Guantanamo Bay for kids?
April 12, 2006 3:28 PM   Subscribe

Les Enfants Perdu de Tranquility Bay. (Google Video). Recently shown on Australian public TV, this French documentary explores a multi-billion dollar corporation that treats American teens like "faulty goods" sent back for repair. An octopus fishing incident is one of several heartbreaking episodes.
posted by johngoren (36 comments total)

While looking for this NPR story with a heart-wrenching narration from one of the professional "snatchers" of kids to places like this (as well as parents, others) I stumbled across This guy who wrote a piece about Tranquility Bay who seems also to be an author/contributor(?) to this list of Moon-owned locations mentioned by maryh in a Moon MeFi thread from this morning.

MeFi is the interweb. The interweb is MeFi.

The NPR story stuck with me, though.
posted by abulafa at 3:49 PM on April 12, 2006

posted by kickingtheground at 3:49 PM on April 12, 2006

I didn't watch the whole thing, but the ominous music and the whiny teenager were pretty annoying. I don't think this is a credible documentary.
posted by thirteenkiller at 3:50 PM on April 12, 2006

the whiny teenager

You mean the one who was imprisoned for 5 years of his youth and forced to lie in puke and such? That whiny teen?
posted by dobbs at 4:03 PM on April 12, 2006

Word up thirteenkiller, it does seem overwraught. Too bad they couldn't afford Stone Phillips.

Still, thanks for the link. I'm sufficiently entertained.
posted by cior at 4:05 PM on April 12, 2006

Yes dobbs, that one.
posted by thirteenkiller at 4:09 PM on April 12, 2006

I, for one, am glad that I'll never be rich enough to be this cruel to my own child.

I will, however, torture any of your children for a reasonable fee.
posted by ColdChef at 4:13 PM on April 12, 2006

Torture gets teh gay out.
posted by bardic at 4:19 PM on April 12, 2006

I presume there is octopus fishing involved in this link, and if so I appreciate the warning. It wouldn't do to click on the link and be subjected to that. Us ichthyophobics rarely get warned about these things.

(Well, okay, so octopuses aren't really fish, but they're equally if not more terrifying.)

posted by Hildegarde at 4:24 PM on April 12, 2006

bardic: Torture gets teh gay out.

And seemingly, puts the mormon in?
posted by cior at 4:29 PM on April 12, 2006

I've met religious types who actually think this is true, that being closer to god is like oil to water when it comes to gay, and sinfulness in general. It would be funny if it wasn't for all the lives these parents destroy in the name of their deity. The kids in this video are only the obvious examples.
posted by bardic at 4:37 PM on April 12, 2006

The kid sitting on the bunkbed, crying. Anyone know what he was saying? I couldn't hear.
posted by arcticwoman at 4:48 PM on April 12, 2006

Yet another reminder that I get to be at least mid-pack in the "great parents" bell curve if I manage to keep my kids alive, well-fed, healthy -- and stay out of their way enough that they can become whomever they're destined to be.

perhaps someday I will receive, for father's day, a rock with googly eyes on a small wooden base, with a plaque that says "best average dad"
posted by davejay at 5:05 PM on April 12, 2006

Mormons, go figure.
posted by borkingchikapa at 5:07 PM on April 12, 2006

What these motherfuckers are doing is despicable.

The people who runs these camps (and the parents who send their children to them) need to all be thrown in jail. Or have all their money taken away. Something.

(Note: I am a mormon)
posted by AaronRaphael at 5:20 PM on April 12, 2006

The people who runs these camps (and the parents who send their children to them) need to all be thrown in jail.

