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Topics - Jeff_Berryman

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The Troubled Teen Industry / Stanford University Prison Study
« on: January 02, 2006, 11:04:00 AM »

This psychological study is some fascinating reading.  It should also sound very familiar to a lot of you.

Open Free for All / If It Happened In Our Day And Age
« on: December 15, 2005, 01:38:00 PM »
Nazareth Carpenter Being Held On Charges Involving Underage Mother

Bethlehem, Judea - Authorities were today alerted by a concerned citizen who noticed a family living in a barn. Upon arrival, Family Protective Service personnel, accompanied by police, took into protective care an infant child named Jesus, who had been wrapped in strips of cloth and placed in a feeding trough by his 14-year old mother, Mary of Nazareth.

During the confrontation, a man identified as Joseph, also of Nazareth, attempted to stop the social workers. Joseph, aided by several local shepherds and some unidentified foreigners, tried to forestall efforts to take the child, but were restrained by the police.

Also being held for questioning are three foreigners who allege to be wise men from an eastern country. The INS and Homeland Security officials are seeking information about these who may be in the country illegally. A source with the INS states that they had no passports, but were in possession of gold and other possibly illegal substances. They resisted arrest saying that they had been warned by God to avoid officials in Jerusalem and to return quickly to their own country. The chemical substances in their possession will be tested.

The owner of the barn is also being held for questioning. The manager Bethlehem Inn faces possible revocation of his license for violating health and safety regulations by allowing people to stay in the stable. Civil authorities are also investigating the zoning violations involved in maintaining livestock in a commercially-zoned district.

The location of the minor child will not be released, and the prospect for a quick resolution to this case is doubtful. Asked about when Jesus would be returned to his mother, a Child Protective Service spokesperson said, "The father is middle-aged and the mother definitely underage. We are checking with officials in Nazareth to determine what their legal relationship is.

Joseph has admitted taking Mary from her home in Nazareth because of a census requirement. However, because she was obviously pregnant when they left, investigators are looking into other reasons for their departure. Joseph is being held without bond on charges of molestation, kidnapping, child endangerment, and statutory rape.

Mary was taken to the Bethlehem General Hospital where she is being examined by doctors. Charges may also be filed against her for endangerment. She will also undergo psychiatric evaluation because of her claim that she is a virgin and that the child is from God.

The director of the psychiatric wing said, "I don't profess to have the right to tell people what to believe, but when their beliefs adversely affect the safety and well-being of others - in this case her child - we must consider her a danger to others. The unidentified drugs at the scene didn't help her case, but I'm confidant that with the proper therapy regiment we can get her back on her feet."

A spokesperson for the governor's office said, "Who knows what was going through their heads? But regardless, their treatment of the child was inexcusable, and the involvement of these others frightening. There is much we don't know about this case, but for the sake of the child and the public, you can be assured that we will pursue this matter to the end."

Open Free for All / UNBELIEVABLE!
« on: October 04, 2005, 11:00:00 PM »
Hey, if someone can get away with this crap for 18 years, is it any wonder the "Specialty School" industry is so hard to rein in? ... AS-DC.html

Kansas couple on trial for enslaving mentally ill

Oct 4, 10:53 AM (ET)

By Carey Gillam

KANSAS CITY, Kansas (Reuters) - A Kansas husband and wife who ran a psychotherapy practice went on trial on Tuesday on charges that they kept mentally ill people as slaves, forced them to perform sex acts on videotape and then billed Medicare nearly $1 million for the "therapy."

Prosecutors charged that Arlan Kaufman, 68, and his wife Linda Kaufman, 62, spent 18 years taking advantage of patients entrusted to their care. The couple ran a residential care facility in Newton, Kansas, where they worked with at least 20 mentally ill individuals from 1980 until 2004.

Jury selection began Tuesday for an expected five-week trial in U.S. District Court in Wichita.

Authorities are seeking to prove that while the couple was billing relatives and insurers for therapy, rent, utilities and food, they were forcing the residents to engage in hard manual labor in the nude on a farm the couple owned outside of town.

Prosecutors charged the residents were also forced to engage in a variety of sexually explicit acts, including masturbating, fondling each other and shaving each other's genitals, much of which was videotaped.

Patients were physically injured or restrained if they resisted, authorities charged.

Prosecutors have filed 33 criminal counts against the Kaufmans including charges of forced labor, involuntary servitude, health care fraud, mail fraud and obstruction of a federal audit.

The Kaufmans submitted just under $1 million in claims to Medicare from 1991 through 2000 and were paid $216,906, authorities said.

Defense attorneys for the Kaufmans declined to comment. The couple faces more than 200 years in prison if convicted of all the charges.

The Troubled Teen Industry / Brat Camp
« on: June 14, 2005, 11:28:00 PM »
I saw something bizarre at Struggling Teens: ... 2;t=001062

ABC is doing a reality show about kids in a wilderness program.  And of course, with cameras running, none of the stuff we're concerned about will happen there.  Those kids will be well treated by BM standards, and MILLIONS of Americans will get a falsely rosy picture of the behavior modification industry.  And they will be all the more amenable to making use of what they think are similar programs.  Only, with no cameras and no witnesses, things will be a bit different out in the real world.  Thousands of kids will suffer over this, especially since new fly-by-night programs will be set up to take advantage of the increased demand.  Those are the kind of programs where kids end up dead, like Aaron Bacon or Michelle Sutton.  We need to let ABC know how we feel.  A hundred thousand E-mails with the threat of a boycott might get their attention.

The E-mail address to use is:  [email protected]

Spread the word as widely as you can.

6 ... 314750.xml

Seven students injured in Bethel home riot
Sunday, April 10, 2005
The Mississippi Press

LUCEDALE -- A riot at Eagle Point Christian Academy, formerly known as Bethel Boys Academy, in Lucedale Friday night led to six students being taken into custody and seven other being taken to the hospital.

The George County Sheriff's Department received a call reporting the riot just before 11 p.m. Friday. Two deputies responded to the call and upon arrival at Eagle Point, called for assistance due to the number of cadets involved, George County Sheriff Garry Welford said.

"They were destroying the place," Welford said. The cadets were breaking windows, turning bunks over, breaking chairs, and trashing the facility, he said.

Six cadets were reportedly uncooperative with law enforcement and charged with disorderly conduct. They were taken into custody and transported to Forrest County Juvenile Detention Center.

Welford said seven other cadets were taken to the hospital for treatment. Six were treated and released while one remained hospitalized.

Welford said it was reported to him by Eagle Point personnel that 122 cadets should have been in the barracks. By 3:30 a.m., all 122 were accounted for, Welford said.

Cadets reportedly told Welford that a rumor circulating through Eagle Point that the home was going to be investigated by the state was what led to the riot.

"They wanted to make it look as bad as they could," Welford said. "And they did."

John Fountain, director of Eagle Point, was out of town when the riot occurred, Welford was told. He was expected back in Lucedale sometime Saturday. Eagle Point personnel were notifying the parents of students housed there of the riot, Welford said.

Fountain could not be reached by phone on Saturday. An Eagle Point employee said no statements would be given at this time. No other details of the riot have been released due to the involvement of juveniles.

Sheriff's deputies remained at Eagle Point throughout the day on Saturday. "We're just trying to maintain peace and keep the community safe," Welford said.

Reporter Mollie Reeves can be reached at [email protected] or (601) 947-9933.

Straight, Inc. and Derivatives / Italian Article on Sembler
« on: March 17, 2005, 10:23:00 AM » ... idart=1755

Diplomatic immunity
Doubts about the past of Mel Sembler, the chief US diplomat in Rome
Before the tragic epilogue of the kidnapping of Giuliana Sgrena brought his name into press reports for his efforts at mediation between Rome and Washington,  Mel  Sembler, US Ambassador to Italy, was virtually unknown in America. But among the few who already knew him, many have been seeking to put him and his wife, Betty, behind bars for years. For seventeen years, the couple founded and ran ?Straight, Inc.? a network of group homes for drug addicts,  whose severe methods have led to numerous legal and civil suits on the part of ex-patients.
Having grown wealthy as a builder of shopping centers, the seventy-five year old ex-ambassador to Australia and Nauru was a major fundraiser for the Republican Party. While his wife took an important role in the Florida gubernatorial campaigns for the president?s brother, Jeb Bush, Sembler brought tens of millions of dollars of contributions into the two electoral campaigns of George W. His efforts were awarded in 2001 with the nomination to become ambassador to Italy.
In his official biography, the ambassador?s long experience with ?Straight, Inc.? is described as a great success story. ?During its 17 years of existence, Straight successfully graduated more than 12,000 young people nationwide from its remarkable program,? reads the State Department site. But Wes Fager, a computer scientist who entrusted his fifteen-year-old son to ?Straight? in Virginia in 1989,  couldn?t agree less. ?Approximately 50,000 children passed through those group homes. Many still have mental problems, and over forty have committed suicide. Some of them are among the 12,000 Sembler considers ?graduated? drug-free. They are successful graduates, but they?re dead.? Fager has dedicated himself to uncovering the truth about ?Straight,? and created the website ?The Straights?. After five months at the center, his son was never the same again. ?He had nervous breakdowns. I believe Straight greatly contributed to that. One of his therapists told me, ?Your son might have had problems anyway, but Straight pushed him over the edge?.?
Taking inspiration from theories fashionable at the time and particularly from Chinese methods of thought control, Straight?s philosophy was simple: to cure an addict, you must first destroy his personality and then create a new one. During their stay at Straight homes, the young patients were forbidden to  see their parents and were not allowed to leave the center. ?No one could get out until they ?confessed? their problems in the way Straight wanted,? Fager explains. ?Because of this, the ?cure? always lasted longer than they said it would when it began. And the costs kept going  up. Above the 12,000 dollars a year I paid at the beginning, they kept demanding more money. But they had no expenses: there were no doctors, the centers were basicly empty warehouses, and the children slept and ate in the houses of families outside the center.?
According to dozens of charges brought to court, in Sembler?s centers the patients were beaten, deprived of food, and forced to sit in the same position all day. There are instances of some clients being made to sit in their own feces,  urine, and vomit. Some girls were even forced to sit in their own menstrual blood. Older members were encouraged to spit in newer members? faces, and patients were compelled to recount their most humiliating sexual experiences. Superiors ordered senior patients to abuse the newcomers. ?Straight does something very close to psychic homicide,? says Marge Robertson, former head of the local section of the American Civil Liberties Union, speaking about the Cincinnati center. ?We?re talking about the same abuses and torture that provoked scandal at Abu Ghraib,? Fager insists, ?At the Straight centers, that conduct was the norm.?
Some of the charges of mistreatment lead to convictions and the paying out of large settlements. One after another, the Straight group homes finally closed in 1993. Some of the directors subsequently opened new centers with different names but similar methods, but it was the end of the largest drug rehabilitation program ever founded in  the United States, a business that generated almost 100 million dollars. Although its ending was inglorious, Sembler ? already nominated ambassador  to Australia by Bush père ? escaped virtually untouched. Shopping centers built by the Mel Sembler Company continued to sprout up across the United States, especially in Florida. One of them, in Saint Petersburg, was accused of racism by the local Afroamerican community because of the methods used by security guards to target black youths and because, out of 450 employees, only one was black.
For the most part, Sembler is known only to those who have come into contact with his group homes and shopping centers. Except for a brief appearance during the Sgrena affair, he makes little news, just another one of the many US ambassadors throughout the world. But recently he achieved a distinction which earned him an article in the Washington Post, when he bought a stupendous Roman building for the embassy for the expansion of diplomatic offices. The ambassador chose to name the newly-acquired building after himself: the Mel Sembler Building. For the first time in American history, a diplomatic building has been named after a sitting ambassador.
Alessandro Ursic

The Troubled Teen Industry / Bethel Girls Academy for Sale
« on: March 16, 2005, 10:24:00 PM » ... v=1Pw1XZhy

The director of the troubled Bethel Girls Academy says he may move his operation somewhere else.

