Men Behind Teen
Robert Lichfield: How he
got his start
History of WWASPS and List of Programs and Marketing Arms
|The owner of
WWASPS, Robert Lichfield, said it was "baptism by fire."
Lichfield has no formal qualifications in education or child
psychology and didn't graduate from college. On the job, he said,
"you learn real fast, just as a [physician's assistant] learns
doctoring skills by working with doctors." Today, Lichfield is one
of the largest contributor to the Mitt Romney campaign.
Robert Lichfield dropped out of college and began working as the
director of residential living at the Provo Canyon Boys School in
the late 1970's. There he met former President of WWASPS Karr
Farnsworth. Authorities closed Provo Canyon due to abuse, neglect
and mistreatment of children. The facility reopened and is still in
Lichfield then moved to La Verkin, where he and Brent Facer
opened Cross Creek Manor, Inc., (now Cross Creek Manor, LLC) an
all-girls facility, in 1990. The next year he created Teen Help to
market the school. After his associates began opening more schools
around the country and overseas, WWASPS was incorporated in 1998.
Ken Kay, told
the Denver Rocky Mountain News in a 2000 interview before he
rejoined Teen Help as Vice President, and WWASPS as president:
"These people are
basically a bunch of untrained people who work for this
organization. So they don't have credentials of any kind. We could
be leading these kids to long-term problems that we don't have a
clue about because we're not going about it in the proper way. How
in the hell can you call yourself a behavior modification program --
and that's one of the ways it's marketed -- when nobody has the
expertise to determine: Is this good, is this bad?"
Ken Kay met Lichfield while working at Brightway Adolescent
Hospital, in St. George, Utah. Brightway was a WWASPS/Teen Help
facility that closed after authorities discovered many of the
patient care plans were identical and the staff had failed to report
a case of abuse.
During sworn testimony in the August 2004 case of WWASPS vs
PURE, Ken Kay stated that in his opinion, sexual activity
between staff members and students is "not necessarily" abuse.
In Jamaica - on video
admitting to pepper-
spraying Kerry Layne
Hinton - 2006
Soon after his arrest
who is currently awaiting trial in August 2007, was charged
with abusing children at Royal Gorge Academy, fka Royal Peak
Academy. Hinton agreed to an interview which was videotaped. He
laughed as he described the abuse he inflicted on Layne. He talked
about how he and Jay Kay pepper-sprayed Layne multiple times a day,
every day, for nine months. He didn't know that just a few short
years later, in the prime of his life, Layne would be found by his
mother, dead in his bed, a death believed to have been a direct
result of the abuse he endured at the hands of Jay Kay and Randall
Hinton at Tranquility Bay.
A documentary about
Tranquility Bay aired Europe. The narrator said:
"The man who
tortured Layne was Randall Hinton. The following is an account
of what Hinton said in an interview with reporters:"
“Violence … as in
violent kids? Violent staff? Violent programs? Ah, ya." ... he
was pepper-sprayed by myself and by Jay Kay. I think we were the
only ones who could actually pepper-spray students. I think I can
remember Kerry Layne being pepper-sprayed more than once in a day. I
know he was pepper-sprayed more than two times in a day. I don’t
think it would have been more than three times.”
“... And from
somebody on the outside looking in I would say it was abusive.
For somebody that stayed with him 24/7 I would say I received as
much abuse as he did as a staff. But that’s what we’re getting paid
be used - mechanical devices could be used - pepper-spray could be
used to gain control of your child. It’s just a job that, that
helps people. Instead of the pizza coming to you we’ll come and pick
the pizza up and take it and let it get cook for a while, in a
sense. Until it’s ready to come home and then you get a brand new
Randall Hinton is
scheduled for trial in Colorado on
Jay Kay, son
of Ken Kay and Director of Tranquility Bay, wrote a letter to
parents at Tranquility Bay, saying: "In order to alleviate any more
rumors we felt it was time to notify everyone what is happening with
Tranquility Bay. We have had a great 10 years and our staff has been
tremendous. We could not have accomplished anything without your
support and dedication ..."
The letter was written
on the heels of an
Investigation launched by the
Ministry of Education in Jamaica after they received complaints from
CAICA that a boy there had thrown a
letter to a visiting parent
indicating he was being abused and wanted help from the American
On national television
(Primetime, Diane Sawyer) Kay said this about the children in his
"Do I have pepper
spray? You bet I do! And I haven't had to use it in 5½ to 6 months."
Jay Kay admits to being a college dropout who ran a gas station
convenience store before joining the "business" of the for-profit
programs. He also said, "if I have kids, and they start giving me a
problem, well they are going straight in the programme. If I had to,
I'd pull the trigger without hesitation." (Aitkenhead 2003)
member of the Gilcrease family that founded Phillips Petroleum
started experimenting with mind control/brainwashing in the
early 1960's. He is founder of Resource Realizations, which has been
sued along with the Worldwide Association of Specialty Programs and
Schools (WWASPS) for mentally and physically torturing and
brainwashing America's children.
According to David Gilcrease,
founder of Resource Realizations, people are to follow the new rules
of the game which are listed as: power (accepting the will of those
claiming authority), willingness to learn (ability to be
brainwashed), choosing to change (never asking questions or
demanding respect), respecting reality (accepting their version of
reality), and seeing the world in terms of working/not working. The
old rules of the game of life, according to Gilcrease are: control
(of self), withhold (belief in privacy rights), victim (demanding
redresses for being wronged), protection (expectation of safety from
physical and mental distress), choosing to stay the same (refusing
the brainwashing), denial of reality (denying the reality they wish
to instate), and seeing the world in terms of right and wrong. The
old rules being those that do not work or in plain English, are
wrong for humanity.
Many personal accounts describe the
seminars "brainwashing," "humiliating," and "destructive."
Several parents have reported that
Resource Realizations staff members encouraged them to leave their
spouse because he/she did not approve of the seminars.
David Gilcrease, Founder and
President of Resource Realizations/Premier Education, is a former
Lifespring has been classified as a
|WWASP founder Robert
Lichfield and former President of WWASP Karr Farnsworth met
while working at Provo Canyon Boys School. This behavior
modification facility has closed several times due to orders from
the authorities, but continues to reopen and are in fact still in
business today - primarily due to the demand.
During the WWASPS, et al. v. Scheff,
et al., trial, the father of a child who attended Cross Creek,
another WWASPS program run by Karr Farnsworth, described witnessing
duct-tape over the mouth of a female child at Cross Creek in
LaVerkin, Utah on the day he removed his son. The father, Chris
Goodwin, testified that the reality of being fraudulently “taken” by
WWASP came crashing down on him the day he visited Cross Creek.
The St. George, Utah Spectrum,
writing about the arrest of two St. George residents in Brno, Czech
Republic, for cruelty to children, quoted Karr Farnsworth, president
of the Worldwide Association of Specialty Programs, as calling the
charges absurd and suggesting there were "elements in the State
police who hate Americans." He also asserted that the Czech's are
influenced by their communist history. The Spectrum identified
Farnsworth as head of "an umbrella company that represents Morava
Academy and several other teen programs around the world".
|Brent Facer is the
general partner of the other limited partnership that owns Teen Help
and is a trustee of the nonprofit WWASP. He was vice president of
Teen Help Inc. before it was dissolved.
Brent Facer is a trustee and a
partner and former vice president of Teen Help. He is/was involved
with Peacox Enterprises and is affiliated with the company in some
Lichfield - how he got his start:
Teen Help was
started by Lichfield, now in his early 50s, a southern Utah businessman who lives on
an estate in the spectacular canyon country near St. George. The
estate features private trout ponds and a gymnasium.
Lichfield got his
start in behavior modification two decades ago when he worked at
Provo Canyon School in Provo, Utah. Provo Canyon is a strict
punishment-and-rewards program for kids having problems getting
along with their parents.
In the late 1980s,
Lichfield attended encounter-group sessions organized by David
Gilcrease. Gilcrease had been a trainer from 1974 to 1981 for
LifeSpring, a company that perfected a form of encounter sessions
called "large group awareness training."
call it "coercive persuasion." In December 1990, Lichfield
incorporated a residential treatment center called Cross Creek Manor
in La Verkin. He obtained a Utah state license to run it.
In 1993 Lichfield
contracted to run Brightway Adolescent Hospital in nearby St.
George. It became the receiving center for youths entering the Teen
About the same
time, Lichfield developed the idea of placing teens in a compound in
Teen Help's first
foreign venture was Paradise Cove in the Pacific island nation. Kids
would be taken from their homes by an escort service, sometimes by
one run by Lichfield's brother, Narvin.
From Denver Rocky Mountain
In March 2005,
Robert Lichfield's bio (when he spoke for Families Under Fire at BYU):
Robert Browning Lichfield was born and raised in Utah in a large
family. He has vast
knowledge and experience working with struggling teens and their
families. He began
his career at Provo Canyon School, and after two years he became the
position he held for the next eight years. He has been working with
problems for over twenty-five years. He has founded and consults
with more than a
dozen specialty boarding schools throughout the world. He is
currently a Gospel
Doctrine teacher. He is married to Patti Peart from Randolph, Utah,
and is the wonderful
father of seven children.
History of WWASPS:
The following was taken from
the Intrepid Net Reporters website, a website dedicated to helping
children and parents that was run by the late Donna Hendricks.
As part of our continuing
series on the Teen Help family of businesses in Southern Utah, today
we take a look at one of the newer groups, the
Association of Specialty Programs.
The St. George, Utah
Spectrum, writing about the arrest
last week of two St. George residents in Brno, Czech Republic, for
cruelty to children, quoted Karr Farnsworth, president of the
Worldwide Association of Specialty Programs, as calling the charges
absurd and suggesting there were "elements in the State police who
hate Americans." He also asserted that the Czech's are influenced
by their communist history. The Spectrum identified Farnsworth as
head of "an umbrella company that represents Morava Academy and
several other teen programs around the world".
And Southern Utah is the home of this newly
formed charitable group.
The WWASP is a non-profit voluntary
association. As such it follows in the footsteps of others who have
sought to bind together for a common and greater good.
American Cancer Society.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
While generally having a long and honorable
history in the United States, voluntary associations have had their
red-headed step-children on the glorious road to progress as well:
We have been unable thus far to examine the
Articles of Incorporation for the WorldWide Association and it
appears to have as members only other Teen Help associates: Resource
Realizations (David Gilcrease and the TASKS seminars), Tranquility
Bay, Paradise Cove, etcetera, etcetera. As with other of the Teen
Help Family of Businesses, the precise mission of the WWASP is
is sparse holding only the legend:
The offices are listed
in LaVerkin Utah at 105 State Street and the telephone number is
listed as 435-635-2327. If you view the color map of LaVerkin to the
right, the Cross Creek Manor, WWASP, Resource Realizations and other
of the L/F/A Enterprises are all clustered around the Post Office
though their addresses appear as diverse as 590 North State Street
and 190 South State Street. Sources in the town offices indicate
those addresses are about 50 to 100 yards apart......."maybe"
Incorporated in Utah,
January 8, 1998, WWASP is listed in the corporate records of the
state as a domestic non-profit. Under Utah law a "‘Nonprofit
corporation’ means a corporation which does not distribute any part
of its income to its members, trustees, or officers, and includes a
nonprofit cooperative association." Although hoping to be worldwide
in scope they are less than a year old and largely unknown outside
EDUCATION, GROWTH and CHANGE
Typically a nonprofit will have
a governing body vested with the management of it's affairs, often
elected and diversely representative of the members of the
charitable organization. For the record, the Executive Director of
the WorldWide Association is Karr Farnsworth, former Director of the
flagship Lichfield/Facer/Atkin property, Cross Creek Manor and the
Board of Directors is J. Ralph Atkin, Robert Lichfield and Brent M.
