|Posted by Roland R. Hansen on February 14, 2021 at 7:05 AM|
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.