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Homosexuals Anonymous

Homosexuals Anonymous (HA), an ex-gay program based in Reading,
Pennsylvania, is a 14-step program modeled on Alcoholics Anonymous.
It was founded in 1980 by former Seventh-Day Adventist minister
Colin Cook, a charismatic leader who promoted his organization in
media appearances, including the Phil Donahue Show. HA believes
that homosexuality is “an illusion” that traps people in a
“false identity.” It also holds the view that “homosexual activity
is not in harmony with the will of God and that the universal
creation norm is heterosexuality.”

To the organizations credit, it does not engage in anti-gay
political activity or exploit controversial issues to increase
its membership. HA says it considers such activism
counterproductive because it shifts a client’ energies away
from pursuing heterosexuality. As a result of its apolitical
stance, HA has drawn relatively little criticism from GLBT
organizations, but has also lost media opportunities that
would lift the group’ profile.

HA is rather bold in its claims that gay people can turn heterosexual.
An advertisement for its annual 2007conference exclaims that the
event is for “All who seriously want freedom from homosexuality!”
Just like Exodus International, however, HA offers no statistics
or evidence supporting the efficacy of its program.

The organization suffered a meltdown in 1986 after it was revealed
that Colin Cook was giving clients nude massages to “desensitize”
them to the pleasures of male flesh. Cook told the Los Angles Times
that he “fell into the delusion” that such therapy was helping clients.
He also told the newspaper that, “I allowed myself to hug and hold
my counselees thinking I was helping them. But I needed it more than
they did.”

Looking for fresh start, Cook moved to Colorado in 1993 and almost
immediately got involved with anti-gay organizations. He worked with
Colorado for Family Values to pass Amendment 2, a referendum on a
state constitutional amendment prohibiting anti-discrimination laws
for gays and lesbians. However, his new career was cut short after it
was discovered he was engaging in inappropriate hugs and phone sex
with his clients.

“It’ like your Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor giving you a drink,”
one client remarked about Cook’ improper behavior.

Tragically, the failed organization has endured under the leadership
of “John J,” a man who once served time for sexually abusing boys.
HA continues to grow and has chapters in twenty states and the District
of Columbia, as well as one in Munich, Germany.

Category:Aliya Leigh Live - Podcast -- posted at: 7:51pm EDT

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