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April 30th, 2007

Like The Tobacco Companies Repudiating Nicotine…

Via Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters, comes the news that Exodus has repudiated, at least in part, the work of Paul Cameron…

This article has been removed due to the inaccuracies surrounding the research of Paul Cameron.

This statement from the web page of Exodus International was the result of intense work of the web page www.exgaywatch.com

The web masters of the site noticed that Exodus International was using Cameron’s work, so they made it known.

Exodus International removed the information and the head of the group, Alan Chambers, also said:

I appreciate EGW’s tremendous research skills. I saw your post on Exodus using Paul Cameron’s research and was embarrassed. We do not support the work of Paul Cameron nor desire to use flawed research. A member of my staff will remove these articles today and post a retraction. In the coming months we will be doing a survey of the content on our site to determine what if there are other articles or links that need to be removed.

Forgive me for being cynical, but I am not sold.

I can’t imagine why not.  A. McEwen goes on in his post to list the various folks in the ex-gay/anti-gay movement who use, and keep on using, Cameron’s junk science, and who have helped its zombie lies (because they seemingly cannot be killed no matter how many times they are refuted) become part of the political discourse surrounding homosexuality and the rights of gay people.  He ends the post with this:

In using Paul Cameron’s work, Exodus International helped to create a monster; a cottage industry of groups and spokespersons who used his studies to stroke the egos and prejudices of people against the gay and lesbian community and hinder the passage of pro-gay laws.

Exodus International owes the gay and lesbian community big time. And if it is serious about its repudiation, then Exodus International should take more of a key role in killing the monster it helped to create.

Meanwhile, over at Ex-Gay Watch, they’ve just posted several examples of NARTH’s use Cameron’s junk science.  NARTH, some of you may recall, positions itself as a purely secular organization of mental health professionals in opposition to the APA on the issue of homosexuality.  But they can’t claim the mantle of science for their work, and willingly and deliberately make use of the work of a fabulist like Cameron.  When you see crap like this, you have to know they know full well that they are spreading lies…

For our first example, NARTH member Ross Olson sent a letter to the Pediatric Annals, a letter that was published on NARTH’s web site (I don’t know if that letter was ever published by Pediatric Annals). In that letter, Olson criticizes an article that described a thirteen-year-old transgender MTF. Because the original article described the teen’s sexual activities, Olson jumped to the conclusion that the teen was being sexually abused, and that allowed him to bring up the familiar charge that ties homosexuality to pedophilia. For support, he cited Cameron’s “research” as though it has been presented in a professional journal. Here’s the screen-shot of that paragraph:

olsenletter.png

This citation is one of the more amazing ones I’ve ever seen. The Journal of the Family Research Institute? It doesn’t exist, at least not as Olsen implies. The link actually goes to a quasi-monthly newsletter that Cameron published for several years called the Family Research Report (hence the “FRR” in the URL). It’s not a journal by any stretch of the term, let alone a peer-reviewed one. Maybe Dr. Olson aspires to be the Dr. Cameron of pediatrics.

But NARTH, claiming its opposition to homosexuality is not religious, but only based on the science, would find it far more difficult to walk away from Cameron then Exodus could.  Exodus at least, can at least plausibly stand pat on its religious fundamentalism.  NARTH insists it is only following the science.  But ever since the APA removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses, NARTH has been nothing more then a refuge for reactionary anti-gay gasbags, who keep insisting that homosexuality must be harmful, because their bar stool prejudices keep telling them it must be.  They can’t repudiate Cameron, because without his junk science, all they have left is their animus and contempt.  At least Exodus has its religion.

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