Dr. Drew Endorses Diamond Ranch Academy

On Feb 20th 2012, Dr. Drew Pinsky, a popular drug rehab specialist, producer, radio show personality and “doctor to the stars” (as seen on Celebrity Rehab) ran a show on his program Life Changers about a mother who gave her son an unusual punishment for his behavior; She made him stand out on the street corner and wear a sign that said “I lie, I steal, I sell drugs, I don’t follow the law”.

Mom Publicly Humiliates Her ‘Out of Control Son”

As the story comes to a close, Dr. Drew offers this mother an “opportunity” to save her son’s future by receiving 12 months free tuition to Diamond Ranch Academy, to which she did not immediately accept.

Dr. Drew then began to pressure her to make a hasty decision, playing on her emotions and fear for her son by insisting that Diamond Ranch Academy was “Specifically what kids like him need” and telling her that it was “shocking” that she would not immediately enroll her son into this program solely based on his recommendation. I personally must applaud this mother for her hesitation, her son is only 14 and this was the first time she had found him in trouble, She was not ready give up being this child’s parent and for that, she deserves a mother of the year award! To think that Dr. Drew not only encourages this mother to abandon her child for the next year of his life, but also shames her for the act of believing in his ability to change his behavior is what is truly shocking.

The truth is, Diamond Ranch Academy is not a therapeutic boarding school, it is a behavior modification program that employs techniques of seclusion, forced labor, physical violence, fear based control and brainwashing methods that violate all basic human rights and could certainly be considered child abuse, if not actual torture. Aversive behavior control has been proven to be ineffective in most cases and severely harmful in others, and has a long history of causing determential long term effects including symptoms of PTSD, and in most cases, relapse.

Survivors of this school have spoken out:

“They had a punishment in which you were outside from 6:15 am to 8:15 pm, doing manual labor, pulling a heavy cart around for miles, in total silence, and permission had to be asked to do anything. Literally, anything. You were in line of sight of a staff twenty-four seven. One kid said something mildly disrespectful, and ended up out there for a week.” –DRA Survivor 2010-2011

As well, descriptions of the misuse of restraints and seclusion that were dolled out for punitive reasons, lead me to recognize the pattern of abuse that I had suffered as a child enrolled in one of these programs. I can tell you from my own experience that it is nothing short of terrifying. You literally feel like you are going to die, soffocate to death under the weight of the staff member who digs their knee into your spine, holds your arms painfully extended behind your back and grinds your chin into the concrete. You cannot tell me that this isn’t abuse, espeically when these “restraints” are given out for reasons such as:

· Breaking a program rule, saying something disrespectful, cursing, or making a face. –DRA Survivors 2005-2007, 2009-2010, 2010-2011, 2011

· 1.“Not consenting to a strip search 2. Not being able to push the cart 3. Talking back 4. Not walking around the track” “for 20-30 minutes at a time” which resulted in “a cyst formed on my wrist.” -DRA Survivor 2005 – 2007

· “Secluded because of “not doing what im told” -DRA Survivor 2005 – 2007

In my experience, the rules and regulations of these programs are punitive at best, and ultimately set these kids up to fail, and be punished. “Not following directions” could mean something as simple as looking out the window, or forgetting your pen and can surmount to loss of privileges to do school work forced into isolation for weeks at a time or physically restrained. These punishments are misused in a way that strikes absolute fear in the minds of these children, they feel as if they are living in hell 24-7 with no escape and no access to ask for help. Correspondence with family is monitored and strictly censored, students are punished for “manipulating” if they say anything negative about the program or ask to go home.

“You couldn’t write your parents but once a week and you couldn’t say anything about being restrained or going home. You only got one 15 min. phone call every two weeks only to your legal guardians.” –DRA Survivor 2007

These programs allow no access to the outside world, or family members who may be able to act on their behalf, and certainly not advocates. That means that if a child is being abused, they will only be abused further if they reach out to anyone for help.

Until these practices are abolished, there is absolutely no trusting Diamond Ranch Academy and the Troubled Teen Industry. Their history is shroud in abuse, deceit and manipulation on par with full fledged cults, in that every aspect of these families lives and relationships are being controlled by the program. Blind loyalty is not only encouraged, it is vehemently enforced by the parent “workshops” or seminars, where parents are made to believe that their child could actually die without the program. To the contrary, there are no legitimate statistics to support this belief rather the statistics show that more teens are liable to commit suicide than to fall victim to drug overdose or gang activity. Furthermore, placing a child with crippling depression and suicidal tendencies into such a hostile environment could only increase the desire and chances of succeeding such an attempt.

“I had three suicide attempts there. After each attempt, I was treated like dirt, and punished. No psychiatric help was offered. No sort of therapy ensued until well after.” –DRA Survivor

In any event, therapy is not what these kids are getting, and parents would be wise to see through the shameless marketing techniques of Diamond Ranch Academy and the many programs out there that run a similar, abusive system. No teen, no matter their faults deserves to be abused in the name of treatment, certainly not those who already struggle with mental disorders. Programs like Diamond Ranch Academy  who claim to treat a whole range of disorders and behaviors are simply lieing to you, they are neither qualified nor is their program designed to properly care for those with special needs or acute behavior disorders nor is it a suitable option for adolescents with drug addictions. These programs are so desperate for your money that they will enroll your teen even in absence of any abnormal teenage behaviors, as long as you can write checks, they will incarcerate your teen.

It is up to the parents to educate themselves, to do diligent research and to avoid sending their child away to any program that employs abusive methods, at any cost. There are many resources for teen help that can be found in your local communities, you do not have to send your child away to find care and adequate treatment. The fact that a clinical professional like Dr. Drew would endorse such a program truly shocks and disappoints me, I once thought highly of him, now I have lost any and all respect for him. He is shamelessly advertising for this program without doing any prior research into it’s practices and efficiency in treatment. He of all people should know better that there is no “miracle cure” for adolescent behavior, and the idea that a 14 year old could be so addicted to drugs that he should be forced into treatment without consent or due process is simply a violation of our Constitution and basic human rights.

Dr. Drew should be ashamed of himself, facilitating such promotions, advocating child abuse as drug treatment and quite possibly taking kick backs for every child he has sent to these teen prisons. A violation of his trust as a medical professional and a shameful misuse of his influence as a public figure, the same act of which that earned a certain judge a 28 year prison sentence. I implore Dr. Drew and his producers, the CW Network to pull their endorsements from Diamond Ranch Academy and any other programs utilizing aversive behavior modification methods, because it is simply dangerous and certainly unprofessional to encourage the abuse of children, in any severity for any reason. Until the endorsements are pulled I and the hordes of survivors of the troubled teen industry intend to ruthlessly pursue this campaign against Dr. Drew and Diamond Ranch Academy.

For more information please visit CAFETY’s Campaign to educate Dr Drew: Diamond Ranch Academy, Survivors Voices

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18 Responses to “Dr. Drew Endorses Diamond Ranch Academy”

  1. A child has died at this facility and witnesses say that Diamond Ranch Academy refused the boy adequate medical attention.

    http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/UTSanDiego/obituary.aspx?n=james-shirey&pid=122874456&fb_source=message

  2. Another Heart breaking survivor story:

    I was a “student” at DRA for 17 months throughout 2004-2006. I witnessed a lot of unjust behavior from staff members and put up with a lot of verbal and mental abuse. Dont get me wrong, there were some awesome staff members who were there because they wanted to help teens and sooth them and make them happier and healthier, but most of them were fired for being “too nice” or easy on us… I was restrained twice during my time at the ranch. The most traumatic restraint was dont by Robby Dias. He was leading the “homeless” girls in some outdoor work and physical activities. We were all lined up and instructed to count off before we could proceed to our next location. I was depressed, tired, homesick and sick of being bullied around by all of the power hungry, money hungry, inconsiderate, thoughtless staff members that i tried to hold onto the little bit of self-worth, power, and dignity that I still had. I rebelled and refused to count off. Robby made the girls count off about 5 times to see if I would just consent and shout out my number…I never did. I was a 14 year old lost girl, confused as to why my parents who love me so dearly, would ever agree to send me to a place so horrible. Crying, I was dropped to the ground by Robby Dias, my face was slammed into the grass and dirt while he grabbed my arm and twisted it behind my back in a way that our bodies aren’t meant to be twisted. Not only was it extremely painful, it was belittling, embarrassing and unnecessary. I was not harming anyone, I’d been following all of the rules prior to this incident and I was not lashing about screaming and yelling or creating a scene. I just refused to say “5”.

  3. SURVIVOR STATEMENT #1 (We’ve received 6 others and are waiting on verification for posting)

    Hello, my name is —— and I am now 19 years old. It is very hard for me to write this email but I find it to be more than an obligation. I discovered your site today, June 21, 2005 and immediately had to contact you. I was physically, emotionally, and psychologically abused at Diamond Ranch Academy from late July 2001 to late June 2002. I speak not only for myself. 20-60 other kids at any given time went through some of the same sickening and humiliating torture around me every day. Years have passed, but a lot of the pain has not. In fact, I still keep contact with about five people I went to “DRA” with, and we all feel the same way. Some still have nightmares to this day related to this program. (There’s something strange to me about considering the idea of having a child woken up and literally kidnapped by strange men in the middle of the night to face a year of incarceration “theraputical”.) It is a very dangerous game these people are playing, indeed, and I speak from experience.

    The first two weeks I stayed at Diamond Ranch was the sickest display of an abuse of power I have ever witnessed. I quickly made it out of their gruesome hell of a “first level” they called “wilderness” at the time out of sheer fear and terror. Our sleeping, eating, and working conditions were absolutely filthy and barbaric. We were barked orders from four in the morning until very late into the day, then, when we finally were allowed sleep, we were woken up repeatedly during the night to do “calisthenics”. Our days were entirely filled with busy work that mainly included making the facility look better for interested parents touring the ranch. We were not allowed to talk to one another whatsoever. If we were caught doing so, it resulted in group calisthenics for hours on end. We were not allowed cold water, only warm water out of dirty canteens provided by the staff. The staff always seemed ready to remind us they were only ‘legally obligated’ to provide us with two meals a day. Meals consisted of white rice or lentils for dinner and (sometimes) lunch, and oats for breakfast, and we were occasionally allowed rotten fruit. Spices and seasonings were only allowed twice during these two weeks because we were told we didn’t deserve them. We prepared these meals ourselves over a burner. We had to use dirty sticks found on the ground as utensils. If one of us vomited, they were forced to eat another bowl or the result was more group punishment. We were only allowed to bathe/ change clothes every two days if that, (in freezing cold outdoor “showers” of course.) We were more than once told that that we were worth less than dirt, etc. The staff would mockingly eat healthy, delicious looking meals from the “inside” facility and candy bars in our faces to taunt us. When traveling from site to site, we were forced to march and sing marching related songs at the same time. If one was caught not singing, or crying from pain, exhaustion, or hunger; more physical and verbal group punishment. Once, the owner’s son Robbie was our staff, just for the day. He set me aside from the group and physically punished me personally by making me do pushups with my hands in sharp rocks until my arms collapsed and then decided it would be a good idea to start yelling in my face; “What’s the matter with you ____?! You can’t do a push up, you can’t do anything! What are we gonna’ do with you boy?!” etc. I later discovered what he did there, among other things, was against the law. Another night that stands out, was a night when an abusive, and in my personal opinion mentally unstable wilderness staff member named Brad decided to make us do “calisthenics” until every last one of us was breaking down crying. That in itself wasn’t out of the ordinary, but this round, every time one of the poor students in our group who suffered from terrets syndrome uncontrollably uttered an obscenity, Brad would make us keep going and going until we were literally screaming in pain, our muscles locking up. Kids were getting sick, passing out, falling over crying and begging for mercy. Later in my program I heard him utter things to other staff members that personally made me beleive Brad enjoyed making kids suffer. I also remember activities such as lying on the desert floor holding large boulders above my head in the blazing hot Utah sun until I felt like I could barely take it anymore. The individual shocking instaces of abuse of power i was exposed to during those two weeks were endless. Luckily, my stay was short. Some people were in this phase up to six months. Half way through my stay at ‘DRA’, ‘wilderness’ was shut down due to illegal activity and changed to “unemployment”, a much tamer and regulation-friendly version of what I had gone through. Needless to say no kind of contact to anyone outside of the facility was allowed during this period.

    The rest of my stay at Diamond Ranch Academy was better but we were all still very manipulated and controlled. For example, after a few months I was able to mail my parents, but mail was closely monitored and read, and they ultimately decided if it was sent or not. If you did anything to expose the ranch for what it really was, you were instantly punished and knocked back down on the level system, promising you an even longer and harder stay at the program. Same with phone calls. They were always monitored and you would be instantly cut off if you said anything that could be deemed as “manipulative”. Rob Dias and the staff were the real manipulators of Diamond Ranch Academy. You were always part of their scheme. If you sold the place, you went home. If you fought the place, the harder they’d make it for you. They play a sick game of power with you up until the moment you sign your release paper. You were seen as more of a dollar sign rather than a patient in the eyes of Rob Dias, the owner, who used scare tactics in order to gain respect from students, and his sons and staff are well known for physically abusing kids in ways that go WELL beyond what they would classify as “necessary restraint”. What I saw there was not necessary restraint. It was bullying, physical abuse, and torture. The difference between that place on a regular day and a day when an interested parent thinking about sending their kid to Diamond Ranch came to look around was as different as night and day. Bottom line: We were treated as objects and sales tools. It was a living nightmare.

    We were always hungry, scared, and filthy. We were always living and cooking in horrible conditions. Always being used as an ad campaign for interested parents. Always being hurt by staff or the conditions of our work situations. I don’t know how many times I had to go the hospital for being cut with sharp objects while working in the junk yard. I can only hope someone out there thinking about sending their kid to a program reads this, and does a little more research on these places. Everything in my statement is true. I give HEAL permission to use my statement in any way they please.

  4. I was a student at DRA from January to July of 2005. I learned a lot from DRA, though it was from the girls that I lived with – girls that became like sisters to me. Though there were rare staff members who seemed to genuinely care for our well-being, the program, in general, is incredibly deceptive. Rob and Sherri Dias would always make a point to interact with us when parents came to visit, but as soon as they left, the Dias’ disappeared. We were forced to do intensive labor and calisthenics, and although they are permitted to use restraints when a student is endangering themself or others, staff members took advantage of this frequently. Robbie, one of the Dias’ son, made a habit of getting physical with kids under even the most trivial circumstances. If anyone has any questions, I’d be more than happy to answer them. DRA is a disturbing and emotional part of my past, and although parts of it seem good-intentioned, there was something dark and disturbing about the experience as an attendant.

    Greer Gaddie

  5. I was one of the teens that was being abused so badly, I had to escape. I made it almost a week until they caught me, and when I returned…I wished I would have died. They ruined my life. It is now 7 years later, and I still have flashbacks a few times a week.

    cjpat6790@yahoo.com

  6. *** UPDATE JULY 29, 2009: ***

    I wrote the above testimony four years ago and have noticed it’s increasing popularity over time. I would like to add some thoughts and memories I had forgotten to share, as well as some updates. One thing I would like to note first about my stay at the ranch; I was considered a top student. I was never a problem. I never ran away, barely received any citations, was never personally physically restrained (just witnessed,) I advanced all of my levels on schedule and was never demoted. No one’s program is completely flawless, but my run is as close as it gets. I held every job possible there and was constantly used an example for other students to follow. I ‘mentored’ countless ‘new intakes.’ In fact my last four months spent in the program mainly included working the cushier job, such as head or assistant program cook, assistant staffing, and selling the program to interested parents touring the ranch almost every day. I was most definitely their ‘go to’ sales boy. I would sit there with desperate parents, convincing them this was their last option.. lying through my teeth time and time again about how great the program was and how it saved my life.. secretly biding my time, waiting for freedom. That is a big part of my motivation for writing this statement; to hopefully right some of those wrongs. Through my false endorsement of the program during my tenor there I was surely responsible for countless new kids being sent to DRA circa 2002. The guilt lives on with me, but that is how these programs are designed, and I did what I felt I had to do to advance and eventually be released.

    Here are some things I forgot to originally include in my statement, as well as truths I have read in others’ statements I would like to confirm:

    * The word is spreading: Thanks to popular social networking websites I am now in contact with many more former students. The numbers are growing and it will be become harder for us to be ignored. The ratio of students who feel unsatisfied or damaged from their time spent in the program is overwhelming.

    * Cult like tactics used by DRA: The use of heavy jargon. The use of jargon to manipulate the true meaning of a word, masking their intentions. Cult like seminars which include using music as a trance. Forcing bogus therapeutic solutions to students while attempting to sell these values to said students’ parents. Namely Taylor Hartman’s ‘Color Code’ — which holds no actual psychological, therapeutic, medical, or scientific ground. It should be noted Mr. Hartman happens to be a close personal friend of Mr. Rob Dias.

    * Unnecessary length of program/ Playing on the desperation & naivety of parents: I can speak for myself and I’m sure many more can relate; I strongly feel I did not make any personal growth in my last four months of the program, if not longer. I was simply kept there to assist with staffing. Like most students, the program had a firm grip on my my parents’ desperation. It is Rob’s business to squeeze every nickel possible out of a naive family by the time he’s done with them. This is how he finances his numerous luxury homes, vehicles, boats, big screen televisions, the list goes on and on. (Note: I have stayed at his house, and became well acquainted with his entire family. Interestingly enough, in most witness opinions, his children are far, FAR more troubled than the actual students of Diamond Ranch Academy. Which brings me to my next point..)

    * Rob Dias’ own abusive & deeply troubled children who happen to staff the facility: Rob’s sons, Robbie and Ricky, are allowed to come on to the facility and staff the children whenever they so please. They are well known for their abusiveness in the facility. I have experienced it first hand. These guys are without a doubt mentally unstable bullies with severe issues.

    * DRA website false reports on students/ Tricking kids into smiling for photos: The DRA website actually started while I was in the program. It was referred to as ‘the dailies.’ Of course, students were never allowed internet access at any point, but a group of us more tech savy kids made our way online occasionally and discovered the dailies were roughly 90% a hoax. That’s all I can really say about it. If your kid is attending DRA, most of the updates you’re reading could be fabricated. Another tactic they liked to use was tricking us into smiling for photographs to be put online; for example, a staff telling an innapropriate joke that was out of their character, and proceeding to quickly whip out a camera to snap a quick photo.

    * DRA’s more recent front to appear as a boarding school/ incorporating ‘normal’ high school atmosphere & activities: It was beginning as I left the program and over years I have noticed DRA attempting to crossover into a respectable, boarding school type facility. An obvious attempt to regulate all the negative press they have been receiving from former students since the rise of the internet. Regardless of their current exterior and any changes that have been made to the program over time, it should not be forgotten that Diamond Ranch Academy was founded on child abuse and blood money.

    * The student dorm buildings were originally ostrich pens: Not everyone is aware, but like so much of the makeshift architecture at the ranch, the dorms were originally built to serve a completely different function. It was my generation that got to breathe in heavy amounts of dust and rat feces into our lungs for months on end while preparing these dorms for future students to enjoy. Just one of many unhealthy tasks we were forced to slave over. Imagine all the money the program receives from tuition, AND not having to ever pay for labor!

    Fellow former students, please speak up with your experiences. Do what you can to help bring down the ‘troubled youth’ industry. Everything in my statement is true. I give HEAL permission to use my statement in any way they please.’

