Sunday, December 17, 2017

A parents view on her daughters stay at New Beginnings Girls Academy

Met this group, while they were on tour to our church. we were impressed wtih their evening performance, and felt that this place would be a place where our daughter could find rest, and comfort and a place to get away from it all after a severe accident left her with some serious physical complications...

it was not what we had expected, nor was it what we were promised.We were told of mending broken relationships, academically getting on track and counseling...

punishment started right away, for things that were not understood, red shirt, punishment, left my daughter with many physical problems, untreated medical condition, UTI that was untreated, afer I spoke about her needing to get medical attention, they said they would, and did nothing.

blood in her urine, blood in her bowels, hives all over her body.

Our letters were kept from her, her letters to us were never sent, she was not allowed to speak to us freely on the phone, but every word was to be judged, and she was expected to speak to us in monotone, so as not to communicate anything other than what was allowed. She was on punishment, and red shirt discipline throughout her stay, and has foot, knee, hip inflamation from the constant standing on the wall with her hands behind her back, both feet flat on the floor.

she wakes up nightly with nightmares, of being taken back to New beginnings Girls academy.

Bill macnamera has a very bad temper, in which he did lose all self control with me, while I was asking him questions about educational neglect for my daughter. We were told that she would start counseling, up to two days a week, right away...after two months, she recieved one processing counseling interview...when I asked about the counseling and the lack of education, Bill Macnamers became angry with my questioning his authority, telling me that he did not have to listen to this, and slammed the phone down...a man with a lack of control, exploding on the phone in a temper tantrum fashion, is also in charge of hundreds of thousands of dollars, and 30 little girls who needed a safe place to be, and protection...very concerning...

we called to ask our daughter if she were ready to come home, a nd she had already been in Bill Macnamera's office earlier, and agreed under duress, to stay 6 more which time she told me on the phone she could not come ahome, and it was not perfect at New Beginnings, but she could not come she wanted to stay another 6 months...during my conversation, she was told she had 3 minutes to get off the phone for a counseling they could than tell her why she needed to stay there...

The world is sin, your family is in the world, if you leave NBGH you will going back into the world, your family is in the world, the world is in sin...
They are not allowed to know the day of the week or the date of the month, and must learn to tell time speaking of family you miss, or anything that is reminders of home, family, affection, caring loving people in your life outside of New Beginnings.

You get punished for making eye contact with any other girl, no matter speaking at any must raise your hand and be silent until you are called, if you are called.

Bathroom is punishment: with 5 sheets of toilet paper, or 7 depending on your stalls for shower and bathroom...strip search, solitary confinement writing sentences for up to 4 hrs. a time..

When I went to rescue my daughter from this place, I was met by the counselor who told me to come into the office, we needed to talk...told me to sit down, I refused, he than got himself a chair, so we could sit and talk before I could see my daughter...he than told me that it was a dangerous idea to take my daughter home, It was not safe, she did not want to go home, and she made it very clear, told them many times she did not want to come home, she wanted to stay,

She was severely punished after I was hung up on with more discipline...she would than say anything that would make them happy hoping they would lighten up on the severe didnt help...
she was severely distraught, terrified, freightened, full of shame, fear, intimidation, and terror...the look inher eyes the moment I saw her was one that I had never seen in her eyes was the same look I have seen on a dog, lost on the side of a highway, trying to avoid traffic, sticks and stones, wet dripping with freezing rain, terrified for its very life, shivering, full of fear, begging for shocked me and paralyzed me to see my daughter sickly pale, ghostly white, bug eyed, trembling, shivering, fulll of fear in her eyes...fear and intimidation not knowing why she was now in the Office...she looked at me, and said, Mom is that you...she than began crying saying, O God, O my God, Mom, is that really you, O my God mom you came...I ran to her, picked up her trembling body, and she melted in my arms, so I picked up her weak body, and felt how weak her hug on me was...she was trembling in my arms, and I you want to go to Braums with me...will you go to lunch with me...I knew if I could remind her of a happy childhood memory, she would answer me freely before she remembered what she was supposed to say...she said, food, o God yes...she was in shock, and was trembling as we turned to walk out...she was than ordered to take off her red shirt and return it...big red T shirt to degrade as punishment, humiliate, and abuse mentally and emotionally...she had nothing else on with the T-shirt in Missouri snow storm, boots, thin black summer skirt...when I got there, they had her hurriedly put on a purple sweatshirt...she was confused, but never knew anything about me traveling to get her...she was in total shock and surprise...she was convinced that whe was not allowed to ever coem home again, she was not loved, not wanted, and at the same time, /Bill Macnamera told my husband to just let her go, give her away...let her go...they got tiered of all of our phone calls asking questions...
later on she was able to open up, telling me that she never would have went home with me if Bill macnamera was in town there..He was on vacation with his daughter and son-in-law who are his assistant run business...he would have let her know what the right response was...she would have done exactly what he told her to do...she was fulll of fear, intimidation, she was terrified of what would happen to her if she said the wrong thing...shw would have told me she was not going home.

I must confess that I am not one with free time on my hands to write openly, but this trauma is not half described due to time restraints...I am a mother of great love devotion, and concern for my daughter, and other daughters across America...Mothers who think thye are doing the right thing, finding out after it is too late, that we made the worst possible mistake of our lives...allowing total strangers, to have dominant control over the lives of a child that we have invested so many years, to a person that we knw so very little about.

