NARTH Loses Tax Exempt Status

Jim Burroway

March 12th, 2013

Warren Throckmorton reports that the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) has had its tax exempt status revoked by the Internal Revenue Service after failing to file IRS-990 forms for the last three consecutive years. Throckmorton discovered the notice on the IRS web site, which truncates NARTH’s name but identifies NARTH by its Employer Identification Number, which matches the number NARTH listed on its 2009 filing.

NARTH’s most recent IRS-990 form for 2009 (via guidestar.org, registration required) indicates that the organization’s total revenue was $137,143, and expenses were $166,835. It closed the year with a loss of $29,692 and net assets of only $25,852. Only one person, vice president of operations David Pruden, is listed as drawing a salary of $16,500 for 15 hours per week of work, plus $900 in expenses. When I attended the NARTH convention in Phoenix in 2011, the organization’s dire financial situation was a major topic of conversation, particularly when discussing limitations on current projects and ideas for future ones.

Which I think is an important takeaway here, and it’s one that I’ve repeated often. A lot of people dismiss anti-gay activists by saying that if the “cash cow” dies, then they will move on to something else more lucrative. It’s my observation however that this misconception couldn’t be further from the truth. These people are true believers, and they will do what they’re doing even if it doesn’t earn them a red cent. NARTH is Exhibit A, but they are far from being the only example, or even a rare one.

By the way, good luck trying to figure out whether NARTH is a tax exempt organization. Its donation page is silent on the issue, but Throckmorton found this membership page which suggests donations are tax deductible.

Truthspew

March 12th, 2013

So I wonder why NOM still has it? They’ve plaid it fast and loose with Form 990 too.

Michael

March 12th, 2013

Isn’t representing an organization as tax exempt, when it’s not, a crime? They should be reported to the IRS immediately for falsely representing their status.

StraightGrandmother

March 12th, 2013

ha-ha-ha NARTH. Couldn’t you even afford Turbo Tax?

MattNYC

March 12th, 2013

SGM, as Timothy can confirm, Form 990s aren’t in Turbo Tax. Still, they are relatively simple for any tax professional or accountant (or half-way competent–key word–internal treasurer).

I’m always disappointed when things like this happen because of technicalities and not from blatant violations of the tax code (a la NOM).

Yes, they (Treasury) got Capone–but on Tax Evasion and not on the body count and other capital crimes???

Dale

March 12th, 2013

You know, if reparative therapy really worked, then after 4 decades, it would be a large, well-developed and lucrative field. There would be many organizations competing with NARTH and many practitioners offering the therapy. And among these organizations and practitioners, there would be fundamental agreement on the basic model, with competition focusing on narrow issues, such as specific features of therapy. If you look at any successful industry, this is how it develops: more providers enter the picture once the pioneers have established that the product or service works.

Instead, 40 years on, NARTH is the only professional group out there promoting this therapy. Their income is a pittance and their net assets wouldn’t sustain them for 60 days. There is no evidence of growth. And now there is a major rupture with Exodus as to whether conversion therapy even works. The marketplace reveals conversion therapy to be a failure.

AlexH

March 12th, 2013

HAHAHAHA! Maybe they can hold a telethon?

MattNYC

March 12th, 2013

They clearly need fundraising advice from Eugene Delgaudio. I am sure he’ll only charge them a small percentage (95% ?) of the gross.

Mark F.

March 14th, 2013

Dale: Exactly. Many, many people would change from gay to straight if it was possible, and people would be making huge amounts of money doing it.

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