Quack Jewish ‘gay cure’ outfit is forced to cease operating

Quack Jewish ‘gay cure’ outfit is forced to cease operating

Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH), a New Jersey-based organisation set up in 1999 with the aim of ‘curing’ homosexuality, has been forced to wind down its operations as a result of losing a landmark court battle.

Established by a couple of Berks – Theodore and Elaine Berk, to be precise, aided and abetted by Arthur and Jane Goldberg – JONAH was judged by a jury earlier this year to have violated state consumer fraud law by claiming it could help change clients’ sexual orientations from gay to straight.

The plaintiffs in the civil action – including three of the organisation’s former clients – said therapists recommended by JONAH had subjected them to humiliating treatments, including stripping in front of a therapist and re-enacting scenes of past sexual abuse during group therapy sessions.

On Friday, Judge Peter F Bariso Jr granted a permanent injunction after both sides reached a settlement requiring JONAH to cease operations, permanently dissolve as a corporate entity, and liquidate all its assets.

David Dinielli, Deputy Legal Director for the Southern Poverty Law Center, said in a statement:

The end of JONAH signals that conversion therapy, however packaged, is fraudulent – plain and simple.

The center filed the lawsuit on behalf of the plaintiffs.

One of the plaintiffs, Michael Ferguson, pictured top, right, with a second plaintiff, Chaim Levin, added:

Gay conversion therapy stole years from my life, and nearly stole my life. My hope is that others can be spared the unneeded harm that comes from the lies the defendants and those like them spread.

Conversion therapy has been rejected by major health organisations, including the American Psychiatric Association, which in 1973 removed homosexuality from the list of disorders in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.


Last year, Leelah Alcorn, above, a transgender teen, committed suicide in Ohio after participating in conversion therapy, inspiring a campaign for a federal ban on the practice.

In a pre-trial decision in February, Judge Bariso wrote:

The theory that homosexuality is a disorder is not novel – but like the notion that the earth is flat and the sun revolves around it – instead is outdated and refuted.

JONAH”s website, still functioning this morning, says in its mission statement that it is:

A non-profit international organization dedicated to educating the world-wide Jewish community about the social, cultural and emotional factors which lead to same-sex attractions. JONAH works with those struggling with unwanted same-sex sexual attractions (SSA) and with families whose loved ones are involved in homosexuality.

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.

Through psychological and spiritual counseling, peer support, and self-empowerment, JONAH seeks to reunify families, to heal the wounds surrounding homosexuality, and to provide hope.

Update: Almost two dozen pastors and citizens packed the Cincinnati Council Chambers in an organised effort to stop a proposed city ban on so-called “conversion” therapy for gay youth.

In the end, the council voted 7-2 to pass the law, which prohibits therapy designed to change sexual orientation or gender identity for minors, and imposes a $200-a-day fine on violators.

Cincinnati follows four states – California, Oregon, Illinois and New Jersey – and the District of Columbia banning the therapy, becoming the first city outside of D.C. to do so.

10 responses to “Quack Jewish ‘gay cure’ outfit is forced to cease operating”

  1. Broga says:

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

    I suppose they got guidance direct from “our Creator” or did they just invent their explanation to reflect their bigotry?

  2. Angela_K says:

    Good, the more of these vile places of religious hate and quackery that close the better because they can’t repair something that isn’t broken.

    “to heal the wounds surrounding homosexuality”Such a revolting statement given that “wounds surrounding homosexuality” are inflicted by religious zealots.

  3. Stephen Mynett says:

    I thought this a great line by the judge: “The theory that homosexuality is a disorder is not novel – but like the notion that the earth is flat and the sun revolves around it – instead is outdated and refuted.” It shows how pathetic the gay-cure brigade are that they feel obliged to live by the laws of illiterate goat-herds.

    The case of Leelah was tragic but I am glad Barry chose to include it as it highlights the sheer nastiness of “gay-cure” and the ultimate danger of it. No one should be the subject of psychological torture.

    As for the Cincinnati pastors and other bigots, they should immediately be watched by the police as potential violators of the new law, it is obvious from their stand that human rights mean little to them and their wish to protest a ban makes them suspect. They have a right to hold odious views but no right to try to enforce them.

  4. barriejohn says:

    Broga: Take a look at “Bishop” T D Jakes’s interview with Oprah on the previous thread (thanks to another commenter for the hint). “I don’t hate homosexuals; I love everybody. I have to condemn homosexual behaviour because my holy book tells me to.” Talk about weasel words – they’re the absolute limit!

  5. 1859 says:

    “My holy book tells me to” – how fucking pathetic! There are so many inhuman, revolting things this ‘holy’ book tells people to do – and are we to suspend our critical faculties and follow like sheep rules made up to serve bronze age tribes? I guess the answer is , yes.

    And to all you homophobes out there – LOVE HAS NO GENDER ……..and neither has your god – if it exists.

  6. barriejohn says:

    1859: Jakes says that he is not “called” to condemn homosexuality – oh, no, sirree; he is called to give the “scriptural position on it”! Have you ever come across a more devious, dishonest, cowardly cop-out in your entire life? What about the “scriptural position” on eating shellfish (which I bet he does), or the wearing of jewellery by women (which his wife certainly does), or the wearing of headcoverings by Christian women? Oh, no, the “scriptural position” on these and other issues goes right out of the window, but homosexuality is a completely different matter – but not because he is a homophobe, of course. Perish the thought!

  7. Collingwood says:

    When will these twits learn that for a homosexual the actual choice is Not homosexual v. heterosexual but repressed homosexuality v. homosexuality. And they still haven’t objectively said what is so ‘wrong’ with adults deciding for themselves what type of physical and emotional intimacy they pursue as long as it’s consenting ?
    I really resent the amount of time and money these misguided zealots seem to waste on trying to interfere in other people’s freedom.
    And the marketing of phoney therapy designed to fleece vulnerable people is a disgrace.

  8. Robster says:

    Gays are an easy target for these deluded twits. Years ago there was a lack of knowledge about homosexuality, that lead to misunderstandings compounded by the religious nutters getting all moist over their nasty old book of nonsense because it was easy. Times have changed.

  9. John the Drunkard says:

    Remember that same ‘holy book’ used to justify the race-based enslavement of ‘Bishop’ Jakes’ ancestors. God’s eternal wisdom can always be amended or forgotten in service to contemporary bigotry.