Dr. Warren Throckmorton has flown to San Francisco to argue that it is healthy for gay people who are tormented by their religious beliefs to remain in abusive relationships with their church counselors. One would have to be deluded or a money grubbing charlatan to actually subscribe to such quack-like notions.
Of course, San Francisco is one of the research capitals of the world. One would think that Warren "Dr. Blog" Throckmorton would use his trip to initiate a real study to back his controversial views. Under his nose are University of California Berkeley, San Francisco State, University of San Francisco and many other universities and medical facilities that could assist him.
But, no, instead of producing, he'd rather protest; he'd rather play culture warrior and demonstrate in front of the annual APA meeting than sit in a sterile lab and demonstrate that his "shame therapy" works. Indeed, I checked up on Throckmorton hoping he was in San Francisco to prove me wrong. What great potential Nobel Prize winning scientific experiment was he working on? Was he penning a groundbreaking tome on the topic of sexual orientation?
"My heart is safe but this beautiful spot on earth has my attention. I am blogging from a little cafe in Sausalito and have had a nice day," Dr. Blog wrote today on his vanity cyber diary.
Well, there you have to folks - Dr. Blog is, well, blogging - surely adding to the body of scientific literature and base of human knowledge.
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?
Now that the Constitution is in tatters, the courts have been weakened and Bush has degraded America's military, diplomatic and economic power - Karl Rove is slithering away. He should be proud of himself. It is awfully difficult and takes an enviable amount of skill to bring down a country as powerful and rich as America.
Of course, I am sure Rove won't notice how much he's damaged this nation. I have a feeling that it won't be long before he is on several of the boards of companies this administration has helped enrich at the expense of working men and women.
Fortunately, America started catching on the past two years (better late than never) and Rove's legacy has taken quite a battering. He will be remembered for winning elections at the expense of this country. He also sullied politics by running smear campaigns and "swift boating" opponents - often with homophobia.
While his work is done - ours is just beginning, as it will take years to clean up the mess of the Great Bush Mistake.
Former Young Gay Americans editor Michael Glatze did not take long to join the right wing circuit. Only weeks after announcing that he had prayed away the gay (Well, it's more like a work in progress, since he hasn't yet changed) the ex-gay therapy group NARTH has scraped the poor guy out of the drug and glow stick littered gutter and listed him as a special guest speaker at its 2007 convention. (Well, I think it's him, as NARTH apparently misspelled his name - which is an improvement on the group's shoddy science. Wait, they don't actually do real peer-reviewed studies. My mistake.)
I find it interesting that Glatze has agreed to take part in this event. He recently canceled a debate with me on CNN's Paula Zahn NOW, because Jesus told him to do so. Now, without opposition, he will tell his tale to a band of applauding quacks. Clearly, Mr. Glatze is a moral coward who cannot defend his beliefs and can only appear in "friendly" arenas, where he is not challenged. May I suggest he have more faith in God to give him the strength to stand up for his bizarre new ideas on religion and sexuality?
I still wonder if Mike is conning us and will come out with a big "expose" on his year in the ex-gay movement. Then again, I did talk to him for an hour and, between you and me, my impression was that he stayed at the party one bong hit too long.