|Posted by Roland R. Hansen on July 4, 2021 at 8:50 AM||comments (18)|
The WWASP organization had several programs in Montana. Most know is Spring Creek Lodge Academy where a girl committed suicide.
|Posted by Roland R. Hansen on June 27, 2021 at 4:15 AM||comments (9)|
The facility has a long history. First Texas, then Montana when the authorities in Texas took interest in the facility. Some years ago they moved to Missouri when Montana look at new legislation which would mean that the place would under supervision from the authorities.
Hello, my name is Jordan Harrell. After reading a lot of the posts on this forum (both about the Anchor Academy and other homes) i decided i would try and share my experiences and what did/has happened and what is happening to me today because of it. I wanna start off to say that i was never a perfect teen. As nobody ever is. I never did drugs, never drank, never experimented with weird things or got into obsessive amounts of trouble. With that being said, here is what i learned.
I was at the Anchor Academy from January of 2003 to June of 2005 when i graduated high school. I will touch on that first and for most. While you do get to accelerate at school if you so choose, there has been one hamper on my life from their school. They use the ACE packets, and as such, they ARE NOT accredited. Some people may not realize what this means, but to me, it means a great deal. I found out after graduation that when i try to apply to A LOT of schools, they require that i have a state accredited diploma. So, because i do not have one of those, i had to get a GED. Not a massive deal, but not one of the more pleasant experiences. A lot of years of high school that didn't really amount to much in the end. I am not saying im some kind of genius, not saying anything like that...just stating the facts from my point of view anyways.
Upon arriving at the Anchor, i had every personal belonging i had ever owned stripped from me. They took my wallet, my pictures, my friends phone numbers, everything. Literally. Not a big deal, but then as a 15 year old kid it seemed a big deal at the time. I was given a hair cut (which i must say was needed) and set up with a guide. Let me get right down to the good stuff. The Anchor had multiple levels of "leadership" and "communication" levels. I will start with leadership.
1. Leadership: The basics of leadership at the anchor were pretty straight forward, its a tier based system, the higher your "rank" the more privileges/responsibilities/"power" you were given. When you first arrive there, you are placed under someone called a "guide" and you are his "student". As a student, here are the basics of your rules to follow as far as the "guide" is concerned. You MUST stay withing 5 feet of your guide at all times, this is a 24/7 policy. If you go outside of the 5 foot radius, you can be given "complaints" (a point system for keeping track of the bad things you do, the more complaints you get, the more trouble you are in.) If he doesn't like what you are saying, your guide is allowed to put you on silence whenever he sees fit. While on silence you are not allowed to talk without raising your hand. If you do, you get more complaints. You MUST follow whatever instructions your guide tells you to. For example. One of my first guides i ever had once told me to go stand over by my bunk. Just so happens, my bunk was more than 5 feet away from him. Upon arriving at my bunk, my guide told me that i was more than 5 feet from him, so i got complaints for it. When i asked why i was getting complaints for doing what i was told, he gave me more complaints for talking without raising my hand (i had been put on silence). After that, he told me to bend over and put my nose on the bunk. In this position, you must keep your legs straight, and bend over to put your nose on something. Try it with a table for instance. After standing in that position for long enough, it will bring tears to even the strongest of people. After getting off orientation (students, which could take anywhere from 3+ months, 3 months was usually the minimum) you were promoted to what was called a "single". As a single, you were put into a crew (will explain a few) and given free roam of the area within certain limitations (which there were plenty of). If you did well as a single, you were promoted to a guide. I wont go further into that since i have already explained. If you continued to do well ( and were an admitted christian might i add...i will go into more of that later too) you were promoted "maybe" to a crew leader. A crew leader had the same basic function as a guide, except he was in charge of 5-8 singles, guides, and students. He had the same authority over every member of his crew, and also every persons in the anchor who were a lower rank than him. He could put a guides nose on something if he so choose, give out complaints as he saw fit (didn't need to be justified, nobody every justified most the complaints). So you can think of him as a "guide" for 5-8 students. I am skipping a lot of the deeper detail, i can go into that later if anyone requests it. There were usually 5-8 crew leaders or more at any give time. Alot of people to watch out for...just on that tier alone. Next you had a dorm leader. Dorm leaders were in charge of the entire dorm, usually 50+ students. They had all the power that crew leaders have, only they had it over crew leaders as well. Pretty self explanatory. After that came the staff, doesn't need much explanation on that one.
2. Communication Levels: There were a total of 6 communication levels. I will start from the bottom. If you did something really bad, you were placed on "super separation". While on super separation, you were not allowed to talk to ANYONE but your crew leader, the dorm leader, and staff. If you did, you got complaints. If you LOOKED (yes i mean looked, like with your eyes) at anyone other than those people, you were given complaints. Alot of complaints too might i add. Do you have any idea how hard it is to not LOOK at someone? I mean you cant even acknowledge their existence. If they talked, you cant respond, if they told a joke, you cant laugh, nothing, without getting complaints. Next in line was "separation". Same basic principles as super separation, only you could talk to all crew leaders, instead of your own. After separation came orientation student. Same basic principle as separation, except you could talk to any "number 1's" that you wanted to, and your guide, regardless of his communication level. Anyone else that you looked at or talked to, you got complaints. Oh and by the way, if you talked to someone you weren't allowed to, you got swats. With a paddle. They had two wooden paddles. One was smaller named smiley, the other was significantly larger named Proverbs. By the way, this goes without saying i would think, but when kids were getting swats with those, you could hear them all the way on the other side of the dorm. After orientation student came a single. Pretty much the same communication levels as a student, just didnt have to follow someone around all the time. After that was a "number 2". They were allowed to talk to everyone who was a level 2 and above. So if you were a level 2, you could talk to all level 2's and all level 1's. If you talked to or looked at anyone not of those ranks, you had the same punishment as the lower ranks. And last was a "number 1". They were allowed to talk to everyone, with the exception of separation/super separation, unless they were a crew leader.
Now, for the punishment section of this page. Please understand, that while i did not have most of these things done to me, i was around it more times than i would have ever have liked, and i was sometimes put in charge of seeing these punishments executed. The one everyone remembers most is probably peanut butter sandwiches and water. If you did something wrong, as far as school or whatever a staff felt was appropriate, they put you on peanut butter. That was nothing but a peanut butter sandwich (TERRIBLE might i add, you had to choke it down, it was not jiffy peanut butter) and water. You could be put on that for as long as the staff so desired. Which could be months. I can name people, names i will remember forever, who were on peanut butter sandwiches for months. I remember one boy was on it for 6 months straight. He started gagging whenever he tried to eat, so whatever he didn't eat ( he was required to eat 2 each meal) they put them in a plastic bag which he carried around until he ate them all. I can remember him having 15+ sandwiches in that bag. It was disgusting to see. Red shirt was another one that everyone feared. For good reason too. I remember one boy who was on redshirt for over 2 months. You only get 1 red shirt, and 1 pair of pants, which you have to wear all day and all night, every night. They get washed once a week, if i remember right. You did pt (physical training) around the clock. You slept for about 3 hours a night. This is where a part of me goes out to every boy who was ever on this. You usually got put on this for running away, although i remember one boy got put on it for cheating in school and just being a little bit more rebellious than they liked. They tied your feat together with rope, and made you carry a broom over your head everywhere you went. You had to hop around. You stood at the end of your bed with your nose up against your bed while everyone else slept, you ran laps a lot, we are talking like 10 miles a day of laps. They made you dig holes with a spoon, while standing up. You had to bend over and dig the hole while keeping a straight leg. I remember that while one boy on redshirt was doing this, the staff members fed his peanut butter sandwiches to the dog in front of his face, so he didn't get to eat that meal. They would make you dig those holes with spoons, fill them back up with your spoon, and then dig a new a hole, over and over. I remember one boy ran away once ( granted he stole a car to get away...makes you wonder why he wanted to get away so bad) and when they caught him, they tied a rope around his waist, and dragged him around like a dog for...what...2 months? There are alot of things i could say about punishments, but i would keep you reading for hours. If you want to know more, please by all means, let me know. I wonder if anyone who reads this from the anchor remembers the foxy five, or "brother willy's" weekend duty. Or his morning PT. I would love to see that.
The work ethic was valuable. I will say that. They taught you how to work. Granted, in today's world it would be considered slave labor, considering you never got payed for it, even though they often did. Have you picked rocks out of a field for 12+ hours in the blistering heat with people riding you about getting it done faster. There were very few breaks, and very little compassion, and zero money. In the 2.5 years i was there, i never saw a dime. Even though generally you worked for at least 4 hours a day, except, wednesday and Sunday (cause of church). I had to dig trenches, tear down buildings, lay piping, build cabinets, mow lawns, sand blast, and every sort of general cleaning you can think of. I am not saying the work experience wasn't valuable, but you never saw a reward for your effort outside of calloused hands and a sense of accomplishment.
The food, so long as you were not on peanut butter, was very good. They certainly did a good job with food. They kept your bellies full, with a wide variety of courses. The lady staff members did a wonderful job cooking.
There were no fences, there were no guards, you were free to run. Only you were 35 miles from the closest town. And if they caught you, which they ALWAYS did, you got put on redshirt. If you didnt die to the elements in the process.
To touch on now a days, the anchor certainly holds a spot in my memory, it always will. Still to this day i have nightmares about going back there, about the things i went through, and the things i saw others go through. I was rarely in alot of trouble there, i tried to steer clear of it, but i was often around others getting into it. I saw things that would make parents cry. Still to this day i feel terribly guilty about not trying to do more. I have this feeling like i should be trying to help those kids, be trying to get them out of there, but i dont know what to do. I could talk for hours about the struggles young men go through while there. Even while writing this there is a pain in my heart that goes out to all those kids who are sent there. Im not saying some of those young men don't need someone to take them by the hand and lead them in the right direction, but i dont think that this boys home goes about it in the right way. Interesting enough, some people will read this and try to say that i am lying, try to say that i dont know what i am talking about. I dare someone to say that to my nightmares, tell it to the hundreds of boys who have gone through there and now have some sort of anxiety problems. "tough love" is only effective when the person its being done to, knows it is out of love, not when they are so terrified to do anything different they conform out of fear.
And on a last note, religious beliefs set aside, the Anchor Academy for Boys DOES force their religion and their beliefs on you. If you do not believe like them, then you will never gain rank, you will never be treated with respect. The staff there only want you to believe as they do. There is no such thing as a Mormon or Catholic there. If you get caught thinking like that, or trying to follow another religion, or trying to speak about what you believe, the punishments are severe. As bad as what i have listed above. Please, for your children, do not force religion down their throat. From personal experience, it will only make things much worse.
Well, i will end it there, i could keep writing for days, very literally, and fill up pages and pages of information, but most people dont want to read it. This is my attempt to tell the world about what happened to me and what i saw. Take it as you will, there it is. Thank you for reading. Sorry for any typo's, i got kinda emotional writing some of this. The pain is still very real, even 5 years after the fact.
Source on Fornits: (Link)
|Posted by Roland R. Hansen on June 6, 2021 at 5:00 AM||comments (14)|
You child would be better off in a prison. The show they put on for our tour is NOTHING like the horrific life my daughter suffered there. As a parent I made a mistake of taking advice from an education consultant and a 8 week program helping my daughter deal with anxiety and depression.
She was NOT at risk for alcohol or drug abuse . She did not lie or steal and she did not harm herself or anyone else. I have heard from others that these "Wilderness " programs have ties to therapeutic schools. I am starting to believe this more than ever because her so called "caring " therapist recommended this knowing she was not at high risk. According to my daughters current therapist she is suffering PTSD because of the trauma she was exposed to at Greenbrier.
PLEASE DO NOT LISTEN TO EDUCATIONAL CONSULTENT or "WILDERNESS PROGRAM " unless you want your daughter to suffer . I suggest you try everything to find a good therapeutic school if you must after trying everything else. I can tell you Greenbrier is NOT a good one at all. I had a gut instinct to get my daughter out of there before the year . The food was horrible , verbal and physical assaults by other students was a re-recurring theme , there is no real education ( be prepared for your daughter to lose a year of proper education ) , theft is as normal as going to the bathroom there !
i forgot to mention for $90,000 a year my daughters therapist was NOT licensed . This place is a scam and so was the program that recommended it. They take advantage of parents that would do anything for their children. It makes me sick that this DISGUSTING place still operates!!!