I am reaching out to Moms everywhere, no matter how desperate you are to find help for your daughters, do not give up, do not give in, and do not send them to a place with your eyes closed, and imagine it is a good thing...if your heart is aching and grievingf, and warning you...listen to those cautions, it is real life screams in the dark...she was very exhausted and walked painfully...when I stoped for the night she was barely able to walk with terrible muscle cramps, and joint pain from the constant standing ont he wall, 7 days a week, *8- hrs. a day, and 500 jumping jacks each evening you are on punishment...she was in terrible pain, and groaned each time I held her, she was having muscle spasms throughout the night, with nightmares of being taken back to NBGH.

She now has anxiety attacks throughout the day, gag reflex from being force fed large amounts of food, and punished if you dont eat it all, or throw it up...punish is by demerits, and the girls who have grown up in the system and arrived at the age of 18, than become the new guards, to give punishment demerits without question...

the prisoner becomes the guard, so the abuse of the bully system continues, and the fear factor of this is evident in the lives of the girls that are full of fear to look anyone in the eye again...


Sunday, December 3, 2017

Former student from Texas at Sorenson's Ranch School

This testimony was found on Topix. All rights goes to the original author

I'm still struggling to reverse the effects that Sorenson's Ranch School had on me. I've been suffering from PTSD ever since I left.

I've always been very comfortable with my sexuality, but when I went to Sorenson's I was treated with the up-most disrespect from the entirely Mormon staff. The program already abuses the children there, but if you were an out homosexual, you got twice the negative treatment. I still have chunks of gravel underneath my skin from when my face was rubbed into the ground by an over-weight staff member for writing a harmless letter to a girl. It was impossible to work the level system there if you were gay, because every time you were alone with another student for even one minute, you got demoted to level 1 for 'Questionable Situations'. They pulled me out of school and sat me in a field or in a room all by myself because apparently I was going to ravage any student that got close to me. I spent the majority of the time I was there by myself, either alone in a field or staring at a wall, with nothing but my own thoughts to amuse me. After a while it started to have an extremely negative effect on my still-developing brain.

And I assure any parent who feels like sending their child there that your kid is going to stay there longer than necessary, because all they want is your money. They're going to keep telling you that your child needs more work, more attention from them. When really all that child truly wants and needs is more attention from you as a parent.

The facility started as a summer camp called Koos Kamp back in 1959. It moved into the Troubled Teen Industry due to the money in the early 1980's.


Sunday, November 19, 2017

A testimony about Heartland Christian Academy (From:Topix)

This testimony was found on Topix in 2015. All rights goes to the originally author who wants to remain anonymous:

There is not a year that goes by that I am not haunted by what happened to me in this horrible cult. I was there in 1999-2001. To this day still have nightmares of this place.

I am a veteran of war of the United States Army and have had some horrible things happen to me and my team overseas, I am haunted more by Heartland in my adolescent than massive casualties of war. Facts are facts. People who have the courage to tell about your experiences of this cult I admire you all. It has been years since I have been there and I still fear this place. My heart goes out to the children who have no choice in living there.

The program kids. I was sent in November of 99 every time this time of year I fall in deep depression. This place has left the biggest emotional scar. I just so happen to check heartland out online to see if the cult had fallen. It breaks my heart it hasn't. Nobody should endure the humiliation and torture of this place. The stew, green suits, shaved heads and eyebrows, grubbin, shit pits, over Worked and under paid (slave labor),swats, beatings, the rape, suicide attempts, the clicks, the drugs. These things are real. I have seen it all. A 13 year old boy should not walk in on his friend being raped in a room. Or see a grown man having intercourse with a cow at the dairy farm while working. like I said this place haunts me.

My heart goes out to all the survivors. I know it's difficult around this time of year for a lot of people but I want to wish my peers of heartland and the other survivors happy holidays. Your are all not forgotten or alone.


Saturday, November 18, 2017

Video: A stay at a religious boarding school in Somaliland

The Danish television channel TV2 made a documentary about religious boarding schools in Somaliland where teenagers from Europe and United States are held against their will in chains because their parents believe that the teenagers have adapted a too western life style.

The teenagers are often lured to Somalia under false pretext.

These schools which operate in a similar way as many therapeutic boarding schools in the United States and the for Indian boarding schools in the United States and boarding schools for in Australia need to be stopped.

Here is a video from the documentary.

The human rights organization based in Denmark - Domestic Prisoners of Conscience also made a press-release:

President Trump - please put Somaliland on your watchlist

When Trump became president, he considered to restrict people from 12 countries from entering the United States.

We believe that he should put all those countries which were formerly a part of Somalia on this list.

In one part now known as Somaliland a new industry has established itself. It is a industry of extreme religious boarding schools where parents who live in the United States and Europe can send their children to if the children become too American or too European in their customs.

That is a problem when we address the security issues in every country in the world because closed school environments can be abused allowing the children to be forced into being taught about violence and that terrorism can be a tool to change the world.

We ordinary citizens in Europe and United States want to live in peace. Allowing children to leave our countries so they are placed in schools abroad where they learn to disgust our way of life and even fight it, is a serious threat against our peaceful lives.

We urge Trump and the American administration to put the area of Somalia on a watch list. We ask their customs to detain and interview every traveller leaving for and coming from the Somali area so it can be determined if they are parents or relatives to a child being detained at one of these boarding schools.

If they have a child at one of these schools they should be detained until the child is safely back in the United States where they then should be put under the protection of the social services.

If the parents then should be allowed to stay in the United States must be up to the court system to decide.

