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Date: 01 May 2001
"Graduating from the Victor Programme"
When the big Junior JeTT / Teen group was assembled for the first time, I was looking forward to finally experience being a normal person. We were all told that the slate was wiped clean, all past forgotten and that we were to be given a fresh start.
At first I really was determined to really try and adhere to the rules and be a good disciple, but almost immediately, it was as if I was still in the Victor Programme, except that we were not on silence restriction. We had this demerit system called "Minors / Majors" and if you got a Major then you received corporal punishment at the end of the day, but also if you received more than 5 minors I think it was. We all were given buddies, which we had to stick to at all times, but the bad thing was that the Junior Teens were allowed to give minors to their JeTT buddies. My particular buddy was not nice to me at all, it was almost as if he enjoyed me being punished. I remember one time when we were mopping all the rooms in one section of the centre, he was unhappy that I was "not putting my whole heart into the mopping" so he told me to do so. I kept mopping as normal when he said that for every second that I kept doing this he would give me one minor. He then proceeded to count up to 5 and then stopped and gave me 5 minors which meant that I would get a beating that night. One time I scribbled something on a tile in the bathroom, something like "God gives the very best to those who leave the choices up to him" and a very big deal was made of this. I of course would not admit to it and since they had no idea of who had written it, they kept going on and on about confessing and there were many a meeting about this until one time they said that they were going to ask God to curse whoever did this, and then that would be a much worse punishment than any punishment that they could administer, which made me really scared and made me finally admit it. Now one thing that was not different about this group was partiality. Some people got special treatment when other more unpopular ones (such as me) always got in trouble. We all had special assignments or chores that we did daily, and according to how popular you were, the easier the chore you got, I was always put on toilet cleaning and things of the sort along with the other unpopular ones.
Now I must not forget to mention that not everything about this time was bad, there were shepherds there who sincerely did care about us, and well, I must talk about the head shepherd called Tiago. I do not understand Tiago or his intentions to this day. He was like the high and mighty one who you got scared of as soon as you met him. I do think that he did try to shepherd us well, but he still was very quick to resort to strict punishments and victor programme like tactics on us. Actually his word classes were interesting, I must admit, he always talked about funny things and he was one of the only ones who could make me interested in word classes, I'll give him credit.
The MAP (Military Academy) programme
Just when you would have thought that the victor programmes were a thing of the past, a whole new victor programme emerged called the MAP programme. This was introduced as a one month intense super duper victor programme only for the worst rotten apples. Actually only 12 people actually ever attended this victor programme, and I was one of them and attended it both times it was held.
The first MAP programme only had 5 people in it with 2 shepherds which meant that they could scrutinize your every move. These were supposed to be last resort people who just couldn't get the victory, but I wasn't called to be in this one initially. I remember how everyone was immediately scared stiff of having to go to this programme as it comprised of hard labour, hard labour and everything horrible and boring that you could imagine of a victor programme x2. I remember thinking how lucky I was to have managed to escape, when I was told that I was to be put into the programme for a week along with the rest of them. This was a horrible time. Here was the schedule.
4:30 Wake up. 5:00 Be at the kitchen and clean all the walls, scrub all the floors, kitchen in top condition while the shepherds and maybe one or two of the others prepared breakfast for the home (350 people). 7:00 Breakfast 7:30 Word Time 10:00 Back to the kitchen to clean all the walls, scrub all the floors , scrub food baskets, basically the whole routine again but more intense while lunch was prepared. 12:30 Lunch time (if you had learned your first set of bible verses) 13:00 Lunch dishes 14:30 Quiet Time 15:30 Back to the kitchen for the same routine, plus any other menial chores they could find for us to do while dinner was being prepared. 6:30 Dinner (if you had learned your second set of bible verses) 7:00 Dinner dishes 8:30 Bed
I was put into the first MAP group for a week and they just threw me inside a fridge room they kept the veggies in and made me scrub it with a toothbrush all day, even though it was clean, it got dirty again immediately, or everytime that they walked into the room in their dirty shoes, so I had to scrub it again. I remember how they used to point at one tile and say "Clean this tile, get that dirt off", but the tile was stained and could obviously not be cleaned, imagine the frustration. I think I was beaten 4-5 times during this week because the rules were very strict. No communicating in any way shape or form, a bad attitude was reason enough for a beating, basically you could not go through the day without them finding something that you'd done wrong, and you were beaten.
Anyway, this was only for a week, and I was very glad, but as soon as the first MAP group had finished their intense training, it was time for MAP II, and I was to be part of it (they even asked for our approval before sending us to it, but told us that we were rotten apples and that this would be the only way of redeeming us)
Now shortly after the MAP programme had finished, an academic called David Millikan was to visit the training centre and so we all had to go home for a couple of months while they prepared everything and while he was living there. This was also at the time of the Filipino infiltration and Argentina if I'm not mistaken so there were a lot of things going on.
I went to this home which was called the NAS home (with Steven Vessel), and as soon as I arrived, I was put in the JeTT group along with some other children who had become JeTTs after the JeTT/Teen programme started at the TC. Now I did not know that they had not been briefed in any way about the "persecution", the Filipino infiltration or anything, so during the first "Word Time", they were discussing the persecution, and I just started talking about whatever we had been told at the TC, not knowing that the other JeTTS knew nothing about it. The funny thing was though, the teen who was our supervisor did not try to stop me talking about it or tell me to be quiet or anything, she just let me continue and then when I had finished she just left the room. I did not suspect that anything was wrong until Steven Vessel (who was the home shepherd at the time) called me in for a "chat". I was then placed on silence restriction and given a sign to wear. (this was my first day at the home). This devestated me, and basically I was back on silence restriction which meant no priviledges, and no nothing which was any fun whatsoever. I had to stomp laundry all day and write pages and pages of OHR's and write out selected MOP sections again and again. This continued for about a week or two when he finally said that I'd repented and took me off, but on one condition that I would NEVER mention anything about the TC, not even a word about anything, for as long as I was there, which I of course slipped up on accidentally pretty quickly, I think I made a remark that "Tiago wouldn't have done that" or something, so I was back on silence restriction again.
Anyway, time passed and I was back at the Training Centre, but I don't think that we'd been there for long, before we were all to be sent home, although I was not allowed to be sent to where my parents were living as they were at the new selah SC, and I was too much of a security risk.
I was informed that I was to be sent to JeTT II (the old Junior JeTT home) with Steven Vessel, and my heart sank. I found myself at JeTT II pretty quickly where the whole story repeated itself. Silence Restrictions, hard labour, unfairness, and cruelty. I remember that when I'd been there for only a short time, I was being made to run laps around the garden (which was quite big), again and again, and I was so tired that I couldn't run anymore. Steven then said that if I didn't keep running then I would be put on Silence Restriction but I refused to do so, I simply could not run anymore. I was then just like that put on Silence Restriction for 2 weeks, and having to do the dinner dishes / sweeping / mopping / drying for the whole home all on my own for a whole week.
It was at this time that I started getting interested in computers, as they had one there which we were allowed to use, but I managed to break it so I wasn't allowed to use them after that at all, which was difficult, as it was like I had found my calling, I just was so sucked in that I had to be looking at one or thinking about them constantly so this was difficult, but fair enough, I broke it so it was difficult for them to trust me.
I was at JeTT II until I turned 14, and although it was a difficult time, there were nevertheless people there who did care about me and who I trusted, so I'm not going to paint the picture blacker than it was.
(in part IV I'll talk about my move to the SC)