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Gay conversion therapy--It's not just for "Christian" nutters anymore. [View All]

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-12 02:58 PM
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Gay conversion therapy--It's not just for "Christian" nutters anymore.
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Four men sue New Jersey organization over 'gay conversion therapy'

By James Eng, NBC News


The Southern Poverty Law Center on Tuesday filed the lawsuit in Superior Court of New Jersey on behalf of the men and two of their parents against Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH), its founder, Arthur Goldberg, and counselor Alan Downing.


It is the first time a conversion therapy provider has been sued for fraudulent business practices, according to the SPLC, a Montgomery, Ala.-based civil rights organization that fights hate and bigotry.

Suing are Michael Ferguson, 30, of Salt Lake City; Benjamin Unger, 25, of Brooklyn, N.Y.; Chaim Levin, 23, of Brooklyn, N.Y.; and Sheldon Bruck, 20, of New York City, along with Levins mother, Bella Levin, and Brucks mother, Jo Bruck.

The lawsuit says clients of JONAHs services typically paid a minimum of $100 for weekly individual counseling sessions and another $60 for group therapy sessions.


The four men say they were lured into JONAHs services through deceptive practices and then subjected to humiliating and emotionally damaging therapy techniques, including group sessions in which they were instructed to stand naked in a circle with their counselor, who was also undressed.

JONAH profits off of shameful and dangerous attempts to fix something that isnt broken, Christine P. Sun, deputy legal director for the SPLC, said in a statement. Despite the consensus of mainstream professional organizations that conversion therapy doesnt work, this racket continues to scam vulnerable gay men and lesbians out of thousands of dollars and inflicts significant harm on them.


In the lawsuit, Ferguson said he participated in one session in which clients took turns trying break past a human chain to wrest away two oranges, which were used to represent testicles, from another individual all the while being taunted with statements such as youre such a fag, homo, queer boy.

They play blindly with deep emotions and create an immense amount of self-doubt for the client, Ferguson was quoted as saying in a press release from the SPLC. They seize on your personal vulnerability, and tell you that being gay is synonymous with being less of a man. They further misrepresent themselves as having the key to your new orientation.

Unger said his counselor advised him to spend more time at the gym as well as to get naked with his father at bathhouses to get in touch with his masculinity.

These counselors are skilled at manipulating you into believing just about anything, said Unger. During my time with JONAH, they told me constantly that my mom had made me gay. I was so convinced that I refused to have any contact with her for several months, which caused a great deal of damage to our relationship.

In another exercise, according to the lawsuit, clients were blindfolded in sporting scenes as counselors and others dribbled basketballs and hurled anti-gay slurs at them.

None of that sounds like sadistic, dangerous, quackery with no scientific basis whatever. It all sounds very wholesome, loving, caring and Christian, not to mention totally sane and professional.

I just don't understand why anyone would sue over this treatment. :shrug:
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