I just have one comment to make on the unfolding story of Kirk Murphy. This can’t be shouted out loudly enough: The subject of this study, which formed much of the basis for the ex-gay movement’s claim to scientific legitimacy, killed himself and his therapy so deeply wounded his family they are still, decades later, suffering from it.
The Ex-Gay movement was born in the blood of innocents. In his book, Anything But Straight, Wayne talks about the formation of the very first ex-gay ministry, Love In Action, its first clients, and how one of them, Jack McIntyre, chose to end his life rather then keep failing at becoming heterosexual.
In 1973 John Evans, who is gay, and Rev. Kent Philpott, who is heterosexual, co-founded the original “ex-gay” ministry, Love In Action on the outskirts of San Francisco. Philpott soon wrote The Third Sex?, the first ever “ex-gay” book which touted six people who supposedly converted to heterosexuality through prayer.
Although time eventually revealed no one in his book actually had changed, the people reading it had no idea the stories were fallacious. As far as they knew, there was a magical place in California that had figured out the secret for making gays into straights. Inspired by his book, a few enthusiastic individuals spontaneously began their own “ex-gay” ministries.
Evans, however, denounced the program he co-founded after his best friend Jack McIntyre committed suicide in despair over not being able to “change”…
McIntyre wrote a suicide note. If the ex-gay movement could be said to have a heart and soul, here it is:
TO: Those left with the question, why did he do it?
I loved life and all that it had to offer to me each day.
I loved my job and my clients.
I loved my friends and thank God for each one of them.
I loved my little house and would not have wanted to live anywhere else.
All this looks like the perfect life. Yet, I must not let this shadow the problem that I have in my life. At one time, not to long ago, that was all that really mattered in my life. What pleased me and how it affected me. Now that I have turned my life over to the Lord and the changes came one by one, the above statements mean much more to me. I am pleased that I can say those statements with all the truth and honesty that is within me.
However, to make this short, I must confess that there were things in my life that I could not gain control, no matter how much I prayed and tried to avoid the temptation, I continually failed.
It is this constant failure that has made me make the decision to terminate my life here on earth. I do this with the complete understanding that life is not mine to take. I know that it is against the teachings of our Creator. No man is without sin, this I realise. I will cleanse myself of all sin as taught to me by His word. Yet, I must face my Lord with the sin of murder. I believe that Jesus died and paid the price for that sin too. I know that I shall have everlasting life with Him by departing this world now, no matter how much I love it, my friends, my family. If I remain it could possibly allow the devil the opportunity to lead me away from the Lord. I love life, but my love for the Lord is so much greater, the choice is simple.
I am not asking you to sanction my actions. That is not the purpose of my writing this at all. It is for the express purpose of allowing each one who will read this to know how I weighed things in my own mind. I don’t want you to think that, ‘I alone,’ should have been the perfect person, without sin. That would be ridiculous! It is the continuing lack of strength and/or obedience and/or will power to cast aside certain sins. To continually go before God and ask forgiveness and make promises you know you can’t keep is more than I can take. I feel it is making a mockery of God and all He stands for in my life.
Please know that I am extremely happy to be going to the Lord. He knows my heart and knows how much I love life and and all that it has to offer. But, He knows that I love Him more. That is why I believe that I will be with Him in Paradise.
I regret if I bring sorrow to those that are left behind. If you get your hearts in tune with the word of God you will be as happy about my ‘transfer’ as I am. I also hope that this answers sufficiently the question, why?
May God Have Mercy On My Soul.
A Brother & A Friend.
And as Wayne writes…
Still, Love in Action survived because many people who read The Third Sex? came to California in hopes of changing.
And George Rekers was still citing his success at fixing Kirk years after Kirk had taken his own life. When reporters caught up with him recently Rekers dismissed the idea that Kirk’s suicide could have had anything to do with the experimental gender identity therapy he’d inflicted upon the child. Oh no…that was years ago…
“That’s a long time ago, and to hypothesize, you have a hypothesis that positive treatment back in the 1970s has something to do with something happening decades later. That would, that hypothesis would need a lot of scientific investigation to see if it’s valid…”
More apparently, then the initial therapy got according to Jim Burroway who writes of his surprise that there was little to no independent verification of Reker’s claims. But according to his family Kirk was a troubled soul the rest of his life, though he had moments when it seemed he had made peace with himself. And it bears noting that the therapy deeply disturbed then, and continues to this day to disturb, his mother and his straight older brother, his sister being too young at the time to remember any of what happened.
“I do grieve for the parents now that you’ve told me that news. I think that’s very sad.” – George Rekers
Look carefully at this: Kirk was the patient who made Rekers’ career and he only just now learns of his suicide when CNN reporter tracked him down? Yes. Of course. He never stayed in touch, clearly and sickeningly never felt the slightest curiosity about how his most famous patient was doing. This is not science, it is politics. The client is not important. The client’s family is not important. It’s the message, that that there is no such thing as a homosexual only broken heterosexuals, that is important. Because inside that message is another: that homosexuals bring their own persecution upon themselves, since they can choose whenever they want to not be homosexual.
…no matter how much I prayed and tried to avoid the temptation, I continually failed… The Ex-Gay movement was born in the blood of innocents. It continues to destroy lives and wreak families with no more tangible regard from its leadership for the human toll now then in the moment of its birth. Their allegiance is to a higher agency. No…not God. The culture war. Failure is not a bug, it’s a feature. The scapegoat must hate themselves too.