A mother about her sons stay at Majestic Ranch Academy / Old West Ranch Academy in Utah

I wish these posts were available for me to read when my son was a this shity place in 1996-1997 and to think I took out a second mortgage on my home to pay for majestic. I was a desperate parent
trying to do anything I could to get my son to stop and take a look at where his life was going.

He got in trouble at school all the time and got in trouble with the law. Not real serious stuff but I could see more serious stuff coming down the road if he did not change his ways. I sent him to a very expensive private school in Vermont with 40 students before I sent him to the ranch, but he got kicked out in less than six weeks when they did a drug screening with all the students. When he was at home, he was tutored weekly, went to see a psychiatrist and psychologist weekly. We were very involved parents.

In the winter of 2012, I got a gut feeling that something bad happened to him while he was there. I asked him what happened and he said I will go to my grave before I will tell you. We flew to Salt Lake City and drove to see him as much as we could. When we were visiting, he never gave us any indication that anything was wrong. When he called home, the calls were listened too and if the conversation got too hot, the call was disconnected. I taped his calls and let my Mother listen to them, she got very upset and said I should not have sent him there. My Mother had better instinct than I at the time. I wish my Mother was here today so I could say you were right. Dan Peart, I hope your ranch fails miserably. You will get your dues, hopefully sooner than later.


A student testimony about Star Meadows Academy in Montana

Hope Ranch / Star Meadows Academy was located near Whitefish in Montana. This testimony was posted by a former student on July 9 – 2010. Star Meadows Academy is now closed and the owners managed to disappear with a little sum to themselves

I would never, in a million years, put my daughter through such a terrible program…. I am 22 now, and am still trying to get past many of the issuse that my stay at Hope Ranch have cause in my life… My relationship with my parents is beyond repair and I always find myself associating with people who my parents strongly disapprove of…. If your relationship with your daughter is a struggle… look at yourselfs as well as your interaction with her… Hope Ranch will NEVER be an option for my child because I wouldn’t risk losing her the way my parents lost me…. as far as I’m concerned… they gave up their rights as parents, the day that they sent me to Hope Ranch.

The original testimony

A stay at the Joy House, Inc

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

To start off I’ll say my mom pulled me out of the program because she told me they were trying to play her and my dad against each other (they are divorced).

I was way worse after the program as far my behavior and outlook on life. But now I’m married with baby #3 on the way so I’m doing better no thanks to this place. I still never graduated high school because they put me so far behind I got discouraged.and quit.

There school is a joke! Okay so on to “home life” there: the staff would sit within ears distance and talk about the residents and laugh, if they thought you had something on you that wasn’t allowed they would strip search you. Without your permission. One “punishment ” was they would strip you to your underwear and lock you in a room for 24-48hrs. The reason for stripping to underwear is so the residents wouldn’t run away. I was in there with one girl that needed help for suicidal thoughts and the house mother filled the sink with water and held the girls head under saying “you want to die here you go.” Another girl I was in there with they made her carry BIG rocks until the point of her almost passing out. In the morning we would exercise. That is fine but if you didn’t finish the excerise they would say you didn’t have time to get shower and stuff before school. There were only certain time you could eat or get a snack if you got a snack outside of the “snack time” you would get in trouble. The list goes on and on.

Parents please before you send you kids here as a last resort PLEASE do your research and speak to people who has been there. People who they do not use as their “testimony ” cause they brainwash you into thinking they are such a good place and people because they are so thought after in the community but no one knows what happens behind closed doors. And of corse there is no evidence of any of this because if you wrote down anything negative they took it away and threw it in the trash.

The original testimony

Lili’s testimony about a stay at Eagle Ranch Academy

This testimony was found on Merchantcircle

This place is torture. i was there about a year ago and i still can’t seem to move past it. It has emotionally scared me.

The treatment tactics are inhumane and abusive. I haven’t been able to get past the sense of worthlessness that i felt when i was there. I felt as though nothing i did or said mattered and i deserved everything that came to me. I was a bad kid so i deserved to carry around this backpack filled with sand. I was a bad kid so i deserved to be put on ghost for months at a time. ( ghost is when absolutely no one can talk to you or associate with you in any way.. its like you don’t exist)

I would never recommend sending your child to one of these places. find different alternatives. No parent should ever sign the costody of their child away to some institution they saw online. (by the way the website lies about everything)


A stay at New Leaf Academy in Oregon


I wanted to share my experience at NLA since it was a bit different than what I am seeing and I was more recently at New Leaf Academy Oregon. I was at NLA for about a year and a half. The two people who now own NLA are a very kind couple that really care about the emotional growth of the students. They no longer have the clan or stages system that was there before and now they have a system that helps each girl have their own individualized program. Girls can earn privileges depending on how well they are doing with themselves and others, rather thank how long they have been a student there. The usual consequences (LOs) last for 30 minutes. Most of the time the girls must do physical work like simple cleaning, but sometime they will have to do a written assignment. While doing LOs girls may not communicate with one another and can only ask the staff questions that have to do with the LO given to them. The girls may sing while they work, as long as it is not too loud (I found that very helpful and made the time go by much faster). I ended up having about 10 pages of LOs by the time I completed the program, each page had about 20-30 LOs on it. It was very frustrating to receive LOs at times because you could get them for very pathetic reasons like sleeping on top of your comforter, getting out of bed a minute after when we’re supposed to be up, going in your room without permission, and a very popular one was “not following the morning routine” I never did find out what that meant.

Hours of work were the same sort of think except you got them for bigger reasons like not taking out your rabbit enough times and rough housing. Where as grounding lasted for a week, maybe less, and it wasn’t that bad. All that happens while your grounded is you miss watching the TV show and have to do My Time instead, you can’t go to store or ask for privileges in treatment, and you have to do an hour and a half of physical work (i.e. Cleaning) and another half hour of written work on Saturday and another hour of physical work on Sunday while other girls are at store.

I was put on many spot restrictions which were very frustrating. While on most spot restrictions (hot tub deck, downstairs, admin, café, table, etc) I was not allowed to speak to other student. I felt isolated and very depressed. They would put you on spot restrictions for things like self harm, arguing with a staff, and procrastinating on working on assignments. I felt upset because I could hang out with my friends and I was constantly getting in trouble while I was on the table for things like being late to Last Light when I couldn’t even get up from the spot with adult permission. It was especially frustrating when I was on my café restriction because I would stand there raising my hand for about 10-20 minutes wanting to go to bed until another student would finally tell a staff member that I was trying to ask a question. I was unnoticed most of the time and other student pitied me.

Peer restrictions were also a set back. It felt like every time I got close to somebody, the staff would restrict us because they didn’t want me to have any friends. I noticed not only in my relationships, but in others as well that when good friends would get restricted they would turn on one another and star to hate each other. That made it hard because then one girl wouldn’t want to get off of restriction, while the other one would.

Although there were a lot of negatives about the school there were a lot more positives. PE was fun and it really helped student get into shape. School was taught in a simple way while most students were learning atleast one level above the grade they were actually in. The food was usually really good and we got served proper portions, and before Soccer games we got loaded on carbs. We went on many trips including going to Washington DC, visiting the Oregon Coast, quest (a seven day backpacking trip that is super fun), white water rafting, therapeutic retreat, etc. I personally had so much fun on the trips that I did go on and each time I went it was a completely different experience. Cook and Clean-Up was my personal favorite part about being a student there. Cook lasted for 30 minutes and Clean-Up usually lasted around 15-45 minutes depending on what we are and who was on Clean-Up that week. Both were very fun to do. We would sing, dance, and listen to music as well as get the occasional special treats from the cooks. It definitely didn’t feel like labor.

Each students experince is different and I happened to have one that was both good and bad. NLA is definitely not as bad as it used to be. Anyone who went to NLA NC might remember a staff member named Amber Wyatt (I don’t know if I spelled her last name correctly). She now works as the Program Director at NLA OR and she said that things are much better and completely different now. I really enjoyed my experince overall. I hope I was helpful for anyone curious about what NLA is like now.


Alexandra B. at the Timberlawn Mental Health System

A former patient – Alexandra B. – wrote about her stay at Timberlawn

WILL COME OUT WORSE THAN THEY WENT IN! Thank goodness he was only there for one day!!!

I am a fifteen year old girl who was admitted there at eleven, and ended up being taken out by my parents nearly four days out. Now, yes I am a kid, I was young when I was admitted, but I was also very observant in the ways they “Helped” us children. They did such a good job in fact, I still have nightmares about the amazing service and therapy.

On my first night I was in the waiting area for over six hours after being told that I had to be admitted by my PHP psychiatrist after having psychosis telling me to commit suicide, so not only being scared to death I had to sit inside a very scary waiting room that resembles a haunted house you see in horror movies, I was evaluated and admitted at about nine in the evening. I was not fed even after not eating dinner and immediately sent to a bed with only a thin scratchy blanket and a pillow that may or may not have felt like it was stuffed with balled up newspaper. I was woken up at three am to be asked about how I was feeling.

The next morning I was woken by a scary male nurse and told that I had to strip and be check for bruises by said MALE nurse. And after being humiliated and given some used sweats too big for me because my jeans had metal on them (A zipper and metal button) I was led to a small eating table and given old hash browns and cold bacon-shaped strips of food. I had therapy with some other lovely children, one young man who proceeded to tell everyone how he lit an annoying neighbors dog on fire because it was barking at him and one girl who was told Juvie or this a few other children too, so after a day of lousy therapy games and coloring I got meds and went to sleep only to be woken up and loaded onto a bus to the teenage boys and girls unit (Not separated) Be wise there wasn’t enough children to keep it open.

Next morning, were allowed to go outside, sort of, and I see a boy punch another boy four times right in front of the nurses before being pulled off when another kid notices. Hours later we’re coloring and a kid starts yelling at one kid for stealing his crayon and breaking it in two. The yelling child is pushed onto the floor and pinned down as a female nurse injects him with a strange unknown medication. This is getting too long… So a few hours and one chair throwing incident later, the kid who was injected with the stuff was sitting and a few female nurses tell him to come over to him, only to watch him stumble and trip a few times while laughing at him, they tell him they didn’t need him and to hi sit down again. A few more freak outs, a kid throwing a chair at me for trying to help him pick up colored pencils, nurses making fun of my ratted hair, and a Popsicle later, I was ushered to bed and continuously frightened as the teenagers poke their heads into my room, laugh and walk off over and over again I was traumatized. A few more days pass and I’ve been scratched by one kid, yelled at by a nurse for crying after one kid being ushere doff to the quiet room for having a violent outburst, made fun of by more nurses, and given instructions on how to break into a car before I am checked out of the hospital by my parents after telling them everything during visiting hour.


The original testimony

Feedback related to Eagle Ranch Academy in Utah

This feedback was found on the website Merchant circle.

I could only go as far down as 1 star. Review system won’t let me go any lower.

This facility’s “educational consultant” told a parent she would look into OTHER places, NOT just ERA. Lied. Never did. Deceived parent into signing rights away. So that ERA alone, in its sole discretion, can say who the child will return to once they are done brainwashing.

Even if David and Paul come form a good family doing good things, they are NOT professionally trained to handle psychologically challenged kids.

Staff says they do NOT take psych cases-another lie- only behavioral issues. They LIE, LIE, LIE, LIE and sell a bill of goods!