Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ashley Valley Wilderness/MHYR: Rob Caldwell, Marty Bingham, Crooks, Liars, TRAVESTY

As I explained before, I was sent to Ashley Valley Wilderness in Colorado/Utah for about 3 months, 89 days in which I had no electricity (or ANY utilities like water gas or even housing), freedom of speech, medical treatment, drug rehabilitation, therapy, or even a PILLOW. We were up in the mountains, making fires with bow-drill sets, and eating rice, lentils, oatmeal, germade, and spam with no vitamins, freedom to choose if we could eat or not, or the ability to even share our experiences involving substances (at a "rehab"?).
Furthermore, I was NOT allowed to speak about
a)politics [i.e. "I think Obama..." "HEY! You can't talk about politics or you FAIL and you're here another week!" (AV Staff)],
b) religion (i.e. "Oh my God!/Oh my Lord!" Staff: "HEY! That's Diety! FAIL FAIL FAIL!")
c) "war stories" (i.e.) "My parents had just got divorced and I did a lot of ____ one night, I neglected my family-"NO WAR STORIES! Try it again you FAIL!
d)anything "wierd" (i.e. ghosts, ufos, samsquatch haha, pokemon, aliens, etc.
as WELL as the inability to swear at all, even with "damn" or threaten failing and staying on the mountain another week.

The Ashley Valley / Mountain Homes Youth Ranch (Youth Program) says Dr. Phil endorsed them in an episode, and has his face on their website. In actuality, they don't even mention the name Ashley Valley or MHYR in the episode, and Dr. Phil probably hasn't even approved of their front/fraudulant bullshit website. DR PHIL YOU COULD BE GETTING A HEFTY HUNK OF CHANGE!

I met Rob Caldwell (owner) and Marty Bingham (Program Director) and both live luxurious lives of fly-fishing, driving over-sized vehicles, lying to thousands of suffering parents of addicted teens/adults, and ROBBING THOUSANDS OF KIDS AGES 12-26 of 3-7 MONTHS OF THEIR LIFE.

I will never get my 89 days of life back. Those bastards broke me down, made fun of my musical preference, my tattoos, my name, and I wasn't even allowed to stand up for myself, or I'd risk staying on a SHIThole mountain for another week. I could NOT leave because I was over 60 miles from any gas station, with no electronics, no money, and no ID (all confiscated at the airport by AV staff).

I need to warn parents and children of this place. I am absolutely forever traumatized by my experiences from this place. Hives, headaches, sleep troubles, frost-bite, diarrhea, vomiting, rashes, anxiety attacks, depression, suicidal thoughts, violent tendencies, and a pessimistic decision-making attitude are all attributed to the fact that I was robbed of my freedoms by these scammers, my family bought into it, and I lived through 3 months of what is worse than Jail- yes, Jail is NICER than AV/MHYR. I know this through tesimonials by my fellow "pupils" and from MY OWN EXPERIENCE.

Rob Caldwell- keep buying a new fully loaded Chevy each year, and puttin down-payments on extra fishing lodges, but I see through you're bullshit you spit to these suffering families.You fuckin bastad ;P

Marty Bingham, by the way Ladies and Gentleman, is a very obese, Oakley and expensive cowboy boot/hat-wearin mothafucka who's addicted to money, FOOD, big trucks, and probably pornography. Fake-ass lying crook.

Anyway, I'm off that mountain, but I pray from my apartment in Portland, every single day for my colleagues who get sent up there to live through such a blasphemy.

I PRAY that this saves at least ONE person from one of the most F'd up experiences a person can endure (the "Therapists" talk to your parents and you have VERY little contact (write monitored letters that take weeks to get delivered to ONLY the parent who paid or bi-weekly MONITORED phone calls with the therapists. Their Bastards


  1. You're a pussy and you have never experienced jail. Nature is way better than jail. I you couldn't handle nature, some work and some rules, you are just a pathetic little bitch. I have been clean over 5 years thanks to AV. Your fucking parents paid for it so shut the hell up. Go overdose on Heroin.

    1. Worked there. Thanks for the defense. Congrats on keeping your life together. I've seen too many kids go through and learn nothing. Just sat on their tarp and acted the fool. I've also seen kids get their act together and leave a different person. Do you realize how many ex-students now work as counselors there? It's amazing. I only wish I still worked there.

    2. That place changed my life as well! I finished without failing a day and Marty asked me if I wanted to come back to work for him after one year sober. Utah was a little too far from where I lived so didn't happen. It was a mental and physical challenge that preoccupied my mind with survival skills and also taught me self control by watching what I said; think before you speak or act. I also came out of there a beast, by eating only what my body needed, not a bunch of sugar and crap taught me a lesson in gluttony. I felt like I could conquer anything when I graduated.

  2. I have experienced 19 weeks of mhyr and can tell you from first hand experience that it changed my life.....for the better. Its a great program. McKenzie mam will put u in check lol I can still hear her yelling point card and.. ''You shouldn't of done drugs and got sent to a wilderness program'' haha good times. To the guy that wrote this bs rant in the words of Matt sir you are a sissy lala. And need to realize that mhyr has a 98 % success rating for 15 week graduates. You are obviously in the 2% of losers that will just never learn. Not the programs fault your a pussy that can't accept accountability for your own actions. graduated in 09 been sober since. Don't hate Marty and rob because the run a very successful business that truly helps 98% of the people that are there. B.C.O.G..for life

  3. Just saying the 98% thing the only people who fall into the 2% are students that went back for multiple free six week programs after passing their first 12-15 week program. I know for a fact that at least 8 out of 10 students that went home did drugs again within the first week and some probably got into worse drug that place teaches you do be okay living in horrible environments for some this will make you more tolerant of your parents and your living situation with them for many it just makes you want to escape it even more and left their homes when they got home or worse.

  4. MANY students never passed at all and got pulled at least half or more from my personal experience.

    1. They got pulled by their parents because they have shitty parents, which is why they're there in the first place.

  5. Anyone who leaves Ashley Valley and then chooses to stand up for them is either actually AV Staff posting or were successful products of behavior modification in the worst sense. There are many worse places to be than Ashley Valley Wilderness Rehabilitation, but that doesn't somehow make AV good in any way at all. Also, their statistics are not from a credible source, aka themselves. When I was there they kept a schizophrenic guy for ten weeks saying that he was making it up to get out, then a psychologist came and told them to send him to actual treatment and they begrudgingly obliged.

    I tried to kill myself the night before I was sent to Ashley Valley; decent quality attempt but no luck. I reluctantly informed them of this when they asked why I looked like shit; they never acknowledged my mental health problems the entire time I was there. I got out and basically went on a horrible month long bender before my parents threatened to send me back. So I went to my bathroom with a rope and had was tied up when my parents kicked in the door and took me to the hospital psychiatric facility. After 5 years of intensive psychoanalysis it turns out I actually have mental health problems; problems that Ashley Valley chose to write off as BS or behavioral problems. Funny how functional intelligent and well behaved I am now that I've received actual treatment for my problems. Oh yeah, a handful of people in my extended family have committed suicide; so that rules it out as a behavioral problem in case ya'll wanted to argue that. I'd be very happy to speak out against specifically Marty & Todd; Todd did plenty of less than therapeutic things while I was "in his care."

    Aaron & Seth were excellent staff and I don't fault them in any way.

    I'm going go out on a limb here and assume that all you Ashley Valley Wilderness Rehabilitation sympathizers also sympathize with Therapeutic Boarding schools where children are raped and tortured. Oh yeah, the evidence against Utah based therapeutic programs and schools is growing; bet you get sexual gratification from that shit you sicko's.
    Karma's a bitch and religion will not absolve AV of their sins.
    Any Ashely Valley survivors need to talk please feel free to email me at and we can set up a time to talk. Since Ashley Valley didn't take care of us I guess we have to take care of our own.

    1. I, too, had mental/emotional issues, and they were addressed in my weekly meetings with my therapist. AV is not a mental hospital. If you had more serious issues that needed to be addressed, you should blame your parents/yourself for sending you to a place that doesn't offer the help you needed. I don't see how this is AV's fault in any way. And from the sound of your final paragraph there, equating AV to rape and torture, I'd say you still have some mental issues that need addressing, or you're just a completely spoiled little pansy and should try a little harder to kill yourself.

  6. I'm a parent who had to send my son to MHYR for 119 days. I wonder if you realize how many days of your parent's life you have taken from them beyond your 89 days? Before I made the gut wrenching decision to send my son there, we tried therapy, family therapy, out patient rehabilitation, police/probation because of his violence, psychiatric stays because of his public defiance, multiple ACS visits for his essentially we tried everything under our power to NOT send him to a place like MHYR. He was defiant, truant, a drug user, violent and had no interest in changing. Sounds like YOU! No parent wants to send their child to a program like is the hardest decision any parent in the world has to face and can only make when there are NO MORE OPTIONS! MHYR cost me $60,000 conservatively. Emotionally the cost was me crying myself to sleep every single night with worry and doubts. I read their recommended books, went to their parent training classes, followed all the advice about a written contract and was finally able to bring my son home. I moved 1 State over from where we originally lived to give him a "fresh start" as is recommended and put him in a new school. He was okay for 6 months before he started his drug use, truancy, police troubles and defiant and violent behavior again! This left us no choice once again and we had to send him to a therapeutic boarding school for 7 months. The place looked like a nightmare to me (Scotts Valley School in Yoncalla, Oregon) and I spent nights crying and depressed once again in addition to the $50,000 spent at that hellhole. Are you following the math and the emotional toll this took on the whole family? He could have gone to an IVY league college for the money we spent on these programs and the insane number of moves we made to give him "fresh chances". Finally, after 7 months of MY heartache, I removed him from the therapeutic boarding school and moved yet again to give him another fresh chance and to finish his senior year. Once again, he is okay for 6 months and then it starts again: drug use, truancy, therapy (that he sits and stares and doesn't try to get help at) and the police arrests come: for drug possession, for violence, for stealing. After he got his "miracle HS diploma" I moved us back to our original location. Now he is using drugs, in trouble with the police multiple times in one year, violent and blames everyone but himself for his life. So you had to follow rules? Eat food that wasn't sushi and steak to keep healthy? Drink fluids? Be held accountable for the behavior that landed you there?

  7. 89 days? As the parent I've had 2,190 days so far and counting. No end in sight, no graduation for me! Just more misery day after day watching your kid destroy his life and the lives of everyone he touches. I spoke to other MHYR parents. No one was happy or proud that their lives had taken this path with their child. Every parent was broken and destroyed by the time MHYR entered the picture. When you have a child and you love that child more than anything in this world, this is the last thing that NEVER enters your mind as you raise that child with love and hope for a good future. I'm sure my son hated these programs because he wanted to run free, drop out of school, do drugs and torture society. Now that he is 20 he gets to do exactly that. I am prepping for his eventual trip to prison...I've worked in prisons as their pharmacist. Good luck to ANYONE who thinks prison is better than one of these programs. The BEST prison out there is still far worse than the most "damaging" program out there: wilderness or therapeutic. No one is spouting religion either: karma is a bitch and if you kids/young adults can't get these issues under control and want a better life for yourselves you will see what happens. It won't be a happy life or a productive life. I wish you all well and I really wish your parents and families and loved ones peace! You don't even understand the damage and devastation you have caused to your families.

  8. I attended AV in 2007 when I was 19 years old. I did NOT stay sober, but the lessons I learned at AV helped me nip my future issues in the bud before they became real problems, and today I have been clean for over 2 years.
    When I first got to AV, and realized what the conditions were like, I flipped out, had an anxiety attack, and tried to break my own finger so they would take me to the hospital (which they did do, btw, so this claim of no medical treatment is complete bullshit). Needless to say, my first 2 weeks were absolute hell, but once I got over that initial adjustment period, the worst part of the rest of my time there was missing my girlfriend, and by the time it was over I was genuinely sad to leave.

    It's funny because pretty much everything the original poster said is true,and I don't see how any of it is a problem at all. This isn't some government camp, it's REHAB which you voluntarily go to, and can voluntarily leave whenever you want to, as long as you're down for a 60 mile hike through the mountains. No one will stop you. (I personally saw 3 different people run; 2 came back within a few hours and the 3rd apparently made it to a road and called his parents or something.) Not only that, but they have a counselor follow you if you do decide to run to make sure you're safe. So not only is it 100% voluntary, but everyone is there because of their own bad decisions, and trying to dissuade others from seeking help is incredibly selfish and just an all-around shitty thing to do.
    So let's go through these claims one by one:
    1) "No utilities", Ummm, yeah, that's why it's called a WILDERNESS CAMP. And there is housing. It's called a tent.
    2) "No freedom of speech" Again, this isn't some government program, it's a private business. Freedom of speech does not apply here. You don't have freedom of speech at your job. You don't have freedom of speech at school. You don't have freedom of speech at a drug rehab, who you are paying to help you.
    a )It should be extremely obvious why they don't want you discussing politics or religion (although this only applies to the group setting anyway. You can discuss whatever you want with your counselor or therapist, and you can read religious and political books in your free time.)
    b) I shouldn't need to explain why they don't want you reminiscing on your days of drug use.
    c) "No discussing anything weird" is BS, or subjective at best. Maybe your counselors were more strict than mine, but we had many conversations about quantum physics, aliens, freemasonry, conspiracy theories, all kinds of "weird" stuff and the counselors would just make sure we didn't take the conversation too far, and were never dicks about it, probably because most of us had respect for the counselors and got respect back. They even brought an acoustic guitar up every once in a while and would let me play for the group.
    3) "No medical treatment" They have the same first aid available as anyone else, if not better. One camper who was allergic to bees got stung while I was there, and was promptly issued his epipen, just as one example, and as I mentioned before, they will take you into town to go to the hospital when necessary.
    4) It's incredibly telling that you say they offer no drug rehab, because the entire experience is the rehab and it's clear how resistant you were to the entire process.

    Every complaint you've made is either completely false, or easily explained by you being a spoiled little baby.

  9. ...continued

    5) God forbid someone who lives in Utah drive a big truck and wear cowboy hats! Are you kidding me? And they can spend their OWN money on whatever they damn well please. They have that money because people voluntarily paid them for their services. It's called the free market, retard.
    6) "No vitamins" This one made me laugh out loud, as if a drug addict cares about nutrition. Oatmeal or germade for breakfast, rice and lentils (with vegetables) for lunch, ramen (or similar) for dinner, water and gatorade to drink, and fresh fruit several times a week. That's a better diet than most college students, and pretty much all drug addicts.

    What it all comes down to is resistance. The entire process is designed to take you as far out of your comfort zone as possible and break you down to build you back up, and as long as you resist and refuse to work the program, you're going to be miserable. The sooner you accept it, the sooner you start healing. As I said, my first 2 weeks there were hell, but it was because of my refusal to accept the situation. Once I had my first phone call with my parents, it sunk in that the quickest and easiest way for me to get out of there was to work the program, and once I did, I began to grow and learn things that still help me to this day. Coddling a bunch of drug-addicted young adults isn't going to help anyone; it just enables the destructive behavior, and it's probably what your parents have been doing your whole life. All these weak, beta-male city kids complaining about AV "abusing" them is laughable. And telling others they should stay away because you refused to let them help you is just ridiculous.
    "Chemo therapy just made me sick and didn't cure my cancer, so no one should ever get chemo!" Yeah...fuck off.

  10. I am a certified alcohol and drug counselor with long term sobriety, who also went to MHYR at 14 years old. I can tell you that this place had both ethical and legal violations.

    Censored/Monitored phone calls are illegal.

    I was told I was not allowed to use the latrine until I peed on myself. This is humiliation and abuse and is both illegal and unethical. My abuser in this case was Aaron.

    One of my counselors was a white supremacist and our wakeup calls were performed in German and ended with Zeig Heil! Zeig Heil! This is unethical.

    I was sexually harrassed by the counselor Aaron, told the reason I had to pee so often was because my penis was short.

    I was given medication by staff who were not qualified to distribute medication. All staff including Will Moffat, Quentin, Aaron, CiCi gave me medication and none had the qualifications to do so. This is illegal.

    I was denied access to religious services, my confidentiality was broken, and I was not provided with contact information for the relevant regulatory agencies or a way to contact them. These were violations of federal law, Title 9, as well as being unethical.

    This program was indefensible.

    1. As someone who takes the BAR in a couple months I still think, every single day, every single day, that it is crazy that people got away with doing this to children. I went there, but I was 17. Good god younger kids must have gotten their brains turned to moosh. Not allowed to talk? Asking permission to leave a 4 foot square... that you are forced to call your home. Someone defecated in my cooking cup and I was forced to eat from it minutes later (it was bleached first but still), if I didn't eat from it I had to "stay an extra week." Listen I know this is being a wimp, but the actions of this company are beyond shocking the conscience of any reasonable United States citizen, please believe me.

  11. Hello all,

    I have been searching all night for a place to talk to about MHYR, and now that I've found you guys, I don't even know where to start.. First and foremost, I am very happy that some of you changed your lives for the better after MHYR. I am not here to pick apart the program, I am simply trying to share my experience with some of you. Unfortunately, my time at MHYR was not helpful. In fact, it was mostly very traumatic.. so much so that i am sitting here almost 10 years later unable to sleep.. I have PTSD so badly that sleepless nights like these are a regular occurrence. Let me start at the beginning, but before I start, please forgive me as I am a little fuzzy on the details. I believe the term is "repressed memories" haha...

    I was in a group of about 10 guys.. One of which was Joey.. He was very quiet, but when he talked you knew something wasn't right with him. One day Joey told a kid (I believe his name was Corey) that he was going to kill our Staff Leader Sydney in his sleep that week. So Corey, as a decent human being, decided to give Sydney a heads up. Joey got in trouble. The next day at about 530am, just before sunrise, Joey jumped out of his sleeping bag, then proceeded to WAIL on Corey unmercifully before he even had a chance to open his eyes. He landed about 30+ punches before Sydney jumped on him. I know because I was in the sleeping bag one over from Cory getting spattered with blood.

    Corey spent a couple days in the hospital. He came back with his face mangled, barely able to speak. Joey was taken (who knows where) for about a day or two, then was back in our group again. :D

    Couple days pass, it's night time and we're all sitting by the fire making our dinners, then I see Joey walking around the circle behind everyone and he grabs a shovel. To this day I beat myself up for not yelling out to Greg (our other supervisor) before Joey hit him with that shovel. Joey wanted to kill him. Everybody is in shock. We look at eachother, then scatter into the forest. Even the staff runs. The next part might sound a bit ridiculous, but I can't stress this enough, Joey then proceeded to chase everyone with the shovel, laughing like a sick fucking demented clown, and trying to hurt or kill them. The laugh still fucking haunts me.

    Eventually, Joey was restrained. One of the staff disappeared into the woods with a satellite phone trying to call for help. We were all terrified. Hours pass, trucks arrive, Joey's finally gone. We all want to call our parents but we are not allowed to until "our next therapy session". That's cool.

    1. I remember this. I was there. I remember Joey I remembers that evil laugh. I cant remember if the kids name was Corey? I think it might have been Calvin? I remember he had to put vitamin E cream on hes cheek for a while after that because he had a scar from the attack.

      I also remember that Joey had tried to run away prior to that. If I remember right joey was also prescribed seroquel? or maybe some other anti psychotic and was trading them to other people I remember people were doing that but I cant remember who.

      I remember that staff bear maced joe and then If I remember right they hogtied him and carried him out a way from camp.. what seemed like a few hours later a sheriffs office vehicle came and hauled him away that was the last we ever saw Joe. and the shovel was always locked up after that,

  12. So... my next MHYR experience on the list was when I was completely humiliated by our staff leader Sydney.

    It was a long week of making fires with my bowdrill, hand drill, and whatever bullshit was on the list to "pass that week".. Well, I finally completed the list. I was so proud of myself. It was the last day of the week and I managed to accomplish everything just before the week ended! Or so I thought.

    Sydney gave us some GORP (Good Old Raisins and Peanuts) to celebrate passing another week. We all sat down to eat it when I accidentally dropped some in the dirt. So, I threw it in the fire and said something along the lines of "for the GORP gods" and then continued eating my snack. Then, I hear Sydney say, "What did you say?" And I looked at him dumbfounded.. Then he proceeded to laugh at me and said that I failed my week for mentioning a "Deity" and that I had to stay an additional week now. I thought he was kidding, but he was serious.

    I looked down at my hands, covered in blisters from hand drilling my fucking heart out all week and started to tear up while he fucking laughed at me.

    He sat there making jokes about how this will teach me a lesson about speaking without thinking first.

    Now for the good part! Sydney and another staff member are whispering to eachother, laughing about some idea they had. Then they look at me and tell me that they know a way I can still pass my week.. They tell me and another kid (Will) who failed his week to come over to them, so we did. Sydney says "we want you guys to put on a little show for us". Then he hands me a piece of rope. He tells me to tie it around Wills neck like a leash while he's on all fours. We both don't want to, but we just want to get out of this place, so we listen. Sydney says that he wants me to dance around, singing Mary Has a Little Lamb, while the other boy makes sheep noises and crawls around on all fours. This was FUCKING HUMILIATING. But the more weeks we passed, the sooner we'd be able to leave. So we did. After they were tired with our little act, they told us to go sit down. So we did. At least we passed our week. The next day comes around and they announce who passed. But guess whos not on the list? Me and Will. I have never felt so fucking betrayed and helpless in my life.

    To anyone who is still reading this, thank you. I have been wanting to tell someone about this for so long.. and believe it or not, this isn't everything that happened to me at MHYR.
    The stories and humiliation goes on... pissing myself at night because I wasn't allowed to use the bathroom.. losing a very unhealthy amount of weight... the verbal abuse... not being able to contact anyone for help besides the complete idiots who were supposed to look after us... it was a nightmare.

    Alright, that's all for now.. I'm going to try to get some sleep. Thanks for listening guys.

    Feel free to contact me at my email if you have something to share.


  13. I went to MHYR and it was hell. I was traumatized for life. Not just about being there but that my parents sent me there, sent me away. Before arriving to MHYR I was a struggling teen, couldn't concentrate in school, got bad grades, didn't get much attention at home, my parents were too involved in there own lives - and so I sought attention elsewhere. Mostly from boys. I partied, I drank alcohol and I did not realize it at the time but now I know that I was just desperate for attention. The last thing I needed was for my parents to send me away. When I arrived at MHYR I felt abandoned. All I could think about was how I could kill myself. I would write to my parents and tell them I just wanted to die but I think the mail was filtered out. I had never been more depressed or felt less self worth. I eventually learned how to "play the game" so I could get home. To get out of there you need to say what they want to hear and act the way they want you to act, play the game. Its all bullshit. The "counselors" are not even close to qualified and spend hardly any time with you. When I finally "graduated",got home, I unfortunately sought out as much attention as possible. This was negative attention, sleeping around with countless random guys, I was desperate to feel like someone cared for me. I started drinking all the time and remained with suicidal thoughts and low self worth for a long long time. I was one of the few sent to the mountain that didn't do drugs before I went there. Most of the kids I was there with were users. Two of my friends I made there, Eric & Zach - were both heroin users and because MHYR is not a proper rehabilitation center - they keep you away from drugs (obviously, you're on a mountain in the middle of nowhere) but they do not provide adequate therapy and they do not provide any follow up care once you get home and back into reality - Both of these boys overdosed on heroin. In fact, Eric died within just a few weeks of going home. Its tragic. Please do not send your child here. I am now a Nurse Coordinator at a healthcare facility that provides care to an underprivileged portion of our community. The majority of our patients are low income, struggling with drug use and mental health issues. I have a huge heart for people - especially children and teens struggling with addiction. The best way to battle addiction and behavior issues is getting to the root of the issue through intensive therapy, with an engaged healthcare team and continuing with aftercare. MHYR is not capable of this. If you are considering sending your child to MHYR please do not. Do not send your child away, they are struggling and need you the most at this time in their life. Even though it has been 10yrs since my time at MHYR, I am now a successful adult, a wife and mother of 3 beautiful children, I still struggle with these feelings of abandonment. So much anger and anxiety overtakes me when I even think about MHYR. My relationship with my parents is forever damaged.