The Restored Hope Network is a group of extremists who want to supplant Exodus International as the primary “ex-gay” organization. The beef that this motley crew has with Exodus is that the group’s president, Alan Chambers, told the truth and said that 99.9% of so-called “ex-gays” have not transformed from gay to straight.
These renegade rascals are hosting their first conference September 21-22 at Sunrise Community Church in Fair Oaks, CA. I will be there to speak out against the Restored Hope Network’s lies and deceptions.
Already, this organization is off to a bad start. It is brazenly rewriting history by claiming that Frank Worthen, who will be there, “was the key figure in the founding of Exodus International in 1973.”
Actually, that is not true. Worthen was a founding member of Love in Action. He was one of three men who started that ministry in 1973. One of the others was John Evans, who left the group after his best friend committed suicide because he could not pray away the gay.
For several decades, Evans has denounced “ex-gay” ministries as a fraud. The other co-founder was Rev. Kent Philpott, who wrote a book, “The Third Sex,” which focused on the testimonies of several “ex-gays.” The book had to be taken off the shelves because those whom Philpott claimed to have converted — actually were still gay. So, Worthen was not even the primary player in Love in Action, but sort of a third wheel who serially exagerrates his significance to overshadow the role the others played.
Exodus was formed in 1976 at Melody Land ministry in Anaheim, CA. Worthen was one of several people who attended the initial conference. The man who actually hosted the conference and played the key role in this movement was Michael Bussee. He later apologized, left the movement and married (pictured) his partner, Gary Cooper, who he had met in his “ex-gay” ministry. (Now you can see why this bizarre group is trying to cover up the past)
Yes, Worthen played a role in the founding of Exodus. But he was not the “key figure” as the historical revisionists at the Restored Hope Network are trying to sell people who are unaware of Exodus’ real history.
Indeed, it is extremely difficult to tell what, if any, role Worthen had because he seems incapable of telling the truth. I mostly left him out of my book, Anything But Straight, because his exaggerations and misstatements were of such a grand scale, I had great difficulty believing anything his said.
For example, I asked him about Bussee, Philpott, and Evans — and he pretended that he had no idea who these guys were — so he could claim to be the sole founder of Exodus. When I presented evidence that he intimately knew these folks, he revised his story on the spot without even blinking.
Well, it appears that the Restored Hope Network has learned from Worthen and is deliberately trying to rewrite history. As for Worthen, this is what he had to say about the upcoming conference:
“I am feeling inexpressible joy that the Lord has brought together a group of people who will not allow the message of hope and change to die in a sea of misguided social/cultural relevance. Restored Hope Network will now carry the torch of freedom from the sin and degradation of homosexuality and the transforming power of Jesus Christ.”
Mr. Worhten, lying about your past and reinventing yourself into someone you are not is a perfect example of the social/cultural relevance that you condemn. Just because there were more important members of Exodus, such as Bussee, who have come out, does not mean you can erase them from history simply because their inconvenient testimony doesn’t fit your new organization’s dishonest agenda.