Zach Stark, who endured more than a month of involuntary detention in Exodus International’s costly live-in ex-gayification program Love In Action, appears briefly in the upcoming ex-gay documentary This Is What Love In Action Looks Like, which is planned for release later this year.
Zach was 16 years old when he learned that he would be forced to live at Exodus International’s “Love In Action” ex-gay boot camp in 2005.
He wrote the following to close friends via MySpace. He was known then only as a semi-anonymous youth named “Zach”:
Somewhat recently, as many of you know, I told my parents I was gay. This didn’t go over very well, and it ended with my dad crying, my mom tearing and me not knowing what I’d done – or what to do.
It kind of … went away for about a week or two I think. … Well today, my mother, father and I had a very long “talk’ in my room where they let me know I am to apply for a fundamentalist Christian program for gays. They tell me that there is something psychologically wrong with me, and they “raised me wrong.’ I’m a big screw up to them, who isn’t on the path God wants me to be on. So I’m sitting here in tears…”
His parents had bought into the parent-bashing of Exodus, Focus on the Family, NARTH, and thousands of misguided churches that buy into the ex-gay industry without reading the fine print.
Zach stumbled upon his parents’ copy of the Exodus live-in youth program’s rules. The rules, copied below,misquote Bible verses, strip them of their intended context, and exploit them to fuel youth self-blame, parental blame, shame, isolation, miscommunication, separation from family and friends, denial of access to doctors and qualified mental-health professionals, un-Biblical Freudian pseudo-science, and modification of behaviors and traits that are completely unrelated to sexual orientation:
Refuge Program Rules
Exceptions to program rules will be granted by C.O.C. (Chain of Command) only.
One of the core functions of the Refuge is the common pursuit of corporate sobriety from sin. The program strives to perpetuate a safe environment that is ripe for growth and for hearing from God. The sobriety of each individual is a key focus.
Galatians 5:19 – 21: 19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious, which are: adultery, sexual immorality, uncleanness, lustfulness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strife, jealousies, outbursts of anger, rivalries, divisions, heresies, 21 envying, murders, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these; of which I forewarn you, even as I also forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
1 Corinthians 6:12-15: 12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are expedient. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be brought under the power of anything. 13 “Foods for the belly, and the belly for foods,” but God will bring to nothing both it and them. But the body is not for sexual immorality, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. 14 Now God raised up the Lord, and will also raise us up by his power. 15 Don’t you know that your bodies are members of Christ? Will I then take away the members of Christ, and make them members of a prostitute? Certainly not!
1 Corinthians 6:18: 18 Flee sexual immorality. “Every sin that a man does is outside the body,” but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.
1 Thessalonians 4:2-5: 2 For you know what charge we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God: your sanctification, that you abstain from sexual immorality, 4 that each one of you know how to possess himself of his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust…
- No smoking, alcohol, drugs, or inappropriate use of over-the-counter medications. All prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications must be left in the care of a parent or guardian, who will administer them when necessary. Refuge clients may not have prescription or over-the-counter drugs in their possession at any time, exceptions by C.O.C. approval only.
- No sexual/emotional misconduct. Any temptations, fantasies, or dreams are to be presented to one’ staff worker only. Sexual misconduct includes viewing pornography, visiting an adult bookstore, emotional dependency, voyeurism, stalking, masturbation, mutual masturbation, or any form of genital or sexual contact with another person. Sexual temptation, as well as the above, is not to be discussed between clients. This includes MI’ (Moral Inventories) written on current sexual struggles or temptations).
- No hugging or physical touch between clients. Brief handshakes or a brief affirmative hand on a shoulder is allowed (exception is when observed by therapeutic accountability).
- Clients are to remain within the “safe zone” while in the program. This “zone” is illustrated on a map of the Memphis area in the office. An exception is for clients who reside or are staying outside the safe zone, and commuting to the Love in Action campus.
Small unhealthy habits can either reflect or lead to dysfunctional, life-controlling habits. Attention to the details of daily lifestyle is a pivotal aspect of residential recovery.
Luke 10:27: 27 He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”
Luke 16:10: 10 He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much. He who is unrighteous in a very little is also unrighteous in much.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20: 19 Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’.
Psalm 139:13-14: 13 For you formed my inmost being. You knit me together in my mother’ womb. 14 I will give thanks to you, For I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful. My soul knows that very well.
- All clients must maintain appropriate hygiene, including daily showering, use of deodorant, and brushing teeth twice daily.
- Men: Men must remove all facial hair seven days weekly, and sideburns must not fall below the top of the ear (the top of the ear is defined as where the ear meets the face below the temple). Clean business-like haircuts must be worn at all times. Hair must be long enough to be pinched between two fingers.Women: Women must shave legs and underarms at least twice weekly.
All: Only natural hair color is allowed. Hair that is colored, highlighted or streaked, mut be dyed back to its original color, or the color must be cut out before entrance into the Refuge program.
- Attire: GeneralModesty is expected. No tight, provocative, or suggestive clothing or spandex may be worn. No provocative or suggestive mannerisms are permitted. Fresh undergarments are to be worn at all times. Boxer shorts of any kind are considered underwear and are not to be worn as outer clothing. All clients must be dressed appropriately in clean, unwrinkled clothes when leaving the house for the day. Men may not wear any jewelry (other than a watch and a wedding band) unless approved through a C.O.C. In addition to a watch and wedding band, women may also wear a pair of simple earrings (one earring per ear.) The clients may not wear Abercrombie and Fitch or Calvin Klein brand clothing, undergarments, or accessories.
Men: Shirts are to be worn at all times, even while sleeping. T-shirts without sleeves are not permitted at any time, whether worn as an outer garment or an undergarment. This includes “muscle shirts” or other tank-tops. Bikini-style underwear is prohibited.
Women: Bras must be worn at all times, except while sleeping. Thong-style underwear is prohibited.
Attire: LIA Campus
In addition to the General Attire above, the following items apply. No torn, ragged, or stained clothing is to be worn at any time while on campus. Monday through Thursday, clients must wear pants, a clean shirt, and shoes or sandals with socks. Jeans and a nice t-shirt are acceptable. On Friday, clients may wear clean, knee-length khaki or denim-style shorts.
No athletic or excessively baggy shorts may be worn on campus at any time. No hats, jackets, or overcoats are to be worn on campus
Women: In addition to these guidelines, women may also wear skirts which fall at or below the knee. Women may wear tank-tops only if they are worn with an over-blouse. Women may wear open-toed shoes or women’ dress sandals without socks. Bras must be worn at all times, except while sleeping. Sports bras may only be worn while working out.
No sleeveless blouses may be worn. All blouses and t-shirts must fit modestly (not extremely tight).
- No cologne, perfume, or use of other highly scented hygiene products.
Therapeutic & Staff Issues
A goal of the Source is to be purposeful and strategic in order to help clients pursue growth and transformation. The principles below are common elements of this plan.
Romans 13:1-5:1 Let every soul be in subjection to the higher authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those who be are ordained by God. 2 Therefore he who resists the authority, withstands the ordinance of God; and those who withstand will receive to themselves judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to the good work, but to the evil. Do you desire to have no fear of the authority? Do that which is good, and you will have praise from the same, 4 for he is a servant of God to you for good. But if you do that which is evil, be afraid, for he doesn’t bear the sword in vain; for he is a minister of God, an avenger for wrath to him who does evil. 5 Therefore you need to be in subjection, not only because of the wrath, but also for conscience’ sake.
Hebrews 13:17:17 Obey those who have the rule over you, and submit to them, for they watch on behalf of your souls, as those who will give account, that they may do this with joy, and not with groaning, for that would be unprofitable for you.
- HONESTY AT ALL TIMES.
- IF IN DOUBT, DON’T. ASK FIRST.
- All clients are expected to memorize the Program Expectations as they summarize the spirit and heart of the rules of Love in Action.
- All Refuge program members must complete four MI’ (Moral Inventories) per week unless otherwise instructed. Detailed instruction on writing MI’ will be provided within the first few days of beginning the program.
- Refuge clients will be prepared to give an Introduction (“Intro”) at every Intro Rap. Detailed instruction on giving an intro will be provided within the first few days of the program.
- To make special requests of the staff or inform the staff of something (e.g. asking permission to leave the safe zone for some reason, informing the staff of a breach in program rules, etc.), Refuge clients must communicate appropriately. This means filling out a Chain of Command (C.O.C.) form. All C.O.C.’ must be signed by the Refuge client’ parent or guardian before being submitted to a staff member, or the C.O.C. will be returned with no answer. All C.O.C.’ must be concise and not “story tell” or “whine.” Such will be returned with no reply.
