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Messages - MCL27

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Open Free for All / Catholic Reform Schools
« on: May 20, 2009, 01:14:25 PM »
Here is the latest on Catholic abuses.  The movie The Magdalene Sisters covers some of this: ... olic_abuse

Open Free for All / Re: The Minister of Propaganda
« on: March 01, 2009, 08:17:55 AM »
If you've ever worked with the govt, you'd agree that they're far too incompetent to get anything simple done, much less some grand conspiracy. 500 dollars a hammer is because the same people buying the hammers will retire and start selling them. It's in their interest to keep the cycle going. It's about greed 99.9% of the time. Lots of stuff is classified simply because it's unbelievably embarrassing (eg: the "gay bomb") and the public would be outraged if they knew their govt was wasting their money on "defense" which has basically become a welfare industry.

Well put psy; don't forget about $400 10/100mbps network cards.  While I was active in the Army a few years back the money spent on various items was outrageous.  It is also true IMO that the majority of government personnel are a bunch of incompetent baboons.

Q: How was your home life up to being sent to Casa by the Sea?

A:  Well, I won't sugar coat it.  I was a good kid, family oriented with a busy schedule.  I had practice for baseball, or basketball every day until high school.  Once I made the transition into public school I became rebellious, and wasn't a model member of my family.  My home life became chaotic when I was constantly flirting with trouble.

Q: Were your parents divorced?

A: Yeah, my Mother remarried when I was 13 and we moved 45 minutes north of my hometown, total culture change from private catholic school to public school; city life to woodsy life.

Q: When you say constantly flirting with trouble can you give me an example?

A: Well I guess I was never perfect.  I had always been the one in trouble since 1st grade.  Fighting; etc.  It was mostly innocent until I started experimenting with alcohol in 8th grade, and eventually marijuana and other drugs.  I started skipping class in 8th grade, and made a habit of it throughout high school.  I hung out with people way out of my age group in high school, partied, fought, and eventually started selling drugs as a sophomore.

Q: What led to you being sent to Casa by the Sea?

The final straw if you will?


A: Drug use led to several attempts at drug treatment.  The final straw was my dropping out of school after rehab, trying to stay away from my friends.  I basically was a hermit in my house for the months leading up to my being sent to Casa.

Q: Did both of your parents agree for you to be sent there?

A: Yes.  My Father was more enthusiastic because his good friend sent his Daughter there and as disgusting as it is, they recommended I go there.  They also profited thousands of dollars for referring me there.

Q: How were you sent there?

A: The infamous escorts.  I woke up at about 5 am to two men waking me up in my bed. We flew to San Diego and crossed the Mexican border illegally via car.


Q: How did the escorts treat you?

Did they talk to you at all?


A: One of them talked to me, the other was quiet.


Q: Did the escort talk about anything in particular about Casa?


A: I obviously didn't know what I was in for, so I wasn't very resistant to being forced into the car.  Once they saw I wouldn't fight, they were nice.  The chatty escort told me he, himself, went to Casa as a teenager.  He said I wouldn't like Casa, and that I'd be there for a long time.


Q: What happened once you arrived at Casa?


A: He told me to keep my mouth shut and do what I was told.


Q: What was the first day there like?


A: They processed me in a small room.  Took my clothes, shaved my head, and assigned me a uniform.  They never gave me my things back, including expensive diamonds.


Q: What was the structure at Casa like?


A: I think because I wasn't being a complete ass when I got there, they gave me about 2 hours of decent treatment.  They fed me (shit food) when I got there, and when I was introduced to the "family" they were watching a movie.  It didn't seem bad until the second day.


Q: What happened on the second day?


A: The's indescribable.  Nobody will understand what it is like until you get there.  Much worse than a least in a prison, you have rights. The second day was the first full day I was there, so I started the full schedule first thing in the morning.


Q: Can you describe the daily routine?


A: It's hard for me to recall...I was not the typical prisoner at Casa...I resisted, and that made life hell.  Being in that type of mindset is like being blacked out.  Some people call it "red out" from anger or trauma. Every "family" had a different schedule; ours started with breakfast, cereal with milk not proper to drink.  American milk made me sick for months after I came back.  Anyways, the schedule was nothing fancy.  A session of group therapy, "school" time, forced exercise, "reflection" time, etc.  Very structured and on a set schedule every day.



Q: Do you remember anything in particular that you resisted?


A: I resisted everything.  I didn't "work the program."  I didn't participate in group...Hell; I hardly even talked the whole time I was there.  The only thing I didn't resist was the "school" work, because upon getting to Casa, I was under the impression all I had to do was finish high school to get released. And I didn't resist exercise, basketball was the only thing to look forward to, although after a few months it became a time I'd get into fights.



Q: What were the group therapy sessions like?


A: Group, for most, was a time to talk to the counselor.  It was a total mind fuck.  He smiled, and tried to befriend you.  Only to try to force these crazy ideals of the program on you, "correct" your wrongdoings, and relay the information to your parents about how poorly you're doing, etc.  Especially in my case, the counselor didn't have anything good to say about me to my parents. Our counselor was a two faced asshole.  The worst part was how he would implement the method of mental abuse by telling me every day he had a letter or a package for me and saying "he forgot it" every day.  Try to imagine not knowing a single person out of all the people there, in a foreign country. The only form of communication as a lower level with the outside world is letters to your parents.  When you don't get even that, and you have to wait another day, which is an eternity in itself..., it’s like torture.



Q: What was the school work like?


A: The school work at the time I was there was done on a computer.  The courses were not terrible, but didn't teach me anything either.  The "teacher" didn't have a degree.  They were there to answer questions, not educate the children/teens.  I did the work quicker than they could understand, after I figured out a trick, which I taught to other people in my family, and they ended up finishing classes faster than they could have themselves. I'm not trying to brag about cheating, but would you judge anyone for trying to cheat that place if it would mean getting out of it faster?  They caught some of the others and it became a consequence to use that trick.  I still did it, but stopped doing the school work once my parents wrote me saying the counselor had convinced them I needed to graduate the program, as well as high school, if I wanted to leave that place with my parents' support.  In other words, if I left when I was 18, I'd be on my own at the border.


Q: What was the trick?



A: It was keystrokes to find the answers in the lessons without reading it.  Then more keystrokes to copy the lessons to a Word document, to use the same trick when you needed the answers for a test.


Q: In Casa there are six levels, how high of a level did you reach?


A: Level 2, briefly.


Q: What happened that you went back down to level one?


A: Nothing.  But the lack of progress is relayed to your parents.  Meaning they tell your parents you're not "working the program." You don't gain privileges when you don't gain levels, as well.


Q: How old were you when you went to Casa?


A: 17.  I was a strong minded 17 year old, but that place broke me mentally.


Q: How long were you at Casa?


A: Only three months before it was shut down, which was not long compared to most but when you resist like I did, it was an eternity.


Q: Did your parents or family ever contact you while you where there?


A: Only by letter.  But after my parents attended a seminar my Mother started to discover how twisted the program was.  She came to check up on me, where she was not allowed to talk to me, but looked at me through a one way mirror.  I did not know that until after I got out.  My Mother actually caused quite a scene at the seminar.  At that point she had big doubts.


Q: How did she cause a big scene?


A: She didn't like how she was being treated and talked condescendingly.  When she voiced her concerns with the person leading the seminar...The lady asked my Mother if she'd like to "give feedback" to all of the people hosting the seminar.  Which goes like this...”My experience of you is...?"  She did it, to every one of the staff members at the seminar.  It's the only time I've heard of a parent doing something like that at a seminar...A few guys approached her afterward, they were former Navy SEAL’s, and told her she had bigger balls than both of them.  Hahaha!



