Michael Brown

This is unmitigated nonsense. As noted by my NARTH source (and as I witnessed firsthand), Slater and I were “the only two speakers who were not clinical, research, and academic experts, not to mention the keynote presentation of Dr. Nicholas Cummings, the former President of the American Psychological Association.” Broken down by the hour, “Clinical/Research/Academic presentations = 29.25 hours (21 speakers), Policy presentations = 2.75 hours (2 speakers).”

All Lenz had to do was look at the conference program to get the facts right, but who cares about facts when you’re writing biased articles designed to advance a particular agenda? Why let truth stand in the way when your goal is to discredit people by claiming they belong to the “radical right,” along with skinheads and neo-Nazis and the like?

The article claims that, according to NARTH, “homosexuality is an unnatural deviation from normal sexual development, a form of mental disorder.” Actually, my source notes that “NARTH does not use that term [a form of mental disorder] to label homosexuality.” The best the SPLC could do was cite a 15 year-old quote from a NARTH co-founder, the late Dr. Charles Socarides, but this was simply his personal opinion and is not part of NARTH’s official statements or standards.

The article quotes (and attacks) Dr. Paul Cameron of the Family Research Institute without mentioning that he has nothing to do with NARTH. But why quibble?

The article then approvingly cites gay activist Wayne Besen who claims that, “There’s no other play in the playbook except going back to the fire and brimstone.” Is he kidding? A professional counselor helping a client deal with unwanted same-sex attraction equals “fire and brimstone”? And this is part of an “intelligence report”? (I know. The term is sounding more oxymoronic by the second.)

In 2009, a conservative watchdog group ran this headline: “Prominent homosexual activists lead screaming demonstration, terrorize Boston church sponsoring ex-gay religious event.” And it was none other than Wayne Besen at the helm of this event, shouting through a bullhorn outside the church windows. And he is a trusted source for the SPLC?

Besen is also famous for his over the top, vitriolic rhetoric, yet the groups he attacks, rather than his own organization, make it onto the SPLC’s hate-group list. (To give one of the more amusing examples, in a single article, he described me as a pathological monster, a slick, sick, cynical, diabolical madman with a messiah complex, also accusing me of trying to incite a bunch of “unstable thugs [referring to Christian families in North Carolina] . . . to engage in a violent physical clash with LGBT people.”)

Returning to the SPLC article, it claimed that, in 2007, Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, then the president of NARTH, “came under fire after an essay seeming to justify slavery appeared on NARTH’s website,” as a result of which “Nicolosi stepped down as NARTH president after criticism mounted, but he remains instrumental in the group.” As noted by my NARTH source, this is a “total fabrication. Nicolosi was replaced as President by Dr. Dean Byrd, Byrd by Dr. Julie Hamilton, Hamilton by Dr. Christopher Rosik, all in good order as leadership changes on a regular basis.”

But I’m out of space. What is clear is that this “intelligence report” is riddled with fabrications, falsehoods, and fallacies, which means that either the SPLC is lying through its teeth or its research is so poor that it can’t even figure out how to read a list of conference speakers.

No wonder Townhall columnist and professor of criminology Mike Adams suggested to me that a more accurate name for the Southern Poverty Law Center would be the Intellectual Poverty Law Center.


Michael Brown

Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, including

Can You Be Gay and Christian?

, and he hosts the nationally syndicated, daily talk radio show, the Line of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.