Teen Challenge Exposed!
Elisabeth

Seattle, WA

#63 Sep 15, 2008
Teen Challenge Exposed wrote:
<quoted text>
No. I was required to do one year, so that's what I did. I put together my site as a means of keeping a promise to several syudents to "expose this place for what it really is." I'm a journalism major, so they asked me to submit an article to the Riverside Press-Enterprise, but this web site reaches more people and can be updated whenever I choose.
There are programs that are free that are not overly Jesusy like Teen Challenge is. The Salvation Army's Adult Rehabilitation Center is a six-month (up to a year if you want to stay) program that uses AA as its recovery system, but though you attend chapel twice a week, a belief in the Bible is not required. You work in their warehouse sorting donations or helping truck drivers pick them up and unload them. It costs nothing, and you are even given a little spending money ($4 the first week, and it steadily increases to $18). This allows residents to buy cigarettes (I liked Skoal in those days) or a soda, etc. I used some of my "gratuity" to get a better haircut than the freebie I could get at the barber college (they don't know how to cut curly hair!)
30 miles away in Porterville, there is the PAAR Center, a residential drug and alcohol facility. They charge $1100 for ninety days, but they don't toot their own horn like TC does, so they don't need as much money. They just want to help people.
The reason I focus on the money issue is because if you become sick or injured, and cannot make money for the ministry, you are unceremoniously dumped at the bus station. I helped keep a TC from opening in Eureka, CA (several residents there sent me letters, and one called me, all thanking me) by revealing this "make us $$$ or get out" requirement. The Eureka Reporter asked Fred Lamberson, head of TC in that area, about my charges, and here is the response:
(Editor’s note: Concerning Kincheloe’s statement about Teen Challenge expelling people who cannot work because of injury or sickness, Redwood Teen Challenge Director Fred Lamberson III said Teen Challenge’s policy is that the organization will allow participants to take a rest and then determine whether the situation is an ongoing medical crisis and, if it is, then will that prevent the individual from continuing to be and work in the program.)
My roommate Ed Mimms came down with walking pneumonia after washing cars in sub-freezing temperatures - they wash cars at a huge lot from midnight to 9:30 a.m. for an auction company - and after grudgingly taking him to the doctor - they claimed he "didn't pray enough", and that was the reason that he got sick - they gave him four days to get well or get out. I document this in my home page on my site.
If you have any more questions/comments, you can post them here or email me at [email protected]
Have a good day.
I am having a very hard time even reading some of the accusations that you are making about Teen Challenge. I do know that every center is different and I don't know what yours was like but my experience is SO different! I graduated the porgram after 16 months and now I work for them. God put TC in my life to save me from the hell that I was in. Now I am married and feel blessed to be a part of something so amazing as TC. I feel that you are taking your experience with one TC center and claiming it for all TC centers. I am afraid that people who could have there lives changed forever from this program will read your article and not give it a chance because of it. It is a shame. I understand why you say some of the things you do, but apart from peoples faults we have a big God who can do anything. I have not been the perfect leader here but no one could be. Please don't turn people off to this program just because of your bad experience. I have seen incredible success stories and I am one of them. Please don't be a hinderance to someone elses success story.
Elisabeth

Seattle, WA

#64 Sep 15, 2008
I am having a very hard time even reading some of the accusations that you are making about Teen Challenge. I do know that every center is different and I don't know what yours was like but my experience is SO different! I graduated the porgram after 16 months and now I work for them. God put TC in my life to save me from the hell that I was in. Now I am married and feel blessed to be a part of something so amazing as TC. I feel that you are taking your experience with one TC center and claiming it for all TC centers. I am afraid that people who could have there lives changed forever from this program will read your article and not give it a chance because of it. It is a shame. I understand why you say some of the things you do, but apart from peoples faults we have a big God who can do anything. I have not been the perfect leader here but no one could be. Please don't turn people off to this program just because of your bad experience. I have seen incredible success stories and I am one of them. Please don't be a hinderance to someone elses success story.
Mindy

Roswell, GA

#65 Sep 22, 2008
I dont know about any Teen Challenge program but the one I attended. I went to Teen Challenge Brooklyn New York. While the food there wasnt great, the people and staff were truly there to help the people who came in. There was no fee to enter anyone could leave at any time. Some of the counselors would get up in the middle of the night to intake someone who needed help. There was a mens and womens program and we lived in Huge mansions in the middle of Brooklyn. Im sorry but the little telemarketing that we did im sure didnt even cover the taxes on those properties. Teen Challenge changed my whole life.
Chris