We are aware that many of the parents of Somali origins believe that they are only doing what other American parents do when they hire professionals to put their children in handcuffs and shackles so the children can be taken to Missouri or Utah where they are put into likewise religious boarding schools. The parents have a point.

Why target children with one religion when children are put through similar abuse just inside the United States?

Well. In an ideal world the United States should also put their foot down on all closed boarding schools in the United States. No child should be allowed to be contained under conditions which allows them less rights and more severe conditions compared to what they would experience in local prisons if they had broken the laws and the conditions in local boarding schools in Missouri and Utah are really bad.

But the laws are not there. Federal legislation making it difficult to bring children across state lines into states where legislators and law authorities do not care about children are not in place.

But border control to and from outside United States exist. Here is a chance to put the foot down and prevent abuse and the possibility that the children are introduced into terrorism.

That is why the United States should put the areas of the former Somalia on their watch list and restrict travelling to and from this area.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

A stay at New Leaf Academy

I went to new leaf academy earlier this year.

It messed with my head. They made u think that u couldn't any mistakes in life or u would get punished for example if u forget to ask permission to enter YOUR room u get an LO which is a learning opportunity u have to do physical work for half an hour and if a girl constantly makes mistakes like not wearing an undershirt or run inside the house or forgets to bring her water bottle to meds, she has to do half an hour of work everyday and if u say a curse word or throw a tantrum or get in a fight u get an hour of work or two even three sometimes and you will have to work them off all that once on the weekends while everyone is having fun you wouldn't watch the movie with everyone else you will good grounding work you have to write down some of the you wouldn't watch the movie with everyone else you will good grounding work you have to write down why you got grounded for how long and until you excepted your grounding and said it was the right thing you wouldn't get off of it. The staff was mean only three or four of them were nice to us but the others they will yell and say mean things to us sometimes we were trying to explain ourselves they would just say I don't want to listen to what you have to say thankfully my mother was really comprehensive about it so I only stayed there for like six months.

I told my mom about everything my native language is Spanish and I was not allowed to talk to my mom and Spanish I had to do it in English because they wanted to understand what I was saying. I had two people listen to my conversation with my mom so at first I had no way to tell her what was going on so I used to say I don't really know how to say this in English can I say it in Spanish and then I'll tell my mom all the bad things they did to me that day and that's how we communicated because three letters they read everything before we send it but to be honest the friends I made there are awesome yeah. I once was almost murdered by this crazy girl Sophia she threw my shoes to the roof but the rest of the girls were amazing.

I still talk to some of them almost every day.

There used to exist two New Leaf Academies. Aspen Education Group collapsed and the remaining academy is now in local ownership.


Sunday, October 8, 2017

Feedbacks about Eagle Ranch Academy near St. George in Utah - Volume II

This testimony was found on Reddit. All rights go to the original author which has chosen to remain unnamed.

I've thrown pieces of my story around this sub a couple of times, but nothing too memorable, so I'll just leave it short and sweet by saying I had an extremely abusive childhood, coupled with absentee parents, and was eventually put into two separate "troubled youth" facilities - one for 41 days which wasn't bad minus transport and solitary confinement and the other for a year and a handful of months, which was abusive, demeaning, and awful - for running away from home to avoid being sent to a clearly neglected - we took a tour together - facility in my home state for, as my parents stated, "someone to do our parenting for us" - yes, verbatim. I never had a drug problem, never committed any crimes, and was simply trying to take control of my life before they continued to beat me into the ground any further - wouldn't recommend it, but in my situation it was all I could do. I needed something to change.

Anyway, It's been quite some years since I've been in either facility, I'm an adult, I've moved past it - for the most part, some PTSD and anxiety still sticks around but it's nothing I can't live with - and I'm trying to make up for the time I lost. Unfortunately, due to financial hardship, I've had to move back in with my parents temporarily - with someone else, no worries, he keeps me sane - and it's been rocky but bearable. Today, however, my mother brings up that one of the program directors of the abusive facility I attended emailed her to check up the other day, and she was going to forward it to me so I could maybe have a nice chat and give him an update? To which I say - a little rudely, today has been excessively rough for a sea of reasons - "Why on earth would you forward me that? Why in gods name would I want to look back on that time in my life?" She then tries to change my attitude. "Oh brother. Why not start looking at that time as a positive, instead of sitting in self pity?" This has been a constant point of disagreement for us since I left the program. I've taken accountability for the things I did to get myself there - running away isn't acceptable, our lack of communication was all of our faults, etc. - but I refuse to believe that sending me there was the best/their only option. As well, I've gained some knowledge and changed some traits because of my time there, but I refuse to see that experience as a positive. Nothing about what I witnessed there was acceptable, respectful of the clients, or in-line with my morals. I was ripped from my bed in the middle of the night and driven three states away with a single bathroom break, no food, no water, no explanation, and constant bullying from the transporters. I was subjected to cruel and rather unusual methods of punishment, and made to feel like I wasn't a valuable human being - nonetheless a human being. Sure, I graduated high school early, but that's a small upside to the situation overall. Along with that, my parents are now in a pool of debt whilst unemployed because they spent both my and their savings on this place that is admittedly dishonest to potential customers - they'd even have us clients feed hopeful parents stories to keep their interest.

She scoffs at me any time I try and explain to her why I try and ignore that period of my life, and won't look at it as a good thing. Is it just denial, and her trying to feel alright with her decision, or is there just no hope for getting parents to believe the wrongdoings of facilities that convince them their kids are manipulating when they explain the troubles they face from these programs?

tl;dr: went to two programs, try to discuss how awful they were with parents years down the line as an adult, constantly belittled and told i'm dramatizing it. no hope to reach the same page?


