Nearly loved to death

11 08 2007

On June 12, 2007, two supposedly responsible adults tied a 15 year old girl behind a van and dragged her down the road on her stomach. Miraculously, she didn’t die. What did she do to deserve this treatment? She wasn’t running along with the rest of her boot camp class.

Yeah, that’s right ‘boot camp’. The girl was enrolled in Love Demonstrated Ministries Christian Boot Camp.  When she fell behind her group during the run, Stephanie Bassitt was instructed by Charles Eugene Flowers to run beside her. When she still wouldn’t keep up, Bassitt held her down, Flowers tied her wrists, and then she was dragged on her stomach behind the van no fewer than three times.

The chilling thing about this is how long it’s been in coming. A  1998 article describes a typical day at Love Demonstrated Ministries’ camp:

“They didn’t know that by 5 a.m., their young hearts would be racing from pre-dawn calisthenics; that their biceps would bulk up from hitting the ground and doing 50 every time they messed up; that being a leader would mean taking the heat for those out of line; and that aching muscles and tired bones would yearn for lights out at 11 p.m.”

The girl interviewed in the 1998 article seems to have been thoroughly brainwashed.  She ‘gave attitude’ and didn’t like to study. Now she’s a compliant little sheep. I’m sure everyone thinks she’s a banner success. And not all of the kids at Love Demonstrated Ministries camp are there at their parents or their own behest. Some are ordered there by juvenile courts. A clear violation of the separation of church and state? If only.

The 1998 article is heartbreaking in so many ways. It tells of a 13 year old girl who completed the camp and came home to her old room, where she’d written and decorated her walls with marker and lipstick and crayon, and asked to paint over it all in purple and pink. This same girl, Racheal, was at home with just her dad and two younger siblings. No one ever thought maybe at 13 she was chafing at having to cook and clean and raise two younger kids. No one thought maybe she needed help and hope, not to be beaten down by a boot camp. No, she came back compliant, ready to paint her life according to the colors her father deemed suitable – purple and pink, just like a good little girl.

That’s just one of the stories in the 1998 article. Read the whole thing. Every one of their ‘success stories’ made me so utterly, ineffably sad. Sure, I know there are kids out there who need tough love. But a 14 year old girl bounced around the foster system for years? No, she just needs LOVE. The real deal. Not this bullying for Jesus bullshit.

There’s a charming whiff of pedo to all this too, as you might expect from a christer organization like this. The article goes on rather graphically about young girls with their tee shirts soaked through with sweat, an ex-Air Force middle aged man standing over them screaming at them for more, more, more. It turns my stomach, thinking of so many young, vulnerable, troubled girls in the hands of these people.

It was just a matter of time before there was an incident like this. What would have happened had that van dragged the girl over a sharp rock? What if it had bounced her head hard enough off the pavement? She’d be dead right now, her brains and guts all over a San Antonio suburb street. But by god, it’d be her own fault for not just shutting the fuck up and running, right?




10 responses

11 08 2007
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[…] Nearly loved to death On June 12, 2007, two supposedly responsible adults tied a 15 year old girl behind a van and dragged her down the road […] […]

11 08 2007

I’m not sure what’s more appalling – This twisted “demonstration of love” or the fact that our tax dollars actually support this shit!

11 08 2007

This whole situation is very messed up. But according to the 1998 story, it’s funded by donations, not tax dollars. So that part of your article is inaccurate. I still don’t support the camp, but you might want to modify that part of what you wrote.

12 08 2007

I’m very much ashamed of people who promote this as Christianity and the “love” Jesus would approve of–it is CLEARLY not Christ Jesus would do to a child, and He would never support it! These things do so much damage to the Christian faith…

12 08 2007
because different is good. ♥

[…] Comments I was browsing through wordpress looking at the few selected blogs and then I came across and I really don’t know what to say. These days I am feeling particularly low. It blows. […]

12 08 2007
Cory Tucholski

I’m with Mandy–this type of thing is completely inconsistent with what the Bible teaches. It is branded Christianity only because its owners/directors profess the faith and organize as Christian church.

Amber, a quote from the recent article:

Last year, Love Demonstrated Ministries reported private and government contributions totaling $314,673 to operate the boot camp, with nearly 89 percent of the costs, $278,549, going for salaries.

So, I’m afraid our tax dollars do, indeed, pay for this.

12 08 2007
What a Drag! « Josiah Concept Ministries

[…] He doesn’t want any child hindered from coming to Him.  Now, based on some of the typical responses (the fact that “theocracy” is used to categorize that post speaks volumes about the […]

17 09 2007

It’s incomprehensible. No explanation makes sense to me, no justification.

12 10 2007

Looks like they are getting away with it.

20 10 2007
Mary hines

Wow what a story. But what other way is there to discipline a teen without physical contact?

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