Boot Camps: Children's Gulags
Child Abuse for Fun and Profit

"Tough Love: Abuse of a type particularly gratifying to the abuser, in that it combines the pleasures of sadism with those of self-righteousness. Commonly employed and widely admired in 12-step groups and treatment."

— Charles Bufe

"The surest way to work up a crusade in favor of some good cause is to promise people they will have a chance of maltreating someone. To be able to destroy with good conscience, to be able to behave badly and call your bad behavior 'righteous indignation' — this is the height of psychological luxury, the most delicious of moral treats."

— Aldous Huxley — Chrome Yellow, 1921

"The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it."

— H. L. Mencken

John Stuart Mill, "On Liberty", 1859:

The only purpose for which power can be rightly exercised over any member of the community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant... Each person is the proper guardian of his own health.

In 1869, John Stuart Mill published his essay on "The Subjugation of Women":

But was there ever any domination which did not appear natural to those who possessed it? ... the generality of the male sex cannot yet tolerate the idea of living with an equal... In the present day, power holds a smoother language, and whomsoever it oppresses, always pretends to do so for their own good...

The eminent theologian C. S. Lewis (also author of The Screwtape Letters and The Tales of Narnia) wrote:

      Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

Their very kindness stings with intolerable insult...

To be 'cured' against one's will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level with those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals. But to be punished, however severely, because we have deserved it, because we 'ought to have known better', is to be treated as a human person made in God's image...

And when they are wicked the Humanitarian theory of punishment will put in their hands a finer instrument of tyranny than wickedness ever had before...

The new Nero will approach us with the silky manners of a doctor, and though all will be in fact as compulsory as the tunica molesta or Smithfield or Tyburn, all will go on within the unemotional therapeutic sphere where words like 'right' and 'wrong' or 'freedom' and 'slavery' are never heard...

Even if the treatment is painful, even if it is life-long, even if it is fatal, that will be only a regrettable accident; the intention was purely therapeutic...

But because they are 'treatment, not punishment, they can be criticized only by fellow-experts and on technical grounds, never by men as men and on grounds of justice...

But we ought long ago to have learned our lesson. We should be too old now to be deceived by those humane pretensions which have served to usher in every cruelty of the revolutionary period in which we live. These are the 'precious balms' which will 'break our heads'.
C. S. Lewis, "The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment"

My enemies I can handle, but Lord save me from those who would do unto me for my own good.

— "Orange" as a young hippie, 1968

      Recently, the top-ranking staff members of a "troubled children's boot camp" in Arizona were arrested for killing one of the children, basically by abusing and torturing the child to death:

Arizona Boot Camp Director Arrested
Associated Press Writer
February 15, 2002, 6:14 PM EST
PHOENIX — The director of a boot camp for troubled youngsters was arrested on murder and child-abuse charges Friday in the death of a teen-age camper who collapsed in 111-degree heat last summer.

Charles Long II (left) and Ray Anderson are charged in the death of Tony Haynes.
Charles Long II, 56, was also charged with aggravated assault for allegedly pulling a knife on a camper, and marijuana possession, for a quarter-pound of the drug found in his bedroom closet.

The second-degree murder charge was filed over the death of 14-year-old Anthony Haynes. He died July 1 while attending a five-week boot camp operated by the America's Buffalo Soldiers Re-enactors Association.

The medical examiner's office said Haynes died of complications from dehydration and near-drowning — dehydration after being made to stand in the sun for up to five hours, the near-drowning from being left in a motel bathtub, where he had been taken to cool him off.

Two other boot camp staffers also were arrested Friday. Camp sergeant Ray Anderson, 39, was charged with child abuse for allegedly spanking, stomping, beating and whipping more than 14 children. He was also accused of denying them water or shade in the heat.
[The detail not mentioned in this article is that the other staffer, whose name the Sheriff did not release, was actually a 17-year-old boy. He was an assistant staffer, recruited from among the "old-comer" prisoners. He was the one who was in direct command of Anthony Haynes when he died. He was the slave-driver who forced Anthony to stand in the sun until he died. The camp sure trained those kids well, didn't it?]
The camp began operating in 2001 and was closed down by the sheriff's office July 2 after Haynes' death. Investigators said the camp's regimen included forced marches, black uniforms in triple-digit temperatures, harsh discipline and a daily diet limited to an apple, a carrot and a bowl of beans.
— From the wires of The Associated Press. Copyright © 2002, The Associated Press

What the article doesn't say is that Anthony Haynes' death was actually worse than described — he was slowly tortured to death over a period of several days. Only when he was obviously dying did the staff take him to a motel and try to cool him off. And then, as if that weren't enough, when the bathtub full of cold water that he nearly drowned in didn't revive Anthony Haynes, Charles Long declared that Anthony was faking it and ordered that he be brought back to the camp, not taken to a hospital...

FYI: All of those temperatures that they tell you, like "111-degree heat", are measured in the shade. When you are hiking in the blazing desert summer sun, the temperature is much hotter.
And standing in the sun in a black uniform for hours is crazy, simply insane. That will cook you to death.
And then denying the kid drinking water guarantees death.

Earlier, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio had called what happened at Long's camp "organized torture towards children."

Some children in the summer program now say they were punched, kicked and forced to eat dirt for minor infractions such as failing to stand up straight. Campers say they had bruised ribs from an exercise in which they were ordered to lie on their backs while counselors ran across their chests in boots.

"We were thrashed around, kicked, punched," said David Mandraes, 17, of Peoria, even though "nobody had done anything wrong." In addition to closed-fist punches, he and other camp participants were "elbowed, kneed, anything you can think of, they did it," he said.

One 13-year-old girl camper says females faced additional harassment, and that counselors (who liked to be addressed as "sergeant") called her "whore" and "prostitute." "They asked me how much I charged," she said.

One participant in the camp near Buckeye, Justin Boe, 16, of Phoenix, said drill instructors sometimes forced campers to lie on their backs "in the cockroach position," with their arms and legs in the air at 90-degree angles. Boe said the instructors would then stomp the campers' chests and pour mud on them, forcing them to swallow it. "Every time I closed my mouth, he (one instructor) told me, 'Open it!'" Boe said. "He would start stomping harder. Even if I spit out dirt, he told me to swallow. After, I was coughing up rocks for about four hours."

Sheriff Arpaio called the allegations "horrific" and shut down the camp. He also launched parallel investigations, one into the death of Tony Haynes, which he described as "suspicious," and the other into allegations of abuse at the camp. "Why would you take somebody who may be sick to a hotel and then bring that person back?" Arpaio asked. "These are questions we have to find out."

Bill Lanford, who led paramedics to the camp in a futile attempt to save the life of Anthony Haynes, said that many of the children were crying when they arrived. He said: "It was very disturbing. We were working and the counselors were more interested in disciplining the kids."

In an editorial, July 7, 2001, The Arizona Republic newspaper commented:

You need not endure the horrific stories of kids being forced to eat dirt, of kids being beaten, kicked and shackled to each other through the night, to recognize that a bizarre madness reigned at the American Buffalo Soldier camp near Buckeye.

You wouldn't even have had to know that 14-year-old Tony Haynes died at the camp last Sunday, thrashing in agony in 112-degree heat, likely of dehydration and exposure.

Rather, the fact of the camp's very existence is evidence enough of unrestrained lunacy. Why were 45 kids ages 7 to 17 even out there in the blistering Arizona heat, scarcely supervised and with virtually no refuge from the elements and little nourishment?

The answer simply is that there was no oversight of this "tough love" abomination. There was no one to tell "Colonel" Chuck Long, the camp's operator, that he wasn't exercising "tough love." He was exercising sadistic brutality.

Tony Haynes was definitely a troubled youth. His mother said that he took medication for depression, hyperactivity and anger. He had a history of acting out and being troublesome. Still, I can't help but wonder: Just what kind of a crime does a child have to commit to deserve to be made to eat dirt and then deprived of drinking water in the blazing desert summer sun until he drops dead?

Well, for Anthony Haynes, it was: He slashed the tires on his mother's car to keep from going back to the Buffalo Soldiers camp again.

Say what?

Well, it turns out that Tony Haynes had already been going to various Saturday programs and a couple of three-day weekends at the Buffalo Soldiers camp since March, 2001. So Anthony Haynes had already tasted Charles Long's torture and abuse — his "tough love" — and he obviously hated it, because he fought to keep from going back for more. When he slashed his mom's tires in June to avoid going to a Saturday camp, Charles Long suggested the five-week summer endurance program and offered a sponsorship to pay his way.

"He was going to take his punishment like a man," said Tony's father, Gettis Haynes Jr., of Hannibal, Mo., who last spoke to his son the night before he left for camp. "I didn't think dying was included in that."

Note the inadvertent admission that the camp was used for punishment, not rehabilitation. When parents send their kids to such prison camps, they usually rationalize their actions by saying that the camp is supposed to be "character-building", and "improve the kids' attitudes", and "give them a fresh start", or "give them a new lease on life". Not in this case. The boot camp was punishment that Tony was supposed to "take like a man."

Gettis Haynes said Monday that he "wholeheartedly" blames the camp for his son's death. And he blames himself for sending him. "At the time, I thought I was doing the right thing. It was probably the biggest mistake I ever made in my whole life," Haynes said. "These are children. These aren't soldiers. They're not grown men. They don't have grown men stamina. They don't have grown men strength."

Mr. Haynes was confused about the issues involved there. It wasn't a matter of the victim being a man or a child. What was done to Anthony Haynes was blatantly illegal abuse and torture, and murder. It would have been illegal, immoral, unethical, and unconstitutional even if it had been done to an adult. Heck, it's even a violation of the Geneva Convention rules for the treatment of prisoners of war.

The Buffalo Soldiers' web site still (as of 11 Apr 2006) brags about their methods of rehabilitating children:

The mission of Fort Flipper, America's Buffalo Soldiers CAPSAG Encampment is to create a highly disciplined arena not designed to keep students entertained but to bring them back to reality where they can function like responsible young people. ABSRA helps students be accountable for their actions whether they like it or not.
"Fort Flipper", at (Dead Link. Domain Name is now owned by

ABSRA = "America's Buffalo Soldiers Re-enactors Association"
CAPSAG = "Caring Adults Providing Support And Guidance"

Not only was there no oversight, but nobody ever checked out "Colonel" Chuck Long's background, or asked about his qualifications to be a child counselor or run a "tough love" child rehabilitation camp.

It turns out that Charles Long had a history of criminal violence and shady dealings:

  • Charles "Chuck" Long II, the camp's operator, was investigated in the year 2000 over allegations of child abuse at a boot camp on the Fort Apache Reservation in Whiteriver.

    In July 2000, some youths in Long's program claimed they had been kicked, choked and subjected to other cruelty by drill instructors. Fort Apache officials imposed stricter standards and Long responded by moving the camp off of the tribe's land.

    Fort Apache's Tribal Council first ordered the boot camp closed while federal officials launched a criminal investigation. That order was rescinded after Long's backers rushed to the Buffalo Soldiers' defense. Still, council spokeswoman Chadeen Palmer said Long pulled up stakes because he could not accept conditions imposed by the tribe.

    Ed Hall, a spokesman for the FBI, said the agency completed the investigation and forwarded it to the U.S. Attorney's Office, which declined to pursue the case. The Justice Department also declined to pursue possible civil rights violations.

  • In 1989, according to Phoenix police, Long was arrested after using a sledgehammer to break down the door of a residence occupied by his ex-girlfriend.

  • In 1991, Long was arrested again for punching the woman during a dispute over their 3-year-old son. According to court records, the woman told police Long had previously abused her and their child. He was fined and put on probation.

  • On 1992 resumes, Long claimed a political science degree from Wilberforce University in Ohio. A university spokeswoman said Long never earned a degree. Long also claimed to be a former director of the National Academy of Broadcasting. A letter from the academy says there is no record of his employment.

  • Long had originally founded the Buffalo Soldiers Re-Enactors Association to provide troops for a movie that he wanted to make, based on a screenplay titled Cry Vengeance, about Black cavalrymen who served as Indian fighters in the late 1800s. Long failed to produce the movie Cry Vengeance, leaving some investors crying foul.

    Then, for a while, the Buffalo Soldiers Re-Enactors Association focused on education, appearing in parades and delivering school talks, and acting as honor guards for visiting politicians in Arizona.

    Charles Long II (center) with a young politician from Texas named George W. Bush

    Then, Long added a new twist: programs for troubled kids. Long claimed that it was Gen. Colin Powell who suggested that he go into the children's boot camp business.

    Charles Long II with Colin Powell

    Again, the Buffalo Soldiers' web site brags:

    After coming to Arizona, ABSRA's Colonel "Chuck" Long was asked by General Colin Powell to use America's Buffalo Soldiers' desire, dedication and discipline existing in its adult program to additionally give something back to the community by helping America's youth and adolescents with difficult and often times, violent histories; to redirect their considerable negative energy in a positive and productive manner — so was born and added the present America's Buffalo Soldiers CAPSAG Youth Programs for America's Promise. Because of Long's attendance and experience at Hall of Divine Child Military Academy (Monroe, Michigan), St. Thomas Military Academy (St. Paul, Minnesota) and the United States Marine Corps, ABSRA's Colonel Long believed that with a military style boot camp discipline program, these troubled youths could be taught and redirected to become positive members of society rather than lost souls, troubled teenagers and some future baby face criminals of America.

    Colonel Long's philosophy, stemming from America's Buffalo Soldiers' history of adversity, was to teach these youth Sacrifice, Honor, Respect, Desire, Dedication and Discipline. Starting with honor and respect for themselves and a belief that if one respects himself or herself, he or she will then deal with and treat others with that same respect.
    "Bulletin", at (Dead Link. Domain Name is now owned by

    Harlan Robinson, a 74-year-old veteran of World War II, who once served in the Buffalo Soldiers 9th and 10th cavalries, said most of the unit quit years ago out of disgust over Long's financial dealings and management style. "He's got a lot of B.S.," Robinson said. "...He always needed money for this, that and the other. ... To tell you the truth, I didn't like him very much."

  • On several occasions, creditors have accused Long of financial misconduct. In 1993, Pamela Abbott and Darryl Khalid of Phoenix sued Long, alleging that he failed to pay about $25,000 they invested in a failed attempt to produce Cry Vengeance, and for a Wild West show. Long denied owing the money and filed a countersuit. The Superior Court case was dismissed. But Abbott and Khalid won a partial judgment in small-claims court and began investigating Long's background. They encountered a trail of civil judgments and fraud claims, plus the dubious resume. Abbott and Khalid asked the state Attorney General's Office to investigate, but were informed that the case was not big enough.

    "To me, that man doesn't have any integrity," Khalid said. "You can't have a leader like that."

  • Charles Franklin Long II identifies himself as a "Colonel" in the Buffalo Soldiers 10th Cavalry. He has claimed to be a Marine Corps veteran of the Vietnam War, a former police officer, and a stunt double.

    Fact: Long may have given himself the rank of "Colonel" for the purpose of kicking children, but Newsweek magazine reported in their July 16, 2001, issue that his real rank while he was in the service was Lance Corporal.

On Aug 24, 2001, Charles Long II announced that he was recruiting new staff members and preparing to launch another camp the following month. Long maintained that the camps help to steer children in the right direction.

"We are coaches in helping young people get through life," Long said. "Trying to be the nice guy doesn't work with some."

Long said he has no regrets about incorporating "tough love" boot camps into the Buffalo Soldiers Re-Enactors Association, an organization that he says he founded to honor the contribution of African-American soldiers who served in the Spanish-American War and other military campaigns.

"I never have, and I never will," Long said. "No matter what happens, my goal is to die doing this. When I started this, it was about faith, not sight. It was in order to keep the history alive, and pass it along to our youth."

Sheriff Joe Arpaio said there was nothing he could do to stop Long. Well, actually, the Sheriff did find one thing: in February, 2002, he arrested Long for child abuse and murder, and put him in jail, where he still sits, in lieu of bail.

On February 21, 2002, camp counselor Troy A. Hutty pled guilty to negligent homicide in the death of Anthony Haynes in a plea arrangement that stipulates that Hutty will receive probation. Prosecutors explained the deal by saying that they wanted to get the truth in the case. It sounds like a deal for testimony against Charles Long II. At least, that's what Long said.

On March 5, 2002, Charles Long II announced that he was really angry about the unfairness of the situation. (See The Arizona Republic 03-05-2002.) He had been arrested in front of his children, he complained.

"My wife has suffered severely," he said. "Neighbors don't look at me the same way. ... (Deputies) arrested me in front of my 13-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter. My son will see that the rest of his life."

Long didn't speak of the boy who died in his care, however, or of the effect that it had on the Haynes family, or of what Anthony Haynes saw for the rest of his short life.

UPDATE: Charles Long II was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to 6 years in prison. His assistant Troy Hutty got off by testifying against Long. Long complained that it was unfair and Anthony's death wasn't his fault. Long's macho lectures to the children about "taking responsibility for your actions" were forgotten.

Note that convictions of such child-killers are very rare. Such child abusers are almost never held responsible for their actions. (It's the kids' fault for being "bad".)

The TV program 60 Minutes did a short story on Charles Long and his "Buffalo Soldiers" rehab after his conviction, and Long tried to blame everybody but himself. The 60 Minutes interviewer bluntly asked, what about all of that talk about taking responsibility? Long quibbled and had no real answer.

At least three dozen deaths have occurred in such "wilderness camps" in the past decade. Recent children's deaths in "tough love" boot camps include:

  • Michelle Sutton, 15, Summit Quest, Utah, 1990. Died of dehydration.
    Cathy and Bob Sutton of Ripon, Calif., sent their 16-year-old daughter Michelle to camp Summit Quest in the summer of 1990 because she had become depressed and dabbled with drugs after she was date-raped. The Suttons, who thought from a marketing director's pitch that the camp sounded challenging but kind, paid $14,000 for 63 days. But Michelle's counselors got lost on an exercise in which the campers had limited supplies of water. When Michelle ran out of water, a counselor told the other hikers not to share, and joked that Michelle's parched mouth was so white "it looks like you've been eating marshmallows." After complaining she couldn't see, Michelle collapsed and died of dehydration.
    Is This A Camp Or Jail?, Adam Cohen, Time, January 26, 1998 Vol. 151 No. 3.

    Note that dehydration is one of the most easily prevented causes of death in the desert. Just drink enough water, and you won't die. Taking a troop of children out into the desert with insufficient water is unforgivably stupid.

    By the way, an adult needs at least 2 gallons of water per day to survive the blazing desert heat. That's not to be comfortable — that's 2 gallons just to prevent death. The unbelievably dry air and the scorching sun just suck the water right out of you. Children need only a little less water because their small bodies dehydrate faster. No way will one canteen make it. You need a whole backpack full of canteens and tankards. In a jam, you can live for several days without food or any other comforts, but you can't survive without the water. Someone who organizes "wilderness treks" for children in the desert should know such things.

    The desert in the summer really is a life-threatening environment. There are very good reasons why the pioneers named the Southwestern deserts things like "The Bad Lands", and "Hell's Gate", and "Death Valley".

    Gayle Palmer, the founder of Summit Quest, was not charged with any crime for the death of Michelle Sutton.

    Although she was subsequently denied a license by the Utah Department of Human Services, Palmer brazenly resumed operations. In 1994, near Zion National Park, a scruffy, frightened, 14-year-old girl wandered into a remote archaeology camp begging for help. It turned out that she was fleeing from a course Palmer had been illegally running out of St. George, Utah, the same town where Gayle Palmer had based Summit Quest.

  • On June 27, 1990, six weeks after the death of Michelle Sutton, 16-year-old Kristin Chase died at the Challenger wilderness camp in Utah of hyperthermia and dehydration after a 5-mile forced march in 105-degree heat. Once again, her counselors said that she was faking when she complained.

    The state of Utah charged Steve Cartisano and Lance Jaggar with negligent homicide and nine counts of child abuse involving Chase and other Challenger students. Lance Jaggar cut a deal, and got off by agreeing to testify against Cartisano. Steve Cartisano beat the charges because the judge bungled the trial and then the prosecutor succumbed to alcoholism, and the state's case fell apart.

    Remember that Cartisano name, you'll see it again. Cartisano went on to set up more camps and abuse many more children.

    And so did Lance Jaggar and the other Challenger employees. They simply morphed Challenger, minus Cartisano, into a new company called "North Star Expeditions", and went right on abusing children. Which leads to the next death.

  • Aaron Bacon, 16, North Star Expeditions, Utah, March 1994. Beaten and tortured, thirsted and starved to death, as well as denied medical treatment for a fatal condition. The autopsy report stated that he died from a perforated ulcer, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. The sicker he became, the more he was tormented and tortured by the staff. He was constantly accused of being a malingerer and faking it when he complained of being sick and unable to go on. When he begged to see a doctor, the staff sneered at him and called him "a faker" and asked him if he were "homosexual."

  • Dawnne Takeuchi, 18, was killed when she was thrown from a semi-truck near Pagosa Springs, Colorado, in June 1994. Kimberly Stafford, the VisionQuest counselor who was driving the supply vehicle, was convicted of careless driving and was ordered to pay $270 in restitution.

  • Nicholaus Contreraz, 16, died at the Arizona Boys Ranch near Oracle, Arizona, March 2, 1998, of cardiac arrest, after instructors continued to harass him and force him to exercise even though he told them he was sick. Saying the his death was caused by "cardiac arrest" is really sugar-coating the pill. He was tortured to death and also denied medical treatment. His death was particularly ugly. (See below.)

  • Gina Score, 14, at the state-run juvenile prison camp at Plankinton, South Dakota, 1999. Run to death.
    That is, she was forced to run in the summer sun until she collapsed, and then she was left laying in the hot sun until she died.
    The crime for which she was sentenced to death: petty theft.
    Two staff members were acquitted on child abuse charges in the death and other problems, including making girls run in shackles until their ankles bled.
    Finally, South Dakota abandoned the idea of boot camps for children, and shut the facility down.

  • Michael Wiltsie, 12, at Camp E-Kel-Etu, a private Florida facility, 2000. The 65-pound boy was suffocated to death by a 320-pound "counselor" who sat on him until he stopped breathing. A grand jury refused to indict the camp counselor in Mikey's death.
    His death-sentence crimes: habitual misbehavior, vandalism and burglary.
    Mikey was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and oppositional defiant disorder (meaning he was chronically disobedient). When Mikey violated the curfew that was a condition of his probation, a juvenile-court judge overruled mental-health specialists who recommended intensive psychiatric treatment, and the 12-year-old ended up being sentenced to a stay in a military-style wilderness boot camp.

  • William "Eddie" Lee, 15, Obsidian Trails, Oregon, Sept. 18, 2000.

  • Anthony Haynes, 14, Arizona, July 1, 2001. Died from physical abuse, heat stress, starvation, dehydration, and near drowning. Witnesses at the camp outside Buckeye, AZ, said he was forced to stand in the sun for four hours while wearing a black uniform in 111 degree temperatures (or 112, or 113, depending on which report you read), was deprived of water, and made to eat dirt. Haynes began hallucinating and at one point thought he saw a pond where he could get some refreshing water. The coroner found Anthony's mouth full of caked mud, and more mud in his intestines.

  • See the bottom of this web page for a much longer list of deaths:
    This author has a list of 38 children killed by such "helpful programs", including an astounding number of deaths at VisionQuest. How could the law enforcement authorities allow that place to continue operating for so long? What on earth was the matter with them?

News Flash:
Another Cruel, Vicious Murder by the So-Called "Law Enforcement Officials Helping Children"

Martin Lee Anderson
1992 — 2006
Fourteen-year-old Martin Lee Anderson was murdered by sadistic "drill sergeant" guards within 3 hours of his arrival at a Florida boot camp that was run by the local sheriff, Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen, on January 6, 2006. The local medical examiner, Dr. Charles Siebert, tried to cover up the murder, calling it a death from "sickle cell anemia". (Dr. Siebert is so incompetent that in 2004 he autopsied a woman, and found that her testicles and prostate gland were "unremarkable". Women don't have those things — men do.) But a second autopsy by a different examiner revealed that the child was suffocated by the guards. They covered his mouth with a hand and forced him to inhale ammonia, which caused "spasm of his vocal cords" and prevented him from being able to inhale.

When mixed with water, like the fluids in your lungs and your blood, ammonia forms ammonium hydroxide — household lye — which will eat your lungs out just as effectively as inhaling something like chlorine gas, which forms hydrochloric acid when it mixes with the water in your lungs. As you can imagine, your lungs will rebel and refuse to inhale any more of the stuff. So you suffocate.

  • What kind of sadistic monsters did they have working at that "boot camp"?
  • Who would even think of forcing children to inhale ammonia?
  • What kind of a sicko would think that forcing children to inhale poison gas was an appropriate way to manage children?
  • And who would hire such psychopaths as "drill sergeants" to "rehabilitate" children?
  • Shouldn't those murderers be in prison themselves, perhaps also getting kicked around by some "drill sergeants"?

Read the story here and see the videotape of the murder:

The Florida Governor, Jeb Bush, has long been a strong supporter of the boot camp concept (for other people's children, but not for his own crack-smoking daughter Noelle). Now Jeb says that big changes will be made. Jeb says that the boot camps will be shut down, and will be replaced with new camps that will be run by the same sheriffs as ran the previous camps. The new camps will be called "the STAR program", an acronym for Sheriff's Training And Respect.

Isn't that just ducky? Like The Who sang,

Yeh, Meet the new boss.
Same as the old boss.
...and I'll get on my knees and pray,
We don't get fooled again.

16-year-old Aaron Bacon was another child who died a similar death at a similar boot camp, North Star Expeditions, in Utah in 1996. When his mother saw his body at the morgue, she said,

"I went into the room and his face was unrecognizable," the Phoenix woman sobbed at a hearing in Utah last year. "He had these sunken cheeks, and his eyes, he looked like a skeleton, his hands were all bone. I ripped the sheet off.
"He was literally bruised, black and blue, from the tip of his toes to the top of his head. He had sores between his legs, open sores. The bottoms of his feet, I don't know how anyone could have walked or hiked on them.

"I began screaming, because something was terribly wrong."
Tough love proves too tough, Christopher Smith, the Salt Lake Tribune, June 10, 1996.

Aaron's parents had paid $13,900 for a program that was supposed to convince their son to quit smoking pot and experimenting with LSD, speed and hallucinogenic mushrooms. "I knew it would be rigorous, but he loved the outdoors, and I pictured him out there with God and nature, hiking all day, discussing his issues with therapists around the campfire at night." Sally Bacon says. What gnaws at Sally Bacon is that she never hugged her son good-bye when he was pulled from his bed one March morning two years ago by two professional kidnappers who called themselves an "escort service" and hauled off to a southern Utah wilderness program for misbehaving teenagers. (That was the procedure that North Star recommended.)

A month later, she got the chance. It came at a funeral home in Page, Arizona, where Aaron Bacon lay on a stainless steel table with a white sheet covering all but his face. When she pulled the sheet from Aaron's body, Sally was confronted with a battered, emaciated corpse. She started screaming hysterically and had to cover her eyes.

"His legs were like toothpicks," Sally recalls, breaking into sobs. "His hipbones stuck way out, his ribs — he looked like a concentration-camp victim. There were bruises from the tip of his toes to the top of his head, open sores up and down the inside of his thighs. The only way we were even able to recognize him was a childhood scar above his right eye."

