FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015
Bill Would Embrace Discredited ‘Ex-Gay’ Therapy, which is often a Cover for Sexual Abuse
CHICAGO – Truth Wins Out, a staunch opponent of reparative therapy, condemned a bill sponsored by Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern, which would enable sexual abusers to molest youth under the guise of treating them for their homosexuality. The discredited and bizarre practice of reparative (aka conversion) therapy, is not only rejected by every respected mental health organization in America, it also has a troubling history of sexual exploitation of vulnerable adolescents. Kern’s “Freedom to Obtain Conversion Therapy Act” is a response to bipartisan bans on such abusive therapy for minors in California, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia. The bill was part of an infamous day where eight anti-gay bills were filed, in an attempt to harass and intimidate Oklahoma’s LGBT residents.
“Sally Kern’s dangerous bill is a dream-come-true for predators who want to commit sexual abuse in the guise of therapy,” said Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen, who is also the author of Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth. “Reparative therapy has a terrible and tawdry history and it’s ironic that Sally Kern is the sponsor of the most pro-sexual predator bill in Oklahoma’s history.”
“Sally Kern, who has declared LGBT people a greater threat to America than terrorism, is terrorizing an entire group of people with her proposed legislation,” said Oklahoma LGBT advocate Scott J. Hamilton. “The way this bill is written, even a ‘youth pastor’ who has been ‘licensed’ by a denomination can perform this harmful therapy.”
Mainstream medical and mental health practitioners don’t participate in reparative therapy, which falsely claims to turn gay people into heterosexuals. Thus, the ranks are filled by unqualified and unsavory charlatans who frequently manipulate their clients into inappropriate sexual situations. They often employ a creepy technique called “touch therapy,” where a young client is caressed for up to an hour while lying on a therapist’s lap. The therapist is usually a closeted homosexual who claims he is “cured,” but is really taking advantage of his clients.
The founder of reparative therapy, Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, from the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) strongly recommends that fathers shower naked with their boys.
“The father should also be told that it is normal if his son stares at the father’s sexual anatomy or if the boy spontaneously reaches up to touch him,” wrote Nicolosi in his book, A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality. “If the son happens to touch the father’s privates, typically the boy’s curiosity will be satisfied, and he will probably stop touching the father’s privates after a moment…The father should make some reassuring statement to tell the boy that he will have similar genital anatomy when he is a teenager.” (pg. 187)
Several men who were fondled during therapy are represented by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has filed a lawsuit against a key therapist affiliated with Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality (JONAH). These men were allegedly asked to strip nude in font of a mirror and touch their genitals.
Christopher Austin, an “ex-gay” NARTH counselor in Irving, Texas, was convicted of sexually assaulting a client in 2007. Austin was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but received seven years probation, had to register as a sex offender and was ordered to pay a $2,500 fine. To no one’s surprise, Austin used “touch therapy” to seduce his clients.
America’s number one reparative therapy lobbyist is Christopher Doyle, a therapist with the International Healing Foundation. He admits that while he was an adolescent he got in trouble for molesting “little girls” that his mother was responsible for watching in her daycare center. According to “Christopher’s Story,” which was previously posted online, Doyle confessed:
“I tried to have sex with the little girls that my mother watched in her daycare, and eventually, one of the girls told her parents what I was doing. The shame that was placed on me by my parents was more than I could bear. Rather than rescue me, teach me, and put me in counseling, the ‘bad boy’ was left alone to deal with all of this shame.”
Richard Cohen of the International Healing Foundation pioneered “touch therapy,” the dangerous practice that is widely used. He learned this technique while a member of an infamous cult, The Wesleyan Community Church. This “church” was notorious for its nude touching sessions that occurred in church pews. The cult eventually relocated to Vashon Island where several members were arrested for sexual abuse of minors.
Colin Cook, the founder of Homosexuals Anonymous, stepped down after multiple allegations that he persuaded his clients masturbate and participate in nude massages. Oklahoma City “ex-gay” ministry leader, Stephen Black, recommends his clients visit both Homosexuals Anonymous and NARTH.
Patrick McAlvey entered therapy to change his sexual orientation at the age of 19. His counselor, Mike Jones, was director of the ministry Corduroy Stone. McAlvey says that his sessions included prolonged hugs and questions about the size of his genitalia. There was also an episode of “touch therapy” where he reclined into the lap of his supposedly “ex-gay” counselor for an hour. The goal, according to McAlvey, was to get comfortable with his own manliness by “feeling the strength” and “smelling the smell” of another man.
‘Ex-gay’ survivor Jaylen Braiden discussed in a video with Truth Wins Out his time in Desert Stream ministries as a teenager. While at Desert Stream, Jaylen was taken advantage of by a “therapist,” who later got into trouble for sexually abusing other minors.
George Rekers was on NARTH’s Board of Directors. He is the author of numerous books including, Shaping Your Child’s Sexual Identity and Growing Up Straight: What Every Family Should Know About Homosexuality. On May 5, 2010, The Miami New Times reported that he had vacationed with a male escort in Europe that he had met on RentBoy.com.
“A systematic pattern of inappropriate sexual behavior has emerged as a hallmark of reparative therapy,” said TWO’s Wayne Besen. “This practice, by definition, creates an unsafe environment for youth. It is appalling and irresponsible for Sally Kern to throw these children to the wolves where they can be exploited and psychologically scarred by sexual predators.”
Truth Wins Out (TWO) is a non-profit organization that works to demolish the very foundation of anti-gay prejudice. Our philosophy is simple: We attack the underpinnings of homophobia by debunking harmful lies, discrediting hateful myths, and countering anti-gay organizations. By chipping away at the underlying ignorance that fuels anti-LGBT attitudes, we can ultimately win our fight for fairness and achieve full equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people worldwide.