Thursday, April 11, 2013

Book Review

 

Founder and Executive Director of Homosexuals Anonymous and Acceptance Fellowship Ministries, Dr. Douglas McIntyre  was ordained to the gospel ministry in 1980. He is a board Certified Christian Counselor with additional credentials in Marriage and Family Counseling, Trauma Resolution Therapy, Anger Management and Battering Intervention Prevention. He has lectured around the world extensively on personal growth and spiritual enrichment and authored books on personal growth and recovery. He has been in specialized ministry and counseling related fields for over thirty years.  Dr. McIntyre has been married for over forty years and has three children and three grandchildren.

 

A few quotations from his book “Broken Chains”  will give an overview of the early life he was forced into. The same basic beliefs about homosexuality are still taught today. 

 

“My mind was going crazy with desires.  I had hidden the “feelings” since the man had taken me into the barn. (I believe this man to be dead for many years now) I didn’t know what he wanted and I began to feel very uneasy. He began to hug me.  Then he took my hand and told me what to do. He seemed to love it when I did as I was told and pleasured him. He had been my friend. Then his expression changed and “he hurt me”. Each time we went back to the barn he taught me new things. The pain of the things he did with me became terrible but I couldn’t tell anyone.  I was too ashamed and scared.   What to him had been pleasure became a nightmare to me.”

 

Five years had passed. Now it was my friends and I alone in the woods.  One, with a hateful tone sneered “pervert”. I did not know what the word “pervert” meant but, whatever its’ meaning, (it couldn’t have been good), the others laughed.  I ran away in tears.  Boys didn’t cry but I didn’t want to be a “boy” anyway.  So I ran and cried. These are SOME OF my first memories’ of sexual encounters.   Others followed but these taught me I was really different. “I was the Joke.” I was going to go to hell.

 

 

I’m almost sixty seven years old now.  Where did all the time go?  What do I really have to show for my life?  I believe the real answer to these questions is best understood when I examine the fact that, I grew up believing I was never supposed to have any of the normal things of life.  I could dream about what normal might be, but as I listened to those around me I began to know that what I “felt” inside me was not what others felt.  I was “abnormal”.  I didn’t feel that way at first but as I began to understand and see the way other people lived I knew the truth.  I was one of “those people” that no one ever mentioned, or if they did it was in the form of a joke or casting into hell. “I was the Joke!”  “I was an abomination.

 

  The purpose of this book will be to give some insight into the way people trapped in homosexuality; pornography and sexual addiction face the realities of their life.  I will also try to give a hope to those who have no hope, that there is a way out of any problem they are living.

 I am not a theologian.  However, I have come to believe that there is an answer to all problems.  That answer can best be found in a relationship with God. I make no apology for this, because it is the way that I found real healing. 

 You may hate God or think that there is no way that God, if he exists, would ever accept you. The reality is that the answers you want are waiting.  They will come to you if you simply seek them and are willing to at least look at the possibility that there is a solution.

   

By what authority do I even attempt to write of hope to those that may feel totally depressed and ready to give up?  The authority that comes from experiencing the daily miracle that comes from a living relationship with the creator and re-creator of our lives.  I claim no perfection.  I claim no special abilities that enable me to overcome any problems that are not available to all who would choose change.

 

What I offer to you is the knowledge that comes from trial and failure, struggle and despair.   What I offer is the one thing that I needed when I could no longer face the double life I was living.  When everyone around me was saying that change was not possible, one person spoke out and said that not only was change possible, it was a reality.  That voice of experience gave me the shred of hope that turned into victory.

For almost forty years that voice of experience has continued to steady my life.  I offer those forty years of growth as the testimony that there is success where there only seems to be failure.  There is hope where there seems only blackness. 

 

They laughed!  I was furious! “I’ll never let anyone know the real me again!”  It was a beautiful afternoon and we were all horsing around in the woods.  I must have been about ten years old.  At that age we all are curious and have unanswered questions. The questions I had in my mind came spilling out.  “Can I see yours?  Can I touch it?”

        

 

Then came God.  The pastor came to the house and asked me if I “loved God”.  I knew I hated God for what had happened to me.  I also knew the answer he wanted so I said “yes”.  “You have to be baptized to be saved.” “OK”.  I’m sure that there was more instruction than that but I don’t remember it.  What I do remember is standing in the baptismal dressing room, while we changed from the wet robes, and looking at the other boy (naked) who had joined the church with me.  Curious feelings churned in my stomach.  Arousal!  Hide!  I’m going to hell for sure! But mother and grandma were so proud of me. They had said I was going to be a preacher. They must never find out about my inner desires. No one must ever find out.

