PARENTS, GUARDIANS, FAMILY MEMBERS, AND FRIENDS OF
PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS BEING PLACED AT EAGLE RANCH ACADEMY
Below we have provided you a lot of information. We hope you take the time to read it so you know who we are. The information we have included is to dispute the allegations that Hate Groups have made against us and to show how deceitful, hateful, and manipulative these groups really are. These Hate Groups want you to believe all these outlandish accusations without offering any proof of what they say.
This is OUR proof that we are who we say we are. We are undeniably, one of the top and most respected RTC programs in the country.
Eagle Ranch Academy’s Response to Hate Groups
For the past several years Residential Treatment Programs, including Eagle Ranch Academy, have been under attack, without cause, by Hate Groups. We have not responded in any fashion until now. Because they continue to spread lies and make more unfounded accusations we felt it was now necessary to put the truth out there so everyone can come to their own conclusions.
We have included documents that will substantiate everything we say and will show how deceitful and unethical these Hate Groups are.
To give you some background information. A few years ago we had a child enroll into our program from a family that the parents had been divorced for several years. They were unable to resolve their differences on how to get their daughter the help she needed. The dad contacted us. Before we would accept this child into our program we requested that both parents must agree on the placement. They had a hearing before the Superior Court of the State of California. The court issued an Order requiring that both parents agree and that each of them had to sign an agreement placing their daughter in our program. (See Document 1 – Sections 7-10.)
Note that the Order from the Court states that “neither parent shall attempt to remove the child from Eagle Ranch Academy earlier than recommended by the ERA team, unless both parents mutually agree.” Unfortunately, the mom was in violation of the order within the first couple weeks of the placement. The father had the right to press contempt of court charges against the mom but decided against doing so, and we agreed, hoping she would eventually come on board and be a part of the treatment.
A few weeks after the daughter arrived into our program, the mom made several outlandish accusations hoping to get her daughter released from our school. Since she was under a court order, that did not work, so she contacted a Hate Group hoping they could help get her daughter removed from our program. This forced the father to go back to Superior Court of California and he was awarded sole custody of his daughter. (See Document 2.)
Item 2 of the court order stipulates that “the mother is not to contact ERA or allow others to contact us on her behalf to threaten or harass any employee of Eagle Ranch Academy.” They put this in place since some of our employees had been harassed and threatened with physical harm by friends of the mother.
These Hate Groups NEVER contacted us, they have NEVER been to our facility, they have NEVER communicated with us. We have had thousands of parents and hundreds of students come through our program and they never contacted any of them, nor have they tried to contact us. The fact that they did not investigate exposes their real intentions.
They throw out all these accusations to see how much damage they can do. If they knew we were abusing children, and involved in illegal dealings and fraud, you would expect them to file charges through the courts. In fact, they would be under a moral and legal obligation to bring it to the attention of the police or other legal authorities. The fact they have not pursued this through legal channels speaks volumes. The reason is simple: what these Hate Groups allege is false.
Several former students and parents found a hate website and sent them an email supporting our program and disagreeing with their allegations. The owner of this hate website responded with nasty emails telling them they were terrible parents, and all the problems with their teen was their fault. Then they accused them of being brainwashed and mindless disciples of Eagle Ranch Academy. When other parents and students found this website and wanted to respond in support of ERA we advised them not to waste their time corresponding with the hate website because they have demonstrated you cannot have an intelligent conversation with them.
The intent of these Hate Groups is shown when they hear from parents or students defending and supporting our program and they turn it around and accuse them of being brainwashed and mindless disciples of Eagle Ranch Academy.
After the mother made her accusations we invited Child Protective Services, the State of Utah Licensing of Human Services, and the St. George City Police Department to come and investigate. Each came and interviewed not only the one student in question, but we also asked them to talk to our other students. NOTHING of any negative, illegal, or unethical nature was determined.
*Please Note: Attached are two letters. One from the ex-husband/father and one from the daughter. Both letters state everything the ex-wife/mother said were lies and there was absolutely no merit to her accusations. Both the father and the daughter contacted the hate website in support of our program and to dispute the accusations that the ex-wife/mother made, but this Hate Group refused to take anything off their site. Both the father and the daughter offered, and continues to be, references to parents exploring Eagle Ranch Academy.
