Author Topic: the truth about it...  (Read 9822 times)

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Offline Anonymous

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the truth about it...
« Reply #30 on: March 31, 2005, 12:34:00 AM »
Parents, please consider this.

How many kids tonight are going to bed in strange beds, are sleeping in a room full of strangers, full of kids who wake up in the middle of the night screaming with nightmares and night terrors? How many kids are missing their moms, their dads, their brothers, their sisters, their aunts, their uncles, their grandparents?

How many kids would give just about anything for 5 minutes to talk privately to someone who they love? How many kids would give anything for a hot shower? For a chance to take a long bath? To lay on their bed talking with their girlfriends? To just be normal teenage girls?

How many kids did anything so bad to deserve being locked up and taken away from their families? Did they really deserve to lose touch with their lives? With the world as they knew it? Yes, some were heavily into drugs and they needed help.

Some would say kids need to be taken away from their environment in order to free themselves of their addictions. Maybe that's true. But what says they have to go to such extremes as to take these children far away from their families for years at a time, to take them away from normal life?

There are other safe options. If a child is truly drug addicted there are licensed programs, there are outpatient programs, there is therapy, there are other options. And if the child is in need of drug rehab chances are medical insurance will cover the cost of a safe program. So, why send them away to these places where we now know the possiblity of neglect and abuse is so high.

Knowing what I know I would never consider putting a child in any private residential facility. Period.

Kids need to fall down sometimes, pick themselves up, brush themselves off, and then keep going. Trying to shelter them from the world is not the answer. Remember what was said: anytime you sign away your parental rights you open the door to child abuse and neglect. There is so much truth to that.

I hope parents stop and think about what they are doing when they make the decision to send their child away. Read the stories. These kids are opening up their hearts and sharing their stories so that others do not have to go through what they have experienced. Please, listen to them. They have suffered and they need our support now.

Kerry, Melissa, there are plenty of us here who support you.  ::drummer::
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #31 on: March 31, 2005, 02:51:00 AM »
I was the one who made ther post saying not to discount the good aspects. I think those of you who werent there are getting a skewed perspective. I'm not like a battered wife saying "but what about the good aspects of the marriage?". Let me make myself clear. MMS the school is not the problem,John Mercer the headmaster is. If they chose one of the other therapists that had been there to be in charge on the school the negative aspects wouldn't have been there for me. The abuse didn't stem from anyone but him. There is a difference between tough love and abuse. Tough love is needed at times, abuse never is. John Mercer claimed to use tough love but all he did was manipulate and intimidate. The other staff actually WAS proactive in helping the students recover from their problems.

I'm not concerned about people believing or supporting me,I'm just saying what happened and clarifying what I said and my stance on things. I appreciate people caring, but I want to make sure people see things for what they were and not put blame in the wrong places. I would never send my own child to MMS with John Mercer still in charge but if someone else who was actually capable took over I definately would.

Melissa Gower.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #32 on: March 31, 2005, 10:11:00 AM »
Hi Melissa,

You posted "I know for a fact nothing Kerry said was untrue, I witnessed it all. People are different, and treated differently and have different experiences. This is not a matter of people acting negatively or taking things out on MMS, it's them sharing their experiences good and bad. Period. Just as people shouldn't discount the good aspects of MMS, no one should discredit people's real experiences that weren't very good."

I guess that's where people are coming from now, believing this is not such a great place after all. Kerry had some really troubling experiences there and you agree they are all true and real.

There is usually some good with the bad in most things. The important thing to measure is how good was the good, and how bad was the bad. What are the lasting effect of both.
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Offline Antigen

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« Reply #33 on: March 31, 2005, 03:23:00 PM »
Quote
On 2005-03-30 23:51:00, Anonymous wrote:

 I was the one who made ther post saying not to discount the good aspects. I think those of you who werent there are getting a skewed perspective. I'm not like a battered wife saying "but what about the good aspects of the marriage?". Let me make myself clear. MMS the school is not the problem,John Mercer the headmaster is.


Melissa, what about all those other people who stand by and watch as this guy abuses the kids? Why is it that nobody hears about it till some kid who's been out for awhile posts on some web-forum somewhere. How does he get away with it?

Impiety: Your irreverence toward my deity.
--Ambrose Bierce

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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #34 on: March 31, 2005, 04:00:00 PM »
He gets away with it by intimidating everyone, students and staff alike. I know of at least one person who quit because she couldn't stand to watch the way he treated the girls. Unfortunately, there isn't much work in the area so people put up with him to keep their jobs. It's also a small town where few are bold enough to make waves.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #35 on: March 31, 2005, 04:25:00 PM »
Quote
On 2005-03-31 13:00:00, Anonymous wrote:

"He gets away with it by intimidating everyone, students and staff alike. I know of at least one person who quit because she couldn't stand to watch the way he treated the girls. Unfortunately, there isn't much work in the area so people put up with him to keep their jobs. It's also a small town where few are bold enough to make waves.  "


Exactly. People HAVE done things but people often take stands that go unnoticed by most. Just because you didn't hear about people standing up to John Mercer here doesn't mean that they didn't. I am not backstepping in any way. I do agree with what Kerry said as I know it happened but you can't blame every person there for one persons actions. There were lots of things that happened there that were mistakes but I wouldn't at all consider abuse. Making judgements on how to deal with children is hard, and being a child and dealing with punishment is hard. While there were certain punishments that I don't feel helped they also were far from abuse. If you are judging people for not doing everything perfectly. I would like to see you go try it yourself. Even having been through it and knowing what worked and what didn't I don't think I would do everything perfetly. The only person at MMS who actually is abusive (atleast in my time there) was John Mercer,period.

Melissa.
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Offline kerryberry420

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« Reply #36 on: March 31, 2005, 05:42:00 PM »
hey melissa!  anyway, yeah everyone's experience at mms was different.  i know of a few girls that would probably defend it to the death, but most girls thinks that a lot of things there were wrong.  i agree with melissa about john mercer.  john mercer seemed like a sadist to me, he seemed to like hurting people.   and the other thing that really bothered me was that in group he would make the girls give really intimate detail about their lives.  one girl was molested when she was younger and was practically forced to give every tiny littlle detail (where she was touched, how, for how long, how she felt, did she like it) in front of everyone.  i can understand that she needed to talk about it, but in that much detail in front of 30 people, while getting yelled at seemed absolutely fucked up to me.  and it wasn't just that.  in our histories we had to write every little detail, down to people we kissed even.  i have been in a lot of therapy and to a lot of programs and i have NEVER seen anything like that before and since then.  a couple staff member quit while i was there and i know at least one of them quit as a direct result of johns actions.  she was shocked at how we were treated and one day yelled at him and we never saw her again.  the only good things i took from my time at mms are that i became close with a lot of the girls and am still in coctact with them, and........well i guess thats it.  but again, everyones experience was different.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #37 on: March 31, 2005, 06:55:00 PM »
I don't know - making a girl describe every detail of her sexual experience when she was abused seems abusive in itself to me. Also, I'm sure there are some aspects of the program that are good but like was said above, you have to measure how much good versus bad girls get out of it.

Some girls who truly abuse drugs and whose lives are going no where need intervention. I believe that. But what happened to going somewhere close to home, a place where family can visit, a place that does not keep you separated from everyone you love. A place that's monitored and regulated.

When people take kids out in the middle of no where and when there is no one keeping an eye on things, and when they are in a small community where people are afraid to talk or to lose their jobs, then it leaves it wide open for abuse and neglect. I think that's where everyone is coming from here.

I think people just want to know the truth.
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Offline Antigen

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« Reply #38 on: March 31, 2005, 10:45:00 PM »
Quote
On 2005-03-31 15:55:00, Anonymous wrote:

 I don't know - making a girl describe every detail of her sexual experience when she was abused seems abusive in itself to me.


Yeah, it is. It's humiliating. And it's especially sadistic when they use that info against you later. (unless, of course, you saw them coming, told them a lot of fake crap. Then you have a two in one private joke/spontanious reality check to help get you through)  :razz:

But, when I was in Straight, I took part in doing that to other kids. Many of them, I'm sure, didn't see what was coming. To some degree, I was forced. And, as kids, we didn't fully comprehend the harm we were doing to each other. In fact, a good many of us believed (eventually) that what we were doing was not wrong. In fact, some people seem to believe to this day that it was the rightest, purest, most holy thing ever.

In asmuch as some of us believed it and others did our level best to give that impression, it's no wonder the parents sucked it up. What else were they supposed to think? It's what they wanted to believe anyway, which makes the desception even easier.

Not long after I and my dad got out and started talking again, he asked me why, if things had been so bad, I'd never told him before. I just looked at him like that was a dumb question and said "Well, you would have turned me in." He didn't argue.

My point in all this is that I'm not trying to place blame on everyone involved, at least not in a vindictive, retribution seeking way. But I do think it's important to understand the nature of the beast.

To paraphrase Michael Rivero, Everyone likes to say "John Mercer did this" and "John Mercer did that". But the truth is John Mercer did very little. It's the people who follow his orders w/o criticizm that actually did most everything wrong. And it's not like Mercer is unique. There's a whole long list of similar characters discussed in various forums on this site. So it's not just the employees and kids unfortunate enough to land up under their control. These people have the blessing and protection of our government.

My question is, how did we get into this mess and how to we get out of it?

 

Still, if you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.
--Winston Churchill



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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #39 on: April 01, 2005, 02:07:00 AM »
We stop fighting amongst ourselves and start focusing on a solution. This is a huge problem that will not get solved over night. People in the fight need to at least try to cooperate with each other and to respect each other for the work they are trying to do. Each one of us has something to offer if we would just put it to good use.

They have an army, so we need an army. We are in a mess. These kids are the victims of the mess. And we are the ones, like it or not, who need to get a grip, find a way to work with each other, and find a way to solve this.

We don't all have to like each other but we need to respect each other. Don't you think they feed off of seeing discord among the people who profess to want the same thing - to help these kids?

Let's not make their day. Think about it - they could be posting here stirring things up. People need to not feed into it.

I do believe that many people have no clue this even exists. We come on this forum and feel everyone in the world knows what we know. This has taken over many of our lives. We eat, sleep, breathe this problem every single day.

But so many people don't even know the problem exists. I know. I was one of those people. The only reason I am here today is that I was personally touched by children put into one of these facilities.

I have spread the word to everyone I know and guess what? None of them have ever heard of this. Some have heard a story here or there about a boot camp, but no one, and I mean no one, has any idea of the industry that has evolved.

I do not claim, in any way, to have all of the answers. I do believe that we need to inform others in our own communities of this problem in a professional way.

What about putting together a Power Point presentation, post it here, and let others use it to share in their own communities. There are many ways to do that. Local churches will often allow people to do a presentation, PTA groups, basically anywhere you can find an audience.

If people are interested I would be willing to put one together.

That is my 2 cents for tonight.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #40 on: April 01, 2005, 10:53:00 AM »
AMEN!We all need to stop spinning our wheels and get organized if we are going to solve the problem. It is time to put our differences aside and start working together. We may never be able to shut down this industry entirely, but we can damn sure work toward getting some governmental oversight and enhanced public awareness. We need to force open the closed doors that have protected these places, and their owners and employees  from public scrutiny for decades. The battle has to start someplace, so why not here and now?
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Offline kerryberry420

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« Reply #41 on: April 01, 2005, 09:17:00 PM »
that's a great idea, but how?  what can we do?
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Offline katfish

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« Reply #42 on: April 02, 2005, 01:27:00 AM »
(Apologies in advance if this is slightly jumbled, mid-terms ended this evening and I have slept little...)
I second what Melissa says, different people, different experiences. I also stand by my belief, as I understand the definition of emotional abuse to be, that MMS was an emotionally abusive environment.  I would also characterize it a psychologically abusive and the staff as extremely manipulative.  Education was the worst, I would consider that abusive as well..
I'll try and get some parents- mine included to post up here.  I don't want to speak too much on behalf of my mom, but from our converstations I unserstand her feelings to be, essentially, that she was desperate and a sucker.  My mom, I have known to be easily manipulated in general when she is emotionally vulnerable or simply does not have it in her, for one reason or another to absorb and analyze information she recieves...My mom was not the best mom, she made many mistakes along the way.  My inability to convey my feelings about MMS since calls were monitored and parents warned about students trying to manipulate their way out made it impossible for her to get any real sense of my experience.  As stated earlier, intimidation was an issue for me and I was too scared after a certain point of getting labeled as being manipulated and having to suffer the consequences.  I kept my mouth shut.
 
One final comment before i sign off, I would be very curious to find out how many kids truly found MMS beneficial...Studies should be done. I find too strange that there's one extreme or another in terms of loyalty to MMS...more hostility where loyalty is expressed than logic though, hmmm...I found that to be part of the problem at and after MMS- limited freedom in the ability to express crticisms and not simply go along with eveything. Thanks everyone, I think this site is great!!  

Kat
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Offline katfish

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« Reply #43 on: April 02, 2005, 01:50:00 AM »
I would happily participate in working toward reforms and such.  Things have to change- at least at MMS.  
Commenting quickly, Mercer and Mike Finn were the two founders I found to be extremely abusive- though I believe Mike is no longer there.  Gary Kent would occasionally expressed dismay at their tactics through physical expression, but never did I hear him address Mercer or Finn verbally.

So, what can be done?  Things have to change... Is it true that music is prohibited.  It was regulated while I was there, but at the time was my only source of comfort.

I also relate to what 'Antigen' said about joke/private reality check.  Being so duplicitous is so straining and made me feel crazy. Lying and hearing those lies repeated back to me conforted me in the sense that it kept the sense that this was all a fictional experience (in a way) b/c it was as I was not developing.  I was hiding and repressing my core.  Out of everything, that was the worst aspect of MMS for me.
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Offline katfish

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« Reply #44 on: April 02, 2005, 02:13:00 AM »
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead