I came across a mention on "Christian Gay Conversion Therapy" and decided to find out what sort of new biblical wrinkle was afoot.
But, no, it turns out that this fundamentalist Christian offering for creating heterosexual-seeming dudes is, upon actual inspection, the same ol', same ol' psychiatric electric shock "aversion therapy" from the 1960's (with research line extending back to Pavlov’s dog-conditioning experiments in Russia and earlier research in 1880's Germany).
By “Aversion Therapy” is meant physical duress (punishment) intended to condition a subject into not displaying prohibited behavior, nor having, if the treatment is deemed effective, thoughts or feelings that would violate such prohibitions.
Psychiatric theory, and its methods, has apparently recently found a place among certain fundamentalist Christian groups and other right-wing religious organizations. The main secular organization advocating non-religious forms of “Conversion Therapy” is the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), which often still partners with religious groups.
“Studies” -- that is to say, “experiments on human subjects” -- have been conducted on this topic over the last 70 years at least. Psychologist Douglas Haldeman writes that Conversion Therapy comprises “efforts by mental health professionals and pastoral care providers to convert lesbians and gay men to heterosexuality by techniques including aversive treatments, such as ‘the application of electric shock to the hands and/or genitals,’ and ‘nausea-inducing drugs...administered simultaneously with the presentation of homoerotic stimuli,’ masturbatory reconditioning, visualization, social skills training, psychoanalytic theory, and spiritual interventions, such as ‘prayer and group support and pressure.’"
Cessation of the aversive stimuli is typically accompanied by the presentation of opposite-sex erotic images, with the stated objective of strengthening heterosexual feelings. Whether this objective has ever been achieved, even in part, the ardor of the various fundamentalist Christian or other behavior-control enthusiasts for such methods has not been dampened regarding continued application to their designated targets.
The theory as presented is obvious -- that being given pain makes the contested thought undesirable to the subject and he will, forthwith, cease and desist from said thought. That the electric shocks are often administered directly to the genitals may be compared for similarity to the torture methods used against members of the peaceful Falun Gong religious movement by Chinese police. And as the Fulan Gong have yet to be dissuaded from their religious practice by such techniques, not much has proved out in the sex-coercion arena, either.
In his 1966 study Aversion therapy for sexual deviation: a critical review, researcher M.P Feldman claimed a 58% cure rate, with “success” defined as suppression of homosexuality and increased capacity for heterosexual behavior. This claim, however, is not substantiated over the ensuing decades, and in fact a 1982 study, Rangaswami's Difficulties in arousing and increasing heterosexual responsiveness in a homosexual: A case report, states that, typically, while behavioral conditioning studies tend to decrease a display of homosexual feelings, they still do not increase heterosexual feelings.
Indeed, Haldeman concludes that such methods applied to anyone except gay people would be called torture, writing, "Individuals undergoing such treatments do not emerge heterosexually inclined; rather they become shamed, conflicted, and fearful about their homosexual feelings."
So, to recap: the homosexual subject is shown a homoerotic picture and then shocked or given nausea-inducing drugs [homo picture = pain = bad]. He is then shown heteroerotic pictures and the shocks are discontinued [hetero picture = no pain = good]. The pictures displayed are, of course, from that collection compiled for or by the study administrator.
Advanced methods used have included an apparatus attached directly to the male organ. The subject is again shown pictures of different sexual acts and situations. If there's a twitch (even an unknowing one) at the wrong time, the subject is, again, given an electric shock and/or a burst of ammonia or other noxious gas to breathe.
Drugs may be used to reduce mental resistance to (or attempt to induce enthusiasm for) the therapy. This includes hypnotics and other mind-altering drugs, as well as the nausea-inducing drugs mentioned above (I found no mention of amyl nitrate being used, however).
After the pain/drug treatment, a "support group" will monitor the subject’s behavior and through various modes of persuasion, reward and punishment, condition him into no longer displaying the behavior found unacceptable by the group administrators.
It is perhaps unnecessary to point out that this research line, by definition, lacks Christian or other religious or spiritual influence, and is an entirely bio-mechanical approach to gender orientation. The concepts of “free will”, “God’s will” and “predestination” are set aside, by the religionists, in favor of electric/drug duress and overwhelming mental force.
Also, it is undetermined what results might be expected behaviorally in the instance of a subject becoming addicted to the treatment.
This is, in fact, essentially the same treatment applied to Jeffrey Dahmer, who later rose to infamy as a homosexual cannibal serial killer.
The crux, of course, is that psychiatric theory views religion itself (including the Christian religion) as an aberration, an illness with its own requisite and compulsory agenda for "treatment". Thus, the next ones to be converted with shocks, drugs and coercion will be those Christians themselves who all-too-easily took up a snakeskin embrace with the "Alienist" atheists in their telling quest to ease their own consciences about their own violent and opportunistic reactions to homosexuality.
That this anti-gay violence takes place not as “gay-bashing” on the street, but as “therapy” in a modern clinical setting under the aegis of psychiatric theory, should be noted and ramifications for government application to other "undesirable" groups envisioned by the interested reader.
Of further interest to the interested reader might be to inspect if, indeed, such programs already exist, and to what degree their ongoing implementation is condoned (or welcomed) by current society.
In closing, a question should be posed regarding those who would see fit to force others to comply through electric shocks, drugs and coercion:
What would Jesus have to say about that?
Or does that matter?
The above article is editorial opinion for entertainment purposes and is not to be construed as a document for scholarly work. Authors referenced have no connection whatsoever with this blog.