Meridian Baldacci and Dr. Andre Van Mol - Bigots for the faith
Meridian Baldacci (Family Policy Alliance) and Dr. André Van Mol (American College of Pediatricians) | via YouTube

None of this propaganda has a damned thing to do with the wellbeing of kids. This is an effort to defend scripture and influence parents to ignore science.

On Tuesday Family Policy Alliance (the political wing of Focus on the Family) made an anti-transgender video focused on pediatric transition. FPA’s village idiot, Meridian Baldacci interviewed Dr. André Van Mol.

Van Mol is a family physician and co-founder of American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds). ACPeds is deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Van Mol has a long and lengthy anti-LGBTQ history. Van Mol is also an elder of the cult-like Bethel Church in Redding, CA.

Shitting BullBullshit Bingo:

Selected material from the CC transcript (which mangles capitalization, punctuatiom and some spelling):

We're talking about gender dysphoria it's biologically impossible to be born in the wrong body but let's put that aside for a second gender dysphoria is a strong discomfort with your body's sex it should be you know an infinite decimal part of the population the the dsm-5 uh says for natal females it should be three thousandths of one percent or less natal males fifteen thousandths of a percent or less.

“Born in the wrong body” has become Christian-speak. Suffice it to say that Van Mol is full of crap. Van Mol contradicts himself by first saying that gender dysphoria (using the religious terminology) is “impossible” and then acknowledging its existence.

The cited statistics in the above are a half-truth (or a half-lie if you prefer). DSM-5 (published in 2013) does indeed provide those percentages. However, everyone knows:

  1. For decades the transgender population has been estimated at 0.5% to 0.6% of the population.
  2. Gender dysphoria affects a far larger percentage of the population that those who are transgender.
  3. The Kuyper study (2013, ages 15 to 70) “showed that 4.6 % of the natal men and 3.2 % of the natal women reported an ambivalent gender identity.”
  4. The CDC, in 2019, came up with 1.8% for adolescents.

“According to the actual science (depicted by peer-reviewed research), there is no link between autism and gender dysphoria.”

Van Mol continues his misleading nonsense:

Yet in the past two years we have three or four surveys and studies saying up to two percent of the kids in america say yeah I might be trans so something changed it wasn't biology it wasn't genetics.

Van Mol is dishonestly referring to the CDC’s publication. I have provided the CDC’s instrumentation.

The CDC used the word “transgender” as an umbrella term. They asked the adolescents if they had some degree of discomfort between their gender identity and biological sex.

“Some people describe themselves as transgender when their sex at birth does not match the way they think or feel about their gender. Are you transgender?”

Note: With the caveat that ages and instrumentation are different the Kuper Study (2013, see above) yields much higher numbers than the CDC six years prior. Getting back to Van Mol’s “biology” and “genetics” gibberish:

…you should think of it as a psychosocial neurodevelopmental problem there's a psychological component they're going to be a social comp and for a decent decently large uh percentage there's a neurodevelopmental component by which i mean like autism spectrum disorder.

According to the actual science (depicted by peer-reviewed research), there is no link between autism and gender dysphoria.

Van Mol is a medical generalist in contrast to being a specialist.

  1. Van Mol is not a psychiatrist.
  2. Van Mol has never published peer-reviewed research on any topic, let alone gender dysphoria.
  3. Van Mol is not an endocrinologist.
  4. Van Mol has never treated an adolescent with gender dysphoria. He is not qualified to do so.

“No peer-reviewed research published to a reputable academic journal supports the idea that autism, “childhood events” and “contagion” have a causal relationship to gender dysphoria.”

Conservative Christians are determined to promote the nonsense that gender dysphoria is a symptom of “underlying conditions.” They do this in order to promote more nonsense that the “right” approach is to find and then treat those underlying conditions in order to “cure” gender dysphoria.

Van Mol is not dissuaded from this drivel by the absence of scientific confirmation:

… the neurodevelopmental thing of autism spectrum or adverse childhood events which of course can be you know many uh and are recognized in medicine and psychology as being something we're supposed to look for in in all kids in all patients now the thing that's going on currently though this exponential growth is because you know transgender ideology is self-declared a person is what they say they are when they say they are and now it's being spread by social and peer contagion.

No peer-reviewed research published to a reputable academic journal supports the idea that autism, “childhood events” and “contagion” have a causal relationship to gender dysphoria. What Van Mol is trying (very badly) to do is to substantiate a case for talk therapy as a means of preventing children from transitioning.

“There is a durable biological underpinning to gender identity.”

In 2017, Dr. Jack Turban (then at Yale, now a fellow at Stanford) explained in an article for the New York Times the reason for gender-affirming care (nearly two years prior to the American Academy of Pediatrics):

[Ten years ago] The hope was that early treatment would “diminish the risk of a continuation of gender identity disorder into adulthood” — in other words, make children stop being transgender. Transgender youth during this time suffered high rates of depression and anxiety. By young adulthood, nearly half had attempted suicide.

The science is unambiguous. Gender identity is formed by about two-years-of-age.”

Furthermore: “There is a durable biological underpinning to gender identity.”

Moreover, going back to the quoted material above, Van Mol is employing the “self-declared” trope. This is done to dishonestly suggest that gender dysphoria is self-diagnosed and, therefore, lacks credibility.

Give parents some credit for being more intelligent than André Van Mould (and mildew).

Van Mol would like to dissuade parents from getting qualified professional care for their children. However, anyone with a kid in distress due to incongruent gender is going to get a professional opinion. One based upon the standards outlined in the DSM which provide a subjective diagnosis. I suspect that many — if not most — parents get a second opinion.

Some of the transcript does not allow for determining whether the speaker is Baldacci or Van Mol. One of them mentions Abigail Shrier’s book. Shrier is a religious conservative. She is not a scientist. Shrier’s book is not peer-reviewed research. Her book was out to prove a point through selective observation.

“… gender dysphoria is not a conspiracy theory.”

For those unaware I have some aphasia which is an inability, at times, to process speech. Whether that is due to PTSD or the meds I take for PTSD is unknown. I have no choice but to rely on the closed captions transcript.

Van Mol attempts to make his “origins” BS sound authoritative:

You can't be born with a multi-factorial adaptation and that's what this is um a three-year-old can't tell us what their bedtime is or what their dinner should be they most certainly can't tell you know oh i was born in the wrong body but they can be coached into that they can be fed that idea unbeknownst to the parents uh or the friends you know there's all kinds of places to get coached now and you know the web …

“There is no evidence that youths can be ‘coached’ into having a condition which they do not have.”

The science is unambiguous. Gender identity is formed by about two-years-of-age. A child might not know what they should have for dinner but one of the first signs of gender dysphoria in children is the insistence that they are their gender identity.

Van Mol is an imbecile. A child might not know their bedtime but they can express, for example, having a cold because the kid is coughing and sneezing and has has a temperature.

Furthermore, gender dysphoria is not a conspiracy theory. There is no evidence that youths can be “coached” into having a condition which they do not have. I always thought of this as a retooled version of gay men supposedly grooming little boys.

Of course people suffering from a medical condition are part of a “cult:”

If you start looking up on this subject will rather easily lead you to the dark web where people are of course waiting to reel you in it very much spreads like a cult and many people have come out of it referred to part of it as the trans cult and we don't say that to be offensive it's just kind of the way it is.

Yes, that is offensive. No, that is not “just kind of the way it is.” Meanwhile the lack of logic and common sense is just astounding:

The american academy of pediatricians in one of their daily bulletins a few years ago talked about a study out of university of iowa that said 14 year old kids cannot reliably safely cross a busy intersection well you know i i think what i'm about to say next is self-explanatory so no a three-year-old can't tell us that they're living in a biological possibility something else is going on.

“A good example of bad decision making is a parent allowing themselves to be influenced by religion-based pseudoscience.”

Judgment and knowledge are two different things. Van Mol’s example of judgment involves decision making. Kids with gender dysphoria are not making a decision. A transgender girl knows that she is a girl just as a cisgender boy knows that he is a boy.

The Christian right projects this idea that transgender people are confused individuals who make very bad decisions. Moreover, they do so in order to propose a solution which consists of “helping” people to make good decisions. It all falls apart because gender identity is not a decision.

As you can see from some of the quoted text, those bad decisions are supposedly made because adolescents are influenced by other people. Furthermore, this supposedly creates confusion. A good example of bad decision making is a parent allowing themselves to be influenced by religion-based pseudoscience.