  7. I am going to tell you my story. I went to Diamond ranch Academy thinking I was having my first born child and I was sent to DRA. When I first got there I was on Suicide watch and had to get fully naked in-front of people I don’t even know for 3 to 5 minutes. for 10 days breakfast, lunch and dinner, and sometimes after excercising. I was miserable but the whole time i was there I was protecting the mothers number of my unborn child. I spent many more weeks at DRA because of this but I kept it and held it close. I was starving I was almost anorexic before I got there because my step father would not let me eat in “his kitchen” sometimes…. So I was starving even worse when I got to Diamond Ranch Academy and We didn’t get much to eat then we had barely a minimum amount of food we needed ro feel full so mentally I feel insane and I have staff eating full meals in front of me when I am starving I feel crazy.
    So personally blame it on them being Mormon being so teased and tortured by it…. The place is a cult of Mormons. I told my therapist how I felt and of how I felt the Mormons were antagonizing everybody including my myself inside of DRA. He then told me “well Zach Iam Mormon what do you think of that?” I never could get a real vent or conversation with him after that and being my second month he would just ignore what I said and I was mentally and physically in a prison.
    I have so many Negative experiences I neglect to share because of their uncivilized manner it was almost a cult of antagonizing bullies. I left there a year later with just myself and I come to find the child I was waiting for wasn’t mine….
    I got into forms of meth tried my hardest to try and not come home smoked pot drank and partied. I then 3 years later I have my real blood daughter newly born unto me and find the love of my life I now am getting married this year and I thank God for the plan he had waiting for me and Iam against Diamond Ranch Completely and am hee to say Iam a real person , a adult , and a father and you guys are not alone.

    -Zach Freeman

  8. SURVIVOR STATEMENT #2 wrote:

    I, ____Anonymous (verified)_____________, declare and state as follows:

    1. Diamond Ranch Academy

    2. Hurricane, Utah

    3. 11/17/2007-9/26/2008

    4. They’re coming back. All my bad memories are coming back. November 17th, 2007 5am. Confusion. Where were these strangers taking me? Looked to my parents for answers. But they’re faces had none. All I saw was sadness from my mom and blankness from my dad. I remember getting in their care. Seeing my parents for the last time for 5 months. I remember both of their faces. At the airport confusion was still my main emotion. Where was I going? The only bit of information I knew was that I was going to “school”. The plane ride was full of questions that the 2 transporters would not answer. They covered it up with food and drink offerings. I was neither hungry nor thirsty. We landed in Las Vegas. I was tired so I slept on the car ride to my destination. I remember waking up on a highway. Desert all over. I wasn’t in Las Vegas. I was in Hurricane, Utah. Middle of nowhere. In the distance I could see assorted metal buildings. Not to compare my experiences with Nazi concentration camps but you will see many similarities throughout this passage. I felt as if I arrived at Berkanau. They tried to make the place look decent. It did from one view, and then you turn your head and its desert or weathered trees. I arrive at what was called the “blue house”. Looked exactly as it sounded. I entered a small room and was sat down. “What’s your name?” Asked a muscular assistant program director. “CJ Clark” I said. “Your real name” he asked getting tempered already. “Christian” I said. I was stripped of all my possessions except for my shoes and coat. I was told to remove my clothes. My clothes were then searched and I was made to turn around many times, naked, to make sure I had nothing on me. They provided with me a bright orange hoodie and sweat pants. You’d think that the desert is hot all year round. Not in winter. I was told I was to be sent to the first component of the program called “homeless”. I was literally homeless. Outside all the time. Breakfast was oats. Not those brown sugary oats you would usually eat for breakfast. It was oats, water, and powdered milk. That’s it. That was breakfast every day. Lunch and Dinner were always the same. Either undercooked or burnt rice and a bean called a lentil. That’s it. 16 days of freezing winds outside every day. Also the homeless component contained the most rigorous physical training throughout the program. First day I arrived I was to run a mile straight. No walking at all. You walk you’ll run longer. I hadn’t run more than a few meters in years. First 1/2 a lap I was dying. My chest was burning. Very little oxygen was going into my brain. My other companions in the component attempted to pep talk me to keep going. They were scolded and made to run more. There was no talking between anyone in this component. I staggered my way another 2 laps before just giving up. In this level of the program you had to pass 14 successful days. I failed my first day for this incident. The rest of this level was filled with 2 work projects a day. Out there in the freezing cold literally digging tracks for a new parking lot. I was a slave laborer. There was nothing I could do. The best part of my day was sleeping. The only rest I got. I looked forward to it every day. I completed my 14th successful on my 16th day. I had to make a fire out of a bow and some wood. I was then upgraded a level. I was now a student. I got to eat regular food. Not allot but it was somewhat normal. I got to go to school. It felt pretty good. Now think of this. Your life seems fucking amazing because you get to eat peanut butter and jelly instead of burnt rice. Your life is 10 times better because you now get to attend school. Regular school. While in the “inside” you were able to talk to other program students during very short time slots. During those all we talked about how we look forward to life on the outside. To see civilization again. Have a small piece of chocolate. Having the privilege to speak with your own family when you want. All these things were distant memories for us. When we weren’t being terrorized by the simple fact of little contact with your family the staff had fun with your emotions. When you broke a rule you received a citation. Each cite is worth a certain amount of points which at the end of the week would add up and determine if we got put on what’s called “unemployment”. This was another component after school for kids that broke too many rules. You were to pull around a large cart everywhere you went. You did physical training just like you did in the first level. You were to sit silent in a room and work for hours on end. Back to playing with emotions. Staff had the power to cite anyone at anytime. So they played with you. Even if it was during a time where you were allowed to talk they would take that away. If you talked you were cited. Cites equaled a more miserable life. Even if you didn’t break the rule they would cite you just to see you break down. They’ll say this never happened but ask any kid that’s been there. It happens all the time. And then there were the restraints. If you were out of line a staff could take you down and bend your wrist behind your back and apply pressure to “calm you down”. If you have never been in a bent wrist control hold basically it sucks. But then there were the kids that couldn’t help their actions. Mentally retarded kids aged 12, 13, and 14. I recount a student that was autistic. Very nice and caring kid. 13 years old. But couldn’t control his anger and energy. He has his outbursts and he was cranked just like anyone else. Except he got it way more than regular kids. He had a handicap. HE COULDN’T HELP IT. And yet he was still made to run and taken down when he thought he was not doing anything bad. Think about this. Think of a brother, cousin, friend that has a mental handicap. Put him in a situation with nothing to look forward to. Always being run and restrained. Little contact with his family. I can’t imagine. I’ve witnessed kids being emotionally terrorized by staff. I remember and instance where everyone was to partake in what was called an amnesty. We were to write down everything we’d done wrong or witnessed someone else do something wrong. Every director was there. These people had control of your life. We were given strict instructions not to look up from our paper. There was a 13 years old kid that got to see his parents for the first time in 5 months later that day. He looked to the left for 2 seconds. He was yelled at. The program director said that his visit was cancelled. He would not be able to see his parents for another long while. He straight up cried in front of everyone. Nobody came to comfort him. He was alone. We were all alone. Take a look at their website: http://www.diamondranchacademy.com

    90 percent of what is on that site is a lie. Ask me anything about it. It’s most likely a manipulative try to get the parents’ money. Everyone all I can say is do your best. Don’t get sent away. Don’t go through what I did. You can prevent it.

    I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on __May 5th_________________, 2009.

  9. Chris Makaron – Apr 3, 2011
    Please, do not send your child to Diamond . It’s a scam–all the nicely edited videos, all the fake testimonials, everything on their website, it’s all one big organized lie. They abuse kids at this facility. I was abused there, and so were countless others. I personally knew a kid that died there as a direct result of shameful neglect; his name was James Shirey, may he rest in peace. Please don’t let another human being be victimized by these people. There are numerous ongoing lawsuits against this place, and calls to the local police do nothing due to the level of corruption in Southern Utah. PARENTS, PLEASE CALL ME on the phone number below and I will be more than happy to give you my full honest testimonial of what happens at this place, and what the truth behind the fancy lie really is. I am sharing my personal phone number publicly on the internet and … Ranch. It’s a scam–all the nicely edited videos, all the fake testimonials, everything on their website, it’s all one big organized lie. They abuse kids at this facility. I was abused there, and so were countless others. I personally knew a kid that died there as a direct result of shameful neglect; his name was James Shirey, may he rest in peace. Please don’t let another human being be victimized by these people. There are numerous ongoing lawsuits against this place, and calls to the local police do nothing due to the level of corruption in Southern Utah. PARENTS, PLEASE CALL ME on the phone number below and I will be more than happy to give you my full honest testimonial of what happens at this place, and what the truth behind the fancy lie really is. I am sharing my personal phone number publicly on the internet and will most likely get attacked by the owners of DRA as a result, so please understand how serious this is. Desperate parents do desperate things, and that’s how this place makes its money. I was there for 11 months, and I know the truth. My name is Chris, please call me at any time. -Chris, (805)272-5005

  10. claressa – Sep 15, 2010
    This Place Is Not What It Seems to Be! This place is by far the worst place to ever consider sending your kids for help! It is Hell, and it is so different than what these pictures show. Please, if you care about your child and really want to get them help, DO NOT SEND THEM TO DIAMOND RANCH ACADEMY. There are so many places and different treatment options that don’t require you to sign over gaurdianship to them, and are far more and caring for your child. The staff here are not trained to handle kids with mental or emotional problems and therefor only make it worse for the child. Nobody knows what the kids there go through unless you have been there and been in the program. All this program does is brainwash the kids, and they go along with after awhile because they are desperate to get out of there. They fake their way through the program just to graduate and go home. This place is run by the owner’s kids, and their friends, most of whom are barely in their early 20’s. They do not care for the kids. I was cursed at, called a “Loser who will never amount to anything”, I’ve been called “Stupid” and was told that I had not only ruined my life, but my step-sister’s too.. all these horrible horrible things were said to me by the owner’s son Ricky. DO NOT SEND YOUR CHILD HERE!!!!! Show less

  11. DECLARATION UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY

    PURSUANT TO 28 USCA 1746

    I, [private] declare and state as follows:

    1. Diamond Ranch Academy

    2. Hurricane, Utah

    3. March 19, 2007 – December 19, 2007

    4. I too have had an awful experience in my nine month stay at Diamond Ranch Academy, located in Hurricane Utah. This is a very difficult subject and a very negative time in my life and is hard to talk about. I will fill you in on the details as much as I can remember.
    My family told me that I would be going to look at a boarding school and decide if I wanted to stay.
    I have always lived in British Columbia, Canada and I had no idea what a “program” was.
    I arrived for my tour at D.R.A on March 19, 2007. While getting my tour of the ranch, I decided that I didn’t like it. I guess my family had already signed the papers and the staff were telling me I had no choice. It was so heartbreaking to hear that you can’t leave with your parents. I couldn’t believe these people were telling me that I couldn’t leave. They held me while I watched my family drive down the 2 mile dirt road. This was just the beginning. They took me to the “blue house” and proceeded to yank out my nose ring, my earrings. They took away all my belongings and told me to strip down. This was so violating. Being a virgin, I have never let anyone see me naked. I felt so violated during the strip search. I remember just standing there crying my eyes out and the staff just standing there… they didn’t care.They told me that if I behaved properly that everything would be okay. I was so scared, that I could barely function. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I was then taken over to the boys campus where the nurse’s station was located. They told me that in order to stay that I would need to give a blood sample. When I was younger I had a bad experience with a needle when I was in the hospital, so i was terrified. I told them that i didn’t feel comfortable giving them my blood. The nurse (a 250 pound man) told me that: “We could do this the easy way, or the hard way”.
    Still refusing he called in another woman and another male staff to have me restrained. In which I was sat on, held down and unwillingly had my blood drawn.
    This was so traumatizing. In the first level called “homeless” we weren’t allowed any rights. We had to raise our hand for everything. I got in trouble a couple of times because I put on lip chap without asking. We had to sit cross legged for hours on the cement working on silly projects. We were given oats (water and oatmeal) and fruit for breakfast. For lunch we had rice and lentils and dinner was rice and lentils. We were given a 4L Milk jug that was filled up with tap water daily that we were forced to drink, yet we could only go to the outhouse a few times a day when they felt like taking us. I know of 4 girls that had urinated themselves because a staff member wouldn’t allow them to use the washroom. If you didn’t do what you were told you had to do “energy release”. This is where Ricky Dias could make you run up and down a field for 3 hours in the scorching hot sun with no water. I remember Ricky Dias yelling at a girl for not getting out of the shower on time the night before. He told this girl that if it happened again tonight he would: “Rip her out of the shower by her hair naked.”
    You weren’t allowed to talk to your parents for the first couple of weeks. You were completely isolated and unable to talk to anyone. The homeless staff would humiliate you in front of others and made me feel worthless. I felt like a horrible person and I began to believe what they told me.
    I 100 percent believe that Diamond Ranch Academy is a brainwashing scam.
    Thankfully I was only in that Homeless level for 20 days. Things get a little bit better once you are no longer in the “homeless component”. Once inside you could write a 1 post card to your parents Monday-Friday. You were given a 30 minute phone call every 2 weeks with your parents. You couldn’t talk to your friends or other family. If you told them anything negative in either the phone call or postcard you were in huge trouble. Usually resulting in being dropped a level which made you stay for another 2 weeks. It was considered “manipulation” to tell your parents that you want to go home. I couldn’t even tell my mom that I missed her.
    To make a miserable long story short;
    I faked the entire program to get out earlier. I sucked up to every single staff and made sure that they loved me. I was also encouraged to “tell” on other girls when they were doing something they shouldn’t. This looked really good if you told on other girls.
    I graduated after 9 long months and went home in December 2007. I did okay for about a week after being home and then relapsed.

    I don’t even have words to express how much anger and hatred I have towards all the staff of DRA and the program. For the past 2 years now I have at least 1 nightmare a week about being at DRA. I have developed such harsh anxiety and have even been medicated because of it. I would have a panic attack if I thought about DRA or after a nightmare. It is very difficult to live with. I HIGHLY discourage anyone from sending their kids to a program. They may look like they have changed, but it is out of fear.

  12. DECLARATION UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY

    PURSUANT TO 28 USCA 1746

    I, _____ Aaron Lieberman_____________, declare and state as follows:

    1. [NAME OF PROGRAM]..Diamond Ranch Academy

    2. [LOCATION OF PROGRAM] Hurricane Utah

    3. [PERIOD OF INTERNMENT MM/YY TO MM/YY] 6/23/06-12-23-07

    4. [DECLARATIVE STATEMENT] Yes

    Living with the ghosts–a donation to the present and future

    There I am torn from reality into a pseudo-society which my dog gets better treatment then these people. I have eaten out of a bright metal bowl on the ground while Utah thunderstorms shed ounces of water into my 16 oz of barely thawed out rice. Slowly and slowly I started to realize how much I had changed from a hard drug addict to a Brainwashed cult member. Being locked in a 450 square foot white cinderblock room hopeless while I am seriously wishing I was in jail where I can be myself. Everywhere I went they went single file without a word being spoken. Many nights I remember crawling in my bed with drops of urine on my sheets from a top bunk that had a teenager with a bladder issue. I found myself at times in a shower that had feces in it from a teen in my family of 10 who did not belong at a tough love facility… Adding to the issue there where a lack of nursing for anything. All types and sorts where sent to this tough love camp, anywhere between children dealing with family lose to gang members Aged 12-17 ½. I didn’t see my parents for 7 months at a time. That was against the law so they had to make an exception.

    Therapy was meaningless and most of the time was overlooked here you can see myself with my therapist. The kid who did all that on my mattress is in the green.(http://www.diamondranchacademy.com/ther … rogram.php)They legally have to take you out once a week to speak with you and once every two weeks you can call your parents. In this picture my therapist decided to double up sessions to accommodate the increase in people. When this happened the normal 8 beds per dorm maximum turned into 8 people in bunks and six on the floor. Not to get into more detail about malpractice I can recall a therapist being fired for an “issue”
    with a girl. No one said anything and the girl got pulled from the program. Obviously something happened. A lot of this went on daily the thing is in the middle of nowhere next to a polygamist colony no one really cares.

    They had a system of cites which was a alternative of punishment. I ended up with over 365 or pieces of paper each paper for a different thing I did wrong one week. That’s how much I stopped caring and ended up being sent to homeless for a good 7 months of my program. This was there hardest form of punishment which had happened to be the first part of the program. I had a lot of exercise a lot of rice a lot of punishment. When they are bored at 3 am and want to torment someone you get sent out at 3 am in the morning. In the middle of winter for things as little as sharing food you would receive this. I lost over 10 pounds of muscle all my body fat and due to the fact I was always sitting Indian style I have herniated l4 and l5 discs. I was involved in and everything that functioned there and pretty much helped out at every job. I knew how they worked and it pissed them off that I knew that they lied to my parents that I was losing weight naturally. Go ahead and put fat camps out of work if you must but this is more like a concentration camp. I would try and write home or tell my parents how I felt on the phone but the more I let out the truth the more they hung up or tore up my postcards. Check this out though this is the most important factor of the program. If you write your parents your being abused they rip it up.

    I have seen a male physically restrain a girl while she screamed for him to get off her and started crying from the amount of force he applied to the restraint. WHERE WAS THE FEMALE STAFF HMM? Sounds FOXY to me.

    I have seen friends restrained in urine while urinating due to lack of bathroom and being forced to drink a gallon of water daily. Obviously they told you when you can speak, eat, sleep, turn you head to look, use the bathroom. The worst part out of everything was the rice and lentils. I would go days without any nutrients. There is mold all over the ceilings above the kitchen. When you stole staff food you would be forced to eat food with nothing but rice soaked in pickle juice and sauerkraut. They even went as far to soak oatmeal in hot pickle juice. It was so acidic kids where throwing up and I would get a bowl down and try to not throw up. Yet the thing is they made rules like if one person stole food in homeless they would make everyone suffer. That’s called blanket punishment so I gave up and stopped eating sauerkraut. After being threatened to be restrained for 30 minutes and have a fat feeding needle stuck in my arm I had a bowl of sauerkraut a day to keep the needle away. The third week there I received serious food poisoning from rice that had hand sanitizer snuck into it by a deranged kitchen staff. He was making food unsupervised at snuck behind the camera. So the cooks leave at night and leave the cooking up to the kids. Most of the teens did the work due to that fact. You can find proof that they let 13 year olds handle and manage large amounts of food without any certifications or permits after they fed “fresh” food to goats. Hands and dishes never washed. Out of everything that pissed me off I find that the place ends up taking in the teens and baptizing them into a LDS and this is with the family that owns the place. There is no limit to what the family would do. One time I tried to tell a parent and her son not to come here and was lectured on how I should express those feelings to her directly. So if reading this and trying to figure out this place get in touch with any kid and ask did you enjoy it.

    As far as dorms go nasty beds that have been used from 2002 have holes dust mites and 90% have urine and other fluids on them. Mold in the pipes no hot water at night unless its summer. 5 minute showers without soap sometimes. Other malpractices include hiding bedding when state inspection comes. I have spoken with state inspection but they seem to give three craps in the wind what I had to say.
    There have seen combinations of cocktails given to recovering minds such as high doses of three different psychotropic mood controllers and high doses of amphetamine based medication while taking a benzodiazepine. . In the morning we would be forced to take medication and eat food which had no nutritional value. Lucky me I had been given only one anti depressant. There was this big book that had all our names in it that we would sign with our name next to the medication we took. Sometimes I would catch of others pages. It seemed to me they loved giving out lithium for about everything.

    Early one day I witnessed a child have the most intense panic attack I ever have seen. The kid told us he had been raped beaten and abused his whole life the staff knew this and yet he had to pull a cart by himself while we watched when he snapped they had four staff one per limb towards breaking point. Not the kind of treatment someone with that emotional baggage deserves. With knees on the back of his neck, and being PINCHED on every pressure point the fifteen year old had. This also was the most distraught I have ever seen someone yet he still managed to barely breathe. I have over 30 different voices screaming out that echo in my mind from this treatment. I can recall my first day in the beginning stage where I was sent face down into lava rocks by the programs owner son, yet there was grass next to the lava. I thought to myself later on in the program what I had gotten my first day beats getting your arm broken like a thirteen year old 90 pound sixth grader did for not obeying program structure. Who did this didn’t believe the 13 year old child and forced him do psychical exercise with a broken arm. Then when the kid started crying, he was forced to do something else other and then forced to keep running.

    Who may ever send your child here this place is filled with deception (http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.c … D=17232469) The kids are told to smile and that’s are places/websites you can look up there so many cover ups and the staffs past which include but not limited to resisting arrest dealing and hard drug usage. The family uses this place as a front for stealing at the damage to many young struggling individuals. My family is in debt over 100,000. The things I’ve come forward about will help close doors that have been open too long and I will not rest tell this is my gone to an end. There will be more of these letters as I am very connected with lifelong friends who suffered here. There will be others including staff willing to aid in this effort. I added personal links of pictures due to my creditability based on the facts I have. It is great to read a letter of one of my homeless students (homeless is the beginning) I had mentored at the end of my program. I am grateful for a website such as this and will do all in my power to make the best description. Please understand this is an account of over a year and a half of my life.

    http://www.diamondranchacademy.com/prog … onials.php They believe that there 49 percent of my custody during 6/21/06-12/21/07 “ENTITLES” them to any picture taken or letters written of or by me. I am still on DRA’s website .I called the family to take me off from a unblocked number giving my name. Yet they still have my name and a few pictures. DIAMOND RANCH ACADEMY TWO WRONGS DON’T MAKE A RIGHT -THAT’S WHAT YOU TOLD ME-
    PLEASE HELP IF YOU HAVE SUFFERED UNDER THE CARE OF DIAMOND RANCH ACADEMY.

  13. Diamond Ranch Academy exposed
    Ok bear with me everyone.
    Im sorry if any information is scattered but please just read all of it,Thank you.
    It started april 12 2009 I was driving down the road in St george. I was looking for somewhere to get caught up in school.My parents and I went to go check out this place they said they could me caught up in school so I took their word for it.They sat my parents down and told them that it was a good school and it would get me caugh up in school they said it was a boarding school not a rehab I knew their were drug addicts there but they made it seem like a school.I wouldnt have went there if I knew all their rules they don’t fill you in on any of these until you parents signed documents you had to be there for 10 months some 12.
    I think it is unjust because some people can get their problems fixed in under 10 months.
    With that in mind I went in with a positive attitude and was their for school only,
    but Dra they took all my freedoms away besides getting food and water they strip you your first day. Im a good girl, Im already mormon but they violate that when they leave the door open when your taking a shower in the homeless program.I broke down crying because I didn’t know it was a lockdown and nobody would talk to me.
    My staff that night told other staff I was going to run away because I was breaking down.They put me on run watch and took me shoes and put me in flip flops for 3 weeks.Its all apart of their drama scheme they actually live off drama there the staff they hire at least.I learned this after being there staff would make fun of girls as well especially if they were homeless they’d call you girl in orange and tell you tobe positive or you’d stay in homeless longer. They treated you badly I had a panic attack a few times
    One staff walked in the lunch room one day and was like I don’t feel bad for any of you I read your papers. Dra automatically treats girls like they are below you by eating good food in front of you and teased us about it daily they were happy when they treated us like lower humans.I will not dramatize this but I want to make it known there is some things to look into at dra that are yet to be exposed.I can’t begin because you have to “see for yourself” they have a clan of people working to make money for them and are using teens to serve as a purpose to do so.
    At 18 I signed out and I chose to be homeless for a few days and lived in the mountains,but I survived because I went into town and a lady at Maverick asked me whats wrong.I told her everything and she said look you need to have a home and I dont want to see you on the streets.I told her “ok but I can’t go back to Dra,I didn’t like the way it made me feel” When I got to her house she treated me far better even as a stranger she didn’t treat me like I was in a rehab I was very nice, and I let her know I wouldn’t steal from her she clothed me properly and told me her house is open and her kitchen and let me take a shower.
    At dra they don’t respect you as nice as the lady I met at maverick, they automatically think your going to steal and just do everything bad,they need to change the way the operate because it won’t be successful if they think something like were going to steal it’s bound to happen.That’s how they operated they used all their rules to make it seem effective but it backfired if someone broke one they’d add like 2 more rules everytime.Its based on scare tactics the staff actually yells at you I repeat yells at you even when working out or at dinners(everywhere).
    Even when I was ready to leave they wouldn’t let me go they got me to come back after I legally signed out on my 18th birthday.They even got the head staff cody to come looking for me to give me their contact card to come back.He told me and the lady who took me in that he’d buy me dinner.Instead he dropped me off at this hotel that I couldn’t even get into. Yes the lady was blown out of her mind how cruel and uncaring these people were.She told me to stay with her and I did until I stayed in a motel for a couple days refusing to go back.Well I called his number after because my family told me to and he Manipulated me by saying you can leave in 3 weeks if you come back. Though they lied I was there longer for like 5 weeks longer then I was suppose to. Well after I got my ged my only way out I had a recognition February 13th. ( 2 months after my birthday)
    Which brings me to another subject abuse was huge at Dra mentally,verbally,physically.
    If you didn’t participate they’d say what don’t yo want to leave?Whats the matter with you? Do army crawl, do 50 man pushups ,when I say down down.They use their power for control over us they know we can’t leave when we first get in so they use their power to push us around. As aggressive as they were I remember countless times they restrained girls for no reason one girl didn’t want to go to homeless and the staff cody grabbed her wrists and yelled at her then shoved her into the cart, so she hit him after, but it was provoked .
    Well for me I did what I could I had to put on a show that’s what Dra teaches you tell on other girls, say you love the place, never tell your parents the truth if you said you hated it and told them anything negative they end your phone call.If they were real honest to goodness program they wouldn’t care what children told their parents even if it wasn’t good. They are trying so hard to look good that it’ actually backfired there is now groups on facebook not rallying against it but they are voicing their opinions about the abuse.Dra needs to be shutdown sometime it is getting more powerful though so we need as much help as possible to help us.It is not a way to rebell I really feel like this program abuses kids when their purpose is to get kids off drugs it actually abuses them in the process which might trigger their relapse and feelings they play too many mind games and deny us of fresh water.
    Please Go to http://www.heal-online.org/diamond.htm
    Well I never had tried drugs alcohol smoking or taken part in anything sexual.I know that it’s not all their fault that girls relapse but they would even let girls listen to songs about weed and M.I.A’s drug songs this was the Girls campus head staff “Brigham”.
    They let the girls on the basketball team hear lyrics about drugs in a rehab…that should be forbidden.Once again staff didn’t follow the rules so there was not a good example for girls there.They have staff who’ve committed felonies,been in jail,sold drugs, even our first homeless staff amber was a heavy alcoholic,and partier.A homeless staff! You could tell by looking at her and they would hire anyone to work for them.Even obese ladies and woman who use to be drug addicts and still were.
    Let me tell you there were some good things I weighed 118 when I left I looked like a rail who hadn’t eaten much and had all her portions under control and much excersise.I learned that I can do bootcamp hard things but life is not this way.It was a real transition program
    Well I had a panic attack a few times and the least they could do was send me to homeless.After crying being in the bathroom saying I want to go home and shaking and shaking.I couldn’t help it I was losing my mind I believe.Well a staff was called to my doorm and his name was Bryant he told me Id have to get up im like no im staying here.He said well you need to go to bed I was like I can’t stop shaking.He says why Im ‘like I don’t know Bryant I don’t know.He replied “well I’m going to have to restrain you if you don’ get up,”They then radioed staff and 1 mean staff from guys side I will tell you his name once I remember it(THIS NEEDS TO BE REPORTED)
    This man was escorted with a nurse into my doorm they took me to the med closet and were like I’ll give you benadryl..and I said I don’t want it I just want to go to the hospital.
    I knew I needed medical attention since I was having a severe panic attack.Anyway they looked at me like I’m just trying to help and I said i’m sorry I just don’t want medication.Well the man yelled at me and threatened to restrain me and put me on my bed,so he threatened to touch me and force me on my bed and go to bed.
    He told me I was a “waste of their time and also faking this whole thing and stop playing games.”Well I wasn’t it was a panic attack and Dra doesn’t care if your out of breath or shaking he also told me not to have another panic attack again.
    It was a haunting expirience I was scared and forced to lay on my bed,but I was still shaking. (This was 1 of my 3 panic attacks at dra also keep in mind I hadn’t had one for 3 years)
    So they resisted to give me medical attention at the hospital.This is what they did, and theres even been a death in January 2009, because they denied to give a student medical attention all happening in 2009. Its not a good place to send kids for that reason.
    For me My bad habits started after going here I never did a drug tasted alcohol anything even sex!Well 4 months after my depart of Dra I went to my first rave in June and tried ecstasy and cigarettes and hung out with addicts who’ve done heroin and were heavy boomers.I know I never would have done this but in a way it actually reminded me of Dra.They talked about drugs in good ways and I wanted to try it.It didn’t stop I also went to another rave In august and did ecstasy with coke.I can’t and won’t do that anymore still I believe dra had alot to do with my curiosity.I tell you this because I’ve actually been to a rehab before when I was 12 but it was for anger issues not drugs or anything else.I can honestly say they dont help your kids, everyone I know has either relapsed or worse and I was the girl who never tried sex,drugs,alcohol,or anything at all before Dra.Now I am alot more experienced when it comes to substances.
    I went to Dra to get caught up in school I was 1 year and a half behind I actually saw it online.They don’t tell you a thing about it until your locked down and physically prevented from leaving.That place is electrically fenced and surrounded with water making it a harsh environment if a Kid actually did run away and succeed he’d die.
    Thank you for your time, but I do want to say it made me very skinny I highly believe this program produces eating disorders our portions were sometimes smaller then a fist.

  14. I was at DRA for 11 months, and while I was never physically abused, the verbal/emotional/mental abuse was there and I did see other people physically abused. I left DRA during the myspace years (haha) and started a group meant to keep me in touch with a handful of friends I made there. Membership quickly mushroomed and I soon had hundreds of DRA alums organized into a group. Soon I had to close the membership and hand check every single applicant, because staff members from DRA were disguising themselves as former students and gathering information. They kept an eye on what people were saying about them, they spread misinformation, and more. When I was contacted by a girl named Sara Harmon, things got strange. Sara was a survivor of Mormon polygamy, and the Dias family, who own DRA, fostered her for a time. During that time, she alleges that Rob Dias sexually molested her. She referred me to an appearance she made on Larry King. It seemed legitimate to me, so I shared the information with the group. Within a week I was contacted by Rob personally. The conversation went from him wishing me well, asking about my life and how I was doing to him telling me about Sara and how she was an alcoholic (I was sent to DRA for drug addiction, so he wasn’t gaining any sympathy from me) how she lead a “deviant lifestyle” and making other attempts at character assassination. All the while, he danced around the actual question I kept drilling him with; “Did you sexually molest Sara Harmon or not?” Eventually he said “NO” but it took a while to get an answer out of him. After this stage of the conversation, he nonchalantly moved on to his next point. He told me about his team of “shark lawyers” whose job it was to “hurt people like you” and then he basically told me to keep my mouth shut. I was not impressed with this threat in any way, and nothing ever came of it. Yes, I kept running my mouth. (obviously)

    Rob Dias is a criminal. He hides behing this facade of wanting to help the kids, but the few who really get to know him see him for what he is- another slimey, greedy crook. Everyone who’s been at a graduation ceremony at DRA can tell you about his signature crocodile tears. Shame on Dr. Drew; either for not doing his research and seeing that DRA is inhumane, or for seeing it and making his recommendation anyway.

    I could go on to detail specific injustices committed, but I’m pretty sure there are plenty of easily accessible records. Anyone who has been fighting this place long enough should probably recognize my name, and I can probably prove my affiliation with DRA, if anyone requires.

  15. Gabe Van Meter
    Hi, im a former 8 month student at dra, i saw all of the horrors and mistreatment of students, was restrained at least 4 times, one of which was for a letter i had written collections of all the mistreatment to show my mom on my first visit. They found out and werent happy. Steve darveaux, grant, joe demke, and josh evans. Cant remember grants last name but those are the staff. Eye witness paul shneider, khalid rashid, JT lee. I respect what your doing i just assumed all adults who have been through or know about dra buy into all of the crap that just isnt true. In fact my life has gotten worse ten fold since last august when i got back. Im a father at the age of 16 and i have two felonies not that i blame dra for my decisions but it put me in a mindset that made me not care about life at all or trust anyone. Glad to know your fighting. Take care.(:

  16. Jawn Ackland: (May 23, 2012, 14:01) i saw the most fucked up restraint one time. this kid christian who obviously had problems… like behavior problems needed a drink of water in unemployment and the staff wouldnt let him. after politely asking to go get it for 30 minutes he walked out of the room to get a sip of water. the next thing i heard the loudest bang of him being slammed to the ground. the kid started screaming for help and the only thing that happened was more adults jumping on him. the screaming lasted about 5-10 minutes…

  17. i saw the most fucked up restraint one time. this kid christian who obviously had problems… like behavior problems needed a drink of water in unemployment and the staff wouldnt let him. after politely asking to go get it for 30 minutes he walked out of the room to get a sip of water. the next thing i heard the loudest bang of him being slammed to the ground. the kid started screaming for help and the only thing that happened was more adults jumping on him. the screaming lasted about 5-10 minutes…
    (May 23, 14:01)

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