Victory Forge Military Academy is the same as Southeastern Military Academy

In December 2009, Weierman decided to change the name for Victory Forge to Southeastern Military Academy. Nothing about the school has changed, except the name. Even their website is the same (save for a new URL).

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Victory Forge Truth Website

Recall, that we had been working with a web developer to create and publish a website exposing Victory Forge and those running the establishment. We had interviews and stories from former students, employees, and residents of Port St. Lucie. We even managed to find some people from Brinkhaven who gave us some pretty lurid details on Alan Weierman. Towards the end of last year, our web developer became really busy and the website development slowed (we are not exactly a well paying client for him). We have now completed most of the website and were ready to release it to the world.

One parent suggested to us that the contents be reviewed by his attorney prior to release. We complied with the request and the attorney has suggested that we refrain from posting the details at this time due to potential legal issues that may be raised. We have two options:

1. Let Alan Weierman and Victory Forge review what we have and provide us with any statements or evidence to whatever they disagree with or think is untrue. We will then either remove the content (if we have it wrong) or display the content (if we think Weierman is trying to lie to us).

2. Publish the website and expose the truth behind this jail for teens.

Ok reader, here is your chance to tell us what to do. We know most of you will select option 2, but please try and keep emotions out of this. Remember, our goal is to expose these deviants no matter how long it takes.


Anonymous said...

Seems to me if you don't care about repercussions then you should post it. But they will be well protected legally.

Also, I don't understand - I thought you said the attorney said you should not post it at all? So why are you presenting two options? Or maybe I am misunderstanding - could you clarify.

VF Parents said...

Yes. The attorney stated that unless we are confident that the facts on the website are true and we have the appropriate disclaimers and protection for those speaking up against VF, then we could publish it. The other aletrnative was to have VF review the website and provide us with a written response which we will incorporate was part of the website. This way we are protected and VF will have their say as well. This is the weaker approach, but may be more legally sound. Although, we don't think VF will have a legal leg to stand on because we have been able to corrorate almost all the statememts made against Weierman through public records, investigations, and interviews.

The survey is to get an idea of if we should take the aggressive (publish without giving VF a chance to opining) or conservative (VF gets to opine) approach.

Hope this helps.

Cadet John said...

publish it!!!

embarass them and expose these miscreants. they deserve whatever comes their way.

also, there is a reserved place in hell for Al.

Anonymous said...

I would be very careful. Slander is slander. Recently, a woman was sued and LOST millions for putting a blog out there that criticized a movie making company. Unless you have lots of money, I think you should drop it. I feel you made your point. The "FACTS" that you have corroborated would have to stand up to judicial scrutiny and would be available to weiereman upon discovery.

Anonymous said...

can we see a Beta of the site?

Concerned Citizen in Ft Pierce

Anonymous said...

A Cold Call, a Blog, and a $20 Million Lawsuit
Posted: 2008-12-17 00:21:57
Filed Under: Small Business, Online Business

A North Carolina entrepreneur blogs a warning to her industry -- and gets sued for her troubles.

In January, Leslie Richard got a call from a man from Vision Media Television. The Boca Raton, Florida, TV production company wanted to know if Richard would agree to be interviewed for a documentary on eco-fashion. According to Richard, the caller implied that the film might air on PBS or possibly on CNN.

"I was nervous, but I was totally, like, Yeah -- I'll do it," says Richard. A TV appearance promised to be a huge PR boost for her two-year-old Asheville, North Carolina, company, The Oko Box, which sells clothing made of organic cotton, hemp, and bamboo.
As talks progressed, however, Richard, 31, grew increasingly skeptical about the documentary. She says another Vision Media employee told her that Oko Box would be charged $22,900 to cover some production expenses, plus $3,000 for travel costs. Feeling "creeped out," Richard called the Better Business Bureau and posted a message about her experience on her company's blog. "Look alive small eco business owners," she wrote, " 'cause there is a new scam targeting us. [U]sing television lingo, an entire team of people, a website, video footage, and [a] whole bag of lies to cover their scheme."

As cathartic as this blog post may have been, it put Richard's business at risk. Anything posted on a CEO's blog -- including reader comments -- can be construed as carrying the weight of a company's endorsement, says Marc Zwillinger, an attorney in the Washington, D.C., office of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal. "Blogging is a cheap and scalable way to talk to interested people," adds Seth Godin, an avid blogger and the author of 10 books on marketing. "But understand that while you advocate for your company, you are also walking a tightrope from a legal and business point of view."

Initially, Richard says, her blog elicited responses from more than 50 business owners who said they had dealt with Vision Media and shared her concerns. One person sent Richard a statement found on PBS's website from 2004 that said the network was "not associated with and does not endorse" a list of companies that included Vision Media. When the production company threatened to sue Richard if she didn't take down her blog, she wrote: "Um, yeah VMT your scam is being posted & has already been reported, and your imaginary lawyers can't do anything about it."

In July, Vision Media made good on its threat and filed a lawsuit in Florida against Richard and her company, asserting that the comments on Oko Box's blog (which Richard reposted in a members-only chat room maintained by a group for social entrepreneurs) had directly resulted in $5 million in lost business. The suit also asked the court to award Vision Media $15 million in punitive damages.

Mark Miller, an executive producer at Vision Media, denies that his company claimed to work with PBS. He also says Vision Media has a good rating with the Better Business Bureau, contrary to a post published in the comments section of Richard's website. "We've lost a lot of business as a result of her blog," Miller says.

After the initial shock wore off, Richard found a lawyer in Florida who was willing to work with her pro bono. At presstime in late September, Richard was close to a settlement with Vision Media, and she said she was prepared to take down the blog posts.

Richard says the nine-month standoff could have been avoided if Vision Media had just said, "We're a video company that does advertorials; you can use it however you want, and this is how much it costs." Miller asserts that his company does, as a policy, mention fees in the first phone call and that Richard misunderstood the pitch. "Our presentation is crystal clear," he says. (PBS declined to elaborate on its statement concerning Vision Media.)

As CEO blogs proliferate, so will the legal issues. "My sense is that she could have written her warning post in a more careful way," Godin says. "I want to push CEOs to be authentic on their blogs and to be selfless in trying to help readers. But they also have to understand that their words will be out there and widely seen. So they owe it to their stakeholders to act responsibly."

VF Parents said...

Thanks to the concerned parents who have stated that the Weiermans will do whatever it takes to silence us. This may include using funds from the program to defend themselves (thus robbing the kids who need help from getting it). This is the reason why we have been working very closely with our attorney and ensuring that all posts in the blog and all postings on the website can be verified independently. Thus another reason whe think we may want the Weiermans to be given a opportunity to opine and defend themselves before we launch our website.

Anonymous said...

I found the Victory Forge Military Academy and Boot camp through a camp website. I was looking into the 2009 summer camp for my son. I'm glad I found this site!!!

VF Parents said...

I am glad we could help. Please WARN other parents who are also considering sending their children to this place. Thank you.