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Mark’s Statement

Jim Burroway

June 7th, 2011

Mark not only lost his brother, but he also believes that at the age of eight years old, he was unwittingly enlisted as an accomplice in Kirk’s treatment. Here is Mark’s statement.

Truly, I am amazed that supposedly educated people in the field of mental health could actually buy into the idea that any child is broken because of who they are. The arrogance they must have possessed to even attempt this type of therapy or to sit in judgment of a young child is beyond measure. Perhaps society should have been the patient and not these young children. If one looks at the big picture today vs the late 60′s and 70′s, thankfully some doctrines have moved towards a real ideal of humanity, but it is amazing to me how many have not.

My first reaction when I understood the full scope of the feminine boy project and the implications of it to Kirk was anger, pure and simple. Actually, I’ve had my own anger buried deep inside ever since I can remember about the therapy, the doctors and UCLA in general.  Keep in mind, I was also put into those same therapy rooms with the toys and the one way mirrors. I never understood why, but now I think I can safely assume it was to be a benchmark to which my brother was measured.  To know that I was used for that purpose, against my own brother, makes me horribly hurt and angry.

If I were ever able to ask any of these men — George Rekers, Dr. Green or even Dr. Lovass — anything, it would be this: Was there ever any concern or thought given to what the potential effects of this reparative therapy would be on the children themselves, their families and their sibling relationships? Any of their current or further relationships or feelings about themselves? Did they ever think that the risks to these children might be too great to proceed? I would say no.

My brother Kirk was completely destroyed as a child and never recovered from it, and honestly, our entire family was too.  I know who we were as a family before this “therapy” started, and who we became during it and after, and I think it’s safe to say we became living shells of our former selves. I always knew that, I just didn’t understand why. In the end, Kirk still believed everything this therapy taught him, that he was flawed, that he needed to change everything about himself, and that he was undeserving of unconditional love.  So he chose to put a stop to it not by changing the way he saw himself, but by giving up, giving in and taking his own life. I pray that by coming forward with his story, with our story, that people of all walks will see the consequences of reparative therapy.  Even more importantly, it is my hope that those who twist religion to torture and destroy children and adults with this type of “therapy” will understand that before anything else, we are called to love one another.

We will never know what great things Kirk might have done, or what he truly could have become.  Without a doubt, I believe that this therapy  and these men are to  blame.

Comments

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DC
June 7th, 2011 | LINK

Thank You, Mark, for sharing your side in all of this. I now realize that I’ve done my little brother wrong. He was ‘the good kid’ I was judged against, and it never occurred to me that he might have been hurt by it too. I’ve resented him for seeming to always get the love and acceptance from our parents, no matter how terrible a kid he could be. He has wanted to be closer to me and do things together as brothers, and I’ve pushed him away every time. This WILL change. I’m very sorry for your loss and for what you went through as a kid. Even though helping my family could only be a small consolation, please know that I can’t thank you enough. I have absolutely no doubts that Kirk would be very proud of You for speaking out on behalf of so many. Best wishes to you and yours…

ScottLanter
June 8th, 2011 | LINK

Absolutely stunning story that so few know about. The only way to stop this sick stuff is to totally expose it. I pray that a civil suit will arise out of the many victims of Rekers and he will have to publicly account for this macabre nightmare much as Dr. Mengele did (and yes, it is a very appropriate analogy).

Suedehead
June 9th, 2011 | LINK

Reading this, I’m near tears thinking about what deep and irreparable damage was done to all involved with these sick “treatments.” Just the thought of “treating” a 5-year-old because his behavior wasn’t deemed desirable saddens me to no end. It’s disgusting. And I can’t imagine the amount of loss the family is feeling. Hopefully, by telling their story, others will see how hurtful and damaging this sort of quackery is to innocent lives.

Jay Jonson
June 9th, 2011 | LINK

How sad that Kirk and you had to go through what you did. It destroyed Kirk, but also deeply scarred your entire family. May the exposure of this sad chapter not only lead to the end of reparative therapy and the shaming of its practicers, but also to the healing of you and your sister and mother.

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