Former ‘Ex-Gay’ Leader John Smid: The Restored Hope Network Will Not Succeed

Posted September 13th, 2012 by Wayne Besen on Truth Wins Out

Former Love in Action director John Smid dropped by our website today and had this to say:I have come across some awareness lately that has been unsettling for me. When I found that my life was in a downward spiral and that I needed help, I turned to the Ex-gay community. I thought that they, thinking they were like me, would be able to help me. So when I went to them. I thought they were peers and safe. So, they told me that they had been “delivered” from homosexuality and that I could be too. Of course the word “delivered” is a tremendously confusing concept.

So I followed them and began to bring others along behind me. I discovered that in fact they had not been delivered from homosexuality (my understanding of their words was that homosexuality was eradicated from their lives) and that some of the most significant leaders in fact still had all of the same sex attractions they had always had.

So, my awareness is this. I was led down a deceptive path, drank the koolaid and began to live the same deception they had been living and teaching. My own peers who should have been the safest ones to trust actually led me astray.

Then they said to follow straight men! They told me that I could be like them. So, I turned to straight men thinking they had the answers for my new life! Straight men didn’t know anything about what it is like to be gay. How could they possibly know how to help me find a life of value and blessing????

I am sorting through the personal affects of living through over two decades of being told I could find deliverance. I am also sorting through the after affects of being an Ex-gay leader for over two decades.

I walked alongside many of the foundational leaders of the Exodus movement. One of the more significant leaders said over and over that he had been delivered from homosexuality. While riding with him in his car one day, many years ago, he said he was still very attracted to the younger men he sees every day.

I should have listened to my heart then and ran away. But instead I just stuffed this experience and continued to hope for my own deliverance.

Today I am attempting to deconstruct the faulty foundation and going through a very challenging time with it all.

The Restored Hope Network will not succeed. Far too many truth tellers exist today. It is a remnant alright, but one that will quickly sink.  It may have worked in 1974, but it will not work today. They do not have the goods, nor the truth.