Author Topic: People were trying to come to our rescue  (Read 1211 times)

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Offline GregFL

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People were trying to come to our rescue
« on: September 20, 2002, 11:18:00 PM »
It's true. I have been going thru stacks of articles perused from the St Pete Times from prior to the May 1973 opening of the Seed thru October, 1975, the closing of the St Pete Seed. In doing so, I have learned some things and reaffirmed others. I have been surprised by a few things.

Here is one. You may be aware that the Seed was operating under a federal grant of 1.4 million dollars just for the Ft lauderdale location alone. It was being paid in yearly installments.

The Seed in late in late 1973 applied for an additional 1,000,000 and was turned down by the NIDA for, among other things, the following reason;
 the seed failed to
1) document the prevalance and type of drug abuse
2) adequately describe the program

cited as a major concern was "the seed's philosophy of treating all adolescents with only one method might be detrimental"
(what an understatement!)I remember the inspectors! They came in in suits and observed the group. I remember wondering who they were and why they were there.

Anyway, our fearless supporter, the St Pete times, was undergoing a boycott by the seed parents and getting extreme pressure by the local community. Their response was brave and to the point in an editorial dated January 18, 1974;

"The federal government has denied aid to the Seed, and with good reason. This drug rehabilitation agency was and is too secrective about its affairs to expect handouts of tax money.

A national review committee confirmed the fears of others when it said a major concern was that "the Seed's philosophy of treating all adolescents with one one method might be detrimental.  Judges who commit offenders to the seed should take careful note.

The Seed is controversial. It has its sharp critics as well as its avid defenders. Few of those concerned are neutral about it.

Misgivings about the Seed include possible long-term personality effects of the peer-pressure techniques which it claims are so successful in turning young users against drugs.  Worrisome questions also have been raised about the civil rights of those assigned against their will to the seed."


Hooray! We weren't suffering in indignant silence. People of reason and compassion were speaking up for us and I think eventually helped tople the St Pete Seed.


For years our parents have collectively claimed they had no idea what went on in the Seed. I submit this is only true if they couldn't read because the St Pete Times was scathing their Ass on an almost daily basis, the ACLU was very concerned, the good Senator Sam Irvin compared the Seed to Korean brainwashing, and a prominent local educater called Art Barker a dangerous Menace who was playing with children's minds.

Unfortunately, our parents ignored the obvious because the cult had gripped them and convinced them they were part of something bigger, a plan to save america. They gladly sacrificed our minds and freedom for the greater cause.

To quote a parent from one of the articles I read;
"I don't care what Barker is doing to those kids at the Seed-all I know is that it works and it returned a daughter to me"

this is what we were really fighting, our own parents refusal to look at the truth and instead to focus on the smoke and mirrors.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Antigen

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People were trying to come to our rescue
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2002, 04:58:00 PM »
Quote
"I don't care what Barker is doing to those kids at the Seed-all I know is that it works and it returned a daughter to me"

this is what we were really fighting, our own parents refusal to look at the truth and instead to focus on the smoke and mirrors.

That's what really stings. Or how about "Well, your brain needed a little washing"? Ohhhh, still burns a little.

The question that bothers me most is how this could happen. With my mother, I can understand it. She's like that. Always has been. But how in the world did these people, even temporarily, turn my father against me?
« 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

Offline Anonymous

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People were trying to come to our rescue
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2002, 10:38:00 AM »
I am in a graduate writing program and am currently writing about my experience at the Seed last summer, the Seed's last summer... seems to be just a small cult now, but definitely a tight community.  My father has become intertwined with the program through his girlfriend, who went through the Seed, and had me attend 6 weeks of Raps last summer in order to "give me the tools I need to survive in the real world."  I've never used drugs.  My relationship with my father has been rocky and his sending me to the Seed was mainly the product of that.

I have so many questions!  I am primarily interested in two things.

1.)The destructive concept of fatherhood. In paternalism.  In loco parentis.  In Art Barker as a father figure.  He is WORSHIPPED UNQUESTIONINGLY.  Did anyone ever challenge his authority or see someone who did?  Did he really adopt Libby?  Was most everyone checked into the program by their parents?  How much was a voluntary submission as one would to parents and how much was coerced?
Do you think those in control really believe they're doing good, or do you think there is some awareness of manipulation, control, and power?

2.) In writing about the survival of an artist in a program that attempts to eliminate all that makes individual creation possible.  There was so much fear of getting "too into your head" and an elimination of all attempts to set yourself apart as an individual.  I want to hear stories--artists who succumbed, artists who survived, attempts to reconstruct the Self when they were done with you...

What did it feel like to get up and speak--I was pressured to speak and it makes you very vulnerable, one person in front of a group.

What do you think of the "I love you," response?  Said over and over...  Experiences, reactions?

History On Art Barker:
Did he meet Shelly Barker when she was going through the program?  Rumors of relationships with teenage girls?  His work in Vaudeville prior to the Seed, I know he used to perform at the Playboy House.  The Spanking Machine, I read about this, anyone know about it?

On the Rap Structure and Content:  Last summer it was Monday, Wed., Friday from 11 to 1.  I can't remember the different themes.  They all run together.  I think it may have been set where certain days were on the 7 steps and the 3 signs but I think Friday was always on relationships.  The 3 Persons: That was an interesting one...  The person you were, you are, and the person you want to be?  The 7 steps are the 12 steps of AA condensed, but this was never acknowledged in my experience.  Why is the Seed so reluctant to admit its influences like Straight?  How influenced was it?  Libby told this story about punching her fist though the window and shaking blood on the bathroom ceiling.  Anyone heard that one?  Some of the stories were less dramatic, like wearing orange bellbottoms to school and being embarrassed.  What were the stories like when you were in Rap?

Why do men and women sit on different sides of the room in rap?  Why does everyone have to leave their belongings at the door?  These rules seem pointless now, but they were still carrying them out.  Many of the married couples met in the Seed, what were the rules on dating?  How much of your personal life did the Seed know about?  Spying?  What was this sexual confession someone mentioned?

I agree that it's not a drug rehab program.  I'm curious as to how many in the program had a drug problem and how many were just rebellious teens?      

And what is this obsession with astrology they all have!?  I'm sure I'll have more questions later...
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Anonymous

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People were trying to come to our rescue
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2002, 01:58:00 PM »
trying to figure out how to post i was in seed, in 1973-4 what happened to staff members Nick, Bonnie, Tom?? I was brent Sembler's newcomer
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline GregFL

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People were trying to come to our rescue
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2002, 11:53:00 PM »
Welcome. I was in St Pete during the time you were. If you want to email me privately, I would appreciate it. Chances are we have people in common.

[email protected]

Speak gently! 't is a little thing Dropp'd in the heart's deep well; The good, the joy, that it may bring Eternity shall tell.
-- G. W. Langford: Speak gently.

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

Offline GregFL

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People were trying to come to our rescue
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2002, 11:43:00 PM »
I gave you the wrong email. Sorry. It is [email protected].

What is ominous is the ease with which some people go from saying that
they don't like something to saying that the government should forbid it. When you go down that road, don't expect freedom to survive very long.
--Thomas Sowell

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