The ex-gay religious think tank NARTH issued a second, more authoritative non-response today to the scandal that has been caused by co-founder George Alan Rekers.
NARTH initial purported response was a brief answer to a blog commenter’s initial inquiry on May 4:
Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 2010 7:05 PM
To: Ted Braun
Subject: Re: Please Advise
You have as much information as we do. Before this released we didn’t have this much information. All we had was a simple accusation that he was with a “rent boy” so that was all we were able to talk about with him. His answers (as well as his demeanor) showed that the story wasn’t exactly as it seamed [sic]. There are certain accusations that would and wouldn’t surprise certain people about others. This comes as a complete surprise as Dr. Rekers is not only very old and in very poor health, but also very nice and soft spoken, so until we have further information or proof of this incident it remains rumor and speculation.
If this first response was authentic, it’s shocking in two respects:
1. It contends that such accusations about certain people at NARTH wouldn’t be surprising.
2. It contends that the current accusations are difficult to believe because old people like Rekers don’t have sexual needs.
Now NARTH’s site has officially responded:
May 6, 2010 — The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) is a professional scientific organization with hundreds of academic, research, and clinical members dedicated to assisting individuals dealing with unwanted homosexual attractions. While NARTH is focused on the science of homosexual attraction, personal controversies often deepen the existing cultural divide on this issue. Such is the case in the recent news stories concerning one of our members, Dr. George Rekers.
NARTH takes seriously the accusations that have been made, and we are currently attempting to understand the details behind these press reports. We are always saddened when this type of controversy impacts the lives of individuals, and we urge all parties to allow a respectful and thorough investigation to take place.
At this difficult time for the families and individuals involved, we extend our sympathies. We also wish to reiterate our traditional position that these personal controversies do not change the scientific data, nor do they detract from the important work of NARTH.
NARTH continues to support scientific research, and to value client autonomy, client self-determination and client diversity.
This time, NARTH begins with its boilerplate false claim to be a scientific organization, when in fact it is a Christian Right collection of ideologues who commit fraud with the research of other, legitimate scientists.
With that pretext out of the way, NARTH adopts a “don’t trouble us with the facts” attitude.
The fact is, this scandal raises the likelihood that Rekers has been lying about his orientation, and about the failure of reparative therapy as it applies to him, for his entire career. NARTH’s prescribed therapy hasn’t worked for Rekers, and despite countless vague and often-anonymous anecdotes, NARTH has refused to provide peer-reviewed scientific data regarding the success or failure of its therapy with any of its members’ counselees.
In short, there is no “scientific data” that supports NARTH. The organization’s “important work” is not to cure homosexuals, but rather to stigmatize people like Rekers into living lives of shame and delusion.