Author Topic: Straight Staff - silent too long  (Read 6306 times)

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Offline Nonconformistlaw

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Straight Staff - silent too long
« on: March 11, 2010, 01:40:48 PM »
Why is it most former group staff will not post on these boards? Yeah I know, I've seen them attacked. I myself have probably done so on occasion over the years. I have noticed survivor's views toward staff generally fall into one of 2 categories - automatic anger and hatred just because they were on staff or the view that staff were brainwashed too, staff was like another phase of the program (although it was voluntary as opposed to coerced).

Unfortunately, I think many former group staff have remained silent since they see the anger and rage directed toward staff either via direct attacks or posts in general. Of course former staff should take the time to understand where that anger and rage is coming from for it is completely justified. On the other hand, shouldn't survivors do the same, take the time to try to understand where former staff is coming from? If former staff would start posting, we might learn something from them. If we refrain from attacking them, maybe they would be able to see where we are coming from.
(I do not include known abusive staff in this category for extremely abusive staff members fall into a completely different category - I have no desire to "understand" where these people are coming from.)

Granted I say this knowing full well if certain former staff members who were involved in my kidnapping ever surface - it will take every once of restraint I can muster to refrain from attacking them and I might fail miserably, my own emotions might take over - so I do know why survivors tend to lash out at them....again survivor anger is justified.

Seeing what Rich Mullinax has done, the way he came forward, and the interactions that have taken place since - we have been given the opportunity to learn something - from an executive staff member - personally I have become more interested in the ENTIRE Straight "story" coming out for the world to know - for that to happen, former staff members stories would have to be part of the big picture. Right now I see that their perspective is almost completely absent - there are a few exceptions like Don, but most wont post  like he does. I have talked to enough former staff off the boards to know that some are just as anti straight as the rest of us are. I would like to see them start posting without getting attacked - I wonder if this is even possible?
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Offline Anne Bonney

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Re: Straight Staff - silent too long
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2010, 02:04:32 PM »
Excellent post, all great points.

I actually ran into an Exec staff a few years ago at Target right around Christmas.  He was one who made my life particularly miserable while I was there.  Before I went in I had a Latin class with him when he was on 5th phase (I'm guessing).  He had told Newton that he knew for a fact that I had done cocaine (I'd never even seen it before I went in) and a host of other complete lies about things I did before I went in.  I mean, Christ....the guy wasn't allowed to associate with me, knew next to nothing about me but rattled off this list of drugs that I had supposedly done (never did anything more than a lil pot and drinking before).  

Anyway, I was in Target and saw him walking around shopping.  I froze for a few minutes and sort of followed him around the store.  Then I worked up enough nerve to walk up and asked if he remembered me.  He did.  I asked him how he felt, now, about those years and his participation.  He ignored me and walked away.  I followed and kept asking questions.  Did he remember doing XX to so-and-so, how could he sleep at night etc. etc....all in a calm tone and never raised my voice.  Finally, he turned and told me that he'd call the police if I didn't stop.  You're gonna call the police on me because I'm asking you questions, I asked?  He kept walking.   I kept up for a bit, then gave up and went about my shopping.  We ended up at the checkout at the same time, so I started with the questions again.  He finally gave and agreed to speak with me outside.  His wife was with him (who had not been in Straight) and I again began with my questions, especially regarding the lies he told about me that made things so difficult.  When I began to cry while telling the things he did to me and others, he tried to interrupt me but his wife shushed him and told him to listen to what I had to say, then she reached out and hugged me.  She kept looking over at him like 'how could you do such things!'.  I know I got to him, I could see it in his face.  He did throw up the same reasons/excuses we've all heard but it was nowhere NEAR the sincere apology that Rich gave.  He did give me his email address and told me to contact him if I wanted to discuss it further.  I never did, not sure why.  It was about 5 or so years ago and I was still pretty intimidated...gut reaction.  

I didn't really get any concrete answers to the questions I had, but it did give me a huge confidence boost that I was able to speak to him in a clear, intelligent manner without devolving into a frightened little girl again.  (wow...almost teared up writing that sentence, not sure why).  I felt like I had faced one of my main demons and faced him down.

