This is a staff list for ABM Family Preparatory in Westmoreland, TN
(a.k.a. Lester Roloff, Roloff Homes, ABM Ministries, Lighthouse Christian Academy in Piedmont, MO (renamed and relocated--same program))
(we are working to acquire the complete records for ALL years)
We advise current and/or former staff to report any abuses you may have witnessed while working at ABM Family Preparatory/Lighthouse Christian Academy. For information on your rights and how to take action, visit www.heal-online.org/blowthewhistle.htm. If you were fired or forced to resign because you opposed any illegal and/or unethical practices at ABM Family Preparatory/Lighthouse Christian Academy, you have the right to take action.
If you were harmed (family or survivor) by ABM Family Preparatory/Lighthouse Christian Academy, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you remember the long-term employees and from which years. This will help! Also, if you recognize any of these staff as having worked at another program, please send in any information about their past or present employment at other facilities and/or cults.
Please don’t place your loved one in ABM Family Preparatory. and rescue them if they are there now.
|Larry Musgrave||Director/Admissions||Larry Musgrave holds no professional nor mental health licenses in Missouri. Source: https://renew.pr.mo.gov/licensee-search.asp|
|Carmen Musgrave||Co-Founder & Wife to Larry||Carmen Musgrave holds no professional nor mental health licenses in Missouri. Source: https://renew.pr.mo.gov/licensee-search.asp|
|Craig W. Smith, Jr.||Staff (hopefully former)||Sued for sexually abusing a girl at the Missouri Location.|
|Melinda Musgrave||Staff||Daughter of owners|
|Ashley Ruffaner||Staff||Daughter of owners|
|Jennifer Smith||Staff||(wife of Craig Smith)|
|Dustin Hougas||Staff||Former "student" turned staff (suggests ABM operates in a cult-like fashion in which some students fear outside world and suffer from of Stockholm Syndrome)|
|Brittany Musgrave||Staff||Daughter of owners. Brittany has Cerebral Palsy and was reportedly left alone to care for children at the facility.|
|John & Dolly Ruffaner||Staff||In-laws of Ashley (Musgrave) Ruffaner.|
|Reed & Beth Goodman||Staff|
|NO OTHER NAMES||NO OTHER TITLES||There is no additional information on staff at this location at this time.*|
FORMER (& LIKELY CURRENT) PROGRAM AFFILIATIONS:
Affiliated with the People's Baptist Church
The Rebekah Home for Girls (a.k.a. Rebecca Home for Girls, New Beginnings/Lighthouse Ministries in Jay, FL--Started in Texas)
City of Refuge in Oklahoma
Anchor Home for Boys (FL?) (Anchor Academy, Anchor Character Training Center)
Jubilee Home for Women
Bethel Boys Academy (MS) (Now called Gulf Coast Academy and owned by WWASPS--same staff as Bethel.)
Agape Boarding School
Bethel Girls Academy (MS)
Calvary Academy (FL)
Reclamation Ranch (AL)
New Bethany Home
Mountain Park Academy (MO)
Hephzibah House (IN)
OTHER CURRENT PROGRAM AFFILIATIONS:
Academy at Ivy Ridge (Academy at Ivy Ridge) in New York
Spring Creek Lodge in Montana
Camas Ranch (for 18 year olds+ young men) in Montana
Carolina Springs Academy in South Carolina
Horizon Academy in Nevada
Darrington Academy (reportedly closed) in Georgia
Midwest Academy in Iowa
Tranquility Bay in Jamaica (reportedly closed)
High Impact in Mexico (reportedly closed)
Casa by the Sea (reportedly closed)
Pillars of Hope in Costa Rica (still operating)
|*(ABM Family Preparatory., like many other programs in this industry, keeps a "tight lid" on any specific information regarding their staff, qualifications, and practices. Please contact us with the names of any staff of which you have firsthand knowledge or experience. Thank you for your help.)|
|Have ABM Family Preparatory/Lighthouse Christian Academy/Larry and Carmen Musgrave been sued for child abuse and on other allegations? Yes.|
All segregated congregate care providers, including those on our watch-list, are welcome to contact us to correct any information or provide additional data that may assist with delivering the whole truth to the public. We've found in many cases where this offer has been abused or resulted in revealing additional basis for our concerns. For some examples see: http://www.heal-online.org/tcfl.htm, http://www.heal-online.org/bolthouse.htm and http://www.heal-online.org/abundant2.htm. Now, we are willing to look at the facts and may have questions or require documentation backing up any claims. We do verify licensing, academic backgrounds, and other qualifications when investigating and researching programs on our watch-list to assist consumers seeking additional information on such programs or victims requiring assistance with getting corroborating evidence of their claims. We do that in order to make sure the information we provide is accurate and verified and cite our sources. In the event any information we've posted is in error, we're happy to make a correction. And, for information on how such requests are handled and have been resolved historically, see: http://www.heal-online.org/requests.htm.
HEAL does not support segregated congregate care for many reasons which include that many such facilities are abusive, exploitative, fraudulent, and lack effective oversight often as a result of fraudulent misrepresentation coupled with the ignorance of those seeking to enroll loved ones in such facilities, programs, schools, or centers without a valid court order and involuntarily. In the United States such involuntary placements done without a court order are apparently illegal as they either violate the Americans with Disabilities Act community integration requirement or due process rights of those involuntarily placed. Now, in regards to parents, in the United States parents have the right to waive their own rights, but, not the rights of their minor children. See http://www.heal-online.org/legalarguments.htm for more information. Now, most facilities on our watch list include waivers, indemnity clauses, and sworn statements parents must sign assuring the program that the parents have the right to make the placement involuntarily and without due process in a segregated congregate care environment, however, California and federal prosecutors as well as settled law appears to suggest that is not the case. In fact, in the David Taylor case found at http://www.heal-online.org/provocases.htm, Taylor sued Provo Canyon School and his mother as co-defendants. His mother was found liable for 75% of the damages awarded to Taylor as a result of multiple complaints including false imprisonment, while the program was found only 25% liable because the mother owed a duty of due diligence to investigate anyone to which she would entrust care of her child and she failed to do so.
Now, HEAL opposes segregated congregate care and we find most placements are happening illegally in the USA which if the youth understood their rights would result in unfortunate outcomes for the parents, particularly when they don't exercise good judgment and support the fraud and abuse rather than their own children when they need remedy and justice. And, HEAL supports all victims of fraud and abuse in seeking remedies at law for any crimes or torts committed against them. And, that's true whether or not the program or victims are in the USA.
HEAL has a 5 point argument against segregated congregate care we'd like you to consider:
a. Segregated care is unconstitutional and a civil rights violation. It is only permissible if a person is unable to survive independent of an institutional environment. For more on this, watch the HEAL Report at https://youtu.be/C4NzhZc4P0A. Or, see: http://www.ada.gov/olmstead/ which includes in part: "United States v. Florida – 1:12-cv-60460 – (S.D. Fla.) – On April 7, 2016, the United States filed an Opposition to the State of Florida’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment. In the Motion, the State had asked the Court to rule, on a variety of grounds, that the United States could not recover damages for unnecessarily institutionalized children to whom the State had been deliberately indifferent."
b. Institutionalization is always dehumanizing and coercive. Institutionalization always harms the institutionalized and deprives them of protected civil rights. Dr. David Straker, Psychiatry Professor at Columbia University's School of Medicine (Ivy League) explains this in detail at http://changingminds.org/disciplines/sociology/articles/institutionalization.htm. "Many institutions, from prisons to monasteries to asylums, deliberately want to control and manage their inmates such that they conform and do not cause problems. Even in less harsh environments, many of the institutionalization methods may be found, albeit in more moderated form (although the psychological effect can be equally devastating)." (See website linked in this paragraph for more info.)
c. Institutionalization is not in the best interest of children. Institutions are not ever better for a child than living with a loving family. Source: http://www.unicef.org/cambodia/12681_23295.html
d. Reform schools, residential treatment programs, and other segregated congregate care settings have been shown to be ineffective and harmful. Best source on this currently is: https://www.acgov.org/probation/documents/EndoftheReformSchoolbyVinny.doc
e. Boarding Schools, even the "good ones", result in a form of social death, isolation, and cause both anxiety and depression. Therefore, it is clearly not in the best interest of the youth subjected to those environments. Sources: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jun/08/boarding-school-syndrome-joy-schaverien-review and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/secondaryeducation/11662001/The-truth-about-boarding-school-syndrome.html
Beyond the above arguments against segregated congregate care, we have reports from the NIH, Surgeon General, Yale University Studies, and much more showing the methodologies of behavior modification are damaging, harmful, and ineffective. You can request these documents via e-mail. In addition, for such programs offering academic services or claiming to offer diplomas, certifications, or the like, it is important to check to see if it is a diploma mill with no accredited academic services. Please see: http://heal-online.blogspot.com/2019/01/avoiding-scams-what-you-need-to-know.html for important information on how to avoid education/training scams.
If you'd like to see what HEAL suggests rather than segregated congregate care (i.e. committing a crime or tort against your child if done against their will without a court order), please see: http://heal-online.blogspot.com/2017/05/fix-your-family-help-your-teen.html
Now, we have many programs on our watch list including this one and we do our best to update the site regularly with any new information. And, we appreciate public participation in information gathering and your support.
If you have a complaint against this facility, please file a complaint with the appropriate law enforcement agency or your home state's attorney general. For reporting resources see: http://www.heal-online.org/report.htm. If you have not yet entrusted care of a loved one to this facility, consider the above information and be patient as we are awaiting FOIA requests regarding complaint histories from the authorities. If you have entrusted care of a loved one to this facility, please consider bringing them home because even in the "good ones", it causes anxiety and depression to be segregated.
|UPDATE: 2/6/19: Wayne County Sheriff's Office responded to our request for the complaint history stating: "We are unable to fulfill this request at this time." So, when we cycle back through updating the staff and info pages alphabetically, we will submit the request again. We do not currently have the resources to sue every public agency to comply with public records requests we make to assist you. But, you may wish to contact the Wayne County Sheriff's Office yourself to request the calls for service/dispatch log for all available dates involving ABM Ministries/Lighthouse. In addition, we've submitted a request to the Macon County Sheriff/Dispatch for records regarding the Tennessee location and appreciate your patience.|
|Survivor and Family Statements Pending--We have received over a dozen e-mail complaints regarding the practices at ABM Ministries/ABM Family Preparatory. These complaints were regarding the program as run in Westmoreland, TN. Due to the sensitive nature of the complaints, survivors and families often request and/or have requested anonymity, confidentiality, and privacy. If you would like to submit your statement to be posted here, please contact us for details.|
|Correction: On March 24th, 2011 we received a correction notice regarding ABM/Lighthouse. The sexual abuse and lawsuit were regarding the current location in Missouri. We had reported that it was the Tennessee location in error. We have corrected the issue. The abuse occurred at the current location.|
HEAL SPECIAL REPORT:
abm ministries/abm family preparatory/lighthouse christian academy's ENROLLMENT packet REVIEW
HEAL has found multiple problems with ABM Ministries/ABM Family Preparatory/Lighthouse Christian Academy's (ABM/ABM's) enrollment agreement including apparent unconscionable terms and/or contradictory terms leaving us to believe that ABM is running a money-making scam on families in need of assistance. We will be alternating between "quoted text" from pages of the enrollment agreement (as was downloaded from abmministries.org on September 15th, 2010) and HEAL's questions/concerns. HEAL will not repeatedly link to the enrollment agreement in full throughout this review, and, we advise readers to scroll back and/or open the enrollment agreement in a new window while reviewing our work for accuracy or if additional contextualization is preferred. This is an independent review and if you are in need of legal assistance or advice, please consult with an attorney.
Enrollment Packet (Page 1)
"Required Items/Admissions Forms: Birth Certificate, Social Security Card, Photo I.D., Power of Attorney..."
Why does ABM require the social security card of an enrolled child? This is a government issued document as is the birth certificate requested above. Since ABM does not abide by U.S. laws (according to their "contract"--see discussion of page 7 below), then why does it require U.S. government granted documentation for students? Also, why doesn't ABM provide students/enrollees with a program-issued photo I.D. if needed? What is the purpose of giving this documentation to ABM? Also, why was ABM sued for multiple counts of sexual abuse of a minor girl at the Missouri program? This incompetence and risk alone should persuade reasonable people against placing their child at this program.
Enrollment Packet (Page 3)
Does the Student Appear to be:
1. Lonely, Quiet, Moody?
2. Depressed? (low energy, poor concentration, low motivation)
4. Very Negative About Everything?
6. Isolating Him/Herself?
7. Angry or Abusive to Others?
8. Exhibiting Changed Eating Habits?
9. Argumentative and Deceitful?
14. Dropping out of school/church activities?
16. Refuses to go to Church?
17. Refuses to go to Church Activities?
18. Dating or Befriending Others Against Parents Wishes
21. Changed in Appearance
Has Your Teen Ever?
28. Threatened Siblings?
29. Been Abused?
30. Been Over Weight?
31. Slept for Long Periods?"
The above questionnaire is very subjective and as the owners of ABM use a "faith-based" program and do not claim any credentials other than those afforded them by the power of their own interpretation of scripture and the dictates of ABM Ministries, it is likely used to give the appearance that they are concerned and/or have the capacity and training to assist with the "problems" mentioned in the questionnaire.
HEAL's concern is that what are "normal" teenage behaviors are being maligned as being "abnormal" or in need of immediate correction as opposed to patience and guidance through this always difficult transition for both parents and children as children mature into adults. For instance, many pre-teens and young teens go through awkward social phases in which they may become or appear to become lonely, quiet, or moody. However, these young people are going through extreme physical, hormonal, and often social changes that can and often do take a toll and require adjustment and reflection. It is wrong to suggest that the subjective results this questionnaire will produce, without the involvement or discussing of the issues involved with the child for proper contextualization, will be misleading and not useful for determining the real issues which may stem from school bullying, sexual abuse, or lack of effective communication between the parents and the child. Many of these questions are far too subjective to assist in any real assessment of your child and without your child's participation and legitimate evaluation for mental health or other issues by a qualified professional, it is likely used as a suggestive tool to give you a false since of confidence in the ABM program.
If your child has ever had chicken pox or the flu, they have likely slept for "Long Periods". Also, if they were ever an infant or toddler, they likely slept for "Long Periods". Asking if a child has ever "slept for Long Periods" is really indefinite and in need of further qualification or re-wording if it is to be deemed definite enough to be a legitimate assessment question.
Other concerns are in regards to changes "in appearance" and/or refusal to "go to church/church activities"... Children change so much in appearance from infancy to adulthood and even from age 10 to age 15. Changes in appearance can represent a commitment to self-expression, an American value. If your child is not violating any law and has the right to dress or look the way they look at school, then, it should be accepted by the parents as their lawful right. The school will let you know if your child violates school policy and it is likely that your values will be supported by school policies. We are referring to legitimate schools here, not ABM. Freedom of religion is a protected right of your child as it is for you. And, if they have reached an age in which they feel they want to explore other options or to take a break from church or church activities, it should be respected by the parents that they have this right. Of course, this is with the caveat that we are dealing with a young person of age to legally care for themselves unsupervised. It is unreasonable to expect parents to choose between hiring a babysitter or taking a young child to church services.
Enrollment Packet (Page 5)
"Limited Power of Attorney"
"KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS that I...of these presents do makes, constitute, and appoint Larry Musgrave, or any other officer of the ABM Ministries, Inc. as my (our) true and lawful Attorney, for the limited purpose herein stated..."
"GIVING AND GRANTING unto my (our) said Attorney-In-Fact full power and authority to do and perform all and every act in the exercise of my (our) parental rights concerning my (our) child."
HEAL is concerned and believes that the above would be void as being too vague. It is arguably reasonable to require a limited granting of "power of attorney" to boarding schools, etc. since the school will be in charge of the child. However, it is unreasonable, in our opinion, to demand parents turn authority over to those they have not personally met or interviewed. As stated above under (Page 1), the Musgraves have employed people in their programs that sexually abuse the children in their care and it is unreasonable to expect families to sign over their rights to strangers to the contract.
In addition, there are grammatical errors in the sentence. The phrase "do makes" is completely incorrect in any legitimate form. Also, it is unclear what is meant by "presents" in the initial paragraph.
It is also unreasonable to take full power of attorney in the second paragraph while insinuating that it is to be a limited power of attorney in other areas of the document. This is contradictory and would pose a serious concern in regards to what exactly parents are agreeing to in this document. We believe, as written, this form would be void or voidable for indefiniteness and inconsistent/contradictory terms.
Enrollment Packet (Page 6)
"ENROLLMENT ORIENTATION AGREEMENT"
"You will have our "my" full support and cooperation as you minister to the needs of our (my) child."
"We (I) understand that ABM Ministries, Inc. is no more than the name implies and makes no claims to be anything else."
"We (I) understand that our (my) child may not always be in the immediate presence of an adult and therefore we (I) would not and could not hold the school, its staff, and its officials responsible for our (my) child's welfare at such time."
These requirements and/or sentiments are repeated in various ways throughout the remainder of the agreement. In portions to be discussed later, ABM requires unquestioning support of their practices and demands 100% support of their program by parents (including parents who are not the primary legal guardian and who may not have agreed to the placement). This is echoed by the requirement of "full support and cooperation" above.
Also, by stating that they are nothing more than their name implies and in using ABM Ministries, Inc. as the name from which their argued purpose(s) is derived, it suggests they are likely not a legitimate school. We highly suggest families considering ABM thoroughly review the academic accreditation of this school and the transferability of credits to legitimate schools and/or colleges. Many programs in this industry do not provide accredited educational programs or resources and students who graduate often find themselves forced to earn a G.E.D. and limited in their future opportunities as a result.
The third segment above is just a "taste" of the limited liability and ridiculous arbitration agreement required by this contract. While the third segment seems reasonable enough, it does not take into account the liability you, as parents, would have if you neglected your child and in your absence your child was harmed as a result of your neglect. Since ABM requires full parental authority and rights over your child while enrolled at ABM, they should also be accepting the responsibility and liability associated with those rights as conferred through the "Power of Attorney" agreement. Refusing responsibility while taking benefit from the rights that balance those responsibilities seems unethical and contrary to public policy.
Enrollment Agreement (Page 7)
"Since salvation is the beginning and not the end, we seek to provide an environment that will nurture the new Christian into a daily surrender of self to the person of Christ. We expect each parent to fully support this desire."
"A minimum enrollment period of six months is required...In the event of early removal or dismissal from ABM the parent would still be obligated to pay for the entire six months!"
"All mail is to go in and out through the parent. All mail is to be read by ABM staff...Photographs must meet ABM's standard of dress and appearance in every way."
"The first call may come after 14 days of enrollment. Second and subsequent calls may come once every two weeks. Married parents may have 10 minutes per call. Divorced parents may call on alternating weeks for 10 minutes or they may call every other week for five minutes per call."
"Special "1 minute" calls may be made on Christmas Day and on the child's birthday. These calls must be made during regular phone all hours. NO calls on Wednesdays or Sundays."
"It is generally recommended that the first visit be at least 30 days from enrollment...Whether on campus with us or off campus with the parent, standards of ABM must be maintained."
"The dates of all visits should be closely planned and coordinated with the assistance of ABM staff. Some dates require student attendance thus eliminating the opportunity to schedule a visit. Most visits should be a surprise to your child." (cont. on page 8)
Is ABM or Jesus Christ determining if the child is saved? It seems by the initial statement that if a child is not meeting the requirements of ABM's rules based on its own biased interpretation of biblical texts, then ABM is claiming the child isn't "saved". Also, if the child is Christian and believes they are Christian, why is ABM assuming the child is not Christian simply because they have not been through the ABM program? This attitude is arrogant and judgmental of the child and seems to be in opposition to the teachings of Christ.
If ABM is Christian, why do they try to force dissatisfied families to pay for services that are not rendered? This seems unethical and to suggest money-changers are in ABM Ministries as opposed to Christians who follow the teachings of Christ by living in example of his compassion, mercy, and love.
In our opinion, it is illegal and an illegal agreement to include the reading of the child's incoming and outgoing mail. Also, this provides ABM an opportunity to disallow communications that may reveal corruption, physical abuse, mental abuse, and/or sexual abuse. It is a very dangerous practice and violates the rights of the child. Such privacy violations were found to be illegal in the case of Milonas et al v. Provo Canyon School. In addition, a parent does not have the right to waive the rights of their minor child, they can only waive their own rights. This and other issues are further developed on our legal arguments page at www.heal-online.org/legalarguments.htm. Also, if a parent approves of a photograph being sent to their child, the parent's authority should override the school's authority unless the item is pornographic or otherwise illegal. It seems ABM does not respect the authority of the parent once the contracts are signed.
Denying unmonitored/uncensored contact with the outside world for 2 weeks or more is also violative of the child's rights. And, suggests an environment that is dangerous to the child. The limitation on contact is further discussed later in the contract review. But, for now, we just want to show that calls are only allowed from 7:30pm-8:30pm, four days a week. And, this one-hour slot is to suffice for all children and families to connect by phone every other week. If Christmas or your child's birthday falls on a Wednesday or Sunday, then you won't get to talk to them according to the contract.
It is a serious concern that the program does not include the family from day one or welcome the family to visit without pre-approval by the ABM staff. ABM has no legal right to prevent you from seeing your child and by denying you that right and using economic "blackmail" (if you don't do what they say, you take your kid and continue to pay), they are using a type of bullying tactic to control you and your family. This is inappropriate and suggests more of a cult than a ministry. Also, demanding that ABM's standards be maintained by the family regardless of if the family is on the premises or off the premises of ABM's program, is over-reaching and disrespectful to parental authority. You are the parent and they are your employee. Your authority in regards to your family should be respected over their claimed "authority" as a result of any agreement. Many of these terms appear unconscionable as being far too beneficial to ABM without a requirement of ABM's equal contribution or responsibility to you and your family.
In addition, claiming that "visits should be a surprise to your child" suggests you lie or deceive your child in regards to visits. One of the ten commandments is, "Thou shalt not bear false witness". And, by requiring you to deceive your child, in the event they inquire about when they will next see you, is wrong.
Enrollment Packet (Page 8)
"In order to be effective we must have 100% support of both parents in all areas...A parent should not become offended whenever something is returned to them as inappropriate. A parent should not be negative at any time a change in policy is deemed necessary by ABM. If at any time a parent becomes unwilling to give full support to all ABM policies, the parent should voluntarily remove the child from the academy."
"The physical must include testing for drugs and sexually transmitted diseases... A separate fee will be charged that will include the medical charges and for the additional risk, time, and manpower required if the ministry."
"It is important that we not keep secrets from each other. ABM will not withhold student information from parents and parents are not to withhold information from ABM. What you hear I hear and what I hear you hear."
Again, ABM shows that it does not respect parental authority by demanding control and the right to dictate whether a parent feels offended or is dissatisfied with ABM's policies or changes to policy. Such changes in policy are likely referring to visitation and telephone call schedules as the stated 14 day wait for the initial call is likely often quite longer so that your child is effectively broken and brainwashed to say only "positive" things about the program prior to ever getting to speak with you. This has been the experience of many who have been dissatisfied with similar programs.
If your child has never done drugs and is a virgin, such a violation of running drug and STD tests will likely traumatize your child. Can you imagine subjecting a young virgin to invasive STD screening which would include a pap smear? It can feel like sexual abuse to someone forced to undergo such invasive procedures against their will and without their consent. If ABM is no longer sexually abusing children, why do they need to know their STD results? It is a strange requirement and inappropriate of any school or organization to ask, unless, they intend to do something sexual with the child or expect that someone else within their walls so intends. Regardless, it is inappropriate.
The final segment mentioned above is a concern as it is likely a way to spy on the child. If the child has a private moment with their parent and confides that abuses are occurring and the parent then betrays their child's confidence by telling ABM, it will put a further strain on the trust between parent and child. The goal of any family ministry should be to unite families and assist with effective and supportive communication skill building. Trust is an extremely important element of building strong family bonds. By working with a third-party (ABM) and breaking the confidence of your child, you are emotionally abusing your child. HEAL recommends you do not check your parental authority or ability to reason at the door and question and/or protect your child's trust by not breaching it and exposing your child to excessive and/or cruel disciplinary actions as a likely result of such a breach.
Enrollment Packet (Pages 9-12)
"Believing that lawsuits are prohibited by Scripture...all teachers, staff, board members, volunteers, parents, grandparents, guardians, students, or anyone else involved in dispute agree to submit to binding arbitration...and expressly waive any and all rights in law and equity to bringing any civil disagreement before any court of law."
