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Topics - survivorami

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Gaulds and all the spouses/relatives of the Gaulds:

* Joseph "Joe" Gauld, founder
* Laura Denton Gauld & Malcolm Gauld, current presidents/heads of Hyde, Joe's son and daughter in law
* Paul Hurd & Laurie Gauld Hurd (former heads of Hyde), their children
* Georgia "Gigi" Gauld Macmillan & Donald Macmillan (former heads & employees of Hyde). & their children
* Kenneth Grant & Claire Denton Grant (Laura Gauld's sister), & their children

Then there are a ton more faculty who maybe went to Hyde, came back after and married another Hyde faculty member and had some kids and then put their kids in Hyde for no charge.  That is a long list, will come back later with it.

Here is Joe Gauld and his kids and their spouses that was posted on Facebook:

If not photo shows above, view post:

Hyde Schools / Grieving parent of a former Hyde student shares his testimony
« 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.

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:

Hyde Schools / Former Hyde Student Ron Posner kills girlfriend?
« 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 / Cutting/self-harm at Hyde; 3 survivor testimonies
« 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.

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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Hyde Schools / Hyde School Survivor testimony
« on: July 02, 2021, 07:40:00 PM »
An anonymous submission by a survivor of Hyde:

I attended the Hyde Woodstock Campus for two years and graduated. I came to Hyde because my therapist recommended it due to another client who attended Hyde School. Before I went, I was in a residential facility for a year due to suicide attempt, self-harm, and alcohol and drug abuse. I was a victim of sexual abuse and physical abuse by a family member. During summer challenge, we were doing an activity and I shared this abuse. My discovery group turned on me and told me all I did was pity myself. I was told by two staff members that I took myself too seriously, I was too sensitive, and I live in a perpetual state of self-pity. I will never forget those words or forgive those who uttered them. Although now I believe in not dwelling in trauma, at that age I was not able to understand why anyone would say this to me. I was humiliated. I was belittled.

After summer challenge, I started my junior year. I hitched a ride with another family and had a cigarette at the house before we left. I was on 2-4 for several weeks for breaking travel ethics. During this time, I was not allowed to call my family. I was isolated from the community. I was not athletic; I was not popular. I was often bullied by the people in my class due to these things. I was always given the worst jobs on campus, such as dinner crew and cleaning toilets. I never received a nice room, like the many other attractive and athletic students. They often treated me poorly during the sports I played with them and mocked me. My peers monitored me on 2-4 and often gave me work outs and I often threw up. I was once forced to do a trail run in the rain and fell on a rock and split open my knee. I needed stitches and I was not given the opportunity and have a scar to this day. I was sick once and coughing up blood from a severe sinus infection and the nurse did not believe I was sick. I did call my mother and they granted me treatment.

Before I returned for my senior year, they were not going to promote me. The only reason I was promoted was I believe my parents refused to pay for me to repeat a junior year when I was doing well academically. I remember packing up all my belongings and loading it into my friend’s car at home and begging my mother to send me to a wilderness program instead. She said she would. I ended up returning to Hyde on 2-4 for my actions during the summer and being a probationary senior. Many of my peers and friends were not promoted a grade. One person was on his third junior year. During my senior year, I hated my classmates so much I did not want to be on the varsity teams.

Dean’s area consisted of only the most attractive girls and athletic boys at school. I found out after I graduated that the Dean was having a sexual relationship with at least one of the students I knew. I believe he was grooming young girls and abusing his power. This is verified and this abuse did occur. These students were not given these positions of power on merit. They were given them on looks, and many of them were awful bullies who delighted in proctoring and administering work outs to those in trouble. Many of them were likely “dirty” themselves. There was not a time at Hyde when I did not break the ethic of “brother’s keeper”. I had a close friend who was always breaking the rules. During a big bust, they brought him in the room, and I would not admit to knowing anything. I was sat for hours in front of a piece of paper and a pencil and interrogated. Since I was not forthcoming with this, I spent several weeks in punishment. I was not permitted to call my parents. One incident, I remember we were moving rocks and we made a structure of them. They made us all move the rocks and to another location and somebody spoke. I remember a brutal workout because this was right after lunch, and I threw up everywhere. At lunch, if someone got too much food on their plate, they were forced to eat it. I did this once, and when I could not finish my friends also on 2-4 offered to eat it. One of them threw up.

For years I had the Hyde nightmares. That I was back there. That I could not escape. I would scream in my dreams; I have a Master’s degree! I am done with high school!

I crashed and burned during my first year of college. I used so many drugs I do not even remember that year. I do not blame this on Hyde, I had addiction issues. But I was traumatized by some staff and mostly my peers. I did not fit in. I had 2 teachers who were particularly vicious to me. I would ask a lot of questions, and I was criticized for that. If was quiet, I would be criticized for not being a leader. Senior evaluations were brutal for me. I sat in a room while my peers (who in general I did not fit in at all), tore me apart. I was different. I have always thought that Hyde was the place where all the bullies go when no other school would take them. But there were also people like me with significant emotional, physical, sexual, and medical trauma. I received no outside counseling while at Hyde. I did receive medication management.

My parents were impressed. I was able to graduate High school when I would not get out of bed at home. I did well at Hyde for fear of punishment. My vocabulary improved. I had my pick of colleges.
I don’t disagree with accountability and structure for troubled teens. I do not even disagree with tough love. But Hyde at times was brutal. I had survived a lot, and I think Hyde taught me to be even more of a survivor. If I could make it through that program, I can do anything. And now I help troubled youth. I am a social worker. I am not worthless, as they often made me feel. I thought I was being sensitive. I went to a reunion once. I spoke to some of my old teachers. I joked about my days at Hyde, our misdeeds, childish stuff. They did not find it funny and suggested I come back and do another senior year.

I am not bitter about it. I was angry at my parents for a long time, but I know now they did what they felt they had to.  I made choices to make my life better. Being a good student helped me with that and I have a career path that means a lot to me. I want to give to other people, because of what I have been through. But the truth is, Hyde was not equipped to handle true mental health issues. I know some of my classmates have never recovered from their time at Hyde. I know many who have committed suicide or have died of drug overdoses. It did not break me, but it could have. I had already survived worse things in my life. It made me stronger, but not for the reasons they intended.

Original post on Hyde School Survivors Facebook page:

Considering a Private Residential Treatment Program for a Troubled Teen?
Questions for Parents and Guardians to Ask/Warning from the FTC: original doc-

Private residential treatment programs for young people offer a range of services,
including drug and alcohol treatment, confidence building, military-style discipline,
and psychological counseling for a variety of addiction, behavioral, and emotional problems.

Many of these programs are intended to provide a less-restrictive alternative to incarceration or
hospitalization, or an intervention for a troubled young person.

If you are a parent or guardian and think you have exhausted intervention alternatives for a
troubled teen, you may be considering a private residential treatment program. These programs go
by a variety of names, including “therapeutic boarding schools,” “emotional growth academies,”
“teen boot camps,” “behavior modification facilities,” and “wilderness therapy programs.”

No standard definitions exist for specific types of programs. The programs are not regulated by
the federal government, and many are not subject to state licensing or monitoring as mental health
or educational facilities, either. A 2007 Report to Congress by the Government Accountability
Office (GAO) found cases involving serious abuse and neglect at some of these programs. Many
programs advertise on the Internet and through other media, making claims about staff credentials,
the level of treatment a participant will receive, program accreditation, education credit transfers,
success rates, and endorsements by educational consultants.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, cautions
that before you enroll a youngster in a private residential treatment program, check it out: ask
questions; ask for proof or support for claims about staff credentials, program accreditation, and
endorsements; do a site visit; and get all policies and promises in writing.

Facts for Consumers

Questions to Ask
Here are some questions to ask representatives
of any program you may be considering. The
responses may help you determine if the program is
appropriate for your child.

