Warning: this is gonna be long as hell.
No details on who I am or when I went, sorry, other than I was there when it was still called Island View. I'm ultra paranoid about being identified and want to distance myself from it all. I'm happy to talk via PM. One little hint I'll give out publicly is that while I attended there, someone called in a bomb threat, so we were all moved to the church down the street. Sat around for seven hours bored out of our skulls, but got to eat pizza and not go through the daily miserable routine. It was a nice reprieve, so if you're the person who called it in, thanks man. I owe you a pizza.
I graduated as a test. I spent more than a year there. I graduated having one of the most prestigious 'job' you could be assigned, and was seen as a diplomat between teams and as vastly improved by the facility. By all accounts, I seemed like the perfect success story.
A couple years later, I had a sympathetic therapist who was astonished by all of what I'd told him. He had no idea. Given, he probably didn't have the extensive education a psychologist or psychiatrist would have, but he didn't have a lot of contact with the TTI because he was mostly an adult therapist. He told me a buddy of his was an investigator for these sorts of places, and asked me if I wanted him to try to coax this investigator into giving Island View a closer look. Of course I said yes, so he told me he was going to call him up, put him on speakerphone, and pretend he was just talking to him one on one, and for me to be quiet, so we could get the response he'd give a colleague.
So he rang him up and asked him if he knew about Island View, the investigator said of course, then told him my allegations against the place. Keep in mind, I wasn't pulled from the RTC, I didn't barely graduate on impact, I was well-regarded when I graduated.
The investigator paused, and this is what he said (I'll remember this until the day I die): "That's ridiculous. I've toured that facility multiple times and can attest to the highest level of professionalism in the business. It sounds like you've got a disgruntled ex-patient on your hands trying to get some attention or sympathy."
Even typing this out now makes my heart race. I've never been quiet since then about telling people about the place, but the few times I've had friends start to rally, get angry, get motivated to make a petition or launch an investigation, I've told them not to bother.
Here's why: Anyone who stayed at Island View for a long period of time will remember the routine when they sent investigators over: we were made to double deep clean our rooms. The people who were on yellow zone or individual focus were either sequestered to their room with the door closed, or the door to the whole hallway was closed off. Anyone below an impact caught talking to the investigators could get privileges pulled and were told not to interact with them, not to look at them. At best, if you were asked a question by them, you were pressured to smile and look engaged in your schoolwork. The investigators were led around by tests, usually the team leaders. If anyone of any level said anything bad or incriminatory to the investigators, you could face serious trouble. And if my memory serves me right, which it might not because there are thankfully big great gaps missing from this period in my life, they would serve the 'good' food when these investigators rolled through. The burgers and fries and sometimes even root beers and cream sodas. They did that when parents came through too. And if I recall correctly, they mostly toured the school and only briefly strolled through the actual housing units.
This place practised conversion therapy. They practised solitary confinement. They practised gender confirmation therapy. They used excessive force when restraining non-dangerous patients. (I mean, that's why they had to sell the place.) They practised extreme social manipulation. They practised literal brainwashing! A kid killed himself there. There were multiple accounts of sexual abuse. But I was a 'disgruntled ex-patient looking for attention or sympathy'.
So yep. There's my contribution to 'these lovely human beings have all the possible cards you could imagine stacked against you' argument. If I had no soul, moral conscience, or empathy for other living beings, this whole industry has an amazing business plan.
Island View was part of the collapse of Aspen Education Group. Is was sold and renamed. It is now open under another name. It might not be so bad now if the patients can phone home from day one to family and friends perferally given their own cell-phone
- The original testimony on Reddit
- Factsheet about Island View (Fornits Wiki)
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