Life Style

Kidnapped and taken into the woods: ‘Why I had my teen gooned’

That’s because every year, thousands of youngsters in the States are ‘gooned’; forcibly taken from their home and sent to facilities known as boot camps, behaviour modification facilities, or wilderness therapy as part of the Troubled Teen Industry.

Known as ‘brat camps’, these initiatives promise to iron out kids who are violent, lawbreaking or or abusing drugs and alcohol – among other behavioural problems.

However, understandably, they are also huge controversial – not to mention unpopular with teens.

Paris Hilton says she was traumatised after she was woken by strangers in her bedroom in the middle of the night as a teenager. The star was taken from her home in LA across the country to Provo Canyon School in Utah where she stayed for nearly a year.

‘A thick hand grabbed my ankle and dragged me off the mattress. I was instantly awake – hyperawake – in a state of panic. I’m about to be raped. I’m about to be murdered. One man clamped a sweaty palm over my mouth, wrenching my head back. The other held up a pair of handcuffs,’  she wrote in her biography, Paris: the Memoir. She also documented how her parents tearfully watched as she screamed at them for help.

Some victims claim it can cause lifelong emotional damage. One former attendee tells that even now, a decade after being sent to a therapeutic boarding school, he struggles with his mental health as a result of his time. Still reluctant to talk of his ordeal, all he can say is: ‘I still get nightmares. It’s hard for me to move on with my life.’

Meanwhile, a Reddit threat, ‘PTSD from getting gooned’ lists posts from young people who have struggled to get over the experience.

One writes: ‘Over a decade on and I still don’t feel safe in bed. I still keep a baseball bat under my bed. Gooning is child abuse and has lasting consequences.’

Another says: ‘More than ten years later, after several years of therapy, I still have nightmares about waking up to a stranger in my room. My parents acknowledged once that they made a mistake. Meanwhile, I live with night terrors, panic attacks and sleep paralysis, and never feel safe at night.’

It’s a deeply complicated and emotive subject – however, Casie Fariello believes her son Jon would no longer be alive if she hadn’t had him gooned and sent away.

The 54-year-old mother-of-three tells she knew she her boy was in trouble when he tried to smuggle cocaine through the airport while they were on a family holiday in Paris in 2018.

Source of data and images: metro

Related Articles

Back to top button