Talk:Richard A. Cohen

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Former good article nominee Richard A. Cohen was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
April 18, 2007 Good article nominee Not listed
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Old comments[edit]

I have changed the website to reflect a more unbiased picture of Mr. Cohen. Several things on the site were completely false, and others simply slanderous. Cohen has never used "rubberband therapy"; the new version of his book does not have a foreward by Dr. Laura; the quote by Wayne Besen is slanderous and, at best, taken out of context; I have no way of knowing whether or not the Wesleyan denomiation practices nude psychotherapy, but this is, at best, irrelevant, and Mr. Cohen never had any knowledge of it while he was in the denomination; Cohen did not do change seminars for the unification church; and he does not advocate that there are only 2 causes of homosexuality. Thank you for maintaining a non-slanderous site.--IHF06 18:58, 19 July 2006 (UTC)


From VfD:

I'd like to nominate the psychotherapist listed on the Richard Cohen page. Only 181 google hits for "Richard Cohen +psychotherapist--I challenge his notability. [[User:Meelar|Meelar (talk)]] 20:59, 2004 Jul 20 (UTC)

Coming Out Straight] which has a forward by Dr. Laura Schlessinger, which helps make him more noteworthy if not admirable. KillerChihuahua 21:55, 20 Jul 2004 (UTC)

  • Keep. Controversial, expandable, Unification Church tie-in, etc. --Gary D 23:02, 20 Jul 2004 (UTC)
  • Edited for NPOV and added some things. Certainly not a very noteworthy character to be sure but also not necessarily worthy of a delete.--Deglr6328 05:40, 21 Jul 2004 (UTC)
  • I would abstain pending a major re-write of the article, but I'll bite... I vote to keep on the grounds that's he's noteworthy enough for at least a major mention or stub. Kaelus 07:04, 21 Jul 2004 (UTC)

end moved discussion


Deleted from article:

Cohen used to belong to an organization called The Wesleyan Christian Community Church which was ejected from the United Methodist Church for practicing nude psychotherapy. Cohen has said of his time in the organization, which has been referred to by some as a cult, by saying "It was like Paradise".[1]

Why link someone to an "ejected" organization? Is there any reason to mention this, other than to discredit Cohen?

Wikipedia articles should not endorse or discredit people.

If there is a movement "out there" which hates Cohen personally and/or despises what he stands for and/or opposes what he does, then:

  • please mention these opponents by name
  • describe their POV(s) about Cohen

As for the damaging quotation, I deleted that because it just makes him look crass. (Wikipedia needs a policy on damaging quotations and other discrediting tactics.) -- Uncle Ed (talk) 16:54, Jun 3, 2005 (UTC)

Balance dictates that editors not remove items just because they reflect unfavorably on their heros. I've returned these items to the article: they are attributed and true. I leave Ed to find and name "opponents", if he considers it important. - Outerlimits 16:59, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

No, Wikipedia:POV policy requires that "items" that reflect unfavorably (or even favorably) on ANYONE be properly sourced.

They are sourced. One is the reason there's a footnote on the article. - Outerlimits 23:05, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

If you want to include something for the purposes of making him look bad or simply to discredit his work, then you need to say:

  • who holds the POV that he (or his work) is bad, and
  • (if you can) WHY that feel this way.

Random disparaging info, included as a disparaging tactic (and in evasion of NPOV policy) is not required by any "balance" policy I'm aware of. Have things changed since I originally co-wrote the NPOV policy? I haven't been away that long, have I?

If there is a policy page which mandates the inclusion of the text I just deleted, please point it out. Otherwise, I'm going to delete it (over and over). It's not about heroes, it's about NPOV. You either support the encyclopedia's goals, or you're a ... well ... or you are working against its goals. -- Uncle Ed (talk) 17:15, Jun 3, 2005 (UTC)

