Second Nature wilderness program testimony

A few of my friends have. I have been through Second Nature and ASR Base Camp (shut down now I believe) and from what I’ve heard RedCliff might be somewhere in between those two. This is an extremely emotionally charged topic for me.

I am currently researching and investigating these kind of places as well as RTCs and “therapeutic” boarding schools for an on-road expose tour this summer, invovling demonstrations in the towns hosting the programs. If you’ve ever read 1984 you have a toned down version of it already.Where I was, Through humiliation (One girl had to crawl every where she went and cry out loud-a councelor continued to throw a water bottle into the woods and make her crawl and cry to retrieve it while saying things like “If your gonna cry and compain like f***in baby I’m gonna treat you like a baby. this is how you f*** up everyones lives around you Im here to unf*** your life do you f***in understand me?” another kid had to sit in a circle of peers and have human feces be wiped on his face) , forced labor (“You don’t have to do this but if you don’t your going to RTC lockdown) disorientation, and poor physical conditions(inadequate shelter, frostbite, malnutrition, jardia[did I spell that right?]

Reality is completely controled by staff. If they tell you 2and2 is 4 you better not just say it is but you need to believe it, they’ll know. When inspectors came they whould tell us we would never get out basically if we told them anything and everything would be changed. At the top of this pyramid of evil the directors sit on they’re plush thrones rolling in hundreds of thousands (programs often can cost up to ten thousand a MONTH. I cam out of those and the 14month program competely delusional, affraid of everying and very heart. It took a lot of wonderful people and majical experiences to come out of that, experiences of freedom and love, not hate and oppresion.

Now my life is PERFECT and incredulous as that may sound. I work in carpentry and microbiology and live on an intentional community in GA. Above all what helped me is my deep love for nature backpacking and all and the strength I draw from that, and many mystical experience. I found God Or the Universal cosmic mind and he she is with us. Plus my beautiful and wonderful girlfriend who I was seperated from through the experience and now live with. This all happened about 5 years ago. The “therapeutic program” community has hid behind deciet and legal loopholes for many years but they can’t hide from God and we will bring them down with love! We the human race are one divine family and we need to come togather to overwhelm this evil. with love sincere -Max

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Elevations RTC testimony

This testimony was found on Yelp. All rights goes to the author known as Gail S.

Elevations RTC is an impersonal, unprofessional, and substandard institution.

Kindness is the exception there, not the norm. In general, they keep students there for way too long, charge a fortune, and provide very poor therapeutic services and even worse customer service to parents. Their medical staff do not communicate effectively or often. Our therapist provided minimal to no insight and did not win affection or trust from my child who complained that he was often too busy for her and not really present or skilled.

They are generally very slow to respond or follow up on anything and get defensive when you raise issues of concern or frustration, even at the highest administrative levels. Supposedly they have cleaned up their act regarding use of strong physical restraints/intervention when children act out, but this is not what my child reported back to me. Physical restraints are used frequently to address children’s defiance. They did not leave the impression that they were truly interested in the advancement of children’s mental health. It is clearly a lucrative business for them, more than anything else.

There are much better, more compassionate, and sophisticated options in the world of residential treatment centers. Keep looking. Good luck!

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Testimony from a former Uinta Academy resident

This testimony was found on Yelp

I went to unita academy for nine months.

That experience was the worst thing that could of ever happens to me. I was taken away from my family and friends and wasnt able to talk to anyone. The staff can physically put their hands on you and restrain you. I know multiple girls who are dying right now trying to get out and trying to kill themselves.

I luckily got out early and my parents discharged me becuase i wasnt changing i was just miserable. I went there for nine months and did everything i possibly could to get out. I went in for a drug overdose and came out wanted to get fucked up. Now im in an outpatient and its helped me way more then unita ever did. I got no school done in that amount of time i just sat there because there was no one to help me.

They broke me down and i always felt like shit my depression got so much worse. i hated my life so much. I would do ANYTHING to get out. They brain wash you and try to make you a mormon and the staff take a non realistic approach to things, they act like were just clients and they shouldnt have a personal realtionship with us when their there every day, they wouldnt get close to us but they would try to put their personal beliefs into our heads. They made me feel like giving up after a couple months i didnt even tryy nothing was good enough for them and i was always getting in trouble for the littlest things like dust. Things that were out of my control they made seem like it was my fault.

I really resent this treatment center. They dont do anything for addiction or eating disorders. For behavior its great but anyhting esle they dont focus on they dont go by the 12 steps or anything this is a horrible place thats all about money. Ive been out for a month and their still trying to get money out of my parents and they wont send my transcripts so i can finish school until my parents pay. Fuck uinta academy you made me feel worse then i ever was before i went there. I was a sweet innocent girl that got into drugs i would never hurt mysefl in any way until i went there and starred cutting to take the pain away.

