Decided to "just have a quick look" at the Connell O'Donovan article and couldn't stop reading. Just blew my lunch hour reading this thing. Fascinating - very well done.
I used to think that Mormon history got dull and uninteresting after polygamy ended…boy was I ever wrong.
The thing that fascinates me the most is that the Church used to be rather tolerant of practicing gay and lesbian Mormons, at least until the Kook Faction rose to prominence among the Brethren. (By Kook Faction, I mean J. Reuben Clark, Ezra Taft Benson, Ernest L. Wilkenson, W. Cleon Skousen, …and Glenn Beck.)
Turns out this woman had never heard of this stuff before. As the conversation continued in this vein, she became more and more angry. Noticing her discomfort, I asked if her son (who had served an honorable mission) had even encountered Evergreen or this kind of rampant homophobia in the Church.
When she answered that he had not (at the level of electroshock anyway), I asked her why she seemed so upset. After all, I said, this is well known stuff. Sort of a mistake on my part - because it was not well known to her.
Was her son treated at Evergreen? Would you happen to know whether and how much Evergreen’s treatment program differs from that of BYU during the 70’s?
In any case, I’m glad her son made it out alive and healthy!
Even though you're being sarcastic... in a very real sense, you're correct.
I agree, the wisest thing these gay and lesbian students could have done was to have gotten the hell out of BYU--and Mormonism--like they were getting the hell out of a burning building.
But for whatever reason they didn't--or couldn't--abandon the Church and, to a large extent, their families as well. It certainly didn’t help that BYU threatened them with expulsion, forfeiture of their tuition & academic credits, and excommunication. The social pressure to submit to these “experiments” must have been enormous.
And naturally BYU--and by extension the Church--was careful to cover its butt by insisting the students sign nondisclosure forms and legal liability waivers before undergoing treatment.
All in all, it casts BYU and the Church in a very ugly light.