About the film:

www.kidnappedforchrist.com http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kateslogan/kidnapped-for-christ

While in film school, Kate Logan set out to make a documentary about what she had been told was a “Christian therapeutic boarding school” in the Dominican Republic for “troubled” teens from the States. Because of her evangelical background, she was given unprecedented access to film inside this school over the course of a summer. But, as she began to film, she discovered the shocking truth of what was really going on at this remote reform school.

Throughout her time there, she follows the stories of several American teenagers who were taken from their homes and sent away to the Dominican Republic be "fixed" for problems ranging from sexual orientation, to having panic attacks, to drug abuse.

David, a 17-year old from Colorado, was taken in the middle of the night after coming out to his parents, and shipped off to be reprogrammed into a straight, born-again Christian. Tai, a 16-year-old Haitian-American girl from Boston, was sent away after acting out and experimenting with drugs as a result of childhood traumas. Beth, a 15-year old from Michigan, suffered from a debilitating anxiety disorder, and her parents were desperate to help her finish high school.

While in “the program” students were totally isolated, with little to no contact with the outside world, until Kate arrived with her camera. One brave student asked for her help to get free, and the ensuing struggles to secure his freedom revealed just how far this school would go to prevent their students from leaving.

Kidnapped for Christ is directed by Kate S. Logan and produced by Yada Zamora, Kate S. Logan and Paul A. Levin for RedThorn Productions. Executive Producers include Lance Bass (‘NSYNC), Mike C. Manning (Disney’s “Cloud 9”) and Tom DeSanto (“Transformers,” “X-Men”).

**My short bio: Kate S. Logan is the director and producer of the upcoming documentary film "Kidnapped For Christ" which tells the shocking stories of American teenagers who were shipped to an American-run Christian reform school in the Dominican Republic.

Mike C. Manning is an actor, activist, producer and writer. He is starring in the upcoming Disney movie "Cloud 9" and he came to fame on "The Real World, D.C." Mike is an executive producer on "Kidnapped For Christ" along with 'NSYNC Alum Lance Bass and "Transformers"/ "X-Men" producer Tom DeSanto.

**My Proof: https://twitter.com/kidnpd4christ https://twitter.com/KateSLogan https://twitter.com/MikeCManning

Comments: 315 • Responses: 66  • Date: 

rjm201393 karma


kateslogan38 karma

Congratulations on getting married! And we are so sorry you had to go through what you did. As I'm sure you know, you aren't alone. I hope you can find help for the lasting impacts like PTSD and depression. It's tough, but as I've spoken with lots of survivors of these places, over time it gets better. If you haven't connected with SIA-Now.org (survivors of institutional abuse) you may want to reach out to them for support.

rjm201318 karma


kateslogan16 karma

Haha, yeah we'll have to leave something for the film! Once it's released we'll let ya know what happened with David and his parents.

pixel867 karma

I started /r/troubledteens to save kids from abuse by the Troubled Teen Industry, I just wanted to thank all of you for your hard work & amazing talent. This film embodies everything that our subreddit is about, I'm at the edge of my seat for its release! I'm impressed with everything you are doing so far, congratulations on making it into Slamdance! That's huge! I hope people will support your kickstarter so this can be the best film possible. Hardly anyone knows this is happening to 10,000 to 100,000 children a year, people need to hear these stories. I think your film is going to make a difference.

kateslogan18 karma

Thanks! We couldn't have made this film without the help of the community of survivors of these types of programs and your courage to speak out.

Gil_V31 karma

So, how can we see your film?

kateslogan31 karma

We are premiering at the Slamdance Film Festival this January in Park City, UT. After that we hope to get distribution!

explodingcranium244231 karma

Out of all the things you witnessed at the facility, what was the most shocking?

kateslogan50 karma

One of the most disturbing things we saw was a girl who was sent to the school for drug problems, who had also been raped as an 11 year old, was "paddled" on the ass as a punishment. This happened to all the students there if they "acted out," but I was especially shocked that they would do this to a rape victim.

I was also shocked by how closely the program mirrored classic brainwashing techniques used in prison camps.

pixel815 karma

I think I'm going to be sick. This is just horrible. Did they actually show you the paddle? Was there a 'ritual' (or process) that took place when kids got paddled? What kinds of things would kids get paddled for?

kateslogan17 karma

They wouldn't let us film the actual "swats" but there was definitely a ritual as told to us by the staff and students, where the kids would have to bend over a chair, grab the legs and count as they were swatted. There were always 2-3 staffers of different gendered there to watch. It was sick.

cole_lulic31 karma

As for someone who was sent to a pastor in my teen years to be "fixed," just wanted to say thanks a bunch for making this film. I hope it captures the wrongdoing in situations like this and the mental harm it can cause young adults. It'd be awesome if your film could make it up here to Minneapolis, it'll give me another reason to stay inside from this arctic tundra of a land.

kateslogan18 karma

Thanks! I'm sure we'll find out way to Minneapolis somehow. Our animator is actually out there, but trying to move to LA for warmer weather. I grew up in Michigan so I can sympathize with the arctic temperatures.

sccoll25 karma

How long do teenagers typically stay at this school before they are able to return home? Also, how much do parents pay to have their children "fixed" by this school?

kateslogan45 karma

Always a min of 9 months, most stayed 2-3 years.

The tuition was between 3-6 grad per month, which is up to $72,000 per year. For reference that's more than the sticker price for Harvard.

BaronRacure24 karma

Did the parents know what they were sending their kids to? Like how does the place advertise.

kateslogan39 karma

The school advertised itself as a "therapeutic christian boarding school" for "high potential, underachieving youth." The website and brochures made it look like a nice Christian school that had a therapeutic element.

Their application packet contained a checklist of "problems" that your teen could get sent there for, and the list was so long and broad that ANYONE could be deemed in need of their program.

I think they really told each family what they wanted to hear depending on their kid's "problem." Most parents had no idea the extent of the punishments their kids were receiving, and all the communications were censored both ways so there was no way for the students to tell their parents what was really going on.

TrollinForDownvotes22 karma

What was the most rewarding, and most frustrating, aspect of making this documentary?

Also, where/when can I see it? Sounds like a great watch.

kateslogan30 karma

The most rewarding part by far is when the former students of this school thank us for speaking out against the program, and for helping to bring their stories to light.

Most frustrating (besides never have enough $) was trying to make sure we didn't inadvertently get the kids in trouble for saying bad things about the program. It was really hard to get good footage and honest interviews when you knew that these kids would get in huge trouble for saying anything negative about the staff or the school .

Also - you can see us at the Slamdance film fest this Jan, and hopefully on VOD and in theaters after we get distribution.

alonelyargonaut21 karma

We hear a lot about the teens experience , but did you find any change of heart in the parents if/when they became aware of the practices at the boarding school?

kateslogan33 karma

Yes, some parents did change their views once they realized what the school was really like. Unfortunately, most has sunk so much money and emotional energy into placing their kids there, that they wouldn't believe anyone saying something negative about the school. Plus, the school was very manipulative with the parents, making sure they were set up to not believe their kids' stories of abuse.

Gravy-Leg__21 karma

Did the people who ran the boarding school become suspicious of you as the filming progressed?

kateslogan32 karma

Yes, as we were filming (for about 6 weeks) we would get called into the school's office regularly and told to stop asking questions about abuse and questionable "therapeutic" methods.

Eventually we had to sort of "sneak" interviews with the wireless boom mic and the camera far away so no one thought we were filming conversations with students (except the student we were talking to).

emperor_cesar19 karma

Hi, I'm Dominican myself and do you know if there is a reason why they picked Dominican Republic instead of any other country to make the school?

NevrFndMyk29 karma

A few reasons: they're not bound by US Laws, it's further for any US citizens to "interfere" with what the camp was doing, cheaper to run the facility, and lastly the entire idea of "culture shock therapy" is based on taking a teen out of their normal environment to "reprogram them" - a foreign country.

Osal9212 karma

Wouldn't that be child endangerment? Would child protective services be able to intervene?

twistedfork17 karma

CPS is a state based program. The Dominican Republic's CPS would most likely have bigger issues to address than the kids of wealthy Americans being abused at the request of their parents.

kateslogan18 karma

Also the US Embassy did seem to concerned about reports of abuse, which was shocking to me.

In general with these programs, whether they are in the US or abroad, they do break child endangerment laws. However, they get away with it because no one is monitoring them and most people just won't believe a teenager who has been labeled "bad" by being sent to a reform school.

kateslogan14 karma

ah sorry did NOT seem concerned

Osal9217 karma

In doing this documentary, did it strike a personal chord? If so, how?

kateslogan45 karma

There were many ways that doing this film has impacted my life, but one way in particular was that when I went down there to film, I was an evangelical Christian myself and believed that homosexuality was a sin. However, one of the students I got to know the best was sent to the school for being gay, and I found myself unable to pray or wish for him to be straight. Seeing how he was treated in the name of Jesus was just sickening and that was the catalyst for changing my views on homosexuality and faith in general.

BadWolf194716 karma

What do you hope this film will do in terms of raising awareness of similar abusive programs?

kateslogan17 karma

First of all, I hope the film makes people aware that these places exist, because most people have no idea that there's even one program like this, much less thousands.

I think awareness that this is an issue is the first step to stoping abuse in these programs (and shutting most of them down). Also hopefully parents will hear about this issue and reconsider sending their kids away.

We also hope that people will take action after they watch the film and write their representatives asking them to enact legislation that would finally regulate teen residential programs, because right now there's no regulation or safeguards.

kateslogan12 karma

Links to where can write you reps can be found here: http://www.kidnappedforchrist.com/#!action

matthiam16 karma

@ Kate are you aware that these so called "true christian " places also exist in the USA? Betheny girls home of La comes to mind it was run by Mack Ford - The Lester Rolloff homes another sick Christian themed abusive home for children - I believe was in Fla.?

Are you aware how big the problem is regarding not only these sickeningly preverse "Christian " themed child mind rape mills - that the problem of sadistic criminal child abuse is rampant in the entire so called "troubled teen " industry ?

kateslogan18 karma

Yes, I am aware of the extent and reach of abuse in the so-called "troubled-teen" industry. I have met several alumni of Betheny Girls home, and many many others. These places are all over, and they are unregulated - it's a huge problem that most people, including myself before I started this film, don't know about

CAHooptie15 karma

This is a hard time of year for me. In 10 days, it will be the 5 year anniversary of the day my body left Island View RTC, in Syracuse, UT. I say my body, because in many ways, my mind is still there. I still have nightmares and rages, but maybe you can make it so other kids don't have to suffer like I have.

I didn't have a question. I just wanted to thank you.

kateslogan9 karma

"maybe you can make it so other kids don't have to suffer like I have."

That's why we're doing this. Hope it gets better. No one should have to go through the Hell of these places.

ProxyFox15 karma

What were the effects of this "program" on each teen? How long are they made to stay?

kateslogan27 karma

Most were there for at least a year and a half, many were there for 2-3 years or for all of high school.

Lots of the students of this program have PTSD and nightmares, many have committed suicide after getting out of the program. I literally haven't spoken to one student who didn't get nightmares. Many also leave religion because it reminds them too much of the school and the abuse they suffered there.

Also, lots of families are broken up by the program - kids don't trust their parents after being sent away, or their families don't believe them when they tell them that they were abused at the school.

ProxyFox16 karma

It's people/programs/schools like this that give Christians bad names. I don't understand, we came to this country to have religious freedom/freedom in general.. It almost seems as if our forefathers fought in vain, with the pile of crap we're shoving back in their faces like this. I'm glad you did something to expose this. I'm a Christian female, but I would NEVER (if I had any) send my children to a program to be "fixed."

kateslogan13 karma

We couldn't agree more. I think Jesus would be horrified at what was going on at Escuela Caribe and similar programs.

kjduffey13 karma

Kate/Mike, as a Christian, I look forward to seeing this film and hope it sends a message everywhere. Your contribution to this is amazing.

kateslogan11 karma

Thanks!!! It's always encouraging to hear Christians get excited about the film, because it's really about love triumphing over oppression, and that's something everyone of all religions should be able to get behind.

kateslogan12 karma

If you want to view the trailer you can go here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ve-bYrFmG2Y

AubreyPlazasButtHair12 karma

Any idea what the school's "success" rate is?

Also, what's your favorite Christmas song?

kateslogan27 karma

The school had NO idea what their "success" rate was, because they did zero follow up with the students. My estimate based on my interactions with former students is that far more students came out of the program with PTSD than came out "fixed."

Also, my fav Christmas song is and always will be "All I want for Christmas is you" by Mariah Carey.

Osal9210 karma

Is this school still active today?

NevrFndMyk18 karma

"Escuela Caribe" closed... then reopened under a different name, in the SAME place with much of the SAME staff.

kateslogan18 karma

tiny correction, no one shut them down, they got so much bad press and ran out of people willing to pay the astronomical sum it costs to enroll their teen. So, they re-opened under new management, kept many of the same staff as Mike said though. They still don't let kids talk to their parents (or anyone else) unmonitored which is a huge red flag in my book.

emperor_cesar9 karma

Jarabacoa, right? The location footage seemed a lot like it was there.

kateslogan8 karma

Yes Jarabacoa, most of the film was shot on campus there.

Razgriz_Ace10 karma

Is there anyway we can help support your film other than the Kickstarter and social media?

kateslogan11 karma

You can visit SIA-Now.org, and Cafety.org - two great organizations that are dedicated to helping victims of abusive programs.

mdmd1229 karma

What'd you think of Man of Steel? I thought it was great and got a bad wrap, although he could have done a bit less destruction

NevrFndMyk11 karma

Superman KILLED someone. In 75 years Superman has never intentionally killed someone on screen. That was my biggest problem. 2nd - Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner) is supposed to die of a heart attack (in the comics), NOT from a freak tornado when Clark could have saved him in .0002 seconds. I wanted to LOVE the movie, I only liked it.

kateslogan14 karma

Superman's body count is way lower than that of the Troubled Teen industry, low estimates are that 157 teens have died in programs in the past few decades.

mdmd1226 karma

Terrible. Has the local police force been involved in trying to stop it?

kateslogan8 karma

Not at Escuela Caribe's (school we filmed at) to my knowledge.

Most of the deaths as these programs are ruled "accidental" and never investigated.

Breaker92298 karma

How did you get permission to do the documentary? What did you tell the school the documentary was about?

kateslogan10 karma

When I asked for permission to film I had no idea that this school was even controversial, I thought it was just an alternative therapy program for at-risk kids. So, when I approached the school I didn't lie or hide my true intentions because I truly had no idea what I was getting myself into!

I told them that I wanted to film the experiences of the students at their program, because I figured throwing a bunch of "troubled" teens together in a foreign country would be interested to see and I figured their stories would be uplifting (ha!).

Once I figured out what was really going on, I just kind of kept my thoughts to myself and tried not to get kicked off.

Orangeamp8 karma

What was the overall sort of mind state of the people who were running this "boarding school"? Did they have any remorse or thoughts that what they were doing was actually in no way shape or form helping these troubled teens rather that they were inflicting more, probably worse damage? Thank you for putting this movie out and I can't wait to view it, keep up the good fight!

kateslogan9 karma

Great question.

We did interview one staff member who deeply regrets her time there. However, she was in the minority as far as we could tell.

I think that Escuela Caribe was in some ways a classic real-world case of what we saw in the Stanford Prison experiment and the Milgram experiment. Both which showed us that people, no matter how well meaning or well educated, can do horrible things when directed to do so by authority figures and when they are in an isolated environment. Lots of the staff where young and inexperienced, and they were just "following orders." Not it makes it ok at all, but it helps explain how so many people could be a part of this and do nothing.

BaronRacure7 karma

As Christians your self did this kind of thing make you doubt your religion? How do you fix that in your mind, the idea that this torture is being done in the name of god.

NevrFndMyk7 karma

To me, Christianity is based on a belief in a higher power that has less to do with churches or (especially!) schools like this. Just because I go to a bad church doesn't mean I write off the whole idea... Just because this school was terrible in many way, doesn't mean I hold that against the religion... just the people.

kateslogan4 karma

For me - honestly, seeing firsthand abuse done in the name of Christianity deeply impacted my faith in ways I never expected. It was very difficult for me to pray once I got back from filming because I didn't trust that I could hear from God if the staff at this school could also thing that they had heard from God and be so wrong

benofepmn7 karma

What are the ethics as a documentary filmmaker about getting involved in the story? In journalism, it is generally forbidden.

kateslogan16 karma

That's a tricky question. With documentaries lots of filmmakers get involved with their subjects for a number of reasons. For myself, I felt a stronger moral imperative to get involved because the safety of children was involved, to me that's more important than any edict to stay neutral.

We also included my story in the film, partially to be honest and forthright about my involvement.

slamdanceprogrammer7 karma

Hey Kate!

Loved your film! Can't wait for it screen in Park City. I sadly can't be there, but I wanted to ask you some questions. Since I have seen the film I will PM you so that I don't spoil it for the rest of the folks here. Anyways, again loved your film!!!! Good Luck in Park City!

kateslogan5 karma

Thanks! we are SO excited!

mdmd1227 karma

This movie looks great by the way. Almost reminds me of "Jesus Camp"

kateslogan5 karma

Reminded me of "Jesus Camp" too! The school was definitely cult-like in some of the same ways that the camp in "Jesus Camp" was.

AnAntichrist7 karma

Did any of the victims ever try to break out violently? If I was there I would've been trying to find anything to help me get out.

jwpar17017 karma

When we were there nobody did...there were stories in the past of people trying to escape, but the punishments for getting caught were STIFF. Hair shaved, solitary confinement, corporal punishments...you weren't allowed to speak to other students, had to ask permission to enter and exit any room, to sit down, to eat, etc. You essentially became an abused unperson if you were caught trying to escape.

kateslogan4 karma

Also their passports were locked up, they had no money, the campus was surrounded by barbed wire, there was a guard, and the Dominican is an island ... so your chances of escaping successfully were basically zero.

DrTrintignant7 karma

I'm just sitting here, reading up about this, staring at letters and videos on a screen. Emotionally as far removed as can be. Still, my blood is boiling, my mind is racing, every muscle fiber feels rage and trembles.

You were there when these kids asked for help, told you about their fears and the abuse. How hard was it to control your emotions in these places? Did you ever (almost) lose composure i.e. when talking to the 'instructors'?

kateslogan3 karma

It was hard. What I tried to do when I interviewed the staff, was to just allow myself to give them the benefit of the doubt and let myself believe the lies and the bull, while I was listening to them. Then when i was alone, I thought back on what we had filmed and digested what was said, and evaluated everything.

DrTrintignant5 karma

As a follow-up. I just read that tuition was a whopping 72 grand per year (blew my fucking mind) which is quite a lot of money.

Were these kids from (upper class) families who could afford it? Or were people going into huge loans for a bullshit re-education?

kateslogan5 karma

Yes it's an absurd amount, especially since most of their staff were unqualified. Lots of kids came from wealthier families, and some also took out 2nd mortgages on their homes, spent their kids' college funds, etc.

Swansong876 karma

Making documentaries about difficult topics like this, it can sometimes be hard to remain at a professional distance behind the camera. Were there ever times during filming that you felt like you needed to stop? Obviously the intent of the film is to help your subjects, but were there times when you felt like you had to put the camera down and do something drastic to remove your subjects from this lifestyle?

NevrFndMyk7 karma

Kate DID have to film with "hidden cameras" at times. To maintain the integrity of the story, she tried to remain as neutral as possible while there.

kateslogan3 karma

It wasn't really hidden so much as from a distance, want to clarify that the students always knew I was filming them, we just didn't want the staff to realize that I was essentially interviewing them from afar. That way they wouldn't hover and prevent the student from telling me what they were really thinking and feeling.

kateslogan2 karma

Yes, this was very hard in this instance, because I truly wanted to remain impartial, and give everyone the benefit of the doubt, but there definitely came a point when I was overwhelmed by the pain I saw the students going through and felt compelled to get involved. Without giving away too much about the film, there was a real breaking point when I decided to get involved.

I never felt the need to stop filming, mostly because documenting what was going on was the best and only thing I could do at that point to help expose what the abuses occurring. If anything, when it got tougher to remain distant, I leaned in and allowed myself to get involved, and began to document that aspect as well - both to be honest about the entire story (including my involvement) and because I wanted to tell the story of everything that happened.

Swansong873 karma

Interesting! Were you ever concerned for your own safety? Was there ever a time where you believed the people you were documenting might be capable of causing you physical harm if they discovered your true intent?

kateslogan3 karma

I wasn't ever scared for my own physical safety, but I was worried that they might try to harm me in other ways like suing me or spreading lies about me.

Y38086 karma

How many of these 'concentration camps' are there? How do people find out about them? Are they advertising to churches, pastors, etc?

How are they getting kids past customs? What if a kid protests at a customs check, and says he/she is being held against his/her will?

kateslogan9 karma

There are thousands of these types of places - check out this map - http://batchgeo.com/map/65aaf63de2389616a2ccb87a2598ecbd

Parents find out about them through word of mouth, advertising on the web (try googling "troubled teen" it's scary) and through so-called "educational consultants" that get paid to refer parents to programs.

As far as customs, in the case of Escuela Caribe, the school was given power of attorney over it's students, so as long as they were under 18, they had no choice, legally, than to go with the agents of the school. If a kids were to go nuts in an airport, the police wouldn't be able to do anything but force them to go with the people that had power of attorney over them. It's super messed up.

Osal926 karma

Alright, I have no more questions lol. But I would like to say, mike, keep doing what you do, keep being you! I've said it before and I'll say it again, you are one of my heroes. Keep it up, superman! :)

kateslogan9 karma

You should see him in his Superman boxers #hot

lumberpaul6 karma

What was your impression of the staff? Obviously the techniques they employed and the whole deportation against their will stuff is reprehensible and impermissible, but what was your impression of the staff that worked there themselves--did they seem to really want to help the kids "change for the better" and honestly believe this was the best way? Or were they somehow sadists, or con-men running a lucrative racket?

kateslogan11 karma

It was a mix. I think some staff, who were by and large young and under qualified to be working with "troubled" teens, were well meaning but caught up in a cult-like environment.

Then there were some staff who were obviously bullies (to be nice) and would have been bullies no matter what situation they were in. Unfortunately for the students, these staff members would take full advantage of the unchecked power they had over the students to make their lives miserable.

kateslogan6 karma

If anyone wants to keep up w/ the film you can visit our website - www.kidnappedforchrist.com and of course follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/kidnpd4christ and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/kidnappedforchrist

alonelyargonaut6 karma

Any thoughts on what your next project might be?

kateslogan9 karma

I have some things in the works! I'd love to do a documentary on the struggles of LGBTQ students at conservative Christian colleges that don't allow them to be one and Christian. I also am contemplating writing a memoir about my experiences working on this film and my evolving faith, going from being a super-duper evangelical to more of an agnostic theist.

Gravy-Leg__5 karma

Were any of the kids who went school actually "fixed" as promised?

kateslogan11 karma

I mean, that depends on your definition of "Fixed." The school kept no records or stats on what happened to their students once they left, and there was no aftercare. But, like I said above, most I've talked to have nightmares and major trauma as a result of their treatment there.

mdmd1224 karma

Are those festivals where networks pick up docs for distribution?

Also since I'm sure there'll be naysayers, what's your response to those who may say "Well doesn't Lance have the money for the legal fees?"

kateslogan5 karma

Yes lots of successful docs have been acquired at Slamdance including "Mad Hot Ballroom," "Terms and Conditions May Apply," "Ringers," and "Superheros."

The money we are raising on Kickstarter is what is absolutely necessary to finish the film by January for Slamdance. We are working really hard to get the word out so we can reach our goal.

kateslogan4 karma

Well looks like we are the Flimmakers ... not the FILMmakers ... oops

NevrFndMyk3 karma

Haha, simultaneously noticing a typo..

kateslogan3 karma

at least it's not "we are the filmmakers behind Spellbound"

alonelyargonaut4 karma

pick one:

~ Nic Cage "not the bees!"

~ Tom Cruise jumping up and down on a couch

jwpar17015 karma

Uh, alonelyargonaut, I'm not sure you're aware, but Kate has never seen the Nic Cage "Wicker Man". I begged her to watch the "Not The Bees" scene. I will educate her forthwith.

kateslogan3 karma

that's it John you're fired

kateslogan4 karma

Tom Cruise jumping up and down on a couch

philodude3 karma

How do these types of places kidnap the students?

kateslogan4 karma

Lots of these places recommend to parents that they hire "transport" services to take their kids away. They recommend using hired kidnappers so that the students won't try to run away in the process of being sent away. It's extreamly traumatizing for those that are taken in this manner, because they are literally ripped from their beds in the middle of the night by strangers and not told where they are going, why, or when they'll come back.

rasungod03 karma

Do any of the kidnappers go to jail, or do judges just throw out the cases for any arrested because of religious grounds?

kateslogan6 karma

Actually these kidnappings are legal. If a US citizen is under the age of 18 their parents or legal guardians can send them to any program they want through a "transport" service. The people who carry out these virtual kidnappings go unpunished because it's still legal for them to do what they do, in fact they make a decent amount of money doing it.

