The New Bethany Home for Boys News Articles from 1984

I was sent some links to information about the New Bethany Home for Boys that Tim Johnson’s  father-in-law Rev. Mack Ford was founder.

Much has been made about this event in the blogosphere concerning Louisiana College’s leadership.   I think few here locally know what allegedly happened at New Bethany.  I know until recently it was news to me.

Timothy Johnson, a Baptist minister from Orlando, Fla., and the son-in-law of New Bethany founder, the Rev. Mack Ford, said he was very pleased with the judge’s decision.

  “I would trust my son to them,” he said.

The Dispatch – Sep 12, 1984

http://news.google.com/newspapers/

I don’t know if the person who sent me this information wants to be identified,  so for the time being I will keep this person anonymous.  It is greatly appreciated that this person sent this information along.

My inbox is pretty busy now days so if you send me something it might take me some time to see your correspondence.

Related:

http://chucklestravels.com/

http://news.troubledprograms.com/new-bethany-book/

I’ve uploaded various documents related to NB Longstreet the following is just the index of what is there to be viewed.

I have explained to several people why I have an interest in this story.  I planned do to that in a future post.  In short though,  while I was growing up my parents worked for some boys homes in Texas (none of them related to New Bethany) and so I am kind of familiar with what some of these places were like to live in.

The main difference of course was I was there with my family where as most of the residents were there without their families. The boys homes my parents worked for were  were not advertised as or claimed to be boarding schools or religious schools and to the best of my knowledge they were not run by religious organizations, but I would have to verify that with my father who exactly was over them.  One of them was run by the state I am pretty sure.

These were places where kids wound up when either their parents could not,  or would not deal with them, or they lost their parents and there were no family members available to take them in, troubled children for sure but troubled for various different reasons, so not all of them were there because they were juvenile delinquents who had criminal records.  I will go into more detail at a future time in a future post.

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22 responses to “The New Bethany Home for Boys News Articles from 1984

  1. I called The Arcadia Sheriff letting them know that New Bethany No Longer Silent is being played in Washington D.C…The woman called me a Liar…Saying Mack Ford did not shoot his gun…Well on part 2 at 2:38 you will see where I finally confronted Maxine..Then Mack Ford shoots his gun off at us 3 times..The Sheriff did nothing…The woman told me that that happened 30 yrs ago get over it…Stop coming here..They don’t believe us…

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  2. My name is Andrew Krontz…I attended New Bethany as a child for a year and a half in 1988-1989, and during that time I was personally beaten so badly that (even though I do not know how they were notified) the state came and investigated my injuries. And yes they were injuries. I was beaten so badly that I was bleeding from the middle of my back, to the back of my knees. I was taken into the Church by the caseworker representing the state, and told to show her my “marks” from being “spanked”. I do not recall the exact dates of this event, but it was approximately as I can recall in 1989. After I pulled down my pant, it was an immediate reaction…the lady began making calls and told me to stay there inside the Church. Within an hour the state had multiple people on site, and closed the school down completely. We were all sent home due to the drastic PROOF of abuse, and EVERYONE was “RELEASED” from the “PRISON” that we lived in. As Rhonda Lundquist stated above about the threats of being haunted for the rest of our lives by Mack if we tried to escape or tell on him…and these statements are definitely true…he was livid about this happening and the fear he put in me before I actually got outside of the gates does in fact still remain in my mind. That “Man of God” (as he likes to call himself) found himself in a legal battle that he didn’t see coming. Somehow he managed to remain a free man, and not go to prison for such acts against a minor…instead he was allowed to reopen the school, and begin a new reign of terror, against a whole new group of boys and girls. As far as the “prostitutes and degenerates” of the school, I never met one on the boys side of the compound. We were ALL just children that our parents “could not handle”, or literally gave up on. Nobody I ever met would have hurt anyone or as much as turned out as “bad seeds”, but we were all convinced that we were indefinitely going to be worthless and die and go to HELL. The abuse that is mentioned by Rhonda above is a glimpse of this place. EVERYONE that was staff there was just as abusive as Mack himself, and ALL of them “punished” us repeatedly on a daily basis. After the School was reopened my family actually sent me back to the school, and I was SCARED to say the least just to see Mack Ford again. I was delivered to the bus stop in Shreveport, Louisiana, and waited for Mack to pick me up. I contemplated running away from the stop when I got there, because he was not there yet, but literally the fear of him haunting me kept me frozen and fearful of doing anything like that. He picked me up and talked to me all the way back to the school like I was a new face. Like he didn’t even remember me from the past. It was a mental war to sit next to him and now at sixteen years old in 1992, (only three years after I closed the doors of this school) to be as fearful of someone as I was that day. I truly cannot understand why any “parent” could, or would EVER force their child to relive such an experience, but mine decided to. To this day my family will deny all knowledge of the events of 1989, just as Mack denies the abuse and literal torture of the children placed in that home. But I am here to tell anyone that may read this, no matter the denial they possess, these things are truly horrific and FACT. Even the state apparently knew what was going on behind those fences, and NOBODY done anything for the children inside them. This is one of two homes that I lived in that done these things to children, and we were not bad kids, until we were introduced to violence and abuse. Then YES, some of us did turn out to be violent, and in trouble and even worthless. That is my story, so I know it has became of me, if nobody else. I know that a lot of people will defend themselves for the abuse they administered to us as children, such as “spare the rod, spoil the child” and other biblical quotes, but the way I see it, God NEVER referenced any torture or rape or bleeding bodies, to correct a spoiled child. So I personally CURSE the denial and justification these people possess in the “methods” used against us.

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    • I appreciate all of you sharing your stories. It is always a bit of a surprise what posts get attention or responses. I hope it helps in some small way having been able to share your stories here.

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  3. I am a survivor of New Bethany home for girls 81-82
    It has taken me thirty years, to speak out about what happened behind those chained barbed wire topped fences. New Bethany was not at all as it appeared or as it was advertised. Mack Ford and his staff, ran a prison for teens, we were beaten, raped physically, mentally, and spiritually abused beyond belief. Mack Ford terrorized every child that ever passed through the doors of his homes. Making sure to instill in all of us, how he would also haunt us for the rest of our lives. This would prove to be true, as I still have nightmares about being locked up in that place.
    I witnessed abuse I never thought imaginable, I witnessed and was subject too so many horrible things, that trying to tell anyone would make me sound crazy. It was not until I found where a group of former girls fro the home were blogging, that I finally began to face what had happened o me as a teenager. When I left NB the boys home in Longstreet, LA had been closed because Larry Rapier had been abusing the boys. Mack Ford was so angry, I remember he drug a whole bunch of to Baton Rouge to sing on the steps of the capitol. To give testimony about how he had saved us from a life of prostitution and drugs, that was a lie. He made us all repeat his lies, so that churches would send him money, and feel sorry for us. It was all a scam.
    The people of Arcadia still to this day believe we were prostitutes and drug addicts. Us girls were ever allowed to talk about why we were really there.
    In 2010 five of us went back to NB to try and get some closure. When we arrived Mack came out on a tractor and tried to scare us into leaving, he ended up calling the police on us and trying to get us kicked off a public road. They told him it was a public road and we could stay as long as we like. In 2012 a few more of us went back, to hold a memorial “on the public road” for those who we had recently lost, as a result of NB.
    Mack’s daughter Maxine greeted us at the gate, screaming at us as we all got out of the car. She kept calling us name, and telling us it was our parents fault for sending us there. That her daddy had been vindicated and we need to leave him alone. A verbal altercation happened between Maxine and us, when all of a sudden un shots sounded off. Mack was up on his porch firing warning shots, to try and scare us away. The police came, but they didn’t even question Mack about the shots. My question is if Mack Ford saved so many troubled teens, why would he not come out to greet us? Why would he cower behind the fence and call the police? Why would he get a gun, and fire off shots, if he were not guilty of something??!!!!
    He has turned into a scared old man, locked up all alone in the prison he built to torture children in. He has used God and the Bible for over four decades to brainwash children, and Churches into believing he is the second coming of Christ. No matter how many survivors come forward, and no matter how many stories are told, people still believe we are liars. I am almost fifty years old now, I have no reason to lie about New Bethany or anything that happened there. I could go on for days and days about the things that went on there. The things that haunt you deep inside. But for me the most horrible part of all, is how he kept me silent for so long. that he was allowed to stay open and abuse thousands more children and if I would have told the truth, maybe one of them could have been saved. I have dedicated myself and the ret of my life, to exposing New Bethany and homes like it. To bring awareness that this is happening to children all across America, and it needs to stop.
    United with one voice, we as survivors will have our stories here, we will get the justice we all deserve. I thank you so much, for your help in seeing that our stories are being told. I hope someday, he rest of the world, will open their ears and listen.

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  4. There is a ton of legally documented evidence, affidavits, depositions, runaway reports, abuse reports, arrest warrants, news articles………law enforcement KNEW what was going on. Child Protective Services tried multiple times to get New Bethany permanently closed, but there is NO ONE who will disclose why the prosecutor’s office would never move forward with officially charging Ford with anything.

    Copy and paste the following in your browser with quotations,
    spaces and caps just as they are:

    “New Bethany” AND “abuse” AND “Mack Ford”

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  5. Before Walterboro, S.C. there was Longstreet, LA. The director there, Larry D. Rapier, was arrested in May of 1981 and again in March of 1982. There’s plenty of documentation for that too. Mack Ford had a knack for hiring child abusers to run his homes.

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    • I was in High School in the 80’s and didn’t live in Louisiana at the time. Even if I had been living in Louisiana at the time I wasn’t paying much attention to the news at that age so a story like this probably wouldn’t have been a blip on my radar.

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