Anonymous asked in Society & CultureCommunity Service · 1 decade ago

Anyone been to a T.C. (therapeutic community)?

I attended one called Daytop for a shot while when I was 16, as I got caught going to school a bit hey, I was young)

Anyhow, I was very suprised by the things that went on in this place. To me it seemed like a cult. I've spent some time looking around the net and found that there are a lot of TC's. Some are "Straights", "Elan", and there are a bunch of others, and they all seem to have some really messed up practices- most worst then Daytop. I was just wonderring if anyone else had had bad experiences with a TC.

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Yes, I undoubtedly had a bad experience in a T.C. however mine was referred to as a Behavior Modification Program, or a Residential Treatment Program. Since there are so many of these kinds of programs (all marketed as different things, yet all employ a similar system) we refer to them generally as the Troubled Teen Industry. When I say WE I'm referring to the survivors who have been prompted to speak out about their experiences in one of these facilities.

    There is a lot to be learned about this subject if you haven't already done research on the "cult-like" properties in the Troubled Teen Industry, and I can promise you it is most definitely a common theme. I suggest someone looking to find out more would want to visit these sites:

    As well try googling the name of the individual schools because many sites have been created to address the issues in a particular facility.


    As well, there are hundreds of testimonies from survivors, parents and extended family members who's lives were irrevocably disturbed by the Troubled Teen Industry.

    With all the information available on the internet today there is absolutely no excuse for parents to be entering their children into these abusive programs, unless they are in support of their children being abused. In that case I recommend that friends, family or advocates act immediately on behalf of the child to rescue them from their parents' determination to subject them to torture an maltreatment.

    Source(s): 2 years in a "Behavior Modification Program" (Casa By the Sea) 2 months in a "Boot Camp" (High Impact). 5 years as an advocate for the Human Rights of Institutionalized Youth.
  • 1 decade ago

    Bad experiences come by the truckload when a child has been put into a situation where they are cut off not only from their own family, but also from their friends, the community and current events.

    I was in a religious boarding school that was shut down by the state of Texas at the time. Legally, I should not have been there, nor should the other 5 girls that lived in the trailer with me and the host family.

    Tactics used to control us were limited contact with our families, letters & phone calls to family members only (specified by the parent sending the child) were monitored. Visitation was extremely limited. Contact with others was limited in the first 30 days, then relaxed only slightly. Reading material was limited to school work and the Bible. No access to newspapers, television or radio was permitted. We did listen to sermons broadcast on a local radio station that the founder of the cult had preached when he was alive, every morning and evening. Girls were not allowed to sing songs which weren't religious in nature, we weren't allowed to talk about our past. We weren't taken to the doctor when sick, and certainly never saw one when healthy. We didn't have any sort of counselor or psychologist/psychiatrist. We had no access to get help if/when mistreated or abused. Girls were put into positions of authority over other girls, this power, inevitably was abused.

    The food was subrate. I still cannot eat Cheerios to this day (almost 20 years later) because I can vividly see the cobwebs in the Cheerios we were made to eat back then.

    Eventually I went from the trailer I mentioned previously, and into a "women's" home (at 17 - also illegal) on the property. Conditions there were similar except there were alarms on the windows and more locked doors.

    The FTC now has a list of red flags parents should look for prior to placing children in any sort of boarding school. They can be found here:

    Source(s): 11 months combined in two facilities on the same remote property in Texas & the Federal Trade Comission.
  • 1 decade ago

    I was a resident of the Elan School in Poland Spring, Maine in 1981-82

    My first day at Élan I was escorted to a bathroom, made to strip in front of two strangers and take a Quell shower. I was told I would be a resident of House #3. There were many Houses in Poland Spring, Maine. #3, #5, #7, #8 and Administration #1. There was also a house in Waterford, Maine #6 and two houses in Parsonsfield, Maine #2 and #4. Élan #3 was “the big House.” The first thing I noticed was all the costumes. These were called Learning Experiences or L.E.; they were made from mostly cardboard and came from the communications Dept. Dunce caps Cigarette hats. Nuclear Reactor Boxes, Whore and Pimp costumes the list goes on. Whatever the “issue” was there was a L.E. to go with it. With every L.E. there was a sign sometimes you only got a sign. These would always start out “Please confront me as to why........” It was not unusual to see someone with 15 signs. One night at school a kid walked into class from another house wearing a huge penis on his head with a sign in it that said “ Please confront me as to why I think with one head and not the other” I had to hide behind my book to not laugh. If you laughed at someone’s L.E. you got the same one. There were boxing rings to beat you into submission, Haircuts where 3 people yelled at you over trivial stuff. General Meetings where hundreds of your peers were whipped into frenzy in the dining room before you arrived and when you did then would all rush at you to yell an spit in your face. Then the Director would emotionally lambaste you for hours. At the end you were given a L.E. and “Shot-down” made to scrub floors and toilets all day. Then there was the Corner for those who would not “get with the program”. It was meant to be used for a couple of hours, because it was unbearable. You could not talk or read or listen to music or anything and some other poor kid had to supervise you the whole time. I stayed in the corner for 5 months. I refused to abuse my peers. I was not going to humiliate others. For this I was severely abused, but I did not care. I gave it right back. I was not going to join a cult. In a last effort to get me to conform, my Father flew up and told me that I was going to be there until the bulldozers came. Three weeks later he returned to pick me up; I had done the impossible I had been kicked out of Élan in eight months. I have been trying to help get legislation passed that will help stop the abuse for teens.

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