"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Today in Disgusting People

In this case, a "charity" that has never really been one of my favorite organizations, especially after reports started surfacing of them trying to wangle a free pass on anti-discrimination laws from the Dubyah administration. (At the time, I also happened to have an online friend who was involved in an employment discrimination lawsuit against them.) This organization being the Salvation Army, which embodies all the worst aspects of evangelical Protestantism and seem to have no limit on how low it can sink:

Normally when we hear about people who use drugs being sent to forced labor camps as so-called “addiction treatment,” we think of places like Vietnam, China or the former Soviet Union. Surely nothing like this could happen in America?

But the civil rights of people who use drugs are not protected in this country. They are often unconstitutionally sentenced to religious programs like Alcoholics Anonymous. Many others, as Influence columnist Maia Szalavitz has documented, may be incarcerated indefinitely in so-called “tough love” programs.

Another sinister example is the unpaid “work therapy” which constitutes addiction treatment at the Salvation Army’s drug rehabilitation centers, known as the Adult Rehabilitation Centers (ARC) programs.

The programs are pretty much fit the typical "Christian" therapy programs we've run across in, say, the "ex-gay" movement, but even more exploitive:

What does therapy in ARC consist of? The primary form is “work therapy.” In exchange for three hots and a cot, the Salvation Army’s rehab clients are expected to labor for 40 hours a week, without pay, for the profit of the Salvation Army stores.

“Work is used as a therapy to assist persons in learning how to be of service to GOD and others…” Coombs wrote. “[clients] receive no financial wage or other compensation.”

Sorry, but people who have addictions don't need to learn to be of service to "GOD and others." They need professional counseling to help them overcome their addiction.

The article goes into some detail on what the clients receive for their unpaid labor, which is pretty much nothing of any value. It's indicative that 1) the Salvation Army does not keep records of success rates, and 2) has a completion rate of 17%, which by any standard is pathetic.

And of course, since legally the Salvation Army is a church, we're already subsidizing them, and they're not required to report on much of anything.

What we have here, ladies and gentlemen, is forced labor for the greater glory of the Salvation Army.

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