Teen Mania Ministries is insane

“Pain is merely weakness leaving your body”
“You won’t last long if you start feeling sorry for yourself”
“Pay attention; you are a loser”

If you want to have a scary cultist environment, you need the following (all of which seem present in this “retreat”).

– Use food deprivation to make people more tired, and susceptible to suggestion
– Use hard physical labor to break down subjects to make them more submissive
– Use intimidation, yelling, peer pressure, the fear of failure or the unacceptable to soften their psyche.
– Identify your subject’s fears and expose them to it (like the girl with the bug) while uttering pointless platitudes.
– Use a constant overload of stimulus to make it hard or impossible for the subject to concentrate for any long period of time.

This place makes Jesus Camp look like Disneyland.
(via Unreasonable Faith)

Comments (5)

  • avatar


    I don’t even….. I think I made it 5 minutes in.

  • avatar

    C Conti

    Some of their alumni are not too happy: http://www.recoveringalumni.com

  • avatar


    I watched the whole thing. Think about what it’s being used – or rather, not used – for: It’s not being used for corrections. It’s not charitable work (though guaranteed they benefit from that status legally). It’s not a military prep academy. It’s not some crazy fitness program. It’s not summer camp. It contributes to no major accepted field of study. It’s not some insane entrance program for the military or academia. It’s not to get a job. It’s not for social work.

    So WTF are they doing this for?

    Brainwashing, and on yours and the participants’ dime. The whole premise behind this operation is so F’ing dishonest, it’s the stuff of psychopaths. The operator says it’s about cleansing people of bad stimuli in pop culture, so what does he do? Use the same techniques to rope high school grads in (t-shirts, hip videos, loud music, flashy lights). The most disturbing mental aspects are the references to the concepts of purity and honor, which are massive alarm words, because all kinds of ugliness lies behind any ideology using those two pillars. This whole thing reeks of fascist religious militarism fueled by former or wannabe drill sergeants drunk on Jesus, but not wanting to get out of the game of exacting a thrill out of beating on young people mentally and physically, because the operators have no skills to do anything productive with their lives.

    Now that I think about it, I would peg this “ministry” as a very good example of how far Biblical interpretation can be taken, as compared with the extremes of Biblical literalism. After all, where in the Bible did Jesus don battle fatigues and roll around in mud to purify himself? How is what the character of Jesus did, in any way, equivocal to militarism like this?

  • avatar


    I attended “Acquire the Fire” when I was a teen. It was a very powerful experience, and there is a lot of pressure to be a part of the experience and be “saved”. I can honestly say though, I always felt uncomfortable during the event. Looking back now, it seems absolutely batshit crazy. I’m just thankful that I was able to escape the craziness.

  • avatar

    BJ Price

    BlueIndependent…I too thought psychopath watching Luce and his gang. And PTSD for those roped into this.
    The flashing lights and high intensity special effects to get the adrenaline flowing have definitely been borrowed from rock concerts and religious fervor groups.
    I see nothing of the bible in this.
    Only a way to make money.
    It needs to be shut down.
    It’s a shame the red flag didn’t scream Stop.

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