Tag Archives: Cru

CRU’s Negligence Led to Young Missionary’s Death

Usually, we hear from former CRU members’ experiences of discrimination, emotional trauma, and forced evangelism. But today, we want to highlight the unfortunate tragedy of Travis Eiler, who was killed while evangelizing with CRU. Our hearts go out to Travis’ family, and to all other families that lost their loved ones due to the ministry’s negligence to protect its members.

In 2003, a distraught family sued CRU (formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ) for negligence that led to their son’s death. Their son, Travis, was sent on a CRU mission trip to Kazakhstan, a country that is extremely restrictive on religious minorities and evangelism work.

The family’s claim is that CRU neglected to register the evangelism / missionary work properly with the local government, and failed to inform their son of the dangers — leading to his death by suffocation.

An article on the court case: https://www.courthousenews.com/campus-crusade-for-christ-blamed-for-death/

Excerpts from the article:

 “A young evangelist was murdered on a mission to Kazakhstan, in which his team had to “speak in code” and “pose” as having other jobs, and the Campus Crusade for Christ failed to warn him of the legal and actual dangers of the work, his parents claim in court.

     Travis Eiler was killed in a hotel room in Kazakhstan in December 2011. He was suffocated with a plastic bag.”

     Campus Crusade for Christ’s mission is to “win, build and send Christ-centered multiplying disciples who launch spiritual movements,” according to its website.
     The group sent Travis Eiler, of Myrtle Beach, S.C., to Shymkent, in southern Kazakhstan, a region that is 70 percent Islamic.

     Eric Eiler claims the Campus Crusade knew Christians were in the minority there and it would be dangerous for crusaders: “Due to the nature of the mission based, in part on the environment, the participants were to speak in code,” the complaint states. “For example, ‘ice cream socials’ were not events where ice cream was served; rather, they were organized events where Christianity was observed. Likewise, the participants posed as English teacher at various universities.'”

 
“Eiler claims the Crusade did not register or make its presence known before or after the laws were passed, nor did it take sufficient measures for the safety of its members already there.
  

 Eiler claims his son was killed as a result of the Crusade’s negligence.
     

The Campus Crusade “intentionally, deliberately and with reckless disregard for his health and safety, sent Travis on the religious mission to Shymkent,” according to the complaint.
    
 Travis’s parents seek damages for wrongful death, negligence, emotional distress and loss of consortium, and funeral expenses.”

Like a crazy ex, CRU does not “like you socializing outside of your group”

I’ve heard they are actually kind of cult-y. Not supposed to socialize outside the group. Start making impossible demands once you’re in. Guilt you into giving them your money. The whole “discipleship” mechanism.

Redditor: themsc190

I was with cru from 2011-2013 (most of my undergrad). I can confirm that they do not like you socializing outside of your group and do tell you that non-Christian friends are not “really” friends but should be causes for you to convert. They keep you from mingling with other people by organizing your whole week, like oh homecoming? We have a table where you can tailgate (no alcohol obv)! Then they pressure you to volunteer and do more (fruit of the Spirit). Hell, I left the country, moved abroad for grad school and they contact the Cru abroad at the university to reach out to me! It was terrible! I’ve been avoiding them ever since.

Redditor: hayekenthusiast

Link: https://www.reddit.com/r/exchristian/comments/62xrmd/so_out_of_curiosity_what_exactly_is_cru/

CRU Does “Homemade Conversion Therapy” to Scar Gay Christians: “I go to therapy and cry my eyes out each time over the things Christianity took away from me.”

“I’m a 22 year old gay college student who struggles with extreme anxiety and depression. When I was 17, i came out to my parents. It didn’t end well and I was hospitalized for suicide. My parents didn’t take it seriously enough after I got out and tried to change my sexuality. I became super bitter against them, and eventually became numb. I used sex as my way of feeling for about 3 years. I was sexually assaulted twice in that period. At the time I didn’t know who I was. I was battling myself over who I knew myself to be, and if God was “okay” with it. In my lowest times, campus ministry called Cru, picked me up. They gave the usual “love the sinner hate the sin” spiel, and told me that I couldn’t be gay and god still love me. I gave into those lies, mostly because it was something. It was something to feel. Something to live for. I took everything they said and rolled with it. In the meantime, I made friends with people who I cared for deeply. In the meantime, i was working on becoming a minister myself.

Then depression hit full force again. Cru took advantage of this. They threw everything they had about gay not being okay, and at this time threatened to take away my leadership I had built if I “gave into my sexuality”. And again, I took everything they said, and ran with it. They would say things like my sexuality is why I’m depressed. They’re homemade conversion therapy ruined me without me even realizing it. At the end of the semester, something clicked, and I kept praying for God to tell me why he allowed me to go through depression. Cru said it was my being gay. My heart told me something else. Lo and behold that something else was that shit happens. Depression runs in my family. No nothing about me being has made me depressed. No nothing about anything I’ve done has made me depressed. I left Cru almost immediately after I made this realization.

Meanwhile, my church was making bold statements about how being gay was a sin and how they’re not allowing any gay leadership. I have sat through 2 meetings with 100s of people saying amen to these statements while holding back tears. Because if I had let those tears flow, I would be ousted. I may have even been shot, and I’m not even kidding after hearing many of these “men and women God” say their true thoughts on the issue. I’m in the process of leaving them too.

After almost 2 years since I left Cru, and now leaving the church I grew up in, I’ve realized that I cannot be a Christian. Because Christianity took it all from me. It took away the friendships I thought were so beautiful simply because of who I like to be in bed with. I watch as the people I once called friends forget who I am. My name. My face. It took away a good relationship with my parents, and now I watch from the sidelines as my mom is slowly dying of cancer, and my dad literally losing his mind. All while wondering what could have been if they had just accepted me. It took away a career of helping people to be loved fully. And to be cared for fully. I wanted to feed the homeless. I wanted to help give the abused a place to rest. I wanted to help all the ones who have had nothing. Because I have been through what it’s like to have nothing and no one. But now I have to find a different way to do it. Because I don’t want anything to do with Christians. Churches. None of it.

I’m scarred. I have to take 4 pills a day to survive. I go to therapy and cry my eyes out each time over the things Christianity took away from me. My friends. My family. My passions. I feel lost still, and definitely feel alone. I’m trying to make it, but all I have are me and my boyfriend, and a few old friends here and there. It’s nothing like it used to be. I felt alive when I was a part of Cru. But Christianity has taken away that feeling too. If anybody relates, I would love to talk. Some solidarity would really help me feel better. Sorry for the long post, but I don’t really know where else to turn.”

Link: https://www.reddit.com/r/exchristian/comments/ekm1mb/christianity_took_everything_from_me_long_read/

CRU: “worst 4 years of your spiritual and emotional life”, “more cliquey than a high school teenage drama”

“If you’re looking for the worst 4 years of your spiritual and emotional life.

You will become a lifeless zombie and shout “I love Jesus” from the top of your lungs while slandering others who don’t think like you do. People gather religiously for these meetings and events but they refuse to talk to you outside of fellowship events. It is more cliquey than a high school teenage drama so get ready to feel out of place in ‘brotherhood’ of believers. I think they’re with the Athletes in Action on campus but i heard they are pretty miserable too. Most students are only there once in a while; their ‘fire’ does not last with them for a long time. the leaders there are ridiculous in the fake fervency they want to get from their members. but the rest go out of guilt of what people say when they leave. Just because you are not part of a campus fellowship doesn’t mean that you don’t love Jesus or are less of a believer. There are a lot of fellowships to join if you know which ones to avoid.”

Link: https://www.reddit.com/r/UCDavis/comments/9fqehp/looking_for_a_ministry_christian_freshmen_please/

CRU “only wanted to take, never to give me time or answers to my questions”

From Redditor pmMeScienceFacts

“My family have worked for Cru. So I grew up in it.

I started college and immediately got involved in Cru. Each Cru movement is different, but mine was pretty bad. They lacked leaders, so there was so much pressure to get involved. It always felt like they were draining me spiritually. They only wanted to take, never to give me time or answers to my questions.

I remember at one of my first Christmas Conferences they made us to Facebook evangelism. They REQUIRED that we contact X number of people and ask them how we could pray for them (to be fair I could have walked out, it was my decision but there was so much pressure and judgement that I just…folded).

I was a freshmen so I didn’t know ANYONE on campus. I did have an old acquaintance from middle school who had recently contacted me and said they went to the same school as me. We hadn’t talked in years, but I HAD to message X people so I messaged them. We had plans to hang out sometime, and I NEVER heard from them again. I lost that friendship. I felt so upset because I didn’t feel like I had a good enough friendship with them to message them, but I was pressured to do so to fill an arbitrary goal of “messaging X people”.

I also was pressured into doing “cold” evangelism where we went up to random people on campus and asked to share the gospel with them. I DRRADED IT every week (yes we did it for 90 min every week). But I chalked up my discomfort to spiritual warfare. I TRICKED people into talking with me by using lies that Cru taught us. I would ask people to play a “game” called Soularium (u/_hooman_ mentions they did this too) when really I was just waiting to tell them about Jesus.

We also had fake “surveys” we gave out to get people talking about religion. We lied and said it was a real survey our organization was taking. But no one ever logged in the responses, it was just a bait and switch. I asked the leaders why we lied about it and didn’t actually log responses. They just made a joke about it saying no one wanted to spend the time to log in responses. I always felt bad about that. I’m sorry to all the random people I tricked into talking about God. I think the loving thing to do would be to hear someone’s story and learn from them, empathize with them, and if I believed God was the answer to help them discover that themselves.

I had some other serious problems with Cru that I don’t want to go into here because they’re super specific and identifiable.

Cru was such a bad experience for me, that when I left college I felt spiritually numb. I felt like I was struggling for air, and grasping to hold onto my faith. They played a small role in my realization that churches are broken, which lead me to question which beliefs I actually held and which I didn’t. That’s where I am now. Trying to figure out what I believe for myself. I still consider myself spiritual, but I want to find the answer whether it’s Christianity or not.”

Link: https://www.reddit.com/r/exchristian/comments/c4tpb5/im_listening_to_born_again_agains_episode_on/