terrible people

What Can Make a Leader of Ex-Gays Worse: Does Being a Convicted Fraudster Count?

What’s more surprising: Learning that Jersey Shore‘s Ronnie Magro uses the F-word or that the leader of a New Jersey-based Jewish ex-gay group is trying to hide the fact that he’s a convicted felon?

We all make mistakes. But Arthur Abba Goldberg, the spokesman for Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality (that’s JONAH, or when put through our Jersey Shore name generator, becomes JWOWW), made a rather egregious one: defrauding multiple victims in multiple states, including the United States federal government in a bond scheme.

“Goldberg, who reinvented himself in 2000 as the founder of JONAH, was found guilty in 1989 of numerous felonies in multiple jurisdictions,” reports SouthFloridaGayNews.com. “The charges ranged from federal mail and wire fraud to conspiracy counts as a result of a bogus bond writing scheme. Goldberg was sentenced to eighteen months imprisonment in the Central District of California, which he served concurrently with a an Illinois sentence imposed at the same time. It was followed by five years of supervised probation and a $100,000 fine, eventually paid on November 24, 1999. K. William O’Connor, the U.S. attorney who put him away, said at his sentencing that Goldberg was ‘a man who habitually took advantage of people who were economically dependent upon him; that he did not hesitate to lie or cheat or cover up to achieve his criminal aim. His greed has cause[d] incalculable harm.'”

Though causing “incalculable harm,” to be fair, is sort of a requirement when counseling homosexuals on how to deny their disgusting feelings.

Goldberg, who also serves as executive secretary of the pro-conversion therapy outfit National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, believes “people are not born gay; there’s no such thing as a gay gene.” Gay kids, meanwhile, should be treated as if “addicted to drugs or alcohol.”

But rather than deriding this man for conspicuously abandoning his middle name to avoid Google searches trying him to his past, we should be commending Goldberg for reinventing himself and seeking out new opportunities. This is the American dream.