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TWO: Therapist Promotes Bullying

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    Wayne Besen s Truth One OUT has issued a press release (copied below) condemning a NARTH therapist, Joseph Berger, M.D., encouragement for kids to bullying
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 31, 2006
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      Wayne Besen's Truth One OUT has issued a press release (copied
      below) condemning a NARTH therapist, Joseph Berger, M.D.,
      encouragement for kids to bullying children who wear opposite gender
      clothing. TWO's press release picks out the many of Berger's worst
      comments, so I checked NARTH's website(1) and was surprised by
      Berger's closing comments:

      ". . . I suggest, indeed, letting children who wish go to school in
      clothes of the opposite sex -- but not counseling other children to
      not tease them or hurt their feelings.

      "On the contrary, don't interfere, and let the other children
      ridicule the child who has lost that clear boundary between play-
      acting at home and the reality needs of the outside world. Maybe, in
      this way, the child will re-establish that necessary boundary.

      "It is a mistake for various interfering, ignorant, and biased
      busybodies to try to "counsel" the other children into accepting the
      abnormal. It is very healthy to be able to draw the line between
      what is healthy and what is sick.

      "I am sure that if we looked carefully, we could find some
      significant personal issues and aberrations in the parents of these
      children. These children don't have such problems without there
      having been some groundwork laid by their parents in some way."

      Not only does Dr. Berger attack tolerance he clearly blames the
      potentially transgendered children's parents.

      (1) http://www.narth.com/docs/oakland.html

      ###

      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
      Thursday, Aug. 31, 2006

      TRUTH WINS OUT REBUKES `EX-GAY' THERAPIST FOR PROMOTING BULLYING IN
      SCHOOLS


      APA Should Censure NARTH's Joseph Berger M.D., For Encouraging
      Students To 'Ridicule' Peers, Says TWO

      Also, NARTH Caught 'Padding Its Petition' to the APA, TWO Reveals

      MIAMI BEACH - Truth Wins Out today condemned Toronto psychiatrist
      Joesph Berger, M.D., for encouraging students to "ridicule" gender
      variant children. Berger, who serves on the "Scientific Advisory
      Committee" for the "ex-gay" group the National Association for
      Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), made his remarks in
      response to a San Francisco Chronicle article that explored gender
      issues in schools.

      "I suggest, indeed, letting children who wish go to school in
      clothes of the opposite sex -- but not counseling other children to
      not tease them or hurt their feelings," Dr. Berger wrote on NARTH's
      website. "On the contrary, don't interfere, and let the other
      children ridicule the child who has lost that clear boundary between
      play-acting at home and the reality needs of the outside world.
      Maybe, in this way, the child will re-establish that necessary
      boundary."

      Earlier today, TWO contacted the Ontario branch of the American
      Psychiatric Association and the Canadian Human Rights Commission to
      inquire about filing complaints against Dr. Berger for inciting
      potential violence and advocating possible child abuse.

      "Joseph Berger has confused therapy with thuggery and he should be
      censured for unethical and unprofessional conduct," said TWO's
      Executive Director Wayne Besen. "His comments put children at risk
      and exposes NARTH's dangerous agenda at a time when the 'ex-gay'
      industry is attempting to infiltrate public schools.'

      "How can NARTH at one location on it's website take the 'principled
      position' that '[w]e live in a multi-cultural society where
      tolerance for differences is essential,' and at another location on
      their website take the unconscionable position that schoolchildren
      ridiculing gender variant schoolchildren is a good way to
      maintain 'boundaries?'" asked Autumn Sandeen, Spokesperson for the
      Transgender Community Coalition of San Diego. "It's hypocritical for
      NARTH to advocate both 'principled' tolerance and unconscionable
      ridicule -- there is nowhere on earth where tolerance equates to
      ridicule."

      Aside from supporting harassment in school, Berger used language
      that was shockingly unprofessional calling statements he disagreed
      with "absolute garbage" and "poetic stupidity," while mocking gender
      variant children by saying they wanted to "play dress up." The NARTH
      leader also engaged in hate speech by falsely linking transgender
      and gay activists to child molesters with "perverted goals."

      "I think that a lot of this is nonsense and is being pushed by
      people who have an agenda to disrupt society in order to further
      some perverted goals such as the acceptance of pedophilia, and, of
      course, the attempted 'normalization' of homosexuality," wrote
      Berger.

      NARTH is an organization on the fringes of the mental health
      mainstream that uses long outdated and disproved psychological
      theories about gay people and repackages them as if they were new
      findings. The group attempts to make male clients more masculine by
      encouraging them to drink Gatorade and calling other men "dude." The
      group also believes that heterosexual men can turn gay if they
      suffer "defeat or failure."

      As a result of such bizarre techniques, flawed research and
      unsubstantiated claims on the efficacy of "conversion therapy," the
      American Psychological Association released the following statement
      at their annual convention in New Orleans in August:

      "For over three decades the consensus of the mental health community
      has been that homosexuality is not an illness and therefore not in
      need of a cure. The APA's concern about the positions espoused by
      NARTH and so-called conversation therapy is that they are not
      supported by the science. There is simply no sufficiently
      scientifically sound evidence that sexual orientation can be
      changed. Our further concern is that the positions espoused by NARTH
      and Focus on the Family create an environment in which prejudice and
      discrimination can flourish."

      While in New Orleans, NARTH unveiled a petition that aimed to gain
      support from APA members for "conversion therapy." Embarrassingly,
      the group only received 75 signatures out of an APA membership of
      155,000. This failure was highlighted by the fact that NARTH bussed
      in 50 professional "ex-gay" lobbyists, meaning the group received
      less than one signature per protester. Moreover, TWO's research has
      revealed that of this paltry showing of names, at least one-third of
      signatories are NARTH members, staff, Board members or conference
      presenters.


      "NARTH was caught 'padding its petition' and spinning their inaction
      as traction," said Besen. "It is clear that they have confused
      momentum with their own membership list and have done virtually
      nothing to advance the case that conversion therapy is effective.
      Perhaps, this pseudo-secular organization has spent so much time in
      churches with Focus on the Family that it no longer knows when it is
      preaching to the choir."

      TWO is a non-profit think tank and educational organization that
      counters right wing disinformation campaigns, debunks the ex-gay
      myth, and provides accurate information about the lives of GLBT
      people. Besen, the group's founder and Executive Director, is the
      author of "Anything But Straight: Unmasking The Scandals and Lies
      Behind the Ex-Gay Myth."

      -END-
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