Institutionalized Persuasion

Institutionalized Persuasion

By Marcus Chatfield © 2014

Institutionalized Persuasion provides new information about the history and dynamics of coercion in residential teen treatment settings. While private sector programs continue to make millions utilizing dangerous yet unregulated methods, adolescents are abused each year in the name of treatment. By addressing the root causes of harm and presenting new strategies for the prevention of institutional child abuse, Institutionalized Persuasion offers a unique perspective on a highly controversial, persistent problem.

Marcus Chatfield graduated from Straight, Incorporated in 1987 and soon became curious about the side-effects of the treatment regimen.

After two decades of independent study, he enrolled at Goddard College, designing his curriculum to focus on the prevention of institutional child abuse. He graduated in 2013; this book is his thesis.

He lives in Florida and is a prospective graduate student in Family, Youth and Community Sciences. He plans to continue his work developing new strategies for the prevention of institutional child abuse. He welcomes questions and comments from readers. marcuschatfield1969[at]gmail[dot]com.

  • Customer Reviews

    • “This book is very important to researchers of the mechanics of coercive persuasion. With a core understanding of what it means when these techniques are used in unison, Mr. Chatfield (who was gracious enough to write an early review of my new book) takes readers down dark corridors of particular chapters of US history, and the study of social behavior in humans. When the dark corridors are those of institutions which may still employ many horrid forces described and examined in this work, that do demand absolute fear, compliance, and indoctrination- are exposed, the insights into every day life in contemporary modern societies can begin to be revealed. This book’s subject deserves more conversation. Based on this front running, information sourced, and true to life understanding of Institutionalized Persuasion, I am one researcher/ reader hoping for more common talk about this unspeakable caveat of modern American history.” –Zack
    • “Institutionalized Persuasion deconstructs, in clear and understandable terms, the methods underlying the Synanon Based “therapeutic” community treatment method employed by Straight, Inc. These methods, though completely lacking proof of safety, efficacy or ethicality, have become accepted practice in treatment and corrections settings throughout the US and abroad. Marcus Chatfield deftly narrates the tricks behind this form of slight of mind.”Just like a card trick, it only works if you don’t know the trick. This book is a MUST read for anyone who suspect they may have been subjected to this method, anyone working or aspiring to work in any institutional setting–most specifically juvenile justice and therapy–and anyone who loves someone who has been effected.” –Ginger McNulty
    • “Institutionalized Persuasion is a heartfelt and professional book written by a true expert. Mr. Chatfield was there and I was a parent of someone who was there. He experienced all “Phases” of the persuasion. Then, after completing the Straight program and going on to high school and college, he developed a full and clear understanding of the methods and goals used to influence young people and their parents whose lives had been in turmoil. This excellent book should be first on the list for college and university students and at all levels of research and assistance.” –A Parent

Marcus Chatfield – SIA Conference

Presentation given  April 5, 2013 in Washington, D.C. at the 2nd annual SIA conference.

Marcus Chatfield’s published work

    Marcus' blog posts

  • Psychopathic Social Systems The Social Science that finds innocent ways to explain systemic abuses is like the battered wife whose main strategy is her ability to deny. Her survival and her need for hope necessitate her blindness to the cycle. In her goodness, she has learned to hope that eventually, things will all make sense. Systems that contribute to ... Read more
  • The State of the Art: The Malcolms’ Examination of Straight, Incorporated   June, 2016 Originally Posted on POINTS: The Blog of the Alcohol & Drugs History Society In 2011, I obtained a 31-page report, entitled, An Examination of Straight Incorporated (1981, unpublished), from the Carlton Turner collection in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Archives. Written by Canadian psychiatrist, Dr. Andrew I. Malcolm, and his wife Barbara, their favorable assessment ... Read more
  • Marcus Chatfield Concepts on the Soapbox June 2016 When I hear the phrase, “not with the program,” I wish there was a program I could “get with.” In a couple months, I will be starting school as a graduate student hoping to specialize in the prevention of institutional child abuse and I do plan to wholeheartedly “get with ... Read more
  • A Book About Straight Inc., a Book About WWASPS Marcus Chatfield April, 2016 In 2014, I self-published a book with a long, fancy subtitle, Institutionalized Persuasion: The Technology of Reformation in Straight Incorporated and the Residential Teen Treatment Industry. I started out thinking I’d simply write a book about Straight but as I learned more I began to realize that there was a much bigger and ... Read more