Skip to comments.Ex-gay Leader Experiences "Moral Fall"
Posted on 08/07/2003 3:58:34 PM PDT by HostileTerritory
Five years after starring in a national advertising campaign claiming gays can change their sexual orientation, Michael Johnston experienced a moral fall and left behind his ministries, two conservative Christian groups that worked with Johnston confirmed this week.
I received a call from [Johnston] asking forgiveness as a Christian brother and asking for our prayers, indicating that he was working with his pastor and his church to try to find some restoration in his relationship with God, said Buddy Smith, American Family Association administrator.
The Mississippi-based AFA partnered with Johnston to promote ex-gay programs, including Johnstons National Coming Out of Homosexuality Day. The annual event is unlikely to continue following Johnstons moral fall, but Smith said the AFA wont abandon its claims that gays can change.
I dont think the message is changed at all, though of course the messenger is certainly harmed, Smith said. I dont foresee he would ever be back in a place of public ministry, especially in an outreach to homosexuals like the ministry he had.
Johnston founded Kerusso Ministries, based in Newport News, Va. The ministrys published phone number is now disconnected and the Web site is no longer operational.
(Excerpt) Read more at nyblade.com ...
Too bad, since it gives the poofs something to crow about. But it doesn't change the basic fact that homosexuality is a moral abomination.
The man who snapped the infamous photograph of Focus on the Family's poster boy for the "ex-gay" movement as he socialized at a gay bar in Washington is accusing the Colorado Springs ministry of willfully misleading the public.
Wayne Besen, a spokesman for the Washington-based Human Rights Campaign, came out swinging this week after Focus on the Family quietly reinstated John Paulk as a featured speaker in its upcoming "Love Won Out" seminar scheduled Feb. 3 in San Diego.
The daylong seminar is sponsored by Focus and designed to teach educators, parents, youth leaders, pastors and others that homosexuality is "preventable and treatable."
According to its literature, the seminar will tackle such topics as, "the clinical development of homosexuality, the gay agenda in public schools, homosexual recovery, how change occurs in youth, and the appropriate Christian response to the gay activist movement."
But in a Jan. 23 press release advertising the seminar, the ministry makes no mention of Paulk's lapse last year.
Rather, the ministry touts him for being married to an ex-lesbian, and appearing as an ex-gay leader in such national media as Oprah, 60 Minutes, Newsweek and USA Today.
Besen, who photographed Paulk in the widely publicized gay bar incident last fall, accuses Focus of committing the sin of omission.
"They are not admitting that John Paulk was discredited," Besen said. "They are selling a defective product without giving the people who are attending the seminar the most important detail about his résumé," Besen said.
Focus on the Family officials did not return calls seeking comment. Criticism over the ministry's omission of Paulk's visit to the gay bar comes at the same time more controversy rocked the "ex-gay" world.
This week, the online wire service for gay men and women, Gay.com, reported that the director of a British affiliate of the reparative therapy ministry Exodus International announced he has concluded that reforming gays doesn't work.
The director of the Exodus affiliate, Jeremy Marks, announced he is taking a sabbatical for at least two years and plans to concentrate on helping Christian gays instead of trying to cure them, Gay.com reported on Monday. (In an e-mail to the Independent, Marks confirmed the accuracy of the story.) In the story, Marks was quoted as saying, "None of the people we've counseled have converted, no matter how much effort and prayer they've put into it."
When Paulk, the homosexuality and gender analyst at Focus on the Family, was spotted in a gay bar in Washington D.C. last Sept. 19. he initially claimed that he had stopped in the bar to use the bathroom, but later admitted he had known it was a gay bar and went there to relieve stress.
At the time, Paulk was also chairman of Exodus International and was subsequently removed from his post. Bob Davies, the North American director of Exodus International, called Paulk's "serious lapse of judgment" a blow to the ministry's credibility and, in October, Focus on the Family vice president Tom Minnery told Christianity Today that he felt Exodus' actions were appropriate.
"I am pleased that John will remain a member of their board as he continues the process of restoration," Minnery told the magazine.
Paulk was removed from the lineup of speakers that were scheduled to testify at Focus' "Love Won Out" seminar held in Colorado Springs shortly after the gay bar spotting, though Minnery told Christianity Today that he expected Paulk would eventually be reinstated to the seminar.
The Colorado Springs ministry believes that gays and lesbians can be "cured," though medical and psychological experts have discredited the idea that homosexuals can change and become heterosexual. Many gays and lesbians spend thousands of dollars, and many years trying to become straight, often with fruitless efforts, Besen and other gay activists warn.
"Focus, which bases its beliefs on moral values, is promoting him and profiting off his tapes and his books, and it's inherently dishonest to tell people, 'come and be like John,' but not tell them who John is," Besen said.
Two men who helped organize the first Exodus conference now claim that ex-gay ministries are a fraud, which promote "homophobia and self-hatred." Their comments have appeared in gay newspapers across North America. In the mid-1970s Michael Busseee and Gary Cooper were calling themselves "ex-gay." They were both married with children and working at EXIT, the "EX-gay Intervention Team" at Melodyland Hotline Center in Anaheim, California.
Both men helped organize the first Exodus conference, held in Anaheim in September 1976. Unknown to their co-workers, Bussee and Cooper were struggling with strong sexual attraction to each other. "I kept praying and hoping that some day I would develop normal sexual attraction to my wife." Bussee told The Standard. "Gary had three kids by this time, and I had one daughter."
Finally, in late 1978, Bussee and Cooper began a secret adulterous relationship. They quit EXIT and two years later; both men divorced their wives and began living together. "I was ripped apart by the pain," recalled Ann Busse at the 1985 Exodus Conference. "I could not believe Mike had been unfaithful."
What the gay rights movement does is it makes the disease excusable. If Alcoholic were told by a certain segment of society that what they were doing was normal and healthy, many would have a lot more problem staying sober.
The lifestyle is so hard to escape from. Paulk was guilty of a minor indiscretion that was punished very firmly. Others just failed, and with the exception of Johnston have gone to the gay community which will be more than happy to use them as examples of failures. But there are also real successess out there.
Dr. Dobson is both a medical and a psychological expert, I believe.
That is pretty silly on the face of it. I don't know if gays can be turned into heterosexuals, but for every Dobson who says he can do it, I am sure there are 10 other medical and psychological experts who say you can't.
You would think though that somebody who says they are cured, and are making a living off of that fact, can avoid going to gay bars though. Alcohol is the perfect analogy. Many alcoholics I know say they are fine, just as long as they avoid alcohol. If they have one drink though, it's over.
If this guy really thinks one can cure homosexuality, he could have worked harder. Not all gays even go to gay bars, or are sexually active for that matter. He chose, he lost, he is discredited.
This guy thought he was cured but found out he still has his sickness and needs more therapy.