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Teen Challenge / I personally escaped this Cult
« on: December 09, 2011, 10:31:47 AM »
Well, I've been reading through some of these Discussion Boards, and thought that my input might carry some weight.  Since I have actually been enrolled in Teen Challenge, and successfully completely both phases of the program, unlike some other people who are posting on here...

When I went into Teen Challenge, I was court ordered because I had been arrested three times in just under a year.  All of the arrest were drug-related offenses.  To make a long story short, I was raised in a church, and never even liked going to church when I was invited.  But by the time I was arrested for the third time, I was completely addicted to drugs & alcohol, and was desperate to get myself clean, so I thought I'd try Teen Challenge.

The program had a very strict curriculum, and I wanted to leave the program several times (Once you are in the program, you are free to leave whenever you choose, but you cannot come back for a certain amount of time once you do).  If I wasn't court-ordered to finish Teen Challenge, I probably would have left to be honest.  But I stuck it out, and did my best to follow all of the rules that were enforced.  The consequences for breaking the rules vary, but you normally will have to do extra chores, and memorize more scriptures out of the Bible.

The program is basically: very structured, work responsibilities, Bible classes, required church attendence, scripture memorization, etc.  It was EXACTLY what I needed!  I'm not going to claim to be an expert on cults, but I believe most cults brainwash you to believe that someone or something in the confines of that cult should be worshipped.  Teen Challenge is not like that at all.  You are required to attend church services, but that's about it.  They don't strong-arm anyone to believe anything, they simply take an approach like most parents should when raising their children, "You're living under my roof, you will follow my rules.  If you don't follow my rules, you will have to pay consequences.  If you don't like the consequences, you are free to leave at any time."  It's that simple!

Anyway, as I stuck with the program, I tried to give this "Christianity" thing a serious try, and started praying and reading my bible daily.  Before I knew it, God had healed my body and my mind.  I was a new person by the time I left that program.  I never "worshipped" or "served" Teen Challenge while I was in the program, I was encouraged and learned how to "worhsip" and "serve" God.  That's it.

If you're still reading this, I have long been removed from Teen Challenge.  I am no longer affiliated with the program in any way.  But because of that "Cult," I have now been sober for 6 years, and have a beautiful wife and two beautiful daughters.  I'm a pretty decent husband, father, and man.   I attend church every Sunday, and pay my taxes.  I have a great job working for the US Army.  Basically, I'm now a normal person, and my family - who couldn't trust me as far as they could throw me when I was addicted to drugs - loves me more than ever before.  Teen Challenge did all of that for me.  If that's what a "cult" is, then I encouraged anyone with a life-controlling addiction to find the nearest cult, and get involved as soon as possible!  God Bless!

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