Box Turtle Bulletin

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Posts for March, 2009

Scott Lively: Following The Money

Jim Burroway

March 25th, 2009

How is a well-known Holocaust revisionist able to gain so much cooperation among other anti-gay groups? Let’s follow the money.

Lively’s Pro Family Charitable Trust is an arm of his Abiding Truth Ministries, which is one of only twelve anti-gay hate groups listed by the the SPLC. A quick look at the trust’s contributions tell an interesting story:

  • NARTH received three grants totalling $2000.
  • The Jewish ex-gay group JONAH received a grant for $500.
  • Richard Cohen’s International Healing Foundation received a grant for $500.
  • Peter LaBarbera received two grants totally $2000.
  • Watchmen On the Walls, a group that was co-founded by Lively, received a grant for $500. The Watchmen are also listed among the SPLC’s twelve anti-gay hate groups.
  • Paul Cameron’s Family Research Institute received a grant for $300. The FRI is another of the SPLC’s anti-gay hate groups.
  • Exodus-Affiliated ministries receiving grants include Living Stones Ministry ($250), HIS Ministry ($500), and PFOX ($750).
  • Other notable recipients include San Diego ex-gay gadfly James Hartline ($500), Stephen Bennett ($500) and Linda Harvey’s web site, Mission America ($400).

These must be considered minimum sums. The top grant is described as being the 31st grant on a page which only lists 28 grants, so this is clearly not a complete list.

It also appears not to be an up-to-date one either. Abiding Truth Ministry’s 2007 IRS 990 form (PDF; registration required) from Guidestar.org lists:

  • an additional grant of $750 to Linda Harvey’s Mission America,
  • an additional grant of $300 to James Hartline
  • a grant of $1750 to the Pro Family Law Center in Temecula, California, a project of Lively’s Abiding Truth Ministries.

Some of these values may not look like much, but most of these groups operate on a shoestring budget. Some are little more than volunteer operations much like our own vast conspiracy here at BTB (which consists only of a web site and four volunteers). So to many of these outfits, these contributions can be significant. Maybe that’s why Peter LaBarbera has been carrying Lively’s water the past few weeks.

[Hat tip: Warren Throckmorton]

Anti-Gay “Expert” Would Consider Banning Adoptions By Native Americans

Jim Burroway

November 23rd, 2008

Two anti-gay activists closely associated with Paul Cameron have inserted themselves into the center of Florida’s gay adoption controversy.

Florida is the only state in the nation which explicitly bans adoption by gay parents. That law is now being challenged. The Miami Herald has obtained a transcript from an adoption trial which was closed the public. The trial ran on Oct. 1-6, and centered on a gay foster father’s petition to adopt the two small boys he has been raising since 2004. The trial featured testimony from a half-dozen expert witnesses in psychology, epidemiology, sociology and family studies.

The state of Florida, which is supporting the ban, relied on two so-called “expert witnesses” who are closely associated with discredited “researcher” Paul Cameron. George A. Rekers, is a retired professor from the University of South Carolina, who taught neuropsychiatry and behavioral science. Walter R. Schumm, is an assistant professor of family studies at Kansas State University.

According to the Miami Herald:

The lives of gay people can also be stressful to children, Rekers testified. The children may experience teasing and bullying from other children who don’t approve of their parents’ orientation. And children with gay parents are likely to suffer from repeated separations because gay people are more likely to have multiple failed relationships.

Rekers said he would, in fact, favor banning anyone from adopting who had more than 18 “sex partners” during a lifetime. “I think that would be a very good social policy,” he said in a deposition.

He said he would also consider banning Native Americans from adopting because research shows that they are also at much higher risk of mental illness and substance abuse. “They would tend to hang around each other,” Rekers testified. “So the children would be around a lot of other Native Americans who are … doing the same sorts of things.”

Rekers relies extensively on Cameron’s research, citing as many as nine separate Cameron articles in one 2005 paper. Rekers and Cameron together launched Cameron’s online “Journal,” the Empirical Journal of Same-Sex Sexual Behavior, in 2007. The EJSSB is purportedly an open-access peer-reviewed journal, but, in fact, it is nothing more than a dressed-up web site. Since its inception in 2007, the only articles “published” to date are three papers by Paul Cameron and one book review by Gerard J.M. van den Aardweg, another close Cameron collaborator.

Rekers support of racism to exclude an entire class of prospective parents from adopting is most extraordinary. Of course, it’s no more shocking than Cameron’s own apologia for how the Nazi’s “dealt with” homosexuality at Dachau and Sachsenhausen.

Schumm is considerably more circumspect in how he uses Cameron’s research, but he did publish a 2000 article in Psychological Reports, Paul Cameron’s favorite publication outlet, defending Cameron’s research methods against Dr. Gregory Herek’s criticisms. Schumm is also listed as a member of Cameron’s “Editorial and Scientific Review Board” for the EJSSB.

In the trial, Schumm used data from his recent Psychological Reports article to claim that about 19 percent of children raised by gay parents are likely to become gay, compared with 4 percent of children with straight parents. Testifying for Frank Gill, the gay foster father, Susan D. Cochran, a professor of epidemiology and statistics at UCLA, accused Schumm of cooking his data.

”This is taught in first-year statistics,” Cochran testified. “I was surprised he would do that.”

James Esseks, one of Gill’s attorneys, criticized Rekers for relying on Paul Cameron’s work, citing his being dropped from the American Psychological Association in 1983 after he declined to cooperate with an ethics investigation on charges he had distorted research by others scientists on gay people.

Florida’s gay adoption ban was declared unconstitutional by a Circuit Court judge last fall in Key West. Since that decision wasn’t appealed to a higher court, it did not have any effect statewide. But the state is now fighting Gill’s attempt to adopt these two boys, which means that whatever the outcome, it will likely be appealed to the Third District Court of Appeal and possibly the Florida Supreme Court. If so, that outcome would go into effect statewide.

About 22,000 Florida children are in state custody, with more than 4,000 of them eligible for adoption. Only two states have more foster children waiting to be adopted.

[Hat tip: Alvin McEwen]

Danish Study Refutes Paul and Kirk Cameron

Timothy Kincaid

November 13th, 2008

In April 2007, anti-gay “researcher” Paul Cameron and his son Kirk sent out a press release claiming that studied information from Denmark that proved that gay men died on average 20 years younger than their heterosexual counterparts. Jim Burroway provided a very thorough refutation of the Camerons’ claims, showing them to be nonsense and bigotry.

Also interested in the Camerons’ claims was Dr. Warren Throckmorton, a psychology professor teaching at Grove City College, a small liberal arts college with a conservative evangelical philosophy. Dr. Throckmorton’s beliefs about homosexuality support traditional faith positions, primarily in the way in which a same-sex attracted person lives their life (i.e. in accordance with the confines of their faith).

But Throckmorton is no fan of bogus claims or fraudulent statistics. He contacted Morten Frisch, a prominent epidemiologist in Denmark, and asked him to review Cameron’s work. Frisch was unhesitatingly critical of the Cameron’s claims.

Although the Camerons’ report has no objective scientific value, the authors should be acknowledged for providing teachers with a humorous example of agenda-driven, pseudo-scientific gobbledygook that will make lessons in elementary study design and scientific inference much more amusing for future epidemiology students.

Well it now appears that Dr. Frisch was not content with dismissing the Camerons’ statements. Dr. Throckmorton is reporting that Frisch and colleague Henrik Brønnum-Hansen followed up with a study of their own and found the opposite of what the anti-gay activist had claimed. Throckmorton’s initial assessment is:

Frisch and Brønnum-Hansen found that Danish men marrying soon after the Danish same-sex marriage law was enacted had markedly higher death rates than men in the general Danish population. They speculate that these men were ill, ordinarily with AIDS or AIDS related illnesses, but also from other life-threatening diseases, and wanted to marry to establish rights of survivorship or other benefits for a surviving spouse. However, the mortality for homosexual men marrying after 1996 is virtually the same as for heterosexual men in Denmark. Thus, since HIV/AIDS has been more successfully managed, the mortality rates have declined dramatically. [emphasis added]

Thanks to Dr. Frisch for following up and to Dr. Throckmorton for his analysis.

Researcher: LifeSite and OneNewsNow Misrepresent Our Review

Jim Burroway

September 24th, 2008

A British researcher has denounced two North American anti-gay web sites for distorting his research. University College London professor Michael King, in a statement to Box Turtle Bulletin, clarified the findings of his research on depression and suicide among LGB people, and emphasized the importance that “all sectors of society welcome them as equal and valuable citizens.”

Professor King spoke out in response to an article that appeared last Wednesday in LifeSite, an unofficial Catholic web site, which claimed that the “homosexual lifestyle [is] strongly linked to depression [and] suicide.” The same article by Kathleen Gilbert appeared again Saturday on the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow. It began:

A new study in the United Kingdom has revealed that homosexuals are about 50% more likely to suffer from depression and engage in substance abuse than the rest of the population, reports Health24.com.

After analyzing 25 earlier studies on sexual orientation and mental health, researchers, in a study published in the medical journal BMC Psychiatry, also found that the risk of suicide jumped over 200% if an individual had engaged in a homosexual lifestyle.

The LifeSite/OneNewsNow article claims that the study proves lesbians, gays and bisexuals experience this risk not because of stigma or discrimination, but because homosexuality itself is a mental disorder:

Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons, a psychiatrist and member of the Catholic Medical Association, says there is evidence that homosexuality is itself a manifestation of a psychological disorder accompanied by a host of mental health problems, including “major depression, suicidal ideation and attempts, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, conduct disorder, low self-esteem in males and sexual promiscuity with an inability to maintain committed relationships.”

The BMC Psychiatry article by professor Michael King and colleagues is available online for free. This means that you don’t have to take anyone’s word for anything; you can read it yourself. And as you do, you’ll notice that the study bears little resemblance to Gilbert’s description of it.

First, the authors make it clear that participating in a “homosexual lifestyle” — and by that I presume Gilbert means sexual activity — is not a necessary risk factor. The studies that the authors analyzed defined homosexuality and bisexuality by many different standards, including sexual attractions and identity apart from behavior.

The authors also make it clear that while lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people appear to be at greater risk than heterosexual people of mental disorders and suicidal behavior:

LGB people are subject to institutionalised prejudice, social stress, social exclusion (even within families) and anti-homosexual hatred and violence and often internalise a sense of shame about their sexuality.

And:

Although our evidence does not specify the nature of such mechanisms, there is no evidence to suggest that homosexuality is itself a disorder that is thereby subject to a higher co-morbidity than is found in heterosexuals.

In fact, even if Gilbert hadn’t seen the study itself — even though it is available online — her “report” doesn’t even bear much resemblance to the Health24.com article that she claims to cite but doesn’t link.

We asked Professor King for his reaction to the LifeSite/OneNewsNow article. This was his reply:

LifeSite News and OneNewsNow have misinterpreted our review.  Evidence from around the world identifies the main stressors leading to mental distress in gay and lesbian people as discrimination, prejudice, bullying in schools and colleges, and the consequent need for many LGB people to keep their homosexual identity secret, even from their families.

Our review did not examine links between mental disorder and homosexual “behaviour” or “lifestyle”.  Our work reviewed studies of the mental health of lesbian, gay and bisexual people, and sadly, those studies showed that it is people (not behaviour) that are discriminated against, and not least by religious groups and organisations.

Discrimination on the grounds of sexuality is even more devastating than other forms of discrimination such as racism, as it reaches right into families and leaves no refuge for its victims.

We suggest in our review that the availability of alcohol and drugs at gay social venues may be a factor in the greater risk of drug and alcohol misuse in LGB people.  Reducing this problem is something for which LGB people must take greater responsibility.  However, the fact that discrimination still exists in our societies means that many are forced to use such venues to meet each other rather than through more common ways available to heterosexuals, such as at work, during the pursuit of hobbies and past-times, or at church.

There is now abundant evidence that homosexuality is not itself a mental disorder and that it is compatible with a healthy lifestyle.  We shall only begin to see a reduction in mental distress and deliberate self harm in LGB people when all sectors of society welcome them as equal and valuable citizens.

To throw more confusion into the mix, Gilbert tossed in a discredited 2007 study by Nazi-apologist Paul Cameron which supposedly demonstrated that “that the lifespan of a homosexual is on average 24 years shorter than that of a heterosexual.” She also used Cameron’s study to claim that discrimination hat nothing to do with it, saying that, “Homosexuals in the United States and Denmark – the latter of which is acknowledged to be highly tolerant of homosexuality – both die on average in their early 50’s, or in their 40’s if AIDS is the cause of death.”

We have already examined glaring flaws in Cameron’s study, as has Danish epidemiologist Morton Frisch who described his study as “humorous example of agenda-driven, pseudo-scientific gobbledygook.” Cameron’s false claims of presenting this “study” before the Eastern Psychological Association earned him an official condenmnation from EPA president Phile Hineline in April 2007.

Gilbert’s brief article in LifeSite and OneNewsNow combines the worst misrepresentations of legitimate science coupled with the worst example of phony pseudoscience — all in six short paragraphs. That’s quite a remarkable if dubious achievement. What Gilbert lacks in veracity, she certainly makes up for in ingenuity — and audacity. Maybe someday she’ll decide the truth ought to play a role as well. Somehow I doubt it.

[Thanks to regular reader Stefano A. for his help in gathering material for this post.]

Certified Cameronite: Insure.com

Jim Burroway

July 17th, 2008

Certified Cameronite AwardInsure.com, a popular online insurance quote-comparison portal, is proud of its numerous awards. Its web site brags that it was named “best web site” for two years in a row by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine, and the “best life insurance site on the web” by Forbes.com. Insure.com is mentioned every day as a sponsor of Bill O’Reilly’s radio program, with O’Reilly himself voicing the commercials.

Now Insure.com can add another feather to its cap: the Certified Cameronite award for citing the discredited research of holocaust revisionist Paul Cameron.

Last Friday, BTB’s Timothy Kincaid first exposed Insure.com’s false and defamatory article which uses Cameron’s widely-discredited research to claim that gays die, on average, twenty years younger than non-gays. He also reported how Insure.com engaged in deceptive Cameronesque tactics by misrepresenting the findings of another legitimate study from Vancouver conducted at the very height of the AIDS crisis, long before life-saving Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy (HAART) became widely available.

We have been very hesitant to issue this award to a publicly traded company like Insure.com because we recognize that many people who are not familiar with Cameron’s research may fall prey to his deceptive tactics. We were, however, disturbed to see that the author of Insure.com’s anti-gay smear also engaged in similar Cameron-like misrepresentations by deliberately misquoting from Dr. Robert Hogg, the Canadian researcher who wrote to denounce the widespread misuse of his research by anti-gay extremists.

So Timothy wrote to Insure.com on June 1 to notify them of the problems with their online post. Communications were cordial at first as CEO Robert Bland personally assured us that they don’t have a political stance and that he would look into the claims himself. He asked for one to four weeks to investigate; we ultimately gave him six. Today, those false claims are still on Insure.com’s web site, and Bland has written numerous comments on this web site repeatedly touting Cameron’s credentials.

Since Insure.com still appears to be willfully ignorant about Cameron’s credentials, here they are in a handy, one-stop reference:

  • Cameron was expelled from the American Psychological Association in 1983 for ethical violations
  • Cameron was censured by the Nebraska Psychological Association (where he lived at the time) in 1984 for misrepresenting legitimate social science research.
  • U.S. District Court Judge Jerry Buchmeyer found that Cameron had committed “fraud or misrepresentations” in testimony before the court in 1986.
  • Cameron was censured by the American Sociological Association in 1985 and 1986 for misrepresenting himself as a sociologist (after having been kicked out of the APA), and for ethical violations.
  • Cameron was censured by the Canadian Psychological Association in 1996.
  • Cameron was censured by the Eastern Psychological Association in 2007 for misrepresenting his own research and participation at the group’s convention.

Cameron has written approvingly of how the Nazis “dealt with” homosexuality at the Dachau and Sachsenhausen concentration camps, and he once suggested that exterminating homosexuals might be an option here unless we got “medically lucky.” His obvious hatred for gays and lesbians so poisons everything he writes that Focus On the Family scrubbed their materials of all mention of him more than a decade ago.

In fact, the only people who rely on Cameron anymore are those who occupy the most radical fringes of anti-gay extremists. Insure.com, CEO Robert Bland, and author Joseph White are now officially in their company.

See also:
Aug 15: Insure.com Pulls Cameron Quotes
Jul 17: Certified Cameronite: Insure.com
Jul 14: Insure.com CEO Defends Paul Cameron
Jul 11: Insure.com’s CEO Bob Bland Responds
Jul 11: Insure.com’s Anti-Gay Propaganda

Insure.com CEO Defends Paul Cameron

Timothy Kincaid and Jim Burroway

July 14th, 2008

insuredotcom.bmpLast Friday, Timothy Kincaid revealed for the first time that a popular insurance portal, Insure.com, is hosting false and defamatory anti-gay claims. This follows nearly six weeks of private communications with Insure.com CEO Robert Bland, in which we tried to work with them in resolving the situation.

Soon after Kincaid’s exposé appeared, Mr. Bland wrote a response defending his company’s material, and he has left other comments on this web site which suggest that Insure.com has little interest in factual accuracy or professional responsibility. With these latest comments, whatever hope we first held that Insure.com would act responsibly and in the best interests of their customers, shareholders and participating agencies has now vanished.

In a comment on Kincaid’s article, Mr. Bland wrote:

We expect to take another look at this article over the next 4 weeks because we want to make certain that we encompass all available current research on this topic. We think that there’s a human interest story to be researched here on why all U.S. life insurers decline HIV-positive applicants (many of whom are healthy and have been for two decades) but will not even attempt to segregate gays who, according to a growing body of evidence, may have a much shorter lifespan than non-gays. [emphasis ours]

This comment left us dumbstruck. There simply is no “growing body of evidence” to suggest that gays have a different lifespan — let alone a “much shorter” one — from non-gays. In fact, there’s no evidence for it at all. We challenge Insure.com to show us their “growing body of evidence,” because we certainly haven’t seen it in any of the hundreds of peer-reviewed journals that we continually monitor as part of our work.

Mr. Bland is not unaware that Insure.com’s claims are without merit. This is not an example of benign ignorance or lack of information, which was our assumption when Kincaid first contacted Insure.com on June 1. We both have provided him with evidence that the bases for Insure.com’s anti-gay article are either not relevant or are the product of a discredited anti-gay extremist.

We repeatedly told Mr. Bland about Paul Cameron’s professional misconduct. Kincaid even warned him that relying on Cameron has resulted in public embarrassment of those who quote him, including Secretary of Education William Bennett. Kincaid provided links to detailed analysis, and he advised Mr. Bland to search the Internet for additional information about Mr. Cameron.

This is not difficult to do — Cameron’s reputation is very well known. Even Exodus International, which works closely with Focus On the Family to lobby against civil rights for gays and lesbians, has pulled their references to Paul Cameron. Focus On the Family themselves scrubbed their materials of anything associated with Cameron more than a decade ago. And yet just last Saturday morning, Insure.com’s CEO returned to our web site once again to cite Cameron and his Denmark gay lifespan “study”:

Then, in early 2007, Drs. Paul and Kirk Cameron reported at the Eastern Psychological Association convention that married gays and lesbians lived about 24 fewer years than their married heterosexual counterparts. This time, the Camerons extracted official data from Denmark, the country with the longest history of gay marriage, for 1990-2002. Married heterosexual men died in Denmark die at a median age of 74, while 561 partnered gays died at an average age of 51.

We found this surprising, as we had already provided Mr. Bland with Burroway’s analysis of that study when Kincaid first contacted Insure.com six weeks before. But if Insure.com doesn’t trust our analysis, then maybe they can trust conservative Christian psychology professor Warren Throckmorton. He examined Cameron’s Danish “Gays Die Young” notions and devoted a nine part series to the subject. Throckmorton concluded that the Camerons skewed their findings “to the point where any results cannot be trusted.”

And as insurance professionals, Insure.com surely can trust Dr. Morten Frisch. He’s the senior epidemiologist at Copenhagen’s Statens Serum Institut. Frisch described the Camerons’ report as having “little to do with science… The methodological flaws are of such a grave nature that no decent peer-reviewed scientific journal should let it pass for publication.” But Dr. Morton did manage to find one good thing to say about it:

Although the Camerons’ report has no objective scientific value, the authors should be acknowledged for providing teachers with a humorous example of agenda-driven, pseudo-scientific gobbledygook that will make lessons in elementary study design and scientific inference much more amusing for future epidemiology students.

As for what Drs. Cameron “reported” at the Eastern Psychological Association convention, Burroway wrote EPA president Dr. Phil Hineline in April 2007 to ask about the nature of the Camerons’ participation at the gathering. Dr. Hineline responded with a public letter condemning the Camerons for misrepresenting their participation at the convention. First, the Cameron’s didn’t present a report at all. All they did was participate in a “poster session,” in which they manned a table with a poster of some of their data in a large hall, alongside scores of other presenters. Not to be too condescending about it, but this is more like a science fair for grown-up professionals than a formal presentation before the convention as the Camerons portrayed it. What’s more, Dr. Hineline confirmed that the data they submitted to the EPA had nothing to do with lifespans at all — that had been added later — and he said they would not have been accepted it if it did.

We both tried to disabuse Insure.com’s CEO of the notion that most gay people have HIV, as he appeared to have alluded to such an argument in an earlier email. On June 12, Kincaid explained that at most, perhaps 15% of gay men and almost no gay women have HIV. And yet last Saturday morning, Mr. Bland continued his “gay = AIDS” smear by quoting from a Canadian doctor who said that once diagnosed with HIV, the average lifespan of such a person is 8 to 10 years, and that’s why we all die so much earlier. But even if that “gay = AIDS” canard were true — and it clearly isn’t — we suggest that the Canadian doctor and Mr. Bland read last week’s issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, which found that the life expectancy of those with HIV is actually approaching something closer to normal.

Our readers have suggested that Insure.com pull down the disputed article until pending verification of its sources. As an insurance portal providing relevant information to its many customers, that would be the prudent thing to do. But instead of following that sensible advice, CEO Bland reposted the entire article as a comment on our web site, saying that Insure.com has “no intention of ‘taking (it) down’ because it contains no factual errors and no editorial bias or slant whatsoever.”

Insure.com is a well-known, publicly traded company. In our private communications with CEO Bland, he reassured us on June 2 that Insure.com has no political agenda, and that in their 24 years in business they have never asked about anyone’s sexual orientation before hiring them. We took them at their word, which is why we waited nearly six weeks before going public with our concerns.

Mr. Bland kept delaying and asking for more time, claiming that “other priorities” interfered with Insure.com’s investigation of the article. But since Friday, Insure.com’s busy CEO has found the time to write several comments on this web site — and on at least one other web site as well — claiming that “Box Turtle Bulletin is too anxious to bash Insure.com.” He decided it was a priority to take the time to write these comments, and yet he hasn’t found it to be a priority to simply have someone hit the delete button on the false information promoted by Insure.com. The remedy for all this is incredibly simple.

But instead of doing the reasonable and sensible thing, Mr. Bland continues to stake his reputation and that of his publicly-traded company in defending these anti-gay smears. More startling, he continues to tie this reputation to that of Paul Cameron, a man who:

  • once said that “unless we get medically lucky, in three or four years, one of the options discussed will be the extermination of homosexuals,”
  • wrote approvingly of how the Nazi’s “dealt with” homosexuality at the Dachau and Sachsenhausen concentration camps,
  • and who just last month urged a group of Russian ultra-nationalists to press on with their often-violent suppression of gays in that country.

We frankly find this to be both puzzling and troubling.

Mr. Bland claims that he is not homophobic and that Insure.com does not have an agenda. We believe that the “growing body of evidence” suggests otherwise.

See also:
Aug 15: Insure.com Pulls Cameron Quotes
Jul 17: Certified Cameronite: Insure.com
Jul 14: Insure.com CEO Defends Paul Cameron
Jul 11: Insure.com’s CEO Bob Bland Responds
Jul 11: Insure.com’s Anti-Gay Propaganda

Insure.com’s CEO Bob Bland Responds

Timothy Kincaid

July 11th, 2008

insuredotcom.bmpEarlier today we reported that we have been trying for over a month to get Insure.com to remove false and defamatory articles from their website. Specifically, the articles – which were written by Insure.com staff – rely on a non-representative AIDS study from the early 90’s and fraudulent “researcher” Paul Cameron to claim “the life expectancy of gay males to be at least 20 years below average”.

The CEO of Insure.com, Bob Bland, has replied:

Box Turtle Bulletin is too anxious to bash Insure.com and you posted private e-mails from me to you without my permission, which says more about you than me. I’ve been open and forthright in dealing with Box Turtle’s many recent inquiries.

The article(s) you’ve referenced are but one or two over 3,000 that we have posted at Insure.com since 1996.

This particular article talks about third party studies that have claimed that homosexuals have a markedly different life expectancy than heterosexuals. We posted this as a human interest story from an actuarial standpoint and without any political agenda whatsoever and without comment as to the accuracy of the third party research.

One’s sexual orientation has no bearing on how a life insurance agency, including ours, would go about quoting life insurance.

We represent 35 leading life insurance companies and do not know of any that ask about sexual orientation at the time of quoting or at anytime during underwriting. Furthermore, sexual orientation is NOT considered or asked about in the quoting or underwriting of a life insurance policy. When quoting a life insurance policy, we, as an agent and broker, ask only those questions that are required to be asked by each life insurance company, which is typically an exhaustive set of 50-100 questions about one’s health history, past and current. Every U.S. life insurance company that I know of does ask each applicant if they are HIV positive and, to the best of my knowledge, each company will automatically then decline such an applicant, so apparently the life underwriters are convinced that that medical condition is somehow relative to one’s longevity.

As I explained to you earlier this week we’ve been delayed in having our writers and editors take a another look at this article, but still expect to do so over the next 4 weeks because we want to make certain that we encompass all available current research on this topic.

Once again, Insure.com has no political agenda on this issue and never has had any such agenda.

The Insure.com article making the claim that gay men die 20 years younger remains an available part of the “impartial insurance information” provided in their “vast library of originally authored insurance articles and decision-making tools” while Mr. Bland makes certain that he encompasses all available current research on this topic.

See also:
Aug 15: Insure.com Pulls Cameron Quotes
Jul 17: Certified Cameronite: Insure.com
Jul 14: Insure.com CEO Defends Paul Cameron
Jul 11: Insure.com’s CEO Bob Bland Responds
Jul 11: Insure.com’s Anti-Gay Propaganda

Paul Cameron’s Bedfellows At Moscow State University

Jim Burroway

June 21st, 2008

The New York Times last year ran a short profile on Moscow State University’s sociology department, where students have lodged complaints about that department’s academic standards and living conditions. Students allege that the dean, Vladimir Dobrenkov, has institutionalized anti-Western, xenophobic, nationalistic, and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories in the department, which goes a long way toward explaining Cameron’s warm welcome there earlier this week. According to The Times:

The dean’s office has distributed a brochure to all students that approvingly quotes the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion,’ blames Freemasons and Zionists for the world wars, and claims that they control U.S. and British policy and the global financial system,” the students wrote in one of their public appeals. “Studying conditions at the department are unbearable.”

“The quality of the education has become so low that it has become terrible,” said one of the students, who spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retaliation by staff members. “For the last two years all of my education has had to be self-education.”

Richard Bartholomew at Talk to Action has more information about Dobrenkov’s nationalistic views and anti-western conspiracy theories.

A working group of Russian academics from the Public Chamber of Russia responded to student complaints and inspected MSU’s sociology department. They found several deficiencies, including:

  1. The level of training among the faculty “does not meet world standards,” nor do they follow current knowledge and trends in sociology.
  2. A number of teaching aids, specifically a three-volume basic textbook that Dobrenkov co-wrote with Elena Kravchenko was found to be “totally unsatisfactory” for not taking into account the current state of sociology in Russia and abroad. Several examples of plagiarism were also found in the textbook along with conflicting interpretations of key concepts.
  3. While some graduate-level work by students were found to be “quite professional,” others offered for inspection to the working group included ideological expressions of bigotry against other cultures.
  4. Questions on final exams fell short of the current state of sociology. Students received high marks on their exams despite not knowing about the works by major well-known scientists.
  5. MSU’s faculty operates in near-complete isolation from the rest of the sociological world. With few exceptions, members of MSU’s faculty aren’t published in significant sociology journals, they don’t participate in international conferences, and they don’t invite external experts for lectures.
  6. The working group also noted that Dobrenkov plans to train students in what he calls “Orthodox sociology.” This, the working group noted, was especially troubling for a leading national university which trains sociologists who are then expected to compete in international sociology.

Given Paul Cameron’s numerous denunciations by professional associations here in the United States — including two denunciations by the American Sociological Association — it looks like he found some kindred spirits at Moscow State who may well be receptive to his proposed pogroms against LGBT people here and abroad.

See also:
Paul Cameron’s Bedfellows At Moscow State University
Paul Cameron Urges Russia To Suppress Gays
Paul Cameron: A Fool In Moscow
Paul Cameron to Speak In Moscow

Paul Cameron Urges Russia To Suppress Gays

Jim Burroway

June 20th, 2008

Paul Cameron is continuing his tour of Moscow, where he’s spreading his virulent form of anti-gay propaganda masquerading as “science” to receptive audiences. Yesterday, he spoke at a round table sponsored by the Russian Orthodox Church, where he claimed that gays are twice as likely to abuse alcohol and drugs, and avoid paying taxes. That last one is a new one, but likely a key part of his Nazi-inspired “homosexuals-as-parasites” argument.

He also said that one reason we have so many gays and lesbians in this country is because we ignored his research. He claimed that some two-thirds of us are gay because our first sexual experience was at a young age with someone of the same sex. He also said that we could have reduced the number of gays and lesbians by 60-70% if only Americans had followed his manifesto, and he urged Russians to support Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov’s Gay Pride ban. Cameron also said that the sociology faculty of Moscow State University is interested in developing an institute to perform studies similar to Paul Cameron.

They might want to ask a few professional organizations here in the U.S. first if they don’t want to taint the good name of Moscow State University. The American Sociological Association condemned him twice in 1985 and 1986 for his unethical conduct, saying that he is not a sociologist. Cameron had begun to call himself one after having been dropped from the American Psychological Association for ethical violations. He was also condemned by the Nebraska Psychological Association for his unethical misuse of other researchers’ work. Just last year, Cameron was condemned by the president of the Eastern Psychological Association for misrepresenting the nature of his “Scandinavian lifespan study.”

Cameron openly admires how the Nazi’s “dealt with” homosexuality in the 1930s and 40s, which makes it particularly egregious that he’s finding a receptive audience in Russia for his dangerous ideas. He’s not likely to ever attain his dream of rounding up gays and lesbians and tattooing them or putting them into concentration camps in this country, and it’s also not likely in Russia either. But he clearly intends to support continued violence and official oppression there. And there are countries around the world where Cameron’s lunacy doesn’t sound so crazy, which should concern all of us.

[Hat tip: Ruslan Porshnev of Anti-Dogma]

See also:
Paul Cameron’s Bedfellows At Moscow State University
Paul Cameron Urges Russia To Suppress Gays
Paul Cameron: A Fool In Moscow
Paul Cameron to Speak In Moscow

Paul Cameron: A Fool In Moscow

Jim Burroway

June 18th, 2008

Cameron in MoscowMonday we warned that Paul Cameron was to speak yesterday before the sociology faculty of Moscow State University. Now we have a report of what he told that audience. Not surprisingly, it’s the same claptrap he’s been peddling here in the U.S.

In this glowing account of his talk (they describe him as a “famous” or “renowned” scientist three times), Cameron repeats the most chilling line of his standard stump speech. He contends that gays and lesbians don’t produce children and they allegedly cost society more than they produce. In recent writings where he pursues this line of reasoning, he concludes that gays and lesbians lead parasitic lives — with all of its implications and deserved consequences. This poor translation doesn’t reveal that he actually repeated the term “parasitic lives”, but that is an integral part of his speech. In fact, we have heard it very recently.

Cameron also promoted his arsenal of discredited “studies,” claiming 20-40% of child molestations by foster parents in Illinois were done by gay people, and that gays and lesbians are much more prone to drug abuse and diseases. But his deceitful misuse of science has earned him denunciations and censure from by every professional organization he has come in contact with.

Cameron claimed that how Russia deals with homosexuality will determine the fate of Western civilization and asks, “Do you want to be the same fools as us?” No doubt, Cameron believes that Russia could serve as a laboratory to test Cameron’s Nazi-esque solution for homosexuality.

[Hat tip: Ruslan Porshnev of Anti-Dogma]

UPDATE: Tomorrow Cameron will speak at a round table sponsored by the Russian Orthodox Church.

See also:
Paul Cameron’s Bedfellows At Moscow State University
Paul Cameron Urges Russia To Suppress Gays
Paul Cameron: A Fool In Moscow
Paul Cameron to Speak In Moscow

Paul Cameron to Speak In Moscow

Jim Burroway

June 16th, 2008

Paul CameronCalifornia may be about to issue its first marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples, but that doesn’t mean anti-gay extremists are crawling back into the woodwork anytime soon. Paul Cameron, of the Family “Research” Institute has no intention of fading away. He is in Moscow, where tomorrow he will speak at Moscow State University on a panel called “Social norms and prospects of development of society.”

According to this translated news item, Cameron will be spreading his discredited “research” to Russia, where he remains an unknown quantity. There, he will speak on “Homosexuality and the demographic problem.” Population declines in Eastern Europe and Asia has been very fertile ground lately for anti-gay extremists, and part of the blame for declining birth rates have been leveled squarely at gays and lesbians. No doubt Cameron will add to this by stoking his discredited “Scandinavian Lifespan Study.” You may remember that his misrepresentations surrounding this so-called “study” prompted a stern rebuke from the Eastern Psychological Association last year.

It’s especially distressing to see Cameron speaking to the sociology faculty at Moscow State University. The American Sociological Association has the unique distinction of having denounced him twice in 1985 and 1986. The ASA couldn’t have been more clear about what they thought of his “research”:

“The American Sociological Association officially and publicly states that Paul Cameron is not a sociologist, and condemns his consistent misrepresentation of sociological research.”

Cameron was also dropped by the American Psychological Association in 1983 following allegations of professional misconduct, and he was censured by the Nebraska Psychological Association in 1984.

Anti-gay extremists have been finding a very receptive audience in Russia and Eastern Europe. The Watchmen On the Walls held a rally in Novosibirsk in which American holocaust revisionist Scott Lively excused Satander Singh’s murder in Sacramento. With holocaust revisionism proving to be so effective in Russia and Eastern Europe, Paul Cameron should feel very much at home.

[Hat tip: Ruslan Porshnev at Anti-Dogma]

See also:
Paul Cameron’s Bedfellows At Moscow State University
Paul Cameron Urges Russia To Suppress Gays
Paul Cameron: A Fool In Moscow
Paul Cameron to Speak In Moscow

Colorado Springs Gazette Defends Paul Cameron

Jim Burroway

April 28th, 2008

Certified Cameronite AwardThis was shocking. Two weeks ago, the Colorado Springs Gazette defended Paul Cameron against the Southern Poverty Law Center’s naming his Family Research Institute a hate group:

The story about elevated hatred included a list of Colorado hate groups, as identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center – a thoroughly discredited organization that labels organizations with opposing political philosophies as hate mongers.

The new Colorado list includes the Colorado Springs-based Family Research Institute. The conservative fundamentalist organization is headed by Paul Cameron, a psychologist and reviewer for the British Medical Journal, Psychological Reports and the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association. The organization’s mission is “to generate empirical research on issues that threaten the traditional family, particularly homosexuality, AIDS, sexual social policy, and drug abuse.”

There’s no question about it: The Family Research Institute opposes homosexuality, and goes out of its way to discourage and besmirch it. It’s controversial, ideological, politically incorrect and unpopular. But is it a hate group, like the Ku Klux Klan or a Nazi skinhead club? Far from it.

Far from it? Really? Cameron has more in common with a Nazi skinhead club than the Gazette seems to realize. Perhaps the editors of the Gazette needs to look over his 1999 article in which he admires how Nazi Germany (and specifically Rudolph Höss) “handled homosexuals” in Dachau and Sachsenhausen.

Instead of casting aspersions against the Southern Poverty Law Center and coming to the defense of a man who proposes similar draconian “solutions” for homosexuality in this country, the Gazette ought to consider engaging in a practice we like to call journalism. A hate group like a Nazi skinhead club? It’s exactly like a Nazi skinhead club.

The editorial board of the Colorado Springs Gazette is the latest to join our growing list of Cameron supporters. And I’ll once again ask the question I ask everyone who joins the list: Do the Gazette’s editors agree with Cameron’s draconian agenda?

Hat tip: Mike Airhart.

Janelle Hallman Cites Paul Cameron

Jim Burroway

April 26th, 2008

Certified Cameronite AwardAlso joining the list of Cameron supporters is Janelle Hallman. She’s the ex-gay therapist who reached for discredited “researcher” Paul Cameron in her brand new book, The Heart of Female Same-Sex Attraction: A Comprehensive Counseling Resource.

Hallman is a frequent speaker at NARTH and Exodus conferences. When social conservatives like Hallman reach for Cameron, they breath new life into his Nazi sympathizing agenda. At the very least, when they confuse his unethical and illegitimate faux “research” for the real thing, it rightly calls into question their own judgment as professionals.

LifeSite Continues to Cite Paul Cameron

Jim Burroway

April 26th, 2008

Certified Cameronite AwardThe unofficial Roman Catholic LifeSiteNews is an amazing piece of work. They managed to turn a study about large families into an anti-gay tract. And Paul Cameron was right there to help them:

While the UM study shows the health benefits of the traditional large family, other recent studies have revealed the health dangers of non-traditional social relations.

A recent study found that individuals taking part in legal same-sex “marriages” in Norway and Denmark lived 24 fewer years than individuals in traditional marriages, Drs. Paul and Kirk Cameron reported at the 2007 annual Eastern Psychological Association convention.

The man has no shame whatsoever. Not only was his so-called “study” completely bogus and easily refuted, Cameron is still repeating the lie that he “reported” his study at the 2007 annual Eastern Psychological Association convention. You may remember we obtained a statement from EPA president Dr. Phil Hineline exposing Cameron’s boldface lie just a little over a year ago.

But LifeSite really seems to like Cameron. This is the eighth time they’ve turned to him. Like I said, they’re a real piece of work.

Paul Cameron Testifies As “Expert Witness”

Jim Burroway

April 24th, 2008

We were able to obtain a copy of Paul Cameron’s March newsletter from one of our favorite readers. And it looks like he’s still capable of quite a bit of dangerous mischief:

I was invited as an expert witness to present evidence as to why one state’s use of homosexuals as foster parents should be halted. Since a continuance was issued at the court hearing, I’ll keep you informed of further developments.

I received a tip which suggests that his testimony may have been in Beckley, West Virginia. According to that tip, a lesbian couple have been providing foster care for children in Fayette county for several years. Apparently, they and/or the WV Department of Health and Human Resources are being sued to force the removal of all the children from their home.

Cameron, of course, is utterly incapable of telling the truth no matter what oath he may have taken. In 1985 he was censured by Judge Jerry Buchmeyer of the U.S. District Court of Dallas, who wrote:

Dr. Paul Cameron…has himself made misrepresentations to this Court … There has been no fraud or misrepresentations except by Dr. Cameron.

Since then, he’s been kicked out of the American Pshychological Association, and he’s been reprimanded by the Nebraska Psychological Association, the American Sociological Association, and more recently, the Eastern Psychological Association. All of this is for his continued and persistent ethical violations and for getting caught in boldfaced lies.

If anyone knows where Cameron might have testified or the particulars of the court case, please let me know either in the comments or by email.

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