Medical Whistleblower Advocacy Network

Human Rights Defenders

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

 Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 1



"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

Edmund Burke 1729 - 1797, Irish orator, philosopher, & politician

Financial Support by Charitable Choice Preferentially Given to Political Ally Chuck Colson

 Charles "Chuck" Wendell Colson is a Christian leader, cultural commentator, and former Special Counsel for President Richard Nixon from 1969 to 1973. Chuck Colson was named as one of the Watergate Seven and pled guilty to obstruction of justice for attempting to defame Pentagon Papers defendant Daniel Ellsberg. Charles “Chuck” Colson was known as a man valuable to President Nixon because he was willing to be ruthless in getting things done according to David Plotz in a Slate March 10, 2000 article called " Charles Colson - How a Watergate crook became America's greatest Christian conservative"

On March 1, 1974, former aides to the president, known as the "Watergate Seven" — Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell, Charles Colson, Gordon C. Strachan, Robert Mardian and Kenneth Parkinson — were indicted for conspiring to hinder the Watergate investigation. The grand jury also secretly named Nixon as an unindicted co-conspirator. John Dean, Jeb Stuart Magruder, and other figures had already pleaded guilty. On April 5, 1974, former Nixon appointments secretary Dwight Chapin was convicted of lying to the grand jury. Two days later, the Watergate grand jury indicted Ed Reinecke, Republican lieutenant governor of California, on three charges of perjury before the Senate committee. 

Nixon's position was becoming increasingly precarious, and the House of Representatives began formal investigations into the possible impeachment of the president. The House Judiciary Committee voted 27 to 11 on July 27, 1974 to recommend the first article of impeachment against the president: obstruction of justice. The second (abuse of power) and third (contempt of Congress) articles were passed on July 29, 1974 and July 30, 1974, respectively.

Chuck Colson was known as Nixon's "hatchet man". Colson was described by some of his colleagues as "evil genius" in the Nixon administration. Many can still remember that it was Chuck Colson who was willing to resort to domestic terrorism and who discussed possible firebombing the Brookings Institution. In 1974, Attorney Chuck Colson entered a plea of guilty to Watergate-related charges. Colson was the first member of the Nixon administration to be incarcerated for Watergate-related charges. Chuck Colson plead guilty to obstruction of justice in the Daniel Ellsberg case. Although he was given a one-to-three year sentence, Colson only served seven months at Alabama's Maxwell Prison. Colson was then a convicted felon with no right to vote but he received a pardon from Florida Governor Jeb Bush so he could again vote, once again practice law or serve on a jury. These were rights Colson had lost when he became a convicted felon. Charles Colson was converted to a born-again Christian while in prison. President George W. Bush was supporting his “faith-based” prison fellowship ministries program and promoting it in the Texas penal system.

Watergate-convict-turned-Christian evangelist converted to Christianity in 1973. Chuck Colson had a Jails for Jesus solution which was touted as a cheap fundamentalist Christian alternative to clinical programs for prisoners. Colson began working with a non-profit organization devoted to prison ministry which was called the Prison Fellowship. Through a radio broadcast called BreakPoint Colson promoted this prison program. Upon being released from prison, Chuck Colson's Innerchange worked with the new Faith-based and Community Initiatives program. These programs already exist in Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas and Texas.


“Ethics” is derived from the Greek term ethos, which refers to character and conduct.”

"Because of the diverse conditions of humans, it happens that some acts are virtuous to some people, as appropriate and suitable to them, while the same acts are immoral for others, as inappropriate to them. "
Thomas Aquinas 

Freedom of Religion - The First Amendment

Prior to the George W. Bush administration, social welfare programs were administered through mainline religious denominations and their agencies, such as Catholic Charities and Lutheran Social Services. These agencies were scrupulous about avoiding religious discrimination in hiring or the clients they served – they  also maintained a bright line that kept federal funding separate from church related financial funds.  Bush White House officials re-directed social welfare funds to local religious congregations and inexperienced faith based agencies, many of which were unconcerned about inclusive policies and ill-equipped to respond to the problems people faced.

Freedom of Religion and Belief is a Fundamental Human Right

Freedom of religion is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance; the concept is generally recognized also to include the freedom to change religion or not to follow any religion. The freedom to leave or discontinue membership in a religion or religious group —in religious terms called "apostasy" —is also a fundamental part of religious freedom.  Freedom of religion is considered by many people and nations to be a fundamental human right.  It is enshrined in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Freedom of religion and belief is a fundamental human right protected by a number of international treaties and declarations, including article 18(1) of the  International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). This right encompasses freedom of thought on all matters and the freedom to manifest religion and belief individually or with others, in public or in private.

The right to freedom of religion is supported by the right to non-discrimination on the grounds of religion, contained in article 26 of the ICCPR.

International human rights law also protects people against the promotion of religious hatred which amounts to incitement of discrimination, hostility or violence (ICCPR, article 20).


Top Ten Largest Religious Bodies in the United States 



Religious Body




Catholic Church




Southern Baptist Convention




United Methodist Church




Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints




Evangelical Lutheran Church in America




Church of God in Christ




Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)




National Baptist Convention of America




Assemblies of God




Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod




Of the approximate 2 billion Christians in the world today, 648 million (11% of the world's population) are Evangelicals or Bible believing Christians. Evangelicals have grown from only 3 million in AD 1500, to 648 million worldwide, with 54% being Non-Whites.  Today in America, about 75% of adults identify themselves as Christian. In comparison, the next largest religions in America are Islam and Judaism. Combined they represent only about one to two percent of the United States population.   However, there are more than 1500 different Christian faith groups in America.  There are 224,457,000 (85%) of the US population are Christian.he

The Roman Catholic Church denomination is the largest Christian group in the world today with more than a billion followers constituting about half of the world's Christian population.   Approximately 225 million people worldwide are Orthodox Christians.  There are approximately 500 million Protestants in the world.

About 12.6% of the US population is Fundamentalist Christian.  Fundamentalist Christian groups do not agree with the restrictions placed on religious proselytization by the First Amendment of the Constitution. 

Teen Challenge is run by the Assemblies of God Church and maintains prison chaplains as well as in prison programs.  Teen Challenge is a Fundamentalist Christian organization.

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution:

Freedom of Religion

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Thomas Jefferson said (1807) "among the inestimable of our blessings, also, is that ...of liberty to worship our Creator in the way we think most agreeable to His will; ..." 

Showing respect for and honoring the First Amendment of the United States Constitution entails:

Government agencies and federally funded organizations may not advance any religion or religious philosophy over any other religion or religious philosophy.

No person may be compelled in any way to conform to a particular religion or religious philosophy.

No person may be compelled in any way to witness or engage in any religious exercise.

No person may be compelled to curtail the free exercise of their religious practices or beliefs.

All are entitled to the same Constitutional rights pertaining to religious freedoms and the free exercise of those freedoms.

No person may be compelled to endure unwanted religious proselytization, evangelization or persuasion in a federally funded program or agency.

The full exercise of religious freedom includes the right not to subscribe to any particular religion or religious philosophy. The so-called “unchurched” cede no Constitutional rights by want of their separation from organized faith.

It is responsibility of those that administer federally funded services to ensure that the free exercise of religious freedoms of all are respected and served.

All have the right to employ appropriate judicial means to protect their religious rights.

"How is it they live in such harmony the billions of stars – when most men can barely go a minute without declaring war in their minds about someone they know."

St. Thomas Aquinas

"It was not by accident or coincidence that the rights to 
freedom in speech and press were coupled in a single guaranty
 with the rights of the people peaceably to assemble and 
to petition for redress of grievances. All these, though 
not identical, are inseparable.
They are cognate rights, and therefore
are united in the first Article's assurance."
Judge Wiley B. Rutledge
[Wiley Blount Rutledge] U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Source: Thomas v. Collins, 1944

"And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."

George Washington 1732-1799, the first President of the United States in his 'Farewell Address' (1796)

InnerChange Freedom Initiative IFI

InnerChange Freedom Initiative (IFI) is a publicly supported,  pervasively religious program that was established in Texas, Minnesota,  Kansas and Iowa. The contractual and monetary relationship between  Prison Fellowship, InnerChange, and the Department of Corrections(DOC)  developed over a number of years.  The Texas Department of Criminal  Justice support from the 77th Texas Legislature of $1.5 million (FY  2002-2003) was the first allocation of state funds given to the  InnerChange program. Since the initial IFI program began in Texas, IFI  has started two additional prison programs in the United States. In  October of 1999, a second program was opened in Iowa, which has the  potential to serve 192 inmates. In January 2000, the third IFI program  began operation in Kansas with a capacity of 158 inmates.  But  constitutional questions regarding separation of church and state were  raised at the level of the Eighth Circuit US Court of Appeals.  In March  2008 the InnerChange Fellowship Initiative in the Iowa prison system  was terminated by the State of Iowa.
 The InnerChange program in Iowa’s Newton Correctional Facility was a  program where inmates participated in  "24-hour per day Christ-centered  Bible-based programming" conducted by IFI employees,  and were required  by policy to be Christian. In 1997, the new Newton facility faced  budgetary restraints, overcrowding, and lack of appropriate programs. In  1998, Iowa’s General Services Department publicly issued a request for  proposals to establish a non-compensated, values-based, pre-release  program at Newton. Prison Fellowship and InnerChange, jointly, submitted  the only proposal but they sought public state funding to pay part of  the expenses of the program.
 The Department of Corrections in March 1999 did contract with Prison  Fellowship and InnerChange for program services (September 1999 to June  2002), with  public tax payer money going for reimbursement for  non-religious costs and expenses. Prisoners in IFI were housed in a  separate prison unit. In the first year of the contract, the DOC paid  InnerChange $229,950, with all the money coming from the Inmate  Telephone Rebate Fund which is designated for discretionary use for the  benefit of inmates. The second year InnerChange received from the  Department of Corrections $191,625 from the same fund.  In 2002, the  General Services Department accepted the InnerChange proposal for a  pre-release program at Newton under a renewable one year contract from  July 2002 to June 2005 which was to provide state funding only for the  non-religious parts of the program. The DOC paid InnerChange $191,625  from the Telephone Rebate Fund. The Iowa legislature appropriated  $172,591 from the Healthy Iowans Tobacco Trust to the DOC “for a  values-based treatment program at the Newton correctional facility.”  This appropriation was used to expand the InnerChange program to the  Release Center at Newton (a minimum-security facility one mile from the  main facility). The payment from the Trust to the DOC for InnerChange  was $276,909. In the third year, 2004 to 2005, the contract was changed  to a per diem payment of $3.47 for each inmate participating in the  program. The legislature again appropriated $310,000, with actual  payment to InnerChange of $236,532.55.
 In 2005 the DOC accepted InnerChange’s proposal for a pre-release  substance abuse treatment program. In the contract’s first and second  years, July 2005 to June 2007, the Iowa legislature appropriated  $310,000 each year. But there never was a clear distinction in the  billing to the taxpayers regarding religious and non-religious  expenditures.  Until July 2007, the DOC’s funding accounted for 30 to 40  percent of InnerChange’s operating costs.
 There were concerns from even the first 1999 contract whether there was a  clear definition of what was religious and what was not. Salaries and  benefits for InnerChange’s personnel were paid by the DOC on a  percentage basis. The state paid 82% of the Local Director’s salary; 9%  for the Program Manager; 93% for the Aftercare Manager; 77% for the  Office Administrator; and 16% for each of four Biblical Counselors (also  called Case Workers).  All land and cell phone costs were billed to the  DOC.  InnerChange’s postal meter and thermal tape were billed to the  state without detailed accounting. The DOC paid for InnerChange’s  computer hardware, software, repair, and internet account. The DOC also  paid for InnerChange’s letterhead, envelopes, printer and copier toner,  paper, blank videotapes, and standard office supplies. Each month, every  photocopy up to 40,000 was charged to the DOC. Copies over 40,000 were  designated as religious (although the record does not reflect how many  total copies were made each month).  Building M – a modular building  housing InnerChange’s offices and classrooms – was constructed in 2000.  By the lease-purchase contract, the Telephone Fund paid $294,017 for  Building M.  When the DOC reimbursed InnerChange for costs or paid the  per diem amount, the money was deposited in InnerChange’s bank account.  From that account, InnerChange periodically transferred funds to Prison  Fellowship’s general accounts, to cover program operating expenses.  These general accounts also contain funds from private sources.  This  mixing of public tax payer money with private funds (non-profit  charities) makes it difficult if not impossible to ascertain that the  money was used for secular purposes only and not for exclusively  religious purposes.  In addition some of the charity funds these monies  were mixed with had been potentially implicated in certain kinds of  affinity fraud and other types of fraud. Money was moved around from  account to account with little accounting transparency to the state  government as to who actually got the money eventually.  In addition the  portion of InnerChange expenses which was paid by the Prison Fellowship  came from these co-mingled funds with other NGO charities.  
 A law suit was filed against the Prison Fellowship Ministries at the  U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in the case of Americans  United for the Separation of Church and State v. Prison Fellowship  Ministries.  On June 2, 2006, the district court held that the IFI  program violated the Establishment Clause, expelled the program from the  prison, and directed IFI to repay the Department of Corrections the  $1.5 million that it had been paid by the State. Defendants appealed to  the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in June 2006. Senior  Litigation Counsel Alex J. Luchenitser argued the appeal in February  2007 before a panel that included former U.S. Supreme Court Justice  Sandra Day O’Connor. In December 2007, the Eighth Circuit largely upheld  the district court’s decision. The court held that Iowa’s involvement  with IFI violated the Establishment Clause by supporting the  indoctrination of inmates and IFI’s discrimination against non-Christian  inmates.
 Ronald A. Lindsay, Esq. of the COUNCIL FOR SECULAR HUMANISM and CENTER  FOR INQUIRY stated in their brief "No court has ever endorsed  government-funded religious indoctrination, and, as indicated,  InnerChange was well aware that their government-funded activities very  likely violated the Establishment Clause. Nonetheless, in their zeal to  spread their religious message, InnerChange and PFM made a calculated  decision to disregard the restrictions of the Establishment Clause in  implementing their program. To state that freedom of conscience is a  core value under the Constitution would be an understatement. Religious  liberty is one of our fundamental freedoms, and it cannot be denied that  it advances public policy to preserve religious liberty and to prevent  the government from allowing its resources to be used for religious  indoctrination.  InnerChange and the Iowa DOC deliberately have refused  to adhere to recognized limits on government funding of sectarian  activity. Furthermore, their blatant disregard for constitutional limits  on funding of activities of religious organizations is confirmed not  only by the negligible, inadequate effort made to limit funding to  secular activities, but by the design of the program itself."  Judge  Robert Pratt of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of  Iowa agreed with the plaintiff, Americans United for the Separation of  Church and State, that the faith-based prison program is  unconstitutional and ordered the program shut down.  Americans United had won the case at the district level and on appeal.

