In June 2015, an organization called JONAH which offers sexual orientation change interventions, was found by a New Jersey jury to have committed consumer fraud for having offered services that they were not able to fulfill. Three individuals from the LDS LGBT/SSA community participated in that trial. Two of those individuals, Pret Dahlgren and Jeff Bennion who were members of the board of directors of the LDS/SSA group North Star, testified on behalf of JONAH about the benefits they’ve experienced from interventions which were relevant to the case.. Also referenced in the course of the trial was another organization that similarly offers sexual orientation change interventions called Journey into Manhood and its parent company People Can Change which are popular among many in the LDS/SSA community, most particularly in the North Star community. Since the jury’s verdict was announced, two letters-to-the-editor have been published in the Salt Lake Tribune: one calling on North Star to clarify its relationship to Journey into Manhood and distance itself from any sexual orientation change programs, and the other was a rebuttal defending individuals’ right to participate in these programs as a means of addressing their “unwanted” same sex attraction as they see fit. Recently, as a result of the public response to the affiliations between Journey into Manhood and its philosophies, North Star issued an announcement that both Pret Dahlgren and Jeff Bennion have resigned from the board of directors. Part 1 of this series addresses the experience that many LDS LGBT and SSA people have of not wanting to experience their same sex attraction. This feeling is the most common motivation leading individuals to participate in programs like Journey into Manhood. The podcast contributors share their own narratives and include descriptions of how they’ve ultimately chosen to respond to their “unwanted” same sex attraction.
Listen to PART 2
Contributors: Jay, Josh,Tom, Laura, Kendall
Music by Micah Dahl Anderson