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Saturday, February 12, 2005



i'm glad this school is closed, because they really tortured the kids emotionally there. it was hell.

bre blackwell

i'm glad it is closing too. bad memories of this place still haunt me 12 years later


This was one of two Idaho schools I was "subjected" to as a child, the other was Eagle Mountain Outpost in Sandpoint. I was abused, beaten and harrassed by staff and, believe it or not groups of students doing blanket parties on myself and other students (and worse) all fully known by the staff, and especially the director, Tom Finucane, AKA Tom Gregory. I can't understand how a male youth school director needs aliases, but he was and is a threat to any child he encounters. Should I find him I still plan on a lawsuit. It haunts me to this day as well. It was very hard undergoing all of this as a child and not even your own parents believing what was going on until it was too late.

michelle iacobucci

In my days at CEDU i used to quote Shakespeare:
"There is no odor so foul as that which arises from goodness tainted"

The concepts Mel Wassermen founded CEDU with were beautiful and honorable. And to begin with RMA was a voluntary school for young adults over the age of 18. But then they changed became a place where rich parents sent their kids to be reprogrammed.

It was so confusing being there...there was great truth in some of the profeets...personal growth experiences based around Kalhil Gibran's book The Prophet, but the rest was just horrible! They tried to break us, undermine our own judgements, our deepest selves at every turn. I refused to be broken and they took away everything. 2 pairs of jeans, 5 t-shirts, a toothbrush, a journal, and Walden is all they left me with. No phone calls home, unable to talk to any of my peers for months at a time....the most valuable lesson i learned was this:
No matter what they take from me, they can't take what truly matters. Even with nothing, no one, i'm still here, i'll survive.

It a shock to read how it all turned out, how they got what they had coming...and so soon too!I wonder what happened to the beautiful campus though...And I wonder where Mary Simms is..?
It healing to read all this, to write this. It wasn't right, what they did, how they did it. I'm so glad its over, no more kids will have to go through it.

jacqueline kelly wright

for some reason I randomly googled RMA. Have not been in touch since I graduated. I have such mixed feeling about my experiance there. Weird that RMA is closing. Reading the posts I got all shaky. Thinking on freinds I had, how they are, and what a strange, shamefull, yukky, beautiful, warped, powerful experiance RMA was. If people posting could write their full names, and when they were there, cuz' i would like to know if we were there together.
much love
jacqueline kelly wright

William J. M.

edited for language I do not want found in a search for my blogAll i can say is YES!!! No one knows the hardships that this experince created, except those of u who lived it. Sadistic, is all i can say, sheesh my eyes are welling up remembering it. They took everything away from us, my happines, and our love of life in some cases. I was at cedu, and ascent twice before being then sent to Hill Top for 18+kids i was 16 at the time. It definitly has changed all of us, a friend i made there commited suicide, and Im sure he would still be alive had he not had this unloving experince. To all the faculty a big eff you! from me straight to u, right in ur eyes , and to all u kids or adults now having troubles, dont let it get u down, u can become a stronger more aware person, but it definetly makes making friends a little more difficult. its almost impossible for me at least to relate to most people they just live in a completly different world,one not touched by the cedu experince.


I graduated from RMA in 97, and I couldnt agree more with whats been said, what a fucked up place, and I cant explain it to people without them giving me a confused look. Those of you who have graduated from RMA, not the retard that went to Hilltop, I feel for you and wish you all the best. Regardless of all the bullshit that went on there, I realize that I made the best friends of my life there. Thats was the only good that came out of this.
I cant wait to go back there and take a shit on the floor.

For those of you who were there with me, this is p-funk wishing you all the best.

Mike Striker

I was at Hill Top from 89-91. During that time I went thru a lot of experiences that alternated between degrading, and fulfilling. While there were people trying to get their personal needs met, many of us made friends and learned a lot about who we were and how to cope with adversity. I will always remember my stay with fondness, and wish I could share what I've learned with my friends. So, while some of us have been burned, some of us are grateful.

Mike Striker
PS: there is a CEDU alumni website for those who want to look.

c. wiliams

thank god the truth about this "great emotional growth school" was discovered. what a living hell it was, only those who went through it can undertand the magnitude of abuse sustained from a place who promise was to fix troubled kids as a person who went to rma all i can say is i only wished someone would have believed us sooner.all the signs were there, someone should have done something long before this.

c. wiliams

i have another comment to say sadistic cult is mild understatement. all of us who lived it are the only ones who understand, the horrors of RMA day in and day out the feelings of fear that never seized to exist the anxiety that i still feel over ten years later the permanent scars i have thank god finally may karma visit everyone who contributed to the running of such a hell and those who turned their back on all of us there who begged for help. not even a lifetime of good deeds could help you from the hell waitng for you by karma.

Jason Wright

Everybody who complains about RMA are a bunch of bitch's Tat was a good school yea there are some messed up things just like everywhere else take what you can and toss out what doesn't pertain. When RMA closed down there became alot of lost kids out there tat can't get help. I also went between 1989 and 1992 when it was working for people and they weren't getting medicated either. I was there with Sam Sneads grandson, Rosanne's daughter Jessica, and Los Lobo's Neice..Who I dated! Anyway I will miss that place

jean Avezac

I began my journey back to life on December 10th, 1986. It was a scarey time for me, but I knew I was going to get the help i needed. My experience at RMA was the most amazing time in my life- Being from Alaska- I fit right in with the program- I learned alot about myself and was able to talk about my problems without judgement from my anyone. I will never forget the wilderness trips(dan and mare krump, twila, dan, sharon, carmen and john) and the other faculty members that shaped my life. I am so sorry and saddened for the individuals who experienced horror and pain at this place called RMA- I feel indifferent about the closure of RMA- It was not a horrible place to be in the late 80's- It was truly a safe haven filled with love and safety. Thank God that RMA was there when I needed a place to "just be".

jean Avezac

I began my journey back to life on December 10th, 1986. It was a scarey time for me, but I knew I was going to get the help i needed. My experience at RMA was the most amazing time in my life- Being from Alaska- I fit right in with the program- I learned alot about myself and was able to talk about my problems without judgement from my anyone. I will never forget the wilderness trips(dan and mare krump, twila, dan, sharon, carmen and john) and the other faculty members that shaped my life. I am so sorry and saddened for the individuals who experienced horror and pain at this place called RMA- I feel indifferent about the closure of RMA- It was not a horrible place to be in the late 80's- It was truly a safe haven filled with love and safety. Thank God that RMA was there when I needed a place to "just be".

Ray kalona

My name is Ray Kalona I was a former student at RMA,I was there from 1991 till 1994,but I didn't graduate,they transfered me to north west academy and ascent.My own personal experience there was,It's difficult to put it into words,it was strange,painfull,horrible,beautifull in an ackward warp way.The memories still haunts me till this day,They also took everything from me my clothing,and they gave me 2 pairs of jeans and a t shirts.One thing they can't take from me is my believe system,honor and pride.I remember when they put me on fulltime which is a form of punishment,I can only wear a jump suit I wasn't allowed to talk to my peers for month's and they put me in a log cabin with no electricity or running water or heather.They were tryng to break me mentally,I was abussed phisically and mentally,I did all the propheet and the I and me workshop,it was all based on a book called the prophet by khalil gibran.But most of the tools that I've learned Its completly useless in the realworld,Inspite of all the negative experiences,I made a lot of good friends,some of my best friends i made there.I don't think that they are in the business of helping people they are in the business of making money.When i heard that they are closing it was a relief for me,I'm glad that those kids didn't have to go through what I've been through,it was like a nightmare there.I just want to say to my all friends from RMA,Don't forget me.And you guys will always be in my heart.


My name is Ben Isaac and I was at RMA for 7 months in 1992. My mother pulled me after realizing what a lunatic asylum it was. I remember Caroline Wolf screaming her guts out at me 6 inches from my face in a room in the main lodge while all the kids were in there hanging out. I remember Glen shoving some kid around and having to work at a burn pit for 2 weeks because I called a dorm head a name. That place was sick. I had nightmares for over 10 years about that place afterwards...I hope RMA is dead for good.

Still remember old friends....Scott Lachappelle,,,,Jon Turek, Brit Bykirk, Chiara Giovando, Cory Lites, Adrian Zimbal, all of em....

Jay Roy

If anyone reads this and went to Rocky Top Academy in Montana (another Tom Finucane, AKA Tom Gregory operation), give me a shout at [email protected]

Would like to to hear from any of you.

Tayler Bourland

I went to Rocky Top Academy at the Galen Hospital a few miles outside small town called Anaconda , Montana 1994 - 1995 . I was the first kid there and I just found out about all this stuff with Tom and the kids . Are you the dude I think you are ? Are you my homeboy from L.A , did you go there ? do you remember our other homie Ben ? Us three were retardily hilarious ?

Tayler Bourland

Message : to Jay Roy :

Posting : From Tayler bourland :
: Please read other posting :

Sean Mandable

Hello everybody,

I ran across this site randomly... I attended RMA from 9/90 - 3/03 and have recently been trying to locate some of the people I knew there.
It's funny, it seems as though all of these people are still out there, bonded by RMA ;)
Anyway, so... I went to college almost right after RMA, which was a bit of a disaster, was academically dismissed and joined the Navy (also a disaster), got married for like 6 months, now have a beautiful little girl named Katy who just turned 12 and lives with her mother in VA beach. Umm... I had a bunch of crappy jobs and went back to school on and off... I am on the verge of graduating in May finally with a degree in Computer Info Systems and a minor in Creative Writing.
I am a computer and internet professional (I do a lot of web design, freelance since I got laid off) and do generally computer-related work (plus, you know, it beats that manual labor ;) ).
I have been in New Haven, CT for the past 10 years, but am driving out to L.A. for a couple of weeks after I graduate, and then up the coast of CA, stopping to see as many friends as I can, until I arrive in Portland, OR, where I plan to stay for a little while.
Anyway, so if anyone sees this, I am on Facebook and MySpace, and I hope that all of you are doing well.
~Sean Mandable

Brian Lowe

I went to RMA and survival. After many times of running away finally my parents didn't send private detectives to find me. I was happy to be homeless on the streets of Fresno. Much better than being at the violent cult type school. I can remember being screemed at and made to look like an idiot or called names and made small. This is no way to treat a child. I would personally like to share my feelings with any counslers that would like to own upto what they have done. Please reply to this blog if you have theballs. I would personally like to give you the ass beating you deserve after all these years!


I was at RMA sometime in the early 90s
for a couple months before escaping.
What a Nightmare

rob johnson

I didn't go to RMA but did go to Eagle Mountain Outpost that Tom Finucane ran. I thought I knew Tom pretty well but I was young so maybe I didn't know everything. That being said from my experience there were always a lot of people who wanted to complain and cause trouble basically because they didn't get their way.

Lets start with the fact that none of us got sent there for being "well adjusted" kids to begin with. In fact we were generally considered "out of control" kids. I was at the outpost when they were investigated by the state of Idaho. I can tell you that investigation was totally bogus and started by one kid who was really just a whiner.

I don't know how RMA was run but I had heard it was a lot rougher than the Outpost. The Outpost was NOT rough at all. Sure you could get yelled at by someone like Dex (crazy ex cop) and sure that would embarrass you and shock you out of your BS but that was the worst of it. From what I can tell by posters here a lot of you didn't ever "get it" because you are still complaining about all the "mean" things other people did to you. Grow up and take responsibility for yourself... that's why you got sent to a place like RMA in the first place... now be honest...

rob johnson

Can someone point me to the full story of what happened to Tom? All I can find is that there was a case in progress but nothing after that. What happened to Tom? Any other Eagle Mountain Outpost guys out there? I was there 85-87-ish.


