Category Archives: Uncategorized

JONAH Trial: Expert Witness for SPLC Concedes Sexual Orientation is Fluid and Can Change

SPLC

A photo from the interrogation of Floyd Corkins, who was inspired to take revenge on the Family Research Council from the SPLC’s “Hate List”

This Monday marked the second full week of testimony in the “Trial of the Century”, pitting Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH), a small, New Jersey-based Jewish non-profit organization, against the $340 million dollar Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

At issue are SPLC’s claims that JONAH committed consumer fraud by supposedly guaranteeing four former clients that they could go from “gay” to “straight” in 2-4 years. SPLC recruited these clients to sue JONAH in what has become another installment in the nationwide effort to prevent individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions from accessing counseling.

But SPLC’s case is unraveling at the seams, and the lies that mark this trial should be a lesson for the nation.
First, last Wednesday, under cross-examination by attorney for the defense Charles LiMandri of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, Dr. Carol Bernstein, an expert witness for the plaintiffs and a well-known psychiatrist and Vice Chair of the New York University (NYU) School of Medicine, conceded that sexual orientation is fluid and can change. She went on to state that she has not conducted any research on the effectiveness of sexual orientation change effort (SOCE) therapy or familiarized herself with any studies looking at harm from such efforts.

Additionally, when asked about the particular type of counseling, psychodrama, that JONAH uses in its practice, Dr. Bernstein replied that it was not a well-respected counseling modality, despite that fact that Columbia University, where she attended, offers a course for undergraduate students on the method, a fact of which she was unaware.

Yet, while the plaintiffs have been permitted to call expert witnesses who seemingly know nothing about the practice against which they are testifying, Superior Court Judge Peter Bariso disqualified several well-known mental health practitioners, including me, from testifying simply because we offer scientifically refused testimony (or practice under the premise) that homosexuality is a mental disorder and, for some, may change.

This, however, is just one hole in SPLC’s case.

Another is that Benjamin Unger, one of the clients who claimed he was harmed by JONAH’s counseling, testified on the stand that he was a virgin, yet when cross-examined, he was confronted with the fact that in his initial client intake documents, he had stated he had been having oral and anal sex since he was sixteen years old.

Unger’s response to the inconsistency was that he did indeed have anal sex, but didn’t ejaculate. This explanation hardly engenders confidence in SPLC’s tactics. And it’s been very clear throughout the first week of testimony that some of the plaintiffs are in some cases lying through their teeth, and in other cases, delusional.

For example, plaintiff and former JONAH client Chaim Levin said he was distressed by the counseling he underwent, yet multiple times during his counseling he wrote enthusiastically of the help he was receiving, so much so that he wanted to become a public spokesman for JONAH as a testimony of change. He even went on the record in depositions and admitted during the trial that at times, he was attracted to women and the girl he was dating at the time he was undergoing counseling. Even more bizarre was testimony from Levin’s mother, who was questioned why she accused co-director Arthur Goldberg and life coach Alan Downing, in depositions, of molesting her son. Even the SPLC didn’t take Levin’s strange rant seriously.

Another client’s mother, Jo Bruck, was forced to admit that JONAH never made any guarantee that her son would go from “gay” to “straight” when it was brought to her attention that she signed an informed consent document that expressly said there was no guarantee, and that she initialed several paragraphs, one of which discussed the controversial nature of JONAH’s services and that there was no guarantee of success.

As the trial enters its second full week of testimony, one thing is clear: the SPLC will continue to put witnesses on the stand that will be thoroughly discredited. The only question is whether the jury will consider the facts or be swayed by the SPLC’s rhetoric and bias.

At this point in the trial, it would be expected that the plaintiffs would have the momentum before the defense has had the chance to present its case. But with the utter nonsense offered so far as testimony, LiMandri and company may just choose to rest their case and allow the plaintiffs to score a win for JONAH by continuing to misrepresent themselves for the next three weeks.

Christopher Doyle is a licensed clinical professional counselor and the director of the International Healing Foundation (www.ComingOutLoved.com). He is also a leader in the #TherapyEquality movement with Equality And Justice For All (www.EqualityAndJusticeForAll.org).

This article was originally published at The Christian Post. Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/jonah-trial-expert-witness-for-splc-concedes-sexual-orientation-is-fluid-and-can-change-140490/#kWqZ2DUsbeiX5iVc.99

Hotel Homosexuality: yes, you can check out, and leave

Leaving the homosexual lifestyle, becoming ex-gay, overcoming same-sex attractions – whatever you call it – seems to be the only unacceptable behaviour on the sexuality spectrum these days. MercatorNet asked Christopher Doyle, a Washington based professional counsellor and former homosexual, about belonging to an oppressed minority group in an era of sexual liberation.

Q: Could we first be clear about the term “ex-gay”: does it refer to people (men and women) who no longer feel attracted to people of the same sex? Or does it mean people who have given up homosexual relationships but who might still feel same-sex attraction?

A: “Ex-gay” is a sexual identity, just like “straight” or “gay” or “lesbian” or “transgender”. Sexual identity is completely subjective and self-chosen, meaning, people can label themselves how they want, while sexual orientation or preference is typically not chosen. Some people who experience unwanted same-sex attractions do not feel the “gay” label fits them, so they may prefer to call themselves “former homosexuals” or “ex-gays” as a way to identify themselves.

However, because of the huge stigma and shame involved in publicly declaring that one has left homosexuality, there are tens of thousands of ex-gays that simply don’t declare themselves as such. These individuals may fall all along a continuum or spectrum of same-sex attractions, or may have completely resolved their unwanted homosexual feelings. It’s hard to generalize because each person is unique.

Q: In September the third annual Ex-Gay Awareness Month Conference will be held in Washington, D.C. How important are such events for people wanting to leave a homosexual lifestyle and those who already have left?

A: It’s very important to set aside times of recognition and celebration, because that’s how you get your message out into the public and gain recognition. The more acceptable it becomes to leave homosexuality, the more people will feel comfortable in identifying themselves “ex-gays” and attend such events.

Q: How would you describe the level of awareness of ex-gays in the US? Are such people ever featured in the media?

A: Unfortunately, the mainstream media is hostile to our experiences and the public is regularly indoctrinated by gay activists, who typically malign us and use stereotypes to paint a bleak picture of anyone who chooses to leave homosexuality. Ironically, this was the pitfall of the LGBT movement 20-30 years ago, and now, the tables are turned and they are using the same tactics they once fought against to oppress the ex-LGBT community.

For many of us, leaving homosexuality is not easy and it comes with an array of intimidation tactics when we go public. It kind of feels like the line in the Eagles’ song “Hotel California”:  “You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.”

Q: What is the attitude of the LGBT movement to ex-gays? What about the wider community – how do others react to someone they know was homosexual?

A: Generally, I have very civil and good conversations when I speak with members of the LGBT community about my experiences and work. Not only do I work with clients who seek to resolve unwanted same-sex attractions, but I have many clients that are gay or transgender-identified and seek help with other issues.

I don’t moralize in dealing with those who experience sexual issues, and work with the client’s goals. That’s why I call my counselling “Sexual Identity Affirming Therapy”. Clients bring both internal and external issues that are getting in the way of them being their true, authentic self, and I work with them to achieve those goals – whether it’s to resolve unwanted sexual feelings, or in the case of a gay or transgender person — to resolve conflicts with family or issues that are difficult to deal with, both within themselves and with others.

However, when it comes to talking with gay activists, that’s a completely different story. They are completely intolerant of my work and experience, and regularly write vicious articles or tweets about me and my work, usually without even talking to me. It’s an “us vs. them” mentality, so they have no interest in real dialogue. I am their enemy, so they attack me so they can raise money and advocate for their political interests.

Q: Are the families of these people typically happy, or confused when one of their own leaves the homosexual lifestyle?

A: That’s an interesting question. In my experience, most families want the best for their children and desire for them to be happy and healthy. If their values are against homosexuality and their child or family member experiences those feelings, there will be a struggle in the family.

Some of the most satisfying work I do is through family healing sessions, where I help families identify issues within the family that are causing pain and hurt and help them heal. Usually the family will come to me with a gay or lesbian-identified child, but after consultation, they realize there are many unresolved issues within themselves and others in the family, so they will come to me for a two-day intensive, or fly me out to work with them.

These sessions are worth years of psychotherapy and are really powerful! It’s amazing – when you work with families who experience similar dynamics, it’s not hard to diagnose the problems and help them get on a road to healing rather quickly. This is a real passion of mine.

Q: Could you tell us something about your personal journey?

A: Absolutely! I grew up in a small town outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. My father worked in the steel mills until they closed in the late 70′s and my mother was a home maker. Both of them grew up in abusive, alcoholic homes and never healed from the hurts from their families of origin. That had a profound impact on me.

My mother was a deeply devoted Christian woman, but was extremely wounded and always relied on me to care for her emotional needs, and my father was a good upstanding man in the community, but due to the physical abuse in his home, he learned to survive by shutting off his feelings. That made it extremely difficult for me to bond with him, and as a sensitive boy, I was over attached to the needs of my mother.

Then at eight years old, I was sexually abused by an older female cousin, which totally threw me into a state of confusion. Add in the fact that my older brother was the star baseball player I could never live up to, and the recipe for same-sex attraction was there. I spent about 15 years taking part in dangerous sexual encounters with guys, in most of which I never wore a condom. However, God was gracious and spared me the physical consequences of those choices.

When I was 23, I moved down to Washington, DC and for the first time, formed healthy relationships with the men at my church. Counselling to heal the wounds of sexual abuse, and years of 12-step support groups helped me in my journey. Then about nine years ago, I met my wife in our church’s choir (she is a professional music teacher and opera singer) and within eight months, we were married. Today, we have three beautiful biological children and this summer we are adopting two children from China. I am truly living my dream.

Q: Aren’t some people born gay?

A: While there has been 25 years of research and hundreds of millions spent to study this issue, scientists have failed to discover a credible biological link for the development of same-sex attractions (SSA). I personally believe that a person’s sensitive temperament, which is biological, will make them susceptible to developing SSA, but this is a pre-inclination, not a pre-determination.

Our biology and genetics have little to do with our sexual behaviour. We are all created male or female. No one is born gay or straight, it’s a combination of temperament + environment + family + bonding/attachment that determine our sexual feelings, which are largely unconscious.

Q: Professional help for people with unwanted same-sex attraction is typically referred to in the media as “conversion therapy”. Does this describe what you offer?

A: “Conversion therapy” is a term coined by gay activists to plant the idea in the public’s mind that we are “converting” gay people. Nothing could be further from the truth. The vast majority of my clients come to me and say, “My sexual identity is heterosexual, but I have unwanted SSA that I believe is caused by such and such issues…” and when we help the clients resolve those issues, homosexual feelings decrease and sometimes completely go away.

The reason is that same-sex attractions have meaning. They will remain until the individual discovers the meaning of them and fulfils them in legitimate, non-sexual ways. You cannot “pray away” or “deliver” a wound or unresolved issue — that’s why simply acts of deliverance or prayer do not work, and that’s primarily why certain religious programs have failed. They were trying to solve an emotional issue with a spiritual solution only. In my personal and professional experience, this does not work.

Q: The Southern Poverty Law Center has a legal suit against the Jewish group JONAH, which offers therapy to those unhappy with their homosexuality. Is this just another attempt to discredit any therapy geared to overcoming homosexuality, or are there some legitimate concerns about the way things were done in particular cases?

A: I just wrote an op-ed in The Christian Post. It would take me 1,000 words to answer this question, which I do in the Christian Post op-ed.

Q: Is the trend towards legalising same-sex marriage making it easier or harder for people to leave a homosexual lifestyle they no longer feel comfortable with?

A: That’s hard to say, and depends on the person. People who seek counselling to resolve unwanted same-sex attractions typically do not identify as “gay” so the idea of “gay marriage” is not something that is attractive to them. If anything, I have seen a sharp increase in youth who want to resolve these feelings because the political aspects of homosexuality are so “in your face” in that they suggest that the only option is to embrace and live a gay life. Young and informed Christians are not as naive as we would think, and are seeking the truth. There is something about the modern gay rights movement that smells phony to them, and for those who truly see behind the lies of gay activists will find the help they need.

The challenge, of course, is the power of the gay activists and their attempt shut down therapy for minors. This is why it’s so important we oppose these laws. Hitler and Nazi Germany knew that to win the revolution, they had to indoctrinate their youth. We are seeing the same type of campaign by the modern day gay rights movement: “Believe what we tell you blindly, and if you disagree, you are homophobic, ignorant and stupid, and must be eliminated.”

Q: Do ex-gays want or need official recognition of their status – for example, inclusion in official information and education programmes about sexual orientation?

A: Of course, but with the current level of intolerance in our society, this is not happening. Gay activists love to talk about sexual fluidity, but only if it suits their political agenda. If someone experiences change from homosexual to heterosexual, it’s intolerable. If you try to debate the science, they will dismiss or downplay one hundred years and hundreds of peer-reviewed journal articles that shows people experience change. They usually resort to character assassination and insults. But if you really know what the science says, there’s nothing they can do to dispute the facts.

No one is born gay, people don’t simply choose to be gay, and change is possible. For more information on the science, Google “My Genes Made Me Do It!” by New Zealand researcher Neil Whitehead and visit our website at:www.ComingOutLoved.com

Christopher Doyle, MA, LCPC is a licensed clinical professional counsellor based in Washington, DC. He counsels men and women with sexual orientation issues, as well as the parents and families of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning persons, and children with unwanted same-sex attractions (LGBTQU). He is the Director of the International Healing Foundation through which he co-facilitates groups and seminars. He is a published author and expert in adolescent sexual health, and his work has featured in a wide range of media.

This article was originally published at: http://www.mercatornet.com/conjugality/view/hotel-homosexual-yes-you-can-check-out-and-leave

Leaving the homosexual lifestyle, becoming ex-gay, overcoming same-sex attractions – whatever you call it – seems to be the only unacceptable behaviour on the sexuality spectrum these days. MercatorNet asked Christopher Doyle, a Washington based professional counsellor and former homosexual, about belonging to an oppressed minority group in an era of sexual liberation.

 

Q: Could we first be clear about the term “ex-gay”: does it refer to people (men and women) who no longer feel attracted to people of the same sex? Or does it mean people who have given up homosexual relationships but who might still feel same-sex attraction?

A: “Ex-gay” is a sexual identity, just like “straight” or “gay” or “lesbian” or “transgender”. Sexual identity is completely subjective and self-chosen, meaning, people can label themselves how they want, while sexual orientation or preference is typically not chosen. Some people who experience unwanted same-sex attractions do not feel the “gay” label fits them, so they may prefer to call themselves “former homosexuals” or “ex-gays” as a way to identify themselves.

However, because of the huge stigma and shame involved in publicly declaring that one has left homosexuality, there are tens of thousands of ex-gays that simply don’t declare themselves as such. These individuals may fall all along a continuum or spectrum of same-sex attractions, or may have completely resolved their unwanted homosexual feelings. It’s hard to generalize because each person is unique.

Q: In September the third annual Ex-Gay Awareness Month Conference will be held in Washington, D.C. How important are such events for people wanting to leave a homosexual lifestyle and those who already have left?

A: It’s very important to set aside times of recognition and celebration, because that’s how you get your message out into the public and gain recognition. The more acceptable it becomes to leave homosexuality, the more people will feel comfortable in identifying themselves “ex-gays” and attend such events.

