Isabelle Zehnder – Advocate or Sue’s Marketing? – Part I

Although with the recent publicity and rumors surrounding Sue Scheff have apparantly provoked Isabelle Zehnder of CAICA to distance herself, the relationship between the two in the past has been well documented, including in the words of Zehnder and Scheff themselves. Like Sue Scheff, on the surface, Isabelle Zenhder appears to be a legitimate advocate. Her website includes comprehensive information about the dangers of programs.

What most people don’t realize is most of that comprehensive information is copied verbatim from other sources without their permission. This, by itself, wouldn’t be much of a concern. What does concern many, however, is that Isabelle Zehnder refers kids to programs through Sue Scheff. Oh yes, Isabelle Zehnder lists many facilities on her CAICA watchlist; however, she leaves out the facilities that Sue Scheff refers to, such as Whitmore Academy. There is no information about the Focal Point lawsuit either at the moment (although even the Educational Consultant, Lon Woodbury bothered to mention it).

Isabelle Zehnder even went to such lengths as to defend Whitmore Academy long after it had been found out as abusive and shut down. What’s even more interesting is the fact that much of the content on her blog is verbatim identical to that of Sue Scheff.

They link to each other, at every chance they get in an effort to boost their collective Google ratings. To most people on fornits who were paying close attention to Sue Scheff, and Isabelle Zehnder, it was clearly evident that there was some sort of dealing going on between the two.

As is oft quoted on fornits “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” Earlier this summer, a parent / part-time researcher with an interest in the issue went undercover as “Patti Atwoods”. Her motive in contacting Isabelle Zehnder was to find out if, indeed, there was a connection between Isabelle Zehnder and Sue Scheff’s company, PURE.

Sue Scheff admitted under oath in the past to splitting her referral fees with third parties, and Sue Scheff herself did admit that Isabelle Zehnder was a Collegue. Even 5% of a TBS tuition is a lot of money and a big temptation. Although there is no direct proof that Isabelle was taking funds for referrals at the moment, in an email to a parent forwarded to me, Isabelle did admit that she would start to take on more of Sue Scheff’s responsibilities in referrals:

“I just hope you’re doing alright. And _____ – how’s he adjusting? Have things gotten better at Sorenson’s? How do you like the place? I’m trying to schedule a visit there as well as some other programs in Utah. I’d like to see them for myself, especially if I’m going to be involved in recommending some programs when we have situations like yours”

Isabelle Zehnder likes to claim that she referred a kid to a program only once even though this email (as well as others) seem to indicate that she was making a habit of referring to Sue Scheff at PURE. A cyncal mind wonders: is every time she gets caught her “only time”. At the time, Patti Atwoods felt Isabelle would be too paranoid to talk to this if she was contacted directly.

Instead, Patti looked in Isabelle’s Myspace friends list and picked out somebody who would refer her to Isabelle. That friend was Sandy. Upon first contacting Sandy, Patti explained the situation and asked specifially for an “academic boarding school”. Sandy then contacted Isabelle to tell her what was going on. Not surprisingly, Sandy (who trusted Isabelle at the time and had no reason to doubt her motives) was soon recommending that the kid might still need a program, and that Isabelle could help find safe ones.

Although the person who was playing Patti would have never have considered such a suggestion, the point was to figure out what would happen if a parent was referred to Isabelle for help in her claimed role as an advocate. Isabelle did exactly what Patti suspected and far far more. In addition to referring to PURE to find a program, Isabelle Also referred to Sunrise Adolescent Transport services, in St. George Utah, which is an unlicenced, WWASP affiliated escort service.

Clearly, Isabelle does her research into who she refers naive parents to. After this referral was down in writing, Patti dissapeared, email accounts were cancelled, unlisted numbers were disconnected, and techinal third parties were contacted to leak the final email from Isabelle Zehnder recommending Sue Scheff and Sunrise Adolescent Transport. Soon after the email was posted, outrage began to build up.

Although it is unlikely that anybody was genuinely surprised, it did spark some people, such as Catherine Sutton, who rarely post on Fornits to come forward and denounce Isabelle’s actions. In response, Isabelle Zehnder fired up the blog machine and posted what most would read as a threat against anybody who would speak ill of her. By a what appears to be a striking coincidence, Isabelle Managed to mention several of Sue Scheff’s favorite topics: her 11 million dollar default victory over a homeless person, hollow legal threats, and internet defamation,(one of the latest boogiemen to plague the mainstream media, who collectively have absolutely no motivation whatsoever to scare people away from blogs):

“People forget what they post on the Internet can be traced back to them, and that Internet Defamation is just as bad as any other form of defamation. People are being held accountable for Internet Defamation as they are any other form of defamation. Recently Sue Scheff won an $11.3 M Jury award because she has been slandered and defamed on the Internet for years. The judge and jury wanted to send a strong message to peole who think it’s quite alright to splatter their venemous and untrue thoughts on the Internet for the world to see. The message was, “you can’t go around destroying lives on the Internet”.

Perhaps not. Sadly, it’s perfectly legal and accepted to destroy the lives of others in the real world through frivilous legal action against people who cannot afford to defend themselves or aren’t even notified of their own trial. Sadly, it is perfectly acceptable to encarcerate children by creating the perception that normal behaviors of growing up are termanal illnesses that can only be cured by a program. 11 million dollar penalty for speaking the truth while people who knowingly participate in child abuse are portrayed as victims on national TV !!!! I couldn’t be more impressed with the mainstrream media’s dedicateion to uncovering the truth and staggering attention to detail when transcribing press releases. God bless America!

… This has created some anger, resentment, and some jealousy. There is no doubt people will work to discredit us. If you run across anything that just doesn’t make sense, and that you feel is not in line with the CAICA you know, or with me, then just e-mail or call me and ask. Why allow people who have their own interest to put doubt into your minds about something that is good. If people send you e-mails, as they have in the past, attempting to discredit us, please forward them to info@caica.org. Our lawyers would be grateful. If you find links to negative information about CAICA or me, again, please forward them to info@caica.org.”

While Isabelle Zehnder was posting the above blog celebrating our constituational rights, Patti Atwoods was busy following up on Sunrise Adolescent Transport Services. What Patti found shocked even the most jaded of fornits posters (well, perhaps not quite all of them). It turns out that not only was Sunrise an unlicensed escort service, it was also staffed with “ex”-wwasp staff members who sung the praises of such well established educational institutions as Cross Creek Manor, one of the first and one of the most notorious WWASP facilities.

That thread lasted almost sixteen pages before Izzy’s comrades showed up. Isabelle, upon learning that Patti Atwoods was a fake, that the “incriminiating” email was posted on fornits started contacting parents she knew, asking them to post on fornits in her defense. One of those posters would later become better known as “V”, although that was hardly the only idenitity she posted under on that thread, as she later explained to me, after she figured out what Isabelle was up to.

Isabelle, and V played a tag-team, but one parent was apparantly not enough to stem the outrage. Soon after V appeared, “Somebody” decided to leak Sandy’s identity onto fornits, after which Isabelle contacted Sandy, alerting her that she was being talked about. Since only Patti, myself, one very trusted other, and Isabelle herself knew the identity of the middleman used to contact Isabelle, it is my belief that it was Isabelle herself who dropped Sandy’s name on Fornits in the first place in order to bring her into the dialogue.

What would be the motive for anybody but Isabelle to leak Sandy’s identity? It was irrelavant to the topic of discussion. Safe to say, Sandy was not pleased by what Isabelle Zehnder had done. The icing on the cake of this blog, however was the full record of Isabelle’s correspondance with Sandy which Isabelle posted at the bottom of the blog. It included much personal information about Sandy’s family, none of which she bothered to redact, including the name of Sandy’s daughter. Soon after Isabelle realized the full correspondance included statements by her such as “The only thing she has going for her is that she holds the $$” the blog disappeared. Thankfully, however, somebody on Fornits saved a copy. Part II coming tomorrow(ish), including:

  • Izzy’s parental allies realize they are being played and turn on her.
  • The third parent poster on the thread.
  • and a good motive for why Sue Scheff and Isabelle Zehnder continued to defend Whitmore long after it was shut down.
  • Isabelle makes the unwise decision of contacting this blogger
  • More hyperlinks added to this blog

One Response to “Isabelle Zehnder – Advocate or Sue’s Marketing? – Part I”

  1. News Catcher says:

    Actually, it appears Lon Woodbury (Struggling Teens Dot Com) has in fact, published the complaint of Green v. Sue Scheff, PURE, Focal Point Academy and others on his website. Not sure where that leaves CAICA but obviously it’s founder and president Isabelle Zehnder can not plead ignorance of this lawsuit. A quick review of the premier and most relevant advocacy orgs shows all as being aware of the lawsuit and providing information about it.

    http://www.strugglingteens.com/news/sue_scheff-index.html

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