This the History of and Reporting Guide for Liahona Academy in Virgin, UT
(a.k.a. Premier Education Seminars, World Wide Association of Specialty Programs (and Schools), WWASP, WWASPS, Family Support Network, Resource Realizations, Liahona Academy for Youth)
<![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]>
On this page you will find incomplete staff and complaint histories with sources cited, 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. This program is no longer eligible for merciful release as a guest sermon is on file. However, 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, it will be buried in the virtual graveyard.
<![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]>
|Clayton AhQuin Jr.||Executive Director||Son of Founder ("Clay" left a voice-mail for HEAL without stating his purpose for calling. We invite "Clay" to e-mail email@example.com. We are unclear on whether "Clay" was Clay Jr. or Sr., below.)|
|Clayton AhQuin Sr.||Activities Director||Founder. AhQuin reportedly takes the children to his home to perform manual labor.|
|Parker Haslam||Program Director||Haslam has worked in the industry since 2004.|
|(Dr.) Brent Price||Therapist|
|(Dr.) Norm Thibault||Therapist||Norm was appointed by Utah Governor Mike Leavitt as the Marriage and Family Therapist representative on the State of Utah Rural Mental Health Financial Assistance Board from 2001 until 2003 and has been a member of the utah Association of Marriage and Family Therapy Board of Directors since 2004. He is a Clinical Member and an Approved Supervisor for the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.|
|Brad Christiansen (aka Christensen)||Headmaster/Principal||Studied at BYU. Other reported spellings of last name "Christensen".|
|Julie Sanders||Teacher||Sanders has been with Liahona since 2007.|
|Ruth Jeppson||Teacher||Jeppson no longer works for Liahona Academy.|
|Lynne Williams||Teacher||Williams no longer works for Liahona Academy.|
|Lisa Anderson||Teacher||Anderson no longer works for Liahona Academy.|
|Thane Palmer||Therapist||Formerly worked for WWASPS/Cross Creek.|
|Taylor Jacobson||Office Manager|
|Carolyn Callahan||Case Manager||Formerly worked for WWASPS/Cross Creek.|
|Warren Williams||Case Manager|
|Renee (last name unknown)||Teacher|
|David Mangelson||Academic Director|
|Constantine (Gus) Carayas||Teacher|
|Todd Vowell||Owner||Please see articles and lawsuit below regarding Vowell's history of fraud in business.|
|Beverly Carayas||Case Worker|
|Brian Parker||Staff||Require full name (including middle name) and/or license number to verify professional licensing.|
|NO OTHER NAMES||NO OTHER TITLES||There is no additional information on staff at this location at this time.*|
Liahona Academy –
Located in Leeds, Utah. The description is similar to a WWASP
program. The corporate filing places the address of this academy in Hurricane, Utah. The
directions to the program appear to directions to Cross Creek Academy. The head
schoolmaster is Brad Christensen (Family name from Skywest, Northwest Association of
Schools, Universities, and Programs as well as WWASP). St. George addresses matched
those used by WWASP.
OTHER PROGRAM AFFILIATIONS:
Academy at Ivy Ridge (Academy at Ivy Ridge) in New York
Spring Creek Lodge in Montana
Camas Ranch (for 18 year olds+ young men) in Montana
Carolina Springs Academy in South Carolina
Cross Creek Programs in Utah
Horizon Academy in Nevada
Darrington Academy (reportedly closed) in Georgia
Eagle Point Christian Academy in Mississippi
Tranquility Bay in Jamaica (reportedly closed)
High Impact in Mexico (reportedly closed)
Casa by the Sea (reportedly closed)
REPORTING GUIDE FOR VICTIMS, SURVIVORS, AND WHISTLEBLOWERS:
In Utah, the statutes of limitation do not apply to crimes against children that include sex offenses and human trafficking. There are no statutes of limitation on murder and kidnapping in Utah. Other felonies have statutes of limitation ranging from 4 years to 8 years. Most misdemeanors in the state have a 2-year time limit. For civil suits in Utah, the statute of limitations is 4 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 Utah. You can call the Washington County Sheriff at (435) 656-6500 to inquire about filing an official complaint which may provide the probable cause needed to get a warrant for investigation and/or prosecution. You may also wish to submit a concern to state regulators in charge of licensing Liahona Academy which you can do at this link: https://hslic.utah.gov/submit-a-concern
2. File a consumer complaint with your home state's attorney general against Liahona Academy and include your request for compensation for any harm done to you. If you live in Utah and/or would like to file consumer complaint as a non-resident with the Attorney General of Utah, visit: https://dcp.utah.gov/complaints.html .
