Abp. George Carey Supports ‘Gay-Conversion’ Therapy

Lord Carey backs Christian psychotherapist in ‘gay conversion’ row
Leading church figures including the former Archbishop of Canterbury have sparked controversy by championing a psychotherapist who believes gay men can be ‘cured’ of their homosexualityBy Robert Mendick, Chief Reporter
January 28, 2012

Lesley Pilkington was effectively barred from her professional register after attempting to convert a homosexual man in a therapy session at her home.

Her patient turned out to be a gay rights journalist, who had secretly recorded the sessions and then reported her to her professional body. Mrs Pilkington, a committed Christian, was subsequently found guilty of professional misconduct.

The therapy practised by Mrs Pilkington had been described as “absurd” by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and roundly condemned by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

But ahead of her appeal against the BACP ruling, Mrs Pilkington has received backing from the Rt Rev Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury.

In a letter to her professional body, Lord Carey – along with a number of senior figures – suggests Mrs Pilkington is herself a victim of entrapment whose therapy should be supported. His comments – in a letter co-signed by, among others, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the former Bishop of Rochester and the Rt Rev Wallace Benn, the Bishop of Lewes – will cause controversy in the gay community and beyond.

The joint letter states: “Psychological care for those who are distressed by unwanted homosexual attractions has been shown to yield a range of beneficial client outcomes, especially in motivated clients … Such therapy does not produce harm despite the Royal College of Psychiatrists and others maintaining the contrary.”

It concludes: “Competent practitioners, including those working with biblical Judeo-Christian values, should be free to assist those seeking help.”

Lawyers acting for Mrs Pilkington will argue at the appeal hearing on Wednesday that the counsellor did not get a fair hearing.

The case against Mrs Pilkington – first reported in The Sunday Telegraph a year ago – was brought by Patrick Strudwick, a journalist, who approached her at a largely Christian conference and asked her to treat him.

In May 2009, Mr Strudwick attended a therapy session at Mrs Pilkington’s private practice, based at her home in Chorleywood, Herts, and recorded the session on a tape machine strapped to his stomach.

On the tape, Mr Strudwick asks Mrs Pilkington if she views homosexuality as “a mental illness, an addiction or an anti religious phenomenon”. She replies: “It is all of that.”

Last year, Mr Strudwick said: “Entering into therapy with somebody who thinks I am sick … is the singularly most chilling experience of my life.

“If a black person goes to a GP and says I want skin bleaching treatment, that does not put the onus on the practitioner to deliver the demands of the patient. It puts the onus on the health care practitioner to behave responsibly.”

Mrs Pilkington said her method of therapy – Sexual Orientation Change Efforts – is legitimate and effective.

The therapy is practised by a handful of psychotherapists in Britain. The method involves behavioural, psychoanalytical and religious techniques.

Homosexual men are sent on weekends away with heterosexual men to “encourage their masculinity” and “in time to develop healthy relationships with women”, said Mrs Pilkington.

Her legal defence is being funded by the Christian Legal Centre (CLC), which has instructed Paul Diamond, a leading human rights barrister, to fight the case.

Here is a sad testimony to the devastating ignorance of a former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. George Carey, who, in his lack of understanding of the mystery of sexual-orientation, seemingly believes in the power of mumbo-jumbo, pseudo-Christian, therapy, to change a person’s innate sexual-orientation from Gay to Straight. This out-dated mis-understanding of the authenticity of a natural sexual response on the part of a minority of human beings – as being intrinsic to their particular human nature – is potentially abusive and, frankly, unforgivable. Equally ridiculous would be the assertion that therapy could change a naturally heterosexual person into a homosexual one.
The world community of Psychiatrists has almost unanimously rejected the former mistaken understanding of the Church and the World of homosexuality, bi-sexuality and trangenderism – as intrinically dis-ordered. The modern, and more enlightened, understanding of basic sexual-orientation – as being on a continuum ranging from absolute male to absolute female capability of sexual response – has held sway in the Scientific/Medical world for several decades now. This has led to legal sanctions against LGBTs being withdrawn from both international and local government agencies – barring those which still cling to out-dated medical and social theory on human sexuality.
Obviously, Dr. Carey is one of those latter individuals in the Church who still refuse to  understand that basic homosexuality – like heterosexuality – is a given, within the broad conspectus of human sexual response. Carey’s personal opinion on this matter translated, at the 1998 Lambeth Conference, into the ill-conceived Motion known as Lambeth 1:10, which has be-devilled the discussion and action upon associated matters in the Church ever since that time. And here he is, even in retirement, interfering again on matters he is hardly qualified to judge.
It is well-known that his advocacy of discrimination against common human rights for  intrinsic homosexuals is aided and abbetted by the so-called ‘Christian Legal Centre’ in England, that has struggled to uphold special dispensation for people who practise discrimination on the grounds of sexual-orientation. It is time that this organisation folded up;  and this former Prelate of the Church of England departed to the obscurity of the English country-side, where his propensity for homophobia is added to the effluence of bulls in the natural environment. 

About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.