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Offline Kathy

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Question about an old news article.
« on: September 28, 2009, 07:56:25 AM »
Does anyone remember an older news article about a boy who was put in a program by his parents and when he escaped, his neighbor took him in and became his legal guardian? I know there is a news article, but I can't remember the name of the program or the people involved. I can't find it anywhere... I was wondering if some of you diligent researchers know what I'm talking about and if so do you have an electronic copy handy that you might be able to email me or post here?  Thanks in advanced- Kathy
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Kathy
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."    ~Plato

Offline Anonymous

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Re: Question about an old news article.
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2009, 09:14:57 AM »
You're thinking about Paul Richard. He was sent to Paradise Cove in Samoa (WWASP), and was eventually taken in by his neighbors. He was in the Rocky Mountain News article on WWASP, if I remeber correctly.

There you go:

'Exit plan' shut door on teen

Parents insisted teen finish program;
when he didn't, they cut him off

SNOHOMISH, Wash. -- For eight months, Paul Richards cried himself to sleep.

A popular athlete and honor student who didn't drink, smoke or take drugs, Paul did not think he belonged in the rigorous Teen Help behavior modification camp in Western Samoa, where his parents had sent him.

But he suddenly realized there was nothing he could do. The tears stopped.

"I became strong enough that I could deal with it, and I accepted that I was there and I was going to be there," he said.

It would be nearly 16 months before Paul would turn 18 -- the age of adulthood at which he could legally walk away. He was determined to tough it out.

Finally released after a dramatic showdown in Utah last month, Paul offers one of the first views of the organization's newly created "exit plans" for teens who refuse to get with the program. That plan has cut him off physically, emotionally and financially from his family.

"It's his choice," said Karen Richards, Paul's mother, an occupational therapist. "When he left the program, he made the choice not to return and live with our family."

"I asked if I could talk with her in the future," Paul said, describing a phone call last month to his mother. "Where my life was heading, where I wanted to go. And my mom said bluntly, 'There is nothing left to talk about. Everything has been decided."'

Paul's exit plan offered him $100, a bus ticket home from Utah and money for six meals.

"Paul's personal possessions will (be) placed on the front porch of parents' home and left for seven days," the exit plan read. If not picked up, the possessions will "then be disposed of in a manner chosen by parents."


Bittersweet homecoming


When Paul flew back to Seattle last month, about 20 friends greeted him at the airport. Later, they threw a triple birthday party for him -- with three cakes commemorating his 16th, 17th and 18th birthdays, milestones he'd missed while away.
Paul said he was shoked. He had once believed that almost everyone had stopped caring about him.

Paul said he was shocked. He had once believed that almost everyone had stopped caring about him.

He is now living with Laurie and Michael Berg, neighbors who complained that Teen Help had unjustly seized him. Paul's parents -- Bruce and Karen Richards -- say the Bergs, other neighbors, relatives and a former coach should mind their own business.

Though they agree that their son was a brilliant student who never abused drugs or alcohol, Bruce and Karen Richards say he was disobedient and had trouble managing his anger.

And Paul agrees.
MAKING UP FOR LOST TIME
Near his home in Snohomish, Wash., Paul Richards, 18,
plans a future after Teen Help. He said he wants to spend
a final year in high school to make up for the time he
missed while in the behavior modification program.

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

"I had reached the point with them where they could not control me," he said.

In the seventh grade, he smashed a window in his father's car with a baseball bat. He once ended an argument with his mother and father by threatening to take an overdose of aspirin. Bruce Richards said Paul once "assaulted" his mother.

A police report, however, said the incident involved at most a slight "push," something Paul and his younger brother told police did not occur.

Whatever happened in this mother-son confrontation over a TV remote control, Paul remains adamant that the 733 days he spent in Teen Help's hands were unjustified and the product of parents who were too controlling.

"I feel my parents were very loving and they care about me a great deal," he said. "But I feel they didn't know how to show it to me in a way that I understood."

Bruce Richards admits that he had very strict rules around the house. But he said his other two children -- one older, one younger than Paul -- had no trouble following the orders.

Laurie Berg insists that she was not trying to harm a family when she began campaigning to free Paul. She knew Paul was frequently grounded and thought that was a Richards family matter. Laurie Berg insists that she was not trying to harm a family when she began campaigning to free Paul. She knew Paul was frequently grounded and thought that was a Richards family matter.
 

But she said she became alarmed after Karen Richards "told me that her last resort with Paul was to take him to a place where three men come in the middle of the night, and if he won't go, they'll put him in a straitjacket. That freaked me out.

"I felt I knew this kid's heart. I started asking around the neighborhood. Had I misread him? Was I wrong? Were there problems at other places? And I found out that there really weren't."


Taken away

Three days after completing the ninth grade with five A's, a B+ and a B, Paul was awakened at 3 a.m. by three men and removed, with his parents' consent, from their home. There was no need for a straitjacket. Paul did not resist.

The escorts drove him to Teen Help's Brightway Adolescent Hospital in St. George, Utah. From there, he was flown with other teens to Paradise Cove, the organization's thatch-roofed compound in Western Samoa.

"It was a very difficult time for me," he recalled. "I cried myself to sleep just about every single night. I cried many times during the day. I didn't have anybody I could talk to. ... And I turned it within myself. I was depressed for a good while from having the brunt force of it."

But then, he said, he stopped crying.

Paul's account of life at Paradise Cove parallels those of other teens -- a strict routine in which new arrivals are required to attend confrontational group seminars run by "facilitators."

"The belief behind the seminars was there was one specific event that triggered everything in your life," he said. "One event. That is why everything happens."

He said that many teens were badgered into remembering particularly horrific events, including early child abuse and molestation.

During feedback sessions, Paul maintained that he "didn't have a whole lot of issues. They would more or less call me a liar. As in, I did use drugs, I did smoke marijuana, I did drink and I did smoke. I was in trouble with the law. Because it was really inconceivable that somebody would be there and not have those problems. And I was ridiculed for not admitting it."

Although he insists that the behavior modification techniques were not for him, Paul said they appear to work for many teens.

"I feel (the seminars) can be for the positive, such as not wanting to be drinking alcohol ... being clean off drugs, to continue their education when they had dropped out earlier. At other times, I feel the kids become so trusting in the program, because it is such a sheltered environment, that when they leave, they are programized."

Paul said he progressed from Level 1, the lowest of six, to Level 3, only to go back down again.


The 'exit plan'


David Gilcrease, a consultant who designed Teen Help's behavior modification seminars, began noticing last year that some teens in the program seemed to be going through the motions. They weren't embracing Teen Help's behavior methods wholeheartedly and were simply waiting until they won their freedom at 18.

That's when he devised the "exit plan."

"As parents, we have not given our children a reality check as to what being a responsible adult encompasses," Gilcrease wrote in the January edition of The Source, Teen Help's parents newsletter.

"I strongly recommend you communicate to your teen the fact you are not willing to have them return home without the program recommendation. ... They need to know about YOUR EXIT PLAN. Notice I say YOUR plan, not your teen's."

As Paul neared his 18th birthday earlier this year, he was transported from Western Samoa to Red Rock Academy, where Teen Help regularly sends youths ready to re-enter mainstream society. Paul said he decided to give the program another chance by attending what Gilcrease calls the "parent/child" seminars.

But soon there was friction between Paul and his parents.

"I got into an argument with my parents about my friends when I leave the program, whom I would be allowed to associate with and whom I can talk to," he said.

He said his parents told him he had little support from relatives or friends.

"I felt there was too much tension in the room with my parents to be appropriate for me and to make a rational decision," he said.

He said he later slipped out of his parents' hotel room and walked the streets of St. George. His mother tried to follow him, but he said he "was able to ditch my mom."

Paul savored his first moments of freedom in two years. He mailed two letters to friends and tried to call others.

The next day, a student reported seeing another student unsupervised outside the hotel. Paul confessed. His parents then kicked him out of the seminar, leaving him face-to-face with the "exit plan."

Paul said his parents gave him another chance a few weeks later -- stay with the program until he "graduated" in August and he would be welcomed home and given a chance to go to college. At first, he agreed.

During his stay in Utah, the program administrators got tough, Paul said.

"They attempted to break me," Paul said. "So that I would realize how important my parents were to me."

He said the facilitators tried to make him read motivational books they thought he would hate.

"So I would write book reports using words they could not understand. They became very annoyed. ... They attempted to put me on what they nicknamed 'poltergeist.' And I sat on a chair and stared at a wall, a TV, a microwave, with approximately a foot between the chair and the wall, all day long, for days on end. I was below Level 1. I was on Level Zero, probation, as they put it.

  "I was bored out of my mind, and they knew it. But I wouldn't give them the satisfaction of letting them know that."
 

"They would come and say: 'How are things going? Are you bored yet?' And I would give them some spiel about how it was so tantalizing to be able to analyze a pattern or some stupid thing like that. That it amazed me that cumulus clouds formed so rapidly.

"I was bored out of my mind, and they knew it. But I wouldn't give them the satisfaction of letting them know that."


'Call the sheriff'


On June 21, just after Paul's birthday, the Bergs and three friends traveled from Seattle to St. George and asked to see Paul. A confrontation ensued with Karr Farnsworth, director of Cross Creek Center for Boys, where Paul was staying.

According to a tape recording the visitors made, Farnsworth met them at the door and told them to leave or he would "call the sheriff, and he can take you away on trespassing charges."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DAY 3


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Abuse Allegations Fly
Healthy investment

Whole-family healing

'Exit plan' shut door on teen

The series

Share your thoughts


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

"Obviously, you're not going to see him," Farnsworth said. "He doesn't need another disruption."

He told the group their meddling had "totally screwed up his program 100 percent. ... It's none of your business."

Paul's visitors called a sheriff's deputy, who talked with Paul. Paul said he wanted to meet with the group.

Paul said he had begun to doubt that his parents would finance his college plans. He said he believes they had lied to him to get him to graduate from the program, become a Teen Help success story and justify what they had done.

Laurie Berg sobbed when she saw Paul for the first time in two years. Paul quickly decided it was time to leave Teen Help for good. He walked out with the Bergs, and they drove off to Las Vegas to catch a plane home.

When he got back to the Bergs' house in Snohomish, he said he called his mother and said: "You're still my parents. I don't like the things you did but still want to be able to come home on Christmas and be able to sit there and have fun with my parents and enjoy.

"She said I had lost all trust, all integrity, all of my ethics, given my decision that I would stay and then changing my mind to leave.

"I said, 'Well, I love you and I hope you have a good night's sleep,' and before I could finish the sentence, there was a click. My mom had hung up on me."

Karen Richards said she did not hang up on Paul. And she said there is an easy way for him to come back home -- return to Utah and finish the program.

"My husband and I have been extremely pleased with everything that we've had happen as far as the program is concerned: the treatment of our son, the services available to him, the services available to us as a family, the seminars that we have attended," she said.

"We love our son and would have welcomed him home, but we didn't want it to be the same as when he left.

"Even though some people think (Teen Help's) prices are exorbitant -- basically it's the equivalent of a Harvard education -- we feel it's been a bargain considering what comparable programs cost."

Paul said he plans to attend college and hopes to become a commercial airline pilot. Before that, he has something more important to do.

"All my friends were juniors this year and will be seniors next year," he said. "I wanted to spend one last year with them before I went off to college. I wanted to experience high school for one year."

While living with the Bergs, he also will try to repair his torn family life.

Bruce Richards said that would be welcome -- but only if Paul re-enters the program. He put the decision to send Paul to Teen Help in the context of the Columbine High School massacre.

"Would you rather be the parents of the (Columbine) kids who were killed or the parents of the kids that did the killing?" he asked.

"If you were the parent of one of the kids who did the shooting, and you had any inkling that your son or daughter needed some kind of help and you didn't take action as a parent, then you have to live with that for the rest of your life.

"And Karen and I were not willing to do that."

Despite the anguish, Paul said his two years in Teen Help changed him -- for the good.

"I feel it has made me a very strong person," he said. "Stronger than I was. ... I had to rely on myself and myself alone for my emotions and my support."

http://denver.rockymountainnews.com/des ... 3-paul.htm
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Che Gookin

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Re: Question about an old news article.
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2009, 09:26:27 AM »
Damn... that's unreal.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Kathy

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Re: Question about an old news article.
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2009, 10:13:37 AM »
YOU--- Yael (Eshet Khever ha'Kinii) --- ARE GOOD!    I can't believe you actually knew the article I was referring to!!!!!!!!!!  I didn't expect anyone to remember with such limited information I had provided! I thought it was just a shot in the dark!!!!!!!  THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!     :notworthy:
YOU ROCK!!!   :rocker:
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Kathy
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."    ~Plato

