Jones, Mike with Sam Gallegos. “I Had to Say Something; The Art of Ted Haggard’s Fall”, Seven Stories Press, 2007.
And You Did Say a Mouthful
We knew this book was coming and frankly I was prepared to hate it. Imagine my surprise when I found myself totally engrossed in “I Had to Say Something” by former escort to Ted Haggard, Mike Jones. I could not help be amazed at how well written the book is and what a powerful study of the deceit of a man of the cloth.
Many of you may remember that last November, Mike Jones told the world that Ted Haggard, the head of the New Life Church and the 30 million member strong National Evangelical Association, had been his client for three years. Haggard came looking for gay companionship while at the same time he preached hatred towards us and used his ties to the Bush administration to encourage bringing about a bill against gay marriage and same-sex unions. When Jones went public with this information, it rocked the Christian world and affected mid-term elections.
We now have everything written down as one man’s story of taking a stand for what he believes in at great personal risk. Jones lost his business but the gay world gained a hero. Jones also risked being trivialized and pooh-poohed as happens so often in the sex trade. He was estranged from his family. All of this happened because he had information about someone who was causing great harm to millions of gay Americans.
Here is Jones’s story—his life as an escort, a male prostitute who singularly toppled a man who espoused hatred and caused a change in the course of American history. We see that as Haggard rose in the ranks of his church, he declined into secret sexual liaisons and drug use.
Jones tells the story with sheer simpliscity and quite openly. His writing is a direct reflection of himself and he comes across as honest and caring and straight to the point. His courage in doing what he did is to be admired. His clearness of conscience and his respect for his own community is something hard t grasp when we consider his occupation but we must remember that what he did and said changed history and ended the hypocrisy of the church and killed a constitutional amendment. This is a story which inspires and even though it comes from an unlikely source, it s a blessing to us all. It is more than just the story of Ted Haggard—it is the story of others like Haggard who seem solace in the arms of other men but cannot admit to themselves who they are. I thank you, Mike Jones.