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Maia Szalavitz discovers that Gitmo isn't the only prison camp Mitt Romney wants to double.

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    Great... Except Sembler is a *top* money man. Romney will be much better off with the money Sembler has already and will be able to bring in, and his spinsters will have no problem mitigating any negative impact Straight Inc might have on the campaign. Something like "Mr. Sembler's altruistic intent to save these precious children from the perils of their crippling drug addiction was undermined by the..." well, you get the idea.

  • ||

    Sembler's Romney's finance chair? Ugh, as if I needed another reason to hope he loses.

  • ||

    Torture? wha?

    If it's not affecting the current administration why should it be an issue with Romney?

  • ||

    Oh yea, I's children we're talking about, not 'terrorists'...though sometimes I fail to see the distinction.

  • ||

    If Romney gets the nomination you know the mainstream Dems will not bring this issue up for fear that opposing the torture of teens will make them look soft on crime or something...

  • Fluffy||

    Romney also likes to torture the family dog. He turned his station wagon into a torture chamber. Who needs Guantanamo when you can just put Mitt behind the wheel of a large automobile?

  • ||

    I was actually sent to Paradise Cove in Western Samoa from Dec 97 - Dec 98. I dont have time to type out the details but I will say that while there was some 'abuse' there was a huge 'personal responsibility' message that they preached. Punishment came for breaking the rules, plain and simple. The more serious the rule, the more serious the punishment, and in the end all you had to do was be responsible for your self (and accountable) and the punishment stopped; rewards were incrementally awarded. Further, most of the kids there actually were pretty fucked up so the few that did manage to get sent there without serious issues ought to blame their parents for not being better parents, or some line of thought like that. The program had its faults but in the end it opened my eyes and saved me from being a fuck up in life. I still won't vote for an ass-hat like Romney, though

  • Rhywun||


    He named his child Tagg?! Sadly, only the single "g" version is a Utah baby name.

  • Brian Sorgatz||

    This proves once again that teenagers are the new niggers.

  • Brian Sorgatz||

    Don't click my link above. Click this one instead.

  • ||

    Lichfield and Organized Crime or RICO Act charges come to mind for me. In one year 2 million dollars donated in campaign revenue to Republican power brokers. Nearly 93 million in gross revenues, no crime unless you know these programs. Lichfield lives in LaVerkin Utah, I for 9 years lived in Hurricane Utah, the adjacent city 5 miles away. Lichfield operated Cross Creek in LaVerkin, I operated a California based "For Kids Sake" which was child abuse prevention. Upon my first enquirey I was lied to. Years later I know the victims and the under handed legal tactics that Lichfield has used to silence those EMPLOYEES that tried to expose detailed abuses. Focus on a court ordered GAG on Roberts sister-in-law and ask yourself what she knew which was so important that he settled by ordering her to be silent about alleged abuses. My exposure included a link to polygamy where I addressed the childbride issue and related dialog with the Utah AG's staff. Go ahead and interview Utah AG Mark Shurtleff, the WWASP issue runs deep than this article, though I am impressed by what was written here.

    You should do a piece on how poor parents morgaged their homes to pay tuition they could not afford, as much as $55,000. per year! Then there is is it Dwayne the ex-marine parent instructor who belittles insecure parents that have not figured out child rearing yet? Or the San Francisco congressman who launched a federal inquirey? Its hard for republican's to do the right thing after Lichfield has raised millions or donated 50k to your campaign war chest.

  • ||

    I was in 2 WWASP programs when I was a teenager. My greatest crime, like mentioned in the article, was being less interested in school than other activities. I spent a year in the two facilities (Casa By the Sea in Mexico and Spring Creek in Montana)and was subject to the abuse and neglect mentioned. I also wittnessed the manipulation of the parents. The employees of these schools are taught to lie to students, parents and the public in order to keep children there longer and the school open. It sickens me to think that these schools are still operating and being supported by government officials. If Romney is truly un-aware of the abuse in these schools then shame on him for not looking fully into things before supporting them.

  • JohnD||

    These kids are sent to places like this as a last resort. Most of them will end up in prison or dead if drastic measures aren't taken.

    Are some of these palces abusive? Sure. Are some of the parents abuse? Sure. Are most of these kids there for good reason Sure.

