Rekers Responds In CNN’s “Sissy Boy Experiments” Tonight

Jim Burroway

June 7th, 2011

CNN has just posted their online report at CNN.com about

“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.

As part of my investigation, I had wanted to speak to George Rekers. But after the rent-boy scandal, he had all but disappeared, and I was unable to find any working contact information from him. CNN was able to track him down:

“Well, I think, scientifically that would be inaccurate to assume that it was the therapy, but I do grieve for the parents now that you’ve told me that news. I think that’s very sad,” he said.

Rekers pointed out that the therapy had been decades earlier.

“That’s a long time ago, and to hypothesize, you have a hypothesis that positive treatment back in the 1970s has something to do with something happening decades later. That would, that hypothesis would need a lot of scientific investigation to see if it’s valid. Two independent psychologists with me had evaluated him and said he was better adjusted after treatment, so it wasn’t my opinion.” he said.

Those independent evaluations are an important part of the story. I will have more about that tomorrow. But I think it’s important to note what Maris, Kirk’s sister, told CNN:

But Maris Murphy says Kirk lied to those examining him. “He was conditioned to say what they wanted to hear,” she said.

Tara TASW

June 7th, 2011

Joseph Nicolosi has also claimed to “treat” children as young as three that he deemed in danger of growing up GLBT.

It’s the perfect con: convince gullible parents to shell out for this nonsense therapy, knowing there’s a 90% chance that any given child will grow up straight and you can claim success. If not, well, you’re long gone with the money anyway.

Bruce Garrett

June 7th, 2011

“He was conditioned to say what they wanted to hear”…

They say this is the only thing torture ever really accomplishes…conditioning prisoners simply to tell their torturers what they want to hear…

Theo

June 7th, 2011

Jim:

I am just about to dive into your report. However, can you clear something up? Were you working on this in conjunction with CNN or is it coincidental that CNN is coming out with their coverage at the same time that your report is coming out?

If you were working together with CNN, I would hope that they would give you some real credit and airtime.

Anyway, thanks for the amazing work you put into this blog. It is this kind of sharp, original research – along with your in-depth analytical pieces – that make BTB unique in the gay blogosphere. There really is nothing else out there like BTB. You and Tim should be very proud of what you are doing here.

Jim Burroway

June 7th, 2011

My investigation and CNN’s investigation were independent efforts. It just so happened that we both learned about this story at about the same time. In December, they came out to interview me in my home. In that process, we shared a little bit of information and provided them copies of Rekers’s papers, but their work is substantially independent from mine and vice versa.

For example, according to the preview, Kaytee admitted that Kirk was effeminate. I was never able to get her to say that to me, and so that particular admission doesn’t appear in my piece. However it’s not at all difficult to read it between the lines. This was a very emotionally draining process for Kaytee and she really deserves a lot of credit for her courage.

In the six months since then, they (and I) developed far more information than what either of us had then. I doubt that I will get any airtime since I am not a principal to the story.

I know the broad outlines of what CNN’s three-part series consists of, but other than that, I am as eager to see it as everyone else. Set your DVR’s….

Ahab

June 7th, 2011

Rekers undoubtedly deserves blame for his quackery, but Kirk’s parents deserve blame as well for subjecting the boy to such trauma. CNN described their supposedly “therapeutic” treatment of Kirk in harrowing detail.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/06/07/sissy.boy.experiment/index.html?hpt=hp_bn1

Ahab

June 7th, 2011

This whole situation is tragic. Rekers undoubtedly deserves blame for his quackery, but Kirk’s parents deserve blame as well for subjecting the boy to such trauma. CNN described their supposedly “therapeutic” treatment of Kirk in harrowing detail.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/06/07/sissy.boy.experiment/index.html?hpt=hp_bn1

ScottLanter

June 7th, 2011

I wonder if CNN contacted Rekers’ fellow researcher who is named in the pdf “O. Ivar Lovaas”: http://www.lovaas.com/lovaasnote.php

Also, there is a bizarre element that Anderson is talking about research into sexual orientation and gender identity when he personally insists that for homosexual only, it should remain a private and secretive issue. That is some wacked out cognitive dissonance. Not as creepy as Rekers, but creepy nonethless.

Brian

June 7th, 2011

Jim, thanks so much for your research and reporting on this.

Zoe Brain

June 7th, 2011

And Dr Kenneth Zucker in Canada is doing much the same thing to “effeminate boys” today. To try to prevent them from becoming transsexual, and accept that they’re gay.

The results appear the same too. Children who have anxiety attacks when they see the colour pink. “Successes” who have attempted suicide before age 20, or dived into pill or booze bottles.

Zucker’s methods are nowhere near as brutal: he’s not the monster Rekers is. But the trauma appears much the same.

Ray

June 7th, 2011

Painful story for me to read. It’s not far distant from my own experience and I just can’t articulate the surreal similarities this evokes.

Tone

June 7th, 2011

That poor child was mentally and physically abused, horrendously so, and apparently at Rekers’ direction. For him to say that the years of abuse had no negative impact just further illustrates what a cold remorseless monster he is. I’m gratified imagining him burning in the electric chair for what he did to that boy.

Matt

June 7th, 2011

@ScottLanter

I am still reading Jim’s report, but I did read that Lovaas died last year.

ScottLanter

June 7th, 2011

Your right, Lovaas died – here is the news report: http://www.mynews4.com/story.php?id=24495&n=122

It’s fascinating that the Lovaas patient they interview appears to be a young gay boy. It is also undeniable that Lovaas looks very much like Rekers and raises the question of were they lovers when they performed the original experiments on Kirk.

Jake

June 7th, 2011

What the heck? Only 10 minutes for the first part on CNN? I was expecting an hour long special!

eugene

June 10th, 2011

Back in the 60’s my parents took me to CalState/Pomona for evaluations and possible treatment. In the first session it was suggested to me that my problems were my fault. I told my mother I hated that guy and would not go willingly again. They tried one more time with a private institute. Their conclusion-your son will most likely be gay. We went home and that was the last time my parents tried get help, I think it scared them that the therapists angered me so much. Thank the Universe it gave the temper from hell;-)

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