antebellum's FETISH BOOK CLUB under covered some very disturbing history in america.
after reading about alan turing , (the enigma by andrew hodges) and the forced hormone injections he was subjected to, we found a mention about gay male castration conducted routinely in the USA.
our book club members are sleuths and obsessive researchers, so we jumped into the topic with aplomb: THE HISTORY OF GAY MALE CASTRATION IN AMERICA.
here's what we found out~
homosexuality in america was considered a crime well into the 1970s. to this day some states still have sodomy laws specifically against homosexuals, ( Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and kentucky) we hear about GLBT rights being challenged on a weekly basis. this is a grave concern.
what many may not know is the hisotry of homosexual as criminal.
since the late 1800's a common practice IE: "cure" for homosexuality was castration. this was supported by most medical journals.
shocking as this information is.. what really blew our minds were the facts we uncovered~
gay male castrations were performed on a regular basis until 1970!
after 1970 male castrations are still performed on convicted pedophiles.
the state that was at the epicenter of male castration was and is...... are you ready?....
former clinton gay community liason~ david mixner wrote an informative article back in 2010~
LGBT HISTORY: THE DECADE OF LOBOTOMIES, CASTRATION AND INSTITUTIONS
This name doesn't have anything to do with World War II. More than any other mental institution in the United States,
ATASCADERO STATE HOSPITAL was a chamber of horrors for homosexuals. The tag "Homosexual Dachau" was wellearned for its forced lobotomies, castrations and brutal treatments practiced at that facility. Hundreds of gays and lesbians were forcibly sent by their families to be cured of homosexuality which, as recently as the early 1970s, was considered a sexual and psychological disorder.
The 1950's were an especially dark time for homosexuals. Because of the witch hunts by Senator Joseph McCarthy, Americans started passing horrible and oppressive laws against homosexuality. Samesex behavior was linked to treason and Communism in that period. Ironically, Senator McCarthy had many homosexual aides at the time led by lawyer Roy Cohn, (who eventually died of AIDS). As the witch hunt spread across America, homosexuals with no politics were sent to the worst institutions imaginable.
Even up until 1971, simply being a homosexual could result in a life sentence. Twenty states had laws stating that the mere fact you were a homosexual was reason for imprisonment. In California (of all places) and Pennsylvania, we could be put away for life in a mental hospital. In seven states castration was permitted as a way to stop homosexual 'deviants.'
At Atascadero State Hospital, doctors (I use that term loosely) were permitted under an obscure California law to commit those who practiced sodomy into the hospital. Once admitted, normal men and women were rendered mentally disabled through the torture of castration, lobotomies, forced chemical treatments and experimental treatments. The horrors experienced by hundreds are almost too hard to comprehend in America.
The most notorious was a Dr. Walter J. Freeman who perfected the ice pick lobotomy. He jammed an ice pick through a homosexual's eyes into the brain and performed a primitive lobotomy. According to records, he treated over 4,000 patients this way around America and it is estimated that nearly 30% to 40% were homosexuals. He believed deeply this was the only way to cure homosexuality.
The difficulty in documenting so much of this history is that most of the records, history and data have been destroyed. Families were often adamant about not leaving any trace of the overwhelming shame of having a homosexual in the family and they often erased the gay relative's presence on earth. Many individuals who were terrorized died in the institutions or were made mentally disabled with an inability to recall. Or unable because of their torture to share their journal.
The work we do today for our freedom must honor them. They never got a chance. We have a chance. Let's not lose it.
here is a personal account from an NPR caller~
"Yes, I'm Pat from Naples, Florida. I just wanted to tell you about a cousin of mine who, in her late 30s or early 40s, was forced into a lobotomy by an uncle of hers who had some control over her finances. And she was forced into a lobotomy because they said she was a homosexual. And she lived after that in somewhat sheltered situations, like a boarding house, but she never could hold a job and she certainly is not as lucid as your guest. She was eccentric. She had no emotion, only showed emotion as she learned it. But it was only because she was a homosexual that they gave her a lobotomy. ........ And she herself told me how and why she had had the lobotomy. And at that point in her life, she was in her 70s and she said, `Oh, well, that was the right thing to do because they told me I was homosexual.' "
info about atascadero hospital~
Atascadero State Hospital (ASH)
is located on the central coast of California, in San Luis Obispo County, half-way between Los Angeles and San Francisco. It is an all-male, maximum-security facility, that houses mentally ill and disordered convicts who have been committed to psychiatric facilities by California's courts.
Located in Atascadero, California, it is the largest employer in that town.
ASH opened in 1954, as a state-run, self-contained public sector forensic psychiatric facility. It is enclosed within a security perimeter, and accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). Patients are referred to the hospital by the Superior Court, Board of Prison Terms, or the Department of Corrections.
Its treatment programs have reflected the psychiatric assumptions of the times. Initially constructed to treat mentally disordered sex offenders (MDSOs), initial programs focused on separation from society, albeit in an environment which provided freedom of movement. This was restricted after patient escapes. Initial research and treatment programs aimed at understanding and reducing the risk of reoffense in sexual offenders.
In the early 1980s, the focus of the hospital's treatment programs shifted to patients found not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI) and incompetent to stand trial; ASH was a pioneer in developing
effective treatment programs for the latter. In the 1990s, California passed sexually violent predator (SVP) laws, imposing civil commitment upon prisoners meeting criteria upon the expiration of their determinate prison term. SVPs were housed in ASH until the new state hospital in Coalinga opened around 2004.
Many clinical staff left ASH in the late 1990s with the advent of the SVPs, which was believed by many clinicians to compromise the hospital's mission of providing excellent care for persons with serious mental illness, as opposed to containment of sexually dangerous offenders.
When salaries for California prison mental health staff, especially psychiatrists, increased dramatically as a result of federal litigation, ASH lost many of its psychiatrists and other clinical staff. Psychiatrist salaries have been increased to levels just under the prison psychiatrist salaries, and ASH's psychiatrist staffing is now (2014) being rebuilt.
Another traumatic period came with another US DOJ CRIPA investigation in the mid-2000s. Mel Hunter, by this time ASH Executive Director, was removed from his position as a result of his refusal to compromise the clinical operations of the hospital at the behest of the DOJ consultants. He was replaced by hospital leadership whose understandable priority was to expedite the CRIPA process by obeying all diktats by the consultants. In the event, the imposition of the atypical views of consultants with no experience in forensic psychiatry led to a degradation of clinical operations and safety, with great spikes in patient violence that came to an end when the consultants left the
hospital following exposes by the LA Times into apparent cronyism.
In recent years, the hospital, under the threat of a lawsuit by the United States Justice Department alleging violations of the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, has been implementing a court approved Enhancement Plan to bring the hospital into compliance with CRIPA. The Enhancement Plan was proposed and implemented by the "Human Potential Consulting Group" out of Alexandria, Virginia. This consulting group consists of various clinical professionals who have been contracted by other states to ensure compliance with CRIPA. In some states the consultants serve as court monitors while others serve as consultants. They regularly switch roles from Justice Department monitors to consultants, depending on the state.
The enhancement plan is now generally regarded by the vast majority of clinical staff at ASH as a failure. The amount of paperwork has increased astronomically and the time spent with patients building trust and rapport has dropped. The cost for caring for patients at ASH has gone from $130,000 per patient per year to over $200,000. This is a direct result of the changes mandated by the court monitors. The institution is now considered a much more dangerous place to work, again from changes mandated by the court monitors. Assaults on staff and on other patients has increased dramatically, both in numbers and in severity. This is also considered by staff to be attributed to the Enhancement Plan, which put severe restrictions on the ability of psychiatrists to medicate violent patients and the discretion of staff to place violent, assaultive patients in restraints or seclusion.
Many staff believe that the treatment of the patients at ASH has become less humane since the court monitors have directed so many radical changes in the way that these forensic psychiatric patients are treated.
if you would like to join antebellum's fetish book club please contact me~ email@example.com
this info was compiled by rick castro with direct links and info from david mixner.