The End of Stephen Bennett Ministries? Let’s Hope So

A few people (here is one example of many)are writing about the letter of Stephen Bennett, the ex-gay minister, who is begging for money to support his anti-gay crusade.  Like DL Foster, Stephen Bennett is an ex-gay, married and with children.  And like DL Foster, he has decided to cash in on his experience.  Except the cash isn’t coming in.  Here is the letter the Stephen Bennett wrote begging for $15,000 a month (!) to run his ministries (this was written Feb. 3, and as of today, Feb. 7, only 69 people have looked at it–most of them gay and lesbian who are keeping up with Bennett’s ‘ministry’):

Dear SBM Ministry Partners and Friends:

We (the ministry of SBM) have entered our 8th year of full-time ministry to: 1). Reach the homosexual for Jesus Christ; 2). Provide loving, biblical and practical support for parents, families and friends affected by a loved one’s homosexuality; 3). To advocate for the natural family; and 4). To take a principled, biblical stand in love against the promotion of homosexuality worldwide.

I’m sure you can imagine, being in this type of ministry is overwhelming to say the least. It is a huge task and calling, one from which I have wanted to run many a time. Because I couldn’t handle the calling of the ministry? No. Because it can get very lonely and discouraging.

Don’t get me wrong. If you have a loved one who is homosexual, you can understand the "lonely and discouraging" part. However, I am coming at those terms from a different angle.

There are many "ministries" out there that are "popular" in Christianity. Many men and women have millions of "followers" — and finances which are overflowing. Some of these are what we can refer to as "Christian Celebrity Ministries." Their head figure(s) pack football stadiums. They have huge buildings, one even having its own "zip code." Some have private jets, hundreds of employees and some even own several multi-million dollar homes. I know of a few of them.

Let’s face it: the "Cross of Christ" has become a multi-billion dollar industry.

Yet when I was called into this ministry, I came understanding several facts. First, it was ALL about Jesus Christ — and NOT Stephen Bennett. I always point people to Christ, never to me. Second, I knew the ministry would never be a "popular" among the world — or even Christians. Third, unless God supernaturally blessed for HIS use for the ministry alone, this would never be a multi-million dollar ministry. Money has corrupted many good men and women. And of course, Christ said money wasn’t the root of all evil, but the LOVE of money.

Let me say though, I have no regrets.

The "lonely and discouraging" parts actually come from other Christians. Now, I know I can choose not to feel lonely or discouraged, yet this is how Satan comes against us. Remember, we don’t fight "flesh and blood", but "principalities and powers."

I have personally received death threats against myself, Irene and the children (not by Christians, but by homosexual activists.) Why? Because I preach Christ crucified, and new life in Him: freedom from sin — and freedom from homosexuality. That is NOT a popular message with many homosexuals who have been blinded… however, there is ALWAYS hope. The Lord reached me when I wasn’t even looking for Him.

The part though that can be real discouraging is one many people are sick of hearing about from ministries — and I completely agree: finances — money to keep the ministry afloat and running smoothly.

In the last 8 years, I have preached God’s mercy, our need for repentance and His gospel to set the captives free all around the world. He has opened doors I would have never thought possible. Even if I disagreed doctrinally with a ministry, television or radio program or broadcast, as long as I could preach the TRUTH about Jesus Christ.. I would go.

Through the ministries of Billy Graham, Pat Roberton’s 700 Club, D.James Kennedy’s Coral Ridge Hour, Dr. Jerry Falwell, TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network), Morris Cerullo’s Help Line, EWTN (The Catholic Network).. and most every major secular television program from The O’Reilly Factor, The Today Show, ABC’s Evening News with the late Peter Jennings, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Paula Zahn and Anderson Cooper, a new VH1 "reality’ series debuting this month "Old Skool with Terry and Gita"… and so many more… the TRUTH has gone out in a powerful way. All of these doors were opened by the Lord Himself.

Yet we as a ministry stand at a crossroad.

In eight years, many nations and millions of people have heard about Jesus Christ and His power to set the homosexual free from sin. They also know about the ministries of SBM and now, they are also getting to know about TheParentsGroup.com. However, meeting our monthly finances has become a major struggle. Why?

As of last year, we had almost 15,000 people on our postal and e-mail lists… many whom have supported this ministry in one way, shape or form within the last eight years. Yet last year, less than 1% (THAT’S ONE PERCENT) of SBM’s support base supported this ministry financially.

That my friends, is heartbreaking and sad.

Believe me, this is NOT a "pity post". It’s the honest truth. When churches and Christians close their doors and instead open them to those who "tickle their ears" with health, wealth, prosperity and entertainment instead of the truth that can set many of their members or member’s families free, we know biblical prophecy is being fulfilled.

There a many wonderful, Bible preaching and believing ministries out there that people support — and thank God for them all. SBM also has been blessed with a wonderful group of faithful ministry partners who help supply the means for this ministry to go on. Yet we are pleading now to the Lord in heaven to help us now more than ever.

There have been months we have gone without — unable to pay simple necessities such as the ministry bills, the mortgage, electric, salaries, and personally doctor’s bills. The Lord doesn’t want this. We are to be responsible with what He provides and we are. We are frugal with every dime this ministry receives. Yet, as I said, we are at a major crossroad now. We can no longer go on operating the way we have.

I’ll be upfront with you all. The ministry of SBM needs to operate on a monthly budget of $15,000 in order to operate properly — with the right help and means. I’ve shared that many times with our partners. That may sound like a lot, however, many of our Christian ministries operate on a budget of $2-4 MILLION dollars A MONTH.

As of today, we are beginning what we are calling SBM’s "CLUB 15". We are praying that the Lord will provide 1,000 ministry partners to commit to and support the evangelistic, educational and supportive work of SBM for $15 a month or more. Partners can choose different support levels in increments of $15, such as $30, $45, $75, etc.

We are fervently praying over the next 90 DAYS to meet our goal and raise our needed monthly budget of $15,000.

Will you pray about this and consider partnering MONTHLY with SBM?

Maybe you have supported this ministry in the past with a generous one time gift, or even on an "on-and-off" basis. I am simply asking that you commit to sacrificing the cost of ONE PIZZA a month — ONE PIZZA — to support the work and ministry of SBM.

I don’t need to tell you this, but homosexuality is destroying this nation. Our children — your children — are getting trapped and deceived into a lifestyle that is NOW being promoted, celebrated and being marketed as "natural and normal." Nothing could be further from God’s truth.

We have been here for you and for others now for the last eight years. MANY people have come to Christ — those struggling with homosexuality, and even those who have not. Lives have been changed! Souls have been set free and the Kingdom of God has multiplied through the work of SBM. It is now time to say, "Yes, I will gladly partner with SBM monthly because I want to be part of the solution!"

What is our other option if we don’t meet our monthly budget?

Last year was one of the ministry’s most difficult years of all. Many of you who work go to work full-time or part-time and know you are coming home with a paycheck either every week or month. That’s not the case here at SBM. In fact, last year, I had to personally take out a home equity loan to cover my salary for several months… or the mortgage wouldn’t be paid, nor our children’s tuition. I did that because I believe in this ministry more than anything. However, I will never do that again. I shouldn’t have to.

This ministry is THE PEOPLE’S MINISTRY. WE ARE ALL A TEAM. WE ALL MUST DO OUR PART — or we will FALL apart. I do NOT want that to happen.

As the President of this worldwide ministry, I make sure everyone else’s salaries and the ministry’s bills get paid FIRST — before I do. As President, I also don’t only work 40 hours a week. Many times, including travel, it can be up around 60 – 70 hours a week I am putting in.

By meeting our monthly budget, SBM will be able to hire the much needed help so the ministry can function orderly and I can work a regular 40 hours a week — and do that which is most important: spend the proper time with my family.

I thank those of you who already support the work of SBM on a monthly basis. I am not asking you to do more. Pray with me that the LORD HIMSELF will bring our partners who will be the FUNCTIONAL CORE" — "CLUB 15" — SBM’s Monthly Supporters.

To become a SBM Monthly Partner and Member of SBM’s Inner Circle — "CLUB 15" — please CLICK HERE NOW. I thank you and most importantly, thank THE LORD in advance for what I pray HE ALONE will do in the hearts of HIS people.

Thank you for your time, your prayers, and your financial partnership — being part of TEAM SBM. God bless you!

Your brother in Christ,

sbmsig1.jpg

Stephen Bennett
President, Stephen Bennett Ministries
http://www.SBMinistries.org
Nationwide Toll-Free x-xxx-xxx-xxxx

Now this letter is interesting for a number of different reasons, but I like the way he keeps saying ‘the Lord wants this’ but yet it is Stephen who will personally get the money–not the Lord.  The Lord wants his ministry to keep going, but yet the Lord can’t convince some people to give him money?  I wonder why that is?  It is sad that this man, who has a family to support, can’t think of anything else to do except for beg for money for a ‘ministry’ that does no good.  According to him (and I have to say I don’t believe very much of what this man has to say) he is borrowing money off his house to pay his bills.  Isn’t that a warning sign that things are not going the way he thinks the Lord wants it to?  And now he has started Club 15.  Well, I want to start a Club 15 as well–but I am too honest to be asking people to send me money for a phoney and dangerous cause. 

I’ve looked up the financial information of his ‘ministry’ at Guidestar.org and you can’t see the latest fiscal year unless you are a member.  But you can see the financial information from 2005 (this information is all free and open to the public).  This year Bennett is telling people he needs $15,000/month to pay the salaries and the bills.   That is $180,000.  In 2005 he brought in an amazing $190,000 (roughly) and spent about $170,000 on expenses.  Let’s look at how he spent that money:

Benefits paid to directors:  ~81,000

He paid himself ~56,000

He paid his wife (Vice President) ~25,000 (together about 80,000–not too bad!).  They didn’t have other employees

Other salaries and wages ~14,000

Other employee benefits ~10,000 (life and health insurance)

Payroll taxes ~7,000

Accounting Fees ~150

Supplies ~15,000

Telephone ~6,000

Postage and Shipping ~9,000

Occupancy ~3,600

Equipment rental and maintenance ~900

Printing and publications ~800

Travel ~8,000:

Airfare and vehicle rental ~800

Food/Meals ~1,500

Tips ~70

Food items for events ~2,400

Parking and tolls ~280

Hotels ~500

Automobile Costs ~2,500

 

Interest ~400

Other expenses ~15,000:

Advertising ~1,700

Bank service charges ~1,300

Benevolence ~1,500

Credit Card Fees ~~2,500

Dry cleaning ~500

Memberships ~300

Other ~600

P.O. Box rental ~70

Radio air time ~3,000

Web Hosting Domain Names ~3,500

 

And looking at the 2004 990, on paper he pay cut between 2004 and 2005 (but this has more to do with the fact that in 2004 he did not list health/life insurance and so on as he did in 2005):  he paid himself ~75,000 (and his wife was paid ~24,000).  He had about $170,00 to spend.  He also spent (in 2004):

Airfare, bus and car rentals ~6,000

Travel and entertainment ~40

Travel food meals ~5,000

Tips, valet, etc ~80

Food items ~4,600

Parking tolls taxis ~350

Hotels ~860

Gasoline ~2,000

Vehicle Maintenance ~4,600

Employee mileage ~21

Grand total for Functional Expenses:  ~24,000~!

 

So in 2004 he spent about $100,000 on himself and his wife and about $24,000 on expenses=~125,000 out of about ~170,000 he had.  Not too bad, if you ask me…

Can you really put car maintenance on a non-profit??  Between 2004 and 2005 he spent, of his non-profit money that people sent into him, over $7,000 on their car!  What a steal (for him, that is).

So, the bottom line is that when you hear Stephen Bennett begging for money for his anti-gay ministry, think about where your dollars are going (if you take the 2005 tax returns)–

If people each give him $15.00 a month, it will take 7000 people to pay his 2005 salary and the rest of his expenses (who knows what he is paying himself and his wife now!)

It will take 1000 of you to pay his ‘supplies’ bill

600 of you to pay his postage bill

533 of you to pay his travel bill

And another 1000 people to pay his other expenses (including 166 of you to pay his credit card fees and 233 of you to pay his Web hosting fees [whatever that is–you can find places to host your domain for much, much cheaper than that!]).

And if his salary really went up to 2004 levels, then it will take 8266 of you to pay that.

So happy spending on the lifestyle of Stephen Bennett and his wife!  And I’ll remind people that in Sept. 2007, when apparently he was mortgaging his home to pay his bills, he bought an SUV.  Does this sound like someone who claims:

"In fact, last year, I had to personally take out a home equity loan to cover my salary for several months… or the mortgage wouldn’t be paid, nor our children’s tuition." Not really.  Maybe he should have spent the money on other things rather than a car, supplies and $8,000 worth of travel.  It sounds to me like he wants to live the ‘high life’ and it DOES sound like pity post.

The more I think about it, the more I would rather have a pizza…

 

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46 Responses to The End of Stephen Bennett Ministries? Let’s Hope So

  1. Rob says:

    With a coupon we can get unlimited large pizzas for 4.95 pickup.  An even better deal.
    The question is, does Stephen know how to do anything but hate homos that he could make a living with?

  2. Kevin says:

    Hey Rob! How is Australia?  The answer to your question is that ex-gays like Stephen Bennett and DL Foster have spent so much time and effort fighting gays and lesbians that I doubt they can even think of doing anything else. 

  3. elizabeth says:

     I was going to comment on the fact I have a short attention span and what stuck out in my mind was the price of a Pizza lol.lol thanks Rob for that comment ;)Can we pray for him to get out and get a job like the rest of us to pay our bills ,( he may make a great Check out Chick ) 😛 or is that just my small mind working my brand of common sense ?Now If I was Poor like Him …my oh my …what a great life I could be having, be able to acually go on a holiday 😉

  4. bob says:

    I have worked with Stephen and he is a striaght up guy. I wish him well…

  5. Kevin says:

    Hi no name–\’straight up\’ or not, he spent his way out of his \’ministry.\’ That is his own fault. Besides, as it becomes more and more unpopular to demonize gays and lesbians, more of these \’ministries\’ will be following the way of this one.

    • elizabeth says:

      I can see you have a pretty strong agenda here to silence the non-gays… I thought everybody was allowed to be heard in a democracy…

  6. elizabeth says:

    Hi,

    Actually, I have found his website to be extremely helpful. My teenage son has been pressured over the last few years by his peers, and even by our family doctor, to experiment with the gay lifestyle. This caused him great confusion, and stress. He recently came across Stephen Bennett’s online work, and it really helped him to see what others were trying to push him into.

    If gay activists are allowed to be heard, why do you want to silence and ex-gay? Surely he can tell both sides the story, and possibly save our young people a lot of pain.

    Be fair – genuine ex-gay experience deserves to be heard too.

    It’s easy to bash his finances and travel, but running his ministry isn’t cheap – and if he didn’t travel, he wouldn’t be able to reach people as part of sharing his experience!

    It looks like you just feeling threatened…jealous??

  7. kkaatz1 says:

    Hi Elizabeth, Good luck to your son. Stephen Bennett, in my opinion, is a fraud, just like the rest of the “ex-gay” movement. Take a look at Exodus–their goal is not to become straight (even the president of this organization states this), but is to become ‘holy.’ They are really denying that sexual orientation can be changed. They are fooling themselves.
    And please read what I posted above–I have no desire to silence people like Bennett. In fact, I hope to draw attention to their money-making schemes, so the more he talks and writes, the more fuel I have. He doesn’t need expense accounts that drain every penny so he can drive an SUV–and then complain about not having enough money.

    You ask me: “It looks like you just feeling threatened…jealous??” Sorry to tell you that I am very happy. Once I came out, life changed. I think that is the real threat to all the ex-gay groups. Once gay people take control of their own lives and stop listening to people who call them sinners and they are going to hell, then life gets better. I have nothing to be jealous about, and your question doesn’t make any sense. I wish your son all the best, and I hope that whatever path he goes down, you support him. That is what he will really remember from this time in his life.

  8. elizabeth says:

    Wow…really got you going eh?

    I’m not bothered by people deciding they are gay – if that’s what they want fine. But I have seen the devastated, tragic lives that can sometimes follow. And at the moment it’s not gays being bullied, in the media it’s the heterosexuals who are being bullied and blamed for gay suicides. Let’s get society over the ‘heterophobia’.

    I have many good friends who are gay, and I appreciate their friendship greatly. But it’s not because they are gay, it’s because they are great people, not just wrapped up in themselves and their own agendas… Your identity comes from who you are not what orientation you decide upon.

    Thanks for highlighting the SBM need for financial support – I will contribute as I think the gay lobby already gets heaps of attention, and it’s good to see another side of the picture from an ex-gay. Freedom of speech for both sides, eh?

    So, Ta for the opportunity.

    • kkaatz1 says:

      Hi Elizabeth, your comments did not’get me going’ at all. I am used to comments like yours. And I have also heard many times about people who don’t like gay people state they have gay friends. Hmm. Maybe you can get a few to comment on here? I would love to meet them.

      Yes, please, please give your hard earned Australian dollars to Stephen–the exchange rate is pretty good right now. And he must need a new car–it has been a couple of years since the last one he bought with donations! Do you need to donation link? You seem to equate money with free speech, but I don’t see the connection. You have full range here to give your comments–I totally believe in free speech, which is why I highlighted Stephen Bennett.

  9. tim berendi says:

    Hi you people who are gay. if the world was left up to you we wouldnt have a ‘next generation’, You only pretend to be so strong because you cant pass this on to your offspring to fight for (not without the help of a healthy heterosexual) So dont wish bad things against anyone, I know people who think they have to be gay because they feel trapped in their situation, This website helps people and DOES deserve support….

    • kkaatz1 says:

      Hi Tim. Are you the son of Elizabeth? How are things Down Under? Welcome. I believe in free speech, so I am happy to hear your side.
      If you are her son, know that if you are gay, things will be o.k. It will be hard in the beginning and you may have a tough road ahead of you, especially if you go down the same path of Stephen. I encourage you to go to the It Gets Better project (http://www.itgetsbetterproject.com/).

