JONAH June 25, 2015
Legal Update

Dear Friends & Colleagues,

At this time, Arthur and I are still in shock but wanted to let you know of the unjust and unconscionable ruling that has come down in the Southern Poverty's Law Center's suit against JONAH.  We will send additional updates as we decide what our next steps are going to be.

With today's decision, we have lost only a battle but can still win the war. We intend to appeal and have grounds on which we expect to win.  We need funds to stay in the running though, so please forward this email to donors who understand the gravity of the situation.

FCDF has expended over $3 million dollars to date and urgently need your financial support to continue the fight against such injustice. 

Below is Chris Doyle's note, which expresses the sentiments of many of JONAH's supporters and allies, and a Press Release from our Lead Attorney, Charles LiMandri of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund.  Please pray for the future of all the good men and women involved in doing G-d's mandated work of helping those with unwanted SSA.

Shalom with great sadness,

Arthur Goldberg and Elaine Silodor Berk

Co-Directors of JONAH
Dear Friends,

I just got off the phone with Arthur and Elaine at JONAH. It is with heavy hearts that I let you know that JONAH and Alan Downing have been found guilty of 16 or 17 out of 20 counts of consumer fraud. Arthur and Elaine and JONAH, as I am, are shocked. I am writing you with tears rolling down my face. The absolute unjustness of this decision and the SPLC's campaign is sickening.

Please at this moment say a prayer for Arthur and Elaine and Alan Downing, who must be suffering tremendously under this persecution. One thing I know for sure, G-d is in control and still is on His throne. But today, I feel as if America is no longer a free place to think, work, and live with this travesty.

May G-d be with JONAH and all of us... 

Christopher Doyle, MA, LCPC
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor
International Healing Foundation

June 25, 2015
CONTACT: Mike Rudin
Shirley & Banister Public Affairs
The Fight is Not Over, Decision will be Appealed

Rancho Santa Fe, California - Today's verdict in New Jersey Superior Court, finding the organization Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing, or JONAH, engaged in consumer fraud while helping people overcome unwanted same-sex attraction, will have a chilling effect on religious liberty.

JONAH was sued by the radical Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for providing resources for men and women with unwanted same-sex attractions desiring appropriate assistance to lead a life consistent with their religious beliefs. Religious organizations have a fundamental right to provide help to those in need, which is why the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF), a public interest law firm that focuses on religious liberty cases, defended the organization.

"This is a sad day, not just for my clients, but for America: Our freedom to choose to live according to Biblical values is being restricted by powerful forces, which in this case included the refusal to allow highly qualified expert witnesses to testify that change is possible for many people," said Chuck LiMandri, President of FCDF and Lead Counsel for JONAH. "All of us can control our sexual behavior and each of us has not only the right but the obligation to decide what is right and wrong about our behavior. Here's the good news though: We will continue this fight for core American values, including the freedom of traditional believers to live as free and equal citizens in this great country. This case is not over and we will seek justice on appeal."

"Seeking counseling is a very private and personal decision people make. Coercive tactics that attempt to shut down choice are antithetical to a country founded in religious tolerance," said Maggie Gallagher, Chairman of the Board of the FCDF. "The SPLC has bullied individuals into silence and counselors are afraid to help those who need it."

The Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund is a nonprofit, public-interest law firm which defends the conscience rights and religious freedom of those of all faiths and no faith. The Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund's mission is to defend religious freedom by providing protective legal services at the trial level to persons whose religious liberty and free-speech rights have been attacked. Located in San Diego and led by experienced trial attorney Charles LiMandri, FCDF assists individuals and organizations nationwide with pro bono services.

Maggie Gallagher, Chairman of the Board of Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, is available for commentary. Please contact Mike Rudin at [email protected], by phone at (703) 739-5920 or by cell at (703) 297-9516 for more information.

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