Marcus Bachmann’s clinic sent a $150 bill to the journalist who revealed their anti-gay “therapies.”
Marcus Bachmann, husband of presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, became a national figure when activist and journalist John M. Becker revealed that Bachmann’s clinic practices unethical ex-gay therapies that allegedly “turn” people straight by “praying the gay away.” Such services are based on the idea that homosexuality is a choice and inherently sinful. All major medical associations oppose them.
Sometimes “reparative therapy,” the sessions revolve around shaming people for same-sex desires and convincing them that God ordained heterosexuality.
Becker, who works with Truth Wins Out, a group dedicated to combating these therapies, accounted his undercover treatment last July:
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 [counselor Tim] 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.”
That piece, written after an investigation lasting five sessions, sparked a national discussion about ex-gay therapies and the practice’s inherent dangers. It also became a huge headache for Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign. But, as happens, the story died down.
After he had completed his investigation, Becker returned to Vermont and cancelled his last three sessions. But Bachmann’s clinic only canceled one, and then charged him $75-a-pop for the remaining two. Now Marcus Bachmann himself is calling to collect.
In a message posted at Truth Wins Out, Bachmann introduces himself as “doctor,” a misleading title for a “counselor” who’s actually a doctor of philosophy, and explains, “I received a message from our billing department asking if we would write off the two no-show fees for 7/7/11 and 7/12/11. We will not (emphasis Bachmann’s) be writing those off, so you do owe those no-show fees, and we would expect payment as soon as possible, otherwise we will have to turn it over to collections.” What a diva.
One would think the Bachmanns would want to put the entire story behind them, keeping the clinic off the national radar as Congresswoman Bachmann tries to regain her campaign footing. But Mr. Bachmann’s risking all that, which suggests he either loves the drama or lacks all common sense.
It would be rude to question Mr. Bachmann’s reasoning capabilities, but is it wise to charge a critical reporter who shed light on your dubious business, created bad press for your political wife and attracted gay barbarians for the very services that were so controversial in the first place? And is it smart to then personally call the reporter and leave a message for him to publish?
Bachmann’s response to Becker’s article is audacious, ludicrous and petty. And, worse than that, it dredges up the past when his wife’s increasingly irrelevant campaign desperately needs to create a new future.
Someone should just stick this liability in a closet until after primary season, because he’s going way off script.
Here’s audio, from Becker and Truth Wins Out:
Image via Gage Skidmore’s Flickr.