‘Ex-Gay’ Life Coach Forced Patients To Touch Themselves

Right on the heels of Family Research Council’s George Rekers scandal, Truth Wins Out has a new video exposing how a major figure in the so-called ex-gay movement forced his male clients to touch themselves during “therapy” sessions:

Truth Wins Out (TWO) released an exclusive video statement today from two former clients of “ex-gay” life coach Alan Downing. The clients, Ben Unger and Chaim Levin, alleged that during individual therapy sessions, Downing (pictured) made them undress in front of a mirror and touch their bodies while the significantly older therapist watched. Unger and Levin call the sessions a “psychological striptease” and believe they were harmed by what they consider unprofessional behavior and sexual misconduct.

Downing, who admits he is still attracted to men, is a major player in the “ex-gay” industry and a practitioner of so-called “reparative therapy”. He is the lead therapist for Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality (JONAH) and is listed on the People Can Change website as a “Senior Trainer” for Journey into Manhood, which is a controversial “ex-gay” backwoods retreat designed to supposedly make gay men more masculine.

Watch the testimonials:

Major medical associations have condemned the ex-gay movement. “The potential risks of ‘reparative therapy’ are great,” the American Psychiatric Association warns, “including depression, anxiety and self destructive behavior, since therapist alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce self hatred already experienced by the patient.” “There is simply no sufficiently scientifically sound evidence that sexual orientation can be changed,” the American Psychological Association has concluded.


According to Truth Wins Out, the anti-gay movement grew in response to the flourishing gay communities in New York and San Francisco, which “presented a challenge to conservative churches.” “Influenced by the miracle-seeking Jesus Movement, the ex-gay ministries adopted name and claim theology. Essentially, this meant if you kept repeating you had “changed” — even if you had not — God would eventually grant you the miracle of heterosexuality as a reward for your faith.” Almost every ex-gay group has been rocked with scandal when their supposedly converted “straight” success stories are caught having sexual relations with other men. As Unger says in the video, “I’ve literally never met somebody coming out of that therapy who turned straight.”

In April, CNN invited “ex gay” Richard Cohen to ask if “homosexuality, is a problem in need of a cure.” After a grassroots campaign by LGBT bloggers and activists, the network admitted that “Richard Cohen was not the most appropriate guest to have on” and interviewed a psychologist who debunked the notion of reparative therapy.

Today, “the main financier and facilitator of ex-gay ministries is Focus on the Family, which hosts a quarterly symposium called Love Won Out.”