The idea sounded good. Taking in at-risk teenagers and teaching them faith and be a guide for them.
Unfortunately they guided the teenagers in other more personal matters which benefitted them also.
It could not have been fun to become part of Children Having Overcoming Power (CHOP).
- Maryland Police Charge 3 Church Leaders With Past Abuse Of At-Risk Teen Girls (The Huffington Post)
- Prince George’s County pastor, 2 others sexually abused teens in church program, police say (FOX 5 DC)
This problem is currently under investigation in Canada but could sadly apply to Jehovah’s Witnesses in other countries too. The problem is that the religion allows a parallel court system to function instead of involving the police from the very start and let them investigate when sexual child abuse occur.
The children should be allowed to report their abusers to the police. They should be allowed to get real justice and see that their abusers go to prison. This religion robs the children of justice.
It cannot be fun to be part of what we will call a cult as long as they do not give up their internal court system and bring conflicts to the official courts to be solved.
When claims of possible abuse from parents arise it is a police matter. They will work together with the social services to uncover the truth about about what took place and bring possible criminals before the courts so they can be convicted.
It is not the job for the church to intervene in such cases. In Alaska the church and their pastor Marion Sands took it upon themselves to convince a girl that her parents were demons. Their actions destroyed the possibility of a police investigation and they should have been convicted of obstruction.
It cannot be fun to be teenager in that ministry.
An isolated small community run by German immigrants were for decades a terrible place to grow up. People were not allowed to live as families. If the parents were against the government they were tortured and the children adopted into new families.
All controlled by a former priest which ended his days in prison after first having escaped Germany accused of abuse. He took control of this small community and turned it into a cult protected by the government in Chile. Electro shock and other kind of turture were used.
The government changed and the police raided the community in 2005. The priest tried to escape abroad but were caught and sentenced to prison where he died after having served 6 years of a 20 years sentence. He got off easy.
It could not have been fun to be there as teenager, while the priest were in charge.
A good movie called Colonia has been made about this community.
- What happened in Colonia? Inside the terrifying Nazi cult that inspired Emma Watson’s new film (The Telegraph)
- Colonia Dignidad: A Secret Nazi Cult Hidden In The Mountains Of Chile (All day)
- How I survived Chile’s torture commune run by Pinochet’s paedophile Nazi pal (The Mirror)
- Cplonia (movie)0 (Wikipedia)
This so-called facility located in Jasper, Georgia is marketed as a Christian facility. However the way it is run does not sound like it is following the general concept of Christianity.
Testimonies from former residents sound like this:
I wish verbal abuse was as far as it went with the joy house but unfortunately physical abuse was present as well. Overall this was a completely deflating and saddening experience that will hopefully teach our family how to NOT act. Extremely disappointed in the judgement, abuse and heartache that was cause by this establishment. The path to Christ is not through these doors.
I was in a center for “troubled teens” in Jasper, Georgia known as The Joy House. They practiced physical punishment, conversion therapy on the lbgt community, and believed mental disorders were demon possessions. They fed stale, moldy peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to residents that caused trouble and locked them in the bathroom for hours, sometimes days. After I attempted to run away I was locked in the bathroom for two days in nothing but my underwear. They ignored my complaints of pain which resulted in me landing in the hospital and having to have surgery for a kidney stone that was stuck. I was unable to urinate at this point and had a severe kidney infection. They refused to give any form of pain medication. They also ignored my need for birth control which resulting in me becoming anemic. I would have my period for 14 days and be off it for three before starting over. I went through a box of super tampons every three days. This is just a basic overview.
I was placed in there for good reasons, and I had requested a treatment program. I had severe ptsd after losing my virginity to rape and began to drink heavily and use substances (adderal and cocaine). I missed four months of school due to hospitalization and skipping school. My mother chose The Joy House for me and did not involve me in the decision. Her choice was made purely because it was Christian.
The Joy House has sense banned children with substance abuse issues or severe mental disorders. I use quotations around troubled teens because to be honest, most of us in there just had middle class parents that didn’t want to deal with them. One of my close friends was placed in there because she discovered her father was into some unsavory things (off limits because I do not wish to divulge her issues) and attempted to confront him. My roommate was in there because she got caught smoking weed.
My first job out of college (I have a psychology degree) was at a group home for teenage girls and we had two clients from the same rehabilitation center. They both reported similar situations to mine despite not knowing I had been a resident there. After receiving this information I issued a report to the Department of Family and Children Services. I was told DFCS cannot intervene due to them being a private organization.
What can you do?
It doesn’t sound like a fun place to be as a teenager.
The Joy House in Jasper Georgia trys to hide the truth (Fican Network)
The Family also known as “Great White Brotherhood” and “Santiniketan Park Association” was founded in the early 1960’s. A number of children were adopted into the community. The children were subjected to a number of drugs including LSD. In 1987 the children were removed by the authorities and the founders charged with various crimes. Due to legal complications the owners were only fined.
It could not have been fun to be there as a child.
The police found the bruises on some boarding school students were too severe to be justified according to the law. While this boarding school like so many make use of corporal punishment the court now have to decide whether the employees were out of line. Sources have told us that the bruising were “ordinare” and what both students and parents should expect when they sign kids up for a stay in a religious based Baptist boarding school. The police came to another conclusion.
But based on the common knownledge about how it is to be student at such a place it is safe to state that it wasn’t fun.
- Clarksville, Ind. pastor facing felony charges (WHAS 11 news)
- More details released in Indiana boarding school abuse allegations (WLKY News)
This facility is marketed as a religious boarding school for male teenagers aged between 12 and 17. It is located in Robertsdale, Alabama. The management seems have been working for some of the infamous religious boarding schools in Missouri.
Communication with peers back home is restricted. The curriculum is ACE which makes it hard to be accepted into most colleges.
Spending time where you don’t achieve real credits and missing out of high school parties makes it safe to state that it cannot be fun to be there as a teenager.
- Blessed Hope Boys Academy and Gary Wiggins – what is his past? (Fornits Home for Wayward Web Fora)
- Knowledge of the past of brother Gary Wiggins is sought (Fighting Institutional Child Abuse Network)
- Factsheet of the facility (Fornits Wiki)
The authorities raided the facility December 2016.
After the state of Alabama closed a legal loophole allowing them to inspect religious schools, the founder Pastor Gary Wiggins moved his operations to Missouri, where this loophole continues to exist. In Missouri, the state do not care about the safety of children in religious boarding schools. Instead the state of Missouri picks up the pieces when people are hurt or they are killed. And deaths there have been. Teenagers escaping a facility “Lives under Construction” or LUC Ranch killed an elderly couple. Two teenagers killed another when they tried to escape “Mountain Park Academy”.
It is a mystery why the state of Missouri allows this legal loophole to exist.
Religious boarding school raided in Alabama reopens in Missouri (al.com)
Grace of God Boy’s Home was a so-called Christian orientated group home located in Corpus Cristi, Texas.
It was closed down by the DHS in Texas in the early 1990’s. Corporal punishment was used at this place.
It was run by Gerald and Nancy Provorse.
Fortunately it is closed now and exist only in the nightmares amond those who was so unfortunate to end up there abandoned by their families.
It didn’t sound like a fun place to be as a teenager.
- (Texas Monthly jan 1992)
- Beware the Grace of God (Fornits Home for Wayward Web Fora)