Sunday, April 17, 2011

Aileen Jaramillo at Hephzibah House (From:

This story was originally written on a webpage created to provide statements for a GAO hearing in 2007. The address is and it waits for your statement if you believe that your stay at a boarding school included unfair treatment or even abuse. All rights and credits goes to the author Aileen Jaramillo, who posted the original story on

My name is Aileen Jaramillo, I was at Hephzibah House in 1999 thru 2001 and the following statements are true.

I have to tell you that I can’t remember all that went on for the simple fact that I have done my best to forget that such a place exists. I can tell you that my mother is truly sorry for sending to such a facility and that I came out of there learning absolutely NOTHING.

Upon my arrival at HH, I was stripped of all my clothing and personal belongings as a staff lady watched me and then I had to shower after explaining to them that no less that an hour ago I had showered. They explained to me it was to wash away all my impurities, as to say I had some sort of deadly disease. The girls came in and I starting talking to they and they stared at me as if I was an alien. Conversing with other girls was forbidden and looked at as only a privilege. It was truly sad and then to only discover I would turn out to act in the same matter as they did.

I could go on for days telling you stories that I remember but I will focus on just a few and then what it did to me emotionally and mentally. I can’t say that they ever hit me but I can remember a time they made a comment to me in regards to being “spanked” and being sixteen at the time I clearly told them, “I will turn gangster on you if you ever lay a hand on me.” One girl and I will not mention her name did tell me she had been “spanked” and it truly made me cry as I had already heard stories on how “spankings” were done. They made me perform several embarrassing actions such as an exam in the closet performed my a man who I till this day do not think he was a real doctor, mark my bowels and menstrual cycles or even show them, count my dirty underwear, hold my bladder to the point were I was “dancing” because I could hardly hold it, etc. The girls that couldn’t hold it had to wear a diaper, which I just felt horrible for them.

We had to do numerous chores, exercises in days were it was freezing and snow coming to our knees or unbelievably hot (mind you we had layers of hideous, itchy clothing on.) We would miss meals if things were not done correctly. When we had a meal the amounts were enormous and I am in no way exaggerating. That was probably one of the hardest things for me, which was trying to consume such large amounts of food in just 20 min. and I knew if I did not finish all of it that it would be what I continued to eat for the next meal. I would get extremely ill from such large portions, yet they continued to serve them to me. I recall one incident were we had swiss chard for dinner and while I was eating a chewed on something that was obviously not lettuce and then spit it up to see a half chewed worm. The staff stood and debated whether I had to eat what I had thrown up, after debating I did not have to but did have to eat the rest of the worm that was in the swiss chard.

Then I took a bathroom break, (to throw it up) which was not scheduled so I received 20 demerits which resulted in me being on punishment for the next week. I had to write countless sentences and could not take part in activities that showed an ounce of fun. The Bible and God were shoved down our throats as punishment and clearly not what God intended it for. They make it very difficult to continue your high school education anyplace else but there. The picked a curriculum that I have yet to find any other school to offer.

We were only allowed to see our parents every four months and they visitation was only three hours long. I could not write to anyone except for immediate family. I got one a call a month which was only 20min to talk to my entire family. We had a staff member that would sit less than a foot away and connected to another phone to hear everything and if they felt it necessary suspend the call. This visitation was not only monitored but short and ridiculous for the significant amount of money that was spent for families to get there.

They had my parents send a certain amount of money every month including all my necessities and supplies that I would need. They had clothes, food, material, money, etc. donated yet the always wanted more and it was never for us girls. I couldn’t imagine how our water bill was so high seeing that we only were allowed a three minute shower. I did and said what I had too to make it there and by the end of my stay I was extremely confused. I didn’t keep 99% of their standards or beliefs, but at the same time I felt as if I was the wicked person that walked the Earth because I didn’t continue in their cultish ways. They made me feel that I wasn’t good enough for anything or that I would never make it in the world.

I now have a wonderful husband, two beautiful boys, and live a pleasing, successful life. HH does nothing to make, train or teach a woman to be a better Christian or a well respected citizen. I still have weekly horrible dreams of the things that went on while I was there and wake up in a panic mood. I think about it daily and try to understand what sort of pleasure and accomplishment they get for treating people in such a demeaning manor. We were constantly working and till this day if I am not engaging in work or some form of activity I feel guilty and lazy. Yet at the same time I keep myself busy so I don’t dwell on it much otherwise I get depressed.

It has been 8 years and I continue to have a wall up and will not allow people into my life. I shun any form of help seeing as the only kind I “received” from HH has done nothing for me. It is something that I struggle and work on daily. I hope that from this statement I save one girl from the treatment I received.

The boarding schools continues to be operating. It is located near Winona Lake in Indiana


Datasheet about the boarding at Fornits Home for Wayward Web Fora

The original statement on Youthrights

Plea: Give your testimony

We are collecting stories about individual therapeutic boarding schools, religious boarding schools or just boarding schools.

However other webpages do also collect testimonies from people, who have been sent to boarding schools during their childhood. Here is a number of webpages with individual statements on them:

United States

Outside United States

* Denmark

Thursday, April 7, 2011

My 2 years at Spring Creek (From

This story was originally written on a All rights and credits goes to the author Twack, who published this story on

I was 16 and going to an alternative art school and had been doing drugs for a year or 2, running away and what not. My parents tried inpatient and outpatient rehab and that didnt work. One day i had come home and was awaken at 3AM by 2 large escorts. They told me they were taking me to a new school and that if i tried running or anything i would be shakeled hand and foot, so i didnt feel like trying anything.

On the drive into Spring Creek i was blown away at how far it was from anything. I was told by my intake staff that it was impossible to run and no one had made it succesfully, so i never really saw that as an option. Lower levels was pretty much uneventful, I felt cut off from what i called home so i had a hard time finding any motivation to move on. But after a year i was pushed to move on, so i went up to jr staff. For me this is where the crap started to get bad.

Jr staff not to mention the whole program started to get over populated. they were stuffing kids where ever they could. they shut down offices and just put kids in there. Lower levels in the lower facility. I moved to the 18yo house off campus but that lasted only a couple weeks before it was changed to an upper level boys house that was no longer a privilage. They crammed a minumum of 30 kids in a double wide trailor! It was super cramped. One of the water heaters broke and they didnt care at all to fix it. The heaters that worked ran out after 1 shower, so we all had to shower in the nastiest water that was freezing. They had filters for the house but never changed them, i had to sneak around and do it myself in order to get the water better. Some nights we wouldnt even leave the facility till midnight then have to go home do night jobs, shower, get to sleep then wake up supper early to make the drive in.

My real problems were with 1 staff Mike Terri. He was Jr staff staff and was 1 of 2 staff for the off campus boys house. He was power hungry with zero compassion. For no reason on day he dropped us off miles from the house and made us all run arm in arm back to the house under the threat of loosing our levels. Then one kid had a medical issue from it and i had to run ahead back to the staff letting them know their little excersice made a kid collapse. We were told to not talk about the incident. That night i didnt care about my level and flipped out on mike and cussed him out about how he cant just treat people like that just because he feels like it and look what it caused. Somehow i kept my level but from then on me and mike were in a battle. Whenever mike had a moment to humiliate me he would, all the time acting like it was in my best interest laughing it up with the other staff. He at times would make me hold push up position for hours on end in front of the whole facility if i talked back to him, again not allowing me to talk to other staff about his bogus treatment.

One day i was on level 5 working as a runner and i saw staff running to the therapy office which was above the laundry so i went to the kid working the laundry room what happen, because if it was a runner i was going to get in on the chase. the kid working looked up with bloodshot eyes, i was like wake up dude you dont want to get dropped for sleeping on shift. he said he wasnt so i asked him if there was a runner and he was like just leave so i did confused. later that night mike calls me in and asks me about the situation i told him about the kid sleeping and asking if there was a runner. He said there was a girl trying to kill herself, I had no clue. He said he was dropping me for rumor spreading. I flipped out on him again. He told the other staff he was incharge of this drop and that i was not allowed to discuss it with other staff. I tried fighting it so hard but couldnt do it. The big deal was that i had a off grounds visit in 3 days and i was going to PC2 in 2 weeks and then starting my transtion to go home. I had done nothing wrong and they just wanted me to stay longer. In the end when my mom came they had a meeting for my drop. Because my parents had tickets bought for PC2 they asked my parents what to do about the situation and i told them i hadnt done anyting, but they had my parents programmed and they said "we trust the program and will support whatever the program decides". So i stayed dropped and missed PC2 and was set way back.

