Official Stories

© 2012, 2013

Title: Official Stories – Counter-Arguments for a Culture in Need

Tagline: “Official Stories Exist to Protect Officials”

Official Stories Cover


“Official stories exist to protect officials.” With the opening line as our guide, we pry open the vault of “official-dom” and see what lies beneath. Drawing information from 10 years of investigative journalism, Liam invites you to join the hunt for the details that lie just beneath the surface.

In this heavily-researched but irreverent book, we’ll look under the rocks and stones of our culture: From CIA and JFK, to 9/11 and Shakespeare; from Vaccination to HIV to Big Bang theory, Darwinism, Plate Tectonics and more. Think of it as a corrective textbook to all the tales we were taught in school. We’re drilling to the core of the gooey, religious center of science.

We’ll ask the questions: why do we believe what we do? Why do we accept some stories as true when the details so obviously contradict the headlines?

We’re going to find out what’s real, what’s true, and what’s just an “official story.”

  • Did Shakespeare write Shakespeare?
  • Is HIV the cause of AIDS?
  • Do vaccinations save lives?
  • Did the Big Bang really happen?
  • Is the Earth growing?
  • Did a lone gunman kill JFK?
  • Is America fighting for democracy around the world?
  • Was 9/11 an intelligence failure – or a success?
  • Does the polio virus cause polio?
  • Do HPV shots protect girls from cancer?
  • Did Darwin get evolution right?
  • What is in outer space?

Praise for “Official Stories”:

“Candid, concise and hard-hitting” – Jim Marrs, Author/Investigator “The Trillion Dollar Conspiracy”

The book is dynamite…a superb summation.” – Dr. Charles Geshekter, Emeritus Professor

“The book has a tasty entertaining appeal which is only exceeded by it’s stunning educational value.” –  Dr. Rashid A. Buttar, Medical Director, Center for Advanced Medicine and Clinical Research, International Best Selling Author of “The 9 Steps to Keep the Doctor Away”

Humorous and fast-paced.” – Clark Baker, Director

Revealing and entertaining satire.” – Terry Michael, Director of

We’re hooked, and we want to be hooked.” – Jon Rappoport, Author/Investigator “The Matrix Revealed”

If you are ready to lift the veil, read this book.”  – Leslie Manookian, Producer, “The Greater Good” vaccine documentary.

A great read to elevate consciousness and awareness on who we are and what we are doing here.” -Liana Werner-Gray – Founder of The Earth Diet

Brilliant and timely. Good luck putting this book down, because with each chapter you will want to know about the next ‘Official Story.’” – Robert Scott Bell, Homeopath and National Radio Host

“Most of the people who are skeptical of official stories are, in fact, analyzing conspiracies in an attempt to understand what really happened and what took place behind closed doors. A highly-recommended book the delves into this matter in more detail is the five-star-rated masterpieceOfficial Stories: Counter-Arguments for a Culture in Need” by Liam Scheff. This book will open the minds of those who still have the cognitive capability remaining to grasp it.  – Mike Adams, “The Health Ranger,” founder, Natural

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Table of Contents:

Official Stories Poster Book.

Official Stories Posters v.1 Available Now. Educational material to accompany and illuminate “Official Stories.” ©2013  (Read more) [Available at]

Perfect for conversation, coffee table and teaching tools. Full-color, beautifully-drawn and printed, suitable for home, school and office of the:

– True History of Vaccination

– Road to Health or Toxicity

– True History of HIV

– HIV Test Board Game

– 911 Questions



Contact – Bookings – Speaking Engagements

You can book me for a public event on any of the topics I cover for an in-person or Skype video engagement:

  • Hidden Vaccine History
  • The Real Story of HIV and AIDS
  • The Myths of Modern Science, (from Big Bang to Plate Tectonics to Monsanto), and related topics.

If you are contacting me for a booking or interview please copy the following into your message:

re: Interview Request

If you are requesting an interview, please provide your name, organization, email and/or telephone number, and a message. Your personal information will not be published as a comment, but will be received as a private email.

Leave Contact Request HERE | Contact via Facebook


Reposting Articles from this site:

You may repost quotes or excerpts from articles at Liam, so long as you properly attribute them to the author, Liam Scheff, and link back to the original article. Please do not repost entire articles without express permission from the author.


  1. Hi Liam,
    I’m trying to find info about a residential community in Danvers, Massachusetts that I was at back in 1976, called “Liberty House.” It wasn’t a school but a shorter term “therapeutic” program that seemed based on a similar model as Cedu. I found it emotionally abusive, and would like to find out what was really going on there. Have you come across this in your research?
    Thanks for the great work,

  2. Hi Mr. Scheff, We spoke today regarding the man-made weaponized viruses and the 1000+ labs in the US developing diseases that were once, like smallpox, obsolete, but are now being revivified and reintroduced.

    I sincerely hope you will turn your keen eye towards the “vaccine” question ie. Baxter live flu vaccine sent to 18 countries.

    Mr. Scheff, are you aware of the military proposal called “Owning the Weather by 2025?” This document can be found on the Internet and it enumerates the ways that aerosol spraying (Chemtrails) can (and are) be used.

    If memory serves, the uses include the aerosol spraying (Chemtrails) of the population to various and sundry ends. If you do not find it in the document in question you might look up “Strange Days, Strange Skies,” which is a site maintained by the millions of people worldwide who want to know what toxic concoctions are being released into the air.

    Chemtrailing has been going on for about 40 years, but has redoubled in the last 10-12 years and goes on non-stop. I mention this because any advice about ingesting healthy food and water is no longer feasible due to to the fact that lab tests done on ground and water samples after a chemtrail event show toxic levels of barium, aluminum, heavy metals etc.

    Anyway, I shall read the book suggested and visit your site at length for more information about the vile and criminal testing done on children in New York.

    Thank you, Mr. Scheff, for your important and masterful work (and for taking my call). I hope the sites I mentioned will be of interest to you and, perhaps in the future, you might employ your superb journalistic talents to exposing the truth on these topics.

    Sincerely, Barbara

  3. Mr. Scheff,

    I forgot to write the titles of documentary videos you asked about:

    They are:

    1) The Strecker Memorandum
    2) In Lies We Trust

    Thanks again, Barbara

  4. Dear Liam,

    I attended Northwest Academy from 1999-2002 (CEDU Family) as well as Ascent (bootcamp next door) twice. I was taken from my home in the middle of the night twice by the same person. I was handcuffed and taken against my will. I was at Cedu for over two years. I have lots of stories – I hope you contact me. There was a lot of bad and good at that place. Overall – very traumatizing.

  5. hi, i was watching the CEDU documentary and would love to know where and how you found Dennis Dockstader. Seeing his face and hearing his voice made me cry. i attended cedu from 2000- 2002 and he was a huge part of my experience. through the years I’ve lost his number.

    thank you so much for the work your doing and you have my full support if that means anything. i’ve struggled for years trying to explain these things to people and i always feel like they don’t believe me. to the point where i started not to believe myself, and seeing this and hearing others stories made me feel a little less insane today, which is such a gift, thank you so much!!

    on my seventeenth birthday i had been at cedu for about 10 months and Dennis was a dear friend of mine, in the weeks before he asked me what i wanted for my birthday, and i anwsered saying “to get the fuck out of here fast” so when my birthday came, he came up to me and gave me a hug and handed me a present, i opened it and it was a mini toy bike, like a model mountain bike, and he was like well it won’t really get you out of here fast but almost, its got the right parts for it, keep dreaming kid… that and he would sneak me root beer floats on restriction… so yeah, thank you so much for your time!!!! thanks again so much and i hope your having a happy monday…. hailee jacobs

  6. Hey Hailee……. I’ve been trying to find you somehow. Glad to see you found this documentary too. Good story about Dennis. I have his current email if you want it. He was just over in South Carolina, I think, visiting Janine. I guess you could try to find me on Facebook. My last name is now Graves. Hope to hear from you. Spread the word about this movie, I have been.


  7. Dear Liam,

    My son went to Cedu and I should have taken him out. I remember him telling me he hated Rudy Benz. Now he exhibits brainwashed behavior much like you would imagine sexually abused young men by the priests what the hell happened to my son in that school. He is now 34 years old and cannot function in society. I would like to talk to you to see if you have heard of similiar problems.

    Sara D.

  8. Hey Liam,

    I was watching some of your disturbing video of Jill and Rudy Bentz. I wanted to let you know that Rudy was also Headmaster at Hidden Lake Academy in Dahlonega, GA before he went on to ASR.

    I worked for Rudy and have stories to tell about him and Jill. I was a counselor there right at the facility’s startup and after much moral wrangling, my career there ended with an apocalyptic confrontation with an apoplectic Rudy Bentz.

    Best Regards,

    Steve G.

  9. I attended Cedu from 1982-1984. I have never spoken or known about the trauma others have gone through in regards to this “school”. I watched the Rudy Bentz video and memories of Jill Bentz came flooding back. I have a degree in Applied Psychology and their behaviour was questionable at best. Thanks for doing this documentary, it allowed me to objectively look at my own experience and finally see it for what it truly was. Did either Rudy or Jill have any training in child psychology? If you want an interview please contact me and I will gladly relate my tale.

  10. Hi Liam,

    I just watched your section on runaways and it reminded me about mine. So far as i know i’ve had pretty much the worst run-away experience (that i ever heard about) I tried to run away down the back side, fell, and broke to vertebrae in my neck and one in my lower back as well as suffering a severe head wound. I was unconscious for 2 hours and when i woke up i had to climb back up and walk back to the school. that was about half way through my stay there (2000-2002).


  11. Liam,
    I must say as a fledgling yet inexperienced documentary filmmaker, I feel usurped.

    That said, thank you soooo much for making the CEDU film! I am also at your disposal for any and all info you may seek. I don’t have too much on Jacqueline Guber but I was definitely at RMA with her and met Babs once. I was there from July 1986 to Dec. 1988 – Crazy Xmas ’88’s, though I think everyone was a little crazy there.

    I Have quite mixed emotions but one thing is for sure, your film has nailed me between the fucking eyes! I’ just wiped tears from my face after watching a segment; remembering things I had totally forgotten.

    I knew Ned Murray, Caroline Wolfe, Richard Armstrong, Steve Rookey, Tim Brace etc…My second week, Brace had me stand up in front of the entire school at his Monday morning speech and had the student body critique me! 200 kids staring at me and critiquing my posture, clothes etc…blew my mind to say the least.

    I knew a lot of good friends from RMA who are no longer with us, three by their own hands; one was a little brother of mine. I have moved on and have my own life now but these lost friends of mine haunt me at times… Is it just a numbers game Liam? I too, did more frigging drugs, crashed cars, DUI, alcoholism, hospitals etc,etc… AFTER I left RMA, then before.

    To be fair it took me 20 years to finally get sober and I am a dyed in the wool dopefiend/alcoholic who would’ve gone that route anyway. There were some high points, but there are also things that it’s taken 20 years to wrap my head around – certain propheet fucked with my head for years. BTW- Give my e-mail to Steve Rookey if you know him, Dana Wasserman’s ex, please tell him to drop me a line! ;)

    I got sent to RMA for basically failing out of high school in Torrance and my mom couldn’t deal with punk rock. I was a 15 year old nihilist and didn’t know it let alone be able to articulate it. I barely knew my dad – but he was cool enough to think that $30K a year wasn’t too much to have someone else “fix” his son, right?
    I guess I knew I’d eventually have to deal with RMA again so lets rip that scab off, eh? Thank you again for the film.

    I am availiable for an interview if you wish and would love to chat, let me know.

    Scott – Los Angeles

  12. Hi Liam,

    That CEDU Documentary brought back a lot of memories, few of which were positive. I went to RMA from 1984 to 1986 and thought the documentary was really good. I laughed so much at how everything was just like it was at RMA as it was described at CEDU even years later. And how we had clones up there that were the same as those at CEDU. Caroline Wolfe, mentioned by Scott above, was probably the model he used for himself. Caroline had her clique of students, one of whom was Jackie Guber, and she would have pretty boys fawning all over her day and night and would blow people away in raps with a sharp voice rap after rap.

