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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Comments

Bryan

Wow! Ex-gay, Ex-Ex-Gay, and fundamentalist Christians. What a burden to try to reconcile all that and manage friendships with others doing the same. What a big, unhappy, dysfunctional family.

Of course, you all may dismiss my comment, since I do not believe in a god who would send me to hell based on whether or not I call someone my "savior." Talk about insecurity! You'd think omnipotence and omniscience would end that problem.

Alan Chambers

Um, okay. Thanks for stopping by Bryan. But, let me correct you, I am not unhappy. Not sure of anyone else here....

queertardo

for "visitor," who needs some clarification:

The person posting as MichaelBussee said
"Although Des and my relationship was not initially sexual, when we realized that this is where God was leading us..."

Darlene Bogle posted that, not Michael Bussee. Darlene, Michael and Jeremy are who this entire blog and comment section are about. Sorry you missed all that. If you'll take the time to read some of the important facts you'll understand the why and whatnot of the nasty words flying out of the blogs of ex-gay "Christians" regarding the three apologies.

Dude, that doesn't even make sense. God was leading you into something he is against? I struggle too, but to say what you are saying is to basically say "This must be right because it just feels so good."

Dude, the Bible is full of instances where God proclaims he lead his people into what you are pointing out as "sin" he does so for a very important reason, but I doubt you understand allegory, metaphor or literary devices.
I realize that the lack of attention you have for details might be the cause of your reaction, however it is annoying to have to read your angry, accusatory screed.

Not judging, b/c I wish I didn't have the SSA, but it gets less as you focus on the Lord.

Glad to see that your admitted SSA has caused you to point out what you see as flaws in others- you puff up and present yourself as superior when you obviously aren't. You really shouldn't speak for others as long as you are still a struggler. Perhaps you should try to understand the codependent misery of your own struggles before you focus on other's.

May never go away, nobody is saying it ever will, but that doesn't mean you bail and just give up.

What a cop out! You're SSA may never go away so perhaps you ought to clean your own house before telling others when to clean theirs.

This is a race of endurance, not a sprint. God isn't done with you. Did you give him 30 days or a few years and then just say, oh well, must not be for me?

More fraudulent, fallacious and nasty assumptions about someone you don't even know personally. Must you feel it urgent to ALWAYS go online and dispense advice?

Jonathan

Alan:

I'm quite sure Bryan wasn't talking about you specifically. Then again, I think you know that.

I do wonder though why it is that people who say they have the Answer (Jesus Christ), often act just like their counterparts in the world. Instead of turning the other cheek, so often we pull out a dagger and try to cut off their ear ala Peter in the Garden. I am often saddened by the level of discourse I see between organizations like your own and those who feel they have been hurt by those same organizations.

j.

MichaelBussee

Alan said "They (NARTH) don't support any of the above, Michael, and you know it."

No, Alan, I do NOT "know it". You really think I make this stuff up just to make you look bad? I don't want EXODUS to look bad. You may not believe me, but it bugs me everytime you do. What I want is for you to CLEAN UP YOUR ACT! NARTH still has these men as expert advisors. NARTH has NEVER publicy denounced them and they STILL cite Cameron's research to this day (something EXODUS itself was doing until just a few months ago -- and even EXODUS has not denounced Cameron -- you just removed references to his "research". That's not enough.

For God's sake Alan, this is a man who quotes NAZIS in support of his hateful views about gays. You must come out against this man and publicly urge NARTH to do the same. I lknow it galls you for a cinner like me to point this out, but t's the moral thing to do. Otherwise, you share the guilt.

As for this comment: "You owe the Survivor's an apology-- not a self-righteous, game-playing brush-off of an apology that wasn't even meant for you." I imagine the post above was meant to make me look like I was contradicting myself by saying my apology was meant for anyone I might have harmed, but was not intended for Alan.

It's not a contradiction. My apology was meant for those I might have harmed while I was still with EXIT and EXODUS (1974 to 1979) It was meant for the people I counseled during those years and for my family and friends. I could not have been apologixing to Alan, because I believe Alan was just a baby when I left EXODUS. I could not have hurt him back then. Alan was being deliberately insincere in "forgiving me" -- and he admits it. He admits he was only "playing a game". With this in mind, how can I now believe ANYTHING he has to say? I was sincere. Alan, by his own admission, was not.

Christopher Yuan

Hey Alan, thanks for your post and interaction with those who believe that homosexuals can't change. I would say that my change is quite "radical." I used to have over a dozen sexual encounters each day and now I can go through a whole day without one! I would define that as "radical" change.

