Author Topic: Hidden Lake Academy  (Read 35747 times)

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Offline Troll Control

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« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2005, 02:05:00 PM »
I WAS AN ORIGINAL EMPLOYEE OF HLA IN 1994.  EVERY KID THAT CAME IN WAS LABLED OPPOSITIONAL DEFIANT.  THAT PLACE IS A HUGE, MONEYMAKING FRAUD...
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Offline Troll Control

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« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2005, 02:09:00 PM »
the wilderness program has been in place since hla opened in 1994.  a guy named dean and his wife were the "wilderness counselors" when rudy bentz was headmaster.

btw, the good doctor who runs the place is openly gay, although they treat homosexuality as an illness...
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Offline Deborah

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« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2005, 04:51:00 PM »
The owner is allegedly gay too. Double-standard?

To my knowledge, HLA didn't open their own wilderness program (Ridge Creek)until 2001. Prior to that the kids attended wilderness elsewhere.

The parent manual stated:
Clean Air Experience
"Sleeping in a confortable, climate-controlled environment is a privilege of civilized society. Sometimes, though, students act in a rather uncivilized manner. When this occurs, a student my be given a Clean Air eperience. Under the supervision of the night security staff, the student will safely sloop outdoors in front of the dormitory or in a tent or lean-to shelter, usually for a night or two- but the time may be extended if necessary." They could also be required to sleep in the common area or hallway.

Challenge Trip
This is the term for a relatively brief wilderness trip away from the main campus- but still on school property (or possibly in a nearby part of the National Forest)- for students who are proving particularly resistant to changing unacceptable behavior or who are making minimal efforts toward growth. Trips may last a week or more. Students lose the privilege of weekly calls with their parents.

Pre-Wilderness Trip
Students who continually repeat the same kinds of inappropriate behaviors may be sent on a Pre-Wilderness Trip, which is similar to a Challenge Trip. Pre-Wilderness Trips-in contrast to Challenge Trips-culminate with the understanding that a continuation of the same behavior will result in the student being sent to an Off-Campus Wilderness Program for several weeks. They also loose the privilege of weekly calls with parents.

Off-Campus Wilderness
Students who continually refuse to modify unacceptable behavior may be sent to an off-campus wilderness program in order to allow them to find a new sense of self-reliance, purpose, and commitment to the work that needs to be done at HLA.....These programs typically range from 30 days to six or seven weeks, and may result in the student's transfer to a Peer Group with a later graduation date.
***

Following a complaint that HLA had violated their own policy by sending my son to Wilderness before being sentenced to Clean Air, Challenge, or Pre-Wilderness; the policy was changed and a replacement sheet was sent to parents.
Challenge and Pre-Wilderness options had been omitted. A kid went from Clean Air to Wilderness, at HLA's discretion.

And who were these boys spending time with in this program which was billed as a "Wilderness Leadership Program" and NOT A BOOT CAMP? A group of weekend warriors.

Keith Antonia ,  Director
Keith Antonia graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1981 with a B.S. in General Business Administration and holds a Masters degree from the Naval War College in National Security. Recently retired as a Lieutenant Colonel, Keith completed 20 highly successful years of service in the U.S. Army as an infantry officer in Airborne and Ranger units. Throughout his 20 years leading soldiers under hazardous conditions, he became an expert at managing and mitigating risk. His effort and supervision led to an outstanding safety record. His last assignment in the Army involved commanding the Mountain Phase of the U.S. Army Ranger School in Dahlonega, Georgia. His goal is to provide a rigorous but safe wilderness leadership program for Ridge Creek students. He and his family currently reside in Dahlonega, Georgia.

Wilderness Staff:
Tom Wilburn,   Wilderness Team Leader
Recently retired First Sergeant, Tom served 20 years in the U.S. Army Special Operations Forces. His qualifications include Ranger, Pathfinder, Master Fitness Trainer, Advanced Land Navigation, Survival, SpecialForces Mountain Rescue, American Heart Association CPR Instructor, Wilderness First Responder and many other certifications/ qualifications. Tom has extensive leadership training and experience. He led soldiers under the most hazardous conditions in combat and in peacetime with outstanding success. He achieved the highest enlisted rank in the Army. He also is a volunteer fireman in Suches, GA where he assists with search and rescue. He and his family reside in Suches, Georgia.

