(Smoking Gun: Peter LaBarbera Part of Slimy E-Mail Chain)
AUTHOR URGES MAGELLAN TO DROP ANTI-GAY POLITICAL 'THERAPIST' FROM ADVISORY BOARD
E-Mail Chain Shows Coordinated Campaign to Cow Magellan Into Reinstating Dr. Warren Throckmorton
NEW YORK - Author Wayne Besen today called on Magellan Health Services to reconsider its decision to reinstate Dr. Warren Throckmorton to its National Professional Advisory Council. Evidence suggests that Magellan cracked under intense pressure from a coordinated right wing pressure campaign led by some of the most infamous anti-gay activists in America.
Throckmorton, who recently produced a video on ex-gays called, "I Do Exist", had been removed from the Council in March because of his controversial and unorthodox view that some homosexuals could become heterosexual through therapy.
Shortly after his termination, Throckmorton joined forces with Concerned Women for America and the Illinois Family Institute to turn up the heat on the nation's leading behavioral health and employee assistance company. In April, Magellan inexplicably reinstated the right wing doctor as a result of getting squeezed by the far right, according to a story broken by activist Mike Rogers on his website Raw Story Q.
"Magellan got it right the first time when they rid the board of a right wing political operative posing as a legitimate therapist," said Wayne Besen, author of Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth. "Throckmorton is cynically using his position on Magellan's Advisory Council to gain credibility and legitimize his backwards and dangerous anti-gay views. Magellan should reverse course and not offer a platform for an extremist to further his political agenda."
Erin Somers, vice president of public relations and communications at Magellan denies that Magellan buckled after withering criticism from neo-puritan groups and the right wing media. However, she failed to adequately explain why Magellan reversed course.
Somers told The Advocate magazine that Magellan agrees with the American Psychiatric Association that homosexuality is not a mental disorder or an emotional problem.Yet, in a bit of double talk, she said, "Individuals have the right to explore a variety of different kinds of treatment troubling for issues them."
"I'm perplexed that Magellan holds the position that homosexuality is not a mental illness, yet, the group refers people to therapists who do hold these discredited, outdated beliefs," said Besen. "I would like to meet with Magellan and introduce them to ex-ex-gays - people who have been gravely damaged by the type of therapy that Throckmorton promotes. Magellan should not be in the business of subsidizing suicides, anxiety, depression, sexual abuse and all the other noxious side effects that are often associated with reparative therapy."
The smoking gun revealing the existence of a pressure campaign was obtained when right wing operatives inadvertently included Besen on an e-mail chain discussing their plan to go after Magellan.
"All I can say is, what a bunch of dolts," said Besen. "Although disturbing, watching these keystone cops in action is rather amusing."
It started when Besen e-mailed Throckmorton to ask why he was eliminated from the Advisory Board. Throckmorton hinted at the formation of an organized campaign against the health care group 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."
The e-mail chain also personally attacks Besen and threatens a smear campaign by investigating his personal life. One e-mail by LaBarbera to Throckmorton says Besen is "committed to wickedness" and claims that the group has damaging information about one of Besen's former boyfriends. "Did hear though that there's a new Web site by Wayne's boyfriend that contains some revealing glimpses into the promiscuity of gay male life. Stephen Bennett has the info." Throckmorton responds to that e-mail by writing, "Yes, Stephen called and let me know."
"It is sickening that these groups would scrape the depths of the gutter and try to launch a smear campaign against me," said Besen. "However, it is also flattering because this failed attempt to kill the messenger shows how they have been unable to counter my message or discredit my well-documented work. I have repeatedly embarrassed them by exposing their ex-gay poster boys as frauds and they are left with nothing but ugly, personal attacks."
Besen is a nationally recognized advocate for gay and lesbian rights. He has been a guest on leading news and political talk shows. He made international news when he photographed "ex-gay" poster boy John Paulk cruising a gay bar in Washington, D.C. Besen again made headlines when he helped uncover Jerry Falwell's HIV positive ex-gay leader Michael Johnston's not so ex-gay life.
In an exclusive interview with Advocate.com, Warren Throckmorton, Ph.D., a counselor and psychology professor at Grove City College, a Christian school in Pennsylvania, disputes media reports that right-wing groups pressured one of the nation's largest health care companies to reappoint him to its advisory board.
Throckmorton had been removed from Magellan Health Services' National Professional Advisory Council in March, reportedly because his views that mental health treatment can "cure" same-sex attraction--and because a film he created and publicized on "ex-gays," titled We Do Exist--were controversial and could distract from the panel's work. Throckmorton was reappointed to the council in April, and media reports suggested Magellan had been pressured to reverse its initial decision by such right-wing and antigay groups as the Illinois Family Institute and Concerned Women for America as well as "ex-gay" poster boy Stephen Bennett.
The Nation magazine had an excellent article that linked Family Research Council President Tony Perkins to prominent racists, including former Grand wizard David Duke. According to the revealing article by Max Blumenthal:
Senate majority leader Bill Frist appeared through a telecast as a speaker at "Justice Sunday," at the invitation of the event's main sponsor, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins. "Justice Sunday" was promoted as a rally to portray Democrats as being "against people of faith." Many of the speakers compared the plight of conservative Christians to the civil rights movement. But in sharing the stage with Perkins, who introduced him to the rally, Frist was associating himself with someone who has longstanding ties to racist organizations.
If you are gay, now is time to waltz into your walk-in closet and make a choice. You can dust off your boxing gloves and prepare to fight for your rights or, you can stay silent and redecorate your closet because this is the lonely, miserable space you may inhabit in the near future. I've been fighting for equality since 1988, and this is the first time I believe we are going backwards and actually losing the battle.
Remember fake White House reporter James Guckert, aka "Jeff Gannon"? Today, Raw Story uncovered that he had unusual access to the highest levels of power. Guckert, a bald, Mr. Clean-like male escort, made more than 200 appearences at the White House. The question everyone is asking is whether his cover was blown, or did he blow one of the numerous White House closet cases to get to cover the West Wing for the right wing sham news organization Talon?