Gay teen exposes brainwashing at Utah re-education camp

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Cross Creek is the closest thing we have in the United States to forced re-education camps. Cross Creek and other facilities like it are where grotesque parents send their kids to have the gay bullied out of them and the Jesus bullied into them.

This is the story of one girl who was sent there, what she endured while she was there, and the hell that continued after she returned. Here story is extremely sad, and if you are anything like me, enraging. Hold that thought.

The most important thing to focus on in this story is the following:

It then occurred to me that this was what my mother had arranged for my brother several years ago when she had him shipped away to Cross Creek.”

It’s a cliche in psychology that all our problems go back to our mothers. It’s a cliche because most of the time it’s true. The other times are when our problems go back to our fathers.

This mother has some serious problems, obviously. I’d even suggest that she is a danger to her kids, and should probably be taken away from them. If both her kids have problems so severe that she thinks kidnapping them and sending them to a re-education camp is the solution, then the kids should just be taken away from the mother on a permanent basis (or better yet, the mother should be taken away from them. Am I being too harsh? Consider:

Shortly after I left the program I was raped. I shared what happened with my mother, who then told me, like Cross Creek did, that it was my fault, I asked for it, and that I should have known it would happen. She then proceeded to share her own twisted version of the story with my Cross Creek therapist, who shared it with my group.

Again, the mother needs to be atomized, post-haste. She is a clear and present danger to her children. Secondly, nice doctor-patient confidentiality laws they have there in Utah.

Next, the teen writes this in Part 2: “Before I say this next part, I want to state that it is not my intention to bash all of the staff at Cross Creek. Some of the staff were very supportive (A.D., M.C., etc.) and this is not in any way meant to be directed at you,”

This is what it looks like when brainwashing works. This is sympathizing with the abuser. This is not a healthy response. No supportive person would ever work at such a horrible facility, and if they seemed supportive, it’s only in contrast to the people there who were brutal beyond the pale. These nice counselors chose to be there, right. The chose to be a part of this system. Are they actively stopping the shaming and humiliation? No. Silence is assent.

Remember, everyone working at this camp thinks forcibly extracting a minor from their home and sending them to a re-education camp against their will is a good idea. That is the moral crime, everything else is an aggravating factor. That the teen doesn’t recognize this is NOT her fault, but it is evidence that some of the brainwashing “stuck.”

This girl has obviously been through hell and back, and we can have only sympathy and compassion for her suffering and the suffering she will continue to endure as she works through this.

But tomorrow night, another little daughter of an equally wretched mother will be kidnapped from her bedroom in the dead of night and taken to this camp or one like it. It’s this other little girl that I think about.

This little girl doesn’t have the legal right to say no. She doesn’t have the legal right to say that here mom is the crazy one, not her. And in a legal system where justice is a function of money, kids are the most impoverished demographic.

These camps have been around since I was a kid. The outrage against them has been around since I was a kid. There were lawsuits them to shut them down, and others popped up. They keep coming back because they serve an important function.

Because it’s wrong from parent to hit or abuse their kids, the parents outsource the work to others. They can’t imprint the superego, so they hire someone else. The parent know what really goes on at these camps, but their veneer of wholesomeness gives the parent the plausible deniability they need to feign innocence.

People have filed lawsuits against other camps, and counselors have been arrested and prosecuted. But for every camp that’s closed a new one pops up. Because ultimately the parents want places like this to exist, so they do.

Sometime soon, another little girl (or boy) is going to be yanked from her bed and taken to one of these places. It is a crime, morally if not legally. It is heinous, and no one will stop it. She will be overpowered, and there is nothing she can do to stop it. Once there, they will humiliate and degrade her until she agrees to things that she thinks are crazy and doesn’t believe out of fear of unforgiving punishment. When she returns, her parents will gloat that “you know you deserved it.” Nothing can stop this.

All I can say to that little girl is this:

Don’t go quietly. This is your life, and you are being forced to fight for it. You will be scared to fight. You will lose the fight. Fight anyway. Who you are–your courage and strength, your identity– is defined in the struggle, not in the outcome.

So if they come for you, don’t go quietly. Make it hurt. Make them pay.

Related posts:

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  3. Why the “Storm” of criticism?
  4. Lady Gaga’s “Judas”: Scandalizing Catholic Schoolgirls Everywhere
  5. Born Which Way?

50 Responses to Gay teen exposes brainwashing at Utah re-education camp

  1. CubaLibre says:

    If you’re under eighteen, you won’t be doin any tieeime.

  2. JohnJ says:

    Those people need to be prosecuted.

  3. DJames says:

    Years ago I was involved in a similar group (not Mormon, but many things oddly in common). I was both a victim and a perpetrator of this type of abuse.

    Jesus, of course, was quite harsh with religious bullies. Obviously it’s not about “bullying Jesus into them”—it’s really about power. An actual rapist and a religious “rapist” aren’t looking for meaningful connection with their victims, they just want an endorphin release that comes with power/domination. (Yes, yes, there are other factors at play—but keep reading.)

    For quite a while I’ve been planning a post on this sort of real-time social power. Dominating a person(s) so completely is perhaps one of the most addictive feelings there is. There’s a reason little kids are fascinated by burning ants with magnifying glasses.

    • JohnJ says:

      There may be an endorphin rush, but that’s not the only reason people do it. Some people believe they have not just the right but the responsibility to completely dominate others. As C.S. Lewis said, “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

      • DJames says:

        Or whatever they imagine their conscience to be. I’d like to think it’s an impartial, ethical imperative. I mean, hopefully, right?

        The trick, it seems, is to judge a thing by its outcomes—not its intentions.

        Judging from the outcomes, what Lewis’ moralist (or the “therapists” in the poor girl’s story) calls a conscience isn’t that at all. In fact, I’d say that complete domination of people is… you know, wrong on its face. Even if you wake up the next morning and don’t remember the rape/brainwashing.

        Even (especially?) if the perpetrator thinks it’s for your own good. Perhaps I’m being harsh with the Cross Creek type of person—condemning their actions is easy (and right), but I’m also going after their motivations.

        Or maybe just self-flagellating my own guilty conscience.

        • JohnJ says:

          Everyone is moderate and reasonable in their own eyes.

          • Sfon says:

            Caring about the poor by feeding them, and caring about blacks by preventing them from voting? In the eyes of someone who does both, what is the difference?

            My experience with talking to such people is: absolutely nothing. They cannot separate those in their mind. They cannot see how one is less good, responsible, or compassionate than the other.

            Tell someone not to abuse someone because they are homosexual? Might as well tell them to punch a baby. Tell them to instead care about others? That is what they see themselves as doing!

  4. cliche says:

    In China, teens (from middle to upper class families) with an “Internet Addiction” are forced into boot camps that offer treatments ranging from talk therapy and anti-depressants to 500 mile treks through Mongolia with a bit of electroshock therapy on the side.

    God forbid “Internet Addiction” ever makes its way into the DSM.

  5. mwigdahl says:

    OK, I’ll bite. When I read this I was a bit confused. I wondered if this was a parody or meant as sarcasm. Reading to the end, I can only conclude that it’s meant quite seriously, and that what this is is an essay successfully hitting Pastabagel’s hot buttons such that he/she has totally forgotten the point of the site — which Pastabagel him/herself actually wrote:

    You probably don’t believe everything you read, hear or see in news, culture and advertising, but maybe you don’t know why.

    Apparently Pastabagel does believe every word of this article, though. Why? Why uncritically accept this story at face value but not so many others, which are finely dissected for bias and distortion with surgical precision?

    And I guess Pastabagel isn’t really accepting the whole story, at that. The original author included nuance:

    Before I say this next part, I want to state that it is not my intention to bash all of the staff at Cross Creek. Some of the staff were very supportive (A.D., M.C., etc.) and this is not in any way meant to be directed at you.

