Palmetto Therapeutic Boarding School Now Open at Former Carolina Springs, Seneca Ranch Property

January 13, 2017

News, Troubled Teen Industry


It has recently come to our attention that a school calling itself “Palmetto Therapeutic Boarding School” has recently been opened in a South Carolina property formerly occupied by WWASP program Carolina Springs Academy. It’s natural to wonder if this is a WWASP program. We cannot answer that question, but we can offer some insights.


On its Facebook page, Palmetto Therapeutic Boarding School lists its address as “226 green acres ln [sic] Donalds, SC 29638”. This is the same address used by Carolina Springs Academy, then by Magnolia Christian School, and more recently, Seneca Ranch. While location isn’t everything, WWASP programs have a history of shutting down and then reopening in the same location under the same name with the same staff. It’s impossible to know if that is the case here, but it is suggestive.


Palmetto Therapeutic Boarding School does not list the names of any staff or owners on its website (link to Internet Archive in case page becomes unavailable). However, an IP whois search reveals the owner of the domain to be Narvin Lichfield, the past owner of Carolina Springs. He was also involved with Dundee Ranch, which was also reopened as Pillars of Hope. Again, this is not definitive, but it does fit with the pattern that WWASP programs generally and Narvin personally have followed in the past. Additionally, the website says that staff “at Palmetto has many years of experience working with mental behavioral health services with troubled youth. highly qualified in mental health services and truly care about the students under their care. They are real mentors and youth role models [sic, all typos appear in original]”. This seems to imply the staff has had past associations with other teen programs. One is led to wonder which programs these are and why they are not listed on the website.


Narvin Lichfield


Costa Rica Connection

When it was open, Carolina Springs had a sister school with which Narvin Lichfield was also associated, originally called Dundee Ranch. It was shut down by Costa Rican authorities and reopened as Pillars of Hope, and then shut down again. Seneca Ranch (link to Internet Archive in case page becomes unavailable) also advertised itself as having a

“Spanish Language Immersion, American Culture and History–December, January, February Christmas Mission Trip in Costa Rica: An incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience to participate in our mission service program while involved in our Spanish language immersion program. This is held at our Pillars of Hope Language Institute, at Teen Discovery Costa Rica.”

(It should be noted Teen Discovery Costa Rica appears to be another school with alleged WWASP ties.) Likewise, Palmetto Therapeutic Boarding School offers the same exact “opportunity”, in almost the same words:

“Spanish Language Immersion, American Culture and History–December, January, February Christmas Mission Trip in Costa Rica: An incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience to participate in our mission service program while involved in our Spanish language immersion program. This is held at our Pillars of Hope Language Institute, at Teen Discovery Costa Rica.[sic]”

One wonders why the mention of Pillars of Hope was omitted. Interestingly, Palmetto’s site even displays a picture of Dundee Ranch.


Palmetto Therapeutic Boarding School appears to offer a distance learning school program on site. This is how most WWASP programs ran their academic programs.


So is Palmetto Therapeutic Boarding School a WWASP program? One point to note is that, from a legal standpoint, WWASP has ceased to exist as a formal corporation or organization. In this regard, Palmetto cannot technically be said to be a WWASP member. However, there are certainly troubling similarities. Not being a formal member of WWASP does not prevent some schools run by past WWASP programs owners and associates from employing a very WWASP-like scheme in their own programs. Palmetto Therapeutic Boarding School does appear to have some alarming hallmarks of this copycatting.

Additionally, there are other red flags about the program in general. It’s hard to understand why parents would be willing to fork over almost $5,000 a month to send their teens to a “school” whose website is replete with obvious typos. (As a side note, on its website, Palmetto Therapeutic Boarding School appears to employ a bizarre capitalization scheme in which the first letters of non-proper nouns are capitalized for emphasis. This scheme appears identical to one used in WWASP literature that was common enough to be remarked as a actual phenomenon by WWASP survivors and parents.) One wonders at the ability of a school to teach children when its administration apparently have a fairly feeble grasp of the rules of proper English usage. Is this truly money well spent?

Ultimately, the question of how WWASP-like Palmetto Therapeutic Boarding School is cannot be answered without first-hand reports of students, given once these students are free of any potential coercion. It’s hard to say when these might arrive. Until then, we caution parents to carefully research this or any other program they are considering, check our list of red flags, and consider the opinions of mental health and medical professionals such as those at A START.


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About Bill Boyles

Bill Boyles is from Orlando, FL. At 14, he was forcibly escorted to WWASP's Brightway Adolescent Hospital in St. George, UT, where he stayed briefly before being sent to another WWASP facility, Paradise Cove in Western Samoa. After spending 22 months in Paradise Cove, he was transferred to yet another WWASP program, Casa By The Sea in Ensenada, Mexico. He spent 8 more months in Casa By The Sea before graduating days before his 17th birthday. He firmly believes all WWASP programs are abusive and that they all need to be shut down.

View all posts by Bill Boyles

32 Responses to “Palmetto Therapeutic Boarding School Now Open at Former Carolina Springs, Seneca Ranch Property”

  1. Narvin lichfield Says:

    Could Bill Boyle’s contact me at 864-462-0237
    Thanks Narvin


    • Bill Boyles Says:

      No Bill Boyle’s here. Could you perhaps mean Bill Boyles? Jesus you are bad at grammar for someone who speaks English as a first language (I assume, although from these comments it’s hard to tell tbh) and who apparently runs a “Boarding School” that costs thousands of dollars a month…


      Bill Boyles.


      • Eric Says:

        Fuck Narvin Lichfield and fuck WWASP. Did you hear Ben Trane just got formally charged with sex abuse crimes? I hope Narvin goes to prison next. That idiot left his number on here? lmfao


    • Dustin Davis Says:

      Palmetto school and you are frauds. I’m not sure how you can live with yourself you have ruined loves and created problems that are permanent I’m people’s lives. You are affiliated with them because they run the same home you did. Same program. Why won’t you meet any of us face to face. You piece of shit. Darvin Litchfield I hope someone strangled you while you sleep. Also are you sur3 that they aren’t going to try and sue you for not informing them that your property and namr has no value. I’ll keep saying bad things about them mom stop. Feel free to contact me anytime. 2076997968


    • Jennifer Bell Says:

      SERIOUSLY guys, media from like 2008 at the most recent, Inside Edition, other clips… I have metMarvin in person and see all of them every few months as my son is there. He and his wife are absolutely open and transparent about the rules and consequences even cameras and that they do read over letters. I talk to my son about once a week, he is NOT cut off from his family in the slightest. The horses are well cared for as evidenced by their appearance, fearlessness behavior, and breeding behaviors. This is NOT. A WWASP school. Marvin already explained to you NUMEROUS times and would be happy to PROVE to you he is not affiliated with it as of early 2000’s. I have seen the documentation in person, spoken to him at length before I ever decided to let my son be there. He is doing beautifully and it has really been a Godsend. I do know many many of Therapeutic schools were shut down, for provable reasons. But Palmetto is. It one of those places. Given your lack of concrete and measurable proof , and RECENT proof, it seems this is simply a place for bitter parents and former students to vent. No one is more protective of their son than I am. STOP including this school. Marvin only helped Robert acquire some la d in different parts around the country and world. As soon as things got. Ad he stepped out; he knew it was wrong and as he said no longer has professional contact with his brother. He has given you all his number to talk with him and from what I see none of the about 40 of you are interested in resolution. And if you are so afraid to talk with him, then leave palmetto alone. I am sorry for the suffering and loss from other schools, but all I are doing here is terrorizing the shut out of parents who have their kids at Palmetro… needlessly. Show something CONCRETE on THIS school , and in the last 5 years or DROP IT from your this site. Thank you.


      • Jennifer Bell Says:

        And 226 is the official business address. WTF is the point of pointing out the obvious? And if there are so many of u damaged by Marvin, where are you?!?where are the court cases? Documentation? Criminal records? not hearsay not old web links guys.


      • Bill Boyles Says:

        A lot to unpack here, but it’s late. This comment will receive the full ridicule it deserves tomorrow, so stay tuned. Suffice to say the amount of stupid packed into this one comment is actually impressive.I’m looking forward to pointing it all out in excruciating detail.


        • Jennifer bell Says:

          How doe ridicule help answer or support your claims? All that would do is make you feel superior.. concrete proof is what I am asking for


        • Jennifer bell Says:

          You can ridicule all you want Bill, if that’s what it takes to make you feel justified. But I am asking for more concrete proof on Marvin. I already did background checks on him. There is not any more stupidity in my comments than in yours. Why ridicule though? How is that helping any future or current student? And 7:45 am is early not late


        • Jennifer bell Says:

          Apologies, however, Bill. You DID explain that Palmetto was not WWASP. This is just really really painful and went trying to make the best decision we can. We see no harm in our son, and believe me every day without him is a nightmare. Could u please keep that in mind and perhaps not ridicule but help with information? If I have enough info on Marvin that shows he really is bad news then I can take steps…. I am not afraid. First pulling my son of course.. and more recent stuff would hold up a lot more in court…


  2. Narvin lichfield Says:

    Hi this is Narvin lichfield and Palmetto therapeutic boarding school is owned by Dr Harold Dabel’s group and they asked me to consult when they leased the property from the old WWASP school and because of my association with them they asked me to continue to consult with them and help them with their websites.

    I ceased my affiliation with any wasp program in 2008 and there is no connection with them whatsoever other than they obtained control of the property and operate a non Wwasp, not affiliated program with Robert Lichfield in any form legally or professionally

    We ask you to cease and desist on continuing to use the name Palmetto Therapeutic Boarding School or Palmetto Boarding School in any form with the wasp affiliation because they have no affiliation whatsoever… The original owner bob lichfield who I have not spoken to professional in five years will freely admit that we have no affiliation with his defunct group whatsoever and with him now whatsoever and we will have to consider legal remedies if the site is not removed web results

    We have 2 parents verified that used your website as the reason that they went somewhere else and didn’t so far that is $90,000 in damages and counting I personally don’t care about anything you write about the Wwasp that I was loosely affiliated with years ago and I ended my affiliation purposely…

    but Palmetto therapeutic boarding school has no affiliation and you are creating damages against it legally by trying to make an affiliation that doesn’t exist and you will be responsible for those damages.

    Please cease and desist using there name immediately

    Thanks So much

    Narvin Lichfield

    Please contact me at 864-462-0237


    • Bill Boyles Says:

      Dear Narvin,

      In our opinion, our website fairly clearly and emphasizes that we have no knowledge whatsoever about whether Palmetto is a WWASP-affiliated school or not. In fact, as we point out, WWASP is a defunct entity, so by definition Palmetto cannot be a member of WWASP . Perhaps parents are being scared off by your arrest history, or accusations by the Costa Rican government that you abused children, or the allegations of horrific animal rights abuses at your properties. Either way, if you have specific language to which you object, we’re willing to take a look. However, you’re going to have to try harder than this.



    • Bill Boyles Says:

      PS. *their name.

      You’d think a man who claims to be running a school would at least know the difference between there, their, and they’re and could at least write a more coherent comment than the garbled nonsense above.



  3. Jake Preston Says:

    Dear “narvin”,

    You’re an idiot. You said that “you are creating damages legally .” Why yes this site is operating legally. Did your dumbass mean “illegally” ?! I know you focus on abusing children not educating them so I’ll ignore all the other typos as well. Kill your self would be my advice.


  4. Jennifer Bell Says:

    Also if Marvin is so terrible and responsible for all these horrors, why did so many of you back out of the class action suit? Bullshit it was his fault, money or not. If you really have concrete stuff then FIGHT, not just bitch and moan here. Stand up for those who have suffered. Putting down Marvin is t doing anything to bring any justice to what u claim is an evil situation. With all due reapect, put up or shut up. Links do t count. Your little Facebook page mocking his horse ranch and schools WHICH ONLY 40 of u follow is nothing but angry and bitter grown children who quite likely never did get the help they needed or quit the program.


  5. Jennifer Says:

    I don’t get why u don’t use your obvious intelligence , and I mean that sincerely , to do something other than troll, basically… I am sorry for what u have been through , however that’s what I don’t get. Why have the lot of you not gathered together to prosecute? The only people ridiculing my feedback helps is you. Would be a lot more powerful to use this forum to petition, get more evidence, post personal wxperiences, and network to see if justice can be gotten for all those like you who have suffered, IMHO.


    • Bill Boyles Says:

      Okay. I finally have the time to give your comments the reply they deserve.

      First of all, you claim to know him but you keep calling him Marvin. His name is Narvin. That’s the name he was born with. It isn’t a typo, at least not on our end. So either A, you don’t know him half as well as you think you do and have bought into his Marvin Lichfield or Marvin Sheffield bullshit. or B, you know but you are aiding him in obfuscating and running away from his past. I don’t blame him for wanting to hide it, it’s a pretty sordid past, which we are going to delve into more deeply in just a moment, but suffice to say, he brought it on himself and I don’t think he should get to run away from it. The kids he’s held at his little camps don’t get to run away from it. I know from personal experience. My own nightmares and issues have yet to end, and I’ve been out for over 16 years now. Same for my wife, who was also sent to one of these disgusting torture camps. We have to deal with the things Narvin and his ilk have done. If we do, so do they. People ought to know who they’re dealing with and that begins by using his correct name: Narvin Lichfield. Now as for that history…

      Let me start by saying that I believe there is a strong possibility you are either Narvin himself or someone working directly for him and at his behest, so I’m going to couch what I say very carefully for legal reasons. We’ll stick to established facts. I honestly don’t think anyone in their right mind would need more than that to reconsider their decision to entrust their precious children to Narvin Lichfield.

      Let’s start with some easy stuff, like Narvin’s arrest for passing bad checks and driving on a suspended license. This is an indisputable fact. You are sending thousands of dollars to a man with a demonstrable record of money issues and an inability to keep up with even the simplest of clerical tasks, like keeping a license valid. Is that really a good idea? I suppose that’s up to you to decide, but if it was me, I’d never trust my money to someone who was allegedly kiting checks.

      Next is something more disturbing, namely the animal abuse. Narvin Lichfield was accused of some pretty horrific animal abuse. There were the carcasses of dead livestock removed from his property, as were some still-living horses that animal control officers thought were in danger. The pictures are pretty disturbing. Narvin denies abusing the animals, but he would, wouldn’t he? Only Narvin and those livestock know what truly happened, but I know that I personally would never entrust my kids to someone I even suspected of abusing animals. Narvin was never convicted, but then again neither were Michael Jackson or Casey Anthony, and I’d never let either of them babysit my kids. But hey, maybe you like gambling with you children, I don’t know, and you seem a little off, so it’s entirely possible.

      I’ll be continuing this tomorrow with more on Narvin’s documented legal troubled in Costa Rica involving child abuse and child-welfare agents.


  6. Jake Preston Says:

    Jennifer , you spell as bad as Narvin or whatever he has changed his name to hideout! Is that why your ok with your kid being at a school with such a monster and doesn’t know English or grammar ?!! Did the videos with kids in dog cages make you happy as a parent ?!!


  7. Colin Crompton Says:

    Jennifer, I’m gonna give you the benifit of the doubt, but you sound an awful lot like someone who was put up to this. I sincerely hope you actually have a child in Palmetto, but your complete denial and demeanor suggest otherwise.

    Now, if you actually have met “Marvin”, and you are so upset by the accusations of THOUSANDS of children and families, then I’d assume you’d have the respect to not misspell his name in every one of your comments.

    You should also take into account that the people, not just “Marvin”, who run these “schools” ( I put schools in quotation because the one I went to was in The US, and wasn’t accredited, so I hardly believe one in Costa Friggin’Rica is any different) make a living feeding you lines, and putting on airs.

    Your replies suggest that maybe education is not a focal point for you, being that you seem pretty uneducated yourself, but if the media, the former students, coworkers and parents of people associated with Mr. Litchfield all have corroborated stories, then is it you don’t actually love your child enough to listen, or has the program completely blinded you and fed you the slop you so desperately rely on to feel like you aren’t actually just an enambler.

    Still, don’t think if you were a concerned parent, this would be your logic.

    Nice try, Marvin.


  8. Prodigalson1 Says:

    Jennifer is horribke deplorable mother who’s child will resent her for a lifetime. That’s not enough karma though i feel i need to tell her here myself.




  9. Tommy Says:

    Jennifer, it sounds as if your mind is already made. Asking others to justify raising your own child, instead of a group of individuals whom already have admitted to working with an entity that has had several locations shut down for abuse is foolhardy at best. Do some research, take advice, or ride it out and see what happens. I would probably step back and think why people are angry and bitter, rather than send your kid off, and look for answers after. It seems you are looking for answers, but also just angry and wanting to justify your actions by asking others for proof. I bet nothing bad happens in the world that you cant show concrete proof of…


  10. M. Says:

    Narvin personally saw bruises on me at both CSA and Pillars of Hope. He personally didn’t give a fuck when he saw how dirty, bruised, and broken I was. He didn’t care that the seminars I went through tortured me. He didn’t care that the educational portion of my school was essentially non-exsistent. He didn’t care that I wasn’t religious, Mormonism it was for me!

    I’m STILL terrified of this man, STILL. That is why I personally will not stand up to him. You see it above yourself, $90,000 for 2 students. The funds available to this man have no end, ans neither does his brutality.

    And Harold Dabel?! He knew, too. He frequented both of my schools, and his name is signed on my fucking diploma!

    Keep your kid there, the only person that hurts is HIM. You’ll see, trust me, you will see. if you’re even a real parent at all.


  11. Amber Says:

    I sincerely hope you are just an internet troll Jennifer and not an actual parent with a child in this place. Narvin is nothing short of a money hungry monster that exploits parents with “troubled” kids. You want to call us bitter? Maybe some of us are, even after over a decade of being freed from the various levels of hell your beloved “Marvin” was and still is ruling over. There has been lawsuit after lawsuit filed. You think this was all for being bitter? No, it is for justice. You would think a concerned parent would choose a better option than one of “Marvin’s” brain washing torture facilities, but then again brain washing is what he does best, oh, and also taking kids to his big log cabin to clean and do yard maintenance. Why pay a maid or lawn Care service when you have a bunch of free underage laborers. You say you have good phone calls with your son? I’m sure thats because someone is there telling him if he complains the call we be disconnected. I’m glad the horses are being taken care of since the old ones died from starvation from blatant neglect. I could go on and on about the horrible things about this place. The name may be different, its changed so many times who can keep up?, but the owner is still the same. Would you send a baby to a daycare where its owner had pages among pages of complaints and bad reviews? No person in their right mind would. So why put your child in the care of a “man” who has harmed so many. so many students and staff under the order of Narvin have suffered for years. Whether this is a WWASP school or not is irrelevant. The creator is still there.if he was so damn concerned about helping teens he wouldn’t charge so much, and for NOTHING! If you really care about your sons well being then send him to a Baptist Children’s Home here in North Carolina. that’s where I had to go just 3 short months after leaving Carolina Springs. You would think 18 months and 100 grand at a “Specialty Boarding School” would really help huh? I came home much worse. The children’s home helped so much and for virtually no cost. And there I could have a normal day to day Life and not live in a ground hogs day from hell scenario. If you really are a parent with a kid that needs help I really hope you look for better options. Narvin knows how to put in the best face to make the parents feel like their child is OK when they are actually gradually getting worse.


  12. Due West Informer Says:

    Palmetto, recently renamed Southern Oaks, is owned by Narvin Lichfield, Marvin Lichfield, or Michael Sheffield, he has those 3 identities, however his legal real name is Marvin Lichfield. He uses the name of Harold Dabel to do businesses on his behalf, however I doubt Harold knows what Marvin is doing with his name.
    Marvin only cares for his horses, his wife even left him recently. He hits the students, don’t feed them properly or feed them once a day and make them work all day with his horses. He hires people in need promising a good salary, then he doesn’t pay and says that he provides food and housing and that’s the only salary.
    He is racist, he hits his wife, soon to be ex wife. Even the local community warns people not to do businesses with Marvin because of his long record of abusing and mistreating people.
    His program basically is getting as much money he can so he can get more horses.
    Look it up, his new program is called Southern Oaks and will be shut down soon for child abuse, there is no doubt.


  13. Due West Informer Says:

    His legal name is Marvin Browning Lichfield.
    I have some updates:
    A child reported abuse from Narvin and his program and DEA shut the place down and sent all the students home, this happened last week.
    There is no program and Marvin is trying to hide it from the public, Marvin is going to court very soon.

    Also can somebody please contact Harold Dable and tell him the many illegal things Marvin is doing under his name? He is destroying his name and Harold doesn’t even know!


    • Bill Boyles Says:

      I’m definitely going to have to disagree, since multiple court and other legal records show his name as “Narvin”. He goes by Marvin, probably because he realizes Narvin is a ridiculous name. I have confirmation of his legal name from property records, traffic court records in SC and AZ, and his multiple arrests in SC for deer poaching.

      Narvin Legal Name
      Narvin Legal Name 2
      Narvin Legal Name 3


    • Bill Boyles Says:

      Also, why on earth would the DEA be raiding/shutting down a program? That doesn’t make much sense. If any federal agency was involved in shutting it down, it would generally be the FBI, as has happened with other programs (Casa, Midwest). If not the FBI, usually local or state agencies are the ones shutting it down (Horizon, Ivy Ridge).


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