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Boys removed from ‘horrific’ Christian camp in Texas

Boys removed from ‘horrific’ Christian camp in Texas

Eight boys, ages 10 to 17, have been removed from the Joshua Home in Bertram, northwest of Austin, following an investigation into allegations of abuse, neglect, labour violations, fraud, licencing violations, and human trafficking.

According to this report, the authorities believe the operator of the Joshua Home, Baptist minister Gary Wiggins, above, may have been using the boys illegally for a lawn care service and moving company.

Prior to relocating the Joshua Home to Texas in May, Wiggins operated similar facilities in Alabama and Missouri.  Wiggins has previously been accused of torturing boys as part of a “pray away the gay” programme.

In 2016, authorities in Alabama raided Wiggins’ facility, called the Blessed Hope Boys Academy, after teenagers who had run away complained about being punished with forced exercise, solitary confinement, and the withholding of food.

Last year, Lucas Greenfield told ABC’s 20/20 that his mother sent him to Blessed Hope because he was gay and that Wiggins would beat the boys, saying:

I’m going to get the demon out of you and make you straight.

Wiggins told 20/20’s undercover investigators that he had an 80 percent success rate turning gay kids straight. He charged parents $21,000 a year to house their children, and said he had permission to physically discipline them.

Charles Kennedy, a retired police captain who assisted with the investigation into the Joshua Home in Texas, said:

It’s an absolute horror what they do to these children. Gary Wiggins does the same kind of stuff that would violate the Geneva Convention.

Kennedy added that state agencies are generally “unwilling” to investigate such facilities, especially when the boys are from other states and the organisations are religiously affiliated.

No charges have been filed against Wiggins in Texas. However, Burnet County Sheriff Calvin Boyd said he is confident that charges will be filed eventually.

Unlike 15 other states, Texas has no law prohibiting “ex-gay” therapy, which is opposed by opposed by virtually all of the major medical and mental health organisations.

10 responses to “Boys removed from ‘horrific’ Christian camp in Texas”

  1. Phil says:

    So what’s so unusual about this? Horrible, yes. Unusual no. And there will be hundreds more like it. Are you a sadistic paedophile wanting to make some easy dosh? Then just set up a place like this and play at being god.

  2. Rob Andrews says:

    Scene from TV series M*A*S*H:
    BJ: Why this preoccupation with sex at the 4077?
    Hawkeye: Lack of occupation with sex.

    Can’t these religious nuts figure this out. It’s almost funny.

  3. Rob Andrews says:

    This is a fairly young and good looking guy. I don’t want to say what happens to child molesters in prison in the US–and other countries as well….He’s in for some poetic justice.

    “Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings”.–from the web somewhere.

  4. RussellW says:

    “Pray away the gay”–So the boys’parents are typical moronic Christian religiots.

  5. andym says:

    ‘Kennedy added that state agencies are generally “unwilling” to investigate such facilities, especially when the boys are from other states and the organisations are religiously affiliated.’

    Calculating. There’s no incentive to apply the law to religious groups anyway, even less when they’re not even that states children.Plus, making his “enterprise” religion-based, he could target gullible parents who wouldn’t look too closely.

  6. Tootsie says:

    Any guy who thinks he can exorcise the “gay” demon is possessed of it himself. This guy is gay and hates himself.

  7. Silver Fang says:

    Can’t we close all these bootcamps down?

  8. Jesse says:

    I live in Bertram Tx. and I’ve heard of this place but I’m not sure where it is. There’s a big white house sitting on top of a hill down the road from my house that has always seemed kind of culty. I’ve seen big white vans full of clean cut young men in white short-sleeved dress shirts and black ties but never any lawn equipment, must be a different cult (and no I’m not joking). It’s not at all surprising for this area, you can’t sneeze out here without hitting some denomination of Christian church. It’s a good place to live if you want to be left alone, it’s just best to keep your nonchristian religious beliefs and alternate sexual behaviours to yourself until you get to know someone. What makes it worse is that my lesbian and gay friends are devout Christians which just confuses the hell out of me.

  9. Wiggins already spent time in prison. He is an ex-convict that “found God” and a way to scam for money while abusing kids. Just another religious monster on the loose and brainwashing kids into believing everyone except him is evil.

    Parents enrolling their kids agree to: corporal punishment, no contact for first 30 days, 1 monitored phone call per week if their kid has earned it, for all mail going to/from to be monitored as well, no in-person visits until after 4 months, a 1 year enrollment period, and to grant Wiggins with a power of attorney for their kid(s).

    On top of all of that craziness- parents are told not to speak to their kids about coming home. It’s a damn cult that brainwashes and tortures kids and idiot parent(s)/ guardian(s) pay for it to be done!

    In his prior home in MO, the kids bedroom doors locked from the outside -meaning he was locking them into the bedrooms. For all 3 homes he uses the Lighthouse Christian Academy to homeschool them. Kids sit in a cubicle facing wall for hours memorizing and self teaching with a workbook. Wiggins is suppose to enter their grades into computer program. They self grade too. No state school accepts credit for that rubbish schooling.

    I fought for custody when I learned a child I love was living with him in MO and his non-religious, clearly unintelligent mother told me the “rules” of the program.

    The legislation needs to change. Religious institutes that house children absolutely should be licensed, monitored, and subject to inspections like any state run orginizations. Background checks should also be mandatory for all owners and employees that includes all states, not just current state residing in. There are numerous places like this one that open, abuse kids, get caught, are shutdown, not charged, and reopen under a different name or in a different state.

  10. Charlie says:

    It is deplorable what they do to these boys and girls. All in the Name of Jesus. Nothing is done because Politicians depend on tons of money from these organizations

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