Sunday, December 29, 2013

A stay at Carolina Springs Academy (From: CAICA)

As the text on the website belonging to COALITION AGAINST INSTITUTIONALIZED CHILD ABUSE states the author has asked to remain anonymous. She attended WWASPS' Carolina Springs Academy program in South Carolina. All rights belongs to the author:

When I was 14, I was acting out -- sneaking out, having sex with my boyfriend, and giving my newly divorced parents some problems. My mom claims she sent me to CSA because she didn't know what I was doing when I snuck out, although a drug test could have shown that I was clean.

I was told we were going to Atlanta to visit friends, but needless to say I was surprised when we pulled up to a solitary farmhouse on a hill. There was no sign, and no nearby homes, and my mother told me this was a specialty boarding school. After a few minutes of refusing to get out of the car, my mom left me there to go talk to the staff.

Looking back, I wish I could have turned the key and gone to California. However, I convinced myself that it might not be so bad, being under the impression that this was a real boarding school. I went into the front office, and the staff seemed normal and were nice to me, considering my mom was there.

I began asking questions -- "I need to re-dye my hair/get my blow dryer/get clothes", and upon being told I couldn't have these things, I was in disbelief. But that was nothing compared to what I faced next. Although I saw it reenacted countless times in my 14 months, the time between arrival and incarceration is a blur.

I remember seeing my mom in the doorway as they made me change into ill-fitting, old orange sweat clothes, scared and angry but unsure of what to say or do. My things were labeled, and most of my stuff was confiscated. I had to keep my hair up at all times, and wore socks with flip flops.

I'm not sure which was worse -- the shock of losing my freedom within a few hours, or the humiliation I felt deep down at where I was. I couldn't believe my mother had actually entered this building and still let me stay.

It was a double wide, and kept anywhere from 75 to 100 girls at a time. It smelled constantly, but especially during the rain, because our clothes would get wet and it was all up to the staff as to whether we could change them or not. The staff also complained of the smell, but blamed the girls -- they told us to wash better, do our laundry more, whatever the scent du jour was, despite the fact that it could take up to a week to get a load of laundry done and many of us were limited to 3-5 minute showers.

In levels 1 and 2, you showered last, so the water was always freezing. Because we were on such a tight schedule, only one shower was allowed per day, regardless of conditions. We walked from building to building, so even if our clothes and shoes got muddy or dirty or wet, we had to keep them on unless we had specific permission from the staff. I remember at least three or four times when I would take my socks off before bed, and the athletes foot had eaten through the skin between my toes.

The food was horrible. I am a vegetarian, but rather than providing protein substitutes, we got double servings of the starch or vegetables most of the time. Unless there was a documented food allergy, we had to eat at least half of each dish, I remember gagging several times and getting a correction for "being a drama queen". Most girls gained weight because of the heavy starch and grease, but when it was brought up by some parents, the "diet" food offered was even worse. It was basically the same thing, only with cheaper ingredients. Level 1 could not drink anything but water, and could not use any condiments on food.

PE was a joke -- it was either Ms. Mary (possibly one of the most miserable human beings on the planet) forcing us to run until we vomited at 7 in the morning, or just walking and talking. Talking was difficult though, because unless you were a level 3 or up, you couldn't talk to a level 1 or 2 without supervision by an upper level. This provided two problems -- many lower levels were left by themselves during PE, and upper levels were overwhelmed with people needing supervision.

"Worksheets" were the buildings behind the kitchen for punishment. Depending on the correction, you had to write 3,000-24,000 word essays, and the staff would sit there and count each word. I wound up missing 6 months of school because of this, and although I got caught up, many girls got behind in school because of worksheets. The teachers at the school were competent, but it could take up to a week to get assistance, especially from the math teacher -- there was one teacher for each subject, and they had signup sheets pages long.

I could write every stupid rule out, but I think the most ridiculous was not being able to look at the opposite sex. Upper levels and staff would actually watch our eyes to see if they moved towards wherever the boys were located, and even if it was a split second, you got a correction. The standards were much more lax on the boys' side though -- the boys were basically allowed to look, and even tried to talk to us a few times. We were forced to keep our heads bowed whenever they were around, it was degrading.

I was accused of giving sexual looks to boys during my first Discovery seminar, this was pointed out in front of the group and I was 'chosen out'. To this day, I don't know what I did to lead people to believe I was trying to get boys' attention, except the fact that I was scapegoated almost my entire time there for being overweight and "goth".

None of the staff in my time there had completed college -- some had gone into the military, but the psychologist was incompetent, and there was an extra fee to see her. There was nothing therapeutic about the staff. Some were nice, others were downright abusive or mean. There is no staff list on the website currently.

Speaking of the website, all but one of the photos used are not located on the actual CSA property. The photo of the big white house used in promo is actually the Belmont Inn in Abbeville -- at least 10 minutes from CSA. Even the brick house in other galleries is not what it leads the parents to believe. It is the office, the students live in double wides and trailers.

A few hundred feet from the girls' trailer is a mansion owned by one of the investors; the seminars are conducted in his basement. This guy is really creepy -- he's at least 50 years old, and took one of the upper level girls out driving in his car by herself.

The upper levels lived in a section of his house for a time until it was discovered they were drinking, smoking, doing drugs, and having sex after hours. If someone were doing these things in my house, I would know, so why did it take one of the upper levels coming clean for it to stop? That's just really fishy to me, as well as Narvin Lichfield's (the supposed owner) less than stellar records. I'm not an expert, but the man has been in a lot of trouble regarding scams and abuse of the program.

The worst, by a long shot, was the medical care available at CSA. Or the lack thereof. I as well as several other girls got walking pnemonia, but nothing was done to treat it; we were not even allowed bed rest. It took me four months to fully recover.

I didn't menstruate for over a year, after several months I brought it up to my family rep, and she told me that it was normal for a lot of girls, despite my complaints of phantom cramps and lethargy. Had I been treated or even examined, maybe I wouldn't be on hormonal medications for PCOS, and maybe I would be able to have children in the future without the help of medication.

But that was not the worst -- probably half of the girls were on medication of some sort, and sometimes the medications weren't filled on time, or had been stopped without the patient's knowledge. I was on 60mg of Paxil, and had to go a week without it, despite severe withdrawal.

There was also no detox program for girls with true drug addictions; a girl arrived when I was at level 3, and I remember her crying and vomiting the first few nights from heroin withdrawal. Another girl had to get her appendix removed, and she got an infection from the staples being loose (something along that line). One night, the staples came out, and the night staff just put them back in and used office staples despite her screaming. Nothing further was done.

Sometimes it took up to 6 weeks to get a doctor's appointment, but the parents have to set it up, so it's useless to go through the family rep. Sometimes the staff would refuse to give out things like Dimetapp (because of possible alcohol content) or Tylenol.

To make this very long story short, medical care was not properly administered or taken seriously.

I've been out of the program for five and a half years now, and I still have nightmares. I've met other students at my university that were in the Program, and all of them have the same horrible memories and fears I do.

I urge every parent who is considering putting their child into a WWASP program to look into the complaints and testimonies not offered on the website or other propaganda. Get the whole story. Don't throw away thousands of dollars on something that will make you and your children a slave to TASKS jargon, look into every other option.

The things CSA claims to offer are what every parent wants -- self esteem, respect, and integrity, but this is a play on emotions. CSA teaches conformity, fear, and all for one. They pit students against each other to break them down emotionally, and rebuild them. We call this "programming". WWASP is a cult, and cannot be allowed to continue.

The facility closed down in 2009. Later there was an investigation into animal cruelty when dead animals was found on the abandoned campus.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Raine at Happiness Hill Ministries

I was there in the mid 90s, and I wouldn't call it a "great place". It was supposed to be run along the lines of the Roloff homes, but they went way downhill and a lot of them degenerated into abuse after Lester Roloff died and they started being run more for profit. Happiness Hill is/was run by the Palmers, who used to be on staff at Rebekah, which was a Roloff home with a lot of abuse complaints. I was never there, but my sister was there for a few months and says it was pretty bad (She was pregnant, and got moved to another home when they found out. I think it was run by the same people. She doesn't talk about it much, but they made her give her daughter up for adoption).

As far as Happiness Hill, I was there for about 8 months, after the previous home I was at was shut down under state investigation. I think the Palmers may have had their hearts in the right place, but some of the staff was horrible, and they were who we usually interacted with (not all, a few of them seemed really nice, and that may be why some people there at the same time had good experiences and others had bad ones). There was one woman there who would make her own rules, even what words to say and how to come your hair, and make the rules/punishments harsher than they were. I spent a lot of time on "confinement", which meant talking to nobody and keeping your head down, and Debbie would make us keep our chin touching our chest, which hurt real bad to do all day. We also had to do so while going to church, even on the bus - I'm almost 30 now, and still have trouble keeping my head up or looking people in the eyes, instead of looking at the ground. She was also big on making you kneel with pencils under your knees (they hurt/bruise) and holding Bibles up on your hands for hours, which makes your whole body hurt, and then would end up with licks (spanked with a board, sometimes to the point of bruising, and more than once to where it bled) for disobeying when you couldn't keep it up. We were also cuffed to the beds at night, and if you peed or anything you were stuck there in it, then punished for making the extra dirty laundry (again, not sure if this was a policy or Debbie being too lazy to get up at night for bathroom breaks). The point I'm trying to make is the way things run all it takes is one bad staff member to really mess people up.

If you're thinking about sending your child there, or supporting them, I wouldn't unless things have changed a whole lot. Any of these homes that don't let parents visit whenever they want, that listen in on phone calls, and that censor mail going in and out are just so subject to abuse and so easy for abusers to hide behind. If you're dead set on supporting or sending someone to a place like this, I can say that I had a decent experience at Victory Village in KS, and the Cowells really seemed to care. They did use discipline but not abuse, and not all the psychological games that other places did, and they seemed to care about us and have love, not just think we were horrible like other places said. (eta: This was my experience, it may have been different for others, but it was much better there for me than the other 2 places I'd been, and I don't think I've heard any bad stories from there like I have from some other places). Also, be careful what curriculum they use for school if you plan to have a child graduate there. I was sent home early enough to graduate from a public high school (I think my mom told them I was going to Christian school, but didn't want to pay the money), but one of my friends who graduated from another girl's home that used ACE had to get a GED to qualify for her job because they didn't recognize it as a high school diploma.

I know some people support all these places no matter what, and want to discount anything someone who's been there says, because they paint us as the bad, evil girls, but that's not always the truth. I was there for running away from hope, because my mom let my sister's boyfriend move in and he kept trying to mess with me - then my sister ended up in another home soon after, and apparently he'd gotten her pregnant. One girl I knew at HH was there just because her dad didn't like her dating a black guy so he said she was into all sorts of other things. Some people had really bad problems, but a lot of girls came into the homes loving God and knowing they'd messed up, but the way God was portrayed and the things done in the name of God probably turned more people away from Him than it helped turn back to Him. I ended up with a lot of baggage from my time in some of this places, and it took me years to ever want to read the Bible or set foot in a church after getting back home, because of all the time being forced to and having to fake everything. Many others can't separate God from their abusers, and are living as atheists and hating God because of what men have done to them.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Erik at Discovery Academy

This story was originally written on the message board called the Fornits Home for Wayward Webfora.

I attended Discovery Academy (DA) from the summer of 1997 through January of 1998. It was among the most psychologically damaging experiences of my life. Please don't send your children to Discovery Academy. DA is a very punitive place.

For example, if a student does not make his bed to the satisfaction of the DA staff, the student may be made to stand up to five "demerits", one demerit being defined as standing for 25 minutes facing a wall. Demerits are liberally doled out for any offence, from slight infractions of the rules such as cursing or complaining, to large violations, such as attempting to escape from DA. An attempted escape typically prompted between 100 and 500 demerits, or more. That is between 2 and 9 days, approximately, standing facing a wall.

Five minute breaks were allowed between each 25 minute standing session, as well as breaks for sleeping and eating. When most students arrive at DA, they are upset and they show it. As they become familiar with the way Discovery Academy works, they learn to conceal their anger and any other emotions that are indicative of problems. When the DA staff sees this, they take it as the student's problems being solved.

If the symptom disappears, the cause must have disappeared, is the logic that Discovery Academy operates by. However, in reality the student's problems remain, and are made worse by the habitual concealing of them that DA's punitive/"therapeutic" system rewards. I picked up on this rather quickly, and was able to rise rapidly through the level system and complete a good deal of coursework in a fairly short time.

In light of this, and my newfound ability to conceal my emotions, I was able to convince my parent to remove me from DA after about six months. During the time thereafter that I lived at home, I worked as hard as possible to conceal my true feelings from my parent. Those true feelings, if expressed, had the potential to land me back at DA, something which I was not about to let happen.

So, parents, the moral of this story is: If you want your children to never tell you the truth again as long as you are their legal guardians, to disown you in the future, as well as to add to their unhappiness, send them to Discovery Academy. I am not exaggerating or dramatizing the consequences. Before you send your child anywhere, I strongly recommend that you read the book Smart Love by Pieper & Pieper. If you have any questions that you'd like to ask me about this, please feel free to email at: xxxxxx@xxxxxxxx. (email-address removed due to privacy)


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Movie: Maybe I'll Come Home in the Spring

This movie is not about behavior modification facilities but it had an impact when it was produced on the industry.

It is maybe the most scariest moment in the life as a parent. The moment your children moves out to start their own independent lives. You may ask yourself: Did I do a good enough job as a parent? Are they prepared for all the dangers which is luring out there?

Then imagine that the children leaves at night without warning. You wake in the morning only to find an empty bed.

Today you will start by activating the tracking device on the cell phone you have allowed them to keep despite their behaviors and actions because you knew in advance that where the phone is, your child is.

Back in the early 1970's there were no cell phones. Did a child leave the house, the child was gone. Only expensive detectives could find the child. Did the parents ask themselves what the teenagers missed in their home? Why the children wanted to runaway and sleep on the ground instead of the comfort of their bed? No they parent focused on the symptom rather than the cause.

It was really scary for parents. Movies like this one woke the tiny little scary thought rooting deep in the back of the mind of every parent.

Maybe I could keep my child safe from ending up on their own in the world by putting decent people in charge of the child in a boarding school environment?

That kind of thought created the earliest examples of the behavior modification industry. Elan, Synanon, CEDU and SUWS all started in the early 1970's backed by movies like this.

Over 40 years of abuse was about to start.

About the movie on the Internet Movie Database

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Audio about New Bethany home

This testimony was made in a radio interview. All rights goes to the person who was interviewed

Related links to this audio track:

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Alex W at Diamond Ranch Academy

Ok let me start out by saying this place was HELL for me and everyone else i know that went there. If anything it made things worse then better. I got sent there on April 15, 2008 and graduated May 15, 2009. I was there exactly 13 months. As people said that a kid died there. That kid was my best friend. His name was Jim. now i dont know exactly how he died or any of the details. All i do know is how the staff there treated him. It was exactly a week after he got back to the ranch from a home visit. My ENTIRE dorm woke up around 4 am thinking someone was showering. We found out that Jim was puking over the side of his bed so much it sounded like a shower running! So obviously he was sick. The staff then made him sit there for over 45 minutes cleaning up his own vomit with nothing other then paper towel. No mop no cleaning supplies just a paper towel. In the morning when we all went to breakfast he was sent to sick bay and that was the last time any of the students saw him. Now it wasn't DRA's fault that he died. but he was sick and they treated him so horribly! making him clean up his own vomit at 4 in the morning, while he was moaning and groaning and throwing up some more! Thats that story. Let me get into more of my story now. When i went there i had long hair. I got an extra week in homeless (the beginning part of the program where you can eat nothing but rice, and arent allowed to talk for at least 2 weeks) just because i didnt want to cut my hair! Does that sound reasonable?! Also i was on run watch. That is where they take your shoes and give you flip flops so it is harder to run away. The reason they put me on run watch? well which one do u want? The reason they told me, the reason they told my mom, or the truth??? So they told me that my mom requested it. Later on in my program i found out that they told my mom it was because I tried to run away! When i went there i was a little fat chubby kid. Even if i wanted to run away i knew i couldnt so why would i even try?! Now for the real reason. When i found out what they had told my mom i asked Ricky (program director and son of the owner) why I was on run watch in homeless. His answer? "You were on run watch because we felt like putting you on run watch"...... DRA is also physically and mentally abusive. One time i got thrown face first into the rocks and restrained because i said "screw you" to a kid. i didnt touch him, i didnt threaten him, all i said was screw you. The only reason they stopped restraining me was because my arm made a snapping noise and they were afraid they would break it. They were mentally abusive in the fact that i STILL have nightmares about that place!!! anyway let me talk about it in general and not about my story. I saw kids there that were not there for drug issues but when left got addicted to hardcore drugs because other kids there were talking about how great they were. I do not know i single person that went to dra that HASNT relapsed on what ever they were there for. Whether it was drugs or a certain behavior. DO NOT send your kids to DRA. all it will do is making them worse. It is a TERRIBLE place and i wouldnt even go back for all of bill gates money Sources:

Sunday, November 10, 2013

necolumen at Discovery Academy

This story was originally written on the message board called the Fornits Home for Wayward Webfora.

