Prophet, Seer, and Revelator
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Dear President Monson,
I wrote your predecessor, President Hinckley, awhile back after the Church refused to join gentile churches in opposing torture. In that note, I applauded our beloved Prophet for refusing to sign onto a letter backing anti-torture provisions in the 2006 Defense Budget. I thought his response was perfect when he made it clear to the flock that "The church has not taken a position on any proposed legislative or administrative actions regarding torture."
Now, people are asking me why the Church is politically active in measures to deny marriage equality The Gay. Pointing to the Church's decision to be an official sponsor of ProtectMarriage, the people behind Measure 8 in California and the huge amounts of money Mormons have poured into Arizona's Prop. 102, they wonder why the Church can be so against love and so ambivalent about torture.
I'm worried we may be seeing the beginnings of a huge public relations problem. We need to get out there now with our story and put all of this into its proper context. We must tell the public there is no hypocracy here, and that our hatred of The Gay and our love for torture are indeed all part of the same issue: supporting traditional forms of marraige.
It's time to begin trumpeting our success in using forms of torture to turn The Gay into good, God-fearing, heterosexual elders and sisters of the Church. Yes, I'm talking about the aversion therapy experiments conducted at BYU in the Seventies (and perhaps into the Nineties).
We could begin by publicizing the stories of those who participated. As you can see, they are very compelling:
They explained to me that they would place a heparin lock in my wrist and hook an I.V. up to that, and I would be put in a room alone with a phlethesmograph on my penis that would measure my physical arousal so that when I got an erection they would know. Then they started showing me gay pornography. I don't remember if there were films or not, but I do remember stills. I was supposed to go through a stack of photos of nude men and come up with men that I thought were attractive.Here's another account:
No, I was 15! I was only 15 years old. I mean I'd seen like a Playboy before, but I'd never seen sex before at all. They were going to show me this gay pornography and using the I.V. they would inject a drug into me during the gay pornography to make me start vomiting. Then they would switch the pornography over to heterosexual sex and inject a euphoric drug into me to get me to associate euphoria with heterosexuality. I look back on that and think that I would have taken the electric-shock therapy had I known about it since I'm extremely phobic around vomiting.
Alot of times BYU security would catch people in compromising positions on campus. Those people would have the choice to either be kicked out of school and have their families notified about what they had done or they could go through this therapy. We had quite a few people who were going through it. There were others in the therapy who felt so much guilt for being the way they were or they had been promised that if they underwent the therapy they would be able to marry and have children and they would be turned. Of course they had to have the desire to change, and if the therapy failed which it always did, it was their fault for the failure since they didn't have enough desire.
Anyway, they would come in usually three times a week. I would be behind a glass one-way mirror, and they would be on the other side of it. They had their choice to look at pornographic magazines or watch porno videos. We would tape electrodes to their groin, thigh, chest and armpits. We had another machine that would monitor their breathing and heart rate. If there was a difference in their heart rate when looking at homosexual pornography, we would turn a dial which would send a current to shock them. If they were a new patient, we would use a very low current. From the reaction that I saw there were muscle spasms which looked very painful.
After that was over, we would switch the pornography over so that it was a man and a woman having sex, and we would play very soothing music in the background to try and get the mind to relate to that. For the people that had been doing the therapy longer we turned the voltage way up so that you could see burn marks on the skin and quite often they would also throw up during the therapy.
Um, hm. And the program was called aversion therapy.Telling these stories serves two purposes. First, it sends a message that being The Gay is so terrible, the Church is willing to scorch a man's little soldier in order to stop it. And second, Jesus wants us to torture people sometimes, so get with the program.
And what did they do in this program of aversion therapy?
He had me go into Salt Lake City and go to an adult bookstore and find pornography that I found erotic, or whatever. And then I had to bring it back to him and he ... . I don't know if it was a BYU photo lab or what, but [the pornography] was turned into slides and then they would put electrodes first on my hands–and I have burns.
You have burns on your hands? Oh, I see those burns.
That's from those. And then they're on my arm and my torso. At first.
What year was this, Jayce? Give me a time frame.
It was '94, the last five, six months of 1994.
[long pause] At first we didn't use the slides or any visual type of stimulation. He just told me to fantasize. And as I was trying to fantasize or whatever, trying to do what he wanted me to do, randomly they would send shocks. And that happened for, like, the first three weeks. And that was about six sessions. And then the slides were ready.
OK, let me see if I understand this. You were told to fantasize male-male eroticism?
And then they would send random shocks into your body which caused these scars on your body and on your hands?
OK. And then what?
[long pause] Then there would be slides. [long pause] There were more electrodes this time and they were on ... . [pause] This is kind of embarrassing. [pause] I mean, they were all ... . I was in a position where they could tell if I was being aroused or not. It was very obvious. And then if there was any kind of arousal whatsoever I would be shocked. And then that happened for about two months.
OK. I'm gonna to ask you a really personal question. Did they also have an electrode on your penis?
And is there scar tissue there?
Uh, huh. [long pause]
That happened for at least eight sessions. Probably actually about sixteen because it was two months that we did just that form. And then the electrodes were all [in] the same places, but then I had the control that when I was being shocked I could press this plunger or button or whatever and a picture of a woman would come up and the electrodes would stop.
OK. Now, this took place on BYU property?
OK. Where at? Do you know?
It's the Smith Family Living Center. It was in the basement.
In the basement?
The last two months, that's what we would do. And that was only once a week. And then one day I was driving to Provo and I just couldn't get off the exit. I couldn't do it anymore. And so I just turned around and went back to Ogden and told my bishop that I was fine, that I was OK and he said, "If there's anything left, your mission will fix that." And so I left for my mission ... .
Hey, maybe torture would be useful for missionary work too. Have you considered it? It seemed to work well for the Catholics in Spain.
Gen. JC Christian, patriot
Elsewhere: My inner Frenchman followed through on this vow and officially became an apostate.