Important update, May 8, 2005: Read here.
In Southern Voice (Dec. 10), Gareth Fenley comments on the exgay video "I Do Exist," developed by Warren Throckmorton. A showing was hosted by exgay activist Darryl L. Foster in Atlanta earlier this fall.
The movie is called “I Do Exist,” and it makes no mention that successful identity changes based on religious convictions are rare, nor does it tell us the truth that ex-gay ministries cause great harm to many people, including some suicides. It only talks about five happy people who say they are now straight.
"I Do Exist" was created by psychology professor Warren Throckmorton, who works at the conservative Christian Grove City College. He often teams up with another psychology professor, Mark Yarhouse, director of the Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity at Regent University.
Extensive interviews with Yarhouse present him in the movie as a neutral scientific researcher. Throckmorton doesn’t tell you that Regent University was founded by Pat Robertson.
Fenley comments on Foster’s literature:
The screening I attended was hosted by the LifeLines Discipleship Program, which enrolls African Americans and is headed by an ex-gay, Pastor Darryl L. Foster.
The brochure for LifeLines declares that “homosexuality cripples and distorts an individual’s relational, emotional and decision-making abilities.” These lies are followed by discussion of “deliverance to restorative wholeness,” but Foster is careful to make no promises. The purpose of the program, he says, is not heterosexuality, but holiness.
Fenley concludes with an observation on an exgay minister who blames patients for the persistent failures of their therapists — and views the patients as spiritually disposable losers:
I asked another ex-gay ministry leader in attendance if this really works.
He smiled and said it is important for all people to know that they can run the race, and if even one makes the finish line, it is a great victory for God.
I don’t know about him, but I care about the people who can’t finish this race.
According to tradition, so did Jesus of Nazareth.