Every now and again, a snake will show its fangs. Case in point is Dr. Warren Throckmorton, one of America's leading "ex-gay" therapists. Last week, a Nebraska-based website so obscure it was inaccessible by popular search engines such as Google, was discovered by right wing activists. What the website had to say was quite disturbing.
"Without GSA [gay straight alliance] access, students are forced to simply kill classmates who taunt & bully - shooting, stabbing and poisoning are the common forms of retribution."
Immediately, anti-gay groups rightfully criticized the site. However, they were disingenuous in their conjured anger, as their real target was not the ugly message, but the Gay, Lesbian, Straight, Education Network (GLSEN) that helps students form GSA's. The GSA clubs protect students from bullying and create safe space where they can find support.
Throckmorton wasted no time implicitly tying the website to official GSA's - the only problem was, GLSEN, had nothing to do with the website. Ex-Gay Watch uncovered that a country activist, Brian Wyant, who no one outside of Omaha had ever heard of, ran the offending site. The next day, Throckmorton ran a hollow apology, but the damage was done.
As usual, Throckmorton, who masquerades as a moderate, takes every opportunity he can to bash the GLBT community. He is so zealous, that he hardly has time to fact check, which is an embarrassment for a doctor who fancies himself an expert on ex-gay issues.
For the first time in ten years, the American Psychological Association is reviewing its policy on counseling GLBT people and will address the explosive issue of ex-gay therapy. Throckmorton is spearheading the opposition with sophistic arguments about patient self-determination. Although, he has yet to show how his very determined gay clients have changed themselves into heterosexuals. His goal is to pressure the APA into carving out a religious exception to ethical therapy, where ex-gay therapists can torment religious clients without repercussions.
What is amazing is how anti-gay groups are so desperate to find doctors to promote ex-gay therapy that they turn to underachievers like Throckmorton, an unlicensed psychologist who has never been a member of the APA. Throckmorton works at Grove City College, a small Christian school in a town with a population of 8,000.
According to the school's website, its goal is to ensure, "inspired Scripture be presented to all" and it boasts of, "rejecting relativism and secularism." In this vain, Throckmorton is working with religious right groups to impose these narrow, sectarian values on the APA.
For a self-proclaimed leader and one elevated by the press, Throckmorton is relatively unaccomplished. He has not written a book, nor has he conducted any major studies. He does claim to have counseled 250 patients, but he is unable to bring any success cases forward.
Indeed, on June 11 2007, Throckmorton finally brought forth a client to show success - but the man was a relatively new patient, would not be identified by his last name and had not changed his sexual attractions. If this was Throckmorton's best example of success, his work is rather disappointing.
Throckmorton also produced a defamatory ex-gay video entitled, "I Do Exist." The movie's opening scene was a wide shot of the 8th Avenue New York porn palaces that supposedly represent gay life. His film featured Joanne Highley, a known exorcist, who in a previous video that appeared on PBS (One Nation Under God) discussed how she extracted the demon of homosexuality from the orifices of gay men. Is this the kind of "therapy" that Throckmorton wants the APA to endorse? If not, why did he feature this woman in his video?
Throckmorton has also shown callousness towards ex-gay survivors. In 2003, Michael Johnston stepped down after it was discovered the HIV+ ex-gay leader was having unsafe sex with multiple partners he met on the Internet. Instead of having sympathy for his victims, Throckmorton blamed gay activists for revealing Johnston's behavior.
In response to Johnston's demise, Throckmorton wrote an op-ed in American Daily on August 7, 2003 that said, "These gentlemen (activists) wanted to make sure the world knew about the private pain of Mr. Johnston and those touched by his failings."
To Thockmorton, the health and well being of GLBT Americans are a mere afterthought. The only principle he seems to covet is ensuring religious practitioners have a right to "treat" gay clients, no matter how much damage may be occurring.
Sadly, Throckmorton's main "scientific" achievement is a vanity blog that criticizes the work of genuine scientists, but provides little original work of his own. Unfortunately, the modern media will give this "researcher," who is seemingly allergic to the lab, a platform. In the old days, web surfing was no substitute for conducing real studies. But such due diligence might cut into "Dr. Blog" bloviating on the Internet.
Isn't it is time for Throckmorton to stop protesting the APA and start producing landmark studies that might turn him into the expert he now imagines himself to be?
Wayne, I agree. This dude is one slick, slippery right wing hack. He's dishonest. At least the others tell you where they are coming from. This guy engages in stealthy campaigns. He pretends he is our friend - all the while scheming to hurt us. Thanks for exposing his charade.
Love this page!! I tell all of my friends about it!!
I was oe of the "activists" that Throckmorton maligned when Michael Johnston was exposed a fraud.
Sadly, Throckmorton continues to chase after the money that can be made off of parents of gays who are willing to spend money to "cure" their children. Even the article Throckmorton authored on the effectiveness of ex-gay programs that appeared in the APA Journal a few years ago conceded that no studies provided data thatsupported the "cure" claims.
posted by Michael in Norfolk, at
8/15/2007 12:49 PM
It is clear that this horses ass is a closet case. His interest in homosexuality is unnatural.
I find it ironic that alot of these right wingers who publicly give us a hard name and try to deprive us of rights ueusaly are the ones who end up getting cought in some kind of scandle, even if it's a hetrosexual scandle it says they can't keep thier own closet clean so they scream about gay people to take the public attention off of them, I know this is probaly nothing new but it just comes to mind, thier all hypicrits.
posted by Anonymous, at
8/15/2007 10:41 PM
Dismissing someone because he has not written a book is rather ridiculous - how good do you think most books are?
posted by Anonymous, at
8/16/2007 6:56 PM
Throckmoton is pushing his political campaign to get his "Sexual Identity Therapy" accepted by mainstream psychologists. He tries to claim that it is "neutral" and would bring "gay affirming" psychologists under the same tent with reparative therapists and everyone in between. But he is really just trying to preserve the option of providing reparative therapy to patients (who really want it), despite the fact that there is no evidence that reparative therapy is safe or effective. I agree with Wayne, he is ultimately a fraud.
posted by Anonymous, at
8/16/2007 8:01 PM
Right, it would be wrong to dismiss him because of a book...but when you ad that to the fact he has not:
1) Started an organization 2) Written a key paper 3) Conducted a landmark study, despite the fact he has the facilities at Grove Community College..
His empty threats are only as dangerous as we allow them to be. He is a charlatan and blows hot air. THANK YOU for taking him down to where he belongs which is beneath any people who respect acceptance and truth regarding the variety in human sexuality
posted by EWE, at
8/17/2007 10:02 AM
It's pretty astonishing to claim that starting an organization proves that your beliefs about sexual orientation are correct.
posted by Anonymous, at
8/17/2007 11:08 PM
Unfortunately, many of us have seen the after-effects that comes with those whose parents forced them into an ex-gay therapy. In most instances I've encountered, completely helpless and powerless 15 year old kids were subjected to hours and hours of electroshock therapy in an effort to eliminate homosexual tendencies or admissions. How can any civil nation, especially that of the United States, not consider that child abuse? Forcing children to undergo unnecessary medical treatment (such as chemotherapy when no cancer is present) is considered child abuse --- how can reparative and ex-gay therapy not also be considered child abuse? Is "free exercise of religion" really that pervasive and straong?
posted by MPH, at
8/18/2007 12:52 AM
Wayne, you make alot of good points. However, when you say that Throckmorton has not published any books (publishing a book doesn't necessarily qualify one for anything), is a self-proclaimed leader (anyone can self proclaim themselves for anything they want, this is a free country, but it is up to us whether or not we accept them) and one elevated by the press (now this one takes a slick operator and only Richard Cohen the MEDIA WHORE creating one media 3 ring circus after another could get away with it), director of an organization (anyone can start an organization and appoint themselves anything they want, Cohen did), is relatively unaccomplished (Cohen is), ...nor has he conducted any major studies (Cohen hasn't). He does claim to have counseled 250 patients (Cohen claims to have counseled THOUSANDS!), but he is unable to bring any forward (Cohen at least a few testimonials on his website, but does it mean anything?. Now, that may all be true, however, by the same token, RICHARD COHEN HAS published several books, papers, director of an organization and is a SELF-PROCLAIMED LEADER, SELF PROCLAIMED SEXUAL ORIENTATION SPECIALIST AND TRAINER AND IS AUTHORIZED BY HIS OWN ORGANIZATION (the only one in the whole wide world) OF WHICH HE IS THE PRESIDENT AND DIRECTOR TO CERTIFY (THE ONLY ONE IN THE WORLD BY THE WAY!) SEXUAL ORIENTATION COACHES/SPECIALISTS, ETC., would you call him qualified for anything (we already know your answer to that one!)?
So, I don't think that these things necessarily disqualify Throckmorton to run a blog and offer his opinion. This is a free country, you can read it or not read it, it is up to you. To have dialogue we don't necessarily have to agree all the time, do we?
posted by brian, at
8/24/2007 10:53 PM