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Another Victims Story of Abuse.......
Recently The Guardian broke a story about abuse that happened at Cal Farley’s Boy Ranch. The story quickly gained traction and numerous other major media outlets reported on it. Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch has been highly respected since it’s opening in 1939, and garnered millions of dollars’ worth of donations. But behind the doors of Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch there was a different reality than the one that was presented to the public.
This story hits close to home for me; my father, and two of my uncles spent ten long years at this boy’s ranch. Growing up I heard a few stories about the abuse, but my father was a very private person and rarely talked about it. My Uncle Allan spoke about the abuse on occasion. I knew that they had all been abused, but I didn’t know to what extent until The Guardian broke the story.
I called my uncle Allan to let him know that they were issuing an apology, and immediately his voice cracked. He went from anger to despair, and then back to anger. I have no doubt that he was overcome with emotion. For years he has been trying to get someone, anyone, to listen to him about what happened at Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch. No one would. He even called the Texas Rangers demanding they do an investigation, but they showed little interest. My uncle Allan blames the death of my uncle Greg on Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch. My uncle Greg fought addiction his entire life and ended up dying alone behind a dumpster of a heroin overdose. Drugs was uncle Greg’s escape from his purgatory childhood. The ranch had a negative effect on all three brothers; each dealt with it differently.
Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch is now issuing an apology, but is an apology enough? Does an apology make up for a lost childhood? Unfortunately, my father, Rusty Votaw, is now deceased and will never get that apology, same as my uncle Greg. They both died thinking their stories would never be heard. Well my uncle Allan is speaking for both of them now, and for all the other victims of Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch. Evil lives in darkness, but once you shine a light on it, it dissipates.
Here is my uncles story, in his words………….
My War with Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch
My two brothers and I were put on Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch in the year of 1957. The boys ranch was a place for boys in trouble with the law, or boys with no home, which was our case. There was no one to speak up for us to stop the horrors bestowed upon us such as sexual molestation, torture, brutal beatings and the never-ending pain and fear.
I was put into the Court House when I arrived at the age of five. Not long after I started being molested by boys as much as ten years older than me. I couldn’t understand what they were doing, and had no control over it due to my age and size. After they were done I always got a warning about what would be done to me if I told anyone, finished off by a punch in the gut or a choke hold. That stuck with me because of their size, and what they were capable of.
When I arrived at the boys ranch I had a child’s wish of a safe place, and the possibility of living a happy life. I wanted to be protected, and loved. Within the first six months all those hopes and dreams had vanished and were replaced with pure agony. By then I knew that each morning brought a new day of fear and every night would be spent rolled up in a little ball under my covers in hopes that no one would reach in and grab me.
After leaving the Court House I was moved to a dorm call the Frying Pan. It wasn’t a whole lot different except the beatings got a lot worse. The real horror started when I was moved to the Finch dorm; this is when the slamming of your head against the cinder block walls began. It’s where they bounced your head off the concrete floors, slapped you in your face, beat with you everything they could find including belts, pieces of saddles, hands, feet, and so many different objects in order to cause horrific pain and fear. One of their favorite methods of torture was called INFINITY. The same as what’s was used in P.O.W camps. You had to squat like you were in the sitting position with your arms straight out. They’d put books on your arms to make it even more difficult. If you moved before your time was up they’d beat the hell out of you.
The sexual molestation was worse in this dorm. They put us in with lots of kids that were much older than we were and much bigger. During the molestation’s they’d put their hands over your mouth. If you thrashed around and woke other up you’d get beat as payment for the molester being punished. This happened over, and over again. The small children got singled out a lot for these sexual perversions and then had to pay the price on top of it with being beat. The beatings often resulted in both eyes being swollen shut, and blood coming out of your ears from your head being slammed against the walls. I was often left black and blue from head to toe. This was an endless cycle and what my life had become. Because the boys ranch had it’s own school it was much easier for them to hide the results of their beatings; kids left injured, and bruised. They were good at cover-ups.
Each dorm had two sets of “parents”. One set was the primary, and the second was the school teacher. It was impossible to concentrate on school because either you had just been beat or you were wondering when your next beating was coming. If you worked at the boys ranch you had the authority to beat the kids. That included everyone from the “teachers”. If you made a bad grade the teachers would beat the hell out of you. After the teacher was done you had to take your paper to the dorm parent and then they’d beat you. The dorm parents beating were far worse than the teachers; it’s as if they had to prove to one another that one could be crueler than the other. You were constantly punished for the same “crime” repeatedly.
Report card day was always one of the more horrifying days of all. The teacher would walk slowly up to each desk smiling, and hand them out; knowing what was to come. The instant I’d see my grades I’d wet my pants out of pure fear. That’d happen before I’d even make it back to the dorm to see what horrors awaited me there. You arrived at your dorm about 4pm and by 7pm the dorm parent came looking for the kids with bad grades. They’d bring parents from other dorms to help them perform their ritual of beatings. The beatings would last so long, and were so fierce, that they were often left breathless and tired.
They’d start at one end of the dorm and work their way down. Each dorm consisted of six rooms; six boys to a room. There was a bathroom between each two rooms. In the bathroom, there was a big shower with several shower heads, toilets, and several sinks. They would take three of us at a time into the bathroom, then fire up their cigars. They always had their cigars. Then their competition as to see who deliver the most pain began. You always hoped you were first because the sheer fear of seeing what happened to the boys in front you made the torment of waiting your turn all that much worse. I was often so scared I wet my pants. They banged our heads, slapped us, kicked us, and stomped us if we fell on the floor. While on the floor they’d beat your back, arms, legs with whatever weapon they had at the time. After being beaten so bad that both eyes were swollen shut, lips swollen, and blood coming out of your ears you knew you had been broken.
The beatings were a way of life at Cal Farley’s ranch. Listening to your brothers screams and being powerless to help them broke you. It affected you mentally, physically, and emotionally. If often made me wonder what did I do to deserve this? I read books about Dick and Jane going to Grandma and Grandpa’s house on the farm and having so much fun. I had no Grandma and Grandpa to love me. I had no mom and dad to love me. Instead I had these vicious child abuser, and molesters teaching me what my life was going to be all about. I was only five and did nothing wrong to deserve this.
This was Cal Farley’s boys ranch. They hired criminals and damn well knew how it was being operated. The criminals had full authority to do whatever they pleased to the boys that lived there. They’d slap your head daily and it’d often leave a golf ball size knot. If that’s all that happened to you then it was a good day. If visitors were coming to the ranch then the boys that were marked up were put somewhere else on the ranch.
Here is a list of just a few of the tormentors. These names stuck in my head because they were listed at the top of the hill where Finch dorm was, or they were in the school system;
- Phillips was the Hill top boss
- Johnson was a teacher
- Brock was a dorm parent
- Ratten was a teacher
- Schmidt was a dorm parent
- Finstand was at Agg Barn
- Pilgram was a dorm parent
- Waldrip was a teacher
- Dodge was a dorm parent
- Cristy was the Principal
- Hamilton was a teacher
- Roars was a teacher
- Tungston was at the Dairy Barn
We were given a number for recognition, and our mail was read coming and going. It was censored like you’d censor a prisoner’s mail in a prison. We were in prison, only worse; we were children being beat and tortured. Actual prisons had laws against beating the prisoners, but there was nothing that protected the kids at Cal Farley’s ranch from the hell we’d been cast in.
As the years went by I learned to accept that this was my life. I got tougher and was finally able to fend of my molesters, but never the beaters. My school work never improved due to my constant fear and living conditions; the beatings continued. Bad grades, someone saw you throw a rock….the list was endless as to why you’d get beat.
There were runners; those that ran away. I always wanted to, but the runners were always caught. The screams I’d hear when they were brought back put the thought of running out of your head. Those that didn’t come back were dead. I have so many stories about the runners. This was my home life.
The wind it isn’t a scream it is
For this is his home where they break bones.
Lying is wrong; he knows that,
But better than hurting, so he’ll keep on lying
Fear he knows best, it’s never at rest
Scared as he is makes him what he is
When he grows up and understands more
He’ll probably want to settle the score
Because of the abuse I endured over bad grades I got pretty good at forgery. I forged half the signatures son the papers I was supposed to give to the dorm parent. I got caught two times out of ten, and when I did the punishment was unspeakable, but it was worth not getting beat the other eight times.
Finally, in 1967 my two brothers and I could leave Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch. We endured ten years of pure hell and terror. Our mother married and had to prove that she could provide a stable home life for us. It was, and still is, insulting that my mother had to prove to those monsters that she could provide a good home after what they did to us. No one could have been crueler than they were, so how dare they force my mother to prove she could give us a loving home. We lived with her and my new stepdad in a small town called Gillette. We had a younger half-blood brother and sister by this time. Our mother kept us fed, and did her best but things were tough. I had a hard time making friends and getting along with my stepdad. There wasn’t much to our small town except oil rigs, and ranchers. I got in some trouble and ended up having to spend time in foster homes because I used my forgery skills to write hot checks around town. I rebelled in a sense because of the anger that was boiling inside of me. I didn’t know how to deal with the trauma I had been put through. Coping skills wasn’t part of the curriculum and Cal Farley’s; only pure brutal force, and torture.
This is just a brief description of my childhood. There’s so much more…….
The statue of Cal Farley needs to be taken down. It’s an insult to those of us that suffered so tremendously at his ranch, to see it standing as if it’s a beacon of hope. To many of us it represents hell of earth.
I’d like to dedicate this to my two brothers; Rusty Votaw and Greg Votaw. Both suffered alongside me, and neither are alive today. They will never get the apology they deserved.
One can continually make the argument that power corrupts, or that by ceaselessly electing the same representatives to Congress, they grow complacent and removed from those who elect them, but what did the Framers and Founding Fathers have to say about term limits?
During the 18th century, many of the colonies such as Pennsylvania, Virginia, Delaware, New York, Massachusetts, and South Carolina all had some sort of provision that required office rotation such as flat out term limits, or not being able to serve consecutive terms in their respective legislatures. In fact, the United States’ first governing document, The Articles of Confederation included a provision that stated “no person shall be capable of being a delegate for more than three years in any term of six years…”
During the ratification debates of the new federal Constitution, although not present during the Constitutional Convention, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to James Madison on the principles of office rotation stating: “I dislike, and strongly dislike … the abandonment, in every instance, of the principle of rotation in office, and most particularly in the case of the President…”
With McConnell, Pelosi, Reid, and McCain serving a combined 130 years in Congress many have begun the call for term limits. I was a huge advocate for term limits until this argument against them was made by an acquaintance;
“Many countries have had term limits going all the way back to the ancient Greeks. Turns out that TL’s do not prevent corruption at all. In fact they speed up the process because an unethical rep will simply make deals sooner in order to ensure his monetary success because he knows he is limited to a certain number of terms. Another problem is that once elected in their last term, they have no reason at all to even pick up the phone from a constituent because they will never face another election. What ends up happening is the party will support and pick the next candidate to ensure the party line is towed.. so only party insiders stand a chance of winning..
Mexico had term limits since their most recent revolution in 1917. They repealed TL’s in 2016 in their country because they actually made corruption worse. The drug cartels controlled who would ended up on the ballot, ensuring corruption.
The other problem is seniority. The line of succession in the Constitution says the Senate Pro Tempor Is third in line of succession. The Senate Protempore is the senior ranking member of the Senate. With term limits, potentially , 1/3 of the Senate could all have the same seniority creating a constitutional crisis.
The idea of TL’s is simply that we the voters are too stupid to make a proper choice on who should best represent you and therefore the government must step in and limit your choices for you.. ostensibly to protect you from yourself.. term limits are hardly the trademark of individual responsibility.. in fact they are the liberal solution to the problem of voter apathy.
Lastly… TL’s throw out the baby with the bath water. While the pelosi’s and Schummer will be gone, so will the Trey Gowdy’s and Ted Cruz’s.
So what is my solution??? The problem is not long term congressmen, the problem is the consolidation of power. So the solution is to decentralize the power and place it back in the hands of the States “or the people” from which it came. So how is that done? By amending the 17th Amendment. You leave the elections the way they are currently but you allow the State Legislature to recall and replace US senators with 2/3 vote in the State legislature. Another option is the State legislature authority to impeach a senator… not to remove them from office but bar them from holding further office.
The house has elections every two years. One option there is to allow for a recall election with a requisite number of petition signatures similar to what many governors currently face.” (credit Jack Hinson)
Jack’s comments caused me to pause and reconsider my support for term limits. Term limits will only speed up the corruption rather than curtain it. The Pelosi’s and McCain’s are repeatedly getting reelected because of name recognition, and big money backers. We combat that by exposure; as patriots, it’s up to us the individual to take our destiny in our own hands and work diligently to expose the corrupt politicians and prop up the individuals that best represent us. If we allow them to continue their reign of terror (no exaggeration) on our Constitution and ‘We the People’, the America that’s held the promise of freedom since 1776 will no longer exist for future generations.
The division in this country is staggering. The recent shooting of Representative Scalise, and others, as they were practicing for a baseball game, is proof of that. A Bernie Sanders campaign volunteer, James T. Hodgkinson, asked individuals standing around the ballpark if those practicing were Democrats or Republicans.
I visited the shooters Facebook page prior to it being taken down. The comments sprawled under many of his post were haunting. One “lady” stated that James was “an American Hero”, and others said they’d like to start killing Liberals. The hatred radiating from “right” and “left” leaves me speechless. Somewhere along the lines we’ve forgotten that we’re all Americans. We’re no longer referred to as simply Americans, but rather right, left, Republican, Democrat, Liberal, Conservatives, Progressives, and of course many disparaging names filled with expletives.
Protest litter the streets across the “fruited plains” and counter protest to protest the protesters. Americans are showing up armed to defend themselves against other Americans; both sides protesting what they view as an injustice being perpetrated against themselves, and their country. There’s no longer a middle ground; only two sides that view the other as the enemy. I can say the same about Congress, except they’re not armed……yet.
The “Kumbaya” moment by politicians after the Republicans were shot lasted merely hours, but there was never one for citizens. The shooting fueled a fire that’s been raging across this country for almost a decade now. The “left” says Scalise deserved what he got, and the “right” says it’s further proof that Liberals are violent. What happened to simply coming together in what was an American tragedy, and figuring out what it’s going to take to fix it?
I fear that we’ve traveled so far down this road of division that that there’s no turning back. This is a road that can only lead to a dead end, yet Americans are traveling down it full speed ahead. We’re essentially all complacent in our own demise. What we fail to realize is that the more divided we become, the more the Government seizes control of our lives. The more we concentrate on fighting one another, the more rope we give the Government to hang us. With chaos comes more Government control……
I don’t foresee a solution in our future, at least one that’ll be satisfactory. In fact, I hear whispers of a civil war. Patriots are asking for an armed Revolution. Let that sink in. They’re convinced that by picking up arms, and fighting against other Americans, we can put an end to the progressive takeover of this country. I agree, progressivism is a cancer that has spread throughout America, and has left us a shadow of what we once were. But I disagree that a civil war is the answer. Civil war won’t bring us “together”, but rather leave us even more tattered than we are now.
I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know that the path we’re on is going to lead to one thing; the demise of America. The “land of the free” is no longer going to exist unless we find a way to come together. “Divided we fall” echoes in the background every time we assault another American with our words, with our weapons, and with our impunity to their beliefs. When the National Anthem has become controversial, you know we’re nearing the end………….
Are you a fake Conservative, or am I?
What is a “fake Conservative”? Apparently I am. After spending years fighting for the Conservative cause and acquiring a large following on social media due to my Conservative values and ideas, I am now being called a “fake Conservative” by those very same people. So, what has changed?
I still stand by Conservative values of limited Government, fiscal Conservatism, holding all politicians to task, honesty and integrity. I still spend most my day pushing for those values, and trying to bring together a strong coalition of people that are willing to fight for those same values.
The election of Donald J. Trump has changed the minds of his strong supporters as to what Conservatism means. The new definition of Conservatism is to defend all polices put forth by this administration regardless if they go against the “original” definition of Conservatism. The new definition means we are to defend actions and policies even if they are the same actions/policies the previous administration committed and put forth. Example; The Saudi Arabia arms deal was originally orchestrated by the Obama administration. Conservatives were outraged! “We’re arming the terrorist!” and “Obama is arming our Muslim enemies because he is a Muslim too”. Now the trending conversation consist of “This means jobs, jobs, jobs for this country!” And if you dare bring up the obvious fact that these same people were against Obama doing this, but are now for Trump doing it, you are a “fake Conservative.” If your “support” for anything and everything Trump does wavers you are a “fake Conservative”. If you point out that this administration is creating yet another entitlement program, Government paid maternity leave, and it goes against what we’re supposed to stand for, you are a “fake Conservative.”
The new definition of Conservatism is this; excuse, accept, fight for, and attack anyone that doesn’t standby Trump, whatever he, and those around, says and does, regardless what it is! There is no more holding our leaders to task. The outrageous statements made to defend General Michael Flynn for his actions all because he was associated with the Trump administration would be laughable ‘if’ it wasn’t “my party” making them, and it is another example as to why my analysis is true. General Flynn is a Democrat, and if Obama was still President and news broke that Flynn was being paid by foreign Governments, didn’t disclose it, and even lied about, Conservatives would be on a literal “witch hunt.” Yet, because he was associated with the Trump administration these are the excuses being made; “Someone must have forced Trump to bring him on,” and “This is nothing more than a witch hunt against Flynn to bring the Trump administration down.” They are completely ignoring the simply, well known fact, that Flynn registered retroactively as a foreign agent which means he indeed took money from foreign Governments and did not disclose it at the time nor ask permission to do so (retired officers must ask permission prior to accepting money from foreign Governments.) There are endless examples of ridiculous excuses being made for not only the Flynn “situation” but just about every situation that does not paint this administration in a good light.
Because I STILL stand by what I ‘thought’ the definition of Conservatism is I have now become a Liberal, fake Conservative, traitor, and names that consist of expletives. I believe we must support our President when, and only when, that support is deserved. We must also call him out when he is not pushing the values we stand for (or I thought we stood for.) Otherwise we’re asking for the same corruption we’ve proclaimed to be fighting against.
The hypocritical haze that seems to engulf Patriots all around me, has left me feeling betrayed, and confused. How do I continue this fight for everything I believe in when I’m being told that what I believe in is now betraying my country, and this President that demands absolute 100% devotion? How do I continue to carry the torch of Conservatism when “Conservative Patriots” all around me have blown out the flame? And finally, how do I pull these Conservatives back into real, true patriotism and out of this zombie like coma they’ve seem to have fallen in?
These are the questions that keep me up at night, and I’ve finally concluded that the real question should be; am I a fake conservative, or are you?