"The parties must, prior to the selection of arbitrators, agree to the scope of the matters to be considered by the arbitrators...Failure to do so shall be considered a proper matter for church discipline. If the scope of the dispute for arbitration cannot be agreed upon by the parties, the scope shall be determined by the arbitrators."
"All arbitrators must be born-again Christians of good reputation in the community and who affirm ABM's statement of faith in its entirety...No arbitrators may be an attorney."
"The arbitrators shall, subject to the provisions of these procedures, arbitrate the dispute according to the terms of these procedures, the Bible as interpreted by ABM's statement of faith, and any applicable church documents."
"Formal rules of evidence shall not apply."
"The arbitrators may, in their absolute discretion, receive and consider any evidence they deem relevant to the dispute, whether written or oral, without regards to any formal rules of evidence."
"There shall be no stenographic record of the proceedings."
"All presentations shall be controlled by the arbitrators. Any disputes regarding procedure shall be decided solely by the arbitrators."
"The arbitrators are to receive all evidence, prayerfully consider such evidence in an impartial manner, and render a decision which, based upon Scriptural principles, is fair to both parties."
"The arbitrators have full power to order mutual releases to be executed by the parties, and either of the parties failing such orders shall have the effect of a release, and may be duly acknowledged as such."
"Should any party commence legal proceedings against another party with the respect to the agreed scope of the dispute or the binding decision of the arbitrators, with the exception of an action to enforce the decision of the arbitrators, that party shall pay to the other party all expenses of said proceedings, including reasonable attorneys' fees."
"No party will involve the news media in the dispute in any way. No party shall publicize the dispute in any way."
"These Procedures for Arbitration may be revised or amended by a majority of the church membership at any regular church business meeting."
This entire arbitration arrangement demands that the arbitrators be members of the ABM church and agree to ABM's interpretation of scripture and will use ABM's biased interpretation of scripture as the basis for determining how to resolve the dispute. This is horribly waited to protect ABM Ministries. And, for that reason seems both unethical and unconscionable, thereby likely unenforceable.
In addition, stating a requirement that ABM and the dissatisfied parties must agree to the scope and/or causes of action prior to arbitration and/or leaving that scope solely to the discretion of other members or followers of the ABM cult/ministry, is unfair on its face and will place any victim of fraud or abuse at the mercy of the very people that have victimized them. It is arguably a great way to fool victims into thinking they can't pursue an action. But, fooling people is ungodly and therefore, ABM should consider who they are serving by deceiving and manipulating their congregation/members in this way.
It sounds like most, if not all, disputes brought to the non-attorney ABM followers playing arbitrators will result in mutual releases "forgiving" each side with no accountability. Also, it states that even if a victim refuses to sign a release, that by signing the contract itself they agree to "no action" being the equivalent of agreeing to such a release. ABM continually refuses to take any responsibility for the harm they cause others. If going by Leviticus, we hope they do not poison, stone, or otherwise viciously abuse or kill people who violate God's laws. And, going by U.S. law, this contract appears unconscionable and unenforceable.
In addition, to further intimidate families from pursuing legal action, they claim whomever pursues legal action agrees to pay for the attorneys' fees of the other party regardless of outcome. This is obscene and is meant to further discourage any action that may hold ABM accountable for abuses they may commit against a child and his/her family. It is outrageous.
ABM shouldn't do illegal and immoral things and if such things are done people have the right to notify the media and warn their fellows of any fraud and abuse that has occurred or is occurring.
And, finally, a fuller admission that the arbitration rules are set by ABM church membership and can be revised by ABM Ministries members at will. This is also unconscionable as including undisclosed terms in a contract that are changeable only by one-side (here ABM) and therefore the contract itself is too protective of ABM's interests without ample and fair consideration of the interests of the families with whom they contract. This contract is written in a manner to intimidate and confuse agreeing parties and to prevent any actions being taken against ABM if and/or when abuses occur. And, according to their own history as a "church", abuses, including sexual abuses, have occurred.
Enrollment Packet (Page 13)
"Authorization for ABM to Use Student's Picture: Second Party hereby authorizes ABM to take or permit to be taken of the Student for use by ABM in publications, newspapers, and/or on television for purpose of public relations for ABM."
This is unconscionable as it violates the privacy rights of the child and the child's likeness is being used to promote a program that very well may be abusing the child. It is disgusting. In addition, it is unconscionable for ABM to use the child and the child's photo for promotion of their program and deny the right to inform the media of abuses as is "barred" by the contract as mentioned above. This is hypocrisy. And, that is something Christians do not put in their contracts.
Enrollment Packet (Page 14)
"Visiting privileges and other Second Party/Student contact, including incoming and outgoing mail and telephone calls, gifts of money or personal property to the Student, will be at the discretion of ABM, and Second Party agrees to be bound by such decisions of ABM."
"Second Party Agrees...to ABM's disciplinary procedures."
"Second Party acknowledges that he/she remains financially responsible for the total cost of any medical, surgical, or dental procedures needed by the Student as a result of an emergency or otherwise."
