Wiki and Me:
My Battle with Wikipedia
by Joseph Nicolosi, Ph.D.
For almost a year now, I have been battling Wikipedia to remove false information about me. To date, they have ignored all of my attempts to correct their errors.
Most readers think that Wikipedia is a neutral, authoritative source. In fact, it is compiled by volunteers— not paid experts— some of whom (especially in areas of social controversy) are activists seeking to influence public opinion.
Specifically, my therapy is wrongly described in Wikipedia. In fact, I never tell SSA men that they should avoid opera and art museums; attend church; learn to mimic “straight” ways of walking and talking; join group therapy; begin dating and then marry, etc. Whenever I correct these areas on the Wikipedia page, the entries are promptly changed back into their original form by an activist writer.
To readers interested in the details of the error, they are described below.
In the Wikipedia page on “Conversion Therapy,” under the subsection: Reparative Therapy, it states:
“Nicolosi’s intervention plans involve conditioning a man to a traditional masculine gender role.
(1) participate in sports activities,
(2) avoid activities considered of interest to homosexuals, such [as] art museums, opera, symphonies,
(3) avoid women unless it is for romantic contact,
(4) increase time spent with heterosexual men in order to learn to mimic heterosexual male ways of walking, talking, and interacting with other heterosexual men,
(5) Attend church and join a men's church group,
(6) attend reparative therapy group to discuss progress, or slips back into homosexuality,
(7) become more assertive with women through flirting and dating,
(8) begin heterosexual dating,
(9) engage in heterosexual intercourse,
(10) enter into heterosexual marriage, and
(11) father children" (footnote #82).
Wikipedia Footnote #82: Bright, Chuck, (December 2004) “Deconstructing Reparative Therapy: An Examination of the Processes Involved When Attempting to Change Sexual Orientation,” Clinical Social Work Journal, 32, (4) 471-481,
(Note: The Bright reference is incorrect. It is not 2004 but 2001. The correct reference is: Bright, Chuck, L.C.S.W. (2001) “Deconstructing Reparative therapy: An Examination of the processes involved when attempting to change sexual Orientation,” Clinical Social Work Journal, December 2004 vol. 32, Issue 4, pp. 471-481.)
The description of my work is wrong— but even beyond the false content, we see that there is no traceable source for the false content.
In the Clinical Social Work article, Bright does indeed describe the 11 interventions as wrongly stated in Wikipedia, but he attributes them to someone else— Haldeman, (2001). Haldeman’s article is entitled “Therapeutic antidotes: Helping gay and bisexual men recover from conversion therapies,” referenced as being in A. Shidlo, M. Schroeder, and J. Drescher, the book “Sexual conversion therapy: Ethical, clinical, and research perspectives,” New York, NY: Haworth Press.
When we look at Haldeman (2001) we see that there is no such article in that book, by that title written by Haldeman. Rather, the Haldeman article is entitled: “Sexual Conversion Therapy: Ethical, Clinical and Research Perspectives.” That article contains no such pages as Bright references. Further, there is no such quote. In fact, Haldeman never mentions Nicolosi at all and neither does the Haldeman article reference Nicolosi.
Even if the “11 Interventions” were accurate descriptions of my therapy, it is apparent that the Wikipedia source attribution is incorrect and deserves to be removed. You would assume that Wikipedia would want to correct the error, if accuracy were a concern.
I will continue to battle Wikipedia to set the record straight. Stay tuned.