Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Turn About Ranch (A Rough Guide) (From:Fornits.com)

This story was originally written on the message board called the Fornits Home for Wayward Webfora. It started a longer thread about the horrible conditions at this ranch, which continues to be in operation and was featured in the Dr. Phil show as late as here in 2010. All rights and credits goes to the author known as Idioteque:

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Note: My time at TAR was voluntary. It resulted from my expulsion from a traditional boarding school that I loved, as a prerequisite for re-enrollment. Also, as an Elan history buff, I was curious about this industry. My experience took place in late Winter to early Spring of 2002.

I went to Turn About Ranch for "the minimum" 60 days because I began a letter-writing campaign to the educational consultant at the Department of State, my dad's employer. While she did not do anything besides force a stop-payment, it was still welcome.

TAR really ought to be shut down. It isn't brutal in the sense of WWASPS, but it's still incredibly twisted. The isolation, forced labor, antiquated gender roles, and mandatory Baptist instruction are sickening.

For the uninitiated, here's a general break-down of the system:

1st level: IMPACT/ROUNDY

During the first day at Roundy camp students are strip-searched, have their shoes taken away and replaced with old size 14 rubber boots (without laces). They are then told to sit in the dirt, surrounded by a 4x4 circle of rocks with a firepit and a plastic tarp/lean-to supported by cedar branches. They sit there from before dawn to well after, until the Level 2's are sent to bed.

This is called "impact".

During this time they are not allowed to talk (except to ask for water or food) and are forbidden to sleep except when the staff tells them to. They eat breakfast (oatmeal, cooked over their personal camp fire in an old coffee can), lunch ("trail mix," which is shredded coconut, Cheerios, and raisins), and dinner (which can vary from beans & lentils to Ramen noodles, depending on availability and behavior).

They are issued to blue Level 1-2 binder. At this time their only work is to write a letter to their parents, a letter to themselves (to be opened upon graduation), and to wait. Wait until advancement.

Level 2: ROUNDY

The students get their shoes back. Nor do they have to shit under supervision anymore, but it's still in the same port-o-potty (Staff, Boys, and Girls toilets are there, but are unlabeled so humiliation and punishment can be used against anyone using the "wrong one")

Usually after about 3 days the students are taken off of impact. A bath (in a galvanized tub with boiled water, a bar of soap, shampoo, and a disposable BIC razor) is provided. They are now Levels 2's or "twos," but keep the same binder. Their responsibilities are much greater than on impact. They spend most of their time milking cows, carrying water from a creek (punching through the ice if you're lucky enough to be there after November and before April), washing utensils/dishes, collecting eggs, feeding pigs, and doing push-ups twenty five at a time (if they say anything as horrible as "dude"
or "god"). Anywhere on the calendar remotely near winter, they chop firewood. Cords, as they call them, are a necessity for advancement in the Blue Binders. A quota is listed and enforced.

Level 3: The Barn

You get your Green Binder! And a mid-term meeting with your parents, who just might screw you over more if you're not careful. Better slap on a Utahn accent and bury that mouth firmly in between their ass cheeks!

At The Barn, oligarchy rears its ugly head. There is a syllogism to it. Not all students are snitches, but all snitches are students. You have to watch your ass in an entirely new way.

You are allowed to drink flavored beverages now (Kool-Aid, milk, soft drinks as infrequent rewards). You are allowed to see clocks and watch certain movies (The Emperor's New Groove, E.T., The Bridge Over the River Kwai, etc.) during "movie nights" and also you eat more complex food (burritos are a perrenial favorite). However, your mail is still (as always) regulated and newspapers/TV are out of the question.

Your average day will be spent feeding cattle off the back of a truck, feeding goats/chickens/geese/sheep, or even helping an employee move their furniture to a new house. You are free labor and therefor expendable, don't forget that. On Sundays, you're ushered into TAR vehicles and driven to Escalante's Baptist Church for the mandatory services(supposedly not, but on asking not to be included I was threatened with a "level drop").

