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Saturday, February 15, 2003

Book review: The Salvation Mongers, by Ronald L. Donaghe

Ronald Donaghe, the author of Commons Sons, offers a look inside the bastion of bigotry and self-loathing that many people know as "the ex-gay movement."

Though The Salvation Mongers is a work of fiction, it builds its suspenseful, engaging plot upon the philosophies of that actual movement, and the ordeals of its actual victims.

Most people assume that these groups mean well and couldn't possibly hurt. This novel suggests otherwise; the book's afterword (a non-fiction essay) proves otherwise.

From my research into the ex-gay movement, and from my conversations with people who have seen the rotten fruit of its labor, I know that this work of fiction bares more truth than any of the promises that so-called "reparative therapy" makes.

Donaghe creates believable, tortured characters. I've met all the "types" he portrays in The Salvation Mongers, including some of the more sinister characters. I've also seen the beauty of the New Mexico landscape that provides an effective contrast for the ugliness that Donaghe exposes.

This book is both alluring and repulsive in its accuracy. Please read it before you join or fund an ex-gay group.