The thing is... what drives LDS parents to commit their child to this sort of camp, and for long periods of time? At what point does the LDS parent give up and allow others to physically and mentally abuse a child? Why would a parent do this?... refusal to obey home rules? unlawful actions (theft, drug use, drug dealing, assault, etc)? skipping school? Abdicating one's parental responsibilities to the state is one thing (discipline camps in place of confinement in juvenile facilities for crimes committed, etc). Abdicating one's responsibilities to a private entity with no oversight and no ethics is just ..well.... wrong.
Have they not heard that we can't force a child to heaven?
Also, I think this is why step-parenting should really be a "last resort". The blending of two families have a lot of complications. It can work, but there has to be a strong commitment, and I think that the step parent is often going to feel preferential affection to their own blood related son or daughter that has to take tremendous control to curtail. Unless the deepest commitment isn't made to do this, the child is going to feel resentment, and act out. Also, a young teen-ager is likely to do this anyway, just as a natural part of growing up. There are, however, positive ways to deal with this.
Having a child kidnapped and sent to another state just doesn't seem like a reasonable solution. In fact, it sounds downright barbaric. I am trying really hard not to throw judgmentalism Eric's parents' way, only because I do know that parenting is not an easy business. However, I can comfortably say that I would never voluntarily send my child away unless he was phyiscally violent to other children in the family, and we had tried every other means to control the situation. Even then, I would want to make certain that my son or daughter was receiving real medical and emotional treatment, and not a part of some abuse center. If the facility would not allow visitors, I would not allow my child to be a part of it. That is a big red flag as far as I am concerned.
Eric, again, I am so sorry that you had to go through this. Every time I hear about a child being abused, I just want to take them home wiith me. *sigh*