Mike Jones, the male escort that outed Ted Haggard, on why so many priests hire male escorts:
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.
…and on how to tell if your pastor is gay:
What I also discovered is that there are usually plenty of clues to be found when someone is doing something on the sly, whether it’s sleeping with male escorts or stealing from their church’s coffers. But people don’t want to know that about their religious leaders. Many want to turn a blind eye, even when the truth is staring them right in the face. When I attended Haggard’s New Life Church after the scandal broke, I was amazed to see all the explicitly homoerotic statues and paintings—sculptures of nude, muscular men all over the place. I also noticed that all the people on stage where Ted would preach were young men—not a female in sight. I was later told that Ted picked out all the art work and the final decision as to who was on stage lay with him.