Psychiatry and Medicine

APA Warning
Ex-Gay Fraud
Article on Ex-Gays
Beyond Abuse
Sick Religion

The American Psychiatric Association ("APA") voted in 1973 to remove homosexuality from its official list of mental disorders and declared that "homosexuality implies no impairment in judgment, stability, reliability, or general social or vocational capabilities".  

The APA resolved that "The American Psychiatric Association deplores all public and private discrimination against homosexuals in such areas as employment, housing, public accommodations, and licensing, and declares that no burden of proof of such judgment, capacity, or reliability shall be placed upon homosexuals greater than that imposed on any other persons and urges the enactment of civil rights legislation at the local, state, and federal level that would offer homosexual persons the same protections now guaranteed to others on the basis of race, creed, color, etc."

The American Medical Association and the American Bar Association agreed in 1974 with this statement of the APA and added their approval of the Model Penal Code of the American Law Institute recommendation to legislators "that private sexual behavior between consenting adults should be removed from the list of crimes and thereby legalized."  The American Psychological Association in 1975 also approved these declarations and "urged all mental health professions to take the lead in removing the stigma of mental illness that has long been associated with homosexual orientations."

Why have these conclusions by medical professionals been ignored, denied and rejected by ignorant and prejudiced preachers and religious authorities and by many politicians?


See the excellent resources at THE HEALING CIRCLE.

See the web site of Rik Isensee , an outstanding Gay Psychotherapist in San Francisco.  Explore his many excellent books that help homosexual couples deal with relationships and mental health and other issues.

Update for September 17, 2004


When Jesus encountered the demon possessed man in Gadara (Mark 5 and parallels), he faced and dealt with an obvious case of multiple personality psychosis.  He cast out a "legion of demons" and brought sanity, healing and wholeness to the man, who instantly became the first missionary to the Gentiles.  (See links below.)

The life of Jesus in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) brings Jesus into contact with a variety of types of mental illness in troubled people, including his own disciples.  (I save the Gospel of John to a later study, because the emphasis there is more highly developed into spiritual and symbolic issues, though the visit of Nicodemus in John 3, the woman at the well in John 4, and events surrounding the "beloved disciple" all demonstrate the ministry to Jesus to troubled and emotionally disturbed people.)

Jesus both lived the human situation and ministered to human need in many instances of emotional and mental illnesses.  Jesus himself had to deal with his own anger (See Mark 3 and link below) and faced daily the mental and emotional problems that he encountered in his own disciples and in people to whom he ministered and healed.


Each individual develops a personal "style of relating" to other people, which becomes exaggerated under various levels of stress.  These "Types of Relatedness" and levels of stress are defined and discussed by Dr. Karl Menninger in his classic study of "The Vital Balance," which was used as our basic text in my clinical pastoral education at the mental hospital near Louisville, KY, during my doctoral program, which was led by Dr. Wayne E. Oates, Dr. Swan Hayworth and Chaplain Clarence Y. Barton.  (See reference below.)

Here are six basic types of relating to others when one is under pressure:

Hostility and Anger; 2. Suspicion and Fear; 3. Dependency; 4. Despairing and Depression; 5. Erotic; and 6. Manipulative/ extractive.  Everyone has certain coping devices that are developed to deal with stress.  One may drink or smoke or sleep it off or laugh it off or work it off in excessive energy and exercise or pray or meditate or go out with friends.  Sometimes these everyday coping devices work and the stress is relieved.

Sometimes they don't work, and the individual goes into a more anxious and exaggerated mode of coping.  Frequently we develop self-destructive modes of coping with pressure.  When the coping devices become more controlling and more difficult to handle, they can become more destructive than the pressure that they were intended to relieve.

 When coping devices create more pressure than they relieve, the result is neurotic behavior that costs more than it is worth.  If your coping devises become extreme enough, they can become psychotic and require professional help and possible hospitalization.  I hope you have been able to cope before the hospitalization phases sets in!

I have already dealt with some of these mental and emotional problems in my present book and website.  My next book will explore and deal with them in greater detail and with guidance and practical help.


You have many sources of help in dealing with your pressure.  Take advantage of any help that is offered to you.  Don't run away from professional help.  I have a wonderful psychotherapist friend in San Francisco, Rik Isensee, who has frequently helped me sort through my own emotional issues.  Rik has published several helpful books on GLBT relationships and has a website, which I have listed below.

Local Metropolitan Community churches have pastors and other staff people who can offer counseling and support with mental and emotional problems. (See MCC Churches link below.)   Help is also available from many local community LGBT Support Centers.  Often college and university chaplains are trained and equipped to be helpful to LGBT people and others with emotional and mental problems and referrals.


Jesus related to people with love and acceptance.  No matter how troubled people were, Jesus took time to listen and learn about each person as an individual before he ministered his healing touch and his helpful counsel of hope and encouragement.

