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This Is Not What An Apology Looks Like

Jim Burroway

October 31st, 2011

Richard Cohen’s International Healing Foundation has issued something he calls an “apology,” which looks like it is little more than a gossamer-thin marketing gloss.

The International Healing Foundation has educated and counseled thousands of men, women and adolescents who experience unwanted same-sex attraction (SSA). However, on its 21st anniversary, IHF apologized to the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning) community for years of unknowingly fueling anti-gay sentiment by simply stating, “Change is Possible.”

“We at IHF wish to offer a sincere, heartfelt apology to everyone in the LGBTQ community,” said IHF founder and director, Richard Cohen. “I apologize and ask forgiveness to those who were hurt by our message.” Cohen, a leading expert in the field of sexual orientation and married father of three, knows first-hand how it feels to be ostracized having lived a gay life.

Beginning today, IHF’s doors are wide open to everyone in the LGBTQ and straight communities. The new mission, “Coming Out Loved,” is the catalyst of true tolerance, real diversity, and equality for all. IHF staff will assist anyone who is conflicted about their sexuality and other challenging issues that arise for many in the gay community.

The assistance is available to anyone willing to take Cohen’s five steps. I have no idea how much the personal counseling sessions over the phone costs in step 2, but step 3 sets you back $375. Step 4, which looks like it will involve lots of hugging, will cost another $275 plus hotel expenses. Beware of the hugging though. That’s gotten him in trouble before. He was permanently expelled for life in 2003 from the American Counseling Association for multiple ethics violations.

As for Cohen’s supposed change in direction, it doesn’t take but a few clicks around his web site — still at “changeispossible.org” — to see that he is still peddling his unique brand of ex-gay messages, including his 2007 book “Gay Children, Straight Parents” which includes his own twelve-step program, complete with hugging, to turn gay children straight.

Apology not accepted.

Comments

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enough already
October 31st, 2011 | LINK

I don’t understand how such harmful practices are permitted under law.
Anyone want to help me out with that?

Jim Hlavac
October 31st, 2011 | LINK

All righty then, let’s look at logic and numbers: they claim all of us start out as heteros — but somehow, somewhere, some-when, they know not, we changed to being gay — ergo, we are all “ex-heteros” — millions upon millions of us all over the world. And then, they say, with no hint of their ridiculousness, that they have “thousands” who “changed” back to hetero — then hem and haw that down to “hundreds” — before the very leaders of these groups say “well, none, no, none,” — and ergo whom then is more successful? The “ex-heteros” (aka, gay folks,) or the “ex-gays” (aka, ex-ex-heteros.)?

Or, it could be — wait for it — gayness is just a natural little variant in human sexuality — and these people are clueless about what they are talking about.

I vote #2, but I’m a “radical” and “militant” “homosexual,” of course.

Charles
October 31st, 2011 | LINK

Number #2 is the answer – “Or, it could be — wait for it — gayness is just a natural little variant in human sexuality — and these people are clueless about what they are talking about.” and, the organization if it did not know it years ago, knows it now. Perhaps they should step forward and really let be known what they have learned over the years.

Christopher
October 31st, 2011 | LINK

“Change is possible”.

Why am I thinking of those neat coin dispensing thingys that the gals who worked at A&W used to wear?

A reader
October 31st, 2011 | LINK

Even cancer is called a “natural variant”, if by “natural variant” one means anything that occurs in nature. By that standard, everything that exists is a “natural variant”, including psychopathology, birth defects, imbecility and “ex-gay” programs. Embrace diversity?

David S.
October 31st, 2011 | LINK

Step 4: PROFIT! (for Mr. Cohen)

Jim Hlavac
October 31st, 2011 | LINK

Dear “a reader” — everything is natural — but only one “condemned” as “evil” — “cancer, psychopathologies, birth defects, imbelicity” – ad infinitum — are all simply “variant” — but only one is declared “evil” and “a threat to civilization” — I dare, say, nameless, faceless, genderless “a reader” — put us on the autism spectrum and be done with us, and cut the “threat to civilization” and “attacking families” nonsense. No other “cancer, psychopathologies, birth defects, imbelicity” has this stigma! — Get real, sir or madam, get real.

A reader
October 31st, 2011 | LINK

Dear Jim, it is said by some that an enduring, strong opposition toward homosexuality is “natural”, ordained by “God”, and of biblical proportions, calling even for the death penalty in the past. But I doubt that is what you mean by “be done with us”. And as to “condemned” as “evil”, homosexuality is not alone among “sins” said to be a “threat to civilization” and “attacking families”. But attacking homosexuality has been popularized, and a convenient scapegoat, while so-called comparatively “normal” sins of fornication, adultery, divorce, child abuse, lying, disrespect, etc. seem to get a pass, or at least, less attention.

Charles
November 1st, 2011 | LINK

To call cancer natural is like calling suicide natural. Yes, it exists, but it kills you. Simply stated having strong same sex attraction is normal within the spectrum of human sexuality.

Ian
November 1st, 2011 | LINK

@reader,
ex-gay programs are a variant, yes, but they are definitely NOT natural. Why? because there’s human intervention, just like how we would not class the internet, tv, planes or high rising buildings as ‘natural’, ex-gay programs are part of that group.

Reed Boyer
November 1st, 2011 | LINK

Definitely NOT “an apology.” More along the lines of a spoonful of sugar to ease the snake oil sales.

Timothy Kincaid
November 1st, 2011 | LINK

The new mission, “Coming Out Loved,” is the catalyst of true tolerance, real diversity, and equality for all.

I wonder then if Richard will be the first “leading expert in the field of sexual orientation” (or the “change it” variety) to endorse civil equality.

Or is Richard’s “equality for all” the kind that says that giving preference to heterosexual Christian white males is a policy that can be applied equally to everyone.

A reader
November 1st, 2011 | LINK

Charles, as your post demonstrates, anyone can “simply state” anything. Similarly, many people “simply state that having strong same sex attraction is ABnormal”, not normal.

Likewise, Ian, perhaps you believe human actions are “definitely NOT natural”, but other people reportedly believe that, apart from perhaps “miracles”, ALL human actions and “interventions” are definitely natural, and that “the internet, tv, planes and high rising buildings”, and human beings too, are also natural, as part of and conforming to the laws of the natural / physical / material world. The word “natural” is widely applied to just about everything, including man-made things and human actions — except, apparently, when it suits someone’s agenda to insist that something isn’t natural.

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