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Mormon church won’t oppose gay conversion therapy ban

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12 minutes ago, Gray said:

https://apnews.com/16fcb4731bbf4935a1aa1e9642ed1b29

A really positive step for the church. Not only are these "therapies" total bunk, but they have the potential to do lasting damage.

Isn’t this the therapy done at BYU when President Oaks was President there?  Did he approve or know this was taking place?

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It is probably the aversion therapy research (not researching effectiveness of aversion therapy, that was assumed as a given as it was widely accepted) you are thinking of.  Approval would have gone through the department and possibly a separate ethics committee...been awhile since I asked my husband how his faculty runs research, so it's a bit vague.  I doubt a president of a college/university would be aware unless there was a big grant involved.

Seems unlikely given BYU was never referenced in a list of institutions involved in such research.

Quote

It is also important to note that aversion therapy as a treatment for homosexuality was not a major element of BYU research. In the APA task force report, BYU's contribution to the field of aversion therapy was not covered. This is probably because BYU's involvement was too minor to include. Other universities had more participants and many conducted their studies later than BYU

Similar research at the time was happening in a number of universities iirc.

https://www.fairmormon.org/answers/Question:_What_was_the_history_of_BYU_and_aversion_therapy_for_treating_homosexuality%3F

I was there late 70s and early 80s and remember seeing posters for aversion therapy for weight loss.  Saw at other universities ads for quitting smoking (husband a prof, so we moved on from BYU to other universities).  The American Cancer Society still uses the rubberband on the wrist aversion technique to help 'get through the crazies'.

https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/guide-quitting-smoking/quitting-smoking-help-for-cravings-and-tough-situations.html

Edited by Calm
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8 minutes ago, Calm said:

It is probably the aversion therapy research you are thinking of.  Approval would have gone through the department and possibly a separate ethics committee...been awhile since I asked my husband how his faculty runs research, so it's a bit vague.  I doubt a president of a college/university would be aware unless there was a big grant involved.

Similar research at the time was happening in a number of universities iirc.

Very true. There is an excellent interview on FAIR Mormon about it. 

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Here’s this about the conversion therapy:

“In 2016, the church's official website declared that conversion therapy or sexual orientation change efforts are "unethical."[115] Prior to this change in stance BYU ecclesiastical leaders and Honor Code office administrators have encouraged or required students with homosexual feelings to undergo conversion therapy (also known as sexual orientation change efforts), sometimes under threat of expulsion. This therapy focused on diminishing same-sex romantic attraction sometimes happened on campus by church-employed therapists.

For example, National Geographic journalist Andrew Evans[116] has discussed the compulsory year of conversion therapy and "traumatic moments" BYU made him undergo in the late 90s as a student after he was caught kissing a man by his roommate. BYU told him he could be expelled or visit weekly with his bishop, turn in fellow gay students, cut off contact with any gay friends, and have frequent visits with a BYU therapist until he was heterosexual and "safe" for other students to be around. Included in the therapy was weekly dates with women to help reform him.”

 

And this about Pres. Oaks and the aversion therapy:

“From 1971 to 1980 BYU's president Dallin Oaks[35]:32 had Gerald J. Dye over the University Standards Office[86] (renamed the Honor Code Office in 1991). Dye stated that during that decade part of the "set process" for homosexual BYU students referred to his office for "less serious" offenses was to require that they undergo some form of therapy to remain at BYU, and that in special cases this included "electroshock and vomiting aversion therapies."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brigham_Young_University_LGBT_history

Edited by JulieM
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11 hours ago, JulieM said:

Isn’t this the therapy done at BYU when President Oaks was President there?  Did he approve or know this was taking place?

Here is information on Dallin Oak's involvement:

Quote

THE VALUES INSTITUTE

During the midst of a second major purge of homosexuals at BYU in the 1970's, the "Institute for Studies in Values and Human Behaviour" was formed; in short it is known as the 'Values Institute'.

The idea was proposed by Dallin Oaks at a meeting (of the Boards of Trustees at BYU, and the Unified Church Educational System) on September 1, 1976.

