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Incredible new Netflix true crime show is shocking viewers

Would you lock your kids up in a prison-like school to make them behave better?

Incredible new Netflix true crime show is shocking viewers
Andrew Williams
09 March 2024

The Program: Cons, Cults, and Kidnapping is Netflix’s new true crime doc, and it’s about something you’d hope wouldn’t happen today.

A bunch of teens are kidnapped, with the consent of their folks, and taken to a boarding school in the middle of nowhere that aims to change their behaviour. And they're not allowed to leave until there's proof of just that.

Perhaps you got sent there for being caught with an alcopop underage, or for being naughty at school. Well, At Ivy Ridge you’ll have to stick to rules like not being allowed to look out of the window, or talk to any of the other “inmates.”

And if you didn’t follow the rules well enough, you could end up there for years. Grim, right?

Viewers have expressed their shock after seeing The Program over on X, some of which use language so fruity we’d better not replicate it here.

The Program: Cons, Cults, and Kidnapping features accounts from people who were locked up in Ivy Ridge as kids.

The treatment they received there starts to sound a lot like torture as they describe their recollections, and some were forced to make up having taken class-A drugs just to appease the overseers.

This is a deeper look at the “troubled teen” industry, where big bucks are made off claims of “reprogramming” young people.

The Program: Cons, Cults, and Kidnapping is directed by Katherine Kubler, who herself was sent to Ivy Ridge at the age of 16.

She spent 15 months at the facility, making this a particularly personal entry to the true crime genre, its aim to expose “the corruption and abuse of the troubled teen industry.”

There are three episodes of The Program, each around an hour long - and it's currently trending, with FlixPatrol reckoning it's in the top 5 of the most-watched Netflix shows right now.