The Barbero Report


(c) 2002 by Wesley Fager


In early May 1989 Sandy Levy Barbero, M.S.W. (today a LCSW) answered an ad in the Salt Lake Tribune for the position of Assistant Director of KIDS of Salt Lake City--soon to open as a 3rd generation Straight. It would be the latest in Reverend Doctor2  V. Miller Newton's expansion programs out of his KIDS of Bergen County.   Doctor2 Newton had left his position as national clinical director of Straight, Inc. in Florida in 1983 amidst a bevy of civil suits and criminal investigations in that state for alleged child abuse  to establish his own second generation Straight in New Jersey. Ms. Barbero was flown to New Jersey for a 2.5 day observational interview. What she saw there was so bizarre and frightening that she drafted a letter to the ACLU to inform that group of the violation of civil rights and human liberties at KIDS.  Copies were also sent to state officials in Texas and New Jersey to support their investigations of abuse in KIDS programs in those states and to officials in Utah to try to stop the spread of Straight-based synanons into that state. Around 1990 Utah, Texas  and California all closed KIDS programs in their states for child abuse. Interestingly, when California closed KIDS of Southern California in 1989  Straight moved into the facility and took over the clients. It took California authorities just over a year to close  Straight for child abuse.  In 1989 Layne Meacham, founder of Proctor Advocate, another Utah program based, in part, on the Straight model, was charged with abusing a 16 year old girl in Proctor Advocate. He was convicted of a misdemeanor but a judge overturned the conviction citing that the jury had made errors.a

KIDS of Bergen County changed its name in 1989 to KIDS of North Jersey after the national TV show West 57th Street exposed abuse there  and moved to Hudson County, New Jersey.  KNJ finally closed in 2000 when New Jersey revoked its right to collect social security checks.  In 1996 Utah closed down Yes Family, another Meecham juvenile recovery program.a   Reverend Doctor2 Miller Newton is back in Florida and now, sometimes,  calls himself Father Cassian. Straight, Inc. now calls itself the Drug Free America Foundation, Inc.  Today Life Line in Salt Lake City is a Straight legacy program borne out of KIDS. And Alberta Adolescent Recovery Center (AARC) is another KIDS/Straight derivative program which operates in Calgary, Canada. 

Here is Ms. Barbero's report. Remember,  Ms. Barbero was a 51 year old adult being interviewed and not a kid in the program. Here's her report posted with her permission.