This is a  staff list for Crosswinds/Lifeline Youth and Family Services in Marion, IN  (and Ontario, Canada and Dominican Republic)

(a.k.a. Caribbean Mountain Academy, Pierceton Woods Academy f.k.a. New Horizons Youth Ministries, Escuela Caribe)

(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 Crosswinds/Lifeline.  For information on your rights and how to take action, visit  If you were fired or forced to resign because you opposed any illegal and/or unethical practices at New Horizons Youth Ministries, you have the right to take action. 


If you were harmed (family or survivor) by Crosswinds/Lifeline, please contact 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 Crosswinds/Lifeline Youth and Family Services and rescue them if they are there now. 




Additional Information
Charles Redwine President --ALL LOCATIONS--  Redwine went on to work for the Bowen Center in Fort Wayne, IN  Charles P. Redwine (may be a different person) is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Indiana.  Source:  Redwine currently (August, 2019) reportedly works as Director at Dockside Services in Fort Wayne, IN.
Tim and Rose Blossom Board Members (Former) Location--Marion, IN  There is no additional information for staff with New Horizons.  Tim Blossom is not a licensed mental health professional in Indiana (2015).  A Timothy G. Blossom (may be a different person) formerly held multiple behavioral health licenses in Indiana, but, they have expired.  Rose Blossom has never held any professional licenses in Indiana and is not a licensed professional.  Source: 
Robert and Peg Daly Board Members HEAL Requires both Peg and Robert's full names (including middle initial) and/or license type and number in order to verify whether or not Peg and Robert Daly hold any professional licenses in Indiana.  Associations:  Association of Christian Schools Int'l, Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, Independent Charities of America, Indiana Association of Residential Childcare Agencies, North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement,
David and Susan Dillon Board Members David Dillon holds no professional licenses in Indiana.  Source:  HEAL requires Susan Dillon's full name (including middle name) and/or license type and number in order to verify whether Susan holds any professional licenses in Indiana.
Eric and Billie Grant Board Members Eric Grant holds no professional licenses in Indiana.  Source:  Billie Lou Grant (may be a different person) was formerly licensed as a registered nurse, but that license expired in 1999.  (2015)  Source:
Eric and Linda Piersimoni Board Members Eric and Linda Piersimoni hold no professional licenses in Indiana.  Source:
Connie Smerdel Board Member Smerdel holds no professional licenses in Indiana.  Source:
Greg Damron Board Member Damron holds no professional licenses in Indiana.  Source:
Richard Raposa Staff Raposa holds no professional licenses in Indiana.  Source: has worked for this program since prior to the change from NHYM to Crosswinds and continues to work for these programs (2014).
John & Sarah Worley Geyer Staff John and Sarah Worley Geyer hold no professional licenses in Indiana.  Source:
Grant Anderson Staff Anderson has worked for this program since prior to the change from NHYM to Crosswinds and continues to work for these programs (2014). 

Grant Lesley Anderson Address Information Carmel IN 46032 License Information License No: Profession: Behavioral Health Board License Type: Mental Health Counselor Obtained By Method: Examination Issue Date: Expiration Date: License Status: Pending Application

Grant Lesley Anderson (may be a different person) and holds no professional licenses in Indiana.  He has applied for a license, but, that license is pending.  Source:
Rachel and Jon Sawyer Staff Rachel and Jon Sawyer hold no professional licenses in Indiana.  Source:   The Sawyers have been with New Horizons/Crosswinds since 2005.  The primarily work at Escuela Caribe/Caribe Mountain Academy.  The Sawyers have reportedly moved on to another island "ministry", but, did continue as staff up through 2013 (long after the name change). 
Scott and Meleah Taylor Staff (Former) Meleah Taylor holds no professional licenses in Indiana.  HEAL requires Scott Taylor's full name and/or license type and number to verify whether or not Scott holds any professional licenses in Indiana.  Source:  The Taylor's have worked for New Horizons/Crosswinds since prior to the name change.  The Taylors did continue working for the program after the name change, but, reportedly no longer work for this program.
Steve Frew Staff Frew holds no professional licenses in Indiana.  Source: has worked for New Horizons/Crosswinds since 2007.
Erin Adams Staff Adams has worked for New Horizons/Crosswinds since 2006.  HEAL requires Erin's full name (including middle name) and/or license type and number in order to verify whether Erin holds any professional licenses in Indiana.  Source:
Chris Linehan Staff Linehan holds no professional licenses in Indiana.  Source: has worked for New Horizons/Crosswinds since 2008.
Brian and Joy Turner Board Members Location--Ontario, Canada  There is no additional information for staff with New Horizons.  HEAL did not perform licensing checks on foreign locations due to uncertainty regarding proper agency.
Tom Baker Board Member HEAL did not perform licensing checks on foreign locations due to uncertainty regarding proper agency.
Bruno and Marilyn Barban Board Members HEAL did not perform licensing checks on foreign locations due to uncertainty regarding proper agency.
Tim Blossom Board Member HEAL did not perform licensing checks on foreign locations due to uncertainty regarding proper agency.
Robert Fraser Board Member HEAL did not perform licensing checks on foreign locations due to uncertainty regarding proper agency.
Dave and Judi Kars Board Members HEAL did not perform licensing checks on foreign locations due to uncertainty regarding proper agency.
Martina Keast Board Member HEAL did not perform licensing checks on foreign locations due to uncertainty regarding proper agency.
Darrell Tomkins Board Member HEAL did not perform licensing checks on foreign locations due to uncertainty regarding proper agency.
Marcio Abreu Board Member (Former) Location--Dominican Republic  There is no additional information for staff with New Horizons/Escuela Caribe.  HEAL did not perform licensing checks on foreign locations due to uncertainty regarding proper agency.
Tim Blossom Board Member HEAL did not perform licensing checks on foreign locations due to uncertainty regarding proper agency.
Leonidas & Mercedes Heredia Board Members HEAL did not perform licensing checks on foreign locations due to uncertainty regarding proper agency.
Carmen Nouel Board Member HEAL did not perform licensing checks on foreign locations due to uncertainty regarding proper agency.
Charles and Debbie Redwine Board Members (Former) HEAL did not perform licensing checks on foreign locations due to uncertainty regarding proper agency.
Jeff (a.k.a. Richard) and Annie Seabrooke Board Members HEAL did not perform licensing checks on foreign locations due to uncertainty regarding proper agency.
William and Priscilla Stothers Board Members HEAL did not perform licensing checks on foreign locations due to uncertainty regarding proper agency.
Carl and Kathy Thompson Board Members HEAL did not perform licensing checks on foreign locations due to uncertainty regarding proper agency.
Archibaldo Vasquez Board Member HEAL did not perform licensing checks on foreign locations due to uncertainty regarding proper agency.
Dave Wier Board Member HEAL did not perform licensing checks on foreign locations due to uncertainty regarding proper agency.
Dan Anderson Staff Staff Name submitted by survivor on July 10th, 2014.  HEAL requires Anderson's full name (including middle name) and/or license type and license number in order to verify whether Anderson holds any professional licenses in Indiana. 
Rick Hawks President (current-2014) Hawks holds no professional licenses in Indiana.  Source:
Brandon Schall Vice President (2014) Schall holds no professional licenses in Indiana.  Source:
Chris Sherbahn Treasurer (2014) Sherbahn holds no professional licenses in Indiana.  Source:
Patricia Byall-Alexander Board Member (2014) HEAL requires Patricia's full name (including middle name) and/or license type and license number in order to verify whether or not Patricia holds any professional licenses in Indiana.
Bettye Jones-Davis Board Member (2014) Bettye holds no professional licenses in Indiana.  Source:
Jeff Cybulski Board Member (2014) Cybulski holds no professional licenses in Indiana.  Source:
Jim Miller Board Member (2014) HEAL requires Jim's full name (including middle name) and/or license type and license number in order to verity whether or not Jim holds any professional licenses in Indiana.
Mark Terrell CEO Terrell holds no professional licenses in Indiana.  Source:  Terrell was CEO/President of New Horizons Youth Ministries and continues as CEO/President of Crosswinds/Lifeline.  In addition, the 2014 tax returns for New Horizons Youth Ministries/Crosswinds was filed by Terrell.
Deborah Hatland Chief Mgmt Officer Deborah Hatland is a licensed social worker and addiction counselor in Indiana.  Source:  Hatland reportedly left this program to work for IVY Tech Community College as an online services coordinator.
Jeff Valerio Former Director Jeffrey J. Valerio (may be a different person) is a licensed clinical social worker and marriage and family therapist in Indiana.  Source:  Reportedly left this program to work at The Anderson Center, a mental health facility in Anderson, Indiana.  Valerio reportedly no longer works for The Anderson Center.
Brenda Gerber Vincent VP of Development Vincent formerly worked for Governor Mike Pence and is closely associated with Pence and his wife.
Mike and Tracy Harmon Staff  
Brian Bubeck Staff  
*(New Horizons Youth Ministries, 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.)
