Friday, June 25, 2010

not advocating graves should be violated, just sayin'

Article: Vatican 'Outraged' Over Police Raid Of Archbishops' Graves In Sex Abuse Probe.

Belgian police officials raided the graves of archbishops to see if incriminating documents, related to child abuse scandals of the Catholic Church, had been placed in the caskets. Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard, Belgium's current archbishop, is quoted in the below article, as condemning the search of the cathedral, saying that is stuff for "crime novels and 'The Da Vinci Code."

SNAP, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, approved of the raid, and urged police and prosecutors to use their full powers to gain access to church records.

Now, ya'll wanna hear something that'll make some people mad? And yet, after the reading this article, seems very appropriate?

When I went to Jacksonville for the public awareness meeting regarding clergy's abuse of children back in 2008, I was intrigued by accounts of the funeral of Bob Gray. Accounts had parents of victims holding pictures of their children, at the age they were during the abuse, sitting on the front row. Apparently, people also wrote notes of closure and placed them in the coffin.

I speculated in this blog (article now removed) whether or not 'other items', not just notes from victims and their parents, might have also been placed in the casket.

Now we read that Belgian police kinda had the same idea about their religious leaders and subsequently raided the graves of archbishops?

I'm not suggesting any graves be violated, just sayin' stranger things have happened.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Survivors of Institutional Abuse - Unite! 7/9/2010

July 9, 2010 Launch Event for Survivors of Institutional Abuse (Culver City, CA)

In the early nineties, I met a former resident of a girl’s home called ‘Victory Christian Academy’. It was located in Ramona, California. This was a place where parents sent their children when they felt that normal methods would not instill the values they could not.

The abuse these girls endured was unbelievable. Parents were encouraged to lie in order to get their daughters to the facility.

“We’re looking at property. . .going on a vacation. . .we’d like you come!”

. . .any number of excuses to get them into the car.

VCA, surrounded by a ten foot electronic fence capable of knocking back a grown man, destroyed many lives. Some girls reported getting tackled by the staff upon first arrival. If the girls disobeyed rules they were forced to spend DAYS IN A SMALL CLOSET, dubbed ‘the get right room’.

One girl, who was a vegetarian, was not only forced to eat meat, but when she threw up, the proprietor forced the food back into their mouth, complete with vomit intact. Girls were physically restrained even though they were not a threat to themselves and others.

The abuses of this home have been documented by another former resident, Michele Ulriksen, in her book, Reform At Victory.

It was the dark side of ‘faith based rehabilitation’.

I introduced the victim I met to a cable access producer in Huntington Beach, CA.

We arranged an interview. The producer had the foresight to send this video to the Department of Children’s Services. Within a few months, this school was raided by the authorities and eventually shut down in 1991.

This was the first time I actually experienced the power a few people can have when they exercise their first amendment rights.

A few months ago, I was contacted by Jodi Hobbs, a survivor of Victory Christian Academy. She became aware of my role in shutting the school down via the internet. Jodi, along with three other survivors, has formed the Survivors of Institutional Abuse (SIA Organization) and invited me to be a board member.

I was more than happy to accept and pleased to say we are having our first fund raiser on July 9, 2010.

The Launch Event will feature the premier of our PSA, directed by Steven Kimbrough (CEO President KMGI-TV & Black Kilt Films, Inc.), who recently returned from the Cannes Film Festival promoting the Cannes 24 Hour Film Challenge.

We will also screen ‘Over the GW’, a hard hitting motion picture which exposes the abuses which have been occurring at teen behavior modification centers. The facility profiled in ‘Over the GW’, interestingly, was not a faith based center. It was secular and accepted Medicaid funding before it was closed. Yet, their methods of ‘rehabilitation’ were just as abusive as those endured by the residents of VCA.

‘Over the GW’ was referenced in a Congressional Hearing on
"Child Abuse and Deceptive Marketing by Residential Programs for Teens." See a clip from that Congressional Hearing, plus a preview of 'Over the GW', below this article.

Teen behavior modification centers, which includes everything from wilderness camps to gay to straight therapy centers to unlicensed 'ministries' is a billion dollar industry. It is not centered around rehabilitating teens who have been abused, or addicted to drugs, or toxic behavior, but, instead, offers last minute 'solutions' for parents whose children are simply embracing different values.

The mere fact that teenagers are choosing different viewpoints than their parents when it comes to sexuality, music and entertainment, matters of dress, politics, or, in more serious cases, experiencing sexual abuse in the home, or possessing knowledge of sexual abuse, is used as a rationale to send children to these teen gulags.

Julia Scheeres, author of JESUS LAND, a first person account of life in one of these homes, describes these places as, ’dumping grounds for the problem children of rich evangelicals’.

Victims of the teen behavioral modification industry are finally coming out and finding each other through the internet. One of the positive results of this has been the passage of HR911.

