GAY CONVERSION THERAPY EXPORTS TO ISRAEL
By Samuel Leighton-Dore
Following a nationwide crackdown on gay conversion therapy in the United States, Jewish teenagers are now being flown to Isreal in a last-ditch attempt to curb their same-sex attraction. Despite Israel’s Health Ministry strongly advising against the scientifically dubious “reparative” therapy, there are currently no laws against it.
“Since there is such a strong religious presence here and political correctness isn’t as prevalent, there’s more openness about this kind of therapy,” Dr. Elan Karten, who claims to have treated over 100 people with homosexual attraction since he first opened his practice in Jerusalem nearly a decade ago, told ABC News.
With many Orthodox Jewish men desperate to overcome their same-sex attractions and buy into the traditional family unit, it would seem that business is fucking booming.
While many states in the U.S. have recently banned similar practices for fraudulent, unsubstantiated claims, including JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing), Israel has proven to be a safe haven for roughly 30 licensed psychologists and social workers and 50 non-licensed therapists who offer some form of conversion therapy.
U.S. based group People Can Change has even taken to running their seminars in Israel, claiming to help men “resolve unwanted homosexual attractions.” These monthly meetings attract roughly 50 men and are held in confidential locations in northern Israel. An anonymous facilitator has bizarrely reported that they often include African-style tribal music and men being blindfolded and told to strip naked.
All repressive kinkiness aside, Chaim Levin, a former client of JONAH in the U.S., has recently come out against his experience with the group.
“I’m extremely concerned. It’s exporting hatred and junk science to Israel,” he said.
“People need to know.”
However, of course there remain those who passionately advocate the controversial programs.
Speaking anonymously, a 23-year-old Orthodox Jewish student from the U.S. has praised the Israeli retreat, saying it “was one of the best things that have ever happened to me. I feel like I’ve actually started living my life instead of just surviving it.”
Having signed a strict confidentiality agreement, the student chose not to reveal his name as he believed it would hurt his chances at marriage.