Sunday, September 24, 2017

A testimony from a former resident at Diamand Ranch Academy

This testimony was found on Reddit. All rights goes to the original author

I was in DRA from August 2011 to January 2012.

I was taken by two big men on August 4 at around 3 in the morning and transported to Utah. Unfortunately, it is as bad as the internet says. Not a day goes by where I don't relive what happened there. I remember getting a visit from my parents and crying for them to take me, instead they told my therapist and he talked to me and said if I did that again I would get in trouble for "manipulation" aka a cry for help.

I saw this poor 14 year old try to run away and then two 30-something year old men tackled him to the ground and put him in an arm restraint. He then had to run ER (energy release) which was him running until the guys told him to stop, which could be hours. The first two weeks I was there we had o&a (observe and assess) where they made us do stupid little tasks (I was 17 when I arrived and had to write a 17 page paper about my life, make a fire, tie knots, and read various self-help books), we also had to ask to do any little thing (like drink water, reposition ourselves, put on chapstick) we also had designated times to use the bathroom and if you had to go when it wasn't time you got docked points.

The only way I got away was because I was 18 and was able to leave the program. I have been doing a lot better lately. I go to therapy and have been dealing with a lot of emotions regarding DRA. I hate that it still fucks with me and I've been out of the program for 5 years now. I just wanted to put this here so other survivors can know that: yes what we went through fucking sucks, but we can't let our parents stupidity get in the way of our futures. And if any parents are reading this: don't fucking send your child to any therapeutic boarding school, they will harbor resentments against you for a while (trust me). Also Your kid will also probably end up smoking weed to deal with the ptsd of the situation.

Two boys have died at Diamond Ranch Academy. One boy died of illness - at least that is what the official investigation proved. One boy committed suicide by hanging.


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Testimony about a stay at Hidden Lake Academy in Georgia

This letter was sent from a former student attending Hidden Lake Academy in Georgia to parents thinking about placing their son in the so-called boarding school.

"Hello. The letter you viewed was one I'd written last year around this time actually. I'd love to answer any questions you have. I must first ask though, why was he sent to HLA (Hidden Lake Academy)? The reason I ask is because you need to ask yourself a very serious question, Was the way he was before he went to HLA as dangerous as how he may feel upon his life after HLA? I'll give you a quick background of my story in order for you to understand. Right up to the time before I went to HLA, I had ceased caring whether I lived or died and had become a wandering junkie among the streets after dropping out of school and running away from home. I was sent to HLA upon a court order.

I don't want to go into detail about how horrible my experience was at HLA, but I will say that there's no real individual counseling in order to find out what each child needs. It's all done the cheapest way possible in order for them to still say that they are counseling, which is group counseling. Group counseling on a mass structure can be successful when everyone may be suffering from the same problems such as Alcoholics Anonymous, but in this case what one child needs another may not. You must also understand that because of this they fill everyones heads with the same rules of life by breaking down everything they've been taught and rebuilding their thinking. This sounds as if it could be good, yes? But it's not. It's not actually correcting any problems. It's covering them up with a therapeutic veneer and teaching them to suppress their problems since they're not actually working through them. This insures that they may seem like things are better for them and that they're cured for a long enough time for them to leave HLA and then some.

As you know though, anything suppressed will eventually surface and need to be dealt with again. So in actuallity HLA did nothing except offer a temporary fix. For some it does work, but very few. Most of the children end up with double the amount of problems, because you then have to worry about the same old problems accompanied by the trust issues and identity disorder that HLA has installed.

After leaving HLA I started noticing that I felt like a robot. It took awhile to figure out who I was again. Through all this searching I was lucky, because I started noticing subtle beauties in life that made me want to live, plus being sober I was able to look back at all the wrongs I'd done and people I'd hurt and became determined to change some of my ways. Now I'm a very happy person for the most part, but I do suffer from some problems that I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to overcome, because my mind doesn't recognize them. They're purely irrational thoughts that I can't control which cause me to have panic attacks. I have social anxiety disorder and some serious trust issues from things my last psychologist said had become such a deep part of my psyche that it was part of my personality and could become a danger to try to change. I have learned to function fine as long as I take my medication. I am in a very successful relationship, my parents and I are now much better friends, and I care about my life as well as others'...

Once again, I must say, that was my story. Everybody's story's different. For some the rebellious teenager is just a phase. It's practically impossible to know that though since we can't see the future. My parents have apologized a few times about getting me sent to HLA, because they see what it has done. They say that if they could go back they would do things differently. I don't think it's that easy though. I needed some help and my parents just didn't know what to do. I do not blame them for anything. They did what they felt they had to after we'd gotten into some serious scuffles and they saw me slowly but rapidly dying. You can see why I said that this is a very hard question to deal with. My advice personally is not HLA and is one on one counseling with the whole family. Make sure also that the psychologist is not a friend of anyone in the family, because you do not want them to be tempted into taking sides because of the personal relationship he/she has with a family member. For all we know, there may be things about all of you that may need to change in order for there to be that balance that your family needs. I know that's how it was for us, my family that is. This means that you must be open for anything that your therapist may say to you without getting defensive. There is no easy way out of this. Remember that...

I to have never told my parents certain disturbing things that have gone on there, because they already beat themselves up over sending me there, so I can understand why your son is reluctant to say anything. Plus there's also the fact that he's scared to because of what they may try to pull. I was brainwashed into trying to commit suicide when they found out that I was trying to get my court order dropped because I felt like I'd worked through all of my problems, mostly on my own because i was willing and wanted to change things in my life. They wanted me to slip up and try something so as not to lose my money. It didn't exactly work as they wanted it to because we discovered what they were trying to do. Avarice and the ability to control someone's mind don't mix...

Concerning your academics worry, there are no real academics. In spanish, the answers were always on the bottom of the page upside down and no teaching was involved, just worksheets. It's a gimic in order to make the parents feel as if some change is occuring. You cannot fail a class, you get incompletes until they make you do it with work assignments or calistenics. I remember when I made honor roll, my parents were so proud that I didn't even tell them that I was only in my first week of the school classes and hadn't actually done anything yet. So he may get good grades, but there's no serious learning taking place. I'd be more worried about his being able to function upon leaving than his academics though, because his credits should transfer fine. But he may do horrible in the next school because although it states that he made an A in the previous math class, there's a good chance he didn't learn anything, so it's going to be more difficult for him to keep up since he's been out of a real school environment for so long...

I hope that all of this will encourage you to make the decision you feel is best. I'm sorry you must go through this, but since you must, please make the best educated decision possible. This is your son's future and possibly his life at stake. Since you obviously care about him in order to seek my help, I'm sure you'll do what is best. Here is a link yu may find helpful, Are you aware that there are a few class action lawsuits in the works against HLA?.. Please do not tell HLA that you have spoken with me. They are very powerful and have the ability to come up with answers to anything, hence the psychologist part. I'm risking alot by sharing these things with you. Thankyou and Goodluck. Love, Me"

I have posted this with the hopes that I could help answer some questions for those in worry. If you are planning to or know someone who may be planning to undergo such circumstances, please forward on this letter. Thankyou.

The school was renamed several times and is now finally closed.


Sunday, August 6, 2017

Pieces of Victory film project

This video can be found on Youtube. The academy shown in the video was named Victory Christian Academy and was located in California until the authorities closed the academy down after an accident where a girl died during construction work. The owners were later involved in project in Mexico and Florida but was finally forced out of the business when former victims were able to tell the truth on the Internet.


Sunday, July 30, 2017

A testimony from a former resident at Sunrise RTC

I know not a lot of people know much about sunrise or what went on in it. I want to break that barrier. I want to make this as detailed as possible so people can use it as a reference.

If you have any questions, please please please ask. I will edit the more I remember.

  • Personal Information:
  • Date Of Admission: March 19, 2010
  • Age Of Admission: 13
  • Reason Of Admission: Depression, Anxiety, Self-Harm
  • Date Of Discharge (Approximate): January 22, 2011

Please note: I have researched Sunrise on countless occasions, and it seems that the more I read about it, the more I find that what is written is outdated and incorrect. For example:

  • The average stay is NOT 7-9 months. It is 9-11. I have actually seen girls stay up to 18 months.
  • The pictures of girls on the front page of the website and the pamphlets themselves have remained the same since before I attended Sunrise (3-17-2010)
  • The Sunrise website states that the staff ratio is between 1:3 and 1:6. It is more accurately between 1:5 and 1:8.
  • You pay WAY more than $250 a day

Other Information:

  • There is a level system: Safety, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
  • The girls to all of the cleaning. Twice a day. (toilets, dishes, vacuuming, sweeping, watering plants, showers, etc.) If they refuse to clean, they get dropped a level.
  • Phone calls are monitored. Most girls don't know this, and neither do the parents.
  • One phone call a week to parents only. They can take away all forms of communication if they wish.
  • They let me handle bleach and clean a library unattended with it on safety. When I complained that it wasn't a god idea to expose bleach to potentially suicidal girls, I was threatened to be put on suicide watch.
  • I was told by my staff that Sunrise "isn't a school, it's a business", when girls asked why we're not being taken care of well enough/why they're so revolved around money.
  • When my house "needed an intervention" (we didn't, it was random), we were forced to sit in our rooms for several ours without sleeping, making a single sound, or communicating of any sort. This happened twice. Girls got dropped levels afterwords.
  • There was a cockroach manifestation that wasn't taken care of. In order to actually house so many girls, half of the girls had rooms in the basement.
  • Girls were 3-4 to a room. we had bunk beds.
  • A friend I had there was handcuffed while being transported.
  • Yes, they DO restrain girls and use tranquilizers.
  • My therapist was known for breaking patient confidentiality. She broke it with me and with another girl whose (amazing) parents sued. She was fired after I left.

There are between 32-45 girls there at a time (which I think is more than they claim). The girls are separated into two groups; Yellow House and Blue House. This makes it easier to watch over the girls and manage schedules.

They are all about DBT-based learning. Far more girls who attend Sunrise are "diagnosed" with Borderline Personality Disorder than you would expect.


You MUST get up at 6:15 am, no exceptions. Down to breakfast, then you're forced to run over 2 & 1/2 miles and play a sport after. (If you don't finish laps or actively participate, you are put on academic probation where you must do stay inside and do classwork for two weeks)
Then you have school to 2:45. If you don't finish all of you classwork by the end of the week, you get academic probation. (Ooh, fun stuff: if you are on academic probation, you can't move up a level or go outside)

After school is an hour long group therapy session. After that, one hour and 45 minutes of intense dance or yoga. Then you eat a small portion of food.

I have PTSD as a result and wake up in the middle of the night from nightmares of being sent back against my will.

