1) Electrocuted

Notes From Tha Cove – Electrocuted

By Bill Boyles

This is the story of how I was electrocuted. Yes, electrocuted. And no, not shocked, or even really badly shocked. We’re talking full-on, having a seizure electrocuted. But I’m getting ahead of myself. I was a Level 3, the highest of the Lower Levels, trusted to a point and given certain privileges, but not yet an Upper Level, also known as Junior Staff. In Samoa, one of the questionable “privileges” Level 3′s such as myself had was called Supplies. You see, there were 3 beaches at Paradise Cove, each it’s own separate cove, with rocky points of land between them. Each beach was mostly an independently functioning unit. The point is, my beach, Sinalele (see-na-lay-lay), had over 150 kids at this time. That gives an estimate of 450 kids. 450 teenage boys plus the staff need an enormous amount of food and other supplies to function. And it being that the site chosen for Paradise Cove was not only a beach, but a beach at the foot of a gigantic cliff whose only nod to accessibility was a steep path snaking down the hundred feet or more, that meant that every single thing on the beach from food to medicine to toilet paper to building supplies had to be carried down on someone’s back. The staff looked around to figure out whose back that should be and their eyes landed on a huge pool of free child labor…the boys. So, basically, one sunny, hot day in 1998 (I think) i found myself schlepping supplies down a cliff and schlepping bags of trash back up. I got sweaty, plus not only did I get disgusting trash juice on myself, but also I had to carry down bunches of bananas and got their nasty, sticky sap on myself too. I was entitled to a shower, and even though the showers had no hot water, I wanted my shower bad. Protocol dictated I inform my family’s father, or in layman’s terms I needed to tell the staff member who watched over my group of 15-20  students who did everything together. So I went to tell him. My family was eating lunch at the time. Now, at Paradise Cove, even a simple activity like eating didn’t buy you a break from the craziness.  No, no, even while you were eating your ears were assaulted by the playing of stupid motivational tapes like Tony Robbins and Zig Zigler. In order to blast motivational tapes at a bunch of beat-up kids trying to eat lunch, one needs a tape player. And in Samoa, because the electrical current is twice American current, that means one needs a transformer. The transformers were small metal boxes with wires coming out both sides, one side being a male Samoan plug and the other a female American plug. The wires weren’t very long, and so this necessitated placing the transformer on the window sill of the fale (fah-lay), or hut, my family lived in. The only thing was, the fales had no windows. Instead, they just had openings where windows would be. And to keep us from stealing each other’s stuff, the windows had metal chicken wire nailed over them. Stay with me folks I promise electrocution is imminent. So, I was wet and sweaty, the transformer was sitting on the window sill touching the metal chicken wire. And to top it all off, my family had found a piece of scrap chicken wire to put just outside the door so we could use it to scrape the sand off our feet before coming in. The family father was having trouble making the tape machine work. Little did he know that’s because the transformer was shorting out into the chicken wire. I walked up to the hut, stepped on the foot-scraper, and went to lean into the door to tell him I’m going to take a shower. As I leaned, I put my hand on the screen and BAM! All I remember is hearing a really freaking loud humming noise in my ears. I couldn’t move. I was thinking, what in the …. ? Suddenly it hit me: I’m being electrocuted. I tried to pull back but I was paralyzed. I tried to yell, to scream, to tell someone I was being electrocuted, but I couldn’t seem to form the words. Later I’m told I was in fact screaming involuntarily at this time, so loud they could hear me clearly at the top of the cliff. My family thought I had stepped on a nail and was “being a bitch about it”, so no one did anything. I figure that’s why it took over ten seconds for the father to realize what was going on and kill the power. This is where my memory ends for a time, as I am unconscious at this point. But I’m told that when the power was killed, I was blown backwards just like in the movies. I smashed into a rock retaining wall, bounced off it, landed on the very hard, packed dirt main yard, and proceeded to have a seizure. It’s apparently at this point that, in traditional Paradise Cove fashion, someone yelled out, “Let’s pour some water on him!” Instead, everyone, including the staff, gathered around and apparently just watched me seize. Eventually, when I stopped, they picked me up and carried me into a nearby fale and covered me with a blanket. And that’s when I woke up. After several hours they finally took me to the hospital. Every muscle in my body felt sore to the point of being pulled, and I almost had to crawl to get up the cliff. When I got to the hospital, the doctor (who was Chinese) checked me out and then took some x-rays. He tried to explain the results to me, but he only spoke Chinese and a little Samoan. The “nurse” from the program they sent with me spoke Samoan and a little English, and so he would tell her and then she would tell me. It turned out that somewhere in the spasming as I was being electrocuted, hitting the rock retaining wall, and then the seizures, one of my vertebrae had cracked in half, and then slipped up behind another vertebrae. They couldn’t believe I wasn’t paralyzed. They wanted to do surgery right away, but I refused. I wasn’t about to let a third-world doctor operate on me in an open-air hospital. No siree. I don’t know what the program told my parents, but the next day we hit one of our all-time lows in our relationship. They sent me a fax, which was a big deal in a place where mail took two weeks one way. I still remember this fax. To this day if I close my eyes I can see it clear as day. It was in my dad’s handwriting. The first line read, exactly, “Dear Bill, heard you had a ‘SHOCKING’ experience yesterday. Ha ha ha!” and then next to that he had drawn a little picture of what I presumed was me, with my skeleton showing inside my body Return Of The Jedi style, with little lightning bolts coming out me. I quit writing them letters for a time. To this day I have never spoken to my family about it. I just don’t think I can without saying something I’ll regret, since we are in a much better place now. But even now writing this I’m getting heartburn just thinking about it and I feel all lightheaded like I’m going to pass out. My father isn’t like that. What could the program have possibly told him to make him that flip about a situation that very truly almost ended in me being either dead or paralyzed? I guess we’ll never know, since I never plan on bringing it up. But anyway, that’s the story of how I got electrocuted, and this was Notes From Tha Cove.

