Sunday, November 16, 2014

suwsywatsit at The Village

This testimony was made by suwsywatsit as the author did choose to name him- or herself. All rights goes to the original author

On Forced Sleep Deprivation & Manual Labor

The bench I am sitting on is cold and part of me feels like it will fall away from under me. There’s a part of me that feels that way even now... That bench under the stairs where we would be lined up sitting and waiting for medicine. Sometimes we would talk but most of the time we weren’t allowed to. The nurse isn’t waiting for us because she has so many things to do. Hospitals are busy places and she has to keep track of the hundred or so of us. Who gets which sedative; who has what rash; what special medicine.

It’s there on that bench that I learned to fall asleep sitting up.The tiredness came all the time then, a heaviness in my limbs and bones. I would hold myself somehow and collapse inward to that peaceful place where one finds dreams that are incapable of occurring. I dreamed of my family, of driving away. I dreamed of college and the quietness that would come when I was free of that place.

I learned to fall asleep like this while doing lots of things: Standing, waiting for my turn at the saw; Sitting in that blue-sheeted bed under the halogen lights that never turned off.

I dreamed of sleep. I dreamed of a real bed and of safety. I dreamed of when the day would be over, when the incessant calls to attention would stop. I dreamed of silence. Silence can sometimes be freedom. I guess it depends on where you’re trapped.
When the dreaming didn’t work; When I got caught or through other means was forced into the light – forced to move in a way requiring attention, I became enraged. An internal rage, adrenaline from the sleep-deprivation.
I would take the saw or the rake, whatever tool they deemed right that day, and I would work that adrenaline into my arms, my fingers, back into my bones.

I lifted and broke the ground. I planted or transported. They called it vocational training, “voc.” It sounded like fun when I first heard of it. But when I first heard of it I was confined for a month to a blue-sheeted bed in a room where the lights never turned off.

I think of tiredness now and again. Not the normal chosen one or the one that comes from working hard. I’m thinking of the numbing kind. The kind that comes from obedience to someone who wants you to never sleep enough. People who sleep enough can run away, they figure stuff out. People who sleep enough are rebellious.
This is how they woke us up:

It’s 5:50am in a cabin in Tennessee. Someone’s alarm goes off and she begins to count loudly, “Wake up! Ten… Nine.. Eight..” We rise hysterically and crawl down the ladders of the bunk beds to the floor; Lean our heads against the wood and dream we are somewhere else for a moment. There is a minute to make the bed. There are three minutes to get dressed.

I’m thinking of the tiredness that those people in camps must have had. The tiredness of obedience. The tiredness of some one else not wanting you to sleep enough.

I’m thinking of how cold and hungry they were. How alone too. How trapped between demands and competition with each other.

I’m thinking of the tiredness of being alone, of helplessness, of being trapped. The tiredness of playing the same game. The tiredness of control.

I have no words to describe adequately what happened there. I only know that I was tired because of the things they made us do. The ways we lived each day – constantly dreaming of being elsewhere.

I don’t have words for the confusion now. The betrayal or the complexity of sixteen months of six-hours of sleep, of lights and noise.

Just this, in my bones, heavy and cold. My legs swaying under me, falling away and coming back again.

Peninsula Village; A GREAT Place For Kids, When Kids Really Need A GREAT Place

The Village was formerly known as Peninsula Village


Monday, October 27, 2014

Former Island View survivor on the run speaks out

A teenager is missing from Grove School in Connecticut. He posted a message on Reddit using Tor technology so he cannot be tracked. We are no supporter of running because the world is a dangerous place for minors. His background does however explain why he ran. He is a survivor of a rather controversial program which has known as Island View. This program was being sued by a another survivor sent to the facility in relationship with the Dr. Phil show. We also have reports of suicide at the facility.

Island View was sold shortly after the news of the lawsuit. It is now marketed as Elevations RTC. The present management denies any connection with the past management.

The missing teenager wrote:

Hi, I am Samuel Foley, the wanted individual in question in this post.

To prove my identity to anyone questioning my legitimacy I will provide facts that will authenticate myself in the eyes of those that might justifiably be skeptical.

I left a white painted bike helmet at the New Haven station while eluding police. My former advisor at the Grove School was Colin Davies. My first period class at Grove School was English. I was on 30’s check-in level at Grove School. I told Jacob Lieber, a Grove staff, that I would most likely not be returning the day in question.

That should, in my opinion legitimize to some degree my words.

I would like to start my anecdote by reiterating some things I would like the public to know.

You will not find me.

At least, in my professional opinion you will not. I’m smarter, faster, fitter and in every way more adept to this playing field than anyone else. I’m more analytical, resourceful and committed than you. You know who I’m talking about you fat cunt Rosie O’Donnell and especially you piggly wigglies at the Clinton Police Department.

You should understand that I have immense experience in these situations and preparation.

That being said, the way I’m being potrayed rayed in the media is indeed false. My special needs would largely be classified as a Conduct disorder and a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Allegedly, Samuel Foley was being investigated for a spree of larcenies in the Connecticut area. On the verge of expulsion from Grove School, adjudication, forfeiture of common law adoption by his brother etc. Samuel Foley allegedly fled from prosecution.

That is what is not being told here. The Clinton Police Department and other faculties are systematically taking advantage of my siblings legitimate concern to manifest their little manhunt.

Also, for Troubled Teens subreddit, although The Grove School has had plenty of formal complaints about sex offender staff, *see Andrew Knapp and John DiNadio, rapes in their main office and physical abuse of there students at the hands of administrators, I think Grove School, in my experience having been to 5 juvenile institutions (Westchester Behavioral Health Center, Adirondack Leadership Expeditions, Oxford Academy, Island View and Aspen Institute for Behavioral assessment), that Grove School is a beneficial place and at least attempts to help their patients.

That being said, I’d also like to state that I have been a long time follower of Troubled Teens subreddit. P.S.

These articles have detailed that I have been living with my brother since my father passed away in April which is false as all my peers at Grove School would know. I’ve been living with my brother since my release from Island View, a secure psychiatric treatment facility in Utah in the summer of 2013. One of the articles detailed an interesting part of this situation. Although my girlfriend was formerly on psychotropics, I have not been for quite sometime (refusal to comply). This being fact, one story said we both REQUIRE medication. So, any attempt to trick me into self-surrending has gone out the window. After the systematic psychiatric abuse I have witnessed and been the victim of, I will not surrender back to another situation in which I could be once again held in a psychiatric facility where I can be locked in solitary confinement, forcefully injected with a Thorizine solution and the like. Fuck you.


P.S.S. Thank you to my friends at The Tor Project for providing the solidified anonymity that will foil any attempts to ever track my Facebook messaging to my girlfriend, my replies and any other traffic to the internet.

We hope for his safe return to a daily life where he is not being held at any facility.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Mike at Provo Canyon School

This testimony was published on the HEAL-online message board. All rights goes to the original author.

BEWARE of Provo Canyon School. Parents and family need to know the impact on a child from confinement in a horrible institution like PCS. The damage PCS does to teens cannot be measured. Trust, joy and love are all affected forever. They are replaced with fear, rage, mistrust, and self-hatered. This lasts forever. I am speaking from experience.

I was kidnapped from my bed at 5am 4/15/1982 in Seattle, Wa. Three men held me and forced me into a small private plane at Boeing field. I was flown to Provo, Utah and learned that 1 of the 3 men was to be my "therapist" for the next year during my confinement. I did my year in a secured lock-down school for problemed teens.. I survived the school and staff. Basically it was a family-run institution of sadistic Mormons who knew each other from college or were related to the owners. These adults had a warped view on how to discipline and "invest" in a child. If you want to know details of this "investment", feel free to contact me. Isolation, shame, fear, intimidation... Adults should not use them as a tool of punishment. Provo Canyon School used them against all the teens. Who told these people how to run a school? I really want to know.

