What is a Troubled Teen Home or Program?
They are suburban gulags." They are "full lock down prisons" where parents consign their teenagers and parental rights over -- usually without any knowledge of their true techniques and practices -- to an agency or an individual with a boarding home to "correct" their child's behavior.
Many children who choose to go to religious programs believe that they are entering spiritual retreats that will help strengthen their relationship with God. They believe they are entering a cloistered life, not a prison. In fact, convicted felons in our prisons enjoy far more privileges, humane treatment, and constitutional rights that teens in these gulags are denied.
This site exists to help aid the survivors of the Troubled Teen homes set up by the Independent Fundamental Baptists (IFB). They are often referred to as "Roloff Homes" because of the First Generation IFB minister who developed the IFB template or were directly trained by him. Hephzibah House and the now defunct New Bethany Home for Girls are given special emphasis as exemplars of these Religious child abuse programs.
But note well that there are just as many secular homes and programs in the US that follow the same behavioral modification techniques and inhumane practices. In fact, it is believed that Lester Roloff borrowed many practices from the successors of the Synanon program, particularly from the program, Straight, Inc.
- Rapes, Daily Beatings and No Escape, Daily Beast Jun 2016
- Life and Death in a Troubled Teen Boot Camp, Rolling Stone Nov 2015
- In God's Name, Tampa Bay Times, Oct 2012
- Horror Stories from Tough Love Teen Homes, Mother Jones 2011
- The Cult that Spawned the Tough-Love Teen Industry, Mother Jones 2007
- RESPONSES FROM FORMER IFB ADHERENTS
- Teen Group Homes: Dear IFB Pastor, It's Time to Atone for Your Sins, Bruce Gerenscer (former IFB pastor)
- Why the New Bethany Abusers (Mack Ford) Go Free, Cindy Foster
- ABUSE AT GOTHARD'S TRAINING CENTERS
THIS VIDEO explains concisely how and why residential teen facilities can operate unabated by the law.
Kidnapped for Christ
A documentary film about a Troubled Teen Home in the Dominican Republic where many teen homes from the US have relocated so that they can operate more freely without governmental interference and scrutiny.
- Article reviewing the film in Newsweek Jul 2014
- Free Viewing of KIDNAPPED FOR CHRIST with Amazon Prime
- Available on Showtime
Official Kidnapped For Christ Trailer - Now Available on iTunes http://tinyurl.com/k4citunes from Kidnapped For Christ on Vimeo.
Essential Reading (books):
- Help at any Cost by Maia Szalavitz
- Institutionalized Persuation by Marcus Chatfield (survivor of Straight)
- Jesus Land by Julia Scheeres (survivor of Escuela Caribe)
- Dead, Insane or In Jail by Zack Bonnie (Survivor of CEDU)
- Explore more resources on Zack's website