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com . 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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".
|Las Vegas man says he was defrauded in businessman’s alleged scheme By Steve Green Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011 | 2 p.m. A Las Vegas businessman says in a new lawsuit he was defrauded by Utah businessman Jeremy Johnson, who already faces a Federal Trade Commission complaint in what the FTC calls an Internet billing scheme that cost consumers nationwide $275 million. Newly-unsealed Utah federal court documents show the Las Vegas businessman, Chad Elie, filed suit on Dec. 28 seeking $20 million against Johnson and several co-defendants in the St. George, Utah, area. The codefendants in the new Utah case are SunFirst Bank -- which has already been hit with a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. enforcement action over its dealings with Johnson -- an entity called Triple Seven LLC, and executives Scott Leavitt, Jason T. Vowell, Todd L. Vowell, Loyd Johnston and Kerry Johnson. The FTC lawsuit filed in Las Vegas on Dec. 21 against Johnson claims he and his companies including I Works and Elite Debit scammed consumers by luring them into obtaining trial memberships for bogus services and then repeatedly charging their credit and debit cards monthly fees for the worthless services. Johnson has denied those allegations. Elie says in his Utah lawsuit he is the CEO of Florida company Viable Marketing Corp. Records show he also has a Las Vegas company called 21Debit that's involved in the payment processing industry. Records in Florida show Viable Marketing has had its own issues. It was named in a Feb. 17, 2010, statement from Florida's Attorney General and the FTC as one of several companies that received subpoenas investigating potential violations of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. The Viable Marketing subpoena related to "unauthorized recurring charges" associated with a work-at-home Internet business opportunity. One of Elie's attorneys on Thursday said he believe that investigation is now closed and that he was looking into it. Elie says in the new Utah lawsuit that he provides "Check21" e-payment processing services for online merchants whose customers prefer to pay over the Internet by check or debits from their banks instead of using credit cards. Elie says he became acquainted with Johnson during a trade show in 2009 and that Johnson represented he had a trusted relationship with SunFirst. Elie says that Johnson told him that in exchange for become 50/50 partners, Elie could begin processing payments for his online merchants through SunFirst. Elie says processing revenue for the merchants involved in the arrangement ran from SunFirst through the Triple Seven entity -- described as a money-transmitting business that provides payment-processing services and money wires to offshore online merchants. The Utah lawsuit says Triple Seven is controlled by well-known St. George businessmen Jason and Todd Vowell. One or both of the Vowells have been in the auto dealership industry and had an interest in the St. George Roadrunners minor league baseball team and the Liahona Academy for troubled youth in Southern Utah, records show. Elie alleges in his lawsuit processing revenue from the business venture involving Johnson and the Vowells averaged close to $2.9 million per month from March 2010 to November 2010, but that Johnson and the Vowells presented false financial information to Elie to defraud him and exclude him from his 50 percent share of the profits. "Rather than providing plaintiff 50 percent of the profits from the processing revenue as agreed to by the parties, Johnson used the money generated as revenue to invest in private real estate and energy deals to which plaintiff was not a partner," attorneys for Elie say in his lawsuit. The suit goes on to say that after Johnson learned the FDIC was auditing his accounts, including the processing account with Elie at SunFirst, Johnson transferred funds out of SunFirst -- including funds Elie had a stake in. Later, Elie says, the FDIC froze some of Johnson's bank accounts at SunFirst. Elie says in his lawsuit he was told by Johnson that in February -- 10 months before the FTC lawsuit was filed in Las Vegas -- that the FTC had ordered Johnson not to dissipate any of his assets or financial resources. Nevertheless, "Johnson took numerous steps to dissipate his assets and to transfer those assets to various individuals to avoid liability," the suit says, adding "Johnson converted some of his assets into such liquid assets as gold and cash." "Based on the defendants' activities over the past several months, if this court does not take immediate action to stop the transfer and dissipation of these assets, the cash and gold will disappear," says the Utah court filing, which seeks to garnish or freeze assets Elie claims belong to him. Separately, the FTC intervened Thursday in the Elie case, saying it wanted to prevent the issuance of any order to encumber the assets of Johnson and any entities that he owns or controls. "The commission is entitled to intervene as a matter of right because it has an interest in ensuring that these assets are available for distribution to consumers defrauded by Johnson and his companies," FTC attorneys said in their Utah court filing. The FTC charged that Elie "has engaged in a secretive race to the courthouse in an effort to grab money held by the defendants." Kevin Anderson, an attorney for Elie with the Salt Lake City law firm Fabian & Clendenin P.C., denied those assertions. He said Elie's lawsuit, initially