Love Demonstrated Ministries Christian Boot Camp
Love Demonstrated Ministries - Christian Boot Camp is a 32 day long boot camp for boys and girls aged 13 - 17 . The reverend Charles Flowers started the boot camp 10 years ago and is still the manager for the boot camp.
The program starts with a four days intense survival camping trip and ropes courses <Ref>Google maps on the ranch, where the boot camp took place and the girl was dragged behind a car.</Ref>. Then they return to the city where they live at a school <Ref>Google maps on the school, where the contract with parents claims that the boot camp takes place</Ref>.
According to the homepage, the typical schedule is:
Until lunch the detainees will participate in various as After breakfast, the mornings will be spent in the community conducting Community Improvement Activities (CIA) such as painting over graffiti, clearing lots, helping the elderly, etc. After lunch, they will spend time studying the following subjects:
On Sundays the detainee will attend church. After church they will be released to their families and will have to be returned at Sunday 9 p.m. When they return they will be body-searched.
The parents must also agree to participate in 3 family conferences lasting 3 days within a year in order to get their child programmed at the boot camp.
In the news
In July 2007 staff members were investigated of allegations of child abuse after witnesses had seen a girl being dragged after a car because she could not keep up her pace during the survival part of the boot camp. According to the Nueces County Sheriff’s Office, the girl suffered wounds that were unlikely to come from normal boot camp activities. <Ref>Christian Boot Camp for teen girls puts faith first, By Berta Delgado / The Dallas Morning News, August 9 - 1998</Ref> <Ref>Not quite church camp, by GREG OKUHARA, theeagle.com, July 24 - 2005</Ref> <Ref>Authorities Investigate Abuse Allegation at Boot Camp, Kiii TV - south Texas, july 31 - 2007 (with video)</Ref> <Ref>Boot Camp Pastor Charged in Girl's Dragging, Incident at Texas Camp Raises Questions About Disciplinary Tactics, ABCnews</Ref> <Ref>Two Arrested for Alleged Boot Camp Abuse, Kiii TV - south Texas, August 10 - 2007 (with video)</Ref>
You would expect some kind of skins and scrapes from the physical activity, that any boot camp would have, but in this case, injuries were more severe, and the actual cause of the injuries is something that just does not fit in boot camp at all .
The defence has pointed out that the parental consent form states:
I realize that Christian Boot Camp is a strenous [sic] and highly intense program. I further realize that the possibility of accident, injury or even fatality to my child does exist,
Both Flowers and Bassitt posted $100,000 bond and were released from jail. They are now waiting for the trial to start <Ref>Boot camp dragging trial to begin next month, Pair accused of injuring 15-year-old girl, By Mary Ann Cavazos, Caller Times, October 5, 2007</Ref>. The local church support the staff <Ref>Indicted pastor, trainer draw support at rally, by Jeorge Zarazua, Express-News (Published in My San Antonio News), 08/21/2007</Ref>
The trial started after a long wait in april 2008 <Ref>Mother testifies about incident - Camp officials accused of dragging girl, By Mary Ann Cavazos, Caller Times, april 24 - 2008</Ref>. Surprisely the judge reduced the charges to simple assault on the basis that a car could not be considered a deadly weapon regardless the fact that a young man lost his life being dragged to death tied to a car in Pend Oreille County, Washington <Ref>Charges reduced against Christian boot camp employees, The Associated Press, April 29 2008</Ref>.
The trial ended in a mistrial because the jurors could agree despite video of the injuries. The court room was filled with a large number of the fundamentalist followers of the church who ran the boot camp <Ref>Mistrial declared in dragging case, By Sara Inés Calderón, My San Antonio, May 2 2008</Ref> <Ref>Pastor's assault case ends in mistrial, By Sara Inés Calderón, My San Antonio, May 2 2008</Ref>
The mother has continued a civil case <Ref>Christian Boot Camp Accused of Abuses, Courthouse News Service, January 15, 2009
Lawsuit against Love Demonstrated Ministries gets refiled, a thread on Fornits webforum</Ref>
May 2010 it was announced that the DA had refiled the charges against the staff from the camp <ref>NEW CHARGES PENDING FOR BOOT CAMP DRAGGING CASE, Kristv.com, May 28, 2010</ref>
- Info: Info: Program Homepage
- Info: Religious boot camp's director and counselor face assault charges for girl's treatment, By Mallory Simon, Court-TV
- Info: Video from the court appearance of the staff members
- Info: Daily Kos - a page about the program
- Info: Preacher behind bars after alleged abuse at Christian camp, KrisTv.com, August 13 2007
- Info: Testimonies: Family pressure in religious matters, by Amanda Horst, Helium.com
- Forum: Love Demonstrated Ministrie, a thread on Fornits Webforum
- Forum: Christian Boot Camp Officials Drag 15yo Girl Behind Van, a thread on the BSalert.com message board
- Forum: Lawsuit against Love Demonstrated Ministries gets refiled, a thread on Fornits webforum