Reverend Doctor2 Virgil Miller Newton*
at Straight, Inc. and at KIDS of North Jersey /  
KIDS of Bergen County

(*AKA Father Cassian) 

by Wes Fager (c) 2000


sound control   (if you are having problems getting sound click here. <bgsound src="">
Especially, do not listen to anything he says.   The demon is a liar.  He will lie to confuse us;  but he will also mix lies with the truth to attack us.  The attack is psychological,  Damien.  And powerful.  Do not listen.  Remember that.  Do not listen.
From The Exorcist.

I want this girl the fuck out of my group . . .
Reverend Miller Newton at Straight-St Pete in Leigh Bright's face having just thrown her to the floor by her hair."  [The Great Drug War,  p. 40]

Be sure to visit our blog on Miller Newton at

Newton in the News
Newton and team settle with two former clients for $11.5 million and more stories link
Miller Newton becomes Father Cassian in the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America link
Father Cassian listed on site for abusive priests link
Miller Newton tries to build church in beach-front residential community
The Newtons accused of bankruptcy fraud
Internationally recognized cult expert Rick Ross carries Lulu Corter story on his front page
FACTNET, the biggest name in cult awareness, carries our Lulu Corter case on its front page


Kids of North Jersey Warehouse, Secaucus New Jersey

When Father Newton arrived in New Jersey in 1984 on the heels of state investigations of his Straight program in Florida,  he opened up shop in Bergen County outside New York City.  Bergen County was one of the wealthiest counties in the country and his facility was provided for by a wealthy benefactor.  In 1990 after the West 57th Street expose on KIDS of Bergen County,  Father Newton changed the name to KIDS of North Jersey and opened up in this giant warehouse behind the Harmon Cove outlook stores   in Secaucus in neighboring Hudson County.  The address was 200 Seaview Ave.  Notice the large tractor trailers at the loading docks on the left.  Marker (a) on the right points to a blackened area which was the glass front for KIDS which occupied a small corner of this warehouse.  Marker  (b) points to a neighboring warehouse.  



This is a close-up of KIDS' glass-front  [ area "a" in the first  photo].shot from the other end   The sign on the opened gate warns "PRIVATE PROPERTY,  NO TRESPASSING"  just as it did when Dr. Newton occupied the facility.   The trash dumpster is out in front of the glass facade the same as it was when it was a medical facility.  I do not recall seeing any sign identifying the area as KIDS of North Jersey so more than one truck driver must have been bewildered to see the sign on the wall reserving a special parking space which read,  "RESERVED FOR MEDICAL DIRECTOR."   If you were a parent with a kid in trouble and looked up KIDS of North Jersey in the phone book,  it would list a P.O. box number.  There was no street address given.  If you called them and asked for the address they would not tell you.


In early 2000 Doctor  V. Miller Newton, Ph.D.2  and his consulting psychiatrists settled with a former client of KIDS of North Jersey for  $4.5 million for abuses she says she sustained there.  Shortly thereafter Doctor Newton closed his KIDS program in New Jersey and he is currently residing in Florida.  He has changed his name to Father Cassian Newton.  Father Newton had previously been the national clinical director of Straight(1)  [and his wife Ruth Ann had been the associate director of Straight-St Petersburg]  before he ran his own chain of abusive Sembler-based synanons in New Jersey and elsewhere around America.  Father Newton and Ruth Ann left Straight in 1983 when the Straights (and sometimes he personally) came under a deluge of civil suits for falsely imprisoning and for intentionally abusing children. Also there were criminal investigations in 1983 of two Straight facilities in Florida. Under these circumstances, Dr. Newton moved to Hackensack, New Jersey and set up his own Straight-like program. But almost immediately there were similar allegations of child abuse at the Hackensack program. By 1990 Bergen County prosecutors had accumulated a considerable case load of complaints against Newton's program when Newton changed the program's name and moved to Hudson County and continued to operate under a special license for his unique program for another ten years  in spite of mounting charges of child abuse--including criminal convictions of four of his counselors and additional criminal charges against one of his already convicted counselors!

Miller Newton and the Straight Legacy, 1980 - 1983. The following alleged events preceded the departures of Miller Newton and his wife Ruth Ann Newton from Straight in 1983. In front of hundreds of other kids, Miller Newton grabbed 15 year-old Leah Bright by her hair, threw her on the floor, said 'I want this girl the fuck out of my group,' and sentenced her to no sleep from Saturday afternoon to Monday night--80 hours.(2) When Ms Bright told her old comer in private that she felt suicidal, she says she was made to wear a sweat shirt with the word PSYCHOTIC on it!(3) In 1990 Karen Norton was awarded $721,000 for being abused at Straight. She testified that Newton had thrown her against a wall.(4) Marcie Sizemore was in Straight between 80-82. She says she was beaten and thrown against a wall.(5) In Feb 82 Straight-Atlanta settled with 3 kids represented by the ACLU who claimed they were suffering "inhumane treatment".(6) The Florida state agency responsible for overseeing drug rehabilitation programs was Health and Human Services (HRS). An HRS report in April 1981 found that teenage clients at Straight had been threatened by administrative staff members with being either court ordered into Straight or being committed to a mental institution unless they voluntarily entered Straight. Several former clients reported to the Saint Petersburg Times in 1981 that they had been treated similarly by Straight staffers.(7) On July 17, 1980 Michael Calabrese went to Straight to visit his brother. He claims he was detained for 9 hours by Straight staffers who threatened to retain him for two years with a court order unless he voluntarily signed himself in. He says he got into a shouting match with Miller Newton (Newton was Straight's Administrative Director in July 1981) during this intake.(8) Acting on a complaint on September 30, 1980 Florida state health officials (HRS) interviewed a male juvenile client at Straight-St Pete whom they found being held against his will for treatment for a drug problem he did not have. Straight released this minor. An investigation by HRS responding to a complaint by an Orlando woman on March 4, 1981 found that her son was being held against his will at Straight. (She had previously filed a Writ of Habeas Corpus to get her other son out.) On March 16, 1981 state officials Terrell Harper and Marshall met with Miller Newton and two female clients who had recently escaped from Straight-St Pete but had been returned. In the presence of the state officials Newton threatened the two girls that they could be "sent to a mental institution," and then told one of the girls he was considering advising her parents to take her to a treatment program in Georgia where she could be "locked-up for 6 months" on just her parents signature. HRS removed one of the girls the next day. The other child was removed three days later by her mother at the recommendation of a court appointed guardian ad litem. State investigators found that the locks to the bedroom doors where these girls sleep--a Ms. M's home--had been reversed to lock from the outside.(9)

Hope Hyrons appearing on CBS 60 Minutes

Arletha Schauteet attended a sibling interview on Oct 23, 1981 in order to see her brother. She was held against her will until April 21, 1982. At one point she had escaped only to be kidnapped, in a violent 30 minute struggle, by her mother, two adult males, and a woman and taken back to Straight. At one point she says Miller Newton told her that if she persisted in saying she was held against her will, "the state of Florida would take over and put my mother in jail for kidnapping." Detective Brown from the Sanford, Fl Police  Department secured her release. [Judge C. Vernon Mize signed a preemptory Writ of Habeas Corpus in the interest of Ms. Schauteet, the date is smeared, but appears to be 1982.] On Jan 19, 1983, an 18 year-old student intern in the Seminole County's sheriff's office named Hope Hyrons (photo top next page) attended a sibling interview so she could visit her brother. They tried to make her sign herself into Straight. She resisted, and she was made to walk and hitch hike back to Longwood, Fl--a 2 hour drive away. A month later she was kidnapped by her mother and father and two strange men and carried to Straight. She fought to get out of the intake room and was restrained. When she told her captors her legal rights were being violated, she says Rev. Miller Newton walked in and said, ""Well, I don't give a damn about your legal rights." Two  days later a social services official secured her release. Newton and Straight settled out-of-court with her in 1983.(10) On June 19,  1982, Fred Collins, Jr, a B level engineering student at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, (Fred now has a Ph.D. in mathematics) attended a Straight sibling interview in order to visit his brother. Fred was detained in a room with guards at the door for 7 - 10 hours, refused permission to go to the bathroom by a group of kids who related to him their stories of perverted sexual activities and drug addiction, trying to persuade him to admit to same. He finally consented to sign in for a 14 day observation period. [Thirteen years later, Marilyn Kearns' intake at Kids of North Jersey sounds remarkably similar to the experience of Fred Collins, Arletha Schauteet, and Hope Hyrons. Ms. Kearns alleges that when she was 23 years old, she attended a sibling interview at Kids, preliminary to visiting her sister. She says she was held in an intake room for hours until she agreed to sign up for treatment herself! [from author interview] ] Four and a half months later, 20 - 25 pounds lighter, Fred escaped from Straight. In a 1983 trial in which Miller Newton testified, Fred was awarded $220,000 for false imprisonment.(11)

