1. TampaZeke says

    Yeah, how many of Nicolosi’s “hundreds of success stories” ended up like Reker’s success story; how many ended up finally accepting themselves and living happily in their nature and how many ended up miserable, unhappy and unhealthy living a lie while living their truth on the down low like Rekers?

    Did CNN ask? Did ANYONE ask?

    It wouldn’t matter if they did since NARTH, like Exodus and Love Won Out don’t follow-up on their success stories after five years. They’ve found that it’s better not to ask questions that might shatter their talking points and “statistics”.

    Disgusting, evil, destructive douchebags, EACH AND EVERY ONE!

  2. kodiak says

    “It’s tragic if someone committed suicide, but we have to look at the body of literature, that’s what we’re relying on.”

    What about the dead man’s body? Seems more pertinent than a “body” of literature.

    Why isn’t this recognized as child abuse? Same thing.

    Kill the Gay inside you. Kill the Gay. Always comes down to that.


  3. Tonic says

    I took part “reparative therapy” before I came out (due to being raised a Jehovah’s Witness and knowing I’d lose 99.9% of all my family and “friends”). All they did was have me complain endlessly about my parents. Aside from the religious bunk, my parents were pretty decent and eventually I said so and told them I had no more complaints about it. Now what?

    They also told me I’d NEVER not be gay, that they could only hope to help me not act on it (and thus lead a miserable life).

    At $100 per half hour session that wasn’t covered by insurance since it’s not a valid therapy, I quickly ran out of money. They second I told them that (seriously, the very second).

    It was all ridiculous and obviously very damaging to many. NARTH is a dangerous group.

  4. Tonic says

    Oh, and of course they never followed-up on me, nor on any of their 99% failure cases. Why would they?

  5. Zlick says

    Well, that was a bit tough to watch. Ryan’s a pal of mine. That’s the first time I’ve seen and heard from Nicolosi. Pardon me if I find it a tad hard to believe he’s “unfamiliar” with Ryan’s case – – that no one, not a colleague, not a friend, no one approached him when he was named, and his “therapy” described on the witness stand in one of the most watched and famous trials in American history.

    I know it’s very tough for Ryan to talk about these experiences – so kudos to him for taking the stand in the Prop 8 trial and for giving these interviews to AC360.

    Oh, and it’s a hoot to see photos of him with hair!

  6. will says

    Notice how the “psychologist” says that homosexuality is a psychological “adaptation”, a failure to bond with the male father figure.

    So, again, this is perpetuating the myth that homosexuality is not inborn, but a result of psychological difficulties after birth. Nobody’s born gay, it says.

    When you look through history though, homosexuality is a constant. It’s in the ancient literature of Mesopotamia (Gilgamesh). Plato’s greek dialogues show homosexuality in ancient Greece. Ancient Rome, the Renaissance… Homosexuality is not a large part of cultures (perhaps 5% of a given populace) but it’s constant. It’s natural. It’s evident in most other animal species. It has to be mostly genetic.

  7. David says

    It may be that many gay men are distant from their fathers BECAUSE THEY ARE GAY. Our fathers and we ourselves, may perceive, from a very early early age, that we are different from other boys. Fathers don’t know how to deal with it and neither does the gay child. This is a case of confusing correlation with causation.

  8. Codswallop says

    This AC360 report has really disturbed me. Years ago I’d read about Kirk’s case and it bothered me then, so much so that I still remembered details about it before this report ever aired. I felt such sympathy for the child who was described in the literature as screaming and crying, unable to understand why his mother stopped responding to him completely when he played with the “wrong” toys. I knew about the “demerit” system, but not the extent of the physical abuse in the home. He was FIVE years old! (His parents bear much of the blame for that, IMO. The father BEAT the child and the mother stood by and “I was only following orders” only excuses so much. I believe he literally became the “whipping boy” for problems in the home.)

    Both my older brother and I are gay. In the scheme of things our parents were pretty good about it. Not great, but good. But I can also remember a lot of “policing” of our behavior when we were children, moreso with my brother than me. I was the one they didn’t suspect, he was/is more stereotypically gay. But with both of us any interest in things outside a narrow range of “male behavior” weren’t encouraged at best and in some cases actively crushed. The message was conveyed that those interests were not acceptable and would result in rejection. In comparison to what children like Kirk and Ryan went through that seems barely worth mentioning, yet I know both my brother and I still feel the sting of that disapproval and rejection and I think that’s why this resonates with me so much.

    And if we still feel the effects of that comparatively minor rejection, then imagine the effect of having your parents set upon a campaign to decimate your image of self, to reject and attempt to remake your core identity with such radical “therapy” undertaken by religious ideologues. What Rekers, Nicolosi, and people like them do is vile, evil by any standard, and it has to stop.

  9. pdxblueyes says

    charlatan, snake oil salesman, flim flam man… all valid descriptions of the people who SELL reperative therapy to ignorant fearful parents for their children.When will these individuals be made to account for their crimes? Bottom line this is abuse, clear and simple and SOMEONE has to be held accountable for it. Why are they not?

  10. justme says

    OH MY GOD. Everyone of these “ex-gay” psychopaths are scary screaming queens. Not just simply gay, not even merely effeminate, but complete and utter stereotypes of the most obvious — and creepiest! — homosexuals. How can nobody see this??? Why would you give your child to these way-beyond-gay cartoons in order to turn him STRAIGHT??? How have they managed to pull off this scam???

    I can’t believe the world is even more screwed-up than I already thought it was.

  11. Zlick says

    As a child, I would never have been sophisticated enough to differentiate between causation and correlation vis-a-vis my very distant relationship with my father. In fact, my childhood was the textbook case for what the quacks determined to be How to Raise a Kid to Be Gay. Thank my lucky stars my parents were not a bit inclined to “repair” me – I would have bought the quackery hook, line and sinker. Pfft, I had enough trauma as a young adolescent without being forced to feel I could change “back” to straight if only I worked hard enough at doing the right thing. OMG.

    The fuctupness of this astounds me. I’m so glad I’ll be seeing Ryan in a couple of weeks – I wanna give him the great biggest hug!

  12. andnowwhat says

    any credible body of literature includes long-term follow up of case studies, particularly to prove the efficacy of treatment.

  13. Shane says

    It is unlikely that the reparative therapy made any positive contribution to the adjustment of the deceased individual. But this cannot be examined due to the lack of systematic evidence.

    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.

    As a piece of journalism, it is disappointing that the report wasn’t more balanced. But given the TV anchor involved, perhaps this was inevitable.

  14. Jay says

    @ shane

    Robust pyschological principles? Seriously? The claim made by Rekers is that his treatment with extreme negative reinforcement reshaped the victim’s fundamental sexual identity, forging heterosexuality from nascent homosexuality. In effect, they attempted to use *behavioral therapy* to alter a complex, inborn aspect of identity in a *child*. He’s NOT just suggesting that he can alter behavior, or no one would send their kids to him. Parents have been using conditioning to prevent unwanted behavior for thousands of years, without any help from Rekers.

    This was extreme emotional and physical child abuse perpetrated by those with both academic and professional authority. How you don’t recognize this as a profound trauma is beyond me. There’s clear evidence from the testimony of the family that Kirk’s personality underwent a disturbing transformation in the wake of the therapy, and that his suffering was directly related to the use of the chips to modify his behavior.

    Virtually all suicides have multifactorial causes, as complex as the human beings that experience them. But to suggest that the therapy didn’t go on to strongly influence his lifetime of conflicted identity, depression, and eventual suicide is to make a mockery of the correlation-causation principle. In both social science and criminal law, personal accounts, and analogously witness testimony, *ARE* systematic evidence. Could this be investigated more thoroughly? Of course. But the implications of this report, especially considering their explicit admission of the uncertainty of causality, is well founded and nothing close to libel.