Gay Man Goes Through “Ex-Gay” Hell After Christian “Purity Siege”


Some of you may remember the piece I posted about Pat Robertson and the nutty evangelical “purity sieges” that have been going on around Interstate-35 in the midwest.

According to Robertson, God is using superhighway I-35 that runs from Canada to Mexico to purify America from sin. He says “I-35 is the highway spoken of in Isaiah 35:8 – “And a highway will be there; it will be called the way of holiness.” So, evangelical Christians have set aside 35 days to use the cities around I-35 to rid America of sin, meaning “abortion clinics, gay bars, strip joints, and porn shops.” God is using “purity sieges” to set America free.

One of the main people featured in the clip posted below is James Stabile, who was apparently “cured” of his homosexuality by a minister at one of these purity sieges.

OdenJohn Wright of the Dallas Voice attempted to track down Stabile and discovered what had happened to him after talking to Joe Oden, the midwest evangelist who has been organizing the “purity sieges” and who “touched” Stabile, allegedly transforming him from gay to straight in an instant:

Writes Wright: “Oden told me Stabile had been shipped off to Pure Life Ministries, which operates a residential treatment program in Northern Kentucky. ‘It’s a program for people who’ve lived alternative lifestyles just to get totally clean,’ Oden told me. Upon further investigation, I discovered Pure Life Ministries is also the place where Mike Johnston — remember him?! — is director of donor and media relations. Johnston’s the guy who contracted HIV before swearing off homosexuality and becoming a poster child for the ex-gay movement in the late 1980s. Then, in 2003, it was revealed that Johnston was living a double life — cruising men online and organizing unsafe sex parties while failing to disclose his HIV status to partners. Johnston eventually checked into Pure Life and later re-emerged in his current position. ‘With good reason, people would question what I’m saying now,’ Johnston told me recently during what he said was the only interview he’s given on the subject in four years.”

Soon after, Oden told Wright that Stabile had been kicked out of Pure Life Ministries for being a “compulsive liar” so Wright tracked down Stabile’s father (pastor of Cochran Chapel United Methodist Church, the oldest church in Dallas) to “get the real scoop.”

FireAccording to Wright, “Joseph Stabile said he’s fully accepting of his son’s sexual orientation and believes being gay is neither a choice nor a sin. Joseph Stabile said James left home to go out that Friday night and never returned. Joseph said James, or ‘B.J.’ as his parents affectionately refer to him, is bipolar and had stopped taking his medication. James called a few days later and told his parents he was moving out, and that he’d be back to get his stuff. James apparently had moved in with some folks from Heartland. After that, it would be some time before James’ parents heard from him, as his church friends reportedly advised him not to contact them. Joseph Stabile said the Heartland folks also may have advised James to throw away his medication, telling him that God would cure his bipolar disorder, too. Joseph’s parents said James has a tendency to be less than truthful, especially when he’s off his medication, and that he loves attention. They said they don’t believe he’s ever questioned his sexuality, but that the folks from Heartland manipulated and exploited him for publicity.”

So the Fundies basically emotionally kidnapped Stabile, took away medication that helps him act rationally, and that’s not all. Apparently it cost James $2100 to get into the “ex-gay” program and another $150 a week while he was there. The people at Pure Life constantly told him he was going to Hell, he had to be clothed from the neck down even while sleeping. James is now home with his parents, describes his experience at “straight camp” as being “horrible” and is seeing a therapist.

There is a hell on earth apparently and these people are at the center of it.

I’ve attached the clip again below.

Dallas gay man adversely affected by Christian “purity siege” [pegasus news]
‘Purity sieges’ lead gay man into bipolar hell [dallas voice]

You may have missed…
Pat Robertson: God is Using I-35 to Rid USA of Gay Sin [tr]


  1. says

    These people seriously have to be ARRESTED for this shit!!! I’m so tired of hearing about stories like this, which amount to kidnapping and involuntary incarceration and nothing happens. These people have got to be held accountable – please keep us updated on this story!

  2. says

    These people seriously have to be ARRESTED for this shit!!! I’m so tired of hearing about stories like this, which amount to kidnapping and involuntary incarceration and nothing happens. These people have got to be held accountable – please keep us updated on this story!

  3. Burks says

    I was touched by god once, but he said it was our little secret and if I told anyone, he’d kill my puppy.

  4. Derrick from Philly says

    Lord, have mercy. These idiots are getting dangerous now. They’re kidnapping young people. JOE’s right, they ought to be prosecuted.

    Why would the Lord even want to come to middle America?–especially with the damn ice storms and such. You want to find the Lord, go to the Dominican Republic where it’s warm, and all the young men are beautiful

  5. Paul says

    This is one of the craziest stories I’ve ever read…so tragic. When you first posted the original video, I watched it and got chills. I find religous people like that truly terrifying, and I’m so sorry this young man was put through this…

  6. Rade Radosevich says

    Nothing will ever come of this, we are already a Christian theocracy, and that is the control over the government.

  7. MikeinSanJose says

    Sounds disturbingly similar to the shit you hear about the church(?) of Scientology.

    Holding people against their will, instructing them to cut ties to their family and friends, taking them off their meds or out of therapy.

    I got mixed up with them for a while (L-O-N-G story) and they told me to stop attending my AA meetings because there’s too much going on in those meetings that they wouldn’t have any control over.

    Yes, I did start drinking again.

  8. bizasizzalizzyizzo says

    What ever happened to the good old days when the crazies would just do silly things like Hands Across America or Prayer Around the Pole?

    The latter always sounded like fun in theory.

    Purity Siege just doesn’t sing.

  9. anon ( says

    Despite being overused in casual conversations, bipolar disorder is not a condition that induces irrationality in its victims, rather it relates to manias and depression. It has nothing to do with lying either, though various manias can let people think they can get away with lying. Attention getting is also associated with manias. The meds for the disorder have a number of side effects, so many people don’t stick with them–particularly when it appears they are “cured” by the meds.

    Of course it was going to come down to the $2100! Does the sun not rise in the east? Actually, that price seems low. There has always been a direct line between evangelicals to faith healers to con artists. It is the arrow of trust exploitation. Mike Johnston fits this bill perfectly. Once they got their $2100 from him, he wasn’t of much further use was he? I smell a lawsuit brewing here.

  10. peterparker says

    It seems to me that if they instructed him to stop taking his medication they could be prosecuted for practicing medicine without a license.

  11. Jonathon says

    The great Karl Marx wrote that “Religion is the opium of the masses.” And this video and the accompanying story certainly confirm that sentiment for me.

    I have my own personal relationship with God. God and I are on good terms and He has no problem with my sexuality. Quite to the contrary, it was God who gave me this gift!

    Pat Robertson and his zombie-like followers are a threat to themselves as well as the rest of us. I am all for religious freedom, including the freedom FROM religion, but “purity sieges” are too much.

    Even though these people claim to be “Christians”, they are in fact violating one of the core tenets of Jesus’ teachings when they engage in actions like these.

    From Matthew 6:5-6 – ” And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

    “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”

    Of course, they also think that Jesus was nuts when he said “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar and unto God what is God’s”, thereby establishing himself the separation of church and state.

    I’d call myself a Christian if there weren’t so many others out there who put on the label and then ignore practically everything that Jesus actually taught.

  12. RP says

    I had thought the same thing Mike.

    Scientologists take away people’s medication and rob them of their money.

    In a few instances Scientologists have caused people’s deaths by taking away their meds, most notably Lisa McPherson (who Scientologist essentially starved to death at the Fort Harrison hotel… their version of Pat Robertson’s Founder’s Inn). There was also a follower (can’t remember his name) who stabbed his mother something like 72 times, yet he was later found not guilty due to mental defect. He was/is schizophrenic, but since Scientologist don’t believe in psychiatry he was never treated.

    Basically religious fundies of any kind are f*cked up.

  13. Travis says

    I completely agree with Peterparker. Such manipulative reporting by the folks at 700 Club. There is no way that the “saved” gay boy wasn’t a plant in the crowd. It’s insulting. I myself am a spiritual person. I have felt the presence of a higher power, and it has no problem with my sexuality. I was born this way for a reason.

  14. Zeke says

    What are the chances that the 700 club will do a follow-up with all the fanfare and promotion of the original where the boy was supposedly healed by the touch of the snake oil salesman?

    I’m not gonna hold my breath!

  15. Ernie says

    Yet another example of what fundamentalists do best: prey on the weak, then f**k them up a hundred times more in the name of “salvation.” (And, somehow, profit always seems to be involved in their “charitable good deeds.”) Beware of anyone who is on fire for the Lord: they are very very hazardous waste.

  16. JMM says

    if i was drunk i would have done the same thing. i am from okc. and i have been to dallas many times. isnt JR’s not near I35. they should be arrested. i would have called the police on their ass. why do people feel the need to push christianity on others. like i saw a car tag the other day that said PRAY4U. i dont need anyone to pray for me. i am fine on my own. the arrogance that people feel worthy enough to put god in me. who is this guy that thinks he has the power of god. anyway. poor guy. now he is really confused.

  17. Clayton says

    their vernacular is creepy and militant!
    Take your “Sieges” and your silly religion back where they belong – the Middle Ages.

  18. says

    George W. Bush has unleashed these crazy people on America. They are evil and they are liars. And everything they do is tax free because they call themselves a church!

  19. queendru says

    I don’t have a problem with prayer groups outside public facilities. It isn’t for me, it isn’t where my faith is at. While I grew up in such a culture, I come from a family skeptical of religion worn too proudly on one’s sleeve.

    These people scare me with their claims of faith healings, and prophetic revelation. While I’m skeptical about the Dallas Voice coverage, I worry deeply about cults and charlatans masquerading as mainstream religion. I worry about such unhealthy fanaticism gaining power and influence.

    This is one reason I hope Mike Hukabee doesn’t get nominated. He’s pandering to this mentality.

  20. RB says

    I am continually amazed by these reports. Not in good way, but in a very sad, pathetic and horrible way! I feel sorry for those that try so hard to change what they are and think it will work. It is a long and often times desperate journey for the help they will never find. For those in the journey, my heart goes out to you. TO those that are running these programs, you should be ashamed!!!

  21. says

    I don’t know much about the law but these whack jobs should be held legally accountable for seriously endangering this young man’s health and welfare! How truly pathetic to prey on people who are being treated for mental illness.

  22. Jeff says

    This perversion of a faith supposedly centered on love never ceases to amaze me. That’s what it is- these Morality Soldiers can’t ever look at two homosexuals and say- “there’s love there”. They refuse to associate love with us or our movement whatsoever, rendering our cause thoroughly unworthy of respect or, at this point, even tolerance.

    That’s especially offensive and angering to those of us who are deeply in love with our partners, such that we have made lifelong commitments, and we know like we know our next breath that God created, loves and guides said love with his very own hand. Yes, THAT God. Your God, Joe Oden. The same God you beg for repentance from after masturbating to an NFL locker room interview, Donnie McClurkin. The same God Ted Haggard thinks has sentenced him to Hell.

    THAT God, loves every single breathin’ one of us, and HOW DARE these people work so hard to convince us otherwise?! Vi Agra’s got it right-almost time to take it to the streets, people.

  23. jessie says

    well what they’ve left out, is they do this across the street from JR’s in Dallas. and the first time somebody launched a beer bottle from the balcony of Jr’s at them…then the police told them to move along because it was getting close to closing time. and they did lol. i’m going to take a friday night off work just go down there (2 blocks) in full drag and fuck with them. as a former prostitute whose father is a lay minister i can. oden asks me if i’ve been touched by god i’m gonna say oh yes, oh yes! his name is mike and his dick is about this big….and then go into a southern baptist preacher routine i can do, lots of Praise
    God! Hallelujah! HE tore my pussy up ahhhllllll night long! an idle mind is the devils workshop.
    jessie 😉

  24. James says

    It is so funny to me that so many of the exgays are truly ex-exgays… This kid was taken advantage of by a serpent! I am glad that he had come clean and that his family has supported him before, during and after this! His family is truly showing what it means to be Christian in this un-holy world!

  25. says

    Don’t know how I stumbled on this. Not saying religion always has bad aspects but taking advantage of people weather emotionally, physically, mentally and maipulating them is just wrong. If there was a hell, these people would surely be going.