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Her is why the Scheff posts belong in WWASP Forum


mskala's home page : lawpoli : youthrights : obedience-schools
WWASPS critic loses suit

Slashdot is covering this story, but only from the point of view of "online defamation":  a jury awarded US$11.3 million to someone who claimed to have been defamed online.  It was a default judgement - the defendant didn't put in any defence - and it turned out that that was because she'd been forced to flee her home due to Hurricane Katrina during the relevant time period, and as a result she never received the papers notifying her of the suit.  There's a lot being said about the case, but as far as I know, nobody has yet drawn any attention to what I consider the most interesting part of the story.

The interesting part:  the defendant was Carey Bock.  The plaintiff was Sue Scheff.  Those names probably don't mean anything to you, but I'll explain.  Carey Bock is an outspoken critic of the World Wide Association of Specialty Programs And Schools (WWASPS), operators of the infamous Tranquility Bay obedience school for human beings, which I wrote about at some length in 2003/2004.  Ms. Bock was actually one of the interviewees in a CBC Radio item that I commented about back then.  She became embroiled in a battle with WWASPS when her ex-husband sent their two sons, without her knowledge or consent, to be abused at a WWASPS school in Costa Rica; and Ms. Scheff, the plaintiff, apparently was a consultant she hired at that time to help find them and get them out of there.  Relations between Scheff and Bock subsequently turned sour and led to the present case.

I have no opinion about who's right in the present defamation case.  I don't know the relevant facts.  But if this could draw some more attention to the issue of human obedience schools, that would be a good thing.  People who cared got upset in 2003, but then nothing happened.  WWASPS has continued to operate.  Something should have happened.  What kind of fucked-up world do we live in where a country that calls itself civilized would allow WWASPS to exist at all?

Apparently, the kind of fucked-up world where that same country would give its leaders permission to torture whoever they want to torture, for as long as they want, with immunity from prosecution.  Just a couple weeks ago I commented on that parallel, over on Livejournal; and now here's this Slashdot story.  It seems like WWASPS is in the air right now.  Anyway, I'm pleased to see that one of my pages is the second Google hit on "Carey Bock", so maybe people looking for information about the present suit will be awakened to the more interesting story behind it.

UPDATE:  I found a press release from Sue Scheff's organization.  I still don't know the facts of the case, but the tone of the press release strikes me as extremely sleazy and I find it hard to be sympathetic towards anyone on the side of the defamation suit that released that load of horseshit.  Note:  that is my opinion of the press release, not of the allegations contained in it; I say the press release is horseshit regardless of whether its specific allegations are true, which I don't know about.

Now I guess I have to find the other party's press release and see if it's equally unimpressive.  I won't be surprised if it is; neither side is sounding particularly admirable at the moment.  Why can't they unite against the obedience schools instead of bickering stupidly over what apparently was a series of postings on a phpBB system of all places?  There are much more important battles to be fought.
UPDATE:  I found what I think is the other press release condemned by the one that's linked above.  I'm not thrilled with it either, but it strikes me as less sleazy.

We need good sympathetic spokespeople on the side of sanity in this discussion.  Scheff and Bock are not sympathetic.  Ken Kay of WWASPS is smoother than a used car salesman.  He pwnzored the CBC interview in '03.  If the above-linked press release from Scheff's organization is typical of the anti-abuse side of the debate, then it's no wonder Kay and his organization are still tolerated.


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This wouldn't be a problem if more WWASPS victims would come forward with info and keep the relevant topics active.

I know what you're trying to do, original poster, and Google doesn't take kindly to being bombed. It becomes counterproductive after a certain point. Sue Scheff is a cunt, we all know this. Repeatedly pointing it out won't really help.

You want to go make repetitive posts to help out, make them on other forums (one post per forum) where people might care to come to Fornits. Preferably on those forums where people are whining about their freedom of speech and ignoring the freedom- or lack thereof- of the kids being kept in hellholes.

