The Cult Awareness Network
and the IntrepidNet Reporter:
or Where Were You When the Concord Went Down?

by Wesley Fager © August 7, 2003



I was in a juvenile treatment cult. The drug of my choice? Oh, I didn't abuse any substances at all and I wasn't a juvenile; but my boy did and was. On the recommendation of a high school guidance counselor and on the recommendation of the President of the United States I sent him to Straight, Inc. for help, but they told me I had problems too. I had to work on relationships to get my son sober. They told me I was an enabler. They would not let me communicate with my son--at all. They made me attend a special weekend seminar to help me deal with my own problems. The seminars sound similar to those that WWASPS parents attend. My seminar was based on The Trip which was invented by Chuck Dederick at Synanon Church. I was forbidden from having carnal relations with my wife during the holy retreat. If my son was sick, why was my whole family in therapy? Why did they tell my wife of 23 years that she must leave me because I was not good for Straight because I had reported on child abuse at Straight. She was torn because they convinced her that her son would die without them. Why did they try to convince my daughter that she was a drug addict too and also needed their special treatment? Even after we left the cult and I found out that my son had been severely abused, I did not immediately go along with my son and my wife to sue them. I knew that though I had a bad experience, still Straight was saving lives. Weren't they?

If your child has a behavioral problem such as drug addiction, then why do you have to go to a seminar to learn how to cope? Afterall, if he breaks his arm you don't have to go to a seminar.

America is a big place so why are American kids shuttled off to remote Islands or to remote desert locations for treatment?

Why do some of these programs cost as much as a Harvard education?

Why can't you see your child while he is in treatment? Afterall you can see him if he is in prison. Besides, haven't kids even been abused in a Catholic Church?

How can kids further along in their treatment be called upon to treat other kids? If they are little monsters in recovery then they are not the role models for newcomers in recovery. Don't we have colleges and universities to train people in these sorts of professions.

Why aren't kids from Harlem sent to these places?

I started wondering if I had been involved in a mind control cult. In other words they had destroyed my son; tried to recruit my daughter as well even though she was not a drug addict; and had tried to end my marriage. And yet I would not say bad things about them. One evening I attended a meeting of the Maryland Chapter of the Cult Awareness Network (CAN). We sat in a circle and introduced ourselves (if we wanted to) and told of our experience (if we wanted to). I gave my name and told what they had done to my son. I never mentioned the treatment program we had been in. I heard a woman whisper to another--Straight. I kept talking but never mentioning my specific group. And then I heard another person from the other side of the room whisper--Straight. Turns out CAN knew quite allot about the Straight juvenile treatment cult. And then I started learning too.

CAN was headquartered in Chicago. A few years later, in a legal suit engineered by the Church of Scientology™, one of the groups like Straight that CAN was monitoring, CAN was sued out of existence and its name was purchased by the Church of Scientology™. Now if you go to the CAN web page, you talk to Scientologists.

Take J. Gordon Melton, Ph.D., now deceased, formerly the director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion and a research specialist with the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California. He was the author of more than twenty-five books, including studies on new American religious movements. Melton was also an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. J. Gordon Melton was a cult apologists who did as much as anyone to popularize certain destructive groups calling themselves churches. He helped found CESNUR. If you want to know about CESNUR read the Washington Times. People used to think of the Moonies as a cult, but not since George Bush I announced that the Times (which is owned by Reverend Moon) is the paper he reads--along with the likes of J. Gordon Liddy and Ollie North--even Rush Limbaugh, the Josef Goebels of the Republican Party has been sponsored by The Times. And not since Moon pays George and Barbara big bucks to go around the world to say nice things about him and his church; the same way Mel Sembler gets the Bush's to move their lips. The Germans and the French realize it is possible for Wesley Fager (or anybody else for that matter) to organize a religion for the purpose of gaining protection under the Constitution, or to get tax breaks, or simply to get legitimacy. What's more, the Europeans realize that after 1950 a plethora of groups have tried to emulate the brainwashing techniques of the Communist Chinese in order to persuade their members to be obedient. The German government has a problem with the Church of Scientology™; so what, our own government had the same problem until Admiral David Miscaviage, L. Ron Hubbard's former cameraman, now the Pope of all Clamdom, walked into the office of the United States Commissioner of the IRS, unannounced, and upon leaving, the commissioner came out and told his aide to grant the Church of Scientology™ a tax exemption. Yes, that means their $10 million luxury Ocean Liner is a religious retreat and fully tax exempt!

So where in America do you go to find out what the Europeans are up to as far as in determining what should be and should not be a bona fide religion? Well you can read the Moonie Times to see what the cult apologist Massimo Introvigne of CESNUR has been complaining about. That's probably how I found out that the French Assembly was planning on voting on deciding what groups should be classified as bona fide religions to the consternation of the Moonies, the Scientologists and others. That's why on July 25, 2001 I stood out in front of the French Embassy in Washington, DC, with sign proclaiming

Why does the
Church of Scientology™
use lie detectors
in Church confessionals?

I was demonstrating in support of the French Assembly's willingness to address the issue, the same way the clams (I mean Scientologists) had protested that same embassy just the day before for daring to look into the issue. After a while a CNN bus pulled across the street and set up its satellite dish. Wow! I was finally going to get some recognition. I, with my one man show, was finally going to be on national news. When the technician failed to approach me, I walked across the street and contacted him. "Don't tell me you're here to interview me," I smugly inquired. "No," he answered, "I'm waiting for my reporter. The Concord just crashed and we are going to interview the French." I left immediately.

Since 1993 I have been researching the Straight cult as well as other destructive cult groups, plus, of course, allegedly destructive juvenile treatment programs of all sorts. One group I heard an awful lot about was teen specialty schools, boot camps, wilderness programs and of course Teen Help / WWASPS. My best source of information for these specialty schools was Donna Headrick, the IntrepidNet Reporter. Donna died recently; she was being sued by WWASPS. Dead, she was not available to renew her rights to IntrepidNet and now her old web site address is owned by WWASPS.