Within the last day or so, Mankind Project members received an email from Executive Director, Carl Griesser with an alert to a new feature on the MKP website.
…the next time you visit www.MKP.org you will find a rainbow flag with the word Friendly superimposed as a navigation button linked directly to a slightly modified version of the reparative therapy statement. The Executive Committee and our IT Team believe this is an effective way of indicating our welcoming attitude to all men, while making the statement easily accessible to the public.
Click on the link and you will find the following article titled Sexual Orientation & the Mankind Project:
· The ManKind Project creates trainings and circles in which men are invited to discover their deepest truths.
· We welcome men of all sexual orientations: gay, straight, and bisexual, as well as those who identify as having unwanted same sex attraction, to do their own work as they define it, to respect the identity and value of others, and to take responsibility for the impact their words and behaviors have on others.
· We support each man in pursuing his path to deeper authenticity. We do not provide therapy nor endorse any particular therapy, including reparative therapy. Any group or organization that states or implies otherwise does so without our permission.
· We do not, and will not, attempt to change a man’s sexual orientation.
· We stand firm in support of gay and bisexual men. We support men who believe that homosexuality is a normal part of the spectrum of human sexuality and of mature masculinity.
· We will not tolerate proselytizing for any religion or belief and do not tolerate discrimination on our trainings or in our communities. We support our training and community leaders in identifying and challenging discriminatory language and behavior.
I provided a link to this statement in a previous post. Essentially, some reparative therapy clients/therapists were recommending the New Warriors Training Adventure to same-sex attracted men as a means of enhancing their sense of masculinity. Reparative therapists believe male same-sex attraction derives from a sense of distrust of men and a disconnection from natural masculinity. Via the reparative drive, he sexualizes his desire for masculine closeness and seeks homosexual relationships. Get a man feeling all masculine and his SSA disappears. Perhaps one of the clearest statements of this hypothesis and the proposed remedy is David Pickup’s the Workout program.
Mr. Pickup recommends the New Warriors Training Adventure and notes on his website that he serves as training coordinator of the Los Angeles branch of the Mankind Project. This is the branch which hosted Joseph Nicolosi, Narth co-founder and father of reparative therapy, at a training session in 2005. This session was quite controversial and eventually led to the MKP statement.
The email to MKPers provided this rationale for the new rainbow link:
As many of you are aware, the Project Council approved a Position Statement on Reparative Therapy in February 2007. Based on initial text prepared by Jim Mitchell, I prepared a statement which was then revised by a group of gay, bi, and straight men, and men who identify as having Unwanted Same Sex Attraction (USSA). We decided that it was necessary to take this stand because many men were being referred to the NWTA by reparative therapists and groups who had little or no experience with MKP (as well as by some reparative therapists and USSA men who had been through the training.) It was our intention to clarify for ourselves and for these men what they can expect if they attend our trainings. I sent the statement to the reparative therapists and groups I knew about, and have continued to do so when I learn of others. I asked organizations which implied on their websites that MKP offered or supported reparative therapy to remove such statements and any links to our website. Some complied with the request, though not all.
I got a chuckle out of this sentence: “It was our intention to clarify for ourselves and for these men what they can expect if they attend our trainings” since the MKP is so secretive about what men can expect. In any case, I believe it is valuable for MKP to indicate to men that they do not adhere to the masculinity enhancement model of reparative therapy for men who might be encouraged by reparative organizations/practitioners to seek NWTA for that purpose.