1. Are you licensed by the state?

If the answer is yes, find out what aspects of the
program the license covers: educational, mental/
behavioral health, and/or residential?
If the program claims to be licensed, get the name
of the state agency that issued the license and
contact the agency to verify that the license is
current. Often, the licensing will be through a state
Department of Health and Human Services or its
equivalent. If the program’s representative can’t
provide the name of the licensing agency, consider it
a red flag.

If the program is unlicensed and you still want
to consider it, contact the state Attorney General
(, the Better Business Bureau
(, and the local consumer protection
office ( where
the program is located.

Regardless of whether a program is licensed, when
contacting any of these groups:
Ask for copies of all publicly available
information, including any complaints or
actions filed against the program, site visit
evaluations, violations, and corrective actions.
Pay particular attention to any reports of
unsanitary or unsafe living conditions,
nutritionally compromised diets, exposure to
extreme environmental conditions or extreme
physical exertion, inadequate staff supervision
or a low ratio of staff to residents, medical
neglect, physical or sexual abuse of youth
by program staff or other residents, and any
violation of youth or family rights.

2. Do you provide an academic curriculum? If so,
is it available to all program participants? Do you
have teachers who are certified or licensed by
your state?

Some programs may offer only self-study or distance
education. Sometimes, educational options are
not made available until a resident has reached an
advanced phase of the program. In addition, some
programs may claim that academic credits will
transfer to the resident’s home school and count
toward a high school diploma. Check with the board
of education in the state where the program operates
– and with your state board if you live out-of-state
– to verify that academic credits will transfer.

3. What about accreditation?

Several independent nonprofit organizations, like
the Joint Commission (JACHO), the Council on
Accreditation (COA), and the Commission on
Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF),
accredit mental health programs and providers.
JACHO accredits and certifies more than
15,000 health care organizations and programs
in the U.S. (
COA is an international child- and family
service and behavioral healthcare organization
that accredits 38 different service areas,
including substance abuse treatment, and more
than 60 types of programs. (
CARF International is an independent accreditor
of human services providers in areas including
behavioral health, child and youth services, and
employment and community services.

Ask whether all components of the program are
accredited, for example, the base program, the
drug and alcohol component, and the wilderness
program. Then contact the accrediting organization
for confirmation.

The GAO’s Report noted that one program claimed
to be accredited by the JACHO, but in fact, only the
base program was accredited. Neither the wilderness
program nor the drug and alcohol component was

The organizations above grant accreditation
and certification after evaluating the quality of
services provided by a treatment program. Parents
and guardians should be aware that some other
organizations that claim to accredit schools may
serve merely as membership organizations, and
may not conduct site inspections or otherwise
evaluate the quality of the programs they certify.

If a treatment program claims to be certified or
accredited, parents and guardians should contact the
accrediting organization and ask about the standards
the organization uses when issuing a certification.

4. Do you have a clinical director? What are his/
her credentials?

Typically, a clinical director is responsible for
overseeing, supporting, and maintaining the
quality of care for the program. A clinical director
may have an advanced degree in a related field,
like clinical psychology, and may be involved
in providing individual therapy, assessment and
consultation, staff training and development, and
managing or supervising the components of the

5. What are the credentials of the staff,
especially the counselors and therapists, who will
be working with my child?

Do they have appropriate and relevant advanced
degrees like a Masters in Social Work, a license
to do clinical social work (LCSW), a Ph.D., or
an M.D.? Are they certified or licensed within the
state? If they are, by what agency or organization?

Ask to see copies of relevant documents, and
consider contacting the certifying or licensing
organization to confirm the staff credentials. The
GAO found that some program leaders falsely
claimed to have credentials in therapy or medicine,
which led some parents to trust them with teens
who had serious mental or physical disabilities
requiring different levels of treatment.

6. How experienced is your staff? Have they
worked at other residential treatment programs?
If yes, where and for how long?

Ask to see current certifications in CPR and other
emergency medicine. For wilderness programs, also
ask for proof of relevant training and expertise.

7. Do you conduct background checks on your

If the answer is yes, find out who does the
background check and how extensive it is. Call the
company to confirm that it provides background
check services for the treatment program. If the
answer is no or the program does not conduct
background checks, consider it a red flag.

8. What are the criteria for admission ? Do you
conduct pre-admission assessments? Are they
in person, by phone, or over the Internet? Who
conducts them?

If your child has serious addiction problems or
psychological issues, take special care to ensure
that the program is equipped to deal with them.
Discuss the appropriateness of the program with
your child’s psychologist, psychiatrist, or other
healthcare provider.

9. Will you provide an individualized program
with a detailed explanation of the therapies,
interventions, and supports that will address my
child’s needs? When is this done? How often will
my child be reassessed?

Ask whether your child will have group or
individual therapy sessions. If the answer is yes,
ask how often the sessions will take place and who
will conduct them. Once enrolled, confirm with
your child that the promised level of care is being

10. How do you handle medical issues like illness
or injury? Is there a nurse or doctor on staff?
On the premises? Will you contact me? Will I
be notified or consulted if there’s a change in
treatment or medication?

Ask for copies of procedures the program follows
on dealing with medical emergencies.

11. How do you define success? What is your
success rate? How is it measured?

Some programs make specific success claims in
their advertising materials. To date, there is no
systematic, independently collected descriptive or
outcome data on these programs.

12. How do you discipline program participants?

Ask about policies and procedures for discipline.

13. Can I contact/speak with my child when I
want? Can my child contact me when he wants?

Some programs prohibit, monitor, or otherwise
restrict verbal or written communication between
you and your child. Find out what is allowed and
prohibited before you enroll your child.

14. What are the costs? What do they cover?
What is your refund policy if the program doesn’t
work out?

Private residential treatment programs often charge
hundreds of dollars per day. While health insurance
sometimes may pay a limited amount, for the most
part, the youngster’s family is responsible for paying
the fees and bills.

15. Do you have relationships with companies and
individuals that provide educational and referral

Some companies may provide services, claiming to
match troubled kids with an appropriate treatment
program. Be aware that although some of these
services represent themselves as independent, they
may not be. They may actually be operated or paid
by one or more of the treatment programs. Ask the
service if it receives commissions from the treatment

Facts for Consumers
July 2008
Federal Trade Commission
Bureau of Consumer Protection
Division of Consumer and Business Education

For More Information
Among the sources of information for families
researching private residential treatment programs
for troubled youngsters are:
The Government Accountability Office’s (GAO)
Report to Congress: “Residential Treatment
Programs: Concerns Regarding Abuse and
Death in Certain Programs for Troubled Youth”
(October 2007) –
The U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services, Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention’s list of state mental health agencies

The U.S. Department of State Fact Sheet:
“Behavior Modification Facilities” –
Your State Attorney General –
The Alliance for the Safe, Therapeutic and
Appropriate use of Residential Treatment

A START is sponsored by the Department of
Child and Family Studies of the University of
South Florida. The Alliance includes leaders in
psychology, psychiatry, nursing, mental health
law, policy and family advocacy, as well as
individuals with direct program experience as
director, evaluator, parent, or participant in
such programs.

About the FTC
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the
marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint
or to get free information on consumer issues, visit or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-
4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related
complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law
enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

Trigger Warning: self harm, rape, drug abuse, bullying, eating disorder, mental health and PTSD, victim shaming/blaming

Being sent to Hyde School in Bath, Maine was the catalyst for a series of events that would destroy my life and self worth for many years.

I am one of the girls interviewed in the 48 hours episode about former Hyde School student Alix Tichelman regarding her involvement with the Google executive  She was my best friend at Hyde in 2002-2003 when I attended in Bath for a few months, and during the prior summer challenge.

