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.

March 16, 2011

Honor Academy's ESOAL: Disturbing Footage

The only way I can describe the footage you are going to see over the next 3 days is that these interns are literally being terrorized.

Over and over, David Hasz claims that the most extreme elements of ESOAL happened because of rogue facilitators stepping out of bounds and that they have put measures in place to prevent this. As you will see in the rest of the videos this week, each intern that is being terrorized is surrounded by multiple facilitators at once, including Teen Mania's golden child Blaise Foret, current Honor Academy director Heath Stoner as well as Dave Hasz himself.

I find today's video hard to watch. A group of male interns is sent into a long narrow trough filled with water and dry ice. One of the interns appears to be having a panic attack, while facilitators look on and taunt him. Towards the end, you can hear Dave Hasz giving instructions, which freaks the intern out even more.

If you are the intern in this video, I am so sorry you had to go through this. It wasn't right. It wasn't godly. There are no words for how my heart goes out to you. I hope you have found peace.


I'm not sure what happened to my first comment. :(
This video is heart breaking. It's so sad that this sort of emotional abuse is disguised as building up or bringing people closed to God. Tragic.

How can they get away with this? The arrogance they must have to produce the videos like this and think that Nobody is going to do anything about it.

My heart goes out to the intern who was being taunted in this video.

And what is that music. Normally I love violin music but this gives me the feeling of some sort of documentary from WWII.

This is so wrong!!! It makes me want to barf. If Dave Hasz et all was doing this to their own kids CPS would take them, and have all these nuts locked up.

I am outraged.

oh, but he is there VOLUNTARILY by his own choice! Can't you see? It's obvious that he desires to be there. (puke)

Mouse Out-

What is more showing than the actions of the staff is where this video is located. This is located on the highlight reel (at least that's what it appears like) that they made for this particular years ESOAL This is where they brag about the things you endured to show how you got stronger. It is hard to say something is voluntary when there is this much abuse surrounding the event going on that the students couldn't know about BEFORE they went into ESOAL.

Dude this is my year's ESOAL.

Before even hitting play, I was like "woah I know all of those names".

I recognize a lot of those guys' faces.

I'm sorry. At the time it seemed so heroic, but now it's like, "dude what the hell were we thinking WHY WAS THIS EVER OKAY?".

I'm so sorry guys. I'm so SO sorry.

> "The arrogance they must have to produce the videos like this and think that Nobody is going to do anything about it. "

Clearly, they failed to take into consideration the kind of things I am going to do about it.

probably flagged. We need some people to take on these videos.

@Nobody - Go on with your bad self.

@Cassie - Good question indeed, this is from hell.

wow, i thought ra added the music to increase the drama (not necessary) but the ha added the music!?!? that's nuts. taunting people is never okay, it only increases their self control in that they'd want to kick the life out of you but don't. i can hardly believe that there hasn't been an instance of an intern going crazy on a facilitator yet. i know if they'd done this my year at least three of the guys there wouldn't have taken it for very long without hurting one of the "leaders".


this needs to be stopped. calling for legal action. for real.

@catsaved I'm not sure if RA added the music. I shouldn't have assumed it was TM.

RA, I apologize about my music comment. I didn't think that maybe you would've added the music to the video. It just made me think because of the "world awareness retreat" post a little while ago.

I did not add any music to this, or any other ESOAL video. This is straight from their video.

BTW Thinks A Lot, to answer your question, that music is the score from Schindler's List... so... it gave you the right feeling!

enlightenment....then that makes sense why youtube can't show this video in Germany. I haven't pointed it out on the blog before but TM has committed ALL KINDS of copyright infringment with the songs they put on their videos.

this is from the year after mine, but there are a lot of January's that I recognize (names) I can not see the faces well...still...it breaks my heart :(

I still can't stop cussing.

My name's definitely on the video real...
I do not remember watching this. This is sick. Really effed up. What are they thinking?!?!?!?! this is sadistic! This is wrong! This is flippin insane!
Do they get off on these kinds of things? I think they do. They must! How do the kids at CCM make these videos!?! What kind of kool aid was I on?!?!

@RA Thanks for clarifying. I didn't think you would add to it but I just wanted to be sensitive to the blog. Next time I'll do my apologizing in an email so it won't be confusing to anyone reading.

@enlightenmentisntsoscary OH, That's it. Thanks. I couldn't put my finger on it.

I was there that day. First off... I just want to make it clear that that cow trough was filled with mud at the start of ESOAL... One of the "events" was for the interns to clean the trough out. Then they filled it with water and then someone had the bright Idea to put Dry Ice in it.

They had a navy Seal friend take a swim in the dry iced water to determine if it was safe or not. However, when the Seal was in the water, the fumes from the dry ice was engulfing his head, he had us wave the fumes away from him so he could breathe.