His name was/is William "Rusty" Rollins for anyone who was in there at the same time period.  And no, the wife was not Alice Bowen.  Guess they divorced a few years after Straight shut down.  The wife that I encountered did seem very sweet and genuinely interested in what I was saying.  I would LOVE to have heard the conversation on the way home!!
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Offline seamus

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Re: Straight Staff - silent too long
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2010, 02:21:02 PM »
I was on my phases with that little kool aid drinkin stroke.I remember him as being a real polly-anna type.Didnt seem like he had much backbone either.
     But then again my dad used to say".......put the twats in uniform,an they all become bloody Hitler." :guesswho:
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Offline Woof-a-Doof

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Re: Straight Staff - silent too long
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2010, 08:16:41 AM »
Is it possible…for former staff to begin posting, without being attacked?

I think, it is indeed possible. Yet there are variables that determine whether they are attacked, or welcomed with open arms (“open” is relative).  And I think it wise to consider there is a grey area involved as well. I think there was a time, in my life, when a person said they were on “staff”, there was most definitely a “knee jerk reaction” on my part. Even for established, well known members of our community that were on “staff” there is/was a level of distrust…a feeling of stand off’ish-ness on my part.  Then to the far distant extreme, I readily embraced folks, well…folk, because it has only been Rich Mullinax.

Yet, even with Rich, he caught a barrage of shit from me, repetitively. Even after his open LOA, there was a degree of distrust. If I recall, it was shortly after our “gathering” held in 3 states for those walking wounded who no longer walk with us, you, Nonconformistlaw, drew up the Request for Apology and then Rich, made his apology. At first, I did not openly accept his apology. The apology at the time seemed as if it were a form letter of sorts. As if, he placed his name on your Request for Apology and passed it on as a heart felt apology. His words almost directly mirrored your “Request”. It took some time, reading his words, watching his interactions with other members of our community to finally accept his LOA as genuine. And, having since watched him and taken the time to get to know him more, I have fully accepted his apology and consider him as friend.

I wanted to accept his apology. I wanted deeply, to have a “faith in mankind” restored. In time, that “faith in mankind” was, restored. With Rich, it was relatively easy. I once told Rich I could never “forgive” him, because I had never condemned him. He was never in my life, as a “staff member” and never had an effect on me.

Yet, even though he had no direct impact on me as a child, there was still a contemptuous, antagonistic emotion held against him, simply because the word “staff” was in the same sentence as his name. What is interesting to me here is that he, although he was not on staff at the time of my incarceration, I still had such a strong visceral reaction towards him. I questioned myself at length about this state I found myself in. Sadly, I haven’t any answers as of this date. And I am not convinced there is an answer, only time given for observation. Observation to see if his following actions matched with his/your words. And in Rich’s case, they have. His actions have matched his LOA.

In general, I have an admiration for any staff member that has the testicular fortitude to write on this or any message board. Yet the mistake they make, as I see it, is that they expect to be accepted without consequence. There is a failure to recognize that we, our community, are deeply scared. And for the most part, we have been scared by people with the word “staff” attached to their name.

One of the variables I see as hampering a former staff’s effort at being a member of our community is, arrogance.

Arrogance, regardless of it’s etiology is inappropriate. Arrogance will understandably be met with bristling antagonism. Over the years, many staff members have made their way into these rooms and were immediately attacked. They failed to realize that by coming to these message boards they were walking on thin ice right off the bat. They failed to see that we were no longer their minions and falsely expected us to behave as such. When we did not respond in accordance with their delusional expectations (mixed with arrogance), their feelings would get hurt. Some simply left, some raised a ruckus briefly, then left.

Another behavior exhibited by former staff members is an active dismissal of our experience. More so than arrogance, dismissal of our experience insults and infuriates. Unfortunately, arrogance and dismissal often accompany each other, thus adding insult to injury. Now, I am of the opinion that these behaviors are indeed protective mechanisms, bolstered in the minds of former staff members. The question in my mind then becomes…what are they protecting? I fail to believe they are protecting the truth. We know better than that, and see right thru that. It appears to me that they are protecting something between their own ears. Guilt? Remorse? Denial? Failure to accept the heinous exploitation and incarceration of children they themselves actively participated in? I don’t pretend to know, as such, I can only guess what these behaviors are attempting to hide.    