During my program I never pulled any crap. I just never cared to. I was just living my life trying to let the time pass. I got dropped twice, the one bogus time i just told you and again right after christmas and someone planted something stolen on me and rated me for it. The program didnt like my progress without messing up so they had to keep dropping me for no reason, it was bogus like there was no real way to get home.

I feel sorry for kids who ran. The rules that were told to the jr staff were " what happens in the woods stays in the woods" meaning anyway you can stop a runner you do it. And it happened. I feel sorry for the lower levels as a jr staff we were told to make their lives hell, and we did. It sucks but its what we had to do to go home.

Medical treatment was a sad joke there. I have sever sinus problems and never got any treatment while i was there the many times i was ill. I went to the school doctor and he gave deconsol and neproxen for EVERYTHING i mean EVERYTHING. Never did anything i was sick a lot. He wasnt even a real doctor he was a bone specialist or something. Then i stepped on a rusty nail and was told to soak it and that i wouldt get medical treatment because it was the week end. The next day my foot was massive and black and blue. After a huge fight they finally decided to do an emergency transport. They messed up my tetnus shot records and gave me a terible anti biotic that didnt do much. I was forced to go back to my familly and hobble around on it. Ive always had good teeth and never had a cavity but somehow when i was there i had to have 4 drilled and filled but never had one before or after and my dentist now say my teeth have always been perfect, no need for fillings. When i arrived there i was taken off a very strong perscription sleeping medication at the recomendation of the program, cold turkey. That was pretty rough.

I guess you can say i was lucky, i wasnt abused physicly, but the mental stuff was pretty bad. A lot of humiliation, and dropping for no reason. Making issues over nothing and terrible therapy, my therapist was a fish of an alcoholic and worthless. The program was vastly over populated and crammed kids in. Kids got dropped to keep tuition. Lies, false and real threats were told to us and parents, and the education we got was a joke. I worked the program in the end just because i didnt see anyother option, i didnt want to take a hike to missoula and i was told i wasnt welcome at home if i didnt graduate so i decided to work the program.

My relationship with my family is really good. It was that walking on eggshells but ok when i first got out. We did great together but we didnt go to deep. When i left for college and moved out for good it did miracles for us. Allowing myself to live by my rules and values taught me to grow up in areas and realize whats important and what is just B.S. I talk to them a lot now and trust them with most anything. When i first got out it took a little while to get the brainwashing out of my mind (prowassp) then i was mad about it for awhile and let them know that pretty good. Then we just had to agree to disagree on the topic and let it drop for a few years. Now im over being mad at them but i do feel it important that they know where i stand on the topic and i do tell them some of the antwassp happenings. Now days they are uncertain, at that time in their life they thought they had no choice, and trusted in all the hype they heard and saw. There was things they liked and things they didnt like but they had to have faith and believe what they were told. My dad hated focus and thought it was B.S.. Looking back at it all they dont know what the right thing to do was. I asked them, knowing all that you know now would you still trust in wassp and send me there, They told me no. To me that was all the closure i needed from them. But that took 5 or 6 years to get there.

The boarding school closed early 2009

Link to the original story
Datasheet about the boarding school from the Fornits Wiki database

Friday, April 1, 2011

Book: Comeback - a mother and daughter's journey through hell and back

Book cover
This book deals with the story of Mia and her mother Claire and Mia is sent first to a boarding school in the Czech Republic and later - when the boarding school is closed down by the authorities due to suspicion of child abuse - to a boarding school managed by the same firm, which has operated boarding schools in six countries.

Despite the closure of the first boarding school the mother continues to have an almost scary faith in the system used by the boarding schools.

Today many of the so-called therapeutic boarding schools use parent seminars where parents are taught not to believe their children but the system used at the boarding schools with method mostly known from marketing of pyramid schemes. The mother seems to have fallen victim to these seminars.

It is rather interesting book to read.

Come Back (Harper Collins)
About the book, the Fornits Wiki database
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