      Good luck and write anytime (and that goes for Elizabeth too).
      –Kevin

    • kkaatz1 says:

      By the way Tim, there is no pretending here. I came out late in life and it is so much better. I am not afraid to be who I am, even in the face of nasty words. I have a husband/partner of over 18 years (19 in February) and life is great. We have great families, great friends and great neighbors, all of whom know we are a couple. We don’t have problems with anyone because we let everyone know right away. However, this didn’t happen until I came out and accepted who I was.

  10. Melissa says:

    @Elizabeth:

    I think you don’t understand the definition of the verb “bully.” Being told “Maybe we should make an extra effort to stop being assholes” is not bullying. Surely you must be able to tell the difference between “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and “Die, faggot,” or “Homosexuality is ruining our nation.”

    It boggles the mind that you would even begin to imagine a paranoid fantasy such as “heterophobia.” As a woman married to a man, I am keenly aware of the fact that the entire world is tilted in my direction, from things as subtle as advertising to as blatant as the laws of our land. If I were a man in this same marriage, I would be facing daily, legal, crushing, cruel discrimination.

    Make no mistake: This is the great civil rights battle of our generation, and you are either on the right side or the wrong side. Good will prevail. Evil will be vanquished. I’m aware of the melodramatic nature of that wording, but it is entirely accurate.

    My sons *will* grow up in a FREE America. It will happen, your paranoia and thinly veiled bigotry notwithstanding.

  11. tim berendi says:

    I think you just proved my point…

  12. elizabeth says:

    Hi Kevin,

    Yes, it is good to see posts here that come from both perspectives.

    However, I didn’t say that nobody should be gay, did I? Neither did I criticise homosexual people. If people choose to be homosexual then that’s their choice.

    On the other hand though, if someone really doesn’t want to be homosexual, then surely they have the right to hear that they don’t have to be?? Unwanted homosexual attraction does happen and people have the right to seek help to deal with their own unwanted homosexual attraction.

    Although it may not be your own experience, some people with feelings of homosexual attraction (with or without acting on it) can end up deeply troubled and unhappy. However, they may feel trapped into being homosexual (especially if society tells them that it’s determined genetically… rather than being a choice).

    People like Stephen Bennett and DL Foster have obviously been through all this, and can identify with others who are also facing this issue in their heart. For those who no longer want to be gay, they provide proof of an alternative – homosexuals are not trapped in their attractions and in their past if they don’t want to be.

    If they are happy as homosexuals, nobody is telling them to change. Bennett and Foster and others are there for those who aren’t happy and who want to change. Having these organisations around is part of the freedom of society.

    Melissa, a person’s perceptions of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ will depend on their personal beliefs. Surely nobody would want to force all citizens to adopt the same beliefs!! that would not constitute a free society! And I don’t think that my open discussion constitutes ‘paranoia’ or ‘bigotry’, just because I see it differently to someone else.

    For those who are interested, check out the following and do your own thinking:

    http://narth.com/

    http://www.theculturewatch.com/tag/gay-gene

    http://www.witnessfortheworld.org/founder.html

    http://www.sbministries.org/members/sbm/adminpages/testimony-stephen-bennett

    Cheers, Elizabeth

    PS. Kevin, The fact that I have homosexual friends doesn’t mean that I don’t like homosexuals… that’s doesn’t add up at all.

    • kkaatz1 says:

      Hi Elizabeth and everyone reading: because I believe totally in free speech, I will leave the links you provided. However, I will state very strongly that Narth.com has been totally discredited by every major psychological organization. Reputable doctors state that there is no evidence that sexual orientation can be changed and if anything, trying to ignore it or “change” it is psychologically damaging. I’ve looked at the other sites as well (and have heard of them before). The issue over the gay gene to me is pointless. If a straight gene can be found, then that will open the door to finding a gay gene. But sexuality is extremely complex and it is unlikely that one gene will be found that directs everything.
      About the Witnessfortheworld: DL Foster and I have had many dealings in the past. My problem with him is that he blames all of his bad decisions (drug use, rampant sex with multiple partners) on his being gay–but not on making bad choices. It is much easier to blame your bad choices on something else rather than taking responsibility for your own decisions.
      And you already know about my feelings on Stephen Bennett.

      • kkaatz1 says:

        Hi Elizabeth, you seem to be putting words in my mouth–I never said you didn’t like “homosexuals.” Again, if you can find that in one of my replies to you, I will take a look at it again. But I am pretty certain I did not say that. Feel free to copy and paste my own words in the reply.

        By the way, what made others think your son was gay? If you think he is gay, are you trying to change him with the help of Narth, DL Foster and Stephen Bennett? Would you just allow your son to be gay and accept him as he is?

  13. Tim says:

    My story is: I was being pressured to be gay, when I wasn’t actually gay, that was the propblem!!! Bullying can come from both sides – but I have experienced mainly bullying from the gay side. I very rarely have heterosexaul friends bully me about this topic, or see them criticise those who are gay.

    Gay people trying to push their orientation on others are just as bad as homophobic people being rude to gays!! We should get rid of both types of bullies.

    BTW you didn’t address my point that IT IS NOT RIGHT to bag the Stephen Bennett website (or any of the others) & if you believe in freedom of speech leave them alone. I am a muso and dancer, I have gay friends(ironically they are mostly not dancers or musicians) and they are not quite as happy as you say they are. one has been gay for Around six years now and when she first came out, she was accepted, this was not a problem – people DO accept it (and encourage it). the problem now is she has been diagnosed as depressed and has been since she first experimented with it in 5th grade of school. She DEFINATELY feels trapped – She is NOT happy being gay,and now her body is all messed up from a ton of medication. I think its only fair that she have the option of the alternative which may help her & that you leave these websites alone, and leave the discrediting to the people who do that sort of thing, although they all might be like you too… nice and prejudiced early in the morning. (“I think ill go discretit some websites that are trying to help people because I dont agree with them”, lol)

    Also, tell me why the people who have left the gay lifestyle don’t ever want to be gay ever again? They hate what they did and the life they led so much, and they are much happier than when they were gay???

    I want honest answers BTW…

    • kkaatz1 says:

      Hi Tim, If you are not gay, then you can’t be pressured into being gay. It is as plain as day. You aren’t gay, as you say, so why worry about it? If you are being bullied for being perceived to be gay, then I would say work with your school on some anti-bullying campaigns. Now you see the problems that gay people have to deal with. However, being bullied for being gay isn’t a problem for the gay person–it is a problems for the straight people who are bullying.
      You say: “BTW you didn’t address my point that IT IS NOT RIGHT to bag the Stephen Bennett website (or any of the others) & if you believe in freedom of speech leave them alone.” I don’t know if you understand what free speech really means. It means that I am entitled to say what I want, about whom I want. That time it was Stephen Bennett. If you read my post from 2008, you can see the financial numbers–he was using money people donated to him for buying brand new cars. If you think that is important to his job, then donate to him. However, I have a problem with people begging and pleading for money, when they have money but have spent it on things they don’t need.

      Have you asked your friend why she is depressed? Is it because society will not accept her? Imagine how she would be if people like Elizabeth weren’t pushing gays and lesbians to “change” their orientation. Your friend would be fine if she started to hang out with people who accept her for who she is.
      In terms of leaving “discrediting” to those who do that sort of thing–that is what I do. Anyone can do it. Just do a search for Stephen Bennett or DL Foster or Exodus–they cause lots of harm to people who are gay and lesbian.

      You ask: “Also, tell me why the people who have left the gay lifestyle don’t ever want to be gay ever again? They hate what they did and the life they led so much, and they are much happier than when they were gay???” I will tell you what I told Elizabeth–people like Stephen Bennett and DL Foster made bad choices when they were adults. They got into drugs and multiple sex partners. That was THEIR choice to do that–it had nothing to do with being gay. However, they blamed their own bad choices on being gay. Instead of taking responsibility and stopping the drugs and drinking and multiple sex partners, then claimed they would “pray away the gay.” Take a look at the president of Exodus, one of the biggest ex-gay organizations out there. Both their president and vice president say they still “struggle” with being gay. So even though they run an organization that claims to change people, then can’t change themselves. That should make you wonder what these groups are really doing. Are they happier? They certainly don’t sound like it. So many people who claim to be not gay are caught in compromising positions–those people certainly are not gay.

      By the way, how did you hear of my blog? You and Elizabeth showed up on the same day and she told me about her son. She claims you are not her son. Is that true? If she is your mom, I would think she would support you in going to your school and having a frank discussion about bullying. If she isn’t your mom, then you should go to the school yourself. There are lots of organizations that deal with these problems.

      • Tim says:

        now then… I dont go to school, Bullying doesnt only happen in school, Im over 18 and you sound pretty patronising for an ‘experienced’ person.

        My gay friend does hang around people who accept her( I accept her!), her depression comes from her feeling trapped, and I have asked her and she is fairly convinced she was born that way, and thinks change is impossible just like all the gay people who are set in their ways. BTW More sex isnt better sex…. You dont naturally bear children, and you dont have a generation to pass this battle on to. If you wish to be gay, do that. Dont bag any websites until you have proof they hurt people (unbiased surveys from honest people) I found your website when I searched stephen benets name ,I guess you werent expecting two disagreements on the same day. But Im glad to find there is someone else out there who suports the gay persons right to choose. especially on a bagging website.

