Author Topic: Felony charge against Reclamation Ranch became misdemeanors  (Read 7027 times)

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Offline Ursus

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Update: 11 boys returned to families...
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2010, 03:15:22 PM »
The Birmingham News

Update: 11 boys returned to families as abuse investigation continues
Published: Tuesday, November 25, 2008, 10:15 PM    Updated: Tuesday, November 25, 2008, 10:23 PM

Staci B. Brooks


ONEONTA -- Eleven juveniles who had been at a faith-based home for troubled boys were returned to their parents and guardians today while a probe continued into charges of abuse at the facility.

The boys, who had lived at Reclamation Ranch Ministries' Lighthouse Academy in western Blount County, were the subject of a hearing before Circuit Judge Steve King to determine if they should stay in the custody of the Department of Human Resources. The boys, who hailed from places including California, Kentucky and an Amish community in Ohio, were released by the court throughout the day to parents, relatives or other adults.

Some of the boys said their time at the academy had changed them for the better. But some foster parents, with whom DHR had placed some of the boys after removing them from Lighthouse Academy on Saturday, said the facility seemed unduly harsh.

According to Reclamation Ranch's Web site, Lighthouse "is a minimum one-year program that incorporates Bible teaching, character training and respect for family." The site also calls the abuse allegations "false and misleading."

The 11 boys, all younger than 18, as well as some 18-year-olds living at the academy, had been placed by DHR in other residential settings after authorities removed them from the academy early Saturday morning. Sheriff's deputies and Alabama Bureau of Investigation agents were acting on a complaint of "severe abuse, beating and torture" of a 17-year-old at the facility, according to the Blount County District Attorney's Office.

The day began with a crowd of 150 to 200 gathering in front of the courthouse, a number of whom waved and blew kisses at Pastor Jack Patterson, the founder/director of Reclamation Ranch who was watching from a second-floor window. The Rev. Charlie Andrews, a pastor from West Jefferson, said the gathering was to support Lighthouse, and those who had had children there. After Andrews said a short prayer, most of those on hand left.

Other than saying "God bless you," Patterson would not comment.

Some former academy residents interviewed after the hearing had good things to say about their time at Lighthouse.

"They changed my life," said 18-year-old Roman Lupekah, who said he had spent a year there. "They restored my relationship with my family, with my sister, got me saved, you know."

But Kenneth and Jean Johnson, area foster parents who had housed three academy boys at DHR's request, said they were troubled by what the youths had told them, which included eating outdated cereal and not receiving contributions that churches and other groups had provided for them.

"They had to have permission to go to the bathroom, had to have permission to get a glass a water," Kenneth Johnson said. "They had to have permission to go to bed -- you name it. And they would let them call home one time a month... and talk for four minutes, and that was it."


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Offline Ursus

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Comments for "Update: 11 boys returned to families..."
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2010, 09:52:04 PM »
Comments left for the above article, "Update: 11 boys returned to families as abuse investigation continues" (by Staci B. Brooks; November 25, 2008; The Birmingham News):


sigir1  November 26, 2008 at 12:17AM
    Man, this brings back some really bad memories. I went to the church pastored my Charlie Andrews for over year and it was a nightmare. The men and women were not allowed to hug each other at church, they treated any unmarried adult like a child. I was hungry to go to church and got sucked in. It was just like being in a cult. Just like the article said, you had to ask permission to do anything. Everybody there followed that Peter Ruckman guy out of Pensacola, FL. I knew two women from the church, one of whom I wanted to date. The church told me that I had to ask the pastor (Andrews) for permission. They told me I had to sit down with him and ask him if it was God's will that I date this young lady. If he said "yes," they we would be allowed to court under the supervision of adults. Basically go out on a date with chaperons. I was 27 at the time and the girl was 24. I went along with it at first, but eventually had enough. I tried to talk the girl into leaving the church with me, the church got wind of it and told me to never come back. Members of the church emailed me saying that I was not of "their kind" and threatened to "meet me with shotguns" if I ever returned to their church. I remember the men and women coming from their boy's and girl's ranch to the church services. They always looked unhappy and depressed. The people in charge seemed to treat them awful. The worst thing about it is how they falsely did all of this stuff in the name of God. It was terrible! Thankfully, God got me out.
sigir1 November 26, 2008 at 12:19AM
    Man, this brings back some really bad memories. I went to the church pastored my Charlie Andrews for over year and it was a nightmare. The men and women were not allowed to hug each other at church, they treated any unmarried adult like a child. I was hungry to go to church and got sucked in. It was just like being in a cult. Just like the article said, you had to ask permission to do anything. Everybody there followed that Peter Ruckman guy out of Pensacola, FL. I knew two women from the church, one of whom I wanted to date. The church told me that I had to ask the pastor (Andrews) for permission. They told me I had to sit down with him and ask him if it was God's will that I date this young lady. If he said "yes," they we would be allowed to court under the supervision of adults. Basically go out on a date with chaperons. I was 27 at the time and the girl was 24. I went along with it at first, but eventually had enough. I tried to talk the girl into leaving the church with me, the church got wind of it and told me to never come back. Members of the church emailed me saying that I was not of "their kind" and threatened to "meet me with shotguns" if I ever returned to their church. I remember the men and women coming from their boy's and girl's ranch to the church services. They always looked unhappy and depressed. The people in charge seemed to treat them awful. The worst thing about it is how they falsely did all of this stuff in the name of God. It was terrible! Thankfully, God got me out.
thegorilla08  November 26, 2008 at 1:54AM
    Awe....poor babies. You bunch of hard headed complainers. I went to military school and had to have permission to scratch. We got our fannies paddled and every day if that is what it took to straighten out four hundred and forty fellow military school classmates, and believe me IT WORKED. Abuse? You bunch of spoiled rotten modern day weanies.
foghorn1 November 26, 2008 at 2:28AM
    I agree with The Gorilla, it's time for these kids to get the ROD when they misbehave. The Johnson's should never be aloud to foster any children if they beleive the crap the kids are saying. Out dated ceral is just the same as dated ceral, and when it's donations, don't look a gift horse in the mouth. The date is to insure SALE date, not editable date. These kids were sent to the farm because their own parents couldn't do any thing with them. Now they are bitc'n because someone is giving them order in life. The grads have spoken very well for the experence and their new found life with their families. It's called RESPECT. Give it, get it. But for a kid that clames to be 27, sigir is pathetic and i would venture to say a liar. Until the DHR finishes it's review, of one 17yo, let's keep the post civil and w/o LIES.
happyhab November 26, 2008 at 3:51AM
    Yes, thank God that we still have some smart people that understand what abuse is and what is discipline. My son is Roman & I cannot thank enough with my broken English to that family that with God help him to become who he is now. I am Christian, but not a Baptist. Yes they worship God little different than I do, but I cannot say that I am better then them. Obviously not. I don't have so much patience & love that I would sell my home, take my family & move to another state just with one reason to help trouble kids. I read in article that foster parents said that kids told them that they eat outdated cereal. And if they eat outdated cereal it is only because the family tried to save money to help parents to pay less tuition. When I want to plays my son to Fresno Boarding School for ADHD kids-tuition was $5,500 per month. My son travel with ranch all over the east cost and school never asked me to pay more than I paid monthly. My son had separate room, enough food & clothes, & mother that loves him dearly, but he chooses drugs, alcohol & cigarettes. I was abused by him. I only here from him F.B. words. PLEASE JUST REMEMBER THAT BOYS WANTED TO BE THERE. IF THEY WERE GOOD NO ONE WOULD PLACE THEM THERE. I was begging ranch staff to take my son there because I new that if they don't help him now he will end in jail. No single parent wants that for their kids. If someone interviews my son at the beginning when he went to school, he would say the same that that boys said. Since now he is totally different and testifies that ranch really change his life some comments said that ranch hired him to do that. If you meet the family that took care of those 12 boys you will thank God every day that we still have people like them. My son was there almost for two years, so I have chance to now them, so please think before you post those nasty remarks about them. I can only feel sorry for all other desperate parent that they could have help for their TROUBLE KIDS, but now they can't. My son could get high school diploma, and stay longer in nice Christian environment, and learned more how to be productive citizen, but someone else decided what is best for him.
atip November 26, 2008 at 4:40AM
    These kids are problem children that must learn what submitting to authority is all about. We live in a soiled rotten, self seving society with a bunch of kids that have been raised to believe that even though they have never earned anything in their lives, they are owed something. Parents have built up their children's expectations to the point that they will never be happy as adults.
bhmhater November 26, 2008 at 5:58AM
    A lot of the problems in our society today are the direct result of ORGANIZED religion.
matrixblde November 26, 2008 at 6:46AM
    There is some merit to being strict but there is a difference being in a cult and being in the military. The military is strict and controlling to produce soldiers that will be able to follow orders and be safe, and effective in combat, Cults sole purpose is to enpower the leader(s). Cults use extremely strict measures and isolation from friends and family to promote brainwashing, the effect is the person grows to only see the way of the cult and begins to obey what ever bush says, oh I mean what ever the leader says regardless. It has nothing to do with religion, it has nothing to do with getting right with your family, it is only about one man (usually) having absolute controll over people. Its too easy to just point a finger and say, oh that religion for you , because this can happen in other situations but false religiousity is the easiest to pull off.

    But the whole thing about chasing someone with a gun, well thats just the american way, if someone doesn't think like you well then shoot at em.
rebekajanica November 26, 2008 at 7:05AM
    Wow! What a load of filth and garbage to wake up to the morning before Thanksgiving . . . reading the postings about spoiled rotten children, a self serving society, and the use of a rod to cure all evils in kids is just plain sickening. Add to that, the glaring fact that some of you proponents of child abuse can't spell . . . in your haste to get out your vitriolic diatribe against children, perhaps you forgot HOW to spell. Shame on you all!

    Thank you, bhmhater, for saying it plain and simple.
cutegrma November 26, 2008 at 7:10AM
    bhmhater - I'm with you, whole cultures have been destroyed all in the name of religion. I, for one, do NOT believe in a guilt laden,angry,hateful God, but a loving,kind God. It is hard to go to someone if you fear them and know they will make you feel guilt for everything you do. Wonder how many of these kids will need serious psychological counseling in the future?
wrax01 November 26, 2008 at 8:34AM
    GIVE ME A BREAK I went through "the ranch" about 1 year before they moved to AL(actually by the time I left they were in process of building the new dorms here in AL. I had just undergone a "UROD" Ultra Rapid Opiate Detox and was shipped off to Washington State-where the men's home was located at the time. Was surrounded by good people who were truly concerned about me getting my life back together NOWHERE NEAR CULT STATUS, upon graduating the program, I flew to TN (where the boys and girls home was located at the time) and stayed on to help in the school and helped as a dorm supervisor w/ Bro. Scruggs and the boys for several months. During this period I'd saw many kids disciplined w/ push-ups, jumping jacks, rock pile(moving rocks from one location to another repeatedly), all very light and quite easy stuff to do. For the kids that were out of shape they were never even pushed to the point of exhaustion, while the entire time I can't count how many times I'd here a few of them complaining about how they were being "abused" they were simply mad because they didn't want to be there (as most of them were court ordered) and many times were looking to get into trouble in hopes that they would eventually get sent home. Usually the only times they were ever even disciplined was if they started a fight, got caught smoking or huffing(some form of inhalant), blatant disrespect for an authority figure or in some cases their peers, etc. The programs primary focus isn't on discipline it's on love, how to get your life together, education, preparing yourself to get back out into the "real world", forgiveness, anger management, drug abuse awareness/education, mostly-the word of God. And yes sigir1 I was one of those guys that from time to time visited Brother Andrews church and while I've always found church quite boring with Bro. Andrews dry humor and wit-not to mention his knowledge of the word I was always on the edge of my seat listening to every word he had to say, sure many of the 12-15 year old kids who didn't get the humor or the message(which the message was actually quite clear cut- most of the ones that looked upset probably were because they simply didn't want to be in the program to begin with as mentioned many are court ordered) For me and many others that I know that have been through the program it was a total success. NEVER, NOT ONCE, DID I EVER SEE ONE INSTANCE OF NEGLECT OR ABUSE, IF ANYTHING IT WAS EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE. IF ANYONE EVER WAS TO LAY A FINGER ON ONE OF THOSE KIDS BROTHER JACK PATTERSON WOULD HAVE SEEN TO IT THAT IT WAS TAKEN CARE OF IMMEDIATELY THAT MUCH I CAN GUARANTEE YOU! As far as meals went GIVE ME A BREAK we were fed some of the best home cooked meals I've ever eaten on a consistent basis, and I grew up in a picture perfect middle class household with a mother who was a great cook, when we were on the road it was usually Cracker Barrel for breakfast sometimes McDonalds and always real food at a descent restaurant as we(at the ranch) spent much of our time traveling the country, literally all over the U.S. it was an experience I wouldn't trade for the world( those kids had it made-trust me I've been there!) and yes to this day I am "clean and sober"- close to eight years later w/ my own business that has actually faired quite well over the years. So to all those who want to take a snippet of the news or simply a kid who cried wolf and call a Waco (as apparently the Blount County authorities did)- GET A LIFE and a good old KJV Holy Bible and do a little reading in your spare time.- J.Clarke
usernametakn  November 26, 2008 at 8:43AM
    If someone has to have a permission to go to bathroom or get a water, it means only one thing, that they earned this restriction by abusing an order.
    My kids know to get their bathroom trip and water before 9pm (their bed time), if they start running around after bedtime they get in trouble and it is made clear that they need a permission to get water or bathroom.
    It is called discipline, and teaches kids to become responsible adults.
usernametakn November 26, 2008 at 8:46AM
    God bless people who take care of these kids! It takes a lot of personal sacrifices.
bcr35242  November 26, 2008 at 8:53AM
    The 17 and 18 year olds that are complaining do have another good option - JOIN THE MILITARY AND SERVE YOUR COUNTRY PUNKS!

    I'm sure you'll find that Baghdad is a much more compassionate home.
srinne November 26, 2008 at 8:59AM
    wrax,

    Thank you so much for your time and post this morning!!! God bless you and congratulations on your success.

    My young daughter is in the program now, and I am seeing lots of improvements with her as well. The kind of atmosphere is EXACTLY what we've seen so far. I have pics of her traveling all over the US this summer, funny pics of her really enjoying herself, as I think she finally seeing how nice life can be if you just respect those in authority (that was our major problem at home). She hated it when she first got there, (hated the authority), but soon learned that children have to learn obedience, if they ever want to get anywhere in this world. You start as a child learning obedience, so you can eventually learn to work under authority in the workplace, and most importantly, learn to submitt to the Lord.

    Your post is quite encouraging and much appreciated!!

    I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Sir.

    Shellie in Texas


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Offline Ursus

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Boys removed from Empire facility return to homes
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2010, 02:28:56 PM »
NBC13.com
Boys removed from Empire facility return to homes
Associated Press
Published: November 26, 2008
Updated: November 26, 2008


ONEONTA, Ala. (AP) - Eleven boys who had been removed from the Reclamation Ranch in Empire have been returned to their parents and guardians while claims of abuse are investigated.

The boys, all younger than 18, were the subject of a hearing before Circuit Judge Steve King on Tuesday to determine if they should stay in the custody of the Department of Human Resources.

Law enforcement officers are investigating accusations of severe abuse, beating and torture at the facility.

Some of the boys said their time at the academy had changed them for the better. But some foster parents taking care of boys who were removed Saturday said the facility seemed unduly harsh.

They said the youth recalled eating outdated cereal, not receiving charitable contributions meant for them and only being allowed short phone calls home each month.

Authorities removed the boys after receiving an abuse complaint involving a 17-year-old.


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