Sunday, December 8, 2013

Film-project: Kidnapped for Christ

This movie is about a boy who is sent to a remote Christian Boot Camp because he is gay. The movie follows the attempt to get him out.

The boot camp closed down in 2012 and is now marketed by a different company. It remains unknown if the program still is run in a similar matter.


Friday, November 1, 2013

Teen Transport center of investigation in California

A program for teenagers called 180 recon is currently under investigations.

An article in Huffington Post states:

The camp kidnaps kids from their homes in the middle of the night, with consent of the parents. According to its website, the "paramilitary" program begins with “breaking [campers] down in order to build them back up." Kids who go there may have a bad attitude, bad grades, use drugs or exhibit violent or disrespectful behavior. Recon 180 is supposed to give teenagers a 180-degree turn in their lives and instill some “good old-fashioned morals,” the site says.

"This isn't a scared straight [SIC]. This is abuse. These kids were seriously injured and this type of stuff needs to stop," LASD Sgt. Dan Scott told ABC.

Does it mean that kidnapping even with the consent of the parents suddenly is regarded illegal in California?

Hopefully it is the case. Fact is that many teenagers are taken from their homes with parental consent. Many in handcuffs and leg restraints even without arrests and convictions of their record. What is going on during these transports is difficult to determine.

It is easy to understand that this may cause lifelong trauma putting a burden on their adult lives.

We can only appeal to the politicians that they outlaw the so-called intervention firms and the nightly kidnappings. If parents have teenagers they believe is out of control they should seek help by the authorities - even if it means placing the child in care of the system.

Edgar Alvarado, Ruben Romero Arrested For Allegedly Abusing Teens At Boot Camp (VIDEO) (The Huffington Post)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

rjm2013 being sent to an abusive program

A person known as rjm2013 gave this testimony on Reddit about the experience of being transported by a youth transport firm. All rights goes to the original author:

This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write. It has taken me 5 years to be able to write about my experience, but I know if I am to truly move on with my life I must get things off my chest.

For a start, it was just me and my mom. My dad passed away when I was younger. I was always very close to my mom, and I really did adore her. We were very similar people; we liked the same things; we found the same things funny; and we both really enjoyed each other’s company. Aside from losing my dad, who I dearly loved, my life was great. I had a very privileged background and I never wanted for anything. I was an A grade student with aspirations to be a doctor; I loved baseball and ice-skating; I never touched drugs or alcohol; I didn’t cause my mom any problems, and I was never in trouble with the law.

But when I was 15, I ‘came out’ to my mom, and she didn't take it very well. She wasn't happy about it. However, despite knowing that she didn't like it, she wasn't horrible about it, and she didn't treat me badly or call me names or anything of that nature. I thought that given some time she'd realize that it wasn't something bad, and that I was still the same person I ever was. I wasn’t “camp” at all; nobody could easily have guessed I was gay.

My mom never gave me any clue that she was so opposed to me being gay. She didn't suggest that I speak to anyone or anything like that; the whole abduction came as a total shock. The day before I was taken in the night, I remember vividly. It's the day I call 'the last day of my life'. Things have never been truly right or happy since. In a strange way I feel as if my life ended that day, even though I'm still alive. I'm not sure if many people will understand that, but that is how I feel.

The day beforehand was actually a very nice day. We were together all day; I helped her out with the washing and in the garden, we had a nice lunch and dinner, and we sat and watched a funny movie in the evening. We laughed and joked; I was happy and she appeared happy. There was no awkwardness between us, and I went to bed feeling good. I've often wondered if she had a guilty conscience that day and questioned herself, or whether it was just deliberate deception and she was quite happy about it. I don’t think I will ever know the truth.

However, the first thing I knew about what was happening was when two men came into my bedroom at what must have been 3 or 4 AM in the morning. I heard absolutely nothing prior to them coming in. I was fast asleep. The room was totally dark apart from the light coming in through my open door; and it was the sound of the door opening and the bright light from outside my room which woke me. It was then that I saw two strange men who didn’t belong in my house. It was seconds after that that my mom turned on my bedroom light, by which time the men were either side of my bed. I had no idea what was going on; I had never seen those men before. I didn’t know what my mom was doing with them. I was dazed and confused after having been so abruptly woken in those circumstances.

