I’ve said this many times before, but it’s worth repeating: There is no such thing as an “ex-gay,” just religiously abused individuals who elect to torture themselves by going through a dysfunction coming out process. The shame and guilt can lead some to suppress their innermost needs and desires for months or years. But, it can also lead to sexuality bursting out in unhealthy ways. In an all-to-common worst case scenario, the repressed homosexual becomes an “ex-gay” counselor and uses the perch to become a predator. Hiding behind a religious collar and the lofty backdrop of a church, they take advantage of the trust their position inspires and sexually molest desperate and vulnerable people.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports today on one such case. Lakeside Christian Church’s senior pastor, the Rev. Ryan J. Muehlhauser, 55, works with long-time Exodus Ministry Outpost, although the ministry appears to be no longer affiliated with Exodus. The group’s website says it was founded more than 30 years ago to help men and women “break away from gay life” and declares that “all homosexual behavior is sin.”

Muehlhauser appeared in court Tuesday on eight felony counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct and remains free pending another hearing next month. According to the criminal complaint:

One of the men told investigators that Muehlhauser “blessed” him by cupping his genitals outside of his clothing several times and that Muehlhauser asked the man to masturbate in front of him for “spiritual strength.” Muehlhauser would also fondle the man at times. Their encounters occurred over a period of nearly two years.

Another man told investigators of similar encounters spanning most of this year, adding that Muehlhauser feared he would “lose everything” if anyone found out. At one encounter, Muehlhauser fondled the man and then the two joined the pastor’s wife for a dinner outing.

The assaults of the two men occurred at the church, its prayer cabin and at a home belonging to a relative of one of the victims. The criminal complaint made a point to note that “consent by the complainant is not a defense,” given Muehlhauser is a clergy member.

Here is the interesting part. Lakeside Christian Church said in a statement that it was “deeply saddened” by the allegations. Well, what do they expect the outcome to be when they place self-loathing, deeply closeted homosexuals to counsel others in the same boat? It is a recipe for disaster and we have seen this same scenario play out time and again. Ever hear of Colin Cook or Alan Downing or George Rekers or Bishop Eddie Long or Desert Stream or Ted Haggard or Christopher Austin or Mike Jones etc. etc. etc? If not, look them up so you can see how the “ex-gay” myth manifests itself in so many ugly ways.

Such abuse is more than episodic — it is a full-fledged pattern that those who back such sham groups won’t seem to address.

If Lakeside was truly sorry about what happened they would discontinue the pathetic program. If they allow Outpost to continue, they are enablers of potential abuse, no matter how many times they drop to their knees and pray for forgiveness.