      • Tim says:

        Oh and i can see you only ever had sex with one partner.,.. No one has said gay people should change against their will. only that the people who feel trapped should be entitled to all options.

    • kkaatz1 says:

      Hi Tim, I still don’t see what your problem is. You get picked on for being perceived for being gay. But you are not gay. Can’t you see that this is the exact reason why so many gay people fight against bullying?
      You said (again): “You dont naturally bear children, and you dont have a generation to pass this battle on to. If you wish to be gay, do that.” Having children has nothing to do with passing down knowledge. If you think I will be the last generation to fight against people who hate gay people, then you have a big surprise in store for you. This “battle” won’t end until everyone has equal rights. I know that things are different in Australia, especially with the new prime minister not allowing gay marriage, but that too will change.

      You also state: “Dont bag any websites until you have proof they hurt people …” Exactly. That is why I wrote about Stephen Bennett.

      You also state: “I found your website when I searched stephen benets name.” Why is it that you spelled his last name totally wrong–but yet in the same sentence you said you searched for him? You wouldn’t find him, nor my blog, typing it “benet.” I am not so certain I believe you are who you claim you are. I am also guessing that Elizabeth showed you the website because she was worried about you. Anyway, you have nothing to worry about–you aren’t gay, and if you are being bullied for being perceived to be gay, all you have to do is stand up for yourself.

      • Tim says:

        I didnt say this would be the last generation to fight this battle (the gay friends I have range from 19-41, And they all look different and they all are different.) I think that the more people that choose to be gay, the LESS children we have to pass our issues on to fight for. That is why i think that being gay is a problem. and why I have not chosen this myself.

        Why have you chosen to be gay?? I am not meaning to offend anyone, I really am interested in why and how you came to your choices. Do you automaticlly have my email cauce I have to put it in to comment, or do I need to give it to you ( I dont really want to put it on a forum…)??

      • kkaatz1 says:

        Hi Tim, you asked “why did you choose to be gay” but as I have been saying, that isn’t a valid question. I am gay and it wasn’t a decision. When did you choose to be straight? If you honestly answer, you will come to the same conclusion–you didn’t choose–you just were.
        And gay people can have children. I have two great friends in Sydney (both men) who have three children. All three are their biological children. It is also possible, at least in some states in the U.S., to adopt (I know that is not the case in Australia). So you can be gay and have children. Besides, there have been gay people from the beginning, and there will be gay people in the future–but the population will continue to grow regardless.

  14. Elizabeth says:

    Funny how you label doctors who support your view as reputable…implying that all of those who don’t happen to support your view are ‘disreputable’ no doubt?

    The fact that there is no ‘gay’ gene, simply allows us to see that homosexuality is not ‘the way we’re born’ it’s a choice and therefore people can choose to not be homosexual if they don’t want to be. Being able to choose not to be homosexual any longer has been very liberating for many people, and websites like those above are simply giving them the opportunity to make that choice.

    Although psychology is always going to be complex, there is evidence that sexuality can be changed, if the person wants to change – after all look at all the many ex-gays who are standing up to show this. On the other hand, if people are happy being gay, nobody is saying they have to change.

    I guess you jumped to faulty conclusions and thought that Tim was my son because both posts are from ‘down under’. Isn’t that a bit patronising of you? Is it so inconceivable to you that there could be two unrelated people in Australia (out of a population of 20 million) who think you should stop bashing Stephen Bennett work? I guess so.

    • kkaatz1 says:

      Hi Elizabeth, can you tell me where the straight gene is? If you can’t find anything on it, then I guess being straight is a choice too. It sounds like this is a very personal issue for you. Have you changed your orientation (or at least tried to)? I didn’t choose to be gay–it is as simple as that. You won’t believe it, but it doesn’t matter to me what you believe. Since you think it is a choice, then you believe there is a “cure” that people like Stephen Bennett and DL Foster can give people.
      You state: ” there is evidence that sexuality can be changed, if the person wants to change.” Where is your medical evidence that this is true? It isn’t just me who has a problem with the “ex-gay” industry. Have you looked at Exodus? They don’t claim to be straight–they claim they are holy, which is quite different. They know you can’t change the orientation even if they get married to women.
      Why is it that all of a sudden, on the same day, two people start leaving comments on a post I did in 2008? That isn’t coincidence. You claim Tim isn’t your son, but the story he just told sounds otherwise. I am happy to be honest with you, if you are honest with me.
      Besides, I’m not bashing Stephen Bennett. I pointed out that he profits quite a bit from his non-profit (an SUV for one thing). I pointed out that he can’t really beg for money, but buy a brand new SUV at the same time. To me, that is dishonest. But if you think he is an angel doing good work–then support his spending habits.

    • kkaatz1 says:

      Hi Elizabeth, why would assuming you and Tim are related be “patronizing”? Oddly enough, Tim also used that word today…
      Anyway, you tell me that you have a son who was assumed to be gay but wasn’t. Then Tim, on the exact same day, tells me he was assumed to be gay but wasn’t. Coincidence? Hmm…
      Let me ask you a question–when did you choose to be straight (if you are)? On what day did you wake up and make that momentus decision?
      Again, I ask the same question I did before: where is the proof that “there is evidence that sexuality can be changed, if the person wants to change.”

  15. Elizabeth says:

    from above: “can you tell me where the straight gene is? If you can’t find anything on it, then I guess being straight is a choice too”

    Yes, that’s exactly right – there is no gay or straight gene – being straight or gay are both choices!! I see you got what I was saying. And choosing to be gay no longer is a valid choice too.

    And yes, (sarcasm) I can see obviously anyone in ministry, especially an ex-gay, has no right whatsoever to drive a reasonable car for all the work they do!!! How dare they!!! They should use an old broken down car…or maybe a horse and wagon (but only if it’s really dilapidated??) (end sarcasm) Anyway, Stephen works to support this ministry too.

    And no, I didn’t mention a ‘cure’ (and neither do these websites). In case you hadn’t noticed, being homosexual is not a disease! What an insult to the gay community!

    Of course I’m very sorry I couldn’t comment in 2008, I have only just stumbled over your blog. If it’s old and you don’t want posts on it – take it down! At this point it’s only really drawing attention to SBM and other organisations offering help to those who want to change their orientation – attention you probably don’t want to give them…

    Gay people who oppose those who want to change, or who have changed, give the lifestyle a bad name – what would it matter to you if someone else changes? Let those who don’t want to be gay anymore go! They have the civil liberty to change if they want to!

    PS. Kevin if you think Tim and I are related, just because we posted around the same time on an old blog you put up, and in agreement with each other – wouldn’t that mean that you and ‘Melissa’ are actually the same person too??… Just because people agree on one or the other view on a current topic won’t mean that they’re related.

  16. kkaatz1 says:

    Hi Elizabeth–I don’t care if people claim to change their orientation. I do care when it turns out that they really haven’t changed. Or when they start buying brand new cars with their non-profit money. I would bet this is illegal here in the U.S.
    I’ll repeat what I said above in case you missed it: “Anyway, you tell me that you have a son who was assumed to be gay but wasn’t. Then Tim, on the exact same day, tells me he was assumed to be gay but wasn’t. Coincidence? Hmm…” What are the chances that is going to happen?

  17. kkaatz1 says:

    By the way Elizabeth, I don’t mind if people post on old material–but I find it curious that both you and Tim, using the same reasons, post on my blog on the exact same day. Comment away on anything you see in my blog–I’ve got nearly 5 years worth of material there.

  18. kkaatz1 says:

    To all those who are looking for information about these ex-gay industries and the danger they cause, here is a good like (to Truth Wins Out): http://www.truthwinsout.org/resources/

    See especially: http://www.hrc.org/issues/religion/7107.htm

    See also http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/category/converstion-reparative-therapy/narth
    for the damage that these ex-gay groups are doing in Africa. They have created an atmosphere of hatred for gays and lesbians, who now live in fear for their lives.

    The American Pyschological Association also states that people cannot change their sexuality and people are harmed by these ex-gay groups: http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/holy-post/archive/2009/08/08/can-homosexual-desire-be-changed.aspx

    See also the short statement by the American Pyschological Association: http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/policy/ex-gay.pdf

    and:
    http://www.apa.org/about/governance/council/policy/sexual-orientation.aspx

    and:

    http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/just-the-facts.aspx

  19. Elizabeth says:

    OK.

    All I have actually said here is that if people are unhappy in the homosexual lifestyle, then they should be free to leave. So how bad is it saying that they should have a free choice?

    And I also said that if ex-gays wish to show that change is possible, then they should be free to do that – we currently still live in a free society – I guess that means that the public should be free to listen to both sides of an issue.