Please feel free to contact the State of Utah Licensing of Human Services (801-538-4242), Utah Child Protective Services (801-538-4100), the Washington County Sheriff’s Department (435-656-6500), retired Sheriff Kirk Smith (435-669-2200), (the sheriff when we first opened), the St. George Police Department (435-634-5000), or any other agency you feel can provide you accurate information.
The goal of these Hate Groups is to shut down all youth residential treatment programs in the world. Their Parenting Guide indicates they do not believe parents have any parental rights concerning the welfare and raising of their own children. (See Document 3, Parenting Guide.)
To quote their Parenting Guide…….. “Your children are not your children ….. they come through you but not from you. And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you. For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.”
These Hate Groups believe you are not entitled to be parents to your own children.
WHAT FOLLOWINGS NEXT IS OUR RESPONSE TO THEIR ACCUSATIONS
We will respond to some of the accusations made about our program. We will cut and paste Hate Groups own words so we can add comments and provide verification and proof of what we say.
THESE ARE COMMENTS TAKEN DIRECTLY FROM THEIR WEBSITES
All of their comments and accusations will be in quotes and italic with ERA response in regular font.
1. WHAT THEY SAY….. “Eagle Ranch Academy is another WWASP program.”
RESPONSE: “I am one of the founders and co-owners of Eagle Ranch Academy. Anyone who says Eagle Ranch Academy is a WWASP related program is absolutely wrong. Eagle Ranch Academy never has been, is not, and never will be related or affiliated with WWASP, or any WWASP related entity. Any website or person who says otherwise is intentionally lying or is grossly negligent in making false statements. Either way, such conduct should call into question that person or website’s credibility.” Paul Arslanian, Co-Founder and Owner of ERA
We purchased our property and facility in 2005 from the Woodbury Corporation. It was originally designed and built for the State of Utah as a residential treatment facility. WWASP had a program in this facility in the 1990’s. Since we are on the same property which another program was in over 20 years ago, they accuse us of being affiliated with that program. Just another example of the tactics used by these Hate Groups.
2. WHAT THEY SAY ….. “Do you believe that a therapeutic program should have NO licensed psychologists nor licensed therapists on staff?”
RESPONSE: They are LYING when they make this statement. All of our therapists are Master level and all are licensed through the State of Utah as Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW), or equivalent. (See Document 4, Licenses.)
3. WHAT THEY SAY ….. “Do you believe that an academy should NOT be accredited by the State Office of Education?”
RESPONSE: This is a misleading statement and misrepresents the truth. There are two academic components of our program. We have online classes and on-campus classes. Our academic program is accredited (SACS-CASI) through one of the six nationally recognized accreditation commissions. Most secondary schools, if not all, are accredited through one of these six commissions. (See Document 5, Accreditation License and Information.) The classes we teach on campus are taught by a State of Utah licensed instructor who has been teaching for over 30 years. And they are not being honest when they say these organizations allow the members to self-regulate.
Here is what these Hate Groups say about two of the six nationally recognized regional accreditation commissions:
• Northwest Association of Accredited School (NAAS, now known as NWAC)
“NAAS provides accreditation for notoriously abusive programs such as WWASPS and others. Since their standards are so low they are not a legitimate accreditation agency.”
• Southern Association of College and Schools (SACS)
“SACS accredits 3DLearn (now Wilostar3D), the educational services provided by Eagle Ranch Academy. In addition, SACS is not a regulatory agency and allows for members (those they accredit) to self-evaluate and self-regulate regarding practices. Self-regulation is not a sound basis for accreditation.”
Check your own high school and see who they are accredited through. If they are accredited through one of these 6 nationally recognized commissions, which I’m sure they are, these Hate Groups say they are not legitimate. According to these Hate Group’s logic, any person who earned a high school diploma from a school accredited by one of these commissions, doesn’t have a valid diploma.
The credits students earned while in our program have been approved and accepted by every high school and college in the country where our former students have applied and enrolled. The high schools include high schools in all 50 states.
