Four gay men with the help of the Southern Poverty Law Center are suing the NJ “ex-gay” organization JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives to Healing) for fraud and mental torture
Three of the men at the news conference are Jewish, and the fourth is a Mormon now living in Salt Lake City who was a college student in New York when he signed up for the services.
Speaking for the men at Tuesday’s news conference were attorneys from the Southern Poverty Law Center, a Montgomery, Ala.-based civil rights organization.
“JONAH profits off of shameful and dangerous attempts to fix something that isn’t broken,” said Christine P. Sun, the center’s deputy legal director. “Despite the consensus of mainstream professional organizations that conversion therapy doesn’t work, this racket continues to scam vulnerable gay men and lesbians out of thousands of dollars and inflicts significant harm on them.”
The therapy, which can cost up to $10,000 a year, put them at risk of “depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior,” while giving them no benefits, the suit said.
In 2010 Truth Wins Out released a video in which Ben Unger and Chaim Levin, blasted JONAH’s lead therapist Alan Downing, accusing Downing of a “psychological striptease” in which he watched them disrobe and touch their bodies
Jo Bruck, Sheldon’s mother, and Bella Levin, the mother of plaintiff Chaim Levin, are also plaintiffs because they paid for their sons’ conversion therapy and the counseling the suit said they needed to recover from it. But personally in my opinion these “mothers” shouldn’t be plaintiffs but should be defendants for putting their children through such trauma and abuse.
I applaud the lawyer for representing the plaintiffs and the for gay men themselves for standing up and exposing these sick organizations and hopefully putting JONAH out of business through court costs alone if nothing else and exposing such dangerous quack ex-gay reparative therapy groups to the world.