HR911 mandates that all homes and boarding schools must be licensed, and staff trained in spotting abuse, and reporting abuse. HR911 has passed the House and is heading for the Senate. But even if it does pass, and we believe that it will, something must still be done concerning the human wreckage produced by some of these unlicensed institutions.

Victims of these abusive schools and homes must learn how to get their self esteem back. Often in the face of years of negative reinforcement. Our goal is to provide life coaching, public awareness seminars, and providing resources for education, employment, and other services necessary for restoring the quality of life.

The teen behavioral modification industry is a billion dollar business that has crippled the self esteem of many children and adults. It took over a billion dollars to destroy those lives. It might taken even more to restore them. We need your help.

Please visit our website to learn more about our organization. If you’re in the Culver City, CA area on July 9th, please join us at the Bluebird CafĂ© at 7PM for ‘Over the GW’ and the premier of our first Public Service Announcement.

Visit the official 'Survivors of Institutional Abuse' website and click 'blog' to read more about the event on July 9. 2010:

Survivors of Institutional Abuse website:

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Child Abuse with the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist Movement

Powerful video! Just remember, there are others that didn't get mentioned. Probably because of the length of the song is short, but the list of victims is long.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Testimonies of 'Victory'

My part in the closing of Victory Christian Academy, a girls home that was once located in Ramona, CA, was relatively small.

I introduced a former student to a cable access producer in Huntington Beach, CA. He interviewed her while I did the camera work. Once the video was 'in the can', the producer was far sighted enough to send the video to the California Department of Children's Services.

The home was raided not long after and, within a few months, was closed by the state.

'Brother P', the man who operated the home, simply moved on to Jay, Florida. A former student at that home accused him of rape. He is apparently opening another home, or tried to open another, in Iowa. There was setback after a 16 year old sex offender was found living on premises.

A man who shares the name of the former Victory Christian Academy founder had been the president of The Florida Association of Christian Child Caring Agencies according to this article Research on Tough Love, Christian "Reform Schools", The connection between Palmer and Roloff.

Did 'Brother P' serve as vice president for an organization to accredit his own institution? Who knows?

If you visit the FACCCA site, you will notice, by clicking 'members', that not only is Jay, Florida school still operating, but Camp Tracey, the boy's home that was scandalized by reports of violence and sexual inappropriateness, is also a member of FACCCA.

Victims of girls and boys homes are discovering each other through the internet. It took awhile, but they are coming together and finding their strength.

One of the positive results of waking this sleeping giant is the passage of HR911.

This legislation, already passed the House now headed for the Senate, if passed, will insure a federal mandate that all homes be licensed. That girls and boys home staff must be trained in how to deal with sexual and physical abuse. All abuse must be reported to the proper authorities.

A few victims of the Victory Home offered their testimonies which helped HR911 pass the House. Now, we await the Senate.

Michele Ulriksen, the author of Reform At Victory, has a page on her website detailing testimonies from the former residents of the girls home. After reading their testimonies on Michele's site, I am proud of the role I played in helping to get this home shut down.

Best wishes on the upcoming reunion of the Girl's of Victory Christian Academy.


Interviews and Survivor Statements.


Falling Lumber Kills Hesperia Girl at Academy, September 25, 1988.

Private School Raided by State, Local Officials, February 27, 1991.

Religious Reform School, State Clash, March 4, 1991.

NOTE: The second article (Religious Reform School, State Clash) mentions the Orange County television interview that I helped arrange. Although uncredited, it does make feel good every time I read it.

Secrets in the Schoolhouse, Mollye Barrows and Duwayne Escobedo, December 2, 2004.

Anchor Character Training Center, a children’s center, is unlicensed in Iowa, Abigail McWilliam, February 27, 2009.


Child Advocates Recommend Senate Review and Revision of HR 911

NOTE: The above PDF concerning HR911 mentions Victory Christian Academy in Ramona, CA.

Official reunion site:

Girls of Victory Christian Academy.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Reunion Planned for 'Girls' of Victory Christian Academy.

Survivors of Victory Christian Academy, the girl's home in Ramona, CA, that was closed down in 1991, and was the subject of Michele Ulriksen's book, Reform at Victory, will be having a reunion on August 20-22 in San Diego, CA, near the location of the former home.

The proprietor of the home simply set up shop in Florida after VCA was closed by state authorities. He was forbidden from working with children in Southern California.

Florida, naturally, greeted him with open arms. A student at the Florida home accused him of rape, and now he's apparently opening another home in Iowa.

Is this a great country or what?

Sarcasm, people!

A tour of the Ramona facilities will be part of the agenda. I was privileged to accompany some of the women on a visit to the former VCA property a few months ago. Perhaps I will write more about that at a later time.

For information regarding the reunion:

Girls of VCA blog.

Official page for the 'Girls of Victory Christian Academy':

Girls of Victory Christian Academy.