Pinehaven Christian Children's Ranch in Saint Ignatius, Mont., is under scrutiny for accustations of child abuse at the boarding school, and even more so after Bob Larsson, preacher and the school's owner, gave his explanation for the allegations, CNN reported.
His reasoning? According to the network's investigation, "Satan" caused them to make up the accusations.
"Ultimately, we only have one enemy who wants to defeat the goodness in the world and that's Satan," Larsson told CNN's Gary Tuchman. "...The Bible says he is the father of lies, and people sometimes believe his lies. Underneath it all that is what's happening."
James Mason, a student at the school for six years, alleges that he was choked and lifted off the ground by his throat, Christian news blog God Discussion detailed.
Melissa Stasiuk, also a former student, claims house parent Ned Kent lifted her by her throat and slammed her onto a kitchen table -- an accusation Kent refuted to Tuchman, saying he only used pressure points around the throat area to restrain students.
Accusers claim that the abuse extended beyond discipline to include dangerous construction jobs, though Larsson asserts that students were punished but not abused.
The school's website notes their program's strict code of conduct on its home page.
"Pinehaven is a residential, year-round program aimed at providing a stable, controlled, secure environment in which young people can reach the potential that God has placed within them."
These reports come in the wake of a string of lawsuits against St. John's Military School in Salina, Kan., which claim the school let a group of students -- known as the "Disciplinarians" -- to punish other students by gagging, beating, binding and urinating on them.
According to the suit, the plaintiffs seek damages for negligent supervision, intentional failure to supervise, intentional infliction of emotional distress or outrage, breach of fiduciary duty and conspiracy to assault and batter.