Author Topic: Bethel Boys Academy Torture Chamber  (Read 4860 times)

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Offline Watchaduen

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Bethel Boys Academy Torture Chamber
« on: September 18, 2003, 01:53:00 PM »
I had placed my son there on Mother's Day, 2003. My husband drove our son there while I sat home second guessing our decision. I began searching the internet for anything I could find on this place or it's owner's Herman Fountain or John Fountain. I found all kinds of allegations of abuse and torture on the kids. 3 1/2 days later we were back down there rescuing our son. He was covered in bruises inlcuding a black eye. Because we showed up unannounced he was able to smuggle out the names and numbers of three other boys. We also called their parents. Within 5 days the other three boys had been rescued also. We all met with the Attorney General's Office (Mike Moore). We were assured they would open a full blown investigation. A week later the state went in and removed all the children with visible signs of abuse to the face or neck. That is the only part of the body they could see. Two weeks later another 16 boys ran away. 8 ended up in protective custody and the other 8 ended up at a former drill instructors house. All with stories of abuse and torture, sleep, food and water deprivation. Three days before our Court date to testify (August 26th, 2003) we get a call from the Head of Crim. Inv. that the State worked out yet another deal with Bethel. Bethel will no longer use electrical shock for torture, will no longer make the children go to the bathroom on themselves, will feed them three times a day, will not slug them in the face. I could go on and on. We parents are now filing a Class Action Lawsuit. We will name the State of Miss. and Bethel Boys Academy.
If you were ever a student or parent of a student at Bethel, please e-mail me direct. This abuse and torture chamber has got to stop.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
heryle - My son was TORTURED and ABUSED at Bethel Boys Academy aka Eagle Point Christian Academy, aka Pine View Academy, Lucedale, MS.

Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2003, 02:13:00 PM »
Their site says they incorporate "boxing" into the curriculum - so that could cause bruising and black eyes, easily!  They are a military school - very physically challenging.  

Why would anyone send their child to a military school expecting something different?   :wink:
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline GregFL

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« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2003, 02:13:00 PM »
Good luck, and many wishes in your success.

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 »

Offline Watchaduen

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« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2003, 03:22:00 PM »
My son wasn't forced to box in the 3.5 days he was there.  That would have been in another week.  But even if he had I had never known boxing gloves to leave knuckle imprint bruises on your skin.  I thought they were supposed to wear boxing gloves when you box.  Thank goodness I have all the medical records and photos showing all the fist marks (four black and blue knuckle marks up and down his body) or blind to abuse people like yourself could say I was lying.
The boy that got his initiation beating was also hung by his bandana for a certain length of time upon arrival.  Leaving rope burns around his neck.  Let me guess, he got that boxing also.  Oh brother.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
heryle - My son was TORTURED and ABUSED at Bethel Boys Academy aka Eagle Point Christian Academy, aka Pine View Academy, Lucedale, MS.

Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2003, 04:29:00 PM »
I wasn't saying you were lying - you've shared more specific information that clarifies the nature and severity of the abuse.  Before, it could have been due to any number of physical challenges in a military school setting.  

How is your son doing?  Did you find another placement for him?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Deborah

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« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2003, 05:10:00 PM »
ANOTHER PLACEMENT ???
How about, did she decide not to trust strangers to care for her son? They all lie and none are to be trusted.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
gt;>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Hidden Lake Academy, after operating 12 years unlicensed will now be monitored by the state. Access information on the Federal Class Action lawsuit against HLA here: http://www.fornits.com/wwf/viewtopic.php?t=17700

Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2003, 05:33:00 PM »
What does this say about "Christian" based programs?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Watchaduen

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« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2003, 06:09:00 PM »
No placing here.  We made a horrible mistake by trusting someone 24/7 with our child.  Especially a place that was so many states away. We are treating our son at home.  He had started experiementing with pot (so we have him in outpatient rehab three times a week).  He also goes to group meetings once a week, and a priv. therapist once a week.  My son only suffered for 3.5 days but it opened my eyes up to a whole underworld of legalized child abuse.  I have vowed to fight this industry for the rest of my life in honor of all the boys that my son couldn't smuggle their number out.  It must stop.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
heryle - My son was TORTURED and ABUSED at Bethel Boys Academy aka Eagle Point Christian Academy, aka Pine View Academy, Lucedale, MS.

Offline Deborah

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« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2003, 07:34:00 PM »
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
gt;>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Hidden Lake Academy, after operating 12 years unlicensed will now be monitored by the state. Access information on the Federal Class Action lawsuit against HLA here: http://www.fornits.com/wwf/viewtopic.php?t=17700

Offline Antigen

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« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2003, 09:49:00 PM »
Quote
On 2003-09-18 14:33:00, Anonymous wrote:

"What does this say about "Christian" based programs?"


That today, just as it has been down through the ages, the most horrible villans will grab the priest and cry sanctuary.

What does it say about the state of our society that, over and over again, we buy it!

