Showing posts with label Sexual Orientation Change Efforts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sexual Orientation Change Efforts. Show all posts

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Platform plank of the Republican Party of Texas

If you are a delegate/alternate for our Republican Party of Texas convention this weekend, PLEASE make sure to be present on Friday afternoon and VOTE to APPROVE this plank 

Therapy and Counseling
"No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) for self-motivated youth and adults."


This plank is critical to protecting religious freedom and our first amendment rights. These rights are currently under assault by a small group of activists using misinformation and lies to convince Democrats and some Republicans to ban "conversion therapy for minors."  

The first assault on freedom in this case was this law which passed in California: Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN): "California Bans Gay Teen Conversion Therapy"  

This same misguided and unconstitutional law was then passed in NJ and IL - where it was pushed by Democrats with the help of several misinformed Republican lawmakers including "Republican" governors Chris Christie and Bruce Rauner (who still claim to be "pro-life, pro-marriage, and pro-family")

The same bill was introduced last session in the Texas legislature and added to the Democratic Party of Texas platform as one of their legislative priorities. These laws are clearly unconstitutional since it attacks freedom of speech and belief. 

There is not a separate modality of therapy for "conversion." The difference between this and secular "pro-gay" therapy is the beliefs and values of the individual and their therapist. This is an attack on the right of individuals to hold views that are different from the modern "gay" construct. As several gay activists have openly said, they want to make it a crime for anyone to say that homosexuality is "anything other than a normal healthy variant of human sexuality." 

As I explained in my previous post, this is philosophical difference. I am not arguing with their right to believe in Social Constructionism, but my own faith and my own life experiences have proven to me that there is a God and he has a plan for my life - which is much different from theirs. 

I know hundreds of individuals at all ages who feel the same way and we have a right to our beliefs and to operate ministries and therapy practices to support those who are self-motivated to purse this path. 

If you or anyone else has any question about this plank and/or would like more information, please contact me at: Jeremy@Joel225.org 

Thank you,

Jeremy Schwab
Senate District 12 / Denton County


Friday, April 10, 2015

Response to Alan Chamber's statement on Obama's ban

The latest statement by former Exodus President, Alan Chambers supporting President Obama’s efforts to limit the options for Christian youth reflects his long held willful ignorance of the subject.

The full text of Alan Chambers statement is available here on his website: http://alanchambers.org/alan-chambers-president-obama-is-right-to-try-to-end-ex-gay-therapy-rns-commentary/

Here is one of Alan's paragraphs which I find disturbing:
 “For too long, same-sex attraction has been categorized as sinful and in need of repairing. Such stigma has caused LGBTQ people crippling shame and fear. As a child I experienced and as an adult I perpetuated that stigma. I profoundly regret my support for and promotion of reparative therapy.”
I can sort of understand where Alan is coming from, but it is important that he and others understand that what they experienced and promoted at Exodus was never part of Reparative Therapy.

It is unfortunate that there are now thousands of people who went to Exodus groups and small church programs led by individuals  who were uninformed about the origins of Same-Sex Attraction and/or who refused to talk to real Reparative Therapists.

There really are people who experienced "exorcisms" or "deliverances" and then  went away believing that they had experienced  "reparative therapy.’  There are also many who would swear that they experienced it through Exodus simply because they heard the term mentioned briefly in a speech during a conference. 

There are others who were told by pastors that they just needed to have faith and marry a woman and somehow  that would cause all Same-Sex Attraction to go away. In many of these cases, they simply experienced more wounding and shame as well as a false promise that their Same-Sex Attraction would be miraculously 100% reversed overnight. All of these are the polar opposite of Reparative Therapy.

The efforts to ban Reparative Therapy are aimed at punishing those who disagree with the new mainstream beliefs that that anyone with the slightest Same-Sex Attraction must have been born TO BE "gay" and must be forced to embrace and celebrate that as their sole identity as early in life as possible. 

Since there is not a separate modality of therapy for them to ban, they want to ban any discussion that indicates the individual might have any options to control their sexual behavior or reduce their same-sex attractions.

Unlike Alan Chambers, I and many of my friends have actually experienced real Reparative Therapy from qualified, licensed therapists who were trained by Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, the founder of “Reparative Therapy.”  The primary focus of Reparative Therapy is the elimination of shame. It is the polar opposite of everything Alan Chambers has  described.

None of the "Former Ex-Gay Leaders" ever actually experienced Reparative Therapy. Alan had the opportunity to work with Dr. Nicolosi for FREE but he refused (unfortunately for him and everyone else at Exodus).

I personally know hundreds who have benefited from Reparative Therapy. It has worked for everyone who has fully tried it. When I say "worked" though, I don't mean "cured" but rather that it has brought healing and restoration - improving overall quality of life. As a byproduct, Same-Sex Attraction usually decreases, but it may not go away entirely for everyone. That is not the only goal.

To summarize, here are eight key points that Alan may want to consider:

  1. Licensed Therapists have always been forbidden from attempting to "change" anyone against their will. That would be a violation of basic ethics.
  2. No one has ever committed suicide due to Reparative Therapy. The individuals who have committed suicide would likely be alive today IF only they'd had access to real healing and unconditional love - which are the aim of Reparative Therapy.
     
  3. No one has ever been “forced” to undergo Reparative Therapy. By definition, that is not possible. The therapy itself teaches self-respect and empowers individuals to stand up for themselves. You cannot “force” someone to be empowered and stand up for themselves against their will.
  4. Many people may have been forced into going to Exodus groups or talking to the church leaders and there are all kinds of those, but none of that has ever had anything to do with Reparative Therapy.
     
  5. Reparative Therapy is not a separate modality of therapy. It uses all of the same therapy modalities of other therapists. The difference is respect for the client’s faith and identity. Reparative Therapists believe that there is more to an individual human human being than a reductionist reference to their attractions.
     
  6. "Reparative Therapy" got its name from the premise put forth by Dr. Nicolosi that the compulsion for homosexual behavior is often a "reparative drive" - and that if we address the underlying Shame and emotional wounds, this drive will be LESS compulsive and healing can take place. It does NOT mean "repairing" a homosexual person because they are 'broken.'
     
  7. “Reparative Therapy  has brought healing and restoration - improving overall quality of life to everyone who has sincerely tried it. As a byproduct of this healing, Same-Sex Attraction usually decreases, but it is never expected or promised that it will go away entirely for everyone.
     
  8. None of the public critics who claim to have been “harmed” or "shamed" by “Reparative Therapy” have never actually worked with a real Reparative Therapist. This includes Alan Chambers and the outspoken "former Ex-Gay leaders".

Pax Christi,
Jeremy Schwab
Jeremy@Joel225.org


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Fighting against Self-Righteous Fundamentalism and Bigotry

Yesterday, I received an email from an old friend who was really upset by my efforts with Joel 2:25 International and Reparative Therapy. His email includes the misunderstandings I hear most often from those critical of my journey and my ministry work. I hear their anger. I also believe though that they are transferring the anger they have toward self-righteous fundamentalists who have said and done hurtful things in the past. 

It appears that they also assume that I am saying and supporting that same bigotry. I am NOT. If there is one thing I wish they would understand, it is that we really are on the same side in the fight against Self-Righteous Fundamentalism and Shame.

I have provided his original email along with my responses below:
---------------------------------------------
Dear Jeremy:

I just read the article in Towleroad where you are promoting David Pickup, your mentor's reparative therapy billboard that just went up in Dallas.  Given our past conversations, I have held my tongue because I felt like I was addressing a brick wall, but I really can no longer be silent. http://www.towleroad.com/2015/01/billboards-promoting-reparative-therapy-planned-in-dallas.html?onswipe_redirect=no&oswrr=1 I've also read on your Facebook recently where you were touting your Russian launch of Joel 2:25 (your reparative therapy organization).   Given the hatred the Russian president and government has put into law in Russia and the torture that we've seen gays endure in those horrific videos there, I now find your organization even more disgusting.  

If you were to ask anyone in our Russian group, they would tell you that Joel 2:25 has been a source of support and encouragement for them. Everything we do is about improving self-esteem and self-worth and reducing or eliminating shame. We fight hard against bigotry, intolerance, and violence and we have been able to help a few men and women escape from family situations that were as you described.

An investigative reporter who initially had the same view interviewed several of our guys from Eastern Europe and the Middle East. She originally thought she would prove that we were causing "harm." After she interviewed them though, she contacted me and said she had changed her mind. Everyone she talked to said that Joel 2:25 was one of the best things that had ever happened to them. She is still critical of our views, but when she published her article, she was fair in sharing what these men had actually said about their experiences in Joel 2:25: LINK: Gay Men in Homophobic Countries Turn to Controversial U.S. Groups for Help 

I gave an hour long television interview which was broadcast via satelite to Iran. My entire focus was on helping the viewers understand that Same-Sex Attraction was NOT a choice and that it was no one's "fault." I also got a few minutes at the end to speak directly to anyone watching who was experiencing SSA themselves. Here is what I said in those last few minutes: VIDEO LINK: Message to Iranians with Same-Sex Attraction (SSA) - Farsi

I, along with others in the gay community, the community you were once a part of and have now rejected, will continue to fight your dangerous organization along with the others like Northstar that you so proudly congratulate on your Facebbook page, along with your praise of the cast of "My Husband Is NOT Gay."  Your words:  "I'm thankful for the courage and bravery of my friends Curtis & Tera, Prett & Megan, Ty, Jeff & Tanya and others from NorthStar and Joel 2:25 who have been willing to share their testimonies with many of us for several years and now in a very public way."  I  too watched the show and I find those GAY men, like YOU, who are trying to suppress and live a life that is UNNATURAL to the way they were created by God just sad and pathetic, full of frustration and yes, self loathing.  I find their wives even sadder, non-trusting and frustrated in a sham of a marriage!  (they and you should read this article -- how unsuccessful gay Mormon men and straight women are with marriage -- 70% end in divorce compared to 25% straight Mormans.

Religion has damaged so many of us, but thankfully, many of us have used the minds and intelligence we were given to learn that we are perfect just as we were created.  I've said it before to you -- you question the creation -- YOU --  you are questioning the Creator - GOD.

I'm sure you read the suicide note of 17-year-old Leelah Alcorn, the transgender teen who took her life recently.  Her note stated that her parents had put her into Christian therapy where she was told that she was WRONG.   They tried to repair someone who WAS NOT BROKEN, just as you were not broken before you immersed yourself in reparative therapy.  (her letter is below if you haven't read it)

I read Joshua Alcorn's post and am as devastated by his suicide as you are. It is a horrific tragedy. I cannot imagine the pain that he must have gone through which led to his Gender Identity Disorder and then to his suicide. This young man needed unconditional love - not to have his genitals surgically mutilated at the age of 16. There was nothing wrong with him or his male body. It is a tragedy that the "transgender" propaganda convinced him that the only way he could be happy would be change who he is.

I do not know what kind of church his family went to or what kind of counselor they talked to. I do know that IF he had gone for real Reparative Therapy it would have helped him to heal and accept himself as a man. I have three friends in Joel 2:25 who are Ex-"Transgendered." They would also encourage anyone in Joshua's position to seek out healing. I do not know what other emotional wounds he had though so I do not know whether that would have prevented this suicide. This kind of tragedy goes much deeper than politics.

Just this week, Randy Thomas, a former "ex-gay" poster boy and VP of the now defunct Exodus International (the organization that you were once a part of that you once highly praised to me) came out as gay BECAUSE a gay Christian friend of his committed suicide.   "His death shook me to my core and made all the questions I had been asking were even more stark, consequential and pressing."

I've known Randy for several years. He's never really been an "ex-gay poster boy."  He never went for Reparative Therapy nor attempted to address any of the underlying issues he had. During his time at Exodus, he was proud to be a "celibate gay christian" and fought against everything anyone tried to do to bring real healing and address the real issues (rather than "pray away" or "white knuckling"). His recent "coming out" is not a change. He never left the "gay" identity in the first place. That is his choice and I respect his right to make his own decisions, but he and Alan Chambers have never been spokespersons for the rest of us. 

You once were very troubled and asked why I once told you that  "Blood is on your hands, Jeremy".  Well, these are just two examples.  There are thousands more and if you can't see that, Jeremy, you simply aren't looking and DO NOT WANT TO know the truth and the danger of your mission.

I am strongly against you and Joel 2:25 and other reparative therapy organizations because THEY ARE KILLING PEOPLE, making people feel less than, perpetuating self-loathing.   So, I will increase my fight to counter and fight you by showing those with religious damage and family rejection that they are PERFECT, just as they were created.   I will fight you and these organizations, especially on behalf of gay and transgender teens like Leelah, who have no choice when their parents force them into reparative therapy which kills the spirit of a young person, defeats them where suicide many times feels like their only option!  

I can understand your anger toward fundamentalists who have judged and shamed people like us. I am angry at them too. I fight alongside you against that bigotry. I am saddened that my work and that of RT has been in any way associated with that in many people's minds. Everything we do in Joel 2:25 and everything about Reparative Therapy is focused on improving self-esteem, self-worth, and self-acceptance while eliminating shame. 

You have fought and continue to fight to keep laws from passing that prevent reparative therapy for children, those under 18.  I will continue to fight UNTIL more laws are passed (like in CA and NJ). I will fight you until Joel 2:25, Northstar and David Pickup and your rhetoric are extinct, just like Exodus International and Evergreen have gone belly-up!   You have proudly authored the endorsement of reparative therapy in the Texas Republican platform.  Well, I will say it again and yes, I know my words are strong and harsh - but they are true -- BLOOD IS ON YOUR HANDS!l   

Do you not find it ironic that you argued above that Joshua Alcorn should have had his genitals surgically mutilated at the age of 16 to CHANGE his entire gender and yet you want to ban counseling for anyone that age who wants to change their sexual behavior? Which is more invasive and likely to cause lifelong harm?  Why not encourage young men like Joshua to accept themselves as they were BORN instead of forcing 16 year olds who do not want the gay life to embrace your "gay" label?

 I find you and these organizations extremely dangerous, appalling and disgusting -- not unlike the 9-ex-leaders of Gay Conversion Therapy who recently apologized to the LGBT community. (http://time.com/3065495/9-ex-leaders-of-the-gay-conversion-therapy-movement-apologize/)

Just like Randy, these 9 self-proclaimed "leaders" never went for Reparative Therapy. None of what they describe has anything to do with what we promote. They fought against the idea of emotional healing from the beginning. They went from being fundamentalist "pray it away" to the opposite extreme. Neither of which is healthy. They have nothing to say on the topic because they have participated in or experienced any of what they now claim to be experts on.

The billboard you've endorsed reads:  Reparative Therapy.  Real Therapy.  Really Works.  Given our conversation about how you still have SAME SEX ATTRACTION (which are three words for one -- GAY) -- you're own life proves it does not!   In other words, to quote my character 'Brother Boy' (a character you've quoted to me) -- IT AIN'T A WORKIN'! " 

Yes, I have seen a massive decrease in my SSA, but that's not really the main focus of Reparative Therapy. The focus is on removing shame and healing emotional wounds. It is not expected to be a "cure" becuase the SSA is not a disease. It is a normal need that must be met in healthy ways. The therapy has helped me (and everyone I know who has ever actually tried it) to find peace, self-acceptance, and healing. 

So, yes, I'm angry and fed up with you and your cohorts -- and you have a fight, and a very public one on your hands, as you will hear on The Del & Emerson Show today (if you choose to listen) as long as you keep spouting that  which disputes those authorities who I promise use their brains (American Medical Association,  American Psychological Association and most leading professional medical and social science organizations) instead of holding on to an archaic book that promotes slavery, stoning adulterers and rebellious children AND equates eating shellfish as the same abomination as men lying with me.  

The AMA and others have all copied from the one general statement issued by the APA Council on LGBT which consisted of 7 therapists. 6 of these 7 are openly gay (a strong bias) and none of these 7 ever practiced SOCE (Reparative Therapy) nor spoke to anyone who had.

They re-stated the general "warning" given for ALL therapies but said on page 87 of their report that they had not found any specific evidence of anyone being harmed by Reparative Therapy itself.  Even if I took their biased political stunt as authoritative, it provides no indication that RT has ever actually harmed anyone.

Everything we do in Joel 2:25 and everything about Reparative Therapy is focused on improving self-esteem, self-worth, and self-acceptance while eliminating shame. Those are all good things regardless of what choices a person makes in the future.

I acutally heard from a lady last night who has been in our Joel 2:25 women's group for the past year who said finding our group saved her life. I have heard from many guys in our other groups that every aspect of their lives have improved from being a part of this community. I hear this feedback all the time from all over the world.

Pax Christi,
          Jeremy Schwab  
          Jeremy@Joel225.org  
http://www.Joel225.org 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Republican Party of Texas vs. the APA - Infographic

The APA is the only public health organization claiming to have "studied" this issue. All others (the AMA, etc.) simply re-post and quote from the 2009 APA's "Task Force" report. I am amazed by the LACK of rigor involved in the APA's task force report which is quoted by so many as an "Authority."
(You may need to click on the pic to open it full screen)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My story and the benefits of Reparative Therapy & SOCE (Sexual Orientation Change Efforts)

I put this playlist together along with my own video interview to help share the TRUTH about Reparative Therapy which is one of the tools God used to save my life. I am so grateful to Dr. Nicolosi for his help. I also want to spread the TRUTH to those who have heard lies and misinformation. 



Those who say that Reparative Therapy is "harmful" have (in almost all cases) never tried or experienced ANY form of real Reparative Therapy. Those who did try it and who say that usually only did so for a very short while. In all cases, they are basing their accusations on politics rather than facts. Reparative Therapy uses all of the SAME modalities as any other therapy. 


The difference is that it respects the individual client's right to self-determination rather than imposing a modern pop-culture label and insisting that the individual must live an active "gay" life in order to be happy. Those of us with religious views are never going to find happiness by doing what we believe to be wrong. Only by finding truth, congruence within our faith, and self-compassion have we found real healing. THAT is the basis of Reparative Therapy.


#samesexattraction #SSA #homosexuality #exgay ex-gay lgbt gay ex-homosexual #SOCE Sexual Orientation Change Efforts#NARTH

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 has been an Amazing Year!

2013 has been an amazing year!

I have continued to be bless abundantly with opportunities to reach out, encourage, and support others who are making this same journey. I have also received more support, friendship, and real love than ever before. 


The group I has started (originally in my living room) has grown to over 320 men and women from 63 countries who participate via video-conferences. We have formed a non-profit corporation with bylaws and a Board of Directors and have begun the process of becoming a 501c3. Our 15 Small Groups are doing well and I'm blessed to know so many wonderful men and women who have been willing to volunteer to help lead groups and minister to others.

Our nightly prayer group has been meeting every night at 10:30pm for about six months now and my dad has even started joining us. That has been really AWESOME!  We are also starting a Morning Prayer group in January. 

While ALL Joel 2:25 meetings, video-conferences, and support services are FREE and ALWAYS WILL BE, there are many costs that incur to support the growing needs. There are also many things we would like to be able to do to provide more help if the funds were available.

IF you feel led, please consider partnering with us in prayer and if possible financial support: http://joel225.com/joel_021.htm. Also (regardless of whether you can help us), please let us know if there is anything we can be praying for YOU about.

Pax Christi and have a blessed 2014!

Jeremy

http://www.Joel225.com
Map of Joel 2:25 Participants:


Monday, January 21, 2013

Healing Homosexuality in 1958

I found an obscure essay referenced as a footnote in the book The Road Less Traveled. It led to a book called How People Change by Allen Wheelis which was published in 1969 and included this essay which was published first in 1958. I wasn't expecting the book to mention anything about SSA (Same-Sex Attraction) or homosexuality specifically, but I was reading it on the plane just now and found this. Wow! This explains a lot!  

"If a homosexual man should set out to become heterosexual, among all that is obscure, it is clear he should discontinue homosexual relations, however tempted he may be to continue.
He would be well advised in reaching for such a goal to anticipate that success, if it be achieved at all, will require a long time, years not months, that the effort will be painful and humiliating, that he will discover profound currents of feeling which oppose the behavior he now requires of himself, that emerging obstacles will each one seem insuperable yet each must be thought through, that further insight will be constantly required to inform and sustain his behavior, that sometimes insight will precede and illumine action, and sometimes blind dogged action must come first.
There is no short cut, no safe-conduct, no easier way. He must proceed alone, on nerve. He is not entitled to much hope - just that he has a chance. He may take some comfort in knowing that NO ONE CAN BE SURE AT THE OUTSET THAT HE WILL FAIL, and that it is his own measurable resources of heart and mind which will have most bearing on the eventual outcome.

This is a self-transcendent process of changed that originates in one's heart and expands outward, always within the purview and direction of a knowing consciousness, begins with a vision of freedom, with an 'I want to become...', with a sense of the potentiality.

Sometimes this process of change may proceed with an increasing momentum and finality to solid completion.


That person gains most from therapy, and gains it most quickly, who has the heart and will to go it alone in the event that therapy does not help; whereas he who clings to therapy as a drowning man to a ship's timber is likely to burden therapy with a weight it can't support and so take himself and therapy down together." 
- Allen Wheelis, 1958

Note: There are a few areas where I would Correct his statement. The journey is anything but "humiliating." Release of SHAME has been the central focus of every successful journey out of homosexuality that I have witnessed. Also, the statement "he is not entitled to success" is somewhat inaccurate. I guess it depends on the definition of "success." For me, it isn't necessarily the elimination of all Same-Sex Attraction, but the replacement of it with my healthy relationships and a much stronger sense of my own God-given masculinity and secure sense of manhood.  

Pax Christi,

Jeremy 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Travesty in California

Please pray for everyone in the state of California. Yesterday, their Governor signed into law a horrible attack on religious freedom and an attack on many programs that provide REAL help to youth with this particular struggle. As of today, it is legal in California to give hormone blockers to an 11 year-old boy in order to delay the onset of puberty, but starting January 1st it will be illegal for a 17 year-old with unwanted same-sex attractions to receive professional counseling, even with parental consent.