ABC probes Bachmann clinic’s homosexuality treatments

WASHINGTON – Since announcing her bid for the Republican presidential nomination, Rep. Michele Bachmann has gone under the media microscope. Today, a Christian counseling clinic run by her husband, Marcus, has its turn under the microscope.

A report by ABC News includes undercover video shot by gay rights advocates of clinic counsellors telling a man posing as a homosexual patient that “with prayer and effort, he could eventually learn to be attracted to women and rid himself of his gay urges.”

The video was shot by a Vermont-based group called Truth Wins Out.

The network also interviewed a former Bachmann clinic patient, who said clinic staff had encouraged him to read the Bible and pray in order to be “re-oriented.”

Neither Michele nor Marcus Bachmann accepted interview requests from the news network to speak about the clinic. In her stump speech, Bachmann frequently cites running the clinic with her husband as evidence that she “knows how to create jobs.”

The American Psychological Association condemned treatments to change a patient’s sexual orientation in 2009, calling them potentially harmful and ineffective.

  • Randi Reitan
  • Bob

    I could care less about Bachmann since I think she is just another political opportunist.

    But……

    I find it comical that the media jumps all over Bachmann or Palin (another clown) and does some thorough journalism on these two, yet, Obama was given a COMPLETE pass in 2008 – even today the media largely avoid going into Obama’s political closet.

    There’s a HUGE double standard here that has become quite obvious over the last 4 years or so. Its sad that so many partisan hacks out there push this kind of nonsense as journalism when it has more in common with agit-prop. Democrats seem to get more of a pass on issues than republicans – especially when it comes to presidential elections.

    And people wonder why nobody pays attention to anything anymore…

  • http://Sandi Sandi

    How can a Christian counseling service accept Medicaid payments? These are our taxpayer dollars. Is that legal?

  • Philip

    I find Michele Bachmann to be a political opportunist and the press to be a financial one. I also find it interesting that this story was opened to comments, when the practice of MPR up until now has been to limit them to the Question of the Day.

  • uptownZombie

    Bob,

    Since you obviously feel that there is a story worth covering, can you enlighten us as to what you are referring to when you say Obama’s “political closet”? I truly feel that both sides ignore some things until a news organization makes that impossible.

    As for the Bachmann topic, I’m happy she and her husband are getting a microscope put over them, maybe it’ll finally get her to quiet down and move off to the side. She never seems to have a valid point, and she’s obviously just out there for herself, two things which a true public servant should not be.

  • wayne

    that not-so-bright Bachmann lady is a SLAVE to publicity!

  • Ignatz

    A bigger question is, does this clinic have all its informed consent forms in order?

    Informed consent is a legal procedure to ensure that a patient or client knows all of the risks and costs involved in a treatment. This means informing the client of the nature of the treatment, possible alternative treatments, and the potential risks and benefits of the treatment.

    In order for informed consent to be valid, the client must be competent and the consent should be given voluntarily. It is a signed document.

    For ex-gay therapy, the informed consent should tell a patient that “ex-gay” therapy is not proven, is considered “experimental”, is not supported by research, that no medical or mental health association endorses it, that it could have harmful side effects including depression and suicidal ideation, and that change to heterosexuality is not likely. A good informed consent should also list alternative treatments and options, including learning to live life as a celibate homosexual or seeking gay affirmative therapy.

    A good informed consent would inform a potential client that she/he could spend years and tens of thousands of dollars seeking “change” but would most likely continue to experience homosexual attractions for the rest of his/her life.

    If Marcus Bachman has nothing to hide then he should disclose the informed consent forms. If he has no informed consent, then he is practicing unethically — and receiving government money to do so. (Let’s not talk about his degree-mill doctorate.)

    If he has no informed consent, then he should lose his license and refund all the Medicare money he’s recieved.

  • EastSide_Thomas

    I wonder if, when President Obama was campaigning for president, there was such intense scrutiny of his background. Perhaps the press might have uncovered considerably more about the background of this shady character who now sits at the top of our country.

    So many questionable associations… William Ayers, Van Jones, Tony Rezko, Rev. Jeremiah Wright… on and on.

    telling someone that, if they are uncomfortable with their homosexuality, that they might be able to correct change their behavior by reading the Bible, is hardly anything nefarious.

  • EastSide_Thomas

    I wonder if, when President Obama was campaigning for president, there was such intense scrutiny of his background. Perhaps the press might have uncovered considerably more about the background of this shady character who now sits at the top of our country.

    So many questionable associations… William Ayers, Van Jones, Tony Rezko, Rev. Jeremiah Wright… on and on.

    Telling someone that, if they are uncomfortable with their homosexuality, that they might be able to correct change their behavior by reading the Bible, is hardly anything nefarious.

  • Brian

    I agree with one comment of the one sided media scrutiny of conservative, Tea-Party, or Republican candidates. The inquisition of Sarah Palin was inexcusable. The Stribs treatment of Bachmanis similar.

    That being said the Christian based counseling business (Bachman & Associates) is based on the nouthetic counseling method that uses the Bible as a foundation for counseling. The Bible whether you agree with it or not is clear declaring homosexuality as a sin and a behavior that through prayer and counseling one can come out of. At least their clients know that coming in the door and they want out of the homosexual life style, unless your an undercover journalist.

    I think you would find a similar approach at a Islamic based counseling business or a sermon at a mosque for that matter.

    If you’re going to hang the “homophobic” lable on her then hang foster mom on her as well. I believe the last count were 26 kids through the Bachman household as well as her charity work.

    Finally if she has a “thin” legislative record as some media has reported then the precedent for running for president has already been met by President Obama, but he got a free pass on that!

  • Max

    Ok Bob,

    First, your whole post wreaks of hypocracy when you say you dont care about bachman but then complain about Obama getting some sort of a “pass??” Secondly, how can you say obama was given any kind of pass. I would argue he was one of the most scrutenized candidates we have ever seen. NO OTHER PRESIDENT in history has had to endure ongoing questioning over such trivial topics as the validity of his Birth Certificate, or the church they chose to attend, let alone repeated comparisons to terrorists and “anti-american ideals.” If you want to talk about “Partisen Hackary,” why dont you start with the onslaught of ridiculous accusations and insinuations made by the right against President Obama and see if ANY other president (who doesnt have a name like “Barrack”) has had to endure such acusations that are CLEARLY based purely and undisputedly on his Race. Dont blame progresives for the fact that the conservative right chose to fill their time with frivolous, racist, indictments instead of finding any facts from his history actually fit for any response. OR, for an even better example look at Anthony Weiner. the media beat that story so hard he was forced to resign even though he broke no laws what so ever. And conversly, Rep. David Vitter was found to have had sex with a prostitute, an actual crime in this country, and still proudly holds his seat in congress. now thats a double – standard if I ever saw one.

    I dont know how you call this story “Nonsense.” it should have been done regardless of weather or not she is running for president. A place that advocates religion to “pray the gay away” and calls itself a “medical” center, should NEVER RECEIVE PUBLIC MONIES, EVER.

  • Anton

    I hope the bible-based counseling is also retraining people to avoid shellfish, mixed-fiber clothing, divorce, and teaching when it is proper to rape a slave. Ypu’d hate to think they were just picking and choosing which parts of the Old Testament should and shouldn’t be followed. God’s word is God’s word.

  • gary lundquist

    “Democrats seem to get more of a pass on issues than republicans – especially when it comes to presidential elections.”

    Gee, could it have something to do with the absolute hypocrisy of the republican party?

  • Gretchen

    As a clinician myself, I am very aware of how tightly clinical fields are regulated: psychology, psychiatry, social work, counseling, and marriage & family therapy. I am growing increasingly concerned that “Dr.” Bachmann does not, indeed, actually have a doctorate in a clinical field – nor is he licensed to practice as a clinician by any known licensing body in MN. Not only is this illegal – but it’s also placing every single one of his clients at risk (not to mention any clinician he has supervised for school or licensure requirements, which would be completely illegal if he, himself, is unlicensed). The clinic is also receiving government funds, and is a Rule 29 facility.

    The more I learn, the more concerned I grow. “Dr.” Bachmann absolutely MUST disclose his academic and licensure credentials to claim such a title. This is concerning – and more than a little creepy.

  • annie in the north

    There are certainly a lot of tea party trolls among the commentators here!

  • Jamie

    // “Democrats seem to get more of a pass on issues than republicans – especially when it comes to presidential elections.” //

    That is so not true! For just two examples of many, think back to how both John Kerry and Al Gore were raked over the coals by the news media, while their opponent was treated with kid gloves. Examples of how there is no such thing as “the liberal media.” There is credible research out there, in fact, that proves the opoposite.

    // “… that this story was opened to comments, when the practice of MPR up until now has been to limit them to the Question of the Day.”//

    That’s just not true, Philip. People make comments in this and other blogs here all the time.

  • http://www.mnpoliticalroundtable.com Minnesota Central

    THANKS to IGNATZ and GRETCHEN for offering some very good points.

    Now, a question : it has been reported that the Bachmann Clinic does accept Medicare payments, but has any media outlet reviewed to see if they received any federal dollars through George Bush’s Healthy Marriage Program ? Minnesota does get money, but the federal report does not indicate how the monies are distributed … typically, the Administration of Children and Families (ACF), the awarding agency within the HHS, sends the monies to the State who then execute funding for Healthy Marriage Demonstration programs.

    I don’t know if the Bachmann Clinic gets any monies, but in Iowa the Iowa Family Policy Center (which is the group that candidate Bachmann signed a pledge to support their goals) received over $3 million …. If you believe that Americans are Taxed Enough Already, then you probably wonder why the Federal Government is sending millions to promote Healthy Marriages. Considering how Congresswoman Bachmann has objected so much to funding for Planned Parenthood, I wonder if she has ever spoken out on funding for Healthy Marriages ?

  • Patrick

    Obama gets a free pass…except for the birth certificate, his grades, his associations with anyone, all of his relatives, and the 70+ internet-spread lies on Snopes.com. Why does everyone ignore his problems and let him slide so easily? I know he did something.

  • Ned Flaherty

    The anonymous “EastSide_Thomas” wrote — incorrectly — that “Telling someone . . . uncomfortable with their homosexuality, that they might be able to correct change their behavior by reading the Bible, is hardly anything nefarious.”

    That’s untrue. It’s malpractice. Here’s why.

    Firstly, the 5 sexual orientations (bisexual, lesbian, homosexual, heterosexual, asexual) each have some biological component, although the details of how that works aren’t yet known. For details, read any of the studies on male twins, male brain responses to sexual arousal odors, birth order, finger length, fingerprints, hair pattern, handedness, hearing, vocal pitch, eye blinks, verbal fluency, stress, and sweat. Some of these differences exist among Caucasians, but not African-Americans, which strengthens, without explanation, the biological links.

    So telling someone they can change a biological component (hair color, blood type, sexual orientation) by reading religious sect books and getting new friends is as ignorant as saying that they can grow taller by reading stories about tall heroes and having only tall friends. It’s not even junk science; it’s worse. It’s malpractice.