The purpose of the Values Institute was kept a secret from the general public, but generally comprised of: combating homosexuality, doing research on homosexuality, fighting homosexuality within the church, and writing a book to verify the LDS church's position on homosexuality.


The public was only told that it would conduct "research that would assist in preventing and changing problem behaviors which lead people away from eternal life." The Values Institute was to be provided resources and assistance from LDS Social Services.

The first main goal of the Values Institute was to produce a manuscript "which would set forth significant empirical evidence in support of the Church's position on homosexuality." The book was to be written by Bergin and Victor L. Brown Jr. (of LDS Social Services), approved by a General Authority, published by a popular Eastern Press, and have no appearance of a connection with the church. Then the book was going to be used as "secular evidence" to back up LDS Church claims on homosexuality.

Other goals of the Values Institute were:

1) Reviewing homosexual "indoctrination" created by public gay protest and opposition.

2) Anti-gay papers & rebuttals.

3) Supporting research to vindicate LDS Church positions on homosexuality.

4) Creating church policies to combat homosexuality and 'sexual misconduct'.


Over the course of time, the Values Institute members worked on writing the book, other articles, researching, and collaborating. (There is too much to condense on this subject)

On November 17th, 1978 a two hour presentation was made before the First Presidency, and then after that was made before all the General Authorities and BYU president Dallin Oaks - concerning the manuscript for the 'anti-gay' book.

In March of 1979, Marion G. Romney asked Thomas S. Monson to get a concrete budget for the Values Institute. (Which they did, and I might add that all of the money to fund the Values Institute and its projects were received directly from tithing funds paid by LDS members).

Values Institute leaders met with Thomas S. Monson (and unknown others) on August 9, 1979 to ask formal approval to write an 'anti-gay' book for publication, and related articles. Monson and the committee agreed with the proposal and recommended it to the First Presidency on August 10, 1979 - where it was formally approved.

As time passed and things went sour with the Values Institute -- Dallin Oaks wrote to Thomas S. Monson on September 3, 1979 to explain the many problems and his irritation. And so, in 1980 the Values Institute was disbanded, after spending $150,000 of tithing funds from LDS members.


"AVERSION THERAPY AT BYU"

....as early as the 1960's, aversion "therapies" were conducted at BYU, which continued on for several decades, and were notably in practice in the 1970's when the Values Institute was operational.

BYU professor D. Eugene Thorne oversaw the therapies.

Some examples of the "therapy" practices were:
 

Electroshock Therapy (electrodes attached to head, hands, arms, and legs which shocked the patient with electricity)

 

Pornography (homosexual and heterosexual pornography which was used in conducting tests, and to try to "cure" the homosexual behavior)

In addition to the Values Institute and the Aversion Therapies conducted at BYU, there were also anti-homosexual purges done at the school, and even sting-operations to catch and weed out homosexual students.

 

Here are some good resources and documentation regarding this institute, etc.:

https://www.gaymormonhistory.com/1970-1979/

 

 

Edited by ALarson
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9 hours ago, Calm said:

It is probably the aversion therapy research (not researching effectiveness of aversion therapy, that was assumed as a given as it was widely accepted) you are thinking of.

They are connected though and this was a very ugly time at BYU, IMO.  If you haven't listened to some of the men who were forced to undergo these treatments (or be expelled), you should.  They are absolutely horrifying and heartbreaking.

Here's a write up about conversion therapy and some about aversion therapy:

https://www.history.com/news/gay-conversion-therapy-origins-19th-century

Quote

 

Some LGBTQ people were given electroconvulsive therapy, but others were subjected to even more extreme techniques like lobotomies. Other “treatments” included shocks administered through electrodes that were implanted directly into the brain. Robert Galbraith Heath, a psychiatrist in NewOrleans who pioneered the technique, used this form of brain stimulation, along with hired prostitutes and heterosexual pornography, to “change” the sexual orientation of gay men. But though Heath contended he was able to actually turn gay men straight, his work has since been challenged and criticized for its methodology.

An offshoot of these techniques was “aversion therapy,” which was founded on the premise that if LGBTQ people became disgusted by homosexuality, they would no longer experience same-sex desire. Under medical supervision, people were given chemicals that made them vomit when they, for example, looked at photos of their lovers. Others were given electrical shocks—sometimes to their genitals—while they looked at gay pornography or cross-dressed.

 

 

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This is the same time when leaders were promising that if gays simply married someone of the opposite sex, they would no longer be gay.  They sound like such wonderful and inspired leaders obviously in touch with God and doing His will.  And now President Oaks is an apostle, next in line to lead the church.  I can hardly wait.

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2 minutes ago, california boy said:

This is the same time when leaders were promising that if gays simply married someone of the opposite sex, they would no longer be gay.  They sound like such wonderful and inspired leaders obviously in touch with God and doing His will.  And now President Oaks is an apostle, next in line to lead the church.  I can hardly wait.

Perhaps he has since evolved in his thinking.

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6 minutes ago, Gray said:

Perhaps he has since evolved in his thinking.

At the high cost of the thousands of lives and families that have been destroyed due to his past thinking, I hope so.  Too bad that church leaders can't live up to their claims of somehow receiving revelation and guidance from God.  

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21 minutes ago, Gray said:

Perhaps he has since evolved in his thinking.

I sincerely hope so.

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12 hours ago, Gray said:

https://apnews.com/16fcb4731bbf4935a1aa1e9642ed1b29

A really positive step for the church. Not only are these "therapies" total bunk, but they have the potential to do lasting damage.

This was really good news, it shows the progress the church has made over the past few decades.  More progress is needed, but I'm encouraged by things like this.  Lets hope this bill passes in Utah.  

Edited by hope_for_things
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1 hour ago, ALarson said:

Here is information on Dallin Oak's involvement:

 

Here are some good resources and documentation regarding this institute, etc.:

https://www.gaymormonhistory.com/1970-1979/

 

 

Wow, thanks for sharing this, I wasn't familiar with some of the particulars here.  Its important to remember the history so that we can make amends as a culture and not repeat it in the future.  Its especially concerning that certain leaders that are still in power today were major players in these hurtful past practices.  

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1 hour ago, hope_for_things said:

This was really good news, it shows the progress the church has made over the past few decades.  More progress is needed, but I'm encouraged by things like this.  Lets hope this bill passes in Utah.  

I had to do a double take on this.  I’m floored that this still happens.... I seriously thought it was illegal everywhere.   :(

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3 hours ago, california boy said:

This is the same time when leaders were promising that if gays simply married someone of the opposite sex, they would no longer be gay.  They sound like such wonderful and inspired leaders obviously in touch with God and doing His will.  And now President Oaks is an apostle, next in line to lead the church.  I can hardly wait.

I'd like to point out the societal acceptance of science in the past was not as advanced as it is today. Perhaps we should not use presentistic views to judge our leaders of today by the societal accepted  ideas of the past, even if those past ideas were wrong. They simply did not know it was wrong back then.

God allows our own thinking to occur, He does not inspire us twenty-four hours a day seven days a week. None of us, no matter if we are a deacon in church, a president of a university, or a Church leader, we did not start out knowing everything.

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41 minutes ago, Anijen said:

I'd like to point out the societal acceptance of science in the past was not as advanced as it is today. Perhaps we should not use presentistic views to judge our leaders of today by the societal accepted  ideas of the past, even if those past ideas were wrong. They simply did not know it was wrong back then.

They showed these men porn to get them aroused and then used electric shock on them.  I think our leaders should have known that was not right.  But, maybe you disagree?

Edited by ALarson
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5 hours ago, JulieM said:

Here’s this about the conversion therapy:

“In 2016, the church's official website declared that conversion therapy or sexual orientation change efforts are "unethical."[115] Prior to this change in stance BYU ecclesiastical leaders and Honor Code office administrators have encouraged or required students with homosexual feelings to undergo conversion therapy (also known as sexual orientation change efforts), sometimes under threat of expulsion. This therapy focused on diminishing same-sex romantic attraction sometimes happened on campus by church-employed therapists.

