating around that there were some "financial improprieties" involved, but we were unable to confirm. The person left in charge was a parent of former SAFE members named Brian Seeber. Brian is an attorney from Marylnad and a quiet type of fellow. There is a whole group of kids from Maryland there.
 I told him that we intended to have a peacefull demonstration, that we wanted our side of the story told and he agreed and shook my hand. for Several hours we spoke to parents coming into open meeeting, spoke to local residents and merchants, and "bullhorned" the group so the kids could hear our support. Sammy did an excellent job of letting them hear that we thought certain things they were experiencing were abusive. We told parents that they were involved in a cult, that if there kids had a real drug problem they should bring them home and find a better way. Our reception was of course mixed by the parents.
During the course of the meeting, Weaver drove up and parked by us! I introduced myself and had a great talk with him. He is off the program, in touch with his mom (yeah) and seems to be critically thinking about what he went thru. Big event for those of us that have been pulling for his mom and him to reconcile. Jeff was having a good time confronting his tormentors and was feeling confident and looking and feeling good. (Double yeah).
Around 8:30, Jodi and I decided to ask if we could observe the open meeting. We were met at the front door and told to leave or the police would be called. I asked if we could observe open meeting, was told no, and we left. Several minutes later the police showed up and told us SAFE wanted us arrested for tresspassing, but refused. They also told us it was against the law to bullhorn without a permit. Jodi challenged that assertion and asked for the statute. After not being able to produce it, we were allowed to resume. The police left and told us to stay off their property and we agreed.

Around 10:00 they started driving around the back and taking the newcomers out in a way they wouldn't see us. Some of us decided to go around that way and let the kids know we supported them. While back behind the Safe on the adjacent property, Sammy and Carrie witnessed a kid come out of the safe, try to run and be physically thrown into a car, restrained. They started yelling for someone to call the police and several of us, including Doc and I, ran back there to see what was going on. The ladies stood in the way of the vehicle that had the restrained kid in it, and Jodi walked over to intervene. This is when all hell broke loose. The SAFE parents came out spewing program hatred, one of them got in Jodi's face and in a typical program confrontation, yelled in her face and told her he would piss on her leg if she didn't leave and unzipped his zipper. His veins were bulging and hate was spewing. I yelled at him to get out of her face. Things started happening fast. I got into a verbal exchange with Seeber, Parents started yelling and confronting the girls to move, someone thru a football block at Doc, I yelled at him and he dissapeared back into the SAFE crowd. Ex SAFE staff members had a camera rolling and agreed to show it to the police and said they saw the whole thing. we continued to block the car and called the police. They put the car in reverse and started leaving just as the police arrived. and I requested that they review the video and arrest the person whom assaulted Doc. Unfortunately, the video, shot at dark wasn't clear. Jodi was issued a tresspassing warning. We demanded a report be taken to investigate the abuse of the child we saw. SAFE claimed it was a kid clowning around and produced a kid claiming it was him. Sammy filled out a report because someone had pushed her in the breast and did something to her foot.Seeber and I exchanged words and I encouraged him to drop the modality and admonished him for the cult like behavior of his parents and followers. He was "talked to" right up and until the time he got in his car and left.
Sometime around 11:00, we broke up and went our seperate ways. Several of the women were understandably upset at witnessing the restraint and at our inability to get the police to do anything.
This was, to date, the most awesome, effective protest we have had yet. And it won't be the last, SAFE. Mr. Seeber, if you are reading this, and I am reasonably sure you will, take note. We are here, we know what goes on in there, and we intend on letting the world know. The story being told about us confusing the Straight and SAFE is erroneous. We know where all the steps come from, the yelling "im coming home", the motivating, the chairs, the open meeting, the confessions,mic talk, the bathroom priveledges, the earned affection of your family, the moral inventories.We KNOW what goes on in SAFE and we know where it came from. Many of us suffered under the same modality years and years ago.  Change the modality of SAFE or be prepared to deal with us, the truth brokers.
Final thought:  I truly believe that SAFE is on its last legs. The group size is small, the support fractured, and they are embroiled in a lawsuit that alleges, among other things, abuse and violations of the RICO act.

The Seed Discussion Forum / What a long, strange trip it has been
« on: July 08, 2002, 11:05:00 AM »
Yesterday was 29 years ago that my father, thru coercion and lies, tricked my sister and I into the Seed, St Petersburg. Our lives and relationships were forever changed, and our childhoods were ripped to shreds.
Happy anniversary, Sis.

