Author Topic: Positive MMS emperience  (Read 6437 times)

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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2005, 02:17:00 AM »
Dear Antigen,
YOU are the brainless one here... you made a completely rash and UNINFORMED statement.  "Any parent that can't give their child the bare minimum care to prevent them from committing suicide..." I don't know you, but I assume you are young... because you blunder into issues like a bull in quicksand.  Do you stop to think ever? Or do you just speak from anger?  Funny, your personal feelings allow you to be a harsh judge.  Deb and Mike are tough, their kid was probably even tougher, and learned from a young age how to handle dad.. just as we all learn to manipulate our parents.  Why is it that EVERYONE blames the counselors and NO one blames their parents for not removing them from such an environment?  Plus, is everyone here still so damaged that bashing the school is considered "support"? If you disagree with the school, DO THE RESEARCH, GET IT REGULATED, and BE SUPPORTIVE of one another.  Talking a lot of shit does not seem like the path to resolution.  I think some of you are not on here for support, you just like to be angry-- maybe you should change the forum "aim" to just "talking shit about MMS and the people involved-- we don't want to DO anything, we just want to TALK about it."
-Not an MMS supporter, just one who can't stand some of the false pretenses you advertise on this site.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2005, 03:26:00 AM »
whats funny is antigen isn't young and brainless.  she is supposedly an educated adult with a family.  funny how someone can be so heartless to another mother and father for their loss when she has a family of her own.  i hope that antigen experiences the same compassion she is showing to mike and deb when she has loss occur in her family
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2005, 02:45:00 PM »
As i recall, we weren't allowed to talk to our parents until we ceased to be 'manipulative' which really just meant we didn't say anything bad about the school.  I have issues with my parents regarding some pretty big things but those things at MMS that were extremely negative and cruel were not done to me by my parents and they had no way of knowing what was going on and the impact it was having on me.  I would think that if I had met John or Mike warning signs would have flashed in my head given their aggressive natures and for that I wonder just where my mom's head was at.  Granted I think my mom can pretty much be counted out, at that time, as being anywhere near balanced and able to decided what was best for me- she hadn't prior to MMS, why would MMS be any different?  
Reality is that she had no idea, but she did see me during home visit and after I left and realized something was indeed very wrong.  The way I handled things in the outside world, terrified of doing something wrong yet not knowing exactly what was right was the worst thing ever.  At best, on could say simply that MMS didn't help at all- but I would be lying, my MMS experience was far from nuetral.  I really believe MMS was an extremely poor choice for me and it's scary how easily that can happen.
Several times at MMS I contemplated suicide, at one point actually slitting my wrist (not deep), but then stopped short. I went to MMS voluntarily and really did want help.  I also wanted my parents love more deeply than anythign else.  I chose to live but was miserable. It was help that I did not receive.

I understand MMS can't be all things to all kids, but for someone like me and the other girls it can be an extremely sad and traumatizing thing, leaving a lasting imprint that taints thier lives.  It's to those girls that MMS does a great diservice and, given we had, and girls like us, had/have no way of getting their voices heard (w/out being called maniipulative) is unjust. Given that many of us really wanted help and love we submitted to the berating and the dictatorial way in which 'therapy' was carried out with the underlying fear of hard labor just beneath the surface at all times, but in an atmosphere where you don't feel right, therapy and personal growth is damn impossible.  So for you girls that say the 'therapy' worked, I guess I see why it might if you didn't feel the same level of terror and fear that your parents wouldn't love you if you didn't follow along with everything the school said, despite those nagging internal contraditions.  Maybe, given those conditions, it would have been that MMS would have been great for us. who knows?