Non-profits can be useful to
their members in a variety of ways, not the least of which is a
vehicle for charitable contributions. If the organization applies
for and is granted 501(c)3 status in the United States that makes
them a tax exempt organization and thus eligible for donations to
them to be tax deductible for the contributing individuals and
organizations. This is a good thing.
They can also be used as a way
to write-off operating expenses that would otherwise be part of
other entities annual expenses such as personnel, travel, printing,
etc. With no more information than we currently have (although we
have been promised more) it is difficult to make an educated guess
as to which category this organization will fall into. Seeing the
Board as comprised thus far is not an encouraging sign.
Zion National Park, amidst
seemingly endless panorama of beautiful scenery, consisting of tall
mountains, rugged cliffs, painted rocks, lies La Verkin, the
choicest spot in
LaVerkin is a tiny "bedroom
community" attached to St. George, a small town in Southwestern Utah
close to borders with Nevada and Arizona. Known as part of "Red
Rock" country, it’s moderate climate, clear air and multiple
opportunities for rest, recreation and relaxation make it a haven
for a large seasonal population of retirees and "snowbirds". The
population of LaVerkin is 2,000 and the Teen Help family of
businesses are the city's largest employer.
As grand as this sounds and as delightful as
LaVerkin no doubt is, a resident described it to IntrepidNet as a
"hiccup on the way to St. George."
Thus is the epicenter of the WorldWide
Association of Specialty Programs.
The following was taken from the Wasatch Watch website:
WWASPS & Teen Help, LLC
Lichfield is the founder of the World Wide Association of
Specialty Programs and Schools, or WWASPS. They function as an
umbrella organization encompassing several "troubled teen" centers,
or schools as they call them. They function worldwide, having had
campuses in Jamaica, Costa Rica, Samoa, Mexico, and The Czech
Republic. The principal component of this organization is Teen
Help, LLC. They raise money, promote the schools, process payments
and paperwork, and make political contributions. Teen Help was the
top contributor during Utah state elections in 2001-2002 with
donations totaling $215,290, and was the third leading "soft money"
donor with donations totaling $175,500.
Here's is a who's who of people in this organization.
Teen Help, LLC
- Robert Lichfield is a consultant and director.
- Brent Facer is a trustee.
- The current president is Ken Kay.
All the sub-contracted entities for WWASPS including the accounting
firm, the property managers, referral agencies, "escort" services
(companies who physically remove children from their homes and
deliver them to the "schools,"), real estate agencies, and the
individual programs - which claim to be independently owned and
operated - are also easily connected by family ties.
- Robert Lichfield is the founder and partner.
- J. Ralph Atkin (Owner of Skywest Airlines, Eurosky Airlines
and Jet Acquisitions Group in Arizona) is also a partner.
- Brent Facer is a partner and former vice president
Affiliated Facilities and marketing arms
Academy at Ivy Ridge, New York -
Jason Finlinson is the Director. He is thought to be the
brother-in-law of Robert Lichfield.
Bell Academy, California -
closed after state officials demanded that it comply with state
laws. Although WWASPS claims this facility was not "theirs,"
children were transferred to Midwest Academy and Academy at Ivy
Ridge. Owners were Karr Farnsworth, Dace Goulding and Jade Robinson.
Bell Academy was also discussed on the private WWASPS message board.
The phone number for the "school" was identical to that of Casa by
Bethel Boys Academy, Mississippi,
renamed Eagle Point Christian Academy, then later renamed Pine View
Bethel Girls Academy, Mississippi.
Brightway Hospital, Utah - closed
by authorities in 2002 for providing inadequate care and abuse of
teenagers. To the best of our knowledge, children "evaluated" at
Brightway were placed ONLY at WWASPS/Teen Help facilities.