The list of college and universities include: Louisiana State University, San Diego State University, BYU, University of Washington, Washington State University, University of Utah, Cal State Long Beach, Oregon State University, Utah State University, Florida State University, University of Florida, Purdue University, University of Connecticut, University of Illinois, Dixie State University, University of Florida-St. Thomas, University of Minnesota-St. Paul, University of Massachusetts, Indiana University, just to name a few.
4. WHAT THEY SAY ….. “Do you believe a residential treatment center/school should be founded and run by two brothers that are NOT mental health professionals and have NO credentials in the field of mental health?”
RESPONSE: The CEO and President of one of the most prestigious and well respected medical facilities in the world, the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University, California, is NOT a medical doctor, but a successful businessman. (See Document 6, Executive Team for Stanford Medical School.)
He does what any competent and successful administrator does, he hires and surrounds himself with talented and qualified people. Many hospital administrators are not doctors. In the eyes of these Hate Groups this makes those hospitals illegitimate.
5. WHAT THEY SAY ….. “Eagle Ranch Academy is NOT ACCREDITED by the state of Utah, the City of St. George, NATSAP. nor the Joint Commission.”
RESPONSE: More LIES. They say we are not licensed through the State of Utah or the city of St. George. (See Document 7, State of Utah License and St. George Business License.)
Here is what they say about Joint Commission.
• Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO)
“The Joint Commission (JCAHO) is in trouble with Congress for not insuring patient safety at facilities/programs they accredit, therefore, it is not creditable.”
The Mayo Clinic and the Lucile Salter Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, two of the most prestigious and well known hospitals in the world are accredited through the Joint Commission. (See Document 8, Joint Commission.)
According to these Hate Groups we should not trust the Mayo Clinic or the Stanford Medical School. Wonder how many other hospitals are JCAHO approved that we cannot trust. Probably most of them since JCAHO is the standard for medical hospitals.
6. WHAT THEY SAY ….. “ERA provides assistance in billing your Insurance Company. (Eagle Ranch Academy Admissions/Enrollment Information, page 3). ERA accepts health insurance for payment. However, it is a wonder if the health insurance companies that cover ERA understand that it is not a medical facility and not regulated as such. It is highly recommended that all health insurance providers remove any unregulated facilities from those they cover. Why is Eagle Ranch Academy being paid by Health Insurance when it is not a recognized medical facility? What insurance carriers are being scammed here?”
RESPONSE: Here they are saying we are defrauding insurance companies. They also say that insurance companies should not cover any of your costs, even if your coverage provides for Residential Treatment and/or counseling. Don’t you think the insurance companies are a better judge of who and what they cover in their policies.
7. WHAT THEY SAY ….. “They also use Solutions Financial as a resource for financing the program for parents. Solutions Financial is an off-shore brokerage firm in New Zealand. It is all very suspect and suggests illegal and unethical business dealings.”
RESPONSE: FALSE. Once again, another LIE. This company is located in Arizona. If these Hate Groups actually did any investigation, or if they were at all concerned with the truth, they would know this.
8. WHAT THEY SAY ….. “Hyrum Smith serves on the board of Smith Henderson & Associates (a/k/a Soltis Advisors/Soltis Investment Advisors). Soltis Advisors is the contact name for a “charity” called Virgin River / Santa Clara River Flood Relief, Inc. Smith has assigned his rights to DI Ranch LLC which assigned its rights to Zions Bank. Zions Bank makes very large donations to the Virgin River / Santa Clara River Flood Relief, Inc. This appears to be a very convoluted money-laundering scheme in violation of federal RICO laws. We recommend the FBI investigate immediately.”
RESPONSE: Here the Hate Group is making a connection of Eagle Ranch Academy to Hyrum Smith. Hyrum Smith is the former owner of the DI Ranch who sold the ranch in the 1990’s to a partnership unrelated to him. He is the founder and owner of the Franklin Day Planner. They try to make this connection since we have used the DI Ranch for a variety of service and recreational activities. However, ERA was founded in 2005, not pre 1990’s.
The Santa Clara Flood Relief Fund, referenced by the Hate Group, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable entity that was created to help the victims of the worst flooding in the history of St. George and Santa Clara, Utah. (See Document 9, Virgin River Santa Clara Flood Relief.)