    Deal with it you bleeding hearts

  • Alexia Parks||

    My book, An American GULAG, Secret P.O.W. Camps for Teens, describes the physical and psychological abuse suffered by teens at these so called "boarding schools" for troubled teens. What is needed to shut them down is a national discussion on Youth Rights and a movement to guarantee teens the same rights to life and liberty that all other Americans share.

  • Maia||

    JohnD, you have been taken in by government propaganda. Only 17,000 teens-- out of 40 million-- die each year from *all* causes, including cancer and car accidents that have nothing to do with teen bad behavior.

    Most kids sent to these programs are *not* at great risk of death-- and there's no evidence that the programs *reduce their already low risk*. In fact, they may increase it because many kids report greater engagement in riskier behavior *after* these programs compared to before.

    Active heroin addicts only have a 1-4% chance per year of dying-- and most of these kids have never even seen, let alone used heroin. They smoke pot and drink mainly: like most American kids. Sure, there are some who do have severe problems-- but these kids need professional help, not attacks led by people who don't even have a high school education.

    Read the stories: most of the teens who get sent by the programs' own admission have as their biggest problem being unable to communicate with their parents.

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    As a personal friend of Mitt Romney, I know that he is supportive of any and ALL efforts to make bad teens eat vomit while dehydrated in the desert while being sexually abused and beaten with snakes and sticks.

    Some of you folks commenting are real funny.

  • ||

    I am almost too disgusted for words to comment on the Buchenwald-style environment to which teens, supposedly "troubled" (and thus deserving of psychological and physical torture), have been subject -- and with your tax dollars and mine. It is a national scandal.

    The author should be commended for great muckraking. My only criticism is that she might have more thoroughly explored the religious-fundamentalist angle. Religious fanatics have shown themselves more than once as a whole to be more predisposed to committing, and rationalizing, child abuse than those evil "secularists." Who the hell is this Sembler guy anyway? We know this much: He's from Utah, Account Central to the LDS Mormon Church -- Romney's.

    Why are these Politically Koresh child abuse centers getting government money? Who's pulling the bureaucratic strings to get the grants approved? Frank Zappa, I order you back from the dead. Make a CD. We need you -- now. Liberty for every individual!!

  • ||

    im glad this article has reached out to people i think its about time that more people were aware of whats really going on at these facilities

    id like to make a point to everyone, to the kids who have been brainwashed into thinking they deserved to be mistreated and the adults who honestly believe they do.

    what went on in these facilities was wrong, regardless of the severity per case, this corporation has developed a system brillaintly devised to manipulate desperate parents in order to charge $50,000 a year to oppress mistreat and abuse their kids.

    how can you posibly think there is any excuse for that?... because the kids did drugs. they probably did drugs because their parents didnt know how to raise them, case and point the decision to send their child to a torturous child prison with out doing the proper research!

    what happen to me was wrong. before i was sent to casa i hadnt touched any hard drugs, i had no criminal record. i was diagnosed with ADD and manic depressive disorder BEFORE i went to the program and besides the fact that it was clear that i needed medical treatment the program was still glad to take my mothers money and my college fund. and when it seemed that their methods of control werent working, they inforced physical abuse. i wasnt defiant, i was not a danger to myself or anyone else at anytime, i just couldnt remember to stand still in line or not to talk without first raising my hand to speak. THESE ARE NOT CRIMES AND SHOULD NOT BE PUNISHABLE!

    so if you think we all deserved to be there and deserved to be punished im sorry but your very very very wrong. none of us deserved the countless kinds of abuse we endured. none of us!

    Thank you maria for being a voice for the kids who went through this and those who are being abused as we speak.

    keep fighting!
    keep speaking out!
    keep writing!
    someday well be able to make a difference.

  • JT Barrie||

    It's all a matter of false associations. You associate those being abused with the most pathological people in society and then justify abusive behavior. "They deserve no better treatment" is often heard by those making those false associations. If it is not voiced it is implied in these types of defenses.
    It's pure Reaganism. As Meese stated "If you are a suspect that means you're guilty". I believe in stern punishment for chronic offenders. We don't have enough jail space for guys who refuse to walk to their local watering hole because we spend those resources to punish those who are presumed guilty.


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