- No continuing education while in the program. Home-school Refuge clients may be allowed to continue their studies during the program, pending approval by LIA staff.
- Refuge clients and their parents/guardians are required to attend Love in Action’ host church, Germantown Baptist Church, on Sunday mornings. More information about GBC can be found online at www.gbconline.net.
- Parents and guardians are expected to attend the Friends and Family support group on Thursday nights from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., held at the Love in Action campus. Refuge clients will be supervised during this time by a Love in Action staff member.
- Refuge clients and their parents/guardians are expected to attend Love in Action’ Open Meetings whenever they occur, held on the first Tuesday of every month at Kirby Woods Baptist Church at 7:30 p.m.
- Refuge clients are expected to maintain a committed pursuit of a positive and thankful attitude.
- Absolutely no journaling or keeping a diary outside of the MI process unless directed or approved by staff.
- Absolutely no calling staff outside business hours unless it is an emotional, therapeutic, or physical emergency, or unless prior permission from staff has been obtained.
- Additional (i.e. beyond one per week) one-on-one counseling sessions will be granted by C.O.C. appointment only.
False Image (FI) Concerns
Through the Source, God renews clients’ minds and lives, helping them to put off the old self and put on the new. False images are items or behaviors that are of the old self.
Proverbs 8:6-8:6 Hear, for I will speak excellent things. The opening of my lips is for right things. 7 For my mouth speaks truth. Wickedness is an abomination to my lips. 8 All the words of my mouth are in righteousness. There is nothing crooked or perverse in them.
Ephesians 4:17-25:17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their hearts; 19 who having become callous gave themselves up to lust, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But you did not learn Christ that way; 21 if indeed you heard him, and were taught in him, even as truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put away, as concerning your former way of life, the old man, that grows corrupt after the lusts of deceit; 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new man, that like God has been created in righteousness and holiness of truth. 25 Therefore, putting away falsehood, speak truth each one with his neighbor. For we are members one of another.
- LIA wants to encourage each client, male and female, by affirming his/her gender identity. LIA also wants each client to pursue integrity in all of his/her actions and appearances. Therefore, any belongings, appearances, clothing, actions, or humor that might connect a client to an inappropriate past are excluded from the program. These hindrances are called False Images (FI’). FI behavior may include hyper-masculinity, seductive clothing, mannish/boyish attire (on women), excessive jewelry (on men), mascoting, and “campy” or gay/lesbian behavior and talk.
- As non-residential clients, Refuge participants must submit to an F.I. search every morning. With the exception of the very first program day, when they may arrive no later than 9:00 a.m., Refuge clients will arrive daily at the Love in Action campus no later than 8:50 a.m., waiting in a designated area until a staff member meets them to perform the F.I. search and check them in. Refuge clients may not enter any of the client spaces on campus before submitting to an F.I. search. All belongings brought to campus will be searched, including book bags, notebooks, wallets, handbags, purses, etc. Items that violate the F.I. policy or the dress code will be held for the client, to be returned no later than the client’ last day in program. Clients may request to have their F.I. items returned by filling out a C.O.C.
- All photographs will be taken for the purpose of sobering re-evaluation. Clients may request to have pictures returned to them via C.O.C.
- Refuge clients will not be allowed to use personally owned computers during the program, whether on campus or at home/in temporary lodging. Computer stations are normally available on campus when clients need to type something.
- Clients should report all FI’ (with discretion), whether their own or another’, to staff.
LIA honors clients’ confidentiality and time. A campus structure has been established that will ensure a fair and balanced approach to every client.
1 Corinthians 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.
- No visiting or entering staff offices unless prior permission is given.
- While on the LIA campus, Refuge clients must be in phaseat all times, whether indoors or out of doors. A client is “in phase” when he or she is with two or more other clients (whether Refuge or residential,) one of whom must have been in the program for at least eight weeks. Exceptions to phase rules will be granted by C.O.C. request only.
- Further campus rules which are still being developed and revised will be communicated to Refuge clients on their arrival.
Emotional dependency and inappropriate sexual behaviors have their roots in unresolved relationship issues as well as poor personal or relational boundaries. As a key part to his/her recovery, each client’ program will focus significant attention on resolving relationship concerns and cultivating healthy relationships, both within and outside of the program.
Psalm 133:1-3: 1 See how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to live together in unity! 2 It is like the precious oil on the head, That ran down on the beard, Even Aaron’ beard; That came down on the edge of his robes; 3 Like the dew of Hermon, That comes down on the hills of Zion: For there Yahweh gives the blessing, Even life forevermore.
Romans 15:5-6: 5 Now the God of patience and of comfort grant you to be of the same mind one with another according to Christ Jesus, 6 that with one accord you may with one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
John 17:22 The glory which you have given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, even as we are one.
Ephesians 4:1-3: 1 I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to walk worthily of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and humility, with long suffering, bearing with one another in love; 3 being eager to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
- No physical violence or physically threatening dialogue. Violation of this rule warrants immediate dismissal from the program.
- No breaching another person’ confidentiality to anyone outside the program.
- No talking behind another person’ back (TBB).
- The 24-hour rule is to be used after challenging another client who is in breach of the program rules. If one notices that another client’ inappropriate behavior continues, the client should be challenged to report to staff. If in 24 hours he/she has not done so, one is required to report the breach to staff via C.O.C. or verbal communication.
- Due to the nature of many gender identity struggles, issues of enmeshment and emotional dependency can develop not only with same sex, but sometimes even more easily with the opposite sex. Because healthy and appropriate same and opposite-sex relationships are encouraged, dating and exclusive relationships of any kind are prohibited while in the program.
- Clients may have no contact with anyone who has left the program prior to graduating without the blessing of the staff to do so. Clients may address off-limit persons they inadvertently encounter with a polite “hello” only.
- While in the program, clients may have no contact with anyone involved in unrepentant emotional dependencies, inappropriate sexual behaviors, or chemical dependencies. This includes any contact with friends struggling with dependency issues or inappropriate sexual behavior that was known about prior to entering the program. If such a person is encountered, the client must make his/her staff worker aware of this.
- Refuge clients and their parents/guardians will be participating in off-campus events and meetings where non-program strugglers are in attendance. To encourage the safety of all involved, clients are required to be in phase when communicating with non-program strugglers at these meetings, and will be prohibited from establishing contact with them outside of the these meetings.
1. All new Refuge clients will be placed into Safekeeping for the initial two to three days of their program. A client on safekeeping may not communicate verbally, or by using hand gestures or eye contact, with any other clients, staff members, or his/her parents or guardians. In case of a practical need, Safekeeping clients may write down their question or request and show it to another client, staff member, or their parent or guardian. Writing may only be used when absolutely necessary. Parents and guardians must enforce their child’ safekeeping status at home or in their temporary lodging.
2. Refuge clients may C.O.C. to be removed from Safekeeping status. Safekeeping clients will be removed from Safekeeping at their staffworker’ discretion.
3. Any client may be placed into Safekeeping at any time, at a staffworker’ discretion.
4. Safekeeping clients are permitted to say “hello” and to communicate enough information to be courteous in public interaction (mostly in the clients’ church setting).
5. Safekeeping clients are required to spend a minimum of two hours (in one sitting) a day alone in their room (note: by “alone” it is understood that parents or guardians can be in the room but are not to interact or disrupt the alone time of the safekeeping client). During the alone time Safekeeping clients may work on their treatment plans, read program materials or the Bible, pray, or work on other assignments from their staffworkers.
6. In the evenings, all Refuge Safekeeping clients must remain at home or at their temporary lodging with their parent or guardian (i.e. no going out to eat, to the store, etc. during Safekeeping.)
7. Non-Safekeeping clients are responsible to protect and uphold the Safekeeping parameters of the Safekeeping clients.
Rules for the Home/Temporary Lodging
Hebrews 6:11-12: 11 We desire that each one of you may show the same diligence to the fullness of hope even to the end, 12 that you won’t be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherited the promises.
Ephesians 4:22-24: 22 that you put away, as concerning your former way of life, the old man, that grows corrupt after the lusts of deceit; 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new man, that like God has been created in righteousness and holiness of truth.
Refuge encourages all clients to first focus internally. Why is the client here? What is broken? What is the core motivation of the client’ unhealthy behavior? Staff members will work with clients as they learn what is wrong and as they take the steps to articulate it. Second, staff emphasize the need for each client to seek the truth of God. What does He have to say about each client and his/her pain? The rules that follow are designed to both protect the client and facilitate his/her wrestling with God.
Colossians 3:9-10: 9 Don’t lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his doings, 10 and have put on the new man, that is being renewed in knowledge after the image of his Creator…
1 Kings 9:4: 4 As for you, if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you, and will keep my statutes and my ordinances…
Psalm 7:8-9: 8 Yahweh administers judgment to the peoples. Judge me, Yahweh, according to my righteousness, And to my integrity that is in me.9 Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, But establish the righteous; Their minds and hearts are searched by the righteous God.
Proverbs 10:9: 9 He who walks blamelessly walks surely, But he who perverts his ways will be found out.
Proverbs 11:2-3: 2 When pride comes, then comes shame, But with humility comes wisdom. 3 The integrity of the upright shall guide them, But the perverseness of the treacherous shall destroy them.
Proverbs 13:13: 13 Whoever despises instruction will pay for it, But he who respects a command will be rewarded.
Proverbs 20:7: 7 A righteous man who walks in his integrity, Blessed are his children after him.
Genesis 32:24-28: 24 Jacob was left alone, and wrestled with a man there until the breaking of the day. 25 When he saw that he didn’t prevail against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh, and the hollow of Jacob’ thigh was strained, as he wrestled. 26 The man said, “Let me go, for the day breaks.” Jacob said, “I won’t let you go, unless you bless me.” 27 He said to him, “What is your name?” He said, “Jacob.” 28 He said, “Your name will no longer be called “Jacob,’ but, “Israel,’ for you have fought with God and with men, and have prevailed.”
1 Chronicles 29:18: 18 Yahweh, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this forever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of your people, and prepare their heart to you…
Isaiah 49:13-15: 13 Sing, heavens; and be joyful, earth; and break forth into singing, mountains: for Yahweh has comforted his people, and will have compassion on his afflicted. 14 But Zion said, Yahweh has forsaken me, and the Lord has forgotten me. 15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yes, these may forget, yet I will not forget you.
Matthew 9:36: 36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, as sheep without a shepherd.
Matthew 14:14: 14 Jesus went out, and he saw a great multitude. He had compassion on them, and healed their sick.
Matthew 20:34: 34 Jesus, being moved with compassion, touched their eyes; and immediately their eyes received their sight, and they followed him.
Luke 10:40-42: 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she came up to him, and said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister left me to serve alone? Ask her therefore to help me.” 41 Jesus answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:29-30: 29 Jesus said, “Most assuredly I tell you, there is no one who has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or land, for my sake, and for the gospel’ sake, 30 but he will receive one hundred times now in this time, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land, with persecutions; and in the age to come eternal life.”
Exodus 20:12: 12 Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which Yahweh your God gives you.
Malachi 4:6: 6 He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.
- No discussing therapeutic issues at home. Keep conversations positive.
- Clients must gain permission through C.O.C. to make or receive phone calls from friends and family members outside the program.
- No cell phones, beepers, computers, or e-mail/internet access at. Exceptions by C.O.C. approval only.
- No visitors from out of town without permission via C.O.C.
- Refuge clients may only read materials approved by staff.
- No television viewing, going to movies, or reading/watching/listening to secular media of any kind, anywhere within the client’ and the parent’/guardian’ control. This includes listening to classical or instrumental music that is not expressly Christian (Beethoven, Bach, etc. are not considered Christian). The only exception to the media policy is the weekly movie.
- Refuge clients may watch one video/DVD per week that has been approved by staff via C.O.C. Movies submitted for approval must be rated G or PG. The parents/guardians are responsible for securing the video/DVD.
- Weekend curfew (Friday and Saturday) is 10:00pm. Weekday curfew (Sunday through Thursday) is 9:30pm.
- Refuge clients must be with at least one parent or guardian at all times when off-campus.
- On certain occasions Refuge clients have the opportunity, with the C.O.C. approval and their parent/guardian’ permission, to visit the residential houses of the Source program clients. On these occasions Refuge clients must be in phase at all times, and must abide by all the house rules and follow instructions given by Source program house managers. House rules will be communicated to Refuge clients as the need arises. Refuge clients are encouraged to ask for clarification if they are unsure about a particular house rule.
- Refuge clients may not enter any restuarants with bars, even when accompanied by a parent or guardian.
- Refuge clients must be accompanied by a parent during any trip to a public restroom.
- No access to malls of any kind.
- Clients are not allowed to visit any video, music or media stores that are not expressly Christian, even if accompanied by a parent or guardian. Clients may visit LifeWay Christian stores with a parent or guardian.
- Refuge clients must report off-casmpus emergencies, illnesses, or injuries to their parents/guardians as soon as possible. Parents/guardians are required to inform LIA staff members of such situations by phone as soon as possible.
- Total silence time at home begins at 9:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. Refuge clients may use this time for resting, but are encouraged to make a habit of using it for a nightly quiet time with God.
- Lights-out time will begin each night at 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.
- Refuge clients are allowed a one-time 15-minute maximum closed bathroom door time for shower/grooming purposes. The only other closed-door alone time allowed is for using the restroom.
- Refuge clients must keep their bedroom doors open at all times, day or night.
- Proper bedclothes must be worn during nighttime sleeping hours. Appropriate bedclothes include full pajamas (tops and bottoms) or a pair of non-underwear-type shorts and a T-shirt. Nightgowns are not allowed.
- Refuge clients are expected to eat dinner with their parents/guardians/other family members (if any) at least four times per week.
- Refuge clients are expected to cook dinner one time per week.
“On-Level” is a protective and therapeutic measure that is sometimes implemented between clients who are having relational difficulties.
- 1. On-level clients may not speak to each other unless there is a potentially life-threatening emergency.
- 2. On-level clients are to spend no time alone with each other.
- 3. On-level clients are not allowed to ride in the same car unless C.O.C. permission has been granted, in which case, one must sit in the front of the car, and one must sit in the back of the car.
- 4. On-level clients, whenever in the same room, must always have exactly one person between them, whether sitting or standing. Planned activities such as church, Open Meetings, and socials are no exception.
- 5. On-level status can be initiated by any staff member or house manager.
- 6. On-level status can be removed only by Executive Staff.
- Be honest, authentic, and real.
- Active participation is expected. This includes body language and eye contact. No slouching in chairs, sitting back on chairs hind legs, sitting with arms crossed, rolling eyes, or making disgusting faces.
- No attacking or demeaning another person’ character.
- Raise hand to speak. Speak one at a time as called on by the facilitator.
- Maintain strict confidentiality of everything discussed in group. “What is seen here, what is heard here, remains here!”
- Clients are to sit in such a way as to not cause another to stumble.
- No food or drink during rap. This includes chewing gum and toothpicks.
- Appropriate attire is required. No hats, athletic or baggy shorts (for men), or extremely short skirts (for women) are allowed.
- Say “I love you _____” after each person is finished relating.
- Be on time!
- Do not talk at, preach to, or teach one another. Each person should keep the focus on him/herself and how he/she feels.
- Do not be defensive. While being spoken to, one may not respond to defend him/herself or return confrontation to the person speaking.
- If one needs to leave the group for any reason, he/she must ask permission from the staff in charge of the group session.
- Stand when speaking, relating, or being related to. During general raps, one must stand while relating. One must also stand when someone is being given feedback or being related to. Standing is not necessary during teaching raps.
The following common courtesies apply to relational dynamics between men and women. While these are not rules and may initially feel a little awkward, they are strongly encouraged as practical guidelines to promote mutual respect and honor. It is LIA’ hope that these suggestions will become common practices and help to nurture a value of self and an appreciation for others.
Places of Honor for Women:
Respect for women may be shown by offering them first priority in a number of ways:
- Please invite women (not just LIA clients) to be the first in line to eat.
- Encourage women to accept the more comfortable seats in a room. Men should consider offering a woman their chair when there are none left in the room.
- Men should think about opening doors for women, both when entering a building and when entering a car. This simply adds a level of respect, consideration, and value.
Honoring Both Genders:
Be mindful of the types of humor and communication used around one another. Jesting about bodily functions, discussing gender-specific issues when not in rap sessions (at the LIA office), and other conversation which could potentially be inappropriate to the opposite sex should be avoided.
Therapeutic & Interpersonal Expectations
- Clients are expected to affirm one another and edify their personal and corporate pursuit of growth and transformation. This includes a commitment to courageous honesty with respect, a commitment to sobriety in all manners of talk, action, and dress, the exercise of prudence, and honoring confidentiality and accountability.
- Clients are expected to take responsibility for their environment and to inform appropriate authorities of program breaches. This is to be done using the 24-hour rule.
- Clients are expected to give back. This includes watching out for one’ brothers and sisters. It also includes the initiative of upper-phasers to provide accountability for lower-phasers.
- Clients are expected to maintain a committed pursuit of a positive and thankful attitude.
- Clients are expected to avoid peer-to-peer physical touch. Brief handshakes or a brief affirmative hand on a shoulder is allowed.
- Clients are expected to actively identify and subsequently remove all personal and corporate FI’.
- Clients are expected to avoid therapeutic topics of discussion with House Managers.
- Clients are expected to make their homework a priority. Phase 1 clients must complete four MI’ per week unless otherwise instructed. Phase 2 & Training clients must complete two MI’ per week unless otherwise instructed. Phase 1 clients will be prepared to do an Introduction at every Introduction Rap. All clients will be assigned a personalized treatment plan.
- Clients are expected to plan ahead and communicate appropriately, following Chain of Command (C.O.C.) for any information or communication with staff.
- All clients must maintain integrity in their personal presentation. This includes daily grooming and hygiene maintenance, bed-making, as well as regular bedroom and bathroom cleaning and maintenance.
- Clients are expected to work either therapeutically or professionally Monday through Friday unless prior permission is granted through C.O.C. Clients who are not working are expected to be in the office.
- Clients are expected to actively re-evaluate the influences of secular media. Phase 1 clients are restricted from television-viewing, internet access, secular media, or reading of any kind without specific permission. Clients may not enter any non-Christian bookstores. Phase 2 clients may use email and the internet at work for work purposes. Training program clients may listen to secular music. However, they may not listen to secular radio for the first 30 days. No secular music is allowed in residences or when around Phase 1 clients.
- Clients are expected to honor their home environment by being on-time with cooking responsibilities, attending all weekly house meetings, dinner attendance, curfew, total silence, lights out, and by working cooperatively to complete all stewardships with a positive attitude.
- Clients are expected to remain accountable with all relationships. No cell phones, phone calls, or contact with anyone outside the program without prior permission. Phase 2 and Training Program clients may make approved relational phone calls.
Refuge Program ‚Äî Parental Rules
(Not to be given to client)
- No discussing therapeutic issues at home. Keep conversations positive.
- Clients are to be picked up from the LIA office no later than 5:00pm each weekday.
- Respect all Love In Action and Refuge rules. If you do not understand them, support the program in front of client at all times and gain clarification from LIA staff. Do not sabotage or defocus your client.
- Don’t allow client to split your family. Unite to present stability and unity.
- Your client is not allowed to talk to anyone outside of your home including friends or family. Do not tell client who has called for them or who is asking about them. Keep the thoughts of the client focused on his/her treatment.
- The family needs interactive time together. It is very important that togetherness is the priority during this time. The client does not need extended time alone or with only one family member. The only exception is for Refuge clients who are from out-of-town and staying with a significant guardian while here.
- Family dinner is encouraged to occur at least four times weekly.
- The client is expected to cook dinner at least one time weekly.
- The client is expected to complete a weekly cleaning regimen to your satisfaction.
- Parents/guardians are asked to make themselves available for any special meetings deemed necessary for the successful treatment of their loved ones.
- If there is an “Open Meeting” during Refuge Program, parents/guardians are asked to attend to enhance their involvement with Refuge. Open meetings are held the first Tuesday of each month at 7:30pm at Kirby Woods Baptist Church (on the corner of Poplar Ave. and Massey; entrance is located at the ground floor on the east side of building entrance).
Consequences for Rule Violation:
- Constructive criticism from the group.
- Ten to thirty-page written paper on rule violation.
- Program dismissal. This does not need to be addressed with the client (The client may sabotage his/her own program due to purposeful dismissal consequences).
- Isolation from the group.
As youth advocates and the news media became aware of Zach’s plight and the costly, unlicensed, unprofessional abuse that takes place at of Love In Action, Zach’s father outed the entire family on CBN’s 700 Club. It was then that Zach’s last name became known.
After emerging from Love In Action, Zach returned to private life. Despite his brief appearance in the upcoming documentary, it appears likely that he will resume private life and avoid a media spotlight that he had not sought in the first place.