Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Bill McCollum Enlists Betty "Penis Pump" Sembler

Bill McCollum is launching a an attack against Charlie Crist's plan to to restore felon voting rights. McCollum's office sent out a press release from Save Our Society from Drugs Chairwoman Betty Sembler. She wrote a letter on how drug users are horrible people and don't deserve their civil rights restored.

What is not well-known about Straight is the history of abusing teenagers. Leigh Ann Bright is a classic example.

Now a 33-year-old accountant who worked full time while earning two bachelor's degrees, Bright says she is "haunted" by what happened to her in Straight's warehouse nearly 20 years ago.

For six months, not 14 days, Bright was sequestered in the Straight program against her will, without a shred of peace or privacy, without permission to communicate freely with the outside world.

"I was crying and desperate. I was a prisoner," she says.

Going to the bathroom, showering, getting dressed, sleeping, eating - the youngster's most intimate acts were monitored by Straight staffers, most of whom were troubled teens who had been in the program longer than her.

During the day, Bright and hundreds of other youngsters were forced to participate in bizarre rituals. They were required to write "moral inventories," detailing how drugs and sex "ruined" their lives. They sat through hours of lurid encounter group sessions in hot, unventilated rooms, listening to emotional discussions and Straight's Orwellian philosophy.

Bright felt she had been kidnapped by a cult-like organization.

The conditions make Abu Ghraib sound like a vacation paradise.

Straight used no medical doctors in its therapeutic approach to rehabilitation–rather it relied on kids-helping-kids in marathon synanon-type screaming sessions where kids yelled at one another 12 hours a day, 5 ½ days a week. There were allegations of brainwashing, of making kids sit in their own urine and feces, of beatings and broken bones, of sexual abuses, of food and sleep deprivation, of forced sexual group discussions, of siblings visiting a brother or sister, only to forced into Straight themselves. Perhaps as many as 20-35,0000 kids were treated at Straight. George Bush made a TV commercial for Straight and appointed Straight's co-founders to US ambassadorships. Nancy Regan visited several Straight camps around the country. White House Drug Czar and founding director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Dr. Robert DuPont, was a paid Straight consultant and former Drug Czar Donald Ian Macdonald was once Straight's National Research Director.

Richard Bradbury was 17 years-old when he entered Straight. His experience there left him mentally scarred.

Other teens further along in the program forced him to sit up in a plastic chair for 10 to 12 hours a day, he says. If he leaned back, he was thrown to the floor and others sat on his arms, legs and chest. Forbidden to use the bathroom, he would soil his clothes. He says he was beaten.

He graduated, joined the staff and inflicted beatings on other teens. He left Straight in 1985, after he said he learned other counselors were sexually abusing teens and tried to report it, only to be told to shut up or be returned to the program as a client.

He got back at Straight by stealing Betty Sembler's husband's penis pump and selling it on Ebay.

“Pump, one of a kind formerly owned by current United States Ambassador to Italy …” Minimum bid: $300,000.

The Semblers got into a long-running with the homelessBradbury. It's amazing how the morally rightous have the most personal baggage they live in shame.

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At April 04, 2007 11:40 PM , Blogger Vox Populi said...

Is that the same Sembler family where MEL is the good dear friend of one Charles Crist?
My, these connections and street theater certainly are enlightening.

I'm disgusted by the rest of this. Imagine --- what a twisted bitch she must be. Maybe they will include her in the next 'top women' documentary.

At April 04, 2007 11:55 PM , Blogger Vox Populi said...

Interesting story: Since she said that ex-offenders would be serving on juries... while in the Federal bldg not long back I happened across the trial of the guy purportedly of the Cali cartel
and after I was told I could go observe, I got off the elevator and the upstairs control folks requested that I leave. hmmmm. Now, I see why.
At the time, the people I was with and I laughed our asses off because the chosen jury was coming back and these guys were bikers .... covered in tats, sleeveless, pony-tails, every one of them almost. I was like .. oh, that guy's getting off lite. Quite the opposite: apparently he was having his operation stolen by Tampa's finest. Hell NO they don't want no honest felons on no juries ... I can't believe his defense lawyer would go with this. Maybe he used up all his throwbacks. It's a real f'd up picture. The guy would have done better with sembler, sembler and mccollum on the jury. He got forty years, I think .... that oughta keep him out of the bikers' way for awhile, no? If I had more time I'd hang out at federal trials more. Just to see what's what. They can't stop you.


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