"Flickers and Rustles"

Commentary by
Elmar Kraushaar

From: "TAZ Nr. 5641"
September 22, 1998

The homosexual man . . .

. . . may once more have hope. After all the offtrack trends and innovations of the past 30 years - such as Christopher Street Day, fist fucking, The Village People, drag queens, queer and gender studies - renewed assistance comes from the USA. This time it is called "Exodus," "Courage," or "Homosexuals Anonymous" -- sincere Christian therapy groups who only know one goal: "cure" the homosexual, turn him around, or "re-orient" him. The involvement of more than 15 religious organizations is accompanied by an advertising campaign in all the big newspapers. The message is, "homosexuality is a sin, but God lends all sinners a helping hand." They [the sinners] will learn in the so-called "transformation groups," completely discrete and therapeutically correct. In training, which lasts months, the black sheep will unlearn any obvious homosexual expression or movement. Men may no longer hold out the little finger while drinking tea. When sitting down, one leg is not gracefully crossed over the other. He who elegantly spreads the five fingers of his male hand and arches them suggestively toward an imaginary male cleavage is probably threatened with purgatory.

Ever since homosexuality was invented, people have been asking "where does it come from?" and then "how do you get rid of it?" In answer to the second question, many men have had many ideas over the last 100 years. The Nazis tried it with forced castration and hormone operations. In the 1950's and 1960's, more hormone experiments were tried, along with attempts at brain surgery, medication and psycho-analytic therapy. As late as the 1970's homosexuality was treated with electroshock in the USA, and the sexual scientist, Martin Dannecker, reported in 1972 of a Munich psychologist who tried to "cure" his victims with a "revulsion therapy." The gays were shown pictures of men, alternating between attractive and then with boils, wounds and rashes. Compared to that the little game of behavior therapy by the American Christians seems almost to be an improvement.

Yet even the endeavors of this new therapy are proving to be in vain. Homosexuals remain resistent. 13 local "Exodus" groups have had to close because manifestations of heterosexuality have eluded them. The "Exodus" founders, Michael Busse and Gary Cooper have since then, in spite of their "successful cure," gotten happily engaged and married, and have several children.

Today Michael Pattinson from Beverly Hills is still waiting for a "successful re-orientation." He put himself in the hands of the Scientologists and believed in their "cure program" and their advertisement with Hollywood star John Travolta, who was supposed to have been "cured." Through the course of the years, Pattinson let the sect have a half million dollars. Now he is poor, but he is still gay, and he is suing Scientology. He feels "deceived, disappointed and robbed of his human and civil rights." The Scientology secret service reacted casually to the suit. They say it is "unfounded" and that John Travolta is "a happily married man."

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