#BreakingCodeSilence – The Challenge

August 19, 2014

News

CODESILENCE

WWASPSurvivors, SafeTeenSchools, the SIA Organization (Survivors of Institutional Abuse) and Shut Down Logan River have just launched the #BreakingCodeSilence Challenge, a challenge designed to bring awareness to the issues of institutional child abuse in residential treatment centers and teen behavior modification programs.

As we speak, as we live and breathe and enjoy our everyday freedoms, there are thousands of children suffering in captivity, usually involuntarily committed or incarcerated without consent or due process to “Teen Rehab” facilities that masquerade as therapeutic treatment centers and operate with impunity due to lack of government oversight. The “treatment” these children receive couldn’t be further from therapeutic and more often than not, result in abuse and torment that leaves survivors with lifelong emotional scars. Children have been systematically abused in these fraudulent programs for decades, and as long as the government allows them to continue to operate, they will suffer in silence in these programs- some will even die. Fraudulent teen programs exist all over the US and in many countries all over the world. What may look like a premiere rehab or treatment center in marketing materials may be in actuality a private for-profit teen prison that abuses kids and deceives desperate parents. For more information about the signs of an abusive teen program please see our Red Flags list.

What is “Code Silence”?

In the program, silence is not a choice, it is a requirement. “Code Silence” is a punishment meant to isolate and unnerve children until they reach to a breaking point, to the point where they feel no one believes anything they say… They are kept in this oppressive silence until they “get with the program” and say what they are expected to say. This method is so powerful that the effects often follow a survivor well after they have left the program. It effects them so much that they hold on to all the memories and unresolved feelings about their experience because they were taught that no one would believe them, and “being a victim” was shameful and showed weakness. Those lies and deceptions end today.

We will be silent no more.

The #BreakingCodeSilence Challenge was created to encourage survivors of institutional abuse to stand up and testify about the abuse in their programs, to speak today not for themselves, but for all the kids out there currently suffering with no voice and no hope of rescue. We will be strong for them and come forward to be their voice! #UnitedwithOneVoice we stand as an undeniable testament to the realities of the troubled teen industry. We hope this demonstration of empowerment and support for all survivors will take on enough headway to reach the masses, and save the lives of kids currently held in these private teen prisons.

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

Are you a survivor of institutional abuse? Please, take the challenge by first sharing your story. It can be as little as a paragraph or your entire life story- as much as you would like to share. Along with your story, submit your challenge photo, a “selfie” with tape over your mouth with the symbol “Ø”. This symbolizes the fact that so many kids have no voice in these programs… But we do have a voice, and we will use it to stand up for them!

In your submission, challenge 3 other people you know to share their stories of being abused or a witness to abuse in a teen program (but be sure to support them through the process if this is their first time). If sharing is too much, feel free to just support (see below).

Are you a supporter of the cause? Please just take the photo as described above and share this message: (Twitter ready) through every social media channel you have.

Take The #BreakingCodeSilence Challenge! #UnitedwithOneVoice we will #EndInstitutionalAbuse http://wwaspsurvivors.com/breakingcodesilence/

The more shares and tweets we get the further this message will travel, and the more lives will be saved by this awareness.

To submit your challenge testimony, comment below or submit your full testimony here.

 

 

About WWASP Survivors

As survivors of the systematic and deliberate abuse of children in the WWASP programs, We believe it is our duty to advocate for the kids currently in programs today, to demand their rights to be protected from physical and mental abuse and to warn any parents considering the risk of placing their child in an abusive "Tough Love" program. Please refer to our Red Flags list for advice on pinpointing and avoiding abusive programs.

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23 Responses to “#BreakingCodeSilence – The Challenge”

  1. James Farris Says:

    I am a survivor of institutional abuse from Midwest Academy, a WWASP related school. I experienced nightmares where I woke up violently screaming for 2 1/2 years: one year while in the program, and a year and a half afterwards. During my stay, I experienced unproven psychological techniques called “seminars,” I experienced staying in a small concrete room for days on end, I experienced not having contact with the outside world and not even being able to look out of windows.
    I still do not speak to my family for their refusal to apologize for what happened to me, and for their refusal to take responsibility for the gamble they took with my life. There is no science that supports these programs’ efficacy. These programs are dangerous and psychologically abusive. I know of many survivors that have taken their lives after being in these programs, or some that went on to get hooked on very hard, dangerous drugs, drugs they never dreamed of doing before the program.

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  2. the dude Says:

    I will not be silent.

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  3. Jessica Riddell Says:

    Many people do not know what is like to live without any rights whatsoever.unfortunately myself, as well as many others, do you know what it is like to have to ask permission to sit, stand, speak, eat, or do any other sort of function that we would know to be human. We were herded around like cattle (sometimes roped together), forbidden to speak, think, or do anything for ourselves and instead forced to rely on unreliable people for even our most basic needs. We were treated like animals: beaten, forced to sleep in moldy, squalid, rotting trailers, fed rotten or inedible food, and forced to do meaningless, repetitive tasks for hopes that we would snap and let our captors brainwash us into being the human robots they worked to create. Our ties to the outside world were removed, save for an occasional phone call home or letter from our parents, both of which were closely monitored to make sure the truth was hidden from their sight so that the money would keep pouring in. We were lost in an alien country, forbidden to even speak our own language and all sense of individuality was stripped from us in an attempt to supposedly save our lives and “help” us psychologically. Sadly for many, myself included, the way it affected our lives was the far opposite from what they advertised…

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  4. Jessica Rojas Says:

    Well, I have been through some things including Spring Creek Lodge. Here is some quick background Things were great until my father passed away and my mom fell life long in crack and any other substance she could find. After awhile CPS decided to finally pull us and my grandparents stepped in and moved us all in with them. Being highly religious their home was the exact opposite of my life previously. I was involved in usual teenage things they found unacceptable and some things that really were not the best (dealing). So they went searching and found teen help which lead them to SCL. My mom decided to take off before this and they got her to come back and take me to Vegas on a trip for the two of us that she won. I was so excited… We were greeted by two large men and they said they were going to take us to the car. When we got there I got in they stepped in front of the door and said you’re being good so we wont put the handcuffs on you…. So off to Red Rock Springs in Hurricane Ut for evaluation. I got to sleep on the couch in this really old log cabin as they were too full. It was winter time and well Ut is freaking cold the paper thin blanket they gave me left most of me to freeze each night. No shoes, no coat, threats if we ran, and talk of being stuck on a plateau kept everyone from running. The evaluation was a 300 question test (really 100 just each repeated 3 ways to catch inconsistencies. Evaluated and sent to SCL. Courage family: L1 no condiments(butter sugar salt pepper etc) mail freeze I went in paranoid after that test sitting back I watched trying to find what would get me home realized I had to become what they wanted 100% of the time or I wouldn’t leave. The routine begins wake up, shower, headcount, calss, food, class exercise, class, ed-video, group, class, reflections, bed. Worksheets on a bad day (books on tape and knowledge test after) Discovery, After a steady routine is established they put you in a seminar they change every bit of your schedule wake earlier sleep later no bathroom unless they tell you, less food, long group seminar time in a warehouse isolated from the rest of your “family” strenuous homework with ridiculous expectations. essentially putting you into a semi lucid and suggestible state. This is where code silence begins. You are forbidden to talk about seminar happenings the way people are accosted for the difficulties in their life I was even told my dads death was my fault so they could get a reaction, at the end you ball up all the issues and beat them to death with a towel. Then they take you from super emotionally charged to a calm environment and have you picture a walk into a forest deeper you go the darker it gets more and more “walls” you put up finally in the middle you find a room with an amazing light inside is your “magical child” then you walk her out of the forest and take on an “I am” statement. I am a powerful loving and caring young person… No! I am free from all that. Years were taken due to social anxiety that developed there never trusting anyone not looking at the other gender for fear of rule violations asking to use the bathroom, even asking to speak… Focus, Accountability Etc all continued the falling into their emotional abuse more and more of who you really are stripped away to become their tool against the other kids. The two that ran the facility used it as a playground getting people to do anything they asked of lose all points for refusing…. I was lucky 7 months in no physical abuse only mental and emotional my grandparents could no longer afford to keep me there. I left L3 all star. Started my home contract. I was still in the program at home. I ran the risk of being sent back (warranty on us) I kept myself hidden from the world made very few friends, and lost so many years due to this. Please I ask you to #BREAKCODESILENCE Speak out, end the abuse! Help the children living this horror and many others! Tell your story so that the world knows we are here! We are Survivors.

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  5. Bill Boyles Says:

    This is long overdue and I’m glad to see so many people jumping on board and sharing their stories. Thank you all. If anyone is interested, my quick overview stories can be found here and here or more in-depth stories here.

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  6. Alexandra Slavis Says:

    I am still haunted until this day from my experience in Tranquility Bay, a WWASP program. Let’s prevent these horrific stories from repeating.

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  7. Amanda Johnson Says:

    So few people actually know about these places. I’m really happy that more people are speaking out than ever before. I spent the longest year of my life in cross creek. I will never forget what it felt like to be treated like an animal. Having no rights and no voice was terrifying. Not to mention the people who played around inside our heads for the hell of it. We were less than nothing and they made sure we knew just how unwanted we all were. This is obviously not my complete story, which I will share at a later date, but it’s an acknowledgement that it’s hard to speak out, not just because of the nightmare we endured, but because it was programmed/pounded into our heads to never tell what happened inside those places. The fact that so many are ready to come forward amazes me. If it wasn’t for those of you who spoke up first, and have spent years creating communities on social media, web pages (like this one), and fighting to save those who would be sent to similar or the same programs that we survived, then those of us who are just beginning to speak up wouldn’t have a place to. It takes a lot of bravery to face those memories in order to make the general public aware that these institutions exist. So thank you to those of you that have spent years working on all of this. To those of you who are just beginning to openly share those memories ,like myself, we can make a difference. Together we can face this and spread awareness to make sure not another child has to endure what we did.

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  8. Alison Says:

    Any time I talk about my experiences in these programs, my friends are shocked. Most people have no idea how much systematic for-profit child abuse is going on in this country. Hopefully people will start to pay attention and we can end the abuse.

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  9. Olen Says:

    This is a message from anonymous. Operation Liberation is a good thing!

    Reply

  10. Kay Ringwald Says:

    I truly believe in what you guys are doing, and hopefully it will help raise awareness and spread the word. Hopefully once my book is done it will cause some waves as well. Go BreakingCodeSilence! You DO have a voice!

    Reply

  11. matthew Foley Says:

    I have a hard time still talking about what I went through in Spring Creek and Majestic Ranch. the abuse is real, and last for a long time. I council other survivors, and the first thing i always hear is ” I am so glad to talk to someone that finally understands and believes me.” no one should ever feel what we do that unless you were a victim, no one will believe you, but until now It has been the case.
    I got to Spring Creek back in 1998 when I was 14 years old. these Teen Escorts woke me out of my bed, hog tied me, bagged my head, shot me full of sedative, and one minute I was in my bed, the next, I was waking up in a facility where I knew no one, had no idea where I was. I had been stripped of everything I owned, later to lose even my own clothing. my mail was read, and if it wasn’t approved I did not get it, or it was not sent out. no visits from the outside, no phone calls, no contact with the outside world at all.
    I remember later when 9/11 happened and Gitmo, thinking to myself well, at least terrorist can see the red cross, we however saw no one. at all.
    I personally witnessed and was subjected to multiple abuses, the use of cattle prods on children, the hell that was ” the gravel pit”.
    one of the worst in spring creek involved someone I had become close to, well close as you can get only having contact at seminars. I was leaving the foul portable toilet to go back to my hobbit cell, when I guess the staff escorting me felt I was going to run. he picked me up and dropped me head first on a rock. I guess this person saw it, and being as close as we were, they attempted to stand up and protect me from future beatings, that part i blacked out for. when I woke up I was held down and forced to watch as the staff that this person had protected me from, as well as 4 others that she had to break through to get to me, took turns assaulting her. a lesson for me that when others stand for you, they only stand to get hurt. I have remembered that lesson since. no one gets close to me, no one protects me, I have to be reminded by my wife that I shouldn’t be holding things back, because I am constantly trying to deal with everything myself.
    Majestic Ranch was no better. my first day there, they made a lesson out of me by having me fight one of the staff in a fenced in area. I felt like a dog fighting. I had been informed that spring creek had told majestic ranch i was “trouble” and they said they wanted to show that they could break me. instead of playing their game, I just took the punches and refused to fight back, which cost me food for three days for refusing to entertain them.
    you were forced to shovel dead lamb carcasses into a flatbed. no protective gear was given to deal with the possibility of disease, just a shovel and the clothes you would wear the rest of the day.
    staff brought their own food and drinks, they knew what we had for water and food was prone to make you sick as often the sewage would back up into the tap water line.
    if an animal refused to work, or was injured, like a dog, you either had to watch as they killed it, or were told to kill it for them.
    the favorite punishment was to sit you on the log. in the summer this meant in your boxers in long grass, where the mosquitos bred and fed. in the winter you were still in your boxers, but in the deepest part of the snow they could find. the shortest time for sitting the log was about 2 hours, sometimes it would go as long as 8. many times I would lose feeling in my arms and legs, and in the summer the only thing you could do to pass the time on that log and not think about it was swat the mosquitoes as they would land. after 2 hours your covered in your own blood, since many would feed before you could crush them.

    this is not at all everything, but it is where I am able to speak at this time. i am still not able to open up about most of it, which is why I support this campaign. if even a few of us can open up at all, maybe we will stop this abuse from happening to others.

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  12. Nicole Lynch Says:

    I will not be silent. There was much abuse. Much pain. Don’t let it continue!!! I was on code silence more times than I can count, it’s inhuman. I was forced to lie to my parents, the staff lied to my parents. They used permanent market to cover parts of my letters home and letters from my parents (which I still have). I had a serious hormonal imbalance which was never addressed. I needed real psychotherapy which I NEVER received but my mom paid for. There were so many things wrong with Casa that I couldn’t possibly type it all. But I refuse to stay silent anymore. I’m a better person because of Casa. It proved to me my spirit can’t be broken and I can overcome ANYTHING. I’ll do whatever I have to to save anyone else from enduring what I or any of my fellow program survivors had to survive!

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  13. Casey Says:

    ‪#‎BreakingCodeSilence‬ to bring awareness of institutional child abuse in residential treatment centers and teen behavior modification programs.

    Taking advantage of desperate parents and stealing children’s rights as human beings. I was kidnapped in the middle of the night, taken to another country, and held inside of a building against my will. I was terrified and helpless; I will never forget that feeling. I was forbidden to speak during many times each day, and sometimes for extended periods of time – but not anymore.

    I witnessed bizarre and disturbing “therapy” techniques used on girls, which were absolutely traumatizing. I was subjected to seminars which utilized textbook brainwashing techniques that were originally used on prisoners of Asian war camps. This is not a joke.

    People don’t take me seriously with this issue, and there is nothing that bothers me more. They roll their eyes because I am doing well. My friends say it was the program, and my mom says it was god. I say I’m just lucky to have made it this far. I’m not a broken toy you can just send away to get fixed.

    The program has effects on me which last to this day, and I experience frequent anxiety and inexplicable fear. Its lonely knowing that no one else feels like this, and its frustrating that it doesn’t matter because I’m a finished product (I literally have a warranty on me). But understand that most of these products don’t last long in the real world, and some of us have deeper scars. That’s how I know I’m lucky.

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  14. Jake Says:

    Wow watched a documentary on one of these places…it’s horrific. I myself chose to go to a “military camp” when I was 14. I was expecting a fun summer camp with everything a teen would want to do. Only to learn that was not at all the case. While I learned a ton from it and felt a strong sense of accomplishment afterwards, my first 4 weeks where absolute hell. The previous year there was 1 suicide and the year I attended in 2012 there were 2 attempted. Almost everyone I knew at the camp at least thought about ending their own lives to due the group punishment and individual hardships. This included rape, heat exhaustion, forced water drinking, absolute loss of freedom, minimal sleep and much more. My most personal memory and hardest memory was walking outside of the barracks too see every girl at the camp, about 60, out on the physical field covered in blood, sweat, dirt, and grass low crawling back and fourth across a football field for hours these girls were crying the youngest being only 12 years old. For profit correctional camps must end they are wrong and extremely damaging to the kids who attend. I chose to go to this camp unknowing that I had no way to get out.

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  15. Casey Snowdon Says:

    I’m a survivor of three therapeutic boarding schools (Greenbrier Academy, Auldern Academy, and Summit Prep School) as well as the wilderness program Second Nature Blueridge. I have no idea how to come to terms with all of the abuse, neglect, and manipulation that I experienced while being in those places. At one point while I was at Auldern, I was caught kissing another girl (I’m a girl). I was 15 years old and just coming out of the closet, super curious and experimental. So the owner of the place made me stand up in front of everyone and tell them that I wasn’t “in a good place” to be touched or to touch anyone. This continued for 8 months. The punishment was called “touching bans”. Very strange/traumatic. Anyway, there’s too much to share and this is a huge thing that has stuck with me.

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    • Rowan Says:

      I went to Auldern too. I was there when I was 15 too, and that was around the time I was realizing I wasnt a girl and that I was meant to be another gender. But of course that wasn’t going to go down well. So I kept it to myself. I also was caught with another girl and I got put on focus 3. i was on it for 3 whole weeks. to this day i have back issues from wheeling mulch from the ceremony circle to the soccer field and sleeping on a cot. and punishments for having suicidal thoughts and self harming habits have shaped me to not tell anyone ever. I’m 18 now, and I’m still working on that. I have fears of getting sent back. i have woken up screaming, afraid of being taken. these institutions need to be shut down.

      Reply

    • Karen Says:

      Can you please tell me more about Auldern Academy? Please my daughter was sent there by her father and I think she is suffering there

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    • Anonymous Says:

      Many of these programs are abusive and silence needs to be broken, but something tells me a treatment program isn’t the place to hook up with others who are also there to get help unless that’s the primary reason you were there and something the program allowed.

      Reply

  16. Brecken Says:

    I was in the adult 18+ female part of SCLA. I went as part of a plea agreement with the courts, it was that or prison, naturally I chose the program, I’m grateful because I got clean off Methamphetamines, and had I chose prison I’m not certain I would be the person I am today. I still have my contract on the slab they gave me when I graduated. My parents are still programized they believe my college tuition money was best spent where I was. I think life in the adult program was less severe and less traumatizing though still no picnic, I cannot say that I had it near as bad as any of the others and I know scla was worse for the younger kids. What I remember most is the seminars and the silence vs the late hours and early mornings with the crappiest of meals and strenuous activities to help us “deal” with our demons and all this baggage we didn’t realize we were carrying for years. I believe I was the oldest profit in the 16 months I spent there from august of 2006 to December 2007. It was all about conformity and dancing with the bear. The seminars were long and grueling. They stripped me of everything I ever thought of myself to be true and turned me into a mindless robot.I hated all of their processes and how nothing we ever went through prior to that moment was a lie, a story we would tell for effects. When I went to the program I was a single mom and the guilt trip was rolled out for that big time. They taught us that being a snitch to protect yourself was better, but not where I come from, that will get you murdered. So let’s #breakthecodeofsilence and talk about seminars shall we? Orientation: long ass day of rules, rules and more rules to be decided into small groups with a leader who was maybe 15 (and I thought what could this person who has little to no life experience have to tell me about my life) and the music would play and the tears would fall… And then you get introduced to feedback. Which would have been great if there wasn’t judgment attached. I can’t remember if the tape process happened in orientation or discovery… I think orientation. Regardless how are you gonna bring up any possible life event and throw it back in our face in front of an audience? So for me the tough questions were if you’d been raped or were a single mom, of course I was the only parent in the room-how embarrassing and what kind of a mom would be in a program umpteen thousand miles away from her daughter? You know they practically had me convinced that the rape was my fault and that I needed to be accountable for my actions leading up to that point. You know I actually thought that by being accountable for the rape made the pain nonexistent, but I was so wrong and so were they. Group therapy was more like group attack therapy so how helpful do you think that really was? The whole goal was to see just how long they could rape our parents for money. Some of my friends were in there for 4 years or more. Just ridiculous! Because of the whole separation thing of males to females, my communication with the opposite sex is only barely starting to improve as I not only lack trust but seem to have issues when they don’t self-disclose like I have been programmed to do. I over analyze everything and most of the time I feel crazy. The stories are real, there are many survivors, and there are others that didn’t make it. Many have turned to drugs and suicide. A moment of silence for those no longer with us. My torture from the program is mostly mental. A strong deep seeded battle within myself.

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  17. James Patrick Weber Says:

    I was in the ‘Tranquility Bay’ facility in Jamaica from October 2000 to December 2001. I wasn’t a violent kid. I wasn’t on drugs. In fact I was naive in general and suffered from one persistent problem, I was depressed. I had been suicidal a few times starting at 12 and afraid to go to school (where I excelled at academically) because I was bullied and ostracized. At 15 years old I finally gathered the courage to tell my mother that I was gay. I sat there in tears and finally admitted a truth that was obvious to everyone since I was a toddler, yet had been purposefully repressed all my life by my parents and my Catholic schools. The very next day I was laying in my bed in the evening and 2 large men came into my room, handcuffed me and took me away. I wasn’t even allowed to say goodbye to my little sister or my big brother, the only 2 people that loved me and accepted me for who I was. Nor was I allowed to say goodbye to my abusive father or my mother, but that wouldn’t matter because at least one day I was able to see and speak to them again. My first day in that filthy 3rd world prison of unspeakable terror I was made to stand up, in my underwear, in front of my ‘group’ (excellence) and vindictive case worker, and asked in front of 25 or so boys if I was gay. I defensively replied that i believed that you could love someone, no matter their gender. Promptly I was told that homosexuality was “sick and wrong” and was immediately sent to “staff watch” or ‘observation placement’ to lay on my face on a hard dirty floor, all day, every day, except when served meager, rotten meals, and except for when they took me to be ‘restrained’ in the next room over, as a part of my punishment and programming for being what I am. This was a routine done to me periodically for over a month the first time. The words used throughout the program are facades that mask the truth of what they are. I was compliant. I was terrified. Yet still they took me into the next room, 5 large men, each holding a limb and one sitting on top of me. They twisted my legs and arms until I would scream, and then they would pour water over my face and mouth. They did this to me until I couldn’t scream anymore, and all the spirit left in me was broken. Finally, weeks later, I was given audience to the group session, and asked my feelings on the subject of my sexuality again. I told them I wasn’t gay. I told them i knew it was sick and wrong. And I believed it. It was only upon this admission that I was allowed in the general day to day group activities of being brainwashed and having my identity removed. No words can express the horrors and atrocities done to me, nor the ones that I witnessed done to other children. I cried every waking moment for the first 3 months. I don’t know how my body produced so many tears, but I cried and cried until i realized that to survive I had to work the system. I was well on my way to ‘upper levels’ when that poor girl jumped to her death right in our courtyard. The sickening wet crack and screams of all the kids will haunt me forever. I wanted to do the same thing. When the facility was over-crowded, they bused the upper levels to an off site house to sleep at night. one night we passed a mob of people and a man being burned alive in the street. The staff said it was because he was a fag, but in their own colloquial slang. The bigotry and ignorance of these thugs that ruled our lives would make even the most foul american low-life cringe. I feared for my life, and with good reason. They kill gay people in rural Jamaica.
    The stories of torture and illness untreated and base criminal acts would take me weeks to write and to force myself to remember. This is so difficult to write because it is just like my night-mares, it’s like I’m still there. I wake up horrified to this day, dreaming I’m still trapped there. Although it’s the day I came home that I will never forget. I achieved ‘level 5’ that day. I was so far gone that i was throwing any and every other kid under the bus, like we were taught, to raise my status in the sick culture of that awful place. They told me I was going home, and instead of being over-joyed, I asked “why?”. I didn’t understand, after all the letters I wrote, begging my parents to investigate where I was and what they had done… I had lost all hope or notion of being taken out. No one would tell me why I was being flown home, and I was so confused, but I was so excited on that plane because I was going to be with my beloved sister again. I was going to have my protective brother again. When I got off the plane, I was ushered into a private room in the airport. I looked at my mother and father, along with my school principle and an airport guard. i asked them why they brought me home, and my father told me. He said your brother and sister died in a car accident. I immediately passed out and fell to the floor. The nightmare had only just begun. And to this day I can’t function properly. From a prisoner of war style concentration camp in a third world place of filth, to the funeral of both of my siblings, whom I loved, whom i love, more than anyone or anything. 15 years later and I still find myself trapped, tortured… my mind stuck in a prison I will never escape.
    The WWASP must be brought to justice. Not just for me, but for the hundreds of other children whose lives they’ve ruined. I’ve been too broken to stand up until now, and now I have found my voice and I won’t be silenced.

