Zack Bonnie was 14 when his parents sent him to a "troubled teen" facility. The author takes listeners there in a thrilling psychological ride. Sequestered where bizarre cult-like techniques become the norm, hear for yourself exactly what the controversy is about. Should we mold a child's behavior using the tools of brainwashing? With coarse, brutal dialog and authentic source materials, this nonfiction memoir, the first in a series, exposes the secrets and tells it all.
Dead, Insane, or in Jail: A CEDU Memoir is named for the range of options open to the author at 14, if he ran away from the cult his parents inadvertently inducted him into. This is the first time he has told his story. And it’s a doozy. Too many people can relate to this account, unfortunately. Although Rocky Mountain Academy has closed its doors, several hundred residential teen-treatment programs, religious reeducation camps, and places that commit spiritual assassination still operate without oversight in the United States.
"Imagine (or remember) being a confused teenager. Now imagine that the only solution your parents can devise is sending you away to be 'fixed.' Zack’s touching, true account of being trapped in the 'scared straight' industry just might be the book your reluctant teenage reader has been seeking." (Barbara J. Danis, Literacy Specialist/Coach)
"Zack Bonnie’s work is a gift to those interested in the history and dynamics of coercive residential teen-treatment programs. With gut-level insight, humor and frankness, he describes the inner experience of a precocious 14 year-old who was engulfed and overwhelmed by these bizarre, yet legal, forms of psychological abuse." (Marcus Chatfield, author, Institutionalized Persuasion)
Even if you forget the fact that this book documents one of the darkest parts of American education first hand, this is still just a well written and interesting book. Zach tells a hard to tell story with humor and intelligence. This is a must read for everyone!