This is the History of and Reporting Guide for Harbor Oaks Boarding School in Mars Hill, NC
(a.k.a. Wolf Creek Academy)
<![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]>On this page you will find incomplete staff and complaint histories with sources cited (i.e. Progress Report), the general advisory against segregated congregate care with sources cited, and a reporting guide for those unlawfully harmed or firsthand witnesses to unlawful harm by or at this location to report violations of the law to the proper authorities/law enforcement. The staff list itself will not be updated with additional names out of a sense of fairness where those providing the names ask for anonymity or confidentiality. And, this program will remain eligible for merciful release if all criteria are met and no guest sermon is provided by a qualifying sponsor by that time. In the meantime, it can graduate the COPE Conversion Program by meeting the Honesty In Marketing Standards (HIMS) or permanently close to be removed from the watch-list/released from the COPE Conversion Program. If permanently closed prior to graduation or merciful release, it will be buried in the virtual graveyard.
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|(Dr.) Patricia Jones||Director/Co-Founder||
On August 20th, 2010, HEAL received an e-mail from a survivor of Harbor Oaks,
this report stated:
"Vince Brown was also an employee from roughly November 2006 until atleast June 2008 when I left the program. I found him and his wife Dana to be the most unqualified of the whole bunch of staff while I was there. While in the program I gained Vince's trust and found out some real dirt about Harbor Oaks, for starters our food came from the Manna Food Bank of west North Carolina. That really blew my mind considering Harbor Oaks is not a cheap program, so naturally I thought where is the money going? Pat, Jimbo(James), and there son Jeremey Jones(whom is actually the director of the boys school) all swore up and down that the program is non-profit but I find this hard to believe because all of the Jones' live quite extravagantly and none of them have day jobs."
|James Jones||Co-Founder||This was hard to find. We wonder if it was because Jim Jones was a notorious cult leader and Harbor Oaks operates like a cult. Remember Jonestown?|
|(Dr.) Guy Lindsey||(?) Co-Defendant||Lindsey no longer appears to work for this program.|
|Jeffrey Scobba||(?) Co-Defendant||Scobba no longer appears to work for this program.|
|Shane Sullivan||Counselor||The staff list is described as "our family", very cult-like. Sullivan no longer appears to work for this program.|
|Gregory Dean Caldwell||Teacher|
|Bayard Kohlhepp||NO TITLE||Kohlhepp no longer appears to work for this program.|
|Natalie Knowles||NO TITLE||Knowles no longer appears to work for this program.|
Case in North Carolina Courts, hearing on April 20th, 2009 at Buncombe County
Court (Details unknown)
|Vince Brown||Staff (from approx Nov. 2006-June 2008)||Brown no longer works for this program.|
|Jeremy Jones||Director of Boys Program||(Son of Pat and "Jimbo") Phone number for program is registered as personal phone number for J. Jones.|
|Angela Jones||Wife of Jeremy /Program Director|
|Krystal Dirscherl||Executive Asst.|
|Jody and Deborah Davis||Houseparents|
|Stephen and Melina Johnson||Houseparents|
|Ben and Lauren Fackler||Houseparents|
Reportedly worked for Harbor Oaks from 2006-2007. Also, from an e-mail
report received February 25th, 2011:
"He represents himself as having a PhD in psychology….but he’s only licensed as an Abuse Counselor by the State of Utah. He worked as a “counselor” at the now closed Whitmore Academy in Nephi, Utah – which was owned by Mark and Cheryl Sudweeks. Whitmore Academy was closed – when Cheryl Sudweeks was charged; and “copped a plea” for abusing kids in 2005. Bernie Farrow went to work as a “counselor” at INTEGRITY HOUSE, after Whitmore Academy closed. Then, he went to work as a counselor at Harbor Oaks."
|Arlene Farrow||Admissions Director||Farrow is wife to Bernie above and also reportedly left the program in 2007.|
|Ashland Scheff Jockell||Counselor||
Jockell and her husband (first name not included in report) both reportedly
worked for Harbor Oaks in 2007. Below is from an e-mail report sent in
by a concerned citizen:
"Ashland is the daughter of Sue Scheff – the owner of PURE, Inc….which refers children to treatment facilities for fees: Usually 10% of year’s enrollment fee. Sue Scheff referred my [child] to Whitmore Academy. Sue Scheff referred children to Harbor Oaks Boarding School."
HEAL edited portions of the above to protect the identity of the person submitting the information and the family that has been through enough due to these people. The portions edited are those that appear in [brackets].
|Mark Vander Gailen||Counselor|
|Tim Magee||Math Teacher|
|Hutch and Patti Church||Chaplains|
|Joel and Erin (Last?)||Houseparents|
|Justin and Erica (Last?)||Houseparents|
|Joey Knowles||Houseparent||Coupled with Natalie Knowles shown above.|
|Current Lawsuit Against Program Filed September 3rd, 2010: Bonham et al v. Wolf Creek Academy et al Case No: 1:2010cv00190 Court: North Carolina Western District Court.|
|Lawsuit Update: The case above has become a class action lawsuit. See: https://www.cope.church/wca.pdf|
E-mail Message Received from Concerned Relative of Prospective "Student"
(February 25th, 2011):
HEAL UPDATE: August 3rd, 2016
This program uses Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) curriculum. ACE is not an accredited academic program and credits "earned" at this facility are not accepted by major universities. Wolf Creek Academy write: "Our mission is to provide a quality education to each student and help students master curriculum knowledge via the Accelerated Christian Education system." Source: http://www.wolfcreekacademy.org/about/academics/
ACE, doing business as Lighthouse Christian Academy and claiming to provide distance or correspondence learning services for home-schooled youth claims to be "fully accredited by Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA–CESS) and Accreditation International (Ai)" Source: https://www.aceministries.com/homeschool/. Based on our research and verified by the University of Alabama, these are not legitimate accreditation agencies.
HEAL recently e-mailed the University of Alabama's admissions department to inquire if they would accept a student who graduated an ACE school or program. This was their response:
The University of Alabama Admissions Department wrote:
"Good morning Angela, I hope your weekend went well. After checking with our Enrollment Management team, it looks like we would not be able to accept credit from this institution based on the accreditation concerns. If you have any further questions, please let me know, and I will do my best to answer them or get you in touch with someone who can. Have a great day. Hunter Denson The University of Alabama"
This program is a fraud and scam. We advise against enrolling your children at this facility if you care about their future.
REPORTING GUIDE FOR VICTIMS, SURVIVORS, AND WHISTLEBLOWERS:
In North Carolina, the criminal statutes of limitation are 2 years on most misdemeanors and no statutes of limitation on malicious misdemeanors and felonies. For civil suits in North Carolina, the statute of limitations is 3 years depending on cause of action.
Options for you to take action and/or seek redress/justice today are listed below:
1. Report crimes such as assault, fraud, battery, labor trafficking, and child abuse to law enforcement in North Carolina. You can call the Mars Hill Police at (828) 689-2301 to inquire about filing an official complaint which may provide the probable cause needed to get a warrant for investigation and/or prosecution.
2. File a consumer complaint with your home state's attorney general against Harbor Oaks Boarding School AKA Wolf Creek Academy and include your request for compensation for any harm done to you. If you live in North Carolina and/or would like to file consumer complaint as a non-resident with the Attorney General of North Carolina, visit https://ncdoj.gov/file-a-complaint/ .
3. If you do not wish to file a consumer complaint, you can contact a private personal injury attorney and look into suing in tort/civil court. However, if you can't afford the retainer, you should expect to settle out of court with a non-disclosure agreement which may bar you from speaking publicly about the incident because you've agreed (even if with a grumbling assent) to the terms of the settlement.
4. You may send a new e-mail to email@example.com with subject "Post My Feedback" and we will post your feedback (e-mail printed to .pdf disclosing your name and e-mail address and any information in your e-mail with that subject) to https://www.cope.church/feedback.htm and add a direct link to those .pdf files to this page .
5. You may also wish to provide a guest sermon. Guest sermons are posted at https://www.cope.church/sermons.htm , under Progress Reports/Guest Sermons at https://www.cope.church/conversion.htm where appropriate, and on program info pages when applicable. So, one provided by you on your program would also be placed on this page . Guest sermons should be written into the body of an e-mail and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org . Your first and last name will be disclosed (contact info will not be unless you expressly request disclosure). For sermons available on our site see https://www.cope.church/sermons.htm (and sermon archives linked on that page). If you have questions about this option, please contact email@example.com. Please see https://www.cope.church/givetoday.pdf to get an idea what your sermon may be worth.
All segregated congregate care providers, including those on our watch-list, are welcome to contact us to correct any information or provide additional data that may assist with delivering the whole truth to the public. The HEAL Mission of COPE (HEAL) found in many cases where this offer has been abused or resulted in revealing additional basis for our concerns. For some examples see feedback. Now, we are willing to look at the facts and may have questions or require documentation backing up any claims. We do verify licensing, academic backgrounds, and other qualifications when investigating and researching programs on our watch-lis/enrolled in the Conversion Program to assist consumers seeking additional information on such programs or victims requiring assistance with getting corroborating evidence of their claims. We do that in order to make sure the information we provide is accurate and verified and cite our sources. In the event any information we've posted is in error, we're happy to make a correction.
HEAL does not support segregated congregate care for many reasons which include that many such facilities are abusive, exploitative, fraudulent, and lack effective oversight often as a result of fraudulent misrepresentation coupled with the ignorance of those seeking to enroll loved ones in such facilities, programs, schools, or centers without a valid court order and involuntarily. In the United States such involuntary placements done without a court order are apparently illegal as they either violate the Americans with Disabilities Act community integration requirement or due process rights of those involuntarily placed. Now, in regards to parents, in the United States parents have the right to waive their own rights, but, not the rights of their minor children. See https://www.cope.church/legalarguments.htm for more information. Now, most facilities on our watch list include waivers, indemnity clauses, and sworn statements legal guardians must sign assuring the program that the parents/legal guardians have the right to make the placement involuntarily and without due process in a segregated congregate care environment, however, California and federal prosecutors as well as settled law appears to suggest that is not the case. In fact, in the David Taylor case found at https://www.cope.church/provocases.htm , Taylor sued Provo Canyon School and his mother as co-defendants. His mother was found liable for 75% of the damages awarded to Taylor as a result of multiple complaints including false imprisonment, while the program was found only 25% liable because the mother owed a duty of due diligence to investigate anyone to which she would entrust care of her child and she failed to do so.
Now, HEAL opposes segregated congregate care and we find most placements are happening illegally in the USA which if the youth understood their rights would result in unfortunate outcomes for the parents, particularly when they don't exercise good judgment and support the fraud and abuse rather than their own children when they need remedy and justice. And, HEAL supports all victims of fraud and abuse in seeking remedies at law for any crimes or torts committed against them. And, that's true whether or not the program or victims are in the USA.
HEAL has a 5 point argument against segregated congregate care we'd like you to consider:
a. Segregated care is unconstitutional and a civil rights violation. It is only permissible if a person is unable to survive independent of an institutional environment. For more on this, watch the HEAL Report at https://youtu.be/C4NzhZc4P0A. Or, see: http://www.ada.gov/olmstead/ which includes in part: "United States v. Florida – 1:12-cv-60460 – (S.D. Fla.) – On April 7, 2016, the United States filed an Opposition to the State of Florida’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment. In the Motion, the State had asked the Court to rule, on a variety of grounds, that the United States could not recover damages for unnecessarily institutionalized children to whom the State had been deliberately indifferent."
b. Institutionalization is always dehumanizing and coercive. Institutionalization always harms the institutionalized and deprives them of protected civil rights. Dr. David Straker, Psychiatry Professor at Columbia University's School of Medicine (Ivy League) explains this in detail at http://changingminds.org/disciplines/sociology/articles/institutionalization.htm. "Many institutions, from prisons to monasteries to asylums, deliberately want to control and manage their inmates such that they conform and do not cause problems. Even in less harsh environments, many of the institutionalization methods may be found, albeit in more moderated form (although the psychological effect can be equally devastating)." (See website linked in this paragraph for more info.)
c. Institutionalization is not in the best interest of children. Institutions are not ever better for a child than living with a loving family. Source: http://www.unicef.org/cambodia/12681_23295.html
d. Reform schools, residential treatment programs, and other segregated congregate care settings have been shown to be ineffective and harmful. Best source on this currently is: https://www.acgov.org/probation/documents/EndoftheReformSchoolbyVinny.doc
e. Boarding Schools, even the "good ones", result in a form of social death, isolation, and cause both anxiety and depression. Therefore, it is clearly not in the best interest of the youth subjected to those environments. Sources: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jun/08/boarding-school-syndrome-joy-schaverien-review and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/secondaryeducation/11662001/The-truth-about-boarding-school-syndrome.html
Beyond the above arguments against segregated congregate care, we have reports from the NIH, Surgeon General, Yale University Studies, and much more showing the methodologies of behavior modification are damaging, harmful, and ineffective. You can request these documents via e-mail. In addition, for such programs offering academic services or claiming to offer diplomas, certifications, or the like, it is important to check to see if it is a diploma mill with no accredited academic services. Please see article: "Avoiding Scams: What You Need To Know" for important information on how to avoid education/training scams.
If you'd like to see what HEAL suggests rather than segregated congregate care (i.e. committing a crime or tort against your child if done against their will without a court order), please see articles: "Fix Your Family, Help Your Teen" and "Emancipation Guide".
|10/6/21: COPE Conversion Program Progress Report: Harbor Oaks Boarding School AKA Wolf Creek Academy.|
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<![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> Last Updated:
Last Updated:February 27th, 2023
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