Author Topic: Stoughton - A question for "Staff/Old Comers"  (Read 32653 times)

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Offline Anonymous

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Stoughton - A question for "Staff/Old Comers"
« on: January 23, 2006, 05:16:00 PM »
When I think about the old comers, the staff, the 5th phasers, the robots... I wonder if these people ever feel bad for what they did. All these years later, are they still brainwashed? Do the "restrainers" ever feel bad for doing the restraining? Do the guys who shoved their fist down between the chair and my back ever think about what they were doing?

There can be some excuses made for the behavior at the time, and if I am feeling generous I will say "we'll they were only kids too" or "They had to abuse us or be abused". But when I am not feeling generous I think why didn't anyone who worked in the office, or some 7th stepper ever tell someone what was going on?

I still feel that if I saw particular staff members today I would really want to tell them to fuck off. Some of these guys were 17, 18, 19 years old. They knew what they were doing was wrong. Was it just a power trip?

Any thoughts from former staff/oldcomers? Did you really believe in the program? Or were you just afraid to speak up?

How could you guys do what you did? Why did we all go along? If everyone refused to talk in group - like a strike - there would have been no group.

I just dont understand how kids could treat kids that way...
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Anonymous

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Stoughton - A question for "Staff/Old Comers"
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2006, 10:38:00 PM »
after two startovers and a year away from 18 there was no choice but to play their game.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Antigen

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Stoughton - A question for "Staff/Old Comers"
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2006, 02:53:00 PM »
Quote
On 2006-01-23 14:16:00, Anonymous wrote:

How could you guys do what you did? Why did we all go along? If everyone refused to talk in group - like a strike - there would have been no group.


How would you go about planning and organizing the strike? That's the problem. It was an intense snitch culture. We all were turned against each other.

And yeah, I do think most of the staff was entirely brainwashed. I'm not sure all of them were. Some were just sadistic fucks who got off on the whole thing (Virgil) But most were.

That book I'm hawking in the banner at the top of the page answers a lot of this. It covers Fred Collins and Rich Bradburry's stories in the context of the Program's roots in Synanon, the Seed, the TOUGHLOVE hategroup and Lifton's research on thought reform techniques. It splains a lot.

Bigot: One fanatically devoted to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and intolerant of those who differ.
http://www.m-w.com/dictionary' target='_new'>Webster's

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Offline Bird on a Wire

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Stoughton - A question for "Staff/Old Comers"
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2006, 04:55:00 PM »
Can anyone who was involved in any way really separate it into an us vs them scenario? The questions 'how could they...' or 'how could we...' are unanswerable!

Some people were power-hungry, some believed in what they were doing, some BOTH, probably. From newcomer up, no one is blameless, because even if someone spent the whole time not participating, no one really could or did stick up for the fact that everything was obviously fucked up and people were getting hurt left right and centre etc If they tried they were immediately hurt/squelched themselves. I know it happened to me tons of times when I tried to intervene in host homes when people were being unfairly dealt with - and I remembering seeing it in group too - but it was just an excuse for the pack to turn on you and target you for resisting, wasn't it?

We have to think that everyone, from staff all the way through, has their own struggles about all the things that happened. I don't care how brain-washed a person is, or how much they believe in a system, I don't buy that there aren't inner twinges even in the most steadfast supporters, when they think about the humiliations they either did themselves, or saw inflicted on people, or the physical torturous experiences. No one can remove themselves that completely, I hope...

Striking or other forms of rebellion would have been feasible had there been any possibility of secrecy/communications without treachery, or ways of maintaining solidarity. The main trouble was that the strongest features of the programs were their abilities to divide, break down and conquer. Everyone felt alone and out for themselves against this mass of silent minds, each locked in their own hells, and many of us were sure if we tried to stand against it, we would fail and just be forced to stay longer, be targeted and watched more closely etc. Yeah it sucked...
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Like a bird on a wire, like a drunk in the midnight choir, I have tried in my way to be free.\"         -Leonard Cohen

