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Messages - AuntieEm2

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The Troubled Teen Industry / Re: Reporter looking for survivors in MN
« on: March 12, 2014, 04:35:14 PM »
Sorry to hear Ursus has not been posting. He helped me a lot.

I'm still trying to locate survivors from Minnesota. Is there a facebook page that you recommend I post to?

Auntie Em

The Troubled Teen Industry / Reporter looking for survivors in MN
« on: March 09, 2014, 01:56:20 PM »
A reporter in Minnesota is looking for survivors there who might be willing to talk about their experiences, or survivors who were sent to programs in that state.  I haven't posted in some time, but Ursus and Psy should be willing to vouch for me.   

Feed Your Head / Re: ASTART Report: Treatment Research Lacks Good Science
« on: December 10, 2011, 12:26:00 PM »
Aspen is very fond of claiming they have evidence their programs work, and here is their favorite research report completely discredited.

Too many parents who placed their children with Aspen programs were bamboozled by this phony research. It's marketing, not research.

Auntie Em

New Info / Re: Gateway Academy Salt Lake City Utah
« on: December 08, 2011, 11:26:49 AM »
1) Your child must have a strong sense of yearning to get better (whether shown inside or not.)
2) Your child must not be overly aggressive.
3) Your child must have some sense of social skills within their conscience.
4) Your child should be agreeable to some extent in character, since he will be living in such close quarters with other students.

....aaaand if your child possesses these characteristics, then the rationalization for locking them up and isolating them far from loved ones would be...what?

Don't abandon your child with stragers in a strange land. Find help close to home.

Auntie Em

Synanon / Re: Looking for Ex-Synanon Members?
« on: November 30, 2011, 04:18:52 PM »
Thank you, Evaderci, interesting info--and I believe it is Ursus you are responding to about the nature of the games.

Glad you found a therapist who has been helpful (sounds like). Re the timing of this inquiry of yours, the brain acts in a protective way sometimes by letting us forget hurtful or painful events. It is possible--I'm not a professional in these matters--that you have remembered these events at Synanon at a time when you were in a safer and more supportive situation, and better able to cope.

Not sure if you have seen this article by Maia Szalivitz called, "The Cult That Spawned the Tough-Love Teen Industry." ... n-industry
Sadly, much of what you experienced lives on today.

Auntie Em

Synanon / Re: Looking for Ex-Synanon Members?
« on: November 29, 2011, 09:09:06 AM »

Sorry they derailed your discussion. There are many here who do care and are supportive. Hope you are able to find some understanding and peace.

Auntie Em

Synanon / Re: Looking for Ex-Synanon Members?
« on: November 28, 2011, 02:47:13 PM »
Dear evaderci,

Very sorry to hear you were subjected to this abuse. No one, especially a child, should have to endure this.

I am concerned that if you are in the process of remembering and revisiting this part of your past that you have a good support system around you--people who will listen and can help you understand all this, be there if you are having nightmares or flashbacks, or other symptoms other survivors have reported. You will find support here, but it's not quite the same. This can be a very difficult time, so take care.

Good luck,

Auntie Em

Great to see all the closures!

One reason those who sexually abuse others choose emotionally and physically vulnerable persons (including children) is because they have "credibility problems." We have for years dismissed reports of abuse from 6-year-olds as fabrications the same way we dismiss the reports of abuse from 16-year-olds with "very significant emotional and self esteem issues" as "lies."

One clear indication of the the man's guilt is his guilty plea. It is in fact legal proof of guilt.

Auntie Em

I don't know about Vermont law, but in most states a 16-year-old cannot give consent to sex with an adult (in some states they can give consent to another minor). The news reporting here is either irresponsible or sloppy.

The rationale of "I loved her and wanted to marry her" is very typical flawed thinking on the part of an adult who has sex with children, and the fact that a vulnerable child was persuaded to participate in the relationship does not constitute consenusal sex. When every aspect of a person's life is under the total control of another--food, shelter, education, medical care, psychological care, when they sleep, when they eat, what they read, whether they may speak to another student, when they can graduate and be liberated from the program--there is nothing consensual (legally or otherwise) in the behavior. Isolated residential treatment environments are absolutely ideal settings for those with an intention to sexually abuse the vulnerable people under their control.  

The fact that other students, staff, family, neighbors and friends were unaware of this 40-year-old's sexual behavior around children is in no way testimony to "he couldn't possibly do it." Child sexual abuse is so epidemically widespread--1 in 8 to 10 boys, 1 in 5 girls are victims--means that people in all our lives who we know, trust, admire and love are engaging in sexual behavior around children and we are unaware. Fact. Adults who sexually abuse children engage in highly secretive behavior, often for many years before being caught, and fear disclosure of their behavior to family and friends more than they fear disclosure to law enforcement. The fact that the behavior is taboo in society adds to its appeal--the taboo fuels the widespread appeal of pornography depecting "barely legal" girls and boys.

It is important to note that when offenders complete specialized treatment for sexual behavior problems--again they must complete specialized treatment--87% do not reoffend. The recidivism rate is lower than for other crimes of violence and greed.

If you or someone you know is having sexual thoughts around children, I urge you to visit http://

Auntie Em

Aspen Education Group / Re: Someone had a fun day in Lake Montezuma
« on: April 28, 2011, 11:06:47 AM »
Thank you, Ed Kahn, for keeping the "con" in Ed Con. I was much too impertinent earlier and should be sent straight to Straight, see my way to CEDU, or get my ass to Aspen.

Hello, Edward Kahn!

So you are the marketing director for the IECA? Or maybe an online marketing content provider paid by Aspen? Or an educational consultant looking to drum up business?

Aspen Education Group is indeed one very finest top-notch profiteers in the troubled teen industry. Its parent company is CRC Health Group, Inc. of California, which is, in turn, owned by Bain Capital, LLC, headquartered in Boston with offices in New York, London, Munich, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo. In 2010, Aspen/CRC Health's annual report showed that the company’s average net income (so after costs) per youth per day in residential programs was $250.46, or clear and bankable profit of $91,417.90 per child per year. The outdoor division (the wilderness programs) is even more profitable, netting $440.23 per day or $160,683.95 per year.

Educational consultants are being paid for their referrals—the enterprising ones are, anyway—so let’s see, a 10% per head bounty would produce quite a comfortable living for an “ed con” if he or she found only 5-10 parents online who could be “scared straight” into sending their child to a program. Wow, I'm in the wrong business.

When reading these citations--citations that have been issued because Copper Canyon Academy is in violation of Arizona law regarding safe and appropriate care for teens--I am struck by how many of the inspector's questions went unanswered because the administrator would not provide access to records, a violation of the law in and of itself. We know from experience that facilities hide their records and isolate the children in their care so they do not have to subject their programs to public view. (And I am not talking about HIPAA-protected patient information, but staff, program, educational and heath/health emergency and safety records.)  

The system could be said to be working only if a place with so many serious violations were closed or placed under state control by the State of Arizona. In reality, the violations have been listed in a report--they have not been corrected. It's just words on paper if the facility is still operating without limitations or controls.

The other thing that is clear from reading the citations is that proper licensing, training and supervision of staff members providing behavior health services to youth is not occurring. The requirements for MINIMAL staff competence are not being met.

I would not send any child I know or love to an Aspen facility (or other for-profit residential care facility)--or allow strangers to keep my child far from home for months and years on end in the name of "treatment."

The Troubled Teen Industry / Re: Medical links between abuse and health
« on: February 14, 2011, 11:25:38 AM »
Quote from: "Ursus"
From the above article by Howard Bell, "The Hidden Toll of Abuse":

    But retrofitting medical training programs will take decades, according to Hanson. --snip-- Yet he, McCollum, and Christensen express the same frustration. "It's hard to get physicians to come to training that’s not obviously related to what they do," Graff says.[/list][/size]
    One of the biggest roadblocks I see here, despite the focus and hopeful tenor of the article, is not so much the physicians themselves, but the cultural climate of our HMO dominated health care system, which simply does not avail the time for such individual attention despite it's being quite warranted.

    Though the article also says:

      For example, victims of childhood abuse and neglect are 1.3 to 1.7 times more likely to have coronary artery disease as adults, --snip-- of 17,000 people of all ages, ethnic groups, educational levels, and socioeconomic classes, the researchers also found that victims of adverse childhood experiences also had a higher incidence of addictions, sexually transmitted diseases, obesity, fractures, diabetes, COPD, rheumatoid arthritis, lung cancer, and thyroid disorders.[/list]
      Which suggests that to reduce costs, insurers may embrace broader efforts to prevent and treat abuse. If they won't do it out of compassion, perhaps they'll do it out of greed...

      I also think patients need to start asking for a higher standard of care in this arena. A checkbox on a health history form doesn't cut it anymore.

      The Troubled Teen Industry / Re: Medical links between abuse and health
      « on: February 11, 2011, 03:10:13 PM »
      Thank you, friendly bear-man.

      I really hope this can help some people.

      Auntie Em

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