"Our church is a refuge and will not stand for abuse or with those who hide it."
"French’s investigation didn’t just focus on Newman’s abuses in Branson. In St. Louis, she tracked down a Kanakuk counselor fired in 1990 after an eight-year-old camper reported him for groping and sexual assault."
"Pastor John sent the I-Team the public letter he recently wrote stating depositions show '...there were felonies against children committed in 1999 and in 2003.'"
"Joe White personally was negligent in making a decision after he was told specifically Pete Newman is a risk to be around kids."
"Those men's connections to the organization have never before been fully exposed publicly and, in many cases, the camp has repeatedly denied and downplayed the connections."
White refused his call for an independent investigation and seemed more focused on protecting Kanakuk’s reputation, framing the crisis as a spiritual battle between good — the camp — and evil.
"She said the boy admitted he “may have” groped the girls, but Chancey wanted the girls to apologize to the boy for making the accusation."
"She was told she could not eat dinner in 2007 without having a communal shower in front of camp leadership to save time."
"When Kanakuk’s Joe White heard the camp’s charismatic director Pete Newman was serially caught nude with children, he didn’t think “what should we do to protect children?” Instead, he thought “what can we do to make sure this man continues to bring children back...
"The director, a man named Pete Newman, was a superpredator, and when he was finally caught and convicted, the camp bought the silence of victims, bullied their families, and even to this day threatens those who have exposed its horrific negligence."
"While Newman’s abuse was ongoing, White and camp management seemingly turned a blind eye."
"The individual numbers vary from year to year, but between 2014 and 2017, Kanakuk paid the Whites or entities owned by the Whites about $2.62-million."
"Kanakuk leadership continues to lack transparency in order to step aside from the responsibility that they carry in what happened to the young men who were victimized after they learned of Pete Newman’s actions."
"One of our main goals is to get the word out there to help find someone who might be listening, so that they can start the healing journey and get the help and support that they need."
"He told the News-Leader that Kanakuk leadership “should have caught on” that it was not acceptable behavior for an adult to be hanging out with a 13-year-old boy."
"He believes that “if they truly want to stand for kids, the first thing that needs to happen is that” Kanakuk CEO Joe White and Kanakuk Ministries President Doug Godwin need to resign."
"Between April – June 2021, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation was contacted by three survivors of sexual abuse allegedly taking place at Kanakuk. One survivor we spoke with said that finally at age 70 he was sharing what happened to him for the...
“For decades, thousands of families have entrusted their children’s hearts, minds, and safety to Kanakuk Kamps—one of the largest Christian sports camps. Tragically, in a deeply troubling array of instances, the safety of children took a back seat to other considerations as years of...
"White says he wished he would have understood what he was dealing with. He knew he was dealing with an adult who was naked with children on multiple occasions. He knew exactly what he was dealing with, he chose to cover it up and...
"While I appreciate (Joe White's) gesture to reach out to victims and make an attempt to apologize, this letter is not that. It's filled with emotional language that still lacks authentic brokenness and an (admission) to failing victims and their families 12 years ago....
"A group of people who say they're survivors of past sexual abuse at Kanakuk camp in southwest Missouri called on the Branson-area Christian youth camp to own up to numerous allegations of sex abuse against underage minors by people linked to the camp."
"There was a time—after Pete was nude-four-wheeling with campers—that Will wanted to let Pete go. Will brought it to the attention of the Kanakuk authorities, but the powers that be rejected Will’s recommendation to fire Pete. Instead, they insisted Pete stay.”
"For years, a former staffer at Kanakuk Kamps, one of the country’s most popular Christian summer camps, abused dozens of boys. Vice News speaks with survivors, who say the camp has used confidentiality clauses to keep them quiet."
"When a young victim wanted to be free to tell his story, the camp played hardball."
"Joe and Debbie-Jo White Paid $2.6-Million by Kanakuk from 2014-2017"
"Experts say the FBI should investigate possible child trafficking."
"When asked why they would risk financial consequences by coming forward, one of them said, 'I have a story that I want to be told.' Another said, 'It’s a cry for justice.'"
"An anonymous 'John Doe' plaintiff has sued a former counselor of Kanakuk camp for civil damages. According to court documents and reports in the Springfield News-Leader, 'The plaintiff says he suffered sex abuse while he attended a Christian youth camp based near Branson.'"
"David and Nancy French note that the number of Kanakuk victims who have come forward remains unknown since many cases were settled with nondisclosure agreements. They explain the reason for their report: 'There is no statute of limitations on truth.'”
"Court Documents Suggest Nearly 60 Kanakuk Sex Abuse Victims"
"Joe White's decades-long cover-up of sexual abuse at Kanakuk Kamps is a horrific reminder of how institutional abuse persists when unaddressed."
"Why did so many Christian leaders look the other way?"
"We believe that to retract these articles, which are substantially true and provide valuable information, would be a disservice to the abuse victims and their families, a disservice to the public, and a disservice to the truth we are committed to uphold."
“What if an institution like Kanakuk decided to die? What if it decided that its continued existence was irrelevant compared to the necessity of repentance and justice, and it should close before it denied truth and restitution to the children who were so terribly...
"The PPP was designed to help organizations that would have to shut down or experience severe financial hardship during the pandemic. However, Kanakuk Kamps, in Missouri, didn’t shut down last summer. They operated a mostly full schedule all summer in 2020 – despite the fact that this decision led to an outbreak of COVID cases in August."
"It's incredible that this ministry hasn't shut down yet. It's even more amazing that parents still send their kids to this place. No amount of whitewashing the past can make up for the pain and trauma the camp's leaders have caused."
"The plaintiff, identified as "John Doe III," alleges that Newman molested him from age 10 to age 16, and that before he even attended Kanakuk Kamp, Kanakuk Ministries and its various affiliates had notice of Newman's inappropriate and predatory behavior."
"[Kanakuk] then used settlements that included things like non disparagement agreements and confidentiality provisions to keep people from telling the [story] publicly of what the camp knew and when it knew it.”
"A major Christian camp has come under scrutiny years after its most popular and charismatic director was sentenced to life in prison for sexually assaulting an untold number of campers over many years."
A new report argues a yearslong abuse scandal from a prominent former director at Branson-area Kanakuk Kamps was more widespread and systemic than reported before.
"Former Kanakuk director Pete Newman has been in prison since 2010 for abusing boys from the popular Christian summer camp, but a recent report and petition say the public still doesn’t know the extent of the child sex abuse that went on there."
"The popular Christian summer camp Kanakuk near Branson is the subject of a scathing new report by journalists David and Nancy French, alleging that the leadership of the camp covered up for sexual abuse of campers by a former staffer that took place a...
"Dr. White, meanwhile, was sued in 2015 for being aware of sexual abuse taking place at his camp and doing nothing to stop or prevent it. A 50-page petition ... shares details of a case involving a previous camp director's guilty plea to statutory...
"In the lawsuit, the lawyers claimed Kanakuk's management was aware of inappropriate behavior involving Newman but was slow to act."
"Bradberry is the second counselor from the Branson camp to be sentenced to jail for sexually abusing campers in the past several years."
"I was not describing the evils of Jerry Sandusky, but those of former Kanakuk camp director Pete Newman, and the godlike figure is not the late Joe Paterno, but the very much still in control Joe White, a nationally known motivational speaker connected with...
"Kanakuk Heritage, Inc. and Kanakuk Ministries are named as defendants in case, along with Newman and Kanakuk Ministries CEO Joe White. In recent weeks, a state appeals court and the state supreme court have denied a request by the defense to prohibit the...
"A counselor fired from a Christian summer camp last summer has been charged with sexually abusing several campers — charges that come less than two years after another former counselor was sent to prison for life for sexually abusing children at the camp."
"The crux of the case against White centers on the allegation that the nationally renowned Christian leader swept reports of sexual misconduct under the rug for years before Newman was arrested."
"The lawsuits allege camp officials knew about the man’s troubling behavior, including swimming and riding four-wheelers in the nude with campers, but failed to remove him or keep him away from children."
"The camp has made few public statements about the outbreak, and its communications office did not respond to multiple interview requests."
"As the cases mounted, there was a notable lack of immediate communication about the severity of the COVID outbreak. The parent of a young staff member expressed a similar frustration with a lack of communication between the camp and parents."
"In the meeting, representative Taylor Broadbent said Camp War Eagle and Kanakuk Kamps have been involved in the appropriation of Native American culture, according to the American Indian Student Association."