NARTH removes references to Scott Lively from website

Recently, Scott Lively, Director of Abiding Truth Ministries clarified his opinions presented in Uganda regarding criminalization of homosexuality and compulsory therapy, saying:

I did promote therapy as an option to imprisonment, citing my own experience benefitting from optional therapy after an arrest for drunk driving many years ago. In fact, it was during that period I accepted Christ and was spontaneously healed of alcoholism and drug addiction.
I don’t think under the circumstances homosexuality should be decriminalized in Uganda since it seems to be the only thing stopping the international “gay” juggernaut from turning Uganda into another Brazil.

These views are consistent with his public statements elsewhere, including this statement to the Russian people made in 2007.

Homosexuality is a personality disorder that involves various, often dangerous sexual addictions and aggressive, anti-social impulses. This combination of factors causes homosexuals to have an intense loyalty to each other and a common goal to change any society in which they live in organized “gay and lesbian” communities. They have no acceptance in a society that restricts sex to heterosexual marriage, so they work to eliminate sexual morality and remove all limitations on sexual conduct. Importantly, their initial strategy is not promote homosexuality, but to spread sexual immorality among heterosexuals, especially the young people. Only later, when the culture has become sexually corrupt, do they openly step forward to take power as the natural leaders of such a society.

In response to the “personality disorder,” Lively recommends a number of things. One is a limitation on free speech:

Third, criminalize the public advocacy of homosexuality. My philosophy is to leave homosexuals alone if they keep their lifestyle private, and not to force them into therapy if they don’t want it. However, homosexuality is destructive to individuals and to society and it should never publicly promoted. The easiest way to discourage “gay pride” parades and other homosexual advocacy is to make such activity illegal in the interest of public health and morality.

In that same letter, Lively recommends therapy for gays and pointed people to NARTH (National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality) as a referral source consistent with his ideas.

The homosexual movement tries to win public sympathy by claiming that homosexuals are “born that way” and cannot change. This is not true. There is a large association of doctors and therapists in the United States who help homosexuals to recover (see and many thousands of former homosexuals who now live normal lives.

Lively’s referral to NARTH made me wonder if NARTH incorporated his views in a similar manner.
Until yesterday, the answer was yes. There were six references to Mr. Lively on the NARTH website. I asked Dave Pruden if NARTH supported the positions Mr. Lively stated above (criminalization, therapy as an option to jail and limits on free speech), and he reacted quickly to remove all but one reference to his past involvement with NARTH. According to Mr. Pruden, Mr. Lively asked to address the convention luncheon in order to make a donation. The 2005 conference report says:

Also during the luncheon, attorney Scott Lively noted that NARTH’s critics are supported by tens of millions of dollars from foundations on the left, which effectively permits them to “steer the culture through grants.” In an effort to begin reversing that trend, he recently created the Pro-Family Endowment, with one of its initial grants being made to NARTH.

If you search on the NARTH website for “Scott Lively,” you can see the links to articles which are either not there anymore or have the reference to Mr. Lively removed. In addition to the reference above, there was a reference to a book authored by Mr. Lively, another article on gays in schools which referred readers to Mr. Lively’s website and an interview with Brian Camenker which included a favorable reference to Lively’s books.
Mr. Pruden explained that Mr. Lively was not invited by NARTH to speak at the 2005 luncheon but instead asked for time to make the presentation and was granted permission. However, he indicated that this did not indicate NARTH’s agreement with Lively’s views as outlined above. Mr. Pruden said that after some investigation, he determined that Mr. Lively’s views are not consistent with the policies and views of NARTH. Consequenty, the articles and references were removed.
Exodus International also took a similar step recently….

42 thoughts on “NARTH removes references to Scott Lively from website”

  1. Although Mr. Lively is an avid supporter of NARTH, that organization recently removed references to his work from their […]

    Now, they should the same with Paul Cameron.
    Clean, house NARTH!

    Exodus removed a link to Scott Lively’s article on the Pink Swastika. […]

    Some time back, EXODUS also removed Cameron references from their website.
    So both organizations did it with Lively.. They can do it, though it often takes a bit of pushing. So, why won’t NARTH follow EXODUS’s moral lead and dump references to Cameron ?

  2. @ William,
    Thank you for your anecdotal observations. They are welcome, as are all others.

  3. I have no idea who Scott Lively is but I as someone who spent most of his adult life in the homosexual culture I can tell you he’s about on the money from the quotes I just read. Homosexuality brings disease and death. Every homosexual I’ve known well enough to know their background has a distant father and henpecking protective mother. The only biological element I would concede is that of a sensitive temperment.

  4. @ Michael,
    Now for a really horrible thought:
    You continue to improve Exodus through your criticism.

  5. David, I hope you are right that “…starting Exodus was meant for good…and will return to good.”
    One can only hope.

  6. @ Michael,
    Thanks, between banging my head against a wall, I try to find the mirror too.
    I can’t imagine the struggle you had trying to fit your behavior and feelings inside the box that fundamentalism created.
    I believe that you starting Exodus was meant for good…and will return to good.
    A lot of bad teaching out there both professionally and spiritually.
    I wish you happiness and health.

  7. “But neither did I accept the male/female only paradigm of coupling.”
    Certainly not trying to speak for everyone…”coupling” happens in many forms that are not sexual…
    Trying to draw reasonable attention to the philosophical differences that drove some of the activism in the gay and lesbian community…and the irony of being labelled as haters by those who rejected our values.

  8. I think there may be more than one voice in the GLBT community. Just like any other group. I was once a lesbian and wanted marriage rights. I did not reject traditional values as such nor promote sexual promiscuity. But niether did I accept the male/female only paradigm of coupling.

  9. @ Lynn David:
    “…sounding in places like Scott Lively.” Qualifier carefully included in original post. He makes many other arguments against the tone and focus of gay rights activists (recently); arguments that are described as “hateful” if they come from non-gays.
    Trying to make a point to listen to the arguments, consider and decide; regardless of who is making the argument.
    @ Mary:
    I am sure you are right, but the author acknowledges what we all also know, that some in the gay and lesbian community are openly skeptical and cynical about traditional values and that having heard that, it is a bit odd for some of us that they now clamour for the religious rites and responsibilities that they previously devalued.
    This comment is not meant for all or most gays and lesbians, just a comment about deconstructionists and anti-traditionalists claiming outrage at being “excluded” when they openly rejected “us” and our “puritanical values” of sexual purity, monogomy and marriage.

  10. Lynn David,
    No issues just close observations after many years of lies and deception from people that I wanted to trust.

  11. DB,
    I really think gay people want marriage for the same reasons the rest of us do. Companionship and financial security.

  12. Gee… got some issues there.
    What’s wrong with being in science for the money that your work brings?

  13. Lynn David,
    No I am talking about biology, genetics, and any other science that is more interested in where the next pay check is coming from.

  14. Ok… can I help it the man doesn’t know how to spell his own name… “Winecoff” – please, I hate Anglicanizations. Dang Ellis Island immigration officials.

  15. @Blakeslee… maybe, except your cherry-picking did not portray the sense one gets when reading the 50 or so other paragraphs in Weinkopf’s article.
    @concerned…. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that you are only talking about the soft sciences, such as sociology and psychology, because otherwise what you are espousing isn’t worth much at all. I’m not going to be thinking of a flood if I’m describing a section of limestone and calcerous shales with the included fossils.
    On the other hand I cannot see why anyone needs religion in this argument, but that’s just me.

  16. To digress:
    A long interesting article by a gay author sounding in places like Scott Lively.
    “Having once been accused of advancing a nefarious gay agenda myself, I can’t help but see where this stubborn trend is taking us: right into the clutches of the dreaded Far Right fanatics, who claim gays and lesbians are bent on undermining the time-honored institution of marriage and radically changing it from the inside out.
    Well, guess what. Judging from how the gay community is currently playing its cards, I’d wager that is the goal. But no one in is saying it out loud.
    Gays don’t want marriage because they desperately long to be part of a stuffy, archaic ritual laden with church baggage. They want to get married because, now that they have clout and 99% of the same rights as straight people, they’ve run out of goals – and they feel entitled to the only thing that’s still beyond reach: absolute acceptance.”

  17. Am I the only one who’s confused about the reference to Brazil? What is going on in Brazil that Lively is concerned about?

  18. David: My apologies. I should not be lashing out at you or Warren. You both did the right thing, as I did, to leave an organization that I came to believe was doing much more harm than good.
    To answer your question, I helped start EXODUS because I was very young, confused and in pain. I was a new Christian and had been taught that if I had enough faith that Jesus would change me (make me straight).
    I helped start EXODUS because, at that time, there was no organization that seemed to be reaching out to gay Christians — to bring them the Gospel, to tell that God loved them — even if the Church seemed not to.
    It’s not hatred that you feel. It’s deep frustration with the direction EXODUS took (and has been taking) since I left — for example, its support of right-wing Republican politics when we, the founders, did everything we could to keep EXODUS out of politics.
    It is sadness that EXODUS continues to mislead the public about “change”, causing suffering for many. It is anger that EXODUS and NARTH will not speak up clearly and strongly against folks like Camerion, Sally Kern, Berger, Schoenewolf, Lively, et al. Instead, both organizations wimp out and quietly remove “references” to these hatemongers without denouncing what they stand for.
    Again, my apologies for shooting arrows at you. You are right that I need to look in the mirror (as we all must from time to time) and be careful that I am angry at the right persons, at the right time, in the right amount and for the right reasons.

  19. @ Concerned, Evan and Lyn David,
    Science teases us with answers, which are modified, improved and rejected with more science…
    As a means of creating a value system and understanding our nature; this is a very fluid system…not well suited to the formation of an identity or the creation of a moral code.
    It is also not a great way to set public policy in the area of the social sciences…as these are the weakest sciences, most easily corrupted by ideology.
    If SSA is not genetically determined (an old assertion), nor due to parental influences (an older assertion) and science has determined that both of these previous scientific assertions are “lacking,” then people pretty much find themselves where they were before all these scientific assertions were made:
    How shall I live my life?

  20. Lynn David,
    I would agree that sounds very definitive and it is not meant to be, it is just that if science closes off any other option to truth before a complete picture is found then it is not science. I guess in a lot of ways my statement is simply an invitation to look into the mirror. Open your mind to other options. Do not shut the door on examining these other factors that can also be involved. I am sure you have heard of epigenetics. It has opened many new door into possible influences on the way genes respond to the environment.
    Contrary to what you might be thinking, I fully believe in the scientific process and when I see that it is being eroded away because of ideology and politics I get concerned.

  21. Evan,
    I would agree that the way science is being done these days is often backwards because many in science believe they can find the answer to all. In many instances the science is being motivated by the money that may or may not be available rather than the thirst for pure knowledge. Some of these cases are caught before too much harm is done. I think science and religion should be working together at finding answers for us all, not just the few. If we think that science has all the answers we close our minds to questioning whether it is being done properly or not. Then we let the media distort the findings and make something of nothing and many do not have the ability to question what is being reported. This is very very dangerous because it becomes motivated by money and politics. Perhaps when we separated church and state we should have also separated science and state, or wait I believe their are many who have made science into the new religion.

  22. “concerned” and David Lynn,
    I think we are expecting too much from science, actually. Science cannot fully understand either this subject or others. If you take it for granted and unreserved, science is closing our minds.
    A little reminder on science. It comes from the the magical thinking of old that aimed to manipulate things in the world acording to beliefs. Modern science is the result of a schism between religious beliefs and the magical thinking that dealt with the possibility of miracles in the world. It’s this dry kind of science that I think it’s mind-closing if it becomes a foundation for an worldview. We know that that is our society’s official explanation for most phenomena, including the subject we’ve been tossing here. The state mostly hearkens to the voice of science when explanations are needed… And these explanations can be used for access to special rights or laws.
    PS – Who has the time and interest could read this book by Ioan P. Culianu, Eros and Magic in the Renaissance, to understand more about how magical thinking applied to motivation of many kinds, particularly sexual (Eros), has influenced and determined the development of modern science, including psychology and sociology. It’s a good book, very scolarly written.
    It helps to understand that belief in science is, in my opinion, a symptom of impoverished spiritual and mental life in an age of too much public and interpersonal neutrality. Taken literally science is really backwards looking. I think we’re starting to go beyond that outlook.
    Now – Back to Narth and a man called Scott Lively.

  23. Science has not proven that it is all about our genes, because it is not.

    Now that’s what I call a definitive statement.

  24. David,
    Thanks for your response. I am not really addressing my comments to anyone in particular. I have simply found that it is important to look in the mirror once in a while. I think there is a need for the scientific community, especially in the area of genetics to take a long look in the mirror and consider where this movement towards blaming everything that we are on our genetic makeup is leading us. We have been down this road before and it was not pretty. We cannot ignore the environmental, social, spiritual, religious, emotional, etc. components of who we are just as NARTH must not get caught up in thinking that their way of looking at same-sex attraction is the way everyone should look at it. And to be honest I do not think for a minute that they do, but for those who need help in dealing with their sexual confusion these aspects of our nature are also important to consider in order for the person to become more than what they presently feel they are. I hear so many on the progay side of this issue who refuse to even consider these other possibilities, and I find that to be impossible to accept. Science has not proven that it is all about our genes, because it is not.

  25. @Concerned:
    “I question all of you as to why you find NARTH or Exodus so offensive. ”
    I find Narth and Exodus helpful, with caveats…so I do not know why you are addressing this to me.
    All leaders of institutions that assert they have the truth, need to demonstrate a fidelity to that truth; whether that is Ex-gay watch or NARTH or the Washington Post.
    Narth, if it is truly seeking to be a source of truth, can tolerate critique and correction…in fact, I wish they would welcome it. It was their resistance to it in the name of “fighting the gay activists” that rightly alienated me.
    Their quick response to the Lively comments is a good sign…but not an indication that evaluation and critique should stop.
    No way.
    Exodus gets more leeway with me, they are not attempting to assert themselves as scientific experts…but leeway is not the same as an excuse…they still have an accountability to the truth.

  26. David,
    You are right. We must always look in the mirror in order to get in touch with where our hatres may be coming from. I question all of you as to why you find NARTH or Exodus so offensive. If it not meeting anything for you then why should they be of concern for you. Others may be finding that these organizations are helping them discover something about themselves where they are at in their journey. Do not try to take that away from them. There is much about what the progay position is trying to push that totally disagrees with where I am at today. Should I go out and try to shut them all down? No, because for some this may be fullfilling a need that I do not have right now. Before you judge these organization too harshly I would ask that you look into your own mirrors and try to determine where your hatred is coming from.

  27. @ Michael,
    Why did you create Exodus? It must show some deep lack of character…or some difficult part of the journey.
    I prefer to think your motives were honorable and that you left when the time was right and things were clearer to you.
    I know that was true for me about NARTH.
    Take your hatred and judgment to the mirror.

  28. So NARTH is distancing itself from one SPLC defined anti-gay hate group, namely Abiding Truth Ministries. What about the other SPLC defined anti-gay hate group known as H.O.M.E. or “Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment?”
    NARTH has a rather convivial article about the organization, “Bringing Accurate Information to College Campuses.” And as it is subtitled, “A NARTH member describes his bold attempt to reach university students,” evidently certain members of NARTH are also members of H.O.M.E. But since:

    We are often asked, “What type of material do you distribute to stimulate discussion?” As a rule, we have available three pieces: one sheet is devoted to the health risks associated with homosexual behavior. A second deals with causes of homosexuality, life expectancy, domestic violence, and relationship stability. It also addresses income, education, and occupational status of homosexuals, specifically because those three categories form the legal grounds for the addition of new anti-discrimination laws–and we point out that because all of these categories are above the national average, there is no legal basis for singling out homosexuals as a special protected class. We also point out the impact on our culture due to the tragic loss of talented Americans because of the AIDS epidemic. The third piece is NARTH’s “Myths” brochure.

    Should then the SPLC also list NARTH on its list?

  29. Warren:
    I am glad you finally left, but with all due respect, the fllipping point should have been Nicolosi, NARTH’s anti-gay bigotry and their junk science. It should not have taken Schoenewolk or Berger for a man of your intellect to see through them. I still believe you waited way too long.

  30. @Michael Bussee:
    Neither of us “had to.” In every decision like that there is a tipping point. I reached mine over Schoenewolf and Berger’s statements. However, I was not a member at the time and was only attending the conference to present the SIT framework.

  31. And by the way, why did it take so long for both you and Warren to distance yourselves from NARTH? Seems like you both waited until you absolutely had to…

  32. Really How are they different? They both cite Cameron until the heat is on — then quietly remove references to him without clearly denouncing what he stands for. They both think gays are broken and in need of repair. They both tolerate wackos and hatemongers until the press gets after them. Both are moral cowards.
    Give me some concrete examples of their differences.

  33. I agree completely with Karen! Historically, both EXODUS an NARTH only tae steps to “distance” themselves from wackos and hatemongers when the heat is on to do so. Left to their own devices, both organizations tend to do NOTHING. Just more moral cowardice and damage control. They may quietly remove “references” but they never clearly and strongly denounce the hatred behind the references.

  34. Back to the days of forced institutionalization for those we don’t like or agree with?

  35. It is hard to figure out what motivates NARTH for these changes.
    Prior to resigning, I aggressively lobbied for shutting down the site and conducting a thorough review of every article, purging dubious articles that were likely to be politically charged and unhelpful.
    I think that would have been a very responsible course of action and am sorry for NARTH and for those who trust NARTH that that action was not taken.
    Instead, they wait for others to react….and then they respond.
    What a bummer.

  36. Separating Narth from its odd, advocacy based assocations is tedious. Schmierer’s rhetoric is very different from Lively’s…Alan is right to draw attention to the difference in rhetoric.
    Disentangling fundamentalistic (and biblically inaccurate) perceptions of those with SSA is key to getting this right.
    I think Alan is well on his way…but will accelerate that separation by distinguishing Exodus as a Human Rights Organization….
    Participating with Narth, or Lively or Cohen will be untenable if such people or organizations do not adhere to a human rights model, coupled with a fairminded reading of the science.

  37. The concern I have with organizations that rush to remove something when it is brought to light in this way, is that it appears to be motivated by desire to maintain a certain image, rather than a true change of heart. If NARTH or Exodus were truly concerned about Scott Lively, they would have removed their connection from him a long time ago or never incorporated him in the first place. They only removed these because they are in the “hot seat.” While I am glad they did so. I doubt this means any true change of heart. Both of these organizations thought Lively had something beneficial to say and that is why they included him on their websites in the first place. And that is what I find most troubling. This is also the reason why some of these organizations can often be so self-contradictory. They are maintaining a public image on one hand, while quietly maintaining the status quo on the other.

  38. Lively is too extreme for NARTH. Which makes it all the more ironic that Alan Chambers’ response to criticism about the conference was to praise Schmierer for going.

  39. Little by little, Narth inches away from their enmeshed relationship with advocacy and fundamentalism.

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