Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Convicted Wall Street Con Artist Now Leading Ex-Gay Ministry

Ex-Gay Icon is Secret Ex-Con Who Specialized In Bilking Poor Communities
Wall Street Felon known as 'Abba Dabba Do' Reemerges As 'Cure' Gays Guru

NEW YORK - A Truth Wins Out (TWO) and South Florida Gay News (SFGN) investigation revealed today that a Wall Street criminal mastermind who was convicted in 1987 of "fraud of spectacular scope" has secretly reinvented himself as a moral leader who "cures" gay and lesbian people. Known as "Abba Dabba Do" in the financial world, Arthur Abba Goldberg was sentenced to 18 months in jail for bilking poor communities with complicated bond schemes and served six months in prison.

"We have long considered Arthur Goldberg a con-artist, but our investigation shows he is also an ex-con," said Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out. "His diabolical past mirrors his dishonest present-day work with the ex-gay industry. Whether it was shady deals on Wall Street or shading the truth on gay issues, Goldberg is someone who lacks credibility and can't be trusted."

"Mr. Goldberg's silence today about his illegal conduct yesterday is a clear indicator that 18 months in prison 20 years ago has not inhibited his willingness to deceive others in order to advance himself today," said SFGN Publisher Norm Kent. "You free yourself by admitting your wrongs, not erasing them. Goldberg is hardly in a position to be advocating how gay men and women should be authentic with their own lives when he is a fraud with his."

Upon completing his parole, Goldberg dropped his conspicuous middle name, Abba, and co-founded Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality (JONAH) in 1999. He is currently the president of Positive Alternatives to Homosexuality (PATH), an umbrella group for "ex-gay" referrals and the Executive Secretary of the notorious National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). He is also the President of Congregation Mount Sinai, a temple in Jersey City and a Principal for the International Center for Gender Affirming Processes (CGAP). Goldberg is a key ex-gay industry insider and viewed as an architect of its strategy and message machine, says TWO and SFGN.

In 1989, Goldberg plead guilty in federal court in California and Illinois to three counts of wire and mail fraud, and conspiracy to defraud the United States. The accusations he admitted to include his participation as the engineer of a phony bond and investment scheme, which netted his Wall Street investment firm nearly $11 million in illegal fees.

The U.S. Attorney who handled the case at the time, K. William O'Connor, told the court at his sentencing that Goldberg's crime was "a fraud of spectacular scope."
The SEC banned Goldberg and his firm from ever selling securities again. In addition to his prison term, Goldberg was disbarred in both New Jersey and Connecticut. Despite that, he lists himself as a Doctor of Laws today on the website of NARTH.

More specific information on this case can be found at www.southfloridagaynews.com and www.TruthWinsOut.org.

Additionally, Goldberg is the author of "Light in the Closet" (Red Heifer Press), which promises to "explode the gay gene mystique, offering hope, compassion, direction and vitally needed information to gay strugglers, their families, friends, and surrounding community." JONAH also plays a key role in supplying clients for Journey into Manhood Weekend, an ex-gay boot camp, where participants are taken deep into the woods to supposedly discover their masculinity. Goldberg is not gay, but has an openly gay son who reportedly lives in the New York City area.

"We conducted an investigation into Goldberg's dark history to shine a little light in his own closet; to tell the world the truth about who Goldberg really is, and how he has never owned up to his sordid and tawdry past."
Although Goldberg often claims that he has been deeply involved in civil rights issues, his case revealed a deep insensitivity to minorities. An October 1, 1989 story in the Philadelphia Inquirer reveals that Goldberg jokingly described a bond issue the firm had underwritten in Guam as "selling bonds to the cannibals."  He also sought out poor minority communities, such as East Saint Louis, as targets for his conspiracies.

"Simply by concealing his middle name and omitting his dirty deeds from his biography, Goldberg was able to mask his past as a mini-Madoff," said Besen. "The real Arthur Abba Goldberg is an unsavory character who lacks the credibility and integrity to portray himself as an expert on gay and lesbian issues."

In an interview, one of Goldberg's former clients suggests that his past moral deficiencies are reflected in his current work. He says that Goldberg is manipulative and exploits those who are despondent and desperate to conform, so they can fit in and be accepted by their friends and family members.

 "Arthur Goldberg takes advantage of the vulnerability of religious Jews by promising them the opportunity to heal from their homosexuality and be able to live a life within the community they grew up in and fulfill the expectations they had of themselves and of their families," the former client told TWO and SFGN. "When speaking to Arthur Goldberg, he uses false statistics of changing hundreds and thousands of men and women and other such numbers as an 80% success rate, which is misleading and false."

Based in Fort Lauderdale, South Florida Gay News is the premier information source for the region's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

Truth Wins Out is a non-profit organization that defends the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community against anti-gay misinformation, counters the so-called "ex-gay" industry and educates America about the lives of LGBT people. Our goal is to fight for a world where LGBT individuals can live openly, honestly, free of discrimination and be true to themselves.

(Research team: Wayne Besen, Norm Kent, Michael Hamar, J. Wong)
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