Sunday, January 14, 2018

A testimony about Havenwood Academy in Cedar City, Utah

This testimony was found on Google. All rights goes to the original author

This place ruined my life. It did nothing for my family or I.

They tried to keep me after I was 18, luckily they didn't. I never had any problems there, followed the rules, my program, etc. Management was horrible, poorly run and planned. I gained 15 pounds living there because we ate terrible food and say on our asses all day. We rarely did any activities such as go to the gym or go rock climbing. RARELY. I was there for 8 months and went climbing maybe 4 times. I had to pee in a bathtub a lot because our toilets would clog and we (the girls) would tell staff, program director, and anyone who would listen and it wouldn't be fixed for days. This place will not fix your daughter. You will hurt her, your relationship with her, among other things.

Please for the love of god don't send your child here. Be a better parent. See a counselor. Don't ruin and steal a year of your kids life because you think you know what's best for them. This isn't it. For some it may be, for most it's not.


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Sunday, January 7, 2018

Film: The Incident(s) at Paradise Bay

The Incident(s) at Paradise Bay is a short-film based on Tranquility Bay in Jamaica which closed down in 2009. The fictional Paradise Bay is supposed to be located in Mexico where basically everything could take place before the authorities regulated the area in 2004 leading to a massive closure of illegal so-called rehab facilities and boarding schools.

The kickstarter page for the short-film writes:
Inspired by true events, this is the story of what really went on at the tough-love reform schools that came to prominence in the 90's.


THE INCIDENT(S) AT PARADISE BAY from Colin Akoon on Vimeo.


Director: Lorne Hiltser, Writer: Nate Crocker

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Sunday, December 17, 2017

A parents view on her daughters stay at New Beginnings Girls Academy

Met this group, while they were on tour to our church. we were impressed wtih their evening performance, and felt that this place would be a place where our daughter could find rest, and comfort and a place to get away from it all after a severe accident left her with some serious physical complications...

it was not what we had expected, nor was it what we were promised.We were told of mending broken relationships, academically getting on track and counseling...

punishment started right away, for things that were not understood, red shirt, punishment, left my daughter with many physical problems, untreated medical condition, UTI that was untreated, afer I spoke about her needing to get medical attention, they said they would, and did nothing.

blood in her urine, blood in her bowels, hives all over her body.

Our letters were kept from her, her letters to us were never sent, she was not allowed to speak to us freely on the phone, but every word was to be judged, and she was expected to speak to us in monotone, so as not to communicate anything other than what was allowed. She was on punishment, and red shirt discipline throughout her stay, and has foot, knee, hip inflamation from the constant standing on the wall with her hands behind her back, both feet flat on the floor.

she wakes up nightly with nightmares, of being taken back to New beginnings Girls academy.

Bill macnamera has a very bad temper, in which he did lose all self control with me, while I was asking him questions about educational neglect for my daughter. We were told that she would start counseling, up to two days a week, right away...after two months, she recieved one processing counseling interview...when I asked about the counseling and the lack of education, Bill Macnamers became angry with my questioning his authority, telling me that he did not have to listen to this, and slammed the phone down...a man with a lack of control, exploding on the phone in a temper tantrum fashion, is also in charge of hundreds of thousands of dollars, and 30 little girls who needed a safe place to be, and protection...very concerning...

we called to ask our daughter if she were ready to come home, a nd she had already been in Bill Macnamera's office earlier, and agreed under duress, to stay 6 more months...at which time she told me on the phone she could not come ahome, and it was not perfect at New Beginnings, but she could not come home...now she wanted to stay another 6 months...during my conversation, she was told she had 3 minutes to get off the phone for a counseling session...so they could than tell her why she needed to stay there...

The world is sin, your family is in the world, if you leave NBGH you will going back into the world, your family is in the world, the world is in sin...
They are not allowed to know the day of the week or the date of the month, and must learn to tell time backwards...no speaking of family you miss, or anything that is reminders of home, family, affection, caring loving people in your life outside of New Beginnings.

You get punished for making eye contact with any other girl, no matter what..no speaking at any time..you must raise your hand and be silent until you are called, if you are called.

Bathroom is punishment: with 5 sheets of toilet paper, or 7 depending on your need...open stalls for shower and bathroom...strip search, solitary confinement writing sentences for up to 4 hrs. a time..

When I went to rescue my daughter from this place, I was met by the counselor who told me to come into the office, we needed to talk...told me to sit down, I refused, he than got himself a chair, so we could sit and talk before I could see my daughter...he than told me that it was a dangerous idea to take my daughter home, It was not safe, she did not want to go home, and she made it very clear, told them many times she did not want to come home, she wanted to stay,

She was severely punished after I was hung up on with more discipline...she would than say anything that would make them happy hoping they would lighten up on the severe punishment...it didnt help...
she was severely distraught, terrified, freightened, full of shame, fear, intimidation, and terror...the look inher eyes the moment I saw her was one that I had never seen in her eyes before...it was the same look I have seen on a dog, lost on the side of a highway, trying to avoid traffic, sticks and stones, wet dripping with freezing rain, terrified for its very life, shivering, full of fear, begging for help...it shocked me and paralyzed me to see my daughter sickly pale, ghostly white, bug eyed, trembling, shivering, fulll of fear in her eyes...fear and intimidation not knowing why she was now in the Office...she looked at me, and said, Mom is that you...she than began crying saying, O God, O my God, Mom, is that really you, O my God mom you came...I ran to her, picked up her trembling body, and she melted in my arms, so I picked up her weak body, and felt how weak her hug on me was...she was trembling in my arms, and I whispered...do you want to go to Braums with me...will you go to lunch with me...I knew if I could remind her of a happy childhood memory, she would answer me freely before she remembered what she was supposed to say...she said, food, o God yes...she was in shock, and was trembling as we turned to walk out...she was than ordered to take off her red shirt and return it...big red T shirt to degrade as punishment, humiliate, and abuse mentally and emotionally...she had nothing else on with the T-shirt in Missouri snow storm, boots, thin black summer skirt...when I got there, they had her hurriedly put on a purple sweatshirt...she was confused, but never knew anything about me traveling to get her...she was in total shock and surprise...she was convinced that whe was not allowed to ever coem home again, she was not loved, not wanted, and at the same time, /Bill Macnamera told my husband to just let her go, give her away...let her go...they got tiered of all of our phone calls asking questions...
later on she was able to open up, telling me that she never would have went home with me if Bill macnamera was in town there..He was on vacation with his daughter and son-in-law who are his assistant directors...family run business...he would have let her know what the right response was...she would have done exactly what he told her to do...she was fulll of fear, intimidation, she was terrified of what would happen to her if she said the wrong thing...shw would have told me she was not going home.

I must confess that I am not one with free time on my hands to write openly, but this trauma is not half described due to time restraints...I am a mother of great love devotion, and concern for my daughter, and other daughters across America...Mothers who think thye are doing the right thing, finding out after it is too late, that we made the worst possible mistake of our lives...allowing total strangers, to have dominant control over the lives of a child that we have invested so many years, to a person that we knw so very little about.

I am reaching out to Moms everywhere, no matter how desperate you are to find help for your daughters, do not give up, do not give in, and do not send them to a place with your eyes closed, and imagine it is a good thing...if your heart is aching and grievingf, and warning you...listen to those cautions, it is real life screams in the dark...she was very exhausted and walked painfully...when I stoped for the night she was barely able to walk with terrible muscle cramps, and joint pain from the constant standing ont he wall, 7 days a week, *8- hrs. a day, and 500 jumping jacks each evening you are on punishment...she was in terrible pain, and groaned each time I held her, she was having muscle spasms throughout the night, with nightmares of being taken back to NBGH.

She now has anxiety attacks throughout the day, gag reflex from being force fed large amounts of food, and punished if you dont eat it all, or throw it up...punish is by demerits, and the girls who have grown up in the system and arrived at the age of 18, than become the new guards, to give punishment demerits without question...

the prisoner becomes the guard, so the abuse of the bully system continues, and the fear factor of this is evident in the lives of the girls that are full of fear to look anyone in the eye again...

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