Straight, Inc. and Derivatives / Loretta Parrish
« on: June 25, 2002, 11:12:00 AM »
I heard a rumour that Loretta Parrish resigned. Does anyone know anything about this? If this is verified, whom is in charge?
WTF is going on over there? Anyone know?

The Seed Discussion Forum / back in a week
« on: June 14, 2002, 10:58:00 PM »
I am leaving tomorrow with my two kids to Orlando, then onto Costa Rica for a week. Talk when we get back, or if I get access in Costa Rica, I will log on and give an update.

The Seed Discussion Forum / Hello survivor
« on: June 13, 2002, 04:13:00 PM »
So nice to hear from you. Were you in Ft Lauderdale, Miami, St Pete, or some other wharehouse?

No, unfortunately Art doesn't seem to be repentent at all. He just closed down the Seed in Ft Lauderdale about six months ago and donated all the corporate money off to charities that Seedlings were involved with. The mayor of Dania was one such benefactor, getting six figures for habitat for humanity. The mayor is a seedling, of course. Art is still surrounding himself with the same people he did back in the early 70s like Libby McDonald (Now Libby Barker Kienzle-she married another seed lifer)
The story is very strange, and we are all part of it.
You older guys that escaped were always my heros, and I wished I had the courage. I was only 14

[ This Message was edited by: GregFL on 2002-06-13 13:16 ]

The Seed Discussion Forum / St Pete Times forum
« on: June 11, 2002, 09:12:00 PM »
There has been an ongoing debate on the St Pete Times forum about the Seed/Straight survivors and the drug war in general. below is a response I made to a poster that works in addiction treatment, just thought you might be interested.

I have been lurking in this thread since yesterday and decided to post.
I was in the Seed in 1973 at the age of 14. The Straight was nothing more than the Seed parents continuing the program when Art Barker left St Petersburg. Same torture, different torturor.
The thing that always surprises me when people whom weren't in the program discuss it is how so far off the mark they go. They talk about how these people needed "help" and how their addiction must be treated in some fashion, so I am just going to make this one point. The Program was never about treating addiction.

Thats right. Never about treating addiction. To take it one step further, the Seed/Straight program DID NOT ACCEPT DRUG ADDICTED CLIENTS. The program was about winning the drug war, and the kids/now adults sent to these places are victims of the drug war against american citizens.
Now, Soberman, I know this is hard for your self rightous, save the world mentality to take, but it is the truth. We, as children, were forced into coercive "treatment" as part of a plan to rid the planet of drugs, not to help us. This is why straight inc, is now DFAF (drug free america foundation) and makes statements like "you don't win a war by treating the casualties" when they try to defeat medicinal marijuana intitives.

Before you lash out at me for being a drug crazed or anger filled person, understand that I don't use drugs, don't smoke and rarely drink. I never was addicted to anything, but I was forced to sit in a warehouse for six months before I hit puberty, flap my arms around, go thru addiction treatment,eat a low calorie diet and get little sleep to 'condition me for treatment', and submit to brainwashing techniques and behavior modification formerly practiced on adult prisoners of war.
And it was no secret. In 1973, the St Pete times ran blistering reports almost daily on the brainwashing and denial of rights we were subjected to, but no one did anything. Instead, the police continued to kidnap kids without any trial, without any court order, and bring them to the seed. The courts routinely sentenced even NON DRUG USING JUVENILES to the Seed for having a "DRUGGIE ATTITUDE". And older kids sentenced to the Seed, routinely got up and chose jail over the Seed.
Soberman, do the world a favor. Stop trying to save us, because some of my friends were saved so effectively, they killed themselves after graduating the Seed.
The only reason I even allow myself to drag this childhood horror of mine up over and over is because, today, across this great land, children our being treated almost identically as I was 29 years ago and no one is doing anything except those of us whom were similarily tortured when we were kids. They are being told they are worthless, they are being sexually humiliated, locked in little rooms, and then told they were dying without the program, being convinced they are addicts and powerless over drugs, and the truth is, it is a lie,and it is a great american scandal that is finally coming to light.

CEDU / Brown Schools and derivatives / clones / Talk to us
« on: June 09, 2002, 04:49:00 PM »
We are looking for a moderator for this site. Please email me at or contact ginger for details.
Moderating a site is easy, takes little time, and can be rewarding and insightful.

Straight, Inc. and Derivatives / looking for you
« on: June 09, 2002, 04:49:00 PM »
We are looking for a moderator for this site. Please email me at or contact ginger for details.
Moderating a site is easy, takes little time, and can be rewarding and insightful.

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