Sunday, January 13, 2008

DID YOU HAVE A BAD EXPERIENCE AT TEEN CHALLENGE?

If you have had a bad experience at Teen Challenge, I invite you to post your comments about it here. You may even be able to exchange e-mail addresses to talk with others who have had similar experiences. And, if you are a family member wanting to make contact with other family members who have questions and concerns, please read my post below regarding family members.

74 comments:

Anonymous said...

I will be very happy to post my bad experience at a Teen Challenge.......as soon as my court process is over of course. To do so before then could land me in prison for 14 years. This is a classic case of..."Shut up or go to prison". I have decided to roll the dice. Let this be of some indication to you, as to how bad this place can be....If I am willing to roll the dice on years and years of prison.....that has to say something. I will get back to you.

Karly said...

My readers and I look forward to hearing from you!

Anonymous said...

As a warning for well intentioned parents who desperstely want to help your teens, do not send them to Teen Challenge in Bonifay Florida. All types of abuse is rampant on this ranch. The teens are at risk from the minute they start induction. Do not be decieved by the claims they make, your teens are helpless.

Anonymous said...

thank you for this blog karly
i must have read it 1000 times.
i am survivor of a different program and it amazes me how they get away with it. We need people like you strong and brave enough to post this info
thanks

Karly said...

Thank you! I'm glad you appreciate my efforts!

bren said...

Teen Challenge can be very retaliatory. Be very careful if you have a prison sentence looming. Print out stuff you have read and show it to your Probation department. Teen Challenge has LIED before (according to others PERSONAL experiences) to impose maximum sentences.(Part of the mental torment was trying to hide our intentions about program switching. We were fairly certain that TC would hold up to their promise to "Put you in prison, to become more broken for Jesus!") We experienced a total nightmare with TC here in California. I wouldn't trust them at all. Karly, I am thinking about writing letters to some senators in California regarding what I experienced with my son. They need to know, ESPECIALLY if TC is a recipient of faith-based initiative money from our president. This is a perfect example of why it is important to keep church and state SEPARATE. Mother of TC defector.

Anonymous said...

Teen Challenge needs to be Challenged. I experienced countless lies, coverups, contradictions, abuse, and just plain ridiculously poor management.

I entered Teen Challenge as a professionally-employed yuppie who picked up a drug problem while going through a major life change. So perhaps I did not fit the typical profile of many of the TC students.

I stayed several months and finally left after I essentially lost trust in the program. I will say I made the best of it and leaned a great deal. I also made many wonderful friends and fond memories. But recover, I did not. Nor did most of the fellow "students". Very, very few people complete the program. And of those who do, many relapse and return or worse yet, disappear into the drug life again.

Their success rate is a mathematical stretch at best. I would call it a lie. I witnessed flagrant lies... including lies to authorites and supporters. In one case, the Director lied to a Judge in order to get a high-profile criminal transfered to his facility. Why? So they could market him as one of their poster-boys in their fundraising.

What else? Well... the Executive Director of the facility drinks socially. How wise does that sound? Vehicles are operated by improperly licenesed individuals and driven unsafely with "students" in them. Untrained, inept staff (mainly recent "grads") are frequently employed. Many of whom end up relapsing. One stole from students rooms while they were in Bible study class. This was after they hired him back after he had stolen and gone out once before. Good management?

The farce continues. My experience with Teen Challenge is that it serves largely as an appeasement for middle-class suburban Pentecostals who support our local TC centres through their churches. It provides a sense that they are reaching out to the most wretched and poor of society and actually doing something to help improve their lives. On Sunday night, students are herded into the local Pentecostal church to appear as good little boys and girls to the credit of the "Directors" who are paid salaries (approximately $60,000/year according to one insider) to tend these lost sheep.

In my experience, Teen Challenge doesn't work. I have a long list of testimonials and witnesses to the fact. Yet I believe the machine is running too fast and too many people will look too bad for them to admit it. It will be a black eye on the Pentecostal church. Donors will feel betrayed.

This is exactly one reason AA has so much success. Tradition 7... we are self supporting through our own contributions. AA does not have to kiss-up to the Christian corporate community for donations and doesnt have to uphold the image that keep the dollars and donations flowing in! Newsflash... Money corrupts!

I am Chaz! And I am an Alcoholic and a Drug Addict. But I am clean thanks to the Grace of God.

Teen Challenges lies will be exposed. Maybe then they can go back to doing the kind of good they once did.

Anonymous said...

In the Teen Challenge on Long Island Pastor Bob shows favoritism to those who can walk the neighborhoods and collect the most money for him. (the walkathon) He also shows favoritism to those who have skills (ie:carpenters,etc...) who can build a pool deck for him or other home improvements. He and Pastor Jimmy let these people skip "mandatory" classes, buy them steak dinners, let them use their Bally's card, etc..... And if you can play basketball, well then you're Pastor Jimmy's "boy"

Lee said...

I never had a problem with drugs, but I was a Public Relations Representative at the Phoenix Center several years ago. What I witnessed at Teen Challenge of Arizona was extremely disturbing to me. I would not recommend this organization to anyone I cared about.

Before I started working with Teen Challenge, I enjoyed attending their concerts. I felt great donating to them, because I knew my money was helping people start a new life with Jesus Christ. Then I became a staff member, and I was thrilled, but the honeymoon didn't last long.

Did I have a bad experience at Teen Challenge? Yes, and I wish someone would have warned me about them first. Don't be deceived by this cult-like organization.

Lee

Anonymous said...

i had no choice but to go to teen challenge in 2001 or go to prison for 5 years, obviously i chose teen challenge. I nor my family nor the court or my probation officer had any idea that i had to fake it to make it. It screwed me up psychologically for years, I used to cry when i finally got out whenever the phone rang, because i thought it was them. When my mandatory year was up, my probation officer had to fight and threaten to go to court to get me out. I was in during 9/11 and we were only able to watch the tv for 1 hour, no newspapers, an when my mother called to check on me, i was told 5 days later in her frantic 10 minute "allowed" phone call about it for the first time. There was a very abusive "counselor" there who was basically a "graduate" looking for a place to live. She constantly verbally abused me and others for sport. I am Luthern and was told that is an evil non-religion and that all Lutherns and my parents and family inclued were all going to hell. I tried so hard to be as fanatical as the churches i was forced to go to, but i didn't understand speaking in tougnes, and was also told it was because of lack of spirituality. I got kidney stones while there and against a doctor's advice was refused pain medication, as was a parkinson's patient who was also there, who left because her disease got so bad, she couldn't even sit still for 5 seconds. We were told she didn't believe enough. I could go on and on forever. Oh, and I relapsed HARD too, and finally got clean on my own, and have been for 5 years. But the damage teen challenge did follows me yet. It took me a long time to "forgive" and accept God again, but now it is on my terms, and I am not terrified of him any longer. Teen Challenge claims to follow Bible, yet enforces their own beliefs on people, biblical or not. Unqualified people working with very needy inividuals, doing terrible damage. I hope to someday be able to think the name Teen Challenge and not get a cold shiver, but i doubt it.

marie(in honor of a girl who was kicked out for smoking and died a month later) said...

I just wanted to thank you for this incrediable post. For so long, I felt like I was the only person in the world who was abused by Teen Challenge...I felt so guilty, so ashamed, so unholy. Teen Challenge encouraged these feelings as I left, unwilling to accept their religion. I have my own beliefs, and at the time, I had a serious drug problem. I was told to get off drugs, I had to get hooked on Jesus. Because my "relationship" with Jesus didn't coincide with their dogma, I "didn't get" the program, and was insubordinant when I claimed to like Aerosmith (I guess they are the devil's music???) I was not allowed to talk about my drug problem or how to solve it, in fact, doing so meant physical punishment, such as scrubbing a van out with a toothbrush, amongst many many things. When we were allowed to talk (only during certain times and on certain floors of the house) it was only to discuss God an/or Jesus in fanatical cult-like ramblings. I also was ridiculed publically by a councelor for not participating in praying out loud with the group, I felt my religion was my business, between me and God. There was a "student" there who physically and verbally attacked another student constantly, but because she was a favorite, the councelors let it happen. The poor woman was terrified of the bully day and night, and finally left. Everyone (mock) prayed for her. I try to share my pain to let it out with my husband, but I just can't explain it the way people who have been there know how it feels. It was like being a mental POW prisoner. I was always scare to death, did everything not to get into trouble...I am a 26 year old woman! I was forced like all the other women to stand in front of various stores with cans to collect $ too. And tell my life story in front of church people to get their $, my very private painful story. It was a good tear jerker, so I was always put up on stage. I feel like my time there was an abusive relationship. When I finally got clean (after I relapsed after Teen Challenge). I don't remember anything they supposedly taught me, I just remember the fear. Thanks for this blog, thanks for letting me know I'm not the only one, and it's not my fault.

Joni said...

My cousin just came back from the Savannah, Georgia Teen Challenge. He has only been there for two weeks and in those two weeks he found it not to be the place that it is at first impression. They were only given a meat and boiled potatoes or something to that nature. He only recieved two vegatables the entire two weeks he was there. He had to work for his food which was fine. But, I believe each student was given food stamps and in return they got powdered milk instead of real milk. Also they wouldn't let his sister or his mother come to church on Sunday's which they were orginally told they would be able to. My cousin finally was able to call and his sister came and got him today. I am glad. I want him to get better of his alcholism but he doesn't deserve to be in prison for having a disease. I believe that Teen Challenge was a good thing in the beginning of it's time but I think that money has gotten in it's way and they are exploiting it for all that it is worth. Watch out and ask questions before you send your loved one there.

Anonymous said...

Hey everyone. My boyfriend just went into the Long Island Teen Challenge. He has only been there for one week, and I haven't spoken to him yet, but I am wondering if all that I am reading about Teen Challenge is true? This is not the first website that I found posts and things of that sort, of how Teen Challenge is a bad place. I am scared and worried for my boyfriend, and I don't want him to experience all that i have read. Is this really true?

Anonymous said...

I was at teen challenge okanagan,bc and found it to be a very self centered pentecostal roller coaster.We lacked staff with grace,and i really question there success rate.I really felt that the only thing that mattered was raising money for teen challenge.I felt i wasn't told the truth,that this ministry was non-denominational,when in fact it was full blown pentecostal doctrine.I left teen challenge,with no money to get back to my hometown,hitchhiking,with staff telling me i was going to fail because i left.(wow so much for encouragement)My reason for writing this is not to attack teen challenge but with the hope that people looking for treatment investigate and really know what the treatment centre is truly about and ask the hard questions.

Anonymous said...

I went into Teen Challenge in Hot Springs, Ar on 1 oct. 07. For the next 7 days I was constantly berated and told that I was going to hell, that God hated me, that I would never be allowed into heaven, that God would turn a blind eye to me and cast me into hell...ect..ect. Why? Because I am Gay. I was told that this was a volunteer program, but yet it took 4 days to finally get off of the property. Everyday there was a new reason that I couldn't go. Not enough staff, no keys to that van, the Greyhound bus wasn't running. I was also told over and over again that if I left, the donations that mt family were making would stop and that I would personally be responsible for taking the food out of my "brothers" mouths. We never were able to go to church like was promoted because nobody on the staff could drive the bus. We had rice for breakfast 4 mornings in a row because there were no food donations comming in. We could not hum, whistle or sing any music but Christian, and if we did, we had to build alters, dig ditches, chop wood and write Bible verses repeatedly. The location I was at said that it costs $1,100.00 per student per month. HOW? The food was dontated, The transportation was donated, the closthes were donated, the tools to dig and chop with were donated, the pencils, pens and paper were donated. The "students" were "hired-out" to help off-set the cost of the program. The "ministers" live on the property in Trailer homes....all donated. If a student came to TC and didn't have the proper cloth8ing to attend church, they were allowed into the "Blessing Room", with the understanding that the worth of the items you were "blessed" with would be worked off. When I finally was transported to the local bus station, I was told that my brother had to take off of work to meet me because he was worried that I would kill myself. I was told that if I loved my family, I would never go home because God wanted me in the TC "ministry". The truth is, my brother was off that day already, and had called TC to tell them he was coming to get me, and THEY told him that I was suicidal. Lie after lie after lie. I was totally shocked and disgusted at the mind-games played at this place. Had I beed a more naive person, I would have been in bad shape. I am going to find the rules packet I was givien and be back to post them. Teen Challenge is a brain-washing machine.

Lisa said...

I was in TC Houston for one month. I was raised in church so I could not believe the things that were going on in there. God is forced down your throat 24/7. And at all other times your raising money for them. Money you will never see. You can't even speak to your parents and tell them what is really happening there because they will take the phone away. All the girls would get off the phone crying not because they missed their family but because they had someone standing over them and they couldn't tell their parents how bad it was there. I chose to leave because of the extreme conditions that place was in, it was literally hell. They put me out on the street and locked me out at 11 pm in a bad neighborhood with none of my stuff and wouldn't even let me use the phone for a ride.(They said it was against the rules) Real christian people right. Then when i returned to get my stuff they told me i would have to come back when a director was there so on my 2nd trip back (which i live an hour away) the director Rex tried to fight my little brother he actually got in his face pushing and cursing him because they would not give me my purse or my belongings and my brother couldn't believe what was happening. We actually had to call the police and they made him give me my stuff. He said it wasn't his problem I chose to leave. Its a total cult and a money making scheme. When u see them outside of walmart, kroger...etc please remember this and don't give them a penny. It goes straight into their pockets. I'm just glad my family got to see the real side of it because they have financially supported TC for 15 yrs. but never again.

Anonymous said...

I want everyone to know about TEEN CHALLENGE ! I too have a child in one and over the past several months I have seen that they are not what they appear. They do not want to help the ladies the way they explain when you sign up. This is about money...money..money. Working them 14,15 hours a day - Pancaking- sharing their testiomonies to get people to give more, using church as a cover up. Taking love offerings - having them stand on street corners to beg for money at night. Call them on it and they just lie...they have found away to get away with this for years-they will be challenged! You can't hide from God he see's everything- if you do wrong by making profits off of these girls then you are a pimp- they are not your prostitutes. You are preying on the ones who really need help, where is the truth? Why have you stooped so low to fill your own pocket? Christians right?
You are no more than pan hadeling fourcing others to work for you. You will be caught.
What happens when they are sick you tell them to suck it up- you are not letting God help you.
Dr. requires meds. you won't let them take it. They have fevers you say stay in bed. THEY GET HURT -YOU TELL THEM TO LEAVE TEEN CHALLENGE THEY ARE NO GOOD TO YOU.
You cheat the families from their visiting hours, we are suppose to get phone calls every week- we don't...you give onle excuses as to why they can't call.
I noticed thqat they have a very high turn-over rate just this past week out of thirty girls over half of them are new. $1000.00 a girl...man it doesn't take a brain surgeon to see.
The food is donated, the girls are all on food stamps....they take it right? Working at Walmart, standing on the street corners, donations, introdution fees, love offerings...hmmm...how much do you profit? What about the building...repairs...fire hazards...,????
I could go on...on...please if you have a child I ask you to post...let others here your voice, help us save these who have been hurt.
Recover will come only once the bad apples have been removed. I'm sure that the founder who originally started this heart was true.
Must remove the diseased apples to keep the crop fresh and growing.

caligurl06JMB said...

I was in the program for three months, and my family had to fly 700 miles to come get me out. I was very disappointed how it turned out. But I do know that all of the Centers are not all negative, I was at the Channelview Center. It was awful, they did not help us find the root of why we began our addictions, but just told us not to think about it anymore. Twenty women left while I was there, one young lady having severe Hep C and her family living in Ohio, I dont know what happened to her.

When I got to talk to my family (which was seldom)They glared at me and sometimes listened in on the conversations. When my mother flew out to visit me, she saw how it was, none of the "interns" were very nice, they would not let my mother give me the things she bought and brought with her. It was a hard three months. On New Years day I was sick from the nine days straight of fundraising that we so needed, but was able to call home.

My mom said I did not sound very well, and I did not want to say "GET ME OUT OF HERE!!" But I think she knew, she told me to just pray, and ask Jesus to pray for me to the Father.

So I did. I went to my bed and cried out in prayer, that He do what was in His will. Not five minutes later it was total chaos, they told me that my mom had called and said to take me to the airport immediately, and asked what I had said to provoke this, I just told them "Well, you were listening to everything that was said, did you hear anything suspicious?" They had no answer and began harassing me telling me it was God's will for me to stay, and I told them it was not God's will for me to be a part of the stealing, lying, cheating, and verbal and physical abuse. They just stared at me and said that I needed to listen to the "right voices in my head" So I walked out, after finding that they would not let me leave for a few days, and they might take me to the bus stop in two or three days.
They refused to call my mother, and Kim Kain told the girls to keep me there, I got my jacket on and left.