13 Responses to “1) Electrocuted”

  1. Leah Says:

    Hi, I was just wondering if there are any CURRENT behavior modification schools operating in Samoa?

    Reply

  2. John Doe Says:

    I attended coral reef academy. Coral reef academy is a corrupt “therapeutic” environment where kids are beaten in “restraints” and kept in solitary confinement for weeks and months at a time for breaking rules. A good majority of the staff are tattooed and gang affiliated Samoan ex convicts who were deported from California or Utah to get reduced prison sentences for violent crimes. The case managers and therapists lie and manipulate parents on a consistent basis about their child’s well being. Because the remote island is located on the other side of the planet, parents have no way to tell. The campus is filled with substances dealt by therapists and staff in exchange for clothes and wired money. Human rights are non existent at Coral Reef. Because you are not an adult at age 18 like you are in the United States, you are held captive until you graduate, get pulled by your parents, or age out at 21. Passports are kept locked in a safe at the front office. Due to its location, the “school” is not ever looked at by investigators or educational consultants. Currently, the clinical director, named Michael Geffney is in charge. He verbally abuses students and has now added even tighter restrictions to any sort of freedom students had. Most students either get fed up with the lack of their rights and the way they are treated and do not cooperate or they fake the program the best they can. The food is extremely unhealthy and due to lack of exercise the students gain weight and become unhealthy in general. School is from hours 9:00 to 2:30 and includes sitting at cubicle desks without a teacher leaving you with a poor education. “Activities” off campus are granted when you do not have a made-up consequence and are extremely restricted with staff not letting you out of sight. The program has an implemented system called Bus Barn (recently changed to “reflection) in which the student occupies a room with only a bed all day long for weeks to months at a time. Food is brought to your cell and you can earn a 1 hour exercise period with a staff member. Below is a list of names, ranks, and review of a few staff.

    Rodney Rice- owner of coral reef acedemy. Rodney lives in Las Vegas and rarely comes to samoa to observe his facility. Not that he would change anything if there were worse things going on however.

    Michael Geffney- clinical director. This man is a power tripping belligerent asshole who spends his time trying to aggravate kids who are fed up with his power tripping.

    Ben Toilolo- -residential case manager. Ben spents 16 years in prison for kidnap for ransom. He has killed people and often tells tales of such.

    Illia – residential case manager. He spent 4 years in federal prison for a counterfeit and methamphetamine organized business. He is an angry man who often swears at kids. He has once told a story of cutting a mans finger off.

