Former Chairman of Exodus International Turns His Back on the “Ex-Gay” Movement

LGBTQ Nation reports that “John Paulk, the former chairman of Exodus International, a Christian ministry devoted to performing controversial gay-to-straight “reparative therapy” has formally renounced his past and says he is “truly, truly sorry” for the pain he’s caused by advocating that gays could change their sexual orientation through prayer and therapy.” His statement is as follows:

“For the better part of 10 years, I was an advocate and spokesman for what’s known as the ‘ex-gay movement,’ where we declared that sexual orientation could be changed through a close-knit relationship with God, intensive therapy and strong determination.

“At the time, I truly believed that it would happen. And while many things in my life did change as a Christian, my sexual orientation did not.”

[…]

“Today, I do not consider myself “ex-gay” and I no longer support or promote the movement. Please allow me to be clear: I do not believe that reparative therapy changes sexual orientation; in fact, it does great harm to many people.”

[…]

“Today, I see LGBT people for who they are–beloved, cherished children of God. I offer my most sincere and heartfelt apology to men, women, and especially children and teens who felt unlovable, unworthy, shamed or thrown away by God or the church.”

In 2011, John Smid, a former “ex-gay” leader of Exodus International’s oldest ministry “Love in Action,” also admitted he is gay and took a stand against the message he preached for years.  More on John Smid here: http://www.truthwinsout.org/blog/2012/09/29471/

 

Mercy Ministries Denies Former Resident Medical & Psychiatric Records

This post originally appeared on “Sarah’s Collage” a blog written by a Mercy insider who attend the program in Australia. 
Since around the beginning of the year, myself and some other fellow survivors have been involved in a struggle to have our respective client files released to us.

(Some coverage of this can be found here, compliments of Sean the Blogonaut).

As this is public domain, I will speak only for the situation involving myself.

When all of this began, I fasted and prayed my heart out, considered scripture and discussed the issue with a few wise friends.

After much delay and Mercy’s subsequent refusal, a bunch of phone calls, intervention of a Lawyer and the Privacy Commissioner and further delay, I received an incomplete file.
Prior to my appointment on Tuesday evening, I did not expect that I would feel troubled by its contents. In fact, I did not expect to feel anything at all.
This was true of most of it, even of the more sensitive material.

Some of it that would have troubled me years ago actually made me laugh out loud.

There was only one thing really that I felt a bit disturbed by. It related to one of the major traumatic events I experienced there, and the account of that event was so twisted and untrue. For a second, I felt that old familiar feeling again of having my sanity put in question.

I was glad to have my Psychologist present to share a good chuckle with.

I just feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to heal from that experience with the help of some safe, wise and discerning women in my world. Not all girls have had that opportunity, but God can use many things to heal an abused heart.

I can see how going through one’s own file with a sane, trusted and qualified person can be a significant healing experience for those who are still reeling from the impact, even several years on.

Having that choice restored to us is healing in itself, validating of our adulthood and our own ability to make decisions that are in the best interests of our healing.

I am yet to receive the remaining documents, and after several delays I have come to expect that I will not be receiving it any time soon, and definitely not before I go into hospital in about two weeks.

So today, I am thanking God for victory, for healing and restoration in the lives of survivors both here and abroad, for the voice He has restored to me, and most of all I am thanking him that my suffering was not in vain.

He works all things together for good.

Religious Salesman

Their voices set my teeth on edge. I have no valid complaint against hustlers, no rational bitch, but the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes.

The Rum Diary by Hunter S. Thompson

Do you ever feel like you’re getting “sold” on something? I felt this way a few years back, when I dated this guy named Ruben. Our first week of dating, before he asked me to be his girlfriend, he sat me down in his living room and showed me “The Plan.”

I should’ve known. Anything that has a code name like “The Plan” should raise a red flag. But I was infatuated and the sex was good.

“The Plan” was an overview of a pyramid scheme set up by Amway (at the time known as Quixtar). It was to be shown to new or prospective recruits to get them to buy in as a member for $150 a month, plus the cost of products.

Ruben’s whole goal was to make sure I would support him as he chose to attempt to “go Ruby” (a fancy way of saying you’ve reached a certain ‘level’ of  money making in the pyramid). I told him I couldn’t possibly believe in that kind of thing and I wouldn’t want to be a member, but I’d support his interest in it. Sure, sell what you want. Sell car stereos for f*ck’s sake. I don’t care.

As it turned out, Ruben wasn’t happy with my casual attitude toward his pyramid scheme. At first he was, but then he saw me as an opportunity to help him reach his goals. He could use my name to be another “leg” of his group and he could buy products for himself under that name, thus helping him reach his goals.

And then there were the requests for me to get rid of my MAC makeup and replace it with his Amway makeup like all the loyal “Diamond” wives had done. What bullsh*t. First of all, they were married. Secondly, no.

Throughout my relationship with Ruben I felt like I was constantly getting sold something. He was pushy about many things, not limited to his Amway business and he didn’t fully accept me for who I was. I was too fat for him, even though I wasn’t fat at all. I wasn’t big breasted enough, even though I was perfectly proportionate. I didn’t dress like he wanted me to, even though I dressed well.

Sometimes my entire relationship with Ruben reminds me of my relationship with the Church and the Pastors I worked for. The old saying, “Come as you are” isn’t true when it comes to religion. What they really mean to say is Come as you are so we can fix you and make you look like all the rest of us…Stepford wives and husbands.

Every Sunday is an opportunity for them to “sell you” religion, and to sell you the nonsense that you’re unacceptable as you are; that you aren’t a good enough person to “get through the eye of a needle”. Well, honestly, that’s silly–no one can fit through the eye of a needle. Thread barely can.

If there was a god, do you think he’d create people “in his own image” and then try to change them? Doesn’t something about modern Christianity just seem out of whack?