I voluntarily chose to attend Wingate in Utah at the age of 17, under the impression that it was some sort of academic program. I did not know anything about Wingate's true nature. We were forced to live in the desert, drinking rationed water and rationed food. No extra food was given if food went missing, was stolen, or went bad. Almost every day we were made to awake just before dawn and go on forced marches for most of the day, sometimes even hours past sundown.
If any resisted, they were incapacitated and medicated by the staff. If anyone attempted to leave the group without permission, they were similarly prevented. In order to defecate, we were forced walk a designated distance away from camp in order to dig a hole. If we stopped yelling our name, they would assume that we had begun to run away, and would immediately begin searching for us, subdue us, and transport us back to camp.
We were exposed to all sorts of cultish, pseudo-religious moralizing propaganda and brainwashing, forced to read insipid packets and books, made to participate in absurd and childish games and activities, all with an underlying strange mysticism about need for change and repentance. All contact to the outside world was through letters. One is not allowed to receive a letter for one week. One is not allowed to send a letter for two weeks. By the time the opportunity arrives, most are already broken. Even if one tried to communicate the situation to their parents, they would be disciplined, and the letter censored, if necessary. The 'therapists' who met with us once a week were our parents' only source of information. Part of the efficacy of the brainwashing was that one had to convince their therapist of their commitment to the 'program', which would (putatively) expedite their graduation from the 'program' and return home.
Most of the victims I was grouped with had been forcibly transported there by people called "Transporters", or "goons". "Goons" were large muscular thugs who would, with the parents' consent, overpower the victim, bind him, and force him into a van, where he would be driven across state lines into Utah.
I met another graduate later who had managed to escape Wingate by running during the night to a country road, and hitchhiking to Los Angeles. The goons managed to track him down a month later and returned him to the camp.
Wingate broke me down and destroyed me. I have never felt more paranoid, more anxious, and more powerless than I have during those endless parched marches through the Utah desert. I am currently taking antidepressants, and took to using alcohol and cannabis to cope emotionally. I sympathize with your position and wish you the best in life.