This week, Truth Wins Out revealed that Marcus and Michele Bachmann’s clinic, Bachmann & Associates, practiced “reparative therapy,” a discredited technique designed to convert homosexuals into heterosexuals. Prior to our investigation, Marcus Bachmann denied that his clinic tried to “cure” gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
News of our investigation was first reported in The Nation magazine and the video initially aired on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer. Predictably, professional anti-gay activists are now attacking Truth Wins Out, as well as the media outlets that reported on Marcus’ dishonest account of his work history.
The most striking part of the critiques offered by our opponents is that they don’t seem to care that the Bachmanns misled the public, which is interesting because they present themselves as Christian conservatives. I’m no biblical scholar, but don’t the 10 Commandments say something about not bearing false witness? While the mendacious “moralists” and scriptural scolds dissemble and heap disdain, not once do they actually dispute the central point of our investigation: Marcus Bachmann claimed his clinic did not practice an illegitimate form of therapy – when the evidence proves otherwise. All the bitter and biting column inches written attacking the messengers will not change these incontrovertible facts.
Interestingly, the Christian Post referred to Truth Wins Out as a “radical, pro-homosexual group,” but offers no evidence to make the case for our alleged radicalism. Our message has always been quite simple: If you are LGBT you are fine just the way you are and you can’t “pray away the gay” (backed by reality and mental health experts like the APA). Outside of the insular world of angry and divisive fringe elements, our message is rather conventional and mainstream.
It is worth noting with great irony that the leading groups accusing TWO of “militancy,” and who are also attacking ABC’s Brian Ross for his segment, are actually Southern Poverty Law Center-certified hate groups – such as Americans for Truth About Homosexuality and The Family Research Center. They have virtually no credibility, nor respectability, and it is amusing to watch these disreputable sources defend the dishonorable actions of the Bachmann family.
Anti-gay groups and FOX news have portrayed Michele and Marcus Bachmann as “victims” of a nefarious sting operation. In reality, Truth Wins Out’s work was old-fashioned investigative journalism. Marcus Bachmann claimed that his clinic did not try to cure LGBT people. Due to public and media interest, we decided to verify his assertion.
If the counselor we encountered at Bachmann & Associates had acted ethically and in a manner consistent with Marcus Bachmann’s statement, there would have been no story and TWO would have wasted precious time and money. This was only a story because the supposedly moral Bachmann fibbed on the facts.
Moreover, the clinician at Bachmann & Associates could have simply said “no” when Becker asked to be cured. Similarly, if a bodybuilder had asked a doctor to help him inject steroids, the practitioner could refuse. If an African American asked a doctor for a skin bleaching, he or she could decline. If a physician is urged to help manage a model’s anorexia, he or she could turn the model away and instead offer real medical help.
Clearly, the Bachmann clinic was under no obligation to offer a quack treatment that is rejected by every mainstream medical and mental health association in America. They are not “victims,” but perpetrators of harm against their LGBT clients. For these abusive actions and their attempts to cover them up, the Bachmann family should be held accountable. (The clinic also did not offer informed consent outlining to clients the potential harms of reparative therapy or alternatives, such as gay affirmative therapy. In our view, the state of Minnesota should investigate Bachmann & Associates for malfeasance or possible malpractice)
In his morally bankrupt defense of Bachmann & Associates, Peter LaBarbera of the SPLC hate group Americans for Truth, disagreed with the media’s use of the term, “pray away the gay.” He asked “Why are the major media repeating these hateful attack slogans by radical gay activists?”
Perhaps, the media is using this phrase because it is true and accurately represents what occurred during the “treatment” offered Truth Wins Out’s John Becker. He was told by his counselor to read Scripture when he had homosexual urges and prayer was a central part of his conversion regimen.
LaBarbera also points to Janet Boynes as an example of an “ex-gay” minister apparently unaware that “praying away the gay” is her preferred method of transforming homosexuals into heterosexuals. Here is a typical excerpt from her book, Called Out: “If you truly begin a relationship with Jesus Christ, I believe His love will transform your life as it has transformed mine.” (Pg.76)
Accuracy in the Media’s Cliff Kincaid and LaBarbera whine that the media is not showing successful so-called “ex-gays.” They laughably point to Boynes as proof, even though the evidence suggests she may be a hustler and a fraud. For example, she has never brought forth a conversion success story that attended her ministry. She’s it – and she has a book to sell!
The subtitle of her tome, Called Out, is “a former lesbian’s discovery of freedom.” This is grossly misleading because Boynes makes it abundantly clear in her book that she is bisexual. The definition of a lesbian is a woman attracted to other women and not men. A bisexual is attracted to both sexes, which describes Boynes who discusses in great detail of her time dating drug dealers of both sexes.
Boynes also admits to ripping off her drug-buying clients, as well as using a friend’s urine to pass a drug test. The Religious Right has sure latched onto a real class act and beacon of morality. She spent her entire life, lying, stealing, conniving, conning and fist fighting….but we are supposed to suddenly trust her with her alleged sexual conversion because she supposedly found Jesus. (Or, maybe, this former drug dealing maid finds getting paid to peddle a book in front of naïve fundamentalist audiences beats scrubbing toilets or moving plastic baggies of blow).
Furthermore, Peter LaBarbera has absolutely no credibility when he claims “ex-gays” exist. He is the same clueless anti-gay activist who embraced John Paulk, the “ex-gay” wunderkind on the cover of Newsweek that I photographed in a gay bar in Sept. 2000. He is the dupe who in 2003 worked with “ex-gay” poster boy Michael Johnston, who ended up in a sex addiction facility after attorney Michael Hamer and I uncovered that the HIV+ activist was having bareback sex orgies with men he met online. LaBarbera is the same gullible fool who trotted out “ex-gay” Wade Richards at the National Press Club in Washington, DC — only to have Richards come out of the closet in an interview with the Advocate magazine.
Seriously, how many times can this man be suckered before he starts admitting that “ex-gay” programs are rubbish?
It is time for the Bachmann family to come clean and admit they lied to the American people about the immoral psychological voodoo that goes on inside the family business. They have sold themselves as people who stand by their strong beliefs, so it is bizarre that they are running away from the quack therapy that they clearly embrace. Their current stonewalling appears disingenuous and flies in the face of Michele Bachmann’s “tell it like it is” persona.
Their excuse that they can’t reveal what occurs inside the clinic because of patient confidentiality is utter nonsense. The client can waive patient confidentiality – and TWO’s John Becker officially waives his – so Marcus Bachmann is completely free to explain why his clinic offered a cure for homosexuality.
Finally, it is time for the Religious Right’s culture warriors to stop defending immorality and deal with the core issue of the Bachmann family’s deceit. Their mindless defense of such impropriety makes a mockery out of the very religious values they purport to represent.