Author Topic: St.Pete straight 1979  (Read 28928 times)

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Offline Anonymous

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St.Pete straight 1979
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2005, 08:33:00 PM »
Hi John K., I was not in the St. Pete Straight, but I wanted to ask you why you left staff - if your perspective changed or if you saw things going on that you did not want to be a part of. Perhaps you would be willing to email me at [email protected]. I would like to be able to stay in touch with former staff members who come around as I have many questions about that role and what you might know that someone who was not on staff would not have known. Thank you.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2005, 08:11:00 AM »
I just thought it was time to move on.  I had college plans and a pre-college summer course before my senior year to attend.  During my senior year I had the benefit to be able to be friends with people who were still in the program and/or graduated, but also some who had left.  I felt that if I knew them inside the walls of Straight there was no reason to pretend they didn?t exist outside.  As long as they wanted to talk to me I would talk to them.

As I said before, unless I was a blind fool, I didn't see the things that have been posted.  It truly disappointed me that things got to be like that.  I know there were staff members on power trips, but you find that in the real world too. I remember the Newton guy when he first arrived and wasn't impressed.  I remember some woman in Sarasota who was on her own power trip to take over but I can't remember her name.  She was skinny with an ugly tight perm in her hair.  That was about the time I left.  Maybe that's when thing s began to change, I don't know.

I still believe we helped a lot of people.  I just don't understand what happened.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2005, 09:38:00 AM »
i came to st. pete in '82, and you're right that things must have changed.  there was a staff member named shaun arnow, who was skinny with a tight perm, and was on a power trip.  i wonder if that's the person you mentioned.  anyway, the group was over 300 i would guess, and it was like an insane mob of sweating, flapping, screaming, and thudding coming from the back rooms where people were being thrown around.  there were always at least a couple kids in back of group being sat on by 5-6 other kids.  it was hell.  we didn't have any goofing off with kids acting like gilda radner.  we never laughed.  there was only screaming and crying, and fear.  miller newton was a sadistic maniac who struck fear in everyone the second he walked into group.  he grabbed girls by the hair and threw them around.  open meeting review was a screaming session that often went on until the early morning hours.  when it was finally over, we'd stand in line, heel to toe, for an hour or so before being allowed to leave the building.

i'm glad your experience wasn't so hellish, but things really did get ugly in '82, especially with miller newton.
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Offline Idreamofnewtonsburning

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« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2005, 03:06:00 PM »
Quote
On 2005-08-26 06:38:00, Anonymous wrote:

  miller newton was a sadistic maniac who struck fear in everyone the second he walked into group.  he grabbed girls by the hair and threw them around.  open meeting review was a screaming session that often went on until the early morning hours.  when it was finally over, we'd stand in line, heel to toe, for an hour or so before being allowed to leave the building.



i'm glad your experience wasn't so hellish, but things really did get ugly in '82, especially with miller newton."


And people wonder why I hate Miller Newton so much!  If you weren't subjected to his own personal brand of Straight, you have no fucking idea how hellish it was.  I'm not trivializing anyone else's experience at Straight, but with Newton in charge, you had all of Straight's bullshit combined with Newton's quack psychobabble abuse thrown in.  The man deserves all the hate, ridicule, and scorn that can be thrown his way, from lawsuits and protests to psychic warfare techniques to punk ass pranks like middle of the night phone calls (his phone # is 727-392-3437) and stories on websites questioning his sexual proclivities.  Newton was a worse bastard than Petermann and Riddle combined, the abuses that he perpetrated at KIDS prove this.  The man is a menace who must be stopped, not only to prevent his shit from victimizing others, but also to make an example of him to other would-be Newtons.  Let them know that asswipes like him will be haunted by their actions for the rest of their lives, and then their graves will be shit on, and their loved ones taunted at the funeral.  I can't wait to dance on that mutherfucker's grave, it will be a beautiful day.  I only wish that he suffers greatly before it happens.
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Offline Woof-a-Doof

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« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2005, 06:03:00 PM »
Hyya John K.

My intake was January 21st, 1978

In reading this, and other posts of that time period I have also noticed many things had gotten worse. We had Hellen Peterman, and George Ross (what a baffoon...rarely mentioned...but still a baffoon)

You know the Dave Crock and the wife Cynthia, Chris Casslor, Doug Heminger, perhaps Amy Wright, And her hubby Mike (name escapes me).

You mentioned in a post "led raps to try and make people think and guess at what we were actually talking about."

