Exodus International’s Julie Neils, in 2010:

As for those mysterious gay-to-straight “boot camps,” they don’t exist.

Ex-gay survivor Kyle Luebke, in 2011:

Realizing that [being gay] was not just a “phase” that I was going through, [my parents] decided that more drastic action needed to be taken. They proceeded to contact Mr. Phillips, and took his advice to send me to the “Refuge” program, a program run by the ex-gay ministry Love In Action in Memphis, Tennessee. My parents told me that I had no option but to go, considering that I was underage and still under their authority. Thus, we packed our bags and moved to Memphis for two months, and on October 28, 2006 I was enrolled at Love In Action.

I was to go back to Love In Action on my eighteenth birthday, on May 5, 2007. But once again, I was not given much of a “choice” in the matter. They informed me that I would either go into the Love In Action program, or be kicked out of the house, because they could not have an unrepentant homosexual living under their roof. But this time there was a twist in their threat — they told all of my extended family, from my grandparents to my aunts and uncles — to not take me in if I decided against going into the program.

Love In Action is, in its own words, “the oldest established member ministry of Exodus International … [and] a referral ministry of Focus on the Family and the American Family Association.”

LIA’s Refuge was discontinued in 2007, following the public outcry over the treatment of Zach Stark, a gay Memphis teenager forced into the program in 2006. It was replaced by the similar Family Freedom Intensive. Neither was residential, though, contrary to Exodus’s denial, Refuge had all the worst characteristics of a bootcamp.

Read about Kyle’s experience in five parts, beginning with The Pain of Reparative Therapy: My Story — Part One. Links to the other parts can be found at the bottom of Part Five.

Hat-tip: Bene Diction.

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