Just in time for Christmas?
We have heard a strong rumor with partial confirmation that Mike Ensley is no longer working for Exodus and further that he may have been laid off. If so, this would further confirm suspicions of financial trouble for the ex-gay ministry. We have asked Ensley for clarification but received nothing as yet. Ensley’s most recent title was Youth Analyst for Exodus. If this is accurate, the timing qualifies for some sort of Scrooge award.
More details as we get them.
Update 4:30pm ET
XGW has confirmed that both Youth Analyst Mike Ensley and Bookstore Manager Chris Stump have been laid off from their jobs at Exodus International. Stump had only recently replaced the outgoing Kevin White in that position. It appears the move came just days ago, made necessary due to a serious reduction of donations being received by the ex-gay referral organization.
It comes as no surprise that Exodus is having budget concerns. The current world-wide economic crisis has hurt even large, well managed non-profits like Focus on the Family. Exodus may have made things worse for themselves, however, with the addition of a million dollar mortgage for the new building they purchased last Spring — bad timing to say the least. Exodus had previously leased a modest set of offices in Orlando but claimed in a newsletter that they were cramped and needed room for new staff.
We aren’t sure why this announcement was made so close to Christmas. Whatever the reason, we wish Mike Ensley well. Getting away from the uber-heterosexual worship at Exodus can only help his life — he never seemed totally indoctrinated but was getting there. Whether he decides to be celibate or sexually honest is his business, but hopefully he won’t make “change” the central theme of his career from this point forward, or marry a woman as proof that he has.
While we imagine he won’t see it as such right now, being laid off might be one of the best things that could have happened to him.