Joseph Nicolosi, Jr.
Joseph Nicolosi, Jr. objects to his pseudo-scientific BS being called conversion therapy which is precisely what it is.

Don’t like the science?
Then sue the scientists for publishing it.

An effort to suppress peer-reviewed research has apparently failed.

Joseph Nicolosi, Jr. is suing his detractors who called his conversion therapy practice, … “conversion therapy.”

Nicolosi’s father, Joseph Nicolosi, Sr., invented a variety of pseudo-scientific conversion therapy known as reparative therapy. Nicolosi was motivated, at least in part, by his devotion to the Catholic Church.

Junior has retooled reparative therapy into what he calls reintegrative therapy. According to his website describing the “science” behind his brand:

We know from large-scale, longitudinal evidence [1] that Reintegrative Therapy® is associated with statistically-significant decreases in same-sex attractions, increases in heterosexual attractions, changes in sexual identity toward a heterosexual identity, and increases in psychological well-being (for example, decreases in anxiety, depression and suicidality).
Actually, we do not know anything close to that.

To support his claim, Nicolosi cites an article written for the Journal of Human Sexuality which, of course, is the “journal” of Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity, formerly known as NARTH.

Unless — and until — Joseph Nicolosi, Jr. can substantiate his claims with peer-reviewed research published to a respected and reputable academic journal, his claims are, well … bullshit in my opinion. The Journal of Human Sexuality is neither respected nor reputable. Nor does it subject articles to robust peer review.

As for the lawsuit, it is prosecuted by the expected Defenders of the Faith™. Lead counsel appears to be Charles S. LiMandri who had a long association with National Organization for Marriage. LiMandri was the lawyer who defended JONAH (Ferguson et al vs. JONAH), a case he lost. LiMandri is one of those goto lawyers for people who do not comply with nondiscrimination laws.

“… if Nicolosi can offer real peer-reviewed research published to a respected academic journal then my opinion might be subject to change. He never will. He will not because he cannot.

Backing up LiMandri is the Thomas More Society. Shocking, I know.

Nicolosi is suing two Canadian men for libel. Both men, David J. Kinitz and Travis Salway are affiliated with the Division of Social and Behavioural Health Sciences, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto.

The defendants have already filed a motion to dismiss as they are outside the jurisdiction of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. They are also claiming that the plaintiff has engaged in a SLAPP action which is prohibited in California.

“He has obtained my attention because, in my opinion, he is a dangerous crackpot.”

At issue is peer-reviewed research that Nicolosi doesn’t like: The scope and nature of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression change efforts: a systematic review protocol.

Among their findings:

Sexual orientation and gender identity and expression change efforts (SOGIECE) are a set of scientifically discredited practices that aim to deny and suppress the sexual orientations, gender identities, and/or gender expressions of sexual and gender minorities (SGM). SOGIECE are associated with significant adverse health and social outcomes.
[…]
“Conversion therapy,” sometimes referred to as “reparative therapy,” “reintegrative therapy,” or “reorientation therapy,” refers to a set of pseudo-scientific, discredited practices that aim to deny and suppress the sexual orientations, gender identities, and/or gender expressions of sexual and gender minorities …

“Unless — and until — Joseph Nicolosi, Jr. can substantiate his claims with peer-reviewed research published to a respected and reputable academic journal, his claims are, well … bullshit in my opinion.”

Nicolosi, with his half-assed doctorate from a school that was not accredited by the APA at the time, doesn’t like the research. Furthermore, he wants attention. He has obtained my attention because, in my opinion, he is a dangerous crackpot. Moreover, he is at odds with his own professional organization, the American Psychological Association. The APA contends that conversion therapy is futile and harmful.

As I said, if Nicolosi can offer real peer-reviewed research published to a respected academic journal then my opinion might be subject to change. He never will. He will not because he cannot.

According to the complaint:

Reintegrative Therapy® does not seek to change a person’s sexual orientation. Rather, Reintegrative Therapy® uses evidence-based interventions designed to resolve traumas and addictions.

That’s not what his website says (see quote, above). Nicolosi appears to be selling “statistically-significant decreases in same-sex attractions, increases in heterosexual attractions, changes in sexual identity toward a heterosexual identity …”

Consequently, Reintegrative Therapy® may not accurately be characterized as a Sexual Orientation Change Effort, or as a Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression Change Effort, commonly referred to by the acronyms SOCE and SOGIECE or by the pejorative term “conversion therapy.”

Could have fooled me.

Reintegrative Therapy® is a trademarked term that may only be used by properly qualified, licensed affiliates of the Reintegrative Therapy Association, which in turn regulates the qualifications, ethics, training, and certification of its licensees.

Yeah, well, the Reintegrative Therapy Association is a 501(c)3. In 2020 it had revenues of $5,350. Apparently, “therapists” are not falling upon one another to become affiliated.

What this is really all about is the two academics calling his method “conversion therapy.”

Mazel Tov. As cited above, the article is still available through open access. If the intent was to silence critics it has failed thus far. Unless, Nicolosi wants to try the Canadian courts, it looks like this case will be dismissed.

However, we are stuck with the expense of prosecuting a nonsensical case. The lawyers deserve sanctions.

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.