Year in review: Top Ten Stories from 2007

Since it was so much fun last year, I decided to compile a top ten list of stories of the year on the blog. Since I am the only voter, the list is subjective and regular readers might arrange them differently or think I should have included another story over one of these. The stories are arranged in the order of the interest they seemed to create here on the blog and elsewhere.

1. APA Task Force on sexual orientation – I first reported here that the APA had convened a task force to review APA policy regarding therapeutic responses to sexual orientation. Initial information released from the APA noted that gay advocacy groups sought assistance from the APA in order to negatively evaluate efforts to change sexual orientation. The charge also involves therapeutic responses to individuals who wish to alter behavioral expression of their sexuality. The issue was the subject of a CNN segment involving yours truly, an Associated Press article and was the subject of several posts on the blog. A large coalition of religious groups and interested individuals wrote the APA regarding the religious aspects of the committee’s charge. Efforts to further regulate orientation change efforts spilled over to other professions, notably, the American Academy of Physician Assistants. The APA Task Force will likely be featured as a top story again since the report is expected to be released sometime in 2008.

2. The sexual identity therapy framework – The SIT framework was the subject of national news stories and identified by Stephanie Simon of the LA Times as an important component of changes in therapy for those in conflict over sexual identity. I did numerous posts on the framework in an attempt to distinguish it from other approaches. Mark Yarhouse and I presented aspects of the framework at the American Psychological Association convention, the American Association of Christian Counselors World Conference and other local conferences. A revision of the framework and several high level presentations are slated for 2008.

3. The release of the Exodus outcomes study by Stanton Jones and Mark Yarhouse – After months of speculation, Stanton Jones and Mark Yarhouse released the results of their longitudinal study of Exodus International participants at the AACC conference in September.  Although the study garnered little national media attention, many blogs, (including this one), and the gay and religiously based news services thoroughly covered the study. With additional data to be collected and reported, this story will most likely reappear in 2008.

4. Donnie Davies – For a short time in January and February, blogosphere was captivated by the “Rev. Davies” and the “The Bible Says” music video. In a kind of “Where’s Waldo” cyber hunt, numerous bloggers were eager to crack the case and learn find out who Donnie Davies was, where was he hiding, and to learn if his act for real. I did 11 posts on the subject and became acquainted via email with Joey Oglesby, the actor behind the spoof. We even wondered if Mr. Oglesby and Rev. Davies were twins separated at birth because of their uncanny resemblance. Will Donnie do an anniversary reunion tour in January? Stay tuned.

5. The Cameron Eastern Psychological Association presentation – In March, Paul and Kirk Cameron released a series of news spots claiming that data from Canada, Norway and Denmark supported their contention that gays die between 20-30 younger than straights. In reviewing their study, first presented as a poster session at the Eastern Psychological Association annual meeting, I disputed key assumptions underlying their claims. In addition, Danish epidemiologist, Morten Frisch reviewed the study here on the blog finding it inadequate. Paul and Kirk Cameron provided rebuttals to criticisms and a nine-part series resulted.

6. New Warriors Training Adventure and the Mankind Project – A post regarding the suicide of Michael Scinto in an October issue of the Houston Press led to a series of posts about the Mankind Project and New Warriors Training Adventure. I received numerous emails from men who attest to benefit and those who believe NWTA was harmful and coercive. One irony about NWTA is that public proponents of reparative therapy and gay affirmative therapy both recommend NWTA to clients to enhance masculinity. Reparative therapists believe NWTA may lead to reduced same-sex attraction and gay therapists believe NWTA can enhance security in a gay identity. I remain curious about the mechanisms inherent in NWTA and other such programs to effect either benefit or harm. With the Scinto trial schedule for later in 2008, this story will remain of interest through the next year.

7. Montel Williams show on reparative therapy – The Montel Williams show purporting to examine reparative therapy was a lightning rod for controversy. On the show, psychiatrist Alicia Salzar falsely claimed that science has shown that 96% of people attempting to change orientation cannot do so and experience harm. Her claim was based on a study, the authors of which acknowledged cannot be used to make such a claim. The unwillingness of the show to retract the statement led to a ethics complaint against Dr. Salzar, filed by Exodus International.

