Thursday, May 28, 2015

New Casa by the Sea blog

A new blog about Casa by the Sea has been found on the Internet

Casa by the Sea was shot down by the Mexican authorities in 2004.

Here is the link: The truth about Casa By The Sea - A boarding school nightmare

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Chelsea at Midwest Academy (from

This testimony was given on the webpage Safe Teen School by the student Chelsea. All rights goes to the original author.

I am a former student who went to Midwest Academy for 12 ½ months. My experience of that school was God-awful. I reluctantly agreed to go there to check out the school on October 2, 2011 because my life was spiraling out of control. My parents ended up making me stay. I quickly realized within the first week that my personal rights and freedoms were being stripped from me. This program justifies all if it’s actions by saying, “its structure”, when really it’s revolves around fear-tactics and control methods. This school encourages and enforces complete and entire submission to its staff and rules. They have students on their hands and knees to them, literally scrubbing the floors. You are not allowed to stand up for yourself if you’ve been wronged or bullied. I’ve seen girls picked on by upper levels and staff alike. They do this by having the girls snitch on one other if they so much as giggle at an inappropriate level. They encourage this bullying behavior and level ones get the worst of it. Often times, this ignites spitefulness and get-back games among peers. They get consequences for little things like rolling their eyes or speaking.

Students are criticized for everything they do wrong. I once heard a staff member scoff, “This place isn’t supposed to be a country club” I was never asking for a country club. I was never asking for a hot-tub in my room or spa treatments. The staff would so often swat requests away like they’re ridiculous. I wanted some basic human rights like having some personal space. I wanted to greet my friends when I saw them and have conversations with them more than five minutes a day. You are denied the most basic rights as a human being there. And they told me I was crazy!

There are good and bad staff members at Midwest Academy. It felt to me, that Ms. Angie and Ms. Katherine are there because they care about the girls. They have personally helped me with my problems and are examples of what good staff members should be. I am very grateful for what they have done for me. My family rep Mr. James was also a big support to me while I was there. Sometimes it felt like he was against me but overall I think he was on my side. We didn’t agree on a lot of things but he did show up when I asked to talk to him. He was willing to talk through all of my problems with me. Some of the other staff were more focused on the power trips they got from giving girls consequences. I think it was a game for them and they made my life difficult. Mr. Ben being the owner of the facility has a lot of say in what goes on at Midwest Academy. I felt he was a positive influence and I was always was happy to see his face around the campus. He was nice enough to take us to McDonalds every now and then. But really, what I wished for was for him to give me the right to walk down the hallway by myself. I wished I could go to the bathroom by myself. I wished I had more trust on the facility. I wished I had my basic needs fulfilled. I had far greater needs for trust and independence that fast food just couldn’t fill. I think Mr. Ben stands firmly by his program and what it’s about. That being said, to my knowledge he made no efforts to change these constricting rules and fear-tactics used so frequently about his facility. I myself am not in support of the program and the way it is run.

Midwest Academy is not a program to help your child as they say it is. Midwest Academy in essence, is a control camp. It is very much like prison. You have no rights as a human being. You are treated like an animal. We’re herded into rooms like goats and sheep and we’re not allowed to sit on furniture. We sit on the floor in a crowded room, not allowed to lean, talk, or do anything. This was not a very stimulating nor healthy environment to be in. I was abused while I was at Midwest Academy and sadly I saw many of my fellow program-buddies abused as well. Girls were sent into solitary confinement and they would come out with extensive gashes, cuts, and carvings all over their bodies. LET IT BE KNOWN, these girls were watched as they harmed themselves. There is a camera in a room called OSS in which may be solitary confinement at times. This room is smaller than a closet and It’s painted entirely white. Girls are sent there for misbehaving. Sometimes they leave the door open but other times shut the door into solitary confinement for long periods of time. There are no chairs or anything. It’s an empty room. We are fed three times a day with one PB and J sandwich with pickles and fruit each meal with a glass of milk. There is a staff member assigned to watch them as well as two upper levels. You had to sit in structure for 24 hours to get out. This meant, sitting without moving or talking or even itching yourself. You had to ask permission to itch. If you break structure you have to start over. My first time as a level one I was in and out of OSS from October-November of 2011. I am proud of the fight I put up for myself as a level one. I literally couldn’t handle the ridicule of being a new level one on the facility. I was outraged at the oppression of this school and clearly voiced my opinions. This got me hundreds of consequences as a level one. I refused to fill out most of them. I dropped eleven times in a matter of two months. I was targeted and picked on by upper levels for so much as glancing at myself in the mirror or accidentally saying the wrong number in line structure. But not all upper levels were power-trippers. There were some good upper levels who actually supported me as a level one and helped me get up there. During October 2011, I was escorted yet again to OSS for refusing to do gym. Ms. Shasta and Mr. James were telling me as laid on the floor of OSS that I had to change into shorts and T-shirt. Ms. Shasta explicitly threatened that she would have Mr. James forcefully take my clothes off and put me in shorts and a T-shirt. On Ms. Shasta’s part, this is a prime example of the way this place is run.

It’s about fear-tactics and control methods. The well-being of the students does not come first, the structure does. When the winter cold came in November 2011, I shivered in a ball in OSS wearing only a T- hirt and shorts because they refused to give me proper clothing to me keep warm. Meanwhile, the staff members sat there cozy in their sweaters and pants telling me to get over it. This is another example that shows staff comfort are a priority over the students. Although, it is the students’ parents who pay tens of thousands of dollars for their kids to be there, not the staff members.

When I was a level three dorm leader in January of 2012, I was put in OSS for crying too much because I was waking up the other girls. I was in serious physical pain and they would not take me to a hospital as I requested many times over the course of several weeks. The pain got worse as time went on and nothing was done about it. I was on anti-psychotics at the time. Nurse Coleen forgot to get my refill on medication. The pain worsened when my medication ran out and they put me in OSS and closed the door at night. I had a psychotic episode without my medication. The claustrophobia of being locked in closet sized room worsened the anxiety. I lost touch with reality and I was talking to myself profusely because no one would talk to me. I begged for them to open my door as I panicked but the night staff turned their heads away from me, ignored me, and walked out of the room. I had a mental break-down and told them I was going to hurt myself if they didn’t open the door. I would lie on floor for hours on end screaming and crying in pain. In February or March of 2012 Nurse Coleen forgot to get a refill on my medication AGAIN. The physical pain worsened and I went to OSS again. The fear of being ignored and locked up solitary confinement was overwhelming. I started losing touch with reality, but this time I really lost control. At the height of my panic I would beg them to open my door the night staff would simply ignore me and walk out of the room as I writhed from the emotional and physical agony. The last time this happened I couldn’t take it after Ms. Tonya closed my door and locked it again. I told her that I was going to try to kill myself if they didn’t talk to me or at least open my door. She as well as the night staff, watched me through the window as I slammed my head against the metal door eight times. I collapsed to the floor soon after. They never took measures to restrain me like they are supposed to. They were not qualified to handle mental illness. They took away my pillow and sheets but other than that, they made no efforts to stop me from harming myself. During my bouts of physical pain in OSS, Ms. Angie was one of the few staff members who gave a damn about me when I was on the floor in a ball crying in pain. I was not allowed to lie on a mattress so I had to lie on the floor. Ms. Angie was kind enough to give me a pillow in OSS. Mr. James was also supportive while I was in there. Both of them and the upper levels talked me though it all. If it weren’t for the upper levels supporting me there while I was in OSS, I don’t know what I would have done. I cannot thank them enough for helping me through my struggles. I went through the worst hardship of my life while I served time in OSS. Not taking my medication may have been the cause of the severe heightened physical pain I was going through. It may have been the withdrawals of not taking my meds. There was no diagnosis for my physical pain. Either way, Midwest was ill-equipped to handle the situation and they did so poorly. They never took me to a hospital when I told them I needed to. I had no voice, my opinion meant nothing. I’ve seen and witnessed many similar situations happen in OSS.

I’ve seen girls come out of OSS with bloody hands and legs and emotional scars far worse. LET IT BE KNOWN, these staff members were not qualified to deal with mental illness in which many unfortunate students sent there have. I am a personal victim. My story is truth and there are many more who have had the same experience. If I was a parent and I loved my child and I wanted what was best for them, I would not send them to Midwest Academy or any other boarding school like this. This is coming from a former student, and I’ve never seen worse treatment of adolescents in my life. It happened to me, it’s happened to many others, and I’m sure it will happen to more.

I turned eighteen in the program in May of 2012. I stayed five months after my birthday to finish high school and get level four. I did both of those things and am very proud of it. Soon after I got level four I dropped to level one. I decided to take my exit plan when my parents told me they wouldn’t take me home. The exit plan that Midwest Academy so often encourages and promotes parents to take, is sending your child to a homeless shelter. And that is where I went. I was given a garbage bag for my things (courtesy of Midwest Academy) and the bag started to rip so I asked for another one. Going to that homeless shelter was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. A former student and I both stayed there because we both took our exit plans. I felt so relieved to be out of the confines of that school. I took pleasure in my stay at the homeless shelter. I loved it because it was freedom. I had been dreading going there. I expected the worst and I got the best. I thought it was ironic that the homeless shelter was much more hospitable and livable than the program. If I could go back, I would much rather live in that homeless shelter for a year than at Midwest Academy hands down. I have been living a free person for almost six months now and I could not be happier. I am now living with my parents. I have a job and am going to college. I love being back with my family where I’m supposed to be. I hope this helps anyone who would consider sending their child away. Please take care in making your decision. If you are a former student and have witnessed or experienced abuse at Midwest Academy, don’t be afraid to speak up about it because I did!


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

What were you doing 13 years ago today? (Cross Creek programs - from Facebook)

13 years ago close to this day- I was released from the place listed in the article below. I spent 30 days of terror -29 nights of horror, thinking "If this is HELL- then it couldn't get much worser".

A 1k dollar night stay in the motel sitting in basically no where- set the scene for one of the terrifying horror movies I ever had the pleasure of staring in.

After 13 years there are just experiences some of us never truly get over. The experience Im about to share is not like losing your first love, ruining your favorite t-hirt w/ grape juice, or getting in a fight with your best friend- it's more like experiencing the loss of a child- the loss of your sanity- it was like being raped mentally over and over again.

Close your eyes and imagine the following:

Its dark, cold, and 3am- you wake up every night to hearing the girls outside screaming in pain over and over again. You try to help but are warned if you do they will do the same to you. Listening from your room you are forced to hear the girls on the other side of the wall begging for staff to stop hurting them. The claim torture, rape, they beg for mercy, but never find it.

From being drugged and sleeped deprived for 3 nights and 4 days you are forced to watch and listen to how this will soon be your own experience.

You attempt to tell your parents, but your nothing more to them than a rabbied dog who's gone wild. Parents being manipulated into believing their pets could be trained into the way they always wanted them. You don't go to church enough they say, this is happening to you because you lost faith they claim.

[Since when did GOD seem to think it was ok for girls to be drugged, tortured, sleep deprived, manipulated, forced to piss themselves, while being mentally & physically raped by adult men.]

The nightmare continues...There's nothing you can do to stop it, you think your voice counts but it doesn't, you have no say- you have no vote- cause in the end not even the government will do anything about it. For years before your attendance and many years after these practices continued.


Tucking these memories under a rug and pretending it never happen is the greatest performance I have ever given. To be forced to pretend everyday this didn't happen is the hardest thing to do.

Every year around this time I'm reminded of those who have committed suicide as their pain was just to much to bare from their time here. I'm reminded of those who reverted back to drugs and alcohol who never found the psychological support they needed so much.

My message this year is to those of you who are still surviving what happened here Regardless of the year you attended.... I know you may still be suffering, but you can still overcome what happened.

If you are not living to your full potential- then start!

Don't give up in the fight, don't allow the pain of this place and its memories define you and where you are going.

Remember you are strong, you are brave, and most of all continue to hold on to life with everything you can.

Don't give up in your fight to move on.

Be a friend to someone new, drive yourself to be better than those who have wronged you, and may you persevere in anything you pursue.

