Demand that the Southern Poverty Law Center and Sam Wolfe Publicly Apologize to the Ex-Gay and Faith-Based Community for their Hate, Victimization, Intolerance, and Discriminatory Conduct
Office of General Counsel
400 Washington Ave.
Montgomery, AL 36104
Attention: Richard Cohen, Esq.
Phone: (334) 956-8200
Fax: (334) 956-8481
May 29, 2013
Dear Mr. Cohen and the Southern Poverty Law Center,
Hello, my name is Chuck Peters. On April 13, 2012 Mr. Sam Wolfe, an attorney working for your organization, wrote an article detailing his undercover anti-ex-gay activist work against organizations like International Healing Foundation (IHF) and Jews Offering New Alternatives to Healing (JONAH) that help people like myself who have unwanted same-sex attractions. Recently I stumbled upon this article published on Advocate.com, a gay-activist news media outlet. This article detailed, almost exactly, the IHF healing seminar I experienced about two years ago. On the first day of the seminar, I sat next to Mr. Wolfe. I revealed very personal, private, and painful information to him when we shared in pairs. Reading about the processes he described in his article, which were supposed to be confidential, caused a great deal of psychological distress for me. Here is an excerpt of the article:
I’m a civil rights lawyer with the Southern Poverty Law Center’s LGBT Rights Project. Our work includes a national campaign to help end conversion therapy . . . as part of our investigation, I recently attended a conversion program where participants used “touch therapy,” which involves being held like a baby by another man, with lights dimmed and soft music playing. The idea is to receive the nurturing missed as a child, thereby becoming more “whole” and automatically shedding “unwanted same-sex attraction.” Tragically, some of the participants were teens, prodded by their parents and communities that reject them as they are.
It took a great deal of courage for me, a sexual abuse survivor, to gather up the strength to trust a stranger to hold me in a non-sexual way, when I’ve only experienced abuse and unhealthy sexual touch for so many years. For Mr. Wolfe and the SPLC to exploit my healing experience to further their political agenda is unconscionable! Mr. Wolfe signed a confidentiality agreement and swore not to reveal any information about me or the details of that event, and he broke that agreement. Who knows how many people he has told about me and the therapy I did that weekend! I feel completely betrayed, harmed, and damaged by the actions of Sam Wolfe and the SPLC!
I later found out that IHF questioned Mr. Wolfe after the first day of the seminar when they discovered who he might be representing. Mr. Wolfe told IHF that he was attending the seminar on his own, not on behalf of the SPLC, and that his intentions were to see if IHF’s program caused harm to participants. But his destructive actions had the reverse effect and have caused me harm! In order to protect all the participants at the seminar, IHF wisely asked Mr. Wolfe to leave before the second day and refunded his money, telling him that only participants, not observers, were allowed to attend. After reading his article on Advocate.com I realized he was not there to participate for himself, but rather, to deceitfully vilify organizations like IHF and JONAH who assist persons like me who do not wish to live a gay life. It’s clear that this was not just for himself, but also on behalf of the SPLC’s smear campaign against ex-gays.
Shockingly, the SPLC is engaging in a hate campaign against the ex-gay community and has recently filed a frivolous lawsuit against JONAH. JONAH is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the world-wide Jewish community about the social, cultural, and emotional factors which lead to same-sex attractions. JONAH works directly with those struggling with unwanted same-sex sexual attractions (SSA) and with families who’s loved ones experience homosexual feelings. JONAH has helped many individuals leave the gay life, but the SPLC has recruited a few of their disgruntled clients who didn’t reach their goals, one of whom attended less than five therapy sessions and now claims he was “harmed” for not turning straight.
In order to promote their anti-ex-gay agenda, the SPLC has teamed up with gay-activist attorneys and anti-ex-gay organizations in a national campaign to smear organizations that disagree with their political agenda, and they do it by bullying small organizations like JONAH and IHF while intimidating others counselors who have little power to fight against their massive $200-300 million in assets. They are targeting these counselors by putting them on an interactive hate map for anyone to look them up and thereby, putting them in danger. In fact, just last month it was revealed that the gunman who intruded into Family Research Council’s (FRC) Washington, DC office with a bag full of Chick-fil-A sandwiches, intending to smear them in faces of FRC employees and shoot them dead, was motivated by a similar hate map from the SPLC’s website. The gunman nearly killed the FRC guard.
The Southern Poverty Law Center is anything but poor. With assets of over $200 million, they use their “donated” resources to violate and destroy the rights of the ex-gay community and anyone who disagrees with their far-left agenda, all in the name of civil rights. But what about me SPLC? What about MY rights to live the life I want? In your effort to fight for gay rights, you are trying to destroy MY right to live as an ex-gay and live as the person I believe I was created to be! Your carefully polished veneer is only used to hide what is at your rotten core: a mission to target, defame, and destroy anyone with a different opinion than yours. How can you, SPLC, deny some people the right to choose how they live their lives while at the same time, fight for the rights of others? How hypocritical! Your message of “tolerance” is an undercover hate campaign. In your campaign for “tolerance” you are discriminating against former homosexuals, who are now recognized as a legally protected class against discrimination and traumatizing persons like myself, who seek therapy on their own free will.
Because of the harm, trauma, and psychological distress I (and potentially others) have been caused by Sam Wolfe and the SPLC, IHF and myself are currently assembling legal teams to launch separate lawsuits for the damage they have caused to clients like myself. Please sign my petition to join with me and stand against Sam Wolfe and the SPLC’s hate campaign against the ex-gay and faith-based community, demand they apologize, make recompense for the harm they are causing persons like myself, and stop defaming organizations like IHF and JONAH.[emailpetition id=”5″]