Wouldn’t it be nice if such a switch existed? If you could go from Gay to Not Gay as easily and painlessly as turning off a light?
Sadly, it doesn’t exist. And being gay doesn’t work that way. And trying to be “ex-gay” doesn’t work at all.
And sometimes, what people do to try to flip a switch that doesn’t exist…is downright gruesome:
The leader of a Christian prayer group in the Kansas City, Mo., area is suspected of being behind the murder of his wife, whose death was first thought to be a suicide, the Kansas City Star reports.
The newspaper reports that members of the group, which is connected to the International House of Prayer, a virulently anti-gay group, claimed that the group’s leader, Tyler Deaton, was against homosexuality because he struggled with being gay himself. “He struggled with it, but he overcame it,” a member of the group told the Star. “It was a victory.”
Now, some suspect that Deaton, who was regarded as the group’s “spiritual leader,” may have been involved with the death of his wife, Bethany Deaton, 27, whose body was found the night before Halloween in the back of her van. Soon after she died, 23-year-old Micah Moore, a member of the prayer group, turned himself into authorities and told them that Tyler Deaton put him up to murdering his wife. He also revealed the horrific acts that allegedly went on behind the group’s doors.
According to the Star, several members of the group lived in Tyler Deaton’s home in Grandview, Mo., which is about 16 miles south of Kansas City. The Star reports that there were a number of “young adults making sex part of their religious experience” in the clan and the group’s men allegedly sexually assaulted Bethany Deaton for months.
Court records show that Moore claimed Bethany Deaton was planning on exposing the group and her husband. Moore confessed that he murdered the young woman and tried to make it look like a suicide. He insists that Tyler Deaton told him to commit the act.
Prosecutors have charged Moore with first-degree murder. Deaton and other members of the group are currently under investigations.
Not surprisingly, fundamentalist religion plays a key role in this unholy mess:
Christy Little, a woman who was in the same Bible study class as Deaton said she often debated him on religious topics.
“Everything had to go his way,” she told the publication. “One time he said there would be no discussion until everyone agreed that the King James version was the only true version of the Bible. Well, I was Catholic so I had a problem with that. So we argued and of course Tyler won everybody over because that’s what he did.”
While at Southwestern, Deaton was able to put together a large prayer group and after a falling out with the college’s administration in 2009, Deaton decided to take his group off campus. After they moved to Missouri, the members lived a cult-like existence, their lives consisting of sleep deprivation, humiliation and constant prayer.
Between fundamentalism and a tendency to domineer and overpower others, this guy was a tragedy in the making. Add to that the religious motivation to try to “pray away the gay”, and it was inevitable that his wife would pay the price. The tortures imposed on members of the prayer group didn’t work. All they did was further twist a bunch of already vulnerable psyches, until the cult leader talked the weakest link into helping him fake his wife’s suicide:
Bethany Deaton’s body was discovered in the back of her van in late October with a bag over her head and a suicide note left inside the car.
According to the Star, witnesses alleged that Bethany Deaton was sexually assaulted and drugged over a period of months. Moore claims that members of the group were worried she was going to expose their acts as she planed to speak with a therapist about the attacks. He added that he Tyler Deaton convinced him to kill his wife by telling him that he “had it in him to do it.”
You can kill a person, but you can’t kill the gay, any more than you can kill the truth. How much longer before that lesson is learned?