Quantcast

Mormon 'Gay Cure' Electro Shock Therapy Against Homosexual Feelings

☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾ 2012/04/06 02:20:52
Dont Think just Do as we tell you to do OBEY Blindly Obey SLAVES OBEY i am no Slave i am FREE are you Free?
You!
Add Photos & Videos
John Cameron said he was a naive and devout Mormon who felt "out of sync" with the world, when he volunteered to be part of a study of "electric aversion therapy" in 1976 at Utah's Brigham Young University.
Twice a week for six months, he jolted himself with painful shocks to the penis to rid himself of his attraction to men.
"I kept trying to fight it, praying and fasting and abstaining and being the best person I could," said Cameron, now a 59-year-old playwright and head of the acting program at the University of Iowa.
"I was never actively gay, never had any encounters with men -- never had moments when I failed and actually had sex with other men," he said.
But his undercurrent of feelings put him in direct conflict with the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints (LDS) and its principles.
"As teens we were taught that homosexuality was second only to murder in the eyes of God," he said.
"I was very, very religious and the Mormon church was the center of my life," said Cameron, who had done missionary work in Guatemala and El Salvador.
The 1976 study at Brigham Young, "Effect of Visual Stimuli in Electric Aversion Therapy," was written by Max Ford McBride, then a graduate student in the psychology department.


"I thought he was my savior," said Cameron, who enrolled with 13 other willing subjects, all Mormons who thought they might be gay, for a three- to six-month course of therapy.
A mercury-filled tube was placed around the base of his penis to measure the level of stimulation he experienced when viewing nude images of men and women.
Shocks, given in three 10-second intervals, were then administered in conjunction with certain images. Participants set their own pain levels.
Cameron said his shame was so deep that he selected the highest level.
"Max didn't do it, we did it," he said. "I was always turning it up to get the most pain because I was desperate."
Homosexuals were seen as a "prurient, expendable population," according to Cameron. "To admit homosexuality in 1976 was the kiss of death. You could be targeted, lose your job, lose your income, lose everything."
And those weren't the only attempted cures that were used in that era. Others allege they were given chemical compounds, which were administered through an IV and caused subjects to vomit when they were stimulated.
Psychologists confirm those harsh experiments were used in a variety of medical settings by scientists of all faiths.
Church officials say they no longer support aversion therapy, but a generation who grew up in the 1970s say they have been scarred for life because of well-intentioned attempts to change their sexual orientation.
Today, the church still steadfastly opposes homosexuality, as witnessed by the millions of dollars in support it gave to pass California's Proposition 8, which would amend the state's constitution to outlaw gay marriage.
Carri P. Jenkins, assistant to the president of BYU, confirmed that McBride did study the effects of aversion therapy in the 1970s. She said the experiment was an "outgrowth of the behaviorist movement, which believed that any behavior could be modified.
"Our understanding is that most behaviorists no longer believe this is an appropriate treatment for those who are seeking change," she said.
Jenkins said other universities at the time used similar techniques, and none of this type has taken place at BYU since then.

The BYU Counseling Center never practiced therapy that would involve chemical or induced vomiting," she said.
Today, therapies are all "mainline therapeutic approaches," according to Jenkins, and all faculty are expected to be licensed and programs accredited.
The university, which is owned by the Mormon Church, said its policy on homosexuality is in line with Mormon doctrine -- today's students are not disciplined unless they engage in sexual activity, and that includes heterosexual sex before marriage.
"BYU will respond to homosexual behavior rather than to feelings or attraction, and welcomes as full members of the university community all whose behavior meets university standards," said Jenkins. "Members of the university community can remain in good standing if they conduct their lives in a manner consistent with Gospel principles."
Play About 1976 Shock Therapy Opens
Cameron, who is now openly gay, wrote a play about his shock therapy experience, "14," which includes much of McBride's controversial dissertation. "I think we need to know the story, to learn from it."
The show, which explores his struggle with coming out, opened at University of Iowa in 2007, Kent State University in 2009 and is being performed at the University of Colorado in Boulder in October.

They thought they were doing something to help me," he said of the experiment. "I can't fault them for that. But now that they are educated, now we know homosexuality is not a choice, people are born this way. The church doesn't still have to be threatened by homosexuality."
ABCNews.com left two telephone messages for McBride, who is now a psychologist in Provo, Utah, but there was no reply.
Cameron had dated girls at BYU and even been engaged a couple of times, but said he always knew those relationships were doomed to failure.
He confessed his struggle to a psychology professor and asked for help. The response ended up in Cameron's play: "No one is a homosexual. Homosexuality doesn't exist. It's just a symptom of a deeper problem you are not willing to deal with."
Cameron said he was deemed a success and was "desperate" enough to believe the therapy worked. But he said it pushed him "deeper and deeper into [my] own closet."
During the study, Cameron said McBride suggested he wear a rubber band on his wrist and snap it if he had inappropriate thoughts. "I got the thin ones so they would hurt more," he said. "Some days I would come home and have bloody wrists."
Connell O'Donovan, who now works at the University of California, Santa Cruz, told ABCNews.com he was sent to BYU in 1976 for vomit therapy, but couldn't go through with it.
BYU said its counseling services never conducted such treatment, but O'Donovan counters that he was evaluated by Joseph Smith Family Living Center, another service on campus.
In 1986, he said he volunteered for "extremely debilitating hypnotherapy" through another Utah counseling center, He said a Mormon intern hypnotized him, splitting him into "Gay Connell" and "Straight Connell."
"He then had me visualize Jesus coming down through the ceiling and utterly destroying Gay Connell to dust and then 'a mighty wind' blowing all the dust away," said O'Donovan. "This is the single most emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually crippling experience of my entire life."
"Some 18 years later I am still healing from that traumatic "therapeutic" experience," he writes in a 2004 essay on his journey.

officials at LDS offices in Salt Lake City to comment on O'Donovan's allegations.
"This is a sensitive topic for all parties involved," said Jessica Moody, an LDS public affairs associate
She referred to official statements on homosexuality on their web site.
It states: "The Lord's law of moral conduct is abstinence outside of lawful marriage and fidelity within marriage. Sexual relations are proper only between husband and wife, appropriately expressed within the bonds of marriage. Any other sexual conduct, including fornication, adultery, and homosexual and lesbian behavior is sinful. Those who persist in such practices or influence others to do so are subject to Church discipline."
.
Charles Silverstein, a clinical psychologist with New York City's Institute for Human Identity, said every psychiatric and mental health organization opposes aversion therapy.
Silverstein was recently given the American Psychological Association Lifetime-Achievement Award for helping to remove "homosexuality" from the list of illnesses in psychiatry's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" in 1973.


"There is no treatment for homosexuality today in the professional community," said Silverstein. "All of them are on the record as saying that homosexuality is within the normal range of human behavior."
Of his clinical patients over the years, he said those who were Mormon "suffered the most."
"It's really a very tight community," he said. "The advantage of a tight community is that it offers a lot of support when needed. This disadvantage is control and they exert a lot of control. They do a number on people."
Play About 1976 Shock Therapy Opens
David Melson, president of the advocacy group Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons, said anecdotal information suggests suicide rates among gay Mormons may be higher than in the general population.
Affirmation collects data from multiple sources, including The Trevor Project, the American Psychological Association and ER physicians
"It is very hard to track this sort of thing because family members, the church and well-intentioned hospital staffs will often tend to not report a death as a suicide," Melson said.
LGBT youth in general are at greater risk for suicide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"It's not just child suicides, but adults in a culture that's built so much around family and marriage and eternal families," said Melson.
"The Mormon doctrine is built around a plan of salvation -- that the earth life is only a small part of your life," Melson said. "You live before and continue to live on through eternities and continue to grow and progress as mortals. Progression depends on family relationships and procreation and gay people can interrupt that pattern of procreation."
Jason Conner, 26, said he struggled with gay feelings while serving in a leadership role on his Mormon mission in Florida in 2006.
"I was suicidal," he said. "I couldn't live with the pressure. I was feeling so unholy."
He said he was sent to "conversion therapy" in Orlando where for a year he was told if he practiced his faith and prayed, feelings of same-sex attraction would go away.
"I had a rubber band that I would flick every time I thought about it," he said. "Whenever I would see a man, I would have to picture myself in a bathtub full of worms."


