Monday, December 28, 2015

Teen Reach - long gone but still haunts people

We found some testimonies on an old Fornits Thread now where Reddit are talking about this program. It was marketed as a rehab for teenagers. Use of corporal punishment let the State of Arizona to conduct an investigation. Here is a former clients testimony:

Well i lived in the teen reach house from age 16-17 and it was freaking unbelievably horrible.

Let me just state that they wouldn't let me talk to my parents while i was there, couldn't have sugur or wear my own clothes or go to the bathroom alone, or listen to music other than christian music. We had to praise god or we would be treated differently and not move up in the company. They had what they would call the demon room in the house. The really screwed up thing is that one of the property locations that they selected to have as a residence for the Christian Girls home was the house where the "sleep walking murder" Steven Steinberg stabbed his wife 26 times with a kitchen some really unusual things happened in that house but they would try to say that the house was demon possessed and all of those who didn't accept christ would be tortured and even reportedly raped by these demons. Anyway i could go on and on, they took my poetry from me when i was entered into the house and it was burned in front of me as an example of the extremes they would go to to purge me of my sinful ways.

I eventually got out of the house by hitting on the pastors wife, they said i was a pedifile because i was bisexual. (can't have a bisexual girl in a christian girls home) lol. Anyway those were some very traumatising experiences. Just thought i would report that i did in fact live there.

Also an employee wrote:

Been there, was a former employee.......not a cool place, brainwashing to the point of blind following of personal instruction. True Christians cannot stay involved with this leadership, this is a CULT masquerading as a Christian Group. Bobby Torres's direction and word counts far more than God's Word.....but the followers are browbeat, coerced, etc. into being in "spiritual submission", or else held to public group ridicule for being "rebellious", which the Bible states is as the sin of witchcraft!

Who wants to be known as a witch?.. nobody, so followers begin to doubt their own judgement, and eventually let Bobby Torres do all their's so much easier to get along with everyone then! The current games going on are dispicable, and are teaching vulnerable young people that lying, decieving, and ignoring the law is ok when the enemy is the State or anyone but them. Since when did the Ten commandments have "conditions" on them? They treat Bobby Torres's unending edicts like they are the original tablets from Mount Sinai, everything from how long one must pray each day, to what music you can and can't listen to, to what kind of food you can eat. Vegetarianism is not only encouraged, but mandated among staff, and grocery receipts are checked to see if you bought "approved" foods.

Only a short step here to buying large lots of KoolAid and Cyanide.

And finally another student:

I was in that thing for a couple of months, too.......scary. When they encouraged me to disconnect from my family, keep "information" from them (their little program secrets) I smelled a rat, and my family came and moved me home. Now, all the friends I thought I had there won't talk to me and have spread lies about my young daughter to discredit us, I guess, so we look like the whackjobs, not them. Too bad,....there are a lot of people out there that really believe this bunch, and Bob is even an Assemblies of God minister. Isn't that the same outfit that gave a license to Jimmy Swaggart while he was making whoopee with prostitutes?

The program was organized by Bobby Torres. The courts found a number of violations forcing the management to focus on other things.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

fourceawakens at Summit School in Nyack, New York

This testimony was found on Reddit. All rights go the original author known as fourceawakens

From what I understood from some of the other students, it was a country club among "therapeutic residential programs".

The good was that the campus was beautiful, the food was tasty (and they let us work in the kitchen for cash), we had a little autonomy over dorm life, and we got frequent mall/movie trips assuming we didn't fall afoul of the points system.

The bad was... nearly everything else. Poorly maintained school buildings, frequent use of restraints, completely inappropriate room assignments, bullying (neuroatypical kids particularly) in full view of staff, apathetic teachers playing Farmville behind their desks, dorms effectively run by abusive cliques.

Some of the staff were overtly racist or homophobic, some were hard drug users. The "therapeutic" component was wildly inconsistent in quality and often resulted in some really fucked up situations for students. Police were called to campus on a weekly basis to deal with the aftermath of fights, and a lot of people kept shanks or other improvised weapons in their rooms. I knew several kids there who'd been on room restriction (outside of school and meal hours) for the majority of their time there for really petty shit. There were rumors of organized sexual abuse going on in the "worse" girls' dorm, but the people who perpetuated those rumors were pretty unreliable in general so idk. Many of the students were over 18 but still stuck there for one reason or another. Drug deals were extremely common.

The murder was pretty common knowledge on campus but it wasn't really talked about because a) what is there to talk about when you're 16 and stuck in that place? and b) the staff got really alarmed whenever it came up. Found an old yearbook that had both the perp and victim in it, was good for a few laughs. I was unsurprised to hear of the suicide, and very surprised that one hadn't happened during my time there - though there were a few serious attempts I heard of.

If anyone wants specifically personal anecdotes, pm.

A murder took place on the campus a decade ago. For reasons unknown they didn't screen two boys and put them together even their diagnoses should have spoken against it. Tragedy struck and one of the boys flew out the window. The other boy was put in prison properly too sick to realize what he did.

Years later in 2014 a girl was found dead. This time it was suicide or at least so it was ruled.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Carrie Williams at Island View RTC

This testimony was found as a comment to an article. All rights goes to the original author.

Someone above said you have to trust the marketing material. I have one thing to say to that – don’t. As far as Island View is concerned, I was there the day half the pictures on their site were taken. My team mates and I watched, confined in our group rooms, as they paraded models on to campus to take those.

Much like the poster directly above me, I was placed at IV at the age of 15 and am also now 24 (can’t help but wonder if we knew each other). To this day, I have recurrent nightmares about the place and large blocks of my time there have been edited out by my own mind. I have since been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from the 18 months I spent there. I was accused of lying over and over again when telling the truth. I was held back in my treatment by manipulative, vindictive girls that were supposed to be my team mates.

At one point while on “Individual Focus”, a so-called therapeutic treatment that consists of sitting in your chair, staring at the wall and not being allowed to speak, even to staff, I was routinely denied access to the bathroom. I was also denied the medication I had been prescribed by one of IV’s doctors, which lead to severe withdrawal symptoms that I was then accused of faking. At one point, I was put on a heavy anti-psychotic without myself or my parents being fully informed of it’s side effects. Come to find out, one of them is eye sight deterioration. I have had reading glasses since I was 17 because of that and my eyes continue to go downhill.

The boarding schools I have heard great things about. As far as lock downs like Island View? I wish I could say the same. Even though I was in a “therapeutic environment”, I was denied treatment for my addiction, staff claiming it could negatively impact other girls. I was denied the diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, a condition that made my early years on my own a nightmare. I was also denied the diagnosis of hypoglycemia and tourettes while there. As far as my most major disorder at the time, trichotillomania (, I was denied treatment for it over and over again and was instead made to feel ashamed of it as I already had for years and was accused of self harming and doing it for attention.

All I have to say to parents thinking of sending their child to Island View, or someplace like it, is don’t. Fully research anywhere before you condemn your child to a lifetime of nightmares like mine did to me.


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Jame Smith at Island View RTC, Aspen Achievement Academy and Oakley School

This testimony was found as a comment to an article. All rights goes to the original author.'

As a former resident/student at Island View RTC, Aspen Achievement Academy and Oakley School I would advise all parents in being very careful about where they choose to send their children. (I first attended Island View at the age of 15)

I understand that your child may be experiencing many problems in the home and may need to live somewhere away from home but it is very important that parents are able to assess just what kind of place their child actually needs in solving these problems. Many of these lock-down and Residential Treatment Centers will take just about any child regardless of the severity of their problems. But the problems your child is experiencing can escalate as a result of the constant in-your-face types of therapeutic treatments used as well as the level of strictness that these facilities enforce in their rules.

Before deciding to send your child to a center such as Island View RTC (a lock-down) I would first see if your child could be successful at a therapeutic boarding school such as the Oakley School or the Hyde School (if it is still around). If your child refuses to go to such a school there are always SHORT-TERM wilderness programs with which afterwards the child will most likely agree to goto a therapeutic boarding school rather than an RTC program. Therapeutic boarding schools offer lots of support in accepting children with problems, however from my experience at the Oakley School I was able to be myself.

At Island View I felt as if I was constantly being brainwashed – and I still have recurrent dreams about the place to this day at the age of 24. In addition, it seems that the success rate of students coming from therapeutic boarding schools is much higher. I have kept in contact with many people from the past programs I attended. Sadly, quite a few have committed suicide, some have joined the porn industry, become prostitutes and many were teen mothers. On the contrary, at Oakley many of the students went onto college – including myself (graduating with a B.A. last year.)

Island View forces the child into undergoing therapy almost 24/7 – and the only option the child has in completing the program is to go along with what they are being told to do – many pretend just so they can get out and therefore they have no ability to deal with things in the real world since what is going on behind the locked doors is nothing like the real world at all – much more closer to jail in actuality. At a therapeutic boarding school the child can learn that they can still be a normal teenager – they just need a little more guidance than they are able to receive at home. These schools are much more like regular schools with a few more rules and a little less privacy but on a much more minimal scale.

Hopefully, this helps any parents who are in search of a place for their child.

Years after a suicide Island View RTC has been sold. Aspen Achievement Academy has been closed down after numerous deaths in the wilderness industry forced them to downsize. Oakley school still exists but it currently under new ownership.


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Book: Dead, Insane or in Jail: A CEDU Memoir

This book by Zack Bonnie tells the story about how to be forced to attend a CEDU bording school.

All the CEDU schools closed around 2005 after a number of lawsuits were issued by parents and former students.

Also several students disappeared never to be found again. Some of the children were most likely murdered by a serial killer James Lee Crummel who had unrestricted accesss to one of the campuses. To this day there are families out there looking for their relatives.

CEDU was founded in 1967 by an owner of a furniture business, who after a brief stint at Synanon created the first school in California where the main tool for transforming the children into the products their parents ordered were attack therapy.

The founder died in 2002. The school were sold but closed only some few years later due to the lawsuits.

The book provides a good insight into how it was to be a student in these special schools. After the original schools closed the concept were transferred into other schools where some are open even today.


Sunday, July 5, 2015

New Casa by the Sea blog

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

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

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

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Theodurk at Cross Creek Programs - Part 3

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


Now this may not include everything, I am pretty tired right now. I also seemed to have misplaced the category sheet, so I have to go from memory. I still have all of my seminar info, but that will be in my story.

I will start with the level system. There are 6 levels; from 1 to 6. You need to meet certain requirements to gain each level. Some of the requirements are what made things a form of brainwashing. There is a merit system and you gain merits on your daily school and group performance. At the end of the day, we would fill out sheets 1-3 on how we thought we did that day. Then the staff would go through and rate us and the staff's answer was what stuck. For the group rating, up to 15 merits a day. Then school, up to about 18 merits a day. I think... Been awhile.
  • Level 1- default level
  • Level 2- 200 merits and group approval
  • Level 3- 1000 merits and group approval
  • Level 4- 2400 merits, group approval, upper level approval, staff approval, and Ron approval.
  • Level 5- merits reset and 2000 merits, group, upper level, staff, and Ron approval
  • Level 6- same as level 5... I think... I was too excited to get level six when I did. Freedom a month away and all.
Now for some general rules that will be mentioned a lot. There are five categories of rules. "Cat 1" being the least and "Cat 5" the greatest. There is "self" and "staffed" for punishments. Self is when you fill out the slip appropriately and staffed is when you refuse to or your entry isn't satisfactory. Self is less severe and staffed is more severe.
  • Cat 1 self- 5 demerits
  • Cat 1 staffed- 25 demerits
  • Cat 2 self- 25 demerits
  • Cat 2 staffed- 50 demerits and 10 worksheets
  • Cat 3 self- 50 demerits
  • Cat 3 staffed- This one I am unsure completely, but I think it is 150 demerits and 20 worksheets
  • Cat 4 self- loss of 2 levels, 30 worksheets
  • Cat 4 staffed- loss of 4 levels, 60 worksheets
  • Cat 5 self- brought to level 1, merits reset, 60 worksheets
  • Cat 5 staffed- level 1, merits reset, 80 worksheets
Now worksheets... Worksheets is almost what it sounds like. We get a work sheet of ten questions. We listen to tapes about popular books or popular people and we answer questions while we listen. Depending how many we get right, a certain number of "worksheets" is removed from our total. We can get a total of 3 per tape. I do not remember the rating as to how many you got. The maximum that you would have to do at any given time is 100 worksheets, unless you were forced to do the cumulative, which for me after I was done being bad, was about 2500, so 833 tapes. Week days you could lose about 9-12 worksheets a day and week ends about 18-24 a day. Now if you had 30 worksheets or more, you are considered what is called "staff buddy". You wear an orange shirt and you can only speak in certain situations. Generally, the only things you could talk about are: food, water, bathroom, meds, and school. Staff buddy is level 1, but lower than level 1's.

Now each level had privileges.
  • Level 1- really not much
  • Level 2-eligible for orientation and could crochet
  • Level 3- could have a knickknack and could talk with level 1 and 2's out of therapy
  • Level 4- could go off campus to the gym and to activities, if you are eligible. Can go on off grounds day passes with family. 2 knickknacks.
  • Level 5- can wear a belt, watch, have a guitar. Special shirts. Listen to the radio in the room if everyone in the room is eligible as well.
  • Can go on overnight passes with family. Can order special snacks once a month, like fudge stripe cookies and pop corn and gummy worms.
  • Level 6- can go on home passes, which means flying to your home state. Basically marks that within 2 months, you can go home... forever.

I may have missed some stuff, but that is the gist.

One of the most common rules is "crossing out", which is getting permission to pass through a doorway... Any doorway... We have to ask for permission to "cross out". Violating this rule is a cat 2.

Now I am getting a bit tired and just got a sudden bathroom urge, so I will continue this tomorrow.


Cross Creek Programs is now closed. They tried to re-start the program as a non-profit program but the arrest of an employee who had been working there for a long time for sending photos of his naked body to students stopped any future activity.

The buildings have been rented to a new organization who will operate in the market for adopted kids who were sent to their adoptive parents without the full story about their emotional issues. The horror stories will continue with new independent management and new employees.


Monday, June 15, 2015

Theodurk at Cross Creek Programs - Part 2

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


So I remember when I first walked in the door with my uneaten cinnabon. I walked into a set of doors and there were the seperate doors leading to other parts of the building. I was told to wait in that waiting area and I ate my cinnabon. There was a staff with us. Large, heavy set fellow. I think his name was Ken. Nice man, when you were not underneath him, which is later in my story here. A very kind woman walks in, who is an admission specialist. I wont say her name, because we are like family now. She was very kind and talked with me until they used their key card to take me inside the main facility. We walked up a set of stairs and there are two main hallways here. One that leads to rooms, the other to therapists and classrooms. I am taken to one of the bedrooms where I am told to go into the bathroom and change into a new set of cloths. They first search my pockets for illegal items. The gum was in that super tiny pocket on the right side that no one ever uses. It was the listerine tangerine orange flavor. I had to take my pants off in the bathroom and had it to them through the door. Before I did so, I took the gum and hid it under my socks. I had to take a quick shower with lice shampoo. I got out, changes, and hid all the pieces of gum in my sock. I am wearing khakis and an orange shirt.

They then take me to a group of rooms near the staircase. Three back to back and one across from the farthest. I go into the middle room and am told that it is my group.

Now, I was a bit blinded by Christian obsessions for a time, so I was a mad homophobe... Which ironically, I am bisexual now... Also, while the story progresses, you will see how much bonding there can be. Bonding with all guys... You will see what I mean. If I can't remember a name, I will make a new one, so I am not just saying, "that guy".

So, I was in group three out of 13. A kid, Jared introduces himself and tries to hug me. My homophobe self punched him on the shoulder. We just sat in silence until we got with the rest of our group in another room at the end of the other hall. I was told that I had a HOPE buddy, who would tell me the rules and the way of things. I was fine for a while that day, until we went outside. I asked how long the program was.

He pointed at an india indian looking kid and said, "He came in when he was 13, he is 17 now. This fastest is about 13 months, but the longest can be like him."

I had been under the impression of as long as six months, not four years. So I am sure you can imagine my anger at that moment. This is the start of the example of my earlier statement about holding in your anger. You can lose your sanity slowly or quickly.

Day 2, My blood was boiling. I was supposed to learn the rule quickly so that I could attend the upcoming orientation seminar. I wasn't listening half the day. I go to lunch and my mind was in a daze. I didn't want to eat, but was told I had to. I take my tray and sit with "my" group. After thirty minutes, lunch ended and my group got up to leave, but I stayed. I was pissed and fuming. Cussing under my breath. Crying because I know I am losing control. Clenching my muscles. A fluffy black guy a few tables away asks if I am alright and I nod my head. Then I snapped, I felt my hand raise, then I blacked out. I know this because that man would have had to take 15-30 seconds getting to me, yet when my eyes opened, he was right next to me. I had slammed the tray with my hand and pineapple had flown everywhere and a kid in my group who was wiping the table had be right across from me when I did it and to be honest, his face was pricelessly funny. He was a small skinny kid we came to know as snickers. Anyways, there was that one staff next to me, and a man whose position was called "radio 1" and the only staff I had ever been afraid of at my time there. He wasn't a bad man, but intimidating to have to face off with an ex-prison guard. He used the all famed cliche implication, "We can do this the easy way or the hard way." I was curious what the hard way was again, because that would imply that they carry me out and carrying a fat kid out is never easy. I was 252 at the time. Again, I chose the easy way.

They took me to the end of the main hallway that I mentioned before that leads to the classrooms. There is a small room, kind of hidden away with two small cubicle like rooms with hardwood floor and plywood walls. I was told to sit in one, indian style, until I was told I could leave. This room would soon become a very familiar room and one form of abuse, which you will see later. I was later released after a few hours of boredom. Two staff just sit in there and take note of everything you are doing wrong.

Day 3 was mostly uneventful. I was told how school worked and some more rules. Can't look at the girls for more than three seconds or out the windows for more than three seconds, and it cant be 1.2.3 look. 1.2.3 look... etc... Learned I can't crack my knuckles. My group wasn't allowed to say "pissed" or "piss".

Now I forgot to mention the daily weekday mornings that we would have with Ron, which I am sure you have heard from other Cross Creek stories. A particular group hosts it each week with their therapist and Ron. New kids go, staff buddies: which I will explain later, and people asking questions to Ron. He asked me why I was there, I said, "nothing". Then everyone in the group just laughed, as if it was some joke that I wasn't aware of.

Day 4 my anger was growing again. Just thinking about how long I was going to be there for. By this time, I knew I could leave at 18. Near the end of the day, I was fuming again. I had left the room and was in the hallway, facing a wall. My HOPE buddy was trying to calm me. (by the way, HOPE, stands for Helping Orient Partners for Excellence)

Eventually, the kid, justin, gave up and told the staff and I was taken to that small room with the hardwood floor. The room was called "SN" or "Special Needs". My anger building again, more and more. I snap and I punched the wall once, but remained seated. Ken says over the radio, "We have a wall hitter her, send some help." Him and another staff, Justin, approach me. I had learned of restraint, so I took off my glasses. Ken grabbed me and spun me around so I lay on my stomach and he laid on my back, while Justin "tried" to hold my legs... "tried"... The help came to "try" to hold my legs as well. Meanwhile, I resisted with my upper body, trying to fight off Ken, struggling under his weight. He kept telling me to keep my hands on the floor and when I didn't, he held them, then when he held them, I jerked my head around. He would then force my head down. Once with enough force to pop one of the ear pimples I had at the time, inside the ear. It started bleeding quite a bit. Then my nose was running from all the crying. Essentially, I was there struggling and resisting for two hours while my face was being rubbed in a puddle of my own blood and snot.

Day 5 was when I officially lost my mind. It was the day when you never want someone with anger problems to say, "fuck it". To cease to care about anything or anyone; Not family, not friends. Essentially, I lost most of my conscience. This happens when kids shoot up school. Their anger at a bully makes them snap and rational thinking ceases and they don't care who they hurt. This was like that, just with very limited options. I just said fuck it, fuck it, fuck it. They tried to give me a "category" which is the slip of paper you get when you break a rule.

Under the section where I am supposed to put what I will do to change, I just wrote, "I am not going to fucking change for your fucking bitch ass school. I will keep on fucking cussing all the fuck I want, so you can fucking kiss my fucking ass."

Now, I think this will be the end of part 2 here. The next part will be about the 2 1/2 months of me being a dick and the fun I had. Also, if you would like and I likely will anyways. I will write out a lot more details about the rules and the punishments, so things will make more sense later on. I still have my main notebook from that place and it still has the list of rules, including all or most the papers from the seminars. I can also go over the basic routine and schedule, so you can get an estimate about what time of day things happened.


Cross Creek Programs is now closed. They tried to re-start the program as a non-profit program but the arrest of an employee who had been working there for a long time for sending photos of his naked body to students stopped any future activity.

The buildings have been rented to a new organization who will operate in the market for adopted kids who were sent to their adoptive parents without the full story about their emotional issues. The horror stories will continue with new independent management and new employees.


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Theodurk at Cross Creek Programs - Part 1

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


So I felt like writing today. I am deciding to write about my past, about my time in a program. The programs name is Cross Creek Academy. I will write as much as I can remember about my time; my emotions, actions, relationships, struggles, etc. Ahead of time, I apologize for any spelling errors or grammar errors. I am doing this in notepad since windows 8 is utterly confusing. Hence, I do not have auto correct or grammar check. It shouldn't be too bad though. I have scored pretty high in writing.

I will start with just before my time there. The incident that created the choice for my parents to send me away. It was about two weeks after my birthday. I had been getting more and more angry and rebellious as time went on. Getting bullied in school, my dad's bad issues with hard liquor, and my step mom and her always repeating everything three thousand times. The thing about holding in anger is that it does eventually crack and break. It can slowly change who you are or in certain circumstances, the change can be instant. At the time, I was slowly losing myself; getting meaner and more violent. My step mom had asked me to fold the laundry and I didn't. So she proceded to rag on me for several minutes, which happens to annoy me since you can get the point across in 30 seconds. I flipped out on her and yelled until she started crying. My dad sees what is happening and he grabs me by the neckline and throws me into the sliding glass doors and proceeds to hold me there, borderline choking. He had done this before when he was plastered, but this time it was fair enough reaction for making his wife cry. He screamed and yelled and sent me off to my room.

I go there and lock the door as i wasn't supposed to. I knew he would still get in after removing the door knob. I sat on my bed pissed and thinking and thinking. I thought for a moment to take a block of wood in my room and hit him over the head with it, but even when I am being an idiot, I am still smart. Yet there was that thought, that brief bit of imagination. When he finally got in, he tried to grab me and throw me on the floor, but the way he grabbed be allowed me to use my legs as leverage and being a fat kid, your legs are pretty strong. He quickly caught on and grabbed my legs and flipped me off the bed and he stayed there making sure I don't go to bed until I fold the laundry. This whole mess over laundry. Teenagers for ya.

Then one day. They both go with me and say they are taking me to a doctor. I end up at a hospital where they do some blood tests. Then we move to a different facility that seemed odd to me. It didn't seem like a hospital. There was steel doors and the mesh windows. My parents did some paperwork and they took me to another building. I walked through two sets of doors and they ask me to remove my shoelaces and belt. I come to discover, they took me to a mental hospital. They did this because of a suicide threat months before when my step mom's answer had been, "ok". She knew it was an empty threat, but for me, it hurts that she didn't even attempt to fake concern. They send me way later as an "excuse". I was locked inside for a week. I med some pretty crazy druggies. A girl that decided to play a game with friends. Who ever could take the most triple c's and not die wins. She won. A guy whose pregnant girlfriend cheats on him with is best friend. He attempted suicide with opium. As I do a lot, I checked out the security and possible escape routes. I knew how to escape the place. There was a flaw in their outside area. We had 4 pm nap times. One day I calculated, without paper, how to tell time by the angle the sun is in the sky, which I later made a formula for. Depending on location and the exact angle, you can calculate the exact time, so long as you know when the sun rises. Anyways, enough of the mental hospital. My parents called and told me that I was going to a program for troubled teens. I was shown a website and it said for about 60 days. So I accepted it and figured I could use some time away. The transporters tend to come in the early morning, two if
them. It was about 4 in the morning for me. They enter through the first set of doors and I exit the second set.

They said in the cliche tough, bad ass voice, "We can do this the easy way or the hard way."

I asked, "What is the hard way?"

They reply, "handcuffs."

For a moment, I thought it would be fun to watch how people reacted as I get walked through the airport in handcuffs, but I chose the easy way. If I wanted to escape, better to have your hands.

The men themselves were not bad men. They just chose a bad job that maked them look like bad men. Some of the transporters may be sadistic asses, but mine were nice. For that, I chose not to run. I knew how and when I could, but I didn't.

After the flight, I was driven through Las Vegas, into Utah, and eventually we pulled up to an odd white building with iron meshed sold sheets covering the windows. I was led inside with my cinnibon and Dr. pepper. I never did get to finish the dr. pepper, but I did manage to keep a pack of gum.

Perhaps I will make this a brief cliff hanger of sorts. Though there is no guarantee when I get back to writing. Perhaps if I get enough requests for more, but the rest is a very long story. I stayed longer than most and one of three ever to stay past 19, which I will explain why that happened later as well. Now the next part is actually the worst I have ever been and also the most fun I had in years. Basically, the website said 60 days, the transporters said six months, and the program said something else.


Cross Creek Programs is now closed. They tried to re-start the program as a non-profit program but the arrest of an employee who had been working there for a long time for sending photos of his naked body to students stopped any future activity.

The buildings have been rented to a new organization who will operate in the market for adopted kids who were sent to their adoptive parents without the full story about their emotional issues. The horror stories will continue with new independent management and new employees.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Tesseract at Peninsula Village

This testimony was found on a message board. All rights go to the original author known as Tesserac

I am so sorry

I was in Peninsula Village in the late 90s, for depression, mostly. I was one of the ones who climbed the level system by persistently "confronting" other kids for breaking the rules. I want to say how much I regret doing that. I participated in something terrible because I believed them when they said this was how we could help each other. I did it because time there was hard and I wanted to make mine easier. I did it because I thought that if I did, they would let me out sooner. It didn't work. They kept me for 16 months.

When I first arrived at the Village, I had the same reaction that everyone else did: You can't do this to me, this is abuse, if the cops don't step in, my parents will. They laughed and pointed out that the program had existed for a decade, several false accusations of abuse had been made, and the police never found anything. They said if the police were going to shut them down, they would have done so by now. Still I believed the cops would come. But weeks, then months came by, and they never did. Then I believed my parents would take me out, once I could finally see them and explain what it was like. But they had prepared my parents for that family session for weeks. They knew I would appeal to them to take me home, that I would say things like "If you really loved me, you would take me out of here." They explained that these kinds of statements were a manipulative attempt to prey on my parent's affection, and if they wanted to do what was right for me, they would keep me there. My parents believed them.

I'm saying this not as an excuse, but because I want to explain what I was thinking at the time. I simply could not believe that both the authorities and my parents would allow my placement in an abusive facility. The reality was incompatible with a teenager's naivete. So instead, I reversed my position and decided the Village could not be abusive at all. I tried as hard as I could to succeed in the program, and that meant watching the kids in my group for any kind of infraction I could confront them over later. The rules were so extreme, it wasn't hard to find infractions. Glancing upwards while someone else is being restrained. Taking 1 minute 36 seconds to go to the bathroom instead of 1 minute 30. if I couldn't find any infractions, I'd confront people over intangibles, like "being entitled" or "ignoring the focus". And sometimes I'd flat out make things up. I don't have the words to express how terrible I feel about that.

Ironically, none of my persistent ass-kissing seemed to do any good. I wanted so badly to be out, and could not understand why they kept me so long even though I was doing everything they said. They would grant various privileges for cooperating, then strip them away for reasons I didn't even understand. "Not confronting your issues." I was trying as hard as I could to confront my issues! Hell, I even made up some issues I didn't have, just to be able to confront more things. Based on the stories on this forum, it was not uncommon for them to keep those who could afford it as long as they could. I don't think it will surprise anyone when I say my parents were paying out of pocket.

The worst part is that when I got out, I continued to buy into their shit for the next 15 years. I can't believe what a colossal fool I was. I can't believe how blind I've been. I can't believe any of it, really. I still wobble back and forth between "it wasn't that bad" and "jesus christ, how could this have ever happened".

I just want to say again how very sorry I am for the harm I did to the other kids while I was there. I really wish there was some way I could make amends.

Peninsula Village has been sold and renamed to The Village under a new management and maybe a new program structure.

I am so sorry (The original testimony)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Adam7448 at Peninsula Village

This testimony was found on a message board belonging to Fighting Institutional Child Abuse Network. All rights go to the original author known as Adam7448

My name is Adam. I was there in 93' at the Village. I was your usual pain in the ass teen that smoked pot and drank on occasion. My parents moved me to Chapel Hill NC where I was put into MacDowell unit of Duke Hospital. Dr. David Jones Recommended to my parents that they send me to Peninsula.

I had NO IDEA what I was in for. I spent almost a year there. 8 months of that were in STU (special Treatment Unit) the first time I went out to the cabins was to group 4. we were on shutdown for two other kids escaping (eloping) before I got out there. the second time I went to the cabins was when PV opened the "STU cabin". I was one of the first "screaming pioneers". I got sent back to STU again. I don't remember why.

After another month in STU the Village let me out. I had NO WARNING. I was told to pack up my stuff. and two hours later I was put on a plane back to a group home in NC. It was a crazy transition. at the group home I kept dreaming I was back in 5 points in the Quiet room. Or I was getting PCI'ed again. I got PCI'ed my first time because I refused to go to group. I think it was my first week in STU. I NEVER was violent or tried to fight with any staff. They didn't like the fact that I got up without permission. I remember getting an injection of Haldol. I don't know why they did that. I sampled every single "Intervention" the Village had to offer from the rope and the 4x4 that had to be carried everywhere, to a backpack filled with rocks. The wheelbarrow filled with rocks that I pushed all over the village was a nice touch too. Todd Roberts (Staff) gave me That little gift.

Bottom Line: Should I have ever been sent there? ....NO. Did I learn anything good form being there? ...YES. It DID screw me up a lot however. It made EVERYTHING I did after that a lot harder than it should have been like getting into a good school. I turned out good but not because of the village.

Peninsula Village is under new ownership and marketed as the Village


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Jzieg at Peninsula Village

This testimony was found on a message board belonging to Fighting Institutional Child Abuse Network. All rights go to the original author known as Jzieg

I had fantastic insurance and thus the honor of living at PV for well over a year @ 1992-1993. My experience was the same as the original post. It was a nightmare. As an adult I had to go to a PHD after waking up with nightmares from my time PV, his professional opinion.... I never should have been there.

Entering the facility I was a depressed teen with a mother who was uncaring and cold so I hated her. I had never done any drugs, I was not a run away, no emotional disorders, no eating disorders, no cutting, I got good grades in school, I had a job, went to church, had friends, I had not faced any major abuse of any kind,. I specify major because there was 1 occasion where I had at 17 year old show me his penis when I was @3... he never touched me. No one had ever beat me. I was just a kid from a broken home, who in a bit of depression OD on aspirin at 15 because my mother had grounded me from Homecoming 2 days before.

I was in STU for over 3 months, because I did not have a story that they could break out of me.... because there really was not one. I never had to be restrained, or medicated but the emotional BS of treating you like crap to break you was the horror I lived day in and day out. Eventually they gave up and decided perhaps they could break me in the cabins, 14 months later the insurance ran out and I final got to go home. I was 17 when I went home, to the same mom I hated before. I made it 6 months then got smart and moved out on my own, got a job, and finished high school.

PV did not cure me of anything, all it did is rob me of years and moments with family and friends. I have a daughter now the same age as I was at the village. She is hormonal and moody... Guess what she is a teen. I am sure we will live through it with her and my family could have lived through it with me had the professionals not convinced them that PV was the only way to protect me from myself.

Peninsula Village is under new ownership and marketed as the Village


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Asher at Bellefaire JCB

My name is Asher (formerly Rayah.) I'm twenty years old, now almost twenty-one. I was sent to Bellefaire JCB's intensive residential treatment program for nine months, from ages 13-14, in Cleveland Ohio. At the time I lived in Hudson, Ohio. The reasons for my being sent there were family conflict, breaking rules and psychiatric diagnoses--mostly anger issues, though. I had undiagnosed Asperger's and diagnosed Tourette's which no one fully understood. I'd been bullied horribly in middle school, and at home my stepfather constantly criticized and bullied me too. I had also started to feel like I didn't belong in a female body--I already knew I was bisexual, but I didn't know what gender dysphoria or transgender was at the time. I had (and still have) a gifted IQ, but my grades weren't very good save for AP English. At the time I also had a very active imaginary world with my own alter ego and pretend husband/imaginary friend--I knew the difference between fantasy and reality (it's just that I didn't give a damn as long as it made me happy,) but people saw this as a problem. It's true that I got in fights with my mother and some bullying classmates, both verbal and physical, and I was enamored with violence and aggression. I challenge anyone else to say THEY wouldn't react similarly if they'd been subjected to constant bullying for factors out of their control.

Before Bellefaire, my mother sent me to Akron Children's psychiatric ward twice, both times because I fought back when she tried to use physical force to make me comply with her. The first time, I refused to go to sleep because I wasn't tired, and she tried to shove Benodryl down my throat. The second time, I'd just been "mouthy," she grabbed my wrist to drag me someplace and I stabbed her in the hand with a spiked cuff I'd been wearing. After two trips to psych, both of which were painful on their own, I was told I'd be sent to Bellefaire. I do remember the phrase "tough love" being bandied around, and having the impression that Bellefaire was a nice, calming, quiet place where I could work out the strife on my mind. When I drove out for the initial evaluation, everyone was nice, and the buildings looked pretty.

I was dead wrong.

During intake, I had to sign a form of some sort, and I was asked if I'd been sexually abused (the reason for this was related to restraint policy--they didn't restrain rape victims, and since I wasn't a rape victim, apparently it was o-tay!) They asked about food allergies, but when I told them I had non-allergy dietary restrictions (there are lots of foods which I cannot stand the taste of, to the point of nausea,) they didn't believe me. Just outside the unit, which had doors that only opened one way without a key, I was strip-searched. I wasn't allowed any jewelry, or any clothes deemed "inappropriate," i.e, that showed any shoulder, back, chest or stomach at all, or that had any so-percieved "objectionable" associations or messages. I wasn't allowed to have CDs or a CD player.

Once on-unit, the first thing I noticed was how disgusting the living conditions were. Everything had a layer of grime on it. The furniture and carpet was ratty and stained. In the eating area, the tables had food residue on them, and there was an old tomato stuck to the ceiling. My room had no lock on the door, just like all the others. There was a large patch of dried orange juice on the wall, which I initially thought was a bodily fluid. (Needless to say, I never drank the orange juice.) The bedframe and windows had graffiti and gunk on them.There was a color-coded level system in place, based on how well we obeyed and complied--level red was punitive, for those who had recently been restrained. On level red, one could not have access to the radio or any of the supposedly fun activities in the commons. No using the cruddy foosball table, no watching the movies the staff had picked out for us, no leaving one's room after a very early time in the afternoon. At first, level reds weren't allowed to wear their own clothes, but this rule was lifted to avoid legal action, if I remember correctly. Level orange was the basic level most were at--still no access to one's own CD player, but at least you could leave your room in the afternoon...after asking staff permission to cross the line, which they could and did refuse from time to time. Level green, which I only saw two people get to, had CD player allowed, maybe a few other minimal "priveleges." To get to level green, the rest of the kids on the unit had to give you a majority vote of "yes," which often amounted to whether they liked you or not. Level green could be revoked if you stepped on too many toes. As for the highest level, blue, I never saw anyone get to it, so I can't comment. There were also point cards to be filled out by the staff based on whether whe did what they said or not. In the "cottage," as the locked unit was called, there were certain invisible lines in places we had to ask a staff to cross. Not asking permission and crossing them, or just crossing them anyways, was grounds for restraint. Restraint itself, I found, was often used punitively--if the staff didn't want you to do something, and you didn't obey their orders, you'd get tackled. Face-down restraint was used--I remember the first night I was there, I got restrained face-down with a large man sitting on me and my limbs wrenched behind my back in a position that even those into sexual bondage wouldn't advise. As one staffer said, more or less, the staff WERE the rules. (This particular staffer seemed to enjoy power trips, and used his authority as a dick extension.)

Some of the staff verbally taunted the kids rather often, (one of them liked to scream like a damn drill sergeant--"This ain't Burger King have-it-your-way!" was his pet phrase,) and let them bully each other, including allowing fights to happen without intervention until they either got too vicious or they stopped being amusing, at which point one or both of the participants were restrained. On several occasions, other girls entered my room to shove me around and recieved little or no consequences for doing so. The staff criticized me for lots of things, including the fact that I got restless and needed to pace back and forth. When I said I couldn't eat the meals they provided (which, for the record, were moldy at times,) I was told to "take responsibility" and that I was "choosing" not to eat the food...never mind that the taste made me gag. I ended up drinking water out of the shower from a styrofoam cup most of the time. I was also mocked for being smart, using big words, etc., and told I "wasn't that smart" or I was trying to act superior.

Speaking of showers, every morning had a regimented hygiene routine, which involved taking a shower and washing exactly the way the staff said. I have sensory integration disorder, which many people with Tourette's and Asperger's also have, and taking showers is physically painful for me. They made me do it anyways. Some mornings I would curl up on the floor of the shower whimpering in pain until I could collect myself enough to get up. I wouldn't wash my face or my hair, which I was yelled at for. I got yelled at a lot for my less-than-perfect hygiene, I think in particular because I was physically female. I eventually found ways to cheat.

During the day, everyone had to attend an on-unit school. That wasn't so bad, but we were still graded on our behavior in addition to our academics. The academics were ridiculously easy, and I didn't feel like I learned anything new. Then there were the PH (i.e, group therapy) sessions. We would sit around a table, do worksheets designed to instill in us the "correct" way of thinking, not all of which even applied to my own issues, and then discuss our answers with the rest of the group and the supervisor. Other times, we would have to read rather disturbing and lurid stories about abuse, rape and other nastiness, and then discuss either our reactions or our similar experiences. Of course, in both scenarios, there was a line to be towed, and certain opinions that could not be expressed without getting criticized and/or bitched out by the other kids. And we did have to discuss, whether we wanted to or not. The worst of the groups, though, was "girls' group." All it consisted of was sexual shaming and guilt. You could only ask questions about topics deemed "acceptable," i.e, state-sanctioned safe-sex shit, nothing remotely kinky, nothing involving unusual sexual proclivities or male sexuality. Lots of people were told their sexual practices or interests were gross and sick. For me, as a boy trapped in a girl's body AND someone with non-standard sexual interests, it was hell times a thousand.

On the topic of sex/gender shaming...I received a lot of it. My assigned therapist and the staff alike seemed to view my bisexuality, gender dysphoria and sexual fetishes as manifestations of some neurosis or behavioral problem. The therapist refused to understand why I was disgusted and uncomfortable with female body-related stuff, including menstruation ("but doesn't it make you feel special and fertile?" she asked at one point. PUKE.) I tried to express to her, at one point, that I wanted to be a boy, and she flat out told me that she didn't believe me. As for the staff, they told me such charming things as, "you don't want to be a boy, because that's like Sodom and Gomorrah," "it shouldn't be your job to protect a husband, the man should protect you," and "you should be more ladylike." When I developed infatuations with other girls on the unit, this was viewed as a problem because 1) emotional connections like those were not allowed, be they very close friendships or romantic interest, and 2) the crushes I had were same-sex. At one point, I was coerced into sexual activity by another girl on the unit, and when I tried to tell someone, it was "my word against hers" and nothing came of it. I wasn't believed until she tried the same stuff on some other people.

