Arthur Goldberg’s damage-control campaign has begun. His strategy is to portray himself as an innocent man who made a mistake, and is now the victim of a ruthless personal attack by the purveyors of the much-feared gay agenda.
Arthur A Goldberg, Executive Secretary of NARTH and a co-founder and co-director of Jewish ex-gay group JONAH, was exposed earlier this week as convicted felon Arthur Abba Goldberg, the Wall Street investor fined $100,000 and sentenced to 18 months in 1989 on three counts of mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States of America.
Goldberg has yet to respond publicly to the reports. He appears, however, to have written to his fellow board members at NARTH, in a letter obtained by Ex-Gay Watch.
Goldberg: Allegations exaggerated, false, malicious
Goldberg begins by describing the charges made against him by the Truth Wins Out/South Florida Gay News investigation as “exaggerated and in many parts false and malicious.” He then says he will explain what happened “so that all of you may have some idea of what was involved.”
This suggests that he had not disclosed his criminal past to NARTH. This is further supported by XGW’s conversation with David Pruden, NARTH’s Vice President of Operations. While freely identifying Goldberg as Arthur Abba Goldberg, Pruden denied knowing anything of the charges made in Monday’s article.
This is very concerning. Who neglects to disclose criminal convictions – especially a felony of this nature – to organizations for which they work, unless quite deliberately? Most companies, organizations and workplaces require their employees and officers to disclose such matters, not least because it could open an organization like NARTH to liabilities of its own. The protocol applies even more so when an organization is professional, pastoral, financial or charitable in nature. Yet the evidence so far suggests Goldberg said nothing.
In explaining what went on in the 1980s, Goldberg contradicts himself. After minimizing his fraudulent activity to the status of a mistake, rather than a moral failing, he says both that he accepted full responsibility for his actions, and that he fought for years against the charges before running out of resources:
During the 1980′s, my firm and many others attempted to “grandfather” several bond issues of our clients in order to beat the deadline of the 1986 federal tax law changes. These deal structures were challenged and ultimately 2 separate criminal legal actions were filed against me. After fighting for several years and running out of resources, I determined it was in the best interests of my family, myself, and my firm that I plead guilty to the minor counts of the indictment. In both actions, the guilty plea involved a finding that no intentional fraud took place. Rather the conduct for which I fully accepted punishment involved conduct that would be sufficient to constitute fraud under the relevant statutes – even though non-intentional. In fact, one of the pre-sentencing reports specifically found that no one involved in the transactions in question lost any money whatsoever on the transactions and that I did not receive personal enrichment from the transactions. Nevertheless, I accepted full responsibility for my negligent actions.
According to this account, he pleaded guilty as a concession because it was in his own best interests, as well as the best interest of his family and the company. Yet he claims he accepted full responsibility. Which is it, Arthur?
Goldberg wants to have it both ways. He holds his hands up to accept the blame, while suggesting it was only technically fraud, not morally. This is doublespeak. And it is contradicted by the reports we have from the time.
Goldberg versus the Judge
Judge Curtis, on sentencing Goldberg to 18 months imprisonment in the State of Illinois, said:
Arthur Abba Goldberg, you have openly conspired against the United States by knowingly and recklessly engaging indifferently in a series of dishonest acts of considerable magnitude.
Goldberg versus the Prosecuting Attorney
William K O’Connor, prosecuting attorney on behalf of the US in the California trial was blunt in his assessment of Goldberg’s crime. From this week’s report:
[O’Connor] described Goldberg as having engineered “a conspiratorial fraud of spectacular scope,” which purposefully duped “unsophisticated Pacific Islanders.” One witness against Goldberg said he treated the citizens of Guam as if “they were cannibals.”
O’Connor said that Goldberg’s deceitfulness crippled Guam’s economy, crushed investors, undermined public confidence in the bond industry, and cost the U.S. Treasury millions in lost taxes.
Goldberg versus the Supreme Court of New Jersey
Goldberg was a practicing lawyer in the State of New Jersey. A unanimous decision to disbar him as an attorney was made in 1995:
Goldberg’s criminal convictions clearly and convincingly demonstrated his participation in activities that reflected adversely on his honesty, trustworthiness, and fitness as a lawyer.
As recently as 2007, Goldberg was trading on his history of practicing law in New Jersey to bolster his credentials as an authority on gay issues.
Goldberg: They’re all wrong
Essentially, Goldberg asks his fellow NARTH board members to take his word over the word of the attorney who successfully prosecuted him for fraud, the judge who found him guilty, and the court that disbarred him from practicing law in New Jersey.
It’s the gays’ fault
Goldberg pays lip service to accepting responsibility for his felonies, but at the same time he does everything he can to convince NARTH that he only pleaded guilty as a last resort to protect himself and his family. In Goldberg’s account, he was technically guilty of breaking a few statutes, but it was a misjudgment, not a moral failure.
He does go to great lengths to pin responsibility on homosexuals, however. His proven past crimes, which so far we have every reason to believe have been deliberately kept out of the public eye, are not to blame for the spotlight on him now, according to Goldberg. To demonstrate this, he resurrects the familiar myth that his gay critics are simply following the gay agenda set out by Kirk and Madsen in 1989:
Of course, the strategy employed by those who wish to dig around for dirt in someone’s past, in this case for incidents that occurred in 1986, or about 25 years ago, is totally consistent with the Kirk and Madsen thesis which is set forth in “After the Ball.” Remember point 8 in their game plan–”make opponents look bad: portray them as evil and victimizing.” They stated in the book that those perceived as opponents of the gay movement were to be attacked and vilified. This was to be the final step in the media campaign Kirk and Madsen so carefully laid out to establish “gay rights.” So, if you are able to do a character assassination of the proponents, so goes the theory, then you can kill the message they represent. However, I would hope that rational people would not succumb to such demagoguery. I also believe that bitter personal attacks are often the last refuge of those who fear the truth and are not able to discuss the merits of an issue. In truth, I believe that our message is gaining traction and will eventually prevail.
Finally, having absolved himself of responsibility, Goldberg portrays himself as a martyr to the cause of anti-gay activism and reparative therapy:
[I] understand that there are individuals out there with myopic bigotry on the SSA issue and I need to be prepared to take my lumps for anything I have done in the past or the present, and indeed in the future. … I am humbled by the outpouring of support I have received from so many. It confirms my decision that I made the right choice in determining to work within this field of endeavor. Many thanks to you all for standing with me, for being there, and for maintaining the fight for accurate science, truth and justice.
Frankly, where the revelations should have propelled Goldberg towards self-examination and honesty, they have led to a blatantly manipulative effort to wash his hands of his crimes. He says he takes full responsibility, but in reality, this missive’s clear purpose is to convince his colleagues that he is the real victim, and that he is in fact bearing battle scars on behalf of a noble cause.
There is no conspiracy to destroy Goldberg. If he is destroyed by this, it will be of his own doing.
Ex-Gay Watch’s purpose is to get to the truth of the matter and ask, as the Supreme Court of New Jersey asked of his legal career in 1995, what Arthur Abba Goldberg’s criminal convictions – and the subsequent attempt to hide them from the public eye – say about his “honesty, trustworthiness and fitness” for moral and religious leadership and authority in the ex-gay movement.
Image of Arthur Abba Goldberg in 1989 courtesy Truth Wins Out. The full headline next to the picture was “Wall Street bond whiz pleads guilty in $2B fraud.”