A Lesson Learned: A Teen's Perspective http://bit.ly/mwalesson
This Midwest Academy?!?
This Midwest Academy?!?
Midwest Academy is part of W.W.A.S.P.S. W.W.A.S.P.S. these days may also be referred to by the name of one of its' marketing arms. Teen Help [L.L.C.] is what folks may now refer to the programs under the W.W.A.S.P.S. umbrella.
W.W.A.S.P.S.-- a song
Mark Levine-- Inside Scoop part 2
Three of the links have very positive reviews as well as the negative reviews. As stated in a previous blog post, testimonials are not nearly as valuable as longitudinal studies are in determining how well or poorly a given program is operating. Any parents considering any type of boarding facility for their children should be acquainted with all rules and regulations that the students are expected to follow, the qualifications of individual staff, the use of time-out procedures and isolation rooms, what restraints are applied under what circumstances and the training that staff have received in using them, policy on telephone contact, policy on written contact, policy on visitor contact, the name and licensure of any medical staff and their hours on duty, emergency procedures, ombudsman, abuse hotline number and how the facility handles complaints of abuse, how the facility handles complaints that a student does not feel well, and the curriculum which the students will be following. Parents should also be given a thorough tour of a facility under consideration with no areas considered off-limits. Ideally, teens should also visit for a day prior to attending. Under no circumstances should acceptance be offered via telephone before the parent has visited. Any contract should be examined by a lawyer.
Here are the things I have read specifically about Midwest Academy which I found to be troubling: limiting uncensored contact between students and their parents, not allowing students private access to a telephone in order to register a complaint or an allegation of abuse, use of a basement room with a lightbulb burning for twenty four hours a day as punishment, points taken away for laughing or talking with other students, rules against sleeping with one's head under the covers, requiring students to face a certain direction [to the wall was the way it was described] when sleeping, forcing a student to get undressed behind a couch, telling the student to put on the shorts without briefs, talking about the results of a gyn exam with one student in such a manner that other students are able to overhear, berating a student for not being a virgin after a gyn exam and negative comments on the visible appearance of her vagina, bunking ten students in one room for sleeping regardless of the size of the room, sexual abuse allegations.
Here is some information from Sue Scheff
[My info if different appears in brackets ].
Sue Scheff reports these boarding facilities as still open:
Canyon View Park, MT [I was unable to verify this].
Camas Ranch, MT [I was unable to verify this; my info says attempts to open this program failed].
Cross Creek Programs, UT
Discovery - Mexico [I was unable to verify this].
El Dorado, Costa Rica - 90 Day Boot Camp [I was unable to verify this].
Horizon Academy, UT
Midwest Academy, IA (Brian Viafanua, formerly the Director of Paradise Cove [is the current Owner; current Director is Ben Trane].
Old West Academy f.k.a. Majestic Ranch
Pillars of Hope, Costa Rica
Pine View Christian Academy [I was unable to verify this].
Reality Trek, UT [I was unable to verify this].Red River Academy, LA
Respect Academy, NV [I was unable to verify this].
River View a.k.a. Utah River View, La Verkin UT [I was unable to verify this].
Sue Scheff reports the following current marketing arms or service agencies connected to W.W.A.S.P.S. boarding facilities and seminars:
Help My Teen, UT a.k.a. Adolescent Services Adolescent Placement
Lisa Irvin a.k.a. Lisa Irvine
Teens In Crisis
Lisa Irvin a.k.a. Lisa Irvine
Lifelines Family Services, UT
Jane Hawley - Lifelines Family Services
Kathy Allred - Lifelines Sales Representative
Sherri Schwartzman - Lifelines Sales Representative
Mark Peterson - Teen Help Sales Representative
Parent Teen Guide
Youth Foundation, LaVerkin UT [a foundation that raises money for the schools and also-- I believe-- does fund raising to help some parents with tuition costs]
Sue Scheff reports the following facilities as closed:
Sky View Academy, NV ?
[I have no information that Sky View is open].
Spring Creek Lodge, MT
[unconfirmed] rumors that Spring Creek has reopened somewhere else in Montana.
Sunset Bay Academy, Oceanside, CA - rumors of short term program there [I was unable to verify closure or operating status].
radical sapphoq says: The things that I have been reading on the web are starting to connect with stuff I have learned about cults and coercion. I am not claiming that the L.D.S. is a cult or that any particular boarding facility or individual is part of a cult. What I am beginning to suspect is that some of the same factors that are related to mind control in cults may have some similarities to stuff that is alleged to happen both within the seminars for teens and parents and within the boarding facilities themselves. I will have more to say about cult-like characteristics and how they operate in our society in a future post.
Meanwhile, I respectfully caution anyone doing their own research against automatically deciding in haste that everyone who happens to have the last name "Allred" is related to polygamist groups operating out of Utah or elsewhere. In my opinion, it may be too easy to assume a relationship between fundamentalist Mormon cults and programs or personalities that there is no real evidence for. I have not myself seen any connection between W.W.A.S.P.S. and polygamy.
And again, I wish to tell survivors of these programs this: I believe you.