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Messages - TC_Saved_Me

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Teen Challenge / Re: I personally escaped this Cult
« on: December 29, 2011, 04:31:33 PM »
Quote from: "Wayne Kernochan"
So, why did God save you and forsake so many others?

Does he prefer you?

"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10: 13)  Everyone!  

I just cried out to Him for help because I tried to leave the drugs behind so many times before, and...
"he turned to me and heard my cry.
 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
   out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
   and gave me a firm place to stand.
 He put a new song in my mouth" (Psalm 40: 1b-3a)

I would say that God has not forsaken anyone.  Motivated by His immeasurable love and grace, He gives everyone the opportunity to make their own decisions.  It's what we do with those opportunities that define our lives.  But I can tell you from personal experience that, "He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentence." (2 Peter 3:9)

Teen Challenge / Re: I personally escaped this Cult
« on: December 29, 2011, 03:54:35 PM »
It is hard to buy God as an intervening God anyway, at the very least.  You know that saying by Epicurus, something like, "If God is willing to prevent evil, but unable, then he is not omnipotent. If he is able to prevent evil, but not willing, than he is malevolent. If he is unable and unwilling then is he God?

I think it is wonderful that you are challenging Christian theology.  Of course it is counterproductive, though, if you only challenge these beliefs for the sake of debate.  It would be a glorious thing if you could study the Bible to prove Christian doctrine wrong.  (I know many people who study human philosophy and historical occurances to attempt to debunk the existence of an omniscent, omnipotent God.)

This is an interesting conversation.  Very deep.  I love it!

But it does sound like you take all the blame for your failures. You can't have it both ways. Besides if you drink wine you're not really clean.

There was a day that I carried alot of bitterness about the way that my parents raised me, but that didn't get me anywhere.  Like you said, I make my own choices: I chose drugs, I chose to receive Christ into my life to free me from my addiction.  

Whether you think I'm not really clean or not because I choose to drink a glass of wine once in a while is a matter of opinion.  I'm sure there are other people who wouldn't label me an addict because of that.

Teen Challenge / Re: I personally escaped this Cult
« on: December 28, 2011, 12:19:28 PM »
Quote from: "none-ya"
If you got clean you did it. If you do drugs you do them.
 Unless you hear voices in your head, telling you what to do,
 all the choices you make are your own. Explain secular sobriety. Besides, I know plenty of christians that drink. Including clergy. Me,I'm just is uncomfortable in a bar as I am in church.

You can make all the points you want about secular sobriety and Christians that drink (even I'll have a glass of wine every now and again).

What I don't think you can do though, is tell me how I got clean.  I know how I got clean, and it wasn't by my own strength.

Teen Challenge / Re: I personally escaped this Cult
« on: December 21, 2011, 12:56:26 PM »
I'm a bit curious, "TC_Saved_Me," about the "saving" or "Savior" component of what you just said... in light of your chosen username...?

I guess this should have been my username, but it was a little bit too long:   "God_Used_TC_To_Save_Me_Through_Faith_In_Jesus_Christ"

Not to be too theological, but I believe that TC saved me (from a worldly, sobriety perspective).  But TC is no "Savior" (by that I mean that TC can not save my soul from eternal damnation [hell]).

I received my salvation in TC, so it is the means at which God chose to bring me to my eternal salvation.

Teen Challenge / Re: I personally escaped this Cult
« on: December 19, 2011, 09:00:38 AM »
Quote from: "Samara"
What I'm saying is that your friend appears intolerant of people who dissent from his POV that TC is the Savior. Also, your post still shows a complete minimalization of TC dissenters as rule whiners. It is NOT uncommon for Programmees to drink the Kool Aid and think without this program I'd be dead. Often, these same people feel differently once the Kool Aid wears off.  I'm just not as dismissive of the opinions of people who found TC lacking in ethical boundaries. That is all. I'm not going to marginalize them as rule whiners. If God put it there to save your ass, more power to you. Sounds ridiculous to me, but whatever.

I see what you're saying.  There could be a fine line between whether those who choose to leave the program are dissenters or "rule whiners."  I'm sure alot of them leave for personal convictions about the ethical boundaries of the program.

I'm not sure any graduate of that program would consider TC a "Savior" though.  TC is just the media that God chooses to save us.

Teen Challenge / Re: I personally escaped this Cult
« on: December 16, 2011, 11:26:46 AM »
what does dissenting or not dissenting, and its relative merits or demerits, have to do with whether a particular treatment modality is abusive or not?

Absolutely nothing whatsoever.

Teen Challenge / Re: I personally escaped this Cult
« on: December 16, 2011, 10:28:45 AM »
the quote from your friend asserting that people who reject the program are essentially losers is irrational, illogical, and moronic.

Although I cannot speak for him, I do not believe he was saying that people who reject the program are losers.  I believe, since he is a graduate and now a staff member at a Teen Challenge, he is speaking from experience.  His personal experience has been that alot of people reject the program because they do not want to follow the rules.  Alot of those people end up very bitter, and will look for reasons and occasions to bad mouth a program that has worked for thousands of people for over fifty years.  

I understand where he is coming from.  I've seen alot of people badmouthing the same center that I went through - knowing that the center is filled with staff members who show the students alot of love - but they also exercise alot of discipline.  Wouldn't you defend something you knew was good.  Something you were passionate about?  Something that changed your life??

I don't want today's kids to be placed in programs that practice, yes, again, systemic, trenchant, and pervasive verbal and psychological abuse.

Good.  That makes two of us.

Dissention advances civilization.  Those advancements would not have occurred if the dissenters did not face opposition.  Let's get something clear before we go any further though: By definition, a dissenter is someone who goes against social norms.  On these particular Discussion Boards, you are not a dissenter.

Teen Challenge / Re: I personally escaped this Cult
« on: December 15, 2011, 09:34:46 AM »
Oh, and here's what my wife had to say,

"I've seen sites like that before. I don't care what anyone says, God used Teen Challenge to save my life." - her words, not mine.

I'm one of those Teen Challenge homers who married a chick that graduated the program!  :-)

She's a graduate of the Pennsylvania Teen Challenge (Philadelphia Induction Center - Rehrersburg Training Center, Pennsylvania).

Teen Challenge / Re: I personally escaped this Cult
« on: December 15, 2011, 09:29:55 AM »
Quote from: "cmack"
Without invalidating your own personal experience I urge you to continue your education regarding this industry and exercise restraint when referring others to TC or other programs.

I wouldn't refer anyone to the TC program for minors after the things that I've read.  I think that needs to be investigated, and those centers should be held to a higher standard.  These are kids we're talking about.

Certainly though, anyone could benefit from the center that I went through (San Diego Induction - Riverside Training Center, Southern California).  Since I have first hand experience of how beneficial that center is, I would not hesitate to refer someone there.  I referred some of the TC people I know to this website to read around, and get there opinion about what's being said in these Discussion Boards, and their all convinced that these negative opinions are from people who either got kicked out of the program or left early on their own accord.  There's alot of people who can't stand the rules, and are not ready to admit that they have not made wise choices with their lives.  So they'll either keep getting high, and get kicked out of the program - or they'll leave the program for "greener pastures" (jail, other rehabs, back on the streets) - and they'll be bitter towards the program.

I know at least ten people who have left the program, and gone on to graduate from Bible College (or secular college in my case soon), to be leaders in the Youth Groups of their churches, husbands, fathers, etc.

Here's what one of the TC graduates said about these Discussion Boards:  "People who aren't willing to surrender fully and need a scapegoat... Nobody takes credit for their part of failure anymore" -  His words, not mine.

Teen Challenge / Re: I personally escaped this Cult
« on: December 13, 2011, 03:01:53 PM »
but some groups have very manipulative ways of keeping people in the group without brute force.

I actually left one of the Teen Challenge induction centers (Philadelphia TC).  Got into an argument with the staff, and just walked out!  You have to sign a release form when you enter the program which states that if you leave the program, you have to go through a 90 day waiting period to get back into the program, so my mom forked up the airfare for me to go to San Diego induction (there's no induction fee in Southern California TC).  

The San Diego TC had me doing store-front fundraising one day - about 3 months into the program - and I used some of the money from the can to call my sister on a pay phone to have her bring me a cup of Starbucks (this is against the rules for a couple of reasons).  When the staff found out what I did, I was going to be put on restriction (not allowed to communicate with other students for two weeks and have to do extra chores and stuff).  I was so ticked off that I wanted to leave the San Diego induction center!

When I told the staff that I wanted to leave, they offerred to call my older sister to have her pick me up.  I'm sitting in the main lobby of TC, and my sister comes rolling into the center with her Senior Chief (Navy NCO)!!!  He takes me to the side, and threatens to beat my --- if I left the program because it would break my sister's heart!  That's about the only cohersion I got to stay in the program - was from my sister's Senior Chief!  

Also, it's my understanding Teen Challenge is not totally open about the fact that conversion to Christianity is an absolute requirement for graduation.  Is that still accurate?

That's not true.  I've never even heard of that before.

Teen Challenge / Re: I personally escaped this Cult
« on: December 13, 2011, 01:53:33 PM »
Quote from: "none-ya"
Quote from: "none-ya"
TC_Saved_Me wrote;
Do you think that military bootcamp is abusive?

Why not ask that question to the families of the kids who died there.

what is the seed?

If you've never heard of the seed that's understandable.It was closed down a along time ago. But how about straight inc.?
How about WWASP? And how about everybody's favorite (at least here),Elan? Sorry folks if I left out your program,but you get the point. But please don't take my word for this.You need to do some research.You'll see how all these programs all decended from cold war interogation technics by the military, to Synanon, to the seed and then everywhere else.

I came into this program thinking that I was hot stuff!

I don't think much has changed on that front.

touche'   ::poke::

Teen Challenge / Re: I personally escaped this Cult
« on: December 13, 2011, 01:51:03 PM »
Quote from: "psy"
Quote from: "Ursus"
There are more than a few similarities between military programming and the indoctrination and behavior modification of folks who are struggling with addiction issues or whose behavior is deemed unacceptable by the status quo... :D
Very true, but those who enter the military usually know full well what they're getting into.  There is informed consent. They know the're gonna get made into a new person.  That's the whole reason many go.  They don't like the way they are and want some discipline, even if it comes at the cost of some individuality.  Even those who don't go into the military for this reason know it to be a side effect.  Few have any choice when they enter a program and even fewer have full knowledge of how they will be changed. They know there will be an effort to change them, just not how, and because they don't know how, they're not able to resist effectively.

That's true.  I didn't quite expect such a strict and structured environment when I went into Teen Challenge.  But doesn't the fact that I could leave the program at any time - without any repurcussions - kind of absorb that a little bit?

Teen Challenge / Re: I personally escaped this Cult
« on: December 13, 2011, 01:39:55 PM »
Quote from: "cmack"
I hope you stay involved here on fornits and learn more about the industry in general. I believe you when you say that TC helped you and that you found redemption through faith. I only hope you're not too quick to suggest a similar program for your neighbor's 14 year old when he's caught smoking pot or drinking a beer.

Admittedly, I have been.  But the more that I've been reading, the more skeptic I've become, and will certainly urge anyone thinking of joining a program like this to do some serious research before making a decision.

I know that one of the TC Induction Centers that I was in had an outreach program for teenagers.  We weren't involved in the program, as students, but I did see our staff members interacting with the program.  I don't think this program was quite like what's being described in here either.

Thanks for being mature about this.  I have honestly gotten some good things out of these discussions - though some of the comments I've had to disregard    ;)

Teen Challenge, to my knowledge does not require staff members and counselors to get any kind of certification or professional training before getting this kind of responsibility.  I used to think this was what seperated them, and made them a stronger program (drug addicts can relate with former drug addicts and are more willing to open up to people who have been through what they are going through instead of some counselor who just got some social services degree).

But now I truely think that all of these staff members should be required to meet certain criteria before playing the role of a counselor in a Teen Challenge or any other drug rehab.  They should be properly trained and educated.  I still think that I would have opened up alot less to my counselors had they not dealt with similar struggles (most of them have criminal records like myself), so I think any regulations about that sort of thing should be overlooked - unless of course someone is a convicted sex offender or even someone convicted of a physical assualt charge of any kind (that could help to prevent the kind of abusive behavior that might take place at these sort of centers).

Teen Challenge / Re: I personally escaped this Cult
« on: December 13, 2011, 10:08:49 AM »
Quote from: "cmack"
Quote from: "TC_Saved_Me"

What is "The Seed?"


The Seed was a controversial youth drug-rehabilitation program that flourished in south Florida when I was a teen in the early 1970s. Founded by former comedian and recovering alcoholic Art Barker, it was modeled after adult treatment programs and administered by unlicensed staff. The Seed utilized coercive techniques such as aggressive confrontation, intimidation, verbal abuse, sleep deprivation, and restricted access to the bathroom to tear down a teen’s sense of self and replace it with the ready-made identity of a “Seedling.”

The Seed was highly publicized, and the attention eventually proved destructive to the program. In 1974 the U.S. Senate published a study that accused the Seed of using methods similar to North Korean communist brainwashing techniques. The bad press, in conjunction with legal pressure from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the drying up of federal funds, forced the Seed to scale back its operations dramatically. By the 1980s it had shrunk to a fraction of its former size and was officially admitting only voluntary clients. The Seed endured in this diminished capacity until it finally closed in 2001.

Today hundreds of similar programs are in operation throughout the United States and abroad. Some are even run by former Seed staffers. By most accounts, these programs are much harsher than the Seed.

Oh my goodness!  That sounds like something out of a movie!  Well, I can certainly see how a program like this would really mess somebody up!  That's a horrible story, and any place like this should be shut down, and the leadership should be tried for child abuse!

I'm starting to wonder if there is some other program out there that's called Teen Challenge that I'm not aware of because this is NOTHING like the adult program that changed my life!  This "Seed" program sounds completely reprehensible!   Please, please, please believe that I'm not on here to put anybody down who has gone through something like this!  I absolutely feel for you if that is the case, and I am sorry if you feel like I've justified that actions of a program like that!

My intention was simply to shine some light on the good programs that are out there.

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