Camas Ranch, Montana
Canyon View Park, Montana
Carolina Springs Academy, South Carolina
- Narvin Lichfield is the owner. Narvin Lichfield was banned from
returning to Carolina Springs and went on to operate Dundee Ranch in
Costa Rica, which closed on allegations of child abuse and neglect,
and has since re-opened as Pillars of Hope. Children are being
from CSA to Pillars of Hope as an experience "abroad".
Casa by the Sea, Ensenada, Mexico -
raided and closed on September 10, 2004. Dace Goulding was the
Director. Goulding was also employed at Paradise Cove.
Cross Creek Manor/Center/Academy LLC, Utah
- J. Ralph Atkin is the registered agent. Karr Farnsworth is the
Darrington Academy, Georgia - Directors
Dusky and Dace Goulding previously supervised Casa by the Sea.
Dundee Ranch Academy, Costa Rica -
raided and closed on May 22, 2003 after authorities confirmed child
abuse. Director Narvin Lichfield and his wife were arrested. Many of
the children were transferred to Tranquility Bay.
Eagle Point Christian Academy, Mississippi
, previously Bethel Boys Academy, then renamed again to Pine
Gulf Coast Academy, Mississippi is a new
program developed in 2007.
Help My Teen, a marketing arm of WWASPS
located in Utah.
High Impact, Mexico - closed
after an investigation into abuse. Mexican police videotaped
children being held in dog cages. The facility housed children who
would not comply at Casa by the Sea.
Horizon Academy, Nevada - Jade Robinson
is the director. Robinson was previously an administrator/owner of
Bell Academy and Casa by the Sea.
Lifelines Family Services, a WWASPS
marketing arm in Utah.
Majestic Ranch Academy, LLC, Utah -
Children as young as 7 are accepted at this facility. Dan Peart,
brother-in-law of Robert Lichfield, is the owner. CAICA reported on
child abuse at Majestic Ranch in their report
Majestic Ranch: A Living Nightmare for Kids.
Midwest Academy, Iowa -Brian Viafanua is
the Director. Viafanua was also the director of Paradise Cove
when the facility closed under allegations of abuse.
Morava Academy, Czech Republic -
closed in 1998 after authorities confirmed abuse and arrested
the directors Glenda (aka Glenn) and Steve Roach. Many of the
children were transferred to Carolina Springs Academy in South
Carolina. Was owned by J. Ralph Atkin.
New Beginnings Maternity, believed to be
Paradise Cove, Samoa - closed
after an investigation into abuse. Many children were transferred to
Cross Creek Manor/Center/Academy.
Pillars of Hope, Costa Rica -
formerly Dundee Ranch, raided and closed. Narvin Lichield, owner
of Carolina Springs Academy and brother of Robert Lichfield, is the
owner. Children from Carolina Springs are now being transferred to
Pillars of Hope as an experience “abroad”.
Pine View Christian Academy borders FL, AL,
MS - previously Bethel Boys.
Reality Trek located in Utah
Red River Academy is located in
Louisiana and borders Texas.
Royal Gorge Academy, Colorado - Randall
Hinton, who admitted to repeatedly pepper-spraying a teen at
Tranquility Bay, is an administrator of the facility.
Respect Camp, Mississippi - Formerly
known as Eagle Point Christian Academy and Bethel Boys Academy. The
facility is owned by the Fountain family. Abuse allegations at
Fountain-owned programs date back more than 20 years.
Sky View Academy in Nevada.
Spring Creek Lodge Academy, Montana -
Cameron Pullan is the Director. Dan Peart, brother-in-law of Robert
Lichfield, is the Vice President.
Teens in Crisis, LLC, another WWASPS
Teen Help, LLC, WWASPS marketing arm.
Tranquility Bay, Jamaica - Jay Kay, son
of WWASP President Ken Kay, is the owner and director.
From Desperate Measures, click
on the link below for full article: