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Sunday, January 17, 2016
Anti-Gay WND Columnist Misrepresents Court Ruling Against Conversion Therapy
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Linda Harvey's Jan. 12 WorldNetDaily column is mostly her usual anti-gay claptrap -- this time her theme is, "When will America stop giving homosexuals everything they demand, even when others are placed at risk?" One part of it is this:

In December, a court in New Jersey ordered JONAH, Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing, to end its programs and activities, effectively shutting it down. The group had been hauled into court by the hate-conjuring Southern Poverty Law Center on a trumped-up “consumer fraud” suit, because JONAH, like many other groups and churches around the country, helps people overcome same-sex attractions.

SPLC provided no proof of harm other than unsubstantiated anecdotal claims from unhappy homosexuals. The New Jersey kangaroo court exhibited breathtaking bias, even preventing JONAH’s six defense experts from testifying and barring JONAH from launching a First Amendment, religious-freedom defense.

Arthur Goldberg and Elaine Berk, JONAH co-directors, released this comment to the press: “The tragic miscarriage of justice which occurred in the JONAH case reflects the near triumph of political correctness and the gay activist agenda in the USA.”

Harvey doesn't explain why JONAH deserves a "First Amendment, religious-freedom defense" for a consumer fraud case -- perhaps because there is no such thing. And defending their conversion-therapy practice as something legitimate and successful was something JONAH did a bad job doing. According to the Jewish news website the Tablet:

The defense claimed that their methods—including “Journey into Manhood” weekends where much of the time was spent doing different naked “processes”—were scientific and did in fact help clients of JONAH who “put in the work.” JONAH brought in witnesses to testify to the success of these exercises. One witness testified to having a happy sex life, but also said he had a “wet noodle,” or had trouble getting an erection for his wife. When the jury was not in the courtroom, the judge responded to a defense witness, “Frankly, I don’t even know how this was a success story.”

And Harvey hides the fact that at least one client did, in fact, claim harm from JONAH's procedures. The Forward reported:

During and after JONAH’s so-called therapy, [Benjamin] Unger, 27, became suicidal, anxious and depressed. He put on weight and could not go to yeshiva or to work. He testified about his experiences during the three-week trial.


Unger described another group therapy session where the boys were told that their close relationships with their mothers had played an integral role in turning them gay. Unger was then instructed to reimagine a pillow in the therapy room as his mother, and to then beat that pillow as hard as he possibly could with a tennis racket, according to court documents.

He testified that the therapy temporarily destroyed his relationship with his mother.

And as Newsweek reported -- but Harvey won't -- Goldberg presented himself as "Dr. Goldberg" though he held no medical degree and his only advanced degree was in law (and he was disbarred after being sentenced to prison for his role in a municipal-bond scandal). JONAH's practices went unnoticed for years because 1) JONAH catered to orthodox and ultra-orthodox Jewish communities where homosexuality is frowned upon, and 2) therapy participants are forced to sign nondisclosure agreements.

So, yeah, more anti-gay claptrap from Harvey. It doesn't really help WND's attempt to be more mainstream (see its tamping down the birtherism and its support for militia takeovers) that Harvey is still a columnist.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:24 PM EST
Updated: Monday, January 18, 2016 10:28 AM EST

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