A Heartbreaking Story from a Gay Teen

If you’re already in an emotional sort of mood, you may want to read this later… it’s the story of a teenager whose mother sent her to Cross Creek, a “behavior modification” facility that tried to cure her of Teh Gay.

It’s disturbing, to say the least.

(Thanks to Atalaya for the link)

  • Moose

    Yikes.

    You’re right-I will have to read this in full later-I didn’t even make it through the first section before feeling like I wanted to puke.

    How could anyone justify being forcibly abducted as therapy?

  • Steve

    How can something like that possibly be legal? Those people should all be thrown in prison with the keys being thrown away.

    Alternatively: lions

  • http://hewhothinksaloud.blogspot.com Emaj Cirtap

    I’ve always been against these kinds of institutions. My mom thinks all these stories about them are made up.

    So sad to see what constitutes “therapy” to some people. Sick bastards!

  • Sarah

    I just looked at the website for this school, and I will tell you it seems like a prison blanketed in flowery sounding lies. Under the FAQs, it says that some students will come there voluntarily others need “persuasion”. It also tells parents, that in any case, “the choice is yours–not theirs.” It lists that the campus is secured by a keypad to “keep students in, and strangers out.” There is no visitation allowed to parents until students have reached minimal levels set by staff. There is therapy of a minimum of 5x per week, for 2 hours at a time. Weird testimonial pictures of drugged looking children and chemically elated parents. It just seems so very very creepy.

  • Rich Wilson

    I’ve only just skimmed that story, but it starts out very similarly to my cousin. My aunt hired a couple of ex-NFL linebackers to take him to a camp in GA. Not for curing teh gay, but curing the drug use and ‘wrong crowd’. I’d have to say the end result was good, or at least he says so. But she did pull him out of the camp a long time before she was supposed to, because she recognized that it was shady and abusive. This was probably 20-25 years ago.

  • mouse

    Keep reading deep into the comments. At one point the girl whose story that is gets into a conversation with another person who went to the same school. They start sharing some really crazy anecdotes about the different infractions students would get.

  • Annie

    “He went on to say that he had “nothing against homosexuality, but it was not the way God intended things.”

    OK, we can stop right there. If you believe in an omnipotent god, how can things go wrong for him? If he intended everyone to be heterosexual, how come everyone isn’t? I’m sure the Jesus freaks will say that this is a sign a Satan, or something equally ridiculous, but to me, the fact that we don’t live in Nirvana is proof enough that there is no god.

  • Steve

    @Annie
    Very simple. It’s just behavior for them. Not something intrinsic that people are born with. They think you can just turn it off or cure it

  • Cyndi

    I know these stories well. In Memphis we had “Love in Action”, a spiritual treatment facility run by one of those strict fundamentalist churches. The goal was to cure gay people and addicts of their sinful nature. They even had “success stories” posted in the newspaper ads.

  • Jon Peterson

    These institutions are scary and dangerous. There’s not enough proper regulation on them, and they tend to breed this kind of unethical behavior and worse.

    From the Wilderness programs (disclosure: I actually attended there, and due to my experiences have quite a bit of personal anger with them) to the Residential facilities (I also attended one of these, and was subjected to some extremely demeaning treatment… but never anything outside what I think is legal), there’s a whole lot of scary shit out there… and there’s too weak of a movement to stop these assholes hurting kids under claims that it’s “Therapy”.

    The entire system needs to be classified and regulated, and the kids properly protected.

    (Since I know someone’s gonna ask: I was a REALLY shitty student, and aggressively resisted my parents beyond the norm when I was young. My parents were desperate to find a way to motivate me to keep up with my potential, and to get back to a healthy relationship with me. They did not know what the schools were actually doing behind closed doors. Most parents don’t until it’s too late. Most of the demeaning actions came about shortly after it came out that I was atheist. I very much am on vendetta status against these types of institutions.)

  • Defiantnonbeliever

    The ‘troubled’ teen industry is big business, and the wreckage left can be found at many mental health support sites and a growing number of sites and organizations fighting back with legal and other actions. This is a big deal and not restricted to gays by any means. http://www.fornits.com/phpbb/index.php is one site victims gather, as listed next to the redit post. These child gulags pop up like zombies when their predecessors get shut down for torturing and sometimes killing kids for profit.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com WMDKitty

    Excuse me, I’m feeling the need to vomit, scream, cry, and hit something. All at once.

