Those of us in the profitable business of ex-gay ministries are rather livid with the people at Focus Group on the Family. You see, Focus Group on the Family put John Paulk on its payroll and trotted him out at every opportunity as proof that even the most unattractive homosexuals can renounce the hobby of being attracted to other men. As you may recall, Mr. Paulk graced the cover of Newsweek (with his ex-lesbian wife Anne) and suddenly was coronated (given his tawdry drag queen resume, I speculate this may not have been a first) the poster boy of our Ex-Gay Movement. Mr. Paulk is now chairman of Exodus International ex-gay ministry and in charge of Focus Group on the Family's "homosexual department" (which, I would hazard, is substantial).

Well, you can imagine my shock when Mr. Paulk was photographed cavorting in a Washington D.C. homosexual gay bar on September 19, 2000. I spent all morning on the phone with his tearful wife Anne – another Christian marriage on the rocks! Since I run the world's most lucrative Ex-Gay ministry BASH: Baptists Are Saving Homosexuals, I feel the need to distance myself from the missteps of Focus Group on the Family and its erstwhile ex-gay (who was foolish enough to think that someone who had appeared on the cover of Newsweek telling people being gay is a sham could frolic undetected in a seedy homosexual watering hole). Thus, I am sharing with you my correspondence with Mr. Paulk and his cohorts at Focus Group on the Family:

NOTE TO MY DEAR READERS: all of the letters you are about to read are exactly as they were sent and received; nothing has been changed

John and his lovely wife Anne
John as his lovely self, Candi
From: "Betty Bowers" <betty@bettybowers.com>

To: "Linda Carpenter" <Carpenlm@fotf.org>

Sent: Tuesday, July 25, 2000 2:31 PM

Subject: Re: John Paulk speaking

Dear Linda:

Thank you for your note. I was actually hoping to have Mr. Paulk come to speak the first week in December. My Ex-Gay ministry will be having a Christmas dance at the Four Seasons here in Atlanta. We started this last year and it was a wonderful success. It provides a lovely setting for former-same-sex-attraction males and females to meet each other and dance in a Christian environment. Of course, I was short on ex-lesbians, but some of the women from our church kindly volunteered to "fill in" to provide the men with women to socialize with.

Please keep this between us, but since I wrote I have been hearing some things about Mr. Paulk that have given me pause. Indeed, disgusted me. I don't repeat gossip, so I will not go into any details. Anyway, I have to protect the reputation of (a) the Lord; (b) my ministry; and (c) the poor souls we are helping to come out of darkness. I am sure you can understand this.

I am going to have to talk to a few more people about Mr. Paulk before I make any decisions. Of course, I will also have to talk with someone who isn't a "people" -- God -- for guidance before I commit to airfare and a hotel room (I had mentioned the Ritz-Carlton to Mr. Paulk, but it would be at the same hotel we are having the dance, which will be more than comparable). Only the Lord can look into the heart to know what truly lies there. Thank God the Spirit can move us with God's knowledge.

Yours in Christ,

Betty

From: "John Paulk" <Paulkjn@fotf.org>

To: <betty@bettybowers.com>

Sent: Monday, July 31, 2000 3:49 PM

Subject: From John Paulk

Dear Betty:

My secretary, Linda Carpenter, passed me a copy of your most recent email which I found to be quite unsettling.

Your email said that you had been hearing some things about me that have given you pause and indeed disgusted you. This causes me GREAT concern. I consider myself as having the utmost integrity and would never do anything to intentionally misrepresent the Lord or the ministry.

I would be most appreciative if you would tell me what has been said about me. I consider it biblical to allow me the opportunity to clear my name or apologize if I've said or done anything offensive.

Thank you most sincerely,

John Paulk

    From: "Betty Bowers" <betty@bettybowers.com>

    To: "John Paulk" <Paulkjn@fotf.org>

    Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2000 8:43 PM

    Subject: Re: From John Paulk

    Dear John:

    I am sorry that it has taken me a while to respond, but I was seeking the Lord's guidance in responding to your letter. Naturally, I did not wish to repeat gossip or be unkind, so I turned to Him who is all Wisdom for suggestions on how to approach this.

    I will try to be honest without being rude or hurtful. You see, when I had initially approached you about appearing at my Ex-Gay Ministry function, I was very excited to have a very famous Ex-Gay. It is so important for me to give the lost souls Jesus has entrusted to my care a sense of hope that they can change. Between you and me, I have been hurting in my heart to see that Lucifer's grip on them is so strong that he has been able to pull them back into sin with such ease. I have lost so many of the boys this year and I am very afraid of the impact it will have on those who remain to see how many we have lost. That is why I thought it would give them a boost in the arm to see someone who has truly changed in the strength of Jesus and completely given up the homosexual lifestyle.

    When I mentioned that I had contacted you about coming, several people advised me that this was unwise. Some told me that you had been an "unattractive transvestite" and a "low-rent prostitute." [I apologize for repeating this, but, as a Christian, I must be honest.] I must be honest; I did not like hearing these things, but I told them that God forgives and the blood of Jesus cleanses and that your tawdry life only served to prove just how strong Jesus can be. I told them "If Jesus can pull someone as immoral as that up into righteousness, surely doesn't this give hope to decent people who have sinned?" They didn't like hearing that, but it is the truth. So, I have rebuked a couple of friends on your behalf, but I expect no thanks. All I said was the Lord's truth.

    What did concern me was that a couple people said that they had heard that you had lapsed back into the homosexual lifestyle. This, of course, really alarmed me. You see, I have been around the block enough to know that that happens all the time (I am no fool) but I just can't have someone who has lapsed around my ministry. My boys are trying so hard to be righteous. I need to make sure that the right example is set.

    I am sure that you understand.

    Yours in Christ,

    Betty

    From: "John Paulk" <Paulkjn@fotf.org>

    To: <betty@bettybowers.com> Cc: "Linda Carpenter" <Carpenlm@fotf.org>; "Jeff Marchant" <Marchajf@fotf.org>

    Sent: Thursday, August 03, 2000 10:20 AM

    Subject: Re: From John Paulk

    Hi Betty:

    Thank you so much for responding to my email. I appreciate your heart toward those trapped in homosexuality and the desire to see the Lord free them.

    Regarding the "information" you received about me...Yes it's true that along with my homosexuality I was a female impersonator and a prostitute. But when I received the Lord in 1987, I left this behind along with my homosexuality. Since my conversion, I have NEVER gone back to homosexuality. As a matter of fact, I never had a sexual fall since that time either.

    You have received some wrong information. The gay community has been perpetuating lies about me for many years now attempting to discredit me. I have a clean record and this can be backed up.

    For one thing, I am the current board chairman for Exodus International. I manage an entire department for Focus on the Family on homosexuality with a staff under me [sic.]. I am on several national task forces on homosexuality and in positions of leadership. Dr. Dobson, just last month, had me write his July newsletter on homosexuality that reaches 1.8 million people.

    I have written and had published 2 books on my testimony and have been written up in USA Today, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Christianity Today, Moody, New Man magazine and dozens of others.

    Focus on the Family would in no way, permit me to be in a position of management if I had gone back into homosexuality.

    Please feel free to contact Bob Davies, executive director of Exodus for a referral. His number is: 206-784-0209. You may also contact my supervisor at Focus on the Family, Jeff Marchant or the Vice President of Public Policy at Focus. Either of these men can be reached at: 719-531-3400.

    Betty, I so appreciate you wanting someone of exceptional reputation speaking on your behalf at any function you may put together. I can assure you I maintain the highest moral standards for my life and ministry. Please reconsider me for your event, as the information you heard about me is false.

    Sincerely in Christ,

    John Paulk

    From: "Betty Bowers" <betty@bettybowers.com>

    To: "John Paulk" <Paulkjn@fotf.org>

    Sent: 09/21/00 07:54AM

    Subject: Re: From John Paulk

    Mr. Paulk:

    After you writing to me promising that the information I had heard about you was untrue, I was disgusted to be told that you were seen cavorting in a homosexual bar the other night. So, I guess we can add the word "liar" to the list of sins you will have to answer for when you appear before the White Throne and meet the Almighty on the Day of Judgment that we shall all face. I am glad I won't be in your shoes, regardless of heelsize!

    My heart goes out to Anne. I will pray for her that she does not get sucked into the vortex of your chicanery.

    Was Focus on the Family complicit in the sham you have been perpetrating? Do you realize that your selfish act of giving in to Satan may set back the ex-gay movement light-years? Don't you realize that you had a responsibility to us when you went on the cover of Newsweek not to embarrass those of use you run ex-gay ministries? And I don't want to hear your foolish "I just went in to use the bathroom" lie. Do you think we are idiots? Don't compound your living a lie with telling one, young man!

    I just thank the Lord that I did not sully the name of my ex-gay ministry by associating it with a prevaricator like you. It is bad enough that you have made Focus on the Family look like a bunch of lying fools, but I know that it was God who was whispering in my ear when I was told, "Have nothing to do with that garbage, Betty." Thank you Lord for seeing fit to spare me the embarrassment that Focus on the Family will now face!

    Yours in Christ,

    Betty Bowers

    From: "Jeff Marchant" <Marchajf@fotf.org>

    To: <betty@bettybowers.com>

    Sent: Thursday, September 21, 2000 10:53 AM

    Subject: Re: God knows all lies

    Dear Ms. Bowers:

    I am John's immediate supervisor in the Public Policy Division of Focus on the Family. I will respond to your e-mail, but am not interested in a continuing exchange.

    It amazes me that, wherever you are, you have decided that you know all about this incident. You have now heard a story that will be spread like wildfire through gay channels and beyond and you believe you know the facts. Your message to John is condemning, judgmental, and bitter. You seem to "know" that he really was "cavorting", that he is engaged in "chicanery", and that he is lying about his initial impulse of entering the place to use the bathroom.

    John did something impulsive and dumb. He called me that night at home from Washington D.C., an emotional wreck because of the lapse in judgment he displayed. However, after spending hours with him on the phone and now in person, here are what I believe the facts are. You must decide on your own, but we have lost no faith in John.

    John was not looking for a sexual encounter. Had one presented itself, he would not have been interested. He is, in his own words, "not oriented that way any longer". He should not have gone into a place like that by himself, and I have a feeling this incident will terrorize him out of slipping like that again.

    I pray, Ms. Bowers, that those who participate in your ex-gay ministry receive more charity and support from you than you have displayed long-distance to a man you have never met. Always remember the source when the gay machine begins a campaign of personal destruction. Surely you are aware of that reality.

    John is not "garbage", and he and we will recover from this incident, only through the grace and power of God. Unfortunately, the worst of the damage will probably not come from our ideological opponents, but from those whom we would count as friends.

    Jeff Marchant Director, Legislative & Cultural Affairs Focus on the Family

    From: "Betty Bowers" <betty@bettybowers.com>

    To: Jeff Marchant" <Marchajf@fotf.org>

    Sent: Thursday, September 21, 2000 11:21 AM

    Subject: Re: God knows all lies

    Dear Mr. Marchant:

    I realize that you feel the need to save face and I sympathize with you in being placed in this difficult situation by one of those dreadful, promiscuous, prevaricating homosexuals. But I will not be a party to lying simply to patch over something that is embarrassing for Mr. Paulk and Focus on the Family. My Lord will not have it and I am, frankly surprised that you are so gripped by Satan and considerations of "this world" that you would be a party to willful deception. How dare you insult me with the nonsense that Mr. Paulk is "not oriented that way any longer"? People who are not "oriented that way" do not traipse into notorious gay bars and lollygag with homosexuals for almost an hour. If you think this is typical behavior for a man who is "not oriented that way any longer" then I would like a word with your wife, Mr. Marchant.

    You may be confident that Mr. Paulk has been sufficiently "terrorized" to not lapse again, but I am not so sanguine. Truly, it is a foolish person indeed who thinks they can prance into a homosexual bar incognito when they have graced the cover of Newsweek. He could have at least gone in dressed as a transvestite, as he is wont to do, to avoid detection. Someone who is that dim will sin again and I don't envy you having to be around to pick up the pieces. If you wish to squander your own good name over this, so be it, but I won't be a party to it.

    Does Mr. Paulk consider you an idiot? Or simply someone who will repeat any self-serving comment no matter how outrageous? Both of you are doing a great disservice to the Lord by making the Ex-Gay movement look even more foolish by speaking shameless, self-serving lies. I rebuke you in the name of Jesus! As I said, I am very pleased that the Lord saw fit to not taint my Baptists Are Saving Homosexuals ministry directly, but we will all suffer for Focus on the Family's folly.

    Yours in Christ's love,

    Betty Bowers

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