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The Program: Right, this is where Robert Lichfield the founder of WWASP is now

His huge estate in Utah is still abandoned

Everyone right now is talking about The Program: Cons, Cults and Kidnapping on Netflix. It explores the “troubled teen” industry, and at the centre of that is the founder of WWASP, Robert Lichfield.

WWASP is the company behind so-called troubled teen schools like Ivy Ridge, that the Netflix series focuses on. Parents would send their “troubled” children to these schools, under the promise they would experience therapy, sports and education, with the aim of changing their behaviours, and solving problems within the family. However, what they were actually met by was emotional and physical abuse, solitary confinement, and being treated like a prisoner.

At the end of the Netflix series, it hints that Robert Lichfield has been pretty radio-silent in recent years, so where is he now?

Robert Lichfield, The Program: Cons Cults and Kidnapping

via Netflix

So, where is Robert Lichfield now?

In more recent years, a number of previous students from WWASP schools have filed lawsuits against Robert Lichfield. Most of these are reported to have been settled out of court, but on a couple of occasions Lichfield has counter-sued for defamation. Still to this day, no official charges or convictions have come against him.

In 2013, Robert did an interview with The New York Times, and basically denied his involvement in anything to do with abuse at Ivy Ridge and similar schools. “I wasn’t there, I didn’t abuse or mistreat students, nor did I encourage or direct someone else to do so,” he said. “I provided business services that were non-supervision, care, or treatment services to schools that were independently owned and operated.”

He still clearly has big impact somewhere though, as just last year there were plans in a city in Utah to name a recreational centre the “Robert Lichfield Recreation Center”, which enraged people so much there was a petition to stop this from happening. The mayor of the area had called upon local businessmen and figures to offer financial support for the building, and Lichfield agreed to donate a metal building that had been stored in Utah. The deal was finalised in January 2023, and the mayor then suggest the building was named after Lichfield.

Since then, Lichfield has kept a low profile. His previous farmland and estate it Utah, the one with all the statues which were shown in the Netflix doc, is believed to still be abandoned.

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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