Thursday, March 31, 2005

Straight, Inc., now called Drug Free America Foundation, makes misleading News Advisory on Supreme Court's Medical Marijuana Ruling

On March 30, 2005 the US Supreme Court is expected to announce its decision in Ashcroft v. Raich on whether raw marijuana can be used for medicinal purposes. DFAF has announced that its personnel will be available for comment upon the decision of the court. The news advisory states "Founded in 1995, Drug Free America Foundation . . . " We take issue with this statement. DFAF was not founded in 1995. It was founded in 1976 under the name Straight, Inc. which became notorious as one of the most brutal, destructive drug rehabilitation programs in the world. Over 40 former clients have committed suicide.

In 1985 Straight, Inc. changed its name to Straight Foundation, Inc., ostensibly to educate the public on the dangers of drug use, factually to protect founder Mel Sembler from criminal prosecutions and civil suits and to protect Straight's money and property from future civil suits. A new organization was created to treat kids for addictions. It was called Straight, Inc.!!! The foundation granted the new Straight money until once again it became self sufficient and started paying its profits back to the protected foundation in the form of rent. The new Straight, Inc. closed in 1993 under criminal investigations and law suits including a $20 million suit for damages by a Virginia man.

Straight's reputation for abuse notwithstanding [see Overview of Straight's Abuse] Program founders Mel and Betty Sembler felt that the knowledge that had gained at Straight uniquely qualified them to be drug policy experts and so in 1995 they changed the mission of Straight Foundation once again, this time to help small businesses setup Drug Free Workplaces and to be a think tank and a national advisory group for national and international drug policy. The name was also changed again to its current name Drug Free America Foundation. [See Piercing Straight's Corporate Veil.]

Besides criminal child abuse Straight is noted for fraud and deception. Now look at the Amicus Curiae Brief filed for the current Ashcroft v. Raich medical marijuana suit before the US Supreme Court. The brief is a friends of the court statement. It tells the judges, "Your honors, you are judges and not experts in drug use and drug policy, but we are. And we are willing to use our time and our money to give you our collective, unsolicited opinion on how you should vote. Who are we? We are doctors, lawyers and drug policy experts from all across America and we think there is no scientific basis for using medical marijuana. We think that would be a bad thing.

But some of the signers of the brief or their associates are involved in drug testing. They want stiff anti-drugs laws and they want to be paid to do the testing. So who really is this wide spectrum of drug experts from all across America shown at the right. First of all the brief was prepared by Attorney David Evans. A few years ago David Evans and Dr. Eric Voth prepared an Amicus Brief in support of the US government's opposition of California Proposition 215--a state initiative for medical marijuana use. David Evans was with The Legal Foundation Against Illicit Drugs and Dr. Voth was Chairman of the Institute on Global Drug Policy. But Calvina Fay, Executive Director of DFAF, is a cofounder of The Legal Foundation Against Illicit Drugs, and the Institute on Global Drug Policy is a subsidiary of DFAF. Today David Evans is also a member of DFAF'S Institute on Global Drug Policy. Now look at the signatories on the brief:

  • The Drug Free America Foundation (Straight, Inc.) is at the top of the list.
  • The Drug Free Schools Coalition. David Evans is executive director of the this coalition along with the likes of Colleen Wienhoff, former Vice Chairman of the Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA). She gets paid to do drug testing. Evans is also with the The Legal Foundation Against Illicit Drugs, an organization co-founded by Calvina Fay, Executive Director of DFAF.
  • Save Our Society From Drugs was founded by Betty Sembler.
  • The International Scientific and Medical Forum on Drug Abuse is another subsidiary of DFAF. Father Cassian Newton is one member of the International Scientific and Medical Forum on Drug Abuse. Back when he was known as Reverend Doctor Virgil Miller Newton, Father Cassian had been the national clinical director for Straight, Inc. He left on the heels of criminal investigations and law suits--one culminating in a $721,000 jury verdict in 1990--a suit in which Dr. Newton had been accused of throwing Karen Norton against a wall. After Straight Newton setup his own chain of abusive teen rehabs. After CBS' West 57th St. exposed him; county prosecutors raided his program; four counselors were convicted for assault; he settled with federal prosecutors for $45,000 in return for not being prosecuted for 254 counts of insurance fraud; and after he and his team settled with two clients for $11.5 million for abuses sustained, Dr. Newton, now Father Cassian, returned to Florida and rejoined Drug Free America Foundation! Read The Miller Newton Story. [Donald Ian Macdonald, MD, Straight's former national research director, and Robert L. DuPont, Jr., MD, a former paid Straight consultant, are also members of ISMFDA.]
  • The Institute on Global Drug Policy is, as we saw above, a subsidiary of DFAF.
  • Students Taking Action Not Drugs is also an arm of DFAF.
So the brief leads the judges to believe that drug policy experts from all over America have taken their time and money to give them their collective opinion, when the fact is (according to the brief's title page) it is all one organization, Straight, Inc., steeped in criminal crimes against humanity, now called Drug Free America Foundation, trying to convince the US Supreme court to obey the wishes of Mel and Betty Sembler. (In truth, if you look at the body of the brief there are many endorsers not connected to DFAF.)

We are making no statement on the rightness or wrongness of the medical marijuana initiative. We are saying that the apparent principals behind the opposition have no business having the ear of the highest court in the land. We are saying that the public should not consult with the DFAF, its subsidiaries or associates about the outcome of the upcoming Supreme Court decision. We are saying that instead Melvin Sembler, Betty Sembler and Miller Newton, among others, should be investigated for their roles in Straight and for the deaths of over 40 former Straight or Straight-related clients.Related articles:

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Overview of Straight's abuses

Melvin Floyd Sembler is a multi-millionaire from Saint Petersburg, Florida. He is also the US Ambassador to Italy. But how did he get to be a multi-millionaire? And how did he get to be a US ambassador--not once but twice? And what are these stories spreading around linking him and his wife Betty Sembler to child abuse? Mr. Sembler used to sell ladies underwear in a ladies apparel store in Dyersburg, Tennessee. He married the store owner's daughter and expanded the business into shopping center construction and management. In the early 70s he moved the shopping center construction business to Pinellas County Florida where it flourishes today under the name Sembler Company. In 1987 Sembler Company got caught buying a piece of swampland[2] in Florida (using insider information) for $1 million and almost selling it overnight (with the aid of its insider) to the city of Clearwater, Florida for $2.65 million. The local press caught wind so in the end the company only made $1 million on the deal.

The Semblers have admitted that about the time of their move to Florida they put their number two son into a controversial, federally-funded drug rehabilitation program chain called The Seed. In 1974 the US Senate published a study that likened The Seed's methods to Communist brainwashing. (See Individual Rights and the Federal Role in Behavior Modification by the US Senate Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights.[3]) Under such a scathing indictment The Seed withered but out if its ashes the Semblers created (with the aid of federal grants) their own rendition of The Seed which they called Straight, Inc. A half dozen directors left Straight in its first year. One of them inferred that Straight was worse than The Seed. And indeed it was.

The idea (as perfected by the Communist Chinese) is to strip a kid of all self esteem and then build him back up in the straight image. Life starts anew at Straight and all time before Straight is one's druggie past, even the period when he was just five years old. As in Chinese Seventh of May Academies (brainwashing prisons) kids (12 - 21) were deprived of food and sleep, painfully restrained without cause, spat upon in their faces and not allowed to wipe the spit off, made to urinate and to defecate on themselves (young girls on their period bled in their pants). Kids constantly yelled at other kids trying to get them to admit to drug usage or sex acts they may or may not have committed. Kids were coaxed or terrorized into signing confessions (true or false) of an utmost personal nature. [This is the criminal act of extortion. Kids are tortured for information about themselves that can be potentially used to silence the child while his parents continue to pay Straight's fees (eg. money exchanges hands). The information can be used to keep the kid and his family from speaking out against the program once he leaves and it can also be used to discourage civil suits and criminal complaints.] This bizarre, experimental treatment lasted two years--though Straight officials invariably told prospective parents that their kid might make it through in a few months.

In such a confused, terrorized and humiliated state of mind many kids carved on their bodies just like caged animals often do. So they had to be watched 24/7, even when they wiped themselves on the toilet, to guard them from committing suicide. But Straight had no plan to guard them once they left Straight. Over 40 former clients from Straight and follow-on Straights, that we know about, have committed suicide after leaving. (See Straight: Suicide or Murder.[4]) Straight targeted the children of affluent white families and though most clients were teenagers there were some adults in their early 20s as well as children as young as 12. Unfortunately, records, media reports and eye witness reveal that many kids being treated for drug addiction at Straight were not drug addicts. Heath officials in Boston cited Straight for treating one little girl age 12 for drug addiction when her records indicated that all she had done was to sniff a magic marker! Yet through the years tens of thousands of American teenagers were held hostage while Straight claimed exorbitant success rates and earned nearly $100,00 million in the process. From 1976 to 1993 Straight, Inc., with treatment camps all over America, was the biggest juvenile rehabilitation program in the world! Much of its spectacular success was due to endorsements by the likes of Nancy and Ronald Reagan. George Bush the elder even made a TV commercial[5] for Straight.

