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Christ At The Sea Foundation

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  • EIN 59-3463952
  • (727) 392-3437
  • 13280 4th Street East Madeira Beach FL 33708 USA

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Christianity, Religion

Mission: Religious services & retreats

Programs: Conduct religious service3 times per day for 99 mbrs 150guest making retreats, 3 baptisms, 4 chrismations 3 weddings, 9 funeral memorials

Community Stories

9 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5


• Christ at the Sea is an Orthodox Christian retreat center which offers rest and spiritual direction for adult individuals and couples, according to the Eastern Orthodox Christian tradition.

• Christ at the Sea is not, nor has it ever been, a treatment center for adolescents with substance use addiction or any other addiction. It is merely an Eastern Orthodox Christian retreat center.

• Christ at the Sea’s founder, Father Cassian Newton, was the President and Clinical Director of KIDS Centers of America and served to help adolescents aged 12-24 and their families to recover from drug use addiction and other related compulsive disorders (overeating, anorexia, bulimia, incorrigible and compulsively violent behavior).

• The KIDS program was accredited by the AAAHC (Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care), and the program received accreditation visits by a AAAHC team of doctors on a bi-annual basis. The team reviewed the treatment model, the treatment plans, clinical notes, the medical and psychological services, and on each visit renewed accreditation at the highest level.

• Neither the KIDS nor STRAIGHT programs were EVER locked facilities!

• When a patient in KIDS became physically out of control, they were restrained by program staff and peers under staff and clinical staff supervision, for the purpose of keeping the out-of-control individual from hurting himself, or endangering others in the treatment program. (This restraint technique was reviewed by a Texas Superior Court and approved.)

• KIDS provided medical services by a doctor twice a week, with a sick call once a day. Emergency situations were dealt with on a real-time basis as needed. The program maintained professional relationships with area hospitals, for example with Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck, NJ while the facility was operating in Bergen County, NJ, and later when the program relocated to Secaucus, it fostered such a relationship with the Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center, less than two miles away.

• Additionally, a professional psychiatrist was present at the program once or twice a week as needed, who saw patients and reviewed all treatment plans.

• KIDS was itself a correction and improvement on a earlier generation of the same treatment center and methodology, the program STRAIGHT, which operated in the Tampa Bay area in Florida but was also widely syndicated throughout the United States during the 1980s.

• Both programs are derived from the Twelve-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous, and both made unique use of “positive peer pressure” by patients who had recovered from their addictions and were getting their lives back to help one another and all the new patients in treatment to get sober. The model was inspiring and both programs carried enormously high success rates, especially relative to other treatment options for adolescents at those times. KIDS boasted a 75% sobriety rate for those who had been two years’ since completing treatment. STRAIGHT was similarly successful.

• KIDS was prominently featured on nationally broadcast television “magazine” programs, such as NBC’s “1986”, Christian Lifestyles Magazine, Getting Straight by Beth Polson, whose book Not My Kid: A Parents Guide to Kids and Drugs was co-authored by Dr Miller Newton (Father Cassian of today), who was the foremost expert on adolescent drug use treatment in the world. “Not My Kid” was made into a CBS Primetime movie.

• When Peter Jennings, the news anchor of ABC, did a two-hour special (Drugs: Why the Plague), Dr. Newton and the KIDS program were featured in a twenty-minute segment on adolescent drug abuse. The New York Times Magazine did a feature story on the KIDS program.

• Troubled adolescent treatment programs have abuse complaints. During Dr. Newton’s tenure as clinincal Director, neither STRAIGHT, Inc., in St Petersburg, nor KIDS in New Jersey have any finding of actual abuse from complaints by the state agencies.

• The STRAIGHT and KIDS programs were both visited and praised by First Lady Nancy Reagan, Princess Diana of Wales, President George H.W. Bush and were in fact hailed as the hallmark of what was needed to get American teenagers and young adults free of the increasingly tight grip of alcoholism and drug use.

• Various elements of the KIDS methodology were adopted and adapted for use in many other treatment centers in the USA and around the world. For example, the National Center for Children and Youth Psychiatry from Norway sent its entire professional staff (psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers) to observe the KIDS program at great length. Jan Krogh, a Norwegian social worker, and Ulrich Hermansson, a Swedish social worker, both served as Associate Directors with KIDS for one year each as they learned the methodology to take back to their respective home countries. This they did and with great success.

• Out of several thousand patients who went through the STRAIGHT and KIDS programs during Dr. Newton’s tenure, a relatively small number have made immature accusations alleging “child abuse” when the programs treated only adolescents and young adults (mainly from 14-24 years old) and immaturely calling Dr. Newton pejorative names. The factual reality is that Dr. Newton was a Clinical Administrator and that when he saw patients in unusual cases that needed his expertise, he always did so with another clinical professional and a peer counselor, so that his diagnostic and therapeutic interaction with the patient was for the instruction of the other two staff members.

• The lawsuits against KIDS were initiated by a single lawyer, recruiting patients to sue with the offer of substantial financial settlements. The lawsuits proceeded after the closing of the KIDS program and were settled by the decision of the insurance company with no acknowledgement of wrongdoing by the program and no reference to Dr. and Mrs. Newton. The Newtons had no control of the decisions about settlements of the suits.


Client Served

Rating: 1

Abuse no one should have to go through what they put me through a dog is treated better there where many times I went to the bathroom on myself cuz I was not allowed to use the restroom even 1 time had to sleep in diarrhea all night and next day when got to group was yelled at called names and then thrown on floor and restrained for more than half a day no food or water or bathroom break for that day sleep on hard wood floor no pillow no blanket and yelled at and called names half the night still suffering from the abuse mentally still messed up

1 Jonathan51

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have stayed at this retreat center many times and found it to be a beautiful and restful place. I have also talked to many people who have helped break their substance abuse issues by staying here.

19 Tammy97

Client Served

Rating: 1

Virgel Miller Newton AKA Father Cassian Newton and his wife Ruthanne Newton are sadistic child abusers. When I say sadistic I mean to tell you about these thought reform programs they were in charge of. Over many years and several states they conned thousands of desperate parents to leave their children with these two monsters. I am including a list of some of their so called treatment methods for children. False imprisonment, brutal beatings, starvation, denial of water, sleep deprivation, sexual assaults, not allowing children to use the bathroom causing them to vomit, urinate and defecate on themselves. Not allowing them to speak, the punishment was a hard slap in the face, degrading and humiliating verbal attacks all day every day, forced confessions, denial of medical treatment, forced late stage abortions with no anesthesia or down time, no reading, no school. Torture by having several children sit on a child including their head and chest. Spit therapy, forced to flap their arms 12-18 hours a day, children not having access to clothing or beds at night... I am sure I may have forgotten a few.
This man is more like a Nazi executioner than a priest. In fact the only reason he is a priest is because he is no longer allowed to work with children and hiding behind religious freedom. The children under his and his wife's care had no access to call for help. No access to their own parents to ask for help. The average child was held captive by them for 2 years. Some were held as long as 10 years. Children were held against their will well into adulthood still unable to escape the Newtons. I had witnessed grown adults escape to be kidnapped and brought back. We were not criminals or court ordered and the Newtons disregarded children and adults rights and the law.
How these two child abusers are not in prison I will never understand or accept


General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Christ at the sea foundation is a fraud. Miller Newton created this fake foundation to hide his assets, and have the properties he owns taken off the tax rolls. I wouldn't give a bent penny to this fake foundation.
He is a liar, a con man, and likes to think that he has control over people.
We will continue to fight Newton until he either dies of old age, or he is locked up in prison for the rest ogf his life. He contributes nothing to this neighborhood, except for being a pain in our butts.
Ruth Newton is as evil as Miller Newton is.

Can't wait for him to slip up a little more at the city of Maderia Beach's Special Magistrate's next hearing. Already have one documented case of him being caught in a lie.

19 Kim M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

This man, Virgil Miller Newton, a/k/a "Fr." Cassian Newton ran a "rehab" called Straight, Inc. He was run out of at least 5 states, including Florida, for child abuse in that organization. He tried to become a psychologist in order to work with kids again, but was ordered to work under the supervision of another, qualified psychologist. His ego wouldn't allow that and he was told that the only way he could work with kids was to do it in a "faith based" way, so he became a "priest" in an obscure sect. This man is the absolute clinical definition of a Malignant Narcissist!! He abused thousands of kids. I personally witnessed him drag at least two 12 year old girls by their hair all the way across a warehouse...yes, we were kept in a warehouse for this "rehab". Do NOT trust this man!!!

17 Siobhan L.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I also was abused by this man, who renamed himself "Father Cassian" in order to hide himself from the abuse, and divorce himself from the million dollars in lawsuits that were brought against him for creating the treatment cult called KIDS Centers of America. I was in the last one called KIDS of North Jersey. My only real crime, had he taken the time to do a true assessment, with a real psychiatrist, who was really interested in helping us as young adults and children, was having a neurological disability, and gender identity disorder, and several other pediatric psychiatric issues that were treatable. They told me I was a "druggie" and a drug addict because I experimented with pot and alcohol a few times. They made me admit to doing drugs I never did via forced confessions upon intake. Even in the 90's the maximum therapeutic length of stay was 90 days. Period. Even if I had been a hardcore drug addict. This man kept one patient for 13 years. In my case, I was there for a year and a half. I never made it off the first phase of my treatment for the first 15 months of my "treatment".

During that time, I was starved, sleep deprived, humiliated, watched while I went to the bathroom, wasn't allowed to have covers on cold nights, I was sexually assaulted (it seems on this man's orders, though I cannot prove that), restrained illegally and unsafely, which resulted in a neck injury that was left untreated and has caused nerve damage even until now, 17 years later. I experience post traumatic stress disorder. - and I am not the only one. As was posted before, and I will repost again:





This man has abused children at several other non-profits, and I do not think he has changed his spots. Any donations to Christ At The Sea will continue to go to abusing more children. Please do not support this... thank you.


Client Served

Rating: 1

There is too much to say about the child abuse that has come from this man, Virgil Miller Cassian Newton .

20 Kimberly S.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

I want to bring to your attention a "charity" that is being advertised on your site.
This man (Fr. Cassian Newton) and some of his "board members" have been involved in MANY law suits regarding child abuse, and fraud, holding people against their will, and more. He is NOT a medical dr. he has a degree in anthropology. I am going to include some links to articles, personal stories, and law suits that this man has been a part of. His given name is Virgil Miller Newton. That's really all you have to "google".
I am not TELLING you what to do in this situation. I'm merely warning you of a "charity" you are supporting.





And I'm sure you can go from there.
Thank you for your time.

Kimberly Smith
victim of Miller Newton
Feb 88 - Aug 90
Kids of Bergen County/Kids of North Jersey