Sanctioned ‘Gay Cure’ Psychiatrist on Board of Organisation Behind ‘Leper’ Conference

Controversial Belfast psychiatrist, Dr. Paul Miller, recently sanctioned by the General Medical Council, is a member of the Board of Reference of Core Issues, the controversial Lisburn-based counselling and advocacy organisation which teaches that homosexual practise is sinful and has been associated with controversial techniques including claims to be able to change sexual orientation in certain circumstances.

The sanctioning of Miller may prove particularly controversial as Core Issues’ Board of Reference is stated on the organisation’s website to be an “accountability link” in the context of how its counselling is regulated and approved.

Core Issues is organising a conference in East Belfast’s Orangefield Presbyterian Church this Friday and Saturday entitled “The Lepers Among Us – Homosexuality and the Life of the Church”. Miller is listed as a member of Core Issues Board of Reference in the brochure advertising this weekends conference on the organisation’s website. A coalition of LGBTI rights organisations in Belfast is organising a picket of the Friday morning session of the event.

Although, in recent press releases, CORE has claimed that, “Core Issues Trust does not offer so-called “Reparative‟ or „Conversion‟ therapy” (sic), its website states that “[s]upporting sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) should be a possibility”.

Therapy aimed at changing sexual orientation has been repudiated by virtually every reputable psychiatric organisation in the UK, Ireland and across the world. Recently the President of Exodus International, the world’s largest so-called ‘ex-gay’ organisation, and hitherto a staunch defender of attempts to change sexual orientation, stated that “99.9 percent” of those undergoing such therapy “have not experienced a change in their orientation”.

Dr Paul Miller has been linked with efforts to change sexual orientation. In June 2008, Iris Robinson claimed on BBC Radio Ulster’s Nolan Show, that a ‘lovely psychiatrist’ friend of hers could turn gays “from what they are engaged in”. Dr. Miller, the psychiatrist referred to, was then a consultant in the Mater Hospital, an NHS hospital in Belfast. He has since left to work in the private sector full time.

In today’s Irish News, journalist Seanín Graham revealed that Miller faced a private hearing of the General Medical Council last week at which eight conditions were imposed on his ability to practise. These include that, for a period of 18 months, his day-to-day work must be supervised by a registered doctor of consultant grade and restrictions on working abroad.

Seanín Graham also wrote:

Two years ago, a London-based journalist, Patrick Strudwick, reported Dr Miller to the GMC after going undercover for the treatment.

Mr Strudwick, who is gay, described the Belfast doctor’s therapies as “disturbing” following two sessions via a webcam.

“I felt disgusted and abused by his inappropriate sexual remarks during the sessions. To hear this from a psychiatrist during a session, it was like being sexually assaulted,” Mr Strudwick said in 2010.

[…]

A GMC spokeswoman refused to comment on whether Mr Strudwick’s complaint resulted in the conditions being placed on Dr Miller’s licence, or if there had been additional complaints from the public.

Core Issues has clearly been shaken by the continual stream of negative publicity in Northern Ireland since its event held at Belvoir Church of Ireland Parish Church in summer 2011 was subject to picketing and adverse media reaction. Recent statements by the organisation seem to indicate a softening of their previously stonewall stance on gay issues in the church.

The step away from reparative therapy, noted above, is not a unique example of a softening in position by Core Issues. For example, the Core Issues website, drafted some years ago, studiously avoids saying the phrase ‘gay Christian’ or clearly stating that it is possible to be gay or gay affirming and a Christian. Instead they used circumlocutions such as “many people who are religious find homosexual practise quite consistent with their religious or spiritual values” and claimed that gay-affirming Christians “value the traditions of their forefathers in faith less than orthodox folk”. The most recent press statement however “acknowledges that Christians have different understandings of the teachings on the bible around human sexuality”, which seems to open a possibility of Core Issues affirming faithful and monogamous same-sex relationships in the future.

The publicity around Core Issues comes at the start of a period in which gay rights issues are likely to catapult to the top of both the religious and political agendas in Northern Ireland. The Anglican Church of Ireland, adhered to by around 15% of Northern Ireland’s people, will have a major conference on homosexuality in March before possibly legislating on the issue at its annual General Synod in May. MPs at Westminster will vote on legalising same-sex marriage in England during the lifetime of the current parliament. The measure is expected to pass overwhelmingly, and although it will affect England only, Northern Ireland MPs will have a vote. Scotland and Wales are also planning to introduce same-sex marriage in the near future, and the Republic of Ireland may well also do so before the current government’s mandate expires in 2016.

It is unlikely that Northern Ireland will follow suit immediately, as the complex architecture of its post-conflict political settlement effectively gives a veto on legislation to the populist-right DUP, strongly influenced by Evangelical Protestantism. Even if a coalition of radical left Sinn Féin, the social-democratic SDLP, the liberal Alliance Party and the moderate wing of the conservative UUP garnered a majority in the Northern Ireland Assembly, the DUP have sufficient blocking votes for contentious legislation, which can be defined by them. However, Northern Ireland is still likely to come under enormous pressure from governments in other parts of the British Isles, and from the courts, to recognise same-sex marriages contracted elsewhere. When the Republic of Ireland legalises same-sex marriage, the provisions of the Good Friday Agreement may open the door to legal challenges to a refusal to permit same-sex marriages to take place in the region.

  • sliabhluachra

    I read Buried My Heart and all other books on the exteermination of American Indians ( oh let’s call them native Americans) when they came out. It was quite chic then. Sad for you to see you use their extermination at the hands of a secular US government as a reason to attack Catholics/Christians on a thread dealing with a cooky psychiatrist in the occupied 6 cos.

    Maybe in black 47 when my own family were evicted, sending a landlord or two to hell, they should have read some shallow sociologist. A pity the academic fraud Kinsey was not around then as he could have made up some bullsh%t like the secular Samuelson who used an experiment on three rats to extrapolate to the Irish Famine (ie genocide by sky pilot haters).

    Abucs: I know the Philipines reasonably well as it happens. It is a complex societiy where the poor get hammered down and American imperialists with their born again running dog agents try to disrupt the harmony, as they have some since 1898.

    Catholicism is as much a a scoiateal thing as a sky pilot thing as the shallow secualrists would like it to be. Straw man stuff.

    Your posts are well thought out and that is much more important than being “right” or “wrong”. Leftist wanna bes, when they speak, usually give the Pavlovian answer by the book.

  • antoinmaccomhain

    @Homosexuality is unhealthy and active participation in that “culture” greatly increases the chances of HIV and other diseases.

    I actually looked at the ‘stats’ and it didn’t surprise me in the least,but perhaps the good Doc should remember the aul Hippocratic Oath-‘I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.’

    If people wish to engage in homesexual activity,which they’re going to do anyway,i think the Doctor/s should be recommending condoms.Prevention is afterall better than cure.

    I think psychiatry in general has an awful lot to answer for.They’ve medicated approximately 60% of America-
    I’m no expert,by any stretch of the imagination-But how can something be a ‘scientific’ fact,whilst at the same time be a complete mystery?

  • sliabhluachra

    A yes the old condom canard. Durex is quite an aggressive multinational. Used to use strong arm tactics in the past but hey
    It is the pharmas big and small that medicate America. It is part of the consumer cultutre, of which the homosexual movement are “useful idiots”.
    Antoin: Maybe you should join the Chutrch of Scientology or watch their anti psychiatry movies which may appeal to you.

  • abucs

    antoinmaccomhain i would disagree with you i’m sure on what you put in the ‘superstitious’ and ‘gobblekook’ categories.

    One of the 20th century education tricks was to allocate religious aspects into various manufactured categories, give a weak and critical assertion of those aspects and then claim enlightened thinking is to embrace the weak assertion and dismiss the religious aspects.

    The ‘sky fairy’ or ‘sky pilot’ is another caricature designed to ridicule. No group of Christians nervously watch the airspace over Israel wondering if the next plane will crash into a sky pilot/fairy.

    I can’t comment on the two books you have read. I would just caution that it is quite easy to write in ways which deningrtae a particular group. A large part of Western University culture has been unashamedly Marxist in the 20th century and they were all about creating a new society and denigrating the existing ones. i have read many books that follow that mindset and purpose.

    Again, i can’t comment on the particular books you cite.

  • antoinmaccomhain

    @I can’t comment on the two books you have read. I would just caution that it is quite easy to write in ways which deningrtae a particular group. A large part of Western University culture has been unashamedly Marxist in the 20th century and they were all about creating a new society and denigrating the existing ones. i have read many books that follow that mindset and purpose.

    Point taken.Im not a devout atheist.Im not even an atheist.I honestly didn’t mean to offend you,or your beliefs.If i have done so,i apolagize.

  • abucs

    no offence take antoinmaccomhain.

  • abucs

    no offence taken antoinmaccomhain.

  • abucs

    yes sliabhluachra,

    there are many Protestant missionaries here in Luzon and the Visayas.

    Not so many of them in south west Mindanao though. :o)

  • sliabhluachra

    Abucs: What you are doing is undermining Philippine society. I have met Protestant missionaries in Davao and CDO among other places. Their aim is to undermine the societal bonds and replace it with born again nonsense so that those they “save” are divorced from their people. This urge is understandable as there is so much poverty there, just as there is in India where obscene wealth co-exists with dirt poverty and where warped ideas justify it.
    I have been all over Mindanao including the Sulu Islands where white men fear to thread and also to where poor Fr Rufus Halley lies buried far from his Decies home. I have also been to Malate, where the Colombans are based and where many of them were killed when the Americans fan amok there in 1945.

    I had one particularly enjoyable evening in Davao running rings around the Yankee run Protestant mind colonialists. They creep up on people out enjoying the evening air and try to bully, bribe and bamboozle them into accepting gheir version of Jesus and the Pax Americana.This dishonest approach is common whereever they are allowed a toe hold.
    The Americans have been at that in the Philippines since 1898. You should not really be helping them.
    The Philipines is Catholis and Muslim and so it should remain, without the families who run it.
    Say hello to Duterte and his death squads for me.

  • Mickles

    sliabhluachra: “Homosexuality is unhealthy and active participation in that “culture” greatly increases the chances of HIV and other diseases. That is a medical fact.”

    No it isn’t a fact. It no more increases the changes of STDs than heterosexuality does. If you’re going to state “facts” then provide proof.

    One real, factual reason for increase in HIV (in homosexuals and heterosexuals) is the lack of safe sex – which for some bizarre reason the celibate leader of Catholic Church is against.

    I don’t really understand why so called Christians would want such diseases spread among straights and gays alike, when the spread of HIV could be severely reduced in the world with a simple word from the pontif. Having power and doing nothing is far worse than abusing that power.

    I also don’t understand why celibate old men who protect real actual paedophiles within their ranks think they have the right to lecture straight and gay people on what they do in their own bedrooms.

  • andnowwhat

    Oh, I see someone played the gay/HIV card.

    I woder, if I paid their expenses, if they would go to a bunch of guys hanging round a street corner in S Africa and tell them that?

    Obviously, it. Will be my gain as I will only have to pay for a one way ticket

  • Rory Carr

    I’m afraid that I find myself at odds with Mickles over the contention that Vatican opposition to the use of condoms has much of an effect in helping the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, or that lifting that opposition would lead to a substantial decrease in the spread of these infections.

    I do not say this out of any wish or need to defend the Church’s policies on human sexuality which I personally find lacking and I would rather that the Vatican dropped its opposition to contraception but not because I consider that would help combat the spread of HIV very much at all.

    The reason I have for thinking so is that the one certain cause of the HIV/AIDS epidemic is promiscuity and that, by and large, means male promiscuity. Such promiscuity is also at odds with Catholic teaching and it seems somewhat odd to believe that men who would not heed the strictures of the Pope or their confessor (if indeed they bother going to confession) to desist from sexual promiscuity are the same men who would desist from wearing condoms because the Pope demands it.

    Indeed, when we think about it, Mickles’ argument itself somehow demands that the majority of HIV-spreading promiscuous African men are piously obedient heterosexual Roman Catholics. It just does not compute.

    I might add that while promiscuity is known to be rife among homosexual males, so also is it rife among heterosexual males. Promiscuity is a character defect of the male sex and therefore it is hardly surprisng that it might also be a characteristic of male homosexual society. If women were willing to engage in the type of promiscuous multi-partner coupling that is reported as a feature of gay bath-houses then heterosexual males would flock to such places. They do it in the gay saunas not because they are gay, they do it because they are men.

    Let’s face it, men will fuck anything. As the old ditty has it:

    In days of old, when knights were bold
    And women were not invented
    Men bored holes in telegraph poles
    And fucked away contented.

  • Not all promiscuous people will use condoms but for those who do, condom use can greatly reduce the rate of infection from all STDs.
    http://aids.about.com/od/hivprevention/a/hivprevent.htm

  • Rory Carr

    Well yes, Joe, but my point is that men who engage in promiscuous “bareback” sexual intercourse and who happen to be Catholic, are hardly likely to start using condoms if the Vatican drops its opposition to their use. These men are already demonstrating that they care little for the strictures of their nominal faith and their failure to wear condoms is unlikely to be a result of their concern not to act against Church teaching since what they are doing – the sexual promiscuity is an even greater breach.

    There is an argument that the wives of such men, if they are Catholic, are denied protection by the Church’s ruling, but that is to suppose that such irresponsible men would inconvenience themselves or go to the expense to protect their wives even if the ban on contraception were to be lifted which I rather doubt. In any case, Catholic men are not the only promiscuous males in Africa and there is no evidence that widespread use of condoms is being taken up by non-Catholic promiscuous men who have never been deterred from using contraceptives by any papal disapproval.

    This is more a question of sensation than dispensation. Crudely put – it feels better without a johnny ! And that is all such men care about.

  • Understood, Rory. I was just referring to condom use generally and didn’t mean my remark to cast aspersions on the Catholic hierarchy position.

  • Mickles

    @ Rory Carr

    Whoa slow down I didn’t say all that! Just to clarify – I’m not saying the reason for the spread of HIV is the Catholic Church’s policies – I’m saying the reason is the lack of safe sex, and the Church refuses to endorse safe sex – ergo they must want HIV to be spread because as you say men will fuck anything (though I have some standards).

    I’m not saying that all HIV sufferers are devout pious Catholics either, I mean, clearly they ain’t. Whether you believe the policies of the Catholic Church would help or not in the matter – I put it to you that an endorsement of contraception by the Catholic Church wouldn’t make things worse.

    In other words – it’d be a start.

  • Catherine Couvert

    Part of the problem with this discussion is that homosexuality keeps being equated with a sexual act between two men, as if that’s all it was about. Instead of identity, love between people, families, rights for people who are different from the majority etc.

    Likewise, religion keeps getting reduced to the views of its most right-wing elements. Makes me think of a link sent to me by an English friend of mine, who happens to be a ‘lefty’ Evangelical Christian (this may seem like a contradiction to some people, I know): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IAhDGYlpqY

    And I also disagreed with the decision to refuse the Christian couple as prospective adoptive parents, although they were not refused for being Christian but because they were not prepared to accept their adopted child’s sexuality should he/she turn out to be gay or bisexual. Yes, adoptive parents should be supportive of their adoptive children no matter what. At the same time, judgements like this are dangerously reductionist. No adoptive parent is perfect, where do we draw the line? No-one should be seen as too gay or too Christian or too poor to adopt. What should matter is would they be loving, would they care for the child well… the rest should be up to social services support and education.

  • Rory Carr

    I find a link to a Press Association bulletin on my Yahoo page this morning which indicates some support from within the higher ranks of (Low) Anglicanism for Ms Lesley Pilkington, a counsellor, whose “cure” of Mr Strudwick’s feigned “gayness” he has written about in The Guardian. (Please, no jokes about Mr. Strudwick being able to “see through” Ms. Pilkington ).

    “Senior figures in the Church of England have backed a Christian counsellor after she treated a gay man who said he wanted to be cured of his homosexuality.

    Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey, Bishop of Chester the Rt Rev Peter Forster, and Bishop of Lewes the Rt Rev Wallace Benn were among signatories to a letter giving support to 60-year-old psychotherapist Lesley Pilkington.”

    I think we may safely assume that Lord Carey, and the good, my Lord Bishops of Chester and Lewes are not themselves practising homosexuals. Probably.

  • Rory Carr

    Sorry, here is the link to the aforementioned bulletin:

    http://yhoo.it/weCgjT