Wednesday, June 12, 2019

'Ex-gay' group tries to be sneaky, gets shut down by courts again

In 2015, ex-gay group JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing or Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality)  was found guilty of fraud under New Jersey's Consumer Fraud Act. The group was ordered to repay monies to clients and to also shut down. Unfortunately, it seems that JONAH didn't shut down. It was operating in secret. That is until Tuesday when a court shut it down again.

From the Southern Poverty Law Center (which initiated the original lawsuit):

Superior Court Judge Peter F. Bariso Jr. issued a 47-page decision finding that the defendants have violated a 2015 injunction and settlement agreement involving the group formerly known as Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH). 
The court decision follows a motion the SPLC filed in March, asking a judge to find that JIFGA had violated the injunction to cease operations and should be sanctioned. That motion also asked the judge to find that the defendants have violated the settlement agreement that led to the injunction, and now owe additional attorney fees. 
In order to “deter and punish” the defendants, the court also barred them from serving as directors of any New Jersey nonprofit corporation, ordered that they pay attorney fees incurred in connection with the plaintiffs’ efforts to enforce the injunction, and pay the full amount owed under the settlement agreement.

“The court previously had ordered JONAH to shut its doors and stop promoting conversion therapy because a jury found that its program was fraudulent and unconscionable – in violation of New Jersey’s consumer fraud law,” said David Dinielli, deputy legal director for the SPLC. 
“The ruling this week – concluding that defendants have violated that court order – confirms that the court meant what it said,” Dinielli said. “Conversion therapy necessarily is fraudulent because it is based on the lie that LGBTQ people can and should be fixed. Along with our clients and other allies, we will not stop until we eradicate these dangerous practices in New Jersey and around the country.”

According to the blog The Slowly Boiled Frog, which  played a part in uncovering JONAH's new fraud:

On June 25, 2015 a New Jersey jury unanimously held that JONAH was guilty of consumer fraud. A settlement was reached requiring the principals to pay a small undisclosed portion of the legal fees contingent upon not offering any form of conversion therapy. They could now be required to pay the full amount which is approximately $3.5 million. 
The defendants would be Arthur and Jane Goldberg along with Theodore and Elaine Berk. Both couples had gay sons. Both couples still have gay sons. 
Arthur Abba Goldberg is a convicted swindler and felon. Goldberg's license as a certified financial counselor was revoked in 2011 because he lied on his application by failing to disclose his felony conviction. On information and belief Goldberg is operating as a counselor in violation of a lifetime ban. The pious and sanctimonious Goldberg has a continuing pattern of dishonesty.

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