Anglican Mainstream, one of the leading English organizations on the Anglican right, is bringing an American psychotherapist who is anything but mainstream to England this week. Joseph Nicolosi, is one of the founders of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality, the flat earth society of the therapeutic world.
How far out on the fringe does NARTH stand? As the Web site Religious Tolerance has pointed out, just about every organization in the American therapeutic universe has repudiated its methods.
In 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Counseling Association, American Association of School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers, American Psychological Association, American School Health Association, Interfaith Alliance Foundation, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Social Workers and National Education Association jointly issued a document condemned reparative therapy as potentially harmful and of little or no effectiveness.
Truth Wins Out has more:
In 2006, NARTH had a meltdown after two major controversies. In the first, psychiatrist Joseph Berger, MD, a member of their “Scientific Advisory Committee,” wrote a paper encouraging students to “ridicule” gender variant children. “I suggest, indeed, letting children who wish go to school in clothes of the opposite sex–but not counseling other children to not tease them or hurt their feelings,” Dr. Berger wrote on NARTH’s website. “On the contrary, don’t interfere, and let the other children ridicule the child who has lost that clear boundary between play-acting at home and the reality needs of the outside world. Maybe, in this way, the child will re-establish that necessary boundary.”
In the second controversy, Gerald Schoenwolf, PhD, also a member of NARTH’s “Scientific Advisory Committee,” wrote a polemic on the group’s website that seemed to justify slavery: “With all due respect, there is another way, or other ways, to look at the race issue in America,” wrote Schoenwolf. “It could be pointed out, for example, that Africa at the time of slavery was still primarily a jungle, as yet uncivilized or industrialized. Life there was savage, as savage as the jungle for most people, and that it was the Africans themselves who first enslaved their own people. They sold their own people to other countries, and those brought to Europe, South America, America, and other countries, were in many ways better off than they had been in Africa. But if one even begins to say these things one is quickly shouted down as though one were a complete madman.”
In 2006, the American Psychological Association issued a statement that expressed concern that ex-gay or “conversion therapy” was potentially damaging and might create an intolerant and discriminatory political and social climate. According to the statement:
“For over three decades the consensus of the mental health community has been that homosexuality is not an illness and therefore not in need of a cure. The APA’s concern about the position’s espoused by NARTH (The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality) and so-called conversion therapy is that they are not supported by the science. There is simply no sufficiently scientifically sound evidence that sexual orientation can be changed. Our further concern is that the positions espoused by NARTH and Focus on the Family create an environment in which prejudice and discrimination can flourish.”