This is a biography, and it is reasonable to summarize, in an NPOV manner, the verifiable events in a person's life. In the case of the disputed sentence, the fact that the group was ejected from another church is a side issue, and it's not clear that they were ejected while Cohen was a member. Therefore, I'd suggest that it be left out. But Cohen's association with the group is worth noting. Ed, would you like to try to re-write it in an NPOV manner? That'd be preferable to deleting sourced info. Thanks, -Willmcw 18:04, Jun 3, 2005 (UTC)
Indeed. To facilitate this, I've returned the censored material. If Ed thinks it needs a rewrite, let him rewrite the material he's uncomfortable with rather than deleting it. And if he feels strongly that he wants to continue to censor it - even to the point of re-writing various policy pages! - I would suggest he make a "request for comments" rather than continue to erase and re-add it. - Outerlimits 23:05, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I did a re-write myself. What I think would be helpful would be to go beyond this one odd anecdote and see if there's any more relevant info from the Besen book that can be summarized. The rest of it appears to be from his authorized biography. As for the Wesleyans, it'd be helpful to know how long he was involved so that its significance can be judged by the reader. Do you have the reference at hand? Also, like any bio, this should have some basic biographical info, some of which is missing - birth, date and place, professional educaiton, etc. Thanks, -Willmcw 23:34, Jun 3, 2005 (UTC)

Fall 2005 rewrite[edit]

I'd like the article on Cohen to say something about his views and practices. Right now, it's slanted entirely toward a critique of him. I'll start by extracting some of the raw facts from the criticism section.

The article should explain why he regards homosexuality as a disorder, as well as how he goes about attempting to transition volunteers out of it.

That would give the criticism section some traction, i.e., something for them to rebut. As of now, the man just looks like a discredited freak or charlatan: "He teaches things which all right-thinking people condemn" rather than "He teaches A, B, and C + here is why prominent bodies disagree with these teachings." Uncle Ed 16:23, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

Gay writer category?[edit]

Is it appropriate to categorize him as a gay writer since he no longer identifies as gay and claims to now be hetrosexual? Beno1000 19:52, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

Proposed move[edit]

By Cohen's own admission, he is not a therapist, and he is not licensed as a therapist.[2] I propose moving the article to Richard Cohen (lecturer). Fireplace 19:13, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

If that's the case the problems with this article extend beyond its title. The article begins:
  • Richard Cohen is an American psychotherapist who conducts sexual reorientation therapy...
Should we change that to:
  • Richard Cohen is an American lecturer who conducts sexual reorientation lectures...?
If he is a de facto therapist, and if that is what he's known for, then it may still be worthwile to call him a "therapist". If he's not a therapist at all then the intro needs re-writing. -Will Beback · · 19:37, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
If you look at his website, it seems that the majority of his time is spent running seminars. Fireplace 19:52, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Well, he still bills himself as a "psychotherapist" on his website. How about Richard Cohen (reorientation coach)? And I just read Boodman's Post' article. They call him:

  • Conversion Therapist
  • Leader in Reparative Therapy
  • one of the best-known reparative therapists

They say he:

  • conducts individual therapy
  • runs seminars and workshops
  • is not licensed as a therapist
  • was permanently expelled from the American Counseling Association
  • was found to have violated six sections of the ACA's ethics code
  • endorses a technique using "bioenergetics" in which a client releases pent-up anger by smashing a tennis racket against a mound of pillows while repeatedly screaming "Dad" -- or the name of the person about whom the client has unresolved feelings.

Cohen quotes:

  • "I am not doing therapy per se," he said. "I'm coaching."
  • In 1987, Cohen said, he overcame his homosexuality with the help of an intense but platonic relationship with a straight man who "gave me the warmth of my daddy's love."

Why is it important to bracket his name as (author) rather than (therapist)? Is it a credentials issue?

On second thought, how about Richard Cohen (ex-gay)? It's more specific than (author), ducks the licensing issue, and clues the reader in right away. --Uncle Ed 22:12, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

I'm fine with either author or lecturer. If you look at his website, it seems he spends most of his time lecturing and giving seminars, which is why "lecturer" seemed appropriate. "Reorientation coach" is cumbersome, "ex-gay" is too loaded, and by his own admission he isn't a "therapist" (plus there's the license issue). Fireplace 23:41, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
It turns out that his book was published by a vanity publisher. Calling him an "author" under those circumstances seems disingenuous, so unless there's objection I'd like to move it back to Richard Cohen (lecturer). Fireplace 23:39, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
I think "lecturer" is a good description, although I'm not as bothered by "author" as you are. Zimbardo Cookie Experiment 23:44, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Edits by "IHF06"[edit]

If you are, or are associated with, Richard Cohen or his organization, please see WP:AUTO. Fireplace 20:01, 21 February 2007 (UTC)


Recent Edits (Wesleyan Community Church)[edit]

I'm concerned about the latest edit about the Wesleyan Community Church. The page cited doesn't say that the community was kicked out of the UMC, merely that the group was "infamous" for "nude therapy." The "it was like paradise" quote isn't in there. I think Besen has written a book that covers a lot of this stuff, and we might need to attribute the extra facts in that paragraph to something other than the article given.

That said, does it really matter that he was a member of the group? The Vashon branch had a 1984 molestation scandal, but nobody's indicating that he had anything to do with that. Is there evidence that he took part in any of the nude therapy stuff? If so, then let's get it cited. If not, then we need to get rid of the entire paragraph as irrelevant.

I should stress that I am not a fan of Cohen's or the "ex-gay" movement or any of that nonsense. I am just a geek for sourcing. Zimbardo Cookie Experiment 18:12, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

GA nomination[edit]

I've cleaned this article up quite a bit and added a fair amount of content, so I'm nominating it for GA status. I've poked around, and I think the article covers everything about Cohen that makes him notable. Fireplace 16:30, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

GA On Hold[edit]

I am seeing a number of big gaps in ths article and the paragraphs are a little too short.


  • Do we have more biographical infomation on Cohen, such as his birthdate and where he was born? His own early background seems to be missing.
(DOB and place of birth don't seem to be available. Fireplace 21:11, 11 April 2007 (UTC))

Yes check.svg Done – * Can you merge the Medical view of sexual orientation into proper paragraphs? I would make the article less 'list like' and easier to read.

Yes check.svg Done – * Medical view of sexual orentation should probably be after history as is would give a more linear time line, explaining the views before his expulsion.

Yes check.svg Done – * In the History section, did Cohen ever practise as a counsellor before forming his technique that made him famous? If so, what did he do?

Yes check.svg Done – * Are all the books referenced published by Cohen? The need to show the author details too.


I haven't checked all the references for verification.....but I think the above might be a bit of a challenge. I will put it on hold for the 2-7 days... Fluffball70 22:40, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Thanks Fluffball70 -- I'll get on these (if no one beats me to them). Fireplace 23:24, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done – I get that the guy is comical, but do we want the *primary picture* of this guy to be one where he looks ridiculous dry-humping another man? Anybody got a picture of him where he's, I dunno, standing and smiling to the camera? Zimbardo Cookie Experiment 23:50, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
It's a fair point. That particular image is partially what makes Cohen notable, so it should remain further down. If no one gets there first, I'll find a publicity photo or something. Fireplace 00:40, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't know much about licensing issues, but could the cover of one of his books work?Joshuajohanson 07:21, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

I would like to add a couple more things that should be changed before nominating for GA status:

Yes check.svg Done – I think smashing a tennis racket into a pillow is just one implementation of his bioenergetics techniques. The article should explain what his bioenergetics techniques involves in addition to giving that specific example. It should also explain when and why he believes it is helpful (something about releasing pent up anger). The reasons behind using holding therapy (restablishing the connection to a distant father) should also be discussed.

There should also be something about the International Healing Foundation [3] and Institute for Effective Therapy of Homosexuality, since he seems to be highly involved in those organizations.

Cutting in with a comment: I'm hesitant to give too much weight to the IHF. As far as I can tell, he's the only person involved with the IHF, other than perhaps an assistant or two. Further, it doesn't seem to have a physical address, but just a PO Box. Without further evidence, it looks like the IHF is just a branding gimmick for Cohen himself. The article does cite to it under External links, and also thoughout the references section. The Institute for Effective Therapy of Homosexual is a subsidiary of the IHF, so it fares no better. Fireplace 21:26, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
All the more reason to talk about it. This article is about him, so why not talk about an organization in which he may be the only person involved. IHF is a significant organization, with 4,720 hits on Google and positive reviews on most ex-gay web sites, so if he is the only person then that is quite an accomplishment.Joshuajohanson 02:25, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Most of the assertions in the Medical View of sexual orientation section cite the Just the Facts statement, which is aimed at curbing the aggressive promotion of reparative therapy in high schools. The assertions made in this section are not actually anywhere in the statement, or are at least debateable. Besides that, I question its applicability since I don't see evidence that he even promotes his methods in high schools. It seems to be a cookie cutter paragraph that it is jammed on every page related to the ex-gay movement, regardless of its applicability. It also claims to be from "all" major organizations, even though it is limited to just American organizations. For example, the statement reads:

  • "Their stance is that sexual orientation is unchangeable" - They actually say "sexual orientation develops across a person's lifetime." See Fluid sexuality
  • "ethics and efficacy of these procedures are rejected by all mainstream medical and mental health associations" - American Psychological Association says "ethics, efficacy, benefits, and potential for harm of therapies that seek to reduce or eliminate same-gender sexual orientation are under extensive debate in the professional literature" [4] The American Psychiatric Association states that there isn't enough information to determine the efficacy or harm one way or the other. [5] This should be represented as a debate rather than a "medical consensus". See Talk:Reparative_therapy#Extensive_debate_within_professional_literature
  • "Major organizations that reject reparative therapy" - they only state that “do not support efforts to change young people's sexual orientation through reparative therapy." They do not say they reject reparative therapy itself, only do not support efforts aimed at young people, citing a potential increase in harrasment for those who do not wish to change. They do not say anything about its relationship to adults or whether willing young people can seek it for themselves. A better sentence would be "Efforts to change the sexual orientation of youth are not supported by American medical organizations." Lack of support of efforts is different than rejection of methods. Does he claim support? Does he even advertise to high school students? I am not sure what relationship this has to Richard Cohen. See Talk:Reparative_therapy#Major_organizations_reject_reparative_therapy.
  • "attempts at eliminating same-sex attractions are not effective" - I can't find where they got that from. American Psychiatric Association says "there are no scientifically rigorous outcome studies to determine either the actual efficacy or harm of "reparative" treatments." The United States Surgeon General also said that "there is no valid scientific evidence that sexual orientation can be changed."[6] No evidence is different than saying they are ineffective.

His methods are opposed by medical organizations, because he treats homosexuality as a mental disorder and something that needs to be changed and because he violates boundaries in client/patient relationships, not for these other reasons. This unduely discredits other psychologists working with reparative therapy within the guidelines set by these organizations.Joshuajohanson 18:09, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

  • Update I think I've hit most of the points raised by Fluffball70, Zimbardo Cookie Experiment, and Joshuajohanson. Fireplace 21:34, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

I don't think all of this has to be done before GA approval, but I would like to see a couple more positive aspects of his life, such as:

  • His involvement in PATH
  • His lectures at NARTH
  • More than a casual mention of his time as president of PFOX.
  • People who say he has helped them [7]
  • To be NPOV, it should show some support of reparative therapy (either from within the medical community, from religious organizations, or maybe even from NARTH) Joshuajohanson 02:25, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Recent edits have made it so I no longer think that the medical view section is appropriately represented. I think this article's interpretation of the statements is flat out wrong. I see no where the affirmation that it is ineffective and harmful, only potentially ineffective and harmful. I think we should stick with Dr. Ray Fowler's interpretation, CEO of APA, as quoted in the Utah Psychologist, Winter, 1998, p. 11. "If an individual is comfortable with his or her homosexuality, it is not the role of the therapist to convince the client otherwise. If one's feelings are egodystonic and there is a desire to talk about changing, that is an acceptable choice and a psychologist may participate if he or she desires." This was quoted in "Respect and the Facts: How to Have Both in the Sexual Orientation Debate," which was distributed to the National Education Association annual convention on July 7, 2004. [8] and again by Dr. Brent Scharman, former President of the Utah Psychological Association. [9] This section just presents one side of the extensive debate within the medical community. Joshuajohanson 18:26, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

The mainstream mental health organizations have made strongly negative statements against reparative therapy. The debate you reference is limited to subsidiary questions such as "What should a licensed professional do when a client requests reparative therapy?" This is an ethics question, and the Richard Cohen article glosses the issue and directs the reader to the more extensive discussion in the reparative therapy article. Fireplace 19:51, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
Dead discussion, apparent concerns not met. GA failed as on hold expired. IvoShandor 07:45, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Four children in Daily Show photo, three children in website photo[edit]

In the Daily Show interview, (click "Part 2"), a Cohen family photo is shown right after he says "I lived a gay life". In that photo stand Cohen and his wife, with four young people, two male and two female, seated in front of them.

However, on Cohen's site, at the bottom of this page there is a graduation photo for his oldest son. In it stands Cohen, his wife, two young men, and only one young woman. Cohen is quoted on this page as having three children.

The young women who is not in the graduation photo is in the older family photo. She is seated between Cohen and his wife, wearing a blue shirt. Who is she? Joie de Vivre 00:46, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

The girlfriend of one of his sons? His wife's daughter from a previous marriage? His ex-boyfriend's daughter? Fireplace 21:33, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Uhh... I guess any of those are possible... I was thinking more along the lines of "kid that got the hell away from her nutty father" but looking for facts. Joie de Vivre 22:15, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Cohen's email to his supporters[edit]

The article has the quote:

MY SOS CALL RIGHT NOW IS THIS: WOULD YOU PLEASE PRAY FOR MY FAMILY AND MYSELF. I FEEL OVERWHELMED BY THE PRESENCE OF EVIL WITHIN AND AROUND ME. It's hard to ask you for this, I feel a bit selfish, but it's imperative, and this is war!

I don't think this quote should be in this article. The email was confidential and was obtained under false pretenses. Wayne Bessen founded an organization specifically to discredit ex-gays like Richard Cohen which encourages members to monitor ministries under false pretenses.[10] He has used other deceptive means to propogate his agenda. For example, he pretended to be a man seeking after reparative therapy on The Daily Show, which resulted in Richard Cohen's embarrassment and may have contributed to his disassociation with PFOX. How much crediance should we give to a guy who has fought so much in direct opposition to Richard Cohen?Joshuajohanson 21:46, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Setting aside whether traditional watchdog tactics are ethical, the email is now in the public domain and moral judgments about the person who put it there don't seem relevant. Fireplace 21:54, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
I am sorry if I made it sound like a moral judgement. I wasn't trying to make a moral judgement about Wayne Bessen, but just question his reliability. I do not understand why Wayne Bessen quoting Richard Cohen in a confidential email is more reliable than Dr. Brent Scharman, former President of the Utah Psychological Association, quoting Ray Fowler, CEO of American Psychological, by saying "those who wished to explore developing heterosexual feelings or behavior had a right to do so, but that those who were comfortable with their style should be able to receive affirming help as well."[11]
Ah, I see. Well, Besen is a notable figure in the field, and it's unlikely he would doctor an email after copy-and-pasting it. Furthermore, if he did, Cohen surely would have reacted. If there's still serious doubt, we can ask Besen to forward a copy of the email with headers intact. Regarding the Fowler quote: there's a big difference between the word-for-word reliability of copying and pasting an entire email (what we have here) versus paraphrasing a conversation had during a telephone call (the situation with Fowler). Fireplace 19:46, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Birthdate[edit]

Can anyone verify his birthdate or birth year? Joie de Vivre 16:47, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Controversial media appearances[edit]

Wow did he really whack the pillow 300 times without stopping or taking a breath? That's crazy! .... Or is this image misleading?.... --Knulclunk 16:58, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

I've now seen the tape, and yes, it is intense, but I think the animation is unjustly edited for maximum humorous effect. It should be replaced with a still, to avoid NPOV conflicts. --Knulclunk 03:52, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

No objection here. Thanks for grabbing the still! Fireplace 03:57, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

NPOV[edit]

Reverted edit by User:Realman25 as obviously does not represent NPOV --Careless hx 17:32, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

"One client wrote..."[edit]

I removed this section, because the quote is a testimonial from the subject's website. I don't think advertising material from the website he sells his "product" from is a reliable source. 76.103.213.78 02:22, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. Clearly fails WP:RS. Fireplace 15:24, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
I am suspect, though. Obviously people have found his method successful, and Wikipedia will often link to a group, corporation or individual's main website. There seems to be no limit to the number of "Ex-gay watch" blog entries we choose to link to from here. We also link directly into Cohen's critics at the AMA, etc. Isn't that advocating a POV? Or editorial SPAM? --Knulclunk 16:02, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
Mainstream, professional, national science organizations satisfy WP:RS. Cohen's self-published claims of success on his website do not. External links do not need to satisfy WP:RS (although there may be other reasons to remove them). Fireplace 00:35, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Wouldn't it be less biased and conform more closely with the neutrality policy of Wikipedia to include the following information from the psychology.ucdavis.edu webiste that states,

"... in May of 2001, two papers on the topic of conversion therapies were presented at the American Psychiatric Association's annual convention. One paper, by Dr. Robert Spitzer, reported findings from 45-minute telephone interviews with 143 men and 57 women who had sought help to change their sexual orientation. He found that 66 percent of the men and 44 percent of the women had achieved "good heterosexual functioning" and he attributed this to the interventions."

It would balance out the other primarily negative viewpoints on conversion therapy. From what I understand the Wiki policy on neutral point of view actually insists on presenting various viewpoints which does not happen in this article. More unbiased information could be found as well. Frederickj3 (talk) 21:29, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:CohenCNNStill.jpg[edit]

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Image:CohenCNNStill.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot 05:29, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

I don't care. I just uploaded it to replace the animated one we used to have. If it matters, someone needs to add a fair use rationale to it.--Knulclunk 15:11, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Cohensholding.jpg[edit]

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Image:Cohensholding.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot 05:30, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Cohensholding.jpg[edit]

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Image:Cohensholding.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot 18:32, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

DSM IV.[edit]

I've been emailed a reference to the DSM IV but I don't have access to it, so I'd appreciate it if someone who does could please check and incoporate the info from "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV), American Psychiatric Association, 1994, Washington, DC, p. 538, “Sexual Disorder Not Otherwise Specified” 302.9, no. 3, persistent and marked distress about sexual orientation." into the "Medical view of reparative therapy" section. -- Jeandré, 2007-10-15t20:10z

Daily Show appearance?[edit]

Cohen was then interviewed by Jason Jones on the March 19, 2007 episode of The Daily Show. Cohen later apologized for this appearance and asked for donations to help him hire a PR agent.[19] After this appearance Exodus International issued a position statement distancing themselves from him. Cohen was, for a time, the president of PFOX. Ok so yeah. What the hell happened on the show? Please explain. --Ragemanchoo (talk) 06:40, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

International Healing Foundation[edit]

It was early stated that this foundation was mostly Richard Cohen, but the website now lists a full staff.[12] I'm putting back in information about IHF.Joshuajohanson (talk) 17:09, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

That seems fine for this page, but because there seem to be only two staff members (one who primarily uses a gmail account, the other using an AOL email account, and neither of whom seem to have office phone numbers), I don't think that the organization is sufficiently notable to warrant inclusion on the main conversion therapy page. Fireplace (talk) 18:19, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
Just because it lists two contact people, doesn't mean they are the only ones. It says "Bob is one of the lead facilitators" which means there are more than just him. And Hilde has been working there for 10 years, which means she had been working there even when you thought it was just Cohen. I don't think those are the only 2 people. IHF is also significant because they are referenced by many of the ex-gay groups. I also decided to mention them on the conversion therapy page because the technique they use is different than the ones used by the ex-gay groups. Joshuajohanson (talk) 07:31, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

I've removed this section twice now, and it still doesn't have any reliable third party sources. wp:v, one of Wikipedia's 3 most important policies, state:

"The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material. All quotations and any material challenged or likely to be challenged should be attributed to a reliable, published source using an inline citation. [...] If no reliable, third-party sources can be found for an article topic, Wikipedia should not have an article on it."

There is one source linking to the organization itself = not third party indicating notability. There is now also a link to a Market wire published press release that mentions IHF once as one of 11 groups in a coalition. This is not a reliable third party source indicating notability either. -- Jeandré, 2008-06-03t12:42z

Jeandré, Your application of WP:V to this section of a BLP is overzealous and not an accurate reflection of Verifiability policy. An article about the International Healing Foundation would have to be deleted if no reliable, third-party sources could be found to establish notability. This does not apply to every section or every paragraph in an article. Not every organization mentioned in a Wikipedia article has to be notable; notability need only be established for the suject of the article itself. Verifiability of a fact in an article needs a third-party source in two cases: [1] quotations, [2] if the fact is likely to be challenged. Do you challenge the fact of the existence of the International Healing Foundation? Even if you do, a third-party source has been found to negate that challenge. You have no basis to delete the section. A BLP without the main organization that the subject founded, his self-defined life work, would be absurd. That self-defined life work does not need to be notable. He is notable because he has gained some notoriety based on the fact that his views are considered fringe and strongly opposed by the mainstream. -Exucmember (talk) 15:42, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
Joshuajohanson,
[1] International Healing Foundation cannot have its own article on Wikipedia unless it is considered notable (as verified by third-party, reliable sources).
[2] I added another reference for IHF as part of the "Positive Alternatives To Homosexuality" coalition (their web site).
[3] Your assertion that PATH is a "coalition of 11 major ex-gay organizations" (my emphasis) is making a claim that these organizations are "major" (more important than some other ex-gay organizations). I've taken the word out. To include this claim, you would have to have it backed up by a third-party, reliable source.
[4] You can't make the claim that "It [IHF] gained some notability..." without providing a reliable, third-party source that asserts notability.
[5] A Google search for site:www.gaytostraight.org "Institute for Effective Therapy of Homosexuality" returned no documents. (This "subsidiary organization" of IHF is not mentioned on its own web site as far as Google knows. You should find a source. The IHF web site would be acceptable for this purpose.)
-Exucmember (talk) 18:11, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
I didn't write that. I just restored something that was already deleted. I haven't heard of "Institute for Effective Therapy of Homosexuality" either. Joshuajohanson (talk) 18:33, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
wp:v: "The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material."
wp:blp "The burden of evidence for any edit on Wikipedia, but especially for edits about living persons, rests firmly on the shoulders of the person who adds or restores the material."
wp:v#SELF: "Anyone can create a website or pay to have a book published, then claim to be an expert in a certain field. For that reason, self-published books, newsletters, personal websites, open wikis, blogs, forum postings, and similar sources are largely not acceptable.[5]
Self-published material may, in some circumstances, be acceptable when produced by an established expert on the topic of the article whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications. However, caution should be exercised when using such sources: if the information in question is really worth reporting, someone else is likely to have done so.
Self-published sources should never be used as third-party sources about living persons"
Wikipedia:V#Self-published_and_questionable_sources_about_themselves "Self-published and questionable sources may only be used as sources about themselves, and only if: 1. the material used is relevant to their notability"
wp:blp "Be very firm about the use of high quality references. Unsourced or poorly sourced contentious material about living persons — whether the material is negative, positive, or just questionable — should be removed immediately and without waiting for discussion, from Wikipedia articles, talk pages, user pages, and project space."
A self made website, a press release, and mention from an obscure site does not encyclopedic notability indicate.
Request for comment at the BLP noticeboard.-- Jeandré, 2008-06-04t22:31z
Jeandré, What is it you're objecting to? Is there anything left in the article after my edits that you feel violates what you've quoted here? -Exucmember (talk) 22:59, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
No notability is shown with reliable third party sources. [19] is not third party, [20] is a press release, and [21] is just a link and there is no source to indicate that PATH is a reliable third party source. -- Jeandré, 2008-06-08t18:14z
In other words, you have no objection to anything in this article, since the notability of the subject of the article, Richard A. Cohen, is not at issue, and there is of course no need to show notability for each person, organization, or item mentioned within a particluar article. -Exucmember (talk) 20:43, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information, info needs to be encylopedic, referenced to reliable sources, and notable for inclusion. -- Jeandré, 2008-06-21t11:52z
Since the International Healing Foundation is the major project of Cohen's life, it is hardly indiscriminate information! What could be more relevant to a BLP than the major work of one's life? On the other hand, if no reliable third party source has ever mentioned IHF, perhaps this biography should be deleted. -Exucmember (talk) 06:00, 22 June 2008 (UTC)
The sourced Washington Post article about Cohen mentions the IHF. --Knulclunk (talk) 12:47, 22 June 2008 (UTC)
The Post is about as good a newspaper source there is, so I've used it for a reference for a sentence about the IHF. -- Jeandré, 2008-06-22t17:13z

Quotation from Reverend Moon about homosexuality[edit]

The article states, 'For 20 years Cohen was a member of the Unification Church[1] whose leader, Sun Myung Moon stated that homosexuals are "like dirty dung eating dogs."' I question whether this quotation should be in the article. The Reverend Moon has probably said plenty of negative things about homosexuality: why is it this quotation in particular that is here? Unless that particular quotation can be shown to have some specific relevance to Cohen, it should be removed, and replaced by a general statement that Moon disapproves of homosexuality. Skoojal (talk) 07:23, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

I agree. -Exucmember (talk) 23:22, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Here is a good source for UC attitudes toward homosexuality: THE UNIFICATION CHURCH AND HOMOSEXUALITY B.A. Robinson, Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance 2005

BTW I was a member of the church along with Richard and knew him slightly. Rev. Moon's statement was made years after he left the church. Steve Dufour (talk) 20:05, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Thanks. Glad to be able to make a contribution. Steve Dufour (talk) 04:13, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Thank you; what you've done is an improvement. Skoojal (talk) 09:18, 17 June 2008 (UTC) [my comment was made before the above, presumably wiped by mistake]
Getting back to the discussion after 14 months. People who are interested in this part of Richard's life should check out Unification Church of the United States. Steve Dufour (talk) 17:39, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Holding techniques?[edit]

The introduction states: "The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) strongly opposes the use of holding techniques." But what constitutes a "holding technique" is not explained, and since I am not an expert, it'd be great if somebody could clarify. It also strongly seems to me that this sentence doesn't really belong in this article's introduction, since it's not really about Richard A. Cohen, ostensibly the subject of this article, specifically. --Makaristos (talk 00:04, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

Category[edit]

The category "Former Unificationists" is up for deletion. Even if it is kept I question its use on this article. Is Richard defined by his former church membership? Steve Dufour (talk) 05:29, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

Anonymous additions[edit]

Some of the verbiage added today by the anonymous IP contributor seem to be "talking past" points that Cohen has made. Kind of like trying to debunk him, in the body of the article.

I think it's better to contrast what Cohen says with what other reliable sources has said.

Also, apparently Cohen and NARTH agree about not having the therapist be the person who applies "holding therapy", but this needs to be clarified in the article. --Uncle Ed (talk) 01:13, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Media distortions[edit]

One misrepresentation of Cohen's ideas is the assertion by Rachel Maddow of MSNBC that Cohen says gays are "gay by choice", a viewpoint which he explicitly denies on the same show where she makes that assertion.

  • "His message is that gay people are gay by choice", she says. (0:00:46 in the clip)

But Cohen lists over 30 different causes (in 10 categories), none of which have anything to do with choice. Constellation of Potential Variables He contradicts Rachel Maddow by saying:

  • "No one simply chooses to have SSA. These desires are very often the result of unresolved childhood wounds and unmet love needs."
  • The only way choice is involved is "... in the decision whether or not to act on the desires." [13]

I wonder whether we should:

  1. Say that there is a dispute between journalists and Cohen himself on what he is teaching, or
  2. Simply describe his teaching in terms of his own words.

Since this is a topic on discussions may escalate into heated debate, it may be safer to pick option #1. --Uncle Ed (talk) 01:56, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Conversion vs. "Healing"[edit]

I have changed the term "process of healing" in the introduction to "process of conversion." To describe interventions designed to changed a person's sexual orientation as "healing," when mainstream medical organizations have warned that these interventions can be destructive and that there is no underlying pathology to be "healed," is misleading. If anyone objects to this change, I would also be fine with putting "process of healing" in quotes, to signify that this is Cohen's terminology and not necessarily an accurate representation of the scientific facts. Viciouslies (talk) 14:49, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, Vic. It's important to express to our readers whose viewpoint is being expressed, when we describe anything controversial. I agree that the term healing carries a certain connotation. It seems likely that Cohen's decision to call his organization the International Healing Foundation was based on the POV that homosexuality is 'bad' or 'sick' in some way, and it would wouldn't be neutral to make the article reflect his POV.
We should distinguish the viewpoint of prominent, mainstream organizations from the minority viewpoint of people like Cohen (and/or groups like NARTH). --Uncle Ed (talk) 23:48, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Which causes should we highlight?[edit]

  • Cohen claims that repeated molestation by a male relative while he was a child caused him to identify as a homosexual as a result of learned behavior

Based on (1) my memory of having read his book 10 years ago and (2) just now having watched the Rachel Maddow interview, I would say that Cohen does not say that molestation is the major cause (let alone the sole cause) of his identifying as a homosexual (or having same-sex desires).

Also, it's siding with Rachel Maddow (against Cohen) just to quote the "other causes" section she read aloud from his first book - without mentioning any of the first 9 (of the 10) factors he lists as causing homosexuality. --Uncle Ed (talk) 04:45, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

2015 NPOV[edit]

Removing drive-by POV tag on old version of article - any problems with current one then say what is contested. -- Aronzak (talk) 12:59, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

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