I went to Hyde my first year as a junior in 2002-2003. I was sent to Hyde because my adoptive parents couldn't handle me, so they paid 40k to have me imprisoned at this character cult. My mother used to beat me regularly and my father always travelled. My father was having an affair which didn't come out until after I turned 18 and divorced my mother to be with this woman. He never disclosed this in any family "session" at Hyde. I revealed in the family seminars that my cousins had molested me for years, and Hyde responded by doing nothing to help me work through this. No counseling. No mental health help (not that they actually employed any mental health professionals). No family "therapy" beyond that visit (which was pseudo-therapy, really, as it was run by amateurs who all lacked proper credentials). After my mother left, she told me on the phone, "We can't let the rest of the family find out [about the molestation] because it would ruin them, and you're the black sheep anyway."

I spent my whole life at Hyde on 2-4, which was the 24/7 punishment labor crew, where I was treated like a slave with no dignity. I built a gravel road along the track while on work crew and received zero education, classroom or otherwise. The reason I was put on 2-4 so often was because I acted like a bitch to everyone who bullied me and made fun of me. I challenged the teachers to make sense and the faculty and medical providers (which was really just a nurse or a quack referral doctor in town) to truly help my declining mental state. While I basically lived on 2-4,  I grew very close to Liz Steinberg (who I ran away with) and Alix Tichelman.  I eventually started dating a boy who lived in town named Dennis. I'd always sneak over to his place. He was one of the only men other than Ross Forsbergh (who I am still friends with to date) on that whole campus of adults and peers, or in the town of Bath, that treated me with any dignity.

I was heavier at that time; around 200 lbs.  I developed an eating disorder at Hyde due to social pressure from students and faculty to change my body. I began cutting again there. I begged faculty for help with my depression and they referred me to a joke of a doctor in town who truly did nothing but treat me like wanting my adhd meds made me an addict.

In October, I'd finally had enough of 2-4 and being treated like shit, and having adults do nothing but criticize me while not helping me; while claiming to be "developing my character", that I ran away. The constant abuse from staff and peers had simply become too much, and my repeated attempts to obtain any kind of adequate mental health treatment proved futile.. After I ran away from campus, I was raped by a man who I had thought would help me find safety. I went to the local hospital to report the rape, and they did a rape kit, and I filed a report with the police.  Then I was brought back to the Hyde campus from the hospital. This was a few days before Thanksgiving break.

I remember being driven from the hospital to campus while clothed in a dingy one color two piece sweat suit (think champion grey) and led to Hyde's nurse. I was then forced to walk in this sweat suit (because my clothes were taken with the rape kit) back to my dorm at the far end of the populated campus, while the students and faculty stared at me and talked under their breath. I felt like I was wearing a Scarlett letter and I was told by the faculty that this was the first step in taking accountability for my actions because I had caused my rape, because I had run away.

Meanwhile, I was inappropriately touched by guys who were on the lacrosse team, and because they were considered to be gods on campus, no one believed me. I had it at that point. Disgustingly, a few of these guys even reached out to me recently via social media  to tell me I look great now as an adult.  The Gaulds and my faculty "team" decided that I would be best suited to stay on Inpost during Thanksgiving Break as an accountability for running away, after I had just been raped, exploited and given no mental health care. This meant I couldn't go home like all the other students.

Inpost was supposed "to help build my character".  I was to shadow an older buddy at all times. However they, like everyone else, didn't actually care to assess my well being, and so during some unattended time I swallowed a LOT of pills in my dorm room, trying to overdose.

I was found unconscious and was rushed to the hospital. They pumped my stomach, and when I was revived, I was extremely upset that I was still alive. I was held on a "Temporary Restraining Order" in a psych ward for 3 days, then for a few more days, and they only released me when I lied my way out by saying I had taken so many pills by mistake. Then they finally transferred me home. I never went back to that hell hole of torture called Hyde.

After returning home, I eventually went to a residential program for a year and a half called Graydon, and later graduated from a mainstream high school in 2004 with honors. My eating disorder that had begun at Hyde now had me weighing in at 86 lbs, like the Olsen twins at the height of their ED's. I had severe depression, constant paranoia, couldn't trust adults, had no friends, experienced night terrors, and continued to hurt myself and hide it.

The Gauld family (who founded and run Hyde) made it clear to 16 year old me that my actions were the reason I was raped, and said I needed to "own" that. They provided no follow-up counseling or mental health care after this occurred. I was diagnosed later in life with CPTSD that stemmed from these Hyde experiences and from the molestation I endured during my early adolescent years. These events shaped a self destructive pattern for my adulthood.

After Hyde finally said they "couldn't handle me" and sent me home post-suicide-attempt and mental hospital, and after I had endured even more abuse at Graydon, I began using drugs heavily and acting in a hypersexual manner to numb the pain. I ended up dating a guy who was 21 while I was a senior in high school and he was physically abusive and used to beat the living shit out me. Mind you, I was totally conditioned to think I was the problem; I thought this is what I deserved.

We got engaged and I finally started getting treatment. I was scared of every adult and doctor and so I regressed again and began committing crimes; stupid, petty offenses, but kept getting locked up. I've turned my life around and 'm doing well but the nightmares, the trauma, the urges to hurt myself to control my pain and numb it still exist, and worst of all, every human I've trusted as an adult has used this past to hurt me in one way or another. They used this trauma as some type of evidence to show why I don't deserve to be be loved, treated fairly, or otherwise. I still struggle with self worth and have been in a number of abusive relationships.

Now, luckily, I have no criminal record on paper. I've been in counseling for years. REAL counseling, with LICENSED therapists, not the unqualified faculty who oversaw our "group seminars" at Hyde, who used non-evidence-based methods to "help" kids who needed help.  I am about to graduate college for criminal justice with a 4.0. I volunteer, and run an animal rescue on a farm. However, nothing will ever make the negligence and abuse I suffered at the hands of Hyde that they categorized as "character building" and their lack of accountability, and how it shaped my life, okay.

Hyde stole my sense of self worth, my value, my ambitions, my innocence, it taught me to believe that my rape, my painful emotions, etc. were all my fault and that I deserved them. They began (what I consider) grooming me to believe I deserved to be treated like garbage my whole life by family, friends, and partners. They taught me that I was a mistake and I didn't deserve love. What Hyde used was simply abusive, manipulative, brainwashing, punishing behavior modification techniques, and coercive thought reform, but offered no effective help for underlying conditions and trauma. They have been doing this for decades, and they are still open!

Graydon was awful, too. They made me not trust people, and fear that every human would only hurt or abuse me. Graydon made me realize that if I didn't put on the expected act and embody the picture of a perfect, well adjusted person, I would never have any bit of a normal life. Graydon nurtured the seed that Hyde planted; the seed that conditioned me to believe I was broken, that everything bad that happened to me was my fault, and that I could never be truly loved.

So to those of you who say this place helped you, great, but don't for a second diminish the fact that this establishment unlawfully, knowingly, and intentionally ruined others' lives and changed their whole futures in a negative way.

Megan Elizabeth Toohey Price

Hyde Schools / Letter to a deceased Hyde friend..
« on: June 06, 2021, 10:04:39 PM »
Saturday, January 18, 2020
Dear Abby - Beginning
Hi Abby,

It's been fifteen years. Fifteen and a half to be exact. The last time I saw you, I was literally about to graduate college. I was so shocked to see you in Bethesda, so shy, so unwilling to face old Hyde friends, let alone to the fact that I brought a freshman to High School Prom, even to my best friend walking with me who knew so much about Hyde, that I said within five seconds that I had to go right away. The second I left, I knew how incredibly absurd I was being, so I explained what was what to Marc in a Dunkin' Donuts, we got our donut and coffee, and we came back. Thankfully, you were still there, and you knew exactly how weird it was that I ducked out from someone to whom I'd once bonded like a sister. I don't know for exactly how long we talked, but that was the last time we ever saw each other.

You did rather well in life, not just for a Hyde kid, but for anybody at all. A photographer with work featured in Time Magazine and Slate. I saw the work on your homepage, it's pretty impressive. You certainly captured things in your subjects, and why wouldn't a person as empathetic as you always are in my memory elicit anything less from a camera? Even at fourteen, you silenced a whole room of students and parents with a poem at a student poetry reading I organized for Family Weekend, and we were all so shocked into silence by the quality that all Mr. Spaeth and I could do was ask you to read it again. To this day I remember, a refrain bookended it: 'At Eight-Thirty in the Morning," all the more miraculous for coming from your girlish, Jennifer Tilly-like voice, and oh how you excoriated me for making fun of it. Most Hyde kids were not exactly sharp knives, but there always existed a brilliant minority of Hyde kids whose personalities were too strong and original for a typical school to ever find the key to unlock their.... I'm not going to use those two words.... you know which ones.... I would imagine that many of the parents in that room thought you just another Hyde kid too odd for her potential to ever truly reveal itself in anything but artificial circumstances, but whatever the vicissitudes of the real world that flummoxed so many of us after we got out of the gate, you are one of the very few who got to show the wide world a small fraction of what you were capable. And in that sense, your life is so rich in meaning and success to any of us who have yet to discover how to show all that we are to anyone but the small coterie who know us. Whatever our unique potentials,... there... I said the two words now gimme a diploma.... so many of the rest of us are still mute to the world, the stories we can tell of what we have been through and the still worse things we'd seen others endure, completely yet untold.

With all the continual news of death surrounding us from ghosts of Hyde past, I would occasionally see a new picture of you pop up on social media, and feel a little relief when I saw it. You looked so well-adjusted and happy, and I would genuinely think to myself that if even if so many of us Hyde kids would die prematurely from every kind of reckless living, at least Abby would live to be a hundred; and now you're dead from cancer, which you'd apparently been suffering from in all those pictures, and I, who've advertised many of my illnesses so publicly, who've feared for my health for so many years, who am continually amazed that I've neither left the party yet nor been forced to leave, am still here, and look to be here for at least another couple decades.

I heard of Marissa's suicide in September of 2018, and it apparently happened in November the year before, hopefully she can tell you more about what lead to it than I ever heard. Not that you two were ever at Hyde simultaneously for more than three weeks or so, but when two people die so prematurely, I imagine them meeting up in the next world with friends of friends they discover through social media. If you two haven't met up yet, track her down, you're gonna love each other. Marissa was as brilliant as you, nearly as gifted a writer and one of the most brilliant visual artists I've ever met, she was more extraverted and outspoken, and she was funnier than nearly anyone I'd ever met... Life around her was a non-stop dinner party, twelve-hour conversations at a time in which the interlocutor never came up for air, only for the conversation to resume the next day exactly where it left off.

So yes, as close as I was to you, my dear Abby, Marissa was the love of my adolescence, entirely unrequited of course - 'I could marry you Evan, but I can't date you.' An old flame whose flame was extinguished in the span of a few weeks. I literally followed her to American University in DC, it was the best decision I'd ever made, made for entirely the wrong reasons. I made the best friends of my life, graduated with honors, seemed on the cusp of a basically functional life, while Marissa fell in with a drug crowd, and dropped out after two years. We barely saw each other at Hyde, at first I thought it was because she didn't make the effort to see me, and of course I was a little hurt, but the further away we get from those years, the more I wonder if it wasn't the other way around. At some point in those years I made the very, very conscious decision that Hyde was just a mirage in the life of a nice Jewish boy who should never have ended up in so bizarre and authoritarian a place. I don't know how deliberate it was that I cut loose as many Hyde friendships as I did, but I can't imagine it was any more than 20% by accident. And so at the end of sophomore year, we ran into each other and had one last lunch where she told me she was probably dropping out and apologized to me for having so broken my heart. The two of us went back to hang out in my room afterward. I wish I could say that anything happened, but my love of Marissa was always in the abstract, and when she left, I gave her one of my prize possessions to keep, my copy of Dante's Inferno that I studied in private with Mr. Spaeth, whose advice was that if you're going through Hell, the only way out is to go all the way down. It was the last time I ever saw Marissa. My greatest regret is certainly not that I was never her lover, it was exactly the opposite; that whatever hell she was going through, I so easily let her abandon our friendship so that I could spend more time finally being the kid at the front of the class whom I thought I always was yet had so little evidence until I was twenty. Like Sage, Marissa will always be another Hyde kid for whose downfall I feel in some ways responsible, even if my guilt is totally illogical, it's just one of a thousand things for which I feel terrible guilt for what I continually pray are illogical reasons.

...I'm finding this is much too painful to keep going. I pray I can find a way through this impasse in the next little while. Until then, onto the next project.

Original post:

Original Blog post from a Hyde survivor:

Tuesday, March 12, 2013
800 Words: To My 19 and 24 Year Old Political Selves (Part II)

The defining realization may have come from college, but the need for a defining realization came from Hyde School: the defining three years of my life to this day, and I expect for many decades more.

I don’t know what the Hyde School has become, it’s an experience that is more than ten years in the past. But at the time, Hyde School was a place which bred unreality. It prayed on desperate families and provided them with a ready-made doctrine for life as rigid as any religious or totalitarian dogma - and once those families were ensnared, it proved just as hard for them to escape. Like with any religion, there should be no doubt that there are many people whose lives were made better by its ministrations. But, like religion, the improvement of those lives was almost always effected at the cost of worsening the lives of others. Like all totalitarian regimes, it encouraged friends to turn against friends, contorted language so words would mean precisely their opposite, and weaponized fear as a means of conditioning students to love their tormentors. It was a feasting ground for sexual predators, both teacher and student, and was a place where bullies could stretch the full plumage of their inner sadists in ways that were completely sanctioned by the school. It utilized interrogation techniques that made the techniques which the Bush Administration approved at Guantanamo seem all too familiar, and used them far more liberally than the Bush Administration ever did. Hyde was a school, one of many in America for wayward youth, whose entire apparatus is built for the reconditioning of kids’ brains to alter their sense of reality. Now, before you accuse me of sounding like a raving conspiracy theorist, let’s put some things about Hyde in proper perspective.

There is no one in the world who needs their perceptions of reality altered more than teenagers, and particularly badly behaved teenagers. So for all its problems, let’s not exaggerate, and let’s give the devil it’s due. The majority of kids who ended up at Hyde were those whose conduct was so beyond redemption that a proliferate measure of the harshest possible discipline might have done some of them good - and a few of them probably needed still harsher discipline than Hyde afforded. Furthermore, it gave some children with a bent toward fanaticism and sadism (sentiments which, for the sake of argument, let’s admit might be used to advance virtuous causes so long as there are proper and ironclad restraints on how it is used...) the self-assurance they needed to face adulthood with a confidence they otherwise would never have developed, even if that confidence came at the expense of students who were less willing to give their critical faculties over to other people. But against the gains accorded these students must come the losses of the students who were more withdrawn, more isolated, more uncertain, and less self-confident, than their extraverted peers. No amount of public shaming, or barely disguised corporal punishment, or extreme mental pressure to confess to bad acts (often acts which never happened), will raise their sense of self - it will only destroy what little self-possession they have. If such students had fragile mental faculties to begin with, their ability to adequately process reality in any context would have been utterly demolished by a school which puts such stock in destroying a person’s previously held sense of self. So no, Hyde is not the Soviet Union. It may have ruined lives, but Hyde never killed anybody. Though if laws had permitted them...

This is not a post to document its various crimes and abuses Hyde committed, though I’m sure that post will one day come. I’ve already written about those years in certain ways before, though never in great detail. Hyde is like the proverbial elephant in the room of this blog, the experience of which stalks every post in ways I probably still can’t even imagine. Doubtless, had it been about any other subject, Hyde would have told me to document every single abuse, and denounce them all in the most humiliating and public possible voice (“The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable” was one of the most oft-repeated, and most terrifying, cliches which they parroted ad nauseum at their students. When I was a student, they even had it printed on a banner in the senior lecture hall.). But most of what happened there is so much stranger than fiction, so utterly bizarre and often in the most disturbing ways, that I couldn’t possibly do it justice unless I am operating at the very peak of my ability as a writer - something I’m sure I’m still a long way from achieving, if I ever do.

But the point of bringing Hyde into this post is to talk about one, particularly strange, facet of its culture - no stranger than any other of its many strange aspects: the radicalism of its views toward the outside world. Because Hyde School was a place which viewed the outside world as a beef stew of disgustingly corrupt influences, it naturally attracted people who agreed with their view of the world to work there. And because there were so many disagreements among the teachers about what was responsible for the corruption of the world, there was a seemingly unique agreement among adults who numbered themselves as members of both the Hard Right and the Hard Left to leave each other’s political disagreements alone in the classroom (at least we never saw them). English classes would be routinely interrupted by a teacher’s discursion about the plight of the Chilean minor against American imperialism, speakers would be brought in from local progressive organizations (and there are many in Rural New England) to talk about the existential importance of pacifism, history classes would be interrupted by a teacher’s frustrated digression that the contemporary world seems so intent upon oppressing Catholics, and our German-educated civics teacher would find nothing creepy or ironic about the innocuous fun of of beginning his class by calling role and making every student stand up and shout confidently “ICH BIN HIER UND BEREIT!”

Hyde was like a magnet for fanaticism of every stripe and every breed. And because it found something so admirable in fanaticism, it (rather amazingly to me now) tolerated fanaticism in its students, including some times when the fanaticism went against the ethos of the school. But then again, did it?...

There were two strands of high school teacher who found a perfect outlet for their convictions at Hyde. One was a typical right-wing fanatic: intellectually lazy, temperamentally belligerent, unthinkingly cruel and authoritarian - and they made up the lion's share of the long-term faculty. They believed in institutions, they believed in tradition, and attributed everything wrong with the students who came to Hyde as a case of a decadent world that granted them too many rights, too little responsibility, not enough discipline, and not enough punishment. 

But there was a second strand of fanatic, a left-wing fanatic, that was attracted to Hyde as well. At the time, these were my absolute heroes, and I worshipped the ground every one of them walked on even if they couldn’t (wouldn’t?) do much to protect me and others from the cruelty to which their smartest students were routinely subject. They were everything these other teachers weren’t; intellectually glamorous, rebelliously thoughtful, willing to see that some students needed a simple confidence boost and an ear to bend, and - most importantly - willing to concede that the methods of the school were extreme and unproductive, no matter how good the intentions of their administration.

And, clearly, these teachers gave something important to the school that none of the other teachers could have, or else they’d have been fired on the spot for their public disagreements with school policy. What they gave the school was intellectual credibility - miles of it considering just how dumb some of the other teachers were. These were bookish men and women who were intimidatingly well-read and often amazingly charismatic. Some of us often wondered what the hell they were doing teaching at Hyde when they should have been running for public office or writing books. And because Hyde didn’t have enough good teachers to oversee a real curriculum, the school gave these teachers the lattitude to teach in whatever manner they liked. Against all Hyde’s efforts to subvert it, students ended up receiving bits and pieces of a real education. Compared to the red tape they had to cut through in public school, a Hyde classroom must have seemed like paradise itself for those teachers. At least for a time...

These teachers tolerated the methods of the school, at least for a couple years, because they believed one and all in Hyde’s basic mission - which was, allegedly, the teaching of moral character. And like all fanatics, these teachers believed in themselves enough to believe that they could change the school’s entire ethos, an ethos which, with just a few tweaks could be a light unto all other schools in America (and make no mistake, when I was there, Hyde had extremely national ambitions). To teachers like them, a school like Hyde is corrupt only in its methods. But every one of them seemed to leave the school in a huff, completely disillusioned by years of their best efforts to reform the school into something more ethical coming to absolutely nothing. Somehow, these teachers could teach at Hyde for years, or even decades, without it occurring to them that the belief in the specialness of Hyde’s mission was precisely what sanctioned its teachers and ‘best’ students to act as cruelly as they did.

 And the longer these teachers stayed there, the more appetite for fanaticism they clearly had. By staying at Hyde for years or decades, they’d made an unthinking, Faustian pact to sell out all the principles of tolerance and open-mindedness they claimed to hold dear, thinking that only by compromising on those standards could they receive their investments back in spades.

And the radicalism of those teachers absolutely rubbed off on their brightest students. Most of the students at Hyde were as dumb as their dumbest teachers. But the smartest among the students, we prized ourselves like an elect who, having been through hellfire, had scores of wisdom beyond our years and understand the world in a way nobody else did (though how wrong we were...). It was not unlike the bond of soldiers.

Radicalism was the one outlet we had - moderation, apathy, uncertainty, were banished from our lives. At Hyde, skepticism was virtually synonymous with weakness, so better to be lauded for having causes to unthinkingly believe in with our whole hearts than to take the time required to think through what we believe. It is a dangerous, slippery slope, and many people who start young down the path to radicalism can never expand intellectually beyond the person they were at 17. Once you’re taught to disbelieve impartial facts, facts which hundreds of thousands of people in every generation devote their lives to collecting as best they can, you can invent whatever facts you like. If you read no books, you can still be a member of the Hard Right. If you read one book, you can still be a member of the Hard Left.

And so many of these students started down the path to radicalism, some of whom formed a political discussion club with us. Woe would have been the right-winger who’d have joined the club, because even I was often shouted down for having beliefs that weren’t sufficiently extreme. But fortunately, the political right wing students at our school were usually so uncurious and so dumb that that never happened. I’ve often wondered what happened to those other politically active students in the in the intervening years. Did their minds ever get past the infantile rebellion stage? Did they ever realize that the extremity of our beliefs set back the very causes we claimed to struggle for? Did they ever reach a point when the anger subsided and rational discourse found a home in their minds? I can’t imagine it did for too many of them, because Hyde created yet another obstacle in that all-important process.

Dear Sage,

One of your murderers must now say goodbye to you having only heard of your murder two years after it happened.  Roughly six months after I broke off contact with you, you jumped in front of a train just like Anna Karenina. I hope it was as quick as you  clearly meant for it to be, but however quick it was, and whatever better place you may be in right now, I can’t help it if I feel responsible. I failed you, just as so many others did.

By your own telling, your parents were as ill-equipped to understand the nature of your illness as any parents could be.  You were left alone, utterly unattended, kicked out of community college and living by yourself on a minuscule stipend with barely a friend for comfort. It was then that you reached out to me. I cannot lie, I dreaded your phone calls – knowing that my nights would be over the moment you called because I first had to talk you up from your horrendous depression, and then listen to your rambling conspiracy theories about the resurrection of international communism or some class of illuminati you planned to join by enlisting in the CIA (never mind how contradictory your theories were). To hear this once-great mind which could write a Dante parody that would impress the original and expound on the greatness of Moby Dick or mathematics with an eloquence that could astound the world was too tragic to bear. Every time I hung up the phone, I could only think to myself ‘there but by the grace of the flying spaghetti monster go I.’

Your calls became more frequent, your obsessions still odder, and then you left a message on my facebook wall and my voicemail so creepily bizarre, and spoken in such an inhuman monotone…. I seized the opportunity and did the ultimate immature signoff – the facebook de-friend – and never returned your next hysterically emotional voicemail, the tone of which will now haunt me forever.  After that, I half expected you to show up on my doorstep unannounced for a year afterward. When that never happened, I figured that you did what we all had to do at Hyde – you found a way to keep going. Against odds that seemed overwhelming, I and so many others we knew found ways to keep clawing at life even after the thousand times when we thought it might as well be over. Perhaps I’ve become too accustomed to the thought that life, as difficult as it is, can be endured.