    Fa’gai (goes by E)- E spent apx 10 years in prison for attempted murder. He is very manipulative and has been known to threaten people time to time.

    Tasha Toilolo. Tasha is a therapist who moved to samoa from utah. She began a relationship with Ben and was having sex with him often at the therapists home. Another therapist knew of this but would not tell on him because Ben knew this therapist was dealing drugs to the students.

    Overall, this program is a terrible place for anyone to be. I would go in to more detail about staff and conditions but i think this is enough. Please, if you are a parent reading this, do not put your child through this. Thank you.

    Reply

  3. Avery Redick Says:

    Dear readers,

    Jon Doe is completely correct. All of his information is up to date regarding certain things, par a few. I left CRA about a month ago, this program seriously screwed me up. I have been beaten, choked, had rocks thrown at me, and was at one point locked in bus barn. I became so depressed i tried to kill myself by ingesting 2 seeds of the ricinus communis plant(better known as castor bean, source of the deadly protein known as ricin), Anyways my dose was to low and shit just got worse. I want nothing more than to see the owners of this school burn in hell while the devil rapes them. PLEASE PARENTS NEVER SEND YOUR CHILDREN HERE! ANYWHERE ELSE PLEASE TRUST ME!

    Reply

    • Pat Says:

      My heart is breaking for you and John Doe. My nephew was sent to CRA by his horrifically abusive mother. We all begged for him not to be sent there, but had little say in the matter. It damaged him in ways I can’t even begin to express. I am sick over it and the fact that you boys were forced into such a terrible place.

      I’m so sorry. Adults are idiots sometimes, myself included, but this place is inexcusable and no answer to a problem.

      Reply

  4. Michael John Kight Says:

    For one John Doe and Avery Redick you are full of shit. I was at coral Reef academy in from late 2007 until early 2009. I was in orientation in solufata then moved to the vaitele campus and then to the seusenga campus and I truthfully enjoyer my time there. The staff are only human so yes they raise their voices although they are all true Samoans loving caring and extremely respectful. I love all of the staff including motoi motoi pisaina tau Breda vaitua and the therapists Jeffrey Michael Stewart and Lou Vaughn were extremely caring and loving towards all students. I can only say if u were treated as u say u were u must have been going around raping kids animals and beating babies half to death. So don’t you dare speak I’ll of the staff at coral reef academy and definitely do not speak I’ll of Mr Rodney Rice. As if it was not for Mr Rice I would not be able to get thru my life as I have been able too. Although I still have problems they are nowhere as serious as they used to be. I have to say u both are silly Tama lei titi’s. So get ur story and facts straight. And do not spread shit about people you know nothing about at all.
    Yours faithfully Michael John Might
    Email:mikeekight@gmail.com
    Cell Phone:021-071-0855

    Reply

    • avery Says:

      To Mike,

      You are completely incorrect. I was in cra for 3 years and had never even done a drug except for the pharmaceuticals that have been prescribed to me since kindergarten(abilify, ritalin, etc). I have seen one student beaten soundly by the entire student body(par 2), by the entire student body plus several staff for saying the n word. The first drugs i ever did(valium, codeine, sudafed, plus other assorted pills) were dealt to me by my therapist who gave them out to all the kids. My first girlfriend(a samoan girl) was sexually abused by michael gaffney before he was fired for behavioral misconduct towards students. I was staying at taus(one of the workers who was actually kind to me) when a student refused to pray and told them to stop pushing their religious bullshit at me.taus son pita gave him a bloody jaw and the male members of the family proceeded to chase him around the property while he tried to hide. I was locked in hell for 3 years and dont care about your phony ass story. I dont know why your sucking the programs dick so hard but ill tell you two things:

      1) Dont tell me not to speack ill of rodney rice. Hes a manipulative, short, greedy, big nosed, bull shit spewing fucker whos just a sucky football player who wanted some way to make money because the nfl didnt want his short legs and lack of skills fucking up their fields. So he gets an online degree and opens up these little shitholes in polynesia and america and rakes in money.

      Stop spewing bullshit here. I have plenty of friends on facebook who all went through the same shit so stop sucking cras cock online. Didnt you suck enough when you were there mike?

      Reply

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