Mark Terrell, CEO: Stop the legacy of child abuse at Lifeline's boarding schools
  • Petitioned Lifeline Youth and Family Services
  • Responded

This petition was delivered to:

Mark Terrell, CEO
Lifeline Youth and Family Services
Mark Terrell, CEO
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Mark Terrell, CEO: Stop the legacy of child abuse at Lifeline's boarding schools

    1. Julia Scheeres
    2. Petition by

      Julia Scheeres

      Berkeley, CA


We are a group of alumni who have learned of continuing child abuse at our former boarding school and are determined to put an end to it.

We range in age from our teens to our 50s, live in different areas of the country, belong to disparate social-economic classes, and have never met in person, yet we share a common goal: to prevent more children from suffering the brutalities we experienced as adolescents.

Many of us are middle-aged now, with children of our own, and we consider it our duty to speak out on behalf of the students attending Caribbean Mountain Academy.

For four decades, this school has relied on its remote location in the Dominican Republic to hurt kids with impunity. We were stunned to recently learn that in the 1970s, several newspapers published exposes on child abuse at the school, resulting in investigations by authorities in Illinois and Michigan, as well as Congressional hearings.

But none of those actions closed down the school. It merely changed its name, several times, to disassociate itself from the bad press, and kept recruiting students.

The well-being of these children -- some as young as 12 years old -- is now in our hands. Please join us in asking the CEO of the school, Mark Terrell, to stop the legacy of abuse at Caribbean Mountain Academy.


Read more here:

Alumni website with dozens of testimonials:

Deirdre Sugiuchi's blog about time at EC int the early 90s:

Congressional hearings featuring the the school: (pages 204, 205)

Newspaper articles:

"Youth facility in Marion under fire for its tactics," By Teresa Auch, The Chronicle-Tribune October 22, 2006.

"Time spent at youth camp left lasting scars for some," by Keith Royson, Muncie Star PressNovember 12, 2006

Children's Nightmare? Government Spending Millions to Keep Troubled Juveniles in Deplorable Conditions, Witness Says. Evening Independent, January 24, 1979


Former students' protest:

Former students speak out:

"Kidnapped for Christ" documentary about Escuela Caribe:

Promotional video narrated by founder Gordon Blossom in 1988:





Recent signatures


    1. Reached 1,500 signatures
    2. Decision-maker Crosswinds responds:



      I understand that you have questions and concerns regarding the programs now housed in the facilities that were once known as “Escuela Caribe.” I would like to take this opportunity to address those questions and concern...

    3. Reached 500 signatures
    4. 468, let's make it 500!

      Julia Scheeres
      Petition Organizer

      Reason #469 to sign:" Because of the abuse that was perpetrated against our friend. His life has been very negatively affected by his time spent there. No child should have to suffer like this. This is child abuse."

      Supporters, please send the petition link to your friends/ family and ask them to sign as well.

      We thank you.

    5. 409!

      Julia Scheeres
      Petition Organizer

      We have 409 signatures - I think when we reach 500, we'll be ready to deliver it to Lifeline's CEO, Mark Terrell. It's heart-warming to read the reasons people give for signing. There are many former students, but also people who had friends or family members who were traumatized at the school.

      And for the signers who care about treating kids with kindness and love instead of abuse and humiliation - THANK YOU. Your support means everything to us.

    6. 306!

      Julia Scheeres
      Petition Organizer

      We're over 300 signatures - hoping to get 400! I'm especially touched by the reasons people give for signing the petition. Many are former students or knew someone who was traumatized at the school. I hope this makes you feel empowered as well.

    7. Reached 250 signatures
    8. We hit 200!

      Julia Scheeres
      Petition Organizer

      We've reached 200 signatures and hope to get 500. I should mention that the photograph of the boys scrubbing the floor with their foreheads is real, and an example of the humiliation the students endure daily at this school.

      Thank you for your support!

    9. Reached 100 signatures
    10. 8 more signature to reach 100, help make our Saturday night a good one!

      Julia Scheeres
      Petition Organizer

      Please share this with your friends and family -- together we can beat the system.

    11. Reached 50 signatures
    12. Blog by a former student

      Julia Scheeres
      Petition Organizer

      Deirdre Sugiuchi is writing a memoir about her experiences at Escuela Caribe in the early 90s. Check out her blog here.


    Reasons for signing

    • Anita Kanitz STUTTGART, GERMANY
      • 10 months ago

      "Across the world women are joining hands in solidarity and support, in a global women?s movement, sharing knowledge and experience and empowering themselves to build a peaceful and fairer world."

      -- Marilee Karl

    • Sukura Owen PENSACOLA, FL
      • 10 months ago

      becuase I'm gay. and NO ONE should EVER be able to do this. Imagine what it would be like if we did that to hetero peoples? we would be dead within seconds. But No we instead are being imprisioned. i see these articles on conversion therapy and all i see is red. they must pay. they deserve to be as tortured as much as they have tortued us. But the essence fo the gay community is love. I cannot forget nor can i forgive, but maybe with time after htey have been punished we at last might find some peace.

    • Joe Mercado SAN JOSE, CA
      • 10 months ago

      After reading Julia Scheeres book Jesus Land I wish organizations that use religion as a club on young people were outlawed.

    • Robert Madsen CRYSTAL LAKE, IL
      • 11 months ago

      I went there for 14 months and got swats a lot and my hair cut and had to do manual labor on the side of a mountain clearing rocks for the school the most swats I got while I was there was 39 as I bent over a chair they hit me with a leather paddle I also was put in solitary confinement on the main campus for a long time almost 2 months and made to use a bedpan to go to the bathroom if you would like to talk to me please don't hesitate to get in touch with me. From Bob Madsen

    • Stefanie Farren KENT, WA
      • over 1 year ago

      I have read many blogs and letters from past students now and am horrified yet so know that it is true from my own experience of Christianity while growing up. I hope these kids are able to get the help they will need to release these bad memories and feelings of being not good.


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