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Religious Rehab and Slave Labor


Cleopatra7
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Slavery was theoretically outlawed in the US by the passage of the 13th amendment, but you'd never know it based on the numerous forms of slave labor that can be employed through a loophole that allows for unpaid labor in the case of those convicted of a crime. One form of modern day American slavery is the sort used by religious rehabilitation centers:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-bc-us--reveal-recovery-centers-forced-labor-20171004-story.html

https://www.revealnews.org/article/they-thought-they-were-going-to-rehab-they-ended-up-in-chicken-plants/

Although these programs are touted as humane alternatives to prison for drug users, what they are in actually are a way for private industry to get free labor while the "rehab" centers make a profit.

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McGahey had heard of Christian Alcoholics & Addicts in Recovery. People called it “the Chicken Farm,” a rural retreat where defendants stayed for a year, got addiction treatment and learned to live more productive lives. Most were sent there by courts from across Oklahoma and neighboring states, part of the nationwide push to keep nonviolent offenders out of prison.

Aside from daily cans of Dr Pepper, McGahey wasn’t addicted to anything. The judge knew that. But the Chicken Farm sounded better than prison.

A few weeks later, McGahey stood in front of a speeding conveyor belt inside a frigid poultry plant, pulling guts and stray feathers from slaughtered chickens destined for major fast food restaurants and grocery stores.

There wasn’t much substance abuse treatment at CAAIR. It was mostly factory work for one of America’s top poultry companies. If McGahey got hurt or worked too slowly, his bosses threatened him with prison.

And he worked for free. CAAIR pocketed the pay.

“It was a slave camp,” McGahey said. “I can’t believe the court sent me there.”

Soon, it would get worse.

(quote from second link)

Slavery was never abolished, it simply leveled up into a new form, and like the old one, it's wrapped up in the Bible.

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That damned loophole... I am amazed, yet not, to see it get so much work.  

But these people --  they even took the workers' compensation for the injured workers!  No shame whatsoever.  

On a related note, there's an excellent documentary out there that discusses that 13th Amendment loophole and how it was used to create conditions even worse than slavery following the end of the Civil War. These convict lease systems have always been profitable, though completely and utterly inhumane: http://www.pbs.org/tpt/slavery-by-another-name/home/

 

 

Edited by amandaaries
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Slavery was theoretically outlawed in the US by the passage of the 13th amendment, but you'd never know it based on the numerous forms of slave labor that can be employed through a loophole that allows for unpaid labor in the case of those convicted of a crime. One form of modern day American slavery is the sort used by religious rehabilitation centers:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-bc-us--reveal-recovery-centers-forced-labor-20171004-story.html
https://www.revealnews.org/article/they-thought-they-were-going-to-rehab-they-ended-up-in-chicken-plants/
Although these programs are touted as humane alternatives to prison for drug users, what they are in actually are a way for private industry to get free labor while the "rehab" centers make a profit.
McGahey had heard of Christian Alcoholics & Addicts in Recovery. People called it “the Chicken Farm,” a rural retreat where defendants stayed for a year, got addiction treatment and learned to live more productive lives. Most were sent there by courts from across Oklahoma and neighboring states, part of the nationwide push to keep nonviolent offenders out of prison.
Aside from daily cans of Dr Pepper, McGahey wasn’t addicted to anything. The judge knew that. But the Chicken Farm sounded better than prison.
A few weeks later, McGahey stood in front of a speeding conveyor belt inside a frigid poultry plant, pulling guts and stray feathers from slaughtered chickens destined for major fast food restaurants and grocery stores.
There wasn’t much substance abuse treatment at CAAIR. It was mostly factory work for one of America’s top poultry companies. If McGahey got hurt or worked too slowly, his bosses threatened him with prison.
And he worked for free. CAAIR pocketed the pay.
“It was a slave camp,” McGahey said. “I can’t believe the court sent me there.”
Soon, it would get worse.
(quote from second link)
Slavery was never abolished, it simply leveled up into a new form, and like the old one, it's wrapped up in the Bible.
The poultry processing facility referred to in the article is Simmons Foods in Siloam Springs ,Ar. Another user of drug rehab slaves was Jim or Kim Hendren. Jim Hendren has ties to Arkansas politics and served in the state legislature. Arkansas Republican pilitics at its finest. I am sometimes really embarrassed to be an Arkansan.
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There was a case in Tulsa, I guess about 20 years ago or thereabouts, where a company sponsored a group of men from another country with the promise of jobs and decent wages. But what actually happened was that they were basically held as slave labor with almost know actual freedom and very little wages paid.  There was a huge lawsuit, the workers were unable to really do much in the way of earning anything while the suit was going on and a few church groups helped them out.  I can't remember the name of the company at the moment, but the company lost the suit.  I remember wondering at the time why the company was surprised that what they were doing was judged wrong by everyone else.

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On 2/16/2018 at 5:08 PM, Briefly said:

There was a case in Tulsa, I guess about 20 years ago or thereabouts, where a company sponsored a group of men from another country with the promise of jobs and decent wages. But what actually happened was that they were basically held as slave labor with almost know actual freedom and very little wages paid.  There was a huge lawsuit, the workers were unable to really do much in the way of earning anything while the suit was going on and a few church groups helped them out.  I can't remember the name of the company at the moment, but the company lost the suit.  I remember wondering at the time why the company was surprised that what they were doing was judged wrong by everyone else.

Assholes do this all the time.  The rich and powerful always act so surprised when others want to be treated with dignity and paid for their work.  Why can't they just be grateful to have the opportunity to work? /sarcasm

Here's a similar situation to the one you described, where Indian men were trafficked to help post-Katrina.  Luckily they won their lawsuit, since who knows how many other situations like this exist quietly elsewhere: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/19/indian-workers-awarded-millions-after-us-firm-found-guilty-of-trafficking?CMP=soc_567

 

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That's dreadful.

I feel like the courts are catching people and never letting them go.  And all for profit.  For-profit prisons are bad enough, and now this?

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