Wacky group that “cures” gays loses tax-exempt status

About time.  NARTH (the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality), a lead pseudo-scientific organization that promotes the debunked notion that homosexuality can be “cured,” has lost its tax-exempt status, Raw Story reports.

The IRS announced the revocation of NARTH’s tax-exempt status on the IRS Web site, below:

NARTH loses tax-exempt status

The “ex-gays” are a troubled lot.

They’re a weird mix of people who legitimately believe gays can be cured through prayer, others who think you can be cured through very weird counseling sessions that “teach you how to be a man,” and hateful religious right activists who co-opted the “ex-gay” movement a good ten+ years ago because they saw a beneficial opportunity to bash gays (after all, if you can be “cured,” it’s not a civil right, the bigots would argue).

The problem for the “ex-gays” is that they don’t really exist.  I did a ton of research on the ex-gays for a feature story I was writing for Talk magazine back in 2001, and the one common thread you find among actual ex-gay groups themselves, rather than their political leaders, is the admission that no one is “cured.”  At best they try to turn you celibate.  While their political leaders claim that “thousands” of gay people have been “cured.”  It simply isn’t true.

NARTH is, was, a “scientific” organization the religious right uses to lend credence to the notion that there’s actual science behind all of this “pray away the gay” hoopla.  Of course, NARTH has had its own problems, when one of its top names, George Rekers, was caught going to Europe with a rent-boy he’d hired to “carry his luggage.”  (So that’s what the kids are calling it now.)

Another prominent NARTH member got into trouble for suggesting that Africans were fortunate to have been sold into slavery, and that the civil rights movement was “irrational.”

A prominent member of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) is under fire for publishing an essay in which he argues that Africans were fortunate to have been sold into slavery, and that the civil rights movement was “irrational.”

“There is another way, or other ways, to look at the race issue in America,” writes Gerald Schoenewolf, a member of NARTH’s Science Advisory Committee. “Africa at the time of slavery was still primarily a jungle…. Life there was savage… and those brought to America, and other countries, were in many ways better off.”….

Titled Gay Rights and Political Correctness: A Brief History (PDF) Schoenewolf’s angry polemic was published on NARTH’s webpage. In addition to his outrageous historical claims about the conditions of life in Africa, he writes that human rights proponents are intellectually stunted.

Gabriel Arana, who writes for the American Prospect, and has written for AMERICAblog from time to time, wrote a story a while back his unsuccessful efforts to cure his homosexuality with NARTH’s cofounder and former President, Joseph Nicolosi.

In recent years, “ex-gay” leaders in the US, Europe and Latin America have renounced the “ex-gay” therapy that they once embraced.  Dan Savage had something to say about that.  But that didn’t stop Michele Bachmann’s husband Marcus, who apparently knows a lot about gay stuff, from taking federal funds for his “ex-gay” clinic.

We’d reported a while back on JONAH, a Jewish “ex-gay” group that, according to two former clients, had young gay men take off their clothes, in counseling, until they’re completely nude in front of their much older male counselor, who then directs them to start fondling themselves.  Oh yeah.

Another lead “ex-gay” doctor, well, not a doctor, he’s a “certified sexual reorientation coach” – he was “the” lead “ex-gay” cure-guy until the Daily Show destroyed him (you can watch that video further below) – was Richard Cohen.

In this CNN piece, he demonstrates how he uses “touch therapy” to cure gay couple – do watch it, it’s a winner.  Here’s an example of touch therapy from the Daily show video, further down:

by default 2013-03-13 at 10.58.06 PM

He also shows how hitting a pillow with a tennis racket can “release memories in your muscles” to help cure you as well.

Hitting the pillow, from the Daily Show video further down in this story.

Hitting the pillow, from the Daily Show video further down in this story.

Watch this, please.

There’s a great Colbert Report on the “ex-gays” too:

And probably the best video out there is Jon Stewart’s Daily Show’s coverage of the “ex-gays”:

California has recently banned “ex-gay” therapy, and the fact that NARTH lost its tax-exempt status is one more step in the right direction.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

Share This Post

  • http://fighttherightwingnuts.blogspot.com/ mike31c

    Finally, they can be the gay-dating site they always wanted to be! :p

  • mark_in_toronto
  • http://poodyheads.wordpress.com/ Papa Bear

    Children should be beat and not heard?

  • Sweetie

    Cuddling is just the beginning. Do you have any idea how far some of these programs go (including programs involving minors like 16 and 17 year olds)? Let’s just say there’s more action happening than has been happening in my openly gay and married bedroom.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    “Wrong! Do it again! If you don’t eat yer meat, you can’t have any pudding! How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat yer meat?! You! Yes! You behind the bikesheds! Stand still, laddie!”

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    He’s more into the English school of beating children and pets.

  • Sweetie

    If you wanted to know who writes a lot of the bizarre fiction for Nifty…

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    yep

  • http://www.facebook.com/monoceros.forth Monoceros Forth

    Isn’t that one of James Dobson’s recommended parenting techniques?

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I’ve seen gay men making out and thought, “That’s incredibly hot.”

    I see this weird ‘cure the gay’ therapy and can only think, “That’s incredibly creepy.”

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    When I saw the cuddling cure, my response was, “That’s no cure. That’s the proverbial ‘first base.'”

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    I wonder if they have a ‘touch the penis session’ to test the ‘ick’ factor.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    I wonder just how effective that huggy lap dance therapy must be. I would go so gay after that. Or, even gayer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bill-Reynolds/100003819768282 Bill Reynolds

    perhaps the IRS will require churches to prove they “save” people?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bill-Reynolds/100003819768282 Bill Reynolds

    So……….NARTH’s fortunes go SORTH?

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Yep. Form 990. It is the most basic form required from 501(c)(3) tax exempt non-profits. Essentially a statement of mission, the programs they run, and a basic description of finances.

    The thing I’ve been wondering is under what basis they originally qualified as a 501(c)(3). The list of types of organizations is rather varied, but with respect to NARTH the only two categories that make any kind of sense (however tortured) would be either religious or scientific. As John notes, they’re a ‘pseudo-scientific’ outfit, so I’d imagine it was the latter claim…except that there is no science to support their treatment philosophy.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    The fact most of their ‘patients’ — and indeed their senior leaders are most often soon found trolling for anonymous hookups in gay bars should be reason enough not to have any confidence in their quackery.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    Yeah but it would seem to be a correctable error; I was hoping that some government office had actually realized that they don’t deserve this status and yanked it permanently.

  • nicho

    Filing the right forms is their bread and butter. It’s how they survive. If they fuck that up, I can’t imagine anyone having any confidence in anything else they do.

  • MyrddinWilt

    This gay ‘cure’ looks pretty much like gay sex without the sex to me…

    Whenever I see a grown man cuddling another grown man like that, I think ‘oh do that too long and he’ll turn straight’.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    So it’s just because they forgot to file the right forms?

  • bkmn

    Whoever “certified” Cohen should be exposed for the fraud they are.

  • http://heimaey.us/ jim morrissey

    I just wish churches would be next.

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