Friday, July 31, 2009

Will The Human Sacrifice Stop?

I wrote a piece over a week ago that focused on the fate of Bryce Faulkner, the young man who went missing after being pressed to join an ex-gay program. I likened this coercion to a form of human sacrifice.

I'm still waiting for someone to save the sacrifice from the altar.

To date, there has been NOTHING from Bryce Faulkner himself. The "statement" made for the press was given by Exodus International and not Bryce in the flesh.

Coercion can equal imprisonment. Coercion can even equal death. In this case, the emotional death of a person's true self. Even though Bryce is 23 and legally able to cut the strings to his family, those strings are more like electrical wires supplying a current of stability to Bryce: his parents are defined in financial support, physical support and emotional support. Bryce knows this. When his parents told him that they would cut those wires, they told him that he would no longer have any life. It was Exodus or die. "If you're not right with the Lord, you're not right with us. You're dead. Goodbye."

From Bay Windows:
"I don’t believe Bryce was forced to attend the program against his will," Swanson told Bay Windows. "I believe he was economically blackmailed since he was a financial dependent of his parents. They controlled everything and he was given two choices: A) agree to attend treatment; or, B) move out by tomorrow with no phone, car, money, or job."

Gay activist Rev. Brett Harris, who leads Magnolia, Ohio’s Ergonomical Ministries and the Coalition for the Abolition of Homosexual Reformation Tactics, responded to Bryce’s disappearance by creating a "Save Bryce" Web site (

Swanson’s main concern is "Bryce’s safe return ... Bryce needs to know that he is loved and that is why we are searching so hard to find him." He does realize the value of bringing stories like Bryce’s to the attention of the public. "[Ex-gay ministries] are everywhere, and people need to be aware that they are still around and operating in their backyards," he said. Exodus International operates more than 230 locations in North America, including four in Massachusetts. Since the launch of his "Save Bryce" Web site, Harris has received numerous death threats, but said, "It isn’t going to stop me ... It doesn’t matter to me whether Bryce wants to continue the program, we just want to make sure that he’s safe."
From Truth Wins Out

While boyfriend Travis Swanson struggles to free 23-year-old Bryce Faulkner from less-than-voluntary seclusion at an ex-gay boot camp, Faulkner’s antigay family members and a couple of friends appear to be conducting a Facebook campaign in support of Faulkner’s ex-gay reprogramming.

As of July 29:

Bryce is seeking a spiritual reformation away from the worries and struggles of daily living, Bryce is in an environment where he has said he has come closer to the Lord than he has been in some time.
The writers of the Facebook profile are NOT identified. The profile is a CLOSED Facebook Group, making it like a secret support group sponsored by Exodus International.

So, WTF is happening? What's going to come out of all this? Will Bryce come forward? When? How long are his parents going to insist that third parties be involved? If Bryce meets with Travis, will it be as an "ex-gay?" The drama never stops when it comes to religion and same-sex love: "Love God or another man. You can't love both."

However, if everyone who's ever loved someone who's been taken away from them , if they all chip away at Exodus International - bit by bit, day by day - the drama can change. To closure, if nothing else.