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    • James Patrick Weber Says:

      I was in the ‘Tranquility Bay’ facility in Jamaica from October 2000 to December 2001. I wasn’t a violent kid. I wasn’t on drugs. In fact I was naive in general and suffered from one persistent problem, I was depressed. I had been suicidal a few times starting at 12 and afraid to go to school (where I excelled at academically) because I was bullied and ostracized. At 15 years old I finally gathered the courage to tell my mother that I was gay. I sat there in tears and finally admitted a truth that was obvious to everyone since I was a toddler, yet had been purposefully repressed all my life by my parents and my Catholic schools. The very next day I was laying in my bed in the evening and 2 large men came into my room, handcuffed me and took me away. I wasn’t even allowed to say goodbye to my little sister or my big brother, the only 2 people that loved me and accepted me for who I was. Nor was I allowed to say goodbye to my abusive father or my mother, but that wouldn’t matter because at least one day I was able to see and speak to them again. My first day in that filthy 3rd world prison of unspeakable terror I was made to stand up, in my underwear, in front of my ‘group’ (excellence) and vindictive case worker, and asked in front of 25 or so boys if I was gay. I defensively replied that i believed that you could love someone, no matter their gender. Promptly I was told that homosexuality was “sick and wrong” and was immediately sent to “staff watch” or ‘observation placement’ to lay on my face on a hard dirty floor, all day, every day, except when served meager, rotten meals, and except for when they took me to be ‘restrained’ in the next room over, as a part of my punishment and programming for being what I am. This was a routine done to me periodically for over a month the first time. The words used throughout the program are facades that mask the truth of what they are. I was compliant. I was terrified. Yet still they took me into the next room, 5 large men, each holding a limb and one sitting on top of me. They twisted my legs and arms until I would scream, and then they would pour water over my face and mouth. They did this to me until I couldn’t scream anymore, and all the spirit left in me was broken. Finally, weeks later, I was given audience to the group session, and asked my feelings on the subject of my sexuality again. I told them I wasn’t gay. I told them i knew it was sick and wrong. And I believed it. It was only upon this admission that I was allowed in the general day to day group activities of being brainwashed and having my identity removed. No words can express the horrors and atrocities done to me, nor the ones that I witnessed done to other children. I cried every waking moment for the first 3 months. I don’t know how my body produced so many tears, but I cried and cried until i realized that to survive I had to work the system. I was well on my way to ‘upper levels’ when that poor girl jumped to her death right in our courtyard. The sickening wet crack and screams of all the kids will haunt me forever. I wanted to do the same thing. When the facility was over-crowded, they bused the upper levels to an off site house to sleep at night. one night we passed a mob of people and a man being burned alive in the street. The staff said it was because he was a fag, but in their own colloquial slang. The bigotry and ignorance of these thugs that ruled our lives would make even the most foul american low-life cringe. I feared for my life, and with good reason. They kill gay people in rural Jamaica.
      The stories of torture and illness untreated and base criminal acts would take me weeks to write and to force myself to remember. This is so difficult to write because it is just like my night-mares, it’s like I’m still there. I wake up horrified to this day, dreaming I’m still trapped there. Although it’s the day I came home that I will never forget. I achieved ‘level 5’ that day. I was so far gone that i was throwing any and every other kid under the bus, like we were taught, to raise my status in the sick culture of that awful place. They told me I was going home, and instead of being over-joyed, I asked “why?”. I didn’t understand, after all the letters I wrote, begging my parents to investigate where I was and what they had done… I had lost all hope or notion of being taken out. No one would tell me why I was being flown home, and I was so confused, but I was so excited on that plane because I was going to be with my beloved sister again. I was going to have my protective brother again. When I got off the plane, I was ushered into a private room in the airport. I looked at my mother and father, along with my school principle and an airport guard. i asked them why they brought me home, and my father told me. He said your brother and sister died in a car accident. I immediately passed out and fell to the floor. The nightmare had only just begun. And to this day I can’t function properly. From a prisoner of war style concentration camp in a third world place of filth, to the funeral of both of my siblings, whom I loved, whom i love, more than anyone or anything. 15 years later and I still find myself trapped, tortured… my mind stuck in a prison I will never escape.
      The WWASP must be brought to justice. Not just for me, but for the hundreds of other children whose lives they’ve ruined. I’ve been too broken to stand up until now, and now I have found my voice and I won’t be silenced.

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