I will forver stand by what I've said about Mike and John, I think both men are awful with kids and should not, under any circumstances, be working with kids.  Well, maybe if they got the proper training and credentials to know what the hell they're doing, but even, given my experience, i would be skeptical.  Maybe  they're better with adults or in an atmosphere outside of MMS, I don't know and that doesn't really matter to me.  Well it does, insofar as John Mercer is trying to influence policy through  by claiming NATSAP ehtical standards is sufficient(as if self regulation is enough), but that's another issue all together.
 Sure, both have John and Mike have good qualities one can speak of and I did- I don't know if I should say this- I did love them or at least so desperately feared them and wanted their apporval that I felt like I loved them, I'm leaning more towards the latter.  Either way, for about 2 yrs they were my only guide and, it was like the blind leading the blind, really. Or maybe the blind being yelled at and being led by the blind- lol They determined everything- god knows Gary was such a pushover, as I'm sure any clinical director they hire will be b/c we all know John likes to call the shots and be the man with the plan.  John is the god and MMS was created in his own image, metaphorically speaking. He truely has the biggest ego than anyone I have ever has the displeasure of meeting.  I thought Mike wasn't as crafty and smart, so he just came across like a jerk in my eyes.  Maybe that was only b/c John wouldn't let him determine the plan of action...
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Offline [email protected]

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« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2005, 11:19:00 AM »
As a credentialed psychotherapist and teacher,this line of attack about John and Deb is really appalling, not because you have no right to air your views, but
because you aren't dealing with current issues.  You prefer to bash two broken people who most likely beat themselves up about their son's death far more than any of you kids can imagine.
Why don't you talk about yourselves in the present and support each other on current traumas and triumphs and take your painful memories to a professional who can help you gain understanding, stability and compassion about past wrongs from parents, teachers and others.  Or else, be productive and go to your Montana authorities and the press with serious, well-planned attack on an institution you believe needs supervision.  Otherwise, this sounds like a bunch of immature whining...........
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #19 on: July 02, 2005, 11:56:00 AM »
I can whine if I want. I can bitch if I want. Just like you feel like you can come and tell us that we need professional help. If you don't like to listen to it, why oh why do you come here? And just in case you havent read, we are planning to do something about it. Thank you very much for the free therapy session. Now that you mention it, I think I will be able to let go of everything now...HAHA.
Clown!
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Offline sunshine

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« Reply #20 on: July 02, 2005, 01:19:00 PM »
I would love to go to therapy to deal with all this left over nonsense from my childhood. But i can't afford it. Do you think maybe John would like to pay for it? Its not really that urgent, since I am quite capable of functioning without it. But it still bothers me that I would even have to think about going to therapy to get over the therapeutic boarding school chapter in my life. It bothers me that they really could have helped me but they didn't. Not because they didn't want to, but because I don't think they had a clue how to. Other than to makke me think that I was an addict, and then giving me the 12 step solution. That made me feel like I was getting somewhere, i guess. Especially if I was really an addict. But I am not.
As to the whole mike and deb (not John and Deb) thing, I don't think everyone that has a complaint about MMS thinks  that they were responsible for their kid. so please dont generalize like that. I cerntainly feel sad about that. We used to play soccer with those kids. In any case, whatever view people have about it, I don't think they have that view because they have nothing better to do, or because they have problems that they are not dealing with in their life. I think it is plainly an opinion.
Ands about doing something about the school, if you want to be compassionate and understanding and all that, you should sign Kats petition.

Busy, curious, thirsty fly, Drink with me, and drink as I.
-- William Oldys (1696-1761): On a Fly drinking out of a Cup of Ale.

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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #21 on: July 02, 2005, 02:00:00 PM »
People that use "witty" sarcastic remarks to cut down the opinion of someone who made a concise and logical point... you just confirmed the "immaturity factor" =)  Sarcasm is a tool most poeple use when trapped- or when the subject matter is TRUE and they want to avoid the issue.  And THAT, my friends, is something I did learn at MMS, but learned from personal experience and I think most would agree.  YOu may think it's so clever to be sarcastic and propose she jump on a plane and come there (which is clearly not what the writer intended to suggest)... but if I had any doubts that the anonymous therapists opinion was at all valid, you just convinced me.  Like a bull rushing towards the red cape, you did exactly what is expected of people for who that little summary from "maridell" applies.  Why don't you apply a little THOUGHT into your convictions.  Your sarcasm is a poor excuse for your insecurity.  If I get another response with pointless sarcasm aimed to slash holes in my opinion.... read the above AGAIN.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #22 on: July 02, 2005, 06:50:00 PM »
Quote

On 2005-07-02 08:19:00, [email protected] wrote:

"As a credentialed psychotherapist and teacher,this line of attack about John and Deb is really appalling, not because you have no right to air your views, but because you aren't dealing with current issues.  You prefer to bash two broken people who most likely beat themselves up about their son's death far more than any of you kids can imagine.

