#83 May 24, 2011
If you dont believe in hard work, building self esteem, getting clean and sober, and choosing to believe Christ has a better path to follow - then Teen Challenge is not for you. After several EXPENSIVE programs, this is what worked for my son. I talked to several young men there who dropped out, then begged to come back. Yes, it hard work, but everything they earn is channeled back to teen challenge. For some, this is the first time they have made a contribution toward earning room and board. There is a reason this program has existed since the 60's and a reason there are over 1,000 worldwide. I think the person who "exposed" teen challenge has a work issue and a faith issue.
#84 May 30, 2011
dont do it. i was there . teen challange is a modern day aushwitz. the best thing i ever did was escape from the clutches of these brainwashing demons (pastors) at tc. i saw inexplicable and appalling things going on there and refused to take part in their devilish schemes. money grubbing people at their kiniving best. DONT DONT DONT DO IT.
#85 May 30, 2011
And what are you doing now?
#86 Jun 5, 2011
I have worked for Teen Challenge for ten years now, and I am not suprised by some of the comments at all here. Every center is different. "If"the center is operating the way it should then it's primary purpose is to see lives and families restored. Teen Challenge believes that true life transformation happens through Christ, but it should not be forced on someone because Christ does not deal with people that way. If you look into it then you would truly find that most people that went through Teen Challengeand graduated are very thankful for the program because it gave them an opportunity to get their life back and order.Most the ones who are bitter, if you looked into...you would find that these people usually did not finish the program our they messed their life up again after leaving.I am speaking from first hand experience for over ten years.
#87 Jun 6, 2011
Which centers do you have experience with? And which did you like best?
#88 Jun 30, 2011
i was a student at teen challenge and let me tell you that all of the negative post are lies.... teen challenge changed my life through the healing power of Jesus Christ. The program is extremely hard but overwhelmingly rewarding when completed. Addictions are serious life threatening conditions and should be treated as such. EVERY person i knew that dropped out early had something bad to say about the program because they were not truly ready to surrender to God and His plan in their life.
To clear up some things-
I was NEVER told that if i did not bring back enough money on a work shift that i would be punished.
I was NEVER given a job that was unreasonably hard or made to work over 8 hours a day.
I was NEVER abused by the staff
I WAS told about the healing power of Jesus Christ!
I WAS encouraged everyday to better myself!
I WAS surrounded by godly men who showed me how to live my life drug free and to walk with integrity with my Lord.
In short, Teen Challenge saved my life, and i strongly encourage anyone with a life controlling addiction to enroll in the program. It is a tough program for an even tougher problem, addiction.
Get out of the bondage of addiction.....Let Christ set you free....Because God is in Teen Challenge.
Teen Challenge Spokane Washington
#89 Nov 20, 2011
Tc today has gotten so far away from what mr wilkerson intended-thats why he isn't with it anymore! That's also why you have all these negative comments. Addicts need professional counseling and REAL discipleship. Former dope fiends who haven't left the facility in years are not success stories. If you're scared to leave and live, you have no faith. You don't know God. Tc gives tc a bad name. That's all I can say. The majority odf centers are full of crap. Not all, just most. I've met tc staff and students from all over the world. I wouldn't send a drug addicted dog there!!!!!
#90 Nov 21, 2011
David Wilkerson died - in a car crash, I believe.
Professional Counseling? Been, there done that with my son. I guess that explains the OD and coma.
Real discipleship? How about hard work, faith, commitment, and structure? I found that works rather well - didn't find that at the expensive rehab centers. Although I guess there was professional counseling - along with a host of "anti psychotics" etc. He got some real good meds for bi-polar at one - took us a month at a detox facility to get him off those. And no, he is not bi polar. In fact he is not on ANY meds, thanks to TC.
And guess what? Those former dope fiends? Are they alive? Are they in a coma? Did they OD? Do they have hope that they can stay clean? I happen to think that being alive, clean and sober IS a success. Some can make it on the "outside". Some cannot not, and maybe they are just SMART enough to realize that. At any rate, they are making a contribution instead of going back to what they were doing.