"Second Party agrees that upon discharge or withdrawal, any unpaid balance for the duration of enrollment shall become due and payable to ABM."
"Second Party agrees to hold ABM, and its agents, employees, and volunteers harmless from, and to indemnify for, any and all liability, actions, causes of actions, claims, expenses, including attorneys' fees, and damages on account of injury to the Student, even injury resulting in death, which Second Party now has/have or which may arise in the future in connection with said enrollment and boarding of the Student at ABM."
"Second Party further agrees to Hold ABM, and its agents, employees, and volunteers harmless from, and to indemnify for, any and all liability, actions, causes of actions, claims, expenses, including attorneys fees, and injury, even injury resulting in death, or damage to a Third Party or his/her property which may arise in the future in connection with the Student's enrollment and boarding at ABM and other associated activities."
"This Agreement contains the entire agreement between the parties hereto and the terms of this Agreement are contractual and not mere recital."
Here again, we have ABM admitting to absolute control over any visitation or communication the parents can have with their own child. This is a serious warning sign of an abusive environment. For more warning signs and questions you should ask any program, see www.heal-online.org/warn.htm.
The contract does not include information detailing ABM's disciplinary procedures, but, again, we pray they are not based on scriptural demands of stoning, poisoning, or trading children or allowing children to be made sexual prey for an offended church member in any private arbitration within the church regarding appropriate punishments based on scriptural dictates as is interpreted by ABM.
ABM wants to insure one thing, that they make money. The entire contract protects their financial interests above all and supports unjust results in regards to disputes. This is unfair and not in line with the principles or teachings of the New Testament.
And, beyond this, ABM takes no responsibility for harm to children in its program, up to and including harm that results in death. This is unconscionable and arguably illegal as well.
In addition, they include that this "Agreement contains the entire agreement and...the terms of this Agreement are contractual." This uses legal terminology and Contract Law is a recognized field of legal study in American law and while assuming to protect itself by claiming it is a legal contract, and at the same time stating that American courts shall not be privy or allowed to hear cases resulting from the contract, they are again contradicting themselves and exhibiting the utmost in unconscionability and hypocrisy.
Also, we reiterate that a parent can sign away their own legal rights, but, not the legal rights of their minor children. See www.heal-online.org/legalarguments.htm for more information. By stating that the parent is waiving the legal rights of the child, this contract is including arguably illegal terms and therefore arguably void as a matter of law.
Enrollment Packet (Page 15)
"ABM an the Second Party agree that in the event of any disagreement or conflict arising from the terms of this Agreement they each will abide by and participate in the Alternative Dispute Resolution procedures developed by ABM and agree to binding arbitration, expressly waiving any and all rights in law and equity to bring any civil disagreement before a court of law."
Again, ABM wants complete control over any dispute resolution and demands families agree to this and waive their legal rights. This is unconscionable.
Enrollment Agreement (Page 16)
"I understand that acceptance of this application by ABM, together with the policies, regulations, and conditions of ABM shall constitute the contract between us. I am enclosing the application fee of $250."
Why does ABM charge such an outrageous application fee? The application is nothing more than unconscionable and/or illegal terms that do nothing but protect the interests of ABM at the family's expense. ABM is outrageous in their money-grabbing.
Enrollment Agreement (Page 18)
"Applicants are only admitted on the express condition that the parents/guardians agree to adhere to all of the policies, regulations, and conditions of ABM."
It is beyond reason that any parent would agree to be controlled or have their family controlled by ABM. Given ABM's history of abuse, it is absurd that they do not provide more guarantees of the safety of their program and explain any improvements they may have made as opposed to taking additional steps to protect their interests at the expense of families they claim to serve.
Enrollment Agreement (Pages 21 & 22)
"This contract is a minimum of 180 days stay."
"Prior to the student arriving at ABM the first month tuition payment of ($1,500.00) is required; additionally an enrollment fee of ($1,500) for Application, Academic Supplies, and Scholastic Assessment is required (Total of $3,000). No refund or release of parental contract will be given unless approved by the program director."
"Any payment not received on or before the first of each month will be charged a late fee of $30.00/day for each day the payment is late."
"It is understood that the student cannot leave the care, instruction, or premises of ABM, without permission of ABM..."
"The student will not be allowed enrollment into ABM unless there is unanimous consent by the parent and student to the rules, and both must sign the rule sheet."
"This Release and Indemnity Agreement is essential to the purpose of the Contract that ABM be protected from legal claims raised by the parent, student, or third parties incident to the Contract."
"The parent will pay for any medical, hospital, or accident expense during the student's stay."
"Parent agrees to execute a separate guardianship agreement turning guardianship over to Larry and Carmen Musgrave of ABM."
"The parent(s) also agree to not hold ABM responsible financially or otherwise for loss or damage of the student's personal property."
The minimum stay appears to be excessive for this type of controlled environment. Generally, severely oppressive and/or controlled environments are limited to very short terms and that is for individuals who are an immediate danger to themselves or others. It is generally not allowed and definitely not healthy for individuals to be placed in such a controlled environment for a long period of time.
