Pathway Family Center Truth


















                     I, Amy B.Weber, declare and state as follows:


I began using drugs when I was 13.  I became a heavy user of pot, alcohol, LSD, and many other drugs by the time I was 14.  I quit going to school, stayed out all night, and constantly fought with my mom.  I refused counseling and began using drugs again immediately after completing a 30 day residential drug and alcohol treatment program.  I was a depressed, angry, rebellious kid with a lot of problems...but my mother’s choice of last resort–the “answer to her prayers” was the wrong choice.  I lost my entire adolescence, I did not complete high school, I never had a real boyfriend in school, I never went to prom...nothing I was a prisoner from the ages of 15-18.

I entered Kids Helping Kids in Hebron Kentucky (KHK) November 10, 1985.  I was 15 years old.  I was tricked into going...I thought we were going to buy a new car.  We drove from Columbus to Cincinnati...I got out of the car and walked into the building and quickly realized I was not at a initial reaction was to run.  I turned for the door and it was blocked by several teenager girls.  Before I could even think,  I was in a very small room being patted down/searched by other teenage girls.  The girls were blocking the door...I remember them taking my cigarettes and telling me that if I did not comply with the rules I would be court ordered to the program.  I don’t remember much after that other than being completely stunned.  That night I went to my host home where I was reminded that there was an alarm on the doors and windows.  The beginning is a was scary and weird.  All the kids singing kids songs and getting motivated (the weird arm flapping thing).  I had seen the movie “Scared Straight” and I had a friend that had been shipped off to KHK about a year prior to I had an idea of what I was in for.  But nothing can prepare you for hours and hours of sitting on old church pews, getting motivated, singing stupid songs, being verbally abused for not saying the “right” thing, the “chain of command to nowhere”, no privacy, and complete isolation from family, friends, and society. 

I was on first phase for five months.  I complied pretty much from day one because I figured I’d just do what I had to do to make 2nd phase so I could go home to Columbus on the weekend and run away.  It seemed like a good plan.  I flapped my arms, , I sang songs, I talked about the worst things I had ever done, I asked my old comer permission to pick up my spoon, brush my hair, sit down, stand up, etc., I went to the bathroom and showered with no privacy...I wrote my M.I. every night... I did all of those things without complaint because I just knew I would run away as soon as I got back to Columbus. 

After 108 days I was started over...back to day one.  They told me it was because I was “full of shit”.  At that moment...I thought “Oh my God they can read my mind...they know about my plan.  They know I really fantasize constantly about running away or my mom pulling me from this program.  I will never be able to fool them”.  During the time I had been there, I saw kids run away, attack other kids, try to jump out of cars and windows, attempt suicide by drinking bleach, etc...all in an effort to get out.  I realized after I got started over that I would NEVER get out unless I completed the program because everybody that tried to get out came back...quickly.  That is when I decided I would have to follow the program...from that point forward I pushed every “rebellious”, “druggie”, or “inappropriate” thought out of my mind immediately and replaced it with a “program thought” like “this is where I need to be...without KHK I’d be dead”.  I had to make myself believe it to survive it.  I always felt I wasn’t being the real me...but I would not allow myself to think my real thoughts...I was petrified of getting started over... always.

That’s how they do it...that’s why everybody complies with the program rules even away from the program at school or home..because of the fear.  I honestly thought that if I even thought about something “druggie” somehow they would know and I would be started over.  It was easier to force myself to think the programmed thoughts than constantly battle with the real thoughts that would have kept me there longer.  The “client” comments on the PFC website today are the same programmed thoughts I told myself over twenty years ago.  It’s sad and scary.

When I finally did make 2nd phase the last weekend of March 1986.  I did not run away, I did not tell my mom I wanted out...I wrote my M.I.s and followed the rules.  By that point I knew running away was not the answer...but way back in my brain there was still a part of me that wanted more than anything for my mom to pull me out.  She made it clear to me that she believed the program was the best thing that ever happened and that I needed to be there or I’d be dead.  She never would have believed me if I told her what was really going on...she was just as brainwashed as me.  It was not worth risking being started over on I went pushing real thoughts out and replacing them with program jargon in my head.  When I see video of the protesters outside of a program...I immediately think of how hopeful that makes the phasers...even if they don’t say it or allow themselves to think it really...they see hope.  Hoping the program would get shut down was another one of my deep dark secrets in the back of my brain...

When I made third phase I started attending school in the Cincinnati area.  I have no idea how many schools I went to but somewhere between 4 and 5 during the 8 months or so that I was on my upper phases.  I don’t remember the details or the names of the schools...I just remember feeling like a big fat (I gained a lot of weight on 1st phase) goon.  Girls are not allowed to wear make-up and there are rules I can’t remember about wearing barrettes, curling your hair, not getting haircuts, etc.  I was not able to shop for clothes and my “druggie” clothes were not permitted and did not fit so I relied on clothes my mom bought for me...nothing fit and all the clothes she picked were bad.  I recently saw pictures of myself when I was on my’s sad.  They completely stripped away my own thoughts, my personality, and the ability to take care of my basic personal needs.  My self-esteem was already in the gutter...they made it much much worse.  We were not even allowed to make friends until 4th phase...I never made one single friend or even talked to anyone at school out of fear and crippling low self-esteem.  I ate lunch by myself and never attempted to talk to anyone. 

