Following a suicide attempt on June 5, the young and apparently troubled daughter of Michael Jackson will be sent away to Diamond Ranch Academy following her discharge from UCLA hospital in Los Angeles.
In IBT's article, "Paris Jackson To Be Enrolled In Utah’s Diamond Ranch Academy, A School For Troubled Teens, After She Checks Out Of Hospital Following Suicide Bid," the decision to enroll Paris into this controversial institution for troubled teens was made by her mother, Debbie Rowe, and her grandmother, Katherine Jackson.
But the troubled teen industry has Diamond Ranch Academy on its radar.
"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 techniques 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 detrimental long term effects including symptoms of PTSD, and in most cases, relapse."
Survivors are speaking 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
“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
“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
Diamond Ranch Academy Survivors
"This site is created by Survivors of Diamond Ranch Academy, a "therapeutic" treatment program in Hurricane, Utah. Our stories are dedicated to the parents of children that are either currently being held in DRA or are considering placement for their child. Our message is clear; Diamond Ranch Academy is NOT a legitimate treatment facility and their methods are unethical, illegal and abusive. Please, DO NOT send your child to Diamond Ranch Academy."
"My name is Josh. I live in New Jersey and I was sent away to Diamond Ranch Academy in January of 2011. I graduated the program after 9 months. The experience was incredibly frightening and I have nightmares about the place almost every night. Please, feel free to ask my anything about this experience."
"Josh, when I was in a program I was brainwashed. Do you think that DRA uses brainwashing techniques to control kids at that program? What are the worst things that you witnessed or experienced at DRA? I hate to ask, but people need to know what happens in there (...)"
"I do think that DRA does do quite a bit of manipulating and stuck "brainwashing." During my 9 month stay there, I saw some pretty awful things. On several occasions, I saw students urinate/defecate in their pants because they were not allowed to use the restroom. I have seen kids ripped out of their desks and brought to the ground by multiple staff members for simply using a curse word, and usually for a good reason. One of the worst experiences that I saw was a student being physically restrained for several hours. He was brought upstairs and all the rest of the students hear was the student screaming t the top of his lungs and crying. When he was brought back to the rest of the students after several hours, he had a massive rug burn mark on his face and a fractured wrist. I have the nightmares quite often, and I believe this is a result of the overall eerie mood of DRA. It was such a horrible experience and I am still scared that at any moment, I could be sent back, even though I am currently abiding by all of the rules my parents have set. What's most frightening is knowing that no matter what I do, I ultimately have no control. Again, I could be sent back at any moment. Even if there is no legitimate reason for a student being there, they can always have their therapists diagnose a student with a something like Oppositional Defiance Disorder, which would justify pretty much any teenager being there."
Diamond Ranch Academy
Just Another Cog in the Troubled Teen Industry Trying to Bank
A Google search of "abuse at diamond ranch academy" currently yields 190,000 results. Websites have been erected; Videos have been made; Plainly told allegations of abuse, like above, at Diamond Ranch Academy are not lacking.
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Hashtag #opliberation on Twitter bears the hashtag of people (often former survivors of abusive residential teen facilities) warning us about the dangers of the troubled teen industry because unfortunately, Diamond Ranch Academy is not the only troubled teen residential institution that bears such notoriety.
My own and others' unfortunate experience with Straight Inc. yields eerily similar actions of abuse and torture; And when you see the term 'cult' do not be alarmed. Abusive facilities - like Straight Inc. and according to what I read, Diamond Ranch Academy - absolutely do bear the destructive cult control definition.
Paris Jackson and all Troubled Teens Deserve REAL Help
Shipping a troubled teenager off to a residential facility because you do not know what to do with them and well-intentioned doctors (like the prestigious Dr. Drew) or counselors suggest it, does not mean you should do it. Thanks to social media and the technological awesomeness of the internet, not only do we have a virtual library at our fingertips, but we also have the stories of real people. We have others' experiences. We have the ability to search and find. We can question and get answers. And with these answers we can use our own discernment in determining what is best for our troubled teenager.
If you have read only half of what I have resourced here and if you genuinely desire for your child to heal from whatever they are currently dealing with, I implore you to engage in your own research and use your own mind in deciding how best to help your child or teenager. My parents had only the recommendation of a doctor who only had the brochure of the place trying to sell itself. Information availability has changed since the late 80's. For the sake of your child, take advantage of it.
"It is one thing, and unfortunate enough, to dissect a frog to see what did make it live. It is triply dangerous to dissect a psyche, hoping to put it back together again." - The Nature of Personal Reality, Pg. 182