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Breaking Code Silence Blog2021-06-15T19:28:39-07:00

Breaking Code Silence Blog

Breaking Code Silence Blog is your one stop for everything #BreakingCodeSilence, where survivors and allies can go to find information about Advocacy,  Awareness, Legislation, Research, survivor articles, dissertation digests,  and information on the troubled teen industry.

Conversion Therapy – The Longterm Effects

It’s Pride month in the United States, and while celebrations of diversity and inclusion are underway, many in the LGBTQIA+ community are struggling with a very dark and troubling past. For some community members, there is pain lurking below the surface, a pain that exists because of a practice widely known as conversion therapy. This form of torture is as much a threat to youth in America today as it has been for the last century. The ‘Troubled Teen Industry’ has been keeping this method of ‘therapy’ nestled tightly under its umbrella of programs, aimed at profiting off of some of our most vulnerable youth. In the year,1899, Albert von Schrenck-Notzing, a German psychiatrist, made the first public claim to have allegedly cured, a homosexual man of his sexual orientation. Shrenck-Notzing came to this conclusion, through a series of forced heterosexual encounters, electric shocks, and intense sessions of hypnosis. Conversion therapy was touted as a successful treatment over the course of the twentieth century, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Not only do these “treatments''  prove to be harmful and ineffective, there are numerous studies that show how such practices have created long term, negative psychological and physiological effects. In addition, many of these practices were carried out and tested on the BIPOC community before being predominantly used on the white, upper class in the early trials of the 1900’s. Conversion therapy has since been proven to be a pseudoscience, however legislation on this topic is still a state-by-state ...

How EMDR Changed My Life – by Haywood Robinson

Sweating, heavy breathing, uncontrollable weeping, darkness, yelling, sheer terror...it was like I was back there all over again, but reliving the scariest moment of my life was completely worth it in the end. In this post, I will share with you my experience with EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy and why I highly recommend it, especially for fellow survivors of the troubled teen industry. While it can be a terrifying process to go through, the results can be absolutely life changing. Since you are reading this, I’m sure you are familiar with the troubled teen industry and the many dangers of their practices. However, you may not be familiar with the abusive seminars primarily practiced in the WWASP programs. These seminars lasted for several days. They restricted your food, allowed very little sleep, and made the children participate in humiliating, degrading, and psychologically torturous exercises in an effort to “break” the child so they could be built back up again. In the first seminar that I completed, I was tormented into admitting a sexual assault I had experienced. Later on, I was made to bang a towel wrapped in duct tape on the floor, screaming at my abuser while fellow program boys yelled in my face, “You’re a dirty whore! You’re a little slut! You deserved this! You were asking for this!” At one point one of them pushed a pillow against me simulating the pressure of my abuser while I continuously yelled at them, “I’m worthy! ...

June 23, 2021|Categories: Advocacy, Awareness, Survivor Stories, Troubled Teen Industry|

The month of June is so much more than the start of summer – June is Pride Month!

Pride Month is a month-long celebration of the LBGTQIA+ community and the many friends, family, and allies who stand with them. This month is a time to stand proud and celebrate the self awareness, diversity, dignity, and history of the community. LBGT History month was founded by a high-school history teacher named Rodney Wilson in Missouri, USA and it was first celebrated in 1994. The council chose to use the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots, which took place in Manhattan, New York. The demonstration of the Stonewall riots is one of the founding moments that led the LBGT community on a path of inclusion and acceptance. Now the community celebrates this history during the month of June by hosting large events from parades, concerts, charities, and more all while promoting awareness and providing a safe space for younger generations. One of the ongoing battles our LBGTQIA+ youth face today is being sent to the ‘Troubled Teen Industry.’ These facilities are primarily focused on ‘behavioral modification’ types of therapeutic treatments for ‘troubled teens' ranging from ages 9-17. LBGTQIA+ youth may be sent away for simply identifying as such and not meeting their parent/guardians ideal family dynamic. This creates a back door in places were conversion therapy has been banned or restricted. Conversion therapy has been around for centuries but it has taken hold as religious freedom laws have often allowed religious based facilities to operate completely unchecked and unregulated by any government body. Currently only 20 ...

Get Over It? The Surprisingly Pervasive Effects of Childhood Trauma on Adult Mental and Physical Health

Many practitioners of various kinds are beginning to agree on one thing: there is a very strong link between adverse childhood experiences and adult health problems, mental and physical.  Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have a tremendous impact on adult victimization, career and educational opportunities, mental illness, addiction, and physical disease, including cancer. From 1995 to 1997, a series of studies were conducted at Kaiser Permanente known as the ACE study.  Over 17,000 individuals were studied, and underwent physical examinations, mental health evaluations, and interviews regarding their childhood experiences.  It was found that ACEs were strongly linked to most of the leading causes of death in adults. They also found that certain groups, such as women, racial minorities, sexual and gender minorities, and those with neurodivergence or disability were more likely to have ACEs. What is an Adverse Childhood Experience?  The ACEs are divided into 10 categories. If you experienced any of these 10 categories, give yourself a point. 0-10 Before the age of 18, did you experience: 1.     Physical abuse 2.     Emotional or mental abuse 3.     Sexual abuse Before the age of 18, were you: 4.     Emotionally neglected 5.     Physically or medically neglected Before the age of 18, did someone in your family: 6.     Attempt suicide 7.     Go to prison 8.     Get divorced 9.     Experience battering 10.  Have a substance abuse problem These are by no means a comprehensive picture of ...

June 1, 2021|Categories: Awareness|Tags: , , , , , , |

What is “Waking Up”?

A common experience among the survivor community is the phenomenon of “waking up.” Waking up is the realization, often sudden, that the treatment one received within a program was wrong, immoral, and even abusive. It can be a disorientating, uncomfortable, and emotional process both for the survivor and for their loved ones, as they quickly shift from a positive or neutral view of the program to a negative one and begin to acknowledge and cope with the trauma they experienced. Abusive programs work hard to get their subjects to believe the abuse is normal or justified, often through a regime of “seminars” and “therapy” that is aimed at destroying the self-worth and independence of survivors. Students are bombarded with messaging that they are unloved and unlovable, that they deserve their abuse or that traumatic experiences were their fault, and that the program is saving their life so they should be grateful to their abusers. Attack therapy, LGAT (large group awareness training) seminars, cultish love-bombing and jargon, and other fringe practices are presented as normal and mainstream, and survivors often have no way of knowing the truth. This can engender a sense of trust and gratitude towards the program and causes many survivors to realize they are being abused even as the abuse is occurring. Often, some piece of the psyche understands the true situation, however. A thought-stopping pattern arises, where doubts about the program are subconsciously suppressed to avoid the cognitive dissonance inherent in the situation. Sometimes, these thought-stopping ...

June 1, 2021|Categories: Awareness|Tags: , , |

Breaking Code Silence statement in support of Chula Vista Safe

Breaking Code Silence is working tirelessly to end institutionalized child abuse in residential care facilities. It’s at the very core of our mission, and it’s why we stand beside Chula Vista Safe in demanding an end to the development of a new Acadia facility in the Eastlake/Rolling Hills Ranch Communities. Facilities within the United States that promote themselves as “residential therapeutic care facilities” have had a long stained history of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect of the vulnerable children under their care. Often these facilities are unregulated, under regulated, or under enforced, providing opportunities for abuses to occur that often go unseen. Acadia currently operates over 580 facilities within the U.S., with over 18,000 available beds in 40 states. Worldwide, they bring in $3 billion annually. They recently settled a court case for $17 million over an alleged billing scheme, the largest settlement in West Virginia history. Between 2014 and 2018, Acadias Oasis facility near Phoenix had been investigated numerous times for allegations of abuse and neglect within that one singular facility. These reports also included forged documents, sexual abuse, failure to provide safe houseing for patients, runaways, suicide attempts, and understaffing. Acadia facilities can not only harm those within their walls, but pose a threat to the communities they are in and the children they are meant to help. We stand with the concerned residents who make up the Chula Vista Safe community and strongly oppose the development of this Acadia facility. Get involved and make your ...

Chasing Pleasure With Pain

Chasing Pleasure With Pain - Haywood Robinson was just seventeen when she was sent to a behavioral modification program in Montana-a horrible and painful experience. This raw and emotional memoir chronicles Haywood's struggles with mental illness and her lack of a diagnosis until her thirties. It fearlessly tells of her experiences with toxic relationships, abortion, love addiction, eating disorders, and attempted suicides, and outlines her difficult climb back out of the darkness toward recovery. She wants readers to truly understand the agony of mental illness and the many difficulties people with mental illness go through every day of their lives. She hopes parents who read this book will consider dealing compassionately with their child's mental illness rather than resorting to a program that uses attack therapy and brainwashing...because those experiences usually do far more harm than good. Lastly, she wants people like herself to know they are not alone. That their feelings are valid and they are important.

Student Dies by Suicide at the Grove School, a Boarding School for “Struggling Adolescents”

SUNDAY, MAY 23rd - This past week, a young girl took her own life while under the care of the Grove School, a therapeutic boarding school in Madison, CT. Full details have yet to be released; however, a current student at the school confirmed the incident on social media. “We are still trying to process it,” the classmate said. “She was a friend and one of the nicest people I have ever gotten to know.” This is the second suicide in the last few years, the first resulting in a lawsuit recently filed against Grove School. The suit brought action against the school for wrongful death as a result of their alleged negligence and poorly trained/unqualified staff. The Grove School has made headlines in the past for various lawsuits, a coronavirus outbreak, and two students who went missing. The most recent lawsuit involved a teacher who was fired for posing semi-nude to support President Donald Trump. The Grove School was also hit with a lawsuit after a student was allegedly sexually assaulted. In another suit, a student claimed that the Grove School used improper restraint procedures. According to the lawsuit, the child had threatened to kill himself while under the school’s care. Andrew Pullak, one of the three defendants named in the suit, is still listed on the Grove School’s website as an active staff member and therapist. The student’s attorney said Pullak punched the young man in the eye while restraining him. As many facilities within the “Troubled ...

Religious exemption – Or excuse for abuse?

Circle of Hope may be finally closed, but for many of the victims, the fight is not over.  Stephanie and Boyd Householder, former long-time directors of a “troubled teen industry” program called Circle of Hope, were arrested and formally charged with over 100 felony counts of child sexual abuse, child physical abuse, and child neglect. Jerry Pyle, Pastor of the Bible Baptist Church of Vernon County, has now issued a statement to his congregation in support of the Householders, calling the charges “false, demonic accusations,” and asking for spiritual and financial support for the couple. Circle of Hope officially shut down in August 2020, when investigators removed all children from their care.  Charges were filed in March of 2021. Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt brought 102 charges against the Householders, including dozens of sexual abuse charges.  Schmitt has also raised concerns regarding their attorney, who was indicted in 2019, during which he was accused of bribing a witness to commit perjury in a murder case. Victims have alleged sexual assault, the use of stress positions, including being forced to hold a pushup position, violent restraints and physical assaults, including having their heads slammed into walls, and other humiliating punishments.  Those alleging sexual abuse state that assaults happened regularly. Charges were first filed after the couple’s daughter, Amanda, published allegations on social media site TikTok.  The facility had previously been investigated many times before.  Pastor Jerry Pyle, however, has stated that these charges are “false, demonic accusations.”   Pyle is the ...

Sequel – The Unlucky 13

Another Sequel Youth and Family Services facility has closed, marking the 13 closures for this for-profit troubled teen industry giant. Northern Illinois Academy is the latest closure since 2019. There has been a long history of reports of abuse for Sequel Youth and Family Services, most notably a case out of Michigan, where Cornelius Fredriks was restrained by 6 adult male staff, piling on top of the 16-year-old, ultimately resulting in his death. The restraint was retaliation for throwing a sandwich. Cornelious laid lifeless in that cafeteria for 15 minutes before the school nurse eventually called 911. Quite a number of Sequel facilities have had horrific allegations of abuse over the years.  Last year, survivors told NBC news that they were subjected to physical abuse and medical neglect, including a 14-year-old boy who had his head slammed into a wall. The child was then refused medical care.  Similar stories came out of Sequel facilities in Alabama in the NBC investigation, where survivors described being told to kill themselves or being taunted about sensitive subjects, such as one child’s deceased father.  Sequel also uses solitary confinement and pharmacological manipulation. In 2019, a former staff member at a Sequel facility in Illinois was sentenced to 10 years in prison for sexually assaulting a child in the facility. Despite its many allegations of physical and sexual abuse, Sequel continues to secure government funds and grants, as well as private funding, and is currently worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Many children are ...

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