Author Topic: Public letter of Response to Benchmark Tour Offer  (Read 23824 times)

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Offline Anonymous

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Public letter of Response to Benchmark Tour Offer
« Reply #30 on: November 10, 2006, 08:09:55 AM »
Quote
Because the ed-con who pitched benchmark to me and my parents advertised it as a Bording school with Therapeutic aspects. That's a relatively new website. The old one is here.

To answer your question simply:They do not adveritise as they are. It looks like a wonderful place when you visit. I was fooled. So were many others.

Students interviewed by prospective students and parents are cherry picked. They make it seem wonderful. You end up thinking: "gee this place seems really nice".


And you were over 18 when this occured? If the facility wasn't as advertised, why didn't you walk out, and call your parents from a payphone? Why didn't you keep a spare twenty bucks hidden in a sock, surely they didn't have 100% physical control over you. What is the worst that could happen if yoru parents came and picked you up early, they wouldn't get their money back?
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Offline Anonymous

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Re: MAN wtf
« Reply #31 on: November 10, 2006, 08:11:08 AM »
Quote from: ""Guest""
G-d people are stupid itdontmatter soundz like staff! :flame:


must be a jew?  :wink:
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Offline psy

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Public letter of Response to Benchmark Tour Offer
« Reply #32 on: November 10, 2006, 08:18:42 AM »
Quote
And you were over 18 when this occured? If the facility wasn't as advertised, why didn't you walk out, and call your parents from a payphone? Why didn't you keep a spare twenty bucks hidden in a sock, surely they didn't have 100% physical control over you. What is the worst that could happen if yoru parents came and picked you up early, they wouldn't get their money back?


They search your socks on intake.  They search everything on intake.  My parents were 4000 miles away and you can't make an international collect call.  Plus. Parents were instructed NOT to talk to their kids since they would be "manipulative".  Most listened.  And there were no refunds after 5 days so, no, parents would not get their money back.  When 90% of the parent's input was from the staff, they had the communications  / propoganda upper hand.

Plus, as i already stated several times, if you walked off property you risked having to stay (at least) a night on the streets.
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Offline Anonymous

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Public letter of Response to Benchmark Tour Offer
« Reply #33 on: November 10, 2006, 08:28:12 AM »
Spending a night on the streets, or however long, is a no-brainer decision when escaping an abusive program, so I don't really get this thread. You say the program was abusive and non-effective but you didn't take your option to leave because it was too scary. Which would seem to suggest the program was less frightening than running away from it.  It really makes you wonder why kids are running from isolated wilderness programs hitchiking hundreds of miles to freedom, and grown adults who get to stay at motels can't seem to get away from an urban facility.
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Offline psy

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Public letter of Response to Benchmark Tour Offer
« Reply #34 on: November 10, 2006, 08:45:15 AM »
Quote from: ""Guest""
Spending a night on the streets, or however long, is a no-brainer decision when escaping an abusive program

I said spending the nights on the streets so you could make an uncensored phone call.  And you try doing it in a high crime area of Southern Cali.  And do it after just turning 18, after growing up in a sheltered enviornment.

Quote
so I don't really get this thread. You say the program was abusive and non-effective but you didn't take your option to leave because it was too scary.

Many tried.  Very very few suceeded.  I was not about to take my chances on the streets with no money or identification.  A good friend of mine was raped on the streets.

Quote
Which would seem to suggest the program was less frightening than running away from it.

It was less frightening.  This was CEDU style BM, not WWASP.  Go spend a night on the streets of one of those areas you see on "COPS".  They wanted you to eventually feel comfortable there.

Quote
 It really makes you wonder why kids are running from isolated wilderness programs hitchiking hundreds of miles to freedom, and grown adults who get to stay at motels can't seem to get away from an urban facility.


Most eventually leave motels.  Some of their parents run out of money.  Some contact friends if they can but is rare for reasons i already explained.  Read a few posts ago as to why it was not easy (read damn near impossable) at all to get a job while in motel (phone calls).  90+ percent of students eventually ended up on the streets.  Most of these kids were barely 18 and few had serious problems.

Most of these kids could have made it on their own if given the chance.  And even if they couldn't, the program claims to be able to help with "emancipation".

They should not have had to take their chances on the streets.  It would have been great if program actually gave them an opportunity to suceed with the program.  They let a few do it for testimonials but most of the time they just want you to stay there as long as possable. If you "work the program" you will work until your parents run out of cash.  Eventually you lose hope and take your chances on the streets after you realize they are not going to let you graduate even if you do everything they say to the letter.

Your paren's won't take you back 95% of the time becuase the program has convinced them over the couse of the year+ that you are a manipulative liar who constantly misbehaves.  The parent says "My god.  my kid has become a monster!"

I have the letters the staff wrote to my parents and it's 80% complete horse shit.  How is a student to contest things when he does not even know the things he is accused of to his parents.  Almost every single letter they were asking for more money becuase I "needed an extra 6 months at least" of "emotional growth".

(disclaimer: i was sent there to finsh high school.  that was my "issue")

They claimed i had been skipping school days at Redlands Adult school when school records would show that i had a perfect attendance record.  They tried to say I was procrastinating my HS graduation and that I did not want to work when fact they did not let me attend Redlands Adult school when Benchmark staff (Flo "full-time teacher" Reynolds) was not there (~2 hours/day).  The idea was to postpone my HS graduation so my parents / their employers, would have to pay for another 6 months.  When the staff letters are contrasted against reality this is crystal clear.

I'm not necessarily saying that the program was as bad as a WWASP program, although it was certainly as bad as a CEDU program.  You still find people who actually "liked" their stay at CEDU.  This was the goal.  Break them until they loved being there, until they actually asked their parents for more.  With enough lifespring and other less-than-legit BM techniques etc... you could do this easily.

The mind is it's own place, and in itself can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven. -- John Milton

The point was to make you feel like it was impossable to leave without the program.  The loss of hope became your prison bars.  It was in their vested interest for you not to leave.  They made thier money by making sure you didn't, and they had enough tricks to do it.

Breaking your will is abuse.  It's psychic murder.
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Benchmark Young Adult School - bad place [archive.org link]
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Offline Oz girl

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Public letter of Response to Benchmark Tour Offer
« Reply #35 on: November 10, 2006, 10:59:48 AM »
I get why someone would not just walk out into a tough part of a strange city with no ID, money or job to go to particularly if they were not welcome at home.
Did many of the kids enrolled at benchmark come from other TBS schools? Was it part of an exit plan for some?
Were there any students/patients who were over 25. What did they go for?
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Offline psy

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Public letter of Response to Benchmark Tour Offer
« Reply #36 on: November 10, 2006, 11:18:09 AM »
Quote from: ""Oz girl""
I get why someone would not just walk out into a tough part of a strange city with no ID, money or job to go to particularly if they were not welcome at home.
Did many of the kids enrolled at benchmark come from other TBS schools?

A few while I was there came directly out of CEDU schools.  They were 17 at the time of the transfer.  I wouldn't say many came from other schools but there were some.

Quote
Was it part of an exit plan for some?

See strugglingteens.com for more information.  :lol:  I don't know if the CEDU students who came to bMark had their transfer as part of an exit plan but i would have imagined this to be so.  It's speculation though.

Quote
Were there any students/patients who were over 25. What did they go for?


Not many of them.  Most were under 20.  There were a few who were over 20, and one who was 24.  Most of them were there for more serious issues (drugs, etc.)

During the time i was there, the maximum age was 24.  It seems, since then they have increased it.
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Offline psy

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Fun with Benchmark's Enrollment Contract
« Reply #37 on: November 11, 2006, 02:19:59 AM »
Although the contract has changed significantly since I enrolled in Benchmark Young Adult School, i figured I might post a few excerpts here from their current enrollment contract:

1. Financial Sponsor, (parent/guardian) agrees to purchase the Benchmark Young Adult School personal
growth and independent living program for the Student named herein, and is committed to maintaining  
enrollment in said program for no less than 12 months.
2.    Financial Sponsor agrees to commit to the completion of the entire program, with graduation from the
Benchmark program being the ultimate goal for both the Student and the Financial Sponsor.[/quote]

That's right folks.  The parents aggree to pay until the students graduate, at a speed Benchmark dictates.  Oh.  But what if the kid leaves and wants to come home:

Quote from: ""page one continued""
c. Financial Sponsor and the Student understand and agree that they will make every effort to support
Benchmark and the Student in the completion of said Student?s program and should the Student
leave prior to the completion of the minimum 12-month contract, Financial Sponsor will make
every effort possible to promote the Student?s return to Benchmark.


That's right.  Return to sender.  You can't go home to the parents.  This is a contract. it is legally binding.  students read and sign this

Quote
b. Financial Sponsor understands and agrees that Benchmark reserves the right to secure additional
behavioral health services for the Student.  Examples include, but are not limited to: outside thera-
pists, psychologists,  in-patient or out-patient recovery, hospitalization or by utilizing alternative
Benchmark programs such as ?Time Out.?  Unless these fees are covered by insurance, the costs
will be charged to the SRF.

"Time Out" is the term for shoving a kid in a motel with the "Benchmark Diet".  So, as i interpret the above, IANAL, the parents not only have to pay for the program, but also for the motels, until the Student "graduates".

Quote
c. Financial Sponsor understands and agrees to use the outside professionals that Benchmark selects,
regardless of insurance restrictions.

I've always wonder why Benchmark always uses doctor Nelson.  Ha.  So if you're going to complain to a shrink, your going to complain to thier shrink who hypothetically could write an absoltely horrible evaluation of you.  And hypothetically could possably rely on a Benchmark for much of his business.  For the record, they employ no Psychologists, they bus kids to "Nelson" once a week usually.  "You have a Nelson appointment" is a commonly used staff phraise.

Quote
a. We will make every effort with the Student to facilitate the completion of the program within the
minimum 12-month time frame.

I allege that is horse-shit.

The Student/Parent/Financial Sponsor hereby consents to the Student?s participation in all activities and programs
conducted by Benchmark Young Adult School, and releases Benchmark Young Adult School, Inc., its agents, employ-
ees and officers, from all claims, demands, action, judgments and executions which the undersigned may have against
Benchmark (et al)
, for all personal injuries, known or unknown, and injuries to property, personal or real, caused by or
arising out of the Student?s participation in the related activities and programs.  This release and discharge further  
extends to any injury caused as a result of the Student?s decisions or actions, made while enrolled as a Student or not.[/quote]

Odd that is in the health and fitness section.  It Hypothetically might have something to do with that alleged (didn't see with my own eyes) suicide.  And multiple attempts I witnessed.

The Student and Financial Sponsor hereby agree to release, waive, discharges and covenants not to sue, indemnify and
save and hold harmless Benchmark Young Adult School, its officers, agents, employees family members and any    
students from any loss, liability, damage or cost, claim or demands therefore on account of injury to the person or
property of resulting in the death of the Student, whether caused by the negligence of Benchmark or otherwise, while
the Student is in, upon, about or using the facilities or equipment of Benchmark.[/quote]

See above hypothetical situation.  Basically they're saying, if they screw up and kill your kid, you can't sue, even if it was their fault.  I wonder what made them put that there.  hmm. 8)  I don't recollect it being in my enrollment contract. :D

Quote
We further agree that this Release shall be construed in accordance with the laws of the State of California.  If any term
or provision of this Release shall be held illegal, unenforceable, or in conflict with any law governing this Release the
validity of the remaining portions shall not be affected thereby.
Ahh.  the severability clause.  So You can basically blow away any other part of the contract... but don't worry, our lawyers spent 90% of their time on this page.

4. Financial Sponsor understands and agrees that Benchmark will use all precautions so that no harm comes to
any under age student.  
 
It is further declared that both Financial Sponsor and the Student will agree to hold Benchmark Young Adult
School, Inc., including its staff and any subsidiaries, NOT responsible if the Student is harmed as a result of
usual and customary standards of practice, by ways and means beyond our control, or if the Student,  by his
or her own actions and free will, causes harm to self or others.
[/quote]

"customary practices" includes "Time Out" (shoving your 17 year old kid in a motel.)  But they never quite explain exactly what "Time Out" is until your kid gets put on it like most students.  Yes they have done this.  I wonder why it isn't thoroughly explained elsewhere.  hmm.

But it really doesn't matter since the parents aggree in three seperate friggin places not to sue.  However.  this does not prevent them from being able to do so ask your lawyer.  misrepresentation is one hypothetical option or the judge may hypothetically use said contract as toilet paper.  Class action is another option.  It isn't the parents suing.  its done technically on their behalf AFAIK IANAL.

Tuition is non-refundable after 5 days, and parental contact is restricted for 30.  So essentially let's compare this to a computer sales person:

You, Mister Joe Luddite, buy a computer, and you aggree not to refund it after five days of the date of sale.  When the computer box arrives 30 days later, it's filled up with a "spell & speak" with a cracked screen.  Since you can't afford another computer you have to find a way to post on fornits with said "spell & speak".  the computer salesperson assures you, though, that it is not only possable, but their customers are 97% satisfied.

It's not a perfect analogy but you get the point.  Parents BEWARE of Benchmark Young Adult school.
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Offline AtomicAnt

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Public letter of Response to Benchmark Tour Offer
« Reply #38 on: November 12, 2006, 12:05:31 PM »
Quote
The Student and Financial Sponsor hereby agree to release, waive, discharges and covenants not to sue, indemnify and
save and hold harmless Benchmark Young Adult School, its officers, agents, employees family members and any
students from any loss, liability, damage or cost, claim or demands therefore on account of injury to the person or
property of resulting in the death of the Student, whether caused by the negligence of Benchmark or otherwise, while
the Student is in, upon, about or using the facilities or equipment of Benchmark.


This kind of language is common in contracts. As Psy stated it is legally meaningless. I am not a lawyer, but have taken business law classes and worked in business for many years. Our law professor specifically stated that you cannot sign away responsibility for negligence. He clearly told us that even in cases where restaurants and parking garages have signs that say "not responsible for loss or damage to personal property" or something similar, these signs are not enforceable because you can't post a sign and change the law. If you can demonstrate negligence, you have a case.

But these contract clauses and signs still exist and one can only imagine that there are people who are stopped from making claims against business simply because they read them and believe them.
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Offline Psianide

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Public letter of Response to Benchmark Tour Offer
« Reply #39 on: November 12, 2006, 04:40:05 PM »
Quote from: ""Oz girl""
Yes i did see the website deborah. But given that the kid is 18 or even not a kid at all if they are 28, how on earth does the familiy in most cases get the young adult to agree. Surley even if they are mentally ill a person cant legally be placed there without consent as an adult?
i understand that in the US often the family has to pay the UNI fees up front so that this can be a leverage point. My question was not designed to belittle the alumni of Benchmark or any other similar place, i am genuinely curious as to what would make someone agree to walk through the door of a programme designed for the parents not the "kid"


There are ways. Geographical Isolation, stripping one of resources, brainwashing, using relationships to loveones as leverage, extended custody (yes it is possible for a parent to retain legal custody of an adult). You should note that most cults don't employ physical restraint against thier members, and still many members who are genuinely unhappy with their situaiton are retained.
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Offline Psianide

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Public letter of Response to Benchmark Tour Offer
« Reply #40 on: November 12, 2006, 04:59:46 PM »
Quote from: ""Oz girl""
What does make a kid over 18 sign into such a place?


I misunderstood you question with my first response. I was never at this particular place, and I never signed into a place like this as an adult. That having been said, allow me to reveal my own expereince, was one of trusting compliance, not coersion. My family wanted me to go to some place called Ascent which I had never heard of. I knew I was having some problems, figured it couldn't hurt. I did not know ANYTHING about the place i was going to, and I wouldn't have believed that places like that existed even if I was told.  When I walked into ascent I complied with everything asked of me willingly, even though checking in there would mark the moment that I would loose all freedom and autonomy for 2 years. I was 15 so my parents could have used escorts if they wanted too, but they didn't need to because I trusted thier intentions.
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Offline Oz girl

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Public letter of Response to Benchmark Tour Offer
« Reply #41 on: November 12, 2006, 11:06:07 PM »
Quote from: ""Psianide""

There are ways. Geographical Isolation, stripping one of resources, brainwashing, using relationships to loveones as leverage, extended custody (yes it is possible for a parent to retain legal custody of an adult). You should note that most cults don't employ physical restraint against thier members, and still many members who are genuinely unhappy with their situaiton are retained.


