Author Topic: Public letter of Response to Benchmark Tour Offer  (Read 22296 times)

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Offline psy

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Public letter of Response to Benchmark Tour Offer
« on: November 09, 2006, 06:00:20 PM »
Warning milk!!.  The following quote comes from strugglingteens.com

Quote
BENCHMARK YOUNG ADULT SCHOOL
Redlands, California
CKC Consultant Tour Services Schedules Tour
Of Benchmark Young Adult School In December
Contact:
CKC Consultant Tour Services
www.ckctours.com
Or-Richard Brimhall
800-474-4848
www.ckctours.com or contact Richard Brimhall at [email protected] or 800-474-4848.

To which I will respond publicly:

Quote
Hey Rich,

I understand Benchmark is a full member of NATSAP.  Since NATSAP has offered public tours for anybody to visit any of their programs, I would like to tour Benchmark.  I understand a tour is already planned for December 4th.  I would suppose this time to be convenient (since tour arrangements are already made) for me to visit.  It's always nice to take vacations with company anyway.

If this time is somehow not convenient, I would still desire to see how far benchmark has come at a time you might find more convenient. I look forward to seeing how Benchmark has transformed itself.  I truly hope it has changed for the better since my stay there.

A few questions first:

Will I be able to pick a student / several to interview privately on record?

The reason I ask is so as to avoid cynical people thinking the students interviewed were cherry picked and/or implicitly threatened with consequences.  We all know there are a lot of people out there who will buy all kind of fanciful conspracy theories about programs if things are not kept completely transparant.

Will i be able to ask questions of the staff on record?

Before you respond, you should know I am posting this letter online (on wwf.fornits.com) as an open response to your tour invitation on Lon's site (strugglingteens.com).  Any response will also be posted online.

Thank you in advance,
Michael Crawford
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Benchmark Young Adult School - bad place [archive.org link]
Sue Scheff Truth - Blog on Sue Scheff
"Our services are free; we do not make a profit. Parents of troubled teens ourselves, PURE strives to create a safe haven of truth and reality." - Sue Scheff - August 13th, 2007 (fukkin surreal)

Offline Anonymous

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Public letter of Response to Benchmark Tour Offer
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2006, 06:37:59 PM »
Quote
Benchmark is a residential school for 18-28 year old students. Combining education, emotional growth, independent living and work skills, we provide the necessary resources for students to transition successfully into adulthood.



This is fucking hilarious!  :rofl: This program is for 18-28 year old ADULTS, who are called "young adults" and are going to be helped to "transition into adulthood"?! LOL - that transition happened a while ago, sorry ... time to grow up! Ironically this is posted on Struggling Teens, is that right? Even though it's all people's parents over there posting for them.. who lets their parents run their life after 18 and be in a program.. please. If these people want to be in a program, let 'em. They can walk out at anytime. If anything it shows how pathetic people are. I will take the tour to go laugh at them.  :rofl:
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline psy

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Public letter of Response to Benchmark Tour Offer
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2006, 07:07:32 PM »
Quote from: ""Guest""
Quote
Benchmark is a residential school for 18-28 year old students. Combining education, emotional growth, independent living and work skills, we provide the necessary resources for students to transition successfully into adulthood.


This is fucking hilarious!  :rofl: This program is for 18-28 year old ADULTS, who are called "young adults" and are going to be helped to "transition into adulthood"?! LOL - that transition happened a while ago, sorry ... time to grow up! Ironically this is posted on Struggling Teens, is that right? Even though it's all people's parents over there posting for them.. who lets their parents run their life after 18 and be in a program.. please. If these people want to be in a program, let 'em. They can walk out at anytime. If anything it shows how pathetic people are. I will take the tour to go laugh at them.  :rofl:


There are ways of keeping people in places they don't want to be.  Even over 18.  What if they were to deny you your identification, money, and posessions if you decided to leave program?  This is what happened to me.  Redlands is not exactly a crime-free paradise and you don't want to be on the streets in such a condition.

My parents and I were told it was a "boarding school with theraputic aspects".  They sever communication for the first 30 days, and monitor phone calls after that.  Sound familiar?  The owner of the school is the former director of CEDU's Hilltop Instutite (CEDU's college in Running Springs).  Benchmark is basically a CEDU clone.

