Poznan Medical University Breaks Previous Agreement to Host Reparative Therapy Conference

Country: Poland

Date of incident: September 6, 2011

A reparative therapy conference, which aims to help people who struggle with same sex attraction, was denied to use of the Medical School Foundation (UM) facilities in Poznan, Poland. The conference, featuring psychologist Dr. Joseph Nicolosi of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), received criticisms from Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, and it was after them that UM decided not to host the event. Gazeta Wyborcza highlighted that the American Psychological Association (APA) has concerns about the effects of treatment for same-sex attraction.

UM Foundation President, Roman Dworzynski, had confirmed previously that permission was granted to host the conference: “I see no (problem). (Reparative therapy) is a scientific theory like any other … When Louis Pasteur spoke about the existence of bacteria, no one believed him.”, added Dworzynski. However, after the negative media coverage, the medical school spokesman, Professor Marek Ruchala issued a statement and announced that the Medical University Board decided to cancel "the as-yet-unsigned agreement to rent the lecture hall in its Center for Congresses and Teaching". For UM to host in their facilities a conference "under the title ‘Practical Application of Reparative Therapy’" identifies UM with the organizers of the conference. The conference was organized by the Foundation for Health and Psycho-therapeutic Education, and its responsible psychologist Bogna Bialecka, declared that “The decision of the Medical University’s governing body is a sad example of censoring the freedom of speech.”. According to Bialecka, after "Gazeta Wyborcza" published an article titled "They want to cure gays", LGTB organisations started to send hundreds of e-mails to the Medical University demanding the ban of the conference from its facilities.  Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, Ph.D., was falsely accused of many things, including teaching „pseudo-science“, forcing persons to undergo therapy, using electric shock therapy, and forcing homosexuals to have sex with female prostitutes. The conference organizers received two letters demanding the close down of the organization’s conference web-site due to “homophobic content”. Subsequently, the Internet provider was hacked and their entire server crashed, including not just the conference organizer but all of the provider’s clients. The threat was such that the new location for the conference was kept in secret to avoid incidents and further risks to the participants. Sources: http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/polish-university-backs-out-of-hosting-homosexual-reparative-therapy-confer https://plus.google.com/103190803990673138141/posts/KCKbPmbzLa8#103190803990673138141/posts/KCKbPmbzLa8 http://www.catholictide.com/08/polish-university-backs-out-of-hosting-homosexual-reparative-therapy-conference http://www.exgaywatch.com/wp/2009/08/reparative-therapy-not-supported-by-evidence-says-apa/ http://www.truthwinsout.org/blog/2011/09/18673/ http://www.thenews.pl/1/9/Artykul/54356,%E2%80%9CYou-dont-have-to-be-gay%E2%80%9D