My Photo
Buy Your Copy Now!
Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 12/2003

« Judging Horses' Condition and Body Fat | Main | John Smythe, 16, fell while "extemely" intoxicated »

Wednesday, June 08, 2005



Hello all. I was sent to Ivy Ridge a few months after it opened in '02, when I was 14 years old, (and at that point, the youngest student). I spent 12 months there, before my parents took me home. I was re-enrolled there at the age of 17.
I will attempt to accuratly describe the abuse and mind- control that i endured there. First of all, I was not given a buddy because i was labled "defiant"; Therefor I was expected to learn all the rules by trial and error. Because of this, I spent months in Isolation (otherwise called Observational Placement), which back then was nothing more than a small, dirty closet, without any light or windows. I was forced to lie on my face for days, while I was watched by a couple of the male staff, who laughed at me and sexually harassed me non- stop. I was given 2 pieces of bread, 2 slices of cheese, and one cup of water 3 times daily while in O.P. I was disciplined and restrained by a fellow student who was higher up in the "level system", so she had earned the right to discipline her peers who were on a lower level than her. I was restrained by mr. finlinson who whispered sexually abusive things in my ear while he restrained me, and slammed my skull repeatedly into the floor and into the walls made of cinderblock. I wasnt allowed to see or speak to my parents over the phone. Letters were read and censored. I wasn't allowed even the least bit of privacy. In Seminars, I was sexually harassed by the faciliator, who also forced the male students to say sexually abusive things to me as well. This was supposed to purge the sexual deviant inside of me, and thereby "cleanse" me. I was brainwashed; They convinced me that I was a slut, because I was sent to Ivy Ridge for having sex with my boyfriend. They told me I was a sinner, I was undeserving, I was a manipulator, had no morals or values, and they also convinced me that I had sex wih numerous men, and that I'd had sex for money. I had come to believe these things, which seem ludicrous to me now in retrospect. They forced me to write my parents a letter, telling them that I was a prostitute and that I was not with 1 but many men, and that I was with all these men while with my boyfriend. My parents were shocked, and probably should have realized that this couldnt possibly be true. If you knew me then , you'd probably understand what I mean; I was very innocent. The first time I had sex with my boyfriend, I told my parents right away. I felt like I could trust them. They overreacted, and in the time it had taken them to enroll me in Ivy Ridge, I'd had sexual intercourse with my boyfriend twice more. We never did anything but kiss, fondle, and actual intercourse. Excuse the graphic details, but I feel it's important to write them to emphasize my point that I was merely a curious girl who was in love for the first time, not some dirty, desperate, whorish person, like they made me believe I was. I guess the question most people would be asking at this point is "why'd your parents even believe your letter?" Well, just like the "Program" coercively persuaded my parents to send me there by telling them I was at risk of losing my life, they also convinced my parents that I was a devious, manipulating liar, who was a lot less innocent than they believed me to be. So, naturally, they believed what I wrote in the letter. I also wrote in the letter "thank you for giving me this opportunity to change my ways around by sending me to the program. I don't know where I would be if not here; I don't even want to imagine- Probably some gutter somewhere, with dirty, warm evidence dripping from between my legs"...It's almost ridiculous, but I actually believed these things I was telling my parents. The program had rewired my entire thinking and behaviors. The program convinced my parents that my friends at home were bad, and that my parents should move. With hardly any hesitation, my parents put their gorgeous Miami house up for sale, and moved to Upstate New York. At the time, I praised them, saying I was so proud that they were working their program, and were complying as I was. Now, we all realize we were brainwashed as in a cult. When I returned home I abided by a Home Plan, that had a level system within the home. It had rules and consequences outlined if the rules were broken. The program warned my parents to send me right back at the slightest sign of sexually devious behavior. And so, 13 months after leaving that wretched place, I returned. Things were different this time. The rules had become much stricter (I didn't know that was possible), the residents now did school work from a computer(but we were denied access to the internet), 2 special, albeit small, rooms had been set aside as Observational Placement rooms (instead of the closet), and Observational Placement students were given regular meals, not slices of bread and cheese. We were still denied access to the outside world in the form of internet, phones, newspapers, magazines, TV, etc. We were still not allowed to talk to each other or look each other in the eyes. We were still watched when we showered or used the bathroom. We were still treated coldly and callously. We still suffered emotional distress. We were still brainwashed.
And then something snapped inside of me..Me; the girl who had complied with all the program rules, the program poster child, who had never even raised my voice in my entire life, much less hurt a fly, beat up a staff member. And then I was sent to Tranquility Bay. I won't attempt to describe my time in Ivy- Ridge's sister program, located in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica. But I'll say this much: After coming home, severely traumatized and with bruises, scratches, cuts, and a terrible rash, something started to seep into my parents head where there was once nothing but support and trust in the "program". Now my parents understand what was done to them, and we are healing now. But unfortunately two years of my life were waisted in a place that damaged my self- image and self- esteem. I now suffer from PTSD, and social anxiety, as well as countless other things, including sexual disfunctions. I no longer have any savings in my college account, and my parents even dipped into their retirment savings to pay the amount of 160, 000 dollars charged to them in tuition fees.


Here is information about the law suits pending against Ivy Ridge Academy:


Here's something else of interest to parents thinking osf sending their children to Ivy Ridge.

Barbara Vecchio

I was in that hell hole for 44months and it was hell... I was always in worksheets b/c the rules r crazy I mean you cant even look out the window.. My last few months there I was close with a gurl on upper level well they put me on Cat 4 seperation I was not aloowed to talk to anyone at all thye lied on me and everytime I started to get points Ms Carrie would push me back down she conered me and then attcked me so I punched her in the face and in return I was sent to OP in the boys dorm... THe nioght before I left Ms Carrie came in an stomped on my back and broke four of my ribs I was made to go to bed withput taking a shower... The next morning I could barley walk and they cam,e in trew handcuffs on me and took me away... Well I was in foster homes and my foster mom moved to FL I had no where to go and nothing to my name they droped me off ini the baddest part of jersey and left I was satnding on the streets of Camden NJ I had to drag all my things to my DYFS workers office 14 blocks away then I was put back with my grandmom where all my troubles began in the frist place.. sooo as far as Im concerd they r just in it for the money... DSorms moms that I talk to now even say That place was nuts

barbara y stpd h

edited for language I don't allow--disemvowelled

barbara you dumb slut 44 months? are you sure about that? dont over exaggerate now...

when did this all occur? i'm sure i was there if you were in there for 44 fcking months..dmb btch it was probably 44 days or 4 months and 4 days....44 months..get the fck out of here..go slber all over a dck like you sed to do bfor you went to ivy ridge dmb h..44 mnths..btch, y ws prbbly hry as fck mnky btch

stp yr fckng ls, the place nt what people thnk t s..t ds sck sht..but spk the trth, and lrn to spll dmbss

Donna Demarest

Hi, my name is Donna. I was sent to Ivy Ridge on November 4th, 2002, and had to graduate, which I did on August 11th, 2004. I was also sent back less than a year after my graduation date. If you are thinking about sending your kids here, please think again, and reconsider. I was privileged enough at least to be on the girls side. The girls side was nowhere as bad with abuse as the boys side, though abuse did still occur. From the moment you drop your children off or have them transported, you will be lied to, manipulated, and robbed of thousands of dollars. The Family Representatives that act so caring, will lie to you and manipulate you to keep your child in this program, all so that it can continue making money. They will tell you that your child is "manipulating you to go home". Well maybe your child wants to go home being they are being abused, fed ungodly food for the most part, taking academic classes and receiving exemplary marks in classes that will NEVER transfer, treated with disrespect by the team of staff members all local to Ogdensburg. Do you really want a bunch of idiot staff members, who are basically picking up a 12 hours shift job for minimum wage.. and thats any idiot.. watching over your child and being in charge of his/her safety for the duration of their horrible stay at this hellhole? At some point, I thought "Great, I'm receiving the best grades I've ever gotten" All just to have to repeat everything I had already taken because the credits were not transferable. This place is a joke, a large scam for your money. Jason Finlinson IS satan. If a line of boys walks by, the girls are expected to stare at the floor. What kind of Mormon bullshit is that? And yes, it is Mormon run... I mean seriously? I still have nightmares from that place. I am 20 years old now. I am in college and doing fine. Of course I struggle with everyday life, but who doesn't. Your kids are going to experiment, thats how they learn. You don't need to send them to these scam artist places. Talk to your damn children. Take some time off from work. Listen to them. Don't blame everything on your children. I won't lie, I was a handful, but my mom didn't talk to me. It's like when you're little and you touch the hot stove, and it burns your hand, and you don't touch it anymore. Well, that's how life is, you have to experience, and sometimes the hard way, to learn things. I feel terrible for the boys there.. they are abused to a great level, fed drugs. Even the upper level students are sent in to "restrain" your children. And you know why they are restrained? Because the staff will push them, and push them, and push them, until they explode.. and then say that they are defiant and use maximum strength to restrain them. Most of them with hand prints and bruises left on their bodies. I am absolutely amazed this program has not yet been shut down or sued at the very least.

