Feedback on Salon article: 80% of Exodus Founders are still straight

Here is a quote from the Salon article regarding the founders of Exodus International:

“Besen tracks down a dizzying array of former ex-gayleaders who later came out of the closet for good, including the two founders of Exodus.”

This is not true. Only one of the founders are gay today (Michael Bussee). His partner (Gary Cooper) was not a founder and died of AIDS several years ago. 80% of the founders are still ex-gay. I know; I have talked to all of them personally to research it. This should be corrected. Wayne Besen knows there were more than 2 founders of Exodus and he knows that Gary Cooper was not a founder but he still claims these things to anyone who will listen.

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  • Exodus Friend

    Another interesting fact about Michael Bussee and Gary Cooper is that they (according to the One Nation Under God) informed each other while traveling to an Exodus related speaking engagement that they were attracted to each other in an erotic homosexual way. They proceeded to return home, divorce their wives and enter into an adulterous relationship with each other. Humm; what kind of character are we going to follow? Frank Worthen and others who have lived a tremendous, sacrificial, faithful life or two adulterers, Mr. Bussee and Mr. Cooper who find ways to validate and minimize their homosexual adultery and subsequent divorce?

  • Mike Airhart

    Whether Cooper was a co-founder is subject to debate: It depends on how one defines “co-founder”: Bussee considered Cooper’s work instrumental to the formation of Exodus.

    While Bussee and Cooper were concerned for their exgay clients’ wellbeing, Worthen (perhaps with good intentions) pressured people to leave homosexuality while ignoring the harm his unprofessional advice was doing to some people.

    While I feel sorry for their wives, I am glad Bussee and Cooper were honest and spared their wives additional years of sexless and half-hearted romance. Before smearing Bussee/Cooper, “exodus friend,” you might bother taking the time to ask their wives how they felt about the situation.

  • Throckmorton

    I guess an organization should have some role in saying who founded it. Exodus clearly does not view Cooper as a founder, nor do any of the other founders except Bussee. He is not on incorporation papers, nor on any board minutes. If Cooper is a founder, then every volunteer that worked the first conference is a founder. You can say, “I’m a founder” but that does not make you one.

    Investment in this discussion obscures the bigger point. Four out of five of the original board are still ex-gay. Even if Cooper was a founder, then the tally would be four of six. It is just intentional distortion for critics to continue to refer to “the co-founders of Exodus.”

  • Throckmorton

    PS – One of the wives involved, I can’t remember which one, and I am not sure she would want her identity disclosed if I did, still supports Exodus.