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Topics - idioteque

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Elan School / Hotel California
« on: November 02, 2005, 06:34:00 PM »
Does anyone know where I can find that "Hotel California" vs. Elan School break-down online? It seems like the original website that had it shut down. Anyone have any leads?

The Troubled Teen Industry / Charges in WilCa death (finally)
« on: July 22, 2005, 02:10:00 AM » ... p?ID=94295

Access North Georgia (by the Associated Press)


CLEVELAND - Six counselors at a state-run wilderness camp for troubled boys near Cleveland have been charged with murder in the death of a 13-year-old boy who was restrained for more than an hour earlier this year.

A White County grand jury handed down the charges of felony murder, child cruelty and involuntary manslaughter Monday.

"This is all based on the criminal negligence or reckless conduct of these individuals," said White County District Attorney Stan Gunter. "It was due to the restraint, and how they applied it, that has led to these charges."

Travis Parker died April 21, a day after he was held face down by counselors at the Appalachian Wilderness Camp. The boy had angrily confronted one of the counselors for denying him food as punishment.

Parker had asthma and was denied his inhaler during the restraint. A medical examiner ruled the death a homicide.

An attorney for one of the counselors, Mathew Desing, said the counselors restrained the boy as they had been taught.

"They were doing what they were trained to do," attorney Abbi Guest said. "This is clearly not a case of counselors gone awry."

Desing "cared very much for the children he worked with, and he cared very much for the job of helping those children," she said.

But Gwen Skinner, an official at the Georgia Department of Human Resources, which oversees the camp, said the counselors were not following agency rules or procedures.

"We do not train staff to do face-down restraints," she said.

The other five counselors who were indicted were: Ryan Chapman, Paul Binford, Torbin Vining, Johnny Harris and Phillip Elliott.

Travis, who was from Douglas County, had been sent to the camp in February. He was on probation after hitting his grandmother, who raised him, and threatening her with a knife.

Since the incident, the state has retrained staff on the use of restraints and is reviewing its policies on when restraints may be used, officials said.  

ęCopyright 2005 / WDUN News/Talk 550.

Brat Camp / Fake Camp
« on: May 02, 2005, 11:10:00 AM »
So Brat Camp has made it across the pond and the new season debuts this summer. Those of you who get the chance to watch it should know that this show is fabricated. The locations, "therapeutic process", and even the staff are different from the genuine program.

Compare these two lists. The first is the real faculty, the second the show's, and it appears the bulk of Brat Camp's staff is composed of B-actors-- with the exception of "Dr. Dan" who is listed as Red Cliff Ascent's resident psychologist. ... wid-26266/

Does this mean the people of Escalante weren't "cable ready"? Or maybe the true nature of the program wasn't something people would watch for entertainment. Either way, this 'reality show' is a pared-down dramatization. Watch at your own risk.

The Troubled Teen Industry / Psychology Today article on BM
« on: January 29, 2005, 01:07:00 PM »
"The Loose Screw Awards"
Psychology's Top 10 Misguided Ideas


#3 'Meanest'
Correctional Boot Camps

In the late 1970's, government leaders were desperately seeking remedies for the nation's soaring crime rate. One solution, inspired in part by the tough love message coming from mental health professionals, was to establish military-style boot camps where harsh discipline and strict regimes would set people straight.

Although initial reports were encouraging, by the mid-1990s troubling stories bagan to appear about abuse and sadism at the camps. In 1998 five staff members at a boot camp in Arizona-- including the camp nurse-- were indicted in connection with death of a 16-year old inmate. At the time of his death, his body was covered with cuts and bruises-- 71 in all. The camp was eventually shut down, and 16 of its staff members were added to the state's registry of child abusers.

The biggest problem with boot camps, however, is that they just don't do the job. Recidivism of 60 percent or more is common-- as high as, or higher than, recidivism rates generated through more benign programs. Experts on learning have long known that harsh discipline mainly teaches people to be harsh themselves-- and to hate their abusers-- but that message is getting through only belatedly to the boot camp advocates.

As the head of a National Institutes of Health panel that studied "get tough" programs nationwide summed it up a few months ago: "All the evaluations have shown [the programs] don't work.

-- Dr. Robert Epstein, 'Psychology Today'  Feb 2005

Aspen Education Group / Turn About Ranch (A Rough Guide)
« on: November 19, 2004, 06:51:00 PM »
[Note: My time at TAR was voluntary. It resulted from my expulsion from a traditional boarding school that I loved, as a prerequisite for re-enrollment. Also, as an Elan history buff, I was curious about this industry. My experience took place in late Winter to early Spring of 2002.]

I went to Turn About Ranch for "the minimum" 60 days because I began a letter-writing campaign to the educational consultant at the Department of State, my dad's employer. While she did not do anything besides force a stop-payment, it was still welcome.

TAR really ought to be shut down. It isn't brutal in the sense of WWASPS, but it's still incredibly twisted. The isolation, forced labor, antiquated gender roles, and mandatory Baptist instruction are sickening.

For the uninitiated, here's a general break-down of the system:

1st level: IMPACT/ROUNDY

During the first day at Roundy camp students are strip-searched, have their shoes taken away and replaced with old size 14 rubber boots (without laces). They are then told to sit in the dirt, surrounded by a 4x4 circle of rocks with a firepit and a plastic tarp/lean-to supported by cedar branches. They sit there from before dawn to well after, until the Level 2's are sent to bed.

This is called "impact".

During this time they are not allowed to talk (except to ask for water or food) and are forbidden to sleep except when the staff tells them to. They eat breakfast (oatmeal, cooked over their personal camp fire in an old coffee can), lunch ("trail mix," which is shredded coconut, Cheerios, and raisins), and dinner (which can vary from beans & lentils to Ramen noodles, depending on availability and behavior).

They are issued to blue Level 1-2 binder. At this time their only work is to write a letter to their parents, a letter to themselves (to be opened upon graduation), and to wait. Wait until advancement.

Level 2: ROUNDY

The students get their shoes back. Nor do they have to shit under supervision anymore, but it's still in the same port-o-potty (Staff, Boys, and Girls toilets are there, but are unlabeled so humiliation and punishment can be used against anyone using the "wrong one")

Usually after about 3 days the students are taken off of impact. A bath (in a galvanized tub with boiled water, a bar of soap, shampoo, and a disposable BIC razor) is provided. They are now Levels 2's or "twos," but keep the same binder. Their responsibilities are much greater than on impact. They spend most of their time milking cows, carrying water from a creek (punching through the ice if you're lucky enough to be there after November and before April), washing utensils/dishes, collecting eggs, feeding pigs, and doing push-ups twenty five at a time (if they say anything as horrible as "dude"
or "god"). Anywhere on the calendar remotely near winter, they chop firewood. Cords, as they call them, are a necessity for advancement in the Blue Binders. A quota is listed and enforced.

Level 3: The Barn

You get your Green Binder! And a mid-term meeting with your parents, who just might screw you over more if you're not careful. Better slap on a Utahn accent and bury that mouth firmly in between their ass cheeks!

At The Barn, oligarchy rears its ugly head. There is a syllogism to it. Not all students are snitches, but all snitches are students. You have to watch your ass in an entirely new way.

You are allowed to drink flavored beverages now (Kool-Aid, milk, soft drinks as infrequent rewards). You are allowed to see clocks and watch certain movies (The Emperor's New Groove, E.T., The Bridge Over the River Kwai, etc.) during "movie nights" and also you eat more complex food (burritos are a perrenial favorite). However, your mail is still (as always) regulated and newspapers/TV are out of the question.

Your average day will be spent feeding cattle off the back of a truck, feeding goats/chickens/geese/sheep, or even helping an employee move their furniture to a new house. You are free labor and therefor expendable, don't forget that. On Sundays, you're ushered into TAR vehicles and driven to Escalante's Baptist Church for the mandatory services(supposedly not, but on asking not to be included I was threatened with a "level drop").

During this time you will also be included in "groups." During Group you will sit on plastic chairs in a semi-circle and watch people be accused of things, mocked, and subsequently have insults screamed at them. Maybe you'll get to participate in Max Stewart's (the burly Mormon who runs the place) challenge to run from your chair to the corral fence and back again just for the hell of it. If you look at the girls too much he'll accuse you of wanting to make a "TAR baby." To Mormons, sex without reproduction is a foreign concept.

Or in my case, you might get taken for a ride in Stewart's pick-up truck for some personal attention. He told me I was a drug-addict for requesting a continuation for my prescription Eskalith (lithium citrate, for Bipolar Disorder). Thanks for curing my organic brain disorder, Max!


As a Level 4 you get to serve yourself a plate before anyone else by going behind the counter and scooping slop onto it while helpless Level 3's drool. You also get to sit in on "leadership meetings" in which troublesome students are brought up and solutions are devised. It's a sweet position, but make sure you kiss the right ass or you'll level drop.

During this time you're supposed to complete your Red Binder, which includes assorted equestrian bullshit and anti-drug propaganda from 20 years ago (by the way, these binders are counted as High School credits for some reason).

Eventually, after tormenting your underlings in Levels 1 to 3, you're sent to Solo. Now, Solo isn't as harsh as it used to be. It's still the same one-room, black-painted cabin out in the middle of nowhere that it used to be. The only difference is you don't have to sleep there. Instead you spend your time completing the Solo Binder, which is a reflection on just about everything. You can almost (kinda) get a tan out there, too. This is also the perfect time to smoke any cigarette butts you've found (or sage-brush rolled in notebook paper if you haven't learned to trade well). What, no matches? You should have stole them from the meds booth, you retard, GAWD there's only a fucking basket of them!

But I digress.

This isolation will last perhaps 2 days at the most. Then you'll be welcomed back to The Barn in hushed, secret anticipation of your graduation. Sometimes this is delayed for more than a week, other times it happens within 24 hours. You're then led into a circle outside (or one in The Barn) where your "medicine pouch," some feathers, and some other Indian bullshit are given to you. Then everyone says some stuff and your indulgent, well-fed, affluent parents cry and welcome you back into their (YOUR) family.

You are now free. It took 90 days of no music, no "slang," forced Christianity, having to sing while using the bathroom, hard manual labor, and ingenious mind-games... but you're free. What's in store for you? If you follow Turn About's suggestion; a life of piety and no friendship. Better than smoking weed and premarital sex, right??

Tacitus' Realm / No Right to Keep Names from Police
« on: June 21, 2004, 04:33:00 PM »

Court: No Right to Keep Names From Police

WASHINGTON June 21, 2004 ? The Supreme Court ruled Monday that people do not have a constitutional right to refuse to tell police their names.
The 5-4 decision frees the government to arrest and punish people who won't cooperate by revealing their identity.

The decision, reached by a divided court, was a defeat for privacy rights advocates who argued that the government could use this power to force people who have done nothing wrong to submit to fingerprinting or divulge more personal information.

Police, meanwhile, had argued that identification requests are a routine part of detective work, including efforts to get information about terrorists.

The justices upheld a Nevada cattle rancher's misdemeanor conviction. He was arrested after he told a deputy that he didn't have to reveal his name or show an ID during an encounter on a rural road in 2000.

Larry "Dudley" Hiibel was prosecuted, based on his silence and fined $250. The Nevada Supreme Court sided with police on a 4-3 vote last year.

Justices agreed in a unique ruling that addresses just what's in a name.

The ruling was a follow up to a 1968 decision that said police may briefly detain someone on reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing, without the stronger standard of probable cause, to get more information. Justices said that during such brief detentions, known as Terry stops after the 1968 ruling, people must answer questions about their identities.

Justices had been asked to rule that forcing someone to give police their name violated a person's Fourth Amendment protection from unreasonable searches and the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for the majority, said that that it violated neither.

"Obtaining a suspect's name in the course of a Terry stop serves important government interests," Kennedy wrote.

Marc Rotenberg, president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said America is different 36 years after the Terry decision. "In a modern era, when the police get your identification, they are getting an extraordinary look at your private life."

He said the ruling for Nevada "opens the door to what could become a routine fishing expedition among government databases," after police stop innocent people.

The police encounter with Hiibel happened after someone called police to report arguing between Hiibel and his daughter in the truck. An officer asked him 11 times for his identification or his name.

Over and over again Hiibel refused, at one point saying, "If you've got something, take me to jail" and "I don't want to talk. I've done nothing. I've broken no laws."

In dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens said that Hiibel "acted well within his rights when he opted to stand mute." Also disagreeing with the decision were Justices David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.

The case is Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of the state of Nevada, 03-5554.

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