Cedu Documentary

The Cedu Documentary, “Surviving Cedu,” from filmmaker Liam Scheff (who was a student there), tells the story of a half-dozen teenagers who were each sent to the Cedu School, variously described to them as a standard boarding school, a wilderness adventure school, or a therapeutic learning environment in the Western mountains of the United States.

Cedu Brochures

But the experience of the school was something entirely different. Students quickly found themselves in a new, strange, uncomfortable and often frightening world of intense group relationships and heightened, invasive and violent group therapies. Relationships at the school between students – and staff – seemed to have little formal structure or sense of normal boundary – and a student’s life was always under threat of intense and unpredictable disciplining and punishment.

The Cedu schools (one in California, and one in Idaho) were each located in a mountain wilderness, and students soon discovered that they were teenage captives, without identification or money, in an imposing geography they could not easily or safely negotiate or escape.

– San Bernardino Mountains, California

The real origins of the Cedu schools remained hidden from the students, their parents – and much of the staff – until years after their graduation or departure. At the heart of the Cedu program was a philosophy that had grown out of various self-help movements of the 1960s and ’70s, such as Lifespring, Werner Erhard’s EST, and most directly, from Charles E. Dederich’s “Synanon” cult, “church,” and street-level heroin-cure program. The Cedu Schools developed into an industry of sister schools, clones and copy-cats, that are now a multi-million dollar, international – and unregulated business.

Synanon 'Game' = Cedu The Rap/Game Circle
– Synanon and Cedu

“Surviving Cedu” follows the narratives of these students, 15 to 20 years after leaving, graduating or escaping from this unique, troubling and isolated world.

Clips from the documentary will be made available here and through video-sharing websites. The documentary is still in production. The schedule will be updated here.

Blogs and articles on the making and researching of the documentary can be found below.

Help build a biography of the Cedu program by leaving referenced (url, book title, etc) comments below. I will format referenced comments into the main page as we go on.

Video Clips:

Blogs and Articles:

Links and Further Reading

  • Cafety – dedicated to oversight and overhaul of the troubled “troubled teen industry.”
  • ASTART – an organization of professional psychologists and researchers who advocate for ethical regulation of the industry.
  • Fornits – a gathering place for survivors, grads and escapees of Cedu Schools and their clones.
  • Straight Incorporated – “The Synanon Church and the medical basis for the $traights”
  • Synanon Pages at the Rick Ross Cult Research Institute
  • Paul Morantz.com – A history of Synanon from the lawyer and cult expert who fought it, and lost, and won.
  • Brainwashing, Cults and Mind-Control – Definitions and discussion [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6].

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  1. Seroquel Snooters

    There was a small scale “riot” at NWA sometime in the mid 90’s. Nothing like in the movie though. ASAP seems to be a reference to the WASP school of programs. Very sickening to see portrayed on screen.

  2. The riot at NWA took place in a “different” era. When I was at RMA in 1984-86, for the most part the students were docile. Not just by the conditioning we went through to obey, but it was just a different time. The nineties introduced a lot of violence in to our culture, so where I could see a riot happening, especially because kids in the 90’s had a far greater sense of entitlement and sense of self than we did, I can’t see a riot happening in the mid-80’s.

    I have heard only a few details about that riot from two different accounts, and the scope of the conflict did seem rather limited. I don’t think the bulk of the student body was involved. But I do think it was a turning point for the school. Clearly they did not adapt and realize their abusive methods were at the heart of the riot. Staff were not really capable, in my mind, of accepting responsibility for anything. The culture they created was always to blame the kids, never to reflect on their own methods. So the result was that the riot did not cause them to change, and soon after the schools were being shut down.

    When I watched the Boot Camp, I could see that coming. I could see that the abuse was just too much, too often and all it took was for those being abused to gain the confidence to strike back. The counselors in the program were every bit as over-confident in their control and methods as CEDU/RMA/NWA were. Also, as I watched, I realized that in the nineties, the various programs were instituting wilderness boot camp style methods where there was far more deprivations that what we experienced. In the 80’s we all lived in buildings with heat, showers, bathrooms. When I consider what I might have been capable of, abandoned by my parents, no communication with the outside world, no way to address grievances coupled with sleeping in the freezing cold in tents or on the ground, with poor food, abusive treatment, daily exercises and so on…? I would have been the one organizing the revolt. So despite the different eras, given the same level of abuse, I think the same outcome would have occurred.

    I am surprised that more riots in more places have not been reported over the years as I see that the abuse has become stronger. We do see more deaths however. Is that because of the proliferation of these programs and therefore more opportunities for death or injury or because the methods have become harsher?

  3. OMG I’m on that cover! hahahaha….

  4. Someone on Facebook who attended RMA back in 1986 posted on Facebook tonight saying “Change yr frequency at any time by changing how u feel, and everything around u will change because u r on a different frequency! Love IS the Power!”

    I personally hate this sort of worn out belief that all you have to do is think positively and everything bad suddenly goes bye bye.

    The discussion changed to an explanation. The poster said they had a friend die a long time ago when they were about 16. The dying friend said not to dwell on the death but to remember how they lived. No crying or wallowing in it. Just be happy and move on.

    Call me overly logical if you will, but I don’t believe humans are actually capable of faking themselves out in order to believe something they don’t. That if my best friend died, I could feel sad they died and happy to have known them at the same time, but unless I am a robot, I cannot turn off the sadness and only have that happiness. That this is simply not possible for a human to do.

    And a lot of dime store psychology like RMA, CEDU, Synanon and so on, all believe that with a few catchy phrases from self-help books..or hell, some catchy lines they made up on the spot…that somehow people can really accomplish things like forgetting emotions and memories and so on. That all we have to do is say to ourselves, “I know I just watched my family killed before my eyes in a gruesome fashion, but RMA told me to just smile and think happy thoughts and stay positive and I can just be in a state of bliss.”

    So then the conversation changed slightly to say, “Well, you can CHOOSE to focus on the bad, or you can CHOOSE to focus on ONLY the good. It is a choice.” Again, we are not robots. I sincerely believe we as humans are not capable..simply do not possess the level of control over our thoughts, memories and emotions to simply forget we are feeling a certain emotion, or to intentionally forget an event happened.

    I do believe that with repetitiion and threat of punishment, such as happened at RMA and CEDU and in other spinoff programs that students can make up stories about themselves, tell those stories so often it blurs the lines between reality and what they believe. I saw that happen where girls might claim that every guy they ever met basically raped or molested them. Never identifying details though I noticed. So I knew when stories were made up to gain attention and with some tears, get the heat off. There were rewards and punishments. But none of them were able to make themselves believe any of it instantaneously.

    If I told you right now that I didn’t attend RMA, even though a moment ago I said I did, but I made myself forget because I don’t want to be in that darkness any longer. I just want to remember only happy thoughts and happy memories… Obviously I am not capable of forgetting something on demand.

    Further, if my best friend right now calls and says he thinks I am a jerk and we’re never speaking again, I can’t just say…Oh well. Turn off emotion. Erase all memory of friendship. It simply cannot be done.

    Yet so often I hear this mumbo jumbo, dime store psychology where people suggest we are truly capable of such self control. And I notice that people who fully believe RMA or CEDU “SAVED THEIR LIFE!” are often people who truly believe they have such abilities.

    And I don’t know. Is this good or bad? Is a placebo bad if you take it and you believe your pain has gone away? I try and be a devil’s advocate as best I can.

    Personally I think people try and tell others they are fine because they want to believe it themselves. Maybe thinking you have such incredible levels of self-control makes you happy. But if don’t and you believe it, then what? And if you don’t, and you know you don’t and you believe it, then what?

    So finishing this, the poster then told how they are being evicted, with kids and having to relocate within a short time span to some new home. They say they choose to look only to hope and the future. I say that is not possible. You cannot turn off the stress. If you are stressed you cannot simply claim it does not exist. If you loved your home and are sad to be leaving it, you can’t just say the sadness doesn’t exist.

    Some dime store shrink might say…Close your eyes, and imagine all of this stress is gone. It’s a few months from now and you’ve moved into this new home. It is a wonderful, happy home. You’re kids have already made new friends, they love their new school, you’re happy, the neighbors are great…” Open your eyes and you are back in reality. It isn’t the future. You never lost the stress. The fear of uncertainty is still there.

    Is there anything wrong with trying to visualize a future you’d like for yourself and maybe the steps to getting there? Nope! But reality now, doesn’t change because you want it to. If it worked that way, it would work for all sorts of things. Such as being able to convince yourself that a person is not standing before you. That you cannot a siren. That your hand is on fire but you don’t notice.

    I only mention this because I think it goes to the topic that these places try and instill the false belief that they give you amazing powers to change your life and some people fully buy in to it. And that it could even be psychologically devastating to think you can forget tragedy and hardship and emotional pain when in fact you are merely suppressing it and not dealing with it.

    Am I a jerk for suggesting that people shouldn’t try and take the blue pill to feel good and the red pill to feel bad? Remember, Neo didn’t actually eat any pill. They were not there. The ultimate placebo I suppose is the one you believe exists and doesn’t.

  5. Wow. Just wow. I went to the Cascade School in 1991 and I am in shock. I never knew that it was basically a carbon copy of CEDU. I knew Michael Allgood and Erik Melzer went to CEDU, but I had no clue that they just changed the language. It is so creepy to see y’all describing things that I thought were unique to my life story so vividly, or at the very least, unique to Cascade…and y’all were in Idaho. Half a decade later. Goosebumps, Liam Scheff.

    Please email me if you want info on what I know about the Cascade School. Thank you so much for making these memories come back to life.

  6. I went to Cascade in 1989. Unlike the last person to comment, I knew that CEDU was the basis of Cascade. Thank you so much for your work on this documentary. I left before I completed the program, but please feel free to contact me with questions, Liam.

    Again Thank !

  7. Hi Trish! I knew Cascade was started by people who went to Cedu, but I did not know that it was a carbon copy/clone school and that they merely changed the terminology. At the time, I thought Cascade was different than Cedu. I especially had no clue how many Cedu clone schools there were/are across the country. Its basically a pyramid scheme!