"Right then it became obvious that Aaron's death was not an accident," Bob Bacon says. "We knew that something horrible had been done to him."

Aaron Bacon, 16 years old, died March 31, 1994, while on a North Star expedition in Utah that began March 1. Aaron Bacon had been slowly tortured to death over a period of weeks. He had been beaten and frozen, thirsted and starved, as well as denied medical treatment for a fatal condition. The sicker he became, the more he was tormented and tortured by the staff. He was constantly accused of being a malingerer and faking it when he complained of being sick and unable to go on. Counselors and students taunted Bacon, asking if he were "homosexual." After a month of such "tough love", he died.

The coroner's autopsy report stated that Aaron died from a perforated ulcer, but that is only the tip of the iceberg.

When he was too sick to continue carrying his pack, and left it behind, counselors forced him to go without food or a sleeping bag, both of which were in the pack. He went without food, a blanket, or a sleeping bag from March 22 to March 25 on the 7,000-foot Kaiparowits Plateau, where nightly temperatures dropped below 22 degrees Fahrenheit. In the end, he was so sick that he lost control of his bodily functions, and urinated and defecated in his pants repeatedly, so the staff made him hike without pants, and made fun of him. He had started the program on March 1, but he didn't live to see the end of that March. He died at 2:54 PM, March 31, while the staff sneered at him and called him "a faker." By 3:00 PM, the staff had changed their tune, and were screaming, "Oh shit! Oh shit!"

The pathologist who did the autopsy reported that, due to the perforated ulcer, the contents of the boy's intestines had probably been leaking into his abdominal cavity for 24 hours or more. "He would have had low blood pressure, a fever, an elevated pulse rate, and exquisite tenderness of the abdomen," Grey says. "Any reasonable person should have realized that Aaron Bacon was in need of immediate medical attention."

But not North Star Expeditions. They just said that he was faking it.

The crime for which Aaron was sentenced to death: Smoking pot and experimenting with LSD, speed, and magic mushrooms.

The North Star staff tried to rationalize away the whole incident by saying, "He was a hard-core doper, and his parents knew it. His parents were dopers. Now they are just trying to blame it all on us, and get us in trouble."

The local prosecutor was also interested in blaming it all on them. The prosecution's evidence was stark:

  • Aaron Bacon, a 5-foot-11-inch teen, began the course weighing 131 pounds. When he died 30 days later, he weighed 108 pounds.
  • Investigators from the Garfield County Sheriff's Department and the Utah attorney general's office have found that during the last 20 days of his life, Aaron went without food for at least 11 days.
  • He also went without a sleeping bag for 14 nights when the average overnight temperature was 32 degrees.
  • Aaron's worsening condition was chronicled in his journal as well as the journals of other campers. He wrote about how his counselors laughed at him for losing control of his bowel movements. Another teen wrote that Aaron was starting to look "like a Jewish person in the concentration camps."

"The ignorance, arrogance, incompetence, callousness and greed of the people running these programs is proving repeatedly to be dangerous, abusive and even fatal," said Bob Bacon, Aaron's father. "The lessons are not being learned."

Gina Score's crimes, for which she got the death sentence, were stealing Beanie Babies from a store and stealing money from a school locker — petty theft. She was sentenced to the South Dakota state-run boot camp by the court. Although her father David Score didn't have a choice, he thought sending Gina away might be a good idea. Maybe the strict discipline would get his daughter to stop stealing from other girls' lockers at school.

Her father said that her thievery was always minor: Sometimes she stole from her parents or her neighbors or from kids she knew. She would take a few dollars here, a few there, mainly to buy candy. Her dad says she never took more than $65 and she would repay most of it. He couldn't figure out why she did it, because in every other way, she was a normal, happy kid. Sensitive and intelligent, she liked to write poetry and planned on skipping a grade when she came home.

Incidentally, fourteen-year-old Gina Score weighed 226 pounds.

Excuse me, is it just my opinion, or were a lot of people obtuse as all getout? Why couldn't they see the obvious answer? A 14-year-old girl who weighs 226 pounds and habitually steals petty cash to buy candy so that she can shove even more calories into her mouth obviously has a hellacious compulsive eating disorder. That's why an otherwise intelligent and sensitive girl gets into trouble like that. She needed medical and psychiatric treatment, not prison camp.

Note the cultural bias there:
"Fat girls are disgusting and should be punished for eating too much."
Skinny girls who suffer from anorexia nervosa don't get sent to prison camps for some well-deserved "exercise", do they?

One young reader, a veteran of the system, who shall remain nameless, wrote in response to that:

> Also, once in your article you mentioned that a girl that had a
> binge eating disorder should get psychiatric treatment. Sometimes,
> that is just as bad. A lot of people think psychiatric hospitals
> have changed, kids aren't beaten or abused there anymore, but they
> are, and now even more kids are going there for the same
> "quick-fix" reason boot camps exist. And also because parents are
> using it as a type of manipulation, or they think their kid has
> problems even if they don't, etc. It is the popular thing to do
> today — to lock your kids up, or drug them.

Yes. I didn't make it clear, but I was really thinking about some kind of effective outpatient treatment that would just help her to get a grip. Maybe I'm dreaming...

226-pound Gina collapsed from heat exhaustion during a forced three-mile run in hot, humid weather. Her pleas for help were ignored: As she hyperventilated, eyewitnesses later said, counselors taunted her, accusing her (as happened with the others who died) of faking her weakness. Gina struggled to stand, then collapsed again and was left lying in the sun for three hours. By the time she arrived at the hospital, her temperature registered 108 — as high as the thermometer would go. "How," her father David Score asked bitterly, "could anyone treat another human being that way?"

Mark Soler, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Youth Law Center, helped investigate the Plankinton, South Dakota, juvenile facility after the death of Gina Score, and was stunned by what he saw: a barbed-wire maximum-security detention center where some kids were shackled and locked in isolation 23 hours a day for 30 days in a row.

"There is not a lot of very serious juvenile crime in South Dakota," says Soler. "These kids were locked up for things like truancy and curfew violations. Yet there was this extremely punitive attitude which was not geared toward helping them."

The death of Nicholaus Contreraz was also unbelievably gruesome. He was tortured to death over a period of weeks. The sicker he became, the more he was beaten and tormented, and accused of being a malingerer and faking it, and denied food and water as punishment. At the end of his life, he was also so sick that he was unable to control his bodily functions:

ORACLE, Ariz. — On the day he died, Nicholaus Contreraz was awakened at 6:30 a.m. He had been sleeping on a mattress positioned halfway in the bathroom of Barracks 31. Staff at the Arizona Boys Ranch had placed the 16-year-old Sacramento youth on Yellow Shirt status for, among other reasons, persistently defecating and urinating on himself. They wanted him to be near the toilet.

      Employees at the paramilitary-style camp, where hundreds of California youth offenders are sent, had already tried to deal with Nick's incontinence by making him sleep in soiled underwear, ordering him to drop his pants so that other boys could inspect them, requiring he finish whatever physical activity he was engaged in before using the restroom, making him eat dinner while sitting on the toilet and, near the end of his life, making him carry a yellow trash basket filled with his soiled clothes and his own vomit.

      At times he was instructed to do push-ups that lowered his face into the foul-smelling basket.

      On the day before he died, Nick collapsed several times during physical training. After he fell while running up a hill, staff bundled him into a wheelbarrow and made another boy push him around the camp. Nick was told to make the sound of an ambulance siren.

      On the day he died, a staff member told Nick he deserved an Academy Award for faking.

      Nick collapsed for the last time about 5:30 p.m. on March 2. Staff members, who had spent the day ordering more and more physical punishment, issued their last command. Get up, Nick was told. "No" was the last word he spoke.

      Nick was pronounced dead two hours later, succumbing to a massive, undiagnosed infection that had conspired with other illnesses raging in his body.
A Puzzling Death at Boys Ranch; California youth died amid questions about his care at Arizona program for juvenile offenders. Policy of sending kids out of state also scrutinized., Julie Cart, The Los Angeles Times, June 14, 1998.

The Arizona Department of Economic Security report stated that 17 former Arizona Boys Ranch staff members were placed on the Arizona Child Abuser Directory as a result of their treatment of Nicholaus Contreraz. Strangely, in Arizona, inspection, supervision and certification of such children's boot camps is left to the "Department of Economic Security". Go figure. (It sounds to me like something out of a bizarre dystopian science fiction movie, something like "Brazil".)

The California Department of Social Services report concluded that Contreraz died as a result of "medical neglect and physical abuse" and charged that there was a pattern of "widespread excessive use of physical restraint and hands-on confrontation" by staffers. The California agency harshly criticized the Arizona Department of Economic Security for failing to inspect or oversee the camp.

The Arizona Boys Ranch had a long history of documented complaints against it. Arizona officials said nearly 100 child abuse complaints had been filed against Boys Ranch or its employees in the previous five years. Twenty-one of the abuse claims had been substantiated by state officials during licensing proceedings and others were still under investigation. But the Arizona State "Department of Economic Security" still did nothing to stop the child abuse.

One has to wonder, "Just whose 'Economic Security' was being protected?"

In July, 1998, the California Department of Social Services advised all California counties that it was ending funding for out-of-state placements at the facility. Nearly three-fourths of the 400 juveniles at the ranch's seven campuses had been from California.

Worst of all, Nicholaus Contreraz's murderers all walked. They were charged with child abuse and manslaughter, but they got off on a technicality. The court ruled that the other staff were depending on the (mostly absent) staff nurse to inform them of Nick's medical condition, and she had said that the kid was okay, so they were not responsible for his death. And then, by some twisted logic, the court ruled that the staff nurse didn't have enough information to really know that the kid was going to die (because she wasn't there enough), so she wasn't guilty, either. So nobody was guilty.

The State of California canceled its contract for rehabilitation of other children with the camp, but that was the extent of the legal repercussions. Nobody did any hard time for Nick's death. Such child-murderers rarely do.

The various state and federal governments just want somebody to imprison and "treat" those drug-using kids... And if accidents happen, oh well... What else could you expect from such kids?

The vicious physical abuse like stomping, beating, kicking, starving, and thirsting children isn't the only kind of abuse going on in those children's gulags. Steve Gage and Karen Lee-Gage, Founders of Royal Haven, a residential home for at-risk girls from throughout the country, at Sisters, Oregon, were arrested on June 7, 2000, on 45 or 52 felony counts based on allegations from 7, 8, 10, or 11 ex-residents (depending on which newspaper you read), including several counts each of rape, sexual abuse, and criminal mistreatment.

That will really teach those girls to behave.

Gage Sentenced to 45 Years
Eric Dolson, Nugget Newspaper — Sisters, Oregon.
Feb. 2, 2001

Steven Gage will probably spend the rest of his life in prison.

Gage, 43, the former proprietor of Royal Haven Equestrian Center for Girls near Sisters, was sentenced to 45 years behind bars on 27 counts of theft, criminal mistreatment and sex abuse of teenage girls under his care.

The sentence was handed down by Judge Stephen Tiktin on January 31, 2001. It followed the guidelines of a plea agreement between Gage and the Deschutes County District Attorney reached January 4.

Prior to sentencing, victim after victim of Gage's abuse, including girls who ranged in age from 14 to 18 at the time the sex abuse occurred, gave tearful testimony that he should receive the maximum sentence allowed under the plea agreement.

"He took the trust we gave him and twisted it for his own sexual desire... I was just a child, and so was every other girl he molested," said one young woman who accounted for nearly half of the original 146 counts of sex abuse that occurred.

While she spoke, Gage sat at the defense table, shrunken, having lost dozens of pounds while sitting in jail seven months waiting for his trial. His hair was thin and graying, his face hollow and white. His head shook slightly from side, either from a slight tremor or perhaps in denial of the atrocities described.

His head seemed to barely reach above the collar of an oversize denim jacket with the words "Deschutes County Jail" stenciled on the back. It made him seem even smaller.

"Look at him! Do you think that this man would ever be a part of any teenage girl's fantasies? It was disgusting!" said one of the victims of coerced sexual activity with Gage.

"I don't know what shell of a human being does this to 13- or 15- or 17-year-old girls and thinks he can get away with it," said another. "He preyed on the souls of children for his own sense of confidence."

Parents told the judge of the nearly unbearable guilt they felt when they had discovered what Gage had done to their daughters.

"We were seeking desperately a safe harbor. Imagine the shock and horror and outrage when we learned that we had delivered her into the hands of an uncontrolled, manipulative, evil, sexual predator," said one father.

The girls testified that their fear extended even to bucolic Sisters High School where, under a previous administration, Gage had conned his way in as a truant officer, offered the services of his supposedly trained drug-sniffing dogs. He had keys to the building, his partner Karen Lee was on the school board.

"We could not go to the school (authorities). We would look out the door of English class, expecting to see his face," cried one girl.

A Sisters teacher in the courtroom flinched as these words were spoken.

The girls told of how he gave favors of jewelry and privileges to his "special girls," the ones who did not or could not resist his sexual advances.

In determining the sentence, Judge Tiktin first spoke to assuage the guilt of parents and the girls.

As a man who has seen much of the worst, as a man who must be "always suspicious and even cynical," Judge Tiktin told them that "I myself could have been deceived by Mr. Gage ... (until yesterday), I think I failed to grasp the character and scope of his crimes.

" ... what happened is not your fault," the judge told parents and girls. He praised the courage of those girls who came forward.

Judge Tiktin said that he believed Royal Haven "was a scam from day one." He spoke of Gage's "tremendous conceit and contempt of others, to take these precious children as objects for your sexual gratification ... the cruelty, the isolation, the exploitation of their disaffection from their family."

At which time, Tiktin read the sentence, which added up to 45 years behind the walls of prison. The judge established that Gage will always be under supervision as a "sexually dangerous offender."

