As many of you know, back in January, I contacted the Board of Directors by certified letter. In about 20 pages, I outlined the major abuses going on at the Honor Academy, including quotes from many of you. To my surprise, they actually responded to me and solicited stories from you in an attempt to understand what was going on at the Honor Academy. The Board of Directors appointed Mark Lewandowski as their liaison between us and we had several conversations together. Through those conversations, I grew to trust Mark and because of that, the Board’s final decision to whitewash everything was especially surprising and painful. I felt betrayed and I know many of you did, as well. In truth, my last communication with Mark (by email) was so hurtful that I did not know how to respond. Now that some time has passed and the sting has lessened, I feel it is my duty to expose exactly how the Board of Directors and Mark Lewandowski lied to our community. Because I want to give a totally accurate depiction of events, this will be covered in 2 separate posts.
This call was recorded on April 30th, 2010. The subject of this conversation was the Board of Directors meeting where they read all your stories and discussed what to do about the abuses going on at the Honor Academy. After listening to it, or reading the highlights below, you can see why I was so hopeful. (I would really encourage you to listen to the recording, because I think it gets across a tone you won’t get just by reading the excerpts.) As you will see, nearly everything he told me turned out to be a lie.
(Note: both federal law and laws in the state of Texas and Oklahoma permit recording a telephone conversation with one party consent, so this is entirely legal.)
@00:10 Mark – I had really good, long, deep conversation with the Board members. And the decision is that we didn’t get into this situation overnight so we’re not going to try to rush to get out of this situation. Let’s take our time and really vet out these statements that people have made about certain items. I’ve got a list of 7 critical items.
@00:55 – The next step is to have a meeting and really delve into what’s really going on, what resolutions really have occurred in the past, not just what has been said has been done or resolved but what’s really going on. So that’s where we are.
@1:15 – We are going in there, we are going to meet with people at the top, at the middle, at the bottom. We are going to talk to other alum who have not ever come out, see what other people think too and really get to the bottom of these things. So I feel very confident that there is going to be real, detailed discovery and that is much better than a cursory, “Hey we looked into this and everything is going great, we’ve taken care of it, have a good day.
@1:55 RA – Who is going to be doing those interviews?
…Board members and outside experts.
@3:03 RA: Can you tell me what areas of expertise you are looking to get people from?
Mark: Yeah, we’ve been wanting to use for sure a clinical counselor or clinical psychologist; someone from fitness like a medical professional …people with deep, solid theological experience…..a physician that will be able to speak to the fitness complaints….trying to find the right people to help us assess the situation from a clinical, counseling, physical, spiritual and not just use the Board and not just use inside experts from Teen Mania.
@4:15 RA: After these people are assembled, do you feel like you guys will disclose who was on that panel?
Mark: I think they are very excited about disclosing that…. They are wanting to reach out to well known, qualified experts. And that would be the Chairman’s responsibility to disclose that, not mine.
@ 5:50- I was just talking with the chairman…and he takes this very, very seriously. It’s really nice to be on ?? with people who take this as seriously as I do and not have anybody whitewashing this or sticking their heads in the sand.
@8:00 – I would say that probably the 3-4 most active and influential board members are very serious about this and will not allow this to get pushed under the rug….If it were anything less than that I would feel horribly disappointed.
@8:20 – We are not going to do a cursory look, we are going to really dig. We owe it to the new students and the future students.
@11:25 – I am really genuine and I have told you the truth about everything.
@ 13:05 – They won’t put an official statement out without talking to me first, because I did all the research. There’s no way.
@13:20 – They aren’t ready to make a cursory statement that says, “Hey, we’re all done!” Because we’re not. The process of this is going to be a big deal.