I don’t remember much about my higher phases except almost getting started over after I made 4th phase.  I came back from the weekend and had pulled out my old AA, NA, and other treatment books that I had from my 30 day treatment center.  I got them out because I was finally ALLOWED TO READ!  I got yelled out, called a liar, and heavily confronted because some of the books had things written in them from the friends I had made in the 30 day place.  I was almost started over and had to listen to four staff members yell at me for over an hour because I should have thrown the books away because they had words in them written by my “dry druggie friends”.  At KHK you were not really straight unless you had been through KHK.  No other programs worked and even associating or reading the words of other kids that had not achieved the same level of cleanliness was not permitted.  Remember...these were AA and NA would have thought that I was reading porn or “High Times” magazine.  That is why I was afraid to think...because you never knew when you would get “stood up” in group and “blown away” in a rap. 

I seven-stepped on 12/26/1986 and went back to Columbus.  I completed my 6 month follow up...I did not break one rule.  My best friend from KHK recently told me that I was more programmed than anybody...I was.

The biggest rule on the follow up is “no dating”.  I did not have to worry about that.  I had no self esteem and had not been permitted to look at a boy for over a year--not dating was easy for me...I had no idea how to communicate with boys.  I felt insecure and stupid around guys forever after that...I think it really affected my later relationships.

I went back to school in Columbus and made some friends in a support group they had at school...but I never really fit in.  They were the “dry druggie” type..they made me nervous and they thought I was odd.  So I was generally lonely and felt like crap at school.  Creating weird kids that are afraid of everything is not the way to get kids made me HATE myself and what I thought was the “clean lifestyle”.

Sometime in 1986 a KHK offshoot opened up in Columbus.  The original name was Central Ohio Friends of Kids Helping Kids–they changed the name to KidsCope in 87 but I think they always operated under the name KidsCope.  I worked there as a trainee and junior staff member while I was on my follow up.  KidsCope was the same as KHK only in Columbus.  It was started by KHK Hebron parents, staff , and seven-steppers. 

Right after my follow up was over I started smoking cigarettes...I quit KidsCope because smoking was evil in these programs.  I started smoking pot and drinking soon after.  I think this is typical...once the brainwashing wears off and the program has no control over you you’re left with no coping skills...a shell of a person.

I stole my mom’s car and ran away with my best friend from KHK to Cincinnati and found other program kids who were using and we all partied together.  We got caught and on the way home my mom pulled into a McDonalds and I was greeted with a bunch of KidsCope kids and staff...I was forced into the car and shipped off to KidsCope as a client this time.

I did a refresher and seven-stepped again...but signed out on my 18th birthday (March 1988).  I also quit high school the same day.  I still have dreams that I’m wondering around a high school and can’t find my way to my locker...I always end up dropping out again in my dreams.

I continued to struggle with drugs and alcohol, including a bad stretch of crack addiction until I voluntarily signed into a 30 day drug and alcohol center in 1990.  I never smoked crack again but had periods of heavy drinking and other drug use until my first son was born in 1992.  I married in 2000 and now have 3 children.  I do not consider myself an alcoholic or drug addict.   I consider myself someone who should be cautious because I think it would be easy for me to go down a bad path.  I do not do drugs and only very occasionally drink - mostly because I’m too busy and it makes me feel bad.  The point is...yes I’ve had problems but I had to figure it out myself..forcing me to go to rehab and get brainwashed did not help me. 

I had mostly forgotten about KHK over the years...but it does affect me still in small ways... like not playing off...I still have a hard time asking a question of someone more than once... I will wait stupid periods of time to get an answer from my boss.  Finding the survivor websites has been healing for me...I have really learned a lot about what actually  happened to me...the brainwashing part.  I have felt physically sick from rehashing everything especially going through things my mom wrote about her experience.  She died in 2002 and we were very close...but we agreed to disagree about KHK.  She always felt that it saved my life and was the best thing she ever did for me...I obviously disagree.  But now 23 years later and reading her journals...I know she really believed she was helping me.  I went in a crazy rebellious teenager and they spit out a calm, compliant, good kid.  She never understood the brainwashing...I’m not sure I did until now.

My oldest son (16) is currently struggling with depression, anger, and drug use.  He reminds me of me..only his drug use is not as bad as mine was.  It’s hard to watch and I’m worried and scared for him constantly but I WOULD NEVER PUT HIM IN ONE OF THESE PROGRAMS.  The video of Kids Helping Kids in Ohio that shows the kids singing and getting motivated breaks my heart.  I look at my son and see how strong willed he is...knowing that those kids in the video were just like him only months ago is sad.  It puts it in perspective for hard as things get with my kid I don’t want him to be broken and turned into programmed drone.  The options are limited..really not any good choices but the brainwashing programs and camps are more harmful than helpful.  We are going to counseling and doing the best we can.  My hope is that he will learn the coping skills he needs and can move on to have a successful future.

I hope that the awareness continues to grow about these types of program.  Parents need to be better educated about the mind control and what really happens–the program staff does not tell them that at orientation.  They also lie about success rates...almost everybody I went through either place with had problems with drugs, the law, mental health, etc.  afterward.  These programs are a sham...they keep the kids as long as the money is coming in, they brainwash and demoralize, then spit traumatized kids out with no real life coping skills.


Pathway Family Center Truth has my permission to use this statement. I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. 


 Executed on January 3, 2009.



                                                                        Amy B. Weber 


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