Herman Fountain Jr. has put the Bethel facility up for sale. He says because the school no longer has any residents it can't afford to stay open.

But Fountain says the academy may relocate to Hattiesburg or Lucedale.

Last month 11 girls fled the school, claiming they were victims of abuse by Fountain and other staff members. Bethel was temporarily shut down by the Department of Human Services pending the outcome of a state investigation.

The facility, along with 120 acres of land, has an asking price of $1.5 million.  

On Wednesday News Seven filed a public records request with the Mississippi Department of Health to learn the status or results of its investigation.

The Troubled Teen Industry / New Info on Pending Legislation in Utah
« on: March 02, 2005, 07:40:00 AM »

Senators join forces in crackdown on teen-help industry
By Kirsten Stewart
The Salt Lake Tribune
Two senators with competing ideas for cracking down on Utah's teen-help industry have come to a truce.
    Sen. Tom Hatch is sponsoring legislation to crack down on unsafe group homes, but had been opposed to government meddling in private boarding schools.
   The Panguitch Republican has had a change of heart, agreeing to add boarding schools to his bill, adopting language almost word-for-word from West Jordan Republican Sen. Chris   Buttars' bill.
    Senate Bill 107 will now give the state regulatory power over schools such as northern Utah's Majestic Ranch boarding school, reclassifying such facilities as "therapeutic."
    The school's director, Tammy Johnson, originally  fought Buttars' plan. But in the wake of a string of mostly unfruitful state investigations into complaints of child abuse and neglect, Johnson asked Hatch to adopt it.
    The Senate approved the amended the measure on   Monday, which now heads to the governor for his signature.

EVERYBODY should get after their own congressmen about this and have them back up Congressman Miller in pressuring the new Attorney General.  This is the first positive action we've gotten on the Federal level since the state department raided Pacific Coast Academy.  The Salt Lake Trib Article is below.  Contact info on the House of Representatives it at:

New push for camp regulation
At-risk teens: A Utah organization could see closer federal oversight
By Robert Gehrke
The Salt Lake Tribune
WASHINGTON - President Bush's new attorney general says the Justice Department may take a more active role in oversight of boot camp programs for troubled teens.
   The comments by Alberto Gonzales came in response to a question submitted by Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., the ranking Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee. Miller has been pressing the Justice Department unsuccessfully to investigate allegations of abuse at World Wide Association of Specialty Programs (WWASP), a Utah-based chain of programs for at-risk teens.
   ?Mr. Gonzales' comments suggest he will be more sensitive to this serious situation than the Justice Department has been to this point,? Miller said in a statement. ?I will be watching carefully to ensure that he fulfills the commitments he has made in response to these questions.?
   In his written responses to questions during his confirmation process, Gonzales said the Justice Department would work to engage states and directors of private facilities to ensure children are protected.   If cases of inappropriate or abusive practices cannot be resolved, they may be referred to the Civil Rights or Criminal divisions at the department for action, Gonzales said.
   Previously, former Attorney General John Ashcroft had responded to Miller's inquiries by stating that the department lacked the authority to investigate abuse allegations at private facilities.
   Ken Kay, president of WWASP, said he has invited Miller's staff to visit the WWASP schools and would welcome the attorney general if he wanted to visit, but ?unnecessary government intrusion is never the answer.?
   ?I, and all our affiliates, maintain that our No. 1 concern is always for the safety of our students and children in general,? Kay said. ?I would be more than willing to be part of any fact finding committee with members of the [attorney general's] staff.?
   There are seven schools in the WWASP network, including three in Utah.
   One of WWASP's facilities, Majestic Ranch in northern Utah, was investigated by state officials three times last year, resulting in one conviction.   Others have been shut down, including Casa By The Sea, which was closed by Mexican authorities last September.
   Last week, a committee in the Utah Legislature approved a bill sponsored by Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, that would toughen state regulation of the schools.
   WWASP founder Robert Lichfield, his family and business partners have given more than $1 million to politicians in the last two election cycles, including hundreds of thousands to Utah officeholders and candidates.