For example, National Geographic journalist Andrew Evans[116] has discussed the compulsory year of conversion therapy and "traumatic moments" BYU made him undergo in the late 90s as a student after he was caught kissing a man by his roommate. BYU told him he could be expelled or visit weekly with his bishop, turn in fellow gay students, cut off contact with any gay friends, and have frequent visits with a BYU therapist until he was heterosexual and "safe" for other students to be around. Included in the therapy was weekly dates with women to help reform him.”

 

And this about Pres. Oaks and the aversion therapy:

“From 1971 to 1980 BYU's president Dallin Oaks[35]:32 had Gerald J. Dye over the University Standards Office[86] (renamed the Honor Code Office in 1991). Dye stated that during that decade part of the "set process" for homosexual BYU students referred to his office for "less serious" offenses was to require that they undergo some form of therapy to remain at BYU, and that in special cases this included "electroshock and vomiting aversion therapies."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brigham_Young_University_LGBT_history

I have my concerns about anything that uses "electroshock"  incorrectly.

This is electroshock:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electroconvulsive_therapy

Aversion therapy using electric shocks is not the same thing.

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1 hour ago, MustardSeed said:

I had to do a double take on this.  I’m floored that this still happens.... I seriously thought it was illegal everywhere.   :(

Illegal or not, it may be a purely emotional law as it may not apply to anyone actually doing therapy in Utah 

Quote

But few, if any, therapists in the state still practice conversion therapy, prompting some to question whether the law is needed, if it will have any impact, or if it is merely symbolic.

 

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10 minutes ago, Calm said:

I have my concerns about anything that uses "electroshock"  incorrectly.

This is electroshock:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electroconvulsive_therapy

Aversion therapy using electric shocks is not the same thing.

You are correct (and I edited my post above).  The actual proper term is: "electric aversion therapy" or "aversion therapy by electric shock".

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/278657523_The_Penile_Strain_Gauge_and_Aversion_Therapy_Measuring_and_Fixing_the_Sexual_Body

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22 minutes ago, ALarson said:

They showed these men porn to get them aroused and then used electroshock on them. ... But, maybe you disagree?

I of course disagree. However, I am speaking from a more learned time and place. 

The reasoning, as far as I understand it, was: Pornography does arouse. Electric Shock Therapy (ECT) did/does, in fact, triggers a brief seizure which cause changes in brain chemistry that can reverse symptoms of some mental health conditions. Because, homosexuality was looked at in the past (and today by some) as a mental health condition it was thought at that time it would change behavior. See here from the Mayo studies. I am not defending it, but explaining why it was used.

 

Quote

I think our leaders should have known that was not right. 

This is where I disagree with you. What we think our leaders should have known, to me is, a bit arrogant. Did you know that it "was not right" back in the time when this practice was scientifically accepted by mental health experts of that time? If so, did you do anything at that time to educate and disclose to our church leaders that this EST was bad? Do you think that at the instance the person who became a church leader, he would instantly have access to all future answers? Or, isn't it possible that he went along with what was a scientifically accepted practice at that time?   

Perhaps to say: "I think our leaders should have known that was not right." just might be a little bit of an exaggerated sense of one's own importance?   

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22 minutes ago, Calm said:

Illegal or not, it may be a purely emotional law as it may not apply to anyone actually doing therapy in Utah 

 

I have a sneaky suspicion that an acquaintance of mine sent her child away to Utah to be “fixed”.  He came home speaking differently than he has his whole life.  I asked friend from that region and they confirmed that there are correction camps.  Not sure what that entails but it can’t be good.  Im gossiping now and have no details to back any of it up. But someone’s passing a law and it’s too bad anything has come to that :(

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3 minutes ago, Anijen said:

I of course disagree. However, I am speaking from a more learned time and place. 

Then you should do some research on this and listen to the testimonies of the men who experienced these treatments at BYU.  What I stated is exactly what was done.  The church does not deny these took place.

https://abcnews.go.com/Health/mormon-gay-cures-reparative-therapies-shock-today/story?id=13240700

Quote

 

John Cameron said he was a naive and devout Mormon who felt "out of sync" with the world, when he volunteered to be part of a study of "electric aversion therapy" in 1976 at Utah's Brigham Young University.

Twice a week for six months, he jolted himself with painful shocks to the penis to rid himself of his attraction to men.

"I kept trying to fight it, praying and fasting and abstaining and being the best person I could," said Cameron, now a 59-year-old playwright and head of the acting program at the University of Iowa.

"I was never actively gay, never had any encounters with men -- never had moments when I failed and actually had sex with other men," he said.

But his undercurrent of feelings put him in direct conflict with the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints (LDS) and its principles.

"As teens we were taught that homosexuality was second only to murder in the eyes of God," he said.

"I was very, very religious and the Mormon church was the center of my life," said Cameron, who had done missionary work in Guatemala and El Salvador.

The 1976 study at Brigham Young, "Effect of Visual Stimuli in Electric Aversion Therapy," was written by Max Ford McBride, then a graduate student in the psychology department.

"I thought he was my savior," said Cameron, who enrolled with 13 other willing subjects, all Mormons who thought they might be gay, for a three- to six-month course of therapy.

A mercury-filled tube was placed around the base of his penis to measure the level of stimulation he experienced when viewing nude images of men and women.

Shocks, given in three 10-second intervals, were then administered in conjunction with certain images. Participants set their own pain levels.

Cameron said his shame was so deep that he selected the highest level.

"Max didn't do it, we did it," he said. "I was always turning it up to get the most pain because I was desperate."

Homosexuals were seen as a "prurient, expendable population," according to Cameron. "To admit homosexuality in 1976 was the kiss of death. You could be targeted, lose your job, lose your income, lose everything."

And those weren't the only attempted cures that were used in that era. Others allege they were given chemical compounds, which were administered through an IV and caused subjects to vomit when they were stimulated.

Psychologists confirm those harsh experiments were used in a variety of medical settings by scientists of all faiths.

Church officials say they no longer support aversion therapy, but a generation who grew up in the 1970s say they have been scarred for life because of well-intentioned attempts to change their sexual orientation.

 

You should also read the paper written by Max Ford McBride as he goes into detail regarding the therapy done at BYU.

Quote

The 1976 study at Brigham Young, "Effect of Visual Stimuli in Electric Aversion Therapy," was written by Max Ford McBride, then a graduate student in the psychology department.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1u3K43P-3JoY2Q5NDY3ZjYtNWUyMi00YWJiLWFhM2EtYTE4MjViNWVjOGEz/view?sort=name&layout=list&num=50&pli=1

 

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10 minutes ago, Anijen said:

Pornography does arouse. Electric Shock Therapy (ECT) did/does, in fact, triggers a brief seizure which cause changes in brain chemistry that can reverse symptoms of some mental health conditions. Because, homosexuality was looked at in the past (and today by some) as a mental health condition it was thought at that time it would change behavior. See here from the Mayo studies. I am not defending it, but explaining why it was used.

You can't show someone porn while undergoing ECT, they are not only unconscious these days, but memory is affected.  You are conflating two different treatments here.

ECT is currently the most effective treatment for depression.  It does have a drawback of causing memory issues.  My daughter was extremely benefited by it, but after it got her out of the deep dark, not much change occurred and memory issues began to bother her, so she stopped.

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32 minutes ago, Anijen said:

This is where I disagree with you. What we think our leaders should have known, to me is, a bit arrogant.

Not really.  Expecting our leaders to know that it's not right to show men porn and then have them shocked if it arouses them (by measuring their penis) isn't "a bit arrogant" of me, IMO.  But once again, you may believe they shouldn't have known better than to secretly do these treatments at BYU.  It's been exposed that they did take place and they are well documented now.  I don't believe all the leaders knew these were taking place, but we know at least some of them did.

 

Edited by ALarson
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