Confused thoughts and a hidden double life had become a reality.  I didn’t want to be different.  I just was.  Super good boy on the outside and scared to death on the inside.  Standing in the church and feeling the power of my inner urges I began to have a feeling of extreme guilt and condemnation.   God must hate me!  Inside I knew I had to change.

 

          The next few years brought puberty, boy scouts, encounters with other boys at nude swims for merit badges at the pool. Why nude?  I don’t know.  I guess someone thought it would help us be manly.  All it taught me was how “look” without being seen and to pleasure myself in new ways. The more I saw, the more secretive, reclusive and obsessed with males I became.

 

Never had a thought of “liking” a girl entered my mind.  They weren’t on the screen of my consciousness.  I wasn’t even curious.  I had learned to love the things I could do with certain boys.    I knew who these boys were by an inner feeling.  They were the ones that seemed to know I was different too but were afraid to approach me.  It didn’t matter I was obsessed with finding them.  We experimented together.  Actually they experimented.  I just did the things I had been taught by the “man”, for so many years ... After each of these encounters with other boys, the feelings of uneasiness, hate, anger and condemnation resurfaced.

One day, after the guilt became unbearable, I began to pray.  “God if you’re real, help me or I will kill myself” I was only 14 years old.     

Next day, Police, Arrest, Court, Psychiatrist, Tests.  The final sentence given by the judge was reform school (going to live with 300 criminal boys who would use me as a girl) or (if a miracle happened) Christian boarding school.  I was really afraid.

    

 “Once Gay always Gay.”  When I was growing up the word homosexuality (GAY) was not spoken.  Good families didn’t have problems like that and if they did no one ever knew about it.  The unspoken rule was “silence”.  Prevailing wisdom was that, once the traits of effeminacy became obvious in a boy, (even though effeminate males are not necessarily homosexual), everything possible must be done to “break” him of the tendencies.

  

 Guilt and condemnation were the order of the day.  “Hell” was the sure punishment for the offender and it was a given that anyone practicing these habits would never be acceptable to God. The electrical pathways of the brain were destroyed.  He “could not” receive love and help from God.  He, God, would not be able to reach such a perverted mind.  The reality was, it was like saying to the boy “don’t listen to the clock tick.”  All you could hear after that was the “the ticking of the clock”.

  Pornography, (there were always ways to find it), only added to the inner pain. Simple urges become guilt and guilt becomes obsession.

 

I did not know that the feelings I had, even had a name, until I was in high school.  One day while searching the library I stumbled on the “Kinsey Report”.  All I really understood was that the behavior I “felt” within myself as “normal” apparently wasn’t.  When I read some of that report, (I’m sure the faculty didn’t know it was in the reach of my inquiring mind), I knew I was doomed!

  On top of this revelation, I began to find scriptures that really did seem to condemn me to hell. The “sin lists” were very specific.  Every sermon was a verification of the fact that I was going to hell.  I could never see the possibility of God being a “loving father” because I hadn’t found that love in the males around me.  All I felt was “distance” from my father, (I later learned that this was not his fault) and “the pain of molestation” from those other men that I went to for affection.

 After reading the report I “knew” what I was.  “homosexual” “gay”  This naming of the monster solidified my identity.

 I realized, from years of torment, that in order to survive I had to become a magician, an illusionist of the highest order.  I had to keep the “real me” so well hidden that no one would ever suspect.  I had to become “The” Perfect Religious Person. I actually succeeded for a while.

 

I had married after high school but the marriage was annulled. I was unable to perform properly.

 

In 1975 I abandoned my second  wife and family and ran away to California.

 

For almost three  months  I lived every part of the “Gay” life. I had known the feelings for over twenty years but I did not have the opportunities to learn all about the “hidden world” of the lifestyle.  I went to the bars and baths, took part in the demonstrations, and even sang in the gay church choir.  I talked endlessly with people who could understand the way I felt.

 

I discovered that the “gay” life was anything but happy for most of those involved.  The suicide rate among the lifestyle is extremely high. Most relationships are short lived, if you can call a series of one-night stands a relationship. One of the people I talked to summed it up this way.  “Most normal relationships begin with getting to know a person, having a drink, learning about each other, then think about the fact that you would like to have a more intimate relationship.  We seem to have sex, then have a drink and if we are not afraid of rejection ask our partner his name”.  Perhaps this seems harsh but it was the way most people were acting when I was there. I don’t think it has changed much now. 

 

There were some longer-term relationships but without the moral guidelines imposed by scripture these do not seem to last.  Each time a break-up occurs it’s like the end of the world for one of the people involved.  Jealousy is extreme and self-gratification seems to be the only governing principle.

 

Rejection from family and friends outside the life leaves permanent scars on those who endure the pain of “coming out.”  One of my close friends was told by his father “All gay people should be shot!” He took a gun and did shoot himself.   Drinking and partying are used to mask depression and obsession.  The reality is that most people cannot openly face the pain involved in living a double life.

 

It seems that the only way to cope with such pain is to create a lifestyle that excludes all those things that remind one of their loss.  The other alternative is to create a way to demand that everyone else recognize you as normal.

  The Gay agenda that we see being pushed today is the end result of these efforts. Recent rulings by the Courts  are going to open the way for even greater advances of the illusion of normalcy.

 

A lot of time was spent learning the “theology” of the gay church. Theories of salvation that were based on a very different interpretation of scripture appeared to make it possible, for those who wished to remain gay and openly live the lifestyle, to do it.  It was strongly believed and taught that you couldn’t change anyway, so the new theories fit well. Some of these theories begin to make sense when you took them as a single text, but when you put them together it was painfully obvious that someone was trying to justify himself rather than be honest with the word of God 

 

I also discovered that as long as you didn’t voice a differing opinion on the theology, love and acceptance were extended beyond anything I had ever experienced.  However when the possibility of change was mentioned, an underlying hatred surfaced and acceptance vanished.  It seems I had found a home where unconditional love had a condition! “Don’t ever question”! 

 

During this time I had established communication with my wife.  She felt abandoned and was very justified in feeling that way. Her inner pain must have been terrible but she never gave up on the possibility that everything would work out. Everyone around her was telling her to give up on me.  They didn’t know how to relate to the things they had learned about me.  She refused to give up and we began to talk.  Then God stepped in again.

 

It was the Sunday before Christmas and the church was having a special service.  The topic was on the hope that Christmas brings and the minister was telling how a young man he knew had been able to give up the deeper, darker lifestyle of the sadomasochist. With a great burst of enthusiasm the minister told of the miraculous change brought about in the young man.  He Said, (and I remember this to this day because it changed my path again,) ‘God has brought J---- from the depth of darkness to a normal gay relationship.”  Immediately my mind thought, “ If God can bring him to a normal gay relationship, He can bring me from a normal gay relationship to a normal straight relationship!” 

 

It was as if the lights had just been turned on in a dark room.  God had spoken through this gay minister to tell me that I could change. What better place to learn the truth of gay recovery than from a gay pastor who had come from the depths of a world that was worse than mine.  I could be normal!

 Now I knew why I had been brought to this church.  I needed to find real acceptance and I needed to more fully understand the concept that all change is possible with God.  Later in the same sermon the minister spoke on home and family responsibility.  He said that we should try to maintain the responsibility of family and children.  The light flashed again.  I had to go home.

 

I immediately called the airline to see what it would cost to get home.  $260 dollars.  I didn’t know what reaction I would get from my wife if I suggested that I come home. I also knew I didn’t have a chance to get that much money in a short time.  When I made the call to my wife I got the shock of my life.  She told me that she “wanted” me to come home, and there were two surprises for me.  The first was that, that morning a church member had given her some money to “use as she saw fit for your family”.  $260 dollars.  The second was that she was expecting again.  We were going to have another child!  Next day I boarded the plane and arrived home in time for Christmas.

 

The readjustment to being home was difficult but we got through it together.  My openness about the secret life I had been living was a shock to many of my friends, but they tried to accept me as much as possible.  Life began to smooth out and a period of calm began for us.

 

Another two years passed until I actually met someone who had changed, but when I learned the possibility of real change I began to grow and mature very quickly.

 It took meeting someone that had gone through what I had experienced to give me the true understanding that homosexuality is not born in you.  It is not immutable.  Given the proper counseling and information anyone can make progress toward a normal life. Anyone can develop a correct identity and grow up into normalcy.

 

These changes take time but from over thirty years of dealing with people who choose not to just accept the politically correct lies of those who do choose to remain in their lifestyle, I can state with certainty that hundreds and even thousands of people have achieved the lasting change that they seek.

 

The question is often asked “where are these changed people?”  The answer is that they are living quiet anonymous lives without allowing the activists that threaten them harm to find them.  They are free and want to be left alone to enjoy the reality of that freedom.

 

 

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