Though therapy lifted his depression, he said he was set on a disastrous path: He was to move to Utah, within six months find a girl and then six months later, be engaged. Conner enrolled at BYU and made it to the engagement, but then broke it off.
ABCNews.com called LDS Services for comment on Conner's allegations, but no one returned the phone call.
When Conner finally left the church, he said he was alienated from friends and family.
"I had devoted so much time to this culture," he said. "I didn't know any non-Mormon people. To lose so much was pretty rough."
Since then, he has come out and works for Soul Force, an LGBT group that fights religious and political homophobia.
"I feel lucky my experience wasn't so severe," he said of the therapy. "They still do a lot of in-your-face exorcisms and hold people down and spit on them. They teach you how to be a man and hold you down and pass the demons out of you."
David Pruden, who is president of Evergreen International, which provides referral services for Mormons struggling with same-sex attraction, said that he had heard about severe techniques used by fringe groups.
"Every once in awhile we hear about them," he said, "But we don't refer to anybody like that. ... Things like that scare me and it's about people who don't have much training doing amateur stuff.
"All those things are based in self-loathing and self-punishing and are counterproductive," Pruden said. "Our main goal help person come to sense of peace."

Church doctrine is "rigid" and "clear," he said, but extends "love" and support to those who need help. Evergreen recommends counseling services that use a variety of talk therapies.
"People who are motivated and have faith seem to deal with [same-sex feelings] in varying degrees of success," Pruden said. "The bottom line is, if you are at peace with yourself and God, that will help you to get where you want to go."
Pruden, who is a Mormon bishop in his ward, said ex-communication is a last resort after probation and several other steps of reintegration into the church have failed. It is equally applied to sins of heterosexuality as homosexuality, and it is the behavior that is judged, not the thoughts, he said.
"The problem comes at the point when your life becomes so incongruent with the obvious values of the church and it becomes difficult for the church," he said.
"It's a very painful process of losing your membership," Pruden said. "There is a heritage of love attachment that happens to Latter-Day Saints. ... There is a lot of hurt and I feel for those people."
As for Cameron and others who survived the therapies of the 1970s, depression and guilt followed.
Cameron said he bought razor blades and contemplated suicide, but never had the courage to kill himself. He eventually left the church.
"It was a Catch-22," said Cameron. "If you prayed hard enough and wanted it hard enough, God would answer your prayers. But when nothing happened, it was our fault. We didn't want it bad enough or didn't pray enough. You didn't win."
But he doesn't blame the church, one that he says is "quintessentially American."
"The Mormon Church gave me a great deal," he said. "They gave me the high standards that I still live by. They gave me an attitude that I can accomplish anything within my ability if I work at it."
After coming out in graduate school and later embarking on play writing, Cameron said he still missed the sense of community and rituals.
"Even after leaving the church, most ex-Mormons will tell you, you carry this life-long connection to it -- every time you hear the hymns."
But today, just as his protagonist in "14," Cameron said his demons have finally been purged.
"The hymns stopped playing in my head," he said. "I finally let go of it all."

Read More: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/mormon-gay-cures-repa...

Add a comment above

Top Opinion

  • justnotsaying (: 2012/04/06 03:24:35
    It is not unusual for a religious orginization to believe in a psudo-science ...
    justnotsaying (:
    +6
    It's good he left the church. My older sister struggled quite a bit, considered killing herself, and tried to pray her gay away. Since she is religious it scared her. I finally got her to accept herself and live. Going through that experience with her was interesting, and with my nutty personality, we had some hysterically funny times as well.

