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Mrs. Micah is worried about her little brother-in-law

I’m worried about my little brother-in-law. He’s attending something called “Honor Academy” in Texas. This is his first time living away from home (just turned 18). I don’t think it’s a healthy environment for him. The place isn’t actually a college or a school. Technically it’s supposed to be about internships. He’s going there because (I guess) they have a film program.

Let me describe what I know of their routine. They get up @ 5am for corporate exercises. Very demanding physically (LBIL been working out for a while, but he feels very challenged and worried by the amount of effort this takes).

Then he spends all day working in their library, getting AV materials for people working on film projects. He doesn’t get paid (in fact, he pays to go there), but they give him a food stipend. More on that later. Hopefully, if he builds the right connections through his job and such, he’ll be able to work on the film projects (his goal).

The place provides a cafeteria, but everybody basically says that it’s just for losers. He doesn’t have a car, but he’s supposed to procure his own food, prepare it, everything. I hope he starts going to the cafeteria, but he wants friends and he wants to be on a project, so he’s worried about being stigmatized.

I don’t know what on God’s green earth possessed my mother-in-law (who is normally such an amazing person!) to think this would be a good environment for a young man with major depressive disorder. Mr. Micah’s told him that if it gets too bad, we’ll send out a rescue team.

This worries me for many reasons. One that I find particularly troubling is that while the group probably isn’t a cult, LBIL’s experience is like that of people in cults. He’s often up late because of a loud roommate (he has 5!), then gets up very early and does hard physical exercise, he works hard for no money, he’s promised uncertain rewards in exchange for hard work, he’s sometimes unable to easily get food. In the midst of this he has Bible studies and such which, if I know him, probably often make him feel like he’s not a good enough Christian. He was also very upset yesterday when his boss gave him an AV assignment he couldn’t do while doing his normal job as well.

I’d “rescue” him right now if I could. Best case scenarios are either that he gets what would essentially be an internship there (with a filmmaker). Second-best would be that he comes home and we all support him and tell him that it wasn’t a healthy place to be so it’s ok that he wanted to leave.
Mr. Micah and I both find this very troubling. Sometimes Mr. Micah cries after talking to him. He always needs lots of hugs and snuggles. But he’s a good big brother and does his best to help and encourage LBIL.


Anonymous September 13, 2007 at 7:56 pm

Mr. Micha should try to be sure to call him everyday if possible and encourage him to do better. He can do better in the future. The economy is bad. They say we are in a recession due to the war. He needs to tell his roomates to please be respectful and quiet. If they don’t comply he needs to change rooms and get cheap ear plugs sold at Walmart or any discount store. He should try to find better options. If food is a problem he can go to free soup kitchens or missions if he cannot afford it. He should also call social services and see if he qualifies for food stamps or any programs. No one should go hungry. This could make him very ill. Good luck. We will pray for him too. Annette

MIke November 22, 2008 at 6:23 am

Get him out. There are lots of better ways to get a job in the film industry that don’t require slavery and starvation. A weekend in the village, boston, vancouver or toronto would get him more experience and knowledge than what he’s going to get in texas. Those places also pay people for work. Not starve them. Best of luck…

MIke November 22, 2008 at 6:32 am

just read a blog from someone who went to honor. very scary. its a cult don’t let anyone fool you.

Kristen Marcano February 8, 2009 at 7:55 pm

All these cult-claims are pretty hilarious, and incredibly dramatic! I am currently an intern at the Honor Academy, and I can attest to the fact that the frequently referenced Rollingstone article is nothing more than the product of the author’s worldview. He is far from unbiased and so he was unable to view the Honor Academy in an objective light.

What can I say? I have been here for six weeks. I eat three meals a day (at the “cafeteria for losers” that everyone I know goes to) and we only do corporate exercise at 5 am on Monday mornings.

During the first four weeks, however, we did this Monday through Friday. We also quit sugar. How heinous! Why on earth would anyone want to discipline and master their own body? Yeah, so, it was TOUGH. I came here fresh and fattened out of a lifestyle of constant drinking, smoking weed, popping pills, and having promiscuous sex. I weighed 189 pounds. Now I weigh 180 pounds and the weight’s going to keep coming off– how horrible, huh? Now I have my sugar intake under control and drinking, smoking, and pill-popping disgusts me. ISN’T THAT JUST TERRIBLE?

You say your nephew doesn’t have a car— the majority of interns don’t. Food is not an issue if you’re not afraid of going to the “cafeteria for losers”. Not just that, but I can’t tell you how many interns I know lend their cars out to other interns. You can survive. I don’t have a car and I am just fine.

You say he “works hard for no money”– I don’t know if you’re aware, but that holds true for any internship. People do internships because they give them experience, among other things. I’ve only been here six weeks, but I can say I am growing socially, physically, emotionally, spiritually. I am gaining direction for my life, far away from all the noise of the media and messed up friends.

The average Honor Academy intern graduates a responsible, disciplined, focused, confident, and purposeful individual who knows they have destiny and understands their life has meaning. Free from emotional, physical, and sexual addictions, they conquer the world. That is why I am here. I am tired of the world conquering ME.

If you think there’s something wrong with that, then you are simply foolish.

anrybeaver July 6, 2009 at 10:34 pm

honor academy is a cult….. cult cult….. (WACO)!!!!

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