A multi-part video interview series with Michael Bussee, co-founder of Exodus International turned critic.
May 17th, 2010
My question to Michael, is there anything specific you regret teaching, produced an answer with two separate and distinct parts. (We’ll have a video up tomorrow of the other half of his answer.)
First we look at the idea that if you worked hard enough in an ex-gay program you would be changed. Michael now believes the only thing being a loyal Christian guarantees in life is sharing in Christ’s sufferings. To teach otherwise Michael says is heresy.
Yes, heresy, you don’t hear that word thrown around on this blog very often.
(transcript below jump)
I’m Michael Bussee, I’m one of the original co-founders of Exodus International. I left the program in 1979 and have since reconciled my spirituality and my sexuality and now I’m a vocal critic of reparative therapy programs and of Exodus International.
[title: “I Regret Teaching If You Had Enough Faith You Would Be Changed”]
[voice of interviewer:] Now when I grew up attending a Baptist youth group one of our youth leaders once told us that AIDS was God’s punishment on a fallen world which included gay people, now I’m just curious, are there any specific moments of teaching, when you were teaching, that you regret, things that you taught?
Of course, I regret almost all of it, what I taught, what I believed.
When Exodus was formed, this was before AIDS so we didn’t teach that AIDS was God’s punishment for being gay because nobody knew about AIDS yet. We taught that venereal disease was probably a result of stepping outside of God’s perfect order for sexuality but no we didn’t know about AIDS and didn’t teach that.
I think the part that I regret the most is teaching that you had to chose one or the other.
I think I regretted, I think I regret echoing that belief that if you had enough faith, if you believed enough, studied enough, fellowshipped enough that you would be changed.
I regret teaching that, we called it “health and welfare gospel” the name it and claim it gospel, I think that was a big theological mistake I don’t think that’s what the Bible teaches that if you follow God you’re guaranteed a life of happiness and prosperity and health, I don’t think the Bible ever guarantees that, in-fact I think it guarantees the opposite, that if you’re a follower of Christ you’re going to share in his sufferings and you’re going to experience trials and tribulations. And that doesn’t mean that you don’t have enough faith. The faithful have always experienced trials and tribulations.
So I regret that. I think that was a… Looking back now I think that was probably the biggest heresy of the neo-Pentacostal movement and the ex-gay moment specifically, that name it and claim it, God will do it if you believe it strongly enough theology, I deeply regret that.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.