Alan Chambers to be part of a panel at Gay Christian Network conference

Tonight, if you are around Orlando, FL, you could take in a panel discussion (tip XGW) at the Gay Christian Network conference featuring Alan Chambers, Jeremy Marks, Wendy Gritter, and John Smid. I am told that a video will be made of the event and available on the GCN website.

Marks, Gritter and Smid have issued apologies for their advocacy of the ex-gay movement over the past several years. Smid today sent an email to his mailing list linking to another apology on his website.

I will watch the video when it is posted. Marks, Gritter and Smid have moved away from the change paradigm in clear ways. Chambers has also distanced himself and Exodus from the “change is possible” language. Another interesting change at Exodus, recently reported by XGW, has been the removal of reparative therapy books by Joseph Nicolosi from the organization’s website. Other change paradigm books remain (e.g., What’s a Father to Do?). Chambers did not comment on the reasons for the removal when I asked about it.



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  • Kyle

    Dr. Throckmorton – you give me hope that traditional Christians can care deeply about accurate science without “losing their religion.” Keep at it.


  • Michael Bussee

    Just in from the panel discussion: John Smid: “I have been afraid to say I am gay. What will THEY say? What will my wife say? What will her friends say? So I walk with tremendous fear….but the truth is “I am gay”.

  • Michael Bussee

    Alan Chambers, wrapping up tonight’s GCN panel discussion, without admitting they have lied about “change”:

    ALAN: That does need to change. It is messy. This is not a sympathy thing, you cannot imagine how difficult it is to steer a ship a large as Exodus in terminology.”

    COP OUT!!! In 2008, Wendy Gritter challenged him to “humbly and transparently deal with the perception” that Exodus has “lied” about change. Tonight she told him bluntly: “”I understand the pressures you are under. Audience, pray and commit to pray for Alan. With loss comes the wisdom of God. Sometimes you have to shit or get off the pot, and you will lose — but this is a pivotal window in the world. It will take courage to make changes.”

    Again, he made lame excuses. He could do it TODAY if he really wanted to. He could say, “We are sorry that we have misled the public about change. We have hurt many people by not being CLEAR about it. People don’t become heterosexual through our program. They change their behavior. That’s it.” But he lacks the basic moral courage to say so.

    At least John Smid showed some character.

  • Dave

    Michael .. I didn’t know you were here at the conference. Not sure how I feel about it yet. (probably a bit dissappointed but I need time to digest all of this)


  • Michael Bussee

    Dave, I was not there. I was sharing comments transcribed by Kathy Verbiest Baldock who was there and was blogging live. It seems clear from her reports that Alan had no intention of setting the record straight about “change” — in spite of many requests that he do so.

    If my comment (above) seems harsh, it is because I am very frustrated that Alan seems so unwilling to do what many (including Dr. Throckmorton) have urged him to do — to stop spreading a distorted narrative about “change”. The dishonesty has done great harm to many.

  • StraightGrandmother

    I am very interested in this conference and discussion. PROPS to John Schmidt. but think about that for a minute, John no longer derives a paycheck from preaching and teaching, “Change is possible”

    John Schmidt has literally freed himself and can now speak truthfully.

    Alan Chambers is dependent on donations from churches and those churches demand a message of, “With God all things are possible, change is possible and the desired outcome” As long as Alan Chambers makes a living off of “Change is possible” he will never be honest and speak the truth.

  • Michael Bussee

    Justin Lee of Gay Christian Network says a full video of last night’s panel discussion will be posted soon.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Thanks Michael B. please let us know when it is available.

  • Karen


    I would have to strongly disagree that Chambers has moved away from “change is possible.” Their website clearly indicates otherwise in multiple places. Their policy statement on “healing” reads as follows:

    “Exodus affirms reorientation of same sex attraction is possible. This is a process, which begins with motivation to, and self-determination to change based upon a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We facilitate resources for this process through our member ministries, other established networks and the Church. The key outcome of this is measured by a growing capacity to turn away from temptations, a reconciling of ones identity with Jesus Christ, being transformed into His image. This enables growth towards Godly heterosexuality.”

    Also, it doesn’t mean much of anything that the bookstore no longer holds Nicolosi books. This, I suspect, has more to do with distancing from Nicolosi, not distancing from reparative therapy. Nicolosi lost his charm when he lost his cool on national television featuring Love Won Out. He wasn’t invited to Love Won Out after that.

    The Exodus bookstore is rife with books that all proclaim change is possible based on addressing developmental factors. Few of them don’t. For example “What’s a Father to Do?” “Crisis in Masculinity,” “An Ounce of Prevention” etc etc.

    Chambers might do a few PR things here and there to seem more palatable, but its the same old song. Quite obviously so. And I don’t expect there to be any change with Exodus in the near future, just more PR stuff. Exodus will have an opportunity to transform itself when there is a new leader. Period.

  • Dave

    Yes Michael .. I realized you weren’t there once I talked to Kathy ..

    Don’t have time to comment on this right now .

    God bless,


  • Michael Bussee
  • Michael Bussee

    From the audio:

    Alan claims he’s been “clear” and “up front” about “change”. My he goes on to say, “The majority of the people I have met (and by majority I mean 99.9 % of them) have not changed their orientation…We’re not using ‘change is possible’ as a slogan any more…I can’t be any clearer about that…”

    Wendy Gritter challenges Alan on this: “Alan, what about the fact that there is so much baggage about that slogan…? I would wager that 99.9% of people associate it with orientation change…Has there been an apology for using the phrase? There’s been 30 years of history in using it.”

    Alan: “That’s something that we are very, very sorry about.”

  • stephen

    Shorter: Send money.

  • Michael Bussee

    On the audio, Alan admits that even though “99.9 %” don’t change their sexual orientation, that the word “gay” is still a “very difficult” one for him: “It’s a very big word… It carried with it so much…It’s something I am thinking through…”

    John Smid (for the first time I can recall) responds: “I have been afraid to say, ‘I am gay’ — because I am more fearful about what ‘they’re’ going to think about it than me owning what’s true about my life … The truth is, I’m gay.”

  • Michael Bussee

    Math problem: Compare Alan Chambers’ admission this weekend that “99.9 % have not changed their orientation” with his previous claim the he is “one of tens of thousands of people whom have successfully changed their sexual orientation.” Something doesn’t add up.

  • Karen

    A similar claim about the number who have changed is still on the Exodus website:

    “It raises a broader issue, ‘Is change in homosexuality even possible?’ We know this to be true from the thousands of individuals within our network who have experienced it.”

    Also, here is an example of the contradictory personality of Exodus that has plagued it is below:

    One area on the site makes fun of the idea that Exodus promotes any kind of cure as if its ridiculous that anyone could come to that conclusion. Exodus staffer Julie Neils states: “If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard the words, “Exodus International” and “religious group that claims to cure gays” in a sentence I’d be rich . . . and in Tahiti right now . . . Exodus International doesn’t exist to make gay people straight . . .”

    However, in another place on the Exodus website it states: “You have come to the right place! For over thirty years, Exodus International has offered hope and help to people seeking freedom from homosexuality. We believe and we have seen in thousands of lives that this freedom is possible through the power of God working in our hearts and minds. The bottom line – you don’t have to be gay!” (the last phrase “you don’t have to be gay!” is in bold on the website for emphasis).

    Much content on the website focuses on defending the possibility of change in sexual orientation. Its apologetic in nature which has distracted them from focusing on ministry to the majority who do not experience change in sexual orientation. Thus, you will find virtually nothing on the site that frankly discusses the low conversion numbers to heterosexuality and what it means to live a single, celibate life or be in a mixed orientation marriage.

  • Michael Bussee

    Alan’s now saying he’s sorry for that rhetoric — and that they no longer say “change is possible”. But then he says that Exodus is “too big a ship” for him to steer towards more honest, less misleading terminlogy. If that’s the case, perhaps they need a more skillful captain.

  • StraightGrandmother

    I don’t think Alan Chambers is being forthcoming because of that Christian Magazine he was on the cover of (I could not find that article on Warren’s blog, but it is reported here) where he was awarded the Daniel Award. In that magazine article published just last month he clearly says near the end of the article that Change is possible. Not only that he invites his wife to a business lunch with the reporter, and she duly writes a lot about Alan being married and his two children.

    It seems to me that Alan changes his message depending on who his audience is, and that is not the way to Lead.

  • Mary

    He no more knows the statistics to be 99.9% don’t change than when he was quoting thousand and thousands have changed.

    Seriously, we don’t the numbers for men.

  • Michael Bussee

    If you listen to the audio, I think he is speaking only about the people he has met, not quoting a stastic based on any scientfic study. Only .01 % of the “ex-gays” he have met are now heterosexual in orientation. That’s a far cry from the “tens of thousands who successfully changed their orientation” like he told NARTH in 2004.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Michael B., I really look up to you.

  • William

    Mary, when Alan Chambers says that 99.9% don’t experience any change in their sexual orientation, I don’t think that he is meaning this to be understood literally as a precise figure. He could just as well have said 99.8% or 99.95%. It’s simply a way of admitting that a change in sexual orientation is an extremely rare development – which I find no difficulty in believing.

  • Teresa

    It’s simply a way of admitting that a change in sexual orientation is an extremely rare development – which I find no difficulty in believing.

    Yes, William, I agree with your statements.

    He no more knows the statistics to be 99.9% don’t change than when he was quoting thousand and thousands have changed.

    Seriously, we don’t the numbers for men.

    Mary, I disagree somewhat here. No, Alan Chamber, Jeremy Marks, John Smid don’t know an exact percentage; but, when these men, who have worked for decades with homosexuals … when they believed ‘change’ was possible … when they personally know, worked with, are aware of many, many homosexuals … when these persons, who have nothing to gain and everything to lose within the communities they are/were in … when they say they know hardly anyone who has ‘changed’ … I believe them. They’re the experts for me. They’ve been there, done that, and bought the t-shirt.

    These are the ‘studies’ we should believe.

  • Michael Bussee

    John Smid was with Exodus for over 20 years, and reports that in all those years of searching for a formerly homosexual man who was now heterosexual in orientation he had not met “one”. Neither has Jeremy Marks. Neither has Darlene Bogle. And neither have I.

    Other “changes”? Yes. Changes in behavior and “lifestyle” — some of them very positive changes. There were changes in what they called themselves or how they “identified” themselves. But never a real change in sexual orientation from gay male to straight male. Never. Not even .01%.

  • Carol A Ranney

    Re. “Another interesting change at Exodus, recently reported by XGW, has been the removal of reparative therapy books by Joseph Nicolosi from the organization’s website…”: “Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality” by Nicolosi is still on the Exodus website. Also “Healing Homosexuality: Case Stories of Reparative Therapy” by the same author.

  • Warren

    Carol – Can you point out where Nicolosi’s books are on their website? I looked in Exodus books and cannot find them. Are they recommended elsewhere?

  • Michael Bussee

    Gay Christian Network has posted full video of the panel discussion with Alan Chambers: