I guess we have a little case of Preacher’s Kid Syndrome going on, as 30,000-strong megachurch pastor T.D. Jakes has to deal with his son Jermaine’s bust for weenie-wagging and pole stroking in a public park in front of vice detectives. (CBS 11):

According to a Dallas Police Department arrest warrant affidavit obtained by CBS 11 News, Jakes exposed himself to two undercover vice detectives at Keist Park on January 3.

The affidavit says Jakes walked up to one of the detectives at the park with his pants unzipped.  Jakes then began to masturbate while making eye contact with the detective, according to the affidavit.

The family had no comment on the investigation of the arrest, which took place at Kiest Park, near West Kiest Boulevard and South Hampton Road, in southern Dallas on January 3.

I’m less interested in discussing the pros/cons of whether police should be doing these selective busts against men who are seeking public same-sex sexual encounters (as we know, most who are busted proclaim to be heterosexual); we’ve had countless volatile discussions over that matter here on the Blend.  In this case, the incident occurred within view of a jogging trail where there were others present, according to the affadavit (see it below the fold).

A more interesting discussion that we haven’t had here is the whole “PK” matter — children of preachers whose rebellion oftentimes results in public embarrassment of their moralizing parents. Jermaine Jakes is 29 years old; that hardly makes him an impulsive teen, but how deep is the perhaps unconscious desire to rebel in these instances? Or is PK Syndrome an urban legend? I’ll get back to this after you peruse the affadavit.The Dallas police detectives filed this:

“Detective, X a fellow peace officer of the City of Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, who personally participated in the investigation of this alleged offense, providing this information affiant believes to be credible.


On January 3, 2009, at about 10:10pm, Detectives X, and X, of the Dallas Police Department Vice Unit, were working in an undercover capacity at 2106 W. Kiest Blvd in Dallas, Dallas County, Texas.

Detectives X, and X were conducting an investigation regarding citizen complaints of sexual activity occurring at Kiest Park located at 2106 W. Kiest Blvd. Detectives X and X both parked their vehicles in the parking lot on the east side of the park. Detectives X and X observed suspect Jakes and several other unknown males park their vehicles in the parking lot. Detective X observed suspect Jakes enter the wooded area. Suspect Jakes remained in the wooded area for several minutes.

Detective X and Detective X entered the wooded area. Suspect Jakes walked directly over to where Detective X was, and stood next to Detective X with his penis exposed through his unzipped pants.

Suspect Jakes then began to masturbate his erect penis whi his left hand for several seconds while making eye contact with Detective X.  After Detective X made a case, Detective X who was standing nearby in view, was signaled that a case had been made. Suspect Jakes masturbated his erect penis in order to gratify himself and Detective X.

Suspect Jakes made no attempt to conceal his erect penis from Detective X, or any other person who might be offended by his actons. There were people walking and jogging at the park on the jogging trail next to the wooded area during the time of  this offense. Detectives X and X both identified themselves as Dallas Police Officers. Detectives X and X  followed suspect Jakes to his vehicle where a valid Texas Drivers License was obtained for positive identification.

Suspect Jakes was photographed and released pending an at large case filing for Indecent exposure.

Suspect Jakes committed the offense of indecent exposure by exposing his erect penis in a public place with his intent to gratify or arouse the sexual desire of himself. Suspect Jakes was reckless about whether another was present who would be offended or alarmed by his actions. This offense occured in Dallas, Dallas county Texas.”


On the matter of PKs and rebellion that makes parents freak out, there’s an interesting take here.

Yes, PK’s, though often “distinct” among their peers and community, also need to grow and develop their own sense of healthy independence. Unfortunately, it is not often a smooth process.

…Adolescence can be a critical time in the life of the parsonage. In addition to dealing with the adolescent struggle with one or more children, congregational pressures add to the mixture. “Where is your adolescent, Pastor?” can be a threatening question.

Dealing with these congregational pressures is probably best handled by a simple, honest response. “Just having a few developmental things with my son/daughter” can be a simple, terse way to handle things. As in other family issues, detail is not needed. Nor do others have a right to it. Simply acknowledging that the family needs ministry can be a great way to diffuse the pressure without hiding, becoming reactive, etc.

Conversely, pastors who have been “shut out” may be overcome by a pervasive sense of rejection, grief, loneliness and powerlessness. Sensing a loss of respect and influence at home, they may become more passive in their ministries as well. Parental–and clergy–self-esteem can be extraordinarily difficult to maintain when parenting adolescents. Given the unpredictable nature of adolescent behavior, sometimes it can seem as if there is nothing solid or permanent to hang on to.

You Gotta Let Go

The hardest lesson of parenting is that parents must confront the fact that they can’t hang on to their children forever. It’s not just nature’s way. It’s God’s way.

So how does that work when your PK son or daughter is gay, for instance? The above essay seems quite progressive and understanding of the difficulties of parenting in general, yet for those on the anti-gay fundievangelical wing of religious fervor, I would “letting go” hasn’t been the advice taken. The frustration of the anti-gay preacher seems to exhibit itself as turning the anger outward to the LGBT community for somehow “seducing” their child into the “lifestyle,” not a failure to communicate and accept their own child as actually being gay despite the religious indoctrination. After all, why would a child raised in that environment choose to be gay? There’s certainly no social incentive to do so.

And that fact has led the anti-gay religious right to largely accept that homosexuality/bisexuality/transgender issues are nature-based, but are changeable — you don’t have to act on how you feel. Expression is the sin; the tightly locked closet, the complete abstinence and denial of a loving intimate same-sex relationship, or worst of all — living a lie in a heterosexual relationship are preferable than being a PK who is accepting of themselves and embarrassing their parents.

It’s a terrible position to be in as long as the thinking is entrenched in homophobia wrapped in religion. You’d think at this point that letting go and accepting your children for who they are would lift a great burden from everyone’s shoulders and reduce the amount of pathological behaviors that come with suppression, guilt and shame.

H/t, NG.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding