On Wednesday, NBC News reported that Amazon has quietly taken down the books of Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, a discredited anti-LGBTQ clinical psychologist who is considered to be "the father of conversion therapy."
Nicolosi, who founded the Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic and the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, died in 2017 at the age of 70, but his work has been heavily used by right-wing religious organizations as justification for protocols to "treat" and "cure" homosexuality, a practice that is broadly considered child abuse and banned in an increasing number of states. He authored several how-to guides instructing parents to try to change LGBTQ children's sexual orientation and gender identity, including "A Parent's Guide to Preventing Homosexuality."
"I would say many survivors of conversion therapy could trace their trauma to Nicolosi," said Sam Brinton, a conversion therapy survivor who manages advocacy and government affairs for The Trevor Project. "His work lent credibility under the guise of 'science' to conversion therapy, even though the practice has been disputed and discredited as dangerous and harmful by medical experts."
Conversion therapy takes a broad range of forms, with its practitioners using everything from verbal behavior modification to painful electric shocks to "cure" homosexuality. LGBTQ youth subjected to this have been found vastly more likely to develop substance abuse or commit suicide.
LGBTQ activists have been pressuring Amazon for months to remove Nicolosi's books, with one Change.org petition surpassing 82,000 signatures.