    So, if you really are intested in discussing this, and if you really believe in ‘free speech’ why is this bothering you so much? Your blogs are not sounding very objective… Actually you are getting pretty subjective, and touchy – so far I have been accused of:

    # having ‘orientation’ confusion issues? (isn’t that an insult to the gay community, to have a gay person bashing others about being gay? I don’t think that helped your blog.)
    # only believing the ‘non-reputable’ doctors & scientists?
    # being misleading about having gay friends?
    # paranoia?
    # bigotry?
    # supporting a ‘fraudulent’ ministry?
    # being ‘dishonest’ ? (apprently about having a relationship to another person posting here, just because we happen to hold a common opinion, ie, that those who don’t want to be gay or who are ex-gay should be free to do so. Actually, in re-reading Tim’s posts he has said quite a lot that I didn’t…He holds his own views…
    (sarcasm) But of course if two people hold similar opinions opposing ex-gay bashing, they would be the only two in Australia, and therefore must be related (end sarcasm)*.

    Yep, I think that’s all sounding pretty abusive.

    That’s OK Kevin, I guess if you don’t want to admit the truth you’ll have to do some verbal bashing to shift attention away from the two simple truths that I have raised here…

    1/. People should be free to leave the gay lifestyle and change their orientation if it is making them feel unhappy, depressed, unfulfilled, or suicidal.

    2/. Ex-gays who can personally relate to this experience and are themselves proof of this possiblity should be free to speak of that reality.

    I think that those people (both gay and straight) who are really interested in civil liberty and freedom of speech won’t find my two points that difficult to agree with.

    Thanks for the links. It was interesting to note that they don’t prove sexual re-orientation to be impossible, for those people who want that.

    And I think that NARTH speaks for itself when it says:

    “Critics and antagonists have labeled NARTH, its leaders, and members as “bigots” and having “hatred” against homosexuality. Simply stated, these accusations are completely false. NARTH’s leaders value and esteem both those who have embraced homosexual identities as well as those who seek change of orientation or identity. Many NARTH members originally became involved with NARTH because they had clients who needed help, and they had compassion and a desire to assist those clients in meeting their goals, even if doing so would bring criticism from others. Some became involved with NARTH because of their own personal experience with homosexuality, and others became involved out of love for their family members who struggled with issues of gender and sexual orientation.

    Other members simply feel a scientific and ethical responsibility to present what science can and cannot say about homosexuality as well as to foster psychological care consistent with the best outcomes for those who seek it. Such care should be extended to all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation. In the spirit of diversity and anchored to the ethical principles of client self-determination and client autonomy, NARTH members are committed to providing scientifically grounded psychological care rendered in the context of compassion. While NARTH may disagree with a more popular worldview, and assert that homosexuality is not invariably fixed in all people, disagreement is not discrimination. Such attempts to label NARTH’s position as “bigoted” or “hateful” are straw man attacks and are unsound.

    NARTH Recognizes Client Diversity

    NARTH values the individual’s right to choose – both individuals who are comfortable with their homosexual identities and those who want to explore other options. NARTH acknowledges that some people are comfortable claiming a homosexual identity, and we respect their freedom to do so. At the same time, NARTH recognizes that others choose not to embrace a homosexual identity, are distressed by unwanted homosexual attractions, and would like to explore other options for their lives.

    In our culture, those who are dissatisfied with their unwanted homosexual attractions and choose to pursue change are often treated with disrespect, mockery and ridicule, as are the therapists who try to help them. It is ironic that some of the people who defend the freedom to embrace homosexuality are the same ones who mock those who want something different for their lives. Tolerance and diversity mean very little if differing worldviews are excluded. NARTH believes that people who are dissatisfied with their unwanted homosexual attractions should be given the opportunity to choose their own path and to pursue change if they so desire. If content homosexuals are accepted, discontent homosexuals who pursue change should be equally accepted.”

    see: http://narth.com/docs/addresses.html

    Well, that’s all I have to say. Thanks for the discussion.

  20. kkaatz1 says:

    Hi Elizabeth, you said:
    “Your blogs are not sounding very objective… Actually you are getting pretty subjective, and touchy…” When I write, I don’t have to be objective–after all, it is my blog. If I wanted to be objective I would write for the American Psychological Association, which showed the people cannot change their orientation. I think you misunderstand the nature of a blog.
    Touchy? Well, yes I am touchy when, as a gay man, people think that sexuality is a choice. When someone thinks it is a choice, then that automatically leads to the decision that because it is a choice, gay people do not need to be protected under the law (because, after all, they choose to be gay and can stop being gay any time they feel like it). You never answered my question about when exactly you decided to become straight.
    Yes, some gay people are miserable, but that is because society treats them like crap. If I allowed people to treat me like crap, I would be miserable too. But I don’t allow that, therefore I am not miserable being gay. Simple as that. I have been “out” since 1992 and extremely happy. I have had the same partner (now husband) since then and we have outlasted many of our straight friend’s marriages.
    There would be no need to frauds like Stephen Bennett if he had accepted himself as being gay and also accepted that he was the one who decided to do drugs. Doing drugs had nothing to do with being gay, but he associated the two and now when he writes about gay men, he thinks that ALL gay men are drug abusers, alchoholics and have multiple sex partners. He can’t separate out that his decisions were his own (the same goes for DL Foster) and in the process gives gay people a bad name. His comments also lead to straight people bullying gay people. After all, if gay people can change, they must not want to because they are really evil…

    Why don’t you ask yourself: why do gay people feel miserable with being gay? I’ll give my answer–because society has called them sinners, and that they are going to hell, that they are unclean, they carry sexually transmitted diseases, they are mentally ill. If these people who call gay people that would stop saying that, then gay people would not be miserable, and you wouldn’t have “ministries” like Stephen Bennett. Luckily this is what will happen in the future.
    Your son, who, according to you is bullied even though he isn’t gay, is a great example of what I just said. People perceive him to be gay, and that is enough to bully him. Someone needs to stand up to those bigots who bully him. I honestly don’t understand why you are supporting ex-gay groups when your son is not gay and therefore these groups cannot help him.

    Let’s look at your complaints one by one:
    “having ‘orientation’ confusion issues? (isn’t that an insult to the gay community, to have a gay person bashing others about being gay? I don’t think that helped your blog.)” You have a motive for writing, and many times people who write things like you do so for a reason. If you are a lesbian, then you should just admit it. You seem to know an awful amount of information about ex-gay groups even though your son is not gay.

    2: # only believing the ‘non-reputable’ doctors & scientists?
    I call it like I see it (and how others see it). Funny that you still haven’t presented any medical research backing your statements. I’ve given you a bunch of links from groups that state that sexual orientation cannot change. NARTH has been discredited more than once in the medical community and in fact, they harm people.

    3: “# being misleading about having gay friends?” I asked that you contact your gay friends and let them read what you said to me and then write me. How hard can that be?

    4 and 5: “# paranoia? # bigotry?” I never said any of those things. Prove to me where I said that.

    6: “# supporting a ‘fraudulent’ ministry? Yes, you do support a fraudulent ministry, for the very reasons I wrote the original blog post. He cheats people out of their hard-earned money. You may think that is o.k., but I don’t.

    7: “# being ‘dishonest’ ?” You still haven’t discussed how it is possible that two people, on the say day, discuss the same story, and on another day even use the same words. Really–how do you know Tim? There is a link between the two of you somewhere. I just find is so incredible that two people, on the same day, would write. Maybe Stephen Bennett took a junket to Sydney, preached about the evils of homosexuality and they you and Tim wrote after seeing my blog come up in a search. Or not.

    Did you ever manage to look up Exodus? They don’t really believe in change–they only believe that brainwashing yourself is enough.

  21. Elizabeth says:

    That’s OK Kevin – that was exactly the reply that I expected from you…

    • kkaatz1 says:

      Hi Elizabeth, I don’t know why you would expect a reply opposite to everything I have been writing about for the last five years. How long have you been looking into the ex-gay industry? And why have you been looking into the ex-gay industry?

  22. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Kevin,

    You said… “I call it like I see it (and how others see it). Funny that you still haven’t presented any medical research backing up your statements.”…

    What a good idea! Let’s look at some reputable research…

    Note well: There are three important things to note about the following statements:
    1/. They are the general conclusions of prominent scientists whose research is well-respected.
    2/. The scientists cited have specifically identified themselves as ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian’ and/or as more generally sympathetic to ‘gay activist’ political positions.
    3/. They have publicly acknowledged that their own evidence contradicts what they had believed and had hoped to confirm.

    Firstly, here is some research regarding whether gay people are ‘born that way’…

    # Dean Hamer of the National Institutes of Health performed and published the research most widely cited as pointing to a “gay gene”. Dr Hamer tertified in the Colorado Proposition 2 court case that he was “99.5% certain that homosexuality is genetic” He later came to the following conclusions:
    “The pedigree failed to produce what we originally hoped to find: simple Mendelian inheritance. In fact we never found a single family in which homosexuality was distributed in the obvious pattern that Mendel observed (in his study of genetics)…”

    # Hamer’s study was duplicated by Rice et aluminium with research that was more robust. In this replication the genetic markers found by Hamer turned out to be of no statistical significance:
    “It is unclear why our results are so discrepant from Hamer’s original study. Because our study was larger than that of Hamer’s et aluminium, we certainly had adequate power to detect a genetic effect as large as reported in that study. Nonetheless, our data do not support the presence of a gene of large effect influencing sexual orientation…”

    # Simon LeVay, a neuroanatomist at The Salk Institute in San Diego, founded the Institute for Gay and Lesbian Education in San Francisco after researching and publishing the study of hypothalamic structures in men most widely-cited as confirming innate brain differences between homosexuals and heterosexuals, as he himself initially argued. He later acknowledged:
    “It’s important to stress what I didn’t find. I did not prove that homosexuality is genetic, or find a genetic cause for being gay. I didn’t show that gay men are born that way, the most common mistake people make in interpreting my work. Nor did I locate a gay center in the brain.”
    Furthermore:
    “Since I looked at adult brains, we don’t know if the differences I found were there at birth, or if they appeared later.”

    # Dr Mark Breedlove at the University of California at Berkeley, referring to his own research:
    “(My) findings give us proof for what we theoretically know to be the case – that sexual experience can alter the structure of the brain, just as genes can alter it. It is possible that differences in sexual behaviour cause (rather than are caused by) differences in the brain.”

    Secondly, here is some research that homosexuality is not unchangeable in an individual…

    # A review of the research over many years demonstrates a consistent 30% to 52% success rate in the treatment of unwanted homosexual attraction. Masters and Johnson reported a 65% success rate after a five-year follow-up. Other professionals report success rates ranging from 30% to 70%.

    # Dr Lisa Diamond, a professor at the University of Utah, concludes that, “Sexual identity is far from fixed in women who aren’t exclusively heterosexual.”

    Dr Robert Spitzer, the prominent psychiatrist and researcher at Columbia University has been the chief architect of the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic manual and he was the chief decision-maker in the 1973 removal of homosexuality from the diagnostic manual. He considers himself a gay-affirmative psychiatrist, and a long time supporter of gay rights. He has long been convinced that homosexuality is neither a disorder nor changeable. Because of the increaslingly heated debate over the latter point within the professional community, Spitzer decided to conduct his own study of the matter. He concluded:
    “I’m convinced from the people I have interviewed, that for many of them, they have made substantial changes toward becoming heterosexual…I think that’s news…I came to this study sceptical. I now claim that these changes can be sustained.”

    # Regarding change and the right to treatment, lesbian activist Camille Paglia states the following:
    “Is the gay identity so fragile that it cannot bear the thought that some people may not wish to be gay? Sexuality is highly fluid, and reversals are theoretically possible. However, habit is refractory, once the sensory pathways have been blazed and deepened by repetition – a phenomenon obvious in the struggle with obesity, smoking alcoholism or drug addiction…helping gays to learn how to function heterosexually, if they wish, is a perfectly worth aim.”

    # Camille Paglia also said:
    “We should be honest enough to consider whether homosexuality may not indeed be a pausing at the prepubescent stage where children anxiously band together by gender…”

    # The most comprehensive, most recent and most accurate study of sexuality, the National Health and Social Life Survey (NHSLS), was completed in 1994 by a large research team from the University of Chicago and funded by almost every large government agency and NGO with an interest in the AIDS epidemic. They found that approximately 10 out of every 100 men have had sex with another man at some time – most will have identified themselves as gay before turning 18 and will have acted on it. But by age 18, a full half of them no longer identify themselves as gay and will never again have a male sexual partner. And this is not a population of people selected because they went into therapy; it’s just the general population…This means that without any intervention whatsoever, 3 out of every 4 boys who think they’re gay at age 16, aren’t at 25.

    ——————————-

    The research references and comments above were compiled by Dr Jeffrey Satinover MD, who is one of many who have done quite a bit of research in this area. He is a Board-Certified Psychiatrist. He holds degrees from:
    • MIT (S.B., Humanities and Science)
    • Harvard (Ed.M., Clinical Psychology and Public Practice)
    • The University of Texas (M.D.)
    • Yale (M.S. Physics).
    He completed his residency in Psychiatry at Yale, with a year as Fellow of the Yale Child Study Center. He holds a diploma in Analytical Psychology from the C.G. Jung Institute of Zurich. Dr Satinover has practiced psychotherapy and/or psychiatry since 1974. He is the author of numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals of psychology and or neuroscience, chapters and books, among them ‘Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth’

    In conclusion I must repeat that each of the references quoted above were from people who:
    • carry out well respected research
    • have actually identified themselves as gay or lesbian and/or as more generally sympathetic to ‘gay activist’ political positions
    • have publicly acknowledged that their own evidence contradicts what they had believed and had hoped to confirm

    Kevin, you can bash these (gay affirmative) researchers if you want to – after all as you pointed out, you can play ‘GOD’ on your Own BLOG – but the vast majority of the scientific world seems to accept that their research is credible…and it doesn’t bother me what you think of it.

    Don’t get me wrong. I agree totally that bullying against homosexuals is repulsive, in fact, bullying against anyone who is different is unacceptable, and must not be condoned in any way. Furthermore, I understand that homosexuality is a complex issue, and may not be simple to change, and that while such a change should NEVER be ‘forced’ on anybody, it SHOULD be available as an option to those who desire it.

    It is just plain wrong to be continually telling people (and this media message seems to be especially aimed at the youth of today) that homosexuality is ‘part of the way you are born’ (eg: the ‘it gets better’ project), and that it is therefore unchangeable.

    I will continue to state that if a person with unwanted homosexual attractions is unhappy, they have every right to change if they want to. And if you want to talk about ‘civil rights’ issues (as did Melissa, further above this post), then those people who are unhappy in the gay lifestyle have a right to know the truth of this matter: that CHANGE IS POSSIBLE, as it has been repeatedly shown by reputable research and statistics, and that there are many ex-gays who have had real success in this area.

    Perhaps the real fraud is not on the ‘ex-gay’ websites, but right here when we are being told that change is not possible for the homosexual who desires it, and that there is no ‘reputable research’ to support change!!

    Kevin, if you truly are such a happy and fulfilled homosexual, then it’s time you act as though you are as secure as you tell us, and stop pointing your finger at the ex-gay Stephen Bennett, and take a long look in the mirror to see the one who is really defrauding people by perpetuating the myth of supposed inability to change!

    After my last post, I hadn’t been planning to comment further on your blog, but then you asked for reputable research regarding this issue – so I must thank you for this, otherwise it may not have occurred to me to check this out!

    Elizabeth

    PS. By the way, I will be expecting your reply to include the following: (now don’t let me down!!…)

    # Bagging these researchers that I have quoted, even though they are quite reputable in the scientific community

    # More bagging of Stephen Bennett, DL Foster, Exodous and NARTH, as they represent the possibility of homosexuals changing if they want to, and we already know that you are opposed to this

    # Circular discussions that go nowhere, and that deliberately avoid logic or objectivity

    # Personal and irrelevant accusations (maybe even thinly veiled insults)

    # More whining about ‘society bullying homosexual people’, even though it is NOT SOCIETY IN GENERAL, but CERTAIN PEOPLE IN PARTICULAR who have done the bullying. In our current society there is a greater tolerance of people’s choice of sexual orientation than ever before. (Yes, there have been incidences of bullying highlighted recently in the media, but these were CARRIED OUT BY SPECIFIC PEOPLE in those situations, in no way condoned by the REST OF SOCIETY. Obviously it is the actual perpetrators of the bullying who should be and are being dealt with by the law (which in itself sends a message to other bullies), as should ALL perpetrators of bullying of any kind, whether it is towards gays, straights, overweight people, academically clever people, handicapped people, those with lower IQ’s, alcoholics, people of different races and religions, etc.)

    BTW: Being ‘anti-ex-gay’ is no better than being ‘anti-gay’ – Both positions are unacceptable.

    • kkaatz1 says:

      Elizabeth, Here is a statement by Dr. Dean Hamer, which you copied from one of those “ex-gay” sites.

      You can read about the misuse of LeVay’s research from Dr. VeVay himself. He comments on the very passage that you (or NARTH or wherever you found your information):
      “This is an accurate quote, but it relates to what I showed (or didn’t show) on the basis of that one study. If one looks at the totality of research now available, including my study, the evidence points strongly to the idea that genes and non-genetic biological factors strongly influence a person’s sexual orientation, as discussed in the review article on my website.”
      You can read his response here: http://www.simonlevay.com/my-response-to-my-wikipedia-biography

      How is what a “lesbian activist” has to say related to science? She is giving her own opinion.

      Dr. Robert Spitzer responds to the misuse of his research by “ex-gays.” http://www.truthwinsout.org/in-dr-robert-spitzers-own-words/

      You cited the NHLHS which stated: “This means that without any intervention whatsoever, 3 out of every 4 boys who think they’re gay at age 16, aren’t at 25.” But that isn’t changing sexual orientation. Notice the word “think.”

      You said: ” and that there are many ex-gays who have had real success in this area.” O.k.–where are these people?

      If you think I am going to be quiet about these fraudulent ex-gay groups, you are fooling yourself. I noticed you have been extremely quiet about Exodus, one of the biggest “ex-gay” organizations in the country. Why is that? I am guessing it is because although they claim they can change orientation, their president and vice president both state that they are not straight. So much for “change.”

      And again, when did you decide to be straight? Can you be a lesbian if you decide to (and I don’t mean being a woman who pretends to like women)? Since you never asked, I’ll tell you I never decided. I always was. And I know that it is people like me that really worry the ex-gay industry because they make their money preying on people.

  23. kkaatz1 says:

    Hi Elizabeth, So why, exactly are you so interested in the ex-gay system? You said your son wasn’t gay, so why are so pushing this so much?

    Thanks for just repeating what NARTH has to say. But they certainly didn’t tell you about all their “secrets” they have with their associates, did they?

    How about you look at the “ex-gay” people who push the idea that they can change, but then actually haven’t changed–they were just lying and were gay all the time.
    Take a look at Wayne Besen’s site, Truth Wins Out
    http://www.truthwinsout.org/scandals-defections/
    ” John Paulk was the chairman of Exodus International and founded Focus on the Family’ Love Won Out conference. He had appeared on 60 Minutes, Oprah, Good Morning America and landed on the cover of Newsweek during a high profile 1998 ex-gay ad campaign. On Sept. 19, 2000 activist Wayne Besen photographed Paulk in Mr. P’ — Washington, DC gay bar. The incident cost him his job as Exodus’ chairman and Focus on the Family greatly diminished his role.

    * Michael Johnston was the founder of “National Coming Out of Homosexuality Day.” The HIV+ ex-gay leader worked with Rev. Jerry Falwell and appeared in commercials and videos for Coral Ridge Ministries and The American Family Association. In 2003, he resigned after he allegedly had unprotected sex with men he met on the Internet. Johnston now resides at a sex addiction facility in Kentucky, where he also works.

    * In 2000, Wade Richards appeared as a media spokesperson for a group called the Saviors Alliance for Lifting the Truth and gave his testimony of “change” at a major press conference sponsored by right-wing zealot Peter LaBarbera, who now works at Americans For Truth. But a year later, Richards rebuked the “ex-gay” ministries when he came out in an interview with the Advocate magazine.

    * In the early 1970′ Gary Cooper and Michael Bussee were counselors at an “ex-gay” ministry in Anaheim, Calif. In 1976, they organized the first national conference of “ex-gay” ministries. At this conference, Exodus International was formed and it is now the world’ largest “ex-gay” organization. While traveling on behalf of Exodus, the two men acknowledged that they had not changed and were in love with each other. They soon divorced their wives, moved in together and held a commitment ceremony. In 2006, Bussee apologized at an Ex-Gay Survivors Conference for his key role in starting Exodus International.

    * In 1973, John Evans co-founded Love In Action, the first contemporary “ex-gay” ministry on the outskirts of San Francisco. However, after Evans’ best friend Jack McIntyre committed suicide in despair over not being able to “change”, Evans left the program. Today, he works to help victims of these organizations find self-acceptance.

    * In 1979, Seventh Day Adventist minister Colin Cook founded Homosexuals Anonymous (HA). Appearing twice on the Phil Donahue show, he became the face of the ex-gay movement. But Cook’ career collapsed in 1986 after it was discovered he was giving nude massages to clients. Cook moved to Colorado and made a comeback in 1992 by helping Colorado for Family Values and Focus on the Family promote anti-gay campaigns. In 1995, Cook’ efforts once again unraveled after several of his clients accused him of engaging in phone sex, inappropriate hugs and other unethical behavior.

    * In 1987, Jeremy Marks founded Courage, London’ first “ex-gay” ministry. In 2001, after nearly 15 years of watching people – including himself – struggle in vain to “change”, he renounced Exodus, saying that they were failing in their efforts to change peoples’ sexual orientation.

    * Desert Stream ministries acknowledged in their Mid-Year 2001 Report that, “At the end of 2000, we faced an unusual number of Desert-Stream-related leaders who fell into sexual sin, or who at least demonstrated a colossal lack of wisdom in their social choices…Several were placed on different plans of discipline and restoration.”

    * In its Summer 2003 newsletter, Portland Fellowship announced that its long-time director Phil Hobizal was stepping down because of an “emotional entanglement” with a man.

    * In Sept. 2007, ex-gay therapist Christopher Austin was convicted of sexually assaulting a client. Austin was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but received seven years probation, had to register as a sex offender and was ordered to pay a $2,500 fine. Austin had started Renew Ministries, a counseling center run out of a church in Irving. He was affiliated with the National Association For Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). Indeed, Austin taught a seminar at NARTH’ 2004 annual convention entitled, “Understanding and Treating Compulsive Sexual Behavior in Men with Value-Incongruent Homosexual Issues: A Multidimensional Approach.”

    * In 2007, the website “Beyond Ex-Gay” was founded by Peterson Toscano, who was involved in ex-gay ministries for fifteen years. He, along with the GLBT advocacy SoulForce, held an Ex-Gay Survivors Conference in Irvine, California. The event included more than a hundred victims of ex-gay organizations and highlighted the harm of these groups.

    * In 2002, therapist Richard Cohen, former president of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX) and head of the International Healing Foundation (IHF) was permanently expelled form the American Counseling Association.”

    Elizabeth–there are many more examples of this. These “ex-gays” are not changing–all they did was try to convince themselves they had changed and made money in the process. One of my friends, Robert Bayn, got caught up in the whole “ex-gay” ministry. He was gay, didn’t like being gay and went ex-gay. He is back to being gay and states that all these people in the ex-gay industry to is try to convince people that change is possible.

    I’ll write more later–many researchers have been complaining that the “ex-gay” industry has taken their research out of context. Did you hear about that?

  24. Elizabeth says:

    So, what would you think if a relative, friend, or colleague had a condition that is routinely, even if not always, associated with the following problems:
    • A significantly decreased likelihood of establishing or preserving a successful marriage
    • A 5 to 10 year decrease in life expectancy
    • Chronic, potentially fatal, liver disease-hepatitis
    • Inevitably fatal esophageal cancer
    • Pneumonia
    • Internal Bleeding
    • Serious mental disabilities, many of which are irreversible
    • A much higher than usual incidence of suicide
    • A very low likelihood that its adverse effects can be eliminated unless the condition itself is eliminated
    • An only 30 percent likelihood of being eliminated through lengthy, often costly, and very time-consuming treatment in an otherwise unselected population (although a very high success rate among highly motivated, carefully sufferers)

    No doubt any of us would care deeply for anyone close to us with such a condition.
    We would want to help, whether or not society thinks these health risks are undesirable or even an illness. We would also consider it ‘worth treating’, and continue seeking help for a friend by supporting them in their endeavours to get rid of such a risky condition entirely (even if this took a while, and had set-backs along the way).

    Alcoholism is the condition which has these health implications. Most people would agree that alcoholism is obviously undesirable because of all the range of other conditions directly associated with it – despite the fact that not every alcoholic develops all of these problems above.

    In general, alcoholism is a compulsive behaviour that has volitional, family, psychological, social and genetic ‘causes’. We probably don’t consider it an ‘illness’, and it has only a modest ‘cure’ rate, but we generally consider it well worth treating. It is actually even treated as if it is an ‘illness’, because of the enormously serious personal and social consequences of not doing so.

    And now imagine another friend or colleague who had a condition associated with a similar list of problems:

    • A significantly decreased likelihood of establishing or preserving a successful marriage
    • A 25 to 30 year decrease in life expectancy
    • Chronic, potentially fatal, liver disease-infectious hepatitis, which increase the rist of liver cancer
    • Inevitably fatal immune disease including associated cancers
    • Frequently fatal rectal cancer
    • Multiple bowel and other infectious diseases
    • A much higher than usual incidence of suicide
    • A very low likelihood that the adverse effects of this condition can be eliminated unless the condition itself is
    • An at least 50% likelihood of eliminating the condition through lengthy, often costly, and very time-consuming treatment in an otherwise unselected group of sufferers (although a very high success rate, in some instances nearing 100% for groups of highly motivated, carefully selected individuals)

    …These are the health risk factors for homosexuality. The similarities between these two lists is striking – yet despite this main stream society responds in opposite ways – in the first condition it is considered worthwhile to help people to change, in the second condition it is considered not worthwhile to help people change.

    If an alcoholic had made a recovery, but then succumbed back to his/her old habits – would we hit them with “Well there you go, guess you proved that no-one can change!!” No, we wouldn’t (and shouldn’t). In fact, probably all alcoholics do have setbacks and failures (plural!) and take a lot of time to succeed long term change.

    (I only draw this comparison with alcoholism only in the sense that it is a result of long a repeated behavioural pattern, it is addictive, and that it can be difficult and require much support and encouragement to break away from.)
    ———————-

    In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association decided to delete homosexuality from its diagnostic manual. This decision has then made people think that homosexuality is unchangeable, even though in a free society, we are all entitled to pursue happiness as we see fit. As a result of this it is now more difficult than ever for a homosexual desiring change to get the support and assistance they will need to achieve and sustain this.

    It must be noted however, that the American Psychiatric Association is NOT a SCIENTIFIC ORGANISATION – it is a professional guild. The decision to de-list homosexuality was not made based on scientific evidence, as many people think. Even Simon LeVay (who is pro-gay) points out that “Gay activism was clearly the force that propelled the American Psychiatric Association to de-classify homosexuality”.

    As Dr Jeffrey Satinover says, whether or not we consider it a ‘disorder’, homosexuality is unwanted by many gays, and it is susceptible to change. It is way too simplistic to assume that homosexuality is either innate and unchangeable OR a ‘lifestyle choice’ and therefore changeable at will. IT IS NEITHER. It is however a condition that develops over many years (from before the development of moral and self-awareness) and becomes deeply embedded. It “is genuinely experienced by the individual as though it was never absent in one form or another. It is, in other words, similar to most human characteristics, and shares with them the typical possibilities for, and difficulties in, achieving sustained change.”

    If we look for evidence of the inability to change – we will find it, it’s certainly out there. However the reverse is also true – if we look for evidence of the possibility of change we can find that too.

    Kevin, despite your bagging some ex-gays, there are also a mulititude who have succeeded in battling their unwanted gay feelings.

    I am sorry that you feel that society labels gays as unclean sinners in a category of their own – that certainly is so wrong. I don’t think that anyone is perfect – I think we all have our own trials to bear and weaknesses to battle. However, in as much as people often perceive this attitude as being ‘what the bible says about homosexuality’, there is another dimension to this – there are several references in the bible that refer to those who slander, bully, commit adultery/fornication, and lack genuine caring for each other as being all just as bad as each other. Perhaps those who are ‘perfect’ should ‘cast the first stone’…and I assure you that would be none of us.

    I agree totally that the people you have mentioned have obviously tried and failed. And I can see that that would make others considering trying feel very disillusioned at their chances of success. The reasons for failure however may differ from one to another, and certainly doesn’t mean that all will fail.

    If the success rate for gay people who want to change is running somewhere between 30-70%, then I guess there will also be a failure rate of somewhere between 30-70% (ie, the flip side of the percentages for success), and I daresay the stories you quoted will be part of those ‘tried and failed’ statistics. (I tell you what, if I had only a 30% chance of winning a million dollar lottery, but I really needed the money, I reckon it would be worth a shot!! And maybe even a 2nd and 3rd …100th ticket…)

    Reading about those who have tried and failed certainly is discouraging – but it doesn’t mean that everyone who tries will fail! Neither does it mean that it won’t be worth trying for those who are not happy and feeling trapped in their current orientation. Each person is different, and I’m sure the journey to change must surely differ for everyone, dependent on their background, how long they have been gay (patterning their brain that way), whether abuse in their childhood is a factor, and other things.

    I also agree that seeing the failures coming from high profile ‘ex-gay’ ministries is disappointing, however, those ministries have also helped a lot of people – many more than just those who decided not to change after all.

    One of my children was born with problems which made it very difficult for him to progress and even to feed and sleep. During the first few months of his life doctors and health care workers clearly demonstrated his deficiencies to us, and told us that he had significant issues, and that his future growth and development would be uncertain. This labelling had an incredibly discouraging effect on our family – we were very disillusioned, and resigned to his condition. However, as we explored the nature of his condition and the positive ways in which we could support and improve it, and then sought out health care providers who didn’t just dwell on the problems ahead but offered some real help and hope, we were able to stop looking at the inevitability of it all – and focus instead on what may be possible for him. Yes, his development hasn’t been the same as for our other children, however once we stopped focusing on the negatives and difficulties, we were able to achieve far more, and his improvements have been far ahead of what was predicted for him all along the way.

    What if doctors and scientists don’t know everything there is to know? Maybe each person’s journey is unique. Maybe focusing on the failures only assists others in believing that the goal is impossible and failing themselves. But one thing I do know is that if we quit at whatever our desire is, we really will fail.

    Believing that change is possible, is NOT the same as saying that all gays should change – please note the distinction! It is simply refusing to label change as impossible for those who are currently miserable and who deeply and staunchly desire change, even if they currently fail. (At present, I know of people who want to change but struggle bitterly, friends who have changed successfully and have stayed that way permanently, and friends who are totally not interested in change.)

    PS. 3 out of every 4 young men who experiences ‘same sex attraction’, and acts on that, and identifies themselves as ‘homosexual’ at age 16 will no longer be homosexual by age 25. That is, they feel homosexual feelings, they act as homosexuals sexually – that is not just ‘thinking they are gay’ as you said – that is in fact living as a homosexual – accepting it as part of their identity. Yet they change by age 25, without therapy and intervention! Yet, if they believe the current ‘it gets better’ project, they may end up feeling that change is impossible, and feeling trapped and miserable because of this. They deserve to know the real options, that change is possible for those who desire it. In fact, since 3 out of 4 of these young men do go on to change, it is not only possible, but also very likely that they will change.

    Kevin, I don’t think we need go on about this – you’ll present your ‘evidence’ and I’ll present my ‘evidence’ and we’ll argue on forever!!! I am happy to agree to disagree with you in this matter, and I can see that you have certainly had negative experiences in this area. But everybody in this world deserves a chance, and is capable of achieving far more than they even dream of – and I am strenuously opposed to labelling anything as ‘impossible’ for those who truly want change in whatever their circumstances are!

    Elizabeth

  25. kkaatz1 says:

    Hi Elizabeth–Where exactly did you get these so-called statistics when you state “…These are the health risk factors for homosexuality.” Have you heard of the disgraced Paul Cameron? No one, even the so-called “family” organizations dare to use his garbage “science.” He spouts the same thing (about anal cancer and the rest–but that has been disproven long, long ago and is only used by fringe anti-gay groups).
    So please explain: Where can I read about the “A 25 to 30 year decrease in life expectancy” and “Frequently fatal rectal cancer.”

    And you keep ignoring my question: why are you so utterly fascinated by the “ex-gay” industry? Why will you not answer this simple question? You seem to know an awful lot about it, even though you told me your son is not gay.

  26. I know that this is a post from a late blog but I have to add……I went to a NARTH conference last year and I’m telling ya…they are amazing. It sounds like opinions are made from what the negative comments are saying but has anyone ever gone to a conference. If not then how can you, yourself make an empirical comment about something you yourself have not attended. And for the record, Spitzer, who was a part of the APA’s decision to take homosexuality off the list of mental illnesses has stated that there is evidence to support that someone who wants to leave a gay lifestyle has the right the choose that and that the evidence supports it. Actually, the reports of gene studies indicate that 1) environment does have a legitimate effect on a person’s sexuality 2) as well as a genetic finding has yet to be found. In fact a person I know was asked “why are people are gay?) he simply answered, “nobody knows”. He is the son of two gay mothers who lives with his non-biological mother. His real mom left the relationship and married a man. I’m not interested in the “ex-gay” industry, I’m interested in the rights of those who want change and explore it and if they decide it’s what they want then why would anyone want to degrade or imply something else about them. Doesn’t everyone have rights in this country. NARTH repeatedly has stated that they are not “anti-gay”, “hate gays”, etc. I truly believe that, everything about what they talked about was scientific there was absolutely no indication that they were there to bash anyone. I spoke to many there and they come from all walks of life and even lived a gay lifestyle and turned it around….for themselves!!!, not for anyone else. One of them was a twin. He was raised by his mother and the other was raised by his father and after hearing his story it was definitely evident that the environment was a big element. One of the speakers spoke about how a family came in to see him about problems within the family unit. Because the issues were so strong he implemented treatments for PTSD which included eye-movement desensitization and the daughter started a huge transformation. She came in very masculine and orientated as gay which is not what she came in for and which the therapist did not approach. His practice is not solely based on people wanting to leave homosexuality, it is eclectic and offers counseling services of all kinds. During the course of her sessions her demeanor changed and her appearance changed from very masculine towards more feminine. He did not however broach the subject of her orientation….it was not why she came to see him and did not offer any information as to what happened to her concerning her orientation after was discharged from therapy. If she is a happy lesbian he was happy for her, if she wanted to leave the lifestyle then he would offer to help her with that as well. It is always based on a person’s right to choose what’s right for them.
    Amy

  27. kkaatz1 says:

    Hi Amy, So why exactly did you go to a NARTH conference? In answer to your question about knowing a NARTH conference without actually going to one: there are conference proceedings that are sometimes published, there are people who go and report on what was said, there are videos of what happens at the conferences.
    No one is stopping people from trying to change their orientation. They are not losing any rights by trying (if you know of specific rights they are losing by trying, can you please let me know?). However, the problem comes when these people who claim to change, come out of the program and then go back to their old ways. Another problem is that there is no evidence that these treatments actually work, and if fact, seem to be harmful to those going through it. Have you heard of Exodus? Their president and now ex-vice president, even though they run an organization that claims to free people from homosexuality, openly admit they still struggle with it. That means they haven’t changed. I’m sure you saw Alan Chambers at the conference I think you are referring to (at Liberty University). I see that the first day of the conference was titled “Understanding Same-sex Attractions and Their Consequences.” So maybe you can tell me what those “consequences” are, according to the people speaking.

    Also, how do you know that everything that was spoken at the NARTH conference was “scientific”? Is that just your feeling, or do you have the facts to back it up? Another person who spoke at the conference was Elaine Donnelly–a woman who runs her own non-profit that is dedicated to keeps gays and lesbians out of the military. What exactly was her role at this conference?
    Anyway, thanks for leaving a comment, and I look forward to your replies.

  28. kkaatz1 says:

    Hi Amy, I was just looking at the conference at Liberty University, but I see that wasn’t an actual NARTH conference–so maybe that wasn’t the one you are referring to…

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