    Pastabagel rejects this nuance. It doesn’t fit with the blanket, fiery denunciation that he/she wants to write, so it’s rejected as a byproduct of “brainwashing” — in other words, the unreliability of the original author.

    So why is this component of the story — the one that takes just a bit of wind out of the sails of declaring the total depravity of of Cross Creek and absolutely everyone ever associated with it — the only one he/she rejects? Why is the original author only unreliable on this one point?

    It would be great if Pastabagel would further clarify this, because in the absence of such this article looks like nothing but a garden-variety case of a nice rant powered by confirmation bias.

    • Guy Fox says:

      If a Holocaust survivor praised a capo, would that absolve the capo? If a prisoner of the 1937 purges in the Lubyanka praised her interrogator, does that mean he’s a good guy? This seems to be America’s Gulag Archipelago, and, as my mother would say, “You’re either part of the solution or part of the problem.” Even the least egregious participant in that system is still in that system. They might be brainwashed too, but the only excuse would be that the employees are under duress (e.g. their kids are being held hostage). There isn’t much of a grey area there.

      As Whitehead wrote, “Of course it is true that the defence of morality is that battle-cry which best rallies stupidity against change.”

      • mwigdahl says:

        Those are hardly my arguments, as I suspect you well know. My question is not whether these people that she said weren’t abusive were actually abusive, or bad people, or whatever. My question is why certain pieces of the original story were rejected as being incredible while other parts were accepted quite credulously. It appears to be part of Pastabagel’s attempt to craft a narrative, one which the unredacted original story didn’t quite facilitate to the proper degree.

        This is, after all, a site about analyzing narratives, is it not? Or did it turn into an “it gets better” support site while I was checking Stack Overflow?

        Whitehead also said: “There are no whole truths; all truths are half-truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil.” There sure are a lot of people asserting “whole truths” in this thread.

    • Comus says:

      I appreciate the meta-deconstructionism effort.

      As Pastabagel openly admits, this is infuriating and enraging. That might eclipse some of the source criticism. But mostly I believe is because it is on Reddit, which on the other hand abolishes some problems whilst creating others. In Reddit it’s not a part of the news media, and therefore doesn’t have a structural ideological bias from that end. That doesn’t mean this is not an ideological story though, but then again, everything is. That also leaves a sense, or at least the illusion, of an un-edited straight-from-the-subject storyline.

      So, even if the story wouldn’t be objectively real it tells us something. We have no means to verify that statement, so we have to make an ideologically based leap of faith. The story appears coherent, even and especially with the Stockholm syndrome bits. It certainly, when viewed against previous knowledge, seems plausible.

      Pastabagel doesn’t say the authors statements are incredible, he/she just underlines the subjective view of the author. And even though it is completely understandable that the author thinks the people are “pearls in midst of shit”, that appears to only be based on the absence of active participation in this horribility. As is stated, passive participation is not good, but only different sort of bad.

      • mwigdahl says:

        I’m glad you got where I was going; after dual references to Hitler and Stalin in the other person’s previous reply I was beginning to wonder…

        Yes, this appears to be a credible story in its face. I went to Reddit and read the whole thing, plus some of the comments. I agree that there is no special reason to doubt this story’s veracity — no more than the natural level of skepticism due any uncorroborated eyewitness account of an emotionally charged or moving experience (Anyone want tea? I’ve brewed three cups!)

        I disagree that “we have no means to verify that statement, so we have to make an ideologically-based leap of faith.” This is a false dichotomy. First of all, we don’t have to make any sort of leap; we can be emotionally moved, suspect a core of truth, and still withhold judgement until we read further. Maybe we can’t personally interview the original author, but we can look for other testimonials from kids, for reports from parents, etc. before we decide what to believe.

