Bradlee Dean says distorting history is a lie and lying is against the law. Can I make a citizen's arrest?

In his WorldNetDaily column today, Bradlee Dean says:

Friends, distorting American history is a deliberate lie, and lying is not permissible by law.

Dean enters David Barton’s world to make several claims about Thomas Jefferson that we cover in our book Getting Jefferson Right: Fact Checking Claims about Our Third President.  I’ll note them briefly with links to the correct information.
First, Dean says that Jefferson worked for religious freedom under the umbrella of Christianity. Jefferson worked for religious freedom and he did want the VA law for religious freedom listed as an accomplishment on his tombstone. However, Jefferson said that VA law covered non-Christian religions as well.
Dean said Jefferson help found the Virginia Bible Society and was a “substantial financial contributor.” In fact, Jefferson did not help found the organization.  He once gave $50 to the group with the proviso that they not extend the work of the society to foreign nations.  Fifty dollars was not an insignificant sum but it was a tiny fraction of Jefferson’s expenditures for fine wine and imported china.
Dean said Jefferson had a “had a long history of working with missionaries,” especially those evangelizing Native Americans with Christianity. We deal with this myth extensively in our book. In at least two letters, Jefferson said mission work was the last thing one should do to advance the Indians.  Furthermore, he advocated a plan to get native people into debt so that they would be willing to sell off their lands cheaply as payment. At times, Jefferson used missionary societies to collect samples of Indian languages. However, a leader of one of those mission societies was William Linn who became a staunch opponent of Jefferson in the 1800 presidential election. Linn said in an influential pamphlet written to oppose Jefferson:

…my objection to his being promoted to the Presidency is founded singly upon his disbelief of the Holy Scriptures, or in other words, his rejection of the Christian religion and open professions of Deism.

While Jefferson was not an atheist, he did not work to convert Indians to orthodox Christianity.
Dean says the Jefferson Bible was constructed to evangelize Indians, was then given to members of Congress and contains miracles of healing.  Dean seems unaware that Jefferson edited the gospels twice.  The 1804 version has been lost and so it could not have been given to members of Congress. The post-1820 version was found long after Jefferson’s death and copies were given to incoming members of Congress from 1904 through 1957.
Dean takes a page from Barton’s mistakes by claiming that the Jefferson Bible contained healing miracles. As I point out here, here and here, this is not true. In The Jefferson Lies, Barton failed to check his sources which turned out to be incorrect. A comparison to Jefferson’s list of verses to be included, along with what he actually included, reveals that Jefferson did include passages about the afterlife but excluded parts of the gospels that make Jesus appear to be divine, including His miracles.
After distorting history, Dean then writes:

Friends, distorting American history is a deliberate lie, and lying is not permissible by law.

Who wants to make a citizen’s arrest?
 

Dizzy Up the Book: Amazon Switches Jefferson Lies Publisher Again

Even though neither Wallbuilder Press nor Thomas Nelson are currently publishing The Jefferson Lies, Amazon.com has switched the publisher from Wallbuilder Press to Thomas Nelson again on their page for David Barton’s book.
Yesterday, I pointed out that Amazon had switched the publisher designation to Wallbuilder Press. Today, it is back to Thomas Nelson.

amazonbartonsmallTN

I acknowledge that the situation with this book makes it difficult to assign a publisher but something should better than what is up there now or was there yesterday.

fringelogo

Perhaps this is a Fringe event in honor of the next to last show tonight. Maybe Wallbuilder Press publishes the book in one universe and Thomas Nelson in the other. The universes are coming together at a weak point in space-time — The Jefferson Lies Amazon page — resulting in alternating publishers.

Now Amazon Lists Wallbuilders as the Publisher of The Jefferson Lies

As Chris Rodda pointed out after Christmas, Amazon listed Wallbuilders as the publisher of The Jefferson Lies after Thomas Nelson dropped it. However, after she informed Amazon that Wallbuilders did not publish the book, the bookseller changed the publisher to Thomas Nelson. Read her post here.
When it comes to The J-Lies, one thing is sure: nothing is sure.
Now Amazon has changed the publisher designation again and lists Wallbuilder Press as the publisher.

amazonbartonsmall

As Rodda pointed out in her post, this is a misleading designation. Wallbuilder Press did not publish the book in April of 2012 and Barton has not revised and republished the book. I don’t know what designation could be supplied in this situation.

David Barton Uses Jefferson Quote He Says is Unconfirmed

I had a hard time deciding what part of this story should go first.

In an email to supporters yesterday titled, “Addressing Mass Murder and Violent Crime,” David Barton quoted several founders on religion and public morality. The subtitle was “Sandy Hook and Public Policy” so it was clear from the beginning that Barton wanted readers to draw some lesson from the Sandy Hook atrocity. Barton began by claiming that calls for gun control are “misdirected.”

His basic message?

The lessons of Scriptures and history are clear that the key is controlling what is in one’s heart, not what is in one’s hand. As the great Daniel Webster reminded a crowd at the U. S. Capitol:
[T]he cultivation of the religious sentiment represses licentiousness . . . inspires respect for law and order, and gives strength to the whole social fabric. Whatever makes men good Christians, makes them good citizens.

Barton’s practical solutions are:

  1. Get a Bible course in public schools around you
  2. Start a Good News Club in a nearby public school
  3. Get your legislature to pass a law authorizing an elective course on the Bible, such as those already passed in TexasTennesseeArizona, and other states.

It is not surprising that Barton would use this tragedy to recommend that the state privilege Christianity (would he want a course in the Buddhists’ Eight-Fold Path?).  What was surprising was his use of a quote from Jefferson which he once included on his list of “Unconfirmed Quotes.” In his email yesterday, he quotes Jefferson as saying:

I have always said, and always will say, that the studious perusal of the Sacred Volume will make better citizens, better fathers, and better husbands. Thomas Jefferson, President, Signer of the Declaration

However this quote cannot be found in any of Jefferson’s writings or speeches. Barton acknowledged this on his list “unconfirmed quotes” which was at one time on the Wallbuilders’ website. I have a link to it via the Internet Archive. The quote from yesterday’s newsletter is #12 on the “unconfirmed” list.

12. I have always said and always will say that the studious perusal of the Sacred Volume will make us better citizens. — Thomas Jefferson (unconfirmed)

This quote can be found attributed to Thomas Jefferson in an 1869 work by Samuel W. Bailey, but as yet we have not found it in a primary source.

I could not find this list on his website yesterday so perhaps he is making changes to it. However, it was there at one time. About the quotes on the list, Barton said, “we recommend that you refrain from using them until such time that an original primary source may be found…”

According to the Monticello Foundation, the Daniel Webster claimed Jefferson said this in a conversation. Webster reported the conversation in a letter many years later. However, for a variety of good reasons, the quote cannot be verified. Given his writings elsewhere about the Bible, I doubt he said it in that way. The Monticello Foundation has the story with source material; see their website for the rest of the story.

I think this may be the first time I was able to debunk Barton by using Barton.

The broader issue Barton raises would require more of a response but suffice to  say that I think he and other evangelicals are being simplistic to call for more Bible and prayer in schools. We have to do something about the role of mental illness and the availability of assault weapons to disturbed people. I don’t have a Jefferson quote, made up or otherwise, to support my view, but I don’t need one. Jefferson is not here.

Voices of Change – Are They Real?

UPDATE: The Voices of Change website managers (David Pickup and/or Arthur Goldberg) have removed the post referenced below. Here is a screen cap of the section which mentioned Andrew Marin. There is no explanation or note about  why the post from December 31 has been removed. What is also odd to me is that the other posts from AJAX are still up. Seems like doubt has now been cast on the other entries from that person.
Also, Andrew provided even more detail of his denial of the AJAX post on his site today.
ajaxvoicesofchange
One of the reactions by change therapist to recent challenges in court and state legislatures is a website called Voices of Change. VOC is managed by NARTH’s David Pickup and features testimonials of change and reparative therapy.  Many of the stories sound like textbook renditions of reparative drive theory and the most recent blog entry caught my eye as being unlikely. Someone named AJAX wrote on December 31, 2012:

The idea of therapy for straightening myself out didn’t occur to me till college, when I stumbled upon my roommate’s internet browsing history. Relief is an obscene understatement for my response to the revelation that I wasn’t the only man with unwanted SSA. When I confessed to my roommate that I shared his struggle, he referred me to The Marin Foundation, a Chicago-based organization who bring a Biblical, research-based message of hope and freedom to the gay community: http://www.themarinfoundation.org/
I met with Andrew Marin weekly for the duration of my college career. I appreciated his insight on owning my masculinity and getting over the triggering neurotic thought loops; I still use the techniques and exercises he taught me.

Andrew Marin, a reparative therapist? None of what AJAX says happened at the Marin Foundation rang true so I asked Andrew about it. Here is Andrew’s response:

Since its inception in 2005 The Marin Foundation, nor any of its past or current employees, promote, recommend, assist or have assisted any LGBT people in “reparative therapy.” The Marin Foundation does not believe in the merits of “reparative therapy,” and have seen first hand, including by some of our LGBT employees, the extreme shame and damaged caused by such “therapy.” Anything to the contrary of what I, Andrew Marin, have just stated is a lie.

As a bridge building organization between the LGBT and conservative communities, I, Andrew Marin, am in deep relationship on a daily basis with people from all different shades of faith and sexuality–including those who consider themselves LGBT atheists all the way to those who consider themselves ex-gay. But let me reiterate, I have never engaged anyone in a “reparative therapy” context with any goal of “changing from gay to straight.” I do not believe any amount of “reparative therapy” can change someone from “gay to straight.”
-Andrew Marin, President and Founder of The Marin Foundation (www.themarinfoundation.org)

Andrew confirmed that he did not meet with anyone regularly to bolster masculinity or work through neurotic loops.
While I don’t know who AJAX is so it is hard to make a definitive statement about the rest of what he says, I can say I believe Andrew’s statement. And if what AJAX says about Andrew is off, then what should we believe about the rest of it? How about on the rest of the site?
I recognize that AJAX is one unnamed person among many on this site, but the inconsistency in his account does not provide confidence in the other stories where the identity of the person is obscured.
My critics may dismiss this by claiming I disregard any story of change but that would be untrue. However, too many claims of change later turn out to be made up or embellished. Pointing this out should not lead to an attack on the messenger but a re-evaluation of the message.

Matt Barber Invokes Jerry Sandusky to Mislead Public About SB 1172

I get it. Matt Barber thinks gays are disordered and he opposes CA SB 1172.
Agree with the bill or not, one should not exploit a tragedy in order to mislead people about what the bill says.
Barber says the bill prevents counselors from helping kids who have been sexually abused. He writes at WND:

The critical importance of stopping SB 1172 and similar legislation springing up elsewhere becomes especially clear when one considers that such sexual confusion is frequently caused by sexual molestation at the hands of homosexual pedophiles like Jerry Sandusky (hence the moniker: “Jerry Sandusky laws”).

First of all the general link between homosexuality and child abuse he attempts to make is spurious. The Tomeo study he refers to (Archives of Sexual Behavior determined in a 2001 study…) is not accurate and the second author has acknowledged this.  That study or any other one finding a correlation between abuse rates and orientation can tell us nothing about causation.  If Liberty Counsel makes that argument in court, I hope the court gives them a lesson in research methods.
Second, the new law does not prevent counselors from helping kids who have experienced such tragedy. Here is what the law says:

(o) Nothing in this act is intended to prevent a minor who is 12 years of age or older from consenting to any mental health treatment or counseling services, consistent with Section 124260 of the Health and Safety Code, other than sexual orientation change efforts as defined in this act.

Treatment for sexual abuse recovery is not prohibited.  One does not need to tell kids that they can change their sexual orientation by healing from sexual abuse in order to treat the effects of sexual abuse.
Furthermore,

(b) (1) “Sexual orientation change efforts” means any practices by mental health providers that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.
(2) “Sexual orientation change efforts” does not include psychotherapies that: (A) provide acceptance, support, and understanding of clients or the facilitation of clients’ coping, social support, and identity exploration and development, including sexual orientation-neutral interventions to prevent or address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices; and (B) do not seek to change sexual orientation.

Barber also falsely says:

[The law] would have forced counselors to violate their oath to “do no harm,” compelling them to advise sexually confused children to adopt a “gay identity” they reject.

The law does not require a counselor to advise any clients, sexual confused or otherwise, to adopt a gay identity. The law simply says that counselors may help clients explore their their identity but does not prescribe an outcome. This law does not prevent clients from deciding they are gay or not gay. It simply prevents therapists from applying interventions that are explicitly designed to changed their sexual orientation.
It seems obvious that Barber’s objection here is based on the fact that he doesn’t understand the proper role of a counselor. Counselors don’t tell clients what identities they should adopt. Such paternalistic approaches would probably put a counselor at risk for a disciplinary action even without SB 1172.
I am not sure the law will pass constitutional muster and will depend in part on how the court rules on the professional-client speech issues. For this post, the merits of the law are not the point. Rather, an accurate description is at issue. Furthermore, exploiting one of the most heinous cases of our time is irresponsible.

Equine Assisted Therapy Pastor Denies Gay Therapy Story

UPDATE 1/5/13: But now see this: EAP Brochure describing homosexuality as an addiction.
When I asked Bell whether or not this brochure was his, he wrote back (1/4/13) saying:

Wow,
Why do you ask?
Do we need to modify the current investigation to include that of
harrassment and electronic stalking?
You had no desire before to verify any content that included us. You decline, as do others, to print the requested retraction.
O.A.T.S. in Virginia

This just gets stranger and stranger.
—–
This just came in my inbox from Virginia pastor Raymond Bell:

We are contacting the respective groups we feel should be aware of some events over the last several days.
Beginning on December 20th and article (source unknown) began circulating on the internet alleging contact with us as well as slandering our company.
The following have published this article and republished the article:
Instinct Magazine
Gay Star News
Huffpost
And the blog of Professor Warren Throckmorton of
Grove City Christian College
As the entities were identified, contact was made and they were advised we had no knowledge of the article and had never been contacted despite being named as a source. They were each directed to post and publish retraction.
They have declined.
As this is internet based it crosses both state lines and international boundaries making it a matter for federal offices and federal authorities.
We ask that your office investigate as to the conduct of these groups and if within your reach to remove any operational privileges, rights, licenses, or other operational provisions.
Regards,
Raymond Bell
President
O.A.T.S.
Overcoming Adversity Through Silence
in cooperation with
Cowboy Church of Virginia
www.cowboychurchofva.com

Bell is referring to a post I put up earlier today. I did not republish the Gay Star News story but instead referred to it as an illustration. I contacted Bell and then he replied indicating that he had not spoken to reporters. I changed my post to reflect his communication to me about the Gay Star News story on December 20.
Mr. Bell’s complaint is with Gay Star News. It is perfectly reasonable to report what another source has said. In the event of a misquote or allegation of a made up story, it is also reasonable to report that which I did in the earlier post and am doing now.
 

I Have Updated My Post on Generalizing Research on One Type of Therapy to Another Type of Therapy – UPDATED

UPDATE 2: Yes, I changed my title to exclude reference to horse therapy. Read why here.

UPDATE: There is now a dispute over the facts reported in this story. On the Cowboy Church website, this alert was published. Bell appears to be saying that he never talked to the media about EAP and homosexuality. I wrote to Rev. Bell and he wrote back taking me to task for referring to the HuffPo story without talking to him first. He has declined thus far to disclose whether or not he has any views on horse therapy for gays. If he informs me of his perspective, I will report it here.

As for the post, I think the basic argument stands.Substitute any outlandish sounding therapy for horse therapy and the point is still valid. Reparative therapists often use data that are not directly relevant to what they do.

——-

 

If you read about the reparative therapy wars, you have probably come across the Virginia pastor who has been quoted as advocating Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) for homosexuality.

Raymond Bell is the pastor of the Cowboy Church of Virginia and promoter of horse therapy as a sexual orientation change effort, according to Gay Star News.

Gay Star News quotes Bell as follows “because of rape, abandonment, lacking a male role model, abuse and having low self-esteem.” This seems like the standard reparative therapy line. Bell now contests these reports, although has not clarified what he does believe.

As far as I can tell there is no proof for these claims. And in this, horse obscure therapies have something in common with other forms of reparative therapy. If pressed, perhaps purveyors of strange therapies would do what other reparative therapists do – point to studies that claim to document change. However, the problem for Bell and for other reparative therapists is that the studies they point to rarely have anything to do with what they do.

Most of the early studies of sexual orientation change featured behavioral techniques such as aversive therapy. As far as can be determined, none of the current crop of reparative therapists use these techniques. Some of the early studies rely on psychoanalytic treatment but these are mostly case studies or reports from psychoanalysts who were practicing traditional psychoanalysis. Current reparative therapists use pillow beating and screaming, orange therapy, body therapy and other fringe techniques that have not been evaluated for most uses, let alone their use to support sexual orientation change efforts.

Thus, when reparative therapists point to studies of change, ask them what methods were used in those studies. The chances are extremely likely that the techniques used in those studies are not what today’s reparative therapists use.  The fact is that what is today being defended in courts in CA and NJ has not been evaluated for use in changing sexual orientation. Some techniques (catharsis) have been evaluated for other purposes and found to be counterproductive. And at least one technique commonly referenced by Joseph Nicolosi (Affect Focused Therapy) has been rejected as a technique for reorientation by one of the developers of the approach (Diane Fosha).

To sum up, reparative therapists tell us that 70-100 years of research prove that change is possible. Then they defend what they do and say research supports them. So if Raymond Bell ever says horse therapy people who advocate unusual therapies work because research proves that change is possible, they will be using the same rhetorical device as is being used by their professionally trained colleagues.