NEW YORK - Truth Wins Out warned news organizations today that a biased new politically motivated “ex-gay” sham study will reportedly surface later this year. A controversial “researcher” at a right wing religious university will release it and the goal of the study, known as “The Thomas Project,” is to show that ex-gay therapy is often successful. Unfortunately, an early report by the website Ex-Gay Watch indicates that the research likely consists of calling handpicked ex-gay lobbyists and ministry leaders on the telephone and asking if they had “changed.” There is no indication that key physical measures or tests were included, such as a “No Lie MRI,” which is a scientific truth-detecting brain scan.
“Any ‘ex-gay’ study that does not include physical components that measure truth are essentially meaningless,” said Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen. “We challenge Dr. Stanton Jones to submit his so-called ex-gay subjects to the ‘No Lie MRI’ because we believe that ex-gay ministries are consumer fraud and his reported study may be invalid. Our direct challenge is a unique opportunity for ex-gay organizations to back up their outrageous tales of transformation and prove us wrong once and for all. What are they afraid of?”
According to Ex-Gay Watch, The Thomas Project is a 5-year study of Exodus Ministries undertaken by Dr. Stanton Jones, Provost of Wheaton College. The report says that the study likely consists of questions asked once a year by telephone. There are also unconfirmed reports that the study has a sample of as few as 100 to 150 participants. This is surprising considering Exodus claims to represent “hundreds of thousands” of ex-gays.
“After several key ex-gay leaders have been caught in sex scandals, their tales of transformation lack credibility,” said Besen. “It is folly to suggest that telephone interviews can be considered genuine research. News organizations should avoid covering such a mockery of the scientific method.”
The website Ex-Gay Watch also reported that Dr. Jones has worked with Dr. Mark Yarhouse, a professor at Pat Robertson University, also known as “Regent,” and is the co-author of the Sexual Identity Therapy Framework with unlicensed ex-gay therapist Dr. Warren Throckmorton. Jones and Yarhouse also co-authored a book, Homosexuality: The Use of Scientific Research in the Church’s Moral Debate, in 2000.
According to a recent article in The New Yorker magazine:
The “No Lie MRI” makes a series of scans that show changes in the flow of oxygenated blood preceding neural events. The brain needs oxygen to perform mental tasks so a rise in the level of oxygenated blood in one part of the brain can indicate cognitive activity there. Brain scan lie detection is predicated on the idea that lying requires more cognitive effort, and therefore more oxygenated blood than truth telling.
“Once you jump behind the skull, there is no hiding,” Joel Huizenga, founder of the company ‘No Lie MRI’ told The New Yorker.
“It seems that ex-gays would rather mislead and practice skullduggery than get behind the skull,” said Besen. “I hope they take our challenge and end the semantic games and phony studies used to propagate their political agenda.”
Truth Wins OUT is a non-profit organization that counters right wing propaganda, exposes the “ex-gay” myth and educates America about gay life. For more information, visit www.TruthWinsOut.org.