Chasing the Devil and International Healing Foundation

John Sterback seems like a really nice man. Mr. Sterback is featured prominently in Chasing the Devil: Inside the Ex-gay Movement. He is affiliated with Richard Cohen’s International Healing Foundation in ways that are somewhat vague. He apparently is training to be a certified sexual reorientation coach via IHF. At the end of this clip Mr. Sterback say he does not believe Mr. Cohen or anyone to be “completely healed.”
Along with commentary from Mr. Sterback, this documentary features interviews with IHF Director, Richard Cohen. Cohen begins the video with a cooperative spirit but ends with him walking off camera.

Chasing the Devil: Inside the Ex-gay Movement… by Psychvideos
More information about the documentary can be found at the Coquizen Entertainment. While some of this will be quite uncomfortable for some viewers, the interviews are very informative for anyone interested in the ex-gay movement. Although the video is not done as an ex-gay apologetic piece, it does reveal the frequently heard conflict between homosexuality and religion. Particularly, in the cases of Jonah (Arthur Goldberg is interviewed extensively as well), and David Matheson (Journey into Manhood), religious conflict is a major driver of the desire and even the reality to move away from a gay identification. The video does not make light of this struggle and allows the people involved to speak.
In the case of the interview above, Mr. Cohen was asked about his expulsion from the American Counseling Association, bioenergetics and various IHF practices. These topics were clearly uncomfortable for Mr. Cohen.

12 thoughts on “Chasing the Devil and International Healing Foundation”

  1. If you have a reasonable fast connection you can pay to download the video from:
    It downloads the whole dvd – and burns it to disk. I have an okay connection (about 600 K/s down) and it took about 1.5 hrs to download and burn the disc.
    This is totally legit – not a pirated thing at all – or course you can just order the disc too from there – but I didn’t want to wait.

  2. Richard Cohen is absolutely the face of exgay comic relief 😉 I can’t wait to see this documentary!

  3. Hello David,
    The statistical assertions were from Richard’s book and were footnoted as being from Paul Cameron. The first sense we had that things were going poorly in the interview was when we raised the issue of Richard’s expulsion from the ACA.
    Bill Hussung &
    Mishara Canino-Hussung
    co-directors of Chasing the Devil: Inside the Ex-Gay Movement

  4. Where did Cohen get the statistical assertions for Same Sex contact with minors?
    Is it Paul Cameron’s work?
    That isn’t clear in the video.
    Is Cohen ending the interview because he believes he was deceived as to the nature of the interview?

  5. Richard Cohen is sorta like exgay comic relief 🙂
    I still think though the touch therapy thing is a little creepy. The hugs seemed to last a little long to be ‘manly’ hugs – but I guess the hug with backslap makes up for it 🙂

  6. John Sterback
    I don’t normally write in reparative threads but I thought I’d ask you a question. Right now scientists don’t know what causes SSA and you could be exactly right, homosexuality is caused by childhood or family experiences. Or perhaps it’s caused by a biological, hormonal or genetic susceptability combined with childhood experiences. Nobody knows for sure. However have you or your group ever considered that SSA might be due in part to childhood illness? Over the last few years researchers who look at everything from Autism to OCD have become very interested in this line of thinking. Much of what we used to think of as psychological or genetic is now suspected to be the result of common, childhood infections. What if SSA is like everything else?

    Dr. Greg Cochran has written a short piece that explains why he believes SSA is the result of a common, childhood infection. Even if you disagree with his ideas they are easy to understand and you might find them interesting.
    Dr. Greg Cochran: An Evolutionary Look at Human Homosexuality

  7. I’m glad that you have found new meanig in your relationships with those of your same gender. Personally, or at this time, I rarely if ever have SSA but I remember when I did. Overtime, things just change and the more I reinforce one kind of approach, the more it becomes more natural. It felt natural to be gay at one time and then it did not. Changing never seems natural or feels comfortable. That path lay ahead no matter. Now as the years have passed, I live those changes, have changed, exprience growth as a person who is different , rather than experience growth as the person I used to be. In other words, my horizons have changed, my view has changed because I have changed. It’s hard to describe but many of those who have come this way can relate. And this life I have now feels much more comfortable – definitely I am more comfortable than when I used to be gay – actively or otherwise identified. However, I will never forget what being gay was like. And it was not all bad stuff. We do add new ways of thinkng to our lives. We don’t take away the gay experience.

  8. Mary,
    You are right, that we cannot change everything about ourselves, but changing ones behavior does affect how we look at ourselves and our perceptions on things around us. SSA begins to mean something quite different once one stops acting on the feelings and begins to reach out to members of there own sex as friends and comrads rather than potential sexual partners. If the lust is not reinforced the attraction takes on a completely different meaning in ones life. This to me is change enough to find a new enjoyment in life without having to embrace something that just does not fit for some.

  9. I heard a good friend of mine say once about psychology and those things that happen in our lives that we can never take away and only add to. Makes a lot of sense when you think of any of the things people try to change about themselves. We can add new perspectives, attitudes, influences etc… but we will always have our past.

  10. @John Sterback:
    Thanks for commenting. I hope you will stick around and lend your views along the way.
    I wonder if you could share what was helpful about the Sexual reorientation coach training.

  11. Professor Throckmorton also seems to be a really nice man.
    I have been trained as a “Sexual Reorientaton Coach” by Richard Cohen which enables me and several others to claim a deeper understanding of the emotional wounds that manifest as same sex attraction (SSA). IHF offered this this training to men and women involved in ministy to those who struggle to understand, and perhaps overcome, an attraction to members of the same sex. In my case the ministry is Courage, a Roman Catholic group that offers a safe place for men and women who stuggle with SSA to find fellowship. Whatever insights I have are shared, without cost, to those who choose to listen to my message.
    It is true that I do not belive that anyone is “completely healed” from SSA. One of the unfortuate side effects of being “gay” is that I do not know what “straight” means. I see an attractive man and am never sure where admiration ends and lust starts. David Matheson sums it up best in his statement that “I am as straight as I need to be.”
    John Sterback

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