Now the Knesset — again — will vote on a law to forbid and punish conversion ‘therapists,’ it is may be worthwhile to see if that law is strong enough to really take them down.
These are butchers. Unscrupulous people who have made enormous amounts of money by tricking naive and vulnerable men (mostly — women are just harder to fool). No matter how many of their clients hurt or killed themselves, they always had a brilliant excuse: Without my therapy, many would have done that too. I did not impose anything on them. They came to me for help and I’ve helped them to the best of my ability.
What Makes Them Tick
Different things have facilitated those money grabbers in different ways.
Nicolosi taught certified therapists how to brainwashing Gay clients while his (now renamed) institute would produce hundreds of pages of pseudo-scientific and fictitious articles ‘underpinning’ the abuse.
The now-outlawed Jonah organized fake therapy events and cherry-picked opinions of homophobic and standard rabbis to ‘prove’ the holiness of their torture practice.
And the stream of money (many clients paying sums with which they could have bought themselves a family home) surely could even turn an honest therapist into a ‘what’s good for my wallet is good for you’ monster.
They Converted Themselves (Again)
One of the problems is that these ‘mental health professionals’ changed their slogans (again). They now don’t try to ‘change’ their Gay clients anymore. They ‘support’ them ‘with different techniques’ to ‘cope’ with the hard life they find themselves in.
I don’t believe that people who showed to be heartless and tortured their clients for money for decades, have the ability to now suddenly care about the well-being of the people in their ‘care.’ It’s like letting a serial pedophile work in a kindergarten because he said he’d never do it again.
The new law should withdraw licenses of anyone who ever gave (past tense) conversion therapy. The burden of proof that they really left their harmful ways should be on them. Not the client should have to prove the abuse. The professional should show that they changed their ways really.
Tricks up Their Sleeves
One trick up their sleeve (used by all big-time pedophiles too) is: to treat well the majority of clients/kids, whom they can parade as ‘proofs’ of impeccable behavior, while violating/bankrolling the most vulnerable of them. No number of ‘grateful’ clients ever suffices to undo the testimony of one client abused by them. Especially, watch out for their ‘What do you want? He was f***ed up before he came to me’ line of defense.
Another seasoned trick is to claim that this is all political correctness gone bonkers. That they are the real victims, of secularism and modernity. But, it is not undemocratic to stop abusers and robbers. Rather, that is the protection of society and its moral level.
But what if some client chooses to want to be straight? Former Health Minister Yael German once answered this beautifully: Nonsense. No one wants to be who they’re not, except for the pressures of the oppression. When everyone accepts you as you are, you will accept yourself.
To remove anti-gay conversion therapy will be as hard as to erase prostitution or bank robbery but the mere legal effort, no matter how unsuccessful, will make a big difference, in any case. It will show that as a society, we stand with and will try to protect the powerless and weak.
Postscript: Of the roughly 9,000 Times of Israel bloggers, there should be at least 450 GLBTQ bloggers. Some 5% of every blog post should mention (ever so slightly) some LGBTQ issue. But it’s not. It’s less than 1% and that includes posts by anti-Gay activists. On my own, I author 50% of all blog post on LGBTQ issues (except for three months when I got some LGBTQ burn-out). And that’s not because there is no Gay news to comment on. I could issue a GLBTQ blog post on things in the news every day of the week without repeating myself. Only, I refuse to become the exclusive blogger on GLBTQ issues. I want others to break the silence too. However, I will not blame the victims. Rather, I will say: Look at how heavy Gay Oppression still is in Israel and the Jewish world. Even in a liberal medium as the Times of Israel (that doesn’t carry anonymous blog posts), almost 100% of the QTBGL authors and almost 100% of the (potential) Allies keep totally silent on this very mean oppression every day! I think that we should expect better from more Allies.