Monday, December 05, 2011

teen mania

this is a documentary, done by msnbc, about teen mania ministry.  now, i don't have any experience with teen mania and their honor camp, but when i was doing youth work i did help promote the local acquire the fire event rallys and attended at least one of their sales pitch event for pastors, to help sell them on the atf events.  the doc is 44 minutes, so you may want to watch it in sections, or break off some time to check it out.

to be honest, as i watch this doc, it frightens me.  it frightens me that i could have possibly sent a kid to this crap.  thankfully, i didn't.  this stuff that has nothing to do with Christianity, the love of Jesus, or living out the will of God.  it also really pisses me off how easily people get hooked in.  well intentioned, good Xian people being tricked into a dangerous situation.

now, i wouldn't necessarily say the atf events are a bad thing in themselves. i think you can experience God's presence at something like this.  i also think they can be very manipulative.  and the honor academy and their boot camp mentality seems very unbiblical to me.  seriously, what is that, navy seal training? how does that help you grow closer to God?

"the honor academy is not for everyone." - ron luce.  you know what, it's not for anyone.  it is a cult situation masked in Christianity.  luce's defense disgusts me because it's not an answer.  it's a spiritualized response that masks what is going on.  it blames those being abused for not being spiritual enough, or as Christlike as they should be.  the reality is that not everyone swallows the lie, and that sort of answer avoids what needs to be addressed.


tibblesnbits said...

If the only thing you are basing your judgment of Teen Mania off of is this negatively slanted documentary made by a secular station then I would please ask you to reconsider and look at some other material to look for the truth in the matter.

Here are two documentaries/videos made that explain Teen Mania in a more positive light:

Also, to read dozens of testimonies from interns who have had their lives positively moved for the Lord while at the Honor Academy, please refer to the following two pages:

I am also an alumni of the Honor Academy and I can tell you that I am in love with the Lord more than ever before as a result of being surrounded by Godly people here and Godly mentorship.

The ESOAL event depicted in the "Mind over Mania" documentary is an optional, voluntary 3 days of the entire year of the HA and it is blown wildly out of proportion. I did the even twice on my accord and learned so much from the Lord during those times with loving coaches who are praying for me and pouring into me. It has also been very modified since 2006 (which most of the footage was from) and since discontinued. Now we do the PEARL which is even more safe and effective than ESOAL.

See the differences here:

Please feel free to contact me anytime for more elaboration of my experience!

edluv said...

you are correct, i am basing a lot of my opinion on teen mania from the documentary, which is unfair. but, i'm also basing it a bit off of how i felt when i was being called repeatedly by interns, the pressure i felt as someone who the product was being sold to, and how i felt seeing people on the other side of the equation tell of their experience.

i bristle at your use of the term secular in reference to nbc. yes, they are a secular network, but what does that have to do with anything? just because a secular source is reporting doesn't mean they can't treat the material accurately and honestly. did they misrepresent the methods used by teen mania? was anything untrue presented? please feel free to point out any errors.

i'm curious, if the esoal training is so beneficial, why did they discontinue parts, as you say they did? also, can you point to actual scripture that backs up the use of military boot camp techniques to teach about making disciples? in which of the gospels did Jesus have the disciples engage in this behavior?

edluv said...

also, i know that you're from teen mania, since your ip address is listed as teen mania ministries acc. would you care to share how you reached my blog?

Doug Duncan said...

Hi, I am the counselor who was in the show, along with my wife. For the record, my wife and I are Christians, and the documentary was fairly done. I am a little tired of the ad hominem argument people from Teen Mania are going around making that this documentary is somehow flawed because it appeared on a secular network. The independent producers of this show were all people of integrity, and they presented an accurate portrayal of Teen Mania.