NARTH to Feature Anti-gay Activists at Annual Convention

The National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) bills itself as “a scientific, secular organization.” However, this year the organization’s annual conference in Phoenix, AZ will begin with a decidedly religious and political tone. On the first day (Nov. 4) of the conference, Rev. Michael Brown and Sharon Slater will speak. Brown, who recently wrote a book called A Queer Thing Happened to America, will speak in a plenary session, while Sharon Slater, leader of Family Watch International will talk about her anti-gay work internationally and at the United Nations (Slater’s name does not appear on the current conference schedule, however, NARTH’s David Pruden confirmed today that she is giving the speech labeled “The United Nations and an International Overview.”)

Regarding homosexuality, Dr. Brown told religious talk show host Sid Roth in April of this year that some people can be delivered from homosexuality by ridding them of demons. To Roth, Brown said:

Sid:  I have met people that have been prayed for deliverance that were homosexual and when the demon was cast out of them even their walk was different.

Mike:  Listen, why is it that people can accept demonic influences in other behaviors? Someone’s a heterosexual pornography addict and they get delivered from demons and their free.  Someone’s addicted to drugs, they get delivered from demons, someone’s got a horrific fierce temper, they get deliver from demons and their free.  Why can’t we recognize that this can happen with homosexuality too?  It’s not every person.  I was in Israel Sid, talking to a top national leader and he talked to me about some men in his congregation and he said that he watched them in front of his eyes and get truly delivered, he said and they are free.  They are different, they are fully heterosexual.

More recently, Brown accused unnamed gay activists of complicity in the murder of Larry King, the young gay teen who was murdered in school by classmate Brandon McInerney. Brown wrote on the OneNewsNow website:

Of course, there is only one real killer, Brandon McInerney, just 14 years old at the time of shooting. He confessed to killing Larry in cold blood in full view of his classmates. But there are others who are complicit in Larry’s terribly tragic death, and rather than point the finger at a “homophobic” society, they should point it at themselves. I’m speaking of course of gay activists, who have made Larry into a martyr for the cause of gay activism when, in reality, he was more a victim of gay activism.

Brown argues that gay students should keep their feelings hidden because such feelings, when expressed, provoke harassment from other students. In the article on Larry King, Brown asked:

If our schools really are so “homophobic” and dangerous, why not encourage these kids to keep their sexual orientation to themselves until they’re in a safer environment?

Sharon Slater is the director of Family Watch International, a Phoenix based group which opposes the repeal of laws criminalizing homosexuality. Last month in an interview, Slater told me that she favored laws in the United States which make homosexual behavior a crime. She and her organization Family Watch International work with United Nations member nations to maintain laws which criminalize gays. About those laws, Slater said

“We do not support any laws that promote violence against homosexuals.” She added that her organization presents research showing that gays can change orientation. Such research is relevant to her stance because, “laws that promote violence would discourage therapy for people with unwanted same-sex attraction.”

I asked Mrs. Slater if she considers a 14-year jail sentence a form of violence. She said that her organization has no position on that question saying, “FWI does not dictate to nations what specific laws people should enact or protect regarding homosexual sex or whether they should fine or jail individuals.”

In December, 2009, I asked NARTH’s leadership about the organization’s position on Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. At that time, some proponents of the bill were suggesting that forced therapy for gays should be included in the bill. NARTH’s David Pruden rejected the forced therapy as ineffective. However, NARTH’s Dean Byrd declined to take a position on criminalization saying,

We are aware of the situation in Uganda but thank you for bringing this to our attention. I am sure that you are aware that as a scientific organization, NARTH does not take political positions; however, we are happy to provide a summary of what science can and cannot say about homosexuality for those who do.

NARTH takes no position on criminalization and yet brings in a non-scientist who supports criminalization around the world in an “applied workshop.” NARTH claims to be a secular organization but brings in a minister who believes some homosexuals can be changed by removal of demons. I cannot imagine another scientific group giving a platform for similar views.

 

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  • Lynn David

    It seems certain conservative groups tend to more reactionary backlash as concerns when their pet peaves are not satisfied.

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    Well this is certainly chilling news. :(

    Dave

  • ken

    This isn’t surprising. NARTH has had a long history of associating with anyone who agrees with their views on homsexuality, you’ve already posted about some of those dubious associations. And as the science on sexual orientation advances it shows more and more how far NARTH is from reality. Thus those that are willing to associate with NARTH have less and less to do with actual science.

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

    If I may quote from the comments on Dr Brown’s Crie de Couer WHY HAVE SOME PEOPLE CALLED ME A “HEARTLESS MONSTER”?

    Alonzo September 21st, 2011 1:50 pm :

    Homosexuality is simply a deviation of the norm in the same manner being left-handed is.

    Konstantin September 21st, 2011 2:24 pm :

    ”Homosexaulity is simply a deviation of the norm in the same manner being left-handed is.”

    - not “simply in the same manner” at all. Lefthandedness or righthandedness does not in any way be attributed to anything remotely related to morality or anything fundamentally important.

    Having one’s perception of sexuality be completely dysfunctional to the point of being attracted to that which is opposite of what one should be attracted to – that is important.

    Zoe Brain September 21st, 2011 10:08 pm :

    Konstantin wrote:

    Lefthandedness or righthandedness does not in any way be attributed to anything remotely related to morality or anything fundamentally important.

    Historically, that has not been the accepted religious view. There are many quotes in the Bible that say that the righteous will pass by the Right Hand of God, the Damned by the Left or “Sinister” side.

    And he shall separate them one from another,

    as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats.

    And he shall set the sheep on his right,

    but the goats on his left.

    — Matthew 25: 32-33

    “Lefties here who went to school in the last century have described being physically forced to become right- handed, in both public and parochial schools. Justification for this kind of bias and behavior was found in the teachings of all the Abrahamic religions, think of the sheep and goats passage in Matthew with the righteous on the right and the evil on the left. The Buddha similarly described the left- hand road as the wrong way in life.”

    “In some definitions, the Left-Hand Path is equated with malicious Black Magic and the Right-Hand Path with beneficial White Magic.”

    “Prejudices against left-handers abound, for throughout history, lefties have been considered inferior. Centuries ago, the Catholic Church declared left-handed people to be servants of the Devil. For generations, left-handers who attended Catholic schools were forced to become right-handed. Only a few decades ago in Japan, left-handedness in a wife was sufficient grounds for divorce. The wedding ring is placed on the left hand in order to chase away evil spirits that may haunt the marriage. In Arab nations, the right hand is used to touch parts of the body above the waist, while the left hand is used for below the navel. Bedouins segregate the women to the left side of the tent to keep the right side free for the men. (Making it fairly obvious to determine which gender is considered more important.) Natives on the Guinea coast never touch their left thumbs to their beer mugs, in the belief that it would poison the beverage. Maori women weave ceremonial cloth with the right hand, because to use the left hand would profane and curse the cloth – the penalty for using the left hand is death. African tribes along the Niger river do not allow their women to prepare food with the left hand for fear of poisonous sorcery.

    Religion has played an important part in oppressing the image of the left hand. In Matthew 6:3 of the Bible, Jesus instructed his followers that when they do charitable things, to “not let thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth.” Jesus also expressed the following sentiments regarding the Judgment Day. “And before Him shall be gathered all nations; and He shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats; and He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, ‘Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world…’ Then shall He say into them on the left hand, ‘Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels…’ In the Old Testament, God told Jonah the wicked city of Nineveh contained people so sinful they “cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand,” leaving us to infer that they cannot discern between good or evil. Greeks, in their worship of Zeus, posted sentries to watch people entering the holy temples and make sure they entered with their right foot, because entrance with the left foot was thought to curse the building. Also, the Greeks took care to never put their left leg over the right while crossing their legs. In Hindu rituals, followers are required at times to circle people and/or objects three times, from left to right to cleanse them.”

    Left-handedness has been described as “perverted”, “abnormal”, “pathological”.

    Remind you of anything?

    http://molly.kalafut.org/lefthanded/lefthanded.html

    Dr. Michael L. Brown September 21st, 2011 10:25 pm :

    Zoe, in the midst of our differences, I appreciate your persistent and patient posting. Putting aside the question of the alleged innateness and immutability of homosexuality (where we also differ), can you see an intrinsic difference between left-handedness and sexual behavior? The left-handed person is doing the same things as a right-handed person, just with a different hand, whereas a homosexual person is doing something fundamentally different than a heterosexual person, being attracted to and sexually involved with someone of the same-sex as opposed to someone of the opposite sex.

    Zoe Brain September 22nd, 2011 2:11 am :

    Putting aside the question of the alleged innateness and immutability of homosexuality (where we also differ), can you see an intrinsic difference between left-handedness and sexual behavior?

    Of course. But I don’t see the same difference between using one’s left-hand – a behaviour – and sexual behaviour. Both are choices, to the same degree.

    Someone who; like me, is ambidextrous (many Intersex and Trans people are not right-handed – though “ambiclumsy” might be closer in my case) has an untrammelled choice. I’m equally bad with either hand, a matter of neuro-anatomy as we now know. However, unless you assert that everyone is ambidextrous too, the choice they have of their behaviour, which hand they use, is no real choice at all. While a few who are borderline (for biology is not binary) may be able to benefit from “Ex-Sinsistral” therapy to “repair” their “abberrant behaviour”, as many religions require of them, many more would just get damaged by it.

    The fact that handedness is immutable and innate doesn’t prevent some people on the border from “changing” – it’s just that it’s rare. Many others will use their off-hand in a poor fashion, but they will never be as facile with it as they are with their natural hand. While behaviourally they will be right-handed, they’ll tell you ashamedly that they are still left-handed. Yet others will avoid tasks involving great manual dexterity (as they have manual sinistrality) altogether. And finally others are able to use either hand, and for them it’s a matter of training, habit and custom.

    The similarities of sexual orientation and handedness are obvious. As are those of handed behaviour and sexual behaviour. Four separate concepts.

    References:

    Dichotic Listening, Handedness, Brain Organization and Transsexuality – Ernest Govier, Milton Diamond, Teresa Wolowiec, and Catherine Slade – International Journal of Transgenderism, 12:144–154, 2010

    http://www.hawaii.edu/PCSS/biblio/articles/2010to2014/2010-dichotic-listening.html

    Elevated sinistrality in transsexuals. – Orlebeke, Jacob F.; Boomsma, Dorret I.; Gooren, Louis J. G.; Verschoor, Anton M.; Van Den Bree, Marianne J. M. Neuropsychology, Vol 6(4), Oct 1992, 351-355.

    http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/neu/6/4/351/

    The Praeger handbook of transsexuality: changing gender to match mindset Rachel Ann Heath Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006 p56-57 describes the mechanism behind this correlation.

    Link

    There is another difference though; one regarding morality, ethics, and independent of religious belief or non-belief. No-one has ever broken anyone else’s heart by their handed behaviour; but many hearts have been broken by sexual (mis-)behaviour. Cheating is unkind. When a woman has sex with a man, she gives him part of her heart. Do that with too many men, she has nothing left to give, and is diminished. I don’t know if men are the same way, but the evidence argues against it.

    I’m really very old-fashioned, too much so for the world I live in. More so even than you. Dr B, in some ways. I make no distinction between any extra-marital sex, be it pre-marital, adulterous, fornication, casual sex, hook-ups, prostitution, fooling around, getting to first base, bundling, and regardless of the sexes of those concerned.

  • Jayhuck

    Thus those that are willing to associate with NARTH have less and less to do with actual science.

    I apologize if I’m being glib, but has NARTH cared about science prior to 1972 at all? Why is it that anyone gives “airtime” to this group? Do people that matter really care what NARTH does? I’m curious

  • Jayhuck

    I asked Mrs. Slater if she considers a 14-year jail sentence a form of violence. She said that her organization has no position on that question saying, “FWI does not dictate to nations what specific laws people should enact or protect regarding homosexual sex or whether they should fine or jail individuals.”

    This quote, well, it speaks volumes doesn’t it? Does NARTH truly think it is in any way a “scientific organization”? That’s just sad

  • Regan DuCasse

    Dr. Brown, as a member and volunteer of several pro justice institutions, you have to be one of the most insulting and self righteous people ever to write anything.

    One of those institutions is the Simon Weisenthal Center in Los Angeles. A Holocaust archive and educational center fighting hate and injustice. They interface with the SPLC. A storied equality and justice advocacy that you’ve called “the real hate group.”

    In the backwash of many young children being murdered or assaulted from anti gay sentiment, you’ve written that gays and lesbians ‘are the real bullies’.

    I am a crime scene photographer, very experienced with the results of the most violent and depraved of human indifference or sociopathy.

    In the course of working with brave and committed gay law enforcement officers, who are parents and former military, I can say in all honesty most of the crimes we attend to are NOT committed by gay individuals.

    Gay men and women have considerable patience and courage in the face of the claims you and your ilk make.

    Gay people typically respond to such outrages and libel with due process of law, compassion and non violence.

    A claim that cannot be made by those whose worst angels you incite.

    Your last article in TownHall on the tradition hatred towards Jews is exceptional in it’s ignorance and inaccuracy.

    Women, gays and lesbians and the transgendered and intersexed are the most hated and violated human beings in all human history.

    Gender is a very serious political issue entrenched in unrealistic and artificially constructed social hierarchies, that has no respect for individuals regardless of their potential and contributions.

    I have had the privilege of working with, caring for and being trusted by a demographic you wouldn’t deign to understand, let alone to the same with.

    That is to say, many of us hetero people are deeply and intimately close to a group you keep at arm’s length and clearly only know in the abstract.

    But you report on them as if more credentialed to.

    Well, I have NEVER taken any knowledge about being Jewish, living as a Jew and Jewish history from a non Jewish anti Semite. Nor would I trust the word about blacks from a dedicated segregationist.

    So there is no reason to believe a word you say about gay people considering YOUR background and what you’re doing with what you think you know.

    I don’t consult men about experiencing childbearing, would YOU?

    I can empathize with gay men and women because the injustice they are dealt IS the same as has happened to blacks and women and so on. And I am a black woman.

    I’m not, I repeat NOT comparing the attributes of color with sexual orientation.

    But I AM, and rightly so, comparing the injustices and cruelty towards a minority of people for the SINGULAR attribute that differentiates them from others, but NOT from being people with considerable gifts to offer mankind.

    That singular attribute should not now, nor ever keep them from being treated with the rights, protections and freedoms accorded everyone else by birthright, since gay people are accorded no exclusions from the same responsibility or law abiding principles as the rest of us.

    You are as dismissive of the humanity of gay people as anti Semites have been of the Jews, or racists of blacks. Your language and rationalizations are THE SAME.

    There IS absolutely no difference in tactics or the claims you make.

    However different color is from gender, or sexual orientation is from religious affiliation, that you don’t question the SAMENESS of pejorative language and political maneuvers is what sets YOU apart from respectful and freedom loving citizens.

    You are the one who shouldn’t be believed, and the casualties piling up among even gay CHILDREN is what also is the difference in who is doing the most harm to innocents, truth and the virtue of empathy.

  • Regan DuCasse

    Typo:

    I meant to say,

    Dr. Brown, as I am a member and volunteer of several pro justice orgs. YOU are the most insulting and self righteous people ever to write anything.

    I haven’t had enough coffee today.

  • Bernie

    It would appear that their junk science is not serving their purposes. Now, they have to resort to bringing propagandists in to instill some more misinformation and bigotry.

  • Stephen

    Very interesting comments.

  • Michael Bussee

    NARTH has had a long history of associating with anyone who agrees with their views on homsexuality, you’ve already posted about some of those dubious associations.

    Exodus, for example.

  • Michael Bussee

    Why on earth does Exodus continue to support NARTH and promote their books?

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    Michael Bussee# ~ Sep 26, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Why on earth does Exodus continue to support NARTH and promote their books?

    My guess is that it is because they are probably both fueled by a fundamentalist ideology that considers thoughts and feelings to be sinful in and of themselves.

    Dave

  • Ken

    Michael Bussee# ~ Sep 26, 2011 at 11:58 am

    “Why on earth does Exodus continue to support NARTH and promote their books?”

    Because then Exodus can point to a “scientific” organization that supports their work. And I suspect NARTH supports Exodus because it is an excellent source for referrals. It is a symbiotic relationship.

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  • Michael Bussee

    So is it an oversight, or has Exodus made a conscious decision to disassociate from NARTH and its promise of a gay cure through psychiatry? ~ Dave Rattigan, XGW

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