Colin Cook, one of the most prominent figures in what is commonly called the “ex-gay movement,” has resigned as director of Quest Learning Center, where he counseled people trying to overcome homosexual tendencies. Cook, a cofounder of the organization Homosexuals Anonymous, admitted having intimate sexual contact with several male counselees over the last six years.
The board of directors of Homosexuals Anonymous Fellowship Services (HAFS)/Quest Learning Center, has decided to close Quest, a ministry heavily financed by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. However, HAFS will continue as a phone counseling and referral service.
The progay organization Kinship was the first to reveal allegations against Cook. It released a report based on interviews with 14 men who complained of sexual pressures from Cook during counseling sessions. Cook has not denied the allegations. None of the behavior in question consisted of sexual intercourse.
Alan Medinger, speaking for the exgay umbrella organization Exodus International, characterized the revelations about Cook as “a major blow” to the movement. However, he noted that Exodus’s six board members, all former homosexuals, have lived several years free from homosexual behavior.
Medinger said that in Cook’s case, the accountability structure apparently broke down. He noted that Quest had no formal organizational relationship with Exodus, partly because of Exodus’s accountability requirements.
HAFS service coordinator Dan Roberts lamented, “I’ve seen articles from the progay perspective rejoicing over the ‘downfall’ of Colin Cook. These groups don’t leave any room for growth. Overcoming homosexuality in most cases is a long process.”
In a letter to members and supporters of Homosexuals Anonymous, Cook said that behaviors he had “classified as ‘parenting’ or ‘desensitizing’ I now see were clearly wrong.” He adds he has “confessed my behavior as sin and repented before [God] while seeking Him for a deeper repentance every day.”
Said Roberts, “Colin has become more than just a man; he’s become a symbol. I’m sure that for many years to come, [progay groups] will point to Colin and and say, ‘Look what happened.’ But the end of the story has not been written yet. I say that with a smile because I rejoice at what is happening in Colin’s life.”
Cook told CT his “wilderness experience” has spawned a “greater conviction of the possibility of heterosexual development.”
By Randy Frame.
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