Once a con man always a con man. That motto describes Arthur Abba Goldberg, a convicted felon who bilked investors with a bond scam in the late 1980’s and who served time in prison. He was convicted in 1989 of mail fraud and defrauding the U.S. government! Following his parole, Goldberg founded an organization that does tremendous harm and damage. And continues to do so today. It is an organization that cons people into believing that they can change their sexual orientation from homosexuality to heterosexuality. That organization is JONAH, Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality. A former board member of NARTH, the Encino based organization that specializes in “reparative therapy” for gay people, Arthur Abba Goldberg never revealed his felonious past even to NARTH. A con man cons the conners!
Reparative therapy is the biggest con of all. One’s orientation cannot be changed. But a group of deeply homophobic individuals want to make gay people into ex-gays. The failure rate of these groups is tremendous. Which tells you it can’t really be done. They simply play on the fears and homophobia and self-hatred of those struggling most often with hateful religious teachings that would demonize gay and lesbian people. Goldberg has no expertise in psychology or in things gay and lesbian. But he does have a son who is openly gay. This must pain him tremendously and he must not be able to come to grips with it. He was a financer who bilked people of millions of dollars. Even though he was disbarred he holds out his Law degree–Juris Doctor as some kind of credential. And yet he set up JONAH and pretends to be an expert. Far from it. The Ex-gay industry regularly uses outdated and disproven research to base its “therapy” upon. Goldberg and his ilk are the real frauds forcing their particular brand of lies upon desperate and sometimes very fragile people who desparately want love and acceptance while unable to embrace their full selves.
“We have long considered Arthur Goldberg a con-artist, but our investigation shows he is also an ex-con,” said Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out. ”His diabolical past mirrors his dishonest present-day work with the ex-gay industry. Whether it was shady deals on Wall Street or shading the truth on gay issues, Goldberg is someone who lacks credibility and can’t be trusted.”
Ace reporter Karen Ocamb also writes about Goldberg’s lies on her excellent blog LGBT POV.
For the most part the Ex-gay industry is filled with Christian fundamentalists who want to manipulate gay people to their twisted theories about homosexuality. But Goldberg’s work with JONAH adds a Jewish dimension to this horror. And this alone is reason to expose him. Sadly Goldberg is also president of his shul in New Jersey, an orthodox synagogue, Mt. Sinai of Jersey City. What kind of community puts a con man at the helm? Is this a leader? I will tell you it is a “shanda” an embarrassment for the entire community, Would you elect Bernie Madoff as the president of a community? This community ought to be ashamed and he ought to step down.
The truth is that God made us who we are. B’tzelem Elohim–we are made in the image of God. That is the truth that should win out for everyone. We in the Jewish community must expose such chicanery and lies that are done in the name of our tradition. And we must demand that con men like Goldberg that continue to practice their criminal behaviors of con jobs must be held accountable.
Once a con man always a con man. BEWARE!