Exodus International Withdraws from Exodus Global Alliance

Jim Burroway

June 12th, 2013

Exodus International has issued the following statement:

The Exodus International Board of Directors officially voted to withdraw from the Exodus Global Alliance (EGA) May 28, 2013 after 18 years of membership.  Exodus International was a founding member of EGA in 1995.  This change in relationship releases both ministries to serve the Lord, the Church and their constituents in ways that honor their respective calling.

EGA is the worldwide coalition of “Exodus” ministries, which seek to work together under one umbrella structure.  In 2005 Exodus Europe withdrew from EGA, as well.

Exodus International wishes to thank Bryan Kliewer, the EGA Board and network of ministries for their longstanding partnership and friendship.

There has been longstanding confusion over the relationship between Exodus International and Exodus Global Alliance. Despite having “International” in its name, Exodus International has mainly confined its organizational activities to North America, although several Exodus officers, board members and member ministries have traveled throughout the world to participate in conferences, church missions, and other activities to spread the ex-gay message. Exodus Global Alliance, on the other hand, has operated as an international umbrella organization and resource for ministries around the world, similar to the role that Exodus International has played in North America.

Organizationally, the two organizations are separate, with separate leadership and governing boards, with Exodus International being a member organization of the Exodus Global Announcement But with this announcement of Exodus International’s departure from Exodus Global Alliance, the confusion between the two organizations will undoubtedly be compounded as they both continue to share the Exodus name.

This announcement is the latest in a long string of developments over the past year and a half, in which Exodus International president Alan Chambers has steered the organization through several changes in messaging and tone. The changes began with his acknowledgment in January 2012 that, “the majority of people that I have met, and I would say the majority meaning 99.9% of them, have not experienced a change in their orientation.” Later that month, Chambers withdrew his organization’s support for the particular from of conversion therapy known as “reparative therapy.” Chambers came under increasing criticism from several key players in the ex-gay movement, and many member ministries have withdrawn from Exodus to form the much more hard-core Restored Hope Network. Joe Dallas, who had led Exodus International from 1991 to 1993 and has been closely identified with Exodus as a conference speaker throughout the past two decades, was one of the founding members of RHN. Last week, he announced that he was leaving Exodus International.

So far, there has been no comment from Exodus Global Alliance.

In related news, it was announced last week that Our America, with Lisa Ling will air an episode on June 20 on Orah Winfrey’s OWN network, in which Chambers will speak with several ex-gay survivors and offer an apology:

The story of Exodus International, the LGBT men and women who have been affected by the organization and the nationwide dialogue that surrounds this topic continues in an Our America special report.

For almost 40 years, Exodus International claimed to offer a “cure” for homosexuality. Alan Chambers, the leader of Exodus, decided last year to stop endorsing the controversial practice of gay-reparative therapy. And now, he has a new message: an apology.

In a special episode, Lisa Ling is joined by a group of survivors of the condemned and damaging practice of “reparative therapy” as they confront Alan Chambers. Chambers recently asked Ling to help orchestrate an opportunity in which he could formally apologize to those who felt deceived and defrauded by Exodus’ practices and to announce that the organization will cease to be an “ex gay” organization.

Tune in Thursday, June 20th at 10/9c for a special presentation of this powerful report.

StraightGrandmother

June 12th, 2013

It sounds promising that Chambers is saying Exodus International will no longer be an ex-gay organization.

Michael Bussee

June 12th, 2013

Actually, Exodus has been moving away from the “change” message for some time now. They haven’t used “ex-gay” for years. (They tried “post-gay” for awhile but have dropped that.) But they still were saying “change is possible” up until recently and were still endorsing reparative therapy and NARTH.

What I predict is that (A) Exodus will drop the name, (B) They will dismantle the “affiliate” and “member” structure to become independent and not have to take any responsibility for the message or methods of their supporters, (C) They will position themselves as more of a “Side B” organization to provide support to “SSA” Christians who want to remain celibate or stay married. (D) They will continue to decline in terms of followers and donors, (E) More venues and churches will cancel “Exodus” events, (F) Restored Hope Network will pick up most of the extreme ministries and alliances that use to be part of Exodus.

bill johnson

June 12th, 2013

Interesting, with the departure of Exodus International, and the note that Exodus Europe withdrew in 2005 I wondered just what exactly was left of Exodus Global Alliance, so I went to their handy Find a ministry map.

They don’t have offices in Europe, and the section for India, Asia, Africa, Middle East, and China all refer back to their Canada office. I clicked on Canada but it fell into the “Exodus International North America region” so with Exodus International gone it would look like most of their support in Canada has now departed from their alliance and their Canadian office is where they were pointing back to for most of the world.

So really their regional offices for Latin America, Brazil, and the Asia pacific region are all they have left, plus their international office in Canada. The RHN is the new umbrella for the hardliners in the US, but I don’t see them falling under any form of exodus branding so they are out of options for the north American region.

Timothy Kincaid

June 13th, 2013

As best I can tell, Exodus Global is little more than DL Foster’s online rants.

bill johnson

June 13th, 2013

Well they updated their site with a statement regarding the departure of exodus international and said that their four regions of operation are: Asia Pacific, Brazil, East Asia and Latin America (I had previously lumped their East Asia and Asia Pacific regions together.) Just going off the regions websites I would say that the Asia Pacific region is the biggest in terms of infrastructure, but it could also be the next regional partner to leave the larger group.

So really unless they also serve to funnel money to these groups all EGA does is link the few remaining regional partners together, perhaps they will consider moving the location of their global office’s to an area where they actually still operate.

Michael Bussee

June 14th, 2013

OWN has decided to release one hour of the exchange between Alan Chambers and Ex-gay Survivors online. Lisa Ling posted this last night:

“Just wanted to let you know that the expanded version of the exchange will be online when the show airs. I’m almost more excited about that because people will get to experience the rawness and the courageousness that you all exhibited practically in full. Few things have made be prouder than this episode and what will be available online.”

The show itself with only be on OWN. They have also released this promo for the June 20 Special Report:

https://silo.mediasilo.com/quicklink/34C444C294DC517D4B08C1EA70DE4A92

Nathaniel

June 19th, 2013

I hate being so behind on this blog, because I know this comment will not likely be seen by anybody who disagrees. However, just for the record, I hope Mr. Bussee is wrong on his prediction for Exodus. I see room for their voice, if they are willing to speak loud enough, as a counter to the ex-gay extremists. I know, from experience, that there are gay Christians who sit on the fence, hearing distant voices demanding they ignore their bodies or abandon their faith. I was blessed enough to take a measured approach and find room for both my orientation and my Christian faith. But I also know there are gay Christians who, for whatever reason, are drawn to the demand that they commit to extracting the ‘thorn’ from their ‘flesh’. When it seems the only other option is to abandon their faith and risk hell-fire, I am sure the struggles of attempting to turn straight appear comparably easy. Exodus International has a chance to offer a middle road – a place for gay Christians to find a community of other gay Christians, a place to explore the information that is out there and find the truth, a place to make a real, information-based decision on how they ultimately want to deal with issues surrounding their orientation and their faith. If Exodus can do this, and I hope they do, they will find many hungry souls willing to embrace what they have to offer.

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