Mike Jones, the escort who gets to claim credit for taking down Ted Haggard so he could start a new church, knows a thing or two about men of the cloth visiting sex workers. After all, he built a business where “at least 15 percent” of his clientele were connected to the church. Which is why Jones isn’t so surprised Connecticut’s Rev. Kevin Gray admits to stealing some $1.3 million from his church, in part to pay for male escorts. He writes in The Daily Beast:
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.
I recall one church leader from Nebraska who prayed after an encounter with me, then sent me a religious book in the mail afterward. Another (who became a regular) always talked about the house he shared with a bunch of “buddies.” And then there was the client who, after hiring me for sex, I was startled to see standing at the altar one day, presiding over the Catholic wedding of a friend of mine. It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. I felt for my married and religious clients. They were truly unhappy and confused. Some would confess and pour out their hearts with me. Many would cry.
Now isn’t confession part of what it means to be a Catholic? So, truthfully, they were just following code.