If he lives that long, Gage could get out after 36 years with time off for good behavior, but even then he will be 79 years old when he next breathes air as a free man.
Gage Sentenced to 45 Years, Eric Dolson, Nugget Newspaper - Sisters, Oregon, Feb. 2, 2001

Lately, the operators of children's camps have found a new way to get around those bothersome laws of which they keep running afoul: move the camp to a foreign country which has few or no laws governing such camps.

Pacific Coast Academy is nestled in the mountains of Samoa, more than a thousand miles from any major country. Many parents and former students across the West say the camp is rife with physical, emotional and sexual abuse and has substandard staff members and facilities.

Bob DeLancy, a Gilbert Arizona mortgage banker, visited his son at the academy and helped videotape several students who were complaining of sexual and physical abuse. After seeing the tape, officials at the U.S. Embassy in Samoa helped remove 23 students. After a short legal battle, 15 returned to the United States.

DeLancy said there was no sailing boat, helicopter or cattle ranch that one promotional flier had touted. The staff had no doctors and was lacking in qualified counselors and therapists, he said.

Lonnie Fuller, the Gilbert man who directed and co-owned Pacific Coast Academy, said he has been unfairly criticized for helping people. "We're trying to do a good thing here, and we're getting absolutely crucified," he said.

The involvement of Steve Cartisano, who marketed the camp until Fuller "fired him" after the students were removed from the camp, casts serious doubt on the academy's reputation. Cartisano is banned from operating camps in Utah and Hawaii and has been the subject of accusations of abuse or fraud from a long line of parents and former students. In 1992, he was tried for, but not convicted of, negligent homicide and child abuse stemming from the 1990 death of 16-year-old Kristin Chase in the camp he ran in Utah, "Challenger" wilderness camp.

Several parents said Cartisano exaggerated the amenities of Pacific Coast Academy on the phone and often called himself "Stephen Michaels" to hide his identity.

Fuller said he hired Cartisano out of pity but had to fire him because of his lies and "horrible" history. "His problems got to be my problems," Fuller said. Both men worked together in the late 1990s at another teen therapy camp in Samoa. New Hope Academy folded in 1999 amid allegations of fraud and abuse. Fuller said he left the camp long before then.

Pacific Coast Academy is not licensed or registered in the United States. The academy's only accreditation is with the Samoan Youth Rehabilitation Agency, Fuller said.

But wait! There's more! It just keeps getting better and better!

In an editorial in a Samoan newspaper on Feb. 17, 2000, Savea Sano Malifa complained that the good name of Samoa was being tarnished by those criminals from America, and...

... an American who is alleged to have been hounded by authorities in several US cities, has been to Samoa, cashed a string of dud cheques in a bank, then went back home where [he] is said to be in hiding. But before he left, he reportedly created a corporation called "Youth Rehabilitation Administration Agency of Western Samoa" which nobody seems to know about.

The agency is supposed to issue licenses to overseas organisations applying to open youth treatment centres in Samoa. They do this after checking out the owners' facilities, compliance to regulations, education services, food and medical services, environmental safety, and so forth.

This information is then passed on to clients, mainly parents of troubled children in America. In other words, there's a scam going on using Samoa in a fraudulent manner. Not surprisingly, the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture has not heard of this organisation nor does it have a listing with the Telephone Directory.

The Americans involved are reportedly Steve Cartisano (aka Steve Michaels) of Arizona and Lonnie Fuller who is said to be still in Samoa. Neither of them is on the telephone directory, nor is that other company they are supposed to represent, Pacific Coast Academy.
Editorial from the Samoan Observor, Troubled American teenagers in Paradise!, by Savea Sano Malifa (2/17/00)

So the "accrediting agency" that Fuller said certifies the Pacific Coast Academy is actually a fraud and a hoax created by Fuller and Cartisano so that they could accredit themselves, huh?
They sound like just the kind of nice, reputable gentlemen you would want to trust with your children's lives, don't they?

But that still isn't nearly all of it. It just goes on and on. Savea Sano Malifa continued the story, explaining that much earlier, Steve Cartisano had conned an American businessman, Dan Wakefield, into financing the founding of "New Hope Academy" in Samoa, with promises of $10.9 million in profits from a $25,000 start-up investment.

"He told me, 'Dan, keep my enemies at bay and I'll make us millions,' said Dan Wakefield, one of a group of Utah County businessmen who hired Cartisano to help start Orem-based New Hope Academy in the island nation of Samoa. "But the whole time we were paying all his expenses, he was conducting a premeditated scheme to destroy the credibility and financial stability of our company."

Cartisano completely mismanaged the business, and wrote $23,000 worth of fraudulent checks in just one week while Wakefield was away from Samoa and not overseeing the project. (So it turns out that Cartisano was that mysterious American who kited all of the bad checks and then set up the "Samoan Youth Rehabilitation Agency" before running back to America.)

When the accusations and charges became too much, New Hope Academy suddenly disappeared, and just as suddenly, Steve Cartisano and Lonnie Fuller were running "Pacific Coast Academy", right next door. When the problems at that camp became overwhelming, Cartisano fled back to the USA, and went into hiding. Dan Wakefield is still looking for Steve Cartisano, trying to get his money back.

You know, I can certainly sympathize with the Samoans. They don't need or want the bad publicity or the problems. I suppose some white people in America might think that they are just a bunch of primitive savages, living backwards lives on their remote island. But the Samoans do not send their children halfway around the world to be tortured by strangers. And the Samoans certainly don't build concentration camps for their children in the USA. It seems to take "civilized" people from Stateside to commit such monstrous, insane crimes. Funny that some people still think that the Samoan natives are the savages...

One person who has had some luck in making contact with Steve Cartisano is Jon Krakauer, who wrote an excellent article on children's "tough-love" wilderness camps for Outside magazine, called "Loving Them To Death". (It is so good that it is simply MUST reading. So read it.) The most disturbing thing about the creeps who run those camps is their completely unrepentant attitude, where they seem to feel that a few children's deaths are normal, acceptable losses, just part of the cost of doing business:

When asked about the deaths at Challenger, North Star, and other programs, Steve Cartisano calmly answers that because wilderness therapy saves the lives of so many children, an occasional fatality is a regrettable but justifiable cost of doing business. He calls it the "window of loss."

"Jaggar and Henry apparently share this view," muses Bob Bacon, "and I find that despicable. Nobody from North Star has ever indicated to Sally or me that they are sorry for what they did to Aaron. Even now they seem convinced that they were performing a benefit to society."
Because Cartisano is being investigated for insurance fraud and other swindles, his precise whereabouts are a sensitive matter that he prefers not to divulge. In a recent phone interview, however, he couldn't resist boasting that he's "running pretty much the same kind of program I've always run." At last report, he had raised tuition to $20,000 and didn't lack customers.

Unrepentant, Cartisano says plenty of parents still applaud his style of treatment. "Our clients come from all over the United States," he says of his current program, based in Costa Rica. "I take kids sailing. We don't have to put up with any ridiculous regulations or inspections down there. Things are going really well."
Loving Them To Death, Jon Krakauer, Outside magazine, Oct 1995.

(By the way, the "Jon Krakauer" who authored that article is the same Jon Krakauer as the one who is famous for the book "Into Thin Air", about the disastrous summer of deaths of climbers on Mount Everest. That book is a first-hand account of Krakauer's experiences while climbing Everest. So it is no accident or coincidence that Jon Krakauer is writing articles for Outside magazine.
Then Krakauer wrote Under the Banner of Heaven, about some fanatical fundamentalist Mormons murdering people in Utah.)

Lou Kilzer, a Staff Writer for the Denver Rocky Mountain News wrote an excellent piece of investigative journalism about the crimes committed by a program called "Teen Help" — "Abuse allegations fly / Government investigations, lawsuits claim that youths were mistreated; Teen Help denies charges", Denver Rocky Mountain News, 07-20-1999. In this article, Kilzer described how Teen Help was a monster that spanned several countries:

  • Teen Help and its "World Wide Association of Specialty Programs" acts as an umbrella organization that represents several facilities around the world. They have been charged with many crimes.
  • "Teen Help activities touched off investigations by law enforcement or regulatory agencies in several states - including Utah, South Carolina and Ohio - and three foreign countries - Mexico, the Czech Republic and Western Samoa. Facilities in Utah, Mexico and the Czech Republic were closed."
  • One suit alleges that Teen Help's Paradise Cove compound in Western Samoa uses a "secret psychotherapy of threats, intimidation, invasion of privacy, physical abuse, mental abuse, verbal abuse and random punishment to break their captives' will and keep them confined."
  • Another suit filed in June charges that "homosexual attacks" by the staff at Paradise Cove "were not only tolerated on these two plaintiffs but threats of great bodily harm were made by these staff members if any attempt were ever made by either plaintiff to communicate information on the attacks to the outside world."
  • Sunrise Beach in Cancun, Mexico, run by Glenda and Steve Roach, was closed by Mexican police for a variety of charges. "After the newspaper Cronica de Cancun reported child abuse allegations at the facility, Mexican authorities staged a surprise raid. Police said they learned that some teens had been held in punishment rooms for as long as four days at a time." Police sent the inmates back to the USA and charged the Roaches with immigration violations, among other things.
  • Cross Creek Manor, the girls treatment facility Teen Help founder Robert Lichfield launched in 1990 in La Verkin, Utah, was closed, because:
    • The State Health Department found it guilty of numerous health, safety, and medical violations.
    • Cross Creek staff members used another facility, Brightway Adolescent Hospital in nearby St. George. for Teen Help's intake center,
    • All teens arriving at Brightway were enrolled in a behavior management program. But hospital records did not document what behaviors needed managing.
    • Of 198 teens entering Brightway during the last four months of 1997, 154 were sent to Jamaica or Western Samoa. "No portions of patient records, including assessments and treatment planning documentation, are forwarded to these out-of-country programs," the report said.
    • Investigators analyzed the records of 14 recent patients. They found that the same form letter had been sent to the parents of all 14, saying that their teen needed "12 months or more in the residential treatment program in order to fully internalize the changes he needs to make."
    • Brightway was shut down because of all of those violations of law and proper medical ethics and procedures.
  • "With Brightway closed and its intake services eliminated, Farnsworth said Teen Help now depends on statements from parents that their children need to change their thinking."
    The untrained parents psycho-analyze their children and decide what treatment the children need. Unbelievable.
  • In 1998, Glenda and Steve Roach — who had run Sunrise Beach near Cancun — left to run a Teen Help compound in the Czech Republic. "The Roaches were charged under Czech law with cruelty to people in their custody and with curtailing the students' freedom of movement, police said. Police said they had found diaries and other documents that confirmed the allegations of abuse. Teens at Morava 'were often isolated and denied food' and handcuffed, police said."
  • Carolina Springs Academy near Abbeville, S.C., promises a pleasant stay in the country,
    • "But investigators for the South Carolina Department of Social Services found conditions there far less idyllic. In the fall, the agency three times ordered the facility to close because it was operating without a state license. Richard Byars, Carolina Springs' director at the time, refused, saying the compound was a boarding school, not a residential care facility, and didn't need a license."
    • State social services investigators inspected the facility in December and January. Their reports said that they found a very long list of abuses and malpractice, including that:
      • The doctor who was "treating" many of the teens never actually visited the facility.
      • Several teens, including at least one who had attempted suicide before arriving at Carolina Springs, no longer were taking medication for depression.
      • One girl told them that another girl "tried to kill herself. She was hitting, kicking, spitting, etc. They said that her hands were crossed over her chest and her wrists were handcuffed behind her neck. They said duct tape was put over her mouth and around her legs. At the top of the stairs, she jumped on her head to try to break her neck so she could go to the hospital."
      • The social services agency said the staff members at Carolina Springs weren't qualified to work with teens. Most of the staff's previous work experience was nothing more than flipping burgers for minimum wage.
      • Children's records contained little information about previous hospital stays and psychological evaluations.
      • Teens' letters home were censored to keep them from telling their parents what was going on.
    • Both the state's Department of Social Services and the Department of Health and Environmental Control sought court injunctions to order the facility closed.
    • When this story ended, the facility was still open and still keeping teenagers prisoner, while it and its lawyers negotiated with the state agencies.

== See: Abuse allegations fly / Government investigations, lawsuits claim that youths were mistreated; Teen Help denies charges., Lou Kilzer, News Staff Writer, Denver Rocky Mountain News, 07-20-1999.
== You can get this article off of the Internet through EBSCO or the Electric Library.

      It just seems like the drug and alcohol rehab business is a fertile ground for the development of cults and similar crazy groups. Basically, that rehabilitation business is a dirty business that most people don't want to get involved with, or even look at. Too many government agencies are happy to hand out money to any organization that claims to be solving the problem.

Straight, Inc. was a group that did just that: they claimed to have taken the best of Synanon's methods while eliminating the bad parts, and to have built a wonderful new treatment program around those good ideas. Straight used intensive peer pressure and a 12-step program similar to Alcoholics Anonymous to rehabilitate adolescent drug users, according to an organization brochure.

That was after Chuck Dederich had claimed that he had taken the best parts of Alcoholics Anonymous and adapted them and made them into a great new program for addicts, Synanon. (Note how the name Al-Anon morphed into "Synanon" — "sinners anonymous" was actually the original idea behind the name.) It's funny how the progression from one recovery cult to the next is all downhill. A.A. begat Synanon, which begat The Seed, which begat Straight, Inc., which begat dozens of clones and copycats, including Miller Newton's KIDS of North Jersey and the Sembler family's Drug Free America Foundation. And the whole mess of them abused children.

Somehow, a lot of people — so-called "experts" — decided, early in the game, that Synanon was a wonderful breakthrough in the treatment of drug addiction, and that abuse by psychopaths really was the best possible treatment for drug and alcohol problems. And those "experts" don't seem to have ever bothered to revise their opinions when Synanon and all of its clones failed to produce the desired results. (They seem to have just decided that more funding and more abuse was needed.) We have had Synanon and a long list of Synanon copies around for nearly half a century now, and our drug and alcohol problems have not been cured by them. If anything, the problems are worse than ever. The only thing those programs have accomplished is giving gainful employment to some sadistic psychopaths, and even making a few of them wealthy, and getting Melvin Sembler an ambassadorship.

