Most Appalling Video You’ll See This Week

Most Appalling Video You’ll See This Week February 12, 2012

Daniel Fincke put this video on his blog and it’s stunning. It’s the trailer to a documentary about a Christian camp in the Dominican Republic where wealthy American evangelicals send their kids. It’s called Escuela Caribe and this is how it describes itself:

Escuela Caribe is a year round, fully accredited Christian therapeutic boarding school for high school students. Its mission is to assist parents whose children have high potential but are underachievers to train their child in the way he or she should go. Escuela Caribe provides a nurturing environment to train struggling adolescents through a quality educational experience that is challenging and encourages application of biblical principles that impact their spiritual, mental, and emotional character. Our goal is to cultivate a lifetime desire for service and excellence through Christian character enrichment. We attempt to impact the lives of the youth through intensive physical labor coupled with intense relational experiences. Our school has been serving families and teens for over 30 years.

That just sends chills down my spine. This is all a project of New Horizons Youth Ministries and they have a school in Indiana and one in Canada too. Some of their “alumni” — more accurately victims — have put up a website to tell the truth about what goes on there. Here’s the trailer for Kidnapped for Christ.

httpv://youtu.be/bOR77tWVxKc


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  • Sastra

    It’s not surprising that a religion which views human beings as the property of God views children as the property of parents. Nor is it surprising that a religion which sees pain and suffering as necessary remedies for human pride will then view pain and suffering as learning tools for children. If the purpose of our existence here on earth is to learn that we are nothing and G

  • tbp1

    Check out Julia Scheeres’ memoir Jesus Land. Maybe half of the book deals with her experiences (and those of her adoptive brother) there. Chilling, indeed.

  • raven

    These Fake “Residential Treatment Centers” occasionally end up killing a kid here and there.

    They beat them too hard or don’t send them to a doctor when they get sick or something else happens.

    The staff seems to be chosen for their capacity for brutality rather than any professional qualifications.

  • Sastra

    It’s not surprising that a religion which views human beings as the property of God views children as the property of parents. Nor is it surprising that a religion which sees pain and suffering as necessary remedies for human pride will then view pain and suffering as learning tools for the young. If the purpose of our existence here on earth is for us to learn for ourselves that we are nothing and God is everything, then it’s not a stretch to believe it’s the parent’s duty to help create passive, obedient, willing slaves who will love and accept the ultimate Creator without hesitation.

    It’s a recipe for disaster. Evil becomes good; slavery becomes freedom. Looks like this ghastly little school has the agenda of fostering an unhealthy dose of Stockholm Syndrome in its students. I’m not surprised.

    Appalled, but not surprised.

  • raven

    The Mormons are really into these prison camps for kids.

    They have their own network in Utah known as the Mormon Gulag.

    Rather nicely summarizes up the moral bankruptcy of their religion.

    And of course, many of the kids are sent there because they are gay. Some of the kids are sent there simply because they are in the way due to divorce and remarriage or because they can’t believe the unbelievable Mormon theology and Fake History.

  • peterh

    A “therapeutic boarding school”? Echoes of Dickens’ workhouses.

  • I know many people (I am not one of them) who would thoroughly approve of this approach. That, “what’s wrong with kids these days,” is a lack of “discipline” and the “Word.”

  • exdrone

    In 1998, the movie Disturbing Behavior came out, and now with Kidnapped for Christ, Poe’s Law is recapitulated.

  • raven

    What drives these camps on the supply side is…money.

    They can be very profitable.

    They charge a lot. There is a high ratio of victims to staff. The staff’s main qualifications are large size and a high capacity for brutality and low capacity for empathy.

    They get shut down a lot, usually when they kill a kid or too many complaints about sadistic pointless treatment are made. Then they move somewhere else, change their name, and start up again.

    The ones outside the USA, quite a few, are there because they are beyond the reach of US law.

  • Reading ‘Jerusalem’ by Mary Armstrong convinced me that Christianity is the most evil religion to come down the pike, and things like this prove it.

  • Didaktylos

    @peterh #6 – or even Dotheboys Hall (Nicholas Nickelby).

  • And they wonder why they are turning away from God, the Church, and Christianity all together…. sick!

  • slc1

    Re: Reverendrodney @ #10

    Worse then Islam? Not hardly.

  • Ace of Sevens

    What can be done for kids to either resist going in the first place or get out once they turn 18?

  • dingojack

    SLC – And that makes this all perfectly OK?

    Well of course it does, to someone who thinks genocide is just peachy as long as ‘god tells them it’s OK’! What else could be expected?

    Dingo

  • Francisco Bacopa

    I commented over at Camels With Hammers that someone needs to write a resistance guide on how to avoid being transported to places like this.

    Seems it would be pretty easy to raise a fuss in the airport to disrupt the trip. I’d rather take my chances with the TSA and family court than go to one of these places.

  • slc1

    Re dingo the bingo @ #15

    No, it doesn’t in any way, shape, form, or regard make it OK. Yet another misinterpretation by Mr. dingo. Let me make it perfectly clear so that there be no misunderstanding. The born agains in all religions are beneath contempt. As the late lamented Christopher Hitchins put it, religion poisons everything.

  • Ace of Sevens

    If Islam isn’t relevant to this situation, why bring it up?

  • I was raised in a born again family and if here was one incident that turned me off from religion and eventually made me a atheist was being sent to some Christian summer camp when I was like 14. It wasn’t nearly as bad of a boot camp environment like this video appears to be, but it was still a horrendous experience.

    Basically all it was was a dumping ground for many parents to send off the juvenile delinquents to for a while to “straighten them out.” Then the decent kids like me and my brother got to be the butt of much bullying.

    The counselors even announced they had no problem with “practical jokes”

  • Chiroptera

    The Dominicans allow this in their country?

    Man, they must really hate the US!

  • dingojack

    SLC – OK then, so you think that kidnapping, false imprisionment, forced labour and brainwashing is better if it’s done by christians than muslims? Okay then.

    Dingo

    —–

    Notice what’s not being denied

  • Shit, these guys are a registered charity in Canada! This is ridiculous. Something needs to be done.

  • Michael Heath

    A few years back in my late-forties I came to the conclusion, confidently and comfortably held to this day, that evangelicals and fundamentalists systemically abuse their children – with few if any outlier exceptions. Children are not taught to seek and learn objective truth but instead to be indoctrinated into the cult, where adult authority figures systemically lie to their children and in their churches, uses a certain indoctrinal approach falsely claimed as educative (Sunday School, Bible Study) and argumentative (worship service / sermon) which is instead indoctrinal and near-totally reliant on false arguments. And then there’s communal pressures which amplify the lies in order to get children to conform like slavish delusional sheep.

    As a victim of this who was optimistic this would die out in my generation, it’s frustrating to see I’m wrong and that in some cases, conditions now are far worse. Especially when I think of the millions of other victims being generated and the harm this single group causes all of humanity now and in the future.

  • erk12

    I commented over at Camels With Hammers that someone needs to write a resistance guide on how to avoid being transported to places like this.

    Seems it would be pretty easy to raise a fuss in the airport to disrupt the trip. I’d rather take my chances with the TSA and family court than go to one of these places.

    If they’re very expensive and have a lot of cash, my guess is they use private charters so you can’t just yell “Allah akbar!” in the middle of an airport. As well, I’d guess they get the parents to disconnect the phones so they kids can’t call 911 when they’re woken in the night. Having said that, I would also guess the shock and emotional trauma of having this happen to them prevents most kids from thinking clearly enough to come up with such ideas.

  • raven

    The Dominicans allow this in their country?

    Man, they must really hate the US!

    I don’t know specifically about the Dominican Republic. But in a lot of third world countries you have to stay on the good side of the local officials.

    This invariably means paying them off with US dollars.

  • slc1

    Re Dingo the bingo @ #21

    The answer is no.

  • I can’t remember how many of these damned camps I’ve heard about. The was one pastor and his wife who were running a whole bunch of them, but it seems that they’re not connected with this one, and they may have finally been shutdown.

    Does anyone know of a source that systematically catalogs all these places? They’re all pretty much the same. Once you decide that rebellious kids need to “submit”, things inevitably spiral downward until sadistic authoritarians are enforcing total dominance with physical and emotional abuse.

  • redmann

    Yes Revrodney, but the orthodox Jews have their yeshivas and mesivtas and Islam has its madrassas, all dedicated to brainwashing by only teaching their religious nonsense. And I have heard that children are “sold” into madrassas by their parent. So all of the lovely Abrahamic relgion have their little prison camps for children.

  • laurentweppe

    Yes Revrodney, but the orthodox Jews have their yeshivas and mesivtas and Islam has its madrassas, all dedicated to brainwashing by only teaching their religious nonsense

    Madrasah being the arabic word for school, it applies also to secular institutions: if one was to open the “School of the Proud Atheists who Enjoy Using Religious Text as Toilet Paper”, it would still qualifies as a Madrasah: that how the dishonest right-wing fuckwits managed to say “Obama went to a Madrasah in Indonesia” (technically true), therefore he’s a Radical Muslim Mandchurian Candidate (said Madrasah being called “School St. Francis of Assisi”)

    ***

    And I have heard that children are “sold” into madrassas by their parent

    Things are a little more complicated than the right-wing fuckwit version: integrist madrasahs often pray upon poor families by presenting themselves as charitable organizations willing to take in, feed, clothe, provide accomodations and give an education to poor kids. Also keep in mind that integrist madrasahs thrive the most in regions where “secular” dictatorships have willingly sabotaged secular schools in order to forcefully keep the plebs ignorant: in other words: integrist madrasahs have thrived in places where parents have nowhere else to send their kids. The phenomenum has next to nothing in common with middle-class people finding excuses to kick out of the house their gay son and send him to a reeducation camp.

  • laurentweppe,

    there are Islamic countries that don’t speak Arabic, and where madrasa indeed means “religious school”. Especially you’re wrong about Indonesia (in Indonesian, school is “sekolah”), though there are madrasahs in Indonesie which follow the national curriculum on top of being religious schools, a little bit like Catholic schools.

  • Pingback: Kidnapped for Jesus « Foster Disbelief()

  • Francisco Bacopa

    If they’re very expensive and have a lot of cash, my guess is they use private charters so you can’t just yell “Allah akbar!” in the middle of an airport. As well, I’d guess they get the parents to disconnect the phones so they kids can’t call 911 when they’re woken in the night. Having said that, I would also guess the shock and emotional trauma of having this happen to them prevents most kids from thinking clearly enough to come up with such ideas.

    Which is exactly why there needs to be a website and a samizdat-style xeroxed booklet describing how the kidnappings occur, what kinds of flights they use, suggested courses of action and what the consequences of each action might be.

    When you have been dragged out of bed at night, you just might give up fromthe shock of it all. With proper preparation, resistance might be easier.

  • Fred5

    erk12 said:

    Having said that, I would also guess the shock and emotional trauma of having this happen to them prevents most kids from thinking clearly enough to come up with such ideas.

    You’re exactly right on that. Except the jailers have thought of it as well and have incorporated it into an effective part of their psychological torture.

    I give you Culture Shock

    Culture shock is a form of psychological disorientation produced by a sudden and complete change in one’s cultural environment. The effect is proportional to the contrast between an individual’s normal cultural milieu and that in which they are subsequently immersed. A change in climate, ethnic diversity, geographical surroundings, mode of transportation, diet, friends, daily routines, coinage, and language all tend to make adolescents remarkably more dependent upon our Christian staff for direction and emotional support, while also rendering them more malleable and capable of new perspectives. Culture shock in a highly structured setting greatly enhances meaningful communication, offering young people extraordinary occasions for making enriching discoveries that inspire personal growth.

    Source

  • Francisco Bacopa

    Good work Fred5 this could be good information we could spread to the young folks that would aid their resistance.

    But I think transportation is the weak link. And you must remember that the usual advice is to never go to the second location during an abduction attempt, no matter what level of force is threatened.

    word needs to get out to the kids that they are worthy of taking risks to protect themselves and educate them about their options.

    Prepare the youth and they can shut this shit down.

  • Uncle Glenny

    francisco:

    With proper preparation, resistance might be easier.

    Um, so every pre-adolescent with a behavioral problem is supposed to prepare?

    I saw something like this post years ago – long enough that I don’t remember enough to tell if it is the same players. The kids were typically bundled up in the middle of the night by their parents, maybe to a waiting van. But I don’t remember details, I just have a strong deja-vu about this post.

  • jnorris

    Now I know where Christians get those wild ideas about FEMA camps.

  • DaveL

    A change in climate, ethnic diversity, geographical surroundings, mode of transportation, diet, friends, daily routines, coinage, and language all tend to make adolescents remarkably more dependent upon our Christian staff for direction and emotional support, while also rendering them more malleable and capable of new perspectives.

    Wow. I, like many others, have often sought exactly such an immersion as a mind-expanding experience, through travel. They intentionally turn what could be, should be, an educational challenge into a barrier that enforces control and dependency. As someone who values the educational virtues of travel I’m frankly disgusted by the perversity of it.