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Greetings one and all!!
Do hope I've found you well and in the best health, peace and sprits.
You see, I've been struggling with a decision for a few weeks now,
1. Do I keep silent and go on with life as I have done;
2. Do I speak up and say something?
I am still uncertain, but after the past few weeks, the memories and emotions that have surfaced; and the nightmares of horrors replaying in my mind, I'm torn. For close to 30 years I have tried to forget, but the broadcast on “Capital Update-The White House Boys" (12/15/08). That program just shook me to the core.
One would think that over such a span of time, there'd be a healing, right? But that's wrong.
For 30 years I have lived with the pain inflicted by F.S.B. staff. The beatings and abuses that stretched beyond sadism went straight into sadistic torture for their amusements. The cuts and assaults, what kind of person does that to kids? All the perversion of sodomy along with the overall degrading treatment we received, along with the fights, just no sense to anyone.
I was about 12-13, somewhere in there, I was a runaway trying to escape a dysfunctional family life, I had taken my bicycle from Orlando, Fla. to West Palm Beach and into Boca/ Del Ray, living on the streets and dumpster diving. I was a troubled kid! I got picked up in Palm Beach and was sentenced to Juvenile Hall; my first stop was "Okeechobee School for Boys". After a week or two there, I was told to "pack up" I was moving. This move was to Marianna (Florida School for Boys).
I spent the next 10 to 12 months in HELL!! After going through orientation, I was shot across the road to "Hatton Cottage" where it all began. The cottage had a warden, a Mr. D. J. Pittman, who also owned the town’s mortuary. I remember he threatened us kids, he'd always say, "I got a pine box with your name on it", which I later found to be a lie. They just took tater sacks and put the body in it and hauled them away.
My first week in "Hatton" wasn't so bad, even though I was considered "Fresh Fish". I didn't have many problems, plus I was steering clear of staff people. But around week two, I found myself trapped in the bathroom/shower and locker room area; and this where my initiation took place. I was beaten senseless and unconscious, and stripped bare. I try not to think of what took place that day; for truth is told, it forever changed me. Throughout the next bit of time, I became something new. Fighting all the time and smoking cigarettes, dope and stealing anything and everything I could. Breaking into the offices on the 2nd floor of the cottage was constant. I became a bully, studying from the masters. The horror stories I'd heard in detention center were true, "Gladiator School" and "College of Crime." Mr. Pittman and I had many encounters for my behavior and many a time he'd do his damndest to me, but each time only built more hatred.
During my time there, I watched boys from 10 to 16 be brutally beaten by staff members, to the point of un- consciousness. I watched as they drug their lifeless bodies across the floors, leaving a trail of blood and fecal matter. Then being forced to "clean it up or receive the same." I've watched staff members break bones; arms/legs/wrists/ankles etc. and force kids into sexual acts or sodomize them with brute force, “just a spit and a poke" was what he always said. I watched as an 11 year old boy climb on the roof of Washington Cottage and do the swan dive. Then watched other boys run up to the body poking and prodding- oohing and ahhing over the brain matter on the steps, while staff just said clean it up and wash it down. This was a zoo!
Granted, when I got there it wasn’t segregated, but the atmosphere was; white to white; black to black; Puerto Ricans to Puerto Ricans, and if you got caught in the wrong spot you paid the price, and yes I carried a piece of steel with me everywhere I went.
You see I was a small kid; I needed an equalizer to make folks think twice. I even tried to get rid of Mr. Pittman, but only grazed him. This is where I discovered the White House's purpose. Oh I'd heard stories and seen some kids being drug off in there, but I never knew the truth, until I was put in there and four pointed. They wore my ass out; they took turns beating me with a piece of solid rubber that stretched across my entire body. It would wrap around as it hit you. Then they would douse me with a water hose and repeat. This was my first time there; on my next visit they chained me to the wall and tapped me with electricity/shocks.