External Link:
New Horizons' Survivors' Statements:
External Link:
External Survivor Website:
Julia Scheeres' Survivor Memoir from time in Escuela Caribe:
Kate Logan's Documentary (Trailer) based on NHYM/Escuela Caribe:
Extreme Thinking Errors: Tough-Love Christian Boarding Schools and the Indiana Department of Child Services

by Doug Martin (If you would like to contact the author, e-mail us and we will forward your message to him.)
ESCUELA CARIBE GIVES us a clue on what can go wrong when extreme right-wing Christians educate children. With a long history of alleged abuse and help from Indiana taxpayers, Christian reform school Escuela Caribe was founded in the 1970s by Gordon Blossom, a former student of Floyd Starr’s Starr Commonwealth boarding school in Michigan.  Under Blossom, his son Tim, and other leaders, New Horizons Youth Ministries (NHYM) operated Escuela Caribe and other schools in Michigan as part of the “tough-love” teen movement.  Inspired by Starr and profit, Gordon Blossom wooed Michigan judges, legislators, and governors, and in 1973, in fact, addressed a George Romney-attended gathering to honor Floyd Starr’s work with juvenile delinquents, as Keith Fennimore details in his 1988 book Faith Made Visible: The History of Floyd Starr and His School.102 George Romney is Mitt Romney’s father. How close to George Romney pastor Blossom was is unknown, but many past teenagers once held in the NHYM schools believe Gordon Blossom’s political clout may have had something to do with why abuses went unheeded.  Mitt Romney is well-entrenched with those profiting from the troubled-teen industry. Mother Jones’ Kathryn Joyce noted that “key fundraisers for Mitt Romney’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns hail from Utah’s teen-home sector.”103 Romney’s Utah finance committee co-chair, Robert Lichfield, even came under fire for running troubled-teen boarding schools rife with allegations of physical and sexual abuse.104
When Michigan stripped Blossom’s licenses after media exposure over his boarding schools’ harsh practices, he packed up his “tough-love” school for the Hoosier state, operating, besides Escuela Caribe, a school in Canada and one in Marion, Indiana. Even though the state was paying NHYM, not much instruction occurred at the schools, and students did most of the work on their own, alumni say. Not only did the Blossoms acquire some of their students from court-orders, they also fooled parents, some spending upwards of $40,000 for services and losing their homes in the process, to send their kids off to NHYM’s various compounds.105    
In 2010, NHYM boarding school survivors started posting horror stories on the website “The Truth about New Horizons Youth Ministries” and talking to those who would listen.  Male students, at the boarding schools, had been “slammed into walls and floors,” and  “female students were given ‘swats’ by a thick leather strap called Mr. Brow, leaving bruises and sometimes bloody marks, the very same practices that led Michigan judges to revoke NHYM's license to practice.” Then there was “The Quit Room,” where students, locked in complete isolation in a Pepto Bismol pink and “small concrete cell without lighting or furniture,” were stripped down, had their hair chopped off, and forced to “sleep on the concrete floor and scrub the cement for hours on end.”106 One past student, in an unheeded letter to state lawmakers protesting a new company’s recent takeover of the reform school, wrote that in the 1980s she and “group of female students were forced by staff to scrub a naked student with harsh bristle brushes in a bathroom because staff suspected that this girl had stolen money,” when, in fact, one of the laundry employees, a Dominican woman, had. One Marion, Indiana, boarding school survivor writes that after she attempted suicide, the leaders beat her, forced her to do hundreds of push-ups, and called her a whore for “fucking her brother” because she admitted she loved him in letters she sent to him when he was in the Dominican Republic compound. For this, several men beat her brother. The beating got so bad that in order to make it stop, her brother lied that he had had intercourse with his sister.107 Under the Blossom family operation, there were alleged incidents of sexual misconduct, statutory rape, forced exercise to the point of vomiting, beatings, chaining girls to beds, and severe brainwashing at the boarding schools.108 One former staffer was arrested for fondling a girl in 1994 at the group’s Marion, Indiana facility.109
In late 2011, when Fort Wayne-based Lifeline Youth & Family Services took over the NHYM, formed the nonprofit Crosswinds, and renamed Escuela Caribe the Caribbean Mountain Academy, many saw this as damage control. Julia Scheeres’ Jesus Land, a 2005 memoir describing her abuse at the hands of NHYM staff, was a New York Times best-seller.110  There is more bad publicity to come, when Kate Logan’s Kidnapped for Christ movie debuts soon. Shot at Escuela Caribe in the summer of 2006, the movie documents the conversion therapy practiced at the school. One scene shows several men waking a homosexual U.S. teenager named David, dragging him by his belt, driving him to an airplane, and flying him to the Dominican Republic boarding school to “de-gay” him.111  While attempting to turn gay people straight, Escuela Caribe officials practice a pseudoscience (if even that) the American Psychological Association and other leading medical organizations deem harmful.
A faith-based company, Lifeline Youth & Family Services has retained some of the same staff or staff trained by former NHYM employees appearing in the movie and has refused to acknowledge that the school it took over from Gordon Blossom had its license revoked by the state of Indiana.  In a June 2011 letter sent to an alumnus in response to child abuse allegations at the school, Department of Child Services’ James Payne (who later resigned after it was revealed he interfered with a DCS case involving his own grandchildren) said that although DCS revoked the school’s license and would no longer be sending kids to the school with taxpayer money, “New Horizons Youth Ministries is a private, religious, non-profit organization therefore they can continue to operate without our licensure.”112  In other words, if parents want to pay NHMY to abuse their kids, DCS doesn’t care. Yet, instead of publically coming out and declaring the past child abuse at the center as despicable and saying he would clean up the mess and promise to fire everyone who worked at the old school, Mark Terrell, Lifeline’s CEO who started the new Crosswinds company, chose to conceal it.
When former students started an online petition in mid-July 2012 to close the new version of the school down, a former Escuela Caribe student told me “the continuation of the same staff as trained by NHYM and from as late as 2005 indicates that the takeover was merely a fancy legal way of trying to dissociate from all the bad publicity.” In fact, it appears hardly any of the current school leaders were hired after Lifeline took over, even though the group, on its website, deceptively said in the distant past that counselor Grant Anderson has worked at Crosswinds since 2010, when the company didn’t even exist.113  Crosswinds’ new director is Scott Taylor.114 Before moving to the Dominican Republic, Taylor worked at the Summit Church in Arkansas,115 where lead pastor Bill Elliff is well associated with the Fellowship Bible Church (which gave $10,000 to support the state’s 2004 marriage amendment)116 and its former pastor Robert Lewis.  Both Elliff and Lewis teach at the Downline Ministries , along with a few others from the Fellowship Bible Church.  Robert Lewis published a book with the anti-gay Focus on the Family press and appeared on FOF’s broadcast hyping his Men’s Fraternity.117  Two other current Caribbean Mountain Academy staffers, Rachel and Jon Sawyer, are carry-overs from the NHYM school. Both also once worked at Heartlight Ministries’ teen residential treatment center in Texas,118 a program that HEAL, a leading watchdog group, calls a “money-making cult” which controls the families of kids in its boarding school and uses mail censorship to possibly conceal abuse. Heartlight’s program charges $5,000 a month and allows children to attend public school, if they earn the right. HEAL also attacks how Heartlight forces kids, under certain circumstances, to sleep in the same room as staff. HEAL also says “parents should also investigate whether or not the program is violating child labor laws.”119 Under an odd picture of kids at Caribbean Mountain Academy, Rachel Sawyer, who has worked at Escuela Caribe with her husband since 2005 and never reported any abuse to authorities, on her blog writes: “Um - WOW! Nine of our students came to know Christ as their personal SAVIOR last week. In addition, many powerful, wonderful, exciting things are happening within this ministry at this time. Never have I seen more movement amidst such utter brokenness.”120
Teen-brokenness brings in money, and Lifeline—to help its bottom line—seems to be continuing the NHYM tactic of recruiting youth missionaries to work at the boarding school. Hordes of missionaries are still descending upon Caribbean Mountain Academy. In January of 2012, one 21-year-old missionary named Matt wrote:
I want to share a couple of specific things with my supporters and the churches and groups which have made mission trips or are planning to make trips this year. First, thanks so much for your support through gifts, prayers and friendships. I could not have made it all these years without your support and encouragement. Second, know that Caribbean Mountain Academy is still committed to working with mission teams and ministry outreach. As I prepare to leave the ministry, I have been training and supporting our chaplain and his wife, Scott and Meleah Taylor, to take over the community outreach and mission team’s ministry.121
In 2011, volunteers from the Sagemont Church in Texas arrived to spread “love.”122 Sagemont’s pastor, Stuart Rothberg, too, describes how gays are lepers and deserve conversion therapy.123 Besides being famous for its 170 foot cross, the Sagemont Church is where Andrea Yates (a friend of Yates noted) attended a home school support group with her children, all of whom she later drowned in a Texas bathtub.124
Lifeline Youth & Family Services, the reform school’s new owner, is also politically entrenched in Indiana.125 In fact, Mike Pence recently appointed Lifeline’s CEO Mark Terrell to the Allen Superior Court Judicial Nominating Commission, a panel that selects the judges that may decide what kids to send to Lifeline’s boarding schools or its detention center, the Pierceton Wood Academy.
