The great thing about fundies is they can’t maintain the appearance of normalcy for very long. Sooner or later (usually sooner!) one of them says or does something stupid.
It’s been barely more than two weeks since I lamented that the fundies weren’t doing anything to amuse me. Then lo and behold — George Rekers!
On April 13th (but apparently just making the news this week), George Rekers returned from a vacation.
OK. People are entitled to vacations. I don’t begrudge the man a little time off. But let’s take a fast look at who this guy is. According to Wikipedia:
George Alan Rekers is a professor of Neuropsychiatry & Behavioral Science Emeritus at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.
He’s also a Baptist minister. I thought I’d throw that in there just so you have a little context. Rekers also thinks it is possible to “cure” homosexuality. That’s some really delicious context you’ll be needing for the rest of this story.
Oh, I may have given you the wrong impression when I mentioned that he’s a Baptist minister. It turns out he’s not just any Baptist minister:
In 1983 Rekers was on the founding board of the Family Research Council, a non-profit Christian lobbying organization, along with James Dobson and Armand Nicholi Jr.
OH!! He’s a major fundie! And he’s friends with rabid homophobe and animal abuser James Dobson.
Rekers is also involved with several other organizations, most of them about teen sex. Much of that work seems to be involved in writing about how sinful homosexuality is.
By the nature of his work, he must spend a lot of time thinking about this issue. If he’s like most fundies, he’s fixated on the mechanics. That would require a lot of visualization on his part.
Therefore, George Rekers spends a lot of time daydreaming about gay teen sex.
Or so it appears.
Let’s get back to the matter of Rekers’ recent vacation.
The vacation he took to Europe.
For ten days.
With a male prostitute.
Said prostitute peddles his services through a website called… wait for it…
The Miami New Times has a good article on this most amusing development. According to the article, their reporter photographed Rekers coming out of customs with his “rent boy”.
If you parade around in public with your gay hooker long enough, somebody is eventually going to notice.
We all know that we live in a media-saturated world. The TV and print media that pass for news these days aren’t news at all. They’re just glorified versions of TMZ. Ninety percent of what they cover is just gossip. As a result, we’ve all seen good and bad examples of how to handle an embarrassing revelation. The best thing to do is to confront the story immediately and confess. That disarms the media. The worst thing to do is deny it. No, actually the worst thing to do is to come up with a ludicrous cover story. No, strike that. The actual worst thing to do is to come up with a ludicrous cover story and keep changing it!
What do you think old Rekers did? Do you think he just came right out and admitted that he spelunks the brown cave? That would have killed the story in one 24-hour news cycle. That wouldn’t provide the rest of us any schadenfreude at all. We all know you can’t spell “fundie” without “fun”. That means Rekers did exactly the wrong thing! Hooray! It’s Opposite Day in Fundie Town! Yes, Rekers lied:
Reached by New Times before a trip to Bermuda, Rekers said he learned Lucien was a prostitute only midway through their vacation. “I had surgery,” Rekers said, “and I can’t lift luggage. That’s why I hired him.”
But according to the article and photograph in New Times, Rekers was the one handling the luggage at the airport. The article continues:
Yet Rekers wouldn’t deny he met his slender, blond escort at Rentboy.com
If you’re not at work or otherwise easily embarrassed (or aroused, depending on your preferences), click on that link. Check out a few pages. Then tell me whether that’s where you would go if you were looking to hire a porter.
The story gets better, of course. Seeing that the first lie didn’t stick, Rekers is trying a different one. In a newer article, the Miami New Times reports:
Yesterday, Rekers switched his PR tack and told a blogger that his strapping travel assistant doubled as a male Mary Magdalene. He took the boy to Europe, Rekers said, to show him Jesus — with whom Rekers compared himself. The Christ wined and dined prostitutes, so why shouldn’t Rekers?
Oddly, he didn’t mention ministering to the boy when he spoke to us before the news broke.
Must have been an oversight. You know: Bellhop or gay male prostitute. It’s a subtle distinction that’s easy to overlook. (This makes me wonder if there are ever any surprised bellhops at the hotels Rekers visits.)
Since Rekers is one of the founders of the Fundie Research Council, surely they must have a statement on this whole affair. Why yes they do! It arrived in today’s email. Tony Perkins writes:
Yesterday evening, we began to see online “news” accounts of Dr. George Rekers, a reparative therapist for homosexuals, actually being involved with a male prostitute.
“And we have to put ‘news’ in quotation marks, because this story obviously has to be false. Otherwise, that would suggest that ‘curing’ gays doesn’t work.”
Some of the stories identified Rekers as being a founding board member of Family Research Council. I had never heard of Dr. Rekers, so I asked our corporate attorney to review past documents. We did verify that Dr. Rekers was a member of the original Family Research Council Board prior to its merger with Focus on the Family in 1987. FRC has had no contact with Dr. Rekers or knowledge of his activities in over a decade… [emphasis added]
“Well, what do you know? It turns out that this Rekers fellow actually exists, and he even had a teeny tiny involvement in our hate group in the very very early years. Of course nobody here now knows him, and none of us does any of those revolting actions that we here at FRC spend most of our days thinking about.”
I see. Tony is pulling the old Mission Impossible “disavow any knowledge” trick. In fact, if you go to the FRC About page, you’ll see no mention of George Rekers at all. Must be true!
Poor Tony. Doesn’t he know that you can’t hide from the internet? Here is an archived copy of that exact same FRC About page, written before this embarrassing scandal broke. It says:
In 1983, the Family Research Council incorporated as a nonprofit educational institution in the District of Columbia; its founding board included Dobson and two noted psychiatrists, Armand Nicholoi Jr. of Harvard University and George Rekers of the University of South Carolina. [emphasis added]
It looks like Tony Perkins is trying to push George Rekers back into the FRC’s very large rainbow closet.