Reform at Victory is a non-fiction memoir, written in first person, about my year as a teen held against my will in an unlicensed, unregulated, locked-down, fundamentalist, Baptist reform school. My hope is that my book will raise public awareness about such facilities that use illegal, humiliating and harmful behavior modification methods to break those inside into submission. The death of one girl, who is a main character in the book, prompted authorities to take a closer look at the facility. The facility was eventually ordered closed down. However, the owners moved to another state where they reopened. Sadly, there are many similar facilities operating today in the United States. They use fear and manipulation to convince parents to leave their troubled teens under the care of unqualified staff, that much of the time have nothing more than a high school diploma with which to treat teen girls who have a variety of disorders, ranging from light depression to schizophrenia. I hope Reform at Victory will offer insight to parents and inspire them to do the necessary research needed if they are considering this type of help for their teen. Not all who claim to help are capable or qualified to give such help. The results can be counterproductive and extremely damaging, at best, as you will probably agree with after reading Reform at Victory.
In the pages of Reform at Victory, readers will embark on a journey through the mind of a confused teenager, me, as I struggle to make sense of this extreme and sudden lifestyle change I am faced with. Be prepared to leave your freedom of speech, civil liberties, all communication with the outside world, your pants, your radio, your TV, secular music, make-up, books, magazines, reason, logic, self-esteem, and personal identity at the fence. Those things are not welcome at Victory Christian Academy. At VCA, the Old Testament is the cure-all for everything, including eating disorders, sexual abuse and bi-polar disorder. There are no therapists and no doctors. We are only permitted to discuss our problems with God through prayer.
The first day is spent in solitary confinement. The 364 days that follow are spent playing the game; a game that will rewire the brain forever. You'll meet the misogynistic preacher, the staff, my parents, and the other girls, with whom I form bonds that not even death can break. This is a story of spiritual, mental and emotional abuse, and survival. It's a story of self-discovery and critical thought. Come inside Victory for a year and experience life in lock down through my eyes, as a sixteen year old, peppered with a mild dose of satire. At the end of the book, we’ll try to make sense of the nonsensical year that has just taken place, and we’ll try to pick up the pieces of a shattered self-esteem, the best we can.