Sunday, January 11, 2009

Betty Sembler receives 2008 Lifetime Achievemment Award from DEA Museum Fdn

The incredible story of how a woman who founded a destructive drug rehabilitation cult got an award from the DEA, it would appear, for using her family's political influence buying to transform the cult into a national think tank on drug policy, for convincing the DEA to locate its world-wide training center down the street from her, and for turning the center's host into a major university.


Straight co-founder Betty Sembler has been given the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award by the DEA Museum Foundation. Did you ever wonder who trains all those DEA agents and international narcotics policemen who gave Ms. Sembler a lifetime achievement award? Why it's Betty Sembler and her Straight program (now calling itself the Drug Free America Foundation). She's not only willing to take your tax money through the federal government's Small Business Administration which helps fund Straight, but she trains DEA agents through the BIG BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION--and I mean the U. S. Department of Defense through the MCTFT or Multijurisdictional Counterdrug Task Force Training program. According to MCTFT literature, the MCTFT is "in the forefront of counterdrug training for local, state and federal officials and their cooperative multijurisdictional counterdrug task force efforts. In cooperation with all the nation's HIDTAs, RISS, JTF-6, over twenty state narcotic officer's associations, the U.S. Military and a multitude of local, state and Federal agencies, MCTFT trains tens of thousands of law enforcement officials in hundreds of courses, conferences and satellite broadcasts each year." The MCTFT is an international anti-drug training program funded by the U. S. Department of Defense through the Florida National Guard.

The influence of Betty Sembler and Straight (DFAF) is obvious, everywhere. By-passing Cal Tech, Berkeley, Duke and MIT the MCTFT is strategically located in Saint Petersburg, Florida, minutes away from Betty's house, at that world renowned hall of academia, the Saint Petersburg Junior College on whose staff sat Father Doctor Doctor V. Miller Newton who's follow-on Straights have paid out millions for child abuse. [Dr. Newton was Betty's national clinical director at DFAF (Straight). Today he is on Betty's medical forum. In Sept. 2005 in a court deposition for PumpGate Betty stated [Dr. Newton is] "an outstanding individual . . . [and] a very close and dear friend and a valued one."]

Betty Sembler is on the MCTFT Advisory Board along with Florida's drug czar James McDonough, the head of Florida's state police (FDLE) James T. Moore, the head of Florida's national guard Major General Ronald O. Harrison, and of course the the Sheriff of Pinellas County Everett S. Rice. There are a few board members outside of Florida. Captain Donald R. Martin of the Virginia State Police holds the international chair [the Virginia State Police Association has sponsored PANDAA, an anti-drug organized founded by some Straight parents in Virginia], Aldine N. Moser, Jr., Executive Director, National Sheriff's Association, Robert Stewart, Executive Director, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, and a few others.

In by-gone days we at the Oakton Institute have been openly critical of the US government's decision to host a federal program with international reach at a mere junior college. There is good reason to believe that that decision had been influenced because of MCTFT's ties to to America's First Family of the War on Drugs, Mel and Betty Sembler. In 2001 Florida state Senator Donald C. Sullivan (formerly secretary of Straight Foundation) proposed a bill to make Saint Petersburg Junior College a full-fledged university which subsequently it has become. It is now Saint Petersburg College and University Center.

Governor Crist, Dr. Sullivan, did we cause you guys to turn that institution into a major university? We think so. That story is here.

Related articles:

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Governor of Florida inducts Betty Sembler to Florida Women's Hall of Shame, er Fame

It is not unusual for politicians to bestow honorary awards upon cult founders. In 2000 Florida Governor Jeb Bush declared August 8 Betty Sembler Day in all of Florida for her work at Straight, Inc., one of the most destructive juvenile drug rehabilitation programs ever. Over 40 former clients have committed suicide. Betty (wife of Ambassador Mel Sembler) was Jeb Bush's finance co-chairman and in return he joined the advisory board of Straight under its current name Drug Free America Foundation. (He afffectionally calls Betty Ms. Ambassadorable.)

Yesterday, January 5, 2009, Florida Governor Charlie Crist inducted Betty into the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame for her work at Straight, Inc. and for her service on the board of the Florida Governor’s Mansion Foundation. Betty's son Brent, who is vice chairman of the Sembler Company, was Finance Co-Chairman for the campaign of state Senator Charlie Crist. He also served on committees for the election of Charlie Crist for Florida Education Commissioner, for Crist's bid for Florida’s Attorney General and for Crist's gubernatorial campaign. It was son Brent who inspired Mel and Betty to found Straight when, as a teenager, they placed him in The Seed (Straight's predecessor) which was accussed by the US Senate of brainwashing kids. There is even speculation that Charlie Crist was in The Seed with Brent.

Another inductee was Louise Courtelis, wife of former Straight board member-at-large Alec. P. Courtlelis. In all, Crist selected three women for induction, the third was Florida state senator Gwen Margolis. It is not known whether she is the mother of Joy Margolis, the former public information officer for Straight, Inc.

Crist made his selection from a list of 10 submitted to him by the Florida Commission on the Status of Women. Brent Sembler's wife Debbie is a former board member of the commission. Mel, Betty, Brent and Debbie, indeed all of the Semblers, have always given handsomely to the election campaigns of prominent Republican candidates like Jeb Bush and Charlie Crist. It's like family patriarch Mel Sembler says, "You pay a little more, you get a little more."

President Bush appoints Mel and Betty's daughter-in-law to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Elizabeth Sembler, wife of Mel and Betty Sembler's son Greg Sembler who is CEO of Sembler Company, has been appointed by President Bush to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Gov. Jeb Bush declares Betty Sembler Day

Reprinted from 2000

It is not unusual for humanitarians such as Straight cofounder Betty Sembler and Scientology® founder L. Ron Hubbard to have a day named in their honor. March 13 has been declared L. Ron Hubbard Day in 150 American cities by mayors impressed with Hubbard's work in areas like drug rehabilitation, education and reform of criminals. The Los Angeles city council was so impressed with Hubbard's life work that they named a street after him: L. Ron Hubbard Way. Take Betty Dederich, a former prostitute who became the wife of Synanon Church founder Chuck Dederich. Sometime around May 1977 Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley declared Betty Dederich Day in honor of her humanitarian work at Synanon. Synanon perfected the treatment method that is employed at Straights. Reverend Jim Jones of The Peoples Temple is another award winner who, among other achievements, treated heroin addicts. When Jimmy Carter campaigned in San Francisco parishoners from The People's Temple helped form large crowds of cheering supporters. This gave Jones a private audience with Rosalyn Carter. Of course later Reverend Jones moved his flock to Guyana where he and almost all of his 900 disciples committed suicide in mass--men, women and children.

In October 1994 President Bill Clinton signed into law a bill that makes the fourth Sunday of every July National Parents Day. There's an interesting story on that bill that was first introduced by Congressmen Dan Burton (R.-Ind) and Rep. Floyd Flake (D-N.Y.) earlier in the year. According to an article in the Washington City Paper, the date is tied to a religious holiday celebrated by the Moonies in honor of their founder Reverend Sun Myung Moon and his wife Hak Ja Han Moon. According to that article the Moonies believe Reverend Moon is the third Adam and his wife is the True Eve. That when the Moons' first biological child was born, Mrs. Moon's "breast milk was cut with cow's milk and ceremonially served to Church members." In 1960, according to the article, the couple declared themselves the True Parents of all mankind. They proclaimed True Parents Day, a church holiday to be celebrated variously in March and April. In 1993 Ms. Moon toured America on a "True Parents' Tour America." She ended her whirlwind tour at the US Senate's Dirksen Office Building on the evening of July 28 when she spoke to the Women's Federation for World Peace, an organization she founded and an organization which has paid both George W. and Barbara Bush handsomely for giving speeches at its functions. The day before Senator Trent Lott (R-Miss) had addressed the Senate urging his fellow senators to support True Parents' Day by attending the WFWP meeting the next evening. Next night Ms. Moon was introduced at the meeting by Senator Orim Hatch (R-Utah). You can this fascinating story here, but the ultimate outcome of it all, according to this article, is what American's now celebrate, along with Mother's Day and Father's Day, as National Parents Day.

So it is not unusual for Republican politicians to award special favors to cult founders who have donated large amounts of money to their campaigns. According to this Drug Free America Foundation press release dated August 7, 2000 and to this announcement in the Saint Petersburg Times, Florida's governor Jeb Bush declared August 8, 2000 Betty Sembler Day in honor of the matron from Saint Petersburg, Florida who has done so much to affect drug policy in America [DFAF was formerly Straight, Inc.]. From the press release it is noted that Mrs. Sembler was "one of the 10 founding members of Straight, Inc." Also noted is that she is vice-chairperson of DARE International and that she formed a DARE Foundation in Australia when her husband Melvin Sembler was ambassador to that country.

In 1989 President George H. W. Bush made a TV commercial for Straight out of the Oval Office. He also appointed Straight founder Mel Sembler ambassador to Australia and founder Joe Zappala ambassador to Spain. The fact that each had contributed over $100,000 to his campaign (and that other Straight officials had also made substantial contributions) had noting to do with it. In 2001 President George W. Bush appointed Mel Sembler to be our ambassador to Italy. The fact that Sembler Company contributed $100,000 to the Bush-Cheney Inauguration Committee had nothing to do with that. President Bush's brother Jeb, who is governor of Florida, has written a letter of support of Straight legacy program SAFE, has joined DFAF's advisory board, and has declared August 8, 2000 Betty Sembler Day. The fact that she was his finance co-chair has nothing to do with that either.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Wake up Ebenezer Sembler before it's too late

an editorial from

Mankind was my business.
..............The ghost of Jacob Marley from "A Christmas Carol."

In February 2007 a speaker fell on 4 year old Josiah Wineberger from a second story balcony at the Baywalk Shopping Center in St. Petersburg, Fl., crushing him and fracturing his skull. Doctors said he would never walk again, but, with intense physical therapy, Josiah is not only walking but he's talking like any boy his age.

Melvin Sembler, AO, is our former ambassador to Italy. If you are familar with Ambassador Sembler you know that he and his wife Betty founded and operated Straight, Inc., a national-level, juvenile substance abuse treatment program, for 17 years. The abuse that kids sustainted at Straight, Inc. are a national disgrace and over 40 former clients have commited suicide.

Straight earned $100 million--tax free. But that's peanuts to Ambassador Sembler who makes his real money building and leasing shopping centers. Shopping centers like Baywalk where Josiah Wineberger was nearly killed last year. The Semblers live a life of opulence, traveling from here to there anywhere in the world in their private jet. In 2003 the Semblers held The Mother of all Toga Parties (turn on sound before linking) in Rome when they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at their Magic Kingdom by inviting all the Who's Who's from St. Petersburg, Washington, DC, Tel Aviv and Rome.
Mel Sembler even convinced the US Congress to buy a $100 million memorial in Rome to honor his greatness.

But while Mel and Betty were eating caviar this Hanukkah, the Wineberger's position worsened. The day after Christmas, an electrical fire sparked in their home and now the fire department has declared it unsafe to live in. Worse still, the home is facing foreclosure.

You might recall that Ambassador Sembler once sued Ray Bradbury for recovery of a medical device, but much to his chagrin, the story made international news. Sembler had thought that Bradbury would cave, we suppose, but Bradbury did not, and the judge finally set a trial date for April 10 - April 21, 2006. The ambassador did not want the trial to go on so he made a motion (and the judge granted it) to postpone it. Why? He decided to take his family on a holiday. He decided to fly his entire family to Israel for the Passover from April 10 to April 20! So we know the Semblers do enjoy their religious retreats.

Mr. Sembler, thousands of kids have been harmed by you at Straight. You have a reputation for sticking it to your fellow citizens in your business dealings. Couldn't you spare a little change to help Josiah Wineberger and his family this holiday. It would not have to be an admission of guilt. Just a gesture to lend a hand to someone hurt at one of your projects.

It's a tradition in my family to watch "A Christmas Carol" each year around this time. We always watch the 1951 movie version starring Alistair Simms. When the third spirit takes Ebenezer Scrooge to his future grave, it chills me to the bone because I just know Charles Dickens is speaking directly to me. I'm old Mel, but you're older. Maybe you and I had better wake up.

Here's a link to the Josiah Wineberger story.