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Offline kerryberry420

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« Reply #30 on: September 01, 2005, 11:11:00 PM »
wow, again i would like to say how unbeleivably out of control has gotten.  i just went to the mms reunion, and i was the one who started all this.  the reunion was a lot of fun, it was great to see all my friends, and just so everyone knows, they have chnaged everything about the school, that is why i went i wanted to see if had changed, and it has.  everything about mms is different now, and that was my whole point in starting all this, i thought the way they were running it was not really woking and apparently they realzied that and changed it.  there are now pahses there 1-4, when you gety there you are on phase 1 and then you do different assignments and stuff to get through the phases.  on phase 2 you can have your own clothes and pictures and stuff form home, on phase 3 you get to start like venturing into town, and on phase 4 you get to like go to movies and dances and stuff in the community unsupervised to start to reintegate yourself into real life.  they have an actual structure there now, one girl even had a nose ring.  they were reading their own books, wearing normal clothes and seemed really happy.  they had no reason to lie to us, staff weren't like supervising us talking to them, a lot of them really liked it there, and  i oculd tell they were not bull shitting.  so, i still think there was A LOT they could have done better in my time there, but now i really think they have a good program going and i will stand behind it 100%.  (and no i was not brainwashed or anything, in fact i did not talk to john, colleen, or any staff) so in conclusion stop making accusations without the facts.  now i know the facts and i feel really stupid for starting this.
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Offline Antigen

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« Reply #31 on: September 01, 2005, 11:32:00 PM »
Quote
On 2005-09-01 20:11:00, kerryberry420 wrote:

"wow, again


and again and again and again.....

Do you always say everything half a dozen times? Please quit SPAMMING!

Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all of their rights unto the leader and gladly so. How do I know? For this is what I have done. And I am Caesar.
                                                                               
--Julius Caesar

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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #32 on: September 01, 2005, 11:53:00 PM »
Quote
On 2005-09-01 20:32:00, Antigen wrote:

"
Quote

On 2005-09-01 20:11:00, kerryberry420 wrote:


"wow, again



and again and again and again.....



Do you always say everything half a dozen times? Please quit SPAMMING!

Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all of their rights unto the leader and gladly so. How do I know? For this is what I have done. And I am Caesar.
                                                                               
--Julius Caesar


"


Last time I checked stating an opinon or an experience was not spamming. I have seen other people on here complain about the same thing over and over again as well.

Melissa.
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Offline katfish

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« Reply #33 on: September 02, 2005, 09:50:00 AM »
i hope that what you are saying kerry is true- but regardless this is not true for all programs and I would wonder if the coercive element, such as forced labor, excessive exercize, students shadowing other students, outside communication heavily monitored, etc are not still firmly intact.  I have spokes to student who have graduated as late as 2003 and seemed to describe similar feelings about the program as you, Kerry, once talked about.

If MMS is actually not harming any girls anymore, then great, (sarcastically) how thoughtful of John to adjust for the sake of vulnerable girls, however they should stop trying to oppose regulation then- children are intitled to the same rights as those in juvi (not that those are necessarily implemented)- but at least safegaurds are in place, theoretically.  John's continuous funneling of money to lobby politicians and prevent regulation indicates to me he does not want to be held accountable, despite changes that you present as substantial and as those that would somehow legitimate the methods.  Places may change, but, with all do respect, Kerry you were there for a day and while I would take your opinion into account, it would be minimal at best given that extreme limitation.  I would like to hear from students there now.  I know one girl who is there now was displaying the same regressive child-like behaviors that I found were induced while I was at MMS- I fear greatly that, given her display, it is still at it's core MMS with superficial changes.  While I can appreciate the external freedom the kids are given, I question and doubt highly the internal freedom. IT was the internal coercion, fear-based, that  makes me very uneasy.  Furthermore, I am unsure how the level system is any more useful an indicator that a program is not damaging.  There are plenty of programs that have been documented to have been abusive and use the level system...  So, i guess I'm asking, Kerry, what point are you trying to make there?

kat
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Offline katfish

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« Reply #34 on: September 02, 2005, 09:57:00 AM »
incidentally, out of control in what way, kerry?

This was all bound to reach the surface as some point and it seems pretty subdued these days, that is- in no way 'out of control'


If you are refering to the progression from casual or heated chatting among alumni to the galvanizing of mental health professionals in dealing with this issue- well, I would think it's exciting to have mental health professionals willing to look at these schools, listen to kids speak and address the fallible nature of an unregulated industry- and attempt to study this issue- - I think it's going to be a fun topic to watch unfold, with a great deal of revelation.
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Offline katfish

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« Reply #35 on: September 03, 2005, 09:23:00 AM »
Quote
On 2005-09-01 20:11:00, kerryberry420 wrote:

 everything about mms is different now, and that was my whole point in starting all this, i thought the way they were running it was not really woking and apparently they realzied that and changed it.     so, i still think there was A LOT they could have done better in my time there, but now i really think they have a good program going and i will stand behind it 100%.  


I just got to thinking about this and found myself feeling quite angry.  I the MMS founders really wanted to take responsibility for the bad, and in some instances abusive (or, if that's too strong word for some- harmful) program MMS was, then why on earth haven't people who were harmed been contacted- perhaps an apology is in order.  It appears, then, we were guinea pigs precisely b/c the techniques used are not widely accepted among mental health pros and implemented anyway, despite the lack of peer review and studies deemed necessary to legitimize certain methods.  So, while I am awfully glad to here that it is possible there are safeguards in place, I am furious that no real accountability has been taken.  

I am also equally furious that MMS opposes regulation that would serve to hold them accountable- cleary, if not now, at one point they needed to be and were not.  As a result many of us suffered uneccesarily and did not receive the treatment we so desperately needed.  Many of us, I, for instance, entered MMS entirely voluntarily (and suicidal) hoping to receive the treatment I knew I needed.  The pysiological stressors proved to much for me and I left MMS a shell of my former self (what was present of my former self) and I, for one, would like some true responsibility be taken for that damage.  

MMS preached accoutability, yet where why is it the institution itself, John, Colleen and Gary- even Mike and Deb, are unable or unwilling to own the damage they caused myself and many others.  I am appalled and truely disgusted by them in this regard.

So Kerry, I appreciate the points you are trying to make, but I have no respect for John or any of the rest of them.  I think they are cowardly in so many regards, namely this one.   I think they have made their 'wealth' after damaging many girls needlsy because they presumed themselves professionals b/c the state of Montana doesn't require anyone that runs these school and advertises the way MMS does to have any degree.  As we all know, Gary had some type of previous education, but we also all know that Gary did not determine the path of MMS and, despite being uncomfortable with the harsh treatment, he repeatedly allowed things to continue.  As someone with some type of education I especially am disturbed by that point.  Gary had an obligation, yet the way in which things were insitutionally sanctioned, there was a sense of acceptability in their use despite the outrageousness of the methods being accepted by the mental health community at large.

I am repulsed and disgusted by Mission Mountain School it's almost impossible to contain myself.  Fortunately, this passion and drive has led me to find what may turn out to be, in part, my furture life's work- and, I suppose, in that respect, I am indeed grateful for MMS and find that whatever doesn't kill you can possibly make you stronger (after an initial period of 'weakness' through which I narrowly escaped.

kat[ This Message was edited by: katfish on 2005-09-03 06:34 ]
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Offline kerryberry420