Hollister, MO

#66 Feb 11, 2009
Teen Challenge has completely changed my life... I am forever grateful for what God did in my life through TC. I trust and believe in Teen Challenge 100% Thank God for Teen Challenge!
joyce

United States

#67 Mar 4, 2009
My son entered the Savannah,GA TC. It started out Ok. After a week they figured out he was a good money raiser. We are talking about a person that 2 months prior was out doing drugs and taking whatever he could to support his habit. They sent him out everyday but Sunday to beg for money. He had nothing to eat or drink. It is very hot in Savannah in the summer. When he called and asked us to pick him up he was blistered and had racoon eyes from so much sun. On the day he had us to pick him up, he had been begging for money as usual, they accused him of taking money. They searched his body and all of his belongings. They found nothing! I talked to the director and he told me my son was telling the other guys in the house he was leaving and going to Ft Lauderdale to stay with a friend. This was totally untrue, he has no friends in Ft Lauderdale. At first we were pleased, but the longer he stayed there the more unhappy he got. People in rehab have to be somewhat happy or they will never recover. We have relocated our son in another rehab. He has been there for six months and is doing so much better than he ever did in Savannah.
A Loving Mom

Cleveland, OH

#68 Apr 20, 2009
I happened to be somewhat educated; I have a Master's degree in Education and I believe in researching agencies before randomly placing a loved one into an unknown situation. I have first hand experience (for the past nine months) while my son has been in an Induction Center. My son, through the love, caring, support, counseling and nurturing he has received from the men at TC, has become a different young man. His anger, self-mutilation, suicidal ideation,threatening harm to others, using many street drugs paired with his prescribed drugs for psychosis and bipolar disorder, truancy from school and, otherwise overall miserable existence, have all but disappeared. He now is a Christian following Jesus Christ. He no longer has to be his own "God" ; he now truly knows that he is one of God's children and has a new found peace, work ethic and is no longer an anxiety ridden individual who felt the need to lie about everything. Without the ministry of Teen Challenge, it is very possible that he would be dead or at the very least in prison. Judge not lest ye be judged. If you feel the need to judge, then at least speak from direct experience; do not believe everything you read on the internet. TC has changed thousands of lives for the better. There has been no abuse at my son's center; only caring and support 24/7. I personally thank God every night that my son is where he is right now.
A Loving Mom

Cleveland, OH

#69 Apr 20, 2009
Chris wrote:
Teen Challenge has completely changed my life... I am forever grateful for what God did in my life through TC. I trust and believe in Teen Challenge 100% Thank God for Teen Challenge!
Amen to that, Chris. God Bless You.
Why

Edwardsville, IL

#70 Dec 16, 2009
My Stepdaughter is in a teen challange. She is in her mid 30's. THe teen challange has sent2 diffrent people bills for $5000.00 for her stay there and told her sister something to the effect she owed 7000 and do you think she is going to get out.
I have talked to an atty all ready and if they do not let her out soon we might just have to start suing for information and to get her out of there. I checked on the director ofthis teen challange and I found she has a income of 200 grand a year and lives in a fine 200 grand home. Also checked the state records and they only show a little over 200 grand coming in. Makes a person wonder what teen challange is all about when they cut off parents that ask questions.
I do not know if all the teen challange programs are the same but the one in OH seems shady in my eyes. You think recominding a Christian type program would be a good thing. But I think this teen challange is all about the money and not much about Christ !
Kiera

Sunnyvale, CA

#71 Feb 8, 2010
Teen Challenge in Eureka was a completely different program than the Teen Challenge in San Jose. Every place is run by different people and so there are different personalities in each. There are some corrupt Teen Challenges but there are more uncorrupt Teen Challenges. Besides, God uses the program as a tangible way to reach us. He doesn't have to use the program, He can still use the corrupt Teen Challenges to reach out to the wounded. About the money, I have a heard a story about one Teen Challenge whose leaders were stealing the money. But for most part, the money is used to keep us students fed, dressed, and warm in a home. We are all sinners and non of us are perfect. So instead of always looking at the faults of others why don't we look at the fact that we all sin. And as a very wise man told me once, "All sin is spelled the same: SIN." I'm not saying that Teen Challenge is all peachy. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done especially because there was much about the program that I didn't agree with. But the discipline it took to keep my mouth shut and to humble myself was one of things that changed me so much for the better. God is almighty and powerful. I don't give Him enough credit for what He's done in my life. Even now I constantly push Him away. But He NEVER LEAVES MY SIDE!!!!!
storemk

Enterprise, AL

#72 Aug 4, 2010
Leila wrote:
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.
I have been to Teen Challenge and other addiction facilities, and TC was horrible. It is true that they are just worried about making money.

Since: Jul 10

Location hidden

#73 Aug 4, 2010
Teen Challenge was founded by David Wilkerson. Many people have been set free because of Teen Challenge. Certain local chapters may be corrupt, but I think the good far out weighs the bad.
Shelly

United States

#74 Aug 15, 2010
I was referred to a place in Brewster Ks by Teen Challenge, a guy by the name of Doug who works at Teen Challenge in Kingsmin,Ks said this couple were going to be getting a license to become an affiliated Teen Challenge with the teen girls living in their ranch style home.I took my daughter 7hrs away to Brewster, Ks.Well, I went for my first visit on Friday, I got there at 2pm, the coouple, whom call themselves Pastor Charles and Pastor Vickir Taff, did not come welcome me, they stayed in the basement.Pastor Charles come upstairs at around 6pm to eat dinner with us but I still had not seen Vicki.After I had been there for about an hour I asked where she was and was told she wasn't there, then alittle bit later I was told she was sleeping downstairs.I was asking the girls how much time they spend with Vicki, I was then told she left the girls with the 18 year old girl they referred to as Ms.Jenine or Ms Michelle the majority of the time.I observed Ms.Jenine(18yr old staff) acting just like the girls.I was very concerned.At around 10:00 that nite I was getting ready to go to my motel room after dropping my daughter off and Vicki was waiting at the door and asked if she could talk to me.Remember I'd been there since 2pm and this was the first time I had seen her.She proceeded to ask me if I was on board and my reply was "of course, but I do have some concerns" she replied "and what might that be?" said "I was under the impression that you would be like the house mother to these 6 girls here and I was wondering how much time your with these girls"her reply was "I eat here and I sleep here and I'm here 24 hours aday if I'm not running errands" I asked her why she was being defensive?Her reply was "I don't like being accused of things.I said to her that I was not accusing her of anything.She said well, since ur not on board here, you need to take your daughter and leave.My reply was,"if asking questions is not being on board...then I guess I'm not on board.My church was helping me pay the tuition, which was spendy but worth it in my eyes at the time.I feel decieved because they seemed like the most caring, loving people and yea, them being Pastors made me feel better.When I found out the lies I was being told and the recent e-mail they sent my church that was full of lies really made me sad that these two people that had my trust because they truly had me believing that they loved these girls makes me see the two sides of evil exists...Pastors or not!The place Victory House in Brewster is anything but that.Thank you and I hope this helps people that are thinking about putting their girls in Victory House.Any questions, u can e-mail me at [email protected]
Been there

Melrose Park, IL

#75 Sep 2, 2010
A better (and cheaper) alternative to Teen Challenge would be going to twelve step meetings (NA or AA) and attending church every Sunday. It's what I'm doing, and I'm staying sober-and I have a job (that I'm being paid for, not like the slave labor camps in TC). BTW I was at TC Chicago for 3 weeks and then I left. It was the worst three weeks of my life. There's definitely something wrong with the staff at TC Chicago.
There as well

Metamora, IL

#76 Nov 8, 2010
I too have graduated from TC and i would have to say that yes most of the people were really great but growing up in a religious family and then going there and having it pushed down my throat was horrible. I felt as if i was in a prison. I can honestly say i would never ever recommend sending anyone there. Although it has been many years since i have been there, and my life is good. It still brings back many bad memories and maybe it has changed but i would never suggest sending any one there.
yellowgizalia

United States

#77 Nov 24, 2010
i was born and raised in Teen Challenge. Teen Challenge isnt really about getting off drugs its about having a deaper relationship with God. The staff and students work together to make money because they have to pay for food, lodging, and utilities somehow. in the meanwhile they also teach work ethic so when you graduate you will know how to do more things than when you first came in. Not all TC's are the same, so please dont ride off all Teen Challenges
LTM

Savannah, GA

#78 Jan 14, 2011
We just moved here, and are thinking and praying of opening a Christian Coffeehouse somewhere in Savannah or near Savannah, also a Christian bookstore ect in it.
I know of Teen Challenge, has always had a good reputation, also Youth for Christ is a good organization also.

Not all who go into TC will come out Not on drugs, but a good percentage of them will, they have to Want to Not be on drugs ect. Alot of times people on drugs will lie ect. So please be careful of what you say about Christian organizations, there are always 2 sides to a story.
tc new england

Jeffersonville, VT

#79 Mar 26, 2011
Ive been in TC New England for 8 months now. There are so many suspicious things that take place here. I dont trust the ones running it. They paint a picture that is false to make money and the amount they have the students working is ridiculous. One example, when we go out to fundraise on store front the store owners are told were just handing out lititure. All we do is ask for donations for 12 hours a day every day. Were told that if the owners come outside we are to stop asking for donations. This is deceit. The people are donating to Teen Challenge but there are no teens allowed in the program.(18 and older) its misleading. We are to tell them its a drug rehab but its not its a Christian boot-camp that has nothing to do with drugs. Very misleading. They dont hold you there physically but drill it in your head many times daily that if you leave you are out of the will of God. I can point to many scriptures that are i direct conflict to the way tc ne is run. I dont trust the politicians I mean pastors that run it neither.All the leaders are driving brand new cars. A Brand new Audi a8 on a supposed $300 paycheck? Im not worried all things will come to the light.
been there

La Grange, IL

#80 Mar 28, 2011
LTM wrote:
We just moved here, and are thinking and praying of opening a Christian Coffeehouse somewhere in Savannah or near Savannah, also a Christian bookstore ect in it.
I know of Teen Challenge, has always had a good reputation, also Youth for Christ is a good organization also.
Not all who go into TC will come out Not on drugs, but a good percentage of them will, they have to Want to Not be on drugs ect. Alot of times people on drugs will lie ect. So please be careful of what you say about Christian organizations, there are always 2 sides to a story.
"two sides to a story", huh? You don't have to be on drugs to be a good liar, just read your Bible it has plenty to say about liars-and very little about drugs. And I've found that alot of devout Christians are the best liars of all. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it. have a good day
been there

La Grange, IL

#81 Mar 28, 2011
tc new england wrote:
Ive been in TC New England for 8 months now. There are so many suspicious things that take place here. I dont trust the ones running it. They paint a picture that is false to make money and the amount they have the students working is ridiculous. One example, when we go out to fundraise on store front the store owners are told were just handing out lititure. All we do is ask for donations for 12 hours a day every day. Were told that if the owners come outside we are to stop asking for donations. This is deceit. The people are donating to Teen Challenge but there are no teens allowed in the program.(18 and older) its misleading. We are to tell them its a drug rehab but its not its a Christian boot-camp that has nothing to do with drugs. Very misleading. They dont hold you there physically but drill it in your head many times daily that if you leave you are out of the will of God. I can point to many scriptures that are i direct conflict to the way tc ne is run. I dont trust the politicians I mean pastors that run it neither.All the leaders are driving brand new cars. A Brand new Audi a8 on a supposed $300 paycheck? Im not worried all things will come to the light.
yeah, I know it. TC Chicago was real crappy also. I guess when people hear about a "Christian" rehab they probably think about grace, mercy, forgiveness, kindness, compassion, and love (and maybe the staff showing some of these qualities!!!!!). You can forget about that at TC! The christian ideas you'll hear there are "the penalty for sin is death!" "he who does not work does not eat" "YOU are dead in your sins!" It feels great to hear these things when you are trying to get sober (yeah right)
I guess you have to accept the fact that most people who work there don't like it either they dont like being around us "sinful addicts" and almost no one in TC or any church has the time or patience to deal with a detoxing addict. I found alot more grace and mercy at a secular rehab than TC. Oh yeah they quote that 86% success rate almost every day but they won't tell you the dropout rate is 50% or even higher in some TCs. you did 8 months, tho so i would stay the other 4-but if they try keeping you longer (like 15-18 months for "further spiritual instruction") just leave-imagine going on a job interview and having a 18 month hole in your resume (try explaining that!) I do believe in God-but I find him at church and in his word.
Kim

East Berlin, CT

#82 Apr 20, 2011
Lori wrote:
My son just graduated from West Florida Teen Challenge. IT IS A WONDERFUL place. It saved my son's life. Pastor Dave, Mrs. Barbara, Sgt. Davis, Sgt. Beys, Pastor Clay, Sgt. Kimbryl, Sgt. Lopez, Sgt. harris, Sgt. laycox, etc.... are all WONDERFUL and CHRISTIAN people who saved my son's life. Shame on you for putting them down and blinding those from taking their son's to that facility where their life may be saved!!!
I wonder if you would mind talking with me. I am considering sending my 16 year old son to the teen challenge in Georgia and would like to speak with someone who has familiarity with the program.

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