During this time you will also be included in "groups." During Group you will sit on plastic chairs in a semi-circle and watch people be accused of things, mocked, and subsequently have insults screamed at them. Maybe you'll get to participate in Max Stewart's (the burly Mormon who runs the place) challenge to run from your chair to the corral fence and back again just for the hell of it. If you look at the girls too much he'll accuse you of wanting to make a "TAR baby." To Mormons, sex without reproduction is a foreign concept.

Or in my case, you might get taken for a ride in Stewart's pick-up truck for some personal attention. He told me I was a drug-addict for requesting a continuation for my prescription Eskalith (lithium citrate, for Bipolar Disorder). Thanks for curing my organic brain disorder, Max!

Level 4: The BARN, SOLO, GRADUATION

As a Level 4 you get to serve yourself a plate before anyone else by going behind the counter and scooping slop onto it while helpless Level 3's drool. You also get to sit in on "leadership meetings" in which troublesome students are brought up and solutions are devised. It's a sweet position, but make sure you kiss the right ass or you'll level drop.

During this time you're supposed to complete your Red Binder, which includes assorted equestrian bullshit and anti-drug propaganda from 20 years ago (by the way, these binders are counted as High School credits for some reason).

Eventually, after tormenting your underlings in Levels 1 to 3, you're sent to Solo. Now, Solo isn't as harsh as it used to be. It's still the same one-room, black-painted cabin out in the middle of nowhere that it used to be. The only difference is you don't have to sleep there. Instead you spend your time completing the Solo Binder, which is a reflection on just about everything. You can almost (kinda) get a tan out there, too. This is also the perfect time to smoke any cigarette butts you've found (or sage-brush rolled in notebook paper if you haven't learned to trade well). What, no matches? You should have stole them from the meds booth, you retard, GAWD there's only a fucking basket of them!

But I digress.

This isolation will last perhaps 2 days at the most. Then you'll be welcomed back to The Barn in hushed, secret anticipation of your graduation. Sometimes this is delayed for more than a week, other times it happens within 24 hours. You're then led into a circle outside (or one in The Barn) where your "medicine pouch," some feathers, and some other Indian bullshit are given to you. Then everyone says some stuff and your indulgent, well-fed, affluent parents cry and welcome you back into their (YOUR) family.

You are now free. It took 90 days of no music, no "slang," forced Christianity, having to sing while using the bathroom, hard manual labor, and ingenious mind-games... but you're free. What's in store for you? If you follow Turn About's suggestion; a life of piety and no friendship. Better than smoking weed and premarital sex, right??

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Some of the conditions the author is mentioning has changed based on public pressure due to the boarding schools partipcation in the TV-show "Brat Camp". The boarding school was also involved in a court case where a girl had been sent to the ranch by her mother and the family intervened so the girl could leave and live with her family in another state.

References:
Datasheet on the boarding school from Secret Prisons for Teens
The original thread on Fornits

57 comments:

  1. would love to talk to someone about my experiences here

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    1. You went to TAR?! I'm curious how the turn-out of others was from the same camp I went to 10 years ago.

      What's your name?

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    4. It is truly unfortunate you didn't seem to understand there was a reason you were there and self reflect on how you could make changes in your life.

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    5. It is truly unfortunate you didn't seem to understand there was a reason you were there and self reflect on how you could make changes in your life.

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  2. Reading this, I couldn't help but start my 'Emergency Plan', in case my parents catch wind of such a 'helpful' plan. -.- Wait a while, then, (if the matches are as easy to find as you say), find somewhere with burnable materials, near the main area, and light that bitch up. Then run. Run 'till you can't breathe and your legs are falling off. Please, if anyone is or knows someone being sent to this place, do it. I don't want to have to road trip over and do it myself. -.-
    (PS: If anyone is offended by this, I'm sorry. It's my instinct to plan for as many situations as possible, just in case.)

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  3. WOW! It's almost Vietnam! How did you ever survive!!! Plastic chairs..forced to go to church...work!!! This is a 3rd world teens dream. Get a grip.

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    1. Preach it!! Time for self entitled brats (such as myself when I was there) to gain a new perspective on life. Far from any torture camp.

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    2. Preach it!! Time for self entitled brats (such as myself when I was there) to gain a new perspective on life. Far from any torture camp.

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  4. It is not fun to be forced to praise a belief which you don't share. The God we choose to believe in are a personal choice.

    Here in Europe there are people which demand a second justice system based on their belief because they don't believe in our God. I disagree with the principal of Sharia being used as law here, but I do also understand that it can be difficult for people believing in a different God to be forced to accept our God.

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  5. Turn about has changed alot since you've been there apparently. i just came home after staying 100 days exactly i admit it didnt do a whole lot of good for me but i still took home some of the things they taught me there and it did make a difference at home. but TAR its not as harsh as your making it out to be. i was even at the barn. Level 1 is sitting in a circle of rocks 10ft in diameter and completing your 9 goals for that level including writing 3 pages in your journal every night. and you eat ramon noodles that you cook your self and sit by a fire at night and in the mornings when its the coldest on a sleeping bag to refelct on why your at TAR. Level 2 you get to sleep upstairs in a new sleeping bag and a foam matress, you get good home cooked country food no condiments yet, you can talk to staff and level 2's when staff is present. you get to work and not sit all day, and you get some of the inventory you parents set to you. level 3 you get condiments and much better food you get a mattress and a pillow, you can wash your clothes in a washing machine and dryer, you get boots, you own horse to look after, a green binder with goals to do in it, daily visits from your therapist and pictures from home. level 4 is the same as level 3 just your trusted a whole. it is true eveyones a snitch but if you dont snitch and staff finds out about the inccident everyone gets put on reflection. btw refelction is where you sit outside in a tent for days at a time till you tell the truth about what you did to get you out there and you lose privleges like good food, matress and pillow, bathing, and clean clothes. they do this to make you want to be better than you are. my favorite staff Marla told me that; "there isnt a day that i come to work that when i leave i dont take something home with me." all the staff care deeply about us having a better future than we were gonna have. i hope you go to hell for cursing them and slandering them like you have. you didnt deserve to go and get help your parents would have done better by burning the money then spending it to save your ass. oh and one more thing, your not forced to go to church. your parents can call the office and tell them that they dont want you going to church its all on your parents not the staff.

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    1. Julie: My daughter is at the Ranch now. She got there on October 4th. Were you there then? She is only 14 though. I'm just wondering if you might have run into her while at the Ranch? Her name is Haley. If you happened to know a Haley, please let me know and I'll provide you with my e-mail address so you can let me know how she's doing. I talk to the threrapist weekly, and Haley writes me almost daily, but we don't get to see her for her mid-term for quite a while yet and I miss her.

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    2. Hello Julie and HMJ - My son was 14 when he went to Turn About Ranch in 2000. At the time he was the youngest attendee. I find it interesting that the originator of this post did not give their first name at least; speaks volumes.

      Julie, I appreciate you telling the truth about TAB. I researched treatment programs for my son for more than a year before we made the decision to use TAB. The concept of Roundy is to "STOP" all negative behavior and ground the youth to the reality that life will be different during their time at TAB. The first youth erroneously stated they could not speak during this time which is not true. They can speak to their counselor and their counselor is with them. They also write letters to their parents and themselves. The circle they are in during this short period of time represents new boundaries as typically they come to TAB without many. I speak to what my son has told me about his experience.

      Yes, the youth have to work. Of course they do, that's an important life lesson. The first person forgot to mention that each youth is assigned a horse as part of the therapy and that horse is chosen for each youth as a reflection of their issues. In my son's case his horse was Rosie - a horse who did the opposite of what he wanted her to do. It was a perfect fit.

      My son is now 27 and while life wasn't perfect after his stay at TAB he still speaks of his experiences with love and respect for his experience there. He says that when he finds himself in a good or bad decision making situation he asks himself - What would they say at TAB; what would Max say? He still has his picture of Rosie and himself in front of the gates of TAB.

      Recovery is what you make of it. I'm saddened to believe that the originator of this post may not be doing very well at this point and I imagine you are, Julie. The best to you and thank you for telling it like it really was.

      HMJ - I hope your daughter is doing well. I still go back and read the information I was given during my times at the Ranch.

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    3. So you admit that TAR prevents students from bathing or wearing clean clothes, as a form of punishment/coercion? If the CIA did this to terrorists, it would be considered torture. (Literally, it is a violation of the Geneva Conventions).

