and just when i had started to think the inside story would never be told...
Journey Into Manhood. Ever heard of it? It's the pray-the-gay-away organization run by People Can Change. Ty Mansfield* talks about it all the time. Journey Into Manhood (JiM) is an expensive weekend retreat run by non-professionals who claim a shocking 79% success rate! They do this by...
...ah, yes. I almost forgot about the confidentially agreement. Do you know who remembers the agreement and is fully prepared to breech it? Ted Cox.
Ted Cox, a "perennially straight writer," spent two years posing as a gay man and attending reparative therapy events around the country including JiM!
Feel free to read the whole article (it isn't very long) but before you do, feel free to read these choice quotes:
"For one exercise, you're standing just inches away from another man and you're staring him in the eyes, and someone in the background is telling you to think about what emotions come up. You do this with every man at the camp. It is very uncomfortable."
"I became sad because I saw men reenact traumatic events from their childhood. ... One man, for example, reenacted his father beating his mother."
"What was surprising at the weekly meetings was this emphasis on falling in love with Christ. In order to overcome your attraction to men, it was to fall in love—in almost a romantic way—to the most perfect man. Some of the songs they sang sounded like soft-rock 80s love hits, but they were about Jesus instead of your sweetheart."
I can hardly contain my laughter about that last one. Surely, if you can't pray the gay away you can always sex-up the Lord!
In the article Mr. Cox also talks about the staffers trying to reinforce the American machismo mind-set. How does that myth still persist? These non-professional therapists need to spend a night at a leather bar.
As do the weekend campers.