This blog features observations from Randy Turner, a teacher who can't stop writing and also a former newspaper reporter and editor. Send news items or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Pete,Shut up already!
He's locked up and the key is pretty much thrown away...so let's all forget about him and move on.
Correct, lets forget about him and move on, but lets don't forget about the "christian" camp that knew about him for years and done nothing. Everything they do is in the name of money, nothing else. If they were so Christian, then their damn camp would be free.
their "damn" camp is free. It is called KAA. The high prices for the other camps go toward paying for the underprivileged to go to KAA.Also, please try to start your own camp with pools, a large staff, activities, promotional materials, educational materials, equipment, and then make it free for everyone. Good luck.
I never met Spike White , but from what I hear, he would of handled this a lot differently. Come on Joe, we are that 15 year old tough boy that you claim really only needs a hug right now. Give us a hug by telling us the truth. Please.
to 3:57Your comment is ridiculous!!!! Just because an organization or ministry is Christian doesn't mean it has to be free!!!! Are you kidding me? There are expenses to running such a camp!!!
3:57,AND.... To suggest that they knew that he was doing these awful things and did nothing about it because of money is nonsense scattered on every thread on this blog. People say that Pete was a "rainmaker" so the leadership turned a blind-eye to him because of it. Are you kidding me? Having worked at camp I know that for every leader at camp there are 5 more waiting, willing, and able to provide exceptional quality of leadership. People talk about Pete like he was this great leader or something. Even if Pete had not done these evil things, I can think of many other people at camp, or have worked at camp at some time, that put him to shame and are far more critical to the organizations ability to be successful. Bottom line is that what sets Pete Newman apart is the he is masterfully deceptive. So you are so ignorant as to think that camp would jeopardize its future for one leader who is easily replaced. Silliness.
No quality program for kids is free, ever. That's part of the issues with Kanakuk. We were sold on the idea that this was a quality, structured, professional camp only to find out later that Kanakuk is actually very unprofessional. They don't even follow common sense safety guidelines. When I sent my kid there, I expected that they would be at camp, not roving around Branson with rogue counselors. I didn't have an issue with how expensive it was because I thought I was getting what I was told by the camp. Turns out, I wasn't.
2:55,If Pete would have been so easy for them to replace, then why didn't they when the complaints started rolling in and they signed the probationary agreement with him at least 7 YEARS AGO for inappropriate behavior, why risk it when you have kids at stake.
Everything that I have read is the he was censured for playing naked basketball. While this is highly inappropriate this is behavior that easily corrected. I agree it would have raised some questions as to why would Pete feel compelled to do this with kids? But dont you think that as masterfully deceptive as pete was that he responded positively to the censure? Leading everyone to think that everything was ok? Pete is a master of deception. Additionally and more profound is that the nature of christian ministry is redeption. The nature of Kanakuk is to believe in young people and to call them to a higher standard of living. Leaders on pedistals are not exempt from the need for this ministry themselves. I believe that Pete took advantage of this. Humbly confessing his actions when called on it years ago and then subtly changing his behavior to reflect that he had indeed repented. This is the same thing he did in the video. Telling the judge that, "I need to goto prison". However, and fortunately, the act did not work this time. Dont get me wrong I do agree with people that Kanakuk made a mistake in keeping Pete on Staff. However I do not feel that this means that Kanakuk did so out of greed or fear. They did so because they were fooled by Pete and believed in the illusion of his ministry. This does not equal culpability on the part of Kanakuk.
I agree with parts of 9:02 comments. But, I personally hold Kanakuk culpable as the nature of the business they are in calls for them to always err on the side of caution. They are taking responsibillity for the care (physically, mentally and spiritually)of children. When taking on this awesome responsibility, one should be overly cautious and diligient. As a parent choosing (and paying) to send my child to camp I expect no less. I am sure it is the assumption of every parent who sends their child away to any sort of sleepover camp that their child will be safe. Of course, every possible danger can not be foreseen...but, this danger seemed apparent. You would think administration would have looked at the "naked game" indiscretion and asked themselves, "If we choose to reprimand Pete and allow him to continue working here, what is the worst that could happen?" If they had allowed themselves this question, he would have been terminated on the spot. Because they did not ask this question pretty close to the worst did happen.When dealing with children there is no such thing as too careful or too diligent. If there had been no history of any sort of questionable behavior or breaking of the rules, one could argue Kanakuk was duped and consequently blindsided when the truth of Pete's actions began to unfold March 2009. But, this was not the case.
I am 2:55 and 9:02 and I keep thinking about this whole thing. I agree that Kanakuk made some huge mistakes in how they handled Pete Newman. However I just cannot agree with all of these ridiculous claims that they knew what was going on and turned a blind eye for the sake of money, greed, or fear.
10:56Now that is what I DO agree with you about. I find those sorts of comments ridiculous. Though I truly, truly believe Kanakuk has some culpability regarding Pete Newman and his actions. I in no way believe anyone at Kanakuk knew he was molesting children the entire time he was on staff and made a conscious decision to allow it to keep happening because Pete was so great with kids and was instrumental in kids wanting to return year after year...bringing their friends as new campers...which in turn, caused incredible growth of Kanakuk's business. I find that ludicrous...and certainly hope, and believe, you and I are correct in our thinking.But, I do think the reasons listed above were some of the reasons he was kept on after the 2003 incident and why he was allowed freedom to bend some of the rules.Allowing him to bend the rules allowed him the moments to groom these victims.
More important that what we think should have happened is what the law thinks should have happened.I am a lawyer.In the Twenty-first century, retaining a counselor who plays naked basketball with his counselees WILL result in one thing ... LARGE MONEY JUDGMENTS AGAINST KANAKUK.
I'm unclear of one thing, did Pete volunteer the names of his victims?
where is he now
Newman Transferred to Fulton Pete Newman (file photo) By: Sally KaucherPosted: Tuesday, June 15, 2010Pete Newman was transferred today from the Taney County jail to the MissouriDepartment of Corrections reception center at Fulton.Thirty-four year old Newman left the judicial center in Forsyth early thismorning with officers from Taney County. He was sentenced last week to twolife prison terms plus 30 years for his guilty plea to charges of sexualmisconduct. Those charges include first and second degree statutory sodomyand enticement of a child, all involving boys under the age of 14.Newman will spend the next couple of month at the reception center inFulton. He'll be evaluated for the corrections system's various education,treatment and vocational programs before a decision is made on just wherehis sentence will be served.Newman is still facing similar charges in LaPlata County, Colorado.
As sad as it is that he is there, he earned that for himself. It wasn't like he was unaware that HE WAS RISKING EVERYTHING when he was hunting & destroying. He's smart. Of course he knew that if he got caught, that this could be his demise. And yet, he still continued. When he' in that prison, coming to terms with all the people he's destroyed, and coming to terms with the fact that he's sentenced his own family to a never-ending-torture, coming to terms with destroyed kids (although I don't think he cares), coming to terms with all that is lost, coming to terms with the fact that he will never even enjoy the "little" things, coming to terms that he is trapped with a whole bunch of other creeps, criminals, sickos, evil men, and DARKNESS, then just maybe he will begin to realize that THE ANCIENT OF DAYS saw it all, and was/is always on His throne.For the rest of us: The biggest lesson we should learn is that we should fix our eyes on Jesus (ALONE), who is the author and finisher of our faith...we should never elevate man. Never.
6:15, that was brilliant! So many parents lament that Newman is the closest thing to Christ that they knew. Eyes fixed on the Savior...good idea.
I just read that Will Cunningham resigned from Kamp this spring. I was surprised to learn this since he had been such a long term employee.
Amanda,Is there anyway parents can write to the Missouri Dept. of Corrections asking that Pete NOT be allowed to evangelize in prison and do his "God talk" i.e, like "the prayers of a righteous man availeth much even though I know I am not a righteous man, I will pray for each and every one of you" stuff. Would letters do any good to put him with prisoners like himself so he can't prey and pray on the unsupecting?
1:50 With all due respect, (and I am a mom of a victim), who cares what he does there? The only thing I'd oppose is him writing a book. Other than that, I don't care what he does behind those bars.
2:16Agreed!! Who cares what he does behind bars. He is locked away and is no threat to anyone not locked up with him.Time for all of us to focus on healing from and dealing with the horrible devastation he caused on the outside. I really don't care why he did it or if he finds redemption. My concern is moving forward and being a voice to prevent such events from happening again.
Free speech works two ways...Newman is free to Jesus-talk behind bars. However, you are free to write to the warden in Fulton.
WHAT HYPOCRITES ALL OF YOU COMMENTING ARE. I KNOW PETE.AND MY KIDS WENT TO KANAKUK.I ALSO WENT TO KANAKUK AS A KID. IT WAS AND STILL IS THE MOST AMAZING PLACE ON THIS EARTH AND SAFEST PLACE TO SEND YOUR KIDS. PERIOD. GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT. ZERO HAPPENED AT KANAKUK. IT WAS ELSEWHERE AND HE IS PAYING FOR IT. JOE AND DEBBIE WHITE ARE AMAZING CHRISTIAN PEOPLE WHO HAVE SPENT THEIR LIFETIME DOING MORE FOR KIDS ALL OVER THIS COUNTRY INCLUDING MYSELF AND MY KIDS THAN ANY OF YOU CLUELESS HATERS WHO PROBABLY DONT DO MUCH OF ANYTHING FOR ANYONE EXCEPT TALK ABOUT THEM...OH AND PROBABLY ARE THE SAME PEOPLE WHO VOTED FOR CLINTON THE SECOND TIME AROUND...BRILLIANT.
4:44. I heart your SCREAMING AT US. So, I've never voted for a Clinton, okay?Did you READ the actual charge? If not, please do. Newman used Kankuk to hunt for victims. He DID, according to the police reports gratify himself on Kanakuk property. More than once. Get a grip.Joe and Debbie Jo are probably nice people, but I wouldn't know. They don't respond to emails.For your benefit, I humbly offer the following:http://www.news-leader.com/assets/pdf/DO1468851118.PDFI suggest you be informed before jumping in to comment...I can appreciate your emotion, but sexual abuse of children is NOT somethiing I'm willing to accept."Kamp" isn't HOLY. Only Christ is.
Watch out..Pete lover! Get your facts straight father of camper, camper yourself, and supporter of Kanakuk. Oh yes it did happen at Kanakuk and many other places as well. Are you saying that you are a good representative of Kanakuk calling people hypocrites while getting your own facts wrong? I bet you money you not only voted for Clinton the second time but also the first. Now, what did politics have to do with child molestation?
Peter-lovers. Now there's a term. On a couple of levels it seems. SICK PEOPLE!
4:44. I appreciate your anger. And I've been called a kanakuk apologist here, too. But, um, something very significant undoubtedly "did" happen at Kanakuk - the grooming of the victims. Whether or not any actual sick acts took place within the gates, the camp was used as the way into homes and hearts of kids and parents. As someone who like you has spent a lot of time there, it makes me want to throw up.
Ross, did you read the investigation? I'm not jumping on you, I'm wondering if you and I have different meaning to "kamp" as a place or a state of mind. Horrible things happened to kids on the property, no two ways about it. Read the whole thing.http://www.news-leader.com/assets/pdf/DO1468851118.PDFPete defiled the camp and the K-Dome...he used the condos, all for his crimes. It's hard. But, read it. All of it. It puts a context on some of the parent comments here. I don't intend to hurt anyone here, but Newman was brazen enough to rape a boy while his father lay sleeping a few feet away at a Father/Son retreat. We can't think or talk about this in platitudes and polite terms. Pete Newman did evil things.
Amanda - I have read it and I believe it. I was offering an additional point to someone who seemed like he didn't. Even if it HADN'T occurred at Kanakuk, the "grooming" undoubtedly did. That's all.
When did this become the "Amanda" show? Seriously people, you are writing to this women like she is Ann Landers or Billy Graham. I just don't get that. And Amanda...do you still have that job in journalisim or are you now a professionsl blog writer? You are on on every single blog about Pete. A little obsessed aren't you?
Proving once again, anyone attaching a name to a comment here is targeted...*The Amanda Show, that has a nice ring to it, I'll tell my husband to get right on it!*To answer your question, yes...I'm still a writer. Don't have a "job," just a column. And, yes, I am a professional blogger for a magazine and have been for a while. *I'm sure my natural talent gave me away.* Thanks.XO
I just watched Pete speaking at his hearing and this guy in unbelievable. He basic gave a mini-sermon filled with little Kanakuk-isms. The longer he talked the more it came about him and not his victims. Pretty typical for a narcisists.
First time I ever met the guy was driving up to the gates of K-Kountry, and there he stood in the most ridiculous costume! That should have been my first hint: Costume. Phony. But this orange he's wearing now...REALITY.
I've known Pete Newman for 10 years, he is the man I said my salvation prayer with. I've known Joe White for just as long and if there is one thing I know it's that he would have NEVER let this go on had he known about it. For anyone to say that this would have been kept underwraps for a profit is so far beyond ignorant that they don't deserve a response so this is for the people that have read that and believe it. We, the campers at Kanakuk are Joe White's whole life and he would never intentionally let anything hurt us. So get your facts straight before you go insulting the man that is responsible for literally millions of people turning their lives over to Christ. You are ridiculous.
11:40Have you read all posts and comments? I don't think so or you would have a better understanding of what many believe Kanakuk, Joe White and administration are actually guilty of in regards to Pete Newman. There was one commentor who alluded to the possibility that Kanakuk (administration) knew of Pete Newman's pedophilia. I agree with you that this is ridiculous. But, they were aware of some very serious inappropriate behavior by Mr. Newman in 2003 that should have resulted in his immediate termination. They chose not to terminate him and keep him on staff...which in hindsight was a grevious error. By keeping him in Kanakuk's employ Mr. Newman was able to continue his grooming process with many young boys during camp...and we all now know the sordid details of Mr. Newmans subsequent actions.Kanakuk, Joe White and others in administration do have responsibility in this matter.
I have followed these blogs since last September when I first learned of Pete's arrest. The last time I saw Pete, Katie and Riley was in 2007 when I picked them up from the airport for a video tour. I was sickened when I began to google and read of the charges against Pete, but rather than bash him on blogs...I wept. I wept for his sin, his victims, his family, the thousands of kids he's impacted that look up to him and I wept for him. Pete isn't the first man I have respected in ministry that I have seen commit these types of offenses from and I'm pretty confident that he won't be the last. In fact my YL area director was guilty of sexual misconduct, a man I looked up to that had a tremendous influence on my life. Any of us is capable of what Pete did and the sad part is most of the time we can't see past his offenses to realize it. Pete got what he deserved, but come on people get a life and stop trashing him and his family on a blog. Stop trashing Kanakuk. I worked at K1 for 4 years and did the Institute. My time at Kanakuk changed my life. We live in a broken, fallen, messed up world and sadly abuse happens. What he did can't be undone and I pray that healing can begin for those families knowing that he is paying for it. True healing starts with forgiveness. No one can deny that. From someone who has been abuse in their past, I can honestly say that...if you can't forgive, you will never heal. Kanakuk can't talk about this...anyone who knows the law would know that. If you struggle with how they handled it then don't send your kid there. And pray, pray to God that something of this sort never happens on those grounds again. Pray for the victims and their families, pray for Pete's family and if you can get past your own depravity and shortcomings, pray for Pete. Ask yourself why your so angry, b/c if you are a Christian and you believe God's Word as truth, He loves everyone...even Pete.
@ 11:40 and 4:50 Gosh, I can't speak for everyone, but I'm just mad that he raped little boys, and Kanakuk had several opportunities to do something to stop him, but chose not to.
@4:57 - Did you miss the part that said "sickened" by what Pete did. I too am mad, broken and wish the circumstances were different. But anger doesn't get you anywhere. Forgiveness isn't condonment, but it's dealing with your own anger...check out the Bible, it talks a lot about it, all over the place!
5:57, I respect every word you said and you are right. But it really is okay to be angry for a time, as there is a time for everything under the sun. Jesus got angry too. Remember him walking into the temple and his reaction to the money-changers, and all that was going on in there? He was angry. He even turned over the tables. There is a time for righteous anger, but not self-righteous anger. Granted, some here are self-righteous. But coming from a mom of a victim, I can tell you that ours' is righteous anger. Our top-notch Christian counselors, and even Joe himself, has told us they agree that we should be this angry. This is the time. "Tomorrow" will be the time for the next steps toward forgiveness. So yes, you're right, but please try to understand all the emotions.
4:50 said "Any of us is capable of what Pete did and the sad part is most of the time we can't see past his offenses to realize it."Wow...I hope we are all not capable of "what Pete did." We are all capable of sin...but, this particular sin...I don't think so.There are others out there like Pete and this is all the more reason to bring to attention all aspects of how this happened at Kanakuk. A perfect storm was created at Kanakuk that allowed Pete to perpetuate his pedophilia for so many years and abuse so many children.Kanakuk has been a good place for a lot of people and no one is arguing that point. But, even the best people make mistakes. Kanakuk made a mistake and we all know those that own up to their mistakes and the ones who benefit the most.
Does anyone know what the number in the colored box means to the left of the title of the thread?
To the victims mother I am sorry if I offended your righteous anger...you are right your anger is justified. And I believe it is wholeheartedly right and okay to be angry about what has happened. I can assure you that Kanakuk is not only angered, but heartbroken about what has happened. I do not believe that Kanakuk kept him on staff knowing he was committing crimes like this. I believe Kanakuk is keeping their mouth shut for legal protection on their own end. To discuss this with anyone other than the authorities and those that have come forward is grounds for more lawsuits. To suggest that Pete was kept on for profit is ridiculous. They should've let him go, back in 2003, but against their better judgement they didn't. I've worked in management and in high leadership in Christian ministry and I have made mistakes. Turning him in when hard evidence was presented shows that it wasn't about profit. Why wouldn't they have kept it under wraps if it was about money? There is a HUGE difference between naked basketball and the crimes that occurred. If people can't see that then I'm not sure what to say. Pete deceived and manipulated hundreds of people, not just the Kanakuk staff. He clearly deceived victims and families as well. I knew Pete and served with him at a church in Branson and he had me duped. Praise God for the brave young men that have told the truth and come forward, this is the beginning of their healing. And praise God that Pete owned it, he pleaded guilty, he didn't try for a plea agreement...he was guilty and he is getting his punishment.As far as capability, I would hope many would never even think of something like this, let alone act on it, but sin is sin and sadly this kind of stuff has happened in the church and Christian ministry since the beginning of time. What about Cain and Abel? All are capable...even those who appear above reproach and high in leadership. We all fall short of the glory of God in some way or another, that is all I'm saying. Our world is engrossed in sexual sin...look at the statistics - http://blog.beliefnet.com/redletters/2010/06/the-numbers-behind-porn.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter - Just because you haven't committed a sin this henious does not mean that you are not capable.My point of all this, is what good does it do to bash Katie, Pete, his family and Kanakuk on the internet? Does it make you feel better? Does it take back his acts? That is all. I personally continue to pray for the victims, their families, Kanakuk leadership and for Pete. Some may disagree with praying for Pete, but that is my stand. God will deal with Pete and I believe the sentence Judge Orr gave him is the beginning of that. It is not up to me. He is behind bars, and maybe his sick cycle will stop. Maybe it won't, but to wish horrible things on him, to curse his name, it's wrong and it is sin.
BUT 2:12for Kanakuk leadership to refuse to see their part in this in allowing an environment with no accountability and no zero tolerance for unacceptable behaviors is to set it up for this type of thing to happen again...That is the part many parents are upset about. naked basketball IS very different from the OTHER crimes Pete committed against children, but they knew it was wrong and kept him on staff, actually promoted him. You did not see them advertising the naked basketball on their website did you? They had to know those kinds of behaviors were ABSOLUTLEY unacceptable to be allowed with kids that were entrusted to them.
This is no longer about Pete Newman. He is behind bars, serving a sentence for his crimes. Done. Now it is about the environment created by Kanakuk which allowed Pete to perpetuate his pedophilia. It is about the protection of future campers at Kanakuk and other camps.
Kanakuk is amazing and it changes lives for good. What Pete Newman did was a horrible thing beyond words, but that is not Kanakuk's fault. They wouldn't have let it go on if they truly knew and one person saying that they did means nothing to me. The environment created by Kanakuk? You have obviously never been a camper there, never worked there, never experience this "environment" that you're giving a negative connotation to. It's the best environment anyone could possibly be in. So if this isn't about Pete Newman anymore than there shouldn't be a problem because Kanakuk was not the problem.
2:17It IS about Kanakuk at this point. I have children who have been campers there for 7 years and I agree they have done lots of good over the years but that does not give them a free pass for their negligence in this situation. I am sure many people (OBVIOUSLY NOT EVERYONE) affected by this would agree. And as for ONE person saying they had reason to suspect there was something not right with Pete. Where have you been? How about MULTIPLE parents reporting they made reports to Camp regarding their concerns. You don't want to believe us loley parents, fine, how about Pete's own expert witness at his sentencing testifying that he was put on probation by Kanakuk in 2003 for improper conduct with boys? How about even IF none of this was true, they DID NOT FOLLOW THEIR OWN POLICIES that were in place to protect kids in their care from people like Pete Newman. Good Lord people if they cannot see how their actions contributed to this tragedy, they will never be in a position to prevent it from happening again. To ignore history is to be doomed to repeat it!
Have any of you ever thought that the news may be lying to you? Joe white would never allow any of this if he had known!Both Pete and Joe white changed my life one summer! They led me to Christ! And this whole thing has upset me very much. But all we can do now is pray for Pete and not to forget about his wonderful wife Katie and their daughter. Keep them in your prayers. Jesus forgave us, we should do the same for Pete.
In my opinion, kanakuk will most likely comment when the trial is over. At this time, it is not in anyones vest interest for them to publicly announce anything that would implicate them. The parents are rightfully angry and are looking for damages. I believe kanakuk made a very bad choice to keep him on after the naked incidents and a monetary punishment will likely make them to think this over! I would personally love to hear their rationale in why they gave him these chances!! What happened in inexcusible and disgusting but when the dust settles, I hope kanakuk can continue to do great things for the other thousands of happy campers! My son attended k-7 for 7 years and worked there for a summer. His expereience was very positive. I'm saddened for these families and truly hope their healing process can start soon!!
I looked into this camp because friends were going.....after the molesting issues that are going on I choose to not send my child.....then I started reading about the free comment and why its so expensive....I agree a good quality camp needs to charge but that would mean only the kids who can afford it can get the so called quality....the expensive fee doesnt keep you safe either.....I know it can happen anywhere but this camp seems to be focused on money....the child who had molesting issues asked to be handled in Texas is being faught....this shows the intention....I would haul butt to Texas and do all I can to help the family instead of fighting them. kennedy space center her we come!
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