Kevin Connell,  Wilderness Team Leader
Kevin recently retired as a Command Sergeant Major from the U.S. Army after serving over 23 years in Special Operations and Ranger Units. His qualifications include Ranger, High Risk Survival, Mountaineering Instructor, Winter Operations Course, Master Fitness Trainer, American Heart Association CPR Instructor and numerous other qualifications/certifications. During his time in the military, Kevin was recognized as a mature, focused leader who was unflappable under the most stressful conditions. He mentored, trained and led hundreds of future Army leaders. He and his family reside in Dahlonega, Georgia.

Matt Owens,  Wilderness Leadership Instructor
Matt has been an avid outdoorsman for over 10 years. He has worked as a Park Ranger with the National Park Service, and is an American Heart Association CPR Instructor as well as a certified EMT. He also had the opportunity to thru-hike the 2,168 mile long Appalachian Trail. Matt graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education in Recreation and Parks Administration. He currently resides in Dahlonega, Georgia.

Marci Summer,  Wilderness Leadership Instructor
Marci has experience as a backpacking, rock climbing, rappelling, and outdoor expedition facilitator. She has a B.S. in Education in Recreation and Leisure Studies. Marci is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Therapist and an American Heart Association CPR Instructor. Previously, she served as a recreation therapist at Northeast Georgia Medical Center. She currently resides in Gainesville, Georgia.

Clinical Staff:
J.J. Williams,  Admissions Director
J.J. has been in Administration for over 6 years. She graduated with a Bachelor?s degree in Interdisciplinary Fine Arts. J.J. most recently was a Theatre Arts Instructor in Fayetteville, N.C. She has traveled abroad with her duties both Theatrical and Administratively. J.J. is American Heart Association CPR certified and First Aid Certified. She and her husband currently reside in Dahlonega, Georgia.

Cheryl Clark, MSW, LCSW,  Counselor
Cheryl has been employed in the field of mental health for over 12 years. She has a Bachelor?s degree in Psychology, a Master?s degree in Social Work and is an American Heart Association CPR Instructor. She worked for 7 years in an acute-care psychiatric hospital where she conducted individual, family and group therapy with adolescents and their families. After relocating to Georgia in 1996, she worked as a Private Psychotherapist in metro Atlanta. Her areas of clinical expertise include anger management, depression and other mood disorders, relationship/ family conflict and self-esteem. She currently resides in Dahlonega, Georgia.

David Jordan, MTS,  Counselor
David has worked over 15 years as an outdoor guide and youth counselor. David holds a Bachelor?s degree and a Master?s degree in Theological Studies (magna cum laude). He is currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree at Prescott College in Counseling and Psychology with a specialty in Wilderness Therapy. He has been trained and certified as a Wilderness First Responder, American Heart Association CPR Instructor and an Alpine Tower Facilitator. David and his family currently reside in Dahlonega, Georgia.

The men that the boys spent the majority of their time with did not posses the require credentials or experience with youth, according to the Ga Regs. How did they get by with this? They weren't licensed and monitored. The director told me that wilderness programs weren't required to be licensed in Ga. He was obviously mistaken. He has been replaced, along with the other Mt Rangers, some who were not mentioned is the list of staff.

One asked my son, "Do they restrain ya'll over at HLA?" My son replied yes. He laughed and said, "Yeh, but I bet they don't have as much fun doing it as we do."

Another tidbit from the parent manual, "Make it clear to your child that you are not interested in wasting your telephone time on rumors and that any 'facts' about the school will be communicated to you by a Communicator."  And, "The best way to deal with any and all complaints from your child is with the repeated suggestion that they talk the problems over with their counselors and ask for whatever help they need."
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
gt;>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Hidden Lake Academy, after operating 12 years unlicensed will now be monitored by the state. Access information on the Federal Class Action lawsuit against HLA here: http://www.fornits.com/wwf/viewtopic.php?t=17700

Offline jjpinks

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« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2005, 08:02:00 PM »
I live about an hour east of Dahlonega. If there is anything that I can do to help, let me know. I would be more than happy to help you in anyway that I can.
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Offline Deborah

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« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2005, 11:20:00 PM »
Thanks dear, your kindness is appreciated, but my son has been home for a couple of years now. There may be other parents who still have children there though, and would appreciate your offer.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
gt;>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Hidden Lake Academy, after operating 12 years unlicensed will now be monitored by the state. Access information on the Federal Class Action lawsuit against HLA here: http://www.fornits.com/wwf/viewtopic.php?t=17700

Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2005, 03:32:00 AM »
As a current employee of HLA (and not one at a level to have any reason to defend or blast its policies), I'd just like to point out that many of you are arguing and fretting over what trickles down to second/third/fourth hand information.

I can't say that I agree with all of the policies; nor can I say that I've been through a masters program or many years of experience in any field of youth therapy.  For the most part, these guys seem to know what they're doing.  Things are always going to sound worse from the kids.  I love em, I really do, but they're not all exactly mature adults of sound mind.  They're teenagers with needs that the parents felt could/needed to be met somewhere outside of the home.

It's made to sound like the school is some sort of sweat shop with harsh physical labour.  The school tries to make sure the students have so many hours of physical activity a day.  That might be sports or walking, tossing a ball around or just keeping generally active.  They also have options of music and art (as well as various other activites throughout the week).  There are sports teams and theatre groups, debate and mock trial.  The only negative I really ever see in any of that is the kids who are, well, just being lazy and don't want to participate.

Things like "Clean Air" are made out to sound awful.  I've never once seen a kid put outside of the dorms.  They're usually kept inside out of the elements, under watch and in a safe environment with a sleeping bag and bed roll.  When they're on something of that sort, it's because we feel they need to be watched because of previous actions.  Again, I see little fault in that.

Kids don't go to wilderness type programs without a healthy handful of reason.  Plenty of kids go maybe once in their entire time there.  The kids that are sent their more frequently are generally disruptive or causing problems in various areas.

They don't hold back phone calls to "break" the kids.  Try to remember that just you, just like me, these are regular people, not demons with some vile purpose to hurt for pleasure.  Most of them are actually pretty nice and decent human beings with a great attitude and a truck load of patience.  Methods are established based on experience with things that work.  New policies are put into place when an event comes up that suggests a need for change.  That's not a matter of HLA policy, that's just common sense, folks.  

I could go on, but what's the point?  I have a feeling most of you have made up your mind at this point.  I'm hardly a long term employee but I've been around long enough to meet some wonderful kids who I enjoy very much.  I truly do want the best for them...sure, the ones who kick and scream and fight the system won't get a darn thing out of it, but those who take it seriously and have good parental support come away with a new appreciation for what they have.  

You find the two or three kids out of the various graduating classes who are raising a stink and you start throwing stones; think about the hundreds of other kids who went through and haven't complained...if it was so bad, I don't think mere apathy would be the issue.  I've been right proud of some of the graduating kids - they've become leaders amongst their peers and have a much more firm grasp on the world around them.  If it's such a horrid place, I doubt I'd be wasting my time defending it.  I write not to rant, but merely to try and alleviate some of the craziness that I'm seeing posted by outside sources.  Give peace a chance...
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2005, 07:57:00 AM »
You said, "If it's such a horrid place, I doubt I'd be wasting my time defending it."

I think you should stick with what you know and previously stated, "not one at a level to have any reason to defend or blast its policies". Blatant contradiction. Double-speak. Sounds like you've been trained well.

My son's peer group started with 18 kids. Half or more left before their so-called 'graduation'. That's a few more than "two or three". I think there are many more 'unhappy' customers than are currently speaking on this forum.

Now, I'm going to reserve judgment, but this comment,"I write not to rant, but merely to try and  alleviate some of the craziness that I'm seeing posted by outside sources" sounds like you are calling me crazy and uninformed. Reminescent of the letter the resident shrink sent to the judge. I resent the implication.