The original testimony on Yelp (Link)
|Posted by Roland R. Hansen on May 9, 2021 at 8:50 AM||comments (36)|
|Posted by Roland R. Hansen on April 25, 2021 at 8:40 AM||comments (22)|
I was victimized by one of the owners of a Youth Group home in Utah where a a staff member was brutally attacked as he was the only one on duty. My incident occurred before he started his facility, I called the police but they wouldn't do anything to him because of WHO he was within the community and his powerful business partner.
I feel a tremendous amount of guilt, pain, and trauma... I wish somebody would have listened and stopped this man before he opened this facility and what happened. These homes are magnets for shrewd, amoral, and corrupt "business" men seeking nothing more than money. The kids and the pain are not worth their sick obsession with money and power. E-mailing local city council in Utah has been like trying to converse with a cinderblock wall... they protect family names rather than family values. Every name associated with WWASPS, I know or even went to school with and the infamous DACE of Casa Bay, his father was my principle.
|Posted by Roland R. Hansen on April 18, 2021 at 8:40 AM||comments (20)|
|Posted by Roland R. Hansen on March 21, 2021 at 8:15 AM||comments (26)|
This testimony was located on Reddit (link). Hope Ranch aka Star Meadows Academy is closed but the legacy of their strange school uniforms remain forever
I’ve lurked in this subreddit for a long time and made an account to post and share my experience with you guys. I’m almost 40 now and the tldr of it is that it fucked me up.
I was sent to Wilderness Treatment in 1997 when I was 16 years old. Like many of us, I came from an abusive and neglectful family. After I expressed some self destructive and suicidal behaviour, my parents put me into an inpatient treatment facility for 2 weeks. I expect this is where they were given the idea to send me to Wilderness Treatment.
After the inpatient facility, I was sent to Idaho. The school had a bunch of resident kids there but we weren’t allowed to interact. 2 of us lived in a cabin with 2 counselors until we went into the woods for 3 months. This part was actually really nice; my counselors were decent, in it for the right reasons type of people. Once we got back to the house in Idaho, things changed. We were given a 3 day solo, where we were not allowed to leave our camping spot, not allowed to speak to anyone, and given half a day’s ration of food for the whole three days. We had to sleep in the open air, no tents, no heat, and I remember seeing lots of bugs and worms out at night. I was so hungry. It was horrible.
After my solo I was sent further upstate to a place that is now shut down. There were...6 of us? The food was moldy. The house was full of stink bugs and we found maggots living in the mop. We told the counselors, but the mop wasn’t replaced the whole time I was there. We had to do 2 hours of PT every morning and if you opted out, you had to sit on a stump with a 3” diameter for the rest of the day. Phone calls were monitored. They made fun of us and took opportunities to be mean to us and said it was to make us appreciate our parents. I think I spent 6 months there before my parents sent me to a different school.
Hope Ranch. I don’t remember the names of the others but I remember this one. Abusive Christians hiding behind The Bible. They would perform exorcisms on us if we misbehaved. A few of the counselors lived there with their children and they encouraged their kids to be mean to us. It was so demeaning, being berated by an 8 year old. Some girls said they were molested by one of the counselors but I wasn’t. I ended up running away from that place.
My parents took me back in but looking back at it, I wish I had just left.
My relationship with my parents was pretty good for awhile, but I recently had a kid and all of these memories came flooding back, fresh as ever. I am low contact with them and they think it is because I live far away, when in truth I just can’t stand to look at them.
|Posted by Roland R. Hansen on February 28, 2021 at 6:35 PM||comments (3)|
If I could rate this facility lower, I would. I was a patient here for 5 months from May-October 2015, the worst 5 months of my life. During my stay, I experienced things that only made my problems worse.
When you first arrive to the village, after you are checked in, strip searched, and drug tested, you get sent to Magnolia cabin. In Magnolia, you get very little chances to talk, you rarely go outside (but when you do, you’re stuck in a fenced in front yard that really doesn’t get much sunlight). Most of the time in this cabin, you’re either in the classroom teaching yourself your school work, or you’re sitting in a hard plastic chair in the day room staring at a wall not allowed to talk. You’re allowed 2 outfits while in magnolia, but you have to ask the staff to get them for you because all of your belongings are in a room behind the staff desk. Only when you prove yourself with your best behavior can you be transferred to an outdoor cabin.
