After court in New Jersey ruled that “reparative therapy” offered by JONAH — Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing — is fraudulent, the group will stop operating and pay victims and legal fees, according to the New Jersey Star Ledger.
JONAH was a reparative therapy organization run by Orthodox Jews that claimed to turn gay men straight. Its founder, Arthur Goldberg, sold more than $2 billion in fraudulent municipal bonds in the 1980s. Facing life in prison, he pleaded guilty to lesser counts and only served 18 months in federal prison.
He founded JONAH after his son came out. Goldberg has no degrees in counseling.
In June, a New Jersey jury convicted Goldberg of consumer fraud.
The settlement approved late last week required Goldberg and his partners to close. JONAH’s online presence must be removed within 30 days and the corporate entity must be dissolved within six months.
The defendants must pay $3.5 million in legal fees to the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs will also be reimbursed for money they paid the sham therapy organization.
JONAH appealed mostly to Orthodox Jews, the only branch of Judaism that doesn’t embrace its LGBT members and celebrate same-sex marriage.