Ooooh, NARTHty! Crackpot ‘gay cure’ outfit loses its tax exempt status

EARLIER this week, the IRS in the US notified the public that it had revoked the tax-exempt status enjoyed by the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality’s (NARTH).

Although the IRS revocation occurred in September 2012, it has only now come to light that NARTH’s tax-exempt status was withdrawn as a result if its failure to file proper forms for three consecutive years.

But apparently the organisation, which uses junk science to convince people that being gay is purely a life-style choice, is not informing donors. Worse, it is LYING.

When Warren Throckmorton posted the news on his blog yesterday, one commenter – Michael Bussee – said:

I just called the NARTH office. The male receptionist (who would not give his name) says that ‘all donations and membership fees’ are tax-deductible and that he personally sends a receipt for tax purposes. He said he had not heard any news to the contrary.

That said, it seems we owe NARTH an apology. Like so many others, we have routinely identified the NARTH as a hate-mongering religious right-wing outfit.

No, no, NO, says NARTH’s President, Julie Hamilton, PhD:

Although the critics often describe NARTH as a right-wing, religious organization, NARTH is neither right-wing, nor religious. Rather, NARTH is a scientific, secular organization. The membership of NARTH is very diverse, as is the governing board, including people of many different faith traditions and people of no faith tradition.

While NARTH members vary in their religious viewpoints, the commonality among its members is their commitment to defend the scientific research, despite the trend in our culture of promoting the message that people are born homosexual and cannot change.

Demented duo:

Demented duo: Nicolosi and Hamiltom

Trouble is, NARTH tends only to hang out with nasty, right-wing religious organisations and the man who concocted it, a charlatan called Dr Joseph Nicolosi, seems 0nly to get exposure on homophoic wingnut sections of the media. So perhaps we can be forgiven for leaping to the wrong conclusion.

In 2010, for example, the Halfway There blog revealed that Nicolosi was a guest on the Catholic Answers Live radio show. Dr Nicolosi, said the blogger:

Is one of those psychologists who offers ‘reparative therapy’ to turn unhappy gays into unhappy straights. (He would, of course, dispute that.)

He added:

It helps, naturally, that there are no homosexuals. They don’t exist! Dr Nicolosi makes no bones about it when confronted with potential subjects to confess to being homosexual. ‘You are not homosexual,’ he tells them. ‘You are a heterosexual with a homosexual problem.’

By the way:

Nicolosi says that his fees are higher than those of his associates in the Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic, but one assumes he’s worth every three-dollar bill he gets.

While there’s no mention of “praying away the gay” in NARTH’s bumph, there is a tsumani of daft psycho-babble.

A while back NARTH introduced an annual award to enable NARTH to:

Express its support and appreciation to students who have shown a willingness to take an unpopular stand for what they believe is the greater good. 

The recipient in 2012 of a $1,000 scholarship was William Stanus.

Stanus explained his work as follows:

My Master’s thesis involves a qualitative, phenomenological investigation into the experiences of five men who have been in therapy for issues related to unwanted same-sex attraction (SSA) at the Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic in Encino, CA.

This is a population of clients who continue to be neglected and misunderstood within the mental-health professions as well as the wider culture. Many would understand their struggle as one of internalized stigma or ‘homophobia’, instead of seeing these men as having the ability to envision and pursue a life consistent with their own personal worldview and values.

As such, I felt it critical to contribute to the scientific literature by allowing these men to tell their stories of being in reparative therapy. Theirs is primarily a story of the healing of masculine identity.

Some of the themes that emerged in their stories were: painful family relationships, past experiences of abuse and gender-trauma, a history of shame as it manifests in the body, and the struggle to develop healthy same-sex emotional (non-erotic) intimacy.

I was inspired by learning of their struggles and successes. My hope is that this project will assist in giving voice to a culturally disenfranchised minority.

George Alan Rekers

George Alan Rekers

NARTH’s most spectacular “gay cure” failure centred on one of its very own therapists and advisors – Christian fundie George Alan Rekers – who, in 2010 was toppled from his lofty position as a world “expert” in “reparative therapy”after  procuring the services of a male  escort called “Lucien”.

After he was rumbled in 2010, Rekers claimed he had a bad back, and Lucien was only hired from “to lift his luggage”, a euphemism for hot, sweaty twink-on-man action that instantly passed into gay parlance.

Hat tip: John C