So stupid.

Shiloh.. We must have been at CCM together. I logged that entire ESOAL.

It needs to seriously be a goal of this community to shut down ESOAL. We need to start talking in verbs so this doesn't happen anymore.

I spit in a few facilitators faces the year I did ESOAL. They took it out on other people to keep me in line. Also, I never rang out, I just stormed back to the dorms while giving the number one sign with both hands (dish duty) to those saying I was a quitter. I was so ashamed at the time. Smiling ear to ear thinking of it right now.

jan2001 - That sounds like a pretty healthy response on your part! Way to go.

Jan2001- I really want to know who you are now. We went through ESOAL the same year.

We sure were Shannon :)
I think it was a totally appropriate response. Who says perseverance has to look like quiet submission anyway, what if someone finishes ESOAL defiant and beligerent? If the goal was to stretch me into learning something about myself, mission accomplished.
I learned not to let people treat me like crap just because they claim to be teaching me how to better cope with all the crap life brings.
Wow, it sounds stupid and circular when you put it like that.

Just re-watched this. I want to cry. this is so wrong and it's torture.
This statement R.A. -Over and over, David Hasz claims that the most extreme elements of ESOAL happened because of rogue facilitators stepping out of bounds and that they have put measures in place to prevent this.

And than to hear Dave's voice in the background. He's watching this all happen...

So obvious - Dave Hasz you're a coward and an asshole. You will pay for all of this. You are not the shit you thought you were, you are a piece of shit and will burn I'm sure.

(*sorry, I think I've cussed more in the last three years than I have in the last 10 years... This is SO SO SOOOOOO WRONG. and I'm sosossosososossoso pissed.)

(haha. last three days... not years. :)

Shiloh - I love your enthusiasm for truth...but personally I do hope that Dave repents and is spared a harsh judgment. I don't want to see anyone "burn" if it can be avoided.

haha. Maybe...
I'm not sure how I feel yet. This is REALLY effed up.
In order for Dave to repent it would mean he'd have to apologize and change everything. I guess I lost hope that was even an option.
Yes.... I hope Dave repents.

I think for Dave Hasz to fully repent he will have to be hit pretty hard with some unavoidable consequences of his actions. Like, for instance, having Honor Academy shut down in disgrace because of criminal prosecutions over ESOAL.

So what are we waiting for?

So how does one get a criminal investigation started?


I never had any personal experience with Honor Academy, but a very close relative of mine did. I encourage anyone who has been through this to definitely seek legal action against this sick organization. Another disturbing aspect of this situation is that they are probably receiving federal funds as a non-profit org-that means if you're working, you're supporting them financially. I am absolutely sickened and disgusted by the way these young adults are treated at this place. They need to be reported and sued before they corrupt and torture more innocent young people.

Blatant spiritual abuse! I'm still crying.

RA, I think the first should be a call to CPS in Tyler Texas. Calling to report abuse requires them to investigate.

Hey Shannon CPS can only do something if your under 18 and also just FYI if you are under 18 you have to get a parent to sign for you along with a paper if you sign up for the HA under 18 giving TMM parental rights. So no CPS can not do anything!

CPS can only deal with under 17 and before you sign up for ESOAL if you are under 18 you have to get a signature from your parents. You also must have a signature of tour parents giving rights to your child if you are under 18. In the state of Texas 17 is an adult.

Oh and if you are gonna bring up APS it is for retardation, deaf and blind people.

Hey Anon,

I work in the field as CPS and other social services. I am well versed in what CPS and APS, DHR/DCS does. Thanks!

Just because someone is 18 doesn't make them a legal adult. In Alabama, you have to be 19. Each state dictates it differently.

Who cares if the parents signed. Abuse is abuse, regardless of who agrees/signs up for it, consents to it, etc.

Good to she Shannon is still on her hate-teen mania rants.

Some things never change...

Good to "she" the trolls are still regularly reading this blog.

Some things never change...

Good to he some equal rights around here

Furthermore, I like how a knowledge of the proceedings of CPS translates to "oh shit she has a point uh quick think what can I say in reply to this YOU HATE TEEN MANIA"

Some things never change...

sing with me...

"thats just the way it is..."

I am new about learning about the academy. My daughter has chosen this place to attend after high school, it is my understanding that her church recommended it so I trusted in their judgement. Although she is a very head strong child, she is anemic, and I feel this place will literally kill her if she attends...has there been any deaths there? My bet there has been......

As far as I know, the deaths that have occurred at the Honor Academy were accidental and not related to the conditions there. (car accidents, genetic defects, etc)

However, there have been PLENTY of major injuries and the conditions at the HA have compromised the long term health of some interns.

Even worse, if you go into their "nurse's station," the closet is full of crutches. One look at that and you know what those crutches are for.

BTW - the guy with the panic attack was my room mate. He was (and still is I am sure, I haven't chatted with him in so long) a good man. I don't remember any lasting effects. I do remember that there was a lot of panic regarding a "snake" in the water. I can't remember if the facilitators were egging this on. I was in severe pain and should've rung out by the time I went into the trough; so my thoughts and memories aren't as coherent as I would like.

i think this is discusting and i hope they get shut down. i m sorry to all these interns had to go through this. i believe in god but you don't have to do things like that to be closer to god. the facilitators will burn in hell. be strong guys

i feel for you man thr guy who was roomate to the panic attack. sorry you had to go through this. i hope you find peace somewhere. god is with you no matter what you do you dont have to be pushed like they did to you guys making you carry crosses somwhere you don't know where you are. i hope you can recover. all the people who went through this are in my prayers.

so ... is this where that "mulligan" might come in? This is beyond words. This bears no resemblance to the TM that started in the 80's. More importantly, it bears NO resemblance to ANYTHING that Jesus said, did, stood for, or IS.
Current interns... please know you do NOT need to prove yourself by undergoing torture. Seriously... you're good enough ALREADY!!!

First, I would like to tell you how sorry I am that you have been subjected to such awful things. I would also like to thank you for making your experiences available for moms like me who decided to Google “Honor Academy” before allowing my son to attend. I can’t thank you enough.

Some of you have questioned what can be done to stop this from happening. I would like to put in my 2 cents. First, unite and make your voices heard. Some of you know each other--talk. There are a couple of things that you can do together. Contact a member of the Smith County District Attny office. Choose one criminal ADA, and all of you speak to that same one. Frequently, what these investigations lack is witnesses. I am not a lawyer, and have no idea what they can be charged with; but squeaky wheels are the ones that get grease. Second, hit em where it hurts. Contact an attny who will work on contingency, and sue their pants off. Again, it’s important that you unite and utilize the same lawyer. The last suggestion that I have is to go viral. I sent an email, with about 7 links regarding the treatment at the academy to everyone in my address book along with a note explaining that I had almost allowed my son to attend, and that thanks to all of you he was spared. I also googled the contact info for two of the ppl who endorse teen mania and sent them the links. A couple of the links were to Tyler and Dallas newspaper stories. My church’s youth minister and pastor were blown away--they had only heard positive things about mania. The key to the google was checking “Honor Academy”… I implore you to get just a few names of the ppl who endorse this group (off their site) and send your own emails and links--this hits their checkbook, and send links to at least a couple of youth ministers and preachers as well as to your own addy book members. Educate the public, and protect other kids.

You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

I completed the Ineternship, led a platoon through ESOAL, worked hard and devoted myself to the teaching of the bible. I allowed the hand of God to change my heart, mind and life. ESOAL was a tool, used to challenge me. I grew so much because of this stretching time. I got out of the Honor Academy, a man of God, on fire, and persuing God's heart. I joined the airforce,served in Iraq and Kuwait. Got out, became a cop, got promoted to detectives and made the SWAT team. I credit my hard work, dedication and devotion to the things I learned at the Honor Academy. Some on this webcite say the honor academy is awful, and cruel. I say, You are weak. Look at what Christ did for you. The bible says to bear the cross of Christ, to cling to it. That is not pleasant. Look at all the desciples, how they ended their lives. Marters, some hung on upside down crosses. And you say the honor academy is brutal. No sir, it is preperation for spiritual battle, for a brutal world. Cling to what is right, pure and holy. be a warrior for the word of God. I see more filth, more preversity, more evil than you can imagine. God used the Honor Academy, ESOAL and other life transforming events to prepare me. For you who are weak, it is time to grow up.

Anon @ 3:24 -- Thanks for showing us the "fruit" of ESOAL. Props to you for your service. It sounds, though, like you're doing a lot of boasting about your strength and looking down on those of us who are weaker than you. In your studies of the teachings of the Bible, did you ever come across this verse?

"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Salvation is not found in working hard and getting stronger but in trusting Christ when we are weak. That's why we say ESOAL is cruel-- it taught you the filthy, perverse, evil doctrine that your strength makes you better in God's eyes than the weak. That's not what the Bible teaches!

The music is from the film "Schindler's List".

My nephew has attended this sham of an "academy". My BIL said it cost as much as paying for a year of private college and now I'm hearing it doesn't really count as college credits.

This organization is just a way to make big bucks. They exploit young people by getting free labor from them and funding from the parents. The reality is that Honor Academy/Teen Mania is a cult and very dangerous.

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