Andre Bekker, Richard Cohen and Christopher Doyle | While their modus operandi may be different to accused murderer de Koker, their ideology stinks the same stink!
By Melanie Nathan, May 01, 2013.
A South African, Andre Bekker, who proclaims to be an ex-gay and an authority on converting gays, teamed up with tired extremists in the USA, and wrote an article, trying to squirm out of the simple fact that indeed the murder of 15 year old Raymond Buys and two other young men were likely “cure-the-gay” related murders, even though the victims themselves may not have been gay. In doing so the proponent of “cures for gays” accused me of exploiting Raymond Buys the teen murder victim, and here we will reveal where the responsibility for the real exploitation lies. Squarely in the hands of those selling their changes, cures, and so called conversions.
I reported the story “Man up or die | murders of effeminate teens at South African Ranger Training Camp” on April 25, 2013:
“Look at this photograph and imagine a 15 year old effeminate teen being sent” by his mother to a “Ranger Training Camp” run by a right wing militia type, and then showing up in a hospital bed looking like this, hooked up to life support. That is was what happened to Raymond Buys and he died two weeks later. He was emaciated, dehydrated, with injuries including several skull fractures, and cigarette burns all over his body.
Alex de Koker, the owner of Echo Wild Game Rangers, a camp in the bush, one hour south of Johannesburg, charged $2,000 ($22,000) per month for his course, where he assured parents he could help teens to ” man up.” Three teens are known to have died.”
In the story I explained how typical it is for South African Afrikaner right wing types to perceive effeminate teens as likely gay and:
“What is so shocking is that the murder of Buys is not the first, as Echo Wild Game Rangers has seen the deaths of 2 young teens, also perceived as gay and clearly effeminate, when in 2007, 18-year-old Eric Calitz and Nicolaas van der Walt, 19 both died in similar circumstances. de Koker was handed a suspended sentence in 2009 over Calitz’s death but escaped charges for van der Walt’s death, which was ruled to have been caused by a heart attack. It was reported that de Koker told Calitz that he wasn’t a “moffie” (like saying “fag”) and he “would make a man out of him.”
The idea of the camp is to apparently make men of teens and to “cure” “feminine traits’ in male youth…” another way of saying gay reparative therapy, instead in this instance that therapy involved “beating the gay out of the kid” – torture and if torture didn’t effect the desired change, then certainly murder would; after all a dead teen is not a gay teen.”
Some media, such as GAY STAR NEWS and HUFPO, who quoted me, misreported that the teens were in ‘fact GAY,’ rather than ‘perceived as GAY’, and the story went viral. My story called into question the behavior that underlies this type of homophobic and anti-gay culture in South Africa. Of which, as you will see, Andre Bekker is an integral part, as is anyone who advances the cause of so called conversion, reparative therapy or even just advocating that there is the possibility that one can or should change their sexuality:
Cohen, Doyle through hosting the pen of South African Bekker, it seems, have tried to extricate their movement from being tied to the camp of de Koker, the accused murderer, since Bekker wrote and Doyle edited an article on their pro-reparative therapy American site, http://www.comingoutloved.com/questioning-andor-unwanted, where they attacked my report as having nothing to do with gay or conversion therapy ideology and accused me of exploiting the young teen, as I suggested that because he was perceived gay that this was indeed an issue involving reparative therapy:
“When we look at Melanie Nathan’s blog entry she unfortunately does not mention what “digging” she did and what “gay reparative undertones start to emerge.” Whatever she discovered is nowhere else reported in the mainstream media. She also made no mention of how she came to know that the “three young men were all perceived as ‘gay and clearly effeminate.’” Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that the crimes committed were done so with the motive that these teens were gay.
In the light of these facts, it seems that these reports in the gay media are nothing but propaganda, based on half-truths and pure speculation. Raymand Buys does not deserve to be dishonored by such exploitation. He was was tortured at the hands of brutal criminals, and now continues to be abused at the hands of activists trying to score cheap political points for their own selfish objectives.”
I commented on Bekkers accusations in his article for an article by Evan Hurst of TWO:
“Whether the young teens were in fact gay or not is irrelevant and that is what Bekker fails to understand from my article. It is the fact that the accused de Koker clearly suggests that being gay is bad and that these teens must change to “man up” or else they will be perceived as “Moffie”. So to say “man up because you are not a Moffie” is as bad as saying “man up you Moffie”. It has everything to do with straight vs. gay as to these people even the perception of being gay, which in their thinking flows from being effeminate, is unacceptable and must be changed. Discounting this as simply “boys into men” is an apologist perspective and a failure to admit the reality of the culture.” Said Melanie Nathan. The full explanation and my own comments can be found on TWO, where Evan Hurst provides an excellent explanation of what occurred.
Now that I have been accused of exploiting the murdered 15 year old teen because I dare expose a culture “curing actual gays” equates to “curing perceived gays” perhaps we should look at what horse Andre Bekker has in this race – and we find that he is the one racing to the finish line to exploit gays in South Africa with the curative propaganda which he regurgitates at the expense of gays and all those who are perceived as gay.
Bekker, describes himself as the”Certified Sexual Reorientation Coach” and he happens to be profoundly ex-gay. SEE the Mamba Online Post:-
Hosted by André Bekker from New Living Way Ministry, the three day seminar promises to present participants with “causes” of same-sex attraction and to show them the “way out of brain bondage” and “spiritual bondage”. Bekker, who says he’s studied theology but is not an ordained pastor, told Mambaonline that the seminar is the first one of its kind that he’s hosting.
“It’s for people who want to understand same-sex attraction from a Christian perspective,” he said.
Bekker insisted that he doesn’t claim that the seminar will ‘cure’ gay people but that “they will understand that we don’t believe that people are born that way”. He adds: “They can, according to a Christian perspective, live according to their values.”
Bekker admitted that he isn’t a psychologist or psychiatrist but said that he has had “some psychology training and did training with international institutions that deal with same-sex attraction”.
Describing himself as a “theological counsellor,” he explained that among his qualifications to host the seminar is his claim that he has overcome his own same-sex attraction.
“I was 39 years in the gay world. I have experience of both sides of it. I went through therapy with it and I am not attracted to the same-sex anymore.”
The New Living Way Ministry’s services appear similar to those offered by US-based groups, including weekend retreats “to minister to the needs of people with unwanted same-sex attraction”.
Bekker touts his own Ex Gay Camp:-
“See – Camp Camp For People With Unwanted Same-sex Attraction in Activities & Hobbies New Living Way Ministry is a ministry ministering to people with unwanted same-sex attraction (not wanting to be homosexual). You can read more about us www.learntolove.co.za. We have a camp coming up from the 1st to 3rd of March for people with unwanted same-sex attraction. If you are interested please contact Sharmain for more information at………..”
Our vision : – To serve people with unwanted same-sex attraction and families and loved ones of people with same-sex attraction, helping them live more fulfilled and healthier lives. It will be done by providing necessary facilities and spiritual, physical and psychological care from an Evangelical Christian worldview.”
– umm is he not the guy who just said Melanie Nathan was exploiting murdered teen Buys by suggesting that because he was perceived as gay it is a factor in his “cure/change” death?
SA GLAAD’s Christina Engela noted about Bekker;’s group: “These groups do not only prey on gay people, they also target children experiencing doubts about their sexuality, as well as bisexual and transgender people. Parents are known to pack their children off forcibly to their facilities for ‘camps’ to shame them and isolate them into denying who they are.” and others in the same Mamba Online post noted:
“A concerned member of the LGBT community, JJ Engelbrecht was approached by Bekker to attend a weekend camp and reacted with anger. He accused Bekker of claiming to ‘cure homosexuality’ “for monetary gain”.Engelbrecht added that he believes that this is an infringement of his human rights and “should be declared illegal in South Africa”.Xander Flemming, Health Manager and Counselling Psychologist at OUT Well-being in Pretoria, condemned the seminar, saying that these kinds of interventions could lead to suicide.”
So while Andre Bekker’s holier than thou article sits in the clutches of the Cohen Doyle team at COMING OUT LOVED, we now realize that the attack on my article is to save face, and worse yet- a feeble attempt to try and disassociate from participating in the same world that accused murderer Alex de Koker operated in. While their modus operandi may be different, their ideology stinks the same stink! The real exploitation is in the hands of those who keep on touting that they can change gay people’s sexuality, and no matter how they use words to dance around it on their websites, their intention is clear.
All said and done, no amount of finger pointing at me or other bloggers can deflect blame or absolve someone like Bekker and his clan from whatever form of abuse they use to invalidate the truth of their victim’s sexuality as their emotional torture camps can be just as harmful to teens as those that meter out physical torture.
By Melanie Nathan
Cathy Kristofferson contributed to the research for this article.