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I read the article and found the headline misleading. It appears to be more a merger than a shudown.


Kinda. I think it's fair to say it's a shutdown, considering the general philosophy and approach to it is fairly different. The only thing that's really merging is the contact lists. 


As for the article, for the one concern about the subtle evolution to endorse marriage as a cure, I'd have to agree that that's probably not likely to happen. I haven't heard from Bennion, but I did get to hear Mansfield about his clinical ideals and personal beliefs on a seminar for therapists specifically dealing with SSA/LGBT in the therapy (esp for LDS)....and it doesn't fit him at all.


 With luv,


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Back in the day when marriage was the most important thing that could happen to a woman and her life was seen as less than great if she wasn't married, I can see the carelessness of suggesting a man use a woman as a cure without really thinking about the consequences to her if the cure didn't work.  After all, if it was that important to be married, better to be married to a man who didn't love her so at least she could have children and a home to fill the void than not married at all.  One might even be friends...and that might be better than a lot of other marriages that were arranged by families for practical reasons that had nothing to do with love or companionship.


In this day and age, there is no justification for using the partner in that way without her full knowledge and participation and I suspect that in most cases women would prefer to  keep looking for someone who was naturally physically attracted to them straight off and didn't have to work at it...considering how much else one has to work in a marriage to make it a success.  


If the woman was committed to the idea as much as the man and willing to take the risk...well, that would be up to the couple.

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I used to attend weekly Evergreen meetings.  There were about 8-9 guys that would attend.  We used to meet at the interstake center next to the Oakland Temple.  I remember one night the leader of the group announced that this was his last meeting.  He was moving in with his boyfriend.  After that, the whole group fell apart and eventually dissolved.  A couple of years later, an elderly couple was assigned by their stake president to revitalize the group.  But it never worked.  As far as I know, Evergreen has not been around the Bay Area for a number of years.  I still do keep in contact with some of the guys that I met through Evergreen. 

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  • 6 months later...

This just-published open letter, written by nine Former Ex-Gay Leaders united in opposition to Conversion Therapy, is pertinent to the closure of Evergreen. (Evergreen was considered by many to be an LDS version of similar types of organizations founded by this letter's authors):


“Conversion Therapy, also known as “reparative therapy”, “ex-gay therapy,” or “sexual orientation change efforts” (SOCE), professes to help lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people to change or overcome their sexual orientation or gender identity. The majority of those who practice this “therapy” often do so with little or no formal psychological training, operating instead from a strict religious perspective, believing homosexuality to be a “sin.”

At one time, we were not only deeply involved in these “ex-gay” programs, we were the founders, the leaders, and the promoters. Together we represent more than half a century of experience, so few people are more knowledgeable about the ineffectiveness and harm of conversion therapy. We know first-hand the terrible emotional and spiritual damage it can cause, especially for LGBT youth. We once believed that there was something morally wrong and psychologically “broken” about being LGBT. We know better now. We once believed that sexual orientation or gender identity were somehow chosen or could be changed. We know better now. We once thought it was impossible to embrace our sexual orientation or sexual identity as an intrinsic, healthy part of who we are and who we were created to be. We know better now. Looking back, we were just believing (and sometimes teaching) what we had been taught—that our identity needed mending. We grew up being told that being LGBT was disordered, sick, mentally ill, sinful, and displeasing to God. We grew up being told that loving, same-sex relationships were shallow, lust-driven, deceived, disordered, and impossible.

We grew up with the repetitive message that LGBT people were not enough — not straight enough, not Christian enough, not manly or womanly enough, not faithful enough, not praying enough. Never, ever enough. “Toxic” probably sums it up best. That message is poison to the soul. Especially a child’s soul. It can take a lifetime to get rid of that old programming and replace it with healthy, non-toxic views of yourself. Recovery from conversion therapy is difficult at best. Some remain forever scarred, emotionally and spiritually.Conversion therapy reinforces internalized homophobia, anxiety, guilt and depression. It leads to self-loathing and emotional and psychological harm when change doesn’t happen. Regrettably, too many will choose suicide as a result of their sense of failure. In light of this, we now stand united in our conviction that conversion therapy is not “therapy,” but is instead both ineffective and harmful. We align ourselves with every major mainstream professional medical and mental health organization in denouncing attempts to change sexual orientation or gender identity. We admonish parents to love and accept your LGBT children as they are. We beseech the church to accept, embrace, and affirm LGBT persons with full equality and inclusion.

As former “ex-gay” leaders, having witnessed the incredible harm done to those who attempted to change their sexual orientation or gender identity, we join together in calling for a ban on conversion therapy. It is our firm belief that it is much more productive to support, counsel, and mentor LGBT individuals to embrace who they are in order to live happy, well-adjusted lives. We fully support the aim of #BornPerfect to bring an end to conversion therapy.”


Brad Allen

Lay Leader Volunteer (2005-2007)

Church Network Coordinator (2007)

Exodus International Headquarters

Darlene Bogle

Founder, Director, Counselor (1985 to 1992)

Paraklete Ministries

Michael Bussee

EXIT (1974-1979)

Co-founder (1976-1979)

Exodus International

Catherine Chapman

Project Coordinator (2000-2003)

Women’s Ministry Director (2005-2007)

Portland Fellowship

Jeremy Marks

Founder (1988 – 2000)

Courage UK

Exodus Europe (1988 – 1989)

Bill Prickett

Founder, Executive Director (1986-1988)

Coming Back

Tim Rymel

Outreach Director (1991-1996)

Love in Action

Yvette Cantu Schneider

Executive Director (2001-2005) Living in Victory Ministry Director of Women’s Ministry (2008-2011)

Exodus International

John J. Smid

Executive Director (1987-2008)

Love In Action

Exodus International Board of Directors (1990-1995; 2002-2008)


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  • 4 weeks later...

I read the article and found the headline misleading. It appears to be more a merger than a shudown.


Yeah -- it does seem to be a merger.


I know, however, that my stake recently ended the weekly Evergreen meetings that it had been supporting for gay men in our stake.

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