Author Topic: Current state of BCA  (Read 5198 times)

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Offline concerned father

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« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2006, 02:13:00 PM »
"Are you a member of a CEDU parents group?"

As I understand it, CEDU folded up their tent and declared bankruptcy.  BCA was sold to Universal Health Services (UHS).

Regardless, no, my wife and I are not in a "therapeutic boarding school" parents group -- and am unaware if such a thing exists in our area (Seattle).
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2006, 03:16:00 PM »
Quote
On 2006-03-10 11:13:00, concerned father wrote:

""Are you a member of a CEDU parents group?"



As I understand it, CEDU folded up their tent and declared bankruptcy.  BCA was sold to Universal Health Services (UHS).



Regardless, no, my wife and I are not in a "therapeutic boarding school" parents group -- and am unaware if such a thing exists in our area (Seattle).



"


It exists across the world. Unless the poster was referring to some "in the flesh" group that I don't know of (though small ones might exist in some regions, particularly California), they were probably talking about one of the various e-mail groups.

Parents exchange group e-mails addressed to everyone in the group, and often make friends with certain parents. I know my parents were part of an e-mail group of parents that consisted of a good 70+ parents for awhile. They got tired of it after awhile and still keep in touch with a handful of the parents.

My feelings on the whole group are mixed. As an ex-student, it's not really my business anyways, I suppose. But I think some of the parents who were a little too high up on their horses were trying to cram their beliefs down other parents' throats (Annie Hall, anyone?). Which is why I also think my parents parted ways with the group.

It's worth giving it a shot though, if you're feeling particularly concerned. There's a good mix of parents in it...some are pleased with the results of BCA, others are confused, others are very upset.

Keep in mind, though, that none of them went to BCA. Sure, they visited, but none of them WENT there. So all they'll be able to offer you is what they observed on visits (which is about as far from the truth as you can get) and how they see their children doing nowadays.

I think you'll find far more valuable opinions here on fornits.
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Offline Bean2

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« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2006, 03:59:00 PM »
It's an actual meeting group...they go to Steak & Ale once a month for dinner together. It's parents from BCA, RMA, CEDU high etc...students. Most of them still go just to see each other and show pictures of their kids and talk about where they are now- it does help some of the other parents whose kids are still there...
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2006, 05:49:00 PM »
Concerned Father-
I must warn you about something. Your child will likely be punished for you taking them off grounds and may end up telling staff EVERYTHING you discuss. The brainwashing happening at these institutions is such that the children actually end up feeling guilty for ridiculous things. Some people don't succomb to it, but most do and end up tattling on themselves for fear that it will be found out through other means and then they will get in even more trouble.

I know that this sounds ridiculous. I feel ridiculous actually typing this out. However I know from experience that it happens.

I just wanted to let you know that it is a possibility.

-A concerned ex-student.
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Offline shanlea

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« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2006, 07:00:00 PM »
I have to concur with the anon who just posted.  Also, from personal experience, students who interviewed while parents visit will not be candid. The emotional and verbal barrage is simply too torturous to deal with afterward.  (This also led us to confess false dirt.) Plus, the staff is prepped to "handle" the parents after your visit. If your kid badmouths the program, however civilly, there will be hell to pay afterward. For him. And he will make sure he never does it again. Because they will likely convince you he's full of shit.

In addition, the student lives in relative isolation from parents and their own idea of "normal" changes to meet CEDU or cult criteria. I can tell you right now that MANY people graduated while still brainwashed and later realized to the extent they brought into the program, and not in a good way.

Make sure their psych connections are truly independent, better yet, demand to use your own.  As far as academia, ask to see the course syllabi and certification records of teachers. Also, find out what certification the staff has. In the past, many had bogus pysch accreditation from online schools like California College.

We are not kidding when we say that we seriously got science credit for chopping wood and communication credit for screaming verbal abuse en masse at people for real, imagined, or petty reasons.  

You may want to check out the propheets. The version they do for parenst are soft versions. The ones for kids are way, way too intense and psychologically manipulative for minors.  

Check out the legal designation of BCA too. I know my parents thought they were sending me to a school, and it was legally classified as a group home.

My parents were referred to CEDU by pastors who were also family counselors who had never visited the school or researched the program.  But the brochures looked good.

Ask yourself why there are no longitudinal studies on the success rate?  

For parents who hail the program. Ask them in ten years after the Kool Aid wears off, because let me tell you, for many kids it does.

I know that CEDU lied to my parents about me, lied to me about my parents, convinced my parents to do one thing they had never done to me--lie, and used the whole "deadinsaneorinjail" fear to keep me there. Along with false dirt about drug abuse. My Mom brought the program hook, line, and sinker, but Dad knew something wasn't kosher.

Anyway, good luck to you. I'm not trying to be a muckraker, but as a mother and a teacher, I understand both the desperation of trying to help your children and the treachery of an industry that often manipulates that instinct.
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hanlea

Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2006, 07:36:00 PM »
to concerned father,

Hi.  I am a parent of a child who attended BCA under previous ownership.  There is so much to address, but your question is about meds.  Were the kids overmedicated?  You bet.  Did the kids need medications?  Most of them probably did, but I do believe they were overmedicated including my child.  Seroquel seemed to be the most overused drug of choice, which acted like a horse tranquilizer.

Bottom line is that most of the kids do have some mental health issues ranging from mild to moderate depression, anger issues, bipolar, mild to moderate OCD, anxiety disorders, ADD, etc.  Many times these issues do require medication.

  Anti-depressants do not "sedate", so I would not be overly concerned about that.  His depression could be situational, however, and that doesn't require medication.  If however, his depression is not situational, anti-anxiety/depressant medications may help.  

I do think that the staff are (were)too quick in requesting students be put on meds to make their lives easier.  It was heartbreaking to see kids falling asleep in class on parent visits to the campus.

I think that the NW psychiatric folks are good, but they do overmedicate.  Their dx's seem to be on target, however.  Their suggestions in terms of what approach works best with your child, are very good.

 I would be happy to speak with you more about this and answer any questions you may have. I will try to pm you to see if you would like to chat.  Good luck to you.
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Offline concerned father

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« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2006, 09:32:00 PM »
I want to comment on a few issues raised here, but let me first thank everybody for their input.  Though the opinions vary, I appreciate what everybody has to say.

Could somebody explain to me what the "propheets" are?

Regarding taking my son off campus to talk to him, I can see where that could be a potential problem for him after we leave.  All of the time scheduled for "parents weekend" is on campus, which, frankly, strikes me as odd, especially since it appears there will be multiple blocks of 2-3 hours of unstructured time.  Why shouldn't we be able to take him somewhere, whether it be for a short hike or to get a dish of ice cream or something?  I am going to ask this question.

I am planning on delving into the school's curriculum.  I want to see what they have planned for my son, and want to see syllabi (along with examples of completed assignments) for his classes.  I don't understand why he has been there for almost two months and I've yet to see any type of educational plan for him.

There seems to be a consensus that BCA overmedicates.  Just a microcosm of our society, I guess.  I'm prone to believing the UK's National Institute for Health, which has ruled that antidepressants should only be prescribed to young people in moderate to severe cases.  I'm sure BCA won't be thrilled if I request an "independent" evaluation, if, after seeing my son and discussing the possibility with him, we decide to move forward with it.  No doubt that consulting with somebody other than their regular doctor makes their job more difficult.  And having my son on meds might make their job easier.  But given the stakes and the amount of money we fork over every month, I'm not going to feel guilty about making either of those requests.
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Offline former CEDU therapist

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« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2006, 10:15:00 PM »
Concerned - I was in a private practice that saw CEDU kids. I began expressing my concerns about inappropriate treatment I saw of kids and ultimately, I was told I could no longer be there. Period. I was sacked.

I was not allowed to say goodby to my kids; not allowed to appropriately termainate therapy. I was looking for other work - I could not quit outright, as I had a family. But it truly stung to be treated in this manner - and highly inappropriate to now allow me to terminate therapy.

Whatever you decide, do not allow them to choose his psychiatrist/psychologist/therapist... You would want him to see someone completely unrelated to the school. I do not know what the relationship is between this organization and BCA, but I would, uner no circumstances, trust them to make referral decisions for you. There are too many potential professional conflicts.

One person posted about Seroquel - this actually depends on the prescribing MD. They have their favorites.

I have just gone back to read more of the posts here and you mention Profeets. I am GREATLY alarmed at this. Profeets are inappropriate, emotionally abusive, and based on Synanon methods which have been shown to be harmful. If they are doing them there, I can only hope they are nothing like the hystrionic, blaming/shaming marathons that CEDU used to have. I never attended one - that would have been inappropriate. But the kids, staff, and administration described them. Frankly, I found it all rather alarming. They are the opposite of teaching emotional control... they are emotionally explosive.

I cannot express this strongly enough - these events, as CEDU ran them, are the OPPOSITE of teaching management, control, and appropriate expression of emotions. They are based on the harmful and destructive catharsis theory - that "letting it out" with a lot of affect (emotional expression) is helpful. Actually, what it does is intensify emotional distress, dysregulation of emotion, and the creation of false memories. In other words - your child might start "remembering"  abuses at the hands of his parents or other people. I am gravely concerned.

It is inappropriate, also, for posters here to tell you that your son is manipulating you. No one here can know this. And I agree with the anon poster who said that his depression may be situational. Anyone would be depressed under such circumstances.

Please feel free to send me a private message. I am concerned.



Quote
On 2006-03-09 12:00:00, concerned father wrote:

"I currently have a son at Boulder Creek Academy, and would appreciate hearing from people who have a sense if things have changed under their new ownership and staff (much of which has remained from when it was under CEDU ownership).



This note was prompted by the fact that I received a call from the staff yesterday that my son seemed depressed.  They wanted him to be tested by folks from Northwest Psychiatric Associates, likely to be followed with a presciption for "meds".  This raised a big red flag with me.  I am not giving any type of permission until I do some research and visit my son (that will happen in a couple weeks).



In general, I am against putting kids on meds, especially if its being done just to make things easier for the staff.  I'd like to get some honest feedback from folks with knowledge and opinions on the current state of BCA.



Fire away.



Concerned Father



"
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2006, 11:36:00 PM »
another suggestion to concerned father.  Join the CEDU list serve, which is a forum which includes current and past CEDU parents.  You can get many of your questions answered by many intelligent BTDT parents.  I urge you to join.
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Offline OKB4RMA

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« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2006, 12:28:00 AM »
As a 20 year graduate of RMA, I too will attest to the fact that the propheets are extremely damaging as Former Cedu Therapist states.

If your son has attended his "truth" propheet...I assume that he has if you are already heading up there for a visit...ask him the manner in which they get the kids to cop out to their "dirt"...primarily sexual dirt because this is the dirt that is dredged up time and time again throughout the remainder of the program to further beat the kid down to prepare him for the "rebuilding process".

This tearing down was a consistant throughout the entire program which would leave one to think..."when does the tearing down stop and when do they focus 100% on the growth aspect?

never...the tearing down is a continual process.

As hard as this is to say...here goes...I was manipulated (basically screamed at until I gave a false admission) into admitting...and ultimately believing that my sister and I had fooled around as children.  I felt ashamed to be around my sister for years yet when I finally approached her to talk about it years later, she said "NOOOOOO...it was *my brother* that had and that I actually tried to protect her from him"

I started to remember the times that I had intervened when they were in a room together...yet to this day...I still carry around the baggage of "abusing my sister" because I was forced to tell that contrived story over and over and over.

My sister is ready willing and able to welcome me back into her life and has been for many years.  I on the other hand still have the RMA thinking in my head.

I could go on and on about propheets...but my bottom line opinion is that they are BAD and can be harmful later in life.

You will however see people that have come out of the propheets praising the experience.  This is primarily due to the fact that they started the propheet at 10:00 at night and keep you up all night...basically sleep deprivation...and we all know what we can be coerced into saying when that is the case.

Sure...instead of being in Raps the Friday afternoon before...we got to take a 3 hour nap...but in all my time at RMA none of my peer group actually took naps...we were all too nervous about what was going to happen in the propheet that night.

They will also say that the students are given a nap during the propheet.  I though so for the 7 propheets I had sat in before I supported a truth propheet.  During my second "Truth"...the one I supported in...when naptime came around...I was pretty tired myself and was looking forward to it.  That is when I was instructed to just drink a bunch of coffee in the "break room" because we would be waking the kids up in about 1/2 hour and that had I taken a nap that I would be too tired and they needed me to be "there".  So...basically...the naps were bogus...as soon as all the kids had fallen asleep...it was time to wake them up.  There were no clocks...the windows were all boarded up so no light entered the room...so the kids really had no idea that they hadn't actually slept but were just being prolonged in their sleep deprived state.

sorry for the long post but if you think that your kid is a one size fits all kind of kid (which I don't by the way) then their faulty one size fits all therapy will be perfect.  Oh...and for further reference, it seems that all of the programs are using the same therapeutic models and the same seminars...they may change an exercise or two but they are in essence the same "workshops".

Try starting a thread that says "tell me the ugly side of workshops" and then disregard the answers that are from people praising them because as you can see in my case...they hurt alot more than helped.

The workshops are the essence of the program.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #25 on: March 11, 2006, 01:08:00 AM »
The propheets (workshops) instigated my decision to split.  It was obvious I would have to lie about myself or bully others in order to "succeed" in the program. There is no other way. The 24 hour to five day experentials deprive you of sleep and outside contact. The music and lighting and setting are arranged in a way to induce certain moods or states. You have to have a "breakthrough" or "epiphany"... (you'll get it emotionally beat out of you.) I know of many other students who were badgered to admit false or exaggerated dirt and carried it with them for years and years afterward. I know of other students who experienced sexual trauma and instead of being able to heal or cope like they would with an ethical therapist, their experience was turned into a therapeutic sporting event, with a group attacking you en masse.  Some students confessed to having sex or eating disorders or addictions rather than put themselves through the group shoutdown.

After  days of isolation, intense experentials, and contrived effects, students walk out in an altered state. Many are convinved they had some sort of transcendental revelation.... Well, of course! That was the design. All cults do something of this nature. Contrived experiences that make you feel like you took part in something truly cosmic... that you uncovered the cultic version of the Holy Grail.  

I'm getting sick thinking about it.
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Offline blownawaytheidahoway

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« Reply #26 on: March 13, 2006, 02:51:00 PM »
concerned father, you may also want to read my descriptions that I have been posting here. I am currently working on a book about MY experience. It may not look at it, but if you read my posts, I have been accurate, and in my opinion fair.
I left/graduated the school just before they even ALLOWED basic medications. I won't pretend to know what a place like this is like now, but I can imagine your need to know/do more. Please know you have my best wishes for you and your family...On that note, I guess I'll tell you about what my relationship is like with my parents now. I am (jesus) over thirty now, and RMA had ceased to be an issue for me and my family for several years. In fact, now that we are communicating more it is clear that THEY DO NOW, (though they wouldn't say it even five years ago, and NEITHER would I, probably) regret the decision to send me there and keep me there, and they do, less strenuously than I, I admit, feel DUPED.

They (my parents) retain the right to say/claim that SOMETHING had to be done. It's just not my place now to make a contention to that. But here I am telling my story about RMA so many years later, and not knowing for so many years why I was so sad at times, and exaltative at others. 2.5 years was a LOOOOOOOOOONG time to be in the care of people who were NOT professionals, and in many, many cases, did more damage than good in the name of "therapy". Maybe it's different, but when I was there, those people had NO idea what the fuck they were doing. PERIOD.

-blownawaytheidahoway
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Life is a very wonderful thing.\' said Dr. Branom... \'The processes of life, the make- up of the human organism, who can fully understand these miracles?... What is happening to you now is what should happen to any normal healthy human organism...You are being made sane, you are being made healthy.
     \'That I will not have, \' I said, \'nor can understand at all. What you\'ve been doing is to make me feel very very ill.\'
                         -Anthony Burgess
                      A Clockwork Orange

Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #27 on: March 13, 2006, 05:46:00 PM »
dear blownaway,

have read your latest posts - very moving.  How is it that after so many years, this still haunts you so?  That you have such vivid memories?  I have a son who attended one of the CEDU schools, and he does not speak "fondly" (to put it mildly) of his experiences - but I don't think he is as affected or haunted as you seem to be.  Please do not take this as a criticism - I am honestly just asking.

Did it take some time or years before all these memories came flooding back to you?  Will your book be a catharsis for you?  Do you think you will ever be able to put these memories to rest?
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #28 on: March 13, 2006, 06:31:00 PM »
I'm not blown away, but I don't think he is alone with this. In fact, I know many who years later, are still terribly affected. (I know in fact, quite a few, who don't post here because it is too traumatic to relive it). For some of us, there is a real sense of violation at a critical time of our development.

I will say that Blown Away's account of what happened is right on the nose. In fact, all of his postings were right on target to astonishing degree. I went to a different CEDU school, at about the same time.  This goes to show that the problem is systemic.  

I left CEDU early, and I had no one to talk to about the epxerience so I just stuffed it. When I tried to share what happened, "civilians" looked at me like I grew another head.  No one could relate.  It was extremely isolating to have this bizarre, cultic trauma, and not be able to process it.  When I came to this site, years and years later, it was like the cat was let out of the bag. For me, this is largely validating,  positive, and necessary. I am very angry that these places continue to operate with little accountability and prey on desperate parents.  I am also angry that it is so difficult to express the insidous nature of the therapeutic abuse, the lack of accreditation,and how they are able to conduct abusive, manipulative, group therapies and experentials that have NOTHING to do with ethical therapeutic practice or emotional growth.  It is very unsettling to me.  Unfortunately, it is all too easy to blame the "troubled teen" for manipulating parents.

As far as having a son who is affected more mildly. Well, the truth is, very, very few parents of students I know on this forum or the other fora have no idea the extent to which it affected us. Very few of us discuss it with parents, mostly because the parenst don't really wnat to know.  I did for the first time recently and I am very close to my Mom.  I didn't blame her at all, I just let her know what happened and she was pissed at me. She did not deny my experience. She did not accuse me of exaggerrating. After all these years, it was difficult to go down that road and feel you made another mistake in your choices as a parent. At some point, you just want to let it go and say what happened, happened. But she resented being disillusioned. This has happened with a lot of parents to different degrees; some former students just sense that their parents are holding on to the old "it saved your life" lifeline for dear life, so there is no point.  So we jsut keep it to ourselves... or to Fornits Home for Wayward Web Fora.
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Offline try another castle

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« Reply #29 on: March 13, 2006, 07:20:00 PM »
I just think it's fucking funny that the Truth actually started playing Metallica in the propheet in the late 90s and 00s, (according to testimony.)

Further proof that Metallica lost its edge and started to suck. (I stopped listening after Master of Puppets.)
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