Lawsuit Charges Orthodox 'Cure' Center With Fraud

Three plaintiffs are members of JQY, activist group for "young, frum, gay Jews."

11/28/12
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JONAH, a Jewish center in New Jersey that offers therapy to reverse homosexuality, is being sued for allegedly making fraudulent claims.

Four gay men and two of their mothers filed the suit Tuesday in New Jersey Superior Court against Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality, which offers treatments that the group says can turn its clients straight. Some of the treatments include using rabbinic writings on the subject of homosexuality.

The lawsuit, which was filed through the Southern Poverty Law Center, maintains that the center uses misleading pretenses to entice clients to enroll in its program. The plaintiffs are previous clients of JONAH. 

“JONAH profits off of shameful and dangerous attempts to fix something that isn’t broken,” said Christine Sun of the Southern Poverty Law Center. “Despite the consensus of mainstream professional organizations that conversion therapy doesn’t work, this racket continues to scam vulnerable gay men and lesbians out of thousands of dollars and inflicts significant harm on them.”

JONAH founder Arthur Goldberg and counselor Alan Downing violate the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Acts, the lawsuit said. JONAH therapy options cost a minimum of $100 for weekly individual counseling and $60 for group sessions, it said, and some clients said their instructions included undressing in front of a mirror or group sessions of standing naked in a circle. 

Reacting to the lawsuit, Goldberg told ABC News that many JONAH clients were successful and healed, and “hundreds of the clients we serve are satisfied." He also said, "Our therapy is very conventional.” 

The amount of money being sought by the plaintiffs was not made clear but includes the costs spent by clients on JONAH and psychological services that dealt with alleged damages from using JONAH, as well as attorney fees, Reuters reported. 

Last Update:

12/05/2012 - 05:42

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Okay, so this should be closed immediately as it harms the feelings of their customers especially to gays. I think the headline is just right for such topic. There is this e discovery services issue that I've seen through the whole story.

A Torah View On Homosexuality by Rav Aharon Feldman – Just published Fall 2012!
http://haravaharonfeldmanarticle.weebly.com/

Why is JONAH called an "Orthodox" Cure Center in the headline? It doesn't seem to identify itself as Orthodox.

I like how some mind-controlled Jews, infected with malignant religious nonsense, are now protesting "mend control".

Absurd.

The founder and co-president of Jonah was disbarred because the bar of New Jersey believed he was not honest. He was convicted of bribery mail fraud and imprisoned. The judge felt he had hurt many people with the taking of very much money.

It is unfortunate that the Jewish Press does not write an article about this even though it is national news on television and front pages. JONAH is a regular advertiser in the Jewish Press, but that should not stop the paper from reporting important Jewish news.

I also hope that the Rabbis who have allied with this organization(Torah Declaration, Lakewood Yeshiva etc etc) find non fraudulent and abusive therapists to promote the healing that they are looking for.

The Community Guardians Group
Kew Gardens Hills, New York o cgg@zehjournal.com o (917) 680-6632
November 28, 2012

Dear Sir or Madam:

I write you in response to your article regarding a lawsuit filed against a Jewish organization alleging fraud for its “conversion therapy” to repair unwanted homosexual desires.

I am not familiar with the programs of JONAH, but the allegations stated in the complaint as reported by the press are disturbing to any G-d fearing Jew. If these accusations are true, many vulnerable young people may have been grossly mistreated by the very people they sought to help them.

The Community Guardians Group, which I lead, is a grassroots organization based in the New York City area that seeks to engage the spirit of the eternal values of the Torah in dialogue on matters that confront American society. Everyone has a unique set of challenges, but the Almighty Creator endowed every human being with the ability to rule over his or her desires. The impulse of sexual attraction may require a person to struggle for control just as much as the impulse for violence to others. These men and women who feel betrayed by therapy should never lose hope of realizing the true strength of their souls.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at (917) 680-6632, or by email at cgg@zehjournal.com if I may assist you in answering any questions.

Very truly yours,
Dovid Z. Schwartz
Director, Community Guardians Group

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