I found this testimony on another blog. It is hard to say why parents decide to send their child away for something like this small things.
Tonight i watched a documentary that made me realize i have spent far too long being far too quiet about something very serious. something i could be speaking out about and helping other people who are going through it right now. For too long I have been ashamed to admit that when i was 13 years old I was sent, against my will, to a rehabilitation center in Utah. It was mormon-run, called “Turnabout Ranch.” I had no history of drugs, violence, alcohol abuse, sex addiction, shopping addiction, any kind of addiction at all. I was sent to this program because i had a “bad attitude”.
I’ll hit that home: I was sent away to utah and locked up against my will, at the age of 13, because i had “bad attitude” and my parents wanted to “fix me.” I was picked up at the airport and driven to the facility by two people I had never met in my life who tried to calm me down for the 5 hour drive by feeding me cheeseburgers and pretending it would all be okay. When I got there, all of my belongings were taken from me and I was told to go sit in a rock circle in the dirt. I wasn’t allowed to lie down or speak to anyone. no one came to talk to me for 5 hours. when they finally did, I was told i was supposed to be “detoxing” and “thinking about what i’d done.” again, i had never done drugs of any kind. there was nothing to detox from. All i did was cry.
I sat in that circle for 3 days, and then an additional 14 days after that because I wasn’t able to produce 8 fires from the bowdrill technique (I weighed about 87 pounds at the time so this really wasn’t surprising.) I spent 3 months being forced against my will to do hard labor, accept jesus into my heart, repent my sins and be shamed about who I was as a person. I had to fill out a binder of paperwork teaching me how to change and be better. I was cut off from technology and from the outside world. People who ran were chased down on horseback and sent to other programs where they spent 3 months hiking in the wilderness. I didn’t speak to my parents except in letters that the program read ahead of time and threw out if I had revealed too much. When my parents came to get me, the program tried to talk them into keeping me there. During this time I almost died at least 3 times doing things much too dangerous for someone my age. I sat on a cactus and was taken to a vet instead of a doctor. I was kicked by a horse and not taken anywhere. My “schooling” was basically just packing a bunch of us into a room while an older gentlemen slept and the rest of us read books for 4th graders.
When I finally got out of this program, I was sent to a lockdown boarding school in Vermont which was even worse. Here we weren’t allowed to leave the facility, numerous girls tried to commit suicide, there were at least 2 sexual harassment cases between teachers and students and I had to be kidnapped by my mom and taken to Florida because the program didn’t allow you to leave until you were 18.