You know what cracks me up?  How many anti-wwasps websites and forums are there (besides Fornits)?  Let me guess.  At least 6.
And none of them are really rockin' and rollin' either.  MGDP is right.  What's needed is more active ex-WWASPS alumni posting.  The parents (many of whom are ex-PURE supporters) don't have a whole lot to say that hasn't been said before.  "I WAS ROBBED, I TELL YOU!".  "I WAS AT MY WITS END".   This is an issue that effects kids and families, but it's the kids who did the time in a WWASPS facility, not mom and dad.  And of these kids, most were "referred" by other parents, including Sue Scheff.  So let's all keep it in perspective shall we?  WWASPS v. PURE is an ongoing saga.  They are competitiors, plain and simple.

The truth of the Sue Scheff case:

Sue Scheff and PURE Win Empty Victory over New Orleans Mom
International Survivors Action Committee (ISAC)

10/9/2006 9:21:45 PM

BROWARD COUNTY, FLORIDA (October 10, 2006) - On September 19, 2006, Parents Universal Resource Experts, Inc. (PURE) and its founder, Sue Scheff of Weston, Florida won an $11.3 million dollar victory of hollow sorts over a single mom from New Orleans by alleging defamation over the Internet. Although it is doubtful the verdict will be collected, it may serve to chill free speech of those attempting to expose child abuse or untoward business practices.

The mom, Carey Bock, had publicly criticized the business practices of Scheff and PURE in referring children to allegedly abusive programs. Scheff met the mother?s complaints with a lawsuit reminiscent of one filed against Scheff in 2001.

The mom lacked the financial resources to defend herself or to attend her own trial in Florida. Before trial, Ms. Bock relocated her small family from the New Orleans area to Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. This, however, did not stop Scheff and PURE from coming full-steam after the mom for alleged defamation and other claims. As a result, without the benefit of hearing the mom?s side of the story, a jury had little choice but to award the $11.3 million dollar verdict requested by the lawyer for Scheff and her company.

According to the Daily Business Review, Scheff also named Ginger Warbis as co-defendant. Warbis, who runs a web site critical of Scheff, obtained a well-known lawyer who successfully defeated Scheff?s claims of defamation: ?Warbis? lawyer, Philip Elberg, of Medvin & Elberg of Newark, New Jersey, sharply criticized Scheff and other people who refer parents to programs for troubled teens. ?People in this industry have consistently used their money and their access to lawyers to silence critics of the industry and this may be one of those examples,? Elberg said. ?Sue Scheff is simply another person in the industry of people who make money from the plight of frightened parents.??

The Daily Business Review, noting that Scheff won effectively only by default, paraphrased Scheff?s attorney, stating, ?Bock was not present for the jury trial, which was held to determine damages only. . . .?

A separate lawsuit had been filed in Utah against Scheff and PURE by the World Wide Association of Specialty Programs (WWASP), containing similar allegations as those raised by Scheff against the New Orleans mom. Scheff lost all counter-claims against WWASP but was not found liable for claims of damage allegedly caused when Scheff posted Internet statements asserting child abuse by WWASP. Scheff admitted she used false names to do so. While her case pended, Scheff removed representations from her web site which falsely stated Scheff holds a college degree.

The recent Florida verdict also ignored abuse allegations at children?s programs to which Scheff refers families because the jury never heard the opposing evidence. The owner of one such program to which Scheff made referrals, Whitmore Academy, was initially charged with multiple counts of child abuse and hazing in connection with four children at the boarding school. The owner recently pled no contest to four counts of hazing, and was ordered to pay fines and complete community service. The prosecuting attorney told the Deseret News, ?I believe it effectively shuts them down in the state of Utah.? According to a September 2006 news article by the Deseret News, ?The former operator of a therapeutic school [Whitmore Academy] for troubled youths, who has been kicked out of Mexico and accused of starving horses in Canada, has agreed not to run another rehabilitation school in Juab County.?

The allegations of child abuse did not deter Scheff from enrolling children for a profitable sum of money. In a separate case, the United States Court of Appeals found that defendants PURE and Sue Scheff, "[C]ompete with the schools associated with World Wide. PURE schools pay Ms. Scheff a substantial sum whenever a child enrolls in its program based on her recommendation."

According to the non-profit International Survivors Action Committee (ISAC), Scheff and her company are on the ISAC ?watch list? for questionable practices that may place children at risk for abuse or neglect. ####

Sources: ... &aId=19977 ... eeves.html,1249,650192749,00.html

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