Terminology

Here you will find a glossary of terms used at New Beginnings and other information to aid in your understanding of survivor accounts.


Staff Members: any workers at the Home who have never been enrolled as students in the Home. Staff members, other than the McNamaras, are required to follow strict rules and are under the total authority of the McNamaras. Staff are paid extremely low "missionary" wages, far below Federal Minimum Wage. Staff Members are susceptible to and often subjected to the same kinds of open ridicule as girls in the program. According to survivor accounts shared online, some Staff Members have expressed to Junior Staff and certain girls in the program that they would like to leave the Home but are unable (because of their low wages and isolation from the outside world) or are too afraid of repercussions from the Directors to do so. Usually Staff are unable to leave on "good terms."

Junior Staff: any workers at the Home who have been in the program for an extended period of time and have shown themselves to be submissive and "trustworthy" enough to acquire this status. Many are still minors finishing high school alongside girls in the program. Throughout the Home's history, Junior Staff have ranged in age from 16 to 19 years old. Basically, this status is like a glorified "Helper" status, as most are unable to leave of their own volition.

Helpers: any girls in the program dubbed as such. A trusted status. These girls typically carry notebooks to record Demerits given to other girls for breaking rules. Typically Helpers are the first girls called-in when the Directors feel that a girl needs to be restrained for any reason.

Buddy: any girl who is assigned to watch over a New Girl and accompany her where ever she may go on the premises for the first 30 days or until the New Girl is taken off of New Girl status. A Buddy can also be assigned to any girl who is suspected to be a threat to harm herself or others or who may try to run away from the Home.
 
New Girl: a girl who has just arrived at the Home. During rare occasions when girls are permitted to socialize with Staff, Junior Staff, or other girls, a New Girl is only permitted to speak to her Buddy. This particular status usually lasts for the first 30 days in the program, but time on New Girl can be extended for an indefinite amount of time depending on the Directors' perception of the girl's behavior.

Demerits: negative points received for simple offenses, such as: speaking to others, singing or humming at an undesignated time, improper dress, direct disobedience, disrespect, tardiness, knuckle popping, excessive touching of the hair or face, accidental or deliberate indecent exposure, touching another girl for any reason, communication (signaling) with others, "calling out" (asking Staff, Junior Staff, or Helpers questions without first raising the hand and being granted permission to ask said question,) nailbiting, fidgeting, falling asleep at inappropriate times such as school or church time, hygienic issues, failing to complete chores perfectly and on time, etc. Each Demerit must be worked off with painful exercises, hours of sentence-writing, or with corporal punishment (Licks.)

Licks: swats given usually by Mrs. McNamara while Brother McNamara supervises. Swats are given with a hard paddle. Sometimes other girls, Junior Staff, and Staff (usually any people other than the McNamaras) are required to restrain girls while they are given Licks. Many survivors have complained that they were given Licks with whatever items were on-hand, such as boat oars and mini-blind rods. Many witnesses confirm these accounts. The Home goes through periods of time when they claim to have done away with this form of corporal punishment, but usually this doesn't last long, and complaints of abuse resurface. Even during times when they aren't giving out Licks on a daily basis, the use of improper, cruel and unusually abusive restraint still continues. Many survivors claim that they received major bruising and other injuries from Licks and restraint.

JCMT: Missouri program survivors claim that "JCMT" is the new name for their restraint system. According to survivors, after the Missouri relocation, the McNamaras underwent training and claim to be "certified" to perform this method of restraint, which girls describe as excruciatingly painful. According to survivors, the "JCMT" method is supposed to serve to calm students who physically lash out and have shown themselves to be a danger to themselves or others, that it is some kind of pressure point method. It remains unclear what exactly the acronym stands for, as survivors claim that they were never told. Many survivor stories show that even if they were certified in how to perform restraints properly and legally using this method, they do indeed use it abusively. Survivors who have come forward with testimonials about being "JCMT-ed" (to quote them) claim that it is not always used in situations where the students are presenting any danger or threat to anyone, that it is used excessively and inappropriately, that inordinate amounts of weight were put on them for extended periods of time, and that they were forcefully "taken down" and received injuries from that and/or from "pressure point" techniques. Survivors claim that the excessive weight and "pressure point" techniques hurt the most, the latter of which being applied with excessive force long after the event of circulation cut-off resulting in numbness, discoloration, and further pain in the extremities. And that, in fact, they deliberately attempt to cause and thereafter prolong these painful effects. Regardless of any "certification," real or fabricated, their actual methods and practices are abusive and illegal.
http://www.caica.org/RESTRAINTS%20Death%20List.htm

Separation: a punishment resulting from girls growing too close. If the Directors determine them to be "too close" or negative influences for each other, girls are placed on Separation and therefore are forbidden from speaking to, signaling to, standing near, or making eyecontact with each other for the duration of their stays at the Home. Consequences for breaking this rule include (or have included): Licks, Redshirt, or Discipline.

Redshirt: a punishment which requires the detained girl to stand all day with the tip of her nose on a wall with her hands at her sides or behind her back and her feet flat on the floor. She is not permitted to fidget, to move at all, or to look away from the wall. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stress_positions) She is also required to wear a red shirt for the purpose of  humiliating and singling her out and to ward off other girls, hence the name of the punishment. Communicating with a girl on Redshirt would result in both parties being placed on Redshirt. Sometimes girls are on Redshirt for days, weeks, or even months. After the Home's first move and name change, this punishment was modified and the name changed to "Discipline." At random, girls on Redshirt/Discipline are required to endure harsher punishments than non-Redshirt/Discipline girls. For example: in the past they have been required at different times to walk in line with their heads down, to eat only Half Portions or different meals from the other girls (such as plain "Cream of Wheat" or boiled beans, according to witnesses) to wake up at intermittent times throughout the night to endure forced, painful, strenuous exercise sessions (called Wear-Outs) or to scrub single squares of tile for hours with toothbrushes. In the past, they have also been required to wake up earlier than other girls and go to bed much later. More recent survivors claim that while on this punishment, girls are allowed a few minutes time every half-hour to one hour to sit down and take a break from standing. The details of this punishment are changed and modified from time to time to protect the home from outside criticism. To the detained, this is the most dreaded punishment.

Discipline: see Redshirt.

Wear-Outs: see explanation within Redshirt entry.

Half-Portions: diet restriction; half the portions of food that girls regularly receive. This can and has been used as a punishment for Redshirts and overweight girls, among others.

Six-Inch-Rule: a rule which dictates that girls in the program are never permitted to touch another girl (hugging, doing hair, etc.) in the program for any reason without permission.

Kills: a name for one type of many painful, forced exercises that girls are made to perform in a series, either for the purpose of random punishment for an offense (such as disrespecting the Directors) or to work off acquired Demerits. Girls line up in ranks while performing any exercises. Many girls experience extreme exhaustion. If girls cry excessively, attempt to refuse, or collapse, more exercises (or Demerits) can be added onto the amount she has to complete.

Wall-Sits or Wall-Squats: a Stress Position used for punishment. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stress_positions)

Six Month Visit: a halfway-point visit with parents that lasts 3 days and 2 nights. Parents are allowed to take their children off the property but are not allowed to take her far from the town/city in which the Home is located without permission from the Directors and parents must attend all services at the church that the Home regularly attends if the visit falls on days when church services are held. Parents are not allowed to see their children prior to this visit, six months after she has entered the program, and are only allowed to speak to them on the phone once every two weeks to one month for ten to fifteen minutes. Students may write a one page letter to their parents once per week. All incoming and outgoing mail and phone calls are monitored. Incoming letters are frequently censored with a black marker. Outgoing letters are handed back for rewriting if the Directors don't like what the child has tried to write to her parents. Directors tell the children that their phone calls will be disconnected if they attempt to speak negatively of the Home. 

Bible Memo: Bible memorization time. In the Home, girls are required to memorize 30+ full chapters of the Bible on top of 20+ other Bible passages.* Every day, they practice their memorization by reciting said chapters and passages in unison. It takes more than one hour's time to recite the entire list. Girls are required to recite these verses as part of forced singing performances at churches around the United States (girls refer to this as Tour.) During these appearances, selected girls are required to give their "testimonies," to explain to the church what God and the Home have done to change their lives. The Home receives "donations" from these churches in exchange for the girls' performances.


Tour
: a time period when the Home makes appearances at churches around the United States and accepts money in exchange for the girls' singing/Bible Memo performances. This sometimes lasts for weeks. Girls sleep on the floors of churches, in church members' houses, or in the  Home's Tour vehicles. Many survivor accounts include details of the exhaustion and mistreatment they faced on Tour. Girls pictured above are looking at the floor because they are not permitted to look at (and certainly not to communicate with) church members at any point. While singing or reciting passages, they must keep their eyes on the Staff Member directing the performance. At all other times (e.g. while "Brother Mac" is speaking or while one girl is standing at the podium giving her "testimony,") the group must put their heads down and keep their eyes on the floor.

"Open Rebuke": spontaneous sessions of ridicule, at which time the Director openly criticizes girls and Staff for personal "mistakes," girls' histories as defined by parents in their confidential entrance files, and his perceived flaws in character traits or physical characteristics. He claims that this is Biblical, based on his interpretation of Proverbs 27:5.**




*Required Bible memorization, as of 2005:

Exodus 20:1-17
Psalm 1
Psalm 8
Psalm 12
Psalm 15
Psalm 19
Psalm 23
Psalm 27
Psalm 40:1-3
Psalm 46
Psalm 48:1-2
Psalm 51
Psalm 53
Psalm 57
Psalm 62
Psalm 63
Psalm 67
Psalm 75
Psalm 91
Psalm 100
Psalm 101:1-4
Psalm 116
Psalm 121
Psalm 126
Psalm 133
Psalm 138
Isaiah 53
Matthew 28:18-20
John 7:37-38
John 14:1-6
1 Corinthians 13
Ephesians 6
Philippians 4
Colossians 3
James 1
James 3
Revelation 5

Other passages:

1 John 5:13
Romans 3:10
Romans 3:23-25
Romans 5:12
Romans 6:23
Romans 10:9-13
John 3:16
John 3:36
Ephesians 2:8-9
John 10:30
John 10:38
Matthew 1:23
Isaiah 7:14
John 10:28-29
John 5:24
Ephesians 4:30
Psalm 12:6-7
Psalm 119:89
Acts 2:38


**King James Version, the only translation deemed as acceptable at the Home. According to their strict belief system, all other Bibles used by the English speaking world are wholly corrupt. In letters or cards sent to girls from their families, Bible verses (handwritten or printed ) which come from other versions are censored - blacked out with marker - along with any other unapproved subject matter or facts simply dubbed as unnecessary for the girls' knowledge (i.e. dates of visits or release, "discouraging" or "negative" conversation.) Many former detainees in the NBGA survivor group, who provide and confirm all information herein, still retain their censored letters and cards as physical evidence of the described censorship.