Agape Ponders “Ex-Gay” Therapist; Ignores Alleged Link with Polish Far-Right

Agape Press discusses controversy around “sexual orientation therapist” Richard Cohen:

Christian psychotherapist Richard Cohen, board president of the ex-homosexual education and outreach organization known as Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX), is addressing criticism leveled against certain therapy techniques he uses on clients with homosexual desires.

…Cohen’s methods have raised some questions, however; and he has lately taken sharp criticism over a May 23 appearance on Cable News Network (CNN), in which he demonstrated a technique that involves cuddling a male client in his lap. Another of the unusual therapy techniques depicted involved a client hitting a pillow with a tennis racket while shouting the name of a parent or other individual who elicits painful childhood memories.

…Psychologist Dr. Warren Throckmorton, director of college counseling at Grove City College in Pennsylvania, maintains a blog on sexual identity change therapy and related information for interested individuals. He is not a reparative therapist, but he claims Cohen’s techniques as demonstrated on CNN are bizarre and are not based on solid research…One problem with reparative or change therapy practices, Throckmorton explains, is that “there are very few guidelines for therapists working in this area.” He says he hopes to address that issue with guidelines he has written recently in cooperation with Dr. Mark Yarhouse of Regent University.

Of less controversy, apparently, are Cohen’s alleged links with the far-right League of Polish Families, a detail which Agape declines to mention. I covered this connection a year ago, drawing on a report from Tomek Kitlinski and Pawel Leszkowicz:

“The reason I ask for ten million dollars is because we need to create social organizations to help homosexuals to change. If you want to push legislation, somebody introduce a bill for the healing of homosexuality. That should really screw up homosexual activists.” Richard Cohen called Polish Parliament to reject the bill legalizing same-sex unions. In a country of twenty per cent unemployment and new poverty, Cohen pleaded for ten million dollars to fight homosexuality.

The Promotion of Homosexuality in Social Life and Its Effects for the Human Person, Family and Culture” was the title of Cohen’s presentation in Polish Parliament where he was invited by the League of Polish Families that promotes heterosexism and xenophobia. The leader of the League of Polish Families, Roman Giertych (b. 1971) wants to change the penal code. He introduced a bill to the speaker of parliament to penalize (fine or even imprisonment) those who publically [sic] promote the change of the traditional definition of marriage as union between man and woman.

Cohen reportedly went on to speak on Radio Maryja:

Cohen accused gays of a world conspiracy, likened it to Communism, and exhorted: “I challenge you, Poland, to be a world leader in solving homosexuality!”

Radio Maryja and the League of Polish Families are also notorious for their anti-semitism (see here and here), but that apparently didn’t bother Cohen any more than Cohen bothered them. Indeed, Polish media linked Cohen’s conversion to heterosexuality with his rejection of Judaism:

…Poland’s most influential mass circulation newspaper, Gazeta Ryborcza, posted the Catholic Press Agency story on Cohen’s visit, without commentary: “Richard Cohen himself experienced a change from homosexual to heterosexual orientation. The decisive moment was, as he indicated, his meeting of Christ. Cohen who had professed Judaism became a Christian.”