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Investigation Launched Into Ex-Gay Group

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Tennessee state officials have begun a second investigation into an “ex-gay” group accused of abuse and brainwashing at a camp near Memphis.

The new probe comes just weeks after the Department of Child Services said it had found no signs of child abuse in the wake of a widely publicized blog by a teen named “Zach” who wrote that he was gay and that his parents had forced him to go to the “Love In Action” camp near Memphis to “cure him of his homosexuality.”

Love In Action International says it “believes that instilling strong Christian beliefs can keep gays from acting on their homosexual desires.”

The group, which also works with adults, has a program called Refuge for teens 15 to 18 years old.

The teen on the blog identified himself as a 16-year-old from Bartlett, Tenn., and said his parents “tell me that there is something psychologically wrong with me. … I’m a big screwup to them, who isn’t on the path God wants me to be on. So I’m sitting here in tears … and I can’t help it.”

Child Services did not say whether it found “Zach” or if it determined he ever existed.

Now, the state Mental Health & Developmental Disabilities Department has opened its own investigation because Love in Action is also offering counseling in drug and alcohol addiction. State officials say it can’t do that without a license.

In an effort to head off the new examination of the camp, Love in Action executive director John Smid said the organization would change its Web site wording and direct clients to established, off-site drug and alcohol counseling services.

Love In Action is one of several so-called ex-gay organizations throughout the country.

The American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association both have said such therapy can be emotionally harmful, leading to depression and self-destructive behavior.

Smid described Refuge as a two-week program, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, in which teenagers meet with counselors and in group sessions to talk about their sexual desires.

“The parents bring them and take them home,” he said. “We work with the parents also.”

Edited: LI
Edited: TAS – published

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About Chris Evans

  • Love In Action International says it “believes that instilling strong Christian beliefs can keep gays from acting on their homosexual desires.”

    yes, and as we can see, by force if need be.

  • We can see the jihad waged by the left in action…

    NOOOOO!!! You can’t counsel someone from being gay!!!!

    Stop them. STOP THEM!

  • Tao Jonez

    yo, Bambenek, ya got some stones boy, last time i checked it wuz far right fundamentalists that do the whole jihad thang. ya know, like the Taliban or christian fundamentalists, or neocons

    all them fools hit the no questions asked ,authoritarian shit, then back it up with some holy book, and shout down, or kill whatever steps up

    like you do, bish

  • Try again, the Taliban are lefties. You don’t know what far right is.

    People consider Hitler the prototypical rightie, right?

    He was a socialist. That’s what Nazi means. Roughly translated as “national socialist party”.

    In the 20th century, the 10 biggest genocides were committed by 10 left-wing governments, not right wing. I’m not sure where or when this definition came from, but conservativism very clearly is against the imposition of social norms and institutions on people. The left doesn’t quite have a problem with that.

  • Tao Jonez

    ya Bambenek, we all know what Adolf was, he wuz a fucking liar. i know ya remember Goebbels, ya studied under him fer yer writing class. now, quote yer big lie theory, and how it werks, then apply dat to “socialist”

    keep telling yerself that Taliban are lefties, they are fucking muslim fundamentalists by definition, deny it all ya like, dat don’t change shit.
    open yer head a sec, and think.
    takes their holy book as literal truth, and forces everyone around them ta abide by it, whether they like it or not.
    sound familiar?
    it should, shit like that spews out from mouths like yers every day.

  • It’s amazing how, on a blog about a Christian group ‘counseling’ someone against their will, someone has the audacity to defend it and then blather on about a comparison of the Left to Hitler.

    Talk about blinders.

  • Tao Jonez

    like Steve says man, makes my point. says “socialist” on the gang colors, but fascist by action.

    so which was it Bambenek?

    and any kinda forced councilling shit is just that, shit. nobody got the right ta lock somebody up fer the way they are, unless they go out can steal or pop a cap in somebody or some such shit like that.
    what could this kid possibly do so bad that they lock him up fer brainwashing rinse and spit?
    who is the bad guy here?

  • Mr./Ms. Sunofthesky, you beat me to it: I was going to blog about this today. But let me instead just add some information and a link to this: Zach is real, he exists, and he is still in the hands of those fundamentalists who want to “change” him. Ex-Gay Watch has the news that Zach’s father recently took his case to Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network and outed his son on national tv.

    My take, given my experiences with ex-gay ministries and so-called reparative therapy: Poor Zach…

  • It isn’t the right that brought you Hitler… or speech codes… or for that matter slavery. Republicans aren’t the ones passing laws throwing people in jail for disagreeing with abortion in public (FACE and the misapplication of RICO).

  • Tao Jonez

    yo Bambenek, put down the crack pipe and step away slowly, playah. you been suckin that glass dick so long ya have lost all touch with reality.

  • This is all the left can bring… polemics.

  • Tao Jonez

    nah Bambenek, real peeps can bring th eluv, twizted pimps who got nuthin but their agenda of hate can only try and disrespect and distract with callin shit polemics

  • It really is sad how Republicans REALLY just can’t see how wrong they are on some issues. It’s really beyond me.

  • Anthony Grande

    TAO, tell me what news chanel you watch.
    I am interested to know.

  • Tao Jonez

    yo Ant G, news channel? ya mean the Daily Show?
    i gets my news from google, and checks my sources by scopin a coupla places on any bit that catches my eye

    how about you?

  • Anthony Grande

    Tao, I believe you are telling me the truth. But go to Foxnews.com for some interesting fair and balanced high quality news.

  • Tao Jonez

    ya mean the kind where Newt Gingrich is the head political news editor?
    ya know, the bish that spends over 20 days a month talkin at $1000 a plate repub fundraisers fer fat cats?
    yeah, fair and balanced, my ass
    but you just showed yer ass on it all, Ant G

  • Anthony Grande

    Again I am sorry but don’t understand what you are writing. Please talk to me in English.

  • Tao Jonez

    i get ya, ya would rather i get all kids of formal, fer yer punk ass, i will, this one timer

    what i said wuz
    ~I am forced to assume you are speaking of the network that has Newt Gingrich as it’s head political affairs editor, the same ex republican speaker fo the house that currently spends close to three weeks of every month(according to his public itinerary) attending and hosting $1000 a plate functions for fundraising purposes. This is a clear indication fo his personal and professional bias towards the Republican party, and cast incredible doubt as to his objectivity and bias towards any political reporting done by Fox news, since, ipso facto, he is their senior editorial policy maker in there matter.
    fair and balanced? I think not.
    I do hope this demonstrates how incorrect you are in these assertions.
    moron (this word phoenetically translated from the sicilian)~

    ya been served, bish

  • Anthony Grande

    Oh I got served? What are your future plans in life. You aint going to get far unless you learn to talk like you just did all the time.

    Just because Gingrich attends $1000 a dish fundraisers makes him unfair and unbalanced? Where do you think that fundraiser money goes to.

    Fox News host twice as much Democrats than Republicans. This is so that the democrats can voice their opinion and then they can have a civilized debate.

  • billy

    hitler was a left wing socialist?

    i bet north korea is a democracy too, since it is called the democratic people’s republic of korea.

    remember, hitler’s first move was to send the army in to shut down the unions and arrest their leaders.

    sounds like a dream george bush had one night.

    and the taliban left wing?

    they believe in the strict interprtetataion of a bible to oversee how government acts and to control people’s lives.

    seems alot like a certain wing of the repub party.

  • Tao Jonez

    yo, ant g, like i told ya Newt SPEAKS at those fundraisers, whole differnet level
    yeah, that makes him “ethically ambiguous” when it comes ta being fair about politics

    and you don’t know me from a can of paint, boy, so mebbe ya shoudl stick ta what ya know, and not try and teach grandpa how ta step

    as for how far, and how i talk
    i roll like i wanna roll, here and everywhere
    my biz, not yours, lil punk ass hatah
    worry ’bout yer own shit

  • BillB

    To Tao Jonez

    RE # 19

    I don’t know if you’re black, white or what, your free to do your thing, but you had me cryin’.

    I couldn’t help but read that with “Eddie Murphy doin his straight white guy bit” imagery in my head.

    Very funny.

  • Here is an update for your thread. Wayne Besen, the founder of the ex-gay group Love in Action posts a commentary on his blog. (link attached)

    He basically states that the ex-gay movement, including his own Love In Action is a failure and that it results in suicide and death. Yet another example of the Christian movement wanting people to conform so bad, they don’t care if they kill.

  • oops, Wayne Besen is the interviewer. See link.