"Ex-Gays" | Anderson Cooper | George Alan Rekers | News

Watch: 'Ex-Gay' Proponent Dr. George Rekers Confronted About Suicide of 'Sissy Boy' He Treated


In part two of AC360's look at therapy pushed by Dr. George Rekers meant to "cure" boys of their effeminate ways, CNN's team confronts Rekers about the suicide of Kirk Murphy.


Part 1 of the AC360 special, if you missed it, is HERE.

As you may recall, the State of Florida spent hundreds of thousands of dollars hiring Dr. George Rekers as its star witness in the case against adoption by gays in Florida.

Florida's hiring of Rekers by Attorney General Bill McCollum made headlines after Rekers, who built his career out of this damaging "ex-gay" therapy, was discovered returning from vacation in Florida with a rent boy he had brought with him.

Anti-Gay Leader George Rekers Caught Returning Home from Vacation with 'Rent Boy' [tr]
Photo: 'Ex-Gay' Activist George Reker's Rent Boy 'Lucien' [tr]
Florida AG Bill McCollum Paid Rekers $87K to Be Star Witness for State's Gay Adoption Ban [tr]

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  1. ALL of these "ex-gay" charlatans are psychotic closet cases.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jun 9, 2011 8:38:09 AM

  2. Unbelievable. Rekers has no remorse whatsoever. His therapy was a success... if you call suicide a "success."

    Posted by: RyanInSacto | Jun 9, 2011 9:04:07 AM

  3. Rekers definitely has his issues, but I think Kirk's parents are also partially responsible as well.

    Posted by: Andy | Jun 9, 2011 9:16:42 AM

  4. Why is this legal?

    Posted by: Kelly in Atlantic City | Jun 9, 2011 9:18:30 AM

  5. When denial is the very core of your psychosis, it's easy to justify anything.

    Posted by: rascal | Jun 9, 2011 9:20:19 AM

  6. Having been to ex gay therapy myself, it is so depressing to see the same sad, mournful eyes and expression in this poor guy that I see in myself. The damage that's instilled runs so deep that I doubt I'll ever wake up to the day when this was all just a bad experience. It shatters your core. Being almost 30, and still holding on to all that resentment towards my parents, unable to forgive, unwilling to even.
    The religious folk have blood in their hands and are free to go on ruining the lives of kids forever. This just drives me mad.

    Posted by: topher | Jun 9, 2011 9:24:01 AM

  7. i still need someone explain to me what "ex-gay" is. doesn't that mean that you are no longer gay, therefor logically following that, this means that you are straight... and if you don't like being gay, that's fine with us, just stop telling us that its wrong! i don't eat spinach, but i don't tell others not to eat it! if you don't like dick, don't touch it, its really that simple!!

    Posted by: James G | Jun 9, 2011 9:33:53 AM

  8. Topher, my heart broke reading your message. I can't imagine the trauma of enduring such an assault on self. You know, there's no law that says you have to forgive. Some things are unforgivable. And you can still heal. Having friends and lovers who honour, nurture and celebrate the whole, authentic you can undo a lot of the damage. You will always have the wound but you can kill the infection xxx

    Posted by: Tony | Jun 9, 2011 9:37:00 AM

  9. Topher - I'm so sorry that you were exposed to this kind of destructive hatred. It makes me so sad that you and people like us were forced into these destructions when they are young and vulnerable. I hope you are finding joy as a proud gay man - you deserve it.

    We all have to work to end this evil by exposing it and speaking truth to it. I'm glad its getting mainstream media exposure. These people should be in jail, not out there destroying innocent young boys and girls.

    Posted by: Carmen | Jun 9, 2011 9:48:44 AM

  10. Reker looks, walks, talks like a typical Gay man who doesn't like effeminate or feminine males (and there are issues of "projection" to explain that). There are many homosexual men (open and closeted) who are as evil as he is. And they really despise Transgender Gays (Drag queens, androgynous Gays, etc.). Some of these femophobic Gay men will be in New York on the last Sunday in June...they are nothin' unusual.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jun 9, 2011 10:02:55 AM

  11. Topher… Having seen too many therapists over too many years and gotten very little relief from rage, despair, and self loathing, the last one finally suggested something no one else had ever said... That rage has an important function and that I stop talking about forgiveness and listen to mine.

    Contrary to pop culture's pseudo-spiritual clichés, cornering the perpetrators and shouting variations on "I hate you for what you did to me and I pray you die alone in terrible pain" directly into their faces turned out to be something very like magic. In particular, screaming obscenities at them at the top of lungs changed things for the better in ways I don't think I'll ever understand.

    Anger - particularly men's anger - has a terrible rep, but it's possible to separate it from violence and put it to work. Among other things, I found no forgiveness in myself until I accepted and expressed the very real hatred I felt. I still feel it, but now it's a scar rather than a hemorrhaging wound. Forgive me for the unsolicited advice, but I hope you'll consider getting and acting mad as an alternative to going mad.

    Posted by: Bryan | Jun 9, 2011 10:09:34 AM

  12. Yep...closet case. So sad they can't accept themselves so they spend their time trying to rescue other people from their self-imposed Hell.

    Posted by: Rick | Jun 9, 2011 10:30:28 AM

  13. tony, that was a great response to topher.

    Posted by: aardvark | Jun 9, 2011 10:51:07 AM

  14. If Dr. Reker is a real doctor then his license should be revoked. If s sufficient number of citizens complain to the Florida Department of Health (this can be done online) then the "doctor's" license will be reviewed.

    That's never a good thing.

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Jun 9, 2011 10:52:44 AM

  15. To be clear, the subject of the series is not the "ex-gay" therapy that may have come out of this early experimental stuff, but rather gay-prevention done on little kids who may or may not be gay, but are perceived to be headed down that dreaded path because they don't display all the proper masculine boyness.

    That this is done on little kids before they can even possibly be ex-gayified is reprehensible.

    My pal Ryan is featured a bit in the last part of the series. I'm not sure if his experience was more gay-prevention or ex-gayifying. Either way, I'm glad it didn't "work." Either way, it affected him horribly.

    Despite talking about it on the Prop 8 witness stand where it really counted, it's (as you might imagine) not something he talks about a lot. I'm eager and a little nervous to learn a bit more about his experiences in tonight's episode.

    Ugh, this whole thing is so damn rotten to the core.

    Posted by: Zlick | Jun 9, 2011 10:56:52 AM

  16. On CNN's website, they had a link to a PDF doc of the signed contract between Rekers and his rent boy. It included requirements to be a companion as well as massages. This man is beyond vile, beyond reprehensible.

    The science of psychology has progressed beyond what was presumed decades ago; that's the hallmark of science: it changes as we learn more. One thing, however, that hasn't changed but has been continuously re-confirmed is the long-lasting effects of early childhood experience (before the age of five). It is entirely reasonable to correlate the torture this child experienced to the torment the adult felt, and the people who knew him best believe led him to commit suicide.

    Posted by: TJ | Jun 9, 2011 11:15:18 AM

  17. @Brian - anger is indeed a powerful and instructive emotion. Acknowledging it is incredibly therapeutic. I was surprised at the number of my cohorts in grad school (counseling psychology) who shied away from exploring or validating anger, assuming that it is a destructive thing. Clinically, it is often difficult to get clients to "go there" because they, too, presume that it is destructive. And it is - when you keep it inside and try to pretend that it is not there.

    Posted by: TJ | Jun 9, 2011 11:23:25 AM

  18. Clearly the parents had no common sense and were filled with shame over their girlish boy, which is why they sought out Rekers in the first place. They clearly deserve a lot of the blame. Rekers, however, completely poisoned the family relationship and dynamic by making the parents' problem Kirk's problem too.

    Posted by: anon | Jun 9, 2011 11:42:44 AM

  19. I'm disgusted that this interview with Rekers did not go far enough:

    1. Mr. Rekers, were you aware he attempted suicide at 17? Was this a part of your case study for all those years?

    2. Mr. Rekers, will you now disavow all of your research surrounding him? Will you publish books to set the record straight about Kirk's life?

    Posted by: JFE | Jun 9, 2011 12:02:39 PM

  20. 17890 W Dixie Hwy Apt 417
    Miami, FL 33160-4825

    (786) 436-6508

    Posted by: Give him a call | Jun 9, 2011 12:40:38 PM

  21. Reker's effeminate voice/appearance speaks obviously gay to me. he's the worst enemy of gay rights: a homosexual man himself.

    Posted by: nikko | Jun 9, 2011 12:56:26 PM

  22. It's pretty fricking ironic that AC is running this story. By not coming out, he is exacerbating the problem. By not coming out, he reinforces that there's something wrong with being gay and that the truth has to be hidden.

    Shame on him.

    Posted by: dms | Jun 9, 2011 1:12:45 PM

  23. Please take this case to the public and put it under microscope. This guy is a murderer.

    Posted by: Akira | Jun 9, 2011 1:23:03 PM

  24. What's scary is how Reker is using "science" to distance himself from his evil: he hides behind the need to "prove" a "hypothesis" that his therapy had harmful, long-term effects on "Craig".

    Now, I would never cite it as the sole cause; after all, we all know that being gay in an anti-gay climate is devastatingly difficult on our psyches. However, this family obviously can point to a definable fracture in their lives, and it's just ridiculous to believe that this event wouldn't have long-term effects. And if it had this effect on the family, especially those not directly involved in the therapy, then it's even more believable that this therapy had an even greater impact on Kirk himself.

    Reker use of science is evil, and he should be brought up on ethical violation and prevented from ever providing therapy to anyone. As should anyone who provides counceling that, in effect, works to make people deny who they are. Kirk really could have benefited from a real therapist working with him to overcome Reker's influence and to learn to accept himself for who he was.

    From all accounts (and from the pictures and videos), he was a handsome, sucussful, complex individual that I, for one, would have loved to have known. I grieve for him and his family.

    Posted by: Talisman | Jun 9, 2011 1:45:30 PM

  25. You don't help someone by "beating" the gay out of them!!! Of course the scars that were left by this "therapy" caused his suicide, it was beaten into him that being gay was wrong, unacceptable, the worst thing he could possibly be. George Reker and the people who did this are guilty of this mans death! This story makes me sick, what this child, person went through rocks me to my very core...and sadly many in our LGBT community are still going through this very thing.

    Posted by: Leesa Nixon | Jun 9, 2011 2:01:49 PM

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