'I spent many nights calling out to God to change me'

I was never more depressed or suicidal than when I tried to change my sexuality in therapy at the hands of a Christian therapist. I spent many nights lying awake calling out to God to change me. Not because I felt there was something wrong with me but because I was told there was by my church. [tweetable]I was willing to do anything to be welcomed back into my religious community and it almost cost me my life.[/tweetable]

Reparative therapy has been thoroughly debunked by every reputable academic and scientific organization. Dr. Robert Spitzer, whose 2001 study asserted sexuality can be changed, has renounced his work and has apologized to the LGBT community for making “unproven claims of the efficacy of reparative therapy.” Even former ex-gay kingpin, Exodus International, closed its doors admitting the harm they had caused.

I’ve recently posted an interview with yet another former symbol of the ex-gay movement refuting the harmful practice. Despite the ample evidence that this practice is unhealthy, some Christians still promote it.

Indeed, the American Psychological Association says the “results of scientifically valid research indicate that it is unlikely that individuals will be able to reduce same-sex attractions or increase other-sex sexual attractions through SOCE [sexual orientation change efforts]."  Nine former leaders of the ex-gay movement penned an open letter showing their deep remorse for their part in this pseudo-science practice, “We know first-hand the terrible emotional and spiritual damage it can cause, especially for LGBT youth. We once believed that there was something morally wrong and psychologically 'broken' about being LGBT….Looking back, we were just believing (and sometimes teaching) what we had been taught—that our identity needed mending. We grew up being told that being LGBT was disordered, sick, mentally ill, sinful, and displeasing to God.”

The majority of mainstream Christianity has, at least officially, shifted their stances from “sexual orientation is a sin” to “the act of same-sex sex is a sin.” Not all Churches though have taken that step. But even for the churches who have officially made that shift, there isn’t a consensus on this with Christians.

Take for example the Ethics & Religious Liberties Commission national conference on homosexuality. While Russell Moore denounced the practice, Alliance Defending Freedom, an organization that works to criminalize homosexuality, promoted the therapy at the same conference.  During Notre Dame’s Gay In Christ conference, all the speakers were under the consensus that reparative therapy is harmful – even the individuals in mixed orientation marriages spoke out against it. Yet there were still audience members who clearly didn’t agree and asked questions that promoted the practice. My own denomination, The Seventh-day Adventist Church, doesn't officially promote it but continues to promote individuals who do. It's a dissonance and yet Christians are remaining relatively silent.

Christians have held onto a few studies (that have been denounced by reputable scientific organizations) to prove that reparative therapy "works." We’ve used a handful of individuals who have claimed orientation change and ignored the overwhelming amount of stories that show it is not possible. Despite the theological debate happening in Christians surrounding same-sex sex, every Christian should be against reparative therapy.

Yet, the main people who still promote reparative therapy are Christians whose theological paradigm continues to see homosexuality as unnatural. Truly, if we’re being honest, it’s rooted in homophobia. The problem is Christians are using their theological interpretations to force "scientific" practices that cause lasting damaging effects.

Reparative therapy should be seen as an act of violence against the LGBT community. Research shows that reparative therapy leads to higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide. This "therapy" drives people to end their lives, and Christians are the sole group encouraging its practice. That is why more states are making the practice illegal, for the safety of LGBT people, especially LGBT youth who are at the highest risks and are at the age in which many Christian parents try to change their child’s sexuality.

It is past time Christians came to terms with the fact that sexuality does not change for 99.9% of individuals. Sexuality is something that remains constant and to change it goes against nature. We cannot ignore the overwhelming stories and evidence that show this practice is incredibly harmful. [tweetable]Reparative therapy goes against basic Christian tenets of love and caring for our neighbors.[/tweetable] It is sinful for Christians to continue to perpetuate such practices when we know its harm. To promote it despite the harmful consequences? Well, if that's not an "agenda", I don't know what is.

Be sure to read my interview with former ex-gay symbol, Christian Schizzel. Follow my Twitter and Facebook for all things LGBT Christian. 



  1. “The problem is Christians are using their theological interpretations to force scientific practices that cause lasting damaging effects.”

    This is a misstatement. They are not scientific practices AT ALL. they are ideological practices, brain washing practices, non-efficacious practices, religious practices, stupid practices. They are everything but science.

    And 99.9% of the time, they fail at anything except reinforcement of self hatred.

  2. Conservative Christians are promoting “ex-gay” therapy for a number of very repugnant reasons:
    1. If homosexuality is something which can be “erased”, then they can justify attacks on gays. They deny the very existence of gays as people to be considered among them.

    2. These ex-gays are paraded around to the media and political venues as living proof why gays deserve discrimination. If these people somehow could change, why should anyone have to tolerate the presence of gays? Especially if God wants them killed as abominations as such promoters claim the Bible tells them.

    3. Any excuse to torture people without worrying about legal recourse is a good one.

    Behind every promoter of this vile practice is someone who wishes to harm gay people as a group.

  3. “and Christians are the sole group encouraging its practice”

    No… no, you are sadly not the only group to support this. The strange and disappointing habit of my faith interpreting a law clearly condemning pedophilic relationships as a command against all homosexual relationships is baffling to me.

  4. Paul called out God to change him too yet God did not. Read what Paul’s response was and follow it:

    2 Corinthians 12

    5 That experience is worth boasting about, but I’m not going to do it. I will boast only about my weaknesses. 6 If I wanted to boast, I would be no fool in doing so, because I would be telling the truth. But I won’t do it, because I don’t want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message, 7 even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.

    8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

  5. That would be the same Paul who wrote 1 Corinthians, yes?

  6. Well written Eliel, and you are correct. The best way to end the “debate” is to identify that it is not “therapy” at all – it’s just religious extremism. The only people who think so-call “reparative therapy” works are the people how think it SHOULD work – extreme religious believers. Oh! They try to dress up their organizations to look all psychological in appearance, but when the homework is done, it reveals that their biggest motivation is that they believe God has told them what to do about all the homosexuals, while all the other psychological, medical, and educational professionals simply look at the evidence and see that the “ex-gay” movement is both misguided and damaging. It is yet another sad stain on the face of Jesus’ teachings of unconditional love put there by his so-called followers.

  7. The big misunderstanding is here to equate inborn inclinations with created reality. A person can have wrong inclination, and being born with it, but that doesn’t imply that God created the person in that way. It is a Christian dogma that we are all born with the propensity or inclination to sin. This inclination is called Original SIn. This inclination isn’t an actual sin in itself, it is only the propensity to sin. On the basis of this dogma one can understand that a human being can be born with many kinds of disturbancies and innate tendencies which cannot easily or not at all be changed.

    That being said, a person has always the choice to follow these inclinations or not. Even if the inclination cannot be changed, this doesn’t necessitate us to act in conformity with it. In the sexual domain this means that a person can remain chaste even if he or she has a homosexual inclination, just as another person can remain chaste who has a heterosexual inclination.

    It simply doesn’t matter whether reparative therapy works or not. If it turns out that it doesn’t, it is still possible for the person to lead a life of chastity.

    One of the most deluding aspects of the present culture is that one should be permitted to follow one’s sexual impulses. This has never been Christian doctrine. Our Lord has clearly warned us that the way leading to salvation is not easy, and may at times be excruciatingly difficult. The fundamental principles is, however, that as Christians we don’t have the right to be ‘happy’ here on earth, in this life. Jesus said: “If thy right eye offend thee [i.e. is the cause of temptation], pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell” (Mt. 5:29).

    Whether we suffer from natural or from contranatural inclinations to sin doesn’t matter much. What matters is whether we do give in to these temptations or not. If we do, we’ll end in hell. We have always the choice to resist or to give in.

  8. Correct, Franken: “there is no love in condoning sinful behavior…”

    This is why it is important to reveal the sin of “reparative therapy.” People have been abused and wounded deeply by this religious extremism.

    It’s a true repentance on those who once claimed to be in the “reparative therapy” business to now confess they we wrong and to turn away from their sinful behavior of wounding others made in God’s image,

  9. Nobody ever accused the Bible of consistency. Not with a straight face anyway. 🙂

  10. Ronald,
    I disagree with you on this. Most people are not called to a celibate life and this is a kinder gentler version of ex-gay movement. To try deny someone a person to love is just as cruel as any ex-gay therapy.

  11. I am a gay Christian. I agree that reparative therapy is dangerous and incredibly abusive. I suffer constantly because I am not in an area with open and accepting churches, and I go almost completely without fellowship because I can’t bear to be told that my family is wrong and that I should abandon the love of my life, or that our love is not blessed. I also do not believe it. I know God too well. But I would like to offer some additional perspective. The LGBT community openly believes that sexuality is fluid – some people who think they are bi might relize they are gay later, then come out as trans after that. Sexuality is complex and difficult to understand, and it is also impossible to control – it is more something that is discovered. That is why some people are asexual – they just discover that they do not want a sexual relationship. Straight people also naturally discover who they are interested in as they begin to get crushes, etc.

    It is important to acknowledge this fluidity when trying to understand the people who claim that their sexuality has changed. Many non-Christian people talk about realizing their sexuality is different than the way they thought it was. Someone who is a lesbian can realize they are actually bi when they fall in love with a man, for example. Sexuality is not an artifact sitting in our hearts, but it discovered through our feelings and reactions to people.

    When marriage did not require sexual attraction and was done for economic reasons, women were not expected to feel sexual feelings toward their spouse. Now that people marry for love, all the complex ways that human beings feel love are coming out into the open. As a lesbian woman, I would have just been a “frigid” straight woman a few hundred years ago, who was expected to undergo sex for procreation as my wifely duty. This is, happily, not required anymore.

    We have been slow to understand what it is to be LGBT, and it would help everyone to understand that although sexuality can be fluid and people can even “change”, this is not because they tried to change or because effort will bring about change. Instead, it is a small percentage of queer Christians whose natural fluidity changes in the same direction they were trying to change – and this is touted as God’s miracle, whereas the majority of people who did not change or whose fluidity was totally different are failures who lacked faith (and if someone happens to realize they are trans, the community is likely to view them as satanic and rejecting God’s creation of their body). Saying that no one changes will never help the LGBT community and does not respect people’s experience, but perhaps explaining that change happens – but not through our effort and almost never in the direction people undergoing extreme abuse by their religious community and desperate fear of hell are praying for – will help straight Christians and abused queer Christians have a better handle on what is happening.

  12. Jesus never commented on homosexuality, and some of Paul’s teachings directly oppose those of the other apostles, so if I were you, I would be more open to the Holy Spirit and the command to love than the very vague letter of the law.

  13. If being gay hurt people, I could understand viewing it as a sin. Since it wasn’t until after I converted to Christianity that I found the joy of my wonderful, loving spouse, and found God’s acceptance of my orientation, it is impossible to me to see how it is sinful. I have had a very difficult life and struggled with many things, and my life now as a gay Christian is the best it has ever been. Every day when I wake up, I am happy to have another day to breathe air and be happy, and so grateful to God for guiding me here. Obviously, not all Christians are happy, so not all LGBT Christians are happy, but it’s just laughable for some straight person with no concept of anything outside their own experience to pretend to know that being gay is a prison and is sad. Actually, you will find that it’s being in the closet that almost all LGBT people experience as prison, and straight people forced into unhappy marriages with Christians trying to pretend to be straight are going through unbelievable struggle due to your Godless teachings.

  14. Chastity is sad and the Bible often makes clear that human beings are meant to live in relationship with one another. If one lies down alone, how will they stay warm? Perhaps you should reread the Bible before trying to force this kind of abuse on people. Those who are called to celibacy desire celibacy. They are not forced into it by an abusive church.

  15. Umm, no Larry, I wasn’t positing any Biblical inconsistencies. Quite the opposite, in fact — Paul wrote 1 Cor and 2 Cor.

    What I was attempting to call attention to, was that Paul also wrote 1 Cor. 10:13 and 1 Cor. 6:9-11 — a couple of very huge change-oriented passages (in fact, very huge promises) in the Bible.

    God does not want people stuck in their sins. He sent his only-begotten Son so they would not have to be.

  16. “Every Christian should be against reparative therapy,” Eliel Cruz says.

    And yet, we Christians aren’t all against it, are we? Nope, we aren’t. Some of us Christians know that there IS another side to this particular story, whether or not the Gay Activists or their allies ever acknowledge it.

    Although reparative therapy is NOT the only psychological approach to providing change-oriented help to same-sex-attracted people, the fact is that it has helped countless multitudes. I have read Dr. Joseph Nicolosi’s book “Healing Homosexuality”, featuring eight case studies (seven successful, one unsuccessful, I believe), and I won’t lie — those were some very honest, very compelling personal testimonies there.

    Reparative therapy is based on secular psychological principles instead of the Bible, so I don’t run around crusading for it. But the fact is that it and other psychological approaches HAVE worked for thousands of people, which is why the Gay Activists want to demonize it so very very much.

    Although it is not religious, Reparative Therapy and other psychologies tend to remind people of what the Bible says in 1 Cor 10:13 and 1 Cor 6:9-11: that you don’t have to be (Insert Favorite Sin Here, including Homosexual Sin) if you don’t want to be. Change is real, change is possible, and there isn’t any scientific support for “Once Gay Always Gay.”

    Hence reparative therapy must be demonized and illegalized. Any positive results, any success stories such as presented in Nicolosi’s book Healing Homosexuality, must be denied, denigrated, dismissed, and ducked. Gotta pretend that ALL the RT cases –every last one of ’em — wound up suicidal and depressed and abused and unhealed.

    Well, as a Christian I refuse to do that. Because I know better than that. This is a two-sided story, and I for one, won’t pretend that it’s a one-sided story. And that’s not to be insensitive or uncaring about the depths or durations of people’s situations and struggles.

    But I sincerely believe, based on what I’ve read and also seen, that there’s some ex-gays out there who could write equally interesting RNS articles on this Reparative Therapy issue, presenting a seriously different set of arguments leading to seriously different conclusions. No joke.

  17. Countless multitudes? Countless multitudes? Does that mean the seven people written about by Nicolosi, who has made a career out with his nonsense? Has there been ANY independent verification of his study?

    Where are these countless multitudes? If they actually existed, we would have seen a parade of them. The religious right would have spent the money to insure that parade. But we don’t. We see only the same 40 to 50 people, marionettes dancing to the tune of the anti-Ex-gay industry.

    And what about Jonesand Yarhouse, one of the FEW actual studies of this subject? 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 reparative therapy! MULTITUDES, according to you. 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.

    Someday, I wish you would just admit you are antigay, and will always find a justification, no matter how badly it is stretched, for your be

  18. or a certain class of so-called Christian– those who believe their bibles give them authority over the lives of gay people– their never ending opposition to our living our lives authentically, fully, freely, as we are made, is certainly their idea of “love.” Somehow, they have convinced themselves that it is a “loving” thing to do– demonizing us or terrorizing us or forcing us into either celibacy or fake heterosexuality.

    When and if you EVER apply the same “love” to other sinners, or to all of the other people you believe are going to burn in hell forever, please let us know. For us, the hypocrisy is beyond obvious. For us, it is completely indistinguishable from hate.

    The same mindset was behind the forced “conversion” of the Jews, the burning of witches and heretics, the horrors of the inquisition, and the wholesale slaughter of native populations, as in Mexico. Sure, we’re torturing you, murdering you, mutilating your body, spirit, and heart, but at least we sincerely believe that our particular, peculiar version of God, whose prejudices exactly agree with ours, won’t send you to burn forever and ever in hell. Or so we think.

    You know what I think? I think it’s merely abuse. And I think you abuse gay people because you perceive us as weak. I think you do it because it makes you feel powerful, like you’re god’s BFFF. I think you do it because it feeds your completely unwarranted belief in your wholly imaginary superiority as a Christian, a human being, and a moral person.

  19. Hanna…

    “…I would be more open to the Holy Spirit and the command to love than the very vague letter of the law.”

    Very sensible observation you make. More folks should encourage themselves to consider doing the same.

    A reminder —
    The fruits of this Spirit are —
    1. Love
    2. Joy
    3. Peace
    4. Forbearance
    5. Kindness
    6. Goodness
    7. Faithfulness
    8. Gentleness
    9. Self-control

    I would also add that —

    1. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way……….Romans 14:13

    2. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God…..Romans 15:7

    3. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love…..Ephesians 4:2

    4. Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble…..1 Peter 3:8

    5. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves…………Philippians 2:3

    6. Be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone…….Titus 3:2

    7. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven………..Luke 6:37

    8. ABOVE ALL, LOVE EACH OTHER DEEPLY, because love covers over a multitude of sins……1 Peter 4:8

    9. Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near……….Philippians 4:5

    10. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others…….. 1 Corinthians 10:24

  20. “One of the most deluding aspects of the present culture is that one should be permitted to follow one’s sexual impulses.”

    That is neither the claim nor belief of any of the gay people I know. It’s simply YOURS. And of course, it is the obsession of a certain class of so called Christian. Sex sex sex sex sex. No other “sin” gets you so, ummmm….excited.

    We are homosexual in exactly the same way that heterosexuals are heterosexual. It is how we experience and express love, romance, family, and, yes, SEX. Like if or not–and you don’t– it is how we are made. Our impulses in all that makes us human is not directed towards the opposite sex, but the same sex. When we cannot live our lives authentically, as we are made, it often results in physical, emotional, and spiritual malaise, if not death.

    We are tired of your insistence that you have, and are entitled to have, dominion over our lives, based upon such patent fallacies as your statement above. Gay christians are especially tired of the likes of YOU presuming to know the relationship of their lord with any other person on the planet. You don’t, though it thrills and comforts you to think that you do, and to sit in judgment of people you clearly know nothing about.

    You may not have a right to be happy on earth. The rest of us think far better of ourselves, our lives, and for those who are Christian, our relationship with God.

  21. “This ‘therapy’ drives people to end their lives, and Christians are the sole group encouraging its practice.”

    While I have no love for Christianity even in its “progressive” guises, it’s not exactly true that only Christians promote this “therapy.” I know that at least one Jewish group in the US (JONAH, “Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality) has been sued in the last few years for practicing deranged conversion techniques.

    This “therapy” is also very popular among the Orthodox in Israel. Google “Atzat Nefesh.”

  22. You didn’t believe your sodomite behaviour was a sin, yet you were calling out to God to change you making you depressed and suicidal. I have a bridge I’d like to sell you. You rejected the clear Word of God and now attacking those who would save your soul from an eternal hell fire, prepared for the devil and all who reject the Lord Jesus Christ.

  23. Larry —
    “Conservative Christians are promoting “ex-gay” therapy for a number of very repugnant reasons:”

    You forgot what could be the most outstanding reason for ‘ex-gay’ therapy —

    4. There’s money in it, and lots of it, if you can make a name for yourself using deception and then get unaware people to beat a path to your door.

  24. 2/3 of the world thinks that the Christian story is nonsense, and 1/2 of those who are Christian reject the nonsense of fundamentalist belief.

    Yet YOUR obsession is about “sodomites.” I suspect you’re not showing up at blogs and websites that deal with all of the other so-called sins of the world.

    Why is that?

  25. This sentence says it all. There is no reason to read beyond this perfectly written sentence: “Not because I felt there was something wrong with me but because I was told there was by my church.”

    Now you can change the last word to read: Mother, Father, Pastor, Brother, Sister, etc.

    Take two children, one black and one white. They will swiftly become friends until they are taught to hate one another. Someone growing up gay doesn’t feel any different than anyone else until they are told they are.

  26. Actually, his main obsession is abortion. Look him up. He is known for promoting terrorism and he is reportedly monitored by the FBI.

  27. Who knew?

    Sounds like a lovely person. I’m sure he has offered to adopt dozens of those babies he’s so concerned about.

  28. Thank you for sharing your story, Eliel. As one who promoted Reparative Therapy for years, I am deeply sorry to those who took my advice. I regret the years I believed in the process and encouraged others to take part in it. I stand with you and others seeking a ban on the practice.

  29. So you are calling attention to Paul’s inconsistencies. Even he could not make up his mind on the subject of personal change.

    The great thing about talking about “sin” in such blanket generalities is you lose any sense of proportionality and can justify any kind of draconian venal nonsense against others you feel like. Of course it undermines the whole notion of sin as something important to worry about.

    Blasphemy like exclaiming “JESUS CHRIST!!!!” after injuring one’s self is as much a sin worthy of hell if unrepented as murder or theft. Why would any bother worrying? There will always be some stupid excuse to keep you out of the pearly gates.

  30. As book, chapter and verse commented in the super-homo-hatred posting, God sees all sin as the same.

    So saying Jesus Christ when you hit your thumb with a hammer, is as bad as over indulgence, is as bad as theft, is as bad a murder, is as bad as the holocaust.cbecuas of has no moral sense whatsoever. His ways are not our ways, doncha know.

    You’d think that these super christians almost think that THEY are God.


  31. Ben, apart from the whole issue of reparative therapy, you seem to have a special animus for people who apparently have changed their desires from homosexual to heterosexual.

    If they’ve changed and are happy with their change, why are you so angry with them? Do you feel that they had a moral obligation not to change?

    You can argue against reparative therapy without hating those who, either through that therapy or something else, appear to have changed.

  32. There is obviously nothing wrong with evaluating specific therapies that are called scientific for scientific evidence that they work or don’t work. It is imperative that we do so.

    But there is plenty wrong about ideologically driven, sweeping condemnations of any and all claims and evidence that gay people can and do change their desires or orientation, with or without the aid of any specific technique. Long before reparative therapy, there have been people with credible claims to have changed from being homosexual to being heterosexual….and it is fundamentally dishonest either to pretend that no such people exist or to deny that they changed by claiming they never were truly gay in the first place.

  33. Alan, since most of us posters, no matter what position we take on the issue of homosexuality and the Bible, have little idea of what “reparative therapy” entails, maybe you’d like to tell us. It sounds like you think it’s a form of torture. Maybe it is; maybe it isn’t. I’d like to form an opinion on my own on the matter.

    So how about summing it up and telling us what it entails.

  34. Ronald, you’re right, but I sympathize with people who throw up their hands and say what is being asked is impossible.

    The answer is that with human beings acting on their own strength, it truly is impossible. They are right about that. But with God, all things are possible.

    I guess it comes down to what matters most to a human being.

    All I will add is that people who rightly tell homosexuals that they need to lay their lives down for a greater, Christ-filled, eternal life had darned well better apply that to their own lives as well.

    As a heterosexual, I am deeply convicted by my own failure to lay my own life down for Christ in other areas.

  35. With all due respect Eliel, your reporting is absolutely incorrect and deeply offensive to me as a Christian man who has indeed, through AUTHENTIC Reparative Therapy, truly changed. I’m talking about real emotional change, not simply change in behavior. You’ve also misrepresented the facts of the APA.
    Look at your quotes below:
    “Reparative therapy has been thoroughly debunked by every reputable academic and scientific organization.
    Anyone can look for themselves at the APA 2009 Task Force Report. On page 82-83 it indicates there is no proof of harm of sexual orientation change efforts. Earlier in the report it indicates that some people evidently benefit from SOCE. This is not a report that debunks anything. The warnings given are standard warnings the APA gives for any therapy, or even medical procedure, that may be controversial. There’s no proof that Zoloft works for depression, but it’s one of the major drugs that is used for depression.
    Your report fails to even consider the wonderful evidence given by so many people like me who have experienced actual change. See http://www.voices-of-change.org.

    Dr. Robert Spitzer, whose 2001 study asserted sexuality can be changed, has renounced his work and has apologized to the LGBT community for making “unproven claims of the efficacy of reparative therapy.”
    Dr. Spitzer was not allowed to actually recant his research. The professional journal in which his study was published refused to do so because he gave no new evidence. He of course can change his mind of the meaning of his own research, but it did not change the statistical outcome of change inherent in his study.

    Even former ex-gay kingpin, Exodus International, closed its doors admitting the harm they had caused.
    Yes, evidently Exodus did cause harm. Even Alan Chambers who has commented on this site indicates this, who in fact still misleads people (hopefully unintentionally) about RT. For some reason he has refused to talk to the people like me, (even though we have talked in earlier times), who have experienced real RT. The main point is that if Alan and Exodus told you what they did harmed people with their spiritual therapy, then I’m sure it’s true. However, Alan and no Exodus board member close to him ever experienced authentic RT. He fails to distinguish or discover the immense difference between what Exodus offered and the real thing. Real RT deeply respects sound spiritual principles, and fits perfectly into a Christian life, and yet one must ask why did they simply ignore the real thing. As far as can be determined, they didn’t even take the time to read about or discuss how other people have truly experienced emotional change. A person has to ask themselves why would they try so hard to ignore the honest heart’s expression of real people who have changed.

    I don’t mean to offend you or anyone here. However, when grossly inaccurate information is reported, I feel I must, respectfully, speak up. Those of us who have experienced true change in no way demand change or demean those who have not experienced change. We don’t force it on anyone, and Christian’s can certainly live celibate lives and be in the constant Love of God. But please, please do not disrespect the feelings of other people of faith.

  36. I’ve asked you the questions at least twice before in other forums, but you have never bothered to answer. So, I’ll ask again.

    Real emotional change, eh? Will you swear to Jesus as a Christian:

    So, are you now heterosexual? Are you completely heterosexual, or Do you still have homosexual thoughts or desires? A lot or a little? Are you in a romantic and sexual relationship with a woman?, for how long? Have you ever been?

    As for the rest of your comments. I thought with Jesus all things were possible. Now you’re saying that it isn’t jesus that changes people. But the product you’re selling does, becuasethan it is AUTHENTIC reparative therapy. What makes it authentic? What tests have you applied? If it has changed you into a heterosexual,does that mean that the reparative therapy sold by Marcus Bachman was not authentic? What about the reparative therapy practiced by Jones and Yarhouse? The 13% that “changed” only changed in a way that the authors themselves described as “ambiguous, complicated, difficult.” Does that describe YOUR change?

    If I have time, I’ll write some more. But this will do for a start. I’m looking forward to your reply.

  37. jack, you are completely misreading what I have to say,

    I don’t have any animus towards people who want to change themselves. I have pity for them, because 99% of the time, or 99.9% of the time, their efforts are doomed to failure. There is nothing that can be changed or needs to be changed, except for their abject self hatred.

    My animus is reserved strictly for the anti-ex-gay industry, which has convinced them that there is something wrong with them, that they are broken, that they must change to get right with God.the very same industry that has told every vicious lie, including the many lies they tell about how people become gay, including the lie that change is possible, to further a religious, social, political, and cultural agenda.

    In other words, an agenda that is about power, money, and religious dominion, which doesn’t care what the cost is to the people it abuses. And all of this is, as well, in service to an ancient, vicious, and durable prejudice, that uses religion to give itself the thinnest possible veneer of respectability.

    You, as a bible believing Christian, should be very concerned about that. The vicious and/or self-serving lies, the vicious fear mongering, the distortion of ACTUAL facts, the hatred PREACHED against our very existence on a daily basis.

    Are you?

    A case in point is John Paulk, former poster boy for the ex-gay industry, though he is only one among a legion of such creatures. He swore he changed, and the God changed him. He even married and had two children. After 15 years, he finally admitted that he had NEVER changed, and was just as gay as he ever was. He has apologized for his lies.

    The only thing Paulk actually accomplished was another divorce and another broken family. And that can be laid solely at the feet of the family values crowd.

    I don’t doubt that for the smallest possible number of people, change is possible. But the evidence is that for 99.9% that try to change, it doesn’t happen. And that .1%– which is probably an exaggeration of the reality– certainly doesn’t justify the sheer number of lies, the volume of hatred, and the political agenda based upon both.

    And it certainly doesn’t justify the sheer amount of human misery that has been visited upon gay people for the past 2000 years

  38. Nobody is making any such claim, jack. The only claim is that the evidence that change is possible only exists for the smallest possible minority, and even then it is questionable. 99.9% of the people don’t change a thing.

    Personally, I would be far more concerned about the ideologically driven claims that change is possible and accessible, that discredited psychological theories and practices can accomplish change when it clearly does not, or that jesus is more than happy to change people when he clearly does not.

    I would be extremely concerned– and I am– about the ideologically driven claims– lets just call them outright lies– that gay people, and the end of this vicious prejudice, are any kind of a threat to family, children, holiness, truth, marriage, health, safety, heterosexuality, faith, freedom, morality, and western civilization. I am also extremely concerned about the damage done to all of those things by homohatred, whether disguised as sincere religious belief or admitted for what it so clearly is.

    The question is, ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT THAT?

  39. Thank you, Jack

    Too many so called Christians are more than willing to pay for their beliefs in the easy coin of OTHER people’s lives.

  40. I’m wondering if we,re going to he hearing from David Pickup. My guess is, from my past experiences with him, is that the answer is no.

    His posting is full of his usual evasions. HIS is the only “authentic” therapy. All of the rest are shams. He even goes so far as to criticize Exodus for being a sham. Of course, all he is really saying is that all off those prayers to Jesus for change were completely useless– or 99.9% useless. THAT statement alone should clue the bible-believing Christians here that Pickup is himself the sham, even though for once he is apparently telling the truth.

    Notice he says he has achieved real change, EMOTIONAL change. He doesn’t define what that is, and he has been in that process of changing for many years. Notice, he doesn’t say he has changed from thoroughly homosexual to thoroughly heterosexual. In my last encounter with him, he stated that his homosexual attractions have reduced, and his heterosexual attractions have increased.

    spitzers retraction is yet another evasion. Spitzer apologized NOT because he had new data, but because he admitted that he had been incredibly sloppy in his 2001 study, in merely accepting the word of people over the telephone that they had changed. That’s not research, it’s an opinion survey.

    Again, for those of you who are Christian and reading this, read what Pickup says very carefully and ask yourself a few questions. Here is the same challenge to Pickup: will you swear on the sacred blood of Jesus that you are now 100% heterosexual! without a homosexual thought or desire?

    No one is claiming that change is impossible, only that no one is presenting evidence that it has ever occurred. The plural of anecdote isn’t data.

  41. Well, quelle surprise. Mr. Pickup done picked up and packed out. No response. This is exactly what he did the past few times–three, I think, but it might have been only two– that I asked him to talk about the nature of his change, and to prove it with the simplest possible test– for a Christian.

    He hits and he runs. every time. I don’t have the exact passage in hand, but Jesus says that anything asked for sincerely in faith and prayer will be granted. After trashing prayer as inauthentic and inefficacious, which it has repeatedly demonstrated that it is in the matter of changing from homo to hetero, but which as a Christan he really ought to be believing in, he claims his is the only authentic way to authentic change. Exodus didn’t know how to do it because they weren’t using the right kind of therapy. All of the other ex-gay-therapy frauds also don’t know how to do it.

    But Pickup knows how. The product he’s selling produces REAL Change,, ACTUAL change, EMOTIONAL change. and probably SPARE change as well. Everything BUT ORIENTATION CHANGE, because that’s not the same thing as EMOTIONAL change, which he doesn’t define. Like any good salesman, he lets YOU fill in the blanks.

    For you bible believing Christians who just know that God hates homosexuality, that it is no different from gluttony, murder, or fraud in God’s eyes and yours, that gay people can and ought to change, and that if is perfectly fine from that perspective to make our lives as difficult, expensive, and unpleasant as possible…

    THIS is what you are supporting.

  42. By the way, Jack…

    No one is pretending that the people who have changed don’t exist, but plenty of people pretend that they do. John Paulk, John Schmid, Ted Haggard, Christian Schizzel, and as far as I can determine, David Pickup are all examples of this pretense.

    also, “gay” which I Am, is not the same thing as “bisexual”, which I most emphatically am not, despite some brief heterosexual experience 35 years ago. Bisexuality is a known phenomenon, but in my experience, most people really lean one way or the other. And if you want it bad enough, as JOhn Paulk,cred Haggard, and Alan Chambers have proved, you can manage to be heterosexual, at least for a while. That’s not the same thing as denying that they changed.

    That’s just recognizing a reality.

  43. Reparative therapy isn’t acform of torture. It’s a form of nonsense that people who desperately wish they were heterosexual, but probably never will be, seek out.

    It’s based upon false premises. “You were molested.” “Your same sex parent didn’t love you enough.” “You had a weak or absent father and a strong dominant mother.” “You don’t have enough masculinity or femininity”

    If you want to know what it’s like, use the power of the Google. You could also read Christian Schizzels testimony here on RNS. You could contact Michale Bussee, Peterson Toscano, or Alan Chambers.

    Reparative therapy is trash psychology. Educate yourself.

  44. Sorry, TED Haggard, who was proclaimed cured of his homosexuality TWICE by people who claim to know. He now admits he is bisexual.

    My iPad does many strange things. I’m probably going to have to get a new one. Though perhaps I’ll just send it to Mr. Pickup. maybe he can change it to one that works.

    But it must really want to change,

  45. Just a little note.

    I posted my comment to David Pickup nearly three full days ago. Despite his assurances that he has experienced REAL CHANGE, EMOTIONAL CHANGE, he has failed to respond to a simple challenge, TO WIT:

    Come and tell us that you are now heterosexual, and no longer homosexual, and swear on what you consider most holy.

    He did not so respond. This is at least the third time he has failed to respond to this simple challenge from me personally. I have no idea how many other times he has failed to respond to other people.

    So, for those who claim that change is possible, HOW ARE YOU GOING TO RESPOND TO THIS?

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