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Nicolosi Responds To Questions About Rekers’s Research

Jim Burroway

June 16th, 2011

Joseph Nicolosi, co-founder and past president of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), was interviewed by conservative dissident Anglican activist David Virtue. (It’s worth pointing out that Virtue has uncritically championed the discredited research of Nazi-sympathizer Paul Cameron.) This interview came about in response to last week’s revelations here on BTB and on CNN that George Rekers’s most famous case study and success story, a four-year-old boy named “Kraig” (Rekers’s pseudonym for Kirk Murphy) had actually grown up to be a gay man who family and friends say was severely damaged by the treatment. He tried to commit suicide when he was seventeen and finally hanged himself at the age of 38. Nicolosi appeared on the third segment of CNN’s three-part series, in which he hailed Rekers’s “pioneering work in this for many, many years.”

In Nicolosi’s interview with Virtue, he asserted that gays were inherently pathological and incapable of forming legitimate romantic relationships with each other. Nicolosi then went on to stretch that assertion to include non-romantic and non-sexual friendships:

Homosexually oriented men tend to find themselves entwined in excessively close friendships with women-particularly, with narcissistic women who do not understand that men cannot in a healthy way, be their “best friends” – and this reactivates old, negative memories of unhealthy entanglement with their mothers.

But back to the subject of Rekers’s, Nicolosi again brushed off the allegations against Rekers, both in the Kirk Murphy case as well as last year’s scandal in which it was learned that Rekers had returned from a European vacation in the company of a male escort.

VIRTUEONLINE: Turning to the AC360 TV series, was the “Sissy Boy” experiment aimed at changing him? That is making feminine boys more masculine? It seems he was deeply damaged all his life and much later committed suicide. Was this a result of therapy gone wrong?

NICOLOSI: Who can know what happened in his case? But to put it in context, homosexually oriented people have a much higher rate of psychological problems, substance abuse, disordered family backgrounds, and suicide attempts. This is a known fact. Why did the show not reveal this fact?

VIRTUEONLINE: George Rekers who worked for NARTH as a therapist was cited in a lot of your research as “gays who can overcome their same-sex attractions” yet in the end he was seen taking a young man with him on a trip to Europe who later said he had “massage sex” with Rekers. Does that invalidate all his research?

NICOLOSI: If it happened, it was a grave indiscretion, but I will stay out of that controversy. The real issue is, does Dr. Rekers’ research stand up? Do his theories make sense?

Of course, if we threw out the work of every gay-activist researcher accused of being involved in a personal scandal, there would be no literature on their side of the issue, would there?

Dr. Rekers dedicated 30 years of his life to very important work which has become a well-respected part of the scientific literature.

Comments

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Ryan K.
June 16th, 2011 | LINK

Always a class act, that Dr. Nick.

Allen
June 16th, 2011 | LINK

I give Nicolosi one thing: when he says, “The real issue is, does Dr. Rekers’ research stand up? Do his theories make sense?” it’s a valid point. That is the real issue.

Based on the evidence, though, it’s obvious that Dr. Rekers’ “research” does not stand up. It can’t even be called “research” because Rekers didn’t accurately report what happened to “Kraig”. And I hope Nicolosi would agree that, whenever conclusions turn out to be based on false information, they should be thrown out. To me that’s the bigger scandal where Dr. Rekers is concerned.

But Nicolosi isn’t willing to give up using Rekers’ research, because it says what he wants to hear, and the facts don’t matter.

Jay Jonson
June 16th, 2011 | LINK

These people are disgraceful. They need to be sued for the harm they do.

Paul Mc
June 16th, 2011 | LINK

I must say, Nicolosi has some nerve.

Rekers will no longer be cited by anyone credible. Maybe out of hatred for gay people, hence Nicolosi will not disavow the Kraig/Kirk data despite it being patently not worth the value of a few plastic poker chips.

He didn’t answer (at least in quoted text) whether therapy aimed at making feminine boys more masculine was the object of Rekers study. OF COURSE it
was. Making boys more ‘masculine’ is at the heart of NARTH ideas.

“and this reactivates old, negative memories of unhealthy entanglement with their mothers”

And that makes you gay? My god, get this stuff into court on video and have the world laugh at this guy WAY more than the Prop8 trial.

lurker
June 16th, 2011 | LINK

“Rekers will no longer be cited by anyone credible.”

Well, no. But it will still be cited by political groups for years to come to raise money to pass laws against us.

Fortunately the tide is turning and these groups will be more and more marginalized in the future.

Ezam
June 16th, 2011 | LINK

I think he unintentionally admitted such therapy can’t change “homosexually oriented people”.

Brant
June 16th, 2011 | LINK

I agree that someone should sue these people for malpractice? Has anyone been in therapy with Nicolosi or someone linked to him that has had harm done due to treatment? I’m sure someone would pick up their case.

Maris Ehlers
June 16th, 2011 | LINK

I am seething.

Ivan
June 16th, 2011 | LINK

It always strikes me that these guys are unintentionally describing themselves.

Timothy Kincaid
June 16th, 2011 | LINK

Homosexually oriented men tend to find themselves entwined in excessively close friendships with women-particularly, with narcissistic women who do not understand that men cannot in a healthy way, be their “best friends” – and this reactivates old, negative memories of unhealthy entanglement with their mothers.

Someone’s been watching too much Will and Grace. While on acid.

Darina
June 16th, 2011 | LINK

So I’m narcissistic. Well, one learns something new every day. :P

jimb
June 16th, 2011 | LINK

“Of course, if we threw out the work of every gay-activist researcher accused of being involved in a personal scandal, there would be no literature on their side of the issue, would there?”

I couldn’t have said it better myself!

Timothy Kincaid
June 16th, 2011 | LINK

jimb…

I’m trying to recall the personal scandals of the “gay-activist researchers’.

I don’t recall any personal scandals for Quzi Rahman, Gary Gates, Scott Hershberger, William Byne, Simon LeVay, Dean Hamer, or really anyone at all.

So perhaps you’d like to clarify exactly what “gay-activist researcher accused of being involved in a personal scandal” that you and Dr. Nicolosi are thinking of.

luiz
June 16th, 2011 | LINK

That gay people have higher rates of psychological disturbance, doesn’t mean this differential cannot be traced to external events, that is, to events unrelated to sexual orientation. In Murphy’s case, the physical abuse he suffered by the hands of his father – and the fact that, in the words of his siblings, he was made to feel different from everyone else due to that therapy – seems a much more relevant fact to take into account when explaining his depression, than his sexual attraction to men. People who are ostracized and isolated are more likely to suffer from psychological disorders – and we know gay people are more likely to be slighted, ostracized, and bullied than heterosexual persons. Nicolosi’s answer shows the base reasoning abilities behind his anti-gay activism.

ken
June 16th, 2011 | LINK

this article was little more than a fluff piece for Nicolosi to spew more of his nonsense to someone who wouldn’t challenge anything he said. I think the most telling part is this:

VIRTUEONLINE: Will you ever treat someone who comes to you involuntarily or who is coerced by a parent with the statement, “my son is gay, fix him”.

NICOLOSI: Treatment would not work, so why bother? We could expose the young man to our ideas for a session or two, so that he could have some balance against what the other side is saying, but that would be about it.

He claims treating a child whose parents want Nicolosi to “fix” would do no good and yet he took the Kendalls’ money for far more than “a session or two.” And rather than ask the obvious follow-up question, the interviewer instead suggests it was Anderson Cooper who lacked objectivity.

ken
June 16th, 2011 | LINK

jimb
June 16th, 2011 | LINK

““Of course, if we threw out the work of every gay-activist researcher accused of being involved in a personal scandal, there would be no literature on their side of the issue, would there?”

I couldn’t have said it better myself!”

Reker’s work wasn’t thrown out because of a personal scandal. It was thrown out because it was shown to be wrong and that Reker’s distorted what really happened. The personal scandal was merely a clue as to why Reker’s may have been driven to distort the facts.

Bernie
June 17th, 2011 | LINK

Question remains, how does that man face himself in the mirror each morning?

Ben In Oakland
June 17th, 2011 | LINK

I believe he meant to say anti-gay acitvist researcher.

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