Why don't you talk about yourselves in the present and support each other on current traumas and triumphs and take your painful memories to a professional who can help you gain understanding, stability and compassion about past wrongs from parents, teachers and others.  Or else, be productive and go to your Montana authorities and the press with serious, well-planned attack on an institution you believe needs supervision.  Otherwise, this sounds like a bunch of immature whining...........



what do you mean 'not dealing with current issues"?  Past often very much plays a role in present behaviors.  Just like your present determines your future, your past determines your present.  There are plenty threads where girls reunite and talk about present affairs, but role MMS played in our lives very much lends itself to prestent circumstances.  Esp. when one considers all the anxiety even admitting MMS was problematic brings up.  
Many would prefer to sweep stuff under the rug, even after admitting much should have been done differently.  The few that don't feel it's acceptable to slide such things under the rug to leave others to deal with or to leave other girls to needlessly suffer b/c of ignorance are involved in taking action at many levels of the spectrum- doing their part as best they can.  This industry is a huge money making machine.  I'm sure MT rakes in more in this industry than any other, or most any other.  
This will take time- public is virtually unaware and not many politicians have our back.  Many organizations are run by those who are inexperienced at running non-profits and, while there are PhD's and plenty of other organizations that do not recommend these programs for many kids
- but wide spread ignorance continues to plague many.  In sue time, i suppose.  Unfortunately big money and big egos seem to rule at the moment. ahem- john mercer, for instance
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #23 on: July 02, 2005, 09:43:00 PM »
what does understanding past wrongs have to do with righting past wrongs?

I have a hard time believing maridell is credentialed psychotherapist given she is dispensing with such advise that would sound entirely moronic to anyone- esp one with a PhD or exp. working with children. Pushing for MMS alumni to not talk about bad shit that  happened at MMS and try and make sense of it, while simultaneuously pushing for bull shit covnersation is the most absurd thing I have ever heard suggested on this post, esp. b/c seems you wish to use a degree title to push some sort sense of legitimacy to what you are saying... Sorry, a moron can have be a pyschotherapist too- I've had a few of them cross my path, present company included.

snore--zzzzzzzz...it's boring.  Don't you hate when people talk about shit they know nothing about?  

Spare me the BS Mari- and please don't pretend like what you're saying is sensible- you may be go on to get your PhD and still be talking out of your ass hole.  I fear, if you are in fact p.t. & teacher, that your students may be under the sway of an individual who presumes to know much, but likely know's very little.  Very scary.  And worse, can't admit ignorance when clearly that's the case.

BTW, MMS has worked miracles on you, I can hear it in what you say.  sweet.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #24 on: July 02, 2005, 09:54:00 PM »
REPLYING TO BESTY

As a credentialed psychotherapist
YEAH RIGHT
and teacher
SCARY THOUGHT
,this line of attack about John and Deb is really appalling, not because you have no right to air your views, but
because you aren't dealing with current issues.
HOW ON EARTH WOULD YOU KNOW WHO'S DEALING WITH WHAT?  
 You prefer to bash two broken people
BASH? AWRIGHT, MMS ALUMNUS
who most likely beat themselves up about their son's death far more than any of you kids can imagine.

THE ISSUE IS NOT WHAT THEY DID TO THEIR KIDS, WHO CARES WHAT THEY DID TO THEIR KID?  KIDS GONE AND WHAT'S BEEN DONE OR WHAT THEY DID NOT DO WILL HAUNT THEM FOREVER, BUT JUST B/C SOMEONE EXPEREINCES A TRAGEDY DOES NOT ABSOLVE THEM FROM RESPONSIBILITY OF THEIR PAST WRONGS. THE ISSUE IS WHAT THEY DID TO US.  AND NOT ONE BUT US WILL BRING THIS TO THE SURFACE.  NO ONE BUT US IS RESPONSIBLE (FULLY) TO BRING PAST WRONGS TO LIGHT.  
I JUST CAN'T STOP ROLLING MY EYES AT THIS POST.
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Offline katfish

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« Reply #25 on: July 02, 2005, 11:32:00 PM »
::ftard::  

here we go again.  I think that its best to ignore mardiall- after I say something about it, briefly, of course.
What goes on in this forum is not the only thing that's going on surrounding this topic of MMS harmful side effects.  If this were the case, I think I see where one would get the impression we're all a bunch of asshole with nothing going on.

But that's not the case.  So, sign the petition in support of END INSTITUTIONALIZED CHILD ABUSE ACT OF 2005

http://www.petitiononline.com/hr1738/petition.html


and if you would like to get involved further in putting an end to all this nonsense about schools not needing to be regulated b/c it interferes (essentially) with their profits and could affect their business b/c now some accountability is required, check out

http://www.caica.org/

Things have definitely got to change.  Plenty former MMSers are involved in bringing about change.  They have been able to pick themselves up from where MMS and additional histories of abuse had left them and begun to empower themselves in various ways that, to me, shows just how brilliantly capable, unique, and wonderful each of these girls are- not to mention altruistic- they could have just as easily written off MMS as just more trauma and let someone else to carry the burden of bringing abou change.  Not the case here.
 
Don't fret, we're not just whining for the sake of hearing ourselves whine.  In fact, we're not really whining at all, we're helping induce change in an industry where so few of the people who run these programs, or anyone else for that matter,  understand fully the damage being caused to those who don't belong there.  It could be argued, and mental health experts have argued, against the effectiveness of ANYONE, not just depressed or otherwise mentally ill kids, being sent off to programs that follow behavior modifications models like the one MMS follows.

We're learning more and  more and, given what many girls say and what many other students say from other schools, these types of program are getting away with a lot more than just being tough on kids b/c it teaches them discipline, accoutability, self-reliance, and self-love/respect.  I, and more importantly, experts would argue strongly against claims that such methods produce such changes, esp. given the climate of fear and intimidation of such environment.
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Offline katfish

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« Reply #26 on: July 02, 2005, 11:37:00 PM »
Antigen mentioned Maoist thought reform, and I didn't quite understand- now I do...

Excerpts from a series published by the Rocky Mountain News focusing on the World Wide Association for Specialty Programs and Schools (WWASPS), Teen Help (its marketing affiliate), and associated programs.  To read the full story, click here.

 


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Teen Help's style is not for the faint-hearted. It helps some parents arrange the seizure of disruptive teens, even from their homes in the middle of the night.

Teen Help then ships them to far-off compounds where the message is simple: cooperate or you won't see Mom, Dad and the outside world for a long time.

Once inside the compounds, teens at first encounter a total lack of privacy. Some report being watched 24 hours a day at close range by "buddies." They can't do anything -- including talking or using the bathroom -- without permission.

The aggressive methods have spawned allegations of child abuse, prompting authorities to raid or investigate facilities in Mexico, the Czech Republic, Utah and South Carolina. Facilities in the first three locations closed.

Six former Teen Help students have sued the organization in the last eight months, claiming they were systematically abused inside the compounds.


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Other criticism of the organization came earlier this year from a company executive shortly after he temporarily left its staff.

"These people are basically a bunch of untrained people who work for this organization," Ken Kay told the Denver Rocky Mountain News in an interview before he rejoined Teen Help as a vice president. "So they don't have credentials of any kind. ...

"We could be leading these kids to long-term problems that we don't have a clue about because we're not going about it in the proper way. ...

"How in the hell can you call yourself a behavior modification program -- and that's one of the ways it's marketed -- when nobody has the expertise to determine: Is this good, is this bad?"


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Several psychologists and psychiatrists interviewed by the News expressed skepticism and alarm about Teen Help's methods.

"There's something very creepy about this," Seattle psychiatrist August Piper said. "It's kind of frightening. It sort of smacks of brainwashing, doesn't it?"

Rutgers University psychologist Robert Karlin acknowledged that Teen Help and similar programs can change behavior in a tightly controlled environment. But he warned that some teens could be traumatized psychologically.

"It would take one hell of a lot to think that the only way to bring my kid out of his problems is to take him in for brainwashing," Karlin said.


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For many adolescents, the introduction to Teen Help comes in the middle of the night, when they are forcibly removed from their homes. At their parents' invitation, beefy employees of an "escort company" grab the youths and drive them to temporary processing facilities, including one near company headquarters in La Verkin, Utah.

From there, the 12- to 17-year-olds are transported to rustic compounds with idyllic names such as Paradise Cove, Tranquility Bay and Spring Creek Lodge.

But these teens enjoy no vacation. Minutes after they arrive, they begin the Teen Help behavior modification program.

They are cut off for months from speaking with their parents or anyone else in the outside world. Phone calls and visits generally are allowed only after the first two to four months.

New arrivals begin at "Level 1," the lowest of six on the Teen Help ladder. Level 1 teens get little privacy. "Buddies" -- upper-level youths -- often watch their every move, day or night, asleep or awake.

Buddies also administer "consequences" to teens who don't follow the rules. These penalties range from in-your-face dressing-downs to hours in solitary confinement and, some teens allege, to being hogtied. The company says it uses restraints only as a last resort.


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Stanley Goold, a California teen-ager who lived at Paradise Cove in Western Samoa last year, charges in a lawsuit that he was subjected to "punching, being kicked, thrown and choked, hogtied and put in an isolation box."

A suit by another California teen and one from Nevada described Paradise Cove as "one of many closed and secret cult centers operated by the defendants where adolescents are impounded, tortured, berated, brainwashed and otherwise abused. ... Each plaintiff was subjected to cruel, unusual and abominable sexual abuse by his 'overseers,' the untrained Samoan staff at Paradise Cove." Teen Help has denied the allegations in the suits, which are pending. The organization said the suits are frivolous and the product of unethical lawyers or disputes between divorced parents.


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Government regulation of these programs is spotty. Social service agencies in Louisiana, South Carolina, Utah, Ohio and California have investigated various aspects of the teen behavior modification industry, including the forcible removals of teens from their homes. Some jurisdictions have pressured facilities to obtain state licenses and submit to periodic inspections.

But some programs, including one of Teen Help's, have resisted complying. The former director of Teen Help's South Carolina program, for example, said his facility was a boarding school not subject to state licensing. Church-sponsored programs have cited the constitutional separation of church and state as grounds to avoid licensing.

The private teen behavior modification industry "is just completely unregulated," said Sue Burrell, an attorney with the Youth Law Center, a San Francisco-based nonprofit group specializing in teen custody issues.


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But Kay, who ran Brightway and is now president of the World Wide Association of Specialty Programs, a Teen Help umbrella organization, earlier this year acknowledged the controversy about the qualifications of Teen Help's staff.

"They are not clinicians," he said. "So their job is very important to them because the option a lot of times is a minimum-wage job someplace. And so it's very hard to get them to talk or to talk bad about the program or tell the truth about the program, actually."

Kay said there isn't enough clinical staff to ensure that the program is "headed in the right direction."


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Teen Help in recent years has enjoyed impressive growth. With approximately 1,000 teens in its programs, at a cost of $26,000 to $54,000 each to their parents, Teen Help's revenues are estimated at more than $30 million a year.

Technically, the facilities are owned by a number of individuals and corporations. But all receive clients from Teen Help and connected enterprises. All billing is handled through an affiliate headquartered in St. George, Utah.

Lichfield controls the flow of money to the various compounds, according to Kay.


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In some respects, Teen Help's behavior modification program has roots dating back a half-century.

Rutgers University psychologist Karlin said that Teen Help seminars share some techniques of the thought-reform program that Chairman Mao Tse-tung and his communist theorists pioneered in China in the 1940s. Teens are isolated from their normal environment, made to feel uncomfortable and induced to confess numerous shortcomings -- what Karlin described as the core of Mao's system of thought reform.

Psychologist Margaret Singer, professor emeritus of the University of California at Berkeley and one of the nation's pre-eminent experts on mind control, said Teen Help and similar programs attack the psyche in ways similar to Mao's methods.

