Why Do Pastors Hire Gay Escorts? July 18, 2010

Why Do Pastors Hire Gay Escorts?

Mike Jones is the former male escort and personal trainer who exposed Ted Haggard‘s hypocrisy years ago. He did an interview for this site a while back.

Last week, another pastor, Kevin J. Gray, was found to have embezzled over $1,000,000 from his church to pay for, among other things, male prostitutes.

Jones wrote a piece for The Daily Beast where he answers the question of Why Priests Hire Male Prostitutes:

During the 1990s, when I worked as an escort in Denver, Colorado, I estimate at least 15 percent of my clientele were clergy or connected with the church in some way. There were one-timers and there were guys who came back again and again and again, and they were all the same: positively giddy when the encounter began, unable to look you in the eye as they left. The excitement that initially animated them was wholly overshadowed by the despondency and guilt that would overcome them as soon as it was over.

I can’t imagine the guilt they were feeling. Not only were they having sex with another man –- a sin punishable by God, in their minds — but I believe many of them were doing exactly what Father Gray did: stealing from their own churches. Maybe not a million bucks, maybe not even so much that anyone would notice. But more than once I was paid for my services with a handful of crinkled ones and fives. I would think to myself, how could they take from their own church’s collection plate? The answer is simple and sad: addicts will do whatever they need to do to support their habit.

You have to wonder how many pastors are still doing this but haven’t been caught yet…

(Thanks to Joe for the link!)

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • When you hold a belief that doesn’t allow you to accept yourself the way you are, you have to build a fake life, but that isn’t sustainable. Eventually to repressed desires come to the surface, sometimes with a vengeance.

  • Unfortunately they will be defended and it will be chalked up to succumbing to sin and no one in the church will do much about it.


  • Richard Wade

    I’m shocked, shocked I say, to learn that this is why pastors hire gay male escorts! I thought it was to “lift their luggage,” as Professor George Rekers of the Family Research Council had so credibly explained.

  • Aaron

    To “witness” to them, of course. When the pastors leave, the escorts get to “witness” how guilty gay people should be about their life.

  • Ron in Houston

    For a long time I was a treasurer in the Episcopal church, the stories you’d hear of priests dipping in the collection plate were numerous.

    The other thing that stands out to me is this whole dislike or disowning of parts of who we are and then trying to get God to remove them. That has to be your own private “hell.” It makes a lot of sense that someone who loathes their own homosexuality will go to great lengths to try to “cleanse” themselves.

    It’s tragic, but it’s also damn hard not to get a bad case of schadenfreude.

  • @Ron,

    “It’s tragic, but it’s also damn hard not to get a bad case of schadenfreude.”

    I couldn’t agree more. These creeps are cowards because they support a system that discriminates and oppresses others who have the courage to openly be who they are. I can’t help but crack a smile every time one of them gets busted.

  • Richard Wade

    It’s not tragic, it’s poetic. It’s only “tragic” in the meaning of a Greek tragedy, where the protagonist is defeated by his own character flaws.

    I don’t feel sorry for the Olympic-level hypocrites like Haggard, Gray or Rekers. They have it coming in spades. Their suffering is a tiny fraction of what they have caused others, all the while reaping a profit. Their “private hell” is well furnished with the tasteful accoutrements of affluence.

    Sexual addiction, like any addiction, might be an explanation for the behavior of some of them, but it is never an excuse. They are always responsible for their actions.

  • I’ve dated a few pastors, and been in a few long-term monogamous relationships with pastors, too.

    Yes, I’ve met many pastors with same-sex secrets(SSS) who spew anti-gay rhetoric continuously and pray 24/7, but all remain heavily tormented. They hide behind the pulpit, first lady, and the word -not hoping God make them new again, but PRAYING not to get caught.

    I told a gay COGIC pastor to simply give up pastoring, if he’s so unhappy. He said, “I can’t – that’s all I know.” I eventually relinquished the relationship because he knew all about church but very little about himself.

    My relationships with these men were instrumental in fostering my path toward secular humanist.

  • Brian Macker

    I always assumed the purpose of the collection plates was specifically so the pastors could dip into them. Since god doesn’t exist he certainly isn’t getting the money.

  • “But more than once I was paid for my services with a handful of crinkled ones and fives.”

    Ummmm..a “handful?”
    Am I the only one who read that and wondered, “Just how little cash was this guy accepting for his services?”

  • duhsciple

    Anger @ hypocrisy & damage these pastors do through their public work

    Sadness @ the double-bind they are in

    Compassion for their suffering and the suffering they cause others

    Let’s pray (or hope) for their healing and the healing of others

  • AxeGrrl

    Richard Wade wrote:

    I thought it was to “lift their luggage,” as Professor George Rekers of the Family Research Council had so credibly explained.

    Or to “hold his basket”? 🙂

  • @duhsciple,

    “Sadness @ the double-bind they are in”

    Sadness? They chose to be in a position where they could oppress others. They put themselves in this “double-bind”. I feel sad for their victims and their families, but not for them.

  • Erp

    Well some may have joined the ministry in hopes that if they served God to the utmost he would ‘cure’ them. Only to find it doesn’t work that way.

    Some become homophobic (one has to wonder about Pastor Martin Ssempa in Uganda who has taken to showing explicit gay porn in his church to show the congregation how evil homosexuality is), some come to believe the problem is not with themselves but with the theology some of these throw out theology and become atheists and some reinterpret (e.g., the founders of Metropolitan Community Church, Catholic Father Geoff Farrow who denounced Prop 8 from the pulpit [he was promptly removed by his bishop], or Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson).

  • Aric

    I’ve seen homosexual buddhist monks in China. It surprised me at first, but in retrospect is very logical. If you are gay in a family or society where homosexuality is not accepted, and on top of that, staying single is not accepted, what would you do? You either marry the opposite sex and pretend to be normal, or you stay single (or openly gay) and live with the the pressure, or you become a priest or monk – the only socially acceptable way to stay single.

    As society becomes more accepting we should see this less and less.

  • Dan W

    I’ve come to expect this sort of thing. The more homophobic a politician or church leader is in public, the more likely they are to be closeted homosexuals. They’re hypocrites, and I find it hard to feel sympathy for them when they are outed.

  • These guys are hypocrites but that’s OK because hypocrisy means that the values that they are speaking against actually exist. It means that deep down they accept homosexuality as something that exists and it isn’t “sin” or “satan” or any of that nonsense. It is just normal human feeling but they have been taught that it is wrong.

    I see them as doing two things wrong here: stealing and lying. They are accepting money from people under false pretenses (pretty much in the job description for a pastor) and then using that money for personal enjoyment. That in itself is wrong. I assume that the people who give money to the church need it more than a pastor needs some cock and bum action. They are giving presumably to fund the work of the church. As much as I might see the work of the church as wasteful (even though they can do good) the act of stealing is to diminish this work.

    They lie simply to cover up their hypocrisy and their crimes.

    This is no different from a straight male pastor stealing money to visit a female prostitute. The shame they feel should be for stealing and lying about it, not about being gay. If they hadn’t been so instrumental in building up and maintaining the stigma of being gay then perhaps they could go and get help and stop robbing their “flock”.

  • Kait

    “The answer is simple and sad: addicts will do whatever they need to do to support their habit. ”

    I think it is unfair to say that these priests are addicts. Attributing this behavior to an addiction supports the religious view that homosexuality is similar to drugs and pedophilia. Perhaps these priests wouldn’t be “addicted” if they were given the opportunity to fall in love, or have a normal relationship with another man that they can connect with. Maybe all they are looking for is that connection to another human being that can only happen in the context of a sexual experience – an experience in which that they not allowed to have, unlike their heterosexual pastors. Yes, I agree they are hypocrites. But perhaps it is the very community from which they are stealing, that reinforces their behavior. Maybe, if religious people accepted gays, the pastors would not feel guilty or shamed, and have to find escorts so that they can connect with another human being, in secret. Maybe this is less about a one night stand, and more about their aching need for a connection.

    I believe that homophobia needs to be preached against, and that it is the pastors who need to truly examine their beliefs. However, it really shows you just how indoctrinated these people are, if they can stoop to such levels as stealing from their own congregation in order to participate in something they find utterly sinful.

  • Steve

    The interesting thing is that the opposition of homosexuality in China is almost entirely social (plus the usual ick-factor stuff). The country just doesn’t have the centuries of Christian oppression seen in Europe and the Americas. It’s not an atheistic country per se, but what religion there is is fairly benign.

    However, family has a tremendous importance and so people are just expected to be married. And being gay and open about it would also tarnish the family name. But it’s far easier to break that mindset than it is to break religious sentiments.


    Marriages of convenience are pretty common though:

  • andyinsdca

    You don’t pay an escort for sex. You pay them to keep their mouth shut and go away.

  • Aric

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for the links. Yes, Chinese have always been more practical than religious. Communism made them even less religious, though there is still a lot of superstition. But social pressure is very strong, much stronger than in the west. I’m not sure it’s easier to change social/family ideas than religious ones. It depends on if it simply a historical hold-over (easier to change) or if there is a practical reason it stays that way, for example one-child policy placing much more pressure on the one child to get married and have their own kid.

    The real epiphany for me was that Buddhist monks and Catholic priests are very similar in that they are both socially accepted ways out of marriage and therefore probably attractive vocations for many gays.

  • A really important post, thank you! Whether or not you believe in a higher power, it is important to live a positive life here on this planet, and those who lie and lead children are not to be accepted. Period!

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