Author Topic: Accountability  (Read 3517 times)

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Offline damanamanit

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Accountability
« on: January 03, 2010, 04:33:57 PM »
ac?count?a?bil?i?ty
–noun
1.
the state of being accountable, liable, or answerable.
2.
Education. a policy of holding schools and teachers accountable for students' academic progress by linking such progress with funding for salaries, maintenance, etc.
American Psychological Association (APA):
accountability. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved January 02, 2010, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/accountability

re?spon?si?bil?i?ty
–noun, plural -ties.
1.
the state or fact of being responsible.
2.
an instance of being responsible: The responsibility for this mess is yours!
3.
a particular burden of obligation upon one who is responsible: the responsibilities of authority.
4.
a person or thing for which one is responsible: A child is a responsibility to its parents.
5.
reliability or dependability, esp. in meeting debts or payments.
American Psychological Association (APA):
responsibility. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved January 02, 2010, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/responsibility


Rapidly approaching 40 and rearing a teenager- the issues of accountability and responsibility are of the utmost importance... Like the nirvana of lesson learning. So, I am writing this as a means of cleaning my own closet and really getting to the bare bones of my traumatic experience at Cascade School.
I decided to start this off with the actual definitions of accountability and responsibility... and much to my amazement both definitions include either education, parents or an authority figure.
I spent two years at a behavioral modification school, Cascade- which has since been closed down. To think that it was even categorized as a legitimate behavioral modification school is at the very least fraudulent- at NO time during my time spent at Cascade were there any licensed psychologists or psychiatrists—nor were there and licensed clinical social workers. The roots and history of this school stemmed from a cult Synanon that was created in the 1960's by Mel Wasserman, who in turn created the school Cedu in Running Springs, California—of which the staff that created the sister school Cascade were prior students and staff members of. So, this philosophy which has also been compared to brainwashing was the underlying current for maintaining control over children who were deemed 'out of control.' Conforming and adhering to the 'agreements' was essential for survival. Some of us had a difficult time being stripped of everything. When I say stripped of everything, things as simple as sharing were privileges that had to be earned. No music that we listened to prior to coming to the school was 'acceptable' so if you happened to mention it or god forbid hum it or sing it, you were given 'dishes' which was a punishment. When you first arrive to the school you are strip searched and your genital area is searched to make sure that you were not bringing any drugs into the school. Your make-up is removed, you are not allowed to own any black clothing, no hair products, no talking about your old friends, hang-outs or school. You were allowed a phone call to your parents on a semi regular basis after your first month that was monitored and if you mentioned anything that was going on at the school they hung up the phone and called your parents back the next day stating you were having an emotional outburst and that you were fine and would talk with them again soon. Your mail was read and checked before you sent it and receiving mail was limited to family members who were not addicted to drugs or alcohol. Raps. These were our therapeutic sessions that occurred 3 times a week for the first year and then dwindled down to 2 as you progressed through the program. Raps lasted anywhere between 3-4 hours, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Raps were torturous. It was an emotional rape on a consistent basis. You weren't allowed to argue with anyone outside of raps and the purpose of raps was to break you. Get you to the point where you felt like such a piece of shit that you agreed with all the accusations being screamed at you by your peers and mentor. You had to sit across from the person you were indicting. And indictments were brutal, and usually started by the mentor as a means of getting things started so the rest of the room could take a pot shot at the kid in the hot seat.    Oh, you were broken by the end of being indicted. You had snot running from your nose, crying profusely hunched over in your seat counting the stitches in your shoes hoping and praying that this horror would stop soon. Meanwhile, as an indictor you're hoping you didn't piss someone off that week and the table doesn't turn and the whole rap gets focused on you. You have to understand this is where they consider you to be growing and showing progress. We were taught that it was part of growing to break other kids, it was mandatory... you could end up on dishes or if you refused to participate you easily could end up on indefinite dishes. Dishes—work crews where you were allowed no communication with anyone, no eye contact, talking, you were expected to clean as fast and as thoroughly as possible. I can remember actually doing the dinners dishes, pots, pans and silverware where a spot was found on a dish and I had to redo the entire nights dishes again until there wasn't a spot found on anything. That's dishes and silverware for a 150 students plus staff members and the pots and pans. I struggle washing dishes to this day and I am completely insane about the way they are washed. Thanks, Cascade...my house isn't clean because it's part of life, I am being punished on a daily basis—thanks again. We ran trash and compost in any weather, dug post holes, built fences, created gardens, maintained them,  hand dug the trenches between the lake in back of the property for a new lake in front of the house, cut all the firewood and kindling. We never ran out of wood, there were always new students coming in that needed to be broken...and I laugh disgusted at the lack of humane behaviors that was promoted as healthy. Then there were profeets/workshops. These fucking things lasted anywhere from 24 hours to a week in length. Sleep deprived, like an all night INTENSE rap—there was nothing like a profeet/workshop rap they were the most brutal painful god awful rap ever—hell, they had hours to commit just to you and your supposed shit. We were all worthless pieces of shit, and everyday we didn't do what we were told to do was one day closer to us being a junkie or low life criminal. Fuck up there and well you were a total waste to society and had no place anywhere. Role playing was a big part of profeets/workshops—crazy shit we were made to do. Our parents were to be hated and it was promoted. I remember beating house cushions while my hands bled and forced to keep beating them and focusing that that was my mother or father I was hurting. How about the fact that as a child I agreed to never EVER discuss anything that happened in raps, profeets/workshops. I took a vow of silence and confidentiality. Well, I am out of agreement and hell, I'm all grown up and if I want to discuss or lambaste the abusive practices of junkies and whores who thought they knew what was best when it came to educating me on life, the world, my mental/emotional well being and social communication, then I say, “ let it ride.”  I think its best that you know, my parents signed over custody of me to this school, and agreed to pay upwards of $5500.00 per month for my tuition and 'rehabilitation.' This school, like other behavioral modification schools is recommended by educational consultants that our parents paid a great deal of money to find the best fit between our situations and the schools philosophy. Unfortunately, when wealthy adults who shouldn't have kids to begin with, end up having the least amount of problems with their children these places offer an opportunity for them to remove their 'problem child' and have other unlicensed adults with no culpability rear and advise the unwanted spawn. This is a cycle of abuse. These abused children who act out because their situations are less than livable in many circumstances get sent to these schools and as part of conforming and belonging to this group of people who taut themselves as your real family has now become your place of cyclical abuse and safety all bound into one. You are removed from the public in most cases you are somewhere up in the wilderness in a location far from any town or access to your hometown. Now sheltered, with new rules and safety nets, your way of acclimating to the real world is diminished because when in public you are now in a foreign place with people who could hurt you at any time thus promoting your desire to go back 'home' where it is safe. So, these students conform and adjust to cult life after a two- two and half year program and in some cases end up staying at the school and becoming a staff member-- because, well, its much easier to stay in a community where you are respected and feared than to try and make it on your own outside the limits of the school. Then we have the students that graduate and go on to create their own twist on the school and community, thus the cycle continues. To reach the unreachable this kind of torture and methodology is an acceptable practice?  Hours of torture and role playing, not to mention listening to staff members cop to their filthy cop lists, which was supposed to help us? Hearing about Paula Rudy and her sicko cop out shit was not something as a 15 year old I really needed to be subjected to and GOD FORBID she felt compelled to cop out to those add/adhd kids who were maybe 13 years old and completely immune from any kind of obscene sexual exploits before her having to cop out. That kind of truth was more of a harm than a help to any of those kids-- Oh hell, how about the lifeboat? You can pick two people from your family to live and the rest you have to tell are unworthy to live and have to die. That's a goodie. Nothing says love and commitment like telling your brothers and sisters they have to die and are worthless pieces of shit. But somewhere out there these people actually sat around and thought about these things—scripted roles, and performed these pseudo therapeutic events as though you could just walk away with no repercussions or feelings of self hatred for treating other human beings with such little disregard.
