I, ____Anonymous (verified)_____________, declare and state as follows:
- Diamond Ranch Academy
- Hurricane, Utah
- They're coming back. All my bad memories are coming back.
November 17th, 2007 5am. Confusion. Where were these strangers taking me? Looked to my parents for answers. But they're faces had none. All I saw was sadness from my mom and blankness from my dad. I remember getting in their care. Seeing my parents for the last time for 5 months. I remember both of their faces. At the airport confusion was still my main emotion. Where was I going? The only bit of information I knew was that I was going to "school". The plane ride was full of questions that the 2 transporters would not answer. They covered it up with food and drink offerings. I was neither hungry nor thirsty. We landed in Las Vegas. I was tired so I slept on the car ride to my destination.
I remember waking up on a highway. Desert all over. I wasn't in Las Vegas. I was in Hurricane, Utah. Middle of nowhere. In the distance I could see assorted metal buildings. Not to compare my experiences with Nazi concentration camps but you will see many similarities throughout this passage. I felt as if I arrived at Berkanau.
They tried to make the place look decent. It did from one view, and then you turn your head and its desert or weathered trees. I arrive at what was called the "blue house". Looked exactly as it sounded. I entered a small room and was sat down. "What's your name?" Asked a muscular assistant program director. "CJ Clark" I said. "Your real name" he asked getting tempered already. "Christian" I said. I was stripped of all my possessions except for my shoes and coat. I was told to remove my clothes. My clothes were then searched and I was made to turn around many times, naked, to make sure I had nothing on me. They provided with me a bright orange hoodie and sweat pants. You'd think that the desert is hot all year round. Not in winter.
I was told I was to be sent to the first component of the program called "homeless". I was literally homeless. Outside all the time. Breakfast was oats. Not those brown sugary oats you would usually eat for breakfast. It was oats, water, and powdered milk. That's it. That was breakfast every day. Lunch and Dinner were always the same. Either undercooked or burnt rice and a bean called a lentil. That's it. 16 days of freezing winds outside every day.
Also the homeless component contained the most rigorous physical training throughout the program. First day I arrived I was to run a mile straight. No walking at all. You walk you'll run longer. I hadn't run more than a few meters in years. First 1/2 a lap I was dying. My chest was burning. Very little oxygen was going into my brain. My other companions in the component attempted to pep talk me to keep going. They were scolded and made to run more. There was no talking between anyone in this component. I staggered my way another 2 laps before just giving up. In this level of the program you had to pass 14 successful days. I failed my first day for this incident.
The rest of this level was filled with 2 work projects a day. Out there in the freezing cold literally digging tracks for a new parking lot. I was a slave laborer. There was nothing I could do. The best part of my day was sleeping. The only rest I got. I looked forward to it every day. I completed my 14th successful on my 16th day.
I had to make a fire out of a bow and some wood. I was then upgraded a level. I was now a student. I got to eat regular food. Not allot but it was somewhat normal. I got to go to school. It felt pretty good. Now think of this. Your life seems fucking amazing because you get to eat peanut butter and jelly instead of burnt rice. Your life is 10 times better because you now get to attend school. Regular school. While in the "inside" you were able to talk to other program students during very short time slots. During those all we talked about how we look forward to life on the outside. To see civilization again. Have a small piece of chocolate. Having the privilege to speak with your own family when you want. All these things were distant memories for us. When we weren't being terrorized by the simple fact of little contact with your family the staff had fun with your emotions. When you broke a rule you received a citation. Each cite is worth a certain amount of points which at the end of the week would add up and determine if we got put on what's called "unemployment".
This was another component after school for kids that broke too many rules. You were to pull around a large cart everywhere you went. You did physical training just like you did in the first level. You were to sit silent in a room and work for hours on end. Back to playing with emotions. Staff had the power to cite anyone at anytime. So they played with you. Even if it was during a time where you were allowed to talk they would take that away. If you talked you were cited. Cites equaled a more miserable life. Even if you didn't break the rule they would cite you just to see you break down. They'll say this never happened but ask any kid that's been there. It happens all the time.
And then there were the restraints. If you were out of line a staff could take you down and bend your wrist behind your back and apply pressure to "calm you down". If you have never been in a bent wrist control hold basically it sucks. But then there were the kids that couldn't help their actions. Mentally retarded kids aged 12, 13, and 14. I recount a student that was autistic. Very nice and caring kid. 13 years old. But couldn't control his anger and energy. He has his outbursts and he was cranked just like anyone else. Except he got it way more than regular kids. He had a handicap. HE COULDN'T HELP IT. And yet he was still made to run and taken down when he thought he was not doing anything bad. Think about this. Think of a brother, cousin, friend that has a mental handicap. Put him in a situation with nothing to look forward to. Always being run and restrained. Little contact with his family. I can't imagine.
I've witnessed kids being emotionally terrorized by staff. I remember and instance where everyone was to partake in what was called an amnesty. We were to write down everything we'd done wrong or witnessed someone else do something wrong. Every director was there. These people had control of your life. We were given strict instructions not to look up from our paper. There was a 13 years old kid that got to see his parents for the first time in 5 months later that day. He looked to the left for 2 seconds. He was yelled at. The program director said that his visit was cancelled. He would not be able to see his parents for another long while. He straight up cried in front of everyone. Nobody came to comfort him. He was alone. We were all alone. Take a look at their website: http://www.diamondranchacademy.com
90 percent of what is on that site is a lie. Ask me anything about it. It's most likely a manipulative try to get the parents' money. Everyone all I can say is do your best. Don't get sent away. Don't go through what I did. You can prevent it.
I give HEAL permission to use this statement. I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on __May 5th_________________, 2009.