“Once you accept the scientific fact that sexual orientation and gender identity are neither choices nor the result of parenting, the conversion therapy industry is an obviously fraudulent enterprise.”
Restored Hope Network
Enablers of the Scam

via Restored Hope Network

The conversion therapy industry association, Restored Hope Network, has sent out its email “invitation” for a conference in June. I’ll be sure to mark my calendar.

According to the email invite, presumably the work of Anne Paulk:

HOPE2020 features Sean McDowell speaking on the apologetics Worldview Behind Transgenderism and Case for Marriage. Joe Dallas will present with his wife, Renee, on topics for families, spouses and LGBT strugglers. Linda Seiler will present on why some have greater success in leaving LGBT lives from her original doctoral research.

It’s the usual assortment of Christian crackpots. I’ll get to Sean McDowell shortly. Joe Dallas is always on the lists of conversion therapy charlatans going back to the demise of Exodus International. Exodus’ leader, Alan Chambers, admitted that no one really changes.

Linda Seiler is a special piece of work. On her website is this:

Linda Seiler once had plans to have sex reassignment surgery, change her name to David, and live happily ever after. But God. Linda’s life and message are a testament to the power of Jesus to change everything.

That is obvious bullshit. First comes the name change and transition (Real Life Experience) along with intensive counseling. Then, at least a year later, comes gender confirmation surgery.

Seiler makes a living with seminars titled: “Compassion without Compromise: A Christian Response to Homosexuality”. You can view video online for $50.00. Just to give you an idea of how crazy these people are:

… her master’s thesis research combined with her own 11-year journey out of same-sex attractions and transgender desires.

  • Linda’s full testimony with pictures
  • Homotextuality: How Pro-Gay Advocates Revise the Bible
  • Spiritual Warfare: Why Natural Efforts Won’t Defeat a Supernatural Enemy
  • Are People Born Gay? Setting the Record “Straight”
  • Pastoral Perspective: Walking Someone Through the Healing Process
  • Practical Tips: Reaching Friends & Family Who Embrace a Gay Identity

Was the cashew gay, trans, gay and tempted to be trans or something else? Obviously there is no “healing process.” Gay people aren’t injured (except by Christian crackpots). And, no, people are not born gay. Sexual orientation is formed by about two years of age.

The last bullet point is especially special. It’s an effort to convince accepting friends and family not to be accepting. This deranged woman is poisonous!

Restored Hope Network conferences are designed, in part, to provide instruction:

  1. How to convince people that Christianity requires LGBTQ people not to be LGBTQ people and;
  2. how to coerce LGBTQ people into claiming that they are no longer LGBTQ people and;
  3. how to make money off of desperate people whom the same folks have made desperate through religious nonsense.

In addition to the instruction there is the underlying group support.  They can delude themselves into believing that they are not unbalanced con artists. They are doing the work of their deity.

The real objective of those who spawned the conversion therapy industry was different. Claims that conversion therapy is effective undergird and provide a pretext for anti-LGBTQ discrimination and efforts to thwart nondiscrimination laws. Then there is the less obvious agenda:

Some conservative Christians have a dilemma created by arrogance. They do not approve of LGBTQ people. They believe that we must be desperate for approval. They cannot cope with the simple fact that we don’t care. The group dynamic reinforces the belief that we do care about their opinions.

That brings me to one of the speakers at this little get together: Sean McDowell. A few days ago, McDowell authored: A Christian Perspective on Transgender Identities: 5 Key Insights.

McDowell’s essay is based in part on the writings and speeches of Preston Sprinkle. I must give Sprinkles some credit. His pastoral paper is loaded with uncertainty; something that is very rare in that orbit. That is not to say that I agree with Sprinkle. I do not. But he is a bit more intellectually honest than many anti-LGBTQ Christians.

Yet, at the very beginning of Sprinkle’s paper is this:

I have often cited Genesis 1:27 as the primary driver of Christian anxiety over transgender people. Sprinkle adds Genesis 1:26. It comprises an over-reliance on ancient texts to defy scientific realities.

Getting back to Sean McDowell, he writes the first of his five “key insights”:

Balance love and truth. As he does in his outstanding book People to be Loved, Sprinkle emphasizes the importance of balancing both content and relationships in how we approach this conversAside from the revenue stream, cation. Quite powerfully, Sprinkle mentioned that he does not know a single LGBTQ person who does not deal with internalized (sometimes) crippling shame.

And there you have it. The opposite of approval is shame. The state of shame means the desire for approval. Neither Mr. McDowell nor Mr. Sprinkle have met me or the LGBTQ people that I know. Healthy LGBTQ people do not experience the least bit of shame over our sexuality. Some of us are religious and believe that they are just as their god made them.

It is quite obvious that they want to create a quest for approval by inducing shame. The only reason that an LGBTQ person might experience shame is because they mistakenly believe the religious whack jobs who convince someone that God is pissed off that they are gay or transgender.

My late boyfriend and partner of 30 years (and a conflicted Catholic) used to call it the Fairy Tale for Fairies.

I prefer to call it the exploitation of sexual minorities, directly and indirectly. Some of these people have advanced degrees in theology from reasonably respectable evangelical Christian colleges and universities. Yet, with all of the study and pseudo-intellectualism one thing is glaringly absent:

Where is the peer-reviewed research published to a credible academic journal providing evidence that conversion therapy works?

Until Anne Paulk or any of these creatures satisfactorily answer that question I will continue to call them con artists or charlatans. Once you accept the scientific fact that sexual orientation and gender identity are neither choices nor the result of parenting, the conversion therapy industry is an obviously fraudulent enterprise.

Related content:

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.