Treatment Abuse, Behavior Modification, Thought Reform > Mission Mountain School

My experience-please read


I attended MMS 1995-1997, ages 15- 17. I am almost 24 now.  It has been so long since I attended MMS, but I think about it every day.  Visiting this web site and reading some of the things people have said struck a nerve with me, gave me a pit in my stomach.  Boarding school sucks, it's hard on everyone, both parents and student.  Nothing is fun or easy about deciding to send your kid away.  I know it was the hardest decision my parents have ever had to make.  But, when put in a situation such as a struggling teen, drastic measures are sometimes the only way.  

MMS was hard.  The hardest two years of my life, but really, does any monumental change ever come easy?  I just wanted to shed some positive light on all these negative things I've been reading.  There are many "war stories" from boarding school that I could tell.  In fact, most of what I read about what goes on there is true.  Our life was extremely structured, disciplined and simple.  That was hard on all of us, but necessary.  No one can go to a school like that, but still maintain destructive behaviors or relationships, and expect positive results.  They weren't trying to break us down.  They were trying to simplify our lives, to get rid of all the bullshit, so we could find what was most important in us.  That doesn't come easy.  All the work they had us do was metaphorical for something we were having to deal with in our lives.  It wasn't abuse.  

There is so much I could say about my experience at MMS.  I could go on and on.  My life is so completely different from everything I experienced there, good and bad.  Certainly, there were things I didn't like, but isn't there supposed to be in a place like that?  We weren't sent there for fun or to make friends. We were sent there for help, plain and simple.  

As far as the comments about John Mercer, Mike Finn, Colleen Harrington, Deb Fin and Gary-- I love them all.  I thank them all.  Maybe I didn't particularily like some of them at times, or agree with everything they did or said, but really, what they did there was amazing.  They went on a limb for us, worked their asses off for us.  

I would love to say more, or answer any specific questions about my time there or what I think about my time there.  I think it is really important people get an honest and clear view about MMS.  I would love to help.  Thanks, Jess

Hi Jess,

It's good to hear you had a good experience. Unfortunately for others, the ends did not justify the means and their experiences were not quite so good.

Were you ever asked to divulge your sexual activities? Your personal, deepest secrets? Did you feel OK about doing that, if you were forced to do it during John Mercer's sessions?

Or somehow were you able to cope with that sort of intrusion into you person life. For some, this is an invation they cannot accept or deal with.

jesus christ, get off their backs!! this is absolutely ridiculous!! it's important to share those types of thigns to see if there are patterns that are destructive and need to be corrective, and it can help bring to light abuse and fucked up thinking!! I can't believe all these people are shitting in MMS, it saved my life!! Grow up people and get over your pettiness!!! Oh, and by the way, MMS is regulated. They are an accredited school and are therefore monitored!!!!!

Yes, sometimes sharing stuff was necessary, but I also think a line should be drawn. I definitely think some of the things we had to share were incredibly intrusive. I personally was not ok with it most of the time.

Pettiness: having secondary rank or importance

I fail to see how perspectives that differ from those who find MMS behvior-modification tactics accepetable can be categorized as unimportant.
I would also like to point out that not liking something, being challenged by something and later overcoming it vs. being harmed by something and dealing with it/overcoming it are 2 seperate very different things, just so that we're all clear on the distinction.

And MMS has helped students, I know students that the program worked for. However, I also know that I felt abused.  I would also extend myself so far as to say that I don't believe, regardless of the outcome of ones experience at MMS, I think we can all agree that there are things MMS can do better as some of the treatment was often harsh.  Whether or not we all agree they should, or rather, that they have an obligation to do things differently, I think, is different issue all together.

Even if, let's say the low estimate of 25% of all girls that attended MMS felt abused, isn't that too much?  Does the reasoning 'not a right fit' mean that maltreatment that causes future harm is acceptable b/c somehow it works for others and just wasn't the right program?  

My feeling is there is a right (abuse) and there is a wrong  and that exists regardelss of difference of opinion- there's a science to it. This feeling is often manifested in our gut and our emotions respond accordingly. This occurs before it's muddled by the mind and edited version of events that says the ends justify the means and long as the end are ok procedure is almost irrelevant. As humans can often choose to ignore the gut and all the harmful chain of events can then be dismissed b/c, well, we made it, didn't we?  We're a success, whatever that means.

That's not to say I think everyone chooses to ignore what they perceive as abuse b/c the program worked, but I do think some do.  I know I have been guilty of that b/c of my mixed feelings.

Nuf said-- I write too much.


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