Lifeline’s CEO Mark Terrell says the group doesn’t perform conversion therapy like NHYM did in 2006 when Kidnapped for Christ was filmed, but his connections to the anti-gay movement is not reassuring. In 2002 and 2003, Republican Mark Souder invited Terrell to testify on behalf of George W. Bush’s Bradley Foundation-lobbied “Faith-Based Initiatives” program. In a session filled with questions about pornography, homosexuality, and wife beating, all popular topics for the Religious Right and boarding school leaders, Terrell stated that, in terms of the “community service” Lifeline does,
All of the facilitators that go in are Christians. It is amazing, the results that are happening. That is not by accident. That is truly a belief that is ordained by God that that has happened.
What would it do with the donors? We raise a significant amount of our budget outside of the contracts that we get with probation, welfare, and Department of Corrections. They give to us because they know that we are a faith-based organization and that we are hiring Christians. We are hiring people with faith. They are going to make a difference.126
In the December 2001 American Prospect, troubled-teen industry expert Maia Szalavitz condemned Souder and Bush’s faith-based initiative, exposing the president’s history of ignoring deaths and abuses in religious extremists-run camps and boarding schools across the country.  Szalavitz writes that
in 1997, after Texas regulators had tried to shut down a Christian rehabilitation program called Teen Challenge because its staff failed to meet educational requirements, then-Governor Bush responded by scuttling all the state’s training and safety regulations for such facilities. And in a speech two years later, Bush praised the fact that at Teen Challenge, “’if you don’t work, you don’t eat.’” Now that he’s ensconced in the White House, Bush intends to deregulate Teen Challenge-type programs nationwide.127
During the testimony, Souder seemed to enjoy one Illinois faith-based panel member’s statement that the reason his group became active in Indiana is because there is no regulation.
In 2004, Souder called conversion therapist Mike Haley and several other Focus on the Family adherents to the faith-based committee meetings. In response, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State’s executive director Barry W. Lynn said the “so-called ‘ex-gay’ groups are nothing more than covers for fundamentalist indoctrination programs. They don’t deserve one dime of taxpayer support. It would be outrageous if the Bush administration and Rep. Souder are seriously considering giving public funds to this sort of program.”128 Haley—who has recently accepted that he is gay–spoke at Bethel College in Indiana on September 28, 2009; Maggie Troyer, whose husband Rich Troyer was then managing Lifeline’s Center for Responsible Thinking, spoke there, too, a few days later. The Center for Responsible Thinking offers classes at Pierceton and in parent/student meetings throughout Indiana. The Troyers later sold their home, rented an RV, and started travelling to motorcycle races across the U.S. to turn people onto Christ.129
Souder, who opposed the Keeping All Students Safe Act in 2010, is also friendly with the faith-based Crossing Educational Center, which runs its own schools and whose staff works with Lifeline’s Pierceton Woods Academy. In 2008, Souder awarded Crossing’s founder and director, Robert Staley, the Appleseed Award130 and picked one of Crossing’s students to be his Washington aide,131 before the Fort Wayne lawmaker resigned because of adultery. Formed by Solid Rock Ministries, Crossing’s schools are for high school dropouts, kids kicked out of alternative schools, and others with behavioral problems. The group, with 14 facilities, has contracts with 20 Indiana school districts.  It also runs the Fresh Start program for those released from prison.  Crossing lists state Republican Carlin Yoder—who introduced the Indiana gay-marriage ban and the pro-American amendment to the Indiana voucher bill—as its director in 2010 tax records.132
In his 2002 statement before the Souder panel, Mark Terrell mentions how Lifeline’s Center for Responsible Thinking’s “Thinking Errors” curriculum is based on Samuel Yochelson’s 1970s inmate research with a heavy dose of Bible study thrown in.133 Yochelson and Stanton Samenow’s “Thinking Errors” theory is extreme, based on the belief that criminals, sex offenders, and drug users choose to be criminals, sex offenders, and drug users and that social factors, environment, bad parenting, and brain disorders play absolutely no part in how people turn out. Samenow, in his 1998 Straight Talk about Criminals, even claims sex offenders lie about having been sexually abused themselves.134 With neuroscience completely revamping psychology and criminologists finally playing catch-up, Yochelson and Samenow’s one-size-fits-all “criminal personality” theory is antiquated, to say the least.  Since Lifeline bases its “therapy” for young drug offenders, sexual offenders, or just troubled youth on bad past theories, this is a major problem.  When Yochelson died, his research partner Stanton Samenow became a conferee for Ronald Reagan’s White House Conference on a Drug-Free America, part of the anti-drug “Just Say No” crusade, a goal of which was to funnel taxpayer money to “tough-love” reform schools.135
Yochelson and Samenow’s “Criminal Personality” books are highly favored by religious leaders, chaplains, and even the Indiana government. In September 2009 at a meeting of the IARCC: An Association of Children and Family Services in Indy which also included the Indiana Department of Child Services’ director James Payne, Charles Redwine, who led New Horizons Youth Ministries for years, gave a presentation concerning Samenow’s writings, among others, and even cites them in his 2002 ministry doctoral dissertation on so-called “pastoral counseling.”136 One federal prison chaplain said, prison ministers “should preach and teach with the Bible in one hand and The Criminal Personality in the other.”137 The Indiana DOC still teaches former prisoners lessons from Samenow’s book in its Juvenile PLUS faith-based program.138 Quite shockingly, the Indiana Department of Child Services has even used a “Thinking Errors Worksheet” to train new caseworkers to deal with sexual offenders, although it is not known whether it is specifically adopted from Samenow and Yochelson or just repeating their terminology.139
The Indiana Department of Child Services has been in hot water lately for failing to remove children from abusive homes, many of them ending up dead.  From 2006 to 2010, 198 children died from abuse and neglect in Indiana. A WTHR TV investigation found that “in a one-year period, DCS hired 511 new case managers. Twenty-one transferred to other positions during that same time, while 280 simply quit. It created a loss of 18.1 percent agency-wide, roughly the same loss as the previous year at 18.7 percent.”140 In 2010, however, the DCS returned $103 million to the state’s general fund, announcing the money wasn’t needed.141 That same year, a Gibson County DCS official was convicted for keeping a teenager in a shelter for 30 months without a court order, and lying about it.142 In March 2012, Indiana University’s forensic pediatrician Antoinette Laskey resigned from her DCS role, saying DCS’s death-numbers it releases each year were misleading.  In fact, a recent study ranks Indiana as one of the leading states for high infant mortality.143 In May 2012, DCS took fire when Morgan County Judge Matthew Hanson, in a statement, wrote that “It would seem DCS is simply waiting around until the child commits such egregious or dangerous acts that the (juvenile delinquency) system has no choice but to file charges against a child with a mental disease/defect, and then the DCS can simply ignore any pleas thereafter to aid such a child.”144 Also, in May, when the DCS said its caseworkers could not release confidential info on abuse and neglect cases to the courts, Allen Superior Judge Fran Gull called DCS’s behavior “absurd.”145
An overwhelming large number of degree-holders from Indiana faith-based colleges like Grace College (which now sponsors the Smith Academy for Excellence charter school in Fort Wayne) and Indiana Wesleyan are employed by DCS, and some DCS people have worked for Lifeline, too.146  Lifeline Youth & Family Services actually plays a major role in DCS, with contracts in 60 Indiana counties, offering home-based services, residential care for kids removed from their families, and court testimony, the latter a conflict of interest since Lifeline representatives help determine which kids are removed from homes and could easily ship these kids to the group’s compounds in the Dominican Republican and Canada (where it just re-opened the old NHYM school).
Lifeline holds a lot of power and taxpayer money for a group which hires many of its counselors from Indiana religious colleges who have been indoctrinated with “biblical truths.” Admitting that Lifeline only hires Christians, Mark Terrell, in 2010, was paid $158,457, with an additional $18,774 in other compensation. That same year, Lifeline raked in over $11.5 million in welfare fees, almost $266,000 of school money, and only $48,527 from private fees (not the “significant” amount Terrell told the Souder hearing members). Besides the Department of Child Services, Lifeline holds contracts with the Department of Education and the Department of Correction.147
Indiana politicians have yet to do anything about Escuela Caribe now hiding under its new name, Caribbean Mountain Academy.  Although ABC Dateline is rumored to be planning a show on Terrell and the school’s history, the school has existed for way too long. Speaking at U.S. Senate hearings in January 1979, one month after Hoosier Jim Jones committed his Jonestown massacre where almost 300 kids died, the National Coalition for Children’s Justice’s Kenneth Wooden reminded lawmakers he had warned them about Jones’ dangerous child care facilities, and they refused to listen. Wooden, at this hearing, pointed fingers directly at NHYM’s Escuela Caribe boarding school as one of several putting children’s lives at risk. Having visited Escuela Caribe in 1974, Wooden wanted to know, since years earlier he had reported his New Horizons Youth Ministries findings to the State Department, why nothing had been done to close down the boarding school and why Gordon Blossom was raking in $8,360 of taxpayer money per child to abuse these kids.148
After 33 years, nothing may have changed. Lifeline has never been accused of abusing kids. Nonetheless, Lifeline’s Pierceton center must get more than a brief positive review by Indiana’s faith-based office, which it has lately.  But all of its out of country reform schools need closed now.  Hoosiers and former boarding school students also have a right to know whether Lifeline intends to use our tax money to ship more kids to the compounds in Canada and the Dominican Republic, where US laws don’t matter; or if it plans to open schools in Indiana where laws are either written to profit adults at the expense of children or don’t matter at all, if you know the right people.
102.  Keith J. Fennimore, Faith Made Visible: The History of Floyd Starr and His School, Albion, Michigan: Starr Commonwealth School,
103.  Kathryn Joyce, “Horror Stories from Tough-Love Teen Homes,” July-August 2011 Issue, Mother Jones,
104.  Kenneth P. Vogel, “Romney Makes Florida Play with Key Fundraiser Hire,” March 10, 2011, Politico,
106.  Ibid.
108.  These entire section draws from various internet sources and personal interviews with students, now adults, who went through the horror of these boarding schools.
109.  State of Indiana vs. Robert D. George, Affidavit for Probable Cause, Sexual Misconduct with a Minor, Class D Felony, Case No. 27DO2-9408-CF-45, August 19, 1994,
110.  Julia Scheeres, Jesus Land: A Memoir (Berkeley, CA: Counterpoint; Revised Edition, 2012).
111.  To witness this scene from Kidnapped for Christ, visit
112.  James D. Payne, Director of Indiana Department of Child Services, email to Tim Schipper, June 14, 2011,  For Payne’s resignation, see Tim Evans, “DCS Chief James Payne Fought His Own Agency over Family Matter,” Indianapolis Star, September 24, 2012,
113.  After my research on Lifeline’s Crosswinds was picked up by the HEAL watchdog group and blasted across the internet, officials from Lifeline/Crosswinds revised their website pages to try to conceal things I had pieced together.  You can find the original bios of Crosswinds employees still online at the Wayback Archive at  Much of this info is drawn from that site.
115.  For proof that Scott and his wife were associated with the Summit Church, see  Looks like Summit Church members are now traveling to see kids and Taylor at the Dominican Republic compound.
116.  See Follow the Money’s “The Money Behind the 2004 Marriage Amendments, Arkansas,”
117.  Robert Lewis, “Raising Sons to be Godly Men (Part 2 of 2),” Focus on the Family, April 10, 2012,{61B3FC1A-19F3-4A72-B3F2-68E66EF5BB14}.  Lewis’ book with Focus on the Family is entitled Raising a Modern-Day Knight.
118.  Jon and his wife worked at the NHYM school since 2005, as this staff bio from the Wayback Machine attests to: For proof of their work at Heartlight Ministries, see and
119.  See HEAL’s take on Heartlight Ministries at
122.  The Sawyers mention a Sagemont mission trip in a March 27, 2011 entry on their blog at  Rachel says she went to high school with the leaders of Sagemont and they blessed her .
123.  Jeremy Hooper, “Video: And This Year's Holy Week Leper Analogy Comes from Houston's Sagemont Church,” Good As You, April 20, 2011,
124.  Alan Bernstein, “Mom of Drowned Kids Painted as Private, Caring: A life Unraveled: Mom Depicted as Private, Caring, but Burdened by Hidden Problems,” Houston Chronicle, June 23, 2001,
125.  Mitch Daniels, too, is well aware of Lifeline. In 2007, while a non-profit management major at Christ-centered Huntington University, Adam Shoemaker was picked to be the youth member on Indiana’s Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives (OFBCI) board, a new office started by the governor.  In 2010, Daniels selected Shoemaker, while he was employed with Lifeline, to be a commissioner with the Indiana Commission on Service and Volunteerism (ICCSV), a program now in the hands of Indiana’s OFBCI.  In 2009, OFBCI awarded Lifeline a grant through its Good Works Indiana Initiative. Shoemaker, who now works with the Indiana Youth Institute, was Lifeline’s Family Consultant from 2008 to May 2011.
126.  Faith-based Perspectives on the Provision of Community Services, Hearing before the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources of the Committee on Government Reform, House of Representatives, One Hundred Eighth Congress, First Session, August 25, 2003, serial no. 108-101, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington: 2004,
127.  Maia Szalavitz, “Why Jesus is Not a Regulator,” American Prospect, December 19, 2001,
128.  Rob Boston, “Straight Eye for The Queer Guys?: Congressional 'Faith-Based' Panel Hears From 'Ex-Gay' Conversion Ministry,” Americans, March 2004,
129.  Kayleen Reusser, “Fort Wayne Couple Launches Ministries Aimed at Teens, Motocross Racing World: Couple Feel Called to Evangelize Nationwide from RV,” News-Sentinel (Fort Wayne, IN), May 18, 2011,
130.  “Goshen The Crossing's Rob Staley Honored with Appleseed Award,” Elkhart Truth, January 13, 2008,
131.  Jesse Davis, “Rep. Souder Tackles Issues of Education, Energy Woes,” Goshen News, March 29, 2008, AAUW Elkhart Branch, Clubs and organizations: News from Elkhart County service clubs and other groups, Goshen rotary club, Elkhart Truth, September 14, 2011,
132.  See page 7 of Crossing’s 990 Form for 2010 at .
133.  Innovative Approaches to Preventing Crime and Rehabilitating Youth and Adult Offenders, Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources of the Committee on Government Reform, House of Representatives, One Hundred Seventh Congress, Second Session, March 22, 2002,Serial No. 107-165, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington: 2003,
134.  For a good overview of Samenow’s theories, go to Dr. Cecil E. Greek’s Florida State University’s criminology page at
135.  Samenow’s connection with Reagan is not surprising, given that many “troubled-teen” programs were spawned out of the Nancy Reagan-supported Straight, Inc., started during the anti-drug and anti-gay crusades of the 1980s.  Read Maia Szalavitz’s frightening book Help at Any Cost: How the Troubled-Teen Industry Cons Parents and Hurts Kids (New York: Riverhead, 2006).
136.  For the flyier on the event, see
137.  Kendall Hughes, “USP Leavenworth Chaplain Offers Insight on Lack of Effectiveness in Prison Bible Studies and Observations on Thinking Errors,”,
138.  Stephen T. Hall,Indiana Implements a Faith-and Character-Based Housing Program,” Corrections Today, Month 2008, page 65,
139.  See page 12 in Indiana University School of Social Work and Indiana Department of Child Services, New Family Case Manager Training, Indiana Department of Child Services, Training Overview.
140.  Sandra Chapman, “State Continues to See High Turnover of DCS Case Managers,”, April 3, 2012,
141.  Joanna Massee, “DCS Under Fire for Returning Millions to State: Director Defends Decision to Spend Less,” Indy Channel 6 News, September 2, 2011,
142.  Associated Press, “Indiana Child Welfare Supervisor Convicted of Perjury,” Washington Times-Herald, June 11, 2010,
“Lead Indiana Child Death Investigator Resigns: Says New Law Not in Line with What Experts Nationwide are Doing,” South Bend Tribune, March 19, 2012,,0,215830.story.
143. You can read Laskey’s resignation letter to Mitch Daniels at  The study mentioned is discussed at Vanessa Renderman, “Health commissioner: Indiana infant mortality rate is 'horrible,'” Northwest Times of Indiana, August 6, 2013,
144.  Eric Bradner, “Legislative Study Committee Reviewing Child Deaths in Indiana,” Evansville Courier & Press, May 23, 2012,
145.  Rebecca S. Green, “State Ends Dispute over Child Welfare Testimony,” Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne, IN), May 25, 2012,
146.  Not everyone receiving a degree from a religious institution is an extremist.  Actually, Oral Roberts University has its own LGBT organization.  I, personally, have met many highly-qualified and professional therapists who have went to faith-based universities. Questions concerning Indiana’s DCS, nonetheless, need raised, as does the need to expose how people getting degrees in pseudoscience are “counseling” our children.
148.  Kenneth Wooden’s testimony can be found in Abuse and Neglect of Children in Institutions, 1979: Hearings Before the Senate Subcommittee on Child and Human Development of the Committee on Labor and Human Resources, United States Senate, Ninety-Sixth Congress, First Session on Examination of the Problems of Abuse and Neglect of Children Residing in Institutions or Group Residential Settings, January 4, 1979, San Francisco, California, January 24, 1979, Washington, D.C., May 31, 1979, Los Angeles, California (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office,  1979).
External Site:
Kidnapped For Christ SHOWTIME Premiere BTL Staff Originally printed 6/26/2014 (Issue 2226 - Between The Lines News)  LOS ANGELES - SHOWTIME presents a television premiere of "Kidnapped For Christ," the award-winning documentary chronicling the shocking truth behind Escuela Caribe, a "troubled teen" school run in Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic. "They tied a belt around my waste and dragged me to their car," David, an Escuela Caribe survivor, states in the trailer for the film. "They dragged me through the airport like that." David, who was a straight-A student, was placed in Escuela Caribe in 2006 after coming out to his parents. Once David's community got word of what happened to him (after some time with no communication), they immediately took steps to release him. But getting him out of the school proved much more difficult than they anticipated. How far would Escuela Caribe go? "Kidnapped For Christ" follows the lives of students who were totally isolated with no contact to the outside world, let alone their families, who were put through shocking and abusive tactics in hopes to "cure" them of their homosexuality and or behavioral problems. The 85-minute documentary shows Director Kate Logan meeting David, Beth, a 15-year-old from Michigan suffering from panic attacks and Tai, a 16-year-old Haitian-American from Boston who was caught experimenting with drugs he used for coping with a childhood trauma. Logan, an evangelical Christian film producer, was granted unprecedented access and allowed to live on the campus for a summer. Originally there to capture the positive experience this type of school has for struggling youth, her eyes were opened up to the truth beneath the rural summer camp. During her stay, Logan decided to help a student escape from the so-called "therapeutic boarding school." Featured in the 2014 Slamdance Film Festival and the 2014 Sundance Festival, "Kidnapped For Christ" is controversial among those that support youth-reform camps, faith based or not. Logan, who went into the filming process with no idea of the harm, said in an interview with that the abusive and inappropriate practices in these types of unregulated residential treatment programs for youth are widespread and systematic. "The reality is, these programs aren't accountable to anyone, so they do what they want with the kids in their care and that can often become dangerous," Logan said. "I thought it would be a heart-warming film about troubled teens learning about another culture at the same time as they dealt with their issues from back home. I had no idea what I had gotten myself into," Logan told LGBT kids from around the country are sent to these types of camps each year. According to the documentary's kickstarter page, approximately 157 American teens have died from these types of behavioral modification programs over the past 40 years, which exist all around the USA and other countries. Since many of the teens that are sent to these schools are under the age of 18, there isn't much the teen can do to escape imprisonment. Kidnapping and shipping adolescents off to these types of programs is legal under US law, with parental consent. Forbes magazine estimates that this industry is worth over two billion dollars. Tune into SHOWTIME on July 10 at 7:30 ET/PT to see David and Logan best the traumatizing school and get him out. For more information on the story and to see the trailer visit   Source:
'Nail Salons Are More Regulated': A Gay Survivor Takes On The 'Troubled Teen' Industry 'Nail Salons Are More Regulated': A Gay Survivor Takes On The 'Troubled Teen' Industry Posted: 03/28/2015 8:17 am EDT Updated: 03/28/2015 8:59 am EDT David Wernsman is seen in an undated photo. | Courtesy of David Wernsman Share 108 Tweet 0 Email 1 Comment 43 tumblr stumble reddit Nearly a decade ago, in Greeley, Colorado, two strange men woke David Wernsman in the middle of the night and told him he had to leave his parents’ home. When he resisted, confused and terrified, they pulled a belt around his waist and dragged him to a car. The men took Wernsman on a plane to a secluded compound in the Dominican Republic, where 30 or 40 other kids were living in prison-like bunks. Wernsman, then 17, stayed at the compound for seven months, doing menial, pointless chores all day, memorizing Bible passages and enduring random, frequent beatings. “I was forced to bend over a chair,” he said. “These guys would hold your belt up to give you a wedgie and then just beat the shit out of you.” Wernsman’s abduction and subsequent abuse came at the hands of Escuela Caribe, an evangelical-run organization that was one of an untold number of so-called “residential treatment programs” that promise to instill discipline, responsibility and personal change in “troubled” youth. All of the kids had been sent there by their parents. Some didn’t know exactly why they were there. Wernsman, though, had a pretty good idea: About a year before his kidnapping, he'd told his parents he was gay. On Friday, Wernsman joined a group of advocates to announce a sweeping effort to regulate the industry of residential programs that claim to help such teenagers. Since these programs are not licensed, it's impossible to say how many of them exist. Nor are there any statistics tracking whether or not the programs ever help the teens in their care -- or how badly these teens have been harmed. The U.S. Government Accountability Office has reported that in 2005 alone, 1,619 program employees in 33 states were involved in incidents of abuse. GAO also found that untrained staff, lack of adequate nourishment and reckless operating practices had all contributed to the deaths of teenagers in these programs. According to Survivors of Institutional Abuse, an advocacy group working on the new campaign, more than 300 deaths have been linked to these programs. “It’s outrageous that neighborhood nail salons are more regulated than the industry of residential schools, camps and wilderness programs that are entrusted with the lives of kids,” said David Garcia, director of public policy for the Los Angeles LGBT Center, another group working on the new campaign, according to a press release on Friday. Garcia, Wernsman and Jodi Hobbs, one of the founders of Survivors of Institutional Abuse, hope the campaign will raise awareness of the problems at these facilities, which typically present themselves to parents as a wholesome way to help their children. They're also hoping to pass state and federal legislation that will require such programs to obtain a license from the Department of Social Services and ensure that facilities be held accountable for incidents of child abuse or deaths. In California, state Sen. Ricardo Lara (D) has introduced the Protecting Youth from Institutional Abuse Act, and in Washington, D.C., Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is working on similar legislation at the national level. Other bills of this type have been introduced twice before in the last decade, but were not successful. Still, those involved with this latest campaign say that there has never been such a concerted push to raise public awareness of the issue. Furthermore, organizers say, LGBT groups have never been a part of this movement before. There are no statistics available about why kids are sent to such programs, but according to Hobbs, many are sent because their parents discovered they are LGBT. Others are sent because of drug abuse or depression, or simply because their parents or foster parents no longer want to deal with them. “We expect California’s legislation to set an example for the rest of the country, but state legislation isn’t enough,” said Jim Key, a spokesperson for the L.A. LGBT Center. “When the abuses of these organizations are exposed in the media, it’s common for them to close and re-open in another state, often under a different name. And parents frequently send kids to programs outside their home state.” When Wernsman’s parents sent him to Escuela Caribe, little was known about the program. That changed when Kate Logan, a film student from a Christian university in California, visited the facility -- intending only to make a project for school -- and discovered that the kids were beaten, held in solitary confinement and forced to perform punishing physical labor. Logan began filming what would become the 2014 documentary "Kidnapped for Christ," which told Wernsman's story. A few years after Wernsman's time there, Escuela Caribe shut down. But since then, a program called Crosswinds, which also promises to help troubled youth, has taken over its grounds. On its website, Crosswinds claims to be a “completely separate organization” from Escuela Caribe. Crosswinds did not respond to The Huffington Post’s request for comment. Today, Wernsman’s parents have accepted his sexuality and even welcomed his boyfriend to their home. And although Wernsman's relationship with his parents has been deeply damaged, he eventually found a way to forgive them. “Parents are victims too," he said, "because once you get in contact with this sort of facility, they’re a cult and they’ll draw you in, make you believe that you need this." Survivors say it can take decades to recover from the experience of being in one of these programs. Hobbs was sent to one more than 25 years ago. “I have anxiety, I have self-esteem issues, I have depression, I have post-traumatic stress disorder,” she said this week. “I still deal with my trauma daily.” Source:
On March 5th, 2015, HEAL reported to that it had posted false and defamatory content regarding HEAL and our volunteers.  On March 6th, Crosswinds responded apologizing for their error and immediately removed the false and defamatory statements about HEAL and our volunteers.  It is our understanding that Crosswinds had hired a third-party to manage their website marketing and that they were unaware of the false and defamatory content on their site until we brought it to their attention.  We appreciate Crosswinds quick response and action to resolve that issue.  On March 6th, 2015, we in turn invited Crosswinds to review this page and let us know if any corrections were needed.  We have not received any requests to change the content of our site from Crosswinds.
PLEASE SHARE WIDELY: Victims and Survivors of New Horizons Youth Ministries (aka Escuela Caribe), Crosswinds, and/or Lifeline Youth and Family Services Neet to Report Any Misconduct (i.e. negligence, unethical and unprofessional conduct, abuse, etc.) Committed By: Charles P. Redwine (License #s: 35000968A and 86000288A), Grant L. Anderson (License Status: Pending), Deborah Hatland (License #s: 33001688A and 86000216A), and Jeff Valerio (license #s: 34001416A and 35000721A) and/or any other professional in Indiana by filing complaints at:   
To Hell and Back Part 3: A NUVO Series  History of New Horizons Youth Ministries – the Indiana chapter By Theresa Rosado Facebook Twitter Reddit Email Add to favorites Saving… click to enlarge New Horizons Youth Ministries headquarters- admin building. Before the group homes were built this building also served as dorms for students, staff quarters and Rev. Blossom’s apartment as well as classrooms in the mid 80’s. Built in 1910, it was formerly known as the Roosevelt School. [Editor’s note: In the Dec. 9, 2015 issue of NUVO, Theresa Rosado described the very beginnings of Rev. Gordon Blossom’s youth ministry and outreach programs in Michigan. Rosado continues the timeline as New Horizons Youth Ministries grows into Indiana, Florida and Canada.] After losing his foster license, Rev. Gordon Blossom failed to find the intense backing of business leaders and support of judges as he formerly did after incorporating Honey Creek Christian Homes in Michigan. Blossom gained a reputation as excessively abusive to children and a difficult person to work for. The program was unable to retain or attract the highly skilled and competent staff promised to parents. Blossom took refuge from his earlier critics by creating a web of staff composed of relatives and bible college graduates willing to work for stipends well below minimum wage. In October of 1973, Blossom moved the corporation headquarters of New Horizons Youth Ministries from the Honey Creek Christian Home in Lowell, MI to Grand Rapids, MI. He had hoped to establish a group home for boys. The plan never commenced — the home was used instead as Rev. Blossom’s personal residence as well as New Horizon’s headquarters. Following the 1974 revocation of Blossom’s foster license in Michigan, an opportunity to use a home in Florida for girls and a home in Indiana a year later for boys provided new placement for wards as well as private contract students. Blossom family members incorporated the Fort Lauderdale group home in 1974. Martha and Randy Fellure, former staff of both Caribe Vista and Escuela Caribe, oversaw the Fort Lauderdale home. The girls attended public school and took field trips to Disney World, transitioning from their return from the Dominican Republic. The Fellures left the program about the same time the home dissolved in 1975. click to enlarge A girl pick axing a trench at Escuela Caribe, Dominican Republic. In March of 1976 a home listed on Pennsylvania Street in Marion, Indiana was incorporated as the Indiana office of New Horizons. It also served as a foreign non-profit until its license was revoked in 1990. The Indiana group home took in wards from Indiana and Ohio sent by judges with evangelical ties. After the revocation the home began to shelter private contract girls and was known as the Pitts House. It is unclear why the State of Indiana revoked the facility’s license. The house ceased operations in the year 2000. Following the ministries’ deportation out of Haiti, group homes were scattered throughout the town of Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic. Students attended classes at an old convent, which also served as Escuela Caribe’s headquarters and staff housing. In the ’90s all students were moved to a compound constructed by forced student labor on the foothills of the mountains in Jarabacoa. Rev. Blossom wintered at the compound, preaching to students and working at the orphanage he established called ANIJA. The Mclellan Foundation donated 590 remote acres of Ontario land in 1976 to New Horizons. Benefactor Hugh Mclellan, an evangelical advocate of bibles in public schools, supported Blossom’s vision of a Christian summer camp for boys and girls. Instead of shipping boys overseas, Blossom transported wards of the state to the Canadian camp, which was accessible by a 45-minute boat ride. Retaining a former Honey Creek counselor, Blossom appointed Budd Teare, a young bible study undergrad, as director of both the boys home in Marion, Indiana and at the Canadian program Missanabie Woods Academy. During the 70’s and early 80’s all of the wards placed at the group home attended public school and were taken to the Missanabie Woods facility during the summer months. The home also served as a transitioning point for private contract male students leaving Escuela Caribe. RELATED: To Hell and Back Part 2 Students identified with authority problems — such as looking at staff the wrong way or failing to perform forced labor to staff standards — were subjected to meetings with Teare and a thick leather strap known as Mr. Black. Rev. Blossom also used a strap called Mr. Black. His daughter Shirley Jo Petersen wrote: “If anyone disagreed with him, they would have a meeting with ‘Mr. Black.’ Mr. Black was very real in our house, and he got used often, especially on my older siblings. It was a black barber strap used for sharpening blades.” A similar strap was used at the Dominican facility named Mr. Brown, in reference to its brown color. Strappings were but one enforcement method used at the facility. Alumni describe numerous instances in which Budd Teare ordered students to fight in boxing matches or mob style beatings. An alumnus recounts how Teare orchestrated a beating of a student in 1989: “Several students beat him. The boy’s face was a mess, so all the staff and students in Canada that year were aware of this. Many people could hear it going down. It was so weird how everyone was acting like this was normal and pretending they couldn't hear it and Budd just went about his business like this was just another day at the office.” Another alumnus gave a similar account: “Budd Teare ordered (high ranking students) to take a kid from the group home out to the forest and severely beat him. He had severe injuries: black eye, broken ribs, and a broken arm. It took him months to recover.” click to enlarge Two boys fighting at the Marion Indiana group home on Pennsylvania street, the first New Horizons location in Indiana. Illustration by Theresa Rosado Alumni noticed that visits or public outings were timed around the healing of their wounds. Parents were frequently denied visits and public school children were kept home, allowing bruises and swelling to heal. Budd Teare left New Horizons in 1990, very close to the time Rev. Blossom confessed his pedophilia in 1991. After leaving New Horizons Teare finished a 2006 doctoral thesis examining how clergy respond to sexual abuse of children. The thesis never addressed physical abuse. It is unclear if the facilities revocation was related to these incidents. Teare failed to respond to numerous requests for interviews. Numerous alumni account violent and humiliating episodes at all three facilities in which staff slammed them forcefully in to concrete walls or floors. An alumnus writes Redwine, “often threatened me with my life. He would say, ‘Just you wait. I won't kill you, but if anything happens to nasty children like you, we just won't save you. Not only will your parents believe what I tell them, but they will raise money and support us after your death.’” Another alumnus shared a memory from the Dominican Republic: “The director asked me to ‘deal’ with a student that was in the Quiet Room. The student was having flashbacks from PCP and the staff wanted to give him a shower. We took him to the shower room and the staff gave him a floor brush to scrub himself. When he started to cry and refuse to do as he was told, the staff ordered me to beat him.” Charles Redwine, and NHYM president emeritus Timothy Blossom failed to respond to numerous requests for comment to NUVO. Capin Crouse and Company discovered New Horizons’ destruction of documents while performing an independent audit for the state during the fiscal years of 1990-1991. It is not known if the record destruction of 1991 had anything to do with Blossom’s confession of pedophilia or other incidents of abuse. click to enlarge Julia Scheeres published the first autobiography written by a New Horizon alumna. The author of Jesus Land wrote that during the ’80s Rev. Blossom, “threatened to strip me naked and beat me black and blue, which he claimed he'd already done to another girl who refused to obey her parents.” The scene Scheeres describes is eerily reminiscent of torture scenes straight out of a Jean Rollin’s sexploitation film rather than a protestant pastor. In Rollin’s 1973 film Schoolgirl Hitchhikers a girl is stripped and whipped, her golden locks hacked away as a final humiliation for what thieves believed was a jewel theft. In 1950 Rev. Blossom screened the 1937 film Assassin of Youth as part of a Youth Conservation Crusade. Though the film was considered too risqué for general audiences, Rev. Blossom showed it anyway. The film gained popularity as a propaganda tool for evangelical youth ministries. Although Shirley Jo Petersen insisted her father had no contact with female students until the ’80s, parents, students and photographs disprove her. Petersen had visited Escuela Caribe in the ’80s when her father preached and provided pastoral counseling services to male and female students at the New Horizons facility. New Horizon alumni recall out of court settlements the Blossoms made with parents of children sexually abused by New Horizons staff. Numerous alumni recount four staff members that sexually abused children at the facility. Only one was reported and prosecuted. Many continued to work on staff with Rev. Blossom permitting some to directly work with children while giving others menial tasks. RELATED: To Hell and Back With plans drawn up similar to Blossom’s Honey Creek expansion, a large track of land was purchased in 1982 by New Horizons Youth Ministries in Marion, Indiana. The former Roosevelt School eventually served as a Christian academy for students returning from other New Horizons facilities. Though students at first were housed in large classrooms transformed in to dorms, group homes were eventually replaced them. New Horizons Academy and its group homes closed along with the Canadian facility in 2010.  Source:
Also see:
Interview in Spanish Regarding Escuela Caribe abuses available here:

Juvenile justice center with ties to Mike Pence broke Indiana law Reveal (USA) - February 15, 2017 Author/Byline: Shoshana Walter Section: And Justice for Some Readability: 11-12 grade level (Lexile: 1280) Kids detained at Pierceton Woods Academy in Indiana received meals, beds and Bibles. What they didn't receive? An education. Between 2013 and 2015, the juvenile detention wing of the Christian residential treatment program, owned by a nonprofit with ties to Vice President Mike Pence, failed to provide educational programs to children, according to Indiana Department of Corrections audits reviewed by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. Indiana law requires juvenile detention facilities provide kids with an education. But during one visit by state auditors, several youths said they were not receiving educational services. On another visit, auditors noted, a staffing shortage was to blame. Mark Terrell, chief executive officer of parent organization Lifeline Youth and Family Services, did not respond to requests for comment. Despite the lack of schooling, state auditors continually found Pierceton Woods in "full compliance" with mandatory standards for juvenile facilities. The Department of Correction does not enforce the law, and there appears to be no punishment for facilities that don't provide educational services. Chief counsel Bob Bugher said Pierceton Woods "initiated access" to online courses before shutting down its detention center last year. Though they no longer have a locked facility, Pierceton Woods Academy still accepts court-ordered and paroled kids from around the state as part of its residential treatment program. The 52-acre facility caters to boys between 10 and 21, offers chapel services and baptisms, and has been plagued by complaints of escapes and violence. After one teenage escapee shot a reserve deputy in the chest, local officials demanded an investigation by the state. Last year, a teen sentenced to four months at the facility escaped by fleeing into the woods. The facility remains licensed. It's the kind of faith-based programming once championed by then-Gov. Pence in his home state, where he helped expand faith-based services into the criminal justice system. Last year, Pence and his wife, Karen, were featured speakers at the nonprofit's annual fundraiser. Brenda Vincent, Lifeline's vice president of development, was chief of staff to Indiana's first lady and deputy finance director of Pence's gubernatorial campaign. Mark Terrell, Lifeline's chief executive officer, was appointed by Pence to a judicial nominating commission. In addition to the academy, Lifeline runs other faith-based programs across Oklahoma for troubled youth and families, as well as mission trips in the Dominican Republic. Shoshana Walter can be reached at Follow her on Twitter: @shoeshine.  Source:
SURVIVOR REPORTS   Report One: By Anonymous Survivor (We will forward appropriate messages to this survivor, e-mail us.)   I testify that everything in my statement is true.  I give HEAL permission to use my statement.   In 1981 and 1982 I attended Escuela Caribe in the Dominican Republic, an overseas boarding school owned by Pastor Gordon Blossom of New Horizon's Youth Ministries Marion, Indiana. Based on my experience as a student, staff members of NHYM and Escuela Caribe are definitely abusive.   A staff member, Brenda Wheeler of the girl's house (Starr House), could not find her money and a packet of jello turned up missing. The housefather Phil Redwine (now indirectly serving as a director- his name is not listed but students say he still is) forced us to wake up very late in the night (2am? we had no watches) and do push ups and calisthenics until dawn. As dawn broke we were individually led into a room alone with a staff member and forced to name a student who we thought stole the items. A new student was singled out, Lynn Stallworth of Panama. Staff members forced us to strip the accused student naked and scrub her body under cold water with very harsh laundry brushes. We were later paired up and tied to each other until someone confessed. Turned out that a Dominican laundry woman working for the school had taken the items. A house mother of the boys house, Thomas House, observed recently stolen items in her possession. Solitary confinement and "Mr Brown", a thick leather strap were used for punishments such as talking back or failure to clean to school standards. We were not allowed to speak or write of any of these things while we were in the school or our communication privileges were threatened. After sharing these things with my mother over 20 years later she admitted that she had no idea this kind of stuff was going on and never would have sent me. New Horizon's Youth Ministries never had a certified child psychologist available for any students or staff in need of guidance, though therapy was essential to our healing.   I ask that under all circumstances, my name and contact info stand as confidential, available only through direct permission from me.  

SURVIVOR REPORT #2 By D. L. (We will forward appropriate messages to this survivor, e-mail us)   Everything in my statement is true. I give HEAL permission to use my statement.  I was a student in New Horizons Youth Ministries from mid 1979- mid 1983, also, the oldest student they ever accepted.  They usually range from 12 -18, but was almost 19 when starting.       I was first of all deceived by the Founder, Gordon Blossom, who showed me pictures of fun and unity, and really didn't know what to say, because it seemed too good to be true - getting my education in the Caribbean. I had "no" idea what I was in for. Thinking that this program was located somewhere near a beach, I found myself in the mountains of Jarabacoa.      The first day of being in LaJolla House, was introduced to their point system, where you had to obtain a certain amount of points, plus do a bunch of Scripture memory verses and calesthenics  to receive your levels . The higher you went (4th and 5th), you then needed to get 100% of the house's votes. Having to be on 0 level for the first two weeks,  noticed this guy was fronting when it was his time to try and earn 4th level, thus, I was confronted by my House Father, even after telling him my thoughts, he received it , then thought that this program was not for me.  I thus bucked the system the whole time I was involved , and then was targeted for "being negative" having  " an authority problem", and insubordinate. As you will read , fronting is one key to " success".        The longer being in the Dominican Republic, they more they tried to have me conform , where it got to the point where I had to do an excessive amount of cals, or depending on the house , awoke to stand under a cold shower for about 20 minutes to a 1/2 hour. There were also things called casita runs, where, depending on which house you were at , ( being at their mountain location), had to run up and down a 45-50 degree slope , touch the door of the Founder's casita and then do them again.       One time, being in Quemado House, we had troubles in passing house inspection, where if we didn't pass this one time,  spent our "free day" climbing Mount Megote, twice.  Also being in this house , a  cocky new student didn't like me for some reason and initiated a boxing match.  Not knowing that I boxed ( having gloves at home , and also being left handed) two punches later, he declined,  and then for some reason left Escuela Caribe- lucky bugger!  I had so much hate and frustration in me, actually provoked more of the fight, but was held off.        I'm not sure exactly, but I believe it was every 6 months, we had a thing called "work week" where we would spend approximately 8 hours a day improving the real estate by busting up rocks and having to haul them, or at one time TKB was in the process of being completed, and we had to  move the landscape back so in case of a land slide, etc. I believe doing this only prolonged my real desire in wanting to get my education.         Bud Teare was known as the biggest threat amongst staff, being the Program Director in Marion, and their summer program in Canada. He was even flown down and thus could hear him yelling at students, slamming them around,  to finally receive swats, where you had to be on your kness, lean over a chair, to receive up to ten. I had my first run in with him in Canada.        Part of getting good points was having to rat on other students, where in time you would find yourself being ratted on because of they being retaliatory.  So, another part of the program was to demoralize and humiliate others.       Being 21 now, and not imparting to me that I actually had the legal right to leave their outfit in the Dominican  Republic, actually packed my suitcase and started heading out the door, where I was stopped by my house father, restrained by having him lock the door, and then having been driven by the Program Director to the main campus (on the outskirts of down town ) to be yelled at, given a  hair cut, and then swats. Afterwards, was "trusted" to walk back to the mountain . Being in the town, wanted to veer right, but strayed left knowing that it would have only gotten worse.       There was one time  as we were driven from the main campus to our house in the mountain, I  was restrained from looking out the window as we went through the town to the outskirts, because of looking at Dominican women as we went through. This went on for weeks at a time.       After  2 and 1/2 years in the DR  was shipped to to their campus in Marion, Indiana. I had thought about wanting to run away once a few of us got to Miami, but what I really thought of was trying to get my high school diploma. So, resided there  for a while. The abuse was still apparent, but not as bad,  to where I had enough and walked off the campus. Approximately four months later was persuaded to go back and "F" the program  and get my education. So, went back to eventually have to pack up and we went to their program in Missanabie, Ontario, Canada.       One day passing by Bud, he thought I was being condescending on his "authority" and slammed me against the tool shed, having left a huge dent in one of it's doors. Another time, was forced to pick up a freshly cut 300 lb log  by myself to haul it the saw. My squad having to carry a "squad log" I tried to pass them , and accidently tapped my house father on his shoulder . He then had them put the log down and yelled at me for quite some time. Because of  wearing a red flannel shirt, you could now hear people bellow,"Red shirt, red shirt's coming!" sometimes a little added , "Watch out!" was  being heard for weeks, obviously having to wear it for that amount of time, and not being able to wash it.       There were other situations I witnessed in the DR with other students, where if you should type , instances that they describe fit to a tee (for example, watching a girl having to scrub a stone on the main campus' floor with a tooth brush).       Having picketed NHYM on 09/30/06-10/01/06, as they were celebrating Founder's Day, we had a TV  news team and newspaper come and interview us.  One of my signs was, "Deception Breeds Corruption And I'm Just "1" Who Was Deceived !       Having seen an earlier news clipping , where isaccorp has it posted , Tim, CEO, also son of the Founder, said "You can't abuse kids , it doesn't work!" where another one I wrote was "So You Don't Abuse, Huh?" Watching students today walk to the main building , there were some who gave us the thumbs up , which one gal said it was worth having to fly from Georgia just to see that.       Because he knows my family in quite the personal way, invited me to breakfast on 10/02  and I told him that his father deceived me. He agreed and said that they don't do that anymore . Should you click on to , you  will still see pictures of fun, and on their Escuela Caribe section, some guy diving off a cliff , which is deceiving as to what is actually entailed.       He also mentioned that they abolished swats, where my thoughts / concerns are now, what do they use for corporal punishment, knowing of the other facets used- if now extending them.       Being an alumni on , we are doing our best to stop the abuse that still happens as more and more alumni register with us, maybe being to eventually shut them down; my being a definite foundation , because of who I really am, and  because of the involvement my family had with them ( even donating money to making Lare House).      I find it ironic, knowing that this program didn't essentially help at all, even having to be disowned by my father, why their involvement was the way it was.       Phil Redwine, a couple of years ago,  said that I didn't need to be in the DR where they left me there to basically rot in their oppressive atmosphere. Also, having a life changing experience, where a dictionary finally helped me to identify that one thing , (because of my upbringing and life overall) was, that I suffered from oppression, which literally had this cloud lift from me, tripling my ability to inhale, and has now allowed a totally different perspective . Anyways, he knew I was oppressed, but didn't do anything to help - his comment being , he didn't know how to handle it: in the meantime watching me make a fool of myself, but today know I wasn't being foolish.         Should they read this, they would know who it was that wrote this . So, I don't care if you show my name as to anonymity. As a matter of  fact I would have it that you post me on the web , so parents can see that this stuff happens and not have to now spend $6,000 a month to have their child end up like this, and eventually on the Alumni web site, describing their instances of abuse, that obviously still happens.      I think it great that you help in warning others, but are not actually helping us  having to do the dirty work to shut this place down. I'm just imparting my reasoning why I am placing this testimony with you and there are still students today in the DR, suffering from this program        I have actually made a Declaration also to isaccorp , describing my instances. This is actually more descriptive, but the content still is the same.   

SURVIVOR REPORT #3 By Jenny Littlejohn (If you'd like to send an appropriate message to Jenny, we will forward it.  E-mail Us.)   Everything in my statement is true.  I give HEAL permission to use my statement.   I was a student sent to NHYM in December 2004. I was an adopted child who was severely abused physically and sexually in my earlier childhood. I was sent to the program because I could not bond with my adoptive parents due to the abuse before they received me. I worked hard to push everyone away because I could not trust anyone. I went to the program to learn how to trust and love again. I never participated in drugs, alcohol, or promiscuous behavior before entering the program. The program promised my parents that I would receive certified educated counseling. I would be shown how to love again and how to accept my past and learn that not everyone was out to get me. The program how ever laughed in my face the moment my parents left. As a new student I was ridiculed, told I was fat (I was 128lbs ), had my hair cut against my will by Matt Allen, a house father in Pitts house. I had to ask permission to step in every room. I.e. "May I please step into the living room, May I please step into the kitchen ect." Then I had to do 15 push-ups before I entered each room. If I had to go to the bathroom I had 30 sec to urinate and 1 min 45 sec for a bowel movement. I got one square of toilet to urinate and 3 for my bowel movement. In "school" we were forced to self teach. I was given books with a list of the weeks assignments. The teachers in the class were not knowledgeable of the subjects, and being that the class room consisted of anything from 6th grade to 12th we could be of no help to each other. If I was not able to achieve a grade "B" or above, I was punished. This later resulted in me attending the last half of my senior year once I left the program) and being behind in a normal high school. I attended with a fellow housemate who had been molested by one of our house fathers and instead of supporting her, the school made her feel as if she encouraged and caused it. I spent many nights, up all night long doing "units" (25 push-ups, 25 squat-thrusts, 25 mountain climbers, 25 sit-ups, and 25 jumping-jacks) and getting to rest in push-up position before beginning again. I was pushed, jabbed in the chest and ridiculed in front of my house mates. My parents received monthly reports of my progress. Once I came home and found the stack of reports, I began to get angry. The reports told of house trips, shopping trips and movies. They said they took us to the zoo and the children's resume. I even found where they asked my parents to send in a set amount of money for my personal use each month, like an allowance. My parents sent in the money and I never received it. Nor did I ever take these "fun trips" that my parents thought I was taking. They also told my parents that I was not doing well and that they recommended that I continue the program because I was constantly lying and "bucking authority:. They said I flirted with the boys and caused problems. None of this was true. In fact I was scared of men due to my abuse. I never even had my FIRST BOYFRIEND until I was 20years old. Then In Canada at NHYM's wilderness camp, we were given 1 bucket of lake water and this was all we could use to bathe with. We washed our clothes on rocks with scrub brushes. When we were punished we were placed at the end of a dock and 3 or 4 house fathers surrounded us and screamed at us all the while pushing us closer to the edge of the dock and eventually in the lake. We then had to tread water while they continued to scream. Eventually we were yanked out and forced to do pushups while being soaking wet( oh yeah, and we had on boots, jeans, a t-shirt and a flannel shirt) if we couldn't then we were pushed back in and started all over.   We worked long hours,8 a day, hauling logs and making board walks and much more. While in Canada my father passed away. I was told later that my mom was told that I could only go home for the day of the funeral and that my mom was not to cater to my emotions that I would only be crying for attention and not be truly grieving. I went home the night before the funeral and went back to Canada the day of. When I got back Larry Ponder, my house father, and Lori Rehem, my house mother, told my cabin that no one was aloud to talk to me about my father and that they were to ignore me and tell them if I tried. I was not aloud to grieve. This created further anger and less of a desire to love and grow. In counseling I could talk about nothing that was bothering me because they told me that unless I behaved to their standards I would never be ready to deal with my issues. Now correct me if I am wrong.... But wasn't I pushing away from my family because I did not know how to deal with the pain in my past and wouldn't I need to deal with that pain and over come the hurt in order to feel safe enough to trust someone and love them. Didn't they have it backwards? Then I fell and injured my patella (in my knee) and was taken to the hospital. The hospital staff were so concerned at how unhealthy I looked and how unclean I was and by how bad I smelled ( due to not being aloud to properly take showers) that Canada's CPS was called. A staff of NHYM was able to reach me before the CPS worker arrived and told me that my life would be miserable the rest of the summer if I made one complaint to the CPS worker. I was forced to tell her that I was being obstinate to the rules and was refusing to clean myself and that I had done it for attention. The staff then told the CPS worker that they were addressing my disobedience. None of this was true. I had not refused to clean myself. I was then sent to Hymn's Dominican program Escuella Caribe. Here I was forced to run casitas which was a mountainous hill at a 55-60 degree angle. we were timed and if we didn't do it in time we started over. I have a disease called "Erythema Nodosum". This is much like lupus except that it usually attacks the legs. It causes huge sores and muscle pain. Your White blood cells begin to attack each other. At any point I suffered from this and yet they would not grant me leniency on running and exercise. Then there was Mr.. Brown, the leather paddle used to swats kids. There never was any set reason as to why it was used. You could be swatted for anything ranging from back talking to looking at something or something wrong. You were enforced to bend over and grab your ankles while your house father watched and were spanked. If you fell over or cried out you received additional swats. The most I received at one time was 11 swats because Phil Redwine hit me so hard I kept falling over. I was bruised for weeks. There is also a "QR" room which means quiet room where they put you for solitary confinement. We were placed there  in our underwear and bra if it applied and left there to scrub pots and pans until they were clean enough for approval. We were forced to machete fields of tall grass for 6-8 hours a day. And dig holes. There were times when the holes began to fill up with water due to rain and we still had to stand in them and dig. All this time my mother was given completely false facts about what was going on and I had the fear of swats from the program placed on me if I told her any different. I was even humiliated in front of my class  mates. I was sick with the runs and had asked my teacher if I could use the restroom. He refused. I could not help it but it poured out of me and I went in my pants (diarrhea). Instead of helping me I was yelled at and forced to wear them all day. He made me stand in front of the class and told the class that I had done it on purpose so that they would be miserable and that I was tiring to get out of doing my school work. I had to wear them for 4 or 5 more hours. After I got back to the house and cleaned up I received swats for insubordination, 3 casitas and was demoted to zero level. I also lost my free day and had to go to TKB house to work while my house got free day. I finally left the program August of 1997. I was a bitter, hurt and angry girl with no self esteem. My parents believed me to be a failure because the program told them I was. Although now,  9.5 years later, I am finally proud of who I am  working on a bachelors in criminal justice and engaged to a wonderful Christian man, and is it  thanks to New Horizons ? NO!! It's thanks to God and my two beautiful little boys. They showed me to love and trust. They taught me that I am not a bad person . New horizens did none of they only reinforced what I was taught as a 4yr old little girl being raped over and over again, that I was a nobody, nothing , a waist of time. I pray that this story helps someone else who is grieving and hurting. You are not alone. Jenny Littlejohn    

SURVIVOR REPORT #4 I, Anonymous, declare and state as follows: 1.   New Horizons Youth Ministries 2.   Marion Indiana and Canada 3.   1981 to 1984 4.   I was a student at NHYM in Marion Indiana and Canada from 1981 to 1984. I seen and dealt with abuses there that a child in any normal home should not have to endure. I witnessed a married female staff member having sex with a student. When I brought it to Bud Teares attention the female and her husband were allowed to threaten me. I was then threatened if I contacted authorities. I was forced to stand in the middle of a circle of approx. 10 male students and allow them to beat the crap out of me while we wore boxing gloves. This was their idea of punishment. We were forced to clean our rooms only to have the house father or Budd Teare come in and destroy the entire house and we would have to do it again, and again. The abuse was not only physical but emotional. I did graduate from high school only because of fear of the repercussions if I failed anything in school. While in Canada we were forced to build cabins for them to house future students. I believe this is a form of child labor and if they had been forced to pay a company to come in and build these cabins, it would've cost them several thousands of dollars. If any parent had done these things to their child they would've found themselves in prison. It amazes me that Budd Teara now works for Indiana Wesleyan University. It is my personal belief that these facilities should be closed and the individuals that are running them should be investigated and prosecuted. Thank you Anonymous  I give HEAL permission to use this statement.  I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.  Executed on June 2, 2009.                                                                             ________________________________                                                                        

Anonymous [To contact the author, e-mail HEAL and we will forward your message.  No abusive or harassing                                                                         messages will be forwarded.                                                                                                                                   


 Last Updated: March 30th, 2020

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