Why does ABM charge two application fees? Previously, they stated a charge of $250 for the application fee and again include a second charge of $1,500 which also states it covers the application fee. This appears to be a double-charging for the same service and again reveals the profit-making motives of ABM Ministries. It appears that at a minimum, a family will be charges $9,250. This is an extreme expense for struggling families and given that no real assistance is provided by ABM and that they refuse any responsibility for damages their program may cause, it is a price that is certainly no bargain.
How much duress is the child put under to "agree to" and "sign" the rules form for ABM? With complete control of the child and no perceived risk of being held accountable for harms done to the child, this would likely be unenforceable against the child. In addition, minors are not legally held to contracts, including and especially those agreements made in duress and in a breach of fiduciary responsibility by the parent or other authority. Again, this is not legal advice and you should always consult an attorney prior to pursuing legal action.
Repeated again are the protections of ABM against any claims, up to and including claims of wrongful death, as well as explicitly stating the parents are responsible for any expenses resulting from injuries sustained by their child while enrolled at ABM.
We also see that full guardianship is required to be turned over to the Musgraves. This again contradicts the claims that it is a limited "power of attorney" for emergencies only and shows the misleading language of the contract.
The final segment reviewed from the contract permits ABM to steal from your child and states that you will not hold ABM liable for any items lost, stolen, or otherwise disposed of by ABM. Killing and stealing are violations of the ten commandments. If ABM is not following God's law and not following American law, exactly whom or what do they serve and obey?
We heartily recommend you do not place your child in ABM Family Preparatory/Lighthouse Christian Academy and ask that if you have placed your child in this program, that you consider and execute an immediate rescue of your child from this program.
|Runaway teen found in Wayne County Posted: Jun 10, 2014 3:54 PM PDT Updated: Jun 10, 2014 8:07 PM PDT Amber Ruch - email Marcell McDuffy is missing from a home for troubled teens in the Piedmont, Mo. area. (Source: Wayne County Sheriff's Office) Heartland NewsMore>> Chaffee, MO man drowns in Current River Chaffee, MO man drowns in Current River Updated: Sunday, June 15 2014 7:52 PM EDT2014-06-15 23:52:55 GMTover 29 minutes agoJun 15, 2014 4:52 PM PDT Authorities say the man jumped off a rock and never resurfaced. Authorities say the man jumped off a rock and never resurfaced. Man in custody following early-morning police chase in Cape Girardeau Man in custody following early-morning police chase in Cape Girardeau Updated: Sunday, June 15 2014 4:47 PM EDT2014-06-15 20:47:04 GMTover 3 hours agoJun 15, 2014 1:47 PM PDT A man is in police custody following an early-morning police chase. A man is in police custody following an early-morning police chase. Airport gets $1.5M grant to build taxiway Airport gets $1.5M grant to build taxiway Updated: Sunday, June 15 2014 4:31 PM EDT2014-06-15 20:31:00 GMTover 3 hours agoJun 15, 2014 1:31 PM PDT Muhlenberg County Airport has been awarded a $1.5 million federal grant to complete a parallel taxiway. Muhlenberg County Airport has been awarded a $1.5 million federal grant to complete a parallel taxiway. Gov. Quinn signs law banning police ticket quotas in IL Gov. Quinn signs law banning police ticket quotas in IL Updated: Sunday, June 15 2014 4:09 PM EDT2014-06-15 20:09:37 GMTJun 15, 2014 1:09 PM PDTJun 15, 2014 1:09 PM PDT Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation to immediately ban police ticket quotas. Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation to immediately ban police ticket quotas. Opinions mixed on impact of 'right to farm' issue Opinions mixed on impact of 'right to farm' issue Updated: Sunday, June 15 2014 4:08 PM EDT2014-06-15 20:08:44 GMTJun 15, 2014 1:08 PM PDTJun 15, 2014 1:08 PM PDT The impact of a proposed amendment to Missouri's Constitution that would guarantee residents' right to "engage in agricultural production and ranching practices" is unclear, with some on both sides of the... The impact of a proposed amendment to Missouri's Constitution that would guarantee residents' right to "engage in agricultural production and ranching practices" is unclear, with some on both sides of the issue... PIEDMONT, MO (KFVS) - A teenager that ran away from a home for troubled teens in Wayne County has been found. According to Wayne County Sheriff Dean Finch, 16-year-old Marcell McDuffy came out of the woods just before 10:00 p.m. on June 10 when he heard the tracking dogs and search crews. Sheriff Finch said McDuffy was scared and apologized for leaving the home. He climbed out of a window at the home on June 9. McDuffy is enrolled at ABM Ministries, a home for troubled teens, by his parents who are from Washington state. Investigators were worried about McDuffy because he has no ties to the area and hadn't been in contact with his family. Copyright 2014 KFVS. All rights reserved. Source: http://www.kfvs12.com/story/25744209/sheriffs-office-investigating-runaway-teen-from-piedmont-mo-area|
March 18th, 2019
Last Updated: March 18th, 2019