Crime | Mississippi

Conversion Therapy Survivor Alleges Sexual Abuse During Treatment

Jeff White

Jeff White of Walls, Mississippi came out to his family in 1996 while still a student at Bethel Baptist School. His family in turn went to the church to try and figure out what to do, and the church promised that they could "cure" White of his homosexuality. This cure, evidently, consisted of attempting to rape the gay out of him.

According to White, teacher Steven Barnes was his conversion therapy counselor, and his preferred method of treatment was to rape and sexually assault White "to convince him that being gay was more painful than suppressing his sexual orientation." White dealt with ten years of emotional damage and turmoil from enduring three years of brutal "therapy", but is speaking up now in response to the National Center for Lesbian Rights' #BornPerfect campaign and its attempt to end conversion therapy in the next five years. Said White,

After growing older and witnessing so many who are still harmed by the church and by efforts to correct homosexuality through traumatic and damaging tactics like the ones used against me, I finally realized that it is my duty to stand up against those who have harmed me. By speaking out against the wrongdoings that were committed within the walls of Bethel Baptist School, I hope to shed light on the darkness that is so easily hidden within the church, and to help ensure that no one else suffers the pain that I had to endure.

BornperfectNCLR helped White file a complaint with the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department against Bethel Baptist School. White is now the executive director of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Rainbow Center, the first LGBT center in the state. Barnes is now the Assistant Pastor at Bethel Baptist Church in Walls, MS.

In June, NCLR launched the #BornPerfect campaign to protect LGBT kids from the harms caused by attempts to change their sexual orientation or gender identity.

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Comments

  1. With the right counselor, I could have made progress with that program.

    Posted by: Markt | Aug 30, 2014 8:19:38 AM


  2. Always religion, religion, religion.
    Sane old garbage.
    USA has far too many churches; 'People of faith' is aphrase one should hear about once in a lifetime.

    Instead we get a steady dose of Jesus/church/faith/Bible......it's non stop.

    Get secular.
    Dump the superstitious.
    Be scientific if your demand for evidence.
    Grow up and out of the fairy tales.

    And in this case sue the bast***s.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Aug 30, 2014 8:26:48 AM


  3. If there is anyone out there in a similar situation, it is very important that you save at least a sample of the monster's fluid/s.

    These fluids, even if dried in a cloth can be tested years later and can bring you JUSTICE.
    They can be tested years later, and can identify, positively, your attacker.

    Posted by: Martin | Aug 30, 2014 8:34:01 AM


  4. Barnes is married, & sorta creepy.
    http://www.bethelbaptistwalls.com/staff/

    Posted by: Danny T | Aug 30, 2014 10:26:17 AM


  5. Just because someone dresses up and plays make believe doesn't give him any expertise in homosexuality or morality or anything else, no matter how "sincerely held" is his play acting.

    Religious people: please stop pretending to know things you don't know. Wishing, hoping, and having faith don't give you or your clergy knowledge.

    Posted by: JJ | Aug 30, 2014 10:39:59 AM


  6. If the religious would be content with living their own lives, the world would be good. But, they all really want a theocracy and they will stop at nothing to get there. Religion is the enemy of ALL of humanity. Rape in the name of this f*cking god they idolize proves the damage religion is willing to inflict on innocent human beings - which they are NOT!

    Posted by: ToThePoint | Aug 30, 2014 10:59:44 AM


  7. Of course Barnes is married! He fit the stereotype homophobe perfectly who hides behind the church and its "teachings".He was able to knock off some teen ass while he was "trying to cure" this young man. All in the name of Jesus of course. These creeps are everywhere, especially ones such as these who use religion to get some sex.
    So this creep got demoted to Asst Pastor of his church...a mere slap on the wrist and a wink. He and the church out to be shut down....they are mented and sick.

    Posted by: thom | Aug 30, 2014 1:41:43 PM


  8. JackFknTwist, ToThePoint - you two are just as bad as the homophobes. You simply target even more people.

    Posted by: Cassandra | Aug 30, 2014 2:57:23 PM


  9. Sorry Cassandra, but I am a product of my environment, I guess. I sat in church every freaking sunday and had to listen to how vile, sick, digusting, reprehensible and perverted your god sees I am. The ONLY reason I endured was to please my parents. I always knew there was nothing to this faith crap and am NOT happy that the religous want to rule ALL of of society - at least the religious whom have political power to lobby for theocratic laws. Laws should be fair to everyone and if not, then they are unconstitutional. If you don't like who I am, that is your god-given (in believer's eyes) right, but don't try to make me someone I am NOT!

    If you don't care for what your christian leaders are espousing and you all don't share their extreme views, then tell them and your pastors, priests and clergy to BACK OFF! They are the ones ruining the religious' reputation and making ordinary folks say, WTF is the matter with these people.

    Posted by: ToThePoint | Aug 30, 2014 4:48:52 PM


  10. This story is extremely hard for me to read because as a Clinical Social Worker/Therapist; there is NO touching, kissing, sex, nudity, etc in legitimate therapy: NONE!!!! It is unethical, unprofessional and against the law... And hugging needs to be agreed upon by both patient and practitioner and I am very cautious about hugging and very rarely hug a patient....And, this man's story about conversion therapy is one of a 1000 reasons, it should be banned for all......it is an unregulated industry that is used by mostly untrained lay people or religious folks that have no clue to what they are doing...........

    Posted by: Bernie | Aug 30, 2014 6:06:11 PM


  11. I have to really hand it to the guy for going public. That would really be something in the past I'd want to forget about, certainly wouldn't want to be the focus of all the evil crap being out there one would be exposed to.

    Posted by: Buckie | Aug 30, 2014 8:10:36 PM


  12. This is truly disturbing but makes sense- these anti gay nuts are usually denying their own homosexual desires.

    Posted by: jarago | Aug 30, 2014 9:07:50 PM


  13. How can people be such followers? I always knew that Christianity and people were BS by the time I was 8.

    Damn. Humans are really dumb. So sad.

    Posted by: Rowan | Aug 31, 2014 11:14:04 AM


  14. Speechless.

    Posted by: Kissyfur | Aug 31, 2014 5:35:09 PM


  15. i went to Bethel Baptist for years.i left in 2001.when i left i was harassed by many members.i hope the truth comes out.i would like to know how many others there are.may our creator save us from religon and those who hide behind it.free us from slavery and its corrupt minds.

    Posted by: bobby | Aug 31, 2014 5:40:09 PM


  16. you may have been "harassed" for leaving (if that is what you want to call it), but if you were there in 2001 you know that who these allegations are being made about is total CRAP!!!! The church may be guilty of sweeping things under the rug, but you no The accused DID NOT do this. So be mad at the church all you want, but remember the innocent that are being effected by this fool wanting his 5 minutes of fame. He failed to mention that after he was an adult and had yet another (dark) event in his life occur, he came back to the place he blames for him being so screwed up!! He turned to that exact church to help and pray for him during another trial God put in his life. I am sure that isn't "newsworthy" enough for anyone to mention though.

    Posted by: TRUTH | Sep 1, 2014 11:50:23 AM


  17. you may have been "harassed" for leaving (if that is what you want to call it), but if you were there in 2001 you know that who these allegations are being made about is total CRAP!!!! The church may be guilty of sweeping things under the rug, but you no The accused DID NOT do this. So be mad at the church all you want, but remember the innocent that are being effected by this fool wanting his 5 minutes of fame. He failed to mention that after he was an adult and had yet another (dark) event in his life occur, he came back to the place he blames for him being so screwed up!! He turned to that exact church to help and pray for him during another trial God put in his life. I am sure that isn't "newsworthy" enough for anyone to mention though.

    Posted by: TRUTH | Sep 1, 2014 11:50:23 AM


  18. @TRUTH:
    Perhaps you missed the part in the source article where it said that White is taking Barnes to court. That means he has evidence. But I guess no amount of evidence troubles those who have faith.
    Please tell us how either you or Bobby would "know" that Barnes is innocent. Were you there for all these sessions?

    Posted by: Dan B | Sep 2, 2014 4:32:57 AM


  19. For a group who claims to be constantly judged by Xtians, you guys sure are quick to condemn the accused in this story. Does this man not deserve due process and a chance to face his accuser in court? Or should you all just sit in judgment before an investigation to the validity of the charge is even good and underway? What if the accuser is angry with the church due to their anti-gay stance, and is making the whole thing up? I mean, it has happened before...

    Posted by: dj | Sep 4, 2014 1:44:41 AM


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