Miniature Tigers: Almost Everyone Loves Charlie Brand - 2009-03-12
If you want to create a chronology, Brand's issues started as a teenager, after falling woefully behind other kids his age at the Phoenix charter school Metro Arts Institute. His mother and stepfather shipped him off to the Mace-Kingsley Ranch School, an infamous New Mexico boot-camp-like institution run by Scientologists, after tiring of arguing with him about his pot habit, ditching class, and other problems.
"It was bizarre because my family's not Scientologists. My parents thought it was for troubled teens. [The camp] forced Scientology on you, and you had to go through the steps before you could leave. You had to use an E-Meter and study guides about all their beliefs. I fought it for a while but eventually was like, 'Yeah, this Scientology stuff is great,' and faked it."
He was already failing school before his brush with the Hubbard-bots, but after Mace-Kingsley provided "useless religion credits that didn't apply to anything," he essentially was a 17-year-old freshman while friends went off to college.