‘Ex-gay’ Conversion Therapist Under Fire

Jayson Graves via truthwinsout.org.

Jayson Graves, a noted ex-gay conversion therapist, is facing scrutiny after allegations he sexually assaulted a client in Colorado.

Truth Wins Out, a nonprofit that brings awareness to the harm caused by “ex-gay” conversion therapy programs, has been investigating Graves for months. They confirmed Graves’ termination at Canyon Vista Recovery Center in Mesa, Arizona.

“Due to HR regulations, we can’t provide information on employment history, but we can confirm that no one by the name Jayson Graves works here,” said a spokesperson for Canyon Vista Recovery Center, who said the facility does not support conversion therapy and supports TWO’s efforts to expose charlatans.

TWO received private information about the termination after their investigation in January 2023 regarding the sexual assault allegation against Graves. He was stripped of his credentials due to the allegation. Instead of fighting the charge to save his career, he moved to Arizona to reinvent himself as a life coach, according to TWO. LGBTQ Nation first reported the news.

An expert on therapy in Arizona, according to TWO, described the state as “a wild, wild west” because therapists don’t need to be licensed to practice; they only need to work under a licensed supervisor. TWO also claimed that Graves may also have obscured his name by using the alias “Jason” to make it difficult to search his employment history.

“Graves is a disgrace to his profession and his so-called therapy is a clear and present danger to clients,” said TWO’s Executive Director Wayne Besen. “We are grateful that he is no longer employed, where he can do real damage to those he purports to help.”

A whistleblower with direct knowledge shared more of the situation with TWO.

“[Graves exhibited a] very strange demeanor while there [at Canyon Vista] placing intimate handwritten little notes on his clients beds (widely inappropriate) and appeared to struggle with boundaries (had ‘lunch dates’ with certain family members of clients who he had taken a special interest in. These would occur at his home) … He seems to clearly be a conflicted and troubled individual,” according to TWO.

“Jayson Graves losing his job is a start,” said Matt Ashcroft, a conversion therapy survivor, whose research was instrumental to TWO’s investigation. “His entire life is fraudulent. Given the credible sexual assault allegations leveled against him and his toxic brand of therapy, he’s lucky he’s not behind bars.”

Stevie Inghram, a key researcher on TWO’s report, warns that conversion therapists could cause harm to queer and trans youth.

“As someone deeply involved in holistic healthcare, we need to ensure that known conversion therapists can’t worm their way into behavioral health facilities where they can degrade care and harm clients,” said Inghram. “Doing so is antithetical to the shared principle of ‘do no harm’ across all healthcare sectors. How many queer and trans youth must be harmed due to this widespread negligence?”

Graves served as the National Program Director for New Life Ministry’s “Every Man’s Battle” seminars. He was also a speaker for Focus on the Family conferences and the host of “The Blazing Grace Show” radio program and SkyAngel Network’s “Pure Passion” ex-gay television show. Graves sometimes collaborated with the now-defunct “ex-gay” ministry Exodus International, which promoted “freedom from homosexuality through Jesus Christ,” reported by TWO.

Conversion therapy is rejected by many medical and mental health organizations, including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Psychiatric Association.


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