This is a  staff list for Turn About Ranch in Escalante, UT

(a.k.a. Aspen Education Group, )

(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 Turn-About Ranch.  For information on your rights and how to take action, visit www.heal-online.org/blowthewhistle.htm.If you were fired or forced to resign because you opposed any illegal and/or unethical practices at Turn-About Ranch, you have the right to take action.

 

If you were harmed (family or survivor) by Turn-About Ranch, please contact info@heal-online.org if you remember the long-term employees and from which years.This will help!†  Also, if you recognize any of these staff as having worked at another program, please send in any information about their past or present employment at other facilities and/or cults.

 

Please donít place your loved one in Turn About Ranch and rescue them if they are there now. 

 

Name

Unit/Position

Additional Information
Karen Munson Academics Director  
Lori Beebe Admin Asst  
RaeAnne Knight Financial Mgr. Knight has been with Turn About since 2001.
Annette Ormond Operations Director She has been with Turn-About Ranch since January of 1993.
Drew Fosse Admissions BYU graduate.  Fosse no longer appears to work for this program.
Jamie Lyman Admissions  
Yancy Whipple Admissions Director  
Myron Carter Barn Mgr. Myron has been with Turn-About since it first started.  Reportedly cruel and abusive (based on e-mail message from survivor received April 29th, 2011)
Steve Gessig Program Supervisor  
Luke Hatch Executive Director Hatch has worked at other unnamed programs.*  Reportedly cruel and abusive (based on e-mail message from survivor received April 29th, 2011)
Marty Ormond Program Director Marty has been with Turn-About Ranch since 1993.
Wayne Stinson Program Supervisor  
Dave Treanor Program Supervisor  
Traci Roundy Nurse Roundy has been at Turn About since 2007.
Debbie Allen Residential  
Shelly Alvey Residential  
Tom Alvey Residential Tom has worked for Turn-About Ranch since January 2002.  Tom reportedly advocated for children in the program unsuccessfully. 
Sam Alvey Residential  
Nicole Beebe Residential  
Ruby Begay Residential  
Amanda Branscum Residential Branscum no longer appears to work at this program.
Keith Carter Residential Keith has worked for Turn-About Ranch since January, 2002.
Clayton Carter Residential Both of Clayton's parents worked at Turn-About when it first started.  Carter no longer appears to work for this program.
Ashley Chidester Residential  
Sue Christensen-Nelson Residential Sue took the night staff position in 1997.  Christensen-Nelson reportedly no longer works at this program.
Vickie Crawford Residential Crawford no longer appears to work for this program.
Elizabeth Daiss Residential  
Doug Davis Residential  
Laura Engberg Residential  
Ted Engberg Residential  
Pratt Gates Residential  
Allen Knight Residential Knight reportedly no longer works for this program.
Carol Kracht Residential  
Owen Gonder Residential Gonder no longer appears to work for this program.
Martha Larson Residential Larson no longer appears to work for this program.
Debbie Lyman Residential Debbie has been with Turn About Ranch (TAR) since 2001.
Walt Mince Residential  
Alan Mitchell Residential  
"Jay" Nelson Residential Turn About put Jay's name in quotations.  There is no other information regarding his name.  He is night "security" for the program.
Randsome Owens Residential  
Kim Porter (male) Residential  
Allen Porter Residential  
Peggy Pratt Residential  
Dannie Pratt Residential  
Dale Richards Residential Richards is originally from South Carolina.  Richards is also reportedly a teacher and pastor at the program. 
Brandi Schraft Residential  
Ivan Singh Residential  
Rex Stone Residential Rex Stone reportedly advocated for children in the program unsuccessfully.
Jimmy Woolsey Residential  
Sabrina Hughes Counselor Hughes no longer appears to work for this program.
Gene King Teacher  
Karl Spencer Teacher Graduate of BYU.  Spencer has worked at programs in the following locations for 33 years in Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico, Guam, American Samoa, and Marshall Islands.*
Jeanne Fry Therapist Fry no longer appears to work for this program.
Dayna Rust Clinical Director Rust is originally from Lexington, KY.  Rust began working at Turn About in 2004.  Rust no longer appears to work for this program.
Jeremy Williams Therapist Williams no longer appears to work for this program.
Mark Anderson Therapist  
Michelle Lindsay Clinical Director Lindsay formerly worked for Sun Hawk Academy and Aspen Achievement Academy as well as Homeward Bound.
Maria Oman Therapist  
Pam Jenner Residential Pam Jenner reportedly advocated for children in the program unsuccessfully.
Doug Jenner Residential Pam Jenner's husband and also reportedly works in the barn.
NO OTHER NAMES NO OTHER TITLES There is no additional information on staff at this location at this time.*
*(Turn About Ranch, 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.)
Turn About Ranch is an Aspen Education Group program.  Thomas J. Croke, Educational Consultant, has denounced Aspen Education Group for putting profits over the safety and care of children in Aspen programs.
HEAL has reviewed multiple Aspen Education Group contracts that appear to be illusory, unconscionable, void/voidable, and arguably illegal.  Turn About Ranch does not make its enrollment materials available to the public.  However, please see the reviews for Adirondack Leadership Expeditions, Aspen Achievement Academy, Aspen Ranch, Aspen Institute of Behavioral Assessment, and New Leaf Academy.  It is our suggestion that families avoid doing business with Aspen Education Group and/or their individual programs.
Torture Alleged at Utah Treatment Center

     SALT LAKE CITY (CN) - A mother claims in court that "sadists and psychopaths" at Turn About Ranch, a residential treatment center in Escalante, subjected her teen-age daughter to "torture," including hours of stress positions, threats to suffocate her, exposure to animal abuse and regular public humiliation.
     Elizabeth Verney and her mother, Julia Gordon, sued Turn About Ranch and Aspen Education Group, both California corporations, in Federal Court.
     Turn About "purport(s) to be a Utah licensed residential treatment center" in Escalante. It's owned and operated by the Aspen Group, according to the complaint.
     Verney, now 22, claims Turn About subjected her to "torture" in 2005, when she was 15.
     The ranch billed itself as a place to treat "young people with low self-esteem, depression and mental health problems," according to the complaint, and "boasted [of] daily private therapy sessions, horse riding and outdoor activities with all staff trained as childcare experts."
     Gordon, of London, England, claims the defendants charged her $310 a day to treat her daughter for depression and severe anxiety disorder.
     But Verney says she spent 7 weeks as an "abject captive" and was "constantly frightened and fearing for her life."
     According to the 34-page complaint: "During her stay Elizabeth was subjected to sleep deprivation, denied food, and yet forced to eat and prepare meat, which was abhorrent to her as a vegetarian. The ranch threatened her with restraint and force-feeding with a tube if she did not comply. The ranch forced physical labor and excessive exercise in extreme temperatures. It forced her regularly to put her hands in a sink filled with bleach to wash dishes until they bled, leaving to this day scars on her knuckles.
     "Staff's verbal abuse was unrelenting, humiliating both in private and in group 'denunciation meetings' where she was made to list her faults and listen to her peers taking turns denigrating her and her faults, and what they disliked about her, not as therapy but out of relish.
     "Staff regularly threatened Elizabeth with physical violence, including potential suffocation if she tried to run away. They told her daily that she was a bad person, and described her as 'disgusting, stupid, manipulative, pathetic and bad.' They screamed at her, punished her for crying and for having panic attacks that caused fearful hyperventilation.
     "They forced her to maintain stress positions for many hours at time during the first few days at the ranch, not allowing her to rest her body against any structures, to stretch or to lie down, putting great pressure on her back, neck and joints, all of which was extremely painful. They forced her to sleep on a wooden slab without a pillow or mattress even though she already suffered from ongoing back pain from an injury that her parents had told the ranch about.
     "She was often not allowed to wash for days at a time or change her dirty clothes. They forced her to sleep in clothes that had animal feces on them.
     "Bullying and abuse between those in the program was not only overlooked but actively encouraged. When Elizabeth informed staff about a 13-year-old boy's being bullied by older teens in his dorm room, a staff member said the boy deserved it and joined the ringleaders in taunting and humiliating her all the more, and then excluded the boy from group activities."
     Verney says she was also forced to attend church, "although she and her family are not Christian and found some of the teachings against her beliefs."
     The complaint continues: "In some ways the most harmful experience was the emotional abuse inflicted by her appointed 'therapist' of uncertain credentials, who criticized her, led a denunciation meeting against her, told her that she was a bad person and was 'pretending' rather than suffering from true anxiety or depression, thereby refusing to treat, validate, or even acknowledge the deterioration of her mental health at the Ranch. Notwithstanding being cast as a counselor and liaison between Elizabeth and her parents, she lied to Elizabeth's family about Elizabeth's welfare and physical and mental health, and lied about her parents' communications to the Ranch about Elizabeth; and facilitated, enhanced, and concealed Elizabeth's abuse so as to dissuade her family from making serious inquiry about Elizabeth's welfare and, in order to extort further funding, claimed that Elizabeth needed to remain at the Ranch.
