Author Topic: Disturbing Allegations  (Read 753 times)

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Offline Anonymous

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Disturbing Allegations
« on: October 30, 2007, 06:58:20 PM »
The following is the text of a letter sent to Alberta Justice Minister Ron Stevens on May 04, 2007.

Dear Mr. Stevens,
  I am writing to you with regard to the aforementioned institution, the
Alberta Adolescent Recovery Center, or AARC.  I am writing to you with the
express aim of having this center closed, and the Executive Director, Dean
Vause, prohibited from involvement with youth in any therapeutic capacity.
  AARC was created in Calgary for a variety of reasons.  The costing model was
viewed with favor, particularly in the early nineties when cost-cutting in
Government programs was widespread.  As the majority of the cost of AARC was to
be met through client fees and charitable donations, the concept had appeal to
those looking for alternatives to single-payer Provincial programs.
  Unfortunately, a gross error was made at the time of AARC's opening.  The
Executive Director, Dean Vause, was, and is not, qualified in any way to render
treatment to those suffering from the effects of drug dependency.
  A concerted effort was made by Mr. Vause, with the aid of Diane Mirosh, to
sell AARC in the Legislature.  This was done in part by presenting endorsements
from a number of people purporting to be doctors.  Among them Bonnie Kelly,
Audrey Olsen Faulkner, and Robert McAndrews.  None of these people is a medical
doctor.  The other thing that they have in common is that they are all products
of a single correspondence school from the United States, the Union Institute.  
In addition to these individuals, a Michael Patton, who is credited with
assessing AARC's effectiveness in 2005, is also from the Union Institute, and
is in fact on the faculty.
  There are a number of problems with this situation.  Vause himself obtained a
Ph.D. from this school.  He did not write a dissertation based on research to
receive this document.  Rather he submitted a study of his own facility, AARC.  
  In addition to all of these people receiving their graduate degrees from the
Union Institute, V.M. Newton also received his Ph.D.s from Union.  V.M. Newton
was the former Clinical Director of Straights Inc.  Straights was a chain of
facilities that purported to treat youth addictions operated in the United
States.  It has been closed in over half a dozen jurisdictions in the United
States due to abuses of the clients and fraud.
  After leaving Straights, ostensibly, Newton opened Kids.  Kids was shut down
and forced to move a number of times.  Eventually it was closed down
completely.  Newton has been sued, successfully for over eleven million dollars
by various former clients.  Additionally, he settled with the United States
Government to avoid litigation in regard to several hundred cases of Medicaid
  Dean Vause worked under Newton, and in fact Vause was involved in the Kids
franchise in Alberta.  This time at Kids is in fact the total of Vause's
training in adolescent drug treatment prior to starting AARC.  
  In 1989, While Vause was at Kids, a social worker named Sandy Barbero visited
Kids to do an observational interview.  So shocked by the abuses at Kids,
Barbero drafted a letter which was sent to state officials in a number of
states where Kids operated.  In 1990 Kids was closed by state officials in
Utah, California, and Texas.  Vause however, stayed on with Kids and as stated
earlier, participated in the operation's move to Alberta.
  Straight and Kids and AARC all claim an 85% success rate, although this
figure is simply not valid.  AARC currently touts a study, written by Vause in
concert with at least one AARC board member, a clinical staffer, and Michael
Patton.  Through my own research I have ascertained that AARC's claim of
selecting one hundred sequential graduates from 1998 to 2003 cannot be true.  I
am personally familiar with three graduates from that period whose families
were not contacted, and whose whereabout were certainly known by AARC.  This is
the least of the issues making AARC's claims highly problematic.
  Although Vause claims to have created the model for AARC himself, and claims
that AARC is unique, this is also not true.  
  AARC is modelled very closely on Kids, which was modelled on Straight.  
Examples: the entire operation is dependent on placing the children in  host
homes.  AARC is a day facility only, and the children are placed with the
families of children further along in the program.  Children are categorized as
Newcomers, and are assigned to an Oldcomer.  The Oldcomer is responsible for
the Newcomer.  This gives children power over other children.  This practise is
taken directly from AARC's predecessors, Kids and Straight.  The placing of
children in the care of other children has led to many abuses.  
  Of the individual cases with which I am familiar, one girl was forced by her
male Oldcomer to do naked push-ups while he masturbated.  An Oldcomer in
another host home threw this same Newcomer down a flight of stairs when the
Newcomer refused to give the Oldcomer a sponge bath.  In yet a third home, the
Newcomer was assaulted by the Oldcomer and her sibling, both participants in
the program.  After being bitten by the Oldcomer on the face,  the Newcomer was
forced to attribute her injury to a self-inflicted wound.  This individual
graduated from the program.  
  Another female Newcomer, fifteen, was placed under a thirteen-year-old
Oldcomer.  The Newcomer was forced to stand beside the toilet while her
Oldcomer defecated.  The Oldcomer wiped herself with her bare hand and thrust
it into the Newcomer's mouth.  This Newcomer in fact escaped AARC after several
months, after she was raped by three unknown male assailants in AARC.  There is
a litany of instances like this.  
  The talking therapy sessions, or raps, are also taken directly from Kids.  
Vause used former Kids clients as Peer Counsellors during the early period of
AARC.  The sum total of drug treatment experience held by these Peer
Counsellors was their experience as clients of Kids.
  One of the more disturbing practises at AARC is the treatment of children
with no verifiable drug addiction.  Clients are assessed during an intake using
a questionnaire.  In some instances clients have demanded second opinions.  In
these cases the clients are sent to a Peter Choate.  Choate also happens to be
one of the authors of the AARC study.
  A number of clients who graduate AARC become peer counsellors.  This
compounds the tragedy of AARC because a group of children who have been
subjected to all manner of humiliation and abuse are then made responsible for
a new group of children, who then suffer the same abuses.    
  Although Vause can be quoted describing abuse or addiction as a brain
disease, he is in no way whatsoever qualified to diagnose or treat any medical
condition.  AARC is described in it's own literature as being a facility using
a "spiritual approach".  This is simply not compatible with it's stated role as
a treatment center for chemically addicted youth.  
  Vause has followed the model of Kids and Straight, in that powerful contacts
were cultivated in business and politics.  This power wielded by AARC has lent
it a completely undeserved air of legitimacy.  AARC is in fact listed by a
number of organizations that monitor cults in the United States, among them
  The facility is undeniably an example of quackery, corruption, and criminal
abuse of the most vulnerable in our society, children.
  A lot of people have egg on their faces, but I am not writing to you today
looking for vengeance.  The facility must be closed, and Vause prevented from
further harming the youth of our province.
  As I stated earlier, the numbers quoted by AARC with regard to effectiveness
of treatment are simply false.  The Province is on the verge of a crisis whose
nature will be similar to the furor surrounding the Native Residential
Schools.  This is not a case of a few drug addicts who resent AARC because
their lives did not unfold in a happy mannner.  There are dozens of young
adults who were victimized by a facility run by a completely unqualified but
highly charismatic leader.  These adults are now coming to the age where they
will seek retribution for the harm that befell them, and those responsible for
AARC will be accountable.

Here is the response, which came from Paddy Meade of Health and Wellness, on Aug. 14, 2007

Dear xxxxxxxx

The Honourable Ron Stevens, MLA for Calgary-Glenmore, recently forwarded to Alberta Health and Wellness your May 4, 2007 correspondence regarding teh Alberta Adolescent Recovery Centre (AARC).  I appreciate the opportunity to respond on behalf of the Honourable Dave Hancock, Minister of Health and Wellness, and the Ministry.

Any individual who has reasonable grounds and beieves that a child is at risk of or is being abused is required by provincial legislation to report their concerns to Child and Family services for investigation.  Based on the limited information provided, it would be difficult at this point to fully investigate the disturbing allegations you make in your letter.  I would, therefore, encourage you to bring your concerns to the attention of the Calgary and Area Child and Family Services Authority at (403) 355 4441 or:
      300, 1240 Kensington Road N.W.
      Calgary, Alberta
      T2N 3P7

You may also choose to call the Child Abuse Hotline at 1 (800) 387 5437.
Thank you for bringin your concerns to the attention of government.

Paddy Meade
Deputy Minister

Apparently the information that AARC uses a dangerous amateur foster home system, coupled with the dangerous oldcomer/newcomer system, and several accounts of specific abuses in both situations, was insufficient for either M. Meade or Mr. Stevens to look into AARC.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline hanzomon4

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Disturbing Allegations
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2007, 07:44:14 PM »
Isn't Meade connected with AARC some how?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
i]Do something real, however, small. And don\'t-- don\'t diss the political things, but understand their limitations - Grace Lee Boggs[/i]
I do see the present and the future of our children as very dark. But I trust the people\'s capacity for reflection, rage, and rebellion - Oscar Olivera


Offline Anonymous

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Disturbing Allegations
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2007, 11:56:38 PM »
I followed Paddy Meade's advice and called the numbers. I would recommend everyone who reads this to do the same. I told the operator that Paddy Meade said to call that number  8-)

They listened, they paid attention and I was given advice on how to take things further.

Please do call.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »