"Anti-Sissy" Therapy

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    Jun 07, 2011 6:15 PM GMT
    The video cuts off at an odd place, so the rest of the story is below.



    Los Angeles (CNN) -- Kirk Andrew Murphy seemed to have everything to live for.
    He put himself through school. He had a successful 12-year career in the Air Force. After the service, he landed a high profile position with an American finance company in India.
    But in 2003 at age 38, Kirk Murphy took his own life.
    A co-worker found him hanging from the fan of his apartment in New Delhi. His family has struggled for years to understand what happened.
    "I used to spend so much time thinking, why would he kill himself at the age of 38? It doesn't make any sense to me," said Kirk's sister, Maris Murphy. "What I now think is I don't know how he made it that long."
    After Kirk's death, Maris started a search that would uncover a dark family secret. That secret revealed itself during a phone conversation with her older brother Mark, who mentioned his distrust of any kind of therapy.
    "Don't you remember all that crap we went through at UCLA?" he asked her. Maris was too young to remember the details, but Mark remembered it vividly as a low point in their lives.
    IReport: Did you participate in similar research?
    Wanting a 'normal life'
    Kirk Murphy was a bright 5-year-old boy, growing up near Los Angeles in the 1970s. He was the middle child, with big brother Mark, 8, and little sister Maris, just a baby at 9 months. Their mother, Kaytee Murphy, remembers Kirk's kind nature, "He was just very intelligent, and a sweet, sweet, child." But she was also worried.
    "Well, I was becoming a little concerned, I guess, when he was playing with dolls and stuff," she said. "Playing with the girls' toys, and probably picking up little effeminate, well, like stroking the hair, the long hair and stuff. It just bothered me that maybe he was picking up maybe too many feminine traits." She said it bothered her because she wanted Kirk to grow up and have "a normal life."
    Then Kaytee Murphy saw a psychologist on local television.
    "He was naming all of these things; 'If your son is doing five of these 10 things, does he prefer to play with girls' toys instead of boys' toys?' Just things like this," she said.
    The doctor was on TV that day, recruiting boys for a government-funded program at the University of California, Los Angeles.
    "Well, him being the expert, I thought, maybe I should take Kirk in," said Kaytee Murphy. "In other words, nip it in the bud, before it got started any further."
    Kirk becomes 'Kraig'
    Kaytee Murphy took Kirk to UCLA, where he was treated largely by George A. Rekers, a doctoral student at the time.
    In Rekers' study documenting his experimental therapy (PDF), he writes about a boy he calls "Kraig." Another UCLA gender researcher confirmed that "Kraig" was a pseudonym for Kirk.
    The study, later published in an academic journal, concludes that after therapy, "Kraig's" feminine behavior was gone and he became "indistinguishable from any other boy."
    "Kraig, I think, certainly was Rekers' poster boy for what Rekers was espousing for young children," said Jim Burroway, a writer and researcher who has studied Rekers' work.
    "We have been wondering where is Kraig? A lot of us have talked about it. Where is he today? Is he married or is he gay? Or specifically does he even know that Rekers has been writing about him?" said Burroway. "I found 17 different articles, books, chapters, that he has written in which he talked about Kraig."
    Rekers' work with Kirk Murphy helped him build a three-decade career as a leading national expert in trying to prevent children from becoming gay, a career as an anti-gay champion that would later be tainted by his involvement in an embarrassing scandal.
    The experiments
    The therapy at UCLA involved a special room with two tables where "Kraig's" behavior was monitored, according to the study.
    "There was a one-way mirror or one-way window -- and some days they would let him choose which table he would go to," said Maris, who has read about the experiments.
    At one table Kirk could choose between what were considered masculine toys like plastic guns and handcuffs, and what were meant to be feminine toys like dolls and a play crib. At the other table, Kirk could choose between boys' clothing and a toy electric razor or items like dress-up jewelry and a wig.
    See details about the experimental therapy
    According to the case study, Kaytee Murphy was told to ignore her son when he played with feminine toys and compliment him when he played with masculine toys.
    "They pretty much told him he wasn't right the way that he was, but they never really explained it to him what the issue was. They did it through play," Maris said.
    Rekers wrote that Kirk would cry out for attention, even throwing tantrums, but Kaytee Murphy was told to keep going.
    Harsh beatings
    At home, the punishment for feminine behavior would become more severe. The therapists instructed Kirk's parents to use poker chips as a system of rewards and punishments.
    According to Rekers' case study, blue chips were given for masculine behavior and would bring rewards, such as candy. But the red chips, given for effeminate behavior, resulted in "physical punishment by spanking from the father."
    Mark said he was told to participate in the chip reward-and-punishment system as a way to make Kirk feel like the system was OK.
    The family said the spankings were severe. Maris remembers "lots of belt incidents." She escaped the screaming by going to her bed to "lay in the room with my pillow on my head." Later, she would go to Kirk's bedroom and "lay down and hug him and we would just lay there, and the thing that I remember is that he never even showed anger. He was just numb."
    During one particularly harsh punishment, their mother recalls, her husband "spanked" Kirk "so hard that he had welts up and down his back and on his buttocks."
    She remembers her son Mark saying, "Cry harder, and he won't hit so hard." She says, "Today, it would be abuse."
    Sometimes Mark would try to protect his brother, to make his beatings less severe.
    "I took some of the red chips and I put them on my side," said Mark, as tears came to his eyes. But he said the beatings were still frequent.
    The number of stacked red chips became a telltale sign about the level of tension in the house. When he returned home each day, Mark often looked for the chips in their easily visible location between the living room and the kitchen.
    "You looked and were like, 'What's the chip count today? What happened? What changed? How bad is it going to be?' And it was always bad. There was whipping every Friday night. There was no way out of it."
    Kirk's formal clinical treatment lasted 10 months, but the family said some of the treatment techniques and practices lasted longer at home.
    'Different from everybody else'
    Mark Murphy vividly remembers a photo of a smiling young Kirk, age 4, taken a year before the therapy started.
    "This is my brother, Kirk Andrew Murphy, right here," Mark said, pointing to the picture. "This is the way he's supposed to be right here," Mark said tearfully.
    Mark said the photo shows the last time he remembers his brother as a happy child.
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    Jun 07, 2011 7:44 PM GMT
    Im bumbing this for great justice.

    It is a sad and worthwhile read, and I think anyone should read it if they have a gay child.
  • Abe13

    Posts: 155

    Jun 07, 2011 7:48 PM GMT
    This so sad. Just because he was different. Thank you for bringing this up. I hope more people learn about it and grow. So that his loss will not be wasted.
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    Jun 07, 2011 7:49 PM GMT
    This three-part piece is on AC360 tonight, yes?
  • RSportsguy

    Posts: 1925

    Jun 07, 2011 8:01 PM GMT
    I am not sure if I am more angry or sad at this story! I feel so sorry for those kids in that household!
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jun 07, 2011 8:03 PM GMT
    wrestlervic saidThis three-part piece is on AC360 tonight, yes?


    It will be on AC tonight... how incredibly sad....

    icon_cry.gif
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    Jun 07, 2011 8:34 PM GMT
    I met this guy last year at a friend's house who was in his 70's. When his parents found out he was gay, they took him to this "doctor" at Tulane University who promised he could rid him of homosexuality. The man's "cure" was to drill holes in his brain at various areas of the skull. He told us of the immense pain he endured. He said that just as the pain was easing up from the last operation, they would take him in so that this man could drill yet another hole in his skull.
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    Jun 07, 2011 8:47 PM GMT
    This is beyond disgusting... not just this particular incident, but the general "industry" of "therapies".

    It's not "just" quackery, it's evil.

    Surprising really this kinda stuff is legal, as there is zero proof of its effectiveness. But science and proof apparently don't mean that much in this country of christians.

    I have NEVER heard of ANY of this shit taking place anywhere else than in the US, at the very least not on any scale that's remotely large enough to draw media attention.
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    Jun 07, 2011 9:22 PM GMT
    God. That is so sad.

    A "psychotherapist" instructed the parents to beat the "gay" out of their son. I would love to see how the mom feels about that today.
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    Jun 07, 2011 9:26 PM GMT
    Tazo995 saidThis is beyond disgusting... not just this particular incident, but the general "industry" of "therapies".

    It's not "just" quackery, it's evil.

    Surprising really this kinda stuff is legal, as there is zero proof of its effectiveness. But science and proof apparently don't mean that much in this country of christians.

    I have NEVER heard of ANY of this shit taking place anywhere else than in the US, at the very least not on any scale that's remotely large enough to draw media attention.



    That's because the U.S. has the most fundamentalist Christians.
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    Jun 07, 2011 9:33 PM GMT
    Scruffypup said
    Tazo995 saidThis is beyond disgusting... not just this particular incident, but the general "industry" of "therapies".

    It's not "just" quackery, it's evil.

    Surprising really this kinda stuff is legal, as there is zero proof of its effectiveness. But science and proof apparently don't mean that much in this country of christians.

    I have NEVER heard of ANY of this shit taking place anywhere else than in the US, at the very least not on any scale that's remotely large enough to draw media attention.



    That's because the U.S. has the most fundamentalist Christians in positions of authority..


    FTFY.
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    Jun 07, 2011 9:34 PM GMT
    Scruffypup said
    Tazo995 saidThis is beyond disgusting... not just this particular incident, but the general "industry" of "therapies".

    It's not "just" quackery, it's evil.

    Surprising really this kinda stuff is legal, as there is zero proof of its effectiveness. But science and proof apparently don't mean that much in this country of christians.

    I have NEVER heard of ANY of this shit taking place anywhere else than in the US, at the very least not on any scale that's remotely large enough to draw media attention.



    That's because the U.S. has the most fundamentalist Christians.


    Well that's the thing... I really don't think that's the case. Might be hard to quantify fundamentalist though...

    Maybe the type of christian is different, but if you take Eastern Europe which is both very religious and very conservative, you still don't see these kind of things.

    Every country has nut cases, but in most places they are part of the fringe, in the US they are actually catered to. Or so it seems.

    The trend is just disturbing, because it just causes such a huge amount of suffering in a country that in many other ways is ahead of most others.
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    Jun 07, 2011 9:35 PM GMT
    Rekers is a horrible, self-loathing man. The AFA, NARTH and every other hate spewing entity seems to be full of these rent boy soliciting hypocrites. I feel so sorry for Kirk and his family.
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    Jun 07, 2011 11:58 PM GMT
    My god... that's just beyond horrible!
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    Jun 08, 2011 12:04 AM GMT
    Scruffypup said
    That's because the U.S. has the most fundamentalist Christians.


    What's worse is that they (the fundies) are spreading their ideas all over the world, causing more gay-hatred and misunderstanding.
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    Jun 08, 2011 12:14 AM GMT
    Ignorance mixed with influence shown once again embodying its all corrosive, far-reaching grievous foul nature.

    Poor guy. There are many like him, not all to that degree, granted, and maybe not even conscious of the reason, but societal indoctrination and social reprimands for straying the norms of sexual /or gender identity is still all pervasive and malignant.

    Defo an inspiration to stand up and be accounted for the long overdue social/cultural evolution. Food for thought, hopefully for action too.
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    Jun 08, 2011 12:44 AM GMT
    Really sad.

    It puts me in mind of the argument that people present for marriage equality around here - that we won't be equal until we're equal.

    I often wonder if I'd marry my boyfriend even if I could, but I think it's bloody important that each person grows up knowing that they are as valuable as every other person, and therefore willing to report abuse wherever it comes from - even if it comes from your parents.
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    Jun 08, 2011 2:06 AM GMT
    icon_cry.gif

    this makes me want to give someone a hug icon_sad.gif
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    Jun 08, 2011 2:11 AM GMT
    They also need the "Anti-IDIOT" Therapy for the so called parents as well. Parents should let their kids be KIDS instead of telling them what to be and act like. At that age they don't give any thought to it until you instill things in their minds.
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    Jun 08, 2011 2:24 AM GMT
    Scruffypup saidI met this guy last year at a friend's house who was in his 70's. When his parents found out he was gay, they took him to this "doctor" at Tulane University who promised he could rid him of homosexuality. The man's "cure" was to drill holes in his brain at various areas of the skull. He told us of the immense pain he endured. He said that just as the pain was easing up from the last operation, they would take him in so that this man could drill yet another hole in his skull.


    The Doctor and the parents need their ass whooped for that, because I'm sure they know good g%# damn well there's no such thing as a "cure" for being gay, Doctor went as far as drilling holes into someone's head when that person clearly had nothing wrong with them, he should have his license revoked. SMH!
  • metta

    Posts: 39134

    Jun 08, 2011 5:22 PM GMT
    Therapy to change 'feminine' boy created a troubled man, family says


    http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2011/06/07/ac360-preview-family-describes-anti-sissy-therapy/




    I was listening to a recent feast of fun podcast that talked about repreparative therapy and the parents would pay these organizations money to kidnap their children and take them for this so called therapy which sometimes included raping the child, eclectro-shock, etc...disgusting. These organizations keep changing their names so that they can't be sued.


    Begins at 46 min:
    http://www.feastoffun.com/podcast/2011/05/26/fof-1387-bring-in-da-sexy-bring-in-da-funk/


    People talking about their experiences:
    http://www.reddit.com/r/troubledteens

  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19133

    Jun 08, 2011 5:38 PM GMT
    I saw this on Anderson Cooper last night and it was heart-wrenching. Props to Anderson Cooper for continually reporting on gay issues that are largely ignored by other networks.
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    Jun 08, 2011 5:38 PM GMT
    This is heartbreaking.
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    Jun 12, 2011 11:07 PM GMT
    Other parts tol the story...




  • stratavos

    Posts: 1831

    Jun 12, 2011 11:22 PM GMT
    -.- you know, some of the girls toys are simply much more interesting than the boys toys. If it weren't for how awesome transformers were, I'd likely have a stuffed doll with me in place of a football/basketball/soccer ball.