Magellan Health Services Attn: Erin S. Somers Vice President of Public Relations Via Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Ms. Somers:
As the Author of Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth, I have witnessed first hand the devastating consequences of reparative therapy. It is an outdated, cruel form of mental manipulation. It aligns the therapist with societal prejudice and religious pressure to coerce victims into believing they must change their sexual orientation. I am saddened and deeply disturbed by Magellan's reinstatement of Dr. Warren Throckmorton to its National Professional Advisory Council, considering he is one of the nation's chief proponents of such harmful and abusive therapy.
Magellan was correct in March when it removed Throckmorton from the Council. The company clearly and rightfully concluded that Throckmorton's advocacy of such a biased, and often barbaric practice made him uniquely unfit to serve. With great alarm I write to ask for a reasonable and coherent explanation for the reinstatement of Throckmorton.
Magellan should be applauded for clearly stating that it wholeheartedly agrees with all respected medical and mental health organizations, including the American Psychological Association, The American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association, that homosexuality is not a mental illness, disorder or emotional problem.
Given that Magellan supports the views of mainstream medicine, it is perplexing that your company would endorse Throckmorton and sanction reparative therapy as simply an innocuous option that patients have the "right to explore". While these vulnerable and desperate victims may have this right, it is Magellan's responsibility to dissuade people from experimenting with doctors who practice a strain of obsolete and emotionally damaging therapy. The American Psychiatric Association says, "the potential risks of 'reparative therapy' are great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior", that can "reinforce self-hatred already experienced by the patient."
Why would Magellan encourage patients to "explore" such dangerous quackery? The answer is simple: Magellan capitulated due to a pressure campaign orchestrated by extreme right wing groups.
Following Throckmorton's original dismissal, I contacted him via E-mail to ask why he was eliminated from the Advisory Board. Throckmorton hinted at the formation of an organized campaign to reinstate him when he replied, "you will hear more about the Magellan situation in due time." Almost immediately following this initial exchange, Throckmorton wrote an e-mail to Peter LaBarbera of the Illinois Family Institute, Bob Knight of Concerned Women for America and professional ex-gay agitator Stephen Bennett, referring to the Magellan situation by saying, "Just thought I would keep y'all aware that the blood is in the water." I know Throckmorton did this because I was inadvertently included on this E-mail.
Despite Magellan's denials, it is clear by these E-mails and by Magellan's subsequent buckling that your company was pressured and cowed into surrendering your principles. Magellan knows that Throckmorton represents the worst in the mental health profession. This is why he was dismissed in the first place. His reappointment is a slap in the face to victims of reparative therapy and an insult to the gay community who have been historically persecuted by pseudo-science.
Moreover, it is a severe blow to the leadership and credibility of your company. Throckmorton is cynically using his position on Magellan's Advisory Council to gain respectability and legitimize his backwards, dangerous and politically motivated anti-gay views. Magellan should reverse course and not offer a platform to an extremist to further his political agenda.
Ms. Somers, I would like you and other Magellan representatives to meet with me and several ex-ex-gays - who are people that have been victimized by the type of sham therapy promoted by Throckmorton. I offer you their moving stories and harrowing tales so Magellan can see that it is not in its best interest to be associated with such a harmful practice.
Thank you for your kind consideration and I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.
You tell em Wayne. Bet those moral cowards won't get back to you as they suck up to the right wing nut cases.
posted by Anonymous, at
5/01/2005 12:30 AM
Magellan should not meet with the homosexuals. They should stick to their guns and defend the American family.
Great letter Wayne. It is quite obvious why Thockmorton was reinstated: the ususal bullying and victimization tactics of the religous right movement. Over and over again, these therapies have been discredited and based on fear and rhetoric and not sound treatment of mental health. Being homosexual is not a mental health problem and this statement has been supported by major mental health organizations. I'd like to point out to Lisa that Magdellen should meet with "the homosexuals" because this is who it affects. Also it is important for Lisa to recognize that: - A simple basic fact that homosexuals come from and have families with close relationships, no different than anyone else. - Sexual orientation cannot be changed. It is fixed and is not a personal lifestyle choice. Reparative therapy is an outright lie and is dangerous. - Religous beliefs belong to the believer and cannot be imposed on others. Tim W.
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