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03/26/2007

Because when it comes to evaluating your child's truth, who the hell needs reasoned studies, scrutiny, or professional credits?

by Jeremy Hooper

Picture 34So Stephen Bennett, a man who has carved out a career as a professional "former homosexual," is now touting a new endeavor which he describes as "a worldwide support community for parents, family members, friends, and loved ones of homosexuals." So considering that this new effort -- which he calls TheParentsGroup.com -- touts itself as a worldwide support group parents can go for answers to questions regarding homosexuality, then it must have some sort of professional backing and maybe some scientists and mental health professional on staff to give advice, right? After all, Stephen sells it to OneNewsNow as a place where parents of gay kids can go to get accurate answers to their questions, so for the well-being of those gay kids, this had better be a top notch operation, correct?

Well, not exactly. Ya see, Stephen's new effort is nothing more than an "iGrOOp," an Internet community that anyone can setup for their own purposes:

Picture 31

So basically anyone who pays $99 and agrees to a few simple rules can start their own "worldwide support group." Call us bad parents, but when it comes to something like our child's internal truth, we'd prefer to receive advice from non-extremists who actually have some sort of empirical data to back up their claims. And by empirical data, we don't mean proof that you've married and spawned children -- many gay people have as well.

Beyond the poor ethics that leads one to start a support group that goes against the belief of the majority in the fields of science and mental health, there is also a matter of finances that makes us uneasy. When one tries to sign up for the group, they have to either donate funds to Stephen Bennett's "ex-gay" ministry or pay dues to join:

Picture 32

What annoys us most about this (other than that it's a convenient fundraiser for Stephen's dangerous efforts) is that this prevents those who might want to present dissenting opinion from joining the group. It's highly unlikely that anyone of us who TRULY care for gay teens are going to pay money to offer up some other viewpoints. We did try and join the group without paying...

Picture 33

...but that didn't go over so well.

So basically what Mr. Bennett has created is the sort of worldwide support group that is (a) one-sided, (b) contributive to his coffers, (c) easily created by any layman who wishes to pay the $99, and (d) based in research that is unsupported by any true scientific data! Then he gives the group an innocuous name like "The Parents Group," just to further the confusion for those who don't understand the truth behind the "ex-gay" movement.

If it weren't actual lives that were being played with, it might be amusing!

Ministry to homosexuals expands outreach to Christian parents [ONN]
The Parents Group [iGrOOps/theparentsgroup]

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Your thoughts

Poor Stephen! I used to feel sorry for him and thought he was simply a guy who meant well but was being guided by the wrong people. Not anymore.

Make no mistake about it. This man has found a way to make money off of the fears and prejudices of so many. And he is an opportunist.

When Rosie was on blogspot he continually tried to bait her with invitations to meet him and his wife. Then he would make up something about how mean Rosie was to him. IT was really quite funny.

With all my dealings with people like Bennett, Dobson, et al I have finally come to the conclusion that not one of them is in it for the cause of Christ. It is only for the cause of cash.

Posted by: Jon-Marc McDonald | Mar 26, 2007 4:02:07 PM

Well, with Bennett there's also the fact that nobody in the Provincetown or NYC gay communities really seems to know him. He claims to have slept with over 100 guys and buried several boyfriends, yet there are virtually zero stories or pictures that have popped up about his "old life." His whole deal is very suspect.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Mar 26, 2007 4:08:56 PM

Support groups rarely have "licensed professionals" or doctors running them -- they are just are groups of people who share a common interest. The community alone is where the "support" comes from. I don't have an opinion on the "gay" issue, but I did want to chime in about the meaning of support groups.

By the way, that "igroops" thing looks amazing! I have some ideas for non support type groups that I have been kicking around for some time.

Thanks for the blog!

Posted by: Don't Care Either Way | Apr 15, 2007 4:16:26 PM

I just wanted to comment on the statement from Jon-Marc Mcdonald "With all my dealings with people like Bennett, Dobson, et al I have finally come to the conclusion that not one of them is in it for the cause of Christ. It is only for the cause of cash."

I am a little taken back by this statement. The thousands of volunteers involved in pro family work like myself have never been paid a dime for our thousands of hours of work we do in the name of Christ.
Our organization even tells the churches that we speak in that we do not take up an offerings for our work. Even our website says that, http://www.bfamilyadvocates.com/contact.htm

So believe it or not there are literally thousands of people out there doing loving and charitable pro family work that have never been paid for it.
I just want to be faithful to the One who gave Himself for me. And He came to seek and save the lost. I hope you can understand that point, there are Christians out there who actually care about others, much more than money. Blessings to you and yours,
Phil Magnan

Posted by: Phil Magnan | May 4, 2007 9:05:00 AM

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