Never send your daughter here, it will put you in debt and be the worst expirence.

A stay at Carlbrook and Oakley schools

Both schools are now closed but did they good for anyone? It is doubtful. One – Oakley – was just a warehouse. It was first owned by Aspen Education Group and later by Innerchange. Carlbrook was based on some crazy stuff invented at Synanon – defunct Church community and remodeled at CEDU for school purpose. Here is a testimony found on Fornits.

To anyone who believes that Carlbrook “saved” them, or that anyone who speaks out against it “didn’t get it” or is “clearly still fucking up”–

In total, I attended two wilderness programs and two therapeutic boarding schools, one being Carlbrook. I was sent away initially for using marijuana, skipping school, and just generally being irresponsible. I am the type of person who learns lessons the hard way. I went through wilderness, and then arrived at Carlbrook. I was determined to give it a try, get through the program, and move on with my life. After six months, though I was only fifteen and did not know anything about what is ‘appropriate’ and ‘inappropriate’ in a therapeutic sense, I knew that something was not right. I asked to be sent anywhere else, not even home just any other program, but the school instead restricted my access to my parents and put me on a disciplinary action program. I had been raped at fourteen and was told alternately that it was my fault and that it was not my fault, and that if I did not successfully comply with the program, it would happen to me again. I was made to tell another boy who had molested his sister that I forgave him for what he had done, by way of forgiving my rapist, which I was in no way prepared to do anyways, and this boy had nothing to do with what happened to me. I know now that this is all incredibly inappropriate for someone struggling in the aftermath of sexual assault. I was informed that my drug use and behavioral issues all stemmed from “daddy issues” and convinced that I had said “daddy issues”, which alienated me from my father. My father is a loving, caring man that was wrongfully blamed by Carlbrook for my problems. Carlbrook seemed to believe that all behavioral issues stemmed from some deep-seated childhood wrongdoing, and pushed/pressured teens to the point of admitting things that never happened. I watched it happen many times. Sometimes, yes, teens with behavioral issues do have serious repressed trauma, but this is NOT the standard.

I was placed on suspension for not “being on the plan”, while struggling to understand what that meant, as I had not broken any actual rules, or “standards”, as they were called. In suspension we were forced so sit facing forward in a separate room from 7 am until 10 pm, and we were not permitted to talk or look at anyone else. We were taken outside for an hour every day. If you raised your hand and asked to go to the bathroom or get water more than once every two hours, you were written up, and made to stay on suspension for longer. I finally made it off suspension and into good standing by becoming completely fake, as being myself did not cut it there. They were looking for a cookie-cutter kind of result, instead of kids who are really working and struggling to find out who they are and why they have done the things they do. Because I was completely fake and just going through the motions, I began breaking rules that I found stupid, like the school’s system of “bans”, where you cannot speak or look at certain people for various allotted reasons. I had been put on bans with all of my closest friends. I began to develop a romantic relationship with a friend who was struggling, which was NOT allowed (though an unreasonable expectation among teenagers, this is the standard of many treatment programs. While there are good reasons for it, it is unrealistic to think you can ask a teenager to ignore the opposite sex for a year and a half). We did nothing more than kiss. He was put on suspension and interrogated about any rule-breaking, and I lied my ass off to get into suspension with him. (Young love.. very stupid) After a year at Carlbrook, I was kicked out after leaving a group where I watched several people I cared about being told that they were worthless (the girls were called whores, the boys monsters and drug addicts) by both the owner and fellow students, some of them also my friends. I got up and walked out of the room, and was removed from the school and immediately send to another wilderness. My parents were told nothing about my removal from the school, just that I had not “complied with the program”, and Carlbrook made it appear as though I had done something truly terrible, not just kiss someone and walk out of a group.