I share your interest in seeing “the ENTIRE Straight story” coming out. And I also agree that having former staff members input would be invaluable in revealing the “ENTIRE story”. This doesn’t discredit our experience. Most, if not all of us know very well, painfully well, one side of the coin. The other side of the coin is still very much a mystery. As such, the story is lopsided. I have written about this before, and received a lil heat. But I still maintain, how can I know everything about what happened to me, if I adamantly refuse to listen, hear, read the other side of the story? How can I pretend to know what was going thru a staff members mind set at the time, if I don’t know?

What’s the value of knowing former staff members insights into Straight Inc.? Understanding. Pure and simple. Not implying acceptance. Not changing my viewpoint. Not “switching sides”. Nothing of the sort. Just simply to have a better understanding of what I experienced. Why I experienced what I did. What the motivation was behind so many bizarre situations and ritualistic abuses. I just want to know. I just want to be able to be at peace, in regard to the Straight Inc experience.

If I only hear my side of the story, along with others stories that are very similar to my experience, the only understanding I have is one side of the coin. (and I know it well) Would former staffs input be of great significance? I dunno, it’s a difficult question to answer, if I don’t hear/read/listen to the other side of the story.

Closure? No, I doubt it. I do not imagine “closure” every actually occurring. On the other hand, with this information would come (eventually) understanding. “Understanding” opens up a whole new set of possibilities. One of which I believe to be “healing”. The challenge then becomes, am I capable of the emotional restraint in order to hear/read/listen to the “other side of the story”? I can not answer this question either. Even tho I know there is a desire to know, a desire to understand, a desire to heal…I don’t know that I have the emotional restraint I see as a requirement to actually hear the other side of the story. I would like to think I have that restraint, but I am inclined to think not. Now, am I willing to try? Absolutely! And I have done so in the recent past (the entire month of December 09) But that effort failed, the former staff member I made every effort to understand, never got off the ground. There was no mutual desire to understand equal to the desire to be understood. I tried to link up Rich with this individual…Rich graciously agreed to talk with this individual. However, that former staff member flat out refused to speak with Rich for reasons I still don’t understand.

For my own sanity, I backed off. Even though I backed off, the topic, the issue has never been far from my thoughts, but I found the process to be exhausting and unfulfilling. Yet the was my first earnest effort at such a thing. I am willing to make an attempt again…but not just yet. It was very much a parasitic experience for me. A unwilling former staff, a less than understanding support system, and being left to my own resources…I was exhausted. Now some 3 months latter, sure, the interest is there, but a degree of reality remains fresh in my mind. The reality?…simply put…it aint easy.

NCL, I am glad to see you in the mix again, I have always found you to be inspirational and thought provoking. I admire that in a person. I don’t have answers to all the questions and situations. But I am fascinated with the idea of finding out. It will take a lil more time for me to regain my emotional strength after the last effort at understanding. Yet, I know myself well enuff to know that I will be back up to speed in short order. And I will be asking questions, probing and digging deeper. I appreciate your post, and the motivation behind it.

Much Peace
Continued Healing
woof

On a side note, regarding William “Rusty” Rollins. Like Seamus, I was on my phases with William Rollins. I hear people, like Anne Bonney and others talk about what a menace he was and how he terrorized folks. It is not that I disbelieve what is being said…I believe it, I sincerely believe it…I just can’t picture it. This lil effeminate toothpick, sheepish, impish and generally non-threatening individual:

A) Made it on staff
B) Generated the amount of fear he did.

It’s astounding what power, unquestionable power will have on individuals and now they cower in the dark recesses, afraid to face us, ashamed to face us, and unwilling to face us. Cowards behaving cowardly. Like I said, it takes testicular fortitude for them to have an exchange with us. Thus far, only one has had that testicular fortitude, Richard Mullinax. Being the first, Rich set the standard. Rich took heat for his LOA, but he did what a man does when he realizes he is wrong. He says he is wrong, explains how he was wrong and makes himself available to make things right.
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Offline seamus

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Re: Straight Staff - silent too long
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2010, 09:57:43 AM »
I wholeheartedly agree with woof, BUT,on the other hand I wouldnt hold my breath waiting for Ross,Peterman,cassler,hemminger,The sadistic "amazon" Amy Wright,or any of the other members of that ship of fools to ever admit to any wrongdoing. There were staff members who didnt lay the shit on thick too,and I never had any real animosity towards them,but hell,like we're gonna hear from them either. I mean shit as agroup,we cant seem to "agree to disagree" on what color shit is. Look at all the AA horseshit goin on.WE ( myself included ) are somewhat of an intolerant lot. This doesnt make the shit we suffered any less wrong,damaging or painfull somehow by any means,Its just a thought.
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Offline Nonconformistlaw

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Re: Straight Staff - silent too long
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2010, 11:38:45 AM »
Quote from: "Anne Bonney"

 I know I got to him, I could see it in his face.  He did throw up the same reasons/excuses we've all heard but it was nowhere NEAR the sincere apology that Rich gave.  He did give me his email address and told me to contact him if I wanted to discuss it further.  I never did, not sure why.  It was about 5 or so years ago and I was still pretty intimidated...gut reaction.  

I didn't really get any concrete answers to the questions I had, but it did give me a huge confidence boost that I was able to speak to him in a clear, intelligent manner without devolving into a frightened little girl again.  (wow...almost teared up writing that sentence, not sure why).  I felt like I had faced one of my main demons and faced him down.

I never had the experience of running into someone like you did - I dont know how I would handle such an encounter - if I run into people involved in my kidnapping it will be unlikely I will be able to listen to their side, I doubt I would be "reasonable", I would probably fly off the handle and make that encounter a very unpleasant experience for them. - Thats the demon I have yet to face and dont know if I ever will. Its amazing how you maintained your composure under such emotional circumstances.

One thing I dont want to see is former staff coming along making excuses - that would piss me off real fast. Rich has never once made excuses - he'll tell it like it was, but never excuses it. I find it extremely ironic that "taking responsibility" was shoved down our throats every minute of the day, we suffered dire consequences if we didn't "take responsibility" for some real or imagined or invented wrong doing (brutal confrontation, set backs, start overs, etc.) AND were part of those damn steps - 4 & 5 I think. But yet the people that preached it dont have the first clue what "making a searching and fearless moral inventory of themselves"  AND what taking responsibility means or they just refuse to do it for whatever reason.

I hope former staff, group and or executive level, to start posting and explaining why things were the way they were, their experience, etc, without excuses. I want concrete answers beyond what we already know - North Korean brainwashing was used as "therapy" - we've established that much - but even that answer doesnt provide all the concrete answers that are needed for the entire story of Straight to be known. if anything, that answer just provokes more questions.
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Offline Anne Bonney

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Re: Straight Staff - silent too long
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2010, 11:50:28 AM »
Quote from: "Nonconformistlaw"

I never had the experience of running into someone like you did - I dont know how I would handle such an encounter - if I run into people involved in my kidnapping it will be unlikely I will be able to listen to their side, I doubt I would be "reasonable", I would probably fly off the handle and make that encounter a very unpleasant experience for them. - Thats the demon I have yet to face and dont know if I ever will. Its amazing how you maintained your composure under such emotional circumstances.


If this had happened when I was first starting to deal with all this I probably would have gone off on him.  But I knew that if I did, he'd just write me off as a 'disgruntled, failed phaser' and there was no way in hell I was gonna give him any chance to do that.  I also truly wanted answers, specifically from him because he really did a shitload of damage to me personally.  As I said, never did get those answers but at least he knew how I felt.  And I have no doubt that he's read here about himself too.

Quote
One thing I dont want to see is former staff coming along making excuses - that would piss me off real fast. Rich has never once made excuses - he'll tell it like it was, but never excuses it.

Yep...totally agree.

Quote
I find it extremely ironic that "taking responsibility" was shoved down our throats every minute of the day, we suffered dire consequences if we didn't "take responsibility" for some real or imagined or invented wrong doing (brutal confrontation, set backs, start overs, etc.) AND were part of those damn steps - 4 & 5 I think. But yet the people that preached it dont have the first clue what "making a searching and fearless moral inventory of themselves"  AND what taking responsibility means or they just refuse to do it for whatever reason.

