Four homosexuals have filed a consumer fraud lawsuit against an organization that promised to change a person's unwanted same sex attractions. Their lawsuit claims that the therapy did not work.
Sheldon Bruck, Chaim Levin, Benjamin Unger and Michael Ferguson are plaintiffs named in the lawsuit that was filed in Hudson County, New Jersey Superior Court on Tuesday. Instead of the conversion therapy ridding them of their homosexual desires, it led to depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior, according to the suit.
The four individuals were all clients at New Jersey's Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH), which claimed on its website that they would be able to help those "struggling with unwanted same-sex sexual attractions."
The lawsuit accuses JONAH co-director Arthur Goldberg and several counselors of misleading its patients and providing false therapy that led to a worse mental state for those receiving treatment.
Contained in the suit is a description of JONAH counselor Thaddeus Heffner, who stated that Bruck did not benefit from the therapy because he wasn't putting in the required effort.
Heffner blamed the failure of the therapy sessions "on Bruck for not working hard enough to change, on his father for being too distant, and on his mother for being too close to him," the lawsuit states.
All four plaintiffs contend that they were humiliated at the hands of the counselors. They felt the therapy sessions thought to help them actually contributed to their worsening mental condition.
Conversion therapy has been a controversial practice since the American Psychological Association said that homosexuality was not a disorder that could be treated.
"This is the first time that plaintiffs have sought to hold conversion therapists liable in a court of law," Samuel Wolfe, a lawyer with the Southern Poverty Law Center, told CNN.