Via Mother Jones, a look into the networks of unregulated, fundamentalist Baptist troubled-teen boarding homes active across the South and Midwest. Worst summer vacation ever…ex-residents describe programs of brainwashing through violent punishment, sensory deprivation, lack of contact with the outside world, and memorization of the bible:
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New Beginnings describes itself as a character-building facility for “troubled teens,” and what Jeannie Marie heard in church that day was that this might be a place for her daughter to heal. While jogging earlier that year, the 17-year-old (whom I’ll call Roxy) had been pulled into a vehicle and assaulted by a group of men. Since then, she had begun acting up at home, as well as sneaking out and drinking. Two weeks after seeing the girls in church, Jeannie Marie and her husband left Roxy in McNamara’s care with the promise that she would receive counseling twice a week and stay at New Beginnings no longer than two months.