Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Feeling Sick

By Mister Curie

While I have heard accounts of aversion therapy used at BYU, and while I believed those accounts, it just doesn't quite give me the same visceral reaction as when I see documentation and evidence.  I just read the best documented evidence I have seen to date of the role of aversion therapy at BYU, here (included are screen shots from the BYU PhD disertation on using aversion therapy on homosexual BYU students).  You can even search the the Harold B. Lee Library online archives and find uncontrovertible evidence that the disertation exists.

While the documentation does not provide the most emotional description of aversion therapy, seeing hard evidence affects me in a way that not even an emotional narrative can.  It makes me feel sick.

Perhaps one area where this reaction comes from is learning that aversion therapy was part of a PhD disertation.  Being a PhD student myself, I have a strong reaction to a fellow PhD student harming human beings by performing aversion therapy. 


  1. And just how did said student find his subjects? Were they shanghaied in the then student union, hung by their ankles, or forced to give up their diplomas if they did not participate in Dr. Defacto's research? Lied to? Secretly sterilized? Given no disclosure that they were research subjects?

  2. ... Lied to? ...


    They were told that it was evil to be attracted to men, and that aversion therapy could rid them of these feelings and make them "normal" (and therefore eligible for salvation/exaltation).

    Lists of potential subjects were obtained by encouraging students to submit names of suspected homosexuals, or by policing gay cruising spots looking for people who were under suspicion.

    These students (not all of whom had actually done anything) were then threatened with expulsion from the University if they did not "voluntarily" participate.

  3. I would hope that we as a Mormon society have moved beyond that...unless there are more secrets yet to be published. *shudder*

  4. It's completely disgusting that this happened to anyone. McBride is still practicing in Provo, or at least he was 7 years ago when I was at BYU. When I first came out to my parents I started seeing him. They just found him because he was listed under my parents' insurance plan as a therapist who deals with homosexuality. I learned just a couple of years ago that he was involved in electroshock therapy at BYU. Not surprisingly, he was the worst therapist I have ever been to, but I had nothing to compare him to at the time. That and I was young and VERY naive. Looking back, I realize now that therapy with him was more about him having an hour to tell me what he "knew". I remember him telling me that I was in good shape because I was already pretty masculine and so I didn't have as large a leap to make to being straight as others. The only helpful thing he ever said to me was to find my own style of masculinity.

  5. JonJon, I have to wonder how such therapists don't manage to have their licenses revoked.

    A friend of ours is in therapy with LDS Family Services for pornography addiction. When I hear about their ideas of "treatment," I am appalled. I naively thought that mental health practices were better regulated than this.

  6. I've read about half of this now, and it's so intriguing.

    ::keeps reading::