      If I were a different kind of lawyer, I'd be feeling very greedy and opportunistic right about now. This place sounds like a ripe and deserving target for a lawsuit.

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    4. TAR is no where nearly as bad as it is being made out to be in these recounts. I was never denied baths or clean clothes, there were always options albeit not the luxurious ones children are used to at home. I mean seriously, my first horrors and temper tantrums were over the fact I was given wranglers to wear instead of the "fashion" jeans I was used to. And because I refused to eat the food they provided wasn't their fault, it was my own. It is a wonderful resource, run by caring loving indiviuals, who have dedicated their lives to improving the lives of children who are on the wrong path. I stil remain in contact with the counselors and staff I knew at my time there. This program saved my life, end of story.

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    5. I love what you wrote Julie in regard to TAR. Though telling someone to go to hell, is horrible. I understand how you respect the staff, but telling others to go to hell is horrible, and very evil. I believe you're above and beyond saying such. Best to pray for others, than tell them to go to the worst place ever. Again, I understand how much you care about the staff and that's wonderful. God bless

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  6. "i hope you go to hell for cursing them and slandering them like you have. you didnt deserve to go and get help your parents would have done better by burning the money then spending it to save your ass"

    This says all I need to know about you.

    "they do this to make you want to be better than you are."
    No, they do that to break you. Those things you listed are the exact same tactics they've used to break prisoners of war. They do that to break your will so you'll submit to whatever kind of program they're running. It is not conducive to long term treatment. It is a temporary way to keep kids docile and obedient.

    REAL therapy involves actually getting to the root of the problem and working through it. It doesn't involve leaving children alone starved from human contact and basic human dignities that are afforded to even the most heinous criminals in our society.

    You can't "fix" people in 90 days. Most troubled kids have deep rooted relationship problems with at least one of their parents. How are you going to fix that by taking them far away from their parents and letting them have zero contact with their loved ones?

    HMJ: Any place that doesn't let you talk to your child on the phone is giving your child less rights than a prison. You don't even know these people personally you're just trusting that they'll treat your daughter right.

    I pray to god nothing bad happens. Places like this are ripe for abuse because its so easy to get away with it.

    There are a number of things you should look for and this place sends off all the red flags. You might see an improvement in your daughter's behavior when she gets home, but it won't be because she's better it will be because she's scared to be sent back.

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  8. i went there in 93. it was as traumatic as any place full of a bunch of troubled teens. some of the staff was nurturing. some of the staff were idiots. i got nothing out of my experience there other than a desire to never go back there.

    years later when i turned thirty i had the foresight to forgive my parents for sending me to that desert gulag.

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  9. I went there in2012 and it was the best experience of my life, you sound like a whiny dudebro who didn't know how to take is as the blessing it was

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    1. I guess that there are two sides to every story. I as a parent find it horrible that such places exist. I have two children. The oldest is now an adult. The youngest is a teenager. It has been a rough path. No parent is perfect, neighter am I. They have consumed alcohol as most Danes since they were 14. They had problems in school.

      But under no circumstances would I resort to send them to such a place. I don't understand how lack of communication with your parents, sleeping on hard wood, being forced to sit all day in a stone circle etc. can be a blessing. Sorry. I simply cannot understand this.

      Maybe if you made a full testimony it could explain this for us parents who find this story horrified.

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    2. Exactly Haylee. I was there too. I wouldn't change it for the world. This program saved my life. The people who are complaining about it need to take a good look in the mirror and start accepting personal responsibility for actions.

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  10. I am so sorry you had to go through that. After seeing videos of turn about ranch and reading your account it sounds like a traumatic experience. It was not okay for you to be forced to do that against your will. This would only ever be okay if you had consented to it, which you didn't. I'm sorry you had to go through that and I hope you will be okay.

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    1. It was the best experience of my life, personally. It saved my life and hundreds of kids just like me. Please don't listen to a few disgruntled kids who weren't willing to take personal responsibility for themselves

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    2. It was the best experience of my life, personally. It saved my life and hundreds of kids just like me. Please don't listen to a few disgruntled kids who weren't willing to take personal responsibility for themselves

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    3. I will listen, I always believe victims and survivors over anyone else. I had a traumatic experience as well (not at this place, but another place) that no one will believe and that is not okay so I fully support this person.