And for all you parents who already have students enrolled... pull them! I graduated and ended up right back. That place makes you worse off mentally than you were before you entered. Graduation is NOT the answer. Unless your name is Jason Finlinson and you make millions off all you poor manipulated families out there. Hello? Over 3000 dollars to keep you there each month? Where's the money really going? Because it's not going to our well-being, I promise you that.


I was at Ivy Ridge in November of 03. I was only there for 3 weeks because my mom realized how different the program was then what they advertise. Although I was only there there weeks, it was the absolute worst 3 weeks of my life. I could not talk at all, had to wear flip flops in the snow, and the schooling was terrible it was all on computers and none of the adults could help you because none of them were even highly educated. While I did not witness any severe abuse I still feel this place is a joke and you should not send your child there. The program is almost impossible to get through, which I couldnt believe...they told my mom I could complete it in 6 months...there were people that had been there a year or more and were still only level 2. I try to not think about my time there very often because it brings back such terrible memories. I am now a college senior at a big ten university. I think the best thing you can do for your child is talk to them about everything along with therapy and occasionally medication. If anyone has any questions feel free to email me or send me an IM Sashsyd.....btw I was in the Congeniality family

Lindsay Crawford

air sucked dick

anyone from integrity who remembers get me on aol at xolinzi16...or facebook, whatever


I went to Ivy Ridge from March '04 - June '06, I was in the Integrity family Please get in touch if you remember me.


regina bollman

My son went to Ivy Ridge in 2001. Wow, I cannot even believe that this place is open. sounds like nothing has changed there. If you have a child there, you should leave now and get them out of there immediately. then take them for psychiatric help, they're going to need it. not long after i picked him up, we went to the NY state police. That place is way bad news. you may never forgive yourself if you allow those people to convince you that's what your kid needs. anyone with a kid there, please rethink your decision. see isac corp's websit

regina bollman

December 2006

The Academy at Ivy Ridge will not be allowed to resume issuing high school diplomas.

The State Education Department has rejected the Academy's application, according to stories Friday in St. Lawrence County newspapers and The Watertown Times.

A letter from the State Education Department to Ivy Ridge quoted in the Watertown Times says, "The Department's review revealed that AIR is principally a behavior modification program and not a school..."

Ivy Ridge Director Jason Finlinson is quoted as saying he was blindsided by the letter.

Earlier, an investigation by State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer found that the Academy was issuing bogus diplomas. Ivy Ridge agreed to reimburse affected families more than $1 million.

Since then the Academy's enrollment has dropped sharply as it has been unable to offer prospective clients the chance to graduate from high school.


hope all yall know tht school isnt even crdited anymore fr a high school dipoloma and all u chilfren do all day is stare aat a computer screen......this school can leave ur child emotionally and physically disturbed fr life
you still have a chance to save your child...
if u send ur child there u might as well kill him or her urself
f4ck parents
its harsh but its the truth
i wanna give a shout out to
Ad who eever elseeee
i hope this heled a lot of parents make a life changing decision

2003 brave familiy

editor: slight editing to remove or disemvowel usages I don't allow on this site.

otherwise, parents coming to this site: I hope you are taking to heart comments from children who have experienced the treatment and "education" meted out by the suite of confinement facilities masquerading as schools and treatment facilities mentioned here.

whtuppp its amazing that ivy ridge is still up and people still hate that place. ill admit ive had some pretty funny ass times there but overall that place was the worst experience of my life. i went there in like 2003-2004. at this time there were only 4 families in the boys side. but yeah i was looking some of the sites on that place and some of the guys there wrote like this whole bll sht about how they got so much help form that place like that unpleasant individual stavros. he was in my family at the time and he was a loser back then and i bet hes a loser while your reading my blog. but seriously i hope everyone that is still in that hellhole a short experience there. if anyone wants to holla my aol sn is nyhollazzz2k1 hit me up


was anyone in valiant family from may 2005 get in contact and does anybody know kaysone or nadine from germany


My name shall remain anonymous the only reason i made my name what it is is because i needed to mention the no camera room because it is needed for parents to know. The sh1t that went on in there is ridiculous. for those of us who ot to level four because we faked our way through to get the hell out thats what we are good at. the place taught all of us how to lie better. so if you put your kids in there it is pointless for it to happen. most of the poeple that are out are pregnant and are doing the same stuff they were doing b4 they went into the program. it isnt accredited so its pointless for it to happen. now me and my friend have a plan to visit the place and see how its doing and see what the deal is. what is planned is ingenious. it is a way to find out the information. and f4ck that place for all the sh1t that they put us through. fuck all of em. all the staff members. everyone who played a part in that shit f4ck off.


I was enrolled at the age of thirteen in June 2002 and pulled December 2003, after attaining level 4. Fortunately I was on the girls side and I was in congeniality, faith, and integrity. From what I am reading it sounds as if things got worse after I left. Although there were some girls who freaked out enough to get sent to Tranquility Bay, most of us were compliant. In fact I was compliant to the point where I just sat at level 3 with 4,600 points and level four was basically handed to me for "being good". I wasn't learning anything that would help me become a better person I was just doing what I needed to do to get by. Being there taught me obedience, which I now realize is absolutely ridiculous. You do not want your child to be and mindless citizen, do you?

That whole strategy of the program is to break your child down to feel like a "unwanted caged animal" so that they can rebuild your child to their standards. They do this through cult-like seminars and abuse (emotional, verbal, and physical). I will admit that I haven't seen as much physical abuse as stated in the previous comments; however, I do believe that females were treated a bit more humane than the males. This program is a scam, the staff prey on vulnerable parents because parents LET THEM. Shame on the parents who do not research the information thoroughly. You need BOTH sides of the story. This sounds silly but its like seeing a movie, you want both reviews.

Keep in mind that YOU are bringing in a middle man to your relationship with your child. You will have to sign over 49% of your parental rights to the school. Once your child is there you will not be able to see or speak (on the phone) with you r child until the attain Level 3 (which took me about a year, varies from person to person though). I was not able to see my parents until PC1 ( a cult-like seminar) which was totally BOGUS (this was about a year after being dropped off there). I remember walking into the room full of parents and seeing mine. I was so ecstatic that I just wanted to run up and hug my mom but I was told that if I let them touch me I would receive a CAT 4 (which would have dropped me back to level 1 with zero points), because the seminar was not in progress yet. Anyway, before I could speak or see them I was only allowed to conversate with them through mailing letters. This is another ridiculous concept. How are you suppose to work on your relationship with your child if you cannot speak with them or see them. You cannot effectively communicate with anyone that way, approximately 90% of communication is nonverbal (gestures, facial expression, posture, etc...). You will also get weekly phone calls with a family representative, who gets paid to lie to you. They work for Ivy Ridge, and Ivy Ridge is a business. Yes it is a behavior modification school but is a privately owned business. You are dealing with business people. These reps will do whatever they can do to suck even more money from you (as far as tuition and keeping your child there). I was on the phone with my mom and requested to be transferred to a different boarding school ( one that was another WWASP affiliated school based in Utah) and was told that if I brought up that topic again the phone would be disconnected and I would be dropped to Level one with zero points. This is pretty peculiar isn't it? They wanted my parents money for THEIR school.

