What do Mitt Romney, Bain Capital and the notorious Troubled Teen Industry have in common?… Sadly, quite a lot.
I wouldn’t consider myself a “Troubled Teen”… Well I guess you could call it that, but really I was just a head strong teenager diagnosed with ADD, and had more interest in socializing than doing homework. Sure, I drank alcohol on a few occasions and tried marijuana, but by age 15 I could still barely count all my uses on one hand. I wasn’t lost, and I certainly wasn’t hopeless, I was just growing up too fast and my single mother didn’t really know how to handle that. We fought all the time, over the silliest of things, so I ran away to live with my grandparents.
At her “witt’s end” my mother, googled “Help my Teen” and what she found was a Teen Behavior Modification Program, or Therapeutic Boarding School as they are often referred to as today. Through an educational consultant (EdCon), she was recommended to a program called Casa By The Sea in Ensenada Mexico owned by WWASP, World Wide Association of Specialty Programs and Schools or Teen Revitalization as it has become today. To this day I don’t blame her for her initial decision to reach out for help, but help isn’t what she found from WWASP… What she got was conned… and I was tortured.
The problem is Casa By the Sea wasn’t the only abusive school out there and WWASP, now Teen Revitalization, is only one of the Multi-Million dollar corporations that make up a The Troubled Teen Industry. The Troubled Teen Industry is a global term for any privately owned teen detention facility, (some that accept government grants), that operate a “Tough Love” system and utilize the infliction of stress, humiliation, pain, isolation and over exercising as punishment for punitive rule violations. These “residential treatment facilities” commonly utilize pseudo-scientific methods, hire unqualified staff and operate under no clinical standards or child protective regulations.
I know what your thinking… “That just sounds like a Military School/ Bootcamp” But what you don’t know is how far these people take the punishments, and to what length they will go to humiliate you, brainwash you, and break you down in order to send you back home, just grateful to still be alive. I was locked in dog cages for days, made to lay out on my face in the middle of the scorching desert sun, beaten unconscious and nearly drowned by a staff member who found a letter I wrote home describing the daily abuse. These people are child abusers, they are sick, they are perverted… and they are still operating programs today. Despite the multitude of allegations of abuse against the owners and current employees of the troubled teen industry, thousands of families are still getting sucked into these programs, controlled by fear, lies and the cult-like practices of a company who’s only real interest is to make an un-godly amount of money.
For over a decade now we have been monitoring and reporting on new abuses in the Troubled Teen Industry, so it’s no secret that abuse, both physical and sexual, as well as psychologically damaging practices are still being used in these facilities today. What you don’t know is why?… and how are these people STILL getting away with essentially torturing american children? To answer that, you need look no further than our front running Republican Candidate, Mitt Romney. To explain, why don’t I first give you a few facts…
In 2008, Mitt Romney ran for President, boasting a massive campaign budget he looked like a sure bet to stomp his way through to the top. However, this dream came to a swift end once the public found out that his financial co-chair Robert Lichfield, owner of WWASP is the primary defendant in a pending civil suit on behalf of over 350 plaintiffs suing for a long list of maltreatment including Assault, Willful Negligence, Sexual Abuse and Fraud. Around the same time a counselor from WWASP was found guilty of Assault and false imprisonment.
In light of this, Mitt Romney asked Lichfield to step down from his position and a statement was released by Ken Kay, President of then WWASP:
“Governor Romney has asked Mr. Lichfield to step down and not be involved in any more fundraising until the lawsuit is resolved in the positive, which we are confident will happen,” Kay said via e-mail to the Radar Magazine
Mel Sembler, Mitt Romney’s current financial co-chair and one of Romney’s biggest contributors, is responsible for the starting of Straight Inc. one of the MOST notorious networks of involuntary drug rehabilitation centers which even in it’s closure in the early 90′s spawned the re-opening of multiple spin-off programs, (most closed, some still in operation today) all with the same “straight” model of brainwashing and all with the same systematic abuse. Today Straight has a new name, and a seemingly new direction, in it’s guise as the Drug Free America Foundation, as a republican Anti-Drug think tank.
In 2006, Romney’s own Bain Capitol, bought Aspen Education, The Parent company to another long list of notorious tough love schools, and “wilderness programs” who have countless reports of abuse and even death. At least one of which, Mount Bachelor Academy, has recently been subject to a lawsuit alleging emotional, physical and sexual abuse.
In 2011, at a campaign stop in Iowa, Mitt’s wife Ann Romney said working with “at risk” kids would be the cause she devotes herself to if she becomes first lady.
Even though she has acknowledged that abuse has and still does exist in the Troubled Teen Industry, she still intends to heard your kids on into these teen torture camps… and make some pretty decent money off it as well. All the while, her husband will be vetoing any legislations to reform and advocate for kids currently detained in these facilities. Giving these corporations all the power they need to silence their victims, continue draining the bank accounts of desperate parents and abusing their children.
Another interesting connection to Romney and the Troubled Teen Industry is through another one of his former campaign co-chairs, Paul Babeu, who stepped down amidst a scandal involving a threat to deport his gay lover. However his truly scandalous past lies in his days as headmaster of the troubled teen program, DeSisto School. While Babeu escaped any charges for the multiple accounts of abuse by former students, he was found to be involved in an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 17 year old male student.
These people are running the scam of the century and our government is allowing them to do so with no accountability whatsoever. Not to mention, it’s all in the name of God… As Robert Lichfield, as a Mormon sees himself doing “God’s Work” and the survivors who oppose him as “evil” and fueled by Satan. ::eyeroll:: Which leads me to question where they are coming up with these assumptions that the programs have actually been successful at rehabilitating teens when no clinical studies or surveys have been done. I find it very hard to believe, especially when every survivor I have ever spoke to has said these places caused them harm and caused the relationships with their families to suffer. False advertising isn’t anything new for the troubled teen industry. These corporations have the money to buy themselves the best online marketing and provide you with some pretty convincing testimonials. Sometimes it’s even hard to tell the good programs from the bad ones but the facts remain, these places are still violating human rights and torturing american citizens. They need to be stopped, not given a pass by our government just because they have financial ties to Mitt Romney.
The question I now ask you is this… Can you vote for Mitt Romney knowing he profits from the torture of children and shows preference to special interests who have children’s blood on their hands?…
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