Allegations of abusive behavior have followed the Straight program for years, despite praise from such notables as President Bush, former First Lady Nancy Reagan and others.
The program has come under investigation in several states, was on probation in Florida and has been sued in Ohio.
California investigators received complaints about the Yorba Linda facility and host homes indicating, according to state records, that children had been "subjected to unusual punishment, infliction of pain, humiliation, intimidation, ridicule, coercion, threats, mental abuse . . . and interference with daily living functions such as eating, sleeping and toileting."
However, Straight supporters say such complaints may stem from the natural reactions of kids who have hit bottom but are not yet ready to accept their problems or treatment.
"Those things never happened to me," said Scott Ogle, who graduated from the Yorba Linda program in September. "I have never seen anyone mentally attacked. . . . People show their feelings, but I have never seen anyone tormented."