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Topics - kerryberry420

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Let It Bleed / sorry i have to be supersticious
« on: March 23, 2005, 10:51:00 PM »
Hahahaha You've opened it! Good Luck, You have
just been DEATHWISHED. Tonight at midnight
your true love will realize they love you. Something
good will happen to you at 1:00-4:00 pm
tomorrow, it could be anywere. Get ready for the
biggest shock in your life. if you break this chain u
will be cursed with relationship problems for the
next 10yrs. post this within 15 min...

Mission Mountain School / the truth about it...
« on: March 13, 2005, 06:10:00 PM »
my name is kerry hambleton. i am 21 years old and am a student in Maryland. i was sent away 20 times from when i was 13 to 19 and have since been looking for a way to give back and educate people about the inner working of these treatment centers.  i have been to lockdowns, rtc's, wilderness programs, rehab, and behavior modification boarding schools.  i have been in expensive ones, coed, single sex,  and more varities mission mountain was one of the many places i was sent to, however that is the one that stands out in my mind.  first of all i want to tell you that the founder and headmaster (john mercer) does not in fact have a degree in psychology anything related to that, he majored in biology.  in fact only a few of the staff there had any formal schooling in psychology the therapists did but the teachers, outdoor recreation coach, and daily living coordinator all ran groups too.   now i will start at the beginning.  

i was kicked out of school in tenth grade for basically just being an outcast.  i had low self esteem, dressed "gothic" was promiscuous, drank at parties, and got in arguments with my parents.  i do agree that i needed some kind of help and support to get me through that difficult time; i just don't think mission mountain was the right choice.  my parents didn't know what to do with me so they contacted and educational consultant.    she convinced my parents without help i was going to die, and then one night at 3am two strangers showed up in my bedroom and took me away.  i was crying and screaming and asking where my family was and they wouldn't tell me.  they took me to the airport in my pajamas and we got on a plane without me even knowing where we were headed we touched down somewhere in utah where i was then whisked away to second nature wilderness program.  i still hadn't talked to my parents and didn't know what was happening and next thing i knew i was in the middle of the desert with a 50 lb pack on my back.  (just for the record i really enjoyed second nature and got a lot out of it.  the staff were really kind and supportive and helped me to regain lot of my confidence.)  after being at second nature for 13 weeks i was told that i be leaving and going mms i didn't know anything about it except that it was in montana and they did lots of outdoor activities.  which sounded fine to me, i love the outdoors.  the first thing i noticed when i got there was that the campus was deserted.  one of the teachers took me to a barn and outfitted me with my new mms clothes.  sweatpants, hiking boots, t-shirt, fleece jacket, safety goggles, and work gloves.  they took away my few belongings (clothes, pictures of my family, necklace, pictures of my very nice churchgoing boyfriend).  i was crying and they yelled at me and handed me a backpack and took me out into the woods where the girls were on "intervention".  a group punishment for the crime of "collusion"  (girls having exclusive friendships and talking about their "old lives").  so immediately was already suffering for two girls mistakes.  "intervention" consisted of waking up at dawn and clearing forest with hand tools and then carrying heavy debris to large piles to be burned.  we would do this all day with a 3 minute bathroom break every three hours (the bathroom was an outhouse with five holes in it instead of one with no separation in between).  we would work until it got dark and sometimes later (in the summer so it was pretty late) and then have to sit in a circle silently until john mercer showed up (he was always late, we would wait for hours without talking or getting up to pee).  once he got there he would pick a few girls and yell at them all night.  or we would all have to make lists containing all of our lies, transgressions, our "war stories", how we about the other girls, things we knew about other girls that they weren't telling, and then read them aloud and have everyone respond.  he never  believed that i hadn't done drugs and i got so tired of hearing him yell and getting in trouble for "lying" that i finally lied and said that i had.  he accused one girl of being nazi and screamed at her until she was sobbing violently.  i tried to stick up for her and tell him to stop but he wouldn't listen and made her tell her best friend she hated her for being asian.  it made me sick.  and i felt even worse that i couldn't do anything about it.she gave in eventually and said that she was, but she wasn't.  anyway continuing about "intervention" went on for like 3 months.  we weren't allowed to shower, write to our parents, or anything.  when we finally got off of intervention i saw what mms was really like, not much different except we slept indoors.  we lived in cabins, 8 girls to a cabin.  we sometimes went to school in the morning on weekdays (on intervention we didn't go to school).  usually though the staff would have us do work crew (chopping firewood, clearing forest, landscaping, maintenance, intense cleaning of buildings).  or we would have to go work on the staffs houses.   so we got little to no schooling.  (i will say though when we actually did have classes our teachers did do their best to teach us and give us help if we needed it) and even when we did have class we wouldn't have any time for homework because of all the chores we had to do and sitting in group for hours on end.  the other thing we had to do was outdoor recreation.  it was like Gym class except outside and harder.  i actually enjoy outdoor activities but this was too much.  we would first have to run laps (run the whole time, no stopping, no slowing down) if you did stop or slow down, or cry, or throw up you would have to run more.  if  girls refused to run everyone else would have to run until they gave in and did it.  if girls refused to do push ups everyone else would have to until they did.  we had to get on mountain bikes and go on 12 miles rides up mountain without stopping.  even if you fell off you kept going.  i do see why they did this, to encourage perseverance and confidence, but i think they pushed too hard.  as for daily life we woke up at 6am and went to breakfast.  the dining room was set up in a large horseshoe shape and every girl had a "food partner" and "feelings journal".  in the beginning of the meal we had to write our feelings about the food we were about to eat and again at the end.  we all got the same food to eat and for condiments they had to measured out and checked by our partner to make sure we weren't cheating.  we weren't allowed to talk at mealtimes except for a topic that one of the staff would give and we would all respond one by one.  everyone had to finish all of their food and if someone didn't all the other girls would have to go outside and run laps backwards or shovel horse manure.  some of the girls had eating disorders (i didn't) and we all got treated like we did.  we weren't allowed to know our weight and we had to eat even if we were full.  they made the vegetarians eat meat and forced them to run laps if they didn't.  every cabin had chores to do both in the cabin and on the campus.  like setting up for meals, cleaning various building, shoveling horse manure, vacuuming, making the bed, cleaning the bathroom, etc.  all chores had to be done every day.  if anything were wrong (a hair on the sink, dirt on the floor, manure in the fields, wrinkle in the bedsheets) the person or cabin responsible would be given a "callback", three callbacks meant you were on work crew on sunday instead of studying.  

