JONAH Still Supports ‘Receiving Healthy Touch and Affection’
It hasn’t been an easy year for JONAH. First, their co-founder Arthur “Abba” Goldberg was outed as a convicted felon. Then, a scandal broke about how two young Orthodox Jewish men were engaged in bizarre, naked therapy wherein it was reported a much older man, Alan Downing, instructed them to touch their genitals in front of a mirror while he watched. This scandal led to an awkward (though ironically more accurate) name change, “Jews Offering New Alternatives to Healing.”
Now a statement has been signed by many Orthodox rabbis confirming their support for gay people, including their “religious right to reject” ex-gay therapy. But their hastily applied band-aid hardly covers a thing. As was noted in a previous article, JONAH’s web page title still reads “Homosexuality” instead of “Healing.” And the dozens of references to the old name have yet to be edited in the articles on the site. But the biggest proof that JONAH hasn’t even changed superficially is the continued support for the bizarre therapy that led to the Downing scandal in the first place.
According to JONAH’s website, “Many who struggle with SSA experience touch deprivation, an issue often overlooked in therapy.” That’s why point number 10 of their FAQ endorses the practice that other ex-gay organizations have long shunned. At the Exodus and NARTH websites, damning references will disappear within hours of exposure on a gay-supportive blog. In the case of disgraced “sexual reorientation life coach” Richard Cohen, statements may even appear opposing the use of “touch therapy.” But JONAH is obviously not on the ball, and they clearly lack the self-awareness to recoop their image, even superficially.
JONAH can’t even prove “change is possible” in their own website content.
OMG, this is so dumb!
On the one hand, healthy touching and affection is discouraged between males, regardless of orientation. But gay males are expected to be even more repressed, regardless of how casually affection is expressed.
Repressed because life threatening violence could happen and does.
I am a naturally affectionate person. Some people are more than others, depending on their personality. Women, of course can express casual affection in public with less repercussions than men can. Another example of gender bias and what is healthy and what isn’t.
I have mentioned, especially to the anti gay, that having a segment of the human population that can’t create sexual tension between the genders IS healthy. To be able to have all the mental, emotional and intellectually close relationships WITHOUT all the sexual expectation and aggression is very supportable and important.
Men and women keep misfiring all the time, and I think it’s because this vital element of cross gender sexual attraction is under constant attack and maintained at a distance.
I, as a straight women, appreciate the gay males in my life because their perspective about me and how I relate to straight men is so helpful. My lesbian friends are not physically threatening as a man would be, and also offer a perspective that’s vital. I’m very fortunate, that because I’m an affectionate person, I am responded to in kind.
And I believe I’m a MUCH healthier person for it.
It’s the Puritanical, cold and distant repression of our natural need and tendency towards physical warmth and support-even just through hand holding, that’s created so much fear and distrust and misunderstanding of those physical needs that are NON sexual.
This is RIDICULOUS that in the 21st century, this s**t isn’t figured out in the main. It’s obvious and plain to see to anyone paying attention.