A Sassy Little Podcast for Getting Over It with Sandra Ann Miller – Cult-Based Trauma with Erin Coffin Moore – Phoenix House is a therapeutic community based on a now-defunct cult, Synanon. Erin Coffin Moore was placed in Phoenix House when she was 16. “Tough Love” and institutionalizing “troubled” teens were touted as solutions for parents in the 1980s and 90s. Adults (teachers, police, social workers) fail to listen or believe kids when trouble at home is noticed, or to follow up on their welfare. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Phoenix House had contracts with state and local governments to serve as a diversion program for juvenile offenders and yet no authorities were keeping a close eye on the abuses there for children 13-17, co-ed, run by adults who were unqualified, unlicensed and untrained. From 2-minute showers to free labor, to encounter groups called “The Game” where berating a fellow “family member” was encouraged, as was ratting out others, including your family, abuse occurred daily. Ridicule was considered “a tool”, and so was hostility. Civil rights violations were rampant (those in the adult facilities would sue to go back to prison where they would be treated better). The place where Paris Hilton went was also based on Synanon. These places still exist.