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CNN documentary reveals tragic consequences of ‘experimental therapy’ designed to make young boys ‘more masculine’

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  1. This stuff is so upsetting :(

  2. I can’t read George Rekers’ name anymore without thinking of his book cover for “Shaping your child’s sexual identity”
    If there was an award for a general lack of self awareness

    1. David Myers 10 Jun 2011, 12:07pm

      Even worse was his first book – “Growing Up Straight: What Families Should Know About Homosexuality”. While staying in a northeastern Canada small town for five months in 1974, I came upon this book in the small local library. There were precisely two other books on homosexuality in that library and they were basically clinical psychology books, impling that homosexuality was a disorder. This one was by far the worst, teaching parents how to “spot” burgeoning homosexuality in their children, particularly their boys and then how to stomp it out of them with ridicule and guilt. If there had been one good book in that library on the topic I wouldn’t have done what I ended up doing. I stole that book and threw it in the ocean. It was a manual for child abuse (psychological).

      1. Rekers seemed genuinely upset when learning about the suicide. From his distorted perspective, we need to appreciate that he believes that he is doing good. He doesn’t wake up in the morning with a desire to make gays miserable. Yes, his entire life work probably reflects his self-loathing for his latent gay sensibilities. But he has nevertheless employed robust psychological principles in his behavioural therapy.
        To suggest that the “reparative” therapy had a CAUSAL effect on the suicide of the individual – and this IS the underlying implication in the report – is quite unfounded, and to be honest, borderline libellous.
        The guy committed suicide while living in Delhi. What about factors such as social isolation, cultural conflict, lack of support network, breakdown of family relationships, etc? If I were his parent/sibling, I would certainly want to absolve myself of any guilt by completely directing blame at a so-called charlatan.
        This is unbalanced journalism.

        1. Jock S. Trap 12 Jun 2011, 3:41pm

          You have to be friggin kiddin me!!
          Are you for real?
          Do you not see the damage people like this creep do?
          Spend you life being told your constantly wrong just because the way you were born then see how that makes you feel.
          It is well know that these ‘cures’, ‘therapies’ cause unnecessary depression, distress and guilt.
          So then you want to question how some might commit suicide to rid of those feelings?
          Your a disgrace.

    2. Could you make that front cover any more gay if you tried?

  3. Ben Amponsah 8 Jun 2011, 3:30pm

    How apt that he should himself be exposed for being gay-sadly it is often those who cant come to terms with their own sexuality that rail most against those of us who are trying or who have

    Quite how he was allowed to build such a body of research at a respected US Uni escapes me, however…

    1. Rekers isn’t a gay man, he’s a closetted self-hating homosexual in denial.

  4. And when will British viewers be be able to see this TV show?

    Or is it a US show to be shown on a US station?

    Seriously PN – sort this out.

    Stop constantly reporting on stories directly lifted from US news sites, unless the story has a relevance to your readers.

    This is a story about a TV show which the vast majority of your readers will never see.

    1. This article is of interest and importance to all English speaking people with internet access anywhere in the world who have any concern about gender identity issues.

      1. Agreed.

      2. Brian-E,

        The UK has had its share of trying ‘experimental’ treatments on people throughout the years. Not least Alan Turing then later on to the discredited Dr. Money of Charing Cross :(.

        1. Dr Money was never connected to Charing Cross. He was a New Zealand psychologist at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

    2. HelenWilson 8 Jun 2011, 5:01pm

      This is an important international LGBT news story.

      Well done PinkNews for giving it wider coverage.

    3. The first of three videos on this story is being shown right now at Towleroad.

    4. GayWebHosting 8 Jun 2011, 8:06pm

      Get a grip guy. Not only is this story of interest to a worldwide (and not just gay UK) audience, the title says it all… ‘A CNN documentary’ Do you not have CNN?

      1. Not everyone can afford (or wants) cable, you know.

        1. Galadriel1010 8 Jun 2011, 11:54pm

          CNN is available on Freeview, I think. It was last time I flicked through.

          1. No, it left Freeview, unfortunately. RT, with its total ignoring of anything about sexual minorities, isn’t quite a substitute. CNN is on Freesat and Sky though. I watched the later episodes on Freesat.

    5. On this occasion, sadly, the story is relevant because reparative therapy is going on, under the radar in thei country, and the evangelical movement, funded by US fundamentalists has a strong influence.

      1. Well why then doesn’t Pink News do a story on reparative therapy in the UK – we’ve all heard of the Patrick Strudwick report.

        Pink News is lifting stories directly off US news sites and not referencing that they are lifting the stories.

        1. But US ideas seem to get into the UK too, eg the push for an opt-out from certain laws for Christians, and the idea of Christians being persecuted as shown by all the stupid CLC cases, and ‘educational’ lectures like this today and later this month in Belfast apparently:

        2. David Myers 10 Jun 2011, 12:15pm

          What with the nationalistic head-in-the-sand atitudes. Gay/Lesbian liberation has always been an international movement and that is a good thing. We gain from our brother’s and sister’s successes and we learn from their failures. And straight people learn from our struggle and world-wide movement. It is part of the universal human rights movement and people, even many straight people get it and come to support it. Get over your petty nationalistic perspective.

      2. Research by Michael King based at UCL, showed that it is still possible to get reparative therapy on the NHS. Although referring GP’s are now covert, using terms such as “Anxiety and depression” instead of the persons sexuality as a reason for a referral to a psychotherapy unit.
        One stark piece of evidence that psychopathologising of LGBT people is still alive in the NHS can be seen in book “The New Dictionary of Kleinian Thought”, in which homosexuality is referred to as a sexual perversion. I need to add that the NHS Tavistock Clinic is a major provider of psychoanalytic psychotherapy, and its adult department is run predominately on Kleinian lines. The Tavistock Clinic is known world wide as a centre of Kleinian excellence.
        The above book was written by Cyril Couve a psychologist and Jane Milton a psychiatrist who were both practioners at the Tavistock clinic

        1. Thanks for that, JohnK. That would explain a lot. I’m no expert, but I’m not a fan of Klein’s ideas. I wish the NHS would put a stop to this by making a firm statement about reparative therapy.

        2. I really pity a gay guy who is stuck in the gear-works of this kind of thinking.

          The bottom line is that we ought to be careful about the kind of GP’s we have.

          Thanks for this insight, JK.

        3. Are you not aware that the Tavistock also holds the monopoly NHS contract for treating all trans minors in the whole of the UK. Yes, you are right about the Kleininan aspect. The head of that Gender Identity Development Clinic (the “Development” is about “curing” transsexuality by helping the patients negotiate theoretical psychosexual stages to being heterosexual and happy in their body of birth) from its foundation in 1989 until very recently, and now its head of training and research, is a leading Kleinian.

    6. I read the detailed Box Turtle Bulletin report Monday night. It’s horrifying reading – I don’t think I’ll be able to watch the CNN reporting. The worst crime is the wanton disregard by UCLA and the quack researchers for the well-being of a very young child they treated as a lab rat. Rekers’ subsequent lying is homopobic agenda-driven ignorance of the facts for his personal profit.

    7. Jock S. Trap 9 Jun 2011, 8:57am

      Actually this is a very important story and it is relevent to all the LGBTQI community around the world.

  5. Such intervention, which aims to “normalise” the individuals concerned, has led to operations carried out on the “over-sized” clitorises of girls as young as two years old, leaving them damaged and, in some cases, incapable of ever having a satisfactory sex life.”


    1. Sadly, Abi, true…my piece here gives but a flavour of it:

      Basically, some US surgeons decided that in order to help young women with intersex conditions have a “normal” sex life they would remove a large chunk of their clitoris.

      The resulting mutilation caused appalling complications for many (i have spoken with survivors of this procedure): the whole enterprise was made infinitely worse as at least one surgeon was then involved in “research” which involved “testing” the clitorises of those who had undergone this procedure by poking them with cotton buds to see if response was now “normal”.

      Forgive me if i find it hard, at times, to contain my anger at these supposed “experts”.


      1. PumpkinPie 9 Jun 2011, 2:48am

        Thanks for that link, Jane. I remember that story.

        Kind of appalling to see the amount of monstrous imbeciles in the comments section who would be happy to do that to their own children. The random trans bashing was particularly disturbing, too. As always, unfortunately. It seems that any time anyone who’s transsexual mentions anything to do with being transsexual – anything at all – they will be forced to defend their very existence by transphobic bullies who were “just asking”.

        The Guardian and The Independent are the only newspapers I find tolerable. And even there, you will always get hordes of hateful creeps who would surely be better off reading the Daily Mail. I try to convince myself that it just seems so bad because the angriest shout loudest – the vocal minority, as it were. Still, I’m just glad that we don’t have to put up with as much of that crap around here.

        1. …more: Rekers’ stupid criteria, filtered through his collaborator Green and others, like Zucker, are still up there in the DSM diagnostic criteria, channeling many of the wrong children into gender clinics and enabling clinicians to say they cannot tell which are the trans children and which the gay ones. The false outcomes of his experiments are still cited as “evidence” that transsexual children must not be allowed to live in the role of their identity, because they will likely, spontaneously “change their minds”, when, in reality, none do, because that is impossible.

      2. What did these last two paragraphs have to do with the story, or with Rekers? OK, so you were taking the chance to plug an unrelated previous story of yours. But, given the opportunity to write this story for a major news site, shouldn’t you, as a transperson, instead have explained to readers how the false results and reports of Rekers’ work in his first decades – all of which was billed as being on gender identity, not sexual orientation – have been used, to this day, to harm transsexual children?

        As we see, the work was a terrible, harmful failure; the reported changes were far from spontaneous, and the boys were gay, not in any way connected with transsexuality, which isn’t about playing with dolls but the infinitely more profound matter of having the wrong body.


    2. That reminds me of the female genital mutilation that is practiced in some parts of Africa.

  6. He was once – Rekers, who hired a rent boy to massage him and help him with his luggage.

    Now he is Rekers – who experimented on a young boy and contributed to his deeply unhappy life and eventual suicide. There is blood on his hands – something that should be repeated often and at length. This story truly breaks my heart.

    1. GayWebHosting 8 Jun 2011, 8:09pm

      Yes, we should never let-up on the homophobes… whoever they are.. Whether they are god-squad types, or repressed self-loathing homosexuals, homophobia must be challenged wherever it is found.

      This story is proof of the damage that these people can do.

      It makes me both sad and very angry.

  7. For those who wish to see it (only part one has been aired so far):

    1. Thanks.

  8. This makes for some disturbing reading. Bad enough he was a closet case with his own demons, but to enforce that self loathing on another with the result of their suicide, and pat himself on the back for a job well done? Appalling. Truly nauseating.

  9. Disgusting. And sadly these stupid ideas are still popular amongst some people (often fundies) – making sure boys are ‘masculine’ and girls ‘feminine’. To me, it always shouts ‘insecure in my own self’ by those researchers and parents who inflict it on children. It’s no different than a stupid, superstitious sacrifice to ‘scare away the gay’ or an exorcism.
    What parent would want for their children to be anything other than THEMSELVES? And – more disturbingly – what parent would hand their child over for such research?

    1. If only it was just the Fundamentalist Christians who were actively homophobic!!!
      Lets, not forget that as recent as 1996 the Association for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in the NHS, invited Charles Soccarides then President of NARTH, to give a talk at the Tavisotck NHS Clinic on how to cure homosexulaity.

  10. Oer missus 8 Jun 2011, 4:34pm

    You can see it on cable here, I recorded it last night and parts 2 and 3 are on at 3.00 a.m. tonight and tomorrow.

    This exposé actually is very important globally, as this guy’s dodgy, and as it turned out, very harmful, research have formed the supposed justification of a lot of the anti-gay activity around the world as in Uganda and in even well educated places like Singapore. They (Narth) also had a conference in the UK recently, using this stuff.

    The fact that it can now be convincingly shown that it is totally misleading stuff that ultimately cost the ‘patient’ his life should be the nail in the coffin of the confidence trick that is “reparative therapy”.

    1. Oer missus 8 Jun 2011, 4:40pm

      Also I expect it was referred to by the Christian Legal Centre in the recent disciplinary tribunal against that therapist, as their website was trumpeting the decision as a vindication of reparative therapy.

  11. Some people’s repressive obsessions and screw-ups are neatly in line with the conservative and conventional social expectations which make other people with low self-esteem feel ‘safe’. Which is why they are so toxic.

  12. HelenWilson 8 Jun 2011, 5:26pm

    The original CCN article expands on things a bit more.

    This will make you weep

  13. I am really glad CNN has picked up on this. This was child abuse. Giving Rekers was a doctoral student the UCLA needs to be held accountable for allowing this type of experimental psychology to have taking place.

    1. Dan Filson 8 Jun 2011, 6:41pm

      Agree – universities and also learned institutions should keep track on what people are doing under the protection of their respectability. But without interference in genuine academic freedom

      1. HelenWilson 8 Jun 2011, 6:57pm

        Reker joins John Money in the list of psychologists who’s human experiments resulted in the suicide of a patient.

        David Reimer was John Money victim.

        1. PumpkinPie 9 Jun 2011, 6:15pm

          I can barely even bring myself to read about Reimer’s case some days. It’s just so utterly chilling. The fact that Reimer was actually a cissexual male really helps fellow cissexuals like myself understand what life must be like for many transsexuals. The fact that, for transsexuals, this sort of forced gender assignment tends to be the norm, rather than some bizarre experiment, just makes it even worse.
          At the time of writing, it seems a couple of very valid points have been removed from the Wikipedia article (tantamount to white-washing vandalism, in my opinion). First, David and his brother Brian accused Dr. Money of sexually abusing them in a series of bizarre “studies” when they were little children. Second, there was a story about how David’s horrific treatment featured prominently in Brian’s schizophrenia-induced bouts of extreme paranoia, eventually leading to his suicide. That is, Money essentially killed *both* of them, not just David.

  14. Staircase2 8 Jun 2011, 6:03pm

    The twisted evil fockers…
    And that his people are now in complete denial that they might have played a part in this poor man’s suicide is despicable

  15. Oer missus 8 Jun 2011, 6:12pm

    There’s an informative professional discussion and articles at

  16. George Mengele.

  17. Just watching the documentary now, just a few minutes in, and as much as I know Kirk Murphy’s mother is a product of her time, it is VERY hard not to feel appalled at her behaviour.
    I’ve been lucky enough to be born in 1989 and come of age at a time when we are so much further forward, and I don’t want to judge people for their past sins, but she… she is not a right person… to do that to your SON!?

    Scary, and so, so sad.

    1. PumpkinPie 9 Jun 2011, 2:51am

      I agree entirely! My immediate thought on reading her statement was “this evil woman should never have been allowed to ‘care’ for children”.

      1. She made a terrible mistake when she thought she was doing what she could to help her son. She thought Rekers’ “treatment” would help him have a happy life, and she was by no means alone in thinking that in the USA of 1970. I am just as appalled as you are, but I also appreciate her immense courage now in taking part in the documentary knowing, as I assume she now does, of the part she herself played in the tragedy.

        1. PumpkinPie 9 Jun 2011, 3:51pm

          Eh, I guess that is true. Rekers and the people who help to reinforce these hateful views are most definitely the real villains.

  18. Another christian inspired vendetta of hate against gay guys.

  19. What a fukcin freak that george rekers man is. I hope he dies a painful death.

    1. Paddyswurds 8 Jun 2011, 9:24pm

      …i agree, he should be skinned slowly from the feet up and plenty of salt used. If hell could ever exist, this is the sort of person who should be sent there along with the vile mother who condemmed her son to such torture.
      Where are all the macho type gay guys who get off on war and such like. What we need is a Gay “A” team who avenge this sort of thing and get rid of people like this vile Rekers being and politicos like the Hartzler harridan. There is plenty of money swilling about in the Gay Community worldwide to make this possible. It is waaay past time we became retroactive.

      1. I can commiserate but I’m not sure that calling for an elite group of hitmen to wipe out the opposition fcuktards is a viable option, firstly because there are just so many of them, they are like cockroaches swarming behind the wood panelling, you deal with one and another emerges to take their place, secondly, oh I dunno…where’s the recruitment centre to sign up for duty? (lol)

  20. Lovely Irish jig on his bonce, the daft old fart.
    Looks like a dead weasel.
    Stupid old kernt.
    Don’t you just love these experts; these clods that play at being God; my arsehole of a dad, who, back in the 1950’s, had similar notions and forced me into the BOY SCOUTS to “toughen that nancy-boy up”; this Rekers; this Ratzinger; this….well the list goes on and on, dunnit.!
    I hope my dad is in hell, stinkin’; along with the Irish Christian (that’s a laff!)Brothers and Joe Pope when his time comes.


    1. Really Keith, and I so wanted to join the cub Scouts but my Dad wouldn’t let me, I later found out that when he was a Scout himself one of the Scoutmasters used to come into the boys tent displaying his erection to the boys and have them…well you get the picture, so the upshot was that I was never allowed to join Scouts.
      I discovered also much later that as a boy my Dad seems to have had a run of bad luck, his father ran a boarding house and one of the long-staying guests abused my father (then a young boy) over a period of several years, understandably this caused him emotional problems. Seemingly unable to distinguish between paedophiles and homosexuals he turned into an angry and aggressive homophobe in his teens, he joined a boxing club and would set out with a gang to beat up queers as sport.
      I loved my Dad (as you do) but I never liked him or had his friendship, he was cold, often cruelly sarcastic and although he never laid a finger on me he tried his best to break me.

      1. Pavlos, that’s a really awful story about your father, I’m sorry to hear that. But ultimately its your father’s loss, its a pity he can’t see that.

        1. Thanks Will, we had the opportunity to talk and to sort out some of our differences to an extent in the couple years before Dad died but he ran out of time.

      2. Yep…I can relate to that, PAVLOS, baby…!
        Arsehole (my dad) died at 53 with cirrhosis of the liver….well you would too, wouldn’t you, if you necked 3 or 4 bottles of Johnny Walker Black Label every day.!
        I could not believe my luck.
        All his life he referred to me as “that nancy-boy”
        No loss.

        1. Dysfunctional families are probably the rule rather than the exception though it’s often kept hidden or goes unacknowledged…anyway Keith we two “nancy-boys” are still alive and doing just fine I’d say.

          1. Yep.
            Over 70 now, me.
            Certainly outlived that old dad.

  21. Clark Downes 8 Jun 2011, 10:02pm

    If your child is aggressive, smokes, drinks, vandalises and attacks society doesn’t go to such lengths trying to prevent it. But if your child acts like a girl hes automatically deemed to be a gay in the making and needs to be prevented by crushing their individuality and personality……..why do some people have kids?

    Did my dad like me playing with my sister and occasionally dressing up in a dress? No, but its what kids do…. we give most children a gender identity from colours in rooms to toys they can have. Very few would naturally opt for all toy guns etc. Just let kids be themselves, its not difficult.

  22. How about crediting Timothy Kincaid and Jim Burroway ( in this investigation?

    1. I did (credit Jim Burroway) but i think that bit got lost in the edit. Sorry!


  23. Would the real Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde please step forward? Testing your deranged theories on children in the hope you may find a cure for your own self-loathing illness makes Rikers the real modern day Jeckyll and Hyde.


    1. Jock S. Trap 9 Jun 2011, 12:24pm

      I’ve got a headache now… ta.

    2. would you please repeat that… :)

  25. Here’s the online story, complete with video, from the Advocate.

    I can’t help wondering why Kathee Murphy has received a good slap behind the head…

  26. erratum: “hasn’t received”.. ***

  27. For those interested, Part 2 may be viewed here:

  28. Jock S. Trap 9 Jun 2011, 8:55am

    What a distressing story.
    That such Evil goes unpunished when it is clear this is child abuse.
    Child abuse in the name of religion by Bapist minister Dr George Rekers.
    But it fine because it was to prevent a child becoming Gay…. Wrong.
    I denied a child the right to grow.
    It created fear to be oneself.
    It led to a life of lies, torment and shame just because of religion and it’s evil draconian views.
    The fact that this monster Still cannot see his action forced young people and probably plenty in later life, to commit suicide.
    And Still they don’t see the irony when they preach about Evil.
    This man and all like him should be arrested and charged with murder.
    The fact that he and other have such contempt for human life and especially of children is absolutely appalling.

  29. It’s interesting that effeminate behavior over several generations has been viewed in so many different ways in many it was a born trait…nature, regardless if the person happened to be gay or straight.
    in adolescents or young men where it became an intentional or identifiable trait chosen or nurtured because the person presumed it to be normal if one was gay (only to learn otherwise and grow out of it) The saddest thing about it in the gay community is it is still often a barrier for social interaction or acceptance or interaction. by contrast some with celebrity can also use it to entertain or break barriers. Effeminate means so many different things to different generations and is no measure of a person..

  30. Oer missus 9 Jun 2011, 11:23am

    I just saw Rekers interviewed on CNN and ironically I thought he came across as quite “sissy” himself.

    1. Sissy? I thought he came across as bent as a nine bob note and he made my Gaydar ping the Star Spangled Banner. He is a self-hating closet case, simple as that.

      1. Camp as Christmas. All hands and speaks like Liberace :D

    2. He is indeed a closet case. MSNBC did a story on Rekers gettting caught with one of his “escorts” a year ago:

  31. This guy is a real jerk and a danger to teens trying to come to terms with their sexuality. This doesn’t hold true for just boys but also girls.

  32. Surely Kathee Murphy was proud of her “manly-looking” boy in the casket..

    This whole tragedy would never have happened without her consent, and she continues to behave as if her action is irreproachable.

    Women like her ought to have their ovaries removed at a young age.

  33. HelenWilson 9 Jun 2011, 4:33pm

    The thing is children will be subjected to George Rekers experiment today and every other day in Canada at the Clarke Institute (aka “Jurassic Clarke”) in Toronto, under Dr Kenneth J. Zucker

    We need to mobilise against the quacks worldwide.

    1. Ah, but only until the age of 12. If they survive to 12 he then helps them transition. Well gives them,blockers, then hormones years later, at 16. And a very sad lot they look in his photo gallery after wards.

      Odd thing is that his more advanced colleagues don’t see anything wrong in torturing a child by trying to change their gender identity, making them ashamed of it, for years. Its “only diagnostic” they say. So that’s al-right then.

  34. biggest homophobes: closeted homosexual men
    biggest misandric heterophobes: lesbian feminists

    conclusion: most of the times homosexuals complain about discrimination and intolerance, but some gays and lesbians are indeed intolerant and bigots themselves.

    It’s not always the majority, sometimes minorities also play the “victim” game and keep shaming and blaming other social groups, waving the misogyny card or the homophobia card or the “I’m a victim because I belong to a particular category” card.

    Anyone can be a racist, a bigot or an intolerant.

    1. Gee that’s great, so which are you?

  35. I’m sure there’s reference to this documentary on YouTube right now!
    It is just so damn tragic that even now in the 21st century we are denounced for wanting to celebrate diversity! We still desperately try to get boys deemed ‘sissy’ to ‘butch up’.Or god forbid a young girl should wish to climb a tree,or kick a ball around! Seems as a species we have a long,long way to go yet!

  36. Read the comments of a guy in last weeks’ The Voice,a black newspaper in London,who works with the charity Barnardos-he said that some boys with their mother only caring for them were turning out as effeminate….How can Barnardos use him as a public representative,I wonder?

    1. Great Ormond Street Hospital, which it is always so fashionable to raise money for, pushes the same line. for a hospital that sees many intersex children, where gender must surely be a matter of importance, it is astounding that almost the only mention of gender identity on their web site is so outdated. And the head psychologist at Great Ormond Street has become the head of the Gender Identity Development Service at the Tavistock too.

  37. Sinnerviewer 9 Jun 2011, 8:40pm

    I’d love to watch this but the article fails to mention when it will air.

  38. There’s a good feature article in the Independent newspaper today:
    ” “Sexual orientation is not a matter of choice, it is primarily neurobiological at birth.” So said Jerome Goldstein, director of the San Francisco Clinical Research Centre, addressing 3,000 neurologists from around the world at the 21st meeting of the European Neurological Society (ENS) in Lisbon last month.”

  39. Handcuffs are “right” toys, and are even considered toys at all ? Only if by that they mean “sexual toys”.

    “…surgical interventions…” “…operations carried out on the “over-sized” clitorises of girls as young as two years old…”

    So basically with that kind of body mutilation the religious fanatics are trying to raise an army of Cybermen (and here I was thinking the religious fanatics were more like the Daleks; maybe they are both). I can even hear they screaming:


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