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site updated September 21, 2003, 0100 EST (c) 2000
Watchdog for juvenile synanons (more popularly known as juvenile therapeutic communities)
We shall tolerate no treatment program where children can not talk, in private, with their parents.
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HEADLINE News To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men. Abraham Lincoln
Congressman asks for investigation of WWASPS
story1 story2 story3
Speciality-Emotional Growth Schools, Teen Help / WWASPS, boot camps, wilderness
The abuse alleged to have occurred includes beatings, isolation, food and water deprivation, choke-holds, kicking, punching, bondage, spraying with chemical agents, forced medication, verbal abuse and threats of further physical abuse.
From a 1998 US state department cable in Washington, DC to its embassy in Western Samoa stating that it had received credible allegations of abuse at Paradise Cove, a juvenile emotional growth school in Samoa which until 2000 was part of the WWASPS network. While more and more concerned parents may be turning to the US state department for help could their pleas be falling on deaf ears? For 17 years Mel Sembler operated Straight, Inc., one of the most destructive juvenile rehabilitation chains in the world, and now his money has made him a watch dog for the US state department. story

For others reporting on non-Straight adolescent treatment programs click the icons left and below*. For theStraights dot com corner on non-Straight programs click here. For discussion forums click here, here and here. Put faces to the WWASPS / Teen Help guys here
(*Wes Fager and the Oakton Institue are not affiliated with any other program and do not necessarily share all the views expressed by other web pages linked to by this site.}

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

Pathway Family Center
Kids of North Jersey/Bergen Cnty
Kids of El Paso
DPNA/GDPN forum (DFAF allies)
DPNA/GDPN chat room (DFAF allies)

direstraigths e-mail signup
Fornits on Elan
Court TV forum
Joe's Apartment

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

Activists Corner

I often wonder what it is that brings one man success in life and . . . failure to his brother. . . some men succeed because they cheerfully pay the price . . .and others are unwilling . . . That�s why so many . . . remain on the beaten paths that are for broken men.
A poem Straight founder Mel Sembler carries around and uses at appropriate times like the speech he gave at Northwestern University, his alma mater, on 1-15-03.
Congress shall make no law ... abridging ... the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States


New 8-16-03 Scheduled 9-11-03. US Dept of Health endorsement of Straight-legacy programs to set off protests at Italian Embassy, National & Florida Holocaust museums, St Pete Times and Orlando's Nat'l Recovery Month festivities. press release

DATIA, dateline Wash DC, Supreme Court decison on drug testing sets off protests, 7-18-02

Commonwealth Attorneys Office, Fairfax, Va.

Italian Embassy, Washington DC


SAFE II 7/12/02

Ambassador Sembler's house

US Dept. of Health endorsement of controversial rehabs to spark two days of protests in Washington, DC, Orlando and St. Pete, Fl. (DC / St. Pete protests placed on hold) story press release dddd

The Protest Report
The case to conduct protests of some Straight legacy programs.   story
Conferences and meetings

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

SAFETY (Survivors and Friends for the Ethical Treatment of Youth) is a not-for-profit corporation in the state of Florida dedicated to helping survivor's of harmful treatment programs.

Report on The Third International Conference on Adolescent Treatment Abuse report

AlterNet Covers First International Conference on Treatment Abuse. Link2

Straight Reunion Dateline Midland, Va., 8-18-02.

Bradley Martin's Appeal  Dateline, Lebanon, Pa., 9-11-02.

Seventh Steppers,
Resign from the Society Today!
It is easier to build up a child than to repair an adult.
author unknown, from a poster at Poe Middle School, Fairfax Cnty, Va.

Straight was founded by Mel and Betty Sembler who boast they've had 12,000 successful graduates. If you are a graduate of Straight or a second-generation Straight or The Seed, Straight's predecessor, and want to disclaim that distinction click.

Straight-related activist groups
ISAC, International Survivors Action Committee. ISAC is an organization formed by survivors of Straight and Straight-legacy programs. phone: (727)596-7118




Florida Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-96-ABUSE Always ask for Report/ID # and state you want to be informed whether your report is confirmed or not.


In 1987 Betty Sembler told reporter Jennifer Tucker of the Tampa Tribune about a day when she was having some trees planted when the young driver realized he had delivered the wrong trees. She let him use the telephone to call for instructions and while he was on the phone he glanced at her mail by the phone. Tucker reported, "He looked at it and looked at me and said, 'Are you Mrs. Sembler?' and I said 'yes'. He put down the phone, came over and put his arm around me and with tears in his eyes, started telling me how he had graduated from the Straight program. Mel looks at his wife and hesitates thinking, That's how you evaluate our investment"[Src: Tampa Tribune, 5-22-87, p. F1]

Somehow I feel that if one were to approach Mel or Betty today with tears in his eyes and ask with outstretched arms, "are you Mel Sembler?" or "are you Betty Sembler?" "I was in Straight, Inc." Somehow I think Mel and Betty would start running for the door and calling for their six Italian security guards. And that's how you really evaluate their investment. Join now the ranks of former Seventh Steppers who have renounced the odious distinction of being a Mel and Betty Sembler Straight graduate. Click here.


FACTNET for the latest in cult news.

News, Editorials, Archives


The Republican Party's strange obsession with Straight and other cults

If David Miscaviage can go to his deposition as Admiral Farragut, then Keith Henson can go as Bozo The Clown. Wes Fager, 2001
Straight, Inc., the preppie cult endorsed by them Republicans

Bush family financial scams

Scientology™ pays former parishioner Lawrence Wollersheim $8,674,643 for abuses he sustained at that church. story Court orders Scientology™ to pay him another $500,000 for engaging in a SLAPP suit against him. story

Jeb Bush joins Straight's Advisory Board

Florida state Republicans at Scientology™'s naval headquarters in Clearwater story

New 9-28-03
Salon Magazine features story on the Moonies Ever hear of a church where the guru encourages his followers to "cherish and punish your 'love organ' (with pliers if necessary)"; or where teenagers in a youth group are instructed to spit in a cup, exchange it with another student and then drink it! If not you'd better read John Gorenfeld's account of Reverend Moon and the Unification Church in Salon magazine. The Bush's have their hands in Moon's pockets, but Bush the father says of the Moonies, "this group is about strengthening the family and that's what President and Mrs. Bush are deeply focused on." Recall what he said about Straight? story Wes Fager's letter to the editor at Salon related article on Betty Sembler

Toni Jennings to be First Lt Gov in Florida History Ms. Jennings is on Straight's advisory board under its new name DFAF, and Richard Bradbury is so upset he sent letters to the editor at the The Saint Petersburg Times and theStraights dot com. Well Richard, The Times hasn't seemed too interested in the Straight saga ever since Paul Tash announced that Sembler had granted The Times exclusive rights to sell its papers at Sembler - built malls. But we'll carry your comments. See letter to editor

Straight's former secretary being considered for Florida's Top GOP

Ida Camburn: Read one woman's courageous expose of Scientology™

Dark Side of Rev. Moon: Hooking George Bush by Robert Parry

Dark Side of Rev. Moon: Buying the Right By Robert Parry

Why is TV news ignoring the relationship between Moon and the Bush family? by Carla Binion, Online Journal

Scientologist provides White House communications services 

Scientology® and faith-based mentoring

Did Scientology® Processing Kill Lisa McPherson?

New lie detectors could give Scientology® a run for its money

Church of Scientology Accused of Preying on 911 Tragedy

The State of the Union: Scientologists, Moonies, Doctors and Iraq

Cult expert Rick Ross on Straight

Freedom of Mind on Straight

Is she cheating on you? Safe alternative to the e-Meter. article

Faith-based child abuse story

Wellspring is that place you go to recover from an abusive rehab cult. Victims of theStraights have been helped there. Well Wellspring almost had the well run dry defending itself in a suit represented by the Queen of FOX News, Scientologist™ and attorney Greta Van Susteren story

Betty Sembler Day in Florida, August 8, 2000 by proclamation of Gov. Jeb Bush



Non-Straight-related juvenile treatment programs

New York Times on WWASPS article

Things heat up amongst Elan survivors, and the politics of juvenile treatment story

Erin Brockovich's legacy law firm to handle class action lawsuit against WWASPS story discussion

Windle Turdle Law Firm takes on $400 million RICO statute of limitations case against "Hare Krishna" church for alleged "sexual, physical and emotional torture" of its kids in the 70s story

Donna Headrick, The Intrepid Net Reporter, dead at age 57. story

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

Bell Academy, the WWASPS school in Terra Bella, Ca underfire article

Key witness to alleged abuse at WWASPS Costa Rican School says she has received death threats and claims FBI is investigating story

Johnny Cochran takes on wrongful death of teen in Brown Schools while former CEO Marguerite Sallee says the death (the fifth for Browns) could "bring the whole company down." story

WWASPS, Straight and the Costa Rican Embassy: Is the fox in the hen house? 5-27-03. story

Alleged child abuse at WWASPS' Dundee Ranch 5-31-03 story

History of WWASPS by SLT

Camp director arrested for murder in death of teen at Arizona boot camp story

Two employees of Utah wilderness therapy camp charged with child-abuse homicide story story2

More stories here



a. The Saint Petersburg Times, "Cardenas to step aside as leader of state GOP", 11-15-02, p. 6B.

Straight Incorporated and The Great American Holocaust
photo, top middel is Straight-Springfield, July 1987. Photo by Michele McDonald, Norfolk Ledger-Star.


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. 

Page designed and implemented in Dreamweaver 4 by Wes Fager. Credits here.