The Miami New Times this morning published an interesting look at some of George Rekers work with boys — not "rent boys", but effeminate boys — boys he felt needed the gay violently "spanked" out of them. The beatings were Rekers' first attempt at an "ex-gay" therapy cure.
The New Times reports:
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.
George Rekers: still dangerous after all these years.
Don't miss Frank Rich's column from Sunday's NYT on Lucien, the "heaven-sent rent boy".