David Levin, former assistant state prosecutor for Sarasota County, Florida, led the criminal investigation of Straight-Sarasota in 1983 resulting in the closing of that treatment camp while state prosecutor James T. Russell conducted a separate investigation of the camp in Saint Petersburg.  Russell found no wrong doing.  Levin is shown here from CBS' West 57th Street segment on KIDS in 1989.

The following 1983 civil suits/criminal investigations immediately preceded Newton's resignation: May--Michael Daniels sued Straight-St Pete for driving him insane; Aug--Newton and Straight-St Pete settled separate suits with Arletha Schauteet and Hope Hyrons.(12) Aug--Martin Brashears, an adult, sued Straight-Atlanta for false imprisonment.(13) Sept--Larry Williams sued Straight-Sarasota. Sept--Benson Williams sued Straight-Sarasota for beatings, pulling him by hair, hanging him by his underpants to a  bedpost, and for torture.(14) Sept--Florida state's  attorney office for Sarasota County released a damning 600 page criminal investigation of Straight-Sarasota including statements from current/former counselors of kidnappings, false imprisonments, threats of being court ordered unless client voluntarily enrolls, enrolling clients who were not drug dependent, hair pulling, neck grabbing, throwing against walls.(15) Straight-Sarasota voluntarily closed so state dropped its investigation. Principal investigator, assistant state attorney David Levin would later say ". . . it was child abuse and torture--was directed by Miller Newton".(16) On Sept 3 a boy named Charles was brought to Straight. Charles had been kidnapped in Albuquerque, New Mexico by two private detectives hired by his mother, and placed in leg irons. A Florida judge later ruled his release because proper commitment procedures had not been followed, and because the judge found no evidence of drug addiction or abuse.(17) In Oct--Michael Keen sued Straight-St Pete for false imprisonment(18) and Jacqueline A. Stallings sued Straight-St Pete for physical assaults and false imprisonment. She eventually won case #83012161C1 for Straight committing a "malicious act" against her.(19) On Nov 15, 1983 Newton and wife resigned from Straight.(20) 

Miller Newton and Kids of Bergen County, 1984 - 1990. 
"I feel like the angel of death is at our door."
Sue's mother blasting her at a Friday night MIC Talk at KIDS of Bergen County.  [New York Times Magazine]













Tony Mitchele appearing on CBS' West 57th Street.

In May 1984 Newton opened Kids of Bergen County (KBC) in Hackensack, N.J. as a Straight-like program. He also started the Straight-like franchise Kids Center of America with affiliates in El Paso, Salt Lake City and Yorbi Linda, Ca. By 1985 county prosecutors were receiving complaints of abuse. Between 1987 and 1988 Texas officials found kids being hit, pushed, assaulted, deprived of sleep, soiling their pants, and denied bathroom privileges at Kids of El Paso. At the California franchise, authorities found that kids were being denied bathroom privileges. In Dec 1988 Bergen County Superior Court dismissed charges against Miller Newton for criminal restraint and involuntary servitude.(21) In April 1989 Bergen County prosecutor's office found black eyes, strip searches, sleep deprivation, solitary confinement, and denial of right to leave when some clients reached the age of 18. A third of clients at KBC were Canadians.(22) Newton withdrew his application for a license days before a public hearing in 1989 saying he intends to move to new location in Bergen County.

Jennifer Woolston alleges in sworn court deposition that she escaped from Kids of Salt Lake City in Aug 1989 [when she was an adult], but was later kidnapped by her mother, father, a male parent, and a police officer who told her she was under arrest for a felony. They took her to the male parent's home, had her stripped searched and locked into a room. Later she again tried to escape by climbing from a window,  fell and broke bones in her feet and arms, dislocated her shoulder, and damaged cartilage and/or ligament in booth knees. She says she was denied medical treatment for an hour until program counselors arrived to take her to a hospital. The program released her only after receiving a Writ of Habeas Corpus on Sept 21, 1989.(23) [Ms. Woolston is not the first to be injured during an escape attempt from a Straight-like program. In 1978 a 13 year-old girl named Misereck jumped/fell 4 stories in an escape attempt from a Straight-St Pete foster home requiring her to have metal bars surgically placed in her back. Straight settled with her in 1981 while Miller Newton was there. Several people have alleged that KIDS' client Carlos Cenado broke his leg after a scuffle or fall during an escape attempt occurring at a Kids of  North Jersey foster home. Several allege that he was sent to a  hospital but not allowed to eat hospital food, rather food was brought in from KIDS. (Kids of North Jersey is the follow-on program to KBC.) ] Newton's franchises started closing under state investigations. After Kids of Southern California closed in 1989, Straight of Southern California started operating out of the same facility.

Larry Clay and Christy Johnston appearing on CBS' West 57th Street.

Twice Bergen County prosecutors escorted clients out of KBC. In 1989 CBS's West 57th Street aired a damaging segment on KBC. Former staff member Christy Johnston said Newton told a staff member, "Bring her in her and scare her and if she hits you, hit her back." She says they wound up rolling on the ground with Newton saying, "I'll turn my back." Tony Mitchele's  hospital records show he was bleeding from the scalp and having blurred vision after being dropped on  his head during a rap. When  he became an adult Tony left KBC, but later staff member Tony Kozakiewicz was arrested for trying to kidnap Tony back into the program. According to former staff member Christy Johnston, charges were dropped after KIDS promised Tony Mitchele that it would never take him back if he promised not to press charges. In 1988 Larry Clay a legal adult in his home state of Texas, was led out of KBC by an FBI agent with a subpoena.(24) In August 1990 (after the West 57th Street report on KBC) 20 county officials descended upon Kids of Bergen County questioning kids about abuse.(25)

Miller Newton and Kids of North Jersey, 1990 - 2000

Shortly after Bergen County prosecutors moved on KBC in August 1990, Newton moved his operations to Hudson County, New Jersey, changing the program's name to Kids of North Jersey (KNJ), but retaining the old IRS #. Former KBC staff member Alexis Zdanow  recalls an  incident back at KBC c. 1988 where two rebellious clients who were brothers were taken into an intake room where he and others "threw 'em around, flung 'em around, but I was told by the higher staff, 'You have to do that, you know, Doc Newton says it has to be done. . .'"(26) Later, in 1993, at KNJ three counselors--Carlos Lugo, Michael O'Connor, and George Clemence--were convicted of beating 17 year old Channery Soto. Michael  O'Connor, who admitted to beating Soto, said that beatings were routine at KNJ and that he had even been beaten himself. Judge Emil DelBaglivo--the Secaucus trial judge--publicly remarked that it was "almost unbelievable" that the director of the program, a man with "supposedly " strong credentials, would allow and condone the use of violence. "We find the institution highly questionable and someone should look into it," he said. "We think there's something radically wrong."(27) Newton stayed, Judge DelBaglivo was transferred to another township.

Former KIDS counselor Alexis Zdanow appearing on CBS' West 57th Street

In January 1998 KIDS counselor Patricia Logan was convicted (apparently of simple assault) for an assault against client Celena Moore (daughter of Ethyl Moore).(28) Her case stemmed from one of many criminal complaints brought against KIDS counselors in 1996. One 1996 charge is against counselor George Clemence, who has already been convicted for the 1993 Soto beating, for assaulting Michael Siculietano. Secaucus prosecutors dropped charges without Siculietano's knowledge.(29) Another 1996 charge was made by Marilyn Kearns (age 23) who claims she was kidnapped and held against her will at KNJ. She names Miller Newton in her complaint of being held against her will.(30) Also in 1996 KNJ graduate and program counselor Heather Strachey filed counter charges against Marilyn Kearns, but later sent a letter dropping the charges. Other, apparently outstanding, criminal charges involving KNJ filed in Secaucus in 1996 include Ethyl Moore against Erin Moss and Jenny Logan (she's already won a conviction against Patricia Logan, apparently Jenny's sister). [ Jennifer Logan is listed as one of the defendants in Jennifer Woolston's civil suit against KIDS of Salt Lake City in 1989, previously  discussed.]. Other 1996 charges include: Andrea Jones against Erin Moss; Sharon Tyler against Miller Newton; and Chrysis Johnson against Miller Newton. In 1996 Juvenile Judge Thomas Zampino in neighboring Essex County secured the release of John Shaw from KNJ after a private interview with him.(31) In 1996 two local TV stations broadcast damaging exposés on KNJ.    Bill Goldberg, a licensed therapist in Tenafly New Jersey, has treated several former KNJ clients.(33)

INSURANCE FRAUD In Sep 1996--KNJ agreed to pay $45,000 to the federal government to settle charges of 254 fraudulent insurance claims. Psychiatrist Raymond Edelman says KNJ used his rubber stamp after he left program for fraudulent claims.(34),(35) In December 1996 KNJ apparently lost or settled a 1996 civil case with Roger Rossano for fraudulent insurance charges. KNJ's 1994 tax returns shows Miller Newton earning $106,712 and Ruth Ann Newton, his wife and assistant director at KNJ, making $54,520.  The phone book listed  a PO box address for KIDS.   Mysteriously, if you were  a parent with a kid in trouble and called them, they would  not tell you where they were located!

In 1989   at the request of the New Jersey Department of Health,  Newark Administrative Judge Edith Klinger released a damaging 53 page study of KIDS of Bergen County in which she stated,  "Many of the deficiencies . .  create hazards to health and safety."  In spite of this finding New Jersey's Department of Health decided to grant KIDS its own special license.  [Dr. Newton had served on the New Jersey Substance Abuse Advisory Council in 1989.]   What Newton did do was to change the program's name and pop open in neighboring Hudson County securing a "special" certificate to operate from Commissioner of Health and Human Services Len Fisher.  Around the time New Jersey was giving Miller Newton a special license,  Dr. King E. Davis,  Commissioner of Mental Health for the state of Virginia was being personally sued by a former client of Straight because the state had been granting Straight an annual license to operate in spite of overwhelming allegations, and substantiations, of abuse.  [WWOR (UPN), Channel 9, I-Team News, two part report on KNJ, 1996.]

Rebecca Erlich and the closing of KIDS In 2000 Miller Newton and his consulting psychiatrists settled for $4.5 million with a former client named Rebecca Ehrlich who claimed she had been mistreated at KIDS.(32)   Ms. Erlich's attorney Phil Elberg of Newark, New Jersey  has thus secured the biggest money settlement ever against a Straight or descendent Straight program.   The KIDS program in New Jersey closed in 2000 and Reverend Doctor Virgil Miller Newton moved back to Madera Beach, Florida changing his faith to Orthodox Catholic.  The best I can determine, it was sometime in early 2001 that Reverend Virgil Miller Newton changed his name to Father Cassian.

Father Cassian's  views on child abuse
Click here for a video commentary by  Dr. Newton giving his views on child abuse. 
Miller Newton's Academic Credentials

Click here for a link to the academic credentials of Father Doctor Miller Newton. 


Photos of KIDS' facilities

Click  here for photos of KIDS' operating facilities.
You are the  visitor since April 10, 2002

End notes on KIDS of North Jersey

1. Miller Newton became an assistant director at Straight on January 15, 1980, though he was a parent member before that. His resume shows him as the director of Straight, St Pete in 1981. In a press release on July 13, 1982 Board Chairman Mel Sembler announced that Miller Newton had been officially appointed as Straight's national clinical director on or about July 4, 1982. However, he told reporters that much of the clinical responsibilities for Straight were already being handled by Newton. Even Newton boasted that, "The local programs are responsible to me. That was going on before. [Source: St. Petersburg Times, July 14, 1982, p. 3B.]

2. Trebach, Arnold, The Great Drug War, p. 40. St. Petersburg Times, 1-30-83, p. 1B. Georgia Emmon's of Clearwater, FL witnessed the incident--St Petersburg Times, 1-30-83, p. 4B.

3. Deposition of Leigh Bright for Fred Collins, Jr. trial. March 7, 1983.

4. Baum, Dan, Smoke and Mirrors, p. 158; The Tampa Tribune, 11-11-90. Attorney Karen Barnett, 813-229-1111, handled Norton's case and three others.

5. St Petersburg Times, 1-30-83, p. 4B.

6. St Petersburg Times, 2-5-82.

7. St Petersburg Times, 4-23-81, p.1B. St Petersburg Times, 7-7-81, p. 6B.

8. St Petersburg Times, 7-7-81, p. B1.

9. This is a violation of Florida Statue Chapter 397.041

10. Trebach, Op. Cit., p. 57-59. For Writ of Habeas Corpus in interest of Arletia Schauteet see Newton's deposition for Fred Collins' trial, pp. 87 - 89.

11. Sarasota Herald Tribune, 6-9-83, p. 9A S.

12. Trebach, op. cit., pp. 57-59. St Petersburg Times, 1-30-83, p. 1B. Brandenton Herald, 8-4-83. The Herald cites settlements with a LuAnn Jones of Sanford and with Hope Hyrons.

13. St Petersburg Times, 8-11-83, p. 5B.

14. Brandenton Herald, FL, 9-17-83. Brandenton Herald, 9-8-83, p. B1. St. Petersburg Times, 9-7-83, p. 4B.

15. St Petersburg Times, 9-19-83, p. B1.

16. St. Petersburg Times, 9-19-83, p. b1. West 57th Street 1-21-89, "Kids of America: Caring and Concern."

17. Trebach, op. cit., p. 62.

18. Sarasota Herald Tribune, 10-9-83.

19. St. Petersburg Times, 6 -11-85. Straight settled with this Hillsborough County woman for $37,500.

20. St Petersburg Times, 11-15-83, p. B1.

21. Bergen County Superior Court, Docket # C883418, dismissed 12-6-88.

22. The Record 4-17-89. (The Record in Hachensack) Also assistant county prosecutor Fred Schwansede (201-646-2300).

23. Salt Lake City civil case # 890905826CV; The Record 10-24-89, p. b01. Also Woolston's attorney, Marcy Corporon at 801-328-1162.

24. West 57th Street, "Kids of America: Caring and Concern", 1-21-89 produced by James Stolz, reported by Meredith Vieira.

25. The Record , 8-15-90, p. b01. Also Bergen County prosecutor John J. Fahy (201-646-2300).

26. West 57th Street, "Kids of America, Caring and Concern," 1-21-89.

27. The Record, dateline Secaucus, p. d01, 12-24-93, author Neal Thompson.

28. Victor J. Herlinsky, Jr., (201) 343-6050.

29. Interview with Marion Siculietano, Michael Siculietano's mother, 10-30-97.

30. Interview with Marilyn Kearns, 10-30-97.

31. Telephone interview with Mara Curley, John Shaw's mother.

32. Hudson County, NJ case # L-4592-95.

33. **************************************************

34. The Record, 9-24-96, p. a04. N.J. insurance fraud investigators Mike Kennedy, Pam Cohen 609-292-4911. Also Louis P.  and Hudson County prosecutor Edward Defazio, 201-795-6400.

35. The FBI investigated Straight in 1993 for insurance fraud. There have been no indictments to date. Contact FBI Special Agent Charlotte Brazil, St Petersburg, Fl.