updated 10/27/05 - 1530 EST
hits since 10-28-05
Straight, Inc.: rehabilitation, thought reform, $95 million and the destruction of young spirits.
We shall tolerate no treatment program where children can not talk, in private, with their parents.
To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men. Abraham Lincoln
They run very close to really performing psychic murder.
Marge Robertson, ACLU
From Arizona Republic

What this site is about and who is behind it

Letters to the editor
update 10/24/05

A Clockwork Straight

by Wes Fager

Suicides. What do these three young men have in common. They are among the 40+ known former Straight clients who have committed suicide. suicides
suicide attempts

Mel Sembler and the Great Fairfax County Virginia juvenile suicide epidemic report


Lon Woodbury of Bonners Ferry, Idaho (an education specialist and former director of admissions of CEDU'S Rocky Mountain Academy), Struggling Teens dot com, or Woodbury Reports

Thomas J. Croke (AKA Tom Croke), educational consultant, Family Light, or Bridge to Understanding

Coming 2005
Tough Love America[2] by Maia Szalavitz, a book onStraight and other tough love programs
Straight Kids, a documentary feature film. view trailer
The Great Drug War by Dr. Arnold Trebach to be re-released

Synanon Church
where therapeutic communities started

Who are they?
Straight officials.
Has Straight really closed?
Why Straight is a cult
SAFE video
a 2nd generation Straight
Straight Foundation (DFAF)
a shell corporation to protect Mel Sembler and the money. Renamed (with new, non-treatment mission) in 1995 to its current name--Drug Free America Foundation, Inc.
DFAF: national drug policy
Mel's plan for drug testing teens in order to get a driver's license, or DFAF's growing influence on national drug policy. link2 link3
DFAF: internat'l drug policy
DFAF is a major player behind Drug Prevention Network of the Americas and Global Drug Prevention Network for global demand reduction. link2

Sembler using SLAPP suits?
Incorporated Apr. 22, 1976
ISAC's Insurance fraud report



The unauthorized biography of Straight founder Ambassador2 Melvin Floyd Sembler, AO
Professor Trebach's book on drug policy was first to address the horrors of Straight. It is now in second edition link

GOP, cults, destructive rehabs and money
Republican Party
link1 link2
Mel Sembler is former finance chair for the GOP. Betty Sembler is former finance cochair for Jeb Bush. Bush I's TV commercial for Straight.
White House web page
Sign petition 2 recall Jeb Bush Florida's GOP & Scientology™
video on Scientology™
White House for Sale
Bush's 03 $100K Fl. donors
Texans for Public Justice

Bush on physical fitness
Soros or Moon: Which sugar daddy is right for you?

what hath Mel & Betty wrought

a Straight-based novel
COME CLEAN – THE AMERICAN WAY OF CHILD CONTROL by Terri Paddock. Based on the real-life saga of a family in Straight-Springfield, VA. The book has been described by critics as a cross between One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Catcher in the Rye. Ms. Paddock's agent is negotiating a translation for a possible Hollywood movie. review buy

The stupidest story ever told

The Christmas Story
a la L. Ron ..Hubbard
This incredible story is the basis for the Church of Scientology™
Scientology™ Illustrated
We highly recommend Jon Atack's expose on the Church of Scientology™. order

Narconon has a program that works! I know, I did it ... It saved my life!
Kirstie Alley, Actress, Scientologist, Narconon National Spokesperson

Press Kit
web link
printable kit

. .
this site
Ginger's newspaper archives
Rick Ross' newspaper archives
St Pete Times archives
Phone book locator
People/property locator


Straight, Inc. Survivors
Straight, Inc. Alumni
We've been there
The Teen Help Industry
The health fraud Discussion
The Seed

Pathway Family Center
Kids of North Jersey/Bergen Cnty
Kids of El Paso
LIFE / Growing Together
Kids Helping Kids-Cincy / Hebron / Possibilities Unlimited
DPNA/GDPN forum (DFAF allies)
DPNA/GDPN chat room (DFAF allies)
direstraigths e-mail signup
Fornits on Elan
CEDU/Amity School
Court TV forum
Joe's Apartment

Who links to us

Our Links
US Embassy Rome, Italy
Villa Taverna

Straight survivors met with attorneys 12-29-03

Video wanted. We are looking for a copy of Kathy Fontaine's first Eye on Tampa Bay Show on Straight. Please contact us if you have it.

