Student Stories

From 1990 until 2000 Castile Canyon Ranch housed a boarding school for the children of the senior clergy of the Church of Scientology International. Alumni and friends of the school look back fondly at the days they spent at Castile Canyon on the shoulder of Mount San Jacinto.


“As a result of my education at the Ranch, as an adult, I continue to study and learn subjects. For example, I have studied chemistry for use at my job.  The point is: having a practical background, an education on how to learn, studying subjects like this is easy and fun.

“I am very fortunate to have the Ranch part of my formative years. It gave me an extroverting place to engage in a range of activities while learning important lessons of life. Going to a Ranch for an education and molding into a productive member of a desirable cause was a ‘blessing.’ I’ve never done a street drug in my life. There were no drugs there and there was no crime.  B.O.H.

“The education I received while at the Ranch taught me problem-solving and gave me the ability to arrive at solutions based on observations and logical reasoning. This has helped me immensely in the tasks required to be successful in my adult life.  J.G.

“I am a strong independent adult because of what I learned and did at the Ranch. We learned reading, writing, math, history and other subjects. In this education we learned Shakespeare and were required to memorize the XVI Sonnet. We went to plays and musicals, among which were: Fiddler on the Roof, A Mid Summer’s Nights Dream, Swan Lake, Camelot with Robert Goulet (that is a treat I will never forget.), Oklahoma, Macbeth and West Side Story to name a few. We also went to museums, Joshua Tree National Park and several other educational field trips.  We studied and learned history, geography, science and social studies.   I currently find that due to my education at the Ranch I am more well read and well versed than many of my contemporaries who attended public and private schools in the United States.” T.H. 

“With all the experience and friends I grew up with, I would not choose an alternative to what I had at the Ranch. Living at the Ranch gave me knowledge and experience beyond academic knowledge that I use to this day. I am a computer technician now but all the different things you learn from such an environment are still with me and I consider it a privilege to have been able to learn so much. “ D.A.

“I learned the technology of learning. While I did also learn basics of reading, writing and math, actually learning HOW to learn is what I consider today to be the most valuable. In my adult years I was able to quickly learn new subjects, gain new skills and adapt to new projects or jobs. I have an above average aptitude. I attribute this to the technology of study which I was taught at the ranch.” R.R.

“My personal views of my experience, my education and what I gained during my schooling at Castile Canyon School is that it helped me build the character of who I am today as well as assisted me in my ability to build the business I have today, which is a successful marketing company in Los Angeles.” G.H.

“I was 9 years old when I got there and I loved being there. I was able to study and learn and if I ever had any trouble with my studies there was always somebody who would work with me on a one-to-one basis. We had a standard curriculum of the 3 R’s and also had special studies we could pick that we wanted to do such as geography, history, learning about insects, etc. We had a huge library that was virtually unlimited.” H.A.

“Growing up at the Castile Canyon Ranch was great for me. Prior to going to the Ranch I was having a lot of trouble with my schooling and was behind the other children in my class. When I went to the Ranch I was put on tailored courses that were my gradient in math, writing and reading. I immediately started to improve on my studies and schooling became fun for me. We also got to do many other fun learning activities such as arts and crafts, dancing, learning how to play musical instruments, learning to draw, make paper, candles, etc. We also went on a lot of very fun school trips where we all got to go watch educational movies, go to local plays; we went to an observatory in San Diego, Universal Studios, etc.”  L.R.


“Being at a ranch, I garnered a love for the outdoors that I still have to this day and which I hope to also instill in my children. I was not raised in front of a television nor sitting playing video games. Instead I got to explore the outdoors to my heart's content in an environment that was safe and expansive.” R.R.

“I now co-own my own very successful business with my close friend, who I met while at the Ranch. We are fully licensed, insured and bonded electrical contractors. I have been married 9½ years and have a beautiful baby daughter. I attribute my success in life to first my father and my mother who have been the best possible teachers with the maximum amount of compassion and secondly to the skills and intelligence which I gained at the Ranch...” B.P.

“When I grew up at the Ranch I loved it because I had more freedom and security than probably any place I could imagine. Now at age of 33, I credit my success in life to my experiences growing up at the Ranch. It was the best environment my parents wanted for me and where they knew I would not be involved with drugs, crime or getting a bad education. I am truly thankful for the Ranch. We were the lucky ones.” H.A.

“We were always treated with respect and guided to become a responsible and contributing members of society. We learned a lot academically, did our chores on the farm, played sports and team games and above that we had no drugs or crime ever in our environment.” T.H.

“I learned a lot about exchange and high-quality, meticulous performance of duty. Those lessons go a long way in life, in any line of duty.”    B.O.H.

“I really enjoyed living at the Ranch, we had a lot of space, nice accommodations and sports areas for baseball, soccer, volleyball, a swimming pool, hiking, riding motorcycles … it was an almost idyllic place to grow up.” J.G.

“I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way but I want to state that to this very day, the chores that I performed back when I was young are some of my proudest.”  S.S.

“I enjoyed the ranch, enjoyed study very much, enjoyed the outdoors, tending to our fields.” V.S.

“I, and four other friends, were working together and we had such a blast.  We did relay races to the Creek bed where the stones were located and gathered as many as we could carry and then dropped them off at the tractor to be carried away. It was fun.”  S.S. 

“Living on the Ranch was very nice. We had horses to ride and gardens to tend, clean air and water, its expansive grounds and games courts and quiet surroundings. “ A.C.

“In addition to the normal facilities of a school, Castile Canyon provided a desirable setting for children to safely be schooled and make it enjoyable, such as: a swimming pool, soccer and baseball field, volleyball courts, horses, goats, pigs and other farm animals, gardens for planting vegetables, and hundreds of acres of roaming and adventure space… extracurricular activities such as hiking, motorcycles, mountain bikes, etc.” G.H.

“The living quarters for the children were perfectly suited for our needs. We played music and had our own hobbies and toys. I had a saxophone and an amplifier and a keyboard that I played.” K.C.

“I had the privilege to work alongside the head adult of the fields and we would do really neat projects in the greenhouses with delicate plants, roses, artichokes, making amazing pickles, planting asparagus and more. Our dill was amazing, it was so tall, it would scent the whole greenhouse and scrape the tops. Harvesting crops was some of the most rewarding and exciting things to do. I’ve not seen okra since, that comes anywhere close to the size and health as we had back there… I built a lot of pride from what I did and gained skills that I still use in gardening and life.” V.S.

“The entire time I was at the School I was always treated with care, respect and helped to become a responsible and contributing individual. I learned so much. I’d go back any day. Those years are some of my most cherished. Recently (3 weeks ago) about 10-15 of my friends that grew up with me at this school have actually been talking about going on a trip to go back and check it out as we loved it so much and miss it.” S.S.

“I enjoyed my years at the school and loved being in such a beautiful environment for my teen years. I feel that I have made good life choices as a result of my experiences and upbringing.” A.C.A.

“I can definitely say that growing up at the Castile Canyon Ranch from 1990 to 1996 was the best experience of my childhood. I felt more happy and safe at the Ranch than any other place I had lived in. At the Ranch we were away from any influences of drugs, alcohol, weapons, etc., and I grew up with good moral codes and an ability to work and have responsibilities which have helped me in life since leaving the Ranch.” L.R.

“I loved the ranch and it was the most peaceful and beautiful place I have ever lived.” R.B.

“The environment was very safe. There were no drugs and crimes and no door had to be locked it was so safe.” L.R.

“And the truth of the matter is that we had an excellent childhood by the standards of 99% of the population. Were I to do it all again, I wouldn't change a thing. My experiences at the ranch helped me become who I am today. I have a beautiful wife who I've been married to for 12 years. I have two daughters who are healthy and happy. I have a good job doing something I enjoy and I have friends who I can count on.” R.R.

“I have been a Visual Effects artist since April 2007. I feel that learning Scientology study technology as a child and being able to learn at my proper gradient when I was at the Ranch made it possible for me to be able to learn this job as well as I have and to be successful at it. Visual Effects is usually a job that people have to go to school for many years to learn however I have been able to learn it very quickly and be successful at my job and I truly believe that had I not gotten my education at the Ranch the way I did with tailored courses for me I never would have been able to learn this job.” L.R.

Castile Canyon Scientology School was located in the foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains, 3 miles east of the City of San Jacinto—40 miles from Palm Springs and Big Bear, and 100 miles south-east of Los Angeles. It was on 478 acres of land, of which 15 acres comprised the school campus.

From 1990 until 2000 Castile Canyon Ranch housed a boarding school for the children of the senior clergy of the Church of Scientology International.  Alumni and friends of the school look back fondly at the days they spent at Castile Canyon on the shoulder of Mount San Jacinto.