A new, defamatory “ex-gay” website, Voices of Change, has been launched by the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) and People Can Change (PCC). The site reveals that the industry’s primary cash cow is exploiting desperate and vulnerable LGBT youth. TWO has found one video from NARTH co-founder Dr. Joseph Nicolosi where he claims that half of all his clients are teenagers, with this client demographic rapidly expanding.
“We are getting more an more teenagers coming to our clinic,” said NARTH’s Dr. Joseph Nicolosi. “Years ago when I did this work, the average age of our clients was late 20’s and early 30’s…Today, I would say that 50-percent of the clients at our clinic, and we have 135 ongoing cases a week. We have seven therapists that only deal with homosexuality. Fifty percent are teenagers.”
In the video, Nicolosi showed a glimpse of how so-called reparative therapy harms youth by demanding clients engage in deep denial of who they are:
“I would say to a teenager, do not label yourself. I don’t care if you have these feelings, attractions or act out, don’t label yourself gay because that seals your identity, shuts off your options. Be open, experience, think, feel, reflect, learn. And you will see that your heterosexual potential is underneath.”
Nicolosi goes onto claim that he is against parents coercing their children into coming to his clinic because for the program to work the youth have to want to change. However, Nicolosi never asks why these youth want to “change” and doesn’t consider the social pressures they are under to attempt reprative therapy. He also never explains why gay teenagers shouldn’t label themselves based on their feelings and actions when heterosexual teens don’t hesitate to label themselves straight based on the same criteria.
Furthermore, if NARTH believes that teenagers should not label themselves, then they should join us in opposing reparative therapy for minors. Why not wait until youth turn 18 before they label themselves “ex-gay”? Of course, common sense and fairness are casualties in NARTH’s war against gay kids — with their primary goal of keeping the cash cow of reparative therapy alive and well — even as such coercion therapy deeply scars clients.
For all his boasting and bravado, Nicolosi has virtually no success stories. When Dr. Robert Spitzer asked Nicolosi for subjects to participate in his 2001 study on whether people could go from gay to straight, Nicolosi failed to deliver his allegedly “changed” homosexuals.
In a video TWO filmed this year with Spitzer, the psychiatrist claimed, “He [Nicolosi] just didn’t have many patients who could really claim that they had changed.”
Apparently, Nicolosi is a serial exaggerator and NARTH’s success isn’t what he claims it to be.
Exploring the Voices of Change website brings into greater focus why young clients, often forced by their parents, seek “ex-gay” therapy. Those promoting this barbaric practice dehumanize LGBT people, distort their lives, and mock their relationships. For example, one tale of change comes from a man named Jake, who wrote a screed, “I’m No Longer Queer: GET USED TO IT!” Typical of this unprofessional website, this is what Jake had to say:
“In the gay world, finding ‘Mr. Right’ and settling down to a loyal lifelong relationship is nothing more than a fairytale.” (no pun intended)
With such blatant misinformation and scare tactics, is it any wonder that some youth enter quack therapy to change?
This new website is also embarrassing because it grossly distorts science. There is a video (second one on the site) by NARTH’s Dr. Neil Whitehead where he fundamentally misrepresents the science of sexual orientation. More perplexing, is why an allegedly scientific organization like NARTH used a Whitehead interview from 2006 — which offers outdated information? It shows intellectual laziness, as well as Whitehead’s inability to understand scientific studies, or an effort to deliberately distort them. Here is some updated science from September 2012. Unlike NARTH, Truth Wins Out actually presents current science instead of old, musty propaganda.
On another note, it appears that NARTH has assigned a tool named Tom Usher to refute everything that I write. On Monday, I debated NARTH’s David Pickup on the Alan Colmes radio show. I mentioned that NARTH’s former board member George Rekers had gone on vacation with a male escort he met on Rent Boy.com. Here is how Usher laughably defended Rekers:
Besen mentions Rekers but didn’t say that the homosexual who was with Rekers said that Rekers did not have sex with him and did not request sex with him.
Well, there you have it folks, Usher and NARTH believe that the homophobic Rekers isn’t gay because he only received nude massages from the young escort he met online. He didn’t go all the way — so he’s straight. And this is the type of manipulative denial that NARTH wants to foist on LGBT youth?
Finally, I’d like to address NARTH clients who are hopelessly wasting their time and money at the expense of their mental health. Dr. George Rekers was NARTH’s chief scientist for decades. In 2000, NARTH honored him with a trophy at their annual conference. In the picture below, you can see him vacationing with a gay escort in May 2010. This is the dark and lonely place where denial leads. If you want to get the most out of life and not end up as George Rekers, then you can’t lie to yourself and others to satisfy, biased anti-gay therapists like David Pickup and Joseph Nicolosi.
Be honest and ask yourself: If reparative therapy failed NARTH’s chief scientist — why do you think it will work for you? If the man who wrote the books on “change” rents male escorts, what hope is there for those reading his books?
Be intellectually honest
Be who you are.
You are fine just the way you are.