i don't want to make it seem all bad though.  some of the staff there were really compassionate and caring and really wanted to help us.  a lot of the outdoor activities helped me feel more confident and strong (unless i had to do them while i was sick or with a sprained ankle).  i don't think mms was abusive in the traditional sense however I view so many of the things they did as wrong and hurtful.  when my dad saw how we were treated there he pulled me out immediatly i just people to know what really happened there so other girls don't have to go through it and parents are informed of the real nature of the school.  i wish i hadn't of taken my first post off because now you may question my credibility.  but when colleen called me i felt like i did at mms was immediatly intimidated and lied about what i had written.  i realize that that was wrong of me and have since e-mailed her telling that and i am now posting this again.  i hope you still believe me.  if anyone has any questions or comments you can e-mail me at [email protected]

Mission Mountain School / please read this!!!!
« on: March 11, 2005, 10:59:00 PM »
i have sent this to the moderators as well....

hi, my name is kerry and the message titled "i was sent there" on the mission mountain topic was written by me a few years ago and e-mailed to a few people i knew.  i was angry and on drugs when i wrote it and had just left mission mountain before i was supposed to.  the stuff i wrote was untrue and hateful.  the post was reprinted without my permission and even included my personal e-mail address which i would not have posted if i had actually done it.  in fact i am about to move back to montana with my boyfriend and am still in touch with the staff at mms and former students.  i like and respect everyone i was in contact there (well except for this one girl who got on my nerves).  i do not want mission mounatin to have this kind of publicity because i really care about a lot of the staff there and don't want what i wrote to reflect on them.  yes, mission mountain was tough.  but it's a treatment center it's supposed to be.  it was not abusive in any way.  in fact most of the girls that graduate from there go on to lead amazing lives and never relapse.  in fact i only know of two girls that did out of  about 80.  and even they have since gotten their lives back on track.  i am really sorry i wrote that and i am really upset that it got reprinted.  i did not authorize that to be posted and i really need you to remove that within 24 hours please, i don't want any more damage to be done.  thank you very much,

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