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Aversion Therapy

I remember being told as a youth to strap a rubber band around my wrist. Whenever I had an unworthy (i.e. sexual) thought, I was supposed to snap the rubber band, causing pain. The idea was that I would begin to form a negative association with unworthy thoughts. In other words, this was a rudimentary form of aversion therapy suggested by my Mormon leaders.

This was just an idea floated out there, so I never really wore a rubber band. I had no idea how far the Mormon leadership actually took aversion therapy until recently. Many homosexual youth were subjected to aversive shock therapy in order to convert them to heterosexuality. They viewed graphic homosexual pornography in a laboratory, lab workers shocked them when they became aroused. They would then view heterosexual pornography while soothing music was played. Many of the patients had never viewed such pornography to that point in their lives.

Main Street Plaza recently highlighted a short documentary—Legacies—about men who underwent this therapy.

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Why Bloggers Can’t Replace Professional Journalists

David Simon’s article about police killing people in Baltimore with token accountability has scared me more than any other story about the state we’ve allowed our civil liberties to get into. It makes me want to subscribe to my local daily which I (and my parents) have never done.


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Oh No He Didn’t!

A few quotes to chew on during the upcoming V-day. No, the other V-day. (Kudos to their awesome typographical logo ({}) which I’ll give you some time to contemplate.)

I think no more of taking a wife than I do of buying a cow. (Apostle Heber Kimball, the man who gave his 14-year-old daughter to Joseph Smith in marriage, Wife No. 19, p. 292)

Husbands, love and treasure your wives. They are your most precious possessions. (President Gordon Hinckley, Closing Remarks, General Conference, April 2007)

Elders, never love your wives one hair’s breadth further than they adorn the Gospel, never love them so but that you can leave them at a moment’s warning without shedding a tear. Should you love a child any more than this? No.… When you love your wives and children, are fond of your horses, your carriages, your fine houses, your goods and chattels, or anything of an earthly nature, before your affections become too strong, wait until you and your family are sealed up unto eternal lives, and you know they are yours from that time henceforth and for ever.…

When the wife secures to herself a glorious resurrection, she is worthy of the full measure of the love of the faithful husband, but never before. And when a man has passed through the vail, and secured to himself an eternal exaltation, he is then worthy of the love of his wife and children,…

(Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 3, pp. 360–61)

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife… as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.—Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. (Latter-day Saint Messenger and Advocate, Nov. 1835)

Brother Cannon remarked that people wondered how many wives and children I had. He may inform them, that I shall have wives and children by the million, and glory, and riches and power and dominion, and kingdom after kingdom, and reign triumphantly. (Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 8, pp. 178–79)

Do you think that I am an old man? I could prove to this congregation that I am young; for I could find more girls who would choose me for a husband than can any of the young men. (Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 5, p. 210)

You and each of you solemnly covenant and promise before God, angels, and these witnesses at this altar that you will each observe and keep the law of your husband and abide by his counsel in righteousness. Each of you bow your head and say, “Yes.” (Covenant made by Mormon women in the pre-1990 temple endowment)

One more for good measure on how Brigham feels about apostates like me:

I say, rather than that apostates should flourish here [in Salt Lake City], I will unsheath my bowie knife, and conquer or die. (Great commotion in the congregation, and a simultaneous burst of feeling, assenting to the declaration.) Now, you nasty apostates, clear out, or judgment will be put to the line, and righteousness to the plummet. (Voices, generally, ‘go it, go it.’) If you say it is right, raise your hands. (All hands up.) Let us call upon the Lord to assist us in this, and every good work. (Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 1, p. 83)

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We do not need to choose between torture and terror

The American public has a right to know that they do not have to choose between torture and terror. There is a better way to conduct interrogations that works more efficiently, keeps Americans safe, and doesn’t sacrifice our integrity. Our greatest victory to date in this war, the death of Abu Musab Al Zarqawi (which saved thousands of lives and helped pave the way to the Sunni Awakening), was achieved using interrogation methods that had nothing to do with torture. The American people deserve to know that. (Interview of Major Matthew Alexander, Air Force interrogator and author of How to Break a Terrorist)

Also see the article in the Washington Post.

(via Schneier on Security)

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Sorcerers of Death’s Construction

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