Author Topic: Explain straight to me  (Read 1481 times)

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Offline NOT12NOW

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Explain straight to me
« on: November 15, 2005, 08:48:00 AM »
I can see how straight grew out of the seed but it also seems, from what I've read, to have differed.  I want to understand those differences.
What were the stages of the program?
How long were people in the program?
How often were kids started over?
How common was physical abuse commited visibly in group?
Did you have raps?  
What were the rules?
Did they claim to be able to read your minds?
What does day zero mean?
What were monday and friday home days?

inquiring and empathetic ex-seedling
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
leveland chick 76-77

Offline Antigen

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Explain straight to me
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2005, 12:53:00 PM »
Well, I can probably tell you quite a lot, but not everything. My knowledge of the Seed comes from having a couple of sibs go through it over the course of about 10 years (the last half of my childhood). That and my mom's continued involvement in volunteer work, in which I was a conscript, for years after the youngest Seedling had graduated. You can correctly infer from that Program mythology and, to some extent, policy pervaded our home life. And you'll just have to take my word for it that what I learned from the Seed came in very, very handy in helping me survive Straight.

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On 2005-11-15 05:48:00, NOT12NOW wrote:

"I can see how straight grew out of the seed but it also seems, from what I've read, to have differed.  I want to understand those differences.

What were the stages of the program?

There were 3 major distinctions; newcomer (first phase), oldcomer and graduate. Graduates were not allowed to associate w/ oldcomers, newcomers were not allowed to speak w/o permission or to speak w/ other newcomers after group in the car or the host homes, etc. That was standard, though sometimes they placed even more restrictions on newcomer communication.

Along w/ that there were 5 phases.

On first phase, you first earned "talk" (identical to Seed talk after open meeting) then T&R, talk and responsibilities where you no longer had to be held by the beltloop inside the building, only on the way to and from the car. And you got to do fun stuff, if chosen by staff, like scrubbing toilets, mopping floors and helping serve lunch and dinner.

You became an oldcomer when you made 2nd phase, which was The Seed's newcomer at home. Same ritual yelling "Im Comming Home!!! and you got to run accross the open meeting room." I heard tell of one kid in another branch who tried that every week for awhile just to fuck w/ people and disrupt OM. LOL!

Third phase was oldomer at work/school. On fourth phase you got a (theoretical) day off where, except for taking newcomers and fosters to and from the building, you didn't have to go in. And you got to go on permissions.

On 5th phase, you stood around the group and acted almost like staff, taking cocs if you felt like it from group members. It was said to be the "giving back" phase of the program. We got 3 or 4 days off then, I think. But, again, they were often daze off in name only.

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How long were people in the program?

Usually closer to two years than one as in the Seed. But it varied. Even at the beginning, I know of one girl who was there for close to 5 years and one very good looking former stripper who aced it in the minimum time, under 9 months, and immediately married a Sr. staffer.

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How often were kids started over?

All the fucking time! I'd have to say at least a couple of times a month in Sarasota, which was usually somewhere between 50 and 100 group members in the two years I was there. I got started over at least three times; twice for splitting and once early on for no reason that I could fathom. I hadn't even gotten (or wanted, for that matter) talk, so it really didn't make a difference. It was just confusing.

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How common was physical abuse commited visibly in group?

Again, daily; sometimes many times a day. But it depends on how you define physical abuse. Things like forced excercise and forced motivating (litterally, several oldcomers grabbing onto a "misbehaving" newcomer and putting their body through the motions) happened probably daily. The worse stuff, "restraints" and marathons, probably several times per week most of the time, sometimes more and sometimes less. The back jabbing and head turning was constant. It became blase after a short while.

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Did you have raps?  

All day long every day. If you happened to get a particularly militant foster parent, you might even have to do mini raps at home.

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What were the rules?
Here's a nice comparison sheet between KHK and Straight prepared by ISAC
http://www.isaccorp.org/khkandstraight.html

I think it was about the same rules list to begin with, but of course it has grown.

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Did they claim to be able to read your minds?

Not in the same way Art did. Instead, they claimed such accute higher awareness as to be able to read physiological signs and body language with precision. So, for all intents and purposes, yes. They just polished the verbage a bit.

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What does day zero mean?

That means no progress. You couldn't request talk or anything till after 14 days. If you were frozen on day zero, that never happened.

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What were monday and friday home days?
Homes rap. That was when you put in for permission to earn talk, t&r or phase change. Then staff and group would challenge you on why and whether or not you deserved it. Just prior to open meeting, they'd come out and announce the approved requests.

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inquiring and empathetic ex-seedling



"


Thanks. I'd love to know what was different too.

I don't go lookin' for trouble. I just keep a little in a box should someone come by who is.
--Bill Warbis

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
"Don\'t let the past remind us of what we are not now."
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Offline Stripe

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Explain straight to me
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2005, 02:50:00 PM »
RE: Mind reading by Art Barker...A shiny, polished turd is still just a turd, no matter how shiny or polished it is in the hands of another. :grin:

It's exhausting reading about your experiences, Ginger, and I don't mean that in any negative way at all.  That you can recount the experience with such clarity and simplicity lends a great deal of creedence to the answers you have provided.

As time goes by and the emotion of the events I expereiced receed, the seed just becomes another event of my past. Neither larger nor smaller than any other event.  The freedom of a clear memory without the attached emotion is a good thing.

Thanks for all you do.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
The person who stands up and says, ``This is stupid,\'\' either is asked to `behave\' or, worse, is greeted with a cheerful ``Yes, we know! Isn\'t it terrific ?\'\' -- Frank Zappa

Offline GregFL

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Explain straight to me
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2005, 03:03:00 PM »
I was just talking about this with my sister but in the context of childhood memories of hurtfull experiences with my parents.

Stripe, right on sis!

We are a product of our past in only this sense.  The way our past affects us now is only thru memories, and only if those memories cause us emotion.  So the trick is to understand why we attach emotion to our memories and deal with it with the goal being at some point to be able to recall past experiences in a manner that does not cause hurt. How?  By understanding them and when we experience pain attached to a memory, trying to reconcile why. Once you sufficiently deal with the pain, the memory remains but the negative emotion attached to it vanishes

It sounds easier than it is and we all fail on some level at acheiving this. But embracing the goal is the trick.

I hope this doesn't sound to hokey, but I think it is in fact one of the secrets to being a happy person.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Stripe

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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2005, 03:07:00 PM »
As Rex Harrison says in My Fair Lady, "By jove, I think she's got it."

It sure is easier on the other side and you are right Greg.  It's not easily accomplished.

Now, do you suppose this is what Betty Sembler means when she tells the Straightlings to "get over it"  or is it really more like "leave me alone - don't bother me with how my acts  effected your life...".  My guess, based solely on my personal experiece, is that it's always easier for the perpetrator to justify doing the act than it is for the victim to accept that it happened and deal with resulting emotional pain.

And Greg, thanks for helping to clarify my thoughts.[ This Message was edited by: Stripe on 2005-11-16 12:10 ]
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
The person who stands up and says, ``This is stupid,\'\' either is asked to `behave\' or, worse, is greeted with a cheerful ``Yes, we know! Isn\'t it terrific ?\'\' -- Frank Zappa

Offline Anonymous

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Explain straight to me
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2005, 08:53:00 AM »
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My guess, based solely on my personal experiece, is that it's always easier for the perpetrator to justify doing the act than it is for the victim to accept that it happened and deal with resulting emotional pain.


Ah-fucking-men
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Offline NOT12NOW

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Explain straight to me
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2005, 08:57:00 AM »
Ooops that was me
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
leveland chick 76-77

Offline NOT12NOW

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Explain straight to me
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2005, 08:43:00 AM »
Antigen I am sorry it has taken me so long to respond to your post.  Your answers and links were very helpful to me.  I understand how straight worked much more clearly now.  Actually I wrote a long email the day I read your entry but lost it somewhere in cyberspace and haven?t had the heart to re-write it till now.

Clearly, growing up with the seed helped you to survive straight; unfortunately you probably end up slapped into straight because the seed was so fungal in your family.

I wonder, from what you wrote, if part of the reason straight became more physically abusive then the seed (at least the seed I experienced) was because the straightlings were more encouraged to make other kids do things.  Make newcomers motivate; you even mentioned a stage where you were intended to serve as an extension to the staff.
 If you take a lot of freaked out kids and give them permission to blow off steam on other kids.  Someone is going to get hurt.   I was mean to my newcomer, because I was trying to prove myself through her progress but deeper down because I was angry and yelling at her was an approved way to express that anger.     If I had been encouraged to be physical I am sure I would have hit, pulled hair and pushed her while I yelled at her.

We used to hear about Straight.  Art and sometimes staff would talk about these arrogant seed parents who thought they knew how to help kids and were starting a program using some seed ideas they didn?t understand.    Did seed parents actually start straight?  The ways the program changed seems to have accommodated them more so it seems likely to me. You could put your kid away longer, it sounds like kids had less days off in the program even towards the end and they had parent meetings, which I am pretty sure the Cleveland seed never had.  

My parents were almost as irritated by having a seedling daughter as they were by having a delinquent daughter.    I embarrassed them by refusing to talk to a girl at church who burst into tears.  I would only wear polyester pants.  I was a tyrant about following the rules.  ?I can?t say your not home to the caller on the phone because I must be honest at all times,? or ?Mom you can?t run out to get milk and leave me home alone.?  My mother was always complaining about how seedlings riding in her car would hush each other for saying anything that happened in group, in front of her?anonymity.  ?Why shouldn?t I be able to hear?? She?d say, ?I am straight.?  

How were people restrained at Straight?  Was being, sat on, considered a restraining method?  Who did it kids, staff or both?  Was it just one person or many?