8. Pro-life/abortion related stories – The most viewed post on the blog consisted of an interview with Grove City College colleague and historian Paul Kengor regarding the religious beliefs of Hillary Clinton.  Other such interviews have been immensely popular with readers as well. Another APA task force, this one on abortion and mental health issues, stimulated grassroots activism, reported here in November.

9. Emergence of the ex-ex-gay movement – At this year’s Exodus conference, a group of people once involved in ex-gay efforts had a parallel conference to discuss their efforts to recover from their experiences. Perhaps, the newest ex-ex-gay, James Stabile is a 19 year old young man from Dallas who encountered evangelists from the Heartland World Ministry Church in early September. Recorded on film and broadcast on the Christian Broadcasting Network, it appeared that Mr. Stabile was dramatically converted and even reported change in homosexuality. Later it was learned that Mr. Stabile had not changed and was back home with his parents after a stay at ex-gay residential program, Pure Life Ministry.

10. Richard Cohen – An early 2007 debacle on John Stewart’s Daily Show led Mr. Cohen to pledge on my blog that he would do no additional media appearances. He ended his email with a fundraising appeal. In response to this appearance, Exodus issued a statement distancing the organization from Cohen’s work, and NARTH and PFOX quietly removed references to Mr. Cohen from their websites. Cohen made something of a comeback however, with You Tube videos including his family, and a new edition of one of his books with Evangelical publisher, Intervarsity Press. Then, later, I looked into the Unification Church connections of Mr. Cohen’s assistant director and former board member, Hilde Wiemann. Both Cohen and Wiemann initially denied these connections but they were clear enough that cult expert, Steve Hassan, briefly placed the International Healing Foundation back on his list of Unification Church connected groups. Eventually, Mrs. Wiemann acknowledged, in contrast to the initial claims, that she had been involved in the church and had only recently left it. After her repudiation of Moon, Mr. Hassan then again removed the IHF from his list of Unification connected groups.

Well, that was quite a year. I suppose one could make a case for other stories, e.g., the Omaha websites advocating violence, the quick emergence and then retreat of Michael Glatze as an ex-gay spokesman, Ted Haggard’s three week therapy, the wide stance of Larry Craig, the Surgeon General nominee James Holsinger, Stephen Bennett’s public division with Exodus, Al Mohler’s comments on biology and homosexuality, the retirement of I Do Exist, and my musical comeback and resultant #1 Internet hit.

Now cast your opinion – What would your top ten list for this blog look like for 2007?

Godspeed to all and a Happy New Year!

Same-sex marriage conversation: What do we know? Part 2

As Part 2 of my series on same-sex parenting research, I am posting the transcript of a presentation delivered at the Catholic University just over a year ago. A section on same-sex marriage was provided after Michael Bailey and prior to my speech at the same comference.

(Quotes removed at the request of Brad Wilcox)

Here is a more socially conservative scholar who comes to an assessment similar to Meezan and Rauch: we don’t know much and not really enough.

Some distinctions are arising in the comments on other threads that should be sharpened going forward. Same-sex adoption of special needs kids should be distinguished from use of reproductive technologies to create kids without hope of knowing a parent of one gender. Whereas some would say public policy should not make these distinctions; others would say it can and should. What data exist to inform these discussions? Are there data that could address these issues? Or is policy to be made on the basis of presuppositional principles? How do we decide which principles apply? I would say the best interest of children would be such a principle. If research finds, on balance, discouraging results from studies of same-sex parenting (however defined), do equal protection arguments for adults trump any potential child consequences? What if research finds that some outcomes are better for same-sex parenting and some are not, then how should public policy take mixed results into account?

Let’s keep talking…

Heartland Church purity siege video describes sexual identity struggle

Commenter isea metaphor referred to another video featuring a gay man involved in a Purity Siege in Cedar Springs area of Dallas. This man’s story does not involve a sudden change but rather he gives a sincere description of his inner experience of struggle between his sexual desires and his beliefs and faith.

In the comment section for this video, someone, perhaps James Stabile, with the name “jmstabile88” says:

I am living proof that the people above are not changing anybody. The guy in the cowboy hat is a gay regular at Round Ups.(a gay bar in Dallas) I have been “saved by them” and have come back to my life because I am telling you what they do is they “save you” and then ditch you. I tried to be straight and, I AM STILL A FLAMER. The only other thing I would say is JESUS never 1 time says gay people are going to hell.

No matter what your religious views, you have to empathize with the young man in the video, Greg and his sincere desire to find encourage in his faith and acceptance in his struggle.

Rev. Joseph Stabile wants to put controversy to rest

Recently, I have posted about the James Stabile saga involving the young man filmed during an event sponsored by Heartland World Ministry Church. Mr. Stabile left home and became involved with the church, eventually filmed by Christian Broadcasting Network, then enrolled in Pure Life Ministries and is now back at home with his parents. I spoke with James’s father, Rev. Joseph Stabile by phone today who provided the following statement regarding the controversy surrounding his son James and the Light the Highway revival work. 

We have our son at home and we’re grateful. We are glad to be able to love and support him as we have always done. It has been a difficult time for us all. It has been a learning experience for James and I hope it has been a learning experience for Heartland Ministy and Pure Life Ministry. James is receiving appropriate medical care and is not willing to talk now about his experiences at Heartland Ministry and/or Pure Life Ministry. We would like to put this to rest.

Read the prior two posts here and here to get the back ground. Pastor Stabile did say that the posts were accurate based on his knowledge of the situation. Talking to Rev. Stabile, it was clear to me that he wants to give his son time to get his bearings after what has been a confusing stretch in his life. He did not want to throw stones or focus on details; rather he hoped all involved could reflect on what can be learned from the situation.

Disputed Mutability on Love Won Out

Dismuted Mutability is a blogger and a blog that I like to read. She provides insight into someone who has grappled with sexual identity issues in a refreshing and honest manner. Her last couple of posts are descriptions of her recent visit to Love Won Out in Indianapolis. Regarding her first post (general impressions), I cannot comment much. I did not attend that one and I am told there have been many changes in LWO since I attended in St Louis in February of 2006.

On change that has been made is that Joe Dallas is conducting the session “The Condition of Male Homosexuality” in place of Joe Nicolosi. I am posting here the link to DM’s review of Joe D’s talk. From DM’s review, the content has also changed, and in my view, for the better.

She begins with the good news:

IF you HAD to have a talk putting forward the standard developmental/reparative theory of male homosexuality, I don’t think you could get a much better talk than the one Dallas gave.

The rest of the post is well worth the read. I think she is very likely correct when she says:

I don’t think it’s a stretch to suggest that those who spend any time in exgay ministry or counseling are more likely to feel (or at least hope!) that developmental theories fit them.  After all, those who don’t feel they fit are likely to consider those approaches and the ministries that offer them a waste of time. For another thing, I would suggest that exgay ministries/counseling have a tendency to encourage a certain perception of one’s childhood experiences and parental relationships. Speaking personally, I know that I was coached to look at myself, my childhood, and my parents in a certain way by the exgay movement. Now, they might just be helping us to see what’s really there. Or they could be leading us to make a big deal out of all the ordinary imperfections of children and parents, and in some cases perhaps even something more unhelpful than that.  Anyway, my point is that there are excellent reasons for being skeptical of drawing conclusions about gays in general from observations of those who seek out and attend exgay ministries/counseling.  I think that being fully honest would require bringing this out clearly.

Michael Brown responds to the Southern Poverty Law Center article on ex-gays

I posted yesterday about a Southern Poverty Law Center article, titled Straight Like Me, by Casey Sanchez, which blasted the ex-gay movement. In my post, I note several inaccurate reports. In this post, I provide a brief email interview with Michael Brown, president of the FIRE School of Ministry, who was named in a companion piece, Former Ex-gay Minister Speaks Out. I emailed Dr. Brown with some questions about these statements and he was very kind to respond quickly.  

Throckmorton: In a recent SPLC article, you are referred to as giving a keynote at the latest Exodus Conference. This subject of this article asserts that you believe the Old Testament law should be followed regarding homosexuals. Is this your belief?

Brown: Absolutely not! I am not and have never been a reconstructionist or theonomist, and if we were to put practicing homosexuals to death, we would also have to put Sabbath breakers to death, among many others. 

Throckmorton: Furthermore, in that same article, you were paraphrased as saying in that same Exodus speech that  you encouraged the audience to “give up their lives” in the fight against homosexuality. 

Brown: Out of context. What I did say was that JESUS was worth living for and dying for, and I often quote Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to illustrate what Jesus meant when he said that if we try to save our lives we lose them but if we lose our lives for him and the gospel, we find them. King said, “A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right; a man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice; a man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true.” I was encouraging those fighting unwanted SSA in their own lives to be strong in the Lord and to give themselves unconditionally to His service, then talking about the threat to our freedoms coming through an activist gay agenda as a wake up call.

Throckmorton: Could you react to the following excerpt from the SPLC article: “When you have a keynote speaker like Michael Brown, to me that’s unacceptable. It’s preaching a message of Christians not just simply opposing gay civil rights and believing a spiritual revival is necessary for this country, but actually calling on Christians to lay down their lives in a spiritual revolution to set up civil laws based on one extreme interpretation of biblical laws from the Old Testament [that calls for the death penalty for homosexuals]. It’s Christian Reconstructionism [a doctrine that calls for imposing harsh Old Testament laws on civil society], Christian dominionism. It’s abhorrent, and it’s dangerous, not just for LGBT people but for our entire society. Because if civil laws are based on [Brown]’s interpretation of the Bible, it’s not going to be a democratic society.”

Brown: Well, as a Jewish believer in Jesus and a frontline apologist, I have been accused of many things, but I don’t think I’ve been accused of calling on people to sacrifice our lives to set up OT law!  I can actually send you my power point notes from the message or get Exodus to send you the message itself. I have no clue how such a claim could be made based on my message, which completely contradicts the tone and content of my preaching. Interestingly, since the Exodus conference, I have been invited to become a regular conference speaker with Love Won Out, which is hardly known for calling for the death penalty for homosexual practice.

I was also provided with this link [Straight Like Me] in which the following was written about me: “Brown is “a millennial Jew who once described the red T-shirts worn by his ministry students at a gay rights march counter-demonstration as ‘the shed blood of Christ flowing toward the gates of hell.'” I have no idea if anyone ever said that, but it certainly was not me. Also, our red-shirted students were not part of a counter-demonstration but rather of a compassionate, one-on-one outreach during the city’s gay pride event in 2005.

I intend to send the links to the this and the other post about the SPLC article for their reaction which, if I get one, I will post.

UPDATE: Michael Brown sent a link which provides proper attribution for the quote about the red shirts and the gay pride parade. Flip Benham, head of Operation Save America wrote that in this website newsletter.

Southern Poverty Law Center article on ex-gay movement: Were the facts straight?

The Intelligence Report, a publication of the Southern Poverty Law Center has two articles regarding sexual identity issues in the Winter, 2007 issue. The first one, Straight Like Me, by Casey Sanchez reads like an expose’ of the ex-gay movement as a political ploy of the Christian right designed to undermine gay rights. He covers much ground familiar to readers of this blog. For instance the picture leading the article is a screen capture of Richard Cohen holding his client, Rob, on CNN with Deborah Feyerick watching. Sanchez also interviews Peterson Toscano and highlights the increasingly vocal ex-ex-gay movement. 

On several points, I share Sanchez’s observations of some elements of the ex-gay world. He notes the “bewildering array of techniques and philosophies” used to change sexual orientation and writes critically of holding therapies and reparative theories. He included New Warriors knock-off, Journey into Manhood as an example of an emerging method of reorientation and noted JIM’s connection to Richard Cohen in method and tone. Mr. Sanchez, however, needed to do some fact checking to tighten up this piece. I should note that I have spoken with Mr. Sanchez about my analysis here and while receptive to listening, did not offer to retract or change anything. However, there are inaccuracies in this piece that compromise the integrity of the article. For instance, Mr. Sanchez wrote:

Focus on the Family, the largest and wealthiest Christian Right organization in the country, now hires Smid to appear several times a year on an ex-gay lecture circuit called Love Won Out, where he speaks on masturbation and “healing homosexuality.”

This is false. Mr. Smid attends some Love Won Out events as an exhibitor but does not speak on any topic as one of the line-up of speakers.

Regarding the recent study from Stanton Jones and Mark Yarhouse, Sanchez wrote,

To back up their claims that homosexuality is purely a deviant lifestyle choice, ex-gay leaders frequently cite the Thomas Project, a four-year study of ex-gay programs, paid for by Exodus, that recruited subjects exclusively from Exodus ministries. It was conducted by Mark Yarhouse, a psychology professor at Pat Robertson’s Regents University, and Stanton Jones, provost of Wheaton College, an evangelical institution in Illinois. Both are members of NARTH. The study was conducted entirely via 45-minute telephone interviews conducted annually over the course of four years. Results were published this September.

First, the study was about whether change was impossible and whether attempting to change was harmful. The study had nothing to do with proving homosexual was either deviant or a choice. Second, the initial interview was 2.5-3 hours in person at Time 1, and about 90 minutes on follow up. Third, neither man is a member of NARTH.

Then in a section that needed no embellishment, Mr. Sanchez again casts some of his stones in the wrong direction.

One of the most controversial ex-gay therapy techniques is “healing touch,” which involves men striving to become ex-gay cradling and rocking other men in their arms. Last January, Richard Cohen, a licensed psychotherapist who claims to be personally ex-gay, demonstrated healing touch on CNN’s “Paula Zahn Now” and Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.” Cohen also demonstrated “bioenergetics,” which involves beating on chairs with tennis rackets and screaming, “Mom, Mom, why did you do this to me?” When Cohen appeared on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” one month later seated next to George Foreman, he demonstrated healing touch therapy by putting his arms around the former heavyweight boxing champion and explaining, “You comfort him and love him like he’s your own boy.”

But enthusiasts and ideologues of the ex-gay movement haven’t given up hope that science will confirm their view.

After his disastrous TV appearances, both Exodus and NARTH scrubbed any mention of Cohen from their websites and released statements publicly disavowing healing touch therapy. Yet both organizations continue to promote healing touch through a program called Journey Into Manhood, whose leaders are featured at Exodus conferences and highlighted on NARTH’s website. Journey Into Manhood is a nominally secular program founded by Catholic, Jewish and Mormon counselors. The counselors operate weekend outdoors retreats throughout the country that require men to bond with one another through wilderness adventures and holding each other in “non-sexual healing touch.”

In fact, Exodus does not recommend JIM and does not allow them to exhibit at Exodus conferences. I have a comment below from JIM to that effect. When I spoke to Mr. Sanchez, he noted that JIM representatives were at the Exodus conference passing out cards with their information. However, this is a far cry from being “featured.” I attended an Exodus conference and presented the Sexual Identity Therapy Framework. However, I would not claim that Exodus endorses or promotes the SIT Framework. On point, Exodus has been quite clear in their opposition to “touch therapy.”

In addition, I thought some of the reporting was off concerning JIM so I asked the JIM office to react to the SPLC article. Here is the reply from Rich Wyler:

About the Southern Poverty Law Center article: Thank you for sending it. This is the first I’ve seen it. It is filled with misinformation and inaccuracies.

1. Journey Into Manhood does not incorporate nudity or partial nudity.

2. I don’t know what the “10 week Journey Into Manhood curriculum” is that the article is referring to. It sounds like they are probably confusing us with another organization’s program.

3. We don’t do memory recovery work.

4. I don’t know who this Alex Liberato is – perhaps it’s a pseudonym – but in the article he admits that he didn’t go through the Journey Into Manhood weekend, so he is not a source of information on us at all.

5. Journey Into Manhood is not featured at Exodus conferences. We applied for a booth but were turned down because we are not a “Christ-centered” organization.

6. Our teaching on “healing touch” is that any such holding must be completely voluntary on the part of all participants, should be done in groups of three or more, with healing “father-son” or “brother-to-brother” intent, fully clothed, in non-sexual positions, and never in pairs of “strugglers” alone.

There are more mistakes in these two paragraphs, but that’s enough to show you how riddled with errors they are.

Rich told me via phone that the no one from SPLC had contacted him about the JIM organization.

To me, the article could have pointed out the extremes without attempting to reach for connections that aren’t there. Despite the rare acknowledgement that not all ex-gay ministries are the same, I believe the intent was to create a sense that ex-gay ministries are primarily politically motivated devices. This is a debatable point. But it seems to me that whatever the truth is about any given ex-gay ministry, there is a clear tension between ministry and policy aims. To me, it seems difficult at best to promote political aims, along with a focus on ministry and do both well. Social conservatives believe in the validity of a socially conservative political stance on sexual ethics as well as the need to offer the love of God, but the question is how should these ends be sought? In Christian ministry, offering Jesus trumps other considerations; in politics, winning seems paramount; further, in therapy, following client well being and values seems the leading indicator. I am surely open to suggestions on how to pull off an integration of those three aims that does not degrade any of them.

Back to the subject matter of the errors in reporting; in my opinion, ex-gay ministries that promote the narrow view that all or nearly all homosexuality is solely a gender-problem open themselves up for reporting such as produced by the SPLC. Given that ministry rule-books, holding, hugging, regression techniques and sports programs appear to be in the service of enhancing some sense of masculinity, it seems understandable that observers and critics will assume a seamless relationship between the theories of homosexuality and more extreme techniques to address the theorized deficits. I believe that ministries who do not condone or use the more extreme or boundary-compromising techniques need to draw sharp and public lines of distinction between themselves and those approaches with which they disagree.

I also wrote Rich Wyler of JIM in order to compare and contrast JIM with New Warriors. More on that in a future post.

APA declines to meet with religious coalition

I will have more to say about this in due time, however, while it is current, I wanted to post this Citizen link article regarding the APA sexual orientation task force.

In a nutshell, the APA solicited opinion from gay advocacy groups in regard to the sexual orientation task force mandate but thus far has declined to meet with a large religious coalition which asked for a meeting regarding that mandate. The letters to the APA are linked in this report.

For the record, Clinton Anderson and the APA GLBT office is open to conversation with callers and has been responsive to my inquiries and input. I do not want to imply otherwise. And I know that the task force is aware of a diversity of views. However, that being said, I do think it would be productive for the APA leadership to have a formal sit-down with those representing a major US demographic group.

Mankind Project technique – “Bucketing,” Part One

In the last week or so, I have been reading many emails and comments from men who felt positive and negative about their New Warrors Training Adventure and Integration Group experiences. Via some searching I found a manual for the I-groups from 2005 that describes a variety of techniques for leading I-groups. Some of these sound very much like therapeutic techniques I read about in the 1980s designed to help clients uncovering repressed memories and perhaps some therapists still conduct. One such technique is referred to as “bucketing” in the I-group manual. In my opinion, this technique is of questionable efficacy in the hands of experienced therapists, let alone lay people.

MKP-International PIT 5.2 Facilitator Manual

80

BUCKETING

The purpose of this process is:

  •   To follow an emotional charge to an earlier source

  •  Release the charge

  •   Gain insight to the behaviors around the charge

  •   To discover a shadow, own it, and own its projection onto others

  •   Develop new action (reaction) choices

  •   To continue to peel the onion

    1. Identify an emotional charge or judgment regarding another man who is present in the circle or an emotional charge about a person not present.

    2. Have two men face each other (sitting or standing) with a facilitator at their side.

    3. If it’s about someone from outside the circle have the man with the issue identify who his brother (seated across from him) is role playing.

    4. The facilitator instructs the man who is the object of the emotional charge or judgment to sit in silence, listen attentively, and maintain eye contact

  • (The Facilitator can read from this form until he masters the process over time)

Data: “And so _____, tell this man the Data or facts around this issue.”

Judgment: “Tell this man the Judgments you have around this Data.”

Feeling: “Tell this man the Feeling you have from this Judgment.”

Locate in body: “Close your eyes. Where in your body do you feel that feeling?”

Shape, Size, Color: “If that feeling were an object, what shape would it be? What size is it? What color?”

Voice: “Now give it a voice. What words is it saying? Say it again – louder this time.”

Regression: “Now let this voice take you back. Follow your body back to an earlier time when you felt that way. Go back in time, maybe back to the first time you felt feeling. Let your body take you back, let this voice take you back, back in time.”

Wound: “What’s happening? Who’s there? How old are you? What’s happening?”

REPEAT: “And then what happens…?” Until the trauma is complete.

Shadow: “What are the messages you are getting right now? What decisions are you making? What beliefs and judgments are you taking on? What behaviors / reactions are you learning and adopting from this?”

Return: “Slowly begin to come forward in time again, forward, forward until you find yourself back in this place and time, back in this room with these men. When you’re ready and fully back in this time and place, open your eyes.”

Lesson: “What did you learn about your charge around this issue?”

Projection: “What about you were you projecting onto this man?”

Ownership: Do you choose to own that shadow? Do you see that any issue around which you have a charge or upset is an opportunity to learn about yourself?”

Healing: “Now go back in time to just before this experience. Turn back the clock and bring your adult self into the picture. Would you like to go back through this experience with his help this time? Ask him to help you. O.K… Turn the clock forward and see what happens this time. What’s happening? Repeat “and then what happens” until the man is complete.”

Empowerment: “What messages are you getting now? “What decisions are you making? What new behavior choices do you have available now? That’s great. Now become your adult self.”

Self-Forgiveness: “How do you feel about this 2-year old that had to go through this experience alone?

Can you forgive him for the decisions he made and the behaviors he adopted?” Can you release any judgments you made about him? Have the adult man take his own little boy into his heart. Can you forgive yourself for holding this unconscious belief & behavior? Can you forgive yourself for continually re-creating this drama in your life, hoping that someday it would turn out better?” Can you let go of your negative self-judgments?”

Forgiveness: “Can you now begin to forgive ________ (whatever person involved in triggering this issue for the man, IE, Bad Dad) for playing out his/her immature pattern?”

“Are there any judgments of (him/her) that you need to release?”

Return: “Slowly return to this room. How do you feel? Is there anything else you need to complete this?”

NOTE: If this is an inside issue, or a conflict resolution, continue below. Otherwise, stop here.

More…: “Do you still have an issue with this man? If yes, tell the man what you own around the issue, and what you want for yourself.

Perception Checking: Have the other man repeat back what he heard. Have him say how he feels, what he owns around this issue, and what he wants for himself.

Conflict Resolution: Keep working the above steps with each man until the process comes to a resolution where both men have been heard, and both men get what they want.

Choices: “Based on what you learned in this process, how else could you have reacted to this issue? What choices could you now make in the future?”Close: “Do you need anything else around this? Is this complete for now?”

The wording here is a little vague, but this process describes a facilitator helping a participants frame negative experiences as possibly emanating from past trauma. However, using visualization in order to suggest someone can regress to an earlier age can promote false recollections of trauma.  Furthermore, this description certainly seems like therapy to me in that the process seems designed to enable trauma recovery. In Part 2 regarding “bucketing,” I will post one former Warriors experience of bucketing that did not go as nicely as described in the manual.

Friend of the Scinto family comments on Houston Press website

The Houston Press article by Chris Vogel reporting on the New Warriors Training Adventure has drawn much interest on the newspaper website. Yesterday, a woman identifying herself as Heather Del Rio wrote a moving tribute to Michael Scinto and his family. Scroll all the way down the page to comment #61.

I will never forget the day I came into to work and listened to my messages and heard Becky’s distraut voice. “Hi Heather, It’s Bec. I just wanted you to know Mike’s dead. Call me.” and she broke down sobbing as she hung up the phone. I immediately called her, the reality, and permanance of it all not yet hitting me. Expecting her to tell me of a car accident I was shocked to find out he had commited suicide. Mike was a great man, a man that strived for beterment of himself. He followed after his father with the strength and humor that he provided to all he knew. To say that he was a troubled man, or that his parents obviously are looking to blame someone else rather than turning the finger on themselves is obsered. Any family who has been through a suicide death always looks to themselves first, what could I have done to stop this, why didn’t I see the signs, and so forth. This family is no different. Michael trusted the advice of his AA sponser as so many do, and he attended the weekend, I had never heard of something like this until Michael’s death.

Read the rest on the Houston Press website. Also, the newspaper has a blog with many comments of interest there. Clearly, this whole issue is controversial. I am interested in this topic now as a social movement and phenomenon, in addition to the ex-gay angle on the story.