This story is related to a previous article, released yesterday: Former student tells her storyKidanpped for Christ documentary
is today's story, speaking with the film's director. She didn't set out to do an expose. Rather, she intended to "...make a short, kind of heartwarming documentary about these rough-and-tumble kids learning about Dominican culture together and getting therapy.” What she found instead led to a very different film.
The two together are disturbing on a number of levels, but compelling and I think important. A commenter on the 2nd story points out "This is reminiscent of the Milgram experiments." And he's absolutely right.
Last, there's a website for the film here
. The "About" page opens with this: Kidnapped for Christ follows the stories of several American teenagers who were taken from their homes and sent to an Evangelical Christian reform school located in the Dominican Republic. The school is run by Americans and is advertised as a “therapeutic Christian boarding school” whose mission is to “help struggling youth transform into healthy Christian adults.” In reality, this school employed classic brainwashing techniques to break down and rebuild young minds.
One such student was David, a gay teenager taken in the middle of the night to the Dominican Republic to be reprogrammed into a straight, born-again Christian. The film also features Tai, a 16-year-old Haitian-American girl who was sent away after acting out as a result of childhood traumas, and Beth, a 15-year old who suffers from a debilitating anxiety disorder.
Once David's community found out what had happened to him, they formed a plan to bring him home on his 18th birthday. The struggles they faced to secure David's freedom revealed just how far Escuela Caribe would go to prevent their students from leaving.
The film is in post-production, and there's a Kickstart project page and a January 2014 film festival debut planned.