Psychologist Douglas Haldeman says early treatments of the 1960s and 70s included:
Aversion therapy, such as shocking patients on the hands and/or genitals, or giving them nausea-inducing drugs while showing them same-sex erotica. In electroconvulsive therapy an electric shock was used to induce a seizure, with side effects such as memory loss.
Reparative therapy tells gay men to behave in ways that limit a full life, cutting off the feminine side that all of us possess. For instance, avoid art museums, opera, symphonies… and women, except for romantic purposes.
A group called Jonah has used techniques like having gay men strip naked in front of a counselor or having them beat up mother effigies. Now they’re facing a lawsuit for emotional damage and deceptive practices. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. Co-founder, Arthur Goldberg once went to prison for financial fraud, and neither he nor “counselor” and co-founding partner, Alan Downing, are licensed therapists.
Former client, Michael Ferguson is now 30 and working toward a PhD in neuroscience at the University of Utah. He came to Jonah because his Mormon faith taught him that heterosexual marriage was a prerequisite for exaltation. When Jonah didn’t work, his counselors blamed him instead of their program, all of which lead to depression. He now says,
It becomes fraudulent, even cruel to say that if you really want to change you could — that’s an awful thing to tell somebody.
In “therapy” he was also required to beat an effigy of his mother, as his councilors claimed that homosexuality arises when “normal masculine development” is repressed by “distant fathers” and “overbearing mothers.”
I was encouraged to develop anger and rage toward my parents. The notion that your parents caused this is a horrible lie. They ask you to blame your mother for being loving and wonderful.
Another client, Chaim Levin, 23, was raised in an Orthodox Jewish community where being gay was “unthinkable,” he said.
Chaim attended $650 weekend retreats for a year and a half. He finally quit when his counselor told him to remove his clothes and touch himself so that he could, “reconnect with his masculinity.” (One wonders if his coach is a closeted gay homophobe getting his kicks.) Mr. Levin felt degraded, humiliated, and still gay.
The American Psychiatric Association says this “therapy” can cause “depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior” while reinforcing “self-hatred already experienced by the patient.” That’s just what happened to Michael and Chaim.
Thousands of men have spent heaps of money seeking to please God or family, but without results. The only thing gay “conversion therapy” demonstrates is that sexual orientation is not a lifestyle choice.
The young men seek to avoid evil, yet a “therapy” that resembles gay bashing can only be called evil. Being gay is not.