Last Friday, our sister site PinkPaper.com broke a major news
story about a so-called gay conversion conference which was being
held in central London.
Reporting on the news before anybody else, they detailed how
Westminster's Emmanuel Centre would host the day-long event,
entitled: The Pastoral and the Prophetic in Conflict? Homosexuality
and the Church.
Organised by The Core Issues Trust, it was allegedly designed to
"empower" gay people into becoming heterosexual.
It went ahead despite condemnation from community groups in
Belfast - where it had been previously held - plus criticism from
professional organisations declaring such 'therapies' as
Sparking mass debate amongst the community, our story was the
most-read on our site and was even picked up by BBC London radio,
who featured PinkPaper.com's Editor, Peter Lloyd, in a live on-air
discussion with one of the group's representatives.
But we also successfully gained access to the venue itself and
retrieved examples of the official literature (pictured) which was
distributed to attendees.
Inside, our source - who cannot be identified - obtained six
separate documents. The main one was the day's official program
(bottom, right), which stated that the event aimed "...to inform,
connect minds, power and activate."
Furthermore, the literature added: "The combination of a pervasive
timidity, even fear, with passivity, ignorance and denial has kept
many Christian leaders publicly silent on sexual matters.
Thankfully, the fall-out of the sexual revolution is becoming
visible in relation to no-fault divorce, abortion and
It also featured a contributors list which detailed several
UK-based people, including: Rev Paul Perkin and London's Robert
Harris, who apparently runs "support groups for sexual
According to the schedule, Mike Davidson - one of the co-directors
of Core Issues, who himself has been on a 'personal journey out of
homosexuality' - gave a seminar on church healing, while Harris
presented on "the mythology of gay identity".
The brochure also referenced Christian marriage counsellor
Gary McFralane, who made the headlines after being
sacked by marriage guidance service Relate in 2008 for
refusing to treat same-sex couples.
Similarly, Dr Jim Reynolds, author of a book called The Lepers
Amongst Us, gave several addresses - one heard by our source. They
claim he was: "mouthing off" about how "gay people where not being
inclusive of all and that we were taking the moral high
Other hand-outs distributed included a 'True & False' quiz on
LGBT issues - which criticises Peter Tatchell for saying that
hetero and homosexuality will become less separate in a future
enlightened society - plus, a photocopy of a book's chapter
entitled Sexual Ethics and the Jesus of the Gospels by John
Planners had also photocopied a Terrence Higgins Trust brochure
entitled Below The Belt, which is a free safer-sex guide for gay/bi
men. This was labeled as "warning: graphic".
Yet, despite the prevalence of chilling quotations such as "Soft
'coercion' produces no martyrs to disturb anyone's conscience", our
source informed us that there were only "about 20 people, all aged
between 50 and 70" in attendance, which suggests the event was of
less interest than previously thought.
However, the above proof we obtained does little to support the
group's declaration that they simply use Christian love and values
to liberate people.
Disturbingly, attendees were also charged an entry fee - varying
from £35 to £70 - with "a recording of plenary sessions" available
to buy for £15. Cheques foir these were to be made payable to
Anglican Mainstream: "a community within the Anglican Communion
committed to promote, teach and maintain the Scriptural truths on
which the Anglican Church was founded."
The details of the event are exclusive to PinkPaper.com and
In response to this, we contacted Peter Loo, the Senior Pastor of
the Emmanuel Centre, to offer him a right to reply - but are yet to
receive a response.
Andrew Samuels, Chair of the United Kingdom Council for
Psychotherapy, slammed the premise of the event, claiming it was
He told PinkPaper.com: "This isn't about respecting religious
belief or freedom of speech. Those are just smokescreens. This is
really about homophobia - fear and hatred of sexual minorities -
often fuelled by highly controversial readings of scripture.
"Every responsible organisation in the field of psychotherapy,
counselling and mental health has expressed extreme concern at the
practice of therapy intended to change sexual orientation. Such
attempts are profoundly unethical, don't work, and exploit the
undeniable difficulties people from sexual minorities
experience in our society. It is vital that people don't get fooled
by expressions of love and support for gays and lesbians emanating
from the Core Issues Trust."
The Core Issues Trust denied that their mission was homophobic,
but instead insisted that it was merely pro-religion.