How Mitt Romney Profits from Child Abuse [LM]

July 30, 2012

Meet CRC Health Group:  A Bain company shut down by authorities for child abuse and accused of homicide by local police


Guest: Art Levine (no relation), author of Dark Side of a Bain Success


CRC was invited to come on the show and respond to these serious allegations. They declined, but the offer remains open. Instead they shared their response to the Salon article, which Art Levine responded to here.


Here’s an example of the serious allegations against CRC.  This is an Order by the State of Oregon shutting down “Mount Bachelor Academy,” operated by the CRC.

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  • Alex Carlson October 16, 2012 3:15 am

    No wonder a progressive propaganda rag writer….you should be ashamed, this is like linking someone with Enron cause they bought stocks….very poor propaganda!

  • Alex Carlson October 16, 2012 3:11 am

    He was out of Bain around 2001 you tool. Even if he wasnt he would buy businesses and help market them not be as personal as this, meaning he is one man and many overlooked Bain. Sounds like Libya to me, trying to blame something else on nonsense again. But being a man of media I bet you run from Libya incompetence hurts dont it? News should be factual and since you claim this is, then what sources prove Romney was with Bain as well as he supervised this company,,,I saw a date earliest of 2006 more laimstream lies, and propaganda. Remember that all it took for Nazis to form was a charismatic leader and propaganda. Our country is stifled by people like you reporting BS instead of what needs to be heard.

  • Susan Murray August 8, 2012 3:36 pm

    Best informative and clear investigative report I have heard on wrongdoing and neglect in health facilities in quite some time.

  • Jackie August 6, 2012 5:28 pm

    Thank you so much Mark, for all that you are doing to make a difference in the tti…being a survivor myself, it does my heart well to know that you are so involved along with everyone else in stopping the abuse behind closed doors in the name of therapy. Thanks also to Art for his participation :) many blessings to you !

  • Captain Marti August 3, 2012 9:40 am

    My apologies Mark I didn’t know you were running that short on time. I feel like I failed to talk about the subject of the Sembler’s in the perhaps the way I should have. I too wish we had more time and feel as though I might have failed at
    the interview. However, because like you I want these places closed and justice for the survivors. I will be happy to post wherever you want all the info in order about Mel Sembler and could you please let people know that if Romney “doesn’t know” about Mel Sembler and his past than what kind of President would he make if he fails to even check the simplest of things. As you know, all you have to do is Google Mel Sembler’s name. I will also be happy to give you all the documents I have on Sembler to help you and I cannot THANK YOU ENOUGH FOR ALL THE ATTENTION YOU ARE GIVING THIS SUBJECT MATTER. One VERY important thing I think if you could pass on to the younger survivors you speak to that “back injury” that 17 year old was talking about may last a life time. We did a survey and found that over 85 percent of all survivors suffer the same ailments some twenty plus years later, back, neck , shoulder problems and a GREAT deal of survivors are on disability. I know that I have had 19 surgeries and am basically bedridden due to my injuries at Straight. They may think oh their back hurts or they have some anxiety problems but as you grow older that becomes a REAL problem. When you take a child during the most growing years of their life and beat them half to death on a daily basis and deny them food or a proper diet and sleep it usually causes permanent damage to the body. They need to know that and to watch for it.
    Mel Sembler as the CEO of Straight Inc. is guilty of tax evasion, triple billing, fraud, crimes against humanity, insurance fraud, negligence, endorsing rape through the strip searches done by children, failing to report rapes, abuse and torture. He is guilty of misleading the parents and fraudulent advertising, using medical approved seals for which he (the company) did not earn, threatening witnesses by allowing his staff to tamper with and threaten witnesses, kidnapping by holding kids against their will. All of the above is documented. ANY ONE else that committed those crimes would be in jail for a long, long time.
    When Mit Romney allows someone like Mel and Betty Sembler to be part of their campaign in any way shape or form is NOT someone that should be running for trash collector much less president and I am not democrat or republican.
    If Mitt Romney is serious about investigating these programs or shutting them down then he needs to start with congressional hearing. It was congress that said “ Straight was worse than a Chinese Prisoner of War camp”. Let’s get a congressional hearing.
    I would LOVE to help you and your cause against Mel Sembler as I was listening to your program I came across more documents but I would like to get them to you in an ordered fashion so they make more since and you can see that having blood on his hands is not just a phrase but I know you know that. Many thanks for the opportunity. I am very grateful. I am also very grateful to you for giving us a voice. It seems everyone cries for the kids abused by priest , or abused by their parents or abused by a teacher but no one seems to cry for us we are literally the forgotten, thrown away kids who are still suffering to this day. The pacemaker I have has to be replaced every five years to the tune of sixty thousand dollars each time and the back surgeries are above a hundred thousand dollars. I am not the only one in that boat. Many of us suffer in silence. If you come across any survivor of any of those programs who need to talk or even a parent I will be happy to talk to them no matter what time it is. Please feel free to give out my number. We may have been in different programs but many of the effects are the same and I am happy to help any survivor. We have had enough suicides and death. I buried over twelve before I got to college.

  • Art Levine August 2, 2012 3:25 am

    In the comment below from me regarding Mark’s excellent presentation of the issues — although I disagreed with the phrasing in the headline — it wasn’t made crystal clear how you could bring further attention to this issue.

    One way is for you, your friends and loved ones to leave a comment at The Huffington Post article summarizing the main points of the Salon article — and share with them the web link to to this archived radio show. Leaving a comment at HuffPost raises the visibiity of the article at the Huffington Post website. The article is linked via hypertext to my name, or it can be found here: The headline of that article is: Romney Profits From Bain-owned Health Company Facing Wrongful Death, Neglect Allegations.
    Thanks to all those who listened, granted Mark an interview and are seeking to reform the so-called “troubled teen industry.”

  • Meyla Atkinson August 2, 2012 12:55 am

    There are so many of these terrible, abusive places and they limit the child’s communication with parents and other authorities that could stop these abuses. It’s a very dangerous situation.

  • M August 1, 2012 5:35 pm

    Art and Mark, thank you so much for shedding light on this issue. I was at Island View with Colleen and I was very glad that she was interviewed, as I shared a similar experience. This was only skimming the surface on the longstanding emotional damages. I was also at SUWS.

    I truly cannot thank you enough for covering these issues.

  • Julie Schuele July 31, 2012 11:20 pm

    Thank you, Art, thank you, Mark….i’ve wanted to do something since the day I saved my daughter from Aspen Ranch… have helped me bring this to fruition…..let me know if there is anything else I can do to aid you in this process!

  • Art Levine July 31, 2012 10:12 am

    Mark hosted an excellent show, but he uses language in the headline and the URL — i.e. — “child abuse” — without any qualification, in a phrase that I wouldn’t use and Salon didn’t use. That’s because no civil or criminal court has found CRC/Aspen Education to be guilty or liable for any wrongdoing, including child abuse.

    Moreover the only state agency, DHS in Oregon, that issued a critical report on abuse in an initial finding of “substantiated” abuse in the Mount Bachelor Academy case later softened their findings in the wake of a threatened lawsuit by Aspen and Mount Bachelor. It was reduced to “reasonable cause to believe” that abuse and neglect had occurred.

    DHS did issue a finding of neglect on the part of staffers in the 2009 death during a hike at the now-closed SageWalk, a death recommended for prosecution by the local sheriff’s office in an investigation that is still continuing.

    Major documents related to controversies and allegations involving CRC can be most easily found at

    The best place to leave your views about the issues raised in the article is at the Huffington Post site listed above, which links to the full Salon article.

    Sincerely, Art Levine

  • wdtony July 31, 2012 1:59 am

    CRC’s basic written statement and lack of any direct personal response is typical of abusive program supporters. This tactic protects CRC from any “accidental” slip of the tongue where the truth might leak out. Romney is aware of this, because back in ’08 he distanced himself from Robert Lichfield due to a small concerted outcry from journalists and activists. He still uses Sembler due to the large amounts of money from his fundraising and connections. I don’t think any of these people spoken about today are ignorant or innocent.

  • wdtony July 31, 2012 1:51 am

    Robert J. Lifton’s “steps” to brainwashing:

    1. Assault on identity
    2. Guilt
    3. Self-betrayal
    4. Breaking point
    5. Leniency
    6. Compulsion to confess
    7. Channeling of guilt
    8. Releasing of guilt
    9. Progress and harmony
    10. Final confession and rebirth

  • wdtony July 31, 2012 1:46 am

    Being brainwashed in the program was the worst torture I sustained. We don’t talk about it much but it is responsible for the psychological breakdowns that create PTSD and mental issues.

    Brainwashing excerpt (sound familiar?):

    “Because brainwashing is such an invasive form of influence, it requires the complete isolation and dependency of the subject, which is why you mostly hear of brainwashing occurring in prison camps or totalist cults. The agent (the brainwasher) must have complete control over the target (the brainwashee) so that sleep patterns, eating, using the bathroom and the fulfillment of other basic human needs depend on the will of the agent. In the brainwashing process, the agent systematically breaks down the target’s identity to the point that it doesn’t work anymore. The agent then replaces it with another set of behaviors, attitudes and beliefs that work in the target’s current environment.”

    Read more here:

  • Che Gookin July 31, 2012 1:10 am

    Shout out to Ursus and a few others who pieced together all the little pieces of the puzzle on fornits about the Bain connection years ago. Sad that it took this long for the MSM to realize it was a story that needed to be told.

    Great show though, big fan of yours mark and I’m thrilled that the community has a place where they can be heard.

    Thanks man!

  • Bill Boyles July 31, 2012 1:07 am

    for more info see:

  • Bill Boyles July 31, 2012 1:04 am

    thank you mark for covering this very important issue! everyone who would like to bring more attention to this matter can go to the HuffPost article and comment:

  • hannah sangillo July 30, 2012 11:44 pm

    it’s so surreal to me that this is finally getting publicity. i’ve felt alone and insane until now because no one had ever acknowledged what was really going on. THANK YOU to everyone involved, and thank you to everyone who listened.

  • Elisabeth Feldman July 30, 2012 10:11 pm

    Dear Mark,

    Thank you for committing to report on Bain’s CRC Health’s abuses, neglect and exploitation of children in their “troubled teen” abuse. Due to very slick marketing, CRC’s youth program problems have stayed safely under the radar. Getting this high on the radar is the only way to stop this horror. Yup, I agree, with you re: whether or not Bain knows about what’s going on at CRC. Given the serious allegations facing the company and serious legal actions already taken against it, it would seem likely that their campaign team would have considered what impact these problems might cost his presidential bid.
    And, yes, there was Litchfield and Sembler.

    A former colleague of mine, a psychiatrist, became, coincidentally, the Chief Medical Officer at Bain’s CRC Health from 2005 through 2009. At the time I was making a desperate attempt to get my son’s former girlfriend out of one of CRC/Aspen Education Group’s residential treatment center, Youth Care in Utah where, two years later Brendan Blum would die. In the course of my efforts I was horrified day by day as I learned the extent of abuse, neglect and exploitation that are the norm among these programs. I called the Chief Medical Officer, Thomas Brady, M.D. as soon as I discovered the coincidence and did my best to inform him that kids were being tortured in theprograms over which he, presumably, had oversight.Apparently, as he claimed, he was not aware of any of the problems I raised but promised to to investigate and review legal and administrative documents I’d collected to support my warnings and otherwise.

    Of course, Dr. Brady reported to me that he was reassured by Bain that the programs were well run and effective. He emailed this response also letting me know he was sending back the documents I gave him and that we could no longer communicate. He mentioned that there were many “stakeholders” involved. Approximately 9 months later Brendan Blum died so young and so unnecessarily.

    I am one of those enraged by all of this and won’t stop until IT stops. Shame on Bain. Shame on all who profit from torture.

    Again, many thanks,

    Elisabeth Feldman

  • Susan July 30, 2012 8:53 pm

    I was instrumental in closing Straight Inc and I intend to be just as instrumental in preventing Romney from being president. Not that Obama is any better, but we do not need a president who makes money fromavusing our children.
    Torture is too kind of a word for it.
    Physical, mental, emotional,sexual,and psychological abuse is what these places are all about.Straight Inc was licensed as “a drug-free day center”.
    Imagine 30 years of nightmares after being in a place like this; that is typical for us survivors.

  • Susan July 30, 2012 8:41 pm

    I was without food for 31 days;all I got was peanut butter and a spoon. That is just the tip of the iceberg.

  • Susan July 30, 2012 8:39 pm

    Mitt Romney is so mixed up with Mel Sembler (Straight Inc) and his money is very dirty!!! I know, as I was there.
    I would love to see this cometolocal news stations and blow him out of the water as well. We do not need someone as president who has a history of abusing teens for money.
    Looks like I am going to have to do a write in for my vote in November.

  • Liz Arnold July 30, 2012 8:36 pm

    I just don’t understand why the mainstream media hasn’t addressed this issue. Why doesn’t anyone ask him about it at press conferences?

    I think that someone that would knowingly allow this kind of “therapy” let alone profit off it is sick and twisted. Just like Joe Ricci, Mitt Romney is a sociopath.

    It doesn’t surprise me that he thinks nothing is wrong with these places. We are talking about someone that crated his dog on the top of his Suburban for an 11 hour drive. When questioned about it he said that Seamus (the dog) loved to ride up there. I’m sure that Seamus loved being stuck in his own filth after he let his bowels go from being literally scared shitless.

  • Christy Vaughan July 30, 2012 7:55 pm

    I just listened to the young lady, Hannah, who was in SUWS of the Carolinas. I went to their website and they take children as young as 10 years old. How do we shut these down!!

  • L.England July 30, 2012 7:01 pm

    Remember Mitt Romney is a man who is very proud of his “success.” It appears to me he doesn’t care how he made his money, even if children were abused and killed in the process.

  • wdtony July 30, 2012 5:09 am

    “Romney” was born rich and literally has the word money secretly hidden in his last name….thought it worth mentioning. And a conspiracy theory is born. (: Does anyone remember Creflo Dollar? He got busted for something.

  • richard linder July 30, 2012 1:12 am

    It’s about time CRC and Aspen were back in the media for their lethal abuse. Thank you to all involved!

  • Nancy Lea Speer July 27, 2012 5:43 pm

    My son was friends with Brendan Blum at Youth Care and I am seriously concerned to know Romney has or has had any association whatsoever with Bain. It also now looks like Bain has acquired significant control over the media.

    Please, is there a way to get this out to the public? This is HUGE!!!
    Bain owns Clear Channel!