Santa Rosa CA Ex-Gay Pastor Not So Ex-Gay

Jim Burroway

June 23rd, 2009

Pastor Matthew C. Manning heads an outfit in Santa Rosa, California known as Lighthouse World Evangelism, which promises to deliver people from alcohol and drugs, mental struggles, homosexuality and HIV/AIDS. The last two are core to Manning’s own story. He claims to have been “delivered” from homosexuality in 1989, and miraculously healed from full-blown AIDS in 1994. Pat Robertson was impressed enough with that claim to feature Manning on an episode of the 700 Club in 2002. Mike Airhart, then writing for Ex-Gay Watch, tried to get to the bottom of those claims, but Manning refused to provide documentation from his doctors.

That was six years ago. Mike moved on to Truth Wins Out, and David Roberts picked up the thread. He recently re-opened the investigation and tried to find proof — any proof — that Manning had once tested positive for HIV for nine years and was then cured more than a decade ago. Unsurprisingly, Roberts was unable to find any evidence for a Manning’s cure, miraculous or otherwise.

But in looking around, he managed to find something else entirely different. Turns out that Manning has been charged in 1998, 2000, and in 2005 with complaints of soliciting other males for sexual encounters in public parks and other venues. The 2005 episode includes an order to stay away from 24 Hour Fitness locations in Santa Rosa for one year.

There are many more details, including source documentation in PDF form, in David Robert’s outstanding investigative report. He promises to have more information in the next few days.


June 23rd, 2009

not only is he full of lies and venom about homosexuals. He is also ripping families apart.


June 23rd, 2009

Why are all of these “ex-gays” chronic liars?

Ben in Oakland

June 23rd, 2009

Shades of Paul Barnes, Ted, Haggard, Lonnie Latham, and a host of other hucksters and confusion artists.

Hypocrisy, thy name is Legion.

Or perhaps, Closet Queen.

quo III

June 23rd, 2009

Am I the only person who thinks that this prying into the private lives (not to mention the personal medical histories) of ex-gay or allegedly ex-gay individuals is distasteful?

Normally somebody’s private medical records and treatment by doctors aren’t anybody else’s business and it is impolite, to say the least, for someone with no legal requirement to be doing so trying to obtain such information.


June 23rd, 2009

I maintain anyone that is really “ex-gay” would not even bother referring to themselves as such. If you’re straight, you’re straight. That’s it! Congrats! Enjoy your life.. The fact that you continue to cling on to your “past” homosexuality and continue to harass others in order to “recruit” them into your lie means you’ve still got the gay and are just self-loathing.

I agree that trying to pry into people’s medical records is a bit much, but when making such a fantastical claim, you’d think they’d come forward with their own proof. Of course the charges directed toward him are a matter of public record so that’s fair game.

Ben in Oakland

June 23rd, 2009

Well, quo, it happens to gay people all of the time, whether they are gay or ex-gay. Don’t ask don’t tell? All you need is suspicion stated to the right person and there goes your career?

but quite apart from all of that, here is man who claims not to be gay, is cured of being gay, and is in fact cured of AIDS. Yet, he has more arrests for soliciting in the 10 years since he found God than every toilet-cruising queen I’ve known in my whole 58 years of life– combined.

that is what makes it newsworthy.

That and the fact that it goes with the territory of being a gay person in a deeply homophobic culture. When I was a school teacher 35 years ago, i used to have to worry that someone would see me exiting Honolulu’s (then) only gay bar of any size, inform my employer, and cost me my livelihood.

Richard W. Fitch

June 23rd, 2009

Anyone heard of HIPPA? It is a Federal offense to divulge the medical records of a patient to a third party without the consent of the patient or by a legal subpoena of such records. That said, I have no sympathy for an “ex-gay” with this man’s kind of record. If he actually was “cured”, it is doubtful that even a medical professional would be entirely silent. Hopefully, someone can, within the limitations of law, expose this fraud.


June 23rd, 2009

I’m just waiting to hear what other ex-gays have to say about this…

“Well, he faltered, so that just proves that Manning wasn’t *really* ex-gay to begin with. He wasn’t strong enough in Christ.”

“Getting arrested for lewd behavior is yet another consequence of the homosexual lifestyle.”

“Militant homosexual activists are spinning this story to make us all out to be liars.”

And so on.

As for whether prying into ex-gays’ private lives is distasteful, personally I think it’s far more distasteful when people like Alan Chambers point to their wife and kids to “prove” how straight they are.


June 23rd, 2009


The person who wrote the blog post likely knew Manning wouldn’t provide documentation, but asked for it anyway so that readers would know that he had at least tried to get Manning to substantiate his claim to have been cured of AIDS, for the same reason that newspaper articles often note that “So-and-so declined to comment” or “could not be reached for comment.” It makes it all the more obvious that Manning is lying (whether about being cured or about having HIV in the first place) when he refuses to provide documentation. It’s sort of like invoking the Fifth Amendment: You have a right to, but it doesn’t make you look good to the jury.

As for Manning’s “private life,” this guy is very public about being an “ex-gay,” and as the leader of a pray-the-gay-away organization, he makes a living leading people to think they can do the same. As such, his criminal history (which is public record anyway) is other people’s business.


June 24th, 2009

“Am I the only person who thinks that this prying into the private lives (not to mention the personal medical histories) of ex-gay or allegedly ex-gay individuals is distasteful?”

In ordinary circumstances, quo III, I too would regard it as extremely distasteful, but these are not ordinary circumstances.

If you go public with claims to have undergone a highly improbable change (of sexual orientation) and a highly improbable cure (of an incurable disease like AIDS) and you run an outfit offering similar change and cure to others, then you are frankly inviting investigation of your claims – indeed, you should expect it.

Timothy (TRiG)

June 24th, 2009

This guy is essentially saying, “I had AIDS once, and now I’m cured, but you’ll have to take my word for it.”

Well, fair enough. He doesn’t have to provide documentation. And we don’t have to believe him.

It’s not prying, though, to politely ask for documentation in the face of such an extraordinary claim, nor is it wrong to note publicly that the request has been refused.

(It would have been prying had they somehow dug it up without his permission.)


Bill S

June 24th, 2009

“I prayed away an incurable disease. Don’t ask me to PROVE it, just take my word for.
And if YOU have the same disease, you just have to pray it away like I did. Trust me, it’ll work.
And if it DOESN’T work, it’s YOUR fault for not being a good enough Christian. Like I am. In spite of my recent arrests.”

Y’know, he may not be obligated to provide his medical records, but it WOUYLD go a long way in proving he isn’t an asshole.

Bill S

June 24th, 2009

WOULD, not WOUYLD. Damn typos.


June 24th, 2009

Is their a single ‘ex-gay’ who doesnt make their living being a paid puppet of ‘proof’ for the religious right?


June 24th, 2009

What is happening here is part of a long-tradition of the ex-gay movement starting with Guy Charles, the first not so ex ex-gay who ran around claiming he was cured. Even while such people appear on television claiming to be cured they are cruising behind the scenes trying to have sex with others of the same sex.

There has been no violation of a right to privacy here. Manning makes fraudulent claims about his health and it is appropriate to see if there is evidence to back him up. No records were stolen but it is clear Manning won’t provide evidence because there isn’t any. His being cured from HIV is probably as real as his being ex-gay.

Since Manning has “gone public” with his miracle claims and voluntarily appeared in the media he is a public figure. His “privacy” rights are thus not the same as everyone else’s under US law.


June 24th, 2009

Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof.

Regan DuCasse

June 24th, 2009

I think most of us remember at the earliest stages of the HIV/AIDS crisis, those who were leaders in religious communities railed against gay people, but made it seem that heterosexuals were immune to it.
We know how irresponsible and dangerous that is.
Does anyone here remember a California woman with the last name of Manuccio, I think, who joined the movement that doesn’t believe that HIV causes AIDS?
She DID have HIV, that was a proven diagnosis.

She breastfed her first child, a son, until he was over three years old. Breastfeeding, as you know, is a path of transmission for HIV. She had another child ( daughter), born HIV positive who didn’t retroconvert and who eventually died of PCP (AIDS related pneumonia) at age 17 months.

Manuccio herself died and her survivors won’t reveal if it was AIDS related. But Manuccio was only 52 years old.

Her stance on HIV not only put her son at risk, but it eventually killed her child (which she probably shouldn’t have had).
But an African president Museki, I think is his name, has taken up the mantle of that same belief, and its putting his public at risk.

Misleading the public regarding one’s HIV status isn’t legal.
Depending on what your purpose for disclosure on not is.
When you are someone held up as a public spokesperson, representing yourself TO the public with a medical issue, then you’re equally responsible to give evidence of whether it existed or was treated.

Otherwise, this guy is being extremely irresponsible (if not dangerous) again with his claims.

I think that GRAVITAS is a big deal in his situation. Someone like him needs to indict the gay community badly, and he’s found an audience ripe for it.
He also needs to make a big deal out of his faith and piety making his life right. Something that ALSO is a bid deal to the straight Christian folks he’s addressing.

In any case, he’s showing symptoms of MUNCHAUSEN’S and that’s ALSO a very bad thing.

It’s FRAUD, one way or the other.
And I don’t think it’s too much to ask, considering what’s at stake for everyone concerned, that he be COMPELLED to disclose the truth.


September 2nd, 2009

Gay or not, Matthew Manning is luring young men into his home and turning them against their families. Families are being torn apart because of Manning’s manipulation, lies, and incessant need to be in control. This man did not “recover” from AIDS, nor does this man practice Christianity – adopting two grown men to be his sons when they have families who love and support them, one son who was prayed upon and snatched up by Manning on his 18th birthday. This man should come with a warning label – dangerous rapist who prays on vulnerable young men.

Richard W. Fitch

September 2nd, 2009

bijousees – interesting Freudian Slip. “Prayed upon/preyed upon”. Unquestionably both are true. These ‘pastors’ who pray/prey upon young men who are disturbed about their same-sex feelings most likely do so with their own agenda in mind rather than the well-being of those they pretend to give aid.

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