At the same meeting in Uganda described here, Family Life Network (FLN) leader Stephen Langa continues his discussion with the group on the evil, clever “gay agenda.” In doing so, he turns to Richard Cohen’s book, Coming Out Straight : Understanding and Healing Homosexuality.
Cohen has been a bombastic embarrassment for ex-gay groups over the years, appearing about anywhere that would have him. His demonstration of “bioenergetics” on CNN has him beating a pillow with a tennis racket while yelling at the top of his lungs. The same appearance includes a session of “holding” or “touch” therapy where Cohen cradles his client in his arms while on a sofa. He has repeated this and other stunts in multiple venues.
An XGW exclusive in 2007 revealed another account of Cohen’s bizarre behavior at an Exodus Annual Freedom Conference in 2000. Cohen had been invited to speak and also demonstrated one of his therapy techniques. As Exodus president Alan Chambers later recounted in an email to their parents group:
During that class, which I attended, he asked for a volunteer to demonstrate on. His volunteer was a seasoned Exodus leader. This leader was instructed by Mr. Cohen to lay on the floor and spread his legs wide open. Dr. Cohen then laid down on top of this other man face to face and embraced him.
Mr. Cohen made the comment, “This might cause some stimulation. However, what goes up must come down, I always say.” He made other vulgar comments of this nature.
To our knowledge, Cohen has no license to practice any sort of therapy. The licensing authorities in his state, Maryland, told XGW that a license is not required there to offer services as a “psychotherapist” as long as one does not diagnose and treat from the DSM-IV. They added that the term is essentially meaningless and did not reflect any official designation. Also in 2007, Cohen claimed to stop counseling clients.
Of note here is the fact that, in this book, Cohen uses the seriously flawed data provided by discredited researcher Paul Cameron. One would be hard pressed to find a source with less credibility on this subject, except perhaps another Langa source, Scott Lively. Langa has truly scraped the bottom of the barrel for information with which to mangle the lives of GLBTs in Uganda.
Yet to such “noted authorities,” we can add Exodus board member Don Schmierer, who traveled halfway around the world to be in such esteemed company while talking to the people of Uganda.