        And we don’t have to make a binary decision. As you seemed to be starting to say, we can acknowledge the emotional truths (or at least resonances) of the story without needing to believe in the absolute factual truth of every statement. In that respect, there’s a similarity between this kind of story and religious stories, and indeed many responses in this thread seem to have a tone reminiscent of zealous religious speech (logic pushed back behind emotion; individual situations having evil motives imputed, then generalized to straw-man universals and righteously demolished, etc.).

        I also disagree that the people the original author didn’t target the rant towards were seen as good only based on the absence of active participation. The only information we have on this is her own statement, which specifically says that they were supportive — a description that is both active and positive. A minor detail, but a major point. It doesn’t mean there wasn’t brainwashing, or that they weren’t actually bad people, but it does mean you have to say she’s being untruthful when she says they were supportive in order to assert that they are not, in fact, supportive.

        I spent a very little time on Google, searching around for other perspectives on Cross Creek, and came across this. It’s an interesting read. I find it credible for similar reasons that you cite — it’s self-consistent, not obviously part of a mainstream media or otherwise apparently commercial or ideological structure. It’s at least as coherent, covers a longer time period, and includes input and perspectives from more than one person.

        I don’t come away with the sense that that father should be “atomized”, or that his parental rights should be terminated. I came away feeling very sorry for him and for Katie and for his whole family, and I think he got sold a bill of goods with respect to Cross Creek — but I didn’t find a ready target for hate.

        The situations are not wholly similar, and that may make all the difference. He may be totally whitewashing the situation. It doesn’t sound like it, but I don’t know. We might talk to Katie and get a completely different story.

        The point is that we don’t need to make snap judgements based on one article — there are plenty of resources available to make a much more damning case against Cross Creek, if that’s what we wanted. There are also resources out there that could facilitate making a more nuanced case, if that were desired. A single search turns up all you could ever need.

        Pastabagel instead chose to take one article and write a fiery rant without doing any additional legwork. On a personal blog, that would be fine, and par for the course. On this blog, I was under the impression he/she was looking for a higher standard.

        • JohnJ says:

          Ya, I’m starting to wonder if we’re part of the experiment.

          • DJames says:

            Heh. I suspect PB isn’t as bitter as TLP was, but I also suspect he hasn’t quite dealt with it to the ext TLP has.

            Rage is quite a normal response to this type of thing, isn’t it? The one-note emotional response should be a part of the conversation, and Mwigdahl’s response to it also should be.

            Since I’ve been both the victim and the abuser in this scenario, PB’s post (and the originals) just made me sad.

        • Comus says:

          First let me apologize for the shortcomings of my previous reply with it’s argumental haphazardness, it was done in too much of a haste.

          Now, in regards to your criticism of the binary decision, I might have not been clear enough. I think that in order to feel empathy, be frustrated, angry or whatever, we need to make a leap into believing the core of the story. If the previous example would be of the tinfoil-variety, it would not have elicited emotional responses even if it would have explicated episodes of extreme violence and abuse. We need to find the story credible enough, to believe in it enough, to invest an emotional response. That is not the same as saying that the story is true in the most concrete sense, just that I, the reader, find it to be true enough. In this instance it fits rather well into my previous narrative about these sorts of institutions. If we find out this were to be false the ones emotionally invested in it would be angry, whilst the more sceptical ones would be basking in cynical glory. I think reading the story and the responses it elicits are ideologically based (eg liberal atheist vs. conservative mormon; leftist pacifist vs. a sadist), and those views determine your level of belief.

          Your point on the perceived positive active participation of the staff is absolutely right and I apologize for the shallow reading.

          Also, isn’t the term brainwashing implied by the noun “re-education”? Coming from a country where these sorts of camps are close to nonexistent I notice that I too have a hard timefiltering out the emotional reactions from the fact-based ones.

          • mwigdahl says:

            Ah, I understand what you’re saying now about ideologically-based responses. I agree.

