Ex-Gay Ministry Exodus International Closes, Apologizes

For 37 years, Exodus International has led the ridiculous, hurtful, shameful, reductive, and traumatic ex-gay movement that taught many teens that being gay was wrong, sinful, shameful and tried to help people "pray away the gay" and become straight as God intended.

It was always a group preying on people's combination of hope and self-hatred by holding out the fictional dream of a happy heterosexual future, and many young people especially were victimized by their clueless, well-meaning parents into these horrible torturous environments.

But this week, Exodus decided to close their doors for good and their current leader issued a lengthy, emotional apology that he wrote with the blood of 35+ years of gay teen suicides his group helped cause. Here's a brief excerpt:

"Please know that I am deeply sorry. I am sorry for the pain and hurt many of you have experienced. I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt when your attractions didn’t change. I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents. I am sorry that there were times I didn’t stand up to people publicly “on my side” who called you names like sodomite—or worse. I am sorry that I, knowing some of you so well, failed to share publicly that the gay and lesbian people I know were every bit as capable of being amazing parents as the straight people that I know. I am sorry that when I celebrated a person coming to Christ and surrendering their sexuality to Him that I callously celebrated the end of relationships that broke your heart. I am sorry that I have communicated that you and your families are less than me and mine."

I guess I'm against public stoning, and there's no such thing as a "culture war criminal," so I guess the only comfort is knowing less people will ever be presented with this quackery as a viable option. And an increased public awareness about the long-term harm this nonsense causes to the people it doesn't put on a path to suicide.

Comments

elph's picture

Bravo!

This article requires much wider circulation. I hope other journals find it... and, at least, post a link!

lonewolf678's picture

Thank goodness,

it's about time they shutdown that thing!

Bosemaster42's picture

It's about time,

Of course, it doesn't change or lessen the suffering caused by this bogus Christian church group. I can't believe there are people who actually claim this worked for them, but I am sure they are few and far between. I saw the news about Exodus shutting down online this morning. In the story, it specifically targeted this older gay man, Bobby Painter, 45 years old and a former 'disciple' of exodus, paid $48,000 dollars to these Christian phonies from 1999-2000. Painter learned about Exodus through an advertisement which promised a cure, only to find once he attended, they couldn't guarantee a cure. All the program did for him, was increase his hatred of himself. So, in Painter's case, he was bilked of what little money he had instead of coming to terms(his own) with being gay. Frankly, what bugged me even more is the president of Exodus, Alan Chambers, claiming he feels bad about not being more transparent. Apparently, he also struggled with his sexual identity. It couldn't possibly have been about the money, right?

jeff's picture

Nothing...

I've read says this guy doesn't still believe in conversion, just that Exodus had taken the wrong approach. This guy identified as a gay teen, and still has a wife and kids, so...

If you remember when the Republicans were openly anti-gay and people would just say faggot, etc., but then they started saying "I support gay people, and they are God's children. I just don't agree with their lifestyle."

I think the Exodus move is more like that. They aren't rejecting their ideas, just the methodology. They will potentially become more subversive by making themselves sound inclusive, helpful, and palatable.

I already have reducefear.org bookmarked, just to see what this closet case does next, so we can start shutting him down as a quack immediately.

---
"You don't know you're beautiful." - Harry Styles

Bosemaster42's picture

Oh, no doubt

in my mind, groups like Exodus and others like them will continue believing they can help people "Pray away the gay", but I hope it also sends a cold reality slap to the Christian-conservative-gays. Their naiveté can lead them down the path to self-destruction.
Your right, Jeff, I neglected to mention Mr. Chambers makes no apologies for his views on gay marriage or his steadfast belief in bible teachings with regard to sexuality. They will continue to prey on weak-minded individuals, in my opinion, the question is, whose fear are they attempting to reduce?
In the article I was reading, it mentioned another Christian right -wing organization called the 'Restored hope network', which was formed last year, I guess. You should bookmark that one too.

Yamamoto's picture

They will continue to prey

They will continue to prey on "weak-minded individuals"

If you are going to insult the group, please don't insult the poor people who were just confused and didn't know better or what not. I mean calling someone a weak-minded individual is a horrible thing to do.

The above wasn't a defense of the organization, just you calling people who feel for it weak minded. People can't help being easier to con when they are confused in the first place.

I am also curious why it has to send a cold reality slap to Christian-Conservative-Gays? "Their naiveté can lead them down the path to self-destruction." This quote implies that all Christian-Conservative-Gays, are silly enough to believe certain things in the bible. Or are you talking about a certian group of gay people who are Christian, which in that case I completely recant my statement.

Bosemaster42's picture

Specifically,

I was talking about the people who were victimized by Exodus. I know it was a strong statement, but I wasn't trying to be mean. The last thing the victims need is to be ridiculed. However, if my comment manages to make Christian Conservative gays think twice about using the clergy to work through the confusion, self-hatred, and any other mental obstacle which prevents them from accepting who they are, then so be it.
The 'Cold reality slap' I mentioned is the reality that you simply can't pray away the gay. The failure of Exodus should illuminate this truth, and hopefully, prevent the Christian conservative gays from making the same mistake again. That was the intention of my comment, to get people to think. I apologize if I insulted anyone, but I felt I had to say it.

elph's picture

I concur...

a well-reasoned response!

Yamamoto's picture

Ahhhh now that you explain

Ahhhh now that you explain what you meant... I would say that I have to agree with you :D