All the Haggard’s Men

ted_haggard_110306_freshJust last week, shamed, down-on-his-luck, defrocked, meth-using former evangelical leader Ted Haggard told Newsweek that the only man he ever had relations with was an escort named Mike Jones. Shockingly, allegations from a paid-off, former twentysomething who volunteered at Haggard’s church have once again proven that Ted’s a big ol’ liar.

This comes on the eve of his redemption tour. Built around an HBO documentary airing Thursday, and supplemented by appearances on Oprah and Larry King, the tour was supposed to send the message that Ted was just a poor, deluded victim, not a serial liar who spouted homophobia from the pulpit while snorting meth and getting blowjobs from gay escorts. So just how many men have touched the life of Ted Haggard? Let’s find out.

lemonysnicket_200Dad’s Co-Worker

Ted claims that the reason he turned to gay sex was that he was sexually abused by one of his father’s co-workers when he 7. Ted told an The Open Bible Church in Illinois:

“My Dad was pretty successful. He had a lot of workers. One of those workers had a sexual experience with me. I was 7 years old…There I was, 50 years old, a conservative Republican, loving the word of God, an evangelical, born-again, spirit-filled, charismatic, all those things. But some of the things that were buried in the depths of the sea from when I was in the second grade started to rage in my heart and mind.”

neeleyJesus

At 16, Haggard became a born-again Christian, a path that would eventually find him as one of the most powerful evangelical leaders in the country. In 1984, his mentor, Danny Ost, told him he had a vision that Haggard would build a church in Colorado Springs, and off Ted went, starting his church from his home and growing it into a 10,000 person following. Along the way, he preached against homosexuality, saying “We don’t have to debate about what we should think about homosexual activity. It’s written in the Bible.”

2603552452_ce00f76ecaRumored Guys in Denver

Greg Montoya, editor of Out Front Colorado, said at the time of the Mike Jones scandal that the gay community had known of Haggard’s sexuality and that rumors had been flying around for over a year. Though he was shocked to find out that Haggard’s sex life included Mike Jones, a “massage therapist” who advertised in his paper.

Is there any proof that Haggard hooked up with other guys? Well, no — but hey, the guy gets around and the escort he hooked up with, Mike Jones, says that he contacted Brady Boyd of the New Life Church saying that other guys had disclosed to him that they had hooked up with Haggard as well, so — it’s very plausible.

mikejonesMike Jones

The former prostitute who chose to come forward with taped voice mails left by Ted (setting up appointments on the eve of a 2006 ballot initiative to ban gay marriage, which he supported), spelled the end of Haggard’s career. Jones said Haggard procured meth from the prostitute and that, until he found out who Ted was, he thought Haggard was a nice, albeit clearly closeted guy. He also said Haggard told him he wanted to have an orgy with “about six young college guys ranging from 18 to 22 in age.” Closed door fun!

man_in_front_of_tvSoon-To-Be-Disclosed New Life Church Volunteer

Well, we don’t know if it was an orgy, but Haggard apparently got himself some twink-lovin’ after all. Actually, it wasn’t “loving” at all — the twenty-something young man who has spoken with Denver’s News Channel 13 in a segment airing tonight says Haggard had sexual contact with him and that it had been non-consensual. New Life Church’s Brady Boyd confirmed the report and said that the Church has paid the man a six-figure sum to “comfort” him (read: keep quiet). Boyd claims that the relationship was consensual.

David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), disagreed: “Technically, legally, they were both adults. Psychologically and emotionally, Haggard was dramatically more powerful. … By definition, any sexual contact between a congregant and minister is inherently abusive and manipulative.”

So, who else has had sex with Ted Haggard? Do you think Ted deserves forgiveness? Who feels bad for the guy?