Within three hours my mom was there from TN and the next day we brought the Sheriff to gather my things, but all of my things were not there.
They refused to give me my $200.00 Walmart gift card, my VISA card, and yelled at my mom when she said that she just wanted my winter coat and Bible shipped to her. They hung up the phone. Rex Turner hung up. Kim Kain screamed at my mother, and repeated to hang up.

I don't think my time was wasted there, I am now sober and alive. But making sure that people have the correct experience is key.

I would suggest an Investigation upon TC in Channelview, but unless you have direct reference from someone who has experienced the facility try not to judge or assume.

Yes they brainwash, and make the girls beg for money, does it cost over $100,00.00 a month to run that center? Well I know that I made well over $3,000.00 a weekend in front of Wal-Mart, and then with the regular donations, the $1,000.00 intro fee, the church contributions, the groceries they dont pay for but make the kitchen girls stretch $200.00 a week for three meals a day for forty people seven days a week. Thats ridiculous, the ignorance of the leaders and unorganization was outstanding.

But I love my sisters that were there.
They can do with their lives as they will, but when it affects other people is when its a problem.

It being "free" is also a joke, my parents have put over $3,000.00 into the time I had there.
They make it seem like your an inconvenience to them by staying there, and it makes me sad to see them call themselves "Christians"
I have been a believer for 12 years, and to have a two month old Christian that this is the was seemed a bit off.

But I'm out, and I'm doing great, I am in a few different programs and support groups a few times a week.
Residential Rehab is just no for me, but I know it is for some.

The money situation is getting worse in Channelview, they knock on peoples doors, work in factories, stand in the freezing rain asking for donations, selling crafts.

I was only there Monday, Tuesday, and sometimes Wednesday, but those days were spent at Cooler Graphics.

If you have a daughter there, let her know you love her, and if you can get her out. Do it, there are other places to go that are safe and help with recovery.

~Jessica, TN

Anonymous said...

My name is Deidre. I was in the Indianapolis Indiana, which then one a huge cement building that for a short period of time had a boys program in a house behind the alley. There were huge fences, and a motorcycle gang on the next street. There was also a house across the street that a woman ran a similar program at. She apparently had ran teen challenge for awhile, but was caught punishing girls by locking them in closets with gay girls, and the place was almost shut down. I remember the news would come in sometimes to DOA story on us as a follow up to say how much better the place was since she had left....(NOT)Teen Challenge from the age of 14 to 16.5, I am now 41. Basicaly my mom had always paid a Christian lady to take care of me and when she no longer could, she sent me there. Now I had been use to going to a Christian School and church 3 times a week. I had never done drugs, or had , had sex. But I did sneak and put on makeup, ( to cover acne) and called boys ( improper so I was told) so off I was sent to teen challenge. Upon my arrival my bag was taken from me where the staff then removed any picture of a boy, or aresol hair spay and such. I was in shock, and did complain. For which I was made to scrub the mess hall all night with my tooth brush. I was completely out of my element there as a lot of the girls had been postludes and such. After being there for a long time Finally one of the male staff members befriended me,and was always trying to talk to me. At first I wouldn't then I finally started to open up. His name was TONY McGrath, ( did I add before getting saved he had been a pimp. ( why the would let some one like that around teen age girls I have no idea. As I started getting closer to him all the preaching's started to kind of mind warp me. I remember really looking at him as a father figure which I had never had, and wanted very much. I remember during one of the sermons we were learning about spiritual fathers. So I asked Tony if he would be my spiritual father. Of course in my little girl way what I was really wanting was a daddy. When Tony's wife became pregnant, I made the mistake of telling my counselor that I was afraid once Tony had his child he wouldn't wasn't me anymore. ( BIG MISTAKE) I had been in the program for a year and was graduating the next month. I was pulled into the office and demoted for having "lust in my heart ( keep in mind I was a virgin, and didn't even know what that meant) and not raising my hands in church. I had to stay another year. During which time my mother stopped sending money in. I was constantly called into the office and harassed about this. My mother lived in Washington State so I had no visits. They started taking me around to a bunch of churches making me give my testimony. Till I became very good at it and felt like I was the guest speaker . They would pass around the plate and the money flowed in. They sent my picture and testimony out in pamphlets with out my permission, to get more money. Mean while I had learned to play the game. The first year, I had actually started believing the stuff I heard. I remember thinking If Tony can love me the way I am and he is close to God, how much more God must be loving. I forgot to tell you after they pulled me into the office that time, they had Tony call me and tell me he never wanted to speak to me again. I was crushed. To get a little ahead of myself he also did this to a girl named Valerie that was my best friend while there. She ended up dying in her sleep of a brain tumor nobody knew she had. She spent her last few months crying over what Tony did. Tony left and became a youth pastor somewhere. Boy would I like to get his number and give him a piece of my mind. They took us on a road trip one time in a school bus to the men's program in Pessilvania. Our bus flipped over and I remember injuring my back and neck. When the hospital released me, they gave me pain killers, but
The staff never allowed me to take them. I remember going to the head Dean "Julie a black lady) and telling her that the new girl Vicky who was big was telling me she was in love with me, and witting my name on her notebooks, and that I was afraid of her. I was hit with a board and told I should be ashamed of myself, accusing someone of being gay when all she wanted was love. A bout a month later she was caught trying to break into my room with a knife to rape me, and upon admitting she was gay expelled. No apology was given to me for my beating from the staff when I went to them for help. By the time I finally got out of there I did later end up doing drugs. I forgot to say that while there they had some teachers come in to teach the whole room of kids English or math even though our ages differed greatly. When I left and wanted to enroll in 11th grade my Scholl records had dissapeared , so I had the choice of repeating high school or getting a ged. I got the ged. I have never stepped foot in a church again. I wound up doing drugs and getting hepatitus C . Had I never gone to that place I would probably continued to not do drugs, and would of went to church. Did they mess up my mind, and faith. MOST CERTAINLY!!!!!!!!!! I am 41 with 2 adult daughters that I raised alone, and now am step mom to two small kids, and after all these years I can still say that place was bad, and had a very negative impact on my life!

Deidre

Anonymous said...

P.S.
I forgot to tell you I once had to write an essay in print. It had to be 12 pages the subject- Temptation. and it all had to backed by biblical scripture. I remember re-writting and re-writting each time making the letters bigger in an attempt to come up with 12 pages worth. We also had to memorize whole chapters of the bible to be able to go from one phase of the program to another. Including being able to say all the books of the bible in order from memory infront of eveyone. Please forgive my spelling errors in this post and my last. Remember thanks to them messing up my education, I didn't get to graduate.
Deidre dhsaber@inbox.com

Anonymous said...

I left the North Dakota Teen Challenge after being there for one year. I got kicked out because I didn't tell on my roomates for having a cell phone. I left there more confused, lost, and with more anxiety. I am always paranoid that I am doing something wrong and I feel like I dont deserve anything unless I am perfect. Teen Challenge did help me deal with some of my family problems and I do have a realtionship with God but I am confused on my life now. Thanks MIKE EDWARDS YOU CONTROL FREAK

Anonymous said...

teen challenge jupiter fl.
iam an adult now and as im looking back on my experiance at tc i see 24 months down the drain to be counsled for so long and to have put your trust into the staff telling them things i had never told a soul just to be released with out ANY follow up program.. my parents waisted a lot of money and as i read in another blog teen challenge is trying to exploite broken souls for there own benifit

Anonymous said...

Has Anyone been to the Minneapolis, MN TC? Your Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

I was in the Alabama Teen Challenge 6 years ago. I had a problem with drugs sex and low self esteem, so naturally my parents were looking for a safe and healthy alternative for me. My aunt is very religious and happened upon Teen Challenge. My parents paid $3000 a month for me to attend the program. They flew me down south and were not with me when I enrolled into the program. On the phone with my parents they promised horse back riding and an olympic sized swimming pool, they promised absurd luxuries and overall I would be very well taken care of. When I got there, it was a tiny little cement building with shitty bunkbeds sleeping 15 girls to a room.

While I was there they were in the middle of construction and often had to do construction work- dig holes and carry logs into a bonfire. While working in the extreme heat and sun I got dehydrated and was denied water and sunscreen becoming VERY sunburnt. During my time there I became VERY ill, I desperately needed to go to the hospital, they told my parents they wouldn't allow me to go. My mother threatened to send the police and EMT's there to physically remove me from their care because at that point I could no longer talk nor move, at that statement they finally took me.