Yep and it's still going on here too.

Quote
I hope former staff, group and or executive level, to start posting and explaining why things were the way they were, their experience, etc, without excuses. I want concrete answers beyond what we already know - North Korean brainwashing was used as "therapy" - we've established that much - but even that answer doesnt provide all the concrete answers that are needed for the entire story of Straight to be known. if anything, that answer just provokes more questions.

Yep.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Offline Nonconformistlaw

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Re: Straight Staff - silent too long
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2010, 12:14:25 PM »
Quote from: "Woof-a-Doof"
Is it possible…for former staff to begin posting, without being attacked?

I think, it is indeed possible. Yet there are variables that determine whether they are attacked, or welcomed with open arms (“open” is relative).  And I think it wise to consider there is a grey area involved as well. I think there was a time, in my life, when a person said they were on “staff”, there was most definitely a “knee jerk reaction” on my part. Even for established, well known members of our community that were on “staff” there is/was a level of distrust…a feeling of stand off’ish-ness on my part.  Then to the far distant extreme, I readily embraced folks, well…folk, because it has only been Rich Mullinax.

Yet, even with Rich, he caught a barrage of shit from me, repetitively. Even after his open LOA, there was a degree of distrust. If I recall, it was shortly after our “gathering” held in 3 states for those walking wounded who no longer walk with us, you, Nonconformistlaw, drew up the Request for Apology and then Rich, made his apology. At first, I did not openly accept his apology. The apology at the time seemed as if it were a form letter of sorts. As if, he placed his name on your Request for Apology and passed it on as a heart felt apology. His words almost directly mirrored your “Request”. It took some time, reading his words, watching his interactions with other members of our community to finally accept his LOA as genuine. And, having since watched him and taken the time to get to know him more, I have fully accepted his apology and consider him as friend.

You're right, whether or not former staff will be attacked depends on alot of things but - to avoid an immediate hostile situation  1) it would help if former staff that post do not make excuses and 2) it would help if former clients avoid, no matter how understandable it is, the knee jerk reaction "just because they were on staff" reactive attack. We'll never get answers we all need if these two things keep happening. I know I would have to withhold any knee jerk reactions as well, long enough to let a former staff do some explaining and that wont be easy.

As far as why Rich formatted his apology the way he did, although I cannot speak for him I remember that at the time he first wrote it, he explained to me his reasons, his sincerity was never a question in my mind, but I also was able to talk to him on the phone about it - but I can also understand your reaction. In fact, I think no matter how written, regardless of the format or word choice, any apology would be greeted with skepticism by some survivors. I also think that is understandable.



Quote
Yet, even though he had no direct impact on me as a child, there was still a contemptuous, antagonistic emotion held against him, simply because the word “staff” was in the same sentence as his name. What is interesting to me here is that he, although he was not on staff at the time of my incarceration, I still had such a strong visceral reaction towards him. I questioned myself at length about this state I found myself in. Sadly, I haven’t any answers as of this date. And I am not convinced there is an answer, only time given for observation. Observation to see if his following actions matched with his/your words. And in Rich’s case, they have. His actions have matched his LOA.

Maybe its because victims in general need to hold someone accountable for what was done to them - in the case of Straight, for many of us there is no single person that can be held accountable, many of our "injuries" are the product of a very screwed up system, the result of the collective actions of many people including ourselves (forced to be perpetrators to progress). In other words, aside from the Semblers and the executive staff level at each Straight branch, who do we as survivors direct our anger towards? I think its a natural reaction to be angry with and hold people we had contact with accountable - group staff was much more a part of our daily life in Straight than the executive or highest levels. Just a theory.
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Offline Nonconformistlaw

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Re: Straight Staff - silent too long
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2010, 12:48:34 PM »
Quote from: "Woof-a-Doof"
In general, I have an admiration for any staff member that has the testicular fortitude to write on this or any message board. Yet the mistake they make, as I see it, is that they expect to be accepted without consequence. There is a failure to recognize that we, our community, are deeply scared. And for the most part, we have been scared by people with the word “staff” attached to their name.

One of the variables I see as hampering a former staff’s effort at being a member of our community is, arrogance.

Arrogance, regardless of it’s etiology is inappropriate. Arrogance will understandably be met with bristling antagonism. Over the years, many staff members have made their way into these rooms and were immediately attacked. They failed to realize that by coming to these message boards they were walking on thin ice right off the bat. They failed to see that we were no longer their minions and falsely expected us to behave as such. When we did not respond in accordance with their delusional expectations (mixed with arrogance), their feelings would get hurt. Some simply left, some raised a ruckus briefly, then left.

Me too. I would respect the hell out of any former staff who willingly posts, without making excuses, and is willing to deal with the anger from us. My experience with former staff has been relatively easy so far, but then again I haven't directly encountered those who personally caused me harm. That said, I think your observations are correct - I've seen some of that myself over the years on these boards.


Quote
Another behavior exhibited by former staff members is an active dismissal of our experience. More so than arrogance, dismissal of our experience insults and infuriates. Unfortunately, arrogance and dismissal often accompany each other, thus adding insult to injury. Now, I am of the opinion that these behaviors are indeed protective mechanisms, bolstered in the minds of former staff members. The question in my mind then becomes…what are they protecting? I fail to believe they are protecting the truth. We know better than that, and see right thru that. It appears to me that they are protecting something between their own ears. Guilt? Remorse? Denial? Failure to accept the heinous exploitation and incarceration of children they themselves actively participated in? I don’t pretend to know, as such, I can only guess what these behaviors are attempting to hide.


Yep Ive seen the "get over it that was a long time ago" mentality.  What are they protecting? Maybe themselves, from the truth (again just a theory) - the second one acknowledges the truth about Straight, that it was brainwashing, it was abusive, etc, is the second that all the justifications fall apart. Thats the moment the idea that Straight was a "good place" becomes a real question is ones mind. That is the moment one begins to see the dark horrible truth that was Straight inc and that is a bitter pill, even for us, the people that have no trouble accepting that Straight was a horrible place. Me I had no trouble accepting that Straight used N Korean brainwashing but for some reason it took me awhile to accept that it was also a cult. Who the hell wants to acknowledge something like that?


Quote
I share your interest in seeing “the ENTIRE Straight story” coming out. And I also agree that having former staff members input would be invaluable in revealing the “ENTIRE story”. This doesn’t discredit our experience. Most, if not all of us know very well, painfully well, one side of the coin. The other side of the coin is still very much a mystery. As such, the story is lopsided. I have written about this before, and received a lil heat. But I still maintain, how can I know everything about what happened to me, if I adamantly refuse to listen, hear, read the other side of the story? How can I pretend to know what was going thru a staff members mind set at the time, if I don’t know?

What’s the value of knowing former staff members insights into Straight Inc.? Understanding. Pure and simple. Not implying acceptance. Not changing my viewpoint. Not “switching sides”. Nothing of the sort. Just simply to have a better understanding of what I experienced. Why I experienced what I did. What the motivation was behind so many bizarre situations and ritualistic abuses. I just want to know. I just want to be able to be at peace, in regard to the Straight Inc experience.

If I only hear my side of the story, along with others stories that are very similar to my experience, the only understanding I have is one side of the coin. (and I know it well) Would former staffs input be of great significance? I dunno, it’s a difficult question to answer, if I don’t hear/read/listen to the other side of the story.

No it wouldn't discredit our side at all, if anything, it could do alot to explain why Straight was such a bad place. We will only learn more by listening. And I'm not changing my position either - it is just who I am - I need to understand why certain things happened to me at Straight and its for the same reason you said, because I am trying to make peace with this. The other reason I want staff's side to come out is because this shit is still going on in other places - usage of untrained program graduates is still out there damaging more children even as I write this post. For the sake of today's children, it has to be told so some people might learn how destructive certain practices were then and still are destructive now.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
quot;In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.\" George Orwell

Offline Anne Bonney

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Re: Straight Staff - silent too long
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2010, 01:12:39 PM »
Quote from: "Nonconformistlaw"
Quote from: "Woof-a-Doof"


Quote
Another behavior exhibited by former staff members is an active dismissal of our experience. More so than arrogance, dismissal of our experience insults and infuriates. Unfortunately, arrogance and dismissal often accompany each other, thus adding insult to injury. Now, I am of the opinion that these behaviors are indeed protective mechanisms, bolstered in the minds of former staff members. The question in my mind then becomes…what are they protecting? I fail to believe they are protecting the truth. We know better than that, and see right thru that. It appears to me that they are protecting something between their own ears. Guilt? Remorse? Denial? Failure to accept the heinous exploitation and incarceration of children they themselves actively participated in? I don’t pretend to know, as such, I can only guess what these behaviors are attempting to hide.