Q: So she said something to the effect of: "My experience of you is" and then give her opinion of a particular person?


A: Yeah.  Like, "My experience of you is that you're a condescending, rude bitch."  My Mama's a stud.


Q: Did you see any other parents visiting the school?


A: Never.  I didn't see my Mother either when she came.


Q: I was told by another person that there was a giant ant highway near the cafeteria.


A: I think that was the girl's side.  In the cafeteria my only concerns were the quality of the food, and the portions.  I was always hungry.


Q: What kind of foods did they serve?


A: I only remember bits and pieces.  Cereal.  Chicken fajitas. There was an option to get 150% portions. "Cinquenta."  I asked for it, and was never officially given it, but I would usually get away with it by saying cinquenta to the cook, and even eating the larger portion, I was always hungry. I wrote to my parents saying that I was always hungry and losing weight...They responded by saying "Your counselor says you're gaining weight."  Just a small idea of how they manipulate and twist.


Q: I am told that in Casa everyone had to speak Spanish, is that correct?


A: Many of the staff members didn't speak English.  When given permission to speak to other prisoners, you could speak English.  Like I said, I only talked when I had to, but just by listening, I know a good amount of Spanish even now.


Q: Were you ever placed in what is known as Observational Placement? I believe in your case it was known as R&R. For our readers what does R&R stand for?



A: I don't remember.  Restriction or something.  I was there the day before Casa was raided. ):



Q: What did you do to be placed in R&R?


A: I came to the realization that I needed to try to escape and would rather be taken back dead than alive...and mentally surrendering to that thought made me break down.  I broke down, crying, and shaking in anger and sadness.


Q: You wanted to escape right away?  Even though your 18th birthday was less than a year away?


A: Yeah.  I reached my breaking point, couldn't take it any longer.  That was about 1 week after my parents said they'd disown me if I didn't graduate the program. So turning 18 didn't matter, I'd still be helpless at the border.



Q: What was R&R like?


A: Dirty and humiliating.  We were switched between lying on our stomachs with our legs held up in the air and hands behind our back in a hog tied position, and a position staring at a wall a few inches away standing straight up.


Q: How long did you have to maintain such positions?


A: As long as you were in there.  Break for bathroom and food.  They took it easy on me because I think they knew that I had broken down and was crazy


Q: You were there a whole day for having a mental breakdown?


A: Yeah.  It still blows my mind to think that I planned on jumping over the wall the day Casa was shut down.


Q: Before or after the Mexican authorities came in?


A: I planned on jumping the wall that day, and then the Mexican authorities came with rifles.


Q: What happened the day Casa was shut down?


A: Celebration turned to riots.  The entire facility was trashed.  Nowhere to sleep because the bunks were trashed. One of the gunmen told one of the prisoners privately that "they're doing all they can to get us out of here."



Q: Was there anything different on that day before the Mexican authorities arrived?


A: Yeah, rumors were going around.  Officials were taking notes around the compound.  A massive headcount was done on the basketball court.  Then while we were in the classroom, the staff just disappeared.


Q: I was told that the ant highway on the girls’ side was taken care of after months of it being there and a lot of other things were cleaned up; was the same true for the boys’ side?


A: Not that I noticed, but I know that they were doing things to make the compound look legit and not abusive.  We were sheltered inside for some of the time during the riots, because I think helicopters were flying above.


Q: Such as?


A: The staff tried to appear nice.


Q: How did you feel when you knew the place was being shutdown?


A: It was a truly great feeling; which was quickly replaced with fear when the riots started.  I was pretty much the only one not to riot, because I wasn't stupid enough to risk getting sent to Mexican jail, like some kids were.  Also out of fear because many of the kids were getting re-routed to Tranquility Bay, instead of going home.


Q: Did the authorities charge them with any crimes?


A: I don't think so.  I forgot to mention also...They removed the staff because they no longer had the authority to control us, that’s why the riots started.  But when the parents started to come, they let the staff back in because the riots, and either they had to get us under control or we were going to prison.  They basically confined us in the courtyard, outdoor, until our parents came.  I don't even remember where or if we slept.  I don't remember much, besides hugging my parents.


Q: happened once you left with your parents?  Were both your biological father and mother there?


A: They were both there.  I don't remember much...Red out, like I said.  Very traumatic.  I remember being so fucking excited for a McDonald's cheeseburger at the airport.


Q: What did your parents think when they heard that Casa was shut down by the Mexican authorities?


A: I was so resentful and angry toward my parents while I was in Casa.  Once they came to get me though, I wasn't so mad.  I felt bad for telling them it was abusive.  My Dad didn't seem very apologetic...My Mother still apologizes.  My Dad seems to think I deserved it.


Q: What does your dad think of the friend that referred him to send you to Casa?  Did you inform him that parents get discounts for referring?


A: I don't know what he thinks.  He doesn't think poorly of his friend.  I do.  I'd probably beat the shit out of my Dad's friend if I saw him...and I am old school about how women should be treated.  They should be protected and appreciated.  But honestly I'd probably want one of my female friends to whoop her ass too.  I am accountable for my actions, and am not saying I was a good kid.  I needed guidance, and to be reprimanded.  However, not even criminals deserve the treatment even comparable to Casa by the Sea.  To refer someone else there is just...unbelievable...It's sick.  Disgusting, and angering.



Q: I take it that your dad's friend’s daughter still thinks highly of Casa?


A: I assume so, yes.  I feel bad for not appreciating my family.  I feel bad for putting them in a position that they'd need to take such extreme measures.  I do not blame them.



Q: How is your relationship with your parents now?


A: Very good.  I love my family and am will do all that I can to take care of them.  My Mom and Pops are a few of my best friends.  They consol me when I need advice, help me when I am in need, but most of the time we are just good friends.  Hang out, have a drink, etc.  My Dad's come out to clubs with my girlfriend and I.  He's the life of the party.


Q: Step dad or biological?


A: Biological.


Q: I thought you said that he thought you deserved Casa?


A: He doesn't think I deserved to be treated like that, but believes I deserved some sort of intervention beyond the help he was able to offer.  I wasn't controllable.  I don't regret going there.  I wouldn't take it back.


Q: I thought you were just lounging around at home after you dropped out of school?  Or was more behavior going on?



A: Well, the lack of inhibitions, goals, and dreams, is no way for a 17 year old to live.  It was only a matter of time before I started repeating old patterns.  And actually I was taking prescription drugs recreationally, also.


Q: Did your parents try to sue the school or take other legal action?


A: No.  My Mother and I tried to join a class action suit in California, which failed to get jurisdiction.  I am now waiting for approval to join the plaintiff list for the Turley lawsuit, which is pending jurisdiction.


Q: Have you ever tried to reach your dad's friends daughter?


A: No.  I'm sure I will see her again someday; I'll let fate run its course.  Sometimes I believe that I am willing to forgive because karma will not.  Other times I will personally see to the execution of revenge



Q: Is there anything you want to add?


A: Yes...I'd like to say that the most disturbing part of WWASP is the fact that there are still compounds open...Still kids experiencing what I have.  It is an ongoing fight, and the public needs to be aware of this.  I would also like to add that survivors of these programs are still healing.  It is not an easy thing to recover from.  From my experience the best way to mend is not to self medicate with drugs, or to bear resentment and keep the feelings inside.  Survivors need to continue to talk about it, especially with other survivors.  The thing that has helped me the most was finding someone to care about.  I have been doing something I never thought I'd do, and that was let someone close to my heart...Who happens to be a Casa survivor as well.  Learning to care for someone with passion and love has healed me more in the last year than the previous 4 years since I've gotten out of Casa.  Appreciating family, GOOD friends, and loved ones, is the key.  Caring for people is the way to be cared for in return.  I've found the people I know will be there for me, and I'm going to give them all I've got for as long as I can.  That is the way to be healed.

Straight, Inc. and Derivatives / Re: Survivor's Stories
« on: February 19, 2009, 01:16:48 AM »
All I can say is WOW!  I am sure everyone hear has heard of and seen the CBC piece "PowerLess."  I hope that everyone who has posted here will share their stories on the comments section on the CBC site.  Psy has posted on there and I'm sure has a link somewhere on fornits.  I hope that those on this thread will take the first opportunity to testify against AARC.  Once again thank you for speaking out.

News Items / Re: Judges get busted for sending kids to programs
« on: February 12, 2009, 05:12:15 AM »
I hope Elizabeth and her family sue the judge and get her record expunged.  I imagine that there will be quite a few lawsuits with those judges.  Hopefully the IRS charges the facilities that paid the judges as well.

I hear what you are saying, but I like to have both.  I think there should be a personal account then have an interview to go into some unanswered questions.  If you have some ideas of other questions I should ask please post them.

If you could point out how to carry over MS Word or PDF format into the blog post I would appreciate it.  What exactly do you do to help out?  Or do you just find it amusing to troll around?

See pdf file.  Note to Ginger and Psy; please get a better posting program that carries over spacing and options like bold print ect. from other programs like MS Word.

The person that I conducted the interview with asked for their name to be withheld.


How did you end up being sent to a behavior modification facility?


 Really complicated, I was involved with this older guy and my parents found out and they called the police, sent me to a mental hospital, and then to cross creek they hoped to cure me of my "sexual confusion" and make me stop being defiant. I really hate that word "defiant", psssh


So you were in a homosexual relationship with another man?


 A: Yes.


 Q: How much older was he?

 A: He was 24/25; I talked to the police while in the facility. By the way if I log off unexpectedly, that means I may or may not come back.

 Q: What happened with the police investigation?

 A: I don't know anything really, the court date hasn't happened or anything

 Q: Where did you grow up?

 A: Mostly in New York, Florida, and California. I've been in California for five or six years, before then moving around in New York to Florida

 Q: Why did your parents feel sending you to Cross Creek was the best option?

 A: I'm not sure, I guess because it was restrictive and they really didn't know anything about the place when they sent me there.  They thought I was doing off-ground activities and they thought that they'd be able to phone and meet me after a month. They also thought it would "force" me to change as well.  I'm not them, so I don't know, I can only guess

 Q: What is the name of the facility you were sent to?

 A: Cross Creek Programs

 Q: Where is Cross Creek located?

 A: LaVerkin, Utah. There were mountains, it was hot, I don't remember there being lots of places around

 Q: How long were you supposed to stay?

 A: As long as it takes to graduate, in the program's eyes. Or do you mean my parents?

 Q: I mean how long were your parents told that you would be there?

 A: I don't know, I didn't get that information. I think maybe the duration of summer.

 Q: Did you graduate from the program at Cross Creek?

 A: No.

 Q: So why were you taken out of Cross Creek?

 A: My parents took me out because they thought I made sufficient progress, they were running out of money, and my birthday was coming up. I didn't know I was going to leave until the day it happened.  It was the day PC-1 was starting.

 Q: What is PC 1?

 A: Parent-Child one, it's a seminar.  It’s usually the first time you meet your parents, you go usually after both you and your parents complete Discovery (another seminar) and you reached level three or been there for like six months. Or maybe five, because I was supposed to go if it wasn't for being pulled; I went to Discovery.

 Q: Have your parents?

 A: No. Oh I mean yes; they did go to Discovery.  They were going to go to Focus, but I chose out of my first Discovery, and they wanted to be going to the seminars same time as me. I should've put quotes in "chose out."

 Q: What do you mean by chose out?

 A: It basically means you either voluntarily left or did not go to the seminar or you were kicked out by the facilitator because he believed you wouldn't doing enough and needed to re-do the seminar next time.  But it was called "choosing out", because it was our actions that caused us to get kicked out.  Thus, we kicked ourselves out.  Parents are the only ones that can chose out voluntarily; regardless of how they were doing, they could stay.

 Q: What was the environment at Cross Creek when you arrived?

 It was very cold, which was weird because it was May.  But it soon became very hot and around October it became cold again. It was a desert like environment; the sky was very blue, often cloudless.

 Q: How was the facility?

 A: Um, the boys’ side was a lot smaller than the girls’ side, or so I heard. I never been to the girls side except for a doctors run and I only seen a bit of it. It was kind of small; there weren’t a lot of places to go just a bunch of classrooms, a large dorm hallway, and the "old seminar room." The outside was pretty big; there was a computer lab too. But the computers didn't have internet access except to put in our points. It was a cat 4 to do anything on the computer besides enter your points or schoolwork.  That included like, using the calculator program; there was a library too, but it wasn't very big either.

 Q: How did the staff treat you when you arrived and after your parents had left?

 A: Pretty kindly for the most part; I had a good relationship with most staff.  There were "night staff" which were the ones that stayed overnight. They usually consisted of locals, some I considered a couple jerks.  They'd shine flashlights on us once they arrived, I don't know if they did that later on since I usually fell asleep by then. But yeah, I had little trouble with the staff. Anything else?  Oh, and by staff I don't mean directors therapists etc.

 Q: How were the other students as far as their behavior?

A: Um, well they all seemed pretty okay; the ones that were "working" were just like whatever, typical program kids.  The ones "non-working" were almost entirely on staff buddy, and they'd break rules on purpose, but mostly petty ones and weren't overly disruptive.  If they irked staff enough, they'd get removed to SN. A couple of students tried to run and assaulted a staff with a chair but an upper level restrained the guy that did. We snitched on each other, obviously.

 Q: What is SN?

 A: Special Needs.  I never went there, but it's like this place were a students will just sit there and the staff will watch them.

 Q: Do you know anything else about Special Needs?

 A: No, not really, I know if you weren't being compliant the staff would sit on you.  I don't remember anyone staying overnight except those two that tried to run away and one other student because I think he pissed off either the director or radio 3 and wasn't being compliant. Special needs food was usually unsweetened oatmeal for breakfast and cheese sandwiches for lunch and dinner. If you were behaving, then you'd get to eat whatever food was being served as a sort of reward. I don't think you were allowed to talk in there or do anything; it was kind of like solitary confinement.  But not really, because you weren't alone; just sitting in a tiny room, I was told they never shut the doors of the tiny room.  That the doors are just there because it's required, but that the doors are always open and the staff watch them outside.  There was only one SN on the boys’ side, and more than one on the girls'; if necessary, they'd bring one of the opposite sex on the other side.  I think that's why they'd cover up the windows to SN sometimes

 Since we couldn't look at the opposite sex, and everyone was required to evacuate from the hallways sometimes due to that. If someone from SN ever needed to use the restroom or shower or whatever; especially if it's the opposite sex.

 Q: Did you see other students restrain other students often?

 A: No, but I remember some upper levels asking a radio 3 if they were allowed to restrain a student if he was freaking out; the radio 3 said ideally it should never happen and most of the time there should be a staff to take care of the situation. But no, I never saw anyone really get restrained.  Except for this one student who refused to go to SN and the staff grabbed his arm behind his back and pulled it up to make him get up.  Once that same student was being taken through the hallway, and his arms and legs were held by staff and he was taken to SN.

 Q: Are you saying that the upper level you mentioned earlier was the only time you saw a student restrain another?

 A: Supposedly, restraint and freak-outs were more common on the girl's side.  I didn't see it, I was asleep; I only heard about it.  Oh, I remember the director restrained a kid during group; we all had to walk out of group except him so they could restrain him because he refused to get up so we just sat in the computer lab and talked; stuck in our chairs, I always hated that.  Being stuck in the chair, since once you sat down, it was a cat 2 to get up w/o permission. Anything else?

 Q: How was the food at Cross Creek?

 A: Hmm, it was actually pretty decent. It wasn't great, but it wasn't bad; sometimes I wouldn't eat the food I thought was gross.  Kids kept saying they'd suggest to put me on food watch if I didn't start eating more

 Q: What is food watch?

 A: Oh, it's a watch you are put on (there are more, hygiene, suicide, run).  In food watch, you are either required to eat 80% or 100% of every meal or you receive a cat 4 refusal.

 Q: What does a cat 4 refusal entail?

 A: The loss of two levels with minimum points and you are put on staff buddy with 30 tape credits.  It's a somewhat serious offense.

 Q: Were there education services at Cross Creek?

 A: We did school at first every day, but then afterwards it became every other day.  They started this thing where the teachers would move to the boys side and do school there one day, and the next on the girls.  On the days without school would be group therapy and stuff like that.  You just read a textbook and did a test on it.  The teacher didn't lecture, just sat there and you asked him/her for help.  Once you reached level 3 you could go do school at the computer lab.  I never got to level 3 so I don’t know what it's like.  I finished ninth grade in 5 months there; you could gain credits quickly.  It was very easy to meet track requirements for the amount of tests you did.  You were required to at least score an 80% if you got less; you just redid it.  So you could never have less than a B-.

 Q: How many levels were there in this system?

 A: Six

 Q: How long did it take usually to reach level six?

 A:  Oh, I don't know, maybe a little more than a year if you were doing well.  The seminars prohibited us from moving through levels too quickly.

 Q: How so?

 A: Well, for example, to reach level four you need to graduate Discovery and Focus.  So if you haven't finished Focus, then you are stuck on level three until you graduate Focus. The seminars come every two months, so you have to wait until seminar time and then not get kicked out.  So it'd take four months minimum to reach level four.  It'd be impossible to do less; and two months minimum to reach level three.  I heard the program could take ten-twelve months if you are absolutely perfect; but that's very rare.

Q: I have been told that masturbation was against the rules at behavior modification facilities, did Cross Creek have a similar rule?

 A: When I arrived, a lot of students went on level probation for masturbating and not knowing it was against the rules.  It was a cat 5 to masturbate out of the shower during shower time.  Which meant staff buddies, suicide watches, and hygiene watches could not masturbate ever.  I was on suicide watch for a month and a half until I was able to use the regular showers. If you were staff buddy or suicide watch, you had to wash in the staff buddy stalls or locker room (if you were on the girls side) and it was five minutes and a cat 5 to masturbate in. Hygiene watches had to take showers in front of staff so obviously they couldn't masturbate either.

 Q: Tell me how you got on suicide watch?

 A: I went on the day I arrived, they just told me once the evening shift started I was on suicide watch

 Q: So you didn't exude any kind of disturbed behavior or said that you were going to commit suicide?

A: Oh no, I had scratches on my arms once I arrived.  My parents probably told my therapist I had tendencies.  I was really emotionally distraught when I arrived; also our therapist had a tendency though to put students on suicide watch without much reason. One went on for refusing to do a confession letter.

 Q: The therapist you mentioned works at Cross Creek?

 A: Yes, every group had a therapist

 Q: Tell me about the hygiene watches?

 A: Hygiene watch? Oh, I don’t know much.  No one I knew was on hygiene watch when I arrived, but one student was once on hygiene watch before I arrived.  Some students also wanted to suggest me on hygiene watch because I wasn't brushing my teeth good enough and sometimes didn't.  Hygiene watch was just like, I think they watched you shower and wash your hands to make sure you were actually doing it and using soap. Probably made sure you brushed your teeth.

 Q: What were staff buddies like?

 A: You went on staff buddy if you got a cat 4 or 5 or if the director/therapist wanted you on it.  Staff buddies couldn't talk except for the "five staff buddy questions" which were:

 1. General talk in the cafeteria over what food you did and did not want

 2. Refilling your water bottle or asking to drink it

 3. When you needed medication or when meds would be called

 4. When you needed to go to the bathroom

 5. Emergencies

 They had to wear orange shirts mostly, yellow if they were suicide/run as well, or teal if they were like really accountable and "working."  Teal staff buddies were rare.

 Q: Were those on staff buddy the only ones that had to ask for a water bottle?

 A: Everyone had water bottles.  Staff buddies on the girl's side needed permission to drink from them.  For some reason rules on the girls side were stricter; staff buddies on the girls’ side when using the bathroom had to keep their hands on their feet and asked permission to take them off.  In the bathroom stalls you could see the feet so yeah. Staff buddies couldn't have seconds if they were called.  Staff buddies also couldn't watch weekend movies or acknowledge it.  They spent most of the time in Worksheets; which was this room where you listened to tapes about like famous people or books and you'd answer a questionnaire on it.  Based on how many you got right, you would drop tape credits.  If you got up to 29 tape credits, you could be off staff buddy if you are behaving if not, then you needed to get to 0.

 Q: So when you mention tape credits they are worksheet related?

 A: Yes, there's a process called BFO.  BFO stands for "butt falls off."  Meaning you’re on staff buddy until your butt falls off.  Every day, your tape credits reset to 100.  I sometimes felt bad for the students that had to spend days and weeks on staff buddy.  They finished their tapes and were behaving but they still couldn't get off.

 Q: So in order to get off staff buddy students had to get their tape credits down to 0 from 100?

 A: Or 29, it depends if your therapist or director says you can be "off under 30" or "off under 0."  You could also get tape credits and not be on staff buddy if you got "under zero demerits", which meant if you didn't have the points to take care of a cat; you'd get 10 tape credits.  Even if you are off staff buddy, you still need to finish your tapes until it reaches 0.  But if you have tapes and are off staff buddy, you have more privileges and stuff.  Except when you go to worksheets; you can talk to other students and talk outside of five staff buddy questions.

 Q: How were basic medications such as basic pain relievers provided?

 A: I didn't know if they gave those out.  Any meds given out were received during meds time.  The nurse would be at her little station thing and you'd be in line and get whatever was needed.  The nurse would watch you to make sure you took your meds and didn't like hide it in your mouth.  You also couldn't touch any pill you got it had to be dumped in your mouth.  If you refused a medication that you were put on, then it was a cat 4 refusal.  I think since they didn't force you to take them, just punish you for it, it wasn't a violation of a right.  But it was a big deal of a punishment.  If you keep getting cat 4s you will make no progress; and you would be stuck on staff buddy.

 (9:42:10 PM): Was medication or medical care ever denied?

 Not that I'm aware of.  One student had a complaint about how he was being given the wrong medication.  I never had meds, I only went there for like lip balm and stuff.

 Q: What were the seminars like that you mentioned earlier?

 A: Oh, way too long to explain entirely.  I only went through Discovery, and it was like it was co-ed, so like girls sat on one side of the room and boys on the other.  You could only talk to the opposite sex on-task

 Q: What was the purpose behind the seminars?

 A: To change you or "give you tools."  You went through all these processes and did all these things and you had to share a lot. About sensitive things or shameful things; to like "discover your magical child." Just like modify your behavior, you know; once the seminar was over, you got a "seminar high."  Which was where you felt like super chipper and amazing and like, kind of like a manic episode a way; it would go away though after a while.

 Q: How did students participate in seminars?

 A: They raised their hand, shared, gave feedback, if the facilitator asked a question, you'd raise your hand and they called on you maybe.  They did the processes too.  That was necessary; you had to do the processes.  You also had to do homework; which I found really hard because we didn't have that much time to do it.  There was like a minimum of how long it needed to be and you had to do stupid things to it that were different each time so nobody copied each other.  Such as writing outside the margins or over the lines or in the whitespace or whatever; I just wanted to get it done.  I didn't have time to like elaborate.  But that's kind of what you needed to, it couldn't be "bare minimum."

 Q: What kinds of life events were brought up at seminars?

 A: Oh, like um what things did people share about?

 I don’t know if I feel comfortable revealing specific things.  I don’t know, I guess like things like if you were raped or mistreated, or like even little things you felt your father hated you.  It was just whatever made you feel crappy about yourself; and would make you burst into tears

 Q: I was told by another student at another program that when she attended seminars the staff told her that it was her fault she was raped, did things like that happen at the seminars you attended?

 A: Probably in Focus maybe, not in Discovery.  Discovery was the beginner's thing; they wouldn't get that extreme in Discovery. They told us like we were accountable for everything; if we died in a plane crash, we are accountable for it because we chose to go on the plane.  Children dying in India, we're accountable for it.  Something we could have done different, even if there was no way to know.  Also like, accidents don't happen.  It also depended on the facilitator; the way they did things was different the way they treated students, what they told them etc.

 Q: Were your parents told about the same things in their seminar?

 A: I don’t know, it was probably watered down.  I know they said things like, why you need to keep your child in the program and not to feel guilty about it.  I never went to the parents' discovery, so I don’t know

 Q: What was the worst thing about your stay at Cross Creek?

 A: I don't really know.  Lots of things sucked, but I don’t know what was the worst.  The way they treated my sexuality was kind of shitty.  I became all confused and ashamed a bit; but maybe it was justified.  I mean, that I'm not sure about.  I mean, it's like I remember when I was sucking on a popsicle and in group I was like, I guess "roasted."  I was saying I was not doing it in a sexual trying-to-attract-attention way, but then my therapist was like:"are you actually saying the entire group is wrong and all their perceptions?"

 Something like that.  I felt really like crappy about that, because it was like, everyone perceived that way, so maybe it was right.  I was put on a process where I was forbidden to talk about homosexuality or bisexuality.  I was allowed to talk about straight sex and stuff, but I didn't want to, I just pretended I couldn't talk about sexuality in general.  I was told the guy I was with didn't care about me, manipulated and molested me even though I disagreed with it.  I eventually came to believe it, but once I came back it started dispelling.  The forced confession letters, being forced to talk about things you didn't want to or do things in therapy.  I mean, it was coerced therapy and stuff.  Like, I felt ashamed for wanting to have sex for example while I was there.  I felt like such a disgusting person for it.  I'm not sure if that's mine or cross creek's fault though.  You know?  Like, when it comes to whether or not the place was bad, I'm sometimes not sure.  I still sometimes feel guilty because maybe I'm wrong but generally, I think the place was awful.  I also hated how everything had to be told to your parents like there was no privacy between you and your therapist.  It was like, I always felt dirty because it was a cat 4 to not take care of a single category.  For example, a cat 3 to even look at someone's handwriting for a split-second and I also felt like I had to talk about everything and do these big shares and it caused anxiety and choosing out of seminars. That's it.  They also shaved our heads, I hated that, I felt ugly

 Q: What was the best thing about your stay at Cross Creek?

 A: Well, the thing I benefited from was the sort of happy feeling after finishing a seminar, some of the seminar processes.  The friendships you'd make with peers or staff.  After a while, I stopped wanting to go home bizarrely.  All the kids said it was weird of me and that I was essentially there voluntarily since my parents asked things like "do you think you’re ready to come home" and whatever.  I wanted everyone's approval, and I wanted to be an upper level that would help out all the lower levels.  It was exciting, like, the idea of helping people, because that made you like… I don’t know… likeable?  Wonderful?  That's it

  Q: How is your relationship with your family now?

 A: crap.

 Q: Can you elaborate?

 A: Heh, sure.  I don’t know, I still get depressed and angry over being sent there and what my parents did to me and the guy.  Also they don’t accept my sexuality.  So now I'm back in California and living with m y biological father.  I hold lots of resentment and feel really angry at my mother.  I just think she's very umm…I don’t know.  I guess like illogical and also like in a bit of denial as well.  Also unfair I guess, because like I just mention the guy's name and my mother freaked out and said: "CHILL OUT! CHILL OUT! GIVE YOURSELF A CHANCE TO NOT GO BACK TO CROSS CREEK."  Despite the fact I said it in a calm voice.  I don’t know, my mother actually got mad at me and tried to punish me for not wanting to buy a bike.  She wants me to get married and have children and find me a wife. She always asks if I think a girl is cute and that she can arrange a marriage for me.  Like now, because we're Gypsies, so early marriages are the norm.

 Q: Is there anything you want to add?

 A: No, not really.

News Items / Re: Pathway in the news again 2/07/2009
« on: February 08, 2009, 10:49:25 PM »
Come on Psy, don't you care about children?  LOL

News Items / Re: Pathway in the news again 2/07/2009
« on: February 08, 2009, 09:29:51 PM »

The interviews may or may not make an impact; nonetheless I will do what I can to help.  Like many others here I am hoping that with a new attorney general some decent legislation will be passed to prevent further exploitation of people under the age of eighteen.  Best way to help out now is getting out information from former students so that parents and in some cases judges can make informed decisions on how to best help children that need help.  Do your best to help in any way you think is the best way.  From writing to officials, protesting or simply voting for new officials; I believe the best way is to do all the above.

Q: What is your full name?
A: Lillian (middle name edited) Speerbrecker
Q: How old are you?
A: 20
Q: How was your upbringing?
A: I had a lot of family problems just about all of my life which reflected back on me.
Q: Anything that sticks out in your mind?
A: My parents getting divorced... my mom, aunt, and brother going to prison, my brother being put up for adoption... my dad hitting me.  My mom also drank a lot and pretty must let me do whatever I wanted.
Q: For the most part where did you grow up?
A: Lansing Michigan, but I moved around a lot. But I always ended up back in Lansing.
Q: How did you end up being sent to a behavior modification facility?
A: Pretty much this was what happened.... my dad didn’t really show me any attention only when I was doing something bad... so I started getting into trouble.... skipping school, running away, doing drugs and drinking.
Q: What was the name of the facility you were sent to?
A: I was sent to Casa by the Sea... and Midwest Academy.
Q: Which one did you go to first?
A: Casa.
Q: When did you arrive at Casa by the Sea?
A: It was May 31st 2004.
Q: How old were you at the time?
A: I was fifteen.
Q: How long did you stay at Casa?  How old were you when you left?
A: I stayed at casa for three months; it was shut down for abuse when I was there.  I was fifteen when I left.
Q: How did you arrive at Casa?  Did your parents take you?
 A: No, I was picked up by those people that take you from your house in the middle of the night.
Q: Could you please elaborate for those that are not familiar with escort services?
A: Sure... parents pay these people to come and take their child out of their homes and take them to the programs for them.  I think it is because this way the child is least expecting it.
Q: Do you remember the name of the escort service?
A: I just remember their shirts saying something about troubled teens.
Q: How many escort personnel were there?  Were they all male?
A: There were two; it was a male and a female.
Q: How did they treat you?
A: At first they were very rude to me.  They handcuffed me hard enough to leave handcuff bruises for two weeks, but they calmed down after I did when they told me I wouldn’t have to take out my gage earrings and that the food was good and how it was "SO nice" in Mexico.
Q: Did both your parents decide to send you to Casa?
A: No, my father sent me to the program while my mother was in prison so she could have no say in sending me away because she wouldn’t let it happen.
Q: How long were you told you would be at Casa?
A: Until I graduated... if I didn’t I couldn’t come home.  That’s what my dad said.
Q: How was the environment at Casa when you arrived?
A: It was so unbelievably hot.   Being from Michigan I’m used to the colder weather.  I hated the humidity, everything seemed very dirty.  I could tell I was not going to be happy there.
Q: What was the food at Casa by the Sea like?
A: There were good days and bad days.  The fish was always nasty... tortillas were very good though.  We would mix our food up to make it taste better. I used to chop up my banana and put it in my strawberry yogurt that we got i think once a month.
Q: Where was the food served?
A: They called it the corridor; it was like a mess hall.
Q: Was food ever denied?
A: They did put me on a diet when I was there... they would give me a whole hamburger and tell me I could only eat half.... that to me mentally messes with your mind.  But they never denied me food.
Q: Were there education services at Casa?
A: Yeah, if you want to call it that.
Q: What was the classroom setting like?
They just had big long tables that you sat at and read from school textbooks. they did upgrade to computers while i was there, which the schooling program on the computers had a lot to do with god... which made me really mad because it wasn’t my religion and I don’t think you should be forced to learn about a religion that you don’t want to know about let alone having it in your school work.
Q: Were the teachers helpful?
A: Ha, ha, ha, ha no, not to me at least; I never got any help in school work.
Q: Can you give an example?
A: There was one teacher and he never did anything.  Then when the computers came it was like he wasn’t even there anymore, he did nothing.
Q: How was Casa structured?  What were the rules there?
A: If you where a level one or two you could talk to any other level one’s or two’s.  You could talk to level three’s only if you had another level three or higher level listening to you.  You always had to have a third while talking.  You had to walk in lines. you couldn’t where your hair down, you couldn’t pop any pimples, let alone shave your legs until you got to level three then you only got to shave like once a month.  If you where a level three then you had to have someone watch you while you shaved.
Q: How many levels were there in this system?
A: Six.
Q: How long did it take to get to higher levels?
A: Well you made it to level two when you got two-hundred points.  After that you had to vote up... which meant if the staff or the other people in your group didn’t think you deserved it yet you wouldn’t be allowed to go to your next level... I only made it to level two in Casa.
Q: How long did it take usually to reach level six?
A: Well basically when you hit level six you went home.  I think it was two weeks later. So basically it depends on the person.
Q: So from level one to level six takes about six months?
A: No, as you go through the program you earn points, and then if you do something bad you lose them.  I have seen people in the program that have been there for three years, it depends on if you work hard to be voted up fast or not.  I was told I could get out in twelve months if I tried hard enough.  But I have never seen anyone do it.
Q: I have been told that masturbation was against the rules, is this true?
A: Yes.
Q: What level of violation was it?
A: I’m not sure... I just never did it so I never got it trouble for it to know.  It was high up there though, I think a cat 3 or higher I think it was a cat 4.
Q: How were basic necessities provided? Items such as clothing etc.?
A: They were given to us.  We got clean clothes every other day.  For stuff like shampoo we had this store I guess you could say.  We could get what we needed from pens to tampons to deodorant.
Q: How were basic medications such as basic pain relievers provided?
A: Well to even get them you had to talk to the nurse which took a month in itself.  You had to go to a building and you would tell them your name and they would give them to you.  I only got aspirin when I was there and I was never on any medication.
Q: Was medication or medical care ever denied?
A: Yes.
Q: Do you remember any occurrences where either was denied?
A: Well, I have horrible knees, and they made my family (the group of girls that I was in) run sixty basketball courts and my knees where going to give out. I didn’t get anything, no aspirin, no knee brace, nothing. They told me that my knees hurt because I was getting fat.  I had knee problems before I went into the program.
Q: Any other occurrences you can recall?
A: I was sick and they told me just to lie in bed and they put a cold rag on my head and one on my stomach.  They didn’t give me anything for a headache which I had, other than that no, not for me at least.  I didn’t pay attention to a lot of the other girls; I stayed to myself to stay out of trouble.
Q: Were you allowed to send mail unopened or have any unmonitored phone calls with family?
A: Oh no, they would read you mail, they actually took stuff out of the letters that my dad sent to me (he would email them to my family rep) I never had a phone call with my parents.  You had to be a level three to talk on the phone, but I know that you never had a phone call by yourself.
Q: Were you allowed to associate and communicate freely and/or privately with persons of your choice such as other students?
A: No, if you talked without permission it was a cat3.
Q: What was a typical category 3 punishment?
A: You got fifty points taken from you.
Q: How many points did it take to get to level three?
A: I think it was one-thousand.
Q: How many points could you earn in a week?
A: It depends, on if you were good or not, you could only give yourself between zero to three points and I think the five categories they gave you.  But if you gave yourself too many threes’ they would take away points from you for lying.
Q: So, up to three points a week then?
A: No, you got to give yourself points every day at the most if you gave yourself all threes’ you would get one-hundred and five points but no one ever got that.
Q: I have been told that every student at Casa had to speak in Spanish, is this true?
A: Yes.
Q: Did you speak Spanish well before you arrived at Casa?
A: No, I didn’t speak any Spanish.
Q: How well did you learn Spanish during your time at Casa?
A: I learned what I needed to, to get by, now I can ask to stand for the milk.   Ask to get out of line for my water bottle, just little stuff like that.
Q: What about for those that did not speak Spanish? Were you and other students allowed to speak English to ask for things such as medication?
A: Only to staff; if they spoke English if they didn’t they asked an upper level to translate what you where saying.
Q: What were the qualifications for staff as far as training and education?
A: I don’t think that there were any.  I swear some of them were told that we were nothing but bad kids who lie and steal, because some of the staff treated us like dirt.
Q: Other students have said that they attended seminars while at Casa, what were they like?
A: They were something else.... it seemed to me like it was a way for them to try and either brainwash or reprogram you, like telling you everything you did was bad... in fact I was told in a seminar that when I was raped it was my fault.
Q: How often were these seminars held?
A: Once a month, you also had to go through seminars to be able to vote up to your next level.
Q: Were you told that when you were raped it was your fault each time?
A: Yeah.
Q: What was the best thing about your stay at Casa?
A: The lifelong friends I made.  We were all there for some reason, but the thing was we where there together, they went through what you went through, they understood you.  I still talk to some of the girls I was in there with.
Q: What was the worst part of your stay?
A: Not being able to talk to people, regardless of whom.  Your friends that where in there with you, your family, not being able to hug the person that sleeps in the next bed over, it was very lonely in there.
Q: How did Casa come to be shutdown while you were there?
A: They shut down for abusing the children. I was never abused and I didn’t see any, I heard a lot of it took place on the boys’ side.
Q: What do you classify as abuse?
A: To me... anything emotionally, mentally, or physically; well, to be honest, for them to say that it was my fault that I got raped, that to me is a form of abuse.   That is mental and emotional abuse.
Q: What kinds of abuse did you hear or see on the boys’ side at Casa?
A: We couldn’t look at the boys.  If we went on the boys’ side at all we had to look at the back of the persons head in front of us.  I never seen any abuse on the boys’ side, we rarely went over there only to go to the library and to go to seminars.
Tell me about the day Casa was shutdown.
Q: When did you know something was going on?
A: In the morning... when we went to breakfast, they served us hot breakfast.  I was there for three months; we never got hot breakfast when I was there.  We always had cereal; also in the corridor, there was always this big trail of ants that went from one side to the other traveling up one wall over the ceiling and down the other wall (I used to joke and call it the ant highway) but when we went in there it was gone. It was there for two out of the three months that I was there.
Q: What agency came in that day?
A: I don’t know... I just remember guys with bullet proof vests with guns standing around looking mean. It shut down the day they were having a seminar.
Q: When did you find out they were there to shut the place down?
A: That night, they tried to keep everything quiet until they were sure I guess.
Q: How did everyone take the news?
A: Lol, there was a riot.   To say we were happy is an extreme understatement.
 Q: Were your parents notified?
A: Yeah, my dad told me they called him at like 10 at night and told him that "he had to come and get his kid."
Q: Did the authorities or facility staff tell him why he had to pick you up?
A: The staff, that’s what he told me at least.
Q: I have read that Casa was shutdown not only for abuses but also health code violations, is that true?  If so was your father told that it was the reason he had to come there to get you?
A: No, he was never told why; I didn’t know about the health code I believe it though, that place was nasty.
Q: How did the reunion between you and your father go when he arrived at Casa?
A: Good, until he told me he was sending me to Midwest.
 Q: After Casa was shut down by authorities he wanted to send you to another WWASP facility?
A: Yes.
Q: Did he say why he wanted to send you to Midwest Academy?
A: I was told I wasn’t ready to come home.
Q: How long were you supposed to stay at Midwest?
A: Until I graduated if I didn’t I had to sit there until I was eighteen.
Q: How long did you stay at Midwest?
A: Five months I think.
Q: How was the environment at Midwest?
A: It was a lot stricter but a lot cleaner than Casa.
Q: Was there a level system?
A: Yes, the same one.
Q: What was the food like at Midwest?
A: Not that good, it was very processed.  I guess you could say it was like bad school food.
Q: How and where was the food at Midwest served?
A: In the cafeteria, we had to be in line to get it.  You never wanted to be the last girl in line or by the time you got there your food was cold and you only had thirty minutes to eat.
Q: Was food ever denied?
A: Not that I recall.
Q: How was the school environment at Midwest?
A: It was better, they had the computer system, but the teachers where nice and they helped you when you needed it.
Q: What were the qualifications for staff as far as training and education at Midwest?
A: I know at least one of them at least had training.  Other than her though I don’t think they had any qualifications.
Q: How were basic necessities provided, items such as clothing etc.?
A: Just about the same way but instead of you going to get your stuff they brought you a check list and they would bring you what you needed.
Q: Were there seminars held at Midwest as well?
A: Yes.
Q: How did they go at Midwest?
A: They were the same seminars that they had in Casa.   They have staff that travel across the country that run the seminars.
Q: Were they the same staff members that blamed you for being raped?
 A: No, these people where different
Q: So did the seminars held at Midwest blame you for being raped?
A: Yeah, they said it was my fault that I put myself in that situation, or because I was dressed a skanky way.  Yes I where low cut shirts, but I never dressed skanky.  I never wore skirts too short or shirts that showed my belly but to the program I was still dressing like a skank.
Q: While at Midwest were you allowed to send mail unopened or have any unmonitored phone calls with family?
A: Nope, but they wouldn’t change the letters like they did in Casa.
Q: Did the staff at Midwest censor mail in any way?
A: Not that I know of.  In the United States it’s against federal law to do so.   So I don’t think that they did.  My dad would have told me that I was answering one of his questions and I would have known.
Q: What about phone calls?
I only made it to level 2 in Midwest lol; I never had a phone call, but you couldn’t have a phone call alone.
Q: What was the best thing about your stay at Midwest?
A: That some of my friends from casa got transferred to Midwest; actually my best friend from Casa got transferred there.   Oh and intervention, that was a lot of fun!
Q: What was intervention?
A: Intervention in Midwest is isolation; it’s where you go when you’re in BIG trouble
Q: How long did isolation usually last?
A: It depends they would say "on how long you want to be there" I was in there for three weeks before I got kicked out of the program.
Q: Was the isolation constant?  Were you given any breaks?
A: You only got out to use the bathroom and then they told you when your bathroom breaks where, and to shower.  Other than that you stayed in the room, you sat there all day by yourself, you ate by yourself, and you slept in that room.   There were other isolation rooms right next to mine, and there was another girl that I was in casa with and we goofed off all the time.
Q: So you enjoyed your time in isolation because you and your friend could communicate since you were so close?
Q: Or was it because you were away from facility staff and activities or was it a bit of both?

