Ex-Gay Survivor Gail Dickert courageously testified in favor of a Virginia bill to ban conversion therapy for minors. After the committee hearing, she had a moment to confront Christopher “Snake Oil” Doyle, the founder of Voice of the Voiceless, and a counselor with Richard “Quack” Cohen’s International Healing Foundation. She wrote about the experience in her blog, which includes audio from the hearing:
So, here we have me and Doyle and my very sick stomach and his hairless face and spineless psychology. We spoke about his ethical duty as a licensed psychologist to treat anyone who came through his doors… and so I, out of some sick curiosity said, “Well, would you treat survivors of conversion therapy? Would you treat, me, perhaps?”
Would you believe the guy said, emphatically, “Yes!” Furthermore he stated that he could “first start by helping me deal with my anger.”
Awe…my silly, silly anger…anger, for being told that my father must have molested me and made me gay. My silly, silly anger, for standing up for other survivors who have experienced suicidal thoughts, self-mutilation, depression and isolation because of their exposure to conversion therapy. My silly, silly anger, for how the church and state have joined together in an effort to annihilate a population, causing an underground Nazi-ish phenomenon. He is willing to help me with that. How lovely.
Soon into the conversation, Doyle revealed that he had little interest in psychology, but instead was just a sleazy salesman pushing product. He actually handed her a business card where he laughably billed himself as a political consultant. What is his political experience, organizing an embarrassing “Ex-Gay Pride” with fewer than ten people in attendance?
What I learned from my day on the small political stage was that magic tricks aren’t just for the professionally trained, but also the politically diabolical. I also learned… that some supposed proponents of conversion therapy are really, simply put, political consultants who operate from hatred for those not like them.
I get physically sick after being in the presence of those who twist survivor stories or misrepresent their own in order to suppress the truth of what goes on behind closed doors. When I talk to a legitimate therapist afterwards, about these public encounters, it becomes clear why I get so sick…
You aren’t alone, Gail. Christopher Doyle has that effect on many people. Just imagine how sick the poor girls felt in the daycare center run by Doyle’s mother, when Big Chris presumably whipped out Little Chris and passed him around for show and tell.
Dickert ends by offering Doyle and some good advice: His ilk are the ones that desperately need therapy.
So, when a small and very strange group of extremists within my culture opt to redefine “gay” in a way that makes it look unhealthy for those of us who are just fine with who we are, I’m going to get sick, find it painful, and get angry…Because the public deserves better out of people who call themselves ministers or psychologists.These conversion therapy believers do need therapy… and now because of their twisted ideas about sexuality, so did I!