Netflix has a new wild true crime documentary about a disciplinary school cult out now

The Program: Cons, Cults and Kidnapping shines light on a horrific story


When you hear there’s a new true crime documentary about cults coming out, I know your interest gets perked immediately. Well, Netflix has just released The Program: Cons, Cults and Kidnapping, which is just that.

The three-part series shines a light on the “troubled teen” industry in the US – at a behavioural school where parents would send their wayward children. But, that really is just the surface, and what was uncovered as actually going on at the school in question was a lot, lot deeper.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Netflix show, The Program: Cons, Cults and Kidnapping.

The Program: Cons, Cults and Kidnapping on Netflix

via Netflix

The Program on Netflix is all about the goings on at Ivy Ridge school

The Program: Cons, Cults and Kidnapping is all about what happened at Ivy Ridge school in New York. The now-defunct boarding school was where parents would send their children and it promised hiking, sports and learning, and an opportunity for children to turn their lives around and reach their full potential.

But, as explored in the Netflix doc, what the school actually was like has been likened to a cult, where pupils were abused and brainwashed. They were subject to solitary confinement, physical and mental abuse, and told they couldn’t leave.

The Program: Cons, Cults and Kidnapping on Netflix

via Netflix

The Netflix synopsis reads: “No talking. No smiling. No going outside. The Academy at Ivy Ridge claimed to use therapy and recreational activities to help troubled teens. Instead, teens suffered mental and physical abuse in a program that operated like a cult. In this gripping investigative docuseries, a filmmaker and other former students recall their horrific experiences attending a disciplinary school and expose the horrors of the troubled teen industry.”

The series sees former pupils talking about their time at Ivy Ridge, from when it operated between 2001 and 2009. Students have gone back and found logs of their abuse, which was part of a multi-billion dollar industry to exploited parents’ fears over their kids, and then charge up to £140k to help “bring the family back together” and “fix” their problems.

Watch the trailer for The Program: Cons, Cults and Kidnapping here

The Program: Cons, Cults and Kidnapping is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

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