Family Foundation School / Allynwood Academy
CLOSED (August 2014)





My name is Fabian, I live in NH, I am a 19 years old male.

I was sent to the FFS, July 11th 2006. What happened was, initially, I had enrolled myself into the Caron Foundation Rehab in Wernersville, PA. 30 day inpatient for teens. The idea of going to another program was ok for me to handle. My counselor and my father made agreements and manipulates were made so my father got his choose. FFS was not my choice neither was part of my decision I had a history of family issues, drugs, minor non-violent crimes (non-convicted), behavioral, emotional, and psychological problems. I had just turned 16 years old when I spent 40 days at rehab, which is ten days longer then I should’ve stayed. My father dragged me out of rehab that morning, and made the long drive to FFS. I told him I was betrayed, angry, sad, and depressed. Nothing changed his mind, so against my will I was forced to go.


The initial enrollment, “the intake,” I was taken into a bathroom, searched, stripped, deloused, and many of my clothes, pictures, notebooks were taken away, and my parents were told to do the same with my personal belonging at home. As if the embarrassment from standing naked, coughing and squatting for 4 older men wasn’t enough to hurt my pride, everything I had become passionate over was taken away in an instant. 18 months minimum I was told, and dressed in my old collar clothes which chocked me with a hideous laughter of humility. I was allowed no communication to the outside at all, no friends, e-mails, phone calls, or even pictures. I was not able to speak to my immediate family for almost 3 months, and 4 ½ months till they could visit me, my siblings over a year.

The school followed strict communistic-like ideals, to effectively diminish the entity of the students, only as a whole, but more-so on an individual basis. Each student was to find their place, and fall in line with the demands of the school rather then expectations of their parents, the rights of themselves, or even to any relevancy to treatment. In a cult there is a primary purpose to serve the bigger picture. to ensure the future of the cult, rather then the present of its own terms. We were controlled by every aspect that the school instilled which, with time and discipline, we began to inherit, accept, or adapt to. Survival mode is a prominent feeling that I remember having, because every single day I feared what the faculty had out for me.

“Growing up” there was what I did, not in a sense that I had become more developed as a person, but I had just turned 16 years old when I began attending. My young teen years was spent growing into a frantically fearful young adult. I “grew up” under the impression I had to stay hiding for my life. How did I get into this delusion you may ask? Well you feel every single day that you are to be made an example out of you begin to think you may never leave this place. Like a concentration camp in Auschwitz, Poland, we were fearing that dreadful day to get exterminated by the faculty and not make it back home. You can see the pattern of behaviors that we attempted to flee, abandon, and disconnect from this place by all means possible, but that because they were so damn good at keeping you there. They had all these people working to keep you there, but who was working to get you out? Wasn’t there a reason that we had been sent there in the first place? Was that all forgotten. Many of days I had thought so because it felt like my voice was no longer in existence and the only voice that would go on was the one in my head praying to go home, and that there was a road at the end of this tunnel, which seemed so dark for so long.

Oppression is the only word that could really describe what force that was against me and my fellow classmates. They, the school, the faculty, pushed their authority to the limits. And time proved over and over again that we would fail to have a voice. We had student government. But that was pathetic and we knew it. We didn’t care about anything really. Our only main objective was to get out alive. So I use the word survive. Because hell was too hot and the family school was too torturing.

Food was served with lousy effort, cheap Sysco food, kitchen did not adhere to State food and safety regulations, cold soy burgers were given to the kids who wouldn’t finish their food.

At meals some kids would be sat facing and positioned into in the corner, or standing in a corner of the room. The students in the corners were always treated like “animals” by the “Family” and students who dictated and supported faculty as well. The rest sat at the table. I remember the corner like it was yesterday, although if someone ever asks me to sit in a corner the rage that would come over me would probably put me in a cell. But joking aside. The corner was a very dark and disturbing place to be physically and mentally. Physcially the sight was not too great but mentally you felt more disconnected from the world then you could ever be. You would always be the example made of at any point where applied to your fellow peers. Faculty could always use you as practice targets for newer kids. Nobody would take to the corners on most occasions, although when I had ranked up I backed up my fellow corners on most occasions with most eventual suppressions by adult faculty.

Table topics is where most of the targeting, harassment, verbal and sexual abuse, degrading, disciplining, and almost any kind of function that was applicable to the faculty’s desire. This was a tactic used to show the rest of the group the central dominance, superiority, and power of ability to control each family’s individual students at large, but at the same time dehumanizing the morality and entity of a person and his/her peers. Table topics have been known to be torturous, staff as well as kids verbally antagonizing the person up at the table.

Church was so stupid. Who ever thought of integrating every religion, yeah nice marketing technique, but realistically that is unreal. We had every religion every day. But basically they wanted us to be religious but that had nothing to do with anything. It just through everyone off. One of my friends jokes about it with me now and says, “If you ever wanted to go back home you had to go to AA everyday and become Catholic.”

Theoretically the school became very powerful, and by school I mean its administrators. Living in the town of Hancock, NY where the population is only a dense as its building the small isolated town is surrounded by woods, hills, and waters, the town was not the most developed. The gold mine of the small town was FFS, its two owner’s Rita and Mike. They had a lot of influence in the town, and not surprisingly the towns people were always happy to work, even when the probably weren’t even close to qualified.

The school used a system of hierarchy, and the more status you had the more power you had, for staff and students. Students, like myself saw that if we didn’t obey, listen, and do as told we would suffer, so we worked along side with staff against our own fellow students. Staff would almost never allow a student to be right in any situation. Students only ran according to how they learned the rules, and sometimes rules were made up, unclear, or not known.

I witnessed a good amount of violence during my time at the school. “Senior Floor” a group of guys who were tall, big, and heavy men, some women, others were usually in the office. They were the ones who came when the radio said so. Oh ya this used this radio, all of the, it’s how they stayed connected. But on with senior floor, they would use almost any method to restrain the students. Ages 12-18 were the most common boys and girls would be taken from a restraint into an isolation room. Watched by two students who would even sleep down there at all times. A lot of male staff would be overly aggressive to boys, sometimes causing a student physical injury during sports, or verbal shouting’s or threatening between male staff and male students.

Submitted by: Fabian