Reports: Bachmann & Associates provides change therapy

So says The Nation and Truth Wins Out.

The Nation found a former patient and TWO sent a person in undercover to look for evidence of change therapy. The material seems pretty tame – the therapist involved indicated that change might not happen — but there is evidence here that Marcus Bachmann was either unaware that his therapists did not seek orientation changes or candid when he said his clinic did not provide the therapy. 

No comment from Michele Bachmann’s campaign as yet.

There are many issues raised by these reports; let’s make this an open forum about the statements of the Bachmanns, about the undercover nature of the revelations, or anything else on the current report. I don’t want to rehash whether change is possible; we have been over and over that here. Please stick to this report and possible political implications.

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  • stephen

    This outfit gets state funding so, yes, it’s an issue, though I would think the bigger issue is Marcus Bachmann’s lamentable lack of real education or training. I should think this will endear his wife, who is on record as having said that she defers to him, further to Iowan teabaggers but will no doubt further scare the rest of us. My husband and I are seriously looking into moving back to the UK should any of these loonies grab real power.

    What I most wonder is if Bachmann tried this nonsense on himself. He’s like a parody of an ‘ex-gay’: a big old queen praying away the gay. How long before the rent boy surfaces? They both have junk degrees from junk ‘institutes of higher learning’. Her law degree only makes sense when one remembers she attended Oral Roberts U. Since it wouldn’t have got her foot in the door with any reputable law firm she used it to get herself hired by the government.

  • Ann

    I do not know too much, if anything about the Bachmann’s, however, knowing Wayne Besen was involved immediately compromomises the integrity of how it, and anything else he does of this nature, is uncovered.

    I think there is a very big difference between a sincere individual talking with a therapist and a fraudulent individual with deceptive motives.

    NO therapist, Christian or otherwise, should tell an individual, sincere or fraudulent, how to think or be or live regarding this matter – it is up to the individual and, hopefully, that individual will be sincere and not a fraud.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Ann – The Nation article also included another person who went to the clinic. Also, the issue at this point now is less what they do, and more that they said they didn’t do it and apparently do.

  • stephen

    I think the undercover thing is perfectly legitimate. If they won’t tell the truth then let’s find out some other way. It’s called investigative journalism.

  • Ann

    Dr. Throckmorton,

    Yes, I agree. Perhaps someone with sincere intentions and a credible reputation within the psychological community should ask to talk with them regarding this matter. Ask questions rather than making assumptions on personal biases. It could be discerned how they approach this issue when clients bring it up and their general attitudes or biases about it that would interfere with their client’s well being. Any discrepancies as to what they said and actually do could be addressed and reasoned out. Perhaps it could also be a very good opportunity to educate them as well, initially and on an ongoing basis. I think this is such a divisive issue, even within the psychological arena that it can and does affect clients in very adverse ways. Targeting and exposing a clinic because it has political or religious affiliations and biases might be ok for some, however, I do not see the value in setting them up under the cover of a fraud. It just seems like two wrongs do not make a right. Someone who is sincerely interested in resolving an issue does not make a bigger issue out of it that brings more harm. Just sayin’.

    Does the APA or other similar organizations monitor or have ongoing communications with their members to assure the quality of the care they give their clients. Is updated and ongoing education required to keep in good standing?

  • Ann

    Also, the issue at this point now is less what they do, and more that they said they didn’t do it and apparently do.

    And if it is one therapist, two, or all of them, including the Bachmann’s. Facts are very important in discerning the truth and then deciding how to approach and/or respond.

  • carole

    “I should think this will endear his wife, who is on record as having said that she defers to him, further to Iowan teabaggers but will no doubt further scare the rest of us.”

    Just checking in.

    Stephen, I don’t know where you live, but I live in CA, and I’d like to make a series of points, loosely organized since I’m on the run:

    1.) The tea party movement is that which espouses the values of smaller government, particularly at the far-away-from-the-place-we-all-live-level and the value of fiscal restraint.

    2.) Millions of people who believe in these principles belong to no organized party espousing these principles, and they are understandably confused when pundits and criticizers of those principles in #1 speak of THE TEA PARTY and TEA PARTIERS. That there are a few large organizations that proudly claim themselves to be a TEA PARTY is perhaps unfortunate if it causes others to fail to see or fail to understand that there exist millions who believe in small government and fiscal restraint and who are sympathetic to the original “tea party” usage and the priniciples it supports (see number 1) yet belong to no such thing as a TEA PARTY. It’s far more likely they belong to no group at all or if they do, it’s a group of 3-5 friends who got in a car and traveled to a rally that they hoped would get some attention in the press.

    People who did that hoped that the press would understand that there are still logical, thinking human beings in this country who believe in not spending more than you have, who believe that the federal government ( and yes, other government entities as well), is filled with politicians who curry favor with special interest groups at the expense of everyone else, who think politicians need to be put on notice that they are being watched, who aren’t happy that the foxes are in charge of the hen house, and who want some sanity restored to government and its relationship to citizens. They hoped that the press would understand that a parents first responsibility is to one’s children and that we are aware that government spending has seen to it that our kids are being saddled with a debt that will leave them a country that eats up most of their as yet-unearned paycheck, leaving them a country that will never be able to provide them with the standard of living even their grandparents enjoyed.

    I have never attended a tea party rally, but I consider myself a tea partier as long as those describing such people recognize that it is a term that refers to the principles referred to in #1. My nephew, an irrigation ditch tender for 20 years, then a deputy sheriff for a crime-ridden town, Stockton, CA, attended a tea party rally in Sacramento when the first rallies about overspending were held a couple of years ago. Teachers with whom I am friends–very liberal teachers, yes–attended the very same rally. The guy who owns two small dry cleaners in my town, a man with whom I have done business for decades, attended that very same rally. My friend who owns a small burger place with 6 employees attended the rally. The husband and wife down the street from me who own a small Chinese restaurant in town attended the rally. Other than my teacher friends, neither my nephew nor the small business owners I mentioned had ever, ever done anything “political” other than vote.

    The thing is, we all know that many people who are opponents of small government and fiscal restraint have worked hard to make the words “tea party” and “tea partiers” synonymous with “crazies,” “bigots” etc. At first, it was simply a political tactic used by people on the Left. Then, it seems people like you jumped in.

    Perhaps because people like Michelle Bachmann have proclaimed themselves “tea partiers,” you, and others like you, have either mistakenly or purposefully conflated her fiscal views with her other views. That’s a mistake on your part, whether you are simply doing it because you don’t understand people who are tea partiers or because you wish to put all of us who believe in smaller government in a bad light. I hope you reconsider who tea partiers are and are not.

    2.) I have mixed feelings about M. Bachmann. I like her fiscal views, don’t like how she has arrived at at least some of her social views. Anyone who thinks people choose homosexuality or heterosexuality hasn’t done much thinking about the subject. If one has not done much thinking about a subject, she should stay mute on a subject, then do research.

    I was not happy that she chose to run. I hope she loses. I hope she doesn’t get named the VP choice by whoever wins the GOP nomination although I realize that could happen. That being said, we’ve had a lot of losers as VPs and some who have surprised us with skills we didn’t think they had. We’ve also elected Presidents we thought had skills and had few worthwhile skills and no sense.

    In my view, we’ve had two bad Presidents in a row. I want a new one. The VP we have now is an idiot and a compulsive liar. (I have followed Joe Biden for years). If Bachmann gets a VP nod, I will suck it up and vote for whoever runs against this President.

    3. Why the use of “teabagger,” Stephen? What do you hope to accomplish by that? Why do you insist on tagging her and others with that term when it works against you?

    Do you understand that many who might vote for Bachmann in Iowa and elsewhere will do so because of their belief in the principles I listed in #1? Your name calling makes them think you childish. Yeah, at first some were offended by it, but the rest just think you remind them of kid on the playground who has learned a new, “naughty” term and gets a kick out of saying it over and over again for attention, long after the humor of it has worn off.

    Do you think your use of an immature term like that wins you or anyone with your political beliefs any points? Do you think it persuasive? Your use of the term is supposed to be an inside joke, but are you or Anderson Cooper or Keith Olberman or Rachel Maddow or the others who use it delightfully and derisively suggesting that only little old ladies (whom, evidently, you believe would never actually engage in showing affection/fondness for their husbands’ genitals) find your humor to be akin to that of a twelve year old boy? Don’t you understand others just think you sound dumb at this point? Do you think we Baby Boomers, those who gave rise to the sexual revolution, think it’s witty? Try again. You can’t shock Boomers, man. We did the shocking. We invented it. It’s not like we had never heard the term.

    4. It’s no skin off my back if you move back to the UK. As we say here, “Go for it.”

  • http://www.exgaywatch.com Emily K

    Do you think we Baby Boomers, those who gave rise to the sexual revolution, think it’s witty? Try again. You can’t shock Boomers, man. We did the shocking. We invented it. It’s not like we had never heard the term.

    LOL. you should visit the “offensive” page of http://www.encyclopediadramatica.ch. You’ll think it’s hilarious.

    (FYI it was put together by Millennials. like me.)

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

    The Tea Party Movement was originally one of inchoate protest against “business as usual” by both sides.

    The Left did a good propaganda job of smearing it as a home for Dominionists and Racists. This caused some to leave it – but more actual Dominionists and Racists to join, and with the verve of the Fanatic, take over the leadership.

    The majority are still sane, and espouse principles I believe in. But the public face is ugly, and getting uglier. The Leftist Lie has become the truth.

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

    Back on track…..

    The “Shock Horror” revelations by TWO seemed pretty small beer to me. The problem was more on emphasis and practice, not one of principle. Had they also offered the alternative of accepting existing sexuality, I’d have no objections.

    There are some real problems though, ones TWO haven’t emphasised enough.

    1. Consent forms. Not to have them breaches the guidelines for “Christian” therapists. This is not a minor technical breach, it taints the whole process, and means we should not give them the “benefit of the doubt”.

    2. Unqualified practitioners. There’s no accountability, no review, no professional accreditation, none of the usual safeguards against the worst excesses of Quacks and Cultists.

    3. They’re receiving public funding.

    4. They’ve lied about what they do.

    In view of these facts, the conclusion that public funds are being used to promote fringe religious belief rather than provide therapeutic help is inescapable.

  • Lynn David

    I guess they didn’t hand out material on your Sexual Identity Therapy protocols.

  • F Young

    To my mind, Truth Wins Out’s John Becker was selfless and brave, even heroic, in his mission to expose the true practices of the Bachmann clinic. We need more people like him.

    The escort who goes by the name Lucien who exposed George “lift my luggage” Rekers did a tremendous service to our community. Yes, Rekers was hurt in the process, and this is regrettable, but he was hurt only because of his own dishonesty. We will never know how many lives Lucien saved.

  • ken

    Zoe Brain# ~ Jul 9, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    “2. Unqualified practitioners. There’s no accountability, no review, no professional accreditation, none of the usual safeguards against the worst excesses of Quacks and Cultists. ”

    How have you determined there is no accreditation or other form of review? It seems if the clinic were receiving medicaid funds, then lack of review would be the fault of the MN state government.

    Additionally, I haven’t seen anything that indicated the clinic was receiving government funding for any conversion therapy.

    As to whether Marcus Bachmann lied, that would require knowing the specific questions/responses. Certainly, his clinic practices some form of conversion therapy and it is doubtful he doesn’t know that. However, his statements about it may be more about the vague, non- commtttal “change” definitions often used by such organizations rather than a lie about not trying to convert gays to straight.

    As for the political ramifications, that depends on how it plays out. I don’t think that fact that her husband was receiving medicaid will necessarily hurt her. She will probably go with “Yes, I still think they should be reduced/eliminated, even though it may effect me financially.”

    However, I think if Marcus’ clinics are caught fudging the reporting on conversion therapy, ex. reporting conversion therapy as “depression/anxiety treatment” (a la Pilkington) in order to get medicaid funding, that could hurt Bachmann.

    Finally, regarding Becker’s undercover sting, the Nation article shows that Becker deliberately tried to entrap the therapist. This shows a serious bias on Becker’s (and TWO) part. It shows that Becker wasn’t trying to simply report on what they do, but that he was hurt them by inciting them to say things they may not normally have said and hurt’s TWO’s credibility.

  • Ann

    A friend of mine, who lives out of the country (USA), sent this to me yesterday. I took the short test yesterday and the score indicated I am a Libertarian = 0

    http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz

  • carole

    “But the public face is ugly, and getting uglier.”

    Zoe, the “public” face depends largely on the face chosen by the media to “represent” the term. To you , who represents that face that you would conclude the “public face is ugly, and getting uglier”?

  • Ann

    Regarding these counseling clinics and any other medical/psychological organization – what should the response be to an individual who, of their own volition, is inquiring about the possibility of therapy and if it could help them with the dissonance they are experiencing with their homosexual orientation/same sex desires?

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

    carole – who represents the Tea Party? Nascent Presidential Candidate and founder of the Congressional Tea Party Caucus Michelle Bachmann. Unless you know of any other Tea Party Presidential Candidates.

    See http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0810/40528.html

  • Ann

    Zoe,

    It is my understanding that Rick Santelli of CNBC coined this term in response to TARP. It grew legs from there regarding politics.

  • Mary

    I guess, we will now have to prove we are serious when we go for counseling. Everyone is now suspect.

  • ken

    Mary# ~ Jul 10, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    “I guess, we will now have to prove we are serious when we go for counseling. Everyone is now suspect.”

    If the therapist is following proper therapeutic guidelines, why should he or she care if the patient is actually an undercover reporter or someone who actually needs therapy?

  • Teresa

    As a woman with same sex attractions, I find the behavior in the last year by TWO in the current Bachmann brouhaha, the British therapist controversy, the outing of the Lutheran Pastor at a Minnesota Courage Group, odious and deplorable. It smacks of entrapment at every turn. It’s becoming the behavior of a totalitarian society.

    Some of us homosexuals are happy to go to therapists who tell us frankly that some of their clientele has changed in the following ways: a few have been able to marry and are not bothered any longer with same sex attractions and truly have opposite gender attractions, now. Many others have accepted their homosexuality, and their behavior is congruent with their faith beliefs: they are living chaste lives. Some others have opted to live in same sex monogamous relationships.

    By terrorizing therapists, and this is what I perceive this to be, you’re now by default terrorizing those of us who want the freedom to choose what, where, when and what kind of therapy we want. Doggone it, who gave anyone the right to pretend to be something they’re not, and try to root out that niggly little word ‘change’ from the mouths of some therapists … all under the guise of “investigative journalism”. If one therapist is under attack, all therapists at some point come under the same attack.

    In point of fact, homosexuals are not some monolithic group, with all the same goals, beliefs, ideas, or political goals. If I or some other gay wants to go to a NARTH therapist or someone similar, good for us, and by default good for you. If anyone who supports these Soviet-style or Gestapo-style tactics thinks they’re doing anyone any good, I think they better take a second look.

    Freedom of choice is still paramount in many instances. Because we were at one time, as gays, denied many freedoms in the past is absolutely no excuse to play the victim ad nauseum ’til the end of time on this. Just when is enough, enough? Will it be enough when every last therapist is dead, when every last heterosexual is dead … ?

  • Ann

    Teresa,

    Thank you for the above comment.

  • Teresa

    Thanks Ann.

    I would like to further clarify my previous Comment in this thread. My own personal choice in therapy would be with SIT. The therapy that Warren began and practices. For me, my faith is more important than my sexuality, and I desire congruence and harmony of my faith and sexuality. SIT seems to allow me freedom to achieve that without the overhead of seeing homosexuality as an illness. I, also, very, very much appreciate honesty about outcomes. It’s an important factor in my choice of therapy.

    However, the freedom I desire for myself, I want others to have. If other homosexuals want ‘change’ (from gay to str8), they should have every opportunity to pursue that, no matter what others think. They should be able to pursue their choice in peace without badgering from others on any number of reasons why their choice is without merit.

    Therapists, also, in my opinion should have the freedom that follows APA guidelines; but, also, includes a certain freedom to state … yes, there have been persons that have changed from gay to str8. The numbers have been few, but they are there. Trying to find fault with therapists who are suspect because they happen to fall into the ‘wrong camp’ is dangerous business, in my opinion. If we’re on a witch hunt, there’ll be no lack of witches to be had because we’ll make ‘em up if we have to.

    We can disagree on issues pertaining to reality in outcomes … truth in advertising, so-to-speak. We can disagree about issues that some therapists publicly espouse. They then are open to critique in the public forum. But disagreeing is far removed from hunting someone down with the deliberate intention of destroying one’s reputation. No one is safe in such an environment.

    What if we sent someone undercover to do some ‘investigative journalism’ on gay affirming therapists? Could we find some that encouraged sexual activity for a client that wanted to be chaste? No one is safe in such an environment.

    First they came for the Communists,

    and I didn’t speak up,

    because I wasn’t a Communist.

    Then they came for the Jews,

    and I didn’t speak up,

    because I wasn’t a Jew.

    Then they came for the Catholics,

    and I didn’t speak up,

    because I was a Protestant.

    Then they came for me,

    and by that time there was no one

    left to speak up for me.

    by Rev. Martin Niemoller, 1945

  • carole

    Zoe,

    Got it. Thought you might be speaking about others and wanted to know who.

    The Tea Party Movement was originally one of inchoate protest against “business as usual” by both sides

    Still is, I believe.

    That one person holding views in concert with the original tea party ideals has become a candidate for higher office and that she holds other views that many find, at best flawed, at worse, reprehensible, is common, unfortunately.

    I can detest Andy Stern, former head of the SEUI, as the corrupt, slimy punk he is, and Rich Trumpka, head of the AFL-CIO, as the thug he is w/out confusing them with the rank and file membership of those unions, even though the thugs share the goals of many or most of the membership.

    I think most people can too.

  • Ken

    Teresa# ~ Jul 10, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    “As a woman with same sex attractions, I find the behavior in the last year by TWO in the current Bachmann brouhaha, the British therapist controversy, the outing of the Lutheran Pastor at a Minnesota Courage Group, odious and deplorable. It smacks of entrapment at every turn. ”

    While I would agree what Becker did could be construed as entrapment, that is not what Strudwick did in the Pilkington case. However, Becker did corroborate Ramirez’s claims. The Brock case wasn’t entrapment either, although, it did raise other ethical issues.

    “By terrorizing therapists, and this is what I perceive this to be, you’re now by default terrorizing those of us who want the freedom to choose what, where, when and what kind of therapy we want. Doggone it, who gave anyone the right to pretend to be something they’re not, and try to root out that niggly little word ‘change’ from the mouths of some therapists ”

    Undercover reporting isn’t “terrorism”, and such histrionics don’t help your argument. Further, such reporting does more than try to extract the word “change” from a therapist. It can (and has) exposed unethical and potentially harmful behavior. Do you believe therapists should be allowed to try unproven treatment on patients? To mislead patients about the outcomes of those treatments? To treat children, who are there involuntarily, with such treatments?

    “If I or some other gay wants to go to a NARTH therapist or someone similar, good for us, and by default good for you.”

    And what if people want to go to a dr who promises to cure their cancer with unproven, unethical treatments, and perhaps who lies about those results? Are you okay with that too? There are many charlatans and quacks out willing to take advantage of desperate people, and I think undercover reporting is a good way to expose them.

  • Mary

    Undercover reporting isn’t “terrorism”, and such histrionics don’t help your argument.

    I would not call Teresa’s comments such. I am concerned about the entrapment issues and the freedom issues for people such as myself who want a safe place to disucss sexual issues with another person trained in counseling.

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    With regards to therapy it seems to be that a bit of honesty and integrity is needed… re: That this is a complex issue … that there is no guaranteee of a person’s attractions/ feelings changing .. that change means different things to different people … and that coming to peace with one’s self and congruence with one’s faith (whether feelings change or not) is a more reliable goal.

    Correct me if I am wrong but I believe that SITF allows for various personal theories of why same sex attraction is occuring and allows a person to explore that route if they so desire. There is just no guarantee of a feelings change. So again .. there is not so much an aversion to someone exploring different avenues .. even their bisexual potential (to coin a phrase used by Wendy Gritter). as there is a blatant honesty that different folks will end up in different places on this and that one solution or philosophy does not fit all people.. This .. to me … is what is lacking in much of these “agenda” therapies.

    In terms of going “undercover” to determine what a counselor might do .. I confess that I am not totally at ease with such a method. I also must wonder at times if the “undercover” person is giving the full context of what happened in counseling.

    Dave

  • Maddeson

    Ken, kudos on your first post noting that few or none of Zoe’s assertions could be defended.

    However:

    “Do you believe therapists should be allowed to try unproven treatment on patients?”

    Absolutely. That is how progress is made.

    “To mislead patients about the outcomes of those treatments?

    False innuendo.

    “To treat children, who are there involuntarily, with such treatments?”

    Let me get this straight: parents can only do with their children what the volunteer for? Wow, how silly.

    Finally, Warren suggests that Bachmann denies that his clinic helps patients with unwanted SSA but I don’t think there’s much evidence for that. If someone asked him a non-gotcha question about what his counselors would do with a patient with unwanted SSA I am sure he would answer that they would respond to the patient’s wishes.

  • Mary

    I also must wonder at times if the “undercover” person is giving the full context of what happened in counseling

    So do I. I want to see a full recording of what went on during those 5 sessions. Full.

  • stephen

    Carole, I use the term teabagger because teabaggers first called themselves that and it perfectly captures the ersatz, pre-fab nature of a ‘movement’ designed by Dick Armey and the Club for growth, and funded by Koch industries.

    “Government out of our Medicare” indeed.

  • ken

    Maddeson# ~ Jul 11, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    ““Do you believe therapists should be allowed to try unproven treatment on patients?”

    Absolutely. That is how progress is made.”

    I didn’t say “experimental” I said unproven. There is a huge difference.

    ” “To treat children, who are there involuntarily, with such treatments?”

    Let me get this straight: parents can only do with their children what the volunteer for? Wow, how silly.”

    You have taken this out of context. Are you saying you think parents should be allowed to force their children into unethical, UNPROVEN therapies, with potentially extremely dangerous effects?

  • StraightGrandmother

    I think it is disingenuous for Dr. Bachman to claim that his clinics have never provided counseling for patients who were seeking therapy for their sexual orientation. As the Truth Wins Out article shows via a photograph they are selling ex-gay books and there is a sign right above the books where Dr. Bachman recommends the book. Here from TWO-

    “For sale inside the clinic was Minnesota “ex-gay” minister Janet Boynes’ book Called Out. It was accompanied by a typewritten note featuring Mr. Bachmann’s endorsement: “Janet is a friend. I recommend this book as she speaks to the heart of the matter and gives practical insights of truth to set people free. – Marcus Bachmann, PhD.”

    It is totally legit to go undercover, why not? They are out on the campaign trail him & her their social stands are a huge part of her candidacy. She has said God talks directly to her and sends her visions, she says the man is the head of the family and she uses her religious beliefs to deny Civil Rights to GLBT citizens. If his clinic has a practice of SOCE I want to know about it.

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

    Ken wrote:

    How have you determined there is no accreditation or other form of review? It seems if the clinic were receiving medicaid funds, then lack of review would be the fault of the MN state government.

    I agree, that it’s scandalous that under MN law, anyone at all can claim to be a “clinical therapist”, and someone with a degree in Arts and Sciences from a dis-acredited diploma mill can claim to be a “Doctor”.

    The Minnesota Revised Statutes states that state licensing is required for psychologists, marriage and family therapists, and professional counselors.

    HOWEVER… not for “clinical therapists” – a made-up term not in common use.

    As for the Institution itself :

    The Union Institute’s Ph.D. program came under scrutiny by the Ohio Board of Regents in the late 1990s, early 2000s which culminated in its 2002 Reauthorization Report. The report was critical of the Union Institute’s Ph.D. program, noting in particular that ” … expectations for student scholarship at the doctoral level were not as rigorous as is common for doctoral work … ” (OBR 2002 Reauthorization Report, page 13) As a result, The Union was put on probation, the Union Graduate School was dissolved and the Ph.D. program was restructured.

    The course was a correspondence course, with no residential requirement.

    Dr Bachmann is not a registered psychologist in MN, and could not become one, as neither his degree nor the Institution that granted it is recognised by the APA.

    In his bio, “Dr” Bachmann lists a Masters from Regent University, and a PhD in “clinical psychology” from the Union Graduate School – which never offered such a degree, only one in Arts and Sciences. Later its successors offered one on “Interdisciplinary Studies”.

    The Minnesota Board of Psychology and the Board of Marriage and Family Therapy confirmed to POLITICO that Bachmann is not licensed with them. And a search of the Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy license database returns no result.

    Trisha Stark, of the Minnesota Psychological Association, said that the title “clinical therapist” is not widely used in professional circles and that Bachmann is able to operate his clinic because of state rules regarding mental health practice.

    “Minnesota is one of the only states in which you can practice mental health without a license,” Stark said.

  • ken

    Zoe Brain# ~ Jul 11, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    “Ken wrote:

    How have you determined there is no accreditation or other form of review? It seems if the clinic were receiving medicaid funds, then lack of review would be the fault of the MN state government.

    I agree, that it’s scandalous that under MN law, anyone at all can claim to be a “clinical therapist”, and someone with a degree in Arts and Sciences from a dis-acredited diploma mill can claim to be a “Doctor”. ”

    However, I suspect that in order to receive medicaid funding the clinic would have to have licensed counselors on staff, even if Bachmann isn’t one. so again, do you have any specific evidence that Bachmann’s clinic have no accreditation or other form of review or are you just assuming it because such clinics are possible in MN?

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

    Google Scholar fails to find a single paper he’s published. The only mention of him is his review of the book “Avoiding the Greener Grass Syndrome” where he’s described as “Clinical Family and Marriage Therapist” and President of “Bachmann and Associates Christian Counselling”.

    As a test, Google Scholar locates only “Using a Meta-GA for parametric optimization of simple GAs in the computational chemistry domain” for me, though I’ve had others, so this isn’t definitive. But then, I haven’t submitted my thesis yet.

    I waded through PubMed – nothing there, either. Nothing from anyone from “Union Graduate School”, though there were plenty in Google Scholar on various subjects.

    His education from Union College (located in Cincinnati, Ohio—a school he never physically attended) was on-line, and at the time he received his PhD (it is in interdisciplinary studies, and not in psychology as he states) was unaccredited (the doctorate in psychology was denounced by the US Department of Education in 2004 as being false, a condemnation that the school’s administrators passed on to their “graduates”—which Bachmann elected to ignore). He is not registered with any of the three boards that certify mental health practitioners and professions in the state. The Minnesota Board of Psychology and the Board of Marriage and Family Therapy confirmed to POLITICO that Bachmann is not licensed with them. And a search of the Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy license database returns no result.

  • Maddeson

    you think parents should be allowed to force their children into unethical, UNPROVEN therapies, with potentially extremely dangerous effects?

    That’s not even close to how I would describe it but, yes, I think parents should be able to bring a child to a therapist for unwanted or undesirable behavior or psychological activity. That you think it is unethical is purely opinion. Many OK things are unproven. “potentially extremely dangerous” is simply hysterical. It would be more correct to say “potential side effects similar to any other similar type therapy (but, in bad faith, I choose to make it sound more extreme for effect)”.

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

    See http://lloydletta.blogspot.com/2007/08/bachmann-and-associates-claim.html from 2007.

    I’ll need to go through the Wayback machine, as it seems there’s been a concerted effort to erase history here.

    Furthermore, http://www.bachmanncounseling.com/meet-our-counselors/ is offline, so we can’t check who’s credentialed and to what extent.

    The situation in 2009 was this:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20090205151929/http://bachmanncounseling.com/counselors.html

    With about 1/3 of the counselors being licensed.

    I think I’ll stop there, I may be Aspergic and so liable to obsessively follow trails beyond all reason, but even I have limits. And other priorities. Feel free to research the issue yourself – I’ve given you enough clues.

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    Well after doing a more careful read of the alleged quotes from the counseling sessions I must admit that the counseling .. (at least from what we have been told) seems to have a moral imperative that I do not believe scripture supports.

    As for the political effect on her campaign .. Hate to tell you .. but other than people like us .. I doubt that most will care much that her husband has a counseling service that gets healthcare dollars from medicare (and allegedly practices reparative therapy). Thats pretty standard practice (receiving money from medicare) in the healthcare industry unless I am missing something here. And while Zoe Brain has raised some questions about his credentials … the credentials seem to be good enough for them to function as a provider of medical services in the state they are in. I just don’t see this as a deal breaker in the public’s eye.

    Dave

  • Ann

    Regarding these counseling clinics and any other medical/psychological organization – what should the response be to an individual who, of their own volition, is inquiring about the possibility of therapy and if it could help them with the dissonance they are experiencing with their homosexual orientation/same sex desires?

  • Jayhuck

    People who did that hoped that the press would understand that there are still logical, thinking human beings in this country who believe in not spending more than you have, who believe that the federal government ( and yes, other government entities as well), is filled with politicians who curry favor with special interest groups at the expense of everyone else, who think politicians need to be put on notice that they are being watched, who aren’t happy that the foxes are in charge of the hen house, and who want some sanity restored to government and its relationship to citizens. They hoped that the press would understand that a parents first responsibility is to one’s children and that we are aware that government spending has seen to it that our kids are being saddled with a debt that will leave them a country that eats up most of their as yet-unearned paycheck, leaving them a country that will never be able to provide them with the standard of living even their grandparents enjoyed.

    LOL! What do these things mean? Fox in charge of the hen house? You want “sanity restored to government and its citizens” but what is your definition of sane? These sound bites are part and parcel of the tea bagger movement and it seems like each individual tea bagger has a different understanding about what the movement specifically stands for, maybe because, in part, there is no one group helping to define terms.

  • Jayhuck

    Ken,

    Do you believe therapists should be allowed to try unproven treatment on patients? To mislead patients about the outcomes of those treatments? To treat children, who are there involuntarily, with such treatments?

    “If I or some other gay wants to go to a NARTH therapist or someone similar, good for us, and by default good for you.”

    And what if people want to go to a dr who promises to cure their cancer with unproven, unethical treatments, and perhaps who lies about those results? Are you okay with that too? There are many charlatans and quacks out willing to take advantage of desperate people, and I think undercover reporting is a good way to expose them.

    These are excellent questions.

  • Ann

    and allegedly practices reparative therapy

    Dave,

    Do you know if this alledged practice is their own model or if they model it after other forms of reparative reparative?

  • Ann

    sorry I meant “reparative therapy”

  • Jayhuck

    I am deeply troubled by this:

    In the summer of 2004, Andrew Ramirez, who was just about to enter his senior year of high school, worked up the nerve to tell his family he was gay. His mother took the news in stride, but his stepfather, a conservative Christian, was outraged. “He said it was wrong, an abomination, that it was something he would not tolerate in his house,” Ramirez recalls. A few weeks later, his parents marched him into the office of Bachmann & Associates, a Christian counseling center in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, which is owned by Michele Bachmann ’s husband, Marcus. From the outset, Ramirez says, his therapist—one of roughly twenty employed at the Lake Elmo clinic—made it clear that renouncing his sexual orientation was the only moral choice. “He basically said being gay was not an acceptable lifestyle in God’s eyes,” Ramirez recalls. According to Ramirez, his therapist then set about trying to “cure” him. Among other things, he urged Ramirez to pray and read the Bible, particularly verses that cast homosexuality as an abomination, and referred him to a local church for people who had given up the “gay lifestyle.” He even offered to set Ramirez up with an ex-lesbian mentor.

    There is so much about this one incident that is not ok! At least in this report it doesn’t appear that the therapist offered the kid any choice.

  • Mary

    Ann,

    I don’t think anyone will answer your question.

  • Ken

    Dave# ~ Jul 12, 2011 at 9:56 am

    As for the political effect on her campaign .. Hate to tell you .. but other than people like us .. I doubt that most will care much that her husband has a counseling service that gets healthcare dollars from medicare (and allegedly practices reparative therapy).

    Actually I think the politics will raise a lot of issues. 1st, Dr. Bachmann’s credentials. The fact that he has a paper mill ph.d. and isn’t licensed as a therapist, yet is still able to get medicaid mental health payments is likely to upset a few conservatives. Granted, he may have licensed therapists on his staff, but it looks like Bachmann isn’t qualified himself.

    2nd, it will not look good for Michele Bachmann if her husband is associated with providing “phony” treatments that don’t work. I don’t doubt her political opponents are going to portray Dr. Bachmann as a scam-artist bilking desperate people out of their money with false hopes. Note, I don’t agree with the probable distortions I can foresee. However, I do think (hope) it may spur a lot more people to actually examine “change” therapy. Perhaps even more than the Love In Action/Zach Stark controversy in 2005.

    Finally, IF Bachmann has been doctoring paperwork to get medicaid payments for change therapy, he could be in for trouble. Even if he was legitimately getting medicaid payments for such therapy, a lot of people are going to start asking why the government is paying for gays to try to become straight.

  • Ann

    At least in this report it doesn’t appear that the therapist offered the kid any choice.

    Jayhuck,

    What should the therapist have offered in the form of other choices to this individual? In your opinion, what would have been the better way to handle it?

  • Ann

    I don’t think anyone will answer your question.

    Mary,

    :-D

  • Jayhuck

    Ann,

    I think he should have first asked the kid about HIS values and whether or not he really wanted to be in therapy. What, if anything, he hoped to get from therapy. My first thought after reading this was the therapist should have operated under Dr Throckmorton’s SIT guidelines.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Anne, you asked, “Regarding these counseling clinics and any other medical/psychological organization – what should the response be to an individual who, of their own volition, is inquiring about the possibility of therapy and if it could help them with the dissonance they are experiencing with their homosexual orientation/same sex desires?”

    I am no expert but it seems to me that the patient should be told that they have a 1 in a million chance of changing their sexual orientation. Then ask the patient if they want to go for the one in a million chance or if they want to instead to find inner peace and self acceptance. Also warn the patient of unwanted side affects of going for the one in a million. I think that would be a good start.

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    Ken# ~ Jul 12, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Dave# ~ Jul 12, 2011 at 9:56 am

    As for the political effect on her campaign .. Hate to tell you .. but other than people like us .. I doubt that most will care much that her husband has a counseling service that gets healthcare dollars from medicare (and allegedly practices reparative therapy).

    Actually I think the politics will raise a lot of issues. 1st, Dr. Bachmann’s credentials. The fact that he has a paper mill ph.d. and isn’t licensed as a therapist, yet is still able to get medicaid mental health payments is likely to upset a few conservatives. Granted, he may have licensed therapists on his staff, but it looks like Bachmann isn’t qualified himself.

    2nd, it will not look good for Michele Bachmann if her husband is associated with providing “phony” treatments that don’t work. I don’t doubt her political opponents are going to portray Dr. Bachmann as a scam-artist bilking desperate people out of their money with false hopes. Note, I don’t agree with the probable distortions I can foresee. However, I do think (hope) it may spur a lot more people to actually examine “change” therapy. Perhaps even more than the Love In Action/Zach Stark controversy in 2005.

    Finally, IF Bachmann has been doctoring paperwork to get medicaid payments for change therapy, he could be in for trouble. Even if he was legitimately getting medicaid payments for such therapy, a lot of people are going to start asking why the government is paying for gays to try to become straight.

    For point #1 .. I don’t know that he has a papermill ph.d. Is the qualifications listed on his website what you are referring to?? If it is papermill/disqualified then yes I imagine he will be having quite a bit of trouble.

    For point #2 .. Sadly ..much of the public is rather ignorant of the issues with oreintation change therapy. We certainly have enough disagreements about its worthiness on this blog. So I am not sure the public is going to be as excited about this as you think they are.

    For point #3 .. Again .. if his credentials are faulty and/or the type of therapy he is doing is not approvable for medicare funding then yes .. I agree .. there is going to be consequences which may indeed effec his wife’s campaign. (I don’t know if his credentials are faulty and I don’t know what medicare’s rules are)

    Dave

  • Ann

    Jayhuck,

    Thanks – I agree.

    StraightGrandmother,

    I did not ask about changing one’s sexual orientation.

  • David Blakeslee

    Glancing here:

    It appears that TWO is committed to referencing all psychological activities associated with repressing the expression same-sex attractions as “reparative therapy.”

    http://michiganmessenger.com/50754/bachmanns-pray-the-gay-away-problem

    This is a deliberate distortion, a common tactic in advocacy groups.

    To reinterate: reparative therapy is based on a specific theory rooted in biological precursors and developmental injuries using a psychodynamic model. It is one theory and certainly cannot typify all therapist working with clients with unwanted SSA.

    It does not require religious affiliation or participation…so it is hard to know how Bachmann’s clinic and their techniques fit into the category of “reparative therapy.”

    Furthermore, there are a number of religious requirements that cause distress in the short run and even in the long run: it is a tenet of religion generally, that life is full of suffering and that suffering is something to drive us to deeper devotion to God. This is true of all humans, regardless of sexual orientation.

    It is interesting that psychology is moving AGGRESSSIVELY forward with applying Buddhist principals in the area of human suffering. A clear intrusion of the religious world into the “science” of psychology.

    TWO is a political advocacy organization that speaks in soundbites and it quoted verbatim in the main stream media. The fact that “The Nation” is a secondary source is interesting, except that they may be relying heavily on Besen’s advice.

    Besen cliche’s which trivialize and distort: “Pray the Gay Away.” Any others? Add yours now!

    His work to change his own orientation earlier in his life was centered around a non-religious source (using relaxation and visualization techniques)…as I recall.

    There are no scientific studies (surveys…yes) that show harm…although I don’t think Warren and others want to comment on this. Experimenter bias strongly effects sample selection in these surveys.

    Similar surveys are used by GLSAN…and are frequently quoted as scientific.

  • David Blakeslee

    Religious coercion and reparative therapy are two different things.

    Something that TWO often conflates for a political end.

  • Ken

    Ann# ~ Jul 12, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Regarding these counseling clinics and any other medical/psychological organization – what should the response be to an individual who, of their own volition, is inquiring about the possibility of therapy and if it could help them with the dissonance they are experiencing with their homosexual orientation/same sex desires?

    The response should be tailored to the individual client seeking therapy. A therapist should determine what a client is hoping to achieve and why he or she wants to achieve them, then help the client set up healthy, realistic goals and help him or her to achieve those goals.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    David – I tend to agree and think that one big part of the interest is that Bachmann said he didn’t do change therapy and it turns out they do.

    I also think that Bachmann’s comments about gays (barbarians) have set him up for heightened scrutiny. There are many therapists who think like he does but are not married to a woman who could become President. So when he says gays are barbarian and oks change therapy with bogus promises (completely free), then he is going to be held to a different standard.

  • David Blakeslee

    Please consider:

    Becker, who is openly gay, presented himself as a committed Christian who was struggling with homosexuality.

    So the therapists recommendations were attuned to his presenting problem and to his religious affiliation.

    Pretty ethical in some very important ways.

    As I asserted, the Nation article is very compromised by its main contributor, Besen. It is not journalism of a reasonable order.

  • David Blakeslee

    Warren,

    Thanks for clarifying…it is good to equate husband Bachmann with wife Obama.

    Morality drives the Bachmann’s to care for orphans and help those who wish to change their sexual orientations (or lower the compulsivity of those sensations).

    Religious demands tend to be global on the person. When clients come in with similar values it is understandable that a therapist acknowledge and work in that globally demanding culture.

    I may have missed the part where TWO and the NATION discovered that Bachmann himself actually does this sort of therapy–employees do. If you have that handy please post it.

    I tend to agree and think that one big part of the interest is that Bachmann said he didn’t do change therapy and it turns out they do.

    “He” or “They”…important clarification in a politically charged climate.

  • Teresa

    Entering the fray, here. Could someone tell me if the Bachmann’s believe that just being a homosexual is being a ‘barbarian’? Do they value the person who is homosexual; but, simply cannot abide same-sex behavior?

    It’s very confusing to me when some persons, whoever they are … whatever they believe … conflate a person with behavior.

    I get it, Dave B., about the radicalization on the Left and the Right about homosexual behavior. For those of us who have not changed, no matter the efforts tried, we’re sort of the odd man out in all this. There’s really no room for us, a minority within a minority, to find rest. If being chaste/celibate isn’t enough … if truly they would like us in the closet, which I can understand (because of the strain on what I consider a healthy society’s goals and preservation) … if they can’t see us out of the closet as co-partners, I guess I’d like to know that.

    Of course, the other side considers us a BIG part of the problem. We’re self-hating homosexuals, we’re denying who we are, … we’re of no help to them … and, actually a liability … a big liability. They rightly perceive that we end up most often not consenting to same-sex marriage.

    It’s quite trying to find a safe space, a place that doesn’t tick everyone off because of something we didn’t cause, most of us can’t change, except the behavior …

    Does anyone really know there are persons with same-sex attraction, who simply use the word ‘gay’ as common parlance, who are attempting to live chaste lives?

    In the end, it really doesn’t matter, but I sure would like to know if candidates running for any office consider that just being a homosexual is being a ‘barbarian’.

  • Teresa

    David Blakeslee, of the few websites I visit regularly regarding ‘gay’ stuff; I long ago realized that TWO was not for me. In my opinion, it has lost any credibility and usefulness for those seeking accurate news. Sadly, they’ve joined a few of my ‘no visits’ on the Right of the issue. There is a ‘via media’ in all this; but, it doesn’t have quite the drama of the either the social policy Right or Left.

    If NARTH, and others like them, could shape up a bit on statistical outcomes, be a bit more cheery and affirming that homosexuals are valuable persons, persons loved by God, even if we can’t change … if they would tell clients seeking ‘change’, how really difficult that is … that congruence of behavior with their faith beliefs is very do-able, albeit hard … if they’d be up-front, blunt and candid about that … well, I guess they’d be all SITF therapists … which is what they should be. Just my opinion, though.

  • David Blakeslee

    Teresa,

    Understood about Narth. The presentation I was working on at Narth when I left had to do with acknowledging health in gay identified clients.

    And being a “minority within a minority”, true that.

    Pathology is endlessly heaped on the religiously devout, regardless of the issues involved. “Puritanical,” “Repressed,” “Prudes.”

    It is better (healthier!) in some parts of the culture to accede to biological drives or subjective sensations of self.

    That is part of the “therapeutic popular culture” created in the 50′s and 60′s which drives so much of the political debate about sexual behavior.

  • Jayhuck

    Teresa,

    David Blakeslee, of the few websites I visit regularly regarding ‘gay’ stuff; I long ago realized that TWO was not for me. In my opinion, it has lost any credibility and usefulness for those seeking accurate news. Sadly, they’ve joined a few of my ‘no visits’ on the Right of the issue. There is a ‘via media’ in all this; but, it doesn’t have quite the drama of the either the social policy Right or Left.

    TWO is not for me either, nor does it speak for all gay people. In some ways I do not think they are any better than NOM.

    If NARTH, and others like them, could shape up a bit on statistical outcomes, be a bit more cheery and affirming that homosexuals are valuable persons, persons loved by God, even if we can’t change … if they would tell clients seeking ‘change’, how really difficult that is … that congruence of behavior with their faith beliefs is very do-able, albeit hard … if they’d be up-front, blunt and candid about that … well, I guess they’d be all SITF therapists … which is what they should be. Just my opinion, though.

    There are just so many more “ifs” to add to that list but I don’t have time. NARTH is no more reputable than TWO or NOM IMO :)

    David B -

    It is better (healthier!) in some parts of the culture to accede to biological drives or subjective sensations of self.

    That is part of the “therapeutic popular culture” created in the 50?s and 60?s which drives so much of the political debate about sexual behavior.

    I am never quite sure what you are trying to say when you make statements like this. Are you talking about gay people when you say these things? Some gay people?

    TWO is not the only source for information regarding Bachmann’s so-called “therapy”.

    Warren,

    David – I tend to agree and think that one big part of the interest is that Bachmann said he didn’t do change therapy and it turns out they do.

    I also think that Bachmann’s comments about gays (barbarians) have set him up for heightened scrutiny. There are many therapists who think like he does but are not married to a woman who could become President. So when he says gays are barbarian and oks change therapy with bogus promises (completely free), then he is going to be held to a different standard.

    Thank you! You can harp on TWO all you like, and there is plenty there to find questionable, but the fact remains Bachmann made these statements, he lied!

  • Jayhuck

    Teresa,

    Does anyone really know there are persons with same-sex attraction, who simply use the word ‘gay’ as common parlance, who are attempting to live chaste lives?

    I realize this. In fact there is a person, who used to post on this blog, who would probably empathize with you quite a bit.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Very little of this discussion is about the real issue: The Bachmanns denied that the Bachmann clinic offer therapy to convert homosexual people to heterosexuality. The evidence is irrefutable that they both did and do offer such therapy.

    Whether Wayne is a good guy, whether it’s called reparative therapy, and whether it was entrapment are all irrelevant distractions.

    The fact of the matter is that the Bachmanns are not truthful. The Bachmanns hold to views about homosexuality that, while common in certain religious circles, are considered peculiar and bizarre among a wide swath of voters and rather than explain their views they have decided instead to seek to deceive the public on that matter.

    That was neither a wise not a moral decision and it is reasonable that it be considered when evaluating a candidate for President.

  • Mary

    Timothy, I agree…. They should have just come out with what they do there instead of trying to be evasive. Now it looks shifty, too.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    It appears that TWO is committed to referencing all psychological activities associated with repressing the expression same-sex attractions as “reparative therapy.”

    http://michiganmessenger.com/50754/bachmanns-pray-the-gay-away-problem

    This is a deliberate distortion, a common tactic in advocacy groups.

    To reinterate: reparative therapy is based on a specific theory rooted in biological precursors and developmental injuries using a psychodynamic model. It is one theory and certainly cannot typify all therapist working with clients with unwanted SSA.

    David — while I agree with your general point that advocacy groups engage in distortion, it’s not totally clear to me that there’s a deliberate distortion here. It seems to me like you’re the one relying on an unreasonably specific definition of “reparative therapy”.

    I get the point that “reparative drive” is a term of art that belongs to psychology and particularly to psychoanalytic theories about the cause of homosexuality. And that therefore, properly and pedantically speaking, “reparative therapy” should only be used in reference to therapists who explicitly or tacitly accept the validity of the “reparative drive” model — thus, Nicolosi would very definitely qualify. But Marcus Bachmann wouldn’t, necessarily.

    However, in the colloquial parlance, specialist jargon isn’t always used in a “pedantically proper” way, and that’s the way life is.

    And it appears to me that “reparative therapy” has become popularly applied to ANY (religious-based) therapy which starts with the assumption that homosexuals in general are in some sense “broken heterosexuals” who need to be repaired, regardless of how the “brokenness” is explained.

    For example, if the homosexuality is understood to be a product of “Mankind’s Fallen Nature,” rather than a family dysfunction or a childhood trauma specific to the patient, that would fall outside the area of “reparative drive” theory — but if the therapist advertises that such patients can be “repaired” by faith and “freed from homosexuality,” it’s perfectly understandable that the general public would call this “reparative therapy” even though it has nothing to do with “reparative drive.”

    You might as well gripe that it’s a deliberate distortion when the general public uses quantum leap to mean “a huge sea-change, usually for the better,” when strictly speaking a “quantum leap” is a vanishingly small change.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    By the way, could someone give me a quick executive summary on why Wayne Besen’s reliability is in question?

    Was there a particular incident where he was caught lying, or is there a perception that he has a general pattern of antipathy towards religion/Christianity, which taints his objectivity on “ex-gay ministries” specifically, or does he have some other conflict of interest, or what?

    I know he’s famous for spotting Jon Paulk “going to use the bathroom” in a gay piano bar (that, at the time, was right across the street from a Burger King and several other non-gay establishments with restrooms!), but don’t know much else about him.

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    TWO is not for me either, nor does it speak for all gay people. In some ways I do not think they are any better than NOM.

    I don’t think that last part is a fair assessment at all. The truth is, it often takes someone as bold as Wayne to get stories like this above the noise. He plays an important role.

    Robert, Wayne has always been on the “push it to the limit” side of the spectrum, and I’ve seen some exaggeration used to be sure. But I find him to be honest and fair for the most part. I could not do what he does, but I believe it is his “no BS” approach that causes others to take pot shots at him.

    And that’s definitely the reason people like Alan Chambers refuse to be interviewed with him — Wayne knows their doublespeak and cuts through it. Nuance is often an ineffective tool with such practiced narratives as Alan’s. I know, as I tried for years.

    Wayne has never lied to me and has always been very helpful with resources and ideas. Certainly there is nothing to suggest that he would fake any part of such an investigation.

  • Eddy

    From “The Nation”, paragraph 4:

    Later, he referred Becker to Outpost Ministries, a church that helps “the sexually and relationally broken”—in other words, homosexuals—“find healing and restoration through relationship with Jesus Christ.”

    Outpost IS NOT a church…never was a church…has no plans to become a church. An author who does not comprehend the difference between a church and a parachurch ministry should learn a bit more before trying to broaden the understanding of the masses in such a national forum. Outpost has no pastor…no sanctuary…no congregation…does not offer ‘the sacraments’. It’s participants, as a rule, all belong to a variety of different churches.

    I’m personally (and somewhat sadly) amused that in a conversation that repeatedly haggles over meanings and nuances of meaning that such a huge camel slipped through the eye of the needle with such ease.

    Particularly uninformed and offensive was “in other words, homosexuals”. While homosexuals are the primary group that Outpost reaches, Outpost has always recognized that sexual and relational brokenness can take on many forms and is a resource of hope and comfort to any who are broken whether that brokenness can be categorized as homosexual, heterosexual, or any other ‘sexual’. The bias that led the author to interject her aside is telling indeed.

  • Jayhuck

    David R -

    I don’t think that last part is a fair assessment at all. The truth is, it often takes someone as bold as Wayne to get stories like this above the noise. He plays an important role.

    Perhaps I should have been speaking about Wayne specifically, but since he really is TWO I still don’t feel I am wrong in making that statement. I’ve had a few personal conversations with Wayne where he has expressed some views that trouble me. I still applaud him for getting stories like this out and for the good he has done in our community, I just don’t like the way he goes about doing certain things, or a few of his beliefs. I definitely didnt mean to suggest that he is exactly like NOM. I don’t believe that.

  • Jayhuck

    David R -

    I am sorry for making that statement about TWO not being anymore reputable than NOM or NARTH. Given the chance, I doubt I would make such a statement again. That doesn’t mean I agree with many of TWO’s methods or tactics :)

  • Teresa

    Pathology is endlessly heaped on the religiously devout, regardless of the issues involved. “Puritanical,” “Repressed,” “Prudes.”

    David Blakeslee, the religiously devout, as with all groups of people, are not a monolithic group. The Phelps Family would consider themselves religiously devout. I would, also, consider them religiously devout; but, very misguided, and quite harmful in their tactics.

    However, I know Michele Bachmann is not that way concerning tactics. I believe that she is religiously devout. I am concerned about what she truly believes about homosexuality. If she is indeed of the belief that just being homosexual is evil, or sinful; unfortunately, that would be a deal-breaker for me. If she believes that same-sex behavior is not appropriate, but living a chaste life is fine; and, thereby same-sex marriage is off the table … then, I’m with that. I would, however, like some substantive discourse on views about economics, which includes job creation; and, foreign policy, which would include drastically reducing the Defense Budget, in my opinion.

    It’s just so easy for all of us to end up taking sides in a know-it-all way, becoming so radicalized in doing so. All of it ending up as a big screaming match of who can outdo the other in hurling insults, epithets, lies, outlandish pledges and vows to woo a particular group or score a gotcha on the opposing group.

    It would be refreshing to see a Presidential Candidate stand firm for something, not putting a finger in the wind to check the latest political poll; but, genuinely say something substantive concerning their views … and, stick with it.

    It is better (healthier!) in some parts of the culture to accede to biological drives or subjective sensations of self.

    That is part of the “therapeutic popular culture” created in the 50?s and 60?s which drives so much of the political debate about sexual behavior.

    David, the 50′s and 60′s didn’t happen in a vacuum. I, endlessly, repeat the Lambeth Conference of 1930, which approved artificial birth control. Big factor in the breakdown of the purpose of family. WWII and women working in factories, making a decent living, maintaining households … another chink in family structure. Divorce and remarriage easier to get, more common thru the 40′s and 50′s. GI Bill that supported the large move from urban to suburban with the concomitant breakdown on the extended family. More affluence through the economy picking up after WWII and the ease of higher education, which strained the male/female relationship in households. More money, more stuff, more pleasure, more convenience, smaller and smaller families a goal, women working to get more money, more stuff, more convenience … and, huge leaps in technology and its addictive nature. All these factors and more played into the sexual revolution and revolutionary social policy changes.

    Each of us, individually, plays a part in what our world looks like today. It’s so easy to point the finger at some bad guy, out there … however … “we’ve met the enemy, at it’s each one of us”. We get the leaders we deserve.

  • Donata

    Warren and Timothy have both stated that Bachmann denies that his clinic helps patients with unwanted SSA but is that true? Since this story hinges on that assumption some evidence of such is necessary.

    Evidence would suggest that Bachmann is quite cognizant of his clinic counseling patients with unwanted SSA.

    Also, everyone should actually listen to the audio of Bachmann’s supposed “barbarians” comment. He was obviously not referring to homosexuals but instead adolescents in general. This was a perfect example of the gay agenda brain-washing the public, or at least the media, with an obvious falsehood.

    This whole escapade shows Besen to be a serial liar. He lied that Bachmann denies handling such patients. Lied that Bachmann referred to gays as barbarians. Lies that anyone engaging in SOCE is using reparative therapy so that he can lie that it’s all discredited. Sends in a lying minion to counseling sessions. Lies that such therapy is ineffective. That’s all in one little article. Besen and TWO need to be taken with a Mt Everest sized grain of salt.

    The problem for Besen and TWO is that his political objectives need sexual attractions to be innate and unchangeable and nothing short of that. So there’s really no room for him to be completely truthful.

  • Jayhuck

    Donata,

    Can you really be suggesting that what happened to Ramirez at Bachmann’s clinic is ok?

  • Jayhuck

    Donata:

    This is what Mr Bachmann actually said:

    Dr. Bachmann explained his position on homosexuality while offering theoretical advice to parents concerned that one of their children was gay.

    BACHMANN: We have to understand: barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined. Just because someone feels it or thinks it doesn’t mean that we are supposed to go down that road. That’s what is called the sinful nature. We have a responsibility as parents and as authority figures not to encourage such thoughts and feelings from moving into the action steps…And let’s face it: what is our culture, what is our public education system doing today? They are giving full, wide-open doors to children, not only giving encouragement to think it but to encourage action steps. That’s why when we understand what truly is the percentage of homosexuals in this country, it is small. But by these open doors, I can see and we are experiencing, that it is starting to increase.

  • David Blakeslee

    Teresa,

    you and I have had this discussion briefly before. Your point is well made…each of us makes up the culture we abhor.

    There is a mindset in our culture of applying terms and attitudes which originate in the psychological domain; and assuming that they have positive, scientific meaning.

    The biggest offender in this regard is the horribly overused word “healthy” which has been substituted for the older word “right.”

    It typifies a move from a objective set of moral demands made on the individual to a subjective rights of the individual placed upon the culture.

    It is an important transition to note…and as an individual, to asses how such decisions will be made.

    Far afield now.

  • Donata

    Jayhuck, listen to the actual recording. The reporting of it is all wrong. Every news story says “this is bachmann talking about homosexuals: barbarians need to…”. But it’s simply not true.

    Please go listen to it:

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2011/06/michele-bachmanns-strategist-husband-called-gays-barbarians-who-need-to-be-disciplined-audio-1.html

    Starting at around 2:55. He’s clearly referring to adolescents and pre-adolescents. This is a perfect example of the gay agenda propagandizing a falsehood and the media eating it up uncritically.

    Regarding Ramirez, it’s difficult for me to come to a conclusion on religious matters since I am not religious. Even with the distorted reporting of Ramirez’ time at the clinic, it doesn’t sound that bad.

  • Jayhuck

    David,

    The biggest offender in this regard is the horribly overused word “healthy” which has been substituted for the older word “right.”

    But “right” according to who? And why?

  • Jayhuck

    Donata,

    I listened to it and he said exactly what I posted above in response to the host’s question: what do you say to a teenager who says they are gay – what do you say to parents who have gay children….

  • http://wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Donato/preston/Maddeson/Maddison, etc etc.

    Given that you continue to change identities simply to avoid moderation, I am banning you from the blog. You will no doubt sneak through since you have more IP addresses than a person should have, but I will simply delete any further comments I assume are from you.

    When you keep changing personas, identities, story lines, etc,. there is no real way to discuss issues. The folks who are anonymous at least stay consistent.

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    Starting at around 2:55. He’s clearly referring to adolescents and pre-adolescents.

    I can’t say that’s clear at all. But hypothetically speaking, if he were referring to adolescents and pre-adolescents, he would hardly be put in a better light. A mental health professional describing kids and young adults as barbarians?

    And either way he is clearly saying, again as a mental health professional, that there is something wrong with acting on one’s homosexual orientation, and those who do in those tender years when scorn and shame can damage the most, are to be treated like barbarians who can’t think for themselves. This is not his job.

    Taken with everything else we do know about this man and his work, I tend to understand the clip as it has been reported, but is hardly the lynchpin in all of this — there are plenty of serious problems to parcel out.

  • Eddy

    barbarian:

    –noun

    1. a person in a savage, primitive state; uncivilized person.

    2. a person without culture, refinement, or education; philistine.

    3. (loosely) a foreigner.

    I’m not keen on the word choice myself but feel that people are stretching 1) to enhance the extremes of the meaning and 2) to apply it to homosexuals rather than to adolescents in general. Agendas will do that.

  • http://wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Eddy – Agendas go both ways. The bottom line was that teens who think they might be gay are in need of treatment such as one would administer to barbarians. It takes an agenda to avoid seeing how extreme the word choice was.

    How about, “children need guidance” or “teens want boundaries” or some such language commensurate with the question being asked. However, the big bad words come out when Christians want to demonstrate how wrong being gay is. It is an extreme word. I rarely ever hear it in conversation about teens; in fact that may have been the first time.

    However, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt for a moment. He could clarify his meaning. He could explain what he really thinks of gays and say he got a little carried away talking about those rascally teens. I don’t think he has don’t that.

    Christians vilifying non-Christians will stop when Christians stop excusing it.

  • Mary

    Yeah. The use of the word barbarian was selective and antagonistic.

  • Eddy

    The Bachmann’s–obviously conservatives–they make no bones about it. It makes this statement possible grounds for some serious discussion.

    And either way he is clearly saying, again as a mental health professional, that there is something wrong with acting on one’s homosexual orientation, and those who do in those tender years when scorn and shame can damage the most, are to be treated like barbarians who can’t think for themselves. This is not his job.

    1) Since we’re talking teenagers here, would it likewise be true that it would be wrong for a Christian mental health professional to tell a hetero teen that it’s wrong to act on their hetero orientation?

    2) Is it wrong for a Christian adult to recognize that an adolescent is still, in many ways, not quite mature and that they might not be fully capable of grasping the big picture when it comes to sexuality? (Hetero or Homo)

    3) If an individual seeks out a counselor who bills themselves as ‘Christian’ and displays a diploma from a well-known ultra-Conservative Christian school on their wall, wouldn’t we assume that the individual knew that Christians fall into categories such as conservative, liberal, moderate, etc. and that they chose this counselor, at least in part, based on the perceived conservative viewpoint? What then would that counselor’s job be? Is the suggestion that NO counselor, even the counselor who makes no secret of their conservative leanings, can or should speak their religious belief out loud?

    In the past, commenters on this blog have given lip-service to a ‘they’re free to believe what they believe’ mentality but the quoted comment seems to suggest a qualifier ‘but they must surrender the title and/or credibility of the label ‘mental health professional’.

    Just trying to find out how rigidly drawn the lines are…

  • Eddy

    Warren:

    We have to understand: barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined. Just because someone feels it or thinks it doesn’t mean that we are supposed to go down that road. That’s what is called the sinful nature. We have a responsibility as parents and as authority figures not to encourage such thoughts and feelings from moving into the action steps…

    Again, ‘barbarian’ a bad word choice but he’s referencing the widely recognized uncivilized state of adolescent and pre-adolescence…believing they know it all but not yet ready to move out on their own…still needing adult direction, guidance and, often times, correction and restraint. It’s all there in the context from the quote.

  • David Blakeslee

    I have heard the word “barbarians” used generally in Conservative Christian circles to describe adolescents generally.

    Warren this may hit a nerve in the “Strong Willed Child” handbook of parenting.

    I think it is typical of the world view, and supportive of neurological theories generally that adolescents need civilizing.

    But the word “barbarians” applied indirectly to homosexuality seems odd: given that two societies from ancient history in retrospect were considered quite civilized and condoned various forms of same-sex behavior (Greeks and Romans).

    This seems to be an intersection of both rural and religiously conservative values misapplied to the science of Same Sex Attraction.

    Eddy’s application to the heterosexual behavior of adolescents seems fair.

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy et al:

    Is it wrong for a Christian adult to recognize that an adolescent is still, in many ways, not quite mature and that they might not be fully capable of grasping the big picture when it comes to sexuality? (Hetero or Homo)

    I don’t think it would necessarily be wrong for any adult to recognize this, but I say that with some hesitance because not all adolescents are “immature” and not all adults are mature. It would be wrong for us to assume that just because someone is labeled an adolescent that they cannot grasp the big picture regarding their sexuality and just as wrong to assume that just because someone is an adult that they are able.

    What really upsets me is that, like many have noted, Bachmann used the word Barbarian in response to a question about gay teenagers and parents of gay teens. Saying that his choice of words was poor seems almost too kind.

  • Jayhuck

    Warren,

    However, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt for a moment. He could clarify his meaning. He could explain what he really thinks of gays and say he got a little carried away talking about those rascally teens. I don’t think he has don’t that.

    I do not believe he has.

    Christians vilifying non-Christians will stop when Christians stop excusing it.

  • David Blakeslee

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/news/2011/07/clinic-tied-bachmann-questioned-over-therapies

    Another article…which notes that Bachmann stated the science of SSA accurately, “there is not cure.”

    Again, the TWO dishonesty pervades this article: a man, purporting to be religiously motivated consults a qualified, religiously trained, probably licensed therapist about his struggles with homosexuality.

    Cut and paste the dialogue from all the sessions and the worst you get is “we are all born heterosexual?” Twice!! What did the therapist mean? That we are born attracted to the opposite sex?

    Hardly.

    He would know that sexual attractions cannot occur at birth.

    That our bodies are designed for sexual gratification by the opposite sex. Perhaps.

    This isn’t even the candidate or her husband. It is a therapist at the clinic.

    The article does a better job highlighting the controversy over the marriage pledge and slavery.

  • David Blakeslee

    I do like the word “philistine.”

  • Jayhuck

    This incident should hopefully, make people double check the qualifications of their therapist and their background a bit before entering into therapy, and hopefully give those parents who feel they must force their gay child into therapy some pause before doing so

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    Since we’re talking teenagers here, would it likewise be true that it would be wrong for a Christian mental health professional to tell a hetero teen that it’s wrong to act on their hetero orientation?

    Please, not even in the same ball park. I could easily go for instruction to the gay kid on waiting for sex until one is more mature, etc. That’s now what was being said and you know it.

    If an individual seeks out a counselor who bills themselves as ‘Christian’ and displays a diploma from a well-known ultra-Conservative Christian school on their wall, wouldn’t we assume that the individual knew that Christians fall into categories such as conservative, liberal, moderate, etc. and that they chose this counselor, at least in part, based on the perceived conservative viewpoint? What then would that counselor’s job be? Is the suggestion that NO counselor, even the counselor who makes no secret of their conservative leanings, can or should speak their religious belief out loud?

    Your question is not very clear to me but I’ll respond to what I think you are asking. I personally believe that the only religious belief that should enter into a professional counseling setting should be that of the client. The counselor should keep their religious beliefs to themselves. But then I see professional counselors as I do doctors — the medicine is the same no matter what the faith.

    For spiritual advice, there are clergy. If someone does not want to adhere to the standards and guidelines of the professional body of their profession, then they need to find another profession. If a Jehovah’s Witness MD starts advising against blood transfusions, they need to be disqualified. If a counselor starts saying that homosexuality is a disease that can be cured, like wise.

    That rigid enough for you? I’m getting ill watching people try to redeem this guy for what is clearly an absurd, careless, idiotic statement. I don’t care if it’s over your politics or your faith, stop putting up with this crap.

    I’m out.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Although mocked by some secularists, True Love Waits is an excellent slogan for heterosexual and homosexual teens alike.

    But a lot of Christians don’t want to accept that a small percentage of teens are inherently homosexual and therefore need encouragement from the Christian community to wait for a True Love of the same sex; and a lot of non-Christian gays don’t see any value in waiting for sex as long as it’s consensual and you wear a condom.

  • Jayhuck

    David -

    I don’t care if it’s over your politics or your faith, stop putting up with this crap.

    I think Warren said as much by calling conservative Christians to a higher standard. I hope they listen ;)

  • Jayhuck

    Throbert,

    But a lot of Christians don’t want to accept that a small percentage of teens are inherently homosexual and therefore need encouragement from the Christian community to wait for a True Love of the same sex;

    At least some conservative Christians definitely want gay kids to wait, but not so they can meet someone of the same sex to love, it is with the hope that their orientation will somehow magically change.

    I’m with you though on the waiting, followed with the message of: until you meet the right person (of the same sex). I think there is a great deal (good mostly) to be said about restraint in this area

  • David Blakeslee

    Thanks Throbert:

    Although mocked by some secularists, True Love Waits is an excellent slogan for heterosexual and homosexual teens alike.

    I’ve argued this for 4 years or so…

    Sexual manipulation and exploitation of impulsive and naive and ego driven adolescents by adults is an important concern as well.

    …and, of course, David Roberts out.

    Other issues:

    The recommendations made to the adolescent occurred over 4 years ago and involved participation in an ex-gay group at church, and consulting with a “former lesbian” as a mentor. THERE WAS NO APA SIT FRAMEWORK WHEN THESE RECOMMENDATIONS WERE MADE.

    THERE WERE APA GUIDELINES REQUIRING THAT RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION BE TREATED AS A DIVERSITY ISSUE BY CLINICIANS.

    Duh.

    You guys are so frickin’ easy to manipulate by TWO.

    Again Warren,

    Isn’t the research on “harm” for homosexuals on “reparative therapy” highly flawed? Selective participants, NO OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF REPARATIVE THERAPY (anyone undergoing any kind of intervention provided by any kind of person—from a therapist to a pastor to a chiropractor).

    Warren, are you losing your critical thinking skills selectively?

  • David Blakeslee

    David Roberts:

    The counselor should keep their religious beliefs to themselves. But then I see professional counselors as I do doctors — the medicine is the same no matter what the faith.

    READ THE ARTICLE!

    Both these clients professed a Christian belief system. One lied, the other was an adolescent coerced into treatment by a passive mother and an step-father.

    There is no allegation that these were atheists or deists or buddhists who were corrupted by a religious fundamentalist therapist.

    I am more deeply convinced today that TWO is a propaganda tool publicly tolerated (and privately encouraged) by Roberts and his ilk.

    They are exploiting the many binds a therapist and a client experience and try to work through in early sessions for a political agenda. Some clients work through those binds by rightly leaving therapy.

    It is impossible to judge a therapist based upon lies and selective release of tapes from sessions. Impossible.

  • Jayhuck

    David -

    I am more deeply convinced today that TWO is a propaganda tool publicly tolerated (and privately encouraged) by Roberts and his ilk.

    Perhaps it is – I haven’t really looked it for awhile, but it is definitely not anymore so a propaganda tool than NARTH or NOM or Focus on the Family or any number of other conservative Christian organizations are. You’ve been hoodwinked yourself by some of these cc organizations in the past so you might want to at least be a little more forgiving of people you claim are manipulated by TWO.

  • Jayhuck

    David –

    I am more deeply convinced today that TWO is a propaganda tool publicly tolerated (and privately encouraged) by Roberts and his ilk.

    Perhaps it is – I haven’t really looked it for awhile, but it is definitely not anymore so a propaganda tool than NARTH or NOM or Focus on the Family or any number of other conservative Christian organizations are. You’ve been hoodwinked yourself by some of these cc organizations in the past so you might want to at least be a little more forgiving of people you claim are manipulated by TWO.

  • Jayhuck

    David -

    It is impossible to judge a therapist based upon lies and selective release of tapes from sessions. Impossible.

    Look, Mr. Bachmann has had ample opportunity to come out and say that he didn’t say this, or as Warren suggested he should, apologize for the statements. His decision not to do these things gives what TWO says more weight.

  • Teresa

    I’m quite in line with David Blakeslee on this ‘investigative journalism’ with the Bachmann counselors. I’ve felt from the start this is the worst sort of behavior for anyone to initiate.

    What was TWO supposed to find inside that office … with that therapist? I, too, would have liked to have been a fly on the wall during those sessions. Would TWO have reported if said therapist happened to be gay affirming … beyond what TWO thought was likely, would they have been honest enough to say if the therapist fit more in the SIT framework or was quite frank about outcomes? Would TWO have reported those results? I think not. This was a witch-hunt from the get-go.

    However, I remember that these are just my opinions. I know others have far different thoughts on this.

  • Pingback: The fuss over reparative therapy — Warren Throckmorton

  • Emily K

    they took hidden video footage, so there was at least a small electronic fly in the room.

    additionally, I find it odd that ease of higher education and gender-equal opportunity to become wealthy are what cause the breakdown between the sexes and of the American family, ultimately.

    I remember learning in 4th grade class that medieval kings retained their hold on their people by keeping the population “poor and stupid.” I’m sure glad a Democratic Republic isn’t the same way.

  • David Blakeslee

    Throbert:

    And it appears to me that “reparative therapy” has become popularly applied to ANY (religious-based) therapy which starts with the assumption that homosexuals in general are in some sense “broken heterosexuals” who need to be repaired, regardless of how the “brokenness” is explained.

    When a propagandist purposely distorts the proper use of a term, it is important to properly define the term. Your analogy of “quantum leap” is a poor correlary (sp).

    It is more like Sara Palin saying “death panels.”

  • Eddy

    David Roberts said:

    Your question is not very clear to me but I’ll respond to what I think you are asking. I personally believe that the only religious belief that should enter into a professional counseling setting should be that of the client. The counselor should keep their religious beliefs to themselves. But then I see professional counselors as I do doctors — the medicine is the same no matter what the faith.

    For spiritual advice, there are clergy. If someone does not want to adhere to the standards and guidelines of the professional body of their profession, then they need to find another profession.

    First, I’m not sure why it wasn’t very clear to you other than that it gets stuck on your strongly held personal notions and biases. And didn’t I make it clear that the planted clients, out of the hundreds of professional help outlets available in the Twin Cities, CHOSE Bachmann’s clinic? Are they to assume NOTHING from that? And, didn’t the one plant SAY that their homosexuality presented a religious conflict for them? (In short, “I’m an adult who doesn’t live in a vacuum. I’m not oblivious to the fact that most people have no moral quandary whatsoever with homosexuality, however, I want help with mine and I found your agency.”)

    Second, where do we draw the line on religious belief, David? You can’t prove there’s a God…can’t even prove that there’s a ‘higher power’. The belief, therefore, in a Creator or an assisting power to draw upon in times of need is a religious belief.

    When it comes to any sense of morality, is there no drawing on a sense of communal beliefs that is, in itself, drawn from a widespread belief in a higher power. Why not kill other people? It appears to be ‘natural’; we see it over and over again throughout much of the animal kingdom. How on earth will we determine which of our beliefs are religious and which are not?

    Well, I guess we strongly disagree. I DO NOT believe that a counselor should keep their religious beliefs to themselves at all times. At times, the client has come in part because of those beliefs.

    And we strongly disagree in the simplistic “For spiritual advice, there are clergy.” There are times when we can all use a little advice but, mental health professionals exist because many times ‘advice’ just doesn’t cut it. We might actually need some clinical tools for diagnosis…some charting for progress…some values clarification…reinforcement tools…etc….etc. That goes beyond ‘spiritual advice’ and needs to do so. I live in a real world where sincere believers actually do have psychological issues equal to those of non-believers and therefore might actually need something more than just advice.

    Jayhuck said:

    Look, Mr. Bachmann has had ample opportunity to come out and say that he didn’t say this, or as Warren suggested he should, apologize for the statements

    .

    Sorry, I’ve read The Nation piece but I find your statement too abstract. What, specifically, is ‘this’ (from ‘say that he didn’t say this; what are the statements he should apologize for and why the need for apology? (I don’t believe the initial reference was to the word choice ‘barbarians’…I’m hunching that we’re wanting him to apologize for lying or covering up. But, please, correct me if I’m wrong in that.)

  • Jayhuck

    When a propagandist purposely distorts the proper use of a term, it is important to properly define the term. Your analogy of “quantum leap” is a poor correlary (sp).

    I could be very wrong here, but I think what Throbert was trying to say is that Reparative Therapy seems to have both a technical and non-technical definition. It may be understood differently by those within and those outside psychological circles. This involves something more than a single propagandist.

  • Jayhuck

    David,

    Sorry, I’ve read The Nation piece but I find your statement too abstract. What, specifically, is ‘this’ (from ‘say that he didn’t say this; what are the statements he should apologize for and why the need for apology? (I don’t believe the initial reference was to the word choice ‘barbarians’…I’m hunching that we’re wanting him to apologize for lying or covering up. But, please, correct me if I’m wrong in that.)

    If you want to know what the “this” is, what Bachmann said, scroll up or reread the piece in the Nation. Mr Bachmann’s silence on this issue is telling. You appear to claim we can’t trust anything TWO has said about this man, yet this man is not defending himself by saying that what TWO has said about him is wrong. whew ;) So what does that mean then?

  • Jayhuck

    Ooops – that last post should have been addressed to Eddy. :)

  • Jayhuck

    And it needs to be reworded for the addressee – will have to tackle that later

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    Keep taking the tablets, Eddy.

  • Eddy

    Jayhuck–

    As I already said, I already read The Nation piece and I still need the clarification I asked you for. Is it really that much of a bother for you to clarify your statement? It is not my intent to send you on a wild goose chase or to give you busy work.

    But, seriously, never mind. I’ll accept your attitude for what it is.

    David R:

    Nothing to say—your responses speak volumes!

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    Sorry, I’ve read The Nation piece but I find your statement too abstract. What, specifically, is ‘this’ (from ‘say that he didn’t say this; what are the statements he should apologize for and why the need for apology? (I don’t believe the initial reference was to the word choice ‘barbarians’…I’m hunching that we’re wanting him to apologize for lying or covering up. But, please, correct me if I’m wrong in that.)

    I’m only echoing a statement that was already made by Warren. This all revolves around his use of the word Barbarian in his answer to a question from the show’s host that specifically had to do with gay teenagers. IMO it would serve him well to apologize for the Barbarian statement as well as for the lying.

    Warren said basically the same thing I was trying to say. He did it before me and he did it better. I will repost it:

    Eddy – Agendas go both ways. The bottom line was that teens who think they might be gay are in need of treatment such as one would administer to barbarians. It takes an agenda to avoid seeing how extreme the word choice was.

    How about, “children need guidance” or “teens want boundaries” or some such language commensurate with the question being asked. However, the big bad words come out when Christians want to demonstrate how wrong being gay is. It is an extreme word. I rarely ever hear it in conversation about teens; in fact that may have been the first time.

    However, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt for a moment. He could clarify his meaning. He could explain what he really thinks of gays and say he got a little carried away talking about those rascally teens. I don’t think he has don’t that.

    Christians vilifying non-Christians will stop when Christians stop excusing it.

  • Jayhuck

    David B -

    It is impossible to judge a therapist based upon lies and selective release of tapes from sessions. Impossible.

    If the allegations are wrong, then why doesn’t Mr Bachmann challenge them?

  • David Blakeslee

    Jayhuck,

    You must know that it is the tactic of the propagandist, on both the left and the right, to throw accusations about in hopes of engaging your enemy in a conflict.

    Once engaged in the conflict, the propagandist often, not always, finds additional things wrong with the enemies response.

    My comments, though, are less about Bachmann, than the actual therapist involved.

    I have suggested that TWO release a transcript of all the sessions recorded to either support their allegations in context or reveal additional distortions that made treatment of this false client a hopeless case for the therapist.

  • Jayhuck

    David,

    My issue is with Bachmann, his lying and his outrageous choice of words.

  • ken

    David Blakeslee# ~ Jul 13, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    “You must know that it is the tactic of the propagandist, on both the left and the right, to throw accusations about in hopes of engaging your enemy in a conflict.”

    that isn’t quite the case with Bachmann. He was the one who said (or implied) his clinics didn’t attempt to convert gays to straight. Now, he may not have been lying, however, he was being deceptive about what happens in his clinics.

    “I have suggested that TWO release a transcript of all the sessions recorded to either support their allegations in context or reveal additional distortions that made treatment of this false client a hopeless case for the therapist.”

    I think TWO should release the full transcripts as well. However, the fact that the case was “hopeless” is irrelevant. The issues are whether or not Bachmann deceived people about his clinic and what happens in these therapy sessions. I’d also be interested in seeing a break down of the clinics revenues, and how much comes from the various treatments offered.

  • David Blakeslee

    Attempting to “convert gays” to straights is a word nightmare.

    It implies coercion and persuasion of a person who as a defined view (“I am Gay!”).

    Both instances reported by TWO describe a situation where a person was in conflict with himself and his religious beliefs—

    That ain’t conversion therapy.

    TWO is being manipulative and dishonest for a political agenda…because THAT IS WHAT THEY EXIST FOR!

    If a Gay Identified person had entered the clinic and reported emotional distress and the therapist HAD TRIED TO CONVINCE THEM THEIR DISTRESS WAS DUE TO THEIR ORIENTATION and had then tried to CONVERT OR PURSUADE THEM TO EXPLORE CHANGING THEIR ORIENTATION that would have been CONVERSION THERAPY

    GAYS HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR FROM THIS CLINIC POORLY INFORMED CHRISTIANS DO

  • Teresa

    David B., are you saying in the comment above,

    1.) That the Bachmann Clinic DOES NOT practice ‘Reparative Therapy‘?

    2.) How does SOCE differ from ‘Reparative Therapy’ as a subset of SOCE?

    3.) What should be a professional therapist’s response be to a client whose pursuing therapy … “to no longer want to have same sex attractions”?

    4.) Is it legitimate for a therapist to say … “Yes, that is a legitimate goal and outcome”?

    Can we dismiss this as “leaving the lifestyle”, which assumes you’re pursuing same sex behavior, in whatever form that happens to be. Assume that the client wants to live in harmony with their faith beliefs.

    I’m asking these questions assuming that I am a POORLY INFORMED CHRISTIAN on what SOCE actually means vs. Reparative Therapy.

    5.) Am I poorly informed to think the best information we currently have is that ‘change’ from gay to str8 happens seldom in men … women, a bit better?

    6.) Am I poorly informed when I think my therapy choice based on telling by therapist I want to live in congruence with my faith choice of chastity with my SSA … and, I’m open to where that leads … change or not? Should I be seeking a therapist that pretty much tells me … I’m a heterosexual with a homosexual problem” … and, when we uncover the stumbling blocks … I’ll be heterosexual?

    David B., I’m sincerely seeking answers to the above questions. I hope I haven’t come across as snarky or whatever. I’m very willing to concede that I’m poorly informed …

    There is a principle that is a bar against all information, which is a proof against all argument, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance. That principle is contempt prior to investigation.

    Herbert Spencer

    .

  • Ken

    David Blakeslee# ~ Jul 14, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    “Attempting to “convert gays” to straights is a word nightmare.”

    I’m not interested in playing semantic games with you David. If you want to do that there are others who post here who will probably be happy to oblige you.

    My statement was that Bachamann was deceptive (and possibly lied) about what “treatment” is performed at his clinic.

    Now if you wish to discuss that, then I will. However, if you want to play word games, I’m not interested.

    “GAYS HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR FROM THIS CLINIC POORLY INFORMED CHRISTIANS DO

    I disagree, this clinic helps fund Bachmanns so they can denigrate gays (by associating them with “barbarians”) and try to deny gays basic rights. And I suspect the clinics treatment of gay christians, fosters a hostility towards gays.

  • David Blakeslee

    Teresa,

    No snark noted.

    1) I am not sure what kind if any kind of therapy the Bachmann clinic is practicing…it seems to be religiously affirming while providing incomplete and inaccurate information to “professing” Christians. Christians should be upset about misleading Christians.

    2) SOCE involves a huge set psychological techniques applied to change of attractions, some of which may be an adjunct to individual therapy and Reparative Therapy is a specific technique, psychodynamically based is what the clinician does in the office.

    3) A clinician can answer that they way they answer many questions, “Although that is an ideal for you, there is not guarantee that will occurr. People generally are able to modulate the behavior more than they can modulate their thoughts and feelings. With SSA, there is some likelihood therapy can lower the intensity and frequency of your attractions, but it is unlikely they will disappear. There is no guarantee they will turn to opposite attractions.” The Ethical error at the Bachmann clinic would be the same if a person came in saying “Can I be free of Depression?” That is the ethical violation.

    4) No

    5 and 6 are answered by 3 and 4.

  • Nick Cavnar

    I realize David Blakeslee seeks to set a moderate and realistic standard when he suggests a clinician could say:

    With SSA, there is some likelihood therapy can lower the intensity and frequency of your attractions, but it is unlikely they will disappear.

    But compare that to Warren’s statement in another recent post regarding his survey of over 300 same-sex attracted men and women who are or have been married to someone of the opposite sex:

    On the whole, the group assessed themselves as more gay in their attractions and fantasies than when they were 18 and when they were married.

    According to Warren, many of these survey participants had been involved in some type of change therapy and/or Exodus-affiiliated ministries.

    This would suggest that a fully honest clinician would need to disclose not only that same-sex attractions do not disappear with therapy, but actually grow stronger in intensity and frequency over the long term. This is true even for those who avoid same-sex activity, do not identify as gay, and maintain a heterosexual marriage and family.

  • StraightGrandmother

    “Does anybody have any kleenex?”

    When we ask for a Kleenex we are not asking specifically for kleenex brand of facial tissue, we just need a facial tissue. The word kleenex in daily usage has come to mean facial tissue.

    When the general public reads or uses the words “reparative therapy” it has come to mean a person going to therapy to change their sexual orientation. I have been reading this website for about a month or so, and even I forget that reparative therapy is that specific flavor of therapy the Nicolsi practices that begins with you had a bad parent. I know I read that on this website before but had actually forgotten that there is a difference between sexual orientation therapy and reparative therapy until I read it again in these comments.

    Writers who use the words reparative therapy to talk about Sexual Orientation Change Efforts I don’t think should be beaten up about it any more than you would complain about some one writing about needing a kleenex instead of them writing about needing a facial tissue. They general usage of the term reparitive therapy has become a generic term and not the specific term that you would like it to be. For the people writing here, reparative therapy has a specific meaning but for the general public it does not, and bloggers and others I think are fine to use the term in the generic sense, especially when they are reaching a general audience. The only problem is that spell check doesn’t recognize the word reparative, LOL.

  • Eddy

    StraightGrandmother–

    I agree with you to a point but did you ever have that unfortunate experience of asking for a Kleenex (to clean your eyeglasses) and someone handed you a Puffs with lotion? Believe me, sometimes it matters!

    It seems we’re locked in a conversation where one side constantly assails the other for it’s unclear word choices (most notably: the decades long wrangling over Exodus’ use of the word ‘change’) and yet they won’t accept responsibility for their own unclear and unspecific speech.

    Ironically, I’d been mulling all evening on how this latest peeing contest actually rides on the unclear and unspecific speech. Allow me to explain: I was a part of the Twin Cities church and para-church culture for more than a decade. Outpost, the ministry I was part of is even cited in The Nation article that leads into all of this commentary. As an insider of the para-church culture, I was privvy to some stuff others may not have even noticed. For example, the Twin Cities had Christian support groups named “Alcoholics Victorious” and “Overeaters Victorious”. These came about due to a strongly held belief that identity is a key factor in any struggle and one should not identify by what had them in it’s grips but rather ‘In Christ’. Many people here don’t understand that…they tend to laugh it off…but that doesn’t change that it’s SO significant to some that it was worth establishing new support groups with new names. An unknowing outsider might comment ‘oh, you attend one of those ‘Anonymous’ groups’ and they’d betray that they didn’t understand a core part of the individual’s idealogy.

    So, on to Nicolosi and ‘Reparative Therapy’. RT has some pretty specific beliefs and methodologies. Some of them conflict–to the core–with the approach of some others. Bring on the Bachmann’s. The allegations are that they offer ‘reparative therapy’ or ‘change therapy’ but that they deny it. We think they’re lying. But revisit The Nation article. I can’t find where the Bachmann’s believe in ‘homosexual orientation’ in the first place. A term meant to be a descriptive label turned into a box. We won’t fully define what homosexual orientation is (there are hints that beyond sexual attraction there might also be issues temperament, artistic appreciation). The point is…it hasn’t been fully defined and no one can yet say where ‘it’ comes from. And the Bachmann’s reject it. He says so in The Nation article “and the core value…in terms of how God created us, we’re all heterosexuals.” Don’t need to ‘change’ an orientation that doesn’t actually exist.

    It follows then, if Bachmann does use the word change but doesn’t believe in a homosexual orientation, then his use of ‘change’ is clearly NOT ‘change of orientation’.

    Bachmann is further challenged on truthfulness because he says he doesn’t try to ‘cure gays’. LOL. The truth is that he doesn’t. Bachmann does not view the presence of homosexual feelings, desires or proclivities as a sickness. He views them as sin. The remedy for sickness is healing and cure; the remedy for sin is acknowledgement, repentance, God’s grace, fellowship. And Bachmann does elaborate just a bit on some of those disciplines.

    Anyway, I suppose there are some generalized conversations where it might be acceptable to categorize everything generically as ‘reparative therapy’, but it sure seems foolish in this forum where people claim to be pursuing a deeper and clearer understanding and comments and answers seem to ride on word choice or nuance.

  • stephen

    Since when did psychiatry become clinical?

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    . He views them as sin. The remedy for sickness is healing and cure; the remedy for sin is acknowledgement, repentance, God’s grace, fellowship. And Bachmann does elaborate just a bit on some of those disciplines.

    You’re off base here. Many Christians, my old Church included, do view sin as a type of sickness, one that can only be healed by the “Church”. Its original meanning has something to do with missing the mark, but to somehow separate the idea of sin from sickness bypasses a large number of denominations that view it this way. I’m not completely clear what you are trying to say here. These Churches view Grace, fellowship, etc (call it The Church) if you will, as the cure, the remedy, for sin, the sickness. Surely you must realize this

  • Teresa

    Bachmann does not view the presence of homosexual feelings, desires or proclivities as a sickness. He views them as sin.

    Thank you, Eddy, for this. Quite a radical difference from what the Catholic theology states about homosexual feelings, desires or proclivities. Now, if this is indeed what the Bachmann’s think and believe, I’m definitely not in agreement with them.

    This thread certainly took awhile to get to the nitty gritty, but I’m glad it finally did. If this is what a good deal of Evangelicals think, God help us all. No wonder persons with same sex attractions often feel between a rock and a hard place. Just imagine walking around having feelings you’re not responsible for arising, but you’ve just sinned by having them. What a radical difference between str8 persons who have opposite gender attractions arise which they’re also not responsible for; but, they’re not in sin, unless they continue to linger with them.

    Geez, love the sinner, hate the sin … is meaningless in this whole context. Worse than meaningless, it’s downright hypocritical. My attractions are part of me. I don’t set them on a shelf when I go out for the day; and, neither do str8 people. Why do str8′s get a break in this department? Plainly, this is saying just being homosexual (or shall I say “a heterosexual with a homosexual problem”, or some other weird definition) is sinful.

  • Teresa

    the remedy for sin is acknowledgement, repentance

    Why do I have to repent for something I didn’t cause?

    The more I think about this, the worse it gets.

  • Mary

    Why do I have to repent for something I didn’t cause?

    Teresa, as much as I read where you’re coming from, being raised Catholic myself, I have always thought this was a big joke , too.

  • Eddy

    ALL have sinned. Duh! That’s why we needed a Redeemer!

    Let him who is without sin cast the first stone. Do you think Jesus was gambling with her life…that there was ANYONE present, other than Himself, without sin.

  • stephen

    A couple of points I honestly don’t understand. Why would any psychiatrist declare his religion to a patient? Why would that ever be necessary? Surely that would interfere with what’s supposed to be going on? Do people still talk about ‘transference’ these days? When I was in analysis I wanted to know as little as possible about my analyst. Was he supposed to give me jewish therapy? Leaving aside for the moment what would seem to be Bachmann’s complete lack of training or credentials (which I would consider to be the main take-away from this story) I thought the point was to make one examine one’s assumptions not to reinforce them. Otherwise, if the therapist advertises his religious beliefs to attract customers who share those beliefs isn’t one entering a loop? Reinforcing in each other one’s mutual world-view? How is that supposed to ever lead to insight on the part of the analysand? Color me puzzled.

    And also, I don’t understand how one can be a conservative evangelical. I thought the point of evangelicalism was to break out of old forms, to challenge orthodoxies to enter into a more personal relationship with the divine. This seems a fairly new development that I don’t understand.

  • David Blakeslee

    Nick,

    This would suggest that a fully honest clinician would need to disclose not only that same-sex attractions do not disappear with therapy, but actually grow stronger in intensity and frequency over the long term.

    This is an interesting and important point.

    Behavioral therapy and ACT have noted that when we resist an idea cognitively, it tends to lessen in the short run but intensify in the long run. This is true of all “unwanted” feelings and thoughts, not just SSA.

    Psychology generally has been on the wrong path when dealing with depression and anxiety and it is no fault of SOCE and Reparative therapists that thoughtfully applying similar techniques to people with unwanted SSA has had a similar, long term outcome.

    Please see Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for more details of this general problem in psychology…

    before selectively applying it to this topic.

    And Warren,

    Please check in here as you agree or disagree…I think you agree we have been on the wrong path, despite extensive training and theory, with psychology generally the last 50 years.

    There is no shame in admitting this and it is dishonest at its core to selectively criticize a group that has thoughtfully applied well reasoned theories and interventions based upon what were sound psychological theories. Especially when that group (religious conservatives) have been either ignored or overtly pathologized by professional organizations like the APA.

    We now know that religious practice has many positive life correlaries; something Skinner, Jung, Freud and Rogers all resisted. Their clones became the APA and all research since then has been cluttered with their bigotry.

  • Nick Cavnar

    I think the issue here is the “truth in advertising” standard.

    Regardless of whether such intensification applies to many types of unwanted feelings, I believe it would make a huge difference if every therapist or religious ministry involved in this area made clear that same-sex attractions do not normally change or even lessen in intensity over time.

    We are now seeing some of these groups backing away from explicit promises of a 100% change in orientation, but they continue to push the idea that over time, with proper therapy or religious adherence, one will experience a significant lessening of same sex attractions and increased heterosexual desire and functioning.

    If even THAT is not true–and Warren’s study seems to corroborate what many of us have experienced individually–then people need to know that. It’s important not only for those who are trying to come to terms with their own sexual identity, but also for their families and potential families.

    Shouldn’t any woman considering marriage to someone with same sex attractions be told that even after 25 years, even if the marriage is successful, her husband will likely feel even “more gay” than he is now? Shouldn’t that give pause to therapists and pastors and church members encourage such marriages as a sign of “healing.”

  • http://wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Nick: I think our findings are going to have something for everyone but mostly they will cause significant reflection on the issues you are raising.

  • http://wthrockmorton.com Warren

    David – I definitely believe religion has been underappreciated so I am very happy the APA created space for conscience. I just wish my religious friends could get off the culture war thing and see what is happening. We need people in the other professions to wake up and smell the incense.

  • Teresa

    We now know that religious practice has many positive life correlaries; something Skinner, Jung, Freud and Rogers all resisted. Their clones became the APA and all research since then has been cluttered with their bigotry.

    David B., I was going to bring this fact to this thread. In fact, Freud hated the Catholic Church, in particular … of small note here. The bigger deal in all of this, for faith beliefs of all types, is that for years Christians of any stripe viewed Freud and psychoanalysis as WRONG. It was viewed as stripping ‘man’ from an essential … which was the spiritual. How this later became accepted, and not only accepted by almost every Christian Denomination but openly embraced, is quite amazing.

    We forget to look at the historical roots of what was going on mid-1800′s. Darwin and evolution, Freud and psychoanalysis, Marx and Communism. These 3 giants of social ‘science’, and dare I say, change or social engineering, loom large in our present social dilemma. Science, instead of being the handmaiden of Theology, the Queen of Science, became reductionist … and, men simply became molecules to be studied, tweaked, and ultimately enslaved in a gulag of ‘test tubes’, and addictive technology. We seem to no longer be the actors in our own lives, but acted upon by a science that “knows all” and “will deliver us from every suffering” … our present redeemer.

    There is no shame in admitting this and it is dishonest at its core to selectively criticize a group that has thoughtfully applied well reasoned theories and interventions based upon what were sound psychological theories. Especially when that group (religious conservatives) have been either ignored or overtly pathologized by professional organizations like the APA.

    There may not be any shame in admitting this, but the ‘religious conservatives’ should no better, in a sense. Have none of us understood the last 150 years of history, especially the faith groups? Therapy, particularly psychotherapy based on Freudian techniques, etc., has a history within the Churches of antagonism. Is this no longer taught in Church History in courses related to Moral Theology, Philosophy of Science? Are we all caught up in being ‘dumbed down’ from the mid-1900-s on?

    Perhaps, the roots of our solution lie in the past, and not the present or future.

  • Teresa

    So, I’m not misunderstood from my previous Comment; I am not advocating being ‘Amish’ here (no slur against the Amish Anabaptist Religion). I support science and its progress. The dilemma is who acts as the Grand Inquisitor or Ethicist on what are legitimate scientific endeavors, what are dangerous and immoral scientific ‘progresses’? Should that be left up to a majority vote? Are there never any areas that science should breach? Who decides and when, and on what basis will those decisions be made, if ever? Should bio-neural scientific studies be curtailed in the area of ‘sexuality’ because this touches a ‘core’ of who we are as ‘being’ who we are?

    Has the answer already been decided ‘just because’, and now we’re the dog being wagged by the tail of ‘science’?

  • Teresa

    ALL have sinned. Duh! That’s why we needed a Redeemer!

    Eddy, if we tone it down here a notch, here’s the essential question:

    Some Evangelical Christians deem simply having a spontaneous, same sex attraction as being ‘sinful’. I believe that’s what you said, in my paraphrased way, about Marcus Bachmann.

    Bachmann does not view the presence of homosexual feelings, desires or proclivities as a sickness. He views them as sin

    Have I understood this correctly, Eddy? A man with same sex attractions has a spontaneous attraction to someone in life’s passing, however. That man in no way feeds the attraction, is not lusting, etc.; but, simply having the attraction … that man has sinned? Is that what you mean?

    If it is, take a similar man with opposite gender attractions … said man has a spontaneous attraction to someone in life’s passing, however. That man in no way feeds the attraction, is not lusting, etc. but, simply having the attraction … has that man sinned?

  • Teresa

    Some Evangelical Christians deem simply having a spontaneous, same sex attraction as being ‘sinful’. I believe that’s what you said, in my paraphrased way, about Marcus Bachmann.

    This should have read: I believe that’s what you said in the quote below concerning Marcus Bachmann:

    Bachmann does not view the presence of homosexual feelings, desires or proclivities as a sickness. He views them as sin.

  • David Blakeslee

    Warren,

    Please see the question above about ACT if time permits.

  • Eddy

    Teresa–

    Forgive me, I should not have posted ‘on the fly’ this morning.

    To work with your latter paraphrase,

    Bachmann does not view the presence of homosexual feelings, desires or proclivities as a sickness. He views indulging them as a sin.

    Thanks for catching me on that one…I was focussed on differentiating between sickness and sin and failed to differentiate between temptation (i.e. feelings) and yielding to the temptation.

  • Teresa

    Bachmann does not view the presence of homosexual feelings, desires or proclivities as a sickness. He views indulging them as a sin.

    Eddy, thank you for the correction. This changes the whole picture. Much appreciated, Eddy.

  • David Blakeslee
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