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Reparative and similar therapies

Menu

2008 to 2013:
Exodus International
reverses their
beliefs, abandons reparative therapy,
apologizes, & ceases operations!

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In this web site, "LGB" refers to lesbians, gays and bisexuals

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About Exodus International:

Exodus International 1,2 describes themselves as follows:

"Exodus is the leading global outreach to churches, individuals and families offering a biblical message about same-sex attraction.

With over 35 years of ministry experience, Exodus is committed to encouraging, educating and equipping the Body of Christ to address the issue of homosexuality, gay and lesbian people and families with grace and truth.

Since 1976, Exodus has grown to include over 260 local ministries, churches and counselors in the USA and Canada. We are also linked with other Exodus world regions outside of North America through the Exodus Global Alliance.

Exodus is both a coalition of pastoral care ministries, churches and counselors as well as a full service organization.  Together, we provide everything from large scale national and international events to individual care for men, women and families." 3

In common with most evangelical groups, they rarely acknowledge the existence of persons with a bisexual orientation who may well form the majority of their clients.

Also, they state that they offer "a biblical message about same-sex attraction." The phrase "a biblical message" rather than "the biblical message" seems to imply that Exodus believes that there is more than one interpretation of the six "clobber" passages in the Bible that have been traditionally been used to attack LGBs. Assuming that this phrase was intentional, this seems to be an admission of unusual frankness for an evangelical group. Most conservative Christian organizations assume that their belief system. as based on their own interpretation of some Bible passages, is the only correct one, and that all others are invalid or even heretical.

Under pressure from:

  • increased support among the North America public towards equal rights for the LGB community,
  • increasing skepticism among evangelical Christians towards reparative therapy and "pray the gay away" ministries,
  • and falling revenues,

Exodus International simultaneously made a number of major changes in their beliefs and policies. As of mid-2012:

  • They no longer teach that reparative therapy is effective.
  • They teach than lesbian and gay adults will always have feelings of attraction to members of the same gender.
  • They teach that reparative therapy can be dangerous.
  • They teach that sexually active persons with same-sex attraction can still attain Heaven after death.

During an eventful 24 hour interval in mid-2013-JUN:

  • The president of Exodus offered a sincere apology for all of the harm that his organization had done to individuals members of the LGBT community, and
  • The organization announced that it was ceasing business after 37 years of operation.

That leaves two main organizations that are still very actively promoting reparative therapy in spite of the growing understanding among therapists and the public that it is both ineffective and dangerous. They are:

  • NARTH, the "National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality." This group is composed of perhaps 200 therapists who are highly dedicated to conversion therapy, a.k.a. reparative therapy, plus many hundreds of additional members.

  • JONAH, "Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing." They describe themselves as: "... a non-profit international organization dedicated to educating the world-wide Jewish community about the social, cultural and emotional factors which lead to same-sex attractions."

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Topics covered in this section:

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Exodus International's home page is at: http://exodusinternational.org/
  2. Their facebook page is at: http://www.facebook.com/exodusinternational
  3. "About Us: What is Exodus," Exodus International, at: http://exodusinternational.org/

Copyright © 2012 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Initial posting: 2012-OCT-08

Latest update: 2013-JUN-23
Author: B.A. Robinson

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