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“It's all about the money”

Since: Jul 07

Clovis, CA

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#1
Jul 10, 2007
 

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A former Teen Challenge student exposes this abusive Christian alcohol and drug program. Although seen by many as a worthwhile organization, Teen Challenge has a dark side, one of pathological abuse and an obsession with the almighty dollar.

http://www.teenchallengeexposed.com
straight from savannah

Jacksonville, FL

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#2
Jul 11, 2007
 

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Teen Challenge Exposed wrote:
A former Teen Challenge student exposes this abusive Christian alcohol and drug program. Although seen by many as a worthwhile organization, Teen Challenge has a dark side, one of pathological abuse and an obsession with the almighty dollar.
http://www.teenchallengeexposed.com
oh my! I had no idea. I am currently blessed not to have to use them for anything, actually the first time I had heard of them was last year in front of the grocery store they were handing out brochures and asking for donations, my 13 year old donated his last five dollars to them when they explained to them what they did to help kids who were on drugs. He thought it was great and I applauded him and my son for their good hearts.....thanks for posting this, although I am pretty confident I won't have any problems with my son concerning drugs, it is nice to know....just in case!

“It's all about the money”

Since: Jul 07

Clovis, CA

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#3
Jul 11, 2007
 
straight from savannah wrote:
<quoted text>oh my! I had no idea. I am currently blessed not to have to use them for anything, actually the first time I had heard of them was last year in front of the grocery store they were handing out brochures and asking for donations, my 13 year old donated his last five dollars to them when they explained to them what they did to help kids who were on drugs. He thought it was great and I applauded him and my son for their good hearts.....thanks for posting this, although I am pretty confident I won't have any problems with my son concerning drugs, it is nice to know....just in case!
I talked to a young man from TC outside a store a few months ago. He was at the same induction center that I went to. I gave him a dollar, because they'll get in trouble if they don't bring back enough money to suit the TC staff.
Sue Lovell

Valdosta, GA

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#4
Aug 17, 2007
 

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May God have mercy on anyone that would exploit a young man in the name of Christ.
Leila

Hilton Head Island, SC

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#5
Aug 28, 2007
 

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I have to say that I have seen lives truly changed through Teen Challenge. I am a health care professional, who also happens to be a Christian.

Addiction is a very, very difficult thing to treat. Christian programs, even though you may not agree with the numbers that Teen Challenge tout, have much higher success rates than secular programs.

I sounds to me like the exposer here expected addicts, just because they had been through the program to be perfect. Well, I don't care where you go, Every addiciton program has graduates that are going to relapse. It is part of the disease. That does not mean they go back to the lives they had before. Simply that they relapsed.

I have seen many people totally changed, for the better, by Teen Challenge and programs like it.

“It's all about the money”

Since: Jul 07

Clovis, CA

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#6
Aug 28, 2007
 

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Some TC locations are okay. The two I was at were not. The Sanford, FL and Midland, TX locations are miserable places, I am told.

I like the name Leila. It's not a name that I see very often.
Truth

United States

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#7
Aug 28, 2007
 

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For those who have benefited from TC congratulations!!

For those who trash it when they have only third party knowledge, shame on you.

It hasn't been my experience that drug addicts and alcoholics are reliable sources of information.
If they are looking for excuses to get out of a program that is helping them, do you think they may not be intirely truthful about their experiences?
Joni Smith

Macon, GA

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#9
Sep 2, 2007
 

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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.
Joni Smith

