9 Barbaric And Brutal Experiments And Tests Governments Performed On Gay People

via YouTube
via YouTube

1. The Aversion Project

For seventeen years (1971-1989), the South African government carried out a project of ferreting out homosexuals (men and women) from the military and subjecting them to medical torture and forced sex change operations. All of those forced into the program were conscripted by the South African government and therefore had no choice but to take part in the program.

Methods used by government supported Army psychiatrists and chaplains included chemically castration, electro shock treatment, among others. All told, 900 individuals were forced to change their sex under the program although that is not the total number of people who underwent this insane and brutal treatment that robbed individuals of their personal identities by manipulating their sexuality.

Here’s just one first-person account of an individual who underwent this therapy.

I was just turned 18 when I joined the SADF in 1985. Shortly I found that I was bissexual and began to engage in homosexual relationships with others. About a few months later the authority summoned me to enquiry and requested me to have the “treatment”. They forced me to recognize I was a homosexual before my parents and colleagues. They applied electroshock treatment on me. The electroshock treatment last for over half a year, which failed to “cure” my “disease”. Then they administered medication on me without telling me what that was actually about. When the effects of hormones therapy became irreversible, they persuaded me through continued counselling that only a change of sex can cure my disease. They pushed me to the operation table to have the gender reassignment surgery.

2. Nazi Concentration Camps

The upside down pink triangle was used to mark a person as a homosexual via wiki commons
The upside down pink triangle was used to mark a person as a homosexual via wiki commons

Homosexuality was banned in 1933 when the Nazi Party came to power. Viewed as counter to the plans to produce and propagate a German master race, circa 50,000 individuals were convicted for being homosexuals during the reign of the Reich with as many as 15,000 of those individuals being sent to concentration camps.

All indicators point to the notion that homosexuals were treated worse than any other group in these camps with guards treating them with especial cruelty. Sixty percent of homosexuals would die in these camps where they were also shunned by Jews, members of the intelligensia, Roma, and other persecuted minority groups. They were people without a protective group.

What’s more they were also the subjects of repeated Nazi experimentation ranging from castration to experiments intended to locate the causes of homosexuality so as to eradicate it. Even after World War II had ended, homosexuals who had died or been imprisoned in the camps were not acknowledged as having been victims of Nazi persecution due to the overwhelming stigma.

3. The Lebanese “Egg” Test

Last year in Lebanon, five men criminally accused of homosexuality were forced to submit to a police ordered test on behalf of the “Moral Protection Bureau.” The test consists of sticking an egg up the victim’s rectum. I refer to them as victim’s because the practice is defined as torture by international law.

What exactly the test is supposed to show is unclear but in previous years it was banned after a police raid of a theater suspected of showing pornography resulted in thirty five of such tests being conducted. Refusal to take the test in those cases was used as evidence that they were homosexuals.

4. Kenyan Rectal Examination

via flickr - AMISOM Public Information
via flickr – AMISOM Public Information

In Kenya, owning a DVD of “Queer As Folk” is enough to get you drawn up on homosexuality charges. As recently as September of this year, two men were arrested because of neighborhood rumors and then forced to undergo an anal examination consisting of sitting in stirrups while a doctor tells you to cough and then looks at your sphincter with a magnifying glass. The practice has been condemned by the UN Committee against Torture and the World Medical Association.

5. Kuwaiti Homosexual Detection

Homosexuals are banned in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and to make sure none slip past, Kuwait, in 2013, instituted a testing method for expatriates entering the tiny oil-rich country to make sure they aren’t homosexual. The Kuwaiti government declined to explain just what this test would consist of but I’m willing to bet it involves an egg, a rectum, and the violation of international law.

6. The Canadian “Fruit” Machine

In the 1950s and 1960s, the Canadian government was hell bent on making sure no one working for the government was a homosexual. In support of this, they came up with a test designed to detect homosexuals. The machine wasn’t really a machine at all and consisted solely of sitting the potential homosexual down in a chair and using a camera recording their pupils. The subject would then be shown lots of pictures, some dull and some racy, of both men and women. Dilation of the pupil while looking at someone of the same sex naked meant you were a homosexual.

The Canadian government collected files on 9,000 people they had tested this way and that had been deemed homosexual. The problem with this test besides it being humiliating was that it was based on scientific presumptions that weren’t warranted and hadn’t been studied ie that there was a standard dilation across all males or females that was “normal” and that unconscious pupil dilation itself corresponded with arousal. In short, the test wasn’t a test at all.

7. Shock Therapy

via Flickr - otisarchives
via Flickr – otisarchives

Rock legend Lou Reed stated in his biography that as he was growing up his parents subjected him to electroshock therapy to purge his mind of attraction to men. It didn’t work. Reed remained bisexual until the day he died and wrote a song about the experience.

However, that hasn’t stopped organizations and some psychiatrists in China from making the same insane mistake of torturing homosexuals in an attempt to make them straight. The entire concept is based on a Pavlovian kind of aversion therapy not really all that different from self flagellation if you think about it.


This sort of thing used to be fairly common and was accepted science in the U.S. prior to 1973. It was so accepted, in fact, that electroshock devices were available for home use so you could pointlessly torture your son or daughter in the privacy of your own house.

8. Lobotomy

via Wiki Commons
via Wiki Commons

Some homosexuals were forced into lobotomies in the belief that they would be cured of their sexual orientation. The lobotomies were the crudest kind, literally an icepick through the eye and into the frontal lobe.

One prominent lobotomist Walter Jackson Freeman II who is estimated to have performed 4,000 lobotomies over the course of his career. Of those 4,000, 30 to 40% were homosexuals. This was, of course, considered sound science at the time.

..the “icepick” lobotomy and was performed by inserting a metal pick into the corner of each eye-socket, hammering it through the thin bone there with a mallet, and moving it back and forth, severing the connections to the prefrontal cortex in the frontal lobes of the brain.

9. Chemical Castration

via Wiki Commons
via Wiki Commons

Initially reserved for treatment of pedophiles, Chemical Castration was used as recently as the 50s in experimental treatments of homosexuals designed to rid them of their feelings for men. Initially, testosterone was used in the treatment because the belief was that increasing a gay man’s testosterone would make them more manly and therefore reduce or eliminate their sexual desire for men. It didn’t work. In fact, it made them feel more sexual desire. After that failure, estrogen began to be used instead with horrifying effects.

Alan Turing, the man who arguably enabled the Allies to win World War II was chemically castrated, forced to take estrogen that reduced his libido to zero, in order to avoid prison in the United Kingdom. This despite being a war hero. The drugs rendered Turing impotent and caused him to grow breasts and he eventually killed himself. In 2009, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown publicly apologized on behalf of the government for their treatment of Turing. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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