Q: How would you describe the level of awareness of ex-gays in the US? Are such people ever featured in the media?

A: Unfortunately, the mainstream media is hostile to our experiences and the public is regularly indoctrinated by gay activists, who typically malign us and use stereotypes to paint a bleak picture of anyone who chooses to leave homosexuality. Ironically, this was the pitfall of the LGBT movement 20-30 years ago, and now, the tables are turned and they are using the same tactics they once fought against to oppress the ex-LGBT community.

For many of us, leaving homosexuality is not easy and it comes with an array of intimidation tactics when we go public. It kind of feels like the line in the Eagles’ song “Hotel California”:  “You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.”

Q: What is the attitude of the LGBT movement to ex-gays? What about the wider community – how do others react to someone they know was homosexual?

A: Generally, I have very civil and good conversations when I speak with members of the LGBT community about my experiences and work. Not only do I work with clients who seek to resolve unwanted same-sex attractions, but I have many clients that are gay or transgender-identified and seek help with other issues.

I don’t moralize in dealing with those who experience sexual issues, and work with the client’s goals. That’s why I call my counselling “Sexual Identity Affirming Therapy”. Clients bring both internal and external issues that are getting in the way of them being their true, authentic self, and I work with them to achieve those goals – whether it’s to resolve unwanted sexual feelings, or in the case of a gay or transgender person — to resolve conflicts with family or issues that are difficult to deal with, both within themselves and with others.

However, when it comes to talking with gay activists, that’s a completely different story. They are completely intolerant of my work and experience, and regularly write vicious articles or tweets about me and my work, usually without even talking to me. It’s an “us vs. them” mentality, so they have no interest in real dialogue. I am their enemy, so they attack me so they can raise money and advocate for their political interests.

Q: Are the families of these people typically happy, or confused when one of their own leaves the homosexual lifestyle?

A: That’s an interesting question. In my experience, most families want the best for their children and desire for them to be happy and healthy. If their values are against homosexuality and their child or family member experiences those feelings, there will be a struggle in the family.

Some of the most satisfying work I do is through family healing sessions, where I help families identify issues within the family that are causing pain and hurt and help them heal. Usually the family will come to me with a gay or lesbian-identified child, but after consultation, they realize there are many unresolved issues within themselves and others in the family, so they will come to me for a two-day intensive, or fly me out to work with them.

These sessions are worth years of psychotherapy and are really powerful! It’s amazing – when you work with families who experience similar dynamics, it’s not hard to diagnose the problems and help them get on a road to healing rather quickly. This is a real passion of mine.

doyleQ: Could you tell us something about your personal journey?

A: Absolutely! I grew up in a small town outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. My father worked in the steel mills until they closed in the late 70’s and my mother was a home maker. Both of them grew up in abusive, alcoholic homes and never healed from the hurts from their families of origin. That had a profound impact on me.

My mother was a deeply devoted Christian woman, but was extremely wounded and always relied on me to care for her emotional needs, and my father was a good upstanding man in the community, but due to the physical abuse in his home, he learned to survive by shutting off his feelings. That made it extremely difficult for me to bond with him, and as a sensitive boy, I was over attached to the needs of my mother.

Then at eight years old, I was sexually abused by an older female cousin, which totally threw me into a state of confusion. Add in the fact that my older brother was the star baseball player I could never live up to, and the recipe for same-sex attraction was there. I spent about 15 years taking part in dangerous sexual encounters with guys, in most of which I never wore a condom. However, God was gracious and spared me the physical consequences of those choices.

When I was 23, I moved down to Washington, DC and for the first time, formed healthy relationships with the men at my church. Counselling to heal the wounds of sexual abuse, and years of 12-step support groups helped me in my journey. Then about nine years ago, I met my wife in our church’s choir (she is a professional music teacher and opera singer) and within eight months, we were married. Today, we have three beautiful biological children and this summer we are adopting two children from China. I am truly living my dream.

Q: Aren’t some people born gay?

A: While there has been 25 years of research and hundreds of millions spent to study this issue, scientists have failed to discover a credible biological link for the development of same-sex attractions (SSA). I personally believe that a person’s sensitive temperament, which is biological, will make them susceptible to developing SSA, but this is a pre-inclination, not a pre-determination.

Our biology and genetics have little to do with our sexual behaviour. We are all created male or female. No one is born gay or straight, it’s a combination of temperament + environment + family + bonding/attachment that determine our sexual feelings, which are largely unconscious.

Q: Professional help for people with unwanted same-sex attraction is typically referred to in the media as “conversion therapy”. Does this describe what you offer?

A: “Conversion therapy” is a term coined by gay activists to plant the idea in the public’s mind that we are “converting” gay people. Nothing could be further from the truth. The vast majority of my clients come to me and say, “My sexual identity is heterosexual, but I have unwanted SSA that I believe is caused by such and such issues…” and when we help the clients resolve those issues, homosexual feelings decrease and sometimes completely go away.

The reason is that same-sex attractions have meaning. They will remain until the individual discovers the meaning of them and fulfils them in legitimate, non-sexual ways. You cannot “pray away” or “deliver” a wound or unresolved issue — that’s why simply acts of deliverance or prayer do not work, and that’s primarily why certain religious programs have failed. They were trying to solve an emotional issue with a spiritual solution only. In my personal and professional experience, this does not work.

Q: The Southern Poverty Law Center has a legal suit against the Jewish group JONAH, which offers therapy to those unhappy with their homosexuality. Is this just another attempt to discredit any therapy geared to overcoming homosexuality, or are there some legitimate concerns about the way things were done in particular cases?

A: I just wrote an op-ed in The Christian Post. It would take me 1,000 words to answer this question, which I do in the Christian Post op-ed.

Q: Is the trend towards legalising same-sex marriage making it easier or harder for people to leave a homosexual lifestyle they no longer feel comfortable with?

A: That’s hard to say, and depends on the person. People who seek counselling to resolve unwanted same-sex attractions typically do not identify as “gay” so the idea of “gay marriage” is not something that is attractive to them. If anything, I have seen a sharp increase in youth who want to resolve these feelings because the political aspects of homosexuality are so “in your face” in that they suggest that the only option is to embrace and live a gay life. Young and informed Christians are not as naive as we would think, and are seeking the truth. There is something about the modern gay rights movement that smells phony to them, and for those who truly see behind the lies of gay activists will find the help they need.

The challenge, of course, is the power of the gay activists and their attempt shut down therapy for minors. This is why it’s so important we oppose these laws. Hitler and Nazi Germany knew that to win the revolution, they had to indoctrinate their youth. We are seeing the same type of campaign by the modern day gay rights movement: “Believe what we tell you blindly, and if you disagree, you are homophobic, ignorant and stupid, and must be eliminated.”

Q: Do ex-gays want or need official recognition of their status – for example, inclusion in official information and education programmes about sexual orientation?

A: Of course, but with the current level of intolerance in our society, this is not happening. Gay activists love to talk about sexual fluidity, but only if it suits their political agenda. If someone experiences change from homosexual to heterosexual, it’s intolerable. If you try to debate the science, they will dismiss or downplay one hundred years and hundreds of peer-reviewed journal articles that shows people experience change. They usually resort to character assassination and insults. But if you really know what the science says, there’s nothing they can do to dispute the facts.

No one is born gay, people don’t simply choose to be gay, and change is possible. For more information on the science, Google “My Genes Made Me Do It!” by New Zealand researcher Neil Whitehead and visit our website at:www.ComingOutLoved.com

Christopher Doyle, MA, LCPC is a licensed clinical professional counsellor based in Washington, DC. He counsels men and women with sexual orientation issues, as well as the parents and families of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning persons, and children with unwanted same-sex attractions (LGBTQU). He is the Director of the International Healing Foundation through which he co-facilitates groups and seminars. He is a published author and expert in adolescent sexual health, and his work has featured in a wide range of media.

– See more at: http://www.mercatornet.com/conjugality/view/hotel-homosexual-yes-you-can-check-out-and-leave#sthash.nN759uzJ.dpuf

Leaving the homosexual lifestyle, becoming ex-gay, overcoming same-sex attractions – whatever you call it – seems to be the only unacceptable behaviour on the sexuality spectrum these days. MercatorNet asked Christopher Doyle, a Washington based professional counsellor and former homosexual, about belonging to an oppressed minority group in an era of sexual liberation.

 

Q: Could we first be clear about the term “ex-gay”: does it refer to people (men and women) who no longer feel attracted to people of the same sex? Or does it mean people who have given up homosexual relationships but who might still feel same-sex attraction?

A: “Ex-gay” is a sexual identity, just like “straight” or “gay” or “lesbian” or “transgender”. Sexual identity is completely subjective and self-chosen, meaning, people can label themselves how they want, while sexual orientation or preference is typically not chosen. Some people who experience unwanted same-sex attractions do not feel the “gay” label fits them, so they may prefer to call themselves “former homosexuals” or “ex-gays” as a way to identify themselves.

However, because of the huge stigma and shame involved in publicly declaring that one has left homosexuality, there are tens of thousands of ex-gays that simply don’t declare themselves as such. These individuals may fall all along a continuum or spectrum of same-sex attractions, or may have completely resolved their unwanted homosexual feelings. It’s hard to generalize because each person is unique.

Q: In September the third annual Ex-Gay Awareness Month Conference will be held in Washington, D.C. How important are such events for people wanting to leave a homosexual lifestyle and those who already have left?

A: It’s very important to set aside times of recognition and celebration, because that’s how you get your message out into the public and gain recognition. The more acceptable it becomes to leave homosexuality, the more people will feel comfortable in identifying themselves “ex-gays” and attend such events.

Q: How would you describe the level of awareness of ex-gays in the US? Are such people ever featured in the media?

A: Unfortunately, the mainstream media is hostile to our experiences and the public is regularly indoctrinated by gay activists, who typically malign us and use stereotypes to paint a bleak picture of anyone who chooses to leave homosexuality. Ironically, this was the pitfall of the LGBT movement 20-30 years ago, and now, the tables are turned and they are using the same tactics they once fought against to oppress the ex-LGBT community.

For many of us, leaving homosexuality is not easy and it comes with an array of intimidation tactics when we go public. It kind of feels like the line in the Eagles’ song “Hotel California”:  “You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.”

Q: What is the attitude of the LGBT movement to ex-gays? What about the wider community – how do others react to someone they know was homosexual?

A: Generally, I have very civil and good conversations when I speak with members of the LGBT community about my experiences and work. Not only do I work with clients who seek to resolve unwanted same-sex attractions, but I have many clients that are gay or transgender-identified and seek help with other issues.

I don’t moralize in dealing with those who experience sexual issues, and work with the client’s goals. That’s why I call my counselling “Sexual Identity Affirming Therapy”. Clients bring both internal and external issues that are getting in the way of them being their true, authentic self, and I work with them to achieve those goals – whether it’s to resolve unwanted sexual feelings, or in the case of a gay or transgender person — to resolve conflicts with family or issues that are difficult to deal with, both within themselves and with others.

However, when it comes to talking with gay activists, that’s a completely different story. They are completely intolerant of my work and experience, and regularly write vicious articles or tweets about me and my work, usually without even talking to me. It’s an “us vs. them” mentality, so they have no interest in real dialogue. I am their enemy, so they attack me so they can raise money and advocate for their political interests.

Q: Are the families of these people typically happy, or confused when one of their own leaves the homosexual lifestyle?

A: That’s an interesting question. In my experience, most families want the best for their children and desire for them to be happy and healthy. If their values are against homosexuality and their child or family member experiences those feelings, there will be a struggle in the family.

Some of the most satisfying work I do is through family healing sessions, where I help families identify issues within the family that are causing pain and hurt and help them heal. Usually the family will come to me with a gay or lesbian-identified child, but after consultation, they realize there are many unresolved issues within themselves and others in the family, so they will come to me for a two-day intensive, or fly me out to work with them.

These sessions are worth years of psychotherapy and are really powerful! It’s amazing – when you work with families who experience similar dynamics, it’s not hard to diagnose the problems and help them get on a road to healing rather quickly. This is a real passion of mine.

doyleQ: Could you tell us something about your personal journey?

A: Absolutely! I grew up in a small town outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. My father worked in the steel mills until they closed in the late 70’s and my mother was a home maker. Both of them grew up in abusive, alcoholic homes and never healed from the hurts from their families of origin. That had a profound impact on me.

My mother was a deeply devoted Christian woman, but was extremely wounded and always relied on me to care for her emotional needs, and my father was a good upstanding man in the community, but due to the physical abuse in his home, he learned to survive by shutting off his feelings. That made it extremely difficult for me to bond with him, and as a sensitive boy, I was over attached to the needs of my mother.

Then at eight years old, I was sexually abused by an older female cousin, which totally threw me into a state of confusion. Add in the fact that my older brother was the star baseball player I could never live up to, and the recipe for same-sex attraction was there. I spent about 15 years taking part in dangerous sexual encounters with guys, in most of which I never wore a condom. However, God was gracious and spared me the physical consequences of those choices.

When I was 23, I moved down to Washington, DC and for the first time, formed healthy relationships with the men at my church. Counselling to heal the wounds of sexual abuse, and years of 12-step support groups helped me in my journey. Then about nine years ago, I met my wife in our church’s choir (she is a professional music teacher and opera singer) and within eight months, we were married. Today, we have three beautiful biological children and this summer we are adopting two children from China. I am truly living my dream.

Q: Aren’t some people born gay?

A: While there has been 25 years of research and hundreds of millions spent to study this issue, scientists have failed to discover a credible biological link for the development of same-sex attractions (SSA). I personally believe that a person’s sensitive temperament, which is biological, will make them susceptible to developing SSA, but this is a pre-inclination, not a pre-determination.

Our biology and genetics have little to do with our sexual behaviour. We are all created male or female. No one is born gay or straight, it’s a combination of temperament + environment + family + bonding/attachment that determine our sexual feelings, which are largely unconscious.

Q: Professional help for people with unwanted same-sex attraction is typically referred to in the media as “conversion therapy”. Does this describe what you offer?

A: “Conversion therapy” is a term coined by gay activists to plant the idea in the public’s mind that we are “converting” gay people. Nothing could be further from the truth. The vast majority of my clients come to me and say, “My sexual identity is heterosexual, but I have unwanted SSA that I believe is caused by such and such issues…” and when we help the clients resolve those issues, homosexual feelings decrease and sometimes completely go away.

The reason is that same-sex attractions have meaning. They will remain until the individual discovers the meaning of them and fulfils them in legitimate, non-sexual ways. You cannot “pray away” or “deliver” a wound or unresolved issue — that’s why simply acts of deliverance or prayer do not work, and that’s primarily why certain religious programs have failed. They were trying to solve an emotional issue with a spiritual solution only. In my personal and professional experience, this does not work.

Q: The Southern Poverty Law Center has a legal suit against the Jewish group JONAH, which offers therapy to those unhappy with their homosexuality. Is this just another attempt to discredit any therapy geared to overcoming homosexuality, or are there some legitimate concerns about the way things were done in particular cases?

A: I just wrote an op-ed in The Christian Post. It would take me 1,000 words to answer this question, which I do in the Christian Post op-ed.

Q: Is the trend towards legalising same-sex marriage making it easier or harder for people to leave a homosexual lifestyle they no longer feel comfortable with?

A: That’s hard to say, and depends on the person. People who seek counselling to resolve unwanted same-sex attractions typically do not identify as “gay” so the idea of “gay marriage” is not something that is attractive to them. If anything, I have seen a sharp increase in youth who want to resolve these feelings because the political aspects of homosexuality are so “in your face” in that they suggest that the only option is to embrace and live a gay life. Young and informed Christians are not as naive as we would think, and are seeking the truth. There is something about the modern gay rights movement that smells phony to them, and for those who truly see behind the lies of gay activists will find the help they need.

The challenge, of course, is the power of the gay activists and their attempt shut down therapy for minors. This is why it’s so important we oppose these laws. Hitler and Nazi Germany knew that to win the revolution, they had to indoctrinate their youth. We are seeing the same type of campaign by the modern day gay rights movement: “Believe what we tell you blindly, and if you disagree, you are homophobic, ignorant and stupid, and must be eliminated.”

Q: Do ex-gays want or need official recognition of their status – for example, inclusion in official information and education programmes about sexual orientation?

A: Of course, but with the current level of intolerance in our society, this is not happening. Gay activists love to talk about sexual fluidity, but only if it suits their political agenda. If someone experiences change from homosexual to heterosexual, it’s intolerable. If you try to debate the science, they will dismiss or downplay one hundred years and hundreds of peer-reviewed journal articles that shows people experience change. They usually resort to character assassination and insults. But if you really know what the science says, there’s nothing they can do to dispute the facts.

No one is born gay, people don’t simply choose to be gay, and change is possible. For more information on the science, Google “My Genes Made Me Do It!” by New Zealand researcher Neil Whitehead and visit our website at:www.ComingOutLoved.com

Christopher Doyle, MA, LCPC is a licensed clinical professional counsellor based in Washington, DC. He counsels men and women with sexual orientation issues, as well as the parents and families of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning persons, and children with unwanted same-sex attractions (LGBTQU). He is the Director of the International Healing Foundation through which he co-facilitates groups and seminars. He is a published author and expert in adolescent sexual health, and his work has featured in a wide range of media.

– See more at: http://www.mercatornet.com/conjugality/view/hotel-homosexual-yes-you-can-check-out-and-leave#sthash.nN759uzJ.dpuf

Highlights from the JONAH Trial Day 4: Death Threats and Strange Charges of Molestation Rock Trial

Death Threats Rock Defendants in Gay Counseling Trial

SPLC 622x350Jersey City, NJ — Lead attorney Charles Limandri and defendant Arthur Goldberg received identical death threats today. An anonymous emailer said God supports gay marriage and that “the people running JONAH do not deserve to live on planet earth any longer.”

Goldberg is the lead defendant in the suit brought by four young men who came to him for help with unwanted same-sex attraction. They accuse Goldberg of defrauding them by promising success in fighting their temptations.

In court today, plaintiff witnesses continued to get tripped up in cross-examination in what could turn out to be a four-week trial in Hudson County Superior Court.

Jo Bruck, one of the defendant’s mothers, and who is also party to the suit, testified that Goldberg promised to change her son Sheldon from gay to straight. But she had to admit under cross-examination by Limandri that Goldberg had never made such a promise.

She testified that she had only “skimmed” the client services agreement, but under Limandri’s cross Bruck admitted she had read agreement and it was shown she even initialed a number of paragraphs. This is important to JONAH”s defense because it shows that many of the plaintiff’s claims are false. For instance, they charge that Goldberg guaranteed success in ending their sons’ same-sex attraction, but the agreement they signed made clear that JONAH offered no guarantees whatsoever.

The document even makes clear that JONAH’s treatment to change same-sex attraction is controversial and that other mental health professionals hold that same-sex attraction is totally normal and does not need changing.

Chaim Levin testified this afternoon that he objected to a number of treatments he received in his effort to stop having sex with men. He said a weekend retreat included other men acting out Levin’s childhood molestation at the hands of a cousin. There were also sessions in the nude that he says he objected to, though under cross-examination he admitted to writing emails saying he was thrilled with the weekends and the treatment he was receiving.

According to Goldberg, Levin was so enamored with JONAH and the treatment he was receiving that he asked to become a public spokesman for JONAH and also to raise funds for the group. Goldberg said at the time he made the request Levin was not far enough along in his treatment to take such a role.

Testimony got momentarily strange this morning when it was brought out that during depositions last year Levin’s mother Bella had charged either Arthur Goldberg or Alan Dowling, Levin’s main therapist, with molesting her son. Not even plaintiff’s lawyers took the charge seriously.

One thing is abundantly clear in this case. The young men suing JONAH led remarkably sheltered lives. They grew up in the very conservative Orthodox communities in Brooklyn where they went through the Yeshiva school system and had virtually no contact outside their small world. Levin said growing up he had never seen television or movies. This article was originally published at Breitbart.com

Follow Austin Ruse on Twitter @austinruse

Highlights from the JONAH Trial Day 3: Arthur Goldberg Takes the Stand

Medical Choice at Stake in Gay Counseling Trial

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Co-director Arthur Goldberg takes the witness stand on Day 3 of the JONAH trial in Jersey City, New Jersey

Jersey City, NJ — All his life Arthur Goldberg was a liberal New York Jew, almost stereotypical. He fought for civil rights forAfrican Americans, he fought for better housing for New York’s poor, the whole schmear of respectable liberal causes. And then his son came out as gay and Arthur wanted to help him.

Elaine Berk had the same experience. Also a politically liberal Jew, and then her son came out as gay. She searched everywhere for a Jewish group that might help her help her son. She couldn’t find one but she did find a Christian psychologist who up to then would not help Jews since he believed one needed a belief in Jesus Christ to come out of homosexuality. He connected her with Goldberg and together they founded JONAH.

They like to say that the Old Testament figure Jonah “was the only successful prophet.” All the others failed because no one listened to them. Berk says, “The people listened to Jonah, at least the non-Jews did, and he saved the city of Nineveh.”

When they founded JONAH, neither Goldberg or Berk knew that choice in sexual orientation or choice in psychological counseling would become a third rail in progressive politics. Now they are the target of one of the richest and most powerful left-wing groups in America.

The Southern Poverty Law Center — with $340 in the bank and revenues of $50 million a year — is a group with almost limitless money to spend on litigation and it, along with activist Wayne Besen of a group called Truth Wins Out, have spent millions to put JONAH out of business and to punish Goldberg and Berk for trying to help those with unwanted same-sex attraction.

They have brought a suit in New Jersey Superior Court that charges Goldberg and his colleagues with consumer fraud for telling four young men their same-sex attractions could be changed.

Goldberg and Berk both insist they do not want to change those who do not want changing. They say change does not work on the recalcitrant anyway. In fact, both of their sons remain active in the gay life.

The trial resumes this morning in Hudson County Superior Court. This article was originally published at Breitbart.com

Follow Austin Ruse on Twitter @austinruse

Highlights from the JONAH Trial: Day 2

Trial to Punish Counseling for Gays Underway in Jersey City

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JONAH co-director Arthur Goldberg listens to testimony in Jersey City, NJ. Goldberg took the stand on Day 2 of the Trial.

When 19-year-old Benji Ungar first showed up at the Jewish counseling service called JONAH in 2007 he wrote on his intake form that he had experienced oral and anal sex with many other males. But – on the witness stand in Hudson County Superior Court – he claimed he was a virgin when he filled out those forms.

He also said on his JONAH intake forms that his religion was the most important driver in his life and that he sought treatment with help for behavior in violation of his Orthodox Jewish faith. On the stand he said religion had not been a very important part of his life.

He said on the stand that he had a wonderful relationship with his mother and father but on his intake form he told horrific stories about his mother, that he was terrified of her and that she ran around the house naked and even bathed in front of him.

Despite these contradictions, Ungar and his attorneys from the Southern Poverty Law Center want jurors to think Ungar was an innocent whose life was ruined by Arthur Goldberg and Alan Downing and their misguided and even fraudulent attempts to help him overcome same-sex desire.

In his opening remarks last week, Goldberg’s lawyer Charles Limandri of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, said much of Ungar’s testimony, and that of his fellow plaintiff’s, are lies.

Ungar is one of four men who went to JONAH for help; who, by their own admission at the time, left satisfied, and subsequently sued Goldberg and psychologist Alan Downing for violating New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act for telling the young men that change was possible with the proper treatment.

Limandri says the young men, none of whom identified as gay at the time, approached JONAH because they found their personal actions and desires did not comport with their deeply held Jewish faith. Limandri said each of them received treatment, though none of them for the proscribed time recommended by JONAH, and each left satisfied with the treatment received. Only later, when Wayne Besen of the LGBT activist group Truth Wins Out recruited them, did they change their stories and claim harm at the hands of Goldberg and his colleagues.

Besen and the Southern Poverty Law Center, a leftist political group with $340 million in the bank, are allied in their attempts to close down all counseling for those who want to shed their same-sex attractions or behavior.

During a break in the trial, Limandri told Breitbart News the suit “is not really about little JONAH. It is about closing down all counseling” for those with unwanted same-sex attraction. On the stand Ungar admitted to making a YouTube video for Besen’s group.

Defendant’s are hamstrung by a pretrial ruling by Judge Peter Bariso, who will not allow testimony about same-sex attraction being a “mental disorder” since the psychologist’s guild decided some years ago to take homosexuality out of the diagnostic manual. All that is left to defendants is claiming their counseling is based on the Torah and not on modern means of psychological counseling. This opened Goldberg to an attack by plaintiff attorney Lina Bensman who read off a raft of comments in JONAH literature and emails where Goldberg discussed homosexuality as a psychological disorder.

The heart of the plaintiff’s case is that Goldberg and his colleagues defrauded the young men under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act for making phony claims about their treatment and its success. Limandri points out the Consumer Fraud Act has never been used against a non-profit, like JONAH, and was created to punish unscrupulous fraudsters who fleece the public of their money. Goldberg will testify that none of the young men paid for their treatment.

If the jurors go against Goldberg and Downing, besides whatever fines the court might levy, they would be liable for plaintiff attorney’s fees, estimated now at more than $4 million.

The trial started last week and is expected to last a month. This article was originally published at Breitbart.com

By Austin Ruse Follow him on Twitter @austinruse