Who Invented the Therapy in Those Joseph Nicolosi Books Banned by Amazon?

Recently, Amazon stopped offering Joseph Nicolosi’s books for sale. Nicolosi, who died in 2017, was a polarizing figure in American psychology but was well liked among evangelicals. Evangelicals are writing about reparative therapy now like it was Christian counseling. I know they know it wasn’t but that is a subject for another post.

In this post, I want to publish an adaptation of two 2017 articles (here and here) in which I disclosed a rift in the reparative therapy movement between 1990 and 1996. There was a dispute over who originated the form of therapy later popularized as reparative therapy. This post lays out that dispute. If Elizabeth Moberly had her way in the early days, Nicolosi’s books might have been pulled because she believed they contained too much of her material without sufficient attribution. The ex-gay movement in the form of Exodus International sided with Nicolosi and the rest is history.

The following is adapted from posts which were originally published on January 19 & 20, 2017.

Elizabeth Moberly Accused Joseph Nicolosi of Taking Her Work

Once upon a time, I wrote frequently about sexual orientation, psychotherapy, and the culture wars that have raged about those topics. A review of my blog posts since I started in 2005 would be like reading a history of the ex-gay movement, reparative therapy, sexual orientation change efforts and many related matters. Even though general interest has diminished about gay change efforts since the close of Exodus International, I have some stories still to explore.

Below is a brief letter to the editor exchange between Elizabeth Moberly and Joseph Nicolosi. While I don’t have permission to publish them, I also have some letters involving Dr. Moberly and the Exodus International board which reveals a six-year feud (1990-1996) between Moberly and Nicolosi over who founded reparative therapy.  Moberly strongly asserted that Joe Nicolosi plagiarized portions of her work and took credit for the development of reparative therapy which she believed rightly belonged to her.

First, here is the letters to the editor of the California Psychologist (Jan, 1990).
Moberly Nicolosi LtE Cal Psyc 1990

Thanks to the help of California Psychological Association administrator Patricia VanWoerkom, I was able to get Nicolosi article. An image of part of it is below. To read the entire article, click here.
Nicolosi CPA RT clip 2 89
In the article, Nicolosi says:
Nicolosi CPA article Moberly credit
In the piece, he provided the standard reparative explanation of homosexuality. According to this view, gays do not fully identify with the same sex parent. This gives rise to a defensive detachment which they seek to repair with same sex relationships. He gave credit to Moberly for her writings but this was not enough for her. In her pleas to the Exodus International board, Moberly claimed that Nicolosi was merely a practitioner of her reparative therapy approach. She felt Nicolosi’s article wasn’t just based on her theoretical writings, but that his entire approach was simply borrowed from her. From her point of view, he was not a developer or collaborator, but someone who simply copied what she had already discovered.

Moberly pointed out to the Exodus board that Nicolosi said he was the “author of one of those rumored treatments [to help gays change to straight].” Moberly countered that Nicolosi did not author anything. He simply copied what she had written and passed some of it off as his own work.

Ethics Complaint

According to Moberly, she filed an ethics complaint with the American Psychological Association and California Psychological Association. Only the CPA responded, she claimed, and found that Nicolosi had inadvertently copied her material. A CPA representative later told me that those records were sealed.

I think the founding of modern day reparative therapy is an interesting historical issue. Some time ago, I asked a former Exodus board member (who wants to remain anonymous) about the rift. The individual said the dispute was “common knowledge” among Exodus people. My source said

Elizabeth believed that Joe’s reparative therapy concept belonged to her as reported in her research work in Psychogenesis and Homosexuality: A New Christian Ethic, and that Joe had not given sufficient acknowledgment to her work; and (2) that Joe believed he had referenced her work adequately and had taken her concepts and built upon them sufficiently to justify reporting on his own work in his book Reparative Therapy.

This individual was on the Exodus board at the time and made contacts with both Nicolosi and Moberly to try to resolve their differences. According to my source, the effort was unsuccessful. Nicolosi and Moberly did not come to unity over the issues. In 1996, Moberly left the ex-gay movement to return to England to conduct research into alternative treatments for AIDS and cancer. I tried to contact her in 2011 but received no reply.

Moberly’s books on reparative therapy were published in the early 1980s. According to Moberly, Nicolosi was introduced to her work via a client and he began using her approach in the late 1980s. Moberly was exasperated that Nicolosi published his first book on the subject in 1991 without giving her what she felt was sufficient credit. In his 1991 book, Nicolosi did in fact cite one of Moberly’s books and gave her credit for the concept of defensive detachment. However, Moberly felt that was insufficient. She pulled out of speaking for at least one of the Exodus conferences because she believed Exodus should not have promoted Nicolosi’s book. Perhaps she would have written Amazon if it existed in 1991.

As to the specific question — who conceptually founded reparative therapy? — I think the answer must be Elizabeth Moberly. She wrote first about all of the key concepts and described the kind of therapeutic relationship that reparative therapists, including Nicolosi, have promoted. Without question, Nicolosi popularized reparative therapy through his books, the organization he co-founded (NARTH), and via the vocal support of Exodus International and Focus on the Family. His appearances with James Dobson on the Focus on the Family radio show and subsequent role as featured speaker at FoF’s Love Won Out conferences solidified Nicolosi’s enduring role as key representative of reparative therapy. The reason his books are now being targeted is because he was the central figure in promoting the approach.

In the current scene, it doesn’t much matter who developed the concepts. People who oppose the books just want them gone. There is a certain irony that long ago the founder of reparative therapy also tried to prevent their promotion.

 

Another Reparative Therapist Unrepairs

David Matheson was a well known defender and practitioner of reparative therapy for many years. He founded Journey Into Manhood with Rich Wyler. JIM was inspired by New Warriors Training Weekend and the Manhood Project. The Manhood Project and their weekend getaways came to the public eye after several bad experiences by several men who attended the events. One committed suicide and directly attributed his mood decline to the Mankind Project.

The premise of Matheson and Wyler was that gay men don’t experience themselves as masculine. Due to lack of masculinity, they are attracted to men instead of women. JIM seeks to provide members with masculinity building experiences along with lots of hugging and touching. Ultimately, the foundation for their work is in the psychoanalytically influenced work of Elizabeth Moberly and Joseph Nicolosi. They believed gay people were attracted to others of the same sex due to a reparative drive which propelled gays to seek the love they missed from their same-sex parents. Theoretically, if a gay person could get non-sexual connection from same-sex peers, the deficit would be filled and heterosexual longings would naturally emerge.

In practice, this hasn’t worked out well. Numerous former ex-gays have become ex-ex-gay. For instance, John Smid once ran Love in Action, an ex-gay camp in Memphis. He is now married to a man. Randy Thomas was number two man at Exodus who is now dating a man. Most recently, Matheson has announced that he is living as a gay man.

Matheson’s announcement will surely send shock waves throughout the small reparative therapy community. He has been one of the most articulate defenders of gender affirming counseling and reparative therapy. After about two decades of being at it, he is still gay.

 

Family Policy Alliance Misleads Public on Conversion Therapy Legislation

To hear Focus on the Family’s public policy arm, Family Policy Alliance, talk about it, the opponents of forcing teens to go to sexual orientation change efforts (aka conversion therapy) don’t want kids to go to counseling. Listen to Stephanie Curry use the phrase “basic talk therapy” like it is her job (which in this case it is).

Transcript:

Hi, I’m Stephanie Curry and I’m a public policy manager with Family Policy Alliance. I’m here today to talk to you about a series of bills that we’re seeing across the country that would seek to ban basic talk therapy for our children. Family Policy Alliance cares about this issue because we care about our children and that they’re able to have access to basic talk therapy if they are struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction and gender identity issues. We believe that families and parents know what’s best for their children and they should have the ability to find licensed therapists that support their moral and religious principles.
Some bills we’re seeing that are cause for concern are for example a bill in Massachusetts that said it was child abuse for a family to take their child to a therapist to get therapy for their unwanted same-sex attractions or gender identity issues. We also have seen a bill in Massachusetts that equates this type of basic talk therapy to torture. Now we know that this isn’t true. Because we love our children, we want them to have access to compassionate and ethical basic talk therapy that is open to change. Thank you so much for joining us today.

The Basic Talk Therapy Bill

In fact, the only bill I could find in MA did not refer to therapy as child abuse or torture. The bill does not prohibit basic talk therapy. The 2017 bill — H1190 — specifically forbids interventions which serve sexual reorientation or gender identity change. However, the bill does allow a neutral exploration of sexual and gender identity issues.
Read the the bill below:

SECTION 1. Chapter 112 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2014 Official addition, is hereby amended by adding following new section:-
Section 266. (a) Definitions.
For the purposes of this section, “licensed professional” means any licensed medical, mental health, or human service professional licensed under Chapter 112, including any psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker, psychiatric nurse, allied mental health and human services professional, licensed marriage and family therapist, licensed rehabilitation counselor, licensed mental health counselor, licensed educational psychologist, or any of their respective interns or trainees, or any other person designated or licensed as a mental health or human service professional under Massachusetts law or regulation.
The term “sexual orientation” shall mean having an orientation for or being identified as having an orientation for heterosexuality, bisexuality, or homosexuality.
The term “Gender identity” shall mean a person’s gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person’s physiology or assigned sex at birth. Gender-related identity may be shown by providing evidence including, but not limited to, medical history, care or treatment of the gender-related identity, consistent and uniform assertion of the gender-related identity or any other evidence that the gender-related identity is sincerely held as part of a person’s core identity; provided, however, that gender-related identity shall not be asserted for any improper purpose.
“Sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts” means any practice by a licensed professional that attempts or purports to impose change of an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity, including but not limited to efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex. The term “sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts” does not include practices:
(A)(1) to provide acceptance, support, and understanding of an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression; (2) facilitate an individual’s coping, social support, and identity exploration and development; or (3) that are sexual orientation-neutral or gender identity-neutral including interventions to prevent or address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices; and
(B) Do not attempt or purport to impose change of an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
(b) Under no circumstances shall a licensed professional advertise for or engage in sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts with a patient less than 18 years of age. Any licensed professional violating this prohibition shall be such subject to discipline by the appropriate licensing board, which may include suspension or revocation of license.
(c) Whoever violates this section shall be considered to have violated section 2 of chapter 93A. Any such claim brought under this section shall be subject to sections 5A and 7 of chapter 260.
SECTION 2. (a) Subsection (a) of Section 51A of chapter 119 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official addition, is hereby amended by inserting after the words “chapter 233” the following words:-
or (vi) being subjected to sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts as defined by section 169 of chapter 112
(b) Section 51A of chapter 119 is further amended in subsection (i) after the word “family.” by adding the following words:-
Any report including licensed professionals engaging in sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts as defined under section 169 of chapter 112 shall be filed within 30 days to the appropriate licensing board for review and possible suspension or revocation of license.

Therapists Should Be Neutral

Religious right pundits have been distorting these bills since they first came along. The MA bill clearly allows “basic talk therapy” which “provide[s] acceptance, support, and understanding of an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression” and “facilitate[s] an individual’s coping, social support, and identity exploration and development” or “that [is] sexual orientation-neutral or gender identity-neutral including interventions to prevent or address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices.”
Therapist should facilitate coping, social support and identity exploration and do so in a neutral manner. Therapists should not try to push sexual reorientation.
As a result of supportive therapy, some teens will determine that they are straight or cisgender and others will come out as a sexual minority. Such therapy is legal under this bill. Religious therapists should be perfectly fine with this arrangement. Therapy should not be a platform for spreading religious beliefs or making clients into Christian disciples.
What the state of MA is trying to prevent is for a therapist to use the cover of a state license to pursue sexual orientation or gender identity change. Therapists may do many things to support families who are traditional in their beliefs, but under a law like this, they may not actively use techniques or prescribe methods which have the intent to change orientation. Given that those techniques rarely, if ever, work, this would be beneficial for teens on balance.

Reparative Therapy and Joseph Nicolosi Remembered

In an offbeat selection for “The Lives They Lived” section of the New York Time Magazine, Joseph Nicolosi is remembered by Benoit Denizet-Joseph NicolosiLewis as an “artist, innovator and thinker” who died in 2017.
I had a few things to say about Nicolosi when he passed, and a lot to say about reparative therapy during his life. This piece provides a view of a side of Nicolosi that I saw often — he simply could not be convinced that he could be wrong.

Joseph Nicolosi, Alan Chambers, and the 99.9% Claim

In 2012, I wrote about one of the incidents referred to in the NYT piece. In the article, Denizet-Lewis referred to former ex-gay ministry leader Alan Chambers’ dramatic and unexpected declaration that 99.9% of people who tried to change sexual orientation had not experienced a change. That was first reported on this blog in January, 2012.  Chambers made that statement at a conference of the Gay Christian Network. Causing an earthquake in the ex-gay world, Chambers said:

The majority of people that I have met, and I would say the majority meaning 99.9% of them have not experienced a change in their orientation or have gotten to a place where they could say that they could  never be tempted or are not tempted in some way or experience some level of same-sex attraction. I think there is a gender issue there, there are some women who have challenged me and said that my orientation or my attractions have changed completely. Those have been few and far between. The vast majority of people that I know will experience some level of same-sex attraction.

Denizet-Lewis makes it seem as though Nicolosi’s initial offer of a cure came in response to that statement. However, Chambers and Nicolosi had been disputing results since at least the year before.
The now inactive but enormously influential blog, ExGay Watch (here is my summary of that post) carried a story about an online dispute between Chambers and Nicolosi which began in 2011. In an email exchange, Nicolosi chastised Chambers for saying in an April 2011 Dr. Drew Show appearance that Chambers continued to experience attractions to the same sex. Nicolosi then offered to cure Chambers completely. Here is one of those emails:

Alan,
I have not seen yet your appearance on the T.V. show and of course, I always know how unfair and stressful these events are. But again, it is such a disservice to represent the alternative to gay but stating you are still struggling. It is not a very inspiring option to the many young people who may be hearing your message.
The point Alan is that you can get to a place where there is no more homosexuality. Really.
You can actually get to a place where you can willfully (sic) think of an SSA image and have no bodily sensation.
Why stop half way? Why not do further work and finish the task and have it completely behind you. consider this invitation, not only for your sake but also as a testimony of complete healing to truly motivate others.
We have the therapeutic tools to get you over what ever SSA is remaining.
You know I am your friend. I am willing to help you. I’ll work with you personally if you like.
Please consider this invitation I offer you as a brother (O.K., a Catholic brother) in Christ.
Joe
Joseph Nicolosi, Ph.D.
www.josephnicolosi.com
[emphasis in the original]

As Chambers told Denizet-Lewis in the NYT article, he rebuffed Nicolosi’s offer as unrealistic and unattainable.

He’ll Be Fine

Nicolosi believed male homosexuals experienced attractions to the same sex because they were estranged from their fathers. He simply would not accept the fact that many gay males have loving and close fathers. Even when confronted with fathers and sons who were obviously close, he picked at them until he found something he could dispute in their relationship. I worked with several families who were survivors of this kind of treatment.
On one occasion in a meeting with Nicolosi, I described a young man to who came out to his father first because he was close to his dad and knew he would understand. They were close all through school and when he came out, it was only natural for him to tell his dad. The young man was into sports and quite masculine in every way. In short, he was everything that Nicolosi claimed that a gay male could not be. When I was finished with my description, Nicolosi said, “He’ll be fine.” I asked what he meant. “He’s not gay; he’ll be fine,” he said. He indicated that the young man must be confused or having a stage but since he had such a good foundation, he couldn’t possibly be gay.
I realized at that point that it was probably hopeless to use evidence. Confirmation bias was strong with him, perhaps as strong as I have ever seen.

My Journey Away from Reparative Therapy

Over the past few weeks, I have written about the Nashville Statement. In doing so, I realized that many readers here haven’t followed this blogclass2
since the beginning (2005) and aren’t aware of my work in the area of sexual identity. In fact, I would say a significant number of readers came along in 2014 when I wrote about Mars Hill Church.
On Saturday, Yahoo News published a profile of my work by Senior Political Correspondent Jon Ward. In the well written piece, Jon focused on my prior support for sexual orientation change efforts. However, he also connected the dots from that work to my opposition to Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill and later opposition to Christian nationalism and megachurch exploitation. I appreciate Jon’s careful attention to the nuances in the story.
If you are interested in more information about how I went from being a supporter of reorientation therapy to being a vocal opponent and how that journey connects to current interests, I encourage you to go read Jon’s profile.

Reparative Therapy Pioneer Joseph Nicolosi, Dead at 70

NIcolosi
Joseph Nicolosi

I was saddened just now to read in the Daily Beast that Joe Nicolosi died suddenly early this morning.  The Beast cited the Facebook page of Nicolosi’s clinic, the Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic in Encino, CA for the news. According to the note, posted earlier this afternoon:

We are deeply saddened and shocked to announce the death of Dr. Joseph Nicolosi yesterday in California from complications from the flu.

My condolences to his wife Linda and son Joseph, Jr.
The illness must have come upon him quickly; I know someone who spoke to him just recently. As always, he was vigorously defending his ideas.
We disagreed about a great many things, but I can say to his credit that he cared deeply about his family, his work, and his clients.
Nicolosi was the co-founder with Charles Socarides and Ben Kaufman of the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) in 1992. Along with Focus on the Family and Exodus International, NARTH was a third of the ex-gay movement’s trinity. Nicolosi spoke frequently at Exodus conferences and was for many years the featured speaker at Focus on the Family’s Love Won Out traveling ex-gay conference.
Nicolosi adapted psychoanalytic ideas from Elizabeth Moberly and others to promote what he considered to be a therapeutic approach to sexual orientation change. He was most interested in the formation of male homosexuality and believed distant fathers and overbearing mothers together created a family triad which greatly increased the chances that a male child would become gay. Even as neurological and family studies called his work into question, Nicolosi defended his ideas via media appearances and his organization NARTH. At his death, Nicolosi was in the middle of a research project with psychologist Carolyn Pela.
In response to reports of harm from Nicolosi’s theories and practice, many gay rights advocates made ending reparative therapy a prime objective. Currently, five states, DC and several cities have banned reparative therapy for minors.
This evening Nicolosi’s wife Linda released a statement on the clinic Facebook page.

Calling All Former Participants in Studies of Sexual Orientation Change Efforts

Writing on Tuesday about Joseph Nicolosi’s new reparative therapy study got me thinking about the other studies of sexual orientation change efforts which have come and gone. I know a few participants in the Spitzer, Shidlo and Schroeder, Jones and Yarhouse studies who once told researchers they had changed orientation but now identify as gay. I suspect some have stayed about the same as they were when they participated in the research. It would be interesting to find out if there are any patterns in experience since those studies were published.
With that in mind, I am calling for subjects in any of the studies designed to assess sexual reorientation to contact me. If you participated in the Spitzer, Shidlo and Schroeder, Jones and Yarhouse, or any study which asked if you had changed orientation (including my 2005 study), please contact me at this email (SOCEFollowup@gmail.com). Those interested don’t have to reveal their identities at first and feel free to write with any questions about this effort.
It seems pretty clear to me that some erosion in the percentage of people claiming change has occurred since Exodus International shut down. Several former leaders in Exodus have recently come out as gay and there may be others who participated in studies from that era who have gone in a different direction. While this isn’t exact science, it may help to shed some light on the long term experience of those who once claimed to have changed orientation.
 

New Sexual Reorientation Study Off to a Shaky Start; Michael Bailey's Brain Scan Offer is Still Good

After the closing of Exodus International, the wind went out of the sexual reorientation sails. In June of last year, former ex-gay organization Exodus International leader Alan Chambers said the movement was “gasping for air.”
However, a quiet breeze may be blowing still as demonstrated by a study being conducted by one of the luminaries of reparative therapy, Joseph Nicolosi and relative newcomer Carolyn Pela.  Nicolosi and Pela summarized their preliminary findings at a meeting of the Christian Association for Psychological Studies a year ago. Nicolosi described the study on his website:

Dr. Pela described the study as being longitudinal with a within-group repeated-measures design.  Their dependent variable was psychotherapy as conducted at Dr. Nicolosi’s Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic.  The independent variables were (1) well-being as operationalized by the Outcome Questionnaire 45 (OQ-45.2), a highly respected measure of psychotherapy process and outcome, and (2) separately assessed dimensions of sexual orientation, namely, thoughts, desires, behavior, and identity.  Data collected to date involved 102 male psychotherapy clients who presented with ambivalence, discomfort, or distress regarding their SSA.  Eighty-one participants had been involved in the study long enough to have well-being assessed and data on change were available from 56 participants at the time of the CAPS presentation.

I am pretty sure the dependent and independent variables are reversed in his description. The independent variable is what is manipulated in an experiment and the dependent variable is a measure of results (see this brief explanation). That problem aside, what did they find?

Findings from preliminary data collected over a 12 month period indicated statistically significant reductions in distress and improvements in well-being, significant movement toward heterosexual identity, and significant increases in heterosexual thoughts and desires with accompanying significant decreases in homosexual thoughts and desires.  Effect sizes for these changes were generally in the moderate range, which suggests they are robust and not likely to be statistical artifacts.  The findings did not discover significant change in heterosexual or homosexual kissing or sexual activity.  These findings appear to have been the result of very low base rates in these behaviors among study participants leading to floor effects and a subsequent lack of change, as it is not possible to change a behavior in which participants are not engaging.

To summarize, the participants were thinking straighter but not doing anything about it.
To me, this result is understandable. If one is in treatment with the stated goal to think more about heterosexual outcomes, then there would be strong motivation to produce those experiences when asked. However, the test for any actual change will be when therapy is over and the regular rehearsal of such ideas isn’t happening. The difference between process changes (how a client feels during therapy) and outcome changes (what remains after therapy is over) is often great. Reorientation therapy studies are filled with people who said they had changed during the study but then felt differently months or years later. Thus, follow up must be a key component of any therapy study.
It should be pointed out that this study isn’t a true experiment since there is no control group. There isn’t a way to test for the effect of the passing of time. Spontaneous fluidity has been reported and it isn’t clear without a control group that psychotherapy is responsible for any change that is reported (or to what degree the therapy is responsible). Without a long term follow up and a control group, this study won’t provide much more information than we already have.
Finally, if Nicoloso and Pela truly want a potent and believable pre and post measurement, they should take Northwestern University professor Michael Bailey’s offer to conduct brain scans of the participants. Some years ago, Bailey informed Nicolosi that he could bring his patients to the lab to test their automatic responses to erotic cues. Nicolosi never took him up on the offer. I recently asked Bailey if the offer was still good. He answered in the affirmative. Pre (or even mid) treatment scans compared with post-treatment scans would help to offset the lack of a control group.
 

Who Founded Reparative Therapy? Part Two

Yesterday, I described a conflict within the ex-gay movement about who founded reparative therapy. The dispute took place between 1989 and 1996 and involved Elizabeth Moberly, Joseph Nicolosi and the board of now closed Exodus International.
In the post yesterday, I published two letters to the editor, one from Moberly accusing Nicolosi of inadequately citing her work in a February 1989 California Psychologist article on reparative therapy. The other letter came from Nicolosi and claimed his work was different from Moberly’s.
Thanks to the help of California Psychological Association administrator Patricia VanWoerkom, I am able to publish the Nicolosi article. An image of part of it is below. To read the entire article, click here.
Nicolosi CPA RT clip 2 89
In the article, Nicolosi says:
Nicolosi CPA article Moberly credit
He gives credit to Moberly for her writings but this was not enough for her. In her pleas to the Exodus International board, Moberly claims that Nicolosi was merely a practitioner of her reparative therapy approach. She felt Nicolosi’s article wasn’t just based on her theoretical writings but that his entire approach was simply borrowed from her. From her point of view, he was not a developer or collaborator but someone who simply copied what she had already discovered.
Moberly pointed out to the Exodus board that Nicolosi said he was the “author of one of those rumored treatments [to help gays change to straight].” Moberly countered that Nicolosi did not author anything. He simply copied what she had written and passed some of it off as his own work.
According to Moberly, she filed an ethics complaint with the APA and CPA. Only the CPA responded, she claimed, and found that Nicolosi had inadvertently copied her material. I have reached out again to the CPA and in a future post hope to be to confirm or deny Moberly’s claim.
 

People Can Change Becomes Brothers on a Road Less Traveled

Several years after the collapse of Exodus International, now comes sexual orientation change group People Can Change to say they are changing focus from change of orientation to a focus on living congruently with traditional religious teaching on sexuality. My prior posts on People Can Change and their flagship program Journey into Manhood can be view by clicking the links.
I wasn’t a fan of the program when it was People Can Change. I doubt this will improve things much although I can say it gets closer to a more honest presentation of what is possible. In any case, if the procedures and processes haven’t changed, then I am still not a fan.

People Can Change‘ is Changing Its Name
International Fellowship for Men Who Put Faith and Values Before Homosexual Attractions  Takes on a New Identity as It Marks Its 100th ‘Journey Into Manhood’ Weekend Program
Contact: Rich Wyler, Founder and Executive Director, Brothers, Road, 434-227-9346,richwyler@brothersroad.org
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Oct. 4, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ — A high-profile non-profit organization that provides peer- support programs primarily for men who experience same-sex attractions – but who chose not to live gay lives or to identify as gay – is changing its name.
Known since its 2000 founding as People Can Change, the international non-profit is renaming and rebranding itself as an interfaith fellowship called Brothers on a Road Less Traveled – or Brothers Road for short. Its website is moving fromwww.peoplecanchange.com to www.brothersroad.org. Its new self-descriptor: “Men supporting each other in addressing our same-sex attractions in affirming ways that align with our faith, values, morals and life goals.”
This change also reflects an important acknowledgement of what has long been the reality of its mission and membership – that it is largely a religious community supporting members of a wide range of faith traditions, including Christians of all denominations, religious Jews, Muslims and others.
The group is best known for its experiential weekend intensives called Journey Into Manhood. In fact, this past weekend in Texas the organization concluded its 100th three-day Journey Into Manhood event. Since the first “JiM” weekend in Maryland in January 2002, the group has now presented Journey Into Manhood 100 times in 11 U.S. states and in England, Poland and Israel.
Some 2,500 men from 45 U.S. states and more than 40 countries have participated over the past 15 years. Participants range in age from 18 into their 60s, although the average age is about 36. About a third are already married to women. Participants attend primarily in an effort to make peace with themselves and their sexuality, to minimize their eroticization of other men to the extent possible, and to bring their sexual behavior and feelings more in line with their morals, values and life goals.
“Our new name, Brothers on a Road Less Traveled, better communicates who we are and what we’re really about,” explained Rich Wyler, founder and executive director.
“The word ‘Brothers’ emphasizes our vital need for authentic brotherhood, community and acceptance as we seek to meet our same-sex bonding needs through deep platonic friendships rather than sexual relationships,” Wyler said. “The phrase ‘on a Road’ emphasizes that this is a life journey-a new way of living, not a quick-fix. And the words ‘Less Traveled’ recognize and honor the reality that we are a minority within the larger gay minority.”
The reference to a road less traveled comes from the 1916 Robert Frost poem, The Road Not Taken, in which the writer encounters two equally valid choices but concludes, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
“Experiencing deep internal conflict over same-sex attractions can feel for many of us like standing at that crossroads where two roads diverge,” Wyler said, “Do you follow society’s gay-affirming path, or do you take a more faith-affirming road that acknowledges the reality of same-sex attractions but addresses those needs through platonic brotherly love rather than sexual relationships?”
Wyler emphasizes that the newly renamed organization is not backing away from the personal, lived experience of so many of its participants who have, in fact, seen profoundly positive changes in their self-esteem, thought lives, relationships and behaviors. Many have seen their same-sex sexual attractions diminish over the years or have seen sexual or romantic interests in the opposite sex develop or increase. These kinds of shifts are not universal, Wyler says, but they’re not unusual either.
Based near Charlottesville, Virginia, Brothers on a Road Less Traveled is an interfaith fellowship serving members of numerous religions. It is run as a virtual organization with no physical offices and no full-time employees, but with volunteers, contractors, supporters, participants and donors across the world.
The Brothers Road community offers eight to 10 inner-healing and personal-growth weekend intensives a year in the U.S., Europe and Israel, as well as online groups and webinars and in-person support groups and reunion retreats in some locations. It also offers a weekend program for wives of men who experience same-sex attractions or sex addictions, called “A Wife’s Healing Journey”-including one coming up Dec. 2-4 in the Nashville, Tennessee area.