1 year later I was released back to my family, friends, home a completely different boy. I survived horrible abuse there. I can and will name names. The people who were supposed to be counselors and therapists were the tormenters. I never recovered from my year in Provo Canyon School. I could write a book about my life since and most people wouldn't believe it. It may have been better if I had just killed myself when I was released. God knows I thought about it. My life has been difficult and my relationships are few. I have rage. Provo Canyon School defines who I am still. I missed my chance to be a normal teen, instead I became a survivor of cruelty. My mother has not heard from me in many years. I still blame her for sending me to Provo Canyon School, not believing my letters, not listening. The last 27 years of my life have been a reflection of that 1 year in Provo Canyon School. That remarkable decision was the wrong one.

Parents: DON'T DO IT! Beware of this horrible reform school in Utah. Stay away. Email me if you want more information: names, dates, specifics about the abuse and what I witnessed. If you believe the pamphlets, DVDs, and other sales info about PCS... You are making a mistake. My family believed the sales pitch and the lies. Don't make that mistake. Again, I will name names and tell it exactly how it was: just ask. Good luck, people and please have a happy, free life.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

A testimony about Summit School

This testimony was found on a message board. Names have been removed but they can be seen following the link of the original statement. All rights belong to the author.

Hello my name is i am the girlfriend of and yes I did go to Summit this is my story about the abuse I did suffer there

3 years ago I was commited into the psych ward of a hospital. I was almost 18 and would not be eligable for teenage services at that time..My mother did not think that adult treatment would be right for me and I did not think that either

Let me explain why i was commited into the psych ward..I used to hurt myself..very badly I almost died that day I entered the psych ward..I had massive blood loss from a large cut in my arm I still have a piece of the razor in the bone of my arm I had barely done drugs when I went into The Summit School but I was a big drinker.

I got transfered directly from the psych ward to The Summit School. I got to go home every weekend and I did have my cell phone so they didn't cut me off from people but they had a staff member who was originally a worker in Rikers which is a state prison one of the worse and she was awful..She constantly called us bitches and whores and sluts even if it wasn't warrented.

I did have a good social worker and the main staff member I spoke to really helped me but that doesn't make up for the fact that I was abused
on my last year of Summit I became "friends" with one of the male staff people can guess what happened..I didn't even think of it..My parents were away on vacation and he decided he would take a trip to my house..He got me drunk and high on both weed and cocaine and raped me twice..

I didn't think it was rape...I insisted it wasn't i have been raped before so this wasn't the first time..The first time was when I was 7 so I guess i didn't think it was wrong

He was 42 years old and had 2 kids and a wife..

The summit school fired him and made sure he would never work in a residential ever again..Now that doesn't mean he might go to a nonregulated residential and work there..which bothers me...

He honestly thought I was his girlfriend and would call me up and ask me if I could get out of the house and told me to tell my mum i was just going to Brooklyn and he'd get a hotel room and everything..I said no..over and over again

When my social worker told me that the school knew everything I denied it..I insisted it did not happen and I started crying hard as hell

I was 20 so they left it up to my district but the child abuse was called and they did talk to me..The district attorny for the sexual abuse unit of Staten Island was called and did talk to me and they were about to prosciute without my permission.

Unfortunately the bitch from rikers did tell the whole damn school so of course the students thought the wrong thing they thought I wanted it..They didn't know the whole story and of course the bitch from rikers left important details out..

But other staff members were amazing..They kept students away from me anything I needed they gave and they made extra steps to make sure I was okay I was victimized but I am a survivor.

When I got out of Summit..I did have to deal with a drug abuse problem..after that whole thing happened and even before that..I was doing Coke and Adderall daily but I didn't hurt myself anymore..but I guess once you get over something you just add another abusive behavor on top of that..I was trying to cover everything up...

The guy that raped me did not have a past history or anything they had done a background check but I dont understand why he decided to do it to me maybe because I was 20 and had a past history of being raped that he figured I was easy prey..and I hate that and it makes me feel dirty and like I asked for it..but I didn't i definately didn't and anyone who tells me that I was to blame for that is a inconsiderate asshole it did happen and I didn't want it..and I did say NO im not a whore

The fact is is that did not have sex with me while I was still in Summit we started dating when I got out of Summit he would never do that at least I dont think he would be that disgusting..but honestly I dont think anything that I do with my boyfriend is anyone else's buisness but he made it your guys and he is an asshole for that...I just dont want anyone to slander me

he slandered me and he will not be forgiven for that..but I just wanted you guys to hear my side of the story with Summit instead of what he says because I think he just doesn't listen to me when I talk about it and doesn't get the whole picture

I have been fighting against abuse for all of my life..i have had a bad abuse history not only with residential but also with inpatient and with my own family and one listens to someone with a disability thats what i honestly feel

But I am trying to heal and become a better me and to get over this and to fight and fight and fight against all abuse that happens because I will not let what happened to me happen to anyone else

A boy died at the facility in 2002. According the courts he was pushed by another kid at the facility. In 2014 a girl was found dead at the facility. It has been ruled a suicide.


Sunday, August 31, 2014

A clients testimony about Logan River Academy

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

I was admitted in to LRA on July 3rd 2012 and discharged on August 27th 2013.

I am now in a boarding school. I was not court ordered but my parents hired transporters to remove me from my home by force. The transporters treated me well and drove me all the way from Houston, Texas to Logan, Utah.

Upon entering LRA I was strip searched down to my boxers, and I was then ordered to use my fingers to outstretch all the waist band of my boxers outward to ensure there weren't any hidden contraband items. A staff named Darby Golden was extremely physically abusive when it came to PI's and would throw fists and slam kids heads onto the wooden floors, often causing blood and scarring. Please do not use my name if investigating this (Darby Golden quit soon before I discharged).

I got along with a staff named Chandler Olsen, he was one of the few staff who actually cared about the well being of his students. Staff like Andrew Burris had zero regard for our well being and were emotionally abusive to the students they didn't like. I graduated the program by achieving the highest level. To do this I had to behave to LRA's expectations and achieve good feedback from my staff. This was difficult for many but easy for me because I understood how to trick the staff into believing my progress was legitimate.

I did make legitimate progress towards sobriety (substance abuse was my reason for admission) however this progress did not affect my level progression, I had to act like I wanted to behave according to their standards. This was torturous at times because I was under constant judgement 24/7 and one mistake can set back a kid's ability to progress in the levels. Students had zero emotional safety at this school because the vast majority of staff did not care for the kids, and were aggressive if the kids did not behave as demanded. I was never neglected for food or water however bathroom breaks in devo are limited and any more than 1 break for the bathroom every couple of hours was not tolerated. I was not diagnosed with any disorder from this program.

My relationship with my parents is now very good but this is due to my own growth and had nothing to do with the program. This program did not help me. Me being sober helped me. I hated this program, and I believe almost nobody can benefit from it. I have seen kids cry because of the staff's lack of regard for their emotions and they only get treated more poorly for showing such emotional instability and as a result stay in the program for longer periods of time. Feel free to prompt me with more specific questions.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

A parents review of Logan River Academy

This testimony given by a parent to a former client was found on a website. All rights goes to the original author

"We actually chose to send our son to Logan River Academy, after paying an experienced Educational Consultant who highly recommended it...

