Kidnappers, Inc.

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Maybe you've heard of abuse factories like Tranquility Bay, where parents too lazy or irresponsible to do the hard work of parenting send their kids (often guilty of little more than talking back or being caught with a joint) to be "behavior modified." The new issue of Legal Affairs profiles one of the scumbags who makes his living getting them there.

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  1. What the hell kind of gulag is that? And what the hell kind of parents would condemn their child to that fate?

  2. I was locked in a similar place here in America when I was a teenager. Some of the parents were brainwashed into thinking it was in the kid’s best interest, while others were just too lazy to abuse their kids themselves. From time to time I still have nightmares about it.

  3. Scumbag???? What does that make the parents? As the article says, tough love beats being dead or in jail.

  4. Tough love may beat death or jail, but from what I’ve seen concerning these schools, there’s no “love” involved.

    Personally, I think I’d rather spend time in the state pen than one of those Tranquility Bay-type places. At least in prison, you get three meals a day and you can contact the outside if you’re being abused.

  5. Owner’s Manual-
    Assuming you’re not being sarcastic, I’d like to point out that a lot of the inmates in these camps (and their precursors, the for-profit adolescent mental hospitals of the 80s) are there not for using drugs or committing other self-destructive behaviors, but for things like simple disobedience or disagreeing with their parent’s religions. Also, even for the kids with problems, the definition of “problem” is stretched to the point of meaninglessness–the kid caught drinking a single beer is branded an alcoholic; the kid who listens to gloomy music is labeled “clinically depressed.” This sort of thing is why I don’t believe parents should have complete and utter control over their children, because it’s foolish to think we live in an Ozzie and Harriet world where all parents have their kids’ best interests at heart.

  6. Flashbacks to “The Talisman.”

  7. I have a friend in high school who went to one of these schools in Utah. It didn’t seem to help much. All she learned there was bisexuality (not a bad thing to pick up though), though she is married now and finishing up seminary school. I think the parents here mean well, better than the parents on Springer, but are misguided. They don’t know what to do. I can sympathize. My brother had some major issues in high school, but cleaned up. No one, not even my bro, knows why or how, but he did. I’m sure if my folks had heard about one of these places they would have considered it, though they are pretty skeptical and I think 15 minutes of Internet research would have changed their minds post haste.

    And Owners Manual, the dude is a scumbag. These parents may have been desperate, but they never molested their step-daughters. Heck, I’m not even sure I buy the fact that he didn’t touch that girl he was transporting, witness or no.

  8. “Scumbag???? What does that make the parents? As the article says, tough love beats being dead or in jail.”

    Tough love != abuse. And this is clearly abuse. Hell, if I was rich, I’d pull a Ross Perot and hire some mercs to go kill the people working there and burn the whole place down.

  9. Why are these places located outside the United States? I’m not saying the U.S. system of laws is always fair and right (e.g. war on drugs) but if you’re doing something to children that wouldn’t be allowed in the U.S., you’re doing something that ain’t right.

  10. They had at least one place located in the U.S., and it did indeed get shut down. Ditto to Mark’s caveat about the legal system, but the fact that they can’t get away with their methods here ought to be a huge red flag to parents.

  11. Assuming you’re not being sarcastic, I’d like to point out that a lot of the inmates in these camps (and their precursors, the for-profit adolescent mental hospitals of the 80s) are there not for using drugs or committing other self-destructive behaviors, but for things like simple disobedience or disagreeing with their parent’s religions.

    Yes, indeed! I was in one of those in the 70’s.

    I feel pretty much the same way about these scumbags that Czar does.

    Maybe The Owner’s Manual would like to try on one of these places himself for size. Words fail me.

  12. “Hell, if I was rich, I’d pull a Ross Perot and hire some mercs to go kill the people working there and burn the whole place down.”

    That has kind of an extreme, Escobaresque sound to it, and though I can sympathize with the sentiment, I would certainly insist that those fat Mexican women from the kitchen be left alone. Really, though, all you can do in the face of this is just cry at the sort of society we’ve become, where we have Jesus nut serial molesters running private police forces to drag teenagers to foreign shitholes to be essentially tortured. I am somewhat consoled, though, by the vague suspicion that one of these kids is probably going to kill the guy one of these days, not that that would really even be justifiable — or consequential in a culture already so far gone.

  13. We have a society and a generation of parents that are completely inacapable of taking responsibility. I have this kid and can’t get along with him, so here take him to a third world hellhole and brainwash him so I don’t have to raise him. If there is any doubt that these places are abusive hellholes it is ended by the fact that they are located outside the US. If they weren’t hellholes, why go to Mexico if not to avoid US child protection laws? I sometimes think that there isn’t a hell becaue people really don’t deserve it, then I read about people like this and am convinced of the errors of my ways.

  14. These parents better develop either an excellent rapport with their other children, or a fondness for bedsores, because in thirty years when said parents are trapped in a shithole of a nursing home their Tranquility Bay alumni children won’t do a damn thing to help their parents out. At least I hope not.

  15. Tranquility Bay is just the tip of the iceberg. There is a huge “troubled teen” industry that’s grown like a cancer over the past decade that includes residential facility centers, therapeutic boarding schools and wilderness programs mostly in states like Utah which have little or not regulation and no enforcement. Kids are locked up, often for just being teens, at the worst of them (tranquility bay types have been shut down for the most part) horrendous isolation rooms are used for punishment, forced drugging, and almost all severely limit contact with the world to parents, kids can’t call an attorney, friends, often not even their parents without monitoring. The facilities and staff are inadequate. I could go on. The profits are huge. It’s a horror story.I have a blog devoted to this issue. I hope to see more:

    href http://www.isetsu.net/d2thetti/index.html

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