Abuse Allegations Against Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch

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An article from “The Guardian” released earlier today reveals allegations of physical and sexual abuse surrounding Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch. 

Some of those allegations are more than 50 years old; made by men who lived at Boy’s Ranch in from the late 50’s to the 90’s. 

Steve Smith moved to Boys Ranch in 1957 at 8-years-old. His younger brother moved there too. 

Smith recounted several occasions where he was physically abused. He said every day he saw other children abused as well. Smith admits his little brother was sexually assaulted by another boy. 

“He just told me months ago that he was raped out there,” Smith recalled. “He’s been carrying this around with him all his life.” 

Smith said he has been trying to tell people about the abuse he endured for 50 years. He said no one would take him seriously. 

Then, in 2015, Janet Heimlich, founder of Child-Friendly Faith Project, said she wrote a blog post about the good work done at Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch. Smith said he reached out to her after the post, sharing his experience.  After learning of the abuse Smith endured, Heimlich encouraged him to start a private Facebook page, and invite others with similar stories to share their experiences. 

Heimlich said she then acted as a mediator between the group of victims and Dan Adams, the President and CEO of Boys Ranch. 

Adams said he sat down, on neutral ground, with some of the victims and listened to their tales. 

Adams said, after talking with the men, his takeaway from those conversations is that they felt they were unheard.

According to Adams, no lawsuits have been filed. Adams says they wanted some kind of public forum for their story and a public apology from the organization.

Adams has been the CEO for 13 years. He wasn’t in charge during the years the men attended but still, says he did privately apologize to the men but he doesn’t know what good a public apology would do. 

“Because my personal response to them,” Adams explained. “Even though I felt like it was genuine, it wasn’t satisfactory, they felt like they needed an organizational perspective on that and Cal Farley’s is a place, it’s a thing, I think what they are upset about are individuals that they had experiences with that didn’t treat them well.”

Smith said he and his group of victims would like for three things to come from the attention this article brought. They would like a public, national apology from Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch. He said many of the former residents no longer live in the Texas Panhandle and they all need the chance to hear that apology. 

Smith said they would also like for Cal Farley’s to start a fund for victims so they can receive mental health treatment for their trauma. 

Finally, the group would like all buildings, road, etc. that bare the name of former staff members accused of abuse to be changed.  

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