Author Topic: Remembering Aaron Bacon: March 31, 1994  (Read 11060 times)

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Offline Teen Advocates USA

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Remembering Aaron Bacon: March 31, 1994
« on: March 24, 2005, 01:23:00 PM »
It's the "wilderness experience" at its most extreme--rehabilitation of wayward teenagers delivered with the in-your-face discipline of a boot camp. But in the past five years at least four young people have died, the victims of alleged beatings, starvation, and emotional abuse, and the so-called therapy is looking more like murder.
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The long-distance connection was good, but as Sally Bacon stood in her Phoenix kitchen, she couldn't make sense of what she was hearing. A month before, she'd sent her 16-year-old son, Aaron, to a Utah wilderness school called North Star Expeditions. Now a disembodied voice from North Star was telling her, "Aaron is down. We can't get a pulse."

"What does that mean, you can't get a pulse?"

"Aaron's been airlifted to the hospital in Page, Arizona," came the reply. "Call your husband. He's been given the hospital phone number." Sally frantically dialed Bob Bacon at his office. Sounding numb, he repeated what he knew: Aaron had collapsed in the desert. It was a freak accident. There was nothing anyone could do. Their son was dead.

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To read entire article click here:
http://teenadvocatesusa.homestead.com/foreveryoung.html

Special Message to Parents:

Please remember that no program is a good program if your child's attitude and behavior is subject to being controlled and/or changed in an environment ruled by FEAR.  

If you believe or even suspect your child is at risk of abusive care and treatment (including being deprived of an education) please take the appropriate and necessary steps to protect and enforce your child's safety and well-being.

Thank You,

Barbe Stamps
TAUSA
http://www.teenadvocatesusa.homestead.c ... Ahome.html
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Offline Anonymous

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Remembering Aaron Bacon: March 31, 1994
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2005, 10:54:00 PM »
Every parent who is considering wilderness should read the Bacon court document as a warning of what could happen to your child.
http://courtlink.utcourts.gov/opinions/ ... r12_98.htm
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Offline Anonymous

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Remembering Aaron Bacon: March 31, 1994
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2005, 12:28:00 PM »
This one quote in here stands out for me:

From the newsreport based on the mother's observations:

"But, says Sally, after talking to several parents whose kids had been helped by the program, "We were given a lot of hope that North Star was going to build Aaron's self-esteem. I knew it would be rigorous, but I pictured him out there with God and nature, hiking all day, discussing his issues with therapists around the campfire at night.""

We still here from some people that "Their" kids had been helped and some of these are good programs. Yet in this so called good program, recommended by parents whose kids did do well, a child died.

That should be a wake up call. Even in "good" programs, there is the potential for a child to die because of the nature of the program itself.

WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!
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Offline Anonymous

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Remembering Aaron Bacon: March 31, 1994
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2005, 01:31:00 PM »
Quote
That should be a wake up call. Even in "good" programs, there is the potential for a child to die because of the nature of the program itself.

Did you read what they did to him?  If this was a "good" program (even with the quotes) then what is a bad one like?
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Offline mom2three

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Remembering Aaron Bacon: March 31, 1994
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2005, 02:25:00 PM »
Sorry that was me earlier and I guess I didnt write clearly. I do not believe there are good programs, I think the whole premise has major flaws.

However, many parents are saying "my kid was helped", "this program is better than all THOSE ones" and they sincerely believe what they are saying.  

The reality is there is always the potential in these programs for things to spiral out of control because of the philosophies behind them ie. Kids complain, kids lie, kids manipulate, they must be broken down to conform etc.

I fail to see how any normal person can look at a child who has lost 27 pounds in a few weeks and is now having nose bleeds and then come to the conclusion that he is faking it.  The philosophy behind the programs however makes that a potentail even though it makes little sense to us as outsiders.

Many people still need to see that even with recommendations from happy customers, unless policies and philosophies change within the industry, there is and always will be the potential of a child DYING in the course of so called treatment even when it is succesful for some of the participants. All of these people seem to be saying that it is mearly "sad" that Aaron Bacon and other kids like him died instead of seeing it for the utter tragedy it really is which must be such a slap in the face of those whose loved ones have died in the programs.

We instead need to see the deaths as what they are ...the failure of an industry built on pseudo psychology and a bully mentality to do what it promises.
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Offline nite owl

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Remembering Aaron Bacon: March 31, 1994
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2005, 09:55:00 AM »
Aaron Bacon's death and treatment was so horrific and cruel.  No one should have to die that way. He was essentially starved to death - dying from a perforated ulcer from the acid eating away at his empty stomach.  Laws were broken and no one cared.  What continues to amaze me is that only one person served any jail time.  The court transcript shows how he died while staff mocked him and made fun of him - how awful to die that way. They really should make a movie about his experience for all to see just how horrific "tough love" can be.  

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.
--Francois Marie Arouet "Voltaire", French author and playwright

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Offline Anonymous

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Remembering Aaron Bacon: March 31, 1994
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2005, 10:06:00 AM »
The State of Utah has turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to the maltreatment (and even deaths) of children at the hands of the teen-help industry at least as far back as 1990, when Michelle Sutton was killed while participating in a wilderness therapy program called Summit Quest.

http://www.teenadvocatesusa.homestead.c ... utton.html

Excerpt:

"... as Cartisano's financial and legal difficulties mounted, the Challenger admissions director, a woman named Gayle Palmer, quit to start her own wilderness therapy company, Summit Quest Inc.  Palmer knew little about the backcountry or therapy beyond what she'd gleaned from pitching Challenger courses.  
"But Palmer got tired of  working for Steve," says Doug Nelson, "so she hung out her shingle".

 "Five students were enrolled in the inaugural Summit Quest course, which cost $13,900 for 63 days. Palmer sent the group to the arid Shivwits Plateau, near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, supervised by two young counselors who were paid minimum wage.  During the first several days, Michelle Sutton,  a pretty 15 year old who had enrolled voluntarily to regain self-esteem after an alleged date rape, complained repeatedly of exhaustion, sunburn, and nausea.  As the group hiked through the desert, she vomited up  most of the water she tried to drink and pleaded that she could not go on.  According to counselors' field reports gathered by state and federal investigators, the lead counselor had been ordered to ignore such talk as "manipulative behavior".  "You have been sloughing off," she told Sutton.  "You are now being warned".  On May 9, 1990, during an ascent of 7,072 foot Mount Dellenbaugh, Sutton's speech became slurred, she cried out that she couldn't see, and then she lost consciousness and died.  Palmer insisted to officials that Sutton had succumbed to a drug overdose, but the the coroner found no drugs in her system and determined the cause of death to be dehydration."  

Source:  LOVING THEM TO DEATH by Jon Krakauer
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Offline Anonymous

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Remembering Aaron Bacon: March 31, 1994
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2005, 10:48:00 PM »
Utah does turn a blind eye to the hundreds of abusive programs in the state.  Thousands of children are abused daily - Utah is the home of institutionalized child abuse.
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Offline Antigen

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Remembering Aaron Bacon: March 31, 1994
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2005, 11:32:00 PM »
I really think it's about culture shock.

I just started reading Marilyn Manson's book. Poor kid and his cousin used to have to kneel on a broom stick for minor infractions (like not finishing a meal, mouthing off, etc.) And that was under the direction of his grandmother and his messed up grandpa.

I don't think that what these programs do is far at all out of line w/ 'community standards' in some of the communities that welcome them. I do think it's so far out of line w/ the commonly accepted reality that those of us who have strolled through this little corner of the Twilight Zone have real trouble even getting anyone to believe us.

I don't think Utah is unaware of what goes on in these places. I think they know it full well, approve of it wholeheartedly and just view the rest of us as poor, unenlightened outsiders who can't understand.



Whenever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.
http://laissezfairebooks.com/product.cfm?op=view&pid=FF7485&aid=10247' target='_new'>Thomas Jefferson: Kentucky Resolutions, 1798

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Offline Anonymous

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Remembering Aaron Bacon: March 31, 1994
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2005, 04:18:00 PM »
I read this story and wept for this young boy.
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Offline Anonymous

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Remembering Aaron Bacon: March 31, 1994
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2005, 06:39:00 PM »
I grew up with Aaron and I knew him well right up until the day of the phone calls.  What you should realize is Aaron died the last day of March and most of us heard on April fools day that our friend was gone.  I am currently 26 (15 then) and I think about Aaron (who would be 27 now and was 16 then) all the time.  High school graduation, College graduation, the marriages of our friends, the birth of our friends children, every time i see his Mom and the hurt she carries.

When you read his parents speak of wanting to help him, that is what they were trying to do.  What i hope every parent considers is if you let your child go live with anyone for several weeks without you being able to contact them think of everything you would want to know.  Would you let your child stay with strangers for several weeks?

Every camp is different, every rehab is different, but with all of them you are literally putting your child life in the hands of strangers!!
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Offline BuzzKill

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Remembering Aaron Bacon: March 31, 1994
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2005, 07:17:00 PM »
Thank you so much for posting.
Aaron's story is one that touched me personally on a very deep level. I think of him a lot - and I never knew him.
I am truly greatful you took the time to express some small part of how great a loss this young man's life was.
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Offline cherish wisdom

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Remembering Aaron Bacon: March 31, 1994
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2005, 10:58:00 PM »
I will never forget Aaron -- His story also touched me and many others.  His terrible and senceless death is an example of what should never happen again.  He continues to motivate all who have joined in this effort to end the abuse. I never knew Aaron but I still cry when I read about what happened to him and his family.

If TCs were interested in treating substance abuse, half the time they'd tell mom "Sorry ma'am, we can't help him. He's not an addict, he's just an asshole.
--GregFL

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Offline MomCat

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Remembering Aaron Bacon: March 31, 1994
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2006, 09:33:00 PM »
I again read Aaron's story and the court Opinion spelling out what happened to him during the last days of his life. I, too, never knew Aaron, but my heart goes out to him and what he must have suffered those last few miserable weeks of his short life. There is no reason for this sort of senseless death. The counselors had no right to ignore his pleas for help, his complaints of pain, they had no right to keep him for eating, they had no right to keep him from having a warm sleeping bag when the temperature dropped to below freezing temperatures, they had no right to make fun of him and to ridicule him, they had no right![ This Message was edited by: MomCat on 2006-03-12 18:33 ]
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Offline MomCat

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Remembering Aaron Bacon: March 31, 1994
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2006, 10:04:00 AM »
This child, like the others, should not have died. Our hearts go out to him and his family. It is stories like Aaron's and so many others, as well as the abuse and the neglect that has gone on, and continues to go on, that gives us the strength to keep on fighting for the kids. I applaud everyone's efforts.

http://www.caica.org/NEWS%20Deaths%2010 ... utdoor.htm

http://www.caica.org/NEWS%20Deaths%20Oregonian.htm

http://www.caica.org/NEWS%20DEATH%20death%20trip.htm

http://www.caica.org/NEWS%20DEATH%20Bacon.htm

Court opinion:
http://www.caica.org/NEWS%20Deaths%20Co ... 0Bacon.htm[ This Message was edited by: MomCat on 2006-03-15 07:04 ]
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