Author Topic: Why did cleveland branch close?  (Read 1608 times)

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Offline NOT12NOW

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Why did cleveland branch close?
« on: October 19, 2005, 07:36:00 PM »
What happened that the program shut down and left town virtually over night?  I had graduated by then but I knew someone who had just gotten home when they closed.  They called him at home and graduated him over the phone the night they left town.  I also knew a graduate who had been in the day before, he said there had been no sign that they were planning on leaving.  
All I remember was a newspaper article one morning questioning their credentials.  They were gone before it hit the stands.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Offline cleveland

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Why did cleveland branch close?
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2005, 10:23:00 AM »
Hey Cleve Chick,

I remember it that way too. Art and Shelly flew up to Cleveland one day, unexpectedly, like always. But staff was super serious, and after the usual joking around, Art said gave a little speech which I don't remember very well, but the gist of it was that people who weren't a part of the seed would never understand it, that the media and goverment were always going to oppose it, and that we should never believe what we read in the papers. Then he said that there would be an article in the Plain Dealer that would come out soon.

Then I think there was some confering in the back office while the group did the rules or something like that. At some point, Art came out and said that the Cleveland Seed was closing, and that kids still on their program as well as some oldcomers would be coming down to Florida to join the Ft. Lauderdale Seed. And that was it. I think it was only a few days later that we packed up and left, which I dimly recall as a caravan of cars.

Scott B., who had led the Cleveland Seed and I always thought of as the director, never played that role again. In fact, he was rarely in the group, and didn't lead raps that I recall in Florida. I thought he might have been 'come down' on for something, maybe for the Cleveland Seed closing. He surprised me by showing up one day in the guys' apartment, with an attache case full of gold chains he selling. Since I was still a newcomer and took all of the seed jargon literally, I was stunned to see this guy hocking cheap bling! Later he became a mortgage broker.

Anyway, after I left the Seed I looked up the article in the PD files, which would have been Sept/Oct '79, I think? It was about the Seed lacking a license, being controversial, etc. Nothing that hadn't been covered in the press before.

Cleveland Seed people that went to Florida: Me and John G., another newcomer. Diane A who I think was a newcomer 'chick.' Diane M and John P, jr. staff. Jeff P, Larry D, Wayne A, Jim A, Tom D, Bobby M, Tom V, a kid named Rick, Mary (who later married staff member Phil S.). My brother Evan W stayed behind with a couple of other Seed kids who were still in HS, like Wade H (who later came down to Florida too). Oh yeah, there was Eric Mc and his sister (he was a golden gloves boxer) and I think his mom even moved to Florida with them. A jr. staff kid named Alex, whose family owned a greek restaurant, stayed behind and I never saw him again. John G (see Seed kids who died) came down later with his wife and child. Cleveland staff members Laura, Cookie C, Bob W, Ginger T, Scott B came down too.

Remember any of these? I don't remember the girls as well as the guys, obviously I had little contact with them.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Offline wtaylorg

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Why did cleveland branch close?
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2005, 01:26:00 PM »
It was Oct/Nov '78. I remember that last day of the Cleveland Seed and being a Newcomer they asked me the previous day if I wanted to go to Ft Lauderdale to finish my program and being a minor my parents had to agree and I'm sure sign some type of form.
I met my Mom and she pleaded with me to change my mind about wanting to go. She had spoken with the juvenile court probate and She said a transfer to another facility was OK.

To this day I don't know why I agreed to go. I had my chance away from staff, but I felt intimidated into agreeing to go and most importantly I was angry with my parents.

I really wish I had chosen differently and become like my brother a "hippy" straight kid. Cause he still seemed cool to me. It never felt right being a Seed kid, it was like wearing clothes a size small.

But, that last day we met in a room I had never been in before. In the mornings we usually met in a room with windows looking out the back of the property. The chairs faced across the open meeting chairs in the typical "Seed" way. And in the afternoon we would move downstairs to another rap room, no open meeting chairs.  This day we met in room with no chairs and everyone sat on the ground. The raps were about taking care of each other after the Seed left, that kind of thing. Lots of oldcomers/timers spoke

We were taken to the airport in several big cars and I sat next to Ginger T on the plane ride down.
I remember the next day getting to the Ft Lauderdale Seed and thinking how big it was compared to Cleveland. A different atmosphere.
Yeah, I recall Scott B, and I recall not seeing him that much down in Ft Lauderdale. And I remember Hank and Robert being the "senior" people down there.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline GregFL

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Why did cleveland branch close?
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2005, 09:51:00 AM »
Scott last I heard is involved in business with several other ex seedlings and remains friendly to the group that stayed loyal to Art.

Scott if you are reading, please feel welcomed to participate here.
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Offline NOT12NOW

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Why did cleveland branch close?
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2005, 10:27:00 AM »
Quote
But, that last day we met in a room I had never been in before. In the mornings we usually met in a room with windows looking out the back of the property. The chairs faced across the open meeting chairs in the typical "Seed" way. And in the afternoon we would move downstairs to another rap room, no open meeting chairs.  This day we met in room with no chairs and everyone sat on the ground.


I have a theory about that.  I think when They took us out of the regular rap room into one of the many basement rooms (and  in the nine month or so I was there I never saw all of these rooms)it was to make us feel under attack by the outside.  Basement rooms, few windows, group huddled together on the floor.  They were using setting to exagerate the illusion that the world was against us.  
I remember one time eggs were thrown into the courtyard just outside the upstairs rap room and we were immediately led downstairs to finish the rap  They were just eggs for god sake.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Offline Anonymous

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Why did cleveland branch close?
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2005, 02:31:00 PM »
In hindsight the manipulation is obvious, isn't it?  That must have been a weird experience for you guys back then.  

What made Art Barker think that Cleveland, Ohio was a hot spot for drugs anyway? Not that it really matters, but I was just wondering - who were the locals who were responsible for bringing the seed there ?

By the way, was the alleged Plain Dealer article ever published?  It sure whould be nice to see what that was all about.
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Offline Anonymous

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Why did cleveland branch close?
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2005, 03:02:00 PM »
Wow, I am amazed how much that sounds like when the country started to come down on "Jim Jones" He gathered his people up told them the world was against them and to protect each other. Then somehow coerced everyone to pack up and head out of the country to create "Jonestown"

Looking back, it all seems so scarey.
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Offline Antigen

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Why did cleveland branch close?
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2005, 12:58:00 PM »
Quote
On 2005-11-15 11:31:00, Anonymous wrote:

What made Art Barker think that Cleveland, Ohio was a hot spot for drugs anyway? Not that it really matters, but I was just wondering - who were the locals who were responsible for bringing the seed there ?


I think by that time the Gateway lie had taken off. So every town in America was fair game.

Necessity is the excuse for every infringement of human freedom.  It is the argument of the tyrant and the creed of the slave.  
-- William Pitt, 1763

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Offline Anonymous

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Why did cleveland branch close?
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2005, 01:27:00 AM »
Yes,  the article was published on the front page of the Plain Dealer.  I'll never forget the title, "Seed Scatters."  I later worked in the building (8301 Detroit Ave.) which became West Side Community Mental Health Center
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Offline NOT12NOW

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Why did cleveland branch close?
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2005, 09:15:00 PM »
where you in the program anon. when?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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