Yours is the tenth death of a student I’ve heard of from my time at Hyde (that I can remember): Ian Worth, Maggie Miller, Al Vico, Jeff Boiselle, Scott Thomas, Drew Llewellyn, Jon Ogan, Meg Lavin, and Rob Ebling (the last one I now realize I forget where I heard it, …though I eventually told you, another terrible mistake I made since he was a good friend of yours…). One mutual friend of ours tells me he’s heard of at least five more deaths. Of the people I just named, the only people I was particularly friendly with were Al Vico and Scott Thomas – and neither were particularly close. The rest of them I felt somewhere between a vague liking and vague contempt. Nevertheless, every one of those deaths made me sad. At a New England prep school whose enrollment was rarely ever over two-hundred, ten by age 30 is a terrifying figure. Perhaps it’s acceptable when you think of the high-risk behavior involved in arriving at Hyde in the first place, but it’s still far too many. I used to think I’d hear of another death every year. But I heard about you and Meg Lavin on the same day. As we reach our thirties, will the death tolls now increase to two from year to year? And which of my old friends is next? Is it me?

Even had you not reached out to me, and even had I not spurned you, I believe your death might have hit me harder than any other person’s death from those years could have. From the moment you arrived on campus, people commented on our similarities – in appearance, in demeanor, in the way we talked, in our interests. We were far more alike than I am to my own brothers, and to then see someone so close to a mirror image of myself reduced to such a state as yours… how could I bare to hear from it?

How the hell did kids like us fall through the cracks so far as to end up at Hyde? We didn’t need 2-4, we needed valets. I grieve for all those kids we’ve lost, but I grieve for you more – because you were smarter, because you could have contributed more, because the world will never know how many dark places such a brilliant mind could illuminate. Of all those cruelties Hyde perpetrated, was there anything so cruel as to tell smart kids whose problems originated in part from encountering bullies that our problems were no different from theirs’? The bullies at Hyde always flourished, because they found new ways to bully everybody else. But the smart, introverted kids who just needed a little patience, we were more bullied than ever – with even the moral high ground stolen from us and given to them. 

The true believers at Hyde were not evil, they were just idiots – dangerous idiots, but idiots nevertheless. They weren’t interested in money, they were interested in converts, and they believed every word they told us. They were weak people who needed a system to fall back on as badly as you did at the end. Had their lives taken different paths, they would have fallen back on Opus Dei Catholicism, or radical Islam, or fascism, or scientology, or any other system which tells them that they could destroy a person’s sense of self and build a new, greater one in its place. And if the process of making that greater self entails monstrous cruelty in the service of a greater good, they administer it happily. If ideals are turned into crimes, the crimes are always justified. Those Neanderthals truly believed that they would make their students’ lives better, and another cruel irony is that in the cases of some particularly dumb students, they probably did. But for others, they made lives so much worse. The true believers lied to us by saying that they were doing good, and the smarter people at Hyde lied to the true believers by telling them we believed their idiocies. I was too depressed, crazy, delusional even, at that point in my life to keep up the wall of doubt to everything I was told – sometimes I even believed their lies. But you, far more self-confident at that point in your life, were never taken in by those morons, and oh how I envy you now.

Yes, Sage, I envy you. I don’t envy your end, but I envy your mind. The average Hyde kid was not exactly a genius, and any conversation with someone of above-average intelligence in those years was worth its weight in gold to a kid so starved for real education as I was. But to this day, I maintain that your mind at its best could have held its own with the highest of Harvard and MIT. I was a mere LD kid who could (and can) only operate the right-side-of-my-brain, but your mind was a pristine engine. You could have succeeded in anything – as a scientist, mathematician, writer, businessman, lawyer, whatever you decided to do. But like so many brilliant lights in this world, it came in fragile casing – and by the time you returned to my life, the bulb was broken.

Would you have gone off the deep end without Hyde? Almost certainly. Hyde already has enough to answer for without being called to answer for the things it didn’t do. But I can’t help it if the thought occurs to me that you might not have gone that far… Hyde is the last organization that should be consulted in how to deal with mental illness. And I’m absolutely convinced that anyone already nursing such an illness is that much more likely to contract a worse one by being there. All those years, you were clearly nursing the potential for an illness far greater than we even knew. Some people with great minds have all the luck; their brilliance is born to the right circumstances, nurtured correctly by family, noticed by the right friends, and they end up getting honorary degrees at Yale. Others end up ramming themselves into a train, forgotten by the world even before they had a chance to be remembered.

Would anyone who knew us then have thought that you’d be dead and I’d be the one … at least remotely approaching a success? Like you, I live alone. Unlike you, I have a family that is reasonably understanding of our condition. I don’t know how much help I am, but I’m a partner in the family business, I have more friends than I ever know what to do with, I have creative outlets, I have a second job as a choral conductor and also free-lance as a violinist. I write every day, and I have never known a better remedy for keeping the dogs at bay. For the moment, I can honestly say that life has blessed me rather well, and now more than ever I can only wish that it did the same for you.

Six-and-a-half years ago, I watched a friend and neighbor sink further and further into depression – every day withdrawing a little more into his private world until he finally no longer responded to people’s queries. I recognized the symptoms, but I did nothing – thinking that as it does for me, the black dog would somehow let up before it became too serious to return from.  One day, I was stunned to find him coming into my room, he was even talking, telling us ‘I’m going away for a while, you won’t see me for a long time…’, I was too stunned to say anything back, and yet I still did not put two and two together. An hour-and-a-half later, Alex had jumped to his death from his fifth-floor apartment in Southern Israel. How could I be so blind, yet again, to the symptoms? I cannot fool myself any longer, it is all too possible that one day the person with these symptoms will be me, and other people will be just as blind. I have no way of knowing if or when, and it certainly won’t be any time soon. But even in my most joyful moments (and I’ve known enough), I can no longer forget that that agony may lurk round the corner. Nevertheless, to this moment, I can still say to the Black Dog and all its bites, ‘Not Yet!’

Depression is the cruelest of all possible illnesses; I truly believe that and probably always will. It is the only illness in the world that renders it impossible to recognize any way in which we are still blessed. It cuts through all rationality and all reality, causing us to see the world only through its prism – and like barbed wire, the harder we try to free ourselves of its tangle, the more it entangles us. There is no thinking oneself out of depression; there are only small preventative steps which we can take that can hopefully appease it. Because for all our developments in science, we still know barely more about the human brain than we did in the Middle Ages.

I have to be realistic, one day, this illness may claim me just as it did you and Alex. If this illness were ever to return with a virulence I’ve still never known, I can only hope that we meet in a better world – a world we can both embrace with nothing but joy. Wherever it will be, if it’s not a world without depression then I don’t want to go. There, flying spaghetti monster be praised, our minds can no longer torment us. Goodbye Sage and I hope you’re happier now. We all do.

Sage's obituary:

Original blog post:

Sage Kiesel Hyde School Bath Maine Woodstock suicide death died dying mental illness totalitarian funeral deceased depression bipolar ocd adhd

[First & last part of this former Hyde student's blog post has been cut out. You can find the whole blog post here]

Tuesday, April 23, 2013
The Gym - The Most Depressing Place in America

...When I was about fifteen, I stopped going and found myself gaining weight at an alarming rate. I’d been taking ADHD medications since I was eight, and was often told that I was in danger of serious weight gain. My mother had heard that a friend of hers got a trainer for her overweight son at the gym of the Pikesville Hilton who helped him lose quite a bit of weight. I went to the gym, and that’s where I met Kathleen.

Kathleen was twenty-one, a petite blonde shikse from Glen Burnie, whom for reasons I could not fathom worked at the Pikesville Hilton. She constantly wreaked of cigarette smoke and had a giant, multicolored tattoo on the small on her back. She was constantly telling me how much she couldn’t stand the other trainers. Half-hour sessions turned into two hours as she regaled me with stories of her ex-boyfriends and how much her girl-friends slept around. I was in love.

One of the most heartbreaking moments of my adolescence was when Kathleen told me she was leaving the Hilton for a better job. Going to the gym after Kathleen as gone was simply pointless. Not that it mattered. A few months later, I was at Hyde School in Connecticut, and I would be whipped into shape whether I liked it or not.

Physical activity was Hyde’s default solution. There was nothing in their minds which it could not solve. If a student needed to be disciplined, they’d be coerced into doing regimented, military-level workouts for three-quarters of an hour. If a student didn’t do their homework, they were made to run laps around the building. If a student was disobedient rules, they could be made to do physical activities for hours at a time - along with any other student unlucky enough to be around at that moment.

It was illegal for Hyde teachers to slap us or use canes, so they used the pain from physical activity as a form of torture - and it was most certainly torture, torture was precisely the point of what they administered. But even though it was torture, some people thrived on this routine, and developed a lifelong (and no doubt rather morbid) passion for physical activity. For a little while it appeared to many that I might have been one of them. I was a svelte (though not sexy) one-hundred thirty-five pounds, and the immense amount of sweat gave me an acne-pocked face like a pepperoni pizza. There were many times in wrestling we were coerced into doing a ‘six-minute drill.’ For those who don’t understand what a six minute drill is - it is a period of physical activity so intense that it approximates the physical exertion one must exhaust in a six-minute wrestling match. In itself, that is not terrible, and doubtless exactly what’s used for wrestling teams around America. But one day, as punishment for a few students arriving late, our coach required us to a ‘twenty-five minute drill.’ The equivalent of four full-length wrestling matches in a row. At the end of the drill, he put the latest kid in the middle of the room - a kid from Hyde’s abortive Middle School who couldn’t have been more than twelve or thirteen. We were ordered to look him dead in the eye, strike the floor with maximum force with our arms and yell out “Thank You Kevin” every five seconds. The poor kid stood in the middle of the wrestling room, sobbing as we all directed our exhausted hatred at this poor little boy. Shortly thereafter, he seemed to undergo a personality change, no longer a happy-go-lucky boy but one of the most rebellious teenagers in the school. I often wondered what happened to him, but I can’t imagine he ever got over that day, it’s probable that here was yet another soul Hyde set irrevocably on a poisonous path.

One of their favorite exercises was what they called the ‘block’. You keep your feet running in place at full speed, and then you dive into the floor with your hands being all that stops your head from hitting the ground while your feet remain the air until a half-second later. You’re then expected to get up from this - all in less than a second. One day, for our perceived inattentiveness, the entire wrestling team was made to do five-hundred of these in a row. If that doesn’t sound so bad, try doing twenty of them in a row and see how you feel. At the end of it, the captain of the Varsity Wrestling Team, still the most impressively muscular person I’d ever met, came up to me and said ‘Holy shit man, that was not right.’

Another technique of theirs was called the ‘wall-sit.’ A wall-sit in itself in no way terrible: physical therapists use it to help their patients stretch and build up endurance. However, fifteen minutes to an hour of wall sits without a break is most definitely is a form of torture, and bears an eerie though admittedly curtailed resemblance to the Bush Administration’s Guantanamo technique of not letting prisoners sit down for twelve hours at a time (at least they could stand comfortably if they liked).

If we were wrestlers, we were often expected to go on mid-winter runs at 5AM. If we were disobedient, we were expected to have 5:30 military level workouts - come winter come summer. Exposing prisoners to extra-cold temperatures has always been a favorite technique of authoritarian organizations.

But even now, I expect there are some people who will see all this and say ‘this is not so bad and certainly not torture.’ It’s not surprising, these techniques are designed for people like you to say exactly that - just as the Bush administrations techniques were designed to do and no doubt just as many, many organizations in charge of discipline design themselves around the ‘civilized world.’ Like those at Guantanamo, I suppose it’s possible that we deserved no better than we got, but people should still be aware of what transpires in their back yards, and I don’t think they are. 

I’ve gone over the next part before. I swore many times at Hyde that nobody could ever make me do physical activity ever again. And I stayed all too true to that vow. Six years after I left, I was a hundred pounds heavier than my wrestling weight. I suppose that one could argue that perhaps Hyde was a special case and not indicative of larger problems in the society that allowed it to exist, but I would argue that what went on at Hyde was simply a byproduct of a macho society grown fat with ill-gotten muscle on its own testosterone. We’re a culture that caters to sports - American industry may disappear tomorrow, but professional American sports leagues have enough money from overpriced tickets and merchandise to outlast the rest of America for a hundred years. And we’re bombarded with so many airbrushed bodies on television and the internet that many Americans assume it profits them nothing to get in shape if they can’t look like Arnold Schwartzenegger or Kate Moss. Our country’s turned into the physical equivalent of the Eloi and the Morlocks. It often seems as though everybody who doesn’t look beautiful topless looks like a living room sofa. Can you blame us fatties? What hope have we of getting in shape when we’re told that if we can’t work a miracle with our bodies, we might as well stuff our faces on Chipotle?

I don’t ever want to be in wrestling shape again. I don’t want to be an athlete. I have no physical ambitions beyond the ability to play senior-league softball in my mid-seventies should I so choose. I want a normal body. I want to weigh somewhere in the area of one-hundred sixty pounds, and I want to weigh that before I’m incontrovertibly bald....

You can find the whole blog post here:

Apparently Hyde School still had at least 70 students in 2020-2021 which means they received tuition so I'm not sure why they needed this money for "salaries"... It's been said often on this board that they don't hire many teachers with actual teaching credentials, and don't pay them that well, and hire zero psychologists.. So the payroll costs are not ridiculously extravagant, EXCEPT that Laura and Malcolm together make at least a half million a year or so..  They didn't have to pay these "loans" back if they didn't lay anyone off. They made 93 year old Joe "resign" in early 2021 after he was exposed for saying some terrible things about rape and child pornography distribution on campus by a student.

Loan Amount

Where applicants said the money will go
Payroll- $899,712
Location- Bath, ME Rural
Industry- Elementary and Secondary Schools
Business Type- Non-Profit Organization
Jobs Reported- 71
Lender- TD Bank, National Association
Date Approved- April 8, 2020
Business Age- Existing or more than 2 years old
Loan Status- Not Disclosed

Loan Amount

Where applicants said the money will go
Payroll- $697,156
Location- Bath, ME Rural
Industry- Elementary and Secondary Schools
Business Type- Non-Profit Organization
Jobs Reported- 55
Lender- TD Bank, National Association
Date Approved- Feb. 6, 2020
Business Age- Existing or more than 2 years old
Loan Status- Not Disclosed

Companies and nonprofit organizations that receive PPP loans may have the loans forgiven if they meet certain criteria, including not laying off employees during the defined period covered by the loan. Applicants must attest in their application that the loans are necessary for their continuing operation. Note: This data reflects loan applications approved by banks and submitted to the SBA. It may not account for money not distributed to, or credit not used by, a given company.


Fornits user Ursus wrote the following on another board regarding Hyde School's Larry Dubinsky, former dean of students, and his alleged sexual misconduct and a following lawsuit, (Hyde settled and paid the Hiler family) in Hiler v Hyde.

Larry Dubinsky was a student during the mid/late 1970s, apparently a seemingly successful one, as he was a member of the Senior Leadership during his final year.  He married another Hyde student, Donna Leonard, who was a few years younger.  The Dubinskys came back to teach at Hyde, specifically the Woodstock campus.  This was sometime in the mid or late 1990s; I'm not sure as to the specific year.