There never really was a clear cut goal, objective or idea what we were suppossed to do to graduate/7th step (whatever). No objective.

So, one is left to flounder a meager existance through the day. In constant fear of being "stood up"...

Honesty is the best policy, is the best policy of the dishonest...I probably learned that in a rap being lead by people with no objective goals...cept perhaps the terroisistic milliue. Then again that was a constant. Was it a contstant or was it the objective?

You were 16 when you left staff. I have always thought one of the primary things inherantly wrong with Straight (at the time) was absolute control of lives placed on a 16-18 year old.

Tottal control was given to children? Who further reported to other children? Who then got with young adults (Dave Crock couldnt have been over 24 at the time) And then right to Hellen Peterman. (chain of command....Hmmmm)

Not a single licsenced professional in the place. Who was the registered dietician that thought up the swimmers? (you know...the frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches)

You and I do differ on thinking that things werent that bad during the time period inwhich we were incarcerated. Remember Marget Heath, you said hello to her, remember what she went thru? That was fucked up! Having Dion sing "Pick a Bale of Cotton" if only for Liz Cassidy's ammusement...thats fucked up. Standing a kid up and confronting him on a sexual relationship with his mother...thats fucked up!

I digress...

You said "I have been fortunate I guess. Maybe because I was so young."

I think your fortunate to have survived. I am surprised that a staff member would venture to write here. I must admit I am torn. In thinking about this post today I found myself ready to lash out at you...the thought still excites some to be frank about it. However...I won't.

You were 16, you were caught up in an incredible mind fuck. You were 12 when you had your intake. You were indoctrinated, you were not blind, it only stands to reason you question perhaps having had been foolish.

Having also "stumbled" on to this discussion board, I had found the whole 'past straight regression' thing has been trying, at best. It seemed that a floodgate had opened and I was besieged with memories (mostly fragmented), no nightmares, just day dreams or "getting into my head" as it were.

I want to forgive you. Not for your sake, but for my own. I find that what I want and the instinctual reality are incongruent with each other, especially after reflecting just a bit.

This is nothing to do with you personally John K. (as my sub topic indicates...I cant place the name) Forgiveness for you will be realitively easy. But I want so desperately to cast out a blanket of forgiveness over that whole time period...as of this writting I am having marginal success.

I hope you accept the nature of my reponce as one of peace...although my emotions and words may say otherwise (rather like staring a shepard in the eyes while he wags his tails and growls at the same time...unnerving, I know) Yet the epicenter of my hope is that you know at least one of us in the sea of faces you have seen wants to forgive. At least willing to try...
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2005, 08:14:00 PM »
Thank you for your honest response.  I knew Margaret and I remember Dion, but I do not remember the specifics of their treatment.  I wish I did because maybe I could make more sense of things.  Let me try to explain my confusion.  Truly the last time I thought in depth about Straight had to have been over twenty years ago until yesterday when I stumbled onto this site.  When I left Straight I had no inkling that things of this nature were happening or were about to begin happening.  In my mind I left a treatment center getting my life back on track to finish school and along the way helping some people by relating my experiences.  Naive?  Apparently.  

I do recall times of my own humiliation by staff but I guess I chalked it up to a part of the learning process in the program.  All I know is I came into Straight doing drugs, skipping school, stealing, etc.  When I finally left, those things were no longer a part of my life.  So that was my perception of Straight as a part of my life until yesterday.  Does that make any sense?   Now I?m trying to sort things out based on the things I?m reading here.

I never heard anything even in the news about Straight and had no idea it had expanded across the country.  Now I'm in a position questioning whether what I thought was being helpful was actually causing trauma.  In my heart I still believe people were helped because I know some of those people to this day.  And I do believe I was helped at that particular time in my life.  Had it been a year or two later it seems obvious that things would be completely different.

I understand your anger and others too.  The things described here are inexcusable and barbaric.  In a lot of ways I wish I never stumbled across this website, but I suppose it was meant to be.  I just need to keep sifting through this website.
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Offline Idreamofnewtonsburning

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« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2005, 11:23:00 PM »
Quote
On 2005-08-26 17:14:00, Anonymous wrote:

  Let me try to explain my confusion.  Truly the last time I thought in depth about Straight had to have been over twenty years ago until yesterday when I stumbled onto this site.  When I left Straight I had no inkling that things of this nature were happening or were about to begin happening.  In my mind I left a treatment center getting my life back on track to finish school and along the way helping some people by relating my experiences.  Naive?  Apparently.

You were too young to have formed an adult personality and a real definition of right and wrong.  Naive, in your words.  You had no adult frame of reference to filter the Straight experience through, so you accepted them as normal or at least justified and acceptable.  The fact that you were engaging in normal adolescent rebellious behavior is not justifiable to the "treatment" you were subjected to.  You were easily indoctrinated.  There is no shame in this fact, you were a child and succumbed to methods that have broken trained military personnel. A child, having no adult experiences, is more easily moldeable, which is why Pol Pot used children as his executioners during the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia.


Quote

I do recall times of my own humiliation by staff but I guess I chalked it up to a part of the learning process in the program.

Accepting the humiliation and abuse of Straight indicates that you were indoctrinated into the cult.  Again, no shame or guilt on your part, you were a child and could not recognize what was going on.  The idea that our lives in Straight were anything approaching normal or even "therapeutic" is patently ridiculous, and to accept them as 'part of the learning process' indicates the extent to which you were deceived by Straight, Inc.'s indoctrination and brainwashing methods.

Quote
All I know is I came into Straight doing drugs, skipping school, stealing, etc.  When I finally left, those things were no longer a part of my life.  So that was my perception of Straight as a part of my life until yesterday.  Does that make any sense?   Now I?m trying to sort things out based on the things I?m reading here.

You were engaging in adolescent behavior that, while not the most desirable, hardly warranted incarceration in a teen torture facility that was Straight, Inc.  Most likely you would have figured things out and outgrown behaviors that were not productive and beneficial.  There was nothing remotely therapeutic or beneficial about Straight, Inc., it was a 24/7, 365-day a year (366 during leap years) physical, emotional,  and psychological abuse machine that has damaged many people's lives.  The fact that we accepted abuses such as Straight, Inc.'s as normal or appropriate was indicative of the process they used to dehumanize us by calling us "druggies", implying that we were somehow defective and that only Straight, Inc. could "restore us to sanity".  



Quote

I never heard anything even in the news about Straight and had no idea it had expanded across the country.

Obviously, some sort of notion inspired you to come here in the first place.  Kinda freaky that all these people find these sites after 20+ years.

Quote
 Now I'm in a position questioning whether what I thought was being helpful was actually causing trauma.  In my heart I still believe people were helped because I know some of those people to this day.  And I do believe I was helped at that particular time in my life.  Had it been a year or two later it seems obvious that things would be completely different.

Straight may have changed your behavior, but at what price?  And who is to say you would not have matured out of your behavior?  I was in Straight from 82-83, so I was there during the Newton Regime, and it most definitely was a Reign of Terror.  However, I think if you are "searching and fearless" enough, you will realize that the methods Straight used were ineffective, inappropriate, and abusive, Newton or no Newton.  Straight did not go from being great before Miller Newton showed up to being shitty when he took control.  He made an abusive situation worse.  He is the Dr. Mengele of the Straight Holocaust, the one where children labeled as "druggies" were somehow transformed into subhuman objects to be abused at the whims of power-crazed sickos, but the nightmare factories were up and running before he showed up.



Quote

I understand your anger and others too.  The things described here are inexcusable and barbaric.  In a lot of ways I wish I never stumbled across this website, but I suppose it was meant to be.  I just need to keep sifting through this website.  

"


Kudos to you for having the balls to post here.  I hold no animosity toward you personally, but I hold lots of it towards people just like you, people who were Staff members.  I reserve the depths of my hatred for Executive Staff, particularly Miller Newton.   I think it's good that you came here, I think you can provide an interesting perspective, but I believe that if you practice "the first and most important rule", you will realize that Straight, Inc. was a fucked-up, weird place that did far more damage than good to the inmates held there.  If you had some sort of problem before Straight, short of killing people randomly in cold blood, going to Straight to be "treated" for it was like cutiing off your hand for having a hangnail.

Again, thanks for posting, and for your courage to post here.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #22 on: September 04, 2005, 08:42:00 PM »
Hey John K! It's Margaret D*****
If you are who I think you are then I am blown away!Didn't you used to live off of Beneva Rd.?
I remember I had a mad crush on you.If this is you, email me at ************
I can't believe you remembered that my Mom worked at the bank! What a memory!
Margaret
« Last Edit: July 05, 2008, 12:04:46 PM by The Fornits »

Offline sammiegirl

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« Reply #23 on: September 04, 2005, 09:06:00 PM »
Wow you took the words right out of my heart. I was in Sarasota and I don't remember a John K on staff.
It is true that we were all very very young when inducted into Straight Inc. Kind of like Kinder Yugen [sp] Were we some sick experiment of the uber class?
Perhaps you could share a momory of some time in group to jog up our memories.

Do you remember Lisa and Melodie? Michelle L What about Mike and Mark C?
Do you remember your intake?
Also welcome Margret D
Hey bob How ya doin?
[ This Message was edited by: sammiegirl on 2005-09-04 18:14 ]
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #24 on: September 05, 2005, 09:06:00 AM »
I was only on staff in Sarasota.  I don't remember the girls you mention, but I do remember Mike and Mark, but honestly I get them confused.  I was pretty good friends with one after he graduated.  The last I heard from him (20 years ago) he was in San Francisco and had his own landscaping business.  I did see a thread from one of them on this website saying he was in New York now and doing well.

My intake was in St. Pete and was just as intimidating as most without any violence.  I was in total shock so I suppose I was an easy candidate.

I'm trying to recall some memorable moments, but I'm having a hard time except for one.  I remember getting in trouble for leading a guys only rap where we somehow got talking about dating after one graduates from the program.  I had just started dating someone and as a 15 year old I guess I was "in love" so I ?subconsciously? worked that theme into a rap.  It just so happened that Dave Crock, senior/executive staff came in during the rap and sat in the back just leering at me until the end.  Afterwards he took me in a room and proceeded to blast me with his ever so understanding and compassionate style.  I thought I was going to be started over even though I was on junior staff.  I remember trying to explain to him that at some point these guys were going to get back to normal lives and I thought it was something interesting to discuss. Oops.  I specifically remember his eyeballs practically popping out if his head (those of you who knew him know what I mean).  Soon after that I quit.
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Offline sammiegirl

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« Reply #25 on: September 05, 2005, 10:26:00 AM »
See the pettern.
You were afraid to be started over. For what exactly, you were on staff, leading rap, being STRAIGHT, yet you were afraid.
And your intake was intimidating. At 12 you were intimidated to get in the program. You were in "shock" and an "easy candidate"
These are all thing utulized in the brain washing process. Please look at the Singer Phd thread or rick ross. They are in no way involved w/straight but their studies smack of how we were treated.
All those women mentioned were from sarasota, I hardly remember the men from sarasota. Its like that for most/all of us.
I wish you peave while you start to remember things.
Just out of curiosity, do you have a teen son now? Some friends started looking into straight when their child reached the age of their incarceration. Just a thought
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #26 on: September 05, 2005, 02:57:00 PM »
I'd like to ask a question.  I've noticed the responses to my posts are broken down and analyzed quite a bit.  Do you think this process come from the things you were exposed to in Straight or have you had some training or other types of education that taught this?  It reminds me of the techniques instilled in people in Straight.

I wasn't really afraid of being started over, but you're right it was a scare technique that he used as he did to pretty much everyone. However, I was certainly aware that I did not need that type of lecture coming from my boss.  That's when I left to continue on with life.

Also, I did not understand your comment at the end of your post.  Can you clarify what you mean?
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Offline Woof-a-Doof

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« Reply #27 on: September 07, 2005, 05:30:00 PM »
Quote
On 2005-09-05 11:57:00, Anonymous wrote:
 I've noticed the responses to my posts are broken down and analyzed quite a bit.  Do you think this process come from the things you were exposed to in Straight or have you had some training or other types of education that taught this?


Hyya John

I think your answer is two fold. Yes, breaking down a post/comment is someting learned from Straight. I think the term was "nit-picking".

Secondly, you asked if this behavior comes from other training...In short, no. Whether here in this forum/message board or in other forums such as news groups, shit...even in e-mails it is a way for me to to address certain things a person wrote about.

The i-net, and message boards are difficult, in the sense that the written word may easily be mistaken or mis-interpreted. Also words often can not reflect accurately what it is the person wishes to say. It truely is a difficult medium for communication. We miss facial expressions, sighs, pauses and other forms of human communication that we are familiar with.

I must admit, I am still trying to place your face with your name. It did help that you said you were only on staff in Sarasota...which means we probably sat next to each other in group. Perhaps one day something will click and I will remember you.

I am glad to see your continued efforts and involvement here!

Namaste
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #28 on: September 07, 2005, 08:41:00 PM »
Thank you.  I'm still trying to figure things out.  I think the analysis is good, it just reminds me of staff training to some degree.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #29 on: September 14, 2005, 07:06:00 AM »
Really?
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