Testimony of a Wilderness Program Survivor who attended Sage Walk

Thanks for making this video dude,...It took me back to 2003 I was one of their first international ´student´. When I was 15 my parents told me when my school was finished I would be going to international behavioral/therapeutic summer camp in Portland for a month but when my escort? dropped me off in Redmond I found out to my horror, they had really sent me to a desert survival boot camp in Oregon because ´I was hanging out with bad crowd´ After long tantrum, yelling, screaming and crying during intake I was strip searched, dressed up in prison garb and got my backpack...Later that night I was blindfolded and they drove me and another prisoner to base camp..When we got there I was horrified, I thought I would die that night! This was not therapeutic at all, I was in hell and this program illegal in my country. . I was abused, tortured and treated horribly by the field staff especially by ´fire-shaper´, ´boulder´ & ´shimmering-aspen´ English is not my first language, in the beginning I could not understand all the rules ...You had to check off everything you did in the morning and I mean EVERYTHING. I just did not understand it and sometimes I had to do the same thing 2-3 times over,..I felt picked on everyday and staff was never helpful to me...They said I was being defiant but in reality I had basic understanding issues. For example, in my first or second day I forgot to check off that I had already eaten 1 cup of cold oats and had drank quart of water so I was basically forced by the field instructor to drink another quart of water and eat 1 more cup of oats... of course I promptly vomited on my self. Great way to start the program huh? Before my first hike I spilled water from the reds, I was yelled at by fire shaper and he told me to lift a full red above my head 30 times and yell at the top of my lungs: "I will not spill the red, this is for my safety bla bla bla" ....In my first hike we had to walk 7 miles in exhausting heat, I was weak 15 year old Scandinavian kid who had never been to place warmer than 25° so this hike was extremely difficult for me carrying heavy backpack in a heat I had never experienced before. I was in group with much stronger 16-17 year olds who basically told to me they would rough me up if I would stop hiking. I was miserable in the first week, I just cried my self to sleep ..I felt so alone and I wanted to die. Somehow you kind adjust living in these conditions, it became more bearable and seeing other kids graduating gave me hope I would make it out of this place alive,..New kids arrived, some of the graduated before me and that made me sad & angry but some of them probably stayed much longer. I remember this new girl Heather she was extremely unhappy and refused to hike, after the first 1 mile she sat down crying and defecated in her pants, refusing to move. Later she was removed from the program by her parents..She was lucky. Somehow I managed to finish the program, My visa was expiring so they had to let me graduate, I was in Sagewalk for 85 days, later I found out ´flying eagle´ wanted my parents to get visa extension since he felt I was not ready to graduate but thankfully my parents wanted me back home because school was starting so I was released. When I came back home I was such a mess that I had to skip first two weeks of school because I felt so sick, suicidal and depressed...Much later I had mental breakdown.. I finally went to psychologist in 2007-2008 and managed to put this p.o.w. experience behind me.I am doing good now, Today my parents regret sending me to this place because l they saw how traumatic this experience was for me. I still have my bowdrill, water bottle and some other stuff from Sagewalk boxed in my basement but I already put this experience behind me and moved on with my live. When I heard they actually managed to kill that Russian kid Sergey (from heat stroke) in 2009 it sadly did not surprise me...I almost got heat stroke in my first hike and probably would have died. I can not believe it has been 16 years since I have been there, I am just happy they have been shut down.