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Mormon leader Hinckley's turning 95

Hinckley on homos: “We know they have a problem. We want to help them solve that problem.”

And you thought the JPII hung around too long…this coot’s pushing 100. Just wanted to share an excerpt of one of my Best of the Blend posts in honor of Mormon spiritual leader Gordon B. Hinckley‘s 95th birthday, which the Salt Lake Tribune reports is coming up. That SLT link is to a puff piece on the guy.

The Mormons endorse “reparative aversion therapy” to rid folks of their homo tendencies. Though the church says it is not directly affiliated with organizations responsible for the mental and emotional torture of vulnerable gays and lesbians (like Exodus, Love in Action, Regeneration, etc.), gay Mormons are threatened with rejection by both their church and their families if they do not submit to “treatment.” A snippet from one young man’s story:

He is sitting in an office on the campus of BYU, where his counselor has attached electrodes to his hands, arms, torso and genitals. His Mormon Bishop gave him a referral to the counselor. Jayce is shown pornographic images of men having sexual encounters. Then, ZAP! His body tingles, then aches from the electrical shock administered by his trusted counselor. He is scheduled for twice-weekly sessions for four months. “Toward the end of the program I could press a button and it would stop the shock and then a picture of a woman would come on.”

But Jayce is 19 years old and he willingly goes back for more. He gives them his college savings — $9,000 — for the treatments which are promised to cure his homosexuality.

“They promised me it would work, and who doesn’t want to live a life that’s normal and acceptable in your society and have your family embrace you?” he asks rhetorically.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding