From Gay to Straight? Controversial Retreat Helps Men Deal With 'Unwanted Attraction'

Rich Wyler's Full Statement to ABC News Defending 'Journey into Manhood'

In response to claims made that "'Journey Into Manhood' didn't work for them," Wyler provided this statement: "People Can Change" has never suggested that all our participants will have 100 percent success. Indeed, heterosexuality is not necessarily even the end goal - peace, happiness, and brotherhood are.

However, in a survey, 4 out of 5 participants say their homosexual feelings have declined, and 9 out of 10 say they feel better about themselves, and that "Journey Into Manhood" has had a long-term positive effect on their lives. To us, that is success.

In response to claims made that "some exercises, like healthy touch, were inappropriate" Wyler provided this statement: One small but powerful element of "Journey Into Manhood" is that we offer non-sexual, father-son-style holding that can touch a core unmet need from childhood. It is completely optional, fully supervised, done in a group setting, with clearly taught guidelines to keep it therapeutic.

As a result, we've never seen any inappropriate touch on a "Journey Into Manhood" weekend. Instead, many have discovered that non-sexual brotherly touch and affirmation -- not homosexual relationships -- were what they had really longed for all along. To critics we would add: How can you mock or criticize non-sexual, therapeutic holding but then accept and even celebrate sex between men?

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