Human

Earth

Animal

Liberation

 

126 SW 148th St

Ste C100-422

Seattle, WA

98166-1984

 

(877)845-3232

 

E-mail Us!

HEAL

HEAL’S MISSION STATEMENT

HEAL is an egalitarian network of activists self-empowered to plan events, create change, and make the world a better place for all life.  Our goals include the liberation of humans, nonhuman animals, and the earth!  We work in cooperation with like-minded organizations that put compassion in action!

Teen Liberty

Environment

Human Rights

Animal Welfare

HAVE A QUESTION?  CONTACT US!

Quick Links

SIMPLE SOLUTIONS

[Informed Arguments for a Peace-Loving Society--Hypocrites May Disagree]

MENU/Topics: Abortion, Animals, Behavior Modification/Brainwashing, Healing Civilization, Civil Disobedience, Behavior Modification and Social Justice Movements, Open Letter to Mitt Romney, The Truth About HEAL, CAFETY, & ASTART, Efficacy and Efficiency v. Government Misuse of Funds and Intentional Ineptitude (Willful Blindness), Dundee Ranch Exposed by Cody Crawford Animal activists need their own Bechdel test,

Events

Information Standards

Abortion

What is an abortion? 

In simple terms, an abortion is an induced miscarriage of an embryo and/or fetus

How many abortions are performed in the United States annually?

The CDC reports over 800,000 abortions occurring annually

What is a miscarriage? 

Miscarriages are when a pregnancy is terminated by nature/"act of God".  So, it is certainly not a valid argument to say that God wants all children to be born.  Obviously, there are instances in which children are never born or are born only to die shortly thereafter.  Some religious individuals may claim that children must be born even if it is just to die so they have a "chance" to be "saved".  This underestimates God and is really an unfair characterization of God.  Do these individuals believe that the children God calls home by terminating a pregnancy in the womb by natural miscarriage are damned?  And, what loving God would damn the unborn?  The justifications just don't add up.

How many natural/"act of God" miscarriages, still-births, and infant deaths occur annually on Earth?

Infant Mortality Rates in 2011:  https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2091rank.html  

The above link shows per 1000, how many infants died after live birth in 2011.  Some countries have an infant mortality rate of 17.5%.  That is approximately 17 out of every hundred births, or nearly 2 in 10 die in infancy.

Approximately 1 in 4 pregnancies end in a miscarriage in the United States.  That is 25% natural/"act of God" termination of pregnancies.

Approximately 26,000 pregnancies end in still-births each year in the United States.   And, that means 26,000 women went through an entire pregnancy and risked their lives to deliver a dead baby.  

How many children are abandoned worldwide and what becomes of them? 

  • Every 2 seconds, a child becomes an orphan.
  • Every 14 seconds, a child is orphaned by AIDS.
  • 1,000,000,000 of the world's families live on less than a dollar a day.
  • Authorities estimate that child pornography is a $20 billion a year industry; too many abandoned children end up as victims of this deviant activity.
  • UNICEF estimates that nearly 1,000,000 children enter the sex trade every year.
  • Experts also estimate that nearly 10,000,000 children are working as prostitutes, with nearly 90% of them girls.
  • According to the World Health Organization, malnutrition is the single biggest contributor to child mortality rates worldwide.
  • Many street children use a number of inhalants (glue, gasoline, lighter fluid) and illegal drugs (marijuana, cocaine and heroin).
  • Street children are routinely detained illegally, beaten and tortured and sometimes killed by police in some countries.

Source: http://www.internationalstreetkids.com/statistics.php

Children in the United States are funneled into abusive and often deadly behavior modification programs through the foster care system, social services, school districts, and through their own parents who often want a way to abandon their child without "looking bad". 

How many children are waiting to be adopted in the United States?

Over 100,000 children are in the foster care system ready to be adopted.  The need for caring foster families is also great.  Would we really want to overload the Social Services system with 800,000 more children each year?  If so, who is going to pay for it?

How many children are in foster care in the United States?

There are approximately 423,773 (2009-2010 data) children currently in foster care in the United States.

How many families live at or below the poverty-line in the United States?

43.6 Million Americans live at or below the poverty-line and that number is growing. 

What does employment, wages, and cost of living look like for individuals and families in the United States?

According to official reports, there are approximately 311,555,665 people in the United States.  And, 127,097,160 people employed in the United States.  This statistic does not include individuals who are self-employed.  Of those 127 million employed by someone other than themselves, the average wage is $16.27 per hour.  But, this is averaging the pay of CEOs with Burger King servers at minimum wage.  So, the most common wage does not equal what is reported as the average wage in the report.  The Federal minimum wage per hour is $7.25.  And, almost all employed people in the United States work for minimum wage or less.  Now, a minimum wage, full-time (meaning 40 hours, not the new "30" or "32" hour "full-time") job will pay (gross) $290 per week and approximately $1160 per month (before taxes).  Here is what a typical paycheck for someone earning minimum wage, full-time, looks like:

Your Pay Check Results

Weekly Gross Pay

$290.00

Federal Withholding

$29.27

Social Security

$12.18

Medicare

$4.21

Arkansas

$7.57
 

Net Pay

$236.77
Calculation Based On

Tax Year

2011

Gross Pay

$290.00

Pay Frequency

Weekly

Federal Filing Status

Single

# of Federal Exemptions

0

Additional Federal W/H

$0.00

State

Arkansas

Tax Rate

Single

Exemptions

0

Low Income

Yes

Additional State W/H

$0.00

Source: https://www.paycycle.com/external/business/paycheckCalculators.jsp

This makes the net/liquid income of someone working minimum wage full-time in the United States approximately $947.08.  If the individual has only him/herself to care for on this wage, here is what expenses look like without safety-net, health insurance/coverage, savings or emergency funds:

National Average Cost of Rent for Studio Apartment--$740

National Average Cost for Two-Bedroom Apartment--$1070 (if living with roommate, rent would be $535 for one individual.  At full-time (40 hour) minimum wage, the cost of sharing an apartment with a roommate leaves this individual with $412.92.

Average Cost for a Bus Pass--$25 per month if one can buy a $75 unlimited 3-month bus pass.  This rate is for New Mexico.  Rates for a one-month unlimited pass in New York is $104 per month.  If we average New Mexico's rates with New York's, we get $64.50.  HEAL will use the $64.50 as an estimated national average.  This leaves the individual in our example with $348.42.  We are giving the most economically efficient accounting for someone with a minimum wage income.  Of course, individuals with vehicles will have even more expenses related to travel. 

Average Cost of Landline Phone and Utilities: The costs of utilities vary greatly depending on use.  The average residential bill provided by Puget Sound Energy in Seattle shows a total of $97.97 per month.  It is unclear if this is for a multi-person household.  Assuming that it would be accurate for a two-person apartment, we will cut the amount in half and apply it to the decreasing spending power of the example individual.  Half of $97.97 is $48.98.  This leaves the individual with $299.44 after the electric bill alone.  For basic landline telephone service with unlimited local calling only, the price starts at $12 per month.  With Verizon, we chose a "free" phone and selected the least expensive plan at $39.99 per month with a $35 activation fee and 450 "anytime minutes" with free weekend/evenings, voice-mail, no texting/data in the plan.  The $12 per month above does not include caller id or voice-mail.  With the least expensive of Verizon's plans, it would leave the individual with $259.45 each month.  If he/she chooses the most basic phone model without voice-mail and no cellular phone, the total he/she has left is $287.44.  Because most people are expected to have a cellular phone in the US today for business and personal use, we will be basing additional calculations on the $259.45 amount left with that expense.  The minimum cost for water service appears to be between $15 and $40 per month depending on location.  Based on this, we will assume a 2-person household would pay an average of $50 per month with the split between two roommates being $25 per month.  This will reduce the total money available to $234.45 per month for the individual. 

Average Cost of Food and Groceries (toiletries, etc.) for One Person:  The low range on groceries for one individual per month is $200 and the high range is $400 per month.  If we calculate using the low estimate of $200 per month for groceries, this leaves the individual with $34.45. 

Basic Cable: The least expensive plan offered by Comcast.com is $29.99 for one year (and that price will go up).   If two roommates split the cost for basic cable at this rate, they will each pay approximately $14.99 per month for basic cable.  This is if they share a television.  The cost would increase if each had cable access to their individual televisions in individual rooms.  Based on the premise that they would share the television, we will deduct $14.99 from the running total.  This leaves the individual with $19.46. 

If the individual requires any medical treatment or prescription medication, the $19.46 won't even cover those expenses.  And, if the individual has any debts or expenses such as clothing/shoes/etc. each month, it will leave them with less than nothing.  The minimum wage is not a living wage and certainly could not support an individual with a growing child.  And, this is the condition under which the majority of Americans currently live and work.

At this point, we will share the story of one of our supporters who had an abortion in February of 1996.  We are keeping her identity private so as not to subject her to judgment, ridicule, threats, and abuse by those who claim to be the epitome of the expression of God's love and compassion while they blame the victims of economic and social oppression for the choices no one would make if given legitimate support in a truly Christian/Compassion-Driven society.  The heart of the problems involved with this controversial issue are addressed above and if you are intelligent and read through all the data and statistics, you should understand that the problem isn't with the women who seek abortions nor the physicians who provide abortion services.  It is with the economic system that leaves the majority of the population living at or below the poverty line with little to no access to legitimate support and medical care.

Here is her statement:

"As a teenager, I was a staunch pro-life advocate.  I was a regular church-goer.  And, I participated in school debates taking the position of supporting the pro-life/anti-abortion movement.  I swore that I would never have an abortion and I believed women who had abortions were hateful.  I was raised in a single-parent household.  My custodial parent often worked more than 40 hours per week.  I was often left with strangers and caregivers due to the demands of my custodial parent's schedule.  I was sexually abused by two of these caregivers on separate occasions.  My first experience of consensual sex was when I was 19-years old.  It was unprotected sex.  It did not result in a pregnancy. 

When I was 22-years old, I had a steady boyfriend.  We were planning to live together and we eventually did live together for a few years.  I had a full-time job.  It paid $1250/month (gross/salary).  I often prayed as a form of birth control.  I prayed to not get pregnant and told God that I was not ready for that.  My boyfriend and I did not use protection.  And, my prayers were not effective birth control.  I oppose hormonal birth control options to this day though and would recommend using condoms or looking into surgical birth control options.  Regardless, my prayers were not effective as birth control and my period was late in late December, 1995.  I bought a pregnancy test from the grocery store and it turned up positive.  I was actually excited at the idea of being a mother until I talked with my boyfriend.  He wasn't the only problem.

When I saw that I was pregnant, I immediately stopped drinking caffeinated beverages.  I was and still am a big drinker of caffeinated cola.  But, I immediately stopped drinking pop.  I was vegetarian and craved iron so badly that I ate a cheeseburger.  And, I decided I would eat what my body told me to eat.  Some of my favorite foods made me nauseous.  And, I had to make some serious changes.  I also started taking pre-natal vitamins immediately.  I purchased them at the time I purchased the pregnancy test just to make sure I started off on the right foot.  At this point, I started planning how I would tell my boyfriend, friends, and family.  I was also shopping for baby clothes and items.  I purchased parenting and health magazines and books related to pregnancy.  And, it offends me to this day that anyone would think I didn't want my baby.  I did want my baby.  I loved my baby. 

At the time of my pregnancy, I had a full-time job.  I told one of my office "girlfriends" that I was pregnant in confidence.  She told my boss, the Vice President of the company.  I was fired two days later.  It was at-will employment.  My office confidant was the assistant to the VP.  And, she told me privately she was sorry she told him.  The reason given for why I was fired was not the pregnancy.  But, the women in the office told me that it was because of the pregnancy.  I was given no advice on who I should talk to about being let go.  And, the internet was not what it is now in 1995.  If I had known they couldn't fire me for that and that I could get a lawyer to fight for my job and call those women to testify, I would have at least tried.  But, knowing how expensive attorneys are and my inability to hire one as well as how wealthy the employer was and how they had a made-up reason for letting me go from an "at will" employment job, I would still think even trying would be futile today.

So, hit one was the job loss.  I didn't file for unemployment or any other social services benefit.  My family was always opposed to welfare and believed in a strong work ethic.  I was raised to be self-supporting and not to depend on welfare.  My custodial parent never applied for nor accepted any welfare, including food stamps.  I had no idea how to apply for these helps and I felt shame at the thought of applying.  This shame came from people who abuse and condemn those who accept government assistance.  And, I didn't want to expose myself or my child to such judgment and ridicule. 

I told my boyfriend I was pregnant.  He told me that I was trying to trap him and that he "knew" he should have used protection.  But, he didn't use protection.  He said he wanted nothing to do with me or the baby.  I was shocked.  He moved out of our apartment.  At this point, I was without a job and now alone in my apartment.  I asked my parent for help.  My parent helped cover some expenses, but, could not afford to take on the cost of two households.  My parent did not offer for me to come home.  But, I did not ask either.  I felt it was my mess to deal with and that my family felt the same way.  I didn't ask to come home.  But, I know now if I had asked I would have been welcome.  I didn't want to burden my family with my mistakes.  And, it broke my heart to think of my pregnancy as a mistake.

At this point, I was considering abortion and adoption.  I really wanted to carry my child to term and to raise him/her with all the love I felt.  During this time, Dateline NBC (I think) aired a show about a family who had adopted many children.  They were on paper the perfect family.  They regularly attended church.  They were respected in their community.  And, they had the resources to provide for the children they adopted.  But, the adoptive father was keeping some of the children in the basement and using them for sex.  Some of the children he had raised from birth he was raping on a regular basis and one had been forced to bear his children.  I was horrified.  I couldn't imagine taking a chance of putting my baby that I loved into the arms of strangers that might subject my baby to such atrocities.  Adoption was out.  This wasn't the only issue that caused me to discount adoption.  I also looked into the statistics regarding the amount of children waiting to be adopted and didn't want to add to it.  I also knew many people who had been adopted, including my boyfriend at the time.  His adoptive parents treated him like their personal servant.  He was nothing more than that to them.  And, it made him a very irresponsible, confused, and angry young man.  A friend in high school was also adopted.  He was adopted by a good family who treated him well.  But, not knowing his biological parents messed with his head.  And, this seems to be common with people who are adopted.  I didn't want to subject a child to a lifetime of misery and confusion.  So, adoption wasn't the answer for me.

I started applying for new jobs immediately.  But, many required urine tests for drugs and I was afraid that they would see I was pregnant and not hire me.  I was struggling financially and I didn't know what to do.  No one told me who to call for help.  No one encouraged me to talk to social services and apply for aid.  Being raised in a single parent household while my other parent neglected to call, write, or visit on a regular basis (years without contact), I didn't want my baby to feel that deep rejection I felt from my non-custodial parent.  I didn't want my baby to suffer the way I suffered.  I didn't want my baby to suffer at all.  And, knowing the dangers and misery involved in entering the world without prepared, financially stable, and loving parents would set up my child for a lifetime of pain and failure.  I also didn't want to subject my child to any resentment I might feel in not being able to become financially stable and successful if tied down and sucked into the welfare system. 

My boyfriend was willing to stay with me and move back into the apartment to cover costs if I had an abortion.  My custodial parent said the decision was mine and that they would support any decision I made.  My employer and my boyfriend (baby's father) encouraged me to terminate my pregnancy overtly and indirectly.  And, I didn't know what to do.  I prayed.  I prayed so much and cried so much over this decision.  I asked God to help me.  I asked God to show me where to apply for work or to help my boyfriend be more amenable to having the baby.  I was doing everything I could to find work and to keep going.  But, no work.  One month later, no job offers.  The clock was ticking and my boyfriend was pressuring me.  Everything was pressuring me to terminate the pregnancy.  I didn't understand why God wouldn't help. 

I knew I would never terminate a pregnancy after the first trimester.  I was always opposed to abortion.  And, the decision had been laid in my lap.  It may have been Karma for all the judging I did when I looked at women who had abortions.  I don't know.  But, I became a much humbler person after this and that may have been God's plan.  I had very little time to schedule the abortion.  My boyfriend paid for it and drove me to and from the clinic.  I had the abortion in February, 1996.  My predicted due date was the 2nd week in September of 1996.  It was before the end of the first trimester.  It didn't matter.

The abortion itself was physically and emotionally excruciating for me.  I was given a large dose of Ibuprophen for the pain.  But, there was no anesthetic used by the clinic.  I felt like my insides were being ripped out.  I stared at the ceiling in the clinic and I prayed.  I prayed that my baby would go with the angels and that he/she knew I loved him/her and that I didn't want him/her to suffer.  I don't know if it was a hallucination or not, but, I swear I saw my spirit handing the spirit of  my baby to angels in that clinic.  I felt God was with me telling me it was going to be okay.  And, I was comforted.

When I see the hate and judgment I used to participate in prior to this, it disgusts me.  It is hate, judgment, and oppression that put me in the position to make the choice I made.  And, I honestly believe we will never stop abortions until we create a world where all children are wanted, welcomed, and provided opportunity for education and upward mobility.  We cannot blame the victims of circumstance, we must change the circumstances."

The woman in the above statement has bravely shared her story with HEAL and we appreciate her comments.  It is more than obvious that we need to work to create a world where there is no poverty, starvation, or other preventable/addressable problems.  This will not be done through social controls on behavior.  It will only be achieved through honest, respectful, and loving relationships between all human beings.  And, this will only be achieved through a serious revision of our regulatory policies related to workers, the economy, and equality.  We must strengthen the voice of workers and respect that all human beings are created equal.  This means having social and governmental policies that support the people and individual civil rights.

Abortion is an economic issue.  If you really want to stop abortion, begin by working to revise and enforce labor laws.  If you really want to stop abortion, provide a legitimate safety-net that does not impose bureaucratic "hoops" for getting basic assistance.  If you really want to stop abortion, don't judge the poor and demand control over them before offering a "helping hand".  If you really want to stop abortion, put a little love in your heart and let it grow and spread in the most compassionate, humble, non-judgmental manner you can achieve as an imperfect human being. 

Abortion cannot be stopped through murder and mania.  It will only stop when there is no need for it.  The need is created by the economic circumstances of the individuals seeking the service.  The economic circumstances are dictated by those with wealth and power.  And, that is where we begin in the struggle for freedom, justice, and equality for all.  Please be sure to truly identify a problem before claiming to know what the solution is in any given situation.  And, if you don't want to do the research and work necessary to have an informed opinion, then don't participate in public discussion.

Animals

HEAL's animal rights/animal welfare campaign is on hold due to the overwhelming need for more human rights efforts and actions.  This segment will attempt to reasonably discuss animal rights/animal welfare issues.  Our goal is to put a damper on the fire of discord between people who support animal rights and those who do not. 

There are multiple animal rights issues and campaigns.  For simplicity, we will be discussing major animal rights campaigns using facts.  The animal rights campaigns we will be covering in this editorial are: Dietary Decisions; Animal Experimentation/Vivisection; Hunting; Entertainment; and Fur/Leather.

Dietary Decisions--Omnivores and Herbivores

An omnivore is an animal that eats animals, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and other non-animal-based foods Herbivores only eat plants.   No human being is a carnivore in the literal sense (with the exception of the the Inuit Tribe in Canada).  Therefore, human beings fall into two categories: omnivores and herbivores.

How many species on this planet are carnivores?  HEAL was unable to locate information to answer this question.  However, we found that dogs, dolphins, lions, alligators, cheetahs, hyenas, leopards, snakes and tigers are all considered carnivorous (primary diet is meat).  There are also carnivorous plants.  In fact, there are 670 species of carnivorous plants.  Some species of carnivorous plant eat fish

How many species on this planet are omnivores?  HEAL was unable to locate information to answer this question.  However, we found  Apes, baboons, and pigs are part of the omnivore family.  And, there are many other species as well including rodents, birds, mammals, fish, and more that are considered omnivores Some species of non-human primate eat other primates.  And, there are human cultures that appear to still eat humans from time to time

How many species on this planet are herbivores?  HEAL found a wiki page listing herbivorous animals.  We were unable to find any statistical data.  This doesn't mean it doesn't exist.  Herbivorous animals include cows, elephants, pandas, kangaroos, deer, giraffes, gorillas, horses, and many more

There appears to be a conflict/hypocrisy in the standard animal rights argument against eating animals.  Non-human animals eat animals and even plants eat animals.  Forcing animals to adapt to a diet that they have yet to evolve to questions the wisdom of nature.  The notion of thinning the herd is not outlandish as an argument.  Death is a part of life and life cannot continue without death.  That is the balance.  If every species on earth, including humans, adopted an herbivorous diet, there would be extreme over-population, illness, and the world would run out of plants.  As the world ran out of plants due to a population boom cross-specially, the baser survival instincts would overtake the living and animals and plants would adapt by again consuming animals.  Therefore, a planet of only herbivores would eventually result in omnivorous adaptation.

Now, if herbivorous humans understand that the end result of the extreme position to kill or perpetuate the extinction of all meat-eating animals (omnivores and carnivores) will eventually lead to a forced adaptation to some animal consumption, then hopefully they can admit that the extreme pressure on others to convert to veganism/vegetarianism is not a valid solution and will not result in a more humane world.  Therefore, a tolerant respect for diversity and the need for baser instincts when faced with life/death/survival circumstances is required by all. 

The most engaging argument posed by animal rights activists is that reducing human consumption of animals will reduce the demand for animal-based products and lead to more humane farming conditions.  The problem with this argument is that it does not take into account the dietary needs of the individuals.  For instance, a vegan HEAL member was told by a vegan physician that he/she should eat meat.  The doctor informed our volunteer that while he generally recommends people adopt a vegan diet, that due to our volunteer's health condition meat was necessary for good health.  Forcing individuals to choose illness over health for the sake of other species may be considered too much to ask of anyone. 

Is reducing public consumption of animal-based products likely to result in more humane treatment of those animals?  According to the USDA, in 1970 there was 177,469 pounds of meat consumed and 39,526 pounds of eggs consumed in the United States.  And, in 2008 (most recent available data) there was 196,874 pounds of meat consumed and 31,869 pounds of eggs consumed In 1970, there were approximately 203,302,031 people living in the United States.  According to official reports, there are approximately 311,555,665 people in the United States in 2011.  If you divide the pounds of meat consumed in 1970 by the population at the time, it results in less than one pound of meat per person in the United States that year.  If you divide the pounds of meat consumed in 2008 by our current population, it results in .000631906_ pounds consumed per person each year.  Of course, not everyone eats meat in the United States and the distribution is not even across the population.  But, it would be difficult to suggest that ceasing to consume less than one pound of meat each year would result in more humane treatment of animals.  Most foods, including Chef Boyardee Ravioli, use textured soy protein as filler in their meat products.  Of course, you may have also heard about the 35% beef (rest is filler) burritos at Taco Bell.  So, many "meat" products are already using vegetable-based fillers.  But, the reduction in the demand for animal products has not resulted in more humane conditions for animals.  Therefore, the argument is flawed and thereby easily dismissed by a skeptical public. 

It would seem everyone could agree that reducing animal suffering and illness would result in better quality animal-products for human consumption.  And, it would seem that human beings would want better quality and healthier food if given the choice.  Foodborne illness is a serious problem that kills 3,000 Americans every year.  It causes illness in 1 in 6 Americans each year.  And, 128,000 people are hospitalized each year as a result of contaminated food.  Certainly, an issue that effects 17% of Americans each year and kills 3,000 Americans each year would inspire all of us to guard against it through effective regulation.

In 2007 (110th Congress Session of Congress), Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY) and Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI) introduced legislation referenced as The Downed Animal and Food Safety Protection Act to close regulatory loopholes that allow for diseased animals to enter the nation's food supply.  Those bills did not become law and have yet to be reintroduced.  But, it is this type of legislation that is needed to improve agricultural industry standards and ensure public health. 

Would more humane farming/processing conditions lead to fewer foodborne illnesses?  In humans, abuse/inhumane treatment has been found to have an adverse effect on physical health.  This would initially suggest that other animals will also have adverse health effects if treated inhumanely.  "It has been suggested by industry experts, that as many as 90% of downed animal cases could be prevented through better care, more humane handling and transportation methods."   "Downed animals, also referred to as "downers," present both food-safety and humane treatment issues. They are commonly left where they lie without food, water, or medical care, 1 or are dragged by chains to the slaughterhouse 2 to be processed for human consumption."  We deserve better and so do the animals.  Does human health matter enough to human society to take steps to ensure there are strong laws and regulations governing food production and empowered enforcement officials to ensure compliance?  Or, when it comes to food/survival, do we consider everything a gamble in which everyone takes their chances?  Do we work to improve the quality of life and preserve life?  Do we see public health as an effort not worthy of proper funding and enforcement?  It would seem no human being who requires food to live would want to live in a society where there isn't effective regulation of food products to ensure food safety and quality.

Who prevents effective regulation and/or stands to benefit from lack of regulation?  It certainly is not the public that benefits from a lack of regulation of agricultural businesses.  It isn't the consumers who benefit from the lack of regulation.  And, it certainly is not the workers who benefit from lack of regulation 30% of farm workers in the United States are minors (under 18 years old) 30% of farm workers in the United States make less than minimum wage 43% of farm workers in the United States make minimum wage.  Less than 10% of farm workers in the United States make $13.25 or more per hour.  "Farmworkers are frequently vulnerable to abuse, especially when they have exclusive contracts with their employers or can be coerced to work through threats of deportation.3 It is nearly impossible to calculate the incidence of farmworkers forced into labor within the U.S., not only because it is a ‘hidden crime’ but also because victims frequently are reluctant or unable to seek help through official mechanisms. Forced labor (or "labor trafficking") is prosecuted almost exclusively as a federal crime, but recently federal and state law enforcement agencies have coordinated to investigate abuses. The largest case of forced labor in the U.S. was uncovered in 2010, involving more than 400 Thai farmers who were brought into the country to work on farms and orchards.4 "  (Source: http://bamco.com/uploads/documents/fwi_execsum_0428_2011.pdf)   It is definitely not the farmworkers who benefit from lack of regulation.  ConAgra made $215.1 million in 2011.  In 2009, the state Department of Labor found 26 serious health and safety violations at ConAgra's Slim Jim plant in Garner and ConAgra was fine $134,773.  The health and safety violations resulted in the death of four workers and dozens more were seriously injured.  Do you think a fine of $134,773 to a multi-million dollar corporation is a significant deterrent to cutting costs that result in hundreds of millions of dollars in profit?  Do you think the loss of four lives and the injuries of dozens is worth more than $134,773? 

Beyond this, ConAgra falsified records to avoid paying additional fees to the USDA After being taken to court and losing, ConAgra had to pay the plaintiff a total of $37,156.66 which included "compensation for attorney's fees".  The award for actual damages to the plaintiff was a measly $107.50.  No, not ten thousand; one hundred and seven dollars and fifty cents.  (United States ex rel Bahrani v. ConAgra, Inc., 10th Circuit Court, October 26th, 2010, Circuit Judges Briscoe, Baldock, and Tymkovich)  This is some limited data suggesting that ConAgra benefits from the lack of regulation and would face a decrease in profits if it improved working conditions and the conditions under which animals live.  And, it would appear that the only people benefiting from this are ConAgra shareholders with no concern for public health or animal welfare. 

To ensure public health, labor rights,  and animal welfare, we should demand effective regulation of agricultural businesses.  And, any efforts aimed at changing individual/consumer "behavior" that does not include effective regulation of businesses who operate in illegal and/or unconscionable ways is placing the responsibility on the shoulders of those least able to make an impact.  Consumers have limited time, limited energy, and limited funds.  And, consumers are bombarded with commercials that promise convenience and low prices.  The restrictions must be placed on the companies and not the consuming public if real change is to be made.

Animal Experimentation/Vivisection

We have decided to reproduce our article on animal experimentation and vivisection here.  It suits the purposes of this reasonable discussion.  You can print a copy of this article by visiting www.heal-online.org/antiviv.pdf.  Here it is:

Besides being inhumane and unethical, vivisection is bad science.  Most, if not all, of the discoveries that have been made regarding the improvement of human life and health have been without vivisection or in spite of it.  Vivisection may be the greatest self-imposed stumbling block in the history of scientific research and discovery. 

 

If we were to believe in vivisection as a valid and valuable method for learning about human physiochemistry, health, and healing, we wouldn’t have healing and/or medicinal drugs available to us such as penicillin, digitalis, and morphine.  We would also have been spared the horrors of tuberkulin.

 

At the time penicillin was created guinea pigs were widely used as test subjects.  Since penicillin kills guinea pigs, mice were used instead.  “But the same guinea pigs can harmlessly and painlessly eat strychnine, one of the deadliest and most toxic poisons for humans-but not for monkeys...  The use of digitalis-the chief “cure” for cardiac patients and the deliverer of countless human lives all over the world-was set back far too long a time since it was first tested on dogs in who it treacherously builds blood pressure.  And chloroform is so toxic or poisonous to dogs that for too many wasted years this precious anesthetic was never used on patients.  Morphine, which tranquilizes and anesthetizes humans, provokes a crazed exhiliration in cats and mice, but dogs can tolerate doses up to 20 times higher than humans.  Robert Koch’s tuberkulin, once extolled as a vaccine against tuberculosis since it “cured TB” in guinea pigs, was found out after to cause “TB” in humans...  And while the countless vivisections on live animals had gained nothing but to collect a body of sterile data and misinformation, of worthless facts and figures, healing art and surgical technique had taken huge strides using or abusing NO animals –by means of the pure exercise of human intelligence and observation.  Aspirin, belladonna, chloroform, digitalis, ether, iodine, laughing gas, quinine, and strophantin had all been hit on without falling back on animals.  Auscultation, fever thermometer, percussion, pulse count, and stethoscope had been contrived without animal tests.  Pasteur had proclaimed the so-called “germ theory” founded on several studies on the fermentation of beer and wine.  There had been the finding of X-rays by Roentgen, which-like that of radium a few years later-was no more due to animal vivisection than the relearning of the importance of asepsis (freedom from disease-causing germs) in general surgery.  If we took all these discoveries (side note from webmaster: meaning the discoveries made without using and abusing animals, without vivisection) away, modern-day medicine would have almost nothing left.  And, they uplifted surgery out of the medieval tedium, thanks to the truly great British inventors who all had categorically proclaimed that vivisection could just lead medical art amiss.” (excerpts from “Lab  Animal Abuse:  Vivisection Exposed!" By Joseph Covino Jr.) 

 

Since animal bodies respond so differently to the varieties of drugs and foods from one another it is seemingly obvious that using one species to validate cures or effects of treatments to discover how said cures or effects of treatments will effect another species is ludicrous.  Dogs can’t tolerate digitalis or chocolate.  But, the human heart needs both in many cases.  Cats and mice can’t tolerate morphine.  But, it aids us in pain relief and anesthetization.  Monkeys and guinea pigs can safely eat strychnine, but, strychnine is death for humans.  Tuberkulin cured tuberculosis in guinea pigs and caused it in humans.  The only reason this madness continues is because of pride and greed.  The vivisectors do not want to admit to their wasted time, money, effort, and the wasted lives of billions of nonhuman animals.  Their egos will not allow them to admit to their own foolishness, wastefulness, and stupidity.  And, more so, their million-dollar homes looking out on acres of land or oceanic waters, their millionaire status, and pseudoscientific power only gives them reason to carry on in this insanity.  It is up to the true scientists who revere philosophy and logic, and to the public majority, to shut down these barbaric vivisectors once and for all.

 

Hunting

 

There are many sub-categories of hunting.  However, for the purposes of this discussion, we will limit the sub-categories to "trophy hunting" and "hunting for food". 

 

Trophy hunting is done with the purpose of collecting dead animal parts to decorate one's home or office with the evidence of the kill.  Trophy hunters may use some of the meat, but, it is not their primary purpose in the hunt.  International trophy hunting often includes the hunting of endangered species.  Killing for the sake of personal "glory"/gratification as opposed to survival and sustenance is arguably immoral and unnatural.  International laws do not protect human rights and animals will not be safe from abuses until human society gets things right.  Creating and enforcing human rights laws is a step in the right direction.  The better humans treat each other, the better humans will treat all species.  It is foolish to attempt to stop humans from harming animals when they exploit other people on a daily basis.  And, ignoring the fundamental problems at the heart of the issues we face today will not make them go away.  Therefore, a focused energy to stop trophy hunting may be a poor use of resources at this time.  Trophy hunters find animal rights' activists amusing and laughable.  As with dietary decisions, we cannot stop trophy hunters from hunting.  But, we can support stronger laws protecting animals from extinction or predatory hunting practices.  This can only be done through citizen initiative and public participation/support.  The government is a tool of the people that we fund and use to ensure public safety and effective and humane public policy.  And, we must fund the services necessary for the protection and enforcement of all regulations and laws that protect the public interest.

 

The second category is that of hunting for food.  Hunting for food is a respectable practice.  One HEAL Coordinator's cousin raises chickens and rabbits for food.  And, this cousin also hunts for food.  The chickens and rabbits are treated humanely.  And, the kills are quick and done with care.  There is a "salt of the earth" quality to people who grow, raise, and kill/prepare their own food.  It is in better harmony with nature than the processed soy-foods one finds at the supermarket.  And, overall is more in balance with the natural order. 

 

The same discussions apply to trophy fishing and fishing for food.  And, it is important that people who live in glass towers take a walk on the real wild side once in a while to understand and respect those who grow, raise, and prepare their own food.  A wild animal is a free animal.  And, freedom comes with risk.  HEAL would support a world that allows for more freedom and more balance with nature.

 

Bottom line, HEAL finds trophy hunting/fishing morally reprehensible and hunting/fishing for food natural and respectable.

 

Entertainment

 

Animals are used for human amusement in a number of ways.  This includes horseracing, circuses, and film.  Some zoos and "preserves" are also abusive and ineffectively regulated.  We will break this discussion up into the following sections: gambling/racing, circuses, film/performing arts, and zoos/preserves/sanctuaries.

 

Gambling/Racing

 

What types of animal activity do individuals gamble on?  Dog racing, Horseracing, Dog-fighting, and Cock-fighting are only a few. 

 

How many dogs are injured or killed in dog races each year?  In 2000, 19,000 greyhounds were killed.  In 2011, over 100 sled dogs were killed in Canada as well.  Injured dogs who can no longer perform their racing function are usually euthanized. 

 

How many horses are injured or killed in horse races each year?  In California, the average from 2008-2010 was 322.5 deaths per year From 2003 through 2008, there were 5,000 reported horse deaths at thoroughbred racetracks.  That would make the national average approximately 1,000 horses per year.  However, even the racetracks admit to lax record-keeping standards and that the number is far greater than reported.  Due to the poor records keeping and lack of available information, this is the best answer we can provide.  As with dog racing, horses who are injured in races are also often euthanized.

 

In what states is dog-fighting legal?  There is only one state where participating in dog-fighting is legal and that state is Montana.  Dog-fighting and participating in dog-fights as an owner or spectator is illegal in every state except Montana.  Owning dogs for the purpose of fighting or sponsoring a dog-fighting event is illegal in Montana.  However, being a spectator at the event is not illegal.  Since dog-fighting is already prohibited nationwide, the problem is lax law enforcement or failure to report/investigate violations. 

 

In what states is cock-fighting legal?  Cockfighting is illegal in all 50 states.  Louisiana was the last state to ban cockfighting in 2007.  As with dog-fighting, what is needed is task forces in law enforcement agencies that understand the laws pertaining to animal-human relations and can investigate and enforce those laws.  This requires funding and funding to stop cruelty to animals is on the bottom of the list of priorities at this time for most officials. 

 

Overall, many animals are injured and killed related to gambling and illegal gambling activities.  The blood-thirst of the trophy hunter is reflected in the attitude of those who attend dog and cock fights.  It is morally reprehensible and HEAL does not support it.

 

HEAL would argue that dogs and horses deserve to live a life free from bondage and exploitation.  And, since human beings are capable of racing on foot, by bicycle, boat, car, or plane, there is really no need to involve other species in our races.  There is plenty to bet on without exploiting other animals in this manner and we would support an end to using animals in gambling events.

 

Circuses

 

Circuses with performing animals are an antiquated form of entertainment that is as perverse as any freak show.  The animals are mistreated and forced under threat of violence to perform unnatural tricks for spectators.  The inhumanity of the manner these animals are kept and cared for is appalling.  If the ethical concerns raised by the mistreatment of the animals isn't sufficient to avoid supporting such events, please consider the following questions and point:

 

How many humans are injured attending animal circuses each year?  There doesn't appear to be a statistic available to answer this question.  However, there have been numerous incidents of deaths and injuries to humans working for and/or attending animal circuses.  In 1997, a bear bit off part of the finger of a 2-year old attending a Shrine Circus in Missouri.  Also, in 1997, a tiger killed his trainer at the Franzen Brothers Circus in Pennsylvania.  In 1998, a Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey circus employee was attacked by a tiger.  The tiger bit a baseball-size chunk out of the employee's head.  In 1999, a Shrine Circus employee in Duluth was crushed and seriously injured when an elephant sat on him.  In 2002, two Shrine Circus elephants escaped in Wisconsin and a child was injured, there was also property damage involved.  In 2003, tigers attacked their trainers/handlers in the Siegried & Roy Vegas show and a circus in Wisconsin.  The tiger attacks resulted in serious injuries to their handlers.  In 2005, an elephant trampled a circus employee to death in Fort Wayne, Indiana At a circus training facility McHenry County a supervisor was seriously injured when mauled by a tiger in 2008.  In 2009, more than a dozen children were injured when a circus elephant was startled in Indiana.  The children had been waiting to ride the elephant and the elephant's response to being startled caused the collapse of scaffolding nearby. 

 

People are often naive in assuming that if someone is doing something it is likely to be a relatively safe activity.  People often ignore "assumption of risk" warnings and caveats when purchasing tickets to the circus or similar events (i.e. rodeos).  And, people assume that there are safeguards in place and that injuries are unlikely to occur or to be minimal.  It clearly poses a serious risk to allow mistreated and naturally violent/predatory animals (i.e. tigers) to be used in open forums for entertainment purposes and to rely on people who are the primary cause of the animal's suffering and mental state to protect the public from the animal if it decides to no longer comply with direction.

 

There are plenty of serious incidents on record worldwide that show that animal circuses are a danger to public health and to property.  And, there is no legitimate purpose served by continuing the tradition.  There can be fairs, festivals, games, and rides without using animals.  And, there can be real fun without exploiting and harming other animals.  So, there is really no clear reason to allow animal circuses to continue.  The risk to human health and property far exceeds any supposed benefit offered by the excitement of the danger of seeing "wild beasts" and their "tamers" perform.  And, families and individuals would have a much more valuable "wild time" on a camping trip than in a city tent filled with half-crazed animals who live in their own private hell.

 

Overall, HEAL would recommend camping for a "wild time" and that all other forms of live entertainment be done by willing human beings.

 

Film/Performing Arts

 

HEAL was unable to locate any statistics regarding actors/crew being harmed by animals on the set.  The majority of information available is from the American Humane Association.  And, their focus is to ensure that animals are not mistreated while on set.  However, the AHA does not regulate or examine how the animals are treated by their trainers when off the set and this raises serious concerns regarding the training methods and welfare of the animals.  The AHA has stated that it is part of their agenda to pressure officials for stronger animal protection laws and enforcement.  As stated above, animal welfare is not a priority for our officials at this time.  So, it will require public action and pressure to change the laws and ensure animals are treated humanely.

 

There are many new technologies available, that include CGI and animatronics, that allow for films and performing arts to use the concept of an animal without using the actual animal.  Some of these techniques are so refined that one cannot tell they are special effects.  In the film "Gladiator" (2000), the tigers looked real.  But, they were not.   It would do people good to use a little imagination once in a while as well.

 

Given that there are alternatives that can be used in storytelling and plenty of nature shows on the air, there is no real reason to continue to use live animals as "actors" for human entertainment.  HEAL would support the abolition of the use of animals in entertainment.

 

Zoos/Preserves/Sanctuaries

 

The ethical considerations are many.  Do humans have the right to cage other species for our own amusement?  Is this humane?  Regardless of these considerations, other issues arise.

 

How delicate are eco-systems and how does relocating animals effect the environment and human health?  These are the more relevant questions if we are to continue discussing this in a practical and reasonable manner. 

 

Devastating Effects of Introducing Foreign Species to an Eco-System

 

"The great increase in the introduction of alien species that people are importing for economic, aesthetic, accidental, or even the complex reasons is leading to more species invading native ecosystems, which bring about results: they become invasive alien species (IAS) that have significant harmful effects on both ecosystems and economies."  (source: http://www.authorpalace.com/science/effect-of-introducing-alien-species-into-an-ecosystem.html)

 

So, we know that introducing alien/foreign species to an eco-system is often harmful both to the eco-system and to the humans that are part of it.  This would suggest keeping zoos and sanctuaries that include non-native species is unwise and detrimental to the environment and human health and prosperity.  This is a serious concern.  

 

So, HEAL would recommend against any zoos, preserves, or sanctuaries that intentionally introduce alien species to the native eco-systems. 

 

How many people are injured by animals at zoos each year?  There do not appear to be any statistics available to answer this question.  Often people are injured due to their own negligence.  But, zoos should keep security and supervisory watch for any activities that put animals or people in harm's way.  Zoos often make a spectacle out of other animals and many animals are anxious and traumatized due to their living conditions at zoos.  Zoos are nearly as inhumane and dangerous as animal circuses and should be effectively regulated or done away with if unable to meet the actual needs of the animals in their care. 

 

What is a wildlife preserve and how is it different than a zoo?  Well, in Maryland there is a "wildlife preserve and zoo" called Catoctin.  But, HEAL would not consider anything operating as a zoo to be a "wildlife preserve" in the proper use of the term.  Northwest Trek in Washington is a legitimate nature/wildlife preserve and the animals roam free while humans look on from enclosures for safety.  Nature reserves and preserves are lands devoted to protecting the local eco-system and native plants and animals in a protected area.  And, they are generally not profit-driven nor exploitative towards the animals.  HEAL supports Northwest Trek and would advocate for similar wildlife preserves and nature reserves.  HEAL does not support the exploitation and conditions at most, if not all, zoos.

 

What is an animal sanctuary and how is it different than a wildlife preserve?  Just like with all things, people will call a zoo a sanctuary, but, it is really a zoo.  These people know that sanctuary and preserve give a better public image for what they do, but, the public should be aware that there is a lot of false-advertising out there.  Be sure that any sanctuary, preserve, or safari you visit is legitimate and that the animals receive proper care.  If not, visiting such establishments will put you and your family at serious risk of injury.  All such businesses have "assumption of risk" warnings throughout and you likely do not wish to be or have a loved one harmed by an out-of-control animal who has suffered years of neglect and abuse.  Some respectable and legitimate animal sanctuaries include Pigs Peace Sanctuary and Pasado's Safe Haven.  Please research any animal enterprise you consider giving money to prior to giving the money to ensure you are not participating in animal cruelty or being scammed. 

 

Overall, HEAL supports legitimate conservation efforts and sanctuaries like Pigs Peace and Pasado's.  However, HEAL opposes zoos and the exploitation and abuse of animals for human amusement.
 

 

Fur/Leather

 

Fur coats are not a necessity.  Some may argue that fur is a necessity among certain cultures in certain climates due to a lack of resources to keep warm given the environment.  However, fur does not respond well to warm climates or warm temperatures.  And, fur can be destroyed if soaked as can suede.  The time, care, and other issues necessary to keep furs in good condition suggest that furs are not for those with limited resources or no access to climate control devices (i.e. air conditioner).  Therefore, as furs are used and capable of being used, they are not a necessity.

 

Since fur coats are not necessary for survival and animals are abused/mistreated that are raised for fur, it is clear that fur can and should be abolished from the fashion industry.  The clothing, shoes, and apparel industries are known for widespread human rights abuses and it is clear that much regulation needs to be done in regards to these industries for both human and animal well-being. 

 

Often cat and dog fur are used for trim on coats sold throughout the United States.  And, most people in the US would find this fact disturbing.  Regardless, it is apparent that fur represents the suffering and death of animals and is not necessary for human survival.  The ethical position in regards to fur in a culture that does not require fur for warmth (i.e. those living in the USA) is not to use or purchase fur.  There are plenty of ways to keep warm without fur and there is really no purpose for fur.  So, it just seems rather stupid to participate in or promote fur as a fashion statement.  Those who would use fur as a status symbol of their wealth are morally bankrupt and likely abuse humans, especially those they "employ", to exert their status and so-called "authority" as well.  If an Eskimo or Siberian-native was wearing fur or animal pelts for warmth, HEAL would respect that as a necessity.   

 

Overall, HEAL opposes the use of fur for fashion, but, respects the use of animal pelts by those who actually need it for survival.  The latter circumstance is very rare and may be moot at this point in the development of human civilization.

 

Leather

 

Leather is a tougher issue.  It is durable and long-lasting.  It is difficult to say whether buying one good pair of leather shoes or boots that last a lifetime when cared for properly is better or worse (in a moral sense) than buying multiple shoes and boots that wear out and must be replaced often.  The treatment of workers who manufacture leather and pleather shoes is often abysmal and atrocious.  And, in reviewing the clothing and shoe industries, we find a lot of areas that need serious regulation and improvement. 

 

Do they use the same cows for leather that they do for meat?  Yes, even though some animal rights activists have told HEAL otherwise.  This is part of the problem.  Activists need to provide facts and real information to the public.  And, it becomes a serious barrier to effective change when the information given or provided is not accurate. 

 

Leather is also made from pigs, horses, and other animals.  But, overall the arguments are not persuasive either way for or against leather to HEAL's satisfaction at this point.  And, HEAL would like to see greater regulation of the clothing/shoe industries to ensure workers' rights and human rights.  Improving the conditions of the humans who work with and/or care for animals will result in better care of those animals.  Stronger regulations and enforcement are needed to protect both humans and animals from abuse and exploitation.  And, we hope you agree.

Brainwashing Is Real and It's Really Not Therapy

By Marcus Chatfield
 

I was a 16 year old pot head. I needed help and my parents decided I should be put in a program. When I mentioned this to a friend he said, “Don't go Marcus, they'll brainwash you in there!” I knew better though, there was no such thing as brainwashing. It only happened in cartoons, the cat would brainwash the mice, their eyes became turning spiral pinwheels and they held their little arms out in front of them like zombies. This was brainwashing, it was cartoon fiction and I wasn't scared. I knew what would happen in there, I'd get help. I was going for therapy.

 

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), all ethical therapy consists of proven, safe and effective practices that a client or client guardian has consented to. This is one reason that the practice of coercive persuasion and thought reform is officially non-therapeutic. The methods used have not been proven to be safe or effective, so why are they legal?

 

Verbal attack, isolation and forced exercise; food, water and sleep deprivations; communication and toilet restrictions; humiliation rituals, emotional abuse and manipulation are all practices currently employed on a daily basis, as “therapy” for troubled teens. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has acknowledged thousands of reported claims of abuse in today's behavior modification programs, but no one has yet addressed the technology at work in these facilities. This technology is based on several forms of manipulation. These efforts to manipulate behavior through intentionally inducing stress, are inherently abusive, often violent and many teens have died while subjected to this type of “therapy.”

 

The APA does not officially acknowledge the existence of brainwashing. There are legal questions and implications that would be very difficult to address. There are also many crimes that could potentially be defended with a plea of “I'm innocent, I was brainwashed!” It's a can of legal worms. But while focusing on brainwashing's potential effects on the judicial system, the damaging effects of the process itself have been ignored. There is an overwhelming amount of personal testimony about the negative long-term side-effects that brainwashing can inflict. I personally believe there are also long-lasting physiological changes in the brain that occur when adolescents are subjected to thought reform and behavior modification in an institutional setting.


 

I believe that the underlying reason for the perpetual abuses in the troubled-teen industry is that the “theory of brainwashing” has not yet been officially “proven.” The technology cannot be banned until it is proven to exist. There is a system at work within the systematic abuses. Until the system itself is identified and dismantled, the tell-tale “symptoms” will persist.

 

Physical and psychological abuse is built into many of these programs by design. According to several different experts on the subject, the exhaustion and pressure that is induced by sleep deprivation, hunger, fatigue and emotional manipulation, “unfreezes” the psychological framework. Through this orchestrated crisis, a new identity is instilled by manipulating the environment and the emotions of the subject to an extreme degree until the “changed” mind of the subject has undergone “re-freezing.” This process requires varied amounts of time according to the individual character of each client, which is why there is no fixed length of time to “complete” this type of treatment.


 

Much of the power of this process relies on the secretiveness surrounding it. The methods work best if the intention behind them is not revealed to the subject. Understanding the principles and dynamics involved in this behavioral technology, reduces their effectiveness. Could you give an informed consent to treatment if it were described like this?... “The process then is the abrupt dissolution of the structure of intentionality by an electrochemical discharge in the brain, leaving the brain in a state of malleability for the construction of a new belief structure by which to guide behavior.” (Walter J. Freeman, Chaotic State Transitions in Brains As a Basis For the Formation of Social Groups, 1995) While these underlying principles and dynamics are not revealed to the client or the legal guardian, a consent to treatment is impossible.


 

The effectiveness of coercive thought reform upon teens has not been proven and the ethical questions have been quietly ignored. The debate within the APA has centered around various legal implications but questions about the potential for harm have been avoided. By ignoring the unproven “theory of brainwashing,” the APA has been ignoring the damage done by the practice of brainwashing.


 

These practices have never been proven safe and as an unproven treatment, are technically experimental. Also, according to several prominent experts that I've spoken with, there has not been any research on the long-term side-effects of this type of treatment upon adolescents. Perhaps the most relevant research is a European study that was recently conducted, which showed that 80% of adult survivors of institutional child abuse in Ireland, still suffer from psychological damage.


 

Adolescents who have been subjected to “brainwashing” were often witness to a heartbreaking cruelty. These stories combined tell the larger story of an invisible monster, sold to parents and the public as therapeutic growth. “Brainwashing” is not therapy, it's refined torture. Merely addressing the symptoms of the process has enabled the abuses to continue.


(please write and call the APA if you have any questions or if you would like to share your brainwashing experiences with them.)

executiveoffice@apa.org

public.affairs@apa.org

pracgovt@apa.org


 

APA Main Telephone (800) 374-2721 or (202) 336-5500

APA Ethics (800) 374-2721 or (202) 336-5930

 

http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-146T GAO Report on Deaths and Abuses in Troubled Youth Programs


 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_control General information on “brainwashing”


 

http://sulcus.berkeley.edu/FreemanWWW/manuscripts/V1/95.html Walter J Freeman, Chaotic State Transitions of the Brain, 1995


 

http://www.sciencenews.org/pages/pdfs/data/1996/150-18/15018-13.pdf Walter J Freeman, the physiology of thought reform


 

http://www.meadowhaven.org/liftoncriteria.pdf Lifton's conditions for thought reform


 

http://www.csj.org/studyindex/studymindctr/study_mindctr_singer.htm Margaret Singer's Conditions for thought reform


 

http://www.factnet.org/rancho1.htm information about coercive persuasion


 

http://www.ninehundred.net/control/ Joost Meerloo, Rape of the Mind


 

http://icsahome.com/infoserv_respond/info_researchers.asp?Subject=Academic+Disputes+and+Dialogue+Collection%3A+Preface Michael Langone, Preface to Academic Disputes and Dialogues Collection


 

http://www.cirp.org/library/ethics/UN-declaration/ 1959 UN Declaration of Rights of the Child


 

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=36428&Cr=children&Cr1= Request From UN to the US and Somalia to Ratify the Rights of the Child


 

http://www.rickross.com/reference/brainwashing/brainwashing3.html APA Memorandum on Brainwashing 1983

http://www.rickross.com/reference/apologist/apologist23.html APA Task Force Report


 

http://www.rickross.com/reference/brainwashing/brainwashing4.html APA Memorandum on

Brainwashing 1986


 

http://www.apa.org/news/press/statements/juvenile-justice.aspx APA Statement on reforming the Juvenile Justice System 2010


 

http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Brainwashing more info on “brainwashing”


 

http://www.childabusecommission.ie/rpt/pdfs/CICA-VOL5-03.pdf 2010 Report on Irish adult survivors of institutional child abuse


 

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-911 Congressman George Miller's proposed legislation to establish federal regulations

Can Civilization Be Healed?
By Izzy Woods


"There is the fact that those in power have surrounded themselves with institutions such as the military and judicial systems (in fact the entire governmental structure) in order to protect and maintain their power ... the social system rewards the insatiable accumulation of wealth and power ... we are all immersed in a mythology that, far from causing us to see this accumulation as a great source of violence, causes us to see it as not only acceptable, reasonable, and desirable, but the only way to be."
Derrick Jensen: Endgame, Vol. 1: The Problem Of Civilization (Kindle Edition: Location 923)

Derrick Jensen steps into new territory with his groundbreaking work Endgame and asks if Civilization itself is compatible with our objectives of liberated humans, non-humans and the World. Firstly we’ll explore his conclusion that it simply isn’t compatible with those objectives and that armed struggle is the only solution to free the World from destruction. Secondly we’ll look at some good news stories which contrast with Jensen’s tough line. Forgetting the snow reports of this cold European winter we’ll cast our eyes to the Sun of New Zealand and a Trout Hatchery that shows a better, more sustainable future is possible.

The Economics Of Deforestation And Destruction

The sad side effect of our economic system is that it rewards destruction of land and extraction of resources with no thought for what would happen to that land in the future. Even less thought is given by multi-national firms to the impact on indigenous peoples in countries far from the media coverage activity in their home countries might garner.

Jensen (Location 4984) explains in simple economic terms how purchasing land to conserve it has no benefits in today’s economic system. In fact it’s much more likely to attract significant costs to the organisation or individual looking to protect it. Alternatively he suggests we consider someone who simply wants to cut the trees down and sell them. Instead of incurring endless costs this individual makes a huge profit which allows the purchase and subsequent destruction of further land.

Not only does our economic system provide further wealth (and opportunity to destroy) to those who would ‘use up’ land rather than conserve it but it encourages outright waste when no economic benefit can be gained. This has been known for hundreds of years as Adam Smith illustrates beautifully with his example from Scotland where at the time timber could not easily be transported in the Highlands of Scotland.

“In some parts of the highlands of Scotland, the bark is the only part of the wood which, for want of roads and water-carriage, can be sent to market; the timber is left to rot upon the ground.”
Adam Smith: An Enquiry Into The Nature And Causes Of The Wealth Of Nations (Kindle Edition: Location 2513)

A Culture Of Destruction

So we can see from a number of examples that our economic system doesn’t punish destruction in most cases but rewards the extraction and destruction of natural resources in many cases. It’s not just a numbers game, and there are huge elements of our culture which are destructive in nature. The exploitation of humans is shown time and time again from the Native Americans who were swept from their lands so that American settlers could achieve their Manifest Destiny to the Aborigines in Australia who now represent a tiny fraction of the population. The Civilized have, throughout history, seen ‘savages’ everywhere they looked and any action taken against them has been considered relatively acceptable by the home nations perpetrating these crimes against humanity.

Some Rays Of Light - The Beauty Can Be Conserved

Jensen might reach the most drastic conclusion that Civilization itself must be destroyed to save nature and humanity but even he agrees several times throughout his book that some people are doing some good work. On top of that all that good work does help and amongst all that good work we can find some great work that shows the way forward for Civilization.

A good example in sustainability is shown near Rotorua, in New Zealand where a trout hatchery operates and is free to visit. Instead of allowing the lakes to simply be fished to excess as happens across much of Europe a huge operation takes place here to ensure the surrounding lakes are well stocked. Jensen’s arguments that humanity breaches the typical relationship between hunter and prey by not supporting the survival of the prey are clearly contradicted by these efforts.

Of course it is economically essential for New Zealand to protect it’s natural assets as those are crucial to this tourist paradise. However it does reveal that given the right circumstances and motivation our system can deliver the right results. What we need to consider before we blow up any dams or bring down the government is whether there are ways we can slowly move more and more or our Civilization’s practices in line with a sustainable model and how much we agree that this is possible.

Best Argument for Civil Disobedience?  HEAL thinks the following makes the top ten, at least.

"Letter from a Birmingham Jail [King, Jr.]"

16 April 1963
My Dear Fellow Clergymen:


While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities "unwise and untimely." Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms.

I think I should indicate why I am here in Birmingham, since you have been influenced by the view which argues against "outsiders coming in." I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. We have some eighty five affiliated organizations across the South, and one of them is the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. Frequently we share staff, educational and financial resources with our affiliates. Several months ago the affiliate here in Birmingham asked us to be on call to engage in a nonviolent direct action program if such were deemed necessary. We readily consented, and when the hour came we lived up to our promise. So I, along with several members of my staff, am here because I was invited here. I am here because I have organizational ties here.

But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their "thus saith the Lord" far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.

Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial "outside agitator" idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.

You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations. I am sure that none of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social analysis that deals merely with effects and does not grapple with underlying causes. It is unfortunate that demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham, but it is even more unfortunate that the city's white power structure left the Negro community with no alternative.

In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self purification; and direct action. We have gone through all these steps in Birmingham. There can be no gainsaying the fact that racial injustice engulfs this community. Birmingham is probably the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States. Its ugly record of brutality is widely known. Negroes have experienced grossly unjust treatment in the courts. There have been more unsolved bombings of Negro homes and churches in Birmingham than in any other city in the nation. These are the hard, brutal facts of the case. On the basis of these conditions, Negro leaders sought to negotiate with the city fathers. But the latter consistently refused to engage in good faith negotiation.

Then, last September, came the opportunity to talk with leaders of Birmingham's economic community. In the course of the negotiations, certain promises were made by the merchants--for example, to remove the stores' humiliating racial signs. On the basis of these promises, the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth and the leaders of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights agreed to a moratorium on all demonstrations. As the weeks and months went by, we realized that we were the victims of a broken promise. A few signs, briefly removed, returned; the others remained. As in so many past experiences, our hopes had been blasted, and the shadow of deep disappointment settled upon us. We had no alternative except to prepare for direct action, whereby we would present our very bodies as a means of laying our case before the conscience of the local and the national community. Mindful of the difficulties involved, we decided to undertake a process of self purification. We began a series of workshops on nonviolence, and we repeatedly asked ourselves: "Are you able to accept blows without retaliating?" "Are you able to endure the ordeal of jail?" We decided to schedule our direct action program for the Easter season, realizing that except for Christmas, this is the main shopping period of the year. Knowing that a strong economic-withdrawal program would be the by product of direct action, we felt that this would be the best time to bring pressure to bear on the merchants for the needed change.

Then it occurred to us that Birmingham's mayoral election was coming up in March, and we speedily decided to postpone action until after election day. When we discovered that the Commissioner of Public Safety, Eugene "Bull" Connor, had piled up enough votes to be in the run off, we decided again to postpone action until the day after the run off so that the demonstrations could not be used to cloud the issues. Like many others, we waited to see Mr. Connor defeated, and to this end we endured postponement after postponement. Having aided in this community need, we felt that our direct action program could be delayed no longer.

You may well ask: "Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn't negotiation a better path?" You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word "tension." I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. The purpose of our direct action program is to create a situation so crisis packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation. Too long has our beloved Southland been bogged down in a tragic effort to live in monologue rather than dialogue.

One of the basic points in your statement is that the action that I and my associates have taken in Birmingham is untimely. Some have asked: "Why didn't you give the new city administration time to act?" The only answer that I can give to this query is that the new Birmingham administration must be prodded about as much as the outgoing one, before it will act. We are sadly mistaken if we feel that the election of Albert Boutwell as mayor will bring the millennium to Birmingham. While Mr. Boutwell is a much more gentle person than Mr. Connor, they are both segregationists, dedicated to maintenance of the status quo. I have hope that Mr. Boutwell will be reasonable enough to see the futility of massive resistance to desegregation. But he will not see this without pressure from devotees of civil rights. My friends, I must say to you that we have not made a single gain in civil rights without determined legal and nonviolent pressure. Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."

We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward gaining political independence, but we still creep at horse and buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter. Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, "Wait." But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six year old daughter why she can't go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five year old son who is asking: "Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?"; when you take a cross county drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading "white" and "colored"; when your first name becomes "nigger," your middle name becomes "boy" (however old you are) and your last name becomes "John," and your wife and mother are never given the respected title "Mrs."; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of "nobodiness"--then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience. You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court's decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may well ask: "How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?" The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that "an unjust law is no law at all."

Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority. Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an "I it" relationship for an "I thou" relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things. Hence segregation is not only politically, economically and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and sinful. Paul Tillich has said that sin is separation. Is not segregation an existential expression of man's tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness? Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong.

Let us consider a more concrete example of just and unjust laws. An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is difference made legal. By the same token, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made legal. Let me give another explanation. A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law. Who can say that the legislature of Alabama which set up that state's segregation laws was democratically elected? Throughout Alabama all sorts of devious methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some counties in which, even though Negroes constitute a majority of the population, not a single Negro is registered. Can any law enacted under such circumstances be considered democratically structured?

Sometimes a law is just on its face and unjust in its application. For instance, I have been arrested on a charge of parading without a permit. Now, there is nothing wrong in having an ordinance which requires a permit for a parade. But such an ordinance becomes unjust when it is used to maintain segregation and to deny citizens the First-Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest.

I hope you are able to see the distinction I am trying to point out. In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law, as would the rabid segregationist. That would lead to anarchy. One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.

Of course, there is nothing new about this kind of civil disobedience. It was evidenced sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar, on the ground that a higher moral law was at stake. It was practiced superbly by the early Christians, who were willing to face hungry lions and the excruciating pain of chopping blocks rather than submit to certain unjust laws of the Roman Empire. To a degree, academic freedom is a reality today because Socrates practiced civil disobedience. In our own nation, the Boston Tea Party represented a massive act of civil disobedience.

We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was "legal" and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was "illegal." It was "illegal" to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler's Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country's antireligious laws.

I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.

In your statement you assert that our actions, even though peaceful, must be condemned because they precipitate violence. But is this a logical assertion? Isn't this like condemning a robbed man because his possession of money precipitated the evil act of robbery? Isn't this like condemning Socrates because his unswerving commitment to truth and his philosophical inquiries precipitated the act by the misguided populace in which they made him drink hemlock? Isn't this like condemning Jesus because his unique God consciousness and never ceasing devotion to God's will precipitated the evil act of crucifixion? We must come to see that, as the federal courts have consistently affirmed, it is wrong to urge an individual to cease his efforts to gain his basic constitutional rights because the quest may precipitate violence. Society must protect the robbed and punish the robber. I had also hoped that the white moderate would reject the myth concerning time in relation to the struggle for freedom. I have just received a letter from a white brother in Texas. He writes: "All Christians know that the colored people will receive equal rights eventually, but it is possible that you are in too great a religious hurry. It has taken Christianity almost two thousand years to accomplish what it has. The teachings of Christ take time to come to earth." Such an attitude stems from a tragic misconception of time, from the strangely irrational notion that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all ills. Actually, time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity.

You speak of our activity in Birmingham as extreme. At first I was rather disappointed that fellow clergymen would see my nonviolent efforts as those of an extremist. I began thinking about the fact that I stand in the middle of two opposing forces in the Negro community. One is a force of complacency, made up in part of Negroes who, as a result of long years of oppression, are so drained of self respect and a sense of "somebodiness" that they have adjusted to segregation; and in part of a few middle-class Negroes who, because of a degree of academic and economic security and because in some ways they profit by segregation, have become insensitive to the problems of the masses. The other force is one of bitterness and hatred, and it comes perilously close to advocating violence. It is expressed in the various black nationalist groups that are springing up across the nation, the largest and best known being Elijah Muhammad's Muslim movement. Nourished by the Negro's frustration over the continued existence of racial discrimination, this movement is made up of people who have lost faith in America, who have absolutely repudiated Christianity, and who have concluded that the white man is an incorrigible "devil."

I have tried to stand between these two forces, saying that we need emulate neither the "do nothingism" of the complacent nor the hatred and despair of the black nationalist. For there is the more excellent way of love and nonviolent protest. I am grateful to God that, through the influence of the Negro church, the way of nonviolence became an integral part of our struggle. If this philosophy had not emerged, by now many streets of the South would, I am convinced, be flowing with blood. And I am further convinced that if our white brothers dismiss as "rabble rousers" and "outside agitators" those of us who employ nonviolent direct action, and if they refuse to support our nonviolent efforts, millions of Negroes will, out of frustration and despair, seek solace and security in black nationalist ideologies--a development that would inevitably lead to a frightening racial nightmare.

Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself, and that is what has happened to the American Negro. Something within has reminded him of his birthright of freedom, and something without has reminded him that it can be gained. Consciously or unconsciously, he has been caught up by the Zeitgeist, and with his black brothers of Africa and his brown and yellow brothers of Asia, South America and the Caribbean, the United States Negro is moving with a sense of great urgency toward the promised land of racial justice. If one recognizes this vital urge that has engulfed the Negro community, one should readily understand why public demonstrations are taking place. The Negro has many pent up resentments and latent frustrations, and he must release them. So let him march; let him make prayer pilgrimages to the city hall; let him go on freedom rides -and try to understand why he must do so. If his repressed emotions are not released in nonviolent ways, they will seek expression through violence; this is not a threat but a fact of history. So I have not said to my people: "Get rid of your discontent." Rather, I have tried to say that this normal and healthy discontent can be channeled into the creative outlet of nonviolent direct action. And now this approach is being termed extremist. But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love: "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." Was not Amos an extremist for justice: "Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream." Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." Was not Martin Luther an extremist: "Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God." And John Bunyan: "I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience." And Abraham Lincoln: "This nation cannot survive half slave and half free." And Thomas Jefferson: "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal . . ." So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary's hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime--the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.

I had hoped that the white moderate would see this need. Perhaps I was too optimistic; perhaps I expected too much. I suppose I should have realized that few members of the oppressor race can understand the deep groans and passionate yearnings of the oppressed race, and still fewer have the vision to see that injustice must be rooted out by strong, persistent and determined action. I am thankful, however, that some of our white brothers in the South have grasped the meaning of this social revolution and committed themselves to it. They are still all too few in quantity, but they are big in quality. Some -such as Ralph McGill, Lillian Smith, Harry Golden, James McBride Dabbs, Ann Braden and Sarah Patton Boyle--have written about our struggle in eloquent and prophetic terms. Others have marched with us down nameless streets of the South. They have languished in filthy, roach infested jails, suffering the abuse and brutality of policemen who view them as "dirty nigger-lovers." Unlike so many of their moderate brothers and sisters, they have recognized the urgency of the moment and sensed the need for powerful "action" antidotes to combat the disease of segregation. Let me take note of my other major disappointment. I have been so greatly disappointed with the white church and its leadership. Of course, there are some notable exceptions. I am not unmindful of the fact that each of you has taken some significant stands on this issue. I commend you, Reverend Stallings, for your Christian stand on this past Sunday, in welcoming Negroes to your worship service on a nonsegregated basis. I commend the Catholic leaders of this state for integrating Spring Hill College several years ago.

But despite these notable exceptions, I must honestly reiterate that I have been disappointed with the church. I do not say this as one of those negative critics who can always find something wrong with the church. I say this as a minister of the gospel, who loves the church; who was nurtured in its bosom; who has been sustained by its spiritual blessings and who will remain true to it as long as the cord of life shall lengthen.

When I was suddenly catapulted into the leadership of the bus protest in Montgomery, Alabama, a few years ago, I felt we would be supported by the white church. I felt that the white ministers, priests and rabbis of the South would be among our strongest allies. Instead, some have been outright opponents, refusing to understand the freedom movement and misrepresenting its leaders; all too many others have been more cautious than courageous and have remained silent behind the anesthetizing security of stained glass windows.

In spite of my shattered dreams, I came to Birmingham with the hope that the white religious leadership of this community would see the justice of our cause and, with deep moral concern, would serve as the channel through which our just grievances could reach the power structure. I had hoped that each of you would understand. But again I have been disappointed.

I have heard numerous southern religious leaders admonish their worshipers to comply with a desegregation decision because it is the law, but I have longed to hear white ministers declare: "Follow this decree because integration is morally right and because the Negro is your brother." In the midst of blatant injustices inflicted upon the Negro, I have watched white churchmen stand on the sideline and mouth pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities. In the midst of a mighty struggle to rid our nation of racial and economic injustice, I have heard many ministers say: "Those are social issues, with which the gospel has no real concern." And I have watched many churches commit themselves to a completely other worldly religion which makes a strange, un-Biblical distinction between body and soul, between the sacred and the secular.

I have traveled the length and breadth of Alabama, Mississippi and all the other southern states. On sweltering summer days and crisp autumn mornings I have looked at the South's beautiful churches with their lofty spires pointing heavenward. I have beheld the impressive outlines of her massive religious education buildings. Over and over I have found myself asking: "What kind of people worship here? Who is their God? Where were their voices when the lips of Governor Barnett dripped with words of interposition and nullification? Where were they when Governor Wallace gave a clarion call for defiance and hatred? Where were their voices of support when bruised and weary Negro men and women decided to rise from the dark dungeons of complacency to the bright hills of creative protest?"

Yes, these questions are still in my mind. In deep disappointment I have wept over the laxity of the church. But be assured that my tears have been tears of love. There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love. Yes, I love the church. How could I do otherwise? I am in the rather unique position of being the son, the grandson and the great grandson of preachers. Yes, I see the church as the body of Christ. But, oh! How we have blemished and scarred that body through social neglect and through fear of being nonconformists.

There was a time when the church was very powerful--in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being "disturbers of the peace" and "outside agitators."' But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were "a colony of heaven," called to obey God rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment. They were too God-intoxicated to be "astronomically intimidated." By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests. Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church's silent--and often even vocal--sanction of things as they are.

But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today's church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust.

Perhaps I have once again been too optimistic. Is organized religion too inextricably bound to the status quo to save our nation and the world? Perhaps I must turn my faith to the inner spiritual church, the church within the church, as the true ekklesia and the hope of the world. But again I am thankful to God that some noble souls from the ranks of organized religion have broken loose from the paralyzing chains of conformity and joined us as active partners in the struggle for freedom. They have left their secure congregations and walked the streets of Albany, Georgia, with us. They have gone down the highways of the South on tortuous rides for freedom. Yes, they have gone to jail with us. Some have been dismissed from their churches, have lost the support of their bishops and fellow ministers. But they have acted in the faith that right defeated is stronger than evil triumphant. Their witness has been the spiritual salt that has preserved the true meaning of the gospel in these troubled times. They have carved a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment. I hope the church as a whole will meet the challenge of this decisive hour. But even if the church does not come to the aid of justice, I have no despair about the future. I have no fear about the outcome of our struggle in Birmingham, even if our motives are at present misunderstood. We will reach the goal of freedom in Birmingham and all over the nation, because the goal of America is freedom. Abused and scorned though we may be, our destiny is tied up with America's destiny. Before the pilgrims landed at Plymouth, we were here. Before the pen of Jefferson etched the majestic words of the Declaration of Independence across the pages of history, we were here. For more than two centuries our forebears labored in this country without wages; they made cotton king; they built the homes of their masters while suffering gross injustice and shameful humiliation -and yet out of a bottomless vitality they continued to thrive and develop. If the inexpressible cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail. We will win our freedom because the sacred heritage of our nation and the eternal will of God are embodied in our echoing demands. Before closing I feel impelled to mention one other point in your statement that has troubled me profoundly. You warmly commended the Birmingham police force for keeping "order" and "preventing violence." I doubt that you would have so warmly commended the police force if you had seen its dogs sinking their teeth into unarmed, nonviolent Negroes. I doubt that you would so quickly commend the policemen if you were to observe their ugly and inhumane treatment of Negroes here in the city jail; if you were to watch them push and curse old Negro women and young Negro girls; if you were to see them slap and kick old Negro men and young boys; if you were to observe them, as they did on two occasions, refuse to give us food because we wanted to sing our grace together. I cannot join you in your praise of the Birmingham police department.

It is true that the police have exercised a degree of discipline in handling the demonstrators. In this sense they have conducted themselves rather "nonviolently" in public. But for what purpose? To preserve the evil system of segregation. Over the past few years I have consistently preached that nonviolence demands that the means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek. I have tried to make clear that it is wrong to use immoral means to attain moral ends. But now I must affirm that it is just as wrong, or perhaps even more so, to use moral means to preserve immoral ends. Perhaps Mr. Connor and his policemen have been rather nonviolent in public, as was Chief Pritchett in Albany, Georgia, but they have used the moral means of nonviolence to maintain the immoral end of racial injustice. As T. S. Eliot has said: "The last temptation is the greatest treason: To do the right deed for the wrong reason."

I wish you had commended the Negro sit inners and demonstrators of Birmingham for their sublime courage, their willingness to suffer and their amazing discipline in the midst of great provocation. One day the South will recognize its real heroes. They will be the James Merediths, with the noble sense of purpose that enables them to face jeering and hostile mobs, and with the agonizing loneliness that characterizes the life of the pioneer. They will be old, oppressed, battered Negro women, symbolized in a seventy two year old woman in Montgomery, Alabama, who rose up with a sense of dignity and with her people decided not to ride segregated buses, and who responded with ungrammatical profundity to one who inquired about her weariness: "My feets is tired, but my soul is at rest." They will be the young high school and college students, the young ministers of the gospel and a host of their elders, courageously and nonviolently sitting in at lunch counters and willingly going to jail for conscience' sake. One day the South will know that when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters, they were in reality standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values in our Judaeo Christian heritage, thereby bringing our nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in their formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

Never before have I written so long a letter. I'm afraid it is much too long to take your precious time. I can assure you that it would have been much shorter if I had been writing from a comfortable desk, but what else can one do when he is alone in a narrow jail cell, other than write long letters, think long thoughts and pray long prayers?

If I have said anything in this letter that overstates the truth and indicates an unreasonable impatience, I beg you to forgive me. If I have said anything that understates the truth and indicates my having a patience that allows me to settle for anything less than brotherhood, I beg God to forgive me.

I hope this letter finds you strong in the faith. I also hope that circumstances will soon make it possible for me to meet each of you, not as an integrationist or a civil-rights leader but as a fellow clergyman and a Christian brother. Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.

Yours for the cause of Peace and Brotherhood, Martin Luther King, Jr.
Published in:
King, Martin Luther Jr.

Source:
http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html

Behavior Modification and Social Justice Movements

The following excerpt is from "Imprisoned Intellectuals" edited by Joy James (p. 190).  In studying civil rights and social justice movements throughout history, we believe the following excerpt reasonably and truthfully describes the purpose and intentions behind behavior modification programs throughout the United States.  Please also see our open letter for more information on this issue.  (For our Fair Use Disclaimer, visit www.heal-online.org/news.htm)

The current corporate power structure has been using POW-style behavior modification to torture and enslave America's children for at least 4 decades.  This is what HEAL is fighting against.  And, we will not stop.  When we say "Teen Liberty" we mean "Teen Liberty"!  This is also why HEAL focuses on other social issues including civil rights, workers' rights, and prisoner rights/prison reform.  It is all part of the same battle for liberty and justice for all Americans, regardless of race, creed, color, religion, age, or income!

OPEN LETTER

 

FROM: RICHARD HELLER

 

 

Email    richardkheller@hotmail.com

   

To:

 

Mr Mitt Romney

PO Box 149756

Boston

MA 02114-9756

USA                                                    July 12, 2012

 

Dear Mr Romney,

 

I wrote to you last month urging you to abandon the Mormon faith. You might have considered this letter facetious or vexatious and a desperate attempt to promote my new pamphlet “Hi! My Name’s Richard And I’m NOT A Mormon.” You may well be right on all three counts. I hope that you will not take the same view of this letter, which invites you to take a stand on America’s “troubled teen” industry.

 

You may it strange to hear this from a British writer, but many Britons have followed the growth of this industry closely, are alarmed at many of its practices and are determined to resist its spread to our country. I understand that you have personal links with it and I hope that it would not enjoy any special favour from your administration should you be elected President.

 

Specifically, I  urge you to appoint someone to inquire on your behalf into the treatment of children at the West Ridge Academy, formerly the Utah Boys Ranch. This is essentially a Mormon facility (since your church exalts family life it seems surprising that there is a demand for its services). It has faced persistent accusations of brutality and abuse towards children, and their use as free labor. Only recently it settled out of court a lawsuit by former residents. The person you choose for such an inquiry needs to earn the trust of former residents, and parents and carers: he or she should not be a Mormon. By taking this course, you would give a simple demonstration of your commitment to children and your willingness to place their interests ahead of the reputation of your church.

 

As to the industry as a whole, I believe that there are serious inherent risks in any system which uses intensive residential treatments for troubled children as a source of private profit. In particular, “troubled teen” businesses are always likely to use coercive measures on children because they are cheaper than proper therapies, and in order to drum up customers they are always likely to resort to deceptive marketing techniques for parents.

 

I therefore urge you to study the following proposals. They are not exhaustive and could well be supplemented by the results of any inquiry into West Ridge.

 

1) Any institution offering long-term residential treatments for children under 18 should be subject to the same rules and standards as a juvenile prison or reformatory in the state concerned;

 

2) Any such institution should have an independent board of visitors, to include at least one paediatrician. The visitors should have unrestricted access to inmates and records and should make unannounced visits;

 

3) Parents or carers and public authorities in charge of children should be informed in advance of any placement about the scale of physical activity required of the child; the nature of any therapeutic program he or she will be expected to undergo and the qualifications of its administrators; the punishments or sanctions to be applied to the child and the reasons for them. Without such prior information, all contracts between parents and carers and the institution should be void and the institution should make a full refund of any payments;

 

4) Parents, carers and public authorities to be informed in advance of any religious links or affiliations of an institution, and of any religious study or contact which the child will be expected to undertake;

 

5) All punishments to be recorded in a form which can be inspected by parents and carers and the board of visitors. Any punishment not so recorded to become a criminal offence;

 

6) All agreements in which parents surrender majority control of their parental rights to be unlawful and void;

 

7) The board of visitors to inquire into all cases of death, serious injury or accident, attempted suicide or escape of a child inmate;

 

8) No institution of any kind to be allowed to offer any program or therapy intended to change a child’s sexuality, since all such attempts are futile and abusive.

 

I hope that you will demonstrate your commitment to America’s children above the interests of businesses making money from them.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Richard Heller

 

 

Richard Heller is a British author and journalist. His novel The Network is published on Amazon Kindle, as is his recent pamphlet Hi! My Name’s Richard And I’m NOT A Mormon (sent to Mitt Romney).

 

Update:  See: http://www.richardheller.co.uk/2012/08/journalism/romney-a-candidate-so-unappelaing-he-may-do-real-damage-to-his-party-yp/
 

The Truth About HEAL, CAFETY, & ASTART

by The HEAL Team

 

HEAL was founded in 2002.  HEAL was first contacted by Kathryn Whitehead, founder of CAFETY, in June of 2005.  Kathryn Whitehead claimed to be filing a lawsuit against Mission Mountain School and asked HEAL if we would assist her in finding additional victims of Mission Mountain School to join her in that lawsuit.  When other victims came forward, Kathryn Whitehead told them there was no such lawsuit and that HEAL was mistaken.  This was our first experience of Kathryn Whitehead giving misinformation to us. 

 

In July of 2005, Kathryn Whitehead asked HEAL to promote her petition in support of HR 1738, the first bill introduced by Rep. George Miller to attempt to regulate the behavior modification industry.  HEAL supported HR 1738 and all efforts to promote the legislation including the petition Kathryn Whitehead submitted.

 

CAFETY was founded in 2006 and subsequent to years of action by Rep. George Miller in regards to stopping institutionalized abuse.  CAFETY immediately began partnering with ASTART.  When HEAL has inquired why some survivors support CAFETY, the answer most common is that CAFETY is responsible for introducing legislation to regulate the industry.  This is absolutely false.  CAFETY is not made up of State nor Federal Legislators and therefore cannot introduce legislation.  In addition, CAFETY was founded subsequent to the introduction of the initial legislation on this issue.  CAFETY is in no way responsible for any legislation.

 

In March of 2006, HEAL received a request from two teachers at a private day school asking for information about a former CEDU staffer that had been hired to work at their school.  The teachers were very concerned about the former CEDU staffer's behavior and attitude towards students and wanted help in researching this former CEDU staffer in hopes they could persuade the school board to terminate the staffer's employment at their school.  HEAL sent a confidential request for help to gather more information on this staffer to other organizations, including CAFETY.  This message was explicitly confidential and no information about the teachers nor the request was to be made public.  Kathryn Whitehead immediately posted the teachers' names, e-mail addresses, and specific information about their request on CAFETY's homepage.  The teachers were threatened with immediate dismissal and were told to discontinue any research into the former CEDU staffer.  This was the first instance in which CAFETY breached the confidence of HEAL and undermined the efforts to stop the potential abuse of children.

 

In September of 2006, two HEAL coordinators alerted Kevin August, the owner of antiwwasp.com, to concerns raised about his website being used as a referral service to abusive facilities.  Kevin August replied and cc'd his good friend and co-moderator of the website, Bill Boyles, on the exchange.  Bill Boyles was and remains an active member of CAFETY.  Bill said, "if you knew anything about antiwwasp, you would know i am very active and involved with that site. i am also very active with help-for-teen.com  i am not saying you shouldn't express your concerns about the ads; rather, i am saying that you insulted me by accusing kevin (and by association, me) of "contributing to the exploitation and abuse of children and teens" and also not "car[ing] about kids."" (dated September 24th, 2006)  HEAL expressed grave concern regarding not only the google ads running on the antiwwasp.com site that promoted abusive facilities, but, also the Parent Resources page on the antiwwasp.com site that linked to referral services.  Antiwwasp.com actively and decidedly linked to theantidrug.com which refers to a number of abusive facilities and referral sites.  This was an additional concern and as problematic, if not more so, than the google ads for abusive programs run on the antiwwasp.com site.  HEAL was told in the end that antiwwasp.com would remove the offending content and links.  But, this did not last.

 

On January 12th, 2007 HEAL discovered that Kevin August (owner of antiwwasp.com) had started his own referral business and website teenshelp.us.  We immediately contacted Kevin to voice our concerns.  He was recommending Magnolia Christian Center (aka Magnolia Christian Academy) in MS which reportedly was connected to Bethel Boys Academy (IFB/Roloff program) through shared staff.   On January 18th, 2007, HEAL found links under Parent Resources on the antiwwasp.com site to strugglingteens.com, mytroubledteen.com, meadowlarkacademy.com, and bootcampsforteens.com.  HEAL immediately alerted Kevin August and Bill Boyles regarding our concerns.  Instead of fully defending Kevin August as Bill Boyles had done previously, he stated that he did not agree with Kevin's choices, but, still supported antiwwasp.com as a place for WWASPS' survivors to socialize.  HEAL will not work with anyone who is complacent and/or associates with abusive programs and their referrers.

 

On January 26th, 2007, Brian Lombrowski stated the following in regards to CAFETY's website and others, "As a sidenote, most of our organizations are linked through the Technical Assistance Partnership website, which is updated by Lorrin (at least I think it is). This is a website funded through SAMHSA (to my knowledge), and the official resource of youth in the systems of care communities."

 

SAMHSA currently refers to Aspen Education Group's Youth Care in Draper, UT, Heritage Schools in Provo, UT, and  formerly to Provo Canyon School in Provo, UT.  (Source: http://store.samhsa.gov/mhlocator (click on UT on the Map))  This coupled with other similar associations between ASTART, CAFETY, and referral services are one of the primary reasons HEAL chooses not to work with ASTART and CAFETY. 

 

On January 31st, 2007, Brian Lombrowski stated, "It's a little unnerving sitting in the same office with people who essentially rubber stamp residential treatment. However, the alternative for these kids is the juvenile justice system, not home based  placement, and we've already had kids die, and brutally restrained in our juvenile justice system in the last year (It's a toss-up whether I would want to sent a kid to Ivy Ridge or Tryon which is the most notorious facility)." 

 

In the Juvenile Justice System, at least there would be some accountability and oversight.  This is not the case with WWASPS' programs like Academy at Ivy Ridge.  And, one of the most harmful aspects of WWASPS and other behavior modification programs is the denial of contact between family members and the use of cruel thought reform techniques typically not employed by publicly run juvenile facilities. 

 

In addition, ASTART and CAFETY share board members.  And, when this was brought up in a fairly large e-mail discussion between many advocacy organizations and networks, Brian Lombrowski said, " First of all, we are not the public arm of ASTART, if anything it would seem to be the other way around. In full disclosure, we have borrowed a few ASTART members to form our board (Charles Huffine, Lorrin Gehring, and Kat Whitehead, and myself although unofficially at the present time). We  are separate, albeit closely related and aligned organizations." (dated January 30th, 2007) 

 

HEAL has some serious problems with A-START.  We've had quite a few questions and concerns e-mailed to us regarding Allison Pinto and A-START. After a little digging and asking around we were told Dr. Allison Pinto is on the board of several groups involved with the Tavistock Method of large group awareness training.  See http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=ie7&rls=com.microsoft:en-US&ie=utf8&oe=utf8&q=Allison+Pinto+Tavistock and http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rls=com.microsoft%3Aen-US&q=Tavistock+Method&btnG=Search.  One of our members asked Allison if she is the same Allison Pinto involved with the Tavistock Method and she admitted to it. Our concern is that the Tavistock Clinic is really the birthplace of coercive and aversive "therapies" and large group awareness training is simply a euphemism for  "seminars" or cult-like brainwashing sessions.  HEAL has a few other problems with A START. One, is that they do not  have their facts correct even on their homepage at: http://astart.fmhi.usf.edu/. They claim the problem has been occurring  since the early 1990's. Well, anyone who really knew what was going on and had really done at least some research, would know that the problem has been occurring with residential treatment since at least the late 1960's/early 1970's. (dated January 30th, 2007)

 

Here we will return to CAFETY and the House Education and Labor (Workforce) Committee Hearings in 2007 and 2008.  HEAL was first alerted to the possibility of hearings at the beginning of Summer, 2007.  At that time, HEAL shared the information and contacts we had with other organizations, including CAFETY.  HEAL was explicitly told by Rep. George Miller's office that no information regarding the hearings were to be made public and we communicated this to all other organizations we informed about the proposed hearings.  Kathryn Whitehead immediately posted information about the hearings on the homepage of the CAFETY site, once again breaching our confidence and undermining the efforts of Rep. George Miller in regards to the hearings.  Kathryn Whitehead reportedly told Rep. Miller's congressional aide that HEAL specifically told her to publicize the information.  HEAL received a call from George Miller's office reprimanding us for the subsequent publication by CAFETY of the information on the proposed hearings.  And, this allowed for the industry to infiltrate the hearings and eliminated HEAL and three other legitimate, long-running advocacy organizations from the hearings. 

 

Following all of the concerns and problems mentioned above, HEAL decided, in mid-2007, we would no longer work with CAFETY nor ASTART and would not share any sensitive information with those organizations.  HEAL remained neutral in regards to both CAFETY and ASTART and simply chose to go our own way and leave those two organizations to their own devices.

 

The neutrality of our position wore thin as more serious concerns came to our attention.  HEAL was initially contacted in April, 2010 by a parent seeking to rescue their child from New Leaf Academy in NC.  HEAL worked diligently on this and our collective efforts with the parent involved resulted in the opening of an investigation by NC Officials into New Leaf Academy.  This parent reported to us, after the fact, that they had spoken with two individuals involved with ASTART, namely Robert M. Friedman and Lenore Behar.  The parent also reported to us that New Leaf Academy in NC was given a "heads up" regarding the investigation and reported that ASTART was responsible for warning New Leaf Academy of the pending investigation.  New Leaf Academy closed its doors, shipped currently enrolled children to other Aspen programs, and re-opened under a new name (Talisman) swiftly avoiding any investigation by NC authorities.  HEAL continued to maintain our publicly neutral position in regards to ASTART and CAFETY.  But, our concerns were definitely growing.

 

In late 2010/early 2011, then CAFETY Board Member, Eric Norwood, stated that he would ask CAFETY to help fund HEAL's legal defense in the Provo Canyon School lawsuit.  Eric repeatedly asked for the court documents even after he was informed that this was impossible due to the suit being filed under seal.  When Eric was refused, he began trashing HEAL on Facebook and on Craig Roger's (Abundant Life Academy) blog. 

 

In March of 2011, HEAL was contacted by a parent seeking to remove their child from a wilderness program and to stop the enrollment of their child in a residential treatment center.  With the parent's permission, we sent their contact information to individuals/survivors with experience at the wilderness program and the residential treatment programs being considered for "aftercare" to assist the parent in gathering information to help with the rescue and prevention of further institutionalization.  A CAFETY member, who identified herself as such, sent a message to this parent promoting the wilderness program and stating that the child should not be removed from the program once enrolled.  She stated that she had simply copy/pasted a message she had wrote for CAFETY as her response to this parent.  In addition, she raved about the residential treatment program (a CEDU-model program) she was in and provided absolutely no useful information that would assist the parent in removing their child from the wilderness program nor prevent the further institutionalization of the child involved.  HEAL removed that CAFETY member from our contact list and we were very upset that someone who reported to us that they were a survivor and wanted to stop abuse would actually promote the institutionalization of youth in confirmedly abusive facilities on our watch-list.  This would appear to be the final straw, but, HEAL was still hesitant to take public action.

 

It was also in March of 2011 that HEAL became aware that CAFETY was partnering with the AACRC (The CAFETY/AACRC partnership has reportedly been dissolved as of November, 2012).  HEAL wrote a letter to CAFETY detailing most of the concerns mentioned in this article.  At this point, HEAL posted a recommended boycott of CAFETY, our letter voicing our concerns, and created a webpage with information we compiled on AACRC and their members.  One of the member programs of the AACRC is UHS' Willow Springs Residential Treatment Center in NV.  UHS also owns Provo Canyon School.  And, this placed CAFETY in partnership with a membership organization tied to those who seek to repress the truth and oppress their victims.  HEAL found this extremely disturbing given Eric Norwood's adamant demand for our court documents.  Given CAFETY's association with the AACRC, this could have jeopardized HEAL's advocacy in more ways than one. 

 

In June, 2012, HEAL learned that Charles Huffine (board member of CAFETY and ASTART) was disciplined for endangering the life of a child in his care.   At this time, we also learned that Kathryn Whitehead had worked as a Care Coordinator (case manager) for the Mental Health Association of NYC.  The Mental Health Association of NYC places children in the reportedly abusive Hillside Family of Agencies.  Whitehead also worked for the Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies.  This Coalition includes Phoenix House of NY and other reportedly abusive residential facilities.  Whitehead also worked for the BRC Reception Center.  BRC is a residential treatment facility for adults.  (Source:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/katfish).  Whitehead's history of working for referral services and in residential treatment raise additional concerns for us at HEAL.  This coupled with Huffine's recent disciplinary record confirm that HEAL should in no way associate with CAFETY nor ASTART.

 

On August 1st, 2012, HEAL received a copy of the letter from Kathryn Whitehead/CAFETY to the AACRC requesting that  clarifying language be added in regards to CAFETY's partnership with the AACRC as CAFETY was concerned that their partnership was being misconstrued by some as an endorsement of the member programs of the AACRC.  The reality is that the AACRC is simply NATSAP 2.0 and that regardless of how you define a partnership with the organization, there is no getting around the existence of that partnership and the concerns raised by the existence of such a partnership.  HEAL was explicitly and repeatedly lied to by CAFETY board members regarding the existence of the partnership and this so-called letter is the first attempt we've seen by CAFETY to clarify the intent of their partnership with the AACRC.  It is our opinion that this attempt is too little too late and that the partnership is simply one more example of CAFETY's ineptitude and/or corruption.  The CAFETY/AACRC partnership has been in existence for over a year and it is really too late to clarify the situation to our/HEAL's satisfaction at this juncture.

 

On July 30th, 2012, HEAL was alerted to a youtube video criticizing CAFETY.  HEAL had nothing to do with that video, though, we likely share some of the same views regarding CAFETY.  HEAL is not even familiar with the individual who created the video and had no part in its creation or distribution.  On August 2nd, 2012, HEAL received a copy of a thread from Facebook discussing the video criticizing CAFETY in which Kathryn Whitehead lies about HEAL and attempts to get a following to help her with her HEAL-bashing. 

 

Today is August 2nd, 2012.  HEAL will not be officially responding to any additional attacks, misinformation campaigns, nor any other abusive actions by Kat/CAFETY or her/their supporters.  Like the behavior modification programs, Kat/CAFETY enjoys instigating fights, disagreements, and discord privately while publicly "playing the victim" when legitimate concerns are raised about her/their practices and statements.  HEAL assists in hundreds of crisis calls and rescues every year.  We work on public information campaigns, citizen initiatives, State Action Plans, Action Alerts, and much more.  HEAL simply does not have time to engage in message board/Facebook "drama" and we hope you don't either.  If you are an activist/survivor seeking assistance with your own actions and projects, please visit www.heal-online.org/solidarity.htm for information on how we can help you stop institutionalized child abuse.

Efficacy and Efficiency v. Government Misuse of Funds and Intentional Ineptitude (Willful Blindness)

 
The Daily Show with Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
A Leak of Their Own - License to Spill
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

 
                                                                   By Cody Seth Crawford
My life began as an uneventfull birth at a local hospital in Portland Oregon, on September 26  1986          I was a good baby as my mother puts it.  I was not a crier  and would sit where I was put.   I was the second male child of two  proud parents, Ted and Robin Crawford.  My dad worked at Boeing as a machinist and my mom was still working real estate selling mobile homes.  I was the first Newberg school district kid to be put into early intervention. (Special Ed.) in 1991 for unspecified central auditory processing disorder’s.  School was tough for me as I was always the butt of jokes and it seemed like people would just choose me as a easy target for their frustrations.   Fast forward to when I was eight and lucked out by getting big role in a movie!   I was cast as Michael Cunningham in the Hit NBC miniseries “DEAD BY SUNSET”  1995.  I also did a lot of radio and television commercials, and was a cast member of the Portland Opera for 2 years.
             I did not start drinking until a neighbor that owns a vineyard and was trusted by my family  would give me wine mixed with kool aid when she would volunteer to watch me and my brother…We ate cheese pizza and got smashed..and I was only nine.  I subsequently was abused and did not report it at the time.   My father took my  movie money and split  the day before my tenth birthday..  All the abuse was kept hidden from my mom, who does not drink.   This went on until I was 11.
        I was 13 when I started using Cannibus , to calm my anxiety and fears ..  At the time I thought of it as a medicine that kept me stable as I had a new diagnosis of NON VERBAL LEARNING Dissability,,  My friend channing Hammonds introduced me to the drug.  I was in  8’th grade and the only student that was in special ed. And the nova program(talented and gifted) at my school..I was doing a special project on medical marijuana for the Nova class and got in too deep into the druggie culture at the school..    I was arrested for distributing!  My name was associated with cannabis so I was to blame.  I was no longer able to self medicate away my life problems with cannabis(pre-trial drug testing), so I switched back to alcohol.. This was a horrible mistake.   My friend channing lived a rougher life and came from a broken home.  It was not a great leap for us to steal the first couple of cases of wine from the Red Barn tasting room on the Maresh Winery in Dundee Oregon.  We each had a motive, mine was to suppress pain and take back from my abusers, channings was money(he sold his part he did not drink).   We stole wine from the same place three times.   This was all one summer in 2001.  My drinking increased and four more teen boys were subsequently involved in stealing alcohol with me.  I finally got to trial and all the charges were stacked so high I saw no exit.  I had been in and out of the Yamhill county detention lock up more times than I could count by then.   But My mothers sister Jamie Baxter offered hope!  Jamie and Jeff(her husband) told a wonderfull story of therapeutic youth reform through the wonderfull WWASP program(world wide association of spaecialty schools)…I was rooting for it too, since Judge Collins gave me an option of graduating the wwasp program before my 18’th birthday or be award of the state till I was 21.   Jeff Baxter testified in Collin’s courtroom about how the wwasp program had saved his own son steven(my cousin) and how I would not receive corporal punishment.  And how all my special needs would be met!   The program had a representative testify over the phone as the Judge looked through the glossy pamphlet about Dundee Ranch.   I was so hopefull that I would finnaly get the therapy that I so desperately needed!      Reality check, my mom was court ordered to pay 2,000 a month in tuition when she had lost her job.   I was released from juvenile hall and my mom and sister drove me to sanfrancisco where I got a passport in only two days.   Then I was on a plane to Sanjose Costa Ricca.   I was positive and so hopefull.   
 My first day at Dundee, after driving for what seemed like hours in the middle of a huge jungle and past smoke spewing volcanoes and crossing a mountain range the climate was like someone left the shower on highest heat and shut the door.   I was sweating, and had on shorts, My mom and sister were not allowed to examine the school , they only got to see the preplanned show they put on for all parents and officials.    I said good bye and that I loved them.. Narvin Lichfield ;  Mr Bailey and Locksley and Conrad had the control now.   I was always trained to make eye contact with the people around me(special education) this was the first thing I was in trouble for since it was against the rules at Dundee.   We ate nothing but rice and beans and water( I had not earned the privaledge of meats and juice)  I was in shock at the conditions.  I was new and lowest level so I had a bunk in the hall,no airconditioning, no mosquito nets,  and we  slept under a tin roof.  There was bats and birds and all maner of insect that lived with us.  As I recall the ( dorms I was in housed over 100 boys)  It was about 7o feet by 25 or so.  The upper level students had rooms that slept from five to 8 students and they had fans or airconditioners mounted in the windows..The windows with bars on them.   We shared a toilet that was regularly clogged..There was no soap to wash my hands, and no toilet paper most of the time and we would use old magazines or worksheets that you would have to do when vilating one of the many rules.   We did line count first thing in the morning and before lights out..All students were required to walk in line formation to the front parking lot and Hollar our number in order.  We had forty five seconds to a minute to jump out of our bunks and get our shoes on and be at that count..twice a day.    The upper level students were allowed to give us punishments, there were many cases of intimidation and black mail of first level students.   Our education was a complete skam!  The textbooks were nothing more than very badly photocopied textbooks with many of the pages unleagable and any color chart in theme made absolutely no sense!   I was promised I would be allowed to use my special education laptop for my diagnosis of AUTISM.  This was stopped by upper level students complaining to Daniel (family representative) that it was unfair that I was allowed to type assignments on the computer.    I was accused of smuggling in marijuana!  Mr. Locksley claimed to have found three cannabis seeds in my belongings.  Instead of fighting them I had learned to go along with the program. So I wrote a 15, ooo page S.A. in pen about how I had smuggled it in and what were my intentions. I consider it the greatest work of fiction I could ever write.  I was not allowed a meal or restroom breaks until I completed the S.A.  This was more than one day, but Mr. .Locksley helped me with the content and told me specifically what to write.   Then I was put into Observation placement for one day... it is a little shed with two bare rooms about 7x7 and my face was pushed into human excrement by one of the staff.I was not allowed to look to see who.   I was then made to kneel on my knees with my nose on the wall for the rest of the day. I was not allowed water and there were little stones that hurt to kneel on so much. I remember crying and being told that was punishable too.  I also have a knee disorder that is genetic and is called Osgood-Schlatter Disease that made this worst.   I survived the punishment and was allowed to attend my first and only “SEMINAR”.  The seminar was led by a red haired woman that appeared to be late forties /mid fifties.I had trouble telling if she was a she even.  I remember beating the floor with a towel and cussing about how much I hate my parents (this was required of all Dundee students)   we were screaming, crying, and forced to do this if you wanted to graduate.  The girls we never saw were at the same seminar( in the computer lab) and were made to get up on the little “stage” and admit to being sluts and prostitutes , to call themselves bitches and whores!   The audience was encouraged to join in.and did cheerfully.   I had never read the lord of the flies but this was it!  I was partnered up with a young woman. (About 14) that whispered to me she was raped at the school by staff.  I was so concentrated on my own program that I did not do anything about this and knew to keep silent, don’t look people in the eyes and just stare at the ground.  I was sick the whole time at the place, with some form of dysentery.  I received no medicine for this and sometimes was not given my allergy medicine( I was allergic to  rice)  I had an asthma attack every day during forced exercise in front of the calm looking swimming pool. I remember MR. Baily say “look children, the nice cool water. You will never get to touch it” We did one to three hour workouts depending on the mood of the staff and if it was to unbearable for the staff to even sitting drinking ice water watching us.   I would hear other kids screaming and begging for help from the observation placement, when they would return they would be silent and sometimes have many bruises on their body and face.  We were not allowed access to a phone, my grandma was dying and I got one phone call of about 3 minutes, and they hung it up once I told her that it was bad there.  The school was shut down and raided by the Costa Rican’s shortly thereafter and I was told I could leave. So I first left on my own through the jungle.  I was caught by Mr. Locksley and Conrad (Jamaican staff/enforcers) they caught up to me in a mango grove.  I picked up a tree branch then dropped it. Conrad and Locksley were on me and slapping me in my face…   They got a call on their warlike talkie and I was put on the back of a motorcycle and driven to the school again.   This time I got right off at the gate and ran to the Costa Rican police and he looked just as shocked at the situation. There were kids running loose, staff chasing kids, upper levels chasing lower levels with sticks. I saw a Costa Rican woman and asked her to save me.   I walked out the front gate past the armed guard with for other kids.  We all jumped in the back of the P>A>N>N>I> truck which was driven by the woman.  Me and C.J. jumped out at the first town and flagged a taxi, the Taxi driver knew we had no money and only drove us to a little bar.  We asked them for Water. We got real ice water!   The police and the woman pulled up and we got back in the truck. I remember throwing my Dundee Ranch shirt out on the dirt road... A Farwell to that chapter of my life.    Me and the others were sent to a police substation were we all tried to call home. I do not believe any of us got through. It was nighttime now and we were loaded into a range rover that was set up for search and rescue.  The one girl with us was intimately involved with one of the other boys now so they had a nice drive it would seem.  We were taken to a children’s shelter, given a happy meal each and me and CJ went to the park right up the block to find a payphone, I remember a costariccan man trying to talk Spanish to us that had followed us from the shelter.  At the park Cj met a drug dealer and bought a joint for a handful of skittles the police had given him.  We stood there  smoked it right in front of the PANNI worker.  I was calmed down then and wanted to get more happymeals. Me and CJ were transferred to a Bars on everthing child orphanage in San Pedro.  To me I thought it was a prison and a little boy from Jamaica  that was there who was the only English speaker told me about how he was there for two years and had not seen his parents the whole  time.  I asked if he wanted to come, He said he was afraid.  He was a big help and held my belt while I twisted it around the bars to the laundry room, I used a wooden leg I tore off the bunk beds as a leverage device. I had to strip nude to slip through. I then found myself locked in another room with no windows to get through, there was a metal roof however and I piled washing machines on washing machines and kicked with everything I had. It was noisier than a storm!   I got through and jumped from the edge of the roof over a razor wire fence which was a 12 – 14 foot drop.    I was out to find the United States embassy, and was praying to be reunited with my family.   I was not reported missing by wwasp or the costariccans for ten days… I met my mom at the airport along with some journalist I had contacted through a Good Samaritan Named Isaac Wabe that was my street guide for the week.
                       This is a very simple condensed history of my time at Dundee Ranch.
Animal activists need their own Bechdel test
By Jon Hochschartner  Jon Hochschartner is a freelance writer from upstate New York.)

Animal activists need their own rubric to assess anthropocentrism in fictional work that's similar to the Bechdel test employed by feminists to gauge gender bias.

Named for its popularizer, the Bechdel test has three requirements an artistic piece must meet in order to pass. First, it has to include at least two women. Second, they have to speak to each other. Third, they have to speak to each other about something other than a man. Despite its limitations, this simple test has proven effective at highlighting sexism in films and other works of fiction.

Animal activists would benefit from something similar. I'd like to put forward what might be the basis for such a test. The standard would be simple. To pass, any work with unnecessary violence by humans against
animals would have to include some kind of editorial signal that the practice is wrong. Now what exactly does that mean? Because I write about video games, I will use examples from that medium, but the test could easily apply to others.

To begin, the categories of humans and other animals would not be limited to their existing forms. For instance, the creatures of the "Pokémon" series, who are captured in the wild and trained to fight, are clearly analogous to animals. Similarly, despite looking feline, the Khajiit of "The Elder Scrolls" series, who ride horses and practice religion, have far more in common with humans than other real-life species.

Let's clarify some more terms. What's unnecessary violence against animals? An example can be found in "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time," in which Link can catch fish with a rod. The fish pose no immediate, unavoidable threat to Link, and there's no indication he's incapable of surviving on plant-based foods. This is unnecessary violence against animals. In contrast, in 2013's "Tomb Raider," Lara Croft need not seek out wolves for them to pursue her and cause her lethal damage if she doesn't kill them first. Though wolves don't actually behave this way in life, within the game this violence against animals is much more necessary.

But artists often want their work to reflect the reality of today or the past. And those realities unfortunately include a lot of unnecessary violence by humans against animals. The test would make room for the depiction of these, so long as the work includes editorial signals the practice is wrong.

Some readers may rankle at the idea that games should take a position, however subtly, on anything, let alone unnecessary violence against animals. But like it or not, games transmit value systems. Even games that are infamous for their supposed nihilism, like the "Grand Theft Auto" series, do. While the criminal franchise revels vicariously in the wrongness of its protagonists actions against other humans, it's generally clear their actions are wrong. In contrast, unnecessary violence against animals in video games typically isn't portrayed as problematic. Unlike, say, shooting pedestrians in "Grand Theft Auto," unnecessary violence against animals in video games generally isn't a knowing transgression of moral boundaries. This needs to change.

Editorial signals that unnecessary violence against animals is wrong can be communicated in a number of different ways. Some games, such as the "Fallout" series, include a morality meter, which, based on a player's in-game actions, will assign players an ethical status that will effect how their character is treated. More often though, value systems are transmitted through plot, dialogue, character development and other methods. Most obviously, one knows the villain's actions are wrong because of his or her role in the story. Editorial signals, however subtle, that unnecessary violence against animals is wrong are limited in form only by artists' imaginations.

That would be the test in a nutshell. To pass, any work that features unnecessary violence against animals would have to include some kind of editorial signal the practice was wrong. Further, unnecessary violence against animals does not include defense against an immediate, unavoidable threat. Editorial signals can be conveyed in a variety of ways. But some additional factors must be added that have so far been left out for the sake of simplicity.

For the test's purposes, the definition of violence would need to be expanded to include confinement and involuntary labor. Otherwise, for instance, the "Zoo Tycoon" series, which centers on unnecessary confinement of animals, could potentially pass so long as, within the context of confinement, minimal welfare needs are met.

Some animal activists might believe the depictions of unnecessary violence against animals requiring negative editorial signals should include not just the actions themselves, but the human-desired results of these actions, such as meat, leather or eggs. Ideally, this would be the case. But my initial thought is that, given our society's current anthropocentrism, passing the test would be seen as unattainable and artists would not attempt to do so.

If adopted, hopefully this test would help identify the ubiquity of speciesism in fictional works in much the same way as the Bechdel test does for sexism.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Search the HEAL Website

(Search Includes External Links To Sites Not Affiliated with HEAL)

 

History & Inspiration

News

Opinions & Editorials

HEAL Forum

Activist Handbook

HEAL's Back Room

Share & Care Board

The HEAL Online Store

HEAL Wishlist

Join HEAL

Donate

Contact Us!

FAQs

Campaigns
Teen Liberty Links
Teen Liberty Agenda
Teen Rights
Program Watchlist
Congressional Hearings
Parenting Guide
Parent Support Network
Warning Signs
Teen Liberty Lecture @ UW
Harassment
Importance of Acceptance
Prison Reform Links
Prison Reform Agenda
Prison Penpals
Support Inmate Artists!
Human Rights Links
Human Rights Agenda
Environmental Links
Environmental Agenda
Animal Welfare Links
Animal Welfare Agenda