Here is my storyÖ
My father was very abusive towards me back in those days(he is an old mellow man now, but back then he was 240lb and nothing but muscles). Him and I would lock horns regularly which usually ended with me in some sort of pain and him standing over me. In early December, on a Friday morning, in 1981, about 3 weeks after my 17th birthday my car wouldnít start (old pinto / bad starter). I was upset cause it was payday, I had a date that evening, and now my car was dead and I couldnít make it to work to collect my check.
My father came in and was upset about something and started taking it out on me. First it was just harsh questions, which then turned to yelling and shortly after the pushing and shoving started. I truly wasnít in the mood for this and just started fighting back more than I had ever done previously. I actually whacked him with a couple of good blows (something he had never really seen from me before). The man was massive and quickly overpowered me, tied me to a kitchen chair with a 50í orange ext cord and called my mother at work. ďGet home, your son has become uncontrollable, we are taking him to that placeĒ was all I heard. I remember being placed in the back of my momís pacer, chair and all and driven from our home on Longboat Key to Cattleman Road.
After I was taken inside I was quickly separated from my parents and placed in a room with two other kids about my same age. They placed a piece of paper in front of me and told me I wasnít leaving this room until I signed the paper. I said I wasnít signing anything and I wanted to see my parents. I was then informed my parents didnít want to see me, that I was a druggie and the only way I was getting out of this room was to sign the paper. I again refused to sign anything also stating I was no druggie. This became somewhat of an argument between the three of us and at that point I realized these two idiots had their minds set and nothing I said or did was going to make a bit of difference.
I decided to play along rather than resist and I would look for an opportunity later to ditch this whole scene, so I signed the paper. I no sooner put the pen down and I was ask to stand up and remove all my clothing with which I complied. They went through everything and threw it back at me telling to get dressed. Once dressed my belt loop was snatched up quicker than a bum finding a quarter and when I asked what was that for I was told I could not be trusted and every place I went someone would be hanging on to me. I said I was not going to resist but that didnít seem to hold much weight with them. I was ushered out into the group and sat down on front row just completely bewildered at how the day had went. I didnít talk, I didnít think, I was truly scared out of my wits and resorted to simply observing what was going on around me.
I have a great photographic memory of most my entire short stay at Sarasota Straight, Inc.
I remember most of the staff and the 7th steppers. I remember the one kid I stayed with whoís name was Rick and his father owned a car dealership in Bradenton. That was the first house I escaped from. Almost 30 days after my initial entry I decided these people were NUTS and I had to break away any way I could. Rick was not the kid over me. The kid over me was some other kid I cant remember his name but he went back home on the weekends so that left only Rick to watch over me. One night I tried to wake Rick up cause I had to defecate so badly it hurt. I shook him repeatedly and all he did was sit up once and tell me that wasnít allowed in group and went back to sleep. I ended up having to relieve myself in a trashcan which I face a terrible wrath for in the morning.
What I realized was after school and straight this kid was zonked. And he kept the key to the room safety pinned to the inside of his underwear. In his room was also a door that went directly outside with the same key controlling both door bolt locks. So I waited another week for Friday night to roll around again. I was shortly over my 30-day mark and again it was only Rick and another 1st phaser in the room that night. I snuck over to Rick, lifted his underwear, unpinned the key and I was out the door. I ran like a pack of dogs were on my trail. I hid in bushes when cars would pass. I traveled all the back roads out to Longboat Key and back to my friends. When I saw them they were all freaked out about my disappearance for the last month. They also told me people had already been around looking for me and Iíd better hide myself immediately so I went to a fort in the woods we had built. I still remember the sounds of a group of people coming up the path towards the fort and me taking off running with them close behind me. I went far back up under the palmetto bushes trying to hide myself when one of my friends called out my name. I didnít answer at first cause I didnít know if my friends were helping them look for me. So I stayed silent and watched them all walk pass and saw it was just my friends looking for me. I came out of the bushes and they were like freaked out at the way I was acting. After I told them what I just been through their jaws were all lying on the floor.
About 4 days on Saturday I knew my mom would be home and Dad would be working so I snuck back up to my house and scoped out the driveway carefully looking for anything amiss. I entered the house and found my mother alone. We had a long talk that day. I told her about the horrors of the place and she humored me at first but by the middle she was trying to convince me to go back. At the end though I thought for sure I had won her over cause she stated she would convince my father to give me a second chance. My father came home and everything seem to be ok. I went to sleep that night thinking the nightmare was finally over.
My father woke me up the next morning and informed me that breakfast was ready (unusual around my house) but didnít think much of it. I sat down in the dining room and started to eat a donut. Shortly after the donut hit my teeth I heard the front doorbell ring. We had a Great Dane at the time and I heard dad putting her in a room. I knew something was up cause you only had to put her in a room when people showed up that she didnít know. Into the dining room they walked immediately surrounding me and removing all possible weapons from my reach. I started pleading with my parents ďno no no no no NO NO NO NO NO NO NOĒ as I was dragged from my dining table by 4 7th steppers and place in the back seat of a car.
Itís a long, long ride in the car from the middle of Longboat Key to Cattleman road and the whole while I have these 4 intimidators working on me relentlessly for the entire trip. I was questioned, I was insulted, I was verbally abused and I was truly scared out of my mind. On January 10th, 1982 my childhood officially ended in the back seat of a car.
This turned into the mother of all nightmares. Here I was, out, free and suddenly on a Sunday morning Iím riding in a car with 4 nut cases on my way back to nut house destined to become one of them. I said as little as possible, looking forward counting the stop lights till we reached Cattleman. By the way, I never use the term straight any more, its always forward.
When I arrived back at the zoo I was greeted with cheers of my escape. Well at least thatís what I imagined in my mind, in reality I was place in front of the group for about an hour and everyone in the place had their chance to tell me what they thought, none of it was cheering though. It was more along the lines of what a loser I was and how they were going to get me. I think it was Chris (staff, the tall guy with glasses) that came out and confronted me directly, stating he didnít have time right now but I would feel his wrath, in so many words or less. I wanted to jump him right then and there. I should have but I maintained a humble appearance and just answered yes sir, no sir.
I saw Rick and he gave me a look Iíll never forget. He must have paid dearly for letting a 1st phaser escape. I think he was even dropped back to 2nd phase because of it. I was placed in a completely different host house (much securer than the one I was in before) out in The Meadows. This place was Fort Knox compared to Rickís house. We entered through a 4-car garage having to wait till the door closed. There were double sets of doors to get outside, every window had a lock on it to keep it from opening and every door in the place needed a key including the bathroom. This lady had gone all out to secure her home to deal with the ďdruggiesĒ. We had a total of 6 kids staying at this house. 3 4th phasers, and 3 1st phasers. They all told me over and over how I would never break out of ďthisĒ house.
4 days after my 2nd kidnapping I decided I was getting out of this place once and for all or I was going to die trying. I position my sleeping area on the floor close to the door. I had to rush through everything to accomplish this in order to be the first to lay down my sleeping bag and immediately I pretended to fall asleep. I lay there waiting for the lights to go out. After what seems like an eternity everyone was sound asleep. I took a wire bound notebook and pulled the wire out and tried to use that to open the door by sliding the wire around the latch and pulling it back. It was totally impossible in the pitch-black room. I made my way over to the window and tried to open it, it only went up two inches and I tried to force it but it made a noise and I thought it would break before opening so I abandon the idea.
Again the kid had the key pinned on the inside of his underwear but I was leery because I didnít really know how well he slept. I made my way over to him stepping over kids sleeping on the floor, I reached down and grabbed the stretch band of his underwear. Immediately the kid sat up in bed and I froze. He looked around for a second and then laid his head back down. I was truly amazed he didnít notice me standing over him. I just stood right there frozen in my tracks for what had to be at least 30 minutes before attempting to try again. This time I was successful and freedom was only a short distance away.
I grabbed my things and went into the bathroom and got dressed. I then tried to get out of the house but the outside door locks were a different key and all the windows had locks on them. I remembered a pair of pliers on a shelf in the laundry room as we entered through the garage and I retrieved them. I then went into a vacant bedroom, locked the door behind me and scooted the bed up against the door. I then went to work twisting the window lock off (took about 5 minutes) and once it fell to the floor I slid the window open and off to freedom I went. I walked from Fruitville all the ways back out to Longboat Key, sleeping in the woods on the way. I met up with my friends and I lived in that fort in the woods for 6 months. My parents and 7th steppers tried on several occasions to recapture me and all their attempts ended in failure. The closest they ever came one night some people tried to snatch me off a bicycle as I was riding down the road but I was able to out maneuver them and took off through the yards. I lived in fear in those days. I was scared at any moment someone was going to pop out of the woodwork and I would be back in the nut house. Thankfully my TRUE friends did an excellent job hiding me and I never had to deal with Straight, Inc again.
You may remember me you may not. I think I remember you but Iím not very good with names of people from there. Wasnít like you could socialize. I donít know how many manage to escape from 1st phase by I do believe itís a very short list.
Straight marked the end of my family and a wonderful time in my life growing up on Longboat Key. By fall of 82í I was back with my parents and we all moved from a beautiful house on Longboat Key to of all places a trailer park. My mother and father soon divorced afterwards and neither wanted anything to do with me since I reminded each of them of the other.
I ended up joining the army in 83í till 86í and when I came home from the service my father once again tried to play the domineering role with me one day, except this time it was a much different outcome. This time I was no longer the 17 year old kid but instead a trained combat solider and when he tried to get physical with me I let him have it. I think it was the full body slam I delivered but he eventual ran out (actually ran) of the room and started calling 911. I left and limted contact with him until my wedding in 92í.
Today Iím 38, Iíve been married for 10 years, have two boys of my own, a successful career as a computer network engineer. Iíve actually worked for the department of defense and held security clearances. I was a college instructor in networking for a couple of semesters to replace a guy that quit and was asked to teach again but declined because of the hours involved. I live in Ft Lauderdale, my mother lives in Atlanta and my father lives in Miami. We all speak and get along. I get along with my father as long as we donít have to spend a great deal of time together. I have forgiven him for his mistakes in the past because after all, he is my father and if it wasnít for all the things he taught me about survival I would have never made it through some of the shit in life Iíve had to endure.
Iím an avid reader and writer about the topic. Some of my work has even been published in USA Today. I despise the Semblers of the world and I hope like one person said that they would have to endure all the feelings of all the children they crushed. What a just reward for them I think. I have mixed feelings about Straight itself. On one hand it is a disgrace and abuser of children, on the other it truly taught me just how evil and sick the world can be, something that I might never have learn had it never happened. It has opened my eyes to the world of conspiracy in the United States and I believe with all my heart and soul our government is under complete and utter control by these people. They all manage to lead the good life at our expense.
I have no doubts that Betty has her own little pharmacy in her bathroom and the only difference between her addictions and the addictions she is trying to control is that hers come from a bought and paid for doctor. Its just a shame we canít throw money around like she does.
But donít let that misguide you. She has probably sat in her mansion and huffed a cheech and chong joint all by her lonesome bogarting self. It is amazing just how hypocritical these types of individuals can be.
What is the MOST amazing thing about this woman is with all the sick, homeless and poor men, women and children in this country she has chosen to use her wealth and power to dictate how the rest of us should liveÖand she calls it noble. HA.. why donít they take some of that money they are throwing at the Republican party and feed someone! I guess its ok to be a starving, homeless person as long as you donít take any drugs to forget about your misery.
The more I dig into this issue the scarier it gets. I think most of our government has been corrupted by the drug war and I am beginning to doubt there is a honest man left in the crowd. The Bush family is probably a greater evil than bin laden or his terrorist network could ever be. You have to remember it was George Senior who went on National Television holding a bag of crack stating how he was going to make it worthless. Funny George itís better quality and in better supply than its ever been and itís 15 years later. Itís all just a farce to steal our money! More people die from cigarettes and alcohol then all of the other drugs combined.
Anyways, I found your letter about Cattleman Road and it prompted me to write and share with you my own experience. You are free to share it if you like but please donít use my name. I have clients and business people I would rather them not know my life details.
Sincerely, Name Withheld