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  11. I was physically abused during my stay there. This place is based on a curriculum of physical, emotional, mental torment and abuse. This is not a place of rehabilitation but one of lock the doors and throw away the keys. Parents are at their wits end when the make the decision to send their kids here but heed this warning... I have never met a child that benefited from the psychological and physical abuse this place functions on. It has been a long while since I was a client here and the scars are still fresh.

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    1. I went there ... It benefitted me greatly! In fact when I was younger I went back as often as I could to visit. But feel free to explain to be what abuse you suffered so I can try to gain some sort of understanding of what you are talking about. I never ever saw anything of the sort.

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    2. Clever at this point it sounds as if you were just a "teachers pet". Quit defending them when there are dozens of people across the world disagreeing with you. Just because you were a kiss ass and had a good ride doesnt mean everyone else will; fuck you and your outdated outlook and how troubled youth should behave

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  12. I am wondering why Dr. Phil recommends a place like that. Shame on him.

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    1. Dr Phil reccommends this program as it is one of the best out there. I know as I went there and wouldn't trade it for the world!

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    2. I find it disturbing how u respond to every other comment here who doesn’t agree with you with ‘oooohhh nooooo thisssw was a greaaaaattt placeeee’ ur experience is wroooooonngg’ . What are a teacher or facilitator from turn about ranch......I hear d place was a cult.....I’m just reading through the comments to find out myself don’t neeed to see u disagreeing with everyone.

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  13. I'm sure Dr Phil recommends it because it sounds like it's had a complete makeover (from the stories of how it WAS,years ago,to the stories of how the program IS run now,present day). Right?
    LOVE Y'ALL! GOOD LUCK!
    BLESSINGS!

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  14. Listening to the things you guys are saying is the damage done at TAR. The amount of blame and self-hatred the program puts on the individual attending the program is extremely ingrained and damaging. I understand that some of you feel as if the damage did not occur, but from the outside it is highly evident how well the abuse worked on you guys in that you are not even aware of the damage. You have drank the Kool-aid of no compassion or empathy, but rather change through military style tactics that make you blame and loathe yourself an unnecessary/inaccurate amount. Many of the people sent there are hurt and sad due to unmet needs. No one is to blame as it should be a collaborative experience to work with all members of the family to learn how to get along and meet the needs of all individuals. Instead TAR "fixes" individuals sent by traumatizing them at the camp and scaring them into be 'good.'

    Also, Dr. Phil is an awful psychologist. Him sending people there only bolsters the argument that TAR is not a good place.

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  15. Secondly, because of how damaging it is for some people (maybe not all, but some), rather than angrily and defensively invalidating individuals for their experience, allow the experience from others even if it's different. Invalidating others for having a different experience than you is not very respectful of people who truly felt and are dealing with the impact of a difficult experience. Rather than taking on the role of the camp and blaming the people sent for "their responsibility in the whole thing," be thankful that you had a good experience and do not disqualify or blame someone for having had a bad experience. Which, by the way, is the category I fall into: highly damaged still, 10 full years later.

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    1. I was there in 2006 too. I am in your same category. This place is abusive, I can not believe it hasn'the been shut down.

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    2. Jenni, I was there from ~July-~November of 2006. I wonder if you're the "Jenni" that was there when I was. They called me "Screaming Mimi" thanks to an early experience that took place upon arrival...

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  16. I went to TAR this past summer. So let me just say that this article depicts TAR in a completely different light then what it actually is and it is disgusting that people are depicting it in such a negative way. Let me just say something TAR saved my life. I hadn't gone there i would have been dead by now from the decisions i was making. Those who say it was terrible are those who didn't out any effort into the program at all and they don't actually look at themselves and take responsibility for what caused there parents to send them there, they just wait for the 100 days to come. The staff there are best staff you would honestly find in the world. Unlike most programs the staff there actually care about you. They listen if you are struggling and will help you in anyway possible. Level 4 is not something that everyone gets. To become a level is an honor. You only get your level 4 if they think they you are actually putting an effort into the program and when they trust you. Some of the students get made when they don't get their level 4 but there is a reason they don't get it, they don't take responsibility or are always caught up in a bunch of crap. And there are some that fake it to get through the program easily who may get it but those are the ones who get sent back or to jail or another program and they have no one to blame but themselves. You don't get fixed in "90" days. It is your choice to start making that transition to helping your self in those 90 days. They are trying to help you become a well rounded person. To try and prepare you for adulthood by learning leadership, responsibility, honesty,etc. They try and build a good foundation to stay on the right path when it is time for you to return home. Sure you make mistakes when you go home, i know i have but its about learning from them and moving forward. After doing it more then once though it isn't a mistake its a decision. I miss being there everyday. All the staff and students become your family and it is sad seeing people go and saying goodbye. I have made some life time relationships there because i know they care about me and they will always be with me. I wish i could go back almost everyday. When it was time to leave I felt as if i was leaving home again because it was my home with my brothers and sisters. Even though we couldn't talk to the boys they were always there with us and we learned to grow from one another. Dr.Phil is a genius for recommending this place. Its just up to you as if you actually want to take advantage of this amazing opportunity given to you and sadly some obviously didn't take advantage. Thats a shame. The parents who sent kids there have made the most amazing decision to send there child there. I express that to my parents almost everyday, thanking them for giving me such an amazing opportunity that most teens don't get. Just a couple negative stories about it doesn't mean its true. I believe you only will really get the correct story from those who are successful because those are the ones who actually cared enough to make a change and do something positive with their life

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    1. I totally agree with you. TAR saved me and I've gone back twice since I've left. Some kids are too stubborn to except that they have to change who they are to make it in the real world. The staff and your family is just preparing you. TAR saved my life.

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  17. Could it be that the notoriety TAR has received, both in the courts and social media, that it has cleaned up it's act? Obviously, things are different now than they were in 2000 even, and nothing escapes the public if someone wants to expose something.

    Let's assume that TAR has changed some things, while keeping to it's core value of helping troubled teens.

    From ONE episode on Dr. Phil today, the 13 year old girl left from the show to start her 90 day stay at TAR. If she had been mine, I would've killed her far sooner than her 13 years. She was a devil. She was vile and vicious and almost illiterate to boot. Better she have the mother she did than me. And better she be sent to TAR to see if they can do something (anything!)with this brat. And yes, she IS a brat!

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    1. i`m also wondering how that story turns out.. I`m not from the states so if you happen to stumble on any news, please do share :)

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    2. Hello Q I have some information for you. Not just about Turnabout, but of much more...

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  18. Dear 'Clever' - With all due respect, if this juvenile facility/program was 'the best experience' of your life, you're in trouble. Life, my friend offers much more. I hope one day you discover this simple truth , and free yourself from defended what is obviously a flawed (and probably illegal) approach to youth development.

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  19. TAR Saved my sisters life. She tried to commit suicide and was cutting daily because she hated life so much. TAR made her realize how good her life at home really was. It is not supposed to be fun. It is to make kids think about what got them to where they are, and to make them appreciate life.

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  20. I went to TAR in 93 and 94.

    Still gay. Sorry mom.

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  21. My best friend went to TAR in 2015, and was sent simply because she began to smoke weed to deal with the stress of her father dying. then her mom sent her here and I thought she had died or something, she was taken in the middle of the night with no warning! She was there for about 6 months before she was "released" and when she came back she told me of all the HORRIBLE things they make you do at this ranch. it's absolutely appalling and is not any sort of way to treat "troubled" people, let alone TEENAGERS. All the things people have said about this place are completely true, my best friend is still mentally scarred from going here and I personally hate her mother for sending her to such an awful and abusive place. This is not the way to treat children who need help.

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    1. Coming from another entitled sounding brat. Its a epidemic

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  22. My ex found this place and, is wanting to send our 16 year young son there. I'm terrified of this decision. So far from home. Looking for current reviews.

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    1. You don't need anyone else to tell you what to do to help your child: LOVE your child. You don't need to send your child away for $2,000 A MONTH in order to know all your child needs is your LOVE, RESPECT, and COMMUNICATION...I know because I actually went to Turn-A-Bout from 98'-2000... your child needs you to love them with unconditional love. Don't give up on them and sign them away to some company...

