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(Believed to be closed.  September 17th, 2010.  This is based on the fact that their website is for sale, their building in Oregon is for sale, and their phone is disconnected.)


HEAL volunteers did a visit to the program (Oregon location) and stated it reminded them a lot of Cross Creek, a confirmedly abusive WWASPS program.  Below, see the parent and student manuals from The Academy and HEAL's commentary on what is going on within The Academy(s).  For additional information, click here.


The Academy in Myrtle Point, OR and Fiji is affiliated with the Harmony Institute.  The Harmony Institute is on many cult-watch lists.  The Harmony Institute is based on Lifespring seminars, a known cult that uses coercive thought reform (a.k.a. brainwashing) to manipulate "members" into turning over great amounts of money and time to the service of the "organization".  The Harmony Institute hosts the "parent seminars" or brainwashing forums for the parents with children at the lockdown compound(s) in Oregon and Fiji.  Lifespring is also the basis of Resource Realizations/WWASPS abusive methods.

For more information on the cults associated with Lifespring, The Harmony Institute, and by relation The Academy, visit:










Below are the links to each individual page of the Parent & Student Manuals

Below are HEAL's comments related to the page(s) linked to the left

The Academy, Page 1

The highlighted phrases exemplify a cult-like model.  The Academy warns families that the process is painful and that a child's beliefs will be challenged and destroyed as part of the "process".  It also euphemistically states that the children will be putting their "rumps" a.k.a. their "lives" on the line in the program.  Any program that uses extreme measures to change behavior is not a respectful or family-inclusive program.  In addition, the language of "love" towards the parents is unprofessional and associated with "love-bombing" which is a common initiation into most cults in the United States and abroad.

The Academy, Page 2

The Academy deprives the young adult of any comfort.  This includes deprivation of comfortable clothes and shoes for their hard days of labor.  The purpose of this deprivation is to deprive the young adult of any reinforcement for who he/she was before being initiated into the cult.  It is the first step in challenging the very identity of the young adult.    Please review the information on the level system process and how it always begins with the initiates forced renunciation of his/her very self.  HEAL calls such a stage, "the forced betrayal of the self".

The Academy, Page 3

The significance of the "Things to Bring" lists on pages 3 & 4 exemplify that the young adults cannot expect basic first aid to be available to them unless they provide it for themselves.  This places the burden of all basic needs on the parents and limits the expenses incurred by The Academy.  Since The Academy is not a medical facility nor an accredited school, the only thing left is a deceptive cult that minimizes its expenses in every possible way to exploit families to the fullest.

The Academy, Page 4

The Academy, Page 5

The young adults are not allowed reading materials, radio, or television.  They are not allowed clocks, watches, or any item that might "sabotage" their "progress".  These items would provide a mental escape and access to the outside world.  Access to the outside world and to family is imperative for any young adult's health, regardless of their behavior.  The deprivation of these basic items confirms a cult-like atmosphere of coercive thought reform and psychological torture.

The Academy, Page 6

The significance of the "Things to Bring" lists on pages 6 & 7 exemplify that the young adults cannot expect basic first aid to be available to them unless they provide it for themselves.  This places the burden of all basic needs on the parents and limits the expenses incurred by The Academy.  Since The Academy is not a medical facility nor an accredited school, the only thing left is a deceptive cult that minimizes its expenses in every possible way to exploit families to the fullest.

The Academy, Page 7
The Academy, Page 8

All communication between the young adult/student and the outside world is "organized" and "coordinated" by the "family representative".  The young adult is not allowed any phone calls (even in an emergency) until they reach level 2.  And, level 2 only allows the young adult a short and monitored conversation with his parent(s). 

Also, this page states that their methods are only understood by people residing continually on the campus and that the methods "may not make any particular sense to anyone" outside of the cult compound.  This is practically an admission of their cult status.  Science and socialization practices that honor the US Constitution as well as reasonable and ethical standards are capable of being explained and understood in plain English.  Any excuses for being part of a "magical" journey is a cult practice and a big warning sign that you are being scammed by an exploitative and psychologically damaging cult.

(See HEAL' warning signs list and questions to ask page.)

The Academy, Page 9

This page contradicts itself and page 8 above.  On page 8, it flatly states that all communication is organized and monitored by the "family representative".  Page 9 states that no Academy staff read any letters sent or received (unless deemed necessary for the child's safety and progress).  This is also contradicted by the punishment system below in which a child can be punished for writing "inappropriate" or "complaining" letters home among other things.  This is a violation of the civil rights of the young adults at The Academy.  Of course, the Fiji campus is not under US law, so, violations of all sorts are likely even more common at that facility.

This page also states flat out that The Academy is a behavior modification program that requires full adherence to all cult policies and pressures families to keep abused youths locked up until they "graduate" to insure that abuses at the lower levels are not exposed before the youths are fully indoctrinated and believe that the abuse suffered was "good for them".  This is all part of the cult regimen.

The Academy, Page 10

Emergency calls must be approved by the "Family Representative".  If a young adult is injured, he/she cannot call home to report the incident.  If a family member is hurt or dies, the youth may not be notified immediately and feel even greater abandonment by the family.  This is psychologically harmful. 

This section also states that even if you want to send your son/daughter a special gift for a recognized holiday or "just because" it has to be approved.  Even if it is cookies or something home-made to bring them a little piece of home.  These are denied the youth. 

It also states that if you miss your appointed time to talk to your son/daughter, the program can and will deny you access to your child until the next scheduled appointment.  You should always be able to talk with your son/daughter and your son/daughter should have unlimited access to telephone home or emergency (police, fire, etc.) if such a need might arise.

The Academy, Page 11

Page 11 further goes into the denial of communications with the outside world, including immediate family.  On level 1, there are no telephone calls allowed.  On levels 2-4, all phone calls are monitored by staff.  There will be no opportunity for you to speak privately with your son/daughter unless they have reached level 5 and are near "graduation".  This is a big red flag for an abusive cult environment.

The Academy, Page 12

Additional requirements regarding any necessary medical treatment.  The Academy does not take any responsibility for the health of your son/daughter and expects you (with the limited information you have regarding your son/daughter's health while away at The Academy) to make the necessary decisions regarding whether healthcare is needed or to be provided.  Young adults such as Ashley DeBoer (see www.provotruthexposed.com under 2007 for video testimony) nearly died due to the absence of medical care and the fact that her mother was not even notified of the severity of her illness by the program staff at Provo Canyon School.  The methods and model of thought reform and behavior modification are similar between The Academy and Provo Canyon School and it is not unlikely that The Academy would minimize the risk of being exposed as being negligent or intentionally abusive to their students by seeking proper medical attention when needed or reporting injuries to the family decision-makers.

The Academy, Page 13

The young adults are not allowed visits with family nor are family allowed to visit their sons/daughters without approval by The Academy.  Only cult initiates who have made it to level 4 are allowed in-person visits with their family members.  No program should ever deny you access or visitation with your child.  There is no valid reason for this other than the fact that they use brainwashing and coercive thought reform to modify behavior.  And, they do use these methods.  So, don't place your son/daughter with The Academy.

This page also shows the association with the Harmony Institute in Salt Lake City (a.k.a. Lifespring spin-off/cult/see above-intro). 

This page also begins to explain how "upper level" students become "staff" and are allowed to be in-charge of "lower level" students.  This is another sign of a cult.  Experienced and educated professionals that provide a true therapeutic environment would never allow patients/students to be in control of other patients/students.  Only a cult/scam would concoct such a system because it allows for low overhead.  If you have students "training" other students, then you don't have to pay qualified staff to provide instruction or therapy.

The Academy, Page 14

This page urges you not to "rescue" your son/daughter from The Academy.  HEAL finds the use of the word "rescue" both accurate and telling.  If your child is at The Academy, they really do need to be rescued.  Bring them home now.

The Academy, Page 15 Student Manual Cover
The Academy, Page 16

Challenging or resisting the brainwashing and indoctrination into the cult will pro-long the young adult's confinement.  The young adult is expected to surrender his/her life and identity to the program (cult).

The Academy, Page 17

This page includes more information on how students become "staff" and work in "teams" to control the behavior of others in the program/cult.  These "teams" work together 24/7 (no time for personal thoughts, very regimented schedule,) and use positive peer culture/confrontation therapy to change behavior.

The Academy, Page 18

Pages 18 through 21 explain in small detail the level system. Level one a youth is denied all contact with the outside world.  The youth has accumulated zero points (point system explained beginning on page 21.) and has the opportunity to earn up to 33 points a day.  However, one minor infraction (rolling eyes or sighing) and the youth can lose 65 points.  So, for every question, look, moment of confusion or exhaustion, a youth is set back by approximately 2 days worth of perfect performance.  Such an arbitrary system that sets youths up to fail in order to make them feel hopeless and desperate for any sense of humanity and softens them up for the coercive thought reform process is unethical and most likely illegal (due process violations, kidnapping, false imprisonment, fraud, etc.). 

The Academy, Page 19
The Academy, Page 20
The Academy, Page 21
The Academy, Page 22

The point system and punishment system are explained beginning with page 22.  A captive can "earn" up to 33 points a day, 231 points per week, and approximately 990 points per month.    The punishment is similar to Provo Canyon School in that they use the Class I -Class IV structure for infraction points.  As explained above, a student can lose points and therefore have no hope of speaking with his/her family for very minor and very normal teenage behavior.  The code of conduct of which violations result in Class infractions as described on this page begins on the next page.

The Academy, Page 23

The codes of conduct are not inclusive and a "student" can be "corrected" or issued a Class infraction on the arbitrary whim of student's on upper levels as well as other "staff".  A youth can receive a Class I for complaining, being sarcastic, attempting a private conversation by whispering, or "manipulating".  Many young adults have died because staff at programs claimed the teens were "manipulating and faking it" when they weren't and needed medical care.  Manipulating is a term used by the industry to describe any behavior that opposes the program/cult in any way.  So, any free or independent thought will result in a Class I and keep a youth in complete isolation for months.  This is a very psychologically damaging practice.

The Academy, Page 24 Any expectation of privacy will result in the issuance of a Class II.  So will talking without permission, sleeping, eating, standing, writing violative letters (admission that letters are read by staff), "inappropriate communication" during phone call home (reporting abuse at The Academy instead of selling the program so the director/owner can keep raking in the parent's cash), and more...  These are all violative of the captive's first amendment rights and prosecutable.
The Academy, Page 25 A youth can  receive a Class III for discussing an escape or even trying to exchange contact information with another captive to remain in touch after the ordeal.  Remember, a Class III is almost the worst infraction a youth can get.  Can you imagine meeting a new friend and being punished severely for exchanging phone numbers?  Very strange.  It must be a cult.
The Academy, Page 26

A young adult can receive a Class IV for attempting to escape, aiding the escape of others, or supporting/approving of the escape attempt of another captive.  And, we're unclear on this one in relation to the other's, but, a youth can receive a Class IV for acting or intending for another to abuse a substance.  This action is probably a cover for forced false confessions.  It is reminiscent of the Straight spin-off cults.

The Academy, Page 27

This part explains further the point system and how points are taken away.  Remember, a captive can only earn a maximum of 33 points/day, 231 points/week, and 990 points/month with perfect performance.  You'll notice that one Class I results in a loss of 20 points (likely the average points earned for one day--so one Class I will result in the loss of one day of "progress"), a "community service project" (probably fundraising for the cult at local businesses), and forced to write an essay to the subjective and arbitrary opinions of upper level students and/or staff.  A Class II results in the loss of 65 points or the equivalent of two days of "progress".  A Class III results in a loss of 275 points, more than one week's worth of a setback, for doing something as horrible as asking a new friend for their phone number or address.  And, for a Class IV, the young adult loses all points and is "started over" in orientation/level 1 with no privileges and indefinite "probation".

The Academy, Page 28

Pages 28-31 explain the jam-packed schedules of the youths and how they are allowed no personal time to decompress from the program's intensive indoctrination.

The Academy, Page 29
The Academy, Page 30
The Academy, Page 31
The Academy, Page 32

This page further explains the Lifespring/Harmony Instute/Impact Training seminar requirements (cults, all of them) and the fact that a youth will receive a Class II if they write anything disparaging about the program in their letters home.  That is a loss of two days "progress".  Your son/daughter will not be allowed to tell you any abuses or violations that happen to them (sexual, physical, or psychological) while in the program without facing punishment.  The threat of punishment will be imminent with even the slightest thought of questioning the program or reporting abuse.  This is a very dangerous environment for anyone, let alone a captive youth.

The Academy, Page 33 A youth may only write home during designated times.  If a young adult tries to write a letter home at an unauthorized time, he/she will receive a Class I and be punished.  This page further shows that all communications on all levels are monitored by staff at all times to prevent "manipulation".  (see explanation of page 23 above)
The Academy, Page 34 This page further explains the level system. 
The Academy, Page 35 A young adult's only ability to inform of abuse or violations is to submit an internal grievance form.  So, if the person being charged with abuse is the recipient of the complaint, nothing will be done and the youth will be punished.  This sends the wrong message to young adults.  It tells them that being a minority means being abused and creates nothing but a sense of despair and hopelessness.
The Academy, Page 36

These are not an accurate statement of a free young adult's rights in the United States.  For accurate information, visit www.heal-online.org/teenrights.htm


To submit a report or statement on The Academy, e-mail us for details.



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