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A book series by Zack Bonnie


Dead, Insane or In Jail: Overwritten
Book 2 in the DIJ series.



Dead, Insane or In Jail: A CEDU Memoir
Book 1 in the DIJ series.

Learn about coming of age in the remote Rockies of Northern Idaho, within the confines of an intensive “emotional growth program.” Follow the relationships that develop, in spite of the school’s strict rules. Think Orange Is the New Black, in Idaho. With teenagers.

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“It’s often hard to describe how traumatic and damaging “troubled teen” programs for young people are. This important perspective from someone who lived it offers a vivid portrait of hell that is sold as therapy.”



“Zack’s well-written tale does a remarkable job of recalling his thinking and his feelings as he gradually internalizes the madness of his everyday life and the hopelessness of his situation. In the tradition of Darkness At Noon, Zack’s history puts the reader into the life that too many “survivors” experienced, and he does this in a finely crafted page-turner.”

Philip Elberg is a litigator who successfully represented victims of Kids of North Jersey, a treatment center for adolescents with “behavior disorders.” He is a member of ASTART (Alliance for the Safe, Therapeutic & Appropriate Use of Residential Treatment).

Philip Elberg, Esq.Medvin and Elberg, Newark, NJ

“It is sad the abuse of teenagers to tough love programs by mis-informed parents and politicians did not end with the revelations concerning the concept originator Synanon. But to be stopped eventually, stories like this memoir by Mr. Zack Bonnie must keep being told.”

Paul Morantz, Esq.Author, Escape: My Life Long War Against Cults


“Zack Bonnie’s memoir is generous and deeply insightful. His work is a gift to those interested in the history and dynamics of coercive residential teen-treatment programs. He allows the reader entrance into the secretive encounter-group rituals that may still take place in unregulated programs today. 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. Dead, Insane, or In Jail is a window looking in to this type of “therapeutic” coercion.”

Marcus ChatfieldAuthor, Institutionalized Persuasion: The Technology of Reformation in Straight Incorporated and the Residential Teen Treatment Industry

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