filed under seal, or secretly, was aimed initially at freezing the assets at issue so the court could decide later how they would be apportioned among the alleged victims of Johnson. The FTC noted that in its Nevada lawsuit, it's filing an emergency order for a temporary restraining order to freeze the assets of Johnson and 61 corporations because of the alleged $275 million scheme. "Elie argues ... that Jeremy Johnson has concealed funds, possibly transferred funds to overseas banks, dissipated funds by purchasing investments, aircraft, and automobiles, and transferred investments to other defendants named in this action. The FTC does not doubt the truth of these particular assertions by Elie. But, the FTC intervenes to ensure that Johnson’s assets are not grabbed by Elie to the detriment of millions consumers who fell prey to Johnson’s scheme," FTC attorneys argued in Thursday's Utah court filing. Johnson and the other defendants have not yet responded to the new lawsuit. A request for comment was left with Johnson's attorney. The Vowells couldn't immediately be located for comment. John Allen, CEO of SunFirst Bank, said he was unable to comment on the litigation. Town & Country Bank of St. George was also named as a defendant in Elie's Utah lawsuit. But an attorney for Elie said that was based on the mistaken belief that Town & Country had agreed to do business with Johnson after the FDIC started auditing Johnson's accounts at SunFirst. It turns out that Town & Country is not doing business with Johnson, the attorney said. A request for comment was placed with Town & Country on Thursday. Source: https://lasvegassun.com/news/2011/jan/13/las-vegas-man-says-he-was-defrauded-businessmans-a/|
|Todd Vowell Fraud/FTC Lawsuit Details|
Anonymous Parent Report via e-mail: [FEEDBACK]
"On 9/17/2017 12:18 AM, [Parent of Liahona Victim] wrote: I brought my [child] there when [he/she] turned 16 years old. Parker told my wife and I that Liahona had a success rate of 90% for drug addiction. Based on that, we took our [child] there. Now, [child] is 18 years old. [Child] has been out for a little over a month and is worse now than ever. Also, we have been contacted by a fellow graduate student who claims that he keeps in touch with four other Liahona graduates. Every one of them, are back to using drugs as before Liahona or worse. The boy that called named [omitted], is now in jail. So, I feel very misled that six out of six are still drug addicts. The 90% success rate that Parker spoke of is a lie."
Names and other identifiers of the parent, his child, and other victims with whom they've spoken were removed to protect the privacy of those individuals. The above is printed as edited with permission of the parent. HEAL did not make any other edits or changes.
|A staffer at Liahona Academy, a school for troubled boys, charged with child abuse (August 15th, 2019) (Courtesy of the Washington County jail) Antonio Montav Ross-Jones has been charged with child abuse for an incident at Liahona Treatment Center in Virgin, Utah. By Jessica Miller · Published: 7 hours ago Updated: 5 hours ago A staffer at a Washington County school for troubled boys is facing a charge of felony child abuse after authorities say he assaulted a teen boy at the facility. The 16-year-old boy needed 11 staples in the back of his head after police say Antonio Montav Ross-Jones threw him to the ground during an Aug. 3 altercation at Liahona Treatment Center in Virgin. Ross-Jones, 23, was charged Wednesday with a second-degree felony, which carries a potential penalty of up to 15 years in prison if he is convicted. Liahona advertises itself as a residential facility for boys struggling with mental health issues. Staffers at facilities like these are allowed to physically restrain students, but Utah has rules they are supposed to follow. Charging records indicate that Ross-Jones admitted to police that he did not properly restrain the youth like he had been taught to do. Security footage showed Ross-Jones twice throw the teen boy to the ground while he held the youth in a "choke-hold style restraint." During the assault, Ross-Jones allegedly slammed the youth against a countertop before throwing him to the ground. The teen hit his head on the tile floor, which caused his head injury. Liahona’s executive director, Clayton AhQuin Jr., said Thursday that Ross-Jones was immediately fired after the altercation and his facility reported it to police. “On Saturday, one of our students was injured when a staff member was too aggressive in managing the student’s behavior,” he said in an email. “The student was treated and returned to Liahona that afternoon.” Officials with Utah’s Department of Human Services confirmed they received an incident report of the event, and are working with law enforcement. Liahona Academy’s license is in good standing. Ross-Jones has a limited criminal history in Utah. He was charged in 2015 with misdemeanors for disorderly conduct, unlawful detention and consuming alcohol under age — but those charges were dismissed after he paid a fine and went to anger management classes. He played football at Dixie State University as a freshman in 2014 but has not been on the roster since. Source: https://www.sltrib.com/news/2019/08/15/staffer-liahona-academy/|
|6/1/22: COPE Conversion Program Progress Report: Liahona Academy|
|7/21/22: A Reading on Liahona Academy by Joseph Ramos, Guest Sermonizer: https://www.cope.church/ramossermon.pdf|
<![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]>
<![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]> Last Updated:
Last Updated:February 28th, 2023
Return to https://www.cope.church/conversion.htm