By Cathy Kristofferson, June 22, 2013
Friday morning I received email from a local LGBT activist who is also an ex-gay survivor that read “I am literally crying with happiness.” The same day I saw a blog post by anti-gay “pray-the-gay-away” promoter Scott Lively proclaiming “Alan Chambers goes back to Egypt”. Both of these are, of course, reactions to Exodus International saying they are shutting down and the parallel apologies to those whom they have hurt over the almost FOUR decades of harming vulnerable people. And harm so damaging that it often led to suicide.
Exodus International “closing shop” has absolutely no effect on Exodus Global Alliance. An alliance whose website proclaims “155 Million Homosexuals Need To Be Reached. Is God Calling You?” They provide a pie-chart, which can be seen to the left, purporting to illustrate the locations of the 155 million homosexuals supposedly in need of saving (based on the presumption that we are 3% of the general population).
This shows their worldwide reach, where they continue their ongoing programs to recruit missionaries to continue to promote the myth and lie that homosexuals can be “cured” by re-orientation through prayer. These ministries reek untold damage. They train church leaders, doctors and parliamentarians, to expound so called threats to their local people and then provide ‘Christian solutions’ to combating those threats.
In the U.S. the hard core ministries had split off from Exodus International about a year ago when Alan Chambers acknowledged that 99.9% of its members “have not experienced a change in their orientation”. I guess they were only lured into a life of self-hate and self-denial. Those ministries that left Exodus then went on to form the Restored Hope Network. This weekend, led by Anne Paulk, the ex-lesbian ex-wife of ex-ex-gay John Paulk whom we have written about here on OBLOGDEE, are having their annual conference in Oklahoma completely unaffected by Alan Chambers and his now defunct Exodus International. So in essence for much of (old) Exodus it is still business as usual. Let us not be fooled!
Alan Chambers has shut down Exodus International and issued an apology to those whom Exodus may have harmed. Given that he had previously admitted 99.9% of those Exodus served were not ‘cured’ the harm perpetrated by “shame,” “false hope,” and “trauma” is great.
Yet perhaps little has truly changed as the Restored Hope Network continues ‘THE WORK’ in the wake of Exodus International’s purported final demise, to the applause of the likes of Scott Lively, who is grateful that they are ‘courageously’ continuing to help people recover from “same-sex attraction disorder.”
Thus we know that notwithstanding all the apologies under the sun by Chambers for the harm he and Exodus have caused, nothing is stopping those who rested their so called curative therapies, in whatever form, on the teachings and mass promotions of Exodus.
So one case in point, Lively and probably many others, continue ‘this work’ too, since the ridiculous notion that anyone can ‘pray-the-gay-away’ is a cornerstone of his international so-called ‘ministry work.’ Lively is preaching this ex-gay and ‘praying the gay away’ stuff in Africa, South America, the Eastern Bloc countries, and any place where they will listen to his hate-filled rhetoric.
It is no coincidence that one of the three speakers at the infamous 2009 seminar in Uganda which impacted the “Kill The Gays Bill” was from Exodus International. The list could go on. Perhaps the subject of another article would be to list the harm, and what it would take for Chambers to reverse it. Not that he can bring back all those young teens who committed suicide in shame of not being able to “reform” in the manner touted by Chambers and Exodus.
Exodus’ website notes:
For these reasons, the Board of Directors unanimously voted to close Exodus International and begin a separate ministry. “This is a new season of ministry, to a new generation,” said Chambers. “Our goals are to reduce fear (reducefear.org), and come alongside churches to become safe, welcoming, and mutually transforming communities.”
You have to wonder where he will go with his morphed organization “Reduce Fear.” What will his snake oil look like now?
Is this just a re-brand to a new generation – where in effect Chambers will underlay that gay is NOT okay? Or has Chambers guaranteed that his message will be entirely different? The only way “Reduce Fear” could possibly redeem exodus and Chambers would be to deliver the direct message that “gay is okay. Anything short of that and a massive effort to destroy the ex-gay industry worldwide would seem to be short of the mark.
Chambers sat down with Lisa Ling in an orchestrated reading of his apology to a group of ex-gay survivors. I give them credit for not jumping up and strangling the self-serving bastard. Here is one clip where they did call him out on his ongoing lies:
We cannot allow the closure of Exodus International’s to derogate from our guard or the fight against the quackery that still goes on here in the U.S. and worldwide. We must continue to draw attention to the harm it has caused and will continue to cause even in the realm of its demise. The ‘pray the gay’ away ‘reparative/conversion therapy’ industry is alive and well and many continue to perpetuate the myths. Let us see a concrete plan from Chambers as to how he plans to combat the harm he has done – not a plan about rebranding his commodity.
Multiple states, among them NJ, PA, and MA, are following California’s lead introducing legislation to stop the junk science from being forced on minors. But that is just here in the U.S. and only in a handful of states, and is just parents forcing youth. The false hope, shame and trauma as well as fictional solution to the non-existent “Homosexual Agenda” goes on worldwide unabated to devastating effects. If Alan Chambers is going to redeem his shame he sure has his work cut out for him.
- John Paulk’s crushing blow to Ex-Gay movement calls for religious right to make amends (oblogdeeoblogda.me)
- Conversion Therapy Ban Bill filed in Massachusetts (oblogdeeoblogda.me)