The article In Search of the True Self, was written by Joshua Knobe, a Yale University associate proffessor, and published by the New York Times on 5 June 2011. In this article, Knobe tries to establish the ideal meaning of the phrase “be true to yourself” (Knobe) and if it has any correlation to a person’s values and beliefs. He concludes that natural ideals inform an individual’s idea of what constitutes the true self and that there is a need for researchers to conduct more studies to understand this phenomenon comprehensively.
Knobe begins the article by describing Mark Pierpont’s evangelistic career, which the author says was fuelled by his supporters’ belief that he could cure homosexuality through prayer. Knobe does not try to establish whether this claim was true or not but he notes that none of his many congregants locally and internationally ever doubted his abilities and, as a result, were shocked when Pierpont confessed to always suppressing his own gay desires. This confession ignited feelings of betrayal among some of his followers, essentially splitting them into two distinct groups. One faction claimed that he was gay because he had gay sexual urges, while the other section defended him, arguing that he was straight due to his refusal to give in to these urges (Knobe).