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Hyde Schools / Grieving parent of a former Hyde student shares his testimony
« Last post by survivorami on September 03, 2021, 02:59:06 PM »
Grieving parent of a former Hyde student shares his testimony.
Trigger warning: Suicide

I am not ready, even after these years, to discuss the details of what happened to my son, the long tortured path that led to his death. I said that Hyde was a station along the way and contributed, though Hyde is not solely responsible in that sense... I am also afraid to give too much away that might identify me to Hyde trolls or others. The people at Hyde have shown they are quite capable of the most nefarious behavior in protecting their God Gauld and their little enterprise and I have no room left in me for fighting. I can tell you that they spun him like a rat.. changing the maze whenever he thought he had it down and convincing him that he was a piece of s--- unless he played their game. He couldn't. He didn't. He failed there and they smashed his self-confidence to pieces. He was weak, mentally ill, needed some form of treatment but no one recognized it. I pulled him out jail over and over again, retrieved him from international locales after he'd been arrested, incarcerated in various institutions.. his illness progressed and everyone along the way who made it worse - like the people at Hyde - contributed. I contributed myself. When your  20-year-old son takes your shotgun after breaking into a gun cabinet and blows his brains out, you are also destroyed by it.

Suffice to say that the vulnerable types must be protected from institutions like Hyde because Hyde is no different from the general society, in that respect. Who doesn't conform, is destroyed. It is the school's failure to determine who it can help and who it cannot - who it will in fact make worse - that makes it a quasi-criminal enterprise. Any truly idealistic institution would recognize its limitations to protect those it might harm. Not Hyde. Money drives Hyde. Money, power and self-aggrandizement are its stock in trader. Once they get your money, it's actually in their interest to force you out because it's non-refundable and they get paid for not doing anything. Meanwhile the next fool steps up, urged on by [pro-Hyders] no doubt, and another $30-40-50,000 goes into the company safe. It's a racket run by a kind of Mafiosi, sociopaths with suits and sob stories and a very slick brochure.

This past February was the fourth anniversary of my son's suicide in the basement. Prior to that he had spent some time at Hyde, perhaps a year or less and whatever problems he had to begin with were so exacerbated by his experiences there that I have always linked the two. I couldn't say it was direct because there was some time between when he was thrown out of Hyde and when he shot himself, but I believe to this day that the actions of the head of that school and several of its psycho caretakers were direct contributors.

I can't go into details about what happened at Hyde except to to say that the profound, deep, dishonesty practiced by the staff, many of whom I am sure are unqualified to be called such, the cultism, the terrorism inflicted on already disturbed children would result in long prison terms to the practitioners thereof in any reasonable society. Hyde, in my opinion, is a nightmare, a mental torture chamber created by a psychopaths and created to breed acolytes...

Do not send your son to Hyde. If you have already done so and he wants out; do not believe the staff at Hyde. Their entire purpose functions just as the street soldiers of Scientology function to recruit and impress more members... If I were a praying man, I would pray for you and your son; as it is, I can only avail you of the benefit of my experience there and the terrible consequences one faces when allowing these kinds of individuals to oversee the psychological development of a child, especially one already having difficulty in the world.

To the parent... Every once in a while you come across really extreme advocacy for Hyde. I urge you to be wary on this basis alone... There are many children who go through Hyde and come out the other side but that isn't the issue... Those cretins don't know one illness from another from a third and they simply put everyone through the same filter, discarding those who don't pass... If your child is among them, he will be destroyed by the Hyde process... it's Hyde as in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. these people (I use the term loosely - they are monsters in their own right) are self-appointed cultists, emotional terrorists and liars through and through... the fact that some less vulnerable children survive the experience and come back proselytizing for the cause means nothing... These people and many like them should be shut down and I believe that sooner or later the awful truth about what goes on at Hyde will "out" and people like [Pro-Hyde commenter] here will find some new excuse for it... Don't send your son to Hyde unless you are certain that he is strong enough to withstand the emotional battering he will receive there. They have made themselves very rich on the despair of others and employ their family and friends and other advocates as rewards - just like any cult... These people are dangerous, untrustworthy and eventually I believe they will be seen as criminal.

Reposted from another post from June 2011.
Hyde Schools / Re: PLEASE HELP!!! Should I send my son to Hyde???
« Last post by survivorami on September 01, 2021, 09:48:28 PM »
No one should be sent to Hyde, ever.
2011 Hyde School Graduate, Justin O. Castor Takes Plea Deal on Aggravated Rape Charges filed against him for allegations against then 19-year-old Justin.

Arlington Man's Curry College Rape Hearing Delayed
See why the probable cause hearing got pushed back until Aug. 29.

Posted Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 5:35 am ET
Updated Tue, May 7, 2013 at 5:20 pm ET

An Arlington man and two from Malden charged with raping a Curry College student in January had their court proceedings postponed Friday until Aug. 29, according to a report in the Currier Times, the school's student newspaper.

Justin O. Castor, then 19, of Arlington, Kensley Metellus, 19, of Malden, and Shakarus D. Semexant, 20, of Malden, appeared in Quincy District Court for a probable cause hearing. The hearing was delayed, however, after the Norfolk District Attorney's Office asked for more time to review the evidence, which included two used condoms, according to the report.

The three men allegedly raped the student in a residence hall after a dance at the college on Sunday, Jan. 20. They were arrested by Milton police five days later and charged with aggravated rape, conspiracy to commit rape, assault with intent to rape and indecent assault and battery. The college sent an email alert to students about the incident the following Monday, Jan. 28.

After Friday's hearing, Castor's attorney told the Currier Times that his client "vehemently denies that he committed any of the crimes."

Castor, who graduated from the Hyde School in Maine in 2011, and Metellus, a 2011 Malden High School graduate, both attended Curry College last year but not this year. They both knew the alleged victim, according to the Currier Times.

Semexant attended Mount Ida College in Newton in 2010 after graduating from Malden High. Both Metellus and Semexant played football their freshman year in college.