The decision was the worst we have ever made, as our intention was to HELP our son, NOT punish him. We very quickly learned that the living environment at LRA was negative and hateful. There were only a couple of staff members who seemed to care at all (one has since left); but the rest--especially the dorm staff--used their size (frustrated ex-athletes) and authority to intimidate and emotionally torture the boys who actually NEEDED understanding and emotional support more than anything else. --Plus, for a place that calls itself a "residential treatment center", there was very little actual therapy or 'treatment' at all.

We pulled our son after only 5 months, the last 3 of which were spent primarily in "devo" (solitary). Unbelievably, when he/we told them he was leaving at the end of the month, they put him directly into "devo" because of what they labeled as "discharge attitude"! --Thankfully, he is now thriving at home, attending a small high school that treats students with respect and dignity--something Logan River Academy knows little about. --But he bears permanent emotional scars that I/we will not forgive LRA for."


Sunday, July 20, 2014

"Not a Mermaid" at Island View and Bromley Brook School

This testimony was found on a blog made an author called "Not a Mermaid". All rights goes to the original author:

The purpose of this post is to shed light on what some call “secret prisons for teens" & particularly the Aspen education group. Aspen owns several lockdown residential treatment centers, wilderness programs and therapeutic boarding schools geared towards “troubled teens" it is owned by Bain Capital which is, or was until 1996 co-owned and co-founded by Mitt Romney. Bain Capital and Bain & Co. have contributed $267,300 thus far to Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign. I am genuinely only including this fact because I strongly believe that if he is running for president this should be on his record & people should be aware that he had a major part in funding these institutions.

Parents generally send their children and teens away to these institutions if they are dealing with drug abuse, emotional issues such as bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, violence, sexual abuse and things of that nature. I do genuinely understand that the majority of parents choose this road because they are at their wits end and want the best for their children but the truth is that these places, which are predominantly mormon run and owned, do a very good job at masking the mistreatment and blatant abuse that so many of these children are forced to endure.

For the first time ever I am publicly stating and admitting that I am a survivor of two of these programs.

When i was in middle school i was bullied which led to a near crippling social anxiety & depression, both of which i still deal with to this day. i was refusing to go to school & was constantly having explosive fights with my parents. One night i was woken up by my mother at 4am and led out into the living room. their was a couple sitting there whom i had never seen before in my life. this was my “transport" detail. everyone explained to me that i would be going away to a “boarding school" because no one knew how to deal with me anymore. i was then taken to syracuse utah where i was admitted to Island View, a residential treatment center. At this point in my life I had never even touched drugs or alcohol. I was 14 years old.

It’s really hard for me to recount everything because to be honest, i’ve repressed the majority of my experience at island view as well as the second facility.
I remember arriving and being told that I would be a patient for at least a year, possibly longer. I would be living at Island View until I was completely “healed and ready to re-enter society." Upon arrival all of my belongings were searched. It was explained to me that I would be a member of the “Gold Team unit" The facility was divided up into different groups, defined by a color (gold, silver, copper for the girls & orange, green and purple for the guys) The units were basically long hallways with about eight bedrooms each that would house about four patients per room and could be locked from the outside. There was one large communal bathroom on each unit with showers, sinks and toilets and at the end of the halls there were two large prison style doors that would lock down at night. We were only allowed clothing that was deemed appropriate and very few personal items that were not considered dangerous.

When I arrived my “team" was, as a group, on a CMR punishment (communication restriction, meaning no speaking to each other or anyone else unless spoken to) Nothing was explained to me and no one, including the counselors, informed me about this. It was terrifying not being able to even ask anyone what this place was, or what was going on. Later on during my stay I was placed on CMR for speaking out against the program and was forced to stay in isolation for days on end. There was also no communication allowed between male and female patients or patients on other teams period. We were only to interact with our own team mates and unit staff unless it was school related. The schooling itself was absolutely atrocious and I can safely say that I learned absolutely nothing education-wise while I was at Island View.

Although this was considered a “treatment center" I only received one weekly individual therapy session & one family therapy session. The majority of the “therapy" was done with the entire team and lead by the unit staff who were not licensed therapists. This was not only unproductive, but detrimental to the alleged “healing" process. These people were not qualified to lead any sort of therapeutic activity and frequently preached religious opinions and insulted the patients for speaking their minds. It quickly became clear to me that the entire purpose of this program was to make the patients feel as if we were damaged, defective and unfit for society in our current state. They would break us and make us feel worthless & then proceed to “teach" us appropriate behavior for the real world. I was lumped in with teens who suffered from everything to severe bi-polar disorder, heavy drug abuse & during my entire stay was more than aware of the fact that this was not anywhere that I needed to be. Even worse, those who had drastic issues were not receiving the proper treatment and instead being taught that the “real world" was a nasty and vicious place and that they would not survive unless they “completed the program"

The unfortunate truth is that the majority of those whole completed the program and had reached the ultimate state of brainwashing would be released into the real world and have absolutely no idea how to cope in real life situations. This would frequently lead to relapses in drug abuse, overwhelming emotional breakdowns and sometimes suicide. Some of these teens would end up far worse than when they were admitted.

There were several suicide attempts and even one successful suicide during my stay at Island View. Many of these were due to sexual and physical abuse brought on by staff members. I was fortunate enough to never experience anything but emotional abuse, although i do have very vivid memories of being tackled to the ground, restrained and being told that I was “out of control" because I was crying after a difficult therapy session. Needless to say, I was completely cut off from any contact with friends and besides family therapy I was only allowed one to two phone calls with my mother and father per week. After around 6 months and a few visits from my parents they decided to pull me from the program only to send me off to another Aspen owned facility.

I spent around another 6-8 months at Bromley Brook boarding school which was not much better. Although we were not constantly supervised at this facility we were still not given the freedom to leave the property or socialize as we pleased. I witnessed several suicide attempts during my stay here and even heard whispers of sexual abuse, which were proved to be true.

I still struggle with the aftermath of being a patient at these two facilities. Although I have repressed the majority of my experiences I still suffer from vivid nightmares and flashbacks at the random. I feel as though I missed out on a very important part of my youth and adolescence which I will never be able to make up for. The truth is, I outgrew the majority of my behavioral issues the by the time I was around 16-17. Island View and Bromley Brook did absolutely nothing for me except instill a sense of fear and panic that I’m not sure I will ever be able to shake.

While my experience was certainly not the worst, nor was it filled with tragic abuse stories it was still something very real and very disturbing. If you have experienced any of the Aspen programs I strongly urge you to speak out and tell your story. I know first hand how scary it can be to admit what you went through, but until we begin to tell our stories and bring awareness to these situations absolutely nothing will change.

Bromley Brook School later closed - officially due to the economy. A trial against a former teacher for a relationship with a student ended in 2010 with a conviction against the former teacher.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Mckue at The Village

This testimony was given by a person is called "Mckue" on a blog-entry. All rights remains by the original author:

I was in PV in 2002, and I am still having nightmares.

They rank high on the warning lists for abusive program watchout sites. They hated me too. I don't know why. They knew I was turning 18 so at the end they just ignored me, I stayed in the locked unit for 4 months, gained 60 pounds from sitting on a bed and doing nothing.

I found out later I had sustained a concussion when they slammed my head into the floor during a restraint so hard I was left with a cut and abrasions across my forehead. Why? I sat up. Thats it. I had been laying on they fllor, they gragged me there, and I sat up, intending to raise my hand and ask to use the restroom, where they would have to examine my shit and piss before I could flush it, a method of humiliation, and was immediatly tackled. I have never had a violent day in my life, never raised a hand to anyone. I had low self esteem, I let men use me and I hated myself. At PV I just wanted to die. They told me one thing- You are an evil person with no concioncse and you are no good, nor ever will be. That was my "focus" for 3 weeks. The only one I ever got. It has taken my thereapist years to undo that damge. I thought I was really a sociopath because I trusted that these people knew the mind and were able to tell what was wrong. Others went off to the cabins.

I was finally left alone to sleep no school, no nothing just sleep all day everyday. I did everything alone, staff watched me shower too though. I was also molested by the male gynecologist. I knew nothing I said mattered. He told me right in front of the female nurse in the room, that I had a very nice, muscular vagina, as he fingered me innapropriatly. I know what a gyno feels like- I go yearly. This guy was sick! Also, The drugs they sedated me with made my neck twist around, the muscles would tanse up and I could not contol my head movements. Now I know I am not a sociopath, but that is a huge breakthrough for me. I was so much worse after PV, I almost killed myself, I thought I really was a piece of shit, b/c thats what they told me! I was hospitalized after slashing my wrists and getting them stiched up, the doc said why would you do trhis? You are a sweet and beautiful girl. He laughed and said, no my girl. I am treating you long enough now to tell you that! Your just an addictive personality.

Thats all. Now I am clean, through my spriritual ralationship and lots of love and counseling. I am married, and we have 2 sons. I love being a mom- but I still have nightmares about PV. I hope it stops someday. I am trying to forgive them.

The facility formerly known as "Peninsula Village" has changed ownership since this teenager was at the program. The structure of the program has been altered. If for better is difficult to decide.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Movie: Fix my kid

A movie is being made about one of the most damaging drug rehab programs which have ever existed:

Straight Incorporated and the copies named Alberta Adolescent Recovery Center (AARC) in Canada, Kids of Bergen County, KIDS of North Jersey, KIDS of El Paso, Kids of Greater Salt Lake, Kids Helping Kids, Pathway Family Center, LIFE Inc., Kids of Southern California, Phoenix Institute, Turnabout/Stillwater Academy, STEP Inc., Growing Together, Inc., Possibilities Unlimited, Life Line Inc., SAFE (Substance Abuse Family Education Inc.), ACE, Proctor Advocate, Yes Families, Second Chance, Operation Re-Entry all used variations of a 4 level system where the teenagers in the system were locked inside warehouses and homes of foster families until they had advanced enough through the system. And the methods used were bullying of those who were on the lower levels by those who had advanced in the system.

It is no surprise that the suicide rate among those who came in connection with this so-called drug treatment program is alarming high. The text below was found of the webpage of the movie.

A Letter From The Executive Producer

In 1983, when I was 13 years old, my parents made the decision to place my 15 year old brother Steve into a program called Straight Incorporated in Springfield Virginia. Straight Inc. was a “family treatment center” that was dedicated to preventing teenagers from using drugs and alcohol.

In the two and half years Steve was in the program, he lived in our house for no more than a total of two months. He stayed on first phase for the majority of his program, which meant while he wasn't in the Straight Inc. warehouse from 7am to midnight every day, he was sleeping at someone else's home -- we weren't allowed to know where he was being kept. At the time, that's all the information I was given about my brother.

Steve ran away from Straight seven times. He was brought back against his will each and every time. Finally, on his 18th birthday in September of 1985, he withdrew himself from the program. Steve was now homeless; neither parent would allow him to come home. He stayed on couches and in an abandoned apartment for the next 8 months. In June of 1986, he checked into a hotel in Springfield and jumped to his death from his 4th floor room. Confused and heartbroken, I was told it was because of his drug use (the same thing I had been told over and over again for the last 3 years before his death).

The years passed; then in 2001, I decided to Google "Straight Incorporated." Browsing the webpages I read stories of torture and abuse, even finding a couple of different websites that mentioned my brother. It was difficult enough to lose Steve, but to relive it all knowing he went through such horror was devastating. This was the most painful thing I have ever experienced in my life.

After more research, I came to find out that not only did places like Straight still exist, but many other abusive programs had popped up. It had become an industry.

My first thought was to put up a website about my brother's story to enlighten parents so they wouldn't make the same mistake. Then came the silver lining: I started getting emails from survivors of Straight who had known my brother. People who had amazing things to say about his courage, his strength, and his kindness. How he would stand up for people, knowing he would probably get hell for it. This was very bitter sweet, but I was glad to at least get to know my brother through the eyes of those who were being held captive with him. I also found out by talking to my brother's old friends that while my brother liked to party (like plenty of teens), he was in no way an addict (like I was told), and we had been lied to.

Prior to going into Straight I thought we had a happy family; 3 years later my father had gone, and my brother was dead.

Over the next few years, I met hundreds of survivors and have made some life long friends. During that time, myself, and my friends and fellow survivors Todd, and Alex, began talking about making a documentary about Straight. Fast forward several years, and here we are.

It is our hope that this film will not only promote healing among survivors, but will be used as a tool to educate both parents and professionals about the truth of this industry, as well as to encourage people to speak out and help put a stop to the needless abuse and torture children are experiencing every day in this country and around the world.

-Kelly Matthews

The webpage of the movie

Sunday, May 11, 2014

mokara9 at The Village

This testimony was given by a person is called "mokara9" on a blog-entry. All rights remains by the original author:

This nineteen year old troubled girl has been indoctrinated nothing more! She is speaking the party line and you are all fascists to be buying that any of this is ok!

I was also in the Village and it helped me about as much as two years as a POW would have. It also cost my parents insurance company over 150,000 dollars a year. What passes for treatment there is a fascist farce and the girls i was in with were hardly hardened criminals. One girl was in for being gay another for being molested by a close relative and that was it, lots of anorexics, and suicide attempts.

Many were in for more serious things but I know from personal experience beating, brainwashing and taking away all the civil rights of a teenager does not make them want to not self destruct. This hell hole is sold as a way to help these girls. Also how, if there is no legal recourse for them and they are completely isolated, can any of this so called treatment be kept above any sort of level? How do we know kids are not getting lost in it! As they certainly are.

What about the girls who accused a close relative of molesting them and their families put them in the Village? What the hell is that! Many of the girls were victims of a sexual predator or a rape or of something that constituted rape due to the age difference. Or they were just acting out or got lost in their complete alienation from the kind of parents that would send them off to be abused and not care that they were.

Many of the state kids did not have fit parents, in fact most of them didn't. You know, of course, that when I say state kids I mean your tax dollars are paying for their stay in Peninsula Village. It's hard to grow up by yourself and out of the frying pan there are plenty of fires!

There were some nasty people in there for sure but most of them were staff members. I am now twenty five and it took me seven ++ years to undo some of the abuse I suffered in that stupid Nazi sh$t hole, and you better believe when I finally finish my masters degree in Sociology and political Science there is going to be holy hell to pay!

Anything I have done in my life has been in spite of that stupid evil farce and I still have nightmares and a fun case of post traumatic stress disorder, I shake uncontrollably about once a day! I think all of these privately run facilities should be shut down and their staff brought up on repeat child abuse charges!

I am currently working with the state of Tennessee child protection agency to try and get this done. These children are simply troubled teenagers and Peninsula Village is a fascist Nazi prison camp and Abigail needs to try and break out of her indoctrination!

Any place that won't let you talk to a lawyer, your parents or the police and does what the Village does to you belongs no where but is more expected in the third world!

I know how that place colors people and it angered me to hear the other girls spoken of in that way! They make everything sound as degrading as possible, especially if you have good insurance. Suicide attempts are suicide attempts, what is so bad that a 13-18 year old girl wants to die already! I know what passes for some of the things that they listed as the other girls doing!

I remember how they repeatedly, every day all day, maligned and shamed girls who were already so traumatized they could barely see straight. How is this supposed to help some 13 to 18 year old that has been through something like that?