Life is to short to waste it- so make the best of what you have left to count-

Do this not because you have too -but because you are worth it.

To my fellow survivors you are not alone, keep surviving, keep pursing, and keep holding onto the dream that one day your life is more that just a debut in this place of horrors

Troubled Teen Supergroup (Facebook)

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Anonymous at Diamond Ranch Academy (from

This testimony was given on the webpage Safe Teen School by a student whos name has been withheld. All rights goes to the original author.

I arrived feb 22nd of 2008 and graduated highschool out of there facility in october of 2009. I was woken up in the middle of the night and transported to the facility were i was strip searched had to shed, spread, squat, cough, and lift up my genitals and was immediately placed in an all orange hoodie and orange sweat pants labeled homeless on the chest like i was a prisoner.

When i arrived with the group I was informed for the next two weeks there was no communication with other students if you talk its a strike you got 4 strikes in each half day if u got over the amount of strikes you failed your day which resulted in more time in homeless. Things that included recieving strikes were talking not finishing ur workout ...not finishing ur disgusting meals...refusing to comply...asking unnecessary questions and so on I was in homeless for 3 months before i was allowed to be an inside student.

The staff refered to me as the homeless king who would never get out we traveled throughout the campus outside all day pulling a cart known as the yolk like we were horses....every morning we were fed 1 bowl of cream of wheat or oats for breakfast depending on the day...rice and lentels for lunch everyday...and rice and lentels with chicken for dinner...1 bowl every meal i went from 400 lbs to 180 lbs in the time i was there from there strict workouts and labor...the homless staff Mike Fox and Jon Goobler would deny students use of the porta potty and in particular would harass one student with this power till he'd pee his pants. On days parents would come they would hide the homeless kids in the workout room out of sight. On numerous ocassions I was subject to energy release this is were they run you and make you do laps and various strenuous exercises up and down the so called football field until you 1. passed out or 2. begged to stop and would comply this particular punishment was administered by Ricky Diaz, Robbie Diaz, Danny Borchard and Shane the guy in charge of isolation. Many times i was checked against the wall by an employee named Kyle Carter and beat for my insubordination. Once i became an inside student i joined there football team where if you were talented you were pampered if you were of no use to them and there obsession with the game you were worked to the point of passing out.

If you preformed poorly in the game as an individual you could be placed back in homeless as punishment in my total time at DRA I spent over 6 months in homeless. The staff that woulds stay inside our dorm room were on our side, they would say how its wrong what they do to us and how they are sworn to silence and if they were to speak up they got fired immediately which happend often. Everyone was given a book of Mormon and was pushed in the direction of there beliefs and if you did not participate you were frowned upon. The five main abusers of kids at the ranch were Robbie Diaz, Ricky Diaz, Danny Borchard, Shane whatever his last name is and Kyle Carter. Many times i watched students be thrown down, knees in backs, arms were broken in the restraint of students to the point where lower power staff members would turn there heads in disgust. I got along with alot of the staff that stayed with us all day such as Victor.. Josh..Steve Darvaeau....Mckay Probert but most of them were fired because they actually cared about us as people we were neglected for food especially if you were big you would get half portions and definitely neglected for bathroom privalges in the homeless part of the program medical care was only good if you had to take meds for disorders otherwise they didn't care about you, the medical staff was amazing and careing but again were held under dictatorship rule by the higher up people. On the phones you were limited what you could say and if you stepped outside the boundries of conversation your call was hung up on all my letters stating concerns to my parents were edited outside of my own words or blacked out.

I felt like a prisoner they made it seem not bad when you get there but after your parents pull down that dusty dirt road it was as if it was a completely different story i personally have been traumatized by my stay there and have developed anxiety ridden abandonment issues my relationship with my parents is good now but that is only because they now realize what I've been put through. Diamond Ranch Academy is the equivalent of a cult driven on the basis of Mormon beliefs hard labor and football. If you do not comply with those three things your time there is hell. I've have been to several other facilities in my life but none as dark and hush hush covered up as this one they are excellent at hiding what they do and could only be exposed threw an undercover student the whole program is based on a lie of saying its a boarding school when in reality its more like a prison.

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