Author Topic: Gayle Palmer DeGraff  (Read 4829 times)

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Offline Anonymous

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Gayle Palmer DeGraff
« on: May 24, 2007, 01:33:46 PM »
Why is this person still working in the troubled teen industry, much less as an admissions represensative for such programs as the now closed Red Rock Ranch Academy, a former PURE recommended program?

Why is this program, Red Rock Ranch Academy (like Whitmore Academy, another now-defunct PURE recommended program) not on Isabelle Zehnder's facility watchlist?

It appears from what is published on her website, Isabelle Zehnder recommends (refers) parents to PURE, which is a referral/resource company that is partly funded by the programs it refers parents to.

In the WWASPS v. PURE transcripts, Sue Scheff discussed her association with Gayle Palmer DeGraff and other persons in the industry, including persons who she worked with during the period of time she referred to WWASPS programs.
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Offline Anonymous

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Gayle Palmer DeGraff
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2007, 01:52:46 PM »
As Cartisano's financial and legal difficulties mounted, the Challenger admissions director, a woman named Gayle Palmer, quit to start her own wilderness-therapy company, Summit Quest Inc. Palmer knew little about the backcountry or therapy beyond what she'd gleaned from pitching Challenger courses. "But Palmer got tired of working for Steve," says Doug Nelson, "so she hung out her shingle."

Five students were enrolled in the inaugural Summit Quest course, which cost $13,900 for 63 days. Palmer sent the group to the arid Shivwits Plateau, near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, supervised by two young counselors who were paid minimum wage. During the first several days, Michelle Sutton--a pretty 15-year-old who had enrolled voluntarily to regain self-esteem after an alleged date rape--complained repeatedly of exhaustion, sunburn, and nausea. As the group hiked through the desert, she vomited up most of the water she tried to drink and pleaded that she could not go on. According to counselors' field reports gathered by state and federal investigators, the lead counselor had been ordered to ignore such talk as manipulative behavior. "You have been sloughing off," she told Sutton. "You are now being warned."

On May 9, 1990, during an ascent of 7,072-foot Mount Dellenbaugh, Sutton's speech became slurred, she cried out that she couldn't see, and then she lost consciousness and died. Palmer insisted to officials that Sutton had succumbed to a drug overdose, but the coroner found no drugs in her system and determined the cause of death to be dehydration.

Gayle Palmer, the founder of Summit Quest, was not charged with any crime after the death of Michelle Sutton. Although she was subsequently denied a license by the Utah Department of Human Services, Palmer brazenly resumed operations. Last year, near Zion National Park, a scruffy, frightened, 14-year-old girl wandered into a remote archaeology camp begging for help. It turned out that she was fleeing from a course Palmer had been running illegally out of St. George, Utah, the same town where she had based Summit Quest.

----------------

"Remembering Michelle Sutton"
http://www.teenadvocatesusa.org/Remembe ... utton.html

---------------------------

Michelle Sutton is not even listed on CAICA's progam death list.
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Offline Anonymous

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Gayle Palmer DeGraff
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2007, 02:11:49 PM »
Where can I find a transcript of the WWASP v. PURE trial?  I would like to know more about Palmer's history in the troubled teen industry in the years following the horrific death of Michelle Sutton.  It's hard to believe this woman was not even charged with this girl's death.  Had she been, perhaps the other deaths in Utah might have been prevented.  

Thanks!
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2007, 02:30:17 PM »
Shame on you Isabelle Zehnder for not honoring Michelle Sutton and placing her on that list.
Michelle's mother, Cathy Sutton, has worked faithfully to change laws to protect other people's children in wilderness programs.

Isabelle Zehnder appears to be very selective about who and what she places on her "lists" on the CAICA website.
Not only is the defunct Whitmore Academy not on her "watch list" as are OTHER CLOSED ABUSIVE FACILITIES----
Zehnder has written a BLOG:  "Whitmore Academy" and she praises the owners Mark and Cheryl Sudweeks, and includes mis-statements (some would call this LIES) regarding the criminal case against Cheryl Sudweeks in this BLOG.
Zehnder attacks an un-named parent in this Blog, in her attempts to defend/praise these owners---who have broken laws in 3 countries"
Mark Sudweeks was found guilty of felony animal cruelty in Canada; and he lost his appeal.  He was fined over $100K and banned for life from owning animals in Canada.
The Sudweeks were evicted from Mexico for running a school/program without a license.
Cheryl Sudweeks accepted a plea bargain in connection with the criminal case against her for abuse/hazing of 4 former Whitmore students.
Sue Scheff/Pure reportedly referred all these children to Whitmore Academy.  The same SUE SCHEFF who was honored as CAICA's "Advocate of the Month" by Isabelle Zehnder.  The same SUE SCHEFF that Zehnder reportedly refers parents to.

Zehnder uses her so-called "child advocacy" website CAICA to promote her FOR PROFIT company--Positive Family Solution to solicit customers for "coaching."

Zehnder is promoting a FUNDRAISER on CAICA, but still has not honored requests to post proof that CAICA is a non-profit organization for contributors.

Does Isabelle Zehnder avoid placing Michelle Sutton and Whitmore Academy on her website "lists" because of their connections to "her friend Sue Scheff?"  You'd have to ask her.
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Offline Anonymous

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Gayle Palmer DeGraff
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2007, 02:38:08 PM »
Known Programs Gayle Palmer (DeGraff) has worked for since death of Michelle Sutton:

Top Flight Academy
Red Rock Canyon School
Red Rock Ranch Academy

Gayle DeGraff is Admissions Director of Top Flight Academy. She is the mother of five children, all of whom have participated in wilderness programs with the exception of her youngest daughter. She has first-hand experience in observing powerful results from the opportunity for teens to find themselves as a result of experiencing a therapeutic program.

She has been involved in the at-risk teen industry since 1988. She began as Admissions Director for Challenger Foundation, moved to Summit Quest, and was also involved in admissions at Red Rock Canyon School and Red Rock Ranch Academy before joining the staff at Top Flight Academy.

http://topflightacademy.com/inside.php?link=bios

-------------------

Perhaps Isabelle Zehnder can ask her friend and colleague, Sue Scheff whether she is still in contact with Gayle Palmer DeGraff, and if so, under what circumstances (e.g. Is Palmer working for another program in admissions or as an independent referral agent)?
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Offline Anonymous

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Gayle Palmer DeGraff
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2007, 02:53:01 PM »
Although she was subsequently denied a license by the Utah Department of Human Services, Palmer brazenly resumed operations. Last year, near Zion National Park, a scruffy, frightened, 14-year-old girl wandered into a remote archaeology camp begging for help. It turned out that she was fleeing from a course Palmer had been running illegally out of St. George, Utah, the same town where she had based Summit Quest.

WTH?

Anybody know what happened to that poor girl or what the name of this ILLEGAL program was?
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Offline Anonymous

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Gayle Palmer DeGraff
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2007, 03:04:29 PM »
Can someone post the part from the transcripts that is relevant to Sue Scheff's relationship with Gayle Palmer (aside from the discussion about Red Rock Ranch Academy which I read on Fornits) or a page number of where to begin reading about the specific nature of their association?  This transcript is more than 700 pages long!
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Offline Anonymous

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Gayle Palmer DeGraff
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2007, 04:44:22 PM »
Catherine Sutton Says:
May 19th, 2005 at 6:23 pm

I just seen the name “Murdock” in your post “I can’t feel my legs.”

I am having major symptoms right now!! I will be fine. It’s just this is still a nightmare that I would love to wake up from. One day I am the Mother of 8 children and the next day a National Advocate for Children Rights.

Murdock is the person Gayle palmer SOLD while she used my LDS affiliation to sell this man to me for my daughter. He was the field person Gayle said was six months into the Church and had a dynamic testimony of the LDS Church. “The kids love him,” she said!

After Michelle’s death………Murdock disappeared. I was told he went to Japan. We never did get to depose him like we did the others involved.

The Mother of Jon McMahon, a former Challenger survivor, learned of Michelle’s death. She told me that her son Jon was in Challenger back in 1989 and that Murdock, (Mad Dog Murdock) she said was his nick name, abused her son. Jon’s Mother said her son Jon was made to take his pants off and sit near a tree at the bottom of a hill. Jon’s Mother said a Dog was tied to the tree and that Jon was told if he moved the Dog would attack him. Jon’s Mother also said that rocks were thrown at Jon and these rocks hit him in the scrotum, leaving bruises.

Murdock is ONE of the “survival experts” I was SOLD by you know who!

Jon’s Mother is the one who tried to get Utah Health and Human Services “licensing specialist,” to take action, “before someone dies,” she said.

Jon’s Mother sent me a tape called “The Reporter,” showing kids being taken by force into the Challenger program. Everytime I would view this tape and hear the kids in the Van say, “This should be against the law,” my heart would ache for them. These kids are right! This should be against the law!

Don’t trust the state who hands out the licenses to these stupid people. They care more about the MONEY that is brought into the state than the health and safety of the children being herded in like cattle. They also have more faith in the good ole’ boys and girls they hand a license to than they do the children who are falling helplessly into their clutches.

When Michelle died Utah had 11 programs, but not the money or manpower to monitor ONE! Get the picture? It’s a gold mine for perpetrators!

I am here for you. If there is anything I can say or do to help you, I will.

Sincerely,

Mother of Michelle
Catherine Sutton

source:

63days.com
http://www.63days.com/41-i-cant-feel-my-legs/
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Offline Anonymous

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Gayle Palmer DeGraff
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2007, 11:40:50 PM »
TO GUEST seeking page numbers in WWASP vs PURE transcript discussing Gayle DeGraffe:

Page 170  Testimony: discussing Cedar Mountain Academy-Utah

Scheff:   I had a parent volunteer visit that school.

Scheff:   Even one of the parents reminded me that Gayle did go
              there and sit down with Arlene and Dr. Farrow.

Q:          Gayle who?

Scheff:   Gayle DeGraffe.

Q:           Gayle DeGraffe was the Admissions Director at Red
               Rock Canyon at this time, wasn't she?

Scheff:   That is correct.

Q:           So, she is the one that did research for Cedar Mountain
               Academy for PURE?

Page 232  Scheff is discussing FORM LETTERS that were sent out
                 by Scheff/PURE

Scheff makes these statments in her testimony on page 232:

"Yes, we have consultants visit the places we recommend."
"We are not a referral paid organization."
"Please know we are not funded through any schools or programs."

Page 233
Scheff:   "I did forward your information to Gayle DeGraffe who
               should be contacting you."

(This correspondence indicates that Gayle DeGraffe worked with Scheff/PURE on, or about September 2001)
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2007, 02:13:43 AM »
Add LIAHONA ACADEMY to the list of programs Gayle Palmer DeGraff is associated with:

http://www.caring4youth.org/350.html
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2007, 12:34:45 PM »
I guess I should explain WHY Michelle is no longer on Isabelle's Death List.

When I learned that Isabelle knew that Sue Scheff and Gayle (Palmer) DeGraff knew each other, and that Gayle (Palmer) DeGraff worked with Sue Scheff, I suspected that Isabelle ALSO must know Gayle (Palmer) DeGraff.  When I challenged Isabelle to do the right thing by including Whitmore Academy on her so-called Watch List, and she refused, expressing her empathy for Sue Scheff, I realized that she may also have this same empathy for Gayle (Palmer) DeGraff.

I believe that Gayle DeGraff is now living with her Mother Clara DeGraff.  I believe Gayle DeGraff is a sub-contractor for people like Sue Scheff, PURE.  I believe Gayle DeGraff is working as a "Parent Consultant" for TEEN SOLUTIONS, and possibly doing the same for Top Flight and others alike.

When I learned that Gayle DeGraff was working for Top Flight as their Admissions Director, I called Utah Department of Health and Human Services, Ken Stettler.  Always a waste of my time............
I reminded Ken of the solemn promise he made to Michelle's family telling us that Gayle would NEVER work with a program involving children again.  Something, OR, someone, must have changed Ken's mind.  He now believes it's OK for someone like Gayle to SELL programs to parents, as long as she doesn't have contact with the children.  Isn't this how we were duped and suffered the loss of our daughter??  I reminded Ken of Katie Lank and the fact that Gayle not only SOLD the program Katie died in to Katie's Mother, but that she was there to greet Katie upon arrival in the program.  This is all history repeating itself.  Some people choose to believe what they want to believe.  Turning the other cheek as they give people second, third, forth, fifth chances.  

It's just scary to know that Gayle is out there.  Still selling programs to desperate parents.  People like her will tell a parent ANYTHING they want to hear, to GET what she has proven to care about most, MONEY!!

During one of my conversations with Gayle (Palmer) DeGraff, I expressed concern about the term food rations mentioned in the brochure she sent to us.  Gayle assurred me that Michelle would have plenty to eat.  Her exact words were,  "We have a nutritionist working with us.  Her name is "CLARA DEGRAFF."  Gayle went on to say, "The kids are not allowed to not eat."  After Michelle died, and through our law suit discovery, I was told that CLARA DEGRAFF was a Realtor friend of Gayle's.  I just learned that Gayle's Mother's name is CLARA DEGRAFF.  Interesting.............    

I once found a picture of Gayle's son on two seperate program websites.  One was Top Flight.  Did her son attend both programs, OR, did Gayle just use his picture for advertising, like she used her daughter's picture in her Summit Quest Brochure.  Her daughter didn't attend Summit Quest.  She attended Challenger.

If you watch the promotional video for USA Guides Youth Transport Service, you will find that the woman playing the 'role' of
the Mother is the wife of V.P. Operations who speaks at the beginning of the promo video.  The girl being transported is none other than their daughter.  What a joke!!

Well, I mainly wanted to let you know that once I heard with my own ears, Isabelle Zehnder's heart felt empathy for certain induviduals, I very abruptly 'told' her to take my daughter off her Death List.  Michelle is MY daughter.  These people hurt her, then tried to blame it on Michelle and her family.  These people all stick together.  Like one big, happy, criminal minded family.

Michelle Sutton Memorial Fund, Inc.
Catherine Sutton
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2007, 02:47:41 PM »
Gayle is a very dangerous person in this industry.  I believe this behavior modification therapy is a cult and has a following.   They do not access your child to find out if they even qualify for behavior modification.  I have called about my own child to several different orgaizations and given them a very typical scenerio with my very typical normal child expressing appropriate age level situations.  Each one highly recommended their program.  My son is younger than teenage years, which also shocked me.  

Gayle is like a palm reader.  She will find out what you are looking for in a program.  If you told her you wanted a program that baked cakes on Tuesday, she would have an expert chef on staff.  She takes a confused parent in need of assistance and drains them for information and then proceeds to tailor the marketing to your needs.  In reality, nothing she tells you is true.  The programs she peddles are abusive and do not change their course for anyone.  They will tell you anything you want to hear.  The parents are not typically aware of how these programs operate.  They think "tough love" .. its a good thing right?  These programs are NOT tough love.
They are severely abusive mentally and physically.  If parents were to deny medical care or starve their child to death they would be charge with a crime.  Why are these programs allowed to operate and use a technique known to cause abuse and death?  

Why wasnt Gayle Degraff Palmer charged with a crime?  She commited falsehoods in her advertising.  She misrepresented her program.  She told Michelle's mother that Michelle was the "mother of the camp" and she was doing well.  In reality, she was throwing up and denied medical care.  Michelle asked to go home, she put herself there and she was denied her right as a California resident to leave a facility.  She told falsehoods after Michelle's death.  She went on National Television and stated that she didnt allow the children to share water for "health reasons".  However, she wasnt concerned about their health when she placed them in the middle of the desert without radios to call for help.  She wasnt concerned about their health when she didnt supply them with enough water or electrolights.  It is abuse inflicted with the intent to for the kids to suffer.  An "accident" is when the abuse is pushed to far and the child dies.  The industy likes to say .. it couldnt be helped.  They perform this abuse in a criminally reckless manner knowing they could have deaths.  If parents were to take their child to the desert force them hike with little food or water and mentally abused them while doing so.  They would be charged criminally.

Gayle Degraff should not be allowed to continue working with these programs and sell them to unsuspecting parents.

My question is .. why are the program owners not charged with a crime?  Why is this technique still legal if used in a facility-- but you can't do it at home?  All that comes to mind is $$$$ an politics.  Someone is getting big contributions to look the other way.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2007, 06:26:53 PM »
More about Liahona from an archived thread asking for information about someone named Steve Lemmon:

Posted: Sun Aug 31, 2003 9:59 pm     Post subject:    

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Well here goes :

He has built or owns websites for that purpose(troubled teen referrals/schools). His website used to have an Ah Quin family member on it. A brother/son to people who run Liahona Academy. I also heard rumor that Steve helped finance a program started by Randall Hinton (formerly of Teen Help). They are all from Hurricane, UT. I have also heard that there is a lawsuit over the startup funds (Lemmon trying to sue Hinton).
Lemmon family very large in Hurricane/SO. Utah - some family members are real estate agents.

Another of his sites is : swlemmon.com calls himself a Business Consultant.

I would bet he refers to Liahona if any. I don't think WWASP would associate with him as he funded a person they basically told to go away (this would be Hinton). You probably already know this (I suspect Sue S. as the poster looking for info) as Hinton and Sue were/are pretty tight.

TheStudio.net actually had built a website for Casa by the Sea, but has been redone since.

No background in the industry known. He's a film/media buff trying to get in on the teen help industry craze of the internet these days.

He's associated with the Ah Quin people - so I'd watch out. They have a reputation for getting things done there way. One of the Ah Quin's (younger) worked doing concert promotions - thug like - also likes underage girls - pervert.

Now - in exchange for this information I would like to know your purpose. I was fair and open with this - can't you do the same? I have no beef with this guy, but you asked for info. Why are you asking questions about him? I suspect you've been thrown a name, but I think you are barking up the wrong tree. Do tell - I might be able to help you.

If you tell what you're up to - that might be worth some more information....

Internet has lot's of info - just have to know where to look...

-------------

The startup program might have been White River Adventures, in Puerto Rico which has reportedly been linked to Randall Hinton (after he quit Teen Help).
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2007, 06:43:01 PM »
White River Adventures is now White River Academy

http://www.teenhelponline.com/staff.html
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2007, 07:19:19 PM »
DeGraff > Liahona > Ahquin > Hinton > Scheff > DeGraff.....

Strange how  the same names just seem to connect and connect, isn't it; and how the name Sue Scheff always seems to get thrown in the mix?
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