Treatment Abuse, Behavior Modification, Thought Reform > Troubled Teen - Program Website Division

Essay Contest: What is the Troubled Teen Industry

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Well.  It's very well written and it has almost perfect keyword density for what we're trying to accomplish here (though I did add two more instances of "troubled teen industry").

Unless somebody else can top this, I think i'm going to use it.  See it here: ... -industry/

kev (
lol i put it in the portal last night as well.. perfect example of what we need... (portal is just for show right now)

Thanks gentlemen, I'm flattered.

My shot (a re-tooled essay from my Benchmark site):

--- Quote ---I know what you're thinking. Since I'm criticizing the troubled teen industry I must be a manipulative, drug-addled drama-queen program-reject, reaching out from my junkie squalor at one last chance of revenge before I end up dead, insane, or in jail. All I ask of you, for the next five minutes or so, is to see me without colored glasses as a fellow human being. For the sake of your son or daughter, please keep an open mind.

In the "Troubled Teen industry", parents are preyed upon by legions of Educational Consultants insisting that without a program, their kids will inevitably end up "dead, insane, or in jail". Parents, vulnerable in their fear, are often asked to submit unquestionably to the will of the program, reassured by the repetition of "Trust us, we know what we're doing, we're professionals, we know what's best for your kid better than you do." They are prepped to expect "manipulation'' from their kids, told that "they'll say anything to get home and run the show again".

The fact of the matter is that there are "manipulative" kids in programs, and there are genuine instances of "manipulation"; however since all kids who criticize program or attempt to report abuse are labeled with this stigma, it is impossible for a parent to ever truly know whether or not their child is telling the truth. Staff in the troubled teen industry already know whose side parents will pick and a dispute, and this fact gives them carte blanche to do as they please without fear of repercussion. The more extreme the violation, the less likely it will be thought of as credible.

After enough of their cries for help fall on deaf ears, and the consequences of "manipulations" rack up. Kids of the troubled teen industry are gradually conditioned to suffer in silence. They learn nobody will believe them when they speak out. They learn their own parents won't or don't care. They begin to feel abandoned, and start to lose hope of ever getting out of program.

Some kids attempt to "work the program", to follow all the rules, to do all the requirements, only to gradually figure out that in many cases they will never be allowed to graduate as long as their parents can still afford to pay.  This is often justified as "we don't think you're serious" or "we think you're faking".  The unspoken requirement is the subjective evaluation of character, based upon unqualified opinions of staff whose entire experience is often summed up by their own propensity to failure.

You may have heard from staff that experience is what truly matters, that it trumps book knowledge -- that without having failed themselves, the staff would never be able to truly understand the kids. Although experience can bolster existing qualifications, it should never be seen as an substitute (especially in this case, in which peoples minds, and very lives are in the hands of the staff). When behavior modification is practiced by staff who are not qualified, properly trained, or licensed to practice psychotherapy, the consequences can be grave.

What you may not have heard from the staff is this: a very large portion of the troubled teen industry (indeed, the treatment industry in general) is based of a series of cults.  While it might seem alarmist or irrelevant to mention, one should keep in mind that cults were and are not designed to truly empower people, but to create a dependency on the organization or group (untimately in order to make money).  While cults do produce apparent results in the form of "converts" proclaiming "this group saved my life", the intended result is almost always temporary (though the side effects may last a lifetime). This cultic connection in the troubled teen industry is well documented and at this point not even disputed by those who support and work for the industry.  An educational consultant who runs a very pro-industry website, Lon woodbury weighs in on this issue in his essay "Out of the Sixties",

    "In personal growth, we saw est, lifespring, synanon, a variety of eastern mystic ideas brought to this country, and a host of other movements with new visions of how to increase human potential... So, what's my point? First, if you start tracing the history of influences on many of the schools in the network of Emotional Growth/ Therapeutic schools and programs, you usually wind up back to just a handful of early founders. Also, much of what is most successful and creative in the schools and programs in this network came directly out of the creative thinking and experimenting that occurred in the 1960s." [links added]

As a parent, do you feel comfortable knowing that unqualified, cult influenced staff members are performing potentially long lasting mental modifications on your son or daughter using experimental techniques psychologists have long since condemned as dangerous cultish quackery? You may think, "Well i'm sure they know what they are doing. They claim such a high graduation rate. And they have such wonderful testimonials."  Well, such is marketing and does not necessarily reflect reality.  If it did, Dianetics would be a feasible option.

Take it from those who have been there that there are other at-home community based ways of dealing with issues such as drug addiction and family conflict.  I don't pretend to have all the answers to what is the right way to deal with these issues but I can tell you that a program of the troubled teen industry is not the answer.

Tor more information on the troubled teen industry and it's dangers, please see the following:

--- End quote ---

Feel free to edit (I like collaborative writing)

Take paragraph one, move it to the paragraph 9 position, do not lead with it. You'll lose them johnny on the spot.  If they make it to paragraph nine, you're in the home stretch.  You're butter.


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