A second undercover investigation conducted by a documentary filmmaker has discovered that Bachmann & Associates — the Christian counseling clinics owned by Marcus and Michele Bachmann — is still offering discredited ex-gay therapy to its gay and lesbian patients. This is the second expose to uncover reparative therapy in the Bachmann-owned business. According to the filmaker, the counselor “talked a lot about submitting to God, giving my life path over to him and letting him direct the way. She told me if I wanted to be happy I could ‘give my problems to the Lord and he could take them away.’” When confronted with the allegations last summer, Marcus Bachmann admitted that the clinics would perform reparative therapy upon request.
Taking a page out of the Truth Wins Out playbook, a documentary filmmaker went undercover at Bachmann & Associates, the Minnesota Christian counseling clinic co-owned by Marcus & Michele Bachmann, and again captured a staffer conducting so-called “reparative therapy,” this time with a hidden pen camera. This is the second time the clinic has been exposed for engaging in these dubious practices.
In June 2011, I went undercover at Bachmann & Associates with hidden cameras to capture the fraudulent “pray away the gay” therapy sessions I received there. The following month TWO launched the story into the media, catapulting the dangerous quackery of “ex-gay” therapy into the national conversation and presenting Michele Bachmann with the first major obstacle in her spectacularly unsuccessful bid for the presidency. Marcus Bachmann decided to bill me for $150 in bogus no-show fees, then personally called me nearly five months after TWO’s sting operation in an attempt to collect them. (He didn’t back down until December 2011, after TWO sent a cease-and-desist letter threatening legal action if he didn’t end the harassment.) While Marcus has inexplicably chosen to continue gleefully relitigating last year’s “pray away the gay” scandal that disgraced his business and turned him into a national punchline, you’d think he’d have learned his lesson and stopped offering “ex-gay therapy” at his clinics.
But apparently not. Writing on a blog affiliated with an upcoming film, Gay U.S.A., Melanie Nathan interviewed Kristina Lipinski, the activist who conducted this latest undercover operation. Lipinski, who told her counselor that she was attracted to women but engaged to a man, said that the counselor then pulled out a Bible and told her that God intended only men and women to come together. Lipinski continued:
She talked a lot about submitting to God, giving my life path over to him and letting him direct the way. She told me if I wanted to be happy I could “give my problems to the Lord and he could take them away.”
We ended the session with a prayer and Sheila J. Marker asked the lord to take away my “desire” and allow me to pursue a relationship with my fiancé.
According to Lipinski, she even admitted that she felt no attraction to her fiancée and, consequently, had not yet slept with him. The counselor responded, “how can you know how it will be until you try?”
So it would appear that Bachmann & Associates has disgraced itself once again. These people just don’t get it: you can’t pray away the gay. Their arrogance (or maybe it’s stupidity?) is astonishing.