Teens Encounter Christ (TEC)

Adroit
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Teens Encounter Christ (TEC)

A few friends came back to highschool this week after going to TEC. (TEC excuses them from Monday). (Teens Encounter Christ). Wearing their new TEC necklaces and shirts and stuff.

I used to be a VERY active member after i made a TEC. I worked on the TEC team 3 times out of the next 4 TEC's. I stopped about a year ago.

Rather than a debate on whether God is real or not, I'd like to instead bring up some ethical questions about the methods of TEC.

I understand that many Christians are against TEC. Some call it a cult, but none i know do anything about it.

TEC is a weekend + monday retreat.

Before you make a TEC, all you know about it is.

It is a Christian retreat.
No cell phones allowed.
You will be there for 3 days.
You are allowed to leave at any time, you just have to contact parents.
There are secrets that they wont tell you about.
Every month or so a few people come back to High School, in love with God.

Lets say you went to TEC (where i live) this is how it would happen.

*SPOILER ALERT for any theist planning on going to TEC*
...lol

There is a TEC team, the members who you interact with
There is a "Wheat" team, the members who you don't meet.

TEC is very stress relieving, there arent any clocks, plenty of time to sleep, awesome food, and a team dedicated to work behind the scenes to do all the work for you. Cleaning up and stuff.

That team working behind the scenes is either working, or praying for you. The TEC team tells you this, there are also hundreds of sacrifices the wheat team made in the past week was written on the wall. "I gave up video games" was written from me when i was on wheat team, wow was that a sacrifice Eye-wink.

The first day is learning about the bible and breaks for food and fun in the gym. To not stress you out from all the talks ("meditations&quotEye-wink. There is a lot of group activities, and individual conversation. Most people are thinking about leaving at this point, but very few do. Some who call parents then have there parents not allow them to.

You are allowed to leave, but damn do they say anything they can to stop you. "God wants you here" and stuff like that. Nothing physical though, and i'm glad about that.

Day 2.. I don't remember too well but things start getting emotional. You start to get pressured into getting out of your comfort zone and talking. There are more talks about Gods love and less specifics. The people with this connection seem really happy, and they usually are really happy. You probably begin to get very curious, maybe a bit of envy for this connection. The TEC team hugs eachother a lot, and it is encouraged while on the team on this day. The afternoon gets interesting when the wheat team starts to become the stars of the show. They, dressed in all black perform a few skits.

voiceless they perform the "turn around skit"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vujvHTf-LF0
(This isn't exactly the way we did it but we don't video tape it)
((I was a way better devil than that guy when i did it >:D ))

and something similar to the passion except with a song playing.

two very emotional skits of course.

Here is when it gets interesting. If you are considering Christianity at this point this probably struck you emotionally, and the TEC team goes hug crazy after this. Crying and hugging, lots of tissues used. If you don't get into it you feel incredibly pressured into getting into it while being surrounded by this. You follow the TEC team from here to wherever they lead you, singing "this little light of mine."

Then the secret happens.
Are you hearing that? No, its just your imagination. As it grows stronger you are certain you hear a crowd of people singing in synchronization with you "This little light of mine." You enter the dark gymnasium and there, hundreds of lights, no hundreds of people, members from TEC are there holding candles high, singing with you, all eyes on your small group. There is a path between the people (your family members were contacted and asked to stand near the front of this path.) Schoolmates, friends, Adults, strangers, family members, all came here for YOU. Your emotions are probably going crazy, you've probably never felt anything like this before. You meet in the center of the crowd and finish the song.

Lights on, funny skits, some time to talk, and hugging, hugging, hugging.

Then it pretty much turns into a good time. Funny skits performed by the TEC team, good food. (TEC merchandise is being sold in the gym)

Then there is an incredibly emotional talk, from a member of the TEC team. Every time i've heard one (5 times) they have a sad backstory and how their connection to God fixed everything.

Then all the people leave. You get in your little group again and go towards the church. You go to the crucifix on the altar and raise your hands, close your eyes and sing "Jesus, Jesus, can i tell you how i feel, you have given me your spirit, I love you so." (repeat) like 20 times. Most people start realizing that these crazy new emotions your feeling is God's spirit, and most people at this point "love God" oh and they are still mostly crying from happiness.  There is a short section where all the people who got one of you to come to TEC stand up and everyone claps for them. I was really proud when I was called one TEC.

This part is crazy... you didn't notice the crowd came in and filled up the church until they started singing. You open your eyes and turn around and the church is packed with all the people that were in the gym. You go through a "hug" line that is S shaped so it can fit in the church, and you hug everyone, yes... everyone. Of course your not forced to, but at this point youd be the only one not doing it. Everyone in the line has something to say though, some inspiring one liner. You've probably hugged like 100 times in the last hour. A quick church service and then you go back to the main building. The crowd leaves for real this time.

Suprise #3, the wheat team have decorated that room you werent allowed to go into. It looks beatiful, there are decorated tables and a lot of food. There is usually dry ice making a cloudy floor. A picture of Jesus at the head of the tables. It is very surreal. Oh and the food is delicious.

(the cutest girls usually serve the guys at guys TEC's. The cutest guys usually serve the girls at the girls TEC's)

Then after that, suprise #4

The wheat team comes in with their decorated bags, one has your name on it. There is a letter in there hand-written from everyone on the 2 teams. And the bags were in the gymnasium with the crowd of people for an hour before you came in, most of the letters came from there.

The letters are personal if the people know you, or they are something inspirational with something like "welcome to the family." oh and they say they love you as often as they hug you.

(Not that these hugs and love are fake. I really cared about the candidates when I was on the teams.)

Sleep time.

Day 3... a.k.a. "Go" day

Awesome breakfast followed by a quick mass.

You then get a crucifix necklace that says "Christ is counting on you" on the back

You then start hearing about it being almost over. There is a lot of encouragement to be open about your new faith and to join the family and every month show up sunday night.

Soon you leave, around noon on monday. The process is incredibly effective, because almost everyone who goes, is "on fire" for God for at least a month.

The TEC process creates a very stress relieving environment, there is a lot of emotional events. It is very surreal, and you have no contact with the normal world. Only a christian influence for an entire weekend is a very effective way at conversion.

Is that fair?
My response, no. There is no way Atheists could get away with a 3 day retreat with no outside influence. School definitely wouldnt excuse the absense.

Is that brain-washing?
Possibly, there are much more severe cases, but it defenitely has some elements of brain-washing.

Do you Christians approve of this method?

Discuss, I am interested in what people think about TEC.


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That is fucked right up.

That is fucked right up. It's getting away with murder.

 

I could convince anyone of anything with the above techniques. I could make you worship a magical giant space hamster if I wanted to.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Yeah, its very effective it

Yeah, its very effective it took me a long time to get my reality check. :S

And i still feel sick about it, but I feel a lot better after posting it and seeing just how bad it was.

The problem I see is that TEC is widely accepted. My parents love it, at the same time they hate stuff like "jesus camp" because its a cult.     -.-

Posting that made me really proud to be an atheist now...


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That's scary.  Ugh.  Heeby

That's scary.  Ugh.  Heeby jeebies.  If exploiting someone through peer pressure and emotionally isn't brain washing, or a part of brain washing, I don't know what brain washing is.  That's scary!

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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 Sounds like a twist on

 Sounds like a twist on typical cultish "love bombing".  The OP mentioned a mass.  Is TEC a Catholic thing?

"The whole conception of God is a conception derived from ancient Oriental despotisms. It is a conception quite unworthy of free men."
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Definitely sounds like cult

Definitely sounds like cult tactics.


Adroit
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It in a catholic building,

It in a catholic building, but the members of the TEC board are made up of lots of different types of Christians, and mass is optional i forgot to mention. And quite a few people do skip it because it is a catholic mass

 Primarily Catholic though


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I would not fret

They reveal themselves for what they are, but it is not all bad, as it was Sunday school that made me an atheist when I was six, and it seems TEC has effected you in the right way. I think your words show your good temper. I, however, would use the necessary stronger terms to describe this organisation. It is sad, stupid, and dangerous.

Perhaps TEC could be lured into a debate before the students.

I blame the parents.

I hope a TEC supporter comments in their defence.

That would be interesting.

Who would want to finish what they have said with the same thing everytime?


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I was appalled reading the

I was appalled reading the description. And I'm guessing members would be strongly discouraged from even looking at this website.

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Adroit
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I would definitely have said

I would definitely have said those things if it was in the atheist only forums...

They don't reveal themselves for what they are. it is unknown to people before they go into it.

MattShizzle wrote:

I was appalled reading the description. And I'm guessing members would be strongly discouraged from even looking at this website.

hahaha now that you mention it. I was appaled when i saw this website as a member of TEC. Would not have expected in a few years i would be a part of it Laughing out loud

 

Also I said earlier that it wouldnt be fair if atheists had a 3 day retreat.

On top of this it would just mean both sides were being unfair. The search for the truth should never need any forms of deceit


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I've never been coerced in

I've never been coerced in any TEC-like encounters so I'm glad for that. I can totally imagine that it would not produce a real faith in 90% or more of their conversions. (I have been trapped in christian amway meetings unawares and been REALLY pissed about it.) I've had workshops in consultative sales and probably have the techniques to convince people to lean toward becoming christian while using  hypnosis-like techniques. But I don't really think that works in the long run. We could just as easily be like any cult and do that. But I prefer the reverse. I tell people to go away and think about it and tell me next time if you are interested at all. Most will not come back. I think I actually try to talk people out of it. Why push others into a fake conversion? It just pisses everybody off in the long run.  I myself did not become a christian that way. I thought about for several years without talking about it much and then did it on my own.


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afterwards i did a similar

I separated myself and thought about it myself too for awhile.

Something felt wrong the whole time so I decided I needed to figure things out on my own.

It was a slow process so that is why im not sure when i became an atheist.

I separated myself somewhat from this community and decided to think on my own for awhile. My thinking led me to believe a slightly warped idea of Christianity. Where the bible was written by humans inspired by God. Free-will of course effecting them so that way I could disregard certain parts of the bible that didn't seem... God-like...

This made the bible confusing and hard to interpret. Eventually I started looking elsewhere besides my own mind for answers, within a month after that I became an atheist, At least by the meaning of the word, I no longer had belief in a God. I still didn't know if God existed or not.


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Adroit wrote:(the cutest

Adroit wrote:

(the cutest girls usually serve the guys at guys TEC's. The cutest guys usually serve the girls at the girls TEC's)

The cutest ones? Who are these guys and girls? Are they the young people who took the camp with you? Are the supervising adults picking the "cutest" ones to serve others? If so, I have to say this could be extremely damaging to a young person's self-esteem. If you are not picked to serve to others, it means that the supervisors didn't think you were "cute" and good looking enough for it. Young people's looks should absolutely NOT be critisised by adults. That only adds to the social pressure of not being good-looking or popular.

Trust and believe in no god, but trust and believe in yourself.


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Larty wrote:If so, I have to

Larty wrote:

If so, I have to say this could be extremely damaging to a young person's self-esteem.

It's already a brainwashing camp, so I don't know if just the one part of it could be the final nail in the coffin of reason there. Yes, it's a brainwashing camp. Absolutely. No question. That level of heightened emotion, the use of personal contact as "anchoring", hypnotic repetition, etc, etc. These are all brainwashing techniques. Brush up on your NLP for self-defense.

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I only wish...

...that I had had some education about brainwashing before I went to one all those years ago.

 

Ah, well...life never was perfect.

 

Conor


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Larty wrote:That only adds

Larty wrote:

That only adds to the social pressure of not being good-looking or popular.

If we are going to complain about social pressure I would focus on other aspects of that group. And interestingly enough I have heard of this tactic used in colleges. They have some attractive woman asking college students if they would like to join some activity such as volleyball later. But the surprise is that the activity is really just a way of getting an audience to proselytize to and the attractive woman has no interest in the guys she suckered into coming. Remember folks: hot women never, ever walk up to you and ask you to hang out. If that happens to you, she is trying to scam you.

I suppose if you had to try and brainwash people using Jesus Camp style scare tactics or love bombing, the love bombing way is nicer. This is an especially great way to brainwash teen too since they feel isolated and socially awkward. Giving them social acceptance and love would hook quite a few of them. Add in the social pressure of needing to act like everyone else is at that camp and I'd say you would make almost anyone a temporary God fan. I say temporary because I have doubts as to the long term effectiveness of this. I wish I could poll people who went to this 6 months, a year and ten years later to see how many stick with it. I suspect that this is just a temporary boost that will fade with time. This just doesn't sound like the foundation of lifelong sincere belief. It is just giving teenagers the social acceptance and love that they crave.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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something similar

     I went threw something similar as a child.  They called it Hume Lake Christian Camps.  It was someplace up in the mountains, and it lasted about a week.  It had three sermons a day, one in the morning, one at noon, and one at night.  At every one of these sermons they would ask people to accept Jesus into there hearts.  When people did everyone would surround them, lay there hands on them, and pray. Many people would cry and everyone was very emotional.  There was also a time each day in which you were asked to talk to your group’s councilor about god, and pray with him/her.  On the last night of the camp they had a big fire around which everyone sang.


It was a huge amount of fun.  The food was great.  They had a soda fountain at meals.  There were games and activates.  They had a skating ring, fosse ball tables, they even had a ropes course.  There was allot more, if anyone want I'll describe it latter.

 
It wasn't quit as intense as what you describing Adroit, but it was in many ways similar.  


I found they have a web page:

http://www.humelake.org/

I also found some testimonials on their web page:

Quote:

It's amazing how much the holy spirit can touch you on the inside!! Hume is a great environment to be in, and with your close good friends you know from church, the experience here is unbelieveable! For me crying was what I did a lot the week I went to Ponderosa, God knew what I needed, only He would know. Hume is awesome, I love it, it's totally a place I look forward to coming to. I thank the staff and the speakers and the youth pastors that come and speak to us, oh and the bands, you all are wonderful and inspiring!


Rachel W

Quote:

I just got back today from Highschool Summer Camp 2005. The theme, We Like Sheep was amazing and the speaker, Darin McWatters could really bring the word. I was amazed at the lives that where turned around at this camp. God really works at Hume and I love it there. I actually became a Christian there. I love the staff and I had the best lead counselor ever ( I love you Courtney!!). And I had so many amazing talks with my friends in my cabin and sitting outside gazing at God's wonderful creation of stars. I pray that God will bless Hume Lake forever!


Megan E

Quote:

I just really wanted to let you all know how much God has truly worked in my life both spiritualy and physicaly. His love is so amazing and it is most defenately enough for me. When 330 plan sang the song ABBA FATHER that really hit me. My earthly father walked out of my life when i was 4 months old. I just realized that the Dad i have been always asking for and searching has always been here, loving me. I am sure that someone else has felt the same way and i encourage you to give your burdens to God. He is almighty and with Him all is possible. He cares so much and He demonstrates it in everyway. I met amazing people @ Hume, people like Todd (the speaker), Rich Baker and Chris Walters who really opened up the word of our father. I am so grateful anfd forever thankful and like Chris walters said it's not about us or the people who sorround us - it is simply about Christ and the pain he bore on the cross for us, for me. Thankyou Hume staff - thank you Daddy Eye-wink


Hortencia E

http://www.humelake.org/content/in_testimonials.php
 
 

 


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I ended up in one of those

I ended up in one of those once. Not quite the TEC thing but close enough. Did it to shut up my family and friends. Luckily peer presure is useless on me and I am very strong willed when it comes cult-like tactics. I came out of the experience with a whole new contempt for religion. Make no mistake about it, this shit happens a lot. I've had to attend 3 amway/quickstar meeting to talk people out of it. These tactics are used so often because they are so effective. I've been saying it for years that christianity was nothing more than a socially accepted cult. It's nice to hear from someone else who knows first hand. If any of you get stuck in something like this hold fast to your senses.

After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him.

The moral: When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut.
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classic

Classical cultic 'love bombing' as mentioned before. Fucking scary stuff.

You could convince someone to do ANYTHING that way.


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I've been saying it for years that christianity was nothing more

spike.barnett wrote:

I ended up in one of those once. Not quite the TEC thing but close enough. Did it to shut up my family and friends. Luckily peer presure is useless on me and I am very strong willed when it comes cult-like tactics. I came out of the experience with a whole new contempt for religion. Make no mistake about it, this shit happens a lot. I've had to attend 3 amway/quickstar meeting to talk people out of it. These tactics are used so often because they are so effective. I've been saying it for years that christianity was nothing more than a socially accepted cult. It's nice to hear from someone else who knows first hand. If any of you get stuck in something like this hold fast to your sote]

 i agree that christianity is nothing more than a socially accepted cult.  i was brainwashed by one as a child and into my early 20's.  just thought it was nice to read about other's experiences with cults 

You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep-seated need to believe. - Carl Sagan

Prayer has no place in the public schools, just like facts have no place in organized religion. - School Superintendent on "The Simpsons" episode #1


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Well I wasn't ever a

Well I wasn't ever a Christian. Their attempt failed. I just wasted a couple days of my life is all.

After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him.

The moral: When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut.
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TEC, Jesus Camp, Hume, and

TEC, Jesus Camp, Hume, and such an action resembles to me one thing, or rather several.
Pagan initiation rituals. Rites of passage. Hashisheens, just without a hash. Ancient and modern cults, all these uses such a practices. If I would be Jesus, I wouldn't touch them even by a meter long stick. Vast majority of people is strongly emotional, and thus prone to brainwashing. This is something what Christians shouldn't approve according to a popular opinion, people would expect Christians to maintain some dignity and sanity. That might be true to some degree according to an orthodox churches (RC, eastern orthodox, etc) but these uprooted, evangelic, "modern" Churches are completely unleashed.
I've noticed some promising trends, like a greater cooperation between denominations, lesser indoctrination of people, (more 'ora et labora', instead of fire and brimstone) but it's still gonna take a few generations before they'll get normal.

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.


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Adroit wrote:A few friends

Adroit wrote:

A few friends came back to highschool this week after going to TEC. (TEC excuses them from Monday). (Teens Encounter Christ). Wearing their new TEC necklaces and shirts and stuff.

I used to be a VERY active member after i made a TEC. I worked on the TEC team 3 times out of the next 4 TEC's. I stopped about a year ago.

Rather than a debate on whether God is real or not, I'd like to instead bring up some ethical questions about the methods of TEC.

I understand that many Christians are against TEC. Some call it a cult, but none i know do anything about it.

TEC is a weekend + monday retreat.

Before you make a TEC, all you know about it is.

It is a Christian retreat.
No cell phones allowed.
You will be there for 3 days.
You are allowed to leave at any time, you just have to contact parents.
There are secrets that they wont tell you about.
Every month or so a few people come back to High School, in love with God.

Wow, significant problem right off the bat here.  Let's get this straight.  No cell phone, and you have to contact parents to go home.  That means you have to go through camp officials in order to go home, giving them every opportunity to sucker you into staying.  This is not "allowed to leave at any time"

Also, the "secrets that they won't tell you about" is just plain scary, especially if you're signing anything to go to this camp.

Adroit wrote:

Lets say you went to TEC (where i live) this is how it would happen.

*SPOILER ALERT for any theist planning on going to TEC*
...lol

There is a TEC team, the members who you interact with
There is a "Wheat" team, the members who you don't meet.

TEC is very stress relieving, there arent any clocks, plenty of time to sleep, awesome food, and a team dedicated to work behind the scenes to do all the work for you. Cleaning up and stuff.

That team working behind the scenes is either working, or praying for you. The TEC team tells you this, there are also hundreds of sacrifices the wheat team made in the past week was written on the wall. "I gave up video games" was written from me when i was on wheat team, wow was that a sacrifice Eye-wink.

The first day is learning about the bible and breaks for food and fun in the gym. To not stress you out from all the talks ("meditations&quotEye-wink. There is a lot of group activities, and individual conversation. Most people are thinking about leaving at this point, but very few do. Some who call parents then have there parents not allow them to.

RED ALERT.  Here is another instance of not being allowed to leave whenever you want.  You need parents' permission to leave.  How old are these kids?  Teenage, to me, seems old enough to know when you're being brainwashed.  Can they at least opt out of activities if they're forced to stay?

Adroit wrote:

You are allowed to leave, but damn do they say anything they can to stop you. "God wants you here" and stuff like that. Nothing physical though, and i'm glad about that.

I guess you do have to go through the administration to contact your parents...

Adroit wrote:

Day 2.. I don't remember too well but things start getting emotional. You start to get pressured into getting out of your comfort zone and talking. There are more talks about Gods love and less specifics. The people with this connection seem really happy, and they usually are really happy. You probably begin to get very curious, maybe a bit of envy for this connection. The TEC team hugs eachother a lot, and it is encouraged while on the team on this day. The afternoon gets interesting when the wheat team starts to become the stars of the show. They, dressed in all black perform a few skits.

voiceless they perform the "turn around skit"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vujvHTf-LF0
(This isn't exactly the way we did it but we don't video tape it)
((I was a way better devil than that guy when i did it >:D ))

and something similar to the passion except with a song playing.

two very emotional skits of course.

So lots of peer-pressure and love-bombardment.  That stuff never worked on me, but it sure does work on most people.

Adroit wrote:

Here is when it gets interesting. If you are considering Christianity at this point this probably struck you emotionally, and the TEC team goes hug crazy after this. Crying and hugging, lots of tissues used. If you don't get into it you feel incredibly pressured into getting into it while being surrounded by this. You follow the TEC team from here to wherever they lead you, singing "this little light of mine."

Then the secret happens.
Are you hearing that? No, its just your imagination. As it grows stronger you are certain you hear a crowd of people singing in synchronization with you "This little light of mine." You enter the dark gymnasium and there, hundreds of lights, no hundreds of people, members from TEC are there holding candles high, singing with you, all eyes on your small group. There is a path between the people (your family members were contacted and asked to stand near the front of this path.) Schoolmates, friends, Adults, strangers, family members, all came here for YOU. Your emotions are probably going crazy, you've probably never felt anything like this before. You meet in the center of the crowd and finish the song.

Lights on, funny skits, some time to talk, and hugging, hugging, hugging.

Then it pretty much turns into a good time. Funny skits performed by the TEC team, good food. (TEC merchandise is being sold in the gym)

Then there is an incredibly emotional talk, from a member of the TEC team. Every time i've heard one (5 times) they have a sad backstory and how their connection to God fixed everything.

Then all the people leave. You get in your little group again and go towards the church. You go to the crucifix on the altar and raise your hands, close your eyes and sing "Jesus, Jesus, can i tell you how i feel, you have given me your spirit, I love you so." (repeat) like 20 times. Most people start realizing that these crazy new emotions your feeling is God's spirit, and most people at this point "love God" oh and they are still mostly crying from happiness.  There is a short section where all the people who got one of you to come to TEC stand up and everyone claps for them. I was really proud when I was called one TEC.

This part is crazy... you didn't notice the crowd came in and filled up the church until they started singing. You open your eyes and turn around and the church is packed with all the people that were in the gym. You go through a "hug" line that is S shaped so it can fit in the church, and you hug everyone, yes... everyone. Of course your not forced to, but at this point youd be the only one not doing it. Everyone in the line has something to say though, some inspiring one liner. You've probably hugged like 100 times in the last hour. A quick church service and then you go back to the main building. The crowd leaves for real this time.

Extreme peer-pressure.  I'm tempted to go to one of these things and strike up a resistance group.

Adroit wrote:

Suprise #3, the wheat team have decorated that room you werent allowed to go into. It looks beatiful, there are decorated tables and a lot of food. There is usually dry ice making a cloudy floor. A picture of Jesus at the head of the tables. It is very surreal. Oh and the food is delicious.

Dry ice making a cloudy floor?  I hope they're taking the appropriate safety precautions and at least telling the kids not to lie down in the cloud.

Adroit wrote:

(the cutest girls usually serve the guys at guys TEC's. The cutest guys usually serve the girls at the girls TEC's)

Sex sells

Adroit wrote:

Then after that, suprise #4

The wheat team comes in with their decorated bags, one has your name on it. There is a letter in there hand-written from everyone on the 2 teams. And the bags were in the gymnasium with the crowd of people for an hour before you came in, most of the letters came from there.

The letters are personal if the people know you, or they are something inspirational with something like "welcome to the family." oh and they say they love you as often as they hug you.

(Not that these hugs and love are fake. I really cared about the candidates when I was on the teams.)

More love bombardment

Adroit wrote:

Sleep time.

Day 3... a.k.a. "Go" day

Awesome breakfast followed by a quick mass.

You then get a crucifix necklace that says "Christ is counting on you" on the back

You then start hearing about it being almost over. There is a lot of encouragement to be open about your new faith and to join the family and every month show up sunday night.

Soon you leave, around noon on monday. The process is incredibly effective, because almost everyone who goes, is "on fire" for God for at least a month.

The TEC process creates a very stress relieving environment, there is a lot of emotional events. It is very surreal, and you have no contact with the normal world. Only a christian influence for an entire weekend is a very effective way at conversion.

Is that fair?
My response, no. There is no way Atheists could get away with a 3 day retreat with no outside influence. School definitely wouldnt excuse the absense.

Is that brain-washing?
Possibly, there are much more severe cases, but it defenitely has some elements of brain-washing.

Do you Christians approve of this method?

Discuss, I am interested in what people think about TEC.

Definitely not fair.  The kids are not really all that free to leave, especially since they need parental consent to leave.  The lack of cell phones also means the kids have to go through the administration before even attempting to leave, which leaves ample opportunity for the administration to exert pressure for the kids to stay.

I could get quite rebelious as a kid, especially if I felt mentally threatened.  I know if I had been forced into one of those things at that age (pretty much any age after 7 for me) I would have flat-out refused to participate in anything but the basic neccessities (eating, sleeping, whatnot).  I might also have tried to call the cops and tell them I was being held against my will.  Failing that, I might even have begun to look for a way to get kicked out.

Questions for Theists:
http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

I'm a bit of a lurker. Every now and then I will come out of my cave with a flurry of activity. Then the Ph.D. program calls and I must fall back to the shadows.


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I just went through tec a

I just went through tec a couple weekends ago, and I absolutely loved it.  I am planning on staying as involved as possible and absolutely love everyone I met.  There were people in my groups that did not convert, but still had a great and eye opening time.  They outright said that they did not believe, but were still taken aback by the people there, and how much it didn't matter if he did believe, he was still accepted.

I think that you need to remove this.  People want the surprise to be a surprise, and if a potential candidate found this it would ruin it, and even though you warn "spoiler", it will be tempting.  I and everyone else involved with tec would be really thankful if you removed this.


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TEC is brain washing at it's best

I went to TEC years ago ('92) and  fell for all of it.  Funny it was at a Lutheran church since it's a Catholic thing but it really freaked me out.  I cried, hugged a lot of people, and then was shocked and embarrassed that my mother was contacted without me knowing and magically showed up at my most vulnerable point.  I am extremely disappointed at the Christian community for creating such a thing, it's just emotional torture.  Giving kids a necklace made out of nails?  Come on that's just creepy and totally unnecessary.  TEC did a lot of damage to me.  Talk about being alienated!  After you go through it, your supposed to magically be able to go back to normal life?  Their answer was to read the bible, yah right!  What teenager will honestly read the bible to take away the awkwardness one feels while adjusting to normal society after TEC.   The biggest thing TEC  taught me that there are powerful organizations out there who will go to great lengths to play on your emotions.  No one or organization should try to force you to be anything, TEC is a sneaky way to brain wash teenagers that Jesus is the way to salvation.  Come on, we have our whole lives to figure out what works for us and it doesn't have to be Jesus.  Kids are given the choice to leave at any time but when being cool, and not wanting to stand out is important to a teenager, they  are not going to leave and ditch their new, huggy friends.  I am proud to say that I am not a Christian and that I am closer to God now than I have ever been before.  TEC is a joke and I would never in a millions years subject my children to such gibberish.


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Adroit wrote:"I gave up

Adroit wrote:
"I gave up video games" was written from me when i was on wheat team, wow was that a sacrifice.

And so was Adroit committed to hellfire for all eternity.

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:o

It would take a lot for me to give up gaming, even for a little while. I have my DSi for travel.

 

Wonder if they are hedonistic retreats.

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ClockCat wrote:Wonder if

ClockCat wrote:

Wonder if they are hedonistic retreats.

 

Of course they are!

I mean, doesnt it feel good to kill the digital representation of a whiney snot nosed 10year old, only to hear him cry and call you a liberal nigger fucker?

 

Ah.... paradise...

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Tec supporter, and non

Tec supporter, and non spoiler wrote:

 I and everyone else involved with tec would be really thankful if you removed this.

 

I bet you would. It's harder to convert informed people.


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Tec supporter, and non

Tec supporter, and non spoiler wrote:
I think that you need to remove this.  People want the surprise to be a surprise, and if a potential candidate found this it would ruin it, and even though you warn "spoiler", it will be tempting.  I and everyone else involved with tec would be really thankful if you removed this.
The spoiler warning is tongue-in-cheek.  It's not meant to be tempting; this needs to be exposed!  What TEC does is wrong, despite the fact that you seem to have enjoyed it.  This thread will remain.  Other information exposing TEC will remain elsewhere.  I dearly hope that your experience is not repeated on any unsuspecting person ever again.

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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Tec is turbo charged 'normal' evangelism

I've been to a lot of camps like this one in which the best and most endearing qualities of young humans are harnessed to create a jesus sales environment. To a born again christian these washy feelings of amygdala massage are what the holy spirit is all about. For some there's a measure of self correction because once you're away from the cult the emotional response is muted and all you are stuck with is reality and a very confusing handbook. That pretty much describes me growing up. It made sense till the brainwashing stopped then I couldn't hold the emotion together any more. Kids in their late teens are exceedingly prone to this sort of emotional hijack.

These Tec guys obviously go a few steps further, turning the business into a mushy episode of This is Your Life. It's stating the obvious but I think christians are more driven by feelings than atheists are. My minister Dad was a shocker. My whole family fronted billy graham rallies on at least 5 occasions and it would have been more if dad had addtional opportunity. As a former believer I'm very connected to the group feelings you can get at these events. You can mirror them by attending the paralympics (I highly recommend this one - probably my life-affirmation high point), drinking 4 beers quickly, or better still, drinking 4 beers with a pub-full of paralympians on the last day of the games. 

 

 

 

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:3

 I was sent to a "bible camp" that separated us from the world for over a week. All the singing and praising and all that stuff I always found boring. I never got "emotionally" into it I suppose, for anything but boredom. I tried, but you can only repeat the same thing so many times before you are looking around and thinking "How are they still doing this with enthusiasm? Think about clapping your hands. It is fine to do a few times, but try doing it straight for 3 hours and you have the boredomfest that is bible camp.

 

The only parts about the camp I hated when I was little were the ones that involved some kind of worship. Which took up the entire evenings of every day. Which I would look to skip and try and sneak away. Then get in trouble for sneaking off repeatedly.

 

 

 

I just found it a waste of time. I needed to do something fun, and they wanted me to be bored, so I did what was fun anyway. :3

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One of my friends went to

One of my friends went to something very simliar to this a couple of years ago. I remember trying to call him, and I couldn't get in touch with him for a week. I figured his phone was dead or something, but in fact his parents had sent him on a "surprise" trip to Colorado to a secluded camp in the wilderness, and they had taken away his phone.

When he got back, I was like "Hey, where were you man?"

And it was like he had completely changed. The guy started talking to me like, "I'm really concerned man. You told me a while ago that you didn't believe in God. And this experience...oh this awesome expierence...its made me realize that I've got to help you."

And he started trying to convert me and stuff, and it was a bunch of emotional gibberish. He was talking about how much Jesus loved me, and how there were people out there who wanted me to be part of their "family." He started telling me about the "miraculous" experiences he had out there in that cult compound in colorado. He mentioned some really ridiculous things like people speaking in tounges and rolling around and all that bullshit. He said there was lots of hugging, lots of crying, lots of anectdotes about Jesus.

I told him it was really frightening the way he had been brainwashed, and I re-iterated why I did not believe in God and didn't wish to be converted, and he got really mad at me.

He hasn't been the same since.


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Not scary at all, sounds

Not scary at all, sounds much like a hardcore boyscout retreat, or a boot camp. Makes perfect sense given the context. It's trying to entire you into accepting a moral code.

 

I would go just for the food, if anybody seriously gets converted after three days of skits and hugging then they need to reevaluate their virtues.


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:3

fishpaste wrote:

Not scary at all, sounds much like a hardcore boyscout retreat, or a boot camp. Makes perfect sense given the context. It's trying to entire you into accepting a moral code.

 

I would go just for the food, if anybody seriously gets converted after three days of skits and hugging then they need to reevaluate their virtues.

 

I'm going to have to go with this. Maybe I'm just not the receptive type, but I always found the worship stuff boring. I would always be thinking about something I'd rather be doing instead.

 

I am aware there are people that are easily converted into things like this though. They seem to prey on the people that are having the most problems in life, and who want an easy solution to make life feel manageable.

 

There are a lot of teenagers like that though.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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I guess all the studies on

I guess all the studies on peer pressure, conformity, and the impressionable nature of children are wrong then eh?

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:3

Vastet wrote:
I guess all the studies on peer pressure, conformity, and the impressionable nature of children are wrong then eh?

 

Sticking out tongue

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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I'm with you there,

I'm with you there, Clockcat. I went to a week long Catholic summer camp when I was little. The worship sessions bored the hell out of me too, but the food was awesome. 

Oh, and two funny things happened.

First, around midnight on Wednesday, I think, we were all awakened by a loud commotion that was happening outside. Apparently, a boy and girl had agreed to slip out of their respective cabins after everyone was asleep to meet at a nearby lake. Then, they could *cough* engage in sinful activities *cough*. Man, one of the pastors/camp counselors was really pissed, talking about the magnitude of their sin and the dangers of hell and stuff.

Second, a supposed miracle happened on Thursday night, when the worship was particularly......crazy. A girl that had just broken her leg on Tuesday was suddenly healed. Yeah, I know what you're all thinking.....and you're right. The girl was part of the oldest age group at the camp, and I didn't get to see her break her leg. Also, even though this was a huge camp, it seemed like everyone knew that this girl had broken her leg by Thursday. I guess it could have been a safety issue, but, still, all the counselors made sure to tell their campers that this girl had broken her leg. Arrg! Nobody can tell if a person has a broken. Why couldn't she have accidentally cut off her leg or something? God never heals amputees.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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I had similar experiences

I went to church camp pretty much every summer when I was a kid.  We were in dormitories with kids our own age for a week.  We had counselors and were preached at multiple times per day.  Toward the end of the week, there was always an emotionally-charged 'altar call' in which most of the children were crying and either saying conversion prayers or some sort of confession and rededication.  I was a part of this as a camper and as a counsellor when I was 15 and 16.  When I was a counsellor, I shepherded around a bunch of 10 year olds separated from their parents.  We were encouraged to help lead the children to decisions for god and to follow up with them after camp.  I feel bad, in hind sight, for my involvement.  Though I doubt many of the conversions stuck at 10 years old.

I also was involved with a phenomenon in Canada called 'Youth Quake'.  There are similar youth conferences that go on that I've heard of locally.  This one would bring a few thousand teen ages into a christian campus.  I attended one of these things as a 'guest' and had the inconvenience of helping to host one as a high school boarding student.  Basically it's a very big enjoyable brainwashing weekend. 

I voluneered for one 'activity' through the weekend.  We were told that we were persecuted christians, loaded into a cattle trailer and unloaded in an old barn.  We were to suspend our normal reality and replace it with this one temporarily, as though it might be a possibility in the future.  I forget exactly what they talked about.  But it was basically treating us like we were being persecuted like Jews on the way to a death camp because we professed christianity.  Image multiple SS - type soldiers yelliing at teen agers for being christian scum.  It was meant to leave a persistent feeling of fear of persecuation.  Fear of enemies of the faith.  Of all the brain-washing techniques that went on that weekend, I'd say that was one of the most insidious.

"There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right." Martin Luther King


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fortitude wrote:I feel bad,

fortitude wrote:
I feel bad, in hind sight, for my involvement.  Though I doubt many of the conversions stuck at 10 years old.

I recently listened to a podcast, where a jolly transexual person recounted his happy memories of church camp. He mainly seemed to have good memories of the whole huggy, emotional atmosphere, and didn't remember a thing about all the preaching.

So yeah, don't feel bad about it. Apparently it doesn't stick.

fortitude wrote:
I voluneered for one 'activity' through the weekend.  We were told that we were persecuted christians, loaded into a cattle trailer and unloaded in an old barn.  We were to suspend our normal reality and replace it with this one temporarily, as though it might be a possibility in the future.  I forget exactly what they talked about.  But it was basically treating us like we were being persecuted like Jews on the way to a death camp because we professed christianity.  Image multiple SS - type soldiers yelliing at teen agers for being christian scum.  It was meant to leave a persistent feeling of fear of persecuation.  Fear of enemies of the faith.  Of all the brain-washing techniques that went on that weekend, I'd say that was one of the most insidious.

WTF ??? Holocaust envy ?

 


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Seeking victimhood is a christian thing

 

Consider the early roman church's claims of multiple martyrs - many of which were total fabrications - the most laughable of which involved christians being burned as torches to light a BBQ in Nero's backyard.

Now, to burn a human body requires a weight of fuel that I think is equivalent to a human body. And a body will burn but only if intense heat is applied in a way Nero's servants could not have applied it.

You need a proper conflagration to get a human body to burn.

I don't know how many christians are alleged to have been fed to lions in the first couple of centuries AD but it would have been vastly less than is claimed by the Vatican.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Yeeeeah, I'm one of those

Yeeeeah, I'm one of those emotional-types who USED to be easily manipulated by psychological tactics such as being told "I love you" etc.  It took several emotionally abusive relationships for me to grow up and become a little more self-sufficient (emotionally, that is).  But even now, my self-esteem is pretty easily affected by my peers and superiors. 

 

Anyway, this whole thread reminds me of when I was in a particularly unstable time in my life when I was dating a Pentecostal guy who was going to Bible college to become a preacher.  Obviously, he tried to convert me and took me to his holy-roller church and tried to get me to speak in tongues and all that.  I played along because I wanted what it seemed like everyone else there had, which was supreme joy and excitement.  But I never did the babbling nonsense.  After a while we broke up and I realized how stupid I was to wear only skirts all the time and never get a hair cut.  He even dissed my music and said it had "a spirit of depression" attached to it or some bullshit.  I actually let him throw away my favorite CD.

 

Yup.  Those were the good ol' days. 


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Gallowsbait wrote:Yeeeeah,

Gallowsbait wrote:

Yeeeeah, I'm one of those emotional-types who USED to be easily manipulated by psychological tactics such as being told "I love you" etc.  It took several emotionally abusive relationships for me to grow up and become a little more self-sufficient (emotionally, that is).  But even now, my self-esteem is pretty easily affected by my peers and superiors. 

 

Anyway, this whole thread reminds me of when I was in a particularly unstable time in my life when I was dating a Pentecostal guy who was going to Bible college to become a preacher.  Obviously, he tried to convert me and took me to his holy-roller church and tried to get me to speak in tongues and all that.  I played along because I wanted what it seemed like everyone else there had, which was supreme joy and excitement.  But I never did the babbling nonsense.  After a while we broke up and I realized how stupid I was to wear only skirts all the time and never get a hair cut.  He even dissed my music and said it had "a spirit of depression" attached to it or some bullshit.  I actually let him throw away my favorite CD.

 

Yup.  Those were the good ol' days. 

[/quote

well, my goodness, i for one can say you seem like a VERY lovely and articulate girl and there would be NOTHING more sinful than putting you in one of those atrocious jesus-girl denim skirts and bottling up your intellect in that atrocious jesus-girl worldview.   kudos for standing up!

by the way, i know all about pentecostals.  i grew up in kentucky and have family in west virginia, but i live in europe now.  none of my family were into that shit, thank god (i was lucky enough to be raised in a purely culturally christian family), but i remember going to town on court days and seeing the singing jesus girls and being told, along with most other people on the street, that i was going to hell.  i remember them calling a 10 year-old girl a whore because she was in jeans.  where are you from?

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


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Texas.  Yee-haw. 

Texas.  Yee-haw. 


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Gallowsbait wrote:Texas. 

Gallowsbait wrote:

Texas.  Yee-haw. 

ahhh yes, everybody's favorite.

well, you have willie nelson.  willie makes up for a loootta shit.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


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:3

iwbiek wrote:

Gallowsbait wrote:

Texas.  Yee-haw. 

ahhh yes, everybody's favorite.

well, you have willie nelson.  willie makes up for a loootta shit.

 

They also have Waco.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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ClockCat wrote:iwbiek

ClockCat wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

Gallowsbait wrote:

Texas.  Yee-haw. 

ahhh yes, everybody's favorite.

well, you have willie nelson.  willie makes up for a loootta shit.

 

They also have Waco.

no, willie tops that...

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


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Willie Nelson tops

Willie Nelson tops everything.  He wrote a song about my home town Nacogdoches.  :D  I think that was WN, anyway...  Google time!

 

*edit

Wow it turns out he named a whole album after it.  Laughing out loud http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nacogdoches_(album)


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:3

 Sorry. Country music is boring.

 

Besides, he made all his songs long before I was born. /yawn

 

No redeeming value in Texas as far as I can see. They even boo'd Bill Nye for suggesting the moon -reflected- light.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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Well, I agree.  Texas is

Well, I agree.  Texas is pretty irredeemable.  I hope I didn't just make up a word there.  Spell check didn't do anything... 

And I'm not a fan of country either but Willie is awesome.  <3


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It has a chunk of NASA.

It has a chunk of NASA. That's something at least.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.