Katherine Kubler In ‘The Program,’: Where Is Ivy Ridge’s Student Now?


The Program: Cons, Cults, and Kidnapping documents a bizarre incident that the world needed to be aware of. A lot of us didn’t know that there was a troubled teen industry operating in a country like the United States of America and ruining the lives of those poor souls who were sent to those institutes by their parents. It would be more apt to call them torture chambers as their main aim was to subject the teenagers to the worst possible circumstances. Katherine Kubler’s journey was not very easy, and it was gratifying to see how she did not succumb to her trauma but instead decided to tackle it head-on. So, let’s find out what Katherine had to endure at Ivy Ridge, what was the reason she decided to make this documentary, and where she is as of now. 

What made Katherine go back to Ivy Ridge? 

It is not easy to go back to a place that has given you a lifetime of trauma and face the ghosts of your past life. In The Program: Cons, Cults, and Kidnapping, we saw that Katherine mustered all the courage and, together with 4-5 of her colleagues, went back to Ivy Ridge to find evidence so that she could make a strong case against the perpetrators who ruined the lives of so many teenagers under the pretext of rehabilitating them. One could evidently see how shaken all those victims were feeling when they walked through the corridors where they had endured so much. Quinton, one of the students at Ivy Ridge, said that being on campus was probably the most difficult thing he had done in recent times. The students had gone through a lot of mental and physical abuse, and Quinton probably had it the worst of them all. He tried to protest against the torture; he tried to raise his voice against the wrong that was happening, and he had to pay a huge price for it. We saw in the CCTV footage how he was thrashed and flogged and how he was put in solitary confinement, where he was barely given any food.

Quintin took a sigh of relief when Katherine told him that the difference between the last time he was there as compared to the current time was that now he could move out of that god-forsaken place at his own will. Katherine found out that the administration department had left a lot of documents behind when they abandoned the place. Those documents proved to be very useful for Katherine and her team, as she could at least prove to the people the kind of atrocities that they were subjected to inside the facility. The World Wide Association of Specialty Programs and Schools (WWASPS) was no less than a horror house for teenagers, and in the name of behavioral modification and rehabilitation, they were being brainwashed into believing that they were not the victims but the perpetrators. Imagine a person who, firstly, doesn’t understand what they have done to deserve such treatment, is additionally being told that they are responsible for any tragedy or mishap that has happened in their lives. A 15-year-old girl who never picked up a syringe was forced to confess that she was a drug addict. A girl who was merely 2 years old at the time her father died in a tragic accident was manipulated and persuaded to accept the fact that she was responsible for it. The coercion was so intense that these poor souls actually found it better to confess to everything rather than raise a voice against the establishment. Katherine said that they were scared beyond anybody’s imagination, which is why it was so important to come back to Ivy Ridge and make things right. 

Did Katherine reconcile with her father? 

More than the atrocities she faced in Ivy Ridge, what caused distress to Katherine was the fact that her father didn’t believe in her, and even after she told him explicitly the kind of trouble she was having, he didn’t take her out of the institute for the longest time. So, during the making of The Program: Cons, Cults, and Kidnapping, Katherine finally decided to confront her father. It was a very awkward meeting, but after the old man started speaking, we realized that he was kept in the dark and had no clue what was happening inside the facility. The authorities at Ivy Ridge made a very smart move by conducting seminars and therapy sessions for parents, too. The parents saw the truth that the administration showed them, and they bought into it because every piece of information was very carefully curated. It is said that half-truths are worse than lies, and that is exactly what the administration excelled at doing. They took the students out on one day for an excursion, and they presented those pictures in their advertising pamphlets, showcasing what most days looked like inside the institution. Katherine’s father had no clue that the students hadn’t seen the real world before. These innocent kids were not allowed to interact with each other, nor were they permitted to make friends. These students were subjected to various gruesome offenses, the sole intention of which was to break them emotionally and mentally. It was difficult for Katherine to forgive her father, but she realized that people like Robert Lichfield managed to deceive her parents and keep them in the dark. Ken felt embarrassed about the fact that a fool was made out of him, but even he knew that apart from making peace with the past and accepting one’s mistake, he didn’t have any other choice. It was a hard pill to swallow, but Katherine, very graciously, accepted her father back into her life. 

Where is Katherine Kubler now? 

Katherine, as soon as she was taken out of Ivy Ridge by her father, realized that the diploma they were given there didn’t have any sort of credibility. Katherine was an innately creative person, and she went on to make a career in marketing and media. She interned with the Los Angeles Times for some time, and then she joined Paramount Pictures. In between, she also worked for a media agency called Endeavour Group Holdings, Inc. As of now, she is the executive creative director and the owner of Tiny Dino Agency, an award-winning creative agency based in Los Angeles. Her agency won the Clio Awards back in 2022 for the conceptualization of Scream Interactive Game. With The Program: Cons, Cults, and Kidnapping, Katherine Kubler made her directorial debut, and we hope that the entire process will bring her much-needed closure. On a lighter note, I believe that the “Mike’s Hard Lemonade” she had in Ivy Ridge must have tasted like a million bucks and it would have been a liberating and cathartic experience for her as she exposed the perpetrators and brought the truth to light. 

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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