Enough of my ranting. Bottom line is that you cannot drag your child out of the house and force them to change. This is not a feasible demand of ANYONE. Kids are people and people have free will, they will do what they want and hopefully one day they will naturally grow out of the adolescent phase. Yes, they are your children and you want the best for them but do not let your concern for them blind you.

I was pulled out of the program far from completion, though I barely made it to level 4 I can honestly say I did not learn a single thing there. In fact, I left at 15 and did harder drugs. My relationship with my parents got even worse not just because I hated them for not believing me about the things that went on there but also because they didn't change either.On that note, parents, IT IS NOT ALL YOUR CHILD'S FAULT!! After all, who raised your child? It takes two to tango. However, I was smart enough to not use habitually. I graduated high school as valedictorian at 16 and am currently finishing my sophomore year in college at 18. I own my own condo and brand new scion 2008 :). No I am not in debt. I am a parents definition of success but I owe NONE of that to the hell hole known as Ivy Ridge. I will still have nightmares of the place even though that was nearly a half a decade ago! That place scarred me both emotionally and mentally. I still hold it against my parents for sending me there and wasting there money. It pains me that they will never accept that they have been scammed and I was emotionally and mentally abused.But I've realized that parents are not perfect, they are people just like us kids and make mistakes too. Some are just too stuck in there ways or to proud to admit they were wrong.

Any questions can be emailed to Thanks


Also, parents take into consideration how your child will behave after the program wears off. Your child will come home programmed but after being back in the real world for a couple months they will snap out of that mode. I came home at 15 and left at 16 and HATED my parents more than ever because they refused to understand what happened to me. I have not lived at home since I was 15 and my current relationship with my parents is very superficial. They do not know me or the woman I have become, but I do them the favor of having dinner with them once or twice every couple of months. We are very disconnected solely due to their horrible decision of sending me there. If you want to develop a better relationship with your child, moving to a better place and spending time with your child may be a better and cheaper option.


ALSO, sorry for the additions but Jason Finlinson (the director of Ivy ridge) recently packed up and moved to Mexico with his family, or so I've heard. He intends to start another school there. The new director is Anne Morly

Ashley A.

Dear parents of troubled children looking for a solution,
My brother was a student at ivy ridge for 3 2 and half years just two years after it opened.My brother now is becoming a doctor and works fulltime along with going to school full time. he has his own apt. and a fiance but with all the aspects of his life the mos terrorizig was ivy ridge. to this day he hhas pent up rage due to that place and has trust issues. my parents along wth myself did all thier programs which simply re ubsurd reasons to get more money out of you. to be honest ivy idge tore my family apart. i hated my parents for seperating my brother and I. our only communication was through screened letters which the staff at ivy ridge would not allow many of my letters to be delivered. two yrs in the program my grandfather who raised my brother and i became sick and literally was dying for 6 weeks. they did not allow him to see him and he was only flown in the day of his funeral. the abuse and the lies ivy ridge promotes is a sin. Finny should burn in hell for the pain he causes these brother graduated and i still believe ivy ridge did nothing for him or our family except make us bankrupt

silent sister

My sister went to ivy ridge and left in 05. I never thought she should have gone. I actually think it was a bad decision on my mothers part. When she came home she pretended all was okay and her life had changed. Not even a month later, she was back to her old ways, which wernt as bad as they could have been. Over time things only got worse. Today is my 22nd birthday and instead of spending it with my sister, Ive spent the last 24 hours crying my eyes out because she is in jail. Ivy Ridge taught her nothing other than how to do what she wanted while appearing to be an innocent child. Its unfortunate that she looks at her family and is still angry at us for her being sent to ivy ridge. I believe the anger she has inside from Ivy Ridge is part of the reason she is where she is today. You cannot force a child much less an adult to change their ways. If one is doing wrong and screwing up their own life and affecting loved ones lives, we must understand that no matter how hard we try to get them on the right path IT WILL NEVER happen UNLESS they themselves are ready for change.Force will only cause more anger and rebellious behavior. My sister has hit rock bottom and my heart is broken. Ivy ridge has only helped worsen her situation. So thank you Ivy Ridge for nothing other than taking a bad situation and making it beyond horrible and evil.


Can someone please tell me about Randy Garvey. My email is I really need to know, it is the one name my brother has mentioned since being at the ridge but no details.

Carlos Hernandez

hey, fuck ivy ridge, i graduated from that shit but it didnt do anything, im succesful bow because of me not because of that bullshit, thanks and love lol, get at me on aim illmatic1367

Jonathan Castro

iVY RIDGE WAS THE worst place i've ever been in my whole entire life. I always had thoughts of killing my roomate just to do life in prison cause i knew it would of been better in jail. I know we are trouble teens but there are better ways to change your kids and not sennding them away to get restrain because you didnt talk and they say u talk and then u have a consequence and den lower your level for less privllages who wouldn flip out afther being in a room all day with just guys and no talking or communication just your dark thoughts and images of back home and stuff idk ivy ridge isnt for anybody take your kids out of there immeditly asap kuz the only thing that is gonna happen is they come out worst

Adam Michael

My name is Adam Michael and I just came back home from my moms wedding on a home pass the night that the riot happened. Like someone said before me I cant believe it didnt happen sooner. Theres a fine line between helping people and antagonizing them. It is different if the place was run by qualified adults to help with people and their problems, not just by random bill hillys that needed a job. Yes I finished my classes and dont do Hard drugs anymore, but I have no diploma due to the school not being accredited. So Pointless I say. To the people that are still in boarding schools you guys stay in my prayers. I was at Casa By The Sea also and The Ridge was really no different, both were messed up places to be. 2 years of my life are gone and to never be recovered.


walmart pharmacy beckley wv - nuvigil for adhd guide annals of emergency medicine dracup moser
tape worm medicine dog - nuvigil for depression bed chinese medicine in alberta
pharmacy affiate - nuvigil generic medicine pharmacy technician jobs in chattanooga tn
ultra h-3 natural medicine for depression - nuvigil half life boil medicine
alternative medicine for congestive heart failure - nuvigil indications ftc malouf pharmacy
effectiveness of oil pharm on scale - nuvigil maximum dose oriental medicine cabinet cd
ferndale family medicine - nuvigil medication armodafanil legitimate online global pharmacies list
types of asthma medicine - where to buy nuvigil online modafinil utah school of medicine branch campus
socialized medicine graph - nuvigil online canadian pharmacy all orders anti-aging pharmacy
different kinds of medicine - order nuvigil online cheap nationalized medicine requirements
popular books about osteopathic medicine - nuvigil for adhd review flea medicine home remedie
uab partnership fko medicine - nuvigil for depression sports medicine louisville
canada pet pharmacy frontline - nuvigil generic datetime philadelphia college of medicine
osteopathic manipulative medicine dallas fort worth - nuvigil half life safety medicine preparation classification
medicine hat hotel - nuvigil indications pediatric patients rite aid pharmacy msds
gullah medicine - nuvigil injection maximum dose sufi energy medicine
career doctor of pharmacy - nuvigil medication interactions warnings laramie mountains medicine bow peaks
sleep medicine elsevier - where can i sell nuvigil online maui kaa napali pharmacy
cvs pharmacy in eastman georgia - nuvigil online pharmacy saturday delivery wet cough naturist medicine
community family medicine westlake - where to order nuvigil in canada normal variants medicine

Pat Dungan

Hey my names Pat Dungan April2003-may2004 you can email me at What up to any kids I knew in there, you all remember how bad that place was. Sometimes I want to talk to someone that actually understands how that was. SWE

The comments to this entry are closed.


What I'm Tweeting

    follow me on Twitter