After my second wilderness, I attended the Oakley School. I will not pretend that it is perfect in any way, but going to Oakley really showed me how wrong Carlbrook’s tactics are. At Carlbrook, they use an unrealistic setting where teens cannot make the mistakes they will most certainly make/face in the real world, incredibly aggressive therapy, inappropriate scare tactics, and students learn that the only way they will avoid being screamed at and avoid getting in trouble is to employ the same tactics that the staff use on their fellow students, to get them first and bandwagon. At first at Carlbrook, you work out of fear to save yourself, until it becomes second nature and you fail to see the pain you inflict on your fellow students. Anyone who does not fully comply, who is not afraid, is eliminated as quickly as possible. This is not to say that the students enrolled are not intelligent– in fact, for the most part they are, and this helps the school in that students soon realize the path of least resistance and flock to it. There are five therapeutic workshops in the process– I went through the first three and know the details and processes of the last two. They are meant to tear you down and build you back up, rendering you, essentially, as others have said, dependent on the program. I would love to believe that I could have made it through the entire program without succumbing, but from what I have seen from some of the kids who my closest friends at the school– that is not realistic. Sure, many of them go on and continue to use and party, but there is something still something different about all of them. This is not a positive difference, and many of them still seem totally dependent on the school in a way, constantly referencing it, etc. Its as if they have been brainwashed– this may seem like a complete exaggeration, but I don’t believe it is. I successfully attended the Oakley School, made many, many mistakes, which the program allowed for, and still made it out. I now attend a tier one college with an excellent GPA, I am in a stable, loving relationship that began at Oakley (we’ve been together for two years), and there is no rehab in sight for me. At Carlbrook, I was told college was not an option, I was not able to figure out how to have a healthy relationship, and I left quite possibly worse than I started (as demonstrated by my drug use IMMEDIATELY following leaving the school).

I urge any parent considering sending their child to Carlbrook– PLEASE consider other options. There are many. Make sure you choose a certified school, and choose a therapeutic boarding school over an RTC, if possible. Absolutely NOTHING positive awaits your child at Carlbrook, and you may never hear of the damage done, as many kids are too afraid to tell their parents the truth.

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A testimony about a stay in the Joy House, Inc

The facility is located in Jasper, Georgia. The testimony was found on Google

When I was 13 I spent 18 months behind fake smiles and closed doors. I was forced into this institution against my will. Due to tramatic abuse that took place during my childhood my family forced my mother to place me in the Joy House. Joy is certainly the last word that comes to mind when I think about this place. Disgust is more accurate.

Here’s a prime example: my mother one weekend showed up with her girlfriend to pull me out of the program. The staff used brute force to keep me away from her. Later the staff worked along side my family to place my mother into a homosexual conversation home in Tennessee for 4 months. 4 months I couldn’t have any kind of communication because she was “sick”. Don’t worry, they were doing God’s work so it was deemed necessary. After this incident I was forced to stay in my room for roughly a week. Only allowed to leave to go to meals or school. Yes, you read the correctly I was punished for my mother being gay.

Along with the mind games, control, forced volunteer work to get the property (thier now current location) ready for more victims I believe this place did more psychology damage doing “God’s work” than my former abusive step father ever did.

My story is one of many.

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The original testimony

A testimony about New Creations Christian Boarding School

This testimony was found on Topix.com

I attended this school in 2006, and also agree that it was corrupt. Not too long after being there I became frightened by what was going on in the church. I was raised Lutheran and went to church with my family from time to time as a child, so I wasn’t afraid of religion. The religion they were practicing here though was not Lutheran.

The day that I became extremely frightened was when we were finishing up the church service and the priest asked everyone to gather in a half circle around the alter. After doing so, he walked around examining each of us. I am not sure what made him choose the people he did but I believe it may have been the presence of fear in my face. If he stopped in front of you, he would then push you down and you were expected to let the volunteer behind you to catch you and then cover you with a light silky dark purple blanket. He attempted to do this to me but after he tried to push me I caught myself and ran out of the church. I knew I would get in trouble if I went far so I sat in the mulch bead right outside the front door. Shortly after running out, one of the staff cane out insisting I come back in and scolding me for leaving. Being frightened I told her that I would not. At this point in time she took my bible from my hands and began reading me the same scripture over and over. I sat in the mulch bed snapping pieces of mulch which apparently annoyed her immensely because she then grabbed the piece of mulch out of my hand threw it on the ground and stated that she could not handle me so she was going to get the owners wife (can’t remember her name). With the staff lady out of sight, I ran up to the girls dorm and laid on my bed. The wife made her way up to the dorm and furiously proceeded to my bed continuing to read the same scripture from what I assumed was still my bible. I became frustrated and in an attempt to take the Bible from her hands I accidentally ripped one of pages. This was her limit apparently because at the moment she then decided to lunge at me in attack. Luckily, I was able to deflect her by fluffing my leg out (I was originally laying on my side curled up) and the group arrived from church seconds after. I was told to stay put as she discussed with the other lady what to do. It was deemed necessary that I was brought to the office and made to sit in one of the old school desks within a closet space facing the wall. I sat there for hours before all of the sudden my father and step mother walked into the office. I was so surprised and relieved that I burst into tears and ran towards them. They ended up taking me home that day after a long discussion with the owner who had apparently called them insisting that they pick me up immediately because I was the “child of the devil.”

Prior to going to this boarding school, I had been to two others (out of state) each for at least a year and had not experienced anything like this until going to New Creations. I am now in my mid twenties and despite the awful experience am doing well for myself but I will say that the experience without a doubt had a huge effect on my religious stance. Needless to say, I am very happy to hear that this place was closed!

The so-called boarding school closed a few years ago. An investigation was on-going at the time of the closure and properly also the reason for it.

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The original testimony

A relatives testimony about Carolina Springs Academy

Carolina Springs Academy first opened back in the 1990’s. After they closed for the first time in 2009, they have tried to reopen under new names. Magnolia Hills Christian School, Seneca Ranch, Second Chance Ranch, Palmetto Ranch and lately Southern Oaks Youth Ranch. The testimony below was made when the property was named Carolina Springs Academy

If you child is in this place you need to rescue them immediately. Let me tell you my story. Two weeks ago our precious grandaughter was acting out and we found this place on the internet that showed horses, rolling hills, and happy kids with smiling faces. What a crock.

After we put her in this place (Carolina Springs Academy) we starting researching and found out a lot of bad things. We went to the place (in the daytime) for a tour. There was no one in the front building so we opened the door and went into the library area which on their website shows a whole lot different library than we seen. The floor was actually falling in and we about froze while we were in there (no heat). The lady that met us starting reciting this speech and talked about our granddaughter. Near the end of the speech we realized that she was not talking about her, she did not even know who she was. The girls had just came from lunch so I asked her what they ate. She told me, fried chicken, rice and gravy, green beans and a choice of two desserts. Later I found out that they ate red beans and boiled noodles with no seasoning and they only drink water.

We also found out that the three antiquated dinsaur computers in the library are the only ones on the premises. We did pick our granddaughter up after two weeks. We found out that the kids are not allowed in the library, that the women would get them a book from the library. My granddaughter had to look at the ground with her head turned to the right and if she looked up she lost points. She was not allowed to speak. They got her out of bed at 4am to go and wash up the dishes from the night before which was close to 100 bowls. They do not eat out of plates, only bowls.

They loose points if they cry. We brought her some pictures of the family (4) that day and because she cried, they took them away from her. A lot of her discipline came from the older kids. One of them hit her and she could not respond or she would get in trouble. One of them stole some stuff of hers. They are allowed three towels and can only wash them (and her clothes) once per month plus they are damp so they put them in a plastic bag until the next day. When we picked her up, her three towels were wet and smelly. She said that four girls in the building have staf infections and one girl had a big sore on her mouth that was herpes. In this dorm (like a double wide trailer) was 68 girls with 3 showers and 3 sinks. She said they have three minutes to take a shower and that is all.

She said that they never got to leave this building except to go eat. They exercised in this building, watch films in this building (which is supposedly their school work) and everything else in this building. All the windows are boarded up so they cannot look outside. We had to pay around $500 for uniforms. When we picked her up we saw that she got used uniforms that did not even fit. The dress shirt that she got had four names in the collar and each one marked out for the next girl. When we picked her up she was dirty and in only two weeks they had broken her spirit. She said that the equestrian program (horses) was a big joke among the kids. They just wanted money for that program but since you can’t talk to your child, you don’t know what they are doing. They read their incoming and outgoing mail and decide if they want it sent/received or not. It’s up to them.

When she came out of the back door of the dining hall, she looked down at the ground all the way to us because they are not allowed to look up. When she finally saw us she started crying and hugging us. On the way home she told us some horror stories. She also started talking about how if you “secret” something and believe it in your heart and write it down everyday that eventually the universe with align with your heart and it will come true. We still don’t know what all that is about but if they had her talking like this in two weeks I wonder what they would have done to her mind on a year or two. She said that a lot of the girls had been their years. She said that she saw her family rep only once per week and that she had to stand in front of her, look to the right and to the ground. The rep would ask her if she is ready for her feedback and she would say yes. The rep would then tell her what she thought about her and tell her what she thought she should do (remember all along looking at the ground and to the right). They strip them of their dignity and self worth. Nothing a child can do is bad enough to deserve this.

Everything this school told us is a lie. One particular sheet in her application that gave them permission to move the child across state lines was not signed. They said that we did not have to sign it. Just send the paperwork without it. They said that that sheet was only for the children that were wards of the state. When our granddaughter was admitted, they wanted that paper signed. We refused. Then in a few days, the same paper was sent to the home to be signed and a return envelope was inside. Again, the paper was not signed. One of the women told her that if she did not straighten up that she would be sent to another program in Jamacia and one of the girls had already been there and showed off a big scar on her leg from that place. All the pictures on the web site are a joke. I will continue this blog at a later time but I really want you to know that your child is in danger in this place. I am not with an organization or anything like that just a concerned grandparent. Get your child out, now. I know that all boarding schools are not like this—but this one is.

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