Tuesday, November 27, 2012

New Jersey “ex-gay” group sued for fraud

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Switch: “GAY | NOT GAY”

In an interesting and perhaps slightly promising first, a group of gay men in New Jersey are suing a “gay deconversion” organization for allegedly luring them in with promises of a “scientifically proven” method to eliminate homosexual leanings and instead presenting nothing but quack-tastic garbage:

Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH), a Jersey City-based non-profit organization, falsely claimed to be able to eliminate the four men's homosexual desires through a scientifically proven process, according to a complaint filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey.

JONAH clients would pay a minimum of $100 for weekly individual counseling sessions and another $60 for group therapy sessions.

The plaintiffs charge that during therapy sessions they were sometimes ordered to remove all of their clothing; in other sessions they were told to beat effigies of their mothers with tennis rackets or were subjected to homosexual slurs, according to the complaint.

Another JONAH client was instructed to break through a human barricade to retrieve a pair of oranges, drink the juice from them and place them down his pants to symbolize the recovery of his testicles and, by extension, his heterosexuality, according to Michael Ferguson, one of the plaintiffs.

That “ex-gay therapy” offers nothing but pseudoscientific nonsense is expected, with every reputable medical group under the sun from the American Psychiatric Association to the World Health Organization labeling it a discredited and harmful sham perpetrated by (usually religious) homophobic cranks … but I have to admit that sucked-dry-orange-testicles gimmick is a new one.

There’s no word on what legal merit the court may find in the case, but with a little luck, this might just get somewhere on the path to further relegating such repressive quackery to the shitcan of history.

(via @BuzzFeedAndrew)