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Posts for May, 2010

Undercover in Lansing’s ex-gay ministry

Timothy Kincaid

May 14th, 2010

It hasn’t been a good year for Corduroy Stone, an ex-gay ministry in Lansing, MI, or for it’s director, Mike Jones. In September, 2009, Truth Wins Out interviewed Patrick McAlvey who exposed Jones’ methods (similar to those of discredited Richard Cohen) and his inappropriate behavior.

Following that exposé, Corduroy Stone was disaffiliated from Exodus International. And this week, they were dropped by the Michigan Department of Corrections from being allowed to conduct their ministry within the prison system.

Also this week, CityPulse magazine published an undercover report from a reporter who posed as a gay man wishing to rid himself of unwanted same-sex attractions.

Although the article mostly left me with pity for both the sad director and his unhappy clients, one of the sessions that Brandon Kirby described relates to and helps us understand the statements by Dr. George Rekers – and others – who deny being gay while clearly demonstrating behaviors that suggests otherwise:

“We’re working through accurate vocabulary that captures where we are,” he said. “And that’s very similar to what we do when we look at the word gay. The definition of gay in this culture is very fluid like the definition of Christianity. When someone uses those terms, I haven’t the slightest idea what they mean until I’ve pursued that. I don’t know what anybody is communicating. When your friend told you, ‘You’re just gay,’ I don’t know what she means because it’s a very fluid word.”

The other client, Ben (not his real name), described his experience coming out to a friend. Jones asked him to define “gay.”

“I always thought gay meant you were attracted to people of your same sex,” he said. “I’ve since then revised that definition, and I would say that gay is somebody who is actively involved in that lifestyle. So, I guess I’m not gay. I experience same-sex attraction.”

I asked Ben why, then, he told his friend he was gay.

“I told him many years ago when I didn’t really know what gay meant. I had a couple experiences when I was a teenager, but it was only until recently, last year or so, that I differentiated gay and same-sex attraction.”

It’s sad, the linguistic gymnastics required to continue putting faith in this failed system.