     "Elizabeth saw that animals at the camp were seriously abused and neglected. She was told of animal torture witnessed by other teens, such as the burning of a live rat on a camp fire (apparently the creature was repeatedly tossed into the fire by a member of staff until it died). One staff member showed Elizabeth a knife he used to castrate farm animals without anesthetic, describing the animals' screams, as he knew that she was an animal lover. Dogs were left for days without water in extreme
     "The Ranch intercepted, read, and confiscated Elizabeth's mail. Staff made her write false and glowing letters. Staff censored and manipulated all communication with her family. They lied to her about communications between the Ranch and her parents and vice versa. Staff told her that her parents were colluding with the Ranch to 'punish' her because she was a bad person, that they did not really love her, were angry with her, and were not sure whether they were ever going to come and get her.
     "On one occasion Elizabeth had written to her parents telling them about an incident of mistreatment, the mention of which the Ranch always emphatically prohibited, and that she wanted to come home. The Ranch never sent the letter. Max, one of the Ranch directors, told Elizabeth that her parents had received the letter and not only did they think Elizabeth deserved the abuse but had called the Ranch saying that she had been 'telling tales' and should be punished for doing so. Her parents were told at this time that Elizabeth was so happy at the Ranch that she wanted to stay even longer in the program and they were encouraged to fund the extension of her time there.
     "Elizabeth had self-harmed in the past and was told by staff it was manipulative and immoral and her therapist made her apologize publicly for it. Elizabeth was very shy and embarrassed about having self-harmed and found it publically portrayed as a gross sin rather than a recognized control mechanism. She was punished for crying, usually by being made to walk in circles or sit on a rock outside alone for hours at a time. Even if she cried silently or tried to conceal it by covering her face and then apologizing, she was laughed at, screamed at, and punished for being 'manipulative' or 'weak.' ...
     "By the time she left, she had come to believe that the things she had been told about her and that she negatively experienced at the Ranch, were the real reality, a sort of semi-Stockholm Syndrome. Until the moment they boarded the plane to the UK, Elizabeth thought that as a result of any mishap, mistake, or blunder she had made, she would be kidnapped and taken back to the Ranch."
     Verney's mother says she "only became aware that something was seriously wrong when she and her husband traveled to Utah to visit Elizabeth, half way in to her 80-day initial stay at the ranch. They were shocked to find her terrified, subdued, and very disturbing in her behavior. Her hands were raw and continuously bleeding, she had lost weight and looked exhausted."
     Gordon says she and her husband "had asked to speak to Elizabeth many times, but were told by staff and the psychiatrist at the ranch that it would distress her and disturb her excellent progress of gaining self-esteem, and that she may, given her joyous progress, wish to stay even longer after completing the program."
     She adds: "No explanation was adequate to justify subjecting a vulnerable, frightened 15-year-old girl to the systematic breaking of her spirit and mental health unless she were in the hands of sadists and psychopaths, which she was. ...
     "Julia Gordon bitterly regretted sending Elizabeth to the ranch in Utah. The consequences of her stay there had a profound adverse effect upon her life and family, with which both mother and daughter are still struggling many years later."
     The plaintiffs seek the "enforced release of any and all minors enrolled or incarcerated in any and all of defendants' facilities," and special, general and punitive damages for slavery, involuntary servitude, conspiracy, fraudulent concealment and constitutional violations.
     They are represented by Thomas Burton.

Source: http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/06/27/47850.htm

External Article: http://tales-from-the-black-school.blogspot.com/2010/11/turn-about-ranch-rough-guide.html?m=1
Emancipation request splits family:  OREM - "Kaye" has no shortage of family members looking after her.  There are her mother and stepfather, who, in the wee hours of the morning on Nov. 1, paid a company to forcibly transport her to Turn-About Ranch, a Utah boarding school and residential treatment center for troubled teens.  And there are her two maternal aunts who, seeking to free their niece, secretly arranged to have her sign legal papers in the restroom of a Baptist church that Turn-About students attend on Sundays.  Those papers triggered an emancipation hearing Friday before 4th District Juvenile Judge Sterling Sainsbury, who will evaluate whether Kaye, 16, is capable of deciding for herself what's best.  Utah's new emancipation law wasn't created to give adolescents an avenue to fight confinement at therapeutic schools and wilderness programs. Proponents pitched it as benefiting homeless, runaway and other "throwaway" youth.  But child advocates are pleased to see the new statute so cleverly applied.  (Unable to locate story at time of archiving.  Source: www.sltrib.com Date: December 16, 2006)
Torture Alleged at Utah Treatment Center By JONNY BONNER           SALT LAKE CITY (CN) - A mother claims in court that "sadists and psychopaths" at Turn About Ranch, a residential treatment center in Escalante, subjected her teen-age daughter to "torture," including hours of stress positions, threats to suffocate her, exposure to animal abuse and regular public humiliation.      Elizabeth Verney and her mother, Julia Gordon, sued Turn About Ranch and Aspen Education Group, both California corporations, in Federal Court.      Turn About "purport(s) to be a Utah licensed residential treatment center" in Escalante. It's owned and operated by the Aspen Group, according to the complaint.      Verney, now 22, claims Turn About subjected her to "torture" in 2005, when she was 15.      The ranch billed itself as a place to treat "young people with low self-esteem, depression and mental health problems," according to the complaint, and "boasted [of] daily private therapy sessions, horse riding and outdoor activities with all staff trained as childcare experts."      Gordon, of London, England, claims the defendants charged her $310 a day to treat her daughter for depression and severe anxiety disorder.      But Verney says she spent 7 weeks as an "abject captive" and was "constantly frightened and fearing for her life."      According to the 34-page complaint: "During her stay Elizabeth was subjected to sleep deprivation, denied food, and yet forced to eat and prepare meat, which was abhorrent to her as a vegetarian. The ranch threatened her with restraint and force-feeding with a tube if she did not comply. The ranch forced physical labor and excessive exercise in extreme temperatures. It forced her regularly to put her hands in a sink filled with bleach to wash dishes until they bled, leaving to this day scars on her knuckles.      "Staff's verbal abuse was unrelenting, humiliating both in private and in group 'denunciation meetings' where she was made to list her faults and listen to her peers taking turns denigrating her and her faults, and what they disliked about her, not as therapy but out of relish.      "Staff regularly threatened Elizabeth with physical violence, including potential suffocation if she tried to run away. They told her daily that she was a bad person, and described her as 'disgusting, stupid, manipulative, pathetic and bad.' They screamed at her, punished her for crying and for having panic attacks that caused fearful hyperventilation.      "They forced her to maintain stress positions for many hours at time during the first few days at the ranch, not allowing her to rest her body against any structures, to stretch or to lie down, putting great pressure on her back, neck and joints, all of which was extremely painful. They forced her to sleep on a wooden slab without a pillow or mattress even though she already suffered from ongoing back pain from an injury that her parents had told the ranch about.      "She was often not allowed to wash for days at a time or change her dirty clothes. They forced her to sleep in clothes that had animal feces on them.      "Bullying and abuse between those in the program was not only overlooked but actively encouraged. When Elizabeth informed staff about a 13-year-old boy's being bullied by older teens in his dorm room, a staff member said the boy deserved it and joined the ringleaders in taunting and humiliating her all the more, and then excluded the boy from group activities."      Verney says she was also forced to attend church, "although she and her family are not Christian and found some of the teachings against her beliefs."      The complaint continues: "In some ways the most harmful experience was the emotional abuse inflicted by her appointed 'therapist' of uncertain credentials, who criticized her, led a denunciation meeting against her, told her that she was a bad person and was 'pretending' rather than suffering from true anxiety or depression, thereby refusing to treat, validate, or even acknowledge the deterioration of her mental health at the Ranch. Notwithstanding being cast as a counselor and liaison between Elizabeth and her parents, she lied to Elizabeth's family about Elizabeth's welfare and physical and mental health, and lied about her parents' communications to the Ranch about Elizabeth; and facilitated, enhanced, and concealed Elizabeth's abuse so as to dissuade her family from making serious inquiry about Elizabeth's welfare and, in order to extort further funding, claimed that Elizabeth needed to remain at the Ranch.      "Elizabeth saw that animals at the camp were seriously abused and neglected. She was told of animal torture witnessed by other teens, such as the burning of a live rat on a camp fire (apparently the creature was repeatedly tossed into the fire by a member of staff until it died). One staff member showed Elizabeth a knife he used to castrate farm animals without anesthetic, describing the animals' screams, as he knew that she was an animal lover. Dogs were left for days without water in extreme      "The Ranch intercepted, read, and confiscated Elizabeth's mail. Staff made her write false and glowing letters. Staff censored and manipulated all communication with her family. They lied to her about communications between the Ranch and her parents and vice versa. Staff told her that her parents were colluding with the Ranch to 'punish' her because she was a bad person, that they did not really love her, were angry with her, and were not sure whether they were ever going to come and get her.      "On one occasion Elizabeth had written to her parents telling them about an incident of mistreatment, the mention of which the Ranch always emphatically prohibited, and that she wanted to come home. The Ranch never sent the letter. Max, one of the Ranch directors, told Elizabeth that her parents had received the letter and not only did they think Elizabeth deserved the abuse but had called the Ranch saying that she had been 'telling tales' and should be punished for doing so. Her parents were told at this time that Elizabeth was so happy at the Ranch that she wanted to stay even longer in the program and they were encouraged to fund the extension of her time there.      "Elizabeth had self-harmed in the past and was told by staff it was manipulative and immoral and her therapist made her apologize publicly for it. Elizabeth was very shy and embarrassed about having self-harmed and found it publically portrayed as a gross sin rather than a recognized control mechanism. She was punished for crying, usually by being made to walk in circles or sit on a rock outside alone for hours at a time. Even if she cried silently or tried to conceal it by covering her face and then apologizing, she was laughed at, screamed at, and punished for being 'manipulative' or 'weak.' ...      "By the time she left, she had come to believe that the things she had been told about her and that she negatively experienced at the Ranch, were the real reality, a sort of semi-Stockholm Syndrome. Until the moment they boarded the plane to the UK, Elizabeth thought that as a result of any mishap, mistake, or blunder she had made, she would be kidnapped and taken back to the Ranch."      Verney's mother says she "only became aware that something was seriously wrong when she and her husband traveled to Utah to visit Elizabeth, half way in to her 80-day initial stay at the ranch. They were shocked to find her terrified, subdued, and very disturbing in her behavior. Her hands were raw and continuously bleeding, she had lost weight and looked exhausted."      Gordon says she and her husband "had asked to speak to Elizabeth many times, but were told by staff and the psychiatrist at the ranch that it would distress her and disturb her excellent progress of gaining self-esteem, and that she may, given her joyous progress, wish to stay even longer after completing the program."      She adds: "No explanation was adequate to justify subjecting a vulnerable, frightened 15-year-old girl to the systematic breaking of her spirit and mental health unless she were in the hands of sadists and psychopaths, which she was. ...      "Julia Gordon bitterly regretted sending Elizabeth to the ranch in Utah. The consequences of her stay there had a profound adverse effect upon her life and family, with which both mother and daughter are still struggling many years later."      The plaintiffs seek the "enforced release of any and all minors enrolled or incarcerated in any and all of defendants' facilities," and special, general and punitive damages for slavery, involuntary servitude, conspiracy, fraudulent concealment and constitutional violations.      They are represented by Thomas Burton. Source: http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/06/27/47850.htm

 

 Last Updated: March 24th, 2014

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