My name is Emily Kesselman and I’m a writer for Ex-Gay Watch (www.exgaywatch.com). I author articles under the pseudonym “Emily K” and specialize in researching the Jewish end of the ex-gay spectrum. I have some questions that I would love for you to take the time to answer, because I want to report only the facts on your organization. In turn, I request permission to publish the answers – which I will faithfully report – in an upcoming article.
1. NARTH has used rhetoric to discuss homosexuals which, and I don’t say this lightly, eerily parallels that used by the Nazis. Even if you agree with NARTH on the nature of homosexuality, how can you not openly call them on this horrendous characterization? What are your feelings about this?
2. You have several articles in your online library written by a man that advocates Jewish conversion to Christianity. How do you justify this to your Jewish clientèle?
3. Richard Cohen has disgraced himself publicly numerous times, including disastrous television appearances. Many ex-gay groups and ministries have erased his name and books from their websites as a result. He is also well known as a man who was stripped of his counseling license, had ties to the Moonies, and has renounced his Jewish faith. Do you have any concerns endorsing Mr. Cohen, bearing all this in mind? Why/Why not?
4. Scott Lively, author of “The Pink Swastika,” is a holocaust revisionist who believes gays and homosexuality in general are largely responsible for its occurance. He is featured on both the NARTH and Exodus websites. Do you share Scott Lively’s views?
5. The ManKind Project’s “Journey Into Manhood” has been recommended by Joseph Nicolosi and NARTH to men who want to change their orientation by getting in touch with their masculine side. However, MKP has stated that they do not see a correlation between masculinity and sexual orientation, and actually support gay men who come to their events to be themselves. Now that this has been established, will you continue to endorse them? If so, why?
6. You have declared that JONAH is an organization that only wants to help those who seek it. However, many ex-gay groups and advocates have gotten involved in denying content, well-adjusted, healthy homosexuals rights as equal citizens by lobbying in Washington and protesting gay equality advocacy. Do you agree with this politicizing of the movement? If you do, how do you feel making the lives of homosexuals unequal in the eyes of the law benefit your cause of helping people change?
Thank you very much for taking the time to help me obtain the facts.
I got this response (or rather, lack thereof):
Although you state your desire to “report only the facts,” the assumptions, misperceptions, and factual misrepresentations contained within your questions (as well as in other material you have written) show such a misunderstanding of JONAH and our programs that to set forth an accurate response would require writing a treatise. Frankly, we are so busy helping men and women who are dealing with unwanted same-sex attractions that to take the time to respond to your innuendos would take far too much time away from the work we do helping those who seek assistance.
Shalom, Elaine Silodor Berk and Arthur Goldberg, Co-Directors of JONAH
This response only leads me to believe that JONAH doesn’t care about the facts at all. First of all, they refused to answer my questions, which were in no way hostile and did not contain any “assumptions, misperceptions and factual misrepresentations.” They weren’t statements of fact, they were questions. Second, although their response suggests they are familiar with my previous articles on JONAH, they have yet to take issue with anything I’ve written publicly or privately. Aside from the word “Lez” mysteriously disappearing from their site after I published an article pointing it out, JONAH has remained impassive and silent as to what I’ve written.
This is behavior that would be expected of organizations like PFOX, whose rhetoric and actions are so hateful and deceitful that they’ve resorted to using profanity and deception, which is not becoming of people who claim to be Christian. Alan Chambers, head of Exodus International, has in the past responded reasonably and professionally to questions posed by XGW. JONAH has decided not to be as responsible. This is extremely unfortunate.