I thought would share a personal story that's kind of hard for me to relive but one that is quite eye opening.
When i was 14 years old i was a extremely rebellious teenager, I pretty much did anything i wanted when ever i wanted. I was the class clown and the
the leader of resistance,little did i know how real that would become for me.
I went to truancy court and a judge promised my parents that a program in Montana called "spring creek lodge" would guarantee my ascent into
normality, and by a stroke of fate or my parents jadedness , i found my self exiled in what i can only describe as a modern day concentration camp for
children in the good old U.S.A.
Upon my arrival, everything was normal my father dropped me off and it looked like a cabin in the woods, with children who were very respectful and
dressed in formal dress. When he left, that is when the fun began. The first day i was there i was beaten i was in the lunch hall and i was talking to
another person who had just arrived they separated us into "family's" and because i was talking and a "level one"- which basically meant you had
to be broken still) I was drug out unable to eat and beaten by four staff members. I fought back but to little avail, but at that moment i realized
just what I had got myself into and knew I had to get away.
The first six months they did not allow us to write or receive letters from our parents, they used this as a tactic to break us and so that we could
not communicate what was really going on, they psychically and psychologically abused us everyday. A few days in i realized they were using children
who they had broke as shills, to infiltrate any resistance among the newer ones, they gathered us in a group and told us that if any of us ran they
would send these kids who had been there for years to chase us down with rocks,and they did; there was an incident of a runner they sent these
children after him and beat him bloody and dragged him back.
I would not stand for this, i would not break! under any circumstance, not only did I wish to get away i wished to revolt- one time there was a line
of girls walking by, and they wouldn't let us look at the girls, and i intentionally was checking them out, I nodded at one and winked (she smiled)
and once again was taken away and beaten, boy did I fight these guys every chance I got. They threw me in a isolation unit that is always supervised,
it was called "the hobbit" - a girl had been in there for nine months and she had hung herself in there under supervision. When they released me I
would make plans with other children we were gathering weapons, I was planning a revolt and to escape this.
I cannot stress the amount of human rights abuses that took place, when they found out my plans they through me in the hobbit indefinitely, and I had
finally started getting the better of this staff member who especially liked beating me up in the mornings. the day previously I had dislodged one of
his teeth in the fight; needless to say he hated me, and swore to me he would kill me if he had the chance. I was awoken one morning by him he had a
smile on his face, he said," they were sending me to Jamaica a further WWASP program that will break kids especially hard to handle", i spit in his
face and told him to f* himself. My mother got worried hearing that news, and having not received even a letter or a call. She came and got me when
she arrived I was black and blue she was crying, we left and never looked back.
My point of this thread is to make people aware that things like this really do exist in America, and also to shed some light on who I am, and why I
am the way I am. Its scary to see how many willfully break and comply when severe human rights violations are taking place, I never would and I never
will. I hope you all share the same sentiment.
Here is a link to a "survivors website" WWASP programs were shutdown once the abuses and story's surfaced,there is a class action law suit in fact
the military showed up and put staff at gun point in one WWASP program in Costa Rica..
I have been forced to stay at Spring Creek Lodge for three years. I still have nightmares about this place, and it has been 7 years since I
have graduated from this place. My nightmares were mostly about feeling trapped and having no sense of control over my own life. I am the type of
person who has deep thoughts, and I am not always conscious of my surroundings. Consequently, It was very easy for me to lose points for being
unconscious and neglectful, especially when all the girls in leadership positions used to watch us like hawks and consequent us for every minor
mistake. I think there should be better ways with dealing with teen behavior. We were just kids after all.
I used to watch Cameron and Chaffen walk around there as if they were kings of the facility. They did not care about the kids. They only cared about
money. I was ghost. In fact, I actually got away with not talking to anyone for a few months. I don’t think anyone knew or cared that I did not
speak. As long as I stayed a ghost, no one felt tempted to pick on me, and that was good for me. I was a naive kid that cared deeply about what others
thought of me, I figured staying out of peoples lives would make me feel better. No wonder that girl killed herself. The trouble teens in the cabin
did not care about her, they were too wrapped up on trying to SURVIVE the program.
With all that said never give up, even under overwhelming odds. Also fight the good fight always stand for what you believe in regardless of what
others are saying, and more protect our children so that they never have to suffer such a world.
Thank you for sharing that!
I, too, had a troubled youth so I feel I can relate to a degree.
