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Homosexual Deprogrammers

Exodus ministry, Ex-Gay.

John Paulk married Anne, an ex-lesbian, and wrote Not Afraid to Change: The Remarkable Story of How One Man Overcame Homosexuality.

Wade Richards

Michael Johnston, Chairperson of National Coming Out of Homosexuality Day

At the wedding, during the vows, he finds himself day-dreaming about sex with men. As his "past [boyfriends, prostitution, drag shows, etc.] careened through my mind ... I heard myself say, 'I John, take you, Anne....'" At the wedding reception, he resists leaving until it's so late "I was out of excuses." Finally getting to the bridal suite, he carries his wife "over the threshold (how light she felt!) and into the room. Lush, wood trim stretched everywhere."

John, I know that you've already answered tons of questions on this, but I have to ask you what you have learned this past year in the aftermath of the well-publicized incident in which you went into a homosexual bar in Washington, DC.

JP: First, I have to say I began I process of coming out of homosexuality about more than 14 years ago, and for a variety of reasons became one of the more prominent individuals of this movement. I think that was due to fact that my wife had been a lesbian. That was somewhat of an oddity. We both had very sensational stories. So for 9 years we had been married and we had been in the public forefront and we are very vocal and thrilled that God has used us to spread this message. But that has a down side, because it feeds your ego and your flesh and your pride and all the things that are broken within you. When I came to work with Focus on the Family, three years ago, it even increased the visibility even more. People wanted me to speak everywhere. I felt like a doll that someone would wind-up and say come give your testimony, come speak here, come fly here, come fly there. In the mean time I was feeling great about my ministry. Now, this story isn't unlike a lot of Christian leaders who trip and fall into problems. I started squeezing God out of my life. I started saying, "I am pretty wonderful. Everyone seems to think so." I was squeezing God out. So a year ago I wanted to escape. I wanted to escape my life. I wanted to escape everything. My reputation. I wanted off the treadmill and I thought I wanted to go back to a gay bar. Well, of course, because God loves me he is not going to let me go out on a leash too long and I was discovered in there.


Timeline

1987 John Paulk gives up the homosexual lifestyle.
21 Apr 1993 John Paulk tells the Wall Street Journal that he and his wife have a long way to go: "I had no sexual interest in women at all. But when you begin a relationship with a woman that you believe God has led you to, then you develop attraction to that person. To say that we've arrived at this place of total heterosexuality -- that we're totally healed -- is misleading."
1998 John Paulk joins Focus on the Family.
27 Jul 1998 Time magazine reports that it cannot locate a single ex-girlfriend of John Paulk's "former lesbian" wife, Anne. In fact, the magazine reports that John "conceded that her ties to women in college were 'more emotional than sexual.'"
17 Aug 1998 Newsweek magazine's cover story is "Gay for Life?" with a photo of Mr. and Mrs. John Paulk, two former homosexuals who overcame their sinful proclivities through Christian prayer.
19 Sep 2000 After lounging around for 40 minutes, John Paulk is photographed inside Mr. P's, a famous gay bar in Washington, D.C.
3 Oct 2000 John Paulk is ejected from the board of Exodus.
Mar 2001 John Paulk returns to the board of Exodus.
29 Jan 2001 Jeremy Marks, director of Courage, United Kingdom, leaves the group after announcing: "None of the people we've counseled have converted no matter how much effort and prayer they've put into it. There is much more benefit to the more honest view."
6 May 2003 John Paulk quits Focus on the Family, in order that he can (ironically enough) spend more time with his own family. "I will always have a heart for men and women struggling with homosexuality, but after working 16 years on this contentious issue, it's time for me to pursue other endeavors."


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