• Key

    Mr. Schizzel sounds like he fell in with some deceptive and harmful individuals, and was clearly used and mistreated.

    Still, and contrary to the assertions here, there is a significant amount of (admittedly unfashionable) research on the possibility of people with SSA opening up towards the other sex, in terms of sexual attraction. There’s a large body of academic literature, as well as anecdotal evidence. And there are many practitioners who would never dream of doing the things that people did to Mr. Schizzel.

    That doesn’t mean that it’s for everyone, and it certainly doesn’t mean it should be foisted on people. But the fact that some people were harmed and used in the name of “reparative therapy,” and were subjected to a bastardized version of it, and therefore (understandably) don’t like that reality — that doesn’t mean we can pretend that there’s no research and no evidence on the other side. We can’t take the worst examples of what poses as reparative therapy and equate it to other versions. That’s like finding a racist, aggressive gay person and concluding he represents the nature of every other gay person. It’s disingenuous.

    Clearly Mr. Schizzel’s experience was terrible — what he experienced is the worst version of anything that claims to help people with unwanted sexual attractions. But there is a better version, which is wholly unlike what he experienced.

  • Key – you don’t get the luxury of “referring” all this “body or research” without actually showing the references – it seems you have none. To the point, there are just a hand full of poorly researched studies that barely show any evidence that a person’s actual orientation truly swings widely from straight to gay. 

    Notice that that only kind of organizations that backs “reparative” therapy are religious ones – doesn’t that raise some doubt all by itself? 

    The fact is, there is a huge amount of evidence that anything related to so-called “reparative therapy” is highly damaging to the victims of this torture (check out the website connected to my name above to see examples). Further, dozens of reputable psychological, educational, and medical – national and international organizations (Even the U.N.!) have done the work for us, studying all the evidence out there and they have concluded with stern statements that these organizations do great harm. Simply do a search of the words “reparative therapy” and read the huge amount of discredited evidence.


So called “reparative” therapy is neither reparative or therapy. It’s a extreme religious indoctrination and it destroys lives.

  • Larry

    First of all, the plural of anecdote is not “data”. The “large body of literature” is nothing which passes muster by any professional standards in the field of psychology and counseling. Quite the opposite. The large body of PROFESSIONAL literature points to the inescapable conclusion that “ex-gay therapy” is and always has been harmful and in many cases dangerous.
    “The American Psychological Assn., the American Counseling Assn. and the American Psychiatric Assn. all declared long ago that being gay, lesbian or bisexual is not a form of mental illness or defect, and they have issued statements criticizing the practice of trying to change a person’s sexual orientation.

    So why would professionals with advanced training and degrees offer such therapy? Our profession is no different from any other. Some mental health practitioners are bigoted, uneducated or self-loathing.

    In this case, these characteristics are commonly cloaked in the shroud of deeply held religious conviction. …The “treatments” administered in those cases left the individuals ashamed, confused and often alienated from their families. Most strikingly, many families ended up angry with the purported experts for leading them down a path that caused harm to their families and children.

    Key, you are simply a liar, supporting a very harmful form of assault on people. To claim that there is some kind of reliable evidence supporting these actions can not be considered credible on its face.

  • Tim

    Key — I wish you would provide evidence of valid “research” from the other side. All the “research” I have seen from them 1) isn’t peer reviewed, and 2) uses bad sample data — for example, only collecting data from gay men seeking treatment for sexual diseases.

    What Mr. Schizzel went through is very common. The “claim it” model has been used for more than 30 years to no effect. People who go through these programs do not experience any reduction in attraction… they just learn how to “turn it off”, to coin a phrase from the musical Book of Mormon. Alan Chambers, head of Exodus Intl before it shut down, admitted that 99.9% of people going through the program NEVER experience any change in attractions.

    Study after study show that this type of “treatment” is ineffective, and even harmful, which is why NO medical association endorses it.

  • Larry

    Hardly. The man is describing physical and mental horrors heaped upon him by bigots under the guise of religious fanaticism.

    God’s will never gives you or anyone else an excuse to assault someone. Not physically, not mentally, nor assault their identity. But obviously by your tone, you have no problems with such attacks on gays. Your hate is all too obvious.

  • Larry

    Hardly. The man is describing physical and mental abuse done at the hands of harmful bigots like yourself. Obviously you support such assaults on gays in a physical, mental sense. Assaults on their identity and being.

    Your views of God do not give you or anyone else license to engage in such harmful behavior. Your hatefulness is all to obvious

  • Larry

    Aw Frank, did you say something stupid, dishonest, bigoted and useless again to get your posts removed. Oh well. I guess someone has good taste here.

  • Eliel Cruz

    I don’t think you understand what the word exploitation means.

  • Eliel Cruz

    Here’s the thing Frank, A lot of your posts stay up despite my better judgment. But there is a line. No it’s not that you’re sharing what you believe to be true, but the fact your comments can cause a lot of harm. This may upset you. But this is not a democracy. This is my blog and i refuse to let you or anyone else assert their authority over it when i want it to be a safe space for all voices.

  • “(a) Being lesbian, gay, or bisexual is not a disease, disorder, illness, deficiency, or shortcoming. The major professional associations of mental health practitioners and researchers in the United States have recognized this fact for nearly 40 years.
    (b) The American Psychological Association convened a Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation. The task force conducted a systematic review of peer-reviewed journal literature on sexual orientation change efforts, and issued a report in 2009. The task force concluded that sexual orientation change efforts can pose critical health risks to lesbian, gay, and bisexual people, including confusion, depression, guilt, helplessness, hopelessness, shame, social withdrawal, suicidality, substance abuse, stress, disappointment, self-blame, decreased self-esteem and authenticity to others, increased self-hatred, hostility and blame toward parents, feelings of anger and betrayal, loss of friends and potential romantic partners, problems in sexual and emotional intimacy, sexual dysfunction, high-risk sexual behaviors, a feeling of being dehumanized and untrue to self, a loss of faith, and a sense of having wasted time and resources.
    (c) The American Psychological Association issued a resolution on Appropriate Affirmative Responses to Sexual Orientation Distress and Change Efforts in 2009, which states: “[T]he [American Psychological Association] advises parents, guardians, young people, and their families to avoid sexual orientation change efforts that portray homosexuality as a mental illness or developmental disorder and to seek psychotherapy, social support, and educational services that provide accurate information on sexual orientation and sexuality, increase family and school support, and reduce rejection of sexual minority youth.”
    (d) The American Psychiatric Association published a position statement in March of 2000 in which it stated:
    “Psychotherapeutic modalities to convert or ‘repair’ homosexuality are based on developmental theories whose scientific validity is questionable. Furthermore, anecdotal reports of ‘cures’ are counterbalanced by anecdotal claims of psychological harm. In the last four decades, ‘reparative’ therapists have not produced any rigorous scientific research to substantiate their claims of cure. Until there is such research available, [the American Psychiatric Association] recommends that ethical practitioners refrain from attempts to change individuals’ sexual orientation, keeping in mind the medical dictum to first, do no harm.
    The potential risks of reparative therapy are great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior, since therapist alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce self-hatred already experienced by the patient. Many patients who have undergone reparative therapy relate that they were inaccurately told that homosexuals are lonely, unhappy individuals who never achieve acceptance or satisfaction. The possibility that the person might achieve happiness and satisfying interpersonal relationships as a gay man or lesbian is not presented, nor are alternative approaches to dealing with the effects of societal stigmatization discussed.
    Therefore, the American Psychiatric Association opposes any psychiatric treatment such as reparative or conversion therapy which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that a patient should change his/her sexual homosexual orientation.”
    (e) The American School Counselor Association’s position statement on professional school counselors and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth states: “It is not the role of the professional school counselor to attempt to change a student’s sexual orientation/gender identity but instead to provide support to LGBTQ students to promote student achievement and personal well-being. Recognizing that sexual orientation is not an illness and does not require treatment, professional school counselors may provide individual student planning or responsive services to LGBTQ students to promote self-acceptance, deal with social acceptance, understand issues related to coming out, including issues that families may face when a student goes through this process and identify appropriate community resources.”
    (f) The American Academy of Pediatrics in 1993 published an article in its journal, Pediatrics, stating: “Therapy directed at specifically changing sexual orientation is contraindicated, since it can provoke guilt and anxiety while having little or no potential for achieving changes in orientation.”
    (g) The American Medical Association Council on Scientific Affairs prepared a report in 1994 in which it stated: “Aversion therapy (a behavioral or medical intervention which pairs unwanted behavior, in this case, homosexual behavior, with unpleasant sensations or aversive consequences) is no longer recommended for gay men and lesbians. Through psychotherapy, gay men and lesbians can become comfortable with their sexual orientation and understand the societal response to it.”
    (h) The National Association of Social Workers prepared a 1997 policy statement in which it stated: “Social stigmatization of lesbian, gay and bisexual people is widespread and is a primary motivating factor in leading some people to seek sexual orientation changes. Sexual orientation conversion therapies assume that homosexual orientation is both pathological and freely chosen. No data demonstrates that reparative or conversion therapies are effective, and, in fact, they may be harmful.”
    (i) The American Counseling Association Governing Council issued a position statement in April of 1999, and in it the council states: “We oppose ‘the promotion of “reparative therapy” as a “cure” for individuals who are homosexual.’”
    (j) The American Psychoanalytic Association issued a position statement in June 2012 on attempts to change sexual orientation, gender, identity, or gender expression, and in it the association states: “As with any societal prejudice, bias against individuals based on actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression negatively affects mental health, contributing to an enduring sense of stigma and pervasive self-criticism through the internalization of such prejudice.
    Psychoanalytic technique does not encompass purposeful attempts to ‘convert,’ ‘repair,’ change or shift an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Such directed efforts are against fundamental principles of psychoanalytic treatment and often result in substantial psychological pain by reinforcing damaging internalized attitudes.”
    (k) The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in 2012 published an article in its journal, Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, stating: “Clinicians should be aware that there is no evidence that sexual orientation can be altered through therapy, and that attempts to do so may be harmful. There is no empirical evidence adult homosexuality can be prevented if gender nonconforming children are influenced to be more gender conforming. Indeed, there is no medically valid basis for attempting to prevent homosexuality, which is not an illness. On the contrary, such efforts may encourage family rejection and undermine self-esteem, connectedness and caring, important protective factors against suicidal ideation and attempts. Given that there is no evidence that efforts to alter sexual orientation are effective, beneficial or necessary, and the possibility that they carry the risk of significant harm, such interventions are contraindicated.”
    (l) The Pan American Health Organization, a regional office of the World Health Organization, issued a statement in May of 2012 and in it the organization states: “These supposed conversion therapies constitute a violation of the ethical principles of health care and violate human rights that are protected by international and regional agreements.” The organization also noted that reparative therapies “lack medical justification and represent a serious threat to the health and well-being of affected people.”

  • Patrick

    There is a word that is conspicuously missing from the preparative therapy discussion, and that word is bisexual. I have maintained for years that *anyone* who says they’ve somehow magically transformed their orientation from gay to straight is one of two things, either a flat out liar, or a bisexual. While I’ve never been subjected to this type of therapy, I was however raised in the catholic church. I spent decades trying to rid myself of this “curse” only in the end to decide that suicide was my only option out. Fortunately for me, God had other plans and my actions that day were abruptly altered. It was at that point that I realized that there was nothing wrong with me, other than someone else foisting their interpretations on their congregations without knowing what in the hell they were talking about. They don’t have a clue to the damage they do to people in the name of God.
    I find it not only mildly amusing and incredulous at the same time, that the people that continue to promote the idea that we are not born of our sexual orientation, are all straight people.

  • Key

    Without responding to all the responses: just read one of many book-length treatments of the subject, such as “Shame and Attachment Loss” (http://tinyurl.com/nfhdjon). If you read it, and pursue the footnotes (which give a picture of the number of people who’ve researched and written on these things), the open-minded observer will see that it represents a clinically sophisticated analysis of the issues.

    That doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily agree as to their conclusions, of course. But it does mean that there is a large body of work, much of it older, but nevertheless relevant. The work is older because people who dare to suggest that change can happen are attacked, as witnessed here. Notice who’s demonizing whom. Nobody actually engages w/ what I’m saying; instead, you pursue ad hominem attacks. Logical fallacies are a poor way go about making a convincing argument.

    Last of all: no, Larry, I am not a liar. I was formerly attracted only to men, and I’m attracted to women now. I’m happily married with several kids.

    That doesn’t mean I hate myself, or gay people. Nor does it mean i’m on a crusade to change all the gay people. It means that I’m speaking from my personal experience, and also after doing lots of research at high levels. You don’t have to like what I say, or to even agree, but you should be slow to call people liars when you know nothing about them – if only to show that you’re able to be objective enough to hear a different position w/o attacking it.

  • Mindi

    Reparative “therapy” is just a euphemism for abuse and torture. It’s infuriating the harm “Christians” do in the guise of “love,” while remaining appallingly, willfully blind to the terrible harm they do to Imago Dei. There aren’t enough quotes in the world to emphasize how un-loving this kind of treatment is. As if the indoctrination to things like purity/modesty culture and patriarchy weren’t damaging enough! The harm judgmental bigots do in Christ’s name to others in the body of Christ has nothing to do with how Jesus taught us to love. I’m glad Christian has reclaimed his identity, sad for the way it was stripped from him and weaponized to begin with, and thankful to Eliel for sharing Christian’s story.

  • I’ve watched Christian truly change into a healthy and whole man over the course of 4 years. He sought the real Jesus, not the one he was being taught about, and found the truth: Jesus loves everyone. I’m so proud of Christian and his courage. Watching him blossom into his own person is a joy to watch. I agree with him, it’s time for the church to lay down it’s WMD’s, be it people, policies, or therapies aimed at defeating our neighbors. Enough damage has been done. Time to heal. Time for peace.

  • Key

    Conversations with therapists, which people choose to pay for, are very hard to classify as torture or abuse. Of course therapists can be abusive – witness Christian’s therapists.

    Still, it’s not unkind for a therapist to discuss someone’s unwanted same-sex attractions. The client can accept the therapist’s arguments or reject them. They can fire the therapist.

    What you say is way too broad-brushed. You completely discount the people who don’t want their same-sex attractions, who don’t hate themselves, and who are happier not embracing a gay lifestyle. Neither you nor therapists are competent or responsible to tell people what identities they may or may not have. That’s for the individual to decide!!!

    As if you have the know-how to determine other people’s identities! Who are you to decide that adult people must arrange their identities around same-sex attractions? Who is anyone to decide that for another adult? What you write is another kind of discourse that comes very close to the limit of being abusive.

  • Key

    The church isn’t hauling out WMDs, apart from Christian’s weird therapists. The ones doing the most aggressive work – if you read the comments – are the people who can’t stand this idea: *adults get to choose their own identities.* Progressive people don’t have the right to tell other adults: You don’t like your SSA, but you *must* form an identity around it; you must self-designate as gay.

    Let adults be adults. They can choose to arrange their identities how they’d like, whether gay or not. You’re not more open by condemning people who take a road less traveled – you’re just approximating abusiveness in a different way. You should lay down your own weapons, Alan.

  • Bill

    Using your line of thinking, this ‘therapy’ could then also be used to turn straight people gay.

    I’ll undergo the gay-to-straight therapy, brother, just as soon as YOU undergo the straight-to-gay therapy and report back here how that worked out for you.

    It astounds that human beings can be so gullible, and indeed, stupid.

  • Oscar

    Does it really matter what sexual orientation Christian or any other person has? Is it really anyone else’s business?

    What is more important is the abuse suffered as a young child at the hands of a “missionary” step father, done with the self sanctification of biblical quotes. Did this then set the stage for a life of being manipulated by other religious zealots to fulfil their own strange extreme agendas? Probably, because it is a familiar story for children of “missionaries” who seem to have a staggeringly high rate of child abuse and then spend their lives recovering or not from the effects.
    Gay or straight, does it really matter? Being abused as a child by a parent, surely that is far more important, but I doubt few care about that, it’s in the too hard basket.

  • Christian J Schizzel was beaten down psychologically, spiritually, and emotionally by a reckless minister and church. Leslie and I wept when we watched him say on national television with Lisa Ling that he’d given up his God-given gift of artistry in pursuit of heterosexuality. Stories like Christian’s changed us and highlighted the damage some were doing in the name of Jesus. I agree, adults can and should choose their own path, but many like Christian are victims of spiritually abusive tactics used to induce fear of eternal consequences, loss of affirmation, and rejection. Those ARE WMD’s no matter how subtle or overt. As for laying down my own weapons, I have. The only fight left in me is FOR love and peace and rest. I recommend it.

  • Larry

    Key, you are full of it. When mountains of PROFESSIONAL material and research is out there calling the therapy dangerous and harmful, you don’t get the option of referring to your unsourced, unaccredited, and unreliable sources at face value. I don’t have to dispute your claims because none of it is grounded in anything which establishes a baseline of credibility.

    You won’t respond to the others who have brought forth evidence against your assertions because their sources are far more credible than yours ever will be. Slinging insults such as calling them closed minded doesn’t make you any more honest.

    The sole purpose of ex gay treatment is bigoted in nature. The only actual support from this “therapy” comes from people who unequivocally hate gays, political groups attempt to deny them civil liberties and even people actively pursue harm against them such as imprisonment and execution. The supporters of “ex-gay therapy” deserve to be demonized because of the well documented harm that is being done by such treatment.

    So yes, you are a liar, you hate gay people (hence support measures to erase their public existence) and you support harm to them. Worst of all, you are probably lying to yourself as well.

  • This is the ideal forum to hear from some, or even one, whose core sexual constitution has been transformed from homo-sexual to hetero-sexual. I am convinced that behavior can truly be changed, transformed, as one submits to or accepts the truth of Jesus and His operations in people’s lives. But I have yet to meet one whose basic sexuality has been truly changed. And I spent years within ex-gay ministries.

  • Michael Bussee

    I am glad that Alan Chambers wants to lay down the weapons in the interest of healing and peace. It is time. To his credit, Alan did listen respectfully to the very painful stories of a group of “ex-gay” Survivors like Christian. That took character.

    He did offer an apology on the Lisa Ling special for the harm that the “ex-gay” movement had caused. He shut down Exodus. But something still troubles me deeply. Alan says the Christian’s story highlighted the damage that “some” were doing. “Some”. Not him.

    He still seems very reluctant to say, “I realized the damage I personally was doing as head of the largest ex-gay ministry. I personally blamed parents and painted LGBT people as somehow disordered. I personally made misleading claims that “tens of thousands” of gay people had “successfully changed their sexual orientation.” I personally supported anti-gay and unscientific groups like NARTH. I personally labeled loving and committed gay relationships as “counterfeit”. I personally lobbied against their rights. I did that. Not just some. Me.”

    It’s still what others were doing. What “some” did. I still don’t think Alan has yet fully owned responsibility for promoting the same abusive message of LGBT people being “broken” and in need of “repair” that others were promoting. And I find that very sad. Even as I find Christian’s message to be very brave. Thanks, Christian for speaking the truth.

  • Robert Lofgren

    I agree Michael Bussee. Alan, you have made some great strides, but you should also be willing to take more responsibility to help bring healing and reconciliation.
    I do applaud you for your more compassionate response, but please…for your own good and the good of others…take the extra step and take full responsibility.
    God bless you.

  • Michael Bussee

    There is simply no solid evidence that ex-gay/SOCE/reparative therapy programs work. Every major medical, social work and psychological association has denounced this psuedo-therapy as having no real scientific basis and as being potentially very harmful — especially for minors.

    More importantly, these programs perpetuate anti-LGBT attitudes that queer folk are “broken”, “disordered”, “sinful” and in need of repair. The risks include increased shame, anxiety, depression and even suicide when the promised “change” doesn’t happen.

    Even Alan Chambers (who once boldly proclaimed that he was one of “tens of thousands” of people who had “successfully changed their sexual orientation”) says his prior statement was a “mistake” and that 99.9% do not experience a change in sexual orientation from gay to straight.

  • Aubyn Fulton

    Thanks for this excellent interview Eliel. I am sure we all pray that Mr. Schizzel will be able to find some peace and happiness.

    I do not know you Key, so I will give you the benefit of the doubt, and assume that you are making some honest mistakes and confusions in your comments here, rather than intentionally attempting to mislead and distort. As others have stated here so well, there is no scientific evidence that supports the claim that SOCE (sexual orientation change efforts) are either safe or “effective”. Obviously there are people who claim they are safe and effective, and often these claims are made in writing, but even more obviously simply making the claim does not make it true.

    A couple of points to keep in mind that can help clarify this issue for people of good will who are genuinely trying to understand it:

    1. It is relatively easy for people to stop engaging in sexual behavior (at least for a time) – this has nothing whatsoever to do with changing sexual orientation, though it does confuse some observers.

    2. A bisexual person who ends a relationship with a same gender person and begins one with a different gender person has not changed their sexual orientation.

    3. All reputable, licensed, ethical and competent therapists understand and accept that the burden of proof is on those who propose that any potential intervention is both safe and effective. While homosexuality is not a mental disorder, and is not in need of any treatment, no legitimate therapist would use any proposed treatment for conditions that were considered mental disorders that has the same lack of empirical support that SOCE has. This is not a controversial issue, nor are there reasonable opinions on all sides. It is unethical to use interventions that have not been demonstrated to be safe and effective; SOCE has not been demonstrated to be safe and effective, therefore it is not ethical to engage in SOCE.

    4. There are adults who are uncomfortable with their sexual desires and behavior – some of these are homosexual (even more are heterosexual). While it is not ethical to try to change these people’s sexual orientation, there may be a place for helping them to not engage in behavior that they are not comfortable with. This has nothing to do with SOCE. However, even this must be done with caution and sensitivity, as much of the time the problem is not really their behavior or desire, or even their own true feelings about their behavior or desire, but the coercive psychological manipulation and propaganda they have been fed for much of their lives.

  • Timothy


    Dr. Nicolosi has been writing for quite some time about his beliefs in orientation change. Please do not confuse Dr. Nicolosi’s beliefs with actual research.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Alan’s visible efforts to correct the past and find a path to peace and reconciliation speak for themselves.

    Perhaps he will not say someone else’s scripted “apology”, but I don’t see this as a failure; I see as integrity. And I rather suspect that were he to jump through this assigned hurdle, he’d only find a new one on the other side. Maybe it’s time for us to see each other as allies instead of once-upon-a-time enemies.

    We are all working towards a healthier world and a healthier church. And I thank Alan for his participation in that process – along with all those who see and seek a loving, just, and kind God

  • David Turner

    When I was put through electronic shock therapy by a Dr who was President of the Baptist Church here to try to make me straight, the Dr who did it said it proved medically I am gay as there isn’t anything anyone can do to influence the outcome of those body temperature tests when you see 1000 pictures of men and 100 pictures of women over about 10 days. Being gay is NOT a choice and when I asked how many had had their sexual orientation changed, the Dr said, I quote, “NONE”.
    Those who claim to have been “cured” need to have done 3 things. Go and get those body temperature done to prove they were gay to start with. 2. Go out and “cured” by whatever means, assuming you were ever sick. 3 Have those body temperature tests done again several times over the next few years. Remain silent, and produce a Dr’s certificate to show they have been changed. To date, there has not been one.
    Exodus, the largest ex-gay organization in the world tried for 37 years to change gay people and then said NOT ONE had changed their sexual orientation. But they did apologize for all the psychological damage they had caused including many many suicides.

    The entire medical profession declassified homosexuality as an illness 41 years ago this year and they warned about the considerable psychological damage that is caused by those who try.
    God creates some people gay and it is absolutely fine. Just accept yourself for who you are and be proud of who you are.

  • David Turner

    Frank. I AM GAY. And no, a 44 year marriage to my dear wife has not changed a thing. I no longer tell lies about who I am.

  • David Turner

    Agreed and thanks

  • Larry

    “And I rather suspect that were he to jump through this assigned hurdle, he’d only find a new one on the other side. Maybe it’s time for us to see each other as allies instead of once-upon-a-time enemies.”

    Nobody ever said the road to contrition is supposed to be easy and trouble free. The guy has a lot to answer for. If one wants to appear genuine in their apparent change of heart, then there has to be a lot of making amends for the harm caused.

    Given Alan’s posts, I saw a deliberate avoidance of his personal hand in such things. If one did not know who he was, it would appear he is just a concerned citizen. There was a level of dishonesty in the presentation. Chris DiRico’s post displayed a level of righteous anger and recrimination which appears to be more than appropriate here.

    “We are all working towards a healthier world and a healthier church.”

    I sincerely doubt that is the case. What I see is avoidance of responsibility and harm. One can’t advocate the kind of grievous harm on others that has been referenced here and suddenly expect be treated with anything other than hostility and suspicion.

    If Alan wants to walk a path of reconciliation and peace then he has to earn it. He hasn’t by a long shot. One does not do so by deliberately avoiding one’s personal responsibility to the situation.

  • Robin Mavis

    Message for Christian – Thank you for sharing your experience. I can’t imagine how hard your journey has been. I hope that your personal spiritual journey hasn’t been wrecked by the stupidity of humans. How often we as humans get in the Spirit’s way and become stumbling blocks to our fellow humans. Yes it would be better that a millstone be hung around our necks and drop us into the sea than to cause a precious one of God’s creation to stumble in faith or doubt the love, mercy and grace of God. Janet Boynes has spoken words against children and families in my school district because of her misguided attempt to get closure for her own life. I’m thankful that with the measure with which people judge others, their own lives will be judged when they stand before God to give an accounting. They will be faced with the pain that they have caused others and their souls will be anguish.
    I send my good thoughts to you and pray for you to daily continue to be made whole and healed from the abuse of those who have falsely used the name christian.

  • HAZE

    I totally agree with you Key, people who are angry about the abuse that some ministries have given to those with ssa seem to be very bigoted; they just can’t accept people who are not same sex attracted anymore. So much for being open, accepting and loving. It’s a case of “We love and accept you no matter what your sexual orientation, unless your orientation has changed from same sex to opposite sex, then we’ll hate you”.

  • Jack

    The first sentence in this piece is: “Christian Schizzel spent 7 years being trotted around the country on media outlets as a poster boy for the ex-gay movement.” But that’s not entirely true. Schizzel wasn’t a child. He wasn’t being held captive. He was an adult. He decided what he would do. In fact, he spent 7 years trotting himself around the country to be a poster boy.

    Schizzel had a psychological need and he pursued a solution. Although there is no evidence whatsoever that his “solution” could have yielded the result he sought, I have no problem allowing him to pursue his own path. What is appalling is that Schizzel was prepared to use millions of gay people as props in his therapy. He could have been honest about his venture. He could have said to himself “I am not sure what will come of this, but let me see if this can work for me.” Instead, he went on TV and told the world “This does work and can work for everyone.”

    Presumably, these public appearances boosted his confidence in his decision and, by locking himself into one course of action, eased his doubts and internal conflicts. (People experience less internal conflict over a decision after they have committed to it.) He tries to lay blame on unnamed people who were “making” him read a script, but he wasn’t being held in a cult compound or deprived of sleep. He opted to partake of this public fraud.

    So, he furthered his therapeutic and social goals by lying. And those lies impacted how families treated their loved ones and how policymakers treated their gay constituents. This is precisely what John Paulk did when he put himself on the cover of Newsweek and in paid ads in The New York Times. And it is the same thing that Yvette Schneider did when she did a 2008 simulcast that used “ex-gays” as a reason for people to vote for Proposition 8.

    Schizzel, you want therapy? Fine. You want to conduct an experiment on yourself? Also fine. You want to draft me and the whole country into your therapy? Big problem. You need to apologize

  • Pamela

    We don’t hate people who “change from gay to straight”. It’s impossible to hate a group of people that doesn’t even exist.

  • HAZE

    Your comment shows hate. The fact that you refuse to believe such people is hardly love.

  • Larry Leutwyler

    In response to Key,

    You mentioned that “there’s a large body of academic literature” regarding the possibility of people with SSA “opening up” towards the other sex. Yet you do not list any references. “Opening up”? I assume you are implying that gay people are simply closed up tight? If you are straight, why don’t you try “opening up” sexually to someone of the same sex? Come back and tell us how that worked.

    In addition, you mention people with same sex attraction as if that is the issue discussed. I suppose most people have same sex attraction to some degree? Some gay people have had sex with the opposite sex. Many gay men were at one time married and have children. Some straight men have sex with other men in certain circumstances. That seems to be a very different thing from a basic sexual orientation.

  • Larry L

    Key, it appears that, to you, being “gay” is forming an identity around same sex attraction. If that is true, then the way you stop being “gay” is to stop identifying yourself in that way? It is in viewing yourself as “straight”?

    As long as you state that being “gay” is forming an identity around same sex attraction, then I can not believe what you say. I can no longer believe you when you proclaim that you are not gay. As adults, we can chose to identify ourselves anyway we want. That does not mean we are not delusional.

  • Jac.k

    @Key –

    “I am not a liar. I was formerly attracted only to men, and I’m attracted to women now. I’m happily married with several kids.”

    If true, you are a beast more rare than a white whale. I track ex-gay claims as a kind of off-beat hobby. While I don’t do this 40 hours/week and so can’t claim to have exhaustively covered every source, I believe that I have compiled a fairly good list of claims and claimants. By my count, there are no more than 200 individuals in the US, Canada and Western Europe who have identified themselves as ex-gay. When their individual accounts are examined, nearly all of these people are found to be “on the journey” or “in pursuit” of their goal. Others pointedly refuse to discuss sexual orientation or insist that heterosexuality wasn’t their goal.

    I count no more than 15-20 people – in countries whose combined population is approximately 650 million – who claim to have converted from homosexual to heterosexual, and every single one is professionally or financially invested in the ex-gay movement.

    Of course, the estimate of 15-20 assumes that all of these people are telling the truth. None of them ever subject themselves to examination by a neutral party, so we have only their claims to go on. Until earlier this year, one of these 15-20 people claiming genuine conversion was Yvette Schneider, who in 2007 stated “I came out of homosexuality after a powerful encounter with Jesus Christ and a desire to serve and obey Him. I can say with complete honesty that I NEVER have homosexual desires of any sort – physical or emotional.” Ms. Schneider today admits that this statement was untrue. Just as Mr. Schizzel admits to having lied. Just as John Paulk admits to having lied.

    Beyond these 2 groups, there are, at any given time, there are likely several thousand people involved in ex-gay therapy and ministries in the US at any given time. But as the years go by and more people graduate from these programs, the number of people claiming to have genuinely changed from homo to hetero does not increase. It is always the same tiny number, a group so small they could all sit down at a table and have lunch together.

    Maybe you are one of them “Key from the internet.” If so, one wonders why you don’t identify yourself, share the specifics of your transformation process, and add your experience to the base of knowledge on this subject.

  • I literally want to stand and applaud this comment. So many people who supported the ‘ex-gay’ movement and have backed away refuse to take responsibility for their actions. Chambers and his lot act like we should all ‘move on’ from his past at Exodus International simply because he finally saw the light that psychologically torturing people into straightness doesn’t work.

    Being bisexual myself, seeing him here, seeing him acting like he’s some sort of LGBT peacekeeper, is triggering, for me and probably for many people who either were spiritually abused at the hands of exgay therapy or had loved ones who were. Exodus was one of the worst abusers of LGBT people, and it’s particularly galling to find a former abuser commenting on a forum where people are talking about their abuse. This is why I so adamantly and actively advocate for the continued separation of the LGBT community and the Christian Church. The Church has proven time and time again that it cannot treat LGBT people in a non abusive way or without trying to ‘reconcile’ them with people like Chambers who have been so grievously abusive.

  • Doc Anthony

    Okay okay, I get it. Key’s a big “liar”, Key “hates” gay people and wants to “harm” them, Yada Yada Yada and all that jazz. He supports “ex-gay therapy”, so he deserves Instant Demonization. Got it.

    So here’s a question for you Larry: Have YOU actually met, have you actually sat down with a Christian ex-gay person for a couple hours? Just talking and listening one-on-one, no distractions, no hurries, face-to-face, with a Christian ex-gay person? Hmm?

    As for me, the answer is yes. More than one such person, by the way, and far more than two hours. But what about YOU? Have you done the same?

    Side note: I’ve also done the same thing with a gay activist, again one-on-one, (on “neutral territory” which turned out to be a university student newsroom, since we’d already exchanged opinions in the student newsaper and were both writing for that paper anyway), with no distractions or hurries or fakeness. Interesting bit of dialogue for both of us, as it were.

    But forget about that part, if you’d like. Meet and dialog with any ex-gay people lately, Larry?

  • HAZE

    Exactly Doc! Don’t be a bigot unless you’re a politically correct bigot eh?

  • Mindi

    Key, a conversation with a therapist is not the same as reparative therapy. I’m certain you understand that. You made a lot of assumptions and have forced a lot into what I wrote that simply isn’t there. I did not prescribe any identity to anyone. There is certainly support available for those who experience same-sex attraction and who prefer not to embrace same-sex intercourse. “Lifestyle” is a vague term that means very little. But there’s a far cry between healthy therapy and what reparative therapy is. Reparative therapy is abuse, regardless of whether someone chooses to engage in the brainwashing/programming of it or whether someone is forced into it.

  • Eliel Cruz

    Hey Key,

    Just wanted to let you know although i disagree on reparative therapy — I affirm your personal experience. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  • Eliel Cruz

    I disagree. That is why reparative therpay is becoming more and more illegal in many states. Because it is abusive. Especially since a lot of the people undergoing this “therapy” are children/teens who don’t have a say in the matter.

  • Larry

    Hey Doc, complaining about being called a bigot and a liar is not a refutation of either. You obviously feel no need to demonstrate why I am wrong about such things. You just find it annoying about being reminded of it so often. If you or someone else doesn’t like being called such things, they should stop being one.

    Anyone who supports ex-gay therapy (especially after so many refutations by its proponents) is reprehensible, dishonest and hates gays. There is no reasonable opposing view here. This crap has caused physical and mental harm to people and killed people. Ex-gay treatment has led people to suicide. Those supporters have blood on their hands.

    I am not interested in dialogue with people who support physical and mental abuse in the name of God. I don’t need to hear excuses as to why being cruel and harmful to others may make someone feel OK with themselves.

    There is no such thing as an ex-gay person. So I have met none. Neither have you. Neither has anyone. Either they were bi, or they are lying. Even its former proponents have admitted that. Your claim to the contrary isn’t even remotely true.

  • David Farmer

    Christian’s story needs to be heard; thanks for covering this Eliel. And glad that Alan Chambers and Michael Bussee chimed in.

  • Larry

    “some ministries?” Try all of the ex-gay ministries. They are all bigoted. Their goal is reprehensible and their actions have all been in support of people who openly despise gays, attack their civil liberties and even those who work to have gays killed or imprisoned. People SHOULD be angry at those ministries and those who support them.

    Why should anyone be open and accepting to those who actively work and campaign to harm others? It takes a great deal of nerve to expect warm feelings and acceptance from people who deny it to others.

    Its a case of you hate gays and want to try to erase their existence through psychological pressure, torture and attacks on their dignity and self.

  • Tim W

    I am sure you have talked to people who claim to be ex-gay. I know people who were like that including some of the commenters on here who are ex-ex-gay. They knew they were lying but were trying so hard to convince themselves much like the ones you have talked to.

  • Amy

    Christian, what a brave thing you’re doing! Good for you, honoring who you are and who God created you to be. Thank you for sharing your story, and I hope it helps others to be honest about who they are.

    I don’t want to get dragged into a long discussion about this, but I really wish people wouldn’t jump to the conclusion that “ex”-gay people are bisexual. That does two wrong things. First, it makes an assumption about the identities and experiences of those who are still under the influence of these ministries, labeling them without their consent. Second, it implies that ex-gay isn’t as harmful for bisexual people as for gay people because we can just “turn off” that part of ourselves–kind of like deciding to become vegetarians. Bisexuality is an identity in and of itself, not something that appears based on who we happen to be in a relationship with. Are there bisexual people who have been involved with and harmed by ex-gay ministry? Absolutely. That should be a separate conversation, since the effects will surely not be the same as for someone who has identified as exclusively gay or lesbian. It’s time we stopped being erased from the conversation just because we’re convenient for both sides of the ex-gay aisle.

  • Michael Bussee

    Listen to him. And then, think twice about heaping any scorn on him. He’s a Survivor. He is us. All of us have tried, in one way or another, to be OK. To fit in. To be acceptable to friends, family and God. Welcome out, Christian! And much love.


  • Tim

    I have never met one person who claimed to be “ex-gay” who could not admit, when pressed in private, that they never experience “temptations” of same sex attractions anymore. That is NOT orientation change, but behavior modification. Like Pavlov’s dog, ring the bell and get him to drool. Getting married to a woman, and having children does not make one straight if they still have fantasies about men.

  • Doc Anthony

    In other words Larry, you have NEVER stepped outside your comfort zone, never taken the time to meet, listen, get to know, one or two ex-gays in person.

    You simply told yourself, in your own words, “There is no such thing as an ex-gay person, they are either bisexual or lying,” and you left it at that, all satisfied with yourself.

    (I bet you didn’t even see Amy’s warning about “labeling others without their consent.” Calling people bisexual when that’s not what they call themselves. Sheesh!!)

    But you’re not alone in your bigoted (or hateful) attitude. There’s many others out there, both gay and straight, who want to deny the very existence of former gays and former lesbians. “Once gay always gay”, right?

    Wrong. Even the wife of the current mayor of New York City is a FORMER lesbian (indeed, a former longtime lesbian), and she doesn’t even give God or Jesus ANY credit (as far as I know) for her change. But she most certainly did change.

    Somehow she simply met up with Bill DeBlasio, they start talking together about stuff, and then it was B’dee-B’dee-B’dee-That’s-All-Folks. (AND she doesn’t have any “Spare Tires” on the side, AND she doesn’t let anybody call her bisexual. Heh !!) Now she’s 100 percent for Hizzoner.

    She still supports gay rights and gay marriage of course, and she’s not endorsing the religioous / reparative “ex-gay” thing (otherwise the NYC media would have crucified her by now!). But at least she’s brave enough to tell HER new story, her new story of change, just as loud and openly as she told her old story of lesbianism.

    So you see Larry, the times have changed. You say you’re “not interested in dialogue” with ex-gays, and that’s your choice. But they ain’t going away, they ain’t running away. Change is real; change is possible. If and when you’re ready to talk, they’ll be ready to listen.

    PS…..”Exodus” folded up and collapsed, sure, but “Restored Hope Network” is NOT collapsing. They are giving hope. They are indeed just beginning.

  • Jeff Coe

    Having myself been a part of the ex-gay world for many many years I know how hard it is to come out or like me come out again. You have been programmed to view yourself as broken and sadly many of the ex-gay ministries do play blame the parent. A strong willed mom and a passive father makes for a gay son. Or a weak mom and strong usually abusive father makes for a lesbian. And all of this is just fake psycho babel that they have been touting for years and cloaked it all up in bible and bible verses.

    And it looks like there are more and more of us coming out being tired of playing the game and knowing full well that none of orientation or attractions have changed. It’s a world that few know nor understand and it is so sad when friends and family become the enemy because they just might be a trap from the devil.

    But so glad I left that “lifestyle” that way of being to become a more authentic and humane man. As well so glad for I have found a man who loves me dearly and deeply and that was one thing in the church I would never get to experience and that was love of another for I knew that I could not love a woman in the manner she needed or desired. Life is good but it has taken some time and some major readjustments to get me to where I am today.

    Congrats Christian for I know you are a better and happier man for being authentic with who you are.

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  • HEDZ

    If only more people had attitudes like you Eliel

  • HEDZ

    Larry – I never said don’t be angry at ministries who abuse. Careful about being angry at those who support them though – I thought Janet Boynes ministry was good until I read this article.

    Larry said: “Why should anyone be open and accepting to those who actively work and campaign to harm others?”
    Actually this is what I had said: “they just can’t accept people who are not same sex attracted anymore. So much for being open, accepting and loving. It’s a case of “We love and accept you no matter what your sexual orientation, unless your orientation has changed from same sex to opposite sex, then we’ll hate you”.
    So you see Lary, I am asking you and others to be open and accept people who used to desire same sex and now desire opposite sex folk.

    Larry said: “It takes a great deal of nerve to expect warm feelings and acceptance from people who deny it to others.”
    Exactly Larry! You are denying these to those who’s sexual desires have changed from homo to hetro whilst expecting everyone to love and accept you as a gay man.

  • HEDZ

    Sexuality can change with or without Jesus. We have seen public figures who had a particular SO then changed. Some psychologists argue that sexuality is not necessarily static. Also we see sometimes a person who is gay but feels attraction and desire towards a person of the opposite sex, and vice veras.

  • HEDZ

    This may well be behaviour change rather than orientation change but who says that ‘gay’ has to refer to orientation? If someone decides that it’s their behaviour that makes them gay and if they are not having gay relationships then they are not gay then who is anyone else to tell him/her otherwise?

    I agree that someone who was known as gay, then got married to someone of the opposite sex doesn’t necessarily mean he/she is straight, but then again, it also doesn’t necessarily mean that they are living a lie/their marriage is fake etc. I have known gay people, with no pressure to change whatsoever, to genuinely develop sexual attraction/desire for someone of the opposite sex. It happens and it happens both ways.

  • HEDZ

    You are so right Jack. People, including myself, seemed to have overlooked this. This article is showing Christian as a victim but he was an adult. He could have left this movement much sooner when he realised the farce that it was.

  • HEDZ

    “There are adults who are uncomfortable with their sexual desires and behavior – some of these are homosexual (even more are heterosexual). While it is not ethical to try to change these people’s sexual orientation, there may be a place for helping them to not engage in behavior that they are not comfortable with. This has nothing to do with SOCE. However, even this must be done with caution and sensitivity, as much of the time the problem is not really their behavior or desire, or even their own true feelings about their behavior or desire, but the coercive psychological manipulation and propaganda they have been fed for much of their lives.”

    God’s word is not propaganda. The world has enough propaganda, such as “you absolutely must go with how you feel, if you don’t then you are not being true to yourself and you must be true to yourself.” “If you have even the smallest desires for that person who is the same sex as you then that says something about your SO, you can’t deny these feelings” etc etc

  • HEDZ

    Larry: “Hey Doc, complaining about being called a bigot and a liar is not a refutation of either”
    Calling someone a bigot and a liar doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true Larry.

    “There is no such thing as an ex-gay person. So I have met none. Neither have you. Neither has anyone. Either they were bi, or they are lying. Even its former proponents have admitted that. Your claim to the contrary isn’t even remotely true.”

    Ok Larry, so you’ve never met an ex-gay, or rather if you have met one you chose to not believe that they are one. And if you have never met one then of course they are all lying. If anyone claims to the contrary then it’s just not true. Yes, makes perfect sense Larry… to you.

  • Chris DiRico

    Chambers, you’ve got A LOT of nerve adding your two cents on this discussion. It’s your Constitutionally protected right, of course, but your ridiculous rah-rah support of Christian and his reinvigorated identity implies that you’re part of the solution instead of the problem.

    Do you not understand that YOU are one of the reasons why Christian spent the past 7 years in depression and misery? Besides the fact that you were one of Janet Boynes’ biggest role models, let’s consider the following:

    YOU were the face and voice of Exodus International for over a decade, an organization that unleashed unimaginable pain and misery on vulnerable LGBT men, women and children; an organization that destroyed families and (literally) destroyed lives.

    YOU and your organization deliberately peddled “science” and “statistics” that you KNEW were either false, misleading, or were discredited decades ago.

    YOU told anyone who would listen: “Change is possible!” when you couldn’t even change yourself. Only when Exodus was on the brink of bankruptcy and irrelevance did you finally admit that you had never seen a homosexual convert to heterosexuality.

    YOU sat front-and-center at a George W. Bush press conference while our then-President threw his support behind a federal marriage amendment, a blatantly bigoted piece of legislation that would’ve caused untold harm for millions of same-sex couples across the country.

    YOU spoke out in favor of Prop 8, using the ridiculous excuse that the LGBT community shouldn’t have same-sex marriage because we don’t NEED same-sex marriage (“They can change and marry women just like I did! See? I love my wife!”)

    YOU lent your face, your voice and your story to every single cause in the ex-gay movement, blissfully ignorant of what these organizations (FRC, Focus on the Family, NARTH) stood for and how much harm they inflicted on the LGBT community.

    YOU either turned a blind eye or played dumb when ex-gay survivors confronted you with your OWN organization’s tactics, on NATIONAL television no less! In one instance, you openly disagreed with your OWN organization’s mission statement…until Montel politely informed you that the statement was taken from your OWN organization’s website. On the Dr. Drew show, you dismissed Love in Action’s residential regulations as “silly,” even though LIA was under YOUR corporate umbrella!

    YOU held yourself up as one of the key success stories of the ex-gay movement when you knew all along that you’re just as homosexual today as you were when you first stepped foot into the ex-gay industry. But just like every other professional “ex-gay” (read: the most visible “ex-gay” spokespeople were those on the payrolls of ex-gay organizations), you kept quiet and kept yourself hoisted as the face of the ex-gay movement…until the money ran out.

    YOU threw your Exodus’s name behind the bigoted Day of Truth, an event that was EXPLICITLY designed to target and demean vulnerable out-LGBT kids at schools.

    And worst of all, Chambers, YOU sat there stone-faced while every single person in that Church basement forced you to put down the Bible you’ve spent the past two decades hiding behind and look into the figurative mirrors that Bussee et al were holding up. You had to face the undeniable fact that YOU are one of the reasons why the LGBT community was harmed so tremendously over the past decade. And you had NOTHING to say!

    Bigoted legislators and talking heads used YOUR personal story and YOUR company’s literature as “proof” that “Gays can change!”, thus we don’t deserve “special rights” that we don’t really need. And bullying? YOUR company’s literature was used to justify the unrelenting torment and torture of vulnerable LGBT youth to the point where the poor kids resorted to either drug abuse, self-injury, suicide, or all of the above.

    Finally, YOU have never accepted ANY responsibility for the damage that you’ve caused. Yet you have the nerve to show up on this forum to play “peacemaker.” That’s…RICH. Funny how humble you are now that your life’s work was revealed to be nothing but a religiously-charged, self-hate-inducing joke of itself, while Exodus is nothing but a bankrupted bitter memory; weeds growing through the cracked black-top of an empty, dilapidated parking lot.

    Stories like Christian’s didn’t highlight what “some” in the ex-gay movement were doing. Christian’s story highlighted what ALL in the ex-gay movement were doing, including YOU. Where’s the accountability? Where’s the outreach to the very LGBT youth whose lives you helped ruin? Where’s the outreach to the families you helped brainwash with your organization’s hateful literature?

    One last thing: “The only fight left in me is FOR love and peace and rest.”

    You’ll never have anything resembling peace or rest until you finally admit to yourself and to the world that there’s no part of you that was ever even remotely heterosexual, Chambers. Your entire adult life was built on a religiously-charged lie. Living out the rest of your life in closeted misery would be well-deserved, but if you want to save yourself and start living an authentic life (like Christian, Bussee, John Smid, John Paulk, etc.), then ditch the Let’s All Have A Big Group Hug crap and start telling the truth…for once in your life.

    (Sorry…had to repost…the lack of paragraph breaks were bothering me.)

  • Chris

    Thank you Eliel for hosting this lively and important debate and for sharing Christian’s incredible story. If there’s any doubt as to the harm caused by this “therapy,” Bryan Christopher’s new memoir, “Hiding from Myself” is another great resource. It’s a must read for anyone considering this therapy, either for themselves, or their kids. http://tinyurl.com/o4frmhp

  • HEDZ

    I bet the wife of the current mayor of NYC got lots of hate after falling for a man right? Why do people find it so hard to accept sexual orientation change? Especially when it is gay to straight?! When Ann Hesh started dating Ellen De Generes that was ok but when Jessis J, who was out as bisexual, said recently that she just desires men now and her (personal) bisexuality was a phase, she got hate. People who were once married to opposite sex folks and are now in gay relationships weren’t necessarily denying their real sexuality in the first place, nor were they necessarily always bisexual. Things change.

    It’s pretty offensive to say people are just lying, or they are bisexual if their desires have changed.

  • HEDZ

    Wow, I understand the anger and need for an apology from Alan but to force your bigoted view of ‘once gay always gay’ is abusive. What is it with so many gay people who just can’t handle the fact that someone who may have been/may be gay can have any other desires? Sorry but my friend is gay and much to my surprise he told me all about how he fancied a woman that he knew, like big time and he’s going to ask her out. It makes no difference to me that he’s gay. He’s not a Christian. He seriously wants this woman though.

  • Jon Gilchrist

    The only people left in America who have a BIG problem with homosexuals are the religious right. No matter that the bible has a long list of forbidden acts of a non sexual nature that everyone chooses to ignore. It’s the sexual nature that gets these Victorian era celibates all worked up. I find that when people get to know gays and lesbians, they find out that they get up in the mornings, drink coffee, go to jobs, drive cars, pay taxes, buy Christmas gifts for families and friends, go to churches, we’re not all satanist, adopt children and give them homes, children who would be slated for foster care otherwise. And I know first hand that children of Lesbian and Gay parents, if they are heterosexual they remain heterosexual into adulthood.

    The gay agenda is the same agenda as everyone else. And if the Christian right wants immorality to be appalled by they can look at their own agenda. They are dupes for the mean spirited and almost satanic in their indifference towards their fellow Americans and the less privileged which clearly goes against the teachings of Christ. They service the hypocrisy and ignorance of the politics that pays lip service to them. They are lackey’s for the Koch Brother agenda which is just about as unchristian as I can imagine.

    I heard these “exgay” forums were little more than orgies when the lights went out anyway and that’s why they have failed so badly. And I just have one question for those who think that homosexuality is a choice…just when did YOU decide to become heterosexual? .

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  • HEDZ

    “The only people left in America who have a BIG problem with homosexuals are the religious right. No matter that the bible has a long list of forbidden acts of a non sexual nature that everyone chooses to ignore. It’s the sexual nature that gets these Victorian era celibates all worked up”

    I’m not in America and am personally not on the right, more left of centre, but I have to say that most Christians I know and those who I have seen in the media DO NOT ignore the other sins, which are of a non-sexual nature. And what’s this ‘Victorian era celibates’? Is celibacy a social crime to you? Freedom of sexuality includes celibacy. It’s about time people realised that being in the 21 century doesn’t mean that everyone has to be doing it and choosing celibacy is is just old fashioned, Victorian or any other derogatory label.

  • Kim C

    This is sad. Those ppl arent christians. Their fruits arent spiritual one. They’re religious nuts. When we represent Jesus, we’re not judgmental because He is love and grace. I’m so sorry to all who experience such rejection. You’re loved madly.

  • Michael Bussee

    Doc Anthony (whoever he may be) asks: “Have you actually sat down with a Christian ex-gay person for a couple hours? Just talking and listening one-on-one, no distractions, no hurries, face-to-face, with a Christian ex-gay person? Hmm?”

    I know I have. I know Alan Chambers has. I know that the nine former “ex-gay” leaders who are now calling for an end to conversion therapy certainly have. Most of us spent years talking with Christian “ex-gays”. And not one of us has met more than a small handful of people who now claim that they have changed their sexual orientation from gay to straight.

    Alan Chambers once told a NARTH conference that he was “one of tens of thousands who had successfully changed their sexual orientation”. He now says that was “a mistake”. He now admits that “99.9% do not change their sexual orientation”. He told me personally that he didn’t think he had ever met an actual “ex-gay” and that he thought the term was misleading.

    Former leaders who are now speaking out against “ex-gay/reparative therapy” spent more than a “couple of hours” talking to Christian “ex-gays”. Some of them spent decades talking with them, getting to know them, counseling them.

    Did we meet folks who had decided not to act on their “unwanted SSA”? Yes. Did we meet folks who were now celibate in accordance with their religious beliefs? Yes. Did we get to know “ex-gays” who were now married to a woman, but who still fought a daily struggle against what Alan Chambers has called “that which comes naturally” for them? Yes.

    Have we found “ex-gays” who left behind a lifestyle of substance abuse and anonymous, compulsive, risky sex? Yes. Have we gotten to know “ex-gays” who are happier now that they have made these changes? Sure.

    But what we haven’t found is more than a handful of people who claim that their sexual orientation has change from homosexual to heterosexual. And of the ones who do make the claim, most make a living making the claim. That’s mighty suspicious.

    As for Doc Anthony’s claim that Restored Hope Network is giving hope, readers should be aware that RHN won’t even oppose the criminalization and jailing of LGBT people. Anne Paulk and RHN have called for “businesses, organizations and nations” to oppose equality under law for LGBT people.

    RHN believes that gay Christians will go to hell if they don’t “repent”. And Anne Paulk has said openly that RHN is “not interested in dialog with the gay community”. So who is not sitting down and really listening? Sounds like RHN to me.

  • Michael Bussee

    In 2010, Nicolosi instructed Exodus conference attendees to “go home and get your best gay porn” and then use EMDR eye-movement “back and forth, back and forth” to reduce their homosexual feelings and increase their heterosexual ones.

    This nonsense was too much even for Exodus. They once endorsed NARTH, but then broke away and erased any mention of Nicolosi and NARTH from their webpage. Now NARTH is closely aligned with Restored Hope Network — and they enthusiastically endorse NARTH’s beliefs and “therapies”.

  • Tim

    I know plenty of gay men married to straight women… they call that a Mixed-Orientation-Marriage. AND they make it work… but their orientation is still homosexual. I never said their marriages were fake.

  • Doc Anthony

    To respond briefly to Michael Bussee, yes I am well aware that yourself, and Alan Chambers, and other leaders “have sat down and spoken with” many ex-gay persons. Of course.

    I’ve done so myself with a few ex-gay folks, though obviously not nearly as many as yourself or Chambers or other leaders, indeed **nowhere near.** Just a few folks, honestly. But those few, I’d stand with them for sure.

    However, it’s really too bad that the poster Larry has NOT sat down and talked with ANY ex-gay folks, and openly refuses to do so, while denying their existence, calling them liars and “bisexuals”, and openly demonizing them. That’s no good.

    Meanwhile, in your reply, I notice you used the word “we” a lot. Yet you are not really “we” anymore, are you? Just by looking at your serious criticisms of Alan Chambers in this very thread, it really does NOT look like you two are much on the same page at all.

    (And of course, as is his penchant, Chambers chose to keep as quiet as the proverbial church-mouse, and not respond to yours’ and others’ criticisms.)

    Anyway, things are what they are. I remember the national field day that the gay activists had when you became an “ex-ex-gay”, and I remember the Richter 10.5 earthquake that shook all of America, when Alan Chambers and Exodus International suddenly wiped out.

    Gay marriage is “in”, 1 Cor. 6:9-11 is “out”, and if Scripture is any indication, our nation and our churches are in trouble. Code-Blue level of trouble.

    But I still remember those few folks I have met. They’re not perfect, (me neither), but I remember how I could clearly see a living 1 Cor. 6:11 in their eyes, clearly hear a living 1 Cor 10:13 in their voices. So very amazing. So very encouraging.

    And the RH Network? Well, they DO have some very encouraging personal life stories about God making a way out of no way, and THAT is what many questioners and strugglers need to hear right now. So I recommend them.

  • HEDZ

    What a wonderful response Doc. Christopher Yaun used to live a gay life and now chooses not to. He doesn’t call himself ex-gay and he said “The opposite to homosexuality is not hetrosexuality, the opposite to homosexuality is holiness” He chooses holiness and to those who say that he is denying his sexuality well he says that Jesus told us to deny ourselves.

  • Krystal

    Thank you for sharing this story. Offering insight and understanding into ones life is hard. I’m very glad Christian saw the abuse and was finally able to get away from his abusers. When many people are isolated, it becomes harder to escape because you feel as though you have no one to help you free yourself. To rise above the abuse and say “no more” is highly commendable!

  • Larry

    I have never seen a unicorn either and I have about the same chance of meeting one.

    It’s rich that you are calling me the bigot. Someone who gladly espouses a belief that gays are worthy of discrimination and supports what amounts to torturing them out of publicly being themselves.

    You know there is a category of people who go in both orientations. Maybe you have heard of them, bisexuals.

    So which ex-gay ministry tortured the homosexuality out of Mrs. DiBlasio? None. Who harangued her into such a change using threats of peer pressure, religious admonishment? Nobody. So of course she is not endorsing the ex-gay torture that you are supporting so vociferiously. It had nothing to do with her life.

    Ex-gay ministries/”therapists” have led people to suicide, emotional and physical damage. None of them have done anything worthy of note besides fuel anti-gay politics.

  • Larry

    Since ALL ex-gay ministries engage in abuse, they all deserve the kind of vitriol leveled against them. There are none which can be seen in any other way.

    They thrive on the atmosphere of fear and hate that bigots levels against them. People who fall for these groups are put under tremendous pressure by family, friends, employers, religious authorities to attack a major part of themselves.

    I don’t hate people who seek out the ex-gay bigots/charlatans. I pity them. Those gays are willing to side with groups who would rather have their existence erased than to show even the slightest bit of humanity. An emotional version of Stockholm Syndrome, sympathizing with one’s abusers.

  • Larry

    There is nothing more pathetic than the “you are the real bigot” response. It is not people like Chris who are parading in front of crowds campaigning to deny civil liberties to others. I am not making efforts to have people imprisoned or executed for some aspect of their being. Nor are such people advocating torture for religious and political reasons.

    That is all on the side of the people supporting these “ex-gay ministries”. They are nothing more than a sideshow for people who seek to attack gays under the color of law. There is nothing more bigoted than that.

  • HEDZ

    “There is nothing more pathetic than the “you are the real bigot response””

    Oh really Larry? Is that because it doesn’t let people like you be hypocritical and get away with it?

    I assume that you are not a Christ follower because the amount of hate that you have is absolutely amazing. Oh you might justify it to yourself and some others but that’s not God’s way.

  • Larry

    I am not the person using the argument, “I know a guy”. That nonsense is all you. There is no reason to believe a word of it.

    Fact of the matter is NOT ONE PERSON has been turned straight by these “ex gay” groups. NOT ONE PROFESSIONAL considers the therapy to be of use.

    “Ex-gays” serve a purpose to be paraded around by bigots when they want to justify various attacks on the civil liberties of gays, justify putting gays in prison or having them executed.

    Obviously you are some kind of Christian fundie fanatic judging by dishonesty in your discourse, the bigotry in your stance and the abject hatred you feel to others needed to justify torturing others in the name of Jesus. Your version of God is of no value to sane and moral society. If one is not angry at those who advocate abuse and torture, they should not call themselves Christians.

  • Ben in oakland

    I have a great deal to say on this, especially given some of the comments I have read. But let me start with this.

    I have no doubt that it is just possible someone has been able to change themselves from homo to hetero. After all, “In a world where carpenters can be resurrected, anything is possible.” So, I’m willing to concede the possibility. At the same time, it is abundantly clear that the issue is primarily a matter of political, religious, sociological, and psychological ideology and opinion, and not a matter of science, or fact, logic, and experience. Despite the claims of its proponents, it is equally clear that the vast majority of “change” cases have consisted of semantics, fraud, lies, wishful thinking, fairy tales, and politics. Having said that…

    Neither Jesus, nor Freud, nor the Fraud of ex-gay therapy has ever turned anyone from gay to straight. But all three have been used by the anti-ex-gay industry as a means of accruing power, money, and dominion for conservative Christians, using the lives of vulnerable and INNOCENT gay people as the fuel for their personal auto-da-fe’s. Christian– gotta love the name– is just one more tool in a long succession of tools, used and discarded by the anti-ex-gay industry in their never-ending quest for dominion over gay people in particular, and society in general.

    And, I am increasingly convinced, for dominion over themselves. These have also permitted the closeted, homo-hating-homos to battle their own demons at the expense of innocent people who refused to be cowed by self hatred, destructive religious belief, self-seeking religious dominionism, and conservative politics. Ted Haggard, Cardinal O’Brien, and Lonnie Latham are just a few of the many, many cases– closet cases all– who exorcised their personal demons, or attempted to, paying for their sins with the easy coin of other people’s lives. What better use for 30 pieces of silver?

    For “Key” and his ilk: What research are you referring to? Jones and Yarhouse? It’s probably the best “study” of its kind, as bad bad bad as it is, but it showed Exgay “therapy” to be a miserable failure, DESPITE the claims of those who see a turd and smell a rose. Even with their ties to the religious right and the anti-ex-gay industry, they were able to find only 100 study subjects, though the anti-ex-gay industry has declared that hundreds of thousands of gay people had “changed” because of Jeeeeeesussssssss! And of those 100 subjects, only 13 had “changed” from homo to “hetero”– a “change” the authors THEMSELVES described as “difficult, ambiguous and complicated”. In short, In other words, they only “changed”, the didn’t change. They said what their keepers and pastors, not to mention they themselves, wanted to hear.

    And as Christian admits, they lied. John Paulk, former poster boy for “change” and Focus on the Anus– sorry, I meant to type “family”– claimed for years he had “changed”. It’s how he “earned” his living. He even got married and fathered two children. Now he has admitted that he and many, many others lied to please their masters. He has also apologized for the harm that his lies caused so many people. Most importantly, his extensive “heterosexual experience”, all of his prayers to God, and all of his posturing, didn’t make him heterosexual. They only made him miserable, and enriched his keepers.

    And what of Jeeeeeeeesusssssss, and his power to “change” lives? Alan Chambers, head of Exodus, the “leading” “ex-gay” “ministry”, back in the days before he admitted that no one changes, claimed “hundreds of thousands”. Chambers went from claiming hundreds of thousands of “success” cases, to admitting that 99.9% don’t. No one changes– not in the least himself. He is just as gay as a goose as he ever was. And he is just as Christian as he ever was. That he is heterosexually married, and apparently faithful to his vows, changes NOTHING of what goes on in his head. The fulfillment that he claims is quite possible. I believe him, absolutely. But it hasn’t been an actual fact for any but the smallest minority.

    What’s interesting is what happens next for all the failures. They are condemned for not wanting to change badly enough, for not giving it enough. This is probably the only “disease” where if the “cure” proposed by “doctors” doesn’t work, it is the fault of the patient.

    The anti-ex-gay industry claims that being gay is all about behavior, and that orientation doesn’t exist. Christian, Alan Chambers, John Paulk, Ted Haggard, Peterson Toscano, John Schmid, and a host of others are living testimony of the lying for Jesus that the industry makes their money from. Orientation exists whether or not the behavior is present. So one of their most important premises is demonstrably a falsehood.

    Jesus says that that which is asked for in prayer sincerely and faithfully would be granted. So, are we to conclude that the legion of failures for the Exgay Agenda are people that didn’t pray hard enough, that didn’t want it badly enough, they weren’t faithful enough? Not according to the victims of the failure. But here we go again: the failure of the cure must be the fault of the sinner, not the doctor, and certainly not the basic premise.

    The antigays, when not trumpeting non-existent “change”, have also claimed that “Jesus” helped tens, hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands “leave the lifestyle.” It’s called moving the goalposts, from “changing to heterosexuality” to “not living the gay lifestyle.” It’s not a change, it’s an obfuscation. There is no “gay lifestyle”, and leaving it is simple. No Jesus-jiggling is required.

    (It’s exhausting having to write all of these quote marks on an iPad. But I prayed to Jesus to help, and he did. That’s why there are so many of them. So maybe it does work!)

    But I digress. You know how to be exgay? Stop doing gay things. No gay sex, no gay porn, no gay books, no gay friends, no gay romance, no gay venues, no gay events, no gay anything. Then and only then can you say you are “exgay”, except for all of the stuff going on in between your ears and your legs that says gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay. Accordingly, therefore, some so-called Christians believe that gay people are, by their very natures, their very unchangeable natures, damned to hell by the God who created them and who just loves them so much. The Catholic Church is especially guilty of this most grievous fault, with their claims of “inherent tendency towards grave moral evil.”

    So much for John 3:16. So much for the entire New Testament, for that matter.

    And if you can’t turn your very nature off, and especially, if you can’t turn on opposite sex stuff, then you are just as gay gay gay as you ever were. But even so– and of course– the usual benefits of keeping up appearances, of pleasing ignorant and bigoted people, of gaining the approval of THEIR particular, peculiar version of holiness, of ignoring what your heart and intellect tell you is true, are still available for a small monthly fee: your integrity and your soul.

    Not to mention: the profit accruing to the purveyors of antigay bigotry.

    With exgays, the problem isn’t their homosexual lifestyle. (I use that term VERY consciously, when normally I would decry its usage). The problem is self hatred, and if you don’t deal with that, you will continue to be exgay, a taint, as in taint one or the other. Not gay, not straight, but ex-gay. Like the alcoholic who hasn’t had a drink in 20 years, but still goes to meetings three times a week, his life is STILL about alcohol. As a friend once told me, “The point is not resolving not to go to the bar. The point is to have better things to do than go to the bar.”

    My brother was such a one. He hated himself for everything, but especially for being gay. He hated himself so much for that that he never even told me that he was gay, never told the one person that could have helped him, until he had wrecked his life. He died of murder or suicide or both in the Mexican desert. I will NEVER forgive the anti-ex-gay industry for taking my brother from himself, and from me.

    The anti-ex-gay industry claims a high “success” rate for their fraud. You’d think, wouldn’t you, that “all” of these people that “changed” would be more than happy to show the world that they had “changed”. There would be an immense parade of “former homosexuals” “changed” by “Jesus”, or “changed” by Marcus Bachman and his army of fellow-traveling snake oil salesmen. But there isn’t such a parade, except of failures and victims. And all that the claim has proved is that like a fool and his money, a snake and his oil are soon parted.

    There are only the same 40 or 50 people, all of whom earn their living on the anti-ex-gay circuit, all proclaiming that change is possible while admitting that they haven’t changed at all. My favorite is the unfortunately named David Pickup, whose persona in his gay-to-straight videos simply screams “QUEEEEEEEEEEEEN!” For years, he has claimed he is getting more heterosexual by the day, but whose train apparently has never actually quite arrived at the station. But any day now! Physician– if you actually were one– HEAL THYSELF!!! But you can’t and you won’t.

    So many of them point to their former lifestyles of misery, promiscuity, drugs, alcohol, and self destruction as “proof” of the evil of homosexuality, while pointedly ignoring the lives of the vast majority of gay people who have great lives, or the heterosexuals who don’t. Or, if those gay people don’t have great lives, they would no more think of blaming the fact on their homosexuality than, say, a certain fornicating, adulterous, thrice married, God spouting, former republican congressman, or a pill addicted popular gasbag, would blame HIS transgressions on his heterosexuality.

    With a very minuscule, few possible exceptions, as far as I can tell, “I used to be gay, but now I’m heterosexual” only means AT BEST “I’ve always been bisexual, but the gay part really bothered me.” Bisexuality is a known phenomenon. But bisexuals are excluded from this anti-ex-gay narrative, because in their world, there is only black and white, gay and straight, sinner and saved. Anything else spoils the story they tell themselves, and interferes with both the cash flow and the power. I’ve asked well over a hundred people now who have claimed they are Exgay and were changed by Jesus to swear on his blood, or whatever they hold truly sacred, that they are now heterosexual, without a gay thought anywhere. NOT ONE has claimed pure heterosexuality, and most wouldn’t claim ANY heterosexuality, only that they have “left the lifestyle.” It’s funny, because I can claim without equivocation that I am 100% gay, without a heterosexual thought in my body, despite a few hetero experiences 35 years ago that I haven’t the slightest interest in repeating. I’d even swear to Jesus, if I believed in Jesus– or believed that God cares anywhere near as much as conservative religionists do about what I do with my dangly bits, and with whom.

    Or, for that matter, as much as homo-hating-homos care about it. These are people who desperately wish they were heterosexual, but are never going to be, despite all of their appeals to Jesus or Freud or quackery. Here is an interesting little tidbit on This Very Subject. A few months ago, married with children, definitely not gay no way, virulently antigay pundit and so-called Christian Bryan Fischer was asked a question by Alan Colmes: “Have you ever had a gay thought/attraction?” And Bryan Fischer replied with a non-reply: “Don’t go there. I’m not going there.” Not a simple no, but an out-and-out evasion of a direct question. And what does this have to do with anything? More and more I am convinced that the most virulently antigay people are trying desperately to deflect attention from themselves, to earn their Celestial Brownie Points by attacking people who don’t live in their spiritual and moral cesspool. But even THEY are weary of keeping their guard up, and will occasionally admit to the obvious.

    I’m NOT saying that change is impossible. And perhaps, for a very select few, and not for those like Christian or Pickup, it is possible. The problem is that what constitutes change is open to debate, with its reality depending on which way the religious and cultural wind is blowing. But change on a wholesale basis, due to quack religion or quack therapy, no. The latter quackery is in many ways more dangerous, because of its fraudulent appeals to science, while claiming that the problem is religious or moral. Another case of changing goalposts, or more accurately, of playing football with an armchair.

    Quack quack! “You’re gay because you were molested.” You say, “No, I wasn’t molested, not at all!” And they’ll “help” you remember all about it. Or, you WERE molested and you point out your quite heterosexual life. That doesn’t count. Ask how the process occurs, and you get no intelligible answer. Tell them you knew you were gay as a small child, and THEY will deny YOUR experience.

    Or you point out the illogic of a boy being molested by a man, by all accounts a horrible experience, and that somehow that’s going to make him want it more! But a girl being molested by a man– by the far the majority of molest cases– and that’s going to make her turn to women, except when it doesn’t, which is usually. One on three to one in five girls are molested, one in six boys are molested, but only one in 25 of either are primarily gay. Or one in 100, according to the anti-ex-gay industry.

    And even worse, blaming gay people, men especially, for the molestation problem. All this does is blame the innocent and give cover to the actual molesters: most often the father or father surrogate. Jerry Sandusky is the perfect example: heterosexual to all who knew him, married with children, and Christian. And a despicable piece of human garbage, worse only than the moral garbage who knew what he was doing, but thought that football was more important.

    Quack quack quack! “You’re gay because mommy and daddy didn’t love you enough!” I though every child that has a mother and father to raise them are raised perfectly! It’s what every child needs, right? A mother and a father who love them! “Fathers! Love your sons or another man will.” You point out that Big-Gay-You had a great relationship with your parents. Or you point out that you’re quite heterosexual and had a horrible relationship with your alcoholic, abusive father. That doesn’t count!

    Quack quack! “You’re gay because you lacked proper masculine role models.” (They’re never all that concerned about girls and femininity, except in a cartoonish version of a cross between Marilyn Monroe and a Stepford wife, which is a good indication of where their heads are actually situated). As a self-respecting homosexual, I never know whether I’m supposed to be hyper masculine or hyper effeminate. It’s so confusing. But that’s only because of the lies and mythology and confusion produced by the anti-ex-gay industry. I’m just me. I was active in sports my whole life. Most people don’t know I’m gay unless I tell them. And of course, I knew I was gay when I was three. I just didn’t know what to call it, but I KNEW.

    This is the reality of change therapy or jesus therapy. It’s a nonexistent cure, based on non-existent knowledge, for a non-existent disease, caused by non-existent factors, to achieve a non-existent reality…

    In order to appeal to quite existent prejudice and a political, financial, and religious agenda. So, as far as change goes, either by Freud or Jesus, well: that’s not how this works.

    That’s not how ANY of this works.

  • Ben in oakland

    And what is that version? Any details?

  • HEDZ

    “I am not the person using the argument, “I know a guy”. That nonsense is all you. There is no reason to believe a word of it.”

    Oh Larry, you are making me laugh now! The guy I know isn’t a Christian, as I said in my post and had nothing to do with any ministry. I wouldn’t expect you to believe a word of it. Why would you when you’ve closed your mind to anything other than what you want to believe through all the bitterness and hatred which you so obviously have.

    “Obviously you are some kind of Christian fundie fanatic judging by dishonesty in your discourse, the bigotry in your stance and the abject hatred you feel to others needed to justify torturing others in the name of Jesus. Your version of God is of no value to sane and moral society. If one is not angry at those who advocate abuse and torture, they should not call themselves Christians.”

    LOL Christian fundie fanatic. I am a fun Christian yes. I put God’s word above political correctness or any other correctness the world tells me to do, so if that makes me a fundie, fine. I don’t actually feel hatred towards anyone whether, gay, straight bi, intersex, trans, used to be attracted to same sex but now fancy only the opposite sex etc etc. Of course you won’t believe me but that’s ok. I don’t need you to. Plus I never endorsed any ex-gay ministry.I am not surprised that you failed to see this though. I saw Janet Boynes on a TV show and started following her on social media but having read this article has opened my eyes to the reality of her ministry. Jesus actually talked about anger in Matthew 5:21-22.

    Seriously, I hope you get healing from all the pain you so obviously have.

  • Ben in oakland

    I’m most emphatically not calling you a liar. But extraordinary claims require some evidence, especially when those claims repudiate the certain testimony of people like Alan Chambersand Chrsitian. So. Here are the questions. Please swear on whatever you consider most holythat what you are about to say is true without equivocations. No “it all depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is.”

    Did you EVER have have homosexual sex and/or relationships BEFORE you became heterosexual.

    All you exclusively heterosexual in thought, word, or deed now?

    Did you EVER have any attractions to women before your conversion?

    Do you EVER have homosexual thoughts or desires NOW?

    Did you EVER call yourself bisexual?

    What was the means of your conversion? How did it come about? How long did it take you?

  • Ben in oakland

    I have, doc.

    And I have yet to have one tell me that he is now fully heterosexual without a single homosexual thought, word, deed or desire.

    See my comments below.

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