While I was in the outdoor cabin, fights constantly broke out. At any point if you got upset, instead of trying to talk to you and calm you down, you get out in a hold and get injected with Benadryl to calm you down. Luckily, I never had to experience this myself, but I watched many of them take place.
At one point during my stay, one of the staff members in my cabin disappeared for a few weeks. She later returned, and she told me why she had been gone. She had attempted suicide, and even showed me pictures of the graphic incident on her phone.
The “school” they have on campus is just a double wide trailer with desks. The teachers don’t actually teach, they sit at their desks and have conversations with each other and some patients. If you want to learn, you have to teach yourself with the falling apart textbooks they provide.
The only thing I got from coming to The Village were nightmares I still continue to have, and the fear of messing up again because I was scared to get sent back.
Please, if you care about your children, please don’t send them hear. There are plenty of other behavioral health facilities that will actually benefit your child, and aren’t just in it for the money.
|Posted by Roland R. Hansen on February 14, 2021 at 7:05 AM||comments (0)|
This testimony was located on Reddit message board (link)
I attended auldern from March 2015- May 2016.
I don’t even know where to begin... the staff would totally brainwash desperate and uninformed parents to send their kids there and sign custody over to the staff of Auldern. So I guess that’s what happened to my parents around the time I got in to some trouble a few weeks earlier. My parents tricked me; they told me I was going to visit like a normal high school because I wasn’t making good grades and thats what they cared about most, so we had been visiting some schools lately.
We drove to auldern and they gave me an hour long fake tour of the school and after I told the headmaster I didn’t like it she said “Well, it doesn’t matter because you have to stay here.” I begged and pleaded to my parents not to leave me here. Then a staff member brought me in front of the whole community to introduce me while I was in complete shock and intensely crying. It was humiliating and I felt like I was in a night mare. I was, and I still haven’t woken up yet.
To try to make my story a little shorter I’ll sum it up; they emotionally abused us every chance they got, the therapists and staff were not trained properly at all, staff picked favorites and bullied the ones they didn’t like, they made up steps you could move up through throughout your stay incredibly difficult and emotionally straining. I was on apprentice which is what your on when you first get there. You can’t even go outside without having a staff member come with you and coldly stare you down. I liked to run; they didn’t let me unless and staff could watch me and rarely was there a time when there was enough staff available for one to watch me. They had multiple punishments. One was non-com where you couldn’t talk to anyone.
They had “bans” where they would not let you talk to a specific friend, or be in the same room with them even if they were your best friend there.
They had a punishment called”Refocus” that they could keep you on for as long as they want. When I was on it I remember the staff laughing at us in the freezing cold trying to set up tents for ourselves, which we didn’t know how, and didn’t have any directions. We had to sleep in below freezing weather and I remember my toes feeling numb and my nose being frozen solid.
They made us do manual labor all day instead of school. I remember one time we had to pick weeds out of this sand pit for about three hours in pitch black and freezing cold while the staff member sat on her butt and went on her phone. They made us make our own fires to make meals and gave us limited matches. I remember fighting over some girls for a can of chicken because usually all we got was rice and beans. We were so hungry from doing labor all day. We would occasionally get to have an apple. We couldn’t sit on furniture like dogs.
They made people sleep on the tile floor under a fluorescent light, sometimes for weeks on end. I feel I could write on and on but to make it shorter auldern was so terrifying, manipulating, isolating. Many people who have gone have died, including one of my best friends, who I believe would not have died if she had not attended auldern. Sometimes we would sit in these huge circles and we would just go around the room and people would berate you for no reason. It was so emotionally abusive and I think I came out so traumatized from it that I developed many new anxieties, insomnia , awful night mares. Even if you didn’t need to be there they would keep you there for the money. I’m so glad it’s getting shut down and I know there are so many other schools like this and worse.. that I hope are getting shut down too.
It changed my life and I still suffer from the memories of that place.