During the probable cause hearing, a judge will weigh the evidence and then decide whether or not to move forward with the charges. All three men are out on bail.


Currier Times Full Report:
The Troubled Teen Industry / Asheville Academy for Girls - investigation thread
« Last post by Oscar on August 13, 2021, 01:11:41 AM »
Asheville Academy for Girls is located on 126 Camp Elliot Rd, Black Mountain, North Carolina. This address used to house Stone Mountain School run back then by Aspen Education Group. The campus was shared with Solstice East.

The target group is younger teenager girls aged below 15 at enrollment.

Some testimonies on Google state what kind of environment the girls are placed in:

Quote from: Hannah Schuetz
I am begging you with every fiber of my being not to send your child here. I was at AAG from August 12, 2013-August 14, 2014. I have never been more traumatized than I was while I was there. We were treated like garbage and while there was a handful of good staff the majority did not care and would put us into restraints for absolutely no reason. I also was sent to the basement and forced to do nothing and I was not allowed to have conversations. We were barely allowed to be near each other. To this day I have nightmares about this school and everything I went through. There are so many places that can help your child but this is not one of them.

Quote from: Kelly Montgomery
WARNING - DON'T SEND YOUR DAUGHTER HERE IF YOU LOVE HER!  The staff are rude and girls can get by with basically anything.  iF you act out you get restrained and staff holds you down until you agree to stop.  My parents sent me here when I was 13 and I will never forgive them for the 8 months of absolute hell they put me through!

Quote from: anonymous reviewer
*to clarify, this is about my experience with AAG, not solstice* My own PTSD regarding my traumatizing experience at this school years ago, has kept me from doing anything as simple as writing this review, in terms of speaking out. Somehow years later, I’m still so fearful of this place that I am afraid to speak out against it, and tell my story. But they don’t have any control over me anymore, they cannot punish me for writing an honest review.

In my and many other’s opinion, this school manipulates parents. Both in getting them to send their kids here, and getting them to stay. If you say anything negative about the school to your parents, they tell them that you are not “accepting” of the fact that you are here, and they make you stay longer. In the years following my stay here, my parents have recognized the many manipulation tactics they used, and have apologized to me for falling for them. Even if you have toured the school, and have had students tell you they are fine and dandy..... trust me. I was one of the students they paraded around during tours. I felt trapped into assuring parents that this school was safe, and was helping me. I feel guilty about that to this day, but I was emotionally trapped and had no choice (at 14 years old).

I witnessed a number of restraints that didn’t need to happen, people being taken to “the basement” for hours or even DAYS, with nothing to do except sit and get even more upset, as punishment. I witnessed a certain therapist scream at a student who was suffering, and the same therapist made fun of me while I was disassociating.

and while we are talking about staff, there were at least two staff members who worked at the school when i went there who, now that I am older, i believe may have been acting inappropriately towards students. in what exact capacity I’m not sure, but personally I know of one former staff member who would tell me and other students about her sex life in order to get us to do our chores, etc.

We were also forced to read “impact letters” from our parents, which stated explicitly why we were sent there, to a large group of other preteens. We could not skip words, and often had peers reading over your shoulder to make sure you weren’t leaving anything out. What purpose it served to be forced to read your parents words in front of the other girls, aside from shame and humiliation, I have no clue. Aside from my own impact letter, it was so uncomfortable for me to have to listen to other girls’ reading theirs, knowing how traumatizing it was. It was also just terribly awkward.

I have many other stories to tell, and I will one day. If anyone in charge this school is reading this, just know that I understand that some of you are well meaning. i get that. But in my opinion, at least a couple of years ago, you are/were not doing it right. This is not the nurturing environment you advertise it to be.

To use the words you so loved to throw in my face when I was there... me choosing to write this review, and in the future, tell my story, is my version of “advocation” and “authenticity”. I WILL advocate for the bettering of institutions like yours, as well as for the people who have been hurt by them. And I WILL be authentic, and eventually, unafraid, in honestly talking about my time here, in hopes to raise awareness and to help myself heal.

Quote from: Emily Trilling
When I was here at AAG it was when I was 12 I am now 17 and still think of the terrible expiernces I have been through at that place. I’ve been to over 5 programs and can reccomend good ones for parents looking to send there children here please do not!!!! I was consitnitly retrained and so was everyone else for the most ridiculous reasons, (getting to close to another peer) and I was also put in the basement with no peer interaction for 2 weeks before I begged my parents to send me to a wilderness program which I came from. I remember one time I was cutting myself and they didn’t notice till 3 weeks in the staff is a joke they want money the only reason there their.

Quote from: Flirtybird
I went to this horrible horrible place about 3 years ago. DO NOT SEND YOUR CHILD. My family and I have spent years trying to undo the damage and PTSD put on me by “therapists” and “trained staff”. I was locked in a room by myself for a full month! THESE PLACES DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD. PLEASE DO NOT SUPPORT THEM!

Quote from: Madeline McKenzie
If you are reading this, and you are having trouble with your daughter, I just want to let you know that, what your daughter is going through is not forever and while it may be difficult and you are unsure what to do as a parent, the best thing you truly can do is be there for your kid and not expect some program to try and fix your child's problems. As a young adult woman now.. the problems I faced as a 12-13 year old girl surpassed as I got older and I got through the cruel phases of puberty that all women go through in their lives.

It's been roughly 5 years since I attended this therapeutic school program. I was sent here in continuation from another treatment center as a way to slowly integrate into a normal school system. This school is set in a beautiful environment, the house where solstice and AAG was in was very nice and whilst being there, it was going under remodeling so I can only imagine what it is like now.

The biggest problem with this  program I can share is, the lack of understanding between the staff and the students. The program was set in a level system where you can earn privileges as you increased in rank. You proceed in your rank by taking accountability, showing respect, leadership, progressing in therapy, and doing assignments, etc. I got to the 3rd highest rank within the program. In this program I felt trapped and I felt very lost. Music was and is my life but for the majority of my time there, my music listening was restricted to 30 minutes per weekend. Staff also put restrictions as to what the students can and cant listen to or read so being my 13 year old self, this only caused me to rebel and look for ways to sneak in my books, and my cds. Music regardless of genre and style or content, is extremely helpful in therapy and I was quite baffled as to how that was considered a privilege? It was the hardest thing about attending AAG. AAG put a new wave of defiance in me with all of the restrictions they put upon the students. No student is one and the same, what one girl may find helpful, maybe different for another. Therapy is personal.

The actual therapy wasn't very good, I couldn't relate with my therapist at all and I found that my therapist often rarely worked with me. I would have to send requests but even then, she wouldn't acknowledge them sometimes. I did Ptsd based therapy but I wasn't even sure that was the problem, the main problem was that I had no liberty and the only way I could escape or free myself from this institution was look to books and religion. I'd also work with a doctor who would prescribe me medication without my fathers discretion. I can't even remember all the different kinds of pills they put me on, now today my digestion is messed up from it all, young girls from the ages of 10-14 shouldn't be taking 60 mgs of prozac  or prescribed 20mg of ritalin. Its terrible for their health and any reasonable adult should know that this stuff is not good for developing bodies. I had no say, it was a "doctor knows best" deal, and most typically doctor dont always know best.

I found myself more depressed in AAG than I was before in my everyday life . I was suicidal, I missed my father, and more importantly I felt so disassociated with reality, reality isn't accountability groups and "I feel statements", reality is knowing your situation, and learning to make a mistake and take that mistake and learn from it. This school should've preached love instead of making these poor girls feel bad about themselves in front of their parents. What those girls wanted was someone to understand them through this confusing and difficult time, and all we truly had was each other. Sisterhood is very real in this place, I am still friends with the girls I met 6 years ago at AAG. They have all grown to be great strong young women.

This isn't trying to hurt the school, this is just some of the things I experienced while I was here. For some it might be a good fit, but for me, it really was a nightmare.

Hyde Schools / Re: Former Hyde Student Ron Posner kills girlfriend?
« Last post by survivorami on August 11, 2021, 03:40:13 PM »

BROWN BECAME CLOSE friends with Kip Eaton, a Barrington High classmate who lives in Providence, where he attends Johnson & Wales University.

"She was always, I could tell, deep down a little sad, but she would never show it," Eaton said. "She wasn't sure exactly where her life was headed, or her relationship with Ron."'

Waller, her friend from the University of Maine, noticed something wrong, too. She spoke to Brown in early December. She sounded down. But when Waller pressed, Brown said she was fine.

By early December, she told Eaton that Posner would be coming home soon and that she was looking forward to it. She'd even helped him get the money to fly back to Rhode Island. But Eaton had his worries.

He knew that Posner and Brown seemed to get along well sometimes. "Happy? Oh yeah, they seemed very happy at times," he said.

But he knew about the night at Motel 6, and he knew how Posner would sometimes talk to her.

"He'd yell at her and say, I know you're doing this. I know you're doing that," Eaton said.

Around the time of Posner's return from California, Brown hit a milestone: her first apartment.

Angell Street on the East Side pulses with vitality. The old houses-turned-cramped-apartments seem quaint beside the Starbucks, a sushi bar and bookstores that offer discussions on Plato.

The two-story house at 410 Angell St. is half a block from Brown University's soccer field. It is tan with burgundy trim and a gray side porch. The foyer is drab with stained carpets; even the basement has been made into a living space.

Brown moved into apartment 1, a one-bedroom on the first floor, paying about $725 a month. It was only about 10 miles from her parents' house, but it was hers. She fixed it up, with family photos and a tiny kitchen table.

Posner and Brown spent time with Kip Eaton, whose Federal Hill apartment was the hub of a small community of Barrington graduates who moved to Providence after high school. Posner bragged to Eaton that he'd managed to break out of Benchmark "multiple times."

Eaton, 19, thought that Posner was acting strangely.

"I'd say, 'Hey Ron, could you look out the window and tell me if it's snowing?' " Eaton said. "And he'd look at his watch and say, 'It's 7:30.' "

"He'd sit there, his eyes all fogged out. Mentally he just wasn't right."

Brown was worried, too. She told Eaton she didn't know what was going on.

"She said he frightened her a little bit," Eaton said. "I specifically remember her saying that."

At about 7 p.m on Sunday, Jan. 14, Loren Williams and his roommate were watching television in the apartment across the hall from Brown. They heard arguing and yelling. And then, the pounding on doors.

They opened their door to see Brown standing in the foyer, crying and telling Posner to get out of the building. He stood with his back to the door leading outside. Her back was to the stairwell. They said she looked small next to him.

"She was a tiny thing, she could not have been more than 100 pounds," said Williams, a middle-aged man who's lived in the building for three years. "She was crying and screaming and you could see this red mark around her neck. It was very raw."

"It went like this. It went all the way around," his roommate said, wrapping his thumb and forefinger around his throat.

The light in the foyer is dim and Williams strained to see if her skin was broken. It didn't look like it was.

"She was pale, very white," said Williams' roommate, who didn't want to give his name. "She looked like the life had been drained out of her. What struck me is that she was so scared that even when we were standing there, she kept running up and down the stairs knocking on doors."

The neighbors called police and tried to talk to Brown, but she was focused on Posner. They said it was as if she couldn't hear them.

Posner, the neighbors said, seemed to want to brush the whole thing off. She's just "freaking out," he told them.

The upstairs neighbors came into the building and asked what was going on. The woman tried to get Brown to go upstairs with her.

Posner asked Williams if he'd called police. When Williams said yes, Posner and Brown ran back into her apartment.

The neighbors yelled: "Leave the door open!"

She did.

When Brown came out, she had changed from a white blouse into a turtleneck sweater. Posner wore a windbreaker. He followed her out of the building.

Williams and his roommate pulled up their shade and crouched near the window so they could hear. Posner was trying to shepherd her down the stairs.

"He was saying 'I'll go with you, I'll go with you,' " Williams said. "It was horrible."

When police arrived, Brown said the marks on her neck were self-inflicted, from a panic attack. She told police that she took Effexor for her panic attacks, but hadn't taken the medication in a week. The police left after about 30 minutes.

But minutes later, at 7:32 p.m., a second neighbor called. "Weren't we just there?" the dispatcher asked. The caller said Brown had left, but that the "male subject wants to talk to police."

When the police returned, both Brown and Posner were in the foyer, with neighbors nearby.

Williams said he opened his apartment door when the police officer knocked. Williams said he could see the young couple behind the officer, arguing softly in the hall.

"The officer asked us what we heard because he said he was getting 'lies from both of them,' " Williams said.

Brown pulled down her turtleneck and told police that Posner had tried to strangle her. But she said she did not want him arrested.

An officer told her that she did not have to make the complaint, that he could.

"Or I can," another neighbor said.

The officer called the sergeant at the station and said he needed a domestic violence reporting form. Someone drove it over. He checked that an assault had taken place, describing it as "grabbing," and then gave the form to Brown to fill out her portion. She signed it, but did not mark on the diagram of a female body where she was hurt. She left blank the questions about who had hurt her.

The officer wrote in his report that there were "conflicting stories" and did not make an arrest.

Brown told police they could take Posner to Kip Eaton's house, in Federal Hill.

Brown followed, picking up Posner before he ever got inside. She drove him home to Barrington.

Later that night, Eaton and two friends went to Brown's apartment. She had scratches and black and blue bruises. She was so messed up, he said, he wanted to cry.

"Me, in my life, I had never witnessed anything like that," he said. I begged her . . . I said: 'You know Katie, he's done it twice now, he's only going to do it again. You've got to make a clean break.' "

She told him that she had already forgiven him.

"We all tried . . . I don't know, she just really loved the kid," Eaton said. "The bottom line was that she was a great girl who got mixed up with a kid who had a lot of problems."

"I really just wish I'd gone after him and told him to stay away from her."

A couple of days later, the talk at Eaton's place was how Posner said he had heard voices the night of the chaos on Angell Street.

"That comment did it for me. I was like 'wow,' " Eaton said. "After the first time, I thought maybe this was a one-time thing . . . but after the second time . . . I told her not to bring him around anymore."

On the night before she died, Brown went to Eaton's alone. She said she and Posner had just walked up Angell Street to a sushi bar.

"She said they had had a good night," Eaton said.

Then came Thursday evening, Jan. 18.

About 8 p.m., Posner appeared on the doorstep of his Rumstick neighbor, Pat Fowler. She thought he had been in a car accident, by all the blood on him. But another neighbor with him told Fowler no, "he thinks his girlfriend's dead in the driveway."

The state medical examiner has not released the cause of death, but a court affidavit states that Brown suffered a "major head injury of unknown origin."

Brown's body lay between the Posners' garage and her car, the 1998 black Honda, which police found with the headlights still on.

At her memorial service, Katherine Brown's father remembered her laughter and creativity.

Sometimes, he said, she was too good of an actress.

"She hid what was inside."

RONALD POSNER awaits his fate now behind bars, in a state prison dormitory with 12 double-bunked cells. On Friday, he will appear at a hearing on the question of his mental competency. Since his arrest, a judge has agreed to allow Posner to receive some form of medication while in prison.

Last Friday, Posner's lawyer C. Leonard O'Brien, said: "This is a terrible, terrible set of circumstances for everyone, particularly the Brown family and we very much respect what they are going through and the grief they are feeling.

"All I can say on Mr. Posner's behalf is that we hope people keep an open mind and allow the case to make its way through the system before they make their decisions."

Last Thursday morning, Posner's sister, Vicky, stepped out into the driveway of the family's house on South Meadow Lane. Three white candles marked where Katherine Brown's body lay a week earlier.

Vicky Posner said of her brother, "I know he loved her. He really did."

"When they were over here, they were happy. He was a nice kid. He just started hanging around with the wrong crowd."

The Posners weren't home on the night Brown died, Vicky says; her father had taken a relative out to dinner.

When Ralph Posner came home, "He came home to this."

* * *

REMEMBERING: Jane Wallis, a family friend, looks at a photograph of Katherine Brown after setting it up for her memorial service last week.

Journal photo / KRIS CRAIG
Hyde Schools / Former Hyde Student Ron Posner kills girlfriend?
« Last post by survivorami on August 11, 2021, 03:39:23 PM »
Former Hyde Student Ron Posner kills girlfriend?

Providence Journal (RI) - Sunday, January 28, 2001
Katherine Brown: A turbulent relationship, a tragic ending
* Katherine Brown and Ronald Posner began dating when they were seniors at Barrington High School. "It was off and on," one friend said. "Either things were really good or really bad."

* * *

PROVIDENCE - Four days before her death, Katherine Brown screamed as she ran up and down the stairs pounding on apartment doors.

Get out! Get out of my apartment! I want you to leave, the neighbors heard her shout. You're scaring me.

Neighbors opened their door and saw the slight, 20-year-old woman facing the young man they knew as her boyfriend, Ronald Posner. He stood in the yellow light of the dingy foyer, watching her.

Brown's voice shook and tears streamed down her face. A raw red mark, like a choker, was around her throat.

The neighbors called the police.

Posner put his hands to his head. Neighbors heard him yell back at her: Look at what you're doing to me. You're going to get me in trouble.

She grabbed her car keys and ran out onto the porch. He followed, softly begging her to let him come, too. No, she cried, I don't want you in my car. You scare me.

The Providence police got the call at 6:56 Sunday night, Jan. 14, and when they arrived, they blocked the driveway of the East Side Victorian with their cruisers. They talked to Brown and Posner in the dark parking lot.

Neighbors watching from their back window were stunned when the officers soon drove off.

A second neighbor called the police, saying "the girl left, but the young man wants to talk to someone."

When the police came back, both Brown and Posner were there. Brown told the police that Posner, not a panic attack, as she had earlier told them, caused the marks on her neck. But don't arrest him, she said. Just take him away. The police described Posner as "nervous and confused."

It was agreed that the police would take Posner to a friend's house on Federal Hill. But as the patrol car drove off, Brown followed.

Before Posner ever got into the apartment, Brown's black Honda pulled up. Posner got in.

And they drove off together.

"I forgave him, I had to," she told a friend hours later. "I really love him."

"I want to be with him."

BROWN WAS with him in her death, the police say.

When they found Brown's body in Posner's Barrington driveway on Jan. 18, Posner stood nearby, his blue jeans and fleece jacket covered in blood. The police removed hair resembling hers from Posner's hands.

Authorities haven't divulged how Brown died. Posner has pleaded innocent to a charge of murder.

For a decade, there has not been a murder in Barrington, a quiet town where the grapevine flourishes like the marsh grass that fringes the million-dollar views.

Virtually everyone in town knew Katherine E. Brown or Ronald A. Posner, or knew someone who did, or knew their fathers hers a noted child psychiatrist, his, the owner of a half-century old jewelry company.

Posner's family lives in Rumstick, which juts out, like an elbow, into Narragansett Bay. Stone walls separate the manor-style houses and cobblestone barns that adorn rolling meadows. Golf-pro Brad Faxon and an executive who entertains Bill Clinton live in the area.

The Browns lived three miles away on Bernard Avenue in West Barrington, a neighborhood styled in post-war, although expensive, suburbia split-levels, ranches, and Colonials with basketball hoops in the driveways.

The Browns moved to Barrington when Katherine was little. They had lived briefly in California; her father would later joke that his daughter had grown into the quintessential California girl, with her straight sandy blond hair and love of sunshine. And her flair for the dramatic.

She took dance classes and won a part, at only 10, in a play being put on by Perishable Theatre in Providence. It was called Harm's Way, and the subject was so mature that her parents weren't sure she should see it, much less act in it. She convinced them.

She filled her room with collages and posted inspirational messages on her mirrors. She had three best friends, and they planned each phase of their lives, with the ending a real-life version of The Golden Girls.

In Barrington High School, she wasn't a standout student or the president of this or that. She played field hockey for awhile and danced in school productions, and loved fun, sometimes inviting everyone she knew to weekend parties at the two-story blue Colonial she shared with her parents and younger brother and sister.

And she was becoming known for another quality.

Her father was a noted researcher, studying sexual abuse and other childhood syndromes, as director of child and family psychiatry at Rhode Island Hospital. Larry Brown's daughter, perhaps, had inherited his empathy.

More than one friend called her a rock, a crutch, or a shoulder on which to lean.

By spring of her senior year of high school, someone new was drawn to Brown's compassion: Ronald Posner.

HE WAS TALL and lanky with curly hair. And when Posner arrived at Barrington High School, he was carrying some baggage: emotional troubles and a few run-ins with the police.

Over the previous two years, Posner had begun a downward spiral falling from soccer star at Providence Country Day School to accused thief who victimized his friends' parents.

In late 1997, Barrington police pulled over a car and found Posner inside with stolen goods and drug paraphernalia.

About two weeks earlier, Dr. Stephen Schiff, a Barrington urologist, had reported the theft of a diamond ring his wife had given him for his 40th birthday and a bracelet he'd received from his parents. The items had been stolen from an unlocked locker at the Barrington YMCA.

He remembers the telephone call from the police officer: "He told me, 'We think we got your stuff.' "

Schiff says the police officer gave him a copy of his report which said the officer had found "all kinds of drug paraphernalia" in the car, "and a bunch of other stolen items among which were my ring and my bracelet."

"And then what we heard was the father was making an attempt to make sure everything was paid back," said Schiff. "He was going to kind of take care of things so that this wouldn't go to court" including paying back some charges made on stolen credit cards.

Because the value of Schiff's items totaled more than $500 making the theft a felony police officers urged him to press charges. This is not something to sweep under the rug, the police told him.

Schiff, however, dropped the matter once his ring and bracelet were returned.

Another woman, who asked not to be named, said police returned jewelry that Ronald Posner a good friend of her son's had stolen.

Posner's father, Ralph, also came to her house, she said, and apologized. She said Ralph Posner explained how his son had been stopped by Barrington police and found in possession of stolen property.

"I believe he [Ralph Posner] had a meeting with all of us," the woman said, referring to the others who had belongings stolen.

The woman said Ronald Posner was often in her home. "When he was around us, he was always a polite, nice young man," she said. But after the theft of her jewelry, "My son was just hurt. He felt betrayed by a friend." The friendship dissolved.

"It's very sad," the woman said. "His parents tried. They really tried. But it was very hard to help him."

IN DECEMBER 1997, Ralph and Maria Posner withdrew their son from Providence Country Day, six months before his scheduled graduation.

By January, he was attending Hyde School, a $25,000-a-year boarding school with 300 students in Woodstock, Conn.

"Plain and simple, this is a tough school," Hyde's website proclaims. "We have a highly structured curriculum and a demanding code of ethics. . ."

Families should consider Hyde, the website says, "if they are looking for an environment that will address character development, college preparation and family renewal."

Posner lasted about a year.

"He came midyear and he left midyear," said headmaster Kenneth Grant.

By February 1999, Posner was back in Barrington and enrolled at the town high school.

He grew close to Katherine Brown, but the turmoil continued.

In May 1999, Barrington police were called to the Posner home at the end of South Meadow Lane.

Posner had allegedly slapped his mother, pulled a telephone cord from a wall and smashed a glass table top.

Police arrested him. At his arraignment, a judge issued a no-contact order, keeping him away from his mother.

Weeks later, the no-contact order was vacated and the charges were dismissed.

BROWN KNEW POSNER'S other side. How he liked to get dressed up and go out to dinner, and to laugh. The two shared things creative: she loved photography, he was a talented sketch artist. And they bonded in deep talks often about his problems.

But life was calling Katherine Brown.

In early August 1999, she left Barrington for the University of Maine at Orono, a rural campus 12 miles north of Bangor.

She arrived three weeks before the semester began to participate in Running Start, a program for students who make it into college, but who may benefit from more guidance than other freshmen.

She got a jump on her credits, taking a mini-course, Literature of the Sea. On weekends, the Running Start group camped at Baxter State Park, in the shadow of Mt. Katahdin. She was nervous about rock climbing, but she did it, just as she camped in the rain. Once the semester started, the Running Start participants met weekly to talk about the adjustment to college life.

She hung pictures of Posner, and her friends from Barrington, in her tiny dormitory room. But things had changed.

"They weren't officially together when she was here," said Sarah Waller, 20, who met Brown through Running Start. "But they still talked."

And Brown talked about him, a lot. Waller had never met Posner. But she had mixed feelings about him.

"She would talk about all the fun things they did together. But he'd randomly call her up and accuse her of doing things that she didn't do," she said. "Then other times he would call her up and say how much he missed her and hated being without her."

When Waller asked her friend how she could stand the roller coaster, Brown explained that Posner had emotional problems. His family was wealthy, she'd say, but not warm.

"She tried to help him. He was just a really messed up kid, and when he'd do stuff . . . she thought he wasn't doing it on purpose," Waller said. "That was the kind of caring person that she was."

Posner planned to visit her in Maine once, but the trip fell through. When Brown returned to Maine from spring break, she told her friends she had spent every minute with him.

"It was off and on," Waller said. "Either things were really good or really bad."

Brown loved the college parties, but she could do without the classes or the Maine winters.

She was 19. She wasn't sure what her role in life was, recalled Angela Cole, her Running Start advisor. She didn't really want to be in college. She wanted to travel, to see Europe. She was a dreamer. She had goals and right then, they didn't center on a syllabus.

"She struggled in some ways with having to conform, to be in a box, it just wasn't who she was," Cole said. "Not that she was rebellious she was just really a free thinker."

Last summer, Brown sent Cole an email. She was going to take time off, then perhaps go to the University of Rhode Island. Cole was concerned, worried that once out, she would not return to school.

Brown called her friend Waller, too. She said she was "really happy." It had been a nice summer, things were good with the boy she called "Posner."

But what of him? In early September, Posner enrolled at Dean College in Franklin, Mass., and withdrew on the same day.

Then, on Sept. 10, there was trouble.

At around 9 p.m., Seekonk police responded to a 911 call at the Motel 6 on Rte. 114A. They found Brown sitting on a bench crying, her face swollen. She was reluctant to talk.

But after a desk clerk told an officer how a male guest assaulted her, Brown admitted her boyfriend punched her. Posner was arrested and charged with domestic assault.

Weeks after his arrest in Seekonk, Posner enrolled in the "Benchmark Young Adult School" in Redlands, Calif., according to a Massachusetts prosecutor.

The school's website describes its mission as helping young, at-risk adults with emotional and behavioral problems.

Most of the students who enroll in the school's year-long program, "do not want to be here," the school's website says. "Many have been living rather comfortably, skipping school, partying with friends and taking liberties with family values, among other disruptive behaviors."

Posner, 20, was still attending the school in December, when his domestic assault case came to court. The judge continued the case until this June, pending Posner's performance at Benchmark, said the state prosecutor.

Back in Rhode Island, Brown was again on her own. She turned 20, and at a Thanksgiving party told friends she was ready to go back to school and work hard. She made plans to take classes at the Community College of Rhode Island.

Hyde Schools / Re: A Negative Experience
« Last post by survivorami on August 11, 2021, 05:11:05 AM »
Some things you don’t forget until your dying day.. or dementia, whichever comes first…
Hyde Schools / Cutting/self-harm at Hyde; 3 survivor testimonies
« Last post by survivorami on August 11, 2021, 01:59:45 AM »
Cutting/self-harm at Hyde; 3 survivor testimonies

Survivor 1:
I think one of the biggest red flags in my opinion was during the time I was there I would self-harm a lot. While one nurse was compassionate whenever it would happen, the head nurse at the time and a couple other staff members including the dean of students Mr. Truluck would shame me for it. As far as I know these incidents weren’t always reported to my parents and there were never any sort of psych evaluations done.

One time after the death of a former student who was my best friend I attempted to go to my dorm parents as I was feeling like self harming but I was really trying to work on it and had been told by the compassionate nurse and other faculty that I had permission (as if this should of even needed to be given) to go to my dorm parents after lights out if I felt like self harming and to talk about the death. A staff member on duty happened to be walking through brook house at the moment and told me no and made me feel badly about that situation. I proceeded to return to my room and and do significantly more harm to the point I thought I might of fucked up and overdone it. I ended up going to my dorm parents who called in other staff and they simply tended to the wounds and let me go back to my room.

On another note either my junior year or senior year I tried to sign up to do big brothers/big sisters. The faculty in charge signed off on it and was excited for me to do something like that but Mr. Truluck decided to veto the decision. When I went to him to ask why he said “he did not trust me alone with a child” and other things painting me out like I was a pedophile. To this day I still believe Truluck was consistently unkind to me because I was open about being a part of the LGBT community.

Survivor 2:
In terms of self harm I encountered a very similar problem when asking for help at Hyde. Mr. Truluck was the dean still and made me feel absolutely horrible. My dorm parents were completely unhelpful and tried their best to avoid helping me. I remember asking for help once and being made to feel like a reject, failure, and weirdo.. let’s just say I did not handle their response well...and then when I brought to the nurses later that day I was only made to feel worse.

My self harming behaviors reached the highest levels while I was at Hyde. I never felt like I could talk about it with anyone, so I would hide it. Staff would gossip about it and somehow other students found out (not from me, I told no one). I remember getting a note from my then~boyfriend telling me that one of the “seniors” pulled him aside and warned him about me. (I still have that note, but it has students’ names so I won’t include it).

When I completed Hyde I was able to find the right support and was told that being open and honest about the feelings that I had that were leading me to self harm would be the only way to move forward. I did so and the self harm stopped. There has got to be a way to better help students going through this, I hope things are different now, as I was there more than 10 years ago.

Survivor 3:
I struggled with self harm a lot in high school. Especially at Hyde. One time I cut too deep and I had to go get stitches. And the staff that took me literally made jokes about it. I was on the dance team and she was one of my coaches and she made a joke saying that I should do a dance to Stitches by Shawn Mendes and completely made the situation a joke. The fact that I cut my wrist so deep that I had to get stitches was comical to her. And afterwards I got no support. Only sending me to Eustis afterwards because I was having “behavioral” issues, bc i was suicidal and they didn’t take it seriously.  At all. I spent 2 years at Hyde and that was the most difficult time of my life.

Mr. Truluck still works at Hyde. Hyde has never in its 55 years employed a single licensed counselor or psychologist. Over the last 15 years, they sometimes employed a single social worker.
Another post by the same blogger, a former Hyde School student..

Sunday, September 6, 2020
Intrusive Thoughts

Thoughts imbue upon my brain at a mile per second. Unwanted thoughts, disturbing thoughts, psychotic thoughts, as they have for twenty years. Thoughts of distant past I can only hope are delusions, thoughts of recent past I can only hope are misinterpretations. They hound me for a couple hours nearly every day before I can talk myself down with what I can only hope is my more rational side. To conquer them is a multi-decade struggle, and I can only fear, a lifelong struggle.

It began at what America used to call a 'school for truants' [Hyde]. As an adolescent I was already far gone quite, even in late childhood beset from depressions and anxieties, unremitting agony complete with an absence of all good feeling in my chest that felt physical. The slightest provocation would stimulate violent outbursts, followed by still more depressed remorse. I was almost certain that making it to 38 was an impossibility, and I'm sure the thought occurred to my family as well.

The boarding school [Hyde School] was a place for badly behaved teenagers, whose animating philosophy was that a person's character was responsible for their actions. They were therefore in control of their actions, and any amount of mental and physical pressure was justified in the pursuit of behavioral reform. It was the kind of place that poured gasoline on mental fires, and what until then was merely agonizing depression became full-blown lifelong psychoses.

In my twenties, I nursed a terrible psychotic illness, and developed a tendency to confess everything else about what I was feeling so as to hide a shameful yet egoistic conceit that I was literally speaking to God all day every day and God was answering back. It was He who breathed life into every decision I made, and threatened retribution most terrible if I contravened laws he would make for me moment to moment. To this day, I have some sort of obsessive voice threatening punishment for all decisions I make that contravene it. I try not to listen, but the voice speaks to me all the time - often sending me signs, basing decisions on a value system of numbers, letters, and even colors. During college, I would have full blown visions of angels and demons, and it goes without saying that however merciful angels were when they consoled me, they were quite severe in their judgements.

Those particular voices and images quieted somewhat in my thirties, but they come to me with each decision I make, and every choice I make over the course of the day is never entirely my own. 

But terrific agonies such as those are fully replaced now by obsessive thoughts, thoughts of past and present, thoughts of every sin I ever may have committed, and many which I may not have committed yet with details which, if they haven't, come fabricated fully within my head, detail by detail, along with interpretations of what people may think of me and my actions in the recent past that are of the most severe judgement, and cause in me the most severe of panic. These details could not come more abruptly, without warning, and with moral judgement so draconian I cannot help but often think myself deserving of being known to everyone as the most reprehensible creature on earth.

In recent years, the inner horror has been so dreadful that headaches have become more and more frequent. Numbness on the side of my face and all throughout my body with a feeling of a drooping mouth, a headache two weeks ago that circumambulated the whole head, and markedly increased day-to-day difficulty with spelling, remembering words, remembering what I was talking about, and all that accompanied of course by the further fear that my days are now numbered.


And I'm not going to go through 'deh andereh meiceh' again, about getting manipulated and lied to by a guidance counselor into going to a school for 'character education' that was a cult. Stuck for three years in a place that demanded as much access to your thoughts as any angry god on punishments of daily physical torture and public humiliation, during which the pressure mounted in the mind of this once insufferable teen atheist until delusions of God's personal interference in every decision of his  life began; delusions which have been described by professionals as everything from extreme "Pure O" (obsession) to Schizotypal Personality Disorder, obsessions to which he can still only pay fealty at every moment, even as he types.


The first time I fell in love was with a fundamentalist Christian girl. Amy S_____. I was seventeen, and I met her on a cruise boat on the Black Sea. She was my first kiss - yes, it was quite late, but if you have to have a late first kiss, then experiencing it under a meteor shower off the Greek coast is probably the way to go. She was a Californian, a red-head like me, but 5’11 to my 5’4 ½. She claimed she was solicited to become a model, and it was not at all hard to believe. I was too shy to go up to her for nearly a week, but the day before I left, I finally worked up the nerve when I saw her on the deck, and told her that if I didn’t speak to her before I left, I think I was going to regret it. We were inseparable until five-o’clock the next morning. As it turned out, we had a lot in common. We were both too smart for the situations we’d found ourselves in. We were both clearly itching to get out from underneath backgrounds we found too repressive, or at least that was my impression of her. I’d met her mother earlier that week, and her mother was a holy terror, bragging to anyone who would listen about how terrified her children were of her. And during those years at a rather draconian boarding school, my very mind was being warped from mere depression to outright delusion. For a year or two afterward, we kept in touch via phone and IM, and would occasionally swear our mutual love to one another. On New Year’s Eve 2000 we spent the night talking on the phone to one another about eloping. When I found out she wasn’t serious, it began (for many more reasons than that...) the worst month of my life. In retrospect, I wasn’t particularly serious either, but having fallen into a place [Hyde School] as I did which literally caused me to experience manic delusions and hallucinations, I was looking for any way out, and desperate enough to think that underage marriage to a fundamentalist Christian was a legitimate option. Nevertheless, as I was (perhaps) still a potential marriage prospect down the road, or at least one to whom she kept declaring her love, she kept trying to ‘save me’, and getting me to see the rightness of Jesus Christ. The emotional disasters that followed were rather inevitable...


I often think to myself that my life began around the time I turned 19 or 20 – and everything which happened beforehand was the unfortunate life of some thinner person whose rather painful memories were inexplicably deposited into my brain. There’s a famous quote from Stravinsky in which he declared ‘My childhood was a period of waiting for the moment when I could send everyone connected to it to hell.’ It can’t be denied, there’s something amazingly immature about that sentiment – everyone has their reasons for acting as they do, even if those reasons are unjustifiable to anyone but themselves. No matter how angry you may (still) be about things which are fifteen or twenty years in the past, you're much better served by trying to see things from the point of view of those who made you angry. But I can’t deny that there were all too many moments in my twenties when that was precisely how I felt about everything which happened in my teens, and all too many moments of my twenties when I obsessed over the worry that my teens were going to happen all over again.


When I was sixteen, I would be trapped in a school for three years that was basically a cult from which maximal mental pressure was applied to make sure no one left - a school for troubled teens who believed all learning issues are a function of a person's moral character and therefore all failures to comply with demands, no matter how strenuous nor unreasonable, ought to be met with various forms of corporal punishment.

When I was sixteen, my high school required us all to play a sport. Since I didn’t make the JV soccer team, I was forced to play JV football. To toughen me up, the coach had me be a much repeated contestant for ‘bull in the ring.’ For those who have never played 'bull in the ring', here's how we played it: The entire Varsity team would surround me in a circle. And from any direction any one of them could run up to me to tackle. Putting me in the middle was almost like a pastime for the team.

I certainly had a more decent time being a wrestler and cross country runner than I ever did in football, but by then I hated every single thing about playing sports. I swore that after I reached college there was not a single person in the world who could make me play any sport ever again. My current physique is my reward for that promise, and even now that I’ve long since tried to get back ‘on the wagon’, every attempt to get back into physical activity is eventually hampered by something that triggers those old memories.

From a former Hyde School student....

Monday, August 11, 2014
Depression, Robin, and me
(to whatever god there is, I pray that I eventually have the strength of mind to post this as an in-text facebook post)

I don’t think I’m alone in this regard, but the apparent suicide of Robin Williams has hit me far harder than any celebrity death ever has. It is a horrible, brutal lesson of just how powerless the world still is against depression. The most beloved man in the world, who brought more pure joy and delight to more people than perhaps any figure from history ever has, was nevertheless powerless against depression’s pull. If it can claim Robin Williams, who did so much to redeem himself from its hold, is there any hope at all for those of us who struggle with it every day yet have nowhere near his platform to disarm it?

So it’s far past time to talk about the ravages of this illness publicly in my most public forum where I post 12098572039485 times a day: on Facebook. How can I stand for anything on my own two feet if I don't stand up for myself and those like me who suffer so greatly  - this illness which made me a C and D student and bully fodder in a parochial school that amplified its effect exponentially, even though it was perfectly clear to so many that I was more intelligent than nearly every A student they'd ever met (modesty is not one of its inherent traits, but mania is :) ), which forced me through the ‘troubled adolescent’ system, in which thousands of cynical or (still worse) fanatically concerned professionals make a quick buck by giving bad advice on how to handle teenagers of whom they clearly have no understanding; which delivered me for three years to a boarding school [Hyde School] where depression was thought of as nothing more than a character flaw, and where extreme mental and physical pressure was exerted every day to ‘correct’ these flaws on all of us in manners that resemble the slimiest tactics of Guantanamo - which in turn delivered me to nearly a decade of psychotic delusions and mental hallucinations which only a decade of consistent therapy was able to address; which in turn led me to years of inability to work a steady job, which of course lead to still more horrible depression. It’s led me to acts against others which, however objectively explicable they might be under the circumstances, I will and can never allow myself any forgiveness. Physically, it may have already aged me far beyond my years - causing me a battery of physical tics and uncontrollable tremors,  vertigo, dehydration, insomnia, along with massive food binges that cause all the predictable chest and stomach pain and rapid heart beat that goes along with it. Romantically, it has prevented any semblance of a long term relationship in my adult life. Socially, it has given me all sorts of difficulty with my (thankfully) many friends. Familially, it has caused more strife than any family should ever have to go through, and I worry has bequeathed a small (though far too large) bit of my infection  - a contagious illness if ever there is one - to my closest family members. In many ways, it is the cruelest of all possible illnesses, because it can strip all who suffer from it for decade upon decade of the ability to recognize any way in which we are still blessed. I’ve written in detail about this plenty of this on my blog, where, I’m well aware, I’m quite safe because nobody actually reads it.

Here is my message: Whenever you look down on someone for publicly advertising their depression online, I want you to remember to look down on me too. Whenever you see an unhappy person as an inconvenience ruining your good time, I want you to remember to view me as a similar annoyance. Whenever you view someone with contempt for burdening you with their mental problems, I want you to remember to have contempt for me too. Whenever you accuse someone experiencing mental anguish of simple emotional manipulation and self-pity, I want you to accuse me of it too. If you become suspicious of becoming friends or dating or working with someone because of their depression, I want you to become suspicious of me too. If you decide that you have no time for people who bring you down, I want you to have no time for me. I want the enemies of depressed people to become my enemies, and I want to take pride that I stood for something that may one day make the lives of those who live with depression not be defined by it, even if it may be too late to define my life by anything else. I have done what I could to conceal this illness (which ultimately is, of course, very little). I tried for what I think is the best of reasons - it was nice for once in my life not to be completely defined by it. And yet the concealment did so little to lighten the burden that I have to ask if it is at all worth the rather superhuman effort it takes (and nevertheless I still dread the thought that it is still very much worth it). This illness has led me to many, many mistakes in my lifetime. But this will no longer be one of them. Some people simply can’t live with the horror of the mistakes which this illness causes them to make, but insofar as it is ever in my control, I will always opt to live with mine. I’ve not done particularly well against it, but I’m nevertheless damn proud of the fact that I’ve done as well as I have in the circumstances. Realistically, I may one day be lost to this illness, either by suicide or by delusion or by physical strain, but so long as this illness is not me, I will choose life, rationality, health and hale every day, and never, never, never give in to it.

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