My mom just stood a little inside the door and didn't come near my bed. She said to me that I would be going away for a little while and that the two men were going to take me there; she also said that everything was OK and that I shouldn't be worried. She said nothing else but that. I didn't know why this was happening; I didn't know where I was going; or for how long. It was just sprung on me from nowhere. I was shocked and frightened; and I adamantly said that I wasn't going anywhere.

Immediately after I'd said that, one of the men struck me across the face, before turning to my mom and saying: "We'll take it from here". My mom seemed shocked by that, but she didn't say or do anything; she just gave me a long look and left the room. I wasn’t hit hard; but the ring the man was wearing did hurt me when it came into contact with my face. I couldn’t believe what had just happened, and that my mom had stood by and let it happen without a word being said. I knew from that moment that I had to fight back. I knew that something was unbelievably wrong…this couldn’t possibly be legal…or so I thought.

Once my mom had left the room, I was instructed by the fat man that there was to be no talking from now on; I was to be totally silent, and I was not allowed to say a word. I was also told that I was to get up immediately and dress myself, and that I wasn’t allowed to put on any footwear. He said that once I was dressed, I would be handcuffed and taken to the car; and that I would leave in total silence. He then informed me of the faux choice: “You can do this the easy way, or the hard way”. There was no way I was going anywhere easily. I fought; and I fought hard. I wasn’t going to be silent; I wasn’t going to do as they said; I wasn’t going to comply with anything they wanted me to do. I cannot describe the level of fright and fear which ran through my veins when all this was happening; it is impossible to put into words.

I cried out at the top of my lungs and I made more noise than I've ever made in my life. I shouted for my mom, but they grabbed me when I did. My shouts for my mom then turned into screams. They were being physical with me and extremely aggressive. I was so frightened, and I had no idea what all this was about; they were not police officers, and I knew I had done nothing wrong. I hoped in vain that my mom might intervene and stop what was going on. But it didn’t happen. Despite all of the noise, the bangs, the screams and the shouts, which would have sent a shiver down the spine of any normal human being; she never came to help me.

But I did resist and I am proud of myself for it. I'm not violent at all, but I did as good a job as I could in defending myself. After my mom had left my room, they were able to turn me over onto my front and pull my hands behind my back, and they cuffed me almost right away. I was still shouting and screaming, but they turned me over again to get me up. I then started to kick out at them as hard as I could. I scored a few hits on them, but it still did no good. They then forced me back on to my chest again so I couldn't kick, and one of them held me down by my back, while the other grabbed my feet and tied my ankles together so I couldn't kick out again.

After that, I was turned over once more, but that time, seizing the only chance I had left, I bit one of their hands and very hard! I drew quite a bit of blood from him, and to this day I'm so fucking pleased about it. I hope I scarred him. He cried out in pain, but it was over quickly as the other guy pressed in my eyes with his thumbs which caused me to let go. I've no idea if that is something which they are taught to do in those circumstances. That was my last chance. They then put a large strip of tape across my mouth to stop me biting again. That they come 'prepared' with cuffs, ties, tape and all sorts of things just shows how truly sick those people are.

But that was the end of my fight. I couldn't do anything more and I was tired and stressed more than I can describe. Once my mouth had been taped and all fell silent, my mom called out from downstairs "Is everything alright?” The fatter guy of the two shouted out "Yes, we're leaving right now". I wasn't fully dressed; they just carried me off my bed and out the bedroom door wearing only a thin bed shirt and sweatpants. Nothing else. I can't describe how they carried me very well, but I refused to stand. I was too tired anyway and my feet were tied so I couldn't walk even if I wanted to. I was carried down the stairs and outside facing downwards; one of them took me with one arm under my chest and the other looped under my cuffed arms (which hurt badly), while the other took me by the legs.

