Many say it was the belief he had in himself which turned the KIDS program into a harmful cult.
I received information from an anonymous source which I have merged with my own research to develop the historical timeline of the founder of the KIDS of El Paso program found below. If any information is incorrect or misrepresented please bring this to my attention so it can be corrected.
He was Associate Professor of Education in Florida.
He was Chairman of the Board for a private boys prison.
He made a second unsuccessful bid for Congress.
He received a Bachelor of Arts in History and Masters in Theology from Princeton.
He became an Ordained United Methodist and Congregational Church Minister.
He began a Public Administration PhD program at Union Graduate School which was reportedly a non-accredited correspondence school without classes/tests. He reportedly did attend 36 seminars including 2 on black history which he used later citing a PhD in anthropology.
He attended a workshop on alcoholism at the Johnson Institute in Minneapolis which was reportedly the only specific addictions training received.
He was Executive Director of the Florida Association of Alcohol Treatment Programs.
He admitted son to STRAIGHT St. Petersburg, Florida.
Four months after enrolling his son he joined staff as Assistant Director.
He was appointed assistant director of STRAIGHT.
He developed his mandatory “Six New Parent Raps.”
STRAIGHT sibling “Michael” reportedly was illegally detained and shouted at by Newton for 9 hours when attempting to see brother in program.
Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitation Services establish that an Orlando boy is being held against his will. His mother had filed a writ of Habeas Corpus previously trying to get her son back.
He was promoted to Director of STRAIGHT in St. Petersburg, Florida.
State officials find that locks on the children’s doors had been reversed to lock them in. (violation of Florida Statue Chapter 397.041)
In front of State Officials Newton verbally threatens two female children with incarceration in a mental facility for trying to escape his facility.
A Florida Department Health and Rehabilitation Services report found prospective children were being threatened that they would be court-ordered into a mental institution unless the “voluntarily” entered the facility.
He was promoted to National Clinical Director of STRAIGHT.
At this time his wife was Associate Director of STRAIGHT.
ACLU represents 3 children from the STRAIGHT Atlanta facility and settles for their suffering “inhumane treatment.”
Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitation Services sends a letter to Newton confirming allegations of marathoning, spanking machine, confrontations, peanut butter diet and his policy of preventing legal adults from leaving the warehouse.
A detective had to file a Habeas Corpus to get a teen released who was imprisoned against her will.
Admitted to authorities that he had kept teens awake for 72-hour periods, put them on peanut butter only diets, and forced them to crawl through each other’s legs to be hit in a “spanking machine.”
St Petersburg Times reports a teen in STRAIGHT was beaten and thrown against a wall.
Newton and STRAIGHT settle out of court for an unspecified amount regarding the Orlando boy.
Teen is awarded $220k for kidnapping and false imprisonment. He was an engineering student at Virginia Polytechnic (now a PhD in mathematics) when he went to go visit his brother at STRAIGHT.
a teen sued STRAIGHT for “driving him insane.”
He settles with a teen for false imprisonment.
He settles with a different teen for false imprisonment.
A teen sues STRAIGHT.
A teen sues for beatings, pulling by hair, hanging by underpants to a bedpost and other abuse.
An adult sues for false imprisonment.
A teen sues for false imprisonment.
A teen sues for physical assault and false imprisonment. The judge cites “malicious acts.” occurred to her.
Florida state’s attorney office for Sarasota County release a damning 600 page criminal investigation including statements from current/former counselors of kidnappings, false imprisonment, threats of being court ordered unless client voluntarily enrolls, enrolling clients who are not drug dependent, hair pulling , neck grabbing, throwing against walls, etc.
A teen was brought to STRAIGHT in leg irons after being kidnapped in Albuquerque, New Mexico by two private detectives hired by his mother. A Florida judge later ordered his release because proper commitment procedures had not been followed, and because the judge found no evidence of drug addiction or abuse.
He was asked to resign from STRAIGHT due to allegations of abuse and insurance fraud.
He and his wife left STRAIGHT after they developed a relationship with a parent who had a child in the STRAIGHT St. Petersburg, Florida program. The parent was a billionaire business mogul who would later become the chief executive officer of the most visited employment related website in the United States and one of the largest in the world. This parent saw Newton as a savior of sorts and contributed $2 million in seed money to open a facility close to New York City.
60 Minutes exposes abuses at STRAIGHT.
He leaves Florida after state and criminal investigations escalate.
He opened KIDS of Bergen County in Hackensack, New Jersey.
County prosecutors continue to receive complaints of abuse.
He expanded the KIDS operation to El Paso, Texas.
A legal adult (previously in KIDS of El Paso) was led out of KIDS of over Bergen County by FBI agents who were able to obtain a subpoena for his release.
A former staff member reported he and others “threw ‘em around, flung ‘em around, but I was told by higher staff, ‘You have to do that, you know, he says it has to be done.”
After being kidnapped a person of adult age jumped from a window breaking bones in her feet and arms, dislocating her shoulder and damaging cartilage and ligaments in both knees in an effort to get away from the Utah program. She was denied medical attention by staff for an hour. She was finally released after obtaining a Writ of Habeas Corpus.
California also closed the facility. “Documentation on file indicates there have been incidents where children have been subjected to unusual punishment, infliction of pain, humiliation, intimidation, ridicule, coercion, threat, mental abuse or other actions of punitive nature including…interference with daily living functions such as eating, sleeping or toileting or withholding medication. [letter dated June 27, 1990 from District Manager for Department of Social Services]
The Canadian government pulled support for the New Jersey program and halted development of KIDS of the Canadian West.
CBS show West 57th Street exposes abuses at KIDS.
Bergen County prosecutors find evidence of black eyes, strip searches, sleep deprivation, solitary confinement and imprisonment of adults.
Children are escorted out of Kids of Bergen county by County Prosecutors on two different occasions.
A KIDS teen ‘s hospital records show he was bleeding from the scalp and having blurred vision after being dropped on his head during a group therapy session. When he became an adult he left KIDS of Bergen County, but later a staff member was arrested for trying to kidnap him back into the program. According to a different former staff member charges were dropped after KIDS of Bergen County promised KIDS teen they would not pursue him if he promised not to press charges.
Administrative Law Judge released a 53 page study on KIDS treatment practices and concluded Newton lacked the statutorily required good moral character to get the program certified, urging further investigation.
Bergen County prosecutors built a case against Newton. 20 Bergen County officials descended on KIDS of Bergen County to investigate abuse.
To avoid prosecution he closed KIDS of Bergen County and opened KIDS of North Jersey in Hudson County.
He settled with an ex-teen for $721k.
STRAIGHT Dallas was closed due to child abuse.
A Secaucus Municipal Judge convicted 3 KIDS peer counselors (all 23 years of age) of viciously beating a 17 year old for half an hour. One of the defendants said beatings were routine at the facility and that he had even been beaten himself.
A teen is quoted in the Bergen County Record saying KIDS is a “highly questionable place” and something is “radically wrong” if the director would condone this “almost unbelievable conduct.”
He gets another PhD from the same correspondence school as before.
Federal Government sued Newton with 245 claims of Medicare fraud. He settles for $45k .
A KIDS teen (age 23) charged Newton with holding her against her will.
Numerous assault charges against KIDS counselors are filed.
2 local television stations aired damaging exposes on Newton and his treatment.
He lost a case for fraudulent insurance charges.
He transferred his beach property to the foundation for $1.
KIDS of North Jersey is finally shut down.
He returned full time to Madeira Beach.
He applied to Pinellas County’s Juvenile Assessment to have children court ordered to him for treatment. The state responded by ordering him to stop operating.
Converted to Orthodoxy and is welcomed into St. Nicholas Antiochian Church as a priest.
He settled for 4.5 million dollars for the abuse of one of his “clients.” The suit claimed the treatment center operated as a destructive cult for the benefit of its founder. Records showed she was restrained more than 200 times for offenses such as having a penny or a hair barrette in her possession.
Four previous “counselors” were sent to jail for abuse.
He is fired from St. Petersburg Junior College when they learned of his background.
He filed for bankruptcy for a 1.55 million debt, including 1.2 million owed to New Jersey Medicare.
It is believed that this is when he changed his name.
He transferred Church retreat property again to the foundation due to an error in the original transfer.
He settled for 6.5 million in an ex-KIDS teen case. The teen was imprisoned in KIDS for 13 years, from the time she was 13 to 26 years old. None of the money was for punitive damages.
A Canadian play was composed about the 7.5 years the playwriter’s niece spent in KIDS of North Jersey. The founder was portrayed as a character named Dr. Mallard (as in quack).
He was sued for bankruptcy fraud.
He was labeled as an abusive priest by the Protection of the Theotokos, an Orthodox Abuse Watchdog Group.
“Over the GW” is released based on Newton’s KIDS program.
He lost a 3.75 million settlement in a case involving an ex-KIDS teen.
CBC broadcasts nationally a documentary that likens Newton and his addictions cults to Jim Jones and David Koresh.
CNN was producing a segment on Newton (sidenote: I was interviewed about KIDS of El Paso by a CNN producer during this time).