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July 25, 2010

Alleged Abuse At Orthodox-Founded 'Cure The Gays' Program

Gay Men Holding Hands Symbol JONAH therapist allegedly sexually abused clients.

Therapist Alan Downing, A Key Figure In JONAH and People Can Change, Allegedly Made Clients Get Naked And Touch Genitals

Alan_Headshot_1NEW YORK – Truth Wins Out (TWO) released an exclusive video statement today from two former clients of “ex-gay” life coach Alan Downing. The clients, Ben Unger and Chaim Levin, alleged that during individual therapy sessions, Downing (pictured) made them undress in front of a mirror and touch their bodies while the significantly older therapist watched. Unger and Levin call the sessions a “psychological striptease” and believe they were harmed by what they consider unprofessional behavior and sexual misconduct.

Downing, who admits he is still attracted to men, is a major player in the “ex-gay” industry and a practitioner of so-called “reparative therapy”. He is the lead therapist for Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality (JONAH) and is listed on the People Can Change website as a “Senior Trainer” for Journey into Manhood, which is a controversial “ex-gay” backwoods retreat designed to supposedly make gay men more masculine.

“These dysfunctional, unscientific programs are rife with sexual impropriety and need to be shut down,” said Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen. “Too often, repressed ‘ex-gay’ quacks pretend they are trying to get into your head when they are really trying to get into your pants. They call what they do reparative therapy, but it’s more like re-perv-ative therapy.”

“He was encouraging me, ‘it’s okay Ben, you can take your shirt off’…here was a man that was much older than me, and I was around 20,” said Ben Unger, a former client of Alan Downing. “At that point, I was just staring at a mirror with my shirt off and he was right behind me staring at the mirror with me at my body. Then telling me to look at my body and feel my body. It was weird.”

“While I was standing there without my clothes on, he asked me to touch my genitals,” says former Downing client Chaim Levin. “Once again, I communicated that I was not comfortable with it. And he was like, you know, ‘just feel yourself. Just feel it for a second. So, you can grasp your masculinity physically.’”

“If you believe having a closeted gay therapist undressing clients makes one straight, than you’ll believe that playing doctor makes one a brain surgeon,” said TWO’s Besen. “The concept is both outrageous and ridiculous and these sick, exploitative practices should be abandoned immediately.”

JONAH was co-founded by Arthur Abba Goldberg, a Wall Street criminal mastermind who was convicted in 1987 of “fraud of spectacular scope”. Upon completing parole, Goldberg secretly reinvented himself as a moral leader who “cures” gay and lesbian people. Known as “Abba Dabba Do” in the financial world, Goldberg was sentenced to 18 months in jail for bilking poor communities with complicated bond schemes and served six months in prison.

“Given the sordid history of JONAH, this latest scandal is not too surprising,” said TWO’s Besen. “This is an unscrupulous organization of high moral turpitude that has few qualms about harming desperate and vulnerable clients. This group has consistently been tied to bizarre, sexually suggestive methods that are unsettling, dangerous and ineffective.”

Journey into Manhood, where Downing is a counselor, exhibits similar eyebrow raising techniques. Writer Ted Cox infiltrated this peculiar program and was surprised to find what he called, “homoerotic exercises” and a cabin that he called “The Cuddle Room” because it was a space where supposedly “ex-gay” men gave each other inappropriate massages.

“Apparently some of the guys in one cabin threw their mattresses into the middle of the room and had an all-night holding session,” said one of the men attending the Journey into Manhood session, according to Cox’s article.

“How ironic that therapists that claim to cure homosexuals keep ending up naked with their gay clients,” said TWO’s Besen. “Such lurid exploitation has moved from a disconcerting pattern to a full-blown trend and it needs to be investigated by the authorities.”

Truth Wins Out is a non-profit organization that fights religious extremism. TWO monitors anti-LGBT organizations, documents their lies and exposes their leaders as charlatans. TWO specializes in turning information into action by organizing, advocating and fighting for LGBT equality.

[Hat Tips: Vicki, Mobius.]


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I know Goldberg. He may have been a Wall Street fraudster, but he is a true believer in the anti-gay stuff.


Rubashkin is also a "True Believer" that religious Jews convicted of crimes should not serve time in jail.

One can deceive themselves but that doesn't make it any less of a fraud.

Child molester Michael Jackson loved Hitler and the Nazis http://www.yourjewishnews.com/14.aspx

It's the same Arthur Goldberg whose a lecturer at Peter LaBarbera's (Porno Pete) "Truth Academy" which is coming up in early August.
Why should I be surprised? Peter is little more than a Nazi himself!!
Hopefully this evil event will be protested!!

The world ain't less than six thousand years old and perverts can't be made into non perverts.

So Hasid is an acronym for Homosexual Adult Sadists In Disguise.

Mazel Tov!

How do we get Downing off the streets and out of the Mikvahs? Isn't he a danger to society and gays in particular? Does he need a license to practice this?

Let me guess. The organization is called Jonah because the whale liked swallowing things.


Anyway, does this guy have real credentials or a license?

"Anyway, does this guy have real credentials or a license?"

There is no such license, since "curing the gay" is not a normative health practice. It's sure nothing related to talk therapy.

Some people want to have bisexual wife, hopping to have a threeway,... the Rav Leib Tropper derech.

If straight people can become bi ( one reason why gay people like to hit on straight people), maybe gay people can become bi which make them available to all wide world...

Homosexuality is a result of traumatic conditioning in early childhood, often repressed and poor later life choices. There is no "Gay" gene.

Adam: Between this post and the one you posted about consciousness on an earlier thread, and your multitude of prophetic posts implying that you may be the Messiah, since we're talking technical points now, is it fair to conclude that you are schizophrenic and off your meds?

What are you Adam, a developmental psychologist? I know plenty of gay people who didn't have "traumatic conditioning" in early childhood. And regarding the "gay gene", there is a growing body of scientific research which indicates a hereditary factor in the predisposition to homosexuality. No, a "gay gene" hasn't been identified, but looking for a single gene to be the only possible biological determinant amounts to Junior High genetics knowledge. Congratulations on your accomplishment.

I use to peek in at the sexual abuse survivor support online groups. There is a constant problem with abusers infiltrating these groups.

Homosexuality is a result of traumatic conditioning in early childhood

Adam, that is an unadulterated load of unsubstantiated nonsense.

Well, when "Homosexuality is [NOT] a result of traumatic conditioning in early childhood.." It is, from what I have seen, empirically speaking, a result of traumatic conditining when older.
Ex: women who are raped often turn to gay lifestyle.
seen it.

This is an interesting halachic discussion. If I'm not mistaken, there is a Teshuva in the Igros Moshe regarding whether encouraging body awareness including masturbation on female imagery is allowed to get someone away from homosexuality. Rav Moshe does not explicitly permit it. What's going on here is not normative therapy and it's seriously doubtful these people are licensed.

But since you've given a hat tip to Vicki "dead baby" Polin, is lying on Oprah allowed?

Time for JWB to make an appearance.

Let me guess. The organization is called Jonah because the whale liked swallowing things.


No. Because it was a sperm whale.


Adam, I agree with some of the points you've made.


Have you read any books by the following authors - Lenore Terr, Judith Lewis Herman, Jeffrey Masson, Jennifer Freyd or Alice Miller ?

I don't take drugs of any sort. An occasional aspirin is about it. Please watch your slander !

To YAIR...

I am proud of the expertise I have in a number of areas. I am self taught in many fields. Early childhood development, traumatic conditioning, repression and consciousness are some of the areas I can claim knowledge in. Not enough space here to expound on what I am aware of. I am careful with my public statements. I can back up my assertions. I enjoy throwing truth cats into a flock of denial pigeons. The prophecies are clear that at some point in human history various previously hidden truths will be revealed, much to the chagrin of various people. I am used to encountering people with conceptual limitations but I cannot give up on what I know to be true. G-d is my greatest ally.


Ditto above.

Let me guess. The organization is called Jonah because the whale liked swallowing things.


No. Because it was a sperm whale.


Posted by: Dr. Dave | July 25, 2010 at 09:30 PM

What about "Fudgie the Whale" from Carvel Ice Cream cakes? (rimshot)


I am gay. I have a wonderful family and no so-called trauma. So, basically you have no clue what you are talking about when it comes to causation of homosexuality. You are flat our smearing gay people with your fake science and propaganda.

People are just gay. Period. It has zero to do with upbringing, since gay people come from every kind of family imaginable. Given the overwhelming, incontrovertible evidence of this simple fact, it is astounding that you would regurgitate such a false meme.

What you suggest about gay people is rejected by every respected medical and mental health organization in the world. This includes the American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Counseling Association.

So, basically, Adam, you are no expert. You are a ordinary person with an ignorant bias, that pretends to be an expert by distorting real research to fit your narrow viewpoint. There is a word for such people and it is "ideologue".

Way to go Wayn!

By the way - great video and article about those Orthodox guys who were subject to that abusive Alan Downing non-therapist!

I hope they pursue legal action against him, although I could understand if they don't want to put themselves through the extreme hassle and expense.

And can you please tell the guys who put themselves out there on the video that they were very brave to do so, and that there are those of us in the Modern Orthodox world who have respect for them and are sorry for what they went through.


Thanks, I will pass along your kind words.

I hope they do elect to sue. These immoral con artists that bilk desperate and vulnerable people should be shut down. What we are talking about is gross consumer fraud.

Heck, even Abba Goldberg's own son is gay and hasn't been "cured." Yet, this convict huckster is selling a miracle when it did not work in his own family?

Shame on Abba Goldberg and all the others who peddle the "ex-gay" myth.

I don't know what repressed memory has to do with this, but I'm used to schizophrenic patients "reading" a book or two and deciding from that they have unlocked the secrets of the universe, etc. I'm guessing you don't actually have formal training in anything, as you suggest, certainly not molecular biology.

I'm sure you'll be a fine messiah when your prophecies are revealed. Now take your pills like the doctors suggested.

the 7:05 comment is for "Adam Neira".

From the other thread:

Figure this out

Men can be attracted to other men
They can be attracted to both men AND women
[or just women]
Men can think of themselves as a woman and be attracted to:


There are two things going on.

What you think of yourself as; man or woman
What one is attracted to.

Environment or 'born' with it
Answer: BOTH or a mixture of the two.

Possibility of real change or orientation ?
no way
BTW I have gay brother.

Oh I forgot

One can have both male and female sex organs and be attracted to both

Downing, who admits he is still attracted to men, is a major player in the “ex-gay” industry and a practitioner of so-called “reparative therapy”.

Heck, even Abba Goldberg's own son is gay and hasn't been "cured."

And yet they continue to insist upon its efficacy. The denial is almost unbelievable.

Humanity really is too sick to survive.

Props to both of you studs for speaking out. Much love.

Actually the faggot thing in males is probably related to some hormone stuff that occurs in utero and may involve 5-alpha reductase.

Thus homosexuality may and should be curable in a few years and that will be that.

Curable before birth if it is caught early enough.

This means the gay cultural things like all male yeshivot will fall out of fashion.

I have a better acronym than "NormalJew":


I think it's a brilliant idea to cure homosexuals... but you gotta put out some real juicy babes, not mere pictures! Having some bearded male watch you while you wank will not cure your backdoor itches, certainly not as much as a Beis Rivka senior with a strap on. (Melbourne uniforms are best, please).

In fact, I think I'm gonna hire some tomboyish hos from the itty bitty titty site to, um, cure me of my latent tendencies once and for good.

Damn, missed the YU connection! Ginsburgh, like Dr. Baruch "HaGever" Goldstein, got their Torah U'Mada at YU!!!! Ginsburgh's bio says he got a masters at Belfer Graduate School. Though he omits the YU part in the bio, Belfer is YU's grad school. I guess the MO credentials don't look that good in Harediland.

I am supremely confident in my current views on various subjects. I suffer from no mental illness. I love the mind that G-d has blessed me with. You have no idea of the depth, range and discoveries of my life experience. The only reason I am answering to your slander is because I feel like a bit of defence today. Moses was described as "being with the days", i.e. He absorbed an enormous amount of information, divine insight etc, and had to deal with it. He was a tool of the divine will. I am used to dealing with people with conceptual limitations. So many people are unaware that they are unaware. You're comments are like water off a duck's back. Quack, quack.

P.S. What is your real name ? It doesn't matter if you don't tell me. People who undermine the righteous are usually dealt with in interesting ways.

Someone is implying 5-ARD is related to sexuality. Hm... I suspect otherwise, but that isn't the point here. When dealing with behaviors (or any syndromes) that are far outside the social norm, one should realize that watching a lot of Jerry Springer episodes is entirely insufficient for understanding what is really going on, let alone a research issue. Until one does a whole of (serious) reading one will probably not even know what questions to ask. Only a lot of experience in a field will yield insight. I think one must consult actual experts who have *experience*.

Can someone please show me the science behind why someone is born gay. The only studies I've been able to find online are from this website, and they all seem to prove that you're not born this way.



I know Arthur Abba Goldberg personally and am familiar with his work.

I have advised him, when presenting, to present data. Unfortunately, there is little data on the successes of Reparative Therapy as it has not been sufficiently studied. Goldberg does have anecdotal evidence in the men and women JONAH has helped.

I think we can all agree that Reparative Therapy deserves a Scientific Study to determine its efficacy in those with unwanted same-sex attraction.

Unfortunately, Rabbi, the anectodal evidence is also against him.

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