Below is part 2 of the case update for April-May. Click Here to read part 1


In opposition to our request for a temporary restraining order and injunction, CDSS submitted declarations from two of the Community Care Licensing Division (CCLD) investigators involved in serving the warrant on our campus in January. The information and allegations included in these declarations borders on insanity. The absurdity of the statements they make would be comical if not for the fact that they are made in attempt to shut down our school.

One of the declarations includes allegations of “extreme measures of discipline used on youth, including isolation, withholding food, Stockholm treatment, and shock collars.” Shock collars! Keep in mind, we have met with CCLD on multiple occasions over our 25 years as a school, and they have thoroughly investigated our school in the past. The fact that they would believe something so preposterous, let alone include it in a court document under the penalty of perjury, is beyond belief.

But it doesn’t end there. They also allege that staff live a double life and engage in “illicit drugs, mostly cocaine” on campus; that our founder, Phil Ludwig, suggested an “exorcism” for a student; that we somehow “condition” parents to believe everything students say is a lie to prevent students from disclosing problems to their parents…. The list of insanity goes on and on. They even allege that we are “stockpiling weapons” because we believe “an end of time war is coming between [us] and the government.” This was apparently how they justified invading our campus with what felt like an overwhelming force of investigators and CHP officers at the beginning of this year.

As it turns out, nearly all of these unhinged allegations came from former disgruntled students who CCLD specifically sought out through negative reviews left on Facebook. Not only that, but the former students in question have not attended our school for over a decade! In fact, the student that CCLD relied on most for these allegations attended from 2001 to 2002. Nearly 20 years ago! This student additionally makes claims of being “familiar with” FACESS, a supporting organization of Teen Rescue. FACESS was not established until 2011. How this student would be “familiar with” an organization that would not be established for almost a decade after she left our school is beyond us. It is extremely disconcerting that the division of our government that claims to be the experts on child care has such a mind numbing lack of common sense that they would be taken in by the ludicrous claims of such an obviously unreliable witness.

It is mind boggling that CCLD investigators hold this student’s testimony as even remotely relevant or reliable in any way. One investigator alone spent over 3 pages of her declaration referring to these former students’ ridiculous claims. While they leave out the fact that of the 29 students who were interviewed during the January 18th investigation, not one of them substantiated any of these insane allegations. Yet CCLD felt compelled to use these claims to attempt to discredit our school in court, in spite of the fact that there is absolutely no evidence to support them. Not to mention that anyone with even an ounce of common sense would immediately see how asinine these claims are.

CCLD also states in their declarations that current students interviewed claim that they would not be able to call 911 if needed. However, we have written statements from students of the questions they were asked and the answers they gave that blatantly contradict this. But of course, CCLD omitted these student’s statements from their declarations. Here is one example:

    CCLD: Have staff @ RVCA ever tried to rape / abuse you?
    Student: Never & they wouldn’t
    CCLD: If staff were to be sexual with you would you have access to 911?
    Student: If something were to ever happen we would be able to call someone but staff have rules and boundaries too so that would never happen.

    -Student’s notes from interview with CCLD investigator

Another student reported to us that she did not want to talk to the investigators, but did anyway after at least one investigator made a veiled threat to remove her from campus.

Another student walked away in the middle of her interview because she was so angry at the questions being asked.

CCLD is obviously committed to going to whatever unethical and immoral lengths necessary to trump up their case against our school. This is made evident by their willingness to present ridiculous allegations from sources with no credibility, omit student testimonies providing evidence contrary to their goals, intentionally seek out disgruntled students, and ignore students who credit our school with saving their lives.