A glimpse into australia's ex gay world
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A glimpse into australia's ex gay world

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A leader in dispelling the 'ex-gay' myth in Australia, Anthony Venn-Brown gives insight into the: ...

A leader in dispelling the 'ex-gay' myth in Australia, Anthony Venn-Brown gives insight into the:
• History of the ex-gay movement
• Evolution of the ex-gay movement
• Who seeks ex-gay programs
• ‘Ex-gay’ Methodologies
• Differences Between US and Australian ‘Ex-gay’ Ministries
• Mental Health Professional Statements about reparative therapies
• Why ‘Ex-gay’ Ministries in Decline?
• Testimonials You Won’t Read on an ‘Ex-gay’ website
http://exgayaustralia.blogspot.com.au/p/media-background.html

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A glimpse into australia's ex gay world A glimpse into australia's ex gay world Presentation Transcript

  • A Glimpse into Australia‟s„Ex-gay‟ World Presented by Anthony Venn-Brown © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • EXODUS GLOBAL ALLIANCE Living Waters – Door of HopeLiberty Christian Ministries – Eagles Wings Mosaic Ministries - Beyond Egypt Living Hope Ministries – Liberty Inc. © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • HistoryPre-war up to 60‟s•Homosexual, Pervert, Queer•Imprisoned•No one out•Church silent on homosexuality•Mental health professionals want to cure not incarcerateLate 60‟s gay & lesbian peoplebegin to get a new sense of self,become more assertive and reactto societies prejudges anddiscrimination. © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • History• Stonewall riots 1969 – gay rights birthed• More people come out• 1973 American Psychiatric Association takes homosexuality off the list of mental disorders• Gay & lesbian people begin to demand change in the laws and seek equality• Enter evangelical Christianity• 1976 Exodus formed – umbrella organisation as alliance of numerous independent „ex- gay‟ style ministries that had been started by gays who thought they‟d been cured or others tormented about their homosexuality. © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • Climate for „ex-gay‟ ministries•Society‟s understanding as a whole not shifted•Church culture reinforces heterosexuality and conformity•Added torment from Christian beliefs and anti-gay preaching•Homosexuality is a sin – If a sin then God can forgive and set you free from sin•Belief that God can do anything - faith•„Ex-gay‟ ministries cause or symptom? © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • Evolution of „Ex-gay‟ MinistriesPhase 1•Black and white - miracle gay to straight•Prayer & faith•ExorcismsPhase 2•More political and militant•Christian right wing funding•Outdated mental health beliefs adopted•Variety of „therapeutic‟ methodologies•Marriage the ultimate © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • Evolution of „Ex-gay‟ MinistriesPhase 3•Message gets watered down•Acknowledge gay will never go away•Terminology changes to „unwanted SSA‟, „sexual and relational brokenness‟, „post gay‟•Celibacy optionPhase 4 (moving into now)•Completely irrelevant•We don‟t provide a cure•Admit no-one changes orientation © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • Evolution of „Ex-gay‟ Ministries“by no means would we ever say changecan be sudden or complete," adding thathe was uncomfortable with the term ex-gay as he didn‟t believe he‟d ever metone. Alan Chambers told the Los AngelesTimes in 2007“The majority of people that I have met,and I would say the majority meaning99.9% of them have not experienced achange in their orientation,” AlanChambers stated at the GCN conferenceJanuary 2012. © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • Evolution of „Ex-gay‟ MinistriesWith the controversy over the ExodusApple app…… Jeff Buchanan, ExodusInternational‟s Senior Director of ChurchEquipping & Student Ministries, told TheChristian Post. “In no way shape or formis our message about trying to cure or dowe try to promote that type ofmethodology or message.” March 22, 2011 © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • Evolution of „Ex-gay‟ Ministries"I would consider myself homosexual andyet in a marriage with a woman. My sexualdesires, attractions and lifelong strugglewith common factors relating tohomosexuality are pretty much all in theclassification of homosexual.“ John Smid(former Director of Love in Action ex-gayresidential program) October 7th, 2011 © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • „Ex-gay‟ Methodologies•Prayer (lots of it)•Inner healing•Exorcisms•Fasting & prayer•Support groups•Online courses•One on one counselling•Memorising and quoting scriptures•Accountabilabuddies © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • Who Goes to „Ex-gay‟ Ministries?•Christians with sexual addictions•Christians who have experienced same sex abuse•Gay men and lesbians in heterosexual marriages•Gay and lesbian people who have had bad experiences in the „scene‟ or relationships•People pressured by family or culture•Testimonials are always of tortured, unhappy people © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • Differences Between US and Australian „Ex-gay‟ Ministries?•No real public success stories•Don‟t court the media…actually resist it•Not as politically active•Poorly funded•Not internet savvy – picking up their game but a long way behind the work that we do © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • Professional Statements1994: The American Psychiatric AssociationThere is no published scientific evidence supporting theefficacy of reparative therapy as a treatment to changeones sexual orientation. It is not described in thescientific literature. There are a few reports in theliterature of efforts to use psychotherapeutic andcounselling techniques to treat persons troubled bytheir homosexuality who desire to becomeheterosexual; however, results have not beenconclusive, nor have they been replicated. There is noevidence that any treatment can change a homosexualpersons deep seated sexual feelings for others of thesame sex. © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • Professional Statements1997: The American Psychological AssociationPresident said……"In the past 10 years, Christianfundamentalists have enlisted a coalition of old-stylepsychologists, psychiatrists and social workers whohave become very visible in this country andinternationally, and who have as a mission to helphomosexuals get rid of their sexual orientation... Ouraim is not to try to stop them per se or interfere withanyones right to practice [therapy] but we want toexpose the social context that creates this market." © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • Professional Statements1997 The American Psychological AssociationResolutionAPA officials are concerned that some who entertherapy are being coerced by their families, employers,church members etc. Therefore the APA resolution asksthat the therapist obtains "informed consent" from theclient. This includes:1. a full discussion of the clients potential for happiness as a homosexual,2. communication to the client that there is no sound scientific evidence that the therapy works,3. raising the possibility that therapy may exacerbate the clients problems, and4. an analysis of the clients true motivation for wanting to change. © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • Professional Statements1998 the American Psychiatric Association"The potential risks of reparative therapy are great,including depression, anxiety and self-destructivebehaviour, since therapist alignment with societalprejudices against homosexuality may reinforce self-hatred already experienced by the patient. Manypatients who have undergone reparative therapy relatethat they were inaccurately told that homosexuals arelonely, unhappy individuals who never achieveacceptance or satisfaction. The possibility that theperson might achieve happiness and satisfyinginterpersonal relationships as a gay man or lesbian isnot presented, nor are alternative approaches todealing with the effects of societal stigmatizationdiscussed." © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • Cont‟d"Therefore, the American Psychiatric Associationopposes any psychiatric treatment, such as reparativeor conversion therapy which is based upon theassumption that homosexuality per se is a mentaldisorder or based upon a prior assumption that thepatient should change his/her homosexual orientation.” © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • Professional Statements1999 the American Psychiatric AssociationBoard of Trustees "endorsed a position statement at itsDecember meeting that opposes therapeutictechniques some psychiatrists and mental healthprofessionals claim can shift an individuals sexualorientation from homosexual to heterosexual. TheBoard also acknowledged that there is no evidence thatthese so-called reparative therapies have any efficacyin converting someone from one sexual orientation toanother." The statement points out that "potential risksof reparative therapy are great, including depression,anxiety, and self-destructive behaviour, since therapistalignment with societal prejudices againsthomosexuality may reinforce self-hatred alreadyexperienced by a patient.” © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • Professional Statements1999 The American Academy of Paediatrics, AmericanCounselling Association, American Association ofSchool Administrators, American Federation ofTeachers, American Psychological Association,American School Health Association, Interfaith AllianceFoundation, National Association of SchoolPsychologists, National Association of Social Workers,and National Education Association formed the "Justthe Facts Coalition." They developed and endorsed"Just the Facts About Sexual Orientation & Youth: APrimer for Principals, Educators and School Personnel"which stated: © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • The most important fact about reparative therapy, alsosometimes known as conversion therapy, is that it isbased on an understanding of homosexuality that hasbeen rejected by all the major health and mental healthprofessions. The American Academy of Paediatrics, theAmerican Counselling Association, the AmericanPsychiatric Association, the American PsychologicalAssociation, the National Association of SchoolPsychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 477,000health and mental health professionals, have all takenthe position that homosexuality is not a mental disorderand thus there is no need for a cure‟. Health and mentalhealth professional organizations do not support effortsto change young peoples sexual orientation throughreparative therapy and have raised serious concernsabout its potential to do harm." © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Position Statement 60 June 2010The American Psychological Association published areport of a study that reviewed the results of 83 studiescarried out between 1960 and 2007 on the controversialconcept of Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE).The report found that, contrary to the claims of SOCEpractitioners and advocates, recent researchdemonstrates that there is no sound scientific evidencethat sexual orientation can be changed. The harm suchtherapies can cause to individuals, the contribution theymake to the misrepresentation of homosexuality as amental disorder, and the prejudice and discriminationthat can flourish through the use of such therapies hasled all major medical organisations to oppose the use ofsexual reorientation therapies. © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • Cont‟dRecommendations•The RANZCP does not support the use of sexual orientation change efforts of any kind•Mental health workers should avoid misrepresenting the efficacy of sexual orientation change efforts when providing assistance to people distressed by their own or others‟ sexual orientation•Mental health workers should assist people distressed by their sexual orientation by care and treatment approaches that involve acceptance, support, and identity exploration. These should aim to reduce the stigma associated with homosexuality and respect the person‟s religious beliefs. © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • "Potential risks of „reparative therapy‟ are great,including depression, anxiety, and self-destructivebehaviour, since therapist alignment with societalprejudices against homosexuality may reinforceself-hatred already experienced by a patient. Manypatients who have undergone reparative therapyrelate that they were inaccurately told thathomosexuals are lonely, unhappy individuals whonever achieve acceptance or satisfaction. Thepossibility that the person might achieve happinessand satisfying interpersonal relationships as a gayman or lesbian is not presented, nor are alternativeapproaches to dealing with the effects of societalstigmatization discussed.”American Psychiatric Association Resolution, 1/15/99 © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • „Ex-gay‟ Ministries in Decline? •Failures ….specially the public ones August 1998 John Paulk September 2000 John Paulk photographed(‘ex-gay’) leader in Focus on running from a gay bar, Mr P’s in Washingtonthe Family and Chairman of DC, after he was caught flirting with men Exodus, featured in © Anthony Venn-Brown Newsweek info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • „Ex-gay‟ Ministries in Decline?•Failures ….specially the public ones•Scientific research – 3 areas•Ex-gay survivor stories & organisations•Publications such as „Anything But Straight‟, „A Life of Unlearning‟•Former ex-gay leaders apologies•Growth of the gay Christian movement•Freedom 2 b[e]•Welcoming & affirming churches•Acknowledgement of wrongs by Exodus•Shift in society © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • Testimonials You Won‟t Read on an „Ex-gay‟ websiteWhat followed was 7 years of mental torture. I attendeda Pentecostal church in the next town and went througha range of Christian practices including exorcism,anointing with oil, healing and demons being cast out ofme - all in an attempt to cure me of my homosexuality.Looking back on this period of my life now all I can everremember is God telling me that he loved me, He neverseemed to comment on my homosexuality. Thereforeafter seven years of that I stopped going to churchaltogether. I was fed up of Christians judging me andbasically rating me as the worlds second worse sinner,a child abuser being the first!Scottish gay Christian (Freedom 2 b[e]) © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • During the three years in ex-gay therapy I felt paranoidand guilty; it could have contributed to 2 differentpsychiatric ward visits. I also had a sense of loneliness(because I really couldnt talk about it to anyone outsideof the group).Jeffery USA (ex-ex-gay yahoo group)Fortunately I had a realistic counsellor who said onetime I dont want to rain on your parade, but thefeelings you have wont go away - you may just be ableto suppress them. This helped me become a stablehappy gay man. Left my hetro marriage with 3 (nowadult) children. I now have great relationship with ex-wife after working through hurts and have been in astable 10 year relationship with a wonderful guy.Les – Exodus Melbourne (ex-ex-gay yahoo group) © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • I went through 3 marriages, 3 divorces, 5 sons, 5grandchildren a public humiliation and denouncements,depression, isolation, rejection and now finally I am meand I know God loves me and His call on my life hasnever changed. I spent time in silent retreats, 2 thirty-day fasts, used Bible translation programs to go back tooriginal texts in the Bible to know for sure what wassaid and what was meant. Now I am proudly not only aprofessing Christian, but my ministry has expanded andmy goal is to see ALL people know the TRUTH.Mike USA went to a Christian Psychologist, Lutheran SocialServices, over 20 Deliverance Sessions, Exodus, Outpost, Love LinesChristian Counselling Centre where he became the Director ofCounselling and taught classes on how to help gay and lesbianpeople be delivered. (Ex-ex-gay yahoo group) © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • I cried a lot. Got quite depressed when my "tendencies"didnt become any less real. I wasnt severely woundedby the experience, and dont really hold any bitterness.At the same time I am very suspicious of anyone whosays their sexual attraction to people of the same sex isdiminished by attending such a group. Marriage is noproof that someone is no longer intrinsically gay.Stephen Gray attended Liberty Christian Ministries for 6 monthsAfter years of severe depression, 3 suicide attemptsand becoming totally addicted to internet porn andacting on my sexual desires in deviant and compulsiveways….I have finally been set free. Not from mysexuality but from the curse of unacceptance.BF attended Living Waters in Sydney © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • I tried the ex-gay healing ministry, counselling, therapy,mentoring, accountability, prayer ministry etc. etc. Inthe end I simply had no energy left to suppress mydesires on an hourly basis so we faced the inevitableand separated. Interestingly, as I read about yoursimilar attempts at gaining healing in the book, I couldfeel all over again the pain of the effort and exhaustion,and the consequent frustration of it all! So here I am,nearly 50, after 25 years of marriage....separated for 6months, and not knowing a lot about the future exceptthat my previous theology has not delivered what itpromised and that when I am with a man I feel complete.Email from a reader of ‘A Life of Unlearning’I was taught that I was mentally ill and sinful whichresulted in severe depression. Starting to work throughnow, and beginning to accept myself.Warren attended Choices in the Sutherland Shire © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • Over 30 years of deliverance, inner healing prayer,speaking out "Im healed" in faith, counselling,conferences, seminars, ongoing prayer, etc. Myorientation did not change. I started out with hope that Iwould change one day, and as the years went by lost itall and so tried to kill myself. I tried to commit suicideonce and cut myself up quite badly a 2nd time. Ivenearly overdosed on pills another time. Not like that nowthough! I...love Jesus, love spending time with God,and Im gay! (My tagline: I dont do straight very well!)Stephen attended the live in program at Bundeena ChristianFellowship, Living Waters in NZ, Exodus in Toronto and about to doFrancis McNutt’s program in the US when, by ‘chance’, he pickedup my autobiography ‘A Life of Unlearning’ one day browsing in abookshop. © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • JOHN METYARD…..Former Exodus Asia Pacific &Living Waters Leader and on the International AdvisoryBoard of Exodus“In the past I have been ardent in my opinion thathomosexual orientation was unquestioningly a result ofthe „fall‟ and God‟s intention was therefore always toheal the same-sex attracted believer and help them tobe „whole‟. In the past I have frequently spoken publiclyin support of these views. However, my position is nowsomewhat different.”KIM BRETT….Former Exodus – Associate FormerLeader – Living Waters and Liberty Inc. Leader“For a long time I had been witnessing peoples (and myown) growing frustration that no matter how repentant,prayerful and committed we all were to living a life as anex-gay Christian, the changes we all sought and weretaught possible never really materialised.” © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • PAUL MARTIN…..Principal Psychologist – Centre forHuman Potential. Former Exodus Leader – Melbourne“During this time, there was not one person that I met orworked with who, in any genuine way achieved thefundamental transformation from homosexual toheterosexual they so desperately desired. The stress ofattempting to change their sexual orientation howeverincreased risk of suicidality, and absolutely led toerosion of self-esteem and increased levels ofdepression and self-deprecation at a very deep level.”WENDY LAWSON……Former Exodus Leader Melbourne“Today, more than 15 years after I stepped down fromleadership of „Exodus‟ I have come to know that nearlyevery member of that group is now living their livesopenly as a homosexual person.” © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • VONNIE PITTSFormer Christian City Church Pastor and Living WatersLeader“When we reached the final week of the program, Iasked the girls what they felt had been achieved. Noneof them felt the program had changed their sexualorientation. The guys who were working the programsaid the same. At this time, I began my own researchinto the causes of homosexuality and found there wasmounting evidence that sexual orientation isdetermined in the womb. Now I have absolutely nodoubt that homosexuals are born gay and don‟t need tochange. If I were to see any of the people that I tookthrough the „Living Waters‟ program again, I would saysorry. My intentions were to help you through yourstruggle but I acted in ignorance.” © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • How Should We Respond?•Attack or educate?•Treat others as you want to be treated yourself•Engage in dialogue where possible•Inform but support people considering•Be there when they are facing the truth•Give them time to process after leaving•Tell your story (contact me if you want to know how you can do this effectively) © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com
  • More Info & Contacts Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International www.gayambassador.com Contact info@gayambassador.com•Go to http://gayambassador.blogspot.com/ click on ex-gay label•Go to http://exgayaustralia.blogspot.com/•Go to www.freedom2b.org © Anthony Venn-Brown info@anthonyvennbrown.com