It is just so much fun to watch large stupid sadists abuse a 85 pound anorexic or a rape victim or tell the rape victim it was her fault. That it's all her fault. This isn't therapy this is Abu Ghraib!

These poor girls, they treat convicted felons better in this country. It's such a catch twenty-two you try to self destruct because you were abused and then they put you in a place that abuses you more to learn you how to not self destruct.

State sanctioned very expensive child abuse runs on social stigma and prejudice. If you want to see some blaming of the victim go on be a fly on the wall at Peninsula Village!

I bet half of the girls I was in with are dead by now, which is where Peninsula Village really wants them, out of the way so they can't cause a fuss or show up with insurance papers with extortionist amounts on them and demand some of it back.

Please read this. Everyone should know what is happening in America today. My story is not uncommon or even the worst case scenario, look up Mel Sembler and the Straight program as well as troubled teen help and abuse at behavior modification facilities, it is a very scary thing to do!

I was in Peninsula Village two years from 96 to 98, both my parents and I feel that we were extremely misled as to what my treatment there would be like. I was in the lock down unit for six months on arrival to the Village although I was cowed, completely subservient and did everything that they told me to.

I was physically restrained on the first day in a hospital gown by at least 8 large adults for nothing more than pulling away, it was an impulse reaction, when the large orderly woman dug her nails purposefully into my arm.

There was absolutely no need to restrain me other than to prove a point, we can hurt you if we want to. I was already in the isolation room all she had to do was walk out and close the door, I wasn’t at all violent or had even thought to be, pulling away was a knee jerk reaction because she had hurt me. Mostly I was scared, crying and sitting on the floor of the isolation room in a ball.

This was after the body search and being woken up at 5:30 in the morning by three burly adults who escorted me to Tennessee, it was more like being kidnapped.

While being restrained the Peninsula Village staff applied excessive pressure, I couldn't breathe and kept repeating that I was choking, but they let no pressure off, I was bruised and sore the next day, the restraint went on for hours.

I saw one girl with a nasty black eye which they said came from pressing her face into the floor, like that made it better! I saw other cases with bruised arms, wrists or legs. They restrain someone about twice a week.

There is no doubt in my mind that they could have restrained my totally non-resistant sobbing 95 pound borderline anorexic teenage self between all 1400 pounds of the 8 of them without hurting me. I was not fighting at all, even at first, I was far too shocked. Each held a body part so it was not a case of too many cooks in the kitchen, they meant to hurt us. They also keep restraining you long after any fight is gone and even if none was there in the first place.

I remember girls being restrained for what seemed like all night, although it was really only about five hours. There was an isolation room in the lockdown unit, nice cold hard linoleum with cement underneath but they would restrain you anywhere, gravel, garden manure, whatever, and they used a straight jacket called a burrito.

I can remember seeing one tough little state kid stuck in that thing for a day or more, they were leading her around. Other girls were strapped to a cot wrapped up in it, stuck full of thorzine and left to drool. There were about two restraints a week.

I was once restrained because I couldn't stop crying , I really couldn't I would have stopped of course to avoided being restrained, I was about as resistant as a wet noodle and they still held me down choking for hours.

They would restrain girls without reason, for saying in group therapy, I don’t agree with that, or for sitting down on work detail saying that they felt sick and needed to rest. We were not allowed to look at or talk to the other girls and we had to ask for permission to do anything, move even, of course go to the bathroom and we had to tell them what it is we had to do. They stood outside the door and timed us.

Group therapy was more like a denouncement session and began as soon as you were crying, that is later on the first day, after they had restrained you for a few hours and you were a broken puddle ready to confess to anything. I don't believe that many of the staff that actually lives with the girls on a daily basis is especially educated, perhaps some BA's and associate degrees, I would guess a lot of community college certifications. These are the ones who actually deal with the children and run group therapy and restrain them.

The lights were left on all the time, we slept in cubicles and were often woken by the staff patrolling , they were always standing over us.

We were punished constantly, abuse was constant every second for those two years. We had level systems, I never got beyond the first level although I was completely compliant. I don't think I was as willing to rip into my fellow prisoners as much they would have liked.

Group therapy was a communist denouncement experience, it was pure hell, and I am not exaggerating. They would find out your deepest darkest secrets and then browbeat you with them like you were disgusting dirt, we could say nothing to defend ourselves or we would face being PCId/ restrained. They liked sexual revelations and would ask you everything about them, specific details and more details, it was not appropriate, odd and used to induce shame.

The line of questioning was often very led. I heard them convince a girl, at the prompting of her divorced well-off mother, that her father had molested her. The girl could remember no instances of ever having been molested but through constant browbeating and abuse, over the course of months, the staff at the Village had the girl sobbing and believing that she had been sexually abused. You would confess under extreme pressure to things you didn't do.

Many of the girls were there for something that had happened to them. Somewhere, I think the website, says the Village is an expert at helping abused girls. It was terrible to watch them torture some poor kid who was there because she had been raped or molested. Many of the girls had been raped or molested, myself included, and to be held up to shame, ridicule and denouncement in relation to sex at a place that was supposed to help you with your experience was a pure nightmare.

They encourage the girls to pick on each other, to rip into each other during group therapy. Bullying is greatly encouraged, in fact the level system is based strongly on it. There was some desperation mentality in this, we all struggled so hard to avoid being punished and they punished all of us together.

I realize now that the punishments were arbitrary, no matter how hard we tried to avoid them they were still going to rain down on our heads. I would pretend to give feedback, their word for harassment and abuse, but how can you tear someone apart after listening to them scream all night while staff held their face into the floor.

There were also frequent outbreaks of head lice while I was in STU.

It seemed very odd that some of the girls were in a behavior modification facility at all and it was hard to tell how all the abuse was going to help any of them. One of the girls was in for telling her parents that she was gay, the staff told her that she was not.

There were lots of anorexics, and some had never used drugs or drank although staff insisted we were all alcoholic druggy sluts, an idea hateful and prejudice filled, not at all conducive to education and healing!

There was a 13 year old who had dyed her hair black and written in her diary "I wish all the kids who harass me at school would die" and that was pretty much it, I think her grades had dropped too. She saw spots sometimes and had blankness in her vision so they told her she was schizophrenic and medicated her to the gills. There was a lot of pretty odd diagnosis, I thought.

Worst of all some had done nothing other than get molested by a close relative, to the horror of their families. It did not seem reasonable that they were treated as if they were being punished or were in jail for more serious offenses.

I thought too, that a lot of the girls who were in for more serious things were acting out more serious problems in their lives, like having unfit parents and being in foster care. Many of the girls had simply fallen prey to some sexual predator. A very common story was "my parents don't understand me," "I have no parents, they are too busy drinking or using drugs" or "My “blank to protect privacy” has been molesting me since I was six and when I told my “blank” she threw me out." The next step in this story was inevitably "the guy I thought was nice, and 19 or younger, later turned out to be 23. He gave me alcohol or something else, pressured me a lot and we had sex. He said we had to have sex. He said he loved me. Or I used drugs/drank to make myself feel better and then I couldn't remember anything. Or I had sex because I felt bad and I thought I could trust the people I considered friends. I thought he cared about me, I just needed a hug.

God the poor girls who acted out their problems through sex or were just naive and ended up there. The sexual advances of men can be a pretty overwhelming even for a grown woman much less a depressed, my parents don't understand me, or I don't have parents, you'll love and give me affection right, sort of kid.

They made you feel like a slut, a word I hate and not one conducive to healing or education! Even if you were raped or molested. This is the most warped excuse for therapy I could possibly imagine.