This article is at:

Teen-help operators have clout
Family behind schools with checkered record calls in political favors, critics say
By Dan Harrie
and Robert Gehrke
2004, The Salt Lake Tribune  

A bill permitting state regulation of boarding schools for troubled teens was quietly smothered in the Utah Capitol this year after the founder of a chain of controversial schools, who is a major Republican donor, lobbied key lawmakers.
   Powerful legislators, including House Speaker Marty Stephens, held back the measure until the Legislature's clock ran out at midnight on March 3 - the final day of the session.
   Six days later, the bill's biggest opponent, World Wide Association of Specialty Programs and Schools founder Robert Lichfield, presented a $30,000 check to Stephens' campaign for governor.
   Since then, one of the handful of Utah boarding schools, which would have been regulated under the bill, Majestic Ranch, near Randolph, Utah, has been investigated three separate times for alleged abuse, according to state Human Service officials. Only one ended in a criminal charge and conviction when a staffer - no longer employed there - pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault.
   Majestic Ranch is owned by Lichfield's brother-in-law, Dan Peart, who donated $500 to Stephens. The ranch is among seven troubled-teen schools affiliated with World Wide in four states and two foreign countries.
   Several others have been shut down amid allegations of abuse or squalid living conditions, including the Casa by the Sea facility near Ensenada, Mexico, closed last weekend by government officials. More than 500 students were returned to the United States from the program.
   Ken Stettler, director of the Utah Office of Licensing, remains convinced he had the votes to pass Senate Bill 140, giving his office regulatory authority over Majestic Ranch, if only Stephens and others had allowed it to come up for a vote.
   "It still goes back to the old deal that, you know, if you are giving political contributions, then when the time comes and you need to call in your chips, you're going to have a listening ear, which is more than a lot of the citizenry has," says Stettler.
   If cash is the secret to opening political doors, Lichfield and his profitable network of schools are well on their way to securing the master key.
   The La Verkin entrepreneur, his family members and business associates have poured more than million into political campaigns during the 2002 election and so far this year. The contributions - all to Republican candidates, and many to Utah politicians - have come like a desert downpour: fierce and sudden.
   The family donated no more than a couple of thousand dollars prior to Jan. 1, 2001.
   Lichfield told The Tribune there was nothing nefarious about his sudden plunge into the political arena.
   "We've been abundantly blessed, and when you're blessed, we feel you have a responsibility to bless others," he said, confirming that World Wide member schools gross more than $70 million annually.
   The family's charitable contributions dwarf political donations, Lichfield added, putting the former donations at $3 million last year.
   Utah politicians who were among the biggest benefactors of the Lichfield election-year largesse insisted they never had discussed issues with their patron.
   U.S. House candidate John Swallow has received 18,000 from Lichfield and his associates, more than any other candidate.
   Swallow's campaign manager, Tim Garon, said Swallow had not met Lichfield until 2002, when the Lichfield family handed over 30 checks on a single day totaling $30,000 to Swallow's campaign.
   "John and I are close friends," said Lichfield. "We just connected as families."
   After his 2002 election loss, Swallow did legal work for a Lichfield company in Nevada. As a state representative, Swallow had twice sponsored legislation that would have allowed parents to get a tax break for enrolling their children in a private school.
   Lichfield   said he has "mixed emotions" about tuition-tax credits, although "you obviously see I have an incentive to be for them." Although such tax breaks would benefit private schools, including World Wide members, he said he has reservations about hurting public schools by draining resources.
   As with Swallow, Sen. Bob Bennett met Lichfield just a few years ago, but has become a friend. They don't discuss policy, said Bennett's spokeswoman, Mary Jane Collipriest.
   Last year, Lichfield sent Bennett a form letter supporting a Medicare reform bill, according to Collipriest. The bill expanded Health Savings Accounts, which allow parents to make tax-free contributions to an account that can be used for medical costs, including the type of residential treatment provided by schools affiliated with World Wide.
   Lichfield said he doesn't remember the letter or the issue.
   He said he hasn't pressed his issues on Bennett nor any of the Utah gubernatorial candidates who have received 40,000 so far this year from the Lichfield family and business associates.
   "I don't think I've ever sat down and given them a litmus test," Lichfield said. "There were so many good candidates."
   Republican gubernatorial nominee Jon Huntsman Jr. concurs.
   "We have not talked about any of his issues. I do not know a whole lot about his business," said Huntsman, who accepted $60,000 from Lichfield and $5,000 from Majestic Ranch. "What business is he in?"
