Anne Paulk is the executive director of Restored Hope Network, an ex-gay ministry largely consisting of former members of the now defunct Exodus International. Paulk, who identifies as an ex-lesbian, has some rather confused ideas about homosexuality. Apparently, she has even, uh, written a “study” (a “survey”, in fact, conducted among people whom Paulk expected to give the answers she wanted) showing that homophobia is not an issue, that homosexuality, to the extent that it exists, is caused by sexual abuse, and that “sixty-six percent of [lesbian] women had incurred sexual abuse early on in their lives” (of course she also complained that the media wasn’t interested in her results, citing bias). Paulk is prepared to “offer Biblical answers for those struggling with same sex attraction,” which apparently includes telling them that gay men are punished by God with disease and early death for having sex with other men. Indeed, gay people are apparently “naïve” for thinking that God won’t
do as she likes and punish them. Behind their sins and proclivities is Satan, of course, who is working in particular through his trusted servants teachers, who have “brainwashed” students into supporting gay rights, thereby pushing society into a “downward spiral” dominated by “gay propaganda.” As for parents who come to know that their children have fallen victim to homosexual lifestyles, Paulk asks them to remember that those kids are “rebelling against God” and recommends having a “healthy detachment” from them due to their “choices;” after all, denouncing your children tends to work out well for everyone involved.
Now, reparative therapy is dangerous pseudoscience and its success rate dismal, but according to Paulk this is largely because Satan is always trying to drag
victims patients back into homosexuality. Moreover, reparative therapy is also being thwarted by Satanic means like facts and evidence and Satanic minions like experts and the government – opponents of ex-gay therapy are “abusing kids” and making sure the government begins “sacrificing our youth to HIV/AIDS, syphilis and gonorrhea.”. Indeed, the opposition to reparative therapy is clearly being driven by demons: it is, as Paulk sees it, obviously “demonic” that evidence, truth and reality are telling people “lies” about the opportunity people have to find “hope and healing” from homosexuality.
Her output includes the book Love Won Out: How God’s Love Helped 2 People Leave Homosexuality and Find Each Other, coauthored with her then-husband John. John Paulk later came out as ex-ex-gay, denounced reparative therapy and in the process also became Anne’s ex-husband. She has not been particularly eager to discuss this issue apart from lamenting how John Paulk has been “disobedient” to
Diagnosis: At least people like her are not exactly, shall we say, finding the tune with today’s kids, and for the most part seem hell-bent on marginalizing the anti-gay movement. Still, reparative therapy has produced, and continues to produce, plenty of suffering. Don’t forget that while you reward Paulk with the pointing and laughing she richly deserves.