Treatment Abuse, Behavior Modification, Thought Reform > Mission Mountain School

Blaire Webbe RIP

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I wrote this short letter a long time ago.  If the person who I sent it to wants to known she will let you know. Anon had asked me about Blaire and I replied: This is the actual letter.

Sent: Sunday, May 08, 2005 6:40 PM
To: anonimous friend
Subject: Re: Blair


anonimous friend,


I know that Blair was a major scape goat at the school at the time. Many girls disliked her, but I think it was the school's fault. I always misjudged her character because she was always like ADD. It seemed as though the school pushed her to be the way she was. Blair was very odd and hyper active, and seemed to be very dishonest. She was usually "attacked" during group settings, and blamed for chaos. I think the way I perceived her is wrong now, because I never saw her to be very mature, but there were times that she expressed great feelings and I knew there was something there inside her being misunderstood, and being pushed to act the way she did: almost "crazy". I would defenetly like to hear her story, but concerned with her level of maturity, and self awareness. She may have changed greatly. She may actually have a lot of knowledge to put in to this, but I am not sure. If she has changed the main thing that she would probably say is about how the school humiliated her and made her look like she was dumb, because that's the way I saw it. I saw her as having no capability of having deep thoughts, but had she been given the chance to express herself correctly she would have probably proven to all of us that she was/is greatly intellingent..and I hope that that's true, for the sake of this matter.

Blaire Milliken Webbe, a former Vail Mountain School student, died unexpectedly Nov. 9. She was 21.

Webbe was born May 15, 1984.

After attending Vail Mountain School, Webbe graduated from the Idyllwild School of Performing Arts in California, where she studied film and video production. Webbe was living in Boulder where she was attending the Academy of Cosmetology Arts in Denver.

Webbe is survived by her parents, Daphne and Linsday Webbe; her sisters, Kate and Hope; and her brother, Henry.

There will be a memorial service at 1 p.m., Sunday at the Beaver Creek Chapel.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Make A Wish Foundation in memory of Blaire Webbe, 7951 E. Maplewood Ave., Suite 126, Greenwood Village, CO, 80111.

Vail, Colorado ... S/51115004

This is so very sad.
Anyone who says this death is not a result of this girl's treatment during her stay a MMS, and her treatment for speaking out about this abusive school is dead wrong!

Well, I don't care about being anonymous so I just say off the bat that this is Liz and I was at MMS from 01-03.  

I really don't know what to say about all of this.  Of course I have problems with MMS.  It screwed me up in ways that I didn't even know were possible.  I was so scared the whole time that I was there that I pretty much had zero personality - ZERO.  But I won't be in the college I'm in if I hadn't gone there.  What I do have a major problem with is the fact that someone would get in trouble for saying their opinion about their experience.  ESPECIALLY AFTER THEY HAVE LEFT THE GOD DAMN PROGRAM.  At that point they are adults and no longer under whatever loophole in the law that allows for places like MMS to do the same kind of monitoring of opinions characteristic of the worst theocracy/dictatorship.  How 1984 was all that shit?  Nothing gets me going like violations of THE BILL OF RIGHTS.  So this is for John, Colleen, and the rest of you staff members up there:

These opinions are not isolated to the people you have classified as "bad" alumni.  I celebrated 4 years of sobriety on August 30th of this year, and since I left there all that I've realized is that everything that I believed was good about that school came from the girls and a few staff members, namely Gary and Doug.  I don't understand how you could write people like Blaire off and threaten her with a bullshit lawsuit.  I'm not an expert yet, but a case against her would honestly hold just as much credibility as the case Fox News had against Al Franken, which, by the way, the supreme court judge laughed at and essentially told the lawyer fighting for fox to stop talking. I do not credit anything to you.  I credit my happiness and what success I've had to my friends like Blaire, and how dare you tell her that she's not perfect the way she is with the feelings she has.  How dare you tell anyone that.  How dare you have told me that.  I'm still recovering from it all.  God, but I don't know what to do with myself because I don't know where I'd be if I hadn't gone there.  

A note to all my girls:
I love you guys so much.  I'm so sorry for everything I ever did to perpetuate the school's bullshit, because I know that I have done things that have.  Just know that the only reason was my own selfish fear and that at the time I didn't have enough brain power to question anything.  If I could go back and do it again I would fight for any and all of you.  Thank you guys, and thank you so much Blaire for being yourselves when I couldn't.  I admired you at the time and I admire you now.  Blaire, you are a beautiful soul, thank you for the time you took to listen and I'm sorry you didn't get a chance to really make yourself heard.  We're all going to do it for you now, so you can rest sweetheart.  I'm seriously going to email J-"god"-man right now, I'll post his response too so everyone can see it.  Maybe we should all start sending emails so he gets crazily bombarded.  Remember that thing he used to say that if you think the sky's purple but pretty much everyone else is telling you its blue, what you think is probably wrong?  Let's show him the sky's blue...or just that he's wrong.

here here, Liz!  Blaire's death, and the suffering of countless other girls should not be allowed to have happen in vain.  What I really wonder is how much Blair's parents know about the way she was treated at MMS- I think that they should be made privy to all the information we have, they'd probably be shocked as mine were.  

Also, I often think, as you mention, what other alternative was there?  And that's the biggest problem.  These facilites have popped up everywhere precisely b/c local care has failed us- lack of funding, training mostly, lack of parental awareness, and a great deal of misinformation going around too.  What I hope that, as young people getting oranized, not just from MMS, but from other facilites just like MMS, we can draw attention to this obvious flaw in the system that doesn't provide care needed that has allowed this billion dollar a year industry to flourish w/o gov't oversite to ensure the care kids are recieving is ethically implements.  Most importantly, the gov't has failed provide kids/parents with the more effective solutions by improving local systems of care to these problems many kids face,because youth often don't require institutionalization- that should be reserved for extreme cases. Studies have shown that it often doesn't work and it's time that the public recognize this and the gov't provide the resources to solve this problem.  Home based care, outpatient treatment has provent to be most effective, especially in places that are well funded that use something called the 'wrap around process'.  This is a more holistic mehtod that empowers youth and their families.

These imporvements & regulation, of course, can't be made if the only voices Congressman hear are coming from industry folks and families swearing by these facilites, where girls/boys who have been harmed are silenced by the Colleen's of the world.  It's bullshit and I, for one, am tired of that intimidation that allows this to mistreatment to continue.  How many more Blaire's have to die until we realize we are harming so many kids by remaining silent?

I'm not sure what e-mailing John will do, my sense is that if he is so easily dismissive of a few bad apples, (read: dissenters- remind you of any particular administration?) then I'm not sure he would be receptive to many dissenters-- but, perhaps he truly does care.  My opinion of John is beyond low, i think he's scum and really doesn't care for youth, or does so only insofar as it doesn't hurt his fragile ego and...well, maybe I shouldn't go beyond that.  We all know what he was like.  

But in terms of real change, I do encourage you all to write Dr.Allison Pinto and share your experience- that story will be delivered to Congress in support of regulation.  It's a place to start, even if it's not the final solution.  Plenty of abuses and abusive methods are used at regulated facilites, but it's a start  This is Dr. Pinto's e-mail address.

[email protected]

So, thanks Liz for sharing your thoughts...I appreciate what you have to say.

best, kat


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