Don't laugh.  They just found a way to keep kids in virtual imprisonment longer.  It's not funny at all.  The bars aren't there but the hopelessness is just as tangible.  And when they drop students on the streets (when their parents run out of cash) in a not exactly crime free area, it's not quite as pretty a situation as when minors are safely returned to their parent's custody.  Parents are encouraged NOT to take thier children back into the home.  Most parents listened.  Luckily mine didn't.

Otherwise I wouldn't be posting here.

Any questions?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Benchmark Young Adult School - bad place [archive.org link]
Sue Scheff Truth - Blog on Sue Scheff
"Our services are free; we do not make a profit. Parents of troubled teens ourselves, PURE strives to create a safe haven of truth and reality." - Sue Scheff - August 13th, 2007 (fukkin surreal)

Offline CCM girl 1989

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Public letter of Response to Benchmark Tour Offer
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2006, 07:16:11 PM »
Redlands? I'll have to look that up. Don't know where that is?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
f you were never in a program, or a parent of a child in a program, then you have no business posting here.

Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2006, 07:17:11 PM »
This place is beyond lame.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline psy

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Public letter of Response to Benchmark Tour Offer
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2006, 07:22:01 PM »
Quote from: ""CCM girl 1989""
Redlands? I'll have to look that up. Don't know where that is?


Redlands California.  San Bernadino (aka Burn-a-ghetto) area.  Just a few miles from Running Springs.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Benchmark Young Adult School - bad place [archive.org link]
Sue Scheff Truth - Blog on Sue Scheff
"Our services are free; we do not make a profit. Parents of troubled teens ourselves, PURE strives to create a safe haven of truth and reality." - Sue Scheff - August 13th, 2007 (fukkin surreal)

Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2006, 07:23:42 PM »
Quote
What if they were to deny you your identification, money, and posessions if you decided to leave program?


Call the police, it's theft. Seriously, to compare an adult program with willing participants to teen programs where they have no choice to be there is definitely stretching it.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline psy

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Public letter of Response to Benchmark Tour Offer
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2006, 07:43:50 PM »
Quote from: ""Guest""
Quote
What if they were to deny you your identification, money, and posessions if you decided to leave program?

Call the police, it's theft. Seriously, to compare an adult program with willing participants to teen programs where they have no choice to be there is definitely stretching it.


With whose phone?  Uh... Carl.  Can I use the phone to call the cops on you?  If you wanted to call the cops you had to walk off property, which meant risking being forced to spend the night (or more) on the streets.

They would tell the police your posessions were your parents and you were basically SOL.

One kid actually sucessfully called teh cops after I left, and was able to make it on his own as a result after getting his ID and money back.

Most of us, however, believed the staff's claims that we had signed away our rights when entering program.  It was only later I found out this was not possable.

How many students had enough of a legal background to recognize such a claim as BS, and know how to go about doing somethign about it?  None while I was there.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Benchmark Young Adult School - bad place [archive.org link]
Sue Scheff Truth - Blog on Sue Scheff
"Our services are free; we do not make a profit. Parents of troubled teens ourselves, PURE strives to create a safe haven of truth and reality." - Sue Scheff - August 13th, 2007 (fukkin surreal)

Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2006, 08:04:12 PM »
Well what do they expect, a limo to come pick them up? If you can't decide whether a night or two, or a week on the streets is better than the program you are in then maybe it's just better to stay.

What's your solution to the problem as you perceive it? Should adults now be protected from themselves by a third party, maybe the state can appoint nannies to each of us until we turn 30? ( I keed, I keed.. kinda)
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Offline psy

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Public letter of Response to Benchmark Tour Offer
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2006, 08:36:26 PM »
Quote from: ""Guest""
Well what do they expect, a limo to come pick them up? If you can't decide whether a night or two, or a week on the streets is better than the program you are in then maybe it's just better to stay.

What's your solution to the problem as you perceive it? Should adults now be protected from themselves by a third party, maybe the state can appoint nannies to each of us until we turn 30? ( I keed, I keed.. kinda)

First off, Minors were there in program as well.  See their Enrollment Contract for information on this as well as a covenant not to sue, which was not there when i enrolled.

Also.  Adults are protected from misrepresentation and fraud (which i am not necessarily alleging here, Rich).  What your arguing here is along the lines of "Buyer beware" which would be a valid argument were the advertised claims of Benchmark actually factual and the customer was not being misrepresented.

Well in this case, I allege, the product was misrepresented to the buyer. Although Benchmark has only one staff member who teaches high school part time, Benchmark claimed on it's California Private School Affidavit (excel format) (required to operate a school, but not an accreditaion or approval) that it has 10 full time teachers.  According to their website they only have four (and none of them teach full time).  They also claim to grant High School diplomas while this is not true.  They bus students to Redlands Adult School so they can finish their high school education if necessary.

How many high school graduates have ever graduated Benchmark Young Adult School?  0

Read this california Law snippet on Private School Affidavits:

Quote
"Filing pursuant to this section shall not be interpreted to mean,
and it shall be unlawful for any school to expressly or impliedly
represent by any means whatsoever
, that the State of California, the
Superintendent of Public Instruction, the State Board of Education,
the State Department of Education, or any division or bureau of the
department, or any accrediting agency has made any evaluation,
recognition, approval, or endorsement of the school or course unless
this is an actual fact."
Their NATSAP page is interesting in this respect.
Quote from: ""above natsap link""
Accreditation, Licensure, Approval:   California Private School Affidavit
Yes i see the technicality here (it's natsap doing the representing).  Nevertheless, their only qualification they publicly claim is highly suspect IMO.

Here's another snippet of California's regulations on practice of psychology which I include for no particular reason:

Quote
2903.  No person may engage in the practice of psychology, or
represent himself or herself to be a psychologist, without a license
granted under this chapter, except as otherwise provided in this
chapter.  The practice of psychology is defined as rendering or
offering to render for a fee to individuals, groups, organizations or
the public any psychological service involving the application of
psychological principles, methods, and procedures of understanding,
predicting, and influencing behavior, such as the principles
pertaining to learning, perception, motivation, emotions, and
interpersonal relationships; and the methods and procedures of
interviewing, counseling, psychotherapy, behavior modification, and
hypnosis
; and of constructing, administering, and interpreting tests
of mental abilities, aptitudes, interests, attitudes, personality
characteristics, emotions, and motivations.
   The application of these principles and methods includes, but is
not restricted to:  diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and
amelioration of psychological problems and emotional and mental
disorders of individuals and groups.
   Psychotherapy within the meaning of this chapter means the use of
psychological methods in a professional relationship to assist a
person or persons to acquire greater human effectiveness or to modify
feelings, conditions, attitudes and behavior which are emotionally,
intellectually, or socially ineffectual or maladjustive.
   As used in this chapter, "fee" means any charge, monetary or
otherwise, whether paid directly or paid on a prepaid or capitation
basis by a third party, or a charge assessed by a facility, for
services rendered.


EDIT: Note.  Their keywords in teh page source (for search engines) include a multitude of these keywords listed above.  At least it used to.  But i have the page archived.  I think i posted the keywords later on in this thread.

I could go into more detail but this is just one example of what is advertised, compared to what is actually offered.

If you're a program staffer or an ed-con.  Please keep asking me questions.  I'll be here until my face hits the keyboard (don't you wish).
« Last Edit: November 15, 2006, 04:41:28 AM by Guest »
Benchmark Young Adult School - bad place [archive.org link]
Sue Scheff Truth - Blog on Sue Scheff
"Our services are free; we do not make a profit. Parents of troubled teens ourselves, PURE strives to create a safe haven of truth and reality." - Sue Scheff - August 13th, 2007 (fukkin surreal)

Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2006, 08:52:31 PM »
So, you allege that they claim they will help you get a high school diploma, and then don't? If that is true, then obviously this isn't offering what it claims in it's advertising. Which brings me back to my original point, you have two legs, which work, nobody is stopping you from walking out - so if it is so bad, why don't they just leave? Especially if the program isn't as it's advertised.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2006, 08:59:18 PM »
::troll::

ignore the troll and post the info you have on Benchmark. most of us around here know how these programs work. and how many 18 year olds know their rights and/or can't be convinced that they've signed them away, 20-30 year olds for that matter. it's not like teens are taught their legal right in school. where are they supposed to acquire this information?
most states have laws that allow a teen to refuse psychiatric and drug abuse treatment at a certain age (14-16). hospitals and rehabs are required to inform the patient of their rights. how many do?
and we can guess the number of programs that do.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline psy

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Public letter of Response to Benchmark Tour Offer
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2006, 09:14:34 PM »
Quote from: ""Guest""
So, you allege that they claim they will help you get a high school diploma, and then don't? If that is true, then obviously this isn't offering what it claims in it's advertising. Which brings me back to my original point, you have two legs, which work, nobody is stopping you from walking out - so if it is so bad, why don't they just leave? Especially if the program isn't as it's advertised.


