Ron Luce

Warrant Out For His Arrest, Ron Luce Appears On 'Praise The Lord'

Having a warrant out for his arrest isn’t stopping Ron Luce, the founder of Teen Mania Ministries, from going on a national TV. Last week, Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) hosted Luce on its flagship televangelist broadcast, “Praise the Lord,” where Luce, unsurprisingly, didn’t face any questions about a financial scandal surrounding his ministry.

Teen Mania has close ties to right-wing groups and politicians — including receiving an enthusiastic endorsement from Rick Santorum — who are desperate to find young people to campaign against supposed evils like gay marriage, despite accusations that the group employs cult-like practices.

A Colorado court issued a warrant for Luce’s arrest after he failed to appear for a breach of contract lawsuit, which he said he did on the advice of his lawyers.

“They’re now at a point where they can’t pay back people,” according to one of the group’s former directors. “People are being suckered.”

Luce is facing lawsuits outside of Colorado as well, WORLD Magazine reports:

Individuals and churches continue to report paying for events that end up being canceled and not receiving refunds. Some say they were offered a small percentage of the amount owed but returned it because they didn’t receive assurance that the rest would come later.

“I’m angry because they are continuing to hurt others,” said Pennsylvania resident Jolie Roth. “They are continuing to steal and lie from fellow Christians ‘in the name of Jesus.’”

Today, Charity Navigator ranks Teen Mania as the nation’s fifth-most insolvent charity, with a net worth of negative–$5.2 million.

Last year, after Teen Mania’s 472-acre property went into foreclosure, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability revoked its membership. ECFA president Dan Busby declined to comment on Teen Mania’s current situation but noted ministries in decline often miss the window of opportunity to merge with another ministry: “As a result, the ministry ends up in a free fall.”

Remembering Rick Santorum's Ties to Ron Luce of Cult-Like Group 'Teen Mania'

With Rick Santorum emerging as a leader in the Republican race for president, his bona fides as a Religious Right leader are unquestionable (save for some members of the Ron Paul campaign). But Rick Santorum isn’t just close to traditional Religious Right organizations and activists: the former Pennsylvania senator also has ties to even the most fringe parts of the movement.

Santorum, for example, is a supporter of Ron Luce’s Teen Mania. Santorum even penned an endorsement for Luce’s book, Battle Cry for a Generation:

As a parent of six children, I am very cognizant of the impact of media and entertainment on our kids. In Battle Cry for a Generation, Ron Luce takes the first important step: educating and equipping parents like me. It’s our job to take the next step, parenting our children and helping them navigate the culturally hostile world that they and their peers live in twenty-four hours a day.

Luce focuses on challenging a youth-culture which he claims promotes sexual promiscuity, secularism and homosexuality, listing in his book: “Morally corrupt films and television programs; An increasingly perverted music industry; The pornographic invasion of the internet; Civil initiatives promoting gay marriage; Battles to remove the Ten Commandments from public buildings, and fights to take ‘under God’ out of the Pledge of Allegiance.”

Luce’s organization Teen Mania, which hosts teen-orientated prayer rallies, was recently featured in an MSNBC documentary Mind Over Mania where former interns at his organization shared their experience and described Teen Mania’s cult-like practices. Teenagers who went to Teen Mania’s Honor Academy work as telemarketers for Luce, crawl through mud as part of the academy’s extreme boot camp projects, undergo sleep deprivation, endure verbal abuse, are refused medical treatment in favor of ‘faith healings,’ and participate in exercises such as eating “vomit-inducing foods before repeatedly rolling down the hill” on the campus, and being driven away from campus and told to walk back to campus while carrying a large cross. Many people who left Honor Academy now share their stories on the blog Recovering Alumni to discuss the physical and emotional abuse and severe anxieties that resulted from Luce’s group.


Mostly concentrating on recruiting young people to work for his Honor Academy, Luce also is involved in anti-gay activism, including speaking at a rally to promote Proposition 8 in California. While Rick Santorum’s close ties to the traditional Religious Right are well-established, his support for fringe and cult-like groups such as Teen Mania should continue to surface as his presidential campaign gains even more traction.

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