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A journey into manhood with ABC Nightline, Wayne Besen, Ted Cox, William Bradshaw and Boyd Packer

x-posted at Main Street Plaza, Daily Kos, and Street Prophets.

And this particular journey will be (mostly) televised.  

ABC Nightline …

After watching the two segments embedded below, Wayne Besen asks ABC Nightline:  

Do people really need to spend $650 to suppress their desires?

I was incredibly disappointed with ABC Nightline’s segment that aired last night about the bizarre group People Can Change, which hosts Journey into Manhood (JIM) weekends. JIM takes closeted men with religious hang-ups into the woods, where they hug each other to allegedly become more masculine. The goal of this male bonding is to remake these repressed homosexuals into heterosexuals.

Money buys manhood for Mormon in mixed-orientation marriage? (Part 1):

Money buys manhood for Mormon in mixed-orientation marriage? (Part 2):

Ted Cox …

Required reading:  What Happened When I Went Undercover at a Christian Gay-to-Straight Conversion Camp

Ted Cox, the writer of that undercover report on his weekend Journey Into Manhood, was invited to present his findings to the Cal Poly Brights and the result was this brilliant presentation:

Ted Cox: Undercover in the “ex-gay” movement (Part 1 of 9):

+ Parts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Dr. William Bradshaw …

Many Mormon Stories podcast listeners will already be familiar with one aspect of Dr. Bradshaw’s life from Episode 191, which featured a recording of the most recent lecture he gave at BYU on the biological origins of homosexuality-a lecture he has arranged and given every year for the past several years. Dr. Bradshaw first became prompted to study the research on this subject when his son Brett came out about his homosexuality. Since that time, the Bradshaws have been active members in various LDS groups for families working to support their GLBT children. They are currently serving as the presidents of LDS Family Fellowship. Brett and his partner are married and living in California, where they are raising their daughter.

Dr. William Bradshaw (Part 4 of 5) – Homosexuality and the LDS Church:

Boyd K. Packer …

Top LDS ‘Apostle’ Boyd K. Packer: Mormons will always oppose Satan’s counterfeit marriages:

Shorter Boyd:

Pssst … Hey, Boyd!

Mormons first!

It Gets Better – Jesse from Salt Lake City, Utah:


Original MoHomie:  Nightline’s Journey Into Manhood

The weekend portrayed was a reunion of sorts, not an actual, regular JIM weekend. The report included some exercises, but not nearly all of them. There are more intense and personalized exercises throughout the weekend, I understand. The ones portrayed in the report reminded me of some in which I participated at an Evergreen Conference in 2006 or 2007, when Rich Wyler presented about the experiential weekend in a workshop.  

Ex-Gay Watch: Journey into Manhood Investigated by ABC’s Nightline

Patterned after the equally bizarre Mankind Project, Journey into Manhood is nothing new to those who keep up with pseudo-therapies which make wildly unscientific claims of success in changing people from gay to straight.  JiM’s founder, Richard Wyler, doesn’t even try to claim a professional background that would qualify him as a therapist or a researcher.  Claims made by the organization have as much factual weight as those made on behalf of “male enhancement” pills on late night cable – anyone can claim anything. ‘Nightline’ goes inside ‘ex-gay’ therapy program near Houston and then airs a puff piece about it

In case you missed it, Nightline aired a piece last night about “Journey to Manhood,” a so-called ex-gay therapy program in New Caney, Texas, outside Houston. You can watch the piece by Dallas-based ABC News correspondent Ryan Owens here, or read a text version here.

Houston Press “Hair Balls” Blog:  Nightline Examines Local “Gay Cure” Program; Gays Cry Foul

Last night’s Nightline featured a report on the camp in New Caney that purports to help gay men get rid of all that glorious gayness.

Journey Into Manhood — with a name that says gays aren’t men, you can guess where it’s going — gave ABC exclusive access to a session. In return, critics say, ABC delivered a puff piece.

Box Turtle Bulletin: Nightline features Journey Into Manhood tonight

Built on the premise that gay men are really just wanting to connect with their fathers, JIM is a hodge-podge of psychobabble and Cohen-style cuddling. It will be interesting to see how ABC handles this story, but the practices of Journey Into Manhood do not lend themselves to the light of exposure.

The New Civil Rights Movement: ABC News Toys With, Teases Americans Who Want To Go From Gay To Straight

ABC News’ “Nightline,” when Ted Koppel anchored, had been an intellectual, smart-person’s look at the headlines and issues of the day. Now, it seems, Nightline is ABC’s version of Christine O’Donnell’s “mouse with human brains,” a hybrid of Nancy Grace on HLN and 60 Minutes. Nightline: Journey into Manhood Poster Boy Cruises Men With Wife; Analysis of Puff Segment (UPDATED)

The problem is, it does not work, the techniques are based on junk science and the attendees, which pay $650 to be manipulated, can be psychologically harmed. JIM is a strange brew of New Age psychobabble mixed with fundamentalism, weaved into a scam that can accurately be described as consumer fraud, in my view.

Warren Throckmorton: Journey into Manhood on ABC Nightline tonight

Well, if they do what they normally do, this should be entertaining.

I wonder if they will do the Cohen hold?  Watch: ABC’s “Journey Into Manhood” Examine Going From Gay To Straight

This week the ABC News program Nightline examines the reparative therapy organization Journey Into Manhood. Below you can watch the report which includes both men who claim they’ve benefited from the therapy and those who say they’ve been hurt by it.

Queerty: Journey Into Manhood’s Ex-Gays Still Actively Cruising Dudes

Conversion therapy outfits like Journey to Manhood, the ex-gay getaway retreat created by Richard Wyler and David Matheson, usually frown on reporters trying to infiltrate their secret dens of mischief. But Wyler and Matheson (pictured below) made an exception for Nightline, letting cameras roll as self-hating homosexuals engage in a $650 course of changing their sexuality. Well, letting cameras roll at a reunion – a made-for-TV regrouping of former clients.

Good As You:  To watch: ‘Journey into Manhood’ so as to not, uhm — journey into another’s manhood.

Tonight on “Nightline”: De-gaying one’s self via John Williams’ Olympics theme song:  Unfortunately, “pole vault” has a whole other meaning in these “ex-gay” games.

Upcoming Events ( courtesy of ):

North Star does not currently sponsor any specific activities or events. We do, however, provide a calendar of events sponsored by other individuals or groups which we have reason to believe are in general harmony with the mission of North Star and the values and standards of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

November 2010

Friday-Sunday, November 12-14

Journey into Manhood

Near Houston, TX

December 2010

Friday-Sunday, December 3-5

Journey into Manhood

Near West Palm Beach, FL

LDS standards like these?

Q. How did [Journey Into Manhood] come about? Who developed and runs the program, and who are the staff?

A. My own ( Ben Newman ) healing journey included more than two years in reparative therapy, a year in group reparative therapy, several years in a Twelve Step recovery group, and five years thus far as a participant, trainee and co-staffer in the New Warrior organization, which trains men from all walks of life in personal growth, emotional healing and living lives of “mission,” integrity and connection to feeling. All of these resources were immeasurably helpful, each in different ways. My vision was to combine the best of these resources into an intensive weekend that would help men jumpstart their healing from unwanted homosexuality, and also would be available to men for whom weekly reparative therapy was just not accessible in their area.

I shared this vision with [Evergreen’s] David Matheson, a friend who is a psych assistant in reparative therapy, and he was immediately enthusiastic. Together, we created the weekend outline and exercises. We brought in Arthur Goldberg, co-founder of JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality), who helped spread the word. We also brought in two of my colleagues from my local New Warrior men’s group, who had no experience with the homosexual issue but had significant experience facilitating deep emotional work with men.

J.O.N.A.H.?  This JONAH?