Nightline Examines Local "Gay Cure" Program; Gays Cry Foul

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Controversy in New Caney
Last night's Nightline featured a report on the camp in New Caney that purports to help gay men get rid of all that glorious gayness.

Journey Into Manhood -- with a name that says gays aren't men, you can guess where it's going -- gave ABC exclusive access to a session. In return, critics say, ABC delivered a puff piece.

The broaddcast noted "The founders do not promise their clients they will transition from being gay to straight over night, but the overall goal is to give the men a foundation so they can work on making the change over time."

The group's webpage offers some convoluted explanation about how men are attracted to men because they're "opposite" and "opposites attract." (Really: "To us, it often felt like men were the opposite sex, so being sexually attracted to them felt natural. Initially, at least, we didn't feel homosexual so much as we felt genderless and, lacking sufficient maleness within ourselves, attracted to that which we felt would make us feel masculine and whole.")

The Dallas Voice pointed to a visceral reaction to the piece by Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out:

Sadly, Nightline's producers elected to trade accuracy for access. They bragged that they were the first network that got to take cameras into JIM. Well, not exactly. ABC was denied access to the actual JIM weekends -- which are furtive, painful and bizarre -- and instead allowed the network to film a JIM Reunion featuring canned spokespeople touting the Party Line. In essence, the PR people at JIM slyly created a Potemkin Village and ABC was suckered into videotaping the propaganda.

The ABC report did talk to some former JIM clients who said they had been traumatized by the experience, so it wasn't completely one-sided. But claiming you can turn a gay guy straight? Probably needs to be treated with a lot more skepticism.

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