"Everybody with your fist raised high..."
Participant in Teen Mania's "BattleCry" rally at San Francisco City Hall, March 24, 2006
Photo: © 2006 M. Doughney & L.S. Kneisly
Caption lyric from Pillar's "Frontline," initially used to promote the "BattleCry" campaign

A third series of "BattleCry" stadium events and rallies, this time titled "BattleCry ReCreate," begins February 8, 2008 in New York City. For background information on these events and the 21-year-old organization behind them, see this article.

As noted on this website during the first series of "BattleCry" events, an effective response that carries meaning, and avoids helping Teen Mania to grow and strengthen their "BattleCry" campaign, must speak knowledgeably about what this organization is actually selling, down to the details - and then responds based on that knowledge.

A strategic counteraction - as opposed to a reaction - on terms other than those set in advance by Teen Mania would avoid handing "BattleCry" organizers further opportunities to use the presence of a counter-protest as a visual, a canvas upon which to project their own manufactured narrative in which they allege persecution.

In short: never give them what they want.

Continue reading >

This article was first posted in May 2006 during the first series of "BattleCry" events.

Posted 2008-02-01

In an e-mail sent March 3, 2007, titled "City Attempts to Silence BattleCry!" the promoters of Teen Mania's "BattleCry" campaign continued to put forward the recurring theme that San Francisco was somehow "silencing" the gathering by prohibiting the use of amplified music before 10 A.M. on Saturday. This theme was picked up by the website of KFAX, a Christian radio station based in San Francisco, repeating in a headline that "San Francisco attempts to silence BattleCry." The article which appeared on both the KFAX and "BattleCry" websites attacked the city for passing a novel "last minute noise ordinance" that would somehow single them out, and that would only apply to the "BattleCry" event.

While this story may have made for a great urban legend of alleged domestic Christian persecution, it was easily disproven with a few phone calls. Contrary to these claims that can be attributed to Teen Mania and its head, Ron Luce, no such "ordinance" was passed by City government. Nor had Teen Mania's "BattleCry" event been singled out for special treatment or censure. Nor did this decision rest with the City's Board of Supervisors.

The roots of this sound restriction lie in the effect the March 2006 "BattleCry" event had on nearby neighborhoods, when noise complaints were received by the city and police as a result of the event's start in the early hours of Saturday morning. In the process of granting a loudspeaker permit to AT&T Park for this event, these complaints were considered - including a specific recommendation from the city's Police Department - and resulted in the permit being granted with the stipulation of a 10 A.M. start time for amplified music, representing, as one city official put it, "two hours over the span of 20 hours of use."

The restriction was only specific to "BattleCry" in that it was part of the required permit specific to the event, and that no other group has ever attempted to use sound equipment in the stadium early on a Saturday morning. City and AT&T Park officials confirmed that any group expecting to use amplified sound in the stadium before 10 A.M., after the complaints received in 2006, would encounter the same restrictions if they were to apply for a permit.

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Posted 2007-03-09
Updated 2007-12-20

Recent press releases and brochures from Teen Mania promoting the "BattleCry" campaign lump advertising together with MTV and "hard-core porn" on a list of things that "threaten" teenagers. Why, then, have three key people involved with Teen Mania's corporate management been secular advertising and marketing experts?
Teen Mania's parody of America's media and marketing landscape
From opening video of "Acquire the Fire" 2005-2006 season.

This recent press release from Teen Mania, produced on their behalf by the DeMoss Group, demonstrates something that's often seen in evangelical media: the lumping together of very different things that are together labeled evils or threats, in this case, to teens.

They've put "advertising to teens" at the top of a series of examples of how, they allege, teens are "targeted" and "threatened by pop culture." At least two of the three examples are supported by partisan sources:

DALLAS, April 13, 2006 - Teenagers in America have never before been so targeted and so threatened by pop culture as they are today.

  • Advertising to teens is an estimated $150 billion a year industry (PBS, 2000).

  • MTV (watched by 73% of boys, 78% of girls ages 12-19) airs (on average) 9 sexual scenes per hour and more than 8 un-bleeped profanities per hour (Parents Television Council, 2004).

  • 80% of 15- to 17-year-olds have had multiple hard-core porn exposures (Family Safe Media).

If these alleged attackers are considered truly dangerous by Teen Mania's leaders, it stands to reason that someone with a history of being heavily involved with one of these alleged evils, and who was unrepentant about their previous endeavors, would then be disqualified for leadership positions with Teen Mania.

Advertising: part of the alleged "attack" on teens
Closeup of page from one of Teen Mania's recent brochures promoting the "BattleCry" campaign. Source

The insistence that teens are somehow under attack by advertisers is continued in a brochure promoting the "BattleCry" campaign recently distributed to youth pastors. It contains the remarkably open-ended and broad generalization that advertisers are not merely an enemy, but are attacking teens by somehow disregarding "moral decay." This assumption, somehow shared by both the producers and intended readers of this brochure, is never substantiated, and appears in a section of this brochure entited "The Attack:"

With more than $128 billion dollars in their pockets, this generation has been targeted by corporate America who do everything they can to grow their brands and their profits without any regard to the moral decay of a generation.

Keeping in mind that they've labeled the act of advertising, and targeting the teen market, part of their justification for their "BattlePlan," let's look over this list of people who've held important positions in Teen Mania - one of whom was important enough to have been paid a larger salary than that earned by Teen Mania's founder, Ron Luce. One thing ties them all together - they've all worked for one of the nation's biggest advertisers, Procter & Gamble, in roles involving sales, advertising, marketing, promotions and product management.

  • Teen Mania mocks deodorant marketing
    From opening video of "Acquire the Fire" 2005-2006 season.

    George Babbes, member of Teen Mania's Board of Directors,1 was Group Product Manager with Oral-B Laboratories, The Gillette Company, 1992-93, and Brand Manager for Procter & Gamble, 1987-1992. In 1989 he was the winner of Procter & Gamble's "Promotions That Work" international competition.2 Babbes is a lifelong friend of Ron Luce, and was quoted in a Regent Business Review article saying that some of the strategic planning for Teen Mania in its early years occurred in "the 'war room' at P&G."3 Now a professor at Azuza Pacific University's School of Business and Management, his doctoral dissertation focused on, among other things, "the impact of conceptual metaphors on consumers."4

  • Tom Muccio, member of Teen Mania's "President's Council,"5 "is the recently retired President of Procter & Gamble's Global Customer Teams. He was with Procter & Gamble for 35 years in a variety of sales and marketing assignments in both the U.S. and abroad." 6

  • Rick Brenner, Teen Mania's Chief Operating Officer (2002-2004),7 "began his career in Market Research, followed by six years at Leo Burnett Advertising where he managed accounts including Green Giant and Procter & Gamble packaged soap brands. Following his tenure at Leo Burnett, Mr. Brenner spent eight years at Procter & Gamble where he was responsible for marketing and brand management for consumer products including Clarion Cosmetics, Noxzema Skin Care Products, and Secret and Sure Antiperspirants." He is now president of a Florida startup company. 8

Teen Mania's parody of MTV
From opening video of "Acquire the Fire" 2005-2006 season.

So when you watch Teen Mania attack those who advertise and market their products in the commercial/secular realm, keep one thing in mind. They aren't really attacking the reality of advertising to teenagers, since they themselves are marketers; many of Teen Mania's leaders, and now their hired secular advertising agency, were or are in the business that includes advertising to teenagers. They just want to influence and organize teenagers - for what is, over the long term, a political and social purpose - with their own set of advertised messages that frame militarism and conflict as virtues.


  1. Teen Mania's Corporate Website - Board of Directors & President's Council

  2. "Conceptual Metaphor in Consumer and Managerial Decision Making." Doctoral dissertation, George S. Babbes, page vi

  3. "The Theology and Practice of Strategic Planning," by Michael Zigarelli. Regent Business Review, Issue 13, September/October 2004, pp. 4.

  4. Faculty Profile, George S. Babbes, Azuza Pacific University

  5. Teen Mania's Corporate Website - Board of Directors & President's Council

  6. Tom Muccio bio at "Maximum Impact"

  7. Teen Mania's Form 990 (tax return) for year ending August 2004, via guidestar.org

  8. Executive team bios, TyraTech

Posted May 9, 2006

A few words about Teen Mania's executive salaries

With all the complaining Ron Luce has been doing lately from the stage of the "BattleCry" stadium events, about how the media and advertisers are working to make money from teenagers, we think it's fair to take a close look at the salaries that are paid to Teen Mania's founder and other executives. Now that he's outraged that others make money off teenagers, it's fair to look at how he, and others in his organization, make money off teenagers.

Continue reading >

Posted May 9, 2006
Updated December 20, 2007

Ron Luce took to the stage of the "BattleCry" San Francisco event last March and spent a large part of a Friday evening in the company of a few real live pigs, saying "we don't want ninety-six percent of your generation living with pigs," later clarifying that he's referring specifically to "this pigpen called American culture."

Meanwhile, this spectacle had been made possible in part by a company that produces shows for secular superstars like Madonna and Nine Inch Nails, which had been hired by Teen Mania to work on the "BattleCry" event.

Posted April 30, 2006

Head of Teen Mania's Canadian Subsidiary Spoke at San Francisco "BattleCry" event

Some might assume that Teen Mania Ministries' operations would be confined to the United States. This is clearly not the case.

Teen Mania heavily promotes its missionary operation, "Global Expeditions," which in recent years has sent more than three thousand teenagers on seasonal short-duration trips to about fourteen countries. Not nearly as visible - at least from the U.S. side - is Teen Mania's Canadian subsidiary, headed by Kemtal Glasgow.

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Posted April 30, 2006

Former Bush-Cheney campaign youth organizer Jordan Sekulow, speaking minutes before the Detroit "BattleCry" event on live television, described the political impact and eventual benefit his party gains from evangelical teens like those who participate in Teen Mania's programs. Ron Luce appeared on the same program, live from Detroit, a few minutes after Sekulow made these comments.

Posted April 30, 2006

Sunsara Taylor, Ron Luce
"The O'Reilly Factor," March 27, 2006
Ron Luce, founder of Teen Mania and organizer of the "BattleCry" campaign, appeared Monday evening, March 27, on "The O'Reilly Factor" program and again repeated the bogus claim that his organization, and by implication the "BattleCry" campaign are not political in nature. Clearly this is not the case.

According to the conference program distributed at the San Francisco "BattleCry" stadium event two days ago, Teen Mania's East Coast Regional Coordinator is a Republican politician from Maryland, John McKinnis, who is actively involved in the "Legislative portion of the BattleCry Campaign."

Continue reading >

Posted March 27, 2006
Revised April 30, 2006

John and Faith McKinnis
"BattleCry" Campaign Includes a "Legislative Portion"

A Maryland politician who ran for Congress in 2004 and lost was named by Teen Mania as part of a political campaign to influence legislation as part of the "BattleCry" campaign, while Ron Luce denies that Teen Mania is in any way a political organization. Continue reading >

Posted March 28, 2006
Revised April 30, 2006