theSTRAIGHTS dot com

(c) 2002 by Wesley M. Fager

AARC: Recovering Krystal.  Moved to here.
PumpGate covered on Norweigean (we think) TV [ - Frihet til å velge!
4-23-04. TV 2 Interaktiv AS, a sports TV station apparently in Norway, covered the story. Here's what is stated on a Google search, "... Det har han egentlig ikke lov til. 02:44, Ambassadørens penispumpe på nettauksjon. Utenriks Bradbury skal ha brukt flere år på å grave opp skitt om Sembler. ..." link
Pathway gets $150,000 grant   This past November (2002) Pathway Family Center - Indianapolis received a $150,000 grant from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust to expand its services over the next two years. In 2000 it got a $100,000 grant from Pulliam. Pathway was the second Straight legacy program to expand its services when in created a treatment center in Indianapolis in 2000. Pathway - Detroit had been created in 1993 by former Straight officer Helen Gowanny and others in Southfield, Michigan after the collapse of Straight - Detroit. Straight's former national clinical director, Reverend Doctor Miller Newton, founded the first second-generation Straight to have expansion programs. His Kids Helping Kids franchise operated in New Jersey, California, Salt Lake City and El Paso. All closed under allegations of child abuse. Last December the city-county council for Indianapolis-Marion County approved a $10,000 grant to Pathway for 2003. The Pacers Foundation granted the organization another $9,000 for 2002-2003. In November 2002, the Indianapolis Families Count Awards gave $5,000 to Pathway.
New Jersey Law Journal calls client from Straight-legacy program Quack Victim. Is the Straight treatment method medical quackery? Reverend Doctor2 Virgil Miller Newton, former national clinical director for Straight, Inc., only cost Straight $721,000 for abusing Karen Norton at Straight - St Petersburg, Florida and $220,000 for holding Fred Collins, an adult, against his will at Straight - Springfield, Virginia. But in 2000 he and his psychiatrists at Kids of North Jersey settled with Rebecca Erlich for $4,500,000  for abuses she sustained there. Click here for a summary of the alleged abuses occurring at Straight under Dr. Newton's watch. It's an eye-opener. And learn about the Erlich case from the New Jersey Law Journal article Closure for a Quack Victim
SAFE's in the News Again, Governor

At breakfast it was called Straight - Orlando; after lunch it called itself SAFE, Inc. That was on August 14, 1992. Eight years later Barbara Henschel feared her teenage son Jeff was into the drug scene. Barbara was living on the Kentucky side of Cincinnati, Ohio when she talked with some people from Kids Helping Kids of Cincinnati--the Straight legacy program that runs out of the old Straight facility in Milford. Problem is the Henschels were planning a move to Florida. No problem,�she says, they were told--there's SAFE. Jeff Billman of the Orlando Weekly has published this
gripping story of the Henschels at SAFE. To us at the Oakton Institute we have but two questions: 1. just how much longer does Florida's Governor Jeb Bush intend on endorsing SAFE? 2. how long does he and his Drug Czar James McDonough intend to remain on the advisory board for Straight, Inc.  (which now calls itself Drug Free America Foundation)? Hell, what we really want to know is, "just how much did Mel and Betty pay the governor to be their friend?" Special thanks to Barbara and Jeff from the Oakton Institute for coming forward. Mr. Billman should be commended for his fine piece of hard-hitting journalism. Be sure to see these related stories:

A trilogy of new studies on self mutilation, sunshine deprivation and teen depression indicate that abusive rehabs can lead to disaster for some young adults. 

Study by British Medical Journal on body carving   PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has long recognized that spectator animals, kept from their natural environment and confined in small cages become depressed, prone to sickness including mental illness, and many resort to self-mutilation in reaction to stress or boredom. Now a new study by The British Medical Journal (11-23-02) and opinions by American experts conclude that kids exposed to abuse or violence, have abused drugs, have impulsive behavior or kids who have low self-esteem can become so overwhelmed with emotions that they cannot express that they may resort to carving on their bodies as a form of self - expression. "It's a coping strategy to deal with intolerable pain, but it works for them so it's a way of surviving," says Wendy Lader, PhD. story1  story2  And here's a resource for help.
Lack of sunshine causes depression. Tell-tale signs are depression, lack of energy, sleeping too much, eating too much, and gaining weigh. The medical name is Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD and it is caused by lack of sunshine. The cure is good ole' summertime where days are longer. But suppose you are in Straight where you can not see the sun even in the summer.  story   Related story  here.
Depressed teens and young adult suicide  A study done by Dr. Myrna Weissman of the New York State Psychiatric Institute found that teens who suffer depression are twice as likely to suffer depression as adults than teens who do not suffer depression. She also found that they are five times more likely to commit suicide in their high school to early adulthood. ABC News     Reuters story
Sembler Wins Sour Orange Award   In 1993, Johann Peter Grzeganek, a German citizen who spoke little English, was trying to make it to the bathroom aboard a flight out of Fort Lauderdale, but the stewardess would not let him because passengers are not allowed to use the bathroom within the first 10 minutes of takeoff. Herr Grzeganek subsequently was sent to prison for making a bomb threat. Nine months into his sentence a federal judge released Herr Grzeganek when he discovered that what Grzeganek was trying to tell the flight attendant in his broken English was that that if she did not let him go to the bathroom his bladder would explode--not the plane! Floridians have a way to recognize outrageous episodes like this. Florida authorities received a 1993 Sour Orange Award for the Grzeganek affair.  George Stephens Finley of Ocala, Florida was convicted for animal cruelty in 2000 for beating his dog to death because he thought the animal was homosexual!  George got a Sour Orange for that one.  And Straight co-founders Joseph Zappala and Mel Sembler got Sour Oranges for the 1980s for their purchases of US ambassadorships. story
David Evans further linked to Straight.  This past summer Straight survivors from around the country converged on the Drug and Alcohol Testing Industries Association (DATIA)  conference and the Italian Embassy in Washington, DC to protest the US Supreme Court ruling that allows for suspicionless drug testing of kids who are involved in any school activity,  including honor societies,  in violation of their fourth amendment right protecting them against unreasonable searches and seizures.   Some survivors disagree with the Court's decision; others do not.  Our protest concerned the fact that the Court had been influenced in its decision because of an Amicus Curiae Brief that had been submitted to it by prominent individuals in national and international drug policy. Our complaint is that many of these individuals and their organizations are tied to the drug testing industry. Many others are tied to Drug Free America Foundation, Inc. which was formerly known as Straight, Inc.--an organization notorious for its egregious violations of civil liberties and human rights of young people.   And some of these individuals are tied to both. 

The brief itself was authored by attorney David G. Evans of  The Legal Foundation Against Illicit Drugs. We knew that that LFAID had been founded by Calvina Fay of DFAF/SOS, Joyce Nalepka, and some others. Now we have learned that Mr. Evans is a member of the Institute on Global Drug Policy which is a subsidiary of the Drug-Free America Foundation as documented in his talk radio appearance here. We have further learned that Mr. Evans is head of the National On-Site Testing Association which is the nation's only industry association that advances the benefits of on-site drug testing through education and lobbying efforts.
DFAF abandons Open forums  In what some analysts believe may well be the shortest lived Open discussion forum ever on the World Wide Web, Straight, Inc., which now calls itself Drug Free America Foundation, Inc.  [Straight's former  national clinical director, Reverend Doctor2 Miller Newton, now calls himself Father Cassius;  Straight's founder Ambassador2 Melvin Sembler, AO still calls himself Mel Sembler] attempted to establish an internet forum recently. But almost immediately they were pounced upon by hostile former students from the$traights who made postings about their stay at the$traights.  Actually there were three Open forums done up in patriotic red, white and blue the same way Straight adorned their warehouses with a red, white and blue American flag.  There was an Open teen forum for school kids. The religious page featured a Wall link for people to post memories about loved ones who are casualties of War on Drugs. But posters submitted reports about former clients from the$traights  who have committed suicide. And there was a Gazebo link for other discussions. As far as can be ascertained by us, DFAF opened the board sometime on Thursday October 31, 2002. By Friday former clients had begun posting and someone informed us at the Institute of the developing situation at 2330 hours Friday night. We made an unpublished prediction here that the forums would be closed by noon the next day--Saturday. At some point on Saturday November 2, the School board and the Wall board both posted this alert: "The site administrators have made this forum inaccessible." The Gazebo forum claims to be still operating, apparently for registered users only. Can dissenters still post? Have posts been removed? Someone should look into this with the Guinness Book of World Records--the shortest lived Open forum.   [Oh, one more thing. When you cruise the DFAF site, notice they have cute little icons for a church, a bank, etc. When you hover on the bank there is a green background perhaps signifying cash. When you hover on the hospital you see red,  perhaps symbolizing blood. But when you click on the school the background A Clockwork Orange. Straight was a thought reform school. A coincidence? A Freudian slip?]
Civil RICO Expert. Jeffrey E. Grell is a nationally recognized expert in the practice and teaching of RICO civil law. Phone: 952-835-4101, Fax: 952-835-8633, Email:

RICO and Child Abuse. Dallas attorney Windle Turley is using the Racket-Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act in a $400 million dollar damage suit against the "Hare Krishna" for claims by former children in that church that they were victims of sexual, physical and emotional torture from as far back as 1972. The suit charges "emotional terror." RICO was aimed primarily at organized crime, but includes provisions for civil cases when someone is harmed by a "pattern" of illegal activity. For example, on March 22, 2002 a RICO lawsuit was filed against three Catholic bishops for allegedly conspiring to cover-up sexual abuse by priests. California attorney Thomas Burton tried to use RICO in a suit against the Straight-legacy program SAFE, Inc. in Orlando, Florida, but the judge dismissed it. [The plaintiffs reported being very distraught with Burton. For example they claimed he did not keep them informed and that he was difficult to contact. Furthermore, he wrote in the bill of complaint that the consulting psychiatrist had over prescribed medications, but Burton did not include the psychiatrist in the lawsuit. Burton has handled seven suits against the WWASPS. Four have already been dismissed.]

The McDermott Law Firm in Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida is another firm claiming to have experience with racketeering cases. Mississippi attorney Dick Scruggs, who was the attorney against the tobacco giant Brown & Williamson portrayed in the movie The Insider starring Al Pacino and Russell Crowe, is gaining experience in racketeering too. In July a federal judge in Miami, Florida ruled that Scruggs can sue six of America's largest HMOs--Aetna, UnitedHealthcare, Prudential, Cigna, Healthnet, Humana--on the charge they operate a racket. The core of his racketeering charge is that managed care promises medically necessary care, but then conspires to deny care based on cost, or as Scruggs puts it, "When they reap millions in premiums and don't deliver benefits, it's just garden variety fraud".

The civil RICO law statute does not allow for the recovery for personal injury but does allow for recovery of material damages. And there is a four year statute of limitations for civil RICO, but it can be tolled or suspended. One exception is for "fraudulent concealment," or a situation where the defendant has acted to prevent the plaintiff from knowing that he was being damaged. In one noted case in California involving sexual abuse of a former child by a Catholic priest the case for "fraudulent concealment" was argued on the basis that the priest had tried to convince the plaintiff, even in later years, that what he had done to him as a child was out love, not abuse. Jeffrey E. Grell Nationally recognized expert practice and teaching of RICO civil law 952-835-4101

Windle Turley, the attorney suing the "Hare Krishna", was invited to speak on statue of limitations at this summer's Second International Conference on Juvenile Child Abuse, but unfortunately he was unable to make it. His story to use RICO to get recompense for alleged child abuse occurring in the "Hare Krishna" is here.

Related article in The National Review.

Charlie Crist is Florida's attorney general moved to here
DFAF holds Drug Summit in Rome  John Walker was busy fighting drug bandits in America so he sent a video to kick off the historic summit. Pietro Soggiu, Italy's drug czar (officially known as the Government's Extraordinary Commissioner for the Co-ordination of Anti-Drug Policies) was there. You give Betty Sembler $300,000 of American tax payers' money and she'll you how to conduct a summit. Betty who is now honorary president of the American Women's Association of Rome called her meeting "The Threat of Drug Permissive Policies: What�s the future of our Children and Grandchildren". It was held on May 24, 2002 at Villa Taverna, her hubby's  villa in Rome. Calvina Fay, the executive director of DFAF and former president of Drug Watch International was there along with Stephanie Haynes who is the current president of DWI. Dr. Eric Voth, Chair of the Institute on Global Drug Policy (a DFAF subsidiary) was also in attendance. story  Related stories:
Straight's Donald Sullivan for Florida's Top GOP.  Perhaps you remember the Clary Report. By 1989 Straights were being investigated for criminal child abuse all over the country. In 1989 a Florida Health and Rehabilitative Services (Now Children and Families) inspection team was in Saint Petersburg preparing to close Straight there when the team got a call from headquarters and was told to give Straight a license regardless of what was found. The Clary Report concluded that the pressure was probably coming from Mel Sembler and unspecified state senators. Shortly after that Wesley Pennington, the president of Straight, Inc., ran unsuccessfully as a Republican for the state assembly, and Donald Sullivan, MD, the secretary of the board of directors of Straight Foundation, Inc., ran successfully for state senator. A committee he served on?--the Senate's oversight committee for Children and Families! That was the Clary Report and then. Now Al Cardenas, the Florida state Republican Party chairman, has announced he will not seek re-election in January 2003. Guess who's being considered for Florida's TOP GOP. According to incoming state senate president Jim King, it's Dr. Donald Sullivan.a

Phyllis York rejects Straight
Straight claimed it was a Tough Love program, but it is not. In 1995 Phyllis York, founder of Tough Love, denounced Straight's brutal methods in an article in Insight on the News. [Insight on the News, Feb 6, 1995 v11 n6 p15(3)].
The Therapeutic Communities of America Reject Straight.  Straight, Inc. like Daytop, Phoenix House, Odyssey House, Gateway and over a thousand other treatment programs is known as a confrontational-type therapeutic community. These programs were derived from a concept developed at Synanon Church in California where addicts aided in their own recovery by shouting brutal indictments at one another in a synanon. Synanon itself became a bizarre cult whose founder was convicted of attempted murder. In the 1980s an association of synanons or TCs as they like to call themselves formed The Therapeutic Communities of America and developed a set of standards to certify association members. Because of its human rights violations Straight was denied membership in that body as shown in this correspondence from Monsignor William O'Brien, the former head of TCA.��

The LA Times noted in 1990 that Phoenix House and Daytop use peer pressure and confrontation like Straight but for shorter periods, with smaller groups, and that they also provide formal education. The article notes that both Phoenix House and Daytop belong to the Therapeutic Communities of America, but Straight does not.�
WWC, Scientology and Government Service Providers.  al Qaeda is a cult.  Even President Bush calls it "a cult of evil." On Friday Dec 6, 2002 Reuters reported that US Customs agents had raided Ptech, Inc., an Internet consulting firm located in Boston, because it is allegedly controlled by Qassin al-Kadi, one of 12 Saudi businessmen accused of funneling millions of dollars to al Qaeda. Alarmingly, there are reports that Ptech's clients include the FBI, U.S. Naval air systems, the U.S. Air Force, NATO, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Department of Energy.  Since many cults like al Qaeda have access to large sums of money it should not surprise you to find government agencies like the FBI or the Atomic Energy Commission possibly, but unknowingly, doing business with them. But it might surprise you to know that The FBI, the CIA, Dept of Energy, The White House, Secret Service, US Army and US Navy all do business with Wireless! WebConnect, a member of World Institute of Scientology Enterprises. It might be surprising because WWC's founder and president Gerald T. Finn (AKA Deac Finn and GT Finn) is a former member of Scientology's so-called "secret service" known as Guardian Office. In the early 1980s, in one of the biggest domestic spy cases in American history, 11 top Scientologists linked to their GO, including Mary Sue Hubbard, the wife of the cult founder L. Ron Hubbard, were convicted of spying against the United States government. Ms. Hubbard went to prison. In 1992 The Church of Scientology was fined $250,000 in Canada for spying against police and government agencies there. 

German authorities view Scientology as a constitutional threat. Laws in the German states of Hamburg and Bavaria require that companies with government contracts and some private companies be free of connections to the Church of Scientology. MicroSoft is having problems getting Windows 2000 approved in Germany because one of their contractors is linked to Scientology. The IRS finally granted Scientology a tax exempt status in America but not without a fight. A New York Times article on March 9, 1997, outlined "an extraordinary campaign orchestrated by Scientology against the [IRS] and people who work there. Among the findings were these: Scientology's lawyers hired private investigators to dig into the private lives of IRS officials and to conduct surveillance operations to uncover potential vulnerabilities." A related New York Times article on December 1, 1997, added that earlier IRS refusals to grant tax exemption "had been upheld by every court." On December 30, 1997, a Wall Street Journal article outlined details of the $12.5 million tax settlement between the IRS and Scientology, including the Scientology agreement to drop thousands of lawsuits against the IRS. [portions of last paragraph from ]
Margolis says Straight tried to stop the abuse.  On March 24, 1990 Los Angeles Times Reporter John Hurst published a large, front page feature article on the horrors of the new Straight, Inc. He interviewed Joy Margolis, Straight's national spokesperson for that article, and learned from her that the new Straight, Inc. did not tolerate abuse. That the new Straight. Inc. got rid of abusers whenever abuse was brought to their attention. Joy was asked about the allegations of Erica Clifton that while in Straight - Dallas she was held down and the boys painfully pulled her legs apart. She recalled one time when she was resisting and they "put a . . . Kotex pad down my throat to where I was gagging." When The Times asked Joy about the alleged incident she responded, "We regret things that have happened in the past. When it has been called to our attention, we have taken proper action." "We don't condone gagging," Joy told The Times. "One staff member I know of who was guilty of this was fired.  "The Times wrote about Gena Golden age 16 who said of her Straight - Dallas stay that her nose was badly broken while she was being restrained and that "clients were sometimes held down and kicked." According to The Times, "Margolis acknowledged that Golden's nose was broken while the girl was being held. She said it was an isolated incident. She also said that Straight does not condone kicking clients." The Times pressed about a Texas state health report charging that "clients were tied with rope and with an automobile towing strap to prevent escape, that clients were physically restrained for minor infractions such as 'failure to sit up properly', and that bedrooms were overcrowded and furnished with 'containers to be used for urination.' " Once again Joy Margolis put everyone at ease explaining (according to The Times piece), "a staff trainee used a rope to tie up a client and was fired, as was an employee who instigated the practice of putting the containers for urine in bedrooms."� BACK
Synanon video Con't.   Original synanons were developed at Synanon and consisted of three 1 - 2 hour weekly sessions where 12 man teams of recovering, hard-core heroin addicts were suppose to aid in their own recovery by shouting indictments at one another and by defending themselves from indictments in brutal verbal confrontations. Physical violence was prohibited during a synanon. When not in a synanon an addict had a job to do and free time to enjoy his leisure. If an addict could not take the pressure, he could leave. Straight's implementation consisted of grueling 12 hour a day group sessions of 100 to 200 kids confronting their peers for 5 1/2 to 7 days a week. Physical violence was rampant during the never-ending synanons. Straight used its technique on kids who had smoked pot, kids who were hooked on drugs, and even some 12 and 13 year-olds who really did not have drug problems. Straight kids were often not allowed to defend themselves in synanons. Other forms of brainwashing such as food and sleep deprivation  and control of bathroom privileges were placed upon them as well. They were allowed no free time and could not leave. Perhaps because they could not take the pressure, it helps to explain why so many carved on their bodies and found ways to try to commit suicide. Click here for a brief video of Synanon Church. 
Buddy's Kids - Straight, Inc. and the suicides. Straight had such a problem with kids carving on their bodies and with them trying to kill themselves that Bill Oliver, Straight's national director, once told the Saint Petersburg Times, "A fair number of [Straight] kids have attempted suicide or contemplated suicide. We cannot leave them alone . . . We had one instance where a young lady tried to hang herself with a towel in the bathroom." So Straight kids had to be watched 24/7 even when they wiped themselves on the toilet, reminiscent of the Nazi Holocaust where Jews in concentration camps often had to defecate publicly like so many cats and dogs. James recalls having to ask permission for each wipe of his annus. When Straight kids did attempt suicide, they were stood up in Group of 100 kids who shouted at them and sang teasing songs to them. Sometimes kids were made to wipe up the blood of their suicidal companions. Parents were often not told of their child's suicide attempt. Kids were placed on suicide watch to guard over their suicidal peers. Straight may have had a plan to prevent its young clients from committing suicide while they were in Straight, but what was the plan to ensure that suicidal kids, demoralized kids who had been spat on and demeaned, would not harm themselves after Straight? At a minimum, did Straight have a responsibility to tell a parent whose child left Straight that their child had become suicidal at Straight? Over 30 former clients have committed suicide, at least 11 had been in Straight-Springfield alone! One boy took a baseball bat and beat his mother to death after he left Straight-Dallas. Another boy graduated Straight-Cincinnati and became a counselor there. Later he beat his girl friend's daughter to death becasue she kept disturbing him while he tried to have sex with her mother. Read the tragic story of the suicides of former Straight students in Chapter 3 of Wes Fager's on-line book A Clockwork Straight.
a. The Saint Petersburg Times, "Cardenas to step aside as leader of state GOP", 11-15-02, p. 6B.