Utah ranch connected to Dr. Phil accused of multiple abuse allegations

Even after a grizzly 2016 murder, in late 2019 Dr. Phil still sent at least one teenager to this camp in Utah.


Even after a grizzly 2016 murder, in late 2019 Dr. Phil still sent at least one teenager to the Turn-About Ranch in Utah.

The Turn-About Ranch is connected to Dr. Phil, whose real name is Phillip Calvin McGraw, because he sent troubled youths there after appearing on his show. It also happens to be a place where countless allegations of abuse, both sexual and physical, and at least one murder of a staff member, happened.

If you tuned into Twitter today, you’d be confused by this “Bhad Bhabie” account saying “Fake ass no License doctor bald bich,” and giving a deadline to the Dr. Phil show to apologize.

A closer look reveals a grim and often overlooked series of stories that has only gotten attention in the media thanks to Paris Hilton’s awareness campaign highlighting a traumatic part of her childhood.

Hilton is not alone. What inspired Bhad Bharbie to speak out in the last twenty-four hours was a February 2021 news story about another victim at the same camp.

Hannah Archuleta went to “Turn-About Ranch” back in October 2019. Ten days into her stay, a male staff member allegedly sexually assaulted her. The camp is located out in Escalante, Utah, and the girl was alone out there. So she didn’t report the incident. Fast forward a month, and it happens again. Same person. This time Hannah tried notifying a female staff member. In response, the lady called Ms. Archuleta a liar.

They also told Hannah to write a detailed letter about it. But after she wrote that letter? Staff members punished her with hours of grueling labor, left her outside in the cold, and forced her to sleep on a plank of wood.

Turn-About Ranch is where Dr. Phil sent Hannah after appearing on his show. A lawsuit against the camp was announced late last month. Given the high-profile nature of those involved, Gloria Allred is representing Hannah.

Via Fox13, the local news station out of Salt Lake City, we get a detailed response to the lawsuit from ranch management:

"We at Turn-About Ranch strongly deny the allegations put forward in Ms. Allred’s press conference. Though Ms. Allred’s office has spent months soliciting a cash settlement, we were unaware that a suit would be filed. Upon learning of this young woman’s accusation, we took immediate action. Unfortunately, her father removed her from our facility before we could conduct a full inquiry. Both she and her father were unwilling to communicate with us from that time. We interviewed other students and staff members and were unable to corroborate her story. We fully cooperated with the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, but without further contact with the accusing party, our options were limited. The next communication we received was a demand for cash payment in order to avoid litigation some months ago. We would never take lightly an allegation of mistreatment to any of our students. Now that this incident is the subject of litigation, we must withhold our full response for a later date. But it is important to note that these allegations were fully investigated and that the account given by opposing legal counsel to the media was incomplete, to say the least.”

Back to Bhad Bhabie, she published a video sharing the experiences she said she went through.

Bhad repeats the fact that campers are all alone in the middle of nowhere. She stress it because having access to a phone would allow people to record evidence to back up their abuse claims.

She was only a 13-year-old when first taken to the ranch after being on the Dr. Phil show. She had no idea, either. Her family kept it a secret until people showed up in the middle of the night. They handcuffed Bhad and put her in a car to transport.

New arrivals, at least in her case, can’t shower for three days and are forced into a teepee of self-reflection. Bhad claims she wasn’t even allowed to sleep for this time period, as staff members made her get back up when attempting to lay down.

Similar to Hannah’s claims, Bhad said basic necessities like food, sleep, and proper shelter are ignored. “If you reported another kid getting bullied by their peers or something, [staff] would respond 'well maybe that’s what they need.'”

Bhad says at times angry staff members would punish kids even if they didn’t break any rules. That punishment being “reflection,” otherwise known as forced labor for hours at a time. On another occasion Bhad saw staff members physically hold a kid down because it looked like he was trying to leave.

Then Bhad recounts the fact she was at the camp back in December 2016. This was when a fellow camp attendee who had been there less than a week ended up murdering a staff member. His name was James “Jimmy” Woolsey, and the teen hit Woolsey over and over on the back of his head.

After the assault, the teen stole Woolsey’s keys and tried stealing the staffer’s car. The car didn’t start, though. So the teen went to female staffer Alicia Keller and beat her until she gave him his car keys. He stole her car and led authorities on a high-speed chase.

Bhad saw it all. An anonymous Reddit post from January 2020 reportedly gives details about this incident as well. It fits the rest of Bhad’s own description.

“So [Alicia] did [give the teen her car keys] and he got in the car and disappeared. I peeked out the window and saw Jimmy’s lifeless body in the snow. I still see it vividly. There was no cell service here. The walkie talkies weren’t working when we called for help. We stayed inside that cabin for an hour until the day staff came. Only then was an ambulance called for. We were taken to the main campus and told never to speak of this again. Under the rug it went, and we continued on with farm work as usual. We were controlled by fear for the rest of our time there. Everything they told me to do I did because I was so scared. I stayed for three months after this.”

The teen’s name was Clay Brewer. They didn’t reveal it at the time but it’s mentioned in media reports on Brewer’s sentencing two years later, in October 2018. Staffer Alica Keller was left disabled over the attack and died around this same time.

Bhad rounds off her video by saying Brewer’s mother was married to the brother of the ranch president. Her claim checks out. "Bart Carter is the brother of Turn-About Ranch President Myron Carter, and was married to Clay Brewer’s mother, Nikki, at the time of the attack," according to a December 2018 report from The Salt Lake Tribune.

Given the trauma both Bhad and Hannah went through? Dr. Phil owes them an explanation. Also Abbie Parker. At the start of March 2021 she released a video sharing her own experiences from the ranch in Utah.


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