State plans to revoke Trails Carolina's license, fines it $18,000, after 12 year old dies at its wilderness camp

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Another travelling “troubled teens” abuse factory. The portability of the wilderness variety made it a bit easier for the sadistic and greedy scumbags who run these programmes to evade the scrutiny of state regulators. I’m glad that the authorities finally wised up to the ploy, but the whole industry needs to be shut down.

Also, the obligatory alert:

[Sadly, these topics sometimes attract apologists for this dodgy industry or for the “desperate” parents who think the solution to their problem is to allow thugs to kidnap their own children to brutal “therapy” at a black site facility. If you’re one of them just … don’t.]


They’re a complete shitshow. My sister and brother-in-law – after trying god knows everything else to help my troubled nephew – $100Ks on any kind of intervention you can possibly imagine – sent him to one of these places, and it was a parade of horribles. Kid has sort of found his way now, but this shit wasn’t it.



Another item to note is – as discussed in the Netflix documentary The Program – these places regularly charge the parents premium prices for what inevitably turn out to be sub-par services in everything from the food to the staff. So amongst the other horrific and predatory industry practises, there’s also a bog-standard TFG-style financial grift going on.


Never had to enroll my own kid in something like that, thank God, but in early 2021 or so my wife called fifty-two psychiatrists before we found one (i) that was within 50 miles (ii) that had the subspecialty we needed and (iii) was taking patients. I imagine if you think you’ve found the “right” one of these places, you are loath to move on to the next one.

I think I’ll pass on watching that documentary, however. I’ve seen quite enough.


Required reading:


I thought to myself, “Didn’t John Oliver do an episode about this?”

… apparently not

several episodes about grown-up prison, and at least one about homeschooling, but Google says I’ll just have to imagine his voice in my head :thought_balloon:


Thanks, just came to post this. That comic was so disturbing, yet well-done. It was the first thing I thought of when I saw the headline.

I hadn’t even realized this was a thing, but holy shit. Thinking of dozens of roving Elan schools flourishing throughout the countrysides is harrowing. The fines look like someone’s idea of a joke. :rage:


… it’s a real novel too

I should not have stayed up this late reading it but I still haven’t got to the end :face_with_spiral_eyes:


“It’ll be good for them”, they said.


Sometimes these kind of places have hundreds of cookie-cutter “third-party local referral sites” at the county level across the US (to spam search engines), that all feed to the same phone lines, that use a hard-sell technique play-book to get parents to quickly enroll their kids.

I’d dig out an example of their operations, but my site is bogged in monthly backups right now. (Time to upgrade to an RPi5.)

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