Tag Archives: conversion therapy camp

New Jersey Gay Activist Lies May Have Sealed Jerry Sandusky Victimization Act’s Fate

Garden State Equality and Brielle Goldani’s Lies To Advance Legislation Catching Up

It is now crystal clear that Troy Stevenson, Executive Director of Garden State Equality and Brielle Goldani’s lies are catching up to them. On May 30, CBS New York reported:

New Jersey Senate has put off a vote on a bill banning licensed therapists from trying to convert gay minors into heterosexuals. The postponement was made Thursday so some unspecified changes could be made to the legislation. It will be heard next by an Assembly panel.

Interestingly, the report failed to include some key facts that have been leading up to this decision. While the story mentions an Assembly panel hearing, it fails to report the fact that the same hearing was scheduled for May 15 and was also postponed, presumably due to “unspecified changes,” which is code for “we’re backing away from this toxic bill and we don’t want to tell you why.” Voice of the Voiceless (VOV) previously reported:

May 15 was supposed to be the nail in the coffin for New Jersey opponents of SOCE, who were attempting to push this legislation through a partisan legislature and put pressure on Republican Governor Chris Christie to take sides in an election year. After successfully moving the bill out of the Senate Health, Human Services, and Senior Citizens Committee, activists had secretly scheduled an Assembly hearing for May 15. In fact, Gay City News reported on May 8 that Dr. Jack Drescher, a prominent New York gay psychiatrist, was scheduled to testify on May 15 before the New Jersey Assembly in favor of the bill.

But now, gay activists in New Jersey are running away from their fraudulent statements on March 18, and legislators are following the same course. Below is summary of their lies:

Lie #1 – Transgender Brielle Goldani said she was tortured in 1999 in a Columbus, Ohio “conversion therapy torture camp.” No one has been able to corroborate her story, including the Ohio Secretary of State, Attorney General, and her home church in New Jersey, whom she said paid for the camp. Additionally, mental health practitioners who have been working for decades in Ohio have never heard of a camp called “True Directions,” except of course, in Draq Queen RuPaul’s 1997 film But I’m a Cheerleader.

Lie #2 – Garden State Equality claimed there were an additional six “conversion therapy camps” after the Jerry Sandusky Victimization Act Press Conference in May. After multiple e-mails and phone calls to their office, Executive Director Troy Stevenson failed to produce any evidence or provide any names, as he promised he would. Not surprisingly, the New Jersey mainstream media has failed to hold him accountable to produce the names of these so-called “conversion therapy camps.”

Lie #3 – This week VOV discovered yet another allegation from Troy Stevenson of a “conversion therapy camp” in Oklahoma. Apparently, this “conversion therapy camp” caused Troy’s childhood friend to commit suicide. Who knows how much truth is in this story. If this boy did commit suicide, that is obviously a tragedy. Any loss of life at any time is a tragedy, and we grieve for this boy and his family.

But what is really concerning is Troy Stevenson and Brielle Goldani’s attempt to use half-truths and downright fabrications to advance their political agendas in New Jersey. Just how far will these activists go? How many lives will they exploit in order to score cheap political points for Senator Barbara Buono’s campaign against Governor Christie? How many children in New Jersey will be told they are born gay and their same-sex attractions did not result from childhood sexual abuse from the likes of Pedophile Jerry Sandusky?

It appears, at least for now, that the New Jersey Senate is backing away from this toxic legislation. But who knows what Troy Stevenson and Garden State Equality are up to next? Who knows how many more unsubstantiated allegations of “conversion therapy camps” will come next without a news media to challenge them? Below is the e-mail I sent to Stevenson this week, asking him once again, to provide evidence of his allegations. To date, he has not responded.

Christopher Doyle, M.A. is the Co-Founder and Acting Director of Voice of the Voiceless, the only anti-defamation league for former homosexuals, individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions, and their families. For more information, visit: www.VoiceoftheVoiceless.info

 

 

Mr. Stevenson,

I wanted to follow up once again to the e-mail I sent you below, as well as ask you a question in response to your personal story of a conversion camp in Oklahoma (see below).

You have yet to provide, as promised, the names of the six Ohio conversion camps. We can only conclude that these camps do not exist. If they do, please give us names so we may investigate. Also, please give us the name of this conversion camp in Oklahoma.

It is to your benefit to be transparent about these allegations you and your organization have continually made against those of us who work in this field. I am happy to work with you and Garden State Equality to end any abusive practices, if they exist. However, all we have heard to this point is unsubstantiated allegations and half-truths from your side.

Thanks,

Christopher Doyle
Co-Founder
Voice of the Voicelesss

 

Personal – I’ve never told anyone this.

Posted by Troy Stevenson, Executive Director, on March 18, 2013

Right now, I’m on the train to Trenton with members of the Garden State Equality team. We’re getting ready to testify in front of the Senate Health Committee to talk about “gay cure” and “conversion” therapies and why they are so harmful for LGBT youth.

As I was going over my prepared remarks, I realized that there is a story I’ve never shared before that I’m ready to tell — because this issue is deeply personal to me, and it’s important for legislators to hear it.

When I was 15 years old, I met a young man from the rival high school in my home town in Oklahoma. He was the first person I felt I could truly connect with, the first person I came out to, and the first person I ever kissed.

But that first kiss was interrupted. The football team caught us behind the school after practice. We ran for what we felt was our lives, and what may very well have been in Oklahoma in the early 1990s.

We made it to our homes safely, and my first call was to my friend to make sure he was OK.

But he wasn’t OK. He described the “conversion” camp his parents sent him to when he told them he was gay. He described things that I couldn’t imagine, indignities that I won’t repeat. He said, “I will never go back.”

That was the last time we spoke. The next day I found out that he took his life. There is no doubt in my mind that the thought of returning to that torment was more than he could take.

It took me another decade before I was brave enough to honor his memory and honor my true self-identity by coming out of the closet once and for all. I became a better person, an advocate, and stronger than I knew I could be. I found a new home, here in New Jersey, and I am proud to lead an organization that works every day to fight for the equality, fairness, and acceptance that I never felt as a young person.

I’ll be telling this story to the legislators later this morning, but I wanted you to hear it first from me directly.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you do and for the role you play in this organization, our community, my chosen home.

–Troy Stevenson
Executive Director, Garden State Equality

New Jersey Senate Committee Advances ‘Conversion’ Therapy Ban Based on False Testimony

On Monday, March 18, 2013, the New Jersey Senate Health, Human Services, and Senior Citizens Committee held a three-hour hearing on a bill that would take away the rights of minors who experience unwanted same-sex attraction (SSA) to receive therapy from licensed mental health professionals.

Representatives from gay rights organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign, Equality New Jersey, and the Trevor Project, as well as several mental health associations, testified at length about the so-called dangers of “conversion therapy” (this is a pejorative term coined by activists to demean therapies that assist individuals who experience unwanted SSA).

When Brielle Goldani, a transgendered woman from Toms River, New Jersey, stated she was tortured at an Ohio-based conversion therapy camp in 1997, the hearing turned very serious.

“Twice a week I was hooked up to electrodes on my hands,” she said. “I, a child, was shocked repeatedly by people who had my parent’s permission to torture me.” Goldani, now 29, claims that she had no rights when her parents sent her away as a teenager. She claims that the torture occurred at conversion camp called True Directions. “This is nothing more than legalized child abuse,” claimed Goldani at the hearing.

Having attended and testified at the hearing myself, I was shocked and horrified to hear about such abuse. As a former homosexual and practitioner of Sexual Orientation Change Effort (SOCE) therapy, I had never heard of such inhumane treatment, except from anti-ex-gay activists who often claim that SOCE employs such barbaric methods. So I tracked down Goldani and talked to her on the phone to find out more information.

Goldani claims that an Assemblies of God Church in Columbus, Ohio ran the True Directions conversion therapy camp:

“There were 12 boys, and 12 girls. The first Sunday I was there, I was forced to sit in their church service, which was nothing but hate speech. Then, on Monday, the heavier therapy began. We were forced to masturbate to heterosexual images and soft-core pornography, such as Sport Illustrated swimsuit models. Twice a week, my hands were hooked up to electrodes for two hours at a time while we were shown positive images such as a nuclear family, a female with children, a male construction worker, and a female receptionist. I was also subjected to forced IV injections twice a week for two hours each while being made to watch negative images of what they didn’t approve of…the injections made me vomit uncontrollably. Every Friday and Saturday evening, we were forced to go on ‘flirting dates’ where a camp counselor coached us on how to talk to the opposite sex romantically…we were also given uniforms to wear, black pants and white shirts for boys, black skirts and white blouses for girls.”

Sounds pretty horrible, right? What ‘Christian’ church or therapist would use such barbaric, violent treatments? In a phone interview, Rev. John Wooton, Superintendent of the Ohio Council of Assembly of God Churches, denied that any such program exists or has ever existed in their church, as Goldani claimed. But if such an abusive camp did exist, surely a participant or parent would have filed ethics complaints long ago. Surely, the Ohio legal authorities would have put an end to this abuse!

According to the office of the Ohio Secretary of State and Attorney General, no such camp called True Directions has ever existed. In fact, the only trace of this camp is from a 1999 film titled But I’m a Cheerleader, starring RuPaul. In the film, the main character is suspected of being a lesbian by her family, who then proceeds to send her to a “conversion therapy” camp called True Directions. Throughout the course of the film, two disgruntled gay men encourage the campers to rebel against the program and discover their true identities as gays and lesbians. The final scene of the film shows the main character’s parents attending a Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) meeting to accept their daughter’s homosexuality.

Dr. Elton Moose, a licensed counselor who has been working in Springfield, Ohio said in a written statement: “I have been in this business for 24 years and have not heard of this camp . . . these types of shock therapy accusations have been around for many years, but I have not actually known a practice that has used this therapy.”

Goldani, who works as a peer specialist and mental health counselor, claims that the church she attended as a teenager in New Jersey, The Church in Brielle, paid for her to attend the camp, which lasted a month and-a-half. Goldani also claims to have been counseled by the pastor of the church on staff at the time, which included talking, reading Bible verses, and listening to statistics about HIV/AIDS.

Their current leader, Pastor Lou LaFauzia, whose church is affiliated with the Reformed Church of America said in a phone interview, “We love everyone regardless of sexual orientation . . . I can say that this would have never happened at this church, and I can’t imagine any church members in 1997 who would do this. It’s outlandish!”

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie stated this week that he wasn’t sure if he would sign such a bill should it pass the legislature. “I’m of two minds just on this stuff in general. Number one, I think there should be lots of deference given to parents on raising their children. I don’t — this is a general philosophy, not to his bill — generally philosophically, on bills that restrict parents’ ability to make decisions on how to care for their children, I’m generally a skeptic of those bills. Now, there can always be exceptions to those rules and this bill may be one of them,” commented Governor Christie.

But what if the governor heard witnesses such as Goldani, who claimed to be tortured at the hands of SOCE? Wouldn’t that tend to sway his decision? When I informed the office of Sen. Joseph Vitale, who chaired Monday’s committee, of this fabricated testimony, they gave no immediate comment but said they would investigate the matter. The office of New Jersey Republican Senator Diane Allen, who also sits on the committee, appeared more concerned, but explained that the Senator was out of the office today and no official comment would be given on her behalf.

While it’s not immediately clear whether the proposed bill, which passed out of committee with a vote of 7-1 (with two abstentions), will be held up due to this fabricated testimony, the New Jersey Legislature and Governor Christie should be very cautious about the testimony of every witness that testified in support of the proposed ban.

A version of this article was originally published at: http://www.wnd.com/2013/03/transgendered-woman-lies-about-therapy-torture/

Christopher Doyle, M.A., is the director of the International Healing Foundation and founder of Voice of the Voiceless, which defends the rights of clients with unwanted SSA, former homosexuals and their families. For more information, visit: www.voiceofthevoiceless.info