MITT ROMNEY’S DEEP CONNECTIONS TO THE TROUBLED TEEN INDUSTRY
or, Mitt Romney funds and directly owns centers for child abuse
Mitt Romney’s biography describes him as a well-educated businessman, skilled economic adviser, and typical family man. He is quoted as stating, “I refuse to believe that America is just another place on the map with a flag. We stand for freedom and opportunity and hope.” 
His biography references his involvement in the formation and operation of Bain Capital in 1984, an investment company that purchases and rebuilds otherwise failing enterprises. What the biography fails to include is that some of these enterprises – including CRC Health Group and Aspen Education Group – have directly profited off of the abuse and imprisonment of American youth.
The connection does not stop there.
Mitt Romney is linked to the troubled teen industry in more ways than perhaps any other candidate running for office. Outside of directly owning some of the most notoriously abusive programs he has also employed a litany of financiers who have made their living off of what can only be described as the antithesis of Mitt’s political slogan; enslavement, restriction, and hopelessness.
BAIN CAPITAL, CRC HEALTH GROUP, AND ASPEN EDUCATION
In 2006, Bain Capital acquired CRC Health Group. The $720 billion dollar deal was the most expensive acquisition of its kind and helped to position Bain Capital at the forefront of the addiction treatment playing field. (2)
Bain Capital spent an additional $290 million in 2006 to acquire Aspen Education Group, a network of private, for-profit adolescent treatment facilities.  Aspen Education Group is largely considered one of the top players in the adolescent behavioral health field. Their network of programs include behavior modification facilities, residential treatment centers, wilderness therapy programs, therapeutic boarding schools, and long-term residential weight loss centers for children and young adults. Their target clients are middle to upper class American families who are looking for substantial changes from their children and are willing to spend anywhere from a few thousand to tens of thousands monthly to achieve the desired results.
As Bain Capital gained entry into the adolescent behavior modification field, private therapeutic schools and wilderness therapy programs had become a booming industry with estimated profits exceeding $2 billion in 2007.  More and more private companies were seeking to gain access to the profitable field and Bain Capital, armed with its newest acquisition CRC Health Group, was one of them. Upon acquiring Aspen Education Group, Bain quickly merged the two companies together and Aspen became the adolescent division of CRC. The powerhouse created would persist until this day.
Aspen Education Group describes itself as being, “recognized nationwide as the leading provider of education programs for struggling or underachieving young people.”  While Aspen programs may be recognized as “leading” in their industry, their network of facilities has also been one of the most notorious in regards to allegations of abuse, neglect, and negligent homicide.
Family Light, an IECA certified group of educational consultants responsible for referring children to private facilities posted an open letter to Aspen Education Group stating that they now only recommend referring to or enrolling in any Aspen or CRC program with “great caution.” Their list of complaints include Bain Capital’s overarching interest in profits over patients, deceptive marketing practices by Aspen Education Group, one-size-fits-all treatment methods and the use of counterproductive, harsh, and punitive therapeutic methods across the facilities overall. 
Mount Bachelor Academy in Rural Oregon where DHS alleges Students Suffered Abuse Mt. Bachelor Academy, Aspen Education’s flagship program, was closed following substantiated claims of abuse by the Oregon Department of Human Services on November 3rd, 2009. At least 17 former students have filed a lawsuit seeking $25.5 million in compensatory damages.  Students suing for sexual and emotional abuse have asserted that as part of the program’s Lifestep seminars children – some of whom were victims of prior rape or incest – were forced to dress in provocative clothing including fishnet stockings, high heels and miniskirts in order to provide lap-dances for fellow male students.  The experiential therapy was designed to help them to overcome their pasts and take ownership for the actions that had led them to being abused.
Mt. Bachelor Academy offered behavior modification therapy based on a method developed within the Synanon model, a self-help group that was largely considered to be a cult by the late 1970′s. The teenage version of Synanon’s controversial “game” – an attack-based therapy – was developed at Mel Wasserman’s CEDU school in Southern California. Practices developed in both Synanon and CEDU were at one time considered to be ground-breaking and effective in behavior modification however their harsh methods and unconventional tactics had become highly criticized in later years. Both programs are no longer in operation however methods developed within the facilities continue to be utilized in behavior modification centers across the United States and abroad.  Synanon Members Had Shaved Heads, Lived Communally The Oregon Department of Human Services complaint against Aspen’s Mount Bachelor Academy, which eventually led to its closure, found that the school used methods that were “punitive, humiliating, degrading, and traumatizing.”
Children housed at the facility – ranging in age from 13 to 17.5 – were found to have been forced to re-enact past physical and sexual abuse in front of peers, to refer to themselves with derogatory phrases, to allow staff and peers to name-call and ridicule in humiliating manners, and were deprived of sleep.  The pending lawsuit against Mt. Bachelor Academy substantiates these claims, asserting that students who attended the school were regularly subjected to psychological abuse and shaming, endured severe isolation and deprivation of basic necessities including food, water, shelter, and medical care, were subjected to harsh labor punishments and were only offered brief, monitored contact with parents and guardians. Before being allowed contact with their families, family members were warned not to believe any claims of abuse by the children, insinuating that all troubled children are inherently liars and all claims of mistreatment were simply “manipulation.”  Youth Care of Utah, another Aspen Education facility, was placed on a brief probation following the death of 14-year old Brendan Blum in 2007.
Brendan died of an untreated bowel obstruction. His bowel had twisted leading to a cut-off of blood to his small intestine. The death was extremely painful and violent.
Despite persistent vomiting, diarrhea and loss of bowel control the counselors on duty at the time of Brendan’s illness – Deborah Cole and Jorge Ramirez – gave him over-the-counter medication and placed him in a separate room away from the other students. The on-call nurse was never contacted.
The special-needs child who suffered from Asperger’s syndrome was found dead on his mattress the following morning.
The two staff members were fired and charged with felony child abuse, though neither was convicted. While Aspen Education Group took no public responsibility for Brendan’s death, autopsy reports determined that if proper medical attention had been given he would have survived. 
Also in 2007, an unnamed 16-year old male died after hanging himself with a shoelace at Aspen Achievement Academy after asking to use the latrine. The wilderness facility which treated children ages 13 to 17 suffering from moderate to severe emotional and behavioral problems  did not find the youth until after he was already unconscious. Though briefly revived the child died during a helicopter transport to the hospital.  The young man’s death was not the first controversy to affect the Academy. In the late 1990′s several youth staged an elaborate and violent runaway prompting the Utah Bureau of Land Management to reconsider the use of State lands for the wilderness facility. 
An empty chair. Less Clint Eastwood’s metaphor for president Obama and more the Republican party’s metaphor for black people.
Tiny Face Mitt
so creepy. so true.
TW: R*pe and sexual assault. Quotes by GOP members about r*pe
Really, don’t read if you are triggered by rape apologism and medical industries lying about how rape works. Ok, so on point radio was talking about Todd Akin’s comments about legitimate rape. And I saw this comment on facebook that was really good. A man named Richard compiled it and it is on the on point radio page comments about Todd Akin if you want the original source. I didn’t compile these. But I NEEED to share them:
“I would hope that when a woman goes into a physician, with a rape issue, that that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage, or was it truly caused by a rape.”
- Senator Chuck Winder, R- Idaho, 2012
“Most women either are not fertile during assault or do not become pregnant because the trauma prompts a hormonal response that prevents ovulation.”
- Dr. Richard Dobbins, 20-year GOP contributor, 2006
“Concern for rape victims is a red herring because conceptions from rape occur with approximately the same frequency as snowfall in Miami.”
- Judge James Leon Holmes, Bush appointee
“The facts show that people who are raped — who are truly raped — the juices don’t flow, the body functions don’t work and they don’t get pregnant. Medical authorities agree that this is a rarity, if ever … to get pregnant, it takes a little cooperation. And there ain’t much cooperation in a rape.”
- Rep. Henry Aldridge, R- North Carolina, 1995
“The odds that a woman who is raped will get pregnant are one in millions and millions and millions […] The traumatic experience of rape causes a woman to secrete a certain secretion that tends to kill sperm.”
- Delaware state Rep. Stephen Freind, R-Delaware County, 1988
so i believe all these men are rapists, this is my stance. even if it’s not yours. but look at the wording. it’s disgusting.
Rep. Steve King, one of the most staunchly conservative members of the House, was one of the few Republicans who did not strongly condemn Rep. Todd Akin Monday for his remarks regarding pregnancy and rape. King also signaled why — he might agree with parts of Akin’s assertion.
King told an Iowa reporter he’s never heard of a child getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest.
“Well I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way,” King told KMEG-TV Monday, “and I’d be open to discussion about that subject matter.”
A Democratic source flagged King’s praise of Akin in the KMEG interview to TPM. But potentially more controversial for King is his suggestion that pregnancies from statutory rape or incest don’t exist or happen rarely. A 1996 review by the Guttmacher Institute found “at least half of all babies born to minor women are fathered by adult men.”
The tie between statutory rape and teen pregnancy has been the subject of ad campaigns from groups like United Way.
H.R. 3, the bill co-sponsored by King, Akin and Paul Ryan in 2011, originally called for an exemption in the federal ban on abortion funding only in the case of “forcible rape.” That language was dropped after pressure from women’s advocates and Democrats. At the time, the Republican sponsors of the legislation weren’t too interested in discussing their reasoning for the wording.
Jesus fucking Christ already. White conservative men just need to shut the fuck up.(via inothernews)
When The Huffington Post asked the Romney campaign about Bain Capital accepting funds from families tied to death squads, a spokeswoman forwarded a 1999 Salt Lake Tribune article to explain the campaign’s position on the matter. She declined to comment further.
“Romney confirms Bain had investors in El Salvador. But, as was Bain’s policy with any big investor, they had the families checked out as diligently as possible,” the Tribune wrote. “They uncovered no unsavory links to drugs or other criminal activity.”
Nobody with a basic understanding of the region’s history could believe that assertion.
By 1984, the media had thoroughly exposed connections between the death squads and the Salvadoran oligarchy, including the families that invested with Romney. The sitting U.S. ambassador to El Salvador charged that several families, including at least one that invested with Bain, were living in Miami and directly funding death squads. Even by 1981, El Salvador’s elite, largely relocated to Miami, were so angered by the public perception that they were financing death squads that they reached out to the media to make their case. The two men put forward to represent the oligarchs were both from families that would invest in Bain three years later. The most cursory review of their backgrounds would have turned up the ties.
The connection between the families involved with Bain’s founding and those who financed death squads was made by the Boston Globe in 1994 and the Salt Lake Tribune in 1999. This election cycle, Salon first raised the issue in January, and the Los Angeles Times filled out more of the record earlier this month.
There is no shortage of unsavory links. Even the Tribune article referred to by the Romney campaign reports that “about $6.5 million of $37 million that established the company came from wealthy El Salvadoran families linked to right-wing death squads.”
The Huffington Post, “Mitt Romney Started Bain Capital With Money From Families Tied to Death Squads.”
Blood money. Yay for Romney!(via inothernews)