I bet half of the girls I just described have committed suicide by now, the suicide rate is pretty high coming out of these places.

It ruins your life, it’s like having sound bites from hell running through your head. Some of the kids were just stupid teenagers who wanted to be cool and who had had enough bad experiences with drugs, sex and rock and roll, how they viewed sex and drugs, in their short experience with them that if they hadn't been in a prison camp and weren't being abused they would have been more than open to some logical, sane reasoning like sex and drugs are really not so great despite what the media and your friends say.

These girls needed to be taught to think for themselves, not to blindly follow what the abusive people around them tell them to do. That is what had landed many of them in Peninsula Village in the first place.

The brainwashing only carries you for about a year, usually I think. Although I think some of the girls started associating with the staff, I guess it’s that old abused turns into the abuser adage. Other wise the constant abuse did nothing but make you want to do everything it told you not to, because it was so obviously wrong and fascist. It gave you justification in your actions and, there for, was far more of a trap than any positive help!

I know all this about the other girls because we rarely to never had individual therapy it was mostly just the weird denouncement session crap.

After the lock down unit with its cramped quarters and barred mesh covered windows for months, we had the cabins and work detail. Work detail was exercise digging up stumps, cross sawing logs, mauling logs, building endless things under the constant abuse of the staff in the hot sun.

I believe I was also suffering from sleep deprivation because we were often woken up at two in the morning to go out to the log shed to be shown how much wood still needed to be chopped or for some other arbitrary reason.

We also always woke up before dawn and went to bed late because of punishments and finishing the endless chores. I used to fall asleep standing up, literally on a daily basis. We marched around in lines, or holding on to a rope, and there was still no talking or looking at the other girls, it was very lonely.

We had to haul around the Gott, a water jug that weighed so much your arms would feel like they were going to fall off and you'd want to vomit but if you dropped it you knew you were in worse trouble, we carried around many heavy things.

The cabins have no running water or bathrooms only porta johns. They exercise you past the breaking point and then over a little, and then much more. It was torture, I can't emphasize that enough torture, we did this all day most days, unless we were in school or on shutdown.

We had no free time, we weren't allowed to read or anything, everything was tightly scheduled and we would always miss our schedule and be punished although we tried in pure desperation to make them happy so they would stop. Even our showers were timed usually ten minutes, five as a punishment with only cold water.

Hygiene wasn’t that great and there was no makeup or jewelry or of course shaving your legs, only ugly work cloths. I mention this because it is very dehumanizing for a young girl.

School was nice when you got to go, but it wasn't very organized and there was a lot of other stuff going on, we also only went half the school week, so we could do more important things like dig stumps out of the ground, I guess.

Most left with a GED, I think they really focused on GED training, which makes it hard to get into colleges, especially if when they ask for high school credits you list a behavior modification facility.

Often if something came up, like we went on shutdown or were sent to STU, the lockdown unit, we would miss school all together. Once they had us sit in a circle with our backs to each other and stare at the wall for five months only to turn around for group therapy and to be escorted to the bathroom.

We had no school for those five months and five months is a long time to sit in a circle starring at a wall only to turn around for a denouncement session.

From all the restraining you are probably thinking that the girls were always acting up. I can not stress how completely not true this is. For the most part they were more like zombies than wild teenagers.

I’ve done some research on prison camps and abuse and I don't believe there is a teenager girl out there that isn’t going to turn into a limp half dead dish rag in the face of no escape, constant abuse; mental, physical, emotional and sexual, although not physically so, denouncement sessions, sleep deprivation, sadistic people four times her size watching her constantly and being drugged.

The only opposition I saw was closer to nervous breakdowns than defiance. The girls rarely crossed the staff at the Village except in really sad to watch ways, like protesting the denouncement sessions, no my rape wasn’t my fault, or saying I can’t work anymore I feel sick or I can’t stop sobbing I’m trying but I can't stop, I’m just going to sit here and not move. I saw bruises and suffered them myself I also heard a lot of you are hurting me I can’t breaths.

I never saw anything that posed as a danger to staff or the other girls but I sure saw them restrain people a lot. I also thought it odd that if the girls were so dangerous they would have them marching around with hammers, saws, mauls, axes and other weapons.

The Village is very expensive costing about 400 to 700 dollars a night this ends up being well over a hundred thousand dollars a year to your insurance company! They charge more when they are "forced" to restrain you or put you in STU, as this requires more work or something. Everyone in there had really good insurance or was a ward of the state.

I forgot to add they, of course, won't let you talk to your parents except after I think it was six months for me, even then just by phone with a family therapist on conference call so if you break out of the party line and say “please get me out it’s a nightmare” large orderlies can appear and march you back for more abusive indoctrination.

They laugh at you when you say you want a lawyer. Your Parents have of course been told you are a lying manipulator and not to believe you and that you just want to come home so you can go out with boys and smoke pot.

Kids wet the bed because they are too scared to ask to go to the bathroom at night, either that or all the abuse is manifesting in weird ways. I wouldn't believe it except I lived it and I swear on my life everything I said is 150% true.

I have lasting scars from this experience, I have nightmares almost every night, not always about the village just in general, that the world is a horrible place and all the scary fascist monsters are going to eat me and everything I care about and I'm going to be completely at there mercy. Besides the nightmares I shake uncontrollably, these fits happen any time I am nervous, about once a day, I am not exaggerating, it’s very embarrassing and not helpful at work or in school.

My family doctor, says that I have a good case of post traumatic stress disorder. I have finally gotten over my overwhelming social anxiety enough that I don't care who sees me shake if it means I get a college degree and have a life of my own.

The Village taught me nothing other than how to be cowed and subservient and to think it was ok when someone abuses me. I recently got out of a four year relationship with an alcoholic fiancé with a college degree and a good job who would get up in my face and scream about once a week, I honestly think it was Stockholm Syndrome and the feeling of helplessness the Village programs into you.

I still am completely incapable of making eye contact with other human beings. I also have painful a painful ulcer my doctor again says, due to stress. I can’t emphasize enough how bad Peninsula Village is.

I was amazed that we had no rights while in there. I asked to speak to a lawyer or someone from the outside, I heard girls ask to have the police called repeatedly, and they laughed at us.

I am not a happy camper! I still feel like a worthless person who deserves abuse even though I know this isn't true. It's just an all too daily mantra there, how everything is your fault, your rape, your parent’s problems, your anorexia, your life in foster care.

I never got to talk to another girl the entire time I was there, other than with asked permission and staff listening, even then it was just about mandatory things, like, put the piece of wood down here.

I can understand how many have been taken in by Peninsula Village and all these other facilities and there sure are a lot of them. From the outside they look just fine. My parents are good intelligent people, who trusted and had no idea that such things even existed in America. They believed as I did that it was a safe and caring program that would help their daughter like most school and health programs are. No-one sees it from the inside except the daily staff and the girls really and us they do so much to discredit and keep down that we do not believe anyone will.

The facility which was known as "Peninsula Village" has changed ownership since this teenager was at the program. The structure of the program has been altered. If for better is difficult to decide.


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Movie: Just the Right Amount of Violence

The movie directed by Danish Jon Bang Carlsen provides us with a rare insight in the modern lives of idyllic, peaceful middle-class existence families.

We are shown how real-life transport firms works. The drama which in the future will result in trauma and broken child-parent relationships.

Just the Right Amount of Violence (Internet Movie Database)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

"yellsnomatt" at an unknown facility

This testimony was made by a person known as "yellsnomatt". All rights go to the original author.

Oh man once i get started on residential treatment centers...

When I was 17 I spent four months in a wilderness "treatment center" down south. This treatment center was advertised as a rehab, behavioral center, fat camp, and juvie all in a single facility. But it didn't matter why you were there, all the kids went through the same shit. We slept in tents and spent the majority of our time doing group exercise and outdoor labor. But that's not the bad part. While the initial transition was rough, the physical environment of the program wasn't bad compared to the psychological bullshit.

We were not allowed to speak (or nonverbally communicate) at all without first raising two fingers to get the attention of a staff member to ask permission. The only time it was appropriate to speak "openly" was in group therapy twice a week. Conversation was not allowed. Period. If you spoke out of turn they put you on non-comm which meant you were not allowed to ever speak and you had to write everything you had to say. Break non-comm and they put you on med-comm which means no communication unless it concerns a medical emergency. There were other punishments (called "consequences" b/c treatment programs don't believe in punishment) too for breaking the "standards", such as being banned from using condiments on your food for using more than three shakes of the salt/pepper shaker. (NO JOKE) Another consequence was that we all would have to work out outside for our morning PT if one of us farted without excusing ourselves during PT, which was inside b/c its cold at 5 am in March.

Our only communication with the outside world was through letters written to our parents, unless you said things that the staff didn't like. Each and every one of our letters had to be read and approved by a staff member. We were not allowed to ask our parents to come and get us. And it'd be safe to say that parents were discouraged from doing so 100% of the time when they asked about picking up they're kids prematurely. (which is kind of understandable.)

The only way out of the treatment center was graduation. And graduation depended on how much you followed the rules, and how much ass you kissed and made it appear you had changed your "oppositionally defiant" disposition. It was required of you to snitch on your peers for breaking the rules (everybody did) in order to reach the next phase of the program. Whether or not one would advance a phase and get a step closer to escape was determined by the group therapist that the entire group of 4-6 troubled kids met with twice a week as group for hour-long sessions. It would be a good idea to make yourself cry during therapy so it looked you were making some kind of "progress". The therapist mostly went off of the written reports of the group leaders who were staff members. The group leaders were either newly graduated psych majors or just some guy with a degree who needs a job. And most people would only work for a few months and then leave. Anybody who has ever been in a treatment center knows how power corrupts in that type of position, like in those Stanford Experiments. The lack of empathy is disgusting.

The worst consequence was supposed to be level 3 separation but my time on level 3 was the best time I had in the program. In level 3 you are separated from everyone else and you aren't allowed in any of the buildings. You sleep outside and you spend most of your time either hiking or just sitting under the sun. And you get to have your own fire! But you are under non-comm. It's not a big deal because it's refreshing not having to put up with everyone else, mainly the staff. The only real interaction you have with staff on level 3 is when you pick up your food. All meals on level 3 are cold. I was lucky I was there in the summer. I'd heard some ugly stories about the winter.

It's funny because it's going to sound like I'm making this up too but we were also forced to go to Baptist church twice a week with the most stereotypical Southern preacher lol. Technically, we weren't forced but it was either go to church in the nice air conditioned trailer or wait outside. I think many of us were just glad we got to sit and relax for a bit. There was one Muslim kid and the preacher would talk so much shit about Muslims. It was kind of crazy how ignorant the guy was. He would literally say, "I have nothing against Muslims," and then say the most offensive things.

The staff smoked cigarettes in front of us. The staff ate their delicious food in front of us while we were stuck with facility food. They never shared. The staff regularly made fun of us. Interactions with staff were usually confrontational. These people have the nerve to complain to us that they don't paid enough as some of us sleep in the fucking mud getting hit in the face with rain because we annoyed them.

This is getting too long so I'm gonna try to wrap it up. I could write a motherfucking trilogy about the place.

As unpleasant of an experience as it was I don't know whether it was bad or good. I got in shape and my tolerance for discomfort is higher. I went back to school (the main reason my parents sent me there was truancy. also pot). But I don't know if I'll ever be at peace with those experiences. It was definitely the worst experience of my sheltered life. And it really revealed the true nature of humanity to me. People will do what they can get away with.
Some of the kids were as bad as the staff.

There were a few individual staff members deserving of respect.

The original testimony on the Reddit message board

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Video-testimony about Provo Canyon School

This testimony was made by the Youtube user wingd1ng. All rights goes to the original author


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Petition: Outlaw the use of private "escorts" to transport minors to residential treatment centers

Text from the petition page:

Before dawn when I was 14 years old, three large men burst into my room while I was sleeping. As my parents watched, they pulled me from my bed, forced me to get dressed, handcuffed me, and dragged me from my house.

I had committed no crime; these men were not law enforcement agents. Nor was this a kidnapping. My parents had hired these men at the suggestion of a private residential treatment center for the purpose of transporting me to the facility by surprise. These men were professional "escorts", making a living legally abducting minors at their parents request, often transporting them across state lines, as happened to me. I was taken from my home in Florida by plane to Georgia, and then to Texas, on to Nevada, and finally by car to a facility in Utah, where I stayed temporarily before then being transported out of the United States altogether to a facility in another country. This traumatic and dangerous practice continues today, and untold thousands of children are transported in this way every year to facilities across the U.S. and in other countries.

The U.S. Congress has the power and a moral obligation to outlaw this practice. The Commerce Clause of the U. S. Constitution grants Congress the power to outlaw the use of "escorts" specifically and the interstate transportation of minors for psychiatric or behavioral treatment generally, and Congress ought to do so. This practice is dangerous. In many cases, children are tasered, pepper-sprayed, or "restrained" during transport, which can and often does result in broken bones or other serious injuries. Even in cases where children are not physically harmed, this kind of trauma often causes psychiatric issues such as PTSD- issues that can affect these kids for the rest of their lives and hamper the abilities to be healthy and contributing members of society. If parents need help getting noncompliant children into treatment facilities, this function ought to be carried out by trained law enforcement professionals who will be accountable for injuries or mistreatment, and the facility the children are taken to should be located in their own home state.

A society can be fairly judged by how well it protects its most vulnerable members. Our children are our most important and greatest national resource, and ought to be treated as such. Protect our children. Outlaw private "escorts" and the interstate transportation of minors NOW.

The original petition (

Sunday, March 16, 2014

JayTWC at an unknown facility

This testimony was made by a person known as "JayTWC". All rights go to the original author.

I totally agree with you, the mental healthcare system is critically flawed right now.

I was checked into inpatient last year for about five days. I failed to show up to a psychiatrist's appointment due to my sleeping disorder and woke up to about three EMT's standing over me wanting me to go the hospital. I had a pretty severe sleeping disorder that affected my life last year in a very serious way, I didn't attend school because of it for about a semester.

The hospital and my psychiatrist decided that I should go to an inpatient facility. All of my fellow patients were friendly and I regret to this day not being able to keep in contact with them. The staff were good people but they do treat you like an animal. I got in confrontations quite a lot with them as I did not want to be there at all, honestly I don't think anybody did.

On my second day I believe, I was placed on ITP after a confrontation with the "hot-head" in the staff. ITP basically meant I was confined to my room most of the day and had to fill out worksheets, I spent most of my time reading "Robinson Crusoe." For someone that actually wanted treatment, ITP would mean they would not get it as worksheets obviously won't treat depression. They also began prescribing me Vyvanse which is a drug commonly used for ADHD. This drug was prescribed to me by my psychiatrist before and resulted in some anger issues. I mostly contribute my behavioral issues to their dumb ass decision to give me Vyvanse without telling me or my parent.

Most of my time spent in the hospital was spent desperately trying to get home, as were most of the patients. I don't think there was a time I was ever more unhappy than my small amount of time in a mental facility. It's a really gloomy experience, you have no contact with the outside world other than family visits, and those for the most part just made me that much more sad. You are also kept separate from most of the time. The rule made sense to me and there were some creepy experiences I had but it just made me feel much more alone overall, compound that with the fact that I spent about three days with little contact with anyone in the actual hospital.

