Title: Homosexual Bondage in Rose City! Credit: Craig Young Comment Monday 26th February 2007 - 12:00pm1172444400 Article: 1604 Rights
Palmerston North To be sure, the socalled exgay movement is now enclosed in an anti-closet all its own. "Living Waters" is a Pentecostal workshop that tries to obscure its real objective through references to the effects of loneliness, depression, past sexual abuse, codependency, selfhatred...and, oh yes, 'attraction to members of the same sex." Is this run by anyone with any psychotherapeutic or counselling qualifications? Nope. The national coordinator is one unfortunately named Carl Rimmer (...) of The Sanctuary, Auckland. To be sure, it stresses confidentiality, enforceable through contractual agreement, so that no-one discloses anything outside the group. Now, I have no objection to real therapeutic and pastoral care for anyone who has suffered past child sexual abuse, but that's not what this workshop is about. Why do I say this? Because Leanne Payne, Andrew Comiskey, Briar Whitehead and Mario Bergner are all exgay authors, and the only reference to really hurt and broken pasts comes from Whitehead, as opposed to all the other listed authors. Payne was hawking her stuff twenty years ago, within fundamentalist bookshops that opposed homosexual law reform, and Comiskey is notorious for haranguing dying PLWAs to convert or face hellfire in the eighties. It's significant that this is being held in Palmerston North, instead of a larger metropolitan centre like Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch or Dunedin. According to the leaflet I was mailed from Palmerston, it involves several local churches, like Palmerston North Christian Fellowship, the New Life Churches, Christian Community Church and St Albans Presbyterian Church (whose minister, Rob Yule, is a notorious opponent of LGBT ordination within his church). Palmerston North Christian Fellowship is convening this. The brochure refers to "healing prayer,' (rigid) gender roles, sexual "addiction", confession and 'gender brokenness' through the avenue of "reconciliation of men and women." Follow Gaaard's "intention" for your gender and sexuality, and get free from (...) bondage!!! ("Bondage" is Pentecostalese for being tied in tight spiritual knots by naughty demonic types who prey on your weakness, and has nothing at all to do with the equally enthusiastic references to spanking elsewhere on the Christian Right. No, really it doesn't...) If you want to break free, not be self-satisfied, break free of your lies, I don't need you! (oops, sorry, possessed by Freddie Mercury for a moment there!) Anyway, fork over $280 for a six month session at the aforementioned outfit to Living Waters, for books, manuals, handouts, hall rental and food. You could be forgiven for overlooking this, as it's not exactly high profile, probably due to the fact that MALGRA might object quite loudly if it were more public. I suspect that the anti-closet is deliberate, as they realise they wouldn't get much support, even in a conservative city like Palmerston North. "Sexual brokenness?" No, sorry, none dare call it heavenly deception. I suspect this is an attempt to prey upon those brought up in fundamentalist churches who are trying to come out, and offer imaginary 'resolution' to their existential crises- rather than the honest embrace of who they really are, which they really need. I'm especially angry at the fact that it's engaging in misleading advertising to submerge its real intent, and preying on people who are really hurt, who will receive little support within that context. Not Recommended: Andy Comiskey: Pursuing Sexual Wholeness: Santa Monica: Desert Stream: 1988. Mario Bergner: Setting Love in Order: Hope and Healing for the Homosexual: Grand Rapids: Baker: 1998. Leanne Payne: Broken Image: Grand Rapids: Baker: 1988. Briar Whitehead: Craving For Love: Tunbridge Wells: Monarch: 2001 And the aforementioned outfit's website at Craig Young - 26th February 2007    
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