    I’ll settle for angry smoking.

  • SeekerLancer

    Man I don’t even know what to say this is one of the most horrifying things I’ve read in years.

  • PJB863

    Sorry, but it looks like parents who lack the ability TO BE PARENTS! Enter these Outfits (and if you’re from Chicago, you know what Outfit means) and the stage is set for some horrific abuse – both mentally and physically – of these kids. These “schools,” and I use the term loosely, need to be regulated by the states, hopefully through the Department of Children and Family Services, or whatever it’s called in the respective states. These are kids, not criminals.

  • Defiantnonbeliever

    It’s worse than it seems.
    Have you seen the extended connections? Politics, Ambassador DeSade Sembler et al?
    http://www.fornits.com/anonanon/
    Btw, many of the angry victims of any of these are quickly banished from typical mental health ‘support’ forums often by religious people and members of for profit cults who backstab saying they feel offended, by such talk.

  • Matto the Hun

    As much as I appreciate the religious/Christian people I know who have the moral fortitude to ignore Biblical preachments of homophobia, this is the sort of thing that makes me loose some measure of respect for them for ignoring the wicked dogma set forth in the “Good” book.

    Here we have parents who follow Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality and at the same time follow the “loving” teaching of Jesus. The result is they believe sending their child to be tortured is a loving act.

    Religion warps morals and twists the meaning of love. This is proof positive.

    As much as I despise parents that would do this in some ways Christians who ignore the Bible’s misogyny, homophobia, etc, are almost as bad. They provide cover for and prop up a belief system composed of conflicting messages that allow crap like this to happen. It’s like pretending your Uncle Bob isn’t diddling your little sister every time he comes over because aside from that he’s always extra nice and sends a card on birthdays.

  • fabrielle

    I was taken away in the middle of the night (by the police instead, not escorts) when I was 15, and flown to Utah to attend a Wilderness Program, and an RTC. I was one of the lucky ones, no abuse, and a so-so program. We did have to do humiliating things on occasion, and there were definitely some questionable practices. I have been reading up on other programs lately out of interest, and am seriously disturbed by some of the things I’ve found out. Look up Challenger, and Steve Cartisano. Children died in his care, more than once. I don’t resent my parents at all for sending me away, I needed it, and there was nothing else they could do to help me. BUT, most of the kids that were there with me had rich careless families, who sent their children there to get rid of them. Abuse could go on for months and months in these places, because parents don’t believe what their kids tell them. Not all centers are like this, but obviously, quite a few of them are. This happens with or without the religious component. This is a very sad story, I definitely feel for the girl, having had a similar experience of being abducted and trapped for years. These places need to be constantly monitored.

  • Cthulhu

    As other people pointed out it would be nice to get someone in there that could document the abuse. The problem would be getting a camera or something else in there to record. If I could i’d willing go to one of these and record all the abused. I’m 19, but I can pass as 16. Really though if my parents had done this to me to get rid of the gay I would have resented them and done everything I could have to make them regret taking me there. I would have even shouted in the airport that they are trying to kidnap me.

    The people that support and run those places are disgusting

  • Bacopa

    If it all really happened the way she said it did, can’t she contact local law enforcement to try to press kidnapping charges? Does she have grounds for a civil suit? Could she have tried to escape in the airport? I’m pretty sure a minor teen accompanied by unrelated adults would have a pretty easy time getting out of this if they were properly prepared.

    Someone needs to get a “What to do if you are and taken to a pray away the gay camp” resistance FAQ and get it out there.

    Any chance we can have another “Chip In” to get her a lawyer?

  • fabrielle

    There is nothing you can do if your parents hire and pay for “escorts”. They sign your life away. She was a minor and had no say in anything, at all. If you yell in the airport, they will drive you to your destination instead. You are completely trapped unless you somehow escape. She MIGHT be able to file a suit now, but you can usually never win with places like these.

  • Steve

    There are civil suits about this kind of stuff. It’s how many of these places have been shut down. Though statutes of limitation can be a problem. But it’s mind boggling there have been few criminal proceedings.

    As for the kidnapping charges. They’d wiggle out of it by saying that it was with parental consent. Apparently there are companies that specialize in this sort of thing. Abduct kids for a fee. Legally. The US is truly a fucked up country. It’s no wonder it hasn’t ratified the UN Convention on the Protection of the Child (the only country besides Somalia)

  • Tom

    I sent them (Cross Creek) an email telling them they disgust me and that their program is criminal.

  • http://apprising.org Ken Silva

    “Here we have parents who follow Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality and at the same time follow the “loving” teaching of Jesus.”

    No one credible condones abuse in the Name of Christ. However, there is no conflict because the Bible teaches that Jesus is God in human flesh.

    And as the Creator, He defined proper sexual relations as those between a man and a woman in the covenant of marriage.

    Since God ordained marriage as only between a male and a female, this means all same-sex sexual relations is the sin of sexual immorality.

    I quote the eyewitness testimony of Matthew, who recorded what Jesus said, in my article here: http://apprising.org/2009/07/the-sin-of-homosexuality-is-different/

    As a pastor-teacher, because I love LGBT people for whom Christ also died, I will tell them the truth and not practice homopression: http://tiny.cc/axthg

  • http://twitter.com/ryanrockmoran Ryan Moran

    I hate to break this to you, but none of the authors of the gospels were eye witnesses…

  • jose

    Ken Silva, I love black people, that’s why I sell white makeup and perform skin whitening surgery.

  • ACN

    Especially not “Matthew” (and I use the scare quotes, because as a pastor who has taken a biblical studies class, I’m sure you’re aware that no one knows who the actual author of the book of matthew is) whose modus operandi appears to have been “liberally plagiarize Mark, and thoroughly misread old school jewish prophesy”

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    Since God ordained marriage as only between a male and a female…

    You know, I’ve read the Bible. I know it speaks of a woman leaving her parents and cleaving to her husband to be as one flesh. But I don’t seem to recall marriage as being defined as only that. Sex, sure. It speaks pretty clearly about homosexuality (male and female) being a sin. But marriage isn’t just sex.

    Not that I actually care what it says, but you, being a believer, should probably not read more into it that what it says. I’m pretty sure that inventing new laws and adding to the scripture is considered a no-no.

  • Steve

    The book also mentions “one man – many women” marriages a lot more often

    Never mind that god didn’t ordain anything, least of all marriages. It’s an entirely human-created social construct. Even believers should be able to acknowledge that. The church got into the marriage game very late. It didn’t even become an official sacrament until the 16th century.

    You can read all spiritual meaning you want into a church wedding. Just stop it with the “god created marriage” BS

  • http://apprising.org Ken Silva

    “none of the authors of the gospels were eye witnesses…”

    Well, I hate to break it to you, but that’s a fairytale of liberal theology.

    “no one knows who the actual author of the book of matthew is…”

    Sure we do:

    “Matthew put together the oracles of the Lord in the Hebrew language, and each one interpreted them as best he could.” (Papias, Exposition of the Oracles of the Lord, c. 120 AD)

    “Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome.” (Irenaeus, Against Heresies 1.1, c. 180 AD)

    “I know it speaks of a woman leaving her parents and cleaving to her husband to be as one flesh. But I don’t seem to recall marriage as being defined as only that.”

    Read the text I cite in my article; and consider this: http://tiny.cc/sr59k

  • bible belt atheist

    I tried to read this post, but I just can’t all the way through it.

    If the vast majority of christians are opposed to this kind of “treatment” of our children, and christians tell me that this is the case, then why have they failed to stop it?

  • Hugh

    Obviously the US also has its “Magdalene laundries” – I wonder how much taxpayer money outfits like this get from state governments.

  • Heidi

    I can’t decide if it’s more sickening that she had to go through all of that, or that even now she still feels the need to qualify and placate by saying things like “I’m not trying to attack the whole staff…” Girl, attack the whole staff. They’re all complicit.

    Also, taking lessons in morality from someone who murders all life on a planet as a form of punishment is a lot like taking morality lessons from Darth Vader. Quite a lot.

  • Dantist89

    Christian therapy: Self-hate, fear, humiliation, conditional love, subjugation, and suppression.

    A very powerful cocktail, I must say. It’s bound to produce results.


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