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.