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sorenson's ranch school in utah
One Parent’s Story
By Anonymous (for more info,
Survivor Statement #1
By O. M. (Contact O.M. through HEAL at
in my statement is true. I
give HEAL permission to use my statement.
WAS FIRST HOSPITALIZED FOR THREE MONTHS WHEN I FIRST ARRIVED AS I DID
NOT GET ALONG WITH THE 'GUARDS' SO THEY HAD 12 OF THE LARGER KIDS (I WAS
16 AND SKINNY WHEN I ARRIVED, BUT I REFUSED TO BE TRAMPLED) BEAT ME AT
ONE TIME CRACKING MY RIBS AND BRUISING EVERY INCH OF MY BODY. I TRIED TO
LET MY FAMILY UNDERSTAND WHAT WAS HAPPENING, BUT THE MAIL OF COURSE WAS
CENSORED AND I WAS BEATEN AGAIN BUT MANAGED TO FIGHT BACK AS I HAD NOT
LEFT THE WEIGHT ROOM. I KNOW KIDS WERE RAPED, BUT I NEVER HAD THAT
PRIVELEDGE, THANK GOD.
ESCAPED 3 TIMES, BUT WAS CAUGHT TWICE BY THEIR BOUNTY HUNTERS BRIBING
FICKLE HALF FRIENDS... AND TURNED MYSELF IN THE THIRD TIME WHEN I
REALISED I DID NOT WANT A LIFE ON THE RUN. LUCKILY THEY WANTED NOTHING
TO DO WITH THE SPOTLIGHT, AND HAD ME RAPIDLY EVICTED FROM UTAH FOR LIFE
- OH DARN.
WAS ALSO SENT ON THE IDAHO SURVIVAL PROGRAM THAT WENT HAND IN HAND WITH
SORENSONS. I ALMOST DIED THERE, BUT TWO GIRLS FROM SEATTLE SAVED ENOUGH
FOOD TO SEE ME THROUGH UNTIL THE NEXT WEEKLY FEEDING. I DON’T REMEMBER
THEIR NAMES, I HAVE TRIED TO FORGET THIS PERIOD IN MY LIFE, BUT I OWE
THEM MY LIFE AS I DO KNOW TWO KIDS WERE ABUSED TO DEATH THE MONTH BEFORE
INVENTED TORTURES FOR ME ESPECIALLY, INCLUDING TWO WEEKS ON A DIRT MOUND
IN MY BOXER SHORTS WITH TWO BOWLS OF RICE DAILY AND NO HUMAN CONTACT, I
WAS MADE TO SLEEP IN A CHAIR AT THE END OF A HALLWAY AT NIGHT, THEN BACK
TO THE MOUND, WHERE 'FELLOW STUDENTS' WERE ENCOURAGED TO THROW CLODS AND
ROCKS AT ME. THEN IN WINTER I WAS MARCHED DAWN TO DUSK BACK AND FORTH IN
THE SNOW WHERE I DEVELOPED FROST NIP AND MY RIGHT FOOT IS STILL DEVOID
OF FEELING. ONCE AGAIN A BOWL OF RICE FOR BREAKFAST AND ONE FOR DINNER -
THEY FINALLY RELENTED WHEN I WAS IN HIGH FEVER AND TALKING TO MYSELF, AS
I LATER WAS TOLD.
SMUGGLED DRUGS IN, AND Again i was TORTURED IN SIMILAR FASHION UNTIL I
ADMITTED AFTER 3 WEEKS JUST TO MAKE IT STOP. THE HEAD OF LEGAL AFFAIRS
EVEN RISKED HIS JOB TO EXPLAIN 'COERSION' AS HE KNEW I WAS NOT GUILTY
BUT A SCAPEGOAT FOR THEIR INABILITY TO FIND THE TRUE CULPRITS. HE WAS
THE ONLY ONE WHO EVER ATTEMPTED ANY HELP, BUT I FEEL HE WAS ONLY FEARING
THE CONSEQUENCES IF DISCOVERED.