A: Yes, we had a lot of fun, the staff tried to get us to shut up all the time, I had one staff member step on my fingers when I was in there, and I know she did it on purpose.  You always had staff watching you, we had cameras on us 24/7.
Q: What was the worst thing about your stay at Midwest?
A: Some of the staff when i was in intervention, a staff member Mr. Ben hit me with the door to my room.  The woman staff member stepped on my fingers, one staff member told me if I didn’t give her my socks I couldn’t shower until I did.
Q:  How is your relationship with your family now?
A: It took four years for me to forgive my dad, now we are finally talking again.
Q: Did he believe you when you told him what happened at Casa and Midwest?
No, not at all.
Q: What about now?
We just don’t talk about it... I know he feels bad about sending me away.
Q:  Is there anything you want to add?
A: Can I say something to the parents that are thinking of sending their child away?
A: Think twice before you send your child to a place like the ones I just talked about.   You don’t know these people; they don’t know your kids.   To them they are just bad kids who have no hope, and your children get treated like that.   Take it from me, I have had many problems in my life but once I was sent to the program everything got worse.  I now have horrible abandonment issues, I can’t be alone, I was made to feel useless, and I was told it was my fault I was raped.  Do you want your children to go through that?   This is not the solution for your problems, just try listening to your child, or go to normal therapy, anything but these programs.  Please take my advice; it took me almost five years after the program to get over just some of my problems.

Who Am I Discovery/Whitmore / Re: hope its worth something to you out there
« on: February 02, 2009, 06:59:17 PM »
When a person is under threat of being sent to an abusive place then yes.  It wouldn't be the first time someone lied under oath for fear of telling the truth; even if she did tell the truth and was believed by the jury her mother may have sent her to another program.

The following is an interview I conducted with a former Casa by the Sea student graduate:
I have also included the interview in PDF format that is a little easier to read.  I will conduct the interview in video format in the near future, and I would like to conduct more interviews from other behavior modification programs.  So if you are able and willing to tell your story to anyone web browsing let me know.

What is your full name?

Rey  (middle and last name edited out)

How old are you?


Where were you raised?

Chino Hills, California

How was your home life?

It started off very normal: my parents stayed together, I had 2 brothers.
Things didn't start getting hard for me until I was in 6th grade.

In what way did things start to get hard for you?

My family dynamic .. My older brother was my mom's from a previous marriage. She always went the extra mile to make him feel a part of the new family. My father and my little brother always got along so I had what some would call middle child syndrome.

How did you end up being sent to a behavior modification facility?

My dad's friend had sent his child to a program in Jamaica with mediocre results, so my dad asked him about the program and found a similiar one in Ensenada, Mexico. My parents had lied to me and  told me that we were going to go to Mexico to look at summer houses

Were there any particular events that led to your father searching for a program?

To be honest, I can't remember if there were any specific events, I don't remember what my parents knew about me before I went to the program. I use to cut myself, I was dating a person that was twice my age (I was 14), so I really wouldn't call it dating. I was anorexic, unhappy.

What was the name of the facility you were sent to?

Casa by the Sea

When did you arrive at Casa by the Sea?

I believe it was Feb. 28th 1999.

How long were you there?

22 months

Was there an initial time frame that your parents expected you to remain there?

The people at the program first told my parents that I could graduate in 8 or 9 months. To my knowledge, outside of people turning 18 while they were there, that has never been done in such a short time

What was the food at Casa by the Sea like?

At first it was actually pretty good for the first 2 to 4 months, after that the facility got much bigger so the food got much worse. My first few months I was there the menu would change monthly; after the 5th month it did not change the whole time I was there.

Going back to age for a moment; how old were you when you first arrived at Casa?  How old were you when you left?

I was 14 when I first got there. I was 16 when I left.

In what way was the food at Casa bad?

For one we would have the same protein three days out of the week, for example they would
make chicken say on Wednesday, on Friday we would have chicken soup with bones and ligaments then on Sunday we would have chicken salad. In fact one time about 90 percent of the facility got food poisoning from the food. Picture 300 kids in a large seminar room on mattresses vomiting and crapping themselves .

Were there other cases of food poisoning while you were at Casa?

I'm sure there were. I had stomach problems so I was one of the lucky few that got switched to a vegetarian
diet, which saved me from a lot of sickness.

Where was the food served?

There was a dining area that had a bunch of benches.

Inside or outside?

It was inside, the only time I remember eating outside was during holidays, like Thanksgiving.

Was food ever denied?

To some people yes, they had this thing called room restriction, it's where they would send kids that went AWOL. They would get a small bowl of soup and a scoop of rice.

How long did this room restriction last?

Well, anywhere from a day to months at a time. The kids in R and R ((room restriction )) would have to lay flat on their stomachs, chin on a tiled floor, hands behind their backs for most of the day while they were there.

Were you ever put on room restriction?

No I was not, I did have to go to worksheets a few times, which was like detention. But I never escalated to R and R, but I did have to supervise it a few times.

For those that you supervised that were on room restriction do you know why they were placed on it?

There were a lot of reasons: sometimes new kids would have a nervous breakdown, some people would get caught masturbating, some kids tried to run away

There were punishments for masturbation?

Yes, it was a category 4 consequence, the demerit system was set up with category 1s all the way to cat 5s depending on the severity. Cat 4 and above were usually automatic R and R.

Were any educational classes provided? If so, what was the classroom support like?

Schooling was all done through independent studies. There were about 3 or 4 teachers that were there if you needed help. You would go to the library and check out a book, read the book, take tests and advance to the next book.

Were the teachers helpful?

Some were: there was one math teacher who definitely knew the subject and was willing to help us.
Others kind of had power trips and would give out consequences for the tiniest things.

Can you give an example?

Off the top of my head no, but a lot of the staff was that way. I don't know if they got some sort of satisfaction by telling kids what to do and knowing there was nothing we could do to retaliate.

How were basic necessities provided?  Items such as clothing etc.?

Clothing was the first 4 levels were given to each student. I believe it was 3 shirts, 3 pairs of sweatpants, a pair of sandals, and a jacket. Other stuff such as deodorant and toothpaste were sold at the commissary store. Our parents would pay an extra 100 dollars a month which out of that we probably only were allowed to spend 25 dollars of it.

What were the qualifications for staff as far as training and education?

Lol, I don't think there were any, to be honest. I would assume the only one that had any training
was the nurse, and she was not that good of a nurse. Her usual remedy was that it would heal on its own.
Some of the staff did go through the same seminars we went through.

How were basic medications such as basic pain relievers provided?

I don't remember basic pain relievers ever being provided. Other medicines would get distributed normally around meal time.

Was medication or medical care ever denied?


Can you remember any occurrences where either was denied?

Yes. I was lower levels so I really did not know the severity but one of the kids that had just gotten there had jumped through a window. His back was cut up pretty bad. To my knowledge he was never taken to a doctor. They had his mattress put out in the hallway for observation.

Any other occurrences you can recall?

One of the people in my family (we called the groups we were in families) was sick for probably about a month or two with a really bad cough. They kept just prescribing him over-the-counter cough medicine.

When he finally was able to see a doctor he had prescribed a very strong cough medicine with codeine. The doctor was very clear he was just to have a small teaspoon of it.

The lady that passed out the meds gave him a rather large dosage, he insisted that it was not the right amount but she was threatening to take him to detention.  So he ended up drinking the whole thing and he started to act like he was drunk, he ended up kneeing the director in the butt and falling over in laughter, it was rather odd.

So medicine was delivered in that instance, but not by a professional; he's lucky there wasn't any harm from the incident.

Were you allowed to send mail unopened or have any unmonitored phone calls with family?

No, all the mail was screened, and when we finally did get a phone call our family rep sat right next to us and warned us we would be dropped levels if we told any "lies".

What qualified as lies?

Anything to try and get our parents to bring us home.
We were not allowed to talk bad about the facility even if it was true.

Were you allowed to associate and communicate freely and/or privately with persons of your choice such as other students?

No, we were only allowed to talk Spanish. We had to get permission on the lower levels to talk to anybody. And we were NEVER allowed to be anywhere with just one other person.

What about for those that did not speak Spanish?  Were you and other students allowed to speak English to ask for things such as medication?

The ones that did not speak Spanish had to learn. I knew no Spanish when I first got there. If it was an emergency we were allowed to speak in English. Also if we wanted to have a serious heart to heart with another student with a staff member listening we could talk English only if the staff member knew English.

Going back earlier you mentioned seminars, what were they like?

They were a monthly occurrence. It was the only time we were allowed to talk to girls. Each seminar had different things to teach, in one seminar after a 15 minute or so visualization exercise a wrapped up towel was placed next to you while you were on the floor curled up in a fetal position. The seminar facilitator would have you think of people that had hurt you in your life, get people to start crying, than we were instructed to pick up the towel and start beating the floor. The lights were dimmed. Try to imagine 80-90 kids beating the floor with towels yelling every obscenity you can think of, it was kind of scary.

Another seminar would have all the overtly macho guys shave their legs and dance around in tutus like ballerinas

Did staff have to participate in such seminars as part of their training? Or were they in separate seminars?

They were in separate seminars. So I have no idea what their seminars were like and I don't know if they were mandatory. I don't think they were, because if it was mandatory there would have been no one watching the students.

 How long did people usually stay in the program?

I believe the average was about 17 to 22 months.

What was the best thing about your stay at Casa?

I had A LOT of time to read books

What was the worst part of your stay?

That's a tough one. Probably not being able to do anything without permission.

Knowing that I was completely helpless.

How is your relationship with your family now?

It is better. They still think sending me there saved my life.

I don't know if I will ever fully trust them again, though.

Did you tell them what happened while you were there?

Yes. It's either they don't believe me or don't want to hear about it.

Is there anything you want to add?

Yes: the effects the program has had on me post.

I still have nightmares about that place, 8 years later. I have problems trusting people in relationships.

I think the whole masturbating thing being a consequence has given me (intimacy) problems as well.

I think that's about it

Well I am out of questions at this time

This concludes the interview, thank you for your time Rey

Thank you for listening and hopefully whatever you put together can really make parents think twice about sending their kids afar.

Open Free for All / What Happened to Allison Tobey?
« on: January 28, 2009, 01:32:22 AM »
I just read this article published in 2000.  I was just wondering if anyone knows what happened to Allison?  Is she ok now? ... ademy.html

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