glbtq: an encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender & queer culture
home
arts
literature
social sciences
special features
www.glbtq.com Forum Index
about glbtq
   search
  
 
   Encyclopedia
   Discussion
 
 

   member name
  
   password
  
 
   
   Forgot Your Password?  
   
Not a Member Yet? 
   
JOIN TODAY. IT'S FREE!

 
 

  Advertising Opportunities
  Permissions & Licensing
  Terms of Service
  Privacy Policy
  Copyright
 

Index      FAQ       Member List       Report Abuse        Guidelines    


 Topic: Aversion therapy for a Catholic boy.

Reply to topic   Post new topic
Author Message
pentacle  



Joined: 10 Mar 2012
Posts: 3

Physical Location: england

Posted: 17 Mar 2012, 1:30 pm    Post subject: Aversion therapy for a Catholic boy. Reply with quote

I was subjected to electric shock aversion therapy to change my sexuality in 1972 as an 18 year old when I attended a Catholic Grammar shool in England. I did not volunteer, I was blackmailed into it by the priests at the school.

What they did to me in a mental hospital involved electrodes attached to my right leg and forearm and had to listen to tapes of my discussions of homosexual relations with my then boyfriend, while they gave me very very painful electric shocks. Don't let anyone tell you that these shocks were mild. They were not.. This was torture. I escaped the pain by learning how to dissociate. They turned me into a celibate. Which was probably classed as a success for their needs. I never had any follow-up after I was released. I think about it all the time. I have extreme flashbacks even now.

Today 40 years later I suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, dissociation and depression. I am wracked by shame, fear and traumatic memories. There isn't a day goes by that I don't think about suicide and the only thing that keeps me going is to try and get some form of justice even if it is only to tell my story. This was another case of Catholic priests child abuse, and they were so good at it that I believe I wasn't the only boy treat like this at that school, and I only hope that if any of my old schoolmates recognise this they recovered better than I did.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
gennee  



Joined: 15 Sep 2005
Posts: 412
Interests: reading, writing, poetry, transgender issues, gospel, veteran's issues,jazz,education,religion,literature,Native-American and African culture,lighthouses,trails,castles,tractor trailers, playwriting, biograhies, electronics, bass guitar
Physical Location: new york

Posted: 19 Mar 2012, 11:34 am    Post subject: You Are Loved Reply with quote

Hi Pentacle. I'm sorry about the abuse you have suffered. I have read a number of stories like yours and find it disheartening.

I also want to encourage you and say that you are perfectly normal as a gay person. The fact that you have survived and keep on living attests to this. No matter how bleak life seems at the moment there is a rainbow over the ridge.

Are you receiving any counseling? Posting here is a start and I'm sure it is therapeutic in unburdening yourself
.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send email
glbtq  
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Feb 2003
Posts: 133


Posted: 20 Mar 2012, 6:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Aversion therapy for a Catholic boy. Reply with quote

Dear Pentacle,

Thank you for posting your experience here. What you went through is harrowing. I wonder if you have any legal recourse to seek compensation or punitive damages from those who subjected you to this aversion therapy? I suppose that the statute of limitations for psychiatric abuse has expired.

In any case your experience needs to be better known. Thank you for alerting us to this form of child abuse.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
pentacle  



Joined: 10 Mar 2012
Posts: 3

Physical Location: england

Posted: 22 Mar 2012, 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to explain how they carried out my aversion therapy. Most of what you read on this site and on many many others do not give the complete explanation of how AT was carried out.This usually says that patients were shown pictures of naked men, got a shock if we didn't turn it off, and then showed pictures of women to encourage heterosexuality.

Whereas I did receive shocks for men, I did not get shown pictures of women at all. The whole idea of being a catholic gay was deemed to be a diseased evil sinner and they wanted to stop me being gay but they did not want me to become a het, they just wanted to turn me celibate and too ashamed and anxious about being with men that I would not be able to enjoy any kind of gay sex. They have been successful in this.

I was in love at the time when I was sent for AT. I had a conversation with a psychiatrist who asked me all sorts of questions about what gay sex I had with my mate. Unknown to me, they taped these conversations and then strapped me in position on a bed, the tapes were played back and the electric shocks were applied when the tapes were played. They told me I was a horrible, sick, evil person who needed to be cured. I was told that the only way I would be cured of my disease would be when I declared that I no longer loved my boyfriend. This continued until my boyfriend died in a road accident, when it was decided that since the object of my desires was no longer around they had done their job.

I was lead to believe that my parents were not told about my treatment and I never told them. I did tell them I was gay before the AT took place. My extremist catholic parents never ever accepted my sexuality and we never talked about it. When I was depressed 12 years ago my brother found out about the AT and asked my parents if they knew about it. They denied all knowledge. Which is as I thought.

I have just laid my hands on some of my mothers diaries. For 1972 all the details of my psychiatric visits are there, dates, times, discussions with the school and doctors about me. Good honest catholic people who are loved by all sorts of people but not by me.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
glbtq  
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Feb 2003
Posts: 133


Posted: 23 Mar 2012, 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the additional details about what had to be a harrowing experience. It is so sad that you had to go through this. I can only imagine the manifold ways it has affected you in the years since. I wish there was some way to recompense you for the pain and indignities visited upon you.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
pentacle  



Joined: 10 Mar 2012
Posts: 3

Physical Location: england

Posted: 24 Mar 2012, 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for all your kind words of support.

I too wish there was some way of getting recompense. The only way I think I might go is to write a book about my life. In one particular way my psychology therapist thinks I have a unique case and I should write about it. I don't know whether anyone would buy it but at least it'll mean I can explain my life to people and it'll help me move forward to get it all down on paper. I find my life very hard to understand how I went through this process and I have always believed I let it happen. I have spent most of my adult life hating my younger self for letting it happen and not trying to escape it all. But I see now that the younger me did all he could to survive, and though I have thought about suicide endlessly I am still here.

I very nearly succeeded in killing myself in 1983 but I was saved by my friends. I had gone out into the Scottish mountains in winter, drank a bottle of whiskey and lay down in the snow and fell asleep. I had been told that it was a good way to kill myself. I woke up in a bed with a lousy hangover and thought I had dreamt it all up. I thought that I had just failed myself yet again but I have only recently found out that my friends had been worrying about me and came looking for me, found me unconscious, carried me to safety and nursed me back to health. I have some good friends.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
gennee  



Joined: 15 Sep 2005
Posts: 412
Interests: reading, writing, poetry, transgender issues, gospel, veteran's issues,jazz,education,religion,literature,Native-American and African culture,lighthouses,trails,castles,tractor trailers, playwriting, biograhies, electronics, bass guitar
Physical Location: new york

Posted: 25 Mar 2012, 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for sharing this info, Pentacle. This is really valuable because many don't know what goes on during these 'therapies'. I strongly suggest writing that book.. Many people will read your book I believe because who would want to put a child through that. This needs to be out in the open.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send email
JayJay  



Joined: 27 Sep 2006
Posts: 79
Interests: gay history

Posted: 28 Mar 2012, 9:35 am    Post subject: Aversion Therapy Reply with quote

gennee wrote:
Thank you for sharing this info, Pentacle. This is really valuable because many don't know what goes on during these 'therapies'. I strongly suggest writing that book.. Many people will read your book I believe because who would want to put a child through that. This needs to be out in the open.



I agree with Gennee. Pentacle, please do share your story. It may well be cathartic for you, and it can help other people who may have gone through similar traumas. In addition, this needs to be recorded. We cannot forget (or allow others to forget) what has been done in the name of conformity and religion.
_________________
Jay
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic   Post new topic    

Page 1 of 1

 


Discussion Boards by phpBB © 2006 phpBB Group

www.glbtq.com is produced by glbtq, Inc., 1130 West Adams Street, Chicago, IL   60607
glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.
Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.