Goldwasser told his clients to join a program that claimed you could 'cure' being gay by going into the woods and doing "masculine activities."
A Florida psychologist Norman Goldwasser who once provided 'gay conversion' therapy was caught looking for hookups on gay dating apps. Goldwasser had claimed that being gay was like an ailment like obsessive-compulsive disorder and claimed he could "cure" it. He was caught on gay dating apps by Wayne Besen, the executive director of Truth Wins Out, a non-profit organization that educates the world on the harm caused by destructive “ex-gay” conversion programs, reported Advocate. He was found on the dating websites Manhunt and Gay Bear Nation under the screen name "hotnhairy72." Goldwasser listed his interests as “dating,” “kissing,” “married men,” and “massage.”
Goldwasser had previously worked at the now-defunct Jewish conversion therapy program Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality (JONAH). The program used the Torah to justify homophobia and had operated in secret even after courts ordered it to shut down. Truth Wins Out described Goldwasser as an ex-gay conversion therapist but on Psychology today, he claims to help people "build new, more functional neural pathways that lead to wanted changes in their sexuality." Norman Goldwasser responded to the incident, apologizing for the hurt he has caused. "The fact that this story and others have been brought to the public is incredibly painful but will become a catalyst for me seeking the right help for myself," Goldwasser told NBC News via email. "It is sad that despite the fact that I have been able to help many people over the years who have suffered from the effects of child sexual abuse and sexual addiction, I obviously was unable to help myself. There is no justification for my personal behavior and I deeply regret the pain I have caused people in my personal life."
He had also once encouraged his clients to attend a program titled Journey Into Manhood, where gay men are taken into the woods and forced to do "masculine activities" to make them straight. The program claims that men become gay from not participating in sports or poor parenting. He also wrote a paper in 2006 titled “Holistic Therapy: A Comprehensive, Clinical Approach to the Treatment of SSA (same-sex attraction).”
At the time of being busted, he worked as a therapist at Horizon Psychological Services in Miami Beach. “Norman Goldwasser’s double life of unconscionable lies highlights the rank hypocrisy and predatory nature of the fraudulent ‘ex-gay’ industry,” said Wayne Besen. "We urge every state to ban the scourge of conversion therapy that attacks the mental health of LGBT youth and puts them in harm's way.” Truth Wins Out found Goldwasser on gay dating websites under the pseudonym “Dave.” They set up a fake profile of "Brandon" and set up a hookup at a motel room in Fort Lauderdale. At first, Goldwasser denied creating any of the profiles on the dating sites but he confessed after Besen showed him a screenshot of his profile on Manhunt. “He then called me and confessed, begging for mercy,” said Besen.
“Goldwasser can’t claim his personal life is none of our business when trying to ‘cure’ LGBT people is his business,” said Besen. “Here is a case where a charlatan is committing consumer fraud by misleading clients and adversely affecting their mental health. We are particularly concerned when Goldwassser’s scam preys on young people susceptible to his charade.” According to the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, about 700,000 LGBTQ people have been subjected to conversion therapy.