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Youth House

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Youth House

Post by greg parker on Sun 04 Apr 2010, 9:17 pm

Brief history of Youth House
Youth House actually started out as an all girl institute in 1928. It's name then was the Hanavah Lavenburg Home for Working Girls. It was during the 1940s that it became Youth House for Boys. [1]

The funding was through the Lavenburg Foundation set up by Fred Lavanburg. [2]

Fred Lavenburg
Lavanburg's wealth was derived from manufacturing. In 1927, he used part of this wealth to form the foundation bearing his name, but died soon after. One of the first priorities of the foundation was for the provision of low cost housing to meet the perceived needs of the poor. To this end, apartments were constructed at at 124 - 142 Barusch Place. [3]

Although no evidence has been found linking the Lavanburg Foundation to corruption and/or racialism, it nonetheless is worth noting at least, that the history of estates in NYC is rife with stories of corruption and a creepy kind of racial paternalism, if not outright bigotry. It was an era when eugenics was not a dirty word; on the contrary, it was the answer, and some of Lanvanburg's foundation money did go into "social surveys" of ethnic groups; in another case, into supporting the Council for Exceptional Children.
At some point, Lavenburg's foundation became the conduit for funding, building and managing new estates. During the Cold War, "managing" including running private spy networks - sometimes in direct competition with government agencies, and sometimes working with them. Such networks were used to root out those ineligible for public housing and, in other cases, to weed out troublemakers (read "radicals").

Excerpted Articles on NYC Welfare agencies by Michael Kent
Article one
"I know from long and grim experience on the ACLU Church-State Advisory Committee that religious organizations are not obliged to disclose their budgets -- even to their members -- and the only reason you are not reading of another scandal daily is because of the embarrassment that disclosure causes. I was there and sawmajor cover-ups excused on this basis -- the Protestant Council of the City of New York, for which I worked one summer, was a complete scam run by an Albany slum landlord and his out-of-town honcho friends. Only many years later was their cover finally blown. You will probably not remember the names of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. or Norman Vincent Peale, but they were prominent clergy who were used as fronts and covers for its scams (from which they did not benefit.). The Boy Scouts in many parts of the country are just as bad. And the head of United Way, who spent two years in jail for defrauding this central charitable fund raising organization, is now disputing whether his $2 million special supplementary retirement benefit can be canceled. The national treasurer of the Episcopal Church made off with a bundle a few years back. We will most likely be reading of a faith-based pig trough of scandals in a few years -- funded by us tax payers!"


Article two
Many years ago I had a student summer job that entailed among other things updating the directory for the Protestant Council of Churches of the City of New York. I had taken on this job because at the time the National Council of Churches housed in the same building (the Protestant 'Vatican' at 475 Riverside Drive in Upper Manhattan) had been a leading force in the then civil rights efforts being launched by Martin Luther King, Jr. and others. I thought that the Protestant Council would be the local equivalent. How wrong I was!


Things started out okay with the assignment to update the Council's annual directory of NYC Protestant churches. Traditional denominations sent in their lists of churches as requested with particulars. However,as I moved down the line I began to discover odd things -- that many listed churches actually had the phone numbers of local bars; others were rather weird organizations with mysterious identities that, I discovered, were using their directory listing as a credential.

And as I became more familiar with this operation some of the Council staff confided to me that I was really working for a scam outfit that raised money exclusively to support its leadership's salaries, that its right wing businessmen (fundamentalist) trustees did not even reside in NYC, that its executive head was a slum landlord in Albany, that several of the major Protestant organizations (Episcopalians and Presbyterians and its Brooklyn branch) were fully aware of these anomalies and had quietly disassociated themselves from this $1,000,000 a year operation which was foisting itself on the public as the Protestant 'voice' of NYC. As fronts, it had enlisted 5 popular Protestant clergy -- Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. and Norman Vincent Peale among others -- whose names were prominently displayed in its promotions and
probably did not know what was going on -- I hope. Wider details were filled in by the then executive director of the Protestant Welfare Agencies to whom I took my concerns and who pled what could he do and suggested that maybe the church was not the place for me?

What was additionally disconcerting about this operation was that it was functioning wherever it could as a counter to social justice. For example, it was doing its best to put down civil rights efforts behind the scenes, as the dissertation of a young Columbia political scientist, Henry Pratt, clearly documented. It was making pronouncements to the effect that 1,000 Protestant Churches opposed ending the Sabbath laws which forbid Sunday openings of most stores (It had sent out postcards and received mixed responses from about 300+ 'churches'. Later Lindsay told the police to stop enforcing these discriminatory (anti-Semitic) laws and they were eventually repealed.)

It was into this system that Oswald was swept when he became a "truant".

Justice Florence Kelley
The New York Post of Nov 30, 1963 reported that "Lee Harvey Oswald... had a psychiatric and truancy record in the Bronx."

In relation to what Justice Kelley told them, the story becomes confusing, as it starts by saying that Kelley told the Post she had given some information to the FBI. It then goes on to say "It was learned from other sources that the psychiatric report recommended young Oswald - then only 13 - for committment" but that this recommendation was "turned down by the court" adding that "the probation report found schizophrenic tendencies and said that Oswald was 'potentially dangerous'." The confusing aspect is that it's not made at all clear whether the "other sources" referred to are sources for the Post or Kelley.

Renatus Hartogs
Whatever information the Post had and regardless of who it ultimately came from, Hartogs' memory post-assassination reflects the exact same information in regard to making a recommendation that Oswald being committed, and as to the diagnosis.

Mr. LIEBELER. Can you recall what kind of institution you recommended that Oswald be committed to?
Dr. HARTOGS. I never make a recommendation as to the name, the specific institution. This is a prerogative of the court.
Mr. LIEBELER. Do you make a recommendation as to the type of institution to which you recommend a child?
Dr. HARTOGS. Yes; I do that, either a mental hospital or training school or residential treatment center, but I do not recall in this case what I recommended.
Mr. LIEBELER. But you do recall quite clearly that you did recommend, because of this boy's personality pattern, disturbance?
Dr. HARTOGS. Yes; that he should not be placed in the community.
Mr. LIEBELER. Or placed on probation?
Dr. HARTOGS. Yes; that is right.
Mr. LIEBELER. Do you recall being interviewed on this question by the FBI?
Dr. HARTOGS. Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER. Do you remember approximately when they interviewed you?
Dr. HARTOGS. No; I don't know the date.
Mr. LIEBELER. Do you remember that you told them the same thing, that is, that you recommended institutionalizing Oswald as a result of his psychiatric examination which indicated that he was potentially dangerous?
Dr. HARTOGS. Yes.

but more questioning reveals the Post story as "jogging" those memories.

Mr. LIEBELER. Would you tell us how you first became aware, after the assassination, that Lee Oswald was a child with whom you had had previous contact?
Dr. HARTOGS. The first time was, I read it in the newspaper, Justice Kelley, you know, Florence Kelley, made a statement to the press that Oswald had been in the Youth House, and she revealed details of the psychiatric report which immediately made me aware of the fact that I was the one to examine the child, because this was my wording.

There it is. Kelley (or whoever the source was) had used terms he commonly used in his diagnoses. He recognized his style in the phrasing.

Evidence (falling short of absolute proof) that there were two psych reports - each with a different diagnosis and recommendation then is provided via the Post and Hartog's testimony. If in fact, two reports existed, one was certainly meant for (and ended up in) the court file. The purpose of the other is obviously unknown.
To perhaps get close to realizing its purpose, the question to ask is, "who could make use of this fraudulent report?"

Youth House and Bellevue
Youth House was not a treatment center. It therefore had no "legitimate" cover for experimental treatments, or secret government work on mind control and other Cold War arcana. If Youth House had any role in this, it was once removed from the action. As Hartogs pointed out, "I see them [new arrivals] right away on an emergency basis and send them out because we cannot keep too disturbed children in Youth House. We send them then to a mental hospital." Claude Brown, in his autobiography, named that "mental hospital" as Bellevue. [4]
Oswald's stay did have some "oddities". Youth House staff reports for instance indicate that Oswald was left alone by the other boys. Why is this "odd"? Simply because, as Carro noted, Oswald was smaller than most black and Latino inmates - including violent offenders with raps for murder and armed robbery among them. Claude Brown 's book clearly indicates fights among the boys were common occurrences. Oswald then was surely an easy target for bullying. The other "oddity" is that he was freed from normal routine to go to his room and read. We are not told what he was reading - but given the adverse publicity comics were receiving at the time - Batman can surely be ruled out. Was he studying something perhaps? And left alone to do so because the other boys had strict instructions that he was out of
bounds?

ENDNOTES
[1] Juvenile Detention in New York - Then and Now by Sarina Roffe, Dept of Juvenile Justice
[2] Ibid
[3] Lavanburg Foundation website - History page
[4] Manchild in the Promised Land by Claude Brown, p16.

greg parker
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