More of the insanity...
King then asked the 94-year old leader of the world's Mormons
if the "problem" is one caused by gays themselves or one they were born with.
"I don't know. I'm not an expert on these things. I don't pretend to be an expert on these things. The fact is, they have a problem, Hinckley replied.
"Many people who have to discipline themselves. If they transgress, they become subject to the discipline of the Church. But we try in every way that we know how to help them, to assist them, to bless their lives."
...Earlier this year the Mormon Church was instrumental in getting passage of an amendment to the Utah Constitution banning gay marriage. In a statement published by the Church two weeks before voters in the heavily LDS state went to the polls the Church said that men should only marry women and that "any other sexual relations, including [those] between persons of the same gender, undermine the divinely created institution of family.
OK. The Mormons don't want you to know that leadership of the church at times unfortunately endorsed the practice of "reparative aversion therapy" to rid gay Mormons of their homosexual orientation. Though the church says it is not directly affiliated with organizations responsible for the torture you are about to read about below, gay Mormons have been referred these kinds of centers for "help." Here is an account of the type of "treatment" self-loathing homosexual Mormons put themselves through to avoid being disowned and rejected by both their church and their families.
[UPDATE: poster heterodoxy aptly suggested the use of the term "excommunication" rather than "disown" because the former more precisely conveys how a gay person goes "from being a devout christian to someone without god and without home and without friends."]
"I dreamed that I was in a fairly erotic situation with another man, and then midway through, I would just be electrocuted." Jayce Cox says he doesn't have the dream on a weekly basis any more, and he's relieved. Now it's just every couple of months that he bolts up, startled and shaking, in the middle of the night. He attributes this recurring dream to the aversion therapy administered at Brigham Young University.
Jayce tells his story:
It's 1995. He is sitting in an office on the campus of BYU, where his counselor has attached electrodes to his hands, arms, torso and genitals. His Mormon Bishop gave him a referral to the counselor. Jayce is shown pornographic images of men having sexual encounters. Then, ZAP! His body tingles, then aches from the electrical shock administered by his trusted counselor. He is scheduled for twice-weekly sessions for four months. "Toward the end of the program I could press a button and it would stop the shock and then a picture of a woman would come on."
But Jayce is 19 years old and he willingly goes back for more. He gives them his college savings -- $9,000 -- for the treatments which are promised to cure his homosexuality.
"They promised me it would work, and who doesn't want to live a life that's normal and acceptable in your society and have your family embrace you?" he asks rhetorically.
Therapist Ron Lawrence of Community Counseling Center in Las Vegas says this "reparative therapy" is "equivalent to what I would call the kind of torture that people experienced in Nazi concentration camps." Jayce displays the scars on his hands and tells of more scars where the electrodes were placed "on my torso, and [breathing deeply as though reliving some excruciating pain ] on my genitalia."
The words don't come easily to Jayce as he explains why he so willingly gave up his education savings -- and put his earning potential on hold -- in order to endure what Lawrence describes as "assault and battery, abuse".
"You're taught that the leaders of the church will never lie to you, never deceive you and you're taught to believe them blindly," Jayce explains. "I believed the counselors. I believed it would work. I believed that through that [reparative therapy], faith, temple attendance and prayer and fasting I would be healed. I believe that through God anything's possible. And I was told it would work. It probably sounds really naive, but I truly believed it would work."
Jayce's nightmare was also featured in the MTV True Life documentary "I'm Coming Out"
. It's sad and sick that this is happening, especially for those with a history of strong ties to family and faith. To see both fail them as they struggle with their identity is a tragedy.
Related Links (from Affirmation - Learning Center for Mormon Gays and Lesbians):
Pam's House Blend
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