Uganda antigay group holds first meeting

The South African Independent Online reported recently that a new group opposed to homosexuality had been formed as a consequence of a March 5-8 conference held in Kampala. The article in full stated:

Kampala – Anti-gay activists in Uganda on Saturday formed a pressure group to discourage homosexuality, following a two-day conference of religious leaders, teachers and social workers in the capital Kampala.
The group, to be called the Anti-Gay Task Force, is intended to “fight against the spread of homosexuality and lesbianism in the country,” spokesperson for the group Stephen Langa told reporters.
Same sex-relationships and marriages are illegal in Uganda, and human rights groups have criticised the government for harassing homosexuals.
The task-force said that it would one day “wipe out” gay practices in the African state.

A meeting of this task force was held on March 15. An anonymous source provided a narrative of that meeting. I am putting excerpts here. Keep in mind that this is one eyewitness account and may not be completely accurate. I have asked Stephen Langa for confirmation and for comment on any discrepancies he believes are here. However, over the last several days all emails to Family Life Network are bouncing back as undeliverable.
Here are some excerpts…

Family Life Network – FLN Comes out Strong on Homosexuality in Uganda
To follow up the anti – gay training in Uganda from 5th to 7th March 2009 — Family Life Net work – FLN, organized a follow up meeting on Sunday 15th March 2009.
The meeting attracted an audience of over 60 people, mostly parents but who included civil servants, government workers, researchers, journalists, activists and students.
The assistant director FLN gave a brief back ground of Family Life Network that FLN deals with restoration of family values. Participants who attended the the previous anti – gay seminar were asked to give a recap.
After that, the audience gave testimonies of their encounter with homosexuals in Uganda and that the movement is strong hence the need for strong forces to deal with the gay movement in Uganda.
The assistant director FLN then introduced the director family Life Network Stephan Langa as the main facilitator of the day.
In his opening remarks, Stephan Langa said the Gay Agenda is controlling the debate, so it is time for the family to take over and start controlling the debate. He also emphasized terms like “Sexual Orientation and told participants not to allow such terms in our vocabulary, that these are terms or words introduced by homosexuals to fulfill their agenda. He warned participants that homosexuals in Uganda want the constitution to include no discrimination based on “sexual orientation”, he urged participants not to allow it.

If accurate, this demonstrates the mixed paradigm of this effort. This coalition is not dedicated to ministry but political engagement.

Presentation “Homosexuality in Uganda.” By Stephen Langa
What cause homosexuality.
In his presentation Stephan Langa said homosexuality is not about sex, it is about the search for a fatherly or motherly figure. Children with bad parenting end up becoming homosexuals as they search for mother’s or father’s love.

I wonder where he heard that?

He also mentioned another cause of homosexuality as child abuse; he said that the homosexuals he has counseled have been abused as children. He cited broken families as another cause of homosexuality.
He mentioned domineering mothers and abusive fathers as another cause of homosexuality, as well as negligent father who are emotionally off (away from?) with children.
Exposure to pornography as another cause of homosexuality.
He said some people are lured into homosexuality by money and other social favors. Rebellion, he said some children become homosexuals because they want to be rebellious, noting that homosexuality is some kind of rebellion.
He also said same sex attraction is a disorder and quoted: Richard Cohen MA. He emphasized the point that all homosexuals can change since all disorders can be changed. Homosexuality is not genetical, it is a learned behavior and what is learned can be unlearned. (Richard Cohen MA.)

Without no obvious awareness of the disconnect, the talk goes from describing homosexuality as a pathology to criticizing it as a political movement.

HISTORY OF THE MODERN GAY MOVEMENT
He talked about Henry Garber, who was a German American soldier in 1924, that Henry Garber sodomized Champ Simmons and Champ Simmons sodomized Harry Hay. Then Harry Hay started the whole gay movement that gays follow to date. Source: The PINK SWASTIKA – Dr. Scott Lively.
GAY AGENDA.
Utopia meaning, the gay agenda has no sexual restrictions and they want the entire world to adapt to this trend of life — that homosexuals want total acceptance, that homosexuals want to over throw the marriage, family values and the moral base of society.
GAY STRATEGY
Homosexuals have redefined homosexuality as in- born and that it is gender irreversible.They focus on who they are and what they want. They are after your children…

According to the person attending the training, there were many more points presented that came from Scott Lively’s books and talks.
After the presentations, the participants brainstormed what could be done. Here are just some…

The laws on homosexuality are weak, hence the need to strengthen these laws.
Parents were encouraged to participant in law making decisions in Uganda so that to strengthen the laws on homosexuality.
To establish a unit at Police to deal with homosexuality.
Homosexuality is an abomination; it is evil and should be dealt with
strongly.
During the reactions a prominent pastor also said that they have been talking with an ex-gay activist who has given them a five year plan for dealing with the gay agenda in Uganda. And they have submitted this plan to the ministry concerned, that they await reactions.
Another participant told the audience that parliament is drafting a new law that will be tough on homosexuals.

I wonder who the ex-gay activist is?
Here is a chilling claim:

A participant asked a liberal question on issues of sexuality: You have associated homosexuality with all evils, defiles, child molesters, etc. Don’t you think that also heterosexuals defile or molest our children why don’t you address this issue as well. He was answered: We are here to talk about homosexuality, do not divert us. After this question he was intimated, almost thrown out of the meeting.

And then plans were made:

Way Forward
-Formation of a task force to deal with homosexuality
-Volunteers to educate children on the dangers of homosexuality
-Fund raising to facilitate the volunteers
-Collect signatures from Ugandans door to door to request parliament to tighten the law on homosexuality.
-Get information and knowledge about homosexuality
-Government should note gay funders, and scrutinize the funding or stop the funding for gay movements in Uganda.
-Rehabilitation of gays, we were told that a curriculum on rehabilitation is being developed and will be out in the next 3 months.
-To deal with homosexuality at local level and involve local councils
-Full up meeting on Sunday: 22nd March, 2009. People pledged to fund raise funds for follow-up meetings.

Let me repeat: I tried to reach Stephen Langa to verify this information but no one answered the phone and the emails have come back undeliverable. This seems plausible given the participants in the earlier ex-gay meeting and what they have suggested they discussed then. If anyone else who was there or Mr. Langa would like to offer a different view, I welcome the contact.
UPDATE: The GayUganda blog has the entire narrative. Short on details, this article reports on another group.

Brief post: Scott Lively on criminalization of homosexuality and compulsory therapy

I have posted several times on the Ugandan conference on homosexuality last weekend. In researching this, I wrote to Exodus International, International Healing Foundation and Scott Lively to ask if they were quoted accurately regarding calls for criminalization of homosexuals and forced therapy as an option to jail. Exodus International issued a statement for today’s Christian Post article on the subject. Neither Richard Cohen nor Caleb Brundidge have issued statements; Extreme Prophetic – Mr. Brundidge’s other affiliation has not issued a statement. However, Scott Lively did answer my request for a statement. I asked him if he favored criminal penalties for homosexuality in Uganda and if he favored compulsory therapy as an option. He requested that I present it exactly as written so here goes:

I did promote therapy as an option to imprisonment, citing my own experience benefitting from optional therapy after an arrest for drunk driving many years ago. In fact, it was during that period I accepted Christ and was spontaneously healed of alcoholism and drug addiction.
I don’t think under the circumstances homosexuality should be decriminalized in Uganda since it seems to be the only thing stopping the international “gay” juggernaut from turning Uganda into another Brazil.

It is hard to know where to start here. The assumptions are that an analogy to drunk driving is reasonable (nope) and that disagreement with homosexuality should be enforced via the coercive power of the state (we can’t go there – what other ideas and beliefs might states want to coerce?).
For now, how about readers taking over…

Report from the Uganda conference on homosexuality: Open forum

Frank Mugisha is the chairperson of a gay advocacy group in Uganda called Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG). An unnamed person from his group attended all of the meetings in Kampala and filed this report. Obviously, I cannot vouch for the accuracy of it and I think it should be considered one person’s impressions of the event. There are some issues raised in it however, which I am exploring and will probably post about in the future. For now, I am just going to post a link to the report and open the floor for comments.

Gay Ugandan man seeks asylum in UK; EU group condemns Ugandan homosexuality conference

Gay Without Borders is reporting that John Bosco Nyombi is back in the UK after being returned to Uganda against his will. While there, he was beaten and had to hide from police to avoid detention, according to GWB.
Nyombi’s case made headlines in September of 2008 but little has been reported since. I post this case in light of the recent ex-gay conference in Kampala, Uganda involving Exodus International board member, Don Schmeirer, International Healing Foundation’s Caleb Brundidge and Scott Lively. During this series of meetings, a new anti-gay group was formed, and Scott Lively called for tougher criminal laws and forced therapy of homosexuals.
Bosco claims he was beaten and lived under threat.

He fled to the UK from Uganda where homosexuality is illegal and carries a punishment of life in prison.
His case has attracted publicity in Uganda.
Mr Bosco said in a statement seen by the court that, on his return to his homeland, his circumstances had become “quite desperate”.
He had been beaten up during a period in detention and he had now gone into hiding to avoid being interviewed by the police about his homosexuality.
The judge said the evidence before him made it perfectly plain that Mr Bosco had come to the notice of the authorities, and this had added to the risk of his human rights being breached by reason of his homosexuality.
In rejecting the Home Office’s argument that it was safe to return Mr Bosco to Uganda, the judge said: “I find it impossible to conclude, on the basis of the evidence as it now is, that there is not the real possibility that a judge might find that he is at risk if he is returned (to his homeland) by reason of his homosexuality.”

Elsewhere, a LGBT group affiliated with the European Union blasted the Uganda conference and the American participants by name:

European Parliament’s Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights strongly condemns the meeting of 5 March between several Ugandan parliamentarians and Scott Lively, Don Schmierer, Caleb Lee Brundidge and Stephen Langa of the USA and Uganda-based groups working to diminish human rights of LGBT persons.

In my view, American groups should be condemning the situation in Uganda and not enabling it.

Reparative theory takes center stage at Uganda conference

Yesterday morning I reported that Ugandan officials were considering stronger penalties for homosexuality. In the same meeting, Family Life Network seminar leader Scott Lively promoted further criminalization of homosexuality but added an outrageous consequence — forced therapy. If reports from the conference are accurate, we don’t have to wonder what kind of therapy would be imposed.
Gay Uganda has a description as does IGLHRC. Both accounts feature prominently the theory that homosexuality is father related.
As an example:

An LGBTI activist told me that Caleb was contradicting himself. “First he testified that he didn’t have a good relationship with his father. Later, when a participant noted that there are a lot of homosexuals that she knows that come from great families and have good relationships with their parents, Caleb interjected and said that he had a great relationship with his father. That was contradictory!”

Given the description, I wonder if Mr. Schmierer showed Homosexuality 101.
Here is another meeting report from “a fly on the wall.”

Ugandan ex-gay conference goes political: US presenter suggests law to force gays into therapy

The Ugandan anti-gay seminar now is coming into sharper focus. In this disturbing article from UGPulse, Scott Lively, invited by Family Life Network to speak at a church-based conference on homosexuality, spoke to a government conference and called for the forced therapy of homosexuals.
Here is the article in full:

The Minister of Ethics and Integrity, Dr. James Nsaba Buturo has today told a conference organized to discuss the ways to fight Homosexuality that he will soon submit a bill on pornography and homosexuality for discussion in Parliament.
The conference that took place at Parliament was organized by Defend the Family International, an organization in the United States of America that was formed to fight homosexuality.
Buturo says the he will present the bill against pornography first before presenting that against homosexuality though he declines to mention exactly when these bills will be presented to Parliament.
He says pornography is partly a cause of homosexuality since it negatively affects the morals of the victims of pornography and makes them easily susceptible to the vice of homosexuality.
He says the provision in the penal code on homosexuality is too small to cover all concerns in homosexuality.
Buturo says the government will not only end at making laws against homosexuality but will also engage in sensitizing schools and churches in the fight against this vice.
The President of Defend the Family International, Scott Lively says it is good for the government of Uganda to criminalize homosexuality but the government should subject the criminals of homosexuality to a therapy rather than imprisoning them.
Lively says this is aimed at the criminals recovering from homosexuality which is the main objective of those fighting homosexuality and not to punish homosexuals through imprisonment. He says even schools should borrow this idea of therapy in dealing with gay students.

Exodus International and the International Healing Foundation must now come out clearly and make a statement condemning this proposal. This is a chilling development and one which must be addressed. The presence of these ex-gay organizations in this environment most likely sends a message to the Ugandan people and government that such forced “therapy” is plausible and humane. Cell phones and other modern forms of communication exist. If I were Alan Chambers and Richard Cohen, I would be on the phone yesterday to insist that their representatives make public statements distancing themselves from Mr. Lively’s views. And they should come home early.

More on the Ugandan ex-gay conference

Wanting to know more about the Family Life Network ex-gay conference in Uganda (first covered here), I wrote FLN Director and conference organizer, Stephen Langa.
In contrast to rumors that the Ugandan government funded the conference, Langa said that the Family Life Network funded it locally. I asked why he chose the speakers (Schmierer, Brundidge and Lively) and he said, “they each have unique expertise which we feel will address the needs we have in Uganda and Africa in general on the subject of homosexuality.” He noted that the speakers are not being paid for their time.
Regarding the need for the conference, Langa said no prior conferences had provided true information. He believed this conference would offer hope for “recovery and restoration” of homosexuals.
I asked some follow up questions but have not received a reply as yet. As noted in this African news report, I am very skeptical that value will come from the attempt to transplant US ex-gay ideas into a country with such a hostile climate for people who are same-sex attracted.

Uganda's strange ex-gay conference

I decided to post about this after reading an article about an upcoming (this weekend) conference in Uganda on homosexuality. The article begins:

Parents to train on how to handle homosexuality issues
Family Life Network and other stakeholders in Uganda have organized a three-day seminar to provide what they termed as reliable and up to date information so that people can know how to protect themselves, their children, families from homosexuality.

Reliable and up-to-date information? I doubt it given line-up of presenters (Scott Lively, Don Schmierer and Caleb Brundidge). I have little awareness of Mr. Lively’s work but Mr. Schmeirer and Mr. Brundidge I know more about.
It is ironic that Mr. Schmierer is speaking at a conference for parents. He recently spoke on Family Life Radio which prompted several parents to contact me – not with good feelings, I might add. Some parents who have been through the reparative therapy gauntlet are weary of programming they seek for spiritual support providing misleading information which serves to demoralize them. An portion of Mr. Schmierer’s book, An Ounce of Prevention was provided to parents to help them pick out their pre-gay child.

Signs That an Adolescent May Be Struggling with Gender Issues
Don Schmierer
None of these are clear-cut indications of homosexual tendencies. However, if several of them are evident, the young person may be struggling with gender issues.
1. A sensitive child being forced to feel different because of mocking or downgrading by peers or family
2. A young boy who hangs out with girls exclusively; history of playing with girls instead of boys prior to puberty
3. Effeminate behavior/appearance in boys or extreme macho behavior; mannish style and “butch” posturing in girls (not to be confused with simply being athletic)
4. Unnatural friendship that is compulsive, secretive, or inseparable developing between siblings, cousins, relatives, or neighbors—especially in merged families or foster families
5. Exaggerated rejection by same sex parent
6. Fatherless home or emotionally unavailable father
7. Dominant mother
8. Youngest male child
9. Young girls with much older female “best friend” in a relationship that excludes others of the girl’s own age
10. Anger—often manifested in sarcasm, cynicism, or withdrawal
11. Frail, deformed, deaf, or otherwise “outcast”; physical appearance not socially acceptable; “slow”
12. Comments, “I must be gay,” or “I guess I’m bisexual.”
13. Loner, preoccupied with self
14. Boys may avoid fights/physical altercations

I don’t know where to start with this list. More to the point, I don’t know what a parent would do with a list like this. Take number 3: “Ok, son, time to tone down the machismo, you might be gay.” or “Son, how about being a little more macho, you might be gay.” I am trying to imagine how this list will go over in Uganda.
Mr. Brundidge, I featured here in the post just prior to this one. He divides his time between fringe groups – Extreme Prophetic and the International Healing Foundation. Here is another YouTube video of Mr. Brundidge when he was a pupil of Mr. Cohen. At least, it appears he was still a client in this video. With Mr. Cohen, you can be a client and staffer so maybe he was both. Embedding is disabled so you have to watch to about a minute into the video to see Mr. Brundidge and then again at 18:31. I wonder if he will demonstrate the tennis raquet technique in Uganda.
BrundidgeRaquet
Overall, I am surprised that an Exodus board member would go to a conference like this in a country where criminalization of homosexuality is still an issue. My impression is that Exodus had no position on such things or if there was a position it was that homosexuality should not be considered a crime. For a change, I agree with Exgaywatch that it sends the wrong message for these people to go where the agenda is not simply congruence with religious teaching but also on state intervention in private behavior.
PS – Here is an article describing some of the attitudes in Uganda. This conference will be aiding and abetting this kind of thinking, I fear.

International Healing Foundation associate in mortuary ministry

In the strange but true category…
Caleb Brundidge is an associate of Richard Cohen at the International Healing Foundation. His bio on the IHF website reads:

Caleb Lee Brundidge was born in Florida and lived fifteen years in Atlanta , Georgia . He moved to New Jersey to pursue ministry and healing opportunities. Shortly after that Caleb met Richard Cohen at a NARTH conference (National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality). Being profoundly moved and impressed by Mr. Cohen’s teaching, Caleb began an active course of study with Richard and the International Healing Foundation (IHF). Together with what he learned from IHF, healing experiences with other healthy men in his life, and a deep and personal relationship with God, eventually Caleb experienced freedom from unwanted same-sex attraction (SSA). For two and a half years, he led a support group in his church for men and women conflicted about their sexuality. Following this, Caleb moved to Maryland and pursued active participation in IHF activities, facilitating Tender Loving Care (TLC) Healing Seminars, sharing his testimony at conferences, and coaching men, parents, clergy and ministry leaders. He became a Sexual Reorientation Coach in 2006. In 2007, Caleb moved to Phoenix , Arizona in order to pursue opportunities with Extreme Prophetic Ministry. There he helps men struggling with unwanted SSA through coaching and on-line support. Caleb is available for phone and on-line coaching, and speaking engagements at churches.

Mr. Brundidge is also mentioned in the beginning of this video by Patricia King. Ms. King leads Extreme Prophetic which advances some doctrines considered fringe among charismatics. See this letter that expressed significant concern about this doctrine of the dead and other aspects of her work.
xpmedia
(Mr. Brundidge is to the far right)
The information describing this video mentions Mr. Brundidge as one of the individuals who lead the evangelism teams to the mortuaries.

Raising the dead has always been a mandate of the church. Jesus commissioned us to go in His name and preach the good news of the Kingdom. He then went on to explain, that includes healing the sick, casting out demons, and raising the dead. Our evangelism teams, led by Caleb Brundidge and Melissa Fisher recently grabbed hold of this and went out to practice raising the dead. Watch this video, hear Melissa share some great testimonies, and be inspired on how you can take reaching out with the gospel to a whole new level!


Mr. Brundidge continues his work with IHF and can be seen here with Hilde Wiemann extolling the benefits of IHF’s workshops on this YouTube video.

And here is a longer one where Mr. Brundidge describes the work of IHF and is labeled as a sexual reorientation coach.
For those seeking assistance with these difficult areas, it is a good practice to ask some questions about the approach and worldview which forms the foundation. Caution about Extreme Prophetic has been urged even by those who are more inclined toward the charismatic persuasion. See this recent article which expresses concern for Christians evaluating what various ministries offer. The article could have been aimed directly at Extreme Prophetic.

Digest: Moon, Obama, Cohen, Povia, Weinland

I have been looking into several things of late, some of which may develop into a post. For now, I’ll just a few spots (not sure if they are high or low, maybe just strange).
-According to Unificationist websites, Barack Obama has been friendly with Sun Myung Moon front groups, the American Clergy Leadership Conference and True Family Values since before Obama became a Senator. One highly placed Moon follower and official related that Obama’s wife may be involved in Unificationism in some way. See this page for more on that topic.
-Speaking of Unificationism, Richard Cohen’s interview on Universal Peace Television (MoonTV) appears on the Unificationist YouTube account of Kevin Pickard (UPDATE: Scrubbed within 30 minutes of the post, see below). Also, Cohen has been active on YouTube of late with account IHF2008. Looks like he is putting the archives up for view with past appearances on O’Reilly Factor, Paula Zahn, Larry King and local news. I wonder if we will see his appearances on Jimmie Kimmel, the Daily Show and the 2006 Paula Zahn Show?
-We had an English translation of Luca Era Gay here, if not first, pretty close to it. Now, You can listen to it on YouTube. It is kind of catchy…
-Did you know that nuclear explosions might rock the US by March? If you are a follower of Ronald Weinland, you are getting ready for the end times. He claims to be one of two end time prophets with the Kingdom coming in by 2012. If you are interested in how religiously-based mind control groups operate, you can read a bit on this discussion blog for those who are believers in Weinland and those who are on the fence.
That is an odd lineup…
UPDATE: In what is the quickest scrub job I can recall, the Cohen video has already been taken down from Kevin Pickard’s YouTube page. Here is a screen capture of the page and the video from a couple of days ago. I suspect next will be the same interview on Universal Peace Television.