Straight, Inc. was one of the worst "Coercive Rehabilitation Projects" that ever existed. (See a letter from a survivor.) Every single Straight facility that was ever opened was accused of child abuse. Eventually, they were all shut down while under criminal investigations or facing civil suits. Foreigners describe the program as "Hitler-Jugend".

Many people tried to emulate Synanon. Places like Daytop Lodge and Phoenix House in NYC. The most successful for kids-only Synanon follow-on was The Seed founded in June 1970 in Fort Lauderdale by the charismatic Art Barker. (Art had come from NYC). The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) was so impressed with The Seed that it gave Barker a $1 million grant. Drug Czar Robert DuPont led NIDA while Barker was being funded his grant money. Barker had visions of making Seeds all over the state of Florida and then all over the country. But in 1974 the US Senate published a study which accused The Seed of using methods which it likened to Communist brainwashing techniques. Besides this unwanted bad-press, The Seed was having other difficulties. The Senate was cracking down on NIDA in its consideration of a request from Barker for another cool million to expand his services throughout Florida. The Senate had told NIDA that Barker was doing human experimentations and that NIDA's own regulations required the people being experimented upon to sign statements of consent. And then there was the new host home regulations. The state of Florida's HRS had adopted a set of standards of how to regulate the host home element of The Seed and Barker said he had problems with those new regulations. Under the weight of all these problems Art Barker gave up on his expansion plans.

Where did Straight, Inc. come from? Wes Fager explains:

Robert L. DuPont, Jr., MD is the founding director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and is also the second White House Drug Czar. While director of NIDA he administered funds for an experimental, juvenile drug rehabilitation program in Fort Lauderdale, Florida called The Seed. Later the U.S. Senate would issue a report likening the methods employed by The Seed to Communist brainwashing. Soon after that report was released Melvin and Betty Sembler and some other former Seed parents opened their own Seed-like program in Saint Petersburg, Florida which they called Straight, Inc. After leaving NIDA Dr. DuPont became a paid consultant for Straight and frequently represented Straight in civil suits for which he was well paid. In one of those suits, in 1993, Dr. DuPont testified that the progenitor of the Straight method was a place called Synanon which he even admitted was a cult!

First Lady Nancy Reagan repeatedly praised Straight, Inc. for their "wonderful work." But they, too, ended up being just another vicious cult that tortured children in the name of "rehabilitating" young drug users, and who hid the tortured children when Nancy and the news cameras came to visit.

Straight represents one of the worst excesses created by the drug war environment, where 'anything goes' kind of intolerance toward drug users prevails. It is a cult, plain and simple, of people who seize on parent's frustrations with their youngsters and then subject the kids to torture and brainwashing to make them obedient and drug-free.
Dr. Arnold Trebach, attorney, author and professor emeritus of criminal justice at American University, and former director, The Drug Policy Foundation.

Straight is not a health care organization.  It is a business posing as a health care organization and as a result hundreds of kids have been hurt. All of the business operations consist of fraud, double and triple billing of health insurance companies at the same time and they bill government grants while telling parents they are not the recipients of any kinds of government money.
Janet Kennedy, Ph.D. Pharmacy,  MS, Hospital Administration, of Austin, Texas after a private, three year investigation of Straight.  [Channel 12, Eye on Tampa Bay Show, 1992]

So we were very concerned about a program which we looked at as being something of a private jail, utilizing techniques of torture and punishment which even a convicted criminal wouldn't be subject to... and I use their terminology — restraint techniques, it would be our terminology that it was child abuse and torture — was directed by Miller Newton.
David Levin, formerly assistant state attorney for Sarasota, Florida commenting on Straight's former national clinical director Reverend Doctor Miller Newton on CBS' West 57th Street (1-21-89)

Straight conducts a program that practices psychological coercion and physical assault against children under the guise of drug and alcohol treatment. I believe there is reason to fear for the physical and mental safety of any child sent to the program.
Dr. Richard Ofshe, author and thought control specialist at the University of California, Berkeley.
(Dr. Richard Ofshe is also a winner of the Pulitzer prize for his work with Dave Mitchell and Cathy Mitchell — The Light newspaper — on a series of articles about Synanon's many crimes and abuses.)

According to sworn testimony, Straight often left restrained group members sitting in their own urine, feces or vomit until suitable concessions were extracted.
Dr. Barry Beyerstein, a leading Canadian researcher on opiates and brain functioning who operates a laboratory at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada

Fox TV did a special on Mel Sembler's methods of treating children, which included the story of a girl forced to wear her feces-caked "humble pants" for a month as punishment.

And Melvin Sembler rationalized his crimes with these words:

"People thought we were taking away children's rights. But we saw it just the opposite — giving them back their rights by helping them get off drugs."
Mel Sembler, Straight's founder, Florida Trend Magazine, May 1997

While he was being confirmed as George W. Bush's ambassador to Italy, Melvin Sembler had the gall to boast to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

"Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, I believe that I have the qualifications necessary, if confirmed, to lead our diplomatic mission in Italy, to modernize it, and to strengthen it as an instrument to promote American interests in Italy. During my career in business, public service, politics, and diplomacy, I have worked hard and accomplished much... For the last quarter century, along with my wife, I have fought vigorously against the plague of drug abuse. In 1976 Betty and I helped found STRAIGHT, a non-profit, adolescent drug treatment and rehabilitation program with branches across the U.S., which successfully treated and graduated more than 12,000 young people nationwide. For 17 years, I served as chairman of the board of STRAIGHT. Other than our children, nothing was more rewarding than this effort. Betty and I initially agreed that if we helped one child it would be worth all the effort. With 12,000 successful graduates... It was a gratifying accomplishment."
Ambassador Melvin Floyd Sembler, addressing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Oct 31, 2001, on the occasion of his hearing as George W. Bush's nominee to be ambassador to Italy

Gradually, all of the Straight facilities were shut down amid criminal investigations and civil lawsuits.

In February 2000, Rev. Miller Newton, Ph.D., Straight's former national clinical director, closed down his Straight-copy facility called KIDS of North Jersey, after Newton and his psychiatric staff settled out of court with a female client for $4.5 million for the abuses that she suffered at his program.

[Newton is currently residing in Florida, and he has changed his name to Father Cassian Newton. See this letter from a survivor of Miller Newton's abuse to get some idea of what Newton's treatment of children was like.]

Then new copies of Straight sprang up, opened by former employees of the previous Straights, and they in turn were shut down in the same way. But still more copies keep popping up, because the government is still willing to pay money to have children incarcerated in such facilities and "treated" for drug addiction, and the child abusers have still not been put in prison. In fact, the Republicans keep giving them more money to do it again. It's called "helping children", and "the War on Drugs".

The "Drug Free America Foundation" is the current reincarnation of Straight, Inc..

Straight continues to play a major role in shaping up American drug policy. Straight's former national research director Dr. Donald Ian MacDonald went on to become the nation's drug czar. Former drug czar Robert DuPont was a paid Straight consultant. Former drug czar Bob Martinez appears to be tied to Straight too. Straight — morphed into "The Drug Free America Foundation, Inc." — made drug policy recommendations to President-elect George W. Bush who, as governor of Texas, has teamed up with DFAF on one drug awareness initiative.

Melvin and Betty Sembler were rewarded for their efforts at "reforming children" and raising funds for the Republican Party with ambassadorships to Australia and Italy. Melvin Sembler is still the U.S. ambassador to Italy now, under George W. Bush. The powers that be have simply ignored the charges of child abuse, and have even participated in covering them up.

One survivor of Miller Newton's version of Straight — called "KIDS of North Jersey, Inc." — wrote a letter where she described Miller Newton as

Dr. Miller Newton, aka Father Cassian Newton
The single most dangerous and sadistic person I have ever met!!!!!! I watched him pick up a 12 year old girl by the hair one day and drag her all the way across the warehouse that we were in.... that's NOT a euphemism, we were kept in a WAREHOUSE all that time.   ...

The abuses that we were subjected to in there were beyond belief. Starvation, beatings, sleep deprivation on a DAILY basis, kids being punished with "peanut butter diets" where they got bread with peanut butter on it 3 times a day with a dixie cup full of water.

The emotional abuse was the worst part for me. The whole thing of 'breaking them down and building them back up' was one of the most depraved undertakings that I have come across. The girls were all called sluts, whores, bitches and more... never mind that some of them were 12 or 13 and VIRGINS. There were quite a few of us in there who had been sexually abused as young children and when we tried to talk about it we were told to "focus on yourself and where YOUR responsibility was... how in the HELL does ANYONE come up with a 7 year old having ANY responsibility for something like that?

Remember that Dr. Miller Newton, who is not a medical doctor, had to pay $4.5 million to settle one case of abuse and false imprisonment of a young female patient. The threat of many more such expensive lawsuits forced him to close down his programs and get out of the "child rehabilitation" business. (So now he's a "priest", "Father Cassian Newton"...)

So we were very concerned about a program which we looked at as being something of a private jail, utilizing techniques of torture and punishment which even a convicted criminal wouldn't be subject to... and I use their terminology — restraint techniques, it would be our terminology that it was child abuse and torture — was directed by Miller Newton.
David Levin, formerly assistant state attorney for Sarasota, Florida commenting on Straight's former national clinical director Reverend Doctor Miller Newton on CBS' West 57th Street (1-21-89)

Miller Newton published a number of books where he espoused his philosophy of child counseling. He even presumed to be qualified to teach other child counselors how to treat children:

Your job is to be an adult whom the teen can rely on to protect him from his own manipulation and high-risk behavior. The adolescent needs "a caring adult", not a buddy.
Adolescence: guiding youth through the perilous ordeal, Miller Newton, M.Div., Ph.D., page 60.

Why is "a caring adult" in quotation marks like that? Is it a euphemism? Is the "counselor" really something other than "a caring adult"?

And notice how Miller Newton just assumes that all teenagers are manipulative. Newton's contempt for teens is barely veiled.

... positive response from an adolescent patient has a special value to therapists who need esteem-bolstering. This need to be liked sets the therapist up to be manipulated by the patient.
Adolescence: guiding youth through the perilous ordeal, Miller Newton, M.Div., Ph.D., page 65.

So was Miller Newton a "therapist" who needed esteem-bolstering? Well, no matter, Miller Newton sure didn't let himself get "manipulated" by those schemings teenagers, did he? He beat them and starved them and screamed at them and pulled their hair every time they tried to "manipulate" him.

Negative countertransference has to do with the therapist reacting to the patient in principally negative ways based on issues in the therapist's own life. Negative countertransference, which usually takes place out of the awareness of a counselor, is often harmful to the treatment process. It is critically important in dealing with adolescents to survey personal issues that may end up contaminating the therapeutic relationship.
Adolescence: guiding youth through the perilous ordeal, Miller Newton, M.Div., Ph.D., 1995, page 64.

Miller Newton wrote that text after having abused children in the Straight and KIDS programs for more than ten years. Whatever his personal issues were, he sure didn't keep them out of the "therapeutic relationship", did he?

Miller Newton repeatedly cited himself as an authority on a variety of subjects. On page 61, Miller Newton declared that "blunt communication" was effective in dealing with teens. That statement was supported by endnote 77. When we go to the back of the book and look at endnote 77, we see that Miller Newton is citing another of his own books, published by himself, as supporting his statements about how to treat children:

I have found that effective therapy with most adolescents involves blunt communication and that fairly directive responses to questions and behaviors are more effective.77

77. Newton, M. (1990) Getting Straight: Out of a drug distorted adolescent passage (p. 26).

Adolescence: guiding youth through the perilous ordeal, Miller Newton, M.Div., Ph.D., page 61. Secaucus, NJ: KIDS Centers of America

(Blunt communication, huh? Like punching and hair-pulling?)

And on page 98, Miller Newton did it again. He declared that sex was bad for teens, a statement that was supported by endnote 122, which, in turn, cited that expert on teen sex "Father Newton":
      Newton, M. (1986) Kids, Drugs, and Sex, Tampa: American Studies Press.

There are many more such examples. Miller Newton is one of the most-cited authors in the endnotes of his books. Apparently, he considers himself to be a real expert on how to help children.

It just goes on and on. Running children's gulags is big business. It can be just as profitable as running residential drug and alcohol rehab facilities for children. Sometimes, they are the same thing — the same places.

And, if you then give your ill-gotten gains to the Republican National Committee, like Melvin Sembler did, you can become an Ambassador, just like he did. So the money starts traveling in a circular pattern: the Republican politicians give government money — really, the taxpayers' money — to Sembler for cruelly "rehabilitating" children, and then he gives the money back to those politicians via the Republican National Committee so that they can get re-elected. After which, they give him more money, which he gives to the Republicans, and the cycle repeats... It's just a money-laundering machine that funnels money into the Republican Party, disguised as an organization that helps children.

Then Sembler even ended up becoming the finance director of the Republican National Committee. It's understandable how the Bush administrations — all three of them: George Senior, George Junior, and Governor Jeb Bush in Florida — all think that Melvin Sembler is a great child therapist and a noble soul who deserves to be rewarded with a couple of Ambassadorships (Australia and Italy).

Then, Governor Jeb Bush even declared August 8, 2000, "Betty Sembler Day" in Florida. The apparent lesson here is that you can be any kind of a monster or criminal that you want to be, and abuse children all you want, if you just give the corrupt politicians enough money to make it all okay. (But wasn't that also the lesson of Enron? Anything is okay if you pay the Republican National Committee enough...)

Incidentally, when Governor Jeb Bush's daughter Noelle was busted for possession of crack cocaine (Sept. 11, 2002), and he had to ship her off to a "treatment" center, Jeb didn't choose to send Noelle to the "wonderful" Melvin and Betty Sembler Torture Center For Children that was handy, right there in Florida, just down the road... No way. That kind of "treatment" wasn't good enough for Bush family members; it's only good enough for your children. Jeb wouldn't let Melvin Sembler's professional child abusers get anywhere near his precious daughter. Jeb sent Noelle to the upscale "Center for Drug-Free Living" in Orlando.

Those children's concentration camps have a cult-like hierarchical power structure:
  • The leader becomes the unquestionable guru whose word is law, an arrogant Pharaoh surveying his kingdom.
  • The staff become the inner circle of followers, sycophants who toady up to the leader, and then turn around and act like insufferable little martinets towards the children over whom they have power.
  • Sometimes a third concentric ring of power develops, where some of the most senior of the children — the "old-comers" — become bullying slave-drivers for the staff, carrying out the orders of those above them, and abusing the smaller children below them. (That was the case at the Buffalo Soldiers' camp. When Anthony Haynes died, he was actually under the direct command of a 17-year-old boy whose name the sheriff did not release. See above.)

Then those camps usually teach some kind of fascist dogma or philosophy which is supposed to reform the kids. All of the dogma is unquestionably correct, of course, because the guru is never wrong. And all of the usual brainwashing and indoctrination techniques are used, of course. In 1974, the US Senate published a study which accused The Seed (the Straight precursor) of using methods which it likened to Communist brainwashing techniques.

Other forms of behavior modification techniques employ intensive "encounter sessions" in which individuals are required to participate in group therapy discussions where intensive pressure is often placed on the individuals to accept the attitudes of the group... Once the individual is submissive, his personality can begin to be reformed around attitudes determined by the program director to be acceptable. Similar to the highly refined "brainwashing" techniques employed by the North Koreans in the early nineteen fifties, the method is used in the treatment of drug abusers... "The Seed", a drug abuse treatment program in Florida that, until recently, received funding from the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, is based on a similar philosophy.
INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS AND THE FEDERAL ROLE IN BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION, by the COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY, UNITED STATES SENATE, Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights, November, 1974, pp. 15 - 16 describing The Seed.

Wes Fager commented,

"It is important [that] you understand that back in the 1970s Senator Irvin was not conducting a study of The Seed, he was studying any programs funded by the federal government which used drugs, psycho surgery or thought control on American citizens in possible violation of their constitutional rights. And it was with that purpose in mind that he found out about The Seed."

In 1975 The Seed closed all of its expansion programs. In 1976 Melvin and Betty Sembler, along with some other former Seed—Saint Petersburg, Florida, parents, opened Straight—Saint Petersburg. Such behavior is commonplace. Often, when one children's-gulag "rehabilitation" facility is shut down for abusing children, the staff will simply open another one under a different name, sometimes even in the same building. For instance, Straight-Orlando was shut down for child abuse on Aug 14, 1992. On the same day, Straight employees Michael Scaletta, the executive director, and Loretta Parish, the marketing director, opened a new program for children, "SAFE, Inc.", out of the same building.

Plus, many of the other standard cult characteristics show up, like:

It's funny how so many politicians and bureaucrats imagine that Buchenwald look-alikes will be good for getting children off of drugs. It does not seem to ever occur to them that child abuse and bad environments are often what drove the kids to drugs and alcohol in the first place.

The arrogant mind set that says that alcoholics and drug addicts must be sentenced to cult religion meetings, like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, and taught to pray, for their own good, is the same mind set as the one that says that children must be sent to boot camps and abused for their own good. And it's the same mind set as the crazy fundamentalist "Christian" who says that spanking 4-month-old babies is for their own good.

Reverend Jim Jones' People's Temple was in the child rehab business, too. Jones collected other people's children in two ways:

First off, Jim Jones pressured people in his own church to sign their children over to the church as a way of guaranteeing the parents' loyalty — he could then later use their children to blackmail them into staying in the cult. They could leave, but they wouldn't be able to get their children back. Legally, Jones got away with it by arguing that the parents' prior drug or alcohol habits had impaired them as parents, so the church had to take over guardianship of the children. Jones had a large staff of good lawyers, and never lost a child custody case.

Jim Jones also gathered all of the foster children and wards of the court that his church could handle, which brought in large amounts of cash, tens of thousands of dollars per month. And his organization publicized those activities as "saving children":1

The Temple's own newspaper, People's Forum, cranked out articles about how effectively Jones was helping children, as well as other child-related articles...
Newspaper rehashes of favorable articles bordered on the ridiculous — for example, the column by Guy Wright in the San Francisco Examiner, June 9, 1977. Entitled "Fresh Start in a Jungle for the City Misfits," the piece relied entirely on Jones for information in telling how youngsters were going straight in the jungle under the wise and kind tutelage of Father Jones. Wright ended the article with this alleged statement by a troubled teen-ager of his first day in Jonestown, as Jones described it:
He [Jones] told about a new arrival who woke up to the tropical dawn, the song of exotic birds, the soft kiss of the trade winds. The young man threw his arms out and shouted, "Man, the Fillmore has seen the last of me!"
The Children of Jonestown, Kenneth Wooden, page 110-111.

In the end, 276 of the 278 children who were "under the wise and kind tutelage of Father Jones" were murdered at Jonestown on Jim Jones' orders. Two smart, fast, and lucky kids escaped into the jungle; all of the rest of the kids were given cyanide-laced 'Flavor-Aid' to drink. So yes, the Fillmore really had seen the last of that young fellow. An indeterminate number of children, possibly as many as 150 or 200, who were the wards of the State of California, were placed in the foster care of the People's Temple, which garnered for Jim Jones tens of thousands of dollars per month.2 It was blatantly illegal for Jones to remove those children from the USA and take them to Jonestown, his commune in Guyana, but the US embassy didn't press the matter.

The exact count of wards of the court killed at Jonestown is unknown because the politicians, bureaucrats, and judges who were responsible for such gross bungling and incompetence refused to cooperate with investigators, even with the Congressional GAO investigators. We actually had judges refusing to complete and return questionnaires to Congressional investigators. California Governor Jerry Brown's office seized the People's Temple records and stashed them. The California District Attorney's office had a lot to hide, because it had been infiltrated by People's Temple members, and had refused to investigate the People's Temple's abuse of children at times when it might have saved the children's lives. Everybody involved scrambled to cover his own ass, and hide his own misconduct.

The cover-up was so complete that the US military personnel who got the miserable job of gathering the bodies and returning them to the USA, were instructed, on orders from the White House — specifically from Robert Pastor, of the staff of Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's National Security Advisor — to remove all identification documents and tags from the bodies, which made it impossible for the coroners to identify many of the deceased.3

Jonestown AP photo


Thus, there has never been a final and full accounting of the children whom Jim Jones "got off of drugs" for the State of California.4

How could Jim Jones get away with such a thing?

Well, for a long time he had a lot of people fooled. Jim Jones was named one of "The 100 Outstanding Clergymen in America" by the Foundation for Religion in American Life in 1975, and, in 1976, he was named "Humanitarian of the Year" by the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner. At the same time, San Francisco Mayor George Moscone appointed Jim Jones Chairman of the San Francisco Housing Authority. For a long while, the people in power in San Francisco thought that Reverend Jim Jones was just the greatest religious leader, a real crusader for "clean and sober living."

Jim Jones with Mayor Moscone

Jim Jones with Councilman Lindsay

Jim Jones with Bob Wallach, head of the SF Bar Association.
The People's Temple kept a small army of San Francisco attorneys busy as they successfully fought parents for custody of their own children and engaged in a wide variety of fraudulent activities. The legal fees were money well spent as local courts found in Jones' favor in every case.

In the end, 267 children died at Jonestown, including the son of Timothy Stoen, a former member and former Temple lawyer, who couldn't even get his own son back from Jim Jones.

Mutual admiration society: Preacher-entrepreneur Cecil Williams, Police Chief Charles Gain, and Jim Jones
While building his "church" in San Francisco, Jones was engaged in extensive financial fraud and the torture and sexual abuse of children. Local politicians like Williams and Gain "saw no evil."

Mayor George Moscone and Jim Jones meet Walter Mondale at SFO
Willie Brown attributed Moscone's electoral victory to Jones.

Jones delivered votes for Jerry Brown's campaign for governor.
As governor, Brown ordered the Temple's records removed from San Francisco to Sacramento just weeks after the Jonestown mass murder.

What was not publicized in San Francisco back in 1974 and 1975 was:

Early in 1975, Elmer and Deanna Mertle began to seriously consider leaving the Temple.
As the Temple's membership grew, both Mertles felt that discipline was replacing love as the first principle of life in the Temple. At Temple meetings, they watched in horror as children and adults were publicly paddled for such acts of misconduct as smoking a cigarette, eating a Big Mac, or the cardinal sin of returning a Temple vehicle with a parking ticket stuck to the windshield. Jones did not deny that Temple discipline was tightening, but he justified the paddlings on two grounds. Many of the new members who had grown up wild on the streets of the big city needed to be impressed forcibly with the rules they were expected to live by. In addition, Jones explained, as the Temple grew and began to exercise its power in the community, it was absolutely necessary that Temple members appear to outsiders as paragons of good behavior. "We cannot allow our enemies the opportunity to exploit our weaknesses," he told Deanna Mertle after Elmer Mertle's sixteen-year-old daughter was paddled for a minor infraction.

Up to a point the Mertles accepted Jones's explanations, but as Jones's perspective grew ever more militantly political, the Mertles grew ever more unsure of their commitment to the cause. Deanna Mertle especially had never wanted to be a soldier in a ceaseless struggle against the capitalist power structure and she had difficulty understanding the sacrifices she was supposed to be making for a cause she did not believe in. She was also frankly horrified by Jones's sexual conduct and his interference in the sexual lives of his congregation.

Both Mertles were members of the Planning Commission, and during 1974 and 1975 Planning Commission meetings were becoming increasingly bizarre, especially with respect to Jones's sex life. It was not unusual for several hours of a meeting to be devoted to Jones's sex life, all to advertise the proposition that a night with Jim Jones was guaranteed to stimulate revolutionary zeal in revolutionaries of both sexes. He ranted about bourgeois sexual attitudes, insisting that members publicly confess their sexual fears and fantasies.
On another occasion, in a different mood, Jones forced a white man to perform cunnilingus on a black woman during a Planning Commission meeting as a public demonstration of his lack of racial prejudice.
While Jones contended that sexual frankness and communal urination were merely symbolic demonstrations of the community's openness, Deanna Mertle began to suspect that perhaps the real point was that the emperor had no clothes; and, what was worse, there was nothing this emperor seemed to like better than exhibiting himself to his subjects.
Awake in a Nightmare, Ethan Feinsod, pages 41-42.

Elmer and Deanna Mertle legally changed their names to Al and Jeanne Mills after they defected from the Temple. But that didn't save them; they and their younger daughter were murdered in their home in Berkeley, California, presumably by one or more of the surviving Temple goon squad members, shortly after the mass suicide in Guyana, and just some months after Jeanne published a book, Six Years with God, that revealed the inner workings of the Temple. Jim Jones had, before his death, made his wishes about Jeanne Mills very clear — he wanted her gone, eliminated, for saying bad things about him and his Temple.

And Jones was such a monster that...

Mama died [of cancer] in Jonestown ten days before the massacre, with Larry never leaving her bedside. She died without pain medication because Jim [Jones] had consumed it himself. For two months Larry watched our mother drift away from life without any relief from her agony until she finally succumbed to her lung cancer.
Seductive Poison, Deborah Layton, 1998, page 297.

You mean Jim Jones took a dying woman's pain-killers so he could get high on them himself? In a word, yes. Now that is cold, really cold. (But so is making 914 people, including their children and babies, commit suicide for you.)

Jim Jones passed the People's Temple off as the most successful drug and alcohol rehabilitation program in California for a while, but in the end, Jim Jones was whacked out on stolen drugs all of the time.5 His autopsy revealed that he had so much pentobarbital in his system that he would have died of an overdose if he had not built up such a huge tolerance to the stuff.6

That's quite some Humanitarian of the Year.
That's quite some Holy Man.
That's quite some foster father for 150 wards of the court.
That's quite some Director of a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program.

Obviously, some of the pundits didn't check the facts very closely before handing out the accolades. With drug and alcohol rehab programs, it seems like they rarely do. They seem to believe that if you are working with alcoholics and drug addicts, then you must be a saint, because nobody else wants that stinking job.

But hey, I guess we can cheerfully, mindlessly yammer the platitudes about how it was really a great organization because it really helped some people to get off of drugs and alcohol...

Also see the file on "Snake Oil" for descriptions of a "counselor's" schemes to force children into her "treatment center" for "co-dependency treatment".

Letters from Straight survivors with links to recent blogs, web pages, and other information:

  1. Anonymous.
  2. Anonymous.
  3. Kim's letter.
  4. Marcus Chatfield's interview with William White.


1) The Children of Jonestown, Kenneth Wooden, pages 109-111.

2) The Children of Jonestown, Kenneth Wooden, pages 20-24, 79, and 34-36.
Page 79: " many as 150 children were channeled through the foster care program into the homes of People's Temple members. ... Some California officials have estimated that Jones could have realized as much as $40,000 a month from that number of foster care children."

3) The Children of Jonestown, Kenneth Wooden, page 196.

4) The Children of Jonestown, Kenneth Wooden, pages 128-145.

5) Hearing the Voices of Jonestown, Mary McCormick Maaga, pages 91 to 96.

4) The Children of Jonestown, Kenneth Wooden, pages ??.

For more information, see:

  1. This is MUST reading. If you don't go read anything else, read this:
    Jon Krakauer, Loving Them to Death, Outside Magazine, October, 1995.
    — Excellent, must reading. Good story-telling, too. This covers a lot of the children's deaths and a lot of the issues with "tough-love" wilderness programs.

    (By the way, the "Jon Krakauer" who authored that article is the same Jon Krakauer as the one who is famous for the book "Into Thin Air", about the disastrous summer of deaths of climbers on Mount Everest. That book is a first-hand account of Krakauer's experiences while climbing Everest. So it is no accident or coincidence that Jon Krakauer is writing articles for Outside magazine.
    Then Krakauer wrote Under the Banner of Heaven, about some fanatical fundamentalist Mormons murdering people in Utah.)

    — HEAL : "We have compiled a lot of information, research, news articles, lawsuits, survivor/victim statements, and more on our site."

  3. == WWASP Survivors

  4. == "Paradise Cove" in Western Samoa

  5. A letter from a Straight survivor with links to recent blogs, web pages, and other information: Kim's letter.

  6. Marcus Chatfield's interview with William White.

  7. — information about Straight, Inc. and related recovery cult children's gulags.

  8. — Current news on The Straights and other recovery cults.

  9. — about Straight, the Seed, and other children's gulags.

  10. Straight, Inc. Survivors. (This site is currently down.) — articles about Straight, Inc.

  11. — BOOT CAMP: Cruelty, sadism, injury and death in locked residential facilities for troubled youth. Includes a good list of links to other articles about child abuse in the name of rehabilitation.

  12. — FICA — Fight Institutional Child Abuse

  13. — more recovery cult and children's gulags information.

  14. (Dead Link. Domain Name is now owned by "America's Buffalo Soldiers' Re-Enactors Association" — the heart of the Beast, where Anthony Haynes died.

Also do searches using your public library's access to EBSCO and other periodicals databases. The Arizona Republic newspaper has been particularly good at documenting the stories of child abuse in children's "boot camps" in Arizona and Utah. Many of the best articles on this subject are not directly accessible on the Internet (via a search engine like Google or Lycos); you have to go through a database like EBSCO or The Electric Library to get them (free).

But The Arizona Republic is directly accessible online:


Almost all of the following articles can be fetched through the Internet, from EBSCO or The Electric Library.

Arizona Republic Editorial: BOOT CAMP TALE A HORROR STORY / 14-YEAR-OLD DIED IN BIZARRE VERSION OF 'TOUGH LOVE', The Arizona Republic, 07-07-2001

Associated Press, Arizona boys boot camps' lose license: State alleges abuse, neglect after death of teen; operator has option of appeal, The Dallas Morning News, 08-27-1998.
— The Nicholaus Contreraz aftermath.

The Associated Press, Youth Boot Camps Face New Scrutiny, Newsday, 12-11-2000.
— The aftermath of the Gina Score death.

      Gov. Bill Janklow, who credits three years in the Marine Corps with turning his life around, called five years ago for boot camps as a way to teach teenage offenders the discipline and skills needed to set them straight.
      The Republican governor has blamed "rogue employees" for Score's death and other problems.
      But Democratic House Minority Leader Pat Haley said the problem is widespread.
      "What was put together here was a routinely abusive system," said Haley, a former prison guard. "It wasn't rogue employees. It was the system."

Monica Alonzo-Dunsmoor, CAMP OPERATOR HAS TROUBLED PAST, The Arizona Republic, 07-04-2001
— Also about Charles Long II's past.

Monica Alonzo-Dunsmoor, BOOT CAMP LEADER RECRUITING / STARTS NEW PROGRAM DESPITE PROBE, The Arizona Republic, 08-24-2001.
— Charles Long II starting new camp.

— Charles Long II starting new camp.

— Yes, The Arizona Republic is at it again, this time tracking the Arizona and Utah child-abuser and child-killer Steve Cartisano all the way to Samoa. This article also gives a bunch of information on the New Hope Academy and Pacific Coast Academy, both of which were run by Cartisano in Samoa. (So just how do you nominate a newspaper for the Pulitzer Prize, anyway?)

Alisa Blackwood, Associated Press Writer, Boot Camp Autopsy Results Released, AP Online, 08-24-2001.
— The autopsy of Anthony Haynes.

Alisa Blackwood, Associated Press Writer, Arizona Boot Camp Director Arrested, AP Online, 02-15-2002.
— The arrest of Charles Long II on charges of child abuse and murder.
This link is currently dead:

Alisa Blackwood, Associated Press Writer, Boot Camp Head Nabbed in Teen Death, AP Online, 02-16-2002.
— The arrest of Charles Long II for the death of Anthony Haynes.

— The aftermath of the Anthony Haynes death.

Madeleine Brand, Profile: South Dakota faces charges that its boot camp mistreats children and caused the death of one girl, Morning Edition (NPR), 07-13-2000.
— The story of Gina Score

Judy Briscoe, Breaking the cycle of violence: a rational approach to at-risk youth, Vol. 61, Federal Probation, 09-01-1997.
— A scholarly tome on superpredators and other violent youth.

Andrew Buncombe in Washington, Boy `forced to eat mud' dies in US boot camp, Independent, 07-05-2001.
— Another report of the death of Anthony Haynes at the Buffalo Soldiers camp, with this note:
'Bill Lanford, who led paramedics to the camp on Sunday, said that many of the children were crying when they arrived. He said: "It was very disturbing. We were working and the counselors were more interested in disciplining the kids."'

Betsy Carpenter, Taking nature's cure, U.S. News & World Report, 06-26-1995.
— A fairly balanced, interesting discussion of the pros and cons of wilderness camps. Note: wilderness camps, not necessarily "tough-love boot camps". One of the things the article discusses is how often the "camp experience" doesn't work. One parent remarked, "It gave him a 'new, negative strength'", and he came back with the attitude, "If I can survive that camp, I can survive anything. I don't need your bullshit."
Indeed. Why do you think they send Marine recruits to boot camp? To make tough killers out of them, of course, not to make them into law-abiding Christian pacifists. Go rent the videotape of "Full Metal Jacket" for Stanley Kubrik's slant on it.

Julie Cart, A Puzzling Death at Boys Ranch; California youth died amid questions about his care at Arizona program for juvenile offenders. Policy of sending kids out of state also scrutinized., Los Angeles Times, 06-14-1998.
— About the death of Nicholaus Contreraz at the Arizona Boys' Ranch.

Julie Cart, California and the West; 'Pattern of Abuse' Found in Arizona Youth Camp Probe; Investigation: Report on circumstances of Sacramento teenager's death triggers denial of operating license for the paramilitary-style facility that deals with juvenile offenders, Los Angeles Times, 08-27-1998.
— The story of Nicholaus Contreraz and the Arizona Boys Ranch.

Paulette Chu, Troubled teens don't need boot camp abuse...., University Wire, 07-16-2001.

Adam Cohen, Is This A Camp Or Jail?, Time magazine, January 26, 1998 Vol. 151 No. 3.
— A good overview of the nightmare.

— Call for Congressional inquiry after the death of Nicholas Contreraz:

"It now appears that little has been done either by the state of California or by the federal government since 1986 to assure that these children are not placed in these facilities and financed with inappropriate federal funds. And it is likely that the very same abuse is occurring with both in-state and out-of-state placements by many states at a cost to the federal taxpayers of many millions of dollars a year. We intend to find out if that is the case, to force the states to stop misusing the federal dollars, and force the federal government to more tightly oversee claims for federal reimbursements from the states."

"I find it hard to believe that HHS, after being warned about abuse by California in 1986 and again by GAO in 1990 about 'systematic and ... widespread' abuses, has not properly controlled these improper uses of federal funds. We were told by President Reagan's HHS Secretary that changes were being made; it appears that little ever changed."
— Congressman George Miller of California, the senior Democrat on the House Resources Committee, 07-30-1998.

Jessica Crutcher, Boy's death should raise concerns about child abuse at boot camps, University Wire, 07-11-2001
— The Anthony Haynes story.

David Dishneau, Associated Press Writer, FBI Probes Md. 'Boot Camps', AP Online, 12-16-1999.
— "The FBI is investigating the trouble at Maryland's youth boot camps after allegations of guards abusing delinquents led to the ouster of the program's chief, while a new report found more than two dozen abuses."

Martha Ezzard, SOMETHING TO BUILD ON: Program gives troubled youth a foundation, The Atlanta Journal, 03-30-1998.
— About Georgia's failed boot camp program:

The Justice Department's 38-page report, which detailed abuse in boot camps, lack of education and mental health services throughout the system, ought to concern everyone. It's not just putting kids away that makes communities safer, but also whether they come out any better for the experience. With a 70 percent recidivism rate, something's not working, despite Commissioner Eugene Walker's commitment to more diversion programs and follow-up for troubled kids.

James Garbarino, Boys who go bad, The Toronto Star, 04-24-1999.
— What to do with murderous boys? Garbarino says that boot camps don't work; they shame and traumatize the boys, and teach the boys that violence is how you solve your problems and get people to do what you want.
— In other words, boot camps teach young thugs to be tougher, more violent and more insane young thugs, just as callous, mean and crazy as their "drill instructors".
— It isn't any coincidence then, that many of the boot camps end up being partly run by "old-comers", the most senior students, who work as slave-drivers for the adult staff. They were abused by the adult staff, and then they turn it around and work at abusing the younger, newer inmates for those adult staffers. Remember that Anthony Haynes was under the direct command and supervision of a 17-year-old assistant counselor when he died. It was a 17-year-old kid who kept Anthony Haynes standing in the blazing 111-degree desert sun, in a black uniform, for four hours, without any water. Where do you think that young "drill sergeant" learned to be so sadistic? At the Buffalo Soldiers' boot camp, of course.

Carl Ginsburg, Helen Demeranville, Sticks and Stones: The Jailing of Mentally Ill Kids, The Nation, Vol. 269, 12-20-1999.

A juvenile who is suffering from mental illness should be treated in a specialized institution under independent medical management.
— Rule 53, United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of Their Liberty

Nelson Smith, a mentally ill 17-year-old, spent most of last year in Louisiana's youth prison system. At Jetson Correctional Center for Youth just outside Baton Rouge, a place that Nelson said "looks nice but has bad people inside," the boy was beaten and kicked by guards. "One guard unzipped his pants and threatened to piss on me," the boy said. "He hit me over and over again on the head with a table until it broke. He came at me again and hit me on the head. It was like I passed out. I can't remember. It was like I was underwater."

Jake Ginsky ([email protected]), Drug Mistreatment Feeding teens to the correctional complex, Boulder Weekly, March 2-8, 2000.
— There's big money to be made in diagnosing kids who only dabbled with drugs a couple of times as hard-core addicts, in need of imprisonment and residential treatment. And once in there, the parents can't even get their children back because the staff "experts" say that the kids need more treatment.
And it's also a cute way to force either the kids or their parents, or both, to go to Alcoholics Anonymous or Al-Anon meetings. The staff say that the parents are "co-dependent", so they have to go to Al-Anon and learn the 12-Step way of life if they want to get their children back.
— There are tens of thousands of adolescents whom a raft of experts say are coerced into entering drug treatment each year by schools, parents or the courts, despite not having any serious drug problem.
— Joel Brown of the Center for Educational Research and Development estimates that "less than 10 percent" of the kids who enter treatment at the insistence of their schools actually have problems.

David Glovin, REBUILDING JUVENILE JUSTICE, The Record (Bergen County, NJ), 06-05-1994.

"Delinquent Justice" was the result of a yearlong study by a team of journalists, who spent more than 5,000 hours investigating how New Jersey handles young offenders. Their research took them from Paterson to Camden, from Ohio to Florida.
      What they found is appalling. A decade after restructuring, the system often fails to reform or punish the state's delinquents, and it freely allows violent kids back on the streets.

Gordon Gregory, Correspondent, The Oregonian, Deadly discipline? Some say unregulated wilderness schools are a threat to troubled teens' lives, The Oregonian, 02-12-2000.
— Utah officials who cracked down on wilderness schools in the 1990s following the deaths of three teen-agers say Oregon is courting trouble by allowing similar camps free rein.

Larry Hartstein and Jennifer Brett, Operator of ranch was felon, DA says, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 3/18/00.

On the Internet, the Forsyth County Boys Ranch promotes itself as a structured environment for boys with attention deficit hyperactive disorder. ...
      A different image emerged during a GBI raid this week. Authorities say seven boys, ages 6-14, were sharing one room in a filthy house where guns, drugs and pornography were present.
      The ranch's operator, Sean David Mask, 33, and associates Matthew William Carpenter, 34, and Wayne Charles Carpenter, 27, were charged with seven counts each of contributing to the deprivation of a minor.
      Mask also was charged with six counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Agents found four rifles, a shotgun and a revolver in the house at 4416 Canton Highway, which was littered with dog feces, authorities said.
      "These people have no training, qualifications, nothing, and one guy with a significant criminal record is handing out medication," Forsyth County District Attorney Phil Smith said. "There was no supervision at all from what we can tell."

Seth Hettena, Associated Press Writer, Md. Boot Camp Probe Opens, AP Online, 12-13-1999.
— "A criminal investigation has been launched to determine whether guards at three paramilitary-style boot camps for juvenile delinquents committed child abuse, Maryland State Police said."

Seth Hettena, Associated Press Writer, Md. Boot Camp Probe Opens, AP Online, 12-14-1999.
— "A criminal investigation has begun to determine whether guards at three boot camps for juvenile delinquents committed child abuse. `There does appear to have been a pattern of inappropriate behavior,' Maj. Tom Bowers, chief of state police detectives, said."

Seth Hettena, Associated Press Writer, Five Maryland Officials Forced Out, AP Online, 12-15-1999.
— "The secretary of the state Department of Juvenile Justice was forced out along with four other officials Wednesday amid allegations that juvenile delinquents at Maryland's military-style boot camps were abused by guards."

