In light of the recent post about learning of multiple child molestations occurring in Andy Comiskey’s ex-gay ministry, Desert Stream Minitries, and how offended I was by his telling of the story (which can be seen on this link), here is the email I just sent to him to let him give us his full explanation:
I was alerted this afternoon by a friend of mine to your blog post earlier this month regarding the child molestation situation with a staff member of DSM a few years back. Instead of going to you directly to ask a bunch of level-headed questions, I just fired off the following blog post of my own because I was so distraught to what I read:
Why I mentioned John Ortberg is because I know John, and was wondering if he (or any of the other churches in your network) knew anything about this situation? I will be contacting John soon as well to ask him.
I wrote my post because I don’t see one ounce of a public apology to the teenager or his family. The ex-gay movement, and the gay community in general, is so marred by public perceptions that gay people are child molesters, that this, at least in my mind, is a huge deal! I would think that a public apology would be the first thing written about?
David Roberts, from Ex-Gay Watch, commented on my blog and he said he emailed you, and you told David that there was another molestation with a teenager that happened five years later as well. So I have a few questions, and I would be humbled to receive a response. I would love for the world to hear details of your side of the story, to potentially clear all of this up. And so I am upfront, I will be posting this email, and your response on my blog to all of my readers who are now following this situation. Thank you for your time Andy.
Q1: For the record, do you think child molestation is wrong? You never said those exact words in your post.
Q2: Did you directly apologize to the teenager and the family of the first molestation?
Q3: Is this the first time any of this information about the first molestation has ever been made public?
Q4: Have you ever publicly apologized for this first incident of child molestation?
Q5: If so, where can I find a link? If not, are you willing to do so now and I am wondering why has it taken so long?
Q6: Is there any reconciliation between the teenager or the family and yourself/DSM?
Q7: What happened to the employee after the first molestation? If it was the same person who molested again five years later, why was he still allowed to work for DSM? Child molestation is a federal offense – did the family not want to press charges? If not, do you know why they didn’t want to? What about the second molestation and that family?
Q8: Did you directly apologize to the teenager and the family of the second molestation?
Q9: Is this the first time any of that information about the second molestation ever been made public?
Q10: Have you ever publicly apologized for the second incident of child molestation?
Q11: If so, where can I find a link? If not, are you willing to do so now and why has it taken so long?
Q12: Is there any reconciliation between the teenager or the family and yourself/DSM?
Q13: Do you understand or recognize how shady this looks for all of this information to be kept a secret, when so many people, families and churches are trusting you with such intimate details and situations? Don’t you think this would be vital information to make public so everyone knows you’re trying to be authentic, instead of just hiding horrible stuff?
Q14: How can anyone trust your leadership, or your ministry again? Why should they trust your leadership or ministry? Are you hiding anything else and would like to come clean now?
Q15: What steps are put in place now to ensure this never happens again? If it does, what are the standard operating procedures for private and public recognition and reconciliation?
Q16: Why did you hide this information for so long? Was it because you believed it would hurt your ministry, donations and influence? Were you embarrassed by it? Did you not think it was a good idea to be honest to everyone – partner churches, donors, etc?
Q17: How did you handle the situation with the employee(s) who did the molesting?
Q18: Have you kept all of this information hidden from all of your network of churches?
Q19: Why did you wait so long to make this information public?
Q20: Why did you correlate this situation of child molestation with gay marriage? Those two aren’t parallel.
Q21: One of the commenters on my blog, Anon, sees you and your work in a favorable light, but wonders:
“I just get the feeling from reading Andy’s blog that he’s not trying to tell the whole story, but just give a pseudo-historical narrative of God’s work in their ministry. I bet (I hope!) that if you asked him that there would be a lot more to the story of repentance that he’d never put on a blog.” What do you have to say to this question?
Q22: Why did you decide to highlight the fact that “not one story was printed about the tragedy” towards the end of the post? It makes it sound like you’re proud of the fact you were able to hide it for so long?
Q23: Anything else you would like us to publicly know about this situation or yourself?
Thank you so much for taking time to be fully transparent in this difficult situation to clear it all up.