Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - Three Springs Survivor

Pages: [1] 2
That is funny.  My sisters close to you as well, over in Fishkill.

God is the...refuge of the incompetent, the helpless, the miserable. They find no sanctuary in His arms, but...a kind of superiority, soothing to their...egos: He will set them above their betters.
--H. L. Mencken, American publisher

lol!  I understand now.  And your definately right about that.

Why do the folks in Boston hate this specific area?  I'm actually curious!

lol, I may live here but I have to agree with you.  I'm originally from Seattle but my family is in NJ and NYC.

Open Free for All / Fun and Interesting Websites
« on: September 12, 2011, 11:33:45 PM »
On 2005-12-17 11:47:00, Anonymous wrote:

"great, these are all excellent. thanks.

anyone got any more?

I'll list some of 'my favorites'.


You personally would enjoy

Open Free for All / Fun and Interesting Websites
« on: December 20, 2005, 05:00:00 PM »
I go to this one weekly:

Aspen Education Group / When did Aspen obtain SUWS?
« on: December 20, 2005, 04:58:00 PM »
I am just curious if anyone has that information.  I attended the Shoshone, ID program in 1993.

I'm living in the Danbury, CT area across from Brewster/Carmel, NY.

The Troubled Teen Industry / Outdoor Theraputic Program Experience
« on: December 14, 2005, 11:26:00 AM »
My Experience at Three Springs, Paint Rock Valley

Please excuse me if my writing jumps around a lot.  I have a difficult time discussing what happened at TS and get very scattered when I talk or write about it. My spelling is not perfect either so I apologize now.


My Name is Nick.  I was placed in Three Springs, PRV, at the age of 14.  I spent a year and a half of my life within the program. When I first entered the program, I was suffering from a lot of emotional issues including suicidal thoughts and self mutilation.  I had horrible self esteem and was constantly depressed.  I was also misdiagnosed with having ADD.  I was on a host of medications while in placement including the very nasty and dangerous Novaine.

The staff at Three Springs was very abusive.  A lot of the people I interacted with who were employed during my stay were ex-military or law
enforcement.  I also had a lot of contact with there escort who was a former green beret and Sheriff.  He stands out in my mind because he once
told my mother that she could borrow his belt and beat me behind the dining hall, which she responded ?I don?t hit my children.?  I cant
remember his exact words but he made some comment along the lines of that?s why I am the way I am.

I remember that we had a lot of strange and extreme consequences while I was there.  One that always sticks out in my mind is ?Quiet Time?.  Usually this punishment lasted 12-24 hours, where the member was not aloud to speak at all, period.  If he did so, even if he only had 2 minutes left, he had to restart.  You could be put on Quiet Time for swearing, as well as really stupid things like talking through windows.  (I was put on 24 hours for talking through a window.)

Another consequence was ?Socks on Hands? for stealing or other types of things.  This meant the socks had to stay on your hands at all times,
could not be changed or washed, even if you were eating meals which was very unsanitary, for a specific amount of time.

Some punishments were much more ?creative?.  If someone in the group was out of line, the entire group would have to march outside carrying giant boards above our heads.  These included heavy sheet wood that could get caught in the wind.  We sometimes had to march for several hours, especially if someone arms got weak and they lowered the wood for a second.  Rain, snow, midnight?. It didn?t matter.

I remember another rough punishment was standing with your arms out to the side.  If your arms lowered you had to do it over until the staff said
you were done.  This was very painful.  I cant remember why they gave out this one but I remember having to do it a lot.  

The problems with a lot of the punishments were that your peers had control over when they ended.  So if you were not well liked, the group
could lie and say you violated the punishment to extend it.  A lot of sadistic sociopaths were developed because of the peer reinforcement
method the program is so proud of.

The members were responsible for runaway watch.  This meant that two members, children mind you, would be responsible for holding the status members arms behind his back in a restraint fashion while the group traveled from the campsite to campus and back.  This led to some very aggressive and abusive handling by peers towards those they didn't like.  And usually if someone was on runaway watch, the entire group was under some sort of consequence for allowing a member to get to the point that they were at risk.

Then there was the real abuse.  I remember a member named Kenny who had PTSD.  He was a very low functioning individual that rarely spoke
and had a very difficult time taking care of himself.  Each group has its own campsite which we are responsible for keeping clean.  They would actually have us sweep the dirt ground outside for hours to make it smooth.  One day on the weekend Kenny was responsible for sweeping the dirt floor of our firewood hut.  He started eating spider webs and kids in the group started making fun of him.  The staff that was in charge that day told the group that if Kenny wouldn?t do his cleaning task, we should ?clean him?.  Kenny started acting out and lay down on the ground.  The staff ordered us to take the brooms and start sweeping his body.  It got violent and he was messed up pretty badly with a bunch of us hitting him with brooms and scratching him up with them. (the bristles were worn down to almost sticks from the daily outdoor use).

These situations happened often and I remember how wrong it felt to do these things.  We didn?t have a choice though.  If a member didn?t participate in a punishment we would be forced into our own consequence and the group would retaliate as a whole on you.  Fear and intimidation were the major tools of behavior modification at TS.

I remember in the specific situation I listed above, each member was actually interviewed the following week and Kenny left and the counselor
was fired.  I don?t know what happened to the poor guy but I pray for him all the time.

Another situation involved a group camping trip.  Our group had been very good so we were rewarded with a camping trip that was away from our regular site.  It had a sink hole we could swim in and was very exciting.  The counselor that was with us, Mr Galloway, had his 300Z parked on the site so that we could listen to music from the stereo.  On the second or third day of our trip, a member named Mikey climbed into the car and put it into gear (yes, the keys were left in it).  There was another kid lying on a towel in front of the driver?s side tire.  He was dragged under the car screaming and got really hurt.  I still have nightmares about it.

They took care of his medical situation but covered up what really happened.  I was told to lie and say I didn?t see anything if anyone came to ask about it.

Another time, this same kid Mikey refused to shower. I remember two staff, one who?s name was Mr. Smith (who was notorious for torturing
members with pressure points during restraints, including myself).  They dressed up in rain coats and violently washed him the shower with freezing cold water.  He was screaming and crying and it was very scary to watch.

I remember feeling like I couldn?t take it any more.  I stole a razor from the shower hall and a few days later sat in our cabin cutting my arms from shoulder to hand.  Most all were superficial but at that age I had no idea what I was doing.  I remember the counselor finding me and getting the
other members to restrain me.  I was punched in the back several times.  I don?t know if it was the members, the staff or both. (I have a degenrative spinal condition and have had two surgeries on my lower back)

I tried to call and tell my parents what was happening.  They let us make one 5 minute phone call every week.  You had to sit in front of a staff member while you made the call.  You were not allowed to comp[lain in any way about the program or talk about what was happening.  If you did you were severely punished and not allowed to use the phone any more.  Sometimes the entire group would get punished too, which fed into
the entire peer reinforcement.

None of the group members wanted to get the others in trouble.  If you did you were screwed.  Several members fell victim to contraband searches.  A contraband search was when a staff member would take a walk in the woods looking for ?contraband?.  What it actually was was permission by staff to have five minutes alone with a trouble making member and beat him up without consequence.

I remember hearing about one staff member; we called him Batman because of this black car he drove, who did a contraband search.  He allowed the group to tie this kid to a tree and beat his feet with sticks.  I don?t remember what the kid did.  I know the staff member was fired for
this.  I don?t know if anyone else got introuble.  These were common occurrences as TS.

I was sexually assaulted by another member while I was there.  When I told the staff about it, they tried to tell me it was my fault and that I needed
to go to the sex offend program in Courtland.  My parents intervened and the other kid was sent there.  I was called a fagot for a long time and
the staff did not discourage it.  The other kid was well liked so instead of being a victim, I was made to feel like the perp.  I was made to feel
like it was my fault.

I ran away once with another member.  He stole our counselor, Jeremy Couch?s, car keys.  We drove until me ran out of gas.  When I was
arrested I explained to the police that I was being abused and that I needed to call my parents.  They wouldn?t let me talk to my parents and Mr.
Smith came to pick me up.  The other kid was arrested the next day.  For weeks we had to walk around campus with socks in our hands.  The
other kid had to carry a steering wheel over his head when around other groups to show he was the thief.

I was forced to make a gravel road through a cemetery as community service.  There was a giant gravel pit.  I had one bucket and one shovel.

I have much more to talk about but I think this is enough for now.  I do want to say that I have come a long way since these experiences took place.  I am now 27 years old.  I no longer need medication.  I do suffer from an anxiety disorder, substance abuse issues and avoidant personality disorder.  The only thing I gained from TS was how to manipulate to avoid consequence, fear authority, and hate my parents.  My family and I have started to heal from the TS experience and they admit now that it was a terrible place for me to be and have apologized.

I have seen many people suffer abuse at Three Springs.  I have been emotionally damaged by the things I experienced there.  I hope one day
they will face legal ramifications for there torture and abuse.  I hope one day other members will be able to find peace over what happened to

Please dont mistake this as a sob story.  I am not seeking pity.  I am trying to find closure through sharing my experience with a wider audience then just my therapist.  This seems to be the right place to do it.[ This Message was edited by: Three Springs Survivor on 2005-12-17 08:36 ]

The Troubled Teen Industry / Three Springs Alumni
« on: December 14, 2005, 11:19:00 AM »
Ok, thats good.  I'm going to post a new thread called Three Springs Experience.  I would like you to read it and see how much worse it probably was before you worked their.  Any feedback you may have is welcome.

New Info / Missing Resident from Spring Lake Ranch in VT
« on: December 13, 2005, 04:12:00 PM »
Sorry, I realize this is probably not the right place to post this, but Mike was a good friend who was neglected by this program in VT and is missing now.

I just wanted to get the information out.

World Wide Association of Specialty Programs and Schools (WWASPS) / Losers!
« on: December 13, 2005, 04:10:00 PM »
I guess your the lucky one

The Troubled Teen Industry / SUWS
« on: December 13, 2005, 04:05:00 PM »
I went to SUWS (School of Urban & Wilderness Survival)in 93' after being kicked out of the Amity School in Arezzo, Italy (A CEDU spin-off).  I spent 5 weeks in the program.  From reading these posts, it sounds like it is a lot more relaxed then it was when I attended the program.  We would hike 15+ miles a day.  Our rations consisted of oats, rice, lentils, and flower.  We used to eat ants with red ends that tasted like lemon candy.  We once killed a rattlesnake, skinned it and ate it.  The worst was when Dennis, our Field Supervisor, brought us a coyote to skin and cook.  It was the worst tasting thing I have ever had!  They had us eat dog for god sake!

Anyway, after my stay with SUWS I moved on to Three Springs Paint Rock Valley and the rest is history.

I would be happy to go more into detail about my SUWS experience if asked to.

CEDU / Brown Schools and derivatives / clones / Ron Cavanaugh
« on: December 13, 2005, 03:53:00 PM »
Ron was my counselor at the Amity School in 93 as well.

The Troubled Teen Industry / Three Springs Alumni
« on: December 13, 2005, 03:52:00 PM »
What years were you working for them?  Do you have any idea who I am?

Pages: [1] 2