Jordan Riak's
Project NoSpank

on boot camps
Florida Government
House Health Care Appropriations Committee

what hath Mel & Betty wrought
Resurrection & Redemption:
Overcoming Mental Illness & Regaining Dignity

by Harryet Erlich and Lewis Opler, MD

Rebecca Erlick
was once set back in Miller Newton's KIDS program in New Jersey for eating a cookie! In 1999 Newton and team settled with Ms. Erlick for $4.5 million. Now Harryet Erlich, Rebecca's mother, has teamed up with Rebecca's psychiatrist, Dr. Lewis Opler, to write a book about Rebecca's experience at KIDS.
what hath Mel & Betty wrought
Saving Grace:
Based on a True Story
Canadian play write Leanne Padmos and Anne-Marie Leigh wrote a play about the 7 1/2 years Ms. Padmos' niece Grace spent in Miller Newton's KIDS of North Jersey. Saving Grace opened fittingly in Dec. 2003 at Pumphouse Theatre in Calgary, Canada. Miller Newton is portrayed as a character named Dr. Mallard (as in quack). The Calgary News & Entertainment Weekly calls the play, "a shocking true story about an abusive teen rehab centre." John Spittal of Canada's CBC Radio One talks about the play here.

It should not surprise you to know that in Jackson County, Florida in 1981 there was a movement to have 1984 banned there because Orwell's novel is "pro-communist and contained explicit sexual matter."


10-25-05 Visit and/or search our blogs here
TSDC Archieved News page 1
An Internet newspaper on child abuse in therapeutic communities

WWASPS: Utah's Majestic Ranch being sued in Federal court for assault, inappropriate restraints and emotional abuse link

WWASPS loses bid to buy Kemper Military School link

Child's death during restraint at Georgia boot camp being investigated link

St. Petersburg Florida toys with idea to give Sembler control of the sidewalks to silence black protesters and peace dissenters link

International News Tracking Log: Did Ambassador Sembler Quash a state attempt to close Straight link

Peace Reporter, a 4th Italian publication tells the story of Ambassador Melvin Sembler, Betty Sembler and Straight. Peace Reporter is an Italian-based, on-line newspaper and editorial agency aiming to spread a culture of peace and respect for human rights. It is a collaboration of the Missionary Service News Agency (MISNA) and Emergency--a humanitarian association based in Milan, Italy. It uses journalist from around the world, including diplomatic personnel. The paper is in Italian and English. The article is by Alessandro Ursic. Italian version English translation Randi Rhodes Show voy child torturer now US ambassader allspinzone

update 4/7/05 Orkut Media: His Own Private Abu Ghraib--the story of lame duck Ambassador Mel Sembler: his background in criminal child abuse and his discarded penis pump article Tampa Indy Media coverage Italy Indy Media Wash DC Indy Media Sydney Australia Indy Media ProjectNo Spank newswire IndyMedia mod blog corrente ask questions buzz flash wealth bondage The Neil Rogers Shown R Daily KOS democrats JackBlood The Gop: Destroying America Bleeding Heart askquestions earthrainbow liberaloasis pandagon newswire indy sideshow Uk mparent7777 evil GOP bastards thereitis freeconservatives raed freddevan

new 3/31/05 Newton threatens to sue in federal court to keep his cupola. Madeira Beach threatens to put him in jail as Mel and Betty keep him aboard their their ISMFDA. Miller Newton, now called Father Cassian, was Straight's former national clinical director. story

update 4/8/05 St. Pete Times says bankruptcy court may relook at Newton's property with the cupola story The Times reruns its Newton bankruptcy story on April 6 and bumps it up to the Clearwater edition of the state section motion to reopen

new 4/21/05 WWASPS' Lichfield sues International Survivors Action Committee (ISAC) and its officers Shelby and Willian Earnshaw link

new 4/11/05 HIGH: A True Tale of American Marijuana by John Halowach. Trailer of film in production. theStraights dot com editor Wes Fager talks about Straight founders Mel and Betty Sembler--the man and woman behind our national demand reduction policy. video

new 4/11/05 The riot at Eagle Point Christian Academy In 1971 prisoners at Attica state prison in New York revolted in the most widely known prison riot in US history. Eleven state workers were killed. Straight abused kids and there was a riot at Straight-Dallas. Growing Together is a second-generation Straight that has been accused of abuse. There have been riots there. Now there is a riot at Eagle Point Christian Academy. If Christian means Christian then how can there be a riot at a Christian school? Or has Christian become some sort of Orwellian doublespeak where peace means war and love means hate and honor has no meaning. If so, somebody needs to tell the President and his Office of Faith-based Initiatives. story

new 4/11/05 Dr. Phil sends kid to controversial Provo Canyon WWASPS founder Robert Lichfield and former President of WWASPS Karr Farnsworth met while working at Provo Canyon Boys School. link

new 4/11/05 KOSA TV in Midland Texas to do segment on Straight and rehab abuse Plans are to send it to CBS national after local viewing for a possible national show. Contact Dennis

new 4/10/05 Riot injures 7 at Eagles Point Boys Academy (formerly Bethel Boys Academy) link

new 4/10/05 Mathew's blog on Am. Sembler's penis pump link

new 4/9/05 WWASPS: Boonville police urge caution on Kemper link

new 4/9/05 Pulse Weekly covers Ambassador Sembler's "penile" pump civil suit link

new 4/6/05 WWASPS: TV Show host Larry Elder offers to send a kid to Spring Creek Lodge Academy--a speciality boarding school link write Larry

new 4/7/05 Melvin Sembler Gets by with a Little Help from His Friends by Zalala tampaIndy

new 4/8/05 Int'l News Tracking Log covers Sembler's involvement in move to quash state attempt to close Straight link

new 4/8/05 A Drug War Carol on Am. Sembler's penis pump link

new 4/5/05 WWASPS: Boonesville receives offer from accused school operator link

new 4/6/05 Veseliba's Penis Enlargement Articles links to articles on Ambassador Sembler's penis pump and on the Oklahoma judge accused of masturbating with his penis pump while on the bench link

update 4/3/05 The Semblers are contributors to the Child Abuse Council of Hillsborough County Florida link

new 4/7/05 ISAC on Ambassador Sembler's penis pump link

new 4/7/05 MelSembler dot com on Ambassador Sembler's penis pump link

new 4/7/05 Mel Sembler: Corporate Welfare Daddy: Or why the poor must pay off his his Centro Ybor shopping center loan link

update 3/30/05 The Semblers' plan for a national drug control policy by Wes Fager link

new 4/2/05 UN says it's unauthorized to investigate Ambassador Sembler for crimes against humanity link

new 4/5/05 Fleshbot covers Ambassador Sembler's lawsuit to reclaim his penis pump link

new 4/5/05 Whoosing sound leads to Oklahoma State Attorney General's complaint about district judge's use of his penis pump while on the bench link

new 4/2/05 Republican child abusers by Canon Fire link

new 4/3/05 New evidence of DC pedophile ring link

new 4/3/05 Political elite sex rings covers Sembler and Straight link

new 4/3/05 Moon: work with Congressmen to disgard democracy link

new 4/3/05 Office of National Drug Control Policy forms International Task Force on Strategic Drug Policy DFAF's Calvina Fayis contact. A meeting was held in Brussels to draft a statement to fight harm reduction Other members include DFAF's Betty Sembler and Eric Voth. link

new 4/3/05 Karenas' blog covers the ambassador's penis pump and child abuse link

3/31/05 NewsTrove picks up Sembler story from Italy Indy and adds to melsembler.newstrove.com link

3/31/05 Yet another post to Italy Indy on Sembler as his reputation grows in Italy link

update 3/31/05 Yet another Italian translation of Sembler, Bradbury and Straight granma

3/27/05 New report: An Overview of Straight's Abuses by Wes Fagerlink

4/1/05 War crimes Bush and Straight link

3/27/05 Straight, Inc., now called Drug Free America Foundation, makes misleading News Advisory on Supreme Court's Medical Marijuana Ruling. link

3/31/05 Mel and Betty Sembler donate to prostate cancer fund at Johns Hopkins link

3/31/05 Alan Keyes, 2000 presidential candidate and TV host, writes bio on Judge Greer and gives credit to theStraigths dot com link

3/25/05 Miami judge orders attorneys to sit in a corner link

3/25/05 Sadam: We always had him flash

3/17/05 Uhuru protest Sembler supermarket deal in Midtown link

3/11/05 Ineffectiveness of Florida Ethics Commission and Judicial Qualifications Commission. JQC shoots messenger and lets Judge Bonanno slide story story2

3/14/05 Credit card companies pay big bucks to Senators and Congressmen to make it harder for you to declare bankruptcy link

3/1/05 Media Matters for America reports on compassionate conservatism's "misinformation" in U.S. media. Fox News and Rush Limbaugh have become the propaganda arm for the Bush White House. Link

2/28/05 A Conspiracy Theory: Is Straight-Seed some sort of Richard Nixon's CIA-NIMH mind-control experiment gone awry? dfaf blog

3/4/05 DFAF's Calvina Fay guest speaker to St. Petersburg Republican Club link

2/27/05 New web page and new forum on WWASP's Tranquility Bay web page forum

2/14/05 The Sixth Circuit and Operation PAR: Has Op PAR become the new treatment arm of Drug Free America Foundation? Updated and republished in Tampa Bay Independent Media and on Drug Free America Foundation Blog.

3/01/05 US Supreme Court saves compassionate conservative Jeb Bush from being labeled Governor Death sptimes

2/23/05 California state superintendent urges all state schools to drop Scientology™-linked Narconon™ antidrug education programs A new state evaluation has concluded Narconon™'s methods offer "inaccurate and unscientific information" SFC

3/2/05 Utah state senators try to regulate teen help industry slt

3/3/05 Republican Senator Connie Mack's tribute to Mel Sembler link

3/3/05 Ambassador Sembler's official portrait When everybody else is wearing an American flag on their lapel, what is that icon Mel Sembler is wearing? portrait

3/3/05 Utah's Majestic Ranch under fire A watchdog group looking at allegations from former staff members at Utah's Majestic Ranch that claim "abusive restraint practices, with students thrown to the ground and hog-tied, their faces shoved in snow or manure," claims the state's investigation of the camp is "half-baked." The camp treats kids aged 7 - 14 for behavioral problems. SLT

2/26/05 Florida Supreme Court rules that counselor can be sued for revealing client's secrets link

3/1/05 Appears that Bush's nominee for Attorney General misrepresented himself to cover-up Bush's DUI. CREW sends complaint to Texas bar. MSNBC CREW

2/26/05 Bradbury files motion to require independent psychological evaluations of Melvin and Betty Sembler

3/1/05 Ida Camburn was being filmed by Synanon when California passed a law exempting religious groups from state prosecution. Now she's amazed that the Bush boys back a Synanon grandchild. Link

2/27/05 Parental attitudes toward drugs mellow Looks like Drug Free America Foundation has not been doing its job. The Partnership for a Drug-Free America has found that barely half of the parents in a survey would be upset if their children experimented with marijuana. Link

rerun 2/28/05 The KISS: Should Straight be culpable for any post-Straight suicides? Over 40 former clients from theStraights are known to have committed suicide but only about 5% were female. WHY? dfaf blog

Florida Supreme Court upholds law making it a felony to cause "mental injury" to a child DFAF blog

A court has ordered the Church of Scientology™ to pay a former parishioner a half million dollars for engaging in a SLAPP suit against him story

3/11/05 China Lashes Out at U.S. on Human Rights Mel, this could mean even they don't want you. link related link

3/10/05 New web page on Missouri's controversial Mountain Park Academy Christian boarding school mountain park horrors

Florida's Supreme Court strikes down statue of limitations and allows abuse law suit 20 years later blog

3/12/05 Joy Margolis, Straight's former mouthpiece, joins Jeb's Faith-Based and Community Initiatives Advisory Board link link2 Related: Joy says Straight stopped the abuse whenever it learned of it Betty's Operation PAR with Chris Yarnold (formerly with Straight) and faith-based child abuse in Florida's faith-based programs

3/10/05 DeJa Vu. Contributions to Utah state Republicans by WWASP (a controversial national and international juvenile rehabilitation chain) officers Facer, Farnsworth and Lichfield and their families. link

3/16/05 Angela's World: The unofficial Provo Canyon Survivors page WWASPS founder Robert Lichfield and former President of WWASPS Karr Farnsworth met while working at Provo Canyon Boys School. link

St. Valentine's Day, 2004 Joint protest at Ambassador Sembler's residence in Treasure Island, Florida by Uhuru, a black social movement, claiming racism at Sembler's BayWalk shopping center and by those seeking to hold Mel and Betty Sembler accountable for their role at Straight, Inc.
update 2/13/05 The Florida Holocaust Museum's Annual Awards Banquet protested for ties to former Straight officials pcb

new 2/10/05 Father Cassian wins exception for private chapel, but cupola must go. St. Pete Times puts story in its "state" section. SPT TSDC

Was Florida's AG and "would-be" governor in a US government-backed, mind-control juvenile drug rehabilitation program? Formerly titled "Charlie Crist is Florida's Attorney General", this classic report has been published on SOURCE WATCH, a project of the Center for Media & Democracy. Also see The Sphinx Crist.

Center for Media & Democracy's Source Watch on Mel Sembler link

"If the Bay Area mainland thinks beaches are sleepy villages with the gulf’s lapping the shore the only activity, I defy it to come up with anything that rivals the ErinysPenis Pumpgate."
Lee Drury De Cesare in La Gaceta, Jan 28, 2005. This marks the first time PumpGate was used in print.

The cat's out of the bag: Lee Drury De Cesare and La Gaceta end-run the St. Pete Times (PumpGate finally makes it into print) Despite all the attempts of Paul Tash and Andy Barnes to squelch the real story on Melville's favorite son, it just made a major leap into local journalism anyway. Our story

Ray Bradbury could face his biggest hurdle yet in PumpGate as Judge George Greer seeks top judgeship in Florida's Royal Court link ; then again Greer did stand up to the Governor link

Judge Rondonlino orders Semblers to answer their interrogatories order

Big break in PumpGate: Did Ambassador and Mrs. Sembler misrepresent themselves to the court? story

A Case of One Man's Trash, or Hitting Below the Belt? Washington Post on Pumpgate revisited

PumpGate: Bradbury seeks relief from Sembler's attorney link

the Internet brings down an ambassador
The day after The Montel Williams Show aired a very, very disturbing segment about the treatment of a young girl in one of Ambassador Melvin Sembler's Straight gulags, Ambassador Sembler has announced he is coming home in a few months. story
The Montel Williams Show on teen rehabs, Jan 18, 2005. Click trailer to hear Straight survivor Samantha Monroe (right) recall her experience 20 years ago.
It appears that the airing of this show was the camel that led to the resignation of Straight founder Melvin Sembler from his job as US Ambassador to Italy. con't

New on-line book on one man's experience at Straight, Inc. Don Smith has published, on-line, the first seven chapters of his upcoming book America's Most Controversial Drug Rehab: This is an on-line book about my experience in Straight, Incorporated. Congratulations Don. Contact

2/11/05 Scientologists using their amazing healing abilities to aid Tsunami victims link

2/10/05 Teen boot camps dot com links to us link

new 2/20/05 Bush, in Secret Tapes, Weighed Religion, Behavior, [New York] Times Says AP

new 2/20/05 Bush worried young would copy his cannabis use Sydney Morning Herald

update 2/13/05 Why was the Florida Holocaust Museum protested pcb

new 2/2/05 Ambassador Mel Sembler: did he quash a state plan to close Straight? Formerly titled "The Clary Report", this classic report has now been published in Tampa Bay Independent Media Center

Ambassador Melvin Sembler, AO cited in 776 Even Stupider Things Ever Said

new 2/4/05
Oakton Institute to Florida's Office of Attorney General: leave our whores in Pinellas County alone pcb

Father Doctor2 Virgil Miller
"Cassian" Newton: series

Miller Newton, Straight's former clinical guru, settles for $11 million on fraud and abuse charges while New Jersey Law Journal brands his Straight implementation "medical quackery" link

Father Cassian has zoning hearing for a private chapel. Zoning expert Mike Sherman assails his tormentor from 25 years ago
Straight survivor Marti Heath (standing left) and La Gaceta reporter Lee Drury De Cesare (standing right) confront Father Cassian, sitting, in black, beside his wife Ruth Ann at the hearing. [Foto by Marti] our story

As Straight's former national clinical director seeks special exception to operate a church, cops are called in to stop detractors link

Dr. Newton returns to Straight After a 20 year absence, Straight's infamous national clinical director has returned. See Hail hail, the gangs all here. But some wonder whether he really ever left. see Why was there never a Straight New York City area? or AARC, Recovering Krystal

Bishop Demetri of Father Cassian's Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America found guilty of grabbing a woman's breast in gambling casino. Link

7-29-05 Newton blames his critics for having his bankruptcy case reopened while the Times confirms that longtime Straight detractor Ray Bradbury was one of those responsible for the action. spt

7-26-05 Newton's creditors go after his Christ at the Sea Foundation. The complaint by Newton's bankruptcy trustees includes charges of two counts of violation of Florida's fraudulent transfer act. complaint


St. Pete for Peace hosts an anti-inaugural protest at Sembler Company. Our write-up GLG write-up


1. Straight, Inc. (1976 - 1993) was a destructive, mind-control cult. Many Straight officials formed their own Straight-like programs as Straights closed. There continues to be other juvenile drug programs that use some parts of the Straight clinical method. This is not to say that any or all of these others programs are abusive or that they are mind-control cults, but we do list them under theStraights to mean that they use some Straight-perfected, therapeutic methods.

2. Title subject to change.

3. Erinys a. [Gar] - An avenging deity; one of the Furies; sometimes, conscience personified. (From hyperdictionary)
b. the three ancient furies - "detectors and avengers of crime and wickedness, goddesses of vengeance." (From Erinys Productions)

4. Sembler-style TC: a synanon (euphemistically called a therapeutic community) where juvenile clients serve as counselors and role models to aid in their own recovery from addictions.

This web page was designed and implemented by Wesley M. Fager using Macromedia's Dream Weaver 4 in February 2005. The original page was published on December 8, 2000. All rights reserved.

© 2005

the Straights
at a glance
a newspaper montage of child abuse
what professionals are saying
Straight's model--the Seed--& brainwashing
torture of Sammie Monroe
torture of Marcie Sizemore
torture of Leigh Bright
torture of Bobby
torture of Donald
they're everywhere [1]
Straight founder buys ambassadorships
FOX News on Sembler and Straight
Growing Together & SAFE--2nd generation Straights
Phylis York & TCA
court cases
George Bush video
Overview: Straight's abuse
abuses Straight-DC
VA. letter to deny license
the Miller Newton story
Endorsements / commendations
Mr. Fager has been researching and reporting on rehab abuse for 10 years. In 2000 he published (on the Internet) his book A Clockwork Straight. He is the editor of a newspaper on child abuse. He has been a guest speaker at two international conferences and been a guest on talk radio in Texas and Florida. His work has been cited in FOX News. Reporters both in this country and abroad have used his vast archives for information. Marquis Who's Who in America in 2002 recognized him for his accomplishments.
"In honor and appreciation of the heroic effort in the cause of saving children from institutionalized abuse; and in memory of those hurt most by it, we survivors present this award to Wesley Fager - 2002"
The 2002 Richard Bradbury Award for Heroism
swamp city headline on Wes Fager's comment to Washington Post
Agity Hero of the Year (web division) 2002
"Swamp City is all over PumpGate: [quoting Wes Fager] 'The story is not about a man's penis pump -- it's about child abuse.'"

Who links to us
FACTNET, the world's foremost on-line resource on destructive, mind control cults, carries our Lulu Corter story on its front page!
others who link
to us
The Washington Post
Trebach Report
The Rick A. Ross Institute internationally recognized cult awareness expert
Peace Reporter, an Italian newspaper
Carta, an Italian magazine
Notizario Droghe, an Italian newspaper
Kelebek, an Italian page
The Orange papers
Mel Semble dot com
Project No Spank
Tranquility Bay Fight
PumpGate dot com
The Agitator
AskQuestions dot Org
bella ciao, French, English, Spanish & Italian ezine
Radio Pacifica Cultural Baggage
Net Detective
and many others

Blogs. Don't forget, you can click on the date of individual blogs to save the link.
new 2/15/05 What's wrong with Florida's Sixth Circuit? link
new 2/13/05 Florida Holocaust Museum's Awards Banquet protested for association with those tied to Straight link
new 2/13/05 Why was the Florida Holocaust Museum protestd link
new 2/11/05 Mel, Betty, Herman, John, Eagle Point Christian Academy and name changing link
new 2/11/05 Pinellas County's two biggest cults--Scientology™ and Straight--, and the Semblers finally answer their first set of interrogatories link
new 2/04/05 Oakton Institute to Florida's Office of the Attorney General: leave our whores in Pinellas County alone link
new 2/03/05 Sticker price for ambassadorships dropping link
new 2/14/05 Has Op PAR become the treatment arm of the Drug Free America Foundation? Or: 3 strikes and the Sixth Circuit is OUT!
lee drury de cesare's Korner
had she been my English teacher, I'd be a Pulitzer Prize winner today
update 3/23/05 The Sphinx Crist

If you believe that, I've got some swampland in Florida I'd like to sell ya
The Semblers and the Great Cooper's Point Land Scam
by Wesley Fager
what hath Mel & Betty wrought
Suffering Together
by Trevor Aaronson
A New Times expose on Growing Together: story
Growing Together is a second-generation Straight in Lakeworth, Fl. Related stories: Judge: Girl's treatment smacks of abuse, Behind the Tallahassee Curtain, Fornits' LIFE/GT discussion forum, The Naked Crusader police report, LIFE, Inc.: Ross and Peterman, flowchart Fox News on the Semblers Gov. Martinez and rehabilitation thru Republican politics, Cult News
what hath Mel & Betty wrought
SAFE (or else)
by Jeffery C. Billman, 1/16/2003
An OrlandoWeekly expose on SAFE: story
The day Straight - Orlando closed, SAFE opened. Related stories: The Naked Crusader police report, Straight-Orlando, Jeb Bush on Advisory Board for DFAF (formerly Straight) and endorses SAFE; SAFE on WAMI TV, SAFE 9/11 2003 protest, SAFE sued, flowchart, SAFE picket 2002, SAFE picket 2000, SAFE, SAFE forum, Straight-Orlando forum
The "pot" calling the kettle black
"They [groups hoping to profit from drug legalization] don't care about civil liberties or our nation's children. . . They only care about getting rich . . ."
Betty Sembler, from a letter dated July 6, 2004 to a US Representative
What about Red China?
One other puzzling question lingers. Ambassador Sembler has said that he might play a less active role in politics when he returns from Italy. Does this mean he will not seek the ambassadorship to Red China, a post for which he is uniquely qualified, perhaps above all other bidders? story
Synanon Church
where it all started

It all started in California in 1958 at Synanon which declared itself to be a church in the 1970s. Women (like those in the photo) shaved their heads, men were "gamed" into sterilizations, women into having abortions. Wives were auctioned off, sometimes on a weekly basis--thus a woman might have several different husbands in a month. There were mixed, community naked weigh-ins and beatings.

It all came to an end in 1978 when Synanon Imperial Marines tried to assassinate perceived church opponent attorney Paul Morantz by removing the rattlers off a giant rattlesnake and placing it in Mr. Morantz's mailbox.
Morantz was bitten and required 11 vials of anti-snake venom to save his life. Walter Cronkite reported that the attack was "bizarre, even by cult standards." (See photo above and this NBC video clip.)

Professor Richard Ofshe at Berkeley (who co-authored with Dave and Cathy Mitchell a Pulitzer prize wining book on Synanon and was used, along with Margaret Thaler Singer, as an expert witness to close Straight - Cincinnati) once published a paper called "Synanon: the failure that started a tradition." And indeed it had. Church founder Chuck Dederich called his method synanons (or The Game) of letting addicts assist in their own recovery by having brutal, verbal shouting matches.

The treatment industry likes the idea because (among other reasons) payrolls are low because medical doctors are not needed and addicts themselves are unpaid counselors treating themselves as well as other clients!--so almost anyone can open one. However they prefer to call themselves the more euphemistic therapeutic community. But even the Therapeutic Communities of America rejected Straight.

For our write-up on this bizarre church that once sued Time Magazine for $76 million for calling it a Kooky Cult, go here.


Citizens for Judicial Accountability