While Big Tech’s Washington lobbyists fend off antitrusters, Silicon Valley has not missed a beat in its “woke” censorship of views they don’t like.
COVID-19. Climate change. Vote fraud. Former President Donald Trump. Human sexuality. Whatever.
Toe their leftist line or get muzzled.
Last week, Google-owned YouTube blocked all videos on the Reintegrative Therapy Association channel after a left-wing group in Alabama complained loudly about them and Forbes carried an article parroting the group’s report.
The Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, which is arguably itself a hate group, described reintegration therapy as a form of “conversion therapy,” a term coined by leftists to mischaracterize counseling for people with unwanted same-sex desires.
The Reintegrative Therapy Association site featured a new study published in the Journal of Human Sexuality indicating that treating trauma can reduce same-sex attraction. The subjects were 75 adult males who were “open to sexual attraction fluidity.” Participants worked with professional therapists using reintegrative therapy, a treatment method that seeks to identify and resolve past traumatic memories.
“Unlike so-called ‘conversion therapy,’ a catch-all term that can include discredited approaches that attempt to change sexuality, Reintegrative Therapy resolves memories that clients identify as being traumatic,” said RTA founder Joseph Nicolosi Jr., a clinical psychologist. “Changes in sexuality that may occur are a byproduct.”
After YouTube brought down the hammer, “Our channel went from zero strikes against us — and having tens of thousands of views — to permanent suspension for all videos indefinitely, overnight,” Mr. Nicolosi told Fox Business. “Our video content ranged from client testimonials to research explainers. None of that mattered.”
After Mr. Nicolosi inquired as to why his site was censored, he received this email:
“Your account has been terminated due to repeated or severe violations of our Community Guidelines on Hate Speech. Although YouTube is a platform for expression of all kinds, our Community Guidelines prohibit speech that promotes hatred or violence towards certain groups or individuals.” Hatred? Violence?
GPAHE, which is still smirking and blowing smoke off its pistol, is an offshoot of the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Alabama-based lucrative direct mail operation which gained fame for targeting the Klan and other actual hate groups but whose passion is now to purge conservative Christian voices and impose the LGBTQ agenda.
The SPLC’s “hate map” includes mainstream Christian organizations like the Family Research Council, whose headquarters were attacked in 2012 by a gunman who tried to commit mass murder before being stopped by a courageous guard who was shot in the arm. The assailant, who was convicted of terrorism (this is the real thing, unlike the Jan. 6 riot) told police that he was inspired by the SPLC hate map. To no one’s surprise, YouTube has no problem hosting SPLC videos.
Other Christian-oriented organizations that the SPLC falsely label as “hate groups” include the American Family Association, Mission America, the World Congress of Families, Pacific Justice Institute, Liberty Counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom, D. James Kennedy Ministries — really, anyone defending traditional values. While they’re at it, they might as well go ahead and name hundreds of thousands of churches and synagogues that teach biblical morality.
Torn by race and sex scandals in 2019, the SPLC fired co-founder Morris Dees and lost other staff, one of whom, Heidi Beirich, co-founded GPAHE to carry on the work of smearing Christians. GPAHE is now leaning heavily on social media to do its bidding.
Some of these Big Tech companies are already censoring anything resembling hope for change. Vimeo, for instance, without warning took down hundreds of ex-gay testimonial videos posted by ex-gay David Kyle Foster’s Mastering Life Ministries and others from the Restored Hope Network and Parents & Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays. Other Christian ministries dealing with sexuality report similar treatment from Big Tech outlets.
In July 2020, Facebook and Instagram said they would ban all content that promotes “conversion therapy.” By miscasting talk-based sexuality counseling as “conversion therapy,” they block an enormous amount of useful information. The big lie is that counselors who aid people in reducing same-sex desires use coercive techniques. They don’t.
In more than 20 states, politicians have bought into the falsehood, criminalizing “conversion therapy” for minor clients. Meanwhile, LGBTQ activists are rushing to put any counseling they don’t like under that umbrella.
“Big Tech promotes many scientifically incorrect videos about gender issues,” Mr. Nicolosi told Fox. “By silencing scientific evidence they don’t like, they effectively shape the public conversation about the science of sexuality and gender. In the name of ‘anti-bullying’ and ‘stopping medical misinformation,’ they themselves have become the real bullies, and in doing so, mislead the very people they say they’re trying to protect — individuals who struggle with trauma and their sexuality.”
The very nature of counseling today defies the idea that coercive measures work, as exemplified by an old joke:
“How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb?”
“Answer: One, but it has to want to change.”
Exactly. If clients want to try reintegrative therapy for them or their children, no one should have the power to deny them. Forbidding counseling that both the client and counselor want to try is a huge attack on individual freedom and client self-determination, not to mention parental rights.
Undaunted by YouTube’s action, Mr. Nicolosi has moved his videos over to Odysee — a decentralized video platform running on blockchain technology (like Bitcoin).
He has also filed a defamation lawsuit in a federal court against the authors of a journal article that conflates RT with “conversion therapy.”
Like his dad, the late Joseph Nicolosi, who coined the term “reparative therapy” and who helped hundreds of men recover their natural masculinity, Mr. Nicolosi says he is determined to preserve the freedom to choose when it comes to therapy.
“I’m not going to roll over,” he told me over the phone. “The truth will eventually come out, and it’s truth that sets people free.”
• Robert Knight is a columnist for The Washington Times. His website is roberthknight.com.