Spring Creek Lodge

Spring Creek Lodge

Spring Creek Lodge Academy, located in Thompson Falls, Montana, was first opened as a WWASP school in 1996 by Cameron Pullan and Dan Peart, along with Chaffin Pullan, Cameron’s brother. At its peak it housed over 500 students. 2004 SCL was investigated concerning the death of a 17 year old girl by The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) resulting in a complaint filed for child abuse and neglect against the school and specifically it’s directors, Cameron and Chaffin Pullan. The girl’s mother also sued them for wrongful death and neglect. In 2006 Spring Creek Lodge was entangled in yet another lawsuit, this time on behalf of 353 plaintiffs, all citing multiple abuses and fraud at the WWASP program and various affiliates. It was shortly after this in 2006 that Spring Creek Lodge released a statement attempting to distance themselves from the reputation of WWASP. As did WWASP itself, when it changed it’s name to Teen Revitalization and it’s Resource Realizations (seminars) to Premiere Education Seminars. SCL was closed in 2009 after a dramatic drop in enrollment and a failed attempt to convert part of the facility into an 18+ program called Camas Ranch. Currently several spin off group homes still exist in Thompson Falls run by former employees of Spring Creek, including what was originally opened as Star Peak Crossing, by two former Spring Creek Lodge staff Mike Chism and Mickey Manning. in 2010, a program of the same name as the Pullan’s program in utah, RiverView Academy, was opened in Thompson by Mickey Manning and his wife Lorne.

 Staff

Cameron Pullan

Cameron Pullan first worked for WWASP at Cross Creek in 1991 and 1992. In 1996, he moved to Montana to open Spring Creek Lodge along with his twin brother Chaffin Pullan and Robert Lichfield’s brother-in-law, Dan Peart. Many allegations of abuse, as well as Social Services complaints and lawsuits have been leveled at Cameron Pullan and his brother Chaffin Pullan. The Pullan’s served as owners and administrators of the SCL facility until 2009, when the school was closed. The Pullan’s were also involved in Camas Ranch, an apparent attempt to remake a portion of the facility into an 18+ program, which failed. Currently, Cameron runs the Riverview program which is a summer camp with it’s dorms located on the old Cross Creek Manor property.

 

Chaffin Pullan

Chaffin Pullan first worked for WWASP at Cross Creek in 1991 and 1992. In 1996, he moved to Montana to open Spring Creek Lodge along with his twin brother Cameron Pullan and Robert Lichfield’s brother-in-law, Dan Peart. Many allegations of abuse, as well as Social Services complaints and lawsuits have been leveled at Chaffin Pullan and his brother Cameron Pullan. The Pullan’s served as owners and administrators of the SCL facility until 2009, when the school was closed. The Pullan’s were also involved in Camas Ranch, an apparent attempt to remake a portion of the facility into an 18+ program, which failed. Currently, Chaffin serves as administrator of Horizon Academy in La Verkin Utah

 

Dan Peart

Dan Peart is Robert Browning Litchfield’s brother-in-law. He seems have first gotten involved in WWASP in 1996, when he opened Spring Creek Lodge with the Pullan brothers, serving as Vice President. He then went on to be the Director for Majestic Ranch, now operating as Old West Academy, where children as young as 7, and perhaps younger, were detained, abused, and used as forced labor.

Survivor Testimony

Lawsuits Mount Against Spring Creek Lodge

Ashley’s story, 2004

Sean’s story, 2003

Anonymous, 2001

Eric’s story, 1997

Anon, Undated

Josh’s story, Undated

 Gallery

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197 Responses to “Spring Creek Lodge”

  1. nop Says:

    i wish they would of just killed me.

    Reply

    • rebecca Says:

      Memoir: Thompson Falls Montana
      Maybe you’ve heard of those schools where they pick you up in the middle of the night and you disappear. They picked me up in the middle of the day. I called my sister and told her that some people are here and I don’t know where I’m going. I packed a few books for the road and got into a car with two ex-cops. It was a two day drive to I didn’t know where. They told me not to run. My last meal was an egg mcmuffin. That morning we drove deeper and deeper and higher and higher into the forest on a mountainside. There were signs everywhere that said “private property” and “no trespassing”. I wished I would have run sooner. I soon learned that I could not call my parents. I could not talk to boys. I was on lockdown; I had no rights and could not leave. The behavioral boarding school was called “Spring Creek Lodge Academy”. There were eight giant, two-story, log cabins on campus with a communal cafeteria in the middle. Each cabin was divided into four dormitories. Mine was ground level on the girl’s side appropriately entitled: “Serenity”. I was assigned a “family” and a back-stabbing bunk buddy. There were twenty bunk beds in our dorm all along the walls. It was attached to another dorm by a door, but we weren’t allowed to talk to the girls living there. There was also a large bathroom connected to our living space with several sinks and small showers.
      I then began my life in “the program”. It was a cross between a military school and a cult. I also like to think of it as an Orwellian concentration or internment camp for minors, but I suppose the term “private prison” might be less offensive. I was introduced to levels and a complicated point system. Something like an automatic twelve points a day, minus twenty-five points per “consequence”, and one-hundred-and-fifty points to get to level two. At the end of the day I was always in the negative and never got past level one. This was accomplished mainly by talking. Whenever we went outside we had to march around heel-toe and “in sync” in lines. If you talked in line it was a T.O.S. (talking-on-silence) infraction. I also got in trouble for talking to other level-ones as level-ones can only talk to their buddies or level-threes and higher.
      I grew somewhat accustomed to the monotony, floating through the same day over and over and over again. The bell in the morning, the five minute shower, the ugly uniforms- khaki and maroon. They wouldn’t let me keep any of my belongings. I was strip-searched upon arrival. This included the confiscation of my black and purple polka dot underwear. Only white cotton undergarments from now on. They took my Dostoyevsky and even my Calvin and Hobbes. Our rare trips to the little library (which I was usually barred from attending) were depressing. The selection consisted mainly of Goosebumps and other preteen literature. With no access to telephones or computers, my only connection to the outside world was through letters to my parents.
      It eventually became clear that they had become almost as brainwashed as some of my peers. My pleas to come home or to be allowed to move in with my best friend in Los Angeles were met with program lingo i.e. “work the program” or you will be there until you turn eighteen. I was fourteen. I tried to comply once against my better judgment. I decided that the level two privileges of butter, sugar, and a weekly candy bar were not worth it. I saw level sevens crushed because they lost all their points for a trivial reason. I saw the special treatment given to girls that had been there too long in order to speed up their graduation.
      The futility of compliance with a nonsensical, arbitrary set of rules where years of confinement are worth more than good behavior led to daydreams or what they refer to as “run plans”. Staring into space is categorized as either looking-at-boys or planning to escape. Although I was often penalized for the former by the upper level girls, I was usually doing nothing except not looking straight ahead of me. We would often have to stop in the middle of marching from place to place to accommodate other lines or stop at the restrooms. Instead of standing in formation, I’d sit down and start a conversation considering I stopped caring in the least about points. I made friends with girls who felt the same way.
      We shared rumors and strategies to get out. One day we heard that two boys managed to leave. They were upper level and took advantage of their good standing to make a run for it. Supposedly they ran, stole a car, and stole a boat before being caught by the police and put in juvenile hall. Whether or not there was any truth in this, it inspired me. During our P.E. we would jog around in circles in our fenced area and discuss whether or not we thought that there were guards, dogs, or just upper level boys waiting for us if we tried to run. My friend Jennifer and I decided we would find out. There was an emergency button we could push to get out of our cabin. The only problem was that our shoes were locked up at night, so we only had flip-flops. We pushed the button and ran for a bit, but the boys were faster. They caught up in our pathetic attempt and put us in “intervention”, basically a little cabin with lavender walls where they put you on time out. We were isolated from any houses or people way up there, and didn’t have any food to bring with us anyway.
      There were small victories however, occasionally vicarious ones. We could only eat three meals a day, plus one snack, so when we snuck extra pop tarts for friends that was a triumph. There was also this one time when a girl from one line saw her boyfriend from home walking in another line and they ran to each other and kissed. The same girl headed a mini-rebellion consisting of some girls from her cabin breaking out and running around the campus naked. In the end I had my own successful demonstration of defiance. I couldn’t convince my group of friends to do the same- at that point they couldn’t talk to me. One by one they were participating in the program due to fear of their parent’s threats of leaving them there. I was also afraid of having to celebrate my sixteenth birthday there, of finishing high school in another state, of having nothing when I finally got out.
      In any case, I staged an individual silent protest. I stopped talking and listening until they didn’t know what to do with me. At first they put me in intervention for long periods of time in solitary confinement. They threatened to send me to a facility in Mexico or Jamaica where there are even less regulations. They tried to restrain me, prevent me from sleeping, and other methods of unpleasantness. Finally they kicked me out. It was completely unexpected, I didn’t get to say goodbye, and I was permitted to return home like I wanted. When I got home I looked up the school online. Their website recommended that parents watch the movie Thirteen to understand what horrible things their teenagers are doing. In 2009 Spring Creek was closed. Other schools like it have also been shut down for similar reasons including suicide/attempted suicide of the students and lawsuits thanks to allegations of child abuse and neglect/ human rights violations.

      Reply

      • Lauren Says:

        You did a good job describing what went on.

        Reply

        • juan chavez Says:

          Hey. Im john. I was there in 2001, i remember being there. Wow it was crazy. When i went i was 17 so i only had a year to do. I was in the excel family. We had the worst reputation which i somewhat enjoyed. I remember one time near the end of my program i got dropped from level 3 “allstar” to level 1. At that point i stop caring cause i was about to go home anyway. So on a trip up to the hobbit one time i ran into a girls hobbit and kissed this cute little blond girl. I was like a family hero after that. Lol

          Reply

          • jon Says:

            i left christmas day 2000. i was also in excel. i hope i contributed to the worst family reputation…haha. i once ran away while on a transport in missoula…a douche named cliff was our family father at the time…so many memories…what a shit hole

          • AH Says:

            I was in Excel as well. Arrived in SCL in 1998 and took my exit plan at 18 in 2000. The Excel family was actually a ‘rebranding’ of Aspire (I think that was the name). We had such a bad reputation that Cameron forced us to rename the family in an attempt to get a ‘fresh’ start. We actually got the name from the shower curtains which were made by a company called Excel. The ‘rebranding’ was a total failure haha

          • Amanda Says:

            Lol. I remembered that kiss. I was in destiny and was 15. Omg that place was a cult!

          • Joe Says:

            God this place sucked I was in unity family. K think my favorite phrase was staff it. What was the name of that little room where you went during the day to avoid school? I just remember being well beheaved so I could watch the movie. Also 3 mi. Showers sucked as well.

      • Chelsey Says:

        When were you there? I too was in Serenity.

        Reply

      • diana Says:

        what a load of crap… that is NOT what went on..That was a program meant for kids that needed tough guidance.. It was a fast and easy program for those that wanted to work it.. Most of you out there that say it was a prison or cult only say that because your little kids throwing a temper tantrum because you didn’t get your way, you didn’t get to party late and have sex or take drugs, because you had NO respect for your parents or yourselves..oh and you were aloud to talk to your parents there just not straight away.. It was a place that MADE you earn your privileges. Privileges you lost at home because of that lack of respect. Sadly there were some parents that used that program because they wanted to ignore their kids or just use the place as an expensive babysitting.. In those sad cases it was just poor parenting. Soon (I hope) most you will (or have) grown up and witnessed your self that things aren’t just handed to you and no one is just going to give you what you want when you want it.. Life is Hell out there but you have to make it a livable one maybe even a happy one. But not without respect and an open heart to others.

        Reply

        • Bill Boyles Says:

          I’m sad to see you have adopted the all-too-familiar attitude that “I’m okay with how i was treated, so everyone else ought to be okay with it too” or “I wasn’t abused (or don’t realize i was abused), so no one else was either.” Unfortunately, this type of intolerant, attacking attitude so reminiscent of Stockholm Syndrome is something survivors suffer from, often for years, before they suddenly and sometimes traumatically realize the full scope of what happened to them. If (and hopefully when) you DO come to terms with what happened to you, we will be here for you, as we have been for so many others. Good luck to you.

          Reply

          • WWASP Survivors Says:

            I am not so sure this is actually a survivor… sounds more like a former staff member to me. This kind of attitude, “the kids were bad, they deserved it” is a classic staff response to survivors speaking out about the program. Also, notice how she directs all her insults to “you” as in, she never was one of us… Sounds to me this is nothing more than another industry troll trying to justify the abuse they profited from.

        • jessica (barrett) barrett-lee Says:

          what about the people that genuinely suffer from ptsd from this school?

          Reply

          • harrigal Says:

            Aw man this is definitely a a staff member. Sounds like a case worker or family parent. When referring to the “kids” she never used “we”. Considering WE all went through it. Moron.

        • Myles Says:

          Wow, you are a shill. So Diana, when were you there? And what capacity? If you were a student/detainee, I would say the Pullans and. co. did a masterful job in turning you into the insensitive , company line towing cretin that you present yourself to be. Did you find your magical child? Maybe the rest of us are just lazy misanthropes too thick in the head to possibly come to realize the wealth of life skills you the enlightened eternal level sixes have attained . The rest off us (a pretty wide cross section of folks at that) seem to see what went on in Montana as a simple get rich quick scheme by a bunch of Mormon carpetbaggers. They bilked millions of dollars from our parents, put us ‘spoliled little brats’ through a lot of unnecessary trauma, and when we came home out of our minds from sensory deprivation and seminars they blamed the parents they had just finished bilking for ‘not following program protocol. You ma’am need to do two things: first you need to look up the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ …and ‘allowed’ vs. ‘aloud’ while you’re at it (yes I just called you an idiot). And second, you really should look up the people you are defending, and weigh positive praises of the wwasps facilities against the evidence against them: I.e deaths, multiple civil and criminal complaints, gov’t mandated closures etc. Please drop a line after you do! ;-p

          Reply

        • adrian tabakoff Says:

          Were you a student there Diana? Did you ever get jumped in the woods, told to keep quiet to the press, beaten, abused or humiliated? If not you have no right or idea what you are talking about. If you are a staff member you were party to the systematic mental and physical abuse of the program, designed to promote failure in all but those who actually needed real help. Yes most needed help or guidance, but this kind of sickening treatment of youth is disgusting. What actual education came from that place? Did it do anything but give parents an excuse to dump their children on someone else? I was being starved, robbed and abused at home from a mother suffering from narcissism and munchauser’s syndrome. Did I not have enough respect?

          Reply

          • jenna garland Says:

            Yes! This place was disgusting… seriously whoever thought that torturing kids helped them is a horrible person….

        • Susie Krause (pagander) Says:

          I agree I have no bad memories. I truly feel that the abuse and neglect allegations were kids writing their mommies trying to get them to bring theme home. I learned so much while I was there but it wasn’t until my 30’s that I applied any of it to my life. I remember gravel pit and how fresh and revived I felt afterwords. The seminars helped release all of that pent up anger. I am not scarred at all. I think these people were a blessing in my life. I remember when Cameron let me babysit his kids and how much trust he had in me. I remember Natalie Carson making each girl feel as pretty as her. I remember working in the kitchen as often as possible because we could cut up and have a good time. That candy bar on store day gave me something to work hard for. I still listen to Tony Robbins and I know the answers on jeopardy when it’s related to old literature like the Canterbury Tales. Come on people embrace the good!

          Reply

        • Travis Says:

          Diana, I didn’t get to call my parents for 13 months. I was on level 2 the whole 13 months until chain saw me walking in administration and was like you’ve been here a long time what level are you on? I said 2 because I can’t get through focus seminar he said you’re a level 3 all star now. You’re telling me a 15 year old shouldn’t call his parents for 13 months because he was a trouble maker a year ago.

          Reply

        • Jordan V.E. Says:

          Agreed.

          Reply

      • Claudia Says:

        Rebecca, i was part of that naked girls running. lol of course i’m much much older and was dumb, we tried making the best situation out of a horrible one. That place SUCKED and i would never put my children in something like this.

        Reply

        • candice Says:

          that is hilarious! it was so cool that so many people participated, even though i’m sure you all got in trouble :]]. i tried to “run away” once, but it was just with one other girl. but i remember being really happy when you guys did that, like at least someone else thought that place was stupid and did something. even just a fun little demonstration was a big deal.

          Reply

        • Tom Stanich Says:

          Thank you! These people are acting like a bunch of victims and 3 year old kids. Id like all of u to realize if you got sent here its your own doing. If u didnt get anything out of the program its your own doing. If you are the same person doing the same thing with the same bad attitude as before you qent to the program wake up! Its your own doing! Cry me a fuking river you unaccountable over sensative pussies!

          Reply

      • candice Says:

        i wrote the above comment as “rebecca”. i was at spring creek lodge the summer of 2004 (in serenity). i was only there for 3 months because I was kicked out. i was looking for ashley in particular, who was there at the same time, in a different family and was kicked out and sent to Idaho with me. but i think i might remember some of you that commented..

        Reply

      • Ray Says:

        I was there too. By the sounds of, around the same time. Only difference is my parents brought me and lied convincing me it was just a boarding school where I could easier focus on my education without the distractions that gangs and drugs were causing at the time. But scl was filled with the same shit. People cheeking and trading meds, one guy evwn got caught smoking the one nug of weed he managed to smuggle in using an apple and a lighter he stole from one of the car of one of the many stoners they had working there.
        I ran with the nortenos back in the day, and lucky me, there was one fellow 15yo ene there from antioch…but 3 surenos and a crip, and this asian dude that was muscly as fuck but mentally a complete bitch who just wanted the crips to like him. And just cause they flew the same colour rag, the crips n scraps clickes up. So in all, it was 2 vs 6. We got jumped constantly, almost every other day cause there was shit to do n people got bored. And the instructors just allowed it to happen saying they needed to blow off some steam.
        Luckily tho, my parents found out about the school from the parents of my brother in law who was still enlrolled. And collin is a big, built, corn fed country boy. For the firat few weeks, he and I werenteven allowed to make eye contact. But after they saw that he and I wweren’t causing iasues, they let us interact and hang out at free time which is when most jumpings occured. The next time the Flue rag bitches tried to creep on us, they got completely smashed on. They didnt fuck with us anymore after that.
        But Thirteen was the wrong move. Its The Sleepers (or just Sleepers) with kevin bacon.
        Fuck every parent that ever sent their kids to this school. It fucked me up more than any amount my hometown could have.

        Reply

      • Mike Says:

        I am the only one to ever escape That’s fucked up. I was only 15. It was 1996. I was there for a total of maybe 10 weeks. Your story of me running away and stealing a boat was true but that was my first attempt. Damn that was a long ass run through a dark ass forest Didn’t make it down the hill until sun started coming up. I took off on foot the first time because I could hear a train horn in the distance so I thought I would try to jump on it and go whatever way it took me and I will figure out my next move whenever I got the fuck away from those assholes. When I got to the bottom there was a river that was a 100 yards wide. I thought about jumping in and swimming but it was moving fast so that idea was scratched. There was an aluminum boat somebody had chained up but no paddles so after busting the padlock with a boulder (took about 45 minutes but I finally did it) I went back in the forest and found some branches to use as paddles. Took a minute but finally made it across the river next was a big ass cliff of rocks that elevated the river bank from the train tracks. That was probably the biggest struggle so far was making it up that 10ft wall because it was at a 90 degree angle but I got up it. About an hour goes by waiting on tracks and I hear the horn and get excited. Tell me why this muthafucking train was flying by at about 60 mph. I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area and never saw a train in an unpopulated area. Shit all the trains out here unless commuter are moving slower than I can walk. So after that I just walked out to the street and tried my luck hitchhiking only to be picked up by someone who knew Cameron and his gay ass brother. So I was laying in the back of the pick up with a blanket covering me thinking I got a ride out of there. Surprised when we pulled over to see those twin fags. After sitting in isolation for about 3 weeks I was finally back to my next way out of here. The only friend I made there was an upper level named will from Houston Texas (if he ever sees this I just wanted to thank you my nigga and hope u didn’t get in trouble because of me). He was assigned to be my shadow and he had been there for 13 months or something and was almost out of there but he was still the same person that arrived there just faking it to get out of there. I was telling him how I’m never gonna give up on getting out of there and he helped me come up with a plan. There was 2 of us that actually pulled off the escape and made it all the way to Washington before we split up. He was in Samoa for 22 months his name was josh and he was upper level and was already 18 but he went on a pass and when he confessed that he had sex with his girlfriend ( who he had a 2 year old baby with) and just got dropped back down to level 1. Anyways he could of just walked out of there technically but we shared a bunk and we just waited until the night staff that always falls asleep was there and the staff that was the leader of our cabin (jay bird) I feel so bad because he was the nicest out of all the staff. Long story short i stole his truck and drove to Idaho filled up at a self serve gas station then ditched the truck in Spokane Washington. He called his family first they told him that if he doesn’t go back to program he couldn’t go home. My heart felt empty because the program manipulated his parents. He was only about 15 minute drive from his house also when his dumb ass told his parents where we were so I just said please tell them I dropped u off here and I jumped back in truck and went to a pay phone by air port. Called my mom and told her that I love her and I am safe and don’t want her to worry about me. I will make it to California within the next 2 days. She said she already knew I was gone and she knew about a couple other crimes I did in between to eat and whatever so she was my biggest cheerleader to get home and booked me a plane ticket to get home that was departing in about an hour. Let me tell u that last hour was the craziest shit It was like a movie because I wasn’t gonna get comfortable just sitting around the airport. I went inside one of the bathrooms and locked the stall and stood on top of toilet seat top so u couldn’t see my feet. Luckily it had a speaker in there so it would do last calls for every departure. During that hour Cameron and someone else came in the bathroom looking for me and there was a person in one of the stalls a couple doors down from mine lol. These fools knocked on his door and the guy was like what the fuck do u want in a deep voice and they just apologized said they were looking for one of the students because he is missing and plane is about to take off. I almost didn’t get away because I had a hard time leaving my friend josh there waiting to get picked up. that is the full truth and whole truth about my 2 escape attempts within my 2 months I was there.

        Reply

      • Mike Says:

        To josh lamberts mother. I am so sorry to hear about Josh. I was the one that stole the truck and ran away with him. I just read the article on what he had done to his grandfathers and when it said that no one said anything positive about Josh I was shocked. Josh was a fucking great guy in my opinion during the time I knew him. He was a good friend to me and if it wasn’t for him I might not have made it out that place. If u want to call me since I am not much into computers please feel free. 510-666-5591. Mike. And I will tell u anything I can remember. I am gonna write him sometime this week also. What a fucking shame. Josh was a good guy but we share a bad trait and that is a short fuse

        Reply

      • Nicki Says:

        Rebecca…
        I was also in Serenity’s “Family” tho I was there in 1999. I wish I was as brave as you. Luckily I was 17 at my time of imprisonment and only had 10 1/2 months to wait out till my 18th birthday. Thank God!! I’d like to connect and talk about your experience more if you are up to it?

        Reply

      • Brann Adams Says:

        My god! I was in Spring Creek Community. That was what it was before your time. It was very bad but apparently it had gotten worse. I salute your efforts and yes , the only time I saw someone allowed to leave was because they stopped talking period. I feel for you.

        Reply

    • Ian Baldwin Says:

      Yep just had a nightmare I was there again woke up feeling sick and not wanting to go back to sleep. This happens more often than you would believe and I have been out for over eight years. Damn that hell hole.

      Reply

      • Anna B Says:

        Omg Ian and Jennifer, I totally remember you guys (and maybe others)! I was there 2005-2007 and this is a freaking trip reading all of this. I had no idea there were websites like this. No wonder my counselor at school had so many questions when I told her I went to Spring Creek. Then again I definitely wasn’t trying to find anything like this when I got out, and Facebook has done wonders for finding people and talking about all the crazy shit our parents and others will ever get.

        Reply

    • Mike Says:

      I was in Thompson falls in 2003 when I was 16 I was taken in the nigh and spent 4 months. It talking to my parents I watched countless times as fellow students were beat and neglected in the hobbit there was one student who they sent to the hobbit every day I hope the kids who were abused win there case if this place was still open I would run up in that camp and take shit over

      Reply

    • Mike Says:

      I was in Thompson falls in 2003 when I was 16 I was taken in the nigh and spent 4 months. It talking to my parents I watched countless times as fellow students were beat and neglected in the hobbit there was one student who they sent to the hobbit every day I hope the kids who were abused win there case if this place was still open I would run up in that camp and take shit over I was in respect sept through December

      Reply

  2. Lauren Says:

    I have been forced to stay at Spring Creek Lodge for three years. I still have nightmares about this place, and it has been 7 years since I have graduated from this place. My nightmares were mostly about feeling trapped and having no sense of control over my own life. I am the type of person who has deep thoughts, and I am not always conscious of my surroundings. Consequently, It was very easy for me to lose points for being unconscious and neglectful, especially when all the girls in leadership positions used to watch us like hawks and consequent us for every minor mistake. I think there should be better ways with dealing with teen behavior. We were just kids after all.
    I used to watch Cameron and Chaffen walk around there as if they were kings of the facility. They did not care about the kids. They only cared about money. I was ghost. In fact, I actually got away with not talking to anyone for a few months. I don’t think anyone knew or cared that I did not speak. As long as I stayed a ghost, no one felt tempted to pick on me, and that was good for me. I was a naive kid that cared deeply about what others thought of me, I figured staying out of peoples lives would make me feel better. No wonder that girl killed herself. The trouble teens in the cabin did not care about her, they were too wrapped up on trying to SURVIVE the program.

    Reply

  3. Zach Says:

    I was at SCLA in their final days of neglect and deceit. They had went from being a “prestigious” boarding school with a student body of over 500, to nothing more than a run down academy with very few staff and only a handful of students. The rules there never changed, and the overall mentality of staff was neglectful and oblivious to the emotional conflicts of individual students at SCLA. I can’t say i didn’t learn anything from the academy, and there are definitely a few individuals i met there that i will never forget, but that school was nothing more than a money trap for parents having difficulties understanding there teenagers, using kids to profit hundreds of thousand’s of dollars every year. I’m personally glad that the school has been shut down, recently being changed to a place where student’s can take college courses.

    Use your experiences in life to grow and learn.

    Reply

    • Marten Says:

      I was at SCL from 2005 to 2007, and I feel exactly the same way as Zach. Money trap, most definetely. I would say more but it seems it’s already been covered. haha.