Instead, I wish them well, and many blessings for their contribution to TC and saving
lives - as I do those who have graduated the program and try to make it in the "outside" world.
#91 Dec 14, 2011
WARNING: DO NOT PUT YOUR CHILD IN ANY TEEN CHALLENGE FACILITY.
BEWARE: TEEN CHALLENGE IS NOT LICENSED OR REGULATED BY THE GOVERNMENT. There are no licensed, certified or qualified counselors on staff because they are not required to hire them. In fact, Teen Challenge has a history of hiring ex-cons and convicted sex offenders and they lie about their success rate.
PLEASE UNDERSTAND THIS IS NOT A "TREATMENT" FACILITY! YOU WILL NOT GET HELP FOR BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS OR ADDICTIONS BY QUALIFIED PROFESSIONALS. CHILDREN DO NOT GET HELP IN TEEN CHALLENGE. THERE ARE WIDESPREAD REPORTS CHILDREN ARE ISOLATED, ABUSED, BEATEN, STARVED AND BRAINWASHED.
This is not "treatment" and it certainly isn't Christianity. Real Christians would not treat children like this.
#92 Dec 14, 2011
Anyone who doubts the abuse at Teen Challenge International, West FL Boys Ranch in Bonifay, please do your own independent research.
There are reports children are being abused in this facility. Former students report they were denied food and starved as a form of punishment. Several students attempted to take food from the kitchen because they were hungry and Teen Challenge had them arrested for stealing.
There are reports children are being abused to their breaking point. There are numerous reports of suicide attempts. The children are Baker Acted by the local sheriff’s office, taken to Bay Behavioral and then in most cases returned to Teen Challenge.
Holmes County Sheriff’s Dept. Incident Report dated 05/29/2005, Case# 2005052222, reports a case of one child who was physically abused by the staff.“Sgt Major Morrison physically threw him out of one of the buildings and once outside Mr. Frazier and Mr. McDaniel shoved a garden hose in his mouth and turned the water on then filled his mouth with dirt. On the same day the student was Baker Acted and transported to Bay Behavioral for attempting to cut his wrists.”
There is a report of a child being taken to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, AL with kidney and liver failure. The mother reported to the Holmes County Sheriff’s Dept.(Incident Report dated 02/29/2008, Case#2008021608) she believed her child was “mistreated by staff.”
For more information on the abuse at this facility please read reports from former students at: http://teenchallengecult.blogspot.com/2007/02 ...
To read the Holmes County Sheriff’s Incident reports go to:
#93 Dec 14, 2011
FYI, here is another post from a former student:
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
#94 Dec 14, 2011
Another case of sexual abuse against children within the Assemblies of God Church!
Two youth ministers with the Assemblies of God church arrested for sex crimes against children in Polk County
POLK COUNTY, Fla.- Two youth pastors have been arrested for sex-related crimes against children, the Polk County Sheriff's Office announced Wednesday.
Edward Demoreta, 30, is accused of having sex at least twice with a 14-year-old student at Mulberry Middle School., while he was her teacher there.
Ricardo Navarro, 27, was arrested for texting a 14-year-old member of the church youth group with lewd requests.
Both suspects were youth pastors at the First Assembly of God.
Read more: http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/news/region_ ...
December 14, 2011
#95 Dec 14, 2011
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 isn't 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.
#96 Dec 18, 2011
I have worked with Teen Challenge since about 1985. All 3 of my kids successfully went through the program and later became staff members. They are all clean and sober more than 10 years from heroin. I was also a staff member in Florida for 3 years and have nothing but wonderful things to say about the whole organization.
Not all students are successful in completion. Many are not willing to follow directions. Some will sneak off and get drugs or alcohol and will fail a Pee test afterwards. Others are purely lazy expecting someone else to do it for them. Others have been so pampered and enabled by their families, they manipulate them to come home so they can get back to their disease of addiction.
I am a certified Florida substance abuse and mental health counselor so I know most of tricks of the trade. No program is perfect. Yes Teen Challenge must raise tution by subcontracting work crews. Most of the clients do it with enthusiasm. 28 day programs are a great start but the person who continually relapses even while working a 12 step program needs more. The only way to find out is to try it. I'm glad we did.
Call me anytime I can be of help to you.
#97 Dec 18, 2011
My son will graduate in January from Teen Challenge in Ft. Myers. He has never looked better - both physically and emotionally. I have no experience with other Teen Challenge Centers, but I can recommend Ft Myers. You will work hard and you will pray hard. Some of these posts are very old and from people who did not complete the commitment of 12 months and opinions will vary. I would recommend a personal visit to any center you choose. My son has applied to Southeastern University which is associated with Assemblies of God and a top university. As for the posting re sexual abuse within an AG church- although that makes me sad, you find it in many places, not just AG.
#98 Dec 19, 2011
Anyone who doubts abuse in Teen Challenge facilities please read:
IRC Sheriff Office Case Number: 2010-00115651
Teen Challenge of FL, Vero Beach
A child "was thrown against a wooden wall or pole twice. The child "suffered a back injury. The residents were told the world was coming to an end because of the oil spill. There was supposed to be a huge fire in the Gulf of Mexico. They were forced to be saved. They were called pussy bitches (by staff)...
Staff would make the children stand in the middle of the basketball court with a bucket of water. They were denied food all day and the use of a bathroom. If the children had to urinate or defecate they had to do it on themselves and they could not clean themselves until shower time. If someone sat down then they would be in trouble."
#99 Dec 19, 2011
This is not "treatment" and this certainly isn't Christianity. REAL CHRISTIANS DO NOT TREAT CHILDREN LIKE THIS!
This is ABUSE!
#100 Dec 19, 2011
Not everyone has a good experience in Teen Challenge. A former client reports:
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!
8:11 PM, September 08, 2009
#101 Dec 20, 2011
just curious - I see your post is Sept. 8, 2009 - where are you now?
I am sorry to say that suicide seems to go hand in hand with addictions. They probably should not have taken someone as troubled as that. However, sometimes there is no other place to go. The 72 hour observation just turns them back out with a handful of meds. Recovery places are expensive - and I have known of a couple that had suicides committed on their watch, even with a role call.
Addicition is a dangerous world. When you live in that world, your life is at risk - one way or another.
#102 Dec 20, 2011
THIS IS NOT AN ISOLATED CASE. TEEN CHALLENGE HAS A HISTORY OF HIRING EX-CONS AND CONVICTED SEX OFFENDERS! HERE IS ANOTHER CASE:
One of the more decidedly shocking results of Teen Challenge setting up shop in states with little or no regulation of "Faith-based children's homes" is of a known multi-offense sexual assaulter and child molester running one of the Teen Challenge homes in Winthrop, ME--namely, Shondi Fabiano, listed officially as a co-head of Teen Challenge New England by the website of the Northern New England District of the Assemblies of God, and who is officially listed as a lifetime-registered sex offender for second-degree child molestation and sexual assault in the third degree. An online check of sex offender registries, including the Florida sex-offender registry run by Florida Department of Law Enforcement, also shows Shondi Fabiano also has a history of 2nd degree sexual assault conviction in Kent, RI.(To give you an idea just why this may be an issue: 3rd degree sexual assault in Rhode Island is essentially statutory rape of a 14- to 16-year old minor by a person over the age of 18, 2nd degree sexual assault is sexual assault of an incapacitated person or sexual assault using force or coercion, and second degree child molestation is what is generally termed as frank pedophile rape--sexual assault of a minor under the age of 14. And this was probably not a case of "I thought he was legal"; Fabiano would have been nearly 24 years old at the time of the offense)
Fabiano apparently (at least per a search of the records site for Rhode Island's criminal courts) committed the crimes 10 years ago under her maiden name Shondi Barbato; she was originally charged with 1st degree child abuse (which involves sexual penetration of a child under the age of 14). It also appears Fabiano (under her maiden name of Barbato) has a wee bit of a chequered history even aside from kiddy-diddling; she has a conviction for fraud (specifically attempts to obtain money under false pretenses, insurance fraud, and conspiracy) and a dismissed charge of possession of a controlled substance.
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