No laws, however stringent, can make the idle industrious, the thriftless provident, or the drunken sober
--Samuel Stiles

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

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« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2003, 10:28:00 PM »
Cheryle,
Glad you're here sharing your experience.
My ex placed our oldest son at a Marine Military Academy against my wishes. All of their promotional materials were designed to assure parents that hazing was strickly forbidden- zero tolerance- when in fact it was a daily occurence, doled out by upper classmen and the ex-vietnam drill instructor; who by the way, ran around at night in a ninja suit playing war games. The man was a nut job. We went round and round several times. The last time when I showed up unannounced for my regular visitation (court orders supercede any programs policies, btw). He was threatening my son- if he left with me he wouldn't be allowed back and that would cost his dad thousands of dollars. I told my son, who was hesitant at this point to get in the car, and gave the man a piece of my mind. I followed up with a complaint which fell on deaf ears.

There was one instructor for every 60-80 teen boys. Does that tell you who was really in charge, and how the boys were "kept in line"?

I finally convinced his dad to bring him back after 5 or 6 months and let him live with me. Shortly after he returned my daughter called to inform me of a class action being brought against the facility. As it happened, a young hispanic boy had his throat slit in the middle of the night by an upper classman. I had met this young man on one of my visits. My son said he was a target for racism and violence because of his race and size.

Parents were not allowed in the dorms. I went in to the foyer to test the waters. There was a young man on the floor screaming, three older boys standing over him. The foyer was chaotic, loud, just as you might imagine with a dorm of 60-80 teen boys with no supervision and the other cadets were moving about as if nothing was happening. When they noticed me they started saying things to him like, "Come on you're not hurt. You just got the wind knocked out of you." He wouldn't move so they dragged him through the swinging doors. I continued to hear him scream.

He was the unfortunate one who's throat was cut. And the most disturbing thing about this- his mother left him there stating, "It could have happened anywhere."

That incident caused many parents to begin to question the facility's line, "Don't listen to anything they tell you. They'll say anything to get out of here."

50 some families join the class which was eventually dissolved and we became individual plantiffs, which I think was better for the boys in the long run.

In helping my son with his deposition- he was 15 at the time, I was appauled by his accounts of what happened there. He was terribly confused about what consituted abuse. He would say, "Such and such happened, but that wasn't abuse or hazing. It was normal." Normal? No, not normal, but indeed common there. So they had conditioned parents to ignore complaints and conditioned the boys to believe their treatment wasn't hazing.

Our suit settled this month. It was a five year process because the facility filed bankruptcy and held everything up for two years. In the meantime, one of the insurance companies filed bankruptcy- shortly after 911. The CEO saw all our claims and many 911 claims coming, embesseled money and bankrupted the company.

My son is finally recovering from the effects of PTSD. Hopefully your son wasn't at Bethel long enough to incur too much lasting negativity, but I hope he will come away with a clear understanding of what is and isn't abuse and that he deserved none of it.

Anyway, good luck with your efforts. You probably can't share alot due to the lawsuit, but I hope you'll keep us posted. Ignore any rude responses you might get. I think it's safe to say that the majority of participants here would be very supportive of your efforts.
Deborah

PS. You might want to inform Barbe at Teen Advocate USA about your experience and particularly the lawsuit.
http://www.teenadvocatesusa.homestead.c ... a2003.html

As well as ISAC
http://www.isaccorp.com/

Both could be helpful in getting the word out.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
gt;>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Hidden Lake Academy, after operating 12 years unlicensed will now be monitored by the state. Access information on the Federal Class Action lawsuit against HLA here: http://www.fornits.com/wwf/viewtopic.php?t=17700

Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2003, 03:17:00 PM »
And...that Marine Military Academy is????
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2004, 11:38:00 PM »
Tommy Fortenberry was the boxing leader. Tommy was a good man. He left Bethel after all the controversy last year.

Fortenberry has a heart for the boys, something I cannot say for Herman. Herman has a heart for dollars. If the bucks dont come in Herman ain't happy.

Leadership was supposed to pass to one of the sons after the first of this years, but from the buzz that I hear Herman is still firmly in the Captain's chair barking commands and brutalizing anyone that does not follow them.

Can the State of Miss be THAT dumb? The only way Herman will give that cash cow up is to either be behind bars (where he SHOULD be) or be deceased (which NO ONE should wish on ANYONE)
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Offline Watchaduen

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« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2004, 12:40:00 AM »
Tommy Fortenberry was named numerous times in that he beat and abused those boys.  When the 13 testified in court the third week in May, 2004, Tommy's name came up plenty of times.  My son tells that many times Tommy would just walk up stating he felt like slugging someone.  Tommy would then ask one of the older students if he should punch so and so.  Of course the older student would reply "yes Sir".  Tommy would then slug the kid as hard as he could in the stomach (knocking the wind out of him).  Nope, when you are an employee at Bethel you begin to be an abuser yourself.  You see it day in and day out.  You become numb to it.  Herman needs to go live behind bars.  Of course he is still running it.  He always has and he always will - UNTIL IT IS SHUT DOWN FOR GOOD!!!!  coming soon to a courthouse near you.  :smile:
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
heryle - My son was TORTURED and ABUSED at Bethel Boys Academy aka Eagle Point Christian Academy, aka Pine View Academy, Lucedale, MS.

Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2004, 06:07:00 PM »
Sorry to hear all that about Tommy. Sad I guess that people fall into the trap of abuse.

There are homes out there that still do what they set out to do. Just because Bethel is bad, that does not mean they all are.

What it does mean we need to shut Bethel down, we need to share info on student, parent and employee abuse. This needs to not just be a marathon "talk, talk, talk" about it but rather action. I believe Cheryle is trying to do that
and we should support her in it.

Bethel needs to be closed forever!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »