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Tuesday, January 15, 2008



Tranquility Bay Jamaica. I relayed the story of Tranquility Bay in Jamaica to my girlfriend over at Eyes Mind Heart and she decided to do a post about it in her blog. S0 check it out. My Friend from Jamaica actually told me about this place a couple of days ago. Since then I have been mesmerized by the stories. I want to know how America, so rich in resources (social services, government run programs, rehabilitation centers, ect..) would put their OWN children off as a problem to other people's countries? I guess a 35 million dollar no profit group is a great tax write off.

Why did I decide to do this, because I am a mother and I think their is a difference between "tough love," and "Child abuse." and the stories went to the core of my heart.

Picture this your child is doing drugs, having truancy issues, disobedient, and finally you are fearful for the safety of your family. They have gone through countless programs in the United States, but nothing seems to help. The next step....JAIL.

One day you are browsing the internet and you come upon a "behavior modification program" that seems to solve all our problems. Do you go for it? I would. I would want hope for my child. I would want a chance that I can love my child again. That my child can be this productive citizen.

So I find the World Wide Associate of Specialty Programs (WWASP). * CURRENTLY THE WWASP SITE IS SHUT DOWN , AlTHOUGH THE NUMBER IS STILL VISIBLE**

The World Wide Association of Specialty Programs (WWASP) is the leading provider of behaviour modification programs for American teens. At the helm of a company which earns $95 million per year is Robert Browning Lichfield, a Utah resident and Mormon, who has built his fortune through the numerous WWASP programs that are located throughout the world. He is in charge of a virtual empire of schools where complaints of physical and sexual abuse are allegedly ignored by American authorities.

Politics are played everywhere in life. One key thing I noticed in reading all the articles, no Jamaican students were placed at "Tranquility Bay." I guess that means Jamaica has "PERFECT" students who don't give any disciplinary problems that warrant any intervention. I however no better. If "ANY JAMAICAN" on the island found out that their child was going through that abuse by the hands of foreign whites on the island, then only Hurricane Gilbert or Dean would save those men from what wrath would come down on them. It would be a scene worse then what was reported in the hills of Guyana. I should also note however, Tranquility Bay is accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools, Universities and Colleges and is also a registered independent school with Jamaica's Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture. (so they do indeed receive a stipend). I mean come on, they can't have the organization in Treasure Island living there for free.

There are countless stories, too numerous to post individually. As my friend on Eyes Mind and Heart discovered. It is easier to document abuse then to cure it. I leave these images on this site as a reminder that children are our most precious resource. Like buds they need love, nutrition, and care to grow. Without those essential factors all life would be lost. So I am doing this blog as well, for the kids that went through the hardships at Tranquility Bay Jamaica.

The controversy. This according to Wikepedia.

The treatment methods employed by WWASPS institutions are said to be controversial, as there have been allegations of severe abuse and torture by staff at programs supported by WWASPS.[18] The programs have been the subject of legal investigations by several U.S. states.[19]

Numerous former students or their parents have filed lawsuits against WWASPS, its personnel, or individual schools. Most have been settled out of court or dismissed for procedural reasons. For example, a 2005 lawsuit filed in California on behalf of more than 20 plaintiffs was dismissed because the judge found that California lacked jurisdiction. In June 2007, Utah attorney Thomas M. Burton told a reporter that six suits he had filed against WWASPS on behalf of his clients had been dismissed on procedural grounds. WWASPS president Ken Kay told an interviewer that lawsuits against WWASPS are ploys to get money, brought by people who "are never going to be happy."[20] A lawsuit filed in 2007 against WWASPS and its founder, Robert Lichfield, on behalf of 133 plaintiffs alleging physical and sexual abuse and fraudulent concealment of abuse has brought negative publicity to Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, because Lichfield is one of six co-chairs of the Utah state fundraising committee for Romney's campaign.[20][21]

In August, 2007, Randall Hinton was convicted of one count each of third degree assault and false imprisonment, for mistreating students at the WWASP-affiliated Royal Gorge Academy, of which he was manager and co-founder. However, the jury returned verdicts of "not guilty" on four other counts of third-degree assault and one other count of false imprisonment. [22]



2sweetnsaxy said...

