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Meet the Guy Who Convinced the Texas GOP To Endorse Ex-Gay Therapy

Jim Burroway

June 12th, 2014
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That’s Jeremy Joel, who Cathie Adams credits for the idea. Adams is President of the Texas Eagle Forum who spearheaded the effort to get the state Republican Party to endorse ex-gay therapy in its 2016 platform. Joel founded an ex-gay group called Joel 2:25 International, and Lone Star Q provides a roundup of his story:

In another post that includes the packet he sent to GOP delegates proposing the platform amendment, Joel discusses how he became an activist against bans on reparative therapy for minors like those that have passed California and New Jersey.

“Reparative Therapy and this type of ministry work played a significant role in saving my life and I have been blessed to help many others over the past four years,” Joel writes. “Recently though, this ministry work has been under attack across the country and in some states Republican legislators and Governors have been silent or complicit in passing these laws.”

According to an interview posted on YouTube, Joel lived an active gay life for about six years. He had two long-term relationships and attended a gay church but remained religiously conflicted and dissatisfied. In 2009, he sought treatment from California psychologist Joseph Nicolosi, a founder and former president of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH).

Nicolisi referred Joel to an ex-gay retreat called Journey Into Manhood, which he says reduced his same-sex attraction by 50 percent in one weekend.

Joel claims that his group has 400 members in 37 countries thanks to Skype. He also told the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram that he thinks his idea has been overly hyped by both sides. Nevertheless, he’s happy with the platform plank as it stands:

Jeremy said the Republican platform amendment was much like the original version he took to Cathie Adams, president of Texas Eagle Forum.

The final version characterizes the therapy as “reparative” for patients “seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle. No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access.”

Jeremy said he is also glad that Republicans deleted other old platform language claiming that homosexuality “tears at the fabric of society” and blaming gays and lesbians for a “breakdown of the family.”

“We should never portray a hostile message about dividing people,” he said.

Too late.

 

Comments

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Ben in Oakland
June 12th, 2014 | LINK

Reduced by 50% in one weekend?

Translation: another homo hating homo who has figured out how to make a living from his own pain, paid for in the easy coin of other people’s lives.

Bose in St. Peter MN
June 12th, 2014 | LINK

Jeremy accomplishes a well-done Maggie Gallagher impression… thoughtful, peaceable, no-need-for-conflict kind of guy. Too bad he doesn’t feel compelled to address any evidence of what others have experienced at the hand of Dr. Nicolosi, or in decades of ex-gay ministries.

Scott
June 12th, 2014 | LINK

Real name, Jeremy Schwab (Google him).

Joe My God’s commenters are all over it.

Nathaniel
June 12th, 2014 | LINK

So a guy who feels he was ‘helped’ by ex-gay therapy as an adult feels his experience is good enough to justify letting parents force their kids through that same kind of abuse? As far as I know, nobody is trying to outlaw the practice for adults, so there is no limitation on self-determination. The real limit on self-determination is putting kids through that crap. Nobody should have the freedom to torture kids. Period.

CPT_Doom
June 12th, 2014 | LINK

“Recently though, this ministry work has been under attack across the country and in some states Republican legislators and Governors have been silent or complicit in passing these laws.”

Really, your ministry is “under attack”? That’s only possible if your “ministry” actually comprises licensed counselors. The laws in question only impact those licensed to provide psychological services to patients. They allow religious figures to continue berating the unfortunate LGBT members of their congregations as unfit, abominations who are required to “change.”

IOW, you’re a liar Jeremy.

grantdale
June 12th, 2014 | LINK

When you see this sort of thing, you know who and what you are dealing with:

http://www.joel225.com/linked/joel_225_agreements_-_2014.pdf

Is that alarm bells I hear?

John
June 13th, 2014 | LINK

Wow, grantdale, many thanks for sharing the agreement.

I wonder how many “demonstrations” of what is considered “sinful behavior” take place on their Skype meetings… I mean, you know, we gotta understand what’s off limits, right?

There’s money in dem dar hills… guess it’s better than selling drugs… or is it?

Ben in Oakland
June 13th, 2014 | LINK

Hi, grant dale. Long time no see. I miss your incisive comments.

as for this agreement, my favorite is #3, and its friend with benefits, #7.

Paul Douglas
June 13th, 2014 | LINK

grantdale: sounds pretty christian-y cult-y to me. Talk about a wasted life. How these people get stuck in such delusional thinking is beyond me.

Meonthissite
June 13th, 2014 | LINK

I keep pointing this out but both sides seem to forget these people exist . The only way that a gay man can sleep with a woman and have a physical reaction to her is when he is bi. It doesn’t happen any other time. Ever. So this whole “movement ” that advocates torture for the illusion of change is selling snake oil

Ben in oakland
June 13th, 2014 | LINK

Actually, that’s not entirely true.

I consider myself 100% queer as queer could be. I had a two week affairette with a woman 35 years ago. It was a lot of fun in some ways, but basically, I was emotionally unable to get it up after two weeks. Physically, I was able to manage.

It just didn’t interest me anymore once the novelty had worn off.

grantdale
June 13th, 2014 | LINK

Having pulled on our gumboots and waded into the sewer inhabited by Jeremy Schwab and the usual suspects he rapidly links to…

It is plainly obvious they are reacting to recent moves to ban professional therapists engaging in deliberate attempts at SOCE with minors. The material Schwab has provided to the Texas GOP contains all the distorted talking points that BTB readers will be familiar with – the double talk about ‘change’ (conflating rejection of some or all of their sexual attractions with actual change in attractions) and the out-right lies about the restrictions now placed on therapists in some states.

Equally familiar is their core message: gay people are damaged because of childhood experiences but if they choose to uncover and heal that damage they will become heterosexual. If they fail to achieve that outcome it is because they haven’t dug deep enough, because they haven’t been motivated enough or are just too damaged. Also, send money now.

If I had to pick one simple example of the dishonesty of these people in public it would be this:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-URh-G54tC4w/UnwMvlP2JfI/AAAAAAAAB_8/aKN6edWna64/s1600/Families.jpg

For all Schwab’s talk about “self-motivated teens” he claims are voluntarily lining up to be ‘helped’ into ‘wholeness’, the message directed at the parents instead couldn’t make it clearer. The “Truth in love” these parents are to (continue to) aim at their children about their “SSA” (obviously) comprise the antonyms:

Discourage. Denigrate. Attack.

Done with Love, of course.

Talk of “self-motivated teens” is a nonsense in such circumstances. It is also precisely why there are now moves to prevent professional therapists from aligning with these attitudes.

Even with such restrictions in place some parents will, sadly, continue to express such attitudes and impose on their children, adults remain free to waste their time and money on specious SOCE with anyone and un-professional non-therapists like Schwab remain as unencumbered as they always have been and can continue to dish out all the tripe they want to.

grantdale
June 13th, 2014 | LINK

@Ben: thanks for remembering. We’ve kept up, sort of, but instead been drawn away by more pressing issues. (Nothing wrong with us, just, you know, stuff.)

And no one picked up our change of tense during a short but interupted sentence. This place has changed.

Is that an alarm bell I hear?

Are those alarm bells I hear?

(Ah, that feels better.)

Kristine
June 13th, 2014 | LINK

What is funny to me is that you all “SAY” respect my right to choose how I live and yet you attack someone who is fighting for the right to live as he chooses with the therapy that he chooses to attend. I personally know Jeremy and he is a wonderful and generous person. I am so very proud of him!! You are typical liberals – freedom of speech and choice as long as it agrees with ours! You are a joke!

Priya Lynn
June 14th, 2014 | LINK

Kristine, no one is attacking Jeremy for living as his internalized homophobia coerces him to, he’s being criticized for trying to push his mental illness on others.

Ben in Oakland
June 14th, 2014 | LINK

Kristine, the question is…

Is he now heterosexual?

StraightGrandmother
June 14th, 2014 | LINK

Kristine,
So are you a Lesbian then?
Second question, what is your age and your religious denomination.

Actually I have no issues with sexual minorities who desire and pursue an asexual life. It is a free country, do whatever you want, I don’t see how it is any of my business.

What I object to strongly is Jeremy recruiting children via the child’s parents into self loathing quackery that risks more harm than good. And if you look at his website content as grantdale points out, he is soliciting parents to get the parents to send their child to him, where Jeremy is going to push them into reparative therapy.

Now that Jeremy has entered politics, now he is subject to a whole new level of scrutiny. So good luck with that Jeremy.

O have never forgotten a comment by Ben in Oakland. One time Ben said, “I have never had children so these young gay boys and girls just coming to terms with their sexuality and realizing that they are gay, we all have to protect them as they are our Spirit Children.

Even as I type those two words a few years later I still get goosbumps up and down my arms, typing out “Spirit Children.” It touches me deeply how mature gay men and lesbians want to protect young sexual minorities.

You can believe that there are thousands of people like Ben in Oakland who want to protect their Spirit Children *from* Jeremy, and will work to diminish his efforts. I know I will. The whole ballgame changed once Jeremy entered politics.

If you want to read more of Jeremy’s comments on how he HATES homosexuality read Warren Throckmortons blg on Pathoes. A day or two ago he ran an article on this and linked to past Throckmorton blog articles where Jeremy was commenting.

Ben in Oakland
June 14th, 2014 | LINK

Thanks, grandma.

And Kristine, are we going to hear from you? is your dear friend now heterosexual? Or is he simply less gay than he used to be.

Regan DuCasse
June 14th, 2014 | LINK

Kristine: Add me, a straight ally to the list of adults who would keep gay teens FAR from Jeremy.
I MENTOR gay teens and have for decades now.
Jeremy is another kind of menace to them. There is no religious or sincere belief that can justify his aim.

The religious have had thousands of years and have left millions of casualties in their wake.
Without owning the damage done. You have the luxury of living in your bubble of self satisfaction.
But gay teens are barely now getting their vital voice needed to express THEIR TRUTH, THEIR needs.
The ex gay mantra is equivalent to: If I want your opinion, I’LL give it to you.

You and Jeremy give yourselves license to be TONE DEAF and indifferent to the LIABILITY you actually are.
Gay people, especially the young, deserve THEIR TURN to speak to the rest of us and having us REALLY know who and what they are.
In other words, QUIT INTERFERING for a change!
You had your turn, messed up, and now you need to back up and let another pathway deliver what’s right.

And those Christians and other ex gays who have TESTED me, find out the hard way how ferociously I PROTECT my kids.

Kristine
June 14th, 2014 | LINK

StraightGrandmother

I am 42 and not gay. I am a personal friend for Jeremy. I have a 3 year old – so it is not an issue at the moment, but I live in a state where if he was confused I could not get him Christian counseling. I also was not “allowed” to spank my child until he turned 3. This plank says GET OUT OF MY FAMILY to me.

Many people struggle with urges that do not align with their
individual held beliefs of what is healthy or will bring them peace within themselves and with their God.

People struggle with alcohol abuse, drugs, over eating, porn and many other urges that they believe are unhealthy
and or do not bring them closer to their God.

Those people should have access to counselling of their choice regardless of age. And no one has the right to
dictate the message of that counseling to be the current fad “everything goes”.

And families have the right to LOVINGLY support their children in finding a path that will provide them with
peace and happiness.

I have Gay friends that are happy and I believe I will leave the judging up to God. I happen to be over weight, which the Bible says is sinful so I will worry about my plank and leave
others splinters.

That being said no one should have the right to tell a family that they can not seek Christian counseling for a child that is trying to find his/her way.

Priya Lynn
June 14th, 2014 | LINK

Kristine said “People struggle with alcohol abuse, drugs, over eating, porn and many other urges that they believe are unhealthy
and or do not bring them closer to their God.

Those people should have access to counselling of their choice regardless of age. And no one has the right to
dictate the message of that counseling to be the current fad “everything goes”.”.

Problem is Christine these children almost never choose this “counseling” for themselves, their parents force them in to it. And in any event they’re not adults so they can’t give informed consent to engage in this harmful “counselling” activity.

Just as children need protection from parents beating them they need protection from parents forcing them into this destructive “counselling”.

There is no “anything goes” aspect to counselling from licensed organizations. Gayness harms no one and those who positively accept their gayness are happier and better adjusted than those who do not. That is why it is good to counsel people to positively accept their gayness and it is bad to counsel people to hate an aspect of themselves they cannot change.

Priya Lynn
June 14th, 2014 | LINK

You don’t own your children Kristine. They have rights apart from those you wish to restrict them to.

Ben in oakland
June 14th, 2014 | LINK

Kristine:

1) you still haven’t answered the question. and the answer to that question is highly relevant to the rest of what you have to say. Because

2) Yes, families should have the right to seek counseling when they have problems. but we have already decided in our society that people who sell false cures and dangerous cures don’t have an unfettered right to do so.

Would you send your son to a witch doctor to cure his disease, or would you seek out qualified medical help? And if that medical help told you that there wasn’t a disease, and what the witch doctor was selling was voodoo, would you go back to the witch doctor and get his opinion on the subject?

Let’s not change that subject to “ex-gay therapy businesses have a right to exist.” Of course they do. The question is why can’t they sell what they are selling without lying about it? As far as every reputable scientific organization in the west goes, exgay therapy is a fraud. Neither Jesus, nor Freud, nor certainly, Fraud has ever turned a homosexual person into a heterosexual, nor vice versa. It doesn’t work that way. By supporting ex-gay therapy, especially for vulernable children, you’re supporting fraud.

Now, if you wish to support fraud– moral fraud, monetary fraud, consumer fraud, medical fraud, psychological fraud, religious fraud, spiritual fraud, and GOD fraud– that is certainly your prerogative.

StraightGrandmother
June 14th, 2014 | LINK

Kristine,
I notice you made the same comment on Dr. Warren Throckmorton’s blog.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2014/06/13/religious-right-politics-and-the-ex-gay-movement-get-back-together-in-texas/

Kristine
June 15th, 2014 | LINK

Ben and Straight Grandmother I am just plain Christian – non denominational. Straight Grandmother – yes I did!

Kristine
June 15th, 2014 | LINK

As to the appropriateness of therapies I happen to work in the medical field and know for a fact that many of the therapies that are available or not available are so because of a vast web of Medical politics.

Weight loss medications are available because they will make money despite dubious efficacy. While other treatments are not available because the disease is rare or “unpopular”.

I often seek alternative therapies and have had great results from this approach. My child was conceived a month after a doctor told me to stop wasting my time and his. To my doctors it was a miracle- to me it was the result of alternative therapies that worked!

Kristine
June 15th, 2014 | LINK

Ben sorry I missed your question…

I believe that Jeremy had been dating women and is happy doing that. I have not discussed the intimate aspects of his relationships as I now live in another state and have a young child, so when we catch up it us usually talking about more light conversations and my kiddo.

That being said I have told him that I would love and support him whatever path he chose. I am proud of him for standing up for what he has experienced and believes in! I am proud of him because I know his heart and love for others. I am proud because he is a wonderful, caring, kind man! I am proud to be his friend!

Ben in Oakland
June 16th, 2014 | LINK

Kristine…

Thank you for your courteous response. however…

The question was whether your friend is now heterosexual, not whether he is dating women.

THAT, and only that, is the crux of the matter. Because if he is using an alternative therapy that doesn’t work, it really doesn’t matter if other alternative therapies for other conditions work.

Richard Rush
June 16th, 2014 | LINK

Kristine, you said, “I personally know Jeremy and he is a wonderful and generous person. I am so very proud of him!!”

Regardless of Jeremy’s believed intent, the real endeavor is to “help” gay people feel ashamed of themselves so that they will be as miserable being gay as he has been. That’s not wonderful, it’s cruel. And it’s not generous, it’s extremely selfish. And you, Kristine, are “so very proud of him!!” Disgusting. As Nancy Pelosi said a few days ago when commenting on a gay related issue, it’s “venom masquerading as virtue.”

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