NARTH 2010: Schoenewolf returns

About this time four years ago, I was debating about whether to attend the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) conference. I was scheduled to talk about the Sexual Identity Therapy framework. However, I decided not to go (and Scientific Advisory Board member, David Blakeslee, resigned from NARTH) after a controversy broke out over an article on the NARTH website by Gerald Schoenewolf, titled Gay Rights and Political Correctness: A Brief History.  

In essence, Schoenewolf argued that civil rights movements simplified complex issues, one of which was slavery. He wrote:

With all due respect, there is another way, or other ways, to look at the race issue in America. It could be pointed out, for example, that Africa at the time of slavery was still primarily a jungle, as yet uncivilized or industrialized. Life there was savage, as savage as the jungle for most people, and that it was the Africans themselves who first enslaved their own people. They sold their own people to other countries, and those brought to Europe, South America, America, and other countries, were in many ways better off than they had been in Africa. But if one even begins to say these things one is quickly shouted down as though one were a complete madman.

Schoenewolf attributed the civil rights movement to Marxism and then made a leap to the modern feminist and gay civil rights movements. NARTH was pretty slow to react and then defensive when they did. Schoenewolf’s article was eventually removed, without a significant rationale or apology from NARTH. The LA Times and other outlets covered the events and fallout. 

This year, Gerald Schoenewolf returns to the NARTH schedule with a talk sure to delight the home crowd – The Suppression of Psychoanalysis in the Treatment of Homosexuality. This sounds like a lament that psychoanalysts  are now discouraged from considering homosexuality to be a treatable condition. Ironically, the first suppressor of psychoanalysis in the treatment of homosexuality was Freud. In 1935, Freud corresponded with the mother of a homosexual man who had written him looking for psychoanalytic help for her gay son. While he said a few things to hearten the Reparatives, he was not ebullient about the prospects for analysis (Click link for a scan of the letter).

Dear Mrs. X (April 9, 1935)

I gather from your letter that your son is a homosexual. I am most impressed by the fact that you do not mention this term yourself in your information about him. May I question you, why do you avoid it? Homosexuality is assuredly no advantage, but it is nothing to be ashamed of, no vice, no degradation, it cannot be classified as an illness; we consider it to be a variation of the sexual function produced by certain arrest of sexual development. Many highly respectable individuals of ancient and modern times have been homosexuals, several of the greatest among them (Plato, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, etc.). It is a great injustice to persecute homosexuality as a crime, and cruelty too. If you do not believe me, read the books of Havelock Ellis.

By asking me if I can help, you mean, I suppose, if I can abolish homosexuality and make normal heterosexuality take its place. The answer is, in a general way, we cannot promise to achieve it. In a certain number of cases we succeed in developing the blighted germs of heterosexual tendencies which are present in every homosexual, in the majority of cases it is no more possible. It is a question of the quality and the age of the individual. The result of the treatment cannot be predicted.

What analysis can do for your son runs in a different line. If he is unhappy, neurotic, torn by conflicts, inhibited in his social life, analysis may bring him harmony, peace of mind, full efficiency, whether he remains a homosexual or gets changed. If you make up your mind that he should have analysis with me (I don’t expect you will!!) he has to come over to Vienna. I have no intention of leaving here. However, don’t neglect to give me your answer.

Sincerely yours with kind wishes,

Freud

P.S. I did not find it difficult to read your handwriting. Hope you will not find my writing and my English a harder task.

Source:

Freud, Sigmund, “Letter to an American mother”, American Journal of Psychiatry, 107 (1951): p. 787.

Sounds like he was suppressing her expectations for psychoanalysis. While we might quarrel with points of Freud’s statements here, his words are not a ringing endorsement for the treatment of homosexuality in the manner proposed by reparative therapists.

  • David Blakeslee

    Rare…possible…no shame.

    These are words you will never hear at NARTH.

    Thanks Warren, for everything.

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    Interesting. It makes Freud seem far more human than commonly portrayed.

    Now I have to work on my own psyche, as I have an unreasoning antipathy to NARTH. I’m so prejudiced against them, based on their past misdeeds, that I found it difficult to even read through their program without trying to find fault.

  • coldweatherisfun

    Regarding Dr. Gerald Schoenwolf’s slavery comments-he didn’t say that slavery was good. What he said about slavery is that it was practiced by most societies @ that time incl. Africa. For a long time, slavery was Africans enslaving Africans, Whites enslaving Whites, & it was worldwide.

    OK, his comment that African slaves being kidnapped & being brought here as coming to a better life was out of line. In this nation, slavery was a status that you were born with which depended on whether a mom was free or a slave with few chances of achieving freedom, while in other nations slavery was the result of war & freedom could be won.

    Here’s something on slavery that Dr. Gerald Schoenwolf should have said. What he should’ve said or may have meant is that slaveowners must be judged by the standards of their time & not by our time. Yes, slavery was bad & it was finally abolished. Our Founding Father, President George Washington owned slaves & did he finally free them? Given the fact that slave owners did what during that time period was legal & acceptable, then shouldn’t they incl. President George Washington be judged by the standards of the 18th Century rather than by our time?

    This is asked because controversy arises over Columbus day. It’s my view that Christopher Columbus must be judged from the standpoint of the 15th Century & not by our times. It has been my observation that many people who critique Christopher Columbus often will say that the Aztec, Inca & Mayan human sacrifices must be judged by the standards of their time, while not giving the same benefit to Christopher Columbus who did much less. In Mexico, they have tourist attractions of the pyramids where the Aztec human sacrifices took place.

    The main point of this is that whether it’s slavery, Christopher Columbus, or the human sacrifice practices, shouldn’t people of history be judged by the standards of their time & not ours? Yes, what happened in the past is horrible, but that was in the past & let’s judge people of the past by the standards of then & not now.

  • Stephen

    This ‘you don’t have to be queer, all you have to do it pray enough and it’ll go away’ is one of the factors that devalues our lives and gives cover to bullies – among other things.

    You can’t pray yourself straight and you can’t talk yourself straight either. God knows thousands of men spent thousands and thousands and thousands of hours trying in the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and they’re still doing it today.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    The Freud/NARTH problem is that NARTH took Freud’s ideas about the “causes of homosexuality” and added a “therefore”. Homosexuality was caused by a distant father and smothering mother and therefore could be prevented or repaired or changed or something.

    I don’t think that Freud was correct. But I suspect that Freud probably also didn’t think that he knew the definitive truth about the things he was postulating. He was proposing ideas based on his observations, not looking for justification for his biases and presumptions.

  • Frank

    A colleague once said that his functional definition of a fundamentalist is anyone who hates statistics. The ex-gay therapy movement wouldn’t exist without antipathy toward a statistical view of science. After all, if “conversion” were consistently definable and “conversion rates” were statistically significant and practically significant in a reasonable period of time (years vs. decades), conversion therapy would be not only popular, but self-financing.

    However, conversion therapy meets none of these criteria. The most its ethical practitioners (there really is only one) can say of successes is that they “exist.”

    This makes the subject of conversion therapy not fringe science, but not science at all. It does not meet the criterion of falsfiability that every legitimate science meets. It does not offer a well-defined hypothesis that can be demonstrated true or false by data.

  • Maazi NCO

    With all due respect, there is another way, or other ways, to look at the race issue in America. It could be pointed out, for example, that Africa at the time of slavery was still primarily a jungle, as yet uncivilized or industrialized. Life there was savage, as savage as the jungle for most people….

    An interesting take on the internationally respected Civil Rights Movement in the USA by a stalwart of NARTH. This is why it is important for Ugandan evangelists to check the background of foreign peoples and organizations which they associate with directly or indirectly. I am confident that Ugandan evangelicals can work exclusively with their fellow compatriots to effectively combat western NGOs and their local puppet commentators who are hell-bent on promoting a debased, hedonistic, inhuman and extremely dangerous sexual lifestyle in our nation.

  • Maazi NCO

    You can’t pray yourself straight and you can’t talk yourself straight either. God knows thousands of men spent thousands and thousands and thousands of hours trying in the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and they’re still doing it today.

    Sounds like the kind of nonsensical propaganda one hears from the pro-gay puppet commentators in Kampala. Just out curiosity, I wonder whether Stephen is one of the Euro-American Gay Lobby Propagandists who coached the puppets on what to say on Ugandan electronic and print media? I wonder whether Stephen was the man who sold the brilliant strategy—-” we are born gay, give us our human rights !!”— to the puppet-commentators? If he is the one, may I suggest he goes back to the drawing board since Ugandans have refused to buy the cock ‘n’ bull story about human rights. He should hurry as time is of the essence—-it won’t be long before a nice new law is promulgated to beat gayism back with ruthless ferocity.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Oh noes!!

    All is lost!!

    The identity of the Euro-American Gay Lobby Propagandist who coached the puppets on what to say on Ugandan electronic and print media has been discovered!!

    Our plot to overthrow society, Africa, and all of humanity and to bring about the end of the world has all been undone!!

    (Or, alternately, Maazi is paranoid and delusional.)

  • Maazi NCO

    A colleague once said that his functional definition of a fundamentalist is anyone who hates statistics. The ex-gay therapy movement wouldn’t exist without antipathy toward a statistical view of science.

    Franck,

    While not holding brief for ex-gay movement —-which I barely know anything about—- I will say that most of the statistics produced by the pro-gay lobbies are highly suspect. No where is this more evident than in the fake statistics indicating that Uganda have 500, 000 gays, Nigeria have 5 million gays and Kenya have 3 million gays. Now how did the euro-american gay lobby get their figures in a continent where record-keeping is rudimentary or non-existent? How did they get the figures in a continent where gayism is invisible? The answer probably lies in guesstimates arrived at by mixing voodoo and science.

    Looking at the larger study of the misnomer called “sexual orientation”, it is no secret that scientists researching gayism are under pressure to work backwards from a predetermined answer (i.e. “gayism is okay”) to question (i.e. “Is gayism okay?”) and bend data along the way to fit the pro-gay theory. No mainstream scientist working from question to answer in The West will risk his/her academic tenure and research funding to publish any academic work which goes contrary to the received wisdom of the Euro-American Gay Lobby. And even if such an academic was that mad, the peer-review team will surely not accept their work even if it meets all criteria for publication. No mainstream academic in the West wants to be door-stepped by angry gay activists, the liberal wing of the US media or condemned by the gayism-obsessed politicians of the Democratic Party. No academic wants to commit professional suicide by confronting the euro-american gay juggernaut. In fact most honest scientists have restricted themselves to safe areas of research and are content to merely peer-review the pro-gay research works that comes out in the name of science and then blast them as “inconclusive” or “arrant nonsense”. A case in point being the research work that heralded the “discovery of the gay gene” by an individual who claimed to be a “scientist” and the controversial twin studies where accepted scientific methodology was thrown to the dogs in a desperate attempt to produce answers favourable to the euro-american gay lobby. Franck, in my humble opinion, you have no locus standi to condemn your ex-gay opponents on the other side of the ongoing US Cultural Civil War.

  • Maazi NCO

    Our plot to overthrow society, Africa, and all of humanity and to bring about the end of the world has all been undone!!(Or, alternately, Maazi is paranoid and delusional.)

    Timothy,

    Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha— That was very funny. But delusional and paranoid I am not. Do you think we don’t know that you chaps are currently coaching puppet commentator Miss Val Kalende in the United States? Well, we are waiting for her to return to Uganda to continue the gay missionary work which you guys in America has mapped for her. Before you start spreading false propaganda for which you people are renowned, let me say that this no threat as I do not believe in violence. But I am interested to see what new she has to say after her sojourn in America.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    I’ve just heard of the “Rolling Stone” tabloid that was disseminated in Uganda listing “100 pictures of Uganda’s top homos” and carrying the tag line “Hang them.”

    I’ve never heard of Miss Val Kalende. But considering Ugandan values, I wish her health, safety, and courage.

  • Stephen

    Hooray! Maazi’s back and upping the comedy ante. You know, he had me at first till I got what he was doing. My bet is that he’s a gay boy in DC. Total satire and very well done. Plus the fake tone of ‘outrage’ is perfectly judged. Are we sure he’s not from ChristianWire? I think he might be.

  • Maazi NCO

    I’ve never heard of Miss Val Kalende. But considering Ugandan values, I wish her health, safety, and courage.

    I find your denial hard to believe, especially when she is in USA courtesy of the Euro-American Gay Lobby. But we eagerly await her return to continue preaching the gay gospel that the Lobby has entrusted to her. She should of course read newspapers regularly to check if we have passed the new law that will render her ability to put what she has learnt from her American gay masters worthless in Uganda.

    I’ve just heard of the “Rolling Stone” tabloid that was disseminated in Uganda listing “100 pictures of Uganda’s top homos” and carrying the tag line “Hang them.”

    It is a tabloid. Tabloids the world over indulge in sensationalism. Red Pepper newspaper regularly uses similar sensationalist tone in their articles, yet no alleged gay sex practitioner has been arrested or hanged based on these stories. No need to overreact Mr. Timothy Kincaid. I think you chaps should be more worried about the spate of youth suicides in your country and the fact that Republicans are blocking sex deviants from serving openly in the US Armed Forces and the fact that 31 States in America ban “same-sex marriage”. You are not Ugandan or African, so do not worry about Rolling Stone or whatever new tabloid is writing sensational stuff to make money.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Stephen

    You may be right

  • Maazi NCO

    Hooray! Maazi’s back and upping the comedy ante. My bet is that he’s a gay boy in DC. Total satire and very well done. Plus the fake tone of ‘outrage’ is perfectly judged. Are we sure he’s not from ChristianWire? I think he might be.

    Now Timothy, the above tirade from your fellow gay propagandist is what you should rightly call delusional and schizophrenic.

  • Frank

    Maazi, I have a doctorate in Mathematics and I’ve a published articles in refereed journals in probability and statistics. I’ve served on the math faculty of Princeton and the faculty of the Courant Institute of Mathematical Science at New York University. I’d certainly qualify as an expert witness on the subject of statistics.

    You’re out of your depth, puny man.

  • Maazi NCO

    Maazi, I have a doctorate in Mathematics and I’ve a published articles in refereed journals in probability and statistics. I’ve served on the math faculty of Princeton and the faculty of the Courant Institute of Mathematical Science at New York University. I’d certainly qualify as an expert witness on the subject of statistics.

    You’re out of your depth, puny man.

    Frank,

    So what if you have doctorate in Mathematics?!! I have a Masters Degree by Research in Electrical Engineering from a well-known British University and I have presented research papers in several international conferences on electrical/electronics engineering. Anyone who knows about research knows how easily data can be bent to fit dubious theories that is why peer-review teams have been busy dismissing pro-gay nonsense presented all the time in the name of science (e.g “gay gene” research).

    BTW, I worked and lived in the United States and understand how you homosexual lobbyists bully people who disagree with your abhorrent and highly dangerous sexual behaviour which breeds HIV/AIDS—a factor your politically correct government is forced to take into account when banning sex deviants from blood donation.

  • Frank

    Maazi, conference publications aren’t peer-reviewed at all.

    As for the genetics and sexual orientation research, the results indicate that sexual orientation is likely a combination of environment and genetics. The best respected researcher who made this point recently was Dr. Francis Collins. His findings were distorted by fundamentalist bigots like yourself, and he bitch slapped them for it:

    http://www.nih.gov/about/director/04152010_statement_ACP.htm

    BTW, if publication of sexual orientation results contrary to gay orthodoxy are supposed to ruin an academic careers, why is the leading academic in medical research not out of a job?

    You’re a fool and a failure, Maazi, and your publications are in un-refereed journals.

  • ken

    Frank,

    2 things. 1, many conference publications are peer-reviewed, and like journals, the quality of that review depends on the quality of the conference.

    However, more importantly, there is a quote (don’t remember where I stole it from) I think you should read:

    “If you wade into the middle of a pig-sty to argue with a pig, even if you win the argument you will still end up looking like a fool.”

  • Maazi NCO

    Warren,

    Since you did not block the personal abuse heaped on me by Frank, I will return the favour to him with stronger vehemence. Please bear with me. Thanks

  • Maazi NCO

    Frank,

    Maazi, conference publications aren’t peer-reviewed at all.

    And you claim to be doctorate degree holder? Many conference publications—-like journal research papers—- do undergo peer-review.

    You’re a fool and a failure, Maazi, and your publications are in un-refereed journals.

    You are even a bigger fool for not being intelligent enough to know that many international conference publications undergo peer-review. I am sure that you got your fake doctorate degree from one of those dubious private universities mushrooming all over the United States.

    As for the genetics and sexual orientation research, the results indicate that sexual orientation is likely a combination of environment and genetics. The best respected researcher who made this point recently was Dr. Francis Collins.

    I am sure you love Dr Collins because he has produced nonsense that validates your depraved sexual lifestyle. Unfortunately, he hasn’t produced research that will stop you people from being the highest vectors of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS in the world. Why not ask Dr. Collins to do something about the fact that you people are shooting up the AIDS infection rates in the West at a time when Africa (specifically Southern Africa) is experiencing a decline in HIV/AIDS rates? Why not get him to bamboozle the FDA with nonsensical statistics in order to have the ban on sodomites donating their diseased blood lifted?

  • Frank

    Maazi, your presumption amuses me. In 1984 when the cause of AIDS became public knowledge,I took an oath that I would not have sex to avoid getting or transmitting the virus. I’ve kept that oath ever since. You’d have a tough time convicting me of being gay by your definition, just as no court in the world would convict you of being a Christian.

    Just

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Unfortunately, he hasn’t produced research that will stop you people from being the highest vectors of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS in the world.

    No. You are mistaken. In Africa the vast majority of HIV/AIDS is heterosexual.

    Further, HIV/AIDS rates among some African heterosexuals vastly outnumber that of gays in the West.

    In Somalia and Senegal the HIV prevalence is under 1% of the adult population, whereas in Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe around 15-20% of adults are infected with HIV. In three southern African countries, the national adult HIV prevalence rate now exceeds 20%. These countries are Botswana (23.9%), Lesotho (23.2%) and Swaziland (26.1%).2

    West Africa has been less affected by HIV and AIDS, but some countries are experiencing rising HIV prevalence rates. In Cameroon HIV prevalence is now estimated at 5.1% and in Gabon it stands at 5.9%. In Nigeria, HIV prevalence is low (3.1%) compared to the rest of Africa. However, because of its large population (it is the most populous country in sub-Saharan Africa), this equates to around 2.6 million people living with HIV.

    Adult HIV prevalence in East Africa exceeds 5% in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.

    In the United States, about 6% of gay adults are infected with HIV. There are far fewer actual AIDS cases.

  • Maazi NCO

    In Africa the vast majority of HIV/AIDS is heterosexual.

    I never disputed that reality, but we now know that male bisexuality is an important contributor to HIV/AIDS pandemic, hence new attempts by euro-american gay propagandists and allied NGOs to cajole African governments into decriminalizing gayism in the name of fighting AIDS. The lobbyists hope that their new strategy will work better than the failed strategy of falsely linking decriminalization of gayism with “human rights”.

    West Africa has been less affected by HIV and AIDS, but some countries are experiencing rising HIV prevalence rates.

    West African countries have stringent laws, which are applied effectively to beat gayism into stupor. In Northern Nigeria, gayism is an offence punishable by the death penalty. Senegal and Gambia which have extremely low HIV/AIDS rates also have very harsh punishments for gay sex practitioners. Meanwhile, gay-friendly South Africa is drowning in what is actually a HIV/AIDS epidemic with over 20% HIV/AIDS infection rates.

    Cameroon HIV prevalence is now estimated at 5.1% and in Gabon it stands at 5.9%.

    Cameroun and Gabon are not in West Africa. They are Central African States.

  • Maazi NCO

    Maazi, your presumption amuses me. In 1984 when the cause of AIDS became public knowledge,I took an oath that I would not have sex to avoid getting or transmitting the virus. I’ve kept that oath ever since

    You are cordially invited to Uganda to coach local sodomites on how to stop engaging in abhorrent sexual activity which is a sex crime with maximum penalty of life imprisonment. I am sure your coaching skills will be much appreciated by the sex deviant in-charge of GayUganda, SMUG and other advocates of sex crimes. Make sure you administer the oath of celibacy on them at the end of your coaching sessions.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Maazi,

    Nearly every sentence you wrote was factually incorrect. I doubt much that you care.


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