Bachmann Gave To MN Addiction Recovery Center Credited With Exorcisms
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 07:28:11 PM EST
[Update, July 15, 2011--Often Talk To Action articles come out a year or two (or ten) before the issues they cover become politically salient. I originally posted this story in October 2010, and it's more relevant now than ever, especially given Truth Wins Out's undercover investigation and subsequent expose' of Marcus Bachmann's addiction recovery clinic, which features "reparative therapy" for LGBT clients. But that's not Michele Bachmann's only tie to fringe, religiously-based forms of psychotherapy. As covered by Karl Bremer of the Minnesota Independent back in October 2008, Michele Bachmann's political campaign recycled tainted campaign contribution money by giving it to Minnesota Teen Challenge (run by the Assemblies of God) which, as covered in the story below, seems to be preoccupied with all things demonic including, perhaps, exorcism.]
[Update, continued--Though it's downplayed and covered up, the "reparative therapy" approach typically includes room for casting out "gay demons", but that's in turn part of a wider emerging paradigm in evangelical Christianity. As described in the 2001 Christianity Today article Possessed or Obsessed?, "Stunning numbers of North American Christians believe demons may be at the root of apparently natural maladies or temptations."--that phenomenon was part of a wider paradigm; see Christianity Today's 1998 story, Do Demons Have Zip Codes?. ]

"I began manifesting demons nearly immediately after entering into the Teen Challenge program, and a lot of demons were cast out over a three month period." - Brandon Barthrop

[image, right: cover of October 2002 Minnesota Teen Challenge newsletter]

In April 2009, the Minnesota Independent covered MN congresswoman Michele Bachmann's donation of over $9,000 to Minnesota Teen Challenge, a faith-based addiction recovery program which has received over 10 million dollars in government funding according to  a January 2010 story by the Minnesota Independent's Andy Birkey. Teen Challenge is an outreach ministry under the Pentecostal denomination the Assemblies of God.

What sort of addiction recovery treatment does Minnesota Teen Challenge offer? 2001 MTC graduate Brandon Barthrop, who now runs a non-traditional inner-city ministry, credits his successful recovery from drugs, satanism, and "warlocky" to a Minnesota Teen Challenge regimen involving the exorcism of myriad demon spirits. As Barthrop wrote in 2008 on his ministry website,

"I'm sure I was completely demonized my whole life until I got born in heaven in October 1999 when I was court-ordered to Minnesota Teen Challenge for drugs. I was completely strung out on all kinds of drugs. I was permi-fried from acid, and lived in a continual LCD trip. Tracers, shadows, and darkness abounded. I began manifesting demons nearly immediately after entering into the Teen Challenge program, and a lot of demons were cast out over a three month period. Everything afterward became much brighter spiritually and physically. I was told I was the worst case they had ever seen in Minnesota Teen Challenge history."
Barthrop's experience may seem bizarre to Americans unfamiliar with the exorcism movement in contemporary America but as a 2001 Christianity Today article explained, "Stunning numbers of North American Christians believe demons may be at the root of apparently natural maladies or temptations."

In the video, below, Brandon Barthrop explains "toking the ghost" and describes being saved at Minnesota Teen Challenge. "One of the first promises I received from God at Minnesota Teen Challenge when I first was born again in October 1999 - the holy spirit came to me, I was a warlock, a drug addict, and he said 'I will make you more high than all the drug addicts. And I will make them jealous of how high I get you, says the Lord.' "

In 1999, the year Barthrop was ordered into the Teen Challenge program, Marjorie Cole published her book Taking the Devil To Court. A faith-based addiction recovery counselor, Cole says she wrote her book (copywrite 1999) while working as a counselor at Minnesota Teen Challenge. In a video of a seminar presentation based on her book, Cole describes the need to deal with "generational curses" and "ancestral demons" and explains, addressing her audience [see video segment 2, at ~57:00],

"Let me ask you something - because I know this is what you're thinking - 'Well, how many demons do I have in me anyway? Or how many can I?' Well, I suppose we could go up to the amount from zero to at least 2,000, because that's a legion."  

Minnesota Teen Challenge is not the only TC addiction recovery center associated with exorcism. In a May 1, 2010 blog post, as I covered in a recent Talk2action story, Director of 180 Men's Teen Challenge Denver Daniel Petruska suggested that demon-casting occurred daily at his center,

""Life at Teen Challenge is far from what most of us know as normal. In this podcast the Teen Challenge staff talks about what a normal day is like around the center. Listen in and get a sneak peek of everything from routine schedules, teaching topics, mentoring moments and deliverance from demon possession as the staff takes you on a six-minute tour of a day in the life of Teen Challenge.""

Petruska's post was accompanied by a podcast of an interview he did along with 180 Men's Teen Challenge Assistant Director Matt Lane, in which Lane described an exorcism at the center,

"He just started spitting up on the floor and growling, and just saying some of the craziest stuff that you've ever heard. And after several minutes of prayer he just became very calm and started to speak clearly again, and all the staff just looked at each other and knew that God had removed a demon from him."

The 180 Men's Teen Challenge Denver center is one of three supervised by Ken Summers, a member of the Colorado State legislature running in the 2010 mid-term election. During the summer of 2010, Columbine Courier reporter Emile Hallez Williams exposed the practice of "reparative therapy" at Summer's Teen Challenge centers. Advocates of "Reparative therapy" claim it can change basic sexual orientation (e.g. gay-to-straight.)

The pattern extends further: the Lansing, Michigan branch of Teen Challenge teaches something called "Cleansing Stream" as part of its educational program. Lansing is not an anomaly. Texas megachurch pastor Randy Garcia who serves on the ministry board for Teen Challenge Texas, promotes the Cleansing Stream program, as does the Missoula, Montana Christian Assembly Foursquare Church that lists Teen Challenge Montana Outreach, run by Jan Henderson, as one of its ministries.

The Foursquare Church also runs a Cleansing Stream ministry, and as the June 2010 TCM newsletter describes,

"Three staff and all the ladies just finished an eleven week course entitiled [sic] "Cleansing Stream"...Wow!  We all gained knowledge and insight on how to walk in the Spirit, overcome temptation and confusion, to speak words of life and how to commit each day to the Lord!   The ladies of Montana Outreach experienced God's freedom not only in the areas of physical and spiritual healings, but several received the baptism of the Holy Spirit!"

In September 2010, Sarah Palin headlined a fundraiser for Teen Challenge Montana.

Cleansing Stream is a now-international ministry, run by Chris Hayward and launched to prominence [see midway into linked story] from Jack Hayford's Van Nuys, CA Church on The Way, that presents a PR and advertising-friendly version of exorcism in which demon-casting is rebranded as "cleansing" and "deliverance" and the process of removing demon spirits or demonizing influences is depicted as similar to being washed by pure water from a stream or jumping into a cool mountain lake.

Jack Hayford is no minor figure in the evangelical world - he headed the International Foursquare Gospel denomination for five year during the first decade of the new millennium and gave the closing prayer at George W. Bush's inaugural prayer service in 2001. Hayford has also endorsed a theory, from his close colleague C. Peter Wagner, that the early 1990s downturn in the Japanese stock market happened because the new Emperor had intercourse with a succubus.

Along with Wagner, Hayford has played a major role in promoting the demonology-centric ideology of the Apostolic and Prophetic movement, that Wagner has helped pull together since 2001 under the banner of the New Apostolic Reformation. Cleansing Streams Ministry head Chris Hayward is an apostle in the biggest of Wagner's NAR entities, the International Coalition of Apostles.

Few Americans are even aware of the existence of Wagner's growing empire, which includes, among its apostles and prophets, notables such as the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Council (which claims to represent 16 million Hispanic born-again Christians), TheCall founder Lou Engle, who has earned a name in the American secular world campaigning against gay rights and abortion and for leading a December, 2009 "Prayercast" against health care reform, and Ed Silvoso, whose International Transformation Network has spearheaded the Christian right's effort at political takeover in Hawaii.

And as the case of Minnesota Teen Challenge would seem to suggest, there are real world consequences to the spread of Wagner's movement. As Talk2action contributor Rachel Tabachnick explains in Generational Curses, Deliverance Centers, and the Kingdom Health Care System,

"With the "Apostles and Prophets" leading the way, much of the Religious Right is becoming increasingly obsessed with a war on demons. In this worldview every obstacle from microphone static to cancer is a manifestation of an attack by the devil. The belief that America is under satanic attack can be seen in dialogue on healthcare, education, foreign policy,  and has become integrated into faith-based programming and other social services.  Time and money are being spent on holding back and expelling demons from individuals, communities, and nations."

