On November 21st, Julie Harren (now Harren-Hamilton) will make her first appearance as President of NARTH at the Marriott Hotel in West Palm Beach, Florida.
N.A.R.T.H. stands for the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuals. It is a small but well-funded, religious, for-profit group of therapists whose aim is to take away civil rights from gays, lesbians and transgendered people by singling them out and labeling them as having a mental disorder.
The "Social Issues" section of their website reads like a horror film... all the worst most negative aspects of gay life are drudged up, re-hashed and emphasized over and over again by NARTH... Everything from obscure groups of men who wish to contract HIV to sado-masochistic tendencies and the perennial "pedophilia" accusation. If gay life were even one tenth as bad as NARTH makes it sound, I would have offed myself long ago...
NARTH shares a building with the corporate offices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons). In fact, their offices are right around the corner from the temple. They are strongly supported by The Traditional Values Coalition (better known as The House on C Street or "The Family").
But back to Julie Harren Hamilton...
Would you pay for advice on child-rearing from a woman who has never had kids? Would you accept marital counseling from someone who still has rice in her hair from her recent wedding? I know I wouldn't...
So how does a poor counselor from a religious college in Chattanooga Tennessee become the President of the most well-funded anti-gay organization in America? How does she move so quickly from being a Republican spinster in a 1 bedroom apartment to a married marriage counselor and college professor, living in a half-million dollar oceanfront property in West Palm Beach?
She sells the cure for a disease that nobody really has.
When you first Google her name, you are directed to her website called Homosexuality101.com, Which is just a brochure-style webpage offering her "scientific" explanation of how gay people are "lead off the path" from being happy, healthy straight people. She claims that homosexual men are the products of distant, absent or abusive fathers and that they never learned how to bond with other boys as children because they were afraid of their dads and their mothers became over-involved with their lives. And in true keeping with the hogwash technique, she affirms that the damage is done before your child's 5th birthday! I wonder how many other therapists have been able to talk parents into starting their children in on $125/hr therapy before they start 1st grade?
In short, she blames your parents for your "disease" and she can make them feel guilty enough about your "painful lifestyle" to pay her lots of money to "help you".
Click around a little bit more and you see that she is hocking her DVD's for 15 bucks a piece, too. Do some more online research and you finally get to the foundation of her rationale:
On July 23, 2005, she gave a talk at the Exodus Freedom Conference called "Educating the public on the topic of homosexuality". It was here that she really raised some eyebrows at Exodus Inc. and breathed new life into the dying carcass of conversion therapy.
"As Christians we are vessels of God's love. So I just want to challenge us all to go out into the places we live and work and BE vessels of God's love because people are hungry for God's love..."
"It's God who does the transforming but first people need a relationship with him."
You see, Harren-Hamilton takes a different approach. She mixes the old with the new... She is willing to accept that there are biological pre-dispositions which lead to being gay and she even professes to "love" her subjects and see them as equals. With her twittery coo, she blesses everyone and calmly explains that gay people did not make a choice to be gay... but they CAN still make a choice to become straight.
This new approach to the presentation of conversion therapy is becoming quite popular in some Christian ministries because it takes the focus away from their lack of success and away from the fringe hate-groups that back them and puts the focus back on "Christian love".
But what is Julie Catherine Harren-Hamilton's experience and why is this issue so important to her?
She is experienced only in public speaking and money-making. She only became married herself about 2 years ago (to Robert Tyler Hamilton who is 6 years her junior). She has never been a lesbian - recovered or otherwise. Nor has she ever been a mother or had a child - gay or straight. Most importantly, she has yet to present one solitary person who is willing to come forward and testify that her therapy works.
The more difficult question to answer about Julie Harren-Hamilton is why converting homosexuals has been her sole focus for more than 10 years.
Perhaps the good "Doctor" suffers from an Obsessive Personality Disorder with a dash of Histrionics and Narcissism... (I'm just sayin'... you know, maybe she's CRAZY?)
Maybe she had an unrequited grade-school crush on the local Clay Aiken and now she's bitter...
Whatever the reason, she's swimming up stream without a paddle and she's about to drown in Fort Lauderdale's ocean of loving gay/straight families who don't take too kindly to being called "diseased" and "abusive".
November 21, 2009
Please join us in showing NARTH (and the world) that our love is not a disease and many of us have excellent relationships with our parents and friends.