It is good that you survived and so many have not!
It is good that you explain some of what makes you "who you are".
Although, we are all different in our own way and sometimes we will never know what created or helped to create the person we see today.
It is so sad what some children must suffer!
I googled the programs that you mentioned:
I don't know if any of the places that I spent time were part of that specifically but, they were bad enough...
Thank you for your support and she is well, we have taken the steps you suggested and it's great. On another note I think people need to know about
these places and that even though these facilities were shut down it could and probably is still happening in America and other first world country's.
Was there a little man there who said, "What we have here.. is a failure to communicate"?
Not making light. You just sound like a regular Cool Hand Luke. Or an R.P. McMurphy from One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.
And I like it!
It was the staff and always a group of them but they used the kids that had been psychologically broke as well; to chase runners and to infiltrate and
nark on anyone planning anything, yes it was horrific.
I am so glad that this program was found out and that they shut it down. Justice!
But I'm more sorry you experienced it.
Though it might appear that I've given in at times(I admit I have, if it's the best option available at the time), I've always kept an eye out for the
opportunity to fight back and escape... and I've always kept a part of my mind. So I understand your sentiment.
I ended up on 2 probation for assault and battery.
I was 14, my father had died two years prior. It was my mother and sister and I. They were arguing, I walked in and asked them to stop. Mom got me
in the sternum with that iron index finger of doom several times...
I asked her to stop...several times....jabbing me in the chest...she didn't.
I slapped her, open handed, across her upper arm. Where most guys get a tattoo. It left a red mark for about 5 or so minutes.
Actually, the probation was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. Taught me a very well needed lesson.
Strange, it was seconds before hitting refresh that I had thought about you, in that I hadn't seen you posting in a few days. We rarely agree but I
appreciate your point of view.
Anyway, the introduction of your story sounded very much like the Cloud Home only not nearly as brutal.
Our experiences make us who we are and define the person we become. Often times there are two paths, one in which you mimic or follow the behavior, if
you were abused you justify reciprocating the same to your children. Than there is the other path, where you can come to terms with what happened,
acknowledge its not right and instead be a positive influence on children.
I was consistently abused as a child and ended up in Foster Care (several), got into a lot of trouble. Some people learn from experiences, others fear
having to experience it again.
Thanks for sharing.
edit on 17-11-2015 by Rosinitiate because: (no reason given)
Your story reminded me of the movie Coldwater. I didn't know if it was just a movie or if stuff like that really goes on. You just gave me the
answer. You are very brave to open up on ATS. *admiration*
The sharp shock therapy was tried in the UK during the 80s. It didn't work.
Sorry to hear about your experiences. I went through a similar program in the north Georgia mountains for around 8 months. I found out years later the
program I attended was shut down over the death of one of the "campers". Lots had died in the past due to accidents and hypothermia. They would have
to wake kids as young as 6 periodically through out the night to make sure they didn't wet themselves and freeze. The camp was heavily focused on
wilderness training and everything was done primitively. The issue was abuse from the staff and their was some financial scandals involving judges,
therapist, and probation officers getting paid for sending kids there.
I managed to truly buck their program. After suffering through some physical abuse and isolation they found they couldn't break me and I refused to so
much as move a muscle until they kicked me out for being too difficult. I recall one time a staff member roughed me up so bad they tried to smooth
things over by giving me outside food and special treatment for awhile.
Some of the staff were really nice I looked up to a few while there and I learned a lot about the wilderness but the environment was meant to be for
profit and keep kids there as long as possible to graduate through the levels. Kids as young as 6 being kept until they were 18. I consider myself one
of the lucky ones to get kicked out so quickly
Thank you for your response,and if I have not directly responded to anyone i appologize and just wanted to say I've read every post, I feel like this
issue is less talked about. We basically send children away to places that are not vetted on the guarentee by some sick fat judge who is obviously
getting kick backs for the referals, this is a sign a deep sign of the disgusting and misguided nature of society. We must always protect our children
# what anyone else says! Btw good on you for not breaking you learn a lot about yourself when you are confronted with such extremes, but I also
realized and pittyed the ones who did break and I do not blame them, the reality of revolt scared them because of the abuse. This taught me a lot
about the world, and as I'm sure all of your experiences have as well. I'm glad you made it out Alive, the strong truly do survive and can make all
the difference, so yes every voice counts even if we feel jaded and broken down.
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