The recently disgraced Arthur Abba Goldberg will take his first stab at rehabilitating his image tonight after a South Florida Gay News and Truth Wins Out investigation revealed that he was a convicted Wall Street con artist. Upon leaving prison and completing parole, Abba Goldberg reinvented himself as an ex-gay activist – concealing his sordid past.
Goldberg and his apologists say that he should now be forgiven because his crimes and sins occurred two decades ago. But that ignores the central fact that his larger moral failing was that he concealed his past from colleagues and the media during his entire tenure with Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality (JONAH). He never came clean about his sordid identity and would have continued lying and deceiving if not for the expose in February revealing that he is a fraud. As a result of his deception, he was forced exit his position as an officer with the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH)
Over the past couple of months, Goldberg has understandably kept a low profile. But, now he appears to be reemerging with a full-fledged public relations campaign. His efforts begin tonight with an “enlightening panel discussion” in Tallahassee allegedly sponsored by Pride and Seminole Christian Life. The event is presenting speakers both for and against the so-called “ex-gay” industry.
According to a Face Book page, the panelists will include:
- Frank Carrasco, Exodus
- Rev. Mark Byrd, Gentle Shepherd MCC
- Arthur Goldberg, JONAH
- Cantor Tanya Greenblatt, Temple Israel
- Christine Sneeringe, Exodus
The Face Book page also says:
Keep in mind, this is a panel, not a debate. We are looking to engage one another in a meaningful dialogue about the others opinions in a safe space. Both sides will be represented in order to present an unbiased view so that we all can reach our own conclusions about the topic in question.
By definition the ex-gay industry is biased and pumps out unadulterated propaganda. It is has not one iota of science on its side. Its central thesis is a fraud: That LGBT people are the way they are as a result of poor parenting or sexual abuse. They say the “cure” is a combination of prayer and making straight friends that the gay person does not have sex with.
Not only is this bizarre reasoning false, but it is deliberate pseudo-scientific misinformation designed to undermine LGBT attempts to gain equality under the law. Indeed, the entire “ex-gay” “movement” isn’t even a real movement. It is political construction by religious fundamentalists intent on manipulating science to bolster a discriminatory worldview and justify anti-gay legislation. It allows the Religious Right to smile and pretend they love us, even as they persecute us.
It is disappointing that Pride is so gullible to promote this as a “safe space” when by definition “ex-gay” rhetoric demeans, diminishes and dehumanizes LGBT people. Does Pride believe that calling LGBT people sexually broken, demonic and perverse, as ex-gay activists routinely do is meaningful dialogue? Is having ex-gay activists whitewash their failure rate and lack of professional oversight, which can lead to abuse, sound like a “safe space”?
Furthermore, did they ever stop to question why the fundamentalists have recruited Goldberg, a convicted con artist, to represent their side? Maybe because their intention is to con students into believing they are just a good bunch of wholesome, loving people who only want to “help” those who want to change. Not the double talking, hate mongering, intellectually bankrupt, extremist ideologues they truly are.
By all means, have a panel discussion, I support such dialogue and free speech. But it is disappointing that Goldberg, a proven miscreant with no credibility, zero moral authority or genuine expertise on this subject is given a platform with the willing consent of an LGBT organization. That’s just plain stupid and allowing yourself to be punked.
As for the Christian organization I only have two questions: If your side is so moral, just and correct, why must you elevate a convicted felon who lied to his colleagues as recently as February to make your case – unless you have no case? Is this really, the best your side can do?
I hope the panelists and students who come to this event are well-informed, armed with the facts and ask tough questions. They should not shy away from combating such propaganda – even if it means making Goldberg and others uncomfortable. This con artist should not get a pass. I’d like to see a student ask this question:
Mr. Abba Goldberg. You bilked your clients – including poor communities – for millions of dollars. You emerged from prison and lied about your identity. What gives you the moral authority and integrity to talk about this issue, given your propensity for decades of deception? Why should we believe you now?
The Goldberg rehab train continues in New York City with a “special evening with JONAH”, Sunday, April 25, 2010 from 5:30 – 8:30 pm on West 70th St., NYC. According to the invitation:
This evening will be an opportunity to ask questions of our counselors and directors about JONAH’s new programs and plans for the future. We would also like your input and help in creating programs that will suit your needs.
We look forward to seeing you. We have lots of good information to share.
*Kosher Dietary Laws Observed
Well, at least its good to know there are still some laws observed by Goldberg. I may just have to attend this meeting. I can think of a few important questions to ask.