In 1990 Straight invited two prominent Canadian psychology professors from Simon Frasher University to visit its treatment camp in Springfield, Virginia to dispell the rumors, once and for all, of brainwashing. Professor Beyerstein's concluded that Straight was indeed using Communist brainwashing techniques and published his findings in his report Treatment, Thought Reform and the Road to Hell. The other professor, Dr. Bruce K. Alexander, subsequently wrote a book on Canadian drug policy titled Peaceful Measures: Canada's Way Out of the 'War on Drugs'. On page 75 he wrote this about Straight, Straight officials have generously allowed me to witness some of their group sessions firsthand . . . I believe that Straight's treatment can be fairly compared with 'brainwashing' in prisoner-of-war camps as documented by Brown (1963, chap. 2)*. Thus, procedures that would be reprehensible in any context outside of a prisoner-of-war camp are considered acceptable 'treatment' in the case of drug addiction. * The quote is from Techniques of Persuasion: From Propaganda to Brainwashing by J. A. C. Brown.

Take the quick tour of Straight's abuses:

Now read:

Now read the story of Straight's former national clinical director, Reverend Doctor Miller Newton.

In 1985 Straight faced yet another law suit for abusing a minor. Scared for his personal liability, Melvin Sembler and his board of directors changed the mission of Straight from rehabilitation to educating the public of the dangers of drug use. And changed the name from Straight, Inc. to Straight Foundation, Inc. Then a new organization was formed to treat kids for addictions. The new organization was called--Straight, Inc. all over again. The foundation of course held all the assets--property and cash. It leased the property back to the treatment program. Mel Sembler went with the foundation where he felt he could not be sued for what the treatment arm did. (See Straight: piercing the corporate veil. [11]) In 1989 health officials in Florida tried to close Straight's flagship treatment center in St. Petersburg but there is evidence that Mr. Sembler used his growing political clout to quash [12] that effort. Straight, Inc. finally closed in 1993 amidst law suits and state investigations, but the foundation did not. In 1995 Straight Foundation, Inc. changed its name yet again to its current name: Drug Free America Foundation (DFAF) [13]. The mission was changed again too. The current mission is a. to help small businesses setup Drug Free Workplace Environments, and b. to be a national drug policy think tank. Melvin Sembler is the former national finance chairman for the national Republican Party. He has given a lot of money to Republicans and has helped raised millions more. George H.W. Bush made him ambassador to Australia. George W. Bush has made him our current ambassador to Italy. At his Senate confirmation hearings Sembler stressed that he was selected because of his humanitarian work at Straight. (On his official state department web page [14] Sembler claims that he and Betty saved 12,000 kids at Straight.) But Melvin Sembler was given ambassadorial jobs because of his money. [See Sembler's contributions to the Republicans. [15] ] And because of his money the Republican Party helped Straight [16] become the power it became.

This site is mirrored at www.theStraights.com/overview-abuses.htm

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Ambassador Melvin Sembler, wife Betty and Straight, Inc.:should they be ambassadors of national drug policy,or jailed?

by Wesley Fager © 2003 (updated 3/30/05)

They [groups hoping to profit from drug legalization] don't care about civil liberties or our nation's children. . . They only care about getting rich . . . Betty Sembler, from a letter[1] dated July 6, 2004 to a US Representative.

Melvin Sembler is the US ambassador to Italy and like most ambassadors appointed by George Bush he bought his way in so--so what. Melvin Sembler and his wife Betty Sembler have dark pasts--that's what. Pasts dealing with abuse of teens on a grand scale. Read Overview of Straight Abuses. And now they feel those pasts uniquely qualify them above all others to set national and international drug policy. Read now the Semblers' plan for a national drug strategy by making all teens pee in a bottle as a rite of passage to get their driver's license.

Be sure to read the companion article about Mel and Betty taking sites on international demand reduction in Ambassador Melvin Sembler & wife Betty: self-proclaimed international drug policy experts (link).

Also read A STUDY OF THE INVOLVEMENT OF THE DRUG FREE AMERICA FOUNDATION. INC. (formerly Straight Foundation, Inc.) IN AMERICAN AND INTERNATIONAL DRUG POLICY (link).

Melvin and Betty Sembler: self proclaimed drug policy experts.

As a drug prevention and policy expert, caring mother and grandmother, I urge you--do not vote for the Hinchey- Rohrabacher amendment. Betty Sembler, from a letter [1] dated July 6, 2004 to a US Representative.
Some think that Melvin and Betty Sembler should have gone to prison for what their Straight program did to tens of thousands of teenagers--but that will never happen. Instead Mr. Sembler bought into Republican politics and is now the US Ambassador to Italy. His Drug Free America Foundation (formerly called Straight Foundation) is one of the major power brokers setting national and international drug policy. In 1988 Melvin Sembler recommended a novel solution to the US drug problem. "Test every 16-year-old for drugs before we issue a drivers license," he declared then.[17] It appears that Mel and Betty Sembler, through their DFAF, are trying to realize this unconstitutional goal. But who will be paid to do the actual testing? The DFAF does not do drug testing but its partner National Drug and Alcohol Testing, Inc. in St. Petersburg does. NDATI received $234,000 from the Small Business Administration (SBA) as part of The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1998. Calvina Fay, executive director of DFAF, used to operate a drug testing company. Just before coming to DFAF she was the director of the Houston Drug-Free Business Initiative which had as a charter sponsor Drug Screens, Inc.--a drug testing company. Calvina's former Houston group got $170,000 from the SBA while DFAF itself took in $314,539. Read now how Mel and Betty Sembler have turned the knowledge they have gained about drugs from treating children at Straight, Inc. into a formula for setting national and international drug policy. Read how they have been the major force chipping away at the Fourth Amendment to make our kids pee in a bottle in order to get their driver's license.

The Semblers' and DFAF's National Drug Control Strategy

Initiative 1. Make all Americans under age 40 be drug tested

1A. Make high school athletes pee in a jar. In 1992 in Veronia School District vs Acton an Oregon school district tried to force high school athletes to undergo drug testing in violation of their IV Amendment right protecting them from unreasonable searches and seizures. This was an easy sale because a good argument can be made that contact sports players are at a greater risk of injury if they are on drugs. Veronica School District called in former drug czar and founding director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Robert DuPont, MD to be its expert witness. Dr. DuPont testified that suspicionless drug testing of high school athletes was for their own good. The courts ruled in favor of suspicionless drug testing of school athletes.

But Robert DuPont is on DFAF's Advisory Board and is tied directly to Straight, Inc.
DuPont is tied to The Seed, Straight, DFAF and had a big-time financial conflict of interest to boot. Betty Sembler was Jeb Bush's finance co-chair when he ran unsuccessfully for governor of Florida. After that he created the Foundation for Florida's Future to keep his political machine alive. Major contributors to his foundation were Melvin Sembler and H. Wayne Huizenga. Among other enterprises, Huizenga owns Psychemedics, the world's premier drug hair testing company. Robert DuPont is the chairman of the scientific advisory board for Psychemedics. DuPont has partnered with former DEA head Peter Bensinger to form Bensinger and DuPont. One contract they have is to prescreen workers for the US Post Office for illegal drug use. It is the biggest prescreening program in the world. Thus while it may be in a kid's best interest to be tested before playing sports, Dr. DuPont possibly stands to make money by testing them for drugs! Furthermore, Robert DuPont is on the Advisory Board for DFAF along with Florida Governor Jeb Bush. When he headed NIDA Dr. DuPont oversaw the government grant to The Seed. Later DuPont left federal service and became a paid consultant for Straight! In fact he has testified that it was his suggestion that Straight go national. Dr. DuPont has testified for Straight as an expert witness in many of its civil suits for abusing kids.

1B. Make high school kids participating in ANY school activity (including the history club or chess club) pee in a jar. Getting the courts to suspend a child athlete's Fourth Amendment rights is easy--just argue it's for his own good because he could get hurt more easily in contact sports if he's high on drugs. But getting the courts to agree to do the same for a girl in the glee club was more challenging. The case which again went to the US Supreme Court for that was Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma Petitioner v. Earls Respondent. David Evans of The Legal Foundation Against Illicit Drugs wrote an Amicus Curiae brief for the court in favor of the testing. But Calvina Fay, Executive Director of DFAF, is a cofounder of Evans' Legal Foundation Against Illicit Drugs and Evans is also a member of the Institute on Global Drug Policy, a DFAF subsidiary. Among the signers of the brief were: Drug Free America Foundation; Legal Foundation Against Illicit Drugs; Institute on Global Drug Policy; Eric Voth, MD, director of Institute on Global Drug Policy; Bensinger DuPont & Associates; Robert L. Dupont, MD; Peter Bensinger; Julie Murdoch, Esq. of Bensinger, DuPont & Associates; Donald Ian Macdonald, MD--Straight's former national research director turned White House Drug Czar; Stephanie Haynes, Save Our Society From Drugs™--a Betty Sembler foundation. In other words not only did Straight's former paid advisor, now DFAF Advisory Board member, Robert DuPont sign, but his business partner Peter Bensinger signed, their business signed, and Julie Murdock, an employee signed. And these guys get paid to do testing!

1C. Make ALL HIGH SCHOOL KIDS pee in a jar. This is the logical next step and it is surely imminent.

1D. Make ALL KIDS IN AMERICA who turn 16 pay those who run the drug testing industry a fee as a rite of passage to get their driver's permit. In 1988 Melvin Sembler recommended a novel solution to the US drug problem. "Test every 16-year-old for drugs before we issue a drivers license," he declared then.[1] This is coming.

1E. Make ALL AMERICANS UNDER 40 be drug tested. Sembler's drug testing expert Robert DuPont once wrote the article Never trust anybody under 40 [22]. This is coming.


Initiative 2 Kill the medical marijuana initiative

2A Kill medical marijuana initiatives in the states. In November 1996 California voters passed Proposition 215 which permitted Californians to use marijuana for medical purposes. The federal government fought the initiative and took the case to the US Supreme Court which ruled for the federal government. Attorney David Evans of The Legal Foundation Against Illicit Drugs and Dr. Eric Voth, Chairman of the Institute on Global Drug Policy, co-authored an Amicus Curiae brief in support of the US government's effort to remove the proposition.

But both Evans and Voth are tied to DFAF. Calvina Fay, Executive Director of DFAF, is a cofounder of Evans' The Legal Foundation Against Illicit Drugs and Voth's Institute on Global Drug Policy [18] is a subsidiary of DFAF. Today David Evans is also a member of the Institute on Global Drug Policy.

In 1998 Betty Sembler representing her SOS™ group worked with Florida Gov. Lawton Chiles' cabinet to stop a medical marijuana initiative there. Time Moore, chief of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, worked with her. He is now on Straight's (DFAF's) advisory Board. link

2B Kill national initiatives to support medical marijuana (Smoke 'n Mirrors). In 2002 Angel McClary Raich and others sued US Attorney General John Ashcroft for the right to use medically prescribed marijuana to treat various illnesses. By 2004 the matter had worked its way up to the US Supreme Court in Ashcroft v. Raich, et. al. An apparently diversified group of professionals from all over America wrote the Amicus Curiae Brief shown below to support the government's position.

Just look at all those impressive professional organizations agreeing with government to disallow the use of medical marijuana! Now take a closer look at the endorsers:
    • The Drug Free America Foundation (formerly Straight, Inc.)
    • The Drug Free Schools Coalition. David Evans is executive director of the this coalition along with the likes of Colleen Wienhoff, former Vice Chairman of the Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA). She gets paid to do drug testing. Evans is also with the The Legal Foundation Against Illicit Drugs, an organization co-founded by Calvina Fay, Executive Director of DFAF.
    • Save Our Society From Drugs [19] was founded by Betty Sembler.
    • The International Scientific and Medical Forum on Drug Abuse [20] is another subsidiary of DFAF. Father Cassian Newton is one member of the International Scientific and Medical Forum on Drug Abuse. Back when he was known as Reverend Doctor Virgil Miller Newton , Father Cassian had been the national clinical director for Straight, Inc. He left on the heels of criminal investigations and law suits--one culminating in a $721,000 jury verdict in 1990--a suit in which Dr. Newton had been accused of throwing Karen Norton against a wall. After Straight Newton setup his own chain of abusive teen rehabs. After CBS' West 57th St. exposed him; county prosecutors raided his program; four counselors were convicted for assault; he settled with federal prosecutors for $45,000 in return for not being prosecuted for 254 counts of insurance fraud; and after he and his team settled with two clients for $11.5 million for abuses sustained, Dr. Newton, now Father Cassian, returned to Florida and rejoined Drug Free America Foundation! Read The Miller Newton Story. [Donald Ian Macdonald, MD, Straight's former national research director, and Robert L. DuPont, Jr., MD, a former paid Straight consultant, are also members of ISMFDA.]
    • The Institute on Global Drug Policy is, as we saw above, a subsidiary of DFAF.
    • Students Taking Action Not Drugs [21] is also an arm of DFAF.
The brief is clearly fronted by America's two foremost, self-proclaimed experts on drug policy: Ambassador Melvin Sembler and his wife Betty Sembler through their Drug Free America Foundation (Straight).

In 1999 DFAF issued this press release against medical marijuana. Link

In March 2001 Betty Sembler testified before a House Committee drilling Rob Kampia on medical marijuana.

In Arizona DFAF fought legalization issues and Maricopa County prosecutor Rick Romely joined DFAF's Advisory Board.


Initiative 3. Kill the move for legalization and for treatment in lieu of prison for possession of small amounts of marijuana

    In Ohio. Betty worked with Hope Taft, governor of Ohio. Read The Governor’s Sub-rosa Plot to Subvert an Election in Ohio.

    In Michigan. On May 3rd and 4th, 2000 the DEA and DFAF cosponsored an anti-legalization conference in Lansing, Michigan titled, "Training the Trainers: Putting the Brakes on the Drug Legalization Movement."


    The Semblers' and DFAF's International demand reduction Drug Control Strategy

    The DFAF works hand-in-hand with the Drug Prevention Network of the Americas (DPNA) and Global Drug Prevention Network (GDPN) for worldwide demand reduction. Stephanie Haynes (who represented Betty Sembler's S.O.S.™ when she signed the Amicus brief for Pottawatomie County) is now director of DPNA. Take a look at some DFAF / DPNA sponsorships:

    Last year DFAF and DPNA sponsored a series of conferences [26] in South America.

