Tuesday, April 23, 2013

*potentially triggering* *WWASPS* Come Back by Claire Fontaine and Mia Fontaine

If you are a survivor of a WWASPS teen industry facility or other abusive place please please please ~ STOP ~ and ask yourself if you want to read this particular book review.  Mia Fountaine was placed in Morava in the Czech Republic and then at Spring Creek Lodge once Morava was closed.  The book Come Back glorifies WWASPS, its' staff, its' methods, and its' programs.  You may not want to read this review.  If you find it too triggering, please x out this page.  I care about you and you have gone through way too much already in the troubled teen industry. 

Come Back: A Mother and Daughter's Journey Through Hell and Back, Claire Fontaine and Mia Fontaine.  New York: HarperCollins e-books, 2006.  e-book, 332 pps.

Sigh.  It had to happen I suppose.  A whole book justifying some of the abuses inherent in the WWASPS ways of doing things,

     [ http://radicalsapphoq.blogspot.com/2012/12/w.html 
       for a brief history and timeline if you are unfamiliar                  
      with WWASPS.  A search engine will reveal quite a
      bit more on many many other sites maintained by survivors]. 

embracing the alternative history that WWASPS provides to its' adherents, singing the praises of the troubled teen industry that is at the core of WWASPS and Spring Creek Lodge and Morava [or whatever they are calling themselves these days].  The Pullin brothers appeared in the same sentence as the word "love."  Just one example of the Fontaine team buying into WWASPS.  Geez.
One thing that has not changed its' name is The Hobbit.  The Hobbit is a tiny building to which a recalcitrant teen is brought for an unspecified period of isolation.  It is punishment.  Justifying its' use by the sentiment that the particular teen housed in there doesn't know that she can change and she has the tools to do so is sickening.  It repulsed me.  The images of a teen banging on a glass window, screaming and crying.  Yeah.  By all reports, The Hobbit continues to exist at Spring Creek Lodge [or whatever its' current name is these days... keeping track of all of the name changes induces vertigo].

This is The Hobbit.  A small room where a teen was placed into forced isolation.  The shelf is actually a "bed."  The walls and floors have been described as "disgusting" and full of feces and urine.  A Focus On: Spring Creek Lodge has now been published at: http://radicalsapphoq.blogspot.com/2013/04/wwasps-focus-on-spring-creek-lodge.html.  Picture was taken from: http://wwaspsurvivors.com/wp-content/gallery/spring-creek/307893_857215012653_57202884_38839285_1862728866_n.jpg

The description of a "Discovery Seminar" courtesy of David Gilcrease and company, at the time of the book-writing called Resource Realizations, Inc., was also nauseating to me.  In other places on the web, Gilcrease has been described by survivors as being a cult-like figure, greasy, and creepy.  I can't vouch for any of that since I have never met the man.  Certainly, the description of a few things that went on in Claire and Mia's seminars lend credence to the idea that the seminars are pseudo-pop-psychology at best and dangerous to the unhinged at worse.

I could go on.  The Fontaines wax eloquently over Morava-- the "school" in the Czech Republic that got shut down-- and what a shame that a couple of kids who lied about being abused there were able to get the place shut down.  The description of the food did in my sensitive stomach.  The descriptions of the rest The acceptance of the culture at Morava was enough to leave me gasping for air.
Morava was the first place that Mia did time in.  She was quickly transferred to Spring Creek Lodge when Morava closed and the beat went on. 

sapphoq reviews saysYeah, while the writing style of mother and daughter displayed native talent, Come Back is a relatively useless dual-memoir.  This book adds nothing to the debate on the troubling troubled teen industry.  Survivors of WWASPS and other places would do well to skip this particular piece of propaganda [unless they are in a place with their recovery where reading this trite garbage might encourage them to continue to educate the masses about what life was/is really like in a WWASPS facility].  Others would do well to read Maia Szalavitz instead.  Again, parents for crying out loud, please do your own research before agreeing to sign your teen up for a stint at any of the Mormon gulags that is WWASPS.  Or any other behavioral treatment facility, troubled teen facility, residential facility, rape and death camp.
Totally and emphatically not recommended.

Morava was closed.  The folks running it never answered in a court of any law to any of the abuses that [legal word: allegedly] occurred there.
Spring Creek Lodge is reportedly closed and the facility in Montana has been sold.

[legal crap: The opinions expressed here are mine. I could be wrong.  But at least no teens were raped, beaten, or killed in the manufacture of this review.  Which makes this blog post much safer than time spent by a teen at Spring Creek Lodge.  Just saying].    


Donna H said...

My daughter went to Casa By the Sea, a Mexican WWASP facility. I found the program, as descibed in Comeback, to be essentially similar to what I experienced as a parent at Casa by the Sea. My experiences at the seminars were alsmot exact. I met the kids at Casa, my daughter graduated. Although she wasn't a perfect kid, her life essentially turned around. The program was very effective. There was no abuse; I and other parents visited on a regular basis. There were ALWAYS parents visiting the facility. Some parent seminars took place on facility grounds. My daughter didn't "enjoy" being there, but she is grateful for the person she became. My daughter graduated from Casa in Feb 2004.

sapphoq said...

This is the Casa by the Sea that Donna H. is defending:




http://therealcasa.blogspot.com/2011/09/an-american-child-mexican-prisoner-my.html in particular the entry for September 11th described what was done before parents attending seminars.




The typical excuse of "these kids are known to be liars" does not hold water imo due to the sheer numbers of survivors of the wwasps "schools" speaking out about what they have survived.

And some teens did not survive their time in wwasps and other programs.