Discover article on sexual orientation change and the APA report

Discover magazine has an online article out today which covers the APA report, NARTH and the Jones and Yarhouse study.

Here are some excerpts:

Joseph Nicolosi, a psychologist in Encino, Calif., says he can rid adults, teens, and even children of homosexuality. For nearly 30 years, he has offered a “psychodynamic” form of reparative therapy for people—mostly men—seeking to change their sexual orientation.

“If [a patient] can accept his bodily homoerotic experience while staying connected to the therapist,” he wrote in “The Paradox of Self-Acceptance,” “the sexual feeling soon transforms into something else: the recognition of deeper, pain-generated emotional needs which have nothing to do with sexuality.”

He cites the following case: A 43-year-old married accountant was recalling another man that he had seen at the airport while on a business trip. “This had awakened his sexual fantasies and dreams. I asked him to hold onto that image and observe his bodily sensations while staying connected to me. As he did, he felt an intense sexual longing. But as he followed that fantasy through an imaginary sexual scenario, quite unexpectedly, he then experienced an embodied shift to sadness, longing, and emptiness. In tears, he spoke of his sense of deep unworthiness. ‘I would just love him to be my friend! He’s the kind of guy that I always wanted to be close to. How much I just want to be friends with a guy like him.’”

This describes an aspect of the approach advocated in Nicolosi’s new book, Shame and Attachment Loss. People I have seen who have been through this approach describe it as being a chase for making sense of what they eventually come to see as an automatic reaction in search of a justification. Having said that, perhaps this gives some men a greater sense of control over their automatic impulses.

The center of this so-called “reparative therapy” is the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). Its membership—around 1,100 people, according to current NARTH president Julie Harren Hamilton—is dwarfed by the APA’s 150,000 members.

Treatments follow from the assertion that homosexuality is not an innate trait, but rather a result of childhood trauma and lack of attachment to members of the same sex.

“The treatment is different for men and women,” Nicolosi, one of NARTH’s former presidents, told DISCOVER. “The principles are the same—we find that for the lesbian, there is a traumatic attachment loss with the mother, and for the males it’s a traumatic attachment loss with the fathers. We believe the male homosexual should work with a male therapist, and the lesbian should work with a woman.”

It is always difficult to know who Nicolosi is referring to when he says, “we.” Is he referring to NARTH or those who are reparative therapists, or the royal we, referring to himself? However, Hamilton seems to distance NARTH from the singular approach used by Nicolosi when she says:

These treatments take on several approaches. “Psychological care for individuals with unwanted homosexual attractions includes a variety of approaches. There are many paths that lead into and out of homosexuality,” NARTH president Julie Harren Hamilton wrote DISCOVER in an email. “Therapists who assist clients with unwanted homosexual attractions vary in their…methods, [which include] object relations, interpersonal therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, family therapy, and many others.”

This would be a welcome departure for NARTH and Hamilton. On her video Homosexuality 101, she lays out the typical reparative drive explanation as the most common pathway. If NARTH truly wants to move away from the singular cause, it should make it clear what other pathways they view as possible.

Then the article turns to the Jones and Yarhouse study.

SOCE advocates have done studies in recent years to try and show that their efforts are working. One of the more influential among sexuality-change advocates was a study by two professors at Christian colleges: Mark Yarhouse, a psychology professor at Regent University, and Stanton Jones, provost and professor of psychology at Wheaton College.

The six-year study started with 98 subjects, most of whom were white, male, and religious—92 percent identified themselves as “born again.” All of the treatments were provided by Exodus International. Of the 61 who provided data in all six years, 14 of them—23 percent—reported that they had successfully converted to heterosexuality “in some form or another,” according to Jones. Meanwhile, 18 subjects—30 percent—reported that they had dis-identified as homosexuals and were now “chaste,” meaning no overt sexual activity at all. The results were based entirely on self-reported surveys.

I think Judith Glassgold’s assessment of the study was too harsh when she said:

The study was dismissed by the APA task force on multiple grounds, and held as an example of the systematic scientific problems of SOCE today. “Everything was wrong with that study,” Glassgold says. “[Yarhouse and Stanton] chose the wrong statistics to evaluate, they violated statistical laws, and they didn’t have a control group—just a small sample of people recruited from religious groups. They followed the individuals over a couple of years, but didn’t specify that the subjects should only try one intervention at a time, so they tried many at the same time. So we aren’t sure which, if any, intervention was causal.”

The reporter is a little sloppy here referring to Yarhouse and Stanton (Jones, I assume; a little later someone named Miller is named without a first name or introduction) and does not interview another person to provide another perspective. I think if anything the Jones and Yarhouse study is not very positive for sexual reorientation. Flaws aside, it does not help those who want to promote change as the proper focus of therapy or ministry.

There is a historical review of some of the behavioral sexual reorientation methods that might be new to some readers. The article notes that the polarization continues between NARTH and the APA. However, the article failed to really grasp the important news from the APA report, i.e., the respectful and appropriate treatment of religion as a diversity variable and the interface with client self-determination.

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  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    Warren, you had more positive things to say about the Jones and Yarhouse study originally. I could quote you back some of them, but you know what you said. Why do you seem to be backtracking some here?

    Flaws aside, it does not help those who want to promote change as the proper focus of therapy or ministry.

    Could you expound on that statement a bit?

    And why even quote Glassgold’s harsh assessment at all? I am curious.

  • Eddy

    Debbie–

    It was my impression that Warren did appreciate the Jones and Yarhouse study but that the results of the study did not support reorientation.

    I’m guessing that in this context, Warren erred in using the word ‘change’ without defining it. From the context, I’m assuming ‘change’ means a ‘change of orientation’ or ‘reorientation’.

    If that’s the case, then it’s consistent with what he’s been saying that ‘change of orientation should not be the focus of therapy or ministry’…it might happen; it could be a by-product but it should not be the focus.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    Eddy said:

    Debbie–

    It was my impression that Warren did appreciate the Jones and Yarhouse study but that the results of the study did not support reorientation.

    I’m guessing that in this context, Warren erred in using the word ‘change’ without defining it. From the context, I’m assuming ‘change’ means a ‘change of orientation’ or ‘reorientation’.

    If that’s the case, then it’s consistent with what he’s been saying that ‘change of orientation should not be the focus of therapy or ministry’…it might happen; it could be a by-product but it should not be the focus.

    What he said.

    I would add that as a test of Exodus being the change agent in the change that was reported, the J&Y study is unable to provide a strict answer. There was no “no-treatment” control group which would assess the effect of the passing of time. We know that some people report changes spontaneously so assessing what percentage of people change in some spontaneous way is important. It may be that the small number of changers in the Exodus program would not be significantly greater than those who would shift by chance.

    As a test of Exodus effect on satisfaction, it is a productive and helpful study. The recent reporting of 53% success rate when success is defined modestly is a much better frame than reporting change rates.

  • http://ardentmormon.blogspot.com -L-

    Jack Drescher, the MD on the APA task force, addressed the LGBT consortium at an AMA meeting I attended, and I was alarmed at his bigoted description of religions and their view of homosexuality. He did not limit his assessment to examples of intolerance among religious people, but made the generalization that religious people who object to homosexuality do so out of hatred. I was somewhat appalled that nobody stood up to point out his hypocrisy, and later somewhat disappointed in myself, despite that I was intimidated because 1) I’m a resident and 2) it was the first LGBT consortium meeting I had attended.

    I haven’t carefully read the report itself, but I suspect that it is subject to some of the same systematic errors for which it criticized SOCE. For example, the abstract asserts that SOCE involves some risk of harm, contrary to its practitioners’ claims. Considering the variability in SOCE, I imagine ostensible harms may be limited to a subset of the methods. I know I certainly never experienced any harm (and certainly limited benefit, btw) from my dabbling, and I have a hard time imagining anyone being harmed by the methods my therapists used.

  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    What he said.

    Fair enough.

    The lack of a control group in the study is a valid point, for sure.

    Do you still stand by this statement, Warren, or would you moderate it:

    Still, a full two-thirds remained satisfied with their Exodus experience and committed to living out their beliefs about sexuality. To me, this point may be the biggest story.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Debbie – re: the 2/3s statement, I don’t stand behind it because the time 6 results indicated 53% were satisfied. What I do still agree with is that aspect of their outcome data is an important finding. The dropout rate is concerning and may reflect more problems than satisfied ex-gays who simply didn’t want to answer questions. But Jones has said (on the Chris Fabry show I think) that the 53% is probably a ceiling for satisfaction rate, and I agree with him.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    -L-

    Re: Drescher – The APA report is striking because Drescher was on the task force. He protested a panel involving religion at the APA a couple of years ago, even though we were going to say almost exactly what the APA task force came up with. I don’t get it but I welcome it and would like to hope he has had a change of mind. I know I have on many issues and would not like to be judged on all of my past writings.

    You should read the APA report. It says that some efforts can be beneficial for reasons other than any change that might occur. One problem that the report has is the lack of specificity on types of treatments that might be harmful. There is some identification of components of potentially helpful and harmful treatments but not to the degree that I would liked to have seen. However, on the other hand, they were reluctant to name names without studies which would allow such specificity. They essentially said they could not make conclusions based on the state of the research, a very conservative position.

  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    re: the 2/3s statement, I don’t stand behind it because the time 6 results indicated 53% were satisfied. What I do still agree with is that aspect of their outcome data is an important finding. … But Jones has said (on the Chris Fabry show I think) that the 53% is probably a ceiling for satisfaction rate, and I agree with him.

    OK, thanks.

    I know I have on many issues and would not like to be judged on all of my past writings

    I can appreciate that as I am on an interesting journey presently that is impacting my old paradigms.

    FWIW, I did some additional research this morning, which, among other places, took me back to Ex-Gay Watch and the statement Noe Gutierrez made there last year about his past involvement with ex-gay ministries, “I Do Exist,” etc. Of course, he also was for a brief time part of the NEA Ex-Gay Educator’s Caucus., and had been a gay activist before he began his ex-gay trip. So, he’s an interesting and compelling study, as well as quite articulate. A number of the comments following what Noe wrote are insightful, as well.

    I want to keep this germane to the original post here and not go off-topic. The post opens up several avenues for discussion. One is this: I find a lot of reasons to ask Exodus to do some soul-searching and come up with a few statements that honestly address their ideological trajectory over the past decades. You, Warren, are compelling them to move closer to doing that, perhaps.

    How to address whatever passes for a meaningful life transformation for undetermined numbers of people — Christians, many — who cannot live as gay is a troublesome but necessary exercise. I can understand where Alan Chambers and Mike Goecke are coming from, and even personally relate, though they are men and I’m a woman. I don’t automatically relate to all the women in the ex-gay movement. Interestingly, I can easily relate to the women — and they are certainly not all clones of each other — in the weekly group I facilitate. We “get” each other.

    But I also can put myself in the shoes of folks like Ex-Gay Watch’s Dave Roberts enough to get him, too. I find myself drawn into more and more conversations with Christian gays, though our theological views may never align in places. If you want to see a mind-blowing conversation, check out my recent interchange with a lesbian feminist named Audrey (she also calls herself a Christian) at Andrew Marin’s blog.

    Bottom line: It matters to me to get it right in the big-picture scheme of life, and I wish it would matter more to others. Obviously, so does Warren. I have only walked in my own shoes, of course. I know my life changes are authentic, and common sense tells me that has to be true of others. You can boil that down to believing it must be easier for women or those whose struggle was in bisexual rather than exclusive homosexual issues. Whatever. But I know in my heart it’s not that simple. I know there is real power in and through Jesus Christ.

    It also needs to be more than just a live-and-let-live thing because there is a culture war out there in the world that is wounding lots of people. God has called me to do something about that. My hat’s off to all those who feel similarly, regardless of how small the contribution may be.

  • Ann

    Joseph Nicolosi, a psychologist in Encino, Calif., says he can rid adults, teens, and even children of homosexuality.

    Did Dr. Nicolosi actually use the word “rid” or was this a word the author used?

  • Lynn David

    Interesting article in Discover also on the brain and sexuality and brain scans [MRI, enhanced EEGs] called:

    The Brain Where Does Sex Live in the Brain? From Top to Bottom.

    Neuroscientists explore the mind’s sexual side and discover that desire is not quite what we thought it was.

    by Carl Zimmer

    From the October 2009 issue, published online September 10, 2009

    http://discovermagazine.com/2009/oct/10-where-does-sex-live-in-brain-from-top-to-bottom

    An interesting video of the enhanced EEGs showing how the brain reacts in those fractions of a second is on the second page, at this URL:

    http://discovermagazine.com/2009/oct/10-where-does-sex-live-in-brain-from-top-to-bottom/article_view?b_start:int=1&-C=

    Or on Zimmer’s blog, at this URL:

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/loom/2009/09/10/desire-in-slow-motion/

  • Ann

    Lynn David,

    This was extremely interesting – thank you.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Debbie – re: the 2/3s statement, I don’t stand behind it because the time 6 results indicated 53% were satisfied. What I do still agree with is that aspect of their outcome data is an important finding. The dropout rate is concerning and may reflect more problems than satisfied ex-gays who simply didn’t want to answer questions. But Jones has said (on the Chris Fabry show I think) that the 53% is probably a ceiling for satisfaction rate, and I agree with him.

    I disagree with both 2/3rds and 53% primarily because of the dropout rate. While it may be usual and customary to report only on those who remain in a study of, say, a drug, in this particular study there is value to be gleaned from the dropouts.

    J&Y claim that this subpopulation cannot be considered “failure” because some may have so overcome their same-sex attractions that they are joyously living heterosexually. But a comparison between point 3 and point 6 reveals that nearly ALL of those who dropped out were either from the failed categories or from the celibate-but-still-going-for-it categories. Of the 14 to leave during this span, only three who left the program were from “success” categories and we already knew from the book that one of them had recanted his success story. So it is extremely likely that the vast majority of participants who left the study did so because they were not experiencing adequate contentment from Exodus.

    Secondly, J&Y is not one study, it is two presented as though they were one. There is a retrospective sample which based their “change” on looking back a few years and trying to recall their feelings at that time and there is a prospective sample that measured real change from point to point.

    The retrospective sample was already distorted in that it – by the nature of its selection – eliminated a number of persons who had dropped out between the recollection point and the start point. So to get a sense of how many Exodus participants had satisfactory results, we have to look to the prospective sample. They broke down as follows:

    Success: Conversion – 5 (9%)

    Success: Chastity – 6 (11%)

    Non-Success – 18 (32%)

    Drop-Outs – 28 (49%)

    (Of course, “conversion” does not suggest an absence of homosexual desire.)

  • Timothy Kincaid

    It also needs to be more than just a live-and-let-live thing because there is a culture war out there in the world that is wounding lots of people. God has called me to do something about that. My hat’s off to all those who feel similarly, regardless of how small the contribution may be.

    Maybe, perhaps, if those who are opposed to CIVIL equality for gay people could cease their war on the lives of gay people we could reach a live and let live position.

    Perhaps then there may be some who wish to seek Christian counsel but have been turned off by the homophobia and seemingly hateful approach (whether real or perceived) might feel free to approach. And some who otherwise might come to know Christ will no longer think that the church hates them and wants to do them harm.

    Currently it’s a bit like trying to convert Buddhists while simultaneously trying to ban Buddhism and destroy statues. Yes, it may feel as though we’re conquering idolatry, but Buddhist conversions would be few and far between.

    Let’s hope and pray that some day Christians will spend as much time and effort in showing gay people God’s love as they do in showing them God’s condemnation and man’s oppression. Then perhaps we can call a truce in the grand Culture War.

  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    Timothy, I always wonder why the fact that it is so hard to change homosexual desires is seen by many as the justification (ammunition?) to undermine or nullify the process for those who succeed or who learn to live a life focused on holiness and centered on the “peace which passes understanding.” I think I have heard you begrudgingly admit that you accept some can change — “be transformed by the renewing of their minds” — in meaningful ways. Am I right? You have accepted me as such a person, I believe.

    What if it takes a lifetime to come to a place of healing and an identity that is no longer ruled by errant sexual impulses of any kind? Would that make it a waste of time, a senseless endeavor? Is struggling a bad thing? How much spiritual growth comes from the struggle? Plenty can and does.

    What responsibility do the naysayers bear in derailing those who only want to take this journey, supported by others who have walked that road? I believe we call that sanctification in Christendom. Yet, how many stand alongside the road, clutching at them, pulling them aside and stealing their hope?

    Life is hard. Change is hard. So what? Who ever said it was supposed to be easy? Who ever said we were guaranteed happiness or self-fulfillment? I want Christ-fulfillment. Jesus said, “In the world you have tribulation. But take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Hallelujah!

    What more do we need to know? I wish more gays would accept that those words from Jesus apply to them in a deeply meaningful way. I am sorry for the pain the Church has caused in its ignorance and selfishness for gays. It stinks. But so does every attempt to remake God in our image.

    Now, as regards the regrettable culture war, it is also my hope that we can learn to focus on the needs of our fellow man without lording it over them because we believe we have a mandate, either divine or human, for self-righteousness.

  • Mary

    Timothy,

    Adequate contentment with Exodus does not mean that people did no go on to pursue other avenues for SSA discomfort or that change did not occur. In fact, we can’t measure those that we cannot measure.

    I for one – would have walked out of any Exodus run program. I find the religiously based programs that focus on SSA to be – well – shameful, inadequate, ignorant, not realistic.

    Others may have benefitted from such but not everyone. And others do find different paths to take. Examining only Exodus people is not a good measure of the whole group.

  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    I for one – would have walked out of any Exodus run program. I find the religiously based programs that focus on SSA to be – well – shameful, inadequate, ignorant, not realistic.

    Mary, we don’t know what you are referring to when you say “Exodus-run program.” If you are referring to a small church-based group affiliated with Exodus, you need to know they are not necessarily influenced by Exodus. Mine isn’t. We choose our own materials and don’t need anyone at Exodus to tell us how to read our Bibles, talk the talk, or walk the walk. We take no marching orders. Why do folks seem to think it works that way?

    You would not find my group to be “shameful, inadequate, ignorant, not realistic.” We don’t just focus on SSA. We focus on life. What “religiously based program” were you a part of, if I may ask?

    You are right that there are “unofficial” ways to find help, like the good, old-fashioned way church is supposed to work — bearing one another’s burdens, being a friend, praying, i.e., discipling. What a concept! I’m sure some find meaningful help outside the Church, as well.

  • Mary

    Debbie,

    I really don’t like Exodus and the referral programs it has for those with unwanted SSA. I went to a church run group that was called River of Life and used Adrew Cominsky’s views. The leaders were immature, not qualified, not confidential, racist, and just not my kind of people at all. My shrink had suggested it. Then the group leader met up with my shrink and later my shrink confirmed with me that they were not what she expected nor qualified to run any group. She apologized for the suggestion and no longer suggests it to her clients. I sent to Love in Action for their application just to get to know their process and was appalled at their lack of quality. They would allow a person to be roomed with a sexual criminal (ie: pedophile, rapist etc..) when your only issue was SSA and you might be roomed with a drug addict as well. And you had no say in the assignment. That in itself is torture. They search your car and all your activites are controlled by them (sounds very cult like to me)For counselors they had one woman who did not meet my criteria for a counselor (she lacked experience, quality education. Sounded more like she was gaining experience through your dollar than providing you with sound counsel. I guess I could go on and on.

  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    Yes, Mary, you could go on and on. Anyone could. But you would not necessarily be painting a complete picture.

    Exodus (not a person with a will who acts with singular purpose, but a group of people, now including two specific church outreaches), has a range of ministries, groups, etc. it can refer to. Just as every church is somewhat different, so are the ministries. Some will naturally be better than others. Most will have a mix of newer facilitators and more experienced ones. There should be adequate training, sound doctrinal teaching, accountability to a professional counselor or qualified pastoral counselor, confidentiality, clear boundaries and realistic goals that do not apply pressure to become heterosexual.

    If you want licensed counselors, that’s where you go. If you want a biblically based support/growth group, you go that route. You do your best to vet the group/ministry. Exodus ought to have a feedback loop where every program it refers to is required to do periodic surveys or members are encouraged to go online and respond to a brief satisfaction questionnaire. It would be easy to set up and maintain. Warren has suggested something like this, in fact. He said it in one of his reviews of Jones and Yarhouse’s “Ex-Gays?” (the book).

    With no such program in place, it is far easier for folks to sit back and take pot-shots at Exodus and its affiliates because they had a bad experience once or twice at some point in time. So, I do put the onus on Exodus to some degree. Just be aware that no one out there can accurately evaluate all the ministries and groups folks are attending. A church is responsible for policing its ministries. Attendees have “consumer” power to provide feedback. Instead, we just get a bunch of bellyaching.

    I am going to talk to Alan Chambers and a few others this week about this very thing. Talk is cheap. We need action. I will report back.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    RE: Exodus – there is quite a diversity. See this article.

  • Mary

    Debbie,

    You can have licensed biblically based, experienced and well educated counselors. And whilst I do criticise these groups and people – it is just that critical review. Not pot shots. Critical evaluation. And for the most part – they do not meet my standards and they are less than adequate. There are one or two on the Exodus page that I approve of (but not approve of completely) I still hold reservation and find some misgivings over their personal theologies.

  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    That article Warren is referring to, yet again, says this, among other things:

    “The official stance of the people at these Web sites is that they’ve changed forever. Officially, they’ll say that you turn and stay turned, and you’ve gone on to another plane. But in reality, that’s not a lot of people that happens to,” Winters said.

    “You can’t say a magic prayer and make it go away. I’ve known many gay people who have walked away from the lifestyle. But it’s behavioral modification. It’s choosing to do one thing over another.”

    Note to Exodus: You may want to take him off the list. Would I bite the hand that feeds me like that? This guy needs to shut up and go talk to someone at Exodus before he rattles off more to the press.

    Now, let’s be more candid. Is that one therapist’s feeling a complete and accurate assessment? Would I have run with that quote, were I the person writing that article, without qualifying it from another viewpoint? I would not have. Yellow journalism. It’s not all just behavior modification. Psychobabble.

    Further, who are “these people” with “these Web sites”? Alan Chambers, the head of Exodus, for Pete’s sake, does not make the claim that he has changed 100 percent, permanently. Has anyone here read his latest book? I’ve visited lots of Web sites of ex-gay ministries, some representing the people who started them. How many of those folks are claiming they can help people stay changed forever? I want names and numbers. No one can do that.

    We can lead folks to Christ, which will change them forever in many ways if they submit to him. One of those changes just maybe, might be losing homosexual desires. Winters did say there is hope, at least. Hope for something real that can give then calm in the storm and a new way of relating, I presume. Now, if Winters wants to call substituting a relationship with Christ for sinful sexual gratification “behavior modification,” I’ll buy that. We can plug folks into support, but it is their choice as to how far they will go with it.

    Then, there’s this:

    “Personally, I do not feel these things (conversion therapies) work at all. I know half a dozen people who have tried them or gone through them. None have been successful,” said Kress, now 56.

    Oh, he knows half a dozen people. Bully for him. So, he is going to assess all therapies based on that? Also, he said “these things” and the reporter assumed he meant “conversion therapies.” He may well also have meant ministries, which would make his quote laughable. He might want to meet me. I went through therapy, not a group, by the way. And if the media and therapists want to draw some kind of distinction between men and women strugglers, they need to by God say so.

    Finally, Warren, please tell us how this article makes your point that there is a lot of diversity within Exodus-affiliated ministries. I missed that one. I see one therapist on their referral list here who likes to trash-talk.

    And Mary, who are “these groups and people” that you have critically evaluated and how have you evaluated them? I don’t recall you showing up at my door.

    Now, Debbie may be a little testy at the moment, but it does not mean I defend every ministry out there. I am an apologist for the faith and the power that comes through a relationship with Christ. It is a lifelong thing. We don’t quit on him if we’ve had too many bad hair days. I also expect honesty from those who are being critical and using broad brush strokes in doing it.

    My group knows that there is a time for empathy and a time for hearing, “Here’s a quarter. Go call someone who cares.” They won’t hear that if I can see they are submitting themselves to the process. They know I will pray for them continually. They know I will not bail on them. They know I CARE, but that I want their all-in-all. They can’t ask me to go the distance with them, but then put it on a shelf when it’s hard. Now, Mary, you tell me if I’m “one of those people.” If I am, so be it.

    We’ve taken the pity party and elevated it to a bona fide therapeutic response. Recovery takes work, and it takes knowing you will have setbacks. It is for the long haul. A two-way street. You and God. He will not ask you to do anything you cannot. I leave in His hands what is possible for the women in my group. If they walk away, believing they cannot find meaningful change, God bless them. They are free to do so.

  • Mary

    I don’t know Debbie. I don’t know you that well. HOwever, some of the things you’ve written here leads me to question your experience on the matter. Judging for myself and myself only, I would say you are not a good match for my sets of believing, thinking, responding to my own SSA issues. Nothing personal – just that we would not be a good match.

  • Mary

    Oops – however, what you have to offer may be very beneficial to someone else.

  • http://ardentmormon.blogspot.com -L-

    I’ve been reading the APA report for the last couple hours, and I’m disappointed. As Warren says, the overall position is conservative in the sense that it avoids any definitive statement of efficacy or harm, admitting the paucity of evidence. What disturbs is the pervasive bias in the way the data is discussed, regardless of the final, almost reluctant, conclusions. This bias bleeds out as imprecision and equivocation most frequently, but occasionally as blatant inconsistency in the standards to which the evidence is being measured (or even examined at all).

    Maybe I’ll blog on the topic on my own blog and post a link.

  • Mary

    L

    I agree with you.

  • http://ardentmormon.blogspot.com -L-

    Thanks, Mary!

    And, I’m not sure if the ping back comment is now awaiting moderation, but here’s the link to the post I just wrote.

  • Eddy

    Debbie–

    I just wanted to say that I’ve appreciated your voice here today. I think I’m in an allergy fighting mode and didn’t feel up to stepping in to the conversation. What I appreciated the most was how you challenged that erroneous yet pervasive notion typified by Mary’s statement re “Exodus run ministries”. The bashers have been at it for a long long time and have succeeded in creating an image of Exodus that is incredibly distorted. It will take some time to bring the real truth into focus. LOL. I thought I cleared all that garbage up a month or so ago in some labored attempts to explain what the Exodus network really is…about the affiliates and member agencies, etc. I shudder to think that, like a lot of other topics, we have to go over the same ground again and again and again, ad infinitum. LOL. I’ll feel better about that battle once my allergy pill kicks in.

  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    I don’t know Debbie. I don’t know you that well. HOwever, some of the things you’ve written here leads me to question your experience on the matter.

    I don’t take offense at that assessment, Mary. You call it like you see it. Of course, it would help it you qualified what “experience on the matter” means to you.

    My experience, like yours, entails going through my own struggle, number one. It includes sitting opposite a therapist for specific SSA issues for a year. Before that I worked with, let’s see, three shrinks and three other therapists (psychologists, two of whom told me to go out and experiment, along with another I only saw once, so I don’t count her), and a pastor. And a support group for depression.

    My psychiatrist of choice I stayed with for five years. Most of those therapists I saw for major depression prior to even revealing my other struggle. I actually didn’t see it as related then, but I also didn’t think I had been a victim of sexual abuse until I got set straight on that.

    See a pattern here? I didn’t quit at quack number one, or quacks number three through whatever. I kept going because I wanted to beat this thing more than I wanted to breathe. But I am a strong-willed person who is loath to quit at anything. And I happen to believe Jesus Christ’s words, “With God all things are possible.”

    Does this all color my attitudes today? Of course it does, just like your experiences have colored yours. I also have done lots of reading and personal study. And I have trained and been supervised under a highly experienced, licensed counselor (a godly man I respect immensely) for the more than six years (it would have been about eight, but I took a 20-month “sabbatical”) that I have been a small group facilitator at my church. I first worked with depressed and anxious folks with a whole litany of problems before working with SSA women.

    I am not a psychologist, obviously. Nonetheless, I have been asked to guest-lecture at a college advanced nursing class and a graduate-level psychology class, FWIW. I have lived 55 years on this earth and have learned a lot about life and human nature. I have been involved with a variety of ministries in the Church since I was in my 20s. And I have done a lot of Bible study. Yeah, I have even written a few books. I am married (28 years), so I have the knowledge of being able to compare same and opposite-sex experiences. I have both walked with and rebelled against God. As to education, I have a bachelor’s degree in English. And I still have MUCH to learn. So much for my partial CV.

  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    Hope you get your allergies under control, Eddy. They can be a bummer. And thanks for “the love.”

  • Mary

    Debbie,

    I was being vague on purpose by saying experience and truly do not want to go on to that subject right now.

    What is your private e-mail again?

  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    We’ll make it a public e-mail address, Mary: debbie@theformers.com.

    I figured it was time for me to be a tad more specific about the experience. I think it matters.

  • Michael Bussee

    Debbie said:

    There should be adequate training, sound doctrinal teaching, accountability to a professional counselor or qualified pastoral counselor, confidentiality, clear boundaries and realistic goals that do not apply pressure to become heterosexual.

    Exodus ought to have a feedback loop where every program it refers to is required to do periodic surveys or members are encouraged to go online and respond to a brief satisfaction questionnaire.

    Yes, there should and yes, it ought to. I worry that the 30 year old refrain of “we’re a very loose-knit coalition, we can’t monitor everything” will continue to allow these groups to do very little to actually solve these problems.

    Wendy Gritter had some very good suggestions, too. Remember them?

  • Michael Bussee

    In reading the posts, above, I am struck by the strength of the desire to “overcome” homosexualiy. What motivates such an intense desire not to be gay? When did it start? How did it grow?

  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    Michael, I believe there are things Exodus can do to monitor affiliate ministries. I just don’t know how far they ought to try to reach. If there is clear evidence that harm is being done — and that’s not the temporary pain of the struggle — within any ministry or church effort, Exodus could dissociate from them and let them rise or fall on their own merits.

    As to your question, the strength is not so much in the desire as it is in letting go and letting God. There is a proverbial truth in that. It’s not for me to say why some cannot seem to find that place. I do not have all the answers.

  • Mary

    Debbie,

    Youre understanding, knowledge and experience with sexual abuse is limited. In addition, it makes me think that your view on sexuality in total may be something different than mine. And I just don’t think your experience (while broad) is broad enough.

    You seem like a nice woman. And while you may have 55 plus years on this planet – it does not mean you have complete or near complete knowledge of all things dealing with SSA.

    That is just an opinion.

  • Michael Bussee

    Debbie, what I meant is why would it be so urgent, so important to overcome this thing? Why did you dislike it so much? What was so painful or uncomfortable about being gay? Was this something you learned — or do you think people have an inborn “sense” that homosexuality is not right?

    Folks used to boldly proclaim “Freedom from homosexuality!”, “You don’t have to be gay!” And in one memorable PR mistake, “sudden, radical and complete change” from homosexuality.

    Is is refreshing to hear from you, Alan and others that important and wonderful changes may take place — in terms of “identity” and behavior — but that heterosexuality should not be expected, probably will not happen for most folks (especially men) and that the fight against homosexuality may be a “lifetime of struggle”.

    Can you see why there has been confusion and disillusionment? It may be hard for those who don’t understand or speak Christianese to reconcile the paradox of “freedom” being a “lifelong struggle” and “ex” or “former” not really meaning “no longer” homosexual.

    Of course, some here seem to think that the confusion is all the fault of the “bashers” mis-representing Exodus — with Exodus bearing little or no responsibility for the mess. It’s too big to manage, to loose to manage, ought not to be managed… etc, etc, etc.

  • Michael Bussee

    Please keep in mind that not everyone reads this blog and some may be brand-new readers. Even though we have come to some clarification here about what Exodus is and isn’t and what it can and cannot do — there are still folks out there who may not have read it or may not get it — no matter how well you all do the job here.

  • Michael Bussee

    Hey Debbie: Sorry. I just realized that I had broken my promise to not criticize anything that Exodus does since such criticism serves no useful purpose. Please disregard my previous posts. My apologies for reverting to my old ways.

    Also, no need to respond to my question about why you so strongly wanted to change. That’s a very personal question, and I agreed to keep things impersonal from now on. Nothing personal and no criticism of Exodus. I am working on it. As you said, change is hard!

  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    Youre understanding, knowledge and experience with sexual abuse is limited. In addition, it makes me think that your view on sexuality in total may be something different than mine. And I just don’t think your experience (while broad) is broad enough.

    You seem like a nice woman. And while you may have 55 plus years on this planet – it does not mean you have complete or near complete knowledge of all things dealing with SSA.

    Mary, you are throwing out safe truisms that apply to us all. They add nothing to the discussion. Whose experience is “broad enough”? Broad enough for what? We all have limitations. Are you looking for the Messiah of sexual identity development? Better get a big lunch.

    Why cull sexual abuse out of the whole mix? There’s a lot more than that in my background, and I do not not attribute all SSAs to it anyway. Have I ever said or implied that I have “complete knowledge” of all things SSA? Do people here infer all manner of things they ought not to? All the time.

    Please feel free to have an opiinion. Just make it mean something.

  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    Michael, you don’t have to filter out every personal reference as long as there is something to be gained from it. If it illustrates a point that has not been horse-whipped to death — which is another limitations of these discussions and why I presume you have been asked not to make everything personal — then say it.

    Also, Exodus does bear some responsibility for their image. Yes, people do misrepresent them, but to the extent that they are a many-headed hydra through a myriad of ministries, that is to be expected. Also, not considered enough is the responsibility of the pastors or counselors heading the various church-based or parachurch ministry affiliates to scrutinize their programs and keep them in compliance with “Exodus standards.” Does such a set of standards clearly exist? That’s a question I am about to seek an answer for.

    Is is refreshing to hear from you, Alan and others that important and wonderful changes may take place — in terms of “identity” and behavior — but that heterosexuality should not be expected, probably will not happen for most folks (especially men) and that the fight against homosexuality may be a “lifetime of struggle”.

    Heterosexuality ought not to be a goal that people are pushed toward or guaranteed. That’s my position. I also believe Alan agrees that it’s OK to let God determine what a spiritual transformation may yield in terms of sexuality. A relationship with Christ that honors him above all things and seeks to remove all “idols” may lead to all sorts of changes in a person previously thought not possible. We can walk through life with a limp but still be healed in vital ways. We do not focus on the old wounds, but on Christ.

    What was so painful or uncomfortable about being gay? Was this something you learned — or do you think people have an inborn “sense” that homosexuality is not right?

    Since we are all spiritual beings, as well as emotional and physical, we likely do sense that SSA is out of kilter or contrary to what God intended. Perhaps we’ve made it into a great, big band-aid.

    I knew I was in rebellion when I went down that road. And I knew I had to reverse course or it would destroy me and deeply injure my family. I could not bear being outside God’s will. The secular mindset (or the spiritually deceived one) does not know how to acknowledge these things, of course. So the good of gay becomes good enough and the best that God wants is not even considered. Hence, the “culture war” between good and best.

  • Eddy

    Michael said:

    Please keep in mind that not everyone reads this blog and some may be brand-new readers. Even though we have come to some clarification here about what Exodus is and isn’t and what it can and cannot do — there are still folks out there who may not have read it or may not get it — no matter how well you all do the job here.

    This is excellent advice and is something I endeavor to do. It seems, however, to be somehow connected to the comments both Debbie and I made in reference to Mary’s criticisms of Exodus typified by the phrase ‘Exodus run ministries’. Our objection–which would apply both to brand-new readers and to old ones–is that, when we criticize, we ought to 1) know what we’re criticizing and 2) that our criticisms ought to be specific and fact-based.

    Mary is someone I know and respect–and she’s been around this blog for ages! So, to hear her refer to ‘Exodus run ministries’ gave me pause. I expected a long-term blogger to have grasped the ‘Exodus big picture’ that was addressed several times. If Mary had been a brand-new blogger, the phrase would still have caused me concern…a new blogger referring critically to ‘Exodus run ministries’ would still be indicating that they weren’t particularly informed. Simply put, Exodus does not run its affiliate ministries or agencies.

    For the benefit of those ‘brand-new readers’, both Debbie and I felt it was important to clear up that point quickly since it has been a source of ongoing confusion.

  • Mary

    Debbie,

    I am being polite. I am choosing to drop this issue with you. It does not matter what I say – you are going to egg me on to describe more. I’ve said what I said and stand by it. You are welcome to consider it on your own time or review previous posts where there might be an indication of what I am referring to.

  • Mary

    Eddy,

    Sorry – don’t like Exodus for it’s lack of oversight and clear language. I know it does not run the ministries that are presented on it’s website but it does represent them. The language could more clear, direct and acknowledge it’s limitations.

  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    I am being polite. I am choosing to drop this issue with you. It does not matter what I say – you are going to egg me on to describe more. I’ve said what I said and stand by it. You are welcome to consider it on your own time or review previous posts where there might be an indication of what I am referring to.

    Or, I could politely remind you that you could do what you have indicated you wanted to do several times now, and raise your concerns privately with me. That you raised them publicly here left you open to my responses, for better or worse. I’m ready to drop it … yesterday. Fruitless.

  • Eddy

    Mary–

    A criticism such as ‘its lack of oversight and clear language’ while sounding specific lacks real substance. On its webpage, Exodus describes its criteria for being a member ministry or a church referral, can you suggest which of these it ought to ramp up to meet your standards for oversight?

    They also have a page full of mission and policy statements which I found to be pretty darn clear and specific. The only one I took exception to was ‘healing’ which I felt focussed a bit too much on developing a heterosexual orientation. Ironically, though, you’ve developed more of a heterosexual orientation than most so I’m not sure if it’s that statement you think isn’t clear enough…or another…or is the lack of clear speech pervasive?

    In short, can you sharpen your criticism a bit…clarify it…so that it might be turned constructive?

  • Mary

    Okay Eddy – Let me review Exodus web pages again and be more specific.

  • Eddy

    Thanks, Mary. I know I get a bit hung up on both trying to be specific and trying to be constructive…but I also know that, despite seeing some of the weaknesses of Exodus, I’m biased in their favor. So, in terms of their oversight and clarity of speech on their website, I may have a blind spot.

    LOL. And before someone dives in and accuses me of being nonspecific with ‘some of the weaknesses of Exodus’, I refer to areas where I’ve already said my piece. I wish they wouldn’t be involved in politics at the headquarters level; I wish they’d place less focus on heterosexuality as a goal; I wish they’d educate any ministries or churches that can claim affiliation with them the importance of avoiding hype and christianese in their public announcements or statements.

  • Ann

    I “think” what Mary is saying is that unwanted same gender attraction is a very different set of circumstances for each person having had or currently experiencing it. While groups, organizaitons and ministires might address the subject well and offer invaluable insight and resources, they cannot address the individual – nor should they. Her set of needs and what she requires from an individual therapist, group therapy, ministry, or organization might be very different from another’s needs or requirements. It does not diminish anything or anyone, rather only addresses what her personal needs are. If we are going to put our well being on the line, it is good to have individual standards and requirements that can be met in a credible way so we can feel safe and prepared to reason things out.

  • Mary

    Ann,

    That’s it. This process is very personal and very individual for each person. I see a lot of vagueness on the website. I would like to see something that states exactly that it is a very personal and individual journey and that each person should investigate the referral thoroughly before just assuming that it meets a person theological or cultural standards. Also does it meet the counseling standards that are needed for such a journey. I doubt anyone without critical education and several years maybe 15 at the very least can provide sound counseling to those who struggle. The years, education, background, theological views et cetera need to be made outright and specifically. I am not one to endorse the charismatic schools or the only religiously trained individuals. Sex, sexuality sexual development, gender, gender roles are very unique to each person and are very different for men and woman. When I begin to see all SSA conflicted people being treated as a songle issue – I get concerned. When SSA conflicted individuals are grouped with pedophiles and rapists (who in my view are predators and criminals) red flags go up because SSA individuals are not imposing their sexuality onto an unwilling partner – something pedophiles and rapists do. When programs being offered are risking putting an otherwise stable person into a forced position of daily interaction with drug addicts, sexual criminals and the sort – I am disgusted and appalled at the generalities being applied to an individual law abiding citizen as a person.

    Not all gay people are drug users, and I certainly do not put them into the category of pedophiles and rapists or other sexual abusers. And not all come to their SSA through the same means. It seems to me that many of the referrals being offered by Exodus can at least put down the “theory” or approach of SSA conflicted people so a person can research with a little less effort.

    A rather normal SSA conflicted person who was not sexually abused, is not a sex addict, who does not use drugs or engage in any criminal activity, is not a transsexual or transgendered person and falls well into the categories of so called society’s gender roles is very different than the totally unstable or confused person whose psycological diagnosis can range wide and far.

    And these issues are not addressed by Exodus.

    It is a very personal journey and as a consumer a person needs to do more investigative research than what Exodus provides in its’ general references and referrals.

  • Eddy

    And these issues are not addressed by Exodus.

    Ah, but they are. These things are not the types of things that would come out on an introductory webpage…but they are part of the reason why Exodus requires attendance at annual conferences on a somewhat regular basis.

    I’m personally not keen on halfway house programs. I used to quip that a ‘halfway house for homosexuals is like a Teen Challenge program with marijuana plants growing on the windowsills’. (Before I get accused of likening homosexuality to drug addiction…this comes DIRECTLY from my early Christian experience. My pastor used to cover David’s church when David Wilkerson was out working on the streets. There were 3 or 4 ex-gays in my church (before the term was coined) but about 20 guys from Teen Challenge. It turns out that their center was directly behind my apartment. I would have never considered living there but I did work up the courage to attend a few Bible studies.)

    As far as ministry goes, my ministry offered one on one counseling along with a weekly men’s support group…that’s what you would have seen in our informational brochure. But, I had a few clients who I deemed as inappropriate for the support group…some because they were still actively man-shopping but others because they weren’t as identified with ‘the lifestyle’ as the rest of the guys in the group. They needed a little support but not a weekly one to one session…or a weekly support group. I offered informal phone counseling and our monthly ‘open meeting’ as support options for them. Many of the ministries associated with Exodus display similar flexibility.

    I’m off to do some puppy-sitting. Later.

  • Mary

    Somewhat regular basis is once every two years a representative from your church or ministry program should go – I think it is a suggestion?

    I love puppy sitting. Just finished for my neighbor. Great puppy!

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Debbie,

    I listed the numerical results of the prospective sample of Exodus participants in the Jones and Yarhouse study:

    Success: Conversion – 5 (9%)

    Success: Chastity – 6 (11%)

    Non-Success – 18 (32%)

    Drop-Outs – 28 (49%)

    I didn’t make them up, Debbie. And I wasn’t naysaying or undermining or nullifying; I was just correcting a false claim of success.

    All I did, Debbie, was post numerical facts. What’s wrong with numerical facts?

    Shouldn’t lovers of God also be lovers of truth, honesty, integrity, and openness?

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Debbie,

    I love the idea of getting Exodus to set standards and clean house.

    They are a referral source. And I’m sure you’ll agree that you would never give a referral for automotive repair to a guy that only had training on lawn mowers. Or to a “doctor” that had no degree or medical training.

    Surely, Exodus wants to refer the struggler to a ministry that will actually help them.

    And while we’re on that subject, Exodus’ church referral in San Diego is still The Rock. Y’know, the church that gave a sermon including this doozy:

    Recently in Pennsylvania, a woman was arrested and sentenced for 47 years in prison because she had the following bumper sticker: God loves homosexuals, but homosexuality is a sin. This is only one of the many current and shocking examples of Christian prosecution presented in today’s message.

    Someone might want to remind Alan that being an anti-gay activist, like Miles McPherson, isn’t exactly the sole or best qualification for becoming a referred church. Or, that is, I would have other criteria.

  • Eddy

    Would this be the same champion of the truth talking (Mr. Kincaid) who claimed that Robert Gagnon coined the term ‘homosexualism’…that he did so for the purpose of expressing his utter contempt for gays? I couldn’t find support of that ‘fact’ and, not being able to read the hearts of other people perfectly, I marvelled at Mr. Kincaid’s ability to determine the motive behind Gagnon’s alleged act.

    Debbie–

    For that reason, I’d advise that you spare yourself any further dalliance down this detour… Naturally, though, the decision is yours.

  • Mary

    Timothy

    So do I. (head shaking)

  • Mary

    Timothy – there are a few others in San Diego that are referred to besides The Rock. I’ve heard that the Pastor over at Calvary on Normal Street? is a very kind pastor.

  • Eddy

    And, it may be significant to note something that was noted previously. Yes, the pastor made a statement that appears to be unfounded. That’s actually ALL we know. That statement actually says little or nothing regarding the church’s ability to be a supportive home for someone who has homosexual inclinations but believes that homosexual behavior is sin. The pastor, by the way, is not the person listed as the primary contact on the Exodus website.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Would this be the same champion of the truth talking (Mr. Kincaid) who claimed that Robert Gagnon coined the term ‘homosexualism’…that he did so for the purpose of expressing his utter contempt for gays?

    Ah, perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps it’s simply correlation and not causation.

    Perhaps Gagnon’s creation of the term simply occurred at the same time of his expression of utter contempt – for some other unknown reason – and was not necessarily caused by such contempt. Forgive my presumptions.

    That statement actually says little or nothing regarding the church’s ability to be a supportive home for someone who has homosexual inclinations but believes that homosexual behavior is sin.

    Personally, if it were me, rather than defend the obvious untruthfulness of McPherson’s numerous statements, I’d let them know that they couldn’t be an Exodus referral church until they stopped saying untruthful things.

    But, well, maybe I have different priorities and values than Exodus and its defenders.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Mary,

    If you’re speaking about Jack Sampier at Calvary Temple, from what little I know about him I would disagree with him on theology but I don’t know of his expressing any untruthfulness or unkindness. Which is certainly a good position by comparison.

    Sadly, however, he does seem involved in anti-gay political activism and affiliated with some whom are a bit disreputable. I don’t know how extensively, so I’ll not judge too harshly.

  • Eddy

    Timothy–

    Perhaps you missed it when I questioned you about this the first time you suggested it on another post:

    Perhaps Gagnon’s creation of the term simply occurred at the same time of his expression of utter contempt – for some other unknown reason – and was not necessarily caused by such contempt. Forgive my presumptions.

    I attempted to search the origin of the terms ‘homosexualism’ and ‘homosexualist’ and could not find that Gagnon was the creator of the term. The best I could find was that it seems it may have been coined in response to the coining of the term ‘christianist’ to refer to Christian activists. So…1) it didn’t seem clear that Gagnon coined the term, yet you claim he does. I will ask you again to support the ‘fact’ that you’ve now stated a second time. ( It was your opening and main rebuttal point in an exchange with Gene Chase a short time ago.) 2) if it was coined, even by Gagnon, in response to the term ‘christianist’ there is no grounding for your allegations that it was coined out of ‘utter contempt’ for homosexuals since it seems to speak to activists rather than to all homosexuals.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Eddy,

    Oh I take it all back.

    Homosexualist was really coined by Daffyd Thomas, who is, as I’m sure you know, “the only gay in the village.”

  • Eddy

    Timothy–

    I could find no dates in your reference nor did it seem to be the source of the actual coining of the term ‘homosexualist’ that you ascribed to Gagnon. You do seem to be going to extremes to avoid saying ‘Oh, I needed something to use as a rebuttal to Gene Chase so I made up both the fact that Robert Gagnon coined the term ‘homosexualist’ and his reason for doing so.’

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Eddy,

    You seem obsessed over whether Gagnon coined the phrase homosexualist.

    I do not know that he was the first person on the planet to use that string of alphabetical characters. I don’t even know whether he was the first to assign it the meaning with which he uses the term.

    But I do know that he is, to the best of my knowledge, the first person in the anti-gay activist community of which I am aware, that adopted the word as part of their constant vocabulary and used it in replacement of either “gay” or “homosexual” and who has assigned pejorative associations to the term.

    If your complaint is that I said he “coined” the phrase rather than “adopted the constant usage” of the phrase, well then you win a jelly bean.

  • Eddy

    No, Timothy, I’m obsessed with the fact that you declared it to be a fact…without support…that you added personal judgement of a person to it…that when questioned about it, you simply didn’t answer…that when questioned about it yet again on this thread, you demonstrated amazing dancing abilities.

    Here’s what started it all: You were straightening Gene Chase out…just as you so faithfully straighten everybody out who differs in opinion from you.

    Gene,

    You are mistaken about Gagnon. He is so virulently anti-gay that he coined a new term “homosexualist” to really express his contempt.

    This ‘fact’ was used to correct someone. You gave it the significance of being your lead statement. You gave it a paragraph all to itself. And, it seems that it wasn’t a fact at all. I think that really sucks.

    There’s no secret that you and I have had our moments but, in the back of my mind, there was always this voice that said ‘but at least he’s honest…I can deal with that’. You’ve been so dazzling so many times with facts, with stats, with links…that I never thought to check for veracity. Now that I know that I need to, I’m tempted to consider your posts as ‘not worth the effort’. Even this overstatement on your part could have been dismissed quickly…by admitting that it was a presumption rather than a proven fact when originally challenged or in the first challenge in this thread…but you chose to dodge instead and further diminished my respect for you.

    LOL. You and yours continually challenge Exodus and ex-gays re their terminology yet look how you now dance. To coin a word has a very specific meaning and it’s different from ‘popularized’. First you said he coined the term and now you (somewhat snarkily) say “perhaps he wasn’t the first person on the planet to string those letters together in that order”. Oh, my bad, my very very bad. To get an answer to a simple challenge about a fact, I first have to endure several bouts of snarkiness and slurs.

    As I said in one of my posts (or at least I meant to), it’s ironic that you accuse Gagnon of expressing his utter contempt; tell me, sir, from your combination of non-responses, aversive responses and snarky responses, what do you think I’m feeling from you? (Rhetorical question in case that wasn’t clear. I currently have no desire for anymore pearls from you.)

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Eddy,

    I still think Gagnon coined the phrase but I’m not married to the word “coined”.

    Perhaps you’ll be happier with

    Gene,

    You are mistaken about Gagnon. He is so virulently anti-gay that he adopted a new term “homosexualist” to really express his contempt.

  • Eddy

    I’m happier that you’re revealing your true judgemental colors…most certainly. You see, Timothy, you’ve been trying to allude that Gagnon coined (or now adopted) the term ‘homosexualist’ to ‘really express his contempt’ for gay people. (The ‘for gay people’ is inferred by the phrase ‘virulently anti-gay’.) But, it ain’t so. Oh, I doubt you’ll ever admit it but that doesn’t change the very apparent truth.

    The apparent truth is that a term ‘Christianist’ was coined to refer to conservative Christian political activists…the perceived ‘other side’ in this great war of polarization. Someone responded with the term ‘homosexualist’ to refer, not to gays in general, but to gay activists. A very practical move. HOMOSEXUAL activIST. Makes sense…easily understood…except by those who want to make something more out of it than what is there. Contempt (the same contempt that you hold for him?) might be inferred but only a true judge and reader of hearts and minds could say that contempt was behind his usage.

    I’ve just googled his usage of ‘homosexualist’ and of the terms ‘homosexual’ and homosexuality’. In every instance I could find, ‘homosexualist’ was always used to refer to those actively involved in advancing a homosexual agenda…not once in reference to a gay individual. It clearly means ‘activist’. And, as further support for this notion of mine, he hasn’t stopped using the other terms when he is speaking of an individual or of the behavior.

    I’ll stand by my claim that you presented an allegation as fact, dodged when questioned, and that you inserted a judgement that isn’t supported by anything other than your personal opinion. The fact that Gagnon has ‘taken you on’ at various times probably has nothing at all to do with your vehement and unrelenting judgement of him.


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