Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Four studies suggest that Straight's quackery can lead to various post-Straight maladies--including suicide

Study by British Medical Journal on body carving. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has long recognized that spectator animals, kept from their natural environment and confined in small cages become depressed, prone to sickness including mental illness, and many resort to self-mutilation in reaction to stress or boredom. Now a new study by The British Medical Journal (11-23-02) and opinions by American experts conclude that kids exposed to abuse or violence, have abused drugs, have impulsive behavior or kids who have low self-esteem can become so overwhelmed with emotions that they cannot express that they may resort to carving on their bodies as a form of self - expression. "It's a coping strategy to deal with intolerable pain, but it works for them so it's a way of surviving," says Wendy Lader, PhD. story1 story2 And here's a resource for help.

Lack of sunshine causes depression. Tell-tale signs are depression, lack of energy, sleeping too much, eating too much, and gaining weigh. The medical name is Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD and it is caused by lack of sunshine. The cure is good ole' summertime where days are longer. But suppose you are in Straight where you can not see the sun even in the summer. story Related story here.

Depressed teens and young adult suicide. A study done by Dr. Myrna Weissman of the New York State Psychiatric Institute found that teens who suffer depression are twice as likely to suffer depression as adults than teens who do not suffer depression. She also found that they are five times more likely to commit suicide in their high school to early adulthood Depressed adolescents grown up.

US Air Force determines that long stay in abusive captivity can lead to post release suicide. Washington Post related article1 related article2 related article3 related article4

Monday, December 19, 2005

Why the St. Pete Times won't cover the protest of a museum's awards banquet

Straight was headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fl. Much of what we know of Straight's atrocities comes from the St. Petersburg Times. Bruce Epstein is a former writer for the Times who once recommended Straight in a Times' article as a resource to parents even though a Pinellas County jury had awarded a former Straight client $721,000 for being abused at Straight! Not only was Epstein a Straight board member, he was a founding board member of the Florida Holocaust Museum. When former Straight clients threatened to protest the museum, the museum responded by making Epstein its director. The St. Petersburg Times might not like the idea of a protest of a Holocaust museum any more than we do, but it is a newsworthy story. The protesters are not protesting the Holocaust, they are protesting one Holocaust museum for being in Mel Sembler's pockets and for hiding behind the museum's aprons. The Times needs to get out of Mel Sembler's pockets too and report on this upcoming protest. Read The ethics of naming rights for St. Pete Times Forum.

Museum Awards Banquet to be protested for ties to Straight

The Nazi program for the extermination of European Jewry is the most vile, disgusting, horrific treatment of a people by another people in the 20th Century and probably in all of human history. The story of what the Nazis did must be told and retold forever in books, films, plays and Holocaust museums. Like the Nazis, Straight, Inc. was another great 20th Century violator of civil liberties and human rights. Over 40 former Straight clients have committed suicide.

Straight founder Melvin Sembler has enhanced his businesses and has received political protection from the crimes of Straight by buying powerful Republican politicians. Now Mel Sembler and former president of Straight Foundation Walter Loebenberg have teamed up to found the Florida Holocaust Museum. They say they are humanitarians and philanthropists trying to do good deeds. Many former Straight clients feel the museum is a ruse to further protect them from their reputations as officers at Straight. Lobenberg founded the museum and Mel and Betty Sembler were founding directors. But that's just for starters. Read now The case to protest the Florida Holocaust Museum.

The 2006 Awards Banquet will be held at the A La Carte Event Pavilion, 4050 Dana Shores Drive, Tampa. Here is a map. Protesters should meet around 4:30 PM in the parking lot of the Golf Country Club across the street from the pavilion. They plan to picket until around 8:00 PM. They request that you bring your own signs. They will have a new flier to hand out but state that volunteers are welcome to make their own. The protest will be video taped and broadcast on the Internet later that evening.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Seventh Steppers renounce their Straight graduation status in droves

12-10-05 Straight is a cult for many reasons including its use of destructive brainwashing methods and its use of deception. Another reason is because clients never really left. The few who never caught on and graduated quite often became staff at Straight. Whether they later worked for Straight or not, almost all graduates joined Straight's aftercare support group and fundraiser known as The Seventh Step Society.

Mel Sembler proudly displays an on-line picture album of his accomplishments on his company's web page. [See Mel's photos.] If you view his photo album, at bottom center is a photo of Mel receiving Nancy Reagan and Princess DI at the Straight camp in Springfield Virginia which later had its license revoked for abusing children. Beside that photo Mel writes:

Although best known as a leading shopping center developer, Sembler is also renowned for his activism in the anti-drug movement. In 1976, Sembler and his
wife Betty founded STRAIGHT, an adolescent drug treatment program. During its 17 years of existence, STRAIGHT successfully graduated more than 12,000 young
people nationwide from its remarkable program.
It is probably safe to assume that almost all of those graduates were Seventh Steppers. Unfortunately, among Sembler's 12,000 successful graduates were beautiful young people like Glen Steepleton and Christine Stottlemeyer who have committed suicide. Jeff Leugers was president of the Seventh Step Society in Ohio. He shot himself dead. Ray Bradbury is another of Sembler's successful graduates. In fact, Ray Bradbury was the national director for the Seventh Step Society! Today he has to take meds to get through the day. He is being sued by Mel and Betty for intentional infliction of emotional distress resulting, the Semblers allege, from Bradbury's attempt to sell Mel's penis pump on eBay.

Today, former Straight graduates are renouncing their graduate status from Straight in droves--and many have some choice words for Mel and Betty. Yet Mel Sembler says, next to his children, Straight is the greatest thing he and Betty ever did! Read now the comments by some of their successful graduates. LINK

Sir Walter Loebenberg is a self-proclaimed philanthrapist [sic]

11-30-05 On July 10, 1998 Walter Loebenberg, formerly president of Straight Foundation, donated $200 to the campaign of T. M. "Tom" Woodruff who was running for state senate as a Republican. His occupation is listed as philanthrapist on the donation form. Since "philanthrapist" is not a word we assume he meant philanthropist (someone who makes charitable donations intended to increase human well-being) and not philanderer (a man who likes many women).

12-03-05 Walter ain't alone--a testimonial link