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Messages - Redditorsubmod

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Feed Your Head / Re: NATSAP staying strong in todays economy.
« on: March 29, 2011, 04:33:13 PM »
If they are in a wilderness area, it may be illegal to hunt and kill the fauna.

The Troubled Teen Industry / Re: Elan School Reddit Thread
« on: March 29, 2011, 03:34:35 PM »
Quote from: "Che Gookin"
Reddit's karma system can get asshole posts buried pretty quickly. It's a good website to post on, I quite enjoy reading the IaMa forum and for giggles the fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu forum.

Will look at your subreddit later on. Probably won't comment much as I try to keep the divergent parts of my world separate, but if I see something worth mentioning I'll make a sock and post.

Unfortunately, Karma can be a bitch.

The primary purpose of this subreddit is to drive traffic from people that might not otherwise know about places like to Even in the short time that /r/troubledteens has existed, we have already had survivors send PMs thanking us for its existence.  They were just regular redditors that apparently hadn't thought about googling for other survivor groups. Imagine that.

One survivor asked for help in finding an attorney to help him/her sue their program. We sent them to fornits to find the name of attorneys who had sued programs. It would be nice if there was a registry of some kind for that.

Teen Challenge / Re: global teen challenge...80 countries
« on: March 27, 2011, 08:16:21 PM »
1000 locations??? This sounds like a burger king franchise.

Mixing religious snake oil with troubled teen industry snake oil is surely a recipe for abused children.

CAN ~ Collective Action Network / Re: Anti-Program Marketing Materials
« on: March 27, 2011, 07:39:52 PM »
The internet appears to have been effective with the Elan school in Poland Springs, Maine. That troubled teen program closed down due to declining enrollment that they attribute to the internet.

An entire subreddit has been formed at to try to help get the message out about abusive and potentially abusive troubled teen facilities.

Quote from: "Whooter"
Quote from: "Ursus"
I agree that programs are not effective with all children.  

The sad part is that you imply that the troubled teen programs are effective with any children. There is no proof that they are. Logic says that they cannot be.

Legitimate psychologists, i.e. those that are not sock puppets for the troubled teen industry, acknowledge that the types of behavioral problems for which teens are sent to troubled teen programs are the kind that naturally resolve as children mature.  The troubled teen program therapists know this. They realize that the therapy they provide is snake oil. The real medicine is time.  The troubled teen industry merely warehouses kids and waits for them to mature. The so called 'therapy' is merely marketing and advertising to the parents.

The troubled teen industry is merely a cash for kids. Corporate greed in its worst form.

New Info / Re: Gateway Academy Salt Lake City Utah
« on: March 27, 2011, 03:00:45 AM »
It is my understanding that Gateway does not have any employed PhD psychologists. I understand they refer the parents of students outside for psychologists.

For a while, Jeff Hintze was an independent contractor with Gateway. Dr. Hintze had a Ph.D. in Psychology, but it was the wrong type of degree to allow him to be licensed as a psychologist in Utah. He was licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist. That has been a long time ago. I think he was fired by Gateway two or three years ago.

At least a couple of the owners of Gateway are LCSWs. The kids all laughed about them being given peanut butter sandwiches to eat while the owners were driving porsches. They thought it was funny that the porsches would disappear when a parent visit was scheduled.

The Troubled Teen Industry / Re: Outback Therapeutic Expeditions
« on: March 27, 2011, 02:04:18 AM »
The 'outback' stuff is marketing crap to sell the program to unsuspecting parents.  I went through their orientation program for parents. They were 'orienting' new counselors at the same time. Only a few minutes discussion with the various counsellors in the breaks revealed that they all consider it marketing crap.

The 'outback' concept was originated by a non-degreed/non-licensed guy whose name escapes me at the moment. He claimed he came up with the concept as he was driving along a canyon in Southern Utah.  My take on the way the various staffers interacted is that this non-degreed guy is the money and brains behind the operation. But, he is not licensed or credentialed to actually be able to operate it. So he hires degreed people as fronts for the organization. It was obvious by the way people jumped around him that he was the one telling the PhDs what to do.

Gordon Day was the psychologist I interacted with. He was pretty pragmatic. He readily admits that for most of the kids it is the parent who is messed up and not the kid. He said that the person who most needed the wilderness experience was not there. The psychologists like Day do not actually work for Outback. They are independent contractors that are assigned specific kids in order for the program to meet state requirements.  They spend about 5 minutes a week with each kid asking them whether they have suicidal thoughts.  Other than that, there is no therapy.

The whole concept of wilderness is to confine kids as cheaply as possible in a way that makes an effective future threat of punishment.  Use government land that is free, far enough away from civilization that you do not need prison walls. Feed the kids LDS survival food like powdered butter and beans. And save costs even further by giving them a $5 walmart tarp that they have to use as a tent and a backpack. Charge the parents $30,000 for something that costs almost nothing to provide.  If the kids have diarrhea for three weeks from lack of sanitary conditions, no problem. Just give them more rice.

As a money maker, it is genius.

The psychologists and staff make little effort to hide the purpose of wilderness therapy being a negative experience that can be used to threaten the kid to obtain future compliance. If you can't get the kid to mind, you ship him back to wilderness. Its the next best thing to being able to beat them.

Quote from: "Guest"
But the rest of Utah's camps pitch hiking and survival skills - making a fire using a bow and arrow, setting traps for game -- as the best way wilderness can break through a teen's problems. The element of risk in being isolated in the desert makes therapy effective, said Andrew Powell, a field director for Outback Therapeutic Expeditions.

There is not therapy in Outback Therapeutic Expeditions. A psychologist goes around once a week and spends about 5 minutes with each kid asking them about whether they have suicidal thoughts. That is it. The rest of the time, the kids are guarded by other kids only a few years older and in some cases, only recently graduated from the same program.

Wilderness is not therapy; it is punishment.  The primary purpose behind 'wilderness' is to make the experience so miserable, that none of the kids want to go back there again.  Marching seven or more miles per day with little food.  Without shoelaces if they consider you a suicide threat. Wilderness is used as a threat in all of the subsequent programs. If the kid fails to comply with the program rules, they are sent back to wilderness to punish them.

And ALL of the kids in wilderness go on to other residential therapeutic programs. The only ones that don't are the kids whose parents can't afford the residential program. Lucky them.

Quote from: "Guest"
Before you start your explanation, I hope you consider refraining from using the term "brainwashing", since this is not accurate.
If 1,000 kids say a program is just fine, and 4 kids complain that it was abusive, what would you believe? That is the choice parents have today and why the 'anti program movement' is nothing more than a few websites and the crazy people who run them.

These programs are all about making money; profit is the only reason the troubled teen industry exists. Where else but the troubled teen industry can a LCSW or marriage and family counselor make $1 million a year or more? For the most part, the people in the troubled teen industry are not 'evil' people. The abuses in the troubled teen industry occur because the operators want to maximize their profits, not because they intend on abusing the children. Unfortunately, abuse is a natural result of maximizing profits.

Brainwashing is an accurate term for what the trouble teen industry does.  Brainwashing is a technique developed during the Korean war to reduce the cost of warehousing prisoners.  That is the same reason why the troubled teen industry uses Brainwashing techniques so much. Maximizing profits means keeping costs of storing the kids low. Fewer guards means lower cost. If you take the time to study brainwashing techniques, then go observe a troubled teen program, you can check off the methods in use one by one.

The dirty secret behind the troubled teen industry is that most of the problems they claim to treat will resolve on their own as children mature. Families often encounter relationship problems when children are 13 to 18 years old.  For most families, those relationship issues resolve by themselves. Time is what helps the kids, not the troubled teen industry.  The troubled teen industry knows this and depends on it.  They do their dog and pony show for the parents, and then wait for time to work its magic.

The troubled teen industry understands that kids get better from maturity not therapy, and as a result, the primary goal of the troubled teen industry is not therapy, but to warehouse children at the lowest cost/greatest profit while waiting for the kids to mature and their problems to resolve.  Brainwashing kids is a very effective way to reduce the cost of confining kids. Try to find a troubled teen facility that does not use Brainwashing. Betcha can't.

Admittedly, brainwashing is rarely permanent. For most kids, they recover from its affects within a few years after they are removed from them. Unfortunately, that is not true for all kids. Some have lasting injury. The troubled teen industry knows this and does not care. Profit is more important than the damage done to the small number of kids.

Of course, resolution of behavioral problems by maturation presents a fatal flaw with any study claiming that the troubled teen industry actually helps kids. No study conducted to date accounts for normal maturation or differentiates it from any so-called therapeutic intervention.  The studies identify that kids are better after they have matured and claims that is a result of 'therapy.' It is all snake oil.

New Info / Re: Gateway Academy Salt Lake City Utah
« on: March 26, 2011, 11:44:50 PM »
Quote from: "Out of options"
I am not in marketing and am indeed a parent with a child who has suffered severe rage, depression and anxiety that threatened his life. . . . It gave my son a supportive, safe environment, with about 20 hours of therapy a week plus in-house high school and a great outdoor athletic programme.  Family therapy benefited my son, my wife and me and our other sons.  Our lead therapist has remained in touch with us since our son left Gateway and cares about our family.  Is Fornits so cynical that there is no room for belief that there are parents and therapists who truly care and do their best without being part of a conspiracy of evil?

I call bullshit  on "20 hours of therapy a week."  A kid in Gateway usually gets 1 hour of individual therapy a week, which is the minimum requirement by the State of Utah for residential therapeutic facilities.  Kids can go as much as 8 weeks or more without individual therapy.   They wind up being in 'Group' possibly 20 hours a week; but, if you really are a parent who had a kid at Gateway, then you sat through 'Group' when you visited your kid. If you think 'Group' is therapy after having sat through it even once, you are an idiot.

As far as "in-house high school" goes, if you call having the instructor handing the kid a manila envelope full of worksheets and then drinking a soda while reading a newspaper the rest of class session "high school" you are an idiot.  You also forgot to mention that your child did not graduate from high school per se, but had to get a GED as his high school diploma.

And "a great outdoor athletic programme" is a complete joke. Hiking the kids in single file over to a city park once or twice a week doesn't count as 'great.'

There is no way that you are a real parent who had a child at Gateway. You have to be an industry shill.

New Info / Re: Gateway Academy Salt Lake City Utah
« on: March 26, 2011, 11:26:45 PM »
Quote from: "NYC_Mom"
This educational consultant was recommended two me twice, once in 2007 by a psychologist and then again in 2010 by my son’s psychologist. Based on his background, she knew he had significant learning issues and a history of anxiety and depression. After meeting with him she identified him as a “soft” kid and recommended a therapeutic wilderness program.  She then worked with the wilderness program team and recommended Gateway Academy.

Was your Ed Con Lexy Spett or with Bodin Associates?  They don't call these people Ed Con Artists for nothing.

New Info / Re: Gateway Academy Salt Lake City Utah
« on: March 26, 2011, 11:23:36 PM »
Is this the Gateway that Matthew Woolley, PhD is associated with?

Please do not construe a lack of replies as a lack of interest. Figure that possibly thousands of people read this and are outraged by it, as am I, for every person who posts a reply.

Prepare for your escape now.  Figure that your Mom is likely to have you abducted. An escort service relatively cheap and there are dozens of them.  You will wake up with a couple strangers in your room telling you to get dressed and that you have no choice but to come with them. From that point onward, they will have one hand on your arm and one finger in your belt-loop. And you will be in the backseat of a car whose doors do not open from the inside.  They will take away your cellphone and it could be years before you are allowed to have communication with anyone who could help you.  They depend on your disorientation and confusion to get you away from where it is easy for you to escape to someplace where it is less easy.

I can only guess at the best methods for escaping.  In one case, I believe the kid being abducted attacked the person driving the car causing a car wreck. He told the police officers who investigate the wreck that he was being kidnapped. The escort service personnel were arrested and charged with assault and battery. I do not believe risking your life or the life of others is a reasonable response to even a desperate situation like this.

If the escort people use any force against you, there is a strong chance they may be liable for criminal offenses.  Just remember, they will lie to you. They will claim that your parents have given them permission to use physical force. In many states, that is not possible. Get the attention of a police officer and tell them what is happening. Your best chance of escaping may be while you are being escorted.  Make a scene in a public place and let people know you are being kidnapped. Yell for help, scream. I would consider yelling things like "Help, I am being kidnapped." and maybe even "Call 911. They have a gun."

Figure that most of the time you will be headed for a facility in Utah. Depending on where you are, you will be going through an airport. You might consider making a scene at the security checkpoint, refusing to allow being searched and claim that you are being kidnapped. Then, when they ask for a contact person, give them the phone number of a friend or a relative who has agreed to help you.

If they get you to a wilderness program, you are pretty much screwed. They are incredibly difficult to successfully escape. If you do happen to escape, and you are in Utah, figure that everyone you see in the surrounding area are in the 'Troubled Teen' industry. Here are some ideas you might consider.  If you hitch-hike, tell who ever picks you up that you are a college student that is hitchhiking across the USA. Tell them that you were riding with someone else and got out of the car to take a piss and the driver left with all your stuff. Tell them you have a friend waiting for you in Las Vegas, so if you can just get there you will have money and will be ok.

If you get into a program, you probably will have plenty of opportunities. It appears to be relatively easy to walk away from the program. The big trick is that the programs have plenty of experience in looking in the places where kids tend to go. Possibly in most cases, the kids run with no plan and if they do not get caught in the few minutes or hours after they escape, they realize they have no place to go and just walk back into the program.

The only successful case of a kid running away from a program that I am aware of, involved a kid who took some money from his mom's purse each time she visited him at the program in Utah. When he was at a local park skateboarding, he paid some kids there to drive him to Las Vegas and bought a driver's license from one of them. From Las Vegas, he took an airplane to stay with friends he had met playing internet games. He stayed with those friends for nearly a year until he turned 18.  His mom spent over $100,000 searching for him but was unable to find him. His mom sent police after his adult sister and obtained her phone records trying to find him. His sister had used an internet service to talk with him.

Some of the things he did include: 1) He acted like he was making plans 3 or 4 months out even when he was ready to leave within a few days. 2) Whenever other kids would talk about running away, he always told them it was impossible. No matter how close of a friend you think they are, they will turn you in. It is part of the program. Never trust anyone in the program. Act like you have drank the kool-aide; these guys have more experience dealing with defiance than you do being defiant.  3) figure out how to squirrel some money away. He had close to $1,000 by the time he escaped. He lived for almost a year on that money. 4) It took him almost a year from the time he was first abducted until he successfully escaped. 5) He escaped on his first attempt. You almost never get a second chance.

NEVER NEVER NEVER call your parents if you run. They always call the program and the program comes and picks you up.  The program does an orientation with your parents as part of putting you in the program, and in that orientation, they give your parents instructions on how to handle it if you run away and call them. The program's instructions are something like, be sympathetic, tell the kid that the parent is going to come and pick up the kid and bring them home, and then call the program to come and pick you up.

Try to have a friend or relative who will help you be prepared in advance. Even better if it is someone that your parents do not know.

Quote from: "Guest"
PLEASE, don't presume all wilderness programs are bad things, or do bad things, or have unhappy participants any more than Burger King.

But, of course, that is the safe assumption.  The people that run these programs are not necessarily evil people, but they are universally motivated by profit. The things that they need to do to maximize profit necessarily create an environment that leads to abuse of the children imprisoned in them.

Wilderness programs exist as a very cheap method of confining children. Use government land for free, use a blue-plastic walmart tarp, and minimum wage employees as guards. The isolation of the wilderness forms the prison walls.  There are no alternative methods of confinement that are less expensive.

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