Offline Anonymous

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Re: Question about an old news article.
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2009, 11:16:57 AM »
Quote from: "Kathy"
YOU--- Yael (Eshet Khever ha'Kinii) --- ARE GOOD!    I can't believe you actually knew the article I was referring to!!!!!!!!!!  I didn't expect anyone to remember with such limited information I had provided! I thought it was just a shot in the dark!!!!!!!  THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!     :notworthy:
YOU ROCK!!!   :rocker:

You welcome. I couldn't forget that article, even though I haven't read it in years. Too heartbreaking.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline BuzzKill

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Re: Question about an old news article.
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2009, 11:22:19 AM »
Maia Szalavitz told their story in her book Help at Any Cost as well.
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Offline gjsarah

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Re: Question about an old news article.
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2009, 08:28:23 PM »
i talked to paul on monday.  he is still living in washington.  he graduated from u dub and is now working as a fire fighter.  he has scars from his experiences but he is a well-adjusted guy.  was very eager to help in the brendan situation.  he did talk about how he refused to be broken, but there were many kids in his program that were not as strong.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Kathy

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Re: Question about an old news article.
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2009, 09:10:14 PM »
Great NEWS!!!!! :cheers:
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Kathy
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."    ~Plato

Offline Oscar

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Re: Question about an old news article. (Spft-nw)
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2009, 07:47:10 AM »
Paul Richards is mentioned in this article.

Tales of abduction, lost freedom at teen rights rally (The Gainesville Sun)

He is still estranged from his parents.
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Offline Ursus

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Tales of abduction, lost freedom at teen rights rally
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2009, 10:24:28 AM »
The Gainesville Sun
Tales of abduction, lost freedom at teen rights rally

By Andrew Ford
Correspondent

Published: Friday, October 23, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, October 22, 2009 at 11:12 p.m.



Zachary Goodman, 16, Vice President of the Southeast Florida Chapter of the National Youth Rights Association addresses participants during the Teen Rights Rally, a rally to promote the fair and ethical treatment of teens, at the Downtown Community Plaza on Thursday, October 22, 2009. Aaron E. Daye/Staff photographer


"I was taken from my house in the middle of the night by two men," recalls Chris Noroski, who says he was legally abducted from his home in Minnesota at age 15.

His parents, he says, paid the Family Foundation School in Hancock, N.Y., a boarding school for troubled teenagers, to take him into custody for three years. While there, he claims he was mentally and physically abused.

"For seven months of the time, I carried buckets of rocks back and forth," Noroski said Thursday. "I was a problem child ... my mom thought it would help."

Noroski spoke as part of a rally for teen rights that was held by Trilogy School at the Bo Diddley Community Plaza. Trilogy is a K-12 school that says it focuses on compassion and understanding for young people.

Sarah Garrigues-Jones is the registrar at Trilogy and an organizer of the rally. There are many instances in which teenagers have no voice, Garrigues said. Parents can decide this without the consent of mental health professionals.

Garrigues was inspired to help, she said, because she is the mother of a teenage boy. She said she sees her son's behavior as a normal part of growing up. She said she seeks to "let him emerge as a young adult."

Paul Richards says he was sent away by his parents in 1997 and that he spent 733 days at a facility in western Samoa.

"I spent two years in a Third World country in an abusive program," Richards said.

He said he experienced "malnutrition, [was] stabbed, abused mentally and physically."

Richards said he is still estranged from his parents. He was adopted by family friends when he returned to the U.S. He said he doesn't know if his parents are aware of what happened to him in Samoa, since he hasn't spoken to them since.

He was 16 when he was sent there. He is now 28.

"I haven't had a bad day in 10 years," Richards said. He said that the experience in Western Samoa made him appreciate the things he has even more.

Noroski said he has "seen a lot that needs change in the mental health-care system for children."

Primarily, he said he would like to see more government oversight. "They're loosely regulated ... not really responsible to anyone," he said of residential programs that isolate youths.

Noroski, now 23, is vice president of The Community Alliance for the Ethical Treatment of Youth, a volunteer organization that works to protect teens from abuse in residential programs. He has spoken at a congressional press conference about his experience.

Noroski said he's about to graduate from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., with a bachelor's degree in science and math for elementary education. Noroski wants to be a middle school teacher.

His experience has inspired him to be open and understanding toward young people, he said.

"Adolescence is such a tough time for kids ... someone has to be there to understand."


Copyright © 2009 Gainesville.com
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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