Kristine Holmgren, formerly a Presbyterian chaplain at Minnesota Correctional Facility-Shakopee,  says she was fired in 2006 after she told her superiors that she had concerns about the InnerChange program. Holmgren charged that the program, which is sponsored by Charles W. Colson’s Prison Fellowship, amounted to “establishment and preferential treatment of a religious group over other religious groups.” Holmgren also said that the prisons’ programs lacked religious diversity and were mainly evangelical Christian in character. Holmgren had complained that the program “engaged in humiliation tactics – they were offensive, they singled out minorities and unmarried women, harassed lesbians and praised the superiority of men.”  But although she won her case and will receive a cash settlement of $250,000, but the program she criticized – the InnerChange Freedom Initiative – will continue to operate at prisons in Minnesota but will not be publicly funded.  A prison in Lino Lakes had received some tax funding for InnerChange but that funding was discontinued in 2007.  This is not a Christian-Jewish issue, and it's also not a political spectrum, left or right issue, it's a Constitutional right and wrong issue.
 Although the Prison Fellowship InnerChange claims the program reduces  recidivism. Some point to a study  that compared “graduates” of the  InnerChange program with nonparticipants. One cannot be a graduate of  InnerChange unless one remains in the program following release from  prison, obtains a job, and avoids being reimprisoned for at least six  consecutive months. The cited study does not focus on the numerous  participants who never graduated. If one looks at all the InnerChange  program participants (both graduates and nongraduates), then the  “InnerChange participants did somewhat worse than the controls: They  were slightly more likely to be rearrested and noticeably more likely  (24 percent versus 20 percent) to be reimprisoned.” Mark A. R. Kleinman,  Faith-Based Fudging:How a Bush-Promoted Christian Prison Program Fakes  Success by Massaging Data, Slate (Aug. 5, 2003), available at:
 Prison Fellowship works through Teen Challenge to provide housing and  jobs for recently released prisoners. There are co-mingled funds between  these programs.  In addition Teen Challenge gets TNAF federal food  assistance and also re-entry prisoners get federal funds which support  their employment at Teen Challenge. Re-entry prisoners paychecks are  handed over to the Teen Challenge staff as well as all state food  assistance.  In addition a mandatory church tithe is extracted as well as  rent from the ex-prisoners federally subsidized paycheck.  Historically  some Teen Challenge facilities have up to 80% of their funding from  federal sources like TNAF.  Thus the amount of real non-federal or state  sources money that goes into a program like Teen Challenge's Prison  Fellowship aftercare program or IFI is difficult to compute due to the  lack of accounting procedures to identify and properly source funds.

"Price is what you pay. Value is what you get."

Warren Buffett 1930-, American Investment Entrepreneur


"Earnings can be pliable as putty when a charlatan heads the company reporting them."

Warren Buffett 1930-, American Investment Entrepreneur

Teen Challenge hires ex-cons

As you will see below when examining the TNAF Teen Challenge food stamp fraud, the Frank Vennes Minnesota Teen Challenge Ponzi Fraud Scheme and the affinity fraud of Southwestern Indian Foundation that criminal corruption can co-exist inside religious charity non-profits. Teen Challenge in Arizona is associated with a in prison Teen Challenge recruitment program as well as court ordered placement at Teen Challenge in Phoenix AZ. The Don Stewart Association (DSA), a Phoenix-based televangelism ministry , and its affiliated 22 charities (including Southwest Indian Foundation) were accused of performing controversial transactions with supplies that helped inflate their finances. The DSA affiliated charities transferred ownership of goods to other groups including $80 million of goods that the charities never physically handled.

Teen Challenge was already opening its’ doors to hire known criminals (through a federally funded re-entry employment program) those who converted to Christianity. Teen Challenge had many centers in Texas and Florida. George W. Bush was governor of Texas January 17, 1995 – December 21, 2000, and had promoted legislation and administrative actions favorable to Teen Challenge and other evangelical Christian based programs like InnerChange. In 1997 the Texas legislature passed a bill allowing religious child care facilities to be accredited by a private sector regulator, the Texas Association of Christian Child Care Agencies (TACCCA). In 1997, Texas became the first state to use the faith-based effort, run by Chuck Colson's Prison Fellowship Ministries – InnerChange. Governor of Texas George Bush Texas provided funds for the prison program - $1.5 million. The Roloff Homes were the first of eight faith-based child-care facilities accredited by TACCCA. Despite continued complaints of abuse and neglect, TACCCA re-accredited the Roloff Homes in April 2000. Roloff Homes was finally shut down for child abuse in Texas in 2001. Teen Challenge centers in Florida got accredited by an alternative agency just like those in Texas - so they too could avoid being regulated and inspected by state agencies.

The newly rapidly multiplying Teen Challenge facilities were therefore staffed by former prisoners who were recruited by Assemblies of God/Teen Challenge prison Chaplains. The Assemblies of God prison Chaplains often have dual responsibilities and may be also paid prison staff with fairly unlimited access to prisoners. With Teen Challenge staff paid for out of re-entry prison federal funds, the Teen Challenge facilities had low staff overhead. This financially beneficial arrangement permitted the rapid expansion of the Teen Challenge ministries program. This aggressive outreach of the Assemblies of God Teen Challenge program was also fueled by start up grants which were made possible through collaboration with the Faith-based and Community Initiative grant program and other linked programs.

In addition Texas Governor George Bush had exempted Teen Challenge in Texas from state regulation and inspection (following the state closing of Roloff Homes for child abuse). The investigators from the Texas state agencies (mandated to report human rights violations) were refused entry to Texas Teen Challenge facilities. By placing Scott Bloch in charge of reviewing all federal whistleblower complaints in 2001, the avenue for those in federal service to report child abuse as mandated reporters was essentially closed.

These public policy decisions opened the door for prisoners who professed religious conviction to be hired by Teen Challenge for positions working with children. Thus the arrangement of hiring “Christian” prisoners who were in re-entry prison programs (InnerChange) to work as staff, religious counselors and even directors of Teen Challenge facilities. One such prisoner with a record of criminal conviction of sexual child abuse was Shondi Fabiano, who was hired on staff and co-Directed the Teen Challenge Men's facility in Maine. She had previously been the head of the Teen Challenge Women's facility in Rhode Island prior to her marriage to Peter Sabiano.

Prisoners are paroled from prison to faith-based outreach at Teen Challenge where they received counseling, study the Bible and attend church. These “Christian” criminals who had spent hard prison time had many criminal associates and criminal connections and were not always under the full control or adequate supervision of their parole officers. Parole officers saw these “Christian” jail coverts as well-behaved parolees as they were gainfully employed at the Teen Challenge facilities. Teen Challenge as an employer would vouch for the employed prisoners and make allowances for their non-compliant conduct in order to keep them “on the path”. These criminals in their re-entry employment at Teen Challenge were tasked to do missionary “outreach” to teens on the streets of New England. Protected by their employer Teen Challenge and poorly supervised by officials from the prison system, these “Christian” employees openly did street “interventions”. But Teen Challenge facilities had long been suspected of abusive practices and the continuing stream of complaints were surfacing but not getting any action by state or federal authorities.

"We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people."

John F. Kennedy

Medical vs Faith Based Model for Rehabilitation

Teen Challenge gained national attention in 1995 when the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (TCADA) threatened to shut down Teen Challenge of South Texas because continuing allegations of abuse and fraud. Teen Challenge of South Texas continued to assert that its counselors refused to trade in their faith-based approach for a "medical model" based on the concept that alcoholism is a disease rather than a manifestation of sin. The state regulators were requiring that staff be properly trained and that the facilities be licensed and inspected. Teen Challenge in Texas and in Florida was unlicensed and unregulated and investigators and child protective services were trying to find a way to get some regulatory control over the residential teen rehabilitation industry especially in light of continuing complaints of abuse. The state was demanding licensing and inspection. Teen Challenge had opted for an alternative accreditation program that did no inspections and was based on a faith based model. State and federal regulators were trying to get regulatory and inspection control over Teen Challenge. Teen Challenge wanted no regulation at all.

Assemblies of God & Sex Offending Pastors

Ted Arthur Haggard was the founder and former pastor of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, a founder of the Association of Life-Giving Churches, and was leader of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) from 2003 until November 2006.  In November 2006, escort and masseur Mike Jones alleged that Haggard had paid Jones to engage in sex with him for three years and had also purchased and used crystal methamphetamine. A few days later Haggard resigned from all of his leadership positions. After the scandal was publicized, Haggard entered three weeks of intensive counseling, overseen by four ministers. In February 2007, one of those ministers, Tim Ralph, said that Haggard "is completely heterosexual." Ralph later said he meant that therapy "gave Ted the tools to help to embrace his heterosexual side." On June 1, 2010 Haggard announced that he intended to start a new church in Colorado Springs. In February 2011, Haggard came out as bisexual.  A prepared statement by the church November 4, 2006 "Our investigation and Pastor Haggard's public statements have proven without a doubt that he has committed sexually immoral conduct." His removal as pastor was deemed permanent.  But in an effort to again be able, in spite of the public scandal, to preach again,  Haggard was treated by three weeks of intensive counseling overseen by four ministers who proclaimed him “completely heterosexual” in Feb. 2007.  Then Haggard and his wife signed up for classes at the University of Phoenix which offered online degrees in counseling and psychology.  In order to get “restored” as a minister Haggard moved Phoenix, Arizona in April 2007 attended Phoenix First Assembly of God, whose pastor, Tommy Barnett.  Pastor Barnette was on his counseling team. Haggard reached an agreement with New Life Church on a severance package that would pay him through 2007; one of the conditions was that he had to leave the Colorado Springs area.  In August 2007, Haggard released a statement asking for monetary donations could be sent to the Families with a Mission 501 c 3 organization to help support him and his family.  He then planned to move into the Dream Center, a Phoenix-based halfway house that ministers to recovering convicts, drug addicts, and prostitutes. Haggard was pursuing a degree in counseling while his wife Gayle is studying psychology.  Far from being destitute, Haggard in 2006 received $115,000 income and also $85,000 anniversary bonus shortly before the scandal broke as well as $138,000 severance. Additionally, the Haggards have a home in Colorado Springs, Colorado that is valued at more than $700,000.  In addition Haggard still receives royalties from books he has authored. 

Additional Information:



DALLAS - An 18-year-old man and his parents sued the Assemblies of God and the church's ranch for troubled youths, claiming the youth was molested by a counselor at the center two years ago. The alleged victim was 16 when he went to Dallas Teen Challenge Boys Ranch in January 1996. According to his lawsuit, a counselor and convicted drug trafficker sexually molested him on at least six different occasions. The lawsuit further alleges that the church ranch Executive Director Paul Ecker and the ranch's board knowingly employed men with criminal histories as counselors despite being informed by state regulators that the practice was illegal.

According to the lawsuit, most of the residents were there as a condition of probation, and had psychological or substance abuse problems. During the day, they performed chores, including caring for livestock, and took part in religious education. At night, they were "locked down" and monitored by alarm systems to prevent unauthorized departures. Among the employees and volunteers working at the ranch were men in a program called "Life Challenge," designed for adults. Many of them had substance abuse problems and were improperly admitted to the program as part of their probation, the lawsuit states. (5/13/98, AP)
Lawsuit claims church camp hired convict who molested boy


REV. L.G. GILSTRAP, 54, an Assemblies of God minister, was convicted by a jury on 3 counts of child molestation and sentenced to 33 years in prison for a string of fondling incidents in 1988 involving brothers aged 10 and 13. The older boy said Gilstrap once tried to have sex with him in the shower. Eight men testified during the trial that they too were molested by the minister when they were boys. Three said they were also abused by the Sunday school teacher, who was not tried. Gilstrap denied the charges but corroborated their accusations against the teacher. The prosecutor called Gilstrap the " Pied Piper of pedophilia." Gilstrap, defrocked, started a new church, New Hope Ministries. Married, he was a former clerk for the Georgia House of Representatives. (Atlanta Constitution, 9/22/89)
Ex-Minister Gets 33-Year Sentence In Child Sex Case: Gilstrap Guilty of 3 Molestation Counts

"Lawyers, before any other group, must continue to point out how the system is really working--how it actually affects real people. They must constantly demonstrate to courts and legislatures alike the tragic results of legal nonintervention. They must highlight how legal doctrines no longer bear any relation to reality, whether in landlord and tenant law, holder in due course law, or any other law. In sum, lawyers must bring real morality into the legal consciousness"

 Justice Wm. Brennan

Teen Challenge and Faith-based and Community Initiatives

Scott Bloch was appointed to the position of Special Counsel for the Office of Special Counsel by President George W. Bush. This followed Bloch’s appointment to the Task Force for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives which funneled money to Teen Challenge. Teen Challenge was a residential treatment program which claimed religious treatment for addiction and life challenging problems. Based on strong Christian principles, the intensive program takes residents come from the streets, detoxification facilities, hospitals or jails. Some are referred by pastors and counselors or court-ordered into treatment by judges. Teen Challenge was operated by the Assemblies of God. Scores of pastors, inner-city missionaries and evangelists have graduated from Teen Challenge.

Scott Bloch served as Deputy Director of the DOJ Task Force for the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (OFBCI). Attorney Scott Bloch, as a US Attorney, did not do due diligence in determining whether it was appropriate to funnel funds to facilities that would be housing vulnerable children and adults and who were also hiring staff at those facilities who were ex-cons with known criminal convictions for sexual abuse of children, drug dealing, domestic violence and money laundering. Why? Perhaps it is because it was the wish of the new President of the United States, George W. Bush (January 20, 2001 – January 20, 2009), to provide an open field for Charles Colson’s InnerChange Prison program and the expansion of Teen Challenge and the ministries of the Assembly of God. Chuck Colson had just been pardoned by Governor Jeb Bush and was moving once again in Republican campaign circles.

What is Charitable Choice?

The "Charitable Choice" provision (section 104) of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (welfare reform legislation) meant to privatize welfare requires states that contract with nonprofit organizations for delivery of social services to include religious organizations as eligible contractees. The goal of Charitable Choice was to end the welfare system of entitlement money that provides a safety net for the poor and needy and instead turn the system into a privatized system where corporate and non-governmental service agencies compete to provide services. Then when entering office, President George W. Bush issued an executive order known as the Faith-Based Initiative which created a bureaucracy with the sole purpose of providing support to faith-based providers of social services.

Although in theory this might sound like a system to save money and be economical with public funds, it ignores the basic reality of possible fraud by corporate entities such as residential treatment facilities, private prisons and pharmaceutical companies, and many others who benefit by the decreased federal oversight and transparency.

Scott Bloch served as the Chief Counsel for the White House Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives from 2001-2003. In that position he funneled grant money to Teen Challenge in spite of mounting evidence of fraud, illegal activity and even sexual abuse of children in Teen Challenge centers. This was a politically important program that would be critical to President Bush’s and Karl Rove’s political strategy to keep the right faithful to the Republican party and would help generate income for Bush’s political campaign. Through the Faith-based and Community Initiatives program political allies were financially rewarded and other deserving NGO’s received little or nothing.

Political Motives Affect Public Policy Regarding Enforcement Child Protection in Texas

The Rebekah Home for Girls, founded in 1967, was run by Lester Roloff a fundamentalist preacher. In his very successful radio show, the late evangelist, Lester Roloff, praised the use of punitive "Bible discipline" as a method to chasten girls who had fallen from grace. Lester Roloff claimed that the Rebekah Home took in fallen girls from "jail houses, broken homes, hippie hives, and dope dives" who were "walking through the wilderness of sin." Roloff asserted that he remade these girls into scripture-quoting, gospel-singing believers. As a result the faithful showered Roloff Evangelistic Enterprises with checks, jewelry and other valuables and he made millions. Texas State welfare workers received reports of physical abuse and Attorney General John Hill finally filed a suit against Roloff Evangelistic Enterprises. After many lost court battles and faced with forced closure of the Rebekah Girls Home hundreds of fundamental evangelical supporters surrounded the Rebekah Home forming a human barricade to prevent the state officials from closing in. The Rebekah girls were essentially prisoners in this political show down between Roloff and the Texas Attorney General. Lester Roloff was expressing his political power and the hidden support network of thousands of fundamentalists who adhered to similar beliefs and listened to his radio show. So the Roloff Homes was the center of an epic, twelve-year battle between church and state-culminating in a standoff that Roloff called the Christian Alamo-in which the maverick preacher and his successors fought to avoid regulation by the State of Texas. ( For a more personal account of Roloff Homes see

The political message was clear – there was a huge following of fervent religious people not just in Texas but throughout the USA. These were American citizens who had previously not engaged in the political arena, many of whom had never even registered to vote and who in large part lived their lives apart from the rest of the general society. They claimed the right to religious freedom and do what they wished within their religious facilities. They claimed Lester Roloff as one of their own and he then embodied their right to separation of church and state. The Texas Attorney General and the social services agencies who wished to shut the facility down were representing the right of the state of Texas to assure that human rights abuses and child abuse did not happen to any minor child regardless of the religious beliefs of the parents.

Hundreds of Lester Roloff’s supporters massed around the Rebekah Home, on Roloff's 557-acre compound south of Corpus Christi, linking arms and forming a human barricade to prevent state officials from moving in. This was a three day stand off between the state of Texas and the religious right. Although Roloff agreed to close his youth homes and send his Rebekah girls to youth homes out of the state, this was only a brief victory for the welfare agencies trying to protect the children from abuse. But the homes later reopened under the auspices of the People's Baptist Church rather than Roloff Evangelistic Envangelical Enterprises.

Because this "Christian Alamo" public rally became the place where, George W. Bush, then governor of Texas, came to the rescue, promising to push forward state legislation that exempted many faith-based social programs from state interference. This gained Governor George W. Bush political support from the religious right. The lure of the support of countless thousands of currently unregistered voters passionate about this issue swayed the political decision making of the Texas Governor George W. Bush. The religious right embraced him as he claimed to support Separation of Church and State as an issue and to exempt religious facilities from state regulation and inspection.

The Christian Alamo event was a major victory for Roloff Homes, Teen Challenge and other fundamentalist religious facilities and the start of what became Mr. Bush's faith-based initiative. There is no question that eliminating basic health and safety standards made operations easier for a few faith-based programs in Texas, however it was also clear that the lack of minimum standards has threatened the safety of those participating in the programs and the ability of the state to assure human rights protections to minor children. The overwhelming majority of faith-based child-care facilities in Texas chose to remain under state oversight; only 7 of 2,015 religious institutions elected tAfter the Christian Alamo at the Rebekah Home for girls, George W. Bush politically backed Teen Challenge and other residential facilities run by religious groups as it helped him with his political campaign to get votes from the far right – especially the support of the fundamentalist evangelicals and also the Catholic vote. The Alamo standoff was the start of what was to become Mr. Bush's faith-based initiative. Teen Challenge New England Director, Rodney Hart started with Bob Woodson of the Washington, D.C.-based National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, who fought for Teen Challenge during the Texas controversy in 1995. Rodney Hart also approached Jim Towey, head of the White House Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives under Bush (2002-2006) who worked with Attorney Scott Bloch. and now President of Ave Maria University. George W. Bush made providing food stamp money to Teen Challenge a priority for his administration, so through the Charitable Choice program and changes in the legislation for TNAF the federal government was once again providing money to Teen Challenge without any pesky regulation or inspection,  to operate under alternative accreditation.


"Cheshire Puss, asked Alice. Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here? That depends a good deal on where you want to go, said the Cat. I don’t much care where,  said Alice. Then it doesn’t matter which way you go, said the Cat."

Charles "Lewis Carroll" Dodgson 1832-1898, English writer and mathematician, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland 1865

The Federal Agency USDA in coordination with State Child Protection Agencies tries to shut down Teen Challenge

In Dallas Texas in 1998 two boys had filed they had been sexually molested by a staff member who was a convicted drug trafficker. After many reports of child abuse at Teen Centers nationwide, the Director of Teen Challenge San Antonio, received a letter from TCADA stating that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) had determined that residents of Teen Challenge centers in Texas are no longer eligible to receive food stamps because the centers were not state licensed or inspected.

The San Antonio Teen Challenge center admitted that it depended on the food stamps for nearly half its annual food budget. Teen Challenge on the other hand claimed that federal food stamp regulations hindering men and women who are working to overcome addictions at Teen Challenge centers in four states. Reports kept surfacing that the food purchased with the food stamps was being sold on the black market and children in the Teen Challenge Centers fed nothing but water, white bread and peanut butter.

In opposition to state regulation of Teen Challenge, Texas Governor George W. Bush convened a fifteen-member advisory task force in 1995 made up largely of clergy and charged them with two objectives: to identify state laws and regulations that hindered the work of faith-based groups and to recommend ways to lift some of those regulations. The task force was formed because of the ongoing battle between the Texas Commission of Alcohol and Drug Abuse and a faith-based drug-treatment center, Teen Challenge, in San Antonio.

The Rhode Island Women’s Program was being run by a registered sex offender – Shondi Barbato and she was not the only sex offender on staff at Teen Challenge. State regulators in several states wanted to stop the direct access to children by registered sex offenders and violent criminal offenders in the Teen Challenge program.

In most Teen Challenge centers food stamp money provides a majority of their funding. Those in child protective services were hopeful that this denial of food stamps would finally put an end to the hiring of registered sex offenders, drug dealers, violent criminals and other convicts to staff Teen Challenge Centers and force them to be licensed, inspected and regulated so that the safety of the children could be assured. In several states, including Massachusetts and Vermont, officials halted benefits to Teen Challenge clients because the programs were not formally recognized by state officials, and because clients were turning their Food Stamps over to administrators of the treatment program. The coupons were pooled together to buy groceries for those who live in dormitory-style housing for 18 months during their treatment. Thus through the actions of the federal USDA, the federal authorities hoped to protect the human rights and body integrity of children in the care of Teen Challenge facilities.

The threatened cutoff of food stamps to Teen Challenge threatened to shut down Teen Challenge centers in Oregon, Florida, and Massachusetts. The Boston field Office for the USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) shut down food stamps to Teen Challenge New England. In Brockton MA in 2005 food stamps were provided roughly $150 for each man per month in Brockton, Massachusetts. This food stamp support totaled nearly $200,000 a year. The USDA stated to Teen Challenge that "The basis for your denial was that your program is not licensed by the state of Massachusetts."

But there was strong protest from the Director Teen Challenge New England, Rodney Hart who was the supervisor of Shondi Barbato, a registered sex offender hired at Teen Challenge New England. Rodney Hart, who is himself a 1976 graduate of Teen Challenge, advocated politically for creating a separate category for faith-based groups on a federal level which he said was the key to solving "a serious glitch that needs to be fixed at a higher level." Teen Challenge New England’s lawyer, Brad Martin filed a complaint against the government in 2005 on behalf of Teen Challenge New England, which has centers in Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. Stamped Out World Magazine August 27, 2005, Vol. 20, No. 33

The Director of Teen Challenge New England, Rodney Hart, goes on to state "The government does not have a lens to interpret faith-based recovery centers," he says. "It only recognizes the disease model, which is totally irrelevant to us." Mr. Hart adamantly refuses to obtain a state license, saying it would mean "obtaining an identity that doesn't correspond to who we are. . . . It would be like getting a deer-hunting license to hunt crocodiles." Stamped Out World Magazine August 27, 2005, Vol. 20, No. 33

"Texas Freedom Network, a 23,000-member non-partisan grassroots watchdog group based in Austin conducted a five-year study of the policy and found, “As exempt faith-based drug treatment centers, [such] facilities are not required to have licensed chemical dependency counselors, conduct staff training or criminal background checks, protect client confidentiality rights, adhere to state health and safety standards, or report abuse, neglect, emergencies and medication errors.”

With the influence of President George W. Bush the federal government cleared the way for clients of the faith-based Teen Challenge drug and alcohol recovery program to resume receiving Food Stamps.

“In a joint opinion issued by the Secretaries of the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA), and Health and Human Services (HHS), it has now been determined that residents of such treatment programs are eligible for Food Stamps, so long as the programs are operating in compliance with provisions of the Public Health Services Act. Under the opinion, state agencies which administer Food Stamps must recognize such programs as "operating to further the purposes of Part B of Title XIX" of the act -- however it also specifies that such programs are not required to be licensed by states in order to be eligible.”

What does Rodney Hart have to hide from state regulators and inspectors? Why does he refuse to cooperate with federal USDA inspectors and FBI agents? According to his thesis Teen Challenge New England had in 2007 589 beds and revenue that was about $7 million. The staff of Teen Challenge New England was 95% graduates of the program and there were 125 salaried staff. To learn more about the beliefs of Rodney Hart, Director of Teen Challenge New England see his 185 page thesis -

"To see what is right and not to do it is want of courage."

Confucius 551 B.C. - 479 B.C.,

Chinese philosopher, The Analects, Book II, Chapter XXIV

Additional Information on the Teen Challenge and Food Stamps:

Teen Challenge New England Intake Form

Government Teen Challenge Record on Food Stamps

Food stamp fraud in Honolulu and elsewhere,-paying-for-institutionalised-abuse

Under Charitable Choice provisions TNAF provided extensive financial support to Teen Challenge.

CRS Report - Charitable Choice, Faith-Based Initiatives, and TANF Vee Burke, Domestic Social Policy Division

Don Stewart Ministries and Charity Fraud

In May of 2009, The Arizona Republic reported on its yearlong investigation of activities between the Don Stewart Association (DSA), a Phoenix-based televangelism ministry , and its affiliated secular charities including Southwest Indian Foundation. Twenty two charities, including the Southwest Indian Foundation, had ties to the Don Stewart Association and were accused of performed controversial transactions with supplies that helped inflate their finances. With such lapses in financial accountability, it was difficult if not impossible to tell if the charity actually raised its own funds or even how much of the money actually was theirs. Charities in the network, such as Southwest Indian Foundation, had used up to 76 percent of their donated cash on salaries and other expenses and often gave cash to other charities in the same network. In non-profit organizations there are many connections between charitable organizations including shared board members and shared staff, personal ties and family connections. The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) is the world's largest workplace charity campaign which allows federal employees and military personnel to donate a portion of their paychecks to charities of their choice. The 22 charities reported $154 million in total revenue over three years. About four-fifths of that was in the form of gifts in kind. The charities transferred ownership of goods to other groups including $80 million of goods that the charities never physically handled.


Southwest Indian Foundation 100 West Coal Avenue, Gallup, NM 87301

American Institute of Philanthropy Charity Rating Guide & Watchdog Report American Institute of Philanthropy, P.O. Box 578460, Chicago, IL 60657 Phone: (773) 529-2300  Fax: (773) 529-0024 E-mail:

Joe Feuerherd "Catholic connections help pitch plan". National Catholic Reporter. 06 Apr, 2011.

Don Stewart: A life in pursuit of God's reward, The Arizona Republic / by Robert Anglen, ‎May 4, 2009‎

Anglen, Robert (May. 3, 2009). "Network of charities". The Arizona Republic.

Anglen, Robert (May. 3, 2009). "Follow the cash: Charities spent bulk of it on salaries, expenses". The Arizona Republic.

"Attorney general reviewing charities' practices". KSWT-TV. May 10, 2009.

Anglen, Robert (Sept. 27, 2009). "Feds look into group of charities". The Arizona Republic.

Finances, Fraud, and False Teaching in the Troubled History of Don Stewart by G. Richard Fisher

White House pulls plug on fundraiser’s ‘briefing’ Washington Times, 12:01 a.m., Friday, June 3, 2005

Southwest Indian Foundation and Don Stewart Association

The Southwest Indian Foundation (a New Mexico-based Franciscan-affiliated charity) was a part of the Don Stewart Association's affiliated charities.   The Southwest Indian Foundation had received federal grants from the Veterans Administration "to assist community-based agencies [to] acquire, renovate, or build transitional housing facilities, provide supportive services for homeless veterans and purchase vans for outreach to or transportation of homeless veterans." But there were concerns in how that federal money was spent. Southwest Indian Foundation in April 2005 was given a rating of “F” as a non-profit charity by the American Institute of Philanthropy because Southwest Indian Foundation did not directly benefit charity recipients adequately, because too much money was used for fundraising overhead and too little foractual charity work.


Southwest Indian Foundation 100 West Coal Avenue, Gallup, NM 87301

American Institute of Philanthropy Charity Rating Guide & Watchdog Report American Institute of Philanthropy, P.O. Box 578460, Chicago, IL 60657 Phone: (773) 529-2300  Fax: (773) 529-0024 E-mail:

History of the Don Stewart Association

Don Stewart called evangelical preacher Rev.  A.A. Allen his spiritual father. The ministry run by Don Stewart was originally called the Don Stewart Evangelistic Association But later it became the Don Stewart Association.   It started originally in Phoenix Arizona by Evangelist A. A. Allen who wanted to build a Bible College on land that became known as Miracle Valley.  Rev. Don Stewart took over the ministry following Brother Allen's death in 1970, when Allen drank himself to death at age 59.  It was Stewart who attempted to clean up evidence of his mentor's alcoholic binge in a San Francisco hotel before the police arrived.  Don Stewart gained possession of Allen's organization, including his Miracle Valley property, and renamed Allen's Miracle Life Fellowship International the Don Stewart Evangelistic Association (and later the Don Stewart Association).

But after Allen’s death Stewart was accused of embezzlement of the revivals offerings by Allen's brother-in-law.  Stewart denied this and it was never proven.  In 1995 the Latin District Council of Assemblies of God’s administration building built on the Miracle Valley property burned to the ground.  The Assemblies wanted the insurance money from the fire to rebuild the building but Stewart wanted to keep the insurance money without rebuilding.  Eventually Stewart sold the property to the Assemblies under the condition that it had to maintain a School there for twenty years or the property would revert to Don Stewart.  For 20 years the Assemblies of God owned and operated Southern Arizona Bible College (SABC) at Miracle Valley, Arizona, closing in May of 1995.  In 1997, the IRS accused Stewart of using his church for personal benefit and revoked the ministry's tax-exempt status.  The Don Stewart Association was operating out of a nondescript warehouse but Stewart himself was living in $2.5 million Paradise Valley home owned by his church. In the 1980’s Stewart expanded his ministries going on an international crusade to 86 countries and drawing audiences of half a million or more in the Philippines, Central America and South America.  He found a loyal following among African-American audiences.  The charitable arm of Stewart’s ministry, Feed My People Children’s Charities, owned two of the largest food banks in Arizona: Northern Arizona Food Bank in Flagstaff and Borderland Food Bank in Nogales. Stewart founded Northern Arizona Food Bank in 1987 to serve Native American communities. Besides the food banks in Arizona, Feed My People’s Children’s Charities distributed food to facilities on the Mexican border and also in the Philippines.

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
― Leo Buscaglia

Medical Whistleblower Advocacy Network


P.O. 42700 

Washington, DC 20015

MedicalWhistleblowers (at)


"Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself."  Confucius

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

Theodore Roosevelt- Excerpt from the speech "Citizenship In A Republic", delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910