In March 1994, according to this second-hand source, a Santa Rosa, Calif., gay periodical called We The People published an article written by someone named Dennis Anderson.

The article profiled ex-exgay Tom Ottosen, who alleged that he heard Love In Action Director John Smid say this:

I would rather you commit suicide than have you leave Love In Action wanting to return to the gay lifestyle. In a physical death you could still have a spiritual resurrection; whereas, returning to homosexuality you are yielding yourself to a spiritual death from which there is no recovery.

This shocking quotation has been reprinted numerous times, perhaps most prominently in the January/February 1997 issue of the gay Christian magazine Various blogs currently covering the so-called “kidnapping” of a youth by Love In Action have repeated the quotation without stating its source.

But according to an article at the Independent Gay Forum, Smid denies ever saying that. And a broad Google search turns up nothing from, or about, Ottosen since 1998 — seven years ago.

Given the allegation’s origin in just one individual, I am skeptical that the incident occurred exactly as Ottosen claims. Nevertheless, any information substantiating or refuting Ottosen’s allegation would be most welcome.

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