So I tried it out....I entered the keywords “Teen Mania tax ID number” into the Google search box, something any major donor may want to find out, and sure enough the second link that appeared in the search results is from this mysterious Teen Mania Internet portal.
Obviously, I expect that this site will no longer be publicly accessible in the very near future. But Teen Mania Watch believes that knowledge is power, so we have archived the entire Acquire the Fire call center “knowledgebase” in the following 10 PDF documents:
- Acquire the Fire Call Scripts
- Teen Mania Call Center Training
- ATF Youth Pastor Information
- ATF Event Information
- ATF Registration & Customer Service
- ATF Frequently Asked Questions
- Volunteer FAQ
- Fundraising for ATF
- ATF Forms
- Call Center IT Issues
Teen Mania Watch will spend a lot of time highlighting the ins-and-outs of the Acquire the Fire marketing strategy, as outlined in these documents, in the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, a couple of things jump out at me immediately.
First off, I’ve had several jobs as a telemarketer, including raising money for State Troopers, selling infomercial products, and hawking vacations to Disney World. I’ve had to read a lot of sales pitches to people on the phone, but I can honestly say I have never seen sales tactics so aggressive as what is being suggested in the Acquire the Fire call scripts. Honor Academy interns are basically trained to say whatever it takes to sell as many tickets as possible, and some of the lines that are being used are slicker and more deceptive than anything you’d hear from a used car salesman.
Second, it amazes me that Teen Mania instructs ATF callers to basically promise “encounters with God” and “life-changing experiences.” As if those things are something that you can buy with the $50+ cost of admission. Or guarantee will happen over the course of 27 hours, one weekend per year.
Stay tuned for more, folks....we’re just getting started!