I think its time for me to jump in here, as I graduated Discovery Academy in 2005. All the staff their thought I was trustworthy, believed in the program, and was 'cured' from depression, which in of itself is a dubious claim. None of that is true of course.

Side Note: The Facility is ran by a Brent R. Hall, and is owned by the ASCENT CORPORTATION which also owns 'RED-CLIFF ASCENT' wilderness program.

I have recently learned that i am a manic-depressive, and I do have a better hold on it now, almost three years later.

I truly hate that place, I faked my recovery from depression. They tried to slow down the rate at which I blowing through their school curriculum. They initially made it so that I had to get a 96% to pass a test or I had to retake it. I will personally testify, in court if need be, that they are actively defrauding the accrediation system. but enough about that.

I graduated as a level 4, the highest 'level', which is a measure of trust, in their 'program' their was only one other 'level 4' after I and a few others, graduated. So I have been Through the program, faked it, and know its ins and outs. Not only that, but because of my level, I was privy to information, discussions, and general musings of some of the staff.

I am a highly intelligent individual, no boasting; IQ, memory, psyche, and standard tests continually back that up. Some of the more intelligent staff, being a majority college students, were eager to engage me in conversation. I learned a lot.

Below is part of an e-mail i sent to someone in regards to their son's plight at discovery academy. I tried to make it as factual as possible. And include much about the inner workings as possible.

Well, I can tell you that it won't actually help the kid if he has actual problems. Most of the kids their when I was their were kids with drug problems or problems with the law. Its essentially a lockdown school, cant leave campus by yourself, alarms on all the doors, daily chores, it a like a step up from a military school. The environment their is controlled by 'therapists' and two people in charge of the boys and girls divisions respectively, Alan is the guys, guys and girls cannot normally interact at the school. You get punished with 'reflection points' which are similer to demerits. A reflection point is an hour of work. kissing a girl is 75 reflection points for example. Running away is 150. Saying a racial slur is 10. Cursing is one.

I particularly found the place unhelpful, and sometimes hostile. The staff is mainly college students. The therapists see students once a week for an hour, some even less than that. There are strong religious (mormon) overtones, all community service benefits the LDS in some way or form. All media, books and tv is regulated, cd players and mp3 players are not allowed, though students can own a radio. You cannot send letters without permission of a therapist, nor call anyone. They reccomend everyone stay their a year or more, it is not a non-profit organization as far as I can tell. While I was there (9 months) I saw three students return with more severe drug problems.

Failing to Follow the rules results in PHYSICAL RESTRAINT

The school there is all self taught they have four teachers a day for the whole school and everyone works independently. Thus students who are depressed about being there or are not good self-teachers tend to fall behind.

I personally graduated from there with a full highschool diploma and completeion of 'the program'. To complete the program you must show yourself progressing in 'therapy' and trustworthy and hardworking their are 12 'levels' representing level of trust and responsibility, level changes happen every two weeks or 4 weeks I cannot remember, and rarely do students progress that fast.

Perhaps I should mention that I absolutly hate discovery academy. If your kid has actual problems their are better places to send him, if he doesn't, the therapists will make one up.

The people who run the place are unreasonable, they are for the most part fundamentalists, and you will hear such rehtoric and beleifs coming from their mouths often.

I have considered filing legal action against them, but I really do not have the time, with college, and the money, being that I am in college.

If he is a good kid, he should not be there, end of story. If you are looking for a legal challenge, perhaps you take up the actual existence of these schools. Think about this for a second.

If you lock your kid up and never let him go out into the world, social services will come after you. If you physically restrain your child from leaving the house to go outside and play, Social Services will come after you.

Judicial Oversight needs to be in place to represent a neutral third party in determining whether it is proper to send a child to one of these places.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Elan School testimony (From:Reddit)

This place only still exist because so many people believe that it doesn't or that it can't. I believe that the internet is our #1 tool for exposing these horrid blind spots for what they are. Help me Reddit!

I was sent to a place called The Elan School in 1998 and I was only 16. The scary thing is that Elan is still open, kids aged 13-20 are there right now. Normal kids, many whom may have smoked a joint or two, or who swore at their parents. Of course there were also real criminals there, but they did not make up the majority.

The "school" accepted anyone and then held them as long as they possibly could depending on the age of the child. If you were sent at 14 (many were) you may have been looking at 3-4 years. This is because The Elan School collects $50,000 a year per child, either from the child's state, school, or parents. And, of course, money was the only motivation of the staff and directors. These were the people in charge of your "progress" in the program.

I could write for hours about it, instead I ask you to skim the following bullet points and to understand that I am telling the truth.

  • We were forced to participate in staff-organized fight clubs, none of which were fair, all were designed to humiliate one child who would be put up against at least 3 others. So even the children who "followed the rules" were forced to fight: in the name of "good".
  • Children who tried to rebel or be free-thinking were thrown into an isolation room where they had to stay for months at a time, they had to sleep at night on a dirty mattress on the floor of the isolation room The mattress was brought to them at midnight and they were woken up around 7am.
  • We were all forced to perform in a ritual called a "General Meeting" where the entire house (60 or more boys and girls) screamed at one child who stood behind a broomstick. Many times they were forcibly held up by two other students so they would have to accept the punishment.
  • Education was considered a right, but those of us who earned the right were still robbed of an education. School was from 7pm-11pm: no homework, no test, no projects. Ex: math class consisted of grabbing a math book and handing the teacher at least one page of work.
  • The other 12 hours of the day consisted of constant conditioning and brainwashing. In the beginning you obviously rejected it, but then you would be "dealt with". You would not be able to rise through the ranks of the program to earn more 'rights' until you could prove yourself to be a good candidate for more brainwashing. Eventually it became your responsibility to begin indoctrinating the newer residents (basically you, six month earlier). You had Strength and Non-Strength. Non-Strength's were not allowed to talk, interact, or communicate in any way with other Non-Strengths. It took a minimum of 6 months to earn the title of "Strength". It took some kids years to earn "Strength". Some kids never did.
  • Elan made money based on the amount of time it took for you to graduate "the program". You had to have a minimum of 7 promotions before you were a candidate for "graduation". Each promotion took a minimum of 3 months, and 90% of the kids never made it past the 5th promotion. These kids had to wait until they turned 18 and could legally sign themselves out. Other kids stayed past their 18th birthday, which is a true testament to the effectiveness of the brainwashing, I remember one dude was 23.
  • Your level of high-school had no reflection whatsoever on your ability to leave Elan. I was forced to do my senior year of high school twice, even though I was technically done after the first senior year.
  • The staff members were primarily former students who were hired by Elan after graduating from the program. Many arrived in BMW's and clearly made 6 figure incomes. None of them had degree's in psychology, education, social work, etc... Many of them never went to college at all.
  • All outgoing letters to parents were screened, many of us having to write many different drafts until they were accepted. All phone calls to our parents were monitored, we were allowed about 15 minutes a week and the person who monitored the call would have their hand hovering over the hang-up button as a constant reminder of our reality.
  • We were not allowed to write or receive letters until we earned the right (this could take 8 months or more). When someone found out where I was and wrote me, my unopened letters were ripped up in front of me as motivation to move up in the program.
  • I feel like I am beginning to write too much and I do not want to overwhelm anyone who made it this far. Because most of the bullet points honestly require further explanation to give the full impact of what Elan truly was.

    The most important thing that anyone can do is to be aware of this place and make sure that nobody you know ever gets sent there for any reason. If you are a parent then do not send your child there. If you know someone who is there now then beg the parents to do more research.

    The amount of suicides and tragic deaths of former Elan students is reason enough to take this post seriously.

    Even skimming this post once will blow your mind, most probably think thats its made up but you would be dead wrong (The original testimony on Reddit)

    Sunday, October 13, 2013

    DRruinedmylife at Discovery Ranch

    This story was originally written on the message board called the Fornits Home for Wayward Webfora.

    I attended Discovery Ranch 5 years ago when I was 15 years old.

    My parents sent me there because I was depressed, doing poorly in school instead of getting straight A's, got caught shoplifting a pack of gum from 7-11, spent too much time on the computer, and was "too angry and defiant". I had never done drugs, drank, or even smoked a cigarette at this point in my life. I had been raped when i was 12 and was unable to tell my male therapist or parents about this happening because my family is very Catholic.

    In comparison, most of the other residents had serious drug problems, were in gangs, were extremely violent, etc. Regardless of what they were there for, NO ONE SHOULD EVER BE TREATED AS INHUMANELY AS CHILDREN SUCH AS MYSELF WERE. I had repressed memories of the physical, sexual, and psychological torture i endured for five years until I watched a documentary on the stanford prison experiment in my psychology class. It brought everything back because I lived that experience, except for ten months and it was real.

    I don't believe that the people who tortured me were innately evil; i think it was a situation similar to Abu Ghraib. I was forced to do the most humiliating and degrading things possibly conceivable; I was forced to eat a girls used tampon, lick cow shit off a girls boots, unclog a toilet with my bare hands... adult male staff would masturbate to me showering, changing, and using the toilet while masturbating (keep in mind I was 15.), I witnessed a 15 year old boy be sodomized by a broom handle and have the living shit beat out of him because he tried to run away and watched a girl punch a window and slit her wrists in front of me because she couldn't take it anymore.

    They would arbitrarily lock me in a tiny pitch black closet devoid of food, water, a bathroom, or human contact for days, usually because I made an "inappropriate facial expression" like crying or raising my eyebrows when they screamed at me that I was worthless and no one could ever love me. The night staff was apparently fucked up on heroin, meth, pcp, etc the whole time and had virtually no training or qualifications, which I learned when a male staff member sexually propositioned me over Facebook when I was 18, so three years later, and told me what happened behind closed doors.

    I had no contact with the outside world except letters to my parents which were censored, and observed phone calls once a month. I had to raise a baby cow for the slaughter to "learn to deal with loss", exercise until I threw up blood, pick up cow shit every day, I could go on and on. And the scariest part was that it was fantastic during the day; we would do ropes courses and go skiing and horseback riding and talk to a truly kind therapist every day who genuinely though I was insane or a pathological liar and convinced me I was hallucinating or having nightmares.... But I fucking wasn't. I literally couldn't make this shit up.

    I thought I was actually crazy, but it was all real. I don't know why but when i was there I never wanted to leave. I felt like i somehow deserved to be treated like this and I think a part of me knew I could never stand living in the real world after all this happened. I stopped feeling emotions and didn't for two years. When I came back to real life I had forgotten how to smile and had to train myself to make facial expressions that corresponded to the emotions I should have felt in various circumstances.

    Even when I started feeling feelings again I realized on Wednesday that I had been experiencing emotions with maybe 50-75% of the intensity that I normally should, which was put into perspective when I finally accepted that these things truly happened to me and felt for the first time in my life the appropriate pain and humiliation that corresponds to being treated in such a way for such an extended period of time. Until now I had remembered my experience there as a happy one- I literally only remembered what went on during the day.

    The reason I am writing this now is because I ended up becoming an alcoholic and drug addict once I went to college and had finally had complete freedom. With the help of a REAL rehab and AA, I had achieved 14 months sober.

    After essentially being re-traumatized after remembering all this, I recently went on a five day bender started Wednesday where I got high and or drunk every waking moment, which culminated with me waking up on my bathroom floor on Monday morning covered in blood and vomit next to two empty bottles of wine and Xanax spilled across the floor with a five page suicide note on my computer that I'd written in a blackout.

    I am at a loss for what to do at this point. I'm in therapy, on medication, have been to three AA meetings in the past three days, and just feel like I am out of options and suicide or getting constantly fucked up is my only option at this point. I literally can't live with these memories. It makes me fucking sick that this place, along with HUNDREDS of others, still exists, quietly protected under the umbrella of the state government of Utah, and that parents are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for their children to be tortured and driven insane or into obedient, soulless sociopaths.


    Sunday, September 29, 2013

    greenpea at CEDU High School (From:HEAL-online)

    This testimony was made on the survivor message board belonging to the human rights organization HEAL-online. All rights belongs to the original author.

    I went to Cedu High School which is owned by the Brown schools.

    Most of it is a blur, but I do remember that I experienced a lot of terror. Since my experience there I have nightmares every night involving the school in some way, and wake up with anxiety accompanied by sweats and a fast heart rate.

    I recall that while I was at the school I was on a heavy sedative called Remeron for depression, anxiety, and a sleep disorder. It was prescribed to me by a psychiatrist before I went to Cedu, and it made it almost impossible for me to get out of bed in the morning. Our dorms had no air conditioning, even though all of our parents were paying $10,000 a month for us to be there.

    The only way they dealt with us was through discipline and scare tactics. I had fallen asleep without a shirt on one night because it was so hot in our dorms. Before the alarms went off to wake us up, one of the upper class students came into my room and pulled the covers off me. She yelled at me "get the f*ck out of bed!" She pulled me out of my bed and threw me in the bathroom and told me to do my morning chores. I did so, in a half asleep state because of my medication, without a shirt on until the girl gave me permission to get dressed. She had been given free reign to do this to me by a counselor, and she did without supervision. This type of humiliation was normal, and went unnoticed.

    The fact that I was on a sedating drug wasn't taken into account. The brilliance of their methods was that they turned the other students against you, and promoted their (other students') mean spiritedness to get across the school's message.

    When I was caught for kissing a boy later, I was told that I was a "sexual predator" and put on a restriction where there was no singing, smiling, laughing, touching, or talking. It was called a "full time". They pulled me out of my schooling and put me on a "stump". This meant that I was left in the middle of nowhere with a shovel and a small saw to dig a tree stump out of the ground.

    There was no staff around to make sure I was alright, and I was forbidden to talk to anyone. Like I said before, no singing, smiling, laughing, touching or talking. The phrase was spoken to me so many times I still have it memorized, 6 years later. This was in the 100 degree weather. I had to wear steal toed work boots, jeans, and a collared shirt. At night time I ate alone and had to write in a restriction booklet.

    They would give me assignments and pushed "issues". If your mother was dead, they'd make you write about that. If you had a mental illness they'd make you write about that. For me, considering that I was a christian, they made me write about "how I hide behind God". You couldn't say "I don't hide behind God" or anything like that. You had to submit to the idea given, or you would never get off your full time.

    They challenged me on everything. After dinner I was assigned "pots and Pans", which meant I had to scrub the pots and pans that the cooks used to make the entire school's meals, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. By myself I did this, for about a month.

    Eventually I was pulled out of the program early by my parents, but the most sickening part about it is that they don't want to talk about it. It took me until this year (6 years) to get them to listen to what they had put me through. Leaving Cedu was terrible. I feel like I left a piece of myself there.

    Their policy was to break down the student and then build them back with discipline. But my experience was cut short, and I only progressed through the breaking down process. I left Cedu feeling like I was a nothing. I was unable to make friends and relate to the people at my school.

    My parents put me back into public schooling the next day. I remain bitter about the whole thing. The moral of the story is to not send your kids to these places.


    Sunday, September 8, 2013

    OM at Carolina Springs Academy and Tranquility Bay

    This testimony was published in the WWASP survivors group on Facebook by OM who maintains all rights to this testimony.

    I am really glad i found this group. I was at CSA (Carolina Springs Academy) for 8 months. I was taken by escorts the day after my 15th birthday.

    I made it to level 3 then ran away. I got 5 miles away and then they found me. My mom told them to send me to Tranquility Bay in Jamaica.

    Tranquility Bay was very dirty. I didnt want to eat the food there so they sent me to OP where we were kept in tiny rooms. We were only allowed to lay on mats on the floor, the floor was covered in ants. We were not allowed to sit up except for during meals, and if we spoke out of turn they would get violent.

    I was restrained by the staff several times for practically no reason. They would grind my face into the hard floor, twist my arms around and crush them on the floor with their knees, and they poked their elbows into the backs of my knees and ground those into the floor also. The more you screamed the more they would hurt you. The guys and girls were separated, but i could hear screams of terror and pain coming from the boys section.

    The day came when they took us to get out passports. I had only been there a few weeks but I looked emaciated with dark circles under my eyes, I didnt look like the same person. several other girls and I were taken to the american embassy to get out passports. I refused to sign my passport, I did not want to be in jamaica. I requested to talk to someone from the american embassy. they let me talk to a lady. I showed her my bruises and told her the horror stories. she informed me that they had heard many stories like mine and they had unsuccessfully been trying to close the place down. She said child protection laws were different in jamaica. I gave the lady my moms phone number, and told her to tell her what was going on.

