The National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) has officially responded to Ex-Gay Watch on the matter of Arthur Abba Goldberg, the former NARTH Executive Secretary.

Goldberg, who is co-founder and co-director of Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality (JONAH), was revealed last month to have been jailed and fined in 1989 for his part in a multimillion-dollar business fraud.

Goldberg responded to the reports by shifting the blame, and was duly followed by NARTH President Julie Harren-Hamilton, who attacked the gay media and bloggers for exposing Goldberg’s criminal past.

Last week, XGW reported that Goldberg was no longer listed as Executive Secretary of NARTH. Now NARTH Vice-President of Operations David C Pruden has spoken on the record about the situation.

In a statement made to XGW, Pruden revealed that NARTH knew nothing of Arthur Abba Goldberg’s conviction for felony prior to last month’s investigative report. He also confirmed that Goldberg had resigned from the board of NARTH. The full statement reads:

In the past two weeks incidents that took place more than twenty years ago in the career and life of Arthur Goldberg first came to our attention. He has never taken the members of the NARTH Board into his confidence concerning these events and this information came as a complete shock to NARTH members and to our organization.

After years of dedicated service to NARTH Mr. Goldberg has announced his resignation from his NARTH Board position. With his resignation this now becomes a personal matter and all future questions or concerns should be directed to Mr. Goldberg. He has assured us that he plans to make a public statement on his own web site and since none of the issues concerning his past were in any way associated with NARTH, and in fact preceeded the founding of NARTH,  we would feel it inappropriate to make further comments. We wish for Arthur and his family the very best at this difficult time.

This confirms what seemed evident all along: Arthur Abba Goldberg deliberately concealed his criminal past.

Despite the statement that this is now a “personal matter” for Arthur Goldberg, however, NARTH still has some questions of its own to answer. The overwhelming question is how Goldberg was able to such an entrusted position at NARTH without disclosing his conviction for fraud. Does NARTH not have safeguards in place? Does NARTH not require such disclosures? As a professional organization, does it not independently confirm these things before appointing someone to such a position?

Even if no such disclosure is required (which would be remarkable), how is it that Goldberg’s criminal history went undetected, when even before last month’s exposé a simple Google search for “Arthur Abba Goldberg” would have immediately turned up dozens of official documents and newspaper reports from the time of his conviction? Pruden earlier told us that it was common knowledge at NARTH that Goldberg’s middle name was Abba – yet no one seems to have made the connection.

Goldberg may still have a lot to explain – but NARTH must also explain what appears to be astonishing negligence.

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