Ever since Exodus International’s Alan Chambers admitted that ex-gay therapy cannot “cure” homosexuality, there has been a supposed “rift” among various ex-gay activists. In reality, any shaming or curbing of homosexuality is harmful, so the distinction in approaches is negligible, but the in-fighting allows for a particularly candid glimpse at how exactly these purveyors of junk science defend their treatments. NARTH co-founder Joseph Nicolosi has taken particular exception to some of Chambers’ remarks suggesting he uses porn to encourage heterosexuality:
I do not use heterosexual pornography with my clients. I do ask them (if they wish to do this; some clients do not, and I never expect my clients to do anything they do not wish to do) to bring up a compelling image from gay porn that they wish to reduce the power of, and we work on diminishing its power (a technique with which we have had considerable success).
However, I do not use straight porn; I use pictures of women they find attractive in mainstream magazines and we work on developing a physical attraction to them, through their imagination, while looking at these non-pornographic pictures.
I would like you to set the record straight on this. You have been publicly denigrating reparative therapy and misleading people about its nature.
Perhaps the only ex-gay idea more absurd than using images designed to sexually arouse is using images that aren’t. In either case, the admission that Nicolosi’s therapy consists of just sitting around imagining different attractions than the person has demonstrates how foolish the notion of ex-gay therapy is. His closing remarks remind that the therapy is harmful as well, rooted in sinful shame and stigma, not healing or affirmation.
If homosexual acts truly constitute sin, as you say you believe, then people deserve to be able to avail themselves of all reasonable therapeutic tools to diminish unwanted SSA and explore their OSA potential. You are discouraging them from having such tools, and also as a Christian, you are reassuring them that they are OK whether they “fall” or not, which gives people very little reason to struggle against a condition which has very deeply negative implications for both themselves and for our culture.
Nicolosi and his disciples are, as ever, motivated not by what’s best for the patient, but by blatant animus toward homosexuality. They believe they are saving society by “saving” gays, but they are having the opposite effect in both regards.