In one episode, for example, a girl is forced to lie down in a coffin and touch dead bodies; in another, a boy is put in casts and a wheelchair. A third episode includes a “make over” where a teen girl’s face appears covered with scabs and sores; another sees a young woman spend a winter night on the streets with the homeless. Afterward, many of the teens are sent to tough wilderness or “emotional growth” boarding schools.
The Workouts usually took three hours, though any defiance or lagging by one person would earn punishment for the whole group. I was told of one workout that lasted for over 7 hours.
During the rest of the week, we went on hikes or did forced labor on the ranch. If someone was still being defiant they had to shovel piles of horse manure (wearing their own shoes of course) or made to dig 2'x 6' x 6' hole in the ground or fill another hole up.
That continued until a couple of weeks later, when I went to one of my counseling sessions. On the first night, I had been ordered to strip down, but it seemed really odd to me when my counselor told me to strip down to the waist. I didn't fight it though for fear of being sent back in the program and/or corporally punished. My counselor then started fondling my breasts as I sat and watched in horror, but I was too afraid to complain.
This continued into a cycle of sexual molestation and/or powertripping by this particular counselor. I tried eventually to complain, but was only told that 'I didn't have Jesus in my heart' and then paddled.
The details in the lawsuit include being exposed to extreme hot or cold temperatures for extended periods; being forced to eat raw or rotten foods or to eat their own vomit; being bound by the hands and feet; and being placed in isolation, including being locked inside small boxes or cages.Some students also allege they were emotionally and verbally abused, were forced to wear unwashed clothing for weeks, were prevented from using bathrooms, were deprived of sleep and were deprived of any religious affiliations other than Mormonism.
Results of this review indicate that not only does it fail to deter crime, but it actually leads to more offending behavior. Government officials permitting this program need to adopt rigorous evaluation to ensure that they are not causing more harm to the very citizens they pledge to protect.
For instance, in required seminars that the school calls Lifesteps, students say staff members of the residential program have instructed girls, some of whom say they have been victims of rape or sexual abuse, to dress in provocative clothing — fishnet stockings, high heels and miniskirts — and perform lap dances for male students as therapy.
Former residents complain they would be held there for days, with limited bathroom breaks, nothing to do and no one to talk to.
Other girls, they said, had soiled the carpet, out of necessity or spite.
"It was a disgusting little box," 18-year-old Ali Reichle said. "Whenever you walked in that room, you could smell just the puke and the urine."
The makeshift cell has an opening where a door would have hung. When a girl is banished, the opening is blocked with a table and manned by someone who makes sure the troublemaker stays put. Cookston said an adult is always present; residents said girls were often watched over by other children.