Thursday, September 30, 2021

We Have Met the Enemy, part XXI

 I recall being taught about Money's twin study in college psych courses as if it were gospel truth rather than the sham and child abuse it turned out to be. From Steyn Online:

The end of the David Reimer story is a sad one. I didn't begin this story to depress anyone. I began it so as to be able to eventually highlight a certain characteristic of our culture, in hopes we could trace back to find some ultimate cause—and therefore, a solution. But since I've come this far, I suppose I need to tell the end of the story, sad as it is, then trace back from there.

No sooner had Diamond and Sigmundson's exposé of John Money's failed experiment appeared in the March 1997 issue of Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, than media picked up the story. The New York Times published a report on the piece with the headline, "Sexual Identity Not Pliable After All, Report Says". Time magazine—which had gleefully trumpeted Money's "success" 24 year earlier—followed suit, now announcing "the experts had it all wrong" and describing the story as "a lesson in scientific hubris".

You'll recall from last time Reimer's shock at hearing that Money had spent years describing his case as a success, and that because of Money's lies, surgeons around the world now routinely did to babies what Money's team had done to him. Determined to stop Money and his unconscionable medical malpractice, Reimer decided to keep sharing his story with the world.

Using an alias, Reimer first granted an extended interview to Canadian journalist John Colapinto. The result was arguably the most important article Rolling Stone has ever published—a 20,000 word piece called "The True Story of John/Joan". (Colapinto later turned his article into a book called As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl).

Reimer then decided to appear with his mother, using his own name, on the The Oprah Winfrey Show (a few minutes of which you can see here). Now feeling more confident, he appeared on various radio and TV shows, including Dateline NBC and Good Morning America. He next sat for an extended interview for the CBC show "The Fifth Estate", footage from which was afterward used in several documentaries. One was a BBC documentary which you can watch here, and whose narrator concludes by saying, "Nature, as far as gender identity is concerned, cannot be overridden by nurture...This (story) is what can happen when science pursues a 'beautiful' theory with scant regard for the human cost". Another was a Learning Channel documentary, whose four parts you can watch here: 1, 2, 3, and 4). Reimer even convinced his reluctant twin brother Brian to appear. Among other benefits of Brian appearing, David believed a second testimony would lend force to his own. That would help convince the medical establishment to reject Money's claims and cease the surgeries. At least, that's what David Reimer thought.

What happened next wasn't what David (or his brother) expected. Yes, Oprah, the BBC, Colapinto, and various other reporters and medical experts believed David and acknowledged Money's fraud. But to the brothers' distress, rather than widespread professional repudiation of Money and the surgeries he inspired...nothing much changed. The medical establishment just kept on doing what it had been doing for years: following Money's recommendations to turn boys into girls whenever boys had underdeveloped, damaged, or intersex genitals. Adding to their distress was that a parade of Money's cult-groupies in academia began publicly defending their guru, praising him as a visionary, endorsing his past practices, conveying his messages to the media, blaming the Reimer parents for the experiment's failure, and most woundingly of all, suggesting the Reimer brothers had hallucinated their memories of Money's abuse.

For example, starting at :37 of this video, you can watch lifelong Money acolyte Richard Green—then a research director at the Charing Cross Hospital Gender Identity Clinic in London—convey Money's denial of the abuse, and then suggest the Reimer twins' memories were false. (Elsewhere in one of the documentaries, Green proclaims Money a "genius").

Another Money cult groupie, Kenneth Zucker of the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry in Toronto, published an article in Pediatrics suggesting that Money's experiment only appeared to be a failure. The jury was actually still out. The reason, Zucker implied, was that no one could 10000% absolutely prove beyond any doubt why exactly it had failed—and therefore, it was possible that Reimer's parents had ruined the experiment by not following Money's child rearing instructions strictly enough. Consequently, everyone should assume Money's theory of psychosexual neutrality at birth remained viable.

(Where did Zucker get the idea for this absurd "sleight of mind" attempt? Most likely, from John Money himself. As Zucker later admitted to Rolling Stone journalist Colapinto, Money had essentially masterminded his article. Money had even provided Zucker with the article's main story about another little boy who'd received the surgery and the Money-style childrearing, but who—unlike David Reimer—was now living happily as a woman (meaning, of course, that Money's theory was true). But when Colapinto pressed Zucker for details on the fake sounding case, Zucker admitted he'd never met the person and hardly knew anything about him. The unverifiable story was obviously another Money fabrication—yet Zucker's article had already appeared in the high status, peer-reviewed, official journal of The American Academy of Pediatrics.)

In the few comments Money himself made about his now-exposed failed experiment, he blamed the media controversy on "right wing forces" with an "anti-feminist agenda" bent on "sending women back into the kitchen". He claimed his academic enemies had targeted him because of personal vendettas. He claimed he wasn't responsible for the failure since David Reimer never returned to see him after fourteen and Money didn't know how to contact him (which was not true) and a dozen other pathetic excuses. But most relevant to the Reimer twins was Money's accusation that the twins were making up their abuse claims, and that their motive was wealth and fame.

The accusations of lying from Money and his academic goon squad stung the Reimers. So did what looked like indifference on the part of the medical establishment. An exasperated David would later tell an interviewer: "I'm living proof...if you're not going to take my word as gospel, because I have lived through it, who else are you going to listen to? Who else is there?...Is it going to take somebody to wind up killing themselves, shooting themselves in the head for people to listen?" David's brother Brian, in particular, took the reaction hard. He'd never fully recovered from the bitter shock of finding out his parents had lied to him for fourteen years about his twin brother. Nor had he been able to reconcile himself to the incestous (and now, he realized, homosexual) sexual behavior John Money had forced him and "Brenda" to simulate on each other as kids, at times disrobed, as Money took photos. For years before his appearance with David on TV, he had struggled to overcome his feelings of revulsion, mistrust, resentment, dissociation, and humiliation. At times, these inner challenges, as well self-medicating alcohol and drug use, pushed him into schizophrenic states. (Read more.)


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