Help save the children from abusive homes and schooling, bring the people who control this before the courts to face the punishment they so much deserve.



I am a survivor of heritage school in Provo Utah.
I was there from 96-2000 

Um I have since met thousands of other survivors from other places not just heritage.
This has to end. We have been to congress we have shut down places only to have them reopen.

I don’t know exactly what you can do to help but I think it needs to happen as fast as possible.

I myself witnessed countless acts of neglect abuse and torture. And suffered the same dome to myself.

Ty for you time.

Straightling - A Memoir


Straightling - A MemoirAre you familiar with the troubled teen industry or are you aware that institutionalized child abuse is still happening in America? It is. As recently as several weeks ago it took many resources and threats of exposure and legal action to finally get one place to release a ‘kid’ who was of legal age to leave of his own accord. What of those who are under age 18 in America and who are being violated and tortured? Who will see to it they are made safe when parental contact is so often not allowed?

Straightling is a harrowing memoir of one woman’s survival of Straight, Inc., an ‘alleged’ drug rehab for teenagers founded by Mel Sembler. Cyndy Drew Etler shares her story and we are grateful she had the courage to do it.

Stories of coercive thought reform, brainwashing, humiliation, medical neglect, instillation of fear all the way to sexual and physical abuse are not new stories to kids who have survived places like this where often there is often no medical staff, licensing, or credible oversight.

If you are a parent who has a troubled teenager or you know someone who is, be aware that often medical doctors, drug or alcohol counselors, and mental health professionals are the first line of reference for places like this - unaware with what’s really going on in them.


You don’t so much read STRAIGHTLING as you watch, through a dark and hazy window, as a child’s soul is destroyed. A must-read for parents, teachers, counselors, and students. -Mercy Pilkington, 2010 National Juvenile Detention Association Teacher of the Year

You won’t be able to put STRAIGHTLING down, and you sure as hell won’t root this hard for anyone, ever again. -Rosella LeFevre, Editor-in-Chief, M.L.T.S. Magazine

In STRAIGHTLING, Etler honors the many of us who still can’t talk about it, and the many that were unable to survive. -Marcus Chatfield, Co-Producer, Surviving Straight Inc, the Documentary

As difficult as it may be for someone to believe Etler’s harrowing tale of survival in Straight, Inc., every word Etler wrote about Straight Inc.’s daily abuses is completely true. “Straightling” takes you on the darkest journey through hell where every freedom imaginable is stolen from a child by Straight, Inc.: freedom to move about a room unrestrained, gone; freedom to speak to whomever you chose, gone; freedom to use a bathroom alone, gone; freedom to choose one’s own friends, gone; freedom to dress as one wishes, gone; and worst of all, freedom to think for oneself gone; freedom to have one’s own identity, gone. “Straightling” illustrates the horror and pain of being systematically tore down until there is nothing left except a shell recreated in Straight Inc.’s image. “Straightling” sounds a loud warning of the dangers caused by not listening to a child, warns of the destruction caused by allowing broken children to have power over other broken children, and warns that a trail of human wreckage can be caused by zealots with seemingly good intentions. “Straightling” is a must read for all parents and for all professionals who work with “troubled teens.” Straight, Inc., under that name, is closed now, but other abusive private programs still exist to this day. Cyndy is a gifted writer and courageous woman. From the bottom of my heart, thank you Cyndy for writing such a powerful and moving memoir. - Christine Flannery 

See More Reviews or Learn More about Straightling, A Memoir

All that i can ever be is nothing more than myself: Wilderness.


since a few people asked, because of my last ask response, here you go,

yes, i really was sent to a Wilderness Therapy program for troubled teens when i was 12 years old.

i was a troubled kid. i had problems, i got in a lot of trouble. i had alot of issues. and it was my fault they sent me away.


Hey, I created about a half hour ago and I would appreciate it if you would signal boost this for people who have survived it or want to support taking Aspen Education Group and WWASPS down. Thank you.

Cahoooooooots: I know this is long but it's important.


(If you want to skip over this post on your dash press the J key)

People are getting all up in arms about Mitt Romney’s tax returns and how much money he made working with Bain Capital. But I see absolutely nothing about CRC Health Group and Aspen Education being discussed alongside it.

Aspen Stories: please read this & share. bring awareness to what really goes on at teen treatment centers


The purpose of this post is to shed light on what some call “secret prisons for teens” & particularly the Aspen education group. Aspen owns several lockdown residential treatment centers, wilderness programs and therapeutic boarding schools geared towards “troubled teens” it…

OpLiberation Submission (part two)

oh yeah also…death to all programs and criminal charges to all who support them

OpLiberation Submission (part one)

Hey comrades, the thought of you (my peers) doing what you’re doing is what kept me going and even defiant through 2 years of unbelievable, unwarranted torture. Thank you for bringing anons to this cause and giving survivors some much-needed hope.

Raised children for 8yrs and bioligal takes them back only to abuse and send to Provo Canyon School (psych facility)

A submission from a reader:

My letter to Social Services

Tricia Smith, MSW, MPA
Program Manager I
SSA/Children and Family Services
This email is being sent to you as a formal complaint against the agencies practices regarding my niece Amber Ellis and nephew Robert Ellis.
I have cared for these children along with their grandmother for approximately 8yrs. Calls were made to the agency for suspected child abuse while they were living in Chino Hills CA. Sharon Collins contacted me and requested that I bring Amber Ellis to her office to be interviewed. During this phone conversation she informed me that the father placed the call to the agency and was accusing the mother and not me of child abuse.
The father who only is allowed visitation through divorce proceedings picked up Robert Ellis after his admission on a social networking site that he had taken medication with a goal of overdosing. Robert stayed with his paternal grandmother once his father picked him up. Robert was later returned to their mother after the court of Long Beach denied his request to amend the orders of visitation.
Shortly thereafter both children were living with their mother and emailed cries for help, made phone calls to authorities and complaints to school counselor regarding abuse. Sharon Collins received a photograph of Amber’s bloody arm and request for help. Documents provided by the court reveal a summary where Sharon Collins states that there were no visible scars on the child which is false. Another false statement was made where Sharon Collins implied that I give monthly updates regarding the children. Sharon and I have not been in contact. I have sent emails of concern or dissatisfaction regarding the handling of the case but never were we in communication at that time.
Statements made to the paternal grandmother by the social worker are of concern. There was a threat made that if the children were returned to their mother that she would put them in the system and instructed the paternal grandmother that from there she could attempt custody. On one occasion Sharon Collins told me that if the children were not in my care that she would take them into custody but at a later date she denied making the statement.
Approximately 7 months ago when Robert tried to overdose Sharon told me that the case wwas closed and there was no evidence of abuse but now that guardianship proceedings are in effect, the summary from Social Services states that the neglect was substantiated in the case of Robert. This conflict is of concern because during the 7month period he continued in his mothers care and social services was aware that he was not enrolled in school for that 7 month period.
If steps were taken to secure his safety he would not be sitting in a mental facility where his constitutional rights have been stripped. He is in a facility that has a history of neglect and abuse. I have spoken to several families and survivors who were detained there and am working with PR for media attention.
Today the family, along with the paternal father is denied communication with Robert and Amber is now missing. It is possible that their mother also sent Amber to the facility in Utah. A separate complaint with dates and recordings will be constructed within the following weeks.
All calls made to Marty Lawrence and supervisors have been ignored. All calls and email sent to Sharon Collins have been ignored. The case regarding Amber and Robert was closed as unsubstantiated abuse allegations but today we learn neglect was determined. Sadly he remained in the home and our calls to social services were ignored.