Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Unknown at the Monarch School (

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, who posted the original story on

Facility Attended: Monarch School Dates and Ages attended: August 2007-March 2009, Age 14-16 State Facility located: Montana Reasons for being sent to facility: Smoking marijuana every day, parents concern of me getting into harder drugs (did not happen), poor grades, and poor communication with parents. Residence prior to placement: Los Angeles, CA
Accredited (if known – ie. JHACOA): NIPSA Regulated by the state: No. Access to attorney and or advocate: None.

Diagnosis prior to attendance (if any): OCD, Minor Depression, General Anxiety Disorder.
Experienced the following:
Trauma due to escort services: No Description: Was woken up and 5:30 in the morning unexpectedly by two large men hired by my parents. I was asked to comply, and if I choose not to comply they "had the right to take me by force" to Outback Therapeutic expeditions in Utah. Was also escorted from Outback to Monarch school. I

Communication and Privacy Rights Violations: Yes Description: Was not allowed to talk to my parents on the phone until having been Monarch for a month. Once allowed, I was allowed only two 15-minute calls a month that were intensely monitored by staff (they would listen to your conversations and time you. These 15-minute calls were the only one-on-one communication I had with my parents (excluding visits), until I earned the privilege of phone card five months prior to my graduation, and by that time the ideas of the program were so engraved in my mind that I did not tell my parents the truth about Monarch's practices.
No communication with any of my friends until after I had been at the program for ten months and went home for the first time. Even ones who never touched drugs in their life. Parents needed to approve which friends I could write to, and at no point was I allowed to call or e-mail them.
Was required to admit to all past experiences that are humiliating and tell my parents all my embarrassing sexual, drug-related, etc. experiences.
Forced to walk in groups on three or more students to get from building to building, and would need to tell a staff prior to doing so.
Was not allowed alone time unless it was punitive as in a work assignment or bans from others. Often kids who choose to spend time alone were confronted by staff (and sometimes students trained to do so) as "isolating" and would lose the privelage of siting alone to read a non-school related book.

Mail monitoring: Yes

Description: Was required to write one handwritten letter to each parent every week. The letters were read by staff and would be handed back to students if they contained any negativity about the program, were too short in length, did not talk about feelings, and/or

Call-monitoring: Yes

Description: See above

Filtered, Restricted or Interrupted Correspondence: Yes

Description: Was only allowed to go home three times during my 19.5 month stay at Monarch. 1st visit: 5 days. 2nd Vi

Seclusion Used
Yes No

Seclusion (Self):
Yes No
Seclusion (Witnessed):
Yes No

Physical Restraint Used Yes No

Physical Restraint (Self) Yes No
Physical Restraint (Witnesseses) Yes No
Peer conducted restraint: Yes No

Forced labor No, but students were assigned to work during weekends, and would not only take away privileges if the student disobeyed a staff, but also would often (depending on the staff) indoctrinate the student into believing that they were "giving back to the school"if the work was punitive rather than a chore. Staff justified these assignments as "therapeutic", and while hard work can be therapeutic, staff would sometimes forget to take students off "work assignment", and thus have the now subservient teen alone or with one other student in the cold and isolated from the rest of the "community" when lunch and dinner times were occurring.

Restricted Access to the Bathroom Yes, during group sessions, the facilitator (most often a staff leader with no license in clinical psychology) to deny a student the right to go often without reason.

Scare Tactics Yes

Exposure to harsh elements (ie. Extreme heat, snow or rain) Yes No

Excessive Exercise Yes No

Food/Nutritional Deprivations Yes
Description: During intense "emotional growth workshops" , I, along with my peers was feed, but by no means was the food substantial enough to compensate for the energy expelled during such experiences.

Physical Punishment No
Emotional, Physical, or Sexual Abuse by Staff
Yes, in a group session a therapist made fun of the way I was expressing my emotions, and broke a chair in the process. The man was saying that I was a brat and continued on to exaggerate my simple frustration as a three-year-old throwing a fit.

Education and Mental Health Treatment – [ Please rate: (1) Unsatisfactory, (10) Superior]

Individualized Treatment Plan
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Satisfied with training background of staff members who provided:
Education 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Therapy 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Support 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Satisfaction with After Care provided:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Do you now experience any of the following:
Nightmares: Yes
Anxiety: Sometimes, but unrelated.

Additional Comments:

Would you be willing to speak with a parent or family member considering placement at the facility you attended?
Would you be interested in volunteering for CAFETY or subscribing to CAFETY's
newsletter? If so, please visit
Would you be willing to share your experiences as a CAFETY presenter at academic
Would you be willing to speak with the press, if contacted? (We will contact you
prior to taking such action to confirm.)
Would it be ok to share your contact information with Protection and Advocacy
organizations or Child Protective Service agencies? (We will contact you prior to taking such action to confirm.)
Would you be willing to speak with a parent or family member considering placement at the facility you attended?
If you responded yes to any questions between 1-6, please submit the following:

Myspace/Facebook, etc:
Would you be willing to submit your testimony in support of End Child Abuse in
Residential Programs Act of 2009? (if so, please see link below)

Datasheet about the boarding school at Fornits Home for Wayward Web Fora

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Amanda at Hope Home and Christian Academy

This statement was given on the HEAL-online message board by Amanda. All rights goes the author. I would like to report on Hope Home and Christian Academy.

When I was 15 (I'm 23 now), I was sent to Hope Home and Christian Academy in Mississippi. Unlike a lot of the other girls there, I was only there for a year--April 2004-April 2005.

One of the punishments there that I experienced and which most disturbed me was isolation. I once mentioned atheism to another girl there, she told a staff member, and they separated me from the rest of the girls in the home. I was not allowed to talk to or even look at the other girls for a month. I was in a room in the other end of the house, by myself and could only talk to staff members when they talked to me. This was called being on "group separation" and "silence". Though I never experienced it, I certainly heard the effects of what they called "licks", which were spankings. Other punishments included writing sentences, standing against the wall (from 30 minutes to hours at a time), being on silence, and being on separation from individual girls. Even though most girls are sent there after being sexually and emotionally abused at home or in various foster homes, there is absolutely no counselor in the house.

Strict Christianity is forced on the girls. They must read the Bible in the morning, then go into the schooling room for Christian homeschooling, etc. They do not leave the house aside from going to church and VERY occasionally going to a gas station or Walmart. When I came back from the home, I felt as though I'd missed a whole years worth of events, because I had. I was yelled at for not holding Christian beliefs and was made to write 2,000 sentences when they caught me throwing up in the bathroom once. As someone with eating issues, I needed a counselor, not punishment.

Communication with anyone outside of the home is heavily censored. Girls are allowed one phone call a month with their parents, but it takes place on speakerphone in front of the main staff members. Because of this, girls can't really be honest about how things are going unless they want the staff member to know it as well or possibly intervene if they say things they don't want them to say. I never said anything out of line, so I'm not sure what happens if someone does. Other than that once monthly phone call, no others can be made or received.

All other communication must be done by way of sending letters. These letters are given to a staff member, who reads it to make sure the girl doesn't say anything she isn't supposed to or that they wouldn't approve of, and then they are sent out. When a girl receives a letter or an email, a staff member first goes through it to make sure it doesn't say anything they don't approve of. Once or twice, I received a letter in which small pieces had been cut out.

I once snuck some chocolate candy from the counter and the biggest girl at the home was then blamed for it. Only later did I found out that she'd felt so pressured about it, she'd admitted to taking the candy. The same thing happened when I snuck some cookies once. We were well fed, but the food was locked up and I grabbed snacks when no one was looking every now and then. The only form of counsel is Brother P, the leader of the home.

All counsel is Bible-based and is in no way professional. Sometimes, he became angry and yelled at the girls (myself included, especially when it came to stating beliefs). He commented alot on the fact that I ate a lot when I was home and, when I tried to restrict myself upon first coming there, he yelled at me about that.

Once, a 9 year old girl at the home snuck a pair of scissors and cut off a little of her bangs while no one was looking. When she lied about doing it, Brother P took a pair of scissors and cut her long hair off up to her ears, making it look terrible as a punishment for lying. Today, that girl is 15, was recently abused by her adopted parents and is now in a foster home. I am sure that if this place is investigated, they will tell the girls to be on their best behavior and they will be, because those girls want to act well so that they can go home.

I keep in touch with many girls who formerly were there with me, and they have very few positive things to say about the home. No one-on-one communication is ever allowed between two girls and conversation is closely monitored by everyone there. If anyone mentions a non-Christian song, etc. or anything about their past, one of the girls will approach a staff member and tell on them for what they've done.

Every girl there (in my experience) was eager to go back home, so they sold out anyone and everyone for every little thing. I really feel that this place should be shut down. Girls basically feel like they're always in trouble when they're there, even though many of them need somewhere peaceful to get away from everything they've experienced previously. Instead, they're locked up in a house with 10-11 other girls, no privacy, and Christianity coming at them from every direction, including a requirement to wear long dresses at all times. I'm sure that no one at that home will sell the place out, but I am willing to tell the truth.

I've heard of autistic girls going in and being punished for their behavior by having to stand against the wall for hours in the day instead of anyone acknowledging the autism. It isn't effective and it is VERY harmful. Something needs to be done and this is heavy on my heart, which is why I've decided to submit this. I give HEAL permission to use this statement.

´ I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on August 15, 2011


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Book: Beyond Belief

Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape
by Jenna Miscavige Hill

is a book describing the experiences of Jenna Miscavige Hill while she grew up at a ranch which functions for boarding school for children of Scientology executives.

At the ranch she worked 14 hours per day all week with only one hour every week where she was allowed to see her parents. As an adult she joined Sea Org. which is the elite organization within Scientology.

The book covers her time working within the organization until she escaped it. The book provides an rather interesting look into how it is to spend a childhood within a cult, which is or has been under investigation in countries like Germany and Israel.

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