Already answered that question.  They refused to give me my property, money, or identification.  It's easy to say "just leave" and many attempted it, later to realize you need some sort of starter in order to emancipate.  Early on in the program's history they would let students save up their "allowance" and leave.  They eventually stopped this practice after they didn't come crawling back for food and shelter as they do now.  After all, they lose a valuble source of income if they can just walk away sucessfully.

In an area like Redlands, you did not want to be on the streets.  Riddle me this alleged staffer:  How exactly does one "walk away" without any identification, posessions, or money?

AAaah.  But that's the point isn't it : You establish the program as the person's only hope for emancipation by removing all other options.

In tough love this would be called "helping somebody hit rock bottom" (so they can be built up as desired)

When hope is gone, you break, the programming starts to work, and they overwrite your old self with one more loyal to program.  Since your only hope, from the new, "self-actualized" perspective is the program, you become dependant on every whim of the staff.  How long they think is appropriate for your stay, is exactly how long it will take for you to graduate.  You follow the program and it becomes your hope.

Remember though.  It's an ARTIFICIAL dependancy.

Most of the kids I knew were there for ADHD, depression, anxiety, and other mild psychological issues.  They would have been fine were it not for the program.

While i was there i personally witnessed at least over 100 students go through the program and only 3 "graduation" ceremonies (otherwise they would have no testimonials).

They advertise a 97 percent graduation statistic to parents.  This is technically correct since they graduate the kids they drop on the streets, as well as the AWOLS who manage to make it (very rare).
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Benchmark Young Adult School - bad place [archive.org link]
Sue Scheff Truth - Blog on Sue Scheff
"Our services are free; we do not make a profit. Parents of troubled teens ourselves, PURE strives to create a safe haven of truth and reality." - Sue Scheff - August 13th, 2007 (fukkin surreal)

Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2006, 09:18:41 PM »
Quote
How exactly does one "walk away" without any identification, posessions, or money?


You put one foot in front of the other, find a payphone and call a friend. Or whatever, this isn't children we are talking about. Call the cops, tell them somebody stole your ID and won't give it back.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline psy

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Public letter of Response to Benchmark Tour Offer
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2006, 09:29:46 PM »
Quote from: ""Guest""
::troll::

ignore the troll and post the info you have on Benchmark. most of us around here know how these programs work. and how many 18 year olds know their rights and/or can't be convinced that they've signed them away, 20-30 year olds for that matter. it's not like teens are taught their legal right in school. where are they supposed to acquire this information?
most states have laws that allow a teen to refuse psychiatric and drug abuse treatment at a certain age (14-16). hospitals and rehabs are required to inform the patient of their rights. how many do?
and we can guess the number of programs that do.


LOL.  I know.  The asshole is just giving me some good suggestions for topics.  So for once a programmie is useful.  I think I know who he is anyway.  He's unwittingly helping me compile a FAQ as we speak.  Idiot troll.

Exactly.  Add this lack of education to a portion of the student population which were dumped into Benchmark directly out of programs like CEDU schools.  Most of them had very little will to resist left (although some were almost invulnerable to the brainwashing, being so familiar with it).

As far as we knew, we had no rights and they took full advantage of this.  If students misbehaved enough, they were sent to motels which provided Benchmark with extra student capacity.  At any given time i would estimate 40-50% of students were motel-bound.  Motel students (known as sink or swim students) were forbidden from talking to normal students in an effort to restrict outside contact.

Now combine these three aspects:

no refunds after 5 days in program

$55000 / year (cheaper than when i was there)

60 dollars a week expenses on a motel room.

What does that equal.  That's right kids.  A fucking boatload of money.  

To be fair they did pay for 3 cup 'o' noodle soup cups a day, and a granola bar.  That's nutricious enough right?  Why kids on this diet for months lost tons of weight collectively.  This was known as the "Benchmark Diet" (not shitting you, staff actually named it this).

Oh but they let you get a job in motel though.  You just had to put down Benchmark Young Adult School as your place of residence though, and the staff would (allegedly) take your phone calls.  After all.  They had to approve of the employer.

Ok.  New question:  If you're a business owner, flipping through a stack of job applications, where do you think he/she is going to file the one applicant from that school for fuck-ups down the street?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Benchmark Young Adult School - bad place [archive.org link]
Sue Scheff Truth - Blog on Sue Scheff
"Our services are free; we do not make a profit. Parents of troubled teens ourselves, PURE strives to create a safe haven of truth and reality." - Sue Scheff - August 13th, 2007 (fukkin surreal)