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Messages - Curious John

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It was my understanding that most programs required a forced consent anyway. The more you refused, the harder the intake process.

Brat Camp / J. Huffine
« on: July 30, 2005, 06:55:00 PM »
I just wanted to make a quick post to let everyone who is watching J. Huffine on Brat Camp know that he is no longer with the Sagewalk program. Actually, both he and his wife, Willow Huffine, disappeared from the staff page within a few months of Brian Rossiter, Program Director during Brat Camp, and Kevin Warner, CEO during Brat Camp. They are still active in the industry however, and both now work for Second Nature Wilderness Program in Duchesne, Utah(1).

Brian Rossiter also just turned up at Santiam Crossing, a program of Catherine Freer (2). Still no sign of Kevin Warner resurfacing though.


In my opinion, Michael Conner is no different than any of the other bottom feeders who have established themselves in the industry of making money off of the fears of parents. Here is a link to another post I made regarding InCrisis and Mentor Research Institute.... ... m=9&Sort=D

The Troubled Teen Industry / Has anyone heard of this place???
« on: June 28, 2005, 11:44:00 PM »
My first question for the anonymous poster is what is you connection to Michael Conner? All three of the links you provided are connected directly to him.

Second, your comment "The Board of Directors are not paid and do not work for any programs." is a very misleading statement, if not an outright lie. You do not provide a list of the Board of Directors on your website and Michael Conner has worked in the industry during his time at Mentor Research Institute as both Consulting Psychologist, Obsidian School(1) and Clinical Director for SageWalk (1)(2)(3). Also, the last time (prior to it being taken off their webpage)  that InCrisis included their list of Board of Directors on their page it included Larry Solie, Executive Director & CEO of SageWalk,. They have not provided that information since January but I will happily send my copy of the January 11th page to anyone who would like it.  You can't possibly say that Larry Solie does not work for any programs... He is the OWNER and CEO of Sagewalk!

Third, I would like to know exactly which four programs MRI has caused to close and specifically which programs they have discouraged parents from sending their children to. Were they Obsidian Trails, Skyline Journey, Mt. Bachelor Academy, NorthStar, etc.?

And on a final note I want to say that SageWalk is a long way from the prestigious organization that the anonymous poster tries to portray them as. I will follow up soon with a more detailed post, but let me finish this one with a press release that Sagewalk's current Director of Family Services, Chip Huge, released while he was working for Obsidian Trails.(4)

Press Release
Obsidian Schools

Bend, OR 97701
Chip Huge, PhD
2. ... ews02.html
3. ... ews01.html
4. ... rails.html

I am not sure if it was just a temporary glitch that kept that page from being retreived by a search or if the power of Fornits' has convinced them to put it back up, but the page I originally asked about is once again available to the Google search engine.

I do still wonder how many other uncataloged pages have gone missing from the search engines even though they still technically remain available on their web server.

EdCons and referring organizations and agencies /
« on: April 23, 2005, 09:08:00 PM »
Can you find this page with Google??

I will start by saying that I use Struggling Teens website quite frequently to try to track certain peoples' progress through the industry. On their main page they offer both a link to their archives and a Google search of their website.

Not that I have ever been a fan of the company or their business, I always counted it as at least a qualifier that Lon Woodbury kept himself above the deception and lying that seems to plague the industry. In short, at least he believed he was doing the right thing.

That belief of integrity was shattered this evening however when I went to do a simple search for Kevin Warner who has recently disappeared from the Sagewalk staff page. Even though I didn't expect to see anything this soon regarding new employment for him I was really surprised to see that "Kevin Warner" turned up nothing, even more surprised to see that "Warner" by itself did not turn up a single page referring to Kevin Warner.

To make a long evening of searching brief, I do have a saved copy of the page linked above from Struggling Teens that does mention Kevin Warner, and to Lon Woodbury's credit he has left it on his server. However, I have yet to find a search criteria that will bring up this page from either his website or even the regular Google engine.

I am not saying that Kevin Warner was the reason this page disappeared, but it does bother me that any publicly published page that was supposedly available in archives would be removed from availability to the public. I know I initially found this page through a search on either Google or the Struggling Teens page and saved it for one reason or another. As it stands now, if I hadn't saved it before, I would not have found this document. Someone has obviously made the determination that this page should not be included in Google's search results.

Here is the page again:
http:// Please tell me I am wrong.

I am thrilled that CEDU appears to be collapsing. Unfortunately what I expect to see is a huge number of small, independently run schools spring up in the northwest operating under the radar until complaints are filed against them. That is, after all, the way that the smaller programs have sprung up in the past (former CEDU staff members).

Another worry of mine (not to be the pessimist that I am) is that it is just a creative way that Fenton R. "Pete" Talbott came up with to dodge the lawsuit(s), and the whole system will reappear with a new name similar to the Straight closings, however on a larger scale.

My actual hunch though is that Fenton R. "Pete" Talbott is only a "Richard Gere from Pretty Woman" who maneuvered his way to the Chairman of the Board position just to cash in on a company that had a huge worth (property) but large publicity liabilities.

We will see if my hunch is right as it plays out, but I would like to ask everyone to post the names of anyone in authority at the current CEDU schools just to make it easier to connect them to any new programs started. I do expect that we will see several "new programs" in the near future, and it would definitely be helpful if we could do a web search and immediately connect them to their past careers.

That was me, forgot to log in first. Sorry.

EdCons and referring organizations and agencies / Chris Kocurek
« on: March 20, 2005, 10:04:00 AM »
The only thing I could add to Deborah's post above, is just to point out that he is currently the Executive Director and a lead educational consultant of Academic Answers in Austin, TX(1).

By reading their "Crisis Intervention" process(2), it appears that Academic Answers supports the use of transport services as well as blind-siding a child before he/she has a chance to seek any kind of legal assistance to defend themselves.

Academic Answers is available to help coordinate transportation arrangements, as needed.
The process for Crisis Intervention Services is abbreviated to fit the needs of the crisis situation. Interventions can be implemented within 24 hours.


The Troubled Teen Industry / Spring Ridge Academy - Any feedback?
« on: March 02, 2005, 09:27:00 PM »
Just a quick mention of something I didn't want anyone to miss from Linda Shaffer's article because it isn't mentioned until almost the last paragraph....

Where did these workshops come from? From creative minds. They came from often controversial influences and beginnings ? Synanon, Lifespring, est, ? out of the ?60?s ? and from many of the earliest creative innovators in the mental health field.
The complete article can be found at ... /oe03.html

The Troubled Teen Industry / Spring Ridge Academy - Any feedback?
« on: March 02, 2005, 09:18:00 PM »
This website, http:// doesn't list what Spring Ridge Academy did to be charged a $750 fine, but it does give a phone number to call if you would like more information. I personally haven't called, but I would recommend it if you are serious about your inquiry.

Behavioral Health Facilities Report (as of February 17, 2005)
This report is published by the ADHS Division of Licensing Services. For assistance, contact BEHAVIORAL HEALTH at Phone (602) 364-2595; Fax (602) 364-4801.
Address:  13690 SOUTH BURTON ROAD
Phone:  (928) 632-4602  
Fax: (928) 632-7661  
Facility ID: BH1721
License: BH-1721  

Arizona Enforcement Actions (if any from 01/04 through 12/04):

Final Enforcement Action Date:  02/17/2004  
State Civil Money Penalty Assessed:  750  
For More Information, Call:  (602) 364-2595  

Also, Spring Ridge Academy was one of several programs praised back in 1998 by Linda Shaffer from Woodbury Reports for using "The Marathon Workshop".

Those schools who Do Use these workshops are: Cascade School, Whitmore, CA; Mount Bachelor Academy, Prineville, OR; Swift River Academy, Cummington, MA; Hidden Lake Academy, Dahlonega, GA; Crater Lake School, Sprague River, OR; CEDU Schools, CA and ID; Spring Ridge Academy, Spring Valley, AZ Cross Creek Manor, LaVerkin, UT; Paradise Cove, Apia, W. Samoa; Tranquility Bay, Mandeville, Jamaica; Spring Creek Lodge, Thompson Falls, MT; Copper Canyon Academy, Camp Verde, AZ And for the over 18 year old students ? Northstar, Bend, OR and Benchmark, Redding, CA
The complete article can be found at http://

Not really the best group of programs to be lumped in with in my opinion. I am also sure you could get a better description of the marathon process than even this article gives if you either search or ask on these forums, especially the Straight forums from what my wife tells me.

CEDU / Brown Schools and derivatives / clones / Jackson Culotta
« on: February 28, 2005, 09:58:00 PM »
Actually, he is no longer with Cherokee Creek Boys School in South Carolina. He is now the Director of Business Development for Confident Living, INC. in Boulder, CO. I do not know this man or even know what he looks like (his latest employer has not included his photo with the rest of the staff) but I will give you the timeline of his career that I have managed to piece together.

?-? - Headmaster of Boulder Creek Academy (1)
?-? - Executive Director for the Northwest Region of CEDU (1)
June 14, 2000-September 27, 2001 - Headmaster at Cascade School , in Whitmore, California (1)(2)(3)
?-? - Consultant to Coronado Academy, Costa Rica (9)
November, 2002-November 8, 2003 - Headmaster, Co-Founder, and Owner of Cherokee Creek Boys School, Westminster, South Carolina (1)(4)(5)(6)(7)
?-? - Director of Resident Life at Brandon Hall School, Atlanta, GA (9)
October, 2004-? - Director of Business Development for Confident Living, INC, Boulder, CO (8)(9)

(1) "Leadership Staff" --- ... r=&strip=1
(2) "Seen 'n Heard, 2000.07 - Page 2" --- ... een02.html
(3) "Seen 'n Heard, 2001.10 -Page 2" --- ... een02.html
(4) "Seen 'n Heard, 2002.12.24" --- ... heard.html
(5) "New Perspectives, 2003.05.14 - Cherokee Creek Boys School" --- ... eeknp.html
(6) "Seen 'n Heard, 2003.09.23" --- ... heard.html
(7) "Seen 'n Heard, 2003.12.03" --- ... heard.html
(8) "Seen 'n Heard, 2004.12.06" --- ... heard.html
(9) "About Confident Living: The Staff" ---

I would greatly appreciate it if anyone could help me fill in the dates for his time at CEDU or the other organizations.

Thanks, John

The Troubled Teen Industry / Sunrise Girls Academy
« on: February 28, 2005, 09:27:00 PM »
Sunrise Academy became a part of Psychiatric Solutions, Inc. of Tennessee http:// back in early 2004. They have 34 facilities according to their website.

Although I have not yet put the time in to research any of these programs I will offer my general opinion of this company. From reading both their site and the brief descriptions of the programs, my take was that they wanted to get across, or at least give the impression, that they were aiming more to the medical hospitalization of people.

There were several programs however that either include or target children, and most offered "residential treatment". I will admit that I have become a skeptic of these programs, but one that really raised the red flag was the description given by Manatee Palms Youth Services http:// of being an "Intensive Residential Treatment Facility (IRTF)".

Also, Sunrise Academy http:// is listed as a "Staff secure facility " which I have read elsewhere as the preferred term for "lock-down" facility by the administrators/owners.

I will let you know if I found out anything else.

The Troubled Teen Industry / Island View RTC in Utah
« on: February 28, 2005, 08:59:00 PM »
Island View was recently bought out and became an Aspen Education Group program. Another school mention in this thread, The Oakley School, was also acquired at the same time.


The Troubled Teen Industry / Has anyone heard of this place???
« on: February 24, 2005, 10:50:00 PM »
Here is something I just found.

Even though "Bridge to Understanding" has removed all of thier pages since becoming "FamilyLight", I managed to find a cached page referring to SageWalk. This page was cached by Google on Nov 1, 2004, and with the exception of staff members I have seen nothing to make me suspect that there have been any changes in the "program".

SageWalk, The Outdoor School

A healing journey for youth and their families

Program Director: Brett Merle, Executive Director
Address: P.O. Box 6735, Bend, OR 97708-6735 USA
Phone: (800) 877-1922, Fax: (541) 318-7847
Admission Contact: Sarah Bradham, Admission Director
Usual length of stay: 70 days

Shortest length of stay: 45 days

Longest length of stay: 138 days

Population: Residential only

Males: ages 13 - 17 capacity 25

Females: ages 13 - 17 capacity 25

Facility: Specially structured environment, therapeutic or growth experience with some educational services, but less than a fully and accredited and licensed school

Discipline: Facility seeking behavioral change through extraordinarily rigorous behavioral demands, some counseling or therapeutic content also available

External Control: Minors (or other persons subject to conservatorship or guardianship per court order) may be placed by authority of parents or legal guardians without respect to the residents' possible objections; Accepts and is appropriate for resistive participants who may be willing to stay only by reason of adverse consequences if they chose not to stay -- but they will sign themselves in and give their own consent; Accepts and is appropriate for participants who are neutral with respect to remaining; Accepts and is appropriate for participants who show a passive interest in remaining; Accepts residents with an active desire to be participants

Retention of Involuntary Clients: An effectively secured environment which might not meet a legal definition of lock down, but always involves some of the following: 1) A high ratio of staff who will effectively pursue, apprehend, and restrain involuntary residents and perhaps others acting impulsively; or 2) Physical barriers such as walls, fences, bodies of water, etc.; or 3) Passive alarms which would effectively direct staff to an interdiction point prior to unauthorized egress

Primary Presenting Issues: Substance abuse, depression, anger management, behavior problems, social skills

Valid Reason For Admission: personality disorders, adoption issues, attachment disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse disorders, sexual misconduct/compulsion, compulsive disorders, PTSD including sexual trauma, mood disorders, family conflict, ADD/ADHD/attentional issues, learning disabilities/differences, passively non-compliant, physically aggressive -- is likely to attack staff or others if not managed with great caution, aggressively defiant -- will openly and intentionally defy authority and may be verbally abusive, other behavioral issues

Relevant Services Offered But Not The Basis For Admission: suicidal ideation or risk

Compatible With Admission, But Relevant Services Not Offered: adjudicated criminal activity, firesetting, needs travel guidance/assistance -- escort service

May Preclude Admission: psychosis, neuropsychiatric disorders, remedial education

Definitely Precludes Admission: epilepsy, diabetic, sight or hearing impaired, other major physical handicaps

Medications: Medications allowed but usually only in keeping with a regimen established prior to admission

Pregnancy: Not applicable, pregnant clients not admitted

Rate: $14,000 per year

Maximum Potential Extra Costs: $1,000 per year

Insurance: Does not participate with insurance funding
Does not accept direction from managed care
Financial aid is available
Rates are not negotiable
Not CHAMPUS approved
Probable Total Cost For Typical Length Of Stay: $14,500

Facility's Comments:


The Troubled Teen Industry / Today's Surprise
« on: February 19, 2005, 12:11:00 AM »
Everyday I read these posts beacause I have developed an interest in this industry for my own personal reasons. After that I follow-up with an erratic search down the trail of various programs and administrators/staff. Almost every time I do I am surprised by what I find (I sometimes do follow dead ends). Surprised is probably a bad word. Angry usually fits, disgusted does too. I think I am in a similar boat with most people here (except for the fact I never actually had to deal with any of these programs, which I am extremely grateful for) wishing these programs were gone.

Even though I found it from a post here, I felt it was worth bringing back up. The thing that disgusted me today was "New Beginnings Maternity Home". I know from talking to my wife and her experience with Straight that getting pregnant was one of her few guarantees against going back. Apparently WWASP has found a solution to this problem. The level of pressure these girls are under during "counseling" sessions has to be enormous. Just picture it, WWASP gets both the parents money for imprisoning their child ("While the young women will be here voluntarily, the young women are never to leave the facility without staff and are expected to follow all rules".....from New Beginnings Maternity Home, Supervision page), and they get whatever fees they charge to the prospective adoptive families.

If anyone doubts that this a WWASP affiliate, all they have to do is click the "Contact Us" link where they will be taken directly to TeenHelp(

There was today's surprise. Hopefully there won't be one tomorrow. Or the next day, or the next one..........

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