Cedu Documentary – Selling the Schools – Cedu Brochures



Brochures, circa 2000, for the Cedu Schools. (click to enlarge).

I invite you to look at the glossy images below, and compare that with the testimonials from ex-Cedu (and Cedu-type) schools, listed at Cafety.org [here and here] and Fornits.com.

In the forums at Cafety and Fornits, ex-students, and a few staff and parents, share stories of invasive and abusive programs, run by untrained and often dangerous individuals, whose primary qualification for working with troubled youth (or young people sent away by wealthy, but irresponsible parents), is that they were and are extremely troubled themselves.

But in the brochures?

The only thing we have to fear is…advertising. What happened to the idea of “truth in advertising?” What kind of parent sends their child away, based on advertising? What kind of child gets sent to a Cedu-type school?

“Saving Lives, Healing Families, and Creating Hope since 1967,” is the mission statement on the front of the brochure [top image]. Was this true?

Was Cedu a school in 1967? When did it become one? What were the roots of Cedu?

Cedu Schools were bought by the Brown schools in the late 1990s, then closed in 2004. But Cedu-type schools abound.

Mt. Bachelor, DeSisto, Elan, Swift River, Tranquility Bay, and more. It’s a growing, mostly unregulated industry.

  • What rights to teenagers have to determine the course of their lives? What rights should teenagers have once they are sent away to boarding, “reform” or “therapeutic” programs? None? Some? What are the rights of a teenager? What should they be?
  • What happened to staff people who worked at Cedu? Has there ever been a class-action lawsuit against the Cedu schools? What about schools that hire ex-Cedu employees? Are these employees required to inform employers about previous involvement with the controversial school?

Or do they pretend it never happened?

  • Do ex-students have a right to speak critically about their treatment? What rights do adults, who’ve been through these schools as young people, have in reporting it today? What outlets exist for addressing and correcting the damage that has been done?
  • What can we do to make these issues public in the minds of educators and school administrators? In the minds of the creators of mental health programs in public and private schools?

What would you say to a parent who’s considering sending a child to a school like Cedu, and holding a glossy brochure as a promise for a better future?

How a Cult Spawned the Tough Love Industry

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About Liam Scheff

"Author, Artist, Film, Permaculture." Liam Scheff is a writer, artist and stand-up lecturer on issues that people usually don't make comic books about. (Visit liamscheff.com). Liam's highly-praised book "Official Stories" reveals the complex details behind the myths of our times.

Posted on August 17, 2008, in Surviving Cedu. Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. Susan McDonough

    Do you have info on the HYDE schools? My son went to CEDU and had a horrible experience there.

  2. I know that if you go to the above listed link for Fornits, there are some sub forums for Hyde schools, which you can find many links to many other sites there as well, official and non-official.

    Here it is again:
    http://www.fornits.com/phpbb/viewforum.php?f=43&sid=7f8442d7c17e96f3669b77ad7fc9fa90

  3. Hi Susan,

    I don’t have any materials for the Hyde school. What can you tell me about it? Did your son also go there? Fill me in.

    Liam

  4. Cedu Research Notes:

    Coalition of ex-students seeking program transparency and teen rights:

    http://www.cafety.org/

    Coalition of professional therapists seeking oversight of teen programs:

    http://astart.fmhi.usf.edu/

    “An alarming residential care phenomenon that has been occurring since the early 1990s has been linked to reports of mistreatment, abuse, and death.”

    fact sheet for prospective parents:
    http://astart.fmhi.usf.edu/AStartDocs/factsheet.pdf

    ex-student testimony:
    http://cafety.youthrights.org/wiki/index.php?title=Submit_Your_Testimony

    Gov oversight –

    http://cafety.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=573&Itemid=95

    cedu forum:
    http://www.fornits.com/phpbb/viewforum.php?f=11&sid=7035ff676754282dc7340cfd43e32933

    death on campus:

    SPOKESMAN-REVIEW Newsfiles on Rocky Mountain Academy (1994-1999)

    Tuesday, July 19, 1994

    BOY HANGS HIMSELF IN DORMITORY
    http://www.teenliberty.org/RMA.htm
    Section: THE HANDLE – Page: B3

    http://www.mountain-news.com/articles/2005/03/31/news/news1.txt

    I Me wrote on Jul 27, 2008 11:50 AM:

    ” CEDU student 1981-1983. My memories are not all good ones and I am still angry about the lies and trash that the staff told other staff about me and others from the school. Several people that I went to school with committed suicide because of the head games. Some came out of the Summit workshop thoroughly messed up for life. The closing does not make me happy-it just validates everything that I knew about the schools from the time I went through it. CEDU did not save my life, I did, it did not give me a new understanding of myself, I allowed myself to learn from my own personal experiences. Anyone who says that it was CEDU who saved them needs to do a reality check. Good luck promer CEDU students–I hope that some day that the scars will heal and the brain washing may be undone. ”

    A note responding to a Mother Jones article that goes to the ‘we visited Cedu’ idea:

    http://www.motherjones.com/news/update/2008/05/when-is-tough-love-torture.html

    Surprise inspections would really be the only thing that could possibly show *some* places in their true light, but you could visit CEDU unannounced any day of the week and it would look like a ski lodge. Granted, all of the people cuddling with each other may look weird, but everyone seems to be smiling, so I guess its ok. You’d have to actually pull a surprise inspection on a rap or propheet to really see the kind of stuff that happened. And getting a kid to snitch to an inspector while they were still at the place? Forget it. Both you and I know what would happen to us if we did that.

    Rape (one of the known incidents):
    http://www.teenliberty.org/RMA.htm
    FEDERAL JURY SIDES WITH WOMAN IN RAPE LAWSUIT

    EMPLOYER ORDERED TO PAY $164,595; COUNTY HASN’T FILED
    CRIMINAL CHARGES
    Section: THE HANDLE

    Author: By Susan Drumheller Staff writer
    Illustration: Color Photo
    Caption: Armstrong

    An “intervention specialist” who delivers kids to private behavioral schools and camps in North Idaho was ordered by a federal jury to pay a former employee $164,595 for allegedly drugging and raping her.
    Twila Stephenson filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against Richard Armstrong of Bonners Ferry, Idaho,
    in November 1996, accusing him of slipping drugs into her drinks, then raping her.”

    ——

    An article on the closing:

    http://www.mountain-news.com/articles/2005/03/31/news/news1.txt

    A FORMER STUDENT SPEAKS OUT

    A former CEDU student, Hannah Hoffman, 30, “graduated” from the facility in December 1993 and is currently studying anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley.

    “It is a great relief to hear of the closing of CEDU schools,” Hoffman said. “Although the concept of helping troubled youth seems honorable, the execution of such a concept was disastrous in this setting. Many of us can now move forward knowing that no other adolescents will have to go through such a traumatic experience.”

    Not all children and parents share Hoffman’s feeling about CEDU and a fund has been established to assist CEDU staff members who are now unemployed. Details of that fund have not been announced.

    WHAT CAUSED

    THE DOWNFALL?

    Several CEDU employees pointed to pending litigation against CEDU Education and citations received by the schools as probable contributors to the company’s downfall.

    In mid-February the California Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing Division, issued several citations at the two Running Springs campuses. At a non-compliance conference on March 10, CEDU reportedly admitted it had systematically violated the rights of children under its care. However, a copy of that document was not made available at press time.

    Two lawsuits are currently pending in San Bernardino Superior Court against CEDU. The first involves a New York father and his daughter alleging CEDU interfered with their right to speak, write and visit.

    George Locker from New York, who filed his suit in September of last year, explained “there are a number of lawsuits pending in San Bernardino County, and also in Idaho. In Idaho, a group of parents and children allege a pattern of neglect and abuse at two CEDU facilities, one of which closed soon after that lawsuit was commenced.

    “As the truth has emerged about CEDU,” Locker stated, “it simply became unviable.”