Larry liked to express his love for the girls in rather... physical ways... There were complaints.  Hyde did nothing.  Eventually, a parent sued Hyde for the sexual assault of their daughter. This latest development was relatively recent, I'm thinking maybe 5 years ago.  Here are links to some pages from the lawsuit, filed on the ISACCorp website: (no longer available after WWASP kingpin Robert Lichfield sued the makers of the website)

Despite everything that transpired, despite the lawsuit even, Hyde continued to keep Dubinsky on campus.  I believe that he lost his teaching benefits, but the rationalization for keeping him there was alleged to reside in the fact that his wife still taught there, and that they had kids which were still attending at the time.

Not sure how the needs or safety of the other female students attending at the time were factored into that, but I think it does say something about where Hyde places their priorities and exactly what kind of values they actually do hold dearest.

Transcription of the ISACCorp document (original on 4 separate pages) on the Dubinsky case.  Please see my previous post for the links to jpg scans of the actual documents. (photos no longer available; ISAC has been removed from the internet and photo scans of case no longer linked, but original post is here)

And if Larry Dubinsky's shenanigans -- in and of themselves -- weren't bad enough, the icing on the cake was how Hyde chose to deal with them.  At no time were any authorities contacted.  In fact, Hyde held at least two meetings with the girl -- in which she was forced to confront Larry Dubinsky in person, in the presence of multiple, mostly male faculty who were probably not very happy about the situation -- before even deigning to call the girl's parents.  Probably the only reason it got to the point of calling the girl's parents is because the girl refused to back down.  And, from what I've been told, the only reason it got to the point where the girl was even taken seriously in the first place, was due to the efforts of one sole faculty member (not surprisingly, no longer associated with Hyde School).

Mind you, Larry Dubinsky had been on this behavior path for some time, and none of the girls' complaints had been taken seriously up to that point.

Here are the official links to the summaries of Hiler v Hyde:

Here is what Ursus transcribed from photos of the case into text:
From Ursus:,22002.msg297625.html#msg297625



Hiler v. Hyde School
Federal Civil Lawsuit - Connecticut District Court, Case No. 3:02-cv-00416-DJS
District Judge Dominic J. Squatrito, presiding
MARCH 5, 2002


1.  This is an action by a female student against a private school which, upon information and belief, is the recipient of federal funds, for tolerating and encouraging a pattern of sexual misconduct directed against her and other female students by a male faulty member, over a long period of time.

2.  Jurisdiction of this court is invoked under the provisions of Sections 1331, 1343(3) and 1367(a) of Title 28 of the United States Code and this court's supplementary and diversity jurisdiction over the plaintiff's causes of action under state law.

3.  The plaintiff is an adult female citizen of the State of XXXXX.  She was born on XXX and at all times mentioned herein was an out-of-state student at the defendant's school in Woodstock, Connecticut.

4.  The defendant is a private school located in Woodstock, Connecticut.  Upon information and belief, the defendant receives federal financial assistance for the operation of its educational and related programs.

5.  The amount at issue in this case is greater than seventy-five thousand dollars, exclusive of interest and costs.

6.  In 2001, and for several years prior thereto, the defendant employed at its school in Woodstock an adult male teacher by the name of Larry Dubinsky.  At all times mentioned herein, said Dubinsky was acting as the agent, servant, and employee of the defendant, within the scope of his employment and agency, and for the defendant's financial benefit.

7.  For several years prior to and including the events described hereinafter, the defendant, through its administrators and officials, had actual knowledge that Dubinsky  was subjecting the female students at Hyde School to sexual harassment which included inappropriate touching, staring, and comments.  Despite such actual knowledge, the defendant retained Dubinsky on its faculty and permitted him to continue to have daily, direct and unsupervised contact with the adolescent female students at the school, including the plaintiff.

8.  During the second week of July, 2001, at the school, Dubinsky initiated a "role-playing" incident with the plaintiff in the course of which he insisted upon having full body contact with the plaintiff, repeatedly and over her objection, while making lewd and inappropriate comments to her which included the phrase "fucking pussy".

9.  On August 1, 2001, while instructing a dance routine in which the plaintiff was involved, Dubinsky required the plaintiff to be his partner and to dance with him.  He required her to bend down in front of him, then lifted her, raised her blouse, felt around her body for her hips and placed his hands on her hips.  When the plaintiff objected and moved away from him, he attempted to coerce her into continuing.

10.  When the plaintiff complained to the defendants administrators about the aforesaid misconduct, she was summoned to a meeting at which she was required to meet with Dubinsky and was criticized by administrators for not wanting to look at Dubinsky during the meeting.  The following day, she was summoned to yet another meeting with administrators, which the administrators concealed from her parents.  When school officials were informed in September of 2001 that the plaintiff was suffering from recurring nightmares regarding Dubinsky, a faculty member falsely accused the plaintiff of flirting with another male teacher.  Her mother's pleas to the defendant's highest administrators that Dubinsky be kept away from the plaintiff and not allowed on school grounds were rejected.  In February of 2002, the plaintiff was required to serve as a waitress at a party given by the defendant's headmaster at which other under-age students were required to serve alcoholic beverages.  Dubinsky was an invited guest at that party.

11.  In the manner described above, the defendant has, on the basis of the plaintiff's sex, excluded her from participation in, denied her the benefits of, and/or subjected her to discrimination under an education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance in violation of Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Sections 1681 - 1688 of Title 20 of the United States Code.

12.  In the manner described above, the defendant through its aforesaid agent subjected the plaintiff to assault and battery on each of the two separate occasions described above, in violation of Connecticut state law.

13.  The conduct of the defendant and its agent described above was extreme and outrageous and was carried out with the knowledge that it probably would cause the plaintiff to suffer emotional distress.

14.  In the manner described above, the defendant further acted in negligent disregard  of the probability that its conduct would cause the plaintiff, like any person of ordinary sensibilities similarly situated, to suffer emotional distress so severe that physical illness could result.

15.  As a direct and proximate result of the acts and omissions of the defendant described above, the plaintiff has suffered severe emotional distress.

WHEREFORE, the plaintiff claims judgment against the defendant for compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorney fees and costs.

The plaintiff claims trial by jury.


Federal Bar No. ct00215
Williams and Pattis, LLC
51 Elm Street
New Haven, CT 06510
TELEPHONE:  203.562.9931
FAX: 203.776.9494
E-MAIL:  [email protected]
Her Attorney

Office   New Haven
Filed   3/7/2002
Jury Demand   Plaintiff
Demand   $0
Nature of Suit   440 - Civil Rights: Other
Cause   Section 28 U.S.C. § 1331 Federal Question
Jurisdiction   Federal Question
Disposition   Dismissed - Settled
County   XX US, Outside State
Terminated   5/6/2003
PACER case #18684

In 1976, Larry Dubinsky was still a student at Hyde. He's one of a large number of folk that, for reasons certainly worth speculating about, never quite left.

In the early 2000's, Hyde School was sued by a student's parent(s) re. Dubinsky's alleged and continued sexual molestation of their daughter. Despite being presented with repeated complaints, Hyde did very little, essentially nothing, to address the issue.

Larry Dubinsky's wife, Donna Dubinsky (also a former Hyde student), still teaches at Hyde. Moreover, his kids go there. In fact, one of them is even featured in at least one of Hyde's recent promotional videos.


Anon: wait they're missing earl bigelow, joe kilch and peter gregory, those guys molested kids at Hyde school. they worked there. what about those kids. what happened to their lives? Hyde stole them and then covered up the truth. Hyde employs some of the lowest forms of life.

Ursus: ...Not to mention Robert Thurrell, Margaret 'Peg' Brazier, Larry Dubinsky, and quite a few others who are not yet known by their names. If you want to count recently returning alums, which in my book violates something akin to a therapist-client relationship, then you can add Hyde School founder Joe Gauld and co-founder Sumner Hawley to that list as well.

Also there is Ms. Hallet. And a bunch of others.

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