Ron Luce's "stealth evangelism" guide exposed (part 3)
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Wed May 17, 2006 at 09:47:00 PM EST
This is a continuation of a series, beginning with an initial post in regards to the 1995 "RIOT Manual"--a guide on "stealth evangelism" for youth published by Teen Mania Ministries and distributed by "Christian contemporary" artist Carman.

We reviewed tactics 1-30 here;  suffice it to say that things only get even more bizarre from here.

And yes, this IS typical of the old "bait and switch" and of current tactics in getting kids into stuff like "BattleCry".

As if our poor beleagured custodial staff didn't have enough problems, how about tract-handling with food?

31. REAL FOOD Use the Real Food tactic to get the gospel into people's hearts during lunch time in your cafeteria. Standing in line for lunch at school usually is a brain-dead activity. But you can infiltrate the cafeteria by putting a tract on every tray before people pick them up.

As they're holding their tray in line, they will begin to read the tract and find out more about the Lord. When they reach for a napkin, they'll pick up a tract because you've infiltrated the napkin holders with tracts. After a while people will get the message that there is an invasion going on in their school - a Righteous Invasion of Truth.



Whilst amusing, it's rather unlikely for a large number of reasons:

a) Generally school lunchrooms are operated by a dedicated staff of food service employees.  Students, by and large, aren't allowed in the lunchroom until lunch is served (in other words, the dominionist kids would have to skip class to infiltrate the lunchroom, especially in schools with staggered lunch schedules).  This is in part due to homeland security concerns and partly due to concerns regarding food allergies and even basic food poisoning prevention.  (Anymore, to be a "lunch lady" you are required to go through a specific certification course on food preparation safety and food-prep security offered by the local department of health.)

b) In many schools, there are either multiple lunch lines (this was even the case in my own school in the late 80's where a separate salad line existed) or there are no cafeteria personnel at all and all lunches are sent preboxed and pre-prepared (I was also in a school system in my early high school years where this was the case).

c) Again (due to zero-tolerance policies) anyone caught trying to interfere with the lunchroom equipment in such a manner would probably at best be suspended.  (Very often, there are specific lunch monitors even in high school--partly because kids have been occasionally busted in text-message drug deals and similar misbehaviours during lunch periods.  In addition, due to homeland security concerns, the use of lunchrooms period by non-school staff has been severely restricted in many school districts. Generally kids seen as being disruptive in any manner are often banned from lunchroom at a minimum.  (Again, this is due to multiple unfortunate incidents--the most infamous possibly being the Columbine shootings, but also because of students sometimes deliberately doing things like bringing allergenic food to a "peanut-free table" set up for allergic kids.)

We go straightaway back into at least the sixth listing mentioning a criminal science headline at number 32 (at this point I am wondering if Ron Luce has a bit of a "Law and Order" fetish):

32. STAKEOUT

With the Stakeout tactic, you will watch closely the person you want to witness to, much as police watch a suspect ed criminal. What do you watch for? You look for clues that will tell you what your "suspect" believes or thinks is important. For example, if he spends a lot of time messing with his hair or clothes that tells you something about him. It could mean he is insecure and doesn't have a high opinion of him self. Maybe you notice that he looks sad all the time or that he cuts himself down frequently. As a result, you could share the gospel by telling him that God sees him as incredibly valuable.

Maybe you notice that one of the people you're praying for dresses like a certain music group. If you want to relate to her, read up on the lyrics of that kind of music. Find a song that has some spiritual overtones and find out what the Bible has to say about that subject. When you get a chance, ask her, "So, what do you think [her favorite band] means when they say __?" Listen to her ideas, then gently tell her what the Bible says.

By closely observing people you can pick up clues that can help you present the gospel to them in a unique way. Some have blasted others with the gospel and shoved the Bible down their throats before they took the time to know them. But a Stakeout is loving people enough to learn how they see life before you tell them about the Lord.



Ah, yes, fun with yet another tactic promoting scoping out the specific weak spots of a potential target so that they can rush in for the "kill".  (Yes, as a matter of fact, they DO act a lot like wild dogs worrying down a deer or cow.  No offense to the wild dogs meant, of course.)

Old-school crackers have a term for this too--"social engineering" and "vulnerability probing"--the idea being that you end up gaining the trust of an individual, and map out the weak points of a system to infiltrate it.  Kevin Mitnick used to be a veritable genius at this sort of "social engineering" before he got imprisoned for it; now he sells his services as a "white-hat" social engineer teaching people how not to fall for the same tactics he used to break into a large number of systems--including some linked to the Department of Defense.

It's also interesting how they promote--subtly, mind--the general concepts of "deliverance ministry" again.  One of the urban legends that has had continuous running since the very invention of jazz music in the dominionist community (and one which has helped fund the careers of "Christian Contemporary" artists like Carman nicely as an "alternative" to "demonic" secular music--not uncoincidential) is the idea that certain rock songs, or certain song lyrics, contain hidden references to Satanism or the devil.  (This began with blues singers being accused of selling their souls to the Devil, expanded to rock-and-roll being accused of being satanic (common lines given were about the Eagles' "Hotel California" being about the Church of Satan (in fact, it's a song about drug addiction), Ozzy Osbourne's "Suicide Solution" telling kids to kill themselves (here, again, a song about addiction, specifically about how alcoholism is a form of slow suicide) and how the band Kiss' name supposedly stood for either Knights In Satan's Service or Kids In Satan's Service (in fact, it's neither, it's just plain Kiss), and so forth) and has now expanded to hip-hop and rap being the targets of nearly identical claims as those made regarding heavy metal in the 80's (yes, including the whole "backwards masking" claims of secret Satanic messages hidden in metal albums).

In fact, it's a common claim even today by "deliverance ministry" preachers that ALL secular music, and even music by "crossover" "Christian contemporary" artists like Amy Grant or by "Christian metal" artists like Stryper or Bloodgood, are in fact Satanic and "open doorways for Satan"; the Christian artists are generally condemned for having too much of a "rock beat" or being promoted in secular media (Stryper, not surprisingly, got both, seeing as they were a Christian metal band that became a crossover band to secular artists towards the end of their careers and always had some of the best popularity of any "Christian" artist in the type of music they performed), and the definition of "Satanism" gets very loose indeed (Tina Turner, for instance, was condemned as a "Satanist" for studying Buddhism, and the Beatles were similarly condemned).  Hence the only music that people can listen to in these groups is old-time gospel or--surprise, surprise--artists like Carman et al.  (Yes, this is a big part of what keeps the "Christian Music" industry alive--people are literally taught in dominionist churches they will go to hell for listening to anything else!)

(Very interestingly, and as a personal aside, my first breakings-away from dominionism came when my youth pastor accused the band Stryper of being Satanic.  I actually owned albums from Stryper and knew they held altar calls at their concerts, and were about as far as you could get (even in dominionist terms) from being Satanists.  I later found out that they'd lied about Ozzy Osbourne's "Suicide Solution" and the house of cards started to tumble down after that; not uncoincidentially, some of my first work in fighting dominionism was specifically with groups fighting censorship of rock music by "deliverance ministry" groups like Bob Larson Ministries.  Quite a bit of crossover there, and at least for folks in my generation, the fight against dominionism really started with the fight against groups like the PMRC (which, while lead by Tipper Gore and Bob Dole's wife, had a lot of support from dominionists and used quite a bit of reference material from dominionist groups), Bob Larson, the Christian Coalition and the like.)

As if we didn't have enough issues with "faith-based coercion" in the prison system, they encourage kids to visit prisoners to annoy the hell out of them literally:

33. JAIL MINISTRY

The Jail Ministry tactic can take your R.I.O.T. Squad into a county jail for adults or a detention center for teens to share the gospel. While there, use drama, music and tracts to reach a captive audience.

Plan a Jail Ministry by first talking to your youth pastor. If you can't find any one at your church to help, try contacting the facility directly. Ask the chaplain if your Squad can come out on a Saturday afternoon. Most chaplains in juvenile institutions are happy to have people visit who are good role models for kids. When you go, be ready to minister. The chaplain can help you choose the R.I.O.T. tactics most appropriate for his or her institution.



The scary thing is, as evidenced by both the type of churches that the "RIOT Manual" would be promoted in (those with a very, very heavy emphasis on the "spiritual warfare" aspects of dominion theology) and based on the very kinds of groups that promote "faith based coercion" (very often the same groups promoting to adults the concepts of "spiritual warfare") it's probably likely that they would find someone sympathetic in the prison system who'd gleefully let a mess of young God Warriors in to prosyletise to the convicts.

This is, of course, not considering the fact that increasingly (outside of "scared straight" programs--and even those are passing out of fashion) minors are increasingly not being permitted to tour jails and prisons.  County jails have in past had more lax rules regarding visitation (and in fact this is why they were targeted in the flyer--at the time of publication of this booklet, "scared straight" visitation put on by DARE groups was still somewhat common and done with authorisation of sheriff's departments).  Increasingly, though, prisons occasionally even prevent visitation by minor relatives of prisoners, and Michigan's state statute is fairly typical (visitation only allowed for minor children or grandchildren of inmates, must be accompanied by an adult relative, prisoners in certain categories (multiple drug-related offenses or termination of parental rights) not allowed minor visitors at all (and in fact substance-abuse related offenses can lead to no visits save by clergy and attorneys for upwards of two years). Utah has similar regulations, including requiring filing a specific form for minor visitation.  Sauk County Sheriff's Department in Wisconsin has similar regs prohibiting non-related minors from visitation, as does Williamson County, IL Sheriff's Office, and Worchester County Sheriff, MA; Alachua County, Florida doesn't state a flat ban on non-relative visitors but requires that minors be in the custody of people on a list of four pre-approved visitors (and also further requires that "prison ministry" be done only by ordained or legally authorised ministers) and San Diego County Sheriff has similar restrictions.  The same goes for juvenile facilities; Portage County, WI juvenile hall prohibits visitation by minors other than children of inmates.

This is in part due to tough new laws regarding sex offenders and drug-related offenses and persons who have committed those offenses generally being required to stay away from minors.  (In the case of sex offenders, generally there are specific regulations due to Megan's Law that state that certain levels of sex offenders cannot legally be within a certain number of yards of children.)  It is far from uncommon to have sex offenders in both juvenile and adult custody in county jails; in fact, a search of Louisville in the Kentucky State Sex Offender Registry shows quite a few sex offenders in the county jail right now, and so do the county jails in Bullitt County (a rural county just south of Louisville) and even Whitley County (a rural county near Cumberland Falls, notable for being the home of the SBC-run University of the Cumberlands which recently kicked a student out for revealing on his MySpace page that he was gay--and may lose a chance to gain a pharmacy school from it, both because of protests by Fairness advocates in the state and because the planned accreditation board (Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education) explicitly prohibits discrimination against LGBT persons in its regulations and has stated it will not be willing to accredit University of the Cumberlands' proposed school of pharmacy if the school maintains its present policy of expulsion of outed LGBT students).

The section concludes with telling people to stick to a single tactic per person--in other words, at least a minimum of four targets are recommended.

And lest one doubt that Teen Mania is the ringleader, the resources page is particularly telling in that fully half or more of it is adverts for Teen Mania--and includes an application form for Teen Mania.  (Mars Hill and Gospel Films, the two producers of "Scared Saved" movies, are given major props as well, as is Carman (the "Christian Contemporary" artist used to hawk this in the beginning) and a secondary group called "Impact Productions".  

Impact Productions seems to be associated with Real Impact Missions, which is apparently a group that promotes teen ministry as well as sending kids on "missionary trips" (a la Youth With A Mission), and is so poorly run that it received an F on transparency and is close to the bottom of every category it's ranked in at ministrywatch.com--largely because it refuses to give any info on its organisation.  (To give a comparison, the only groups with similarly poor transparency ratings are almost uniformly name-it-and-claim-it preachers, and the only groups with similarly poor sector rankings are all televangelist groups.)  The group has links not only with Ron Luce but many other dominionist groups including Ted Haggard's New Life Church, and at least one of the board of directors is an honest-to-God flaggellant who has made a small career of wheeling around a 12-foot cross.

Impact Productions' website seemed to be down at the time of this writing, but a Google Archive of the homepage hints that they are also a major producer of religiously oriented films.  A further Google search turned up connections between Impact Productions and promotion of "Passion of the Christ", and is apparently also the primary company behind the movie "End Of The Spear" and also makes other films promoting targeting Native American groups in South America, when they're not making religiously oriented films for children.  Quite interestingly, Impact Productions also has documented links to Hollywood, thus being possibly one of the major conduits by which Ron Luce is contacting secular promoters.

The scary thing is, the contents I've just described are typical of Ron Luce's groups, and of "spiritual warfare" groups in general (being a survivor of one of those groups, I can vouch for this).




Display:
     I have read all through this website.  Your articles, other people's....interesting, violent video games marketed by people in association with Rick Warren, Dobson abuses his pets, Tim Lahaye is a Kook, Christians are trying to take over the world, etc. etc. etc. but I actually laughed a few times and got mad a couple of times and finally I joined so I could comment.  But I'm getting side tracked...


     Before I start I will say that many years ago- I think 1996, but not sure-I was not the youth pastor, but my husband and I were sponsors, I was just looking for something fun to do for a weekend that involved worship so I took 3 kids from church to a rally called "Aquire the FIre."  Turns out it was, of course, as you know, one of the ministries of the founder Ron Luce.  I found the weekend to be fun and interesting and like nothing I had ever experienced before.  I had never seen drama right in the middle of a sermon or short clips from secular movies being used to make an interesting point relevant to a Christian issue that had nothing to do with the actual video, nor had I heard such lively and beautiful music.  I was accustomed to hymns on an organ or piano only, at the time.  They gave their speel about TM and going on a mission trip a few times during the rally and I thought it looked like a really neat opportunity for kids to see the world and evangelize at the same time.  While most kids spend thier summer or Christmas break doing nothing positive, these teens were traveling the world and sharing the "good news."


     the next year my church youth group went and took 12 kids, based on our excitement about the ATF weekend the previous year.  The next year, 24, the next year over 50 and so it grew.  Each year I saw our youth group grow in number and grow together as a team and stop backstaabing and tearing each other apart as so many kids in churches do.  After all these years, 4 of our kids have attended TM mission trips and I can assure you that none of them (now adults) are "over the top" Christians or heading toward this thing you call "dominionism."  I had never heard of this till I found this website quite by accident. 


     I don't think any of the kids who's parents allowed them to go on a mission trip with TM felt lie it was secretive or I really don't think they would have let them go.  Both families of the 4 kids who went knew plenty about the ministry before the kids left.  They new exactly what they would be doing.  I'm not sure where you are getting that it's all "secretive."  


     I just don't understand where you draw the line between people like me who for the most part vote Republican, attend church every week, read the occasional book by Dobson (recently "Bringing Up Boys") like Rick Warren's book "Purpose Driven Life" and feel like missions are a good thing, (since essentually Jesus and his deciples were missionaries in a sense) but I'm not out trying to force the world to accept my message and I certainly would NEVER wish harm on anyone who didn't believe like I do.  I spank my toddler if he needs it, but I never hit him anywhere but the padded diaper.  I really don't feel like Dobson encourages a "beating" either.  I don't remember if it was you or maybe Jonathan Hudson who made reference to that and I certainly don't think in the literal sence that he chased hisd dog all over the house beating it to death, but he was trying to drive a point home by adding humor to a story about his dog. He exagerated it to amek it more interesting, but some people will ultimately take all of this out of context and excuse themselves for beating their pets or chasing thier child all over the house to continually torture them.  Those people are sick and need help, but they choose to believe that so they feel better about being cruel to their children.  I listened to his program for a couple of years in the morning when I use to work and I NEVER got that impression.  I think Spanking is a neseesary evil which I use only when absolutely nessesary, but I have a 10 year old who hasn't been spanked nor needed a spanking since he was a toddler, because he is a wonderful child and I think that is primarily because we trained him young to be a good kid through many outlets and one of them (gasp) SPANKING! So where is the line between me and "THEM" or is there?  Do you think these things make me a dominionist?


     You also said that Dobson blames mothers for not being home, but I have heard him say many times that the reason women now HAVE TO work is because so many women chose to go to work back in the late 60's early 70's and because households were trying to get ahead, instead of getting ahead though, the price of things just went up with the expectation that a household now had 2 incomes so they could afford more.  Now it's nearly impossible for a mother to stay at home even if she's married and certainly impossible if she is a single mom.  Although I will say that many moms could stay home if families were more concerned with being there for thier chidren than worrying that thier kids have $90 shoes and $300 Ipods and if you don't agree with that then you are really dillusional.  I don't work, but got rid of all our debt except for house and car payment and my son dresses better than most of the kids at school because I am willing to go to discount stores and buy everything on sale.  But I have the luxury of a husband who makes enough for me to stay home, but to most people what we make as a household income would seem nearly impossible to live on.  Our son has more money in savings than we do!

      

     I get the feeling you were abused as a child and I think perhaps that taints your view on spanking, (I went off on a tangent there, but I'm back to topic) but my 10 year old adores me and tells me all the time that I am so awesome and how much he loves me and how lucky he is to have us for parents, so I really don't think I have done any damage to him or his little spirit in the process and I really believe he has that love, respect and admiration because he learned to respect us early in life, which none of my friends who don't spank have from their children. My son is the most well behaved, well mannered, polite, and caring boy I have EVER met.  So spare me the lecture on spanking because it either helped him or it at least didn't HURT him, but either way- he is an honor role student, an actor, singer, dancer and is loved by directors, school teachers, family and friends  for his maturity and behavior.


     SO who am I? am I a dominionist because I am a republican who likes Rick Warren's message in his book PDL and I like Dobson and I spank my child?  I think missions are good and help a lot of people.  I just don't understand why you are so angry at CHristians in general.  You occasionally say that you don't think all Christians are Domionists or promote theocracy, but I really think everything you have to say in your articles says nothing positive about CHristians- ANY OF THEM!  Like we all have a secret agenda.


     I attend a Nazarene Church and if you know nothing about them, we broke off from the Methodist church in 1895.  We still hold many of the methodist views and I think most can agree that the Methodist church (and the Nazarenes) are no threat to society and we are not holy rollers or brow beaters. Although to be fair, I must say that Nate and Steve Saint who were killed by the Waodani tribe and the topic of the movie you seem completely disgusted about; "End of the Spear" were Nazarenes.


        My denomination has missionaries all over the world. My particualr congregation has two former missionaries who just got back from Brazil after 4 years of service teaching the small villages in Brazil how to irrigate and plant crops etc.  Thier mission was not to pastor, but to teach agriculture and land irrigation.  I see nothing wrong with that.  It's very positive.


     I am not an evangelical by church association, but I have a few evangelical views I guess.  I don't speak in tongues or anything, but I deffinately believe in spiritual warfare.  (to a certain degree)  I don't know a whole lot about it, but I think it exists.  My husband has read all of the entire Left Behind Series and I read "This Present Darkness" we saw the movies, and yet interestingly enough, we aren't trying to bible thump anyone.  Honestly if I had to say something about my husband's spiritual life I'd say it's lackluster or perhaps lacking all together.  He just likes the books and so do some of my friends who don't even go to church or even really have a belief system. SOme people read them for the fiction.


     I had just never heard of such animosity toward Christians till I came here.  You seem to hate everything I like and yet I am nothing like you'd make people like me seem in your articles.  Oh- what about Billy Graham?  DO you think he's evil too?  I mean, HE of all people REALLY believes in evangelism and sharing the gospel.


     DO you attend church at all or because of your history with your insane seemingly cultish church that you grew up in, have you decided that all organized religion is bad? 


     And about the prison ministry thing- I just don't see why you care so much that Teen mania is asking kids/youth groups to witness to prisoners.  It's just a skit about Christ, which is actually not what you think.  It's more of a drama to music.  It's the story of Christ in dramatic form that appeals to todays audience.  Not like the biblical re-enactment like Passion of the Christ.  It's really a neat looking play to be honest.  It's dance interpretation and singing and things like that, that they do when they go do these ministry things.  Prisoners are probably just happy to get an hour free to be entertained and not that I think prison should be a place of entertainment, but I think we all know that the prisoners who are more religious are the ones who help keep some of the peace in prison.  Even if you think that God is a complete farce- who cares- it's keeping prisons safer, it keeps some kids from being permiscuous and getting a disease or pregnant.  It keeps some kids from being violent and some adults from going postal.  It helps third world countries learn to farm and speak other languages, get food, clothing, shelter, medicines.  It keeps the entire country from anarchy, so what if it isn't even real?  What if I'm wrong and I have spent my whole life serving a God that doesn't exist? 


     I've been a better person because I had a belief in something positive and I don't feel like I've missed out on anything.  In fact, many years ago I had an affair and my husband and I split up, dated other people, and tried to move on, but that nagging feeling that what we were doing wasn't right, brought us back together, we got some counseling and now we have a better marriage than we ever had before, but if I hadn't been a CHristian I guarentee I never would have come back and my 10 year old would be another statistic and possibly have been molested by my future love interest and my 19 month old would never have been.


     I think so many times people want to forget what positive things happen because of people who believe in God and they get determined to abolish the "CHristian right."  WEll, the CHristian right (which includes me for the most part) are one of the reasons this country isn't in the same predicament as many other countries who have turned completely violent and evil.


     I'm sorry I wrote all of this under your deal on Ron Luce, but I didn't know how to get you a message otherwise and I didn't want to go to each individual article and post my particular feeling on each one, so feel free to delete this extra-long and completely random and all-over-the-place-in-topic post.


Thans for your time and feel free to comment- I'll be back to read more, because I'm honestly intrigued- I have never seen anything like this in my life.  It's interesting.



by mismindles on Wed Sep 27, 2006 at 04:32:46 AM EST


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When John Hagee opens his mouth, you expect to hear lunacy.  An appearance earlier this month on TBN was no different.  On Friday, People for the American Way stumbled on a special prophecy-focused edition......
Christian Dem in NC (1 comment)
Doug Phillips Resigns From Vision Forum over "Inappropriate Relationship"
Doug Phillips resigned as president of Vision Forum earlier this week, citing an "inappropriate relationship."   Phillips posted an announcement on the Vision Forum website, stating, There has been serious sin in my life......
Rachel Tabachnick (2 comments)
A Wiccan Witch In Salem
Since it's only two weeks from Halloween, I made my usual foray into Christian Right Country to find out what their plans are for this Halloween. I don't know where to be sad or......
irishwitch (0 comments)
Jerry Falwell's Fundamentalist Liberty University Still Getting Hundreds of Millions in Federal Aid
In 2010, Liberty University got more federal funding than the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. In a 2011 Talk To Action story, contributor Bill Berkowitz covered the new trend in which right-wing evangelical colleges and......
Bruce Wilson (2 comments)

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