John and Anne Paulk were the king and queen of the so-called “ex-gay” industry. Anne an “ex-lesbian” had appeared in the Religious Right’s 1998 “Truth in Love” campaign with a full-page ad in the New York Times headlined, “I’m living proof that Truth can set you free.”and her husband, John, a “ex-gay” was the founder of Focus on the Family’s Love Won Out program and the Chairman of Exodus International. John and appeared numerous television shows like 60 Minutes, telling the world about how he prayed away the his own gay and married his “ex-lesbian” wife.
But on Sept. 19, 2000 that lie abruptly ended when investigative journalist Wayne Besen founder of Truth Wins Out photographed John in Mr. P’s, a notorious Washington, DC gay bar.
On September 19, 2003 while on a speaking tour, Paulk was identified as hustling drinks and flirting at Mr. P’s, a Washington DC neighborhood gay bar . While identifying himself as “John Clint”, a patron contacted Wayne Beeson, When Beeson arrived at the bar forty minutes later and confronted Paulk, he denied who he was, exited the bar and found a photographer outside to document his leaving the bar. When confronted by Beeson about the incident and the photographs, Paulk admitted being in the bar, but stated that he didn’t know it gay bar and had simply stopped in for a moment to use the restroom.
James Dobson on Focus on the Family radio, where the group claimed that Paulk had simply “slipped” into temporary sin. On the show, John plead for forgiveness and claimed that he had made a mistake by walking into “Satan’s Trap.”
Paulk family and his family moved to Portland, Oregon a few years later where John started a new life as a chef and opened Mezzaluna Catering, which featured a staff of highly attractive male models. *Ehhhm*
But in 2010 John slipped back into his media whoring Ex-gay ways and spoke at a 2010 Evergreen “ex-gay” conference.
Focus on the Family’ still claimed that despite the Mr. P’s incident, the Paulk family was an example of an “ex-gay” success story and that John had returned to heterosexuality.
Besen recently picked up his investigation into the Paulis once again. It urns out that John is STILL gay and Anne is still selling a bogus story of family bliss to Focus on the Family who is misleading its members by misrepresenting the facts about their “ex-gay” poster-family.
Said Dan Burrell, a former employee of John Paulks:
“He said I fit a certain aesthetic image that he was looking for and asked me if I wanted to work for him,” said Burrell. “It didn’t feel right…my instinct was telling me that something wasn’t right. I just had to find out and experience it. He definitely was interested in men. (He) Was interested in having a relationship with me. I didn’t want a relationship with him. I wanted to simply work for him. But not be in a relationship with him.”
Wayne Besen explains:
“The purpose of this investigation is to have the Religious Right stop falsely portraying the Paulk family as a model for sexual conversion. To ensure that no products that contain Paulk propaganda — which includes books and videos — are sold to innocent families, and to halt the fantasy that is now being peddled by Anne at the Restored Hope Network.
We hope that this investigation will entice the Paulk family to stop lying and for John to finally live openly and honestly. But, these are the Paulks and integrity is not something that appears to be in their DNA. Indeed,the consumer fraud continues with Anne scheduled to speak March 15-16 at Janet Boynes Ministries “Power of Change” conference. No doubt, she will try to win converts by telling them about her wholesome and “healed” family.”
Everyone of these ex-gay frauds and grifters must be exposed and discredited. It’s the only way to stop the lies that is harmful to so many in our community and has led to psychological trauma and in some cases even death to those these lies are peddled too.
Keep up the great work Wayne.