WWASP – Satisfaction Rate

WWASP boasts a significantly high “satisfaction” rate, but what does that really mean? Most of us would assume that means that most teenagers found success within these programs and that after the child had completed the program, parents remained satisfied with the money they spent on the services WWASP provided. However upon further examining these claims, and noting who they used as sources and how long a child had been graduated before their “glowing testimonials” were given, it became clear that this satisfaction rate only reflected short term results from families who were still involved with the program, or had only been graduated for less than a year. Well, what about the long term satisfaction? What about after a period of time in which the influence of the program was removed, and the effects of brainwashing and mind control wore off? How many people today could honestly say that the program “saved their life”? Through my research and surveying former graduates, I would determine that number to be less than 5%. All of which would not deny the existence of abuses and human rights violations throughout their stay at a WWASP school, but rather that they had chosen to be grateful to have lived through such a tough experience, and learned some life lessons due to the circumstances. Often times the argument is made by program supporters that somehow “the ends” justifies “the means”, and that because a teenager may have been in need of intervention or help, that the actions and crimes against these children would some how become justified. But even in the case where a child may have been in need of an intervention and because of being taken out of the environment was able to recover from a physical drug addiction or other unhealthy behavior that does not indicate that the program itself was in fact effective, but rather the circumstances led the child to choose a different path upon their own free will.

Although official research has not been done regarding the long term effects caused by these kinds of experiences, it is my belief that in many cases the effects of the “treatment” administered in these programs resulted in more psychological damage than the normal teenage issues it promised to cure. Gathering data from what I have experienced, the network of program survivors that I have surveyed and the research I have done, I have concluded that the program had many more negative effects than positive effects, especially to those kids who were admitted with pre-existing mental disorders or other conditions. Furthermore, considering the illegitimacy and unprofessional administration of the program’s system, I also believe that the program designed and administered by WWASP was ineffective, and produced highly inconsistent results, if any, that were entirely dependant on the student’s free will, pre-disposition and other unrelated factors. Many sources I have interviewed have corroborated my opinion that the program’s influence was only notable when we were taken out of our environment, however when we returned to our normal lives, our actions and choices were not influenced by the program’s regulations. Many former detainees have mentioned that after returning home from the program they actually partook in more illicit behavior than they had before the program and that the program had actually taught them more about drug use and criminal activity than they had previously been aware of.

So why is it that if a former student is successful at home after graduation the program can site credit for the child’s behavior modification, however if a child were to have completed the program and then decided to partake in illicit behaviors, the program could not be held responsible for the effectiveness of their influence on this child’s behavior? This to me sounds a bit like a double standard, or possibly WWASP has simply created a system in which they can pick and choose who the program worked for and who it didn’t, either way, thousands of families wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars on an illegitimate service.

WWASP may claim that they were offering a needed service, however it is important to remember that these people had no qualifications and certainly no sense to know that the way they ran this program was unprofessional and significantly harmful to the families they claimed to be servicing. Without a doubt, I know in my heart what happened to me and hundreds of other kids in this facility and across the country in other WWASP schools was child abuse, maltreatment, basic human rights violations and in some specific areas, torture. These traumatic experiences in which WWASP calls treatment have proven to be not only ineffective, unreliable and inconsistent but also volatile, unethical and significantly detrimental to the teens and families that were exposed to such a perverse and fraudulent system. Therefore, beyond any excuse the program could give for its abusive and degrading actions, in my opinion and that of thousands of other survivors, “the ends” most certainly did not and absolutely will never justify “the means”.

3 Responses to “WWASP – Satisfaction Rate”

  1. Whitney Saunders Says:

    You could not have explained that better! I 100% agree. And I am so thankful for this site because I literally have no one who understands how traumatic that place was. People just flat don’t want to believe that places like Casa exist. I know for me, I was an angel after I graduated because I knew that if I was under 18 they could still send me back. After 18 was another story. From 18-21 I did whatever I wanted and mostly I was trying to relive the 2 last years of childhood that were robbed from me. At 21 I started ultrasound school and graduated at 23. I am 27 now and my husband and I have 2 boys and my life is great except for the PSTS that was caused by Casa by the Sea. I know undoubtedly that I would have NEVER ended up dead or on the streets without the program. That place was a prison to keep kids until they either complied or turned 18. The Goldings didn’t give a shit if we did well in life or not. They just wanted our parents money. So to answer the question am I satisfied? Well let’s see.. I am up at 1:00am writing this because I can’t sleep because I am thinking about that God forsaken place.. I hope one day we can make a difference and shut these places down!


  2. Whitney Saunders Says:

    One more thing to note is that it ruined the relationship with my mom. Having a mother betray you by having you kidnapped out of bed at 4am is extremely hard to forgive. She is a part of my life and my sons lives, but I probably will never be able to trust her again the way a daughter should trust her mom..


  3. Amber Diaz Says:

    I have been looking through scholarly databases the entire time I was at the University to see if there was any research done on these places. I doubted it, but I was also interested in fact-checking their boasted satisfaction rates.

    This weekend I and my boyfriend were in LV for my cousin wedding. We drove through Nevada to go home and I was shocked to find myself getting gas in Amargosa Valley. I hadn’t been back to my WWASP program since I left at the age of 16. We weren’t using a GPS and still had a half a tank of gas, so it was just by chance that we stopped there. When I was there I wanted to find Horizon Academy which took only about 10 minutes of driving out of the way. Honestly, I was upset that it was still running, but I think being back helped me decide that maybe it’s time to contribute research.

    Since this weekend, I have been thinking about doing my own research on these schools. In about a year and a half, I will be applying to Ph.D. programs in the field of psychology, I should have freedom in choosing what I want to study. Hopefully, I can contribute a scientific journal on these places so that it can be available to mental health professionals. If I do this I hope to get support from WWASP Survivors. I will need access to prior students.

    I have already graduated with a B.A. in psychology, but I am taking some time off to have my baby first. I have also been thinking about notifying one of my professors about this school. She specifically does research with children and their involvement with the law. Maybe she can help me figure out how to do smaller studies before I get a scholarship so at least we can get some concrete statistics.


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