Surviving Adult Reports Childhood MSbP Torture: Part 19 – S.A.F.E. Phase 3

Teenagers on hayride

In my previous posts, I explained how I was first inpatient at Red Rock Canyon, and then ended up in S.A.F.E., a notorious site in the Troubled Teen Industry (TTI). In my last post, I described S.A.F.E. through Phases 1 and 2. This post continues with Phase 3.

Phase 3

We are progressing now!  We are supposed to have internalized S.A.F.E.’s rule and values to the extent that we are now trusted to go out into the community!


There are some caveats, however.  You are now allowed to go to school or work, but have to be transported by a host parent, and aren’t allowed to talk to anyone outside of the program.

Guilty of Looking at Others

You aren’t even supposed to look at someone of the opposite sex! Just imagine, for a second, how awkward you would feel in a normal high school wearing a plain shirt tucked into some khakis, and not being allowed to talk or look at anyone!  If you did, and there were other people there to tattle on you, you were “dishonest” and could be instantly dropped back to Phase 1.

Getting Honest 

Even if there is no one to tattle on you, and say, I looked at a boy and didn’t immediately “get honest” in group, they would somehow know.  I would look funny, or act funny, and they would stand me up in group and berate me until I got honest.

Even if I didn’t look at a guy and the group thought I was acting funny, they would accuse me of something and I would have to confess to SOMETHING!  It really was a double edged sword; damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

Phase 3 was Risky

Of course this phase was very risky because there was always the threat of being dropped back to phase one, for a short while, or for very severe crimes, starting the program completely over.

I was able to ascend through Phase 3 into Phase 4, which I will describe in my next post.

What do you think about Phase 3 rules?

Don’t they seem like they are just more brainwashing? Share your comments on our blog.

Photograph of teenagers by John Harder. Photograph of sword is by US Naval History & Heritage Command.




One thought on “Surviving Adult Reports Childhood MSbP Torture: Part 19 – S.A.F.E. Phase 3

  1. Gut reaction: Catholic school was less strict, and that was an old-style Catholic school. Also, not so much brainwashing as “religious cult” (I was thinking of the Duggar family, where boys are told to look at their sneakers rather than at a girl, using the code word “Nike”). Standing up to confess before others, for public shaming, is not uncommon in religion. There are some that encourage “public confession”, or hold revivals wherein “sinners” are called “forward to repent”. By comparison, Catholicism (despite its guilt-heavy approach) allows the privacy of confession and penance.

    What also strikes me here, Mariel, is that the “uniform” and the “monitoring” serve to separate the kid even further from their peers. YOu can’t look at the boys, you can’t talk to anyone outside the “program”… You’re effectively being de-socialized. Scary stuff, and so glad you survived it!


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