Offline Anonymous

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Stoughton - A question for "Staff/Old Comers"
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2006, 01:17:00 AM »
i was a staff member in stoughton for 1 month and 2 weeks.....i had been out of str8 for 3 1/2 yrs
when i went on.....looking back,it was only a formality.....they never really wanted me there...
i believe they had no choice,mel riddle wanted them to hire me....just about as soon as i was there they were giving me shit and trying to fire or get me to quit.....sylvia koulker and dean"vasaline ass" minstretta worked thier magic on me....wound up finally getting the staff there to "report me"...mind you,i had been finished with str8 for 3 1/2 yrs,for any thing they could!
 i was a good staff member...when i decided to be a staffer,the reason was because i was told that str8 was making changes in thier "treatment....
i wanted to help....you see, i had a really long and hard program.....i thought my experiences in the "old str8",would be of some insight as to how and what to change....boy was i wrong....oh,don't get me wrong,the changes were made as far as the group was concerned,but the inter workings of staff was still like st.pete ....dog eat dog....
the kids loved me in there....i didn't believe in the bs treatment of them.....but i never stood a chance in there because the staff were giving me the "totum pole" ungreased......when i was fired
they let me say my goodbyes to the group....a riot,i kid you not,a riot erupted in the group!..
i felt like robert redford in the movie "brubaker".......and i'm sad to say that my situation ended the same way too....on my way out ,sylvia koulker said to me if i ever set foot on the premises again,they would have me arrested!.....i wasn't even allowed to go to 7 step meetings.....i had no support group,was many miles from my home area and it really disalutioned me......that would wind up being the begining of my fall or downward spiral into my own little hell....a little over a year later i wound up on the streets of boston...not wanting to live or die.....i'm very lucky to be alive...
not all staff were assholes....at least i wasn't
but i was a very unusual situation.....most staff were right off thier phases and onto staff...i wasn't! when i think about it,thats the reason i was fired! i wasn't controllable.....i had been done for a long time! i also gave those kids hope...i was also proof there was life after str8!
that was somthing the staff there didn't want me there because of that!....basically,they wasted my time and enevitably my life....it took a long time to recover...i never fully did though.....hippie
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Offline Anonymous

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Stoughton - A question for "Staff/Old Comers"
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2006, 09:51:00 AM »
Quote
and dean"vasaline ass" minstretta worked thier magic on me..

 :rofl:  :rofl:
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Offline Anonymous

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Stoughton - A question for "Staff/Old Comers"
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2006, 02:59:00 PM »
Thank you all for the thoughtful answers to my post - you are right - it was and would have been impossible to help ourselves. The more I think about it - each day - the more sadistic is becomes. Just such a vile, vile place. I just remember the walls rocking and shaking when we had to sing...

There is a Straightstuff group in msn groups - now a lot of posts but if you join there are about 30 photos - not of stoughton but this kid made it all the way through and he posts his MI, and actually has a photo of him holding a newcomer by the belt, and the Straight Songbook. Worth a look, I think.

To the staffer from Stoughton - when were you in? If you don't mind. Would like to see if we remember you....

Thanks again...
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Offline Anonymous

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Stoughton - A question for "Staff/Old Comers"
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2006, 08:24:00 PM »
it was in late spring early summer.....1986....paul myers and pete benzmiller were my roommates....along with mike kirsh....
they were all lying betraying assholes who whiffed dean "vasaline ass" minstretta's ass...what happened to me really affected my life big time! i went up there because i was told things in the "program" were changing for the better....in group they did....{compared to my "tenure" in there,in st pete,it was totally different for the better,but not good enough}.....but the way staff was run was just like being in st pete on my phases again!...that never got fixed! and my status as a scapegoat didn't either! shit i had been done with my "program " 3 1/2 yrs when i went up there....i didn't expect to be treated so poorly!.....man,i had a really bad time on my phases in st pete{19 1/2 months in st pete},and i got more minstretta "treatment" up there!the fucked up part about that was dean only had 3 months MORE sobriety than me! i was his f-ing foster brother for 2 days! the worst part was i volunteered for it!  i knew it would be a mistake,but my mom said if i didn't go up there,i was out of the house,soooo off i went.....a month and a half or so later they finally broke my spirit{somthing miller newton couldn't even do},i left very heart broken.....as i said earlier,i loved helping you all,i really believed i would/could make a difference up there! i must've,because in all my yrs involved in str8 I NEVER SAW THE GROUP REBELL BECAUSE A STAFF MEMBER was getting fired/leaving etc......i want to thank you stoughten kids for that! it was the best memorey i have of my mistake to go up there....to the staff members that were part of that bullshit....
fuck you.....you know who you are! by the way,i'm saying f-you for greg mc donald too.....he and john parillo got fired with me......they hung out with me and weren't part of the witch hunt that happened to me! i guess i should say that greg isn't with us anymore....he died on / in an accident later that year or early in 87.....hippie
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Offline teachback

