37 responses

  1. Stefano A
    June 7, 2011

    Nice work!

    I’ll try to catch Cooper 360.

    Did he interview you for his report?

  2. Lindoro Almaviva
    June 7, 2011

    Please do post the links for Cooper. I will be in the middle of a move and will not have cable yet.

  3. Anthony Venn-Brown
    June 7, 2011

    Love your work BTB…..so intelligent, thorough and full of integrity.

  4. Clinton Fein
    June 7, 2011

    After reading this incredibly researched, sad and tragic investigation, my blood is literally boiling. Sick, disturbed bastards like Rekers shouldn’t be allowed within a mile radius of children.

  5. Jeff Z.
    June 7, 2011

    The best and right words will fail me, but I need to say this: No human being should be sacrificed on the premise that s/he is a case study, a research project, or a test of some ideology that places belief before facts, falsehood before reason, or sheep before wolves.

    The key investigator in this instance (Rekers) turned out to be the epitome of that which he hated: a man who (sexually)abused other males –and paid for the privilege– while advocating therapy that claimed to “fix” those deviations from the Holy Norm.

    There’s no slack to be cut, no excuses to be made: death is death, suicide is suicide, and the blood stains will never, EVER, fade from Rekers’ hands, his lies & his falsehoods.

  6. Warren Throckmorton
    June 7, 2011

    Jim: This is an amazing report. I just linked to it and will refer to this in the book I am now writing on sexual orientation. I wonder if an investigation into this will be launched at UCLA. Agains, well done!

  7. MattGMD
    June 7, 2011

    Every time Family Research Council’s chief charlatan is on tv or in the news, mention of FRC’s original founding member Rekers should be mentioned to counter and debunk the stats and fiction they so earnestly call “research.” Tired of them sanctimoniously misinforming yet another generation of people. Kudos to the writer for this informative addition to our collective history.

  8. Allen
    June 7, 2011

    Perhaps I’ve missed something, but it seems Rekers made some false statements in his published works (including his thesis). It would be too little, too late, but could be be stripped of his Ph.D.? It seems improper at best for him to go around with the title “Doctor”.

  9. pax58
    June 7, 2011

    Thanks to you and especially to Kirk’s family. It is a sad story of where we were just a few short years ago. Hopefully an hoest look at that story will help remake it for alot of boys and their families.

  10. craig
    June 7, 2011

    Are you honestly saying that Recker’s mentor was Dr. I. Lovaas??? Really??

  11. Paul Mc
    June 7, 2011

    “Every time Family Research Council’s chief charlatan is on tv or in the news, mention of FRC’s original founding member Rekers should be mentioned to counter and debunk the stats and fiction they so earnestly call “research.””

    Yes. Yes. Yes.

    Every journalist should be made aware of the fraud that is the ex-gay industry. Their theoretical foundations are built on sand and lies.

    It makes SO mad. The same lies cropping again and again and again. And also in Uganda, Lithuania, Australia, UK, Romania – everywhere it seeps like poison coming from these same liars Rekers, Cameron, NARTH (all of it!), JONAH, FRC, Focus, CWA. All lies. All of it.
    Masters & Johnson – made it up. Aversion Therapy – it never worked. Reparative Therapy – doesn’t work.

    I’m about fit to burst with the anger this made me feel. The infliction of pointless suffering based on so many lies.

    Parents – let sissy boys and tomboy girls be, let gay boys be, let boys with pink toenails be. Love your children – just love your kids for who they are. Can it be any simpler than that?

  12. John
    June 7, 2011

    As bad as what happened to Kirk is the fact that this was done with funds from a federal program. Somebody at the federal level had to have approved these funds.

  13. Kevin
    June 7, 2011

    Just a word of thanks for this insightful, thoughtful, and well-researched report. You do great work, Jim, and this site remains a favorite of mine because of articles such as this one.

  14. CPT_Doom
    June 7, 2011

    Sadly John, at the same time this was going on the Tuskegee syphillis “experiment” was continuing – this is not the first time federal funds were used for unethical and/or discriminatory reasons.