During my stay I was forced to pray and practice their religion when they promised upon entry to the program that they would let me go at my own pace. I came from a family where religion was not a large focus so it was all brand new to me. I remember they physically forced me to be anointed with holy water, as if to cleanse me of all my sins.

During my time they monitored all my phone calls and hung up on my conversation with my mother on more than one occasion because they did not like what I was saying. My calls were only 15 mins at once so I was not allowed to stress to her how awful it truly was and how mentally broken down I was becoming. It got to the point I was suicidal and shut down. Upon one of my emotional breakdowns one of the counselors mocked me and then locked me in a closet while I cried and she "prayed" over me. Our counselors were previous drug addicts and prostitutes and were not licensed by the state, nor was the teaching instructor. One counselor had her son live with her inside the same small building and he would constantly run around naked peeing on the floors. They would often rifle through our things and take away whatever they deemed "non christian".

I was promsied I would be able to fulfill my high school diploma in a home schooled setting while there. Because of the months I spent there, when I finally arrived home those credits I supposedly earned were NOT real and I either had to repeat a year of public high school or drop out. When I left they said I was the worst girl they had in the program because I was unwilling to submit to their fanatic religious views. However, they wanted my parents to hand over custody of me to the state so that they could become my legal guardians.

Before I left, I was forced to clean the old building that was damaged during a twister. I had to walk through broken glass and boards from the roof and walls that had nails sticking out of them. I was also forced to clean a toilet full of piss and shit that had sat stagnant for 2 months. I was also made to kill cockroaches while none of the other girls were made to do the same thing. The counselors were harder on me than the other girls because I was a Yankee. There was only one counselor whom I bonded with and she left the program because she couldn't stand what the directors were subjecting us to, particularly me. (My own little justice, I looked on their website and the ENTIRE staff has been replaced including the Cadillac driving director!)

When I left I was so mentally exhausted that I was traumatized for months after out of fear of being sent back there. I was deprived of intellectual stimulation and my experience mutilated my teenage years. My parents requested receipts for the money they paid but they were never able to present them.

Anonymous said...

my girlfriends in teen challenge, says its very strict, but unable to reach her. im afraid theywill turn her against me. we partied occasionally but she had no choice and lost faith, i was able to see her at the SD teen challenge, but they saw me talking to her and made me leave.

Anonymous said...

In an attempt to help our son with his addictions, we chose Teen Challenge. We soon discovered a work program with little assistance of changing thoughts and the core reasons for seeking substance abuse. Upon returning home (for a medical issue) that turned from an anticipated short time away to almost two months, we discovered that ALL of my sons belongings were GONE! If they can't be responsible for keeping belongings safe, how in the world should parents trust that their kids will be safe?
I'm extremely disappointed in what I thought was a good program. Perhaps in its infancy, it was good, but has turned into a labor camp! Keep your son's away from Teen Challenge in Georgia.

savenicky said...

My stepson was placed in Teen Challenge in Boniday, Florida by his mother after she found out that he made contact with my husband. This was done illegally, and we have court pending. Has anyone filed suit against this ranch? Experiences at the ranch?

ian said...

I'm glad to see someone took the time to put something like this together & would be more than happy to share my experience. I completed the Minnesota Teen Challenge Program in August 1999 after 12 months. I was in the teen boys program. This was an alternative to an eighteen-month jail sentence. Jail could very well have been a viable alternative in hindsight, but i don't harp on the idea. my personal experiences, though terrible to a degree, was nothing in comparison to what others had experienced & what was really going on overall. it was much like any other faith based organization. There were both genuine people who wanted to help as well as religious zealots on a recruiting mission. Unfortunately the latter remained towards the head of the organization. There was not much in the way of retention for staffers who were not of a "holy-roller" mindset. During my stay our group had a revolving door of staff members, many with questionable credentials. As a result we were left unsupervised...constantly. During such an instance I was brutally assaulted by a problem student. That same problem student attempted to assault a staff member with a paper bag filled with broken lightbulbs & other household shrapnel. Luckily for most of us he was removed for that...that was about the worst of my experience...i could share more, but unless it will make a difference i don't see a good reason. on to the really terrible things that went on over there that may change some minds...

1) 2 deaths occured while i was in the program in the adult men's group. both could be chalked up to a lack of supervision.

2) on at least one occasion staff & students were found with drugs. the staff was providing the drugs. it should be noted that the staff with the most longevity are often people who have completed the program. often times when men refused internships their stays would mysteriously increase.

3) in the winter of 98/99 a resident broke the security system on the door. for months the door was unsecure & homeless people would use uninhabited gathering rooms as flop houses. this was tolerated for the most part. it should also be noted that this residence @ 3325 Nicollete Ave S in Mpls was located between an active crack house & gang-affiliated flop house.

4) At one point a member of the teen boys staff had tried to expose them to an alleged cult that he helped create with other area christians (and by christians i mean businessmen). The name is you can run but you cannot hide ministries. They advocate sexist, homophobic, & and radical messages about Jesus. They also have offshoot ministries to address more specific "issues".

5) The school or curriculum @ teen challenge was apparently not accredited. my high school at home wanted me to repeat my freshman year. it took a lawyer & serious testing to get the right thing done. i left teen challenge under the impression that i had completed 3 years worth of high school classes & should have entered high school as a junior or senior. I was instead entered as a sophomore, right back where i started. As a result of the frustration & a desire to work & experience life - i dropped out at the beginning of my junior year. It worked out fine for me...I don't know that others could be as resilient.


the moral of the story is that this place breeds handshy cynics with severe trust issues.

i'm not sure if any of this information is of any help to anyone if anything can be done 10 years later...but I'm definitely happy to share. I am crime-free since completing the program. I run a data center & own a recording studio in CT. I also play with real estate & function as a touring musician in my downtime. This is the direct result of a motivation to never have to hear another "real christian" again. Stay away from this place if you don't want to make things worse for whomever you think might need help.

Anonymous said...

My fiance, whom I have an 8 month old son with has been in teen challenge since Novemeber. When he went in everything was fine, I was able to see him and everything. He then got into the "second phase" he supposibly was able to have passes then. Which we were waiting for the whole time. Now they're telling me that I can't see him at all. Period. Nor can his son. He is cort ordered to be there, I am trying to get things together that might help him get out. If anyone can help me, please contact me. jenjen914@yahoo.com

I am beyond desperate.

Anonymous said...

I have been on both sides of the fence as far as Teen Challenge goes. I was a student in the Davie Teen Challenge. I grew up in a Baptist home, so I knew about God. I didn't go along with their brainwashing attempts to get me to speak in tongues, or see 'visions' or have the 'laughing' spirit, or see gold dust...they told me mother that they were going to return me to the drug addict boyfriend that I came from if she didn't find me transportation home because they were dismissing me because, in essence I didn't go along with their cult mentality...all this one month before I was to graduate. Then October 2007-January 2008 I worked in the Chattanooga TN center as a staff, I have a strong desire to help people, and thought that this place was different. BOY WAS I WRONG. Yelling and screaming at the ladies for making mistakes or doing things wrong. I wasn't allowed to express my thoughts that speaking in tongues isn't for everyone, I never pressured or pushed that on any of the ladies, as it is not something that I believe is Biblical. When I joined the gym, grave concern hit the fans, I was told that I looked like I had a eating disorder, mind you all of the staff members were fat and had an addiction to food, so someone thin and wanting to stay in shape was a threat to them. While you were off duty you were not really allowed to have your free time, you were expected to be around the ladies, and participate in everything in your OFF time. I was dismissed in January due to my conflict of 'theological' differences. My heart goes out to those ladies, and to any one in Teen Challenge. They are being brained washed without a doubt. They aren't there to help people, its sick how they twist and warp the message of Christ!

Anonymous said...

I wasn't at Teen Challenge, but I was at Mercy Ministries.

They abused and manipulated me there, much in the way some of you are describing about TC. If you google them it should come up with some of the experiences of young people there.

I had no idea TC was just as bad as Mercy Ministries. Thank you for providing this website so that others like me can learn more about these creepy programs run by questionable people who love nothing but tax write offs and power over vulnerable people.

Anonymous said...

my name is james.I when through 18 months of hell. West Florida Teen Challange in Bonifay FL. They would use fear to convert you to christianity. If you said no then you were a heathen. I said there was no god so they put me in a sand pit for three weeks and i ate peanut butter sandwiches and water for all my meals until i said there was a god. true story I was there from 6/06 to 12/07. Please feel free to ask questions It is a military style boot camp

Dee in TX said...

Does ANYONE have ANY information on this facility in New Mexico?

Dee in TX

Anonymous said...

you know i went to the teen challenge in houston, the womens center thinking i was embarking on a new life drug free and spiritrually stable, boy was i wrong!!! how is making people stand outside in the freezing rain, sweltering heat, and other unbearable weather conditions going to help? yeah ppl said it was breaking us down and making us stronger in the Lord, but really all i saw was them being MONEY HUNGRY!!!!!!! and then after all this "pancaking" for 10-12 hrs a day we had to do the same thing the next day. that group of ppl were even going into louisiana prentending to be from somewhere else around there or atleast saying we were there trying to raise money to build them a center. what a crock!!! and ya know with all that $$ we earned, they still used our names for food stamps, and we never got a day off. it was completly rediculious. we were supposed to get to talk to our families twice a week, yeah right...once every two weeks if we were lucky. they would just tell us that our parents would understand and we were out doing God's work, but i guarantee u that they were unable to talk to theirs. and dont even get me started on me seeing them literally kicking ppl out at 1 am without letting them use a phone oh and the teen challenge in houston is of course in a BAD neighborhood. if you have the opportunity or even consider teen challenge, DONT!!!! yeah we might have seemed like a good thing when u met us in front of a walmart, but thats all a lie too! were pretty much "forced" to say these things! STAY FAR AWAY!!!!!

Cameron said...

Wonderful post. The majority if not all of the staff are hypocritical. They claim to follow the bible as it stands, but doesnt the bible say "thou shall not judge others" or something of that sort. When i first got there, i ran away and when i was found and brought back to the facility, more like a doublewide with a garage, we all had to run laps in front. While running laps, they other boys were encourged to taunt and make fun and scream at me. Until one threw a large size rock that hit me in my head. There was no punishment to any of the boys but me. I had to continue my laps alone.

At the anual ball or fundraiser or something, i was allowed to spend the day with my mother. I explained everything that went on and no questions asked, she bought me a plane ticket and left all of my things there.. I spent 2 months total there.

I didnt learn a thing.

I returned to my old lifestyle and was sentanced to an ACTUAL Rehab, spent 4 months. I have been clean for 3 and a half years and still going strong. The Program sucks, and i would not recomend it for ANY types of treatment. Not even behavioral. All it was was a big punishment. A punishment that put my family in debt for years.

I am disgusted to hear that this is happening everywhere. Something needs to be done.

There wasnt one time that we talked about drug treatment. just god. god god god. all the time.

2005 Graduate said...

As my name implies I am a 2005 graduate.Teen Challenge has destroyed my trust for Christans. Their belief that all the ills caused by addiction can be cured by prayer is not my idea of proper treatment. Staff not trained in even the smallest amount in regards to the physical,mental aspect of addiction. No one who a doctor had determined need to be on anti-depressants was allowed,prayer was all you need. No other view point in regards to a higher power other than the Christan God was tolerated. They made me throw away my AA Big Book. It was a gift from my deceased alcoholic mother,that hurt. Prayer memorization and work calls filled your days. I will continue to post about my experience. As a note I was "banned" from the Teen Challenge USA message board just for telling about what happened. They will not tolerate dissent. As a note I never used any bad language or violated any normal blogging rules.

Robert said...

Teen Challenge is one of the biggest scams in the US. I was in TC in Pensacola, FL for eight months and it was a nightmare. Brother Allen in a liar and a crook. My account was robbed of money on almost a monthly basis and they had no explanation for it. I do have an explanation for it, they kept it for themselves. I lost 50 pounds in TC from being over worked and under fed. How could this be considered "christian" behavior. I have been clean for over 3 years and no credit should or will be given to Teen Challenge. Damn them all to hell. Please don't let any one you know go to TC for their own physical and mental safety.

Anonymous said...

I was in the Teen Challenge in New Mexico. I was there for seven months. I left because of the hypocrisy. Our staff was constantly telling us that we would go to hell even if we mentioned friends from our past.It was completely ridiculous.We could not tell our families about what was really happening there or else they would pull the phone line.We were allowed a visit once every month after we were in residence for three months.It was a miracle if we even got to go on the visit however because we were always traveling to go on "ministry trips." It was a total scam to get peoples money.I was sick and could barely walk so the staff made me stay in bed all day which was good.Until the president was giving a speech on television and i was "required" to watch it. I told my staff that I would not because I was too sick and needed to rest.Needless to say, it didn't matter to them.One of the staff told me that I would have "dumpster duty" the next day and of course, I did. At first, they would not even let me have a shower after emptying all the trash out of the dumpster,scrubbing it with a toothbrush, and then reloading the trash back into the dumpster.I finally was able to take one after much complaining.Our food was always molded and while i was very grateful for it, you can only eat so much hard bread and molded food.I was given the blessing of being able to go to the boys center with one of the staff which i considered to be an honor because girls could not even LOOK in the direction of a guy without being punished.Well boy, that was NOWHERE near what I considered to be honorable. Turns out, one of the staff was a little TOO interested in one of the male students.I told the director and was not allowed to talk to anyone, including the staff, about what happened.They made me feel weak.I have some good memories there, don't get me wrong, but I could NOT nor would I want to recommend anyone for Teen Challenge of New Mexico.If you have any questions, feel free to ask.Post a comment and Ill get back with you.I am so glad this site was posted.

Anonymous said...

I just stumbled on this site. I have heard of the problems with Teen Challenge. I am glad this site exists. I was in a facility called Victory Christian Academy. It was a fundamentalist Baptist reform school in California (has since been shut down) and I was locked up there for a year to be "reformed!" Needless to say, it didn't work. It is great that people are speaking out. I have written a book about my own abusive experience called Reform at Victory. Please visit my site at www.ReformAtVictory.com. I'd love to hear from anyone who wants to, or needs to, talk. No one should be abused in the name of treatment. I think teen challenge is on the watch list at www.isaccorp.org. This is the International Survivor's Action Committee web site. It's a great site.

Anonymous said...

I also went to teen challenge of new mexico-I had good and bad experiences, but I can look back on it with good memories-The staff were very strict and 2 staff were really mean to me. However, I wish I could get in contact with my friends from there. I was there from 1999-2001. My name is Mary. If anyone is a friend or might know me. Please message me at clanoffraser@comcast.net

Anonymous said...

Teen Challenge Pensacola Fl

Aside from preaching on sundays and handing out discipline the staff and pastors of teen challenge pensacola do absolutley nothing. The campus is run by "interns" who have not even had 6 months clean themselves. Some interns have only been in the program for up to 3 months. Most of the students are not their voluntary as they advertise but are sent from jails and dont want to be there. During my 6 month stay the following things happened.
1. At least 4 ppl cut off 1 or more fingers working in the wood shop to sell crosses at walmarts (the saftey guard from the table saw was removed for faster production of crosses)
2. Staph infections.. one student got a really bad staph infection from sharing a room with someone who had staph (in prison they quarintine staph residents)It was so bad he couldnt even sit down (it was on his butt) but they made him work anyways in their "call center" and the staph was leaking threw his pants onto chairs not only at work but in the cafeteria and else where.
3. You can only go to the hospital on mondays or tuesdays and visits are more or less unsupervised. Several ocasions students filled prescriptions such as valium which resulted in chaos on campus.
4. When students were sent to "store fronts" to sell crosses made in the wood shop at walmarts they would get drunk and buy drugs with the donation money.
5. Homosexuality.. 3 students were caught in the prayer closet and a younger student left the program with a older man after being caught in the wood shop.
6. Relapses many relapses ocured some students went to the length of snuffing foot powder or gasoline to get high
7. Withdrawls .. this facility dose not require you to be "clean" before starting... they put u right to work ... several times new students had to be rushed to the hospital from withdrawl from being over worked too soon.
8. Stealing... several students left the program with other students clothes and just disapeared.. the biggest theft was when one of the persons who cut off their fingers had his pain medication which was rarley given to him kept in the pastors office... some students actually broke in threw the ceiling (and fell threw it) ultimatley getting caught stealing the pills.
9. Lies ... such as Pastor Allen claimed the history channel was comming to the campus to film the moving of his church... He plained to raise a million dollars to move a concrete structure
10. No records... where dose all the cash go? There are no invoices for car washes and fund raisers and yard sales? And who would trust addicts selling time shares for summer bay resort handling thousands of credit card numbers a day?

I could go on and on and on

email me if you want more information STforgotten@aol.com

your time is up said...

HERE ARE SOME NAMES

JIM VITALE Brockton Director Teen Challenge 1998 Kills self after being fired Jim liked to go back to his native Connecticut and snort coke with people he grew up with after years of this taking place the board finally fired him. I will tell you more about this guy in later posts.

Next we have

Henry Perez TCMI Direcor of staff training institute actually paid someone to teach him to smoke crack
Henery was below the radar for some time because he blamed his strange behavior on a condition he said he suffered from "bi polar" Henry was picked up on several occasions running naked down the street. More on Henry Later.

Next Is

Walter Brown Walter was the womens teen challenge director of Teen challenge In RI Walter had to go through the program again and is no longer A trusted Leader of Teen challenge. Much more on Walter later.

another guy is still the director of Bakersfield He got a pas from the southern California DON of teen Challenge Dennis Griffith. Rod was another pill popper who's wife gave him a choice confess or i leave you Tod still remains head of Bakersfield Teen Challenge

Another guy is From Phenoix

ANGEL ROSA

Ran off with a very younger woman and left his ministry and his wife and family...

there are many others that I will speak of if I am allowed to on this blog but for now i give you a taste of just some of the goings ons at this Center

Teen Challenge is a very Dangerous place for anyone to attend.

Mary said...

Hello...i went to Teen Challenge for girls in Columbus GA....it was a living hell...I am in the process of writing an expose on it. I graduated on
June 17, 2005. One quick comment I can leave now is this: when my friend and I realized we were being brainwashed, we showed all the other girls the definition of brainwashing in the encyclopedia and dictionary...with in a week of this, those definitions were cut OUT OF the dictionary and encyclolpedia....pretty fucked up huh? I'd say so...

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have any reviews about Teen Challenge in Channelview, the Houston Campus?

Anonymous said...

I was at Teen Challenge of NM in 1995. i would not recomend it to anyone. Was anyone else there during this time on here?

Anonymous said...

I went to the Teen Challenge in Brooklyn, NY, but only stayed one night. I left because it was immediately obvious to me that the success rate is on high because no one ever leaves! In fact, there was a young man soliciting donations for Teen Challenge outside of my local Wal-Mart today and he told me that he's been there for 2 years already.

CAFETY.org said...

Im looking to get in contact with any people who have/or know anyone who has experienced abuse at the Minnesota branch of Teen Challenge. I saw one post on here from a user named Ian. I work for an organization CAFETY (Community Alliance for the Ethical Treatment of Youth)that is looking to shut down these abusive treatment facilities. I'm trying to get in contact with any survivors of Teen Challenge (it doesnt necessatily have to be Minnesota) Please contact me at chris@cafety.org ASAP!

Anonymous said...

I had a bad drug addiction and I needed help and my parents sent me to Teen Challenge of greater Cleveland. I checked in memorial day weekend. The people were very nice and it didn't seem bad at all, or so I thought. I have been raised in church all my life and am a minister's son. Now I will do my best to keep this short, but I could write a book about everything that happened there. Staff there are former graduates of the program who can even become counselors right after graduating. The rules are very strict. Some times you cannot speak at all,(and I'm not talking about prayer or services.) Discipline is receved as long write-offs. One of their rules based upon the Bible is that if two people testify to a counselor about someone else's wrong doing then that person is automatically guilty. Two people testified that someone was smoking and the counselors punished him anyways, even though they didn't have any proof. Smoking there receives severe "discipline." That person denied it at first and the counselors told him he was a liar and would receive more discipline because he denied it. He ended up writing the gospels of the Bible and the book of Revelation word for word. This took him way over 24 hours. Had he refused, he would have been forced to leave the program. If you leave the program voluntarily or by being forced out, they will drop you at the bus depot or the homeless shelter,( which was downtown Cleveland), whether you have any money or not.
I tried to tell my parents how it really was and things that happened to me and the emotional trauma I was going through. When I actually got to use the phone and I started talking about my bad experience there, the counselors snatched the phone from me. I was mad and left the room. I heard them call my parents back and told them that I had lied. I went back to my room really po'd, but what else could I do. You don't even want to hear the gory details about the "healthy environment" there, but I will tell you some. When I had arrived, another person was leaving with staff infection in his nose. In the rooms were you sleep there are cobwebs with some weird long-legged spiders that sometimes bite you in your sleep. There is mold and even black mold, (which if too much exposure to your lungs can actually kill you) in the shower area. It is even inside the chapel walls. The counselors tell you to do some of your discipline at night after curfew in your study room in your dorm. My dorm's study room was a plastic desk next to the stalls in the bathroom where you could smell and hear everything going on next to you while you try to work.
I'll post again another day. These are things I have observed, but I have many more additional personal experiences.

Anonymous said...

Currently my mother is in a teen challenge facility in Texas. She came home for a 5 day pass, and upon her return to the center, she failed a nicotine test, with what they told me was a "faint" line. (Now, as most of you know it is either positive or negative.) The director phoned me on Thursday and explained my mother had until Monday to admit what she had done, or she would not be allowed to come home for Christmas, so when my mother got her next phone call home, I told her what the director had said and she needed to tell them she had smoked. The director upon my mothers confession, called me and stated she would not be allowed to come home anyway, regardless of any confession.She then made her write an essay about what she had done, and told my mother she was selfish and sounded like a drunken hillbilly. As stated in the bible-it is not your job to count my sins, it is Gods. This is only one example of the deceit that goes on at TC. They do not allow nicotine at the centers but allow caffeine, inspite of the bible stating caffeine is a harmful to "the temple", as is nicotine. TC is a cult, and needs to be exposed by more people.

Anonymous said...

I dont see many comments about Womens Centers. I have a female family member at a center and I have my suspisions. Since the 1st incident I have thought they were a cult. If anyone has any stories, or othr websites for reference, it is much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

I'm sixteen and I just completed Lakeland, Florida, Teen Girls Teen Challenge in January. It was the worst fifteen months of my life. But I do want to say there were some really good staff there that were only there to keep me safe and are trying to get the place shut down. Anyway, the directors are terrible people. They stole one hundred dollars from my parents and forged my and my parents' signatures. They also did not allow us to mention ANYTHING to our parents about ANYHTING...the center went down after the old director left and the new directors came in. they nail the windows shut and take out the nails when the fire marshall comes. they are modeling the center now in every way after Bonifay boy's center. We have things called corrections which is when you have done something wrong (i.e., not flushing the toilet, forgetting to tell staff you are back from using the restroom, leaving a streak on the mirror after you cleaned it, having a wrinkle in your bed) Basically, you would go outside and they would make you do every kind of strenuous exercise in the book, including suicides, grape vines, worms, laps (usually fifty--which is about 7 miles), jumping jacks, push-ups, crunches, from half an hour to 5 hours, depending on the mood of the staff. the entire time they would scream at you sayin because you did this, you aren't close enough to God, you're not a Christian, etc. etc. Staff would yell constantly, mock you, say terrible things to you. The directors are a husband/wife team and the husband is notorious for looking at the girls in pedophilic ways. I am still waiting to get the call that says that he touched someone. I was neglected there, SEXUALLY ABUSED and when I came forward no one said anything. I want to strip the reputations of most of the staff off of them and see them pay for what they did to me and the other girls in the program. There has been PHYSICAL, SEXUAL, MENTAL, EMOTIONAL ABUSE IN LAKELAND TEEN CHALLENGE. They are driving these girls away from God. As is the case it seems from most of these reports, there was a lot of fundraising that went on and the money went straight to the pockets of those higher in the employee ladder (mainly, the directors/case managers/deans/the best of the directors' minionic employees). The good staff members were treated terribly. Pay was withheld from them on a consistent basis.
I just want something to be done about this. The girls in the program are my family and I will NOT continue to ignore this immoral injustice. My mouth has been forced shut for far too long. I am taking this straight to the head honchos of Teen Challenge, US, and will either a) have the directors and every other immoral, unGodly staff member fired and publically humiliated, and/or b) have the place eternally shut down.
I have a whole list of people who feel the exact way and are also getting in on the effort to take this place and these people DOWN.
This makes me sick, and they will NOT get away with this. If you want more information or have information or can help in the effort to SHUT DOWN and possibly press criminal charges against Bonifay Boys' Teen Challenge and/or Lakeland Girls' Teen Challenge, email me at toe2lycool@yahoo.com.

Anonymous said...

Teen Challenge in Channelview Texas is GONE!! Thank God, Rex Turner got what he deserved and they shipped him to Arkansas, he stole money, abused the girls and stole their personal belongings.

It was a horribly wonderful experience, I met some great girls, but had to endure alot.
There program is ridiculous, and they are all a bunch of drug addicts who are trying to help people. Most of them are at a 2nd grade reading level, and do not have a clue about what they are talking about.
They brainwash and manipulate all of the "students" there.
And pancaking is a joke, I hope that any other Centers are revealed if they are doing anything close to what Kim Kain and Rex Turner were trying to pull off.

worried grandma said...

I have a Granddaughter in Teen Challenge in Lebanon In. Does anyone have any info on that facility?
Worried Grandma

worried grandma said...

I have a Granddaughter in the Lebanon In. facility. Does anyone have any info on that Teen Challege?

Anonymous said...

Teen challenge in Houston TX is the worst so many bad things happened to me there. They even locked me outside in a bad part of town for the entire night because i didn't want to read my bible for and hour before bed. I was cold and scared and had to walk (in a very bad part of town) to a store and call my parents collect. Of course my parents freaked and couldn't believe these so called christian people would do that to me, so they immediately went back the next morning to get my stuff and was told nobody was there to give me my belongings. So we came back in an hour like we were told and they said i still couldn't have my stuff. We finally had to call the police after Rex threatened to kick my lil brothers ass (yeah real christian) and the cops came and reprimanded Rex and gave me my belongings that they had no right to hold.
I did grow up in a christian background and I know that is definitely not how christians should act.

Anonymous said...

Really, the channelview center in TX is shut down. Does anyone know more about this? I was in that center in 2007 and have shared my bad experiences. Rex was a horrible person and we had to call the cops on him while i was there a couple times. He deserves to be in jail along with Kim Kain.
I am looking for some of my friends from there cause of course if u left u weren't aloud to talk to anyone. If anyone was there in 2007 my name is Lisa, looking for Jade, Julie.

Anonymous said...

Why the hell would any parent send their kid to one of these hellholes?!?! It is child abuse! Makes me glad to me a non-Christian, that's for sure. Hoo boy. I feel so sorry for the kids being abused in these "centers."

Anonymous said...

I left the coastal bend location in Driscoll Tx, a couple of weeks ago. I was there for only 48 hrs., and it was bad. I am now thinking of trying the Channelview Tx. location. Any info.??????

Heather said...

What about the Channelview location???

Anonymous said...

My 19 year old son just checked into the Ft Myers Teen Challenge Men's Center, against my better judgement and research. This was on the recommendation of his aunt, who is a graduate of the program still abusing drugs and looking to become a counselor at this facility! This place has got to be shut down. We can't send/let people enroll here who truly need help. I truly fear this program leads to more destruction and confusion for those seeking clarity, direction, and a belief they are worthy. I would appreicate any feedback, information, guidance that would help me exploit the absolute deception and insanity of this place.

Zoolander said...

What to say what to say...... teen challenge is a brainwashing cult! I actually left there this week. Minnesota teen challenge (Minneapolis). I went there on my own thinking the best of it and walked out of that place thinking the worst. I cant believe some of the idiots they put in charge there and im supposed to submit to them or im damned to hell whats that shit? and about two weeks ago we went to a church on a sunday morning to sing and take those poor peoples money. They didnt take roll call when we left and one of the people in the program hung himself a mile down the road. Later that day 4:30 we did roll call again and what do ya know hes still not there and they did not even look for him. Then 9:30pm comes and they finally decide to look for him? Little did they know he took his life because they were not qualified to do there job and take a simple roll call. Then they try and make us believe they could have done nothing about it aint that a crock of shit. someone needs to do something about these blood sucking idiots!

Trese said...

My name is Theresa Scott, I just left TC Channelview, TX. I was there less than two weeks. I'm 48 years old and I'm educated. They were not going to belittle me and violate my rights. They definitely were not going to work me like a slave while my mom and dad were paying them money for me and then verbally abuse me. I had words with Sue, the most abusive counselor there three days after arriving. She should not be in the position she is in, she has no skills for it, not to mention zero social skills. She needs help with her eating disorder. I understand someone having problems losing weight, but she is disgustingly obese and don't care, she constantly has food in her hands. The bible says gluttony is a "sin." She is abusive to everyone except Shawnee, she kisses up to her so much it's disgusting...so I got in her face and told her that I was abused as a child, as a teen, as a woman and then on the streets in my addiction, I didn't come there to be abused by her. I was surprised when I wasn't punished. I think they were somewhat careful how they handled me, I wasn't their typical student. They are money grubbing, lazy people. They eat the food intended for the students, and feed their family too, they collect their salaries, live in a house provided by TC if I'm not mistaken and do nothing to help the poor students who sought them out for help...nothing that is but work them like slaves 2 to 3 days a week for 10 to 12 hours a day and then put them on the streets to beg people for money and then STILL ABUSE THEM. Not this ol girl...I got out of there, but I plan to find the help I need..I am committed to that. My problem with them is the fact that I had to leave most of my belongings there in Houston and I'm from Tennessee. I have no makeup, no underwear, few clothes and I left pictures, etc. I have called over and over to no avail. Offered to pay for any costs incurred to get my stuff packed up and COD my belongings to me. Shawnee won't even return my calls. That is so not Christ-like. These people are going to burn in hell if they don't repent for the things they do. My parents paid quite a bit of money upfront...I truly don't think I owe them jack, they should pay to send my stuff to me. I plan on making a stink for that place if they do not return my property to me, including my wallet that was supposed to be stored with my purse. Yes, Teen Challenge is a huge scam. Please feel free to contact me if you need further information and you can use my testimony any way, shape, form or fashion you need it.

Anonymous said...

I went to TC of New Mexico also. 2001-2002. dreasaylor@yahoo.com for anyone who went there and wants to email....

Needless to say, I had a terrible experience there, as well. I miss the few friends I made there, but that's about it.

I've left my comments on the Topix forum for Teen Challenge Exposed, and I don't wish to go into much detail now. Maybe at a later date.

Toni Hines anyone?

Anonymous said...

I have never read this blog before, but i walked off a teen challenge program in vero beach florida in 09....best decision i made in my entire life.I had to walk 10 miles down the side of a high way with the directors sons passing me over and over and throwing bottles and other assorted trash at me, but it was all worth it. I was told for 10 months straight that I was a "hopeless addict" and that without jesus i was a piece of shit. I some how managed to get through the bullshit and the abuse (both physical and mental) and I can honestly say that this blog doesn't cover half the shit that goes on in those hell holes.gulag isnt even the right word for those places....more like concentration camp. For 10 months i was less than shit, and i had it easy because i was a liability to the director and his 2 sons free trucks and company cards to spend on a whim. The crooks who run that place are sub-human in the way they treat people. i've never seen any of the other juvenile tcs, but from what i've heard they are worse than the one i was in. I can't even imagine that crap. In my short stay i was waterboarded, slapped and punched multiple times by staff, and was told on many occasions that i was going to have to "fight like a man" by staff only to have to face off against 4-5 full grown men easily twice my size (literally - i lost 73 lbs my first 4 months from malnutrition.)the tactics they use to "show people the love of christ" are simply barbaric.I have personally seen a young man taken out behind a building during a chapel meeting and beaten (not some weak little slap in the face, he had a bloody nose and a black eye when he came back in), than told that he had no witnesses so he could do nothing, and than told it was to save his life from drugs and alcohol. the kid hadn't even used before in his life and was a ward of the state. if anything the teen challenge program does nothing but ruin lives. I have watched my best friend since i was 7 years old leave that place and go completely downhill, suffering from near suicidal depression and heavy cocaine and exstacy abuse. 80%+ clean after the program my ass. everyone i know from there has moved onto heavier drugs and worse crimes. half the staff were giving drugs and alcohol to the students. these "discipleship programs" do nothing but harm the very bullshit they are trying to peddle. if you are a parent and you are reading this, please excuse my profanity but just thinking about that place makes me miserable. dont send your kid there, trust me. those people are evil, plain and simple. The man who ran that place is the only "pastor" i've ever heard of with 3 trucks,2 boats, and 2 motorcycles, while claiming to make less than 70g's a year. and they aren't cheap,beaten up,used PoS's. don't let that man fool you for a second. i would give out my name and e-mail so anyone who wants more info could contact me, but the last person who did that had his life and livelyhood threatened. If this blog does anything to stop those monsters from hurting anyone else, than thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

I spent three months at T.C. Chicago and had an awful experience. Not only was it full of deception and lies, but it seemed quite clear to those of us in the program that all of the money that we, the students, earned for T.C. just wasn't being properly accounted for. To drive this point home I only need to reflect on how the director of T.C. Chicago was recently asked to step down for stealing donated money to fund his own trip to Africa. This man, Clifford Lara, was in all senses the essence of evil; the most un-Christ like pastor I have even encountered.
Since leaving T.C., and prior to graduating for that matter, I have remained sober and have been living a full, productive, and happy life. I'll admit that I became sober at T.C., but I've stayed sober because I made positive choices after leaving that awful program.
Please, do not send your loved one's to a Teen Challenge program.

Anonymous said...

I recently was taken out of Vero Beach Teen Challenge boys ranch on 12/29/09, i was there for exactly 6 months and it was by far the worst thing that had ever happened to me. i was a recreational drug user and i had a minor OD in june 2009. next thing i know i was baker acted. after being in a psych ward for 3 days i was yanked out of bed at 6 A.m. and put in a choke hold. i was pubicaly hmialted when they dragged me outside in nothing but my boxers and thew me in the back of a van. I spent the first two months of the progrm laying low and just hoping my parents would take me out. in august of 2009 i had attempted to kill my slef three times at teen challenge. they refused to take me to the hospital or pysch ward. They would mess with me and call me to the front office to tell me that my parents were here to get me only to watch me get hopes up and then tell me i was there for 15 months. finally in september i had had enoguh. me and myfriend ran away from the center and walked 38 miles from Vero to sebastian inlet. we were caught and brought back to the program where we were dragged in front of our fellow "brothers" and just verbally destroyed. i was told i was told i was going to be raped by someone in the program and called every name in the book. the director Maynard Sweggard took me outside and began to head butt me in the face and then threw me into a door numerous times. after that, i was forced to wear a red jumpsuit, PT for an hour a day, sleep on the floor in front of the staff, and eatr nothing but 4 bologne and cheese sandwiches and water a day. i was finally taken out after my second pass b.c. my parents saw the scars on me and could see through all the fake bull shit these cult christian project to cover up the fact tht they are just fat pigs taking up parents money while they assualt teenage boys to make themselves feel better.

the staff was the worst of the worst. to be a staff member there the criteria is u have to have had an addicton problem and graduate a program... now does tht make sense to put grown men in charge of teens with drug problems.

second the fodd there was all expired and donated by publix. numerous times we were fodd poisoned due to contaminated food or poor preparation.

third this is in all terms a brain washing camp. they work u all day feed u terrible food so ur exhausted. and at the end of each day we were hearded into a small dark chapel and forced to stand watch and singalong to gospel songs while they pulled up pictures of jesus dieing on the cross on the computer.

If u are considering sneding ur child here or already have ACT N0W. there was many many cases of physical abuse and some could even be considered sexual. the damage of this brain washing station can never be undone to ur child. i was only there for 6 months and never bought any of thier bullshit and when i came out i was completely different. they rule ur lives with fear and have no prepartion for the real world. TENN CHALLENGE OF VERO BEACH IS NOTHING MORE THAN A CULT AND A SCAM FOR SCARED LOVING PARENTS. if ur child has drug or addiction problems they will not be solved at teen challenge out of the 28 kids i wathed leave only 3 of them stayed away from drugs and continued their ignorant jesus filled bliss. send ur kid to a rehab facility (a real one) or an outward bound camp. those two places will prepare ur child for the real world as well as give them options on thier religion. thank you for ur time i hope this message will save atleast one kid from this shithole

Anonymous said...

i was at TC chicago for 3 weeks. I left after the Director Kurt williams tried to cast a demon out of me. These people can't do anything their website promises all they do is pound the bible into you and try to make you feel bad if you don't speak in tongues and roll on the ground. Also they took my prescribed psych meds and threw them away as soon as I got there. A thousand bucks for this type of treatment? I got out of there. Also most of the "inductees" are people trying to avoid jail, and most are heroin addicts. Also staff stole 2 radios and a psychology textbook from me

Anonymous said...

i recently escaped teen challenge middle georgia. this center is the most corrupted place ive ever seen in my life. they physically and mentally abused us. they took our food stamps and bought food for the commesary which they sold back to us. they raffled off tickets for a golfcart for a few months, made several thousands of dollars and by "coincidense" it was raffled off to a family member of the head of the education departments family. the golf cart was then "donated back" and they will be raffling it off again soon. all they want is money. they are a money making machine hiding behind god. it is run by the devil himself, john shewman. who will not let you miss work even if you have the flu. when you are sick you stay sick because they wont help you at all. they take in alll these donations and collect all this money and still half the toilets are broken and the whole place is a DUMP. the food is also terrible and nothing but grease or starch. if you love your family members please do not let them go to TCMG or if they are there take them to another program. it was the worst experience of my life.

if you have a family member at teen challenge middle georgia in dublin ga get them out of there. i left tcmg and went to milan georgia to victory in christ which was a great decision and a great place ran by people who CARE

sam said...

I went through the program and it was insane it was a womans facility. They worked us to death!! We were forced to go to the ghettoist part of philly and knock on peoples doors alone it was march through october sometimes theyy wouldn't let us go with a partner and many times I was harrassed by very scary people they told us us white girls should not be in their hood especially asking for money. The staff safely in the van the whole time said god would protect us...We were covered in sweat from the heat and sometimes we went for 6 hours at a time and they told us we couldn't use the bathroom so we shoulkdnt drink any water. It was horrible not to the bathroom so we shoulkdnt drink any water. It was horrible not to mention the staff driving would go shopping and forget where she dropped us off so we wold be sitting on the corner for hours at a time. Also we had been stranded in thunderstorms. Whenever we were not doing hard labor we were takin classes about demons and masturbation. We were forced to go to churched evreyweek and sing and give out testimonys xcept the testimonys had to be about how great the program is so that we could get a lot of donations. They're r strict punishments for speaking your mind like speaking restrictions. Yeah your not aloud to talk to anyoneincludiing your family for days or weeks until god shows you how u were wrong. Or pants restriction yeah I had to wear only skirts for a month in the dead of winter even while I was forced to shovel the parking lot. No flushin toilet paper or feminine stuff which is a great way to transmit diseases they had to be wrapped in paper and put in the trash.!! Oh I could go on and on... the staff almost killed us everytome they drove prolly because of the zanex and painkillers they have up in their rooms... we would work all day 5 am to midnight for certain events some up to 2 weeks non stop we heard they made 20 grand off of one of these events and all we were fed was a bologna sandwhich..

Anonymous said...

Pastor Allan vann-horne the director of Pensacola Teen challenge was recently let go for embezzling money from the ministry, I'm currently in the program and cannot believe what I'm witnessing, they are keeping every thing hush hush like it's top secret, won't tell the students anything, our pastor for 9 years just dissapeared..

Anonymous said...

continued...I wanted to press charges but I knew none of the other kids would testify for fear of retalliation. And all my witnesses were still incarcerated in the teen challenge so it would have never worked. Nor do I wish to publicly state all of the degrading abuse I endured and have to state in front of my parents and a bunch of people I don't know a detailed description of the abuse. I don't have to look at the people who read this. Anywho, if you would like your kid to defecate dirt for 6 days, send him to teen challenge, Bonifay Boys Ranch in Florida. Excuse me for the explicit content and anger, however thats all teen challenge has left my head with.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad I read all of your comments. My brother was just about to leave on a grey hound bus to teen challenge but not now. God is so good and I know he does not approve of the awful things I have heard about teen challenge. He love us and wants to heal not destroy you with condemnation.So thank you all for making a stand and speaking up.

Anonymous said...

Someone should go undercover to expose the director of the Okanagan TC, he's an abusive asshole with serious anger issues and runs a militant slave program for a majority of those with no otter options he likes to use clergy control to manipulate people and he doesn't give a shit or follow up on any student yet cries on cue at the pulpit and trains his mules the same way to its rediculas

Anonymous said...

I was in teen challenge nv for teen boys.They treated us like slaves.Everday were would clean the house like 3 times,do school
and pull weeds and other random labor.Only 1 kid graduated out of 26 and most kids only became worse
than they already were.They would lie to are parents about bout everything and if we told our parents about the staff and how they act we would be punished immediately not just one of us alll of us.