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« Reply #36 on: September 11, 2005, 01:28:00 PM »
how dare you say I am spamming, i started this dicussion and I have a right to say what I think, you antigen did not go to mission mountain, don't know anyone that went there except from this site and are just jumping on the lets fuck with mms bandwagon. in my opinion you are all making up lies and accusations that have little to no basis in reality, and hurting people in the process, you can't just accuse people of things they did not do, it affects peoples lives in really bad ways.  antigen, chill out i know you are the person that owns this site, which for the most part seems just like a place to get mad at programs and talk shit about them, maybe you got sent to one i don't know but don't say things about people and places you don't even know about.
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Offline kerryberry420

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« Reply #37 on: September 11, 2005, 01:43:00 PM »
And the point I am trying to make is that you guys were there years ago, when I was or even befrore, and like mroe than half of the people on this site were not even there at all, so before you guys keep going on about "abuse" and shit like that get your facts straight.  yeah, it sucked get over it, we are adults.  and antigen, stop pulling my posts off if i say the same thing on a few topics it is because i want people to read it, i bet if i was saying bad things about mms or on your side you wouldn't call it spamming.
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Offline Troll Control

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« Reply #38 on: September 11, 2005, 03:06:00 PM »
Quote
On 2005-09-11 10:28:00, kerryberry420 wrote:

"how dare you say I am spamming, i started this dicussion and I have a right to say what I think, you antigen did not go to mission mountain, don't know anyone that went there except from this site and are just jumping on the lets fuck with mms bandwagon. in my opinion you are all making up lies and accusations that have little to no basis in reality, and hurting people in the process, you can't just accuse people of things they did not do, it affects peoples lives in really bad ways.  antigen, chill out i know you are the person that owns this site, which for the most part seems just like a place to get mad at programs and talk shit about them, maybe you got sent to one i don't know but don't say things about people and places you don't even know about."

So you're saying that everyone else who had a different experience from yours, even though you have no basis to draw any conclusion, is lying about it?

Why do you think so many people have spoken about similar abuses at MMS?  What makes them less credible than you?

You clearly say that people were there before you were (meaning you were not there when they were), but yet you go on to completely discount their experience as if you were there and had evidence to the contrary.  Is that just a little bit presumptuous?  Can you see how statements like this can erode your own credibility?

How are you to be believed when you say these things never happened, but you're taking it on faith (you were not even there) and not observation?  You certainly aren't lending credence to your own experience, as you may just be making that up as well, considering you are making up conclusions about other people's experiences.  

Now, I'm not saying you ARE making up anything about your personal experience, I'm simply saying that your statements would take on more gravity if you were entirely honest, including saying "I wasn't there when you were, so I can't comment intelligently about your experience, but mine was like this..."
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Offline Nonconformistlaw

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« Reply #39 on: September 11, 2005, 03:26:00 PM »
Hey KerryBerry...all the new changes you spoke about...regarding the structure...phases, and what each phase is supposed to be about....sounds to me like they copied straight's model, almost to the tee (I was in straight)....So please, before you support these changes, please do your homework on what straight used to be, good and bad, and how other programs are have and are still using the same model....And check into how "happy" we supposedly were back then (they said I was "Happy"...that my dear was a very brainwashed programmed child...the PTSD and various disorders show up later)...If you do enough checking...you will see some alarming similarities. I see some just from your post. I wasnt in MMS so I cant comment specifically on it...and wont draw a conclusion.....but, your post about the changes (straight model) scares the shit out of me based on MY incarceration in straight. Check for yourself......
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #40 on: September 11, 2005, 04:04:00 PM »
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #41 on: September 11, 2005, 05:04:00 PM »
you mean, this:

my name is kerry hambleton. i am 21 years old and am a student in Maryland. i was sent away 20 times from when i was 13 to 19 and have since been looking for a way to give back and educate people about the inner working of these treatment centers. i have been to lockdowns, rtc's, wilderness programs, rehab, and behavior modification boarding schools. i have been in expensive ones, coed, single sex, and more varities mission mountain was one of the many places i was sent to, however that is the one that stands out in my mind. first of all i want to tell you that the founder and headmaster (john mercer) does not in fact have a degree in psychology anything related to that, he majored in biology. in fact only a few of the staff there had any formal schooling in psychology the therapists did but the teachers, outdoor recreation coach, and daily living coordinator all ran groups too. now i will start at the beginning.