The system is also completely inefficient. You are assigned a doctor who only meets you for about I'll estimate about thirty minutes during your stay. He is the only one that can make tangible decisions during your stay, and it is a hell of a time getting an appointment with this doctor. I had to stay two extra days at the hospital just waiting for the doctor to meet me. For me this meant an extra forty-eight hours sitting in my room alone, on Vyvanse.

I am glad however I spent those days because of the experiences others shared with me there, I heard some horrifying stories. I had a great deal of respect for my fellow patients after hearing their tales, and I wish all of them well.

The day I left I was extremely happy, I mean things I take for granted now such as just being outside, breathing fresh air, and listening to music off of my phone I savored. All of that happiness however was artificial once I returned to the "real world," and to this day things haven't really changed for me.

My advice to those not looking to harm themselves/homicidal, avoid inpatient at all costs, my experience with outpatient was much more constructive.

The original testimony on the Reddit message board

Sunday, February 9, 2014

"NaturalSelectionDied" at unknown facilities

This testimony was made by a person known as "NaturalSelectionDied". All rights go to the original author.

I was in inpatient mental health for 3 months then a residential treatment center for 5 days. Inpatient was pretty bad, but the residential was many times worse. I had mental health issues and this place treated behavioral issues, learning disabilities and mental health.

Out of 500 kids, about 5 had mental health issues, then 1 third of the rest had learning disabilites (moderate to severe autism, I shared a living quarters with two of them, and they seemed normal except that their minds were identical to a 6 year old. They watched power rangers every day.) The other 2 thirds had "behavioral health problems" but from what I saw most people took RDC as an alternative for JDC and were mostly normal but they honestly belonged in JDC, as there were gangs formed at RDC that bullied kids and etc.

This place was hell because unlike mental health treatment, you had to stay with all the kids, at all times, and couldn't opt out of activities. You woke up at six, and everyone did hygeine, went to school then when you were let out you got a small snack then you had to go outside from 3:30 until 9-10 every single day.

The part that made it impossible for me was the staff treated us like uter shit. I mean we were complete animals to them, even those who weren't LD. I have never felt truly hopeless and not cared about until I went there.

I only made it 5 days until I cheeked one of my medications then the next day when it was time for meds I took that one too then repeatedly put my hand to my mouth faking taking a pill when I was sure someone was watching then when they came over I took the second pill I had stored. They asked and I told them I took 5, so that they would take me to the ER. Luckily they did.
Happy ending: I went back to inpatient (one that I really liked) for a few weeks then my mom was supposed to take me back to the RDC but she knew I was better and didn't need it anymore so upon arrival she let them know she wasn't signing me back in and to get my things.

Afterwards I still lived a rather unhealthy lifestyle for a while and then got very into Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism and spirituality in general and am doing many times better.

My reason for going in the first place was suicidal/homicidal ideation (planning on going on a school massacre) and nothing helped that except for spirituality, which I wish I had discovered earlier. Though I believe it was meant to unfold the way it did. I don't think I truly would have understood it all until I lost it all.

The original testimony on the Reddit message board

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Video testimony about Provo Canyon School - part 1

This testimony was made by the Youtube user wingd1ng. All rights goes to the original author


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Amy at Red Rock Canyon School

I was in Red Rock Canyon School in 2003 for 10 months. It is a horrible place. My therapist was good, but there are several that are very bad. While I was there, a girl died because they refused to give her medical attention. They said that she was just "doing it for attention" but then she DIED. RRCS tried to blame it on bulimia.

Much of the staff don't even have college degrees. Most also have constant power trips and even take out their life stresses on the kids. While I was there, I saw them seriously rough handle some kinds during "restraint". Way more force than necessary. Abusive. Also, I've been told by numerous of my peers (though it hasn't happened directly to me) that staff had touched them inappropriately. I believe this. They are also EXTREMELY emotionally abusive. I've experienced that abuse personally as well as to my then peers.

DO NOT BRING YOUR CHILD HERE. They only want money. I am now 26 years old (I went in at 16), and after 10 YEARS I am STILL recovering from the trauma there. THEY ONLY WANT MONEY AND WILL ABUSE YOUR CHILDREN!!!!

Read the book, "Help At Any Cost" about these types of facilities. This book has also helped me recover from the trauma of RRCS because it helped me see that other people are acknowledging this horrible SCAMS. I'm sure there are some good ones out there.. some that are more military based or nature (BUT BE CAREFUL BECAUSE IT IS EASY FOR PARENTS TO BE FOOLED AND BRAINWASHED BY THE BAD PLACES!!!!) Don't bring your kids to Red Rock, definitely do not send them out of the country, and definitely be VERY VERY careful about who you SIGN YOUR CHILDREN over to!


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Anonymous at Coastal Harbor

Boy, do I have a lot to say about this horrific, abusive place. I was sent to Coastal Harbor when I was 16-years-old due to Severe Depression from past abuse. I am currently in my 20's now, and though I am no longer depressed and it was so long ago, I remember those 2 and a half months of witnessing STAFF abuse children that needed help.

Where do I even begin? This is a place where parents send their children so they can get HELP. Receive TREATMENT or at least STABILIZATION for past incidents that haunt them and affect their daily living. Children that were physically/sexually/mentally ABUSED, children that have schizophrenia, children that were neglected, children that watched their own parents die IN FRONT OF THEM, children that feel like they no longer want to live because of how horrible they feel on the inside from the past and some even present.

It wasn't All of Coastal Harbor's staff that physically and mentally abused those innocent children. It was some of the female African America mental health technicians that would do so. When I'm saying these children did NOTHING to get abused, i mean they did NOTHING. Seems to me as if maybe some of the staff members had a bad day or to feel powerful, and took it out on these already hurt children. Some of these mental health technicians would take them into the quiet room (i believe that's what it was called) and beat them. Yes, beat them. They would come out with bruises on their body and face. There are cameras in the hall, so that's why they would take the children in the quiet room to abuse. How can you do this to these kind of children that are already so hurt inside : ( I also remember this mental health tech would call me anorexic and Ethiopian because I was naturally skinny, and she knew I didn't like being skinny. That's something I was teased about my whole life. She knew that. I remember one time where I was actually in the hall way, and I had just came back from the beach with my family so I was pretty sun-burned, one of the female mental health tech's hit me in the head, and in my own bathroom slapped my leg where my sun burn had hurt the worst. I knew there were cameras in the hallway, so I told my therapist about the encounter. She said she reviewed the tape, and saw nothing of that act. I was appalled! I knew she was lying, assuming because she didn't want the great ole Coastal Harbor to be in the spotlight for actual evidence of abuse to a patient from a staff member.

Wouldn't be such a great look for this "prominent facility". Whatever the reason for why my therapist lied to me, she lied, and it wasn't right. I was devastated that my own therapist who is suppose to help and care for me lied : ( NOT all of the staff members are horrible there. Just my therapist and some of the female African American mental health technicians were. Some therapists and mental health techs were amazing and so helpful. Also, my psychiatrist wouldn't visit us much nor talk. She'd pretty much just talk to us about the medicine and other things for one minute.

This review is for PARENTS OF UNSTABLE CHILDREN EVERYWHERE THAT ARE THINKING OF SENDING THEIR KIDS HERE, PLEASE DON'T! Please! I do believe it is a great idea for your children to get help and therapy, but please, do not send them here. I want you to believe my review, but if you don't choose to, your child may come back to you more hurt then cured.