NARTH conference opens today in Denver, CO

Amidst the inevitable protests, the annual conference of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality opens today in Denver, CO with the theme, “Sound Scientific Research: In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” For NARTH, this would be a worthy objective.
Given the theme, one would expect a program with research presentations which support their reparative theory positions. Not so. A review of the program reveals no such sessions. NARTH’s approach to research is on display with their new “fact sheet’ on female homosexuality. My review of it is here and here.
Those looking for actual research regarding homosexuality would do well to consult primary sources among researchers. Those looking for an evangelical approach to matters of sexual identity would do better to avoid the NARTH conference and seek assistance from the Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity.

97 thoughts on “NARTH conference opens today in Denver, CO”

  1. Mary, you said: BTW, from the way you draw associations, you should still be riding Warren since he associates with a group that has an associate who is a member of NARTH. Warren knows that much is true.
    If he were still doing this, I would still be riding him, right Warren? I rode to him to dump MARTH — even though I think he would have done it anyway. Give me examples and I will do it here and now. And if you can find some instance of me supporting an organization that uses someone like Cameron, you have every right to shame me for it.
    And BTW, I don’t “draw” associations. I only point them out. People either do or do not associate or condone (or “use as a resourse”) those organizations or persons they believe in. I would not ever do this with a pro-gay organization just because they “helped” me — and you would be right to try to shame me into denouncing them,
    Suppose I gave a pass to an organization whose “expert advisors” seemed to condone or minimize child sexual abuse. Should I “use them as a resource” because they also give food baskets to the needy? You have to draw a moral line somewhere, don’t you?. Where is your line?
    That you still do sing NARTH’s praises is very troubling. That seems very selfish. Wonder what other kinds of groups you would support and how far they could go with “evil” and “abhorrent” folks (like Cameron) before you said “enough”.
    And BTW, you have NO IDEA what kind of approaches I took with EXODUS clients. For the record, I never tried to “shame them” into becoming “ex-gay”. They already HAD shame — mostly heaped upon them by their own churches. They had been taught to hate themselves for being gay. We tried hard every day to REMOVE the shame and replace it with a firm knowledge of God’s forgiveness uncondition love.. If anything, we often openkly shamed the Church for its fear, prejudice and mistreatment of gays.

  2. I understand Warren. That was not the association I was talking about – nonetheless I am glad people do speak up and denounce such thinking.
    However, for people such as myself, the choices are limited in looking for information. And I do not support racism, bullying or any mistreatment of others. That I use NARTH as a resource speaks volumes about the lack of info available to ex gays (ex lesbians.) It puts people like myself between a rock and a hard place.

  3. @Mary: Regarding Exodus, we would be on the outs if Alan had not come out strongly against Berger and Schoenewolf. They did not break fellowship so to speak (as I advised) but they did, to their credit, denounce what was most appalling.

  4. I have explained at length my opinion on those matters. And they are documented here in the blog.
    However, I can see you have not learned nor changed much from your Exodus days and shaming others is still high on your list of daily activities.
    BTW, from the way you draw associations, you should still be riding Warren since he associates with a group that has an associate who is a member of NARTH.

  5. Mary, you said: “I ‘ve never read where Warren has chided me for choosing to use NARTH as a resource in the limited world of information for ex gays to the extent that it becomes haranguing or where he attempts to vitiate me for choosing differenlty.”
    No? Perhaps he should. For you to “use as a resource” an organization whose “expert advisors” (1) urge the ridicuing, teasing and emotional bullying of gay kids (Berger), (2) suggest that “slaves had it better off” (Shoenewolf) and (3) who use the “research” of hatemongers like Cameron is, in my opinion, inexcusable. Shame on you for your continuing defense of them.

  6. Sorry – you nag endlessly with those who will not follow you. Regardless of the fact that they have all said that they can see your point and choose differently.
    I ‘ve never read where Warren has chided me for choosing to use NARTH as a resource in the limited world of information for ex gays to the extent that it becomes haranguing or where he attempts to vitiate me for choosing differenlty.
    And, unfortunately, I disagree with Warren on many SSA issues (mostly because he focuses on men) and his expereince with women and SSA is limited. So while I respect his opinion, I do not follow him nor anyone just because they say to. There are people affiliated with NARTH, and EXODUS who have helped me tremendously. And while there are points of disagreement, there is the war to consider and not just the battle.
    So, respectfully, I decline your offer to abandon NARTH and EXODUS and all of it’s affiliates.

  7. Always a professional, but I have never seen Warren walk away. He sticks to his guns about NARTH and so do I.

  8. I’m not mad at Warren. He made his opinion known, stood by it, walked away as a professional.
    He does not harp on me for not doing the same.

  9. Michael,
    I do see your point and I can identify with your concerns. I do support such a letter if written in a none condemning way. I agree that NARTH needs to move away from “right-wing politics”, but I hope that it never moves into “left-wing politics” either. The only way anyone can be helped is to provide a safe place for all to explore their own understanding of their sexuality, without judgement or condemnation and without preconceived ideas of what is required for the wellbeing and happiness of the individual. It is in this place that we all find truth and that is also the place that true science is found. Science cannot have a preconceived notion of the outcome for the research. This is what I see when the APA supports one focus group over another in deciding whose research is to be published and whose proposals will be funded and whose will not. I do understand the need for academic integrety and realize how important that is to finding real answers, but that high ideal must to held on both sides in order for their to be faith in scientific discovery just as we expect accountability and integrety in our politicians and religious leaders.