    I actually was there when Jackie arrived so I knew her. I gave her mom Barbara Walters a tour of the campus. She ruined my purple academy shirt with her mascara when she cried on my shoulder. As I understand it, when Jackie started her own school up in Maine, Caroline Wolfe was part of that. These people never leave the system. They just close up shop and move to the next new school. Bringing with them all the pseudo junk therapy crap they learned at the previous ones. And that’s something I think needs to be discussed. How all of these half baked, untrained people just bounce around and never leave the system. And in many instances, students who should have graduated and moved on, didn’t. They drank so much of the Kool-aid that they got sucked in and returned as either staff members or formed their own schools.

    I too would be available to discuss anything you want to discuss about my experiences. I’d even be willing to be filmed. I just think it is great something is finally out there that others can see, that explains how crazy these places are. Over the years I have found it hard to fully explain to people so they can understand, how bizarre it all was. Like Laura in her interview trying to explain to the juvenile hall people. It’s hard. And people find it hard to believe.

    Great job Liam and all the best to all of you who survived.

    –William Henry- San Jose, CA

  13. Liam-

    I came across your website and the documentary on CEDU as I was looking for any sort of info and other stuff on the school I attended, Carlbrook School from 2003-2005. Carlbrook was run by Tim Brace, who is very connected with the CEDU schools and Rocky Mountain Academy and others.

    While watching your videos I was amazed and shocked by the almost word for word account of what I went through, almost 15 years after your experience. It was really awesome to find these videos and others experiences at other schools, and mine (on other forums and sites), because it helped me see that I wasnt the only one feeling this way about Carlbrook, since many of my peers from there are all about the school.

    While there are a few differences, Carlbrook and the CEDU schools share scary similaritites with almost everything. I am really glad to come across this website and just want to thank you for getting the voice of so many people out there who all went through these experiences as teenagers….
    Where can I see the full documentary??? I am very interested.
    The experiences I had were very similar to the ones described in the videos, from the raps, the smushing, all the way to the “I vs. Me”….. They are still doing the towel exercise, just changed it a bit so you are not pulling with your teeth…

    Anyways, thanks for getting this out there, hopefully it will open many more eyes….

    -Jonathan L.
    southern california

  14. Liam-
    Please take a look at this “program” / “school” what ever you want to call it
    they are a direct descended of CEDU
    They just hired this man
    James Powell, Ph.D.
    “From 1988-2003 he served as Clinical Director of CEDU Mountain Schools, in Running Springs, California. In 2004, Dr. Powell established Powell & Elliott Collaborative, an independent company focused on supporting therapeutic schools and programs. Most recently, Dr. Powell served as Clinical Director for an outdoor wilderness program in Northern Idaho.”
    and there are other staff that are former CEDU

  15. On the subject of chemtrails
    I have noticed a sharp decline in the sacramento valley of such chemtrails. The last several weeks
    the skies have been unusually blue and clear The way I remember them as a child 40 years
    ago. My theory is that the chemtrails and the disappearing bees are somehow connected and the program is on hold.

  16. Liam

    I have seen your report on the testing of thalidomide on children in New York. Did you know this was done before? Dr Lang testified in court (1970) that he had tested the drug on 140 learning-disabled children at the university clinic in Bonn in the late 1950’s, with up to 20 times the maximum recommended adult dose. He did not have the consent of the parents. 3 died of heart/circulatory failure, one went blind. He did not think these effects were connected with his experiments. He was never arrested or charged in connection with these events. We now know that thalidomide is a powerful neurotoxin (nerve poison). Why would anyone need to keep experimenting on children to discover (again) this drug can be a killer?

  17. Liam–

    Any updates on the CEDU documentary? I attended Boulder Creek Academy from 1999-2001, as well as two trips to Ascent Wilderness. I check your website every so often to see if there is any new news on the CEDU documentary you are putting together, and so far I haven’t seen any.

    I also wanted to thank you for putting it together. I don’t know about anyone else who attended those schools, but it’s been very difficult to try to explain my experiences to friends, boyfriends, etc. I think this documentary will not only be an amazing tool for survivors of these schools, but also (hopefully) open the eyes of any parents who are considering programs like the ones the CEDU schools had. Thank you for doing this!!

  18. Hi Michelle,

    Yes, updates coming. What you see isn’t the finished project, just the work as it’s being done. We’ll be doing a little more filming in CA in spring.

    People who want to show up for a brief interview should email me if you’ll be in the bay area or LA in early-mid 2010.

    People from other schools, non-Cedu, are invited. I want to represent some of the sister and daughter, or clone schools as well.

    One thing we’ll be doing in this set of interviews, is taking interviews with people who feel more positive about the schools, or at least about their experience in them. So if you want to defend the experience more, or talk about what worked for you, then please get in touch and come to the filming.

    I’m sure that’s controversial for people who hated the school/s, but it helps tell a more complete story.

    And I’m very happy that the clips help tell the story or explain some of it to people. That’s part of the reason for it – I mean, that was always the question: “How on earth do you explain a propheet? A rap?” So…glad it’s a help.

  19. I like the idea of presenting the stories from those who felt the program actually helped them. Although I don’t agree that CEDU programs were helpful, to each there own.

    If you don’t mind me asking, do you have any sort of financial backing/some way to help ease the costs on making this documentary? I only ask because I believe so much in what you’re doing (especially after always hearing reports here and there that someone was going to be making a documentary, only to have the idea die out). I don’t think I’m the only one who feels strongly about what you’re doing, and I would love to contribute in some way if I can. Is there any way I (or other people who support what you’re doing) could contribute?

  20. Dear Liam Scheff

    I am an artist based in Nottingham, England. I run performance workshops and also make performance work myself. Much of my work and research looks at power-relations, linguistic manipulation games and emotional manipulation or, for lack of a more appropriate word, “implanting”.

    This past year the focus of my research has shifted from a broader sociopolitical perspective to one far more acute. Through this I have found myself reading (and indeed watching) a great deal of material related to behaviour modification programs.

    I guess my introduction was actually a BBC documentary about Tranquility Bay and there were parts so frighteningly absurd that if one had just been flicking through the channels they could have mistaken it for very dry satire (the more recent introduction of thin foam mats upon which “students” can now safely and comfortably lie face down in silence for three months, etc.). Just truly terrifying.

    The workshop scripts/accounts which you have posted I responded to with both horror and fascination (that gut response in itself perhaps rather telling as to how they operate in an exploitative sense regarding all involved). In particular it was the I & Me which I found most shocking and also quite upsetting. There is just no way out it. Rather like the question “are you in denial?” where the answers “yes” and “no” amount to the same thing and only give leverage to the individual asking the question. It’s so cheap, but so effective when you’re tied to a chair, so to speak.

    Anyway, Mr Sheff, what I want to ask is, are the images of both scripts on your site the entirety of the documents or extracts? If they are extracts, would it be possible to get complete copies? I guarantee there is no intention on my part to attempt any reenactment. It is just for analysis. In the next year I’m seriously considering doing an MA and part of that dissertation shall inevitably focus on methods of behaviour-control.

    It’s worth mentioning that I also work with teenagers with behavioural problems in Nottingham who’ve been rejected by the education system and care very, very much.

    My sincere regards
    Luke Ferris

  21. Luke,

    Your post to Liam was so well written and I can’t tell you how cool it is to hear from someone who is not a part of this system in any way, coming away with the understanding that these programs are so abusive. And your way of describing the horror you experienced sounded very sincere.

    I guess what hit me the most was your description of the BBC program and how someone could come across it and assume it wasn’t real. As though they were watching some Monty Python episode. That only people with a twisted sense of humor could have come up with lying face down on foam mats as a therapeutic process. Or those who are simply just twisted.

    I wish you the best of luck in your research and hope it reaches the right audience. Or any audience.

  22. Hi Liam,

    I’m hoping you can spead the word on this:

    DOJ investigators would like to hear from former CEDU staff members and students that may have had contact with Dr. Burnell Forgey (phyciatrist) or his “assistant” James Crummel. Investigator Bill Gleason may be conacted through the California Department of Justice, Missing Person Unit at (916) 227-3290.

  23. BRAVO for your comment on the AIDS denialist piece in today’s INDEPENDENT.

    I could not have summarised it any better myself.

    Your website is now on my quick access bookmarks list.

  24. Thank you Paul. Very kind of you! I’ll repost it below, with the link to the Independent article.

    Dr. Luc Montagnier and Dr.Nancy Padian point the way. (or, The Only “denialism” is in your article).?

    Dear “Independent,”

    Just as the lie has been given to the “climate change consensus,” which was manufactured by exclusion and suppression, so the lie is being given to the so-called conventional understanding of AIDS.

    AIDS has become a brand name for poverty, and every disease that grows in it. It is supposed to be a sex disease, but all studies on sex and AIDS refute this idea so solidly, that these studies have been hidden from the general public, censored from Wikipedia (that black hole of ‘information’).

    No, the AIDS mainstream “denies” that these studies even exist. If asked about them, they trip over themselves trying to find the door, or they change the subject, or start name-calling. “Denialist.” That’s the purpose of that word – to change the subject.

    For public consumption, it is wrapped in a pretty red ribbon, and not just simplified, but disguised entirely from its actual nature. It is treated as a religious figure by – well, by the “Independent,” apparently.

    But change is in the air, and help is on the way for the millions of Africans now incorrectly labeled with one single deterministic ailment. That help is multifaceted in nature. “Water is Key,” says Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Luc Montagnier in his uncut interview from “House of Numbers.”

    “We can be exposed to HIV many times without being chronically infected. Our immune system will get rid of the virus within a few weeks, if you have a good immune system.” Says Dr. Montagnier.

    “There are many ways which are not the vaccine, (the magic name). Many ways to decrease the transmission just by simple measures of nutrition. Giving antioxidants – proper antioxidants. Hygiene measures, fighting the other infections [malaria, tuberculosis, parasitosis].”

    Dr. Nancy Padian also appears in the film. She ran the longest study on sexual transmission of HIV on record. 175 couples, one partner positive, one negative, unable, after six years of vaginal and anal sex, with and without condoms. All unable to ‘transmit’ HIV from one to the other.

    “I think HIV is more difficult to transmit than other sexually-transmitted ? than a lot of, probably most other sexually-transmitted diseases. I mean, I think that?s pretty widely known.” Dr. Padian blandly tells the interviewer.

    If you’ve never heard statements like this in the press, it is because AIDS has metamorphosed into a a religion. It no longer can function as a science. It tolerates no dissent, allows no debate, and suppresses every contradictory bit of evidence as equivalent to heresy, or, to use their intentionally blinding, inflammatory language, “Holocaust denialism.”

    That sort of name-calling has a purpose, and the purpose is to terrify the rational from free speech and participation.
    But it’s not working. Because honest people aren’t afraid of discussion. Real science isn’t afraid of debate. But religion is. Debate kills bad ideas, and enlivens good ones.

    Where is Luc Montagnier in your article? He’s mentioned once, but nothing controversial (or interesting) gets through the “Independent’s” censoring, er, “editing process.” Where is Nancy Padian? How about any one of the hundreds of reports on the failure of HIV tests to diagnose any particular illness? Of the tendency of the current drugs to kill patients, or to cause diseases indistinguishable from “AIDS?”

    The only denialists here are the likes of Seth Kalichman (author of “Denying AIDS,” and John P. Moore and Jeanne Bergman (of AIDSTruth) – all who spend much of their free time belittling, scorning, libeling, slandering and attacking in media and in their places of work, those who try to report any little bit of the suppressed reality that is the actual state of AIDS science.

    To the courageous, to the truly “Independent,” debate is not something to be feared and suppressed. So, “Independent,” next time you get around to reporting on this topic, you might bother to let some actual evidence into your reporting, and let the debate begin.

    Kind regards,

    Liam Scheff

  25. I attended RMA in the early 90s for several months before escaping. It was a fucking nightmare.

  26. When you say you escaped, what did you do next? If you didn’t go back, did you go home or just set off on your own? Are you still in contact with your parents? How did things turn out for you?

  27. Hi- I interviewed to be a staff at Cedu in sept 1988. I had been attracted by their so called humanistic approach. I found myself basically insulted and demeaned throughout the interview process. Instead of staying over night, I quit by noon. I could tell this was a really strange program when the youth told me “we are only allowed to listen to music like Neil Diamond, and certain Beatles…”. The interviewer told me that I would have to shave since “the founder believes that any man who wears facial hair is hiding something and cannot be trusted”.

  28. Liam,

    Out of nothing more than pure curiosity, I’m wondering what this experience has been like for you? I’m sure on some level you made the Cedu documentary to answer questions for yourself about what it was the all went through while spending time in Running Springs. However, you have clearly tapped a nerve for a rather large amount of former Cedu students who were unresolved with their own experiences at the “school.” Since none of us really had the opportunity to process our time at Cedu post our stay, the viewing of your videos and chance to reply to the interviews seems to be serving former students as a therapeutic detox if you will. Just interested in whether or not this what your documentary was intended to do? Finally, did any former “Family Heads” even reply to your offer for an interview? Thanks again for you work on this subject.

    • Beautiful and kind question, Ben… I’ve copied it to the new “Surviving Cedu” site…In brief, and a more complete answer to come:

      Short answer – no, no ‘family heads’ agreed to be interviewed, most didn’t respond… Dennis Dockstader was the only major staff who agreed to talk – and I commend and appreciate his openness in doing so.

      Yes, a ‘for us, by us’ project was what I always had in mind – a place to put the history on the map for us to recall and, indeed, process; as you rightly point out, we hadn’t, and haven’t, really. The culture at large is not aware of these strange places, except in very very rare passing reference in a very few pieces of fiction or biography, or film….

      I’m just hoping to keep it from the memory hole, you know?

      Check out the new site – – I’ll post a longer response there…

      – Liam

  29. Liam,
    I find it interesting that you use the term, “keeping the memory whole.” I say this b/c on a personal level this was not something that I was at all interested in doing prior to seeing your films. In fact, I had done a rather decent job of convincing others, and to some extent myself, that I had simply attended a boarding school in Southern California b/c I wasn’t taking care of my academics and a strict preparatory environment was what my family felt to be necessary in order to turn things around. I worked this angle b/c of the incredible amount shame I carried after leaving Cedu as I did not have a means for self-process, I took the more simplistic route of manipulating the experience to others and myself to fit a more normalized model of boarding school life. I always knew on some level what the truth was regarding my stay on the mountain, but how on earth does somebody explain staying up all night while your mentally broken down, being banned from looking another student in the eyes or what it meant to not be allowed to date yet having male staff attempt to run their fingers through your hair? On top of this, I was a college athlete at the time and much of what I had experienced at Cedu would have been beyond taboo to discuss.
    When I saw your documentaries for the first time I was not at all stoked but admit not being able to turn away. I watched each one alone at my house while my wife and daughter were visiting family and then proceed to get pretty tossed on bottle of half decent Kentucky bourbon. I wasn’t ready to fully feel my anger at what I was watching or the return of a great deal of embarrassment around the truth about my life during that time.
    However, what this opened up for me has been a real blessing, hence the initial post. I confronted my parents for the first time about why they had chosen Cedu, what I had truly experienced in my stay there and how incredibly angry I still was at my feelings of emotional violation. To her credit, my Mom chose to watch your documentary after we spoke. She shared with me how manipulated she felt and how it was the mid-90’s and radical emotional growth therapy was all the rage for upper middle class families such as my own. She knew Mel on a semi-personal level and admitted that she would have sold the house, the car and emptied the family portfolio to have her kid be a part of the Cedu Family of Services. Mel had her convinced that Cedu was the only way to save her son and that play on the most organic of all parental instincts was beyond effective.
    I asked about the Family Heads b/c I feel like if what they sold us was good enough then, why not now? They seemed to believe so strongly in what they were selling and put us through hell and back in order to get us to buy it. Has so much changed that they no longer believe in Cedu system of rehabilitating America’s youth regardless of whether the school closed or not? Where is the righteousness? Where have the soap boxes gone?
    So, like many of your posts this one has become lengthy as the feelings that come up seem to transfer into writing. Again, I appreciate your work on the Cedu schools b/c frankly, what else do those of us who went through those places have as a means of understanding? In any case, thanks for giving some providing an outlet.

  30. Sorry Liam. Just saw the “memory hole” of course beind differnt than keeping the “memory whole” though my response probably was not have been much different.

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