Read it and marvel/vomit over the fact that this man runs free, still able to hurt little boys like the one described here:
What do you do with a little boy who likes cross-dressing and playing with dolls? If you’re George Alan Rekers, you “extinguish” the boy’s feminine behavior with a sometimes violent Pavlovian regimen while your scientific team observes through a one-way mirror.
In 1974, Rekers, a leading thinker in the so-called ex-gay movement, was presented with a 4-year-old “effeminate boy” named Kraig, whose parents had enrolled him in the program. Rekers put Kraig in a “play-observation room” with his mother, who was equipped with a listening device. When the boy played with girly toys, the doctors instructed her to avert her eyes from the child.
According to a 2001 account in Brain, Child Magazine, “On one such occasion, his distress was such that he began to scream, but his mother just looked away. His anxiety increased, and he did whatever he could to get her to respond to him… Kraig became so hysterical, and his mother so uncomfortable, that one of the clinicians had to enter and take Kraig, screaming, from the room.”
Rekers’s research team continued the experiment in the family’s home. Kraig received red chips for feminine behavior and blue chips for masculine behavior. The blue chips could be cashed in for candy or television time. The red chips earned him a “swat” or spanking from his father. Researchers periodically entered the family’s home to ensure proper implementation of the reward-punishment system.
After two years, the boy supposedly manned up. Over the decades, Rekers, who ran countless similar experiments, held Kraig up as “the poster boy for behavioral treatment of boyhood effeminacy.”
At age 18, shamed by his childhood diagnosis and treatment, Rekers’s poster boy attempted suicide, according to Gender Shock, a book by journalist Phyllis Burke.
I believe the scientific term for George Alan Rekers is “you sick, sadistic bastard.”
It’s one sort of evil to take your own seething self-hatred out on adults. It’s yet another to rape the innocence and identity out of a child whose only crime is that he doesn’t fit into the gender-binary construct that George Rekers, apparently, has never been able to attain for himself.
But let’s be clear about one thing: the reason organizations like Truth Wins Out exist, why Jeremy spends countless hours chronicling the anti-gay movement at Good As You, why Amanda Marcotte takes the time to analyze and explain patriarchy in words any can understand but few have heard before at Pandagon, why Pam Spaulding and her crew and Joe Jervis and the Box Turtle guys (AND SO ON) — and the reason why I make a point of mocking these people as dismissively as they truly deserve — is that this story, while grotesque, should not be shocking. Yes, it’s appalling, but it is only the natural result, taken to its extreme, of Religious Right teachings on sexuality and on gender. And these stories, in all their varying degrees, are myriad, but they all have one simple common denominator: the overarching, bellyaching desire of heterosexual religious men (and those who wish to God every night that they might one day be heterosexual) to control the lives, the gender expression, the sexuality, of all people they view as lesser. This includes women, children, racial minorities, and certainly LGBT people. Again, this is the natural conclusion of the notion of the junk science of “reparative therapy.” This is what happens when people who have been trained like show ponies to repress everything authentic about themselves in the pursuit of the lifeless, unhappy “ideal” of the fundamentalist worldview are allowed to flourish unhindered by modernity. (I mean, look at Saudi Arabia, for god’s sake. Yeah, it’s the same.) This is what happens when those people’s ideas are accorded an ounce of respect. We all have freedom of speech, at least in the United States, but part of that freedom is the responsibility for those of us who live in verifiable reality to do everything we can to ensure that the sadism of the Religious Right, and its concomitant junk science, are granted all the respect they deserve in the marketplace of ideas. (Hint: That would be “none.”) It’s our responsibility to do everything we can to help as many people understand that when people like George Rekers, Tony Perkins, Peter LaBarbera, the entire staff of Focus on the Family (including the chipper young cretins they’ve hired to “reach out to millenials,” a battle they’ve long lost), Matt Barber, Elaine Donnelly, Laurie Higgins, Maggie Gallagher, or any of their buttbuddies in bigotry open their maws and spew forth, their words amount to nothing more than long disproven, hateful, ignorant lies. It’s our responsibility to make sure that those who come across our words are armed with the resources (our side being the only one which actually relies on research and reason, citations, real science, etc.) to know the Religious Right is lying, only and always, and to know precisely how and why they’re lying.
This is a big part of why we do what we do.
Our adversaries hurt people. They drive their own to decades of depression and despair, and they drive their own children to substance abuse, rejection, depression and sometimes even suicide.
At the end of the piece quoted above, it’s stated that, even though George Rekers was caught in flagrante diddle-fingers coming back from Europe with a young male whore, that the brain trust at NARTH still stands by Rekers’ “science.” Of course they do. They will never let something like reality, or trails of blood leading to the bodies and souls of kids hurt by their “science,” get in the way of their obscene, wrongheaded, and wholly self-loathing vendetta against those citizens of the world who dare to survive, to love authentically, to dream, to fly, to fuck, to question authority, to laugh, to breathe, to celebrate, to mourn, to rage against the dying of the light…in short, to live, and to do so without asking the permission of the self-appointed religious police. NARTH and similar groups do not care about people. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that they have clear and palpable contempt for people, much as most right-wing organizations have clear, palpable contempt for their readers, knowing as they do that their intended audience is too stupid, too abused, or too brainwashed to know any better. They simply don’t care about the human beings involved.
So yeah. We do this to fight for the kids like Kraig, those many years ago, and those who still are vulnerable to an enemy which sees them not as people but as notches on their Culture War belts.
Can. I. Get. A. Witness?
Okay, I’m done spitting daggers now, so if anybody needs this soapbox…