In the aftermath of California passing SB1172 which prohibits child abuse known as “reparative therapy” for minors, the National Association for Research and Therapy for Homosexuality (NARTH) is now trying to portray itself as mainstream. They have sued California and hope to conceal the group’s bizarre version of so-called therapy to gain public sympathy on the specious argument that California is suppressing their right to free speech, rather than banning dangerous pseudo-scientific practices.
Grove City College professor, Dr. Warren Throckmorton (pictured), has some words today for Christians tempted to buy NARTH’s delusional spin:
NARTH allows an article on its website which recommends IHF, New Warriors, and other such groups who use these [peculiar] techniques. And NARTH leaders use them. IHF’s Christopher Doyle and NARTH’s frequent media representative and New Warrior member David Pickup manage NARTH’s Facebook page. In other words, those who are prominent in the group and represented in their legal actions endorse techniques that most of their peers say are not mainstream…
Some evangelicals have rushed to defend NARTH and reparative therapy but I urge them to exercise caution. One must look more deeply than the claims of orthodoxy to know what is being defended when one defends reparative therapy.
Aside from bizarre techniques, NARTH crusades against homosexuality and regularly demeans and dehumanizes LGBT individuals. In his book, Homosexuality and Hope: A Psychologist Talks About Treatment and Change, this is the horrible advice NARTH Scientific Advisory Board member, Gerard Van Den Aardweg, believes reparative therapists should offer youth who are coming out:
“You may indeed feel that interest in your own sex, but it is still a question of immaturity. By nature, you are not that way. Your heterosexual nature has not yet awakened. What we have to discuss is a personality problem, your inferiority complex.” (p. 22)
Reparative therapy is noting but malice posing as medicine and a direct assault on the existence of LGBT people. Here is what NARTH’s Van Den Aardweg (pictured) believes about the nature of homosexuality:
“The person with a homosexual drive is pulled to a neurotic and conflictious existence. Stubbornly and imperviously, against all advice, despite the sorrow they inflict on their parents, young people with this problem cling to their ‘choice’ of what their ignorance mistakes for happiness.” (pp. 23-24)
Clearly, NARTH is not mainstream and is practically mocking the stand of respected mental health organizations that say homosexuality is not a mental illness. The mean-spirited positions of NARTH are so far outside prevailing medical opinion that the APA should bar all reparative therapists from membership. All 50 states should yank the licenses from these crackpots whose hate for openly gay people is palpable.
Are the words of NARTH’s Van Den Aardweg appropriate for LGBT youth? Or, do they represent child abuse and an ethical violation because the therapist clearly portrays his clients as sick? In any case, don’t let NARTH’s disingenuous public relations efforts fool you. They are a fringe organization that is dripping with disdain and drenched in disgust for the very LGBT clients its leaders claim to be “helping.”