Besides, why is it that gay activists point to ex-ex-gays as evidence that ex-gays don't exist.

If I applied this same logic, then I could point to ex-gays as evidence that gays don't exist. Obviously, this is ludicrous and no one (including me) would ever buy into this logic.

And yet activists and media continually hold up their ex-ex-gay examples as their "trump cards" that homosexuals can't change. Funny isn't it.

Also funny is that fact that gay activists continually state that science is on their side.

But the last time that I checked, there is no evidence supporting their claim that homosexuality is purely genetic.

Besides if homosexuality was purely genetic, science would come up with some scientific tests to determine if a person was homosexual or heterosexual, like a blood test, or x-ray, or MRI, or gene test, etc.. But there is none. Homosexuality is only self-determined.

Anyway, thanks for your leadership and continued walk with the Lord Jesus who said:

"If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me." Luke 9:23

Eddy

Someone once defined 'insanity' as 'doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results'. Michael, you've been hammering incessantly at EXODUS for approximately 28 years now. So, Alan makes a good point, you've said it (over and over)...by now, you should have cleared up every guilt and hurt from long ago...and, as to the present, why not move on? Has God called you to badger them incessantly for the past 28 years or is that more of a personal thing? Do you pray for God's will to be done with EXODUS as much as you try to change them by your own efforts? It's been 28 years since you've been gone but it obviously troubles you still. Have you sought counseling about why you can't let go?

MichaelBussee

Eddy: It's not about trying to clear up my guilt and hurt. As long as EXODUS continues to stand by NARTH, and continues to mislead the public, I will speak out against them. And yes, I believe that I have a responsibility under God to do so. Call it insanity if you wish.

So you agree with Alan that I should just go away and let EXODUS spout whatever untruthful nonsense plays well on the radio? Stay silent when they associate with NARTH? Let them use whatever misleading language seems to attract the most customers? Stay silent when they favor doing away with all Hate Crime Laws when they didn't even have an official policy against hatred and violence? Don't hold your breath, Eddy.

And to the poster above, I have not said that "gays can't change". I am saying that I never met one who became heterosexual. I have also never insisted that being gay must be genetic. The fact is no one knows what "causes" it -- anymore than they what "causes" heterosexuality. Alan has admitted that he thinks it might be biological, at least to some extent.

Jonathan

Christopher:

I think you've confused your sexual addiction with being gay. There was a time in my life also where I engaged in sexual activity that could easily be defined as an addiction. But I grew up! I realized that it wasn't a life that was fulfilling. In that respect, I too have changed radically. I'm now happily partnered with a wonderful guy and together we are parenting an amazing child (my partner's biological child from his previous marriage...and no, they didn't split because he was gay...he figured it out after they had split).

I will also tell you that if it wasn't for God's grace, my behavior would probably have left me dead or dying now. But at 37, I'm a healthy individual who has God first in my life and through my daily pursuit of holiness, I am becoming a whole person. My life long quest is a relationship with Jesus Christ. Nothing else matters! And that includes my earthly relationship. It's on the altar and if God wants to take it away, as much as I love my partner and our son, then God comes first. In fact, as I've followed Christ, I really expected that was what would happen. And, like Jesus said in the garden "not my will but thine" was my response. It didn't happen that way, and for a time, I was really confused. Why didn't God work like everyone said He was suppose to? Perhaps it's because we don't understand how God works. His ways are above and beyond our own and to limit him to a prescribe way of doing things completely boxes Him in.

Changing your sexual habits didn't make you straight. Maybe that's what God has for you. I certainly won't question God. But I also think it is time to start looking at the possibility that perhaps God doesn't fit neatly into a box like the Church so desperately wants it to. It is time to start treating our addictions as what they are...addictions and not calling those addictions things they aren't...namely gay.

As for the biology argument, I harken back to something my father said to me when I came out. He's the Senior Pastor of a large, conservative, fundamentalist church who has counselled all sorts of people...including gay people. He said that his experience has showed him that a persons sexuality isn't nearly as neatly defined as the church has said it is. You take on faith that Jesus Christ is the son of God. Science can't prove it. Simply because science can't prove something definitively doesn't mean it's false.

j.

Alan Chambers

Michael,

You state that you have never met anyone that was gay and became heterosexual. Let me confuse everyone even more. I was gay and am no longer. As I have stated, I have no temptation, inclination or desire to be gay, to have a gay relationship, to be emotionally connected to a man in a homosexual way, to be romantically or sexually connected to a man. That changed in me.

I do have every desire to be, and am, connected to my wife in those ways. Because I am faithful to her in every sense of that word, I have not experienced sexual heterosexuality with anyone else. Because that wasn't my struggle I have never taken it to unhealthy places. However, I have, over the last ten years, experienced a dramatic shift in my heterosexuality. I know that I do have to be careful in that regard and hold to the same policies that other heterosexual men do when it comes to safeguarding myself from temptation.

I do not have a homosexual identity, I do have a heterosexual one---but that comes after my identity in Christ.

Dan Everitt

I can certainly understand why some folks would want to escape from unhealthy sexual behaviors like multiple partners, lack of monogamy, etc...and why some people would be convinced that being gay can ONLY mean having multiple partners and engaging in unsafe sexual behavior.


However, for those of us who are in happy contented, committed, monogamous relationships with a person of the same sex (which I can only wonder if you think such a thing can happen - obviously it didn't happen to you), why would we want to "change"?

Also - being Unitarian-Universalist and not sharing the Christian understanding of a personal God that it watching my every move, I don't feel fettered by having to please a particular God.

Rather - I've come to understand my sexuality, and the healthy expression of that sexuality, as a wonderful, treasured, creative part of who I am as a human being. And I am sorry, but it seems like all your particular group offers is a blanket condemnation of anything associated with same-sex orientation. You don't show people that healthy sexual behavior is possible in a loving, monogamous relationship.

And I do condemn you all for that - for making people repress something that could be truly wonderful.

I am glad that the APA is reviewing their counseling guidelines again. Because I have no doubt that it will show how rooted your are in an outdated way of thinking, and how unhealthy your kind of repressions is.

Eddy

Michael,

I really don't want you to shut up and go away. What I'd really like is for you to say something once--maybe twice--then drop it. I'd like for you to stop exaggerating, generalizing, reinterpreting, lifting out of context, assigning and judging motives, twisting and spinning words and purposely missing the point. Then, we could maybe have a productive discussion rather than continue to re-establish points that have already been made.

And, yes, I believe I could show examples from this blog and your comments to back up every one of the manipulative gimmicks I mentioned...with a few extras thrown in.

The most memorable from your previous comments was in the 'purposely missing the point' category. Alan stated that he now had more years with EXODUS than you ever did. Your response was to tell a very moving story of how you fought your homosexual feelings since age 12??? That's actually a 'soapbox tactic' that doesn't address his point at all.

MichaelBussee

Eddy, I admit I really belabor my points, but I do not agree that I do the other things you accuse me of. And yes, I have been struggling against my gay feelings since elementary school. I have been dealing with the "gay issue" longer than Alan has been alive -- even though I was with EXIT/EXODUS only a few years. I also have a Masters's degree in Psychology and have been working full-time in the mental health field since 1979.

And Eddy, you certainly say things more than once or twice and I don't tell you to go away. That being said, I am going to make a lot of people happy and stop blogging. You are right. It is futile. It is insane to think that EXODUS will clean up its act. I certainly can't do it. For now, I will leave the "watch-dogging" to younger folks than myself who have more patience than I do. Time to celebrate.

As for your accusation that I have been "hammering away at this for 28 years" -- you are incorrect. I left EXODUS in 1979 and didn't say a word about it publicly until just before "one Nation Under God" came out in 1991 -- that's 11 years of silence. Then, after Gary died of AIDS, I was silent AGAIN until last year -- when I first found Dr. Throckmorton's blog. The rest of the time, I tired to forget about EXODUS. Instead, I have been quietly living my life, grieving the loss of lovers, friends and parents, raising my daughter, going to work, singing in church, etc. Now I am tired, as I am sure a lot of readers are. So now I plan to go "underground" again and let others hold EXODUS's feet to the fire. I will finish writing my book, maybe give a few interviews and leave the rest of you alone. It's been nice talking you. God bless all of you.

Eddy

Michael,
Let me repeat what I began with: I don't want you to shut up and go away. You have valuable things to add to the discussions (particularly on Warren Throckmorton's site), but when you get on the anti-EXODUS/anti ex-gay bend and REFUSE to let a conversation go any way but yours...that's when I get frustrated.

Heck, I know I frustrate you, too! I've been told by more than a few that I'm one 'self-confident short person'. Something in the way they said it made me realize that they could have easily said 'cocky' instead.

I quit blogging twice in the past year and a half...once it lasted a week; the other time, I believe it was several. If you do quit, I hope it's only for a spell. I value you and have enjoyed reconnecting--even if it has been as 'sparring partners'.

Jonathan

Michael:

How would one contact you directly?

j.

Stuart H.

Man, I can't believe this thread has dragged on as long as it has.

Let's sum it up.

Alan is a respectable man who has chosen to honor God with his whole heart, mind and soul.

Alan, like many others of us, have come to the biblical conclusion that homosexuality is sin - like any other, no greater. Sin is wicked, evil and is something God detests (thus abomination).

Alan has seen the emptiness in the self-serving, "me"-focused, sexually immoral and perverse homosexual sin.

It is unnatural, unhealthy, unrighteous, deceptive and in Alan's own words - "evil."

Many of us have been there, and many of us are no longer there. We live happy, fulfilled, blessed lives in the sight of God.

We are far from perfect in many respects and we sin in some way most likely every day. Yet there is one difference: we have an Advocate with the Father (and I'm not talking about the pornographic trashy magazine.)

Some individuals struggle with the homosexual temptation every now and then (temptation is not sin - acting upon it is), while others struggle with temptations other than homosexuality.

The fact is we KNOW homosexuality, homosexual lust, etc. is sinful and wrong. We have chosen a road the Lord wishes all to be on: pursuing Him and holiness.

Others who were once on this road, for a variety of reasons, succumbed to the lusts of the flesh and gave up. They gave in to their temptations and sin and now have deceived themselves into believing a lie; a false gospel; a false Christ; and a false religion. They have "failed" and now glory in their failure as "success", glorying in their sin.

Alan, I would disagree with you when you say you are "confident" Michael and Darlene "know" the same Jesus. How can you be sure?

The Bible says we can't know another person's heart - not even our own: it is desperately wicked.

However, we CAN know them by their fruit.

Michael and Darlene have caused others to stumble by their "choice" to give up, and by their fruit. I would never say they know the same Jesus - unless they are feeling remorseful or conviction for their sin.

That doesn't seem to be the case though. They are actually "counseling" others to go down the path of sin with them (the blind leading the blind.) They are guilty of calling evil good - and good evil.

No more playing semantics. Remain faithful to the calling of Exodus and help those who are seeking the help - freedom from same-sex attractions and the sinful homosexual lifestyle - and let the others go and do what they want to do. We can't coerce people in to believing the Truth. Michael and Darlene know it - and for now, they vehemently reject it.

According to God's Word, we are to have nothing to do with them - not for evil, but to give them a desire to come back into the Lord's fold. That's biblical.

The Lord knows His own. If they are His, they will be chastised if they continue in their sin and don't repent. If they are not His, they are of their father.. the devil (John).

Harsh words, but the truth for a deeply troubling situation. Time for us all to move on - and stay close to Christ. There many individuals looking for a way "out" of homosexuality. Show 'em it: Christ alone.

Stephen Black

AMEN

YourLight

I just hope you all get to at least kiss one person you really feel attracted to during your lives. You will surely die, because the joy will kill you.

BRK

I've read through these comments and along with finding them genuinely interesting, find myself in the midst of confusion of terminology, side taking, etc...

If anything stands out preeminent in my mind when talking with ex-gays -- both leaders and participants -- was the lack of ongoing, sustained celibacy. There were so many oops, slips, and falls that many of the testimonies seemed to focus around them -- and God's grace -- which admittedly is a very necessary thing for anyone's life.

But as far as this search for healing and change that would lessen the desire that led to the slips and falls -- pretty absent.

It bothers me, therefore, that the light or perspective in which Michael Bussee, Darlene Bogle, and Jeremy Marks are viewed is entirely different than that for John Paulk or any other number of Exodus leaders who have reverted -- even if it was for one night.

Is the difference solely that Michael, Jeremy, and Darlene *accept* themselves as gay and do not see the orientation as sin? (Which is an issue that Exodus seems to not come entirely clear on -- unlike the Catholic group, Courage, for instance.)

Because if same sex attracted people are "acting out" they are having gay sex just as ex-ex-gays are who are in relationships. Isn't that what is claimed that God opposes, not what one calls oneself (or doesn't call oneself)?

I suspect that the finger pointing at these ex-ex-gays and how they disappointed others is a bit disengenious from my perspective. I remember let downs that I had from Exodus leaders who had slips and falls (including but not limited to John Paulk), and yet I was told, "Don't look at them, look to God."

So, why all this focus on these ex-ex-gay leaders and *their* disappointing others when there are plenty in the Exodus camp who have done the same to yet others?

Seems that no one's house is particularly clean to do a bonafide white glove inspection. Maybe this could be seen as realistically common ground.

David

Alan,

There are not a whole lot of people like you willing to help speak truth to power, every night the nation is inundated with gay affirmation, and that those who disagree are hate mongers.

What Exodus bring's to this discussion is unparallel. Please keep up the brilliant work.

Cam

I can't help but wonder, if people like Michael, Darlene, and Jeremy, instead of continuing to associate themselves with the very thing they claimed to have left, had cut themselves off from their former lifestyle and established normal lives and jobs, would they not, then, have become so tempted - by those around them struggling with the same desires - and discouraged to eventually go back?

Guest

"...and that gays should be tatooed, quarantined and even killed (Cameron). All of these things are well-documented..."

I noticed someone had said that above, but the only source I can find for tattooing is actually not documented, unless you qualify this:

http://www.indegayforum.org/news/show/26867.html

...which neither includes documentation nor details. Cameron never called for the other two either.

Char Blair

Alan, I watched the Beyond Ex-gay apolgoy on youtube recently. Everything that Darlene Bogle said about Exodus was untrue in my opinion, but I was wondering if perhaps when Exodus first started if it took more of a hard line approach to healing, or it wasn't accepting of those whose attractions didn't change? I must say I really enjoyed your message the first night of the 07 conference. It answered a lot of questions I had about Exodus. Thank you for being honest! You are loved!!!!

Thomas Morey

Before we begin, here are the list of errors (from in
1 John 2:6) I found in Darlene's testimony: (1) the
lust of the flesh: a) exhibited in a poor
understanding of what grace is and/or b) the church;
2) the pride of life: a) practicing a wordly,
perfectionistic, or even idolatrous view of sexual
wholeness; and b) codependency and/or workaholism that
drains the life out of anyone (if there was any to
begin with!). These first two errant beliefs and ways
of living gradually set her up for the kill, being, 3)
a)the lust of the eyes. They chose to go the way of
creature worship. b) In order to justify their course
of living, they embrace a diametrically opposite,
self-serving, socio-political view to the
traditionalist one they apparently had before, while
they were ex-gay.

Now for her ex-ex-gay testimony:

"Hello. My name is Darlene Bogle. Thank you for this
opportunity to share our stories. First, I will tell
you why I am here. I directed Paraklete Ministries, an
Exodus referral ministry in Hayward, California, which
incorporated prayer, Bible study, and individual
counseling. I was also the assistant pastor of the
Foursquare church. As an Exodus leader, I traveled
the country, speaking and appearing on many local and
national television shows such as Sally Jesse Raphael,
Jerry Springer, and CBS 48 hours. I taught workshops
at the annual Exodus conferences on the process of
being “delivered from homosexuality” and the benefits
of healing the inner child through prayer. I authored
two books, Long Road to Love, and Strangers in a
Christian Land.(2b) My message was clear: being gay is
a choice, and you can and should change in order to be
Christian.(3b) I was sincere in the message I
delivered. God didn’t hate gays, but homosexuality was
not His perfect plan for our lives.

For over ten years, my role in Exodus and the local
church, combined with speaking and book promotions,
contributed to my having no private life. Somewhere
along the line, I was so focused on helping others in
conflict that I lost the ability to feel anything
about my own life. I thought this lack of emotion was
the confirmation that I was truly ex-gay, in spite of
the fact that I never desired a relationship with a
man and held same-sex friendships at arm’s
length.(2a,b)

Then, in l990, while teaching at a Foursquare women's
retreat in California, I had an experience that
changed my theology, my life, and my ministry!(1a)

I had just begun my workshop on “Healing the Crumpled
Spirit,” when a woman walked in and sat on the front
row. She had long curly black hair and an infectious
smile. Her eyes locked with mine, and although the
books say there is no such thing as love at first
sight, my heart knew better. Her name was Des. I
walked to the other side of the room, recounting my
journey of healing by rote, but my brain was whirling
with thoughts and emotions that I thought were dead.
Imagine, if you can, my shock and horror when I
realized in that moment, that what I had been teaching
was a lie!(3a)

I knew instantly that God had brought us together! We
prayed and read the Bible with the intent of defining
love, not sin. Every scripture we read was in support
of the love we now shared. I realized for the first
time how restrictive and limiting my message of grace
had become. I was free for the first time in over 15
years.(1a)

Within weeks, I was asked to resign from the church,
and removed from Exodus ministry!(3b) Des and I began a
12-year journey together, which is told in my new
book, A Christian Lesbian Journey. I discovered a
large world of gay Christians, and as with Saul in the
New Testament, the scales fell from my eyes! I wasn’t
put out to ministerial pasture, but found many
opportunities to share God’s unconditional love and
healing truth with the lesbian and gay
community.(1a, b)

In 2005, after a long struggle, Des passed away from
breast cancer. Before she died, she charged me to
tell our story and to be a voice for the gay and
lesbian community.

Before I met Des, I considered myself “ex-gay” because
I had ceased sexual activity, and I spent my time
promoting “change” in others.(2a,3b) When these
changes did not occur, the people in my care
frequently asked how long it would take for desires to
change. I lied and encouraged them to keep praying and
reading their Bible. When they asked how long it took
for me, I avoided the question. My heart was in the
right place, but my message was not. I apologize to
those individuals and families who believed my message
that change was necessary to be acceptable to God. In
recent years I have seen the resulting damage from
rejection, shame, and conditional love. I apologize
for my part in presenting a God of conditional love,
and ask forgiveness for the message of broken truth I
spoke on behalf of Exodus.(1a,3b)

My heart breaks as I hear the many stories of abuse
and suicide from men and women who couldn’t change
their orientation, regardless of what Exodus and other
Christian ministries told them. One of our female
attendees became so depressed over her inability to
change that she jumped off a bridge rather than
continue the struggle. I was told it wasn’t my fault,
but my heart knew better.(3b)

My call today is for those ministries to hear these
stories with their heart, and to cease spewing
messages that damage the families and individuals who
are homosexual. Stand up for truth, but not the
broken truth of mandated change to be acceptable to
God. There does need to be change in our lives, but
our sexual orientation is not what needs to be healed.
I call for a time of healing within the body of faith
that will celebrate Christ’s life within all His
children.(1b, 3b)

If there are other former Ex-gay leaders who have come
to understand and embrace God’s grace as gay and
lesbian men and women, I encourage them to step
forward and join the healing and reconciliation
process. This is the reason I am now stepping up and
accepting responsibility for my past message, and
speaking out a message of hope for our future as gay
and lesbians in the community, and in the church.
(1a,b)

Discussion and critique of her testimony:

As you can see, I believe Darlene unfortunately
commits many errors in her beliefs and behaviors that
contribute to her downfall. However, there is one in
particular that appears to be the major culprit. It is
quite surprising that she even admits this in fact has
been an unhealthy behavior pattern of hers, but
evidently without any awareness of how this actually
relates to her inevitable choice to live her life as a
lesbian. It is error 2, section b, the pride of life
as expressed in codependency and workaholism.

She says, and I quote, "For over ten years, my role in
Exodus and the local church, combined with speaking
and book promotions, contributed to my having no
private life. Somewhere along the line, I was so
focused on helping others in conflict that I lost the
ability to feel anything about my own life." In other
words, it appears that she didn't allow the Lord to
take care of her, at least enough so that she could
grow in His grace, and begin to experience being
rooted in her privileged positon as God's daughter;
and, thereby, experience a fuller sense of her
femininity.

Growing spiritually means allowing ourselves to become
vulnerable before God and to His people, allowing Him
to guide us through the good times and the bad, the
wonderful moments and the growing pains of relational
conflict, and trial and error. Rather, she apparently
much of the time blocked herself from experiencing
this vital spiritual growth, by hiding behind the work
of the ministry in order to avoid not only Him, but
feeling altogether! Addicts are also notorious for
this kind of coping with pain. There is this fleeting
attempt to control one's life by anesthestizing any
"bad" feelings via "the hit".

What is the "bad"? The reality of life; our very
uncomfortable, disconcerting, and dreaded vunerability
before God, and with others. We all do this to some
extent. Only she did this by keeping herself
distracted through her chosen idol "the ministry",
otherwise known as workaholism, to the point of
starving herself from her need for intimacy with God.
She apparently lived vicariously through those she
ministered to, in an attempt to fill the sense of
emptiness that is the result of spiritual starvation.
As she admits, this codependent strategy did not work.
She continued in this lifestyle pattern at least
enough where she substantially repressed her feelings,
to the point of, as she admits, losing, "...the
ability to feel anything..." in her life. Sadly, she
thought that what was really just repression was her
healing and growth in the Lord, and being free from
experiencing any homoemotional and homoerotic longings
through this chosen and rigid distraction of hers,
rather than properly through her attraction to God by
His Holy Spirit. These chosen defense strategies
inhibit any growth and maturity, leaving one with an
aching sense of emptiness and longing, as well as
vital love needs left unmet, that can only go ignored
for so long.

Then the inevitable finally happened. This is when
Darlene states she met Des for the first time at a
conference where she spoke. Des most likely possessed
much of cosmetically feminine physical and spirit
traits that Darlene believed she lacked. Of course,
this is not true, at least about the spirit traits,
but she couldn't be aware of this fact, because she
apparently didn't allow herself to experience the
fullness of her feminity by maintaining a dynamic and
intimate relationship with her Savior and Lord. It
does eem to be her obsession with her work and living
vicariously through those she ministered to instead
that failed her, not the Lord, nor Exodus, nor the
ex-gay movement. Sadly, instead of finding this to be
the cause and taking responsibility for it, she
appears to immaturely blameshift Exodus and ex-gay
theology for this failure, and then reframes the real
cause for her euphoric attraction and devotion to Des,
that being a state of relational and spiritual
starvation, to a spuriously false construction of
one's sexual identity, rather than on the ravages of a
spiritually void state of being for which she solely
was responsible.

(To be continued)

Thomas

Coinciding with the meeting of the annual Exodus
International conference at Irvine CA, there was a
counterconference that was held at the same time, and
almost directly across the street, with various
pro-gay prominent figures speaking. Three of these I
believe were Wayne Besen, Mel White, and Anthony
Venn-Brown. Fortunately, they did not cause any
disruptions to the Exodus Conference, as pro-gay
activists have done in previous years (i.e., ambushing
and invading en mass an Exodus general assembly, a
workshop, and/or a concert, and grabbing violently the
microphone off of the speaker and/or singer, and begin
singing with loud instruments and drums "Amazing gays,
how sweet the sound...") This I personally experienced
on numerous occasions. Fortunately, this year the
report from Randy Thomas is that they otherwise
respectfully took a hands-off approach to the Exodus
Conference, had a very low turn out; only one hundred,
in comparison to Exodus' 800+!

In light of this counter-conference event, I thought
that it would be opportunistic and edifying to bring
to light here, the grave error of their darkened
perspectives concerning same sex attractions and what
God's Word, scientific research, and particular
western socio-political leaders that consistently
uphold the Judeo-Christian ethic have to say about
these views of theirs. I will attempt to unveil the
stumbling blocks of bad theology, bad psychology, and
bad socio-political philosophies regarding the subject
matter.

And, why am I invested in doing this, you may ask? I
guess my primary motivation is to bring to light the
schemes of the evil one to deceive, even the most
zealous folks for Christ, as most were, in their
personal views and perspectives about what occurred in
their respective lives via their testimonies. You
know, how he uses as fuel for his fires errant
beliefs, especially about our views of Who God is and
who we are to Him, so that others who are now
struggling with same sex attractions and conduct, who
are also presently holding to the same or similar
views will be forwarned; so that they, their friends
and family members, in turn may become efficaciously
forearmed.

A secondary motivation appears to be more polemical in
nature; a defense of the faith, similar to how
foundational orthodox Christian doctrines came to be
official tenets of the faith by the early church
institution in the context of their fight against
heresy, cultic, and syncretistic beliefs and
practices. Now that there seems to be a push in this
ex-ex-gay counter movement to propagate these
misleading statements of apology, testimonies, and
literary works by former ex-gays who previously were
in ex-gay ministry leadership positions, it does seem
rather opportunistic and expedient to attempt to
unveil orthodox and orthopractice error that may have
led them to such a change in perspective and beliefs.


In order to accomplish these two objectives, I will
attempt to provide a critique response to each of
these pro-gay figures and their philosophical
approaches to the issue of same sex attractions, that
will hopefully be feasible and helpful to some, each
day by me to at least one of their ex-ex-gay
testimonies; that being from Jeremy Marks, Michael
Bussee, Darlene Bogle, Kim Brett, Wendy Lawson, and
maybe some others. Later, I am planning an attempt to
unveil a critique of Wayne Besen's spurious book of
propaganda called "Anything But Straight", and bring
to light the stumbling blocks in Mel White's
autobiography "Stranger At The Gate", and Anthony
Venn-Brown's autobiography "A Life of Unlearning",
that I believe led to their misfortunate perspectives
and personal choices concerning their sexuality.

OK? Well, there may be more here to bite off than I
personally will be able to chew and digest. But, maybe
not. So, I'll give it the ol' college spirit try, or
should I say ask rather the Holy Spirit to empower and
guide me. Please feel free to intervene with coments,
questions and corrections, at any time in the process
of this journey.

Blessings,

Tom

Beth

Great article about the facts behind critcs of Exodus International

Critic Ignores the Whole Truth About Ex-Gays

by Warren Throckmorton, PhD

November 10, 2004

"The founder of every ex-gay ministry in America has proved to be an extraordinary failure. The two founders of Exodus International, [the world's largest 'ex-gay' organization], divorced their wives to move in together.” – Wayne Besen, as quoted in an October 8, 2004 article by Natalie Troyer of the Washington Times.

The article containing the above quote was entitled, “Film Depicts Gay Reorientation” and discussed the recent documentary I Do Exist which explores the lives of people who have changed from gay to straight. However, columnist Wayne Besen, a gay man and ex-gay critic, staked out a different perspective. He made two claims in this quote: first, that all ex-gay ministry founders have reverted to a homosexual life and more specifically that the founders of Exodus International left their wives and became homosexual partners.

Are these claims accurate? Let me cut to the chase. Mostly, they are not true. In fact, after investigating the matter, I found that of the original board members of Exodus International, only one reverted to homosexuality. Furthermore, one of the two men referred to by Mr. Besen was never in leadership with Exodus. Here are the details.

Exodus International is a distinctly religious organization offering services and referrals to people who are in conflict with their sexual feelings and Christian beliefs. However, detractors often say that the message of Exodus is compromised due to the failure of the co-founders of the organization to remain heterosexual. In a recent Cleveland Plain Dealer article, also on the subject of sexual orientation change, Mr. Besen claimed that Michael Bussee and Gary Cooper were the co-founders of Exodus International. He noted again that the men became gay partners.

The second claim is true. As documented in the 1992 film One Nation Under God, the two men did indeed leave their families in 1979 and engaged in a commitment ceremony in 1982.

However, the first claim is false. Mr. Cooper and Mr. Bussee were not the co-founders of Exodus International.

Why do Mr. Besen and others (including the abovementioned film, One Nation Under God) claim they were? While I cannot judge motivation, it appears to be a deliberate effort to discredit the concept of sexual orientation change. Concerning Gary Cooper, in no way can he be considered a founder of the organization. Mr. Cooper, who died of complications from HIV/AIDS in 1989, was a volunteer with Mr. Bussee’s ministry, called Exit (Ex-gay Intervention Team) based in Anaheim, CA. By all accounts, he was never on the Exodus Board.

Mr. Bussee however, did help arrange a meeting of ex-gay leaders that eventually came to be considered the first Exodus conference. According to Exodus incorporator, Ron Dennis, Mr. Bussee was one of the people who saw the need for a collegial relationship between independent ex-gay ministries.

The original board of Exodus included 5 formerly gay identified people, including Mr. Bussee. The incorporators of the group included Frank Worthen, Ron Dennis and Greg Reid. None of these men have returned to homosexuality and two of the three are still in ex-gay ministry. One other original board member, although still straight, requested his name not be included in this article. Let’s do the math: four out of five of the original board have not returned to a gay identity.

The truth is that some people who were ex-gay ministry leaders or participants have reverted to a gay or lesbian identity. Ex-ex-gays exist. However, the majority of people who began with Exodus have not returned to a gay identity. Speaking of Exodus, Mr. Besen and those detractors who say all ex-gay leaders are “extraordinary failures” are simply ignoring the whole truth .

Just so this is clear, let’s re-cap. Gary Cooper was not one the co-founders of Exodus. Michael Bussee was on the original board. The men were involved in an ex-gay ministry in Anaheim, were married, left their wives and children and returned to a public gay identity. Of the five formerly gay men on the original board of Exodus International, four have not reverted to homosexuality. Frank Worthen and Ron Dennis continue to lead ex-gay organizations. The other two original board members were rumored to have returned to a gay identity but according to both men, this is not true. Thus, 80% of the original Exodus board members are still ex-gay after 30 years.

What is the importance of these observations? Given the longevity of change that most people involved with Exodus and other ministries report, it is an important contribution to our understanding of sexual orientation and human nature overall to give attention to the whole truth. Although critics for a living such as Mr. Besen may not be able to change their thinking, others may not be so closed minded.


Warren Throckmorton, PhD is Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of College Counseling at Grove City College

Kenzie

Alan, I really feel as though your acceptance of her apology is ridiculous. You know darn well that she was not apologizing to you. You also know very well that she was no apologizing to those that she may have created doubt towards change. Shes apologizing for giving false hope, for making thousands of people feel as though they were wrong and needed to change who they are. I cannot believe your attitude towards this and I hope that other see through you as well. This facade to keep up moral is arrogant and disgusting. You should be ashamed

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