Our philosophy is fundamentally rooted in firsthand experiential evidence, discovered directly by our founders, counselors, teachers and therapists and secondly in treasured ancient wisdom teachings of masters who have given selflessly over thousands of years to the advancement of awareness and to the realization that each of us is a self-creator, manifesting and becoming that of which we have conceived. Scientifically speaking we embrace contemporary discoveries in the new science of epigenetics. Within this field we acknowledge the work of Conrad Waddington who, in a 1956 article published by the journal Evolution, introduced a skeptical scientific community to genetic assimilation, stating that acquired, as opposed to inherited, cellular behaviors are initiated by the environment rather than genetics. Waddington opened an early door for today's growing acceptance of genetic development outside the institutionalized doctrines of Darwinism. Dr. Waddington's research lays a foundation for our strong position that addiction and behavioral disorders are the direct results of influences outside of heredity.


Even more significant to the direction of our program development, is the work of former Professor of Anatomy at both the University of Wisconsin and St. George's University schools of medicine, famed stem cell research biologist at Penn State and Stanford University Medical Center, a pioneer in the field of new biology, best selling author of The Biology of Belief, and personal supporter, Dr. Bruce H. Lipton. His research and discoveries, since the 1980"s, have been integral to the growing momentum in evolving human consciousness and to the overall understanding that we have never, neither individually or collectively, been a victim of genetic inheritance but rather, slave to thought - captive to nothing more than perception. Dr. Lipton's website has published that "in 1982, Dr. Lipton began examining the principles of quantum physics and how they might be integrated into his understanding of the cell’s information processing systems. He produced breakthrough studies on the cell membrane, which revealed that this outer layer of the cell was an organic homologue of a computer chip, the cell’s equivalent of a brain. His research at Stanford University’s School of Medicine, between 1987 and 1992, revealed that the environment, operating through the membrane, controlled the behavior and physiology of the cell, turning genes on and off." 


Dr. Lipton's research unquestionably establishes that one can change human behaviors, physiological disorders, and even so-called dis-ease through a shift in perception. Nothing stands out as more definitive of the Crestone Freedom Project philosophy than this inexorable truth for which we will always be respectfully indebted to Dr. Bruce H. Lipton. Our many thanks go to him for his tireless efforts in the field and for so generously giving of himself and his findings to the race. It was his influence and continued selfless support through the most challenging chapter of my own life that, many years ago, became the impetus for real and lasting change on a deeply personal level. His work and his commitment to the truth have continued to be a causative factor in the manifestation of our effort to bring freedom to the young people whose lives it has become our mission to touch.


Our core principles are further refined in the first-hand developmental research of world-renowned addiction therapy, behavioral science, and childhood development expert, Dr. Gabor Mate who lays out a new and compassionate perspective on the origins of addiction in his groundbreaking and award-winning tour de force, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts. Dr. Mate's work spans two decades, with 12 of those years being spent in the trenches of Vancouver, British Columbia's Downtown Eastside with patients challenged by hard-core drug addiction, mental illness, and HIV, including at Vancouver’s Supervised Injection Site. His most relevant findings may be best summarized by a direct quote taken from an interview with The Fix in 2016 in which he states, "Whether we are talking about the emotional pain and the shame that’s at the heart of addiction or whether we are looking at the brain physiology of addiction, which is very much influenced by childhood experiences, we are looking at the impact of trauma. To go back to the original quote about doctors, if we actually understood that all behaviors are for the most part coping mechanisms for emotions that we are not able to deal with, then the focus could shift not just to changing behaviors, but actually understanding the emotions that underlie them. That’s what I think is missing from medical practice. Whether it's addictions or whatever it is, we are not seeing what’s driving it and what’s underneath it." 


Through Dr. Mate's extensive efforts to bring into consciousness the harsh environments in which the children of our world are often born and the real-world traumas that shape their mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical realities, we have come to adopt a program ideology steeped in the expression of unconditional love, compassion, non-judgment, and the connections that can only be found within a fully developed and authentic community based therapeutic care facility. Connections break down walls that prevent healing. It is from this awareness, from this loving frequency, that we consciously chose to begin our process.


We assert, through the core principles  of our philosophy that, while there is obvious and well-studied value in the conventional substance abuse and behavioral modification treatments and therapies routinely practiced in the west, these standard clinical approaches alone do not constitute a treatment of the "whole person." Additionally, the treatment environments in question do not fully and adequately address the causative factors at play in the numerous addictions or the myriad behavior disorders afflicting those to whom we are commissioned to bring healing but rather focus more directly upon symptom repression methodologies. The result is that the subject of such treatment is left in a perpetuated state of "recovering," ad infinitum, as opposed to the more coveted complete, total, and permanent state of having recovered. One need look no further for proof of the phenomenon of perpetual recovery than the recommended years of repeating an "I am an addict" mantra that typically follows the "completion" of such programs. This belief further becomes factualized in national relapse and recidivism statistics, which verifiably expose conventional methodologies as deficient in overall efficacy.


In an article published by Phycology Today, David Sack, M.D., an addiction psychiatrist and CEO of Promises Treatment Centers, states that the relapse rate for young adults and juvenile addicts who have been released from conventional treatment programs rise even higher than the national 40 - 60 percent reported for adults completing the same types of programming! Furthermore, numbers reflecting behavior modification rehabilitation efforts from the Department of Corrections and the Department of Justice, grow even more dismal. In 2018 the MST (Multisystemic Therapy) Services organization reported on information collected in a 2015 study from the CSG (Council of State Governments) Justice Center and stated that juveniles were far more likely than adults to re-offend after release from conventional corrections based facilities across all states. The highest reported recidivism rate for juvenile offenders was 76% within three years, and 84% within five years. 


From each of these traditions, discoveries, studies, and statistics a new thought emerges into final coagulation under the banner of a unique and innovative project - the Crestone Freedom Project - a marriage of conventional substance rehabilitation models with a holistic blend of ancient spiritual traditions and authentically loving therapeutic community connectedness. Such a program might have been assembled in just about any far-flung corner of the earth, but it has chosen to bring itself into form here in the epicenter of the most powerful vortex of healing energy on the planet, here among the upthrust snowy peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and in the company of an astonishing community of twenty-three direct-lineage spiritual centers, representing practically every theological school of spiritual thought still actively practiced on earth. Such a community has been made possible thanks to Maurice and Hanne Strong who have mindfully fostered the prophecy of an old man known as "The Crestone Prophet" and have thus provided immeasurable service to advancements in the evolution of human spirit and the coming into form of a higher consciousness.


Each individual participating in this program will immediately, upon arrival, be welcomed as a valued, respected and accepted member of a loving therapeutic community. Every participant will be patiently guided upon a unique path of healing and recovery, customized to his or her personal needs, preferences, and evaluations consisting of some or all of the elements of the overall program - some of which is spotlighted in the following basic overview.