Truth Wins Out Infilterates And Exposes Marcus Bachmann's Ex-Gay Practice

Be sure to check out what Wayne Besen and our friends at Truth Wins Out are up to. They have released a report of an undercover investigation they conducted just weeks ago, beginning June 23 of Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann’s husband’s Christian counseling practice.

Truth Wins Out’s Communications and Development Director John Becker posed as a troubled homosexual seeking counseling. His experience with Bachmann & Associates counselor Timothy Wiertzema led him to conclude: 

Based on my experiences at Bachmann & Associates, there can no longer be any doubt that Marcus Bachmann’s state- and federally-funded clinic endorses and practices reparative therapy aimed at changing a gay person’s sexual orientation, despite the fact that such “therapy” is widely discredited by the scientific and medical communities.

And no, relative to the question asked earlier, Becker was never presented an informed consent form to participate. Nor was he in any way briefed that the “therapy” route he was embarking upon was discredited, useless and potentially dangerous.

As observed, “Dr.” Bachmann’s practice fails to meet even the ethical standards set by the American Association of Christian Counselors, let alone the much higher bar of more stringent professional organizations like American Psychological Association. Much more after the fold. 

And yes, there were hidden cameras involved. This is an exhaustive and very damning report meticulously documented in multiple postings. Truth Wins Out’s summary is here. 

Becker (left) shares his first person account here. It is an enjoyable if chilling read. Becker shares the logistical and pragmatic challenges of endeavoring on the assignment, as well as his thoughts and feelings along the way. A choice excerpt from his summary:

I was never told that every professional medical and mental health association rejects “ex-gay” therapy including the American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, and the American Counseling Association, or that the treatment I was seeking was totally unsupported by research. I was never informed about possible alternative treatment options such as gay-affirmative therapy. Nobody ever told me about the potential for harmful side effects like depression and suicidal thoughts. And although I was asked to sign a treatment plan outlining my problem, desired outcome, and treatment strategy, I was never given nor asked to sign any kind of informed consent document that disclosed the above information about “ex-gay” therapy. As such, I believe Bachmann & Associates to be practicing unethically, even by the standards of the American Association of Christian Counselors. This is particularly disconcerting given the fact that Marcus Bachmann’s clinic has received significant funding from the State of Minnesota and the federal government.

Tax payer dollars in the form of Medicaid should not be going to support unethical and scientifically indefensible practices. 

Truth Wins Out explains the criteria they used to conclude the therapy is discredited gay reparative therapy here. 

I have included the main bullet points and edited them down, they are more fully explained at the link. Suffice it to say there are many hallmarks of “therapeutic” techniques common to the George “Boy Renter” Rekers school of thought, pioneered at his organization, The National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH).

  • False promise of healing: During the sessions, Wiertzema claimed that it was possible to change from gay to straight through prayer and therapy.
  • Homosexuality portrayed as unnatural: At no time during the therapy was homosexuality portrayed as a natural variation, it was portrayed as a treatable condition at odds with a normal and healthy sexual orientation.
  • The risks of reparative therapy downplayed: Becker was never told the result he was seeking was totally unsupported by research nor warned of potential for harmful side effects like depression and suicidal thoughts.
  • Homosexuality blamed on environment: Counselor relied on the discredited idea that homosexuality could be the result of neglect, abuse, trauma or poor parenting.
  • Accountability Partner: During the sessions, the counselor urged Becker to find a heterosexual “accountability partner.”
  • Focus on developing masculinity: The counselor advised Becker to “further develop your own sense of masculinity.”

For the record, in 2009, the American Psychological Association considered the results of a two year study that showed no measurable evidence that sexual orientation could be changed. Because therapy was also shown to have harmful effects like depression and suicidal ideation the APA voted 125-to-4 to repudiate such practices.

The Bachmanns have tried very hard to obfuscate and downplay their involvement in the fraudulent ex-gay movement. But the evidence is mounting and media are noticing. The Nation has picked this story up, reporting on a different young man’s similar experience with Bachmann’s clinic in 2004.

In truth, this investigation shows Bachmann’s to be very intimately tied to the practices, customs, theories and even the actual personalities who define this movement.

Says Truth Wins Out:

“The results of our investigation should end all doubt whether Marcus Bachmann’s clinic endorses and practices reparative therapy aimed at changing a gay person’s sexual orientation,” said Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen (right). “The facts plainly show that Bachmann’s clinic does try to cure gay people and he is being evasive when he claims otherwise.”

“It’s time for Michele and Marcus Bachmann to stop denying, dodging, and stonewalling,” added Truth Wins Out’s Communications and Development Director John Becker. “They owe it to all Americans to provide a full and honest explanation for their embrace of these dangerous and fraudulent practices.”

Come out of the closet with you gay-erasing self, “Dr.” Bachmann. Apologize to vulnerable people you have hurt. 

And please return the tax dollars that funded your fraudulent “therapists” discredited work. 

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