Organization claims boys were beaten, sexually assaulted at Cal Farley's Boys Ranch

An organization is claiming former residents at Cal Farley's Boys Ranch were beaten and assaulted over a span of 40 years. (ABC 7 Amarillo)

An organization is claiming former residents at Cal Farley's Boys Ranch were beaten and assaulted over a span of 40 years.

The organization, the Child-Friendly Faith Project, claims the abuse happened to boys who lived at Boys Ranch from the 1960s through the early 1990s. Those men say they were regularly physically and emotionally abused. Some claim they were sexually abused by residents and staff.

There are also allegations of labor exploitation and medical neglect.

CFFP claims many graduates were given little support upon leaving the Ranch and many got into trouble with the law or committed suicide following the abuse.

A Cal Farley's Boys Ranch alumnus made the following statement:

It took me over forty years to come to grips with the abuse. I'll never understand what we did wrong to deserve the abusive treatment that was so prevalent in those days: hitting, punching, slapping, choking, kicking, and roping children from a horse and dragging them back to the ranch and then beating them. [As adults] we were either too afraid to say anything or more afraid of what we might do if we dwelled on it too much. In fact, for the most part, we ran from it for the better part of our lives, refusing to admit, or even letting anyone know we hadlived there. In the end, I chalked it up to being a man and having to deal with it. I think I've done a pretty good job with that, but it will always be with me. I still have a hard time dealing with or trusting anyone in authority. The only thing that has saved me was being able to have my own children and provide them with the love and respect that I had so longed for. I thank God everyday for that.

Those who are alleging the abuse say they were subjected to physical abuse, emotional abuse and exploitation. Examples of the harsh punishment being alleged include beating the boys with a belt (sometimes up to sixty lashes), striking the genitals with an implement, tying a boy to a horse and dragging him along the ground, punching in the face and stomach, kicking a boy with heavy boots while he was on the ground and banging a boy's head on a metal door with great force.

CFFP also claims young children also experienced harsh punishment and say one person described an incident that happened when he was about six years old.

According to CFFP, not only did Boys Ranch fail to keep children safe from abusive staff, it also failed to protect them from violence from other boys. They say some children were housed in dorms where they were subjected to sexual abuse by older boys and frequent violent attacks. They say female staffers also engaged in sexual acts with boys.

"Despite the fact that many boys who came to Boys Ranch had previously suffered abuse and neglect at home, behavioral and cognitive problems were 'treated' with authoritarian disciplinary tactics and violence," CFFP said. "Boys were further traumatized by having to watch other boys be abused or animals be tortured or killed by staff and other boys."

CFFP also stated some alumni have said they did not experience abuse or do not remember bad things happening at Boys Ranch. They say not all boys were mistreated.

Another alumnus stated,

Staff kids had a wonderful time. They didn't have to work everyday for free. Theydidn’t have to get up and go to work when it was night. We cooked their food, provided their milk, waited their tables and then had to clean up their mess when they ate. While they went home and watched cartoons, we had to wash their dishes.

The men claiming the abuse have asked that Boys Ranch do several things, including making a public statement, make public information truthful, utilizing best abuse prevention practices, set up an abuse survivors fund and host a "Reunion of Healing".

CFFP says healing for those who suffered the abuse should come from truth and survivors want the institution "take the courage step of embracing the truth in a timely manner."

An article was recently published in The Guardian regarding the alleged abuse.

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