Several weeks ago, I sent the Board of Directors a list detailing my concerns about the Honor Academy. I will be satisfied when everything on the list is adequately addressed. I’ve reprinted the majority of that list here. Is there anything you would add?
1) How does the Honor Academy stack up to the ten traits of spiritually abusive environments as laid out in the book Churches that Abuse?
a. control-oriented leadership
b. spiritual elitism
c. manipulation of members
d. perceived persecution
e. lifestyle rigidity
f. emphasis on experience
g. suppression of dissent
h. harsh discipline of members
i. denunciation of other churches
j. painful exit process
2) How many former interns have experienced the traits of spiritually abused people as outlined in the books, Recovering from Churches that Abuse and Soul Repair?
a. surrendering personal autonomy to an authoritarian group or pastor-leader
b. the loss of identity and self-worth that accompanies that submission
c. the temporary and sometimes sustained spiritual paralysis
d. the recurrent nightmares and flashbacks
e. the relational disruptions and the fear and confusion caused by a performance-based faith
f. lack of joy in the Christian life
g. tiredness from trying hard to measure up
h. disillusionment about God and spiritual things
i. uneasiness, lack of trust, or even fear of those who care about “God” things, even legitimately
j. a profound sense of missing your best Friend
l. believe that God does not love and accept them as they are
m. feel a great sense of shame and condemnation
3)How does the Honor Academy stack up against the classic signs of a cult as listed on the blog and/or as recognized by psychologists/sociologists?
Health & Safety
1) How are the standards and expectations for corporate exercise determined?
2) How are the standards and expectations for corporate exercise administered?
3) Are the standards and expectations for corporate exercise reasonable?
4) Are the routine “interrogations” and “persecutions” administered during various LTEs and other activities (World Awareness, Core Group Meetings, etc) safe and supervised by medically knowledgeable people?
5) Is the general attitude that “physical injuries/suffering = spiritual maturity” a sound theological and medical proposition?
6) What kind of access do interns have to medical care? (Especially those without their own vehicle.)
7) Are dorm directors and core advisors adequately trained to respond to medical issues?
1)Is ESOAL physically safe?
b. Denial of Sleep
c. Nutrition Provided
d. Exposure to the elements (hypothermia)
e. Physical demands and safety of course
f. Access to medical care and/or sound medical advice during the event
2) Is ESOAL mentally safe? How does it stack up against classic brainwashing techniques?
a. Verbal Abuse
b. Sleep Deprivation
d. Restricted Diet
e. Excessive exact repetition of routine activities
f. Dehumanizing of individuals by keeping them in filth
g. Assault on identity
j. Breaking point
k. Compulsion to confess
l. Chanting and repetitive Music
3) Is ESOAL spiritually safe? What (if any) basis is there in Scripture for ESOAL?