A former client of Exodus International today described the group as a an "ex-gay" Hotel California: You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave. In a letter written to me in response this week's column, the man described his frustration with getting the ex-gay group to stop harassing him.
As a former member of Exodus I felt a need to respond to your newsletter. I recommend just for kicks you or someone you know try to join Exodus, then try and leave, good luck with that. It just doesn't happen.
I have tried to terminate all contact with Exodus for over 3 years now. The newslestters that come more than twice a week sometimes and the more than daily phone calls persist. They persisted to he point where I had to change my number. There is no doubt in my mind that if I were closer to their personal grasp they would be at my door also.
It has been my experience those who try to become "ex-gay" stop trying soon thereafter. Usually when the initial love and welcome from the Christian community wears off, and like myself, most begin to clearly see that this community has nothing but contempt and disgust for GLBT people.
Here was the main issue for me in terminating my relationship with Exodus.... I was cut off, they told me to leave all my friends and I did. They said I had to leave my lover of 4 years and I did. I know I know. I feel as stupid as you probably think I am.
So, in conclusion to curb Exodus I feel the GLBT community must have individuals and organizations in place so that people can leave Exodus more easily. I wish I had some suggestions at this time on how I think maybe that can be accomplished. I just just inspired by your newsletter, and honestly hadn't thought about it till this very moment.
H.J. Louisville KY
This is not the first incident where Exodus refused to terminate its relationship with clients who came out of the closet to live happy, satisfying lives as openly gay men and women.
In Shawn O'Donnell's case, Exodus refused to take his picture off their web-site for months, even after he came out and repudiated the group as a sham. For some clients, there is simply no exodus from Exodus. There is a word for groups that manipulate people, play mind games and refuse to let them escape: "CULT."
Wayne: In many states, this unwelcome contact constitutes harassment that may be enjoined, and if continued, can be the subject of criminal prosecution and a civil suit.
If anyone in New Jersey or Pennsylvania is experiencing this kind of abuse, I would be more than happy to file suit on their behalf.
posted by Stephen J. Hyland, at
3/10/2006 12:09 PM
It is 2006 and we still have to justify our existence. It is even sadder that gays are lead to hate themselves to the point of joining Exodus. Daniel Mendelsohn points to that self-hate as one of the truly distinctive features in the love portrayed in Brokeback Mountain. You must read the review if you haven't already: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/18712
posted by QUEER BEACON, at
3/10/2006 12:32 PM
H.J., if you read this, dont feel stupid. You were just another victim of the crushing oppression that some gay people have to endure; especially in the area of the country where you live. Be thankful that you were 'saved' (no pun intended) before your life was permanently destroyed by those gargoyles. (And yes, i would take legal action too if the harassment doesnt stop) Have you contacted Lamda Legal Defense? Gary (NJ)
posted by Anonymous, at
3/10/2006 1:25 PM
Hate to sound insensitive, but do you really believe him when he says that Exodus has been calling more than once daily for three years since he's left, even after changing his number?
posted by KJW, at
3/10/2006 1:45 PM
That was my first thought... give me a break... calls more than once a day? If your going to lie, try to be realistic. And Wayne, if you really want the dirt from Exodus, try the nice and caring approach rather than the rude, immature, and hateful approach. Just a little constructive criticism.
posted by Anonymous, at
3/10/2006 1:58 PM
KJW - you dumbass - he doesn't claim that they called after he changed his number. I hate to sound insensitive, buyt is your brain the size of a fleas ass?
Why is it that deception and manipulation is so much a part of these cult "ministries?" Did the minister tear a few pages out of their bibles before issuing the manifesto?
posted by Kevin, at
3/10/2006 2:36 PM
I wonder if every single call to H.J. from Exodus adds up in their "400,000" calls yearly.
posted by Scott, at
3/10/2006 4:01 PM
Anonymous: Try the "nice and caring approach"?? Put down the crack pipe, my friend. This is the real world. If they could get away with it, fundamentalists would put us in concentration camps. And if you think I'm exaggerating, you need to think again. This baloney must be stopped. For one, I'm not going to glad-hand these mentally unstable religious zealots while young gay kids are commiting suicide because of the disgusting propoganda that they put out.
posted by Chris L., at
3/10/2006 5:07 PM
KJW is the arch-homophobe closet case KURT! You can hide your name, but we still recognize your johnny one-note bullshit. Manga merda e fai morire! Bitchard Queer
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