June 9th, 2011
In this episode, CNN tracks down George Rekers, the therapist who treated four-year-old Kirk Murphy and turned him into Rekers’s poster boy for ex-gay therapy. Here we see Rekers learning about Kirk’s suicide at the age of 38. He responds by saying that there is no evidence that Kirk’s suicide was the result of Kirk’s treatment. He also tries to exonerate himself by saying:
Two independent psychologists of me had evaluated him and said he was better adjusted after treatment. So it wasn’t my opinion.
According to Rekers’s writings, two psychologists followed up with Kirk when Kirk was fifteen. As I wrote in our newest epilogue, The Doctor’s Word:
Buried in a footnote, Rekers wrote, “I express my appreciation to Drs. Larry N. Ferguson and Alexander C. Rosen for their independent evaluations.” By 1979, Ferguson was working as a research psychologist at Logos Research Institute, a conservative religious-based think tank that Rekers had founded in 1975. With Rekers as his employer, Ferguson’s participation in such an evaluation could not be seen as independent. As for Rosen, he had been Rekers’s longstanding colleague at UCLA: the two of them co-wrote at least fourteen papers — including three defending the kind of treatment Kirk received at UCLA against growing criticism. Rosen may not have been as personally invested in Kirk’s reported outcome as Rekers, but he was certainly invested in UCLA’s reputation.
Rosen has since passed away. Ferguson told CNN that the family was well-adjusted and he didn’t see any “red flags” with Kirk. But when Kirk was fifteen, the family was falling apart, with Kirk’s father was drinking heavily and leaving the family — hardly the picture of a well-adjusted family. As for not seeing any red flags with Kirk, his sister Maris had a ready answer: “He was conditioned to say what he thought they wanted to hear.”
But there was one set of independent evaluations that Rekers wasn’t a part of. Those occurred when Dr. Richard Green interviewed Kirk at the age of seventeen and eighteen for his 1987 book, The Sissy Boy Syndrome. That’s where we learn that at Kirk was still attracted to men, was deeply conflicted over those attractions, had engaged in an anonymous sexual encounter with a man, and tried to commit suicide because of it. For the remainder of Rekers’s career, he would never acknowledge what was uncovered in the The Sissy Boy Syndrome interviews. As far as Rekers was concerned, those interviews never happened and “Kraig”, his pseudonym for Kirk, remained a success story.
You can learn more about those so-called independent reviews and the perils of accepting a researcher’s writings at face value in our newest epilogue, The Doctor’s Word, the latest addition to our investigative report, “What Are Little Boys Made Of?”
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.