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*Info: [ Alternative Program homepage]  
*Info: [ Alternative Program homepage]  
*Info: [ International survivors action committee on Spring Creek Lodge] (Watch organisation)
*Info: [ International survivors action committee on Spring Creek Lodge] (Watch organisation)
*Info: [ SCLA], testimony from Natalie Hackman from the webpage of Community Alliance For the Ethical Treatment of Youth (CAFETY)
===Survivor groups===  
===Survivor groups===  

Versionen fra 8. okt 2008, 09:24

Spring Creek Lodge Academy is located north of Thompson Falls, Montana. It is placed at a small gravel road a mile south of Spring Creek Lane on Blue Slide Road. The official address is Spring Creek Road 75, Thompson Falls, Montana 59873 [1]

It operates under an umbrella organization of WWASP. The owner/Director Cameron Pullan worked for Robert Lichfield in 1991/1992 at WWASP flagship program, Cross Creek Manor.

It did open in 1997 and have room for 421 detainees.

It claimed that it was redrawn from WWASP in 2006, but it still is marketed along the other WWASP facilities and the billing office is the same for all WWASP programs.

Program description

Some detainees arrive tricked by their families but parents are advised to use a teen escort company.

Level system

Both programs consist of six levels. New detainees starts at level 1. They must show good behavior and attend a number of seminars in order to be voted up to the next level by their fellow detainees and therapists. Parents are warned against complaints from their children in the Parent Manual.

Detainees start with no privileges. Upon arrival they are strip-searched and their clothes are removed. They are handed an uniform appropriate for their level. They are not allowed to wear shoes due to the flight risk. As it is stated on the homepage of the facility: It is not like most WWASP program surrounded by a fence but the local sheriff office is founded heavily by the facility, which also is the largest employer in the area. All the neighbors can receive a reward, if they catch a runaway.

Living conditions

Detainees stay in groups called families while in the lower levels of the program (levels one, two and three), with the lowest levels (usually everything except for three all stars) sleeping in a large dormitory consisting of single room with ten bunks (20 beds) with adjoining bathrooms, shower and laundry facilities. Two rooms are joined together through adjoining doors at night time so night-staff can monitor the detainees.

Communication betweens detainees

During the day, each family is segregated, and not allowed communicate with other groups. Some lower levels within a family are not allowed to communicate with each other, unless the two people's levels add up to four (e.g. a level one and a level two may not communicate), this encourages new detainees to seek out detainees that have been at the school for a while and may have a better attitude instead of seeking out new detainees that may come in with a negative or defiant attitude, it discourages negative people from cliquing up. It is important to note that each new detainees begins at level two and they may move up from there or lose their points based on their behavior.

Parent involvement

Parents are not obligated to do anything. It is an totally outsourcing of the adolescents of the youth, but if they insist in seeing the child during the stay, they are mandated to attend a parents seminar, so they are emotionally prepared to reject any kind of claim of abuse from the child about the place.


None of the education claimed to be done there are recognized by an accreditation association which is enlisted at the United States Department of Education. They refer to an independent association named Northwest Association of Accredited Schools .


Any moving up and down in the system is done via a point system which is controlled by good or bad behavior and the ability to observe the rules. Negative points can given to a student that masturbates in private (If suspicious remains is found anywhere) or for looking at detainees of the other sex. If the student are not moving forward in the system or have lost point they can be put in a isolation room called "The Hobbit". This kind of punishment is called intervention.

"Exit Plan"

A detainee graduates when the person reach level six or the person become 18. If a person does not reach level six before the 18 birthday, the detainee can choose an Exit Plan, which consists of being handed money (amounts between 10 and 100 dollar according to sources) and a bus ticket to Spokane. The family of the detainee has no obligations to take the detainee back and in fact the parents are urged no to during seminars, they have to attend in order to visit their own child once, they have enrolled the child in the program.

If the detainee are not prepared to cut any connection with his or her family, a stay at Camas Ranch (for young adults males) and Canyon View Park (for young adult females) are offered as an alternative to the Exit Plan.


As it is the case with other WWASP facilities, there have been allegations about human rights violations of children.

The facility is also involved in a lawsuit [2]

In the news

Spring Creek Lodge received a lot of the detainees, which was sent home when Morova academy - the school in Brno, Czech Republic - also a WWASP facility - was shut down due to suspicion of child abuse in 1998. Claire and Mia Fontaine has wrote a book about Mia's stay at both facilities where the readers can learn how the level system combined with parent seminars are able to to alter the sense of reality for both parent and child to a fact that they both are happy with the child being locked up [3]

Another transfer of detainees happened when Casa by the Sea in Mexico was shut down in 2004 - also due to suspicion of child abuse [4]

In 2004 a girl managed to commit suicide. It is only known attempt to succeed out of several attempts [5].

In 2006 MontanaPBS made a TV program called "Who is watching the kids?" with focus on Spring Creek Lodge, which can be watched online [6].


A neighborhood stood up for their friend and created a support group as a constant reminder that anyone can be locked up without trial and conviction. An example to follow [7]


  1. The facility on Google Maps
  2. Documents from Turley Law Firm
  3. Comeback, a mother a daughter's journey through hell and back, Clare and Mia Fontaine, ISBN 0-06-085971-7
  4. Spring Creek's Short Leash, Missoula Independent, by John S. Adams, published 06/16/2005
  5. Desperate Measures, Denver Rocky Mountain News, 1999
  6. "Who is watching the kids?", MontanaPBS, 2006
  7. Save Hal Boston, Myspace group

External links

Info pages

Survivor groups

Message boards

Specific threads mentioning the facility

General message boards about the facility

Watch organization status