  10. concerned – I side with accuracy as often as I can. Sometimes that leads to critique of one side and other times, the other side.

  11. Thanks, Warren, for this: “Maybe readers forget the absolute insensitivity of the NARTH leadership at the time (and since as well). Two members of the Advisory Board left and I pulled out of the conference. NARTH leaders have shown little willingness to dialogue about these issues or issues of scientific theory. Instead, some have attacked and even launched a letter writing campaign against me. I think the NARTH board might be able to right their ship if some significant changes were made, but I see little evidence of this at this time.”
    You go on to speak of the “great pain” they have cause even as they may have helped others.
    You and I are in complete agreement on this. Let’s see if Mary gets mad at you for saying so. And Mary, as far as the letter goes, I am speaking here ONLY of my objection to NARTH’s lack of objection to Cameron. I do not call ex-gays “names” and I do not believe that gayness is a “biology only” matter — any more than I believe heterosexuality is. I have never promoted the idea that biology is the only relevant factor. NEVER. I will draft the letter, but NARTH with saty true to form and dismiss it.
    I do question “ex-gays” on their honesty — to themselves and to others. I criticize ex-gay organizations for promoting the idea that gays will burn if they don’t turn. I call them on the carpet when they make outlandish promises (like “sudden, radical and complete change”). I howl when “their side” insists that “our side” are not and cannot be “real Christians”.
    I object when they (like NARTH) lay the “blame” for gayness at the feet of loving parents. I cringe when ex-gay leaders and organizations question a person’s faith or salvation when they do not “change” — what ever that means. I continually challenge them to be honest about the “change” process — that it does not mean — and has never meant — that gays become heterosexual, as Eddy has admitted on this blog.
    Like Wendy Gritter, I urge them to stick to ministry and stay OUT of right-wing, Republican politics. I hammer on them about cleaning up their associations with wackos and hatemongers like Cameron, Berger, Schoenewolf and the like. But like Warren, I see little evidence that NARTH has ANY interest in “righting their ship”, continues to display “absolute insentivity” and “little willingness to dialog”.

  12. Ann,
    I agree with you. I have been to therapist who have their own agenda that they desire to impose on the client with disregard for the clients own beliefs. Some of these have been gay affirming and some have been Christian. This is the difficulty that I have when anyone claims to be doing what they are doing to help the person who comes to them, but then show no respect for where the person is at. To me, and this is only my own opinion, a therapist should be helping the client discover who they really are meant to be not pushing a political view one way or the other, even it they believe that one may be more “scientifically sound” or more “politically correct” than the other. The harm comes when the therapist begins to allow their personal agendas to get in the way of their professional responsibilities. Sad to say this occurs on either side of this debate far too often. I also know that we have gone down this road many times before, but until I see the gay affirmming side of this debate get out of politics I do not understand why it is so important for traditional Christians to do so. I see a new President who seems to see a need to bring the opposing sides of many current political debates together for some concensus building. To me that is a good thing. I feel that time will tell how successful he is in doing this.
    Warren I realize that you are in some ways trying to do the same here, but there are times you appear to have chosen one side over the other. More and more I am realizing how difficult it is to remain faithful to the beliefs one has. To me the side that I favor is the side that can ensure the dignity of all regardless of which side they represent. Sarcasm and ridicule never should be used as a tactic to strenghthen ones position.

  13. @Ann:

    My source of discontent and frustration is the dismissal of people who ask for therapy regarding unwanted desires and are met with indifference or arrogance – that is a great source of pain as well. I know.

    I am not discounting this either. It has been hard to advocate for both sides since one side invariably sees that as treason.

  14. I hope you will also acknowledge the great source of pain reparative therapy has been for families who feel blamed for their children’s homosexuality and for those same-sex attracted people who have tried getting masculine or reconnecting with dad, only to feel the same as before they started.

    I have seen both sides of this issue and do not hold or attach any religious connection to it. I also acknowledge the great source of pain unethical therapy has caused many, many people and will continue to speak out against it. No one should be practicing any kind of therapy that causes harm – no one. I also cannot discount ethical therapy and sometimes there seems to be a fine line depending on the people involved. My source of discontent and frustration is the dismissal of people who ask for therapy regarding unwanted desires and are met with indifference or arrogance – that is a great source of pain as well. I know.

  15. @Michael Bussee: I don’t know the answer. Maybe readers forget the absolute insensitivity of the NARTH leadership at the time (and since as well). Two members of the Advisory Board left and I pulled out of the conference. NARTH leaders have shown little willingness to dialogue about these issues or issues of scientific theory. Instead, some have attacked and even launched a letter writing campaign against me. I think the NARTH board might be able to right their ship if some significant changes were made, but I see little evidence of this at this time. I am always open to dialogue and offered this recently on this blog and have done so in private. For those who have been helped in some way by the materials from NARTH, I hope you will also acknowledge the great source of pain reparative therapy has been for families who feel blamed for their children’s homosexuality and for those same-sex attracted people who have tried getting masculine or reconnecting with dad, only to feel the same as before they started.

  16. Eddy, that’s fine. It is my way of distancing from others. I will do it again in the future should I feel the need. When my comments were directed to the individual – then UI think I used his first name.

  17. @Ann: Search the blog with their names and I think you will find the relevant info…
    Thanks Dr. Throckmorton – I guess this suggestion didn’t enter my complicated mind as it is way too logical, simple, and easy. 😉 Will take your suggestion 🙂
    From what I just read of Michael’s and Eddy’s posts, my memory was jogged as to those other people. I think they wrote on the Narth blog (??) and Dr. Nicolosi didn’t respond right away (??) but eventually the blog was shut down (??). I cannot remember the content but will look it up. As far as the other person (Cameron), I first mistook him for the father and son with the last name of LaBarbiere (sp?) that is often referred to here but realized that is not the person.

