home

Brainwashing Camp for Gay Kids

Mike Ditto writes about a brainwashing summer camp for gay kids in Tennessee. This 16 year old attendee is writing a blog from the camp, and he's none too pleased. He says his parents lied to him and it's worse than boot camp. Go read, before they make him take it down.

Update: Mike Ditto says the kid's blog was written just before he went to the camp.

< Bush Names Civil Liberties Board | More on the Blair Iraq War Briefing Memo >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft


  • Re: Brainwashing Camp for Gay Kids (none / 0) (#1)
    by MikeDitto on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:56 PM EST
    Thanks for the link! One thing I should make clear (and I'll edit my post) is that the kid wrote the blog before he was sent into this camp. Nobody has heard from him since. Kids inside the camp have no internet access, and use of computers is limited to those located inside the offices of the camp.

    Re: Brainwashing Camp for Gay Kids (none / 0) (#2)
    by MikeDitto on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:56 PM EST
    A salient quote from the guy that runs the thing:
    I would rather youcommit suicide than have you leave Love In Action wanting to return to the gay lifestyle. In a physical death you could still have a spiritual resurrection; whereas, returning to homosexuality you are yielding yourself to a spiritual death from which there is no recovery. [emphasis added]
    Just in case there is any question as to their motives.

    Re: Brainwashing Camp for Gay Kids (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:56 PM EST
    I'm glad you're picking up this story. I blogged it last night and have been posting about it everywhere I can think of.

    Re: Brainwashing Camp for Gay Kids (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:56 PM EST
    It's getting picked up in several other places too.

    Re: Brainwashing Camp for Gay Kids (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:56 PM EST
    Terrance: Zach is back blogging. Bottom line is this, the kid has to make it for two more years before he is legally free, it will take a life time of therapy to unf*ck his mind so it can be free. However, like so many of the early Christian disciples, or MLK in a Birmingham jail, or Mandela in his Robbins Island cell, they can jail the body, the can attempt to break the mind, but Zach spirit clearly remains free and unbroken. As a recovering fundie I am embarrassed. Christianity, like Islam, is a beautiful religion. Unfortunately Christianity, like Islam, has been hijacked by a bunch of a--holes in the name of God. - k

    Re: Brainwashing Camp for Gay Kids (none / 0) (#6)
    by MikeDitto on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:56 PM EST
    Zack's last login was June 5, the day before camp started. His blog entries are all from the week or so between when he intercepted the e-mail from Love in Action to his parents and when the program actually started. He's not back-dating his posts.

    Re: Brainwashing Camp for Gay Kids (none / 0) (#7)
    by SeeEmDee on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:56 PM EST
    If these guys are anything like Mel Sembler's STRAIGHT, this kid isn't merely being inconvenienced, his life is in danger. These are the same type of wackos who think kids killed accidentally in drug raidds on the wrong house are acceptable 'collateral damage' Boy's death ruled accidental Aonnymity Anonymus And as to 'curing' him, what do they expect to do? Bring in heterosexual prostitutes?

    Re: Brainwashing Camp for Gay Kids (none / 0) (#8)
    by MikeDitto on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:56 PM EST
    This organization has a long history of churning out suicidal people. And that's when the program was inflicted on willing adults. Now it's being forced on minors who are not willing participants. I can only hope that the natural rebelliousness of teenagers will make them more resilient.

    Re: Brainwashing Camp for Gay Kids (none / 0) (#9)
    by Aaron on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:56 PM EST
    The only way that this kind of child abuse is going to get the attention it deserves in George Bush's America is when one these kids pulls out a gun and kills a bunch of counselors at one of these camps. Perhaps then these people will begin to see the error of their ways. Only in America... what a country.

    Re: Brainwashing Camp for Gay Kids (none / 0) (#10)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:56 PM EST
    One of the commenters on Zach's blog posted contact info on all the elected officials (including Al Gore) and media contacts in the area. I have posted it on my blog, along with the largely positive comments from local TV coverage, here.

    Re: Brainwashing Camp for Gay Kids (none / 0) (#11)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:57 PM EST
    I would rather youcommit suicide than have you leave Love In Action wanting to return to the gay lifestyle.
    And...Hatred of Gays trumps the so-called "Culture of Life".

    Re: Brainwashing Camp for Gay Kids (none / 0) (#12)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:57 PM EST
    Here's a question for the lawyers out there. Is there anything a childrens' rights attorney can do for this kid, or is he basically at the mercy of his parents until he's 18? Is it possible he could become an emancipated minor?

    Re: Brainwashing Camp for Gay Kids (none / 0) (#13)
    by glanton on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:57 PM EST
    If he can claim abuse, then Social Services ought to step in and remove him immediately, both from the "camp" and his parents.

    Re: Brainwashing Camp for Gay Kids (none / 0) (#14)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:57 PM EST
    The problem is whether any agency or state run entity in Tennessee (a "Red State" most likley) would be willing to step forward and call it abuse. There would be a heavy political price to pay. I still think emancipated minor status might be a possibility, if he could find the support for it. There's probably a lawyer that would handle the legal end pro bono.

    Re: Brainwashing Camp for Gay Kids (none / 0) (#15)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:58 PM EST
    Trackback replacement: http://52nd.blogspot.com/2005/06/hate-in-action.html

    Re: Brainwashing Camp for Gay Kids (none / 0) (#16)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:58 PM EST
    It is truly mind boggling that there are parents in this world who love a boogeyman in the sky more than their own flesh and blood. Heartbreaking, I hope the kid can recover from an upbringing like that.

    Re: Brainwashing Camp for Gay Kids (none / 0) (#17)
    by Che's Lounge on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:58 PM EST
    TL, If this kid ever contacts you or Michael Ditto, tell him he can stay at my home if he gets away and I will put him up till he can resolve this issue. You know how to contact me. I will provide transportation, room and board to get him out to a safe place. I have an extra room and I am NOT gay. As Glanton noted, I am going to contact the State of Tennessee and make them aware that a minor at this camp is being held against his will by his parents and the camp. This is child abuse, pure and simple. It's his parents who need to be in a camp. Like Gitmo.

    Re: Brainwashing Camp for Gay Kids (none / 0) (#18)
    by Che's Lounge on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:58 PM EST
    Oh yeah, I finally found the term I was looking for, Re-education camps. Like the Kmere Rhouge and the communist vietnamese. Good company. I guess it's only a matter of time before they take the failures out and shoot them.

    Re: Brainwashing Camp for Gay Kids (none / 0) (#19)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:58 PM EST
    As the parents said Che, better dead than gay. Sick, sick, sick.

    Re: Brainwashing Camp for Gay Kids (none / 0) (#20)
    by pigwiggle on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:58 PM EST
    Here in Utah Mormons have a fairly bizarre approach to homosexuality. The church doesn’t ask their members to ‘not be gay’, but rather that they not do ‘gay things’. I’ve had some personal experience with the damage negative societal attitudes toward homosexuality can cause families. When I was growing up two of my very good friends had gay mothers. Both were trying to change who they were and had kids in a heterosexual relationship. Of course both families broke up, which is never easy for a child. I was very close to one of the women, who subsequently died from a drug addiction that I’m sure was cultured in the prime of an unhappy marriage. So anyway, I’ve got to wonder; if there was a ‘cure’ I wonder how many homosexuals would take it.

    Re: Brainwashing Camp for Gay Kids (none / 0) (#21)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:00 PM EST
    Exactly how much did money did LIA charge Zack's parents to de-gay their son? Y'know, if you decided what you wanted to do for a living was fleecing the terminally gullible out of every dime they had, you couldn't make a better start than getting yourself baptized and rubbing up against Bible-banging conservatives.

    Re: Brainwashing Camp for Gay Kids (none / 0) (#22)
    by DawesFred60 on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:01 PM EST
    Have this so called kid call jackson, maybe both can start something?

    Re: Brainwashing Camp for Gay Kids (none / 0) (#23)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:08 PM EST
    Terrance, no lawyer here, but I understand that there's no emancipation for minors in Tenn. Unfortunate. Seems to me that if there were some sort of legal intervention available it would've happened by now. Zach's been all over the news & several high profile gay websites have sent out letters to their members. The ACLU and others like it have to have heard by now. I'm really curious to see how long it will be before Zach sees the immense support he's received. There are good things coming from this though; it's having a huge effect on many many people around the world.