Tuesday, December 1, 2015

RU: Labor Exploitation for Jesus: Part Ten

This is the last post from the handbook!

  • For starters, Hebrews 12 is about remaining steadfast when life gets hard and viewing the normal hardships of life as becoming more like Jesus. 
  • Things that are legal to do in hospitals in the USA that will get you punished in RU:
    • Carrying cash, cash equivalents and bartering
    • Occult and new-age type behavior (What does that mean?  Would I get a major offense for doing yoga, praying the Rosary or making an Advent tree?)
    • Fraternization with the opposite sex.
    • Breaching the "Chain of Command" or complaining.
  • What does "loss of all privileges" mean?  The patients don't have any privileges to take away unless phone calls are counted.
  • When do any of the patients have 10 extra hours of time to do anything?  They have NO free time built into the schedule.  Are "service hours" extra working hours?  When can they do that?  How can they do that? 
  • It's amazing how a problem action by the student ends up bringing in more cash for RU - e.g. students work more hours and their wages are sent back to RU.
  • I find this section more scary than the major offenses.  For any "minor offense", you end up doing more work for RU.   Let's think about some minor offenses listed so far:
    • Not making your bed properly.
    • Not wearing a belt if you are a man or having an untucked shirt.
    • Having an unauthorized photo in your room
    • Showing any non-happy emotion.
  • I spent years in Catholic schools where having your shirt tucked in was paramount - but you never got a detention because of it.  
  • Think about this:  
    • If you have your shirt untucked twice, you are punished by RU getting four hours of your wages. 
    •  If you have your shirt untucked a third time, you get 10 hours of discipleship training.
    • Make it to a fourth time and RU starts racking up 10 hours of labor wages + an extra month of wages.
My concerns:
  • Notice the lack of timeline for dealing with any complaints.  You can fill out a "Complaint Form" and the staff can handle it that day - or in two months.  Either way, you can't tell anyone about it - that's the outcome of "general complaining = major violation".
  • Notice the fact that the student/patient cannot be present when the person in authority is confronted with the "alleged" offense.  You have no idea what the steward said to the dean or intervention mentor - just the outcome.
  • Procedural question: How do you give the written grievance to the non-offending steward without interacting with them?  Remember, you can't have a conversation or fraternization with anyone of the opposite gender.
  • Notice that you have to fill out a complaint form to go around the steward - which you have to turn into the steward....who has no timeline to deal with it.....and could bury it.
  • The entire process pits patients needs against the needs of a group of people who work together.  It's really hard to be genuinely objective towards your coworkers which is why there is generally outside oversight.
  • There is no outside oversight.  You have no appeals to an outside entity or people not involved in RU.


  1. I love your blog and would comment more, but I can't find a way to comment using my usual screen name (usually through disqus). I don't interact online with my google account; is there any way you could have disqus commenting available? I bet you'd get lots of discussion, your posts are so interesting!

  2. One of my main thoughts as I've been reading what you've shared about this handbook is that this entire program is set up to disempower participants and consolidate all power in the hands of the RU leadership (who obviously have zero understanding of how people actually recover from addictions).
    It sounds like if you piss off someone he or she can unilaterally make your life hell (revoking privileges, sending you back to step 1, no outside communication, etc). You have no recourse because of course if you fill out a complaint form, the leadership will back their own staff member and if you say anything else you're complaining (another offense).
    Being barred from ever going directly to the Dean is another way to ensure those "stinking sinners" are ever given an ounce of respect or power.
    This is horrifying.