I was eventually allowed home visits, but only after the staff and my assigned therapist saw enough change in my behavior, i.e, compliance, i.e, breaking into obedience. On these home visits, I was not allowed to argue with my mom or stepdad about close to anything--it was do as they said or they had every right to send me back to the locked unit. They also did not allow me to listen to any music they were told or considered to be inappropriate. They and I were told I was "suggestible," meaning something along the lines of "this kid will turn into a violent psycho if she views or listens to ANYTHING remotely edgy," which was as far from true as it could get. I tried time and time again to tell people, in my own way, that I enjoyed the media I did because I felt moved by it, I could relate to it, it helped me feel strong and confident and happy when I went through difficult times etc. etc., but they dismissed my words as manipulative--"you just want to listen to metal music and watch R-rated movies, and we can't let you do that. Nice try." I also wasn't allowed to listen to music at a volume in my headphones that my mom thought was too loud. On home visits, my stepdad would keep antagonizing me as usual, making his critical little comments, and I had to sit there taking it and do what he told me, or else it was back to Bellefaire.

On the topic of media: I was a huge Marilyn Manson fan. I liked various metal genres the most, and dark, violent, action-packed and/or transgressive movies like The Crow, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Rocky Horror Picture Show, and A Clockwork Orange. I had my own religion which I made up, based on the short story "Sredni Vashtar" by H.H. Munro (it's in the collection called Surprising Stories by Saki.) I was also into anime and the Harry Potter series. Any or all of these things were seen as a problem, threat or red flag at one time or another. It varied. Looking back, it seems rather bizarre that I wasn't allowed to openly enjoy the things I did and felt passionate about, i.e POSITIVE EFFING COPING MECHANISMS, but at the time I felt like a heretic forced to worship my gods secretly--and that's precisely what those things were to me. The building blocks of my personal religion. Just like the devout find inspiration and joy in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Wicca, Buddhism or any faith right up to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, so did I in mine. I couldn't help what moved me. No one can. Yet I was singled out for condemnation and pathologization on these grounds because I was "maladjusted." "Emotionally disturbed." I was bad and crazy because of what I liked, and I liked what I did because I was bad and crazy. There was no way out, in that vein of thinking...and I was trapped in the middle of it. I wasn't even allowed to talk about it on-unit.

After I was discharged, the experience being bad enough on its own, I was emotionally and psychologically abused again by two therapists, which is beyond the scope of this topic. It's taken me a long time to feel anywhere close to functional again. My mom regrets what happened now. She divorced my stepdad when I was seventeen. Eventually she let me listen to my favorite music and watch my favorite movies again, and stopped seeing my imagination as a malevolent force in my life.

By now, though, the things I used to love are poisoned. I know I enjoy them on some level, and I want to do so again, but after what I went through everything in the world feels...dull. Bleak. Obsolete and dead, like all the magic has been sucked out of life. I keep remembering what I went through, over and over again. I have flashbacks that cause me physical pain. I have nightmares. I lose sleep over them. To this day I have trouble trusting my mother, even on little things. My mind is clouded with an obscene amount of self-doubt and self-deprecation, to the point where I feel as if I can't trust myself to know what's true or false. I've always been somewhat nervous as a person, but afterward I developed such excessive anxiety in everyday life that I'm often afraid to leave my apartment or talk to people I don't know. I apologize compulsively, which I never did before. When I try to do things that I enjoy, I'm often struck by a sense of crushing and sickening guilt. Again, I was never like that before.

So those are my experiences, in a nutshell. Even now I'm hesitant about posting them on the internet, because I don't want to sound self-pitying or whiny ("oh boo hoo, I couldn't have a CD player for emo devil music" and so forth,) and I still struggle with feeling like I deserved to be locked up because I'm a transgendered aspie wierdo with tics and an aggressive personality. Other people's experiences, I know, were far worse than mine...but mine was still, by definition, bad. Unless I'm full of shit.

The original testimony (Fornits Home for Wayward Web Fora)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Arbour Survivor – In Their Own Words

This testimony was found on the Watching UHS blog. All rights goes to the original author.

Thank you for following this story.

I am a survivor of Brookline’s Arbour. Before I went there, I kept being told by optimistic nurses that I’d be sent somewhere that could help me get to a better place in my life. They were optimistic. I was optimistic. I figured I’d come out of the mental hospital a different person than I’d gone in!

I did. Their “care” came closer to killing people than their own suicide attempts.

The head nurse was a sadist (and unfortunately not the only one) who would call the police dispatchers to tell them not to bother responding to calls whilst she restricted physically ill patients’ medications – and while they told her they were legally required to respond to them – they listened. One person’s family called 911 twice, and had to wait outside the second time to make sure they actually came.

One woman had been there for over a month, who was clearly as stable as she could get in a place like that. She didn’t have a strong support network – maybe a mother, who resented taking care of her. She was mentally challenged: she didn’t have the ability to argue her way out of being further pathologized, and they exploited this. They broke down her sense of self. Like me, they likely tried to intimidate her by yelling at her and claiming she couldn’t function well enough yet to return to society.

I suspect “code blue” only came several times because you did not receive treatment unless you were already nearly (or as recently noted in the news, *completely*) irretrievably dead. Everything but psychiatric medications needed excessive approval: they tried to give you medicines you were *allergic* to to cut corners. On top of that, if you have a common name – prepare to get someone else’s meds from the overworked pharmacists.

I am traumatized. My family is traumatized. After not being able to hold food down consistently (sometimes at all for days), or even DIGEST it properly due to restricting necessary medications, I got a pinched “sorry for the inconvenience”. The “inconvenience” that put me at risk of DEATH.

My experience is not unique. These guys are pathological liars and use mental illness’ stigma to the max.

The original testimony (The Watching UHS blog)