Archive for the ‘programs’ Category

Four Escape From The Judge Rotenberg Center

In Institutional Child Abuse, Judge Rotenberg, programs on February 21, 2009 at 2:31 pm



  SATURDAY FEBRUARY 21, 2009 Last modified: Saturday, February 21, 2009 2:03 AM EST 

Four escape from Rotenberg Center


REHOBOTH – Four residents of a Judge Rotenberg Educational Center facility escaped Thursday night and stole a car, before being apprehended a short time later in Raynham.

The Rotenberg Center is a special needs school based in Canton.

A staff member from the Rotenberg residence at 225 County St. alerted police about 9:30 p.m. that the young men, ranging in age from 18 to 20, were missing and requested assistance, Police Chief Stephen Enos reported.

Rehoboth police conducted a search of the area for an hour with the assistance of Dighton police and a Massachusetts State Police K-9 unit.

Police then received a 911 call about four young men seen on New Street, but the individuals left the area in a white van before police officers arrived.

Dighton, Taunton and Raynham police were notified, and within minutes Taunton police located the van, chased it into Raynham, where the van was stopped, and apprehended the men.


Wesley Fager, Hero to All Who Fight Institutional Child Abuse!

In Brainwashing, Current Events, Institutional Child Abuse, Mel Sembler, Miller Newton, People, programs, Straight, Inc., Wes Fager on February 14, 2009 at 2:30 pm
Wes Fager, A Hero & Friend of FICANetwork. Rest In Peace My Friend.

Wes Fager, A Hero & Friend of FICANetwork. Rest In Peace My Friend.

For Anyone Who Has a Hard Time Believing Straight, Inc. is still Alive and Well. (A story about AARC)

In Brainwashing, Current Events, Institutional Child Abuse, Mel Sembler, Miller Newton, People, programs, Straight, Inc. on February 14, 2009 at 1:52 pm

A great story was done by Gilliam Findlay exposing the AARC program and Dean Vause as the fraud that it is. This is a “MUST-SEE”

I know it’s true, but it’s very difficult to imagine that the program has managed to exist and live on quite lucratively for so long. The SEED/STRAIGHT model is going on its 5th decade of living. Unbelievable.

At least in Canada this makes “Top Headlines.” Maybe there is some hope for the end of the program up there. (keeping my fingers crossed.)

Here is the print article about the the program. Alberta drug rehab centre abused us, former teen patients allege
Executive director calls them ‘liars,’ former patient denies abuses

Here is the full episode which was shown in Canada on television POWERLESS

This aired in Canada last night. (Friday 02/13/09 at 9:00pm)

Miller, McCarthy Reintroduce Legislation to Stop Child Abuse in Teen Residential Programs

In Current Events, Institutional Child Abuse, Legislation, politics, programs on February 10, 2009 at 1:45 pm

House Education and Labor Committee will consider legislation on Wednesday

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Reps. George Miller (D-CA) and Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) today reintroduced legislation to protect teenagers attending residential treatment programs from physical, mental and sexual abuse and to prevent deceptive marketing practices by operators of private residential programs for teens. The lawmakers also announced that the House Education and Labor Committee will mark up the legislation on Wednesday.
Investigations conducted by the Government Accountability Office during the 110th Congress at the lawmakers’ request have uncovered thousands of cases and allegations of child abuse and neglect since the early 1990’s at teen residential programs, including therapeutic boarding schools, boot camps, wilderness programs and behavior modification facilities. Currently, these programs are governed only by a weak patchwork of state and federal standards. A separate GAO report, also conducted last year at the committee’s request, found major gaps in the licensing and oversight of residential programs – some of which are not covered by any state licensing standards at all.

In addition, the GAO’s investigation revealed that many teen residential treatment programs have been using deceptive marketing practices and questionable tactics to lure vulnerable parents desperate to find help for their children.

“For far too long, these abuses, neglect and mistreatment of children – some of the most horrific violations of trust imaginable – have been allowed to go on completely unchecked,” said Miller, the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee. “Parents deserve every assurance that their children will be safe and protected when attending a program intended to help improve their lives.”

“It is no doubt a painful and difficult decision for parents to send their children to residential treatment facilities and the last thing they should have to worry about is the possibility of unknowingly putting their kids in harms way,” said McCarthy, chairwoman of the Healthy Families and Communities subcommittee. “It is crucial that federal standards are set in place to prevent the abuse, neglect and deceptive marking practices that have devastated so many children and families.”

