Last week when the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) decided to rebrand itself, they released a "Breaking News" launch video. In this video, the "news reporter" claimed that the new NARTH Institute was expanding its mission to "meet the needs of a new generation" in "matters related to psychological care."
Following its release, we warned readers not to be fooled by the video because the "psychological care" of which the reporter speaks is "conversion therapy," also known by the misnomers "reparative therapy," "ex-gay therapy," or "sexual orientation change efforts." The general consensus of all major medical and mental health associations, including the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association, is that this therapy is dangerous. Young people who participate in this practice are at a huge risk for severe depression, lowered self-esteem, alienation from their families, substance abuse, and even suicide.
Truth Wins Out, an organization working to demolish anti-LGBT bias and counter anti-LGBT organizations, warned mental health professionals not to be fooled by NARTH's new rebranding, writing:
"Although NARTH claims to be a group that offers therapy, what it does isn't therapy at all. Instead, it is anti-gay hate speech wrapped in medical language, in an effort to make it more palatable to mainstream Americans."
Well it seems that the "reporter" herself was fooled. Jean Hudson, the woman who produced this launch video and starred as the reporter was not familiar with NARTH's background and mission when she agreed to make the video. ThinkProgress reached out to Jean Hudson, only to find:
Hudson was not familiar with NARTH’s background, and the brief script she was asked to read only announced the new organization and did not actually refer to the ex-gay therapy the group promotes. After learning of the group’s mission, she described it as “disturbing,” adding, “I can definitely say that if I had known, I wouldn’t have agreed to the video request.”
Hudson also told ThinkProgress:
“The news of my video services used to promote a website that is reportedly anti-LGBT is very troubling. First, I apologize to my friends, family, clients, and neighbors who are LGBT supporters. I have not and will not betray or have ever deceived you. You know me better.”
The video has since been removed from YouTube and all of NARTH's websites.