Seth Hettena, Associated Press Writer, Five Maryland Officials Forced Out, AP Online, 12-16-1999.
— "Military-style boot camps should continue reforming the state's juvenile delinquents, but frequent abuse uncovered at the facilities must stop, Gov. Parris Glendening says."

Seth Hettena, Associated Press Writer, Abuse Found at Md. 'Boot Camps', AP Online, 12-16-1999.
— "The FBI has begun investigating a possible civil rights violation at one of Maryland's juvenile boot camps, where findings of abuses against delinquents led to the ouster of the head of the juvenile justice department."

Seth Hettena, Associated Press Writer, States Reassessing Boot Camps, AP Online, 12-26-1999.
— "Maryland has joined a growing number of states reassessing their rigorous boot camp programs for troubled youth after investigators found that guards administered beatings instead of sticking to military discipline.
— "Five juvenile justice officials lost their jobs earlier this month after an impromptu investigation ordered by Gov. Parris Glendening found a pattern of abuse by guards that began shortly after the first of three camps opened in 1996.
— "Research has found that the camps do little to deter youths from committing crimes, concerns that earlier led California and Colorado to close boot camps."

Ed Housewright / Staff Writer of The Dallas Morning News, IN THEIR FACES: Kids' boot camp sends tough message; critics say it's the wrong one, The Dallas Morning News, 11-19-1997.

      "For the most part, what it does is push them down even further and make them feel more alienated."
      Several mothers of boot camp graduates said the local program failed in their eyes because their kids have already committed additional offenses and have been sent to the juvenile detention center.
      "It helped him out some," said the mother of a 14-year-old. "He was more disciplined. He seemed like he was a little bit more mature. But it didn't last."

David Jackson, Chicago Tribune, Broken Teens in Correctional Facilities Left in Wake of Private Gain, Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News, 09-27-1999.
— Describes problems at Florida's for-profit Pahokee center which houses "moderate-risk" youths, for a price.
Visit the Chicago Tribune online:
Also see Jennifer Peltz's article.

Barbara Kessler / Staff Writer of The Dallas Morning News, Teen says boot camp crossed line into abuse: W. Dallas center denies mistreatment occurred, The Dallas Morning News, 06-18-1999.
— Boot camp abuse in Texas.

Barbara Kessler / Staff Writer of The Dallas Morning News, Official says boot camp too harsh with boy: Facility changes rules, denies wrongdoing, The Dallas Morning News, 06-23-1999.
— The second half of the above story.

Barbara Kessler / Staff Writer of The Dallas Morning News, JUVENILE JUSTICE?: Verdict still out on effectiveness of boot camps, The Dallas Morning News, 07-07-1999.
— "A decade after the rise of boot camps as a popular interim measure for juvenile offenders, the verdict on their effectiveness is still out. Juvenile judges and politicians tend to like the extra tool. Some parents and kids say boot camps are helpful. Much of the academic research says they aren't.
      National studies show that recidivism rates are often no better for juvenile boot camps than for juvenile jails or probation."

Lou Kilzer, News Staff Writer, Children were isolated and hogtied, they report, Denver Rocky Mountain News, 11-15-1998.
— "Matt Grise is not alone.
— "The 15-year-old honor student from Rifle captured Colorado's attention this month with reports that he is locked inside a fundamentalist Christian compound in Louisiana. He committed no crime but is not even free to talk to his grandmother.
— "Many American teen-agers share his fate."

Lou Kilzer, News Staff Writer, Abuse allegations fly / Government investigations, lawsuits claim that youths were mistreated; Teen Help denies charges., Denver Rocky Mountain News, 07-20-1999.

  • This article describes trouble at the Teen Help facilities. Teen Help and its "World Wide Association of Specialty Programs" acts as an umbrella organization that represents several facilities around the world. They have been charged with many crimes.
  • This is a very good article that you can get off of the Internet through EBSCO or the Electric Library.
  • See the longer description above.

Foster Klug, Associated Press Writers, Death Suit With Boot Camp Settled Relevancy, AP Online, 03-07-2002.
— The Anthony Haynes suit settled.

Jon Krakauer, Loving Them to Death, Outside Magazine, October, 1995.
— Excellent, must reading. Good story-telling, too. This covers a lot of the children's deaths and a lot of the issues with "tough-love" wilderness programs.

Michele Landsberg, Getting tough on youth crime doesn't pay, The Toronto Star, 04-04-1999.

      "So that's our Canadian contradiction: every time we're confronted with the results of our dysfunctional `tough on youth crime' approach, we call for more and tougher punishments.
      Politicians are glad to exploit and whip up our fears.
      Sorry, Kimberly. You've had a tough life so far. And when adults committed crimes against you, there were no politicians around to `get tough' with them."

Daniel LeDuc, Washington Post Staff Writer, Glendening Orders Probe of Abuse at Youth Camps, The Washington Post, 12-08-1999.
— More on the Maryland camps. "Gov. Parris N. Glendening said yesterday he was disturbed by allegations of abuse and excessive force by guards at Maryland's boot camps for teenage offenders and ordered investigators to report back to him within a week on activities at the three facilities."

Los Angeles Times staff, The Nation; Boot Camp Chief Held in Boy's Death; Crime: A 14-year-old died in July at the Arizona site for troubled youth. Two other staffers are also arrested., Los Angeles Times, 02-16-2002.
— The Anthony Haynes case.

Los Angeles Times staff, The Nation; Boot Camp Counselor Guilty in Death, Los Angeles Times, 02-21-2002.
— Camp counselor Troy A. Hutty pled guilty to negligent homicide in the death of Anthony Haynes in a plea arrangement that stipulates that Hutty will receive probation. It sounds like a deal for testimony against Charles Long II: Prosecutors said that they wanted to get the truth in the case.

Los Angeles Times staff, Camp Chief Unfazed by Murder Charge, Los Angeles Times, 02-24-2002.
— Charles Long II says he will beat the child abuse and murder charges.

Ron Martz, Miller fires back over justice report: Caught by surprise: Angry governor says Feb. 13 letter had not reached his desk, and he blasts Civil Rights Division, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, 02-21-1998

Ron Martz, Juvenile justice system defends efforts: State officials attempt to counter criticism leveled by the U.S. Justice Department, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, 07-31-1998.

Milledgeville — Six months after the U.S. Department of Justice issued a blistering report on Georgia's juvenile justice system, state officials are making a more public effort to counter what they say is unfair and, in some cases, unfounded criticism.
Federal officials threatened to file suit against the state if conditions were not corrected within 49 days. But after several meetings between Gov. Zell Miller and federal officials, an agreement was reached in which the state said it would spend $65 million to address specific shortcomings identified in the Justice report.
Ultimately, the fix included shutting down the Georgia boot camps.

Minneapolis Star Tribune staff, Arizona Boys Ranch denied license after abuse inquiry // The nationally recognized paramilitary-style boot camp for juvenile offenders came under fire after a California teen died there, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 08-27-1998
— The Nicholaus Contreraz aftermath.

E.J. Montini, ACCESSORY BEFORE, AND AFTER, THE FACT, The Arizona Republic, 02-17-2002.
— Commentary on the Anthony Haynes murder case: 'Charles F. "Chuck" Long II's twisted version of a "tough love" program exists because we allow it to exist.'

E.J. Montini, COUNTERATTACK BY A BESIEGED BUFFALO SOLDIER, The Arizona Republic, 03-05-2002.
— Commentary on the Anthony Haynes murder case: The child-killer '"Colonel" Charles F. "Chuck" Long II is very angry at how unfair the world is being to him.

Maureen O'Hagan, Washington Post Staff Writer, Md. to Settle Suit Over Abuse at Boot Camps; State to Pay $4.6 Million for Assaults by Staff That One Lawyer Called 'Sinister', The Washington Post, 03-30-2002.

A class-action lawsuit was filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore on behalf of youths who went through the state of Maryland's abusive juvenile boot camps — along with a proposed settlement reached between the youths and the state.
      The legal actions stem from allegations that staff members regularly assaulted youths who were sent to the three military-style camps in Western Maryland from 1996 to 1999, the year the camps were ordered closed. Among the injuries inflicted by camp guards were broken bones, chipped teeth, lacerations, deep bruises and limb dislocations that required surgery to correct.
      Under the proposed settlement, which involves 890 youths and 14 plaintiffs' attorneys, the state will pay $4.6 million. The youths were ages 14 to 17 when they were sent to the camps.

Jennifer Peltz and Gary Kane, Palm Beach Post Staff Writers, PAHOKEE JUVENILE CENTER IN HOT SEAT, The Palm Beach Post, 07-11-1999.
— Describes the problems at the Pahokee center, run by the for-profit Correctional Services Corp. of Sarasota, Florida. The Pahokee center is the only facility of its kind in Florida. Amid razor wire and surveillance cameras, it houses 350 teens considered "moderate risks" to society.
Also see David Jackson's article.

Manuel Perez-Rivas, Washington Post Staff Writer, System Fails Youth Probationers, Report Says, The Washington Post, 03-01-2000.
— "Maryland's system of probation for juvenile offenders is so troubled that it is failing to provide youths with sufficient services to keep them from reentering lives of crime, according to a report released yesterday by a gubernatorial task force."

Manuel Perez-Rivas, Washington Post Staff Writer, Md. Report Spells Out Overhaul of Youth Justice; Child Advocates Say Questions Remain, The Washington Post, 09-16-2000.
— "Maryland's problem-plagued juvenile justice system should boost services to troubled youths both inside the system and upon their return to the community, strengthen internal monitoring, and revamp the agency's organizational structure, according to a report released yesterday."

Carla Rivera, COLUMN ONE; Helping Girls Go Straight; Tailoring rehab efforts to serve growing ranks of female offenders takes more than painting walls pink. Early motherhood, past abuse and self-esteem are among key issues, Los Angeles Times, 06-27-2001.

Robbie Sherwood, BOOT CAMP BILL PASSED BY PANEL / WOULD CRACK DOWN ON SOME PROGRAMS, The Arizona Republic, 03-27-2002.
— The battle to get a law that governs children's boot camps.

Robbie Sherwood, BOOT CAMP BILL GETS NEW LIFE IN HOUSE, The Arizona Republic, 04-10-2002.
— The battle to get a law that governs children's boot camps.

Christopher Smith, What Happened Out Here? A death in the wilderness raises disturbing questions about boot camps for troubled teens, Outside magazine, June 1995.
— Also see the October issue for Jon Krakauer's excellent 'MUST READ' article,"Loving Them To Death".

Jane Spencer, Tough Love, Teen Death..., Newsweek, 07-16-2001.
— The Anthony Haynes death.

Maia Szalavitz, Camp fear, Redbook, 03-01-2002.
— A good overview of many children's deaths in "boot camps". Highly recommended. You can get it off of the Internet through EBSCO or the Electric Library databases.

Vancouver Sun staff, Spare the rod and save the child: Harsh punishment for young offenders doesn't work, Vancouver Sun, 01-24-2001.

      Commissioned in the aftermath of the Columbine high school massacre, the report is a combined effort of such respected agencies as the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Centre for Injury Prevention and Control, the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. It offers findings that will likely dismay those who advocate a more draconian approach to the punishment of youth crime.
      It skewers as a self-comforting myth the belief that getting tough with juvenile offenders will deter them from future violence.

Judi Villa, Brent Whiting and Charles Kelly, Monica Alonzo-Dunsmoor and Karina Bland, BOOT CAMP CHIEF ARRESTED / DIRECTOR ACCUSED OF MURDERING TEENAGER, The Arizona Republic, 02-16-2002.
— Charles Long II charged with the death of Anthony Haynes.

Dennis Wagner, CALIF. BOYS RANCH REPORT RIPS DES OVER TEEN SAFETY, The Arizona Republic, 07-09-1998.
— California investigators delivered a brutal indictment of the Arizona Department of Economic Security for failing to protect children at Arizona Boys Ranch.

Dennis Wagner, 'A PATTERN OF ABUSE' / INSTITUTION WON'T CLOSE, CHIEF VOWS, The Arizona Republic, 08-27-1998.
— The Arizona Boys Ranch refuses to close after the death of 16-year-old Nicholaus Contreraz.

Dennis Wagner, CAMP STAYS OPEN AMID ABUSE QUERY, The Arizona Republic, 07-13-2000.
This is the story of Charles Long II's Buffalo Soldiers camp staying open even while the FBI investigated charges of child abuse while camping on the Fort Apache Reservation in Whiteriver. (The FBI found evidence of his guilt, too, but the Attorney General's office didn't prosecute the case.)

Dennis Wagner, BOOT CAMP HERO OR A CON MAN? / PAST SHADY FOR 'COLONEL', The Arizona Republic, 08-06-2000.
— About Charles Long II's past.
This reporter covered the Anthony Haynes story:
[email protected] or (602) 444-8874.
or at [email protected]

Brent Whiting, Christina Leonard and Judi Villa, Also contributing: Monica Alonzo-Dunsmoor; KIDS TELL OF CAMP BEATINGS / SAY THEY WERE KICKED, PUNCHED The Arizona Republic, 07-04-2001
— The Anthony Haynes story.
[email protected] or (602) 444-6925.

Brent Whiting and Judi Villa, DEATH AT BOOT CAMP SPARKS INVESTIGATION, The Arizona Republic, 07-03-2001.
— About the death of Anthony Haynes.

Brent Whiting, BOOT CAMP DEATH PROBE TO TAKE TIME, The Arizona Republic, 07-08-2001.
— The probe of the Anthony Haynes death.

Juan Williams, Analysis: Working with troubled boys, Talk of the Nation (NPR), 05-30-2001.

John Ydstie, Profile: More and more teens coming forward with charges of abuse against juvenile facilities in South Dakota, Morning Edition (NPR), 07-14-2000.
— More gory details about South Dakota's Plankinton youth facility where Gina Score died.

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