Conversion Therapy Lawsuit

Gay Men Sue Conversion Therapy Counselors For Fraud

Four gay men and two mothers have filed lawsuits against a New Jersey gay conversion therapy group that claimed it could make them straight, saying the clinic is a fraud.

The lawsuit filed against Jews Offering New Alternatives to Healing (JONAH) claims that the methods used by the conversion therapy group do not work, reports ABC News.

Along with JONAH, the group’s co-director, Arthur Goldberg, and a “life coach” named Alan Downing (who provides the therapy sessions) were named in the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs are Michael Ferguson, Benjamin Inger, Sheldon Bruck, and Chaim Levin. Two of their mothers, Jo Bruck and Bella LEvin, are also named. All of the men sought help at JONAH for gay conversion therapy, which they all say did not work.

The plaintiffs sought legal help from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The SPLC claims that conversion therapy is actually a dangerous practice and has been “discredited or highly criticized” by every major American medical, psychiatric, psychological, and professional organization.

CNN notes that one defendant, Sheldon Bruck, was promised by Goldberg that “JONAH could help him change his orientation from gay to straight.” Each defendant is claiming that they were defrauded by the group, who claims that “being gay is a mental disorder” that can be reversed through conversion therapy.

The therapy can cost up to $10,000 each year. The suit states that the therapy put them at risk of “depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior,” but gave them no benefits. Two of the men’s mothers are involved in the suit, because they paid for their sons to have the therapy, as well as the counseling they received afterwards.

Conversion Therapy Lawsuit