Kathleen Gilbert, writer for anti-gay Catholic LifeSite, twists Kirk Murphy story

Timothy Kincaid

June 9th, 2011

Kathleen Gilbert, writing for LifeSite, an anti-gay advocacy “news” site, has her own spin on the life of Kirk Murphy. Gilbert, already a Certified Cameronite for her distortion and dishonesty, borrows freely from Box Turtle Bulletin to reassemble various snippets into a tale that would not be recognized by anyone in the Murphy family, or anyone who is familiar with what happened at UCLA in 1970.

Relatives say the family was partially prompted to pursue therapy out of concern for how Kirk’s father, Rod, acted colder towards his younger son than to Mark, the elder brother.

“They said he had to go to UCLA because of his relationship with his dad,” said Kirk’s cousin Donna, according to Burroway. “They said it was Rod’s fault because he didn’t love Kirk enough.”

Gender identity therapists have recognized a lack of affection from one’s father as a risk factor for males developing gender identity disorders.

That, of course, is not at all why Kaytee took Kirk to UCLA. It was, rather, an explanation given to a child as recalled from Donna’s childhood. Here is the actual context from which Gilbert ripped her fanciful tale:

Mark clearly remembers a “before” and “after” with Kirk’s treatment. His memory is helped by the fact that they moved to a new house in 1969, just before Kirk entered treatment. And so he recalls with confidence that the family deteriorated noticeably during and following Kirk’s therapy. “I can remember a clear difference with our parents in our first house,” he said. “There was none of the ranting and raving, the fighting and drinking. Boy, that sure came after that.” Rod always drank some — “Those Irish Murphys you know,” Kaytee said, “they liked their beers!” — and so she doesn’t attribute Rod’s worsening drinking to the stresses surrounding Kirk’s therapy. But worsen it did, and that added more friction in the family.

Rod was clearly under a lot of pressure. While psychologists had placed a great deal of emphasis on the mother’s role in their children’s development, researchers at UCLA (Rekers included) were turning their attention more directly toward fathers in deciding which parent was more at fault in making a child “prehomosexual.” Donna remembered overhearing the adults in the family blaming Rod for Kirk’s “problem.”

“They said he had to go to UCLA because of his relationship with his dad,” she said. “They said it was Rod’s fault because he didn’t love Kirk enough. Kirk wasn’t interested in sports the way Mark was, and he would play sports more with Mark. Kirk was quieter and more interested in music. And I know it was discussed that he didn’t love his son enough. I don’t believe that was true, but there was a discussion that I remember.” Rod remained resistant to taking Kirk to UCLA. “I don’t think he bought into the whole thing,” she said.

But Gilbert selects this recollection to present as support for her fanciful fiction.

After the sessions finished, the Murphys were instructed to continue encouraging normative behavior on a token reinforcement system, using red and blue poker chips to reinforce both gender-related and other habits. Rekers concluded at a three-year follow-up session that the child’s more masculine habits “have become normalized,” and the therapy was deemed a success.

However, according to the family’s recollections, the reinforcement regimen took an ugly turn when brought back home: instead of the “spanking” advised for Kirk’s misbehavior, according to his children and wife Rod Murphy physically abused his son so violently that Kirk’s sister Maris recalls hiding in her room under pillows to avoid hearing Kirk’s screams. Mark Murphy broke down in tears as he recalled how he would try to save his younger brother from his father’s beatings.

Again, Gilbert’s tale has as little to do with Kirk’s life as does Rekers’ fictitious “Kraig” reports. And the motivation is the same.

Like George Rekers, Kathleen Gilbert isn’t interested in the truth. She despises the truth, prefering lies that advance her church’s doctrine, especially that which demeans gay people and enforces civil inequalities. And, sadly, she is more than willing to abuse a family already the victim of those who share her view of the world.

It’s hard to understand just what compels someone like Gilbert to cause needless pain to the Murphy family. How can she hurt others just to advance a political doctrine, and yet consider herself to be an advocate for God? What kind of person would willfully disregard the truth in a quest for heterosexual supremacy and Catholic privilege?

Those who read here will know that there are a few words we use very sparingly. But it is hard for me to think of Kathleen Gilbert and her deliberate abuse of this story in terms other than “evil”.

Davey B

June 10th, 2011

Christians and their difficulty keeping that 9th Commandment.


June 10th, 2011

“evil”? Maybe. I suspect that the word that applies is “abomination” (Proverbs 6:16-19 and 26:28, maybe).

As for her beefs about the father:

[Dr. Green] found that his use of behavioral therapy “revealed more about parental attitudes toward atypical sex-role development than whether such behavior is amenable to change.” -Cuius Cupla section

And that might be a reason why these groups continue, despite their outcome failures.

You can make money from gullible and animated parents.

And, in a layer of cynicism, as some of the closed-camera like investigations reveal, the staff and even the attendees can be in on the joke in various degrees, and you can still collect your fee.


June 10th, 2011

Does anyone know what the statue of limitation is regarding this case since the critical facts are only now just coming to light? Can’t a class action lawsuit be filed much as it was against the Catholic Church? I know Rekers lisped: “But I just wanted to help the young boys”, but isn’t that the exact defense of the Priests too? I don’t think Rekers should be able to excuse his criminal abuse by hiding behind his bogus pseudo-scientific theories.


June 10th, 2011

I posted the following comment on that article…wonder how long before it’s gone…
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Posted by XiaoYuan on Jun 10, 2011

Interesting how this article reaffirms the same rhetoric used by George Alan Rekers to diminish the causal link between the botched “reparative” therapy on the 5 year-old child and the subsequent suicidal depression experienced by the grown man. Your argument is essentially, we treated the child, which has no direct links to the adult who later killed himself. I suppose, in your world, the connection between the psyche of the formative child and the adult simply does not exist. But that’s not true, because in your practice, religious faith is effectively indoctrinated when the subjects are young.

It’s shocking to me that this article conveniently also fails to relate the following two facts relevant in the case:
(1) Southern Baptist Minister and Anti-gay therapist George Alan Rekers hired a male prostitute in 2000.
(2) Rekers used the data collected from Kirk Murphy as the ONLY proof that reparative therapy works.

It’s absolutely shocking that this article makes light of human suffering and attempt to evade responsibility…neither of which are real family values where I live.


June 10th, 2011

It’s a fact that fathers ARE often distant from their gay sons just as it’s a fact that roosters crow just before the sun comes up. But attributing some fathers’ disinterest in, and distance from, their sons making them gay is just about as backwards as attributing the sun’s rising in the morning to the rooster’s crow.

It makes much more sense that many fathers detach and become more distant from their GAY sons BECAUSE they are gay, or feminine, instead of distant fathers causing their sons to become gay or feminine. You know, like the way the coming sun rise makes the rooster crow?

How is it that these Christianists are so reliable in getting just about everything completely backwards?

Lynn David

June 10th, 2011

Davey B….. Christians and their difficulty keeping that 9th Commandment.

As Lifesite is primarily a Roman Catholic oriented website, it is then the 8th Commandment in which ‘lying for Jesus’ is becoming a common characteristic.


June 11th, 2011

These are the same people who blame gays for their church’s child molestation cases, and who claim the Inquisition wasn’t that big of a deal.

Davey B

June 13th, 2011

@Lynn David
Thanks for the correction. I couldn’t remember which one it was and just googled. That is the first I knew about there being a different order in the Commandments between Christian denominations.


June 14th, 2011

The article also cites Dr spitzer’s work on orientation change therapy… work that Dr spitzer has repeatedly asked anti gays to stop misrepresenting.

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