For Immediate Release
Monday, August 3, 2020
Truth Wins Out Documents the Demise of Exodus, the world’s largest ‘ex-gay’ ministry
Video completes historic series with in-depth interviews of former ‘ex-gay’ leaders
PHILADELPHIA – Truth Wins Out (TWO) ended its historic, in-depth interview series with former “ex-gay” leaders today, with the final video documenting the demise of Exodus International, the world’s largest “ex-gay” ministry from 1973-2013. The new video features Truth Wins Out Executive Director, Wayne Besen, interviewing former Exodus President, Alan Chambers, on his surprise decision to shut down the organization. He did so after acknowledging that Exodus’ clients were not changing from gay-to-straight, as the group had advertised in media campaigns.
Besen decided to conduct these interviews after encountering flagrant historical revisionism while writing his 2003 book, “Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth.” The “ex-gay” ministry leaders he spoke to while writing the book tried to pretend that former “ex-gay” leaders who resigned in scandal or came out of the closet didn’t exist. Or, they dishonestly downplayed the role these leaders had in forming the “ex-gay” industry. The tragic result was that “ex-gay” programs were able to mislead the public and the media about their failure rate, which led to phenomenal harm perpetrated against the LGBT community. This was particularly evident in 1998, when the Religious Right launched the infamous Truth in Love campaign, which ran television ads and took out full page displays in major newspapers claiming that people could pray away the gay.
“I pledged that such historical revisionism would never happen again, so we launched the ‘Ex-Team Project’ to ensure people knew the truth about the epic failures of the ‘ex-gay’ industry,” said Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen. “Those who don’t own history are doomed to repeat it. Thanks to this forward-thinking project, the LGBTQ community is now imminently prepared to beat back the next ‘ex-gay’ onslaught with the truth, whether it is at home or abroad.”
While the “ex-gay” industry has been widely discredited by Truth Wins Out and others, it rebooted and rebranded in 2019 as the Changed Movement and held Freedom Marches in several cities, including Washington, DC. The American Family Association (AFA) is coming out with a new documentary, “In His Image,” which promotes the “ex-gay” myth. This is ironic, considering the AFA’s last “ex-gay” documentary, “It’s Not Gay” featured Michael Johnston. In 2003, a Truth Wins Out investigation, with the assistance of Virginia attorney Michael Hamar, revealed that Johnston was meeting men online in various Virginia motel rooms, even has he worked for Rev. Jerry Falwell and claimed that Jesus healed him from his homosexuality. Johnston resigned his position in infamy and disgrace.
“The American Family Association knows firsthand that ‘ex-gay’ programs end in failure, so why are they rebranding with a new propaganda effort? What they are doing is morally repugnant and ethically challenged,” said Wayne Besen. “How is lying and deceit helpful for American families?”
The seven former “ex-gay” leaders featured in Truth Wins Out’s interview series are: Yvette Cantu-Schneider, Family Research Council and Exodus Women’s Ministry; John Smid, Love in Action; Michael Bussee, Co-Founder of Exodus International; Randy Thomas, Exodus International; Alan Chambers, Exodus International; McKrae Game, Hope for Wholeness; and Roy Blankenship, Exodus International. The full series can be seen on Truth Wins Out’s YouTube Channel. Please sign up for our channel today.
Founded in 2006, Truth Wins Out is the oldest nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to monitoring and ending “ex-gay” conversion programs, while working to eliminate anti-LGBTQ prejudice and discrimination.