Throwback Thursday – Aubrey Levin, Mike Pence & a return of “conversion therapies”

Throwback Part 1: Here’s looking back and catching up on new and old developments. Most of you are perhaps aware by now that last Spring, “Dr.” Levin was released on parole and is now living in a half-way house.

The CBC report (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/aubrey-levin-sexual-assault-parole-1.3483928) states:

Despite being in denial about his sex crimes and displaying a lack of remorse, former court psychiatrist Aubrey Levin was granted day parole and is living in a halfway house.

The Parole Board of Canada granted Levin’s release from prison last October, though it denied the 76-year-old his request for full parole.

The information is contained in a document recently obtained by the CBC.

“You have claimed the victims lied and that the police and the courts ‘had it in for you,'” reads part of the Parole Board’s decision.

Convicted of sexual assaulting three of his patients between 2008 and 2010, Levin was handed a five-year sentence. But it wasn’t until April 2014 when Levin began serving his sentence after the Alberta Court of Appeal denied his bid for a new trial.

All of Levin’s victims were facing charges and ordered by the courts to be treated by the psychiatrist.

“You appear to have little concern for your victims,” according to part of an assessment considered at the hearing. “You are described as manipulative and present yourself as a victim of the system.”

A psychological assessment prepared for the hearing was just as scathing in its findings, though Levin was deemed to be a low-risk to reoffend.

“You were also noted to deny any sexual motive or basis for your sexual offences.”

Levin told the psychologist that he wasn’t aware that what he was doing was a criminal act in Canada as it’s allowed in his home country of South Africa.

Levin kicked out of religious gatherings

There were two incidents during Levin’s time in custody that were of concern to the panel.

During group sessions, Levin was disrespectful to the rabbi, he competed for leadership, was disruptive and got kicked out of the religious gatherings.

One time while waiting for health care staff became concerned when Levin was discussing another inmate’s physical ailment based on his previous offences.

But by the time Aubrey Levin gave evidence at his parole hearing in October 2015, he was able to tell the panel he acknowledged that his “overall attitude towards the victims has evolved over time,” and that he lacked sympathy at the time of the trial.

Levin also admitted that he inflicted “terrible damage” on his victims.

As part of his release conditions, Levin was ordered to avoid his victims and their families, participate in counselling to address his sexual deviance and not to be in a position of authority.

Throwback Part 2: Conversion therapies make a return in the news thanks to new US Vice-President Mike Pence, part of Donald Trump’s cabinet of sociopaths, oligarchs, Wall Street goons and white nationalists. Last year-end the New York Times reported extensively on the connection between Mike Pence and “conversion therapies.” You can read the full article here: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/30/us/politics/mike-pence-and-conversion-therapy-a-history.html?_r=0

Excerpt:

Since Gov. Mike Pence was chosen as Donald J. Trump’s running mate in July, he has faced complaints from groups critical of his record on gay and transgender rights, who said he has long been an opponent of the gains made by the L.G.B.T. community in recent years.

Mr. Pence has been particularly dogged by accusations that he is a supporter of “conversion therapy,” the practice of trying to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. It has been discredited by the medical establishment and denounced by gay and transgender groups.

Mr. Pence’s spokesman, Marc Lotter, denied to The Times over the weekend that the vice president-elect supports the practice, saying a past campaign statement had been misinterpreted. But L.G.B.T. groups remain skeptical, pointing to his record of opposition to gay rights as a member of Congress and as governor of Indiana and an approving reference to conversion therapy in the 2016 Republican Party platform.

So, what is conversion therapy, and why is Mr. Pence so closely associated with it?

What Is Conversion Therapy?  The phrases “conversion therapy” and “reparative therapy” refer to discredited psychotherapy methods that aim to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Spiritual efforts to accomplish the same goal are sometimes called “ex-gay ministry.”

Conversion therapy has been condemned by a range of groups, including the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association, which said it was based on the view that homosexuality is a disorder, an idea “that has been rejected by all the major mental health professions.”

Conversion therapy practitioners “often frame the inability to change one’s sexual orientation as a personal and moral failure,” adding to its harmful effects, the A.P.A. said.

In the past, efforts to change someone’s sexual orientation sometimes involved extreme measures like institutionalization, castration and electroshock therapy, according to the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Today, critics contend that conversion therapy still sometimes includes physical abuse. For example, a New Jersey organization convicted of fraud last year was accused of sexually abusing its clients and forcing them to participate in violent role-play exercises.

Continue reading the main story

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One thought on “Throwback Thursday – Aubrey Levin, Mike Pence & a return of “conversion therapies”

  1. Hi, I have been trying to find research about Aubrey Levin, on his current status in Canada. I published a novel based on his involvement on the Aversion Project. We’re now at the talking about making a movie stage and I would like to find out where I can get current information that will assist in presenting it in its current context. His actions need to be highlighted in any form and way possible. I can be reached on pillay.h(@)gmail[.]com

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