    I’m curious–what do you remember them telling y’all about the split from Cedu?

  8. Story I remember was that somewhere around 1984-85, due to “philosophical” differences Michael Allgood, Eric Von Melzer, Art T. and maybe the Casses? organized a group split from CEDU. They and about 20 students drove up to Whitmore en mass and Cascade was born. I think Scott Abbott and Paula Rudy had just graduated from CEDU and they signed on as councilors or sort of like third year students.

    But I too would like to know if anyone remembers exactly what we were told those philosophical differences were. Frankly I think I block a lot of memories from that time. There are things that I should be able to remember that I can’t.

    Cascade 89-92

  9. I too went to Cascade…I don’t know what the original philosophical differences were, but I do know that Michael Allgood still spoke highly of Mel Wasserman in my days there. The Casses, the Tilleses, Allgood, EVM, Carl Janowitz, Paula Rudy, Scott Abbott (who had left) all came from CEDU. I think there were other staff who were CEDU grads, but I cannot remember. They all glorified the days of CEDU and of building Cascade and held it out as the best of times. I am not sure if Kelly Dunbar was a student of CEDU or not, but I remember how cold and calculating and downright cutting she was in forums (not to her favored boys though – they always got a free pass) and she is now in the administration at Carlbrook, along with some Cascade/CEDU grads and staff, as well Matthew (who was a new counselor when I was at Cascade in the mid 90s and was considered one of the “easy” ones – I highly doubt he is still so if he’s running a place based on the Synanon system).

    Allgood himself told me (we were supposedly “close,” though I never understood why) that he was proud of the academics at Cascade and that the educational component is what had been missing at CEDU, that at Cascade we could grow emotionally but also learn to become renaissance men and women, true poets, and philosophers. HA! I was used to getting ripped for being an intellectual and had been forced by some really brutal forums and a counselor “program” to give up reading at Cascade to “get me out of my square.” It was all a mindfuck. Allgood took a charcoal still life study I’d spent a month on to frame and hang in the House, I was not allowed to keep it…but after that I wasn’t allowed to take art classes again because they were also in my square…so I tried out for the play and got cast in it…and then they cancelled that too since it was also in my square, despite the fact that I’d been a wallflower my entire life…but the line I was given is that Cascade taught us to grow and be well-rounded in ways that CEDU didn’t. I believe that the real deal is that Allgood and company figured out a system that was more effective at conning parents into thinking that Cascade was la creme de la creme of “therapeutic boarding schools” and delivered us salvation as well as academic excellence. The con seems to have worked. I think because we had real (and I believe accredited) schooling our parents never questioned the legitimacy of their sales pitch.

  10. Finding this page has been a very mixed bag for me. I graduated from Cascade, which was a CEDU-derived program with an all too familiar cast of whacked-out characters.

    It is almost 15 years since I left and I am just now starting to deal with it. I started reading a survivors’ board a month or 2 ago and it brought back sooo much. I have since done a ton of research, read books by former grads, books on Synanon, etc….whoa.

    I feel a horrendous amount of guilt for my behavior at Cascade. I was one of the kids that bought the brainwashing…I was in it right when I got there. I wasn’t even alarmed by my first forum. I arrived at Cascade already believing that it was all in my best interest. I was angry about all the rules, but I genuinely believed they could help and fix me and I went along with everything. I believed what they all told me, that I was so completely screwed up and that this was my one chance at salvation and happiness. There were times I struggled and MANY times I thought what was going on was bullshit, but I always came around to the thought that it was a problem with me personally (not me, but “I,” lol) not with the program…that I was just some fuckup and my twisted thinking needed to be fought.

    Looking back, I now realize that was why the school insisted to my parents that I do wilderness before Cascade would accept me. Pathfinders did the hard work of breaking us down for them. I remember now the total helplessness and shame of being strip searched by two big strange men in the middle of nowhere and having to spread myself while they laughed and called me a rich bitch and taunted me, and that was only the beginning. I left Pathfinders 11.5 weeks later and I had bought the entire party line. One of the male staff who did that strip search took a “special interest” in me and we did a ton of one-on-one “intensive therapy,” all involving my sexual issues and what he perceived was my true relationship with my father. He told me he was devoted to me, that he could see into my soul and he saw the despair that would someday make me pull the trigger if I couldn’t work though it. He was just so “generous” with me, he gave me so much one on one time because he “loved me like a daughter.” SICK!!! He was not trained to work with kids in any capacity, he was just a total sicko getting his rocks off on snuggling a teenage girl and working out all his misogynistic pedo shit on me by slut-shaming me, calling me things like desperate junkie whore and telling me things my real dad supposedly thought about me that I will not repeat here. I now realize it is the things he told me about myself that still nag me word for word in the back of my head and have made my adult sex life a confusing, frustrating, and usually shameful maze – as crazy as it sounds, I had completely forgotten all of the “therapy,” and all I could recollect was how to make fire and the intense physical pain of hiking with a back injury. Now it’s all coming back and it’s sickening. Of course I was ready for Cascade and did not want to return to my parents’ home after that.