      • September 12-14, 2002, Sound Drug Policies, Montevideo, Uruguay
      • September 20-21, 2002, Preventive Drug Education, MedellĂ­n, Colombia
      • September 26-27, 2002, Drug Prevention Education, Mexico City, Mexico
      • October 24-25, 2002, NGO Coalition Building, Santiago de Chile, Chile
      • October 28-30, 2002, Sound Drug Policies, Lima – Peru November 13-14, 2002, Sound Drug Policies, Buenos Aires – Argentina

    International Task Force on Strategic Drug Policy. This is a task force under the Office of National Drug Control Policy (Office of White House Drug Czar John Walters). DFAF's Calvina Fay is its principal contact. The task force met in Brussels from Feb. - Mar., 2005 to draft a strategy to fight the war on harm reduction. Other members include Betty Sembler and Eric Voth. Former White House Drug Czar was Robert DuPont is a former paid consultant for Straight and today is on DFAF's Advisory Board. Former Drug Czar Donald Ian Macdonald is the former national research director for Straigth, Inc. A Straight memo states that former Drug Czar Bob Martinez would work to get Straight a license. Ronald Reagan's Drug Czar Carlton Turner who accompanied Nancy Reagan on her first visit to Straight endorses the front page of Father Newton's book Not My Kid with these words: "Not My Kid should be required reading for any parent concerned about their children's future." Father Newton was Straight's former national clinical director who was personally responsible for abusing children. Turner spoke at a Straight fund raising dinner in May 1982.. link1 link2

    For additional information on Mel and Betty's international drug policy read Ambassador Melvin Sembler and wife Betty: self-proclaimed international drug policy experts (link).


    What are the Semblers really after?

    Used to be when armies crawled on their bellies. When soldiers were placed on KP, peeled their own potatoes and had mess sergeants. But that was before high presidential contributors convinced the president they could do it cheaper. People like Vice President Dick Cheney who used to run Halliburton [27] which, among other lucrative DOD contracts, feeds all those soldiers in Iraq. Dick Cheney's good friend Mel Sembler is on Jeb Bush's Council of 100 [28]. That's the shadow government in Florida that recommended (and is now helping to implement) to Jeb Bush the privatization of state government jobs. Mel Sembler has many management companies. Will he bid on the management of these jobs newly turned over to the private sector? Mel Sembler wants every 16 year-old in America drug tested. His cronies would share in the profit made by administering the tests. And what is Sembler's plan if a kid shows up positive? If it turns out the kid is just a user will he be court ordered to a Sembler-based therapeutic community for treatment? The Sembler's may have lost their Straight treatment program, but a good case can be made that another Pinellas County, Florida drug rehabilitation program, Operation PAR [29], has become the drug treatment arm of DFAF. [There have been no allegations of abuse at PAR.] But if a kid shows positive and the ensuing investigation finds that he is a drug pusher would the kid be sent to prison? And if so, a private prison?

    In September 1989 George H.W. Bush announced a whopping $7.9 billion anti-drug strategy that calls for tougher punishment for users and for more federal spending on law enforcement, prison construction, treatment and prevention.[30] How much of that budget and future budgets did the Semblers get for treatment and prevention? The conspiracy theorist amongst us are alarmed about Wackenhut, a big operator of private prisons, because it was founded by a former FBI agent and because it hires former FBI and CIA agents. George Bush directed the CIA and his friend Mel Sembler builds shopping centers. How hard would it be for Sembler Company to retool and construct private prisons.

    According to former White House Drug Czar General Barry McCaffrey, American drug policy has led to the creation of a vast "drug gulag" of federal and state prisons. Due to American drug policy the prison population has quadrupled since 1980 making the incarceration rate in America the highest among western democracies. According to Human Rights Watch[31], "Most drug offenders are white. Five times as many whites use drugs as blacks." But "nationwide, black men are sent to state prison on drug charges at 13 times the rate of white men." Mel Sembler's Straight program catered to white children [32] because their parents were better able to pay Straight's bill.

    While almost all of us agree that it is wrong to abuse a child under any circumstance, many of us feel it is morally reprehensible for one man to make money off the imprisonment of another man. Eighteen years ago there were just five privately-owned prisons in America maintaining just 2,000 prisoners. Ten years later there were almost 20 private companies, operating 100 prisons, housing 62,000 prisoners. Today Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) alone houses 62,000 inmates! CCA stocks are sold on the NYSE [CXW]. Their value leaped from $8 a share in 1992 to $30 in 1995. CCA, Wackenhut and Esmor are the three top purveyors of private prisons in this country. Eight years ago Forbes rated Wackenhut as one of the top 200 small businesses in the land. (Read: "Sodexho Marriott Stops "No More Prisons" Show at American University -- Event Was Planned to Highlight Company's Ties to Private Prison Industry" (link) .