After a mountain of BS about intersex people, the Olympics and a cornucopia of anti-trans stock rhetoric:

Unfortunately when someone who has a diagnosis gets pulled into the ideology so now thinking that uh you know that because i have gender dysphoria that means i must therefore go on to the ideology of being transgender of identifying as as the opposite sex but for someone who has this diagnosis what's the long-term outlook for them um what what what can we expect over the course of time say for a child who's experiencing gender dysphoria gendered the norm with gender dysphoria is desistence uh we have decades of literature that just keeps piling up going easily 85 percent.

It is hard to believe that this schmuck actually graduated medical school. What the moron (and, yes, André Van Mol, you are a moron) is essentially saying is that a diagnosis causes kids to be transgender. Moreover, medical doctors do not call a proven intervention for a medical condition an “ideology.”

“… medical students must take the Hippocratic Oath. And one of the promises within that oath is ‘first, do no harm.’ Apparently Van Mol doesn’t recall that part.”

Van Mol must exist on referrals from Bethel Church. Anyone with any sense of critical thinking is never going to submit their children to a quackpot like this. Moreover, if Van Mol were familiar with the literature — which is doubtful — then he might know that children who desist never transition in the first place.

The persistence of gender dysphoria directly correlates to the severity of the condition. Children who desist do so because they are not in distress.

Moreover, Van Mol is a pernicious cynic. He is trying to promote the idea that parents should not seek a diagnosis from a qualified practitioner. Then he is promoting the Christianist “wait and see” which is tantamount to “see how much your kid is suffering.”
Van Mol is doing this by claiming that if you prevent a kid from transitioning they will likely desist. No. They will likely engage in self-harm. At the risk of repeating myself, kids transition to alleviate distress. Kids who ultimately desist are not in severe distress in the first place.

Here are some quotes from some of Dr. Kristina Olson’s research. Olson is now at Princeton. She is the founder of the TransYouth Project. These are from copyrighted material:

Results so far show that trans children have just as firm a sense of their own gender as nontrans kids at very early ages, both when asked directly and when tested. Furthermore, trans kids follow different trajectories than children who simply prefer toys and clothes associated with the opposite gender.
In addition to helping uncover the roots of gender, early results of these studies suggest that trans kids who are supported through early social transitions have strong mental health and self-esteem.
…trans youth who make the social transition at a young age are doing remarkably well. They have depression rates comparable to their peers and only slightly elevated rates of anxiety. They also show very strong self-esteem.

Furthermore, a study, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health in 2018 and based on a cohort study of 129 trans and gender nonconforming youth aged 15 to 21, found that suicide attempts plummet 65 percent and depression symptoms fall 71 percent if they are allowed to use their chosen name at school, home, and work, and with friends.

Van Mol is perfectly willing to roll the dice and risk killing kids in order to defend ancient texts. As an important step in becoming a doctor, medical students must take the Hippocratic Oath. And one of the promises within that oath is “first, do no harm.” Apparently Van Mol doesn’t recall that part.

“‘Junk studies’ means research that conflicts with Van Mol’s religious perspective.”

More on the conspiracy to fuck up children:

… pulled all the way into this ideology uh that we know if they weren't if they weren't pushed that way in the first place 98 of these boys uh would decide ultimately that they're happy being boys.

Where is there any evidence to support this theory that children are influenced to become transgender. The one study (by Lisa Littman) was officially corrected to the point of essentially being withdrawn. Shrier’s book is based on Littman’s failure which, by the way, has never been replicated.

On self-harm:

Yeah it's very much used as emotional blackmail and we we have on tape as well as documents uh certain you know counselors therapists for example in canada and the uk uh specifically advising their clients hey you want to get some attention threaten suicide this is awful now again the suicide card is emotional blackmail the good studies that do what you're supposed to do as opposed to the ones that claim 40 percent uh show about a 22 history of suicidal ideation or attempts i'm kind of glomming those together there which i realize those are different.

Who, exactly, is “confused?” It is an undeniable fact that transgender kids have a very high suicide rate. It is also a scientific fact that children who are supported in their gender identity have dramatically reduced odds for self-harm.

Trans kids do not hurt themselves because they are trans. They hurt themselves due to minority stress. Meridian Baldacci and André Van Mol are purveyors of minority stress.

Just a bald-faced liar:

“And if he is such an expert, what research has Dr. André Van Mol ever published to a peer reviewed academic journal?”

There is nothing that shows gender affirming therapy reduces suicidality it's not there there's junk studies that follow up you know three months later one year later two year later which i've had innumerable people that have made the mistake tell me one in two years is it enough time to know what you're doing you're still hopped up on the hormones uh you're in the honeymoon period it takes years to figure out what you've done to yourself i hear that repeatedly so the best studies we have 2011 study out of sweden 2019 study again out of sweden the long-term follow-up uh in the case the 2011 study showed if you actually follow people who did the whole shebang through sex reassignment surgery followed them 10 years and more you see a completed suicide rate 19 times out of the general population.

There is a mountain of evidence that gender-affirming care reduces self-harm. For starters see the link two paragraphs above. “Junk studies” means research that conflicts with Van Mol’s religious perspective.

As for that Swedish study it goes back to people who had gender confirmation surgery in the early 1970s when transgender people hid in complete fear. Furthermore the investigators drew the conclusion that transgender people need better psychological support. I agree.

Nowhere does that study suggest that people should not be transgender (which is what Van Mol is projecting).

And if he is such an expert, what research has Dr. André Van Mol ever published to a peer reviewed academic journal? The answer is none.

Van Mol is sure as hell not an endocrinologist. Indeed the Endocrine Society has made numerous statements about idiots like Van Mol. He doesn’t care:

“The fact that most adolescents who go on puberty blockers do not desist serves to confirm that only the most serious cases of gender dysphoria cause the individual to transition.”

You're interjecting you know gonadotropin releasing hormone agonist uh powerful hormone uh as a blocking agent um into an otherwise perfectly healthy kid uh so that's going to be a problem cross-sex hormones come next which many my colleagues refer to as wrong sex hormones high-dose estrogen in a biologic male high-dose testosterone and a biologic female the other side will counter it's not high doses exactly the dosage is recommended for the sex with which they associate well that may be uh but it's 20 to 50 times the testosterone a female body would ever see sort of an endocrine tumor of some kind and you know vice versa for the male and then the fourth stage if they choose to do it um are the sex reassignment you know again aka gender affirmation surgeries

Let me know when Van Mol becomes a board-certified endocrinologist. I think that the Endocrine Society is more likely to be correct regarding transgender medicine.

More dissonance:

We have four studies out there that show a 97 to 100 continuance for people put on puberty blockers so again it short circuits natural desistance it selects persistence

Bullshit! Disgraceful! The fact that most adolescents who go on puberty blockers do not desist serves to confirm that only the most serious cases of gender dysphoria cause the individual to transition. Otherwise we would be creating gender dysphoria whereby transitioning induced incongruent gender distress. Is that anywhere in the literature?

Outright pants-on-fire bullshit:

The lawsuits are forming and i am going to be very thrilled to help with them that's how i think this stuff gets turned around is when the drug companies the biotech firms you know uh the hospitals the doctors involved when they see this isn't a gravy train uh because when when you medicalize a kid you medicalize them for the rest of their life you know their need for those cross-sex hormones never goes away the complications need treatment likewise if they engage in surgery uh so it's a gravy train.

“Non-secular practitioners have an agenda that is not in the best interests of patients. It is in the best interests of their god.”

What lawsuits? Furthermore, the hacks that testify as expert witnesses don’t seem to be very compelling. Van Mol is less qualified than the usual cranks and crackpots. Of course Van Mol doesn’t name any litigants because there don’t seem to be any.

The second part of that is the conspiracy theory that transgender medicine exists in its present form because of revenues to doctors and pharmaceutical companies. Clinicians have told me that there are far easier and more lucrative fields of medicine. Furthermore, how much economic impact does 0.6% of the population have?

Finally, some Christian inoculation. I cannot tell if the speaker is André Van Mol or Meridian Baldacci:

You know compassion comes with truth uh speak to people you know let them know you love them just like you accept them just as they are but again ask those right questions you know how did you decide that you weren't comfortable being who you are when did you decide transition was the answer for you how did you come about this and listen listen listen because that's going to give you cues on what you need to address but the person's gotta want help is the thing i mean take the example in the gospels of you know jesus by the pool …

None of these people are qualified counselors. Truth, when it comes to medicine, is determined by research. Not scripture which is comprised of ancient texts. Trans people are pretty content except for the prejudice they suffer at the hands of people like Ms. Baldacci and Dr. Van Mol.

Nevertheless, if they do need help then they need to find a secular, respected psychiatrist or psychologist. Non-secular practitioners have an agenda that is not in the best interests of patients. It is in the best interests of their god.

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.