            As far as the term “re-education” — who actually used this expression? As far as I can tell, Pastabagel is the only one who has used this particular term. Cross Creek itself uses the phrase “Emotional Growth and Behavior Modification in a controlled environment.” as far as I can see. But then they would, of course. Better marketing.

            Apparently one man’s brainwashing is another man’s therapy — you get this sort of terminological conflict in the autism therapy world as well.

  6. Jerboa says:

    Nice find. It threw me into an indignant rage, which I generally pride myself on being immune to. I wanted to individually fight every adult in that story until one of us wasn’t capable of movement.

    Let’s push the chimp bullshit back down where it belongs though, and dispassionately look at the problem that apparently needs attention. Should we be shifting the fostercare line to the point where this girl would have been permanently separated from her parents? In an alternate universe where the SWAT team busted down the door during her abduction, arrested everyone and took her to a foster home, is she thanking us for their intervention?

    Should we be outlawing these camps? If so, how do we manage that without also outlawing standard boarding schools, many of which are preferable to living with broken parents?

    • philtrum says:

      That is really tricky, isn’t it? The foster care system is a crapshoot. All child protection matters are messy, really.

      I would say, myself, part of the problem is that children and adolescents still have few rights, so they can be confined to places like this on a parent’s say-so, even if they haven’t done anything criminal or (objectively) dangerous. You can’t legally kidnap and confine your wife in this manner (any more), but you can still do it to your child.

  7. AnonymousAtLarge says:

    I hate christians and militant homophobes as much as any other agnostic atheist queer, but I can’t help think this story sounds made up. Or exaggerated to ridiculousness.

    This kid seems to have had a prior history of childhood sexual abuse, which is then informing her psychiatric probs (which she takes meds for), her sexual identity issues (not that there is anything wrong with being gay but red flags go up when someone claims to be a lesbian, when she is clearly terrified of men and being touched by men etc). She seems like she has a boatload of PTSD which is clearly proceeding her christian camp story.

    People with untreated PTSD find everything triggering and situations which are relatively emotionally neutral or only slightly adverse will be perceived as highly traumatizing. Much of the way she writes seems to describe this fragile hypersensitivity. I hate to use the B word, but yea, borderline.

    I just find it hard to believe parents would willingly send their children to a school where they were severely abused, on a regular basis, all the time. I’m sure some of this is true but it sounds so exaggerated if not frankly made up.

    Given that this girl sounds uber PTSD I don’t think she is intentionally making it up… I* just think she is hypersensitive to any slight adversity and triggering event.

    • philtrum says:

      I just find it hard to believe parents would willingly send their children to a school where they were severely abused, on a regular basis, all the time.

      Why? Some parents abuse their own children. Many parents subscribe to theories of childrearing and child discipline that are abusive or potentially abusive (Michael and Debi Pearl are notorious in this field, and they’re far from the only ones). This stuff happens all the time.

    • Arno says:

      I had a similar reaction when I was reading the reddit article, but couldn’t put together a comment that I didn’t expect to get flamed for blaming the victim.
      After growing up in whatever environment she did, I imagine she has all sorts of boundary issues that might make minor interactions seem more threatening and abusive than they were. On the other hand, she probably also didn’t pick up on the inappropriate nature of other interactions, so her recollections might be skewed in the other direction as well. While I was reading I kept wishing I could have been a fly on the wall at the camp, but I guess that’s what finding more sources is for: get the input of several warped points of view and hope everything comes out in the wash.

      • AnonymousAtLarge says:

        Exactly my point.

        Her boundary issues and pain and monitoring and hypersensitivity is so palpable in this article it makes me wonder how much of this is valid or how much of it is an excessive response to a minor threat (which in her mind is a HUGE threat, but only in her mind).

        If other kids could corroborate that would be different, but she is the only one we know of and the source is very unreliable.

        It would be like a schizophrenic in active psychosis trying to convince people that the FBI was following him. Maybe they are, but the source is not credible… you have a disease which causes paranoia. Many abused girls have a syndrome which causes hypersensitivity and excessive perceived threats and exaggeration of them, misinterpreting reality and reacting to threats which are not there (meanwhile, being unable to detect real threats).

    • Sfon says:

      “I just find it hard to believe parents would willingly send their children to a school where they were severely abused, on a regular basis, all the time.”

      This is an incredibly dehumanizing and asinine attitude. Someone hurts you, badly. “Well I find it hard to believe a (parent, husband, preacher) would do that.” I rank it right up there with someone insisting that God will take care of them, that he will never put more on them than they can handle, even as many people starve while being eaten by parasites. People do horrible things to each other, including their own children.

      That old-timey parents would coldly give their daughter in marriage to a rich old man, not caring that he beats her, is a stereotype for good reason. Of course every step of the way they will tell themselves they are doing it for her, they love her. And they will beam with pride over it even as she falls down the stairs and miscarries again, stupid clumsy girl she is. This is human nature and it isn’t going away any time soon.

    • Neex says:

      Given that you want people to be sensitive to your “morally neutral genetic defect” you sure are a jerk about peoples emotional problems. She is on meds so why the statement, “People with untreated PTSD find everything triggering and situations which are relatively emotionally neutral or only slightly adverse will be perceived as highly traumatizing.”

      You’re not saying people with untreated PTSD, you’re saying people who have ever had child abuse should be called borderline. To call some one borderline is to say they have no capacity for empathy, remember?

      You really think people with PTSD have no capacity for empathy just because they have been injured and are sensitive? Sucky thing to say AAL.

      • AnonymousAtLarge says:


        You are seeing things which did not happen. Never did I say all child abuse victims were borderline… however, people who have obvious poorly controlled PTSD (as the girl in this article certainly does) may exhibit behaviors and a style of viewing the world that is in common with the so called BPD.

        I don’t want anyone to be “Sensitive” to my “genetic defect” I just wish they would stop telling me I”m going to hell, that’s all. And stop killing other queers, too, that would be nice. You don’t have to like me or be “sensitive” to me, just don’t attack me.

        Being on meds doesn’t mean your PTSD is controlled, often means the opposite (people with abuse / trauma generally get labeled depressed or bipolar and take meds they dont need).

        I personally do not subscribe to the theory that borderlines have no empathy. I believe, along with other researchers, that many who end up being labeled “borderline” are hyperempathetic to the point where their boundaries do not exist. Having no boundaries they are easy targets for abuse and have no ability to defend themselves or cope, because their ego is so weak (due to hyperempathy). This affliction is more common in females, probably because prenatal hormones program the female mind to be naturally more empathetic as this is a benefit for child rearing. The result of this is a deficient ability to detect threats, respond to them, defend yourself, because the person has a difficult time having formal “self” boundaries.
        Borderlines hurt people incidentally – they may be under the influence that their behavior is totally valid. They are always reacting to others whether perceived or valid emotional threats.
        If you live your life feeling like the smallest slight is a life or death attack on your safety or emotional well being, you might end up behaving in ways that the casual observer views as “unempathetic”. It’s not that this person lacks empathy, its that your empathy is so great that you have no boundaries and no sense of self so you are vacillating in states of being victimized vs acting excessively defensively.

        Disorders of feeling others feelings, caring about others feelings, or being able to see things from another person’s perspective seem to afflict males more often, probably for the opposite reason (male prenatal brain develop promotes it, as it is beneficial for males).

        Again, I do not think borderline people have no empathy, I think they have extreme amounts of empathy and this causes a paradoxical malignant type of behavior that appears paradoxically selfish.

        I also don’t believe borderline really exists, and I think everyone labeled “borderline” is better off being labeled either PTSD or NPD/sociopath/psychopath of some kind. I’m specifically talking about the kind of “borderline” who is of the severe PTSD sort, not the narcissistic psychopath sort. Superficially may look the same; difference is motivation. PTSD type is acting like this because they are so hurting and so afraid and on defense all the time that they are misperceiving reality and interpreting threats where there are none (as I think the girl in this blog might be doing).

    • Pastabagel says:

      Do yourself a favor and google Tranquility Bay.

      • AnonymousAtLarge says:

        I’m sure such things have happened before… it’s just the credibility of the teenager is so sketchy that the combination makes it unlikely.

        How are we to believe that her brother is also gay? It is so rare for a family to have a homosexual son as well as a lesbian daughter. The odds of this happening have to be extremely low. That’s a red flag that this might be made up. Either she is fabricating her brother’s homosexuality and his camp experience… or alternatively she is fabricating her own lesbianism, which suggests her internal perceptions might not be the clearest (it’s pretty easy to tell if you have sexual feelings for someone… denial of homosexuality is another issue and sometimes people repress and repress the existence of sexual thoughts… but if one is saying they actively HAVE homosexual thoughts, that they are lesbian when they are not, that suggests super duper murkiness in understanding what you think or feel about men and women, which may affect your perceptions in other areas of social relations, either way it suggests mucho confusion).

        Much of what she writes clearly suggests PTSD. If a man were to put a belt around my chest I would not like it and I would wonder if he was a psychopathic killer who MIGHT eventually rape/murder me… but I would not think in that moment he was molesting me. I would not be afraid to be touched by a man and my mind would not automatically dart to molestation upon being touched or approached by a man. I was never molested, and have no PTSD of that kind, fortunately for me. My life has sucked hardcore but this is one thing I was spared. If a man touches me I don’t feel afraid. I don’t like being touched by people of any gender, but thats for totally seperate reasons. I am no more afraid of men than I am women.

        Point I am making… I found quite odd her reactions throughout this story. She seems to live in a state of perpetual fragile hypersensitivity and the slightest threat is earth shattering to her. She seems always on guard and vigilant of emotional threats. Very PTSD.

        It’s completely horrible that she was molested and has these problems, but as observers of her story we should be impartial and open to the idea that maybe she’s prone to exaggeration?

        If other kids can say they had the same issues (kids clear of PTSD/sexual abuse) that would be different. So far, this is the first account we know of.

        I guess none of it matters in the end.

        Any christian camp which tries to cure gayness, whether abusive or not, is a PIECE OF CRAP, the only question is how egregious is it?

        • Comus says:

          Is she traumatized? Yes.
          Does she have PTSD? We do not know.
          Did she have PTSD before the camp? We do not know.

          See PTSD is a diagnosis that needs a proper test, combined with a proper interview. It cannot be construed from a recollection of a traumatic event.

          Probably quite a large portion of the children in the camp have been traumatized in their youth. The camp should act accordingly. The fact that her narration is filled with what you AAL call hypersensitivity is quite normal after a traumatic incident, as this camp clearly was for her. We can not objectively grade a subjective phenomenon, such as a trauma or abuse. If it was traumatizing for her, it was abuse. For her. That is what should count.

          Consider an example. Two men have their houses burnt down. Person A is a single father of three, working for a minimum wage. Person B is a single, rich, successful manager of a collection agency. Both have no insurance. Given their backgrounds Person A will probably have his life crumble, while person B can brush it off as a minor setback. The event is the same, the experience is different. The fire is responsible.

        • operator says:

          Top ten results from a word frequency check of your post:

          16 of
          14 I
          13 is
          12 to
          12 the
          12 a
          11 that
          11 and
          9 it
          7 she

          • AnonymousAtLarge says:

            Of course I’m stating my opinion. You tool. Obviously this results in the word “I” being used multiple times. I spoke MY opinion.

          • operator says:

            I spoke MY opinion.


          • AnonymousAtLarge says:

            PS, I really can’t stand when TLP readers start saying “UR A NARCISSIST” as if that settled the matter.
            It’s almost like arguing with fundies who keep defaulting to “gods word/bible” as evidence against any argument/idea someone might have.

          • operator says:

            I guess none of it matters in the end.

            Whether or not you are a narcissist, it shouldn’t take 463 words to get there if that is your argument.

          • AnonymousAtLarge says:

            It’s as significant as your useless, pointless, irrelevant post which pointed out that I was offering an opinion (by the fact I used the word “I” a lot, as someone would do if they were speaking their idea/thought/perspective).

          • operator says:

            “Brevity is the soul of wit.” + “You needn’t know anything to talk about what you know.”

          • johnnycoconut says:

            I don’t know what AAL wrote because I didn’t read it, but how is her use of pronouns relevant?

        • philtrum says:

          How are we to believe that her brother is also gay? It is so rare for a family to have a homosexual son as well as a lesbian daughter. The odds of this happening have to be extremely low. That’s a red flag that this might be made up.

          Oh, good grief. I personally know two families that have a gay son and a lesbian daughter. If your odds of having a gay child are 1 in 10, your odds of having two gay children are 1/1o x 1/10 = 1/100. You can play around with the numbers (maybe you think gay people are 1 in 20, or 1 in 50, or whatever), or claim that the sexual orientations of siblings aren’t independent of each other, or whatever you like, but the bottom line is that having two gay children is well within the realm of possibility.

          • AnonymousAtLarge says:

            Gays are not 10% of the population, that’s crazy.
            That statistic is flagrantly made up. Given that homosexuality inhibits reproduction, and given that homosexuality is also biological, there is no way it could occur that commonly.

            There are 8.8 million gay AND bisexual people in america, which puts the percentage at 2.5-3%. Which seems much more reasonable, given how rare it is to meet a gay person outside of a specific “gay community” or environment.

            For those who argue that the number is artificially low due to the # of people in the closet… I would argue it’s artificially HIGH because of how many women identify as gay or bisexual but are actually biologically heterosexual. Due to sexual abuse or other circumstances many women may be in a relationship with another female when biologically speaking they are not sexually compelled toward women/females. It is also considered “trendy” to identify as bisexual for some women.

            It is possible to have a gay son as well as a lesbian daughter… it’s just very RARE.
            So you already have one very rare circumstance (gay son, lesbian daughter) and then you add on another rare circumstance… christian brainwashing abusive camps?

            That’s when I call BS on something. I feel like a child is telling a sensational story. I feel like I am reading lady gaga fanfiction.

  8. wilyliam says:

    I would only argue, AnonymousAtLarge, that denial is an amazing and magical human ability – it wouldn’t surprise me at all if parents who sent their kids to places such as this profess (and truly believe!) ignorance about what happens there. If they are so desperate to send their problems (children) elsewhere to be fixed, they cannot possibly tolerate the knowledge that they have sent them to such an awful place – the only choice is to deny it completely.

  9. xylokopos says:

    Ah yes. I think this site has come full circle.

    I look forward to PB’s next few articles being about vegan activism and killing baby seals, with alot of commentary about partiarchy, ageism, priviledge and the injustices visited upon transexual midget amputees.

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  11. derKapitalist says:

    Not to trivialize or make light– just the opposite– but one could make the argument that all schooling does this, to varying degrees. The parents send their kids off to someone else, dropping at their feet the task of molding an upstanding human being. The authority figures present didn’t just sign up for the job, they think themselves on a higher moral plane than most everyone else– so much so that, their goals for their subjects are considered beyond reproach. For them, the ends always justify the means. They herd the kids like cattle, mandate daily forced interaction (in a way comparable with only prisons and Jarhead-esque military deployments) all while they push the kid further down the assembly line, drilling into her head with an unseen Black & Decker, telling her it shouldn’t hurt, she should be able to deal with it, there must be something wrong with her. Look how straight a line your classmates can form?

    Was it Orwell’s intent to make a prediction? Sometimes you have to show people what is not, in order to show them what is.

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