Sort By
  • Most Raves
  • Least Raves
  • Oldest
  • Newest
Opinions

  • rocat ☥☽✪☾DAW... 2012/04/06 18:32:10
    rocat
    yes- i am familiar-

    the paganness of christianity is amusing-
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... rocat 2012/04/06 18:49:55
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    i just love how call US evil but they are the ones doing all the killing raping and enslaving and trying to take away the rights of others
    and what are pagans doing

    Hugging trees and respecting everyone and honoring the lord and lady and trying to make the world a better place
  • rocat ☥☽✪☾DAW... 2012/04/06 18:53:25
    rocat
    i am a taoist pentecostal shaman-

    got all bases covered-lol
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... rocat 2012/04/06 19:08:34
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    Pagan Minister here

    i study and read world religious history and culture from the most ancient to modern
  • rocat ☥☽✪☾DAW... 2012/04/06 19:26:06
    rocat
    all of it is very interesting stuff-

    but most christians would suffer grave thought dissonance...
    were they to explore-
    a psychic pain they are conditioned by-
    controlled by-
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... rocat 2012/04/06 19:30:59
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    if they actually bothered to think for themselves and read about other religious history they would realize how stupid they are
    they act nothing like thier savior who preached peace and tolerance and love
  • rocat ☥☽✪☾DAW... 2012/04/06 19:37:33
    rocat
    "the way the truth and the life"

    most christians skip the truth part-
    a hard row to hoe-
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... rocat 2012/04/06 20:27:41
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    Man and Horse that Built Civilization

    Actually that was said by Horus in Egypt
    who also had a virgin birth story identical to jesus
    Man and Horse that Built Civilization
  • rocat ☥☽✪☾DAW... 2012/04/06 20:34:19
    rocat
    the ancient queen who bore the godchild...
    is an interesting parallel too-

    the catholic queen of heaven...early version-

    interesting they call mary that-
    as the only mention of queen of heaven in the bible...
    is ashtaroth-

    consistency...
    has never been the strong suit ...
    of ideologues-
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... rocat 2012/04/06 20:41:12
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    God has a wife shes mentioned in the bible
    who ironicly is a Pagan Goddess

    God had a wife, her name is Asherah, whom the Book of Kings suggests was worshiped alongside Yahweh in his temple in Israel, according to an Oxford scholar Raphael Patai.

    The Book of Jeremiah written circa 628 BC possibly refers to Asherah when it uses the title "queen of heaven" (Hebrew: לִמְלֶכֶת הַשָּׁמַיִם‎) in Jer 7:18 and Jer 44:17–19, 25.

    http://www.sodahead.com/unite...


    creation of adam

    look at Gods arm he has it around a woman
    that is Sofia also called Asherah
  • rocat ☥☽✪☾DAW... 2012/04/06 20:43:12
    rocat
    interesting...the painting-

    never noted that before-
  • justnotsaying (: 2012/04/06 03:24:35
    It is not unusual for a religious orginization to believe in a psudo-science ...
    justnotsaying (:
    +6
    It's good he left the church. My older sister struggled quite a bit, considered killing herself, and tried to pray her gay away. Since she is religious it scared her. I finally got her to accept herself and live. Going through that experience with her was interesting, and with my nutty personality, we had some hysterically funny times as well.
  • Lady Wh... justnot... 2012/04/06 12:56:48
    Lady Whitewolf
    +3
    Good on you!
  • justnot... Lady Wh... 2012/04/06 16:19:08
    justnotsaying (:
    +1
    She's been out since 2002.
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... justnot... 2012/04/06 16:25:42
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    +2
    do you know what we Pagans do to homosexuals??

    We love them and Respect them
    thats it
  • justnot... ☥☽✪☾DAW... 2012/04/06 17:00:41
    justnotsaying (:
    Someone being gay isn't a big deal to me either.
  • Lady Wh... justnot... 2012/04/07 10:12:52
    Lady Whitewolf
    +1
    And probably better off!
  • justnot... Lady Wh... 2012/04/07 15:59:11
    justnotsaying (:
    Anyone would be. It's better than holding it in and torturing yourself.
  • shadowfang 2012/04/06 03:19:15 (edited)
    thank God there have been brave people from Galileo to Martin Luther King Jr....
    shadowfang
    +1
    That's called negative reinforcement. Not therapy. And in the immortal words of George Takei, to all those who believe homosexuals should die and go to hell:
  • elijahin24 shadowfang 2012/04/06 19:50:49
    elijahin24
    +1
    Gotta love Mr. Sulu!
  • Gracie - Proud Conservative 2012/04/06 03:08:18
    It is not unusual for a religious orginization to believe in a psudo-science ...
    Gracie - Proud Conservative
    +2
    Geez, how many long options does one need to answer this question? I tried "electric aversion therapy" on my gay husband (now obviously my ex-husband) but he got away from me before I could stick his member in the light socket!
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... Gracie ... 2012/04/06 03:12:55
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    +2
    i like giving plenty of options so nobody can say im biased
  • Gracie ... ☥☽✪☾DAW... 2012/04/06 03:26:47
    Gracie - Proud Conservative
    Was there an unbiased option there? I must have missed it.
  • XENON23 2012/04/06 02:32:05
    It is not unusual for a religious orginization to believe in a psudo-science ...
    XENON23
    +3
    Sounds like they are still living in the 1950's or back.
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... XENON23 2012/04/06 03:13:15
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    +3
    go further back try 1600s
  • The Gov... ☥☽✪☾DAW... 2012/04/06 03:24:55
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... The Gov... 2012/04/06 03:32:07
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    +1
    actually they had Electricty all the way back in ancient Egyptian times ben franklin Rediscovered Electricity

  • The Gov... ☥☽✪☾DAW... 2012/04/06 03:39:33
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... The Gov... 2012/04/06 03:41:52
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    +1
    they have found other things like a machine that uses the power of the sun to turn Salt water into drinkable water using a primitive Evaporation system
    water is Evaporated by mirrors in a tank it turns into steam that goes thru pipes and filters then ends up in a cooling tank where it condenses and turns back into water

    this and many other discoveries they have been finding lately
  • The Gov... ☥☽✪☾DAW... 2012/04/06 03:45:45
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... The Gov... 2012/04/06 03:46:18
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    +1
    Ancient Civilizations were WAY more advanced than previously thought

    maybe instead of you focusing on hate and ignorance and reading about new discoveries and science and history articles you could use your Brain for once
  • Lady Wh... ☥☽✪☾DAW... 2012/04/06 12:57:19
    Lady Whitewolf
    Agreed!
  • Sinister Ken Doll™ 2012/04/06 02:28:41
    We wonder why our country is in so much trouble? People need to accept others...
    Sinister Ken Doll™
    +4
    it's none of their business whether people are homosexual or not
    i don't see why they care so much
  • DJPanicDC Siniste... 2012/04/06 02:30:29
    DJPanicDC
    "i don't see why they care so much"

    I file it under "thou dost protest too much"
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... Siniste... 2012/04/06 02:33:43
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    +1
    Thier Bible Tells them to do this

    actually it says to kill homosexuals
    and women who wear mens clothing
    and Pagans
    and non believers
    and women who can read and write
  • Lady Wh... ☥☽✪☾DAW... 2012/04/06 12:58:03
    Lady Whitewolf
    Don't mention that a lot, do they?
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... Lady Wh... 2012/04/06 13:01:05
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    +1
    its funny in native american sayings the Elders say to live in peace with everyone
    only use force if absoultely nessarcy

    there is actual proof that Celtic/Gaelic and Norse Pagans found America 1000 years before Columbus did and were living Peacefully with natives and even establishing a trade Route they found the settlement in maine and Canada

    even in ancient pagan Text it says to love everyone and coexist with others
  • Lady Wh... ☥☽✪☾DAW... 2012/04/06 15:32:40
    Lady Whitewolf
    So well said1
  • DJPanicDC 2012/04/06 02:23:56
    Most of these superstitious/religious people could screw up the recipe for a ...
    DJPanicDC
    +2
    Needs a "all/most of the above"
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... DJPanicDC 2012/04/06 02:25:53
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    Damn i FORGOT

See Votes by State

The map above displays the winning answer by region.

News & Politics

2014/10/25 10:12:11

Hot Questions on SodaHead
More Hot Questions

More Community More Originals