Pathway Family Center Truth

Program History, Page 2


"Open Meeting"

Open Meeting was the dog and pony show for KHK and was nothing like being in day to day group. We were told to be on our best behavior for this Friday night event. Our parents didn’t know what happened to us in group. We were told that our parents knew and agreed with the torment we endured though. We were also told that if we “spoke out” in Open Meeting that our parents would ignore us and the punishment would be far more severe than if we “acted out” in regular group. Parents were regularly reassured that their kid was a manipulator and a liar. This explanation of a deviant kid would keep the parents from questioning too much.



My psychological deterioration didn’t go unnoticed by my parents when they saw me in “Open Meeting”. I would smile, sing songs and eventually speak of how this program was helping me. This was explained to my parents as my awakening. I looked happy and they were told that I was learning about my drug addiction and finally seeing the light. In reality, something much more insidious was occurring, I was becoming psychologically altered with methods known to be experimental and damaging. I was losing my grasp on my identity and reality. The program filled this void with their doctrine and once I was in such a vulnerable, suggestible state, I followed their instruction and incorporated it into my own view of reality. Open Meeting on Friday night was the big lie for parents and the biggest attraction for prospective parents.



"False Confessions and MI's" 


 I was pressured to confess to all sorts of bad behavior and drug use by staff. This pressure was so great that most of us would confess to using drugs we had never done and committed crimes that were fictional so we would be seen as “working the program” and would be safe from retribution from staff for not doing everything we were expected to do. After months of seclusion from the outside world, I began believing the lies I was coerced to tell and by second phase, I wholeheartedly believed that I had done all of the things that I reported. I believe this is, in part, because staff and “oldcomers” were trained to repeatedly suggest drugs they thought we had done and that they knew we were lying. Eventually those suggestions became accusations. Over a period of one or two weeks, if I hadn’t admitted to what was being suggested to me as “my past”, I would be punished by any number of deprivations or torment that the “oldcomer” or staff deemed appropriate.


My fictional confessions were used by staff in “Open Meetings” where I would stand up and tell everyone the drugs and accounts of bad behavior that I had admitted to in my MI, "Moral inventory" (journal) or in a rap session in group. This is a contradiction by the program because of the rule “what happens in group, stays in group”. Apparently what happens in group only stays in group unless it is to the benefit of the program. These fictional confessions in “Open Meetings” served as reinforcement to my parents that they had made the right decision. The program staff knew that parents might have doubts about the secrecy within the program and if it was the right decision but once the parents heard the ”confessions” in Open Meeting, any questions that parents might have had would be disregarded and explained away by the program staff. In addition to the program staff, loyal program parents who had been involved with the program for an extended amount of time would comfort and support newer parents that they had made the right choice. This strong alliance between the program staff and a large group of dedicated parents would almost always convince any parent to continue with the program and stop asking questions. 


"Foster Homes"

Our time in the program was split between our time inside the facility and the foster home. Foster homes were homes of oldcomer’s parents who would transport kids to and from KHK. Before a home could become a foster home for KHK the house was inspected and a list of requirements were given to prepare the home for the teenage deviants from KHK. Doors were locked, bars were put on windows and an alarm was placed on the door to the room that all of the phasers would be sleeping in. On first phase you go to an oldcomers home and if you were from out of town ( called “out-of-towners” ), you would stay at an “in-towner’s” home. Hours spent at the program were as follows: Mon. thru Thurs. approximately 6 to 9am until 9pm, Friday until about 12am at night, Saturday, 9am to 9pm and Sunday we would come into the building late like 11am and sometimes leave as early as 6pm.


"The Disease Concept"

We were eventually trained to believe that “our disease” or “our addiction” was the central theme to our lives. It was almost as if this was what defined us. We were to consider ourselves less than human, while at the same time we regarded ourselves highly as if we had knowledge about sobriety and addiction that few others possessed. This is a strange contradiction to think ourselves better than others (including our parents) while also considering ourselves as sub-humans. I have read that this ideology is prevalent in Cults.



"Working the Program" and "The Rules"

 Kids Helping Kids Wiki including first phase rules for newcomers.

If I were to rebel and not “work the program” by slouching or something minor, I would be restrained on the bench by oldcomers which included arm and leg locks to force me to sit up straight on the bench. The aggravation on the part of staff and the group would escalate over the course of days and the punishments for not “working the program” would escalate also. After a few days of “not working” the staff would instruct the oldcomers to force me onto the floor. I remember sitting many days on that cold hard floor. If I were to lay down or move out of a sitting position, I would be retrained which is very scary because each time is different and many times I remember not being able to breathe. I remember one instance specifically where my nose was pinched and mouth held shut while an oldcomer would hold down each limb. This was done for only a short amount of time but it terrified me because if this teenager were to decide to hold my nose for a couple minutes and kill me, he could do it. I also remember this same person whispering things in my ear like, “we are doing this to help you” and “we love you”.  Eventually I was put in one of  the “time out” rooms which was basically solitary confinement. Constant fear of repercussions is part of how they kept us unstable and unsteady. Every day could be different.


Deprivation alone could probably drive a person insane. Sleep, food, sunlight, music, rest, privacy, and so on and so forth was taken from us when deemed appropriate by staff. We were deprived of almost everything on first phase. It did vary and if I started to “work the program” I wouldn’t be punished and might even get some nourishment. At night the oldcomer might go easy on me and allow an extra half hour of sleep. The personal attacks would diminish and the group would show their approval by offering slack. Getting off of first phase is the only objective when you are on first phase because first phase is torture. The only problem with this is that in order to make it to second phase, the executive staff expect the signs of a shiny, brainwashed teenager and they seemed to know what to look for. It was rare for someone to progress without being seemingly brainwashed. It was also impossible to progress without the executive staff being convinced that the teenager was adhering to program doctrine and actually believed what the program instructed them to believe.