A good reason to come out of the closet is to stop the incessant lying, which weighs heavily on the conscience and eats like acid through the soul. Another benefit is no longer having to remember yesterday’s previous fabrications.
This same dynamic plays out in the so-called “ex-gay” industry – which is nothing but an industrial-size closet that demands an even greater adherence to a fantasy world based on half-truths. Similarly, the intricately woven tales lead to stark contradictions when the weavers of this wonderland forget their previous prevarications.
For example, in August 2010, Arthur Abba Goldberg, the co-founder of Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality (JONAH), spoke at the Truth Academy and offered this nugget of wisdom:
“By the way, did you notice that a lot of gays who remain in the gay lifestyle also do a lot of body building,” said Goldberg. “They will be in the gym a lot trying to build up their pecs…Because they have these body image issues and don’t feel they are masculine enough.”
In his 2010 incarnation, Abba Goldberg was quite contemptuous of gay men pumping iron. So, it was rather shocking to see JONAH’s new “ex-gay” video featuring a sad, lonely old man in Arizona who decided to go straight because he made no friends while spending the past five decades having anonymous park sex.
In the tacky promotional video, this poor sap calls JONAH for “help” and Abba Goldberg refers him to a local Arizona therapist who then advises the man to work out at the gym. According to Abba Goldberg’s bizarre theories of masculinity, this so-called treatment was akin to sending this client to a Lady GaGa concert. But, again, when your business is based on a lie, it is difficult to remember what you said at prior speaking engagements.
It is also ironic that JONAH’s geriatric poster boy is a neurotic Catholic from Arizona, rather than a Jewish individual. Could the Jersey City-based JONAH not find at least one Jewish success story on the East Coast? Perhaps not, considering that Abba Goldberg and JONAH’s other co-founder, Elaine Berk, both have gay sons who are out of the closet.
In their silly video, Abba Goldberg and Berk embarrass themselves when they dress up and play doctor. They unethically pose as medical experts, who feign a grasp on the science of sexual orientation.
Wayne Besen is a columnist and author of the book “Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth.”