Yep Ive seen the "get over it that was a long time ago" mentality.  What are they protecting? Maybe themselves, from the truth (again just a theory) - the second one acknowledges the truth about Straight, that it was brainwashing, it was abusive, etc, is the second that all the justifications fall apart. Thats the moment the idea that Straight was a "good place" becomes a real question is ones mind. That is the moment one begins to see the dark horrible truth that was Straight inc and that is a bitter pill, even for us, the people that have no trouble accepting that Straight was a horrible place. Me I had no trouble accepting that Straight used N Korean brainwashing but for some reason it took me awhile to accept that it was also a cult. Who the hell wants to acknowledge something like that?


I think that's it exactly.  Maybe a combination of the two and a little ego...their entire POV is threatened and the guilt that would come from actually acknowledging it.  I really believe that's why my father doesn't want to discuss it to this day.  He's comfortable believing that he "did what he thought was best" and was "only trying to help" and doesn't want anything to interfere with that delusion because it would hurt too much.  If he were to acknowledge the true nature of Straight and what it did to our entire family, his whole belief system would be called into question and the guilt would just be overwhelming.   As a parent myself, I can't even imagine having to carry kind of guilt around.  As it is now, he can sit up there and feel secure in his belief that he did what was right, facts be damned.

Same thing with Rollins.  He was a true believer (still is apparently) and he was a PRICK about it.  I can't imagine carrying that guilt around either.  I mean, there's staff and then there's STAFF.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
traight, St. Pete, early 80s
AA is a cult http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-cult.html

The more boring a child is, the more the parents, when showing off the child, receive adulation for being good parents-- because they have a tame child-creature in their house.  ~~  Frank Zappa

Offline Froderik

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Re: Straight Staff - silent too long
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2010, 04:25:46 PM »
I'm tired of being tormented to hell, that's what I'm tired of.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Antigen

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Re: Straight Staff - silent too long
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2010, 07:21:26 PM »
Woof, Rich is pretty cool but he's not the only staffer to hang around w/ all us splits, pull-offs n fuckups. Deprogrammed was on staff for a couple of years, I think. Don Smith too. And he initially came out as a dedicated program defender.

But more commonly, it goes like this:

John Underwood comes along to share his "insights"
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=11132&hilit=john+underwood
(or a light come down on group LOL)

Marnie Sykes posted briefly. She still insisted that the Seed had saved her brother's life, at least till he od on heroin, and then bowed out rather gracefully. Far as I know she's still working for a local print shop somewhere on the Gulf Coast.

Those are just a couple I know of from the Seed/Straight line. I'm sure there are others. Then there's Dysfunction Junction and Che from other programs. Never mind the Elan people! LOL They're too hard to figure out sometimes.
« 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

Joel

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Edited: Wednesday, October 06, 2010
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2010, 08:21:58 PM »
Edited: Wednesday, October 06, 2010
« Last Edit: October 07, 2010, 07:48:52 AM by Joel »

Offline DannyB II

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Re: Straight Staff - silent too long
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2010, 12:06:08 AM »
Quote from: "Antigen"
Woof, Rich is pretty cool but he's not the only staffer to hang around w/ all us splits, pull-offs n fuckups. Deprogrammed was on staff for a couple of years, I think. Don Smith too. And he initially came out as a dedicated program defender.

But more commonly, it goes like this:

John Underwood comes along to share his "insights"
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=11132&hilit=john+underwood
(or a light come down on group LOL)

Marnie Sykes posted briefly. She still insisted that the Seed had saved her brother's life, at least till he od on heroin, and then bowed out rather gracefully. Far as I know she's still working for a local print shop somewhere on the Gulf Coast.

Those are just a couple I know of from the Seed/Straight line. I'm sure there are others. Then there's Dysfunction Junction and Che from other programs. Never mind the Elan people! LOL They're too hard to figure out sometimes.
:shamrock:  :shamrock:
Jeesh Ginger if you called Woof as much as you called some Elan people he would also know your a bit skewed....lol. You just leave some of us Elan folks alone, trust me Woof a Doof knows some of us well enough.
Now concerning a conversation with survivors and ex-staff with the conversation being entirely focused on the interactions between them. I have not specifically encountered that with a survivor I staffed. My experience has been with survivors I have met on line here and out in public over the years. Most cases have been ok at first awkward then after some conversation good. In person the encounters have been better then the encounters on line. Which I think makes sense for obvious reasons.  
Danny :shamrock:
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Stand and fight, till there is no more.

Offline wdtony

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Re: Straight Staff - silent too long
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2010, 05:46:28 AM »
1. I found and contacted a former executive staff from KHK. He was a staff I remember from when I was in KHK back in '87. I did not attack this man, I just wanted to talk to him. He didn't remember me but after a few minutes, he was sure that I remembered him. I am glad that I was calm and took a friendly approach. The reason why I am glad is because I learned some important facts. He stated that he had a degree in Psychology and this is what landed him the job at KHK. I also learned that he was not only executive staff but that he was also a program parent. His daughter had served time at KidsCope (a KHK spinoff). KHK had hoped to use him as a "professionally credentialled employee" but that dream never reached fruition. He disagreed with the program director about the treatment he witnessed "in group" and was immediately fired.

I never mentioned my views on KHK. I wasn't concealing it, I was only interested in obtaining information from this man. I asked him what he thought of KHK and he replied that it was an outdated model that he thought had been eliminated years ago due to its inefficacy. Basically he felt that it was a useless model which offered no benefit to anyone.

I have often wondered why I hung up the phone without ever telling him my perspective, why I didn't go more into detail or try to get more information. I guess the biggest reason was that I sensed that he, as a former program parent, seemed to have learned that these programs were a mistake and he exhibited remorse. I can only imagine what his daughter went through, post-program. I may contact him again one day, just to see if he would be willing to go "on the record" so that the world might have a better understanding of what really happened in there.

2. I was a peer staff after I 7-stepped. I was 16 years old at graduation. At some point of my 6-month follow up I decided to "be all I could be" and join staff. I was a "trainee". I don't think I lasted 4 months (although my memories are quite vague from that time). I do remember why I was ostracized, fired from staff and threatened with a "refresher". It was because I had started to think for myself again and was questioning executive staff, more specifically, "why there needed to be so much confrontation and negative self attacking in the group". I just couldn't understand it. I refused to hold negative Raps. Somehow I still had the strength to do something right, which was to ease the suffering of the kids in group while I was in charge of the raps. This disregard for the staff rules of holding negative-type raps went largely unnoticed for quite some time. I was considered to be one of the more "washed" kids, I suppose, as I was a vehement supporter of the program who would always speak well of the program and perform speaking engagements attesting to the lives saved due to KHK. But it eventually caught up with me and I was basically "dismissed" from KHK. That is the short story and I am unsure if I could remember the long story.

3. The people who are willing to discuss the truth and talk about what really happened deserve to not be attacked. Save the attacking for those who really deserve it, those who still believe in hurting others to help them, those who continue to deceive, those who will lie to us anyway. But for those who have differing opinions or just don't remember it like we do, I say they deserve respect and I think we have a lot to gain by being civil and having a reasonable discourse. Instead of asking, "why did you hurt me?" or "how could you think that was right?", maybe better questions to ask are, "what do you think was wrong with the program?" or "are you aware of the history of Straight Inc. and the roots of its methods?" It occurred to me that learning about what the program really was, makes a big difference on how we view what we went through. This education seems very important in overcoming all of the personal complexities and confounded experiences of these programs which seems to keep this issue so very ambiguous and difficult to convey and discuss.

I don't think these discussion boards are the best place to "start" these communications. It probably would be better started as phone calls, e-mails or on FaceBook. One on one discussion without an attack would be a good place to begin.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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