former students of the desisto school...
Britta

Albany, NY

#22 Feb 26, 2013
Hey, there are some good groups on facebook. I run one for students that were there 1997-2004, but there are many others. We talk about a lot of of struggles since leaving there and the pain.
concerned

Blytheville, AR

#24 May 19, 2013
victimized parent wrote:
Do not believe the things the former students of the school ate telling you- They were very ill- manipulating, bright, dangerous young people. They would lie about anything to get out of there. My son dove into a shallow pool hoping to break his leg or arm to get out and his bad fortune broke hid neck!!! Some are well today and many are dead and some are drug addicts and very ill still. The parents did what they thought was best for all and some were sent by the courts. Unless you have a child with such severe challenges and know the pain and heartache and the disruption it causes to the other children in the home and no amount of money can fix this without proper supervision do nto JUDGE others!!! I do nto wish a sick child with such various problems on my worst enemy in the entire world there were children there who set fires to their homes, walked naked in public and various acts of violence and destruction tot themselves and others- they were so out of control and boundaries had to be set they were never tortured just taught the consequences of their behavior that they could nto do anything o anyone and just be rewarded for it!! NO the wealthy parents who sent their children tot he Michael Desisto school for troubled children and trouble is a kind word!!!! for sure!!!! were nto just dumping them there -they were desperate and hopeful this place could do what no psychiatrist could do and no other place had done to help their child and family to co-exist and no amount of money could bring them peace and safety and any form of peace and happiness all of their lives and mine were sheer HELL! And yes these young adults were living a life of sadness and illness and it was so tragic and many of us wished they had been born with physical ailments like Muscular dystrophy easier to handle and society would understand that an even feel charitable towards it- mental illness to this day is not fully accepted and understood - it is a curse for all! Is there a telethon to raise money for troubled youth- NO!!!
You are one sick person to try to justify yourself for sending ur child there. Of course they would do anything to try to get out. They were being raped, starved, abused, and neglected. I have a troubled son and I would rather spend eternity in hell than to send him to a place like that. Grow the hell up and take responsibilty for ur selfish actions instead of blaming those poor victims!
DeSisto Survivor

Seattle, WA

#25 Jun 1, 2013
victimized parent wrote:
Do not believe the things the former students of the school ate telling you- They were very ill- manipulating, bright, dangerous young people. They would lie about anything to get out of there. My son dove into a shallow pool hoping to break his leg or arm to get out and his bad fortune broke hid neck!!! Some are well today and many are dead and some are drug addicts and very ill still. The parents did what they thought was best for all and some were sent by the courts. Unless you have a child with such severe challenges and know the pain and heartache and the disruption it causes to the other children in the home and no amount of money can fix this without proper supervision do nto JUDGE others!!! I do nto wish a sick child with such various problems on my worst enemy in the entire world there were children there who set fires to their homes, walked naked in public and various acts of violence and destruction tot themselves and others- they were so out of control and boundaries had to be set they were never tortured just taught the consequences of their behavior that they could nto do anything o anyone and just be rewarded for it!! NO the wealthy parents who sent their children tot he Michael Desisto school for troubled children and trouble is a kind word!!!! for sure!!!! were nto just dumping them there -they were desperate and hopeful this place could do what no psychiatrist could do and no other place had done to help their child and family to co-exist and no amount of money could bring them peace and safety and any form of peace and happiness all of their lives and mine were sheer HELL! And yes these young adults were living a life of sadness and illness and it was so tragic and many of us wished they had been born with physical ailments like Muscular dystrophy easier to handle and society would understand that an even feel charitable towards it- mental illness to this day is not fully accepted and understood - it is a curse for all! Is there a telethon to raise money for troubled youth- NO!!!
How dare you try to denigrate our testimonies from that school! You are doing so, purely on Michael DeSisto's initially telling parents that we would do or say anything to try to avoid proper therapy or consequences. One of my friends was raped by her dorm parent (residential counselor). This man was hired, having no relevant experience or qualifications, and allowed to have exclusive supervision of my friend for multiple weeks. She recently showed me a Facebook email from this individual - where his photo and name were attached to the user profile - where he apologized for having raped her.

Please tell me why we (as former students) would go to such great lengths to denigrate the school, and its methods, so many years after the fact. I attended that school and I was horribly abused. I have no intention of offering scorn to the former staff of a shutdown therapeutic boarding school, unless it is undeserved. I say this as an adult living a respectable life. I am close to obtaining a CPA and I've been sought out by respectable firms. I have made my share of mistakes in life. My not have complied with the DeSisto program, and my subsequent scorn towards it, are not intended to blame-shift. My harsh words towards the program come from that of a level-headed adult reflecting upon his life with objectivity.

Please stop accusing us of being "manipulative" for continuing to make harsh accusations against that program. You're assumptions, against us, are based upon pure speculation, and they go against the facts. I ask you to check out the article below, and please tell me how these corroborated claims weigh against what you're saying. Yes, I know that this article was motivated by a self-interested local news organization, but the facts presented are undeniable:

http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/local_news/inve...
robinson

United States

#27 Jun 29, 2013
I worked at this school late '97-early '98 and it was apparent that there were cultic principles encrypted form of therapy. Even the assumed licensed therapists created an aura of mysticism. I still believe an element of occultic witchcraft was being practiced on subliminal levels. I also believed Michael Desisto engaged in sexual abuse with the older teenagers once he had solicted their trust over the years. The older kids were given a larger latittude which gave them power tripping egos. Some of the parents who spent a great deal of time on the Massachusetts campus exhibited cult like hypnotic behaviors. I remember times where I would sleep and my unconsious self would see the real dynamics of maladaptive behaviours.
The Worlds Biggest Lie

Dalton, MA

#28 Aug 10, 2013
HERE! In these dark decadent hills of the beautiful berserkshires.
Go Butterflies

Marblehead, MA

#29 Sep 3, 2013
Hey Gabby wrote:
Nicole Math left in about 1986, do you still want to bang her now? http://florida.arrests.org/Arrests/Nicole_Mon...
No doubt...I knew her as well and I left in 86'. No way she was there in 96'
Matt

Sarasota, FL

#30 Oct 1, 2013
I was at this school in 86 and 87. If anyone wants to discuss in detail please email me at [email protected]

Matt
Brendan

Provincetown, MA

#31 Jan 11, 2014
I have many mixed feelings about The DeSisto School and the comments posted here. I was a staff member in 1996, lasting six months. What I can say is true is from my personal experience there. The main reason I even signed up for it was that I needed six upper level Psychology credits while working on my Bachelor's degree. I got a lot more than that. First, and foremost, I did not witness forms of abuse but that does not mean it did not happen. My role as a dorm parent was with a group of students called "Regular Kids" who were further along the path than newer arrivals. Our dorm was in the mansion, most tellings of abuse happened elsewhere on campus and I believe them to be true mostly. There is a fine line between a therapeutic intervention and abuse. This line was blurred frequently at the school. For example, early on I was told to aid in a physical restraint of a student in a lower dorm. Staff knew I was not trained or licensed to do this. I helped and thank goodness the child was not injured, although he did spit in my face. I also distributed a fair amount of psychotropic medications, mostly from bubble packs. Again, I do not believe any amount of training or ongoing discussion/supervision took place around distribution of these drugs. There was a licensed psychiatrist on campus but only one day per week. He drove in from the Boston area. I agreed and continued to do these things because I was on my way to being brainwashed like the rest. It definitely felt like a cult-like atmosphere, part therapeutic, part complete manipulation. What I wish had happened in the beginning was for Michael to discuss his therapeutic model with me and let me decide if that was a model I could work within. This never occurred, for me or any other staff member. It was all part of it. Michael used that ignorance and vulnerability to his advantage through very manipulative practices. Were there benefits? I think so, but there were also things that went on there that certainly blurred the lines of therapeutic interventions. To this day I still want to believe that Michael DeSisto was a well-intentioned human being, even after some horrible things he did to me personally. Perhaps I have reached a point of forgiveness, I'm not sure. Lastly, for those children that experienced those blurred lines, I am deeply sorry for your pain and hope that you have found peace.
dave

Little Rock, AR

#32 Jan 13, 2014
Looking for students from 93-94
david murray

Oakland, CA

#34 Mar 25, 2014
Look people the main thing is we made it out alive there were some who didnt. I guess we could count ourselves lucky but luck had nothing to do with that freakshow.
ohmstyles

Denver, CO

#35 Jun 17, 2014
Nicknice I think I was there with you when this happen down on new boys. This was all around the time the gym ceilkng got busted and they had us all site in the cafeteria All day in a circle doing nothing and sitting straight up. Learned to sleep that way which is weird ;) place sucked bad and glad it is closed.
nicknice wrote:
i was an inmate of that fucked up school from 1994-95 and saw many,many,many BAD things go on. The school,and mike desisto himself, prayed on the fact that we were troubled kids and no one would listen to us, or belive us if they did. Myself and about 20 other boys aged 13-16 were confined to the commen area of the "new boys" dorm for 3 days in nothing but our underware, no blankets, no pillows and nothing to eat but 1 small box of dry all-bran for each meal. Oh, but they gave us all the water we wanted, so kind of them.This was our punishment for me staging a quasie revolt, and untill we all sucumbed to the "program" we GOT NOTHING. That is just one of lots of good times I had in my 10 months there. I ran away twice, the 2nd time making it out. Fuck You mike desisto,I told you the first time I met you that you were less then shit on the bottem of my sneakers, and I was right. Rot In Hell
MeredithT

Amherst, MA

#37 Jul 10, 2014
I was at That Place in Stockbridge in 86 & 87. I was abused for 514 days. Anybody who says that we shouldn't be believed is talking out of their ass. I am on Facebook under the name Meredith Gillian Cohen if anyone wants to contact me.
MeredithT

Amherst, MA

#38 Jul 10, 2014
I wasn't sure if my first message posted. I didn't mean to repeat myself!
Jen

Whitinsville, MA

#39 Jul 16, 2014
Taught there for one semester in 93'. My first teaching job. I couldn't believe what went on and had to get out. I can't imagine how much worse it was for the kids. They used to fine us for swearing in private conversations. Colleagues would turn you in for this and you would be confronted by both faculty and students. They tried to put me on anti anxiety meds because I was so freaked out by the place. Crazy! When I gave my resignation they cut me off from students and faculty so I couldn't explain why I was going. They made up some crazy story to tell the kids so that they would think I had been let go for doing something wrong.
Jen

Whitinsville, MA

#40 Jul 16, 2014
Stories these kids/survivors are telling are true. I know it's hard to believe but I witnessed it firsthand.
Ryan

Hurst, TX

#41 Aug 11, 2014
I was there from 89-91 and I can tell you first hand that I have not read any exaggerations as far as the treatment and abuse goes. I do want to touch on one comment though. Not only will they force you to sit in a corner with a sheet on as clothing if you have done something "wrong" until you admit it, but if you piss them off enough they will put you in the corner telling you you did something when you did not. Personally I believe that the conditions at the school would actually make you worse. I can't even count the number of times I ran away, once just because they essentially dared me to. I spent a good amount of time on the farm. I think I preferred it there. It felt more like a home than the rest of the school did. On the main campus you were forced to watch and snitch on each other, if you didn't and someone ran away or did something else, the whole dorm would be punished for "negligence". My mother still does not believe that it actually was as bad as I said it was and although I am somewhat normal, I do not attribute it to schools methods. Although I did have some personal growth while I was there even though I never conformed.
meridoodlebim

Amherst, MA

#42 Aug 15, 2014
I was there 1 yr, 4 m & 29 days in 86 & 87. I'm still traumatized. I got an awesome therapist! I'm on FB. Let me know if you'd like to chat.
CaleyD wrote:
I was tortured here for 7 months after my controlling father sent me here for fighting back at him after he beat my brothers and I for over a decade. Several men would hold would hold me down and pour thorazine down my throat through a turkey baster like instrument. They would confine me in the corner in a room they called "the farm". As my head would bob down someone would come up from behind me and pull my hair or whack my head to keep me from falling asleep. Then before i would fall asleep at night they would drug me once again so that I would not try to get away. I eventually jumped through a window all drugged out on thorazine and had to be hospitalized at which point the people at the hospital in massachusetts pleaded for my mother to take me away, which she finally did. Ironically my father sent me here for taking drugs. I saw other kids there getting drugged with me. I was there in 1997-98ish. There was another kid that jumped out a window before me. They started replacing the broken glass with plexiglass everytime somebody would jump through one. About half the windows were plexiglass. I know there were more. I was at the stockbridge location where Mr. Desisto lived. I was in the shacks behind the mansion. Today, I'm kinda a normal person. I just came across this and i had no idea there was a chat site on this. I want to talk with somebody else that this happened to.
meridoodlebim

Amherst, MA

#43 Aug 15, 2014
I'm a survivor too. I was there 1 yr, 4 m & 29 days in 86 & 87. It was pure hell & I'm still suffering. I'm on FB if you want to chat.
DeSisto Survivor wrote:
<quoted text>
How dare you try to denigrate our testimonies from that school! You are doing so, purely on Michael DeSisto's initially telling parents that we would do or say anything to try to avoid proper therapy or consequences. One of my friends was raped by her dorm parent (residential counselor). This man was hired, having no relevant experience or qualifications, and allowed to have exclusive supervision of my friend for multiple weeks. She recently showed me a Facebook email from this individual - where his photo and name were attached to the user profile - where he apologized for having raped her.
Please tell me why we (as former students) would go to such great lengths to denigrate the school, and its methods, so many years after the fact. I attended that school and I was horribly abused. I have no intention of offering scorn to the former staff of a shutdown therapeutic boarding school, unless it is undeserved. I say this as an adult living a respectable life. I am close to obtaining a CPA and I've been sought out by respectable firms. I have made my share of mistakes in life. My not have complied with the DeSisto program, and my subsequent scorn towards it, are not intended to blame-shift. My harsh words towards the program come from that of a level-headed adult reflecting upon his life with objectivity.
Please stop accusing us of being "manipulative" for continuing to make harsh accusations against that program. You're assumptions, against us, are based upon pure speculation, and they go against the facts. I ask you to check out the article below, and please tell me how these corroborated claims weigh against what you're saying. Yes, I know that this article was motivated by a self-interested local news organization, but the facts presented are undeniable:
http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/local_news/inve...
DCF and othe Monsters

Hope, ME

#46 Nov 13, 2014
Many painful years at the Desisto School. The Cults of Berkshire County...............
Brian

Greeneville, TN

#47 Dec 24, 2014
Was there just shy of a year 82-83. Spent almost all my time at the Farm and a good bit of time very closely monitored or with no clothes because I liked to run off. I will say we had good food and were fed well at the farm. My parents didn't believe me for a while but finally figured out that I was not going to stay. Oh yeah, they kept me doped up on Haldol. Whatever bad is said about that dump, believe it. I was there for that ridiculous wedding. Michael was an asshole and Jackie was a bitch.

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