The real story behind ex-gay ministries and reparative therapy!
Nationally known activist Wayne Besen spent four years examining the phenomenon of ex-gay ministries and reparative therapiesinterviewing leaders, attending conferences, and visiting ministries undercover as he accumulated hundreds of hours of research. The result is Anything but Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth, a groundbreaking exposé of the controversial movement that's revered by independent religious groups and reviled by gay and lesbian organizations. The book presents a historical perspective on the dispute, examining ex-gay groups such as Love In Action, Exodus International, Homosexuals Anonymous, and profiling a cast of characters that includes Pat Robertson, the Rev. Jerry Falwell, ex-gay poster boy John Paulk, National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality activist Richard Cohen, and psychiatrist Dr. Robert Spitzer.
An in-depth, well-researched, and historically significant account, Anything but Straight is full of startling facts and alarming surprises. The original content and novel material in the book includes:
- a first-ever comprehensive history of the ex-gay ministries and reparative therapy
- the inside story of the night the author photographed ex-gay poster boy John Paulk inside a gay bar
- the author's discovery that Anne Paulk lied about being a lesbian and has admitted to having a strong attraction to men BEFORE she became ex-gay
- previously undisclosed bizarre techniques used by the ex-gay ministries and reparative therapists
- the author's exclusive in-depth interviews with leading ex-gay leadersthey disclose their deepest secrets, hidden desires, and true motivations
- an extraordinary new study that shows that most ex-gay leaders have suffered from substance abuse or severe emotional problemswhile many ex-gay leaders claim they were unhappy being gay, this report helps prove that their dissatisfactions came not from their homosexuality, but from poor life choices and irresponsible behavior
- new revelations that one of the nation's leading reparative therapists hailed from a secretive cult that was scandalized for practicing nude therapy
From the author: Through my extensive experience, I have learned that the extraordinary claims made by the ex-gay groups are without merit and the efficacy of their programs is dubious at best and harmful at worst . . . One frequent question I get is, Why can't gay activists simply leave 'ex-gay' groups alone and let them go about their business? This is exactly what happened for nearly three decades while ex-gay groups labored in near anonymity. But all this recently changed when the ex-gay groups intricately aligned themselves with the anti-gay political agenda of the Religious Right. With ex-gays added to their arsenal, the Right could disingenuously claim to love gay people and offer them hope for change, while simultaneously fighting for punitive legislation. Their insidious message: Since gays and lesbians can change, there is no need for laws that protect them against arbitrary prejudice.
Anything but Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth is an essential read for activists on both sides of the ex-gay fence, family members of gays and lesbians, Gay, Bisexual, Lesbian, and Transgender church members, psychiatric and social science professionals, and anyone who has dealt with coming out issues. An appendix of resources and a helpful bibliography make it easy to find additional information on this fascinating topic.
Table of Contents
- Act I: The Ex-Gay Ministries
- Candi’s Bathroom Break
- A Trilogy of Tragedy
- Founding Follies
- The Propagandists
- Act II: Reparative Therapy
- Historic Injustice
- Nicolosi’s Nonsense
- Radical Richard
- Act III: The Politics of Conversion
- The Puppeteers
- Political Science
- Act IV: The Encore
- Future Follies and Failures
- Appendix: Resources