Curing Teh Gayz — In Just Three Weeks!

There are going to be enough people out there who will point out the fundamental (heh) absurdity of declaring Ted Haggard cured of his taste for jock-seasoned meats that I’m not even going to bother with that. What I will say is that I found the following tidbit from Haggard’s recent e-mail to his former flock interesting:

As part of New Life’s efforts to help me, they sent Gayle and me to Phoenix for a three-week psychological intensive that gave us three years worth of analysis and treatment. We all wanted to know why I developed such incongruity in my life.

Really? Three years of therapy in three weeks? This was the Reader’s Digest Condensed Gay Cure package, then? How can that work? I mean, come on. That part where you taser a gay man’s junk while he watches the films of Cher? That takes up a whole day in itself. You can’t just scamper through Mermaids if you want those 50,000 volts of pure haploid-frying Christly love to have their maximum effect. Remember: They must savor ‘ere you taser. And then you only have 20 days left for everything else! It’s madness, I tell you! Madness.

Those of you who persist in dealing with reality may quite rightly note that inasmuch as curing people of their hunger for smoked pole doesn’t work anyway, you might as well take the three-week course, the better to get out in time for prime cruise season. But, see. That’s exactly the problem, isn’t it? You can’t cure people of the same sex slippery, so the only real value of one of these programs is to reassure people who simply don’t want to know any better that you’ve done your time and have had the longing for the huevos con chorizo grande platter well and truly shaken out of you. And, well. Three weeks just isn’t enough time for that.

You what a three-week gay cure is like? It’s like Rock & Roll Fantasy Camp. You go, you play around with people who are what you kind of fantasize about being, and you have a fine ol’ time jumping up and down on stage with your new pals. But when you come home, your friends don’t suddenly confuse you with David Bowie. And if you tell them you’re going to chuck your job and go on the road, they’ll look at you like you’re high. That’s because the relevant word in the phrase “Rock & Roll Fantasy Camp” is “fantasy”.

Now, unlike the rock & roll fantasy camp, the three-week gay cure probably isn’t up front about the whole “fantasy” aspect of its product. But, friend. Everybody knows. Which is why, I suspect, when members of Haggard’s former flock read about it, at least some of them are going to go “three weeks, eh?” and then start counting the days until the man gets caught once again sampling from the sausage tray. These folks may be misguided in their thoughts on making people “ex-gay,” but that doesn’t mean they’re stupid.

Bottom line: If you want people to buy the lie that you’ve been de-homofied, you need to put in the tick-tock. Three months, at least. That’s like a semester at Julliard, if you know what I mean. At least you’ve then given the appearance of making an effort. Three weeks? Not even close.

49 thoughts on “Curing Teh Gayz — In Just Three Weeks!

  1. I wanna see him volunteer to have his prostate cauterized (yeah, they really used to do that). I mean, if he’s serious about this thing.

  2. Give him a copy of the Undergear mail order catalog and see how long he lasts.

    (Lean, six-pack-abbed guys in skimpy underwear. Suggestively-filled underwear. I’m not sure the filling is always natural; at least, I’ve never heard of anyone whose testicles have squared-off corners.)

  3. But, you know, the thing is that he never was actually queer. “It was the acting-out situations where things took place.” So, you know, as long as he stays away from masseurs who provide full release along with crystal meth, Ted should be fine.

  4. Tonight on the Whatever, John Scalzi takes on defending world champion Dan Savage in the brutal sport of Deriding Hypocritical Closeted Gay Men!

  5. Penis.

    I felt like someone ought to actually use the word. I mean…sausage, gay man’s junk, smoked pole….I just thought we should use that word, at some point.

    Clearly, they forced Haggard to watch that Snickers commercial from the Superbowl. ;)

  6. WizarDru:

    “I felt like someone ought to actually use the word.”

    But… that might make someone feel uncomfortable.

  7. The truly sad thing is that they think teh gayz is something that can be (or should be) “cured.” That many of the people in his church will nod their heads and say, “amen, he’s cured,” or at least *They* think the congregation will buy it, is just even more ammo for those people who make fun of them.

    Or maybe is a new program of “scared straight.” The prison version of the program is usually an afternoon, so 3-weeks might be long enough for teh gayz.

  8. So if Mr. Haggard told his suck- …sorry, followers: “I’m fine now, I’m off the gay stuff, all I do is snort crystal meth”… would they accept him that way?

    A meth-head preacher?

    Color me intolerant, but I think that’s just wrong.

  9. I don’t think they’d want him to be straight but on crank. I think the meth is a disqualifier on its own.

  10. Though of course a preacher high on crank might make for some radical sermons:

    “I spoke to the Lord, he speaks to me now, he’s shouting so hard my head hurts! And the Spirit is crawling through my skin, waaah! It itches! And the Devil sits right there on the front row disguised as Mrs. Petunia! DIE EVIL ONE! Raaahh!!”
    (*SATIRE*)

  11. I don’t care about Haggard, or even how much time he spent in therapy – but I detest the fact that he went public with this. It’s fine with me if he wants to “ungay” himself, but please, keep it to yourself.

    I guess his invisible friend didn’t do a thorough job of helping Ted ignore his real self.

  12. Quoting Yngve: …would they accept him that way?
    Likely irrelevant. In the AP story yesterday the De-Gayification Camp counselors, in the aftermath of doing the Clockwork Orange on poor Rev. Ted, recommended the Haggard family leave town and “strongly urged Haggard to go into secular work.”
    As the Guinness boys say, “Brilliant!” Now, where is a disgraced sanctimonious perv* supposed to find work? I won’t say “politics” ’cause that’s below even Leno-level humor.
    *”Perv” because of the hypocricy, not the homo-itis, sensitive ones.

  13. Introducing the new Ted Haggard “Jesus Camp, Beat Teh Gayz in 3 Weeks.” Are you cranked out and wondering what else to smoke? Feeling an ich you dare not scratch? Join other young men in the woods for this new experience. Watch as well all explore these feelings and share tips. Ted Haggard leads this intensive course in how to beat teh gayz…

  14. Psychotherapy as a cure for {fill in the blank.} Three days, three weeks, three months, three years, treee decades — all the same. You may as well visit Marie Laveau and and ask Baron Samedi for a cure.

  15. John Scalzi:
    WizarDru:

    “I felt like someone ought to actually use the word.”

    But… that might make someone feel uncomfortable.

    In that case, PENIS. Please make them uncomfortable. The more we make them uncomfortable, the sooner they get over it.

  16. Men aren’t allowed to bi in our culture, Rich. The moment you fiddle with a fella, you’re totally gay. Any girl action you might henceforth receive is simply about denial.

  17. Really? Three years of therapy in three weeks?I don’t understand why you think this is so hard (she says, with a blonde hair-flip thing). ‘Cuz, like, you’re, like, making certain assumptions of how much time these the-rapists spend helping people in a normal three years, aintcha?

  18. Men aren’t allowed to bi in our culture, Rich. The moment you fiddle with a fella, you’re totally gay. Any girl action you might henceforth receive is simply about denial.

    Heh. Folks who really believe that might benefit from a little chat with my girlfriend.

    As for whether Haggard is gay or bisexual (*), frankly I can’t bring myself to care.

    (*) Note that the word is not hyphenated, except possibly in the letters section of old issues of Penthouse.

  19. Bearpaw:

    “Folks who really believe that might benefit from a little chat with my girlfriend.”

    That’s exactly what we expect someone in denial to say, Bearpaw! You totally gay not-at-all bisexual man, you!

  20. Wow, not a lot of fans of therapists here, eh? Speaking as one: 1)DSM-IV jettisoned the idea of homosexuality as a “disease” a long time ago, so the therapists Haggard went to aren’t in my book; 2) therapy can actually help people; 3) there has a been a move by many therapists towards “brief therapy”, such as 2 – 3 months of weekly sessions.

    So, don’t let the wack jobs out there sour you all on therapy. For a lot of things, it can help. Sadly, I will admit that I have never been able to help dogmatic religious hypocrites who like the crystal meth.

    For extra laughs, check out Friends of God on HBO. Woo-boy, you could see Haggard’s lusty nature poking out months ago.

  21. Okay, I just read the article, and the three week thing isn’t the funniest part. There’s just so much material there, I don’t know where to start. The orders to basically “Get the Hell Out of Dodge,” because he couldn’t heal in Colorado Springs, priceless. I mean, every paragraph and my snark meter is going off the charts. “We’re into this thing over 90 days, and it hasn’t happened (someone else coming forward to say they’ve had gay sex with him)!” Har! Skate faster Reverend, the ice is still pretty thin.

    And for being “totally hetro,” but still needed conselling twice a week.

    Oh, my sides arch from trying not to laugh out loud at work.

  22. That’s exactly what we expect someone in denial to say, Bearpaw! You totally gay not-at-all bisexual man, you!

    Of course, that’s pretty much what I’d expect someone in denial to say about what I said. In fact, that’s pretty much what I’ve had said to me on occasion. Only they weren’t kidding.

    Believe me, it’s a particularly weird flavor of irony when it comes from a gay man.

  23. Re: therapists: Some of ‘em are good, some of ain’t, just like with most professionals.

    I’ve only had limited personal experience. One was not-very-helpful — which honestly may have been more about myself and my context than anything else — and one was nothing short of awesome. She didn’t “fix” anything, because in retrospect it’s clear that it couldn’t have been fixed. But she helped us fail much more gracefully than we would have without her help. Worth every damn penny and every damn minute.

  24. Wow, you really were channeling Dan Savage for this. I even checked back at the top to see if you had a surprise guest column or something.

  25. Well said Bearpaw! Seriously, do you mind if I borrow that description of how therapy works sometimes?

  26. I think its healthy to be a bit skeptical of psychotherapy, especially when the word “cure” is being added to the sentence. We don’t typically cure people of anything. Assistance with adjusting to circumstances is one of our strengths, though.

    Mainstream therapists don’t try to “cure” people of homosexuality. The best we can do is help you work on figuring out a balance. Ted won’t be helped by repressing his sexuality. We call people pretending to be something they’re not delusional. We also call pastoral counselors who think they can “cure” someone of homosexuality delusional as well.

  27. This kind of thing is pretty typical of post-scandal fundamentalist and charismatic Christian figures who aren’t part of a broader denomination. They announce some kind of nominal “treatment” or “restoration” or whatever, and then try to go back into business ASAP. Denominations won’t stand for this–it’s why Swaggart, for instance, had to leave the Assemblies of God following the prostitution thing. They demanded that he retire for at least two years and get counseling, he said his work was too important to The Lord, he left the AoG.

    FWIW, this generally doesn’t work out too well for them, because even American Christians aren’t *that* stupid. Swaggart’s still around, but with his audience vastly diminished–I dunno what he’s doing these days, but he had to take his show on public access for a while in the nineties. Haggard will likely see his own role and acceptance diminished similarly (I mean, GAG, teh *gay*), which makes you wonder why any of these people bother.

  28. I just have to say, that post was filled with more allegories for “gay”, “penis” etc than I’ve seen in a while. That takes some talent. I mean, Penny Arcade has done it, but theirs are a bit more crass. Heh.

  29. Yanni, you crazy dreamer!

    Hey, how did the premeire go?

    You may saaaay I’m dreamer….

    The premiere went smashingly! Sold out house and we’re looking to do another screening on a Sunday Mid-March. People had almost only good things to say (there are Philistines in every crowd ;). Seriously, the support for a film with lesbian undertones was pretty darn good for such a provincial area :)

  30. Well said Bearpaw! Seriously, do you mind if I borrow that description of how therapy works sometimes?

  31. My wife is a psychologist who does therapy, and I am of the belief that therapy can be a good thing if you have a good therapist who is also the right therapist. (These two things don’t always align.)

    But the therapy field suffers because it is too easy for fast-talking charlatans to hang up a shingle and do hackwork. In a lot of other professions, successes and failures add up over time to allow a reasonable assessment, in varying degrees – this doctor saves lives, this one loses them; this lawyer wins cases, this one loses more; this engineer’s bridges stand up, and so on. It’s not perfect (especially with lawyers), but it’s doable.

    But how the heck do you know who a good therapist is? Even good ones have low “success” rates compared to other fields. And “success” is so intangible – witness Bearpaw’s 10:07 comment up above.

    Add in that there is an actual market for fake therapists who will do what Haggard needed done (no actual therapy, just a stamp of approval), and the reputations of all therapists suffer.

    I don’t know how to fix the problem, because I don’t know what kind of objective criteria a state could use to have stricter licensure requirements. For instance, higher degrees sometimes represent mere credentialism. All I can do is urge folks who feel a need to try therapy to interview with several to find a good fit. And a bad experience with one therapist doesn’t mean another one can’t do you good.

  32. Clearly, none of you watch Boston Legal.

    Last night’s show involved Henry Gibson playing a judge suing a “treatment facility”. They had told him they could cure him of S.S.A.D (Same Sex Addiction Disorder), a disease wherein the sufferer only THINKS he’s gay in spite of being totally hetero.

    Ted must’ve had it, too.

  33. I don’t know why you’re all jumping to conclusions that he actually did meth. Didn’t you read what the man said? He just purchased it, but he never actually used it.

    HE was…ummm…just trying to support the local economy. You’re all making like a minister might be some kind of gay dope fiend. For shame!

  34. Robert suggested that, “…even American Christians aren’t *that* stupid…”

    I dunno, a whole lot of my co-religionists are dumber than a sack of hammers. You seen how many followers, and how much influence, someone like James Dobson has ? How many hundreds of thousands of these gits attend giant mega-churches who proclaim that “gays, liberals, and uppity-women” are the worst threat to civilization as we know it since the Mongol hordes made it all the way to the gates of Vienna ?

    Sweet Gee-Zus, it’s embarrassing.

  35. John -

    I am sorely disappointed in your Koala entry, and I demand the funny! We got these gems the last time you did a Ted Haggard necropsy:

    …. “Taste for jock-seasoned meats

    …. “Taser a gay man’s junk while he watches the films of Cher”

    …. “Hunger for smoked pole”

    …. “Sampling from the sausage tray”

    I suspect that you are going light on those little lesbo koalas, so lets spice it up a bit:

    …. “The koalas asked for SECOND free samples after they completed their tour of the StarKist factory, and…

    …. “When furry creatures hunger for a fur-burger…

    // Kidding of course.
    // Grinning, ducking, and running for cover!

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