Financial Pressures May Force Wellspring Retreat to Sell Lodge

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A rural A-frame lodge just outside Albany, Ohio has hosted more than 1,000 residential clients since it opened its doors as the Wellspring cult-deprogramming retreat in 1986. 

Now financial pressures may force Wellspring’s board to abandon the bucolic setting for a more convenient, less-expensive location in Athens.

“We’re just looking at options for the future and how we’re going to carry on,” said Wellspring Director Greg Sammons.

The plan is to sell the two buildings on 13 wooded acres just south of Albany and move the operation to offices on Richland Avenue in Athens. 

Though the proposal must be approved by the board of directors, Sammons said it will likely happen, barring a major infusion of cash.

While the staff remains committed to the mission of helping those who suffer from the lingering effects of cult-life, the cash flow has constricted to a trickle forcing staffers like Sammons to work without pay, living off second jobs.

“For a time we’ll operate in both locations while expanding our out-patient services.”

Sammons said much of the operational expense – and cost to the patient – is in hospitality for the client. 

Meals, lodging and a 24/7 staff to remain with the client in the lodge brings the total expense to about $1,000 per day. 

If the plan to move to Athens is adopted, Sammons said those services would be outsourced to a local provider such as the OU Inn.

Sammons said the office space on Richland has already been secured and he expects the out-patient services to begin by the end of summer.