Mitt Romney’s Special Interest

November 3, 2012

News, Politics, Troubled Teen Industry

What do Mitt Romney, Bain Capital and the notorious Troubled Teen Industry have in common?… Sadly, quite a lot.

I wouldn’t consider myself a “Troubled Teen”… but as a kid diagnosed with ADD, I was struggling in school and my Mom was concerned for the future of my education. She decided to look for professional help and an opportunity for me to get a higher education.

Casa By The Sea Ensenada, Mexico

Looking for a therapeutic boarding school on the internet she stumbled upon many options for teen behavior modification programs. Through an Educational Consultant (EdCon), she was recommended to a program called Casa By The Sea in Ensenada Mexico owned by WWASP,  World Wide Association of Specialty Programs and Schools or Teen Revitalization as it has become today. To this day I don’t blame her for her initial decision to reach out for help, but help isn’t what she found from WWASP… What she got was conned… and I was abused.

The problem is Casa By the Sea wasn’t the only abusive school out there and WWASP, now Teen Revitalization, is only one of the Multi-Million dollar corporations that make up the The Troubled Teen Industry. The Troubled Teen Industry is a global term for any privately owned teen detention facility, (some that accept government grants), that operate a “Tough Love” system and utilize the infliction of stress, humiliation, pain, isolation and over exercising as punishment for punitive rule violations. These “residential treatment facilities” commonly utilize pseudo-scientific methods, hire unqualified staff and operate under no clinical standards or child protective regulations.

What they are telling the parents is that tough love is what teens need in order to change but what you don’t know is how far these people take the punishments, and to what length they will go to humiliate you, brainwash you, and break you down in order to send you back home, just grateful to still be alive. I, myself was locked in dog cages for days, made to lay out on my face in the middle of the scorching desert sun, starved, burned, beaten unconscious and nearly murdered by a staff member who found a letter I wrote home describing the daily abuse. These people are child abusers, they are sick, they are perverted… and they are still operating programs today. Despite the multitude of allegations of abuse against the owners and current employees of the troubled teen industry, thousands of families are still getting sucked into these programs, controlled by fear, lies and the cult-like practices of a company who’s only real interest is to make an un-godly amount of money.


For more than a decade we have been monitoring and reporting on new abuses in the Troubled Teen Industry, so it’s no secret that abuse, both physical and sexual, as well as psychologically damaging practices are still being used in these facilities today. What you don’t know is why?… and how are these people STILL getting away with essentially torturing american children. To answer that, you need look no further than our front running Republican Candidate, Mitt Romney.


What’s Mitt got to do with it?

Republican front runner, Mitt Romney profits from teen bootcamps that torture, brainwash and defraud.

Mitt Romney is a Utah money man, turned  politician, His “qualifications” for the job being his massive success in business with his former position of CEO, Venture Capitalist at Bain Capital. A company that regularly bought or invested in failing businesses, and squeezed whatever profits to be had out of them before laying off their employees and selling them off.

Two  such companies that would be acquired by Bain Capital are Aspen Education Group, The parent company to another long list of notorious tough love schools, who have countless reports of abuse and even death… At least one of which, Mount Bachelor Academy, has recently been subject to a lawsuit alleging emotional, physical and sexual abuse. As well as, CRC Health Group, an all but too obvious marketing arm of Aspen. Although Mitt “retroactively retired” from Bain Capitol in 1999, his severance package seems to still afford him a special, more over, financial interest in the Troubled Teen Industry.

In 2007, Mitt Romney ran for President, boasting a massive campaign budget and a squeaky clean Mormon reputation, he looked like a sure bet to snag the GOP nomination. However, his dreams of the candidacy would be short lived, Feb, 7th 2008, Mitt Romney dropped out of the race, bowing to the near inevitability of his opponent Sen. John McCain. John McCain had a choice between Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin for his VP running mate, he chose Palin.

Robert Lichfield Co-Owner WWASPS (Teen Revitalization)

During his run, one of his Romney’s biggest donors and his campaign’s utah financial co-chair, was WWASP’s owner Robert Lichfield, who also happened to be the primary defendant in a pending civil suit on behalf of over 350 plaintiffs suing for a long list of maltreatment including assault, willful negligence, sexual abuse and fraud. If that weren’t bad enough, by 2008 over a dozen WWASP facilities had been closed following investigations of abuse and multiple lawsuits and charges had been filed against WWASP including the conviction of  WWASP staffer, Randall Hinton for assault and unlawful imprisonment. Robert Lichfield claims this is all in the name of God… seeing himself doing “God’s Work” and the survivors who oppose his program as “evil” and fueled by Satan.

Despite these issues, Romney kept taking his money and through his beneficiary of Bain Capitol he continues still to profit (and tremendously I might add) from the Troubled Teen Industry.

However as soon as word got out to the public, Romney had no choice but to ask Lichfield to step down from his position and a statement was released by Ken Kay, President of then WWASP:

“Governor Romney has asked Mr. Lichfield to step down and not be involved in any more fundraising until the lawsuit is resolved in the positive, which we are confident will happen,” Kay said via e-mail to the Radar Magazine

As of 2013, this lawsuit has still not resolved in the positive for WWASP.

Fast forward to 2012, Mitt’s back and he’s got a whole new crew of cronies. Including his current financial co-chair and one of Romney’s biggest contributors, none other than the god father of the Troubled Teen Industry himself, Mel Sembler. Sembler is responsible for the starting of Straight Inc. one of the MOST notorious networks of involuntary drug rehabilitation centers which even in it’s closure in the early 90′s spawned the re-opening of multiple spin-off programs, (most closed, some still in operation today) all with the same “straight” model of brainwashing and  systematic abuse. Today Straight has a new name, and a seemingly new direction, in it’s guise as the Drug Free America Foundation, as a republican Anti-Drug think tank.

Another interesting connection to Romney and the Troubled Teen Industry is through another one of his former campaign co-chairs, Paul Babeu, who stepped down amidst a scandal involving a threat to deport his gay lover. However his truly scandalous past lies in his days as headmaster of the troubled teen program, DeSisto School. While Babeu escaped any charges for the multiple accounts of abuse by former students, he was found to be involved in an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 17 year old male student.

It seems that these interests don’t end at profit for the Romney’s, In 2011, at a campaign stop in Iowa, Mitt’s wife Ann Romney said working with “at risk” kids would be the cause she devotes herself to if she becomes first lady.

“At risk youth has been a concern of mine and love of mine for a lot of years,” – Ann Romney

If Romney becomes president, our First Lady will support these teen torture camps… and make some pretty decent money off it as well. Just as Nancy Reagan did with Straight Inc in the 80’s. All the while, her husband will be vetoing any legislations to reform and advocate for kids currently detained in these facilities. Giving these corporations all the power they need to silence their victims, continue draining the bank accounts of desperate parents and abusing their children.

These people are running the scam of the century and our government is allowing them to do so with no accountability whatsoever. Because they operate in the private sector, and are able to operate without proper licenses, they are commonly out of the jurisdiction of state regulation, CPS and local authorities. Federal legislation to regulate these programs have been proposed, but are always thwarted because politicians are willing to keep children’s lives at risk in favor of less private sector regulations. This should be considered a states issue, but when states like Utah allow these programs to operate under the nose of the law without any regulation you have to call for a federal standard. They need to be stopped, not given a pass by our government just because they have financial ties to Mitt Romney. If Romney becomes president we can expect to lose any and all progress we may have made trying to pass regulation in the industry, not to mention the influx of the Romney’s support will put even more children at risk in these programs before we will ever be able to help them. As long as money can buy you a lawyer, a judge, a congressmen and even a president… These programs will continue to escape justice, and keep operating in the lucrative teen torture business of the troubled teen industry.

The question I now ask you is this… Can you vote for Mitt Romney knowing he profits from the torture of children and shows preference to special interests who have children’s blood on their hands?

Please take a moment to follow the links within this post, and these following related links to read more…

Mitt Romney’s Deep Connections to the Troubled Teen Industry – By Chelsea Maldonado

The Dark Side of Bain Success – – Art Levine

Romney Profits From Bain-owned Health Company Facing Wrongful Death, Neglect Allegations – – Art Levine

New Abuse Allegations Arise at Drug Treatment Programs Owned by Bain Capital – By Maia Szalavitz

How Romney Profits from Child Abuse –

Another Lichfield “Troubled Teen” School Hit With Another Abuse Lawsuit (And How Mitt Romney Benefits Directly from For-Profit Teen Boot Camp Industry)

Romney, Torture and Teens – By Maia Szalavitz

The Mitt Romney Troubled Teen Connection

Mitt Romney and the Company He Keeps

Authentic Cruelty of a Synthetic Man. 

Brainwashing is Real and is Really NOT Therapy

List of Deaths in The Troubled Teen Industry


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About WWASP Survivors

As survivors of the systematic and deliberate abuse of children in the WWASP programs, We believe it is our duty to advocate for the kids currently in programs today, to demand their rights to be protected from physical and mental abuse and to warn any parents considering the risk of placing their child in an abusive "Tough Love" program. Please refer to our Red Flags list for advice on pinpointing and avoiding abusive programs.

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11 Responses to “Mitt Romney’s Special Interest”

  1. Christopher Sullivan Says:

    What a great blog Chelsea, Thank you.


  2. Meghan Black Says:

    Thank you SO much for writing this! The more we can spread the word about Romney the better. These people must be stopped and brought to justice.


  3. Ajay Jain Says:

    “Given the precedent set by past seven Presidents and Presidential candidates of releasing multi-year tax returns why is Romney making an exception?” Because he has a lot to hide, apparently.

    He’s the only one that knows what’s in there, and apparently he’s made the judgement that he’s better off having us suspect the worst, rather than us knowing whats in there, which apparently in his mind is worse than anything we’re likely to imagine.

    Possibilities include:

    (1) He ended up with 120 million in his 401K by the trick of agreeing with Bain to grossly undervalue the market value of his stock, then a few years later have the stock get unvalued to the stratosphere.

    (2) He participated in the tax avoidance amnesty program of a few years back, avoiding major tax penalties or prosecution.

    (3) Any one or more of the other borderline legal but very bad smelling tax dodges– “in-kind” trades, “no-risk” trades, no-risk write-offs, the list is almost endless.

    And BTW he HASNT even released all of his 2010 return, he very conveniently left off the foreign investments and deposits form. Very convenient.

    And his argument that it would be “bothersome” to collect the tax data is a crock too– he supposedly collected 23 years of the stuff to show to McCain in 2008.
    Ajay Jain===================================================================================

    Republicans betrayed their own conscience when they went against established Republican principles like the MANDATE over healthcare which was a Heritage foundation issue popularized by Gingrich.

    Obama did more than his share to UNITE but the Republicans were out to oppose for opposing sake and not following any policy or principles. In the famous words of Minority Senate Leader Mitch McConnell the Republicans were out to defeat the Obama agenda even if it went against established Republican policies set by past precedent.

    Mitch McConnell was out to make sure that President Obama remains a one term President and see where it has brought the Congress and its public esteem.

    Gingrich out of his own admission was out to defeat Obama from the day he was sworn in as President.

    You can not justify the Republicans as the “loyal” opposition as is the case in most mature democracies. They have been out to get President Obama by hook or by crook. A leader can meet the opposition half way but can not fold completely to their whims and fantasies like that of the current Tea Party affiliates.

    Republicans will loose in 2012 just like they did in 2008 but with a smaller margin because of the dark money of Billionaires due to Citizens United verdict of the right wing Supreme Court.


    ” … Mitt Romney senior adviser Ed Gillespie said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” the GOP candidate “retroactively” retired from Bain Capital after the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics began. … ”

    No body who has been drawing at LEAST $100,000.00 per year from 1999 to 2002 from Bain Capital “retroactively” retires from Bain Capital AFTER the 2002!!! Then why draw the salary of at LEAST $100,000.00 per year from 1999 to 2002 from Bain Capital if Romney retired from Bain “retroactively” !!!

    ” … Gillespie continued, “He took a leave of absence and, in fact, Candy, he ended up not going back at all and retired retroactively to February of 1999 as a result.” … ”

    However SEC documents show Mitt Romney as sole owner of all shares of Bain Capital. Romney is also shown as CEO, President and Chairman of Board of Bain Capital in 2001 and 2002 then LEGALLY speaking Mitt Romney has been responsible to all that goes on under the banner of Bain Capital. Then to run for Governor of MA Romney sought residency of MA by lieu of his Bain positions. Now either Romney was at the Olympics OR he was at BAIN.

    Only one can be true not BOTH at the same time simultaneously!!! Will the true Willard Mitt Romney stand up and accept ONE thing? Does Romney want to accept untrue SEC filings and be called a Felon or agree that he represented Bain from 1999 to 2002?


    On Friday the 13th (7/13/2012) the very illusive Mitt Romney gave very defensive interviews to all FIVE networks on a single day at once!! Just a few days ago Mitt Romney said to FOX News that explaining means that you are WEAK. So his five interviews “explaining” his time at Bain were signs of his weakness!!

    Presidential Candidate Mr. Mitt Romney maybe feeling the heat on his role in BAIN Capital, his business experience which was supposed to be his sole criteria for creating jobs and his greatest qualification for running for the American Presidency in the current economy in 2012!

    However SEC documents show Mitt Romney as sole owner of all shares of Bain Capital. Romney is shown as CEO, President and Chairman of Board of Bain Capital in 2001 and 2002 then LEGALLY speaking Mitt Romney has been responsible to all that goes on under the banner of Bain Capital.

    Mitt Romney can not just share the good like job creation from 1999 to 2002 and leave the ugly like Bankruptcies and layoffs behind as if he had nothing to do about them from 1999 to 2002.

    If he really wanted to disassociate himself from Bain Capital he could have resigned and sold all his shares in Bain Capital in February 1999 then it would have been a different matter but to share in the glory of Bain’s job creation accept a salary of $100,000 or MORE (where are the Tax Returns?) for three years and only to refuse to take the responsibility of Bankruptcies and layoffs on his WATCH (1999-2002) is trying to have it both ways and then complaining of playing politics having been caught with his hand in the proverbial Cookie Jar that is the very essence of an ACTIVE LEGAL ROLE in Bain Capital till 2002!! Was Romney getting $100,000.00 or more to do NOTHING for BAIN Capital???

    Mitt Romney will have to face the consequences of this leaving Bain “lie” that Mitt Romney has brought on upon himself. If we keep reminding the Romney campaign of the Bain exit lie and Romney’s ill effects on workers robbing them of their hard earned salaries and life long benefits all the way to November then 7/13/2012 (FRIDAY the 13th) will go down as the turning point of the 2012 Presidential election!


    Two-Faced Willard

    “I was not responsible for what happened at Bain Capital” – Mitt Romney
    “I was the Sole shareholder, Sole director, Chief executive officer and President of Bain” – Mitt Romney

    “The Arizona immigration policy is a good model” – Mitt Romney
    “I didn’t really support the Arizona immigration policy” – Mitt Romney

    “The Massachusetts healthcare plan should be a model for the nation” – Mitt Romney
    “Healthcare reform should be left to the states” – Mitt Romney

    “Let Detroit go bankrupt” -Mitt Romney
    “I’ll take a lot of credit for saving the auto industry” -Mitt Romney

    “I believe Roe v Wade has gone too far.” – Mitt Romney
    “Roe v Wade has been the law for 20 years we should sustain and support it.” – Mitt Romney

    “I respect and will protect a woman’s right to choose.” – Mitt Romney
    “I never really called myself pro-choice.” – Mitt Romney

    “It was not my desire to go off and serve in Vietnam.” – Mitt Romney
    “I longed in many respects to actually be in Vietnam and represent our country there.” – Mitt Romney

    “I’m not trying to return to Reagan-Bush.” – Mitt Romney
    “Ronald Reagan is… my hero.” – Mitt Romney

    “I think the minimum wage ought to keep pace with inflation.” – Mitt Romney
    “There’s no question raising the minimum wage excessively causes a loss of jobs.” – Mitt Romney

    “I saw my father march with Martin Luther King.” – Mitt Romney
    “I did not see it with my own eyes.” – Mitt Romney

    “I would like to have campaign spending limits.” – Mitt Romney
    “The American people should be free to advocate for their candidates without burdensome limitations.” – Mitt Romney

    “I supported the assault weapon ban.” – Mitt Romney
    “I don’t support any gun control legislation.” – Mitt Romney


  4. Cody seth Crawford Says:

    I was at Dundee Ranch in CostaRicca in 2003 when it got shut down by The Local authorities…So much abuse went on there, Why has the Mainstream media not Jumped on this entire story?….Kid’s are still being abused..In AMERICA!!!! This is 2012, not 1908 or 1916. Do something America, time to stop the abuse…I will keep posting untill I am silenced or all programs that are abusive are shutdown. Thankyou and very truely yours—
    — Cody Seth Crawford–



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