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.

April 27, 2011

Breaking News: Ron Luce is an Unrepentant, Habitual Liar

I'm interrupting this series on dating for an important update...

Short Version: Ron Luce is a sick, twisted and evil man. Long version:

A few months ago, Ron Luce's sister-in-law wrote in to share her story about how Ron lied about their family in his parenting book in order to boost his own reputation and how his treatment of her son (his nephew) was hurtful. A few excerpts from the original post to bring you up to speed:

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.

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 one) 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 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!

Within days of this posting, Ron called to apologize to his sister. In the update, she shared:
He expressed how sorry he was that his words had hurt our family. I told him I didn't mind him sharing the story but wished he had written it without making us sound like uncaring parents. He agreed and again expressed remorse.

Just 24 hours ago, Ron Luce appeared on CBN's live webcast for their "prayer week." To my shock and horror, he again REPEATED THIS STORY. He again claimed that his nephew was a satan worshiper who invited demons to live in him and that by the end of his summer with Ron he was a radical Christian. He also (again!) cast blame on the parents by saying they didn't spend enough time with him:
Am I a genius? No, I just did what could have been done all along. Now his parents took him to church now and then, but I just kept leaning in and leaning in. (spending time with him)

Click here and fast forward to 33:00 to hear him spew these lies.

This representation of his nephew is not true. AND HE KNOWS IT. It takes major balls (or a total lack of conscience) to lie about your family in such a heinous way for your own profit, even after you've been caught and given a fake apology.

RON LUCE IS A LIAR. If he lies repeatedly about his own family - how can you trust anything else that comes out of his mouth?? You can't!

Despite Ron's claims that his nephew was "fixed" that summer and that he spent his time fasting and reading the Bible, I'm sad to say that according to Ron's sister-in-law, his nephew believes Christianity is full of hypocrites and wants little to do with it.

Can you blame him??

47 comments:

I used to admire this man...long ago when I went to my first atf I thought this guy was awesome. I went to then internship few years later. I still thought this man was some to look up to(I didn't worship him like many interns kinda did on campus) I mean man whose on the road all the time and yet still finds time for his family every week who wouldn't admire that? and now I can't even say his name....what a shame....how could he get so blind and lost. he's more lost than those he tries to reach.....

Wow...just, wow. I honestly don't have the words to say how disappointing this is. It's also a little scary. If he doesn't think twice about lying about his own family, what else is he capable of?

OMFG. OMFG. OMFG. OMFG.

Really? Wow. Can we please get comments from "Josh" and the sister again? I'd really love their perspective right about now. Maybe Luce offered them $50,000 for their silence and permission to keep telling the story - cause it really does make him look good - oh wait we have proof he's a liar. Yeah - doesn't look so good.

Future Cult Leader - I sent the sister a note and will update if she responds.

I am listening to the rest..... Oh man..... I find it so hypocritical in the face of the number of people I know who went through Honor Academy who are no longer believers in LARGE PART to what the HA does to people that he can say that his puritanical formula will KEEP PEOPLE CHRISTIAN. Interestingly I have seen many liberal Christian parents that keep their kids believing by not outlawing things. Interestingly I find parents who Shove Legalized BS as part of Christian life tend to have kids who run from God FAST.

That said they used his name and he said some pretty horrid things about a nephew things you should never do. Not only that just saying all the things that he said he knew weren't true when he emailed his SIL he is saying are still true. And he's making it sound like he was with them all the time. UGH! So sad that he's still lying to the public. He's one of those people God talks about in that way that they will say Have I not Taught and preached your word.

My Gramps called him a dying tree. Dying trees still have pretty leaves sometimes they even produce healthy fruit in spots (aka the people not broken by the internship) but they are rotten inside and If you let them just stay there they will damage the landscape when stiff winds or thunderstorms come.

This really just breaks my heart to think of all those people that fall for the "stories" that he tells....makes you wonder what stuff we've all heard over the past years were made to make him "look good" or whatever....I'm just sick about this......I can only imagine what the nephew would think about this...no matter how "dark" he may appear to an outsider, he does feel inside.

I watched the video of Ron Luce's speech, and something else jumped out at me. Ron tells the story of how his brother woke up in the middle of the night, and Ron's nephew was standing over him with a knife, talking about how he wanted to kill his parents. That's what prompted Ron's brother to call him and ask for help (or so the story goes)...

So, knowing that his nephew has recently and seriously thought of physically injuring/killing other people, Ron invites him to stay with thousands of other teens on the Teen Mania campus in the dorms?! Wonder what all those other teen's parents would think of that decision? Ron wouldn't let his nephew stay in his house, presumably in part out of concern for the safety of his own family, but he doesn't think twice about putting thousands of other teens in danger? WTF is that?!

Unfortunately, this is just one of many accounts of Teen Mania ignoring serious mental health issues and putting teens in serious danger.

Robbie, you are totally right! I thought that same thing!

I see "lie" written all over his face as he tells the story. I shivered. It's so evil!

The rest of the speech is just as disturbing.

"My Gramps called him a dying tree. Dying trees still have pretty leaves sometimes they even produce healthy fruit in spots (aka the people not broken by the internship) but they are rotten inside and If you let them just stay there they will damage the landscape when stiff winds or thunderstorms come."

This is one of the best analogies I've heard for RL and the HA I've heard...

@Krista yea my Gramps only ever had an 8th grade education but he was one of the smartest men I know! When I left the internship and started unpacking he read my notebooks this is how he told me to think of the whole Ministry.

I think that Speaking engagements such as the Prayer week at CBN really do show how he's damaging the landscape. The numbers of people who give up on God because of legalism is another way you can tell he's a dying tree. I just hope someone will finally cut it down before it ruins the garden

Wow, wow, wow. At this point in a ministry, when the leader is bold to build his own reputation at the expense of his sister and nephew after a personal apology that apparently meant absolutely nothing it is only a question of how his lack of conscience and decency plays out in detail. The group I was in had a leader who I recognized as being past the point of no return as far as conscience goes, and after the fact I found out that things were even more abusive and twisted than I feared. So for me, nothing I hear about Luce's abuse would surprise me but details need to be verified still.

One thing that stood out to me was his casual reference to "Screaming in the spirit." So to me he shows himself completely capable of verbal abuse, and not only that, but he justifies it in a plainly non-biblical belief. Frankly, the prospect of young men and women under his authority is more than a bit scary now. As good as he is on camera, his own words show that in private he will dress down some kid behind closed doors and claim that it is God working in him.

And for whatever it's worth to anybody which is also based on painful experience, sometimes the tares need to grow up to even among the wheat...sigh. But for whatever it's worth (maybe not much, sigh) I can't help but look forward to them getting cut down sooner rather than later Heartsfire.

Anyone care to call Ron and ask him? I think his extension was 8003. I don't quite remember though. Most staff had extensions between 8001-8009. Try em all! :-)

903-324-8003

I was there when Ron's nephew was on campus and his sister was in my sister core.
This is a freaking outrage.
His nephew was really cool. Everyone was surprised cause he was so quiet and reserved. But I liked him when I saw him. And everyone thought he was pretty cool from what I remember... but I really remember that everyone was just so surprised he wasnt this super out going friends with everyone type. He had a few really good friends that he hung out with all the time and I think some people were jelous they weren't the one to be Ron Luce's Nephews friend.
His sister was the same way. I REALLY liked her. But she left like 2 months into the internship because she got sick (I think) and just didn't come back. Again - everyone was surprised.
What I remember about both of them is they were really nice and quiet and NEVER bragged about being Ron's family.

Shiloh: I'm not surprised, seeing as how based on the accounts here and how he treats them, being Ron's family is nothing TO brag about..... :P

Just the fact that he would spread that story around, even if it WAS true, really grosses me out. He's slamming his brother's parenting techniques, basically saying his brother and sister-in-law are crappy parents but he's this amazing guy who could undo a lifetime of crappy parenting with just a few breakfasts out and some dirtbiking. If it was a true story, it would be one of heartbreak and redemption that should be told with humility about the power of God, about hurting alongside his brother and trying to do whatever he could with God's strength. Instead it's all about how awesome Ron is. Nothing about how awesome God is. As if it's Ron, not God, who has the power to change hearts.

Knowing it isn't true makes it all worse, because he is slandering his family and lying through his teeth, claiming a victory, meanwhile there is a real young man who has been damaged and his parents are hurting more than ever.

Guess who's not coming over for Christmas?

mouse

A little bit of me is blown away by the fact that he would do this. The rest of me is not shocked in the least. Sad really.

I want to believe that Ron is just a blind zealot. But I have to come to the conclusion that he is willfully abusive and manipulative.

I at one time thought this man was humble, but now all I see is ego.

I'm a little bit sick over this.

Anon @9:21 - I agree, when I first started attending ATF's back in the mid to late 1990's, he was VERY humble, but I think the explosion and fame the ministry has brought to him has given him a massive ego. I started to see it when I was on campus as an intern, and he wouldn't say hi or anything to me after hours when I would be making rounds since I was on security and had to check the buildings. Hell, he wouldn't even acknowledge me when he'd come through the guard booth, yet I hear stories from interns past where he'd give horse around and joke with the interns in the earlier years of the internship, pre-HA era! What's changed from then to now? It's no longer a small ministry...that's what!

Josh, you are right. It is no longer a small ministry. It's now a cult, plain as day.

mouse

SIL needs to sue for libel. This is outrageous. I hope she takes the ministry down. . . .

The mom doesn't assert whether or not her son asked demons to live inside of him. She just says he wasn't a satan worshipper. I think you have to be careful before jumping to judgements. The mom's position and Ron's position could both be truthful. We don't know what hasn't been said. The truth is always bigger than what you see on the surface. Life is on a timeline and what is true one day may change the next... even true when choosing Christ. He may have made a decision for Christ and not long later rejected his faith again.

Last Anon - I guess the cognitive dissonance between who Ron is and who you think he is - is too great for you...

You know the thing that really bothers me about this is Ron's attitude toward the whole thing. Being a parent myself, I know how much it would infuriate me if my daughter was having a rough time or was wrestling with her faith and someone suggested that it was my fault because I just didn't spend enough time with her! The audacity! I just listened to Ron's say all these things again and he is so patronizing toward his family it makes me sick! How dare he say these things about another parent when he has NO IDEA what they are dealing with on a daily basis. He gets to come in and out of this kids life whenever he wants, but they are there through thick and thin. No one is perfect, but I think most people are just trying to do the best they in whatever situation they find themselves in. Ugh, his lack of humility is egregious.

@RA - Laughing at your response. That is the best you could do?

If Luce's primary premise for "fixing" his nephew's "problems" was needing to spend more time with him - which seems like his primary recommendation to parents for most of the problems with teenage angst - then how does he account for the long periods of time he is away from his family, especially his children, when on the road and working for his ministry? For someone who seems to profess to be an expert in dealing with teenage behavior problems, I find it rather interesting that his children are not exactly shining examples of what he writes about in his books (or, at least, hires someone else to write for him).

Anon, I don't think RA was trying to best you or be clever. She's saying that cognitive dissonance is indeed intense, and sometimes when someone really respects/cares about another person, it's very hard not to just explain away the bad things that person says or does.

This isn't surprising, when is the last time someone (Christian or not) didn't do something like this? Sure he is in the public eye, but he is still human. I am not defending him, quite the opposite: This type of thing is the very reason why I can no longer stand up for "christianity." The christians of today are not what Jesus intended. I refuse to befriend "christians," and i refuse to congregate with them. Nothing but trouble. It is because everyone preaches a feel good prosperity gospel where the listeners are taught to be greedy, selfish, and one step ahead of everyone else. Pft! What happened to loving the least of us all? When leaders have to lie to prove a point, makes you wonder what they really believe in. At this point in the game, many other religions are closer to what Jesus preached than "christianity" is; yet ironically the church won't go near them with a 10 ft pole. We have forfeited the Truth for self indulgence.

Correct me if I am wrong, but when I listened to it, he did not re-state that his nephew worshipped the devil, etc. He said that was what the >nephew< was saying, trying to push his buttons?

Did anyone else catch that?

I know who would have the information- and the truth of this Story- as a former staff member of TM, John Perk would work with the Luce family and Josh the nephew, I think for 2-3 summers.. He could tell us the truth. Why don't you talk to him RA? I would always see John and Josh together.

As a devotee of Ron Luce and vocal opponent to this blog, I wouldn't consider John Perks a trustworthy source of information. Why do you assume that the mother's story is not true?

I saw Josh in the summer, I had actually talked to John and Josh both when I was a Staff Member at TM, it wasn't like what the mother said, I can only say that because I heard it with Josh's own mouth. I think if you would just contact John and ask him what really happened..so we can all know the truth about this story.. I don't know John that much (I do think he is a Luce Loyalist) However, I have always known him to be honest with what he believes and thinks for the few times I have talked to him when I was in Texas. He wouldn't cover up something- or hide something. The worst you can do is ask?

Obviously, the best person to get this story from would be Josh himself. However, he has never contacted me and I don't feel that its right to barge into his life and ask.

I hear what you are saying and I'm not suggesting that I think John would lie, just that given his heavy bias in favor of Ron, it might be difficult for him to see and/or understand all the facts. Plus, he has been very rude to people in our community and I just dont' look forward to dealing with people like that.

Even if some of the details are disputable, the overarching story that Ron tells is false: Kid comes to Ron, Ron leads them to Christ, Kid leaves on fire. Even if the mom didn't know every detail of what went on, she knows her kid did not come back "on fire for God" as Ron claimed. She said he came back worse than before. That is enough for me.

I think it is going to be all in the way of how you talk to John?.. I think that this is a very serious accusation against Ron, I know a lot of things that happen at the HA are wrong... but I don't think this is true of Ron with his own family. I would just like the truth to be sought- and I know you do a good job of that. A lot of us are looking to you for some answers..I think he is running a Rescue Mission Ministry in Canada, I think its in Ottawa?

The only other thing that I cant tell you is that I saw Josh the day before he left, and he truly was on fire for God.. and I think the only person besides Josh and Ron, would be John to tell us his side- he also was close to Staff in Exec at TM, so he might have some information that we all are interested in.. I don't think he will give it up willingly though..

Do you have a private Email Address?

Former Staff Member

Anon - Yes, you can email me at recoveringalumni at hotmail dot com and we can discuss this further.

You can't believe everything you read.

Ministry is not military. Faith is not ignorance. If you want to send kids to boot camp there are plenty of wilderness/survival camps that have no affiliaction with any legalizsed religious non-profit. They teache real world survival skills. And, you know what your getting into from the start. To me this MAMON seems to be conducting and teaching terroristic tactics in the USmaking a lot of money then sending them around the world NOT in the name of G-d but in the name of LUCE.

I DONT KNOW MUCH ABOUT THIS STORY,HOWEVER I DID ATTEND AN ATF RALLY A FEW TIMES AS A KID,AND ALSO WENT TO PERU IN THE MID 90'S!! I WILL NOT STAND IN JUDGEMENT OF RON LUCE, I WILL ONLY SAY THAT HIS MINISTRY HAS REACHED MANY AND SAVED LIVES!!! WHETHER HE HAS LOST SIGHT OF THINGS AND HIS EGO HAS TAKEN OVER IS BETWEEN HIM AND GOD!!! MAYBE INSTEAD OF SLANDERING HIM WITHOUT KNOWING ALL THE FACTS,WE SHOULD ALL START PRAYING THAT GOD WILL REVEAL THE TRUTH IN ALL THINGS HIDDEN AND FALSE!!! WE SHOULD PRAY THAT GOD BE IN CONTROL OVER THIS SITUATION AND ALL WHO ARE INVOLVED!! INSTEAD OF JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS ,POINTING FINGERS AND MAKING ACCUSATIONS!! WE BECOME APART OF THIS WHOLE CIRCLE OF GOSSIP ,AND THE DEVIL GETS THE VICTORY OVER US BY CAUSING DIVISION AND CONFUSION!!! MANY MEN CAN BE MISS LEAD BY ANY GODLY LEADER!!! IF YOU APROACH THE THRONE OF GOD AND YOUR INTENTIONS AND WHATS IN YOUR HEART IS PURE ,THAT IS WHAT TRULY MATTERS!!! DONT HOLD OTHERS ACCOUNTABLE FOR YOUR OWN REASONS FOR TURNING AWAY FROM THE LORD!! WE ALL HAVE TO STAND BEFORE HIM AND BE ACCOUNTABLE FOR OUR OWN WALK!! IF YOU GIVE UP ON GOD BECAUSE OF ALL THE HIPPOCRATES OF THE WORLD AND CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY,THEN NO ONE WOULD ENTER THE KINGDOM!! CAUSE AT SOME POINT OR ANOTHER WE ALL STUMBLE,WE ALL SIN AND WE ALL ARE HIPOCRATES !!! BE THANKFUL WE HAVE A GOD WHO CAN FORGIVE US FOR OUR FAULTS AND IS SO LOVING AND MERCIFUL!!! SO JUST LIFT ALL OF EVERYONE INVOLVED UP IN PRAYER AND BE MOST CONCERNED WITH YOUR OWN SALVATION!!!!!

Again....., you do not allow abuse to continue- no matter what!
Exposing sin is Scriptural when the one who is sinning does not repent and continues to harm and abuse others or falsely teaches.

Jesus exposed and rebuked the Pharisees and tax collectors and money changers.
Paul exposed and rebuked Peter for teaching legalism, Simon for doing divination in God's name, and other false teachers.

Exposing sin that harms the body of Christ is not wrong, it is the RIGHT thing to do.

Anon,
Have you considered that people have done as you suggested ("praying that God will reveal the truth in all things hidden and false") and this blog is a result of those prayers?

Anon, I would like to have a respectful conversation with you, but it is a little hard to do when it feels like you are shouting at me. Still, I’ll give it a try. You say that what Ron Luce does is between him and God. If we were only talking about his relationship with God, that would be true, but there are other people involved who have been impacted by Ron’s (mis)behavior — many of whom have commented on this blog. Don’t you feel Ron is accountable for how he treats other people, or is it your position that as a self-appointed leader he is above being accountable to others and is only answerable to God?

This is all I have to say everything in time and the real truth will be reveal. We are all sinners saved by grace we all fall short. God is so loving that if we confess with our mouths he will forgive us. It's not for us to lift up or tear down a person though God gives us the privelage to give where honor due. I believe that exposing sin like Jesus and Paul did in the scriptures is needed. I believe there are always to side in the case 3, and not all the facts are presented and until the facts are presented and the parties or individuals were all contacted and actually given a chance to speak about the account openly and in public is just speculations which could be a device of the enemy to sow discort in the body of Christ and unbelievers. What's most important here now is how we all need to pray for those involve and ourselves and asking for he mercies which new everyday. Second his family almost lost their daughter and now is not the time to judge or be divided but to come together and prayer for her recovery and show the love of God in all situations and just remain humble before the Lord asking for his wisdom his guidance to be faithful and obedient to his ways.

Anonymous--

(1) You're aware this post was published in April 2011? Well over a year before the recent tragedy involving Ron's daughter. You will find a current post in which the readers of this website do express their concern and sympathy over the plane crash. (Well, except the ones who keep on attacking this site. That says something.)

(2) All sides of the story (Ron's and his sister's) are publicly available and in fact linked in this article. That's how we know that Ron was lying in this case. I agree with you though that now is not the best time to say more about it.

Wait...you didn't mind him sharing the story about your son, but that you just wished he had not made you sound like uncaring parents? Was the story true or not? It must have been true or you would not have said you didn't mind him telling the story. It sounded like the guy was saying I'm sorry it hurt your feelings. But not that he was sorry that he told the story. Did he ever say he was sorry about lying? That's a way different thing. Am I off base here?

I worked for TM years ago and knew then something was wrong with him and the ministry. I went on several trips and had family and friends work there and do internships. I could list off probably 100 people that I know personally that were "abused" by this ministry. I think it's just time people know the truth. There has been good there BUT also MUCH HARM from this ministry!!! When I was there they had an incredible track record for using, misusing and abusing people.

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