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Judge rules against gay cure quackery

Judge rules against gay cure quackery

Gay cure therapists have been described by a US Superior Court Judge,  Peter F Bariso Jr, as fraudsters.

The judge’s ruling, according to this report, gives an important legal edge to four men and two parents suing Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing, or JONAH. They have acused the Jersey City organisation that promotes gay-to-straight treatment of violating the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.

The decision is bound to have a far-reaching impact, said David Dinielli, deputy legal director for the Southern Poverty Law Center which brought the lawsuit.

This ruling is monumental and devastating to the conversion therapy industry. For the first time, a court has ruled that it is fraudulent as a matter of law for conversion therapists to tell clients that they have a mental disorder that can be cured. This is the principal lie the conversion therapy industry uses throughout the country to peddle its quackery to vulnerable clients.

In his ruling last week Bariso wrote:

It is a misrepresentation in violation of the Consumer Fraud Act, in advertising or selling conversion therapy services to describe homosexuality, not as being a normal variation of human sexuality, but as being a mental illness, disease (or) disorder.

The ruling also said conversion therapists could not advertise their “success rate” of turning people into heterosexuals because:

There is no factual basis for calculating these statistics.

This is Bariso’s second ruling favouring the plaintiffs. The judge also barred the defence from calling several of the controversial treatment’s proponents as witnesses because they had planned to offer scientifically refuted testimony that homosexuality is an illness. In that ruling, he said:

The overwhelming weight of scientific authority concludes that homosexuality is not a disorder or abnormal.

Charles LiMandri, President and Chief Counsel for the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund that is representing JONAH, said he remains confident a jury will side with his clients “who were only trying to help people.”

JONAH never made money from the treatment, but rather referred clients to therapists who charged for their services, LiMandri said. At no time did they “advertise” success rates – estimated as one-third successful, one-third somewhat beneficial, and one-third unsuccessful, he said.

LiMandri said the therapists are not licensed and are often members of the clergy. They were not identifying being gay as a disorder “in a scientific sense,” he said.

This is not a situation in which people are forced into something they don’t want to do. They are trying to deprive plaintiffs of freedom of choice. Americans want people to have the right to free self determination. I believe when the jury hears all the facts. they will ultimately decide in favor of our clients.

Arthur Goldberg, a co-director at JONAH who is also named in the lawsuit, declined to comment on the judge’s ruling. Alan Downing, a life coach and an unlicenced therapist who provides the treatment, is also named in the lawsuit.

Legal issues still remain when the case goes to trial this summer, Dinielli said.

The plaintiffs in the case – Michael Ferguson, Benjamin Unger, Sheldon Bruck, Chaim Levin, Bella Levin and Jo Bruck – claim those went to the therapists were coerced into engaging in demeaning and emotionally damaging behavior.

According to this report, the conversion therapy techniques included having them strip naked in group sessions, cuddling and intimately holding others of the same sex, violently beating an effigy of their mothers with a tennis racket, visiting bath houses “in order to be nude with father figures,” and being “subjected to ridicule as ‘faggots’ and ‘homos’ in mock locker room scenarios,” the suit said.

ferguson

Michael Ferguson, pictured above, said:

I watched as grown men were frenzied into fits of emotional rage against their mothers and encouraged to act out physical violence against their parents in order to access their so-called true manhood and become more heterosexual.

Jo Bruck, Sheldon’s mother, and Bella Levin, the mother of plaintiff Chaim Levin, are plaintiffs because they paid for their sons’ conversion therapy, which can cost up to $10,000 dollars a year.

Bruck quit after five sessions, delivered through an online video link, because:

He experienced deepening depression and anxiety leading to suicidal ideation and feelings of hopelessness about his life.

Levin attended weekly sessions for 18 months at JONAH’s Jersey City, New Jersey, headquarters conducted by Downing. Levin said:

I was manipulated into believing that I could change my sexual orientation, but instead I was subjected to terrible abuse  … What I can tell you is that conversion therapy does not work. My family and I have wasted thousands of dollars and many hours on this scam

JONAH’s mission statement reads:

Our Rabbinical sages explain that because mankind has been endowed by our Creator with a free will, everyone has the capacity to change. Furthermore, the Rabbis emphasize that parents, teachers and counselors have a special responsibility to educate, nurture, and provide an opportunity for those struggling with unwanted same-sex attractions to journey out of homosexuality. 

17 responses to “Judge rules against gay cure quackery”

  1. Har Davids says:

    I’m still waiting for evidence that it’s possible to turn a straight person into a gay one. If that’s possible, I’ll believe in these ‘therapists’ and their shill. Until then we’ll just assume it’s religious quakery.

  2. Trevor Blake says:

    I am one of a minority. I have a behavior that seems based in biology but no one factor has been identified. It runs in families but not every generation has it. People like me have to adopt the majority behavior just to get by. We have a high rate of creative types but also high rates of madness and suicide. Forced conversion still happens but is less common. In the past we were put to death. We are called sinister. Yes, I am left handed.

  3. Marky Mark says:

    “I’m still waiting for evidence that it’s possible to turn a straight person into a gay one.”

    …scientific studies have proven that alcohol can do this in large doses, but it only last as long as the test subjects are intoxicated…and not every time. In this same double-blind study gay people have temporally acted straight when induced with large volumes of alcohol and actually started a few bar fights.

    So the message to these religious conversion cults is this…forget the therapy and send gay folks large quantities of booze and bail money.

  4. Marky Mark says:

    “We have a high rate of creative types but also high rates of madness and suicide.”

    …There have been suggestions that Micheal Angelo, the great christian artist was gay. If it becomes fact that he was would the Christians destroy his art?? Repaint the famous chapel ceiling ??

  5. Angela_K says:

    It is a shame the victims who are subjected to this heinous treatment can’t just be Gay and happy and abandon their religion. However, given their intense indoctrination into the christain cult it must be difficult.

    “The overwhelming weight of scientific authority concludes that homosexuality is not a disorder or abnormal”. When have the religious ever taken notice of science – apart from when they need science to save their miserable lives.

  6. Rob Andrews says:

    The best you can do is to get a bisexual. That is someone who is still turned-on by same-sex, but doesn’t act on it anymore. Though they may now really be attracted to women as well.

    certainly sexuality is not a willing choice. I mean do straight people chose to be heterosexual; but it’s said we choose to be gay. In fact I tried to be straight for years on my own. But I simply can’t be attracted to women, no matter how much I wanted to have children.

    Maybe the people who are converted are actually bisexual anyway.

  7. Rob Andrews says:

    I don’t know how homosexuality in animals can anything but largely biological. Mayby they should experiment with there cures on gay animals before trying them out on people.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexual_behavior_in_animals

  8. paul says:

    It has been shown that gay non religious people can be happy. And as god gave us free will let’s let go of that religion and be happy.

  9. tonye says:

    @Paul,

    That’s a lie, my pastor told me that unless you spend your life hating yourself and your sexuality, worshipping at the feet a a god that clearly has nothing but contempt for you then you can never be happy!!

    Signed

    A True Christian – (Jacobite Syrian Christian Church as opposed to all the other false denominations!!!).

  10. Broga says:

    @Rob Andrews: ” I mean do straight people chose to be heterosexual;” From my own experience the answer is no. My sexual identity developed and the drives are powerful. I cannot imagine being made gay. And, by that same experience, I cannot imagine a gay person being made heterosexual.

    But unlike many Christians and believers of other faiths I have no wish to insist that anyone should be persecuted because of their sexuality. What they do in bed is their business. The misery caused by bigots trying to enforce their views is an abomination. And enforced shame and embarrassment contributes to that misery.

    My daughter has a good friend who is now forty. He lives happily with his gay partner. He has not yet told his parents and when he meets them they want to know “haven’t you found a girlfriend yet?” The deceits and subterfuge are endless. So much happiness eroded by other people’s opinions.

  11. Barry Duke says:

    Encouraging report here: http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2015/02/18/iowa-could-become-the-third-us-state-to-ban-gay-conversion-therapy/

    Predictable squeals from the “family values” morons.

  12. Robster says:

    Perhaps these people and the similar ones on the Jesus side of the fence know that people can be talked into just about anything, including they hope, with enough reinforcement, the changing of an individual’s sexuality. The followers of this sort of stuff have themselves been talked into believing absurd nonsense by the truckload, so why not believe that people can be talked into doing just about anything including changing sexuality. I mean if you can believe in talking snakes and donkeys, magic underwear, virgin birth, eating Jesus and the rest of it, why not changing sexuality? It’s no less silly.

  13. Tubes says:

    “Our Rabbinical sages explain that because mankind has been endowed by our Creator with a free will, everyone has the capacity to change. ”

    So JONAH can change their view that being Gay is a mental disorder and can be cured then. Simple!

  14. Angela_K says:

    Our favourite religious troll Bob Hutton is imparting his nonsense about this on the Pink News web-site:http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2015/02/18/iowa-could-become-the-third-us-state-to-ban-gay-conversion-therapy/comments/#disqus_thread

  15. Rob Andrews says:

    @Robster:
    Thu 19 Feb at 1:50 am
    Perhaps these people and the similar ones on the Jesus side of the fence know that people can be talked into just about anything, including they hope, with enough reinforcement, the changing of an individual’s sexuality.

    That would be especially true of socially isolated people like gays in small towns, the poor elderly. These are the groups that preachers historically go after.

  16. Marky Mark says:

    I wish I had saved the link to a news video I seen last week where an X-Evangelical preacher spills his guts about their scam. He said that the southern (USA) Evangelical movement deliberately changed their M.O. to anti-abortion and anti-gay after the civil-rights movement, since it became unpopular to hate people for their skin color.

    Proof, as we all know here, that religion is about hating another group that is not like you for any reason they pull out of their ass.

  17. barriejohn says:

    Angela_K: Why would a Christian bigot like Hutton even want to visit Pink News?

    You do not understand what I’m taling about because the devil has blinded you; you do not even know the meaning of “enlightening the understanding” because the devil has blinded you.

    By asking me the 2 questions above you show your spiritual ignorance and prove the validity of my claims that the devil has blinded you.

    Yes, he really DID say that again. Daz – are you reading?