After each of the previous media stories done on Teen Mania, we’ve seen them lie both to the reporters and to the public at large. So it was no surprise that it happened again with the most recent story from the Fox Los Angeles story.
This time, the lies come courtesy of Teen Mania’s Communication Consultant, Cindy Brown Mallette. (This isn’t the first time Cindy has lied.) She made a very lengthy – and quite damning – comment on the FOX LA website. You can read the whole thing here. For this post, I’d like to one specific paragraph.
Regarding the ESOAL/PEARL event, Cindy said:
Gina also said that the interns who participate in PEARL are “pushing their bodies to the limit, all in the name of Jesus.” That is not true – Dave Hasz told Dan at least three times during the interview (because Dan repeatedly asked the question, to clarify) that Pearl is not designed to be a religious experience, but a team-building and endurance-building event. Obviously, since we are a Christian organization, we encourage the interns to look to Christ for strength to get through the event. But to say interns are doing this “in the name of Jesus” is a gross exaggeration and, again, extremely misleading.
So Teen Mania’s new PR line is that ESOAL/PEARL is NOT a religious experience and that doing it in the name of Jesus is a “gross exaggeration and misleading.”
Any former intern knows this is baloney. Please take a moment to pick your jaw up off the floor and/or laugh yourself silly at the absurdity of it.
Done? Ok, let’s move on.
For those of you who haven’t been interns, allow me to show you the evidence. This was compiled by watching the Honor Academy’s youtube channel for about 5 minutes and looking at the Honor Academy’s own website. Believe me, it didn’t take much…
First, according to the Honor Academy’s OWN website, the PEARL is designed to be a religious experience. The press release announcing the name change to PEARL includes a testimony that states:
“During ESOAL, I learned what it meant to not rely on circumstances and situations for comfort, but on God alone. I experienced the joy that Christ gives you when you encourage others through teamwork.”
Sounds like a religious experience to me!
In addition, on the ESOAL Testimonies page, there are descriptions of religious experiences:
I had a closed vision in which I saw myself through the eyes of heaven. It showed me how God has put special thought into everything about my life: how He created my needs and desires so that I would be dependent on Him.
I was stretched by God to not take any supplements for my health at the very start of ESOAL. Nervous, because of a weak immune system, I still chose to trust Him and to rely on His strength because I knew that I had clearly heard His voice in this challenge.
Lastly, on the page “What Inspires the Honor Academy interns during the PEARL?” there is a list of verses and the HA Hymn – a hymn of devotion and surrender.
Are you still with me? Good.
Now let’s take a look at the videos from THIS YEAR’S PEARL event. These are made BY Teen Mania to show the public what PEARL is and as a means of marketing to future interns. The content of these videos is completely controlled by Teen Mania – so you are seeing only what they want you to see.
And, as you’ll find with almost any random sampling of videos – PEARL is VERY much designed to be a religious experience and it is advertised as such – contrary to what Teen Mania’s Spokesperson said.
1:05 – This is definitely the Lord’s strength taking me through this. I’ve hit BAR like 5 times.
BAR is the sketchy theological underpinnings of ESOAL which stands for “Burial and Resurrection.” Read more here.
Heath asks this group of interns how they would explain Pearl to people watching at home…
1:50 – It really stretches you spiritually…you have to have faith in the Lord…rely on Him for strength. (paraphrase)
1:00 – Thats what this whole thing is about…the Biblical truth of selflessness…learning what Jesus meant when he said the greatest among you will be a servant of all….there’s Bible everywhere and its solid Biblical truth. (paraphrase)
1:40 – Dave Neal tells the interns that God has put the specific people in their PEARL groups for His purposes.
So to recap:
There is a worship service, they memorize Bible verses, there is “Bible everywhere,” and God chooses who will be in your PEARL group, and you can reach burial of your flesh and resurrection of your spirit, and there is lots of group prayer and it stretches you spiritually….BUT ITS NOT DESIGNED TO BE A RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE!
Like night follows the day, Teen Mania scrambles and lies after every media expose. How they can continue to claim integrity and honor is simply beyond me.