    Most people think George Bush was Mel Sembler's first choice for president in 1992. He was not. Sembler backed the Republican governor of Tennessee, Lamar Alexander. CCA was founded in 1983 by two Nashville businessmen. Gov. Alexander's wife Honey invested $8,900 in CCA. In 1985 Lamar Alexander backed a $250 million contract to CCA to take over the operation of Tennessee's prison system. To avoid any conflict of interest, Honey Alexander traded her CCA stocks to a friend for 10,000 shares in South Life Corporation, a life insurance company. She sold her stocks in 1989 for a net gain of $133,000.00. In the end CCA's privatization effort failed and all but one of the affected prisons were returned to state control.[33], [34] Charles L. Overby, formerly special assistant for administration to Governor Lamar Alexander, is on the board of directors of CCA.[35] J. Mark Tipps, campaign manager for Lamar Alexander's presidential bid and deputy chief counsel for the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee's special investigation of campaign finance in 1997, is a lobbyist for CCA or Wackenhut as is Lewis Donelson of Baker Donelson Bearman & Caldwell who was also finance commissioner under former Gov. Lamar Alexander. In 1996 and 1998, private prison corporations contributed more than $284,000 to political party committees in Florida alone, four-fifths to the Republican Party. [36]

    W.G. “Bill” Bankhead is the "tough love" Secretary for Florida's Department of Juvenile Justice. He has awarded several contracts to Ramsay Youth Services, Inc. (Nasdaq: RYOU), formerly Ramsay Health Care, Inc., to operate juvenile prisons in Florida. He is a member of the Advisory Board for DFAF. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) [37] has been granting Betty Sembler's Operation PAR $64,000 a year since 1999. Guy Tunnell, commissioner of FDLE, and James "Tim" Moore, former commissioner of FDLE, are members of the Advisory Board for DFAF. In 1995 the Florida Attorney General's office granted Operation PAR $59,000. Charlie Crist, the present AG, has been a friend of Mel's son Brent since childhood. Operation PAR runs a pilot program to rehabilitate prostitutes which as been funded by the St. Petersburg Police Department. Op PAR board member Terry Hensley is the former executive director of DFAF. Before that he was chief of police for St. Petersburg. Operation PAR works with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. It appears that Betty Sembler had something to do with the creation of the St. Petersburg-based Multijurisdictional Counterdrug Task Force Training organization that trains law enforcement officials nationwide in drug interdiction. She serves on MCTFT's Advisory Board with Pinellas County's sheriff Jim Coates and Guy Tunnell, commissioner of FDLE. Betty Sembler is Florida Governor Jeb Bush's former finance co-chairman. In 2000 Jeb Bush proposed to spend $16.4 million for the construction of more juvenile residential centers so that incarceration stays could be increased by five months. Jeb Bush is on the Advisory Board for DFAF. His wife Columba and his lieutenant governor, Toni Jennings, are also on DFAF's Advisory Board.

    The big fear is that as Sembler helps perpetuate the phony War on Drugs, the parents of teenagers will be made to pay Sembler's cronies to be drug tested. Then if a kid shows positive but is found not to be a dealer he will be forced into a drug rehab program that might be run by the Semblers or their cronies. If it is determined that he is a dealer, he might be sent to a private prison conceivably built by and/or operated by the Semblers or, like CCA, one that is closely associated with one of Sembler's cronies.

    Mel Sembler was lampooned by Gary Tradeau in the Doonesbury comic strip and received Florida's Sour Orange Award for buying his first ambassadorship. He was chastised in his hometown newspaper because some businessmen proposed to the chamber of commerce that they build a granite monument to him. In 2005 the Washington Post gave him its Narcissist Run Amok award for getting American taxpayers to buy and refurbish a mansion in Rome for $113 million and then name it after himself. Editorials in his local paper have mentioned the Sembler name in articles with the words foul odor and rotten in the title. He is quoted in the book 776 Even Stupider Things Ever Said, his degree in communications from Northwestern notwithstanding. He has made a mint building and managing shopping centers--his forte being in hiring former municipal or county commissioners to lobby his projects. He has used his wealth to buy into politics and to get fellow Republicans to endorse him and his Straight program.