The more I kept going back the worse it became, But I couldn't stop for some reason, they had done something to me that wouldn't let go. Things had gotten so distorted and out of sync that I tried escaping. I tried getting over the fence first, but they had some chicken mesh up there, that I couldn't get my fingers in, to climb over it. I and another guy wound up in the auto shop, we were going to hot wire a car and run the gate. As we were trying to crank up an old mustang, all kinds of commotion went on outside and we could hear staff screaming and yelling to "find them". Both of us were kind of freaking out now cause we knew what would happen if we got caught. So we scrambled around in the garage looking for a hiding spot, we settled on the attic and this is where we were found the next day. Over the course of the next 2 weeks is where they broke me, to which I am surprised to have survived!
D. J. Pittman, Randy (he took care of the dogs) and a Biker Guy (I don't remember his name) lived on the compound, over by the church in a small house. Those three did such work on me that I have never forgotten, nor ever shared, not even my ex-wife who I was forced to leave because of violent outbursts of behavior; to which she could verify. I was tormented and abusive and hooked on drugs. These three made sure I would never be the same kid again and turned me into something I cannot even begin to explain.
Prior to F.S.B. my behavior was just normal kid stuff of a curious nature, after F.S.B. and their "correction", I spent the remainder of my life running from demons, hooked on alcohol and drugs, and going back and forth to Juvenile camps and onto adult prisons, never finding peace or comfort, never having family or friend support; never allowing anyone to get close and even to this day I have fear of letting anyone in and close for fear of hurting them. Yes I have grown over the last 15 years here, but I have grown in a zoo where things are controlled, but the instinct within never dies and when I feel pressed or threatened, I resort to what I was taught,- Violence-, and that's not kosher.
I sat back last night and listened to the news and the reunion meet, and I have to commend ya'll for having the strength and courage to share your stories and shed light on the systems abuses. I tried myself when I was in there, but my family wouldn't believe me, I even told my Juvenile lawyer/counselor what was going on, no one cared! Today as I listen to ya'll and listen to the people I'm around and the bureaucrats, forgive me but I become angry. Ya'll are trying to do the right thing and come forward in attempts to stop the madness and insanity, and protect our kids. And these idiots are scrambling around trying to push it under the rug and say ya'll are full of bull.
I become angry because the same laws and rules that are supposed to keep peace, security and safety are the same laws and rules that gave them the free reign to torture and kill kids and us, and when you try and force them to admit the system is at fault and reasons why some of us are so screwed up, they want to bend and twist the laws and rules to suit their need and sweep us to the side. It makes no sense! They "The System" would just as soon make up excuses and say we don't know what were talking about, then stand up and admit the truth. They lie and what’s sadder is the lie gene is passed on form generation to generation with them.
I know that I'm sort of rambling here and I'm sorry, it's just that I have so many emotions rolling through my brain, so much pain and anger and hatred, and I know that I shouldn't, but you see folks, my nightmares and pain didn't end back then, I didn't have the willpower ya'll had to overcome that madness! My entire life was a nightmare and pain. I could not get over what they did to me! You know the adage "We become a product of the life and environment we are raised in"; "We give what we get"! As a child I was given hell, as an adult/teen I gave hell.
They (the system) gave it to me and I carried on the cycle and gave to others.
Oh I tried changing, but I couldn't. Even had a little girl tried her damndest and almost succeed and had she not committed suicide before my eyes, I believe she would have won, but her demons stopped her and when that happened I got worse. I just had no stable and consistent support that allowed me change. All of which has led me to the place I am now and enduring as I am.
Before coming to a close I want to say THANK YOU!! I'd also like to point out something, I'm not sure you're completely aware of, there were a couple of places that bodies were taken during my time there, one was over by the dog yard, outside the fence. You could see the area from the confinement cages, the second area was where the green house is. I know this because I was part of the work crew that went and tore the greenhouse down and brought it back to Marianna, and as we began pulling it up, we dug into a couple of bodies/bones/skulls, we were instructed it was animals and to keep quiet, but it wasn't animals. Growing up in country, I know the difference in bones of carcasses.
Again, THANK YOU ALL for your time and co-operation in reading this. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to voice them, and if I can help in any way just tell me what you need. I am an avid legal beagle, I know my way through the laws and law books. So if I can aide, just holler.
Know that my deepest respect and sympathies and prayers are with you. For you all, for I know the road to hell you have endured and survived!! Good luck to you all and my peace and best wishes are with you. Stay strong and don't give up the good fight.
Loran K. Cole