In the past week, Truth Wins Out has been dealing with twin tragedies caused, in part, by Exodus International, the nation's largest "pray away the gay" ministry.
The first train wreck is Uganda's proposed "Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009". This legislation would lead to the imprisonment and murder of LGBT Ugandans. It would jail anyone accused of "promoting" homosexuality and imprison friends and relatives of LGBT people who did not turn them into authorities.
This fascist bill came about after Exodus Board member, Don Schmierer, had gone to Uganda last spring to attend a conference on homosexuality. Schmierer was joined by Caleb Lee Brundidge of quack Richard Cohen's International Healing Foundation and Scott Lively, the twisted author of The Pink Swastika, who believes gays are responsible for the holocaust. There were calls at the conference to "wipe out" homosexuality in Uganda. The current bill before the legislature would do just that.
The second disaster is Corduroy Stone, which was an Exodus ministry in Lansing, MI until this week. After six months of dithering and dawdling, Exodus finally parted ways with Corduroy Stone after a client accused Exodus counselor Mike Jones of engaging in bizarre and dangerous therapy. His sessions with Patrick McAlvey, who was 19 at the time, included "cuddle therapy" and odd questions.
"He asked how large my penis was," McAlvey explained of Jones' therapy. "He asked if I shave my pubic hair. He asked what type of underwear that I wore. He wanted me to describe my sexual fantasies to him and the type of men I'm attracted to. On one occasion, he asked me to take my shirt off and show him how many push-ups I could do, which I did not do."
In August, Truth Wins Out released this information in a video. Yet, it took Exodus six months to act and cut its ties to Jones. Clearly, they were more interested in protecting their image than the young adults who may have been put in harms way.
Yet, despite such negligence and a trail of destruction, Exodus Vice President Randy Thomas is trying to play martyr. On Exodus' blog, the solipsistic "ex-gay" political activist posted a letter by someone named Frank:
Randy, how do you wake up every morning, and go to work knowing that as much as you fight for truth, you are hated beyond understanding? that every word you speak will be twisted and you will be made a laughing stock? This Rachel Maddow thing (among others) has me down...truth is not acceptable anymore. no one cares. ... I feel like I've talked and talked till im blue in the face yet no one listens... how do you do it?
You have fought longer and harder than I and have been villified more...how do you get up every morning and do it again? ... I know I will never cease to proclaim the riches there are in Christ (not just talking bout ex-gay stuff) but I just get so tired of trying to make my little corner of the world a better place when it seems like "the establishment" (read: Rachel Maddow, Keith oberman, Wayne Besen...) is screaming louder telling me to shut up and sit down...
"I resisted posting this blog post because what I go through is nothing compared to some of my peers and especially other Christians around the world who are dying for their faith. I went ahead and posted this because I got this type of message from several people and thought the topic would be worth exploring in general (not just about me.)"
Mr. Thomas, you are the victimizer, not the victim. It is Exodus -- not Rachel Maddow, Keith Olberman or myself -- that is tied to state sponsored persecution in Uganda. It is you who has repeatedly lied and deceived, not us.
It is Thomas, and his truth-challenged boss Alan Chambers, who have kept Schmierer on the Exodus board, despite the very good possibly of genocidal results because of Schmierer's foray into Africa.
It is Exodus that allowed bizarre and dangerous therapy to continue for half of 2009 at Corduroy Stone before action was belatedly taken.
It is Exodus who in the past had allowed youths like Zach Stark and Lance Carroll to be forced into Exodus' ex-gay boot camps against their will.
Thomas' cynical defense for his role in such appalling actions is that he has a nice smile, doesn't have fangs and is surprisingly friendly. The term "banality of evil" comes to mind when Thomas tries to make the case that his public demeanor does not match his dirty deeds.
Sorry, Mr. Thomas, but it is time to take personal responsibility for the egregious harm perpetrated by you and the staff at Exodus International. If the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 comes to pass and LGBT people are hunted down, everyone associated with Exodus will be viewed as an accomplice to war crimes.
Please, Mr. Thomas, stop playing the victim card. If you want to be a real victim, enroll in Corduroy Stone for "therapy". For any semblance of respectability, you need to go to Uganda and publicly rebuke this death bill.
But, let's be clear: right now you are more mercenary than martyr.
Randy Thomas is a pent up masturbating idiot. Nothing else to say about that crotch watching queen pretending he is not gay and hoping other people who are having a hard time are not living their lives just like him. I am currently in the south and attended a roman catholic mass where the priest put down radical feminism and same sex marriage. Well i am not going anywhere because the only reason i was there is because i love the person i attended mass with and for. When approaching to get the host on line i switched to the line with the little old lady who is hopefully a radical feminist. So it is the first time i experienced this hate speech in a church and no surprise.... i do happen to be down south. Shame on that priest. Their non profit status should be denied immediately. That priest is a disgrace. And to any spy haters circling gay sites as if you are some sort of patrol monitoring truant officer, the priest did notice because it was a weekday and there were all of 20 people in the whold damn electricity wasting dump. I heard instead of giving the poor money, the catholic church is now taking credit card payments as tithing. Fuck them and fuck Randy Thomas. He is a confused cunt.
posted by ewe, at
12/18/2009 4:58 PM
Last week while driving, I put on Micaelangelo Signorile on OutQ radio and came in on the middle of a phone interview he was having. The guy he was talking to had an obviously gay voice, so I assumed it was a friendly interview. After listening a bit longer I realized this guy was challenging Signorile on the biological basis of homosexuality, and that it could be 'changed'. I thought, who the hell does this flamer think she's fooling! I almost plotzed when I found out that he was talking to Richard Cohen. From the sound of that twang Richard, you'd better start whacking that pillow again with the tennis racket and blaming your father for what you are and always will be---GAY!
posted by gary, at
12/19/2009 10:12 AM
Can anyone give me an answer as to the biological basis of heterosexuality please? Then kindly shut the face holes of these loud mouthed hypocrites up. If ever there was an example of grasping at straws, that sentiment of one sided inate god given orientation smacks of stupidity. Haven't these charlatans ever heard of balance, good for the goose and gander etc.? The ignorant and the self haters are both victims of not willing to THINK.
posted by ewe, at
12/19/2009 12:04 PM
A lot of things tick me off about these idiots. Of course the main bone of contention is their "you can be cured of homosekshuality" can't and another is their constant whining that they are being persecuted for their faith. They are not being persecuted--they are being called on their bullshit. If they cynically make money off of believers by offering quack "cures" then they should expect to be called out.
It is so sad, ewe, that all these homophobes are allowed to spew hate speech, because that is what it is. Hugs to you and the one you love for having to put up with that--and they wonder why so many GLBTQ people are alienated from religion. This is the kind of speech which leads to the persecution of GLBTQ people and I don't care what all the First Amendment afficianados think, but I would like to see some legal controls put on hate speech as is the case in Canada and the UK.
Randy Chambers is such a wanker and so is the Catholic Church. I didn't know about the credit card tithing thing they've got going. Fuck them indeed.
posted by Merlyn, at
12/19/2009 6:57 PM
The founders of Exodus fell in love, left the ministry, and had a commitment ceremony. The mere act of staying in business after this shows Exodus' lack of integrity.
posted by libhom, at
12/20/2009 12:24 AM
Ewe, Merlyn and Gary...why all the hostility? Every time I read a posting from you guys when you disagree with someone, it always profane and downright nasty. I read the Exodus website and they are with Rick Warren on this one. They denounce what is going on in Uganda and so do I. Have any of you ever thought of having a face to face with Randy Thomas or Alan Chambers? At least then you can spew your venom in person. And then maybe, both sides might learn something from one another. Personally, I am tired of the two sides of this issue blogging one another. No one has the common decency to talk to face to face.
posted by JayJay, at
12/21/2009 7:08 AM
I have spoken to Alan Chambers face-to-face. Randy Thomas, as well. The problem is, they lie to your face and do the opposite the moment you leave.
These are two extreme;y truth challenged individuals. I suggest you learn the facts so you too can realize the extent of their chronic deception.
posted by Wayne Besen, at
12/21/2009 11:14 AM
JJ I thought my posting was rather humorous, not venomous. I would be very happy to stop 'spewing my venom' as soon as the gay bashers (and their supporters like you) stop spewing theirs; and of course they started it. There *is* nothing to talk about with them. We want equality and equal protection under the law (you know, what it says in the Constitution) and for them to stop lying, peddling quack 'therapies', and to stop giving aid and comfort *which they do!* to crazies in this country as well as regimes in Africa and the Muslim world that torture, terrorize and murder us!
BTW,vis-a-vis Richard Cohen, what kind of intelligent face to face conversation could you possibly have with a nut like this who thinks beating a pillow and yelling at your father is going to change your sexual orientation? If he werent causing so much harm (and ripping off the gullible) it would be funny.
posted by gary, at
12/21/2009 1:38 PM
JayJay: As Merlyn stated... People like you are being called on for you bullshit. I have absolutely no desire to know you or Randy Thomas or anyone you are trying to get me to sit down for a powwow with. I could care less if they become enlightened. My agenda is to silence you. If you cannot replace the word gay or black with your ugly rant then shut it and stop trying to turn things around where you can constantly play the victim. You and people like you are vile. Commenters on this site are not afraid of you nor do we care about your stupidity.
posted by ewe, at
12/23/2009 12:22 PM
JayJay: The question i posed is "where is the biological basis for heterosexuality?" It is quite noticeable you skipped that little tidbit to continue on your woe is me poniticating dribble. So???? Answer the question or shut your mouth about biological basis for homosexuality. You are as dumb as a ROCK. Gay people are not your victims fool.
posted by ewe, at
12/23/2009 12:27 PM