This Sunday night at 10pm/9pm Central MSNBC will air the premiere of their new show, “Mind Over Mania” which documents the lives and struggles of Honor Academy survivors. Earlier this year, cameras followed myself and several other alumni as we attended a weekend cult recovery workshop led by Doug and Wendy Duncan. The Duncans are experts in cult recovery and are former cult members themselves. I was acquainted with Doug and Wendy prior to this weekend workshop and had discussed my recovery with them in bits and pieces but they really didn’t know that much about Teen Mania.
Until completing this workshop, I never felt comfortable calling Teen Mania a cult – instead preferring the term “cult-like.” I couldn’t bring myself to use that very explosive and loaded label. However, after going through the entire weekend and discussing every aspect of what makes a cult – I changed my mind and I think the other participants did as well. As we discussed Robert Lifton’s 8 criteria for mind control, it was startling to see that Teen Mania’s Honor Academy actually had every single one in spades.
I haven’t been privy to any of the footage from this show, including the final edit. I can only hope that its a fair representation of what Honor Academy interns have gone through during their struggle to recover from the abuse at Teen Mania. Of course, there is no way a one hour program can cover everything but I hope its a good introduction to the dangers of the Honor Academy. I do know that Teen Mania senior leadership was also interviewed for the show and that the crew spent several hours on campus.
At this time, MSNBC does not have plans to air the show online so please set your DVRs accordingly.