All this sounds like yet another example of a youth ministry movement that, whether intentional or not, is manipulating the teenage brain. Fatica's techniques take advantage of that fact that the frontal lobes of a teenager's brain (the center of logic and reasoning) are much less developed than the amygdala, a brain structure that governs the fear response and other emotions. The Hard as Nails program is designed to elicit an extreme emotional response from teens. Many of Fatica's public appearances reportedly bring teens to tears. But (and I mean this seriously) NSYNC used to send lots of teens into fits of emotional overload, but they grew up and got over it. Just how long lasting will the Hard as Nails approach be with the young people who get caught in its cathartic wave? I have to wonder if, in the long-run, these teens would benefit much more from counseling with a trained therapist.
Many reviewers of the documentary comment that it does seem that Fatica is "reaching teens." But to what end?