the$traights dot com page 4 of 4
rehabilitation, thought reform and the destruction of young egos

by Wesley Fager (c) 2002 

       
Headline News / Legal Page 

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EXTORTION - The use, or the express or implicit threat of the use, of violence or other criminal means to cause harm to person, reputation, or property as a means to obtain property from someone else with his consent. USC 18

EXTORTION  -  The obtaining of property from another, with his consent, induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, or fear, or under color of official right. 18 U.S.C. S 1951(b)(2) (Also known as the Hobbs Act.) .

NOTICE. Wesley Fager is not an attorney and not qualified to give legal advice. Read this notice.

Straight survivors meeting with attorneys to take affidavits. St. Petersburg, Florida (Pinellas Park), Dec. 29, 2003. details

SLAPP suit. A SLAPP suit or Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation is a frivolous or malicious lawsuit or lawsuits brought on by wealthy individuals or corporations against individuals or nonprofits and social advocacy organizations for the purpose of harassing and intimidating them in order to "shut them up." One goal is to use the court system to sue opponents out of existence. Attorney Mark Goldowitz, Esq., Oakland, CA, is an expert in SLAPP suits, 510-486-9123

Malicious prosecution (civil) article definition

RICO, organized child abuse and statute of limitations story

Reports

Straight and troubles with the ACLU story

RICO, Child Abuse and overcoming statutes of limitations
Charlie Crist (R), Florida's Attorney General. Good luck on getting any support while Republican Charlie "doesn't throw things" Crist is at the helm. story
New Jersey Law Journal calls client from Straight-legacy program Quack Victim story
SAFE Racketeering suit now on-line. Complaint. Related story.
Court cases from theStraights
Quackwatch. Report medical scams to Quackwatch and join Quackwatch's  Healthfraud Discussion forum here

Join the movement to remove statute of limitations for crimes against children. SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) is advocating removing the statutes of limitations for sex crimes against children. The Oakton Institute feels that the scope should be broadened to include teens physically or emotionally abused for profit in thought reform programs. Someone should contact and work with SNAP on this initiative. Read the case to appeal the statutes.

Circumventing statute of limitations Florida legislature passes $2.1 million special claims bill for survivors of The Rosewood Incident for failure of state authorities to protect the civil rights of its black citizens in 1923. The case for claims bills from the Florida legislature and the US Congress story

Crimes of persuasion: resource
chain referral pyramid schemes: resource

chain referral selling
If you have information on any health related program that offers discounts to patients or clients for referring others to the program, we would like to hear from you. e-mail us

Documents sought
We are seeking court records, newspaper articles, videos, program documents and affidavits about Straight, Inc., The Seed, Inc. and any Straight legacy programs, and any other controversial youth rehabilitation programs.   Please e-mail us for mailing instructions or do an on-line affidavit here.


Report health fraud

Notice:  Wesley Fager and any others associated with the Oakton Institute for Cultic Studies and any writers or editors for the$straights dot com, including Wesley Fager,  are not  attorneys, unless explicitly noted.   Wesley Fager and his associates do not give legal advice.  This page provides editorial commentary on matters which deal with legal aspects of certain abusive treatment programs and cults in order to make the reader, including state health officials, law enforcement, attorneys, survivors of destructive treatment programs, and others aware of the potential legal issues concerning some of these  places.   Commentaries by Wesley Fager, his associates, or guest editorialists are presented as a public service for educational purposes only.  Wesley Fager and any of his associates at the Oakton Institute for Cultic Studies do not necessarily agree with the opinions or analyses provided by guest editorialists.  It is incumbent upon the reader to seek out proper legal advice from competent and licensed legal professionals before making legal decisions which the reader might contemplate based upon the information presented in this on-line newspaper.  As a public service this page also gives referrals to attorneys and to potential expert witnesses who are experienced in civil and criminal litigation with certain cults, with controversial treatment programs, with child abuse, and/or with programs which have been accused of violating human or civil rights.  

        Contents
EDITORIALS
Court cases and criminal charges involving Straight and related programs
Court TV Discussion Forum
Legal Dictionary
General referrals of attorneys
Organizations offering legal assistance in matters of civil rights and human rights violations
law.com
Cornell U.S. Civil Rights Statutes, 42 U.S.C. (2001-2002 ed.) 
Links to state departments for human and civil rights
Links to state departments for human and civil rights
Link to Florida state department of human relations (rights)
Florida courts and statues
Pinellas County, Circuit Court Civil 727-464-6793
Pinellas County, Circuit Court Criminal 727-464-6793
US District courts
Find Law for legal professionals
Find Law for legal professionals - federal juducial
Attorneys experienced in litigation with cults and with controversial treatment programs
Potential Expert Witnesses
Related links

 

        EDITORIALS

Help.  The Oakton Institute is always on the lookout for guest editorialists to write editorials dealing with criminal justice, civil rights abuses, treatment abuse,  medical fraud, undue persuasion (e.g. mind control), medical ethics and so forth.  Let us know at editor@thestraights.net if there is something you would like to write for us.  Right now we are looking for someone to write a commentary of whether it is best to sue a harmful adolescent treatment program in state or federal court.  Thank you.  

Editorial: The case to introduce separate "claims bills" to the Florida Legislature and to the United States Congress.   In July  2001 a conference was held in Bethesda, Md. on treatment abuse at juvenile rehabilitation centers in America.  There was a distinguished panel of attorneys present at this first-ever conference of its kind. One question put before this select panel was whether there was any legal way to go after Straight, Inc. which stopped operations in 1993, and/or its officers for damages and suffering they may have caused.  There was unanimous agreement that the statue of limitations would probably be an insurmountable obstacle all these years later.  One attorney did proffer that, if certain criteria could be met,  it could be possible to overcome this high hurdle.  Also if you look at attorney Windle Turley, one of the referral attorneys below,  you will see that he is currently in litigation against the Hare Krishna Church for sexual abuse and physical abuse of children in that church dating back to 1972.  It would be interesting to find out how he is dealing with the statue of limitations.  But one thing the legal panel did not bring up was a "claims bill."  (The editor at Never Again is not an attorney and does not offer legal advice,  but a quick search of the Internet will point out the following data to any reader. You should confer with a licensed attorney before making any legal decisions based on the data presented in this editorial.)    

What is a "claims bill?"  In 1996 the U. S. House of Representatives passed a Veterans "claims bill" that would allow veterans to appeal prior, final decisions on claims wrongfully denied because of "clear and unmistakable error." In other words, prior to 1996,  if a veteran had applied for a benefit but it had been denied by the Veterans Administration for some reason, the veteran lost out, even if the denial decision  had been based on an error by the government. The judicial remedy to such an error would be to file a lengthy and costly civil suit against the government to make the government fix the problem and hopefully to get a judge to order a retro-active payment.   But there is a built-in legislative remedy also. It is called a "claims bill." When the government is clearly at fault, the legislature can easily remedy the situation by passing a bill to correct the problem by authorizing compensation to the aggrieved party(ies). 

According to Florida's Sun-Sentinel,  in Florida there is a legal doctrine known as "sovereign immunity" where victims of official negligence or their survivors must go to the legislature to collect money for damages that exceed $100,000 per person and $200,000 per incident. One of the best known "claims bills" in Florida history involves the civil rights violations of a class of people in the infamous Rosewood Massacre of 1923. Between August 5, 1920 when four black men were removed from the local jail in McClenny, Florida and lynched for the alleged rape of a white woman and January 17, 1923 when a Negro man who had been convicted of stealing cattle was removed from his jail cell and lynched by local whites, there occurred a series of tragic murders of black men and the burning of many homes of blacks in Florida. The violence culminated in 1923 when a mob of approximately 100 white men torched the town of Rosewood, Florida and murdered six of its black citizens. A grand jury had been quickly assembled then to investigate the "Rosewood Riot" but on February 15, 1923 it found "insufficient evidence" to prosecute anybody. The incident is documented here.

Seventy years later, in a genuine effort to clear up the matter,  the Florida legislature granted $50,000 to a team of researchers from Florida A&M University, Florida State and the University of Florida to study the Rosewood matter.  On December 22, 1993 the research team presented its  findings to the Florida Board of Regents in a report titled  A DOCUMENTED HISTORY OF THE INCIDENT WHICH OCCURRED AT ROSEWOOD, FLORIDA, IN JANUARY 1923. The report concluded, in part,  that: 

"We believe that Sheriff Walker failed to control local events and to request proper assistance from Governor Hardee when events moved beyond his control. While Hardee condemned the violence and ordered a special prosecutor to conduct a grand jury investigation, he did so (more than a month had passed) only after black residents were forced to leave Rosewood and their property was destroyed. The failure of elected white officials to take forceful actions to protect the safety and property of  local black residents was part of a pattern in the state and throughout the region. In Ocoee in November 1920, and Perry in December 1922, local and state officials failed to intervene to protect black citizens, and in each incident several innocent blacks were killed and their property destroyed."

Now unlike the judicial process where wronged parties are frequently dismissed because of statues of limitations, a claims bill was promptly introduced in the Florida legislature.   And in April, 1994, the Florida state legislature passed a $2.1 million "claims bill" to compensate the Rosewood survivors. The bill also provides for college scholarships for the descendants of survivors. 

And "claims bills" are not just limited to federal and state legislatures either. In 2000 the City of Cincinnati, Ohio paid $600,000 to a woman permanently injured when a police officer drove across the center lane of traffic and hit her car.  Even the Republicans have considered using claims bills in Florida as you can see here.  And go here  for the Florida statue on sovereign immunity.  

Child abuse is against criminal and/or administrative code in all 50 states in the United States--and it was illegal between 1976 and 1993, while Straight, Inc. operated,  too.  And yet Straight, Inc. has never operated in any state in which it has not been accused of child abuse.  Straight has routinely  done things to children that you,  as a parent, would go to jail for doing to your own child!  Whether it is too late to take legal action against Straight, Inc. and its officers is an issue we continue to investigate.  But there is another matter needing tending to.  And that is action against the state of Florida,   and  Pinellas County and Saint Petersburg, in particular.  Straight, Inc. was  founded in Pinellas County and operated for 17 years in spite of its reputation for abuse among state health inspectors, law enforcement officials, judges, newspapers and  television news rooms all around the country. In 1983  James A. Gardner, states attorney for Sarasota County, Florida,  compiled a 600 page investigative criminal report on Straight-Sarasota.  Straight-Sarasota  closed in the midst of the ensuing controversy and there were no criminal prosecutions,  but Mr. Gardner announced that he had given immunity to some Straight counselors who had made statements that they had been taught to do the abuse at Straight-Saint Petersburg in Pinellas County.  James T. Russell, states attorney for Pinellas County,  conducted numerous investigations of Straight-Saint Petersburg but never found sufficient cause for prosecution.  

Following is a series of links that  present evidence that  officials in Florida including its Republican politicians (including Republican politicians outside of Florida), judges, police officers, sheriffs, states attorney James T. Russell, health officials and maybe even two governors knew of the abuse,  tolerated the abuse, did not stop the abuse,  did not provide a legal environment where someone could reasonably sue Straight, Inc. for abuse,  and did not take criminal action to stop the abuse.  And, perhaps, because the abuse did not stop,  if you go to the final link below,  you will see the case stories of former clients who have subsequently committed suicide. 

LINKS

Just how bad was Straight:
Court cases and criminal investigations of Straight here
Newspaper accounts of the abuse here
Opinions on Straight by prominent psychologists and criminologists, attorneys, judges, and state health licensing personnel here
Some alleged abuses at one Florida Straight here
Some alleged abuses at a Straight outside of Florida here
How Florida authorities aided and abetted Straight in its wanton and willful disregard for civil rights and human dignity
Judges and cops linked to Straight here
Straights getting their way  in Florida courts and legislature here
Mel Sembler and state senators interceding in Straight's behalf here
Prominent Republicans supporting Straight in return for Mel Sembler contributions here
Pinellas County states attorney James T. Russell refuses to prosecute Straight or Miller Newton,  allowing Newton to move his abuse to New Jersey and other states despite the Florida record on Newton here
How United States authorities and Republican Party government officials aided and abetted Straight in its wanton and willful disregard for civil rights and human dignity
The United States government conspired with Straight, Inc. to let the Straight Holocaust occur document
The involvement of Republican Party government officials in aiding and abetting a criminal activity in return for political contributions document

Because Florida state authorities failed to stop the abuse and often times aided Straight, Straight became the biggest juvenile drug rehab program in the world as shown here.

Straight planners  adopted Communist Chinese brainwashing techniques from available accounts in literature.  They must also have read the dangers of brainwashing--suicide.  Over 30 former clients have committed suicide.  The story is here.  

There are strong grounds for a claims bill in other states too.  The strongest cases right now are in Virginia and New Jersey  (see  bullying the states).  If Straight's own claim is true that it successfully treated 12,000 kids,  then we may be talking about the abuse and violation of civil liberties and  human rights of 50,000 people.  

Editorial: Tips from Micheal.  The Alberta Adolescent Recovery Centre in Calgary, Canada (AARC) was to be Miller Newton's first foray,  as far as we know,  outside of the United States.  Dr. Newton never opened AARC,  but Dr. Dean Vause,  a man trained at his KIDS' facility in New Jersey, did open AARC and continues to operate it today.  The AARC Discussion Forum is a forum of former AARC clients.  In January 2002 an anonymous poster named Micheal made a series of postings to that discussion forum which we think might be of interest to our readers and so we snagged those posts and reprinted them here.  As of April 6, 2002 we do not know who Micheal is and what his qualifications are, other than what he proffers in his postings.  We do not necessarily agree with the statements put forth by Michael.  They are provided for educational purposes only.

Micheal (1/18/02 2:02:26 pm).   Another point of view - a matter of justice.  I have observed that there are many on this board who are interested in stopping the abuse at this facility, which I have heard a lot about. It is a familiar story to me: powerful connections, many reported abuses, etc., etc. 

I want to share some experiences with you in the hopes that they may be helpful, not as a victim but as a justice officer. I have worked on many cases involving addiction and other similar mental health facilities across North America. I have encountered every type of abuse and fraud known to man and have successfully assisted law enforcement, the media and others, to bring about exposure and justice for those involved. 

The first experiential piece of information I would like to relay is that ONLY criminal prosecution has long term benefits. Civil prosecution, which when successful is usually covered by liability insurance, is as much of a deterrent as a parking fine to an automobile driver. They just pay it and get back to business. 

In cases where the prosecution becomes serious, the corporation is liquidated and all the assets are transferred to another which is controlled by the same interests. This is done through what is called Nominee Shares. These represent an ownership position taken by party that wishes to remain in the background. The party in question goes through an attorney, who then purchases the stock through a financial institution and this ensures anonymity. In this manner key players protect their assets. 

Another technique is to have a separate corporation from the operating company own the property, which is then leased to the operating company at an exorbitant rate. There are many more techniques. 

Payoffs to political and other connections are very hard to track. One technique - and, again, there are many - is to take out a credit card on a Cayman Island bank account and then simply provide the card to the party in question. Any purchases made with the card are paid for from the account and no money enters or leaves the country. 

However, when there are criminal charges everyone connected suddenly wants to leave the country as they do not want anything to come their way. Moreover, an official criminal investigation can take within its scope far more territory than any other. The most obvious benefit is that the perpetrators have a chance of landing jail time - and that always tends to change things permanently: licenses are revoked, legislation is passed or changed, regulations are stiffened, etc. 

The kinds of things you want to look for are persons who have more than one position, usually with more than one corporation. There is also a tremendous amount of money to be made in referrals, where patients or "clients" are referred to other facilities which turn bill a health insurance plan. 

I also want to point out that fraud, for one, is a difficult crime for law enforcement to investigate. It is different that any other, because in a typical crime, you have the crime documented and are looking for the perpetrator. In fraud, it is backwards: you have the suspected perpetrator and now you have to find the crime. And finding something that initially is not there can be, for some, a daunting task. 

I don't know what all is happening at this particular facility and I am not familiar with your laws up there, but it would appear that, at the very least, an investigation is long overdue. 

Good luck to all and remember: tenacity is not everything, tenacity is the only thing.

Michael (1/21/02 12:35:11 pm) Yes, this is an interesting board.  Thank you Velvet. I have added this board to my internet shortcuts and have discussed it with a number of colleagues, at least one which said that he was going to check it out. 

I am impressed at your perseverance, all of you. I would very much like to see a similar thing happen with other facilities. The light of truth does amazing things.

I had a thought: Is anyone sending any emails or faxes to government and other decision makers about this board? It might be an effective tool to get more people to view it.

I continue to post if I feel I can be of help.

Good luck.

Michael (1/29/02 9:57:25 am) LACK OF CRIMINAL CHARGES.  There were two postings since last time I checked. I will responding to the first at this time.

THE QUESTION OF LACK OF CRIMINAL CHARGES: 

High level connections are usual when it comes to health facilities, as there is a lot of money involved. I have successfully initiated and concluded criminal investigations and in the course of my duties have dealt with many entities that had "high level connections." There is some truth to this, but for the most part it is merely one block on the investigatory trail. Believe me, when a criminal investigation is in the wind most of these "high level connections" vaporize. 

This leaves the question of how do you do it. Here is the answer: 

There is a concept in law called Mes rea. This is a Latin term meaning, literally, "a guilty mind." One legal definition of Mens rea is "The state of mind required to constitute a particular crime; the mental element of an offence." 

On other words, the intent to commit a crime. Under typical circumstances this is difficult to prove and is the primary reason why criminal investigations are rare. To the police, this is called the "motive." 

Law enforcement agencies - especially the Royal Canadian Mounted Police which is the equivalent to state police in the U.S. in Alberta - are very powerful entities and most police officers are good people. They became police officers to uphold the law and many have not forgotten those ideals. 

However, in order to get that power to act in the form of an official investigation, you have to fulfill a specific criteria known as "probable cause." This means "Reasonable grounds for belief that an accused person may be subject to arrest or the issuance of a warrant." Probable cause consist of two things: motive and opportunity. It is the former that is typically more difficult to show; the latter is easy. 

Now, you do not have to actually do the investigation; that is the police's job. But you have to supply enough information, at least initially, to get the ball rolling. After all, convincing the police that a crime was committed is just half the job. Next the police have to convince their bosses in the justice department, who usually have to give them the green light to start an investigation, that there is merit to the case. There a number of factors to be dealt with here, the topmost being if there is a possibility of prosecution. If the case cannot be prosecuted a district attorney cannot ethically waste taxpayers' money pursuing the case. (This is where your media pressure comes into play, but that is a different matter.)

Money, as one example, is a good motive, one that the police and everyone else can understand. The financial crime that has received the most media attention, at least in the U.S., is fraud. A useful definition of fraud is "A deception deliberately practiced in order to secure unfair or unlawful gain." 

The ways and means that this can be done are virtually endless. Health care facilities usually have to have agreements with state (and in some cases federal) regulatory agencies and health insurance providers in order to receive monies from those entities. In some cases these agreements are falsified, in most the parameters of the agreements are simply not met. In some instances providers have agreed to provide specific services, which they do not (for example). 

There are administrative reporting requirements, for example, to regulatory and other bodies, that are not met by some corporations: reports are not filed or reports are falsified. After all, no one in his right mind is going to note in the clinical record that the patient was physically abused. 

Some of the largest criminal and civil settlements in U.S. history have been for health care fraud. Many of the corporations involved provided addiction services. It appears (and you probably already know this) that your facility may have some connections with facilities that were investigated/prosecuted states-side. Two links I found after doing just a quick search are:

I cannot vouch as to the veracity of the data, but it does paint a familiar scene. 

I have worked with numerous governments and there are cases upon cases like this. Studying them, even briefly, gives one an idea of what is going on and what to look for. Cases include: Hospital Corporation of America, Columbia Healthcare, Columbia/HCA (which resulted from the merger of the two), Community Psychiatric Centres, Charter Behavioral Health Systems, Magellan Health Services and many others. 

I will leave you with a September 1 , 2001, article excerpt: "In December 2000, DOJ reported that the nation's largest for-profit hospital chain, HCA-The Health Company (formerly known as Columbia/HCA) agreed to pay $840 million in criminal and civil fines and penalties to resolve allegedly unlawful billing of federally and state funded health care programs." 

You can read the entire article here: www.taf.org/news.html

I hope this helps. 

Michael

 

        General referrals for attorneys
Martindale-Hubbel Lawyer Locator  has an online form that permits you to search by practice area. 
Lawyer Referral Services  by the American Bar Association lists information about referral agencies all over the United States.  Also click here for AB Network lawyer referral services 
Legal Help for the Poor  by the American Bar Association provides information about legal assistance and pro bono programs 
West's Legal Directory 
www.LawyerShop.com
http://klee.vab.com/ a search of the BAR in Virginia

 

        Organizations offering legal assistance in matters of civil rights and human rights violations
International
The Children's Rights Division of the The International Criminal Court (ICC).   Investigates and prosecutes those individuals accused of crimes against humanity, genocide, and crimes of war.  
Amnesty International
Crimes Against Humanity
United States
American Civil Liberties Union
Youth Law Center,  Washington, DC and San San Francisco.  Investigates complaints of children in forced treatment programs.  In 1991 when California authorities closed Straight-Southern California for allegations of child abuse,  YLC attorney Loren Warboys investigated Straight's practice of simply transferring the California students to Straight's Dallas camp.    

 

        Attorneys experienced in litigation with cults,  with controversial treatment programs, with child abuse and/or with civil and human rights violations.  We do not know whether these attorneys would be interested in your particular story or whether they would be licensed to practice outside the state given for them.  Of course if they are licensed to practice in federal court then their home state may not be an obstacle. 
California
Ford Greene
Attorney at Law, California 107601
711 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard
San Anselmo, California 94960-1949
Tel. 415-258-0360
Fax. 415-456-5318.
Alan Scheflin, J.D., LL.M, is Professor of Law at Santa Clara University Law School in California. Among his many publications is Memory, Trauma Treatment, and the Law (co-authored with Daniel Brown and D. Corydon Hammond), for which he will receive the 1999 Guttmacher Award from the American Psychiatric Association. Professor Scheflin is also the 1991 recipient of the Guttmacher Award for Trance on Trial (with Jerrold Shapiro).
Graham E. Berry probably has more experience in litigation against the Church of Scientology than any one around.  See http://www.factnet.org/letters/FACTNewsJune-July1.html
Florida
Karen Barnet. 
201 E. Kennedy Blvd.
Suite 1111
Tampa, Fl. 33602
(813) 224-9510
In 1990 a state jury in Florida awarded former Straight client Karen Norton $720,000 for abuses she sustained at Straight. She was defended by Karen Barnet who has represented other Straight clients. 
Sarasota. To be supplied.
New Jersey
Phil Elberg.    Phil Elberg, Esq. , a New Jersey-based attorney, represented Rebecca Erlich in a suit against KIDS of Bergen County, which was led by Miller Newton, who had been Straightís national clinical director and its most charismatic and influential leader. KIDS was a direct descendant of Straight.  The Ehrlich suit started out as a medical malpractice case against KIDS, Dr. Newton, and the psychiatrists involved in mistreating her -- and evolved into a civil rights action that demonstrated the destructive and cult-like nature of its activities. The suit was settled on the eve of trial for $4,500,000, which is the largest recovery against Straight or its relatives and descendants. Mr. Elberg will discuss how Miller Newton successfully operated for many years despite his transparently false claims and why the prospect of faith-based treatment programs creates an environment with the potential to breed a new generation of charlatans and hucksters who represent a threat to the individuals who come seeking help.  Also read Closure for a Quack Victim, January 2000.
Stanton Peele.  An attorney who is also a world renowned expert on addictions.   
David Levin,  formerly assistant states attorney for Sarasota County, Florida.  Principal investigator of Straight there.  His investigation led to the closing of Straight-Sarasota. Later he went into private law practice in New Jersey,  only to find that Straight's former national clinical director had also moved to New Jersey. 
New York
Herbert L. Rosedale, Esq., President of AFF (a very well respected cult awareness organization), is a senior partner in the law firm of Parker Chapin Flattau & Klimpl in New York City. He has written several articles on cults and the law, contributed a chapter to Recovery From Cults, and is co-editor of The Boston Movement: Critical Perspectives.
Ohio
Jonathan Schiff.  Cincinnati.  Successfully represented four Straight clients in civil suits against Straight. And represented a fifth client--Eric Weaver.  He is now an assistant  states attorney. 
Richard Doyle.  A Cincinnati attorney (606-431-5683) and principal investigator for the state of Ohio in that state's efforts to close Straight-Cincinnati.  On the very day the trial was to begin,  that Straight voluntarily closed.
David J. Scacchetti. Represented four Straight clients.  Settled two of the suits out of court.  Not sure of outcome for other two.
Oregon
Kathleen Wilde.  In 1982 and in 1984 attorney Wilde was involved in litigation against Straight-Atlanta.  Today she is in private practice in Oregon.
Pennsylvania
Peter N. Georgiades, Esq. is an attorney in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  His background makes him particularly suited to deal with treatment-cult issues.   He majored in clinical psychology at Carnegie‑Mellon University in Pittsburgh, concentrating on peer counseling. Later, while a student at George Washington University National Law Center, Mr. Georgiades sought to address the harmful effects of unregulated large group awareness training programs sold to industry and government. He did this by petitioning the Federal Trade Commission to regulate the sales practices of such groups. The FTC agreed that it had jurisdiction over the psychological services industry, but found the evidence of abuse insufficient to institute regulations. Having become known as knowledgeable in this area, Mr. Georgiades later acted as a consultant to the television program 20/20, which was then doing a story on Lifespring. Some of the groupís victims asked him to  represent them in civil suits, which led in due course to increased contacts with other experts in the field like professors Margaret Singer and Richard Ofshe who were used as expert witnesses to close down Straight in Cincinnati. Since then, Mr. Georgiades has represented former members of Happy, Healthy, Holy (an American Sikh organization), The Work (Brother Julius), Lifespring, Alive Polarity Fellowship, and others. He has assisted non-member spouses to gain custody of their children from husbands or wives in cults.
Texas
Windle Turley, Texas.    A  jury awarded $119 million. They settled for $23.4 million. They were the men who had been sexually abused 20 years ago as children in the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, Texas.  Now Windle Turley, their attorney, is representing 44 former Hare Khrisna students in a $400 million class action suit alleging they had been abused as children in Hare Khrishna boarding schools between 1972 and 1990.  Mr. Turley has written a book about law and airplane crashes.
Utah
Mary C. Corporon, Salt Lake City (801-328-1162).  Successfully represented Jennifer Woolston in civil suit against KIDS of Salt Lake City.
Virginia
Phil Hirschkop,  Virginia.  In 1982 Fred Collins,  an honors engineering student at Virginia Tech,  paid his brother a visit at Straight.  But Straight would not let him leave.  Fred escaped four and a half months later looking like a concentration camp victim having lost 20 - 25 pounds.  Represented by Alexandria, Virginia attorney Phil Hirschkop,  Fred sued Straight in Federal District Court in Alexandria, Virginia and was awarded $220,000 for false imprisonment.   Hirschkop lost the greater monetary value charge by  not being able to convince the jury that his client  had also been abused while being held prisoner.  But that was a difficult task because Straight's star  witness had been the founding director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and second White House Drug Czar--Robert L. DuPont, Jr.  It had been Dr. DuPont who as director of NIDA had administered a whopping $1.4 million contract to Straight's predecessor The Seed whose methods  the U.S. Senate later likened  to North Korean brainwashing.  Dr. DuPont had left NIDA and become a paid Straight consultant,  boasting in deposition once that it was his idea that Straight go national.   Dr. DuPont testified that Fred Collins was a "pathological liar" even though he had never even met him!  Fred Collins went on to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics.  
Sandra Havralik, Fairfax.  Has experience in litigation against Straight.
David Fudula, Fairfax.  Mr. Fudula assisted Phil Hirschkop in the Fred Collins' trial and handled at least one other case against Straight.
Washington, DC
David Bardin,  Washington, DC,  Maryland, Virginia.  Mr. Bardin has years of experience lending his legal expertise to those who have been involved in destructive mind-control cults.  He  worked closely with the old Cult Awareness Network before it was taken over by the Church of Scientology.  

 

        Potential expert witnesses.
Witness Area of Expertise Germane experience
Dr. Steve Dubrow-Eichel
And
Dr. Linda Dubrow
9877 Verree Rd
Philadelphia, PA  19115
(215) 698-8900
drsteve@snip.net
Linda has served as an expert witness before
Bill & Lorna Goldberg juvenile treatment (both are licensed social workers) -- they're also familiar with Kids
New Jersey, 
171 Meadowbrook Rd
Englewood, NJ  07631
(201) 894-8515
Dr. Stanton Peele addictions Stanton Peele is an attorney and a world-renowned specialists on addictions.  He is well versed on Straight, Inc.
Professor Barry Beyerstein, Simon Fraser University opiate research Dr. Beyerstein is a leading Canadian researcher  on opiates.  He has visited Straight-Springfield and has written an article on Straight and brainwashing.
Professor Bruce Alexander psychology Dr. Alexander, a Canadian,  is the author of the book,  Canada's Way Out of the War on Drugs.  He has visited Straight-Springfield and writes about it in his book.
Richard Bradbury, Tampa, Florida Straight investigator Mr. Bradbury  is a former Straight client turned counselor who spent many years investigating Straight.
Dr. Janet Kennedy, Dripping Springs, Tx. Straight investigator Janet Kennedy has a PhD in Pharmacy and a MS in Hospital Administration.  She spent three years investigating Straight.
Professor Richard Ofshe, University of California at Berkeley mind control Dr. Ofshe is a sociologist and noted expert on mind control.   He won a Pulitzer Prize for his book on Synanon Church.  He was used as an expert witness in the closing of Straight-Cincinnati.
Professor Emeritus Margaret Singer, University of California at Berkeley mind control Dr. Singer is a psychologist, now retired, and noted author on mind control.  She was an expert witness in the closing of Straight-Cincinnati.
Patricia Crandall chemical dependency Ms. Crandall is a chemical dependency professional from Minnesota who visited Straight-St Pete.
Ron Burks thought reform, cult recovery Dr. Burks is on staff at the cult recovery center Wellspring at: http://wellspringretreat.org/html/ron.htm .  In 2002 he received a PhD for his paper on thought reform at: http://oak.cats.ohiou.edu/~rb267689/  
Richard Lawrence Miller, Kansas City, Mo. author, expert on drug policy Mr. Miller is the author of several books.  He investigated the ethics of doing medical research on kids held captive in Straight and wrote a 30 page report on his findings.

 

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This web page is offered as a public service and as an educational resource to those interested in learning about the potential dangers of abusive, Straight-based synanons.   The page is the on-line publishing arm of the Oakton Institute for Cultic Studies.