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Rachel Maddow Demolishes Therapist Who Claims He Can Make Her Straight

Richard Cohen claims his therapy can turn gay people straight -- an absurd theory debunked by all national psychological associations.

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Maddow: That quote is cited - you cite somebody named Paul Cameron as the source of that book.

Cohen: Yes.

Maddow: Paul Cameron has been kicked out of the American Psychological Association, the Nebraska Psychological Association, and the Canadian Psychological Association.

Cohen: Yes. Right.

Maddow: Then, he tried to make himself a sociologist. He got kicked out of the American Sociological Association. This is - I know you say you‘re not going to include it in edition three. I‘m reading from the second edition here.

Cohen: Right.

Maddow: But this is made-up information, fake authoritative stuff that, in other countries, is being taken as science and used to justify quite literally killing gay people. Do you see now why you‘re being used in a political context here?

Cohen: I see that they‘re using it, but you took that one little quote out of a 300-page book.

Maddow: Yes.

Cohen: And the thrust and the gist of the text is why people have same-sex attraction and the opportunity for those with unwanted homosexual feelings to come out of homosexuality. There‘s nothing in there against people who experience same-sex attraction.

And again, our teaching in this country, when we went to Uganda and all over the world, because I‘ve helped thousands of people worldwide, Rachel, come out of homosexuality.

And again, our method is one of love and compassion and understanding. Our Web site is “” And people can see our words for ourselves that we‘re about loving people.

Maddow: I‘m happy to help. I mean, I realize I was taking the risk of helping promote you in the way that you think about these things by putting you on the air.

But I do think you‘ve actually got blood on your hands here because of the way that you‘ve been using - your organization has been used and your staffer has been used to make this legislation a reality in Uganda and I do think it‘s going to become law.

So let me just ask you about something that you wanted to be taken in greater context. Your other recent book, “Gay Children, Straight Parents” -

Cohen: Yes.

Maddow: I actually have to say, I sort of particularly resent this book because I think people might pick it up without realizing that it‘s a homosexuality-can-be-cured book...

Cohen: May I stop you for just a moment? Over the last few days, you have been very pejoratively saying we cure the gay away, and it was pray the gay away. We don‘t believe in any of that. We never use the “cure” word at all.

We don‘t tell people to pray this away. That would be ridiculous, because there‘s strong, psychological underpinning for homosexual desires. So we‘re not trying to tell anybody what to do, Rachel. Again, we offer effective counseling, very effective for those with unwanted same sex attraction.

And the “Gay Children, Straight Parents” book is for family members. And whether the kids change or not, we say - in that book, I say, that‘s not the goal of this treatment plan. It‘s to learn to love your children well.

Maddow: I will just quote to you from your own most recent newsletter, “For the past 40 years, members of the gay rights movement have been indoctrinating members of society targeting the youth. As a result of their strategic plan, millions of innocent young children have been enrolled into this false teaching and led into a homosexual lifestyle.”

The idea that you‘re not promoting the idea that gay people are something to be feared or that there‘s any threat from gay people or that you say anything people as belied by your own words. The idea that you‘re not promoting cures when you say that change is possible, changing from homosexuality to heterosexuality is possible, is a matter of semantics.

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