Reader comments · USA Today publishes op-ed defending ex-gay therapy and claiming ‘hundreds of ex-gay patients were succesful’ · PinkNews

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USA Today publishes op-ed defending ex-gay therapy and claiming ‘hundreds of ex-gay patients were succesful’

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  1. “Whatever the situation at an individual clinic, accusing professionals from across the country who provide treatment for fully informed persons seeking to change their sexual orientation of perpetrating a fraud serves only to stigmatize the professional and shame the patient”

    Totally ignoring the substance of the lawsuits being presented to the courts which are all specific in referring to “therapy” that targets children and others who can’t make legally binding decisions, and are thus required by the law to have decisions made for them
    Most other defenses of the “therapy” refer to decisions being made by parents on behalf of children, this is precisely because it is not the child deciding to go through “therapy”. Whether or not the recipient is informed of what they’re going through, they aren’t the ones seeking it

    By the words used in the article itself, the article is wrong. Aside from the fraud as defined by a lack of success promised, the given defense for “therapy” is a fraud

    1. In the last sentence, I use ‘article’ to refer to the one in USA Today, not Pink News. Just clarifying.

  2. We know that many patients tell their therapists they are “cured” because they want to believe it, or don’t want to let their therapist down, or are being pressured by family or others.

    Hopefully some of those people whose treatments with Mr Cummings were “successful” in the ’60s and ’70s will now come forward. They can explain that in fact the treatment was an utter failure, and can describe the misery created by this self-hating brainwashing technique.

    1. “We know that many patients tell their therapists they are “cured” because they want to believe it, or don’t want to let their therapist down, or are being pressured by family or others”

      Indeed – or because they’ve been made to feel so much shame about being gay they can no longer admit it even to themselves.

  3. Hey Mr Cummings, your “cured” patients are bi.

  4. GulliverUK 31 Jul 2013, 9:06pm

    Some quack witch-doctor who hasn’t practiced since 1979 make unsubstantiated claim in 2013, when all the evidence now proves conclusively that sexual orientation is innate and cannot be changed – even Exodus have given up pretending they can change people.

    The real issue isn’t one nutjob, but why USA Today disgraced itself by publishing such trash. Has it become some sort of salacious tabloid?

    1. Methodist 3 Aug 2013, 1:45am

      Not really a quack witch doctor: This guy was president of APA, , head psychologist of the biggest managed care organization in the US, got APA’s APFR Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Practice (highest psychological award in the US), distinguished professor at at least two universities, etc. etc. etc. – and together with Spitzer one of the leading guys in striking homosexuality from the DMSH. Was then outspoken and is still today.

  5. I can’t stand people (espec. Americans) that believe just because their faith is strong that it must be true. Sure, go and worship god if you want, just don’t change the lives of people that don’t believe what you do. Honestly

  6. Just because such therapy doesn’t work for everybody doesn’t mean it doesn’t work for anybody.

    Some people do experience permanent change in patterns of sexual arousal; some more limited or partial change; others no change at all. The same thing is true for all kinds of different therapies.

    I’m not sure this should be available to children or teenagers because they are often very suggestible and open to pressure from parents – but why are people so quick to judge decisions made by adults?

    1. Commander Thor 31 Jul 2013, 10:37pm

      Because none of them have had their INAH-3 measured in an MRI or had their genitals monitored while they are shown gay and straight porn, before and after the said “therapy”. That’s why.

    2. Guglielmo Marinaro 31 Jul 2013, 10:48pm

      If consenting adults wish to waste their time on “ex-gay therapy”, they must be absolutely free to do so, just as they are free to dabble in any other kind of quackery that they choose. We should tell them that they’re wasting their time, of course, but they have the right to ignore the warnings and to go ahead anyway, at their own discretion and at their own risk.

      That doesn’t mean, however, that it should ever be legal to practise this kind of harmful and abusive nonsense on minors: it shouldn’t. Nor should it receive any endorsement from genuine health organizations.

      True, we can’t prove that it NEVER works for anybody. You could say the same of Christian Science healing, psychic surgery, pyramid therapy or any other of the seemingly endless inventions of the crank fringe.

    3. Robert in S. Kensington 1 Aug 2013, 11:49am

      You should take a look at website and learn more about the fraudulent claims made by these individuals and their scamming activities.

  7. Guglielmo Marinaro 31 Jul 2013, 10:29pm

    Well, the militant ex-gays had a press conference in Washington today, which was obviously a phenomenal success. Read all about it:

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 1 Aug 2013, 11:47am

      Yes, and Greg Quinlan, one of the biggest frauds of all claimed he was converted but his marriage to a woman didn’t last very long. I wonder why?

  8. Yes, when you go by a truck stop, notice those cars parked behind the trucks, they are your ex gay patients.

  9. If it works why did Exodus international (the biggest organization) close down ?

    And besides, would a straight person really date someone who was ex-gay (not bi)? I think they know that they are setting themselves up to be cheated on.

  10. So many ex-gay success stories to choose from such as Alan Chambers, John Paulk, Ryan J Muelhauser, John Smid and everyone’s favourite “luggage lifter” George Rekers.

    Leaving aside the dubious ethical implications, if even leading ex-gay councellors and posterboys can’t think ‘straight’, it doesn’t inspire much confidence in the rest of this agenda-driven quack enterprise.

    1. Now I think of it even Liberace’s ex Scott Thornson dabbled with the ex-gay circuit briefly and became an ex-gay posterboy until his straight marriage fell apart.
      Anybody can claim to be ex-gay but the real test is whether they’re stealing glances at Wonderbra or Calvin Klein billboards for reasons other than fashion tips when they think no-one’s looking.

  11. The really does look like some kind of wacky professor.

    Shame he can’t be cured of his ignorance.

  12. Robert in S. Kensington 1 Aug 2013, 11:43am

    He claims hundreds were successful. So, why haven’t all of them come forward to support his statement? They shouldn’t have any fear of recrimination or feel embarrassed because they’re apparently cured. I challenge all of them to reveal themselves.

  13. “Of the patients I oversaw who sought to change their orientation, hundreds were successful…”

    And I wonder how many are quoted by name testifying to this in the op-ed piece or on the website.
    Or how many would indeed be revealed to have no more same-sex desire if asked a few questions while hooked up to a lie detector.

  14. James Campbell 3 Dec 2013, 10:42pm

    In fact it was Spitzer and the APA who were instrumental in removing homosexuality from the DSM in 1973. Cummings is a Psychologist and not a member of the APA. Cummings actually endorsed the “middle-ground” approach of gay psychologist Lee Beckstead.

    Cummings was chief psychologist for Kaiser Permanente (now known as ‘HealthSpan’) from 1959 to 1979 which offers Health Plan insurance such as Medicare. He is on record as saying that “Of the roughly 18,000 gay and lesbian patients whom we treated over 25 years through Kaiser, I believe that most had satisfactory outcomes. The majority were able to attain a happier and more stable homosexual lifestyle. Of the patients I oversaw who sought to change their orientation, hundreds were successful.”

  15. James Campbell 3 Dec 2013, 10:43pm

    Even psychiatrist Dr. Robert Spitzer, who has long been one of the leading figures in “ex-gay” therapy, has recanted his earlier views about the mutability of sexual orientation. What makes Cummings’s defence of JONAH’s efforts particularly ironic is that in his op-ed, he reassures readers that he believes “gays and lesbians have the right to be affirmed in their homosexuality.”

    It appears that Cummings runs with the hare as well as the hounds.

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