    My paranoia about people turning/flipping on me, my feelings of deep inadequacy and constant fears that I am not doing enough or that I am ripping people off and need to work harder, always harder, and my need to either completely confess and debase myself or flip the script the moment someone suggests I might have screwed up or made a mistake are behaviors I learned at Cascade…a lot of the Truth and Dialogues (I & Me) live in my head and I had totally forgotten where all that nonsense came from! The panic and anxiety and doublethinking so that I’m always wrong but simultaneously always right…thanks Cascade/Pathfinders, that’s definitely the best way to “treat” a 16 year old confused kid…fail to diagnose a severe learning disability and neurological development issues, ship them off to be programmed and tormented on wilderness, then bring them to campus and mindfuck them…and teach them how to do the same to others.

    I had 2 counselors at Cascade who were kind and loving people and who really tried to help me. Both were chased away by the administration, and one of them was kind enough to warn me to stay away from Carl Janowitz and Eric Von Melzer which got her targeted. I got back in touch with her recently, and she shared that she left because the staff were as abusive to her as they were to the kids and the cabal that ran the school thought they were gods and she thought all the shaming was bullshit.

    I am starting to understand now what happened, but I still don’t know what to make of it…the full realization that probably had a hand in damaging many fellow students, some of who I loved and cared for, and some who I simply dumped and vented on for not being broken program zombies has just hit me. I feel like such a fool. How does one make amends for such things? Is it even possible? What if I am that horrible nagging voice in someone else’s head now? I had little sisters and younger friends who trusted me to look out for them, and I softened them up to get pummeled and emotionally dismantled. I am deeply, deeply sorry for that. Truly.

    Yet I think the biggest benefit I got from either place was the ability to empathize with other people…to recognize the universality of our human condition. I just wish I had not participated in the damaging and painful forums and workshops. I wish I had not damaged my peers.

    I am not sure what else to say, but I do know that I want to make sure that these kinds of programs are never again allowed to “help” other children. I see that there is still a Cascade/CEDU spinoff called Carlbrook…which other Synanon clones are still around?

    Feel free to message or email me regarding the wilderness/therapeutic boarding school experience. I am willing to go on the record.

    I am also tryign to remember more of what happened in the celebrations/workshops, so any more info on those would be appreciated.

  11. Watching the rap clip and I remember sitting (on the floor at Hilltop – not in chairs) in circle with blood pouring down my arm after having chopped myself up in the master bathroom of my Hilltop house…..as I sat there drenched in blood with people all around me talking about bullshit, I knew that Hilltop could never help me. The rest of the time became about confronting EVERYONE else. Raps were bullshit. Smush was where I learned about my counselor (can’t remember her name….married to Tony) let her dog eat her out. It was sick sick sick there.

  12. My son was at Running Springs for 2 years. He found this site and asked me to watch the videos. It is extremely painful as a parent to see this and think that I sent him there and this was his experince. I am glad that people are speaking out and exposing the “school” and the people involved. I know that I cannot begin to imagine the fear, humiliaton and confusion that my son expereinced. There is no excuse for this to have happened except to say we were all brainwashed and scammed. The parents do not live wiht the scars from it like you former students do. Thanks goodness for Astart and others (Liam) who are doing thier best to make sure more people do not have this happen to them.

    • Thanks Karen for being a parent who finally admitted that they regret sending their kid to Cedu. I graduated BCA in 2001 and the scars remain heavy. Every time I see my mother I want to beat her, and every mornin I wake up before 4 am, even though the escorts wont come to get me anymore. Cedu was ran like a Japanese Camp during WWII. You are granted the illusion of freedom as long as you do what the master wants, even by betraying your own friends.

  13. Suzanne Elston

    Hi Liam, Btw I’m Cascade School 1985-87. How was I harmed? No, I was fortunate and didn’t suffer the obvious physical abuse that seemed so rampant at CEDU. But I was truly harmed. I grew up in a home with a volitile, narccisistic mother, who was not mood stable and unreasonably rageing towards me. I still don’t get it. But off I went to Cascade, to get “fixed” And so it began…From day one it was all about the yelling, people acting out on a daily basis the extreme and scary yelling of my childhood, and as time went by I began to be unable to cope. I was put on dishes and bans and still I was unable to speak in Raps. Literally, so scared I was unable to speak. I got my “voice” back and was able to scream and yell at the imaginary shortcomings of my peers, and pretend that I was better than them, when in truth I was just as demented, lost, and fucked-up as ever
    and probably worse. I “graduated” Cascade with an admission to a college in Oregon. I had even written a great admission essay about racism in Brookyln (it was the only newspaper I had seen in months) that was sent back to me from the admissions officer, with a handwritten note, telling me how wonderfully sensitive and aware I was, and my obvious maturity would be an assest to their school (my SAT score, at Cascade was 910) So again, here we are. I don’t like being yelled at. In fact I REALLY don’t. But I went on. And I met my husband, who, suprise, suprise, yelled at me constantly! He was as nasty and awful as you can imagine, but I was so conditioned that I had no idea how horrible it truly was to be screamed at. He yelled at me because I deserved it. He yelled at me because my footsteps were too loud. He blamed me, violently and viscously, for everything that made him angry. And He hated me, and their was nothing I could do. And in all these years he screamed at me that I was a Bad Mother, that our daughter’s autism was my fault, I accepted his abuse. I didn’t know any different. Being yelled at, and enduring it, has been my very fearful stock in trade. Please, please stop yelling at me, I still have nightmares about it.

  14. I would love to talk to the individual putting together the documentary. I saw myself in one of the clips. There was an error in the date given. I wanted to help give some information.

  15. Karen.. You are a kind parent to realize this and watch the videos with an open mind. I am a graduate of 20 years ago and this still affects me… obviously.. I’m watching the documentary now when I should be sleeping. My parents for many years were too defensive to even think about what I was saying was true…Go hug your son and just let him know you love him now. My parents after 20 years are doing the same. And thank you Liam.

  16. I was in cedu running springs around 95 till 98. Have never spoken to anyone that’s been there since I left. Most likely because I live in south carolina. I was told by my parents we were going to tour a school in cali and if I didn’t like it I could come home. I looked at it as a free trip to cali. Cool rite. Spent a day or so at lake arrowhead then went to tour cedu. After the tour I was like ok ready to go home and to large bags of clothes came out of the trunk and my parents left. I have blocked a lot of it out of my mind I guess. I remember being on tables and having to rip apart tree stumps by the main building with pick axes for hours. Also I remember the mental and verbal abuse of raps and profeets but don’t remember many details its been 14 years. But it obviosly affected me if I decided to google that hell hole 14 years later rite. Don’t really remember a lot of names I do remember a woman administrator in charge I think and a guy that would supurvise guy dorms at nite that would draw a lot of weird clowns. Remember there was a building that had a deck that u could see all the mountains and cities below. Needless to say I fell off a ledge there and was never takin to a hospital. Still can’t straghtin my arm all the way and elbow swells like 1 time a year. I remember a girl I really liked named jennifer and was put on bans with her she eneded up running away with a group of like 5 people. Remember getting restrained on the basketball courts by 3 counslers for yelling or something. Anyway would love to talk to more people that exsperinced that place.

  17. I was in CEDU when John & Marcie were the Genisis Family Heads, Dan & Carmen were the Quest Family Heads. It was in Running Springs, Calif. Gunner Connors was there Mike Conners son. Denise Guiter was there, the daughter of Jaime the robot on maxwell smart, I dont remember the Summit family head but a dude name josua Sosa was his side kick. was anyone there when I was? Oh yeah a weird dude name david King was there, anyway I ran away after they shaved my head and made me walk around with a toilet seat around my head for what they call a sexual contract, all we did was hang out and talk about things they didnt want us to talk about like our past. And also for playing smoke on the water to Gunner on a guitar, it got a response outta him and he was totally unresponsive to anyone or any thing,i thought it was quite an accomplishment. get ahold of me dmp7777777@hotmail.com

  18. Dear Liam,

    This is the Best Thing that I have EVER SEEN!!! Thank you so much for being an angel of Truth, describing the unexplainable pain & horrific torture that we al had the misfortune of suffering!
    The only way that I was able to was to say it was a Hellish “Sci-Fi” novel gone horrbily wrong! My life and family have never been the3 same since…..man so many things to talk about….to much man, too much
    Btw, I had such extreme paranoia that I didn’t even start using the web until 2010 (after I had to escape from Benchmark….its where all the CEDU Brss went to to start up a
    “NEW CEDU with Loop holes”, this time for 18 -28 y/o’s w/ about 10 CEDU ppl there running it or workin there….even saw some old staff that was there for my ’96-’97@!@!@!!!!! Completely Humilating to have to go back there at29, but I was having major issues around 27 with extreme PTSD & Paranoia & Depression/ suicidal idealations. So I had to quit work &u go into therapy problem was that I was dependenton my parents, who are btw maybe The Worse Parents on The Planet….Long story tho….anyways Great solution for Depresion & PTSD (amongst a handful of other things, u knw how it can be moving from this place to that, getting ur friends and life ripped right out from underneath you with no say and probably no fault of ur own.

    So, I’ve ben homeless and possesionless(the worst part of it all) since Benchmark ie CEDU2 stepped….Lifes been HELL!!! Maybe the worst thing about these places (other than brainwashing and pyschologically damaging you for a good long time) is that it BRAINWASHES YOUR PARENTS FOR GOOD AND DESTROYS THEM, ATLEAST FOR ME NOW, FOREVER.

    I actually recovered from all this B.S. AFter H.S. Went to HYDE after Cedu…..and was so close to TRUE GREATNESS (NO JOKE) But was tough to manage with my Hisztory with my family (getting lied to, guilted & ultikmately betryed) Depression and Extreme OCD, PTSD & PARANOIA…….so things slowly stated to unravel (esp. After having mult surgeries negating my only Joy INTEENSE COMPETITION IN SPORTS)……almost got it togeter in San Diego (fyi the BEST DAMN CITY IN THE U.S.) But neded help….unfortuntely that means u ned ur parents so u can only imagine how things began to quickly unravel……so in Oct 2008 Educatikonal consultants(the scum o the earth) actually suggested the whole humiliating wldernss adventujre then CEDU/BENCHMRK humilation again…..managed to urvive without help for afull year only to succumb in 209, losing all my possesions and pictures(worst part of losing possesions) and losing my Life in S.D., which despite my own perwonal struggles was pretty friggin’ AWESOME.

    Now nothings the same. I don’t even resemble myself, and I daily barely escape the day alive, what can I say SUICIDE feels like the only way out. I’m beginning to feel pindowned like a Rape Victim, wishing for a deal trying to deal with the fact I hate wishing!

    Sorry for going on a tear, but Life is extremely Unfair,esp. When u have disorders that prevent u from greatness, that could be dealt with with the right family sujpport help and love, but are only COMPONDED WHen it turns out that ur Dad is the Devil and ur Mother…..well never mind I said too much….don’t mean to hate on my parents, I only want love and reconciliation,but its a 2way street!

    So again thank you for this wonderful gift that you’ve compiled for al of us, it really alieviatesabout a 1,000 pounds of pressure and now people can’t try and “play you” by saying that I’m th “crazy one” cuz they can’t even concieve of such a place…..

    Plz get back to me & DON’T EVER LET ANY1 Mess with or take down (saw that u already lost 1 clip, why!!??) Any of this!!

    Kep it al active &u up to date and legit and if anythingkeep on adding shit!!! You my man homeboy!!!

    Much Love & Tank you

    P.S. This & Cedu’s Wikipedia page(which u should def. Ad to this page) were the 1st 2 things I ever looked up on the web!!!! It was a truly miraculous Godsend to findthem!!!!!!

    Plz kep up the good work, cuz a lot of us survivors aren’t survivng well and nedmore things like this. And you got he brains, brawn and balls to pull it off…..keep banging!!!

  19. To Whom It May Concern:
    What every happened with the documentary? Was it completed is there a final version that can be seen? I went to Ascent and Hilltop Inst.

    I am so glad to see a site like this looking to find more information had not idea things like this were going on its troubling

  20. tama cooper Christian

    Hey, I went to cedu from 79-83 l some of the worst years of my life I escaped twice the last tikme I was gone for 6 months so when I finally was faught it wAs juvenile. Hall till 18 or baci to cedu so when I got back they cut the rest of my hair my clothes. No jewelry. Music etc and also was banned froi iim everyone. Except a handfull of older sstudents. I had no contact with my family I was abandoned. Yet again I realized. If I ever want out of here I have to go along so I had to put up with grown men hugging feeling me up kissing me I can still se tim braces wet spitty kisses and john padgtt grownmen holding and cuddling. Me there were a lot of times u could feel a hRd dick against. Me its no wonde when I left I married men 10-15 years older then me I was on full-time. So much I couldn’t tell u I had sex with 2 people and was told on omg there is a lot thT went on during my stay are u still work ing on documentary. Would luv to tell my story I graduated in june of 83 and was arrested.

    3 times my first month out and whT did this wonderful. School do all my close friends. And family since thT is what is taught or brainwashed in our heads they decide tocompletly ban me from everyone. And not let me return to the graduation so there I was 18 and Alone I hAd just spent the lAst 3 yrs with All these people shared things I had never told anyone WAS TOLD I WAs loved unconditionally. Etc.. then there wAs noonec like I had the plague at A time when I neededthem the whole progrAm stabbed me in the back so before cedu I smoked pot drAnk 9maybe a pill but now I was introduced.

    To heroin and after the fitst shot I was hooked I finally found something that took the away the pAin and made me forget about the people who I shRed the most sensitive. And personal things in my life all the stff and friends that said they would be there for me to back me up where were they when I needed them most when I was homeless shooting 1000 a day my arms so bruised. I couldn’t. Move them had tracks all over my arms feet then had to use my neck anywhere I could find a vein trying to cover up the pain of once again being abandoned by the peole I luved & thought they loved me back I am 47 & this was 30 years. Ago but cedu is still in my thoughts daily. So contact me if. You would like to hear my story thanks its good to get off my chest.

  21. I was a CEDU staffer in 2001. I was blown away by the “weird” setup they had established at this point. Every student had to see the on campus Psychologist, can’t remember his name, and see Dr. Simpson and his wife. It was such a weird arrangement. Dr. Simpson’s credential were in Alcohol/Drug treatment. I couldn’t find his MD credentials. Mrs. Simpson was a “Medical Liaison”. What a racket! They forced the students to take all sorts of medication.
    The supervision of the students was terrible. The information was constantly manipulated and the parents were very much mis-informed on the students well being. I found the situation frightening and unstable.
    I ended my tenure as a CEDU staffer by suing them after being assaulted by my boss. Bill Shay. He was known for his violent outburst. I was sick of trying to walk the line between lying to parents, and looking the other way at all the indiscretions and affairs going on between the staff. The Dr. Simpson set up was the last straw! I had so much damning evidence they settled pretty quick.
    I am sorry for all those effected by this demented place and hope something like CEDU can’t happen again. I got great pleasure in contributing to the closure of the Brown Schools in 05. Crazy. That place was just plain ol crazy.

  22. Garry umphressName (required)

    It is truly a sad state of affairs being documented. Weird is only an observation. A documentary can aid in the healing process.A LARGE part of the healing is for the survivors to be given a full vocabulary to thoroughly explain the spiritual, physical and emotional pain that was endured.
    Saying it hurts helps but saying how, where and what hurts especially from one’s human spirit that endured this kind of unexplainable trauma has so much more beneficial healing effects.
    This kind of spiritual vocabulary can be found. It begins with first knowing and understanding the roots of the spiritual dynamics used in this kind of therapeutic model. It is all a cause and effect paradigm.9 what happens in the spiritual also happens in the natural)
    CEDU’s spiritual roots stem from their “core curriculum”. The book that contains this core is titled “The Prophet” Inside hidden in the prose of this book are subliminal messages which empower them to embrace five pillars. Once they begin embracing these pillars than they use them on the student body.
    This book was written by a Muslim and has become the Islamic weapon of choice against western Judeo- Christian based cultures.
    In essence the victims get spiritually slimed which leaves them without the words necessary to be able to explain the wholesale attacks they have have had to endure.
    Almost every therapist out there does not even have the words or the 411 to to facilitate as much healing as may be possible.
    This attack results in the victims being spiritually defiled. Not only the victims but also a span time in the victims life is also defiled, which scars them and can lock them into a PTSD state.
    All of this fits into a space known as Stealth Jihad which can be googled to see how it is being aimed at our nations future…. this talented, gifted and blessed generation.

  23. Robert Lanzetta

    I was sent to the ascent wilderness program in Idaho early 2004. It was by far the worst experience of my life. I was a depressed kid who wanted to die. Getting yelled at all day and all the manual labor did not help. It was a hellish nightmare that I could not wake up from. It still affects me to this day. Almost as if a part of me died there. I was also apart of milestones. I believe it was owned by the same company. It was an independent living program. Little to no supervision led to lots of sex and drugs. It was for people 18+. It was based out of an apartment complex. I’m not sure what else to say but I’m glad there are other survivors out there helping each other and speaking out about this horrible place. If you would like to contact me feel free.

  24. I graduate Rma in 89. Ran away twice!!! Towards the end of our stay another girl and I were accused of sleeping together. We did not!!! However I was threatened with being sent to lock up if I didn’t tell them what they wanted to hear. I stood my ground! When on stage at graduation I shared to everyone what a terrible experience the place was. I could see them wanting to strangle me!!! Miserable experience!!!!!!

  25. Daniel Yuen of New Jersey, is Missing since February 8, 2004, From CEDU School on the 3400 block of Seymour Road in Running Springs, Calif. in San Bernardino
    Please contact 911 or Friendsofdanieltyuen@gmail.com

    Daniel Ted Yuen

    February 08, 2004

    John Cristopher Inman

    January 16, 1993

    Blake Wade Pursley

    August 18, 1979

    Cedu School Running Springs San Bernadino CA

    • I went to this horrifying school I ran away with michelle forester Kirk Allen and Debbie Reif My name is Kathy Fatone I went to a 21-Day survival trip in Boise Idaho. I recently just checked to see if this school and the parents and staff that allowed this to happen to us were ever investigated and put in prison. I feel we were all physically mentally verbally ridiculed and treated like animal slaves for there sick gratifications for these sick adults they put at us. I swear I hope you find him and on the otherhand maybe he don’t want to be found if you sent him there. We again were tricked by pour parents that to people unbelievely hurt us to no end. And our fear when we shared on home visit to please take us home its scary and bad hear many of you didn’t hear our words of Cry.My definitely didn’t my parents weren’t even at the end of my survival and I mean survival trip in Boise that Dennis ran at the end of the trail only girl out six boys completed. I found my own tools in my life I took from survival trip to put in the survival at had to conquer the pain of Cedu school. Sometimes us kids feel like you wetre just trying to get rid of then and seriously it was a way you hated who we were and some kind of disgrace. If you mean well I hope you find him and for the police I hope and pray you all watch over us from these school and wicked parents that use places like this to get rid of us or brainwash us like some sick leaders do and the other countries that are here now. These are the kids they will use first the wons that feel week and desparte to be free of the chains they put on us like slaves. I was sent for black boys being all Italian in a very predicous town and smoked weed. Did I deseve it ? Was my family rich and was it a big business once owned by three Italian men that had doctors for the rest in lawyers yes. Do I feel scared of my parents to this day yes I am 44. I still feel I am a piece of property to them. I have a great psychrist I put forth and trusted Dr,Walid Jaziri in Norwich Ct. he and his team listened way back but now are relieved to know I never MADE THIS UP FOR ANY SORT OF ATTENTION.

  26. 2825225@gmail.com

    I was a student of Mount bachelor academe from 1994-1996. Tim Brace was headmaster of my jail school at the time. Mt Bachelor was shut down in 2009 by the State of OR for abuse. I experienced or witnessed a many of the things in this documentary’s clips. it brings back so much heartache and pain. Watching this Documentary and reliving my experience brings back so many emotions. Alternative therapies should not be preformed on kids! Many kids were their for skipping school or smoking cigarettes nothing more and had rich parents who did not want to raise a teenager who questions there authority. i’m a survivor of Mt Bachelor! Thank you for showing the world our view! -Jack Bishop call or write to 727-282-5225 2825225@gmail.com

  27. I was at cedu from 1976 to 1977.the mental abuse you talk of is true beyond any doubt.I remember micheal and daniel,eric von meltzer,greg,gary,al mark wasserman ,cindy and even the oldman mel wasserman,there was also john who ran the genesis family in running springs,ca. The genesis family worked to receive donations from people.GARY who ran part of the construction famiy was a creep.He wasn’t allowed in my presence per myself.The first time he started in on me ended.I was15 years old but fully grown.I had to inform him he was 5 foot nothing and they would find him in the woods after the snow would melt if he ever tried to associate with me in any way.Alot of movie star kids were there and producers kids.To me it was a brainwash facility.They put me on what was called a dishpan punishment for 3 weeks.I still would not give in to their formula. There was two kinds of people there,probation cases and rich kids.To me it was bad medicine to combine the two groups.I was a drug dealer from the valley.I always felt those guys were pulling a scam,you know get rich off government funds alone.All of those counselors to me were hungover every morning,especially mark wasserman who ran the construction family.There’s so much bullshit that happened there it would take me a day to write down.The conclusion to it all is I hope all those bastards got it in the longrun.THEY THE COUNSELORS DESERVE IT.

  28. Please look into Cascade and Carl brook as a whole and the people who ran both schools. The are so many kids that need their voices to be heard. I am one of them. Please contact me if you would like any info. About a month has go Carl brook alum all over the world rejoiced when we heard of the closing of the school. It was the best day of my life.

  29. I was at CEDU in 2001. It was a deceitful, abusive cult like environment and one of the worst experiences of my life.

  30. I was at Cedu from 1996 – 1998 I graduated and I’m definitely in if anyone starts a class action lawsuit because my more than just my rights were violated. I’m permanently injured from physical cruel and u usual punishment they made me do


  31. I was at Cascade in hmm have to think about this…I’m 33 now and I was 14-15 so 19 years ago I guess 1994-95. Thank you to the documentary maker and participants, It has always been difficult to explain the scope of brainwashing and abuse that I was subjected to. Now I will just point people to this page so they can have some idea,

    I actually was at Cascade first….then I convinced my parents to send me to CEDU. Not an easy thing but I became quite good at manipulating my psychiatrist there to let me use the phone lol. I had already run away from Cascade 3 time, (never got away….that 40 mile road to Redding was a bitch) I had been sent to both SUWS and Ascent. (where I was actually kicked out of the wilderness program after 10 weeks because they finally realized that after extending my stay by more then a month, I was was more comfortable in physical discomfort, having to hike around the Idaho dessert and drink shitty water, then I was at that fucking school where they were trying to brainwash me,)

    The reason I wanted to go to CEDU instead (the one in San Bernardino) was because the last time I ran away from Cascade it was shortly after we had a new arrival at the School. I’m not going to tell you her name, but I will tell you what I used to tell other people when I had to explain who she was because she was not yet famous. I would say, “Shes named after a city in France and have you heard of Hilton Hotels….her family owns them all…” I know pretty easy to figure out right?

    Anyway like me she had no interest in complying with their nonsense and gave the staff / other students the finger on a regular basis. We got along famously and ran away together….she actually escaped, I did not. Girls have to so easy when it comes to hitchhiking :). Before we split up she told me about CEDU and at the time I guess it wasn’t operating correctly because what she said was happening there was very different from what was going on at Cascade. She said that the kids wouldn’t tell on you and you could just bullshit the staff and they would have no idea because none of the kids were enforcing the rules. Its true what the man in the brainwashing video says, its not really so much the staff, its your peers that pressure you into compliance.

    At Cascade, I think there were about 250 people, maybe less and out of all those people I believe there were maybe 3 people who didn’t buy in and go along to get along. In order to keep the attention off of you, one must be an active participant in the abuse and the brainwashing.

    This is something I refused to do. Then they would ask me to do some chore or dole out some punishment which I would happily do if it meant not giving in or betraying my values and becoming a sadistic snitch gladly throwing others under the bus to keep out of the spotlight.

    To this day I wonder why they were so successful at Cascade at getting the kids to buy in. I mean what they were doing was clearly wrong, and most likely illegal. I knew that even at 15. Why more girls didn’t claim they were being sexual abused to get out of there I will never know. Seems like a no brainer. I guess I could have done that… anyway it is what it is.

    So the story ends with me finally convincing my parents to take me out of there after a few more run away attempts. Anyway its not a happy ending, Since then Iv’e been a bit fucked up I guess you could say. It’s hard for me to trust anyone in a position of authority even if I know I should, like a doctor, also I had no idea how to relate to other kids when I got out of there. I think I was 16 and got sent to another boarding school….I real one not a therapy one. I ended up dropping out of there, running away until I was about 17, then joining the army, getting kicked out of there and deciding to get involved in a nationwide drug smuggling ring. From there I ended up in Prison for 4 years and with a Heroin habit that I am still struggling with. Not saying all that is their fault, but such a traumatic experience when your 14-15 years old certainly doesn’t help things.

    Anyway thanks for the documentary

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