Alan Osmond channels NARTH

One member of the very talented Osmond family has taken up homosexuality as an interest. Huffington Post today posted about an article on Osmond’s website as if the article was a recent one. However, apparently it was posted in July.  And the piece was not actually written by Osmond, but by Dean Byrd, NARTH board member and past-president in 1999.

In this article that Osmond quotes as an authority, Byrd wrote:

Other researchers note treatment success rates that exceed 50 percent, which is similar to the success rates for treating other difficulties.

Really? One of the studies that quoted a 50% cure rate was reported in 1967 by Harvey Kaye and the Society for Medical Psychoanalysis. However, Dr. Kaye recently told me that the study was wrong and discredited.

Despite dwindling influence among professionals (the recent conference in AZ only drew 70-80 people), NARTH continues to find support among lay people such as here in the case of Osmond. Since NARTH is mostly lay people, I guess that makes sense.

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  • http://www.jeremyschwab.com Jeremy Schwab

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see at least a 50% success rate for clients of NARTH psychologists. The therapy really does work.

    I have been with working with Dr. Joseph Nicolosi (Jr.) via Skype and have seen my SSA reduced significantly. I saw some significant results after just the first session and major growth over the past year.

    Even more importantly though is that I have experienced major healing in all areas of relational brokenness. I have a much more fulfilling life now in EVERY area. I feel like my core needs are being met now and I’m able to really relate to others in a healthy meaningful ways. I wasn’t able to do that before at all.

    I find myself much more assertive and direct without fear of disapproval or Shame. That was the first major breakthrough for me – releasing 20 years of Shame. Following that, I saw major breakthroughs in all other areas.

    I would highly recommend NARTH therapists for anyone with SSA. Even people who do not want to “change” from being “gay” would still experience tremendous benefits from Reparative Therapy.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Warren, I don’t know why but you are moderating my comments. OR maybe some of them, I have not figured it out (but I haven’t really tried). Maybe if my comment is to long, and I can run on I admit it, it get’s held for moderation. Anyway I have a comment pending on the last article. Please release me, let me go…

  • http://wthrockmorton.com Warren

    @Jeremy – I hope you have a successful acting career.

    @SGM – I have not stopped any of your comments. Sometimes they go to the spam filter accidentally. I will check.

  • Lynn David

    Warren, this is the note that Byrd’s article led to:

    5. See Leland and Miller, “Can Gays ‘Convert’?” 49; “New [May 1997] Survey Says Change Is Possible,” Narth Bulletin, n.d., 1; Jeffrey Satinover, M.D., Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth, 186.

    • http://wthrockmorton.com Warren

      Lynn David – Neither source peer reviewed, neither source trustworthy. Typical, eh?

  • Teresa

    @Jeremy – I hope you have a successful acting career.

    Warren, a bit of ‘doubt’ in Jeremy’s story?

    @Jeremy, a wonderful story, Jeremy … but, I would be very cautious in taking your experience and extrapolating that to anyone else. Have you thought about the fact that you weren’t homosexual to begin with? Just because you were in the gay ‘lifestyle’, perhaps from other issues going on, does not mean you had a true orientation of being homosexual.

    I’m not trying to put a wet-blanket on your story. You own that … and, I’m happy for your progress. Remember though, as we take your story as yours … do not place your story on someone else’s life … that can be the unkindest cut of all.

  • Michael Bussee

    Jeremy: Glad you are feeling better and I wish you well. Overcoming sexual addiction, becoming more assertive, repairing “broken” relationships, reducing feelings of shame and lessening fears of rejection — all of these things are worthy therapeutic goals, supported by good science.

    But, that’s not the same as reorientation from gay to straight.

    As time passes, I think you may see that “reduction in SSA” is not heterosexuality. All of these “beneifts” can accomplished without trying to change your sexual orientation. I pray that you will not experience disillusionment, depression or guilt when sexual reorientation doesn’t happen.

    Everyday, I deal with Exodus and NARTH drop-outs and cast-offs whose depression and guilt worsened (sometimes to the point of sucidal impulses and attempts) when the promised “change” didn’t take place. In my experience (and theirs) accepting one’s sexual orientation — and then living a more balanced and healthy life — is much more beneficial.

  • Richard Willmer

    @ Teresa

    Remember though, as we take your story as yours … do not place your story on someone else’s life … that can be the unkindest cut of all.

    I think that’s a crucial point.

    @ Jeremy

    You talk of ‘shame’. What exactly was it that made you feel ashamed? Your feelings? Your behaviour (in a ‘functional’ sense)? Your treatment of others? Your concern about others’ expectations? What? (I’m genuinely interested to know.)

  • Teresa

    @Warren, I failed to realize that Jeremy Schwab is actually an actor.

    I’ll second Warren’s remark

    @Jeremy – I hope you have a successful acting career.

  • Lynn David

    @Warren. Well I was fairly certain about Satinover’s work in that respect having read it some years back. But I was not familiar with the other.

    @Teresa – follow the link at Schwab’s name.

  • stephen

    Jeremy, grow up and get over yourself. If you’re an actor you don’t stand a chance. I’ve acted in the West End on Broadway, all over the US and the UK. As a writer my work has been see internationally.

    If you ‘work’ with anyone via Skype you should get your money back. Get yourself to NYC or LA and deal with the business. I guarantee you won’t have time to kvell on your ‘SSA’.

    The only honest word you posted is SHAME.

  • JCF

    Alan Osmond channels NARTH, and Jeremy Schwab channels the “Deluded ‘Ex’-Gay” character.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Jeremy, I remember you from when you commented about some of those “retreats” people go to trying to cure the gay. Just to get to the same point of reference let me ask you if you

    1) Identify as heterosexual

    2) Do women, how to say this, if you are in a social setting with a pretty young woman and she flirts with you, do you, well heck I’ll just say it instead of beating around the bush (no pun intended), if a girl is flirting with you and coming on to you, do you get a spontaneous erection?

    3) Do you ever still have lustful thought about men?

    4) Could you be happy and feel good about yourself as an out gay man?

    Michael Busse I thought your comments were very kind and true.

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    Does anyone find Jeremy’s testimonial just a bit too positive? It sounds like something one might hear from an actor more prone to leaping around on Oprah’s couch. All I can say is, give it time, Jeremy, give it time. Also, you might want to pay Warren for the advert.

  • Lynn David

    Well, David, when I saw his post I thought it had the sound of someone who had been prompted about what to say. And how can you gain from reparative therapy when there is nothing to repair?

  • Throbert McGee

    and have seen my SSA reduced significantly

    But if you observe a reduction in SSA without a concurrent increase in OSA, then it seems to me that the correct term for what you’re experiencing is “diminished libido”, not a real change in sexual orientation.

    Come to think of it — Warren, do you know what NARTH’s policy is on the use of prescription anti-depressants or anti-anxiety drugs by patients participating in the NARTH therapy?

    I’ve never been on any such drugs, but I’ve been told by other people that lowered libido (sometimes to a significant degree) can be a side effect of anti-depressants. So I could see how a patient who was having such side effects could subjectively interpret the reduced sex drive as evidence that the NARTH therapy was making the SSA go away.

    I’m not saying this is the case with Jeremy; I’m just wondering if, in general, the “success stories” that NARTH publicizes might in some cases be creditable to pharmocology.

  • Throbert McGee

    creditable to pharmocology.

    Or pharmacology, even.

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    Those drugs definitely do reduce libido in a large number of people, but I think Nicolosi is a physiologist (can’t prescribe). However, many psychologists team with doctors that can prescribe.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Michael Busse what did you think of John Smid’s (former Love in Action director) latest blog post? http://www.gracerivers.com/fruit-vine/#comments

    What do you think he is trying to say without coming right out and saying it? I am trying to read between the lines to get his meaning, I wish he would just write more clearly.

  • Michael Bussee

    I haven’t seen it yet. Let me review and get back to you.

  • Michael Bussee

    SG: I am not sure what you mean when you say that “he is trying to say (something) without coming right out and saying it.” Is there something specific you would like to ask him?

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    I am trying to read between the lines to get his meaning, I wish he would just write more clearly.

    He tends to write a bit over the top with the flowery spiritual language, as though it will one day be canonized. I, too, find it clouds the message.

    I must confess to some trepidation concerning Smid. I don’t doubt something has changed with him, but hard lessons learned have led me to caution in these instances. Only time will tell if his apparent change of heart is genuine or an attempt to co-opt the message of others.

    The desire to embrace the “prodigal come home” is powerful — we always want to see a message of redemption play out in our “enemies.” Many times this leads us to rush in with praise and acceptance before it is truly earned. In addition, such apparent changes give strength to our own arguments and help “prove us right.” This is also tempting.

    I prefer to wait and see. Smid spent decades causing unspeakable pain and anguish, I think it will take more than a few months or even years to earn my trust. The fact that he has a book coming out is also a bit of a concern, since all this recent activity certainly can’t hurt sales.

    In the end I think those who suffered under Smid’s ministry should have the loudest voice in just how much we can trust him

    Caution…

  • Jeremy Schwab

    Thanks Teresa and Michael,

    Acting isn’t my main job or career, but it’s been a fun hobby.

    As far as “change,” I don’t want to insinuate what anyone else should do or imply that what worked for me will necessarily work for others. I also wasn’t claiming to have been cured or become 100% straight. I don’t yet know if it’s even possible. I wouldn’t say that it’s my ultimate goal though. My main goal is to stay close to God and live in alignment with my faith. I’ve been able to do that in large part because of this therapy. I can’t speak for everything anyone else may have said at NARTH or EXODUS or anywhere. People say things there that I disagree with sometimes or they say things in ways that I would NOT have said the same way.

    I have experienced major growth and healing which I never thought was possible before. I lived a very promiscuous gay lifestyle from when I was 17 until about two years ago. That was something that definitely NEEDED to change and it has. It’s not even a strong temptation anymore for me. I guess you could say that makes me “asexual” or “decreased libido.” I don’t really care what you call it. I would say that it is been a much deeper and more profound change than that though. I feel much more connected in all my relationships and much more fulfilled than ever before.

    This isn’t a judgement on anyone else. It’s not about labels or politics for me or even religion. I know some would say I should have spent that time accepting myself as “gay” but I COULDN’T. I tried that for 15 years and it didn’t work for me. Right now I don’t think I could become “gay” again if I tried. I just don’t have the same desire for that anymore at all. There may always be some remnants of it, but it’s not strong enough to make me trade everything else I’ve gained.

    The concept of developing OSA (opposite sex attraction), is something I’m just now exploring. I feel some of it has developed and the “Noble Man” weekend was tremendously helpful for this. I don’t necessarily expect (or want) to become like many “straight” men I know who lust after multiple women. I think that is as much a disorder for them as “homosexuality” was for me. I am open to the possibility of a healthy relationship developing though (if that’s the vocation that God’s leads me to).

  • Michael Bussee

    I lived a very promiscuous gay lifestyle from when I was 17 until about two years ago. That was something that definitely NEEDED to change and it has.

    Jeremy, good for you. Glad that you clarified that were talking about overcoming a sexual addiction and not sexual reorientation from gay to straight. Often, people confuse the two. I find myself wondering what “gay” means to you. Do you equate it with promiscuity?

  • AJ

    Jeremy,

    The 50% figure that you were supporting with your story was a “cure rate”. Sorry, but you don’t sound cured of homosexuality to me. It sounds like you’ve made great progress in your emotional life, and I commend you for that. I was in your place two or three years ago and I mistakenly thought that process was me being “cured’ of homosexuality. I finally realized that I am still gay, just healthier. I really don’t see how your experience justifies saying that the 50% cure rate for homosexuality is realistic.

    I know my comments won’t mean much to you now. Let’s talk in two or three years!

  • Jeremy Schwab

    it seems to me that the correct term for what you’re experiencing is “diminished libido”, not a real change in sexual orientation.

    Come to think of it — Warren, do you know what NARTH’s policy is on the use of prescription anti-depressants or anti-anxiety drugs by patients participating in the NARTH therapy

    Throbert, I’m not familiar with any such therapies or policies. I have never had any prescriptions myself except Adderall (for ADD). Most therapists I know at NARTH are Psychologists (not a psychiatrists) so they couldn’t prescribe anything anyway.

  • Michael Bussee

    My main goal is to stay close to God and live in alignment with my faith.

    I think that is a very worthy goal. Everyone should strive to live a life that is healthy and in accordance with their deep personal and religious values. That is really what motivated me to try to change my sexual orientation from gay to straight in the first place.

    But as an openly homosexual Christian man, I am wondering if you ever explored the idea of forming a stable, committed homosexual relationship with just one person, instead of the “very promiscuous gay lifestyle” you had been living?

    Did the therapist at NARTH ever present that as a possibility? Or would that have been completely unacceptable due to your religious beliefs? Have you had the opportunity to meet with gay Christians who have found peace with God and their homosexual orientation?

  • Jeremy Schwab

    SGW

    Jeremy, I remember you from when you commented about some of those “retreats” people go to trying to cure the gay. Just to get to the same point of reference let me ask you if you

    1) Identify as heterosexual

    2) Do women, how to say this, if you are in a social setting with a pretty young woman and she flirts with you, do you, well heck I’ll just say it instead of beating around the bush (no pun intended), if a girl is flirting with you and coming on to you, do you get a spontaneous erection?

    3) Do you ever still have lustful thought about men?

    4) Could you be happy and feel good about yourself as an out gay man?

    SGW:

    1) I really just identify as a Man right now.

    2) Sometimes, definitely more so lately ;)

    3) Sometimes, but not as often (about once or twice a month now). It used to be every day

    4) Not really. I know is going to anger others, but I really don’t believe that it is an option for me at all. I used to think it was, but for me I know that homosexuality destroys my ability to give and receive love. In MY case it was driven ONLY by insecurity and selfishness. When I’m secure in myself I feel no homosexual feelings at ALL. That’s why even the thoughts are becoming more and more rare. I can’t speak for anyone else though. That is definitely the case for me though. I am much happier now as a chaste Man with SSA than as an “out gay man.” Celibacy is a MUCH MUCH more attractive option for me than any kind of “gay relationship” or “gay identity.”

  • StraightGrandmother

    Jeremy Schwab thank you for answering my questions. Best of luck to you. But before I go, maybe share this with you. As Patti Stanger would say, “Bigger Better Deal” These are people who stay in a relationship for a short time because they quit when they see someone else who they think is a Bigger Better Deal. I have observed some people bounce around in life like a ping pong ball bouncing from one Next Best Thing to another, and where the ping pong ball lands they give it 200%, I mean they are really into (it).

    You became sexually active at 17 years old, not unusual in today’s society, but then you gave it 200% didn’t you? Became a sex addict. Now it appears that you are onto the Next Best Thing, religion appears to be filling the void where the sex addiction used to be. And again you are giving it 200%.

    Find Balance Jeremy, find an equilibrium. I am older and have seen several generations grow from infants into adulthood, I have seen a thing or two. In my opinion your best chance for happiness, your BEST CHANCE, is to find and adhere to a religion that acknowledges your natural born sexual orientation, which is gay, and says “In our faith it is okay to be gay, you are loved and accepted just as you are and you do not have anything to be ashamed about” When you find this church, or temple, or meeting place, it is here where you will be happy and probably find a male life partner. This Jeremy, I think is your best chance for happiness and contentment. Have you looked at the Quaker faith Jeremy?

    Jeremy if you think your past has been a problem if you think a mixed orientation relationship will be a good fit for you, that this is something to strive for, I would simply ask you to go the The Straight Spouse Network and go to their Open Forum section and read their stories.

    I congratulate you for your self improvement and admire you for it. Keep stretching and becoming a bigger better person.

  • David

    @Warren:

    I went back and read your post on your conversation with Dr. Kaye. It was very interesting. Did you inquire as to why he disavows his study? In particular, did he follow up with any of the psychoanalysts who received his initial survey and reported back “success” rates?

    @Jeremy:

    Now that you have conquered shame, you might consider a few sessions to work on consistency of thought. For example, I have difficulty reconciling this:

    “As far as “change,” I don’t want to insinuate what anyone else should

    do . . .”

    With this:

    “I would highly recommend NARTH therapists for anyone with SSA.”

    Similarly, I am unable to reconcile this:

    ” . . . or imply that what worked for me will necessarily work for others.”

    With this:

    “I wouldn’t be surprised to see at least a 50% success rate for clients of NARTH psychologists. The therapy really does work.”

    Whether this is a failure of candor or a reflection of the fact that you are making all this up as you go along, I do not know. But it is abundantly clear that you are confused about the therapy that you so ardently recommend.

    I did reparative therapy myself. And I can attest that, while the therapy is ongoing, you may experience a decrease in perceived homosexual attraction. You may also perceive that your homosexual attractions and fantasies appear to change in focus. In my experience, this is the result of time and mental energy expended in the sessions themselves and is not organic change.

    If you were to go to a therapist once, twice, or three times a week to talk about how ice cream causes cancer, and if you were to spend thousands of dollars to do so, and if you were to then spend even more time doing exercises to bolster your understanding of the horrific, carcinogenic effects of ice cream, and if you continued this therapy for years, you can be sure that your thoughts about ice cream and your perceived enjoyment of it will be different, at least so long as you keep up the therapy. But you still won’t love beets and carrots as the result of all your efforts. And when the therapy ends (because you have run out of money, or because you have convinced yourself that you never really wanted to enjoy beets and carrots anyway), you will find that your appreciation for Ben and Jerry will return.

    The fact that you can’t say that you like women says more than all of the bluster in your 2 posts. You don’t even say that you are attracted to them but feel intimidated or insecure. You just cannot bring yourself to say that you want to be intimate with a woman. And that is the most honest aspect of your participation here.

    I am glad that you got other benefits out of this and I agree that you can come out of the experience better, inasmuch as you get the benefit of a sympathetic ear and some time and attention set aside to focus on issues like shame or a lack of assertiveness. Enjoy those benefits, but please don’t use them here in some sort of sad attempt at a sales pitch for reparative therapy. You can deal with shame and assertiveness in therapy without undertaking the fool’s errand of sexual orientation change.

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    I share David’s confusion over your previous comments, Jeremy.

    but for me I know that homosexuality destroys my ability to give and receive love. In MY case it was driven ONLY by insecurity and selfishness. When I’m secure in myself I feel no homosexual feelings at ALL.

    With all due respect, check in with us in a few years. Your issues seem to have little to do with a homosexual orientation, and your therapist is working off incredibly unsound theories with no basis in fact.

    I think it’s great that you are no longer being promiscuous, but it’s fairly well understood that *any* therapy that involves discussing issues, concentrating on a “plan of action” and trust in the therapist, can give relief for a period — especially during the therapy itself. And some have definitely stumbled out of such therapy, and even Exodus ministries, in better shape because they settled down and stopped making incredibly bad decisions.

    But to give what is basically a commercial for Joseph Nicolosi or reparative therapy in general based on what you have described is pretty dangerous. Again, every minute you are not out there making bad decisions is another minute added to your life — and possibly others’ and that’s a good thing even if you used a psychic and some tarot cards to achieve it.

    But this is an old story for many of us, and so I can’t help but express concern for your future. If you truly are homosexual (not bisexual) then the overwhelming evidence says that you will be so for the rest of your life. Learning how to face that and live with it might be a better goal, even if that means celibacy. Please keep that in mind.

    And you my one day regret allowing someone to put those absurd causation theories into your head — they tend to stick around even after they are no longer wanted.

  • Richard Willmer

    I think that Jeremy is being given some very sound advice here … advice that has stood many of us well over the years.

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    @ Jeremy (the actor) … While we are all happy for you that you are no longer pursuing things that are self destructive I question how you are putting the pieces together. Just becuase you were having same sex encounters does not mean you were gay nor does it qualify you for making blanket statements for those who truly are. What you describe sounds more like sex addiction .. not orientation. I am straight myself and fall more on the conservative side of this discussion. However I am priviliged to know many gay couples who do indeed love each other and are not inhibited by their orientation.

    In short .. be happy with the progress in your life without making blanket statements about a group you may not even know or have been part of.

    Dave

  • Richard Willmer

    More good advice.

    (It is always appropriate to feel a sense of guilt/shame if we have not treated others with the respect that they, as human persons, deserve. This is true in all areas of life and all situations. It is the bedrock of ‘morality’ in the field of human relationships of whatever kind. Sometime we fail in our human duty because of sheer negligence, sometimes because of insecurity, sometimes because we ourselves find it hard to bear the wounds of others’ failure to treat us with respect, sometimes because we have chosen to do so, sometimes because we have fallen prey to some kind of ‘addiction’ or some other systematic ‘failing’ in our functioning as a human person. All of these possible causes of ‘failure’ transcend ‘sexuality’; to experience ‘healing’ and peace, all must be recognized for what they are, and not be ‘packaged’ as something that they are not.)

  • http://www.jeremyschwab.com Jeremy Schwab

    Thanks SGW

  • Jayhuck

    Jeremy,

    “I wouldn’t be surprised to see at least a 50% success rate for clients of NARTH psychologists. The therapy really does work.

    I don’t believe studies show anywhere close to this type of success (the number is actually pretty low), although it depends on what you mean by the word “success”. Success for some is merely being celibate.

  • Jayhuck

    Jeremy,

    That is definitely the case for me though. I am much happier now as a chaste Man with SSA than as an “out gay man.” Celibacy is a MUCH MUCH more attractive option for me than any kind of “gay relationship” or “gay identity.”

    I like that you make this about you. I wish you luck in your journey. Please do remember to keep this about you though and don’t judge other gay people and other gay relationships based on your own experience. There are plenty of loving gay relationships out there and they deserve all the respect that you seek for yourself :)

  • http://exgaywatch.com Emily K

    Jeremy, I’m hearing from you a tale told by so many ex-gays today. They claim that they only want to live “in accordance with their faith” and are prepared to be celibate, it’s not about changing to straight, just about being holy, etc. etc… But then come out and say that all things bad they used to do are connected to their “same sex attraction.” That everything bad about their former self came about simply because they were gay, and getting rid of The Gay is what will solve those problems.

    This is just absurd. Being “same sex attracted” is exactly just that. Being attracted to the same sex. It is a trait as indifferent to your well-being as being left-handed or red-haired.

  • StraightGrandmother

    I am truly amazed and humbled to be part of this community. I am literally not up to par with this crowd, Y’all write so eloquently and have such deep insights, all of you. I am an armature. Jeremy is indeed lucky to have you taking your time to talk with him.

    StraightGrandmother =

    4) Could you be happy and feel good about yourself as an out gay man?

    Jeremy =

    Not really. I know is going to anger others, but I really don’t believe that it is an option for me at all. I used to think it was, but for me I know that homosexuality destroys my ability to give and receive love. In MY case it was driven ONLY by insecurity and selfishness. When I’m secure in myself I feel no homosexual feelings at ALL.

    StraightGrandmother=

    Jeremy, homosexuality does not destroy your ability to give and receive love. This is the reparitive therapy talking. I do not expect you to change your opinion at this time. One day in the future please remember that StraightGrandmother said that you can give and receive love as a gay man. Real LOVE. I am NOT pushing this on you as you are not in a place yet to hear it. But one day….One day… One Day you will meet good man who is not simply a sex machine to you. And you will be attracted to him. When that happens remember that I told you, it is not only heterosexuals who are capable of life long true love. And when you meet that Good Man Jeremy I hope you have improved yourself enough to give as good as you get.

    I think you are right to pursue celibacy at this time. I think you need a time out, a time for reflection. You know celibacy also means refraining from pornography. Jeremy if I could only be your Fairy Godmother I would wish only one thing for you, that you completely and totally not ever partake in any type of porn viewing. Stay away from pornography Jeremy, run for the hills. Gay or straight porn is bad. Good Luck on your Journey young man, I wish you the BEST!

  • Jeremy Schwab

    @ Michael Bussee:

    But as an openly homosexual Christian man, I am wondering if you ever explored the idea of forming a stable, committed homosexual relationship with just one person, instead of the “very promiscuous gay lifestyle” you had been living?

    Hi Michael, I tried that several times and even had a live-in relationship for two-years. I never saw any evidence though that there was anything healthy or sustainable in any of my gay “relationships” or anyone I met. I knew dozens of couples who had been together for years, but none of them were monogamous. In 15 years, I never saw or met anyone in the gay world that had a life that I would in any way want to emulate.

    I realize I just made a very general statement and probably angered everyone here. I admit that there is a possibility that I just met all of the wrong people. I really don’t want to be judging anyone else, but I had to make a decision for MY OWN life and future based on the information available and the experiences I had and witnessed in my OWN life for 15 years. Everything that I (personally) saw in myself and every person I met in the gay world indicated to ME that homosexuality is a mental/emotional disorder. I never saw ANY evidence that two people of the same sex could really be compatible as healthy romantic partners. The desire for that itself appears (from ALL of the examples that I personally saw) to be driven entirely by emotional wounds and insecurity. I don’t see any evidence to indicate that it is a complete sexual orientation of its own. It seems to me to be a distortion of it. I know some will see this as a judgement against “gay people” but that is not what I mean. I don’t believe “gay” should be a noun anymore than I believe that “smoker” or “alcoholic” should be a nouns. There may be genetic factors that influence any number of things in our lives, but I don’t believe anyone should be defined by them.

    I realize that there may be exceptions to that and that I may have just been in the wrong place and saw the wrong examples, but that is what I saw. I also recognize that there are many people who are heterosexual that are living in equally dis-functional situations.

    Did the therapist at NARTH ever present that as a possibility? Or would that have been completely unacceptable due to your religious beliefs?

    Dr. Nicolosi is great about making sure that everything is client-led. My religious beliefs (which are different from his) were not a factor in seeking treatment. I have however grown deeper in my faith over the last two years (separate from reparative therapy).

    Have you had the opportunity to meet with gay Christians who have found peace with God and their homosexual orientation?

    Yes, and I have no room to criticize or judge them in any way. I am still friends with many of them.

  • Patrocles

    Jeremy,

    there’s at least one here who’s not angered at all – me. My personal experiences are somewhat similar.

    I felt attracted to guys who had what I lacked – masculinity (not that there were much of those guys in the gay milieu then, and most of them were married). And when I got more close to those guys I found out that my “love” was hampered by feelings of distance, envy and discontent – masculinity would not flow from them to me in a magical way. So I suppose that homosexual contact was, for me, an attempt to solve a problem which could not be solved that way.

    I wish you a nice time and lots of fun investigating the realm of OSA. Remember that OSA is probably learned, but most boys learn it as their mother tongue and you have to learn it as a second tongue – a process more slow, more troublesome and much more conscious.

  • Patrocles

    Dave (Nov. 11)

    “Just because you were having same sex encounters does not mean you were gay”

    That’s funny. May I quote you next time when an “ex-gay” is entrapped in a same sex encounter and everyone says, that’s aproof that there are no real “ex-gays”?

  • Patrocles

    Warren,

    “Dr. Kaye recently told me that the study was wrong and discredited. ”

    That’s not what you wrote in the article linked by you.

    Kaye has obviously retracted from his opinions. But he makes only two arguments, and both are rather weak.

    First, that the authors of the study looked for findings which corroborated their theory. That may or may not be a fault (it’ s normal in an early stage of theoretical development, but it’s dangerous on a higher level).

    Second (as far as I see), that he couldn’t repeat the optimistic “healing rate” of the study in his own therapeutical work.

    Neither of those arguments is completely worthless, but they don’t amount to a refutation of the study.

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    Everything that I (personally) saw in myself and every person I met in the gay world indicated to ME that homosexuality is a mental/emotional disorder. I never saw ANY evidence that two people of the same sex could really be compatible as healthy romantic partners. The desire for that itself appears (from ALL of the examples that I personally saw) to be driven entirely by emotional wounds and insecurity. I don’t see any evidence to indicate that it is a complete sexual orientation of its own. It seems to me to be a distortion of it. I know some will see this as a judgement against “gay people” but that is not what I mean. I don’t believe “gay” should be a noun anymore than I believe that “smoker” or “alcoholic” should be a nouns. There may be genetic factors that influence any number of things in our lives, but I don’t believe anyone should be defined by them.

    Well sure, this is judgmental (tacking “in my personal experience” on the front of a lot of nonsense directly from Nicolosi’s books doesn’t change the nature of the statement). But more importantly, it’s just bad information.

    However, if you are happy with the result and don’t go on a road tour touting it as something more, then it’s not really a big deal to anyone but you and those in your personal sphere. Then again, you were the one who started this line of discussion by evangelizing for reparative therapy and Joseph Nicolosi. When you speak against the reality of established data, expect to be countered.

    I wish you better luck than other reparative clients I’ve encountered. Stay out of that grey zone :)

  • Jeremy Schwab

    Thanks Patrocles! :)

  • Jeremy Schwab

    SGM:

    I think you are right to pursue celibacy at this time. I think you need a time out, a time for reflection. You know celibacy also means refraining from pornography. Jeremy if I could only be your Fairy Godmother I would wish only one thing for you, that you completely and totally not ever partake in any type of porn viewing. Stay away from pornography Jeremy, run for the hills. Gay or straight porn is bad. Good Luck on your Journey young man, I wish you the BEST!

    Thanks SGM, I agree. Convenant Eyes helped me a lot to break free from that temptation 18 months ago. I’m glad to be free from that.

    I give talks at my Knights of Columbus council each month on different topics and a while back I mentioned that. Several of my non-SSA friends signed up for that program that week. It’s helped them a lot. I have trouble keeping track of all the emails though because they set ME as their “Accountability Partner.” Most of them know about my SSA struggle and they’ve been really supportive as well.

  • Michael Bussee

    In 15 years, I never saw or met anyone in the gay world that had a life that I would in any way want to emulate.

    This doesn’t anger me, but it does make me deeply sad. I know so many. I wish you had had the opportunity to meet some.

  • Michael Bussee

    Is it possible, Jeremy, that because you were living an “extremely promiscous gay lifestyle” that you might have attracted (and been attracted to) similarly addicted people?

  • Jeremy Schwab

    David Roberts:

    Well sure, this is judgmental (tacking “in my personal experience” on the front of a lot of nonsense directly from Nicolosi’s books doesn’t change the nature of the statement). But more importantly, it’s just bad information.

    Touché

    I see it as a judgement about the condition of homosexual attraction and not a judgement about the people involved. We all have to make judgements and decisions every day and can’t all be the same. The most important thing for me is to look at all the facts and seek objective TRUTH -not just what feels most comfortable or easiest for me at the moment.

    I can’t say I have “ALL” of the Truth about any particular topic. They may not be humanly possible anyway. I don’t see how so many others could claim to know it “ALL” either. The concept of homosexuality as being a type of person (i.e. “gay people”) is a very modern concept (less than 150 years old). Throughout History there is no evidence that any culture had recognized anything like that. There have always been people with degrees of that orientation and cultures where homosexual behavior was discussed, but none of them that saw homosexuality as separate distinct orientation of it’s own. (At least not in any of the books that I’ve read and I’ve read quite a bit).

    That doesn’t by itself prove anything. The modern view COULD be correct, but it’s a topic that deserves serious investigation. All of my personal experience and the experience of witnessing the lifestyles and relationships of hundreds of others proves to ME that homosexuality is an affliction and not a complete orientation of its own.

    The “failure rate” of those who have tried to change doesn’t necessarily prove that homosexuality is healthy. There are many “alcoholics” who “fall off the wagon” but that doesn’t prove that binge drinking is “healthy.” I’ve read that most recovered alcoholics avoid drinking (even in “moderation”) because of the risk of relapse. If I were arguing a “pro-alcohol” position like many in the “pro-gay” world, I would say “SEE!!! They failed! – Sobriety(Change) doesn’t work!”

    As one friend of mine said:

    I only fell of the wagon because I was drunk

    I’ve seen several posts here that argue my experience of Change is nothing more than sobriety or “decreased libido.” – If so, I’d still say it’s been worth it, but I see it as much deeper than that. I know I may never become fully “straight” (like someone who has always been straight) – but I’m at peace with where I am now.

    I have had several friends and relatives that have dealt with Cancer (of various kinds). My mother had a mastectomy, followed by chemo and radiation. It was a really tough time, but she survived (Thank God). I have known others with different types of cancers that have also fought and survived, but others have relapsed. Two others went directly to hospice immediately because it wasn’t treatable. I don’t know what choice I would make. I guess it all depends on prognosis and age, etc. I couldn’t judge anyone’s decision there – just like I can’t judge anyone’s decision to not seek out Reparative Therapy. (even though I have opinions)

    I have nothing but love for my “gay” friends and my ex-partner, but I absolutely HATE homosexuality. I hate it the same way that I hate Cancer, Alcoholism, AIDS, and every other disease that has destroyed the lives of the people I LOVE the most.

  • Teresa

    I wish you a nice time and lots of fun investigating the realm of OSA. Remember that OSA is probably learned, but most boys learn it as their mother tongue and you have to learn it as a second tongue – a process more slow, more troublesome and much more conscious.

    Patrocles, it’s unclear to me that OSA is learned as their mother tongue. I’m not sure anyone learns OSA, at all.

    Learning something; and, naturally ‘being’ something are entirely different, at least from my perspective.

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    I felt attracted to guys who had what I lacked – masculinity (not that there were much of those guys in the gay milieu then, and most of them were married).

    Gratuitous generalizations about “masculinity” are not very helpful.

    And when I got more close to those guys I found out that my “love” was hampered by feelings of distance, envy and discontent – masculinity would not flow from them to me in a magical way.

    Perhaps we need to start making a clear distinction between homosexual or gay people, and whatever it is you describe here. The former need no therapy per se, while the latter really should consider it.

  • Richard Willmer

    I have nothing but love for my “gay” friends and my ex-partner, but I absolutely HATE homosexuality. I hate it the same way that I hate Cancer, Alcoholism, AIDS, and every other disease that has destroyed the lives of the people I LOVE the most.

    The suggestion that same-sex attraction is a ‘disease’ is IMHO – quite simply – pernicious nonsense that perpetuates the kind of attitudes that cause gay people so many problems. The idea that same-sex attraction necessarily ‘destroys lives’ is simply not borne out by reality. What can ‘destroy lives’ is how people – both gay and straight – can (and, in some cases, do) fail to handle their emotional and sexual feelings in a way that shows proper respect for themselves and others.

    Sorry to be somewhat ‘sharp’ here, but I really do think that such ‘kindergarten’ notions of morality are completely unhelpful: they promote self-loathing in some and self-righteousness in others. Both of these are very bad things.

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    The concept of homosexuality as being a type of person (i.e. “gay people”) is a very modern concept (less than 150 years old). Throughout History there is no evidence that any culture had recognized anything like that.

    This is irrelevant — the list of things which fall under this same category of only being understood in recent times would fill volumes, and the reality of most would be unassailable. The salient fact is that, whatever they were called or how they were understood at the time, homosexual people have been around for as long as we can tell.

    The modern view of sexual orientation fits the available data well and gains ground as more information is added. The matter has already had “serious investigation” which led to the current understanding. Changing that would require some serious new data to the contrary, which does not currently exist.

    The “failure rate” of those who have tried to change doesn’t necessarily prove that homosexuality is healthy. There are many “alcoholics” who “fall off the wagon” but that doesn’t prove that binge drinking is “healthy.”

    Wow, we are hitting the logical fallacies heavily today. Substance abuse and homosexuality are completely different subjects, and this thread is about the latter. Additionally, the failure rate of those who try to change is not supposed to prove that homosexuality is healthy, it is supposed to prove that people who try to change most often fail.

    People who are homosexual live many different kinds of lives, as do other slices of humanity. To say that a homosexual can’t live a healthy life simply due to the fact that they are homosexual would again go against the preponderance of data. Your own anecdotal evidence is no more valid than one who claims that people belonging to a particular minority are lazy or slow learners because “all the ones they’ve ever seen are that way.”

    I have nothing but love for my “gay” friends and my ex-partner, but I absolutely HATE homosexuality. I hate it the same way that I hate Cancer, Alcoholism, AIDS, and every other disease that has destroyed the lives of the people I LOVE the most.

    Your conflation of cancer with homosexuality aside, your statement above is very troubling. I do think you have some serious issues, but I don’t think your sexual orientation itself is one of them. And really, you can’t claim to love gay people when you can’t even type gay without using scare quotes. And you can’t love friends when you hate a deeply rooted part of what makes them who they are — you are fooling yourself.

    I don’t doubt you feel agony over some issues in your life and they are definitely mixed up with your sexuality and how you view it. You say you feel better, but I’m not sure how healthy one can be with these attitudes. I honestly hope one day you find help from a more qualified source than Nicolosi or other reparative therapists. Legitimate therapy can be a life saving thing, and I fear instead that you’ve been sold a bill of goods.

    • http://wthrockmorton.com Warren

      Jeremy may indeed be acting so I am not sure how to take his comments here. However, if he is not, he surely needs better gay friends. I am a straight guy in a small town and most of the gay people I know are great folks with no addictions and are honest and trustworthy people. Sure, there are some who aren’t, but so are some of the straight folk I know.

      If this is not an actor playing a reparative therapy client, then it is someone who has bad experiences and is stereotyping an entire group based on his singular experience. I am all for someone finding congruence with their beliefs but there is no need to stereotype in order to do it.

      Knights of Columbus? Are you Catholic?

  • William

    I have been personally acquainted with only three ex-gays, and two of those eventually became ex-ex-gays. However, of those who have given their “testimonies” in the media, I have to say that none of them makes an ex-gay lifestyle sound like anything that I would in any way want to emulate.

  • http://www.exgaywatch.com Emily K

    Homosexuality isn’t a disease. It’s not an addiction. It’s just an incidental human trait, like left-handedness. Saying that you’re addicted to be attracted to the same sex is as ridiculous as saying you’re addicted to using your left hand to write.

    And if the only gay people you can find are promiscuous ones (and seek a much different social circle), then you need to find new friends. Pure and simple.

  • ken

    Jeremy Schwab# ~ Nov 12, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    “All of my personal experience and the experience of witnessing the lifestyles and relationships of hundreds of others proves to ME that homosexuality is an affliction and not a complete orientation of its own.”

    Or perhaps you witnessed what you wanted to see. Or more likely, you believe what Nicolosi convinced you that you saw. I seriously doubt you have been able to objectively analyze hundreds of gay relationships.

  • Throbert McGee

    Patrocles, it’s unclear to me that OSA is learned as their mother tongue. I’m not sure anyone learns OSA, at all.

    I’m not sure if either OSA or SSA are learned. But I do credit Patrocles with consistency — there are a lot of people who take for granted that OSA is hardwired into everyone, but insist that SSA is “learned” by certain individuals, against their natural hardwiring.

    But it seems to me that if you accept the one as hardwired, then you must be prepared to grant the possibility of the other also being hardwired; or if you believe that one is learned, you must also grant the possibility of the other being learned. So, if I understand Patrocles correctly, he seems to reject the position that we are born with either a hetero or homo orientation; rather, most people learn the former, and a few people learn the latter.

    A possible rebuttal to Patrocles is that whether orientation is hardwired or learned, individuals who are Kinsey 0-1 (strongly hetero) or Kinsey 5-6 (strongly homo) might tend to perceive their orientation as not learned; but individuals who are in the Kinsey 2-4 range (i.e., “flexibly bisexual”) might be more likely to perceive their orientation as learned.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Jeremy,

    How many visits, or I should say consults have you had with Dr. Nicolosi? Was your father distant and remote to you and your mother over involved, not the best description but you know, kind of fawning to you when you were growing up? Oh another question I am dying to ask. Do you feel that you are a heterosexual but only have a homosexual problem? I might be wrong but I think I saw a video tape where that is what he said everybody is.

    I pretty much said all I have to say and wished you well and was following along with the other comments and reading your subsequent comments when these questions popped in my mind. You are the first person I think I ever “spoke” with who had him for a doctor. And on top of that you are a current patient, right? How much does he charge?

  • Jeremy Schwab

    Jeremy may indeed be acting so I am not sure how to take his comments here. However, if he is not, he surely needs better gay friends. I am a straight guy in a small town and most of the gay people I know are great folks with no addictions and are honest and trustworthy people. Sure, there are some who aren’t, but so are some of the straight folk I know.

    Warren, I never said that the people I was describing were not “great folks.” I was referring to this illness and it’s effect on them (and the effect it had on me for 15 years).

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    Warren, I never said that the people I was describing were not “great folks.” I was referring to this illness and it’s effect on them (and the effect it had on me for 15 years).

    You might want to tackle that passive-aggressive nature next. This entire story line is beginning to strain credulity.

    I leave you with words from Planet Narth, “a good liar needs a good memory.”

    Talk about your gray zone!

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    @ Jeremy .. If your acting you’re not doing a very good job .. basically a cookie cutter image of NARTH. .. No depth ..

    If this is really you .. well … still not impressed .. You have said nothing unique here .. just parroting NARTH ideals that have all been heard before. How arrogantly presumptious of you to presume to speak for everyone who is same sex attracted .. and to feign love and respect for people who (per your ‘brilliant’ judgment) have an illness. If you want to view yourself this way .. thats your business. But lets stop projecting it on others.

    Dave

  • AJ

    Jeremy, have you been to a JIM weekend?

  • Jeremy Schwab

    AJ,

    Yeah, I went to Journey into Manhood (JiM). It was really AWESOME!!!!

    I just finished staffing the last JiM weekend here in Texas and 9 of my friends went through. They loved it! I’m leading a follow-up group today at my house. We call them M.A.N.S. meetings (Masculinity, Authenticity, Need Fulfillment, and Surrender).

    I had two non-SSA friends go to JiM as well and they got a lot out of it for their own wounds around Men and Masculinity.

    I explained to my Courage group that JiM is not exclusively for men who want to “become straight.” It helps tremendously with healing emotional wounds and helping all of us live in congruence with our beliefs and values. Here is a link to how they describe “Change” http://peoplecanchange.com/change/whatwemean.php

    My views on here about homosexuality being a mental/emotional illness are a bit stronger than what the JiM program believes. For those who are offended by MY views, I just want you to know that the JiM community and it’s founder do NOT share them.

  • StraightGrandmother

    jeremy, did you miss my latest questions?

  • Throbert McGee

    We call them M.A.N.S. meetings (Masculinity, Authenticity, Need Fulfillment, and Surrender).

    Oooooh, honey, I give that name four snaps up in a circle!

    (I would’ve given it five snaps up, but I couldn’t think of a leering gay double-entendre based on “Authenticity”.)

  • Throbert McGee

    But on a more serious note, I can think of a few openly gay and homosexuality-affirming pundits who might give a qualified endorsement to the JiM meetings that Jeremy is talking about, at least insofar as agreeing that a “sense of masculinity” is a valid and innate need for all men, both hetero and homo.

    These pundits would also assert that homosexual men have been psychologically harmed by a contemporary gay culture that mistakenly conflates “authentic masculinity” with homophobia, patriarchy, and/or prêt-à-porter machismo that can be bought with a credit card. (See, for example, the Castro Clone look that was spoofed in Monty Python’s “I’m a Lumberjack” song.) Thus, homosexual men who yearn for “masculine affirmation” may feel pangs of guilt that they are somehow betraying battered wives and transgendered people, or they may worry about suffering from “internalized homophobia,” etc.

    One point on which these pundits might differ from Jeremy is that they insist these “masculinity issues” are not an inherent problem of male homosexuality, but rather reflect the 1960s roots of American Gay Culture As We Know It.

  • Richard Willmer

    @ Jeremy

    I doubt many are offended by your ‘disease’ theory; our position is that it is, in principle, dangerous and false – so we take issue with it.

    You may have felt ‘diseased’; that’s a matter for you. Like others on this thread, I am inclined to question your view as to precisely why you did feel that way: from what you’ve said, the problem was not being able to see beyond ‘sex’ – a problem that both gay and straight people can have.

    BTW, I’m impressed to learn of your work in Ecuador.

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    I just finished staffing the last JiM weekend here in Texas and 9 of my friends went through. They loved it! I’m leading a follow-up group today at my house. We call them M.A.N.S. meetings (Masculinity, Authenticity, Need Fulfillment, and Surrender).

    Okey dokie, I’ve now stopped believing anything this person says. SGM, I wouldn’t put too much stock in the responses you get from “Jeremy.” Just my 3 cents.

  • Richard Willmer

    Indeed, it could some rather disturbed individual posing as the actor. Perhaps Warren might alert the real Jeremy Schwab (who is clearly a talented young man who has achieved much despite his relative youth) to this possibility.

  • StraightGrandmother

    David Roberts, I have to admit I am all confused about Jeremy. The most worriesome statement is when he said that homosexuality is a disease. For HIM he considers it a disease. I worry for him about that. That seems very unhealthy to me and his counselors should be correcting him, well maybe correcting isn’t the best word, educating maybe? I think it is very worrisome to believe that part of who you are, your core being is diseased, when truthfully there is nothing wrong at all with being a homosexual. That thinking is so going down the wrong path I think. It’s the like saying being left handed is a disease. I wish him well, so many people here have shared with Jeremy, I guess, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.

  • AJ

    Jeremy,

    I knew it! I went to a JIM weekend and heard Nicolosi speak at a Love Won Out conference. Honestly, you are just parroting what you heard from JIM and Nicolosi. I don’t hear any self-reflection.

    And JIM says pretty much exactly what you’ve said on here. Your views aren’t any stronger.

    Is “holding” therapy part of your M.A.N.S. meeting?

  • Jeremy Schwab

    SGM:

    How many visits, or I should say consults have you had with Dr. Nicolosi?

    Once a week for about two years now. I am extremely grateful to him and to the “Journey into Manhood” community. Tomorrow marks one year of complete sexual sobriety (11/14/10) and a year and a half of partial sobriety. That alone makes it all worth it, but the benefits have far exceeded just that area. We rarely even talk about SSA anymore.

    Was your father distant and remote to you and your mother over involved, not the best description but you know, kind of fawning to you when you were growing up?

    My relationship with my parents is really good right now. They know all about this issue, but I don’t want to comment on them here – since that could be hurtful to them.

    Oh another question I am dying to ask. Do you feel that you are a heterosexual but only have a homosexual problem? I might be wrong but I think I saw a video tape where that is what he said everybody is.

    I haven’t seen that video myself, but that is essentially my view. It is what I believe to be objective truth based on the design of the human body. That’s not a judgement on others. I have no room to judge anyone. I have to act on what I believe (and know in my heart) to be true.

  • StraightGrandmother

    AJ, curiois here. Did it work for you? How long before it worked and you are basically on the maintenence plan, OR how long did you try until finally throwing in the towel and accepting and loving yourself as you are? Did you spend a lot of money on your journey?

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    SGM, I stopped listening to Jeremy when he mentioned his deep involvement with JiM (Jouney Into Manhood). This is a group inspired by the Warrior Weekends from ManKind Project. They generally inspire one of two reactions — bizarre revulsion or cult-like devotion. The devotion to all things male borders on misogyny while the bonding is beyond homo-erotic. Even Exodus, which until recently has given unqualified referrals to Nicolosi, did not endorse these groups.

    I’ve found it nearly impossible to have a genuine discussion with someone so involved — it’s all hippy-dippy joy and contentment, an almost orgasmic experience for them (by some reports, literally). Nicolosi likes them because part of his theory is that people who “have a homosexual problem” are scared of men, so once you stop being scared of them, you will no longer be attracted to them sexually.

    In short, our initial impressions were correct, this is a long commercial for Nicolosi, yes, but even more so for JiM. You can ask Warren about this, he has written a great deal about these groups and has experienced, as has XGW to some degree, the waves of followers with Scientology like tenacity who swoop in whenever a negative post is written about them.

    The responses coming from Jeremy have to be taken in this context. He probably believes what he’s saying, but it’s like talking to someone under the influence — the answers won’t bear much resemblance to reality.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    There is a niche of fellows who buy in to the Journey into Manhood paradigm but it seems like they need to keep going back to more and more meetings to keep whatever effects they get. In that way, it is a support group with lots of other stuff attached.

    Search for Journey into Manhood and New Warriors on this site for more info.

    Jeremy, was Noble Man like JiM in that there was holding exercises? What I have wondered is if the women in Noble Man physically nurture the male participants.

  • Jayhuck

    David Roberts -

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with your assessment of Jeremy :)

  • AJ

    Straight Grandmother,

    No JIM did not work for me. It is VERY cultlike. They try to disorient you and intimidate you at the beginning to break down your boundaries. Nobody is cured by this program. The leaders just explain that the people there have stronger same sex needs than most men, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not straight. They just need to cuddle with other men quite often. This is why they form follow-up groups around the country, for cuddling purposes. I find it very interesting that Jeremy never answered my question about “holding” exercises in the local group he has formed.

  • Steven B

    So, I wonder, did Osmond recruit Dean Byrd to write the article for his religion-oriented blog? Or was it the other way around?

  • Jeremy Schwab

    SGM: “how long did you try until finally throwing in the towel”

    I personally CAN’T throw in the towel.

    My towels are from the Martha Stewart collection.

    Those aren’t cheap, ya know!

    (Ok, that sounded funny in my head. – just trying to lighten the mood)

  • Jeremy Schwab

    Warren:

    “There is a niche of fellows who buy in to the Journey into Manhood paradigm but it seems like they need to keep going back to more and more meetings to keep whatever effects they get. In that way, it is a support group with lots of other stuff attached.”

    The JiM weekend itself is only 48 hours. There aren’t any official follow-up events, but there is a general community that stays in contact. I started a local group here to help support the new journeyers. We meet once or twice a month. It’s not a re-enactment of the JiM weekend itself. That’s a one time experience that’s hard to re-create. There isn’t a need to “keep going back” because those areas of healing are permanent. There are always opportunities to continue growing though and to help others.

    Most of my time is now spent in non-SSA related activities – with men who have never experienced SSA.

    “Noble Man” was a totally different experience and one that most of my JiM friends are also pursuing. It’s definitely not “misogynistic.” Have you been to Journey into Manhood, New Warriors, or Noble Man?

    I’ve never (personally) met anyone who had a negative experience (even those who left that particular journey). I haven’t been involved with New Warriors or Noble Man for as long though. I disagree with New Warriors on a lot of things, but still gained a lot from the experience.

  • Jayhuck

    I haven’t seen that video myself, but that is essentially my view. It is what I believe to be objective truth based on the design of the human body. That’s not a judgement on others. I have no room to judge anyone. I have to act on what I believe (and know in my heart) to be true.

    This I agree with :) We all have to act on what we believe to be true, its just that truth seems to be different for different people :)

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Jeremy – In the Noble Man weekend, do the women hold the men physically in any way during the weekend? In JiM, there are the holding exercises and I have heard that the same is true in Noble Man with the female leaders and the participants. Is that true?

  • stephen

    Jeremy is a troll. No one is that dumb.

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  • AJ

    Stephen,

    Jeremy has just been brainwashed by JIM. I can spot them in a second.

    Jeremy,

    Again, do you practice holding therapy in your local group. JIM participants are supposed to find people in their local area to continue the extended holding sessions.

  • Jeremy Schwab

    Warren: “Knights of Columbus? Are you Catholic?”

    Yes, I’m a convert actually. My dad was Catholic and mother Baptist. I was raised Baptist, but converted to the Catholic faith when I was an undergrad at University of Dallas. I fell away from my faith altogether though after graduation and lived in the gay lifestyle for 10 years. I went to “gay churches” for a while, but still felt distant from God until two years ago when I let go of my attachment to the “gay” identity and just surrendered everything to God.

    I didn’t “pray away the gay” but I have seen a lot of healing and the SSA (same-sex attraction) no longer has much influence over my life. I don’t know what the future holds. I figure I’ll either get married someday (with FULL transparency), or join a monastery (which would be awesome), or grow old with my cats. It doesn’t really matter. Everything in life is better now than ever before. I’m really happy with where my life is now.

    The observations I mentioned were not intended to be stereotypes. I have seen the same signs of emotional wounding in non-practicing homosexuals as well. (AND of course in myself and my own life). I mentioned them only to explain my decisions. I read Dr. Nicolosi’s book when I was 14, but didn’t get help back then. I saw it play out (over and over again) though when I was in gay relationships, etc. After so many years, I couldn’t deny it any longer. I found the book again and sought out Dr. Nicolosi. My therapist is Dr. Joseph Nicolosi Jr. – son of the author and founder of NARTH. He’s about my age, but already an AWESOME therapist. I’ve only talked to the older Nicolosi once on the phone. (I meant to clarify that earlier).

    Anyway, I’ll stop bothering ya’ll. I think I’ve said everything I can possibly say. I don’t see this as an “us vs. them” matter or a political / religious one either. I guess no matter how I explain it, people will take offense. I believe in absolute Truth so I can’t authentically say that I believe in multiple conflicting “truths” on any issue – even though I want to be respectful of other people who come to different conclusions. Perhaps I get carried away on this issue because it’s a very emotional one for me.

    I have friends in different religions and I don’t judge them, but I can’t say that I think their beliefs are “100% correct” – or I would just convert to their religion. That doesn’t mean I think they will go to Hell. I respect their faith and relationship with the divine. My best friends now are the guys in my bible study group. They’re protestant. I respect them and love to be with them, but I still go to Mass every morning and confession every week. I don’t think they are “going to Hell” for not doing that. I just have to act on my own convictions. I guess if I had to explain my views on theology to them in this type of forum, it would probably get the same type of response. They know I’m Catholic, but we haven’t talked about our theological differences in much detail.

    • http://wthrockmorton.com Warren

      Jeremy – You had me puzzled because you said you were of a different religion than Nicolosi. However he is also Catholic.

      Also, could you please comment on my question regarding Noble Man and holding interventions?

  • StraightGrandmother

    I think Jeremy will drop by again and respond to the final questions. Maybe it is just me but I don’t think holding exorcizes are that odd. Heck in every big company when they have Team Building exorcizes frequently you gather in a circle and hold hands. Jeremy I guess people are curious is all.

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    SGM, trust me, they hold a lot more than hands. What we are talking about is way beyond odd, it is much closer to a sexualized cult. If some workplace tried these holding exercises, people would go to jail. You aren’t carrying on a conversation with Jeremy, you are experiencing an attempt at indoctrination. Keep it in that context and you will be better served.

  • AJ

    SGM,

    The holding exercises consist of things such as laying between another man’s legs with your head resting on his chest. I’ve never done that at an office function! There are many other positions, but I’m sure you get the idea.

  • Jeremy Schwab

    Warren# ~ Nov 16, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Jeremy – You had me puzzled because you said you were of a different religion than Nicolosi. However he is also Catholic.

    Also, could you please comment on my question regarding Noble Man and holding interventions?

    Warren: Joseph Nicolosi Jr. – (son of the author & co-founder of NARTH) is my therapist is an evangelical Protestant. I just found out recently. We never talked about religion before so I had always just assumed he was Catholic like his father.

    As far as the question about Noble Man, I don’t want to ruin the experience (by revealing the processes) for anyone who might want to go in the future. It is quite a bit different from JiM though, but very complementary.

  • Jeremy Schwab

    StraightGrandmother# ~ Nov 15, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    I think Jeremy will drop by again and respond to the final questions. Maybe it is just me but I don’t think holding exorcizes are that odd. Heck in every big company when they have Team Building exorcizes frequently you gather in a circle and hold hands. Jeremy I guess people are curious is all.

    Thanks SGM,

    “Healthy Holding” is about Need Fulfillment in non-sexual and non-erotic ways. – like a Father would hold his son or a group of older brothers would hold a younger brother. (it’s for the “inner child”)

    As AJ mentioned, that wouldn’t normally be common in a work – unless it’s a family business – but I don’t see why that matters. It’s not about “looking straight” to other people. It’s about healthy need-fulfillment.

    Anyway, “holding” has not been a significant part of my personal journey. I know others though that have benefited significantly. Their need for it lessened over time, but it was a healthy stage of growth for them since they had not received much healthy affection when they were growing up.

  • http://wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Jeremy – If the processes have any potency beyond placebo and emotional intensity, you won’t ruin the experience for anyone.

    Did you sign a secrecy agreement as with New Warriors and JiM?

  • http://wthrockmorton.com Warren

    For the most part, the conversation here has been pretty good. It is clear that most people disagree with Jeremy and that is understandable given that most people have not had his experience.

    What is interesting to me is that occasionally someone like Jeremy comes along and claims dramatic change and articulates as if out of a textbook the dynamics predicted by reparative therapists. I don’t dismiss this but am actually curious about it. There are a handful of people who seem to organize their self-image around this narrative in ways that seem helpful to them.

    I think these cases must be what keeps reparative therapists going. If you think about intermittent reinforcement schedules, it doesn’t take reinforcement in every case to keep a therapist pursuing a general unworkable theory – only a few. The few men that sing the praises of reparative therapy are probably enough to keep them going.

    There are many more people who are speaking up about the lack of benefit from their therapy experiences but these are often discounted when there a few successes.

    In looking back over my clinical experience, I have had some clients who say that they have dramatically changed. When however I get more detail and press a bit (as I have done more in recent years), I find that different people make different attributions about essentially the same reactions. One client will consider himself changed because he is not sexually compulsive even though attractions to the same sex remain. Another client will say that he is not tempted as much but he is still gay. Same experience but different attributions.

  • David Blakeslee

    Jeremy,

    Thanks for checking in here.

    My experience with gay men who have not found identification with their attractions helpful or have found it harmful, is that the church is one of the few places willing to support them actively in suppress those impulses. It is an myth of popular culture that “suppression” causes mental illness, this is not true

    And they report being happier. These are not men cowed by their faith, they feel honored and protected from a culture that made false and damaging promises of happiness if they embraced and lived out their same sex attractions.

    The problem with the church however, are the deep pools of contempt and misunderstanding that persist. It is like a minefield.

    Small groups of SSA Christian men getting together for support seems crucial.

    David Roberts has strong feelings about this and his writing becomes melodramatic, even though XGW promoted a therapists writing there who advocates for Warrior Weekends for Gays. It is an odd contrast.

    If you look at Roberts post…if is full of sexualized or erotic content. Perhaps he needs to see it this way.

    Warren…follow up after any experience (training or experiential) is often helpful and continuing or reinforcing new learning.

  • David Blakeslee

    Speaking of open-mindedness…

    Fox just premiered Allen Gregory. Wiki describes it as follows:

    Set in the present, the series follows Allen Gregory De Longpre (Jonah Hill), a precocious seven-year-old being raised by his father, Richard, and his father’s life partner, Jeremy, as Allen Gregory must start attending a public elementary school due to the effect of the recession on his family’s finances.

    This seems like a good development as these relationships exist already in the secular world and deserve public depictions.

    Terribly troubling was the playful depiction of accidental anal intercourse in the most recent episode I viewed by the the 7 year old with another 7 year old (pants down, laying on the buttocks of another boy). How funny! See episode 3.

    Open-mindedness has its limitations here…but not in the popular culture.

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    David Roberts has strong feelings about this and his writing becomes melodramatic, even though XGW promoted a therapists writing there who advocates for Warrior Weekends for Gays. It is an odd contrast.

    Now now, David, let’s not promote confusion. Joe Kort, the person to whom you so coyly referred, wrote for a brief time at XGW, his last post was over 5 years ago and all before I was editor. To my knowledge, none of his posts had anything to do with these cult-like groups, nor was he involved (or at least that we knew of) with them while writing for us.

    When the subject of ManKind Project and Warrior Weekends came up in 2007, Kort was one of a number of “warriors” who commented on an XGW post by Pam Ferguson (a straight woman, FWIW). That post was based on a more extensive post by Warren. As you can read, he wasn’t happy with us. That was my first indication that Kort was involved with this stuff.

    If you look at Roberts post…if is full of sexualized or erotic content. Perhaps he needs to see it this way.

    I have to believe Warren laughed as loud as I did while reading that. Just a small bit from the posts above:

    • Blindfolded walking tours in the nude;

    • People blowing sage smoke in his face while 50 or so naked men danced around candles;

    • Men sitting naked in a circle discussing their sexual histories while passing a wooden dildo called “The Cock”;

    • Naked men beating cooked chickens with a hammer.

    How does one not sexualize that? And there is much more, just search Warren’s posts on these groups, the facts are in black and white.

    Now that I’ve clarified the record for us, in the interest of full disclosure, aren’t you speaking as one who either has or does participate in one of these same groups? Don’t I remember hearing the same hippy-dippy talk from you back in 2007?

    I really couldn’t care less if you or anyone else wants to go romping in the woods naked with fellow warriors, but let’s not pretend this is some sort of legitimate support group. The mind control, power trips, and secrecy that are a signature of these groups smack of cult-like practices with all the negative influences those bring to the individual. Case in point is the Michael Scinto death.

    Of course, people under that kind of influence usually talk like Jeremy and seem blissfully happy, so it is important to keep the facts up front in such a discussion as this, as some of us have tried to do.

  • Nick Cavnar

    I’ve only taken a quick look through this thread, and don’t have time right now to read all the posts. But I do want to add a comment based on my own experience.

    I too received therapy through Joseph Nicolosi’s practice, for a period of about three years, from 1997 to 2000. My therapist was David Matheson, who was working as a psychological assistant to Nicolosi Sr. Matheson is also a founder of the Journey into Manhood program, and now has his own counseling practice in Salt Lake City called the Center for Gender Wholeness.

    Unlike Jeremy, I did not find the therapy helpful. Maybe that was because at the point we started, I had already spent 25 years as “ex-gay.” I was married with three children, and a veteran of several therapists and ex-gay support groups. Most of Matheson’s suggestions and therapeutic approach were retreads of things I’d already done.

    He continually suggested that my same-sex attractions were rooted in feelings of weakness and powerlessness in relationship to other men. But in fact, this was a point in my life where personally and professionally I had accomplished a great deal, and felt more confident and secure around other men than at any other time in my life. So if the powerless theory was true, why were my same sex attractions even stronger?

    In the same way, when he suggested that more close, supportive relationships with straight men that would satisfy unmet needs and diminish my sexual attractions, I could honestly answer that I had formed many such close, supportive friendships over the years, and had never seen them affect my sexual feelings or identification in the least.

    In terms on any impact on actual behavior, the three years of my weekly therapy with Matheson was the period when I developed a true double life of hidden gay sexual activity. From my ex-gay conversion in 1972 to 1994, I had had only one “slip” of an actual sexual encounter with a man. During the period I was receiving Matheson’s counseling, I was regularly slipping out to gay bars and bathhouses during my business travels and having sex with multiple partners.

    Every week, I would start our session telling him about the sexual activity I was engaging in. But he told me that he wasn’t going to focus on trying to change my sexual behavior, because until the issues that (in his view) created my sexual attractions changed, my behavior wouldn’t. After a while, as I’ve commented here before, I was using the therapy to excuse my behavior to myself. It was also very helpful in keeping my then-wife in the dark about my real activities.

    Every person has his or her own experience. If Jeremy says he has been truly helped by the therapy he’s getting, I would not try to convince him otherwise. But I would urge him to wait for more than a year before announcing to the world how much he has changed. Life can look different after 30 years or so.

  • Nick Cavnar

    BTW–regular participants here have seen me mention this before, but for Jeremny and other more recent visitors, Truth Wins Out has a video account of my personal story, which you can see at:

  • Nick Cavnar

    I was trying to post a YouTube link, and apparentl that didn’t work! I’ll try again:

    http://youtu.be/qT-4nmr3e_s

    Or just go to YouTube and search using my name.

  • David Blakeslee

    Thanks Nick…very helpful.

  • David Blakeslee

    Jeremy,

    Thanks for showing up here and telling your story…you will find you are likely to be treated with some contempt here…as you have already experienced. People like you visit from time to time, and for some reason never return. You will learn more and have a lot to offer if you ignore the posts that seek to analyze your motives or deal with you cruelly.

    Fifteen years of being out and unhappy is an important human experience to share.

    I don’t know how your story will end up, but I respect your journey and your right to explore all options; even controversial ones, with informed consent.

    I think Warren would not like you to put your faith in false promises and half truths …and I agree. That is why he is trying to get the facts straight for all of us.

  • AJ

    David Blakeslee,

    Jeremy is the one who gave a glowing endorsement of Nicolosi and his treatment methods. That endorsement deserved to be thoroughly dissected.

    As for JIM, they are nothing but a cult using mind control methods. I know, I have been to their weekend. That truth needs to be put out there front and center so that people can make an informed choice. Their “holding” therapy is cuddling, and people should know that ahead of time.

  • AJ

    And even Exodus won’t have anything to do with JIM because of its questionable practices.

  • StraightGrandmother

    The movable middle will now speak, LOL!

    David Blakeslee=

    My experience with gay men who have not found identification with their attractions helpful or have found it harmful, is that the church is one of the few places willing to support them actively in suppress those impulses. It is an myth of popular culture that “suppression” causes mental illness, this is not true

    And they report being happier they feel honored and protected from a culture that made false and damaging promises of happiness if they embraced and lived out their same sex attractions

    StraightGrandmother= Hmmm well the worms are starting to come out of the woodwork now, aren’t they? You should write more forthrightly like you did above, more often. At least I am getting a better understanding of what your point of view is. Your point of view is more on the ex-gay side than the gay side, do I have that right? And Pray Away the Gay works for some people, presumably if they try hard enough. You are a believer in faith based Pray Away the Gay, right?

    I do strongly agree with you about that television show Allen Gregory depicting the sexualization of a 7 year old child. BAD! It should be culturally agreed that we should NOT sexualize children, either in life or depicting this in “entertainment” To me, that is not entertainment that is pornography.

    @Jeremy- If some men feel insure about their manliness physically holding in a non sexual way another man I can see it might help them. In our culture personal space is revered, we must not invade the personal space of others. So say a boy was growing up and was an outcast and never got to play touch football, and wrestling etc. that now young man may feel a void in physically connecting with men, so I can see how this holding therapy is okay, it fills a need that the man has lacked and perhaps yearned for. It seems to me that it might make him more in touch with manliness. It seems okay to me. It might help.

    @ David Roberts – For some reason boys like to be naked. It is a boy thing, as a female I really don’t understand it but I accept it. Here is a little story. When I was in high school the girls all wore school issued swim suites but the boys swam naked. No way on God’s green earth would girls ever swim naked together but boys do. I had a family member who was very high up in the Pentagon and on Saturdays the men would swim nude together, I remember hearing about a relative who swam nude with Robert Magnamera (spelling) I think he was Secretary of Defense, in the Pentagon pool.

    If these week-end retreats help men feel more comfortable being nude around other men, which for some strange reason is a man thang, what’s the harm? My own son as a child used to love to be naked. My daughter never, but my son when he got out of his bath i used to have to chase him around the house to get his pajamas on. Boys like to be naked.

    I was taken aback when you said that they were like sexualized cults. Whoaooo? Hmm now you got my attention. I followed your link to Warren’s topic and the intake certainly feels cultish. But the rest? Meh. So what. Some people say it helps them. And I can see why it is not a gay thing, but a man thing.

    Warren =

    If you think about intermittent reinforcement schedules, it doesn’t take reinforcement in every case to keep a therapist pursuing a general unworkable theory – only a few.

    StraightGrandmother = intermittent reinforcement schedules ???? Huh?

  • Michael Bussee

    “There are many more people who are speaking up about the lack of benefit from their therapy experiences but these are often discounted when there a few successes.” ~ Warren

    That’s putting it lightly. Not only a “lack of benefit”, but real harm is being reported by a growing number of “ex-gay” survivors. Their stories deserve attention from the scientific community.

    “We’ve all heard the declarations that “thousands and thousands of people have been healed of their homosexuality.” Where do those numbers come from?

    At Beyond Ex-Gay (bXg) we know firsthand that the thousands who have attended ex-gay groups never “changed.” Worse yet, our ex-gay experiences caused us tremendous harm. So to counter the rhetoric, we have created a new survey specifically for ex-gay survivors.

    It’s short, and you can stay as anonymous as you’d like. If you can’t find answers that fit your experience, we provide plenty of empty boxes for you to express yourself as accurately as possible.

    Your willingness to be counted will ultimately stand in stark contrast to the misinformation that ex-gay promoters use to convince people that “change is possible” and harmless to pursue.”

    http://www.beyondexgay.com/voice

  • StraightGrandmother

    Warren I have 2 comments in Moderation

  • Teresa

    Thanks for showing up here and telling your story…you will find you are likely to be treated with some contempt here…as you have already experienced.

    David Blakeslee, I’m sure you’d agree some of us have been quite encouraging for Jeremy. I think that fact has to be acknowledged, as well.

    I don’t know how your story will end up, but I respect your journey and your right to explore all options; even controversial ones, with informed consent.

    Jeremy, I wholeheartedly agree with what David has said here; and, you are wished well on your continued journey.

    Life can look different after 30 years or so.

    Nick, this is so, so true; at least, that’s been my experience. Having learned this lesson painfully, I’m very cautious now as to claiming any certainty about my same-sex attractions. Thank you for contributing.

  • AJ

    Well, this thread has turned into a very effective ad for JIM. I’m sure Rich Wyler is very pleased!

  • Michael Bussee

    Even though I completely disagree with Jeremy’s opinion that all gays are mentally ill and promiscuous, I am assuming that he is projecting his own sad experience of living a “very promiscous gay lifestyle” onto others. That was his unhappy reality — and should not be generalized to all LGBT people.

    That said, if he has left that self-destructive “lifestyle” behind and is now living a life that is more fulfilling and more in accordance with his religious beliefs, that is a positive thing — and I wish him well on his journey. He could have found that without turning to anti-gay and unscientific groups like NARTH.

    Should he find (as almost all “ex-gays” do) that his orientation does not change from gay to straight, I hope that he will find support and acceptance in living a more integrated and healthy gay life. There are numerous support groups and gay Christian organizations that will be there to help if (and when) he wants it.

  • ken

    David Blakeslee# ~ Nov 16, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    “Thanks for showing up here and telling your story…you will find you are likely to be treated with some contempt here”

    Possibly, but I don’t think it would be because he is pursuing reparative therapy. Certainly, his claims about the effectiveness of such therapy are met with skepticism.

    On the other hand, statements such as

    “but I absolutely HATE homosexuality. I hate it the same way that I hate Cancer, Alcoholism, AIDS, and every other disease that has destroyed the lives of the people I LOVE the most.”

    or

    “My views on here about homosexuality being a mental/emotional illness are a bit stronger than what the JiM program believes.”

    and other such mis-informed and derogatory comments about gays, are likely to garner some contempt.

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    SGM, with all due respect, I can’t imagine you have read all the material on these groups if you have such a casual attitude about them. This is so much more than “boys will be boys.” The nudity alone can be found in naturalist groups and is an entirely different phenomenon. If you are serious about wanting to understand this issue fully, keep reading.

  • Throbert McGee

    Their “holding” therapy is cuddling, and people should know that ahead of time.

    Hmmm. I’ve met gay men   MSMs  gay/bi men certain men who have sex with men who were cuddling-averse, and maybe could’ve benefited from THAT part of the therapy — but without the “changing to straight” stuff!

    (And I had to think about how to characterize these men because, contrary to what some people might expect, the bi-married and straight-identified guys I’ve gotten sexually involved with have generally been VERY eager for simple cuddling and smooching with another man — in addition to more overtly sexual stuff — at least when they were with me behind closed doors. For the most part, I’d say that it’s the “ostensibly identified as gay but still coming out” guys who are more likely to have trouble with long, relaxed cuddling and spooning.)

  • David Blakeslee

    SGM:

    I don’t understand the cliche, pray the gay away; I think that is a pejorative phrase used by those who disagree with using religious values, or other values, to not act out their sexual attractions.

    Nick,

    Watched your video and found it very helpful and compelling. I would urge all of those on this thread to watch it…many of you may have already.

    It sounds like you could maintain your marital vows until 1994; and that when you couldn’t any longer, you pursued “treatment” with Matheson in 1997. This three year period prior to “treatment” could be when it was all falling apart. It sounds like the treatment (by phone?), did not take your symptoms as serious topics of discussion. It also sounds like you had to pursue your treatment in secret (your wife assumed you were having an affair; rather than you were gay).

    If you feel comfortable clarifying further, that would help me. If you can’t, thanks again for checking in.

    Very courageous journey…glad you told your story. I will pass it along.

  • Jeremy Schwab

    Thank you David, Teresa, and SGM.

    God Bless,

    Jeremy

  • Michael Bussee

    I don’t understand the cliche, pray the gay away; I think that is a pejorative phrase used by those who disagree with using religious values, or other values, to not act out their sexual attractions.

    David: If that’s all “ex-gay” or “reparative therapy” programs did (help people with strong religious or personal objections to “not act out their sexual attractions”) I doubt that most people would have a problem with them.

  • Jayhuck

    and other such mis-informed and derogatory comments about gays, are likely to garner some contempt.

    And rightfully so! Thank you Ken :-)

  • Jayhuck

    In the same way, when he suggested that more close, supportive relationships with straight men that would satisfy unmet needs and diminish my sexual attractions, I could honestly answer that I had formed many such close, supportive friendships over the years, and had never seen them affect my sexual feelings or identification in the least.

    Nick, thank you for sharing! Even though I haven’t had to go through what you have had to go through, I sympathize with this post a great deal. my priest suggested exactly the same thing to me but when I stopped and thought about it I realized that most of my close male friends were straight .

  • ken

    David Blakeslee# ~ Nov 17, 2011 at 12:26 am

    “I don’t understand the cliche, pray the gay away; I think that is a pejorative phrase used by those who disagree with using religious values, or other values, to not act out their sexual attractions”

    Are you claiming you’ve never heard religious conservatives say if gays prayed and believed in god enough, that god would “heal” them of their homosexuality?

    Because that is where the phrase “pray the gay away” comes from, David.

  • Michael Bussee

    Why not just say, “We help you not to act on your homosexual attractions”?

    Just that. No promises of orientation change. No claiming that people don’t have enough faith if they don’t “change”. No junk science. No fighting against equal treatment under law. Just helping people live in accordance with their values.

    Trouble is, if that’s ALL these programs did, their support and funding would dry up in a flash.

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    their support and funding would dry up in a flash.

    Thankfully, it already is.

  • StraightGrandmother

    That is right Michael B. that is right what you said

    Why not just say, “We help you not to act on your homosexual attractions”?

    Just that. No promises of orientation change. No claiming that people don’t have enough faith if they don’t “change”. No junk science. No fighting against equal treatment under law. Just helping people live in accordance with their values.

    Stupid pint but I have always heard it as, “PrayAway the Gay” not as “Pray the Gay Away”

    I don’t think it is pjorative, it is just a short hand phrase for what it actually is and that is people praying not to be gay, and I guess I would add organizations that organize these prayer groups. Of course as Michael B states these organizations don’t let it stop with just personal pastoring, they gang up and enter the public square arguing against people who are gay who are happy that way. They get involved in politics. It starts with Pray Away the Gay but then it morphs into something much bigger and meaner.

  • David Blakeslee

    PTGA!

    It is a TWO phrase used over and over to trivialize and demean.

    The hilarious part is that Besen uses it with such vigor when the therapist he picked to deal with his “unwanted SSA” encouraged him to listen to relaxation techniques:

    That would be Breath the Gay Away!

    It is mocking, simplified, demeaning and cruel…and is designed so. It does not typify Exodus, Evergreen, NARTH, Courage or FOTF; interventions, however, flawed are multifaceted.

    Besen is a propagandist, and as such seeks such simplistic formulations to make it easier to polarize and simplify the argument; and thereby win it in the early stages of discussion. It is a tactic, not a description, meant to arouse disgust rather than curiosity or communication.

  • AJ

    David Blakeslee,

    On the other side of the coin, I would say that the Exodus slogan “Change is Possible” is also a political statement intentionally designed to mislead.

  • AJ

    And let’s be honest, whether you like Wayne Besen or not, if there weren’t people like him pushing the issue, wouldn’t Exodus and the others still be saying that there are thousands of people who have changed from gay to straight? The gradual change in their talking points only came about because they were called on their lies.

  • Teresa

    It is mocking, simplified, demeaning and cruel…and is designed so. It does not typify Exodus, Evergreen, NARTH, Courage or FOTF; interventions, however, flawed are multifaceted.

    David Blakeslee, not to be contentious, which I’m not, but having first-hand experience with Courage, it is all about “praying away same-sex attractions”. Using a 12-Step Program, which I think is quite wrong when applied to sexual attractions … which are not addictions … is heavily used by Courage. The whole program is concerned with the spiritual: prayer and meditation … and, service work (which seems to not be of real value).

    I’m not picking a bone here with you or Courage. They are well-intentioned; however, misguided I believe they are.

    “Pray away the Gay”, I agree, can be a demeaning phrase; but to make a statement that it does not typify Courage is wrong, in my opinion.

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    And let’s be honest, whether you like Wayne Besen or not, if there weren’t people like him pushing the issue, wouldn’t Exodus and the others still be saying that there are thousands of people who have changed from gay to straight? The gradual change in their talking points only came about because they were called on their lies.

    I’ll give that a resounding YES. Exodus has been dragged kicking and screaming through any positive changes they have made. The sad part is that, at their core, I don’t believe there is much evidence that they have changed all that much. They do what they have to in order to survive. In that respect, I sometimes feel we have just taught them how to be more stealthy in their deception. In the end, however, fewer overt lies and propaganda are a good thing I suppose.

    Some of those organizations Besen is up against are ruthless and it takes some degree of that in return to deal with them. I would submit that “Pray away the gay” is effective because it is a concise and accurate description of what lies at the root of so many ex-gay or conversion ideologies. It irritates precisely because it cuts through the spin that many use to obfuscate a bankrupt position.

  • Michael Bussee

    Wendy Gritter, formerly of Exodus, once urged her fellow Exodus leaders to “deal humbly and transparently with the impression that we have lied (about orientation change).”

    She understood why folks were angry and disillusioned. They ignored her. She left in frustration. By continuing to use misleading slogans like “change is possible” and “former homosexual”, Exodus is still guilty of the old “bait and switch”.

    If “pray away the gay” has an angry and “pejorative” edge to it, it may be because people feel (rightly) that they have been lied to by “ex-gay” and “reparative therapy” programs.

  • Jeremy Schwab

    I think I would agree with most of ya’ll about the old Exodus rhetoric. I don’t like that either.

    I haven’t received that kind of message from Journey into Manhood or Dr. Joseph Nicolosi Jr. Both have presented very moderate and reasonable expectations of “Change” for me. I’m only speaking from my personal experience of these two over the last two years.

    Here is a good summary from People Can Change (Journey into Manhood) about what they mean by “Change”:

    http://peoplecanchange.com/change/whatwemean.php

  • Michael Bussee

    Jeremy, I reviewed the site and I would agree that “any degree of change toward greater peace, satisfaction and fulfillment, and less shame, depression and darkness, is change well worth pursuing.”

    But that’s not orientation change.

    And yet, they still claim that sexual reorientation from gay to straight is supported by solid science, referencing the 1980 Pattison study as proof. As we have discussed here, such studies are deeply flawed.

    http://wthrockmorton.com/2011/11/11/first-study-to-refer-to-ex-gays-discredited/

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    As with Exodus, a lot of groups have changed their public rhetoric to avoid deeper scrutiny as this subject was better understood by the general public. It means little or nothing with respect to their actual practices.

    Also, Nicolosi is adamant that change is absolutely not only possible, but it *will* happen when one “stops fearing men.” Again, if you want to subject yourself to that kind of nonsense, have at it. But it is important that we maintain a factual representation.

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    Hi Jeremy,

    Alot of us have been tracking this for a while .. And it seems that the whole dialog about change has a lot of doubletalk to it. As Michael points out above .. some parts of the website you linked are still promoting change using outdated studies that are not reliable.

    Along with that, IMHO, the attitude that comes across on the page you referenced is suspect. If the organization wanted to be real .. they would not write like its the opposition’s fault that the belief is in a 180 degree change only. A more honest apporach would be to admit that many “change” groups promised way too much and mislead plenty of people with disastorous results (ie. attempts at straight marriage that failed .. self loathing and the like). It should state how uniquely different their aims are in light of this and make it clear that congruence with one’s belief system is the priority along with being at peace and accepting one’s self. This is what you see on this site .. an honest exploration of evidence and caution given to the many false claims out there. Additionally, there is also SITF (Sexual Identity Therapy Framework) (see links on the right) that offers a congruence model but does not guarantee any change of oreintation.

    Again .. if you have something thats working for you right now .. fine and good. Just be aware that this path has many turns and potential pitfalls which some here are cautioning you about. Realize that where you are right now may not be where you end up.

    Blessings and peace,

    Dave

  • ken

    David Blakeslee# ~ Nov 17, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    “It is a TWO phrase used over and over to trivialize and demean.”

    Probably. However, do you believe that groups promising god will change gays to straight if they pray and believe hard enough are presenting a form of therapy worthy of respect, David?

    Now not all faith-based groups are the same, but there are those out there that do not deserve respect.

  • Jayhuck

    David Blakeslee,

    It is mocking, simplified, demeaning and cruel…and is designed so. It does not typify Exodus, Evergreen, NARTH, Courage or FOTF; interventions, however, flawed are multifaceted.

    I am not a huge fan of Wayne Besen myself and I think what you write is true to some extent. HOWEVER, All of those groups, Exodus, NARTH, Courage and FOTF, along with many others, are equally guilty of using “mocking, simplified, demeaning and cruel” words when describing gay individuals, couples and families. The truly sad part is that these groups call themselves “Christian”.

  • StraightGrandmother

    I honestly do not know how the phrase came into being, David B is saying that Wayne Beeson is the originator, maybe he is, I don’t know. But I do know how the phrase is used today, and I don’t agree with David B’s comment of

    It is mocking, simplified, demeaning and cruel…and is designed so

    Now some people may use it mockingly, but not everyone. I use it just as a shorthand to describe all of those groups, Courage, Evergreen, Exodus etc. etc. I use it in the same way I would use the abbreviation LGBT. Both are short hand phrases that denote groups of people.

    Maybe if you were there in the beginning, as it seems perhaps David B was, you have developed a bit of a thin skin around the phrase. David, the Pray Away the Gay groups, I just don’t believe in them. I get angry at them particularly the Catholics, but all of them really. I think it is a waste of people’s time, 99% of the sexual minorities would be much happier and healthier if they changed religions, which IS a choice.

  • David Blakeslee

    Thanks for everyone checking in with their perspectives and opinions about PTGA.

    The phrase in my mind is a similar truncation as comparing all Christians attitudes to GLBT’s to those of Fred Phelps

    Teresa: a 12 step program is nothing like PTGA…it is a huge process…and in regards to the complaints often voiced here, it does not imply cure or being rid of SSA.

    I would urge everyone to review Nick’s video and re-reread Jeremy’s description of his journey (not his conclusions about all Gays). Also review Michael Bussee’s journey.

    SSA is a powerful phenomenon in the life of the person and simple formulas of “be gay” or “get cured” run roughshod over the profound challenge that faces these people.

    People like Besen demean a whole class of people (double minorities) struggling legitimately with these sensations who seek out the only sympathetic folks who want to help. Warren is doing critical and necessary work dismantling the half-truths and exaggerations on the religious side.

    That help is bound to get better, be more realistic and compassionate.

    Change is possible…from self-loathing to self-acceptance…from isolation to community…and maybe a lot more.

  • AJ

    David Blakeslee,

    As far as change, can you elaborate on what you mean by “… and maybe a lot more”?

    And many of the folks peddling 12-step programs most certainly do imply a cure or being rid of “SSA.”

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    Teresa: a 12 step program is nothing like PTGA…it is a huge process…and in regards to the complaints often voiced here, it does not imply cure or being rid of SSA.

    Courage most certainly does “imply cure” by way of referring to and promoting Richard Cohen, who is all about 100% change is possible (his recent PR moves notwithstanding). The other groups mentioned also have irrefutable histories of change promotion.

  • AJ

    David Blakeslee,

    In this thread, you seem to be defending JIM. What is your position on holding therapy? What is your position on people with no training in counseling or psychology working to evoke memories of traumatic events in JIM participants and then encouraging people to become physically violent to work through these issues? Are these good ideas?

  • StraightGrandmother

    David B. =

    The phrase in my mind is a similar truncation as comparing all Christians attitudes to GLBT’s to those of Fred Phelps

    StraightGrandmother = No no no noooooo David. Not at ALL. Fred Phelps is in a class all by himself. As much as I am angry at religious groups trying to run our country and make our civil laws conform to their religion, I would never even put them on the same planet of Westboro Baptist, or even the same solor system and I honestly think everybody would agree with that. You are worrying for nothing.

  • Nick Cavnar

    David Blakeslee asks me:

    “It sounds like you could maintain your marital vows until 1994; and that when you couldn’t any longer, you pursued “treatment” with Matheson in 1997. This three year period prior to “treatment” could be when it was all falling apart. It sounds like the treatment (by phone?), did not take your symptoms as serious topics of discussion. It also sounds like you had to pursue your treatment in secret (your wife assumed you were having an affair; rather than you were gay).”

    To clarify: When I started therapy with Matheson, I had already worked with a couple of other counselors and had participated in Homosexuals Anonymous and an Exodus-affiliated ministry. At the time of my conversion in 1972, there were no ex-gay organizations or reparative therapists around, at least that I knew of. I was, however, part of a very intense charismatic group that provided a lot of non-professional counseling and weekly support groups.

    Much of the direction I received was along the same lines as ex-gay therapy: build healthy relationships with other men, engage in masculine activities, get married and cultivate a heterosexual identity. And with this being a charismatic group, there were also exorcisms and many sessions of prayer for healing. I was repeatedly encouraged that if I faithfullly lived out my new identity, a change in my sexual feelings would eventually follow.

    In many ways, I was highly successful– at least, in the living out the new identity part. I was regularly pointed out to other men struggling with same sex attractions as an example of how they could change. Internally, however, I was feeling more and more distress about my unresolved sexual feelings, which never changed or lessened at all.

    In 1989, I started my first formal therapy with a psychologist who also directed me to the HA chapter. That first therapist was big on a family dynamics model and on 12-steps programs. After a year, neither of us felt the therapy was achieving much in the way of changing my sexual orientation. I still remember him telling me it was too bad I wasn’t alcoholic, because then he could really help me!

    I made a job-related move with my family to Denver, Colorado, in 1991. We were there three years, during which I was active with Where Grace Abounds, affiliated at that time with Exodus, and received counseling from a couple of their staff. Again, I felt like I was objectively more successful in living as “ex-gay” than anyone else I meet there. So why was I feeling more and more distress.

    It was after our next move, when I was also doing a lot of business travel, that I began having more “slips,” as it was always called in ex-gay circles. That is, I began secretly meeting up with men and having sex. My wife became suspicious, and insisted I get back into some kind of therapy. I was not impressed with any ex-gay therapist or group in our new city, and so we got in touch with Nicolosi’s office and I started therapy with Matheson. We talked once a week by phone (I notice from Jeremy’s posts that they are now using Skype) with periodic face-to-face sessions at their offices in Encino, CA.

    As I said earlier, it was during this time that my sexual activity really increased. It was not that Matheson failed to take my symptoms as serious topics of discussion. But his entire focus was on trying to deal with the roots of my sexual attractions, according to reparative therapy models. In many ways, as i’ve said, the therapy enabled my adulterous conduct, because I could tell myself I was just “acting out” while trying to find the key to fixing the real problem!

    This has turmed out a lot longer than I meant it to–and I don’t have enough time right now to go back and edit it down to a shorter version. But hope it clarifies my story.

  • Jayhuck

    David B -

    People like Besen demean a whole class of people

    Sort of like FOTF, NARTH, Exodus, NOM, and a host of other religious organizations demean a whole class of people (gay people), right? Want to get into a discussion of who does this more? Sorry, I know that wouldn’t be productive but jumping on Besen, who I’ve already said I’m not a big fan of, without realizing or acknowledging the huge extent to which so-called Christian organizations do this is not fair. Thank you very much Warren for taking these groups to task.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Warren, on this thread also I am in Moderation purgatory

  • StraightGrandmother

    Jeremy, I was rereading these fascinating comments and I don’t know how I missed this comment of yours

    but I still go to Mass every morning and confession every week

    StraightGrandmother = Jeremy, I would like to gently suggest to that it looks like you have merely traded one obsessive behavior (sex addiction, forget the gay aspect for now) with another obsessive behavior, becoming ultra religious. Balance Jeremy, balance. Not many people find the need to go to Mass every day. Why do you think that is?

    Jeremy scroll back up to my first comment to you where I talk about ping pong balls. Read it again. Take care Jeremy, take care.

  • Michael Bussee

    SG: I agree that balance is important, but I wouldn’t assume that daily Mass is an “obsession”. Even though I am not Catholic, I use to ride my bike to the local Catholic church each morning for Mass.

    It was peaceful, reflective — and a great way to start my day. Few churches today have that reverential “feel”, especially the “mega-churches” that seem more like auditoriums for Gospel hoedowns. :)

  • William

    But I think that SG may have a point, nonetheless. Religious addiction can be used to jam the airwaves against something that one doesn’t want to face, e.g. being gay. I know this because I did it for some years. I can testify that it doesn’t work in the long run: trying to bury issues in your life now just means that you have to deal with them at some time in the future, and when you do, you wish that you’d dealt with them ages ago. It’s rather like shoving an unpaid bill away in a drawer and hoping that it won’t come again. It always does, sooner or later.

  • Patrocles

    Unhappily, I couldn’t follow up the debate closely – and now I see that Teresa, Throbert and David Roberts have answered to my remarks Nov. 12th.

    Teresa, of course, I’m not sure that OSA or SSA is learned. But – in comparison to the possible alternatives – I deem it at least probable. Throbert, thanks for your help. I might add, that parts of human learning are done unconciously and memory won’t always help you to decide what was learned and what only “came to you”.

    David Roberts, of course I’m not the representative of all gay guys. But later on I found in the Internet a category of “transformation stories”. There’s obviously a market for that kind of wish-fulfilling stories around men who become more masculine caused by or accompanied by homosexual intercourse. (By the way, ancient Greeks seem to have believed that masculinity is transferred by semen in anal intercourse, a belief which may be vivid in some Oriental tribes which still perform anal intercourse between men and boys.) So I’m at least representative for a whole category of people.

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    Patrocles, I ‘m going to be charitable and just assume that you had too much wine before posting.

  • AJ

    Patrocles,

    What? Are you saying that you have become more masculine by engaging in anal intercourse?


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