TheFlatypus3 karma

Are you religious? Has seeing what these lunatics do 'in the name of God' made you question your beliefs?

Good luck with the documentary, this is a really fucked up problem and people need to be made aware of it.

kateslogan3 karma

I was a very devout Christian while we were filming, but in the course of working on the film and just growing up in general I did question my beliefs quite a bit, in no small part because of what I saw being done in the name of God.

I think the biggest thing for me was that I stopped being able to pray in the same way that I did before I started the film. Before I saw what was going on at Escuela Caribe, I knew intellectually that people do bad things in the name of Jesus. But I hadn't experienced really being in the midst of people who didn't necessarily seem that much different from myself, thinking that they had heard from God and were called to work at this "ministry." When I got home, and would try to pray, I would just think 'how could i trust myself to hear from God if those people could be so wrong about what they thought they heard?'

BoxfulOfStories3 karma

Apart from what you personally saw, what was the worst thing that had happened you heard from one of the people involved had happened to them or somebody they knew in "the program"?

kateslogan5 karma

There are endless stories. I'd recommend checking out the alumni website http://www.nhym-alumni.org

kateslogan3 karma

I'm going back to work! Lots to do before Slamdance. I'll do my best to keep checking back here for new questions tonight and again tomorrow.

ntocco3 karma

Does the documentary spend anytime going back to the parents of these teenagers that were "taken" from their homes? I would assume that the parents are the reason these teenagers were sent away. Having a sister of my own that was sent away to a school in Utah, I believe that parents tend to think they are helping when in fact they are isolating their child and causing tremendous long term damage. Are there any studies provided that show the success rate of these schools? Presenting parents with those facts and opening their eyes to what really happens at these schools I believe is extremely important. I hope this documentary assists in educating parents, so that they make better decisions regarding their children best interests.

kateslogan7 karma

We did interview some parents who sent their kids to Escuela Caribe for a variety of reasons, some who did hire people to "transport" (i.e. kidnap) their kids to take them down there.

My take-way from speaking with them is that some parents were really in a tough spot with their kids, and I could sympathize with the desperation to find something or someone to help keep their child safe. Once set a parents had a daughter who had been involved with a gang, and they genuinely feared for her life. While, obviously, this program was not the answer, you can see how they would be desperate and maybe put aside their better judgement when fed lines from this school.

On the other hand, there were parents I talked to who had a child who was clearly clinically depressed. Obviously being sent away to a punitive program and constantly told you are a "bad" kid is no way to treat depression. I think lots of parents had better options and they didn't take the time to research this school or the other things they could do to help their kid.

Also, some kids' parents were the ones with the issues. For example, our main character, David, was sent to the school for being gay. He had over a 4.0 GPA, was a model student and teen in every sense of the word, but his parents couldn't' deal with him identifying as gay, so they shipped him off. There were lots of kids like this, that hadn't really given their parents any reason to worry, but got sent away anyways.

kateslogan3 karma

I'll be back tomorrow morning to answer more questions and go into more depth on some FAQ from today! Thanks everyone.

kateslogan3 karma

Alrighty! I'm still available to answer questions for the next hour or so. Then - if you want to listen in, I'll be on the the WTFATTA podcast at 4:30pm PST. Listen at http://wtfatta.blogspot.ca/p/ustream.html

musicalnix3 karma

While I know that having these schools offshore circumvents some of our laws around child abuse, I would think there would have to be some kind of legal backlash against the US companies that own and operate them, similar to people who engage in child prostitution in other companies still being subject to punishment when they return to their home country if caught, but I could be wrong.

Did any of the schools threaten to take legal action as this film began to get some traction behind it? Likewise, have any of the students been able to use what you captured on film to take legal action themselves?

kateslogan4 karma

Not yet, but I honestly hope we can help in any legal action a student might want to take against this place. We'd gladly help.


Would you rather fight 100 duck sized horses and 1 horse sized duck?

NevrFndMyk2 karma

1 horse-sized duck. I have ADD so if I had to fight 100 little things, I'd probably be distracted by #35.

kateslogan2 karma

1 horse sized duck, because it's got a small mouth, easy to avoid. It's clear you've never fought a foul-mouthed animal before.