Sunday, September 13, 2015

Appearing on the TLC Network will only get you into trouble

I remember the good ol' days of the TLC Network, back when they showed stuff like Trading Spaces. Today, the network is surrounded by controversy:

*Mama June in "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" was linked to a convicted sex offender.

*Hypocrite Josh Dugger in "19 Kids and Counting" admitted to molesting his siblings and then cheated on his wife using an Ashley Madison account.

*"Breaking Amish" (which I actually watched) turned out to be completely fake.

I could go on and on.

And now it looks like the dudes in "My Husband's Not Gay" are facing some unwanted attention. I reviewed the show back in January and made note the three married guys were all involved with "People Can Change" and Journey Into Manhood - a place for "men who are self-motivated and serious about resolving unwanted homosexual attractions."

Recently, Jeff Bennion and Pret Dahlgren, who both appeared in "My Husband's Not Gay" have resigned from their leadership positions in North Star. The gay LDS support group says their continued participation may be a distraction to their mission. It goes on to say: "North Star has never advocated any specific therapy, including reparative or 'conversion' therapy; we feel that message will be made more clear if we no longer fill leadership roles."   --- (Which is funny because I found this message in one of the Northstar discussion groups:)

"Is NorthStar becoming nothing more than a reparative therapy sales center?? That's all I ever see mentioned here are Evergreen conferences, JIM events, and pitches for people like Ritch Wyer. Is there nothing for people who aren't interested in reparative therapy, or who tried it and didn't get anything out of it?"

I can't say the TV show is directly responsible for their resignations, but I'm sure their on-screen appearances played a role. A recently published op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune may have also been a contributing factor. In any event, the TV show exposed a few extra skeletons in their closet (no pun intended) which led to unwanted media attention.

EDIT: If you have some time to kill, check out the transcripts from the public gay conversion therapy trial mentioned in the Trib article. It's a VERY interesting read.

What are my thoughts? Well, since I believe nothing good can come out of North Star, I could care less about these changes. But the younger Mormon LGBT community still trying to figure out themselves will benefit without the influence of Bennion and Dahlgren.

I still don't know why these guys and their wives appeared on "My Husband's Not Gay" in the first place. We probably will never know why. But considering all of TLC's controversies, how could they imagine that anything positive could come out of it?

I mentioned this in my original North Star post, and still feel it applies right now. Please, please, PLEASE think before you record a video or appear on a national cable network for something that could be seen as controversial. It's just not worth it. There are other ways to get your message across. (For example, start an anonymous blog!) :)

Another case in point - why does this Voices of Hope video have over 10,000 views while the majority have barely hit 500? This is why.  :(


  1. that message from the northstar board has got to be old. Evergreen hasn't even existed for a year and a half

    1. It is old. It made an impact on me after it was posted because I had the exact same feelings.

      The quote came from the Google group, which has died down a lot recently. I don't belong to any of the FB groups, so I have no idea what the current chatter is.

  2. I really really enjoy your posts.

    It's been a long time since I even thought about north star or anything to do with them. In fact, so long for me that I needed to go back and reread your original post about north star, and then your original one about Josh weed and his being for gay marriage. I had forgotten all of that. (Do you still have a copy of Josh's post about being for gay marriage? I would love a copy if you do. My email is: dubistmeinduck@gmail. com. Thank you!!)

    Those support groups are nothing but trouble. Inherently, things are going to go awry when you put gay people with other gay people. Things are going to happen, Lucy, said Ricky. (I love Lucy reference, I'm tired and silly tonight). The moderator of the women's support group I shortly belonged to used her support group (to help gay women remain faithful to the church and its teachings) to pick up women and have her sexual flings. A last count, she has had sex with at least ten of the women. Last i knew, she had been excommunicated fit having sex with a married woman. I know, go figure.

    I'm now really curious about the things you have written about north star and their cuddle parties.I would love to hear details (as I am tired and wanting to hear details) about that. I used to be friends with someone very high up in north star. I fear for him. I think in the beginning there may have been some good come out of North Star, but now you couldn't pay me to even think about supporting them. I really think they have got many things wrong, my opinion.

    Sorry for being so long winded. I'll stop yakking. I just really did want to say how great your posts are. Thank you for being so thoughtful and provocative, sensible and honest. I love your writing. Thank you!!

    Happy night, love Duck

    1. Howdy Duck!

      Glad you enjoy the blog posts. I enjoy sharing all my feelings!

      I've sent you an email with Josh's deleted post about gay marriage.

      And yes, support groups can be trouble. Getting a bunch of sexually repressed guys in the same room can be a recipe for disaster.

      As for the cuddle parties, I've heard varying stories, but basically the N* guys get together and, well, cuddle. It's supposed to be non-sexual and helps decrease the attractions.

      Not sure if you saw the edit to the above post, but some more revelation on these cuddle parties can be found in the JONAH trial transcripts -

      Read what Jeff and Pret had to say when they were testifying. It'll give you more insight on the N* ways.

      Thanks again for your kind words!