    When we got back to the facility they put me in isolation. The only reason they did that was because i hadnt signed my passport. I was in isolation for two weeks. Didn't get to talk to a single person during that time. I was just laying on a mat on the floor trying to keep my mind entertained. I would visualize my home and all the good memories I could remember, I would picture every place I had lived and every memory there to try and pass the time. After a while I felt crazy and began to hallucinate and see faces in the walls. After 2 weeks of isolation they moved me back to OP.

    I was in Jamaica for about two months, in the program a total of nearly 11 moths. My mom was schocked by what the embassy told her and arranged for me to come home. My mom didn't recognize me when she saw me again. I was too skinny and sick looking, my skin was bad from their nasty cheap soap, My hair was like straw, and my nose would bleed every time i tried to eat. I was so happy to be free. correctional school was one of the worst experiences of my life.

    Sometimes it feels like there aren't many people who understand what we went through. thanks for reading my story, I would love to be friends with people who have been through similar experiences. Even though its been 7 years it still haunts me.

    Carolina Springs Academy was closed due to stricter regulation of the boarding school business in South Carolina. After the closure dead animals was found on the former campus due to possible neglect. Tranquility Bay closed down after introduction of stricter passport rules which prevented minors from being sent out of state without a valid passport.


    Sunday, August 25, 2013

    Book: Tough Love - Truth Behind The Trouble Teen Industry

    In 2004 a teenage girl was handcuffed by two hired goons in Lansing, Michigan. The girl, hardly someone you could label as an at-risk teenager in any way was forcely been taken to a so-called boarding school in Mexico, which the authorities later shut down.

    Almost a decade later she has worked her through the emotional scars this experience inflicted upon her and she has chosen to write her story.

    Lillian Speerbrecker's biography gives the readers an insight in a world so cruel that there should have been made laws against the existence of such places decades ago, but as it always has been the case with so-called experts claiming to help parents raising their children, it is about the money.


    Sunday, August 11, 2013

    Video: Fin McKinney at Red River Academy - 5

    In a number of videos Fin McKinney explains how it is to be a student at Red River Academy in Lecompte, Louisiana and what you might learn while you go through the program
    Red River Academy used to be a member of WWASP before they dissolved their organization. It is now run as an independent school. However they continue to use a curriculum based on the old WWASP model involving a level system and a number of seminars for both parents and students.

    As it was the case with the old WWASP system, the students have no place where they can report grievance and use of violence against them and they are not allowed to speak to their parents in person before both parents and students have passed a number of seminars.


    Video: Fin McKinney at Red River Academy - 4

    In a number of videos Fin McKinney explains how it is to be a student at Red River Academy in Lecompte, Louisiana and what you might learn while you go through the program
    Red River Academy used to be a member of WWASP before they dissolved their organization. It is now run as an independent school. However they continue to use a curriculum based on the old WWASP model involving a level system and a number of seminars for both parents and students.

    As it was the case with the old WWASP system, the students have no place where they can report grievance and use of violence against them and they are not allowed to speak to their parents in person before both parents and students have passed a number of seminars.


    Sunday, August 4, 2013

    Video: Fin McKinney at Red River Academy - 3

    In a number of videos Fin McKinney explains how it is to be a student at Red River Academy in Lecompte, Louisiana and what you might learn while you go through the program
    Red River Academy used to be a member of WWASP before they dissolved their organization. It is now run as an independent school. However they continue to use a curriculum based on the old WWASP model involving a level system and a number of seminars for both parents and students.

    As it was the case with the old WWASP system, the students have no place where they can report grievance and use of violence against them and they are not allowed to speak to their parents in person before both parents and students have passed a number of seminars.


    Sunday, July 28, 2013

    Video: Fin McKinney at Red River Academy - 2

    In a number of videos Fin McKinney explains how it is to be a student at Red River Academy in Lecompte, Louisiana and what you might learn while you go through the program.

    Red River Academy used to be a member of WWASP before they dissolved their organization. It is now run as an independent school. However they continue to use a curriculum based on the old WWASP model involving a level system and a number of seminars for both parents and students.

    As it was the case with the old WWASP system, the students have no place where they can report grievance and use of violence against them and they are not allowed to speak to their parents in person before both parents and students have passed a number of seminars.

    Sunday, July 21, 2013

    Video: Fin McKinney at Red River Academy - 1

    In a number of videos Fin McKinney explains how it is to be a student at Red River Academy in Lecompte, Louisiana and what you might learn while you go through the program
    Red River Academy used to be a member of WWASP before they dissolved their organization. It is now run as an independent school. However they continue to use a curriculum based on the old WWASP model involving a level system and a number of seminars for both parents and students.

    As it was the case with the old WWASP system, the students have no place where they can report grievance and use of violence against them and they are not allowed to speak to their parents in person before both parents and students have passed a number of seminars.


    Wednesday, July 17, 2013

    Video: A student from Robert Land Academy died while he was returning from a home visit

    Vi have learned of some testimonies from this place we would publish later. Here is a video about a death which occured when a student was forced back from a home-visit.


    Sunday, July 14, 2013

    LK at Carlbrook School

    This story was originally written on the message board called the Fornits Home for Wayward Webfora. All rights goes to the original author LK

    Carlbrook School was awful. I graduated from there in 2008. Just last night, my boyfriend (who also went to Carlbrook) and I both had nightmares about it.

    They were psychologically manipulative beyond belief. No, there were no gates or guard dogs, but they emotionally trapped you; they promised us that if we ran, we would be shot/captured/raped by rednecks ("Deliverance" references were made repeatedly) or that the police would get us and that our parents would get extended custody of us until we were 21.

    The workshops were so messed up...we had to attend our own funerals and write our own obituaries and tell our friends that they should die (all on staff orders). We had to talk about the most disgusting and traumatic things in our lives (most involved sexual disclosures or abuse) every week. We were shouted at by staff and students about how foul, gross, unforgivable, and unwanted we were. We were "broken" down until they convinced us that we hated ourselves, even if we didn't.

    Later on in my stay, I was a student support for one of the therapeutic workshops and saw the scripts (every workshop was scripted and formulaic; they had perfected the art of screwing with kids' heads) and one section actually read "Next, turn off the lights, play Track 05, whisper in their ears, and break them. Break them until they are on the floor. Once all of them are crying and/or screaming, play Track 06."

    Carlbrook School was traumatic. You are brainwashed. I didn't believe in brainwashing until I got out of Carlbrook and realized that what they did to me was NOT okay, it was NOT normal. I am still dealing with the psychological conditioning to this day. My parents understand now that it was a mistake to send me there.

    Grant Price is insane. He is very my-way-or-the-highway and makes no effort to actually get to know you or help you. Justin Merritt takes no part in his creation; he stands in the background and feigns ignorance as the staff mess with the kids. The advisors are incompetent and cruel. The only staff that actually are about the kids are the Securitas staff (who are often fired for becoming "too attached to the kids" -- they're fired as soon as the other staff notice that they're worried about how inhumane the place is. The Securitas are responsible for patrolling the dorms at night and working Suspension, which is where you sit in a desk and are not permitted to move or talk without express permission. You must keep your head straight and cannot look at anything besides your desk, talk to anyone, get up, etc. You can be "in suspension" for anywhere from one day to 9 MONTHS. The average is about 2 or 3 months) and some of the teachers (though the male teachers at that place definitely have inappropriate relationships with the girls -- nothing physical happens, but they develop very close friendships with the girls (who are ages 15-18) and have private meals with them and cross many boundaries in terms of talking about their sex lives and that type of thing.

    Andy Coe, in my opinion, was actually really wonderful. He was one of the few adults there that I trusted (other than the English teacher and an advisor/former student named Sally Martin). However, I want to know more about how he was allegedly duplicitous, as I wonder if I was duped.


    Sunday, July 7, 2013

    Shayla at Midwest Academy

    This story was originally written on a message board called called All rights and credits goes to the author Shayla, who posted the original story on

    I went into midwest academy four months from turning 18. I knew I was leaving then, therefore, I felt a lot more real with myself and detached myself away from their brainwash. I suggest you read this long report that a highly educated parent wrote in response to their realizations toward the seminars and treatment of individuality that these boarding schools offer.

    The staff at midwest academy are not these professionals that the pamphlets/ websites/ students or directors explain they are. They are either middle-aged burnouts who reek of cigarette smoke and have no real motivational wisdom to offer their "children" that they stay with all day, OR they are cute-college kids who drink and party outside of their silly job. As far as their medical system goes, it sucks. I got a yeast infection and did not get help for it for days. It was about three weeks until the yeast infection was finally gone because our five minute showers did not give me enough time to fully cleanse myself, and I don't know if the nurses were too busy taking cigarette breaks, but they simply did not give attention to my numerous requests. For the amount of money that you are currently paying this school, you are recieving minimum service from the poorly trained staff.

    When a group of girls and I went to get our gynocologist exams, the nurse left the vent open and was scolding my best friend about how she was not a virgin and she was lying to her. Everyone within fifteen feet of that vent heard her horrible talk of the way her vagina looked, and how there was not possible way she could be a virgin.

    The reason why the directors/family reps (more low IQ burnouts with given status) predict you the reactions of your kids is because they do not want you to believe the fact that you child is extremely miserable and think so low of herself for being there. BRAIN WASH. Yes, it is true that once you move up in levels you do feel better because you are given privileges (such as taking 15 minute showers *OH MY GOSH*), but by then, your child will be brainwashed, her values altered, and her views changed for the views of the program. When you are on bottom levels, you have no say, no trust, no voice, no opinions, no soul. Upper level students can make up bogus lies about anything to get other lower status students in trouble and there are no questions asked. It is a ridiculous system that does not make room for justice or fairness.

    The education is just terrible. no teachers-just desperate graduates in need for jobs. don't be fooled by the pamphlet. I did not learn one thing from the classes i took off those horrible outdated schooling programs- except maybe that I will never send my child to one of these schools. Basically, you answer 10 questions and you move onto the next level. No projects, no speeches, no real world experiences. There are even chapters that incorporate the bible into them. Now, my religion is based on the bible and yours might be as well but think about this. What about those who do not believe that Jesus is our savior- Is it really fair for a schooling program to force a student to answer "Jesus is our savior" in order to pass a unit if they have different values and beliefs? ABSOLUTELY NOT.

    The food-Horrible quality, unhealthy and bad tasting. The money you are paying for food is ridiculous. it just packs bad pounds onto students and creates stretch marks, high cholersteral and other potential health problems (like diabetes). I have seen girls cry over the stretch marks that they gain going in that place. And yes, while their are going through their brainwashing stages by moving up levels, they live by their inner beauty and the stretch marks go away. But when your daughter comes home and if she is covered in stretch marks and excess weight, you can expect the tears to come again.

    The threats. oh the threats. You are threatened with intervention constantly. If you don't give information that you know-intervention. Don't follow rules- intervention. I told my frineds that I was leaving and I was threatened with intervention. Intervention is a pasty white room illuminated 24/7 by an unnaturally and unhealthy bright light. The walls contain scratchmarks from students who have tried to beat their ways out of it. The carpet is filthy and duct taped from other trapped students who go insane from staring at nothing. On the door is a square foot window where staff keeps an eye on you. there is also a camera. Yes, a camera- how degrading. This is your daughter, not a state prisoner. Basically you sit in there until they decide that you have served your time or behaved. That can be anywhere from five hours to a whole week.

    I remember there was a girl who went crazy at the academy, took a picture off the wall and started beating anyone who was in her way with it. She broke it over a staff's head and beat one of my frineds with it. Parents were not informed of this madness and infact, if any students were to discuss of it they were given a consequence. You see? Their threats keep their terrible treatments a secret. My parents were not aware that the whole facility was infected with stomach flu and were up for three days straight throwing up. Parents do not realize that their child is no longer thiers anymore once they are in the facility. They no nothing that goes on accept what their family reps are saying. Your daughter is now owned by the state.

    I have hundreds of horror stories from this place, but I spent too much time on here already but I thought I should skim the surface on why your daughter SHOULD NOT be in a boarding school. She is young and young girls make dumb decisions. I woould have preferred that my aprents sent me to a family member's house for a couple months. The program helps for only so long. It institutionalizes students to believing that their little system is reality and that is why it seems to work while students are in there.

    Think it over. I wish you the best!


    Sunday, June 23, 2013

    Book: The Discarded Ones: A Novel Based on a True Story

    This novel by James Tipper explore the CEDU schools as they are seen through the eyes of the student Charlie Hoff. Boarding schools where you are not free to leave. Endless marathon therapy sessions looking more like psychodrama rather than healing therapy.

    A reader named Thomas J. Cray writes the following review:

    Nailed it!

    James Tipper wrote the book that every student who graduated The C.E.D.U. School would like to write. I was happily surprised that no hidden agenda skewed his honest descriptions of that time and place that we have all tried to share with our family, friends, spouses, children. His memories are spot-on. He dug deep and was able to paint a complete picture that honestly depicted student and staff, for better or for worse. He also showed his exceptional writing skills - "The Discarded Ones" is a page turner!

    The Discarded Ones: A Novel Based on a True Story (Amazon book store)

    Jean-Luc Di Nello at the Oakley School

    I went to second Nature Dechanne or however you spell it.

    I spent three months there and I assumed that I would to go back home but as you all know that doesn’t happen. My mom told me before I went that I was not going to an after-care she promised me. I went there because I smoked pot daily and didn’t listen to what my dad said. I didn’t know how to deal with my anger and I couldn’t tell my dad that I didn’t want to live at his house because it made me sad. So I tried to get him to kick me out by not listening to his rules and being rude. That didn’t work so I stole his credit card and had an online shopping spree of 400$.

    I was told prior to leaving that I was going to residential treatment for 30 days so I agreed and my mom gave consent because I agreed. I found out it was Second Nature and was very unhappy but I learned how to deal. I eventually made it to water-phase which is not an easy feat.

    After three months of snow storms and tears I was told I was going to Oakley. I was pissed because I was lied to by my mom and my therapist from home. I went to Oakley and loved the freedom.

    The people were evil though. The staff did not care. I didn’t have a therapy session for the first three weeks I was there. The kids were cruel to each other and did aweful things to get high that were worse than pot. Like hand sanitizer, choking eachother, huffing paint, and huffing their own shit. They were also into fighting which makes sense because they were all violent at home but I was not and was not into fighting espesially not for fun.

    I made no friends for the first two months and wrote suicide notes and drew comics of me killing myself. I felt betrayed by my mom. One of the comics was found and I was dropped to Lower form. I was punished for my saddness. I then realized I had to fake happiness. I felt worse inside but appeared great on the outside. I couldn’t tell anyone how deppressed I felt, it was aweful.

    I went home in March last week and my mom decided I shouldn’t return because I told her what was going on. LISTEN TO YOUR CHILDREN PROGRAMS MANIPULATE YOU TEN TIMES MORE THAN THEY DO. they manipulate you by telling you that they are manipulating you. If you do send your child away make sure it is for a valid reason. If you send your child to an after-care which they almost force you to do at wilderness because they get paid for that, MAKE SURE YOUR CHILD NEEDS IT AND REALLY CHECK OUT THE PLACE GO THERE, GO ONLINE, RESEARCH AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.


    Sunday, June 16, 2013

    Book: Janice's journey

    In 2006 a Danish teenager went on a holiday at her mother’s place or at least so she believed. As it turned out differences in the Danish and American youth culture meant that she found herself categorized as an at-risk teen despite being regarded a normal school girl in Denmark.

    She has told her story to the Ylä Maatila who helped her rewrite her diary and various notebook entries into a biography which are published for free at Movellas.

    Her story deals with the issue of being dumped in an alien culture with values very unlike the values she had been raised with.

    Can she use the skills learned to change her destiny outlined for her due the special Danish structure with social classes structuring the future of young Danes based on their social heritage or will she return to Denmark having remained true to the cultural standards of her birth culture?

    Janice's journey (by Janice Jensen and Ylä Maatila)

    Sunday, June 9, 2013

    A stay at the Carlbrook school

    This story was originally written on the message board called the Fornits Home for Wayward Webfora.

    I have looking at this forum for many months now. I have read many comments of haters and lovers of Carlbrook.

    I chose to leave Carlbrook as soon as I could, shortly after turning 18. I would say it helped me mainly in one thing, it helped me make friends. I didn't have any friends at home and making friends at Carlbrook is what turned me around. A lot of people are talking about whether people needed to be there, stating sarcastically that you were doing well in school, had good relationships with your family, and never touched drugs or alcohol. Actually, I fit all the criteria above. I was not sent away for substance abuse, harming myself physically, or any other extreme things.

    As I was told, I was sent away for being depressed after I had recently lost both my parents. I did not need any of the limitations of Carlbrook. When I first came home, I was not able to say that Carlbrook attempted to brainwash me, but I easily was able to say they tried to manipulate me. I was constantly threatened with suspension. After my first term at Carlbrook, I accumulated the highest GPA in the school. I was immediately ridiculed for this saying that since I had done so well, I obviously wasn't doing my therapeutic work and was using it as a distraction. This came from other students, my advisor, other staff, and even administrators!

    Well I'm sorry, but I was told that Carlbrook was not categorized as a Therapeutic Boarding School, but as Tim Brace said many a times, it is listed under a college-preparatory boarding school. I have always done well in school and according to Carlbrook's prerequisites, having a high GPA is mandatory. If it is mandatory to even be accepted into Carlbrook, then accumulating, per say a 4.0 every term would be a piece of cake. But instead, people don't pride themselves on accumulating a GPA that prestigious schools would accept, but rather that they are not failing. Obviously, if someone has accumulated a high GPA in their stay there simply because Carlbrook's academics do not demand an adequate rigor, then they must not be doing something right and hence forth, that person shall be given a "game" in which they run their day, "business mode."

    In groups, people would constantly tell me how sad I should be that both my parents have passed, with my mother passing only a few months before I was sent away. They made me create anxiety when there was none existing. I had social anxieties (remember, no friends) not anxiety that my life would never get better. My advisor put me on an action plan around my amicitia workshop. This actually helped me the most. Through the course of this seven week action plan, I was able to realize that the manipulated crap that was forced into my head was so ridiculous. Shortly after my action plan, I told my advisor that I didn't think I needed to be at Carlbrook anymore and that I would do not just fine at home, but exceptional. She immediately engaged on the attack. She brought up that by not going through animus, I would not have any ambition. Was she joking? I was a good kid at home and never did anything to harm myself or harm those I care about. Everything I did was though through and my decisions were based on valid logic. I actually have a hatred for impulsivity and making decisions on emotions alone. It is so ignorant and so blind sided stupid that anyone that does do it obviously has a lot of issues. I don't care if you were raped, did drugs, had significant losses in your life, or had any other discretional experiences, using your emotions to make choices for you will inevitably harm yourself and harm other people. However, at Carlbrook, this was not only accepted, but encouraged.

    During a team building group, I was attacked by both the advisors and many of the students for mentioning someone being raped. The context was in a hypothetical exercise where we had to come up with reasons that a woman was a young single woman with a kid who was pretty old. I mentioned how she could have been raped and had the kid. This girl stood up during the group and literally screamed in my face how it was completely disrespectful. I did not find anything wrong with what I had said and still do not. But this girl was crazy! She told people that she wanted 9 children! One that is ridiculous! Two, she was 16 at the time! She told people that she wanted to have her first kid by the time she was 20. She could barely take care of herself and the thought of some hormonal teenager bringing up kids of her own was disgusting. I thought originally that these were some of the problems that she entered Carlbrook with. But I was wrong; these were the ideas that she had after starting Carlbrook. Carlbrook continuously uses parenthood as a therapeutic tool. During animus returns, people are always screaming how they want to be a father, or they want to be a mother, and they want to have this many kids and they’re going to treat them well. What is this place teaching them! The average age at Carlbrook is 16 and they’re preparing them for parenthood! They shouldn’t be ready to have kids at 16 unless this is Shakespearean times and even then, having a 12 year old Juliet is still pretty weird! You don’t need to be ready to be a parent. I don’t know anyone who said that they were completely ready to have kids when they eventually had their first born. You learn through time and experience, not by screaming on some stairs how you want 12 kids so they can live their life through you and accomplish all the things that you couldn’t do because you were a raging cocaine addict and no one would hire you.

    Suspension was one of the most disgusting things I have ever witnessed. It reminded me of wrongly convicted prisoners. Obviously Carlbrook didn’t physically touch anyone unless a student became physical, and even when I was there, I never witnessed that. The only physical thing that Carlbrook does is gives hugs, but that could get annoying after awhile. Instead, Carlbrook played the mental battle. Similar to the wilderness program, they start you off with nothing. By doing certain things and people obviously seeing these things, you get rewards. You get tea and hot chocolate when you become a DHIT (dorm head in training), coffee when you become a dorm head, bottom bunk when you become a DHIT, an extra student store (candy and soda) by joining certain committees, etc. I only have three problems with this form of rewarding manipulation. First, some of these things shouldn’t be a reward. I mean come on, you have to work to have tea? That is ridiculous.

    Second, Carlbrook attacked external validation constantly. However, obviously it works different if Carlbrook is the one giving the validation in the form of hot drinks and candy. As long you play into Carlbrook’s hands, and then you will be rewarded. But, if you have retained your individuality and your own thought process, you will not see these rewards and you will watch as your friends move up in hierarchy while you stay down, because you are doing things poorly. The final reason is because you don’t get these positions for doing the best, but you get them because people like you and people see you doing it. For example, during my stay at Carlbrook, I wrote 5 proposals and even when I was about to go into upper school, I still had not become a DHIT. Did I deserve these positions, of course I did. Did I put in the work? Of course. Why didn’t I get the positions? Because other people did things with the intention of getting these positions while I just did it because I felt like it was the right thing to do. For example, in keeping a “safe” dorm, I would talk to my dorm mates in my dorm all the time casually. I kept a safe dorm. But other people would purposely go into the hall and have a formal appointment and make sure people saw them. That is the difference. I was not concerned with people seeing me, I was concerned with helping my roommate who was having a hard time. But because I did this, people saw nothing. Another example would be upper school classmen trying to get on the DCOM (Disciplinary Committee). With that committee, you are selected, you do not write a proposal.

    Every person on the campus “holds people in standard,” but with them, they will make sure they get the entire room’s attention so everyone knows that they are doing this. For instance, I was in math class and a kid didn’t wear a belt that day. He was already on DCOM but just wanted to show people that he could do things. He stood up in the middle of class, disrupted the teacher, and told the kid to stand up. He asked him why he wasn’t wearing a belt and he said he forgot to put one on in the morning. The DCOM member then told him that “as a consequence for taking away from the class,” that he erase the white board. Is he freaking serious!!! I thought that was a sarcastic joke when I saw this, after only being there for a few weeks. Obviously, from any other person who has not yet been brainwashed by Carlbrook, this person disrupted the class to “hold someone in standard” because they were taking away from the class by not wearing a belt. Then, individually, people in the class thanked him for holding him in standard saying that he was brave for doing that. They were just glad that class could be disrupted and for the few minutes that this whole situation took, they didn’t have to learn anything (going back to my point earlier of people who lacked ambition-most of these people were upper school classmen who have been there for over a year. They relied on Carlbrook’s way of living and this means that school is not a priority, as long as you attend, you are fine. In fact, as I mentioned earlier, my first full term there where I got the highest GPA in the school, a few other people who were young in the school, actually younger than me got on Dean’s List (having a 3.75-4.0). A few upper schoolers were proud if they got honor roll (3.5-3.74). But the majority were surprisingly ecstatic if they pulled off a 3.0.

    I went on a little tangent but there is a lot of energy towards this subject. As I was saying earlier, suspension was the controlling force at Carlbrook. For those who are reading that may not know what suspension is, I will try my best to describe it. Suspension is referred to one’s suspension stay while sometimes also referred to the suspension room in the downstairs commons building. The suspension room to the eyes of an outsider looks like a classroom with desks, a small television set in the front, and a teacher’s desk in the back facing away from the three double doors which line the side of the classroom. The girls bathroom is also located in the suspension room and is shared by suspension students (but they must knock first). When you are in suspension, you are on bans with the entire school except for appointments and if you are in ISS (In School Suspension) on other bans that are determined by your advisor. The most common bans for people in suspension is lower school bans. If you are in ISS, you must return to the suspension room for lunch during the school day and you are also on bans with action planners and other suspension students. As for being in the room, 7am-10pm for out of school suspension students (minus school time for ISS students), you can only ask four types of questions a day:
    1. Can I use the bathroom?
    2. Can I get a drink of water?
    3. Can I access my backpack?
    4. An emergency health question.
    All other questions must be written on a piece of paper which are collected during meal times. In addition, if you use the four questions frequently (like more than once every two hours), you are written up and it is used against you to keep you in there longer. Also, every day you are late to the suspension line in the morning, you must stay in there another day. On Saturday and Sunday, you see a movie in the suspension room (same one each day), usually one that is self-motivating. For example, I saw Finding Forrester like 4 times when I was in there. It was nice to have something to kill time. When suspension students travel together, they travel in a single filed line and are not permitted to look up or look at anyone. They are given an hour to exercise on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. They are also permitted to have a 45 minute appointment with someone once a day during the school week and twice a day on the weekend. This room is a prison without bars. It locks you out of just another prison, the school. The school does not have fences or walls. The only thing that keeps you there is knowing that if you leave before you are 18, “then you will go back to the woods.” Actually, the school has no legal right to send you back to the woods without the parental consent. But even if the parents tell them that under no circumstance are they to be sent back to the woods, the school will still threaten the student with the woods as a form of manipulation.

    All I have to say to anyone who any parents who are considering sending their child to Carlbrook is to understand the ramifications of that decision. You are probably thinking that you are willing to put your child in such a place to help them and it is probably not as bad as everyone on this forum and a multitude of other websites make it out to be, but I assure you, it is! Anyone who says otherwise has not yet realized that they have been brainwashed. If you choose to look at the school or if you have done so already, you will be impressed by the seemingly beautiful campus and facilities. Don’t trust it. There is a reason why Carlbrook is so expensive. Most of their money goes to pay for the cover up of this brainwashing facility. They say that they’re a new school which may explain why kids are forced to live in trailers while they are there, but seriously, it takes less than seven kids enrollment to add up to a million dollars. There is a reason why Carlbrook is under Troubled Teen Industry, because that is exactly what it is, an industry. You will talk to Tim Brace and other administrators at Carlbrook and they will tell you all these good things about Carlbrook along with other lies. They will attempt to manipulate you because they believe you are not aware of what really goes on there. That is why I am writing this, to give people a fair chance before they make a decision based on ignorance. Please listen to me before you make the wrong choice!


    Saturday, May 25, 2013

    Book: An American GULAG : Secret P.O.W. Camps for Teens

    It was one of the first books describing the Troubled Teen Industry in the United States. Despite tougher legislation, despite increased awareness horrible conditions are still found in private for-business programs.

    Fact is that businessmen with a focus on easy earned money based on little effort and huge profit will enter any market regardless of how many lives they will destroy in the process.

    Teenagers have been marked for life, some have even been killed. Parents who were acting in the best interest of their children were cheated out of every cent they had. Entire communities were left to bankruptcy when these businessmen skipped their project in the middle of the night.

    The book came out in year 2000 and despite improvements things have happened too slowly because the conditions described in the book can be found in residential programs today.

    An American GULAG : Secret P.O.W. Camps for Teens (by Alexia Parks, Amazon Book store, ISBN-10 1930418019)

    Sunday, May 12, 2013

    A stay at Carlbrook school and Oakley School

    This story was originally written on the message board called the Fornits Home for Wayward Webfora.

    To anyone who believes that Carlbrook "saved" them, or that anyone who speaks out against it "didn't get it" or is "clearly still fucking up"--

    In total, I attended two wilderness programs and two therapeutic boarding schools, one being Carlbrook. I was sent away initially for using marijuana, skipping school, and just generally being irresponsible. I am the type of person who learns lessons the hard way. I went through wilderness, and then arrived at Carlbrook. I was determined to give it a try, get through the program, and move on with my life. After six months, though I was only fifteen and did not know anything about what is 'appropriate' and 'inappropriate' in a therapeutic sense, I knew that something was not right. I asked to be sent anywhere else, not even home just any other program, but the school instead restricted my access to my parents and put me on a disciplinary action program. I had been raped at fourteen and was told alternately that it was my fault and that it was not my fault, and that if I did not successfully comply with the program, it would happen to me again. I was made to tell another boy who had molested his sister that I forgave him for what he had done, by way of forgiving my rapist, which I was in no way prepared to do anyways, and this boy had nothing to do with what happened to me. I know now that this is all incredibly inappropriate for someone struggling in the aftermath of sexual assault. I was informed that my drug use and behavioral issues all stemmed from "daddy issues" and convinced that I had said "daddy issues", which alienated me from my father. My father is a loving, caring man that was wrongfully blamed by Carlbrook for my problems. Carlbrook seemed to believe that all behavioral issues stemmed from some deep-seated childhood wrongdoing, and pushed/pressured teens to the point of admitting things that never happened. I watched it happen many times. Sometimes, yes, teens with behavioral issues do have serious repressed trauma, but this is NOT the standard.

    I was placed on suspension for not "being on the plan", while struggling to understand what that meant, as I had not broken any actual rules, or "standards", as they were called. In suspension we were forced so sit facing forward in a separate room from 7 am until 10 pm, and we were not permitted to talk or look at anyone else. We were taken outside for an hour every day. If you raised your hand and asked to go to the bathroom or get water more than once every two hours, you were written up, and made to stay on suspension for longer. I finally made it off suspension and into good standing by becoming completely fake, as being myself did not cut it there. They were looking for a cookie-cutter kind of result, instead of kids who are really working and struggling to find out who they are and why they have done the things they do. Because I was completely fake and just going through the motions, I began breaking rules that I found stupid, like the school's system of "bans", where you cannot speak or look at certain people for various allotted reasons. I had been put on bans with all of my closest friends. I began to develop a romantic relationship with a friend who was struggling, which was NOT allowed (though an unreasonable expectation among teenagers, this is the standard of many treatment programs. While there are good reasons for it, it is unrealistic to think you can ask a teenager to ignore the opposite sex for a year and a half). We did nothing more than kiss. He was put on suspension and interrogated about any rule-breaking, and I lied my ass off to get into suspension with him. (Young love.. very stupid) After a year at Carlbrook, I was kicked out after leaving a group where I watched several people I cared about being told that they were worthless (the girls were called whores, the boys monsters and drug addicts) by both the owner and fellow students, some of them also my friends. I got up and walked out of the room, and was removed from the school and immediately send to another wilderness. My parents were told nothing about my removal from the school, just that I had not "complied with the program", and Carlbrook made it appear as though I had done something truly terrible, not just kiss someone and walk out of a group.

    After my second wilderness, I attended the Oakley School. I will not pretend that it is perfect in any way, but going to Oakley really showed me how wrong Carlbrook's tactics are. At Carlbrook, they use an unrealistic setting where teens cannot make the mistakes they will most certainly make/face in the real world, incredibly aggressive therapy, inappropriate scare tactics, and students learn that the only way they will avoid being screamed at and avoid getting in trouble is to employ the same tactics that the staff use on their fellow students, to get them first and bandwagon. At first at Carlbrook, you work out of fear to save yourself, until it becomes second nature and you fail to see the pain you inflict on your fellow students. Anyone who does not fully comply, who is not afraid, is eliminated as quickly as possible. This is not to say that the students enrolled are not intelligent-- in fact, for the most part they are, and this helps the school in that students soon realize the path of least resistance and flock to it. There are five therapeutic workshops in the process-- I went through the first three and know the details and processes of the last two. They are meant to tear you down and build you back up, rendering you, essentially, as others have said, dependent on the program. I would love to believe that I could have made it through the entire program without succumbing, but from what I have seen from some of the kids who my closest friends at the school-- that is not realistic. Sure, many of them go on and continue to use and party, but there is something still something different about all of them. This is not a positive difference, and many of them still seem totally dependent on the school in a way, constantly referencing it, etc. Its as if they have been brainwashed-- this may seem like a complete exaggeration, but I don't believe it is. I successfully attended the Oakley School, made many, many mistakes, which the program allowed for, and still made it out. I now attend a tier one college with an excellent GPA, I am in a stable, loving relationship that began at Oakley (we've been together for two years), and there is no rehab in sight for me. At Carlbrook, I was told college was not an option, I was not able to figure out how to have a healthy relationship, and I left quite possibly worse than I started (as demonstrated by my drug use IMMEDIATELY following leaving the school).

    I urge any parent considering sending their child to Carlbrook-- PLEASE consider other options. There are many. Make sure you choose a certified school, and choose a therapeutic boarding school over an RTC, if possible. Absolutely NOTHING positive awaits your child at Carlbrook, and you may never hear of the damage done, as many kids are too afraid to tell their parents the truth.

    If you still decide to consider it, at least evaluate the program thoroughly, and understand what you are sending your child through (you should do this for any program) Here is the most accurate account of the workshops, etc, that I have found:
    (The page is refering to Fornits Wiki)

    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...