Conversion Therapy Hypocrisy at its Finest and Most Cynical
Corrupt Conversion Therapy Industry Cynically Calls for Accountability (Cue Laughter)
Today, the Religious Right tried to cynically piggyback on my LGBTQ Nation column questioning the authenticity of Sam Brinton’s conversion therapy testimony. The non-binary activist’s story included alleged torture with heat and ice. Brinton is the non-binary nuclear engineer charged with stealing expensive luggage at two airports. He lost his job today at the Department of Energy.
In The Daily Signal, conversion therapist Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, Jr. tried to present himself as a truth teller, lecturing the LGBTQ community on standards. He is the son of Dr. Joseph Nicolosi Sr., the late founder of the conversion therapy trade group, the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). After a series of humiliating setbacks and scandals, the widely discredited NARTH organization was forced to rebrand as the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity.
In the Daily Signal article, Nicolosi Jr. laughably said, “Some of us warned long ago about Brinton’s lies…I doubt that the many states which have banned legitimate therapy will reverse course now that he’s been outed.”
What Nicolosi Jr. wrote is demonstrably false. All twenty states that have banned conversion therapy for minors would have done so without Brinton’s testimony. Brinton was one of many experts and survivors who shared their true, verifiable stories of enduring psychological voodoo practiced at the hands of conversion therapists like Nicolosi Jr. and his notorious father.
The chutzpah of Dr. Nicolosi Jr. is stunning. He’s on his high horse demanding accountability from LGBTQ organizations. He’s screaming – do background checks on spokespeople. Which I agree with.
But is Nicolosi Jr. the right person to be demanding accountability? His late father, Joe Sr., had named Arthur Abba Goldberg as the Executive Secretary of NARTH. In 2010, my organization, Truth Wins Out, joined the South Florida Gay News in revealing that Goldberg was a convicted felon who had served hard time in prison for his role as an infamous Wall Street fraudster.
When Goldberg left prison, he entered the conversion therapy industry. He tricked people by concealing his identity, specifically dropping his middle name, “Abba”, and going by the more pedestrian name, Arthur Goldberg.
My quote at the time of this scandal was, “We have long considered Arthur Goldberg a con-artist, but our investigation shows he is also an ex-con.”
Nicolosi Sr. either didn’t care that his organization was harboring a reprobate who was convicted of orchestrating a scheme of selling $2 billion in fraudulent municipal bonds. Or, Nicolosi Sr. failed to properly vet Goldberg. So, I’m not sure why Nicolosi Jr. thinks he’s an authority on accountability or a beacon of integrity, considering his family business never fact checked its own corrupt leaders.
Abba Goldberg’s organization, Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality (JONAH), was eventually shut down by a jury in New Jersey for committing consumer fraud.
In another example of unprofessionalism in the Nicolosi family business, Nicolosi Sr. worked closely with Dr. Chris Austin, a Texas quack, who was arrested for abusing his clients. Austin tried to “cure” LGBTQ people with ammonia capsules and rubber bands.
Every respected medical and mental health organization—such as the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association–rejects conversion practices as dangerous quackery that often harms clients.
With no actual science supporting conversion therapy, Nicolosi Sr. was forced to distort the studies of legitimate researchers. He was accused by real scientists of habitually twisting their work for political gain.
One reason no one takes conversion therapy seriously is because of its creepy and bizarre techniques. For example, Dr. Nicolosi Jr’s father once said that one way to prevent homosexuality was for dads to take nude showers with their sons. So, one can imagine how Dr. Nicolosi Jr., might have a few unresolved daddy issues.
It’s ironic that Nicolosi Jr. would slam LGBTQ organizations for not properly vetting spokespeople. His father worked with quack therapist Richard Cohen, a cult member best known for angrily beating an effigy of his mother with a tennis racket and cuddling with clients.
Nicolosi Sr. also embraced Christopher Doyle, a conversion therapist who once admitted. “I tried to have sex with the little girls that my mother watched in her daycare, and eventually, one of the girls told her parents what I was doing.”
Finally, in the category of lacking self-awareness. Sam Brinton isn’t the only one with a sordid luggage story. Dr. Nicolosi Sr. worked closely with gay-cure doctor George Rekers.
At least until Rekers was caught at Miami International airport vacationing with a sex worker, known as a “rent boy”. When the media asked Rekers about his peculiar situation, Rekers said that he only hired the hunky male escort because he had a bad back and needed someone to lift his luggage. This patently absurd response was mocked by late night comedians for weeks.
So, before Nicolosi Jr. piggybacks on Sam Brinton’s luggage scandal, he might want to consider dealing with his own family’s hefty baggage. The LGBTQ movement has one person who might not be telling the truth. Nicolosi Jr’s. entire so-called movement is built on a faulty foundation of deception and lies.