To address these problems, the Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act of 2009, would:

  • Establish, for the first time, minimum federal standards for preventing child abuse and neglect at teen residential programs. The bill would require the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to inspect all programs around the country every two years and to issue civil penalties against programs that violate the new standards. The bill also calls for states, within three years, to take on the role of setting and enforcing standards for both private and public youth residential programs.
  • Strengthen protections for children attending these programs. The bill would require programs to provide children with adequate food, water, medical care and rest.
  • Ensure that programs are transparent and provide parents with information about teen residential programs that enable them to make safe choices for their teenagers. The legislation would create a toll-free national hotline for individuals to report cases of abuse and a website with information about substantiated cases of abuse at residential programs, including programs locations, owners, and history of violations and child fatalities. Programs would also be required to inform parents of their staff members’ qualifications, roles and responsibilities.

The House passed similar legislation last June by a bipartisan vote of 318 to 103, with the support of the American Association of Children’s Residential Centers, American Bar Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Association, the Child Welfare League of America, Children’s Defense Fund, Easter Seals, Mental Health America, the National Child Abuse Coalition and many other organizations.

For more information on this legislation, click here.

For more information on the committee’s past hearings on these abuses, at which GAO released its reports, click here.

# # #

Connecticut Junior Republic Announces Plans to Close Residential Program in Litchfield

In Current Events, Institutional Child Abuse, programs on February 6, 2009 at 12:26 pm

Read the interesting press release from the  Junior Republic Residential Program. It details interesting reasons they plan to close the program in Connecticut.   Click on this link to read the press realease. ct-junior-republic1

See News Article on the Closure  HERE. Or read the text below

Center For At-Risk Boys To Close Doors

Money, Violence Among Reason For Closing, Documents Say

POSTED: 4:10 pm EST February 5, 2009
UPDATED: 7:25 pm EST February 5, 2009

The Connecticut Junior Republic, which treats at-risk teenage boys, announced last week that it will close its Litchfield campus, costing over 100 people their jobs.

CJR representatives said one of the main reasons is fewer troubled boys are being treated in programs where they live at a facility.

With the development of more community-based and in-home services in the last few years, the population of youths who are being referred to residential programs has changed, said Gary Kleeblatt, a spokesman for DCF. As a result, he said, only youths with a more intensive level of need are now referred to the more restrictive levels of care provided in a residential program.

DCF and CJR worked together to make appropriate changes, he said. A suspension on admissions was imposed, the census was reduced, and staff training and staffing levels both increased, he said.

However, Kleeblatt said, despite these efforts and as a result of a decreased demand for the kinds of services CJR provides, it’s our understanding that CJR felt they did not have adequate numbers of children to continue in its residential program.

As a result, he said, CJR reached the conclusion that it would move in another direction and concentrate on children whose needs are appropriate for community based services.

However, the Channel 3 I-Team obtained documents that give more insight about CJR’s closing, including reports of four unannounced inspections conducted by the Department of Children and Families in November, December and January.
According to the documents, DCF said it was concerned about staff members being seldom seen checking on children, a residential cottage with overflowing outside garbage cans, a residential cottage in which some children were still in bed at 11 a.m. and a visit during which four boys tested positive for marijuana.

Another entry from the December report state that some of the boys were “reported as acting aggressive and out of control. One staff member refused to work a shift because she was being harassed by a group of boys, while another staff member was threatened to be raped by male residents.

”The I-Team also obtained a memo discussing a pair of day in early January during which Connecticut State Police had to perform sweeps and lockdowns of the campus because staff members found notes that said someone “brought a gun to CJR.” The memo states the another note said the writer was going to “shoot the principal as well as others.
”No gun was found, police said.

Another factor in the decision to close was the cost. The documents state that in at least one case, charges to keep one teen at the center for a month totaled $9,000, adding up to more than $100,000 per year.

DCF is currently engaged in transition planning to ensure that the youths at CJR receive appropriate treatment services in other settings and that this transition occurs in an orderly fashion, Kleeblatt said.

CJR, which has rehabilitated hundreds, if not thousands of teenage boys through its residential program over its 100-year history, wouldn’t comment on the documents the I-Team obtained.

Exposure equals Closure– I-Team: Drug Center Closes –

In Current Events, Institutional Child Abuse, programs, Straight, Inc. on January 30, 2009 at 5:49 pm

Closure of Pathway Family Network- If the video below does not work for you please click here Vodpod videos no longer available.

Exposure to the truth about programs=closures!

In Current Events, Institutional Child Abuse, programs, Straight, Inc. on January 30, 2009 at 5:47 pm

Closures due to exposure to the truth about programs… See the article and the video here.

Mel Sembler: The Money Man

In Institutional Child Abuse, Mel Sembler, politics, programs, Straight, Inc. on October 9, 2008 at 1:34 pm

(Note- Mel Sembler and his wife Betty Sembler were co-founders of one of the United States’ most notorious juvenile drug treatment centers, which became well-known during the infamous ‘drug war’ which was begun by Richard Nixon, and revved up by Nancy and Ronald Reagan. Sembler’s program used methods likened to the brainwashing methods used in the Korean War on the prisoners-of war.)

One of the most revealing articles I’ve read about  Mel Sembler was the May 1997 Florida Trend Magazine, written by David Villano entitled “The Money Man.” (click on this link to read the article in its entirety)

Here is a quick summary of the article, but it is recommended that when you get a chance, read this article in its entirety by clicking on the link above.

This article begins with Sembler in his office conducting another day of fund-raising. Raising funds of at least $100,000 dollars a person for the Republican Party. This article covers the years of Sembler beginning with 1948 through to present day. Sembler was born in 1930, but because he never seems to acknowledge the early years of his life, people seem to assume there might be something in those years he is ashamed of.  He seems to start the story of his life with 1948, the year he enrolled in Northwestern University. This is also where he met his “future”- wife Betty Schlesinger. This article explains how Sembler began working as an account executive for a Kansas City ad agency, then moved to running a business for his father-in-law, then eventually going into building strip malls in Tennessee, which eventually led him to move to St. Petersburg, Florida in 1968.

In 1973, Mel & Betty discovered one of their sons was smoking pot. They called this act pure selfishness. They enrolled him in a drug rehab, where he “kicked the habit.”  (However, this article does not mention that the name of that juvenile drug treatment program was called the SEED, Inc. In 1975 The SEED’s methods were likened to that of the Korean War prisoner-of-war camps, by Senator Sam Ervin in the publication called, “Individual Rights and the Role of the Federal Government in Behavior Modification.)

In 1976, when the SEED, Inc. (supposedly) closed, the Semblers decided to open a new juvenile drug treatment program which they called Straight, Inc.  The first Straight, Inc. program was opened in St. Petersburg, Florida, but soon other branches were opened across the country. The article claims this is where Sembler got his “entree to national politics.”

In 1979, Sembler received a request (from his sister in Houston, TX) to host a fund-raiser for George (H.W.) Bush. He did and established a close relationship with him which has lasted.

In 1980, Sembler claims he was the one that got the attention off of Nancy’s Adolfo purchases for the White House, by suggesting she take up the anti-drug crusade. He says that her “anti-demand campaign” the one where she says, “Just Say NO!” came from him.

1986 – Sembler toured the world as president of the 33,000 member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and used this trip to campaign against drugs among other things.

1989 – Sembler was awarded the coveted position of Ambassador to Australia by Bush.

1993 – Sembler was accused of pressuring Florida State officials and lawmakers to override the HRS Department’s recommendation not to renew the operating license of Straight, Inc. (based on complaints  and reports of use of excessive force, sleep deprivation and withholding of food and medications. Of course, Sembler denies any wrong-doing.

Later in 1993 – Sembler claims the program was losing $500,000 per year and decided to close Straight.

Seeing the complaints as a challenge motivated them to continue their crusade against drugs, and Betty Sembler founded an organization to oppose state-level proposals to decriminalized marijuana, such as the CA. Proposal 215.

In 1996 – Sembler says he encouraged Dick Cheney (former defense secretary) to run for president.  He raised funds for Cheney, but when Cheney withdrew from the 1996 race, he was contacted by five presidential candidates to work with them (within 48 hours of Cheney’s withdrawal)

In 1997 – Sembler was appointed RNC Finance Chairman.

Mel Sembler and His Connections

In Institutional Child Abuse, Mel Sembler, politics, programs, Straight, Inc. on October 5, 2008 at 4:57 pm

I’m not sure if Mel Sembler (once known as “Buddy Sembler”) made his political connections prior to being involved with the program or during and because of his involvement in the Straight, Inc (& Seed, Inc. more on this program in a separate section. ) Program.  Regardless, he was sure to make many more significant connections, especially throughout the years he owned Straight, Inc.  He touted his program as nationally known and supported by “important people.”  I believe Mel Sembler suffers from megalomania.  I’m guessing it may because of his humble roots as the youngest child of Benny and Fannie Sembler, a Russian-Jewish couple that immigrated to Saint Joesph, Missouri in the late 1800’s. St. Joseph, MO, is where Melvin Floyd Sembler was born and raised.

Mel Sembler’s real business has involved commercial real estate.  This business was nice for the money, but the program did much more for him than commercial real estate could ever do. Not only could this business bring him in a ton of money and a great tax-shelter (one of many), but it also allowed him to believe that he was being altruistic and even better, gave him (or at least allowed him to stay in the good graces of..) some really great connections.

These connections included, but are not limited to: Former President Ronald Reagan, Former first lady Nancy Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Mrs. Barbara Bush, Current President George W. Bush, and his wife Laura Bush.

Mel likes to go around telling people that he is the one that got Nancy Reagan focused on the “Drug War” and he also gave her, her famous slogan, “Just say NO!”

I believe he has used his money and conenctions to advance his power in the USA, and therefore in the world. I will be posting more information and examples that I believe support this claim.

“So What?” you ask. Alot of people use their money and connections to gain influence and power.

My answer is that yes, this is true.  A lot of people do this very same thing. The difference with Sembler is the kind of influence and power I think he is interested in wielding over the United States and other parts of the world.  If it’s anything even remotely similar to the power he wielded in the Straight, Inc., program, we’re all headed down the road to living in a totalitarian world.  Think “the new and improved, more powerful Hitler.”

To this day Sembler makes sure to stay as involved as he possibly can hobknobbing with the rich and powerful, even though he and his wife Betty are getting on in years.

Here is the most recent overt example of this (and more to come later…)

Sembler in the “Social Life” section of the D.C. Examiner

Straight, Inc. (1976-1992)

In Institutional Child Abuse, Mel Sembler, programs, Straight, Inc. on September 24, 2008 at 12:33 am

Straight, Incorporated was a nationally recognized, very controversial, non-profit drug rehabilitation program, with locations in several states across the nation. Mel and Betty Sembler headed up a movement to open Straight, Inc. in 1976.  (More about Mel & Betty Sembler later.) A brief overview of the program can be found on the  Wikipedia under Straight, Inc.

I spent about 915 days of my teen years in my own personal hell which went by the name of Straight, Inc. First, in St. Petersburg, Florida. Next, in Springfield, Virginia. I never thought I would get out of the place, but at last, I finally did. Once I left the program, I never went back or looked back.  In fact, I believe I immediately and involuntarily suppressed as much of my experience as I could.  However, every year on May 29th I would have flashbacks to that dark time in my life.  May 29th was the day I was deceived by my parents and locked up in the program for the next 900+ days. No warning, no crime, no due process. I was locked away almost 1000 miles away from home. I was brought there under the guise of a family vacation. Wow. If that was a vacation, I don’t want any.

About 17 years later, I was a stay at home mom and on a whim, I decided to see if I could find anything on the internet about the Straight program. I had to search for days before finally coming upon some people who had been there. They were not from the same time frame or location, but they had been there, and they understood.

Ever since that fateful day, I’ve been exploring what was going on both in the program and outside of the program during those years that I virtually lost. It’s been quite a white-knuckled ride, but well worth it.  I have since met many hundreds of people who also decided to search the internet for Straight, Inc. and I’m sure there will be many, many more.  As I’ve wrestled with my proverbial ‘skeleton in the closet’ over the years (since about 1999) I’ve published many different web sites… the first one went by the name of “Straight Inc., Survivors” and it continued to morph into different sites with the millions of new discoveries I was making. There were times when I couldn’t continue on the scary ride and I would take everything down and try to forget about it again… but that never seemed to last too long… for some reason, this subject had grabbed me an simply wouldn’t let me go.  As much as I tried to leave it in the past, it kept nagging at me to keep searching. I would start the process all over again, do more reasearch, make new discoveries, create a new web site, etc.  In the meantime, many other people also began to publish web sites about their experiences… over time, we found out that many, many very similar programs still exist. The names of the programs are different, the locations and the ‘players’ are all different, but at the center of it all, The Program, as most refer to it is exactly the same. Here is how they play the game: Misguided, uneducated and unqualified people hang out a shingle, claim they can miraculously and “creatively” “fix” your kid and start collecting thousands of dollars per kid to “fix” them.  They try to apply something the call “Tough Love.” (A horrible bastardized version of the original Tough Love philosophy created by Phyllis and David York.) Usually this results in a more damaged child than the one that went originally entered the program.  Sometimes this damage is immediately obvious, in other cases, years go by before the damaged is realized.

This blog takes the place of previous web sites. I will be posting my research here as time permits for those who come after me looking for answers. Feel free to make comments here on the blog or go to the forum linked to this blog.

I hope this helps anyone looking for answers.  Good Luck with your search. Take care and take it slowly and easily.