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  23. why don't parents just raise their kids right and maybe the little turds wouldn't be smoking and having sex so young.

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  24. I would like to add a couple personal opinions. I'm 43 and ha e had ALOT of problems with drugs men my mother. Its not that parents arnt necessarily parenting. Its that a problem is becoming a epidemic and its not drugs. Its entitlement. I went a plush resort at 15. Again at 17. 30 grand a month in 1988 and I continued to act like a spoiled entitled jerk. It sounds like it steps you pretty bare to reprogram how you think about yourself. If you feel you have no self worth you WILL live a life reflecting that. I wish I had had this opportunity. I WISH my mom had known about this place. But the 80s were really the beginning of these entitled generations. Guess what! Being HOMELESS or a WHORE from feeling entitled to do drugs and numb your confusion will be be a hell of alot worse than some individualized horsey time with caring counselors. Guess what else? YOUR NOT ENTITLED TO CLEAN CLOTHES AND SHOWERS! I was a punk and thought I was entitled to that stuff. I leaned the HARD WAY that every shower cost money. Every load of laundry done cost money. Shoes and tampons and condoms cost money! My best guess is they take those small things you FEEL entitled to and make you WORK for them so you realize how to WORK so you can PAY for your own shoes and cars and showers. My god this generation makes me sicker than I made myself. Lol

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  25. DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a fake post nor have I been paid to post this. I am writing my story first and foremost because I had a wonderful experience and also because of the negative people who have nothing better to do than troll this page (with or without attending TAR).

    Anyone who is struggling with their rebellious child and has lost all hope should seriously consider sending their child here. I attended TAR in '07 I was 17 years old and senior in HS who would do anything to defy my parents. I was ALSO awoken in my bed early in the morning by two transporters and sent away, but this was all due to MY bad behavior. My parents are nothing short of amazing and because of my crappy teenage attitude and not wanting to listen OR respect my parents I was sent here. My parents did everything they could in their power (even call the police on me) to get me to listen and settle down. MY behavior had nothing to do with how my parents raised me. I was a very fortunate child who grew up in a middle-class family that fell into the WRONG crowd and had issues coping with the rules my parents set in THEIR house (and these rules were like any other...curfew, no going out on school nights etc.)

    When I arrived at TAR I had no idea where I was or how long I was going to be there. I was scared and sad that I had pushed my parents so far that this ended up being their last ditch effort. Everything that I took for granted was taken away from me in the beginning and through this I had to learn how to appreciate the things that my parents worked so hard to provide for me.
    This program works you HARD and the reason that they do this is to show you that you are capable of so much more. They also do this to break you down and show you that respect is EARNED not given. The hard work that we endured was nothing close to ABUSE, they were chores that we were expected to accomplish just like my parents expected of me. And if we gave lip, or refused to work we were punished by having to do MORE work or have time added to our stay at TAR which is completely reasonable.

    I worked the program even with having a rebellious attitude and it happened to be the best experience of my life. I graduated after 103 days. I went back home and yes I still partied with my friends, but I had a heck of a lot more respect for my parents and my life in general. Thank you Peggy, Wayne, Tom, Deb, Deborah, Rex (R.I.P), Carol, Myron, Carl and many many more. I am forever indebted to you for your hard work. I hope one day to return and visit and maybe share my own story with the kids there.

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  26. I made a video about the Dr. Phil Show and the horrors and murder at Turn About Ranch if anyone is interested: https://youtu.be/7ORM8xWsZ8M
    Great read btw. Sorry you had to experience that but thank you for spreading awareness about this terrible facility.

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  27. I know this thread is a bit old, and hopefully this place has changed, but I had a horrible experience here in 2005. I spent 32 days of my 4 month stay sitting in the dirt in social isolation as punishment for not going along with the program. This program pits attendees against one another and the only way to move through the ranks to graduate was by turning in your fellow students for ridiculous 'misdeeds', like talking about anything that wasn't about your treatment program, resulting in public humiliation and threats. I was threatened to be charged with sexual harassment when I as a female told one of my friends I thought another girl was sexy, she was a year younger than me. It has taken me fifteen years of distance and many hours of therapy to overcome the damage this place did to my psyche. I still cannot bring myself to forgive my parents for sending me here.

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