HEAL-online.org – Diamond Ranch Academy – Survivor Statement
DECLARATION UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY
PURSUANT TO 28 USCA 1746
I, [private] declare and state as follows:
1. Diamond Ranch Academy
2. Hurricane, Utah
3. March 19, 2007 – December 19, 2007
4. I too have had an awful experience in my nine month stay at Diamond Ranch Academy, located in Hurricane Utah. This is a very difficult subject and a very negative time in my life and is hard to talk about. I will fill you in on the details as much as I can remember.
My family told me that I would be going to look at a boarding school and decide if I wanted to stay.
I have always lived in British Columbia, Canada and I had no idea what a “program” was.
I arrived for my tour at D.R.A on March 19, 2007. While getting my tour of the ranch, I decided that I didn’t like it. I guess my family had already signed the papers and the staff were telling me I had no choice. It was so heartbreaking to hear that you can’t leave with your parents. I couldn’t believe these people were telling me that I couldn’t leave. They held me while I watched my family drive down the 2 mile dirt road. This was just the beginning. They took me to the “blue house” and proceeded to yank out my nose ring, my earrings. They took away all my belongings and told me to strip down. This was so violating. Being a virgin, I have never let anyone see me naked. I felt so violated during the strip search. I remember just standing there crying my eyes out and the staff just standing there… they didn’t care.They told me that if I behaved properly that everything would be okay. I was so scared, that I could barely function. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I was then taken over to the boys campus where the nurse’s station was located. They told me that in order to stay that I would need to give a blood sample. When I was younger I had a bad experience with a needle when I was in the hospital, so i was terrified. I told them that i didn’t feel comfortable giving them my blood. The nurse (a 250 pound man) told me that: “We could do this the easy way, or the hard way”.
Still refusing he called in another woman and another male staff to have me restrained. In which I was sat on, held down and unwillingly had my blood drawn.
This was so traumatizing. In the first level called “homeless” we weren’t allowed any rights. We had to raise our hand for everything. I got in trouble a couple of times because I put on lip chap without asking. We had to sit cross legged for hours on the cement working on silly projects. We were given oats (water and oatmeal) and fruit for breakfast. For lunch we had rice and lentils and dinner was rice and lentils. We were given a 4L Milk jug that was filled up with tap water daily that we were forced to drink, yet we could only go to the outhouse a few times a day when they felt like taking us. I know of 4 girls that had urinated themselves because a staff member wouldn’t allow them to use the washroom. If you didn’t do what you were told you had to do “energy release”. This is where Ricky Dias could make you run up and down a field for 3 hours in the scorching hot sun with no water. I remember Ricky Dias yelling at a girl for not getting out of the shower on time the night before. He told this girl that if it happened again tonight he would: “Rip her out of the shower by her hair naked.”
You weren’t allowed to talk to your parents for the first couple of weeks. You were completely isolated and unable to talk to anyone. The homeless staff would humiliate you in front of others and made me feel worthless. I felt like a horrible person and I began to believe what they told me.
I 100 percent believe that Diamond Ranch Academy is a brainwashing scam.
Thankfully I was only in that Homeless level for 20 days. Things get a little bit better once you are no longer in the “homeless component”. Once inside you could write a 1 post card to your parents Monday-Friday. You were given a 30 minute phone call every 2 weeks with your parents. You couldn’t talk to your friends or other family. If you told them anything negative in either the phone call or postcard you were in huge trouble. Usually resulting in being dropped a level which made you stay for another 2 weeks. It was considered “manipulation” to tell your parents that you want to go home. I couldn’t even tell my mom that I missed her.
To make a miserable long story short; I faked the entire program to get out earlier. I sucked up to every single staff and made sure that they loved me. I was also encouraged to “tell” on other girls when they were doing something they shouldn’t. This looked really good if you told on other girls.
I graduated after 9 long months and went home in December 2007. I did okay for about a week after being home and then relapsed.
I don’t even have words to express how much anger and hatred I have towards all the staff of DRA and the program. For the past 2 years now I have at least 1 nightmare a week about being at DRA. I have developed such harsh anxiety and have even been medicated because of it. I would have a panic attack if I thought about DRA or after a nightmare. It is very difficult to live with. I HIGHLY discourage anyone from sending their kids to a program. They may look like they have changed, but it is out of fear.
I give HEAL permission to use this statement. I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on May 13, 2009
SPECIAL NOTE: STATUTE DOES
NOT REQUIRE NOTARY]