I imagine that's why many of these camps are abroad. A kid can't really complain to the authorities if she doesn't speak the language. And the whole extradition thing.
posted by bardic at 5:23 PM on April 12, 2006

Am I watching this right? At 24 minutes, did someone's aunt just drop into the heated discussion the fact that the girl actually *won't* have a valid high school diploma when she gets out? The aunt didn't feel the need to break that to her gently? ....You see the girl pass through denial, sadness and anger, into this wide-eyed shellshock... because the aunt brought a film crew?? I agree the company needs to be exposed and shut down, but, geeeez.
posted by salvia at 5:33 PM on April 12, 2006

The most intersting part is that America is much more like Somalia for Kids Rights
posted by zouhair at 5:36 PM on April 12, 2006

somebody could go down to mexico and bribe the police to shut them down. they go to places where they can buy of the local cops. If you want to shut them down, just buy them off in the other direction.

alternately I would think that a green beret style infiltration and mass breakout would work.
posted by Megafly at 5:49 PM on April 12, 2006

But these guys seems to have their classical brainwashing techniques down with some exceptions. A lot of these kids are totally dependent, and would never run away even if given the chance.

That said, the most obvious reason to do this abroad is that it's illegal under truancy laws to take kids out of schools until the age of. . . I think it's 15, but it might be a state thing.
posted by bardic at 5:58 PM on April 12, 2006

Strange how that parent thought it was going to be a 'holiday'... how could you be so misled? She ruined her child's life and NOW she cries??
posted by Jelreyn at 6:13 PM on April 12, 2006

elpapacito, I'm not sure what your point is. I posted an Askme on behalf of a lonely (and sometimes whiny) friend so he could see that he's not really so freakish, and I don't trust a bitter teenager's assessment of his time at camp.
posted by thirteenkiller at 6:13 PM on April 12, 2006

You know, that askme that 13 posted was about me. Not her. She posted it on my behalf. I am the virgin tyvm.
posted by Azhruwi at 6:18 PM on April 12, 2006

I will, however, torture any of your children for a reasonable fee.

My thoughts exactly. For a mere $15,000 year plus travel expenses, I'll treat your kid just like my own (who'll happily tell you how bad she's got it, so you can rest assured that the uneventful middle-class experience will normalize your teen just like you see in those John Hughes flicks).

Call me! I've got references!
posted by pineapple at 6:26 PM on April 12, 2006

There isn't a prison harsh enough for the people responsible for doing this to these kids. I'm fucking SHAKING trying to type this.

This site has a first-hand account of one woman's experience (unfortunately, it's very sporadically added to) in one of these hellholes.
posted by deadmessenger at 6:26 PM on April 12, 2006

Anyone interested in this subject should take a look at Maia Szalavitz's recent book, Help At Any Cost, which is the most comprehensive treatment of the subject to date.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:34 PM on April 12, 2006

These kinds of stories make ugly things from the dark depths of my soul turn...restless. Some nightmare fashioned by comic books and horror movies stirs into life. I know what it's about.

Some folks love to hate adults who seek sex with teens. What a stupid thing. Here is that which justifies those feelings. Here is legitimized, systematic torture of minors, for any reason (or none at all) that a parent may choose, at the hands of strangers. How is this not rape of their souls?

Gimli, son of Gloin, speaks of his desire for a row of orc neck, to slice with his ax (Tolkien). Here is the figurative row of orc necks. The gray resolves into black. Apply your ax here.
posted by Goofyy at 7:57 PM on April 12, 2006

I can't believe I watched this whole thing. This was sickening.

I suppose some will say this is no worse than a college fraternity prank.
posted by UseyurBrain at 8:30 PM on April 12, 2006

Thread about Tranquility Bay from kuro5hin, from back when kuro5hin didn't suck so fucking much.

This is a huge business in this country, supporting many types of scum, from the Education Consultants parents pay to tell them about different programs (and who get paid kickbacks for referrals), to the Escorts who parents pay to kidnap their children in the early morning and haul them off to the program.

I've been to one of these programs, as they are called. I went to Alldredge Academy, a psuedo-hippie wilderness program focused on fake 'Search & Rescue' experiences during the wilderness phase, cultivating 'virtue' through indoctrination in the village phase, and getting credits toward a 'diploma' worth less than a GED from a totally unaccredited school during the school phase.

I definetly became a better person after having a strange, unexplainable experience during my time in the wilderness, but it wasn't due to anything they tried to do to me. Neither their teaching or anything specific to their program helped me at all, it was more that I just decided to just say fuck it after suffering immensely for four weeks in the woods
I actually became violently ill around Day 18 with food poisoning (I began puking for an hours, fainting intermittently, then eventually became too weak to avoid shitting my pants every time I puked) I was totally miserable, and had to run, fully laden with all my stuff, up a mountain the next day because our 'Search & Rescue Team' got a call on our 'sat-phone' that someone (who was totally a staff member) was 'injured' in the wilderness, and our help was 'needed'. Assholes.
I came to a wondeful conclusion that I didn't need to suffer if I didn't want to.

The trancendental experience I had in the woods there (which changed my outlook on life dramatically) actually made the staff there punitively commit me to two more weeks in the wilderness. They took the experience in which I figured myself out as a 'cry for help'. That wasn't too bad though, I enjoyed my last two weeks in the woods, despite that meaning I had to wait another two weeks to take a shower after having crapped all over myself 10 days earlier.

Don't even get me started on the psuedo-religious set of 'virtue' parables cobbled together from random indigenous peoples they indoctrinate you with while in the villiage portion. To leave the villiage at the end of the month you have to recite different pieces of their various incoherent tales from memory to different staff members.

Most of these programs (including Alldredge) are splinters of SUWS, the original one. Most are seemingly run by Mormons or people who formerly worked at Mormon-run programs. There is a huge concentration of them in Utah, Idaho, and Montana.

Another big one (I know several people who went to it, Including one I went to Alldredge with) is Redcliff Ascent. These types of non-boot-camp, indigenous-culture-appropriating wilderness programs have been on the rise lately, aspecially with the appearance of Brat Camp.
posted by blasdelf at 9:28 PM on April 12, 2006

This documentary is amateurish and manipulative. It is also one of those rare moments where the story transcends the storyteller. To me the crux of the issue is is the point where the parents decide to offload their responsibility of raising their children to a corporation. I realize that they may be at the end of their rope, but at a certai point: in for a penny, in for a pound. If there was such a thing a perfect children, they would sell them at Walmart.
posted by tighttrousers at 10:18 PM on April 12, 2006

Keep in mind that it is France 2.

They get a kick out of us...
posted by pwedza at 10:40 PM on April 12, 2006

Some parents really seriously shouldn't have kids
posted by elpapacito at 5:38 AM on April 13, 2006

To me the crux of the issue is is the point where the parents decide to offload their responsibility of raising their children to a corporation.

As opposed to the ones in every community that offload their resposibility to the school system?

I suspect that, in every high school in America, there is a vice-principal who is the wishes he could work at one of these kamps...

"The beatings will continue 'til morale improves."
posted by Enron Hubbard at 5:43 AM on April 13, 2006

[two comments removed, please grind your axes against members of the site on email or MeTa]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:41 AM on April 13, 2006

Watching a similar documentary on Tranquility Bay and like camps on, I think, Channel 4 the thing that struck me most wasn't the cruelty, the terrifying kidnaps, etc. It was the reasons the children were sent away. In many cases, these aren't deranged delinquents we're talking about, they're kids who smoke a bit of weed, drink some booze and tell their Mom to fuck off once in a while (and I'd frankly be more worried about a teenager who didn't do that stuff than one who did).

To me the crux of the issue is is the point where the parents decide to offload their responsibility of raising their children to a corporation.

As opposed to the ones in every community that offload their resposibility to the school system?

Shipping off your child to a remote, dangerous location, having no contact with him, etc. for, as I say, often minor discipline problems is pretty bloody weak parenting. Sending your kids to school every day doesn't really compare.
posted by jack_mo at 9:05 AM on April 13, 2006

The reasons are boggling, but they fall out of my sight. It's torture. I don't care why a person is tortured, but the fact they are tortured at all. That it is done to minors, without recourse, seriously brings up my wrath. Some of you have read enough about me to imagine how brilliant white my wrath might be, blazing with the light of a thousand suns, exploding at once.
posted by Goofyy at 9:41 AM on April 13, 2006

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