DisinfoCast: 60: Lillian Speerbrecker, safeteenschools.org

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After surviving two intensely abusive institutions for “troubled teens” Lillian Speerbrecker started SafeTeenSchools.org, a direct action group devoted to exposing the troubled teen industry’s horrific crimes against young people.

  • echar

    Not even 10 mins in and I am furious

    • Matt Staggs

      Yeah. I know I covered this topic with Steve Brown, but I really though it deserved a second look. These people are evil. They’re big donors to the Republican party, and basically eat kids alive with the cooperation of the justice system and religious groups. By the way, if you want to follow the Anonymous end of their operation it’s http://www.twitter.com/opliberation1. I forgot the “1” in the podcast.

      • echar

        Yeah, they victimize kids who are being kids while making profits and office. I personally know someone who was made a ward of the state 30 or so years ago.

        The parents had no say, and this person had some harrowing experiences. Police, adults in charge of different places, etc impacted this person’s life.

        I’ll listen more when I calm down and not distracted. This is an extremely important topic. These kind of places can ruin lives or create pathologies.

        • Matt Staggs

          Steve, who was in an earlier podcast, has major PTSD over this stuff. The place he was in, “STRAIGHT, Inc.” in Atlanta, was basically a concentration camp. He doesn’t trust anyone, and has problems with anger and depression. He’s a good guy with a lot of STRAIGHT-inflicted problems to deal with.

          • echar

            The person I know has PTSD as well. I will give that one a listen too.

          • KevinMG1966

            @mattstaggs:disqus Steve passed away several years ago.

          • Matt Staggs

            You mean the happy, healthy Steve?

          • KevinMG1966

            I might have the wrong Steve. There is at least one other person by that name that is involved with the anti Troubled Teen Industry movement. Here is a link to a number of the late Steve’s posts on The Fican Forum- http://fican.freeforums.org/straight-inc-survivors-f2.html
            He had already suffered at least one stroke when he was posting, but was still positive. He was quite ill at the time, but usually came across as happy and healthy.

          • Matt Staggs

            This Steve is still alive, and lives within a few miles of me.

          • KevinMG1966

            Terribly sorry. My apologies to happy, healthy Steve. I should have had my disinfo facts straight before I went popping off…. :(

          • Matt Staggs

            Don’t be silly! You’re welcome to the conversation here, and we’re all wrong sometimes, right?

  • emperorreagan

    Both this one and the one with Steve are very difficult podcasts to listen to. Not only because of the subject matter, but also because you really get a sense of how badly the experience damaged them.

    I find at times when people talk about traumatic experience, there will be a degree of sterile-ness or detachment when they get around to talking about it publicly. It doesn’t seem to be the case here.

  • Lily

    Forgive me, if forgot to mention that i also recently pulished a book on my full experiences of these boarding facility. It is on bookrix.com as an Ebook. it is called “Tough Love: The Truth Behind The Troubled Teen Industry.”

  • BuzzCoastin

    this kind of thing has been going on for millennium
    Charles Dickens wrote several books about it
    British public schools and military academies institutionalized it
    so obviously informing the public is not the answer
    and
    most of us know this kind of thing is going on
    pedophilia is common news fodder
    so what’s to be done?

    • Andrew

      Nothing is to be done, obviously.

      • Lily

        As long as people are willing to step up and do something, something will get done. The problem is people don’t care anymore because “it isn’t happening to them”. It might not be them, but it could be there kids, cousins, nephews. All people need to do is care and step up and not settle for “all well”

      • BuzzCoastin

        if something could be done
        it wouldn’t take 1000’s of years, now would it?
        in fact
        most of what is done is illegal
        perpetrated with impunity & state sanctioned
        so therefore
        I’d like to hear your proposed definitive solution
        I’m all hears

        • Lily

          First step is we need regulation. Unfortunately there is always going to be abuse in home and in facilities. But regulation will sop a lot of it, keeping these places accountable is what needs to be done. I urge everyone to speak to their congressmen about the bill that is trying toget passed through which is “stop child abuse in residential treatments act”. It’s time to stop turning a blind eye. It’s time we stand up for our youth and their rights.

          • BuzzCoastin

            > It’s time to stop turning a blind eye. It’s time we stand up for our youth and their rights.

            but obviously that has not helped
            ever, and
            you’re looking for help from the perpetrators
            there needs to be a better defense against this
            than relying on the perps for help

          • Lily

            well to be honest regulation is only one step, and i myself do not rely on the goverment to do much,that is why my constant research and exposer of these places are key. we have had much luck with awareness alone as i spoke of. countering these places marketing is also key. the hardest part is getting to parents before they send their kid off. while the battle my seem hopeless, myself and others refuse to give up, do to just my 8 year fighting against these places with the help of many other srurvivors we have noticed that WWASP is pretty much on the outs so to speak. research, exposing, counterin their marketing, reporting them to dhs (not their local dhs). t hnk that nothing has been done about it is a very negitate out look. yes these places are powerful, yes they have goo connections, it is all about constantly battling these facts.

          • BuzzCoastin

            right, it would seem to me that activists in this cause
            could put together a help network
            does one exit?
            is a there something like the underground railroad for kids
            right now kids are being railroaded underground by nefarious people

            whatever solution there is
            it will not be found within institutional establishments

          • Andrew

            > something like the underground railroad for kids

            That is a seriously good idea. There needs to be an analogue of the Animal Liberation Front for kids.

          • Lily

            well its not like we can take kids from parents or anything like that, all orgs try their best to reach out to the parents with knowledge of these places, we try to give alternative solutions, send parents to lawyers, have helped divorced parents get their child out (while one wants them their and the other does not) we contact judges that court order children to these places. we have had a good amount of success with these things. Safe Teen Schools is a new org and we are planning on getting our offical paperwork to be label as an activist group offically recognised by the government which will allow us to do more.

          • Andrew

            > its not like we can take kids from parents or anything like that

            “One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” — Martin Luther King Jr.

            “Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.” — Henry David Thoreau

          • Lily

            we tend to follow the laws, and leave the law breaking to others. We do not wish to destroy our credibility

          • BuzzCoastin

            ok, I get it
            you help kids trapped in the system already
            great!

            not that I want to slick you up or anything
            but since you’re doing this publicity thing
            you might want to construct an elevator speech
            (a short enough synopsis told in a short elevator ride)
            like the one you wrote above
            which you may have said in the interview
            and I mismultitasked it
            however I’ve found that
            a constant reiteration of the elevator speech
            will eventually make the point to the deaf

          • Lily

            gotcha gotcha thank you. excuse the rust, im new at the speaking publicly thing, i personally thinki did pretty good for someone with stage fright LOL

          • BuzzCoastin

            yeah, I can tell you’re a rookie

            since you’re going to be operating in establishment circles
            it’s best to know how they play the publicity game
            there are probably about 2 billion blogs out there
            that have some helpful advice

            but you need 3 basic pitches
            the elevator speech (1 to 3 min)
            the mission statement (not more than 5 min)
            the call to action pitch (1 min)
            this is when you ask them to come to Jesus
            with their money & physical support

            good luck

          • Matt Staggs

            Bingo, Buzz.

          • BuzzCoastin

            yeah, I used to charge a lot of money for that advice
            but I also had to write the pitches

            she’s got a good heart
            now she needs a good pitch or two

          • Matt Staggs

            Been there. Both counts.

        • Andrew

          The only partial solution I can come up with involves Black Metal bands teaching kids to kill adults.

          • BuzzCoastin

            best solution I’ve heard all day

      • BuzzCoastin

        oh wait, eye re-read it
        you’re being droll again
        you gotta be a Brit
        butt
        ya need to bring it up to Black Adder level

        • Andrew

          It’s not drollery, it’s despair.

  • Albert Sjoberg

    I listened to this podcast in a strange state of shock and awe.
    Shock that this is happening to real people in this day and age.
    Awe that someone who has endured so much can come out so strong and triumphant.
    Thanks Matt for the Podcast, and thank you Lillian for your strength.
    I wish you everything of the best for the future.

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