During my stay, on October 17, 2010, a car accident killed a dear friend and fellow patient, Natasha Newman. Gracie James, another student, was ejected from the passenger seat and as a result, slipped into a coma and was taken off of life support a few days after. There were a few other girls in the car, and a staff member was driving. I wasn't there as I was with Yellow house and this was during a Blue House trip, but at least 10 other students watched this suburban swerve and roll. I know that many articles blame the staff driver, but I would like to kindly say that the writers of these articles don't have all of the information. The staff driver did her best to avoid a collision and unfortunately, suburbans are top-heavy. She was probably the best person to have been driving at that time, because she really did her best and saved three passenger girls.

VERY IMPORTANT: I had to learn this the hard way. If you are at an RTC and one parent wants you to stay, but one wants you to come home, chances are, YOU WILL STAY AT THE RTC.


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Book: The Dead Inside

The book is about the stay of Cyndy Etler in the so-called drug rehab Straight Inc. Today known as a rehab program which destroyed more lives than it helped, it was considered one of the best rehab programs for minors when it was created.

The book provides a deep insight in the cult environment which founded the basis of a program where it never was about healing the teenagers but just proving whather ever lose assertion parents might had about possible drug use of their children.

Buy it here:
Source Book or ask for it at your local bookstore using the ISBN-number: 9781492635734

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Stewarts testimony about his time at Hidden Lake Academy

A number of questions were asked to Stewart. Here they are and the answers also.

Glad your home.
  • Were you ever on restriction? For how long? What was it like? I mean what was your day like? Did you eat the same food as the others? Did you have work detail? What kind of work? Could you read, other than school books?
  • What was your experience with the counseling sessions? Were they helpful?
  • Were you ever restrained or did you witness any restraints?
  • Did you ever get to go off campus?
  • Were your phone calls and mail censored?
  • What was Wilderness like?

Well, Ill start out with yes I was on restrictions, for many reason. I knew about a lot of people in "relationships" I had also met a girl and we were hanging out a lot and they said that wasn't OK. A kid in my peer group ran away and they said I knew all about it. They also took my Friend out of bed at like 1 am and made him sleep in some weird room and yelled at him all night because he had heard rumors about kids planning to run away. I did eat the same food, But I wasn't allowed to talk to anyone the entire time I was on restrictions and for the 4 months I was at hidden lake I spent about 2 and a half on restrictions. I did have work detail, from clearing trails to cutting wood, to cleaning the mess hall. I do recall on several accounts half the kids on restrictions were not following the rules while the others we doing everything they were told to do. The group whom were screwing around were taken away and ended up sitting on the lodge while the kids who were working hard were forced to do PT In-cadence on the tennis courts at night in about 40 degree weather with about 4 inches of water in the courts and still raining until the staff was ready to do something else(remind you we were the kids not causing problems during the day and the ones who were sat nice and warm in the lodge studying)

Yes we could read, they had a lot of books and did let you brings books, but the school had to approve of them, lucky at the time I only had one book!

My personal experience with the counseling was both negative and positive... There were many times when they simply screamed at us if they didn't like what we were saying, And if I told them the god honest truth if someone who has been there longer said different then it was to bad for me and what that person said must be true!! Silly Isn't it? But I was put in the spot light a few times concerning my well being because of my history (my did Killed himself just over a year ago) and my peers we're so very supportive, I did really feel like they cared.

I have never been restrained myself. My friend whom was the girl I was "together" with was restrained when I was being detained by the school cuz they wanted me to give them information. She was coming to talk to me and they took her down on the cement road pretty hard... I was very upset when that happened.

I did go off campus 3 times. Once for my peer group forming day, Once on a co-ed off campus to a roller skating!! lol no, and Once with a group of guys to some movie no one wanted to see. that was okay most of the time. All my phone calls we're either conference calls where a counselor sits in and hangs up if they hear anything they don't like, and the others a staff sat next to you and listend to everything you said. With the mail, you'd write (same with e-mail) it and they'd read it and if it was OK they'd send it, if not they give it back and say write something else. NO NO NO NO private communication. NO Individual therapy NO Family therapy. And No ability to form a healthy Male Female relationship.

It was funny because Dr B. The owner is so very strict on his drug possibly yet he disposes a large around of mostly empty alcohol bottles into the dumpsters that the kids take the trash... I can do more into detail about the some other time.

Wilderness at ridge Creek was a challenge. Now it is very interesting what happened. Mostly they made us work clean study different hiking and safety and army things Pt training. I did have some fun...but I was also in the group with the "cool staff" who didn't really care, the other groups we're all power tripping army guys who yelled at everyone. Now I was doing extremely well there, I was the "leader" and all that stuff, but the lady whom was the counselor for my team put me on suicide watch because I was doing really good and told me that I should me messing up extra...Thats when I just said Im done and stopped doing anything, I left a week early and was sent to a lock-down for 7 months.

If you like to know anything else, please ask Im more than willing to share. Im feel Ive been silenced and have no one to tell about what happened... To be hounest it is hard for me because of the lost friendship because I was kicked out. We as student really had to stick together to keep our heads up, I Know it sounds like some dumb joke, But it is a lonely and hard place. And sometimes you need a Friend but you can't always talk to that person their... Please feel free to reply or ask any other questions... That place has some problems... Im not sure, I really wish I could do something about it

The facility has been closed down.


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Mshiloh at Eagle Ranch Academy

This testimony was found on Merchant Circle. All rights goes to the author known as Mshiloh.

Self-Esteem Loss and Emotional Trauma

I was been through many trials and painful events (varying from sexual abuse to physical torture), however, the darkest and most hopeless time of my life was the 11 months I spent in Eagle Ranch Academy.

When I left the facility, I was reduced to a raw, traumatized, pathetic creature. I say creature because that's the way I was trained to view myself while there. I have never felt so worthless. They practice degrading and humiliating disciplines that still haunt me from time to time. I've been able to heal from the emotional turmoil and abuse I experienced at ERA through years of therapy and self-esteem development. I now love myself and am functioning normally, but Eagle Ranch took what little self-worth I had at the time and dissolved it with sick treatment and twisted methods of "behavior modification".

Eagle Ranch restricts communication content with family members with a term called "manipulation". Any communication outside of the facility involving negative comments about the program and their treatment is immediately intervened. Once a week, 10 minute phone calls are monitored and terminated if the we mentioned the abuse. We were allowed to write a limited amount postcards to our families. They chose postcards as stationary so they could review the letter and ensure there was no "manipulative" content.

From an outside perspective, some of the rules and practices of the facility seem normal, but much more is revealed from the inside that only former ERA residents are able to describe. The people in my "pod" and I had to play a role in order to be released from the facility. We had to, as we called it, "fake it 'til we make it". Many of the staff who were sincere quit their jobs there because of the abusive environment.They would tell us that they cared about us, but just couldn't support this facility and its tactics. I have kept in touch with my former ERA residents, and EVERY SINGLE ONE has testified of the abuse and pain from the program. Most have relapsed on drugs, alcohol, and/or other risky behaviors. Those of us who are emotionally stable today, accredit NONE of it to Eagle Ranch Academy.

The program is a waste of your hard-earned money and a damage to your child's self-worth. Please, please don't send your child to Eagle Ranch Academy. This is a genuine plead. I am an intelligent, insightful person, and I can honestly say that this program has caused me a degree of permanent damage. I thank my family and loved ones for listening and helping me to recover as much as I have. If you love your child, which I know you do- otherwise you wouldn't be considering treatment programs, seek other options.

I pray that ERA will be brought to justice, but until then, I pray that my testimonial will help parents look into other programs/treatments and other former Eagle Ranch residents to speak out. Thank you.


Sunday, June 4, 2017

Book: No Direction Home: The Drifter Chronicles: Volume One (Volume 1)

The book "No Direction Home: The Drifter Chronicles: Volume One (Volume 1)" provides a clear picture about how life inside Hidden Lake Academy in Georgia was.

The facility is now closed. However the legacy of how many lives who were destroyed will forever remain.

About the book (Amazon)

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Nicole Barrett at Cedar Breaks Academy

This testimony was found in another blog on blogspot. All rights goes to the author Nicole Barrett

When I was 17, I was sent away against my will to a “residential treatment center/behavior modification program”. I was forcefully taken (because I did not comply) by two strangers (“transport team”) and was driven from New Jersey to Utah, only stopping a few times to use the restroom. I feel as if the majority of today’s society is unaware of all of the torture, brainwashing, and outright child abuse that occurs across the nation everyday. Outsiders to these programs are outright blinded and completely unaware of what is truly happening in these “programs”. I feel that if more public awareness existed in regards to this abuse, more lives would be salvaged from this conspiracy and mistreatment. Cedar Breaks Academy was eventually shut down. However, many more venues of torture such as CBA exist and are created under new names each and every single day.

With it being five years after this traumatic incident, I still feel the repercussions to this day as if it had occurred yesterday. The other girls I was held against my will with who I consider my sisters also feel this way. Many of us ran into more problems post CBA than we had when we went in. What CBA considered "problems" are what most people would consider normal teenage behavior such as lying, underage drinking, and promiscuity. If that were so, the majority of my high school class would be sufficient candidates to be essentially "kidnapped" and subjected to this teen torture that continues to happen every second of everyday.

The school closed in 2009.


Sunday, April 30, 2017

"taken-penguin" at Sorenson's Ranch School

This testimony was found on Topix. All rights goes to the original author known as taken-penguin

now this place was HELL. I could write a whole book on this one. when she first got there they searched her, they searched her things, and took away most of it. only t shirts, no solid black blue or red. only blue jeans. the girls had to grow out their hair. the boys had to have their heads shaved. the girls stayed in cabins. there were 4 of them. at night the staff would check on the kids to make sure they didn't run of. the nearest town was 70 miles well so they said and they were in the mountains . a good comparison is the movie Holes. if you havent seen it you should then compare it to this place .mame got in trouble really fast. she had to hike in the snow with just vans, blue jeans, and a thin jacket. she had to eat outside,most of the time she was alone. she tried to run off and they tackled her. they restrained her. this means they push the palm to your arm bending the wrist, laying face down in the ground. this hurt so badly that it would make people scream, even the boys. when there were no cameras and the kids talked back, they would hit them,they would call them names that no one deserves to be called. they shoved them and the kids always ended up on their stomachs. then there was mountain camp. 3 girls two staff. they slept in their own tent. they were not allowed to even look at each other. the staff made them walk in a circle around their tent for hours. would have to haul logs and when they went to sleep the kids had to sleep in their undergarments. it lasted for a week. they couldn't shower, no toothbrush, no change of cloths.

they would shove them into the ground. they had to shovel horse shit and it was its worst when it rained and they made them wear flip flops. another thing they would do is make them pick rocks in the snow for no logical reason. they would have to wake up at 5am, walk back and forth in a straight line while the staff sat in a warm room and watched them. it was always cold. hardly ever hot. the kids would get breakfast at 7am, had to eat outside then walk up this huge hill that lasts 10 miles. they were not allowed to stop until 12 and eat their lunch, bread two slices of packaged meat and a water bottle. this was a group hike. they would walk in a line as a van follows them by their side. they got to go to sleep at 11pm, then the next day it would happen again. since the kids were not allowed to talk, they sang, the vans windows were up so the staff just thought they were singing, but they would be singing their sentences, singing their stories. Mame had a best friend, her name was __. she dresses transgender.l, dressed like a guy. when she came to the Hell they took away her baggie jeans her t shirts and replaced them with skinny jeans. it was humiliating. Mame loved her and still does even though she now lives in new jersey. Mame still hears her screams in her nightmares, the screams and cries of telling the staff to stop hurting her. mame would wake up sometimes with the thought of,“i don't want to hike in the cold”, but then she remember she isn't there anymore.

The facility started as a summer camp called Koos Kamp back in 1959. It moved into the Troubled Teen Industry due to the money in the early 1980's.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Reagan King at Sorenson's Ranch School

This testimony was found on Topix. All rights goes to the original author Reagan King

This place is a hell hole. Its discusting and dirty. Constantly dead flies and hair in food. Not to mention sometimes the milk was really bad and they still served it.

Punishment is putting you in a orange jumpsuit and sitting u on a bucket in a feild from dawn to night time with no sunscreen and the sun blazing your skin and when u get not only burnt but completly blistered all over the face thry pile on more hrs for "self harm" they also do workouts manditory for level one as punishment they r hrs long and painful they r very harsh during them a kid had a asthma attack and they refused to get his inhaler then proceeded to restrain him and break his arm.the school is retarded easy I got my math credits mainly by doing extra credit of sudoku puzzles everyweek which was accepted as if it were mayh work.oyeh and a nother form of punishment is instead of goin to school u got to shovel horse shit all day.not to mention some staff were havin sex with some students and some were sneaking stuff in as well.and also the crazy amount of meds they will perscribe and it says clearly on the bottle do not crush but they would crush.neway I could go on and on but hopefully this makes ppl realize that the students who went here I can comfortably say were all abused in some way.and that should not be takin lightly!

The facility started as a summer camp called Koos Kamp back in 1959. It moved into the Troubled Teen Industry due to the money in the early 1980's.


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Josh at Sorenson's Ranch School

This testimony was found on Topix. All rights goes to the original author known as Josh

Sorenson's ranch kept me in Solitary Confinement (they call it "Isolation") for 10 days straight, yes, 10 days, straight, for something that I didn't even do. They sexually abuse children, and break bones during "restraining" (getting your ass kicked). I saw a kids arm broken by the staff member during a restraint, and I also witnessed a staff member taking naked pictures of a 15 year old boy, right in front of me. The sheriff's came and investigated the incident and the child was sent home. Also, there is peer to peer sexual abuse that goes on, just like in prison. Students (age 15-17) would dump piss on other students when they were taking a shower and they would sexually assault the weaker students. The staff lie to parents during phone calls with there kids, and the kids are not allowed to have uncensored phone calls, for fear that the truth about what is going on at the school would come out.

I left this place with PTSD, no self esteem, and serious trust issues with people. Luckily I had the common sense to join the Air Force, which is the ONLY reason why I am where I am in life. Sorenson's ranch will bully, manipulate and brainwash you, as a parent, and brainwash your kid.

The facility started as a summer camp called Koos Kamp back in 1959. It moved into the Troubled Teen Industry due to the money in the early 1980's.


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Various testimonies from Sorenson's Ranch School

These testimonies were found on Topix. All rights goes to the original authors

JHJ wrote:

They will make you believe things that arnt true, they are masters at convincing parents that all is well. I spent a year at the ranch back in 05 and it was a horrible experience. No child deserves that. I am still trying to overcome what it did to me. DO NOT BELIEVE A WORD THEY SAY. Get your child out immediately. Even if your child is very troubled that place will not help him. Find another route. My parents felt the same way you did and were very happy with it until they realized what was really going on and yanked me out. Please get your child out. Dont trust a word of what they say. Nothing is like it seems there

Philly1341 wrote:

I was here for 2 years and I vividly remember how violent and corrupt it was. The is no "Treatment" here, everything is forced, there are no rights here, when you ask about your rights they'll tell you your parent's signed them away for you. I received a Broken wrist because I swore at one of the staff, on another occasion I Received injuries on my ankle for refusing to hike the parking lot, still on another I was "restrained" a lot of times (meaning I got slammed by more than one staff member and got the shit kicked out of me) I left here with more problems then when I went in and the psychological toll that it had on me when I was 14 was High! it is extremely unprofessional and has a long record of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. If you have a child here take them out IMMEDIATELY! they'll thank you later and won't be angry at you for years like I was at my parents. there are other options, this one doesn't work. Trust me.

wmnc wrote:

I attended SRS school back in 1989-1990. To this day I suffer from PTSD. My PTSD started when I attended there as I was a kid who went there to get help with my ADD/ADHD. There was an assortment of kids there from all back grounds and learning issues. The staff abused me in every way almost daily for the entire year I was there. To all the parents who are considering sending your kids there please do not. Please find another place and option and do your kid a favor and give them the best possible chance in life and in school. I wish I could attach a jpeg. file of the pictures of all the scars on my body to show proof what they did to me. It amazes me to this day how they have been able to stay open with all the abuse.

The facility started as a summer camp called Koos Kamp back in 1959. It moved into the Troubled Teen Industry due to the money in the early 1980's.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...