Guest Blogger

Ex-Gay Think Tank Gets 'Hooters' Makeover

Filed By Guest Blogger | August 08, 2014 3:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Living
Tags: boobs, choice myth, conversion therapy, ex-gay, ex-gay myth, fail, Hooters, NARTH, objectification, rebranding, reparative therapy

Editor's Note: Guest blogger Mike Airhart is the founder of exgaywatch.com, a co-founder of mencanstoprape.org, and a newswire editor and content syndicator. Mike has written extensively on the Christian Right dating back to the 1980s, as well as rape prevention, hate crimes, and human rights; his work has appeared in Sojourners magazine and the Nashville Tennessean. He has been cited by Newsday, the Advocate, and most recently the Episcopal News Service.


narth-rebranding-fail.pngFox News knows that some consumers will believe anything if it's aired by a newscaster whose boobs are showing. Now a small coalition of antigay therapists and their lawyers is betting that Fox News is right.

Rebranding itself the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity, the "ex-gay" think tank NARTH wants to convince the public that patients have a right to "choose" emotional abuse and therapeutic malpractice. NARTH -- formerly the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, but now just a brand name for a for-profit company, as we reported in May - is led by a board of ideologues who disregard professional ethics by inflicting disproven myths about child sexual development upon patients and their families.

For decades, NARTH has distorted other researchers' work in order to support the myth that sexual orientation can be changed through expensive therapy. Critics say that NARTH supports a "therapeutic choice" to be misled and abused -- but not the choice to be informed of the truth by one's therapist.

Malpractice backed by falsified research can be a tough sell -- so for its rebranding campaign, NARTH has hired a Hooters waitress-wannabe to woo the audience.

Watch, after the break.

NARTH has resorted to sexual objectification before: In 2012, Exodus International severed ties with NARTH after its founder Joseph Nicolosi boasted at an Exodus conference that he uses pornography in his therapy.

NARTH also announced this week that it has recruited new board member David Pickup, a maverick counselor from The ManKind Project who told parents watching CNN last year that children are gay because a relative sexually abused them -- and that he can cure those kids for a hefty price, while the parents presumably initiate intrafamily warfare in search of a nonexistent abuser. Pickup also falsely stated that bans on fraudulent therapy prevent legitimate treatment of sexual-abuse survivors.

The ManKind Project distanced itself from Pickup in 2008.

In 2011, Christian college professor Warren Throckmorton itemized NARTH's distortions of research, and asked questions worth pondering:

What if NARTH's representatives disclosed the problems with the research in their public statements? What if they were candid and reported that some of the old studies are flawed to the degree that they cannot be used? What if these representatives disclosed that many of those who report change continue to be attracted to the same sex? Or also mentioned that some studies find no change? What if the differences in results for men and women were disclosed? Or the existence of bisexuality was included in the discussion of what the reported changes mean? What if they reported data from studies discrediting reparative therapy?

Throckmorton concluded: "If NARTH was a scientific organization it wouldn't be NARTH."

In an announcement e-mailed to Box Turtle Bulletin, NARTH President Christopher Rosik now says:

...The NARTH board voted in January of this year to create a new organization, titled Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity (ATCSI). NARTH will remain and function within ATCSI as a separate Institute that will continue to focus on matters pertaining to the psychological care of clients with unwanted same-sex attractions and behaviors. Nothing in our mission changes, but we anticipate that our outreach will be significantly expanded.

NARTH's expanded "outreach"...

narth-rebranding-fail-cropped.png

seems to be aimed at serving antigay heterosexual men, not families struggling with religious homophobia.


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