Penn State & Teen Mania: The Good Ol’ Boys Coverup

The weeks are just flying by. One moment it was my birthday and now it’s nearly Thanksgiving! What happened to the past few weeks?

For starters, I started working in retail, which I have to say isn’t as terrible as I once thought it might be. The time goes by infinitely faster than I imagined it would. However, standing on your feet all day lends to exhaustion in the wrong shoes. Duly noted. Next apartment I live in WILL have a bathtub.

Then the US came unhinged over the Penn State/Joe Paterno scandal which is really a Sandusky scandal (abusing boys in the Penn State locker room). So many lessons learned.

  1. Penn State brought in $50 million dollars a year under Paterno on college ball.
  2. That’s why he wasn’t fired (10 years PRIOR to knowing about the child rape; 1 year PRIOR after the Grand Jury found Sandusky guilty).
  3. The good ol’ boys will cover things up when that much money and notoriety are involved. (Church members, take note)
  4. Report rape to the Administration AND CPS. Not just the Administration.

After all that drama, I got a second job. I’m an official staff member of my university. Which sounds amazing, and I’m happy to have the job, BUT it was supposed to be 20 hours a week and it looks like it’ll be closer to 15 hours a week for the next few weeks. Not great news.

My friends at Recovering Alumni got a documentary aired on MSNBC which has been causing quite a stir in the Teen Mania Ministries cult. Ron Luce has done interviews with people who care (not me) like Charisma News. Apparently only biased Christian media care to interview him because real journalism has exposed his ESOAL and Honor Academy as an abusive cult-like group. Ron cares about the MSNBC documentary mostly because it may cost him money if people believe that he’s abusing teens in his ministry.

However, the blogosphere is going crazy with weirdos supporting him, saying that people who are abused should “suck it up” and “stop whining.” Typical. Go Jesus followers. You guys are the BEST.

In some countries, like ours, abusers go to jail. Although, see Penn State (above) for an example of the multi-million dollar makers NOT going to jail or being fired UNTIL years and years later when they’re old enough to die and not produce any more money for the big bad ministry (er…university).

Apparently, Teen Mania owns Charisma News because “The Bible Answer Man” Hank Hanegraaff defends Teen Mania by saying, “In reality, the MSNBC piece is a case study in sophistry, sloppy journalism and sensationalism.” It should be noted that Teen Mania was offered a second interview to allow Ron Luce to answer the claims and they refused.  However, please note that Hank calls this “sloppy journalism” instead of fair.

Then Hank says “Doug and Wendy Duncan, billed as experts specializing in recovery from mind control.” Taken from their website:

Doug and Wendy Duncan are former members of a religious cult, the Trinity Foundation, in Dallas, Texas. After leaving the cult where he was a member for over twenty years, Doug earned his master’s degree in counseling and is now a licensed professional counselor in the state of Texas. Wendy is a licensed social worker and holds a master’s degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. She is also the author of I Can’t Hear God Anymore: Life in a Dallas Cult, the true story of the couple’s involvement in and eventual separation from a cult.

A note: I’ve read Wendy’s book I Can’t Hear God Anymore: Life in a Dallas Cult and I’ve never had anything resonate with me so much in regard to my own cult experience. It seems to me that cults and abusive religious groups have leaders who are more alike than they are different. Many of the same phrases and twists in scripture that Wendy talked about were the same thing I experienced. I’m not claiming to be unbiased here. I am biased. I like Doug and Wendy a lot. I’ve searched for years to find a counselor or therapist who understands cults and recovery from a cult with futility. Their experiences and the way they help people has been invaluable to me. They’re also affiliated with International Cultic Studies Association.

4 thoughts on “Penn State & Teen Mania: The Good Ol’ Boys Coverup”

  1. We lost our son a few months ago to a cult in Texas.  (Not Teen Mania)  I have followed the Teen Mania MSNBC documentary and the aftermath. I think it is terrible and my heart is broken for the children – the families. I have empathy not sympathy because I am currently living this nightmare due to a different religious group in the same state that has influence over my son which we have not been able to talk to for over 3 months now.  I have immersed myself into the study of Cults ever since this terrible tragedy made its way to our family.  I have two younger children that are also living this nightmare – trying to understand how – why – their brother is gone from their life.  Never were three siblings closer and now it is as if he vanished in the night.  I have been searching for anyone out there who could be of support to my children – our family.  We need a support group of people who actually GET what it is to lose a child to a cult.  If anyone knows of  legitimate support groups for families that have lost a child to a cult, please advise.

    1. Musikde,
      First of all, let me say how incredibly sorry I am for your loss. There are no words to describe how I felt when I woke up and read your comment. Your words stayed with me all day and I’m determined to work on some resources for parents and/or a support group for others in your situation.

      For now, I’ve found one group which is group specific, but perhaps it will help:

      There is a support group for parents whose children are still in a particular cult group: “The Roberts Group Parents Network”

      Also, there are a few cult experts you might look into if you haven’t already: Steve Hassan, Doug and Wendy Duncan and James D. Tabor. Let me know if I can be of any specific help.
      With Respect,

  2.  BREAKING NEWS! I’m a current staff member at Teen Mania Ministries. Christian businessman, Philip Anschutz met with the board and founder Ron Luce. If Ron steps down in August, he agreed to pay off Teen Mania’s debt and help the ministry moving forward. No word if Ron Luce accepted the offer and will resign in the midst of a sex abuse scandal that has rocked the ministry.

    1. Hi Nathaniel,
      As far as I can tell none of that is confirmed. This is the first I’ve heard of a sex abuse cover-up in Teen Mania.

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