Macon, GA

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#10
Sep 2, 2007
 

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Truth wrote:
For those who have benefited from TC congratulations!!
For those who trash it when they have only third party knowledge, shame on you.
It hasn't been my experience that drug addicts and alcoholics are reliable sources of information.
If they are looking for excuses to get out of a program that is helping them, do you think they may not be intirely truthful about their experiences?
I just want to reply to your comment. I don't know if you have had a loved one go through any of this. I am aware that drug addicts and alcoholics have a tendancy to lie, but we found out first hand what happens there. So unless you really know what happens then it would be best not to comment at all. I think that Teen Challenge started out to be a good organization at first, but I believe now that it is money hungry. My aunt paid $3,500 for my cousin to go there at his own choice by the way. Guess what? Each participant gets food stamps and he got 2 vegatables the entire two weeks he was there and powdered milk. So what is the money getting spent on. So how about you go and figure out the question for everyone. Are they money hungry or not? Oh and by the way he didn't recieve any counseling the entire time he was there. So what was the problem?
Sophia

Houston, TX

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#11
Sep 28, 2007
 

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I do not have any first hand information about TC, and I have heard that it is a worhwhile organization. Any organization is only as good as the people that run the day to day operations. I do not think we should condemn the whole organization because some "may not have done the right things." I believe we need to pray for them. Secondly, we must look at the source of the complaints.
Wayne

United States

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#12
Nov 30, 2007
 
Teen Challenge Exposed wrote:
Some TC locations are okay. The two I was at were not. The Sanford, FL and Midland, TX locations are miserable places, I am told.
I like the name Leila. It's not a name that I see very often.
When were you in Sanford?

“It's all about the money”

Since: Jul 07

Clovis, CA

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#13
Dec 3, 2007
 
Wayne wrote:
<quoted text>When were you in Sanford?
Re-read the post; referring to Sanford and Midland, it says, "I am told."
franklin davis

Phenix City, AL

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#14
Dec 7, 2007
 

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JONI your cousin just wanted to give you excuses why he failed again. I know cause that was me. Blame the program, make up stories so it takes the burden off him. Teen challenge ain't perfect but I can tell you most of the men I went through with are changed for the better and have successful lives and families. No abuse going on, he just did not want to live discplined. Teen Challenge success rate is phenomnal compared to ecular program. They are not money hungry, but it doe take a lot of money to run a program.
Mary

Wilson, NC

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#15
Dec 11, 2007
 
Our experience was wonderful. It offered a place for my husband to go, away from the temptations of our town and allowed him to re-group and study the bible and get closer to God. While there he was given food donated by local churches. It cost us nothing to send him. He slept on a cot and had limited freedoms which was exactly what he needed. He left the program a changed man and now 4 years later continues to thank me for sending him. The program is for people that want help - and works when people work with the program. You can't force someone to go and expect results. Pray for this program as it has helped many people turn around and become productive, drug-free individuals. Don't believe everything you hear. Most of the people who are there don't want to be there and they will tell you whatever it takes to make you help them get out. They are there of their own free will and can leave at any time.
Sonny

Wilson, NC

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#16
Dec 11, 2007
 

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So what if they only get minimal meals. It's not a restaurant - it's rehab, and it's usually free! Get over it! Take what they give you and try to help yourself get off the drugs/alcohol! It's your fault that you are in this predicament, get over it and drink what they give you whether it's powdered milk or tea... they are trying to help you! Gosh!

“It's all about the money”

Since: Jul 07

Clovis, CA

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#17
Dec 11, 2007
 

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Mary wrote:
They are there of their own free will and can leave at any time.
And they'd go right back to jail. Teen Challenge staff know this, which is why they can do virtually whatever they choose.

"Of course, if you do leave, you'll be going against what God wants, and seven times the demons of addiction will attack you..."

-Ahmed Morris, former Riverside Teen Challenge staff member and bipolar wacko who cannot keep a job.

“It's all about the money”

Since: Jul 07

Clovis, CA

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#18
Dec 11, 2007
 

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Sonny wrote:
So what if they only get minimal meals. It's not a restaurant - it's rehab, and it's usually free!
It's not a rehab, Sonny, it's a "Christian Life School." You're told that the first day you get there. Unless, of course, there's federal money up for grabs, then all of a sudden they're a rehab.

It is not free. Working 18-20 hour days telemarketing for three meals of bottom-rung crap and a beat up old mattress is hardly free. Teen Challenge is the one that owes, and they are the ones who are going to pay:

"Eureka resident Sue Brandenburg said a lawsuit against the city remains under consideration and three attorneys have been consulted.

There are two primary issues found in what Brandenburg considers 'large faults in the paperwork that city staff presented.'

Staff has said the conversion of the church qualified under certain classes for exemption from California Environmental Quality Act review.

It has also maintained Teen Challenge qualifies as a 'charitable institution,' because it serves the 'disabled' and those addicted to drugs/alcohol legally qualify as 'disabled.' Charitable institutions are a conditionally permitted use in the Wabash 'commercial neighborhood' zone.

Teen Challenge Director Fred Lamberson III has repeatedly said his organization is a 'Christian discipleship,' not a recovery facility. Therefore, he said, it is not necessary for his business to obtain California Department of Alcohol & Drug Programs licenses."

That Teen Challenge deal died when the owner of the building canceled escrow after I wrote a letter to the editor of the Eureka Reporter and exposed what really happens at Teen Challenge; this stirred up enough anti-TC sentiment that the City Council changed their minds also. Sue Brandenburg calls me on a regular basis, and has sent me info on the lawsuits she has filed. Teen Challenge California is in hot water with both the state government over worker's comp and for classifying employees as "volunteers" (see Tony and Susan Alamo Foundation v. Secretary of Labor, 1985), and with the federal government (USDA) over food stamp fraud for classifying themselves as a rehab, then turning around and calling themselves a tax-exempt "Christian Life School."

I'm going to bring these bastards to their knees one drop of blood at a time. Have a nice day.
Sonny

United States

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#19
Dec 13, 2007
 

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Well all I can say is that the experience we had in Georgia was good and that it worked. My husband said that he was not mistreated, but rather guided toward the ways of God. Our family is living proof that it can work. I can't speak for every facility, but for our family Teen Challenge was the answer and the only thing that really worked. My husband received 3 meals a day (donated and not the healthiest meals but he ate them), he did have to work (they washed cars) but this was to teach them about work ethics and keep their minds off of their addictions and it was not abusive in any way, but rather humbling, and he was given a bed to sleep on and regular teaching from the bible. All of this did not cost us (for what reasons I do not know) but the program worked for him. We did not complain about the food or his little cot but were grateful that Teen Challenge provided to him what he needed to get off of drugs. Four years later he is drug-free and continues to read his bible and serve God. He is a leader in our community and well-respected. He leads our family as a strong man of god and we are grateful for the assistance that Teen Challenge provided. I will continue to pray for the other locations and the workers. But think of all of the people this program has helped! Don't shut it down - work to make it better!

“It's all about the money”

Since: Jul 07

Clovis, CA

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#20
Dec 13, 2007
 
Sonny wrote:
...he did have to work (they washed cars) but this was to teach them about work ethics
No, it was to make money for Teen Challenge in their worship of the almighty dollar. I was an assistant manager of a tire store in San Diego and I've been a very good salesman at Sears for nineteen months; I didn't need to be taught a work ethic. I've been sober for over three years, not through help from "God" but by using what I learned in Alcoholics Anonymous, an organization that doesn't brag about a success rate because it's not in it for the money the way this "ministry" is.

When your husband left Teen Challenge, did they ask him to turn over his first paycheck to them?
Sonny

United States

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#21
Dec 14, 2007
 

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Nope. They wished him luck and told him that they would be praying for him. Teen Challenge relies so heavily on donations and if asking the guys to work some while they are there, I don't see anything wrong with that. You can't run a program without money and if working helped the guys to establish a routine and kept their minds off of their addictions, then it worked. Like I said, I can't speak for every location but the one my husband was at was fine. The people were kind to him and respectful. We had a good experience and it helped. That's all I can say!

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