Exodus International has “made peace” with disgraced ex-gay author and counselor Richard Cohen, according to Ex-Gay Watch and Cohen’s assistant director Hilde Wiemann. Furthermore, according to XGW, Exodus has deleted its online warning to antigay parents about Cohen’s unethical and counterproductive practices.
Cohen is a former Unification Church member who charges sexually confused men up to $200 per hour for sexualized cuddle sessions and anti-mother rants with a tennis racket. He claims that the cuddle sessions help repair clients’ broken masculinity, and that physical abuse against mother figures helps repair a childhood wounded by overmothering.
Despite a long history of scandal, it wasn’t until 2006 that he was publicly disavowed by Exodus, and reluctantly sidelined as president of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays, after his scam was nationally televised by CNN…
and by The Daily Show…
More recently, Cohen humiliated himself on The Jimmy Kimmel Show:
It now appears that Cohen’s exile from allied ex-gay organizations was temporary and cosmetic.
Cohen remained on PFOX’s referral list for antigay parents, and Exodus now seems eager to benefit from Cohen’s charisma — as well as from antigay Christian supporters’ amnesia regarding their own movement’s scams against persons who are sexually confused.
Ex-Gay Watch says:
Exodus had experienced a private preview of Cohen’ methods at their conference in 2000. A letter sent afterwards to “ministry friends” clearly expressed their disapproval. Yet this information was not shared with the general public, and no one from the outside would have known that Exodus had any issue with Cohen or his methods. They finally did at least make a public statement seven years later.
Now we are forced to wonder if the disapproval of Cohen is driven by principle or public relations. The policy statement mentioned above is now missing from the Exodus website and there is no explanation or clarification. The other statements remain, but the one about Cohen is edited out of the list. There was also a separate statement against “holding therapy” which seems to have gone missing as well (cuddling on the couch).
Ex-Gay Watch notes that Cohen isn’t the only sketchy character to be embraced and endorsed recently by Exodus: Others include masculinity-cult and pagan-spirituality promoter David Pickup and exgay-therapy-by-phone profiteer Janelle Hallman, who is an admirer of Cohen.