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Posts for March, 2009

Videos Surface of Ugandan Activists Stirring Anti-Gay Fervor; Fears of Violence Grow

Jim Burroway

March 28th, 2009

We’ve gotten word from three separate Ugandan sources that local gays and lesbians in Uganda are worried about imminent violence, with many making plans to go into hiding or leave the country. The word on the street is that police detentions are pending (which one government minister has already promised) and that Stephen Langa’s Family Life Network is preparing another round of public vigilantism. LGBT citizens believe that Wednesday’s press conference, carried live by three television channels, was just the opening salvo. This press conference follows well-recognized patterns from previous anti-gay campaigns, which were cheered on by the media. Gay sources in Uganda report being terrified, with few daring to venture out of their homes.

David Roberts at Ex-Gay Watch has obtained exclusive video of the March 15th meeting conducted by Stephen Langa. That meeting was a follow-up to a March 5-8 conference at Uganda’s posh Triangle Hotel featuring three American anti-gay activists: Exodus Board member Don Schmierer, Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively, and Richard Cohen protegé Caleb Lee Brundidge. That conference applauded Uganda’s draconian law which calls for life imprisonment for those convicted of homosexual acts, and called further for those convicted be subject to forced ex-gay therapy. Schmierer’s continuing silence on those proposals have been taken by Ugandan activists as an endorsement of those policies by American ex-gay experts.

In the first of the two videos posted at Ex-Gay Watch, we see Stephen Langa quoting material from Scott Lively’s The Pink Swastika in this perverse version of the history of the gay movement:

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Alright. The history of the modern gay movement. This is from Mr. Lively, he was here last week, and he was one of the people who was having a lot of research on homosexuals. He wrote this book you can see, The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality and the Nazi Party. He has a lot of data, lot of data, lot of data on homosexuality and on the homosexual movement.

“Now, in America this gentleman, Henry Garber [sic], was a German-American soldier who served in Germany after the First World War. He was among the occupational forces that was in Germany during and after the First World War. And then he went back to America and began activism, but in a very small way, a very small way. And Henry Garber [sic] molested a boy by the name Champ Simmons. When Champ Simmons grew up, he also molested a boy known as Harry Hay. This Harry Hay is the grandfather of the modern gay movement.

“This man here in the ’40s, they guy who really began what is now today the gay movement that has taken over the whole world. He taught communism for eighteen years, and during that time he learned how society can be taken over. Because communists taught how society can be taken over using economic means. But he understood those tactics and taught the gay activists on how to overthrow the moral fiber of the Western World, which was based on marriage and the family. So he took these guys’ tactics and strategies on how to overthrow a society. And so they began to do their work, they began to do their work. And the gay movement you see today and all these things you see around the world are as a result of what this guy taught these people, and his disciples are now busy and enforces what he has said, including those who are in this country. They all came out of this guy’s movement.”

As we’ve reported throughout this series, these activists have exhibited a particular obsession with the idea that homosexuality can be transmitted like a virus through child molestation. Notice Langa’s macabre assertion that homosexuality passed via molestation from Garber to Simmons to Hays, as though it were a simple yet genealogical line. This idea that was reinforced by Exodus board member Don Schmierer, who provided the germ of that scientifically untenable theory in his talk at the March 5-8 conference in Kampala.

(This “genealogy” is a very good example of the many distortions which thoroughly permeate The Pink Swastika. Jonathan Katz, whose 1976 book Gay American History is purportedly the “source” of Lively’s genealogy, reports Hays’ “recruitment” very differently. Quoting Hays: “I enticed an ‘older’ gentleman (he must have been at least 33) to ‘bring me out’ by finagling his picking me up in Los Angeles’s notorious Pershing Square. Poor guy — he was appalled to discover, subsequently, that I was both a virgin and jailbait!” Hays was seventeen at the time. So much for his innocent “molestation.”)

In the second video, Langa remains focused on the gays-as-predators theme, citing Michael Swift’s satire, “A Gay Revolutionary,” as though it were a factual manifesto. As he dramatically reads aloud portions of that now-famous satire, notice the camera panning across the room to the shocked audience which is taking it all in:

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“…as we see here. This is not a joke, what we’re dealing with here is not a joke. And of course, their cause — they don’t care about you. They want your children! Look at what this homosexual activist said:

“We shall sodomize your sons, emblems of your feeble masculinity, of your shallow dreams and vulgar lies. We shall seduce them in your schools, in your dormitories, in your gymnasiums in your seminaries, in your church groups, in your movie theater bathrooms, in your houses of Congress, wherever men meet with men. Your sons shall become our minions and do our bidding. They shall be recast in our image.”

“Criminals! That’s what the gays want to do, that’s what the gays want to do. They are after your children.”

“It’s not a joke”?

As a matter of fact, this passage is a joke. It’s an intentional, outrageous joke on the part of the writer, and that fact is part of the public record. While anti-gay extremists love reading this aloud to incite hatred towards gays and lesbians — and Langa’s dramatic recitation is par for the course — they invariably omit the preface, which sets the context for the entire piece:

This essay is an outré, madness, a tragic, cruel fantasy, an eruption of inner rage, on how the oppressed desperately dream of being the oppressor.

That’s right. It’s a work of fiction, a satire — and the author said so when it originally appeared in the Gay Community News way back in 1987. In fact, the anonymous writer used the pseudonym “Michael Swift,” which is an obvious homage to the English language’s most famous satirist, Jonathan Swift.

It’s hard to improve on David Robert’s observation:

Depicting this work of satire written in the heat of the AIDS crisis as having serious intent is nothing less than an incitement to violence. Combined with the prestige provided by supposed American “authorities” on homosexuality in the meetings of March 5-8, Langa here brings to the surface the greatest fear, and one that has been used by so many campaigns against marginalized groups throughout history — they are a danger to your children. A lie served up by a “man of God,” backed by “experts” from the West and representatives of their own government. This is all a dangerous recipe for violence against anyone who is, or is perceived to be, gay in Uganda.

Click here to see BTB’s complete coverage of recent anti-gay developments in Uganda.

Utah’s America Forever Ad Update

Jim Burroway

February 17th, 2009

We just found a clean, crisp copy of the America Forever ad that appeared in the Salt Lake City Tribune and the Deseret News over the weekend. To see the full sized ad, just click on the thumbnail. This way, you can see what passes for logical thinking and reasoned discourse on the part of our opponents: comparing homosexuality to prostitution, drug use, and so on. In fact, as Timothy Kincaid highlighted yesterday, they just want us to go away altogether. Just by the fact that gays and lesbians are visible “is stating and displaying that he or she practices sodomy.”

They also claim that they found a “Homosexual Declaration of War,” which, according to the ad, goes like this:

We will sodomize your children. All churches who condemn us will be closed. The family unit eliminated. Any man contaminated with homosexual list, will be automatically barred from any position of influence.

That, of course, is a very loose paraphrase of a satire written in 1987 by one Michael Swift — a nom de plume inspired by the great satirist Jonathan Swift. And in case anyone missed the reference, the author prefaced his satire with this:

This essay is an outré, madness, a tragic, cruel fantasy, an eruption of inner rage, on how the oppressed desperately dream of being the oppressor.

Somehow, anti-gay extremists never include that disclamer when they quote the essay.

The Watchmen In Riga, Part 3: The “Secrets” Of Homosexuality

Jim Burroway

December 3rd, 2007

(This series on the Watchmen On the Walls conference in Riga, Latvia held Nov. 14-18 is based on the videos posted on the New Generation web site. Translations from Russian were generously provided by Ruslan Porshnev of the Russian LGBT web site Anti-Dogma.)

Last week, we devoted extensive coverage of the Watchmen On the Wall’s five-day conference in Riga in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, and yet with all that we’ve barely covered the first day and a half of the conference. Much of those first sessions were devoted to promoting a doom-and-gloom scenario of a world besieged by “the homosexual movement.” While I intend to pick up the pace and wrap things up more quickly than I started, I want to be sure that you are able to thoroughly understand what these mostly American anti-gay extremists are telling the rest of the world.

And if you think that what I presented so far covers just about every ugly word that can be said about homosexuality, you’re tragically mistaken because there was another set of themes that were explored on Friday morning that I found to be shocking. I left you last week with Alexey Ledyeav’s prayer which went, “In the name of Jesus I curse this phenomenon! I curse the root of this movement! In the name of Jesus I curse the culture of death and say to it: DRY OUT!… ” Now I want to share with you two talks which immediately preceded that prayer.

Scott LivelyIt all began when Scott Lively returned to the stage on Friday morning (November 16), this time promising a “university course on the things the homosexual movement does not want you to know.” And I have to say that this has to be the most amazing anti-gay talk I have ever heard — and remember, I sat through the Family Impact Summit in Florida last September. But nothing I heard there prepared me for Lively’s talk that morning. I don’t have the powers of written expression to fully convey how strange his talk was. That’s why I strongly encourage you to watch the video yourself. (Unfortunately, Lively doesn’t begin speaking until the 19:30 mark, but you can listen to Russian contemporary Christian music while you’re waiting.)

But I understand that not everyone can sit still for an hour-long anti-gay speech. So I’ll do the best I can with the highlights. Lively began his talk on the “secrets” of the homosexual movement this way:

“The first thing that the homosexuality community doesn’t want you to know, number one, most homosexuals do not want to be homosexual. Homosexuality is a disorder inside of you. It’s when you have an attraction, a sexual attraction, towards someone of the same gender. Every person that begins to feel this attraction towards someone of the same gender knows that it’s wrong, because they live in a world where they see what is normal and they can compare the way they feel with what everyone else does.

Lively explained that lots of teens experience same sex attractions during puberty, but most of them pass through this “phase” and the feelings go away. But for some, it’s becomes more than a phase:

Scott LivelyBut for some people, for different reasons, they don’t overcome it. But all of them know that it’s wrong, and almost all of them feel ashamed and they don’t want to have this. And so they begin to struggle against it. Inside themselves they struggle against the feelings. … But it’s also very difficult to overcome. And so what happens is they struggle and they struggle and they struggle against the feelings. And they fail and they fail and they fail and they fail. And then after a while, they give up struggling because its too hard to keep struggling against something that they can’t defeat. So they give in to the feelings.

This is the secret to why the homosexual movement is so aggressive about making society accept them. Because they’re living a lie about who they are. Their acceptance of a gay identity is an admission of failure. And so psychologically they turn it around. Because they feel so much shame, they create “gay pride.” And they insist that they’re full of pride about who they are. And it’s just a gigantic self-delusion. It’s a psychological self-defense mechanism. And it makes these people social activists. But that’s the first secret: most homosexuals do no want to be homosexual.

Lively’s explanation of the first “secret” is barely coherent. He doesn’t cite a single study, nor does he provide one scintilla of evidence — not even anecdotal evidence — that gays and lesbians who have come to terms with their sexuality “do not want to be homosexual.” Instead, he simply provides this explanation as though it were established fact. It’s a surprising “secret,” one which, I have to say, I have never heard in my nearly forty-seven years. It must be quite a secret indeed, one that even I am not privy to.

I really have no idea whatsoever where he could have gotten such an idea — unless the only gays and lesbians he’s ever met were members of ex-gay ministries. (He does mention ex-gays towards the end of this talk.) By definition, they don’t want to be gay. Is that where he got such a preposterous idea about gays and lesbians as a whole? If that’s the case, ex-gays would represent a rather unique echo-chamber which no reasonably intelligent person would mistake for being representative of gays and lesbians broadly. I suspect that most ex-gays would agree with me on that point at least. And so we’re left wondering where he could have discovered such a strange secret.

Lively continues:

Scott LivelyThe second secret of the gay movement has to do with the word “hatred.” Now, anyone who has stood up against homosexuality has been called a homophobe. … [T]here are two reasons for this, and many people know about the first reason. The first reason that they do this is to silence us. And that’s a kind of obvious thing.

But the second and more important thing is a secret. The homosexual leaders, the leaders of the homosexual movement, they are the ones who push this. Not the average homosexual. Of course many of them fall into using it as a tactic. But this aggressive accusation of hatred is coming from the homosexual leaders because they need to keep the other homosexuals inside of the gay community.

Remember, most homosexuals do not want to be homosexual. And if they really believed that there was a way to overcome their homosexuality, many of them would leave the gay community. And the people who have the real hope for change, the ones who have the ability to overcome their sins and their compulsiveness are the Christians. We’re the ones who have the power to help them. But the gay leaders can not let them know that. And so they have to keep calling us hateful bigots and they have to keep all of these gay people inside of their control. And they do this by making them afraid of us.

Here, Lively ascribes a degree of power wielded by “homosexual leaders” that few actual gay rights leaders would ever dream of. Lively says that the only reason most of us remain gay is because it’s the gay rights leaders are able to exercise some sort of mind control to make us afraid of Christians.

Did you get that? It’s the gay rights leaders who make the rest of us fearful. Not pastors who pray for curses. Not people who describe gays and lesbians as followers of the father if lies” or who write revisionist “history” books which claims that gays were responsible for Nazism and the holocaust. Not people who say that gays are subjecting children to “moral rape,” and who equate fair treatment in schools to the Nazi’s throwing children into the holocaust furnaces. And not people who lie about the gay-bashing death of Santender Singh..

No, it’s gay rights leaders who make gays and lesbians afraid of Lively’s brand of Christianity, according to Lively anyway.

Lively continued with secret number three:

Scott Lively The third secret of homosexuality has to do with this idea that homosexuals are born that way. Homosexuals are not born gay. God does not create people to have no choice in a behavior that he condemns. But it’s not the same kind of choice as choosing to become a carpenter or a journalist. Like I said, most homosexuals don’t want to have those feelings. But all sex is voluntary, except for rape. And so if a homosexual is living an active homosexual lifestyle, he is making a choice every single day.

Here, Lively plays a slight of hand, conflating behavior with orientation. It’s true that no behavior is compelled by circumstances of birth. And it is true that all consensual acts, including sex, are voluntary. But by confusing behavior with orientation, he performs a rhetorical trick which dismisses the very essence of what it means to be gay.

But having done that, it’s somewhat surprising that he goes back to cover the ground he skipped when he began revealing his thirds “secret”: Why are gay people gay? And here’s the thing that’s really fascinating.

I’ve been critical of anti-gay activists who claim that homosexuality is strictly the result of childhood experiences. I’ve also been critical of pro-gay activists who claim that science has proved that homosexuality is strictly biological in origin for all gays and lesbians. The fact is, neither extreme position has been proven to be true, and neither extreme position is likely to be true for all gays and lesbians.

But one thing that cannot be denied: Both sides are keenly interested in proving that their understanding of the origins of homosexuality is correct because they believe their framework bolsters their cause. And both sides eagerly tout every scientific finding that supports their beliefs while pretending the other findings don’t exist. Right?

Well, no. Lively has detected a different conspiracy. Hence the secret:

Scott LivelyThe real secret is that the gay movement does not want to find the cause of homosexuality. You understand what I’m saying? The gay movement does not want to find the cause. Why? Because the day that science finds the cause is the day that begins the race for the cure. Amen?

Think about it. If science were to come forward and say, “it is this gene,” then all of the secular people who don’t have any moral values, they would begin using the science, the gene selecting science that already exists to abort the children who have that gene. And the scientific community would be looking for a way to be able to prevent that gene from influencing the children. So whatever turns out to be the cause provides a place to begin searching for the cure.

And the gay leaders cannot allow this because they’re the ones who are so, … they’re insane, in their minds, because they are so deeply entrenched in this gay identify, they cannot leave it. They’re like the worst of the worst of the heroin addicts.

Here, at the mention of the word “addict,” Lively begins to turn toward the framework often employed by many leaders of the ex-gay movement by characterizing homosexuality as an addiction:

Scott Lively The most powerful addiction of all is sexual because we’re actually created to be sexual. Nobody’s created to be an alcoholic. When you give up alcohol, there’s nothing in your body that requires alcohol. But every body, male and female, is designed for sex. And the most powerful drug in all the universe is a human orgasm. It’s a human orgasm. Because when you have that sexual experience, it floods you brain with the same addictive chemicals that you get when you’re an addict. It’s like the ultimate pleasurable drug.

Now if you’re a young person and you’re experiencing same sex attraction, and someone comes along to you that’s an older homosexual and invites you to participate in a homosexual act, if you enter into that homosexual act and your first orgasm as a human being is the result of homosexual behavior, you can be locked in to an addiction that will last your whole life.

This strange theory is one which some anti-gay activists promote to explain how children and young adults are “recruited” into homosexuality. It’s this idea that some parts of our bodies are designed for sexual pleasure, and if our first experiences of that pleasure is associated with homosexual behavior, then presto! — we become gay due to some kind of Pavlovian conditioning. Some in the ex-gay movement offer similar theories of recruitment based on sexual molestation. I heard Christine Sneeringer of the Ft. Lauderdale ex-gay ministry Worthy Creations offer this explanation at last September’s Family Impact Summit in Tampa.

Lively ended his talk on an “ex-gay” who was dying of AIDS. The Livelys brought “Sonny” into their home and took care of him, and “Sonny” returned the favor by sharing these “secrets” with them before he died — which may partly explain the bizarreness of some of Lively’s “secrets.” Yet Lively used this story to build credibility for his “secrets” — after all, he got them from a pitiful former homosexual himself:

Scott Lively Sonny does not deserve our hate. He deserves our pity. And that’s who most of these people are. These are people who have become enslaved to a satanically inspired addiction. But their lives become so much defined by their perversion that they feel completely cut off form anyone else in the world. For these people the only hope is Jesus Christ and we are the only people that can bring them that message.

But the gay movement tells them that we hate them, we want to kill them and hurt them, and so they are afraid to talk to us. And so that’s another major secret. And you should take these secrets and use them to your advantage.

Lively said that there were more secrets, but he ran out of time and so “they’re going to have to wait for the next lecture.” That next lecture was given by George Neverov, a Sacramento resident who spoke on “Homosexuality Unmasked.” And just when it seemed that nothing could be more outrageous than Lively’s talk, Neverov began his talk this way:

George Neverov…[The USA] has a terrible secret and this country is afraid to reveal it. It caught a horrible virus on which I’d like to talk with you. This virus has a damaging impact. It aims to destroy the family and it’s name is homosexual culture.

To illustrate what that virus is, Neverov began reading from an essay that was originally titled “Gay Revolutionary” (anti-gay extremists have dubbed it “The Gay Manifesto“), a satire that was written in 1987 by “Michael Swift” and published in the Gay Community News, a radical Boston-based newspaper that went out of business in 1992. The more extreme elements of the anti-gay movement like to quote from this fictional call to arms as though it were a real manifesto. This essay performs a very similar function in anti-gay circles that The Protocols of the Elders Of Zion once served among anti-Semites: To stir passions and outrage against a hated minority.

You’ve heard quotations from the so-called “Gay Manifesto” before, but it was probably very new and horrifying to that audience in Riga, as it is to many audiences in America. Neverov read along as a Russian translation of the text appeared on a giant multimedia screen behind him:

George Neverov“We shall sodomize your sons, emblems of your feeble masculinity, of your shallow dreams and vulgar lies. We shall seduce them in your schools, in your dormitories, in your gymnasiums, …”

And on it goes. Anti-gay extremists love reading this aloud to shocked audiences. But when they do, they invariably omit the preface. Neverov omitted it as well:

This essay is an outré, madness, a tragic, cruel fantasy, an eruption of inner rage, on how the oppressed desperately dream of being the oppressor.

That’s right. It’s a work of fiction, a satire — and the author said so when it originally appeared in the Gay Community News way back in 1987. In fact, the anonymous writer used the pseudonym “Michael Swift,” which is an obvious tip of the hat to the English language’s most famous satirist, Jonathan Swift. But whether Neverov or any of the other Watchmen are aware of this for not, the Latvian audience is almost certain to be uninformed of the nature of this so-called “manifesto.” And so Neverov points to this fictional essay and tells his audience, “You and me — all of us are ‘hetero swine’ — and they tell us to tremble.” And then he reflects on what the supposed manifesto means for all of us:

George NeverovI believe that outside the family, outside God’s design, a man gets into a psychological state where his soul is like a bucket without a bottom. No matter how much you pour into it, it’s impossible to achieve happiness, and that’s exactly the psychological state of homosexualists today.

This is often the reason why they are reaching for marriages. They just can’t get enough self-satisfaction. Their heart is on fire like in hell; they cannot satisfy themselves, so they want to sodomize the whole world — to have a broader choice for partners.

The rest of his talk continues along similarly alarmist lines as he focused on AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, complete with grotesque graphics on the multimedia screen:

Watchmen GraphicThis is a culture of death! But I won’t ever name homosexuality a culture. In all my publications you will see the word “culture” in quotes. Homosexuality does not have a culture: it’s immoral, and immoral means uncultured! And it destroys the human soul, emotions, healthy families! As we read in the manifesto, homosexuality aims to turn healthy families into hospital beds. That’s why this information is important to you! Your future depends on what you do with this information!

Neverov then goes though a long recitation (and butchering) of statistics and medical information about AIDS, some of it culled from such Cameronesque sources as LifeSite. Then Neverov closed his talk by issuing a stirring manifesto of his own:

George NeverovToday those 3% of the population have dictated to my governor of California what they will teach my kids and it’s very funny and disgusting, but on the other hand they do not have any rights to my kids! They do not have any rights to kids at all because they cannot birth children and we will not give them ours kids! And if you are listening to this information through the Internet – I WON’T GIVE MY KIDS TO YOU!!!

Listen, my dear — I am now speaking to the Church! You are still standing on your knees and praying and telling me that I need to leave Sacramento!!! You tell us to leave this struggle for good! I will not leave it because those are bloody figures, they are written in blood.

And that’s when Alexey Ledyaev took the stage and offered his prayer for the morning.

(Thanks to Ruslan Porshnev of the Russian LGBT web site Anti-Dogma, for generously providing the English translations of the Russian speakers at the conference. You can read more about his work here.)

See also:
The Watchmen In Riga, Part 1: “Become A Missionary To America”
The Watchmen In Riga, Part 2: From Babylon To Jerusalem
The Watchmen In Riga, Interlude: A Pastor’s Prayer
The Watchmen In Riga, Part 3: The “Secrets” Of Homosexuality
The Watchmen In Riga, Part 4: “A Militant Army Marching Against Evil”