I suppose that violating your their own policies, which results in a complaint, would constitute a "need to change" them. I can see where that wouldn't work for the average, intelligent parent.

My son was a leader before he was subjected to the methods of HLA. His Wilderness counselor was honest enough to say this and comment that he shouldn't be there. HLA didn't enhance his leadership qualities, they did everything in their power to deminish that and cause him to question himself. Can you tell me I'm wrong?

No. And don't refer to me, or others who have had direct experience, as 'outside sources'. You're out of line doing so.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2005, 08:06:00 AM »
PS Defend this.

If the don't restrict contact with parents to "break" the kid, then what's the rationale?
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2005, 02:49:00 PM »
Try Again? Try Again? Try Again? Try Again?


meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0;url=http://www.msn.com"
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Offline chi3

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« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2005, 07:13:00 AM »
Oh what Bullshit!!! I can not believe I live so close to this freakin' place and never knew it existed!! I guess the Ed Cons. we spoke to didn't get any kick back from there! The ones we talked to only praised WWASPS, so we didn't get any info from them on any other places. I am willing to find out any info I can for anybody looking to send a child there. I will be perfectly honest, good or bad. However, I think the "current employee" is full of it, this sounds exactly like the crap we were told  when we took our daughter to the kiddie prison. Do they all have the same script?????? It is unconscionable that these people think it is only the immature children who didn't finish the program who have complaints and true allegations. Don't defend when you don't know the whole story!
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #25 on: February 02, 2005, 12:29:00 PM »
To my knowledge, in 2001, they did not directly compensate the Ed Cons. But, this is how that goes...

At the first parent workshop prior to the first visit, the Headmaster stated that they couldn't compensate the Ed Con, but if the parent could show proof that they had used one they would remimburse the parent $250, which they could "use at their discretion". In such a tone as to imply that they should pass it on to the Ed Con.

Now, if a parent did not use an Ed Con they would refer them to one, because a referal was 'necessary for placement'.

My ex was refered by an EC who knew nothing about the program. She refered to the facility based on the 'owner's reputation'. She knew nothing of the methods, of the austere 'restriction diet', of the montiored phone calls and mail, that they weren't licensed, that my son had been sent to their unlicensed wilderness program, etc. etc. In an apologetic tone she said that she 'hoped my son would be able to get the education he needed there'. Lordy, lordy. As it turned out, she knew nothing about my A/B son who was well liked by his peers and teachers, and an incredible athlete. Hadn't even layed eyes on him. Didn't know if he'd been evaluated prior to placement or that HLA 'diagnosed' him ODD on the spot, based on his clueless father's complaints. She was paid handsomely to provide the name of a facility. Period.

And yes, they all use pretty much the same 'script'. This particular facility has its roots in CEDU. Many of the same techniques, sans 'propheets', to my knowledge. They all appear to be modeled to varying degrees after the original programs.

Yes, the kids are 'manipulating liars' and the parents are 'crazy' and/or 'adversarial'. People will have to choose for themselves what to believe and what sounds reasonable, and some will have to put their hand in the fire in order to get it.

Stay alert. Ask questions. Refuse to have contact with your child limited or monitored. There is absolutely no therapeutic justification for this policy. It only serves the program.
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Offline Timoclea

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« Reply #26 on: February 02, 2005, 12:49:00 PM »
The thing that most worries me about HLA is the allegation that kids "on restriction" get whitebread and american cheese sandwiches to eat.  Even if they get "as much as they want," even if mind games aren't played with insufficient time to eat, or screwing around with eating conditions, or making them choose between eating an inadequate portion and choking down a hugely overwhelming amount, cheese sandwiches are not nutritionally adequate.

Even the kids on restriction should be eating a diet that is put together by a registered dietician to be nutritionally complete, that has the recommended servings per day of fresh fruits and vegetables.

In fact, they should all be eating the same food a registered dietician puts together as nutritionally complete, and eating enough of it to support their caloric expenditures, and if there is "restriction" that affects meals, it should only consist of being made to eat alone.

Yeah, it may not be effective at "breaking" the kid.  So bloody what!  Kids are not omelettes where "you have to break a few eggs".  They're not horses or dogs where you train 'em and then cull the ones that don't come up to scratch (not that you could now with animal cruelty laws---which protect the dogs and horses more than these kids are protected!).

You want me to believe HLA has changed?  Post their menus.  And get me the kids saying that really is what they're eating, after the kids have left and can say the truth without reprisals.  And show me that the kids even on restriction are getting that menu *without* funky mind games like not enough time to eat or having to wolf down either inadequate portions or overwhelming double portions.

There is no excuse for a child not having unmonitored telephone contact at least once a week with either a parent or some external guardian ad litem (if the parents are screwed up).  There is no excuse for the children not having access to an independent ombudsman with no vested interest in the success or failure of HLA.  None whatsoever.

I don't give a shit if you think it "works."  As a parent and having a degree (undergraduate, but still) in psychology from a decent university, I am bloody appalled that you would (seem to) think that anything less is in any way justifiable.

Every child is entitled to nutritionally and calorically adequate food (they may not eat it if they have junk food choices, but they're entitled to have it provided), an adequate roof over his head, clothing appropriate for the climate and the weather, education, and communications access to parents or (if there's something wrong with the parents) a guardian.  From everything I've heard from parents who have had kids at HLA, HLA's provisions of these most basic of necessities--specifically, the food---is substandard.

You want us to quit complaining about HLA?  Well, they can't talk their way out of a bad reputation they behaved their way into.

If they've fixed the food for the kids "on restriction", and aren't playing games with the kids' time and ability to eat a filling but not gaggingly overfilling amount of that food, then they need to demonstrated it to the community.

*One* way to do so would be to put webcams in the restriction meal room (or area of the cafeteria, however you have those kids eat) and cafeteria and give parents a login so they can any day at random, any meal, see exactly what the kids are eating, and under what conditions.

If they've fixed the problem, let them put their money where their mouth is and *prove* it to the parents.

Timoclea

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Offline iknowcedulies

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« Reply #27 on: February 03, 2005, 05:47:00 PM »
anonymous  get a username so i can send you private messages.  what you have to know about hla or any other cascade clone is that it is the scam artists who run it are the "manipulative liars"  and are the crazy ones.  they are crazy because they are so narcissistic they think that molesting kids and lying to the state and parents is all part of helping kids.  the only thing they help themselves to is money and that is what they are out for. they often accuse others of things but everytime they do they are projecting. they are really talking about themselves when they label kids and parents. staff are hired based on whether they will lie for rudy. rudy learned this when he was at cedu under frauds like wasserman and allgood who taught him that if you do not lie for us we will ruin your life.  most staff cannot do anything else but lie and molest kids so they go along with this because if they do not they are fired and since they have worked for rudy or allgoood they are known molestors and cannot work at any other "emotional growth" facility. so they destoy the lives of young boys so they can live the way they want to and went caught the excuse given to outsiders is that they have to lie because they think that most kids who run away usually want to come back. they come back because they are so mindfucked that they cannot function in a world where they are not the center of the universe. these programs are all narcisscistic me first fuck everybody else run by unlicensed untrained staff who come from prisons and crack houses and run away everytime they are discovered to be sociopaths. INSIST that you be allowed to see your kid in person alone every 3 months and do not believe rudy if he says your kid cannnot leave. threaten to call in the sheriff and the local news station then they will release your kid. do not buy the crap they feed you that your son has decided to stay and cannot come to the phone,
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #28 on: February 04, 2005, 05:11:00 PM »
Rudy's not there anymore.  He went from there to Swift River, now he's an Ed Con in Santa Fe.
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Offline hattie's had it

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« Reply #29 on: February 07, 2005, 11:22:00 AM »
[ This Message was edited by: hattie's had it on 2005-02-22 10:01 ]
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o the desperatevparents who are shelling out all this money to therapeutic baording schools really like being kept in the dark and fed a bunch of crap like mushrooms? Are they aware of the fact that, as one of my former student\'s (Tom L.)said \"This schoo