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Christian ‘gay cure’ therapist loses appeal

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  1. A vote for reason above superstition.

    Its all nonsense of course, look at our pal Keith. Even Exodus members see its failure.

    And the proof? Well, in 1979, two of Exodus International’s co-founders, Michael Bussee and Gary Cooper, quit the group and held a life commitment ceremony together. On June 27, 2007 Bussee, along with fellow former Exodus leaders Jeremy Marks and Darlene Bogle, each came out as gay or lesbian and issued a public apology for their roles in Exodus.
    Or Anthony Venn-Brown, who is a former Australian evangelist in the Assemblies of God and in Australia’s first ex-gay program. In 2007 he co-ordinated the release of a statement from five Australian ex-gay leaders who publicly apologized for their past actions.
    And Peterson Toscano, an actor who was involved in the ex-gay movement for 17 years, now with Christine Bakke co-runs Beyond Ex-Gay, a support website for people coming out of ex-gay experiences.

    1. Thank you. I know Peterson Toscano quite well and he is an inspiration.

    2. Zorek Richards 28 May 2012, 5:31pm

      Hardly a vote for reason. Just a vote for “a reason.” It was the “reason” they wanted and they got it. I would not call that justice…only apparently legal there. Justice and legal are not always synonymous.

      1. Preventing harm is always justice.

        These actions ensure Pilkington is unable to cause harm using her illegitimate and damaging “therapy”

      2. “Hardly a vote for reason.”

        Please don’t flaunt your ignorance in front of those who know better, you make yourself look like a fool. If you want to support harmful delusional therapies based on voodoo, then I suggest you go back to school – it clearly was a failure the first time.

      3. The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy is a professional governing body that sets the ethical standards to be observed by its registrants. Legality is not an issue here Zorek. However, justice was definitely an issue. The BACP addressed the fact that a member had violated the ethical standards of their profession, and they took them to task for that.
        Zorek is just being belligerent, and a bore.

    3. more regulation, wonderful.

      1. More reason. Wonderful.

  2. “Christians will think twice about using traditional biblical Christian counselling methods. It will definitely close people down, it will definitely engender a climate of fear.”

    I bloody well hope so! It’s about time the religious freaks felt fear.

    1. Dr Robin Guthrie 28 May 2012, 3:13pm

      And just where in their bl@@dy bible does it mention Ex-Gay Therapy.

      These fraudsters make it up as they go along all in line with their own prejudices.

      1. the bit that says that homos should be stoned to death… behavioural modification through negative reinforcement!

  3. Thank goodness the right decision was made.

    This paragraph is unbelievable: Andrea Williams, CEO of Christian Concern and director of the Christian Legal Centre, which supported Mrs Pilkington said a “truly tolerant society would allow for this therapy to continue not to treat it with suspicion and those who practise it with suspicion”.

    What planet is Andrea Williams on? It has been proven time and again that this so called therapy is not productive, nor is it required and from what I have read, it certainly does more harm than it should.

    1. Yes! The BMA themselves deemed it harmful! They voted on it. She doesn’t have the qualifications, experience nor knowledge to challenge that.

      1. Marc Draco 28 May 2012, 2:31pm

        William’s argument is a logical fallacy, probably a Straw Man or Appeal to Ignorance.

        It troubles me greatly that Premier Christian Radio are hosting a show in London this week which relies on Appeal to Authority. Their discussion (not on gay issues) advertises four Christian scientists; among them an Emeritus Professor.

        How many people will realise these guys are taking way outside of their fields and moreover, than an Emeritus Professor is just a fancy name for a retired teacher!

    2. well she cant let those irritating little things like facts get in the way now can she? :P

    3. A ‘truly tolerant society’ which tolerated the peddling of this destructive quackery wouldn’t be tolerant. It would be grossly irresponsible.

    4. Andrea Williams… playing the same old squeaky violin that Christians are persecuted while ignoring the fact that her ilk are so eager to persecute others. For a lawyer she doesn’t seem to have a very logical mind.

  4. “Ms Pilkington said counsellors who held views like hers were at risk of being shut down. She said: “They simply won’t operate in this area at all, they won’t offer the possibility of change.”

    HOPE SO!

    1. Marc Draco 28 May 2012, 2:26pm

      Hope they don’t let the door hit them on the arse on the way out.

      1. Actually, I rather like the idea of that.

  5. Pilkington claims “Christians will think twice about using traditional biblical Christian counselling methods. It will definitely close people down, it will definitely engender a climate of fear.”

    If such methods were ethical, they would have nothing to fear. Only if they are being UNethical, should they have any fears about being shut down. If “biblical Christian counselling methods” are unethical, then what does that say about their belief system?

    1. The concept of “biblical” counselling methods is nonsense in and of itself.

      Consider that the people of the bible were so intellectually backward and undeveloped that they could not understand why the sun rose. The belief that they have anything useful or cogent to say about a complex subject like human sexuality is a nonsense.

      You could ask them – Do they wish “biblical medical methods” to be used on them for an injury or ailment and they would be outraged that you suggested such a silly thing. And yet the hypocrisy of trying to apply psychiatric care based on the same primitive beliefs doesn’t even register to them.

      1. Lord Denning (deceased) 28 May 2012, 5:26pm

        I suppose there may be an analogy to Christian Scientists who refuse medical treatment for their children. Currently they get prosecuted. What is the Christian Institute’s position on their religious freedom I wonder…

  6. Robert in S. Kensington 28 May 2012, 3:05pm

    Well done, BACP and thank you! Another nail in the coffin of the hate mongers.

  7. Doñald Duck 28 May 2012, 3:08pm

    She was disciplined for being a really bad therapist, not for her religion. If she and her supporters interpret that as she is bad because of her religion, that is down to them.

  8. Doñald Duck 28 May 2012, 3:09pm

    No doubt another victim story for Christian Fear to get funds from America.

  9. “Christians will think twice about using traditional biblical Christian counselling methods”
    Traditional Christian counselling methods?
    1) Attempt to cure gay person and charge them for the privilege
    2) Stone them to death when it fails

  10. Garry Cassell 28 May 2012, 3:24pm

    Yes, she’s just another crackpot, religious wingnut grabbing at anything to play God…

  11. Great to see that honesty, integrity and common sense won.

    So called reparative therapies are dangerous and discredited.

    No reasonable or professional clinician or psychotherapist breaches the first rule of patient/client engagement – do no harm.

    No reasonable or professional clinician or psychotherapist bases their therapy or treatment on anything other than sound evidence. Eminence or belief based therapy is wholly and utterly wrong.

    This is a strong victory in favour of both evidence based practice and ethics and against therapies which are discredited and proven to be harmful.

    Thank You Patrick Strudwick for your intelligent covert expose of immorality by Pilkington.

    1. Its such a shame she exists at all. I mean even their God had the good grace not to do that! I read an Article about Margaret Court tonight the Australian tennis player/preacher…is this fanaticism in elderly women a form of dementia ? If a God was truly on their side why do they always loose? It’s very very sad for them to be so useless, why don’t they focus on the fur trade or famine or something that might benefit from all this energy they seem to have! The swansong of Religion is not pretty! We evolve and they scream louder as it dies!

      1. are you being sexist and ageist? for shame!

    2. what is eminence-based therapy supposed to be Stu?

      1. Hi SkepChik

        If I give an example from clinical practice hopefully you will see how it correlates to the issue of reparitive therapy.

        I am a paramedic. One of the skills I have in terms of airway management is endotracheal intubation – which I am trained in by consultant anaesthetists. It is the gold standard in airway management. It is also a skill that some paramedics do not get the opportunity to use as frequently as some would like to maintain skills at optimum level. However, in some scenarios eg flash burns it is the only form of airways management that paramedics have that would save a patient. It is also a better method than alternatives. It was proposed to remove endoctracheal intubation from paramedics a few years ago due to lack of use by some paramedics (it is impossible to plan the clinical work load of an emergency paramedic!). The Royal College of Anaesthetists felt they should exercise their eminence (their leadership) in this matter. Paramedics pointed out

        1. that whilst anaesthetists were experts in intubation – they were not experts in the environment in which paramedics work. They tend to intubate in a clinical environment with bright lights and the patient on a waist height operating table, whereas a paramedic may do so in the dark, upside down in a ditch, in the midst of mangled wreckage of a car. We pointed out the evidence cited by anaesthetists was based on operating theatre statistics of junior doctors in training and was not related to either paramedic skills or the environment we work in. We refused to accept the advice without evidence from our own skill levels or the environment we work in. We acknowledged the eminence and knowledge base of the learned Royal College but voiced concern that our responsibility as professionals was to act on evidence based reasoning relevant to our practice to provide the best possible care for our patients. We retain endotracheal intubation airway management.

          So the correlation with this

        2. case is that psychotherapists should not accept the word of one or two eminent (or religious) leaders in their profession. They should act on the balance of evidence. The balance of scientific evidence is that reparative therapy is dangerous and does not work.

          1. that was very generous of you to answer my question so thoroughly. thanks very much. :-) hope you catch this.

    3. “No reasonable or professional clinician or psychotherapist bases their therapy or treatment on anything other than sound evidence. Eminence or belief based therapy is wholly and utterly wrong.”

      This is largely why Cognitve-behavioural therapy (CBT, is being supported and developed by the NHS in its expansion of therapy services through its IAPT schemes (Improving Access to psychological therapy) schemes.

      CBT has an evidence base grounded in randomised controlled trials, the gold standard of emprical based science.

  12. Jock S. Trap 28 May 2012, 3:37pm

    Why do they never focus on why people come to them unhappy? Is it because it’s of the very people like them driving people to depression and suicide?

    Shameful woman and good that she has lost her appeal giving her free reign to damage others.

    As for Andrea Williams… and the oh so poor Christian victim routine again… what crap. Religious Freedom does Not include damaging people as much as you’d like it to be.

    The time religion is left to read about in the history books the better the world will be… certainly much more peaceful and equal.

  13. Good.

    So called “gay cures” are nothing but junk science. She might as well have rattled chicken bones at Mr Strudwick.

    And as is bloody typical of christians – they try to victim card and blame Patrick for exposing their wrong doing.

    1. Lord Denning (deceased) 28 May 2012, 5:19pm

      Standard tactic my dear, from the American organisations that fund these things.

  14. GulliverUK 28 May 2012, 4:50pm

    The next step should be to outlaw it, make the practice illegal. All the major organisations say it doesn’t work and can often be dangerous, even fatal. And this will send a clear message that it is not appropriate for any religious organisations to practice it, nor suggest it.

    Alternatively, we could set up therapy centres to treat extremist Christians of their vile afflictions and run it as a non-profit, using the money to fund LGBT homeless projects, outreach, HIV prevention, set up our own schools, help those affected by reparative therapy, and if there’s any money left over … set up our own religion :):):)

    1. Lord Denning (deceased) 28 May 2012, 5:17pm

      I don’t know about that, but there should be a clear line between medical science (psychotherapy) and religion, and perhaps religious counselling should be left to priests, surly that’s what they’ve been doing for centuries.

  15. These anti-gay Christian psychiatrist are criminals and should be arrested for crimes against humanity.

    1. Lord Denning (deceased) 28 May 2012, 5:11pm

      A slight exaggeration methinks.

      1. Arguable in some cases

    2. for crimes against individual clients…

    3. This sort of practice is offensive and needs stamping out, so your strength of feeling is understandable. That said, there are mechanisms for fighting the issue and professional censure seems appropriate as a minimum : if there’s evidence of more harm being done to other individuals then there may be a case for civil and criminal prosecutions to be brought.

  16. Zorek Richards 28 May 2012, 5:27pm

    Quite the frame and set up. They send in a fake, who already decided that any such counseling is fake, and then files charges because they say the counseling turned out to be fake. Good grief.

    1. Lord Denning (deceased) 28 May 2012, 5:33pm

      I suggest you read the article again for the reasons she was disciplined. And no one sent him in, he’s an investigative journalist on a national newspaper.

    2. It needed to be exposed.

      Patrick Strudwick is a confident and strong man who cannot be harmed by the voodoo drivel that is “gay cures”. But a younger, more vulnerable man might be placed at risk by a therapy that is debunked as useless at best, as directly harmful in a worst case scenario.

      They needed to be exposed.

      Gay cures are fake. They push people in to closets, those people go on to ruin their own lives – and occasionally the lives of the unfortunate straight men or women that they marry who also deserve better and deserve not to have such a cruel sham perpetrated on them.

      Ask yourself this – would you marry someone who was “ex-gay” and have a family with them? Would you spend your life waiting for the penny to drop? Would you be happy and comfortable knowing that it was fake, they didn’t really want you that way? Is that something that you personally actually find bloody appealing?

    3. It would be better to allow her to use quack medicine on a vulnerable person? She needed to be exposed for the unethical fraudster she is.

    4. So you support harming people, Zorek?

    5. “Quite the frame and set up.”

      Last resort of the religious:- a boo-hoo story based on paranoia. How typical.

      Please, get an education, its really depressing listening to you.

    6. he was obviously doing invesitgative journalism Zorek…. all’s fair in the game of getting the story.

      And as for your mock horror at a set-up…. isn’t that what anti-terrorist squads do on a regular basis to root out the bad apples.. not that I am suggesting any equivalence here.. but I am certainly grateful to the feds for pre-empting terrorist attacks by going undercover.

      1. Absolutely.

        Those who adopt reasonable and appropriate practice that does not harm, have nothing to fear from an investigative journalist. Those that condemn undercover reporters tend to be those that have something to hide.

    7. “They send in a fake, who already decided that any such counseling is fake, and then files charges because they say the counseling turned out to be fake.”
      It’s not just Patrick Strudwick who thinks that any such counceling is fake. The BACP (her own regulatory body), the American Psychiatric association, Dr. Robert Spitzer who conducted the research the cures are supposedly based on an has changed his mind due to the damage it does.
      If someone claimed they could cure lukemia with asprin you’d say they were a dangerous quack and should be struck off the medical register.
      Same difference.
      If no-one is keeping tabs on the therapy how do we weed out the quacks?

    8. Midnighter 29 May 2012, 5:35pm

      Exposing ‘fake’ counselling can only be a good thing. Most undercover sting operations are done based on information received.

      The only problem I see is with your perspective.

  17. Lord Denning (deceased) 28 May 2012, 5:30pm

    Why are the CI/CC not fighting for the rights of Christian Scientists ( and Jehovas Witnesses?) to refuse medical treatment for their children, so they can use prayer alone as per their beliefs?

    Its all part of the same aspect of religious liberty.

    1. But that clearly comes down to the legal competence of those children, given that it is understood that children are not in the possession of their parent.

      I’m not sure what the age threshold is at the moment – I don’t recall any cases off the top of my head. I don’t think it is 18, it may be a case of the child in question choosing for themselves having displayed competence and understanding during a hearing.

      Frankly, if they want to off themselves? Fine. I just hope that the cause of death on their certification is “stupidity.”

    2. Belief in the Holy trinity?

  18. Does anyone else see an advert at the top for
    Can’t imagine they will get many clcks from us for Asian mail order brides

  19. How absurd to believe that being gay can be turned around by religious therapy. Why should it be turned around? There are many people who are not happy being gay. In such cases the art would be to help the person accept their homosexuality. A lot of religion swirls around medicine, both psychiatric and general. Religion must be banned from all forms of caring for the unwell. Spiritual healing of mental and physical illness – I do not include being gay in that – Spiritual Healing has nothing to do with religion, can be used to great benefit. Let the person of their own volition go to the hospital chaplain if they feel it would be of use.

  20. Sorry my comments were rather muddled about Religious Healing. I wanted to say that I strongly believe in Spiritual Healing, in fact I am a healer and have been for over 60 but I am not remotely religious. Also I am not in any way anti gay.

    1. Sorry me again ! In my post I missed out ‘years’ when I i wrote ‘ and have been for over 60’

    2. @Gerald

      I think there is a difference between some peoples practices and those that engage in damaging therapy.

      Reparitive therapy is damaging and harmful.

  21. Christian counselling is just psychology from a Christian perspective. Not all Christian therapists are homophobes or consider ex-gay therapy to be a legitimate enterprise. They offer faith based insights into a person’s issues that are in alignment with that person’s Christian views. They are not all biblical literalist crackpots, and can be quite kind decent people.

    1. When a gay person’s unhappiness is caused by conflict between their innate sexual feelings (sexual orientation) and religiously grounded beliefs that such feelings are wrong and must not be expressed, then I think the test of the probity & professionalism of any faith-based psychological therapist would lie in their willingness to identify this as the problem and facilitate abandonment of the beliefs, (rather than change the sexual orientation), even if they themselves believed homosexuality is ‘wrong’.

      1. dear Mark
        there are Christian perspectives that reconcile a person’s faith with their homosexuality. The liberal strand of Christian counselling does not see homosexuality as sinful and in need of modification. Such a counsellor would be more likely to help the client reconcile their faith to their sexuality rather than the other way around.
        That said, the other kind of therapist who wants to bend a person’s nature to their interpretation of biblical values is a total menace.

  22. Ms. Pilkington is so out of it, she’s complaining that the decision will “definitely engender a climate of fear” for those who practice reparitive therapy. Well, good! Christian Counselors should be very fearful of practicing a modality that has been found to be harmful by virtually all relevant professional associations. There is no religious justification for reparitive therapy, because it is harmful. The harm doesn’t disappear just because someone decides a modality is consistent with their religious beliefs. Slavery is entirely consistent with the Old Testament, but nobody in their right mind would use it to justify enslaving people today. Why doesn’t Ms. Pilkington instead develop therapy to help people stop eating shellfish or wearing mixed-thread fabrics? If she thinks Christians should enforce Leviticus which is from the Old Testament, there are plenty of other admonitions she can use to create therapudic modalities.

    1. I do hope that those engaging in reparitive therapy are frightened as a result of this.

      Frightening any charlatan quack who risks harming their client or patient is always a good thing.

      1. I do so agree. And surely the latest announcememt from WHO calling upon national bodies to exercise their legal clout against ex-gay clinics should lend some clout in routing out this quackery.

  23. why isn’t there a therapy to turn hot straight chicks into lesbians?

    1. I have heard my women friends recommend a couple of bottles of white wine, but I suspect that the effects are temporary.

      1. tried it… got me slapped a couple of times though! :-)

  24. *raises glass*

  25. Evidence?????

  26. Guglielmo Marinaro 29 May 2012, 6:07pm

    No, Patrick Strudwick has not succeeded in getting “reparative therapy” banned, nor should he have succeeded. What he HAS done is to expose “reparative therapy” for the hocus-pocus that it is. The sun is slowly but inexorably setting on the “ex-gay” hoax. But in a democratic society personal freedom must include the freedom to be taken for a ride.

    You say, “He had no evidence to establish that such therapy is not beneficial to some clients.” You could say the same of Christian Science healing, crystal healing, pyramid therapy, reincarnation therapy or any other kind of flim-flam. The burden of proof lies on those who make the claims, not on those who disbelieve them.

    1. There should be no freedom to be conned.

      The duty of a clinician is principally to do no harm – conning a patient is harming them.

      The duty of society is to protect others in society, failing to stop quacks who harm patients is not protecting vulnerable members of society.

  27. Midnighter 29 May 2012, 6:20pm

    “Many individuals are deeply unhappy with their same-sex attractions and seek counselling.”

    I venture this is because of the bullying they receive by bigots. Clearly we need a homophobe therapy.

    “He had no evidence to establish that such therapy is not beneficial to some clients.”

    A preposterous statement. There is plenty of evidence freely available to indicate that it is very likely to harm all clients, which is why the professional bodies of psychiatry in the UK (and USA) won’t countenance it. If there was authoritative evidence of any benefit to ‘some clients’ and a reliable way of determining in advance who those might be in order to avoid harm, it might be considered.

  28. No he exposed the lies and deceptions of Pilkington

    He never set out to ban a form of therapy – merely expose the insidious nature of it.

    He succeeded

    In time the “therapy” will be banned. It harms people. It sounds like you might be in need of other forms of therapy from the lies you tell!

  29. O dear Aiden . . . what a tantrum!!!


    1. Queeny tantrum, one might say!!

      1. LOL! You both bet me to it!

        I wonder why Aiden is so upset over ex-gay “therapies” being proved to be hocum….. I wonder, I wonder…..

  30. “Many individuals are deeply unhappy with their same-sex attractions and seek counselling.”

    You for one, obviously.

  31. have a nice cup of tea dear, and a lie down for a while until you feel better

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