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Stoughton - A question for "Staff/Old Comers"
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2006, 08:58:00 PM »
I never liked Kirsch much, hippie. I was gone before he was on staff. I was host brothers with him for a short while; he was just kind of a dork -- he was the kind of kid whose ass I probably woulda kicked in high school for not paying up...
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Offline Anonymous

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Stoughton - A question for "Staff/Old Comers"
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2006, 09:20:00 PM »
that is funny.....but you know,his older brothers and sisters were my old druggie friends.....! shit,i can practically say that his sister gretchen and i were almost boyfriend and girlfriend......how he became an ass sniffer is beyond me.....way beyond me! he lives in germany
now....good place for him.....anyways,yes that whole story is as true as it can be.....hippie
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Offline teachback

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Stoughton - A question for "Staff/Old Comers"
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2006, 09:24:00 PM »
Well now that we're into a..uhuhm..discussion about this, what say you elaborate a little on how they were lying betraying assholes that whiffed dean's ass..I mean..what'd they do..?
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Offline Anonymous

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Stoughton - A question for "Staff/Old Comers"
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2006, 10:55:00 PM »
as always,i had an interview in stoughton....paul told me i could live there....when i called and told him i was coming up,he acted like i never had the interview or the invatation to live at his place.....when i got there he was a totally different person to me than when i talked to him the day of my interview.....all of them were...him mike and pete.....the very first day there dean and that piece of shit thing or sorry of an excuse of a woman , sylvia koulker...were giving me a real hard time...i don't know why but they were....it was as if they didn't want me there.....i remember saying to myself,"they couldn't have had me come up here for nothing....!" i got tired of thier shit and called mel riddle and told him what was going on....this really pissed her and dean off....how dare me break "chain of command"...yeah right!....i was only a trainee,so i didn't go to staff meetings....one fine staff meeting,dean and sylvia got the bright idea to get the staff to "report me"...for anything they didn't feel good about!report me? shit i had been done with that place for 3 1/2 yrs!.....behind my back,they,mike pete and paul , did just that.....
those chicken shit m.fers.......meanwhile,they played cards with me,had me fix thier cars for them,pay rent etc etc  all the while knowing they were screwing me....just like on the phases.....
i had been nothing but a friend to them.....when the shit hit the fan,and i found out what happened....they ducked and ran! avoiding me when ever possible!.....after that,i went out to new hampshire,bought a bong,a toke master bong,and took bong hits of TOBACCO in front of them! went to gratful dead shows as much as poss.....played music in harvard square,grew my hair long,wore whatever i could that was druggie....in essense,i fucked with thier lives as much as i could!....
oh,dean would come over to the apt.,but he wouldn't say anything to me! he wouldn't even look me in the eyes,except to say "hi".....i wouldn't even say anything back to him...it was as if he wasn't there! the best part was i did all that shit sober....lol......i showed them how stupid str8's regulations were!......but honestly,i was so bitter....i wanted to hurt one or all of them....i moved out eventually....thats some of it off the top of my head....hip
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Offline starry-eyed pirate

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Stoughton - A question for "Staff/Old Comers"
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2006, 11:00:00 PM »
"...took bong hits of TOBACCO in front of them..."    :rofl: :lol:   ahh...Dude, you're killin' me.
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Offline Anonymous

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Stoughton - A question for "Staff/Old Comers"
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2006, 11:23:00 PM »
it was awsome! i fucked them up as much as possible.......lol....it worked! fuck w/me i'll fuck w/ you thing.......thats nothing.......i put itching powder in thier beds....made sure thier girlfriends didn't want to be around.....lit patchouly incense all the time...what ever would screw them up!...pete benzmiller went first.....he's probably sucking dean off as we read and write....pauls right behind him.....and mike went to germany....never to be seen again!....the best part was when paul tried to "rescue" me from harvard square....i made him feel very uncomfotable.....lit and smoked a doob in the park right in front of him...

and said you're such a great guy paul.....how does it feel to see the effects of fucking with somones life?.......all my friends were looking at him and saying"is this one of the fuckers who screwed w/you in that f-ed up place?"....he got out of there as quick as he could......it was a good thing too.....i really wanted to tear his face off!...hippie
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Offline teachback

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Stoughton - A question for "Staff/Old Comers"
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2006, 11:42:00 PM »
Quote
.thats nothing....i took out one of thems tranmission plug too.....his brand new car needed a tranny in a hurry.....i put itching powder in thier beds....made sure thier girlfriends didn't want to be around....

 :nworthy:  :nworthy:
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