   Former U.S. Rep. Jim Hansen took more than $45,000 from Lichfield for his unsuccessful campaign for governor this year.
   "Bob Lichfield is a great American," said Hansen. "I don't know a thing about" the string of schools for troubled youth.
   Stephens, the outgoing House speaker whose bid for governor ended unsuccessfully in the May 8 Republican State Convention, did not return eight messages for comment over a period of more than two weeks.
   "Believe me, the check had nothing to do with SB140," said Lichfield. "Marty Stephens was going to get a donation from me no matter what happened to SB140. Marty Stephens is a quality guy."
    Lichfield shrugs off any suggestion he has, in just two years, become a political power broker.
    "I'd like to use my means and resources to bless peoples' lives. Does that also imply influencing policy-makers to make good policies that support good family values, quality education and the things I believe in? Definitely. I'd like to have some influence in that," he said.
    Reps. Steve Urquhart and Dave Clark, both St. George Republicans, helped stall SB140 in the Legislature's House Rules Committee after consulting with Lichfield family members and their business associates. Each received $2,500 in donations in 2002 from Lichfield.
   Urquhart, who said he was representing a constituent and his philosophy of limited government, acknowledged consulting with Stephens.
   Stettler identified Stephens as a key player in the demise of SB140 - a claim confirmed by bill-sponsoring Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan.
   "He was determined it wasn't going to pass," said Buttars.
    Buttars, who shepherded the bill through the Senate, came under attack himself because he is the head of Utah Boys Ranch, which also treats troubled youth.
   "Mine is a full, licensed residential program and I think that makes me a better facility," he said. "I'm prejudiced and I admit that. I think every kid deserves to have his food, safety and shelter guaranteed by oversight."
   Buttars declined to comment on Lichfield or his affiliated companies directly.
   "There are some huge forces that I took on there. . . . I really don't want to talk much about that," he said. "This is a mean, ugly game with money going in lots of directions."
   Ken   Kay, World Wide's president, questioned Buttars' sponsorship of a bill that would affect his competitors.
   "Personally, I found that dazzling that here's a guy that has something to do with this Utah Boys Ranch in there trying to do this," said Kay.
   He dismisses as "baloney" the claim by Stettler and Buttars that the bill simply would have allowed state licensing officials to inspect Majestic Ranch twice a year - including once in an unannounced visit.
   Kay said the legislation would have required professional diagnoses of the 65 youngsters at Majestic Ranch and allowed regulators to pore through "private financial records" and dictate "how you conduct [operations] and train staff and who they are."
   Kay said there is simply no need for the state to have such a strong hand in the boarding schools' operations.
    "We see certain bureaucrats that want more control. I think it has a lot to do with power," said Kay. "I think we are every bit as sensitive, if not more sensitive, to children's rights and safety. We have a total anti-abuse stand - 100 percent."
   But the Association-affiliated schools have a checkered record. Government agencies in the Czech Republic, Costa Rica and, most recently, Mexico have shut down schools.
   In South Carolina, inspectors put Carolina Springs Academy's license on probation after administrators failed to report child abuse. They also found students sleeping on stained, torn mattresses in unfit dormitories and problems with how students were restrained.
    Regulators also banned Lichfield's brother, Narvin, from the facility based on his operation of the Costa Rican school.
   Congressman George Miller, D-Calif., has twice asked the Justice Department to investigate the schools, and more recently Rep. Jack Quinn, R-N.Y., made a similar request. The Bush administration has said it lacks the authority to initiate such a probe.
   The Justice Department said it has forwarded the complaints to the U.S. Attorney for Utah and the FBI field office, but a   spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney said nothing has come of the referral.
   Meantime, Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, whose office two years ago unsuccessfully prosecuted the director of Majestic Ranch on abuse charges, as recently as last week toured one of the affiliated schools in St. George with Urquhart.
   Shurtleff's campaign has received no Lichfield contributions, a spokeswoman said.
    Lichfield said in his two or three meetings with Shurtleff, he has never attempted to get Shurtleff to rein in investigators or prosecutors. He said he doesn't have that kind of influence and wouldn't use it if he did.
   Scott Simpson, a former executive director of the Utah Republican Party, spoke with Lichfield often during the 2002 campaign.
   "From my perspective, it seemed based on ideology," said Simpson. "There are a few ways you can get involved in politics. You can run for office, you can be the grass-roots guy pounding in the lawn signs or you can be the guy who writes the check."
   [email protected]

The Troubled Teen Industry / My Bona Fides as an Activist
« on: September 17, 2003, 10:49:00 PM »

Melissa R or anyone else who cares, check the old message board at Bridge to Understanding at the above link.  You will find postings from me dating back to 1998, before Sue Scheff and WWASP ever heard of each other.  So much for my being Sue Scheff's lackey.

The Troubled Teen Industry / To Melissa R
« on: September 15, 2003, 01:20:00 PM »
Dear Melissa R.

Since you decline to E-mail me privately as I requested, I shall make this public.

Young lady, I have been an activist in this cause for six years.  In that time, the only compensation I have ever received is a magazine subscription in payment for an article that I wrote.  Aside from that I have NEVER recieved one penny of compensation of any kind from anyone, not in cash, nor in kind, not in favors returned nor good and valuable consideration of any kind, not from PURE as an organization nor from Sue Scheff as an individual.  I do this because I care about the kids, and for no other reason.  Aside from once having had a girlfriend who was a victim of institutional child abuse (Not WWASP) I have no personal irons in this fire of any kind.  (Came close though.  Thirty years ago my father tried to con my mother into letting him send me off to Provo Canyon.  I'm kind of sorry I wasn't there for the riot.)  So don't acuse me of money grubbing.  If there was a way to make money off of this cause I wish someone would tell me what it is.  I'd love to turn professional and quit my day job.  

It seems that your issue with me is that you lump me together with PURE.  Well it so happens that I know Sue Scheff a lot better than you do, and your condemnation of PURE is misplaced.  The sad truth is that there are some kids out there who are a danger to themselves or others.  In some cases, intervention is simply necessary, and Sue steers parents to reputable programs and away from abusive ones.  You have a problem with that?  

It is true of course that these kids should have the right to due process of law, represenatation by counsel, and all that other good stuff adults would expect in a similar situation.  I have been working for six years to make that happen.  At various times I have written, faxed, or E-mailed the entire United States Congress.  I have E-mailed every major newspaper in the country, and the Los Angeles Times expose was a direct result (I was hoping for something a LOT more impressive, of course.)  I maintain a contact list of more than thirty journalists and government officials whom I keep posted.  My associates have things happening that should result in more media attention, and legal or legislative action on a number of fronts in the near future.  I have given every spare moment to this cause for six years to make this happen, so I am DAMNED WELL ENTITLED TO YOUR RESPECT!!!!  

Henceforth young lady, I will thank you to keep your sniping to yourself.  Some of the other people on this board can't be held responsible for their actions, but you are clearly sane and rational and there is no excuse for this behavior on your part.  If you have a problem with PURE, then E-mail Sue Scheff personally.  She has no idea who you are or why you have your nose out of joint about her.  Her web site is at:


Jeff Berryman


The Troubled Teen Industry / Congressional Action?
« on: September 14, 2003, 12:09:00 AM »
If you want to urge your Congressman to back up Representative Miller, you can do it from the House Web Site contact page at

The Troubled Teen Industry / Dundee Ranch - the Latest
« on: September 12, 2003, 09:42:00 PM »
Here's the latest in the Costa Rica Tico Times about Dundee Ranch.  Especially notice the last couple of paragraphs.

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