The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario
c/o Investigations and Resolutions Department, investigations&
c/o Dr. Dale Mercer, President,
80 College Street
Toronto, Ontario, M5G 2E2

Dear Dr. Mercer:

Truth Wins OUT (TWO) is a non-profit organization that counters right wing disinformation campaigns, debunks so-called “ex-gay” theories, and provides accurate information about the lives of GLBT people.

By means of this letter, I am filing a formal complaint against Dr. Joseph Berger, M.D., a member of your organization. Specifically, this action is being taken because of objectionable comments made by Dr. Berger that border on the promotion of child abuse.

Dr. Berger currently serves on the “Scientific Advisory Committee” for the controversial group, The National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), which purports to turn gay people straight. Recently, on NARTH’ website, Dr. Berger posted a response to a San Francisco Chronicle article that explored gender issues in schools. According to Dr. Berger:

“I suggest, indeed, letting children who wish go to school in clothes of the opposite sex — but not counseling other children to not tease them or hurt their feelings,” Dr. Berger wrote on NARTH’s website. “On the contrary, don’t interfere, and let the other children ridicule the child who has lost that clear boundary between play-acting at home and the reality needs of the outside world. Maybe, in this way, the child will re-establish that necessary boundary.”

Clearly, these reprehensible remarks place the welfare and well-being of children at risk. Taken to its logical conclusion, some of these youths will be verbally harassed and even physically abused. TWO believes that Joseph Berger has confused therapy with thuggery and he should be investigated for unethical and unprofessional conduct.

Imagine the outcry if Berger had suggested that Jewish children be allowed to attend school wearing yarmulkes, just so they could be ridiculed by bullies into conforming. Think of the outcry if he suggested that Muslim girls be encouraged to show up at school in hijabs, only so they could be harassed into “fitting in.”

TWO believes that the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario must swiftly act with the same urgency it surely would if Dr. Berger had made his outrageous statement against other minorities. In the pursuit of first-rate medical and mental healthcare, there cannot be a “gay” or “transgender” exception to the rules governing professional conduct. The doctors represented by your group must be held to the highest standards and be accountable to the public.

This is not an issue of free speech or politics, but one of ethical therapy. As a doctor, Berger is clearly offering what he believes to be treatment for gender variant behavior. He made the offending statement on a website that advocates therapy, and therefore must be considered a medical opinion, rather than a political opinion.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario has a duty to ensure that Dr. Berger is not practicing such abusive treatment in Toronto. Your organization also has an obligation to take appropriate measures if you do find that child abuse is indeed part of his therapeutic regimen.

Thank you for reviewing TWO’ complaint and I look forward to hearing from your organization in the near future. I hope you contact me via reply mail so that we may set up a meeting to discuss this important matter.


Wayne Besen
Executive Director
Truth Wins Out