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

Watch: How 'Anti-Sissy' Therapy Destroyed a Man and His Family


Here's the first part of AC360's look into the damaging "anti-sissy" treatment pushed by "ex-gay" proponent Dr. George Alan Rekers that I previewed yesterday:

"In 1970, a five-year-old boy named Kirk Murphy was subjected to an ex-gay experiment. Under the care of Dr Ivor Lovaas and George Rekers, then a doctoral student, of UCLA, he underwent therapy to eliminate supposed effeminate behaviors. In 1974, Lovaas and Rekers jointly published a paper about the boy they renamed "Kraig," heralding his treatment for "childhood cross-gender problems" a success and claiming he had been transformed from a gender-confused homosexual-in-waiting to a healthy, heterosexual young man. On the back of this study, Rekers built a career as an anti-gay activist and a supposed expert in childhood sexual development. He co-founded the Family Research Council and championed reparative therapy to turn gay men straight. In 2003, Kirk, aged 38 years old and gay, committed suicide."

Watch the heartbreaking and infuriating report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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 George 'Rentboy' Rekers $87,000 to Be Star Witness for State's Gay Adoption Ban [tr]

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  1. I don't understand how the people who are responsible for this abuse are not in prison. Has to stop watching the clip because it made me so angry.

    Posted by: jaragon | Jun 8, 2011 6:18:15 PM

  2. Eric Payne thank you for sharing your story!

    Posted by: Jeff | Jun 8, 2011 7:31:28 PM

  3. It is important for this report to reach the masses in the USA. But yes, the contents are infuriating, and they do unfortunately inspire such hatred for Rekers.

    Posted by: Shane | Jun 8, 2011 9:42:18 PM

  4. this guy rekers is just another in a long list of closeted and "ex gay" homosexuals who have caused so much pain and suffering to others. i hope that rent boy escort got a ton of money for "carrying rekers luggage"on that vacation trip. he sure earned it for associating with that creep.

    Posted by: john leddy | Jun 8, 2011 10:27:45 PM

  5. Here is a petition I put together in order to strip George Rekers of the title 'professor emeritus' from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. Sign it if you want to uphold an ethical standard in clinical science.


    Posted by: Eric Garr | Jun 9, 2011 4:46:01 PM

  6. Thank you Eric Garr for posting the petition. I signed it. And thank you to Eric Payne for sharing your amazing story on here.
    I would love nothing better than to see George Rekers stripped of his ability to practice, teach and write books. His bogus studies have done nothing but harmed people like Kirk who was beautiful boy with promising future, but instead, ended his life because he saw no other way out other than death. The vicious act of suicide sends a strong message to his family of the internal pain and struggle he must have been experiencing all his life. They showed photos and video clips of him last night and you can see how much sadness the man had by just looking at his eyes.
    IMO, a large blame goes to Rekers but I wonder how much responsibility goes to his parents. The bigger finger gets to be pointed at Rekers but the other 4 are pointing back at the parents for not even questioning the study. To sit there and see how your child would cry and scream because you're simply ignoring him is beyond comprehension. We are all interactive creatures and when your a child, you do a lot of that and that's how you relate to your environment. Rekers' study went against the normal development of a human being and that in itself is enough for me to question the validity of such study.
    I also want to add that watching the show the last 2 nights. I felt so much for his siblings, especially his older brother when he shared that he would take some of the chips that would make Kirk end up getting whipped by their Dad. I want to say to both his brother and sister that I'm really sorry for your loss.
    To Kirk - Wherever you may be, I just want to say that you are (were) a beautiful man and you did not deserve the life you lived in this earth. RIP.

    Posted by: chadSF | Jun 9, 2011 6:14:23 PM

  7. Greg,

    Your comment is racist, stupid, and no better than anti-gay bigotry. Words like "redneck" are like using the f-word or the n-word. And compared to gays being put to death in Iran or Uganda, you'd have to be an idiot to believe that the treatment of gays is worst in the U.S. And even within the U.S., studies have shown that whites are more likely to identify as "gay" than are blacks or Hispanics (even when the "have sex with men" rate is the same) which strongly suggests that there's MORE cultural oppression of homosexuality in those two cultures.

    Posted by: Robert | Jun 9, 2011 11:57:44 PM

  8. So grateful that AC360 covered the tremendous damage that these "therapies" can inflict on young people. Unfortunately, oftentimes parents put their kids through them because they don't know any better. However, there's a great new resource for parents who have recently learned that their son or daughter is gay or lesbian -- a 35-minute film called LEAD WITH LOVE. It's available for free online (http://www.leadwithlovefilm.com). Unlike Rekers' and Nicolosi's work, this film's message is actually consistent with mainstream scientific information on sexual orientation, and offers parents support, comfort, and guidance on how to be a good parent to their child.

    Posted by: David | Jun 10, 2011 1:37:44 PM

  9. 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.

    Posted by: Shane | Jun 11, 2011 3:13:35 AM

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