I went to that school with a history of sexual, physical and emotional abuse. I was an alcoholic and I used drugs to help me deal with my situation. Every psychologist I saw was in some form related with my family. First my father dated my psychologist, then the next one that suggested the educational consultant was a personal friend of the family. I had no outlet and no professional help was ever seriously attempted no matter how many times I had breakdowns and tried to commit suicide. So, the reasonable solution was sending me to this school where after 2 years I was felt up by the man who for all purposes had become my 'pappa.' I stayed home on a home visit and refused to go back to the school. At which point I was harassed on a daily basis from my then mentor, Barbara Cass and headmaster, Michael Algood. I was forced to sign legal documents absolving my father from any further obligation to me financial or otherwise and god knows what other documents I signed.. all I remember was that there was a lot of legal documents. Kinda late, but nice to know that I was a minor and signing my rights away. So, within a matter of a year I was homeless and in a position of having to do those nasty things I was accused of and menial jobs just for a roof over my head. I hadn't even turned 18 yet and I had just spent the last two years of my life conforming to a system that I had made work for me, and ultimately I could have gone on to have some kind of a life thereafter had my 'pappa' not violated me. Instead, I invested two gut wrenching years of my life to lose everything god had ever given me and to be betrayed by those claiming to be my family and my biological family as well—because ultimately, I couldn't succeed in a program that was the last ditch effort to have me socially attune. I am dead to my family. I lost my brothers, which caused me the most pain. I have lived a hard life of abusive relationships, near death events, drugs and alcohol and yet, I am still here to teach my children the complete opposite of everything I was ever taught as a child....and thank god, so far so good.  
There is not a day that has passed since I was at that school that I haven't thought about those kids that I had to break as a means of survival. I never believed in inhumane treatment, yet it was expected of me as a means of conforming to this sick and tortuous place.
Accountability. I accept responsibility for those things I have done that hurt others, and as painful as it is, I chose to survive rather than take into account the feelings of my peers.
I have spent my life helping those along my path that I could, when I could and will continue to do so.
As for those in my life that chose the easy way out, I do hold you accountable.  First and foremost my father. My father abused me long before he sent me to the school and the school was just a scapegoat or excuse to remove me from the family. It was far easier for him to pay the money then to have to deal with me on a daily basis. I am almost 40 and he doesn't even know the names of my children. I accept that there is no salvageable relationship, I hold you accountable for not meeting your responsibilities as a father. Secondly,  is the educational consultant for receiving money for promoting a therapeutic school where there were no licensed professionals to oversee the program and ultimately protect us from mental/emotional damage. Third, I hold the staff of Cascade School accountable for irrevocable emotional and mental harm. After Neil Weston (I am glad he's dead, one less abuser in the world!) felt me up, who was going to protect me? My mentor, Barbara Cass? Her method of fixing things was bringing it up in raps... how was that going to be a safe place for me?  And then what? I was paid for up until my 18th birthday, how was I to co-exist in a familial situation with a man that violated my trust to the point of being emotionally paralyzed? Was no one familiar with my history? Did they not know how violent my past was—what about the fact that I was molested as a child? After two years of intensive so-called rehabilitation and hosts of cop out lists how could no one have a real firm understanding of my history? I had nowhere to go and no one to run to, and in turn I lost my life. I was a good kid, and between my parents and Cascade I was fed  to the wolves. How exactly did Cascade save my life? I have heard the testimonies of many people who claim that Cascade was their savior...how is it possible that I could go through the same experience with people and they see it as a salvation not a corruption? $198,000.00 and two years later I was alone in a strange place begging for a place to stay and food to eat with no family to help me because well, I am sure Michael Algood and Barbara Cass convinced my parents how bad I was, right? I refused to come home because I was scared, and it didn't help that I was screamed at daily by both Barb and Michael to get my fucking ass on the goddamn plane and get home to sort this shit out. Not exactly a warm, safe place for me to go back to, was it? There was no curing me—I most likely created the event that happened to avoid some bullshit they came up with. Again, I was violated and it was 'my' fault, because ultimately, I paid for it. Surreal. I don't remember learning cover your ass at any cost, perhaps that was to come in the last two workshops.  Well, I hold the staff of Cascade accountable for the atrocities I have suffered and the loss of my family.
I have learned that the very best you can do in life is to accept where you made mistakes or hurt others, make amends and do your best not to repeat the behavior. Where it is of utmost importance to be accountable for your own actions, it is also important in life that we have some kind of validation for the harm inflicted by others. I cannot say that I have experienced a sorry or an explanation from anyone for the horrors I lived as a child and young adult...and after all the pain and suffering isn't that what we all really want? Our abusers to acknowledge our suffering and most importantly to hear the two words, “I'm sorry?”  What else is there?                (Wow, that felt good.)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Che Gookin

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Re: Accountability
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2010, 11:58:45 PM »
That's a long read, but well worth the reading. As former staff of a different program I find it a painful one to read, but you have a story that needed/needs to be told, and one that should be read. Welcome to the forums and here's hoping for a happy holidays for you.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Anonymous

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Re: Accountability
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2010, 02:24:14 AM »
Some folks can share here and I hear them....Some folks share and I feel them.....This person shared and I lived it in my bones.
I remember this time, like it was yesterday b/cuz it was yesterday. Sometimes it feels like today when I read posts like this.
Yes it does feel better to tell someone, especially someone who is that someone. Thank God I don't have to feel alone.
That is how I felt for many years, alone. Thinking I was wrong for my feeling concerning Elan. Wrong b/cuz I should have been
grateful for being there, they saved my life. I deserved the punishment and therefore everyone else did too. This I continued to the
gates of hell, it fit right in with my self esteem.
Man what a fucked up mess, this site pushed me very quickly right over the edge. Smack damn right into the pit of reality. No more creeping
around and dancing, acting like nothing really happened up there in Maine. Elan One, Poland Springs.
If I go back 35 yrs. ago I was 16, life had been a nightmare. So in August of that yr. 1975, my mother made a excutive decision...son I'm going
to save your life (which for all intents and purposes, you could argue) drug addiction,alcoholically drinking, criminal behavior, overdosed twice,
and constantly running away. So in her mind yes she was saving my life and later I learned relieving herself of a failure she didn't have to look
at any more. Her failure and the fact I was failing.
So off to Elan and I was abrubtly turned over lock stock and barrel to them. Signed sealed and delivered. Never to return home to live.
Back to the point (if there is "one" now) I was informed early on there this place was going to save my life. My parents on their one and
only visit said the same. From that point on that became the mantra, whenever I would think about Elan I would say, "hey it saved my life".
There is a part or memory in my mind that still wants to say that, b/cuz the craziness stopped that I was accustom to at home and shifted
or changed into a more organized insanity, so it seemed better. (I know sounds fucking nuts) and I wanted to believe it changed my life b/cuz it felt better believing that.
This site in a matter of 2 months has shredded any last faint remnants of fantasy, I had about Elan.
Over the years I had done alot of work on myself, never had anyone ever contradicted my assessment of Elan how it saved my life. Now I am not saying that I was always honest (not conscious) about this subject.
Anyway just some thoughts I had about this thread, it kicked up alot of emotion in me.      Thanks for your story.....Danny :shamrock:
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline damanamanit

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Re: Accountability
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2010, 07:31:05 PM »
Thank you for your posts :) Your acknowledgment is uplifting!

 :seg:
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Gentlestormi_

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Re: Accountability
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2010, 11:06:43 PM »
damanamanit ,

Thank you for your sharing of the horror you have been put through, and also the honest seeking of how to cope in life as you raise your own children. Its amazing the strength of determination i hear in your voice. The crimes against you and me and others in similar cults is astounding to even figure up, and i value what you shared.
I am glad to hear how you have survived and how you find ways to deal. its encouraging and your revealing of Cascade is so needed.

Peace
Gentlestormi
Roloff Cult Survivor
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline blownawaytheidahoway

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Re: Accountability
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2010, 03:44:41 PM »
In 1999 or 2000 I was working at a firm in Manhattan. On one of the client lists a name reminded me of someone I was close with some years back. I say close because he ran some of my workshops at RMA and was known to be less frightening than many of the other powerstaffers.

I decided, why not look up Tim Brace? I was able to find him easy enough, and from the comfort of my desk I rang him up. I mentioned my name: did he remember me? Of course he did. I went on to tell him what I was up to and we exchanged some small talk. He told me he was just starting a new school in Virginia. On this point- even though it wasn't my intention when I reached out to him out of the blue- I began to share some of the overall feelings and reflections I had about my time in Idaho. It was hard for me, my subconscious was relaying a message that I should be worried. They would come and get me again. I pushed through the mysterious and palatable fear and simply told him about how I felt there were things TOO intense up there. I thought there was wrongness. He went on to say he (and I quote) "I've heard that kind of thing a lot."..."we've made a lot of modifications since you were a student" kind of thing.
Hunh. Ok. nice talking to you. I hung up.  

We spoke only that one time since I had been a student. The gist of it all now is sitting just behind my eyeballs as being uniquely significant. I can't quite unroll the feelings, the context I was in, memory, individual reflections of the past and the memories therein. But I got off the phone and since I hadn't thought about being 14 again, I felt like I had done a service by telling him that the program had some tremendous flaws.

And here I am so many years later....I had several times tried to responsibly deal with legitimate frustrations, not just complaints. Problems and flaws within the CEDU system existed to the point of doing exactly what they wanted. I'm molded, I admit. I am a forgiving and trusting man and I'm trying to capture in my book the wildly incestuous and freakishness that surrounded the campus and the men and women that worked there. I've tried to be honest and gentle. Do I betray myself by talking about RMA? Those people in that time hurt kids. PERIOD. It was done harmfully and methodically. And if you don't feel the same, you and I had very different outlooks on life long before we "attended"  our respective shitpits. I know what I need and don't need and what I needed and didn't need. Trying to tell me otherwise is insanity. I'm sane...I think. But definitely no thanks to CEDU schools.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Life is a very wonderful thing.\' said Dr. Branom... \'The processes of life, the make- up of the human organism, who can fully understand these miracles?... What is happening to you now is what should happen to any normal healthy human organism...You are being made sane, you are being made healthy.
     \'That I will not have, \' I said, \'nor can understand at all. What you\'ve been doing is to make me feel very very ill.\'
                         -Anthony Burgess
                      A Clockwork Orange

Offline damanamanit

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Re: Accountability
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2010, 05:31:12 AM »
“I've tried to be honest and gentle.”

I am encouraged by your ability to be 'honest and gentle.' Part of my 'issues' at Cascade was the fact that they called me, “Little Polly Purebread.” I was taught from a young age to smile through everything, it was required in my house growing up. Cascade did finally break me of that, and much to the point that I only genuinely smile when there is something to smile about—otherwise my expressions are extremely colorful and I am a very easy read. I also learned to have little patience for bullshit or lying. This has made it extremely difficult to maintain relationships because for the most part people don't want to hear the truth, they don't want it laid out for them even when it is asked for.
I spent well over a month in my mothers apartment before I could actually function in public when I left Cascade. I was frightened—there were no safety nets.  I don't believe I ever really acclimated to the real world after leaving Cascade. I am on a host of medications and there are times when I find it impossible to leave my house. I am hypersensitive to hurting others and become protective of others when they are being hurt. Perhaps I never grew up emotionally. My being gentle I would equate as a trait that I share with my children and close friends. There is no way I could be gentle in my approach with Barbara Cass or Michael Algood and many others from Cascade. Gentle doesn't seem to be warranted or acceptable. Gentle is left for the innocents. They were never gentle in their approach with me, and I guess I cannot be the 'bigger' person and extend that kind of grace to them. Yet another thing I will have to work on.... lol
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »