Saturday, November 13, 2010

Another Question Regarding Organizations such As Evergreen and Journey into Manhood

Every so often, a letter arrives from Church Headquarters to be read over the pulpit. One of those letters was read last week and dealt with the topic of therapeutic, social service agencies/non profits that loosely claim or present themselves as having an affiliation with the church. This is the don't do it letter that seems to come out every four to five years. With the recent publicity of Journey Into Manhood's program, I could not help but wonder about the timing of this recent letter and it would seem that Journey into Manhood is exactly the kind of suspect organization doing all the same things that the other suspect programs and organizations have done in the past with a gay focus.


  1. Yes, I heard that too.

    My Stake President, who I totally respect and admire, told me NOT to try any of those programs. He basically told me I'm gay and I'm going to stay that way. This man is way ahead of his time! Incidentally, I knew it was true the minute he said it.

    Those reparative programs seem like a form of brainwashing to me. I don't need to supress and deny part of what makes me who I am - I did that for decades and it generated nothing but anguish. Rather, I need to face reality and learn to love myself authentically. I think some of my best qualities stem from my homosexuality and the subsequent lessons it has taught me. I can't imagine being something else, nor do I care to be. I think God loves me for who I really am. I don't need to squeeze myself into an artificial "Straight Guy" mold to please Him.

  2. The problem with organizations such as the few in the title of your post is that not only are the organizations usually suspect, but the people they have running the organizations and presenting at their conferences are people who present themselves one way, and in reality are doing the very things they preach against. How many of those in Evergreen, or JIM, are as the preachers in other communities who shout out their hatred for gay, then are the very ones indulging in gay behavior. In my opinion, Evergreen and JIM know they have inherent problems in their basic institutions, i.e. they bring gay people together to help them, but then many of those same people use the institutions as means and opportunity to "get together" with other gays. In my opinion, these "help" institutions know this so they throw in their so-called "affiliations" with the Church hoping and thinking people will give them more the benefit of the doubt about the inherent problems. I hope that made sense.

    I guess since my episode with my mission president a few years ago (when he told me to stay in the Church but to lie about my behavior to others) so disgusted and angered me and broke my trust in him that my tolerance of those who also are frauds and liars is not great. I do not give many of them the time of day. Once a liar, always a liar?

  3. Also makes me think Evergreen is on that don't attend list to huh?

  4. Trevor-that was the thought that came immediately to my mind when I heard the letter read.

    I think these types of activities probably do help some people involved in them, but for a minority I think there IS evidence regarding that these types of therapeutic activities (regardless of whether or not they are focused on gay reparative therapy or some other type of "self improvement)can be harmful. They are risky.

    Duck-you made total sense.

    Neal-I always love to hear great stories of people like your Stake President exercising common sense. I, too, became much happier when i accepted that I didn't fit into a mold and it was ok to be a bit lopsided and filled with air bubbles too, that God and others would accept me for who I am and that being a little assymetrical is also beautiful.

  5. Does anyone have a link to the text of the letter? If not, was there ambiguity in the message? Something along the lines of "some people find help through therapy, but the church does not endorse or support any specific group"

    I'm just wondering why these groups are so successful when we are getting these messages read over the pulpit. And why organizations such as Evergreen are able to get sitting GA's to come speak at their conferences and emeritus GA's to sit on their board. Seems a little confusing to me.

  6. I couldn't find a link. I think you can distinguish between Evergreen, at least at the present time, and Journey into Manhood. JIM is based off Rich Wyler's experiences with the New Warrior Training through the Mankind project. For a journalist's account of attending the New Warrior Training go to

    It's clear Rich Wyler has had some affiliation with Evergreen though, so that adds to the confusion.

    I have no idea how many components of the new warrior training have made their way into the Journey into manhood program.

  7. I found a link to the letter read over the pulpit.

    From what I can tell, and from what I know of JIM, it is directed very much at this type of group.

    It seems like the current form of Evergreen would fall outside of the scope of this letter, which makes the church's quasi involvement a little less confusing, but not by much I could, however, be wrong, as I've never attended a conference, and my involvement has with them has been very limited.

  8. I'm really curious, now, as to how JIM deals with the issue of women . . . as compared to its ancestor.

  9. See Original Mohomie for a link to a You Tube video by Ted Cox on JIM. Also, here is an article with a copy of the JIM confidentiality agreement:

  10. Another Ted Cox link: