Tag Archives: SOCE

NCLR exploits tragedy with guilt by association tactic

confused manTragedy affects us all.  Whether it was the nearly 3,000 Americans who perished on 9/11 or a child whose sexual innocence is damaged by an abuser, ultimately as a human family, tragedy affects us all.

Unfortunately, almost every time there is a tragedy there are those who take advantage of it to manipulate public opinion or to capitalize on it for political and personal reasons. That’s why it was deeply troubling to read of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) using the sexual abuse of a confused young man as a jump off attempt to discredit sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE).

According to an August 27th press release, the NCLR announced that it was “filing a complaint with the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department on behalf of a former student of Bethel Baptist School in Walls, Mississippi who says he was sexually abused for three years by a teacher attempting to “cure” his sexual orientation.”

First, any feeling American can agree with the NCLR in that no child, no person should ever be put through the horror of sexual abuse, molestation or violence of any kind. Likewise, no person, whether gay or nongay should ever be the perpetrator of such vile injustice.  If the facts of this case bear out against the defendant, the penalty of the law should be applied justly.

Its also important to remember that at this point, this case has not been adjudicated in a court of law, thus the claims are simply that: claims.

God only knows how many men and women who have been scarred by childhood sexual violence –including Ellen Degeneres, Corey Feldman and Cindy Lauper— understand and believe that its a tragedy no one should exploit for personal gain.

But that’s exactly what the NCLR is doing when it claims, without evidence, that there is a connection between the heinous crime committed by the defendant and voluntary sexual orientation change efforts shepherded by trained and caring professionals.

“The former student, Jeff White, now 32, alleges that, shortly after coming out in 1996, his parents turned to the local church, which ran a school it promised could “cure” their son and stop him from being gay. Beginning his freshman year, according to White, teacher Steven Barnes began subjecting White to weekly “counseling” sessions in which he regularly raped and sexually assaulted the teenager to convince him that being gay was more painful than suppressing his sexual orientation.”

If this is indeed what happened to Mr. White, it has no relationship to the scenario of what happens between an adult therapist and his or her adult client. With no evidence to support its theory, NCLR simply made an incredulous assumption of guilt by association. Guilt by association is the attempt to discredit an idea based upon disfavored people or groups associated with it.  Because NCLR dislikes the work of credible SOCE practicioners, it seeks to dishonestly make the case that any instance of sexual orientation change gone awry is the fault of credible SOCE representatives. Such accusations have little value except for self-serving rhetorical effect.

Here are the facts:

  • There has been no concerted effort or practice among SOCE practitioners to use sexual abuse or rape as a means of facilitating the process of change. I challenge the NCLR to put up or shut up.
  • There is no documented evidence conclusively proving that voluntarily changing how one chooses to sexually express themselves is dangerous to the individual’s mental health or spiritual well being. Thousands of people who have done so are perfectly normal, mentally healthy and stable members of society. That’s not to say that no one has been dissatisfied with either the results of their attempts or the process itself.  Perspective remains the key arbitrator of success.
  • White’s alleged abuser Steven Barnes never made any claim to be a representative of any SOCE organization. The comparison is about as ludicrous as saying Jeffrey Dahmer was a representative of the Human Rights Campaign. Steven Barnes was the employee of the church who took advantage of a broken and sexually confused young man. Those are the actions of a sexual predator. The church believed (like millions of other orthodox Christians) that homosexuality (like many other spiritual maladies) could be changed by faith and prayer to God and Steven Barnes betrayed that belief by his alleged actions.

Americans are still largely divided as to whether  homosexuality is not some fixed, hard wired genetic condition. Rather it is fluid, changeable and subject to the individual’s level of determination to do so.

A 13 page statement  entitled Legal and Ethical Concerns About Change in Sexual Orientations authors Tia Powell and Edward Stein, representing the American Association of Law Schools, said in part:

“[…] we question what seem to be presumptions undergirding laws banning sexual orientation change efforts,namely that sexual orientations are always innate and immutable and do not reflect choices. We suggest that such presumptions about sexual orientations are not only weak starting points for laws like California’s and New Jersey’s, but, more generally, that immutability, innateness, and lack of choice are poor arguments for the rights of LGB people. In sum, such claims about the nature and origins of sexual orientations are neither good science nor good politics and are not an appropriate foundation for prohibiting sexual orientation change efforts or for LGB rights generally. Instead , support for LGB rights should be grounded in an intellectually rigorous and appropriately humble approach to science and the limits of scientific knowledge .”

Its sad that homosexual activist organizations want to take away the power of choice given to every man by God. What if Mr. White were told he had no choice but to continue submitting to his alleged abuser? What if he were told there was no way he could ever be anything other than a victim?  If the choice to change undesirable factors of one’s life isn’t valid for all, its not valid for any.  Such a universal truth made rich with diversity cannot be refashioned into some monolithic edict because of the biased  perspectives of groups like the NCLR.

The NCLR is right to stand up and fight against sexual abuse of any kind. But we have to call this what it is.  Its a shallow, attention-getting stunt which exploits Mr. White’s horrific past and cheapens the suffering of many Americans who have been similarly damaged.

 

Pastor Darryl L. (DL) Foster is the Co-Founder of Voice of the Voiceless and an ordained minister, husband, father, and self-described abolitionist pastor. In 1990, he left homosexuality to follow Christ and subsequently founded Witness Ministries, Inc. a prominent Christian outreach focused on helping people of color gain their freedom in Christ. In 2010, he also founded and organized the Overcomers Network, an Atlanta based EXGLBT empowerment organization with chapters in 18 US cities.

 

Sound Science (Not Politics) in the Post Exodus Era

CPlittlelogoBy Christopher Doyle, CP Guest Contributor

This commentary is in response to Gregory T. Angelo’s opinion editorial, “Gay Rights in the Post Exodus Era” (9/30/2013). In his article, Mr. Angelo opines on a number of issues surrounding the science of homosexuality and Sexual Orientation Change Effort (SOCE) therapy (pejoratively known as ‘conversion therapy’), neither of which he is qualified to do so as a politician. Such misinformation from gay activists, as was seen in Mr. Angelo’s article, is responsible for the present clouding between science and politics.

Mr. Angelo incorrectly cited Exodus International as the “standard-bearer” and Alan Chambers as the “poster boy” for SOCE therapy. However, Exodus International never existed as a therapeutic organization, but rather, a network of faith-based ministries providing support for individuals seeking to leave homosexuality. One must be very careful to distinguish ministerial and pastoral care from professionally trained psychotherapists and psychologists that provide therapeutic services for those who experience unwanted same-sex attractions.

Furthermore, to label Chambers, a man with no therapeutic or psychological training, the “poster boy” of the ex-gay movement, especially in light of the fact that he never received psychotherapy to overcome his own same-sex attractions, is disingenuous. It is no secret that Chamber’s poor leadership and lack of resolve to do his own therapeutic work played a significant role in the implosion of Exodus. Neither can Chamber’s or John Paulk’s personal failures speak for the many that have experienced change from a homosexual to a heterosexual orientation.

Angelo goes on to justify the unprecedented laws in California and New Jersey that are prohibiting the rights of minors to undergo SOCE therapy by citing Dr. Robert Spitzer’s retraction of his 2003 study: “Can Some Gay Men and Lesbians Change Their Sexual Orientation?” But Angelo failed to include a proper context for why Spitzer retracted this study, namely, that the esteemed Columbia University professor had literally been harassed for a decade by gay activists because of this work, and suffering from an advanced stage of Parkinson’s disease, caved to their demands. To read more, click here . . .

New Jersey Governor Christie Makes Himself Complicit in the Effects of Sexual Abuse onto Children

tumblr_mrs55oCcmv1qj5rqko1_500On Monday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie joined a small but effective group of lawmakers by signing legislation into law that bans all types of therapies that seek to “reduce or eliminate homosexual feelings” for minors. Christie joined his own legislature and New Jersey became the second state to ensure that children who are sexually abused by adults and teenagers will be permanently damaged by molesters and pedophiles in their respective states.

The new law in New Jersey is virtually the same language as that of California’s, of which the constitutionality is still being decided by the 9th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals. As justification for the ban, Christie stated there was not enough evidence to support the use of Sexual Orientation Change Effort (SOCE) therapy to veto the law put forth by the partisan legislature.

He said this, despite a number of facts that have either been distorted or not reported.

Fact #1: The American Psychological Association (APA) stated in it’s 2009 Task Force Report on SOCE (pp. 82-83) that there is insufficient evidence that it is effective or ineffective and that there is no proof the intervention is harmful.

Fact#2: Christie said that be believes people are born with a homosexual predisposition, despite the scientific studies and countless testimonies that indicate homosexual feelings are not inborn and therefore changeable.

Fact #3: Despite the many letters written by therapists and clients alike who gave testimony of the significant and authentic change in homosexual feelings they have witnessed, Christie signed the law even though there is not one documented case filed with the New Jersey board that governs therapist’s licensure that complains about any child or adult undergoing the “horrors” of these kinds of therapies that’s been repeated over and over by gay activists.

Fact #4: The governor failed to challenge the false allegations of activists who said they were tortured by SOCE at “conversion therapy camps” but were unable to provide any evidence to support such claims. Most notably was Transgender Brielle Goldani’s fabrications of being sent the fictitious “True Directions” camp, that we now know only exists in the Hollywood production starring Drag Queen RuPaul, and the half-dozen additional “conversion therapy” camps Troy Stevenson of Garden State Equality said existed in Ohio and Oklahoma. Stevenson promised to provide the names of these camps, but failed to deliver after repeated requests.

Fact #5: Christie said he had to side with the “experts” on this issue, yet, these so-called “experts” could not produce one scientific study documenting that SOCE is ineffective or harmful for adolescents, despite their claims. Christie had to have known that the outcomes of adolescents undergoing SOCE have not been studied, and therefore, any decision to promote or reject such an intervention would be premature. In the case where solid evidence is lacking, the responsible action is to refrain from making any judgement until the science can be produced.

In short, Christie said these things because he is either grossly politically motivated, or completely ignorant of sound evidence. Either way, is this the type of man who New Jersey wants as a governor? Is this the type of man who America wants in the office of President of the United States?

No doubt, the appropriate lawsuits will follow any day now. In the meantime, take some time to think about the child who, God forbid, becomes sexually abused by a same-sex predator and who develops homosexual feelings resulting from this. God help your child if you ever live in New Jersey or California. You won’t get any help from their governors or legislatures. What you will get is propaganda from gay-affirming therapists who are more than happy to follow the law and refuse to help your child reduce or eliminate their homosexual feelings.

If you’re interested, see the letter I faxed to Governor Christie some time ago. Ah, but maybe it doesn’t matter? After all, it’s only about children, not about politics.

David H. Pickup, M.A., LMFT, is the Vice-President of Voice of the Voiceless and holds a masters degree in psychology. He is licensed in California and Texas as a Marriage and Family Therapist. He is pursuing his doctorate in psychology at California Southern University in Los Angeles. Note: Portions of this article were contributed by Christopher Doyle, President and Co-Founder of Voice of the Voiceless. For more information, visit: www.VoiceoftheVoiceless.info

 


08-10-13

Honorable Governor Christie,

I am writing you to urge you to veto A3371. As a psychotherapist who is licensed in California And Texas, I would like to draw your attention to how destructive this bill will be to certain groups of children if you do not exorcise your power of veto. I am going to give you scientific and anecdotal evidence, which I believe will show you how insidiously destructive this bill will be to certain minors and their parents. I will also show you the grave intolerant political agenda that is behind this bill.

I am also writing you because I was a child who experienced sexual abuse by a young man when I was 5 years old. I know the horrific experiences of this first hand. Only one of the abuses that I experienced was the rise of homosexual feelings as a result of what this man did to me. I was born a heterosexual, so when I reached puberty around 13, I was severely repressed and confused concerning these issues. I didn’t have a therapist to help me deal with these homosexual feelings. My sense of masculinity was severely shamed and underdeveloped. I suffered greatly for many years. Later in life I experienced the transformative power of authentic Reparative Therapy. I am now a Reparative Therapist who is helping children and adults from all over the country. See www.davidpickuplmft.com. I have an MA in psychology, and I am obtaining my doctorate at California Southern University. I have been a Reparative Therapist for 7 years. I was trained under the direction of Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, the creator of Reparative Therapy. After you read the evidence against A3371, I will tell you of specifically how Reparative Therapy helped me and how this kind of therapy is of extraordinary benefit to minors. I do realize this letter is lengthy. However, if you desire to truly look at the evidence, I believe it will be well worth your attention. By the way, every detail of the harmful things this bill calls SOCE is certainly not authentic Reparative Therapy.

Before I give you the evidence, I’d like to tell you that this letter is not being sent to demean, discriminate against, or mistreat Gay persons. It might surprise you to know that I have Gay minor clients, and I do not coerce them or treat them in any other way but with unconditional positive regard. They know what I do, and they trust me as we work on other issues besides sexuality.

(Next were many pages of reference scientific and anecdotal evidence.)

Finally…

Governor Christie, with all due respect, you and the New Jersey state legislature will become unintentionally complicit in the furtherance of sexual abuse of children if these minors can not receive sound, science-based, effective therapy for unwanted homosexual feelings that have arisen because of their same-sex sexual abuse. Can you imagine a wonderful little boy or adolescent coming into my therapy office in tears while telling me he’s hurt and confused because of the homosexual feelings he’s feeling because of his sexual abuse, and that all I can tell him is, “I can’t help you reduce or eliminate your homosexual feelings because it’s against the law, and you’ll just have to try your best in life.” Can you imagine?

SOCE therapists are on record acknowledging that there have been some incidents of coercive incidents in therapy sessions, and individual cases of harm done happen in the world in any form of therapy for any issue. However, since no one can be privy to everything that happens in all sessions, banning SOCE as a whole would actually be harmful to minor clients and their parents. I would highly recommend instead that before a bill be proposed or signed into law that further study be done first to represent sound, effective research in order to develop more specific controls. I believe the state owes this to minor clients and their parents who truly benefit by sound therapy and SOCE.

Additionally, the harmful coercive therapies the bills mention are interventions that were practiced 40-100 years ago. They are no longer used because they are indeed ineffective or outright harmful, and no therapist I know of would ever use this in today’s world. If there are abuses of any kind now, they should be handled on a case-by-case basis, not by banning therapy that truly works for minors. In fact, licensing boards are already fully prepared to do just this since their ethics codes and related laws for this are already in place.

In my opinion, based on my years of experience, there will be no question that if you let this bill pass  into law by trying to help one group of children, another group of children will be irreparably harmed if they are not allowed the kind of SOCE that helps this particular population.

I can tell you first hand that I greatly benefited from authentic Reparative Therapy and so have my clients, some of whom are minors. I’ve been using the term “authentic” because there is clearly a difference between the real thing and the many forms of other therapies that do not work, and/or are facilitated by shaming and coercive therapists as individuals. Reparative Therapy (created by Dr. Joseph Nicolosi) truly accomplishes the following:

It eliminates any and all shame for having homosexual feelings no matter how they arose. It allows boys and men to experience a decrease in depression and anxiety. It allows them to grow into great self-confidence in their own genders. It raises self-esteem. It demonstrates how boys and men can get their emotional need for affirmation, approval and affection from other males; needs that they simply didn’t experience in their early lives. And…this results in a spontaneous, automatic lessening or dissipation of their homosexual feelings. In short, they maximize their heterosexual potential. Please look at www.voices-of-change.org for testimonials of authentic, therapeutic change that the media, the APA and Gay therapists are trying to keep from you at all costs. The political agenda of these persons and associations is to force all of America into only one view of homosexuality for all people. This is not really about helping children, especially when you consider there has not been one ethical complaint taken before any licensing board in the past few decades about Reparative Therapy. I’m sure there have been individual incidents of wrongdoing. However, this is a problem that is not germane to Reparative Therapy per se. Why now are people coming forward? Because this is actually about a political agenda.

Thank you for your consideration. I would be honored to answer any questions you may have about these issues. I hope that you and your assistants will read this evidence with an open mind, and at least consider both sides of this historic issue. Professionals, children, parents, legislatures and politicians are certainly aware of the historical significance of bill A3371. I humbly ask you to please regard your own legacy in history when making your decision regarding this bill.

David H. Pickup, M.A., LMFT

Early Day Motion to Exclude SOCE Therapy Introduced in UK Parliament

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Image: Catherine Bebbington/Parliamentary Copyright

In June 2013 a number of Members of Parliament (MPs) in the United Kingdom (UK) signed an Early Day Motion calling for therapy to help those with unwanted homosexual feelings to overcome them to be excluded from therapies offered from the National Health Service (NHS) (an Early Day Motion is a request for Parliament to discuss an issue if they finish the day’s business early). The basis of this motion is an article from the UK’s Independent newsletter where a gay rights activist, and founder of the Facebook group Stop Conversion Therapies (SCOT), deliberately entrapped a counselor claiming that he wanted to overcome unwanted homosexual feelings and then misquoted the therapist in his article, an article that won him a number of media awards despite him calling for violence against those who offer this type of therapy.

This motion is supported by one of the UK’s largest professional bodies for psychological therapists, the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) who have the rule that to offer a client sexual orientation change effort (SOCE) therapy is an act of gross misconduct even if the client requests that therapy. The UKCP also state that if a client expresses that they have a conflict between their beliefs and their homosexual feelings the therapist must tell the client that they can not help them and refer them to someone who will attempt to take them through therapy to accept their sexual orientation if they are not qualified to do so themselves, thereby violating the basic principle underpinning all psychological therapy of the client’s right to self-determination.

Yet, when looking into the issue of SOCE, the American Psychological Association (APA) defended the right of the client to undergo this type of therapy despite the APA refusing to accept any research supporting SOCE as helpful and successful. The UKCP and the British Association for Counseling and Psychotherapy (BACP), who also consider offering a client a SOCE as an act of gross misconduct, use the APA report to support the position but ignore the defense of client’s rights.

Over the last five years there has been a gradual eroding of the client’s right to self-determination when it comes to unwanted homosexual feelings across Europe, and particularly within the UK, with the British Medical Association (BMA) agreeing to a motion condemning therapy to overcome unwanted homosexual feelings. This motion was proposed by a junior (trainee) doctor who was a student at the same university where the founder of the Gay and Lesbian Special Interest Group at the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the UK is head of psychiatric medicine, and who was on the Labour Party’s think tank concerning the NHS.

Thankfully a large number of doctors and mental health professionals disagreed with the BMA motion and, if we can convince them to speak out, will oppose the Early Day Motion in Parliament. Knowing all this, I have written to the MP’s asking to meet with them to discuss the Early Day Motion and to present the facts in the hope that they will remove their support.

 

Phelim McIntyre, N.L.P.M.P. is a professional counselor and life coach specializing in issues concerning masculinity, including sexual orientation, based in the South of England. He is an ex-homosexual, having come out at the age of 13 and now overcoming SSA. He has now been straight for over 10 years.

VOV Condemns Kangaroo-Court Committee That Advanced Therapy Ban in New Jersey

New Jersey Gay Activists Continue to Misrepresent Truth in Committee Hearing on Bill That Would Deny Therapy for Child Sex Abuse Victims 

Trenton, NJ, june 13, 2013 – New Jersey Citizens Against the Jerry Sandusky Victimization Act, A 3371 charged in their testimony today before the Assembly Women and Children’s committee that gay activists and their allies continue to fabricate stories and misrepresent the facts and scientific research related to the development and treatment of same-sex attraction.

The bill would ban licensed psychotherapists in New Jersey from providing widely accepted and proven sexual orientation change effort (SOCE) therapies to children and adolescents with unwanted same-sex attraction, including victims of abuse by sexual predators like Jerry Sandusky. The ban would apply even if these victims and their parents seek it.
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