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July 21st, 2005
05:05 pm
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Jack Frost returns to Harmony House; film at 11
Hooray! The news services tell us "Tranquility Bay Students Found". The two American boys at the overseas school went missing during preparations for Hurricane Emily, and three days of intense local press coverage and investigation helped return them to the safety of the institution.

"We're extremely relieved to have these boys back in safe hands," said school director Jay Kay. Yes, their return is something we can all celebrate.

Except, well, it isn't.

'Here we make little soldiers, empty heads ...'


Tranquility Bay isn't an overseas school so much as it is a brainwashing center for "troubled" teens. The teens didn't "get lost" in the confusion, they ran away and hid.

"We have learned through other students that the boys had planned this run-away for some time," Kay said in the press release. That's not the surprise; the surprise is that they were able to keep it secret and pull it off.

As disturbing as this story is, as disturbing as the whitewash of the incident is ... we can still take heart in the fact that, even in the face of such extreme mental pressures, at least some kids can retain the wits and the will to get away.

An Associated Press article on the recapture names the boys and says that they face expulsion for running away. I don't want to romanticize the teens' defiance by presenting that option as an unqualifiedly good thing -- they're still going to return to the States traumatized and with an even more shattered relationship with the parents who sent them away, and quite possibly will end up on the wrong side of the law instead of as productive members of the fringe. But anything that chips away at the veneer of Tranquility Bay, anything that might get it shut down the same way its predecessors were, really can't be anything other than good on balance.

Current Mood: worriedworried
Current Music: SuperGreenX, "Save Me" (ICO) OC Remix
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From:kuangning
Date:July 22nd, 2005 12:34 am (UTC)
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Amen to that.
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From:dancinglights
Date:July 22nd, 2005 01:05 am (UTC)
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Oh shit. I hadn't seen the story, but I know about that place. I hope they get kicked out. And then somehow manage running away from home without starving after. Blerg. This shit is how i lose my faith in humanity.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 22nd, 2005 04:17 am (UTC)

Humm

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when I was little my family put me in a place like that ...... it was... anyway I feel for the kids still there

~Cyn
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From:thrames
Date:July 22nd, 2005 11:34 am (UTC)
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I'm pretty sure I've heard of that place before. It's overseas because the United States classifies what they do as child abuse. Though, I suppose they have some idea of what they're doing; if you break a person's spirit totally and completely, they're likely to be pliable and obedient, at least for the short term. >:P
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From:dogemperor
Date:July 22nd, 2005 11:56 am (UTC)
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If anyone wants further info on the WWASPS schools (Tranquility Bay is one of a whole group of these "brainwashing centers" operated by WWASPS), here are a few sites to check out:

http://www.isaccorp.org
http://www.emancipationproject.org
http://www.nospank.net/boot.htm (and in particular http://www.nospank.net/tranq.htm which is a mirror of the above Observer article)
http://www.teenliberty.org/

Quite a few of these groups (including WWASPS in particular) are considered coercive groups by exit counselors and other experts; quite a few (many if not most, including WWASPS) also have documented links to the dominionist movement (either using dominionist curricula, being actively owned and operated by dominionists as "Christian boot camps", and/or are heavily promoted by dominionist groups like the American Family Association and Focus on the Family)

(I myself have been researching these facilities and providing info on them to groups like Southern Poverty Law Center in relation to their aspect of being affiliated with dominionist groups; another example of involuntary commitment of teens is the story of Zach's committment to Love In Action's "de-gaying camp" facility, presently being investigated for unlicensed operation in Tennessee.)

Many of these "brainwashing centers" purposely set up shop in states with little or no regulation or in offshore facilities to avoid investigation by authorities (Missouri is a favourite, stateside, in this regard as is Utah); in the case of dominionist-operated groups, they also have powerful lobbies carving out exemptions for "Christian childcare facilities" for such basic things as licensure and basic care.)

In fact, the problem is bad enough with the offshore facilities that the US Department of State has issued a travel warning specifically in relation to these groups (http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/brochures/brochures_1220.html) that is directly referenced in the travel advisories for Jamaica, Mexico, and Samoa (all countries where WWASPS facilities are located).

Of note to folks:

HR 1738 is a bill that is specifically designed to regulate "Behaviour modification facilities" which would essentially shut down abusive facilities like WWASPS and prohibit parents from sending their kids to such unregulated facilities (http://www.house.gov/apps/list/press/ed31_democrats/rel42005.html); anyone who reads this should write their congresscritters *now* and ask them to support this bill. (Dominionists *WILL* try to fight it, just as they've fought US ratifying the Convention on the Rights of the Child (we're quite literally the only country in the *world* who hasn't ratified it or plans to, specifically because of pressure from Avenge-lical dominionists), partly because they actually *operate* many of those facilities and partly because they'll winge about "not being able to raise their kids Biblically"; as it is, the Convention *is* being used to try to close down Tranquility Bay on the grounds that Jamaica isn't living up to its obligations).

HR 1672 would also mandate that children who are victims of "family abductions" be eligible for victim's assistance and compensation (amending a federal law that already provides for this with kids who are victims of "non-family" abductions); as many facilities (including WWASPS) *do* use groups literally hired to kidnap children and take them to those facilities, this would enable kids who are involuntarily committed to those facilities to be eligible for things like assistance with exit counseling, compensation, etc. I also implore you who are reading this to contact your congresscritters on this bill and implore them to vote "yes", and to further ask that the bill be amended to include parental abductions involving both parents.

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From:darkkdragon
Date:July 22nd, 2005 04:25 pm (UTC)
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Sit down. Shut up. Be a good little citizen. Do as you are told. Mind your government. Do not think for yourself. You have no rights. Believe what we tell you. You are powerless.

When aye was younger I was one step away from being sent to a place like this. It was bad enough being forcibly sent to a religious school :/
*shudders*
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