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Psychiatry Giant Sorry for Backing Gay ‘Cure’ - Comments

mmurray's Avatar Comment 1 by mmurray

Better late than never I guess.

“I knew Bob and the quality of his work, and I agreed to publish it,” Dr. Zucker said in an interview last week. The paper did not go through the usual peer-review process, in which unnamed experts critique a manuscript before publication. “But I told him I would do it only if I also published commentaries” of response from other scientists to accompany the study, Dr. Zucker said.

There are reasons that we stick with peer-review even if it has many flaws.

Michael

Thu, 24 May 2012 23:19:28 UTC | #943380

Shannon1981's Avatar Comment 2 by Shannon1981

As someone who was subjected to this stuff, I am not sure I forgive. I mean, sure, he can't undo what he did. However, an I'm sorry does NOT atone for all the suicides and horrible psychological trauma and PTSD ridden, broken people, heterosexual lives ruined because they were tricked into marrying homosexuals...on and on.

If you haven't noticed, I still suffer a lot from that experience.

Thu, 24 May 2012 23:30:06 UTC | #943382

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 3 by Cartomancer

Is it just me who finds the phrase "psychiatry giant" somewhat amusing? As if you have to climb up a beanstalk to get to his offices, then sit on a massively oversized couch next to a golden goose.

Fri, 25 May 2012 00:10:17 UTC | #943389

Zeuglodon's Avatar Comment 4 by Zeuglodon

Spitzer made two mistakes: the first was to allow his work to be published without the usual peer review on grounds of his authority in the field; the second was to try and reframe things so that he could distance himself from the political misinterpretations instead of challenging them outright.

I do feel sorry for him, having to face up to the enormity of what his work resulted in. To realize one paper of yours just undid your original work and ruined many lives - that's a horrible thing to have on your conscience. People would be indecently keen to misinterpret his study, so in a sense he couldn't help that. But in the absence of a public reparation or challenge of their interpretations, and by allowing the study to be published in the first place when it was so poorly controlled, he's still responsible for the ensuing ease with which homosexuals were persecuted.

At least this should cut down the confidence of the anti-gay crusaders. It's too late for some of the victims, but not for others, and at least things can go in a new direction away from this mess. Good science wins out in the long-term.

Fri, 25 May 2012 00:37:56 UTC | #943396

MilitantNonStampCollector's Avatar Comment 5 by MilitantNonStampCollector

I often wonder at times how much of psychiatry is bollocks.

Fri, 25 May 2012 01:50:11 UTC | #943406

lewis.breland's Avatar Comment 6 by lewis.breland

Wonderful! I also read the story by Mr. Arana, the reporter, about his own life. I cried all the way through it.

Fri, 25 May 2012 02:52:01 UTC | #943412

zengardener's Avatar Comment 7 by zengardener

At least this should cut down the confidence of the anti-gay crusaders.

The people who push these therapies will ignore the retraction.

It doesn't fit with what they already believe, so they will brush it aside and continue on with their Holy War against homosexuality.

It's sad really.

Fri, 25 May 2012 02:57:02 UTC | #943414

xmaseveeve's Avatar Comment 8 by xmaseveeve

But in Matthew, Jesus said that gay people are 'born that way from their mother's wombs'. And He seemed to love them just the same. Homophobes are not Christians. May God strike them gay (as if they aren't already). The bum police.

Fri, 25 May 2012 04:27:38 UTC | #943421

susanlatimer's Avatar Comment 9 by susanlatimer

Comment 2 by Shannon1981

As someone who was subjected to this stuff, I am not sure I forgive. I mean, sure, he can't undo what he did. However, an I'm sorry does NOT atone for all the suicides and horrible psychological trauma and PTSD ridden, broken people, heterosexual lives ruined because they were tricked into marrying homosexuals...on and on.

If you haven't noticed, I still suffer a lot from that experience.

Shannon, I'm glad you weighed in on this one to remind us all of the real life consequences inflicted by those whose status rode on the tail of science but who circumvented the scientific method. The consequences of this were felt by the victims.

You were eleven or twelve, weren't you, when your parents sent you to camp to be healed of your gayness?

As Michael said, an aplogy is better late than never. It's a step forward away from ignorance.

But an apology doesn't erase anything. The damage is unspeakable.

You don't have to forgive. An apology does not require you to forgive. Forgiveness is a choice. Not an obligation. That is entirely up to you.

Fri, 25 May 2012 05:38:25 UTC | #943425

susanlatimer's Avatar Comment 10 by susanlatimer

Comment 4 by Zeuglodon

Spitzer made two mistakes: the first was to allow his work to be published without the usual peer review on grounds of his authority in the field; the second was to try and reframe things so that he could distance himself from the political misinterpretations instead of challenging them outright.

I do feel sorry for him, having to face up to the enormity of what his work resulted in. To realize one paper of yours just undid your original work and ruined many lives - that's a horrible thing to have on your conscience. People would be indecently keen to misinterpret his study, so in a sense he couldn't help that. But in the absence of a public reparation or challenge of their interpretations, and by allowing the study to be published in the first place when it was so poorly controlled, he's still responsible for the ensuing ease with which homosexuals were persecuted.

I feel sorry for him too. I agree that one paper in a body of work is a horrible thing to have on your conscience. And I respect him for making a great effort to make it right.

But the deepest consequences were felt by others.

He is responsible. He knew that as well as anyone. And he made an effort to take responsbility and to rectify things to the extent that he could.

Fri, 25 May 2012 05:52:35 UTC | #943426

PERSON's Avatar Comment 11 by PERSON

Comment 7 by zengardener

True. Hopefully it'll make it harder for them to get support, though.

Fri, 25 May 2012 07:30:21 UTC | #943432

Michael Gray's Avatar Comment 12 by Michael Gray

Psychiatry = Voodoo

Fri, 25 May 2012 08:15:58 UTC | #943435

Okeydoke's Avatar Comment 13 by Okeydoke

Marcus Bachmann and his ilk will be most displeased by Dr. Spitzer's recantation, i'd wager.

Fri, 25 May 2012 08:47:29 UTC | #943438

Hume's Razor's Avatar Comment 14 by Hume's Razor

Comment 8 by xmaseveeve :

But in Matthew, Jesus said that gay people are 'born that way from their mother's wombs'. And He seemed to love them just the same.

Chapter and verse?

Homophobes are not Christians. May God strike them gay (as if they aren't already).

Then Yahweh is not a Christian and should strike himself gay:

13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. Leviticus 20:13

The God whom Jesus is alleged to represent(/be) is the same God who supposedly said the above. Do God's perfect morals change over time, or is this just another example of God prescribing "statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live" If this is supposed to be symbolic, then symbolic of what? According to Matthew, Jesus also said that "Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law", which I can only take as a complete endorsement of the entire Law of Moses - including the above passage - from Jesus himself.

It is great that moderate Christians have rejected Yahwe's infinite cruelty, but to credit the Bible for doing so has got to be the very definition of disingenuousness.

Fri, 25 May 2012 09:18:25 UTC | #943442

CEVA34's Avatar Comment 15 by CEVA34

Mr Gray, I agree with your description of psychiatry, which it seems to me is claiming to apply scientific (ie rigorous, logical and falsifiable) criteria to matters which are fluid, messy and devoid of good evidence to work on.

Isn't it odd, though, that this "science" is popular in America, where so many people hate and mistrust real science?

Fri, 25 May 2012 09:31:40 UTC | #943444

rastablaster's Avatar Comment 16 by rastablaster

Meh meh, Scientology is right - psychiatry is a scam.

Fri, 25 May 2012 10:07:59 UTC | #943450

strangebrew's Avatar Comment 17 by strangebrew

No matter how eminent in a field...no matter the mass and volume of arguably excellent solid work and study contributing to that field...he was warned and told it was a study with a dubious reality content.

When it went tits up his ego retreated to positions that only a skilled contortionist should occupy...he knew by then it was a flawed study...he said nothing and allowed that bogus nonsense to be used and abused by the brain dead religious political morons that have inflicted great and permanent mental damage in many victims and Spitzer said and did nothing. He knew it was being used by folk that should have never been allowed to be any where near vulnerable and young people with real social and personal issues...his actions are on a par with the morality guilt that Degussa or Siemens were and are presently struggling with after WW2.

And the damage is now a sad and deadly contagion within certain conservative/religious organizations and there is not a retraction worded framed or presented in the world that will deter them from displaying the lie or removing that study from their battle banners!

Shame on Spitzer...let him take that to his grave...harsh ? maybe... fair?...undoubtedly.

Fri, 25 May 2012 10:12:16 UTC | #943451

Hume's Razor's Avatar Comment 18 by Hume's Razor

Re. comments 5, 12 and 15: I would agree that much of what is piled together under the umbrella of "psychiatry" isn't good science, but to dismiss the whole field as unscientific in principle is IMO too simplistic. I would encourage those who equate psychiatry with voodoo to read Harriet Hall's piece over at Science Based Medicine as well as Steven Novella's five part series on the existence of mental illness and explain why they are wrong.

Fri, 25 May 2012 10:18:43 UTC | #943452

Metamag's Avatar Comment 19 by Metamag

Comment 2 by Shannon1981 :

However, an I'm sorry does NOT atone for all the suicides and horrible psychological trauma and PTSD ridden, broken people, heterosexual lives ruined because they were tricked into marrying homosexuals...on and on.

Yep, this guy killed a lot of people, there is no doubt about that. Sorry doesn't cut it.

I'm surprised he wasn't killed by know out of revenge.

Fri, 25 May 2012 11:25:37 UTC | #943458

Anvil's Avatar Comment 20 by Anvil

Comment 2 by Shannon1981

As someone who was subjected to this stuff, I am not sure I forgive. I mean, sure, he can't undo what he did. However, an I'm sorry does NOT atone for all the suicides and horrible psychological trauma and PTSD ridden, broken people, heterosexual lives ruined because they were tricked into marrying homosexuals...on and on.

If you haven't noticed, I still suffer a lot from that experience.

Hi Shannon, As (I think it was) Susan said, thanks for reminding us all of the effects on the very real lives of very real people.

I can see and feel the hurt in your words.

That said, some general points, to all, regarding this news:

We should see this move for what it is, a positive step. We are better positioned for it to have happened than had it not.

As to bravery. Has it taken courage, after all this time (after all this hurt and suffering and death) to renunciate his work?

Well, maybe.

In a way, the longer he left it the more courage it took.

Regardless, at a strategic level we should be applauding this action. We should be shouting it from the rooftops and pointing to it at every conceivable opportunity. We should be using it as an argument for the necessity, validity, and reliability of the scientific method in general, and the process of peer review specifically, to lead us to a greater approximation of truth. We should encourage his actions here, and our support should encourage further actions on his part - illness allowing.

In short we should ensure that this man becomes a true Giant for what he has done here.

As to guilt. Well, it seems obvious he feels this selected for emotion and seeks to atone, for his actions, by his actions. His guilt is his - he owns it, - and I'm glad he's dealing with it (however belatedly) in the way he is. Again, this should be encouraged. Don't we all think this?

As Pope said, 'To err is human...'

I suppose the continuation of the quote must bring us to forgiveness.

I know from personal experience how hard it is to forgive. We all do, don't we? Isn't it what Pope meant by stating that to do so is divine? The problem is that when we start to look at what forgiveness is it becomes hard to pin it down. The word itself implies that it is something we do to someone else. Something we give to someone else.

In reality it is rarely that. In this example none of us are likely to meet the subject of the OP. Our forgiveness is not something that we can withold from him (in order to engender greater guilt, for example). Forgiveness, I feel, is something we give to ourselves.

Perhaps this wiki definition says it better:

Forgiveness is the renunciation or cessation of resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived offense, disagreement, or mistake, or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution.[1][2] The Oxford English Dictionary defines forgiveness as 'to grant free pardon and to give up all claim on account of an offense or debt'.

Had Pope been around today I'd like to think he'd have rephrased the line from his famous poem thus:

"to err is human - to forgive is to spit in the eye of the fucking monkey on our backs and to liberate ourselves from the resentment, indignation, and anger, and allow ourselves to get on with our lives on this small blue beautiful planet."

I suppose what I'm suggesting is that we see this for the opportunity it is and when this letter is published (in the way I'm assuming it will be published) that we all inundate this man with letters and emails of support

By supporting this mans actions we can make a difference to what happens in the future - to the very real lives of very real people.

Apoologies for the long post on issues of which I feel I know little.

Anvil.

Fri, 25 May 2012 11:31:21 UTC | #943459

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 21 by Peter Grant

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/19/health/dr-robert-l-spitzer-noted-psychiatrist-apologizes-for-study-on-gay-cure.html

At least he admits he was wrong, I can respect that.

Fri, 25 May 2012 12:42:01 UTC | #943469

strangebrew's Avatar Comment 22 by strangebrew

Comment 21 by Peter Grant

At least he admits he was wrong, I can respect that.

I would imagine that few here would reject that opinion.

But even so the damage he has done.....and what will continue to be done under his name by folk that have no understanding of either integrity or indeed honesty let alone psychiatry or even basic humanity will be his lasting legacy...I have little sympathy...he really should have known and acted much better then his presumably rampant ego would allow!

Far to little ...Far to late...certainly for many victims of this utter trash...and there will be more!

Fri, 25 May 2012 13:15:55 UTC | #943474

Anvil's Avatar Comment 23 by Anvil

This from Tuesday (from the BHA) which mentions Spitzer's retraction.

‘Gay cure’ therapist loses appeal against the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy

Anvil.

Fri, 25 May 2012 13:27:12 UTC | #943476

Anvil's Avatar Comment 24 by Anvil

Comment 22 by strangebrew :

Comment 21 by Peter Grant

At least he admits he was wrong, I can respect that.

I would imagine that few here would reject that opinion.

But even so the damage he has done.....and what will continue to be done under his name by folk that have no understanding of either integrity or indeed honesty let alone psychiatry or even basic humanity will be his lasting legacy...I have little sympathy...he really should have known and acted much better then his presumably rampant ego would allow!

Far to little ...Far to late...certainly for many victims of this utter trash...and there will be more!

But less than before, wouldn't you say?

Anvil.

Fri, 25 May 2012 13:41:16 UTC | #943483

Shannon1981's Avatar Comment 25 by Shannon1981

Shannon, I'm glad you weighed in on this one to remind us all of the real life consequences inflicted by those whose status rode on the tail of science but who circumvented the scientific method. The consequences of this were felt by the victims. You were eleven or twelve, weren't you, when your parents sent you to camp to be healed of your gayness? As Michael said, an aplogy is better late than never. It's a step forward away from ignorance. But an apology doesn't erase anything. The damage is unspeakable. You don't have to forgive. An apology does not require you to forgive. Forgiveness is a choice. Not an obligation. That is entirely up to you.
Thank you for your support. It certainly is a step, but, as has already been pointed out, the Marcus Bachmanns of the world will ignore it all and continue to spread this nonsense in the name of their own interpretations of the bible. If I could go into a church without taking valium, or go a week without nightmares of being told that some invisible sky god hates me for what I am..maybe. But with all those reminders of how those people ruined me in so many ways, I admit, there's gonna be resentment.

Fri, 25 May 2012 14:05:53 UTC | #943486

Shannon1981's Avatar Comment 26 by Shannon1981

Ugh, Blockquoting is screwing up, sorry.

Anvril, I definitely applaud the admission of such a huge and grave mistake. I think at this point, the best those of us who made it out alive should be grateful, try to live our lives without dwelling in the bad stuff...That's what I do. I listen to podcasts of the thinking atheist and other people who have escaped the harms of religion to go on to live rich, wonderful lives nightly, and that is inspiring. I also look at my own accomplishments- pulling out of the self medicating with drugs, getting a degree, searching for a job in the activist realm...I really think that could help a lot of people, and who better to help them than those who know first hand how awful the stuff is?

Fri, 25 May 2012 14:11:36 UTC | #943488

strangebrew's Avatar Comment 27 by strangebrew

Comment 24 by Anvil

But less than before, wouldn't you say?

I sincerely hope so...but doubt that some ignorant pompous cretins give a toss either way, as long as they can boast 'jeebus saves!'

Fri, 25 May 2012 14:51:33 UTC | #943493

Shannon1981's Avatar Comment 28 by Shannon1981

@strangebow, that is my fear. I applaud California for trying to outlaw this BS.

I have a friend, much older than I am, in his 60's. He was married for nearly 3 decades to a woman. They had 4 children. His ex wife hates him, as do 3 of his children. This stuff has RUINED lives.

Fri, 25 May 2012 15:08:37 UTC | #943495

Anvil's Avatar Comment 29 by Anvil

Comment 26 by Shannon1981Absolutlety Shannon.

More power to you.

It wasn't my intention to give advice regarding how you personally, or indeed anyone else for that matter, should feel or act, merely to state that what is presented to us here is an opportunity for action.

At times we, here, may be having a debate regarding say, 'free will' or the beginnings and causes of 'bipedalism'.

All fine and educational and dandy.

My point is we've been landed a resource here that we should utilise as much as we can.

As we can see from the link @ Comment 23 this information - this resource - is being utilised already here in the UK.

I keep imagining The Pope getting in touch with The Clergy Project yet not being seen on a You Tube vidoe for a couple of months.

I can't imagine Sean Faircloth making that error.

I'm saying a) we shouldn't make it here either. And b) are there strategies that we can employ to greater utilise this resource?

Hence my suggestion that:

... at a strategic level we should be applauding this action. We should be shouting it from the rooftops and pointing to it at every conceivable opportunity. We should be using it as an argument for the necessity, validity, and reliability of the scientific method in general, and the process of peer review specifically, to lead us to a greater approximation of truth. We should encourage his actions here, and our support should encourage further actions on his part - illness allowing.

In short we should ensure that this man becomes a true Giant for what he has done here.

and that initially:

... what I'm suggesting is that we see this for the opportunity it is and when this letter is published (in the way I'm assuming it will be published) that we all inundate this man with letters and emails of support

By supporting this mans actions we can make a difference to what happens in the future - to the very real lives of very real people.

Anvil.

Fri, 25 May 2012 15:33:41 UTC | #943499

Anvil's Avatar Comment 30 by Anvil

Comment 27 by strangebrew :

Comment 24 by Anvil

But less than before, wouldn't you say?

I sincerely hope so...but doubt that some ignorant pompous cretins give a toss either way, as long as they can boast 'jeebus saves!'

Well at least they can't boast that anymore from the sides of London Buses. And how long before press releases like this will contain a reference to the guru of rep' thep' dismissing it as nonsense:

UKCP welcomes decision to pull 'gay cure' adverts from London buses 13th Apr 2012

13 April 2012 For immediate release

The UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) today welcomed the intervention by Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, to stop a campaign appearing on buses throughout the capital promoting the idea that a person's sexuality can be 'cured'.

The slogans carried on the advertisements by the Core Issues Trust were due to say "Not gay! Post-gay, ex-gay and proud. Get over it!" and according to reports in the Guardian would have cost in the region of £10,000.

The advertising campaign by Core Issues Trust has been criticised by Stonewall, Chris Bryant MP, LGBTory, and Mayoral candidates Boris Johnson, Ken Livingstone and Brian Paddick as well as receiving fierce criticism from hundreds of individuals on Twitter.

Di Hodgson, Chair of UKCP's Diversity, Equalities and Social Responsibility Committee said:

'We are shocked that despite their continued claims to be a tolerant organisation, Core Issues Trust seem to think it's better to spend money on a bus advertising campaign that reinforces the type of messages that lead to homophobic attitudes in the community.

'As the leading professional psychotherapy organisation, we are absolutely committed to our members providing a safe space for individuals to explore their sexuality. We utterly condemn professionals who practice 'reparative therapy' as sexuality is not a symptom which needs treating or correcting.'

UKCP does not consider homosexuality or bisexuality, or transsexual and transgendered states to be pathologies, mental disorders or indicative of developmental arrest. These are not symptoms to be treated by psychotherapists, in the sense of attempting to change or remove them.

Ends

Notes to Editors:

The UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) is recognised as the leading professional body for the education, training and accreditation of psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors. We represent training organisations and over 7,000 individual therapists - working privately or in the NHS or voluntary sector - offering a wide variety of psychotherapeutic approaches or modalities. As part of our commitment to protecting the public, we work to improve access to psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic counselling, to support and disseminate research, to improve standards and to respond effectively to complaints against our members.

Read our statement on reparative therapy, other resources and our media work around this issue on our website at www.ukcp.org.uk/reparativetherapy

Details of the damaging effects faced by an individual after attending reparative therapy sessions can be seen in this video

http://youtu.be/5s6QL16O7Ic where Lee, a member of the Proud to be Queer youth group in Northern Ireland, tells of his own personal experience.

Core Issues Trust are a Belfast-based organisation which hit the headlines earlier this year having organised one-day events in London and Belfast entitled "The Lepers Amongst Us: Homosexuality and the Life of the Church".

A letter from organisations including Citizens Advice, Institute for Conflict Research, Council for the Homeless Northern Ireland, Advice NI, Dublin Aids Alliance, Cara-Friend, Unison LGBT Committee and the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities was published in the Belfast Telegraph on 20 January 2012 criticising the conference and the work of the Core Issues Trust in promoting 'reparative therapy' see http://bit.ly/wCiTtJ

For media enquiries and interview requests, contact Spencer Gasson, Head of Membership and Communications, UKCP on direct line: 020 7014 9963 email: spencer.gasson@ukcp.org.uk or mobile: 07833 222253 (including for out of hours media enquiries)

Again, apologies for the long cut'n'paste but it really is worth reading.

Anvil.

Fri, 25 May 2012 15:48:34 UTC | #943501