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Messages - Jeff_Berryman

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« on: August 04, 2005, 07:23:00 PM »
I haven't been watching the show because I vowed to boycott ABC as long as it ran.  It's really poetic that the idol's feet of clay have been revealed so quickly.

I thought this show was going to glorify the industry and cause a boom in fly-by-night programs.  Things seem to be working out a little differently.  This may turn out to be the worst public relations disaster the industry has had in a long time.

Brat Camp / Child Welfare Boss On War Path Over Brat Camp
« on: August 02, 2005, 06:18:00 AM »
Has anyone heard from Boarding School Truth of Late?  None of My E-mails have gotten through in at least a year.

On 2005-07-07 18:43:00, Anonymous wrote:

"Caning is still a favored method of discipline in Jamaican schools.   Boot camp is merely an escalation of already cruel methods.  


Ironically, Jamaica is currently having a big to-do because kids in their childrens' homes ARE being caned, and it's not supposed to be allowed there.  It's in the Jamaica Observer if you want to look it up there.

I'm quite prepared to believe they're still caning in their schools, BTW.  British Boarding schools with their caning and birching turned the British upper classes into a race of sadomasochistic power and control freaks.  So they went out and conquered an empire and exported their traditions of sadomasochism all over the world.  It's one of their most lasting cultural influences.  

Violence and other evil done unto children is the root cause of all other human evil.  And the world will never be anything but fucked up until we eliminate it.

The Troubled Teen Industry / Tenn. investigates ex-gay camp
« on: June 24, 2005, 08:30:00 AM »
I just ran a Google News Search, and a LOT of newspapers have picked up on this.  I believe that this is one scam that will be put out of business in short order.  Apparently those newspapers all have enough gay readers to know that this will sell newspapers.  What a wonderfull example they're setting.  Too bad the straight public doesn't care as much about straight kids being abused.

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.

In college I had a professor who had been out of the closet for years.  He was  also a war hero.  He enlisted in the marines the day after Pearl Harbor, fought in every amphibiuos campaign in the Pacific, rotated to the European theater for D-day, took part in those landings, and got back to the Pacific in time for Iwo Jima.  When they took the picture of the marines raising the flag he was a hundred yards away, having fought the same battle and taken the same risks as the men who got the Congressional Medal of Honor.  

Trying to cure someone of being gay is like trying to cure them of being left handed:  Pointless, futile, and unneccessary at best, and at worst, actively harmful.

The city of Boonville needed that payroll badly, I'm sure.  Rejecting that purchase offer shows a moral fiber you don't often find in elected officials.  If only the government of Jamaica had that much backbone.

I find it interesting that Hinton was not planning to hang the WWASP label on this facility.  I suspect that they realize that the name is more a liability than an asset any more.  I wouldn't be surprised if they stop attaching the label to new programs from now on.  

It won't be long now, in my opinion.  Every time WWASP makes the news more journalists get WWASP-conscious.  Even the ones who don't write anything just now stick index cards in their files about it for future reference.  And each time there's another news outbreak, more journalists say "OK, time for a story on this topic" which causes still more cards to be filed by other journalists.  We are near a flashpoint where a big WWASP story will trigger a media frenzy sufficient to really raise public awareness and maybe get Congress off its butt to do something.

The other event I'm waiting for is a big court judgement.  I spoke to a legal investigator a while back who was getting into this cause.  His last major investigation involved nursing homes in Texas.  His law firm got a big judgement against one operator in that state, and instantly every lawyer in Texas became a nursing home specialist.  The storm of litigation got so intense that the biggest operator in the state closed down two hundred facilities and left Texas altogether.  The remaining programs had to clean up their act big time.  One big judgement against ANY "behavior modification" program is going to change the entire industry for the better.  I hope the day is not far off.

I find it interesting that the owner is not pressing any charges.  I interpret that to mean that he doesn't dare let this get aired in court, where he and his employees and all the other kids can be subpoenaed.

25 ... 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.

The Troubled Teen Industry / European Youth Academy
« on: March 27, 2005, 11:21:00 AM »
Why do these people always set up shop in the Czech Republic when they go to Europe?"

Excellent question, especially considering that when WWASP opened the Morava Academy there it got shut down almost immediately.  It will be interesting to see how long this place lasts.

The Troubled Teen Industry / Ivy RIdge Protest
« on: March 27, 2005, 11:14:00 AM »
Chris, I know people and organizations that might be interested in taking part.  E-mail me privately at [email protected].

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.

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