One of the most egregious examples of exorcism-based health care has been Nancy Alcorn's Mercy Ministries. In following video, taken from a speech Nancy Alcorn gave on February 10, 2008 at the Capital Christian Center in Sacramento, California, she states,

"We deal with areas of demonic oppression. If there's demonic activity, like if somebody's opened themselves up to the spirit of lust or pornography, or through lots of promiscuous sexual activity or something like that, then we open the door to demonic power. And secular psychiatrists want to medicate things like that but Jesus did not say to medicate a demon, he said to cast them out - and that's supposed to be a part of normal Christianity."
 

Alcorn served for two years, in the early 1980s, as Director of Women for Nashville Teen Challenge, and one of Alcorn's Mercy Ministries disciples currently serves as an intern at Teen Challenge in Birmingham, Alabama.

In 2008, Alcorn's Mercy Ministries effort in Australia was the center of a scandal that erupted when her addiction recovery centers were accused of performing exorcisms, "cruel treatment", and taking government payments.  

Nancy Alcorn's blog describes (and features video from) a September 2010 mass-baptism of Mercy Ministry girls in a swimming pool at the residence of Mercy Ministries funder, real estate developer Buzz Oates.

Attending the event was TheCall founder Lou Engle, who claims homosexuals are possessed by demons and has been criticized for inciting antigay hatred in Uganda, where a bill looming before the Ugandan Parliament threatens to mandate the imprisonment or execution of Uganda's gay population.

 




Display:
For $10-million in tax dollars the government should take a look at the Minnesota Teen Challenge's books.  This sounds like a boondoggle to me.

If the federal government insists on supporting demon casting out, they should take bids.  Also, I'd want to see some quality control to ensure that we taxpayers are not paying top dollar for minor demons.  

The best solution is for the federal government to get out of the demon casting business and leave it strictly to private enterprise.  

by mayfly on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 07:38:02 PM EST

That could wind up relatively cheap on a per-demon basis.

by Bruce Wilson on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 11:02:46 PM EST
Parent

but I loved your comic relief, Mayfly! Especially leaving it to private enterprise! After all, isn't that what they preach? Biblical capitalism? Why are they taking government money, anyway?

by phatkhat on Thu Jul 14, 2011 at 01:40:25 PM EST
Parent


Back in the day, it was strictly LSD in my little circle. None of us ended up smoking pretend joints in our 30's, either.

by nogodsnomasters on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 08:06:25 PM EST
...I'm half suspicious Barthrop said this intentionally.

by Bruce Wilson on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 06:47:34 AM EST
Parent
from his description. Also - any idea if or how this place might connect with Backmann's own home church? Or Marcus' business (e.g. outsourcing exorcisms for reparative therapy)?

by Uncle Glenny on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 11:39:21 PM EST
Parent



The ladies of Montana Outreach experienced God's freedom not only in the areas of physical and spiritual healings, but several received the baptism of the Holy Spirit!tapetes personalizados

by antichero on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 12:09:46 PM EST

Mercy Ministry girls in a swimming pool at the residence of Mercy Ministries funder, real estate developer Buzz Oates. smarsh

by antichero on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 04:29:15 PM EST

It's nearly impossible to find educated people in this particular topic, however, you seem like you know what you're talking about! Thanksbest HCG drops


by volf698 on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 06:09:23 AM EST

North American Christians believe demons may be at the root of apparently natural maladies or temptations.cartuchos compatibles


by volf698 on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 07:23:42 AM EST

Teen Challenge, and one of Alcorn's Mercy Ministries disciples currently serves as an intern at Teen Challenge in Birmingham, Alabama. smarsh.com


by jacus on Fri Jul 27, 2012 at 05:19:40 AM EST

I was told I was the worst case they had ever seen in Minnesota Teen Challenge history..louis vuitton bags


by mike12 on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 11:02:54 AM EST

This is really a fascinating blog, lots of stuff that I can get into. One thing I just want to say is that your design is so perfect!louis vuitton handbags


by mike12 on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 01:01:12 AM EST

Text-heavy pages are hard to read and are visually unappealing. No matter how compelling the messages, you can't engage employees if they don't read them. Sotopes de hule


by mike12 on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 05:46:25 PM EST

Similarly, soliciting personal email addresses from employees who don't have a company email gives you a way to reach these employees electronically. tapetes para entrada


by mike12 on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 05:06:54 PM EST

Time and money are being spent on holding back and expelling demons from individuals, communities, and nations."conos viales


by chineseboy on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 06:11:59 AM EST

Time and money are being spent on holding back and expelling demons from individuals, communities, and nations."conos viales


by chineseboy on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 06:12:01 AM EST

Ministries disciples currently serves as an intern at Teen Challenge in Birmingham, Alabama.tapetes para yoga


by nilky698 on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 04:09:40 AM EST


WWW Talk To Action


The Theocratic Politics of Raphael Cruz
"There's a relationship there that's unlike any in American history to my knowledge. We've just never seen anything remotely like this...   I believe......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
An Assassin's Motivation?
On June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof quietly sat in the prayer meeting at African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina before he shot......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
Christian Right Turns to Nullification to Counter Marriage Equality
Last year in The Public Eye magazine, Rachel Tabachnick and Frank L. Cocozzelli warned of the trend on the religious and political Right toward......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Historian Gerald Horne on Charleston, Church, & Slave Resistance
Professor Gerald Horne of the University of Houston notes the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church was at the center of Black resistance to slavery......
By Chip Berlet (2 comments)
The Zealots Strike Back: Latest Religious Right Sputtering Over Marriage Equality Is More Weak Tea
I've been monitoring the Religious Right's response to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on marriage equality, and I'm not impressed.So far, the reaction of......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Is Koch Brothers Money Fueling Criticism of Pope Francis on Climate Change?
In my last post I examined conservative criticism of Laudato Sii, ("Praised Be"), Pope Francis's encyclical on the environment and poverty. Indeed, some of......
By Frank Cocozzelli (3 comments)
Politics in Theocratic Times
The matter of religious exemptions from civil rights and labor laws is at the cutting edge of the contemporary political strategy of the Christian......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Why Is the Christian Right Remaining Silent About the Dennis Hastert Affair?
In early June, the Associated Press' Mary Clare Jalonick reported that a Montana woman interviewed by the FBI claimed that "her brother was sexually......
By Bill Berkowitz (1 comment)
Remembering James Dunn: Baptist Champion Of Religious Freedom
When I began working for Americans United in 1987, one thing confused me: Why were there so many Southern Baptists hanging around?Southern Baptists were......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Resistance Is Futile: Some County Clerks Say `I Won't' To Marriage Equality
One week ago, the U.S. Supreme Court extended marriage equality nationwide. So where are we now?To no one's surprise, leaders of the Religious Right......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
Celebrating July 4th
A decade or so ago I was vacationing in Hot Springs,  Arkansas.  It was July 4th and I attended the First Baptist Church in......
By wilkyjr (1 comment)
Nine Mainline Protestant Christian Martyrs
This is a tricky time for the Christian Right. Immediately following the mass murder at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in......
By Frederick Clarkson (4 comments)
Terms, Definitions & Glossaries for Writing about the Religious Right
One of the challenges in writing about the Religious Right and what to do about it is the matter of terms and definitions. That's......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Top Southern Baptist Official Admits Churches Won't Be Forced To Marry Same-Sex Couples
For years now, Religious Right leaders have been whipping up hysteria by claiming that, should marriage equality become the law of the land, conservative......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
The Pope, Climate Change and the Catholic Right.
The conservative criticism of Laudato Sii, ("Praised Be"), Pope Francis's encyclical on the environment and poverty that began even before its release, has now......
By Frank Cocozzelli (4 comments)

Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (1 comment)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (2 comments)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (0 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (0 comments)
Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (11 comments)
Ted Cruz Anointed By Pastor Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage, and Constitution Based on the Bible
In the video below, from a July 19-20th, 2013 pastor's rally at a Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by religious right leader David Barton, who claims......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Galt and God: Ayn Randians and Christian Rightists Expand Ties
Ayn Rand's followers find themselves sharing a lot of common ground with the Christian Right these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on righteous liberty and a robust form of capitalism, has been......
JSanford (4 comments)
Witchhunts in Africa and the U.S.A.
Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe has recently written at least two blog posts about how some African Pentecostal churches are sending missionaries to Europe and the U.S.A. in an attempt to "re-evangelize the......
Diane Vera (2 comments)
Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (0 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (0 comments)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (5 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (6 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (4 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (5 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.