WAY THEY FOUND OUT ABOUT THE DRUGS WAS A BEAUTY IN ITSELF, A BOY WAS SO
HIGH HE ADMITTTED HIS 'LOVE' FOR A CERTAIN COUNSELOR, AND WAS BEATEN TO
WITHIN AN INCH OF HIS LIFE WHILE THE GUARDS 'DIDNT NOTICE' OF COURSE.
I AM PROUD OF WHO I AM AND EVERY THING THAT MADE ME THIS WAY,
EXCEPT THIS PERIOD. I GREW UP IN HAWAII, WAS PRETTY INNOCENT, BUT FOR A
GOOD THREE YEARS AFTER I WAS EXPELLED FROM UTAH I WAS INCREASINGLY
VIOLENT AND BECAME ADDICTED TO HEROIN, A DRUG I HAD NEVER TRIED BEFORE
WISH I KNEW OF THE FOUR YEAR PERIOD, BUT ITS BEEN ALMOST 18 YEARS NOW.
SO I GET TO SUFFER MY MEMORIES WITH NO OUTLET. I OFTEN THOUGHT OF GOING
BACK AND FINDING CERTAIN OF THE WORSE BASTARDS, AS I AM SURE THEY ARE
SNUG IN THEIR LITTLE VILLIAGE, RELATED TO THE COPS AND JUDGES IN
RITCHFIELD AS ALWAYS.
WAS SO DESPERATE TO ESCAPE THE FIRST TIME I WALKED THE 18-23 MILES TO
RITCHFIELD IN A SNOWSTORM WEARING A FLANNEL SHIRT AND CONVERS - AND
STOLE A CAR, THE FIRST TIME I BECAME A TRUE CRIMINAL.
NIGHT I WOULD RATHER HAVE DIED IN THE COLD THAN GET CAUGHT, I JUMPED
INTO SNOWBANKS WITHOUT A THOUGHT OF THE HORRIBLE COLD EVERY SET OF
LIGHTS THAT CAME DOWN THE ROAD SEARCHING FOR ME. I TRIED SUICIDE SIX
TIMES, BUT WAS UNSUCCESFUL DUE TO BEING WATCHED AND FORCE FED. I AM A
FAMOUS ARTIST NOW WITH NO CRIMINAL RECORD, OUT OF LUCK FOR THE FIRST
THREE YEARS OF FREEDOM, AND OUT OF MY NATURE FOR THE NEXT FIFTEEN.
HEROIN ADDICTION IS ALSO 13 YEARS PAST, I AM NOT AN ADDICTIVE CHARACTER,
I WAS 'SELF MEDICATING' AND TRYING TO FORGET BEING IN THE PIT OF HELL
AND THE DEMONS I SAW THERE.
HEAR STORIES OF PEOPLES SOB TALES, BUT I KNOW 88-89 WAS FAR WORSE THAN
ANY TIME SINCE THEN. THAT WAS WHEN THEY WERE 'IMPECCABLE' AND COULD RUN
RAMPANT WITH THEIR SICK AND TWISTED CHILD ABUSE AND SEX FANTASIES. SHORTLY AFTER MY DEPARTURE IS WHEN THE FIRST ACCUSATIONS AND
DISMISSALS SURFACED, I HEARD FROM MY FRIEND [removed per individual
named's request], WHO WAS
SEVERAL YEARS YOUNGER, ALLOWED TO LIVE OF CAMPUS IN A GUARDS HOUSE, AND
LATER BECAME A FAMOUS MODEL IF YOU CATCH MY DRIFT.
HOPE TO GOD WHAT I FEAR HAPPENED TO HER DID NOT, SHE WAS SO SWEET WHEN I
MET HER, AND SO JADED WHEN SHE CAME BACK TO THE REAL WORLD.
IS SO SO MUCH MORE, BUT THESE FEW MEMORIES MAKE ME WANT TO SCREAM AT
LIFES INJUSTICES, BUT I CAN DO NOTHING BUT HURT MYSELF.
Survivor Statement #2
Everything in my statement below is true. I give HEAL
permission to use my statement. I
was "being reformed" at Sorenson's Ranch School in 88 - 89.
I read this other persons (Alumni)
letter and felt obligated to write my fair warnings as well.
I wanted to cry while reading the other alum's words.
The sad thing is the types of things the person described in
their report happened allot and to so many kids.
I realized I have repressed a lot of shit inside over the years
and have not wanted to think about those big abusive Mormons.
Judgmental, Prejudiced, Cruel, but at the same time they truly
believe in their cult and think they are doing the right things to help.
At my low, I also helped steal a car and try and break out, 2
attempts, I also marched through the wilderness program in Idaho
with a bunch of fucking heroin addicts from around the country, some big
black guy from Compton broke my nose… I had religion stuffed down my
throat, forced to do allot of shit...
But what was bad was the night time… we hurt people.. for the
first 6 month's I got beat down a bit, I was 14, some kids were 19 even
one 20 year old (court ordered). So
with the time you stop getting beat and you start beating others.
Fuck it right, it was sink or swim.
I remember being strip searched, repeatedly, they (Staff) were
always looking for contraband. We
did have some good weed on occasion...
They would call it "restraining" us... if you sat
quietly and refused to follow an order the staff would slam you on the
ground and whoop your ass.... this happened often and I couldn't figure
out what good it did. I
am aware of sexual abuse.. there was allot of bad shit going on... but
like I said the Mormon Cult truly believes they are saving us poor
little bastards. Too any of
my friends who happen to run into this letter, sorry for any bad
memories.. I turned out well, hope you made it out ok the same… And there were definitely some good "counselors",
There were also some devious fuckers… I love my kids way to much to
send them to a place like that...
Learned how to be really fucking sneaky and manipulating…
love you all,
Mike Horgan 1988 - 1989
Survivor Statement #3
By Anonymous [Author submitted request for anonymity on May 20th, 2011--You may send messages to the author by referencing "Survivor Statement #3--Sorenson's" and e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We will forward legitimate messages to the author.]
Everything in my statement is true. I give HEAL permission to
use my statement.
I read the testimonials on here, and wanted to respond... I
was first sent to SRS in 1990. Things did get better from 1989 to now,
but not by much... I remember all too much, things I wish I could
forget. There were still so-called counselors with nothing more than a
high school diploma and their "SICK AND TWISTED CHILD ABUSE AND SEX
FANTASIES," as O.M. put it. I was there, with a short break for
about a year, from 1990-1994. I have since found recent survivors and
heard that there are still horrible abuse stories coming out of there.
As a former resident of the school, I can attest to the horrors endured
by many including myself. Those physical restraints they were doing in
1989 and when I was first there, were actually illegal as they didn't
have a license to be doing them. They've since obtained one and are
still performing them, but then? I watched them kill a teenage boy with
one of their "restraints." He was beaten to death by at least
3 overgrown, overweight men. His head was split open, and he never
returned from the hospital. Before it was a school for the more
privileged of children (monetarily speaking), it was home to kids who
were a ward of the state, and often not even the state of Utah. I was
under the impression for many years that it had been cleaned up, and was
now a good school. How they could have fooled me, after enduring what I
did (as I know to be true for recent survivors as well) I'll never know.
If there are any parents out there considering to send your
child to Sorenson's Ranch School, PLEASE contact me first. I promise to
put you into contact with other survivors, both past and present... This
is not a place for a child. If you love your child and are fearful for
their safety, this is NOT the answer. My parents sent me away because of
a "bad attitude," and when I returned I was much worse. After
watching my friends get handcuffed and shackled to the school's fence
for hours, even days and weeks (sometimes in nothing more than their
underwear and a sleeping bag in the snow for fear they would try to run
away), being fed nothing more than rice cooked in chicken broth only
ONCE a day, having been tortured by "counselors" while on
their camp-outs, raped repeatedly by someone I/we should've been able to
trust, I was returned to my parents ready to try everything I had
learned while attending SRS. I was quickly sent back as my parents were
unequipped to handle what they had paid to create. Don't let this happen
to you... You will undoubtedly be racked with the guilt my parents are
still unable to face. Don't let this happen to your family. If you think
things are bad now, I can guarantee Sorenson's and places like it will
only make it worse.
SRS Survivor 1990-1994
Survivor Statement #4
by Lukas Larson
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