Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Wonderfully Convoluted and Naive Views of a one, Mr. Alan Chambers...

I was just reading Ex-Gay Watch, and saw Alan Chambers reply to a posted reply of Peterson Toscano. Peterson was describing parts of the Refuge program...very accurately, and Mr. Chambers took it upon himself to set the record pun intended...I SWEAR!


I am sure that LIA uses licensed and trained therapists within the program. In fact, since their move (or not long after) to Memphis they have retained the services of a licensed therapist.

Additionally, I know that they now provide after care, which is a great thing and one of the issues that you felt strongly

Well, I felt it was important that someone set Mr. Chambers straight...please read as much into that as you wish! This is what I wrote.

Jacob, on July 15th, 2007 at 11:23 pm Said:
I find that the more I read from Mr. Chambers, the more concerned I become. Having recently attended Love In Action, I am amazed with how much the program has ’changed.’ For example, aftercare. Such a wonderful idea…in theory; however, ’aftercare’ was supposidly an option after I left in August 2005. What does LIA do when a former client ’slips up’ after leaving the ex-gay bubble…you know…the real, unsheltered world where you aren’t going to the bathroom in groups of 3 or more…and you don’t have restrictions on what stores you can go in, who you can talk to, and have the opportunity to think for yourself??? Well, in my experience…a ’slip up’ after exiting the program results in your aftercare being terminated, for the most part. My counselor no longer talked to me, I was not allowed to contact any of my friends who were still in the program(because if they were to have communication with a gay person who was no longer being assimilated by the Ex-gay Borg, the gay rays might over power the ex-gay ones!) If that doesn’t make a person feel untouchable and damaged, I don’t know what does. I was allowed to go to an evening group led by other struggling ex-gays who meeting after meeting shared either how they ’slipped up’ or how they were struggling to NOT slip up…also, these group leaders were NOT licensed counselors…which is my next point.
Mr. Chambers, you say that Love in Action uses Licensed counselors. Well, partially you are correct. My counselor was licensed. However, daily we had group sessions led by various leaders, including John Smid, office workers, and former/current clients…non of which, to my knowledge, are licensed counselors. These theraputic groups are designed to help us focus on ourselves, begin healing, and be at our most vulnerable…something that, in hindsight, I believe that only a trained professional should be leading. *As a disclaimer, John Smid was…well..the Rev. John Smid at the time of my stay. No, not because he went through Bible College…or Seminary…but rather, because the lovely leadership at GBC, Love in Action’s host church and a major financial supporter, decided that his leading of such a noble cause earned him the title! Makes sense right?!?*
Even if a person has a license to counsel…that does not mean he or she should be able to practice. In the multiple sessions I had with my counselor, he never once took notes…which I always found odd. He also sometimes made me wait days before I could talk to him…because he was busy…despite the fact that in my 19 years of existance, I had never dealt with anything as emotionally draining and trying as Love in Action.

Also, Alan, I find myself very curious as to how many times you have visited LIA in the last six months…or a cumulative amount of hours you have spent observing the ’many changes’ that you speak of. I mean, you sound like an expert about all that is LIA. Do you just rely on the Rev. John Smid’s word, or have you seen the progress you speak of first hand?
Well, this message has turned out to a bit longer than anticipated…I guess I found my next blog topic as well!

My frustration is in the fact that Alan Chambers is sharing half truths. I do not necessairly believe it is because he wishes to mislead us, but rather because he is ignorant. I use the term ignorant in a loving way. He is ignorant to what goes on in Love In Action from a client/ex-client's perspective as well as the everyday practices because he is NOT there everyday. Which is's hard work running a massive "Religious Machine" that is determined to reach its most any cost. I bet he naps frequently!

1 comment:

Peterson Toscano said...

1. Jacob, I LOVE the look of your blog these days with that very cool photo of you. Nice.

2. Yeah, you are spot on. As far as I know most Exodus national leaders and board members rarely visit places like Love in Action or spend any significant time there.

Looking forward to reading more of your blog entries.