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Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Naked Truth About Ted Haggard

The Naked Truth About Ted Haggard

Now that Wife Swap is about to air, and my old friend Ted Haggard is sharing his life with the world, he is, no doubt, expecting newfound fame and fortune, to replace the old ones he lost in 2006. For those who haven't followed the story, Pastor Ted was the founder of New Life Church in Colorado Springs. He was caught lying to reporters in 2006 about a sexual encounter he had with a male prostitute , and using crystal meth. Once the truth was exposed, Ted and his family were basically kicked out of Colorado and the church, and Ted signed an agreement that prohibited him from talking about the incident and the church for years. I had covered his story from the beginning in my various avenues of reporting in the capacity of a citizen journalist. I talked about Ted on the radio, here in Lake County, IL. I covered his story for Radio Gay International Network, and Canada's Indie Talent Network. I blogged about it and detailed the scandal repeatedly in my Gay News videos. I wanted the real truth about Ted Haggard. I never imagined I'd actually get it, but eventually, I did.

I found Ted on Facebook back in Feb of 2010. I had just uploaded a slew of racy promo photos for my gay news web series, and they were definitely attention grabbers. I was shocked when Ted replied to a message I sent him, with a friend request. He was very kind and sweet. I admit that my initial motivation for contacting Ted was not even clear to me at this point. A part of me still hated him for his anti homosexual agenda, which I had been informed of repeatedly in the news. That same video of him, over and over again taking about how the bible tells us what we should think about homosexuality etc.  Ted seemed desperate to justify himself to me, a gay man. He insisted that the video clip was taken out of context and that he is not a homophobe. He insisted that the media had exaggerated and lied about the depth of his relationship with Mike Jones, the male escort. Ted told me that he didn't have an intimate relationship with this man and there was no love. There was no intimacy, just Mike Jones masturbating Ted to climax. Ted did not consider himself to be gay or a drug addict. Sensing his distrust in me, I understood that if I wanted to get to the truth about Ted Haggard, I would have to become his friend, but how? Making friends has never been a problem for someone like me. I'm very outgoing. I know how to use my appeal to draw someone in and keep their attention. Ted would prove to be a bit of a challenge. I had to meet him face to face. Only then could I really know if there was enough chemistry to captivate him. I got that chance a month later when he and his wife Gayle gave a presentation at a church in Kenosha Wisconsin. I put on my butchest jeans and shirt and went to church. I was finally going to meet Ted Haggard. The object of my journalistic curiosity, in the flesh.

Here's where it gets racy, so if you're under 18, you may want to just head to Disney.com about now. Meeting Ted was a turn on. His teeth are perfect and his hair is so pretty. He clearly takes good care of himself, and why not? He is a public person. He recognized me immediately after the service, as I headed towards the exit, and he hugged me, not one, not two, but three times before I left the building. His lips touched my ear as he whispered to me, "Chaz, God loves you." my knees went weak and I almost hit the floor. I squeezed him tightly, to keep standing up, and the awkwardness of the moment found us chest to chest, inhaling each others breath. I don't know if anybody else picked up on it, but there was certainly chemistry there.  It wasn't long before Ted and I were on the phone, and I made a promise to him to maintain total secrecy about anything he shared. What I've since learned is that a promise is only as good as the person who you make it to.

In the years since Teds scandal broke, he has made numerous news and network appearances to proclaim his "healing" by God. He has publicly claimed that he no longer has homosexual thoughts or tendencies. This is completely false. Ted has displayed homosexual tendencies to me within the past two years, and it's a secret I am no longer willing to keep. We have had lengthy e mail correspondence with Ted. We have had phone conversations, all verifiable. On one particular date while Ted was being hosted in the home of a family in St Louis, MO, we practically had phone sex,as he changed to get ready to go to 24 hour fitness, a gym he frequents regularly, at all hours. My phone statement of that date shows the multiple calls that Ted made to me that day, as he seemed restless and rambunctious. We discussed his real sexual interests. He told me about his party formula of porno, poppers, meth and Viagra and how he is into light sexual contact. I sent him a pic of me nude, to his phone, and he couldn't stop telling me how much I turn him on. He told me about some gay porn site he had a paid membership to. None of this was news to me. The only thing new was that he hadn't been cured of these desires. I realized that Ted was struggling. I've never doubted his love for his wife, because I've been there. I was once married and in the closet. I sat on this secret for a long time. I kept his secret because I felt sorry for Ted and his family, and I thought he sincerely cared about me. I didn't judge his sexuality. As I'm nearing the two year mark of my "friendship" with Ted, I'm starting to see a pattern re emerging with him. His fan base has grown large and yet he has never used his platform to speak out against bullying, much less how it relates to LGBT people. He has stated, publicly, that gays are welcome in his church, but privately, he has told me something different, and that's where I draw the line. Gay couples are not recognized within the walls of his new church St James. My "friend" would not accept my relationship in his church. This forced me to look back over the course of our friendship and find other inconsistencies and instances in which I was used by Ted to make himself look better, all the while, he publicly denied me credit for any of it. While I have felt so sorry for Ted and his family, and defended him to the LGBT community, I now sense that he saw me as nothing more than one of many pawns in his game of reinvention. That was a mistake. I will not allow anybody to use me to make himself look better than he is, especially if that somebody is under the misconception that he is morally superior to me. Ted Haggard is not healed of his sexual desires. He never will be, because there is no cure for being born the way he is. It feels wrong to cover for him at this stage.  When Ted can accept this, we can resume our friendship in reality, and not on the down low. If I attended his church with my family, it would make me a hypocrite, and that's not me. Ted has specifically told me that my civil union would not be accepted at St James church. My family is just as valid in God's eyes as the Haggard family is, and God welcomes us as we are. I will not bear false witness.

Now I know all the negative attention I'm gonna get from this blog. People will call me a lying fame whore. I admit the timing is perfect for all this to come to light. Wife Swap is about to expose Ted to a world of new fans. Its precisely the title of the show that makes this necessary. If marriage itself is truly a religious institution, as is so often claimed, then surely wife swapping, under any circumstance, is a violation of that sacredness. While its true there's no sex being swapped, the time, energy and caring that families receive from mothers is also sacred. So my civil union wouldn't be accepted in Ted's church, but it's perfectly fine for the preacher to share his wife for fame and fortune? For all the conversations I've shared with Ted, his wife Gayle has never spoken to me once. I'm quite sure she's well aware of the truth about her husband. Just look at the money they're about to make together.

Prediction:

Ted will most likely deny this and do everything he can t suppress the truth. He will probably blow up my phone as soon as he reads this. He may threaten t sue me, and he's welcome to try. If there's anything I've learned, as an investigative reporter, it is how to cover my ass and document the facts. I have a long history of being honest, even when it's not in my own best interest, and I'll gladly submit to a lie detector test.

 Every 5 hours, a gay person commits suicide. I have weighed the pros and cons of publishing this blog in my mind a million times. On one hand, there's Ted, his secret, my promise and his family. His family have been victimized enough. On the other hand, there are countless LBGT youth seeking God's love and guidance, who are being rejected, if only subtly by the church. For me to enter a new year keeping a secret that enables a preacher to be seen as healed of his homosexuality, when I know differently, would be wrong. Let the cards fall where they may. The truth shall set us all free.

16 comments:

  1. oh my ..... and I am not surprised by this, but I am surprised by a careless attitude on his part. I think there is still much to lose for him and his family. I wish this were posted on April 1st and not Dec 31st. Chaz, brace yourself.

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  2. While I am not surprised, it has angered me a bit to have him extole the virtue of Healing from homosexuallity after a few weeks with the brothers! So many have been harmed by ex-gay messages...and he has only furthered the harm. I pray for his family...Thank you for your honesty.

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  3. Judging by how incoherent this blog post is I really hope you have evidence for your accusations.

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  4. Ted betrays himself and the glbt community, yes, but does that give you, the writer, the right and the place to betray him?

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  5. Chaz, thanks for bringing this up. I, too, have been troubled by Haggard's claims to have been "cured," and have hoped in vain that he would use his name and status as a vehicle to promote LGBTQ rights and combat bullying. I have friends who think Haggard hung the moon, and I know you're about to get a firestorm unleashed against you. Like Kathy said, brace yourself. Have your proof at the ready. Speaking out is dangerous, but it is vital. Thank you.

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  6. I thank you too Chaz for your honesty. As an ex-gay survivor and a facilitator of beyondexgay(dot)com, I see the damage constantly of leadership living in denial and their unwillingness to deal with the truth of sexuality. I know it's difficult to deal with personal lives authentically, but if spirituality is not anchored in reality, it often runs the risk of being abusive religiosity.

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  7. It would seem that Haggard mistook his own shiny coating for Teflon instead of plastic.

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  8. Wow I have to say Great job..... and the comment about you having the right to betray Haggard.... Yes you have that right cause not only did he betray LGBT he also betrayed you!

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  9. I spoke online sometime ago to Ted. I sincerely wanted to reach out to him in friendship. His reply to me was, "as far as I'm concerned the gay community & the evangelical community to go kill each other". It is in that comment that lies the painful truth of Ted...and neither are going away. So I would suggest everyone start to figure out how to get along .

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  10. Brilliant, beautiful, truthful. Thank you so much for this excellent article.

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  11. As I said in the blog, I am willing to take a lie detector test if need be. I didn't enter into this friendship blind or stupid. I have a tendency to over document things. That being said, it's not in anybody's best interest to have all the torrid details exposed. I strongly suspect my blog has already been trolled by Ted and anonymous is as anonymous does. I am not anonymous. I've spoken my truth and my conscience is clear, as incoherent as any meth head might find my translation to be. Rather than be accused if being a fame whore myself, I am not speaking to anyone in the media,at this time. Should Ted Haggard be questioned regarding this incident, and publicly deny my statements, I welcome the opportunity to lay all my cards other the table, publicly, on any reputable reality show. It seems that I was nev good enough for him as a friend or a journalist to give me a real interview. Perhaps now he can just come clean once and for all and admit that you absolutely cannot pray the gay away.

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  12. Brian Anthony KraemerJanuary 1, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    Chazonator, I don't recommend taking a lie detector test because they are notoriously inaccurate and as I'm sure you know they are not permitted as evidence in a court of law because of their inaccuracy. Your documentation is adequate and I think most of us who have had any experience in trying to be "straight" when we're gay know that your account of Ted's ongoing longing for, and fulfillment of, male intimacy is going to continue for him.

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  13. I dont believe this. Chazonator called me a liar and wrote horrible things about me and called me a liar. This is a joke. I am Mike Jones the real man who exposed Haggard

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  14. Oh so now Mike Jones has something to say. You had your chance Mike. remember? I'm still not convinced that you had a 3 year affair with Ted. He was a client, not your lover dude. You were very dismissive with me. You made a one man show about the scandal. Who da fame ho?

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  15. And Brian Anthony, I said I'd take a lie detector test and I meant it. I have documentation that backs up my statements, but I'd prefer not to take that route and make this nastier than it already is.

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