The 2006 Narth conference has come and gone and there is a wrap-up here. NARTH has had some changes in recent days. A. Dean Byrd, PhD, CEO of the LDS affiliated Thrasher Research Fund was appointed President-elect of NARTH and I heard through a friend who attended the conference that David Pruden, Executive Director of Evergreen International was appointed Executive Director of NARTH. Dr. Byrd is also a clinical professor in the medical school at the University of Utah and was formerly the Director of Clinical Training for the LDS Social Services. No word on when Dr. Byrd’s term will begin.
22 thoughts on “NARTH news”
Is John still reading here? If so, I wonder what his explanation would be for the fact that both APAs have never repudiated the decision to remove homosexuality as a mental disorder.
Also, if “it” should have been reclassified, how would you propose it be reclassified?
can you imagine being the point man (and bullseye) for all these years, standing in the breach defending reason and science against a storm of politically correct, albeit wrong opponents?
No, but then neither can Nicolosi.
Remember the vote on the removal of the designation from the DSM in 1973 was accomplished by the actions of fraud and not based upon science. It was conducted by (with the appearances of being sanctioned by the APA, when in fact the literature disseminated was done so by deceit and was not sanctioned) radicals within the APA. Had the membership been properly informed of the facts and science (and many years of witnessing this very â€œchangeâ€ in patients who were treated for other, unrelated issues, which obviously underpinned the attractions since the attractions dissipated once therapy ameliorated the challenge presented to the therapist) instead of being sent propaganda and fraudulent comminications on the APA letterhead without their knowledge or consent, the vote would probably gone in the opposite direction.
So why have the APA members never in the last 33 years become aware of this fraud and put it back in? (And please don’t try the stock answer of “everyone’s intimidated by the Gay Mafia(tm)” without explaining just how the majority of the 155,000+ member APA is being intimidated).
And again the claim that treating for unrelated issues will somehow poof away the gay- then the obvious question once again is: why does dedicated “ex-gay” therapy exist at all? Shouldn’t NARTH simply close up shop and their therapists search for unrelated issues to treat whenever someone with unwanted same-sex attractions comes in?
First, Dr. Nicolosi had been at the helm for a long time which is true and having said that can you imagine being the point man (and bullseye) for all these years, standing in the breach defending reason and science against a storm of politically correct, albeit wrong opponents? I would imagine that would wear on anyone. By saying his term was about to be up, I meant that it was ending…not a fixed term, sorry if that confused you, my fault.
The descision to change the Presidency had been discussed prior to the flap in re the article. To my knowledge it was Dr. Nicolosi, Dr. Charles W. Socarides and Dr. Benjamin Kaufman who formed Narth. Dr. Socarides I believe was the first President.
I think you meant “election BY members” instead of “election OF members” and if so that is my understanding also, that the election of Dr. Byrd was on a vote of the Board, not a membership vote.
Remember the vote on the removal of the designation from the DSM in 1973 was accomplished by the actions of fraud and not based upon science. It was conducted by (with the appearances of being sanctioned by the APA, when in fact the literature disseminated was done so by deceit and was not sanctioned) radicals within the APA. Had the membership been properly informed of the facts and science (and many years of witnessing this very “change” in patients who were treated for other, unrelated issues, which obviously underpinned the attractions since the attractions dissipated once therapy ameliorated the challenge presented to the therapist) instead of being sent propaganda and fraudulent comminications on the APA letterhead without their knowledge or consent, the vote would probably gone in the opposite direction.
The dysfunction should have been reclassified, not removed.
John – do you know that for a fact or is that speculation? Nicolosi had been president forever and to my knowledge, NARTH does not have elections of members. Are you a NARTH member?
I believe that Dr. Nicolosi’s term was simply up and he is too busy with his practice to give the amount of time to monitoring the website, etc… which is probably why it appeared that Narth was not paying attention to the article referenced. The change in leadership is simply done on a rotating basis, and was not done for any other reason. To my knowledge the Board had been looking to rotate the leadership prior to any of this happening and simply made the changes.
I know Dr. Byrd and he is definitely an activist and definitely religious. Nothing wrong with either one of these positions but it does seem strange that he would disavow either role. He will bring a bit more research sophistication to NARTH but basically nothing will change.
I haven’t looked at this thread for awhile.
Interesting quote from Dr. Byrd. He certainly is an activist, I cannot imagine why he would say that. He has been for quite a long time.
I did not think he was very religious until I became aware of his books and writings on LDS theology. At least he has said publicly that he is not “very religious.”
He must be thinking about these terms in ways different than me.
Here is an interesting quote by Dean Byrd in an article for a LDS audience:
In the world of the academy, homosexuality is an issue on which there is little genuine intellectual exchange these days. And it’s this topic that FAIR has asked me to address. I should perhaps add to the introduction so that you can appreciate my perspective. You need to know that I am not much of an activist on this issue or any other issue. I direct a research organization, teach at the medical school, and manage to provide therapy for a unique population–men who are distressed by their unwanted homosexual attraction.
“…not much of an activist?”
What would it take to become an activist?
I wonder who ran against Dr. Byrd for the presidency of NARTH?
I used a faith-based model and my orientation did not change. I am still faith-based and still gay.
I think you misread her. She says that the frustrated ones were unsuccessful. They were the ones that used a works based model.
Could Ms. Booth explain what sounds like a contradiction? She speaks of “folk who have overcome unwanted same-sex attractions” and then mentions their “frustration that the temptation and desire” had not gone away. How can both of these be true?
I don’t know that much about Evergreen but I do not think they are attached to a particular model of therapy. I do think they are appropriately attached to the LDS theology (as Exodus is to Christian theology). Dr. Byrd has written several books that are published by church related publishing houses and are, as far as I can glean from the excerpts I have read, very dedicated to the church teaching. This article is an example of his religiously based work.
In the early 1980s, after studying for a year with the local missionaries, I almost converted to Mormonism. What prevented me from doing that was the realization that the LDS church has no doctrine about – and little to no understanding of – grace. Unless things have changed, their basic religious system is almost exclusively based on works righteousness.
Most of the folk I have met who were unsuccessful in overcoming unwanted same-sex attraction used some sort of “works” approach. They often give me a long check list of good deeds and spiritual disciplines that they tried, and then express their frustration that God didn’t then remove the desire or temptation. But it doesn’t tend to work that way … at least for the people I know who have experienced freedom. It’s more about submission and obedience than trying to be a “good do-bee.”
I’m not familiar enough with Evergreen or with Dr. Byrd’s work to know if they veer from standard Mormon teaching. If they don’t, that would be the major problem for me.
Dr. T – Would it be a problem if the LDS church was buying NARTH, in a sense, to provide a scientific cover for its theological views? Have you read Dr. Byrd’s books?
Stevie: Can you provide any documentation for a funding relationship between LDS church and NARTH?
I want to caution readers about anonymous commenters. I allow them when they are respectful and in this case are raising questions – not making claims – that may be of some relevance to the sexual identity issues we discuss here.
I did look at the APA petition on the NARTH website and I think the Anonymous commenter #2885 is probably accurate about the LDS affiliations of many of the signers. This in itself does not seem to be a problem to me.
The LDS takeover of NARTH has become complete. It has been coming for awhile. Knowing how the LDS church works, I would guess that there is money flowing from the LDS church in some way that it would be hard to track.
This is from Dr. Byrd’s book Understanding Relationships.
Vertical Perfection ” In this approach to perfection individuals mean well but set unrealistic goals only to be discouraged day after day. These individuals are aiming in the right direction-toward the celestial kingdom. Their hearts are in the right place. With those individuals and couples I have counseled I often point out somewhat humorously that I hope that they are on the upswing when they approach the celestial kingdom so they can “fall in the door!” Otherwise they might barely miss it.
Horizontal Perfection ” Horizontal perfection is like a stairway with space and time to stop to enjoy life to evaluate in between each step upward. This pattern is more compatible with the scripture that indicates that we are that we might have joy (see 2 Nephi 2:25). Applying this method to the above scenario this is how it might work. A young couple decides what they can jointly do to manage their family. Maybe they will bathe the children together. Perhaps each adult will be given some special time-a reservoir of serenity when individually he or she can mediate or reflect on the important things in life. They spend time together as a couple just to talk. Maybe now is not the time to bake bread. One mother who was switching from vertical to horizontal perfection declared “I love baked bread and whenever we can my husband and I do it together. But I often to go the discount grocery store purchase the two loaves for a dollar and make sure that we bless it for nutritional value!” This mother was spending more time with her children becoming less concerned about the station or destination and discovering more joy in the trip. I find it very interesting that the word perfection has a very different meaning in its original sense. It comes from the Greek word telios which means “whole.” If we consider this ancient meaning in the scripture “Be ye therefore perfect” we are admonished to “be ye therefore whole.” What a refreshing idea!
Looking over the people who signed the petition to the APA in favor of reparative therapy, it looks like somewhere between 25-30 of these individuals are LDS. There may be more, I cannot locate information on all of them. Many of them are members of the Association of Mormon Counselors and Psychotherapists.
I am wondering why NARTH made these changes. Is it possible that they disapproved of the way Nicolosi handled the Berger and Schoenewolf debacles? The lack of any sort of reasonable editorial review procedure? The unauthorized comments by Sojourneer and jjohnson? The impression that for many weeks this past summer no one seemed to be in charge at NARTH? The defections of NARTH members? The bad press? Is this damage control? Had they simply had enough?
Interesting… is NARTH becoming an adjunct of the Mormon Church?
Really? The LD$ Church manages yet another corporate takeover? Blimey….
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