NARTH Cofounder Exports Ex-Gay Pseudoscience to Poland

Jim Burroway

September 17th, 2011

But will it play in Poznan?

Even before NARTH founder Joseph Nicolosi’s arrival in Poznan to speak at an ex-gay conference organized by the Medical University of Poznan and the Foundation of Health, Education and Psycychotherapy, the planned event had already stoked controversy throughout Poland. Gay activists, alarmed that a major medical university was sponsoring the confab, protested that the American Psychological Association had found no basis (PDF: 816KB/138 pages) for the claims that ex-gay therapy an “cure” homosexuality, which in any case is not an illness. The ensuing negative publicity prompted the embarrassed university to withdraw its support and refuse to allow the conference to proceed on campus. But as of Thursday, when Nicolosi spoke at a news conference in a pub, the conference was still on for Friday and had been moved to a secret location.

Nicolosi used the press conference as an opportunity to spread his pseudoscience to the Polish public:

We don’t use medications, no medications involved. It’s just talking therapy. It’s usually about once a week, and it’s on the average about two years. Some more, some less. It depends on the individual. Much of this therapy is educational. But also we believe that the male homosexual should have a male therapist, and the lesbian should have a female therapist because it brings up issues of the parent that they felt rejected by.

Rzeczpospolitica also summarized Nicolosi’s theories on homoseuality in bullet form (via Google Translate):

– Homosexual behavior bring them temporary relief, in the long run, however, is not enough – to convince the psychologist. – The most common source of their family relationships are prone: over-controlling mother and distant father – explained. Stressing that the so-called. reparative therapy allows only those persons who have a deep inner conviction about the need for change. – A desire that can not be motivated by religion – he added.

According to the American number of patients who were homosexual eradicated by this therapy, reaches one-third.

Gazeta Wyborcza had more details (via Google Translate):

Our customers want to understand the source of his homosexuality. According to studies, the most common cause of homosexuality in men is incomplete family with a dominant mother, no father. Such a man, by seeking male erotic love, trying to find love and acceptance of a lost father. What we do is encourage customers, alluded to heterosexual relationships with men and avoid homosexual desires “- said Nicolosi.

The effectiveness of reparative therapy conducted by Nicolosiego is about 30 percent.

“1 / 3 people do not change, 1 / 3 notes the improvement in their well-being, while others change completely, which does not mean that the latter do not have a homosexual temptations, but I can deal with them” – Nicolosi reserved.

We discussed the “one-third/one-third/one-third” urban legend here. Conference organizers moved the conference to a secret location, claiming they were threatened by gay advocates. LGBT advocate Katarzyna Gajewska denied the charge, saying “I think it’s unfounded. We do not use violent argument.”

Metropolitan Archbishop of Poznan Stanislaw Gadecki wrote a letter to the conference organizers with words of support. “This important project has resulted in the possibility of more effective support for people who want to overcome homosexual tendencies,” he wrote. The Foundation of Health, Education and Psycychotherapy, which organized the conference, is headed by Bogna Bialecka, a psychologist and Catholic publicist


September 17th, 2011

I’m sure this could be easily remedied with an EU law banning “reperative therapy” and all that harmful nonsense.


September 18th, 2011

It wouldn’t be right to ban “reparative therapy” – any more than it would be right to ban angel therapy, astrotherapy, magnet therapy, reincarnation therapy, psychic surgery, or any other of the seemingly endless inventions of the crank fringe.

In a free, democratic society people must be free to go in for any form of quackery that happens to take their fancy and to waste their time and money as and how they please – provided that they are adults. They just need to be warned, in no uncertain terms, that it’s fraud and that it can be harmful. If they prefer to ignore the warning, that’s up to them. Caveat emptor. The cutbacks and staff lay-offs at “ex-gay” organizations and the diminishing attendance at “ex-gay” conferences suggest that the message is getting through to ever more people.


September 18th, 2011

Poland wanting to cure the gays – at least that’s better than exterminating them; although the same sentiment might underlie both approaches.

Priya Lynn

September 18th, 2011

I don’t agree William. Society has an obligation to protect people from harmful pseudotherapies. They absolutely should be banned.

Priya Lynn

September 18th, 2011

On one hand the bigots say “Such a man, by seeking male erotic love, trying to find love and acceptance of a lost father.” and on the other they claim gayness is all about sexual desire and that there is no love involved.


September 18th, 2011

Well, we’ll have to agree to disagree on that, Priya. People can go to a Christian Science practitioner or to a spirit healer when they’re ill, instead of to a proper doctor. They can waste their money on going to an astrologer to help them plan their future. They can call in a chiromantist to read their hand, or a clairvoyant to read their tea-leaves. As long as they’re adults, they must be allowed to do these foolish things at their own risk.

Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely loath and despise “ex-gay ministries” and “reparative therapy” programs. I think that they’re positively evil, and I would advise anyone to steer clear of them; in fact, not long ago I gave precisely that advice to a guy who was suffering from depression and who imagined that changing his orientation just might be possible and might provide a solution.

I do think that it should be illegal to practise these forms of abuse on anyone under 18, either with or without their consent, or to coerce anyone of any age in any way into such programs. It is also important that they should not be recognized by any official health organization or financed directly or indirectly by the tax-payer, e.g. by the National Health Service in the UK or by the Social Security reimbursement schemes in other European countries.

I look forward to the day when these scams will have gone out of business because everyone will know them for what they are. Actually, it looks as though that day may be nearer than I once dared to hope.


September 18th, 2011

Here they come to Eastern Europe to expand their territory/business. I bet we’ll have the “pleasure” of seeing them here in Bulgaria sooner or later.

I understand exactly what they are trying to do. They are trying to exploit the post-communist ignorance about “talking therapy” and the post-communist ignorance about homosexuality. I only wonder how much of all that there is still left in Poland. My oh my, if when they come here, they are going to find plenty of ignorance…

Timothy Kincaid

September 20th, 2011

Excellent point, Darina.

There is nothing evil about ignorance. That’s just a lack of knowledge or experience.

But exploiting the ignorance of others, that is evil.

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