Friday, May 07, 2010

Latest on Rekers scandal: Media allegedly listened in on phone conversation between him and escort

Forget the claim about "slow burning," because the George Rekers escort scandal is officially an uncontrollable brush fire.

The good news is that it shines a light on the many hypocrisies of the anti-gay industry. The bad news is that it has veered in so many directions,i t's hard for the media to establish a single narrative. So-called legitimate publications seem to be a step behind the blogs when getting the story.

Meanwhile, the Miami New Times, the publication that initially broke the story, has revealed that its reporters were listening in during a recent call between Rekers and "Lucien," the escort he took on a 10 day European trip:

During that talk -- which took place at about 1 a.m. Thursday in a Fort Lauderdale home -- Rekers tells Lucien several times not to talk to the press. He also never challenges Lucien's statements that he found the 20-year-old escort on an internet site, nor that they "did the whole massage thing," referring to Lucien's contention that he gave Rekers nude massages during their two-week trip to Europe.

. . .Lucien began the conversation in a state of mild panic, understandably worried by the explosion of publicity that followed New Times' original expose. (Lucien, who asked that his real name not be used, has never told his family he is gay, and prior to the story's publication had declined to mention his line of work to many friends.)

Lucien was offended, too, by what he had learned from friends and press reports of Rekers' three decades of anti-gay activism, a record the Baptist minister tried to downplay.

"I just stay in the background," said Rekers, a co-founder with James Dobson of the Family Research Council, a vehemently anti-gay lobbying group. Of gay people, he said: "I've never picked a fight with them."

Rekers then said he has a "friend in the media" who's advised him to avoid all contact with the press. Rekers told Lucien to do the same.

"Tell them you don't want to do interviews," said Rekers. "Are they calling you on the phone, or calling you at your house?"

"Both!" cried Lucien.

Throughout, Rekers was very solicitous, and Lucien was plainly upset. Lucien explained he'd felt extremely uncomfortable in his dealings with the press.

"We did the whole massage thing," Lucien said, "and I don't know what to think about it."

"Yeah," said Rekers, "just say 'no,' and just say 'I've already [indecipherable] to the press,' and that's it. 'Cuz if you keep answering, it'll keep the story alive."

"This isn't something I can just be silenced about!" Lucien said moments later.

Rekers assured him that if he just remains silent, the whole story would soon die down. He began muttering darkly about "activists with an axe to grind" and "nothing better to do."

Lucien suggested that perhaps "the media" has a point and that Rekers really has done harm to the gay community. He insisted that Rekers' struggle isn't his own, and said he had considered making a statement to the press.

"Well, don't do that," said Rekers. "It just causes more harm."

"What was going through your mind when you went on that website?" demanded Lucien, referring to rentboy.com, the gay escort site where he had posted his profile.

Rekers paused for several seconds, considering. "Well, I'd be happy to sit down and talk to you more about that." He paused again. "We have to deal with the situation that we have, and make sure it doesn't get worse."

The rest is here

Related posts:

The George Rekers escort scandal goes on and on

George Rekers talks but avoids the BIG question as 'rentboy' scandal continues

Family Research Council founder travels with a 'rentboy' - scandal brewing in religious right circles





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