They are accusing us of laundering money, when in fact it is a charitable cause to benefit those who lost their homes. Shame on them for attacking a charitable entity for helping reduce the pain and suffering of people who lost their homes and all of their possessions. This is another example of their deceit and their blatant disregard for the truth.
9. WHAT THEY SAY …..”Some programs farm children out to work at local farms or hotels. What are these off campus activities? What proof is there that your child is participating in the off-campus activity suggested to you by the program? Also, being farmed out as free/slave labor.”
RESPONSE: More LIES. They are referring to ERA’s off-campus activities. We have several types of off-campus activities: Educational field trips; volunteer service projects; and recreational outings. Volunteer Service projects involved such groups as local food bank, homeless shelters, Huntsman Senior Games, St. George Marathon, Iron Man competition, adopt a highway, visiting assisted living centers, Walk for Life Cancer Drive, Toy’s for Tot’s and other similar worthwhile causes.
10. WHAT THEY SAY ….. “What is the hotel visit? Is it similar to the strange travels of program directors/staff with children to local hotels for overnights outside the program? And, what happens at this hotel? Some programs in Utah have reportedly participated in sex-trafficking of minors under their control at hotels they also own in Utah.”
RESPONSE: Did they really accuse us of sex-trafficking? Yes they did! Here the Hate Group is alluding to approved activities when a student reaches a certain point in the program. Eagle Ranch Academy’s program does NOT include ERA personnel staying with students overnight outside our facility. We do not own a hotel. Our program does involve the student and his/her parents spending 2-4 days and nights in the area together. Parents take their child on a several day visit and they stay in a hotel.
Sex trafficking? NO —- Bringing families back together? YES.
11. WHAT THEY SAY ….. “Utah as it is the fatherland of abusive behavior modification programs and provides unregulated sanctuary to child-torture facilities. Many residential program in Utah defraud health insurance companies by representing themselves as medical and mental health providers. However, most of these programs are licensed only as Residential Treatment. Utah allows the entire industry to self-regulate. There is absolutely no oversight.”
RESPONSE: More LIES. They say the state of Utah does not regulate the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) industry, and allows them to self-regulate. Again, they are deceiving everyone by making this statement. The fact is, Utah is one of the most regulated states in this industry. Many states have asked Utah to consult with them on how to strengthen their own states regulations. (See Document 10, Regulations Governing RTC’s in Utah.)
As you read the pages of regulations it is clear the State of Utah regulates this industry very closely. To renew our state license, we have yearly site visits by officials from the Utah Office of Licensing, Department of Health and Services to insure we are abiding by all the state policies, procedures and laws. State authorities also do unannounced site visits. When they visit our facility state officials interview both students and staff. We also have yearly inspections by the Fire Department and quarterly visits from the Food and Health Department.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS FROM THESE HATE GROUPS
CONCERNING RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT CENTER’S
“Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush have long been affiliated with and supportive of fraudulent and abusive programs.”
“The state of Utah has manipulated the laws to cover up the abuse and cults in their state. And, since children are often forced to confess to drug abuse and sexual exploits that would shock Howard Stern, and programs can masquerade as drug treatment while operating as brainwashing cults. According to the rules, a program that is a social detoxification program is not required to provide many services programs deceptively state they offer under state law. (i.e. proper education schooling).”
“Money flows from industry leaders like Robert Crist, Robert Lichfield, and Mel Sembler directly into the campaigns and dealings of the Bush family, Mitt Romney, and others. The programs get a return on their investment. The industry faces no regulations or in Utah is allowed to self regulate.”
“We stand by our position that Utah is the most corrupt State in the Union and that it should either secede or be kicked out of the United States for failure to uphold the rights guaranteed to all U.S. citizens by the U.S. Constitution and, specifically, the Bill of Rights.”
“It is apparent that Republicans leaders and frontrunners are knee-deep in the defrauding of American families and the torture of American children.”
“These are cults masquerading as treatment programs.”
“The third reason for the support of the behavior modification industry by elites is that it provides a pool of children from which sex slaves and hostel-style torture and murder victims can be harvested.”
Enough said …….. We are not making this up. These are all statements Hate Groups have made and posted on their website. They are saying all programs in the United States are abusive, illegal, fraudulent, and are supported and protected by the top leaders in the United States government. You can not find one program that they do not condemn and that they say is not abusive. As stated before, these Hate Groups erroneously allege this industry faces no regulations or in places like Utah are allowed to self-regulate. The reality is, these Hate Groups are the ones with no regulations to follow, no over-sight, and are not accountable to anyone. They say the most hateful and deceitful things they can think of trying to cause as much harm as they can.
— IN CONCLUSION —
Innocent people can be hurt by the deception and lies of these Hate Groups. It is a sad practice to prey on parents and families at a time when emotions are the most fragile. During the time of family crisis, and while the parents are most vulnerable and desperate, these Hate Groups put out all this false, misleading and erroneous information trying to convince parents not to seek proper help for their teenage son or daughter.
HERE’S THE SCENARIO: A parent realizes they need help to save their child. They reach out and find a quality residential treatment program who will keep the child safe while helping the child develop tools and skills for overcoming the issues which have brought on the negative destructive behavior. The parent has made a decision and is ready to act, but then they run across a hate website, operated by one of these Hate Groups. They see all the negative information about teen programs in general or maybe even specific to the program they are planning to enroll their child.
The child is in crisis, but the parent hesitates due to the negative information. Although, it is fictitious and outlandish it can still seem so convincing. Or maybe one parent uses the negative information as an excuse to stop the other parent from doing what really needs to be done. Instead of placing the child into a program to keep them safe and get them on the road to recovery, the parent second guesses themself and hesitates. Their struggling child acts out again, and lives are tragically changed forever.
Anyone landing on one of these hate sites will quickly come to the conclusion these organizations have a very one-sided point of view toward the troubled teen industry. It becomes obvious these Hate Groups believe every school, program, or service for troubled teens is evil and should be shutdown immediately.
I am not here to justify and defend every program in this industry since I do not know every program. What I will do is defend our program against unfounded and slanderous allegations. We have spent the past many years developing a quality program and have earned a great reputation nationally in this industry and we will defend it aggressively.
There are numerous websites maintained by people who are disgruntled and angry and apparently have nothing better to do than invent stories and conspiracies that drag good people and programs through the mud. For them to appoint themselves the protector of all children, and then turn around and spew their hatred and lies is self-serving and hypocritical. As we all know, once you realize that you will not be held accountable you can say and do whatever you want, without concern for the truth.
I do know this, if you lie and misrepresent about one thing, you lie and misrepresent about other things. When you lie and are dishonest you have lost all credibility, so anything you say cannot be trusted. We have provided evidence proving the Hate Groups have lied and misrepresented the truth when describing Eagle Ranch Academy. THESE HATE GROUPS CANNOT BE TRUSTED. Their stated intentions may be honorable, but their actions and methods are slanderous and borders on criminal.
If you find a website professing to be the protector of teens from residential treatment centers we encourage you to take some time to review all of what they have to say so you can get a good idea of who and what these people really are. Google them, do research on them, just like you did on Eagle Ranch Academy.
If not abused, the internet is a wonderful thing. Unfortunately, all too often we see people hide behind computer screens to slander and attack others while offering no proof or documentation. This is called cyber bullying, and we have all seen the damage and hurt that can result from this type of negativity.
To verify what we have stated here we encourage you to do your due diligence before placing your child in our program. If you are a parent of a prospective student who has been accepted for admission into Eagle Ranch Academy, we encourage you come visit. Meet us face-to-face, see our facility and get a feel for Eagle Ranch Academy. If you are unable to visit before enrolling your son or daughter, we have many former parents and students you can talk to. They are more than happy and willing to talk to you since they went through the same thing you’re going through now. Getting your son or daughter the help they desperately need is so important. We encourage you to do your part in determining if ERA is the right program for your son/daughter.
Eagle Ranch Academy.
The following are letters from the daughter of the mother that accused us of many of these accusations and the father of the daughter, (ex-husband of the accuser). These letters were voluntarily written two years after she left our program. They wanted to set the record straight to prospective parents that came across these Hate Groups. Who better to respond to this than from the daughter of the mother, and the father of the daughter, making these accusations.