| || |
Letter to Dr. Jack Drescher
After watching a Nightline program** profiling the Journey into Manhood (JiM) weekends, a weekend highly recommended by JONAH to its clients, a JiM participant wrote an email to Dr. Jack Drescher, a gay identified therapist, who not only spoke on Nightline against the JiM weekends but characterized it and the therapeutic concepts utilized to assist sexual orientation change as "dangerous."
The JiM participant (Steve) emailed Dr. Drescher in the hope that the writer may convince Dr. Drescher to recognize the inconsistency of Dr. Drescher's gay affirmative agenda with both the actual scientific data and the writer's personal experience evidencing the possibility of change of sexual orientation. Printed below is the essence of the letter he wrote to Dr. Drescher on November 14, 2010.
Dear Dr. Drescher,
With all due respect, your comments on the ABC Nightline program** highlighting the Journey into Manhood weekend (as well as several similar ones you have made to the same effect about reparative therapy) as being "dangerous" are ill-informed and simply naive. If you were truly interested in the facts whether such concept works or not, you would do a real study with actual men who have chosen to change in order to draw your conclusions.
I do not know if you have actually done your own study, but I would doubt that any such study of yours would compare with the positive results of the efforts of Rich Wyler and Dave Matheson, the two men who not only created the Journey into Manhood weekend but through such efforts witnessed more than 1200 men go through more than 50 such weekends over a ten year period. (They also testified on Nightline about their own ability to change sexual orientation.) On two occasions, they actually conducted follow up studies of those who went through the weekends and both studies found that the overwhelming majority of those who went through the weekend can and do change sexual orientation, particularly when motivated by their personal spirituality, deeply held values and beliefs, a desire to have a family, and a desire to heal emotional pain. If you were really interested in the truth, you would be saying to yourself, "wow, look what these men have been doing for the past decade; I ought to go check this out to see if there is really something to this!"
The fact is there IS something to what these guys are doing. I attended JiM 16 in 2005 and it made a significant difference in my life. I always thought that professionals such as you would be interested in a client being able to obtain his/her goals in life, and would be equally interested in knowing what worked for them in order to accomplish their objectives.
I don't know why you insist on being so adamantly opposed to this work. Do you really not care about people like us at all? The fact is, people are not "born gay", and you do not have one shred of evidence to prove that premise to be the case. If men like us want to deal with unwanted SSA, why should you object? Frankly, it should mean everything to you, but apparently it means nothing. The APA should be interested in helping men like us to accomplish what we want for our own lives; instead you oppose us and call a process that has worked for us to be "dangerous". I'll tell you what Jack: my life was a whole lot more dangerous when I was living a lifestyle not meant for me than it is now when I live as a husband and father. Why DON'T you seem to care about that?
My own personal life is a testimony to the accuracy of the presentation on the Nightline program and the efficacy of the concept that people can change. I never wanted to be "gay." I lived a double life for a long time. By exercising my free will, I choose to neither identify nor believe I was gay; rather I chose to live a heterosexual life and to conform my inner most feelings and emotions to that view. The path I chose was consistent with the APA 1973 decision removing homosexuality from the DSM. It there stated,"Psychiatrists... will continue to try to help homosexuals who suffer from what we can now refer to as Sexual orientation disturbance, helping the patient accept or live with his current sexual orientation, OR IF HE DESIRES, HELPING HIM TO CHANGE IT" (emphasis mine). The APA did not opine, as you do, that such therapy is dangerous. Rather the concept of "dangerous" is a spin that you and your colleagues have created to deter people like myself from exercising our free rights of patient determination.
Through counseling, experiential weekends such as JiM, and other strategies prevalent within the "ex-gay" movement, I have succeeded in not only changing my behavior patterns but have also changed my sexual fantasies, arousals, and identity. I have done it, and I'm happier for it – does that not matter to you?
If it really doesn't matter to you, then I can only conclude that you have a personal agenda and will press forward with your own unsubstantiated beliefs regardless of evidence to the contrary. If you were a true science oriented professional guided by clinical results and honest inquiry, you would be interviewing men like us and asking lots of questions. What you say can't happen IS in fact happening right before your eyes!
You simply choose to turn your head the other way. Is there no honesty in your profession anymore? If people in my own profession ignored the facts in a similar way, we would be driven out of leadership.
I am simply aghast at your response on Nightline and the audacious position other gay advocates within the APA have taken. You have apparently ceased searching for truth and have unfortunately replaced integrity with pushing a politically correct social agenda instead.
You're more than welcome to call and discuss this with me, but I will not be surprised of you don't.