Did they say love you all the time.  Did you sing jiggle bells?
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leveland chick 76-77

Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2005, 12:22:00 PM »
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Offline Antigen

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Explain straight to me
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2005, 05:11:00 PM »
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On 2005-11-20 05:43:00, NOT12NOW wrote:

"Antigen I am sorry it has taken me so long to respond to your post.

No problem.

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Your answers and links were very helpful to me.  I understand how straight worked much more clearly now.  

Cool.

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Clearly, growing up with the seed helped you to survive straight; unfortunately you probably end up slapped into straight because the seed was so fungal in your family.

Funny you should say that. I used to refer to the Seed as "the Spore". But I wasn't just refering to Straight and LIFE (the only spin offs I knew of) but to the toughlove hategroup's pervasive influence in society and public policy.

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I wonder, from what you wrote, if part of the reason straight became more physically abusive then the seed (at least the seed I experienced) was because the straightlings were more encouraged to make other kids do things.

Well no, as you note, Seedlings were also encouraged and/or required to enforce Program rules and standards on each other and on their parents at home. Giving credit where credit is due, I think Art was just not as big an asshole as, say, Newton or Sembler or Peterman. I can easily visualize Seedlings chasing down and tackling splitters or even doing restraints (good description there at that link in the previous post). And I can imagine some staff, like Lybbi, enjoying the hell out of it and getting very hands on about it. But I can't imagine Art dragging a little girl around by the hair.

See, the Seed was a lot more like a personality cult. In Straight, we were required to worship the rules, the Group and the dogma, but (until Virgil came and until he got the bum's rush) we were not really focused on any individual on any permanent basis. Just their status. So someone who was on staff one day would be above reproach but if they got started over the next day, well then they ate shit along w/ the rest of us.

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Make newcomers motivate; you even mentioned a stage where you were intended to serve as an extension to the staff.

They didn't do that at the Seed? What would happen if you just decided you didn't care to relate?

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If you take a lot of freaked out kids and give them permission to blow off steam on other kids.  Someone is going to get hurt.   I was mean to my newcomer, because I was trying to prove myself through her progress but deeper down because I was angry and yelling at her was an approved way to express that anger.     If I had been encouraged to be physical I am sure I would have hit, pulled hair and pushed her while I yelled at her.

Yeah, that was the gist of it. We were not only allowed, but very much encouraged to vent all of our anger (or make some up) toward all people, ideas and objects un-program-like. But that's how I remember the Seed too.

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We used to hear about Straight.  Art and sometimes staff would talk about these arrogant seed parents who thought they knew how to help kids and were starting a program using some seed ideas they didn?t understand. Did seed parents actually start straight?  

Well, that's his story and John and Ft. Lauderdale and others are sticking to it. It wasn't just a little like the Seed. It WAS the seed with only minor differences. Same mindfuck, slightly different structure and verbage. And I have to say if Art fully understood what the fuck he was doing, he's a bigger monster than most. I honestly don't think he did. I think he was just a self deluded megalomaniac trying to create his own little Chitaqua.

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The ways the program changed seems to have accommodated them more so it seems likely to me. You could put your kid away longer, it sounds like kids had less days off in the program even towards the end and they had parent meetings, which I am pretty sure the Cleveland seed never had.  

No, the Seed didn't have any formal parent groups that I can recal. Virgil Newton introduce parent weekend sometime in the very early `80's. They already had open meeting review when I turned up in St. Pete in Oct of `81, though. That was where the parents did their twice weekly group rap while the kids, at the opposite end of the building (out of earshot?) had the worst come down raps of the week.

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My parents were almost as irritated by having a seedling daughter as they were by having a delinquent daughter.    I embarrassed them by refusing to talk to a girl at church who burst into tears.  I would only wear polyester pants.  I was a tyrant about following the rules.  ?I can?t say your not home to the caller on the phone because I must be honest at all times,? or ?Mom you can?t run out to get milk and leave me home alone.?  My mother was always complaining about how seedlings riding in her car would hush each other for saying anything that happened in group, in front of her?anonymity.  ?Why shouldn?t I be able to hear?? She?d say, ?I am straight.?  

 :rofl: Well, careful what you wish for! That's the funniest thing I've read all day. Thanks!

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Did they say love you all the time.  Did you sing jiggle bells?

"


Constantly, till it was comin' out your ears and every pore and the phrase, when said just so, is sullied and dirty for all time.

We had most of the same songs, too. Row your boat, killing me softly, I am Straight, grand old fag and a whole lot of others.

Don't laugh when you leave this courtroom, thinking you have beat the system because you have looked these things up yourself. We are going to get you down the road.
http://proliberty.com/observer/20020101.htm' target='_new'>Washington Superior CourtJudge Rebecca Baker

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
"Don\'t let the past remind us of what we are not now."
~ Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Sweet Judy Blue Eyes