About me

I'm just a believer that is recovering from my experience at Teen Mania's Honor Academy and I would like to share my journey of healing with you.

January 17, 2011

Ron Luce's Parenting Book: Did He Lie About His Own Family?

A letter from Ron's sister-in-law:

I'm not even sure how to start this e-mail to you. A family member told me about your site and I have been reading it for over a year now. I am greatly saddened by the stories I read and my heart goes out to all youth who have experienced pain and isolation while attending the Honor Academy. I am also saddened by Ron and his ministry. What was started as an amazing Christ centered ministry for teens has turned into something very different. I know this first hand, not only as a family member of Ron's but as a parent who sent her children to the Honor Academy.

Before I go any further, I feel I need to qualify my relationship with Ron & Katie. Although we are "family," my husband (Ron's brother) and I have rarely seen Ron, Katie or the kids. Other than Teen Mania events, we have only spent time with them twice in our adult lives. We have also not had much telephone contact with Ron. Usually it consisted of talking with him when he was at an airport, sounding as if he were somewhere else. This is for the most part the same relationship Ron shared with all of his brothers, except for one. Having said that, my husband and I still looked at Ron as this larger than life man of God who had insight and wisdom that we did not. We looked up to him as a Christian mentor. Which is what makes this letter so difficult to write.

You see, until this morning, even knowing all I have learned about Ron throughout the years I still held out hope that my impressions of him were wrong. I received a call this morning telling me about an excerpt from Ron's book on parenting, Recreate. I googled "Ron Luce helps a gothic child" and what I read disgusted me. You see I was reading what Ron wrote about my son, his nephew. (Click here to read)

Until now, I could ignore in public what I felt in private - but not anymore. I would like to share with you the story behind my son and that summer. At the time my teenage son was struggling with anything and everything. He was confused, angry, frightened. Thoughts of harming his family and himself ran through his mind on a daily basis. However, contrary to what the book said, he was never a "satan worshiper." He had shut his father and I out and we felt completely helpless. We reached out to Ron, asking for advice and guidance on how to help our son who was hurting so badly. That is when our son went to spend the summer with his uncle, who he looked up to very much. On many occasions, Ron had answered our son's questions about Christianity. Even though he was raised as a Christian, he wanted to explore other beliefs and had more questions than we could answer. Our son looked up to Ron and loved to talk with him so it seemed like it would benefit him.

So, our son went to spend time with his aunt & uncle. However, he was never once allowed to stay in their home and he became very aware that he was not welcome there. Instead, he stayed in the dorms (or longhouses) and worked with the interns - cleaning the dorms, campus, etc. On a few occasions, Ron did find the time to talk with him and as the book suggests, Ron did take him riding. However, the overall treatment our son received from Ron and Katie spoke louder than any words Ron could ever speak. Our son did not feel God's love while in Texas by Ron or Katie. He did however find solace in a few of the other teens that were there.

My son had a friend "Anne" (name changed) there that summer. He had met her the year prior. They had become good friends and still talk to this day. The Honor Academy, going off of a rumor (that they had kissed the year prior) did not allow them to spend any time together, even when others were present. They went as far as to make arrangements to send her home. Luckily that did not happen and she was allowed to stay, however, the damage was already done. In a place where love, trust, grace, honor & compassion should be shown, none was shown to my son and his friend. If you knew my son, you would know that he has the utmost respect for women and would never cross that line.

One of the leaders even said they should do an exorcism on my son. I have no idea if they were serious or not, but that's not the type of thing you'd expect from the Honor Academy. At night, he could hear others speaking badly of him. He called on a regular basis asking us to bring him home. We finally did - only to realize he was worse than when he left.

To my and my husbands great sadness, our son sees Christianity as hypocritical. He is very good at researching and studied Ron's teachings. He then looked at Ron's life and how Ron treated he & his family (Ron's brother's, except for 1) and realized that Ron did not treat others how he preached you should treat others. Seeing this in Ron is one of the main reasons he feels Christianity is full of hypocrites. I feel that my son would have been better off never spending that time in Texas.

Ron states in his book that we sent our son to him to "fix" him. Nothing could be further from the truth. We, in humility and brokenness cried out for help from someone we thought could get through to our son. It was never Ron's job to "fix" our son. That job and the glory for any success belonged to God and he alone.

Ron also suggested we didn't spend time with our son and that was all he needed. Another lie. If only we could solve all problems with today's teens that way! Ron also never credited God in the passage. Doesn't the Bible say I do all things through he who strengthens me?

It is very sad to see how Ron's misrepresentations of the Bible have hurt his nephew, his family & those who attended the Honor Academy. Teenagers need to know that they must check everything that is said at the conferences against the Bible - the real one, not Ron's version. They should also know that the man who is preaching to them is not without sin. He is flesh and blood and should not be looked at as perfect or divine, if not teens will continue to be hurt and confused by what they are being taught.

I am reminded that the Bible speaks of removing the log from your own eye before trying to remove the splinter in someone else's so let me say that I am not anywhere close to where I need to be on my spiritual walk. We all have sin and it is our struggle each and everyday to overcome it and act in a way glorifying to God. I do not write this in anger, I feel instead great disappointment and sadness that an opportunity to reach thousands of youth in the name of God has gotten lost in pride and a sense of superiority. I honestly believe when Ron started Teen Mania, his heart was in the right place and he did receive a calling from God. Somewhere along the way I think he just got lost. For those who have experienced pain after attending Honor Academy I am deeply sorry. I am not a minister, nor is my walk strong at this time but I do know God's love and know that he loves his children and hurts when they hurt. Men are made of flesh and blood and will always falter, God is supreme and will never abandon you. He will heal the hurt caused by others and accept you where you are, but not leave you there, because he loves you too much. It doesn't matter if you're sinner or saint, straight or gay God loves you just the way you are. Please do not let your experience at Honor Academy define your attitude about Christianity. Being a Christian is not a single experience or thought, it is a journey!

Our family journey would not be complete without the ending. I wish I could tell you my son is now "fixed" and is on fire to change the world for God, but that is not the case, however, there is good news. He received his GED, received a Pharmacy Tech Certificate in college, is almost done with his credits to get a high school diploma and will be joining the armed services. Most importantly I know he had accomplished all of this with hard work, determination and because of God. Although he may not realize it, God has never left my son. Throughout the years God has stayed with him, whispering in his ear. I know my son's heart, I know God lives in him just waiting for the opportunity to shine once again. On that day, I will rejoice with the angels!!

Update 1: Ron Calls His Sister

Update 2: Ron tells the story AGAIN at CBN

48 comments:

I'd like to set the parameters for comments today...

We all know family relationships are messy and that there are 2 sides to every story. Thus, I'd like everyone to note that the individual details of how Ron treats his extended family in general are not the thrust of this post. They are a brushstroke that gives meaning to the whole painting - but they aren't the whole painting.

Two things stand out to me:

1) Ron professes to LOVE teenagers. He is "consumed by the call" to reach them. Yet, when faced with an actual, hurting teenager (and a member of his own family, no less) he does not show any actual love or interest. Its easy to shout about how much you love teenagers from the stage - but what about when that hurting teenager wants to come to your home and be mentored and loved? That is where the rubber meets the road and where Ron failed miserably here.

2) Teen Mania preaches the code "always honorable." Blatantly lying about your family breaks that code. Blatantly lying about them in a parenting book so you can look like you are an awesome youth minister is even worse!

I think the bigger question is - Did the kid enjoy the dirt biking?

I forgot to add that the only way I can see Ron absolving himself here is if he can definitely prove that the boy he talked about in his book is NOT his nephew. If he can do that, I will gladly amend this post.

Here are a few thoughts that came to mind, for whatever they're worth:

It sounds like Ron's nephew was considered a summer volunteer. A lot of kids do that every summer, and the kid's parents probably understood that that was what he was going to do. Summer volunteers always live in the long-houses. The parents probably expected more familial treatment for there son, however, so it makes sense that they would be surprised that he never stayed in their home even for a weekend, but I doubt that they were initially expecting him to live there in the first place. And since Ron apparently thinks that all teenagers who adopt the "goth" style of dress or listen to goth music worship Satan, he may have felt like he was protecting his family by not allowing him to sleep over. Ignorant and messed up, yes, but sort of understandable when you look at it from that angle. It sounds like Ron did try to reach out to him, though, taking him on trips and doing fun stuff with him. I think he gets props for making an effort, though it all gets sort of negated by the fact that he clearly had an agenda.

So...yeah, he should have let the kid come into his home. Though it seems he made an earnest attempt to "love" him, that love comes into question when he refused to treat him like the family that he was and instead kept him separate from the rest of his life. But I think his most egregious transgressions are concerning what he wrote about the situation in the book:
1. Embellishing details to make the story more sensational by claiming that the nephew worshiped Satan.
2. Simplifying the child and his family's certainly very complex issues by implying that all the boy needed was time and attention.
3. Accusing the parents of NOT giving their son time and attention, thus criminalizing them.
4. Completely fabricating a false happy ending, wherein the nephew renounces Satan, commits himself to Jesus, and is totally "fixed"--just to prove the effectiveness of Ron's approach.
5. This one is conjecture, but from the sister-in-law's letter it seems clear that Ron didn't ask permission to put their son's story in print and certainly didn't offer them a chance to pre-read it before it was published. cont. --->

I skimmed the selected pages in the preview of the book, and it all seems pretty common-sense and otherwise worthless. The main thrust is basically to spend time with your kids, do things to make them feel special once in a while, try to make good memories, have a good marriage. Good points, but ones that certainly every parent who is making enough of an effort to read a parenting book has already considered.

For myself, having NEVER had money, everything Ron wrote sounded like this: "spend lots and lots of money on your kids! hang out with them in your hot tub, send them on fancy trips across the country/world, do extravagant things for them every year on their birthday!" Those things may be easy for him to do(have you SEEN the size of his property!??), but most parents don't have access to the same resources and might feel really inadequate or ill-equipped to effectively reach out to their teenager, considering that they don't have enough money to be "cool" and take their kids dirt-biking. :(

To the sister-in-law:
Thank you so much for being so brave as to go public with your story. I hope you don't experience any backlash, but I know you probably considered the possibility, and I really admire your courage to go ahead with this in spite of that possibility. I'm sorry that you and your family experienced so much hurt surrounding your son's teenage years, though it is wonderful to hear that he is doing much better now. I'm sorry for the damage that was done to him by the treatment he received in Garden Valley by the person he looked up to so much. I hope that eventually he will be able to separate that experience, as well as the example Ron has set, from Jesus and his actual message. It sounds like you are setting a good example, though. :) Be blessed, and thanks again.

I think it was very brave of this individual to write her story. I'm so sad that her family was shown such disregard from Ron and Katie, but honestly... I'm not at all shocked by it. Reading Ron's side of the story (from his "parenting" book) made me sad. He sounds like a snoot, portraying himself as this perfect mentor/parent. Sorry, Ron, you're no Mr. Miyagi.

And I was thinking... Ron sent his nephew to campus for the summer so why didn't he ever send his own kids?

Ron has become someone who loves the CONCEPT of helping hurting teens but not the act of helping them. This is not new to anyone who has spent any time on that campus. Even if this were not the kid he talks about in his book the actions taken by him toward someone he said he would take care of are deplorable. Regardless of the family connection the idea of saying to the public that he loves to help the hearts of hurting teens while tossing the teen to effectively the wolves is not love. Any of us who have spent time on campus during the summer either as an intern or as help (why yes I spent two years doing that summer assistant thing for several weeks before my trips to pay for them because I didn't have the money) know what interns are like by that time. They have a superiority complex. They seriously believe that they are the elite of Christian young adults and anyone that does anything different then their hive minded ideas suggest is not godly enough. No wonder anyone who was sent to spend time with family and got stuck around interns thinks that Christianity is full of hypocrites. To Ron's SIL I do hope that eventually your son finds some outlet for creator to work through him. My own spiritual journey went though many twists after the HA that included Shamanic view of creator which brought me closer to being able to come back into the grace of the lord. Jesus will walk with him until he is ready just keep praying. As far as your own walk, that's why there is Grace in the lord. Be well

littlegraygirl - I almost completely agree, however... "And since Ron apparently thinks that all teenagers who adopt the "goth" style of dress or listen to goth music worship Satan, he may have felt like he was protecting his family by not allowing him to sleep over. Ignorant and messed up, yes, but sort of understandable when you look at it from that angle."

You clearly disagree with his decision to send the nephew to campus (or his reasoning, anyway), and I get that, but I don't see how it's understandable even when you look at it from the "bad influence" perspective... maybe especially when you look at it from that perspective. It's his nephew! I don't care how troubled Ron perceived him to be, he's still family. ----maybe that's what you meant, though, and if that's the case...sorry!---

Within his version of the story, Ron leads the reader to believe that the "goth boy" was staying at his home for the Summer. I read the excerpt before reading the sister-in-law's side and I did not imagine the subject in Ron's version to be on campus or living in a longhouse. It's deceptive.

@littlegraygirl I don't think they knew. It didn't sound from her letter like they ew he was going to spend time on campus but rather seriously thought that he was going to go and spend time with Ron during his "off season" at least that's what I took it as by doing the readings. If I sent one of my teenage sons (in several years as they are both young right now) to an uncle or aunt for some sort of learning I would expect the kid to be with his uncle or aunt not shipped to the business they own to work in the trenches with the "hired help" (yes we know they don't get paid except for when some of the summer volunteers got $200 off their trip per week they helped but yea still consider them hired help for the analogy) You wouldn't expect the aunt or uncle to ignore the kid or treat them as someone they did not know and instead of bad mouthing them because of their music you would expect them to introduce positive alternatives. Ron it seems did none of those things and to that end I would consider this to be further proof that he really shows no care for teens if he can't care for ones of his own relation.

It does bother me in many ways how he treated his family because how you hold your family is how you hold the heart of the church in theory. Scary huh?

RA, can we get a new link or source for the story from Ron's book? It's saying, "Page Restricted. You have reached your viewing limit for this book."

If you don't love your nephew whom you have seen, how can you love God whom you have not seen? (1 John 4:20, lightly paraphrased).

Also, the irony, and yes hypocrisy, of Ron advocating parents spend time with their children while declining to practice what he preaches on his own relative should be noted.

Julie - I'm not having that trouble, maybe its your computer....? Anyone else?

Short version: Ron said some parents sent their troubled teen to him to get "fixed." The teen said he worshipped Satan. Ron said, "He do you want to go ride dirtbikes?" And then the kid got on fire from the Lord because Ron just showed him some love and attention.

"On that day, I will rejoice with the angels!!"

Darn mommy hormones, I'm getting weepy!

This whole thing just gets my blood boiling. Were I in this situation I would have had similar expectations regarding how my child would be treated by his aunt and uncle.

Ron writing a parenting book floors me, but maybe that's because I've met the Luce kids. I refuse to criticize children. That's not what I'm saying. It has to be so frustrating to be constantly picked apart because of who your parents are. But as a mother of two girls, I don't look at his approach or his results with any sort of envy or admiration.

Layne,
That's pretty much what I was trying to say. I didn't mean "understandable" in the sense that it was okay, just that I can sort of follow his line of reasoning (if that even WAS his line of reasoning) even though I think it's terrible. Ron REALLY dropped the ball. The nephew should have been made to feel welcome in his house anytime he wanted to be there.

Heartsfire,
Upon re-reading, I think you might be right. Without knowing more of the details, it's hard to say what the expectations were on either side. I think the point is, though, that no matter where he was expecting to stay, it was made clear to him AFTER he got to Garden Valley that he was not welcome around the Luce's home and that is really awful.

Wow, wow, wow.

It seems to be central to religious/spiritual abuse that because leaders are held in such unhealthily high esteem that the same rules do not apply to them, and followers don't seem to realize that they have been snookered.

It's a slam dunk here that the mother is correct and Luce is a liar. The kid was not fixed, he was worse off for the experience. This seems to be a grievous error for one who is responsible for many young people.

Is there anything more refreshing than an honest, humble parent and sister-in-law who sees honesty as more important than loyalty to family? The most "successful" parents I have known - and not the world's definition of successful, or the legalist's definition - are the ones like this sister-in-law who see their children through eyes of clarity, grace, and mother-love. Thank you for the post.

By the end of paragraph three (and the excerpt from the book) I had to take a breather. I was "oh-my-god"ing too much to really take in anything else.

Let me try to be fair. I can UNDERSTAND why Ron would detach himself from the story, for the sake of anonymity. Maybe he didn't want to sound like he was "speaking ill" against a family member? Maybe I'm misreading?

So let that be known that I understand the idea/concept behind it. Maybe.

Just... reading the way he DID IT, I felt sick.

Ron's sister-in-law is BRAVE for sending this. Thank you for sharing.

Explain to me how airing the dirty laundry of your fellow family member is "brave" and Christ-like.
Also, please explain how this story brings reconciliation and healing to this community.

There are times that those who teach exagerate in order to persuade others. As an author it is sometimes temting but always fatal to your core integrity. If these charges are true they speak to a loss of integrity and beg a conversation with leadership and financial support.

Even when my daughter first applied so many years ago there was a hint of subtle CULT like practices.

Make sure that rumors have no place in this value your integrity so that you are honored for your work.

I have suffered under cult leadership practices. Such teachings and religion based terror destroy and do not invite or heal.

The damage done to my daughter was slight but the opportunity for damage was so great.

I pray for leadership to humble itself so that healing can begin.

Anon - Great point. Please forgive me. I forgot that we are only allowed to share our side of the story if can write best selling books and sell out stadiums. Until then, we should just shut up and take it, no matter how much they lie, cheat and steal. Covering up sin and allowing others to lie about us and our family (to enhance their reputation and ego) will always lead to healing!

Not.

Robert, thanks for sharing from a parent's perspective.

Anon - how does it bring healing? The truth shall set you free. :)

How do Ron's fabrications bring any sort of glory to God?

May I ask what kind of steps have been taken to verify that this is in fact Ron's SIL?

"Explain to me how airing the dirty laundry of your fellow family member is "brave" and Christ-like.
Also, please explain how this story brings reconciliation and healing to this community."

I don't understand. I get that this story isn't as intense as, say, a girl coming to the public with a story of her uncle raping her... but wouldn't you agree that doing so would bring healing to the girl? Or maybe you don't agree. It would be best for the "community" and the family if she keep her mouth shut, right? Don't want to stir things up or bring unwanted attention to yourself. Forgive and forget.

Mifune - I contacted her via facebook to make sure it was not a fake email account. Her facebook friends are other members of Ron's family. Good question.

I just thought about this story again ... If, in fact, this story is about Ron's satan-worshipping nephew, why would he send him to the Quonset huts, where 13 year-old summer campers sleep next door?

I would think there are parents that may get upset about that.

Say what you will, but I was involved with Teen Mania for 10 years and they are given to sensationalism.

Anon: "Explain to me how airing the dirty laundry of your fellow family member is "brave" and Christ-like."

"I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. A man's enemies will be the members of his own household." -- Jesus (Matthew 10:35-36)

"Also, please explain how this story brings reconciliation and healing to this community."

It's not healthy to follow a liar. If you see that he's lying, you'll stop following him and then you'll be healed. "That which can be destroyed by the truth should be." --P.C. Hodgell

I'm actually really shocked by how few trolls we've had on this post. I think they finally blocked recoveringalumni.com from being a viewable site on the TM campus.

Sister-in-law,
Just wanted to send you words of encouragement and understanding along with some basic comments.
1. God bless you and the courage you have for sharing this story. I can imagine the personal struggle you had in approaching this. God bless you sister, and I too will rejoice with you and the angels when that day comes!
2. When will "leaders" get over this misconception that a certain style of dress or fashion does not in any way reflect the heart or a relationship with God? I know a great many Christians who will never fit the "norm Christian dress code" and are more effective in their witness than any "tie wearing, bible-toting, short hair, no lip ring, perfectly dressed, preacher type." I know men who have started churches in bars, in motorcycle groups, truckers circles, etc. and you would never know they are Christians by the way they dress. So, get over the outside finally, it isn't about a fashion show!!!
3. None but God can heal. A bandaid will not "fix" anything. If time was all it took to be a great parent, God would never had trouble with Adam and Eve, (Whom he walked and talked with every day) God alone, no others.

Ron and Dave have both openly stated that it is sinful to read this blog.

mouse

From the way it sounds, Ron most certainly acted as if he was above spending time and love investing in your son's life.

I (also being alumni) think the most hurtful thing I heard from current interns, is that Ron, Dave and some of the other staffers are considered 'untouchables' by those at the HA.

Christ himself was not an 'untouchable' by the sense that he was exclusively available only to a few people. He went out of his way whenever possible to touch the lives of the 'real' untouchables with God's love.

I remember the early days of the HA - Ron and Dave would spend more time with us and there would be more honest communication. Both ways. Interns would question the leadership and staffers would do their best to show God's love.

It seems that that went away as the HA grew and the interns we seen less as people and more as unpaid workers after the move to Garden Valley from Tulsa.

Thank you Sister-in-law for sharing your story. Also, thank you for reminding us that God is always working in our lives no matter what it might seem like. I am pleased your son is doing well.

Forgive me, I have been cynical lately - and please pray for my heart. But hearing from a caring parent like you and how God's grace has carried your family is good news for my heart. Faith is a most certainly a journey. So, thanks again, your thoughts are a blessing in a way you might not have recognized.

~ Blue Lantern

@layne - if we have any smart interns on campus they would try to access this website via any number of proxy websites. Either that, or RA, would it be possible for people to get email updates of the main blog posts? RSS maybe? Any other tech geeks know what I mean? Bueller?

@Blue Lantern / RA-- That could be set up fairly simply through Feedburner, which has options for email delivery of RSS feeds. If we have reason to think there are current interns or others who would like this straight to the inbox without firewall worries, I'd recommend it.

I've been considering this one a bit more since my first read and comment yesterday.

I am very thankful Mr. Luce's sister-in-law wrote her side of it, but am sorry that Luce's handling of the matter was so untrue that she felt obliged to get her and her sons real story out here for us to read. That has to be a tough thing for any family to go through and I hope the family situation is such that this mother and her son are not put through any grief.

The thing I kept coming back to is this great kid going through some very difficult things has always looked up to his uncle Ron. How tough it must have been to first being kept away from his family like some kind of unclean thing. And second, to find that his own uncle barely had any time for him. And then some IDIOT jokes that maybe they should preform an "exorcism"...really!!!! Then they keep him from the one real friend he had their because this person was a girl and there were "rumors....REALLY???

And then the sister-in-law and presumably her son find that this Luce fellow has told the story managing to insult their parenting while miraculously managing to fix their son and have him now wholly committed to a life as a Christian. When the reality is that Luce and his cronies (especially the idiot with the exorcism joke (but certainly Luce himself treated this great kid like an unclean thing first, right?) managed to hurt him further while under his care.

No matter how I consider it their has certainly been some disappointment for those that looked up to Luce, and understandably so. But the hurt has also gone much further, obviously.

I don't know this kid or his parents, but they certainly have my sympathy and my prayers.

Jeff, Right on!!!

I was reading the excerpt from the book and felt disgusted. I couldn't recognize exactly why until today. I mean, what about this particular story is any different than what I've read by RL before? Lies covered in partial truths and charisma. I write that with much respect to the SIL and nephew. I don’t mean to negate your story in anyway. It’s sickening to me that He would treat you that way.

With much respect, take a step out of the knowledge that we know this story is about RL's nephew. Think about how many kids actually get so "brainwashed" by RL's grand personality, countenance, along side the atmosphere of the HA/ATF . There were many times that I would here him speak then, set out to do everything he commissioned. If I didn’t know the other side of the story, I would believe that after spending a summer with RL someone would denounce their way of thinking or doing things. What bothers me about this story is that Ron Luce really does have a way about him that people will adapt to his way of thinking and follow him to the ends of the Earth. I've seen it over and over. Then, once the illusion wears off they are left pondering, "what was I thinking?"

I know that this was not the case with his nephew. It took great bravery, I think, to stand up to RL even as a family member. I can understand RL writing off the “hired help” (not really) but not his own family. I can’t imagine treating my nephew like that.

However, I do think people are drawn to RL in a very different way that is disgusting, scary even.

I remember his nephew on campus. I was working in the summer volunteer dept. at the time. Good kid.

him and his friend, "anne" were hanging out in the GE Mission control room one day and they wanted to see a picture hanging up on the wall at someones desk. I remember them being scorned at for walking up to someone elses property and I did all I could to calm the staff member down.

I'm glad to hear is doing well.

I don't have any reason to think that the staffer was joking about the excorcism. I've heard several reports of attempted and/or suggested excorcisms on campus before.

I'm also surprised (pleasantly) by the lack of trolls on this post. I get hits from the TM campus every day, so its certainly still viewable by some. For all I know, it could be limited to staffers but that would only be a guess and I have no real info to base that on. Either way, there has always been a blog and comment RSS feed in the upper right hand corner.

squeakycheez07, thank you for sharing! I'd love to hear more reports from people who had one-on-one time with the nephew. I wonder if any of them read the blog?

this blog isnt viewable from campus at least by interns.

To the sister-in-law who wrote this - Thank you.

Censorship and blocking of information is no way near a major characteristic of a cult. Nope. Not even close. Not even in the same ballpark. ;-)

has anyone stopped to consider that perhaps Ron's SIL didn't know her son as well as she thought? that perhaps he DID tell Ron that he worshipped satan? or perhaps she didn't understand that he was going as a summer volunteer? after all, she DID admit that her son had shut her and her husband out of his life.

don't get me wrong here... her account could be 100% accurate... or it could be askew. whatever the case, you're only hearing one side of the story. unless you count a very brief synopsis in a book that may or may not refer to the kid in question.

for my part, I was on campus the summer Ron's nephew was there and I met him and hung out with him briefly. he knew he was a summer volunteer. and if I remember correctly, it was one of the first two BattleCry summers, and Ron & Katie weren't in Texas very much those summers because they were traveling promoting the events and the coalition. I'm sure that factored into their decision of whether he'd stay at their house or not.

bottom line: you guys are great at taking what Teen Mania says with a grain of salt - as you should - but as soon as someone says something that would appear to put TM in a bad light you seem to swallow their story whole without a shred of critical thinking. I'm not saying that Ron or TM are blameless - I'm sure they're not, because they're fallible humans just like the rest of us - nor am I saying his SIL is out to lunch. what I AM saying is that God DOES instruct us to believe the best about people... even if we disagree with their actions or words.

think critically, not cynically.
just my two cents.

Anon - Here is the update to this story:

http://www.recoveringalumni.com/2011/01/rons-lies-about-his-family-update.html

Interesting site. As a teenager in the '90s, watching Fire by Nite and attending ATF conferences, I looked up to Ron Luce. I appreciate him as an anointed communicator. However, if even half of what we find on this website is true, Ron has some serious explaining to do.

I recall hearing Ron tell this same story at Victory Christian Center's Word Explosion conference last August.

For what this is worth, his own mother is lying here. I was a volunteer WITH said nephew that year. We worked alongside each other the whole time. And contrary to his mother, he told me he was a satan worshipper, then proceeded to show me his satanic Bible. He chanted at night whilst everyone was asleep and had a horrible attitude toward everything from day one. This kid was, in fact, a mistaken teenager and the way things were handled here weren't the best; but he was met with kindness from myself and the rest of the volunteers that year. He didn't get worse here, it was just amplified because of the atmosphere that TM has(which is a healthy, uplifting atmosphere).

Nate,

I'm not saying that your story isn't true; it's just that I find it REALLY hard to believe that TM would allow a Satan worshipper to be on the summer volunteer staff, and I KNOW that they wouldn't allow a satanic Bible on campus (assuming, of course, that they knew about it--which apparently some of you did). I've also heard other people who worked with him that summer say that he was a quiet but nice kid.

Also. I don't think you ought to accuse his mother of lying. I find it far more likely that he wasn't telling her the truth and that she never knew anything about her son's alleged satan-worshipping until Ron aired his family's dirty laundry to the whole world.

My Senior Pastor is a big fan of Ron Luce and Teen Mania, so many of the English Congregation church went to "Teen Mania" and i noticed when all them came back, a very arrogant a full of pride, superior attitude and they think are best worshipers. What they did improve in ther world? Zero. I never support that academy, the name itself is very spooky Tenn Mania? I don get it. Obviously I think Mr. Luce forgot his root that come from the Bible not from his mind or what he believed.

I was a volunteer at TM the summer that was talked about on here. I knew the nephew and the girl he was friends with. The mother is missing a few details from her son..

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