Remember those infamous “studies” back in the day by cigarette manufactures that claimed there was noting unhealthy about their deadly product? Well, it appears that the “ex-gay” industry has learned from the smoking lobby and is now producing bogus in-house “research” that says “ex-gay” programs are good for those who participate. The people harmed are not victims, as all respected mental health organizations say, but victorious “strugglers” who overcame their homosexuality. Here is the anti-gay groups propaganda video:
According to the Christian Post:
Survey results from a study conducted by People Can Change, a nonprofit organization that seeks to help people with unwanted same-sex attractions (SSA), show that over half of those who sought counseling for SSA felt their attractions diminish as a result.
According to the survey, which was released Friday, 55 percent of those who sought out this kind of counseling experienced SSA with less intensity and frequency than before they received help. Additionally, 71 percent of those surveyed said they were either “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the counseling they received.
“Hundreds of people are telling us their counseling worked, they benefited significantly, it helped them feel better about themselves — and in some cases it even saved their lives,” said Rich Wyler, founder and director of People Can Change, in a statement.
“Their voices have been largely silenced or ignored by pro-gay activists and mainstream media in favor of a more politically correct view, but the experience of these men and women is real. It is valid. They can tell you from firsthand experience that counseling to reduce homosexuality can be effective, even life-saving. Their voluntary choice to pursue change deserves respect.”
People Can Change conducted the study by sending a survey to those on the organization’s email list who are seeking or have experienced “sexual-orientation change,” as well as to therapists and ministry leaders that support these change efforts. In all, 474 people from 19 countries responded to the survey.
The study is “especially timely,” as the organization points out, because of a bill that is currently being considered by California state lawmakers which could ban the use of reparative therapy on minors because some say it has harmful effects.
Wayne Besen, executive director of Truth Wins Out (TWO), an organization that works to fight “anti-gay lies and the ex-gay myth,” told The Christian Post that the People Can Change study is “completely unscientific and bogus,” because it is based on a survey of people who already had connections with the organization.”What they’re doing is absolute desperation, scientifically bankrupt,” said Besen.
First, People Can Change isn’t capable of or qualified to conduct a credible study, poll, or survey. They are not impartial public opinion experts, social scientists, researchers, or professional pollsters. They are a business entity concerned with marketing and selling a pricey product — the $650 Journey into Manhood weekend — where gay men hug and caress each other in an effort to become straight. They engage in such questionable behavior in a bizarre place that journalist Ted Cox refers to as the “Cuddle Room.”
The clear conflict of interest caused by a for profit entity creating a “study” to promote its product and influence legislation invalidates the results. This is nothing more than a slick marketing scheme designed to fool gullible people and poorly trained news reporters. It is also to provide fake statistics for anti-gay media outlets who are never shy about promoting flagrantly fabricated numbers to back their agenda.
Second, how does a gay man experience sexual attraction to another man with “less intensity”? After the program, does he get a semi-woody instead of a full one? And how would creating sexual dysfunction in gay men turn them into fully-functioning heterosexuals? By diminishing the sex drive in otherwise healthy individuals, the unlicensed counselors and uncredentialed quacks who often work with People Can Change may be committing malpractice and opening themselves up to potential lawsuits.
Third, the “ex-gay” industry has long invented statistics touting their success, only to later acknowledge that they cooked the books. Exodus International president Alan Chambers long boasted of hundreds of thousands of former homosexuals. Earlier this year he revised his numbers to say that 99.9% of his clients haven’t transitioned from gay to straight. How many of those in the bogus People Can Change survey have already recanted their testimony? And how many of those “success stories” even exist in the first place, and aren’t simply figures of the group’s marketing imagination?
Fourth, it is unprofessional and unethical for People Can Change to be pressuring its former clients to say whether their “ex-gay” boot camps have been successful. These clients largely come from religious backgrounds and are under enormous pressure and strain to live a lie. Confronted by People Can Change staff to qualify their experience, there is no doubt that many former clients lie in order to spare themselves the shame of being portrayed as failures — as such groups have a long history of blaming victims when their programs don’t work. Thus, the survey itself is clearly a form of psychological abuse and an exercise in medical malpractice.
Fifth, the group says that a mere 474 people from 19 countries responded to the survey. This is a paltry sum of respondents considering that Journey into Manhood programs have been running for years. What are the people who haven’t responded saying about the program? And, how many of the group surveyed are actually hardcore activists connected intimately to the program or have a financial stake in the success of Journey into Manhood?
Sixth, it is absurd and factually incorrect when this group falsely claims that “their voices have been largely silenced or ignored by pro-gay activists and mainstream media.”
The truth is, so-called “ex-gays” have appeared in every newspaper and every television talk show in America — and many foreign countries too. I don’t think in the history of the planet there has been a another group that has received so much undeserved publicity with so little verifiable accomplishment. Indeed, the “ex-gay” myth is not based on facts or results, but the desire for the media to manufacture controversy for its readers and viewers. What devout Mormon activist Rich Wyler is really complaining about is that the vast majority of people have seen his act and aren’t buying it.
Seventh, People Can Change conveniently forgot to mention that its chief counselor, Alan Downing, has been accused of behaving inappropriately with clients. The organization has never addressed this shameful reality, nor has put procedures in place to keep clients from being harmed.
In conclusion, I agree with Zack Ford at Think Progress:
The sample of this study is people who profit off of bogus junk science and their brainwashed victims. These numbers have absolutely no validity and are part of Wyler’s scheme to reinforce society’s heterosexism while lining his pockets.
Only suckers and those sucking profit out of this expensive program, which is based on exploiting religious shame, will find any value in this comical sham study.