FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bachmann’s Billing Appears As Unethical as His ‘Ex-Gay’ Therapy, Says TWO
Burlington, Vt. – Attorney Norm Kent sent a letter to Bachmann & Associates today on behalf of Truth Wins Out demanding that he cease and desist from harassing the organization. TWO has also launched a petition on Change.org urging people to contact Bachmann and tell him to stop his petty and vindictive threats against the LGBT organization.
“Marcus Bachmann’s billing practices appear to be as unethical as the ‘ex-gay’ therapy offered at his clinic,” said Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen. “We will not be intimidated or bullied and do not intend to pay Bachmann’s phony bill.”
On Monday, Bachmann personally called the group’s Communications Director, John Becker, leaving a voicemail in which he demanded $150 for cancelled July sessions of “ex-gay” therapy with a counselor at his practice. He threatened that if TWO did not pay him by Friday he would turn the phony bill over to a collection agency. This morning, the Law Offices of Kent & Cormican faxed a letter to Bachmann’s Minnesota clinic. According to the letter:
“If you are persistent in this claim, and attempt to employ the collection agency you have threatened to, you should know that my firm and our associates in your jurisdiction would take legal action against you,” wrote attorney Norm Kent. “Specifically, and you should make no mistake about the same, we consider your therapy and practices fraudulent. We have concluded your services are dubious and questionable, not worthy of any billing at all. We consider your fees and charges part of a larger civil conspiracy to defraud vulnerable individuals.”
In July, Truth Wins Out went undercover and exposed Bachmann & Associates for practicing a form of discredited “pray away the gay” therapy. The revelation rocked Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign. After TWO’s John Becker, who went undercover, had enough videotape evidence to prove that “ex-gay” therapy occurred at Bachmann’s clinic, he called the clinic and cancelled his remaining appointments. Despite widespread circulation of TWO’s video footage, Marcus denied the therapy had taken place.
“I cancelled my remaining appointments in compliance with Bachmann & Associates’ stated procedure,” said John Becker, TWO’s Director of Communications and Development, “yet Marcus Bachmann himself called me and threatened to send the fraudulent $150 ‘bill’ to a collection agency by Friday. I find it odd that Bachmann handled this matter personally rather than through his billing department. This is certainly an unorthodox way of doing business, much like the spurious ‘ex-gay’ therapy offered at his clinic.”
Becker returned Bachmann’s call on Tuesday and spoke with him for nearly seven minutes in the presence of a reporter from the local ABC/FOX affiliate in Burlington. The video of the tense exchange can be viewed at Truth Wins Out’s website.
“We saw firsthand that the ‘ex-gay’ therapy practiced by Bachmann & Associates is unethical and unhealthy for clients,” said Becker. “What goes on in that clinic is rejected by every respected medical and mental health organization in America.”
Truth Wins Out is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to create a world where LGBT individuals can live openly, honestly and true to themselves. TWO fights anti-LGBT religious extremism, monitors anti-LGBT organizations, documents their lies and exposes their leaders. TWO specializes in turning information into action by organizing, advocating and fighting for LGBT equality.
Contact: Wayne Besen, Executive Director
Contact: John Becker, Director of Communications & Development