As his congresswoman wife Michele continues to make progress in her terrifying death march toward Washington, Marcus Bachmann has become a focus of the ever-curious media, and the things we've found out about him have been a bit unsettling, like the fact that he runs one of those pray-the-gay-away facilities.
Last week a group called Truth Wins Out, which is dedicated to combating the useless and damaging practice called reparative therapy, revealed that they'd sent someone undercover to seek out counseling for unwanted homosexuality at Bachmann & Associates, the Minnesota counseling centers that comprise the family's "small business" that Michele is often eager to mention in speeches. What that operative discovered was that counselors at Bachmann & Associates are actively practicing Christian ex-gay therapy tactics:
When I mentioned that I can objectively acknowledge a woman's beauty without having any sexual feelings toward her whatsoever, I was told that whenever I saw an attractive woman I just needed to reinforce in my mind that she was, indeed, attractive, and that God made her this way and made me to notice her. After all, "God designed our eyes to be attracted to the woman's body, to be attracted to everything, to be attracted to her breasts." Further, according to Wiertzema, "We're all heterosexuals, but we have different challenges." Attraction to the same sex "is there, and it's real, but at the core value, in terms of how God created us, we're all heterosexual."
Last night ABC News ran a report on Bachmann & Associates and reparative therapy, which has been determined both ineffective and potentially harmful by the American Psychological Association, among other groups. Video of their report is at left.
While the counselor featured in this particular story isn't Bachmann himself, and Bachmann has previously denied that his business traffics in homosexual cures, a belief in effective ex-gay therapy would be in line with comments he made on a talk radio show last year, in which he likened gays and lesbians to "barbarians" in need of deliverance.
Think Progress dug that clip up last month and it's been making the rounds for a few weeks now. So Marcus Bachmann, potential First Gentleman of America, really doesn't like gay people. Oh, and he might be a fake psychologist.
Yes, there's been some digging around in Bachmann's academic history and what's been found seems to suggest that Bachmann's PhD, if he even has one, is not in psychology:
What does all this mean? On his website Dr. Bachmann states he's had 23 years experience. Simple math brings us to the year 1988. If Dr. Bachmann's Ph.D. was completed prior to this date, he might have graduated from The Union Graduate School which offered ONLY a Ph.D. in Arts and Sciences. If he graduated later than 1986, then he would have graduated from The Union Institute (1986), or The Union Institute and University (2001) and his Ph.D. would have been in Interdisciplinary Studies.
If in fact Dr. Marcus Bachmann graduated from this institute, whatever it was named at the time, he would not have graduated with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. The ONLY doctorate in Clinical Psychology was offered after 2001, and the degree is a Psy.D. (Doctor of Psychology) and not a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy).
In my opinion, I highly doubt that Dr. Marcus Bachmann is even a licensed Psychologist. However, at this point in time, I was unable to confirm my suspicion, as web access to the Psychology Board of Minnesota site, which is part of the State of Minnesota website has been suspended for the duration of the state government shutdown.
And, in fact, he's not even licensed to practice psychology in the state of Minnesota. (That's technically OK, though, as Minnesota doesn't require a license to practice psychology, but still.) So the small business that Michele Bachmann is always mentioning in an effort to assert that she's just another American like you is a sinister religious reorientation center run by an unlicensed closet case. Great.
Oh, yeah, and about that last part? Lots of people have been making the assumption that because he's a little bit that way, Bachmann—like so many other anti-gay weirdos—is in fact a sadly closeted gay man himself. Who knows either way, but I wouldn't be surprised if he was! I mean, conducting therapy that's largely about listening to gay dudes talk about their naughty, naughty sex urges is a pretty gay job to have.
So that's Marcus Bachmann right now! And he could soon be performing all the duties of the president's spouse, from giving tours of the White House to, y'know, introducing major legislation. 2013 could be really weird guys.
[Photo via AP]