  18. LOL…so while I’m drafting my previous comment, Mary has gone back to saying “Michael” and that was before she had my priceless words of wisdom!

  19. Ann–
    Warren had good advice re the look ups. Schoenenwolf was most notorious in my memory for making statements that appeared to minimize the evils of slavery. (That should help in your site search.) And I think Michael captured the essence of the problem with Berger and his suggestion that bullying was a somewhat natural response to unacceptable behaviors and that the victim of the bullying shared responsibility.
    I don’t know if it’s just me but I’m slightly disturbed everytime I hear you refer to Michael as ‘Bussee’. We’ve had a long-standing tradition here of referring to people by their blog names…and, if we do shorten it, we usually opt for the familiar (i.e. Michael) rather than the formal (i.e. Bussee). It seems like you are trying to convey disrespect for him. I realize that may not be the case and wanted to let you know how it comes across. (And if you really are trying to convey disrespect, I’d like to suggest that you simply say it and why rather than employ a method that conveys the disrespect but doesn’t invite discussion.)
    (I know when bloggers suddenly refer to ‘Warren’ as ‘Throckmorton’, it always seems to be part of a slam.)

  20. Michael,
    I must approve of the letter before I sign it and it must be specific and not meander. It must speak of Cameron only. And it must be documented. I will not sign anything that speaks against ex gays or uses name calling. Nor will I sign anything that promotes gay as a biological only diea.

  21. Can anyone please tell my who these two other people are and what their affiliation is with Narth and what it is they said or did that was out of line?

  22. And I would say the same of anyone who gives NARTH a pass on this issue. “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for people of goodwill to do nothing.” I wish Warren would speak up on this.
    I feel like I am being attacked for pointing out the obvious truth. Come on, Warren, help me out here. You dumped NARTH. You denounced Cameron. How come when you do it, Mary doesn’t accuse you of “bashing”?

  23. Mary: I will write the letter. You sign it. It will do NO GOOD. When I personally called Nicolosi to complain that one of NARTH’s “expert advisors” (Berger) actually urged parents and teachers NOT to stop the bullying and teasing of “gender variant” kids, Nicolosi would not return any of my polite calls. I increased the calls. No response. In frustration, Nicolosi finally did call me to ask “What do you want me to do to him (Berger)? Beat the S@#$@ out of him?”
    I told him, no. Just publically denounce him and dumpt him as a NARTH advisor. Nicolosi did post that he did not agree with Berger, but guess who is still listed (as Eddy pointed out) as one of NARTH’s advisotrs? NARTH will do the same with Cameron because they do not care. As long as someone, anyone agreess with them that gays are “damaged” and can (and should) be “repaired”, NARTH will line right up in support. For NARTH to tolerate evil makes NARTH evil.

  24. I agree Ann. Sorry for interupting. But I do agree with you.
    Unfortunately, I have heard from as many gay people about the tactics that have een used as neccesary to get the message out. Evelyn Hooker, Kinsey, etc.. So, it really is on both sides.
    I am not condoning any such behavior, thought etc… I think all we are saying is that we have nowhere else to go to get information without running into places like the APA, EXODUS, PFOX, PFLAG, etc… all politically motivated places. And yes, I get info from those places as well even though I disagree with many of their concepts and activities.
    And if Bussee wants to write a letter to NARTH that does not attack ex gays in general or go to one extreme – I’d be happy to sign it. If he sticks to Cameron on the issues and documents fully what his complaint is. At least this would not be a partisan complaint and would be coming from both sides of the issue. Lumping all complaints about all researchers would cloud the issues. We can at least focus on one at a time.

  25. Michael,
    I really get it that you want me to know how Warren thinks and what he has said about Cameron. I also really get how you feel and trust what you say about it. I just have not heard of these people or what they have said or I don’t remember them or I didn’t think they were worthy of my attention. Who are the other people and what is their affiliation with Narth? I have never equated what Cameron has said to what Wayne Besen has said because I haven’t heard of what you are referring to (Third Reich, etc.) – I trust what you say and that is good enough for me to find out more about it. I have said in several prior posts on this thread that Cameron should be denounced if he has promoted any violence or isolation toward anyone identifying as gay. I cannot control what Exodus, Narth, GLADD, PFOX, PFLAG, APA promote or endorse but I know I can let them know what I think when I have information that is credible and not in line with what I know to be right or true – which is exactly what I will do when I have all the information. I think you know that about me.

  26. The Third Reich wasn’t just “rude” and it didn’t just “breech civility”. It was evil, Warren calls Cameron’s teachings “evil”. He has never referred to Besen in such terms. He knows that you simply cannot equate Besen (rude) with Cameron (evil). Apples and oranges — BIG oranges.
    I am not asking Mary or anyone else to “throw out NARTH” — although I would not complain if they did or if NARTH closed shop. I am asking for moral responsibility and reform. But NARTH won’t do it. They refuse to do it — even though they have been asked many, many times. Why?
    Do they agree with him? Or are they afraid they will look weak if they denounce him? Why did Warren have the courage? Why doesn’t NARTH? I think these questions are legit — and even Mary (who has been helped by NARTH) should ask them. I certainly would be asking them if my local gay rights organization supported the gay equivalent of Cameron..
    I heard once that “our means should be a pure as the aims we hope to attain”. NARTH deserves to be called on the carpet for failing to call Cameron on it.

  27. Suffice to say, I may not have the same complaints on all issues, as do you Bussee, however, the answer is not forthcoming. And at this juncture in the ex gay /political/ pyschological point, I am not going to throw out NARTH over these ideas. Should I do that, then to remain consistent, I would have to throw out all the ideas of the APA, all the ideas of my pastor, all the ideas of… just about everyone and everything. That’s not realistic.
    I am not a professional counselor, nor in the public so don’t have to make a political stand. I just need to take what is useful and leave the rest. Hopefully, in the future, the APA will have a broader view than the currently narrow perspective they now hold and other groups similar to NARTH will develop out of a greater need to meet more people. But until that time comes, it is what it is.
    The yahooing over this one group will not make someone like myself dump it. It is too valueable a resource at this time.
    A note: Read the articles that are written by the researcher in full from another source (if it can be found) and avoid articles from those you dislike.
    Think of Cameron just as being rude to those he doesn’t like. Or hypercritical of those who have SSA.

  28. And I am still waiting for examples of Wayne Besen suggesting anything similar to the ideas of Berger, Schoenewolf and Cameron.
    As I have said, I am not really sure who these people are and just started to find out yesterday as to who Cameron is, if it is the same person you are referring to. I looked him up on my search page and think it is who you are referring to from what I have read. Can you tell me who the other two people are? As to Wayne, I really cannot compare what he has said until I know what the other people have said. I just know his distortions and exaggerations and arrogance are eggregious and IMHO a very poor representation of and for all the wonderful people I know who he supposedly is representing.
    Even Warren wouldn’t go that far
    Nor would I or most people “bear false witness” against him. I commented that he has said some really horrible things and that he should be denounced as well as anyone else who breaches civility.

  29. We are quick sometime to say that someone is “bashing” when one may be raising legitmate concerns and objections. If they don’t agree with you, they are “bashing”. I am not suggesting that we dump NARTH for its association with one person. I am not suggesting that people do not have the “right” to seek “change” — whatever that may mean for them.
    I am not suggesting that everything and everyone within NARTH is evil. I am not saying the “gay community” is always polite and civil — even though most gays are.I am saying that I simply don’t understand why NARTH not only tolerates but continues to promote these men.
    How can they complain that they “get no respect” when it is there own fault? If they would “clean house” a little, it certainly would not be a bad thing. All they need to say is, “We do not support or endorse these men”. Why won’t they?
    And I am still waiting for examples of Wayne Besen suggesting anything similar to the ideas of Berger, Schoenewolf and Cameron. Even Warren wouldn’t go that far. Rude and hypercritical are understandable (even tolerable) at times. “Evil” is not.

  30. Eddy,
    You are correct and it is generally an attempt to use sarcasm and ridicule to try to shut down such discussion. The thing I have discovered is that those who use these tactics have very little else to base their own stance on. Unfortunately, these same tactics are used in politics and by comedians that do not want certain view points to be heard. To me it is a bullying tactic that is only too common and acceptable in todays world. It also prevents meaningful and helpful discussion on many issues.

  31. Actually, I haven’t noticed that at all. I was actually marvelling that the NARTH topic didn’t provoke a deluge of negative comments and criticisms. I found it unusually refreshing to post a comment or two without them being challenged for a wrong word choice or somesuch. From my experience here, “open discussion'” on “ex-gay” usually turns into a bashing frenzy.

  32. Has anyone found it unusual (or maybe too usual) that when open discussion is proposed and ex gay is given a place a the table – some people seem to disappear?

  33. Kirk is just a really cute guy on TV. I’m certain there is no connection. BTW, he is also a born again christian.
    Thanks Mary – I know the actor is a born again Christian and a great guy ( yes, and very cute). Just wanted to see if the name I see on the sites I have looked at tonight for Paul Cameron had any connection to the actor. I appreciate the clarification.

  34. Kirk is just a really cute guy on TV. I’m certain there is no connection. BTW, he is also a born again christian.

  35. There’s a lot of good in NARTH but there also seems to be a genuine lack of discernment about issues and therapies that cross the line. There has also been a tendency to twist, bend or otherwise misinterpret/misrepresent findings from other studies. These negatives often seem to overshadow the good.

    Thanks for this info – I am sincerely hoping that these issues will be corrected with all the changes that have taken place at Narth. I have the feeling there was probably resistance to listening to others or modifying their beliefs or convictions due to the beating they took from anyone who disagreed with them. This is not the way to resolve issues but I think it is probably where the resistance was.

  36. who is Kirk Cameron in connection with Paul Cameron?

    Father and son….. or rather son, Kirk, to father, Paul. Or could it possilbly be the homosexually obsessed and incestuous victim of that obsession? Hard to tell…

  37. LOL. The second time I quoted it…it was meant to stand for “Where do I begin applauding Ann?'” Been wrapped up in 3 different ‘domestic’ projects but appreciated all the comments and wanted to at least check in. Cut my karaoke practice short due to ‘change of season’ voice.
    I think you’re right that the APA’s stand was the catalyst for NARTH’s formation. There’s a lot of good in NARTH but there also seems to be a genuine lack of discernment about issues and therapies that cross the line. There has also been a tendency to twist, bend or otherwise misinterpret/misrepresent findings from other studies. These negatives often seem to overshadow the good.

  38. (LOL. I’m hearing Andy Williams in my head…”Where do I begin…”)
    Where do I begin?
    To tell the story of how great a love can be
    The sweet love story that is older than the sea
    The simple truth about the love he brings to me
    Where do I start?
    Ok, back to my research/reading about Paul Cameron – so far don’t like too much of what I see.

  39. I feel the only real reason there is a need for a group like NARTH to exist is because of the APAs biased one sided stance on this issue since 1973
    It is my personal understanding that this is exactly the reason Narth was formed.

  40. Concerned,
    I agree. It seems like no one is innocent and no one is 100% villain in this story. Unfortunately the costs of this war are paid by the people who are denied support by the mainstream psychological profession. Even if science has failed to produce anything conclusive on the subject, the APA has only one affirmative policy on sexuality and that is LGBT. They couldn’t prove it, but they are very sure it must be promoted.

  41. Can we have a shout out for Ann!!!
    I agree. Not one item alone makes the sexuality in a person. And we need to start an open conversation.

  42. Mary,
    I’m glad we see things in the same way. I thought it was just an idea that just came to my mind, without having been involved with any of the groups or people mentioned here. Thanks for your comment.

  43. Evan,
    I also agree with your comment about the APA. I feel the only real reason there is a need for a group like NARTH to exist is because of the APAs biased one sided stance on this issue since 1973. They claim to be using scientific research to support this stance, but for the most part it appears to be more political than scientific. There has been much misinformation provided by the progay side of this debate over the years that needs to be retracted also, before I see the APA as having more credibility. The problem as I see it, and this is only my own opinion, is that SSA is neither totally biologically based nor environmentally bases nor cognitive/development bases, but a combination of these and therefore no one way of looking at it will fit everyone. So until all sides start listening to one another instead of trying to shut the other side up we will learn nothing.
    When will those who support the progay side begin to denounce Wayne Besen for the many hateful things he has said over the years about people who he does not agree with, especially organized religion. This is only an attempt to stop debate it has nothing to do with dialogue or scientific reallity.

  44. Paul Cameron is the chairman of the Family Research Institute? Is this who is being referred to in connection with Narth?

  45. Evan,
    Love your last paragraph. If the APA was deliberately equal in it’s appreciation for those of different value systems then we would not have to decline to organizations such as NARTH.

  46. Thank you Eddy – I trust you and will follow your advice – I know sometimes the accumulated feelings people have for others is difficult to put into a succinct description so I will do some research when I have time.
    Evan, thank you for the comments in # 142163 – I agree with your perspective and observations.

  47. —On the subject of Narth & its practice.
    We agreed on a different topic that Narth didn’t put anything credible on the table that could be seriously reviewed by researchers in the field. Neither do I see how they could do it if they only rely on self-reported degrees of change (controlling for a cognitive consonance effect of paid money on a provided service…). They seem like an organisation of conservative people who are shrewd enough not to press for therapy of homosexuality based on religious tenets, but they didn’t build a serious professional support for their positions either. I don’t know how their clients deal with the fact that they pay money without having any degree of certainty that their therapists know what they’re doing. Science is still groping with the subject, how could anyone claim to know how to reduce in an enduring way or eliminate same-gender attractions? I think they could at most claim to be able to help people who — for whatever reason — during their early development failed to adapt and fulfil their heterosexual potential, provided that this potential is real, and who — for whatever reason that is not pathological and is rooted in one’s core values and beliefs — are resolved not to live a gay or lesbian life. If they do therapy with people whose same-sex attractions are not the product of a clear history of early exclusive attractions to the same gender, then they could claim that they are helping individuals adjust to a potential that was present in them but was stifled by maladjustment.
    But Narth would have to produce some facts to support their claims that they are able to reduce the symptoms of those psychological problems that stifled a person’s healthy sexual relating to the opposite sex. Whether it’s social phobia, anxiety, a history of sexual abuse or lack of social skills — if they have created a disconnection from one’s gender peers (in the case of men) or a traumatic relating to the opposite sex (in the case of women) that affected one’s capacity to use his/her heterosexual potential, then these professionals should prove that they can restore their patients’ capacity to function according to and in continuation of their childhood opposite-sex attractions and teenage heterosexual interest. There is no empirical proof that someone who had no degree of opposite-sex attraction before the end of adolescence can have adult heterosexual feelings in their range of everyday attractions. If you know any, I’ll be glad to study the references you can provide. The development of the emotional brain is, according to present science, largely finished at the end of adolescence; the last parts of the brain to develop, involved in decision-making, are the frontal lobes, and they are given a mature form by mid-20’s. Anything that happens after that in terms of attractions has a stable foundation in the previous period of development. Maladjustment and trauma can distort one’s feelings to each gender and therapy could address that, but therapy never proved that it can create a type of attractions that was never experienced before one’s early twenties. In this respect, there is room for people with same-sex attractions to get professional support in dealing with the underlying causes of maladjustment that prevented them from using their heterosexual potential, but that is a far cry from the concept of a conversion therapy that would deliberately move someone from an exclusively SSA-ed part of the spectrum (Kinsey 6) to an area in which any substantial degree of opposite-sex attractions can be felt on a regular basis (K 3 or 4).
    I think that professionals in this field must make efforts to create a more inclusive policy when dealing with sexual orientation in all respects. It shouldn’t be sweet for some and sour for others. Narth exists because of APA’s attitude to this subject. If there was any support for individuals who experience conflicts in terms of sexual orientation among mainstream professionals, then there would be less room for rogue organisations.

  48. Joseph Berger and Gerald Schoenewolf are still listed as advisors on the NARTH webpage. I couldn’t find Paul Cameron in the current listings.
    I’ll trust other readers to enlighten you on Berger and Schoenewolf, Paul Cameron is easy to find on Warren’s handy-dandy search box. IMHO, he’s ‘out there’…he’s way, way ‘out there’. LOL. Ann, I’m not, in any way, trying to be dismissive. I just don’t think you realize how difficult the answer is to sum up. I think people might have a sense of how to adequately sum up ‘in a nutshell’ the first two guys but, for Cameron, I think skimming Warren’s previous blogs (even the titles!) on him might be the best way to go. (LOL. I’m hearing Andy Williams in my head…”Where do I begin…”)

  49. I have no idea who this guy is — OK, this is just an idea — but if he is even more controversial than Narth, maybe Narth didn’t denounce him because of the present climate of terror against anyone who would have the nerve not to talk nice about sexual minorities. It’s become a sort of must, just watch the interviews with public people, stars, reporters, that if you approach the subject of gays and lesbians, and have some comment to make you have to start by emphasising how OK you are with other people being gay/lesbian. If you don’t do it, you become the target of questions like: Are you a hater? Do you know any gay person in person? etc. It’s like it’s abnormal not to like gays or accept them (it should be provided for in the next DSM, wth). In this particular climate, the kind of organisations like Narth, or people associated with it or other projects, tend to stick together because they are the ones under threat. They have big professional bodies like the APA pitted against them, the majority of the scientific community, the media, the large number of LGBT advocacy organisations. This is probably the result of the climate I mentioned, in which the weaker camp needs whatever allies it can find to give some semblance of wide support to their claims.
    But some may separate from them in order to gain more credibility.

  50. Berger, Schoenewolf and Cameron.
    Who are these people and how are they associated with Narth? I don’t need web sites, just a brief description. Were they associated with them awhile back or are they still associated with them? Whatever their violations were/are, has Narth ever spoken out about or addressed the violations in any way, commending, condemning, or just ignoring them?

  51. Mary: You said, “When I hear anything that breaches civility or endangers anyone through violence or isolation, I speak up loud and clear.”

    It is me that said this.

  52. Michael – I’m not sure where you took that quote. Can you reference that for me? And I do support that statement whether it is mine or someone else’s. I do not support Cameron. But I am not going to throw out all the other values at NARTH. I personally have recieved great value from their work. And I doubt any Nazi technique was incorprated by those with whom I have interacted.
    And as much as I hate to say it, we did glean information from the tragedies performed by the Nazi’s. Not just medical but technological as well. I’m not going to throw out all of NARTH because of one person.
    You may. It sounds extreme. But then gays want to protest in the grandest way. Boycotting one of the only games in town is not an option for people like myself. True, I do wish that they would denounce the association or at least clarify it. But I cannot leave the whole kit and kaboodle behind.
    I think I have said that now, in several ways, and Bussee you and I are going to disagree on this.

  53. @Michael Bussee:
    Wayne distorts his opponents in a similar manner as NARTH does but he has not, as Cameron has, approvingly suggested Nazi techniques for handling his ideological opponents.

  54. Mary: You said, “When I hear anything that breaches civility or endangers anyone through violence or isolation, I speak up loud and clear.”
    So do I. So does Warren. So does Ann and many others on this blog. I just wish NARTH would do the same, that’s all — but they refuse. NARTH claims to want the respect of the scientific community, but hangs on to Berger, Schoenewolf and Cameron.
    It will never get it as long as it tolerates the likes of Cameron, et al. — , but NARTH will continue to whine that “gay activists” are preventing it from getting the recognition and praise it deserves. It’s not “them”.. NARTH is doing it to itself.
    Once again, give me examples of Wayne Besen doing or advocating anything close to Cameron does, and I will speak up load and clear.

  55. Did anyone here to to the conference? If so, can you comment on the program, presentations, quality of information, etc.

  56. Well, at least now we have whittled down the complaint from an over exaggerated complaint to one source that NARTH is using – which is neither the entirety nor the bulk of their premise, research volume etc….
    And no I don’t support bullying to toughen up anyone. Though we all need to learn how to handle, manage, cope, manuever through life’s challenges … perhaps we can teach that rather than advise a child to “deal with it.”
    In addition to NARTH’s resources – you will find many members who write papers and do not advocate the same thing Cameron does. Goes to show that NARTH does recieve perspectives from several “attitudes”.

  57. Michael,
    I really do not need to ask Warren or anyone else – I trust you and what you say is good enough for me. I have not read any article or heard this person (Cameron) talk or I do not remember it. When I hear anything that breaches civility or endangers anyone through violence or isolation, I speak up loud and clear. I cannot denounce Narth for one person just as I cannot denounce this blog for the many people who have been allowed to opine what I think was and continues to be offensive. I do lots of volunteer work with foster care and medical organizations, as well as other things – I have spoken up when I saw a life or the well being of another compromised based on a professional’s opinion – I have denounced them and done so privately and publicly, however, not the entire organization as a whole as that would be unfair.

  58. Mary,
    That is a great story and illustrates how we take what we want and need from any interaction and leave what we don’t. Michael’s point is well taken though if this man is currently promoting violence and or isolation for those who say they are gay. Those words should be denounced and not tolerated under any circumstance. The hate filled words coming out of Wayne Besen should be denounced as well and it will be a great day when they are. It doesn’t take total agreement on any one subject to demonstrate civility and some of the people who write and talk about anything regarding the subject of gay, ex-gay, etc. are sorely lacking in it, losing their credibility, as well as listeners or readers along the way.

  59. Again, that NARTH may have helped some people in no way removes its moral repsponisibility to denounce Cameron’s “abhorrent solutions” and quit using his very dubious “research”. These are two differerent issues.
    I have NO DOUBT that some folks within NARTH may have helped some people reach some level of resolution or “change” of their “SSA” (homosexuality). I am not trying to deny these people hope or deny them change. They (NARTH) still need to do the right thing, as Warren did.
    It really doesn’t matter ow many people listen to Cameron or how much influence he has. How much is not the point. Warren once referred to Cameron’s teachings as “evil”. Ask him why. I am only saying what Ann said in her post, above: namely, that he should be denounced and not given any further credibility or endorsement . NARTH only discredits itself by continuing to do so.

  60. Both of you should learn something of Cameron (Warren could help out here) before either or you make comment on this issue. With all due respect, you are not informed

    I think I stated that I did not know too much, if anything, about him, therefore I cannot comment on him. I do know about Narth and that it has helped many, many people as well as offended many. The people it has helped will support it as an organization and those that have not realized any benefit from it will more than likely not support it. As a public policy issue, if he is promoting the extermination of those who identify themselves as gay, then he should be denounced and not given any further credibility or endorsement. It is still up to individuals if they want to be affiliated with Narth or any other organization for the benefits they derive from them – it is basically their choice whether it is agreed to by others or not. Narth, however, should not be underestimated as to what changes they are willing to make during and after all the changes taking place there. How knowledgeable or powerful is Cameron that he would affect people and their thought processes? I really don’t know and since I have no real knowledge of him, I’m wondering how prevelent or effective he is. Is he like Fred Phelps? Wayne Besen is very self promoting and makes it a point to be well known and have his hate filled words heard or read. I am wondering if he will say anthing about what Elton John said during his Partner’s Party in NYC about marriage vs. civil unions for gay couples.

  61. Wayne may be over the top and offensive to some — even many, but I have never read of his support of the extermination or quarantining of straights, ex-gays or religious folk. NEVER. No need to “throw the baby out with the bath water”, Ann. Take the baby OUT, then throw out the dirty water.
    Both of you should learn something of Cameron (Warren could help out here) before either or you make comment on this issue. With all due respect, you are not informed.
    Google him, then decide if NARTH has a moral responsibility to openly denounce him and quit citing his hateful “research” and what Warren calls his “abhorrent solutions”. If you can show me where, when and how Wayne Besen has done anything like this, I will openly denounce him,
    You might start here:,020.htm

  62. Thank you Ann. I wholly agree with you.
    I am reminded of this story my God Mother told me. Two of her children were difficult pregnancies. In fact, she was advised by doctors to terminate (this was back in the late 50’s, early 60’s) She went to one doctor who performed abortions because she heard he was an excellent doctor. He gave her advise on how to keep those pregnancies to full term and give birth. Her children are alive and well today. Obviously, he knew something she wanted to know. He also knew things she did not care about.
    (My God Mother must have told me this story after one of my predjudicial rants against someone.)

  63. Narth has helped many people and has also offended many – those they have helped will support them and those that have been offended will not. The baby should not be thrown out with the bath water. I do not know too much, if anything, about Cameron, however, I have read many writings of and have seen Wayne Besen in debates and do not see many gay advocates or their affiliated organizations calling him irresponsible or denouncing him for his hate filled words.

  64. They do it, too. Need I say Kinsey any louder?
    And lest you forget, I am pro gay and support gay people.

  65. Mary: I am not, as you put it, “globalizing one group of people and calling them bad for a decision to utilize another’s research”.
    I am saying that I do not trust and cannot endorse or praise an orgainzation that will not do the morally responsible thing and denounce the hatred of one like Cameron.
    NARTH is morally irresponsible — and I think guilty of collusion with his ideas — because they KNOW what he stands for and yet they continue to cite his “research”. in support of their anti-gay religious and political agenda.
    It would be wrong if a pro-gay group did something similar, wouldn’t it? What if the pro-gay group was using a holocaust revsionist as support for their position?
    You would be yelling bloody murder if a progay group cited the “research” of one who would suggest that Christians or “ex-gays” be quarantined or exterminated, wouldn’t you?
    Or would you “give them a pass” because they “may have helped some peiople”?

  66. I understand. I also understand that gay people feel very trodded upon. Someone ought to feel personally offended that there is only one group that is organized and prepared to accumulate information that may or may not help persons with unwanted same sex attraction.
    I wonder how black americans will now see the comments that they are better off in this country, that their suffering has given them a greater liberty in the long run (than had not their ancestors been enslaved.)

  67. Mary,
    I have always used the idea to “take what I can use and leave the rest”. That has worked well to help me discover who I really am. It has also helped me to realize that no one other than God has any right to define me.

  68. Warren,
    More specifically, the german engineers that were brought to America after WWII, could not have all been innocent of crimes against humanity and I would bet the farm on that. However, in exchange for their work they were given citizenship in this country and did not suffer any punishment or retribution for their participation in the holocaust. We benefitted hugely from this agreement. And many americans still tout their pride on this idea that we were the first to the moon.

  69. That to globalize one group of people and call them bad for a decision to utilize another’s research etc… is similar to denouncing the the american effort to get ot the moon.
    I am familiar with SOME of the research that Cameron has used (not all), and the Schoenwolf remarks but not Berg.
    Suffice to say, I don’t agree with NARTH’s political positions, some of their research, some of their poor judgment etc…
    HOWEVER, having said that I do appreciate much of the work they do do. There are not many groupd out there even pursing same sex attraction in any form.
    So, unfortunately, they are a default group for information.
    That people such as Bussee and other abhor them is understandable. Understandable but not entirely reasonable. It smacks wiht hyposcrisy when we consider other groups who have engaged “questionable research methods, questionable researchers and their theologies etc…
    That’s all. Just pointing out that item.

  70. In addition to which, then you must abhor the American moon landing – since it was the german engineers who got us there?

  71. Regardless, of your rant and using another person to support your position, I doubt that is all to make people turn away from other valuable information and work.
    Mmmmm, comparing Hitler’s dinner party (which is so off the wall) to NARTH is like comparing a mass murderer to anyone of us.

  72. If a racist group donated to a legit children’s charity, should we praise it? If an anti-Jewish group provided free food to its members, should we hold them up as an example of good will?
    If NARTH helped some people resolve their “SSA” but continued to endorse the teachings of folks like Berger, Schoenewolf and Cameron, should we give them applause?
    I urge Mary to really look at what Cameron teaches — and how NARTH has repearly cited his teachings, never denouncing them — and then ask if I am being too harsh.
    The fact that NARTH may have helped some people does not undo its moral responsibility to distance itself from Cameron’s “abhorrent solutions” — as Throckmorton has done. NARTH seeks the respect of the scientific community. No true “scientific” organization would put up with it.

  73. You are wrong, Mary. I do NOT consider myself to have done “everything right”. Far from it. But to NOT denounce Cameron is more than a mistake. It is an outrage.
    I could support NARTH if:
    (1) If it would be honest and specific about what “change” meant
    (2) If it dropped ouitrageous claims — such as all gay men had disturbed relatiionships with their parents.
    (3) If it stopped assuming that gayness is an illness or disorder — and truly stuck to examining gayness like any scientist might approach the question of “why are some flowers blue and some yellow?” — in the spirit of scientific inquiry not prejudice.
    (4) If NARTH clearly and strongly denounced what even Warren calls Cameron’s “abhorrent solutions” to the gay issue. Warren has done it. Why won’t NARTH.
    The fact that NARTH may have held some is irrelevent. I hear that Hitler gave some nice dinner parties. So what?
    Ask Warren why he dropped his association with NARTH. I am not the only one with strong objections.

  74. So …. everything you have ever done Michael is right and you have nothing to confess and therefore people should follow you?
    Granted – there are some serious things wrong with NARTH, EXODUS etc… but there are also some very criminally designed tests by Kinsey that people still quote. Especially in the gay community.
    I doubt you would support NARTH under any circumstance – it’s just that this time is legitimate but to throw everything away???

  75. NARTH has never, never denounced Cameron — as Warren has rightly done on numerous occasions. Until they do, any “science” they may have produced is highly suspect, to say the least. Remember that there has been “science” that blacks were genetically inferior and that Jews were as well.
    You cannot start with a conclusion that gays are “damaged” and in need of “repair” — and then retrospectively look for “evidence” to support your forgone conclusion. That is propaganda, not science — and NARTH has done it consistently throughout their history.
    And we have been round and round on the topic of “ex-gay” hope. “Ex-gay” is a very foggy, very personal, very flexible term. It can mean anything the speaker wants it to mean. How can one “research” a concept that one cannot even define clearly?

  76. Michael,
    Be careful how quick you are to put down the science of NARTH, there is much that has been reported by those on the other side also that smack of a make believe fairtale with no real scientific support. Science does not claim to have all of the answers and the verdict on SSA is definitely not in, even though there are some who continue to push very hard to convince us that it is and the media continues to present inaccurate reporting to fit its own agenda. That sounds more like propaganda than science.

  77. It’s not bashing. Until and unless NARTH fully repudiates the hateful and homophobic teachings of “expert adivisors” like Cameron, Schoenewolf, Berger and the like, they have NO RIGHT to consider themselves a “scientitific” organization and neither should anyone else — regardless of whether they may (or may not) have helped some folks along the way. Keep in mind, Mary, that even Warren dumped his association with them — and for good reason.

  78. Bash all you want. However, people like myself and many others have benefitted from NARTH. AT least Warren has a vital, active, real response – but for some – to complain that all is lost on NARTH and then provide no alternative save to abandon all ex gay hope and live as a gay man (well, that’s just as …. NARTHy by their own discription)

  79. “Sound Scientific Research: In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” For NARTH, this would be a worthy objective.
    A “worthy objective”? Now that’s a understatement! It would be a complete reversal of NARTH’s history and mission. I don’t think NARTH would know “sound scientific research” if it snuck up and bit them on the…
    Well, you know.

  80. Evan

    Do fruitflies develop autism?

    I’m going to guess no because flies don’t have personalities. Then again… they probably have something else that can go haywire.
    But speaking of Autism it’s being traced back to a damaging immune response just like what they found in Schizophrenia. The body attacks and damages itself in an effort to protect itself. The disorder is the side effect.
    Some Cases Of Autism May Be Traced To The Immune System Of Mothers During Pregnancy
    If you Google around this is where all of the action is. Maybe we’ll have a vaccine in another decade or two.

  81. Your research? While what they have experienced, learned etc… is of no value.
    It cannot all be statistically proven today. At best, we are still searching for the development of all kinds of sexuality.
    While some do not like any research into same sex attraction, I have found much value from the articles on NARTH. I do not agree w/ everything they rpomote, say, assign etc…. but still there is value.
    Let’s not discount everything because of the things with which there is disagreement.
    I appluad the effort – however feeble it may look to others.

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