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Dead, Insane, or in Jail

A CEDU Memoir
Narrated by: Zack Bonnie, Anne M. Carley
Length: 9 hrs and 45 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2015 Zack Bonnie (P)2018 Zack Bonnie

Critic Reviews

"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)

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intense doesn't even begin to describe it...

I read this book when it first came out and was "blown away." Listening to it in the author's voice was powerful. While the narration was a little rough in spots, the story is compelling and heartbreaking. Educators working with at-risk youth need to give this a listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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This book is as important as it is well written.

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!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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i think this is a great listen during plane trips.

What an odd set of obstacles the parents imposed on their rebellious son! He had an intense adventure.

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well written, with a lively, heartfelt narration

Reading this book was very cathartic, as somebody who has been to one of these schools. Also had my mom listen, to gain insight into my experience. She found the book both entertaining, and informative.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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One big excuse.

This entire book is just somebody creating cookie cutter excuses, and spoon feeding to people so that they can deny that anything they ever did wrong was their own fault. it's just the concept of a narcissist believing they can never be anything less than perfect and correct, so everything in their life that was bad must have been inflicted on to them purposefully by others. this book is just teaching people how to deny responsibility for their own self. this book is one big concept of non accountability for your own actions and behaviors. it's books like this that create the very same mentality which cars people to end up in those situations simultaneously lacking the ability to understand that it's the consequence of their behaviors and mentalities, not an unjustified ritual being inflicted upon them.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful