Saturday, February 17, 2007

TEEN CHALLENGE FAMILY MEMBERS HAVE UNANSWERED QUESTIONS

Family members who have loved ones in Teen Challenge programs across the country have many unanswered questions. Many seem to be crying out for help because they are not able to find out how their loved ones are 'really' doing! Please read the side-bar on the right to read excerpts from some of the family members comments and questions. These excerpts are linked to the original website that they were posted on, which is where you can read the full post.

Upon reading the excerpts and original posts, you will also realize that many people are complaining about many issues, including:
  • Teen Challenge staff are not returning phone calls to concerned family members.
  • Teen Challenge staff closely monitor conversations and visits so as not to allow the person who is in for treatment to be able to tell their family members exactly what is happening or has happened to them (or others) while in Teen Challenge.
  • Teen Challenge staff will actually disconnect telephone conversations when either party mentions something they do not think is appropriate.
  • Teen Challenge staff reprimands your loved one using various forms of punishment as discipline that you may not approve of.
  • Teen Challenge severely limits contact with the outside world during the entire one-year (or more) stay at Teen Challenge.
  • Teen Challenge staff have also been accused of physical, mental and spiritual abuse.
  • Very high drop-out rates that will completely change the publics perception of those incredibly high success rates that Teen Challenge continually boasts about.
It is also becoming quite clear to me that people are having a very hard time finding others who also have loved ones in Teen Challenge. You can only begin to imagine what they are also going through.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Teen Challenge in Bonifay florida is a highly ubsuitable camp for recovery teen addicts. Do not consider this ranch or you may compound problems upon already existing problems. Christian volunteers have no business in teen addiction. Not only is the staff untrained but they are as brainwashed as the parents who blindly admit their teens. I can ohly wish that this ranch would shut down for it has surely caused more damage to my son who is having a difficult time believing that any
Godly can resonate from this hell hole. The community should be ashamed that this ranch is allowed to operate.

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 sucess rate.I really felt that the only thing that matered was raising money for teen challege.I felt i wasnt 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 trully about and ask the hard questions

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...

My older sister is in teen challenge in channelview texas. We haven't heard from her in almost a month until tonight....the last week or so my mom has been having bad feelings about the place my sister is in..So i did a little research and thats when i found this site..and i read lisa post...So my sister called tonight and i asked if stuff like lisa said is true and she said yeah..She couldn't really say much but she whispered to my mom that they work them like slaves and that they do pocket all the money from the fundraising...We are all the way from ohio...so now we gotta figure out some way to get my sister out of there...So if anyone has any information that they could share with me about that teen challenge please contact me at sammybabegurl@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

My best friend and I were in BONIFAY TEEN CHALLENGE for over a year in 2001/2002. In that time we got beaten with fist, pipes, pvc, chairs, boots, pretty much you name it, we got hit with it. Both of our knees are blown out due to extreme physical punishment by UNDERAGE employees called "DIIPS" which were students that were given authority as drill instructors. Later this caused both of us to be denied access to the military, which was a heavy blow to our plans at the time. We were "bad" kids back then which really translates into we were 15 years old and growing up with messed up families and extremely confused. We were made to understand that it was not our fault for being there, followed by a punch to the face or stomach. We would have severe platoon punishment at all hours of the night almost every night, which didn't ever allow for a full night of sleep, which was only about 5 hours anyway. I could go on and on with horrifying stories, but in the long run, we are both doing great. We are professional musicians and tour regularly spreading positive messages, but NOT because of this CONCENTRATION CAMP!!!!!! Oh, and when they made our food, it would sit on fly-covered trays for an hour before we would get to eat. This was due to a drugged out and under qualified kitchen staff. I WOULD STRONGLY CAUTION ANY PARENT CONSIDERING TREATMENT FOR THEIR CHILD TO SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP AND NOT THE HELP OF UNEDUCATED COUNTRY FOLK. Teen Challenge is a reputable organization, but the leader of bonifay- PASTOR DAVE RUTLEGE is a scumbag, and I say that with the best of intentions. We are both close followers of the Lord, but again,,, NOT BECAUSE OF THIS PLACE!!!! Try talking to your kid, don't reason with them. They are a kid afterall. Parents often act as if they don't know what to do and what I say to that is get your head out of your ass and listen to them and be involved in THEIR world, don't expect and immature child to conform to yours. With great honesty and integrity I say all of this. I hope this has helped reveal the works of Dave RUTLEGE and his country bumpkin thugs. ~Blessings

Anonymous said...

