Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

Watch those sneaky conversion therapists adapting

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.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500th blog post with the ToI. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * NEW: To see other blog posts by him, his overspill blog you can reach by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture at the head of every post. There you may find precursors to later TOI blog posts, addition or corrections of published TOI blog posts, blog posts the TOI will not carry, and some thoughts that are too short to be a TOI blog post. Also, the TOI only allows for one blog post per blogger per 24 hours. Sometimes, he has more to say than that. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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