Family Foundation School / Allynwood Academy
CLOSED (August 2014)




Jacob Lysick

First and foremost this school is a business thats all

I don't want to blame my parents for any of this, they did everything they could for an immature 15 year old that was out of control. they loved me and wanted help they just looked in the wrong place and was manipulated into believing what they saw at the family school to be true.

5am on April 23, 2003 I was woken up by two large escorts who proceeded to man handle me into a vehicle and took me to a destination I was not allowed to know of. I arrived in Hancock NY. I was brought into the family school locker room where I was told to strip, squat and cough. No more than 10 minutes into this new place and I'm already stripping in front of my first set eyes. a staff member and two senior students (students who have been at the school long enough and learned how to play the game to stay out of trouble) went through all my belongings and took my clothing, music, and personal belongings that identify me. identity is the most important thing for teenage boys and that was something I wouldn't have for two years.

I was told to take my earrings out and to cut off my ankle bracelet, I didn't want to so it happened forcefully.
while leaving the locker room I was brought into my family area (room where 30 students and 5 staff hang out while not attending classes).
I was told to stand in front of the family and explain why I thought I was there. I responded "I smoke to much pot and don't go to school". everyone laughed and one of the staff said "no your here because your parents are tired of you, they want you to change, and they don't want anything to do with you until you do".
I argued back and said that wasn't true knowing that my parents really didn't feel this way. I explained how I was there because of my pot problem and upon arguing I was immediately shut down and was deemed "the lawyer" for my rationalizing.

I would soon learn that we wouldn't be able to have our own beliefs and morals, it would be the schools that we would internalize or we would be punished, the schools views said it was open to all religion but we were force into dogmatic catholic ways subliminally.

after hearing that I would not speak to my parents for 30 days and when I did it would only be once a week for 5 minutes, and that I would be there for a minimum 18 months I broke down and started to cry. I cried for my whole first year of the school, it was the most depressing time of my life, I've never felt that sad since the year 2003-2004, all I wanted was to be home and have a normal adolescent life, being that the family school was everything but normal. I was told that if I didn't stop my self pity and buck up that I would have to sit in the corner ( a punishment where a student stands or sits facing a corner at all times.)
so I was placed in the corner due to my self pity (clinical depression). I learned though that I loved facing the corner because it got me out of the mess that was behind me from these verbal tyrants. I could honestly be alone and safe facing a corner, thats how I felt. imagine that you feel comfortable facing the corner of a room, where on earth do you have to be made physically to face a corner its unheard of, but if you can just imagine with me that I was happier having my nose up to the wall rather than being around the staff and students of this school, that says something about the FFS.

The staff soon realized that the corner is where I like to be so they soon started to take away food. I'll tell you this take away any animal/human being its food source and you'll get results.. I've never felt the feeling of starvation till I was brought to the family school, its a terrible pain to be hungry believe me.

so I stopped as much as I could from crying in order to get food. I tried there I really did, I didn't steal, I didn't lie to people, I didn't sneak food, I didn't masturbate, I did everything I could that the school asked in order to stay out of trouble, because I really didn't want to go through starvation again. so I played the game, thats all it is, a game. everyone seems honest but they're just acting that way so no one would go through the punishments.

So I was called up one day for a table topic ( when student stands in family room in front of 30 peers and 5 staff and is told how bad they are). I was told that I was lying, stealing, masturbating all the bad things that I worked so hard not to do to stay out of trouble. I argued back and said I wasn't being dishonest because I really wasn't I couldn't figure out one thing I did wrong in order to receive this treatment. I was then sentenced to work sanction (unpaid pointless labor, carrying buckets of rocks from point A to B, digging trenches, cutting grass, sweeping the road etc).

I saw what work sanction was and I wanted nothing to do with it, especially since I was being forced to do it for nothing I did wrong. late on that afternoon I ran away, I ran so fast I don't think I ever ran that fast in my entire life, it was life or death I really felt that way, in my mind it was more realistic to starve and die in the woods rather than starve and die at the family school. after being lost in the pitch black woods for 8 hours I kept putting my ear to the ground to listen for vibrations for cars driving down the road. finally after finding my way back to the road I was shortly picked up by a state trooper.
bruised, battered and bleeding profusely from thorns, trees hitting my shins, and falling down hills in the pitch black the state trooper helped me back to the school, basically carrying me.

the staff got me from the police officer and took me to the dorms, I was so sore and I could barley walk, staff didn't care. they took me to the dorm blocked me in the corner with two bunk beds and they're I would stay. I was so bloody all I wanted to do was go to the nurse and get bandages for my legs. I pleaded with the staff for medical attention but the only answer I got was "your a run away risk, you think I'm going to let you get the chance again".
I remember thinking to myself "are you serious, look at me I can barely stand much less run where am I going to go". I was soon forced to sleep.

the next day started my dreaded 4 month work sanction. it was grass cutting day and I told the staff member that I had horrible grass allergies and asthma. I pleaded to do any other manual labor and if they didn't believe my allergies to call my mother because I couldn't cut her grass at home do to my horrible allergies. the only answer I got was "stop scamming and start cutting".

unwilling I began to cut and 15 minutes later I was collapsed on the ground struggling for my next breath. I was rushed to the nurse to receive and inhaler, which should have been in my pocket at all times but we weren't allowed to carry them in fear we get "high on the breathing steroids" haha ya right.
my work sanction continued that day and I was carrying rocks all day long, this went on from 830 am to 615 pm.

finally after four months of work I was called up for a table topic to get off work sanction. What I could figure out is what I have done that was miraculous enough to get called up in front of the family to be expelled from my work sanction. I was behaving the same way as when I got put on the work sanction till the day I got off and continuing 26 months later till I graduated. this is when the epiphany happened, I realized that the staff doesn't care about your progression its all about how long you have been there and if you are verbally abusive to the younger students who haven't been there as long. See you cant start acting as a senior student as soon as you come into the school, you cant start playing the game immediately you have to be beaten down till the point where the staff feels thats its ok for you to ACT like your a senior member. if you act the part to soon your a liar, and if you don't do it later on you'll find your self on work sanction two years after your initial arrival, its a catch 22 no way out.

so I got the chance to act the part, I started to call kids out on masturbating, I screamed at kids, humiliated them, I did everything that the staff did to the kids so I could fit in under the staffs shadows to stay safe and fed. this is how all senior members were heartless and mindless, because we were broken down to become that way or suffer frozen soy patties and work sanction.

thats all it was about at the family school avoiding punishments, I was punished one time because I forgot to put sun screen on so Joe Ragolovich ( who had a personal vendetta for me, trust me staff had favorites and if you weren't one you knew it) made me run with sweatpants on under ski pants and a winter jacket with my hood on in 90 degree weather until he felt I lost enough water weight. Joe is a miserable man trust me he had nothing better to do.

the school is a giant sales pitch, the worst thing that I hated and that I had to be a part of was giving tours to incoming parents who were interested in sending there kids there. God I think about how many parents I lied to and said how "if I wasn't at the school id be dead" and " this place saved my life" when in reality the school was killing me. We were used to sell the parents the school, we were EMPLOYEES not STUDENTS. We knew we couldn't tell them the truth about how we really felt cause of fear we would be punished or at that point lose our graduations (the biggest punishment of them all).

not only did I want to tell other parents the truth but I wanted to tell mine desperately. I was convinced though that my parents knew that I was eating frozen soy patties, carrying buckets of rocks, having my asthma attack due to grass cutting, living on campus with a sexual predator and tax evader Paul Geer. When in fact talking to them 7 years later about my experience they had no clue any of this was happening because we were brainwashed to believe our parents knew, and that if we did try to tell them we were deemed manipulating con artist and our parents would keep us there longer. My parents knowing now have already said "if we would've known that pervert Paul Geer was there we would've never sent you there"
So parents who read this, hear that before you consider sending your children there, how could a school that practices absolute honesty as its number one rule employ a man to that stature, if you want hypocrites Hancock NY is where to find them.

so what did I learn at the family school. I learned how to be forced into a belief system that is based on hate and close mindedness to anyone that isn't heterosexual and catholic. I learned that I had to be mean and evil to people in order to get ahead, god forgive me for everything I've said to younger students while I was there, I really didn't mean it, I had no other choice or I'd starve.

what I learned post family school.
!.) anything that happens in family school will not help you when you leave, you get stuck there so long you forget what its like to be free and in a real world, its a total shell shock when you leave, I would've been better learning life on life's terms outside the school
2.) I am not an alcoholic like I was forced to believe I was, I only drank maybe 3 times prior to the school
3.) I can smoke pot and enjoy music and still be a loving person, I don't have SIN and EVIL (which were the most used words there for healing purposes) held within me, whatever that is supposed to mean, ask the family school they'll tell anyone who isn't with them they are sinners regardless of your religious background.
4.) AA is nothing like it is at the family school, my dad is in AA and it saved his life, he didn't go to the family school to be saved.
5.) 2 years of adolescent growth were stripped off me. not because I was at the family school or anywhere else, but because of my lack of human rights that I wasn't allowed to have.



Submitted By: Jacob Lysick