      Reply

  4. Myles Says:

    I was in spring creek in 1998. Kids got raped, beaten, thrown in the ‘hobbit’ constantly with a large male staff always handy to kick their ass and ensure that they stayed on silence. My parents grew wary of them after a few phone calls and a letter I sent to my father using codes and I was pulled after about 7 months of intense madness of a true American teenie gulag.
    I made the mistake of crossing the jr. Staff at a facility meeting for abuse and was relegated to level 3 status no matter how much time I spent as family leader and asst. fam leader. I had it relatively good. Friends of mine like little Doug, John H., Eugene, and countless others endured unspeakable abuse at the hands of Lichfield led psychopathic, Mormon, disciplinarian sadists like Chaffin Pullan, his brother Cameron, Duane Smotherman, not to mention the lower level rapist night watchmen and junior staff. It was insane, and when I left as a confused very immature 16 year old boy, I felt guilty for not figuring out a way to rescue my brothers who’s parents had not been quick in catching up to the scam.
    Evil people…it was the first time I encountered truly evil adults who practiced trickery and manipulation to maintain a yoke of control upon their wayward little piggy banks. I heard it improved as time went on, but even those who spent time there in the last days, after it had been exposed as a torture facility have my pity for having to experience such things as went on.
    For every story that made it out of there…every injustice exposed that the children experienced, there are a hundred more that were never told. Those of us that spent time in Wisdom, Courage, Unity, legend, serenity, eternity etc. know this.
    Most who praise these places are shills who profited off of it. I could have done this as my family married into the Lichfield mafia in Utah… I no longer speak to them. It never goes away no matter how long in the rear view the experience was. The feelings of hopelessness, mental rape, and imprisonment for whatever offense perpetrated at home, and dealt with by uniform aggression and abuse always remain. I was a lucky one considering the time I was there few were spared from atrocious violence. I hate to say I inflicted violence on other kids to remain in good standing with family fathers etc. but it’s true. I’m sure a couple men still think of me with enmity as I do for those who were above me.
    It’s a mind fuck. For those of you relatively fresh out, young and confused, don’t try to rationalize what happened there because you never will. Simply try to forgive, forget, and move on. If you fail in life because you can’t shake the memories, they win. Once you feel detached enough to fight the bastards and spread your own testimony of their treachery, do so. People should know what went on and what still goes on in remote corners of the country and abroad to children whose parents have been duped into this stuff. It was a nightmare, but wear your survival with pride. You are better because you made it out and can turn the pain into strength if you make yourself do so. Hell is hot and Thompson Falls was cold…yet they were hard to tell apart at times. To those of you who bled and cried with us through gravel pits and focus seminars (lifeboat process 😉 ) I love you and if we unite against these bastards in a mature and orderly fashion, we can give them the coups de grace that they need. Admin of this site, thank you! Your friend, Myles- Wisdomfamily1998

    Reply

    • Gavin B Says:

      I was in Wisdom right when i got there in July 1998, I soon transfered to Courage Family due to a letter I wrote home. I was the kid that got messed with. As i remember it I was sleeping Sunday morning and a junior staff decided to climb on me while asleep and dry hump me, I kicked him off and of course he tried to punish me.
      Was Doug the little guy that was always in the hobbit? John the one i remember was a cool guy, he was the one that talked to me when i got there. He was from the East Coast somewhere like North Carolina.
      Eugene was the black kid that was wild right? I seem to remember a story about him using a fire exstinguisher on a staff member in Courage family before he got moved to Wisdom.

      Reply

      • Myles Says:

        Gavin! What’s up buddy, Courage was formed after I had arrived in that hell hole. Eugene was a veteran who had been there long before I was there. He was a wild son of a bitch, but a sweet guy. That place brought out the worst in people. He beat a staff up with a vacuum tube if I recall correctly…insanity breeds insane behavior if you ask me. Doug was indeed the little guy always getting thrown the Hobbit with that big oaf staff member Kayden. John was my best friend there and he was a cool guy from N.Carolina. He got screwed over so badly by the seminar powers that be I still want to cave Duane Smotherman’s head in with my fist when I think about what they did to him. John and myself began talking to new comers at night about ‘towing the line and going away on the inside so to speak’. It was an action born of us sitting up at night talking when we were family leaders trying to make sure we didn’t get programmed. I remember you vaguely. Did you wear glasses? Anyway, I’m sorry you got screwed with. Most did in one way or another. It’s been a long time, but it would be nice to make life a little worse for the sycophantic freaks that ran that place and all the others. I hope you feel the same. -Myles

        Reply

      • Ryan Says:

        Well, I can’t believe I’m reading this as I sit here with my wife remembering the horror stories. It is weird that the story of the fire extinguisher is right there in front of me because it was Eugene and me who did that. That place haunts me everyday and every night, and I suffer from PTSD thanks to that hell hole. It’s really disheartening to hear about the shared hopelessness we all felt. To this day, I’m yet to tell my mother,who sent me there because I was not dealing with my dad’s suicide the way she needed me to (I guess), what that place did to me. Someone mentioned that it was a place where we lost our dreams and it seems like that US true bc everything th a rd happened to me after I left has been a result of what that place made me become.

        Reply

    • Kasey Says:

      Dude that was me jake and Eugene but I didn’t make it out the window in time. Yeah they messed with us early guys pretty hard.

      Reply

    • harrigal Says:

      How are you gonna mention doug b4 me man lol

      Reply

      • Jessica Columbus Says:

        JOHN!!!!!!! Hello!!!!! I am hoping you remember me! I am sure since our moms hit it off and we kept in contact for a while after getting out. I heard you had a baby a while back! Congrats! I have just for some odd reason been thinking about my time spent in hell…and decided to google it! Well suprise suprise they got shut down! It has been great to read all of these posts and see the familiar names….its good to see how you all are doing…Its so strange that all of us went through this shit together but were so “far apart” I wish i could get my hands on a damn SCL 98/99 directory of students AND staff haha…I hope all of you are doing well…..I am happy to say I am loving life with my two kiddos and living in Denver …best city ever 🙂 so if any of you remember me please feel free to email me! I would love to hear from you ….a sort of “closure” or new beginning 🙂 j.columbus1982@gmail.com take care!

        Reply

  5. Susan Lambert Says:

    I would like to contact anyone who was in Paradise Cove and Spring Creek Lodge with my son Joshua Lambert 1997=1999 and witness abuse toward him.

    Reply

    • Myles Says:

      I knew Joah at Sprimg Creek. He was one of the good ones in the jr. Staff. I remember when he was demonized to all hell after he stole the car and escaped with some gangbanger kid. He was always fair and in one particular incident backed me up for calling out a jr. Staff member for beating on a thirteen year old who had been sent there for being too fat. I don’t know what went on in Samoa, but I know at Spring Creek he was considered one of the less sadistic members of the junior staff and didn’t let them brain wash him completely which is quite a fete. How is he? Tell him Myles from Wisdom says hello. He probably won’t remember me, but I remember him as he was assigned to my family a lot. Straight shooter and solid guy.

      Reply

    • Susan Greene Says:

      My son Gabriel was there in 1997. He is almost 32 years old and is just now starting to talk about what happened at Spring Creek, which is why I am just now doing research on what others experiences were at this facility. He may have known your son. I will ask him. You are more than welcomed to contact me privately at greene0756@gmail.com. I will be glad to put you in contact with my son so you can discuss with him directly.

      Reply

    • Myles Says:

      Uhh holy crap… I didn’t hear about Josh’s current troubles til now. I hope he hires a lawyer soon. He was indeed traumatized by wwasps. I don’t see that as an excuse for doing what he did if he did it, but yeah, he was screwed with like all of us. I have no doubt that if he had not been subjected to the types of violence we all experienced in the programs, he wouldn’t be in his current predicament. I’m sorry to hear of his problems and I hope he will finally get the mental hell he needs. That said…I hope he doesn’t come to my neighborhood.

      Reply

    • Stephanie Says:

      Hi Susan Lambert,

      My name is Stephanie Hudson and i went to Spring Creek Lodge in 1999-2000. I remember Joshua somewhat.
      please email me at ms.stephanielhudson@yahoo.com I will tell you everything i rememeber.

      Thanks

      Reply

    • harrigal Says:

      I was in montana with josh. I saw stuff tbey did to him there.

      Reply

    • sarah Says:

      Susan … I was in springcreek from 1999to 2000. I am a female so didn’t get much interaction w the males but I can definately remember the things that went on there.

      Reply

      • Myles Says:

        John Harrigal….only one man ever could be the hairy girl. You are a testament to the endurance of a restless spirit haha. You’re a good man, and always have been. We both know what’s what from that time and I wish there were things I had done differently like throw your ‘truth to power’ ass in the backseat of my parents’ car and get you outta there. I felt like I abandoned you man…still haunted by that shit. It’s obviously worked out well for you and you deserve every ounce of success and happiness you get in life. I wonder whatever happened to Atfield? Anyway, just be good man, and if you ever want to, you know how to get ahold of me. On a side note, in that place the duality of man became very apparent. It was a bad experience because I learned to see the good side of otherwise evil people and empathize which has cost me a lot, but it also taught me to not be afraid of bullies. If everyone who has a bone to pick with these people do so in a mature manner, and I have been guilty of getting pissed off when finding out about the fates of the Cory Murphy’s and Josh Lambert’s of the world, this place and others like it can have a positive impact. In fact it seems like it already has.
        Anyway brother John, you were the guy who carried me through that time. We leaned on each other a bit. Continue to be happy, take care of the young ones and the wife, and be thankful. Know as well that I would do anything for you bro. All in all it is all as it is supposed to be. Merry Christmas homie… I self correct… I mean uhh and happy new year.

        Reply

  6. brandon Says:

    I was in the program from 02-03 I was in unity family. Let me start off by saying this place was shit!! I spent most of my time I the Hobbit and did not pass level there my parents were brain washed,and my family turned against me I have deep anger issues from this place aam glad it is shut down. All of you have BRV’s lol remember remember the fifth of November!!

    Reply

    • Nick Says:

      Brandon, I was always in intervention. Everyday for a year and a half. My name is Nick Theriault. Do you know it? I was in Quest family

      Reply

  7. Chelsey Says:

    I was in Spring Creek from 2001-2004 was the only person I am aware of to be kicked out of PC3, as a level 6- for being honest about my home contract. I was also the youngest on the facility, for I was a fresh 13 year old. After “choosing out” of PC3- I was pulled four months later (age 15-almost 16). My parents then sent me to a southern baptist program in Kentucky for my junior year. After that, I was sent back to scl for my last year (17-18). That place did way more harm than good. There was absolutely no one qualified to look after us. The reinforcement system was not logical- it mainly made us believe we’d never get out. My parents spent over $100,000 to keep me at Scl when they never even went to visit the place to begin with. Another side note- my reason for being there was because I did not like my step dad and argued with my parents constantly. I didn’t do drugs or break any laws, cut myself, or even have sex. So happy that place was shut down. No one deserved that treatment and lies.

    Reply

    • Morissa Katie Says:

      Chelsey,
      I was in Serenity family in 2002. I remember you, I believe. Did you have braces? God what a miserable time. All the brainwashed nitwits tattling on family moms who “broke the rules” and were just trying to make our time a little more pleasurable. Poor Miss Keely, I will never forget her. What an awesome lady.

      Reply

    • Alex Says:

      I was one of the few who got away. When I arrived i saw brainwashed kids everywhere I looked. There was so much abuse, manipulation and borderline child abuse/molestation going on. I couldn’t take it. There was no way in hell I was going to become another statistic. Some birds aren’t meant to be caged. After extensive prepping and planning. I finally made my escape it was a cold Novemeber night about 2am. Propped the magnetic door locks they had, broke the door wide open & ran for my life. After running all night in the freezing cold(my sweat was frozen to my beanie),I was caught the next morning around 10am. They put out a search party for me…police, volunteers, staff ect….those 8 hours of freedom were so sweet. It also earned me a one way ticket out of that he’ll hole.

      Reply

    • Felecia Wood Says:

      I was sent there when i was 13 as well for almost two years i was the youngest girl there too im now 28 and feel as if that place ruined my life and changed the path my life i wished ended up.. I had only ditched school a couple times and got into a few fights at school for kids picking on me and when i was sent there i learned so many things its like i couldnt wait to go home and become a “cool kid” and do all the things i heard in stories told by 15 to 18 year olds. I was still a virgin when i went there.. That got taken from me.. I started my period all alone and was laughed at by other girls. I was in the family Charity and never made it past level 2. The twins gave me level 3 just so i could go to a seminar and see my mom in hopes that it would calm me down but it only made things worse.. I was in and out of worksheets daily and spent countless hours nights days and weeks in the hobit. I was molested and beaten up and learned things i would of never dreamnt of knowing how to do or been around people like that until my mother sent me there. Pretty much just to get me out of her hair so she could drink and party honestly. I have ptsd, severe anxiety, insomnia, intermittent explosive disorder andb severe depression and i believe its all from there. I wouldnt wish that place upon my enemym Chaffin eventually had enough of me and so did every one else i guess and tried to make my mom send me to Jamaica where they had no child labor laws but my mom just brought me home instead.. Made up a home contract followed it for 2 weeks once i got home at the age of 15 and of course got bored and went out to find older kids.. The “cool kids” in my neighborhood to hang out with.. And within 5 months of being home i was doing drugs and pregnant and getting into physical fights with my mother. That place ruined me. $347,500 dollars later and im worse off then i ever thought or my mom thought id be.

      Reply

  8. Tyler Says:

    I was at SCLA from 03-04 and I never once saw a kid get injured who didn’t run/fight staff me ever to get restrained. I was in and out of worksheets/intervention from walking opposite direction as my (courage)family group on purpose to always keep the staff on their toes I guess you cn say I have a problem walking a straight line with others? I can honestly say I was glad I went to spring creek because I did 10th thru 12th grade of high school in just 10 short months, I would have never received a high school diploma if it wasn’t for spring creek. Sure it sucks not beig able to eat or watch tv when you want and you have to follow a bunch of bullshit rules. It sucks but it is what it is you make the best with what life throws at you. I am totally against peer on peer displine because upper level assholes are corrupt as hell. But as far as the staff go I had nothing but great staff member Chaffin and Cameron did walk around like kings but they were harmless. The staff only fuck with you if you give them a reason to I had support staff called on me 500+ times and never once had to get put on the ground, like I said earlier I would walk away on my own lol and would just verbally talk shit never showed aggression where the staff felt I would attack. At the same time I’ve seen some kids get body slammed to the ground when they were showing agression in intervention. Those kids deserved that, they asked for it. Overall spring creek sucked but it wasn’t a bad abusive place when I was there like everyone else has said atleast not in my experience lmao.

    Reply

    • Bill Boyles Says:

      CHILDREN NEVER, EVER “ASK FOR” OR “DESERVE ABUSE. PERIOD. Being “bodyslammed”, “fucked with”, or otherwise attacked or abused is never okay regardless of what behavior the CHILD may be demonstrating. This is akin to the argument that it is okay to hit (or rape) a woman if she is “asking for it”. Even if we accepted your premise, the staff at these programs never received the kind of training necessary to properly make any kind of decisions on restraint of any kind (as evidenced by the “bodyslamming”, which is definitely NOT a medically-approved form of intervention) nor to offer any sort of treatment at all, which is probably why they didn’t offer any in actuality.
      I wonder what qualifies you to say a place to “bodyslammed” or “fucked with” children wasn’t abusive? If I slammed my child onto the ground, chicken-winged them, locked them into a small room or made them lay on their face or assume so-called “stress positions” (which have been ruled torture and not allowable even for detainees being interrogated in Gitmo) for days on end, I would rightly be charged with child abuse. But if a “program” does it, using staff that usually had high school diplomas at max and who were paid around minimum wage and poorly trained if at all, while charging tens of thousands of dollars a year, somehow it becomes okay? This is utterly ridiculous nonsensical “logic”.
      I’d also like to point that schooling in this program left something to be desired, and doing three entire grades in 10 months is a good example of why.

      Reply

  9. Myles Says:

    Roger Lichfield is apparently going to be running one of his Daddy’s new schools soon. Apparently he is taking Narvin’s (what a name…only a backwards inbred banjo playing hicks would name their son ‘Narvin’) place as Narvin has had too many run ins with the law. Be prepared boys and girls…Roger is as dumb and sadistic as it gets. He is too stupid to be evil…but the results are the same. Hopefully he’ll continue doing what he’s been doing for the last ten years flying around the world on blood money and watching his emanciated baby factory of a wife try to run marathons til she falls over dead. And to think she used to be my favorite cousin…shame shame.

    Reply

  10. Myles Says:

    Narvin…. I’m sorry, but anyone who leaves their kid in the care of a man named Narvin needs a brain transplant. Maybe we should start a program for kids where they actually receive help and guidance rather than classic Maoist brainwashing and abuse. Hell, I would bet just about everyone on this site is more qualified than these Utards…sorry Utahns. I’m even getting a psych degree in six months. Robert Lichfield can barely read. We could all make millions 🙂

    Reply

  11. Gabe Says:

    My name is Gabe and I was in a WWASP program from January 1997 to December 1997. I was 15 years old. They had just opened Spring Creek Lodge in Montana. I was led to believe that I was going on a vacation with my Mom to Park Cities, Utah. We flew into Las Vegas and next day drove to what I thought was Park Cities. I was excited the whole way… I couldn’t wait to go snowboarding. I remember her pulling over at what I thought was a Motel 6 to ask for directions. She went in while I stayed in the car. After about 15 minutes, I went in to see what was taking her so long. I couldn’t see through the mirror tint on the front door so went in. I saw her at the desk and heard the door auto lock behind me and two staff members grabbed me. I knew I was fucked. I had arrived at Brightway!
    I stayed at Brightway for about 2 weeks before being flown to Montana. I was still in denial about the whole situation waiting for my Mom to show up and say “just kidding” but she never came. Cameron became my new guardian and made that perfectly clear when I got there. There were only about 20 boys at Spring Creek when I arrived… we were the first and opened that damn hell hole like prisoners opening up a new yard. No one knew what to expect. The youngest of our group was Cliff, he was only 11 or 12 years old. The oldest was Jay at 17. One by one, we all watched new kids come in. It was winter time and the most snow I’ve ever seen. When enough boys had arrived, they split us into 3 groups and told us to come up with “family names” and we would get our own cabins. I actually came up with our family name “Wisdom.” The other 2 groups chose “Unity” and “Legend.” Slowly we started to realize something wasn’t right with these people. They were all Mormons and tried to push that religion on us. They beat us, starved us, humiliated us and made us walk through 10 degree weather in our boxers and flip flops. Kids trying to commit suicide was a weekly issue.
    Jr. staff starting arriving from Samoa to work at Spring Creek, and after seeing me and other kids getting mangled by grown adults, two kids Jake and Eugene, made a run for it. Jake was really a quite person and Eugene was just the opposite. I was Jake’s closest friend there and I tried to convince him not to run because I knew he wouldn’t make it… we all felt the same about busting out of there. I kept my mouth shut and the next night they were gone. They were found and brought back a few days later, and were beaten within an inch of their lives. And of course, because I was Jake’s closest friend, I caught the most shit over their escape for withholding information… I denied the truth to staff. I was there for one year and witnessed everything including kids trying to kill themselves. I was wild myself, but after being dropped on my face in the gravel and getting my lip and teeth busted by staff (an ex Marine named Randy), I kept a low key. I witnessed a staff member force a 13 year old boy to give him oral sex in the bathroom late one night when everyone was asleep… WTF!
    Staff worked us like slave labor chopping down trees. They made us build fort style fences around the staff cabins and lay rock gravel pits. We were thrown in freezing ponds infested with who knows what just for fun. A few times a week I would help in the kitchen making food and washing dishes. I stole a sharp kitchen knife for protection. I kept it on me at all times. I was 15 years old and literally in survival mode ready to kill any jr. staff or staff member that fucked with me or discovered I was concealing a weapon.
    I never even made it to level 3… I didn’t want it. I just wanted to survive and not stand out. The more attention I created, the more chances that my knife would be discovered. I was never the same after leaving the program. The young, free spirited, charismatic kid that came there never got to go back home. He was replaced with a paranoid, confused kid who was obsessed with protecting himself. I could no longer socialize with kids in my normal high school, and it destroyed any chance of a normal high school experience. I secretly carried my stepdad’s handgun to school every day and kept to myself. I lived life through my headphones and skateboard. Looking back… we were just kids and the most important time of a young man’s life… his adolescence. While most kids our age were learning about respect from their fathers, how to flirt with girls and going to proms, we missed all of that. Honestly I’ve never really been the same… anxiety and paranoia surround my life, which all the Xanax in the world won’t take away… I’ve tried.
    It is now 2013 and I have been incarcerated in federal prison since early 2007, ironically for felony possession of a fire arm. I will be released at the end of this year. I’ve been in prison most of my adult life and I’ve never been as scared and helpless as I was the year I spent at Spring Creek Lodge. I am writing this from a prison cell and it is being submitted on my behalf by another party who told me about this site.
    Oh yeah, and every time I hear the song “time after time” I want to throw up until every blood vessel in my eyes have exploded!

    Reply

    • Myles Says:

      Jake and Eugene were awesome! Jake was the guy that told me: ‘uh you won’t make it if you run unless you want to hide under a truck for six months. Smile and nod…fuck em later on.’ Advice I took to heart and am still trying to finish the latter half of.

      Reply

    • Myles Says:

      Gabe, wow man. Unfortunately your story is very common and many of us who came out of their were actual threats to society where before we were just snotty little bastards. I think losing all freedom and seeing horrors perpetrated by adults on children…adults who you have to call your ‘family father’ etc. er cetera, it changes you. They meant to make us weak and docile through shock. Instead it just made us a little crazy to varying degrees. I have a burning hatred in my heart that I want gone badly.
      I have a self destructive sort of apathy that only struck me after seeing the shit that went on there. I lost my fear of consequences, rules, or really even death in the real world because none of it seemed to compare in measure to the pain I had already witnessed and experienced. In a way we are kind of like people who have been through any sort of trauma and didn’t seek help. Our ‘help’ was the trauma…it was child abuse. We who were there know…and it will never go away. Don’t punish yourself brother. Live well and prosper when you finish your stint. Don’t look back, and don’t try to lose yourself in some routine…just live. Remember that we have an advantage over the unenlightened masses, we know real suffering…therefore we can better recognize real happiness. Be happy, you deserve it. If you want to have whoever it is who posts for you write me and I will gladly continue corresponding with you. Sometimes talking to those who were there can be the best medicine. Whatever you do, take it out on the Utarded Mormon mafia running these places…not yourself.
      -Myles wisdomfamily1998

      Reply

    • harrigal Says:

      I was in wisdom with cliff. He was half a fag

      Reply

    • Eric Says:

      I was in SCL in 1997, I think I remember you Gabe. I was in the Genesis family.

      Reply

    • Anita Says:

      Did you know my son, Zach? He was from Ohio and was there about a year before going to Czech. (Morava?) I am sick reading all of these comments. Zach was there because his alternative would’ve been juvenile prison. I thought I was doing the right thing. I feel awful for all of you having to go through all of this.

      Reply

      • Will Says:

        Anita I wish your family the best.
        It’s been awhile…I can’t say much for my short stay that others haven’t. So many names seem familiar now but long forgotten since 1997. It was really something special to meet Zach many years later in my 20’s and talk about that genesis family we were in. I always felt cheated out of that time of life I missed, that life they often preached was over because we had ruined it (self affirming prophecies and pseudo self help jargon) but I am blessed for the perspective it gives on how short life is. The spring creek program was a joke for sure but I say there are some people and effects we would not have known if it weren’t for that horrific experience. Some folks can smile and make you laugh and make you forget you’re in tremendous pain, that is a rare gift indeed and will be missed. Peace out, as Zach would say!

        Reply

    • Brian Says:

      I know u! Brian. I left in ’97, spent a year there.

      Reply

  12. Gavin B Says:

    No one gets what happened at SCL. My parents never paid attention to me much less tried to listen. They paid the staff there to abuse me.
    Thats the mentality of my parents, and I cant go back any where near them. I watch as my other siblings get love but theres never enough left over for me. All I get is judgement and no matter what I am wrong and it is my fault.
    SCL taught me that no matter what I will ALWAYS be at fault. If I breath then it is my fault.

    Thats it, Im sick of breathing now. If my brother ever reads this I hope he gets as far away from the abuse that is the family.

    Reply

  13. Vanessa Says:

    WOW. Let me start by saying I would NEVER send my child(ren) away. I’ve known people who have done it. While I try not to judge others, as I don’t know the particulars of what they’re going through with their kids, I just wouldn’t and couldn’t ever do that and feel that sending your kids away is giving up on them. I cannot imagine the betrayal you kids felt, having your parents trick and abandon you. I don’t care what the reasoning was behind it, keeping something like that a secret and allowing someone to abduct you is absolutely deplorable. I would be surprised if any of you have any kind of contact with your parents. Hopefully they have since realized what a grave mistake they made and have tried to make amends, and hopefully you’ve been able to find it in your troubled, eternally scarred hearts to forgive them.

    I found your site after reading a cautionary review on Amazon.com of “Teen Whisperer” by Mike Linderman. I had already downloaded the Kindle version from our local public library’s website and had started reading it. I visited Amazon to see if there was an audio version because it’s hard for me to make time to read, and I am trying to educate myself on different approaches to improving my husband’s and my relationship with our 16 1/2 year-old daughter. She’s a good kid but lies a LOT and hasn’t made passing grades for years, so we are trying help her make better choices for herself and improve her situation, opening doors for her future. We don’t have any specific designs for her, just want her to be happy and graduate high school with her head held high and our relationships intact and healthy. After reading all this, I don’t want to hear any of “Mr. Mike’s” suggestions. He says in his book that he worked there for 10 years. Absolutely NO WAY he didn’t know what went on there; I’m surprised he admitted that in his book (he’s actually proud of it), after reading about all the law suits, suicides, murder, rape, assault, and so on that Spring Creek has been accused of over the years. Maybe he figures we’re too f-ing stupid to look into the people we hope to glean some advice and guidance from. Sorry about your luck, Mr. Mike. I’m on to you. Not another sheep in one of your “workshops”.

    I had friends in high school that were taken to places like this and wondered what they went through. IF they came back, they came back even worse off than before and wouldn’t even talk about what happened to them…if they talked AT ALL.

    Anyway, I just wanted to drop a note to tell each of you that my heart goes out to you, and I will be praying for you. Please know that God loves you and will forgive anything and everything you did back then or have done since; all you have to do is ask. I am not a Bible-beater, Mormon, Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, or fanatic. I’m just a MOM and a believer, one who loves her children more than life itself and who is even more inspired after hearing your stories to do everything in her power to show her teen daughter love, grace, empathy, forgiveness, and direction, so she can go out into the world with hope, happiness, and unlimited opportunity.

    LOVE TO ALL OF YOU.

    Reply

    • Myles Says:

      In all fairness, Mike Linderman was one of the only people affiliated with that program with a college degree, and a decent heart. He helped me get out of there. I don’t know how complicit he was with the Chaffins of the world but I think they kept him on the sidelines. In fact, in order to even speak to Linderman, your parents needed to pay more. The only man in the behavior modification program with the title ‘Psychologist’ and we weren’t allowed to talk to him haha… So telling. In any event guys like Brian Culkins, Cam & Chaff, Duane Smotherman etc. Linderman was not in the same league of evil. Curious that he wrote a book and actually admits to being a wwasp employee. One would think anyone would understand the backlash of that move

      Reply

  14. Kasey Says:

    I just wanted to reach out to the guys I was at the Lodge with. I was there in 97 when there were just a few of us. I was the guy that tried to break out with Jake and Eugene but I didnt make it out the window because Jake made a ton of noise. Please feel free to contact me at keelingkasey@gmail.com

    Reply

  15. Myles Says:

    Now one thing begs to question for me. During the program, I remember being told of Wwasps sterling success rate. It’s far in the rear view now and more than success stories, I see shattered spirits and people never able to function. Josh Lambert accused of murdering both of his Grandfathers was in both Paradise Cove and Spring Creek Lodge for years. There have been a disproportionate amount of suicides and other tragedies endured by wwasp detainees. Where is the success? We aren’t all in the same league of damaged as a Josh Lambert, but we carry the scars of a severe and pointless trauma perpetrated by those entrusted with our health and safety.
    I don’t blame wwasps directly for some actions taken by wayward former students, but you would think that if these programs were successful in any way, someone who’s parents were dropping hundreds of thousands a year on their kid’s mental health would be at least somewhat stable. To me, the sickness that afflicts the hearts of people like Lambert is a true testament to the snake oil our parents purchased in the name of trying to reach their children. Our parents were victimized by Lichfield and company and some continue to struggle with the after effects of sending their kids off to some dark corner of the world to be ‘changed’. We were all changed in these places to a varying degree, but does anyone really think these places actually helped? I don’t.

    Reply

    • Mike Says:

      I am the only one to ever escape That’s fucked up. I was only 15. It was 1996. I was there for a total of maybe 10 weeks. Your story of me running away and stealing a boat was true but that was my first attempt. Damn that was a long ass run through a dark ass forest Didn’t make it down the hill until sun started coming up. I took off on foot the first time because I could hear a train horn in the distance so I thought I would try to jump on it and go whatever way it took me and I will figure out my next move whenever I got the fuck away from those assholes. When I got to the bottom there was a river that was a 100 yards wide. I thought about jumping in and swimming but it was moving fast so that idea was scratched. There was an aluminum boat somebody had chained up but no paddles so after busting the padlock with a boulder (took about 45 minutes but I finally did it) I went back in the forest and found some branches to use as paddles. Took a minute but finally made it across the river next was a big ass cliff of rocks that elevated the river bank from the train tracks. That was probably the biggest struggle so far was making it up that 10ft wall because it was at a 90 degree angle but I got up it. About an hour goes by waiting on tracks and I hear the horn and get excited. Tell me why this muthafucking train was flying by at about 60 mph. I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area and never saw a train in an unpopulated area. Shit all the trains out here unless commuter are moving slower than I can walk. So after that I just walked out to the street and tried my luck hitchhiking only to be picked up by someone who knew Cameron and his gay ass brother. So I was laying in the back of the pick up with a blanket covering me thinking I got a ride out of there. Surprised when we pulled over to see those twin fags. After sitting in isolation for about 3 weeks I was finally back to my next way out of here. The only friend I made there was an upper level named will from Houston Texas (if he ever sees this I just wanted to thank you my nigga and hope u didn’t get in trouble because of me). He was assigned to be my shadow and he had been there for 13 months or something and was almost out of there but he was still the same person that arrived there just faking it to get out of there. I was telling him how I’m never gonna give up on getting out of there and he helped me come up with a plan. There was 2 of us that actually pulled off the escape and made it all the way to Washington before we split up. He was in Samoa for 22 months his name was josh and he was upper level and was already 18 but he went on a pass and when he confessed that he had sex with his girlfriend ( who he had a 2 year old baby with) and just got dropped back down to level 1. Anyways he could of just walked out of there technically but we shared a bunk and we just waited until the night staff that always falls asleep was there and the staff that was the leader of our cabin (jay bird) I feel so bad because he was the nicest out of all the staff. Long story short i stole his truck and drove to Idaho filled up at a self serve gas station then ditched the truck in Spokane Washington. He called his family first they told him that if he doesn’t go back to program he couldn’t go home. My heart felt empty because the program manipulated his parents. He was only about 15 minute drive from his house also when his dumb ass told his parents where we were so I just said please tell them I dropped u off here and I jumped back in truck and went to a pay phone by air port. Called my mom and told her that I love her and I am safe and don’t want her to worry about me. I will make it to California within the next 2 days. She said she already knew I was gone and she knew about a couple other crimes I did in between to eat and whatever so she was my biggest cheerleader to get home and booked me a plane ticket to get home that was departing in about an hour. Let me tell u that last hour was the craziest shit It was like a movie because I wasn’t gonna get comfortable just sitting around the airport. I went inside one of the bathrooms and locked the stall and stood on top of toilet seat top so u couldn’t see my feet. Luckily it had a speaker in there so it would do last calls for every departure. During that hour Cameron and someone else came in the bathroom looking for me and there was a person in one of the stalls a couple doors down from mine lol. These fools knocked on his door and the guy was like what the fuck do u want in a deep voice and they just apologized said they were looking for one of the students because he is missing and plane is about to take off. I almost didn’t get away because I had a hard time leaving my friend josh there waiting to get picked up. that is the full truth and whole truth about my 2 escape attempts within my 2 months I was there.

      Reply

  16. Julie Says:

    I am a parent of a child that I sent to Spring Creek. The reason I sent my child to Spring Creek was because she quit school in her Junior year and was completely disrespectful and running with trouble. We ended up in court and i was trying to find a better place for my daughter than our local system. Honestly I didn’t know what to do with my child. I found the program on line and called a phone number.
    The person I spoke with sold me the school. As I read everyone’s comments about their experiences my heart truly aches for all of you. I promised my daughter that I would bring her home as soon as she completed her schooling. I did keep my promise and removed her before she completed the program. I am truly sorry that I sent my daughter there. I have apologized to her but not sure she really forgives me. After I sent her there things began to calm down at our home and I realized how broken our family was and made big changes at home. I also realized that my daughter was reacting to the way our lives were. I wish I had the parenting knowledge I have now before I sent her to Spring Creek.
    If my child ever reads this I want her to know that I am sorry. I was in a hopeless situation when she was a teenager and didn’t know how to handle it. I felt desperate and wanted to fix the problem. I also forgive my daughter for her choices/actions that resulted in her stay at Spring Creek.

    Reply

    • Myles Says:

      Attn: Julie
      Well I am glad and your daughter should appreciate that you are able to see the fundamental flaws of the programs. So many parents refuse to admit their mistakes and it is extremely frustrating as a former inmate to deal with. My advice when dealing with your daughter on this subject would be to try to sit down and talk to her. Just listen to what she has to say and let her know that you are aware of the treachery of WWASPs as a business and the individuals who received a paycheck from them. She is lucky to have a mother who accepts what happened there. You can’t change the past, but the future is wide open. As a parent, your voice carries weight in the fight against these evil people. If you would participate in our goal of shutting these places down for good, you will be helping your daughter and thousands more like her.

      Reply

    • Susan Says:

      Julie:

      From Another “SOLD” Parent

      Everything you said X 10

      The only thing I would add is that they told me my son would die/commit suicide if I did not get him help from their program. A year later I ran out of money and needed to remove my son from the program. When I called them to make arrangements this is what I was told… “your son will be dead within 3 months of leaving the program early… we accept credit cards.”

      Reply

    • Anita Says:

      Trust me, I know exactly where you’re coming from. We are from Ohio. My son was facing prison so I felt that I had no choice. We went to Discovery in Seattle and stayed “on board” with the staff. My son never progressed in the levels and he talked about the hobbit but I had no idea how awful it was. I believed that his counselor, Laurie was looking out for him. It’s awful reading the comments.

      Reply

    • Julie Says:

      I feel as you do EXACTLY

      Reply

  17. Stephanie Says:

    I was in Spring Creek Lodge from 1999- 2000. I was part of the serenity family. Funny name to give considering that serenity was the farthest thing from describing this place. I am very happy to hear that this place is closed, but the memories from what the staff members did to me there will stay forever. Did i have a problem growing up as a child, yes, thats why my grandmother sent me there, however no one helped me. I almost felt like the staff wanted us to continue to fail. I dont know how Chaffin and his brother sleep at night. I hope GOD has mercy on there soul.

    Reply

  18. Myles Says:

    Are there any accounts of Chaffin or Cameron molesting kids? I saw both of them beat kids up and both of them gave me the creeps. They both obviously were sadists, and I know that WWASPs employs perverts ( Robert Lichfield himself has even been rumored to be a rapist), but I just got a particular kind of weird feeling about Chaffin especially. It will be interesting to hear what kind of testimonies arise as more and more former detainees speak out. In a perfect world these bastards would be in prison.

    Reply

  19. Amanda Andersen Says:

    I was in Spring Creek Lodge from 2002 to 2003. Thank God the program is shut down!!! I endured every type of abuse imaginable there…..I hope the families of those who have died from the negligence receive justice!

    Reply

  20. harrigal Says:

    Myles cee gavon brodnax in the house. Fuck culkins but the one I hate was jeff colby. This marine wiuld loveeeeee to meet up with colby.

    Reply

  21. harrigal Says:

    What can I say about the program. Hmmm….. it was a joke. Attn to all kids that were there after 2000…YOU HAD IT EASY!! They no longer did tbe “gravel pit” or “trail of lights”.and tbey toned down the seminars. 103a nfsd 106e neglect anyone remember any other warnings? Mannn I was so shady at that place. They fuckng made me live in the tpee in the winter for like 2 weeks. It was cool cuz I went n stole the staffs ciggs n got to do whatever I wanted. I have to say I got lucky with family fathers though.msrk clyde and gunner were cool. Thank god I was in wisdom but our cabin was the shittiest. Hey at least big sky had its own washer n dryer lol I hated the box! It sucked when you had to lug that thing around. Heel to toe! Talk about some gay shit lol they said I would amount to nothing!!!!! Yeah I soent time in jail…..but thats what woke me up! I’m now 30 soom to b 31. Did my time in tbe marines and served my country in afgan and irq. Now I have 2 kids a sexy ass wife and am a welder in tbe steelworkers union in pittsburgh pa. Cameron….how much money do you make? Howd you’re junky wife doing who left you cuz she was hooked on speed???? I’m guessing I’m way better off. I didn’t need wwasp to furnish me with a house!!!! I didn’t need to run and hide in bumfuck montana! Do I still have anger issues? You bet you’re asd I do, those anger issued saved lots of lives in “the sandbox”. Try to put me in the hobbit now.

    Reply

  22. Melinda Says:

    I am not even quite sure where to begin when it comes to Spring Creek. I was employed there from 2001-2004. I started out as night staff and then switched over to day staff. It did not take me long to start having issues with some of the rules and treatment that the students were subject to. As a staff member I was discouraged by the facility to form friendships with the girls. It was basically my job to monitor and discipline the students. My job on day shift was “family parent.” Sooo, how can you be a “parent” if you do not have a relationship with your “family.” That was one of the MANY rules that I broke:)
    I loved working with the students and trying to help them work through their problems and difficult situations. I admit that there were times (too numerous to count) that I cried on the way home because of the sheer weight of “my girls'” problems that I carried with me. Being a “family parent” was not my job, it was my life. I had considered quitting several times because of the way some of the other staff treated the students. I did not quit because then I couldn’t help anyone if I wasn’t there. I finally did quit in Sept. of 2004, a month before Karlye committed suicide. That still haunts me that maybe if I was there I could have prevented it. Before I left, Karlye and I were working on “goals.” We both made lists and crossed them off as we accomplished them. I still think about her and cry on occasion. I am glad that Spring Creek closed.

    Reply

  23. Walter Says:

    Chaffin Pullan, Mickey (Michele) Manning, Jade Robinson, Jason Finlinson the whole crew are at it again in Utah. They have a program called “Youth Foundation” also doing business as Riverview.

    http://www.ksl.com/?nid=960&sid=26248390; Had a staff member showing videos of himself having sex..

    I cant even imagine the intolerable conditions with those racist, unethical, monsters!
    http://www.utahriverview.com/
    They seem to be sold by Masternet Youth Services http://www.masternet.org

    The good news is I hear they are having major financial struggles. I have heard that they owe vendors thousands and are on the verge of closure! They apparently have taken very awkward steps to try and stay afloat which unfortunately means poorer quality services for the prisoners.

    Reply

  24. Mike Says:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/100005874@N05/

    Pictures of the Racist Chaffin Pullan! Tell me stories of his comments and behaviors!!!! I don’t believe this was an isolated incident!

    Reply

  25. Jessica Columbus Says:

    Hi out there! I was in the lovely SCL Eternity family 98/99……horrifying! And i played it safe to say the least! I saw some terrifying things there….but i recently stumbled across this site..i guess trying to STILL AT 31 YEARS OLD sort this fucked up time in my life out…I am SO VERY sorry to hear of any rape/molesting…i was FULLY aware of the mind fucking they were doing…i played right on into that to get OUT..i guess i just want to say thank you for sharing all of your stories! And its great to see familiar names! (john H, Myles, Eugene..etc) what a trip 🙂 ANd all of your stories are hauntingly familiar….times and memories i had locked up deep down to forget about… i mean what good did “gravel pit” do? Did yall REEEEALLY need that 15 foot high pile of rocks moved to left ten feet? Oh you did..great glad all of us underage minors could help you out with that at 3 am in the rain….our pleasure

    Reply

  26. Linda Says:

    Last week during the Youth Foundation parent/child seminar, Chaffin Pullan (who is the new director since Jade Robinson resigned) mentioned taking the kids to Riverview in Montana. They have been evicted from the La Verkin properties by Robert Lichfield (Optimum Billing Services).

    They are trying to lease the old Diamond Ranch property, but it seems that they are broke. They are trying to rename their “program” and re-vamp it (yeah, right- lipstick on a pig IMO).

    These parents who allow their children to stay in these abusive, disreputable “programs” should be ashamed in my opinion as these facilities are child abuse by proxy. Even after the loss of multiple lawsuits, news reports outlining the abuse and new lawsuits filed regularly, they turn a blind eye to hide the children that they broke using the guise of helping them.

    I hope that Montana is more caring of these youth than Utah has been.

    Reply

  27. Stephanie Says:

    I was there from 99-2000 and I was in the Serenity Family – Amy was my house mother. The 3 day seminars way in the back of the woods is something that i will never forget. I hope Chaffin and Cameron get what they deserve. This place was hell.

    Reply

    • meganprice Says:

      Stephanie i was also in serenity in 99 but later after failed attempts by staff to force me to move up in levels like 3allstar i was transferred to the new family destiny they built above the junior staff cabins. I remember my stay thers like it was yestetday. I made some life long friends. I was in mike lindermans adoption group. I remember not getting propper shoes or even my shoe laces during winter cause of a prior wilderness program i was in they claimed i could run n survive in the woods. As a result frostbite. Also the hobbit what a joke i had locked myswlf in the porta potty cause i didnt wanna go back in. They put a hose through the top an turned it on… then knoxked over the porta potty. I have nightmares of the gravel pit an other bullshyt i had to endure.

      Reply

  28. Eric Rios Says:

    My name is ERic Rios, i was there from 2001 2002 I was in respect family, I recall the day I went in October 3, 2001 and the day I left April 21, 2002, Anyone remember Tinkerbell the big black guy with cold teet????? Or Jeff Manzanares badass staff member?? I’m not gonna say it was the worst time of my life, but it was… after all I did learn some stuff I used today, How to read people, use the word manipulation!!!! I have to say is “Staff that Shit”, I was in Orange County boy from California, you do the math, as a say in the program I hate myself… Now people are doing the seminars out here, I heard that Rapper Earl sweatshirt went to the Samoa Program, crazy!! It’s been 13 years, I am not mad, it’s was just a chapter of my life, “i am Instrument of God with a loving spirit” ,

    Reply

    • juan chavez Says:

      Hey. I remember jeff. Family father of excel. Or was it respect. Excel was next door to you guys. I was there may 2001 to april 2002. We use to watch movies with u guys on sundays.

      Reply

      • An tran Says:

        Hey I was in respect family wasn’t u the short Peru Rican cat I was the only Asian kid there lol man it’s crazy times I barley remember but have thoughts about every blue moon wish I could link up with some of my boys from in there Jason McDermott where u at boy

        Reply

      • Amy Says:

        I remember u from the swing dance pep rally I think….

        Reply

    • Amanda Says:

      Hey I was scl same time and from Orange County ca. I think I met you in a seminar where they made us stick stickers on boys and made us think about all the times the opposite sex screwed us over? What a creep show those seminars were. I remember they would humiliate people individually I front of everyone bring up serious issues like rape and abuse infront of everyone. Public humiliation and reliving trauma seemed to be their weapon in manipulation. The counselor I was manated to see one time because I was new at the time told me about crazy mushroom picking he did with his girlfriend and started touching my legs and shit. I told my mom I didn’t want to see the counselor again and thank God they didn’t make me go back. Did any girl ever have anything similar happen to them? Also Veronica from destiny if you find this please email me! You truly were my only friend j could trust there. I tried finding you when j got out but couldn’t. Bamandah@gmail.com

      Reply

    • james griesser Says:

      E that’s just his name and he cant hang you got to get out the game!!!! Oh oh . Yeah thank god we made it out that shit hole. I was in respect with you bro. Hows life.

      Reply

    • Shelby morgan Says:

      Eric Rios!! What up buddy! I was in respect with you. Remember ?
      Hit me up shelbymorgan47@yahoo.com

      Reply

  29. B naimi Says:

    I was also in spring creek lodge back in 97 for 6 weeks. I successfully escaped from that place by stealing a workers truck in middle of night and driving to Spokane Washington and from there I got on a train to san francisco bay area in California. It was quite an adventure. Sorry to hear that these places lasted so long

    Reply

  30. sarah Says:

    Hey there! I was in springcreek from 1999 to 2000 … I was in “innocence” … until they ripped that “family” apart cuz of behaivior issues and then I went to “serenity” … was anyone else there during those times?

    Reply

    • Jenna Says:

      I was in Innocence at that time. I remember getting moved downstairs, but could not remember why.

      Reply

      • Sarah Says:

        Jenna – did u get in trouble for “note passing” with a jr.staff ? I vaguely remember that if that is you. I remember an older Mexican girl named Claudia, ilianna, holly poe, marybeth… those are some of the names from “innocence” that stick.out

        Reply

  31. Colton Sterling Stoneman Says:

    My god it’s insane to see the talk to this day continue. I’m happy to see kids still fighting. I was there 06-07 when I was transferred to Jamaica. The trap these schools played was flawless to say the least, I’ve actually kicked it with some kids afterwards and it is amazing to think people this successful in some cases had to do something so horrid. To those who had more trouble re-adjusting back to life, I fully understand. What is their to do to be active in lawsuits? Anyone who remembers me should get at me on facebook. Colton Stoneman.

    Reply

  32. Brandon Todd Says:

    I was in SCL for 22 months from 2001 to 2003. After about a year I got tired of not being able to have salt on my nasty eggs. So I began to wkrk my way out. I graduated the program a level 6 and was trainer of the boys off site house. Lets just say I had to play the game to get my life back. This place was a crock. Lies and more lies. Parents if you are reading these claims please listen. Your kids likely do not need to be shipped off to get help. I was sent away because I was a less than desirable child to have in your home. In and out of juvi, drugs, steeling etc. So yes I was a pain im sure. What people didnt see was my home life. Alcoholic step father, beaten often, brainwashed and belittled etc. I ran away and did most of the things I did to survive and forget my life. So as unaccountable as it is, was not all my fault. I did make my decisions. And for that I am accountable. But if you think its all your child that has the issues. Think again. Take a good hard look at the situation. More than likely there are some things that you can do or change to help the situation. Places like this do not help kids. Its jail you pay for. Im not trying to condemn anyone. I know being a parent is challenging. But shipping a child away is no option. Most of the allegations the other people are speaking of I can say for sure are true. I witnessed many myself. And as trainer I nearly became corrupt as the staff at first. I really had to work to stay myself and not be brainwashed. But I made it out alive. And my heart goes out to anyone who didnt. I am glad this facility closed. And I will end with this. Dont give up on your kids. They need you!

    Thank you all for keeping this info flowing.

    Reply

  33. Danny Says:

    I was in Spring Creek back when they first opened up in 96 97 when there was only 2 cabins. I don’t remember alot of people’s names from then but I do remember jay and Eugene and gabe. My name is danny I was the big guy that got sent there after military school. Dhuston614@gmail if anyone wants to talk to me from bAck then. I would like to hear from you guys that were there in the beginning like I was. When it was more like an experiment on kids.All the mind screwing and torture that we went through. I never got sexually assaulted and am sad to hear that it happened but they definitely made me as miserable as they could when I was there. I couldn’t get my grandparents to believe any of this was happening but there is now proof. I can remember them taking all my clothes when I got there and not giving them back. They said it was part of my image or something like that. They made me burn all of my cothes so I had nothing. I remember the song time after time. That place has haunted me for years.I was there about three months when the first of the girls began to arrive they would make us lay on the ground and put our face in our hands so we couldn’t look at them.I remember the pit, the hobbit and all the bullshit we had to go through. I can’t believe the place made it that long.I feel bad for any kid that had to go there. I have so many stories from what went on there but not enough time or space here lol. Anyone who might remember me can email me I would love to hear from you all.

    Reply

    • Townfolk Says:

      Cameron had a running tab at the local bars. He would take the senior staff out and they’d all get drunk. We used to call SCA the “Kiddie Farm” It was sad. Most of the townspeople didn’t like it, other than they, SCA, dumped a ton of money in town.

      Reply

    • James Says:

      Hey, I remember Danny, Gabe, Eugene, and several others…I was part of the first group (the Genesis family) in January 1996. I even slept on the floor inside what became the “Hungry Horse” cafeteria, on the floor by that old stove with the wolf dog Lakota hangin’ out there. The first chef, Dan, had apparently domesticated her but I’m not 100% sure if that’s fact. I think, Danny, I remember you. The only staff member that I think most of us respected was “Papa” Mike, because he was a descent guy. I think him and his wife lived in an old converted school bus somewhere outside of town. I remember him singing “Good morning, good morning, it’s time to get up or it’s a warning.” At least, he was the most unlike the other staff members like the cowboy with the mustache who was obsessed with his walkie talkie (that guy was so weird), or Rusty and his older brother — strange people, clearly not qualified to help kids.
      I think I remember Eugene because he had a hearing aid that he used to let me wear for fun, and he was an awesome kid from California, too. He even gave me his T-shirt when I left at the end of ’96…it was a Petaluma shirt. That was Eugene, or am I trippin’?
      That place haunts me to this day. True, I did make a few friends there, but the creepy and psychologically fraudulent aspects of those weird seminars and “inner child” bullshit were actually traumatizing! Zach was my friend…and I was sad to hear he passed away of a heroin overdose. His mom is a wonderful lady, and she’s done a lot of positive educational and volunteer work in Zach’s memory. I’ll never forget Zach. He was an instant friend.
      TJ was a good friend of mine, too — the guy with Cystic Fibrosis who was always doing breathing treatments…we stayed friends afterwards…even went to a concert in Vegas years later…but, sadly, his illness overcame him a few years ago and he passed away. He fought up until the end, kept his sense of humor throughout…even when he needed a double lung transplant. He was a good friend. A lot of his sarcasm actually helped me get through the insanity we had to experience there.
      I do remember a lot of negative things about that place, starting with abuse at Brightway in Utah. I remember a big Samoan guy stealing my clothes (never got them back), stealing the Mountain Dew can I got for Christmas, and hitting me and slapping me to wake me up in the middle of the night, telling me walk without shoes into a van outside in the snow, to be driven to Montana from Utah. At Spring Creek, I remember doing grass drills in the rain, clearing a forest of trees with about 20 kids, shoveling snow for hours, kids crying when forced to run never-ending laps around the basketball court until some even collapsed, the essay “pit” where many were forced to spend hours or even days listening to motivational tapes, the “Hobbit” cabin in its’ infancy…and those horrible stories of kids who were kept there in isolation, etc. The list goes on. Horror stories from the incoming junior staff from Samoa…one guy said they locked him a trunk and floated him at sea, then threw rocks at the trunk while he was inside of it. Yes, Gabe, I remember having to wear only flimsy brown slippers and boxer shorts and walking that way outside while it was snowing. Kids were shivering cold, teeth chattering. Punishments were abnormal and out of place. All of the outgoing letters were pre-read by staff, so anything defamatory or heavy on complaining was not allowed to be mailed out. I sort of learned how to play the game in my own way, but my friends had a much harder time than I did, I think.
      This is the kind of shit people don’t make up. This was real, and I’m here to validate these claims.
      I’m relieved to know this place was shut down. I’m relieved to know it’s in my rear view mirror, but even though it was 20 years ago it still seems like not that long ago. It’s crazy…I’m 34 now…and still, I remember these things. These images of that place in my mind…like a bad dream. But I try and find the good things. My Dad had lied to me…he said I was going to music school and then surprise: I got abducted by two Samoan guys in an airport in Reno, and I had no idea what was happening or where I was headed. It felt like an abduction. It was scary. I was 15. Some kids that I knew stayed for years. I stayed for 1 year. Truthfully, I manipulated my way home, and I’m proud of myself for doing it. I played the game. I knew if I didn’t that I’d never get out, so I think I got to level 4 before, with a rare phone “privilege” because my uncle had died in Iowa, and I tried to convince my Dad to let me go to the funeral…which I ended up not going to after all was said and done, but it did give me chance to convince my Dad I was doing well and ready to go back to normal high school starting after the winter break. He agreed, and I got out by the start of ’97.
      The guy who conducted those warped seminars…David Gilcrease was his name, I think…he scared me. What a horrible person. The bullshit that came out of his mouth was alarming. I remember that I knew I had to pass that seminar, and in order to do it I actually spit my saliva out and onto the floor, and then I rubbed my face into it, getting it into and around my eyes so that I could convincingly pretend I was crying so that he’d be convinced I had “found my magical child”…which was total bullshit. It sound crazier even now, thinking about it as a grown man. I just can’t imagine putting my child in an environment like that.
      Does anyone remember the kid who ran away and defecated on the mailbox? He slit his wrists if I remember, but survived. There was a kid there who swallowed bleach, too, I think.
      Other than the wolf dog and the couple of friends I made, that place was a nightmare.
      Wish you guys all well in life. Much love and support.

      Reply

  34. Tara E Says:

    I am looking for anyone who was at SCL in 2005. I was in Charity. I was going to write on hear about my horrible experience here but it looks like everyone else hit it right on the head. I was unaware that a website like this existed until a girlfriend of mine told me about it. I repressed memories about my transport and time at SCL for years. I couldn’t speak of it in detail until a few years ago. I still have nightmares where I get sent there and am telling them I’m too old to be there but they don’t let me go, my parents are still telling me I can’t come home. Sounds like I never got my resolution from being in this place. My heart goes out to all the rest of you who went. The worst part is these programs go on operating, get shut down and reopen in new locations with different names and the world just lives on, completely oblivious that hell holes such as these really exist. I remember first telling my husband about it. I never saw the man so quiet and he just looked at me in horror and disbelief at the things I told him. I hope karma reaches the people behind the evil operations of these facilities.

    Reply

    • jessica (barrett) barrett-lee Says:

      tara I remember you I was in charity too.

      Reply

      • Olivia Jenkins (Ursic) Says:

        I was transferred to Charity in 2005 from Innocence for a short time! I struggle to open up all of the memories but they have started flooding back over the last few years!

        Reply

  35. Myles Says:

    Sorry Harrigal, I meant Atwood…hope you see the post above. If you don’t…make sure you self correct? 😉 Anyway…I truly am proud of you man. Nobody can say you haven’t done well. And anger issues?! Yeah they kinda encouraged that in our ‘special cases’ didn’t they…

    Reply

  36. Myles Says:

    Danny and Gabe,
    remember ‘true colors’ playing every five minutes. They would work everyone into a frenzy with some hypothetical horror show and play that song and have someone come around and nance around everyone in some contrived attempt to elicit some false sense of security and happiness within the program. I like Cyndi Lauper… ‘Time after time’ makes me think of good times, but still can’t pass ‘true colors’ on the radio without thinking of seminars and Cat 2’s. It amazes me that I even still remember this shit. Everyone in life has a battle or two in life…we were mostly all troubled kids… Wwasps may not even be as evil as they seem to be at a glance or gaze, but just a bunch of misguided idiots without any qualifications to be in charge of children. We were children…in the care of at worst morally bankrupt and at best absolutely stupid people. Either way it is a system that has been proven to be not only flawed, but negligently foolish. They are so dug in though and know the rules of ‘the game’ (politics) that those who oppose them can do little but shake their fist at the wind. So in the name of reason and Christmas, I ask that those who work for, are involved with, or profit off of any of the places run now by the usual crowd…do the right thing…give the parents what they think they are paying for, or close. Improve or just stop. It all starts with hiring people qualified to care for kids.

    Reply

  37. Joseph Vincent Says:

    any spring creek lodge people have any luck getting their transcripts?? Went there from 2003-2004. Need it asap for a job let me know if anyones had any luck.

    Reply

    • Elizabeth Says:

      My daughter Shelby was there and graduated in 2007. She just went through trying to get her transcripts with no luck. She researched, found names of higher up people, but at the end of the day they are gone. She’s going back to school and when she talked to a counselor found out she didn’t need them.

      Reply

  38. Andrew Says:

    Chavez I remember u. I came into excel just as u were leaving Moises n big mike

    Reply

  39. Andrew Says:

    I was there in 2002

    Reply

  40. A Says:

    My boyfriend (at that time) got sent there in 1999. Was there until 2001. We didn’t stay too close after he came back. I tried for years but he was never the same person he was when he left there. I remember the pain I felt when the letters started saying he liked it there and the place was where he belonged. I didn’t believe it. Now that I know he had to say that stuff I hate these people for betraying what we were trying SO hard to hold onto. He never talks about what happened there. He acts like it didn’t even happen. He just…shuts down. He is worse off now than he EVER was going in. My heart goes out to all of you who experienced this place. I hate it even exists. it ruined years of my life just by being a part of the pain, distance, etc my boyfriend went through. And I KNOW it ruined his.

    Reply

  41. Christian Says:

    I was there 2007. I was at the Camas ranch 18+. They moved us to Thomas Creek by the old 18+ girls facility and me and another kid John escaped. We went on a work trip to some town kind of near by and we ran from there to a greyhound and had a girlfriend by us tickets to vegas. We didn’t steal a car that was a rumor they made up. He was from cali and on probation (my running partner) and I live in ft lauderdale florida so he left me in vegas. Still haven’t heard from him love to find him one day he was a good partner. We are the only 2 people to successfully escape from spring creek or Camas ranch. I am proud of that and still remember my times there. Just wanted to share get back to me

    Reply

  42. Nick Says:

    Was there march 31 2002 – july 1, 2004. Honor family. Punched Cliff in his fuckin face. YEAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT FELT GOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!!!!!!!!!!!! Until I got stampeded by junior staff. Remember that tall guy with the flat top and big ass boots that went up to his knees. Real deep voice. I think his name was Danny. Maybe not though. Either way he was a genuinely good man. He got fired for letting a kid change a tire on a car. Hope he’s doing well. Justin Harris playing his guitar at night when they dimmed the lights definitely made you appreciate the little things. Kids trying to kill themselves left and right. So many memories of that shit hole I could go on for hours if not days. I had plain oatmeal coming out of my fuckin ears by the time I left. Biscuits and gravy were all the rave until you had it a million and 1 times. And WORKSHEETS!!!!!!!! Remember going in there the first time and going “Where the fucks the worksheet at”?!!! No worksheet, just a wooden cubicle to waste away in while a junior staff crunches on Cheetos and tells you to not turn around in your seat. My ass is still sore. Don’t get me started with “special needs”. Not the place to be if you wanted a good nights rest. Anyways Ive ranted enough. Take care Spring Creek veterans. And where was this spring creek at anyways?! I remember a shitty little pond we would visit maybe once a year. Bye.

    Reply

  43. Jessica Says:

    My name is Jessica I was in Serenity feoom 2003 to 2004. I was with Karley when we got in trouble while cleaning the guest cabin. We used the phone in there and when they got the phone bill we were caught. I didnt care because I was going home, my ticket was already bought but she had to stay behind. I had no idea until a little while ago that any of this had happened. It was miserable there. .. my heart breaks that she felt no way out but she didn’t have a way out. 18 was far away for her, her parents had been brain washed by then and we had both dropped from level 4 to 0000 black cloud status…. if anyone out there remebers me email me I would like to hook up with some of you guys…. jgraham2862@gmail.com

    Reply

    • WWASP Survivors Says:

      Thank you Jessica. I’m sad to hear about Karley and how she felt before her death. It truly breaks my heart that these programs have had that kind of power, to drive children into such sorrow that they see no way out. I know I felt it… and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. If you are looking to reconnect, please join our facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/wwaspsurvivors We have quite a few SCL survivors there 🙂

      Reply

    • Andrew Says:

      Hey, wasn’t there in 2003. I was there all of 2002. I feel for anyone who had to experience that place. It was horrible. If u ever need someone to talk to I’d be more than willing to listen. Tc excel family

      Reply

    • Tami Says:

      Jessica, I think I remember you…. What was Karley’s last name? I hope it’s not who I think it is. I’m sorry it happened to anybody….

      Reply

  44. harrigal Says:

    Jessica I emailed you and I never got anything back. Johnkharrigal@gmail.com.

    Reply

  45. morgan Says:

    does anyone know what happened to school transcripts? im trying to attend college and need my school transcripts from here and any help would be appreciated

    and yes im aware they were shut down. thus the difficulty.

    thanks for your help

    Reply

  46. Kay RIngwald Says:

    Hello Fellow Survivors,
    I am writing a book about WWASP, their people and practices, past student experiences and abuse, and more. I am looking for a few survivors to share their stories with me and help me contribute. You can do this anonymously if you choose. Please contact me at howiseetheworldblog@gmail.com
    Thank you,
    Kay

    Reply

  47. Wisdom Family Says:

    I was in the hobbit over thanksgiving and also around christmas of the year 2000. I could go on and on about how ridiculously abusive and absurd the conditions were. But I don’t want to waste your time. I’ll just say this. Some parents came during a tour and looked at us in ‘special needs’, it happened a couple times while I was in there. As well as the ‘therapists’ and staff. But nobody seemed to raise an eyebrow or voice concern that locking young teens in a barred cell in a shack for days, and weeks at a time. It was like living in bizarro world. I try to get this place out of my mind, but I can’t. It was just too surreal, and fucked up. Don’t even get me started on the seminars. I feel like I need to go back and plant a tree, or something, for all the innocence lost on those beautiful Montana grounds.

    Reply

  48. Kellen Dean Says:

    lately I have been finding a lot of these comments about the old wwasp programs and I find it great that we can all now come back in to touch with people from this time!!! I was in spring creek from 98-00 courage family!!

    Reply

  49. Alexander Ziperovich Says:

    Like practically all of you I was sent to Spring Creek Lodge when I was very young, during an already crucially, incredibly horrific time in my life. Spent almost every day I was there in the hobbit. I’m really trying to find a Trauma and PTSD therapist right now possibly a psych who is already educated on Spring Creek / WWASP. I live in Seattle, WA I’m wondering if anyone might possibly, serendipitously know of a good psychologist in the Seattle area, I would be eternally grateful –

    Mad respect always
    Alex

    Reply

  50. Melissa S. Says:

    I was curious, is this the same place that is mentioned in Mike Linderman’s book, “The Teen Whisperer” ?? I haven’t found his name anywhere here, but I haven’t researched it much either. Anyway, I just started his book because I have a little cousin we’ll call “D” – he is 11 years old and showing signs of being a sociopath. His mom works 2 jobs, goes to college full time and cares for her two boys D and J. I definitely don’t want to recommend a boys camp if this is the type of treatment he will get!

    Reply

  51. Janna B Says:

    I was there from like Nov 2001 to July 2002 in “Innocence”. So many bad memories. I hated that place. As soon as my parents came up for one of the seminars, they were like “I think even your little rep person “Ms Kathy” is spun out of her mind”. Not to mention whats his name who ran the seminars… that guy was a damn psycho. and SHARING, WTF is SHARING?? I’m sorry but only so much stuff bothers me, then it’s like well you dont’ share, you have to share, so then i’m making up shit to SHARE about. That place made me worse off than I was. Yes, I was 16, doing some recreational drug use, maybe a little overboard with the speed, esp so young but whatever,but when i got out i moved out of my parents house, bounced around, no real address for a few years, and was mainlining by the time i was 18. after getting in some trouble, i got out of all of that. i’m no saint by any standards, but the hell that was spring creek definitely left it’s dark mark on my soul. i did meet some other victims of this place that I love to pieces and some are on my facebook. i can’t find a some others tho, so if you remember me, Janna Bottsford, hit me up on FB. I’m a little hidden so it might be hard to find me.

    Reply

  52. brendan lynch Says:

    http://chaffinpullanismarvelous.weebly.com/

    this is what his daughters made for him… but reading it def makes me think he made it for himself!!

    Reply

  53. Maggie Says:

    My boyfriend was in Spring Creek Lodge for 10 months in 96 and 97. It was only once we found this website that he felt like anyone would really believe him. I have been helping him put together his story if anyone remembers Brian McLaren from 96 and 97 and would be willing to share what they remember please help me help him. Thank you. maggie.bidwell@gmail.com

    Reply

  54. Maggie Bidwell Says:

    I am trying to help my boyfriend piece together the story of his time at Spring Creek Lodge. He was there for 10 months 1996-1997. If anyone Remembers Brian McLaren and wouldn’t mind telling me what you remember of him or of the time span he was there it would be most helpful.Thanks. maggie.bidwell@gmail.com

    Reply

  55. Jay Cook Says:

    I was at Spring Creek Lodge Academy from March 2001 till May 2003. I started in a lower-level family that I can’t remember the name for the life of me, Integrity maybe? I was switch after maybe 1 day, if my memory serves me correct to Dignity. I was a month from turning 18 and got put in the 18Year program pretty quickly, I think the staff (and my parents) realized they needed a way to keep me there while I was 18 and after. I lived in the 18 trailer for a good bit of the entire program and also spent a few months living in the upper level cabins just off campus. Many of the staff and fellow students came to know me as “Cook” or “Cooker”. Matt Rumple is actually the guy who asked me if I “cook well under pressure” and that was the birth of my email addy to this day PressureCooker 🙂 . My friends were Jeremy Witmer, Thom Carhart, Mike DeAlba, Eric Henderson, Chris Gueiterz (i totally spelled that wrong), Travis Hanson, James Westlund, James Boatright, Chris Miller, Jim Oetter and many others whose names escape me. My upper level family was Inspiration with Miss Amy. I do not have a single complaint about Spring Creek Lodge to this day and its unfortunate that many of you have a different story to tell. This program truly DID open my eyes to how FOOLISH and STUPID i was acting as a teenager. Now, i’m a 30 year old man….31 in 2 months and to this day (13 years later) I plan to go back and visit. I would love to see much of the staff I remember, Mike Needham, Mike Tarry, Dan (the former Marine), Miss Lee, Mr. Donaldson, Miss Amy and again many others whose names not remembered but faces well known….I was there for the Bigfoot (Red) vs Bear (Blue) months. I was there for the Upper level “Prom” which I was fortunate enough to dance with a very attractive (and I think even taller than me) blonde. I remember the weekly store trips, I remember working the kitchen, I remember facility lockdown because of bear sightings, I remember shouting “RUNNER” when I tried to get the attention of a yellow-vested ‘runner’ whose job was to transport students to locations. Ha! To this day I’m shocked I wasn’t tackled after shouting that! I remember level 3+ (All Star), 4, 5 and 6 activities….pop, candy, movies…and girls that us guys couldn’t talk to. I remember 18 year old activities to Mizzula, MT to the King Buffet and a movie afterwards. I remember 18 year old activities going to the local grocery and Every one of us buying a fat steak and watching a movie in the trailer. I remember running after at least 3 Runners, pssssh I didn’t care if they got away, 99% of us were in it for the dinner in town as a ‘thank you’. All this being said, I DO want to visit someday. I hope someone…..anyone remembers me. I won’t say I want to visit for closure because like previously stated my experience helped me, it did not harm me. To anyone who would like to reconnect with me or even just have another Spring Creek friend….I’m at pressurecooker19@hotmail.com. Id love to find more of you and preferably more optimistic but I fully understand if bad experiences happened. Anyways,

    Reply

  56. Tabitha Says:

    I was in spring creek lodge academy for feb 2005 till August 17 2007 lower levels i was in charity upper levels i was in hope family

    Reply

  57. andrea Says:

    I was there in 2004 in eternity family. I was there a short time and left two months before my 16th birthday. I hated it there. I met some awesome people that made it a tiny bit easier.. I hope you all are doing okay. I’m so glad this place closed down.

    Reply

  58. L s Says:

    I was there when karylie commited suiside it was a crazy time ! I learned a lot but I do not agree on how thing were runned there and i still wonder and hope they don’t re open !

    Reply

  59. Brian Says:

    I was there in 1995. I was forced to help build where most of you lived. If you were there with me or know anyone from that time; staff or student, contact me. Just looking for pictures and memories good and bad. bhmendenhall1@yahoo.com

    Reply

  60. Scott Swayze Says:

    Wow, pretty crazy to come across this site. I simply went looking for updates on Spring Creek and was shocked to find this.

    My name is Scott Swayze and I was in Spring Creek Lodge from 1996 until October 1998. I came into the program at age 16 and was there until just before my 18th birthday. Technically I even graduated High School from Spring Creek. Like most I was heading down a rough path in my life and my parents felt something drastic needed to happen before I made choices that could jeopardize my future.

    I am hopeful to find some of the people I met during my time there. It would be great to see how everyone is doing in life. While I know there are a lot of bad memories from that time in our lives I also met some amazing people and I would love to find out where life has taken you. I recognize a lot of names from this thread but without last names and faces it is tough to place everyone.

    Here is a picture of my ugly mug from work. Feel free to reach out if you would like, my email is scott_wayze@yahoo.com

    Reply

  61. mike Says:

    fuck it

    Reply

  62. Yostpille Says:

    1-609-618-1154 hmu survivors

    Reply

  63. Yostpille Says:

    time to sting back

    Reply

  64. Erin Says:

    I was in integrity family… all I know is that place saved my life 😉

    Reply

  65. Brian V. Stacy Says:

    Do you know how I can find the old “parent handbook” from Spring Creek Lodge Academy? I wanted to get a list of the rules. The rules that we had to follow so as not to lose a point if a student broke one. You know what I am thinking of? like the old “CAT TWO’s” and stuff? (which meant a category two violation). I would like a copy of it. Thank You.

    Reply

    • Ken Says:

      Any body on here go to camas in 06 trying to reunite I was sent there to finish school caught on to the brain washing and soon after staff that shit is about the only thing I said finally got through to parents after first seminar that happened at spring creek which was only time I saw the main facility but had heard plenty of stories of what happened there.if anybody was around camas in 06 hit me up on facebook

      Reply

  66. Will Says:

    For some reason I have the discovery seminar in a binder I have yet to destroy. So good to see this page is still active and I, like many others still think about that time in Montana. There are no excuses and everyone made mistakes but no one deserves to be treated so…foolish as to say our parents couldn’t save us or didn’t care for us. Parents always care and sometimes care too much, that will never change.
    “For those who proclaim
    they’ve grown weary of children
    there are no flowers”— Basho
    Keep posting I want more stories.

    Reply

  67. Sophia Says:

    I am finally starting to forget this nightmare. I was at “Spring. Creek Wilderness Camp” in the spring of 1989 for two months. I don’t remember if we were denied pads/tampons or if we were only rationed a certain number? Regardless, we were forced into disqusting hygiene for sure! do remember we were only allowed a toothbrush, but no toothpaste. I had never had a filling/cavity in my life and came home with ~20.

    I was forced to sleep in a tent with members of the opposite sex. I awoke to one fondling and kissing me in the middle of the night. His hands were in my underwear. I was disgusting and made me feel so dirty. We were denied simple foods and forced to build snares to catch rodents for food. We were only given lentils to boil for protein. We had to boil water to even brush our teeth at times. We never to knew when we would return home. We were simply cut off from our life, our families/friends, our world. I was scared and lonely the entire time. The “Counselors” who had no degrees were simply misfits from society who had no where else to go, One of tre counselors had gone through the program himself and was offered a job with no degree. He would catch flying bugs from the air and eat them for “his protein”. He wouldve never fit into real society. He was an ex heroin addict with tattoos all over his body. Our parents never saw him, yet these are the type of camp “couselors” we spent most of our time with. When our parents did come into town, the staff put on quite a good show and meal. We actually spent time in the lodge where it was warm and dry.
    I had nightmares for years anxiously trying to escape the place I call hell.

    Reply

  68. Veronica Says:

    I got there in 2002 and it was exactly like everyone else’s story, 2 flights and a 4 hr drive all the way across the US from where I live, they charged my mom 5 thousand a month fit me being there, I was lucky and was only there 6 months, worst memories of my life!

    Reply

  69. Melissa Thompson Says:

    Ok so I need some help please, my now husband, Kyle Thompson who is 27 now.. Attended in 2004 part of unity, this place had a major affect on his life just curious if anyone remembers him or could help me understand if he went through anything that maybe he doesn’t want to share.. If anyone remembers Kyle Thompson please get In touch with me thompsondsm92@gmail.com

    Reply

    • ben Says:

      hi melissa. my name is ben. i do not know your husband and i didn’t went too this place but i had a similar experience elsewhere in europe when i was a teen. i know you just want to help and i envy your husband for having such a committed wife. but if he’s anything like me. he will probably struggle with trust problems, ptsd, and so on. sadly there are no shortcuts with problems like this. it takes time. i understand that it must be hard to watch the one u love suffer. but if you find out somting in this manner and confront him with it before he’s ready it might backfire. for me personally feeling loved and safe is more important then finding out all the bits and pieces of the past. in my case i long for the things they took from me. a sense of belonging somewhere, a warm home. i wish you all good luck and lots off love.

      Reply

    • Michael M Says:

      So this isn’t my real name. I was there September 06 to summe of 07 and was pulled. I spent the majority of my time in the intervention room. I was like most taken in the middle of the night from my bed in western washington over to Montana. I had no Idea where I was taken for months. No phone call for 4 months. I remember the car ride and the 4 months of nothing just sitting thinking I’m going to wake up. Feeling like killing all the staff and myself. To this day I struggle with this shit. It keeps getting worse and worse. To all the staff and ppl who ran that facility, if I find anyone of you I will torture and kill you slow for what you have done to my head. I wish there was a magic pill for that year of hell to go. I’m 27 now and I have a great job and a few ppl around me that are good ppl. There’s no family left. My mom’s the only one but I’ll never talk to her again. If anyone knows where to get any help in the tacoma seattle area please post an email or something here. Thank you. I can relate to everyone here in this page and I can feel your pain. If I cold take it and give it back to thoes ppl who ran that place I would.

      Reply

  70. Tyler Morton Says:

    I was in spring creek in 2006, unity group I got kicked out for being disobedient and fighting they sent me to tranquillity bay for 9 months. That place made spring creek look like the Hyatt. I was the youngest one in both those programs I was barely 13 years old. I got out 100 percent worse then when I went in. Eventually graduated to juvenile detention centers then to jails then to prison. Spent a lot of time in a lot of facility’s but tranquility bay and spring creek were by far the worse. Thank god there closed no one should have to go through the bullshit I went through in those programs.

    Reply

  71. Justin The Ginger Says:

    This place was a bloody joke, love is how you show guidence and parenting. I had a “perfect Program” in the Honor cabin and beyond in the upper level from 04-06. But the entire time I “played” along to get out…. Not to change my behavior for the better. My substance abuse problems and parental disobedience stemmed from a lack of intelligent and honest parenting. This place did nothing in the form of help and guidence for teens. It was literally a correctional facility to house unwanted kids. If I ever go back it will be to burn the place to the ground. I saw kids slit there wrists, abused by staff, and bullied by many. My experience at SCL showed me the more cruel and evil side of human nature.

    Reply

  72. Ken Says:

    Any body on here go to camas in 06 trying to reunite I was sent there to finish school caught on to the brain washing and soon after staff that shit is about the only thing I said finally got through to parents after first seminar that happened at spring creek which was only time I saw the main facility but had heard plenty of stories of what happened there.if anybody was around camas in 06 hit me up on facebook

    Reply

  73. Jordan V.E. Says:

    Hello, my fellow alumni…me and Patrick G. were the last two to graduate from the program and I still remember everything like it happened yesterday…the craziest shit is trying to explain how it was there to ANYONE on the outside…anyways, does anyone remember Mr. Dave…he was my favorite staff member there, also Big Al too from Honor family, which was the family that I was put into upon arrival…my parents tricked me into going there…I rebelled for a year, tried to kill myself multiple times, etc but after I went through orientation I just flew through the program because I realized that if I hadn’t gotten pulled from the program already that I probably wasn’t going to…only seminar I had to choose out of ever was Principles but got through it on the second round. FOCUS was my favorite does anyone remember the lifeboat process holy fuck!

    Reply

  74. Jessica Says:

    I have a friend in one of these facilities and was told something about a “think bed.” Does anyone know what this is or could tell me? Thank you.

    Reply

  75. Brann Adams Says:

    Hey, I was at Spring Creek Community in 1988 as this place was evolving into the nightmare scenario it ended up being. I feel so much for all whom were in place. It was a long long time ago and I am 44 now and I was 16 then. At the time it was run by Steve & Nancy Cawdrey. It was a definite case of the insane running the asylum.
    I was 15 and was lied to by my parents who said I was going on a fun camping experience. I was put on a plane to Arizona in December and I ended up being forced marched through the canyon country for 3 weeks. During this time we were kept so far from civilization that the only hope for survival was to stay with the group. During this march through the desert we are given a ziplock bag with 3 smaller bags in it of rice , beans, and flour. This allowed for a one meager meal a day as we marched over a rugged landscape that , though beautiful, was totally harsh.
    During this time, Steve Cawdrey would come walking in outta nowhere and every couple days and along with our “guides” would inflict upon us his crackpot version of “therapy” where he let the wilderness conditions break us down mentally so he could begin “rehabilitating” us. He started indoctrinating us during this time where we all felt literally “lost in the woods” to his version of how we should view ourselves and the way we had been living. We were totally at his mercy , so what were we to do. Then there was the eventual “building us up” near the end of the 3 weeks where they left us alone with a campfire for 3 days. I actually liked that because I didn’t have to deal with those sessions. It was crazy. I was a fairly good kid and my parents were rich and didn’t want to deal with a teen. I was put out there with kids coming off drugs and had been in gangs. I lost a lot of my innocence out there. One of the people was a USA Skinhead who was having and identity crisis. Needless to say, he gave Steve hell! Finally , stinking to all high heavens we came outta the desert all lean and hungry. We were all put in one big suburban/bus and drove through the snow up to Montana. There I was to spend the next year and a half. The desert was called “Survivor” and next was to come “Challenger”.
    Challenger was where they put us in this winter camp. WINTER FUCKING IN MONTANA! They put us in the 4 wheel drive bus again and took us up higher into the mountains. We were given like 4 layers of clothes and a parka. I called it my “Space Suit” because the cold was real and deadly. At first they gave us snowshoes and marched us up and over mountains in the Rockies. It was merciless cold of January. We considered it warm if it got above 10 degrees. I remember the harsh lessons of the cold. One time I dropped a glove while getting into my tent and the next morning I got what was called their “lesson”. The next morning when I discovered the missing glove and found it frozen to the ground, my hand quickly turned into a frozen claw that wouldn’t move. The “guides” wouldn’t let anyone help me. I tried to pack my backpack and couldn’t. I begged for help and they wouldn’t help me. Finally I somehow stuffed my shit together in the pack and finally they helped me after my pack fell apart because I packed it one handed. I stood there watching me as I cried because I couldn’t put my belongings back in the pack because my hand was useless. One of the lady guides finally sighed ,”For goodness sake! ” and helped me put my pack together. They humiliated me on purpose for furthering the “breaking down” process of their mental conditioning. I had to put my glove next to my skin and let my body heat dry out the glove and I had to keep moving fast to keep my hand warm with my body heat alone. The cold was punishing and aided their harsh version of therapy. I remember there as a cold snap and it was -20 degrees below zero during the day and we had to go to an emergency cabin or freeze to death during a night that went down to -40. ( A kid who came to the school the month after I did almost lost his toes to frostbite. How is that for tender loving care ?!?) . After a week and a half of snowshoeing through this insane weather that no sane person would subject themselves to willingly, they gave us cross country ski’s . We were in incredible shape at this point being near 16 and they had given us real camp food again since we weren’t in the desert. We went through another long blur of trekking through the mountains. I remember one time looking up at the people with me and our face masks all had beards of frost hanging off our faces where our breath had frozen there. All this while having this crackpot therapy shoved down our throats whether we liked it or not. We had to embrace that we were totally fucked on a level I have never experienced again in the 30 or so years since then.
    They finally brought us to a camp in a valley near the school where we were to meet our parents for more therapy. That was the site of the slow realization that the nightmare was not over. I was not going home. It was just beginning. That was what finally broke me. I didn’t talk to my father for 20 years after that day. I hated him with a black passion for being such an asshole. I finally talked to him when I was old enough to understand that he would never and could never understand. This 6 weeks of hell cannot be described. It is like talking to a soldier and having never been in the military. You can only understand if you have been there. That is why I am so thankful for this page. THANK YOU!!!
    Back in the days of Spring Creek Community there were less than 100 kids and maybe 6 or 7 cabins at the site of the school with one central lodge. We were put through the monotony of their daily brainwash therapy. I spent two winters in that hell hole. I came to know Steve as a sick man himself. He talked to this girl that was beautiful during some of the session where he was trying to face his “sex addiction” …. talking to adolescent girl about this and in front of his wife no less !!!!! As I said. The insane running the asylum.
    During the next year and a half I went through the early versions and mistakes of what would evolve into the stories you all have told. If we screwed up we would be put in a tent with the same meager rations from the Arizona desert or forced to walk 10+ miles. It was a long blur of “morning meetings” where they inflicted their ideas about therapy upon us. We were fed a long line of addictions to watch out for and were accused of. It seemed like you could be addicted to anything. WTF a boy of 16 with his sex drive in high gear being called a “sex addict” for kissing a girl. That was just sick and I knew that even then.
    I was lucky that my parents were growing tired of for me to go there. It was like $10,000 or something like that a month. I played the good boy for a while because I really wasn’t the type to like trouble. Then they finally let me talk to my mother. Finally one day when I had my scheduled call, my mother asked ,” Are they listening to you talk.” and I said ,” Yes ” . I then had a yes or no conversation about how if I got to the level where they would let me visit home. They were going to keep me. I had already seen where parents had decided to take their kids back and the school PUT THE KIDS OUT. They gave the kid a pack and told them to go!!!!! What the hell kinda sick shit was that! I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.
    I could write a book about this and there are many many crazy situations that were just sick in the head that I could tell you about. I am so glad to talk to those whom made it through that insane school and I would love to talk to those whom I was there with . I am Brann Adams and I went to Spring Creek Community around 1988. Please reply if you were there around that time. It would be priceless to talk to those whom understand.

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