Exodus International’s former Vice President, Randy Thomas, has always been rather truth challenged — much like his old boss Alan Chambers. Yesterday, he took me to task for criticizing Chambers for “queening out” in a video — which clearly shows that he is still GAY — not the “ex-gay” he purports and gets paid to be.
Highlighting this bizarre video is important — not simply for a chance “mock” the utter ridiculousness and unprofessional demeanor or Chambers — but to point out his rancid hypocrisy. Exodus does two things:
1) It is a place where clients pay big bucks to “pray away the gay”
2) It enforces strict gender roles and traffics in outdated stereotypes.
Before we go any further, I will remind you that Thomas was Exodus’ political hack and worked hard to take away our equal rights. A report published by the Southern Poverty Law Center in November 2010, analyzing FBI data from 1995 to 2008, found that LGBT people are 2.6 times more likely to be attacked than blacks; 4.4 times more likely than Muslims; 13.8 times more likely than Latinos; and 41.5 times more likely than whites. Still Thomas (pictured on far right) felt obliged to insult the victims of hate crimes by posing in this disgusting ad:
He also worked the political system to try to help pass the Federal Marriage Amendment that would have written LGBT couples out of the US Constitution. Here he is chilling with Karl Rove:
Anyway — Thomas accuses me of “mocking” Chambers — which is true because he deserves it. There is spectacular hypocrisy and serious cognitive dissonance when a man runs an “ex-gay” program obsessed with rigid gender roles, then turns around and prances in a video. Here is the video in question:
Alan Chambers bitterly complained and said he was being “bullied.” He then essentially claimed I was distorting the truth by using old material to represent Exodus:
“And, for the record, Exodus doesn’t help people become masculine or feminine. Those types of things haven’t been around in decades. Your information is outdated an [sic] you know it.”
First, Chambers never apologized for the many lives his organization trashed and destroyed by the methods and techniques he now breezily claims are no longer part of his program. Shouldn’t the people who were harmed by the lipstick seminars and masculinity exercises, at the very least, be given their money back?
Second, the stereotypes peddled by Exodus are not a relic of the past, but a very real part of the modern Exodus literature and programs. Chambers is simply lying when he claims Exodus has changed its tune. For example, the Love Won Out in Atlanta this past weekend sold Janet Boynes book, Called Out. Here is a passage from that book.
“In the years since those early first steps of faith, I have gradually gained confidence as a woman. I know that I have made a fool of myself trying to learn how to walk in heels and there are definitely days when I feel more comfortable in a sweatshirt and blue jeans, but I have been learning little by little. I have grown my hair out and regularly get my nails done.” (p. 67)
Um, sounds like Exodus minister Janet Boynes is doing exactly what Chambers says is outdated. Chambers should explain why Exodus is selling this book promoting gender stereotypes?
If this wasn’t bad enough, Exodus current workbook and DVD set, Hope for Wholeness is a cesspool of gender stereotypes and distortions on masculinity and femininity. Examining this “ex-gay”curriculum reveals an organization fixated on placing men and women in 1950′s gender boxes. The women, in particular, are browbeaten into conforming and portrayed as transforming from “Ugly Dykeling” to “Straight Swan.” Take a look at Exodus current rhetoric that it is selling to its clients for $330:
If masculinity is an achievement — than Alan Chambers obviously has not lived up to the program goals he is peddling to desperate and vulnerable people.
I’d love to know which part of women’s rights Exodus believes had a negative impact. Was it voting or working outside the home? Was it allowing women to control their lives with birth control? Was it allowing women to leave unsatisfying or abusive marriages?
In the above figure, Exodus is selling the lie about gay men being passive and how they can be more assertive. Say, like Alan Chambers, who is so assertive that he can skip on a video and not see how odd it looks for an “ex-gay” activist.
Yes, let’s browbeat girls into becoming Stepford Wives and bully boys until they know not to prance in pubic videos…oh, wait.
Check out the junk pseudoscience and bogus cause and effect relationships that Exodus still uses to this day. it is unbelievable that they want to be taken seriously when they rely on these anachronistic ideas that no credible expert has believed since before Richard Nixon was president.
And here is my favorite — Janet Boynes great “fakeover” — showing that Exodus is nothing, if not a series of “before and after” pictures designed to bilk clients into believing that they can act stereotypically straight if they just place their trust and cash in Exodus.
I’ve vividly shown that Exodus is untruthful when they claim their emphasis on gender boxes is a thing of the past. Chambers “outrage” was nothing more than a cynical tactic to elicit sympathy by playing the victim. As the above evidence show, Chambers and his enablers, such as Thomas, are actually the victimizers.
I’m going to end by expressing my disdain for Thomas, who leveled a gossip-laden passive aggressive smear job on me on his vanity blog.
Commenting on TWO’s PFOX lawsuit he wrote:
My guess is … not that it really matters but I have had run-in’s with both Greg and Wayne … Greg probably said what he said to generate sympathy and support through negative attention seeking. Wayne is doing the same thing to try and raise money from his own activist base of support.
To draw a moral equivalence between Quinlan’s outrageous claim and our trying to raise money to support our lawsuit is unseemly. Perhaps if Exodus had raised more money, Thomas would still have his old job.
Here’s where Thomas’ lack of decency and morality shines through:
But truly, who knows the whole story? What if Greg is repeating something he was told by someone he trusted who was lying or … not? I’ve had people tell me all kinds of horrible things that Wayne has allegedly done and said but I saw it for the gossip it was. I wouldn’t repeat it publicly because I don’t know that it is really true even though I have reason to trust the folks who told me.
First, Thomas is deliberately spewing innuendo and engaging in gossip when he claims, “I’ve had people tell me all kinds of horrible things that Wayne has allegedly done.” Only a sleaze merchant would make such an allegation without backing it up. Please, Randy, name the people and the specific allegations — and if you can’t you shouldn’t be printing such trash. And, if you elect to publish these allegations, please be advised that if they are not true, you and the people involved will be also be facing lawsuits.
The difference between you, Quinlan — and myself — is that I am willing to take both a polygraph and NoLie MRI to prove my innocence. I’m guessing that neither Quinlan, nor yourself, and your alleged friends who made alleged charges would fare so well in such truth-telling tests.
Finally, what really bothers me about Thomas’ rant is that he is not fully disclosing the facts. He writes that he has heard rumors and allegations from unnamed sources that likely only exist in his vivid imagination. Why would he rely on such alleged tales when he has met me in person several times? I believe the last time I had contact with Thomas we dined together at the One-by-One “ex-gay” conference in Orlando, Florida. At lunch, we had a rather civil and pleasant conversation about politics.
Prior to this, Thomas was assigned to monitor me at an Exodus conference in Asheville, NC while I was writing my book, Anything But Straight. Again, the interaction was rather innocuous and we engaged in small talk as he shadowed me. Given this personal interaction, I would think that Thomas would have the dignity and class to clearly state that my in-person behavior at “ex-gay” events and with “ex-gay” activists is non-confrontational and completely respectful. He knows this from experience, yet elected to conceal this fact, and instead spread gossip — which I believe the Bible has something to say about.
Come to think of it, given our pleasant in-person history, I’m considering putting Thomas under oath to testify as a character witness for our side in the PFOX case.