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Date: August 05, 2010
Name: anon
I am so sorry to hear of your brother, i was in straight springfield from 1990 untill just before they shut down and reopened in maryland the next day, my parents finally withdrew me from 5 phase, i had swam with the current while i was there because i could see the boys being turned to vegatables and counting off the years, 2-3 was not uncommon, i saw many restraints and spit sessions, i was locked in rooms in my underwear with several other men and no escape for emergency, i had people jump from my windows and flee from my yard, we had no services no contact and almost no hope of getting the mob to turn our way, being run by kids, especially scared ones once labeled you almost coouldnt catch a break, it may take a year to shake off a reputation and regain the trust of the mob, it was very intense sitting there all day in the midst of all the other minds scanning every inch of you looking for dishonesty. i did however learn something there, how to lie better, be a better drug user, and one bonus i could no longer lie to myself, i did gain self awareness there and self confidence, at a cost that was way too high. straight did not ruin me, but it created a lasting impression i wil not ever shake, it hurt alot to be there and stil hurts to this day, especially knowing the program still rolls on. I went to one survivors conference and it did help to see i was not alone, i applaud all of the stright survivors who did find an answer in sobriety, but feel sad for those who credit straight for their own decision. to all that may feel the hand of abuse i am so sorry that this world we live in contains such darkness, i am so sorry.

Date: May 15, 2010
Name: Jenny Mcdowell-Young
Location: Massachusetts
I am a survivor of Straight Inc in Stoughton Massachusetts;I have felt and witnessed the abuse of this so called program that violated So many childrens Human Rights in the eighties! Kelley the truth needs to be told and needs to continue on.I attended the cradles to Prison Pipeline at Havard University a few weeks back and met many good people, policy makers,ect.Trying to brainstorm togeather to help our todays youth; here is your answer!Where is my apology and many others in New England!this was straight out child abuse!

Date: November 05, 2008
Name: roxanna
Location: atlanta, ga
truly heart wrenching. i am so sorry :[

Date: June 17, 2008
Name: Phil Laurette
Location: Canton, Michigan
I am very sorry to hear about your brother. I was in Straight Cincinnati from 1983-85 and while the program helped me to kick a host of drugs and a terrible lifestyle, I have also been left with the memories of some terrible things that happened to me and others while in the program. I had two fellow inmates commit suicide and both referenced Straight in their suicide notes. I am one of the very few who decided to make that horrible experience worth something and consequently my best friend and I will celebrate our 25 years of sobriety this summer. You have every right to be angry and resentful but I hope one day you find the strength to let it go. All of that anger will only eat you up inside and rob you of the joy of your current life. Forgive for your own benefit but never forget. That is how we gain true freedom from the past but also the determination to not allow it to happen again.

Date: June 11, 2008
Name: Steve English
Location: Charlotte NC
I was in the VA "program" from 1983 - 1984 and knew your brother Steve. After reading his story and that of many others, I consider myself lucky to have had a somewaht "normal" life. I wrote an email to Mel Riddile who is now a HS principal, what a joke. I doubt that he will respond but it felt good to get it off my chest after years of suppressing it. Here is what I wrote: Dear Mr. Riddile, My name is Steve English and I was in the VA Straight program in 1983 when you were the Director. Over the years I have always wondered what I would say to you or one of your staff members if ever given the chance. I have read a lot of information about the treatment of kids in the program and let me be the first to say that I have first hand knowledge of the mistreatment. I was held against my will after I was taken to your facility by my parents. They were lied to by people already in the program (who I actually made fun of for being druggies) and told that I did drugs. I had only drunk alcohol a total of 3 times in my entire life but spent 10 months of my life enduring the intolerable treatment (as well as the humiliation of being held back a grade in school.) My parents finally got wise and withdrew me after I had made it to fourth phase. You and the rest of the staff knew that something had been terribly wrong because you advanced me in the program even though I never caved in and admitted to doing a single drug and the others had admitted to lying. And please do not respond with the “dry druggie” crap. I was into sports and just was having some behavioral problems at school and rebelling like so many kids do at that age. I remember when my parents told me that I was being taken out of the program, I was so brainwashed that I walked seven miles from Burke to Springfield to get back to the building (I guess 10-12 hours a day of being told that I am a worthless druggie and can’t live without Straight Inc. will do that.) When I arrived, my parents were there to take me back home. Ironic isn’t it that most try to get out and I was trying to get back in. You and your staff were there too but did not put up a fight and said it was for the best for my parents to withdraw me. This was a complete 180 from when you did my intake and I was beat up, held down, and restrained. You knew I did not belong but you continued to let me stay so you could collect a check from my parents. If I had any sense back then or if I wasn’t only 16, I would have sued you and the program. I also witnessed the mistreatment done to myself and many others. During my time, I was physically abused (slapped, punched, kicked, spit on, etc.) when I did not follow a rule or would not admit that I had taken multiple drugs. During one meeting, that you held by the way, I was not allowed to use the rest room until after. After repeated raising my hand and being denied, my bladder was shaking and hurting so bad that I ran to the toilet and missed urinating in my pant by seconds. I also received horrible treatment from host families as well. I was not allowed to shower or brush my teeth daily. I once was not allowed to brush my teeth for three days. I was given peanut butter (no jelly) sandwiches for dinner while the rest of the family ate chicken and other things. I was repeatedly berated and told by my “newcomer” that he was told to “ride my ass” until I admitted all the drugs I had done. This included more hitting, not being allowed to sleep, eating candy and ice cream in front of me for dessert when I had not even been given dinner. Basically this was POW camp for kids. I am now 40 years old, married and have two kids. I am also a successful benefits broker. To this day, I am still haunted by what happened 25 years ago. At this point in my life, this is behind me but not forgotten. I am lucky that I was able to do this unlike so many others who ended up really messed up or worse dead (suicide, not from the drugs by the way). I am not looking for anything from you except an apology. Either directly or without your knowledge, (which I highly doubt) you allowed these things to happen and still support programs like it today but with different names. Please do not just ignore my email. At least respond to me. At least give me that much respect and dignity. Sincerely, Steven A. English

Date: May 25, 2008
Name: Matthew
Location: Newton
What amazes me about all of this is that not a one of you thinks I have the right to my own thoughts and opinions. You feel the need to attack me for my views and tell me in oh so many ways that I am wrong. Instead of saying I have the "right" and call me out on my "foolish thoughts" just come out and say "hey I'm an asshole and and don't think anyone should think diff than me and if they do they are an idiot and a dipshit". No matter how you try to justify it you all think you are right and I am wrong. And that's just sad. I understand that ppl have diff views and at least I respect that. Wish you all had the ability to do that - but you have proved time and again you do not. Had the woman who started this site not wanted my comments posted or taken down she would have done this. I took the time to talk about MYSELF and no one else when I started these posts. I didn't point fingers, call people out or call then names. But for some reason you all feel the need to do so with me. Go ahead if it makes you feel better. I stand by ALL my comments and MY support of STRAIGHT. I will not speak for anyone else, not will I pretend to. Maybe some day all of you will be able to accept the truth that not everyone thinks like you and that does not make them a bad person. I am aware that no one here thinks like I do and I accept that and don't think you are bad people for that. I think you are spitefull for the personal attacks against me. But oh well I don't know any of you, dont care about any of you to be honest. And to be honest you can think what ever you want. But to go through life that way will make it a sad, sad life.

Date: May 19, 2008
Name: Sean Mccrory
Location: Dallas
Mathew , don't get your feathers ruffled man . You did post your comments and you do have the "right" to have your opinion BUT I also have the "right" to call you out on your foolish thoughts - and yes call you a dipshit ( WE DON'T CARE IF IT SAVED YOUR LIFE - maybe since you are so inconsiderate towards family members lost it should have been you mr empty shell , honestly ) - I don't even care that your alive actually . You seem to have been under the assumption that the only people that complained about straight were those that dropped out which I took that as you were saying her brother was a quitter as well as anyone else that complains - I'll let you know at the microphone in open meeting the night I commenced I stated that I thought I would never get out of straight and it was horrible , needless to say the king dingaling that ran our prison camp was pretty shocked as well as the new parents that were attending . The dallas location closed shortly after due to the insurance fraud that started the investigation that led to the exposure of the physical , mental abuse but mainly it was all a financial interest for the people above . Thats why siblings all of a sudden were drafted into the program that sniffed liquid paper and things like that . Its a pure definition of a cult . Plain and simple . Tell ya what bud , LIKE I SAID - ya wanna stand up for straight do it on other publications ---not on one where a woman is paying respects to her brother . When you lose a family member and you will , you'll understand why I am saying this . It's very disrespectful .........and besides you sound like a winey pussy anyway , like you creating rules of confrontation - and complaining about how I am handling you . Suck it up man!

Date: May 08, 2008
Name: Kelly Matthews
Location: Baltimore
Well you sound like Betty Sembler. As long as it helped one kid it was worth it. Who gives a flying fuck how many it hurt. What a warped way of thinking. There are plenty of ways to "treat" children in need without abusing them. Why do you think their finally holding hearings about this in congress this year? Just because a handful of people get help and stay straight while others were abused then WOO, yay! Celebration time? Sickening. Even sicker that you honor and credit $traight with your ability to stay sober. As if that were the only way. Maybe had you been abused like the lot of them you're PERSPECTIVE would be different.

Date: May 01, 2008
Name: Matthew
Location: Newton
Ok so screw you all who only want to come on here or other sights and bitch and moan about STRAIGHT messed up your lives. In my prior two posts I made no personal attacks against anyone at all at any time. Yet you two feel the need to justify your fucked up lives by attacking me. Not sure what my Dad has to do with any of this. Also no sure how I was involved in STRAIGHT for years after. Let's see I graduated, did my aftercare, kept in contact for a few years with some people from STRAIGHT, went back for one Friday night open meeting to show my support, participated in a radio show call in when STRAIGHT in Stoughton came under attack. Been sober for 21 years. So yes I guess I stayed invlived with STRAIGHT for many years after the fact. And I'm proud of it. I find it funny that you, LOL, did not even post your name or location but had to hide to attack me. Be an adult and show yourself and then feel free to sling mud. STRAIGHT worked for me. That was the point I attempted to make. But you all are too shallow, insecure little bastards to accept the fact that something that did not work for you may have worked for others. Enjoy your sad little lives.

Date: March 25, 2008
Name: LOL
As long as it helped YOU Matthew who give's a fuck who it hurt.. RIGHT? Plus we all know your dad and you were involved with Straight for YEARS after you got out.

Date: February 25, 2008
Name: Matthew
Location: Newton, MA
Well for starters my post had to be approved before it was posted. And the fact that it was posted shows that it had some value and was deserving to be seen. Much thanks for your personal attacks and name calling. Going over my post I don't see any attacks against anyone. I stated my opinion and that was all. I pointed out that I was unaware of what happened at any other location. I am entitled to my opinions and the creator of this site has the decency to respect that by posting my comments. I will not take the time to pick apart your post as you did mine - b/c to be honest it is not worth it. I stand by my comments. I stand by support for Straight b/c for ME it saved my life. What happened or didn't happen to other people are for them to say - not me. I was very careful to talk about myself - and no one else. I do thank the moderator for letting me have my voice.

Date: October 12, 2007
Name: Sean Mccrory
Location: Dallas Tx
Well to the gentleman below .....I am a commencee from straight and I fully support that straight was very corrupt. Insurance fraud that existed even at your location while you were in should tell you all by itself that they were corrupt. Screaming and lining up 5th phasers to yell at someone about masterbating or because they were moving too much or hiding something about their sexual past is a good idea isnt it ? I hope you dont pull things out of your wife like this! Sitting in a hard plastic chair for what 9 hours a day facing forward unless someone is speaking is great for your mind and body. Sitting indian style on the ground while your legs go numb for hours because your group has lost its priveleges of sitting in plastic chairs is also a great idea isnt it tough guy? Your saying restraining misbehavors because they punched someone or kicked someone was always the story there huh? You never saw any provocation to those misbehavors? Forcing them to sit up straight takes away their personal rights doesnt it idiot? I served in the army and they cant physically force you to do anything in there so why can they in straight dipshit? I think its disrespectful as hell for you to post a message like this on her website in memory of her brother so you can just post your opinion to feel like you stood up for something. Putting children in a situation to take multiple phasers home by them self when one is a misbehavor that cause safety issues in their home because the money they would have had to spend to facilitate these kids at a building was going to cost them way too much was smart and to top it off these misbehavors went home with these oldcomers that were definitely qualified to counsel their drug problem was smart too. If you didnt see anything like this maybe its because your just plain stupid. Once again COMING FROM A COMMENCEE that did have disrespected this girl and your entitled to your opinion but my God man post it on a site that is against straight where someone didnt lose their family member to suicide . I hope your wife is happy with such an asshole like you - great compassion ability there you have confrontitive wraps in your home when your kid figits too much? Freakn idiot! What goes on behind closed doors in straight wasnt something you saw anyway and they did have that at your location - Why else is that location closed dipshit?

Date: September 25, 2007
Name: Tony
Location: Cincinnati
KHK Cincinnati, imprisoned: 86-88. I went in at 14. I am still very, very angry. Tony.

Date: September 20, 2007
Name: Matthew
Location: Newton, MA
My guess is that this will not get posted due to the fact that all my other posts never are. First off I am very sorry about your loss. I was in Straight in Stoughton March 12, 1987 - June 20, 1988. I have no first hand knowledge of what happened at any other location, but I can tell you that during my 14 months, one week and one day there was no torture, starvation, beatings or any other horror stories that many people are so fond of sharing. Again I have no idea what happened at any other location and do not pretend to do so. In the few years after I graduated (yes I completed the program) I heard stories from people at the Straight in Stoughton that people were tortured (not true), starved (not true), restrained (what would you do if someone started to punch and kick the people around you?) and a variety of other "horror stories". Unless there was some secret room where invisible staff held kids that none of us ever saw - this never happened in Stoughton the entire time I was there. Why is it usually the people who cop out or never progress in the program for whatever reason are the only voices heard? Straight saved my life - plain and simple. Yes it was a terrible experience at time and it was not an easy thing to do. But I am a better person today because my father had the courage to take me to Straight in Stoughton. I have been sober for over 20 years. I went back to High School and then onto college and received a degree. I own my own business. I have been married for 9 years to the girl I took to her Jr Prom in High School - 19 years ago. Yes I am sure that terrible things happened at other locations and I do not deny that. I am sorry for anyone that experienced those horrors. But it is long past the time that someone stand up for the good that Straight did for those of us who remember what we were like prior to our intake and give credit where credit is due. I will say this again: Straight saved my life and 20 years later I am still gratefull for what I learned there. From March 12, 1987 - June 20, 1988 no kid in Stoughton was beaten, starved, tortured.........

Date: August 30, 2007
Name: shiki
Location: Bumfuck, Md
I was at the springfield straight for 22 months, from 85-87 a good portion of that spent on 1st phase. I think I just missed your brother or he left soon after I arrived. I remember quite a few of the people you listed that have suicided tho and that just breaks my heart. RIP to you all.

Date: August 17, 2007
Name: Jenifer Morris
Location: Straight Inc. Springfield, VA
I try every day to put Straight behind me. It wasn't until years after leaving straight that the full effects hit me. I remember the abuse, being led around by the belt loop, unsatisfactory meals (to day the least). I was not allowed to attend school or even have the warm sunlight hit my face for over a year. I hope that the remaining survivors keep on fighting. As long as we stand together. We are not alone.

Date: August 11, 2007
Name: Head Diva
Location: SD
wow, that sucks. sounds like some serious trouble...telling someone whos already down their a loser and stuff. build them up, not beat them down.

Date: January 06, 2007
Name: Susan
I was there, everything you said is true!

Date: November 06, 2006
Name: Lisa
By chance I found your site. You see, I was in Straight with your brother. I remember him and I remember his death but not well because I was on the girls side. I just can't stop the tears right now. I want to thank you for writing from your heart. I can't believe how much I blocked out and now 20 years later I am reminded.

Date: September 07, 2006
Name: Traci
I just wanted to say that I am sorry for the loss of your brother. I was in Straight in St. Petersburg Florida and then in Orlando when it opened. I started in 1984 an got out in 1986.. I was telling someone I work with about this place and went online to see if I could search it.. WOW.. you'r description of this brought it all back.. It's weird.. I remember almost being in tears so afraid that I had somehow forgotten that I had done other drugs than I had told them.. they always wanted to know how I could have only smoked pot and that I needed to "come clean" about my drug use. I was "started over" on my 5th level about a week before "graduation" and theysaid it was because I was "too happy to leave".. I'm sorry for the losses of other kids our age that were subjected to this..

Date: August 07, 2006
Name: Forward, never straight
Location: cincinnati
I am very sorry for your pain and want to express my deepest sympathy for the tragic loss of your brother. He sounds like he was a wonderful person till they sucked all the spirit out of him. They were pretty good at that. I know, because they did it to me. I was in straight in cincinnati in 82-83. I think I know exactly how your brother felt. I also understand that many will find your story hard to believe because it is almost that unbelievable. Believe it people, it happened. It is still happening to some degree(ie. Kids Helping Kids in Cincinnati, with direct corporate ties to Straight(can you say shell game), and in the exact same building that Straight was in!!!! Let me qualify my statements, lest anyone think, as I have read in some people's statements elsewhere, that we are a bunch of whiners who need to get on with our lives. I spent many years behind bars in my life for crimes that I commited(Stealing when I should of been buying). I got what I deserved and I have no problem with that. I take full responsibility for my actions. But, what no one deserves what Straight, inc. dished out. NO one!!! I've done time in the worst prisons this state has to offer so I know what violence is. I know what abuse is. I've witnessed beatings, murders and riots. I've been beaten, chained to floors and stomped, stripped naked and put in a cell with nothing but a hole in the ground for a toilet and some kind of heating mechanism in the floor that made the floor so hot that you had to sleep on your side against the wall to make the heat on your skin bearable. I spent 2 years in solitary confinement. So believe me, I know what bad is. I know what rough is. In prison the motto is, "If it ain't rough, it ain't right!" But, Straight Incorporated was by far the most brutal, violent, and abusive place that I have ever been in. I seen a guy come to Straight from prison on a conditional parole, the condition being he complete the program, who had ten years left to do. If he completed the program he would be scot free, if he didn't he would go back to prison for ten years. He stayed for about a month and then chose to go back to the worst prison in the state!!!!! For TEN YEARS!! I started so much trouble in Cincinnati Straight I eventually got sent to the Straight in Atlanta. There was a 20 year old who had been in prison for manslaughter or murder. He was sent to straight with the same deal as the guy above. He had only done 3 years of a 20 to life sentence. They brought in about 10 state troopers one day obviously trying to make a display to everybody. They called his name, told him stand up, and asked him if he wanted to complete the program, or go back to prison. He said he didn't want to complete the program. They handcuffed and shackled him and took him to prison. 20 to life!!!! If these stories don't tell you how bad it was, I don't know what will. Maybe the story of the oldcomer who molested three of his newcomers would make you understand. The third one he molested, a 14 year old boy, had a sister in the program who went home every night. She was stood up in group and told that because of the "confidentiality of the group rule" that if she told her parents about what happened to her brother, she would be put back on first phase and lead around by her belt loop. She said nothing!!! My hope is that anyone parent who may be thinking about a program such as this for their child, would stop and think again!!!!!!!!!! I know it can be hard, I have teenage children myself. Please, find another way to help them!!!! I also want to thank you Kelly and express my appreciation for providing this forum and shining a light on the dark side of this industry!

Date: July 09, 2006
Name: Trevelyan
Thank you for talking about these horrifying experiences. We need to let the American people know that the bush crime family has been experimenting with them to see if they will allow teens to be scapegoated as nazis did the jews and then on to others.

Date: June 01, 2006
Name: Matthew
Location: Hemet, CA
Wow, I stumbled upon your site and am in shock to say the least. I wish I could tell every single american about this website and the information in it. I feel like greeving for your brother and I didn't even know him. Human beings shouldn't be allowed to be treated this way. An d to bring God and the Bible into it as if he would be on thier site promoting this sort of thing is strait blasphemy .. my anger wishes that all those involved would burn in hell for that (though, I don't really wish something like that on anyone). I guess it's our nature to seek vengence for things (like that) done to us and/or our loved ones. ANyway, Ijust wanted to say thank you for your site and I hope, maybe one day soon, we can get the governemtn to see these organisations for what they are and close them down ... and with retrobution! -Matthew

Date: February 14, 2006
Name: JK
I was in there in 84- 85. Was there when Lady Di and Nancy Reagan toured. What a nightmare, I am sorry for your Brother, not sure if I knew him, I was always running away, any chance I got.

Date: January 25, 2006
Name: Linford Harris
Location: Mesa, AZ.
Hi Kelly, My name is Linford Harris, I'm touched by your loss of your Brother, and Steve's horrible, horrible!...last three years of his life at the hands of Straight, inc. It's hard to believe that an organization that is in business to help people uses it as a front to control people for the sole purpose of playing out there sick game. I believe everything you say, because I know what I know, I gotta tell you though, Kelly to most reasonable thinking persons your story is unbelievable, it's unconscionable for somebody to use there position of responsibility in such a cruel way. I doubt that Straight, inc. CEO's credentials can be verified, don't be surprised when it looks like he's finally going to be held accountable for his or her actions, then just vanishes. I recommend that you read Dr. Martha Stout, PhD.'s book "The Sociopath next-door". You can find it in the reference section of the Library or buy it at or ebay or any book store. It's really easy reading considering the education, that is the value of knowledge you will possess after reading it. I sincerely believe you will at least know why what happened at Straight, inc. happened and why they got away with it!... Best Wishes Linford P.S. I'm a towtruck driver, if I can comprehend Dr. Stout's book then you should have no problem at all, also you might want to goggle sociopath, it'll give you an idea of what you're in store for. P.S.S. The treble clef intertwined with the peace sign is badass!...

Date: January 22, 2006
Name: Tanya
Location: Norfolk, VA
I was in Straight. Both in Springfield and in Chesapeake. I haven't thought of it in so long, I began to feel like it never really happened. I just got to thinking about it and did a quick search and found your site. Thanks for sharing your story. I'm so sorry for your brother and for all the rest who were subjected to that horrible place.

Date: January 05, 2006
Name: Heather.
Location: Melbounre, Australia
That is the most disgusting thing i have ever heard. It is vile and horrific. I'm sorry for the loss of your brother to these cruel acts. Deepest sympathys. I'll tell as many people as i can about this. its not right.

Date: December 03, 2005
Name: Donna
Location: Seattle WA
I was in a childrens home in the late 70's with alot of common brain washing activities. Group pressure and long meetings were used to control the kids. Still to this day I suffer from it and wonder how others have fared since then. Sorry about your brother but I do feel your parents are also to blame.

Date: October 09, 2005
Name: George Hruneni
Location: scottsdale az
WOW, I knew Steve and was "in" $traight Inc. between '84 and '87. I also went to Robinson High School and knew John Guyton, didn't know Greg but was at school when "it" went down. I was in $traight with Duane Rolhs. This whole crazy story doesn't surprise me but I am shocked at how many all had connection to that same program. Yes that program was completely insane, the "treatment/abuse" lack of treatment for what were plainly obviously severely disturbed young people some absolutely in need of serious psychiatric help, all of whom imprisioned in a NUT camp! I myself was a very disturbed youth from an abusive home and had been on my own from a very young age. I joined the Army in 1987 hoping to go kill people, got into Special Forces but the redtape and BS gave me a change of heart. I am currently a veteran with disabilities, the result of a very tough life. If there is anyway I could help this cause feel free to contact me as I said I was there was a part of it and knew a number of these people. Most or all of these kids were damaged to begin with, $traight was a money making maching that exploited and abused everyone. I recall the director of the program had a new BMW and Corvette leased in the programs name. I logged on to the Web today Google'd my name and was shocked to find all this attention this story is getting 20 years later. Peace and Love to you all, Sincerely George

Date: September 17, 2005
Name: dana
Location: australia

Date: September 04, 2005
Location: Pa

Date: August 16, 2005
Name: Chris Jones
Location: Atlanta - 89 - 91

Date: August 16, 2005
Name: Jonesee1989
Location: Atlanta - 89 - 91

Date: August 13, 2005
Name: rosie bryant
Location: cardiff, wales, uk

Date: August 10, 2005
Name: Lois Phemister
Location: VA

Date: July 26, 2005
Name: Mike Diakoumis
Location: Chicago Land Area
This is one of the most horrible things i have ever heard of. This makes me want to get up and go do something about it. But there is not much to do. I can't believe this exist. This needs to be on TV. It is the only way people will rise up and do something about this. Im not very religious myself so a message to all of those who are in such programs or have been in such programs. Hang in there. Your time of happiness will come.

Date: July 20, 2005

Date: July 17, 2005
Name: Larry C.
Location: san diego
Narcotics Anonymous is what works for me, not being told I am a failure, or a loser. I have heard about that program and a few other s patterned after it. I blame the parents personally for not taking control and educating themselves and researchign success rates. I did a spin dry(5 days in a detox) and went to NA after that, I have been clean for over 11 years now. straight inc, makes me wanna puke. fucking losers.

Date: July 10, 2005
Name: Chrissy
Location: TN

Date: June 18, 2005
i have to admit that i had never heard of straight inc until i read the book Come Clran by Terri Paddock and i was shocked to realise just how many people had been through this... i think that people need to open their eyes more to these things that have been and possibly still are going on around them... i understand your anger my grandmother died of cancer when a simple operation would have saved her but the doctors kept putting it off until it was too late

Date: June 08, 2005
Name: Rach

Date: June 07, 2005
Location: Norfolk VA

Date: June 02, 2005
Name: mary
Location: greenwich ct
that is terrible! i truely am very saddened for you. i have a cousin who committed suicide but her fateher was metally ill. i think she inherited it from him. she was too bubly. too upbeat. she jumped off the george washington bridge years ago. she did not go thru any such masochistic program as that straight tho. i would have checked out long before your brother did. he endured. and i didn't take any drugs. or i mite have killed someone in a temporary state of insanity. it just was not normal. it was demoralizing. it was not helping it was just punishing. mary

Date: March 28, 2005
Name: kerry
Location: maryland

Date: March 12, 2005
Name: Joe
Location: Alabama
I am shocked at the straightinc. deal . Im a 47 yr old former drug user and alcoholic Ive been sober for 9 yrs had bad times but ok now thank God I didnt end up at straight. I have been working on a drug info talk to kids .My thinking is if we can just wait till our brains are done growing to what I call expeimenting with drugs and alcohol . I got mixed up in hard stuff and wild things !! Its like jumping in a pond full of man eating sharks you know chance is that you will not make it out or least a leg bit off !! I think some people get things way out of porportion so that we just figure what the heck if thats what they think by gosh Ill give them what they want to see if you know what I mean ? Im very liberal person and once we are audults we have to decide if we are going to jump in the pond or not take that chance I am a chance taker and it has messed me up but all in all I am ok financially and heads on fairly straight . I have 2 boys 9 and 13 they are ok for now I just hope they dont start before their out of High school !!LOL Im asking alot I know .Like you stated some people think that kids who smoke a little grass and drink are not going to amount to anything thats a bunch of bull . I dont really know why Im writing this exept I felt compelled to . Gives me more to think about in putting my talk together Ive been working on this campaign of mine for a year or so trying to get more info on what problems are out there . Im not a counselor or medical proffessional. Ive been there and also was told I was no good never would be nothing in front of all my classmates . Ive been making over 40000.00 annualy for many years good for out here anyway .So I didnt do to bad. By the way my talks are to elementry 8 to 12 yrs old .Do you have any suggestions? Things can get real crazy at the home I know about that myself. Parents should really invesigate before they take action.Sometimes all we need is someone just to listen and a friend.My spellings not the best today just got back from 9yr.olds ball game they won !!! Im still in shock over these programs out there like staight and the others . Its a good thing that you have this site I will admit some of the site I didnt understand but hey Im an old man but some say I need to grow up but heck it wouldnt be as much fun .. You can be responsible and still have good times like a kid if you know what I mean . Well I hope this finds you and your friends well, Joe from alabama . Take care

Date: January 24, 2005

Date: January 01, 2005
Name: Anyomouse

Date: December 24, 2004
Name: rachael
Location: s.f. ca
i was pulled into stright inc. in 1985. i was there only fpr a few months and moved rapily through my phases. my mother pulled me when i was on fourth phase and the staff wanted to calll me in form my job for " quistionin" about following the rules. i still have nightmares about this place and am ever so sorry for all the kids who had to go through this nightmare.

Date: December 23, 2004

Date: December 12, 2004

Date: October 15, 2004
Location: Md.

Date: October 07, 2004
Name: Matthew
Location: Boston

Date: August 07, 2004
Name: sue
Location: memphis
Hey. I was in a place called Second Chance, a spin-off of Straight with the same format, except with less physical abuse. I was 13 years old and had smoked pot about 13 times and done mushrooms once, and I had had a few beers once or twice. I spent about 14 months in Second Chance, during which time my parents moved, so that I never saw any of my old "druggie friends" ever again. I was finally diagnosed as manic-depressive and way overmedicated. Eventually I gave in to the brainwashing and graduated. I didn't stop having nightmares until I was about 20. Thanks for your site and your words. SO many people have been fucked up by Straight and its spinoffs. love Sue

Date: August 05, 2004
Name: kate
Location: england

Date: June 24, 2004
Name: ilshim
Location: London
I cannot begin to express how Sick reading that made me feel, i cannot even begin to imagine the pain t at your brother, and all of the other people must have been in. I know its nt much conselation, but I'm very sorry that things like this are able to happen. I hope your day was good.

Date: June 15, 2004

Date: May 19, 2004
Name: Pat Brenza

Date: May 19, 2004
Name: Leslie Faria
Location: Bowie, MD
I can't explain how haunted I am by what I've just read. I, too, was in Straight from July, 1984 (two weeks after I turned 15) until March or April of 1986. I remember Steve and several other names I read. It was scary and also strangely comforting to read about all of the horrible things that we all endured. Scary because I remember it all too clearly and comforting because I know now that I haven't blown things out of proportion in my own mind. See- that place still has me doubting my own memories. When I went in there, I was your typically rebellious teen who had experimented with a few drugs - when I finally got out of there, I was a very fucked up girl who wound up getting into alot of things that I never would have even dreamed about doing before I went in. I consider myself lucky that I somehow made it through and I am so sorry that those horrible people damaged Steve in such a way that he saw no alternative other than suicide. My e-mail address is in case anyone wants to get in touch. Peace and Love, Leslie Faria Livesay

Date: May 10, 2004
Name: Jane
Location: New York State
I was very sad reading your comments. I am so sorry about the loss of your brother. My son also lost a friend, but he was never in Straight, Inc. He went on and off to AA and NA and my son tried to help him. He gave up on himself and hung himself. His whole family had alcohol problems and the father still drinks alcoholically. You won't like reading this because you have made up your mind. Straight was very effective for our family and for my son. Nothing else worked and he needed exactly what he got at Straight. Today, he is thirty five. He is a Navy SEAL. I credit the treatment he received at Straight with helping him get through the BUDS course (basic underwater demolition school) which one must pass in order to even have a CHANCE at becoming such a warrior. But, he got himself totally ironed out, first and only went in the service at age 28 after many years of involvement in NA. It is true that Straight could get carried away with its own agenda. We saw that, too. We left after eleven months, but we are grateful. Peace, Jane

Date: April 28, 2004
Name: Gina
Location: locust grove va

Date: April 27, 2004
Location: Denver

Date: April 10, 2004
Name: Cindy C
Location: Massachusetts

Date: April 01, 2004
Name: Tiana
I am so sorry! Nothing could ever possibly remove that pain! Straight is very much responsible and i cant beleive there are more versions of this program If you wouldnt mind i want to put your brothers story on my website! ppl need to now that this crap is still out there! i cannot express my true sorrow! I feel sick thinking about this story! Reply to my e-mail about my request for the story!

Date: March 27, 2004
Name: Obie Arthur
Location: Boston
It's been 13 years and it still haunts me. I don't even know where to begin. I guess it's just good to know it wasn't just me. Surviving the Straight program itself was the easy part for me, I had no choice and I was like you say brainwashed. Adjusting back to reality after was extremly difficult, something I never was able to grasp. Reading your brothers story brought back a lot of supressed memories and feelings. I'm so sorry for your loss. I guess it's time I started dealing with it. Thanks for making a statement against that crazy place.

Date: March 19, 2004
Name: Lauren
Location: Texas

Date: March 17, 2004
Name: Christi
Location: VA
Thank you for making this...... I was in Straight from 85-86 Springfield VA. I really don't know what to say right now. I have had such a mental block for years. I will be writing back.

Date: March 15, 2004
That's jacked, how could anything that abusive manage to survive? Take that back, this country's too corrupt to care...

Date: February 13, 2004
Name: claudia
Location: Tampa, Fl

Date: February 05, 2004
Name: shelly
Location: Iowa

Date: February 02, 2004
Name: Helen
Location: California
I was touched by your web-site. There are hundreds of programs that use similar tactics to torture, humiliate and control minds. My child was also suicidal, major depression. Therapists advised us to put her in "residential therapy." We found an opening at Provo Canyon School in Utah. From day three she suffered abuse ranging from forced drugging with Haldol, human physical restraint, isolation and seclusion as forms of punishment, isolation in an ice cold closet called an observation room, blindness from an overdose of Haldol, and many other physical and mental abuses. This happened in DECEMBER 2003. What is absolutely freightening is the fact that our government is doing nothing to investigate or prevent these abuses of basic human, civil, patient and Constitutional rights. Recently the Justice Deparment refused a Congressional request to investigate. It just so happens that one of the offending companies that market these mind control cult schools, WWASPS - World Wide Association of Specialty Programs - is a major contributor to the Republican party and other candidates. Political corruption allows this to continue for purly economic reasons. American children should not be subjected to this institutionalized abuse in this free country. For more information on-line visit: and These kids have no voice, no access to private or pay phones and their mail is illegally censored. They are controlled by crafty, manipulative, greedy directors and therapists who usually tell parents that the children are minipulative liars. In reality those who run these mind control cult schools are the master manipulators. How many more children must be brutalized, falsely imprisoned,and abused. How many more must die or be injured before our government does something to prevent this torture on our free soil? Best wishes to all of you who have lost your loved ones. You will always be in my prayers.

Date: January 21, 2004
Name: Carly
Location: Baltimore, MD
I was there from 89-91 and am just now dealing with what happened there. Thank you for putting this together!

Date: January 06, 2004
Name: Tammy
Location: Huntly, VA
Hey Kelly, I am really glad you wrote this about Steve. He was an awesome guy...I really enjoyed the times we all spent together. I am glad to see that you are trying to come to terms with everything. I was concerned when it happened. Keep in touch, chica.

Date: December 20, 2003

Date: November 17, 2003
Name: jennifer
Location: dallas
I just cried reading your story and my heart truly aches for you and all whose lives were tainted by Straight. I was put in the Dallas Straight in April 1987, one month after my 15th birthday. I had experimented with alcohol beginning in December of 86 and smoked pot 1x. I was date raped in December of 86 and basically lost it - I was a virgin and just could not deal. I did do a real 180 but not from drugs but stress and could not bring myself to tell my parents what had happened. They took me to see a therapist who actually RECOMMENDED that hellhole - she should be prosecuted as she sat in on groups and was fully aware of what went on. I was like your brother in that I fought the system and refused to admit that I had a drug problem but they did finally get to me. Everything you talk about and so much more is true. The spitting on kids, I was restrained for not agreeing that I had a drug problem by four guys - imagine what that did to someone raped less than a year prior. I had sex with two people, prior to being thrown in there - one was the the rape but I was screamed at for being a slut and trash and by my upper phases completely believed that not only was I a slut who had screwed numerous guys but also an alcoholic with a drug problem that got nipped in the bud. I was ridiculed unendlessly for being weak and too soft-hearted so I became a raging bitch. I was in Straight for 26 months and 15 years later I am still in therapy dealing with the guilt and shame that I carry because I was one of the graduates who did buy it and inflicted the same kind of extreme trauma on innocent kids that was inflicted on me. If I could have one wish it would be for all the people who I screamed at and caused such pain to know how profoundly much I regret that and that like them, I too suffered and had no soul by the time I finally got out of there. I had been convinced NO-ONE would ever accept me other than people from Straight because I was so flawed. The whole place was incestous and I still do not know any words to describe just how fucked up it was and how many people will carry scars forever from that place. When I got out, I made all the things they convinced me of true, except the using part because I was terrified of being thrown back in there but I slutted around for a good three years, acted like I was a piece of trash and completely loathed everything about myself. I started to break away from the organization once the Dallas program was closed because one parent finally got suspicious when her daughter ended up pregnant??? a few months into her inprisonment - it ended up being a Sr. staff member and the place was finally shut down. But for the grace of God did I find the fortitude to survive that but I will not lie - suicide was on the forefront of my mind for quite a while as I came to terms with just how much had been stripped of me and that I had in turn stripped from others. I still have nightmares at times and dreams of being locked in somewhere and not being able to get out. At 31, I am still single some of which I know is due to some abnormal fear that maybe they were right. I am by society's standards a success...attractive,succesfully self employed, great shape, drive the Range Rover, great shoes, friends, family, blah,blah,blah but underneath so much of that I just wish for a inner knowledge that the wounds that I was lucky enough to have the financial means to find someone who REALLY knew what therapy was and helped me find at least an understanding of how susceptible I was at 15 and to put my family on the road to some sense healing could touch the thousands of people - not just clients but parents and siblings as well who suffered at the hands of that place. If anyone who was in Straight Dallas while I, Jennifer Loar, was on staff please know this is not bullshit. I hate how much pain I know I inflicted on people when I was a trainee and Jr staffer. It has been much easier for me to deal with and accept what was done to me than it has been to accept that I turned around and did it to you. I have grieved for all of you and hope that at some point you will know I did not come into Straight like that and was a product of one of the more fucked up places ever. It is still hard for me to accept that I lost my will to fight and succumbed to that system and although I struggle with where the line of my personal responsibilty laid, I do own that I caused pain to many and daily do my best to be the best person I can be today. On another note, I did not know there were still places operating like Straight and I will be investigating ways to expose them. The damage is not ever completely repairable and I have no problem going public with my story in an effort to shut any place like that down. Another frightening thing to me is that I have, on a few occasions, run into people who were in Straight with me who actually still worship that place and think it was like this amazing place. They all still hang onto the fucked up ideals of that place and it is frightening to me that there are people who would advocate that place. If you are one of those people who read this and laugh PLEASE atleast consider the numbers - we also have a signifigant suicide rate of Dallas children who took their lives that I know about and that is no damn coincidence. My thanks to you for creating a forum for this.

Date: November 14, 2003
Name: Bevin
I was in Straight Inc in Cincy 1985-86. Your site brought back a flood of memories I thought I had successfully blocked - every word is so true. I have struggled with guilt, pain and a twisted perception of reality every day since entering the cult called Straight. I learned to eat my true emotions and regurgitate whatever words were needed to get by. I have a tremendous guilt for the newcomers I may have influenced with my words. There were some good memories of people I truly loved from the program, people who made it slightly more bearable. God, I hope Jeri, Kelly T. and Katherine are in a good place, wherever you are - you saved my life many times with your smiles and humor, I'm sorry we lost touch, it was probably too painful to share a life outside of straight - I think we all tried to get as far away as possible. I greive for all the lost innocence and the minds that may have been. Thanks for your site.

Date: November 05, 2003
Name: Scott
Location: Pa

Date: November 05, 2003
Location: berkeley, Ca

Date: September 15, 2003

Date: August 30, 2003
Name: Shawn AKA Livedead
Location: chicago

Date: August 29, 2003
Name: a m e l i a
Location: ma
wow. let me just say that your story was very moving. and reading about straight inc really infuriated me. whoever thought that one up must have been on drugs themselves. i am truly sorry about what happened to your brother and what he was forced to do, and also what you have gone through. i want to thank you for writing about this issue. i had no idea about the straight inc program or others like it. you'd think that EVERYONE would be talking about something so horrible and make it non-existant today, but i guess people don't like to admit their mistakes. it just boggles my mind that a "help program" like that could exist. where's the logic in it? if i had known anyone in a program like that, i'd do everything to get them out (assuming that i knew what was going on). thank you for educated myself and others, and relating your brother's and your story with everyone. take care.

Date: August 21, 2003
Name: Tina Carr
Location: New York, NY

Date: August 10, 2003
Name: david
Location: Austin Tx.

Date: July 16, 2003
Name: Matt
Location: Arlingoton VA

Date: July 08, 2003
Name: Thomas Pierce
Location: San Diego area
I was in straight about that same time, and your description is so EXACTLY right on, the first full description I have seen since I left that hell. I found websites and information several months ago, but your site has brought up the most profound and disturbing feelings yet. I don't really know what I'm feeling, but it's not good. Thank you for the site, blessed be thomas

Date: February 19, 2003
Name: sandi baxter
Location: florida

Date: February 12, 2003
Name: April S.
Location: Deltaville Va.
Hi just wanted to say I'm sorry about ur brother.I was in the straight in northern Va too then I was sent to the one in Chesapeke Va when it opened. I was there for 2 years also on 1st phase most of the time i was there. I Finally made it to 4th phase after about 16 months but was started over 3 and 14 on 1st after 2 weeks for saying that a 50 year old man was cute. Never mind the fact he was a friend i worked with for my 1 short week and i was referring to his personality when i said he was cute. According to them i was full of shit and that comment was considered bullshiting about men which was a big don't do in straight. Did u ever see ur brother have to ask to pick up his fork when he wanted to eat? Yeah I remember all that like it was yesterday. On 1st phase u couldn't pick up anything just about without asking ur old-comer. It was horrible and i wouldn't wish that place on my worst enemy. Thank God they closed them when they did. I hope people get a frigin clue and close down anything else that even close to resembles straight. The reason parents put thier kids in there is b/c that child has something going on in thier life. Why don't parents start raising thier kids and stop leaving it to someone else to do? The tough gets going and so do the parents these days then they send their kids to some facility that does more damage then good. I ever find out that someone is treating my daughters the way that place treated me and some of my friends I guarentee I'll be locked up again cause I would kill somebody. do u know that when i was pregnant with my twins i had some problems that landed me in the hospital. I was fine the 1st day until the doctors told me i would have to stay until they felt it was o.k. for me to go home. I automatcally freaked out. No Way!!! I was over 18 weren't nobody nowhere gonna tell me they were gonna put me in a room, tell me I couldn't go outside or do what i wanted to do when I wanted to do it even if it was risking the lives of my unborn daughters. I had been out of straight for 3 years at that point but all that time did not seperate me from the feeling of helplessness that came from being locked up in a place where I had no control over my own life. Then on top of that Having people of my own age and older yelling and spitting in my face about what a oiecce of shit i was for doing drugs at 15 . Screw the fact my step dad had molested me for 4 years on and off along with a couch at my high school and a camp counselor.They were the ones who should have been punished and even after my parents found out about it they still chose to put me in straight. It seemed like a lovely place why not. Still to this dqy they have no idea of things that went on there. Anyway, It was only after the doctors gave me special privleges such as going outside in a wheel chair whenever i wanted to giving me my own telephone and giving me a private room so my hubby could spend the nights and weekends with me that agreed to stay. I will tell u though when they let me go home 2 weeks later i went into preterm labor 8 more times b4 i actually gave birth. All 8 times they wanted to put me back in the hospital but i refused. That 2 weeks i'd been there already was hard enough just because of that trapped feeling i got while i was there. Even with all the special arrangments i still felt locked up (trapped) which is something i never knew anything about until straight. When I got out,now I had to deal with the pain and anger of being in there for 2 years along with the pain and anger i had before i went in there.Sound like a good treatment plan to you? Shit, I did way more drugs and alot stronger ones when I got out then i did b4 i went in there. Thank God above I am now 29 and have out grown my bad habits with the help of God my family and my friends. Not some bullshit institute that claims to wanna help you when all they wanted was my dad's insurance money and somebody else to try their brainwashing methods on. "Oh so what if it doesn't work or worse yet it backfires and makes the kid worse. Just a worthless drug addict, the worst that could happen is they kill themself."Is that how you feel about your child, brother, sister, friend, anybody else you know? well if not then i suggest from personal experience that if you or someone you know is considering a place similiar to straight you better think again. Your loved ones life depends on it. PLEASE!!! Do more research find another option. Thankyou for reading and God bless all the people who have been there or anywhere like it.

Date: January 04, 2003
Name: scott borders
Location: cincinnati,ohjio
i was in straight inc for..almost 3 half years in florida nd then in the cincinnati program..i am not pro straight,i "got me off drugs ' but failed to give me the professional guidence i needed as an young adult,thee physical abuse and special diets r true,i have not been able to contact many because most just want it forgotten and most come form very upper middle class families..if ya need any more straight info let me know and was ur brother in the st pete straight..i was there also '

Date: October 22, 2002
Name: Becca Babcock
Location: Bangor, Maine
I am so sorry your brother was put through that shit for so long! Me and my Mom were talking about it, because I was reading it when she came in, and I told her about it, and asked if she had ever heard of Straight Inc. and she said she heard some stuff, and I told her things you mentioned, and I told her "If my and Kim (my sister) ever get into drugs really really really bad, please don't put us into any kind of rehab!" I even told her I would rather go to jail then go to some rehab. Atleast they get to watch TV & movies in there! This might sound a little crazy, but this is just me, I love my music, I'd go crazy with out it, and reading, thats one of the things I absolutely love to do, and I could just not imgaine going without the two things that mean the most in my life (more so music. . Other then my friends & family) would make me want to do the same as your brother did. . And then not to be able to see my family?!? Or my friends?! I get home sick going down to my Grandmothers camp w.out my Mom. . And going to some freakazoid place like that, and not really getting to see my Mom, or anyone else, I'd flip. . And this probablly sounds pathetic, but I'd loose it if I couldn't see my boyfriend. . He's in jail, and if I don't see him all week I go crazy, and turn into a *excuse my language* a cunt! Its pretty bad when you notice that your being one! I want to give you all the respect in the world for working up enough strength to go and research this stuff, it must of been so heart wrenching to know what happened to your brother. . I just want to say good job!! Keep strong and everything! :o)

Date: October 15, 2002
Name: kevin
i am truly sorry that you had to endure all that you did. i was in straight inc from 1989 to 1992 in virginia beach, then when they were closed down, in atlanta, GA. somehow, I am lucky, and as the years went on the insanity of that place died down, by the time I left it was a shadow of what it had been. I also witnessed some really horrific shit, realy horrific, and some really amazing shit too, the good did not outweigh the bad. I have stayed clean since, because I am an addict, straight Inc or not, eventually I would have been forced to either get clean, or try and make it from lock down to lock down, straight was just one of them, I have also worked at some treatment centers since then, one of them being growing together, and in a kindred spirit, I would just like to say that it is a whole different world, thankfully the law stepped in years ago, and took out the people who felt kids should be restrained for talking, not talking, whatever they felt like doing it for. My experiences there as a counselor who is non violent, and who is responsible for making sure kids dont have to go through what me and my posse went through, I can say that since 2000 at the latest GT has actually been a top notch treatment center, of course pissed off kids who are angry period would say otherwise, but none of the echoes of straight are there save that kids do actually help kids there, and not because they are afraid to get restrained, or because they are told druggies are losers, the word druggies is not even in the vocabulary except for some of the relics that remember the bad old days. they just ousted the last real relic, their CEO, she left, or was fired due to some really unusual business ethics, but seriously it is a whole new world there, started in the ashes of some terrible days, so if that matters, and I think it would, because it is people like myself and many others who have sought to bring care to kids, without the insanity of straight. thanks for your time. kevin b

Date: October 02, 2002
Name: Red
Location: England
THis kind of treatment forced upon kids while their growing up is typical of overparenting and a fear of what "kids can do when left alone" the sort of junkieism yes is a problem and only can be fixed by doctor (ie family doctors etc...) and help and support at home by friends and family, because that person needs support. but the denial of being a child is basically taking awway your human rights and should be fought against, yeah fair enough im no angl but the process of learning is based on making m,istakes and sendin good kids to these things makes me sick to the point of acually doing something! Thanks for the insight Rob Kelley

Date: August 28, 2002
Name: Deva dass
Straight was a disgusting demonic place i know they will suffer alot at some point has anyone decided to try a class action lawsuit what happened in straight needs to be brought out in the open more still healing lots of love deva

Date: August 25, 2002
Name: Kari
Location: sterling, va
i am deeply saddened to read about your brother. words can not express my sorrow. i was tricked, like so many others, when i first came to straight. straight took an already insecure, rebellious 15 year old girl and robbed me of what little spirit or security i might have had. yes, i did experiment with drugs. i also lied to my parents and skipped school and did allot of stupid things in my youth. i had many problems which i eventually, without straight's help, outgrew. in reading so many stories of other "straightlings," i feel fortunate to have endured only 6 months of living hell in 1985. i have my probabtion officer to thank for convincing my mother to yank me out. he visited me monthly at the springfield "camp" and could not ignore my declining psychological state from month to month (not to mention the fear of pregnancy since there was no explanation for the 30 pounds i gained when i was hardly being fed) just today, while cleaning out some clutter, i came across an article about straight inc in high times magazine (dec '88). i saved it because it hit home so many years ago. my memories have remained in storage just like that article. i physically feel sick when i read about M.I.'s and earned "talk and responsibility," and "motivating," the "druggie" term and those stupid ass songs. it's sad, very sad what we went through and i know i had it better than most. i never got my period the entire time i was in the "program" because of the trauma my body was under. i lied to my "oldcomer" and said i got my period and purposely left a tampon in for days hoping to get toxic shock syndrom so i could go to the hospital. i'm saddened and bitter that it has taken me 17 years to have healthy, trusting relationships and to realize i'm alright. i thank you for all you have done. god bless you. kari

Date: July 17, 2002
Name: Linda (Powell) Gleeson
Location: NJ
Just want express my sympathies, it pains my heart. I was in Springfeild from about '82 - '86 I remember Steve. I remember his face. I remember his struggle. I do remember that smile (It was a great one) (even though I probably didn't get a glimpse of an authentic one, being in straight.) I remember Kristen & Duane, and this is all recent news to me. I was an out-of-town client so when I seven stepped I went home and blocked it all from my mind. It is all coming back, in a sad, gut wrenching kind of way. I was blessed to know some beautiful people in that building, and they got me through it, in spite of "the program." I truly am sorry for your loss.

