This is a  staff list for Liahona Academy in Virgin, UT

(a.k.a. Premier Education Seminars, World Wide Association of Specialty Programs (and Schools), WWASP, WWASPS, Family Support Network, Resource Realizations, Liahona Academy for Youth)

(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 Liahona 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 Liahona Academy, you have the right to take action.

 

If you were harmed (family or survivor) by Liahona Academy, please contact info@heal-online.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 donít place your loved one in Liahona Academy and rescue them if they are there now. 

 

Name

Unit/Position

Additional Information
Clayton AhQuin Jr. Executive Director Son of Founder  ("Clay" left a voice-mail for HEAL without stating his purpose for calling.  We invite "Clay" to e-mail our organization at heal@heal-online.org or check out www.heal-online.org/helpteen.htm for directions in how to request removal from HEAL's watchlist.  "Clay" may also wish to check out some of our exchanges with other program representatives by visiting www.heal-online.org/brianchurch.pdf or reviewing the staff lists for other programs.  We are unclear on whether "Clay" was Clay Jr. or Sr., below.)
Clayton AhQuin Sr. Activities Director Founder.  AhQuin reportedly takes the children to his home to perform manual labor.
Parker Haslam  Program Director Haslam has worked in the industry since 2004.
(Dr.) Brent Price Therapist  
(Dr.) Norm Thibault Therapist Norm was appointed by Utah Governor Mike Leavitt as the Marriage and Family Therapist representative on the State of Utah Rural Mental Health Financial Assistance Board from 2001 until 2003 and has been a member of the utah Association of Marriage and Family Therapy Board of Directors since 2004. He is a Clinical Member and an Approved Supervisor for the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.
Brad Christiansen (aka Christensen) Headmaster/Principal Studied at BYU.  Other reported spellings of last name "Christensen".
Julie Sanders Teacher Sanders has been with Liahona since 2007.
Ruth Jeppson Teacher Jeppson no longer works for Liahona Academy.
Lynne Williams Teacher Williams no longer works for Liahona Academy.
Lisa Anderson Teacher Anderson no longer works for Liahona Academy.
Brent Price Therapist  
Thane Palmer Therapist Formerly worked for WWASPS/Cross Creek.
Taylor Jacobson Office Manager  
Carolyn Callahan Case Manager Formerly worked for WWASPS/Cross Creek.
Warren Williams Case Manager  
Linda Crosby Teacher  
Renee (last name unknown) Teacher  
David Mangelson Academic Director  
Constantine (Gus) Carayas Teacher  
Linda Crosby Teacher  
Karyn Vincent Teacher  
Sheila Smith Teacher  
Feso Malufau Teacher  
Dale Cornelius Teacher  
Rebeccas Nelson Teacher  
Marsha Postert Teacher  
Kokys Scarth Teacher
Claine Tanner Teacher
Greg Berry Teacher  
Braxton Thornley Teacher  
Malia Colby Teacher  
Barbie Christensen Teacher  
Todd Vowell Owner Please see articles and lawsuit below regarding Vowell's history of fraud in business.
Beverly Carayas Case Worker  
NO OTHER NAMES NO OTHER TITLES There is no additional information on staff at this location at this time.*
OTHER OTHER Liahona Academy Ė Located in Leeds, Utah. The description is similar to a WWASP
program. The corporate filing places the address of this academy in Hurricane, Utah. The
directions to the program appear to directions to Cross Creek Academy. The head
schoolmaster is Brad Christensen (Family name from Skywest, Northwest Association of
Schools, Universities, and Programs as well as WWASP). St. George addresses matched
those used by WWASP.

 

OTHER 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

Cross Creek Programs in Utah  Also see: www.provotruthexposed.com for video testimony from a family defrauded by Cross Creek/WWASPS.

Horizon Academy in Nevada

Darrington Academy (reportedly closed) in Georgia

Eagle Point Christian Academy in Mississippi

Tranquility Bay in Jamaica (reportedly closed)

High Impact in Mexico (reportedly closed)

Casa by the Sea (reportedly closed)

*(Liahona Academy, 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.)
Liahona Academy is believed to be a WWASPS program and WWASPS is currently facing a class action lawsuit from victims of WWASPS' programs.

HEAL SPECIAL REPORT:

LIAHONA ACADEMY

ENROLLMENT AGREEMENT REVIEW

The Liahona Academy Enrollment Agreement made available to HEAL is incomplete.  It does not include details of the program or the program's level system(s).  There are a few areas of concern that have arisen in regards to the enrollment agreement itself.  We will be alternating between "quoted text" from pages of Liahona Academy's (Liahona/Liahona's)  Enrollment Agreement (as was downloaded from liahonaacademy.com on October 10th, 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 Agreement (Page 1)

"The Guardians attest that they are the legal guardians, having both physical and legal custody, of _________________, hereinafter "the Boy", whose birth date is _______________, and is being enrolled into the Academy."

"Guardians give their approval and consent for the Boy to participate in all activities and programs of the Academy, including, but not limited to, transportation, work projects, treatment programs, activities on and off grounds, and/or intervention when deemed necessary by the staff at the Academy, unless excluded by law."

"After the applicable contractual period has expired, this Agreement will automatically convert to a month-to-month contact."  Upon the conversion to a month-to-month contract, the Guardian will be required to provide the Academy with a 30 day cancellation notice to terminate the month-to-month contract."

"Six (6) month Enrollment Period - the 6 month enrollment period contains different pricing terms.  Please inquire about the details."

"Nine (9) month Enrollment Period"

"Twelve (12) month Enrollment Period"

"IF THE BOY IS REMOVED FROM THE ACADEMY PRIOR TO THE END OF THE ELECTED ENROLLMENT PERIOD, THERE MAY BE CERTAIN PENALTIES THAT APPLY."

"While the contractual Enrollment Period may be equal to or less than a twelve (12) months, the Guardians should understand that the program has best results in terms of outcome when boys are in the program for at least twelve (12) months, or more."

HEAL's Questions/Concerns

There are only two accredited/approved schools in Utah with the word "Liahona" in their names.  These are Liahona Distance Education and Liahona Preparatory Academy located at 2464 W 450 S, Pleasant Grove, UT 84062.  The two approved schools appear to be operating out of the same location.  And, that location is neither in St. George nor Virgin, Utah, where Liahona Academy for Youth, LLC claims to operate.  This raises serious concerns regarding the transferability of credits earned while at Liahona Academy.  Parents should investigate the legitimacy of the academic services provided at any program they consider as many graduates of these programs have had difficulty with having their credits/diplomas honored by legitimate schools and colleges.

Parents should ask what types of work projects their children will be assigned and whether Liahona Academy receives any benefit or compensation for farming the boys out to labor for neighboring businesses or for the program itself.  Parents should also inquire as to how their children are being compensated for their labor, if at all, and investigate whether or not child labor laws are being violated at the program.  All of these raise serious concerns.

The misspelling of the word "contract" is written as shown in Liahona Academy's materials.  It is their clerical error, not ours.

It is a concern that this contract contains "penalties" clauses and this suggests an unconscionable contract given the subject matter of the agreement.

It is a serious concern that the program believes it is most effective the longer the boy is in the program.  This suggests a profit-driven as opposed to family-needs driven motive for the program and raises serious ethical concerns.

Enrollment Agreement (Page 2)

"Guardians hereby enroll the Boy in Liahona Academy for Youth, LLC, with the effective date as stated above, and upon completion of this Agreement and acceptance by the Academy; the Academy promises provide the following the services:

"a. Room and Board"

"b. Academic Programs"

"c. Therapy/Treatment"

"d. Supervision"

"Guardians understand and agree that the Academy will make changes in services, staffing, and program content at their sole discretion such materials may be outdated or become outdated as changes or adjustments may occur during the admittance or enrollment period of the Boy.  The Guardians understand and agree that the Academy makes no promise in terms of outcome or results.  The Academy also does not accept responsibility for any services represented orally by any of its Program staff, sales representatives, or public relations personnel.  Therefore, Liahona Academy does not accept responsibility for services written in sales material, pamphlets, or brochures, as such materials may be outdated or become outdated as changes or adjustments may occur during the admittance or enrollment period of the Boy."

"The monthly tuition is $6,500 per month with individual therapy sessions included."

"Guardians agree to pay the Academy upon admission a one time (non-refundable) processing fee of Two-Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500.00)."

HEAL's Questions/Concerns

Promises cannot provide services.  The language of the contract appears to be written as a tool to confuse as opposed to inform the parent/guardian and is a serious concern.

Harvard University, including room and board, costs less than this unaccredited academy providing less than equal services.  "Harvard University will increase tuition next school year by 3.8 percent, the school announced yesterday, bringing the annual cost of a Harvard education, including room and board, to $50,724." (Source: boston.com, March 19th, 2010)  This suggests a profit-motive and a scam being run on families in need of real help, not further hardship.

Later in the contract and even in the disclaimer following the vague and non-descript "services" they provide (a.-d. above), the services are subject to change at the sole discretion of the program.  So, even if they immediately discontinue "individual therapy" or decide that phone calls home constitute such therapy (as other programs suggest in their contracts/materials), parents and children are very likely not going to get what they think they bargained for based on the complete package as was represented to them by program staff, sales representatives, and promotional materials.  This is a serious concern.

Following what they claim to provide, they disclaim any claim they have made in promotional materials.  This suggests that Liahona Academy is one of many programs that use deceptive marketing practices and such was a primary area of concern in the 2007 and 2008 congressional hearings resulting in legislation still awaiting successful passage of both the House and the Senate.  The House of Representatives passed HR 911 in 2010 and it did not get past the Senate HELP Committee for a vote.  Now, we are waiting for the legislation to work its way through Congress and into the President's hands.  This has been going on since 2004/2005.  And, the children and families need protection now.  This is why organizations like HEAL do what we do.

For the minimum stay "recommended" by Liahona Academy of 12-months (or more), the minimum cost amounts to $80,500.  That is 12 months x $6500 = $78,000 + $2,500 for the non-refundable "processing" fee=$80,500.  This is going to a program in Utah that appears to not offer legitimate educational or therapeutic services and claims the right to change the services included in the contract at their sole discretion.  Are you really willing to pay some strangers in Utah more than Harvard tuition to do as they please with your child, enslave your child, and likely destroy your child's chances at success in life?  If so, then you really ought to look into personal therapy for yourself as your priorities and reasoning skills are grossly lacking to the point of near incompetence. 

Enrollment Agreement (Page 3)

"In addition to monthly tuition, the Guardians agree to pay for the following expenses incurred by the Boy; expenses will be billed to the Guardians monthly as they occur:"

"Medical, dental, orthodontic, optical, urinalysis, lab work, etc."

"Airline or other forms of commercial travel."

"The Guardians agree to pay for a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation at $275.00 if needed or desired by the Guardian or the Academy."

"Other expenses related to the well-being or needs of the Boy not otherwise provided in accordance with this agreement.  Examples of this might be special school activities, vocational training, private tutoring beyond the regular Program, private music lesson, athletics, insurance billings, or other specialized training or activities outside of the regular program."

"Expenses for the assistance in the return of a runaway boy.  In the event that the boy leaves the Academy without authorization, the Academy will use reasonable efforts to assist the Guardian(s) in finding the boy and in obtaining his safe return.  An accounting of the expenses incurred by the Academy while assisting the Guardian(s) in finding and returning the Boy will be made to the Guardian(s).  Responsibility for damage to or loss of property caused by the Boy.  Guardian(s) agree to be financially responsible for the costs of repairing or replacing any property lost, stolen, damaged, defaced, or destroyed by their son that are not covered by insurance."

HEAL's Questions/Concerns

It is a serious concern that a professional psychiatric evaluation comes at an additional cost when this program claims that therapy/treatment costs are included in the monthly tuition.  This suggests a contradiction in the terms of the agreement and that the agreement is unconscionable as it provides very little, if anything of value at all, for such a steep price.

It is a concern that the program claims to treat children with special needs, but, will charge extra to provide for children with special needs.  This again suggests a profit-driven motive that is not in line with family values.

Other programs, such as Anasazi, recognize that they have at least a 50% responsibility towards children in their care in the event of a runaway.  And, Anasazi accepts 50% of the financial responsibility when such situations arise.  HEAL does not recommend Anasazi or any program.  However, we include this to show that some programs do take more responsibility for the children in their care than others.  And, Liahona Academy for Youth, LLC is on the irresponsible side.  Parents should not trust their children with irresponsible strangers.

Enrollment Agreement (Page 4)

"The Guardian understands and agrees that the Academy, at its sole discretion or need, may at anytime change the amount or type of therapy provided for the boy.  This includes changes, reductions, suspensions, or elimination of formal group or individual therapy sessions."

"The Academy provides a high level of supervision, but it is understood that the supervision provided, regardless of status, does not guarantee that accidents, harm, self-injury, runaways, sexual activity, or use of substances cannot happen.  These risks are present in any segment of society no matter how controlled or protected.  The Guardian understands these risks, and agrees to hold harmless, and release the Academy, and its staff, from all liability associated with these areas."

"The Guardian understand and agree that the Academy provides an academic system that in most cases will allow the student to accelerate his credits for work completed and skill and aptitude achieved.  Therefore, the Guardians understand and agree that the Academy cannot ensure, nor be liable, for how quickly the boy will receive credits, if any at all, or that the boy will receive credits in any certain subjects."

"It is also understood and agreed that the cost of telephone calls is the responsibility of the Guardians.  The Guardians understand and agree that the Family's Case Manager will set aside a 15-minute period of time on the first initial week of enrollment to properly get acquainted with each parent/guardian and to give an update on the boy's status and well being.  The Guardians understand and agree that the Family's Case Manager will then set aside a 20-minute period of time each week after the first initial week of enrollment for the family to contact the Case Manager for communication and an update from the Program.  The Guardian understands and agrees that the Case Manager will need to set the time of the calls as the Case Manager will need to coordinate the call as not to interfere with calls already scheduled for other families and that the Case Manager has other responsibilities that cannot be adjusted as they have to be accomplished at certain pre-arranged times.  It is understood and agreed that the family will need to contact the Program at the time set by the Case Manager.  It is further understood and agreed that the family will need to keep their calls within the 20 minutes set aside for the family.  It is also understood that due to illness or unexpected leaves, there may be some weeks that the Case Manager may not be available to receive the phone call from the family.  In such cases, the family may contact the Director or his Assistants for an update, if the Case Manager has not made other arrangements."

"The Guardians understand and agree to follow the Program's Visit and Phone Policies as follows: all communication between the family and the boy will be through written mail for at least the first three (3) months.  Then when approved by the boy's Treatment Team, which includes the Therapist, Case Manager, Director, and other staff as needed; weekly phone calls between the boy and the guardians will be orchestrated by the Case Manager and Therapist.  Visits may occur when the boy has progressed in the program, but only as approved by the Treatment Team." (ends on page 5)

HEAL's Questions/Concerns

It is a serious concern that the child may receive no legitimate therapy while at this "therapeutic program" and that such is provided, if at all, at the sole discretion of Liahona Academy.  Liahona Academy has a profit-motive to limit the services provided and appears to do just that.  Parents should understand that this contract does not promise to provide any legitimate therapy to boys in the program.  And, that should raise serious concerns given the costs associated with this program.

It is a serious concern that if your son is raped, physically abused, attempts suicide, or is exposed to illicit drug use that the program refuses to take any responsibility for failure to adequately supervise the children or to act in a way to protect from severe and criminal assaults.  So, no therapy and possible exposure to and victimization by means of rape, physical abuse, and illicit drug exposure.  And, you plan to pay them over $80,000 for this?  What are you thinking?

The third paragraph above shows that the program kind of admits that the credits earned in their academic program are not necessarily worth anything and this is a serious concern.  So, again...  You plan to and/or are paying over $80,000 to a program where your son may be provided no legitimate therapy, no transferable academic credits, and where he may be exposed to and/or suffer rape, physical abuse, and exposure to illicit drugs in a cult-like atmosphere where he cannot report to the proper authorities...  And, you think this is a good idea and will save his life...  Are you sure you shouldn't be looking into therapy for yourself?  Seriously, you have difficulty with basis reasoning skills and with taking responsible action for your family if you are considering Liahona Academy. 

It is a serious concern that the family is not allowed to speak with their son during any portion of their son's stay at this program.  This is a warning sign of an abusive program.  See www.heal-online.org/warn.htm for additional warning signs and questions you should ask any program you consider.  It also seems unreasonable to charge families over $80,500 and then demand that they cover all costs and follow the schedule imposed by the so-called "Case Manager".  Where is the respect for the time, needs, and investments made by the family? 

It is a serious concern that visitation is not permitted and open communication is denied to the child during the first few months of the program.  These are serious warning signs of abuse and cult-like practices.  Please see www.heal-online.org/warn.htm for detailed information on the warning signs and questions you should ask.

Enrollment Agreement (Page 5)

"The Guardians understand and agree that the Academy shall be released of any liability and responsibilities in connection with food poisoning or illnesses caused by food service."

"The Guardians agree that the Academy shall not be responsible or liable for loss, damage, neglect, misplacement, or theft of the boy's property regardless of how it occurred."

"The Guardian understands that there is a significant amount of transportation and that the risk of traffic accidents is always present.  The Guardian agrees to hold harmless and release the Academy from all liability for such accidents, any injuries, or fatalities resulting there from.  Guardians give the Academy permission to transport the boy as determined by the Academy."

"The Guardians agree to hold harmless and release Liahona Academy and its staff from all liability associated with medications."

"Guardians hereby give consent and authorize the Academy to administer to the Boy if needed, a routine urinalysis or blood test for drugs.  If needed, the Guardians agree to pay for such expenses."

"If the Boy is ever deemed, by the sole discretion of the Academy, to be a potential danger to himself or others, the Guardians authorize the Academy to confine the boy in a special needs room away from the interaction of others, where he will remain under the close observation and supervision of a staff member until such time that the staff feel he is no longer a significant danger to himself and others.  The Guardians understand that all such decisions are judgment calls and are wide open to human or judgment error.  Guardians agree to hold harmless and release the Academy from any liability resulting from any decisions to place or discontinue placement of a boy on observation status."

"Guardians hereby give consent and authorize the Academy to search the personal effects and person of the Boy upon the initial enrollment into the Program and at anytime that may arise during the Boy's enrollment as deemed necessary by the Academy or it's staff.  The Academy is hereby authorized to confiscate any and all items deemed, by the Academy, to be contraband.  The Academy will dispose of all contraband items.  The Guardians understand and agree that the Academy takes no responsibility for the care or return of confiscated items."

HEAL's Questions/Concerns

It is a serious concern that this program takes no responsibility for the quality of the food it serves children and for any poisoning or food-borne illness that results.  Generally, the explanation for the high costs of treatment programs is the insurance they have to purchase in order to operate.  However, this program does not appear to be properly insured or to take necessary precautions to protect children in their care.  This certainly raises concerns regarding the high costs associated with the program.  If the program is not properly insured to cover accidents, car accidents, food poisoning, and any other problem associated with irresponsible or careless actions, then the program is a serious problem in itself. 

It is unconscionable for the program to require any accidental or intentional loss of or harm to property be covered by the family when it refused to cover the loss or harm to property caused by its own negligent or intentional conduct.  This is a serious concern.

It is a serious concern that the program may "encourage" or even "force" a child to be medicated on psychotropic drugs that can and do cause serious side effects, illness, and death.  It is a serious concern that Liahona refuses to take responsibility for any complications or issues arising from administering such medications to children at the facility. 

HEAL has received reports regarding other programs in which the programs claimed to provide lab work/urinalysis/etc. and charged families for such work when the lab work was never performed.  Parents should always demand originals of any statements from labs doing the analyzing and should check with the lab to insure the report is for their child and not someone else.  In fact, samples taken by the lab should be sent to the family's local physician to be compared and analyzed to insure that the sample is from their own child and that there isn't something else going on.

It is a serious concern that this program uses isolation ("observation") or solitary confinement.  Parents should ask what is the longest period of time a child has spent in isolation in the program.  At other programs, survivors have reported spending months in isolation/solitary confinement.  This is a serious concern as such prolonged isolation is considered torture by those working in human rights circles.  It is an additional serious concern that Liahona, being aware of the negative impact isolation has on children, demands to be released of liability for any harm caused by solitary confinement.  Why are you still considering this program?

It remains a serious concern that the program can steal from your child and do as they wish with his possessions without worry in regards to being held liable for such loss and destruction of personal property.  This program is not leading by example nor teaching mutual respect as a basis for relating to one another and this is a serious concern.

Enrollment Agreement (Page 6)

"The Guardians understand that the Academy's Behavior Modification Program includes rewards and incentives for appropriate behavior; and consequences and deterrents for inappropriate behavior or rule violations.  Rewards and incentives include earning points, privileges, trust, and status advancements.  Consequences include loss of points, loss of privileges, loss of status, and the writing of essays (300-3,500 words in length)...The Guardians authorize the Academy to apply the behavior Modification techniques described herein and any others deemed by the Academy to be necessary."

"Guardians hereby give consent and authorization to the Academy personnel to physically restrain, control and detain the Boy if needed for and including, but not limited to, the following purposes: escort to or from the Academy; to prevent the Boy from running away from the Academy; to prevent the Boy from jeopardizing his safety or the safety of others; to prevent entering an unauthorized area; to prevent the destruction of property."

"Any restrictions or curtailments of the Boy's privileges or rights as outlined and authorized in this Enrollment Agreement; are done by the Academy or its staff on behalf of, and as agents for, the Guardians."

"The Guardian(s) hereby releases the Academy from any liability that may result from the Boys participation in religious services."

"LIAHONA ACADEMY may perform any and all acts necessary as determined in their judgment, or the judgment of each of them severally, for the health, welfare, and progress of the Boy, including, but not limited to (decisions in your place and stead), consents for hospitalization and/or consent for medical treatment, assistance and medical aid, psychological examination and assistance, of whatever nature, including surgery of any kind."

"There are also some inherent risks, including, but not limited to, illnesses, infections, injuries, accidents, and fatalities, etc.  The Guardian agrees to hold harmless and release the Academy and its staff, from all liability for any injuries, illnesses, or other damages occurring to the Boy during his presence at the Academy, whether on or off the Academy property."

HEAL's Questions/Concerns

Parents and interested parties should education themselves regarding what programs like Liahona Academy mean when they say they are a "Behavior Modification Program".  Please see our free e-book on behavior modification and our brief description of the model used at similar programs available here.  The fact that they use this model is a serious concern.

It is a serious concern that this program uses restraint to control and detain a child, an American citizen, without due process of law.  This suggests that the program violates the child's civil rights (see www.heal-online.org/legalarguments.htm or www.heal-online.org/provocases.htm).  The program may not advise you as to which of their practices are legal and which are not, but, they are certainly insuring by the language of the contract itself that the parents, ignorant or not of the law, are held solely accountable for any harm caused by the program.  And, this is unconscionable.

What religious services will the children be exposed to and are they rewarded for some religious choices over others?  This is a serious concern. 

It is a serious concern that the contract includes permission for Liahona Academy to arrange for any surgery at the Academy's discretion.  Lobotomies are surgeries and this is a concern given the nature and goals of the behavior modification model used by Liahona Academy and similar programs.

It is a serious concern that inherent risks of the program include serious injury and death and that the program demands to be released of all liability for such harm even when intentionally or negligently caused by the program or its staff.  This is unconscionable and a serious concern. 

Enrollment Agreement (Page 7)

"GUARDIANS AGREE TO BE SUBJECT TO JURISDICTION OF UTAH COURTS IN ANY DISPUTE BETWEEN THE PARTIES TO THIS AGREEMENT...Moreover, the parties agree that Utah law shall govern this Agreement.  In the event any part of this Agreement is determined to be invalid or unenforceable the remaining provisions of this Agreement shall remain valid and enforceable according to applicable law."

"At such point, the Guardian will be required to provide a 30 day cancellation notice to terminate the month-to-month obligation.  The monthly tuition will also remain the same."

"However, if the Guardians desire to withdraw the Boy from the Academy, they must provide the Academy with a two (2) month written notice prior to the actual withdrawal.  If the Guardians withdraw the Boy without giving a two (2) month written notice, or if the Guardians withdraw the Boy before the two (2) month notice has expired, the Guardians will be required to pay the Academy any amount equal to the remaining tuition due under the two (2) month withdrawal notice...This "loss" amount is not considered by either of the parties to this Agreement as a penalty for early withdrawal of the Boy, but is intended to reimburse the Academy for costs budgeting commitments made by the Academy in connection with the enrollment of the Boy."

"If the Boy's enrollment is involuntarily terminated by the Academy, the Guardian will forfeit any remaining tuition for the month in which the Boy's enrollment is terminated."

"The Guardians do hereby acknowledge that the Boy enrolling may have had previous suicidal tendencies but exhibits no signs or symptoms at this time and the Guardians hereby releases Liahona Academy and all employees from any liability from a suicide or suicide attempt."

HEAL's Questions/Concerns

It is a concern that this program accepts children from other states but refuses to have disputes resolved in other states.  Utah laws protect programs over their victims (children and families).  And, this is an additional concern.

It is a concern that the program contradicts itself stating a 30-day cancellation/withdrawal notice is required and then contradicting this with the 2-month requirement in the very next paragraph.  This is contradictory and a serious concern.  In addition, on page 1 of the enrollment agreement, Liahona Academy claims that penalties apply when children are removed from the program and then on page 7 above, states that the fees are liquidated damages not penalties (because penalty clauses are generally void/voidable). 

It is a concern that Liahona Academy does not refund money to families when they dismiss a boy, yet, requires damages be paid to them if the family later changes their mind.  This is unfair and shows an unconscionable/imbalanced contract.

It is a serious concern that suicide and suicide attempts are common at programs like Liahona Academy and that Liahona doesn't take necessary precautions to insure a safe environment when they claim to be a therapeutic program.  It is also a concern that Liahona Academy accepts no responsibility for the safety of children in the program.

Enrollment Agreement (Page 9)

"From time to time, each boy in the Program may have a need to be seen by a doctor.  In most cases any medical needs can be met by a visit to the local doctor's office in Hurricane, UT.  However, since the Guardians are out of the general location the doctor's office requires that the Guardian give them a deposit of $150.00 before they will see the boy.  Therefore, upon enrollment the Guardians must either arrange for payment directly with the Hurricane Family Clinic, located in Hurricane, UT or the Guardians must send a check to Liahona Academy for $150.00 made out to: Hurricane Family Clinic."

"OPTION #1"

"We would like the Staff at Liahona Academy to take our boy to a doctor anytime he feels he needs to see a doctor or anytime there are any symptoms no matter how slight.  We understand and agree to be financially responsible for the medical attention and for the transportation/supervision ($30.00 per trip to Hurricane, $40.00 per trip to St. George).  We also understand that the doctor's office in Hurricane is closed in the evenings and on weekends; any medical attention would be performed at the hospital in St. George during those times."

"OPTION #2"

"We would like the staff at Liahona Academy to use judgment in determining when to take our boy to see the doctor.  We understand that the staff at Liahona Academy are not medical staff and like any parent, they could make mistakes in judgment, such as not getting the boy medical attention as early as recommended, or even as early as they should to avoid complications.  Understanding this risk, we still request that the Academy and its staff use judgment in determining when our boy needs medical attention and hereby hold harmless and release the Academy and its staff from all liability associated with the judgment of the staff in this area."

"Note: Unless the Guardians release the Academy and its staff from all liability associated with the use of judgment in this area, the Academy and its staff would have no choice but to take the boy to the doctors' office every time he felt it was needed or there were symptoms of illness, no matter how slight.  Otherwise the potential for making a mistake in judgment is too great for the Academy to shoulder the responsibility of liability of this area."

HEAL's Questions/Concerns

Liahona Academy has chosen the language of this section.  Readers will notice that this section of the agreement does not permit for a third alternative, an alternative in which every physical complaint made by the child is submitted to the family and the family chooses to approve of scheduling a doctor's appointment.  Children generally do not like going to the doctor, especially one they are not familiar with and whom would contract with Liahona Academy in any capacity.  So, it is highly unlikely that a child would make repeated false complaints to see a physician.  Parents would do well to give the authority of deciding when medical intervention is necessary to their son or demand to be included in any and all decisions regarding medical care. 

Liahona Academy has a special interest in protecting itself from discovery of harm caused to children by the program and its staff.  Since children have been serious injured and/or have died as a result of not obtaining proper medical attention for a child while enrolled in programs like Liahona Academy, it is unwise to leave the decision in the program's hands.  Of course, we are at a loss why anyone who has read through the rest of this review is still considering Liahona Academy. 

Enrollment Agreement (Page 11)

"DURING THE PAST YEAR HAS THE CHILD EXPERIENCED ANY:"

"Venereal disease?"

"HAS YOUR CHILD EVER BEEN:"

"Sexually abused?"

"Physically abused?"

"Psychologically abused?"

"Classified as neglected by child welfare?"

HEAL's Questions/Concerns

It is a serious concern that since Liahona Academy is not a medical facility that they ask for such personal/private medical data on incoming students.  These are questions no public school asks prior to enrollment and raise serious concerns.  What exactly does the program intend to do with the child that it needs to know whether or not the child has a venereal disease?

If your child has never been sexually, physically, or psychologically abused, let's keep it that way.  Do not enroll them in a program in Utah, this includes Liahona Academy.

Enrollment Agreement (Pages 13-14)

"We, the Parent(s)/Guardian(s) of ______________ hereby authorize LIAHONA ACADEMY FOR YOUTH, LLC, 543 North Bluff Street, St. George, UT 84770, to obtain medical care for him in the event of an illness, injury, or other emergency."

"RELEASE OF INFORMATION AND RECORDS"

"Name:"

"SS#"

"Date of Birth"

"TYPE OF INFORMATION SPECIFIED INFORMATION/RECORDS"

"Educational"

"Medical/Dental"

"Therapeutic"

"Psychiatric/Psychological"

HEAL's Questions/Concerns

Liahona Academy repeatedly requests permission to get medical care in the event it is needed and this is a reasonable request.  The issue is with their stated purpose to avoid all liability for illness, injury, and death due to their own negligence or intentional misconduct.  This is a serious concern.

It is a serious concern that the child's full name, social security number, and date of birth are to be kept by Liahona Academy.  Since the program does not appear to be an accredited school nor a medical facility, entrusting such personally identifying data to them is a concern.

It is a serious concern that the program requests educational records, though it appears to not provide properly accredited and regulated academic services. 

It is a serious concern that the program requests medical/dental records, though it is not a medical facility.

It is a serious concern that the program requests therapeutic/psychiatric/psychological records when it disclaims providing or extending therapeutic/psychiatric/psychological counseling to all children in the program and when it charges extra for some of these services.  Charging extra suggests that the psychiatric services are provided by third-parties and therefore while the third-parties should request medical/psychiatric records, such should not be made available to those lacking professional standing.

Enrollment Agreement (Pages 15-17)

"This form is provided by  LIAHONA ACADEMY FOR YOUTH, LLC, for the purpose of obtaining your son's school and psychological/psychiatric records."

"Has your student been employed?"

"Kind of work?"

"Job Performance?  _______Poor ________Good __________Adequate_________Excellent"

"Boy's Name"

HEAL's Questions/Concerns

It is a serious concern that private records are being shared with a program that has not shown that it handles or understands these records.

It should be up to the young man to discuss any former employment with the program.  The likely reason the program wants this information is so it can farm the kid out and make money off of his skills/labor.  Also, it is up to the former employer to discuss the young man's job performance, not his parents.  Also, the young man's perspective on what happened with any employer or what happens in his family should be included and respected when doing a proper evaluation of the situation and his part in it.

Enrollment Agreement (Page 18)

"On a scale of 1-5, please rate and describe your child's past performances in the following areas"

"AUTHORITY Responds to parental authority:"

Negative 1   2   3    4    5   Positive

"FRIENDS Has a variety of friends"

Negative 1   2   3    4    5   Positive

"SELF IMAGE  Self image, attitudes, personal goals"

Negative 1   2   3    4    5   Positive

"CHURCH Activity"

Negative 1   2   3    4    5   Positive

HEAL's Questions/Concerns

It is a serious concern that such a subjective rating scale is used to determine areas to be "corrected" through coercive thought reform/behavior modification techniques.  This is very unprofessional.

It is healthy and part of being American to question authority and/or rebel.  The United States would not exist, if not for rebellion against the British Empire.  And, parents are sometimes unreasonable in their expectations and abuse their authority.  For instance, sending a child to a behavior modification facility in the middle of Utah would be considered an abuse of such authority and arguably illegal.  See www.heal-online.org/legalarguments.htm for more information.  Again, this is not legal advice.  If you need legal advice, consult an attorney.

Parents are unlikely in a position to answer any questions about the child's self image or friends given the fact that they are scapegoating their child and sending them to Utah instead of working out family differences through open communication.  This suggests there is a communication problem in the family as a whole and this is an issue that can only be resolved through family therapy.

It is a serious concern that the program may be used to impose a specific religion on the child.  This is the United States and children have constitutional rights, including freedom of religion.  Programs and parents have no right to impose or brainwash through cult-exposure children in their care/their children.  Young adults have the right to learn about other points of view and be self-determining in regards to their personal faith or lack of faith.  And, it is such a personal issue that it cannot be effectively imposed upon another.  Trying to do so is unethical and violates the child's civil rights.

Enrollment Agreement (Pages 20-21)

"As legal Guardian(s), having both legal and physical custody of ______________, whose date of birth is _________.  We direct LIAHONA ACADEMY and its staff to send all outgoing and incoming mail (except for those sent from us, or those that are approved) for ______________to us.  We will take all responsibility for the mail for this directive.  It is understood that LIAHONA ACADEMY is operating at our discretion in this behalf."

"In an effort to keep our fees as low as possible, any telephone calls made to the parents from the designated Family Therapist/Counselor by the boy or staff (pertaining to the child's care, disposition, education, or treatment) will be made on a collect-call basis."

"I/we, the undersigned, do hereby give authorization for LIAHONA ACADEMY FOR YOUTH, LLC personnel to make telephone calls to the numbers listed below, as necessary to discuss my child's care, disposition, education, or treatment."

HEAL's Questions/Concerns

It is a serious concern that the program does not inform parents that monitoring/censoring a child's mail in such a manner may be a violation of the child's rights and/or criminally prosecutable.  It again shows by the language alone "We will take all responsibility for the mail for this directive.  Liahona Academy is operating at our discretion," that the program likely knows of the potential illegality of the directive and places sole criminal and civil liability with the parents without informing the parents that by so contracting they may be violating the law and their child's rights.  This is unconscionable.

It is a serious concern that this program charges more than Harvard University and requires therapy sessions (covered by the program costs, one would think) be conducted by phone with the family.  This cost should be an included cost with the tuition and being that collect calls often cost more than direct calls, raise additional concerns regarding the professionalism and motives of Liahona Academy.

Enrollment Agreement (Page 22)

"I understand that Liahona Academy's staff will be taking an identification photograph for the Academy student files.  Therefore I consent for photographs to be taken of the above mentioned Boy for Liahona files and as the Academy deems necessary and appropriate, and release the Academy from any liability."

"I understand that Liahona Academy will provide therapy through Personnel who are specifically contracted out to provide Therapeutic Services and give my permission to provide treatment, therapy, psychiatric evaluations, or psychiatric treatment if needed.  I also give permission to treat and/or prescribe medications to my son or make changes to his current treatment."

HEAL's Questions/Concerns

It is a concern that Liahona wishes to be released from liability when the ask for consent to use photographs as "the Academy deems necessary and appropriate".  This likely includes for promotional materials for the program and raises privacy violation issues.  This is an additional concern and likely violation of the child's rights.  See www.heal-online.org/legalarguments.htm for more information.

It is a serious concern that all therapeutic services are contracted to outside third-parties by the program.  And, it is a concern that this includes medicating the child or changing the child's treatment/medication at the program's discretion.  This is especially a concern since the program denies any responsibility and liability for medication-related health problems, including death.

Enrollment Agreement (Pages 23-25)

"THINGS NOT TO BRING"

"Black clothing to minimum"

"Jewelry of any kind"

"T-shirts with occult"

"Stereos, recorders, walkmans, CDs"

"Money or loose change"

"The contract specifically states that LIAHONA ACADEMY FOR YOUTH, LLC does not accept responsibility for lost or stolen items, or items left behind after the boy is no longer in the Academy."

"AUTHORIZATION AGREEMENT FOR MONTHLY DIRECT PAYMENTS (ACH DEBITS)"

"This authorization is to remain in full force and effect until Liahona has received written notification from me (or either of us) of its termination in such time and in such manner as to afford Liahona and Depository a reasonable opportunity to act on it."

"ALL WRITTEN DEBIT AUTHORIZATIONS MUST PROVIDE THAT THE RECEIVER MAY REVOKE THE AUTHORIZATION ONLY BY NOTIFYING THE ORIGINATOR IN THE MANNER SPECIFIED IN THE AUTHORIZATION."

"AUTHORIZATION AGREEMENT FOR MONTHLY CREDIT CARD BILLING"

HEAL's Questions/Concerns

Why are limitations placed on self-expression to the point of limiting "black clothing", etc.?  This is a concern as it does not prepare children for living in the real world where they are allowed, at least in the United States, freedom of expression and a constitutionally protected right.

It is a good idea, given the lack of security and likelihood of theft at Liahona Academy and similar programs, to leave jewelry at home.  It is an even better idea to keep your precious children at home.

The term "occult" is too vague.  Some programs and literature for programs include the Jewish Star of David as an occult symbol as well as the eagle (national bird of USA).  This is a serious concern and again suggests civil rights violations at the program.

It is a concern that children are not permitted their own choice in music and/or are denied music altogether. 

It is a good idea when sending a child out of state that the child have enough money on his/her person at all times to get a bus ticket home in the event of necessity and emergency.  Depriving the child of a means of escape when sending them to Jonestown, oh, excuse us, Utah, is a serious concern.

Liahona Academy will not protect your personal items and takes no responsibility for the welfare of your child.  So, what are you waiting for?  HEAL recommends you do not place your child at this program and rescue your son if he is there now.

If you are still going to enroll your child in Liahona Academy, be smart enough to initiate the payments from your end and don't give these people access to your bank accounts/credit cards.

Las Vegas man says he was defrauded in businessmanís alleged scheme By Steve Green Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011 | 2 p.m. A Las Vegas businessman says in a new lawsuit he was defrauded by Utah businessman Jeremy Johnson, who already faces a Federal Trade Commission complaint in what the FTC calls an Internet billing scheme that cost consumers nationwide $275 million. Newly-unsealed Utah federal court documents show the Las Vegas businessman, Chad Elie, filed suit on Dec. 28 seeking $20 million against Johnson and several co-defendants in the St. George, Utah, area. The codefendants in the new Utah case are SunFirst Bank -- which has already been hit with a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. enforcement action over its dealings with Johnson -- an entity called Triple Seven LLC, and executives Scott Leavitt, Jason T. Vowell, Todd L. Vowell, Loyd Johnston and Kerry Johnson. The FTC lawsuit filed in Las Vegas on Dec. 21 against Johnson claims he and his companies including I Works and Elite Debit scammed consumers by luring them into obtaining trial memberships for bogus services and then repeatedly charging their credit and debit cards monthly fees for the worthless services. Johnson has denied those allegations. Elie says in his Utah lawsuit he is the CEO of Florida company Viable Marketing Corp. Records show he also has a Las Vegas company called 21Debit that's involved in the payment processing industry. Records in Florida show Viable Marketing has had its own issues. It was named in a Feb. 17, 2010, statement from Florida's Attorney General and the FTC as one of several companies that received subpoenas investigating potential violations of Floridaís Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. The Viable Marketing subpoena related to "unauthorized recurring charges" associated with a work-at-home Internet business opportunity. One of Elie's attorneys on Thursday said he believe that investigation is now closed and that he was looking into it. Elie says in the new Utah lawsuit that he provides "Check21" e-payment processing services for online merchants whose customers prefer to pay over the Internet by check or debits from their banks instead of using credit cards. Elie says he became acquainted with Johnson during a trade show in 2009 and that Johnson represented he had a trusted relationship with SunFirst. Elie says that Johnson told him that in exchange for become 50/50 partners, Elie could begin processing payments for his online merchants through SunFirst. Elie says processing revenue for the merchants involved in the arrangement ran from SunFirst through the Triple Seven entity -- described as a money-transmitting business that provides payment-processing services and money wires to offshore online merchants. The Utah lawsuit says Triple Seven is controlled by well-known St. George businessmen Jason and Todd Vowell. One or both of the Vowells have been in the auto dealership industry and had an interest in the St. George Roadrunners minor league baseball team and the Liahona Academy for troubled youth in Southern Utah, records show. Elie alleges in his lawsuit processing revenue from the business venture involving Johnson and the Vowells averaged close to $2.9 million per month from March 2010 to November 2010, but that Johnson and the Vowells presented false financial information to Elie to defraud him and exclude him from his 50 percent share of the profits. "Rather than providing plaintiff 50 percent of the profits from the processing revenue as agreed to by the parties, Johnson used the money generated as revenue to invest in private real estate and energy deals to which plaintiff was not a partner," attorneys for Elie say in his lawsuit. The suit goes on to say that after Johnson learned the FDIC was auditing his accounts, including the processing account with Elie at SunFirst, Johnson transferred funds out of SunFirst -- including funds Elie had a stake in. Later, Elie says, the FDIC froze some of Johnson's bank accounts at SunFirst. Elie says in his lawsuit he was told by Johnson that in February -- 10 months before the FTC lawsuit was filed in Las Vegas -- that the FTC had ordered Johnson not to dissipate any of his assets or financial resources. Nevertheless, "Johnson took numerous steps to dissipate his assets and to transfer those assets to various individuals to avoid liability," the suit says, adding "Johnson converted some of his assets into such liquid assets as gold and cash." "Based on the defendants' activities over the past several months, if this court does not take immediate action to stop the transfer and dissipation of these assets, the cash and gold will disappear," says the Utah court filing, which seeks to garnish or freeze assets Elie claims belong to him. Separately, the FTC intervened Thursday in the Elie case, saying it wanted to prevent the issuance of any order to encumber the assets of Johnson and any entities that he owns or controls. "The commission is entitled to intervene as a matter of right because it has an interest in ensuring that these assets are available for distribution to consumers defrauded by Johnson and his companies," FTC attorneys said in their Utah court filing. The FTC charged that Elie "has engaged in a secretive race to the courthouse in an effort to grab money held by the defendants." Kevin Anderson, an attorney for Elie with the Salt Lake City law firm Fabian & Clendenin P.C., denied those assertions. He said Elie's lawsuit, initially filed under seal, or secretly, was aimed initially at freezing the assets at issue so the court could decide later how they would be apportioned among the alleged victims of Johnson. The FTC noted that in its Nevada lawsuit, it's filing an emergency order for a temporary restraining order to freeze the assets of Johnson and 61 corporations because of the alleged $275 million scheme. "Elie argues ... that Jeremy Johnson has concealed funds, possibly transferred funds to overseas banks, dissipated funds by purchasing investments, aircraft, and automobiles, and transferred investments to other defendants named in this action. The FTC does not doubt the truth of these particular assertions by Elie. But, the FTC intervenes to ensure that Johnsonís assets are not grabbed by Elie to the detriment of millions consumers who fell prey to Johnsonís scheme," FTC attorneys argued in Thursday's Utah court filing. Johnson and the other defendants have not yet responded to the new lawsuit. A request for comment was left with Johnson's attorney. The Vowells couldn't immediately be located for comment. John Allen, CEO of SunFirst Bank, said he was unable to comment on the litigation. Town & Country Bank of St. George was also named as a defendant in Elie's Utah lawsuit. But an attorney for Elie said that was based on the mistaken belief that Town & Country had agreed to do business with Johnson after the FDIC started auditing Johnson's accounts at SunFirst. It turns out that Town & Country is not doing business with Johnson, the attorney said. A request for comment was placed with Town & Country on Thursday.  Source: https://lasvegassun.com/news/2011/jan/13/las-vegas-man-says-he-was-defrauded-businessmans-a/
Todd Vowell Fraud/FTC Lawsuit Details
Anonymous Parent Report via e-mail:

"On 9/17/2017 12:18 AM, [Parent of Liahona Victim] wrote: I brought my [child] there when [he/she] turned 16 years old.  Parker told my wife and I that Liahona had a success rate of 90% for drug addiction.  Based on that, we took our [child] there.  Now, [child] is 18 years old.  [Child] has been out for a little over a month and is worse now than ever.  Also, we have been contacted by a fellow graduate student who claims that he keeps in touch with four other Liahona graduates.  Every one of them, are back to using drugs as before Liahona or worse.  The boy that called named [omitted], is now in jail.  So, I feel very misled that six out of six are still drug addicts.  The 90% success rate that Parker spoke of is a lie."

Names and other identifiers of the parent, his child, and other victims with whom they've spoken were removed to protect the privacy of those individuals.  The above is printed as edited with permission of the parent.  HEAL did not make any other edits or changes.

 

 Last Updated: September 20th, 2017

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