i was kicked out of school in tenth grade for basically just being an outcast. i had low self esteem, dressed "gothic" was promiscuous, drank at parties, and got in arguments with my parents. i do agree that i needed some kind of help and support to get me through that difficult time; i just don't think mission mountain was the right choice. my parents didn't know what to do with me so they contacted and educational consultant. she convinced my parents without help i was going to die, and then one night at 3am two strangers showed up in my bedroom and took me away. i was crying and screaming and asking where my family was and they wouldn't tell me. they took me to the airport in my pajamas and we got on a plane without me even knowing where we were headed we touched down somewhere in utah where i was then whisked away to second nature wilderness program. i still hadn't talked to my parents and didn't know what was happening and next thing i knew i was in the middle of the desert with a 50 lb pack on my back. (just for the record i really enjoyed second nature and got a lot out of it. the staff were really kind and supportive and helped me to regain lot of my confidence.) after being at second nature for 13 weeks i was told that i be leaving and going mms i didn't know anything about it except that it was in montana and they did lots of outdoor activities. which sounded fine to me, i love the outdoors. the first thing i noticed when i got there was that the campus was deserted. one of the teachers took me to a barn and outfitted me with my new mms clothes. sweatpants, hiking boots, t-shirt, fleece jacket, safety goggles, and work gloves. they took away my few belongings (clothes, pictures of my family, necklace, pictures of my very nice churchgoing boyfriend). i was crying and they yelled at me and handed me a backpack and took me out into the woods where the girls were on "intervention". a group punishment for the crime of "collusion" (girls having exclusive friendships and talking about their "old lives"). so immediately was already suffering for two girls mistakes. "intervention" consisted of waking up at dawn and clearing forest with hand tools and then carrying heavy debris to large piles to be burned. we would do this all day with a 3 minute bathroom break every three hours (the bathroom was an outhouse with five holes in it instead of one with no separation in between). we would work until it got dark and sometimes later (in the summer so it was pretty late) and then have to sit in a circle silently until john mercer showed up (he was always late, we would wait for hours without talking or getting up to pee). once he got there he would pick a few girls and yell at them all night. or we would all have to make lists containing all of our lies, transgressions, our "war stories", how we about the other girls, things we knew about other girls that they weren't telling, and then read them aloud and have everyone respond. he never believed that i hadn't done drugs and i got so tired of hearing him yell and getting in trouble for "lying" that i finally lied and said that i had. he accused one girl of being nazi and screamed at her until she was sobbing violently. i tried to stick up for her and tell him to stop but he wouldn't listen and made her tell her best friend she hated her for being asian. it made me sick. and i felt even worse that i couldn't do anything about it.she gave in eventually and said that she was, but she wasn't. anyway continuing about "intervention"....it went on for like 3 months. we weren't allowed to shower, write to our parents, or anything. when we finally got off of intervention i saw what mms was really like, not much different except we slept indoors. we lived in cabins, 8 girls to a cabin. we sometimes went to school in the morning on weekdays (on intervention we didn't go to school). usually though the staff would have us do work crew (chopping firewood, clearing forest, landscaping, maintenance, intense cleaning of buildings). or we would have to go work on the staffs houses. so we got little to no schooling. (i will say though when we actually did have classes our teachers did do their best to teach us and give us help if we needed it) and even when we did have class we wouldn't have any time for homework because of all the chores we had to do and sitting in group for hours on end. the other thing we had to do was outdoor recreation. it was like Gym class except outside and harder. i actually enjoy outdoor activities but this was too much. we would first have to run laps (run the whole time, no stopping, no slowing down) if you did stop or slow down, or cry, or throw up you would have to run more. if girls refused to run everyone else would have to run until they gave in and did it. if girls refused to do push ups everyone else would have to until they did. we had to get on mountain bikes and go on 12 miles rides up mountain without stopping. even if you fell off you kept going. i do see why they did this, to encourage perseverance and confidence, but i think they pushed too hard. as for daily life we woke up at 6am and went to breakfast. the dining room was set up in a large horseshoe shape and every girl had a "food partner" and "feelings journal". in the beginning of the meal we had to write our feelings about the food we were about to eat and again at the end. we all got the same food to eat and for condiments they had to measured out and checked by our partner to make sure we weren't cheating. we weren't allowed to talk at mealtimes except for a topic that one of the staff would give and we would all respond one by one. everyone had to finish all of their food and if someone didn't all the other girls would have to go outside and run laps backwards or shovel horse manure. some of the girls had eating disorders (i didn't) and we all got treated like we did. we weren't allowed to know our weight and we had to eat even if we were full. they made the vegetarians eat meat and forced them to run laps if they didn't. every cabin had chores to do both in the cabin and on the campus. like setting up for meals, cleaning various building, shoveling horse manure, vacuuming, making the bed, cleaning the bathroom, etc. all chores had to be done every day. if anything were wrong (a hair on the sink, dirt on the floor, manure in the fields, wrinkle in the bedsheets) the person or cabin responsible would be given a "callback", three callbacks meant you were on work crew on sunday instead of studying.

i don't want to make it seem all bad though. some of the staff there were really compassionate and caring and really wanted to help us. a lot of the outdoor activities helped me feel more confident and strong (unless i had to do them while i was sick or with a sprained ankle). i don't think mms was abusive in the traditional sense however I view so many of the things they did as wrong and hurtful. when my dad saw how we were treated there he pulled me out immediatly i just people to know what really happened there so other girls don't have to go through it and parents are informed of the real nature of the school. i wish i hadn't of taken my first post off because now you may question my credibility. but when colleen called me i felt like i did at mms was immediatly intimidated and lied about what i had written. i realize that that was wrong of me and have since e-mailed her telling that and i am now posting this again. i hope you still believe me. if anyone has any questions or comments you can e-mail me at [email protected]
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Offline katfish

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« Reply #42 on: September 11, 2005, 05:08:00 PM »
Nonconformistlaw,

I'm curious, in what ways do you see the similarities b/w striaght and MMS? From what I hear, Seed was the start of this entire industry, correct? And Straight modeled Seed, correct?


thanks for sharing,

kat
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Offline katfish

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« Reply #43 on: September 11, 2005, 05:25:00 PM »
Kerry,

 where are you at with you past experiences as written?  Much of what you wrote refelcts my own experience, so I'm just curious.

kat
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Offline Troll Control

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« Reply #44 on: September 11, 2005, 05:25:00 PM »
Well, thaks for sharing that.  From what you have said, this is surely an abusive environment.  Yes, there are good people who work at bad programs, but the fact remains that the program is, in fact, bad (and/or abusive).

The conditions and activities you describe should NEVER be inflicted on a child.  It is at the very least unhelpful, and at the worst, outright abusive and possibly even illegal.

That being said, young people, like yourself, who have spent many years institutionalized (although under the guise of so-called "programs"), begin to view institutionalization as "normal," or in some cases what they "deserve."  

This is a common psychological phenomenon.  The mind attempts to normalize the situation as it cannot functionally survive under circumstances that create intense cognitive dissonance, as all of these "programs" are actually designed to induce.

I think that, given time, you will begin to understand how destructive these years of institutionalization have been to you and your psychological and emotional growth.

Let me ask you this:  Would you allow your child to be subjected to these conditions?  If your answer is "no," then how could it possibly be ok for it to have happened to you?

Just a few thoughts for you to ruminate upon...

In any case, I wish you all the best and hope  your desires and dreams are realized, despite the handicaps imposed upon you.
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