Gay marriage is up to bat once again. However, a littler known decision was made today about a gay cure organization called Jonah (Jews Offering New Alternative to Healing) working largely with Orthodox Jews. I knew and worked with the president who gave me the willies and an ewww feeling that I beat myself up for as being "judgmental"...turns out there was good reason for me to be. I should have trusted myself. You can read in my latest book how I learned not to trust myself and my experiences with Jonah's president, Arthur Goldberg at the Book Space.
Arthur Goldberg was his name and he started Jonah when his son came out. The son is happy and out while his father is still mortified and wanted to make sure that other gay men didn't follow his son's path into happiness and self acceptance. Two very bad things for for those that worship their religion rather than God. Anyhow, I digress. I'm glad for this decision but I was hoping for one that would turn this man's heart around (and those involved with him). I doubt that happened though. It will be curious to see if anyone goes after People Can Change, which Arthur was also part of (a non-religious form of the very same organization).
Its at times like these that people aren't really interested in the exact truth. They are more interested in hanging the guilty party. However, you can ask my mom....I am very much for the exact truth and I have a terrific memory, which get's me into trouble and at times can be tormenting when others insist to remain ignorant. However, it is my belief that if people abided by the full truth, not only would justice be in matters like these but future converts would not be compelled to stand with them. You might say who cares? Well, hear me out. Part of the reason why the men in the Jonah case won't change (besides the depth of their homophobia fueled by their religion) will be because of the kind of article I posted above which is representative of what is going around with this announcement. This article doesn't fully reveal the truth and doesn't that matter? This article discusses techniques used, such as men using tennis rackets to beat pillows to release anger with no explanation so that the readers can go "Weird!". They go over a particular form of therapy with a broad stroke to make these people "seem" wrong and weird. Having been around these people, they deserve what they get. They are wrong and in some cases very strange, angry men. However, I don't believe in winning people to your side through portrayals that really don't give all the information to the public. It sort of reminds me of the Nazi's portraying Jews with big noses and ugly in their propaganda pieces so that the German non-Jews would hate them. I want us to be above such hogwash. The way these articles are suggesting the therapy was used isn't really accurate. Let me explain.
The techniques used by JONAH and reparative therapists are also used in a very pro gay organization called The Mankind Project and all sorts of groups around the globe that practice psycho-drama or Gestalt techniques without attempts to change sexual orientation but heal wounds. The reparative therapists believe that if you heal wounds that made you feel less than a man, then you will heal the wound that made you gay. Screwed up, but there is a point to the madness. Whether you know it or not there are groups using their own modifications of this kind of therapy across the world with no professional licensing "to heal wounds". Straight men and women across the globe are beating pillows, punching bags and crawling up clothed and sometimes naked into other people's arms to represent figures they need healing around. And none of it has anything to do with reparative therapy or ex-gay-anything. It is a therapy of releasing trauma through the body and creating a catharsis. So these reparative therapists know that today across the nation, groups not aligned with them use this very form of therapy and they know the results. I'm not entirely sure how or why people can do this without licensing but I can also testify to its benefit regardless of my concerns around the fact. In my encounters with this kind of therapy that was modified into various versions with varying titles-Guts, Shadow Work, Gestalt, and Shadow Healing--only one of these forms was used in reparative therapy circles, all the rest were used with straight men and women to deal with the past just as circles I was in with Arthur Goldberg on retreats do. They are all practically identical.
When I was ex-gay, I would have gays mock this kind of therapy to me but I had already seen 100's of straight men use the same techniques and experience healing, not just myself as an "ex-gay". I wouldn't have traded my men's group where we practiced these techniques as "straight" men for anything in this world. Even Joy Bahar of the View espoused her own psycho-drama group. Of course, the ex-gay groups where we practiced this, I am glad to forget about.
Don't get me wrong. I'm very glad for this decision but I wish people were more informed when addressing the public. We need to be specific and exact with what is put out to the public as to wrongs committed, or we suffer the fate of fueling the beast. They can point back to our mockings as mis-informed and cruel and keep themselves as the victims and gain the converts who too feel like victims too. It puts this very kind of therapy that has benefited many into question. I don't like seeing this portrayed as some kind of joke or something that was prescribed as a home remedy. JONAH and the crew under Arthur Goldberg practiced therapy in a manner that was deceitful and based in their homophobia--just as the court ruled. Why do we have to go beyond that? Do they really need to be made into worse jokers? I think not. They've done a fine job as it is. A whole bunch of groups and organizations practicing this form of therapy would and could be called into question so if the practices were really in question, such as beating a pillow to represent a parent, well, then a whole lot of therapists are in trouble. I, personally, am glad to be away from such people from my ex-gay days and their camps. Rumors are there worse cover ups yet to be decided yet around Jonah and Goldberg...I don't know but let's not portray these people as nuts for using a form of therapy people are using today and benefit from. Let's not use such broad strokes to over generalize something that needs more in depth explanations. And I just want you, my readers to be informed not only of the victory among (hopefully) other upcoming victories but also the need for us to not become jaded or go around mis-informed.