Excellent job on this post and the videos were amazing. Thanks for the information in this post.

iriegal said...

No, thank you 2sweet, because I wasn't going to do anything regarding this but just post your link. However, living in Jamaica and not knowing that place existed is something I feel sad about.

Jamaica is a beautiful country, but this takes away from its beauty.

Children are my heart.

Anonymous said...

There actually was at least 1 Jamaican student there while I was there in 1999. 99 percent of the staff is Jamaican, so I don't think the locals get too upset with it (i.e. white people punishing the jamaican children -- btw, there are quite a few white jamaicans) - Jay Kay was the only white staff (owner) there, and he wasn't always there either...

Thanks for the post, the place is horrible -

Anonymous said...

well there might not be a lot of white jamaicans, but I remember seeing a few anyway =)

Rebecca said...

I am sorry you feel bad about this. I am very thankful to TB. My son is too. The staff is all Jamaican and half the kids are too. It is strict but that is what my son needed. He thanks me. There is no place in the US for kids like Daniel. He was thrown out of every place I sent him. I would love to show you the pictures.

iriegal said...

Rebecca, (if that is your name), I am sure some good came about it. However, I never knew of "good" things having to form a survivor site.

It wouldn't work in America because of the Amenesty Law.

I feel sorry you made a statement "no place in the U.S. for Kids like Daniel." I suppose that if all people that could afford to just ship their kids they could no longer control to other countries, perhaps America would be perfect huh.

perhaps America should BUY and island and just house them their until they can give their parents love.

Daniel will NEVER tell you all the things he experienced..

...all for MONEY for a NON PROFIT GROUP

Rebecca Alexander said...

And yes that is my name. I hope you never have kids that act like Daniel did in the USA. I am still very thankful for sending my son there.

Anonymous said...

On the other hand, from a non-US perspective; you all have disastrous ideas about parenting and family relationships (whereby in the home, the children are the parents and the parents are the children).

Take "oppositional defiance disorder" to any traditional country and watch them laugh you to scorn.

Families and societies work best when the family unit is intact and working properly.

That said, Tranquility Bay may not be the solution.

Anonymous said...

As a former 'student' at Tranquility Bay (from 2004 to 2006) I can tell that the controversy is true. If anyone wants some stories or has any questions, my email is It is a scary horrible place, and its not for children at all.

Dionne said...

My name is Dionne, and I was a "student" at a WWASP school (the original location which was fortunately within US Jurisdiction and I therefore did not have to endure what many of the others did). Anyways, I have recently become involved in the anti-wwasp forum and I am trying to help give the Facebook group some momentum. I was hoping I could use some of your information, videos, etc. for additional information on WWASP-related activities (much of the information I have found so far has been from 2003-2005 - your information is much more current). Obviously, you have done quite a bit of research on the subject and I would love to correspond with you in regards to any resources that we could employ. Thank you so much for dedicating the amount of time that I know it took for you to create this informative blog. Feel free to use of the articles that I have posted on (they are mostly original research articles on obedience, authority, abuse of power, etc. They are famous in the psychological community as landmark studies in regards to compliance and how individuals can succumb to the overwhelming force of the "group," whether it be Nazi Germany, or a college experiment conducted in the basement of one of their buildings. The results are strikingly similar - just as these kids (the great majority of them) will succumb to learned helplessness that they are subject to, much like a concentration camp.
I did not mean to go on a rampage, but I feel very passionately about the subject and I can tell from your site that you do as well. Please let me know if you have any resource or are willing to allow me to share this information with the forum and/or facebook group (I will not take anything without permission).
Thank you!
You can respond to my email and feel free to check out the anti-wwasp forum, located on their home site.
Respectfully, Dionne Hartnett :)