A version of this is also posted on the Minneapolis Issues list.
Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak was listed as an "Invited Speaker" at a 2006 event for
the Minnesota Teen Challenge: a group that promotes the ex-gay ministy Exodus. Did Mayor Rybak actually speak at this event? Or did the group just drop his name. If he did speak at Minnesota Teen Challenge - why would he speak at a group that promotes anti-gay hostility (any group promoting Exodus is promoting anti-gay
Date 8/25/2006 11:00 AM to 8/25/2006 12:00 PM
Type of Event SAMHSA/CSAT National Recovery Month and Teen Challenge
Location State Fairgrounds
1265 Snelling Avenue N
St. Paul, MN 55113
Program Agenda 11 - 12 and 3 - 4 pm Live Broadcast with KTIS and Teen
Challenge Celebrating SAMHSA/CSAT National Recovery Month
Invited Officials/Presenters Lynnette Scherber and Rich Scherber;
Minnesota Teen Challenge Staff, Students; Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak
and the other members of the City's Executive Committee; Interim
Police Chief Tim Dolan
Minnesota Teen Challenge has several locations in Minneapolis. They
are notorious for being abusive to their clients.
For some first hand accounts go to these sites.
Teen Challenge USA links to Exodus Ministries - an Ex-Gay Ministry - it's listed second on this link list.
Teen Challenge claims a study by Northwestern University shows they
are 86% effective, vs 28% effective for secular programs.
This study was actually a student's PhD disertation. If the study
were valid, it would have been published in a peer reviewed journal.
There have been very few, if any, reputable studies that have evaluated the effectiveness of faith-based programs. One of the President's favorite FBOs is the organization called Teen Challenge. Teen Challenge is clear that it is utterly Christ-centered. "It is not enough to have a vague belief in a higher power, one must commit to the Christ of the Bible." Teen Challenge, and most of the articles supporting FBOs, cites a study which shows that their program is 86% effective in comparison to the 28% effectiveness of secular programs. Actually, this study was done by Aaron T. Bicknese, a Ph.D candidate at Northwestern, and while they claim his study was "published," no journal is cited, which leads one to question whether it underwent the usual peer review for reliability and validity.
Senator Amy Klobuchar has gone to Minnesota Teen Challenge Fundraisers. It goes without saying that Michele Bachmann would show up for this sort of thing - but why would Amy Klobuchar do so?
Ken Avidor at Dump Bachmann has reported on the Frank Vennes, Petters, Minnesota Teen Challenge connection, and does a wrapup of media coverage on the matter.