It was 1949 when Mao introduced a new kind of thought reform for the newly conquered peoples of Communist China. Unlike the brutal torture techniques that Stalin had developed in the Soviet Union, Chinese methods were more subtle and in many ways more effective.

Western scientists became alarmed when these mind control tools were used on American prisoners in the Korean War of 1950-53. How could the Chinese so easily manipulate captured GIs into criticizing the United States and expressing admiration for the North Korean cause? The techniques, dramatized in The Manchurian Candidate, a Richard Condon novel and subsequent movie, quickly got a pop-psych nickname -- brainwashing.

In the 1960s, the methods began to be used in America. But instead of Communists with a collectivist political bent, the new practitioners were American entrepreneurs who charged thousands of dollars per client.


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No follow-up studies have been done to gauge the long-term effects of Teen Help's intervention. Rutgers' Karlin said he anticipates that Teen Help's techniques will produce post-traumatic stress casualties in "hearts, spades and diamonds."

Tulsa, Okla., psychologist Eric Nelson said re-entering American society after a year or more in a Teen Help camp "would have to be a very unusual situation psychologically."

Nelson treated a Tulsa teen who had spent a few months at Paradise Cove in Samoa.

"One of the points of these programs that remove kids completely from their environments is to provide an environment where there can be almost total control of their behavior," he said. "Some of the kids manage to internalize those values and take the external control and make it internal control.

"My suspicion is that's probably the exception rather than the rule and that when most of these kids get back where there is not that degree of control, they will deteriorate even further."

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http://www.denver-rmn.com/desperate/sit ... rate.shtml
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #27 on: July 03, 2005, 01:42:00 AM »
"snore--zzzzzzzz...it's boring. Don't you hate when people talk about shit they know nothing about?"

whoever wrote this about maridell--- wish you would listen to the advice you give and TAKE IT YOURSELF.  I happen to know the indivdual that wrote that (NOT BETSY--- whoever thought she wrote that... that's a little crazy)... and she happens to be both an amazing person, an amazing therapist, and on top of that has had a lot of familiarity with MMS and it's alumni-  she is also NOT a former student-- so that little comment on "MMS worked wonders for you"-- nope.... so before you go trying to be the smarter cookie...  just try being smart.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #28 on: July 03, 2005, 02:47:00 AM »
WOW.....Thank you to the anon who knows a little about me to know I wouldn't write a post like that.
First....Let go of Mike and Deb good lord move on. and if you must have such HATE, ANGER,  and  DISGUST with MMS at least direct to the people who are still there.
And Meri is right....move on with it. Go to Therapy and deal with whatever it is you need to deal with cause obviously you have alot to deal with. a lot.......
Anyway.................
oh, just double check and make sure you know who and what your talking about before you start a post that only embarasses you
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #29 on: July 03, 2005, 06:02:00 AM »
who is this mystery maribell?

and who cares what she has to say about what you do?

what i think is m doesn't know what shes talking about and if betsie is writing above then she doesnt really know and nor does it matter if she did know and still thinks therapy is the best thing for people she doesnt know the first thign about.  both  their opinions are speculation based on nothing but words posted on a forum.  i still think its realy funny that people even bother to log on to recommend therapy at all.  whats the point.

i would guess is either its in defense of the school that the only recourse these individuals feel they have is to say 'go to therapy' or in defense of staff, but has no real meaning anyway once you see the big picture.  it just is one of those things that is such a strange thing to do.  
instead of trying to defend the school rationaly attacks are sent out in their place.  it just seems like they have to not only defend but attempt to offend for some reason for the sake of what?  
the goal is to eliminate the discussion, in my view altogether.  if 2 people are talking, or 1 is sharing and someone says to you ' go to therapy'  or 'you need help' or 'you sound like your immature and whiny' then what's your discounting anything the person say as illegitimate (with no foundation in this case) due to ...mental illness??  who knows what the hell either foundation suposedly is or what the supposition is but seems nonsensical all the way around and annoying.  It's just a low blow insult so as not to deal with the conversation at hand and that's just lame.

 let people speak and be rational for a second.  Also going along with the above, i think thats why its so scary that maribell may be a psychoanalyst. doubtful its the case that that is her profession bc it would be very scary thought
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »