A few days ago, we posted about a video parody which illustrates the profoundly general nature of one of Dr. Joseph Nicolosi’s (NARTH) personal theories — the “Grey Zone.” Essentially, this is supposed to be a grief state when one feels really bad, then seeks to act out homosexually in an attempt to feel better. Nicolosi uses a lot more space and Freudian overtones to explain it, but that’s basically it.
Even to the layman, it’s obvious that this pattern could fit any number of moods and behaviors, most having absolutely nothing to do with homosexuality. The parody was amusing and it made a valid point. Unfortunately, as many of our readers will no doubt understand first hand, painful consequences can result when people are herded down these pseudo-psychological paths.
Quite by accident, I ran across one such heart-wrenching example shortly after posting about the parody above. A blog entry, apparently written in the third person by a young man named Alex, about his therapy by phone under Nicolosi:
“Take a deep breathe,” Dr. Nicolosi’s voice came through the receiver. “Go to you’re body. Tell me what it feels like.”
The boy is a college student now, sitting in his dorm room, in the dark, a phone pressed against his face. He closes his eyes, and breathes.
It feels…I feel this huge pressure…on my chest.
“Good, good” Nicolosi tries to encourage.
It feels… like I’m suffocating.
“Good, Alex”, his voice full of paternal care. “This is what we call the Grey Zone. We go to this area when we are shamed. And when we have shame, we act out on our homosexual impulses.”
Shame equals Homosexual impulses, Alex jots down on his notepad.
“And when we change from shame to assertiveness, we find that these homosexual feelings just disappear.”
And the boy, he just listens and nods at the phone.
“And when we change from shame to assertiveness, we find that these homosexual feelings just disappear.” It is difficult to see this statement as anything but absurd, yet it is quite easy to believe Nicolosi said it because he is so fond of such statements.
For example, in a clip on CNN last year, we hear him saying, “The guy with a homosexual problem does not trust men. When he begins to trust men, his homosexuality disappears.” Remember these statements when NARTH is used as a resource by ex-gay ministries and therapists (Exodus, JONAH, Evergreen, PFOX, etc).
And remember also these words as Alex continues:
Alex had stopped the phone-therapy for almost a year now- but it changed something in him. Without knowing how, he was different. It’s what he felt the moment he flinched and felt immediately embarrassed. Homosexuality equals shame, are the words somewhere scribbled in an old notebook.
No matter how strong their need for control, no matter how fierce their paranoia, NARTH and Nicolosi can’t stifle people like Alex from sharing their experiences. Maybe some will read and be spared the pain that can accompany a course of treatment with Dr. Joseph Nicolosi.
Read more of Alex’s blog