Teen Challenge in Bonifay Florida should be shut down and the adult volunteers and paid staff should have their dignities stripped as they treated the enrolled teens. Thank you anonymous Feb 20th, your remarks are on target and truthful. As for your success as of lately, I applaud you. My son has finally come around since his Bonifay Teen Challenge nightmare, and he still is in disbelief that a community allows this ranch to exist. Dave Rutledge is a dellusional monster and I often wonder how he can preach the Word and sin continously as he allows that hellhole to operate as is. I pray that any parent in need of treatment for their son, never consider Teen Challenge of Bonifay. I wish that ranch would close or get sucked down to hell where it belongs. Thank God for formats such as this so people can be warned. I wish that I did a more thorough search of Teen Challenge before dropping my son off atTeen Challenge of Bonifay. That poor decision on my part will haunt me to the grave but when parents are desperate they sometimes will blindly go to anyone wearing sheep clothing.

Anonymous said...

My son went to Teen Challenge here in Oregon and came out addicted to Xbox. I was very disappointed to find out that the night staff was allowing this to go on. They kick my son out for drinking coffee. No one said a word about the XBox!!!! Do your homework...

Anonymous said...

My son went to Teen Challenge here in Oregon and came out addicted to Xbox. I was very disappointed to find out that the night staff was allowing this to go on. They kick my son out for drinking coffee. No one said a word about the XBox!!!! Do your homework...

Anonymous said...

West Florida Teen Challenge is not what they claim to be! It was presented to us as a loving, Christian, but military-type treatment center. In desperation to get help for our son- we sent him there.
This Bonifay, Florida Teen Challenge was extremely verbally, physically, and mentally abusive. While there were a few staff members who were Christians and caring- the main ones who were in charge of the teenage boys should be prosecuted for child abuse of the worst kind!
There is no excuse for the kinder ones to turn a blind eye to what was going on there- the place is way too small to not have known the truth!
Comments made by the young man on Feb 20 and the parent on March 13 are both absolutely accurate in every detail. Thank God you are doing so well after experiencing what you did. I wish I could say the same for my son and the many boys who attended with him.
They still have nightmares from their horrible experiences there. The worst thing is that they blame God. The staff attitude is that "you are just a bunch of drug addicts, anyway and you deserve what you get."
While many of the "adult" centers do some awesome work and change lives for the good, this Florida adolescent center is designed to mentally and physically break the boys down and force a belief in God on them. While some go in open to the message of the gospel and the love of Christ, Bonifay shoves Christianity down their throats while torturing them.
I feel for the parent who said this will haunt them to the grave! I know how you feel. I pray for your son that he will get over this by the grace of God. I left my son there thinking he would be safe and would be helped. He wasn't.
God have mercy on the souls of the abusers there!

Anonymous said...

Teen challenge bonifay is a joke and yet every month there is 2 to 8new ''cadets'' coming in.Its crazy how they try to torture you into becoming a christian.The program just makes you more bitter towards god.I know students who been punched and then tossed through a glass window by a DI,i seen students get smacked because they cant do a pushup correct,bodyslamed and restrained because they broke possition of attention by looking around or spoke without given permission.Students giving authority as DIs to make you feel as much pain as possible by throwing boots at you and then they tackle you into the bunk beds,they even throw soap bars at you because you dident run fast enough,dents in the wall because of students getting slammed into it,there is still a boot scuff in the ceiling from a student being lifted up in the air and dropped to the hard floor the same floor they make you sleep on from time to time.Anybody can get a job as a DI there all the DIs there are lames with no lives.The DIs even provoke you to hit them.The good thing is children services have been visiting the ranch often and the program has been less abusive because they are affraid of being closed down.Pastor Dave and the assistant director Pastor Daves wife Barbara are both assholes and con artist.Thank you,have a nice day.

Shirley said...

Please help me save my step son.
My step son was a sophomore.in honor classes receiving A's and B's, he was involved with the ROTC Program, never involved with the law, not using drugs, and had a part time job. My husband's ex wife is guilty of Parental Alienation and has been able to keep my step son apart from his father for five years. My step son began speaking with my husband against mother's wishes and when he refused to stop speaking with his father she sent him to Teen Challenge in Bonifay Florida. He has called us suicidal, begging for help, hungry, scared, he's been pushed a few times. I need to speak with people who have been in Bonifay Florida. We are trying to save him, but we need help. We are trying to go public and stop this horrific place. We have spoken to three other boys, who do not know each other, but share the same nightmare. If you have any information about Teen Challenge in Bonifay Florida please, please contact me labofam@aol.com. I pray for all of you, nobody should have to experience the hurt, suffering, and abuse that you have experience from these camps.

Anonymous said...

I went to Teen Challenge West Florida in 2006 and I have seen things that I cant erase from my mind. I was forced to drink my own vomit. As well as roll in my own vomit because "I put it on the floor so I have to clean it up". I saw students go to the hospital because of head injuries caused by "DI's". I have seen students refused needed bathroom breaks. And after prolonged torture, urination on themselves and forced exercise therefter. I am willing to speak to any authorities regarding this matter. I have dates and staff members names. Detailed reports written in my personal notebook. Even "incident reports" that were written by other cadets that somehow found their way into the trash can, being deemed non important.
God Bless you all in your efforts,
Thanks

Anonymous said...

To the parents that have there son at bonifay teen challenge, I tried your email did not work. would like to talk.

Kim said...

I have a brother in Teen Challenge who is wanting to leave after being there over one month. He is an adult at a facility in Ft. Myers, Florida. Does anyone have information on that facility? They monitor his mail & phone calls. They took his personal items away when he entered & take half of the money we send to him. Is this right? He wants us to send him money for a bus ticket because the closest family is 3 hours away, but we know they will take part of that if we send it directly to him. Should we be concerned?

Anonymous said...

I attended a juvenile program in Florida. Under the director that was in charge at the start of my program everything was great. Well maintained, loving, and secure. It wasn’t until new "management" came in. It felt more like a prison. I left early for college purposes. I was then called back for a "meeting" that I was told about two days before my graduation. I was told that if I didn’t come I would not graduate. Mind you that I live 2+ hours away. It was then that I was lied to, tried to be drug tested illegally (and was clean), and invasion of privacy. They tried to bribe me and manipulate me. I was made out to be horrible. Since then I have been turned away from "Teen Challenge." Although, I have heard great things about Jupiter girls home.
Since I have left I have been told the directors have used the TC money for their personal babysitters. I dont think that the parents are paying for their kids to be watched. Do you?

Anonymous said...

I graduated Lakeland Teen challenge, and i experienced staff calling you "SLUT" "WHORE" and "nothing" i though this was a place of love and peace, and i thought i was there to get HELP, not feel ashamed of myself for coming there. I think some of the staff should go through the program, and see how that feels. Oh, and i've never been treated so nasty. I'm a girl, not an animal, not a dog either, so stop treating my girls(TC FAMILY!!) like their crap, they already went through that before entering your stupid HELLHOLE!!!!

Afraid to say said...

Hello, I attended Bonifay Teen Challenge, and it was horrific. They beat us into becoming "saved" and attempted brainwashing me and my best friend their. Through all of this I have become more confused about the concept of God, trying to believe but hurt at what he has allowed. I was never perfect, but this concentration camp has scarred me for life

Anonymous said...

West FL Teen Challenge, also known as Bonifay Teen Challenge.

I was there from Jan 07 to Jan 08, but got out about 3-4 months early because my mom finally had her damn eyes opened to what was going on. The meals there are at 6am, 12pm, and 5pm, and the food is canned or expired or otherwise disgusting. Luckily I was able to get some extra through one of the more kind staff. Then I was found out and fed only 700-800 calories a day for about 5 days, until through coincidence my mom was allowed to pick me up for a dr. apt. I told her and she didn't make me go back, although my dad sided with the staff there and tried to trick me into coming back.

Another messed up "highlight".
There was a boy that came in and didn't "put out", basically couldn't do the accepted exercise, so they switched him to eating a thick peanut butter sandwich 3 times a day with barely any water, which he barely ate any of that. They didn't know at the time that a condition called Rhabdomyolysis was happening (wikipedia it). He was denied medical attention, and disappeared one day. I guess to the staff there having the whites of your eyes go blood red and having swollen joints was normal...
Then one day he disappeared and I was interviewed by DCF. The two main staff prepped me and listened to what I said through a thin door. Soon after I learned the boys kidneys failed, but heard nothing more.

Don't send your son there parents, chances are they'll come back worse and hold it against you.

Anonymous said...

We attended Bonifay TC and it was the wors time of our lives for my broher and i. We have nitemares still about the abuse!!!! One time i was left outside in the cold in my boxers and had to pee on myself becuase they would not allow me to go to the bathroom. The dips were horrible and what made it worse was the show we had to put on when family came!! if they thought u said anything you were taken aside and why u were letting the devil take over was beaten out of u. To anyone who reads this please dont let your kid go to this hell hole!!!

Anonymous said...

I went TC Bonifay back in 04-05 and it was hell. The beatings, the abuse, being treated like I was worthless all because I didn't believe in their God pretty much sums up the experience. What type of God who says the kingdom of heaven belongs to children, turns around and sends you a divine word to abuse them. Thankfully I got out, and joined the real military. Dave Rutledge and his wife Barbara really need to be prosecuted for child abuse, jailed, and then put through the same thing they have put kids through for so many years. The experience will never go away...

Anonymous said...

Much of what people are saying is true. They did help me learn about God in my life but used me almost a 100 percent of the time as a money making machine.By the way, most of the staff are rejects who have no life or who have burned all their bridges.

Anonymous said...

i attended west florida teen challenge for two years , as a matter of fact im in the picture on their main page holding a flag..between dec 4, 2003 and may 9th of 2005 ... most of the storys you see posted above are true in fact ill name names! a employee of WFTC named SGT. williams to those who know him did in fact smash a kids head whos last name was dillard (african american male mabey age 16-17on the corner of a table causing him to get stitches.. another individual working there named sgt. pendelton took great joy in making us roll through fire ant nests in the middle of the night. a kid whos last name was johnson from st. augustine fl tried to slit his wrists after 6 months of this..... the saddest thing i saw there was a kid name austin ellis from PA 12 years old at the time all the "sgt.s" picked on him hit him and made him do physical exercises that are outlawed in the US army do to muscle injurys. not only was here once he was there twice in a 2 year period... all the staff that worked there that were at all nice have been long gone... sgt blount , miss corso, robert morrison(was mean occasionally but always fair never abused anyone) if anyone wants more info my email is Korhound@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

joe schumaker from OR i was at bonifay teen challenge in FL i was sent there may 2002 to aug 2003 it was the worst time in my life i saw physical abuse and emotinal abuse i saw a kid slamd on his head by a di for raising his hand to speak they made all the kids do labor for the program to get new suff but we never saw eney thing new like dishwashers and sport stuff every day was controld so that we we were treated more like slaves doing car washes , setting up a horse showe in panama city,cleaning the chicken house next to us going to closeing busienss and huling off the scrap metle or what ever pastor DAVE WANTED i never thought christns were as evil as teen challeng in bonifay FL was to all the kids going through. I saw so much physical and emotinal abuse i could go on forever i relly hope that progarm gets shut it didnt help me or eney won i stayd in contact with it was a big waste of money for my parents i have so much more to tell mostley all negitve in fact it was very negitve there i still sometimes have bad dreams of being there so i feal like i could write a 300 page book about all the bad stuff that happend but now that i see this web page i dont have to do it bye my self others will speak out also i am sure. there were somany wrong doings to somany kids i cant belive how good teen challeng is at manipulating parnents into thinking this is a good program. this is worst christan program out there for kids so parents dont waste your money on what i would call a horrable place