[email protected]

Ken Walter (Rose)

I was at RMA 89-93. My experience there was not pleasant but I'll tell you all who've read thus far, it is NEVER pleasant to confront your problems and your thoughts and your past no matter where you're at! My time spent at RMA was very difficult but it was well worth it! Not just for the friends I made while I was there but also for the knowledge I gained about myself as well. In now way was I "fixed" while I was there, I still deal with personal problems everyday. I think if we're all honest with ourselves, we all still deal with our own personal problems everyday! I'm not here to defend or offend the RMA name...only to say that it is very sad that some of you here had to experience what you did while you where there and only came away with more hatred and anger and no understanding of the purpose behind what RMA was there for.

Either way, I hope those of you who read this give it some thought before you react to the negative alumni who posted before me...RMA was a place that was meant to help but couldn't help everyone.

Since RMA I've done all sorts of things with my life. Mostly struggle to find my place here on this earth! Some positives though, I have a 10 year old step son named Matthew and a 5 year old daughter named Hannah and I still play the shit out of the guitar!

I doubt any of my peer group will ever find this or read it but I want to say hello to a couple of them and a few others I knew:

Lauren Kernin
Greg Campbell
Forrest Gangle
Craig Spitzer

Look me up sometime if any of you come across this...
Ken Walter (Rose)
[email protected]

Max Salazar

I went to RMA 1988 to 1989...walked right off campus. since i was 18 there was nothing the staff could do. my memories are mixed. i do agree with one poster here saying that is it difficult for one to face there own problems..the experiance in general did help me out SOMEWHAT...i used some of the tools that i learned there throught my life...i did say SOME...most was just useless stuff..i still have those memories with me though...
don bunch, pam wilson, ken ulick...the only na,es i remember...don i still talk to reg..anyone else wants to contact me im at [email protected] and myspace...


Could not agree with Rob more. I was at EMO for two years, and never saw anything that you would not see on any schoolyard. Was there some bad staff . . . of course? Was there sadistic treatment of students . . . hardly.

Having lived in many places in the world, I am amazed at the amount of whining that comes out of people in the States. I can't speak for other programs, but EMO was overall a pretty good place - fishing, skiing, waterskiing, trips into town, girlfriends (yes we could date townies), etc. Horrible, right? And what did we have to do? Some chores, and staying out of trouble. Tough life, eh?

Get over it.

cisco training

Thanks for the post, and remaining doubts and misconception cleared by the huge reponse column.
keep it up.

Benjamin Hargis

I went to Rocky Top, whats up to the homie Tayler, where are my shorts? j/k. Hello Jay. Rocky Top was cool, but I would personally like to have a word with Tom now.


do any of you remember doug kim-brown?

john nelsos

I went to Rocky Top Academy from April 1995 to Oct 1995 when it was shut down by CPS. I remember seeing "Tom" being dragged out by the authorities. My name is John Nelson and the other kids called me "Prep" or "preppy" hit me up if you went their as well. I am looking to get in touch with some of my classmates as it has been far to long. [email protected]


I remember hocking a nasty phlemy loughey in doug kim browns face


I just rolled with the punches, played the stupid yell at the floor game till they believed me.Prob the only student ever that slept with Ron Hansons daughter in his house while at school made good friends with the staff that were worth a damn as far as pulling weight :Brett,Caroline,Ron Hanson lol,The lunch ladies,Doug Kim Brown no mansagges thanks lol creepy,I veiwed alot of staff as weak and a act as if they knew something.No more sex in the sauna late night Damn lol.I smoked my first joint at RMA with a staff member and went to Steve Rookies class, high as a kite know one knew lol.I loved the outdoor side of RMA though it was awsome and became a real passion of mine,now i run a successfull buis in col ohio and doin great thanks RMA for being so FOS By the way to all the rich kids acting like gangsters and tough guys from LA Josh Weinstein Cris Jazquwitz,I had the juice baby lol never seen so many fakes Screw Joe Francis If you treated my daughter the way your film crew does well your a predator


I went there in 1990 and got left after getting in trouble for having sex. That was a really crazy school, I have 2 sons and would never subject them to a school like that. It was a school for throw away rich kids.


I was there from 1991-1992 before escaping...That place was a criminal enterprise profiting off of abusing children

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