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New York gays accuse JONAH, a New Jersey-based Jewish therapy group, of false promises

ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK -- Four gay men accused a New Jersey organization of fraud Tuesday for selling "conversion therapy" with false promises to make them straight.

They said during a Manhattan news conference that they were subjected to humiliations that included stripping naked and taking a baseball bat to effigies of their mothers.

The four attended sessions at the Jersey City, N.J.-based Jews Offering New Alternatives to Healing, or JONAH. The nonprofit advertises in Jewish publications and claims to rid men of same-sex attractions.

Three of the men are Jewish - Chaim Levin, Benjamin Unger, and Sheldon Bruck. The fourth, Michael Ferguson, is a Mormon now living in Salt Lake City who was a college student in New York when he signed up for the services.

The men say in a lawsuit that the methods do not work and should not be marketed under New Jersey's consumer protection laws. They say the suit was filed Tuesday in New Jersey, but officials there could not confirm receiving it.

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