Jesus Camp Kids, Where are they Now?

I’ve just been watching Jesus Camp, a documentary put out in 2006 following a group of children as they attend “Kids on Fire Summer Camp.” If you haven’t seen it I recommend taking a look. The filmmakers have done a good job of being impartial. There’s no narration or Michael Moore style “gotcha” moments. They just present what they saw, and it’s a very disturbing picture that’s painted.

The  children attending the camp appear to all come from fundamentalist Christian backgrounds. They seem to be just immitating what their parents and ministers do in the way they talk about their beliefs.

Scenes at the camp itself, when Pastor Becky Fischer is preaching to them, are the most disturbing. The poor kids are constantly being told that they’re sinners and you can see the fear and the pain on their faces. The organizers of the camp create an ideal environment for brainwashing: Fischer yells loudly, she’s very repetitive, there’s ominous music, chanting into microphones, people are screaming and crying. It’s scary.

Summer Camp Fun

Summer Camp Fun

I found myself feeling very sad for these children. They’ve been brainwashed their whole lives, as evidenced by a scene in which one young boy is being homeschooled by his mother, who wouldn’t send him to public school I guess out of fear that he would learn some real facts? He is reading from a Creationism in Physical Science textbook, and one of his lessons is that global warming is a hoax because the Earth’s temperature has only risen by 0.6 degrees. Great job mom!

So I was wondering where these children are now. I did a google search to find out and unfortunately it didn’t come up with anything specific about the kids. If anyone knows anything please let me know. It’s only been three years so maybe I’m jumping the gun on looking for a “where are they now”. I’m curious as to whether the filmmakers have any intentions of revisiting some of the kids and churches and people featured in this movie. Like Trekkies 2!

One thing I did find out was that the camp featured in the movie has been shut down. Great news!

Camp director Becky Fischer commented to Christianity Today: “Christians go after me because of doctrinal issues, whereas the world is going after me because they think I’m another Adolf Hitler.”

She added: “They’re accusing me of raising a Christian jihad.”

Is it just me or was she not clearly calling for a Christian jihad? I’m sorry I don’t have an exact quote, but I seem to recall her waxing on about how she wishes that Christian children would have the same passion as extremists in other religions. I hope the land the camp was occupying can be put to good use with a camp that allows kids to have fun, feel good about themselves, and even learn something.

I just added an update to this post here…https://struckbyenlightning.wordpress.com/2009/06/09/update-jesus-camp-kids-where-are-they-now/

Another update: https://struckbyenlightning.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/jesus-camp-kids-where-are-they-now-2/

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22 Responses to “Jesus Camp Kids, Where are they Now?”


  1. 1 Global Villager May 24, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    It is a great film that evokes many emotions – for me they were fear, anger, and sadness. The home schooling part was a crime in my opinion. Not only was the education substandard, but the child was on his way to being socially challenged as well. Oh, and the mullet was a crime too! To me, this is abuse of the worst kind. However, parents do have rights – this is one of those unfortunate times when human rights seem wrongheaded. These kids will grow up to be social pariahs, constantly tortured by the guilt that they are sinners, all the while blind to the beauty of the world as they obsess with getting to the afterlife.

    I can’t believe, in this day and age, that this exists. It scares me!

  2. 2 William Carlton May 26, 2009 at 8:32 am

    I want to know what happened to that poor kid who was obviously under the mistaken impression that “witnessing” was about honesty and bravely confided his doubts as tears poured out of his face. Remember him? Everybody’s looking around at each other like, “Oh no, WTF.”

  3. 3 linzeebinzee May 26, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    I agree that the homeschooling was abuse. If parents want to homeschool their kids they should have to go to university and get the same qualifications as teachers in the public school system.

  4. 4 linzeebinzee May 26, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    So sad, it makes me sick to see kids, who don’t even understand what they’re saying, being put in a situation that gives them so much anguish.

  5. 5 dinasty November 11, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    LIE!!!!!!I was sin Jesus camp. I cried and screamed and everything!I cried because of what I went through and what i was facing if i dint worship like i was supposed to.when she washed my hands i felt relief.I know it wasn’t holy water but i though about Jesus and how he payed the price.We weren’t scared .Mrs Becky was telling us the truth.We are sinners and we should repent.When we reached out hands to George w bush we prayed for him and what he coasted America.We weren’t worshiping him.I loved Jesus camp when people like you closed it i was mad.I’m 15.I did drugs because i didn’t know how to worship god anymore.STOP TELLING PEOPLE JESUS CAMP IS EVIL!

  6. 6 Global Villager November 11, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    You did drugs because you didn’t know how to worship God? Worship him however you please (the people you look to for guidance don’t know the answers), or enlighten yourself and drop the charade all together.

    You will feel better!

  7. 7 EnlightningLinZ November 11, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    I think it’s horrible that that camp made you feel like a dirty sinner that made you feel like you needed to be washed. You’re 15 now so you were what, 11 or 12 when you went to Jesus camp? What 12 year old deserves being told that they’re a dirty sinner? None, I say.

  8. 8 Shamelessly Atheist December 7, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    I think it’s horrible that that camp made you feel like a dirty sinner that made you feel like you needed to be washed.

    Exactly my sentiments. If that doesn’t make Jesus Camp evil, I don’t know what else could possibly be called evil.

  9. 9 EnlightningLinZ December 10, 2009 at 1:33 am

    The scary thing is, they don’t even see anything wrong with telling children they’re dirty sinners. It’s such a self-loathing religion. I was told that growing up too, although much more subtly, but the message was still there…and I grew up in an only moderately religious setting. It’s awful stuff, makes me really mad!

  10. 10 Carley January 26, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    This movie is disgusting. I can’t believe these parents think what they are doing is right. Brainwashing? Is that what god is telling you to do? Listen, you can worship who ever you want to worship but shoving abortion in a three year old’s face.. come on I didn’t learn about abortion until I was at least 13. That is horrible.. they shouldn’t even know about sex. I feel bad for these children when they step into the real world and see that everything they have been told is a lie. No young child should have to go through what these poor children have been introduced to at such an early age.

  11. 11 merrywhiterose July 18, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    I believe ALL kids should be required to be taught in a public school for Junior High to learn normal socialization skills, and how to live in the REAL WORLD. Those kids were so hopelessly brainwashed that they would need counseling the rest of their lives to even be able to cope with life in the real world.

  12. 12 merrywhiterose July 18, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    THIS IS HOW RELIGION CAN BECOME A DANGEROUS PRODUCT.

  13. 13 ICYNDICEY December 19, 2010 at 3:37 am

    I watched this movie and was in complete shock. It takes a lot to shock me! The one thing I had to laugh at, however, and I don’t know if anyone noticed it, but I thought it was so ironic, was the name of the place where the camp was located. DEVIL’S LAKE, NORTH DAKOTA. Are you fucking kidding me…DEVIL’S LAKE? LMFAO!!!

  14. 14 J. Paul March 12, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    I cannot claim to be an expert on Jesus Camp, but I will say that passion does not equate to terrorism. For example, one of the most extreme Christian groups in America is the Amish and yet they are total pacifists.

    Would you place Socrates’ passionate convictions in the same category as jihad? Did he not refuse to exit the jail when the doors were opened for him but rather willingly partook of death as the camp director is said to have urged her children in face of possible persecution? Isn’t there a difference between jihad and martydom?

    Ahhh, I think that it is safe to say that there is a big difference. Martydom is anything but a war cry. This must be why the enlightenment arose in the culture of Christian Europe.

  15. 15 L.Nette April 4, 2011 at 2:16 am

    I, myself am a Christian and to be honest this movie was pretty intense. I personally grew up in church where we were taught you have a choice, that God gives us free will to choose which path we are going to take of course the ultimate result is Heaven or Hell, Holiness or unholiness( Please Continue to read). That’s why I myself when it comes to political ideology have the viewpoint of being pro-choice and I know that these extreme radical people would hate me for saying that but If God gave me free-will what right do I have to take it away from someone else? & I honestly feel sorry for those people who are taught to hate people who sin because in actuallity the thing we are supposed to “hate” is sin itself not the sinner. The greatest commandment of the Bible is to love God with all your heart and immediately falling under that commandment is to love your neighbor as you love yourself. So the question is for the extreme radical “Christians” are you operating out of Love? or are you operating out of arrogance? People twist this religion to make it seem as thought they are above everyone else and that they are high and mighty when in actuality that is not the case. We all come from the same place and we all were made by the same God. To everyone who will actually take the time to read this, I urge you to please recognize that not all Christians are like the ones that get broadcasted on a regular(extremist). Some of us are taught to be Christ like meaning that in all we do we must love. So please take that into consideration, because all we see on tv and the news are the ones who hate everybody and not the ones who operate out of love. :)

  16. 16 Yuli September 5, 2011 at 1:07 am

    First of all, there is no condemnation in Jesus Christ. Yes God says to love Him and each other like he loved us. I hardly heard the word love!!! It was all war war war condemn condemn condemn. Thats not what Gods about guys :) and I don’t think these kids were brainwashed, I really believe some of them loved Jesus genuinely. They were getting taught love, and God is love and love overcomes everything. It’s all about love! Not being super holy or super righteous, works does not earn your salvation. Jesus already died for our salvation. It’s all on the cross. Amen! I pray these kids get to know Jesus more! And not out of force but out of love :)

  17. 17 Yuli September 5, 2011 at 1:08 am

    I meant they weren’t getting taught love*

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  1. 1 Update: Jesus Camp Kids, Where are they Now « Struck by Enlightning Trackback on June 9, 2009 at 11:38 pm

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