Leslie Weatherhead said that Jesus was more like a modern surgeon than a modern "faith healer".  Like a surgeon, Jesus listened to each individual and asked questions and made an intelligent diagnosis before he offered a treatment that fit the person.  Modern faith healers treat everybody alike with a prayer and a slap to the head.  The approach of Jesus to emotionally ill people was quite varied depending on what he learned by observing and listening.

Jesus took human need seriously.  Jesus demonstrated his belief that every individual has equal value to God.  Listening and accepting others as they are is a way of following Jesus in his work of following God.  Jesus never condemned people for the trouble they were having.  Jesus demonstrated the basic environment for helping troubled people by creating an accepting and nonjudgmental atmosphere for effective psychotherapy.  The encounter of Jesus with the woman at the well in John 4 illustrates the dynamics of modern psychotherapy in great detail.  (See my material on this incident in link below)


Until 1973, the major psychiatric and medical professions listed homosexuality as a treatable mental illness.  I have one MCC clergy friend who endured 9 years of psychiatric therapy including electric shock treatment that was demanded by her parents when they learned that she was a lesbian. 

The psychiatric treatment did not change her sexual orientation, but it did make her as mad as hell!  (See my material on these issues in my web site in the sections listed below on Psychiatry and related topics in my page on "The Ex-Gay Fraud".)  Since 1973, the American Psychiatric Association, The American Psychological Association, The American Medical Association and The American Bar Association have all taken the official position that homosexuality is not a sickness or a crime and that all civil and human rights given to other minorities should be given also to GLBT people.

The politicians and leaders of abusive established religion in America and the rest of the world have not caught up with the truth yet!


Many GLBT people, however, do suffer from mental and emotional problems caused by the treatment and rejection that they have received from their own families and religious teachers.  Gay people are not depressed because they are gay but because of the way that society and families treat them for being gay.  It is as simple as that!  This means, therefore, that many LGBT people struggle with emotional issues and mental problems and need the same understanding, listening and acceptance that Jesus gave to every troubled person that his life touched.

That's how you follow Jesus!  You cannot walk on water or turn water to wine, but you can love and accept people that everybody else misunderstands and rejects and that need a friend.  You can do what Jesus did in seeing great potential in troubled people that they could not see for themselves.

Rembert Truluck

Use my new mailing address now:
201 W. Washington St. #805
Greenville, SC 29601

I am grateful to all of you who have sent financial help to me in recent months to help me continue my website and Internet ministry.   Thanks to Adam DeBaugh and Chi Rho Press for making possible tax deductible contributions to my ministry.  I recently sold my car to get enough money to keep my office and computer space available.  I have total faith in God to provide for me whatever I need to continue and develop what God has called and equipped me to do.  The next book is under way and will soon be available.  For now, however, read again and study my website material on "Jesus Bible Studies" and "The Real Jesus" along with other "RECENT UPDATES" (which include details about making contributions to my work through Chi Rho Press)."




Mark 5 and Jesus' ministry to a self-destructive man in the tombs suffering from multiple personality psychosis, which was seen as demonic possession:

Read all of the updates added to Step 4.

See all of Step 11.
See Lesson 41, page 347-353, on "How Jesus Liberated Outcast People" in my book: "Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse".

See Karl Menninger, MD: "The Vital Balance: The Life Process in Mental Health & Illness" published 1963 by Viking Press, New York.

Chi Rho Press information about my book

Update for October 7, 2003

GLBT human rights are being attacked in the accelerating war against homosexuals that has been launched by the President of the United States in an unprecedented alliance of power politics and abusive religion.  When President Bush announced last week that he is proclaiming October 12-18, 2003, as "Marriage Protection Week," he threw the full force of his office into support for the homophobic legalistic religious violence that is being designed and promoted by the Southern Baptist Convention, the Roman Catholic Church, and other religious extremist institutions in America.

"Google" already lists 413,000 web sites related to this disastrous development of merging state and church in blatant violation of the United States Constitution.  Southern Baptists are leading the way.  (See the web links below.)

This sudden unexpected attack against the human and civil rights of GLBT people has been building for a long time.  Read the report by Laura Montgomery Rutt in the "SOULFORCE" web site link below.

Go to the bottom of this page and click on the links there.

Go to "Google" or "Yahoo!" and enter "Marriage Protection Week" to see the most recent developments of this anti-gay plague.  Notice the lineup of homophobic religious industrial giants in this latest political/religious move to discredit, demean, and destroy all of us!


The President's proclamation is a thinly disguised "wolf in sheep's clothing"!  Read the wording carefully.  The purpose of this proclamation is not to honor and protect marriage but to reject and demean same-sex relationships as sinful, anti-social and "a threat to the survival of western civilization," as James Dobson likes to claim!  The appearance of James Dobson ("Focus on the Family") on the Larry King Show recently was just one assault in the ever-expanding political/religious wars against all GLBT people.

Public opinion is being shaped against us.  Are concentration camps and gas ovens in our future?  Or will the religious/political establishment enlist the resources of modern science and technology to alter GLBT people through psychological and medical manipulation?  Psychic and social manipulation are already in place as major brain-washing features of modern media driven religion throughout America.


The "Ex-Gay" movement is already in place and busily destroying personalities and lives with the enthusiastic endorsement and sponsorship of Southern Baptists and a growing list of anti-gay homophobic religious and political organizations.  See the list in the web site of "People for the American Way" in the link below.

We are fighting for our survival.  Every major human rights group is recoiling in horror at this Presidential Proclamation that arrogantly claims to speak for all Americans.

Ignorance, misinformation and lies are winning the propaganda war against us.  Religion by nature is extreme.  Will James in his pioneering clinical study of religion said that religion is either "an acute fever or a dull habit."  Religion in America today is developing into an acute deadly fever that is destroying more people than AIDS ever could.  How can GLBT people continue to support and participate in the discredited traditional misinformed medieval religious institutions and teachings?


You personally have to make some hard decisions about religion.  If the destructive power of legalistic religion has found a home in your heart and taken a death grip upon your spirituality, you have a clear choice to make in your personal life.  You can either continue to believe and support the stupidly destructive religion that you were conditioned to accept in your childhood, or you can grow up and get real about what the remnants of abusive religion are really doing to you to destroy your self-esteem and your will to survive.

Escape from abusive religion while you still have the freedom to act for yourself.  You and I are facing clear life or death choices.  We have reached the ultimate fork in the road.  There is no turning back.  We either continue down the self-destructive path of blind acceptance of failed religion or we move on into new uncharted paths of self-affirmation and self-acceptance.

Jesus long ago led the way into the new direction of self-acceptance and love.  The churches have betrayed Jesus and us.  The real Jesus has been so overshadowed by the churches and so obscured by religion that hardly anybody recognizes the real Jesus anymore.  Yet the real Jesus is still here and available with and within you and me. 

Tear down and clear away the rubble of the tottering old walls of spiritual violence and deceit.  Walk away from the wreckage of religion and move into the sunlight of reality, honesty, logic and love.  You can still think for yourself, can't you?  You do still have the ability to move, don't you?  I certainly hope so.

Rembert Truluck
October 7, 2003

I encourage you to read and study all of my web site.  Spend some time with it every day.  Share your study with someone else.  The walls of the religious space ship are rapidly closing in upon us.  Like the trash compactor scene in "Star Wars", you don't have a lot of time to delay your escape.

Laura Montgomery Rutt article, including Bush Proclamation: Look at: www.marriageprotectionweek.com/

and: www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=16790.

See also: www.marriageprotectionweek.com/action.asp

"People for the American Way":

Update.  December 13, 1998.

Several article readers have brought to our attention the American Psychiatric Association Board's "unanimous decision to reject therapy aimed solely at turning gays into heterosexuals, saying it can cause depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior."  Dr. Nada Stotland, head of the association's joint committee on public affairs, said Friday: "All the evidence would indicate this is the way people are born.  We treat disease, not the way people are."

"The very existence of therapy that is supposed to change people's sexuality, even for people who don't take it, is harmful because it implies that they have a disease.  There is evidence that the belief itself can trigger depression and anxiety."

It's about time that the medical doctors who are specialists in mental and emotional health and illness spoke out in the midst the present storm of  false propaganda in advertisements and books by the fast growing "ex-gay" industry.  The American Psychological Association issued a similar warning a year and a half ago.  That warning was included in my web site when it was first published on September 14, 1997.

 The Associated Press article about this warning issued by the APA in Denver this week was printed in yesterday's "San Francisco Examiner" (Saturday, December 12, 1998) along with a lengthy article about the current debate of "Gay Marriage Policy" in Europe.

The American Psychiatric Association was the first group of medical specialists to issue a statement recognizing homosexuality as a "sexual orientation" and not a disease (1973).  Since that decision was made, the "ex-gay" forces have launched a relentless campaign of ignorance and misinformation to accuse the APA of giving in to homosexual activists instead of basing their decision on scientific and medical facts.

The "bottom line" was clearly stated by Dr. Stotland that "during the psychiatric group's quarterly meeting there was no evidence that sexual orientation could be changed." The conclusion of the medical professionals who are in the best position to know is that there is "no evidence" that sexual orientation can be changed.

We welcome this most recent announcement from the medical doctors who are the most qualified to speak about the false claims and dangers of the "reparative therapy" fraud perpetrated by the "ex-gay" religious/political industry.  The "Examiner" article included the "ex-gay" response by the ubiquitous and egregious John Paulk, who is "a specialist on homosexuality and gender" for Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs.

(See my reviews of John Paulk's and Joe Dallas' books below.)

Now, let's find a way to get the American Psychiatric Association's decision in newspaper ads all across the nation!


Almost 20 years ago, when I was a professor of religion at the Baptist College at Charleston, SC, I was urged to get psychiatric help to deal with my being gay.  I went to three different outstanding psychiatrists including Corbett H. Thigpen, M.D., co-author with Hervey Cleckley, M.D., of "The Three Faces of Eve," which was made into a movie staring Joanne Woodward, for which she won the Academy Award.  Dr. Thigpen was head of the department of Psychiatry at the University of Georgia School of Medicine.  

Dr. Thigpen had treated people in my church in Greenwood, SC, and I knew him well.  His response to my request for help was that he and his team of 15 psychiatrists had found no way to change anyone from gay to straight.  He said that he could treat me for two years,  charge me a lot of money, and change my personality, but I would still be gay!  He made it clear to me that sexual orientation cannot be changed.  The other two psychiatrists, both of them in Charleston, told me the same thing.   

Rembert Truluck
"The disease is ignorance
and the cure is truth."

(June 20, 2001, Update on GAYBC Interview)

Dr. Grethe Cammermeyer interviewed me on June 19, 2001, for GAYBC RADIO online.  You can access the interview at the Gaybc.com.

This is the second time that Dr. Cammermeyer has interviewed me, and as always, I enjoyed talking with her.  To me, she is a great hero of our cause!  She talked with me about my experiences in New Orleans with Soulforce and about what I wrote in my update on "LIFE OR DEATH".


The American Medical Association is considering a resolution "that would ask youth groups not to ban gays because such policies could drive young people to suicide."  "A Massachusetts survey published this month in the American Journal of Public Health found that gay high school students were about four times more likely to have attempted suicide as heterosexual students."

"Homophobia is a health hazard," said Dr. Thomas Hicks, a Tallahassee, Florida, family physician.  He said: "gays who are left out may feel ostracized and suffer lifelong emotional scars."  These are the opinions of medical doctors, not religious or political activists.  These AMA comments confirm our conviction that homophobia and anti-gay religious teachings are unhealthy and destructive.


Medical doctors and other scientists and professionals study and reach conclusions that are logical, objective and realistic and that are based on evidence and not on emotions, prejudice or legalistic judgmental abusive religion!  Homophobic anti-gay religion is increasingly illogical, unrealistic and based on misinformation.  We would not have modern medicine today if the Church had been successful in forbidding medical research.

Dr. Cammermeyer asked me why so many GLBT people continue to attend and support abusive anti-gay religion and churches.  That is a very important question.  I think that there are basically two reasons.  One is that children are conditioned to the misinformed religious teachings and attitudes of their parents so thoroughly by the time they are four or five years old that spiritual violence becomes part of their personality and goes with them for the rest of their lives.  Another reason is that many LGBT people do not admit that they have ever been abused by religion.  It is the same kind of denial that persists in any addiction.


"Admit That You Have Been Hurt by Religion" is the first step in my "Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse."  That is the most difficult step for many GLBT people.  We are often reluctant to question and reject the religion of our beloved parents and grandparents.  For most of us, saying we have been hurt by our religion is like condemning our own grandmother, and we refuse to be logical, objective or realistic about the damage that sick abusive religion has done in our lives.

The purpose of my web site and book is to provide factual carefully researched information that gives you the basis for becoming logical, objective and realistic about the spiritual violence that you have endured and to offer you a healthy and spiritually mature direction for your life.

The first step to recovery from anything that is inappropriately controlling you is to face the truth, let go of denial and be logical, objective and realistic.  Try it.  It really works!

See article on New Orleans Soulforce events by Cindy Hadden.

Update for September 22, 2000

Saul of Tarsus was a powerful religious leader in the legalistic judgmental fundamentalism of his day.  He hurt a lot of people with his religion.  He assisted in the torture and murder of the first Christian martyr, Stephen.  He worked hard to convert people to his own brand of religious bigotry.

Suddenly one day on the road to Damascus, Saul had a life changing experience of confronting his own life and the reality of God's presence in Jesus Christ.  Everything changed.  Saul became the Apostle Paul.  When Paul finally faced the truth, he declared loud and clear: "I WAS WRONG!"  The details of this dramatic turn around are given in many places in Acts and the letters of Paul, nowhere more clearly than in Philippians 3:1-14.

John Paulk, it's time to turn around and say: "I was wrong!"

Yesterday and today I have received more e-mail messages about John Paulk than any other issue ever!  It is time for the Religious Right and such leaders as Dobson, Kennedy, Robertson, and many others to admit that they are wrong about GLBT people and about a lot of other things.  Now is the day for repentance.  In Greek and Hebrew, the word repent means to "turn around".


Many of you, like Laura Montgomery Rutt, have already sent out powerful responses to the unexpected and dramatic exposure of "Ex-Gay" leader John Paulk in a gay bar in Washington, D.C. two days ago.  (See LINKS below)

When I was pastor of MCC in Nashville, a very large church across the street from where I lived had a house for counseling and spiritual therapy called "A Place to Turn."  It was dedicated to helping Gay people turn straight!  How have so many churches missed the spiritual boat and gone after "other gods" of abuse and oppression that deny the Gospel of Jesus Christ?  Is another "Great Awakening" at hand?  I hope so.

The martyrdom of Matthew Shepherd has become the symbol of homophobic abuse and violence and has awakened the conscience of world.  Now the shocking exposure of the most famous "ex-gay" can move all of us closer to the truth and make a difference that should move mountains.  John Paulk going to Mr. P's bar in D.C. and the resulting attention in the media demands radical changes in the homophobic religious industry.  Paulk has demonstrated what we have known all along.  Sexual orientation cannot be changed.  It is our God given reality.  Sexual orientation can be denied, suffocated, rejected, distorted and demeaned; but it cannot be changed.


Recently, I have received an increasing number of letters from GLBT people struggling with the lies and abusive pressures of various "ex-gay" people and organizations.  The internal personal battle that many GLBT people have been forced to wage against themselves is a rapidly growing tragedy of our time.  The entire "ex-gay" industry is based on sanctimonious nonsense that has no valid foundation in Jesus Christ, modern psychiatry or common sense.

I wrote a review of John Paulk's book "Not Afraid to Change" when it appeared in 1998.  My review is given below and briefly in my book.  Now it is time for John to show that he really is not afraid to change and to face and turn back to his own truth and abandon the lies and self-deception.  It is time to let go and move on.


The worst things that have happened to me have been the things that best prepared me for my present ministry and that propelled me to publish and maintain my web site and to finish and publish my book.  God does indeed "cause all things to work together for good to you who are called to follow Jesus." (Romans 8:28)  I am sure that John Paulk thinks that his moment of truth at the gay bar was the worst thing that could have happened.  Facing your truth can appear to be a disaster.  It isn't.  Truth is a disaster only when you decide to ignore it and flee from it into the jaws of death.

All of us can identify with the frustrations and confused feelings that John Paulk demonstrated this week.  If John will turn from the religious legalists that have been using him to confuse and destroy gay people and enter fully into his true calling to encourage and affirm GLBT people, he will have incredible support from many of us.

Michael Bussy and Gary Cooper helped to begin the Exodus "ex-gay" industry that John Paulk has been leading.  After five years of frustration and denial, Michael and Gary woke up to the truth and faced and acted upon their own homosexuality, became partners and began a great ministry of encouragement and affirmation for GLBT people.  Their story is also in my web site and book.  John, you can do the same.  It's not too late to turn around.

"Calculated Compassion: How the Ex-Gay Movement Serves the Right's Attacks on Democracy" found at end of the home page for Equal Partners in Faith.
Article in "Southern Voice" about John Paulk.

"You shall know the truth, and truth will set you free."  John 8:32


After John Paulk visited the gay bar in Washington, DC, Bob Davies, Executive Director of Exodus, concluded that the incident had "dealt a severe blow to John's credibility as an Exodus spokesperson."  Bob, you have it wrong!  What John Paulk did dealt a fatal blow to the credibility of the entire "ex-gay" misdirected anti-gay industry.

Credibility is based on the compatibility of what people say with what they do.  Exodus and the other forms of the "ex-gay" fraud claim and teach facts that are not true.  The claims of ex-gay success are never matched by any living proof.  The American Psychiatric Association last fall concluded that there is no evidence that anyone's sexual orientation has ever been changed.

Why do psychiatrists and other medical professionals reject the "ex-gay" claims?  Simply because they lack credibility.  Don't expect the ex-gay industry to admit their error and just close down, however, because too much money is involved.  Money drives the "ex-gay" movement, and money is power.


If you were charged with being a follower of Jesus, would there be enough evidence to convict you?  When Simon Peter was accused of being a disciple of Jesus, he denied it three times and claimed not even to know the man.  The response of the accusers was that Peter talked like Jesus, was with Jesus, and had been seen with Jesus many times.  The evidence spoke for itself (Matthew 26:69-75).  Actions always speak louder than words.  What are your actions saying today?

Peter denied Jesus out of fear.  Judas did it for the money.  Fear and money are powerful controlling forces.  What has fear made you do that denies your true self?  How about money?


Last Saturday, I had the privilege of leading a workshop on "Recovery from Bible Abuse" for New Hope MCC in Santa Rosa, California, and then preaching on Sunday.  The contagious enthusiasm of the Pastor Alice and her spouse Molly was clearly evident.  The people who came to the workshop were prepared to learn and were ready to grow spiritually and to share their faith with others.  As each person shared their own personal spiritual pilgrimage with the group, I learned from every one and rejoiced in what God is doing in many places now to use GLBT people to change our world.

I was reminded again that each individual has a unique personal spiritual experience.  "Coming out" presents different challenges to each GLBT person.  Whatever your experience might be, it's uniquely yours.  You are the world's authority on your own experience.  Write it down.  Learn from yourself.  "Be prepared to explain to anyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and respect." (I Peter 3:15)

The incredible damage done by abusive religion in the lives of average people was made clear over and over in the experiences that were shared with the group.  The abusive use of religion to ruin people's lives has dealt a severe blow to the credibility of all churches.


We often need help to re-enforce and sustain our credibility.  When the Apostle Paul first went to Jerusalem after his encounter with Jesus that changed his life, the Christians were afraid of him.  But Paul had a strong friend, Barnabas, who stood with him and helped him to gain acceptance with others (Acts 9:26-29).  The continuing story of Paul, after he recognized that his former legalistic judgmental bigotry was a big mistake, is the exciting subject of the Book of Acts.

Read the Book of Acts to see how the Gospel of Jesus Christ crossed every human barrier and became the inclusive ministry that Jesus intended.  The last word in Acts is "unhindered" and it may seem strange to end the story of the beginnings of Christianity with an adverb.  Yet it is quite intentional.  Paul is last seen teaching the good news of Jesus unhindered even in the city of Rome.  The Book of Acts was written by a Gentile, a non-Jew, and is in every way a powerful statement of the inclusive nature of Jesus.  The unhindered Gospel continues now through you and me.  We are writing a fresh "acts of the apostles" every day by being unconditionally inclusive and vigorously centered in Jesus.


Self-confidence and self-esteem are vital to your credibility.  You cannot convince others of something that you cannot accept yourself.  "Equipping the saints for ministry" begins with learning to love and accept yourself as the honored and loved child of God that you already are.  You have a mission for God that nobody can take from you.

The following Book Reviews were sent as web site "updates".

A Brief Review of Not Afraid to Change by John Paulk.
Rembert Truluck. Update. November 22, 1998.

During the past year, homophobic religious and political forces have accelerated and intensified their unrelenting attacks against homosexuals with ads in newspapers, magazines, and television.  John Paulk along with his "former lesbian" wife Anne have become symbols of the "Ex-Gay" push for acceptance and approval of "reparative therapy" and religious transformation of homosexuals into heterosexuals.  (See the cover story in Newsweek, August 17, 1998, about John and Anne.)  Now John Paulk has published his autobiography to try to prove that he has been changed from gay to straight by religion. 

This book and books by Joe Dallas (former President of "Exodus") and others will have a devastating impact on young homosexuals seeking for help and encouragement in dealing with their sexual orientation. 

The American Psychiatric Association, The American Psychological Association, The American Medical Association, and The American Bar Association since 1974 have all taken the position that homosexuality is a sexual orientation and is not an illness to be treated or cured.  See above.

My entire web site on "Steps to Recovery from bible Abuse" is a response to John Paulk's book and the fraudulent use of religion to give false hope and to raise money in the ongoing anti-gay religious/political warfare being waged against homosexuals.

John Paulk is on the staff of Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, CO, (the powerful and rich political/religious organization owned and operated by James Dobson).  Paulk, with no formal theological or medical training, is "a homosexuality and gender analyst" at "Focus" and is North American Board Chairman of Exodus International, "a worldwide organization that provides assistance to men and women seeking freedom from unwanted homosexuality."  The fast growing "Ex-Gay" industry is booming!

John Paulk's credentials for his expert status in the "Ex-Gay Fraud" consist of his personal story, told in his recent book, published in July, 1998, by Winepress Publishing.

The Forward to the book is by Joseph Nicolosi, Ph.D., author of "Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality", which has been repudiated by the majority of Psychiatrists, Psychologists, and other medical professionals.  Nicolosi has invented the term "homosexual condition" to use in place of sexual orientation.  His incredibly prejudiced and judgmental attitudes against gay men become evident in the first few lines of his writing.  His brief but pompous analysis of why John Paulk was homosexual would be ludicrous if it were not being set forth as through it were scientific and medical fact.  Instead, it is dangerous, misleading, and false.  Nicolosi's logic is like saying that gay equals crazy, and therefore all gays are crazy. 

I found all of the book very difficult to read and to follow, because the material is given in an overly colorful and exaggerated style of writing that sounds like the words and psychedelic images in MTV music videos. 

This egregious volume was actually written by Tony Marco based on over 40 hours of interviews with John Paulk.  Marco "has written extensively on the subject of homosexuality, is the author of 9 books, and is considered one of the nation's leading non-profit fundraising copywriters and creative consultants."  The entire book is an advertisement for "Exodus International", for NARTH (National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality), and for the "therapy" work of Joseph Nicolosi.  All of the people who recommend the book on the book cover and in the first two pages are leaders in the rapidly growing homophobic religious/political campaign against homosexuals.

Chapter One tells of John Paulk's first visit to a gay bar at the age of 18 in 1981 (The same year that I moved to Atlanta and went to my first gay bar).  Somehow, over 17 years later, John was able to recall in vivid detail everything that he saw and heard at this first gay bar visit.  Here is the paragraph that begins the story:

"Suddenly I felt overwhelmed, plunged into what might as well have been a giant, surrealistic pinball machine: gleaming, refracted disco lights with frenzied bursts of every color imaginable…ultraviolet lights, fluorescent tubes and neon shapes twisted like flying phantoms...mirrored balls spun out spattering starbursts…beer and alcohol fumes, tobacco, and other smoke mixed in a pinkish haze."

The first chapter goes on to give an incredibly detailed description of just how much and what John drank (a lot) and what everybody wore and said and the expressions on their faces.  Either John wrote down every detail in a journal as soon as he got home or he has a photographic mind that rivals Einstein or the whole thing is a fabrication!  Little details are thrown in to make the anti-gay points that gays are seduced into homosexuality, such as this bit of dialogue in which John said to his friend, Richard: "You know I've never done anything like this before.  I couldn't help myself. You of all people should know what this place can do to someone."

I went to my first gay bar in Atlanta in 1981 also.  I don't even remember which one it was, much less exactly what everybody wore and what each person said and what I said!  The detailed description of John's early gay experiences are as lurid as they are ludicrous and fanciful.

I realize that each person is an authority on his/her own experience.  But John Paulk is not telling his story in this book.  The book is a biased and distorted account put together in the name of John Paulk by Tony Marco and a great host of people like Frank Worthen, Bob Davies, Mike Riley, Joseph Nicolosi, Joe Dallas, John Smid and many others (named by John Paulk as those who have most influenced him in "Acknowledgements" at the end of the book).

Far from offering hope to homosexuals, this book offers a highly imaginary and fanciful tale that is "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing".  Yet, unfortunately, the book will be used to convince many homosexuals of all ages to hate themselves and to follow the path down the rabbit hole into the Wonderland that John Paulk has described.

Purple prose and fantastic descriptions are no substitute for the truth.  Words can hide the truth just as words can tell the truth.  The book is an overly wordy story that tries to convince with too much information, much of which is questionable. 

What is our response to this kind of blatant propaganda against the truth about homosexuals and homosexuality?  Tell me what you think it should be.  My response is already on the Internet in "Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse."  Use it and pass it on.

Rembert Truluck
"God shall send them strong delusion,
that they should believe a lie."
(II Thessalonians 2:11)
Read all of II Thessalonians 2 to see the context of this verse, which is used by anti-gay forces against homosexuals.  "Strong Delusion" is the title of Joe Dallas' book.  The verse also can be used against homophobic distortions of the Bible against homosexuals.  See also
II Peter 3:15-18.

Rembert Truluck. Update. November 29, 1998.

Recently I was asked to give my evaluation of the book by Joe Dallas, former President of Exodus International, A Strong Delusion: Confronting the "Gay Christian" Movement: Harvest House Publishers, 1996. (All Bible quotes are from the New King James Version.)

In this book, Joe Dallas distorts and misrepresents everything that Gay and Lesbian Christians have accomplished in the past 30 years.  The book is a clearly self-serving attempt to justify and promote the methods and goals of the "ex-gay" movement, which Joe Dallas helped to start.

The book begins with Joe recalling in remarkable detail exactly what was said and how he reacted 18 years earlier to the first sermon that he heard in MCC in 1978.  (What a memory!  I remember the first MCC sermon I heard in Atlanta in 1981.  All I remember is that Rev. Jimmy Brock preached it, and it was a good one!)  Joe has a knack for reading his own prejudices and sexual hang-ups into everything that he has heard from people in MCC and from anyone who questions his "ex-gay" distortions of science and the Bible.

The statistics that Joe Dallas uses in his book to equate homosexuality with child molesting and the destruction of family values are ludicrous and without validity.  I found it very difficult to read the book because of the clutter of unsubstantiated "facts" and "evidence" that could not hold up under any objective examination.

My entire web site on "Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse" is a response to and rebuttal of this book by the former leader of Exodus International.  Joe Dallas adopts the most gullible and unrealistic acceptance of biblical literalism that I have seen so far.  He completely ignores all evidence that disputes his main claims about the Bible and homosexuality.  He uses extensive footnotes at the end of the book to say things that should have been used in the text, trying to give the impression that his ideas are based on careful research of reliable sources, which they are not.

The use of out-of-context biblical "proof texts" to support his anti-gay rhetoric is painfully inept and inaccurate.  My web site material on "The Bible and Homosexuality", on "The Ex-Gay Fraud", and on "Legalism as Idolatrous Religion" give a clear and thorough rebuttal to every detail of Joe Dallas' distortions of the truth.

Joe Dallas also uses out-of-context selected quotations from Gay Christian leaders in MCC and in other groups to support his rejection of the facts about the "ex-gay fraud".  Any person who has accurate knowledge and experience with MCC knows that every congregation and every pastor has a great host of problems to face and handle as best they can.  No church is an easy task for the leaders.  The Metropolitan Community Churches, however, in the face of sometimes deadly opposition,  have given spiritual support and acceptance to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender people for many years.  In this 30th year anniversary of MCC, the desperately needed spiritual and practical help given by this great Christian ministry speaks for itself.

This book by Joe Dallas is a destructive and unfortunate misrepresentation of the Bible and the so-called "ex-gay" cause.  It is not a viable alternate point of view to my web site or to any of the other excellent and well-researched material by many scholars, such as Dr. John McNeill,  Dr. John Boswell and Dr. Daniel Helminiak, whose book and web site on "What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality" are included in my "Resources and References".

Like many other homophobic Bible abusers, Joe Dallas uses the tired old argument that Christian homosexuals have revised and distorted the Bible to teach acceptance and respect for homosexuals and homosexuality.  The truth is the other way around.  Only in recent years has the Bible been translated in clearly homophobic ways that do violence to the original context and meaning of the Hebrew and Greek words.  Nowhere does the Bible say that Lesbians and Gays can or should change their sexual orientation.  Nowhere does the Bible even discuss, much less condemn, romantic love between people of the same sex. 

The people who recommend Joe Dallas' book are the same ones who also recommend John Paulk's book and who lead the way in raising money and promoting the booming anti-gay "ex-gay" industry.

The war against homosexuals that is being waged by the homophobic religious fundamentalists is like all wars:
Truth is the first casualty.

Rembert Truluck
"Jesus said, Follow me." -- from all Four Gosels

Rembert Truluck. Update. December 1, 1998.

One of my best friends in MCC ministry wrote the following response to my recent review of "A Strong Delusion" by Joe Dallas.  Rev. Dr. Dusty Pruitt is Pastor of MCC South Bay in Torrance, CA.  She was the first Lesbian Chaplain to be thrown out of the military because she revealed her sexual orientation on a television talk show.  She went to court to challenge the action against her and finally won.  Her rank and retirement benefits were restored.  CLICK HERE to reach Rev. Pruitt by e-mail.

Rev. Pruitt told me that Joe Dallas was never MCC clergy but was student clergy for a while.  Rev. Pruitt's story of struggle and victory with the United States Military is being prepared for publication.  I am grateful to Dusty for sharing her experiences and thoughts about Joe Dallas and for her permission to pass them on to you.

From Rev. Dr. Dusty Pruitt, 12/1/98, To Dr. Rembert Truluck:

I read Joe Dallas' book (primarily because I pastored him; he was a member of MCC Long Beach when I came there and left in 1983 after some turbulent times in MCCLB) and I cannot agree with you more.  I was shocked at the intransigent thought process of this man; how dogmatic he is, and how rigid in his "Biblical interpretation!"  Some personal facts:

1)Those who know Joe say AIDS scared him "straight".  Rather than stay and assist his community with this devastating pandemic, he chose to run.  Apparently he "bought" the lie that AIDS is God's judgment on homosexual behavior.  (Even if one DID believe that, as apparently the Catholics do, at least they stayed to minister!)

2)Did you notice how threatened Joe (and by extension the ex-gay movement) seemed to be by Mel White and Marsha Stevens?  Seems those who leave their "Point of view" and get healthy and reconcile sexuality and spirituality are the biggest threats to this toxic movement.

3)I have counseled many ex-gays. The healthiest are those who can think for themselves and who had an "epiphany" concerning God's love for them AS GAYS!  The most unhealthy are tragic testaments to all the worst that this movement can do.  These are those who cannot even think a rational thought, so filled with confusion are they!  I just have been left shaking my head at the devastation wrought by some of these organizations, such as Exodus and desert streams.

4)Keep up the good work on the web and I'm looking forward to your book publishing.


PS I am pastor of MCC-Family in Christ in Ft. Collins, CO. Pray for me, as I do for you.  I love you, my brother, and look forward to your doing a workshop for us.

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