OK, here's the brief story...
I didn't even know what “60 Minutes” was at the time. My parents sent me to a "reform school" when I was 13 years old. I was there for two and a half years. The place was called "Anneewakee," a Native American name which meant "land of the friendly people" (a misnomer if there ever was one.) We lived in the woods and were forced to do harsh manual work that surely violated child labor laws.
Dr. Louis Poetter, the man that started and ran the place, was a pedophile. Allegations were made against him in the early 70's. But the allegations were swept under the rug because he was a large contributor to Jimmy Carter. Many of the people who worked there were also pedophiles. Children were sodomized, beaten, and subjected to psychological torture.
By the grace of God, I was not sexually or physically abused. But there were a couple of times when I was approached in a sexual manner by a group leader and a psychiatrist. But I instinctively knew how to carry myself and react in a way that let it be known that I wasn't susceptible to that sort of abuse. The tricky thing about it was that we were all at the mercy of these people. There was no predetermined sentence, like when you go to jail or prison. You had to “earn” your way out of there. And if the shrink wrote in your chart that you were not being cooperative, then that could cost you extra months in the program. So I had to sort of pretend like I didn't even know that I was being approached in that way, because I didn't want them to get offended and write something bad in my chart. And to be honest, at the time I really wasn't even sure if what was happening was really happening.
The psychological and emotional abuse was a different matter. There was really no way to escape it. I saw horrible tortures and abuses, and it made us all terrified to speak out against it. Looking back, I feel like I was a coward. I had no way of knowing the depths of the systematic abuses that were occurring. We were just kids, and we were conditioned to believe that all those in authority were doing what was good for us.
It was a weird trip all around. And yet, there were some redeeming things about the experience as well. I think I learned how to see beyond the facade of things, to recognize that evil often lurks behind nice smiles, friendly faces, and noble ideals. One day I will sit down and write about the entire experience at Anneewakee. As awful as those years were, I was one of the fortunate ones.
But anyway, a few months after I was released, Dr. Poetter was finally busted and the lid blew off the entire program. I was asked if I was willing to be interviewed about my personal experiences at Anneewakee. I said, "sure." I didn't say anything significant, and I didn't mention the two occasions when I felt that I was being sexually threatened. At that time, I was still afraid that I would be sent back there. And like I said, I wasn't even sure if I had interpreted those incidents in the right way. Maybe it was my imagination. I know now that it wasn't.
I was one of 3 or 4 inmates/students (we still don't know how to refer to ourselves) that was interviewed by “60 Minutes.” One of them was a guy I played football with who was a great athlete and a great fellow. But his father was the psychiatrist who had made advances towards me. He and his father were both there at the “60 Minutes” interview. I kept looking at the guy and seeing the tears in his eyes. I knew he loved his father and he could not believe that these horrible allegations could be true. And honestly, his dad was always very kind to me. I met with him once a month while I was there, and he was always helpful and encouraging. It was only on that one occasion that he made a sexual advance. So, I couldn't in good conscience bring up an ambiguous incident that might ruin this man's life. But later on that psychiatrist - along with others - was convicted of multiple counts of child sexual abuse that were proven. I have always wondered how his son dealt with that. I hope that he is OK today.
Well, anyway, that's a very brief and rambling synopsis of how I was interviewed on “60 Minutes.” I wish I could say that I was interviewed about my book. But I won't hold my breath waiting for that to happen. LOL!http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anneewakee_Treatment_Center_for_Emotionally_Disturbed_Youth