My mom was at the door, and I even though I hate her, I am sure she was horrified by what she saw. I don't think she expected it to be like that. She still didn't do anything though. She said nothing and just put her hands up to her mouth. I looked at her with the wildest eyes I've ever managed, and I was crying at the same time. My final act before being taken out the door was to let out the biggest noise I could towards her. It sounded a like a roar. Seconds later I was in their car, strapped into something that looked like a large baby seat. My mom was then outside, still with her hands up to her mouth; and she still said and did nothing. I don't know what she was thinking. I don't know whether she thought she'd gone too far to back out, or what. But I am near certain that she didn't expect what happened. I think in some way she probably thought I'd just get up and go with them quietly without a fuss. I don't know though; it's hard to know what was going on inside her twisted head.

When we pulled away from the house, I still had no idea where we were going, or why, or for how long. I was terribly afraid. My heart was beating so fast it was nearly coming out of my chest; and I honestly thought I might have a heart attack because I was so extremely stressed. I think it must have been about 45 minutes (I'm estimating with the timings, which are probably inaccurate) before they actually started speaking to me. I couldn't speak because I had tape over my mouth. It was only after that, that they said where I was going - just the name of the place and what it was, but not the actual location - and also why I was going there. My heart literally broke at that very moment, and I remember it as if it were a second ago. I cannot describe the pain. I just sobbed. I knew they weren't lying because there was no way they could have known about that, my mom had to have told them; I was going away to get “help” with my “homosexuality”. It was spoken about just like that – as if it were a disease.

I couldn't believe that was the reason I was being put through all this, even though I knew it certainly had to be the truth. I also couldn't believe that they had come for me, undertaken all that they had done to me, and were quite happy to take me away just because of that. I can only say that it felt like being taken to jail for a crime you didn't commit, with no chance of doing anything about it. It is one of the worst feelings imaginable. The 6 hour journey by car was mostly uneventful. I know it was 6 hours because they said so; apparently they made good time.

Around half way they stopped, had a break, went for a piss, and got something to eat. They did so one by one, so I wasn't left on my own. After that they asked me if I had calmed down (still with tape over my mouth) and asked if I needed a piss or wanted a drink. I did, so I nodded. The fat guy wasn't happy about letting me out of the car or taking the tape off. So I had to piss in a large bottle while sitting there in the back of the car strapped to the large baby seat. They didn't uncuff me for it; the thinner guy pulled down my sweatpants and put the bottle under my dick. I felt very humiliated by it. Once I'd finished, the same guy took the tape off my mouth. The fat guy said that he wasn't having anything to do with that; and if the other guy got bitten then that was his own fault. I didn't bite that time. There was no point. As the thinner guy said to the fat guy that I'd calmed down, he asked the fat guy about untying my ankles, but the fat guy was having none of it. He said he didn't want to risk me kicking out in the back. After which we were back on the road again.

Once the tape was removed from my mouth in the second stage of the car journey, I started asking to phone my mom. They refused. I insisted that things were wrong, that if I could speak with my mom we'd sort things out. They kept refusing. They were cold and unfeeling with me. I got told by the fat guy words such as this in response (I can't remember the exact words, but this is paraphrasing roughly what he said):

"Look son, your mother has hired us to take you to your program. There is no mistake. This is what your mother wants. She has paid for you to be there a long time; and its happening whether you like it or not. If your mother didn't want you to go then you wouldn't be here – with us - right now, would you? A phone call is not going to change her mind… You are going to your program."

There is so much more that happened, and one day I hope to get around to writing it all. Everything I went through has deeply affected me, and there isn’t a day that passes without it being constantly on my mind.

My abduction and transport to an abusive program. (A Reddit article)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Book: Janice's Journey

In 2006 a Danish teenager went on a holiday at her mother’s place or at least so she believed. As it turned out differences in the Danish and American youth culture meant that she found herself categorized as an at-risk teen despite being regarded a normal school girl in Denmark.

She has told her story to the Ylä Maatila who helped her rewrite her diary and various notebook entries into a biography which are published for free at Movellas.

Her story deals with the issue of being dumped in an alien culture with values very unlike the values she had been raised with.

Can she use the skills learned to change her destiny outlined for her due the special Danish structure with social classes structuring the future of young Danes based on their social heritage or will she return to Denmark having remained true to the cultural standards of her birth culture?

Janice's journey (by Janice Jensen and Ylä Maatila)