You probably don’t want to know about this book or about this true account of man’s unbelievable and insane cruelty to man!
by Charlie Leck
by Charlie Leck
About the time I was graduating from high school, Roger Kiser was just arriving at the Florida Industrial School for Boys in Marianna, Florida. A friend recently told me that Roger had written a book, The White House Boys, and that I ought to read it.
“Read the Prologue,” he said, “and you won’t put it down.”
So, yesterday I read the Prologue of the book. Three hours later, shaken and overwhelmed by a sense of the unbelievable, I put the book down, finished with it and madder than hell.
Unless you are up to facing the reality of man’s incredible “inhumanity to man,” you are not going to want to read this book.
There are a couple of ways to learn quickly what the book is about. One is to visit this web site: The White House Boys Survivor’s Organization Corp. Watch the video there, but be careful; for you may not be able to keep your last meal down.
The other way to learn quickly what was going on here is to read Roger Kiser’s speech at a ceremony in 2008 that acknowledged what had happened there. Four men, who as boys had lived at the reformed school, were invited to speak, without being censored, about what happened there. Roger was one of those speakers. Here’s what he said:
As I stand here before you today, the White House Torture Chamber less than four feet behind me, it is strange that the only word that comes to my mind is the word “masturbate.” Between Matron Mother Winters at the orphanage and Dr. Robert Curry, the psychologist you hired to straighten we boys out, that was the only word I ever heard come from these two individuals’ mouths. During the first twelve years of my life that seemed to be the most important thing the State of Florida wanted to know about me. It was bad enough never having had a real mother, but to have to sit through that type of degrading language was scary and disgusting. Governor, I have always wanted to say those words to you.
The term ‘reform school’ is supposed to be a positive place not a negative. You, the State of Florida, became my parents by an order of the court and placed me in a Jacksonville, Florida, orphanage. You, not I, chose to make that decision. I, being only four or five years old, had not choice in the matter. You had a responsibility to teach and prepare me for a life outside the orphanage. For seven years, you are the one who allowed me to sit on the end of my bed with only a single broken roller skate wheel to play with. For seven years, I sat there rocking back and forth on the end of my bed, my mind wasting away while I spun that single roller skate wheel around and around more then [sic] one-hundred million times. When I was not spinning that wheel I was over at Mother Winter’s room laying naked, my little head on her bare chest while she had me masturbate her.
But because I took one of the girl’s bicycles from the dormitory, climbed a tree now and then, and went to the bathroom or got a drink of water without asking permission, you sent me to this ungodly place. Whatever goodness might have been left of me at the age of twelve, you finally destroyed by beating the pure living hell out of me. You almost killed me. When I exited this damn building I was so bloody than no one could recognize me. I walked into the bathroom in Mr. Hatton’s office and I screamed in horror when I saw nothing more than a bloody monster in the mirror. Shaking and screaming, I begged Matron Mother Winters to please come and save me from you bastards. ‘I’ll help you masturbate Mother Winters, really I will and I won’t complain ever again.’ YOU CAUSED ME TO BEG FOR MY MOLESTER TO COME AND SAVE ME! THAT’S WHAT YOU DID TO ME!
Gentlemen, today, almost fifty years later, I now stand before you and I am still not sure if this building will allow me to smile. But that’s not the worse [sic] of it all. A secret inner hatred of society and a fear of my fellowman will forever be instilled and kept secretly hidden deep inside me because of this White House building, the Florida Industrial School for Boys at Marianna, Dr. Robert Curry, Mr. Hatton, and Mr. Troy Tidwell.
Was my secretly riding one of the girl’s bikes without the orphanage matron’s permission, or climbing up a thin tall pine tree, or stealing candy bar from the Patio restaurant because I was hungry worth the price the State of Florida made me pay?
I was not a murderer, a rapist, or a burglar. I was a danger to no one, other than maybe myself. As a child, I had never hurt anyone, not even under the slightest of terrible circumstances. I was just an innocent, confused, incorrigible, hungry, unwanted and unloved young boy who needed someone to let him know that he had a value to someone, somewhere in the world.
My entire adult life, those two horrendous beatings at the White House have been very difficult battles to deal with – one moment loving children, animals and most of humanity; the next moment a temper exploding into a fit of rage trying to protect myself from those who probably do not wish to harm me, but I cannot afford to take such a chance ever again.
I stand here today in remembrance of all the boys who were beaten, raped, and abused by this facility. But one that I will remember the most will be the boy who had his skin whipped off his back in one chunk from his shoulders to his knees.
I don’t know how many boys were killed here, and I don’t know if that we ever be known. But I do know this: Many a good little boy walked into this damn torture building but a lot more little Charlie Mansons walked back out than did good little boys. You should be ashamed of yourselves.
I can only pray that things have changed for the children of today.
Mr. Kiser’s book catalogs and details the events of his life while living in the Florida Industrial School for Boys. You probably don’t want to know about them.
You can visit Roger Dean Kiser’s own personal web site and learn more about him.