How the hell do you retain legal custody of an adult that is not criminally insane, severely mentally ill and not able to function or severely enough mentally handicapped that they cant look after themself at all?
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Offline Godzilla

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Public letter of Response to Benchmark Tour Offer
« Reply #42 on: November 12, 2006, 11:11:05 PM »
I came across this thread while doing some research on a program for a friend, I was at Benchmark for 6 months, and I would not send the worst of my enemies to that sad excuse of a program ran by anti-semites and bank account draining scam artists. I was one of the lucky people who fortunately was able to walk off the property and leave with all my belonging after being punched in the face by a fellow student and then being threatened by Benchmark with consequesences if I pressed charges! I walked off property 2 days after the incident and with a simple phone call to my father I slept in a motel and had the safest sleep I had had in months. The next day I phoned Benchmark and asked them for my ID, Passport, and Wallet, which they refused to return to me. After arguing with Joelle, who is the daughter of the owner, I phoned the sheriff who was able to retrieve my Passport , ID, and my wallet, but when I opened my wallet to my dismay there was no money in it, $800 cash missing!! How Odd! When i got to the program they took my wallet, passport and ID, and placed them in an envelope, that I sealed and then signed followed by some staff member and I was told it would remain sealed to prove that nothing will be taken out of it. Obviously when I showed up with the sheriff to get the envelope there was no envelope, just my three items in a plastic bag, so when I asked for my money Benchmark played dumb, "what envelope?" "what $800 cash?" This is what we are talking about in regards to them wanting you to fail if you leave the program early or walk off the property.   There is nothing i can really say about Benchmark that is positive, I would say they do more harm than good to 100% of the students that come in to the program, and with not a single educated staff member on the payroll I am honestly surprised they are still operating with "street smarts" as their highest educational degree for staff, I mean some staff had High School diplomas but a HS diploma is nothing and does not give them qualifications to be councelors. that they are doing illegally. I could write out all the facts and truths behind Benchmark but its also available for your reading pleasure at this website: http://http://www.benchmarkeducationsucks.com/ please enjoy
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Offline psy

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Public letter of Response to Benchmark Tour Offer
« Reply #43 on: November 12, 2006, 11:34:53 PM »
Quote from: ""Oz girl""
Quote from: ""Psianide""

There are ways. Geographical Isolation, stripping one of resources, brainwashing, using relationships to loveones as leverage, extended custody (yes it is possible for a parent to retain legal custody of an adult). You should note that most cults don't employ physical restraint against thier members, and still many members who are genuinely unhappy with their situaiton are retained.

How the hell do you retain legal custody of an adult that is not criminally insane, severely mentally ill and not able to function or severely enough mentally handicapped that they cant look after themself at all?


US law.  Here's the ST howto.

Fornits thread on the subject here
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Benchmark Young Adult School - bad place [archive.org link]
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Offline psy

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Attention bMark Students
« Reply #44 on: November 14, 2006, 02:31:53 AM »
All current / Former students of Benchmark Young Adult School who might be monitoring this page are going to want to read the information in this link:

http://http://www.rickross.com/reference/brainwashing/brainwashing10.html

Benchmark would seem to fall into the "second generation" category.  More elaboration on this later as I do more research.

a few snippets:

Quote
Programs used the organization and application of intense guilt/shame/anxiety manipulation, combined with the production of strong emotional arousal in settings where people did not leave because of social and psychological pressures or because of enforced confinement. The pressures could be reduced only by participants accepting the belief system or adopting behaviors promulgated by the purveyors of the thought reform programs.
Quote
In the newer thought reform programs, attacks appear to be designed to destabilize the subject's most central aspects of the experience of the self. The newer programs undermine a person's basic consciousness, reality awareness, beliefs and worldview, emotional control, and defense mechanisms. We suggest that attacking the stability and quality of evaluations of self-concepts is the principal effective technique used in the conduct of a coercive thought reform and behavior control program.
Quote
The tactics of a thought reform program are organized to destabilize individuals' sense of self by getting them to drastically reinterpret their life's history, radically alter their world view, accept a new version of reality and causality, and develop dependency on the organization, thereby being turned into a deployable agent of the organization operating the thought reform program.


IE:  If it works you get to be a testimonial.  How does it feel?
« 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)