30 responses

  1. Andrew
    July 23, 2013

    You know, here’s the thing. When you get involved in public policy – making the shaping of it your personal life’s mission and source of livlihood, there’s a special onus on you.

    The rest of us go to work and basically contribute to a business enterprise that sells goods and/or services.

    But when you’re in the policy-shaping business, you’re in the business of interfering in other people’s lives. You’ve inherently taken it upon yourself to pick winners and losers, right and wrong, to allow or deny.

    And yes, I’m speaking broadly. Politicians, religious leaders want to speak to how their followers should live? Great. But many don’t – they try to speak to how everyone should live, and they really don’t care who else’s values they trample along the way.

    Seems to me there are a lot of people getting very involved in how other people live their lives – and at it’s core, that’s the source of the problem. I don’t know this guy, never asked him to comment on my life, never asked him to get involved. That’s something he took upon himself.

    Maybe if good old Randy had minded his business, gotten some half-decent therapy, and gotten a real job, he’d not only not be apologizing for this life’s work of ruining people lives, he might have actually contributed something valuable to society and earned the bread in his mouth. As it is, I figure there’s an ice floe somewhere in Alaska with his name on it. While I’m working my 10-hour work day at a real job, I’m voting Randy “off the island”.

  2. Randy
    July 23, 2013

    Thanks Jim. I appreciate your feedback. I don’t see this apology as the end of all that needs to be done or said and I fully agree with you that it is a beginning. My door is always open. You guys have my email/facebook.

  3. Rob
    July 23, 2013

    I have to say that the “second” section of this “apology” smells a lot like the Catholic Church and their desire to address the bad behavior of molesting boys behind closed doors. Hiding the bad that is being done and refusing to acknowledge the harm done, WHILE its being done is pretty egregious. Hiding the ills of the organization in order to protect the “reputations” of it’s leaders can never be considered appropriate. And then to add insult to injury, trying to use Dr. King’s words to excuse himself from not doing the right thing when he KNEW he wasn’t is atrocious.

    There are a lot of self serving statements in this article, trying to absolve oneself from bad decisions, and even decisions that are obviously made for damage control, all the while knowing what you are doing is WRONG can not be accepted.

    Funny, isn’t it, that all these folks have seen the “light” now that the tide has turned TOWARDS equality. Only when their words and DEEDS are becoming indefensible in public do they suddenly apologize and want to be forgiven. Atonement must be made and made in a great quantity before these words of “contrition” can be accepted.

    And I’m sure that this self reflection is not easy, nor is admitting all of the harm you have brought on others, but until one does something to alleviate that harm, it’s all a bunch of words words words. Mr. Tomas needs to step up with real action, otherwise he’s just another apologist who sees that his ship has sailed and no one wanted to ride it, except the bigot and hatemongerss he so easily and readily embraced. He has contributed to the harm of a number of my friends, not to mention myself personally through his pogroms against gays, and no, that wasn’t a spelling mistake, it was the truth!

  4. TampaZeke
    July 23, 2013

    I don’t remember Randy EVER being as kind a gentle as he seems to remember himself being. This is a good start but he’s got a long way to go in self-awareness.

  5. jim
    July 23, 2013

    But he and the rest of the hate industry will doubtless keep on spreading lies, hatred and fascistic ideas because:

    1) It’s easy to make up lies.

    2) It’s easy to lie when you’re caught telling lies.

    3) It’s a GREAT way to get money. Religion always has been.

  6. Andrew
    July 23, 2013

    Randy, not to rub salt in the wound, but frankly the best thing you can do is post a permanent “sorry” sign up and find someplace useful to be that doesn’t involve a microphone, press releases, or publicity. Go work on a farm. Get your hands dirty. Pick up a wrench. Learn how to program. And learn to say less, especially when it’s about Issues, and spoken to a Group.

    I’m not interested in your insights, your realizations, your opinions on morality, your epiphanies, and I’m really really not interested in your guilty conscience. And it occurs to me, I’m really really, REALLY not alone.

    Thanks to the well-funded publicity machine the Ex-Gay movement concocted with the ill-gotten gains from their false promises to hurting individuals, 99% of the American public who paid any attention to this topic knew (and too often adopted) your arguments, but almost no one outside the Professional Anti-Gay / Pro-Gay Advocacy community knew your name.

    Now that your (past) arguments have been shown up for what they are/were (the timing of your self-discovery here is exquisite), and now that the argument has effectively been repudiated by the reasonable majority, your (past) arguments will return to the obscurity that your name has already found.

    The public has a very shallow interest in gay issues – they have opinions on the issue to the extent that the media or the pulpit bring the topic up. Now that you and your friends aren’t buying ad space or insinuating yourself onto the cover of weekly news magazines, they will move on to something with a more immediate impact in their life and no one – NO ONE – will care.

    Maybe at a cocktail party, you’ll tell someone what you did and they’ll snicker and roll their eyes and say “oh, you’re one of that crowd”, and what they’re thinking is “boring” and “headcase”. If it were me, I’d like to have a far more interesting description of what I spend my time doing, and who I am today.

    Randy, it’s time to find a career. Go, be useful. Close your “open door” and put this sorry chapter behind you. Live a life that doesn’t involve defining yourself by who you can control, persuade, teach, counsel, or judge. Basically, quit hogging column space, because I’m so bored with you and your ilk, and I’m really tired of sparing a second thought for a bad penny that just keeps turning up – just go away already.

  7. StraightGrandmother
    July 23, 2013

    What Andrew said. Get a job already. Quit making your living off of God. John Smid, with his wife cleans houses. And they make a very good living at it. They have so many clients they have to turn them away.

    John Smid also writes a blog, but he no longer (last I checked) makes his living telling people what to think about God.

    You have done enough damage already telling people *what God thinks*. Leave it alone and go get a job. Look for a job on Idealist.org As BB King would say, “Don’t be to proud to bear”

  8. Kathy Baldock
    July 23, 2013

    This is what I posted on RT’s blog. Apology accepted, now go away for awhile.

    “Apologies are a FIRST step and not the entrée to a new ministry. As I recall, when there was back and forth with me coming to an Exodus conference, you chimed in as I raised serious concerns and you were NOT kind. You were aggressive and angry and snippy.

    Paul in his journey from Saul, was told to SIT and LEARN for three years while God did a makeover on his heart. I am reticent to believe that three months is somehow enough time.

    I will take the revelation of the lies of Exodus and beat down church doors with it. There are several of us that are committed to this. It might be better if you went and made tents for awhile as productive TRUTH-FILLED conversations are offered in places where Exodus destroyed families and lives.

    Again, the words are a start and I will use them to my advantage to reiterate to people that Exodus never worked and lied. It would be GREAT if the voice of whatever it is that you are creating did not compete with this message.

    The damage is DONE. Psalms 6:31 says to repay the damage 7 fold. Part of that would be SILENCE for 7 x 37 years. SILENCE.

    Time to make tents for at least three years and sit in them searching your own hearts and finding a level of compassion and repentance that I ASSURE you you could not have gained in 3 months.

    I get letters EVERY SINGLE day from kids and families destroyed by this lie.

    Take your lumps, stop asking for money for the next new thing and get out of the spotlight.

    Let those of us with trowels and mortar and compassion rebuild what you have destroyed.”

  9. Michael Bussee
    July 23, 2013

    While I think this apology is an important step, I agree with the suggestion to follow the example of Saul. Sit, be silent and learn — for at least three years. Do something else. Make tents. Now is not the time to kick of a new “ministry”.

    It is especially offensive to Survivors and their loved ones to leave up the old Exodus website to ask for donations for the new effort — not skipping a beat. If Randy and Alan are serious about these apologies, I would suggest they stay out of “ministry” altogether – and quit begging for money.

    They have already demonstrated (and admitted) that traits like ambition, pride, selfishness, not really listening to the voices of those harmed and a tendency to be less than truthful about change have injured many people.

    More appropriate at this time would be to reach back to every family and every church where Exodus spread his old shaming and blaming message and make direct amends. Any fundraising efforts should go entirely to groups like PFLAG and the Trevor Project.

  10. TampaZeke
    July 23, 2013

    I’m not sure that Paul is the best example of where Randy needs to aspire. Paul was the first recorded “loving” Christian homophobe, and probably a closet case “ex-gay”. Not someone I would look up to. In fact, it’s PAUL’s teachings, and NOT the Christ’s, that created the whole anti-gay Christian obsession.

  11. Christine B
    July 23, 2013

    Actually, while I get the pleas for silence and listening (and it’s needed), there are a few groups I wouldn’t mind you speaking to, Randy. You and Alan and others need to still speak to all the churches, pastors, and parents to correct everything from misinformation to downright lies that have been spread over the years. And you must be as forthright in that as you’ve been in this apology.

    I don’t think that you should solicit donations for this (perhaps self-funding would be a start – all of us in the ex-gay survivor movement have self-funded our activism for years), but if there are people in Congress that you’ve spoken to about your story, you need to contact them. You might consider looking up all the pastors who have asked you to share your story through the years, and tell them of your new understanding of things (and perhaps giving some survivors a voice as well). While these folks may not give you a platform any longer, I don’t think that should be any reason not to try to make contact. And perhaps you have already. Keep doing it.

    So maybe this could be something to think about. Where is your voice needed? And who can you bring along to tell their stories? The victims of some of these ministries won’t ever have the kind of audience you will. Will you help them tell their stories too?

    And maybe others are right and you need to do more listening and being quiet and letting survivors do some talking. When Peterson and I met with you and Alan in 2007, you did not hear us. You did not listen well. You personally said very hurtful things that led me to sit in that Florida airport that afternoon feeling a despair I hadn’t felt in a long time.

    This is a good start, and I appreciate your words and reflection and your honesty when I know it’s not easy. Trust me, I know how hard it is to be part of a group that eats their young, their broken, and their vulnerable. But DO think about how to make amends, not just by talking to gay folks or about gay folks, or soliciting more money, but by going back to the other sources of the pain many of us have experienced over the years…lawmakers, pastors, and confused parents, among others, to apologize for your part in how they have formed and affirmed their views that said that I was less than, that I didn’t try hard enough, and that I was unworthy of basic rights and respect.

    Christine Bakke-O’Neill

  12. Ben in Oakland
    July 24, 2013

    An apology is one tng, and an I portent thing. But restitution is quite another, and more important.

    One of the 12 steps of AA should be one the the we’ve steps of XGA– make amends forthe damage you have caused.

  13. Ben in Oakland
    July 24, 2013

    Sorry about the above. Damn dyslexia.

    An apology is one thing, and an Important thing. But restitution is quite another, and more important.

    One of the 12 steps of AA should be one the the twelve steps of XGA– make amends for the damage you have caused.

  14. Andrew
    July 24, 2013

    My point was that silence is its own restitution.

    As long as he goes around on the mea culpa tour, it brings attention and “controversy” to what should be a non-controversial issue – fraud.

    Inevitably, the few professional anti-gay activists who still make their money from donations and who promulgate the ex-gay message will make a stink, resulting in “media attention” and more stories about what is ultimately a non-issue. Now we’ll get magazine covers shouting “whatever happened to Ex-Gay?, or “Ex-gay for life?”. Of course, in an effort to cover both sides of the story, the lunatic ex-gay fringe will be interviewed and given solemn attention and the concommitant whiff of credibility for the sake of avoiding the appearance of media bias. We’ll hear serious prognostication about the meaningful X% of people who still think that gays are curable (and the moon landings were a hoax, evolution is fraud, climate change is a conspiracy, and that really was the image of the virgin mary on my pancake last sunday) – because the beliefs of the willfully ignorant are so terribly meaningful that we should use that as a leading indicator, or worse, a prescription for the nation – ginned-up controversy still sells copy.

    The gratification of the spotlight – the real addiction here – will be an ever-present temptation to poor, lost Randy. (tho i do like your analogy to aa, ben).

    And finally we’re back where we began – with Randy making his living off of being on a stage and talking out his ass. Only now the message is some bullshit about repentance. He gets to wallow in his confession while lapping up the spotlights. Poor, guilty Randy. But what’s changed? He’s still rambling about gay this and spiritual that. It feels invasive that he’s speaking about gay people, instead of telling stories only from his first person perspective. That’s me he’s talking about, and he’s got neither the training to be an expert, or my permission to misrepresent me to total strangers. Fk off, Randy, and leave us the hell alone.

    Whatever. No one is buying what you’re selling. Pack it in and find something else to do. My favorite recommendation? Make sure I never have to see your name in print ever again. I promise, I won’t hold a grudge because honestly, I won’t spare you a second thought.

  15. big Scott
    July 24, 2013

    Why in the world would anybody apologize for trying to help somebody out of their problem?

    God can heal and cure all things, even homosexuality, which is something he considers a abomination to him
    Turn to him and ask for his help, you will still have to put in your effort also, but he works miracles.
    If a person does not want to be homosexual he doesn’t have to. First realize it is a sinful choice…something Most practicing homosexuals will never admit too. The pray and work with God on it.

  16. Timothy Kincaid
    July 24, 2013

    big Scott,

    A person doesn’t have to be who they are either. We can all just be Ryan Gosling if we turn to God and ask for his help and put in the effort.

    But, one small problem. God doesn’t seem to be interested in making me be Ryan Gosling. Nope, that doesn’t seem to be his goal at all. Which makes me suspect that he prefers that I be as he created me it is me that has my priorities screwed up and my ego in the way demanding that God do something my way out of my own selfish goals.

    Kinda like orientation. After all the praying and the working and all that, God seems to have no interest whatsoever in changing anyone’s orientation.

    Sure, he can do it. He can make me be Ryan Gosling. He can make white people black, tall people short, and gay people straight. He just hasn’t done so. Ever.

    So obviously those who want God to change their race or their height or their orientation have their priorities screwed up and their ego in the way demanding that God do something their way out of their own selfish goals.

    But I understand selfish goals. So does God. He gets an awful lot of prayers for them.

    What I am far less tolerant about – and what I am certain really pisses God off – are those who insist that other people change their race or their height or their orientation and that God do miracles not that I want but that you insist that I pray for. That is a hostile act and a violation of God and his mercy. That is a vile vile sin.

  17. Ben in Oakland
    July 24, 2013

    Gee, big Scott, is there something about being an evangelical and/or fundamentalist, being an exgay advocate, or being a person “struggling with same sex attractions”– the quotes are a requirement here…

    That requires you to take stupid pills, or perhaps an ignorance enema? Are you addicted to the stuff?

    What part of “this doesn’t work” are you failing to get here? Is there something incomprehensible about “I’ve been lying through my teeth for decades about this”?

    And why should we believe someone who can’t even post under his real name, posting anonymously on the Internet, saying somewhat is far more about YOUR needs then the reality most of us know?

    Do you just desperately wish your claims were true, or do you see your income stream threatened?

  18. Ben in Oakland
    July 24, 2013

    Thank you, Andrew. I was trying to keep my AA analogy subtle. some people are addicted to fame of a sort, notoriety of a type, praise from those one believes to be one’s superiors, becuase of that god sized hole in their hearts.

    My gay late brother, who kept his secret even from me, was as addicted to his self hatred like the most strung out junky is to smack, to the point where you could pretty much predict his behavior. Offer him nine choices to go to heaven with the way astrewn with flowers and welcome signs, and one choice with barbed wire and keep out signs, a way that would clearly take him straight to hell, and you would know which one he would choose.

    I see rAndy’s confession about what he did in the name of maintaining his self image in the same light as I see my brother’s choices about his life.

    Neither makes me very happy. I don’t have a brother. Randy, at least, still has his life.

  19. Richard Rush
    July 24, 2013

    Hey, big Scott, is that the screen-name you use on the gay hookup sites when you’re in the sin-phase of the endless cycle of sin and repentance?

  20. Preston
    July 24, 2013

    I don’t buy it.

  21. William
    July 24, 2013

    Big Scott:

    “Why in the world would anybody apologize for trying to help somebody out of their problem?”

    Because the problem is not a real one, but has been manufactured by conning the person into believing that it’s a problem, although it isn’t, and because the “help” that has been given has been anything but helpful. It’s a bit like the doctors in Molière’s comedies, who persuade people that they’re seriously ill when they’re not and then treat them with useless and sometimes dangerous “remedies”.

    “God can heal and cure all things, even homosexuality”

    Even an omnipotent God cannot do something that is logically contradictory, so he can’t cure something that isn’t an illness, a disability or a disorder. Therefore, reasoning closely, we realise that he cannot cure homosexuality. But can God change a person’s sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual, or vice versa? Yes, of course, just as he can change the colour of my eyes from blue to brown. The evidence indicates that, by and large, he doesn’t waste his omnipotence on doing useless tricks like that.

    “First realize it is a sinful choice…something Most practicing homosexuals will never admit too [sic].”

    Heterosexuality is not a choice; heterosexual behaviour is. Mutatis mutandis, the same applies to homosexuality and homosexual behaviour.

  22. Andrew
    July 24, 2013

    OK, class, today we’re going to discuss a web term “flamers”.

    No, not that kind of flamer.

    A flamer is someone who wanders into an obviously hostile chat thread and tosses out a grenade. Then they sit back and watch allllllll the outraged comments while they giggle in their parent’s living room. Where they live. Alone.

    Big Scott is a flamer.

    Blah blah blah sin, abomination, blah blah blah omnipotent blah. Egocentric navel gazing. Hubristic belief that you know or could even comprehend the mind of god. Narcissistic belief that god knows who you are and gives a crap. My goodness people thing mighty highly of themselves.

    Close your mouth, open your eyes, your ears, your mind. The universe is talking to you if you shut up long enough to hear it.

    And then… 4 key words that my mother taught me (they’re very instructive, and they’ll save you from a lot of trouble): Mind your own business.

  23. Michael Bussee
    July 24, 2013

    Make a promise not to make a single cent off of your “ex-gay” past that you don’t donate immediately to PFLAG or the Trevor Project — or some other LGBT organization that is trying to heal the hurt the ex-gay movement caused over the years. Not a penny. No books. No donations for a new “ministry”. Give it all back.

  24. StraightGrandmother
    July 24, 2013

    Michael Bussee, “Make a promise not to make a single cent off of your “ex-gay” past that you don’t donate immediately to PFLAG or the Trevor Project — or some other LGBT organization that is trying to heal the hurt the ex-gay movement caused over the years. Not a penny. No books. No donations for a new “ministry”. Give it all back.”

    It is like they are pimping out God.

  25. Doug
    July 24, 2013

    To me, the biggest indicator of the validity of the apology is on his own blog page. He says he welcomes dialogue in the comments, but the only comments he responds to are the congratulatory or supportive ones.
    The very few he does respond to that take him to task, his responses are basic “thanks for your feedback.”
    Not exactly my definition of dialogue.
    Actions speak louder than words, and his indicate he can not or will not engage with those people that would force him to actually address those he has damaged.
    At least Alan was willing to meet face to face with some who he inflicted pain and suffering on.
    This guy needs to put up or shut up.
    And yes, he needs to prove his apology by using his “fundraising skills” for PFLAG or the Trevor Project.
    Anything less is just lip service and more of the same.

  26. jim
    July 24, 2013

    Hate and lies guised in “religion” make the easiest, most effective path to vast riches, especially if you don’t care whether seniors and poors send money they could desperately use to eat and have meds.

    I thought over the years how easy it would be to create a nonprofit “ministry” to not only rake in money from sheep and lemmings, but to have to show no accountability for it. Couldn’t do it, though, as I have a conscience.

  27. Richard Rush
    July 24, 2013

    Jim, the advice I always give to aspiring young scammers and hucksters is: The most profitable lesson you will ever learn is that religion is your best friend.

  28. Richard Rush
    July 25, 2013

    From The Children’s Hour starring Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXO2vy4m1d0

    Start at 1:25 minutes in.

    (Hat-tip to my husband for remembering this.)

  29. Regan DuCasse
    July 25, 2013

    To Andrew’s original post at the top, this isn’t just public policy, but the kind of public policy that relies on and is implemented by bigotry.

    The long legacy of distrust and hostility towards gay people is unfair prejudice that is taught.
    It does not come from behavior because gay people have mistreated other people. Or damaged themselves or cannot function successfully.
    The problem is created by religious belief, not by gay people. That’s as unfair as blaming women for misogyny.

    And we’re still witness to people trying to defend Jim Crow like discriminatory laws and actions in order to deny gay people goods, services or any form of legal social interaction.

    And part of that defense is the belief that gay people can change.
    As long as any gay person has to defend or argue with anyone about it, the blame can be laid at the feet of Exodus, NARTH or any other groups or individuals like them.

    No human being should have to argue the legitimacy of their existence.
    Especially if that existence is more universal and predates the very religious beliefs that denies it.

  30. eddie
    July 29, 2013

    No way am i accepting this apology. it’s just a “oops! sorry!” I’m 54 years old now and when my mother discovered when i was 18 that i was gay, she sent me immediately to Exodus for 1 on 1 consultation with Mike Bussee and group meetings with Jim Kaspar. 36 years my mother still thinks god can change me. Now she is pouring money to andy cominsky – what a waste. Here i am married to a Dane in Denmark and at the end of 2012 i finally had to cut my mother off. Our family of 2 parents and 4 kids has been totally dysfunctional all these years and all because of these folks who push the ex-gay bs agenda. you want me to accept your apology – i will do so only after you contact my mother and let her know face to face that it is impossible to be ex-gay. do that and then ask me for your apology. I expect that of all of you because you so easily accepted the checks she wrote you throughout the years.

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