Thursday, June 20, 2013

President of ministry that specialized in reparative therapies for gay Christians shuts it down and issues apology.

Courtesy of Freedom Requires Wings: 

Writing on the official website, Alan Chambers, the president of Exodus International, publicly apologized to the gay community saying he is "deeply sorry [...] for the pain and hurt" caused to so many by his ministry's practices. 

"Proclaiming freedom from homosexuality" since it's creation in 1976, Exodus was an umbrella organization which grew to include over 120 local ministries in the United States and Canada, and over 150 ministries in 17 other countries including the UK, France and Australia. 

In April, John Paulk, former chairman of Exodus, renounced his past involvement in the movement and expressed remorse for his actions.

Here is a portion of his letter:

Recently, I have begun thinking again about how to apologize to the people that have been hurt by Exodus International through an experience or by a message. I have heard many firsthand stories from people called ex-gay survivors. Stories of people who went to Exodus affiliated ministries or ministers for help only to experience more trauma. I have heard stories of shame, sexual misconduct, and false hope. In every case that has been brought to my attention, there has been swift action resulting in the removal of these leaders and/or their organizations. But rarely was there an apology or a public acknowledgement by me. 

And then there is the trauma that I have caused. There were several years that I conveniently omitted my ongoing same-sex attractions. I was afraid to share them as readily and easily as I do today. They brought me tremendous shame and I hid them in the hopes they would go away. Looking back, it seems so odd that I thought I could do something to make them stop. Today, however, I accept these feelings as parts of my life that will likely always be there. The days of feeling shame over being human in that way are long over, and I feel free simply accepting myself as my wife and family does. As my friends do. As God does. 

Never in a million years would I intentionally hurt another person. Yet, here I sit having hurt so many by failing to acknowledge the pain some affiliated with Exodus International caused, and by failing to share the whole truth about my own story. My good intentions matter very little and fail to diminish the pain and hurt others have experienced on my watch. The good that we have done at Exodus is overshadowed by all of this. 

Friends and critics alike have said it’s not enough to simply change our message or website. I agree. I cannot simply move on and pretend that I have always been the friend that I long to be today. I understand why I am distrusted and why Exodus is hated. 

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. 

 More than anything, I am sorry that so many have interpreted this religious rejection by Christians as God’s rejection. I am profoundly sorry that many have walked away from their faith and that some have chosen to end their lives. For the rest of my life I will proclaim nothing but the whole truth of the Gospel, one of grace, mercy and open invitation to all to enter into an inseverable relationship with almighty God.

I believe that if Christianity is to survive, and I am not at all sure that it should, that it needs to dramatically change how it interacts with the homosexual community, and it needs to keep its hands off of women's reproductive rights as well.

If it fails to do this, our children's children will someday read about Jesus along with tales of Jason and the Argonauts, the 12 labors of Hercules, and the resurrection of Osiris.

Not that there is anything wrong with that.


  1. Anonymous6:00 PM

    Sounds like a heart-felt apology...good for him for speaking out and admitting his mistakes.

  2. Anonymous6:49 PM

    Oops, this is the wrong thread but does it matter lol

    The only wife swap Ive seen had this 3 yr old who threw the nastiest tantrums randomly. It wasn't because of her parents. They were conscious that things needed to change. During the show, the "new mom" simply instituted tough love and her way. It seemed to work. Though because i don't live there, I can't judge. That is what Wife Swap, to show a different side. Life isn't about faking perfection. It's about loving, learning, and living true to yourself, something Bristol has always done. Family is valued and the show shows that everyone ia different and people shouldn't be pitted against each other. We all learn from one another. There's a reason Joan said in an access hw interview that she likes Bristol and that Melissa loves Tripp. They met them, and therefore can judge.You've seen Tripp have ONE tantrum, that ended quickly, and you distort everything? It's not like Bristol tries to teach YOU something or pretends to be all-knowing. So, why do you slander her?

    I dont understand why commenters here are so nasty? It's like YOU never were instilled what is right. At least G says he's immature.

    1. Anonymous7:38 PM

      6:49 I see you as totally naive!!!! If the Palins hadn't projected so many lies throughout the past years - which have been proven - perhaps you'd see where the majority of Americans are coming from. It is a very small minority that agrees or believes the Palin family.

      You need to do more research - read books - check out the "facts" - check out their history in Alaska - and then you'll perhaps see where we are coming from!

    2. Anonymous7:52 PM

      Bristol, you need to get clear in your head what slander and libel are, and what they're all about, before you throw around words you don't understand.
      We have learned just from your most recent "Manual" how you are out of your depth in parenting, how you complain about it, complain about how much work you do, how little support you get, and what a brat your son is. We have a really clear understanding of this child's situation -- as written by you, yourself. We're not distorting anything.

      It appears that you either don't comprehend the image and reality that you've given to the public on tv and in your writing, or you willfully want to pretend that you haven't shown and described a dysfunctional family, where you're in way over your head and don't want to admit it.

      In your postings here, you add facts, such as Tripp going to church, or not sleeping in his own bed at Levi's, that you've never written about or demonstrated. We have a right to be suspicious.
      And we feel sorry for this child, who's being raised so poorly -- by your own admission!

    3. Anonymous8:10 PM

      STFU Krazy Krusty!

      Wait a second, I can just fucking ignore you!

    4. Anonymous3:29 AM

      One of the problems of having kids way before you are ready id thst you see it as a punishment or chore, not the most important job a human can have.
      That's why i went to college, travelled extensively, used birth control and then, when I met my husband, we were financially stable and i had two kids in my thirties in quick succession.
      I love being a mom. It is damn HARD. But not a chore/

    5. Anonymous8:05 AM

      6:49 PM No matter how much you kiss the asses of the Palins, you are still too CRAZY to be one of Todd Palin's Prostitutes. Todd wants Prostitutes who are controllable, Crazies are not.

  3. Anonymous6:50 PM

    Nobody care about this loser or Colbert or Maddow but only Mooselini. This is the all Palin all the time site. Your readership knows it. Its about time you did too.

    1. Anonymous7:40 PM

      You must not be paying attention very closely...6:50. IM is covering varied the blog daily and you'll see.

    2. Anonymous7:45 PM

      As a loyal reader, I'll tell you that the updates and insights provided by Gryphen on all sorts of topics are fascinating, and often unavailable anywhere else. That there's not much to comment upon doesn't lessen the importance of this blog as a site providing information tailored to its audience.
      The Palin business elicits comments because she's a doofus, as well as a possible real and present danger. Her family are a black mark on American culture, and we have fun reading about their bizarre quests for fame and fortune. Grifting as a family affair.
      It's a relief from the burdens of the rest of the week's news.

    3. Anonymous7:54 PM

      I wish I was going to be alive 50 years from now as I'd love to see what the USA is like then. We are becoming less and less a christian nation and more and more agnostic or atheist.

      I hope I would find people more tolerant of each other and that the hateful Republicans of today will no longer be a part of our society.

      Hopefully, the USA will be a country of tolerance, respect of each other, supportive and thankful for our government and its leaders.

      Whites will be in the minority and by that time it should have been accepted by them. Racists will have gone away hopefully!! And, President Obama will have been recognized as one of the best presidents of the USA!

      I'm hoping!!!!!!!!

    4. BabyRaptor12:18 AM

      Personally, I'm glad that Gryphon posts about other shit than Sarah PayMe.

      And, hey. Since it's his blog, how about you let him decide what it's actually about?

  4. Scruffer7:27 PM

    He's gay and probably just realized that there's nothing he can do about that.
    Good for him, I guess, but I can't help but feel for the numerous who've been victimized for life by lie.
    Sure there's parents, but most of all it's the ones seemingly without resources and support, who've been thoroughly betrayed by their families and this horrific and horrifically FAKE practice or pretending we (=gays and lesbians) don't exist.
    Some decided to end their lives because of this...this...well, horrific practice.
    I'm sure Mr. Chambers is somehow able to forgive himself and be forgiven by this god he portends to believe in.
    His victims? I hope they're ok and living happy lives. I truly sincerely hope.

    1. Anonymous7:55 AM

      He needs to go all in and become an advocate for the gay community. He needs to continue to speak out about the harm he has done! He can start with Christian groups. One little "sorry" is not enough.

  5. Anonymous7:46 PM

    O/T: We WON!!!!!!

    Congrats Margaret, and well come.

    1. Scruffer8:40 PM

      A 'win' over something that would NEVER have held up in court anyway.
      Hold your enthusiasm for bigger things.

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  7. Anonymous8:07 PM

    I am sure this apology is genuine and heartfelt and hope that those who were told how they should feel and couldn't, can forgive. I know that they can still rely on Jesus and that Jesus loves them. The Lord created them, and He is faithful and always has the answers, not man, and if that homosexual person has a thirst for God, he'll find Him, and can have relationship with Him. I am sure it must be a hellish road for so many who've been used and exploited and how so many self-righteous cannot put themselves in other's shoes.

    1. BabyRaptor12:20 AM

      Yeah, yeah. Save your preaching for church.

      There are thousands of stories out there of people who searched for God as hard as they could and found nothing. I was one of them.

      So either your god doesn't exist, or you're lying when you say that "anyone" who searches finds him.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Anonymous10:13 PM

    Everything I see regarding the church and the people who pretend to be "christians" tells me that they are anything BUT.

    There was always a stink in the realm of established religion, due to the constant begging for money, by the church leaders.

    I think little by little the worship of the higher aspects of morality and spiritualism, made way for worship of just the MONEY.

    There are so many quotes attributed to Jesus that warn of this possibility/probability...yet the loudest of those who claim to follow His teachings, act in the exact opposite manner.

    I suspect many who are leaving the church, are doing so because there is nothing left there, for anyone to respect.

    Hopefully some version of REAL spirituality takes its place, and results in a true fellowship of mankind, based in love.

  10. Anonymous11:04 PM

    I now wonder if Michelle Bachman’s husband will renounce the bizarre and cruel “therapy" he practices. This is a welcome announcement and I hope Alan Chambers can get past the self-loathing he created by hurting so many people. I simply do not get the faith world. It seems to me people in this sphere are in an echo chamber wrapping themselves in mental knots trying to make logical arguments to explain something that is simply not logical.

  11. This Christian has blood on his hands. All the crocodile tears and pleas for forgiveness will not bring back those who took their lives in the darkest of despair due the preaching of these Christian Grifters. He will have to do a lot more than saying "I'm sorry" to gain any acknowledgement from me.
    If anything, these religious phonies opened my eyes to what a sham/racket organized religion is. I will take truth and reason over myth and superstition any day..

  12. Nice to read a heartfelt apology, not one of those, "I may be sorry if you're offended" ones we hear so often. Wishing him and those whom he harmed peace.

  13. Anonymous3:31 AM

    Nice heartfelt apology. He covered alot in it, so he has to be really stressing over the pain he caused.
    Hood fo rhim on all counts.

  14. LisaB25955:06 AM

    I read that yesterday, and I thought it was one of the best things I read in years. It was humble and heartfelt.

  15. Anonymous6:59 AM

    Don't apologize
    You were right
    All gays should be forced to have this therapy

  16. hedgewytch8:09 AM

    Now hold it right there- I admit I only read this excerpt that Gryphen posted - but I smell only half an apology.

    Yes this man has apologized for what he and this organization did in their attempts to make gay people straight. But not ONE word did I read in that apology that said it was o.k. to have homosexual relationships. He carefully states that he has come to the conclusion that God loves him as he is, but he never states that the whole purpose of the group - to stop homosexuals from having homosexual relationships - is wrong. He admits he has sexual thoughts about other men. But he is still with his wife. He admits that their methodology was wrong, but he never says that their basic mission was wrong. He never says it is o.k. to be gay.

    Did I miss something? Or did anyone else read between the lines as I did?

  17. Baby steps. Let's see where he goes from here.


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