One of the most interesting questions to come out of Thursday’s Skype event with Richelle Mead was a man who asked if she studied brainwashing techniques before writing her latest book, Silver Shadows. Having just finished the book yesterday, I can tell you there are some disturbing events that happen. The whole time I read the book, I heard Richelle’s words in my mind. After joking about what the CIA might be doing these days, she answered the man’s question by saying many of brainwashing techniques used in the book are used in real life, at theoretically well-intentioned facilities aimed at ‘curing’ people from homosexuality.
I’m sure everything that happened in Silver Shadows isn’t done at those facilities. They can’t do that much, right? Of course, I’m making an assumption based on Western ideas of freedom and American law. Perhaps other countries think those techniques are just find in the case of homosexuality. I’m still holding out hope that any facility like that in the United States wouldn’t be allowed to be nearly that bad.
In reality, not one thing done in that book should ever be done to any human being. The worst prisoners we have aren’t forced to endure things like that. After finishing the book, I can’t get this out of my head. I don’t want to spoil anything, but there’s a lot of pain and suffering that takes place, along with the forced emotional stress and paranoia.
Perhaps more sickening than the suffering of characters were the people instigating that suffering. I may have been able to forgive them if they actually seemed concerned about the people in their custody. Instead, it seemed like they almost enjoyed the torture. They filled their prisoner’s heads with rhetoric about how evil, unclean and damned they all were. A part of me wondered if they were trying to create their image of hell on earth, as if to say ‘this is where you are headed.’
Except nothing they did seemed like a warning – it was a punishment. Those instigating the torture told their victims this is what they deserved and they believed it themselves. They didn’t see sick people, or mentally disturbed people in need of help. All they saw were people who deserved to suffer, and they were happy to see that happen by their own hands.
In both the case of the book and homosexuality, the people subjected to the torture are neither sick nor mentally disturbed. I mention those things only because of the good intention involved. While still wrong, perhaps if a person thought their deplorable actions could help cure a person they thought was horrendously ill, I could understand. I’d still expect them to recoil, though. I’d expect them to turn away, sickened by the suffering of a fellow human being. In these facilities that try to ‘cure’ homosexuality, do they recoil? Do they see those in their facility as sick people in need of care, or do they seem them as demons worthy of all the pain they can give them?
I was afraid to Google this, but decided to try it anyway. As I write this, I have a web browser open with the search results for “brainwashing techniques cure homosexuality.’ The first site is called AmericanTraditions.org. From the summary, I see the statement, “From my studies, it appears that it is easier to cure homosexuality than pedophilia.”
First off, I am offended that consenting, loving adults would be lumped with pedophilia. Nonetheless, I clicked the link anyway and couldn’t even read far enough to see if brainwashing techniques are discussed in detail. I stopped around the 5th paragraph, which, among other acts, claims homosexuals engage consuming and rolling around in each others feces. The paragraph ends with the claim it “is not uncommon” for them to insert a rodent into their colons after de-clawing and de-fanging the creature.
That was really my fault. Unfortunately, I’ve learned any website with that kind of URL tends to be rather extreme and offensive. A while back, I Googled NAAWP in the hopes I might find a redeemable website. Instead, I found NAAWP.org to be just another extreme site, this one crying about the ‘white genocide’ of America.
I don’t know why this is the way it is. I can’t even link to those sites, they disturb me so much (although NAAWP doesn’t hold a candle to AmericanTraditions).
I will provide a few links I found from the BBC and Huffington Post on brainwashing techniques aimed at ‘curing’ homosexuality. After reading Silver Shadows, I couldn’t finish the BBC article. There it is, right there. I wonder if Richelle Mead used that same website for her research. There are the exact techniques the characters in her book were subjected to.
Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. Humanity has done some pretty terrible things throughout history. I’ve seen the medieval torture devices. Hell, I’ve seen today’s news. People do terrible things to other people. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised there are people who would be so against homosexuality they could ignore their humanity and subject them to such torture.
I dare to hope those facilities are non-existent today.
What do you think of the idea there are facilities that claim to ‘cure’ homosexuality in today’s world? Do you think they actually work, or do they just terrify the victim? Is making someone too afraid to take action the same thing as curing them from desiring the action? Why can’t people just live and let live?