    The family of Daniel Yuen filed the second suit. Yuen, 17, was last seen leaving CEDU on Feb. 8, 2004, just two weeks after he arrived in Running Springs. He was 16 at the time of his disappearance.

    “My son was last seen in the San Diego area,” the boy’s father, Wayne Yuen stated. “I wished I never sent my son over there and he does not have to run away. He still is missing and we wish he is safe and coming home soon.”

    /////////////

  5. OMG!!!! “Time tested”?!?! “Proven methods”?!?!?!

    What the HELL are they even talking about?????

    “College Prep”?!?!?! WHAT????????!!!!!!!

    They should have been sued just for all the LIES that are in the brochure!!

    Getting “English Units” for smooshing and telling people your cop outs does NOT prepare you for college… or normal human behavior for that matter.

    “Math Units” for chopping wood 30 hours a week DOES NOT PREPARE YOUR FOR COLLEGE.

    “History Units” for drawing a picture of my INNER CHILD DOES NOT PREPARE YOU FOR COLLEGE!!!

    And where is this “Proof” they so clearly own? That it worked for who? Mel’s bank account?! There are hundreds of us that can beg to differ with these insane claims in this “brochure”…. HUNDREDS of graduates who were NEVER ASKED HOW THE PROGRAM WORKED FOR THEM.

    I’m so frustrated.

    Who wrote this brochure anyway. I wanna have a little chat with them.

  6. You know, that’s an interesting line: “Time-tested and proven.”

    But no list of “proofs” or studies, or “tests.” (I assume there were tests, if it’s “tested” over “time?”)

    Where are the studies that show that the Synanon-type heroin cure is an effective ‘therapeutic treatment’ for “troubled teens.”

    They’re not listed. No “tests,” no studies, no clinical assessment, no validation by any professional association. (Imperfect as professional organizations can be, shouldn’t there be some third-party oversight of a program that acts as a captor and keeper of hundreds of children?)

    No, not for Cedu-type programs.

    Isn’t that interesting?

    So the question goes, what kind of parent do you have to be to send your child to away for 2.5 years to a “time-tested” “back-country,” rural, isolated and locked-down mountain-wilderness ‘campus’ (that students are not permitted to leave – and hardly able, given the local physical environment).

    Three factors are true:

    * You’ve got to have money, or be willing to spend money you don’t have,

    and

    * You’ve got to be willing to part with your child/teen for years at at time,

    and,

    * You’ve got to be willing to risk your child’s safety and well-being on a bet that somebody else can do the work of a parent better than you were able or willing to.

    “Solutions for Troubled Teens.”

    What’s a “troubled teen?”

    Is the neglected child of a wealthy drug-abusing celebrity a “troubled-teen?”

    Is the abused child of an upper-middle class violent alcoholic businessman a “troubled teen?”

    What kind of “troubled teen” were you?

    Most of the young people who I knew at Cedu were children of neglectful, narcissistic parents. Some, but not all, and not most, had a problem with drugs or alcohol. Many had been sexually abused. Many were adopted.

    Many had parents who’d made a life-long practice of paying third parties to do the disciplining for them – parents who sent their kids away as punishment, but then spoiled them at home.

    A small, very small minority of the kids I knew at Cedu, I would classify as anti-social personalities. I can think of only a few who were probably on their way to being sociopathic. Most were a mix of confused, traumatized, alternately punished severely and spoiled, and neglected coupled with being undisciplined; many had divorced parents among whom there was a disparity in treatment – one draconian parent, one permissive and un-disciplining parent.

    If I think of it from the perspective of an adult today, my mind struggles with the idea of letting someone else be a parent to one’s own children.

    I think of the years I personally spent alone, raising myself, or being shipped back and forth to one set of truly immature parents or another, who then left me to take care of my own needs for the most part.

    My life story makes me terribly aware of how unnecessary the Cedu schools are for parents who bother to make being parents the priority – over career, over ego, over alcohol, over personal fears and failings.

    And where a child is truly behaving in an inexplicable manner, due to unknown and perhaps unprovoked factors, what good does isolation on a mountaintop in Cedu-type school do to address the real problems (whatever they are)?

  7. Wow, I was not a rich kid by all means.. came from Chicago with the biggest chip on my shoulder and felt the whole world could , well kiss my @#$%.. Thanks to the Tony Mills, Eric meltzer, Twila. Well I am 43 now and have 2 awesome boys and I am a better person from it. now do not get me wrong i know there was some messed up stuff like catching john peeking through our dorm windows etc.. kinda creepy.. but in all.. i made and met some awesome people along the way.. so looking for ya.. Eric, Bill Mosier, Raymond Roth, Drina Deniro ( yes roberts daughter) 1983 or so…..

  8. i graduated from the elan school in 1998. to any parent thinking of sending their child away, please consider it more seriously than you are. your child may be mentally abused, humiliated, tortured, physically abused and come out of one of these places with less self esteem and more problems than when they went in. On the other hand they MAY be “cured”. you roll the dice, but think more than twice.

  9. Wow bitterness is all I see. Fact is I went to a CEDU school BCA (Boulder Creek Academy). Because of this schools staff I was able to progress in a positive manner not only then but now. Children that have problems do need help and sometime these schools are not the solution for extremly distrubed children. Parents can’t hold a school of any kind responsible for self mutilation, the childs behavior, etc. I was a troubled teen and I did have many down falls which could have killed me if I had not gone to this school. As for the “Rich kids” the kids that attended the schools came from all different backgrounds. I you want a so called “TEST” results then take a look a good look not just at me but many of my closest friends. I have learned so much from those at BCA and would gladly go back!!! Because of this school I better person and I was able to graduate high school and UNM!

  10. Hi Brandi,

    Glad the school worked for you, but you seem to, with a broad stroke, dismiss each and every other individual’s criticisms of the place, and of the Cedu schools.

    I imagine that your comment is going to draw some angry responses, for the reason described above. I’d rather send you to fornits to fight it out. I don’t really want to turn the blog into a personal fight between you and everyone else.

    Fornits:
    http://www.fornits.com/phpbb/viewforum.php?f=11

    You wrote that a Cedu-type school might not be a good choice for ‘extremely disturbed’ kids. Why not?

    How about ‘not disturbed,’ or just ‘troubled?’ Who would benefit from the Cedu program, in your view?

    And on that note, can we make sure we’re describing the same thing?

    Did you also have ‘raps, smushing, propheets, bans, fulltimes,’ etc? Who were your staff, and how were they trained? Were you, like Cedu students, forced to hear the sordid, violent and sexual histories of the adults who were supposed to be your teachers?

    Were you also required to tell them your sexual and personal histories, in excruciating and gory detail?

    That was the Cedu program. I don’t know if that is what you experienced, of course, though other BCA students certainly relate that they did.

    You know, a lot of people do feel like their education was stolen, as well as a great deal of money, by the Cedu schools. I’m not sure you’re showing any sympathy to their stories. Perhaps you could have a look through the various fornits files, and comments throughout my site, and see if you come across an experience had by kids that you don’t approve of?

    In any case, glad the program worked for you. Does that mean, however, that the program was above criticism, or that it did no damage? Would you like to suppress an investigation into these schools, that might make them function better?

    kind regards,

    Liam

  11. Liam,
    I can definatly appreciate the feelings that others had there weather good or bad. Children do go there unaware of what it is like.

    I highly doubt RAPS were the most xciting part of the school. I heard many stories from all ends as well as shared my own. which was hard. Is it possible that staff may have change over the years? Possible I watched the documentary and found it informative from another perspective. Many of the students from the documentary were there no later than 1999 if i recall correctly.

    As for the propheets its a choice what you share with others and what you don’t just as in life. I personally choose to lay it all out and try to make the most of a situation I was not able to choose.

    The hardest part for me being at the school was the some of the students as I HAD to live with them. The things we were subjected to from the stuents at BCA was the worst part as we could not escape the things they choose to do. As far as the staff there I yet agan made a choice of who I was going to be around and who I was not going to be around and if I did interact with a member I did not want to be around it was limited.

    I think some people can benifiet from the program just as some may not it truly depends on the individual. Just as there are some that can b successful in regular schools and some fail. It’s all about what you make of it.

    As for who it can help… nothing can help someone if they don’t help themselves which is something I choose to do. there were all of the above situations raps, smushings, propheets, ban fulltimes etc. my response to that just like life has probation, jail, etc. you have to follow the rules.

    Children that have serious metal illness need soemthing other than this school. Children so through humilation no matter where they are children unfortuantly kill them selves at home to. This is where a parent needs to remember they brought this person into thi world and step up to the plate. There wea few people in the documentary that stated how they had gone from boardng school to boarding school my question is if the parents did there job and been active in there childs life every part maybe we wouldn’t need boarding schools of any kind.

    There are always two sides to every story and your story only tells one side thoe that were negativly affected which is why if there are negative response to me then I know that this is based on a one sided perspective.

    My question to you would be are you going to put as much time in to gettingthe other side of the story as you did the first???

    I want to thank you again for your side and the affects it had on you and others that feel the same as you did it was very educational and wil help me know in the future there are ALWAYS two sides.

  12. Hi Brandi,

    thoughtful response, I thought.

    You had a question:

    “My question to you would be are you going to put as much time in to gettingthe other side of the story as you did the first???”

    Short answer – I’ve tried! They don’t/won’t agree to be interviewed. They refuse.

    Long answer –

    I have contacted staff who used to work at Cedu, and only one long-time Cedu staff – Dennis Dockstader, who you see in the clips, was willing to talk on record. Dr. Nicki Bush was employed briefly at Cedu Idaho (RMA), and also was willing to share her story – but she was a critic of the place even while she was there – she was hired to do program evaluation, and when she began to express concerns, she was, I believe, asked to leave.

    You express a notion of “choice” often in your post.. I submit to you that we were locked up on a mountaintop, with the means of escape only a perilous hike down the mountainside, which did end in serious injury, or disappearance (fatality) for some. We were returned to the ‘school’ by local police, who were warned against believing our ‘tales of woe,’ I’m sure, by the Cedu ‘guardians.’

    You can witness Laura, who was there in the early 90s, detailing her many escape attempts, and the response even from local authorities was a blank stare, more or less.

    I wonder at this notion of “choice” you (and other defenders of the school) put forward. I don’t recall having any choice as to which staff members were screaming at me or us, when I was an adolescent, or putting us on manual labor details for days and weeks on end, because, for example, we spoke about music that was not approved of, or perhaps, sin among sins, kissed or expressed romantic affection for one of our peers.

    I think there were different eras at the school, certainly. You were also not at Cedu California, and I know only a bit about your school, and not much about the era in which you were a student.

    But you seem to give a pass to all sorts of behavior. The sexual nature of the relationships of the staff with students doesn’t seem to phase you – that intimate cuddling that adult men and even some women would do with the teen girls and boys – we were aware even then that it was sexual in nature – we were told by some staff to ‘get over it,’ that flirting was fine – for them! But not for us, of course…

    Do you worry about the training, or lack of training offered to the ‘therapeutic counseling staff?’ I find it horrifying that barely recovering drug, alcohol and sex addicts, and some individuals with a history of perpetrating sexual abuse or extraordinary violence, were permitted to walk in off the street (or mountain, more likely), and begin their immersion in the same scream-and-cry, scream-and-cry program, and soon be quite literally in charge of every aspect of a child or adolescent’s life:

    What the young person did all day, what they could eat or not eat, who they could speak with, how many hours of manual, hard physical labor they had to perform daily, weekly, monthly and yearly – and for what reasons… then to also be their ‘counselor,’ to force out of them the darkest secrets of abuse, and always plumb the child’s depths for more (so much so and so intensely that young people sometimes to regularly made up stories of horror, just to get the heated torch of inquiry off their necks… these stories also had to be claimed and disclosed publicly, with all the accompanying screaming and yelling that went with the true ‘disclosures’).

    So, I’m not with you on ‘choice,’ as a running theme in the Cedu school for most of its operational life.

    I do tend to agree with your point that the students who were there, for the most part, were there not because they were repeat criminals of any stature, or because they were even serious ‘delinquents.’ Most of the kids I knew had parents who had abandoned parenting roles early in the child’s life; parents with alcohol or addiction problems themselves, and many with a bold streak of narcissism and self-regard that prevented them from doing much self-examination as they repeatedly shuffled their children off to one baby-sitting school or institution or another.

    Only a few of the young people I remember as having tremendously cruel streaks, that were perhaps indicitive of deeper disturbance. Most were just a bit screwed up from experience, either sad or angry; many had been sexually abused along the way, some physically – some by the people who were sending them to these so-called therapeutic boarding schools..

    It’s a complex history. The one thing that most to all of the parents who sent their kids to a Cedu school had in common, was that they were not poor. They were middle to upper-middle class, to very wealthy.

    So… what does that say about the Cedu schools?

    To sum up, I’ve given as much room to Cedu staff to talk as they would take. If any long-time Cedu staff wants to go on the record, I’ll be pleased to give them the microphone, if they’ll answer questions directly. I’ve written and asked, and been very clear that the conversation was for the record, to talk about the school in the living details, not the vague sentimentalized memory, and the lines have been all but silent.

    What does that tell you about these people, who ran these schools, made bundles of money (the upper echelon), had no training in child or teen psychology or development, and acted as Czars, gurus, cult-leaders, in-absentia ‘mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles,’ and also as abusers, humiliators, punishers, judge/jury and court of law, and in some cases, sexual initiators to these students put in their care?

  13. I was on a home visit when the school closed. We never knew anything about the end of it all, despite the collapsing facade of rma and this other lace that had a riot or think it was cascade. I could feel the end, that rug smelled like ass all the time at the end. As for the staff half of them were kind of hey i all I have to do is walk around and watch kids bitch all day about not being able to hang out in lovely loma linda or lake george and drink PBR. Some of the others were annoyingly righteous in there quest to save us from the sins of being teenagers with rich parents. Decker was my team leader for like a year.

    Just starting to remember smooshing with him and looking over my shoulder while I write this. So some just there to be there, some crazy, some balls to the wall righteous with little connection to reality, which for a lot of people was faking it until they could go home and get back to good times and being out of agreement. We all pretty much knew it was bullshit, I was a little lost all the time and was catholic school guilty all the time at CEDU, I put my boners on dirt lists. If that happens in cults then I guess it was a cult to me. Not to anyone else. I think Yuen is still alive. I was there we he ran, kid was smart. he knew the 5 animal styles of kung fu, he just hates new jersey i guess a lot of naughty karate bodies do. I played the game, it wasn’t so bad for me. It was a business and poorly run (never enough cocoa puffs and brooms) and doesn’t work, only getting smashed in the face by kimbo life works.

  14. I think what people need to understand is that for many people CEDU was the last place that they had to go to prevent them from permanent lock up or worse. Many of us were older than the kids they took in later. Some had been in many boarding schools prior to CEDU. Many of us ran away too it was just a short hike to the road and then put our the thumb and we were down the hill…I did it twice myself and the only people who came after me was the staff. At the time I was there from 1981-1983 many of us were not rich kids at all. Later the schools hired people to find the kids and drag them back but not while I attended.

  15. Interesting. I can speak for myself and hopefully a good chunk of my peers that were with me at the school 10 years later than you, Marcy. I think in many cases that circumstances were still the same for many folks, considering alternatives. I will say this, from everything you and a few other of your peers have said, it was much tougher psychologically and physically to get away from the school during our time. Maybe because there was more money on the line to lose for the school if they lost a student during our era? Just throwing that out there…

  16. Marcy they had a team of “escorts” on call that would hunt you down, hand cuff you, and bring you back to the school or send you to the mental hospital. Unless you were 18 they would send a whole crew of people after you. These escorts are HUGE people and you have no chance of fighting back against them. I saw many people try to leave all were either brought back to the school or sent to the mental hospital within 24hrs.

  17. I went to Cedu from Sept. 1986 till Dec. 1988 when I graduated. The only thing good for me that came out of going to Cedu was reconnecting with one of my former school mates Mia 20 years later and falling in love and starting a wonderful life together. My experience at Cedu was not as bad as some of the other students, but is was also not as good.

    the verbal abuse by a number of the staff members were way out of control, i.e. Jill Bentz, William Abell and Lori Saunders. The only words that comes to mind when I think back to the days of being in their raps were “Power Trip”. They did the most yelling and making the students feel like they were a useless piece of shit, seemed to be what they got off on.

    There were so many times that I wanted to split but where would I go, Being from Ohio, how would I get home. Trapped and no where to go, I had now choice but to stay and deal with it.

    I don’t know why any former student would want to go back and teach at Cedu or RMA, Other then to feel what the power trip was like that Cedu and RMA had to offer over helpless kids.

  18. Just like everything in life, there is good and bad about my time at CEDU. The good things are that I made some really strong and long-lasting friendships/relationships with some people I would never have known had I not gone there. I got what looked like a high school diploma so I could continue on to go to a University after being expelled from 4 traditional high schools so who knows if that would have happened had I not gone to CEDU?

    Of course, my University years were not without MUCH help from MANY tutors to fill in my numerous gaps of common education. I really developed a strong appreciation for the “outdoors” that NEVER would have happened to this “wannabe reformed JAP”. NOBODY had ever said, “No” to me and I think I really needed that to mature. I learned how to clean things as well and, coming from my family, all we did was hire people to do so. In some ways, I feel like I was taught survival skills for “the real world” but in some ways, I was hindered.

    For example, my sister says that it took me years to be able to talk with peers (or anyone) in a “normal” manner. I was so lonely for a very long time after CEDU as there is no re-adaptation program afterwards. BIG FLAW! I also felt like there was strong verbal abuse that heightened my already paralyzing anxiety rather than helped me to better cope with it. My high school education was non-existent and I still deal with the repercussions from that.

    I think though that, overall, I was one of the lucky ones. I do not have an ongoing anger towards this facility as this was 20+ years ago and much has happened since then that has also shaped who I am today. After hearing other stories of people and their same time at this place, I feel lucky. I think they went “easy” on me for the most part (except Pam and when they cut off all of my hair after running away for the 3rd time).

    I have friends who went to the Citadel and they were physically/mentally tortured and fearful for their lives daily all through their high school years. I was never personally in fear of my physical life there. To me, harboring anger all of these years only gave our attackers more power and voluntarily allowed them to continue to victimize me. Please take into consideration that these are only my own opinions and the ways I have personally chosen to deal with CEDU. I judge NOBODY for their views.

    That said, I had NO idea of the ongoing and progressively worse conditions of this school and it’s cousin schools that still goes on today until Liam and Heather brought this to my attention. This does concern me. I live in Costa Rica now and have heard there are sister-schools here. Does anyone know if this is true and how I can visit these places to investigate? Also, any suggestions of how to help students and their families at these facilities are always welcome. If so, please contact me at my email (feckerling@yahoo.com).

    Thank you for your time, Mia ( I was known as Mimi at CEDU)

  19. Michele Fingland

    I wonder if “kathleen(kitty)” is the Kathy who was my friend at CEDU. Drina Deniro was assigned my “older sister” prior to her leaving for the other campus. I was at CEDU a short spell before splitting: July 1984 – October 1984. There was a Kathy that came to our school with “metal chick” hair and a bandana tied around her thigh. Our split contract was busted and I ended up esaping alone after Danny and Eric decided not to join me at my 2:20 a.m. journey down the mountain.

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