    Melvin and Betty Sembler are two very public figures who are major violators of human rights and civil liberties, and it is disheartening to watch this dynamic duo, so unqualified in law and drug policy, chip away at the Fourth Amendment. It is almost eerie how their goal and method is the complete antithesis of what another dynamic duo, Charlie Houston and his student Thurgood Marshall, did to the Fourteenth Amendment. Mel and Betty ran a drug program that targeted almost exclusively white kids and denied those kids education; Houston and Marshall worked to get equal education for black kids. Houston and Marshall gradually chipped away at the the Fourteenth Amendment (due process and equal protection) and Plessy v. Ferguson (separate but equal) by introducing a series of law suits to give blacks more and more rights to an education, culminating on May 17, 1954 when the US Supreme Court agreed with them in Brown vs. the Board of Education that "equal but separate" schools for blacks are not "equal" to schools for whites.

    It's worth noting that through the years two of Mel and Betty's biggest critics have been the old Old St. Petersburg Times when it was run by Eugene Patterson. Patterson won a Pulitzer Prize for his editorials opposing racism and was vice chairman of the US Civil Rights Commission from 1964-68. Another critic is Arnold Trebach, Professor Emeritus of Law and Social Justice at American University. Professor Trebach was chief of the US Justice Department's Civil Rights Division when it was trying to implement integration in the south after the Brown vs. Board of Education decision.

    Mel and Betty are gradually chipping away at the Fourth Amendment in Veronia School District, Pottawatomie County, and the rest so that drug testers can be paid to look inside our bodies without probable cause just because the technology now exists to do that. And to think, this First Couple of American Drug Policy got on their anti-drug high horse because of a union they made on May 17, 1953 (the day they got married, exactly one year to the day before Brown vs. the Board of Education was decided) which produced a son who got involved in the illegal drug scene.[38]

    References:
    A Study of the Involvement of the Drug Free America Foundation, Inc. (formerly Straight Foundation, Inc.) in American Drug Policy [39] (link) by Wesley Fager

    The Drug Prevention Network of the Americas and the worldwide, "demand reduction" reach of Straight [40] (link) by Wesley Fager

    Footnotes:
    1. RohrabacherHincheyPaul
    2. http://www.tampaindymedia.org/bin/site/templates/default.asp?area_2=imc/open newswire/2005/Jan/3206.7041015625.dat
    3. http://thestraights.com/images/seed-Ervin-brainwash.htm
    4. http://thestraights.com/theprogram/suicides.htm
    5. http://thestraights.com/video/bush.rm
    6. Straight headline montage
    7. http://thestraights.com/professional-comments.htm
    8. http://www.thestraights.com/legal/matrix-civil-criminal.htm
    9. http://www.webdiva.org/fox/
    10. http://www.montelshow.com/featured_promo/upload/01-18-05 hi.wmv
    11. http://www.thestraights.com/financial/st-fdn-piercing-veil.htm
    12. tampa indy Feb 2005
    13. http://dfaf.com/
    14. http://www.usembassy.it/mission/amb/amb-bio-en.htm
    15. Sembler family contributions
    16. http://thestraights.com/gop.htm
    17. The St. Petersburg Times, 7-31-88, p. 8D.
    18. onpointradio
    19. http://dfaf.org/search.php?search=save+our+society
    20. http://dfaf.org/globaldrugpolicy.php
    21. http://dfaf.org/press/detail.php?id=7
    22. a. DuPont, R.L. (1989c). Never trust anyone under 40: What employers should know about drugs in the workplace. Policy Review, Spring 1989, 52-57 b. http://www.indiana.edu/~engs/cbook/chap12.html
    23. http://www.gdpn.org/dpna/events/reports/taskforce.htm
    24. http://www.vancourier.com/052102/opinion/052102op1.html
    25. http://thestraights.com/news/archieve1.htm#rome-summit
    26. http://www.gdpn.org/dpna/events/training/lima.htm
    27. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4121538/
    28. http://www.whoseflorida.com/council-of-100.htm
    28f. St. Petersburg Times, Sept. 6, 1989
    29. http://thestraights.com/articles/op-par-and-dfaf.htm
    30.
    31. http://www.hrw.org/campaigns/drugs/war/key-facts.htm
    32. frontpageextension.htm#whitecharity
    33. Politics for Profit: The Rich Rise of Lamar Alexander by Doug Ireland in The Nation for April 17, 1995
    34.a. http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=869
    34.b. http://www.tndp.org/newsroom/releases/april04/alexander.htm
    34.c. http://www.spectacle.org/595/lamar.html
    35. http://www.correctionscorp.com/board.html
    36. Private Prisons, Politics & Profits By Edwin Bender July 1, 2000
    http://www.followthemoney.org/press/ZZ/20000701.phtml
    37. http://www.co.pinellas.fl.us/bcc/juscoord/funding.htm
    38. http://www.sembler.com/newsletters/0330893-newsletter_lr.pdf
    39. http://thestraights.com/reports/dfaf-and-drug-policy.htm
    40. http://thestraights.com/articles/dpna.htm
    33. 28b. America's Private Gulag by Ken Silverstein
    41. http://thestraights.com/articles/dpna.htm

    Document Location:
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