Date: July 01, 2002
Name: Mike Sherman
Website: none
Location: tally florida
Kelly - I feel really bad for what your brother had to endure. I was in for only 15 months and that was almost enough to drive me insane. I tried to end it all about 3 years after I left Straight. Tied a belt around my neck and the looped the other end to a monkey bar thing at a local park. Counted to 3 and jumped off. Fortunately for me, the belt broke and I hit the ground. I know the pain your brother was feeling. Kelly - while I did not know your brother, I bet he would be proud of your activism. You are to be commended. Take care - Mike, Striaght Survivor '78 - '80

Date: June 25, 2002
Name: John W
Location: Portland, OR
Thank you so much for the time and effort you took to put up the information about Straight. Your brother would be proud and although I don't know either of you, I have no doubt of Straights contribution. I was in Straight for 15 months and my host brother of 6 months killed himself. I also made the first conference but this is the first time seeing your web page. Keep up the good work and lets not let this happen to anybody else!

Date: May 30, 2002
i came 2 this website because i didn't think that a would exist. the first thing i did was rread about your brother. i am so sorry. i have also lost people 2 suicide but no family members so i guess it was very hard for u. i think u r doing a great thing in telling every1 about this. i hope that soon some1 will put a stop 2 this all together. i will tell all my friends about this your brothers story and hopefully we will come up with a way 2 stop them cause i mean abusing kids is just wrong. tell u if i come up with ant thing.

Date: May 27, 2002
Name: John A. deLaubenfels
Location: Atlanta, GA
My sincere sympathies for the death of your brother. Thanks for keeping up this site! I oppose the drug war very vocally, and this kind of abuse is one really big reason. A small correction: you refer to Hitler's ability to "memorize"; the correct word here would be "mesmerize". Thanks again, JdL

Date: April 12, 2002
Name: wendy
Location: cincinnati
i'm so sorry about your brother. i remember others too. i was there from december 84 to august 86- ages 15 through 17.... yeah i "graduated" 7stepped whatever, but all that really means is that i learned how to be a better actress and cry at the right times. well there's more to it than all that, but not now. bye for now.

Date: April 11, 2002
Name: Jessica Harding
Location: New Hampshire
I will help you stop this.

Date: April 02, 2002
Name: karina
Location: dominican republic
well... this is awful, I dont have words 2 say!!... they really sux and Im so sorry about ur brother, I born the same day that he die and this story break my heart :"(...THIS IS SO BAD AND UNJUST!!

Date: March 23, 2002
Name: WeeBo
Website: -=-
Location: California
I stumbled upon your site, not expecting much, but then I read the sotry of your brother. I think its extremely heartbreaking, as you probobly have heard many times from other people. But I truly think that you are doing right by teaching other people of whats goin on. Im just wondering why the guards or the foster families didnt stop any of this. I can understand that its a paycheck, but come on, thats blood money they were taking. They try to prevent drug abuse, but they dont seem to care much about physicall or emotional abuse, by the looks of it they dont mind causing it. Once again, Im really sorry for what happened, and you're doing a right thing. Thanx for reading.

Date: March 21, 2002
Name: Teri
Location: Georgia
I have the pleasure of knowing a very special guy that was in Straight, Inc. When he told me about the program and his own horror stories all I could do was cry. He was finally able to escape for good and not get caught but still has the terrible memories of this tragic place they call rehab for our youth. This place or anyone connected should be punished and executed as my friend will never be the same because of Straight, Inc.

Date: March 12, 2002
Name: BobbyKay
Location: Boston
Kelly, I was in VA in Oct of 85 and left Jan of 86 to go to the Boston program. I am never at a lose of words when it comes to talking about Straight Inc. For the first time I have nothing to say. BK

Date: March 09, 2002
Name: jailan
Location: Egypt
hi , this whole story is really very sad, but it was very courageous of you to write and explain it, it sure gives a better idea to the people about the straights. i have to say that i was very touched by your brother story, but i'm sure that your brother is vey proud of you.

Date: February 25, 2002

Date: February 08, 2002
Name: anonymous
sorry about your brother

Date: January 04, 2002
Name: Shelby and Bill
Location: Virginia
My husband and I were both in the VA Straight program with Steve. I'm so sorry he didn't make it. Kristin was my very first oldcomer when I entered Straight. All this is news to me. After 22 months in the program, I 7th Stepped and never looked back, except to occasionally think about the abuse I endured. Once in a while, my husband and I talk about our time there, but it is something we would prefer to forget. Thank you for having the courage to tell Steve's story.

Date: January 03, 2002
Name: Mitch Weitzman
Kelly, That SUCKS that your brother died. This brings me back to when they carted alot of my friends off to Straight, Inc.(VA)in 1986. Some graduated, some didn't. The longer they spent there, the worse off they are. They are ALL FUCKED to this very day. The least of their problems are sex issues. Half of the graduates that I know have been or are in PRISON or the NUT HOUSE. I even know one who lied and now has a top security clearance!! I only know of two graduates who are somewhat successful. One is a nurse at Hopkins who started drinking again after seven years of sobriety after Straight. The other is in CDRom production. My best friend escaped twice after two weeks and was not sent back. He and I are sober today. I have two years and he just relapsed after five years, but he's back! Straight,Inc. is a nightmare machine. My friends used to tell me they fantacised about me liberating the Virginia facility (I was a Marine at the time). I could go on forever. Reason being, the guy who lied on the security clearance, we fell in love. I think this played a big part in his being sent to STRAIGHT. I am pissed that an entity goes around promoting my program of attraction. The serenity prayer tells me to change the things I can. Well, laws can be added and changed. Something big has to happen to someone in power before things like this get proper public attention. What happened to your brother and other Straightlings is a MORAL OUTRAGE weather they died or not. You all have had my tears and prayers for many years. Staying in touch with eachother is one of the keys to change, so do feel free to write back. I wonder where the President's kid goes when it's time for forced rehab. Mitch :[

Date: December 27, 2001
Name: laura
Location: tx
Ijust wanted to tell you how sorry I am for your lose, i was myself in straight in 89' it has taken me untill this year to stop flipping and I don't always feal secure in that I've had to deal with post traumatic stress all this time altough last year i found a treatment that actually has helped, its very low talk and work quickly. its called E.M.D.R. as you can imagine how difficult it was for me to talk to anybody even close to a shrink. so emdr was a great relief. Most of the kids I was locked down with have spent the last ten years being homeless and running just like i have. of course many of them died quickly, Being dead was always preferable to being in straight. I'm starting now to write a book about the desicions made during and after that hell, and all the things I did to avoid associating with that part of my life. Anyway thank you for your page it's good to know that some people know the truth. Laura

Date: December 03, 2001
Name: Donald Smith
Website: http:\\\group\Straight_Inc_Alumni
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Thanks for sharing your story with us. Don

Date: November 24, 2001
Name: VH
Location: Springfield, VA
I was in Straight for 3 years. I HATED IT! I spent the first year getting restrained for not raising my hand or smiling at another "newcomer". Soon I realized that I needed to make up stories and pretned to beleive that I had a drug problem just so I could get the hell out. I graduated in 1991. Although I complied and walked the walked I am very resentful of the time that was taken away from me. I never beleived that I had a drug problem, I used drugs but did not depend on them. I haven't used them since I was 18 years old. Today I am a 28 year old responsilbe adult. I have amounted to a dependable wife and mother. I have a great career that pays well. Straight didn't get me off drugs, I did! All Straight did was restrain me, spit on me, starve me and make me live a lie for 2 years just so I could survive. Thanks Straight!

Date: November 12, 2001
Name: Lefora
Location: new zealand
I had never heard of Straight before, however I have heard of other brainwashing cults. That is exactly what this thing is and I am so glad that even through the trauma you suffered with the loss of your brother, that you can get this information out there. Usually when these brainwashing shams get hold of people there isnt a hell of a lot one can do, except employ the knowledge of 'cleansers' or deprogrammers to break them again to rebuild them as they may have been prior to the brainwashing. It is a appalling that such an outfit as this is permitted to commit their evil works on our youth. Although I believe in creation, I do not believe in the breaking of the human spirit, under no circumstances. I have a brother who has survived intravenous drug use and that was an ordeal for me to witness. He was lucky, and so am I. I am truly sorry for your loss and even more appreciate my brothers circumstances. Keep going with this crusade. The more vocal you become, the more others will listen.

Date: November 12, 2001
Name: antonio carrera
Location: newjersey
i read your story n to be honest i was about to cry . you know why ? simply cuz i was in kids of north jersey too but now it was being call kids of new jersey . i have alots of storys too thats when i was in the program i could not share cuz if i did i would be put down in the groung and if i was in 2nd or any other phase i be put down to 1st and it would be only cuz i be spaecking the true . i dont really know what to say about your brother accept that im sorry im really sorry and i wish i could talk to you . sinceratelly anthonony

Date: November 07, 2001
Name: Jeremy Lanier
Location: Charlote, NC
Thank you for sharing this with me. I am a Straight(fucked) excuse me graduate from 1990-1993. That place was horrific. I was in the Atlanta Prison. I would like to discuss my experiences with you in further detail if at all possible, please e-mail me back if you can. Again thank you for sharing your pain with me. I'm sorry we had to meet under these conditions.

Date: October 14, 2001
Name: A Clockwork Orange Chris
Location: Reston,Virginia
There are so many good things I want to tell you about Steve.I wanted to include this specific example in my earlier guestbook comments and so I would like to take the opportunity to say this now.I hope these comments are good testimony as to what a wonderful and fantastic person Steve was. I was thinking about Steve earlier this week and what immediately came into my mind was the 1967 movie "Cool Hand Luke." One of Paul Newmans best performances in one of the Greatest movies of all Time. Steve Mathews was 100% just like Cool Hand Luke and Cool Hand Luke was 100% just like Steve. You can`t seperate the two because they were so much alike in every possible way.Both were so smart,outgoing,brave,caring, intelligent,witty,courageous and both had a sense of humor that was second to none.All this and so very much more.I miss Steve and will never forget him.He will always be with me in my memories of him and in the film classic "Cool Hand Luke."

Date: October 11, 2001
Name: A Clockwork Orange Chris
Location: Reston,Virginia
Kelly I knew your brother Steve Mathews.He and I were in Straight together at the same time in 1985-1986. I have lots of memories of Steve.This is one of my favorite "Steve Stories." (I`ll e-mail you the rest very soon.) During my 9 month long First Phase I sprained my right arm from all that rabid and endless "motivating" that Straight has us all doing daily and nightly in those damn raps.There were 6 raps a day plus all the motivating they has us doing before,between and after raps. My right arm hurt like bloody hell for weeks and weeks actually got painfully worse and stayed that way for awhile because the more motivating I did the worse my sprained arm got. Some of the Staff and kids at Straight incorrectly assumed that I was faking the whole thing and gave me shit about it.I wasn`t faking anything and Steve could see this. The only person in that damn place that had any Humanity and Compassion was Steve Mathews. Steve defended me and he said he thought people were wrong in attacking me and going after me in their various witch hunts about my sprained arm.Steve showed great courage and grace by defending me and sticking up for me and I will always be grateful to him for this.After that people left me alone and stopped harrassing me.God Bless Steve Mathews. He was an Angel for me during those dark days.

Date: October 10, 2001
Name: A Clockwork Orange Chris
Location: Reston,Virginia
Kelly this is a fantastic site.Keep up the good work you are doing.It`s good to finally see web sites about STRAIGHT INC.on The Web.For many years whenever I would enter Straight Inc. into search engines all I ever got back in return was sex sites and sites for that Straight Edge organization.**LOL** I was in Straight Inc. in Springfield,VA from February 1985 to July of 1986.I was there at Straight when Princess Diana and Nancy Reagan visted in the Spring of 1986.Secret Servce were everywhere.A Straight staff member told us beforehand that if any of us pulled anything while they where there that we would get an Uzi put in our armpits. Straight was the worst 17 months of my entire Life.It`s like The 1971 Stanley Kubric Classic Masterpiece "A CLOCKWORK ORANGE." It was more insane than my years of drinking and drugging ever was (before or since.) And yes I knew your brother Steve very well.God Bless him.He and I were there at the same time.He was a good and decent person and I will privately e-mail you my memories of him.

Date: October 07, 2001
Name: Jay
Why don't you press charges? has anyone pressed charges...unite in your charges....form a coalition, the more that go in together the stronger your case......

Date: October 07, 2001
Why don't you press charges? has anyone pressed charges...unite in your charges....form a coalition, the more that go in together the stronger your case......

Date: September 13, 2001
Name: Wendy Bright
Location: Virginia
I knew Steve. I am so sad about his and others suicides. I just learned of a few more people I used to know, through your list. That part of my life has never left me and still affects how I view myself as a person. For years steve has crossed my mind. The last time I saw him he was hitchhiking in the rain . I will pray for all of our healing from the damages done . I've opened a can of worms and now I have to deal with it. Thank You for your brutally honest and vivid description. Wendy Bright

Date: September 04, 2001
Name: Kelly
Dear Concerned Reader, Straight is not in existence any longer therefore there is no link. They were shut down in the early 90's. The other programs, such as, Safe, Kids Helping Kids, are OFFSPRING of Straight.

Date: September 01, 2001
Dear WebDiva, This account literally brought tears to my eyes. I was absolutely in floods of tears by the time i had read about the suicide and the breathing restriction section. I dont care if people think im a sad emotional person coz the treetment at this STRAIGHT was APPALLING. Could you possibly post the web site for straight..the official one... Thank you for opening my and every readers eyes to this awful organisation. A Concerned reader.

Date: August 22, 2001
Your story was told with so much truth. I thank you for your corage to share this and hope it helps you to heal.I myself was in Kids {N.J.}for five years.I went in a month after my 14th birthday and did not get out till I was 19. I just started to deal with all the abuse.I had smoked pot before I got put in there but did not drink much. And did five years of my life for that.My brother was in before me.They told my mom if she did not put me in they would not let him stay,so she put me in thinking I DID NOT need to be there.But felt she had no other way.This all seems to much to handle at times. I get very depressed over it all. If it were not for my children sometimes I think I`d check-out of life. So I do understand your brother`s pain and know he`s in a better place. I am glad that your sharing your story. It will help you in the long run. The best of luck in life to you. Thank you, Anonymous

Date: August 16, 2001
Name: Tony
When I was in Kids of El Paso, the only things I used to think about were escape and suicide. If I'd had the chance to slit my wrists or blow my brains there is no doubt that I would have. I was imprisoned there for almost a year and was greatly affected by it for years afterwards and still am somewhat to this day. I was pulled out in 1987. Unfortunately though, these types of treatment centers will continue to exist as long as parents aren't willing to admit their own shortcomings and have others tell them that everything is their childs fault. I could go on forever about this but... So sorry to hear about your brother. There were several from El Paso who committed suicide also.

Date: August 13, 2001
Name: lisa hartman
Location: dallas
i am very touched by your story. i was a victim of straight in 1991 here in dallas. i walked at 18. i am amazed at how right on the nose you are about the place, and you were not even sister refuses to talk about it, and its been ten years since i got away from that wreched hell hole. thank you for putting your story here so everyone can read are telling the truth!!!!

Date: August 09, 2001
Name: Hannah
Location: uk
i feel so sorry for you i would hate to loose my brother.

Date: August 01, 2001
Name: obi
Location: san diego
WOW. . .first off blessing go to you and your existing family. I hope you are able to work thru the future and sort out your feelings. . this is my first time on one of these [ logs/dairy ] sites and something drew me to read what you had to say about straight. . . Im upset and concerned . . .I wish I had the manpower to stop these things that they are doin to our youth. . .it seems like nobody cares . . .same thing with our youth going to jail and the programs provided for them. . horrible treatments all over the US. . .i feel your pain sister and want you to know that when you need a friend, indeed I'll be there/ . . . Im sending a silent prayer to your brother asking him to talk to you and bring you to peace with the situation between the two of you. . . I also was a troubled child and can understand the frustration he must have felt while be restrained. . .that can really tear a person down and make you feel like there is no hope. . . well. . .if you want to talk . . .find me on blackplanet as [mobstatus] or email me at peace & blessings upon you and your family!~

Date: July 20, 2001
Name: Terra
I was put into a program at age 16, although not straight.. it was a program called apple,, and the horrors.... i am sorry for your loss and all the losses from when a kid just can't talk about it.

Date: July 18, 2001
Name: Kimberly
Location: FROM NJ, living in FL (HHHOOT
Very nice site, sweetie. Ditto what Ginger said. Sorry to hear about your brother. I was there I know his emotions.

Date: July 17, 2001
Name: Ginger Warbis
Location: Florida
Thank you for caring. It's not often that a page on Straight brings me to tears any more. Not that I ever quit caring, just that I thought I'd accepted the facts and moved on to action. But once in awhile you run accross something so honest and damned blunt that it just hits you all over again. Thank you for having the courage to do this.

Date: July 17, 2001
Name: Kelly
Just testing!


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