  15. Priya Lynn
    June 7, 2011

    Clinton said “After reading this incredibly researched, sad and tragic investigation, my blood is literally boiling.”.

    No it is not. Get a dictionary and look up “literally”.

  16. Andrew
    June 7, 2011


    1. In a literal manner or sense; exactly: “the driver took it literally when asked to go straight over the traffic circle”.
    2. Used to acknowledge that something is not literally true but is used for emphasis or to express strong feeling

    Second definitions are just as valid as the first.

  17. Kel Munger
    June 7, 2011

    Incredible work, Jim.

    I’ve written a blog post about it and then Tweeted and Facebooked the hell out of it.

    You’re a treasure.

  18. PJB863
    June 7, 2011

    Wow, just wow. The story is up on CNN and I will make sure to watch it tonight.

  19. Samwise
    June 7, 2011

    That was just gut-wrenching. I remember reading about “Kraig” when the whole luggage scandal emerged. We knew that he’d tried to kill himself as a teenager, but nothing after that. I hoped with all my heart that he was alive and happy somewhere, finally at peace with himself, maybe building a family of his own with a partner who loved him. He’d already been dead for seven years by that point.

    One of the saddest things about this story is that Kirk displayed so many textbook symptoms of clinical depression. If Rekers hadn’t trained him to fear and distrust therapists, he may have gotten help and never killed himself. Of course, if not for Rekers, he probably wouldn’t have needed that help to begin with.

    Thank you so much for writing this. It was a great piece, beautifully written. Definitely something to show those nay-sayers who claim that bloggers never do original reporting. I’ll also make sure to watch AC360′s special on the subject tonight.

  20. andrewdb
    June 7, 2011

    Jim –

    Thank you for doing this kind of work and bearing this witness. I don’t know where you find the strength to do this work – it is so disturbing I can’t bear to read all of it.

    I have already written my state legislators asking them to investigate UCLA. Since I live in San Diego both are lesbians. I suppose I should notify the licensing board about Dr. Green too.

  21. Clinton Fein
    June 7, 2011

    I just recently wrote a satire about a Gay Agenda, in which I fantasized about how to deal with “Ex Gays,” George Rekers and the many other fear-​mongering liars, frauds and hypocrites that use religion to justify their homophobia and marginalize, humiliate, electrocute and murder others. A previous version I wrote was picked up by CWFA’s Matt Barber and Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth — more of these sick, homophobic, child-abusive parasites — and selectively presented to their followers as a candid and factual agenda. Having absorbed Kirk’s treatment and the impact it had on him and his family since I read it last night, I wonder whether some of the over-the-top, Clockwork Orangeish agenda items relating to homophobia and conversion therapy I imagined shouldn’t be reconsidered non satirically. (http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/the-gay-agenda/farce/2011/06/07/21420)

  22. Richard Rush
    June 7, 2011

    Jim, you have done a tremendous job of researching and writing this gut-wrenching story. I just finished reading the seven main parts, and I’m emotionally drained. I have nothing more to say now.

  23. Tone
    June 7, 2011

    Any “treatment” that involves baiting a child and then relentlessly beating him for his choices is not treatment but abuse. This poor boy was horrendously abused, and Rekers engineered it. He’s a monster, an utterly depraved monster and he deserves to be locked up. The parents have a lot of explaining to do as well I think.

  24. T Crenshaw
    June 8, 2011

    Rekers enjoyed employment at the University of South Carolina during his years before moving to Florida. I did not know anything about him except that he was that man who made me very uncomfortable in the communal shower at the Solomon Blatt PE Center on campus. He was a regular at the PE Center and he had a way of hanging around and staring at naked men in the shower. I figured he was just another aging shower goblin with serious issues, so I avoided him and went to another shower whenever I saw he was present in the locker room. I didn’t know who he was until the rent-boy scandal broke. It explains everything.

  25. ken
    June 8, 2011


    Did you ever try to track down the other assistant Kaytee Murphy mentioned (or anyone else associated with the project)?

  26. Priya Lynn
    June 8, 2011

    Andrew your second definition doesn’t exist:


    Clinton’s blood was figuratively boiling, not literally. Using the word literally when you don’t mean literally is childish and ignorant.

  27. Guffey
    June 9, 2011

    Excellent report. Read it all the way through in one sitting the minute I saw it posted. Painful, sad, ugly, captivating and so so so frustrating. Kudos to all involved in bringing it out.

  28. Désirée
    June 9, 2011

    let it go. you’re wrong.
    all of those definitions include some form of “literally as intensifier” definition as well as some form of this:
    —Usage note
    Since the early 20th century, literally has been widely used as an intensifier meaning “in effect, virtually,” a sense that contradicts the earlier meaning “actually, without exaggeration”: The senator was literally buried alive in the Iowa primaries. The parties were literally trading horses in an effort to reach a compromise. The use is often criticized; nevertheless, it appears in all but the most carefully edited writing. Although this use of literally irritates some, it probably neither distorts nor enhances the intended meaning of the sentences in which it occurs. The same might often be said of the use of literally in its earlier sense “actually”: The garrison was literally wiped out: no one survived.

  29. Marlene
    June 9, 2011

    It’s a long shot, but are there any links to this perverted “therapy” by Green, ad nauseum and the perversions imposed on Bruce Reimer by John Money at Johns Hopkins?

    There’s alot of similarities between these two cases, including sexual abuse and suicide.

  30. Priya Lynn
    June 9, 2011

    Desiree some dictionaries report on how a word is used, not what usage is correct or logical. That the non-literal definition of literally is wrong is seen in the second definition Andrew gave “Used to acknowledge that something is not literally true”.

    That second “defintion” acknowledges that literally means “actually happened” and points out the illogic of saying “literally means not literally”. When people start using the word literally when its clear they are exagerating it becomes impossible to use an unambiguous way to say “I’m not exagerating” as using it in exagerattions calls into question every time it is used and suggests the person is exagerrating when they are not.

    Using literally when one doesn’t mean literally is childish, ignorant, incorrect, and illogical.

  31. Priya Lynn
    June 9, 2011

    And Desiree, two of your definitions agree with me, not you. Merriam Webster gives a second meaning as “In effect, virtually”. To say “my blood virtually boiled” is obviously not the case. The second dictionary you gave mentioned the “intensifier” usage but said it is a PROBLEM. Most dictionaries recognize that literally means “actually happned” and that saying “my blood was literally boiling” is stupid.

  32. Jim Burroway
    June 9, 2011


    Really? This is what you think is so important that it merits a three-day back and forth argument over?

  33. Timothy (TRiG)
    June 9, 2011

    some dictionaries report on how a word is used

    Any dictionary which does otherwise is not useful. The English language is defined by its speakers. I, personally, would not use the word literally in this fashion, but language changes.

    Read some linguistics textbooks. They’re interesting.


    • Jim Burroway
      June 9, 2011

      Okay folks. This is not a post about linguistics. Let’s take this trivial argument elsewhere. Sheesh!

  34. Timothy Kincaid
    June 9, 2011

    I’m with Jim. In the midst of discussion about the tragedy caused by irresponsible activism-based “research”, you’re arguing over whether “literally” can be used in some way or other. Why?

    Why was it even “corrected” in the first place?

    Maybe rather than “being right” and making sure that others know that they are using a word incorrectly, we can put our focus on the fact that a life was destroyed, a family was torn apart, and an entire anti-gay industry was bolstered out of one man’s desire to create a “scientific” basis for the war he was waging against his own personal unhappiness.

  35. Helen Hill MFT
    June 10, 2011

    Thank you for publicizing this invasive, and horrible practice of “reparative” therapy. It needs to stop. No reputable therapist should do this to any child, regardless of their orientation or gender.

    It is horrible and is a huge violation of the person. I wonder sometimes if “rape” would be too strong a word?

    Thank you again.

    Helen Hill MFT

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