Last week, Amazon took down all the English-language books written by Dr. Joseph Nicolosi Sr., a psychologist who helped patients overcome unwanted gay attraction or gender confusion. The global company seems to have yielded to pressure from one LGBT activist in Britain, effectively censoring scientific works that presented an alternative to the LGBT narrative.
Nicolosi passed away in 2017, but PJ Media spoke with his family and friends about his work and legacy.
“From 1981 until his death in 2017, my father was the driving force behind the scientifically sound counseling method known as Reparative Therapy. He helped thousands of men overcome the effects of sexual abuse and other deep-seated childhood traumas which his clients believed led to their same-sex attractions,” Dr. Joseph Nicolosi Jr. said in a statement on the Amazon book ban.
The son noted that one of his father’s books “had 400 endorsements, from a man who said reparative therapy of male homosexuality ‘saved my marriage,’ to several past presidents of the American Psychological Association.” While shoppers on Amazon will still be able to buy “Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf or even a book glorifying pedophilia,” they can no longer buy books offering hope to those struggling with unwanted gay attraction.
“Amazon’s book ban puts radical LGBT ideology ahead of established science about how people leave homosexuality. It is anti-choice, anti-science, and anti-American,” Nicolosi concluded.
“I think the truth that change is possible is being suppressed by banning these books,” Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council (FRC), told PJ Media. “From the research that I’ve done, the chief claims about this type of therapy — that it’s ineffective and harmful — are simply not borne out by the evidence.”
LGBT activists have demonized any form of therapy aiming to help patients overcome unwanted gay attraction or gender confusion as “conversion therapy.” Sprigg mentioned many lies and misconceptions about the kind of therapy Nicolosi practiced.
“There are so many misconceptions, really deliberate distortions and lies, that are spread by LGBT activists who oppose this therapy,” the FRC fellow explained. “They will focus on aversive type therapies that were practiced 40, 50, 60 years ago and use extreme language calling it ‘torture.'” These “aversive” therapies include practices like shock therapy, which hasn’t been practiced in this field for decades. LGBT activists push a narrative that gay attraction and transgender identity cannot be altered and are permanent facets of a person’s life.
Sadly, the evidence against such claims is actively suppressed. Amazon has banned books by formerly gay people such as David A. Robinson. Robinson wrote a biography entitled Orientation and Choice: One Man’s Sexual Journey, promising hope to those struggling with unwanted gay attractions.
Ex-gays have petitioned Amazon to re-list Nicolosi’s works, along with other books like Robinson’s. “These books have been life-saving instruments to some who have been struggling to find hope,” ex-gay Ethan Martin told LifeSiteNews. “They have been a beacon of light to those of us who hold to traditional Biblical views of sexuality.”
“And in so taking these resources away, (Amazon) has not only become hypocritical to its own values, they have attempted to silence a smaller minority of the population that is represented by those of us who have left the LGBTQ lifestyle,” Martin added.
Sprigg cited the work of Dr. Lisa Diamond, a lesbian scholar who has argued that sexual orientation is not immutable. “It’s the LGBT activists who are spreading ideas that are false and dangerous rather than people promoting this type of therapy.”
He called Nicolosi “a very intelligent man, a very compassionate man, and someone who really knew this field backwards and forwards like no one else did.”
“The left always presents the idea of parents taking children for this therapy as a form of parental rejection, and that’s exactly what Nicolosi said you must not do. You must NOT reject your child. Even if your child ends up identifying as gay, you must love them,” Sprigg noted. “I think that people who criticize these books have probably never read them.”
Mat Staver, founder and chairman of the Christian law firm Liberty Counsel, recalled representing Nicolosi Sr. in a case against California’s ban on reparative therapy.
“He got into this by virtue of people coming to him and began to express their stresses,” Staver told PJ Media. “He was very very successful with many many people.”
“It is very concerning that they want to censor a particular scientific viewpoint and someone who has the best information and experience of anyone in the country,” the lawyer said. “Amazon needs to change and reverse its position. It is the most un-American thing to do for a publisher to censor a particular viewpoint on a matter.”
Staver also insisted that Nicolosi “never engaged in any” kind of shock therapy. “I know of no one within the counseling world that would either use that or condone it,” he added. Ironically, shock therapy is still used in some forms of counseling (though it is far less harmful than it was), but it is not used in this kind of therapy.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.