Editor’s note: Please see update below, direct from Nathan Manske, creator of “I’m From Driftwood.”
A Southern Baptist Missionary tortured his son when he was 12-years old in a felonious attempt cure him of his homosexuality, torture which included months of aversion therapy, like home electro-shock “therapy,” burning and freezing of his hands, and emotional abuse, including being told he had AIDS and was the only gay person alive and the U.S. government would kill him if they found him, according to the son, Samuel Brinton, who grew up in Iowa.
Ultimately, the younger Brinton says, his family excommunicated him and his father to this day is threatening he will shoot him to death if he ever comes home.
Brinton says in the video below, produced by Nathan Manske of the excellent “I’m From Driftwood” project, that it all started when a Playboy magazine mysteriously entered the multiple-family missionary compound, and 12-year old Samuel told his father that he didn’t have the same reaction to the magazine as the other boys, he said he only had feeling like that for his best friend, Dale.
“My dad just started punching,” Samuel says. “That was the first day that I was sent to the emergency room, because I had ‘fallen down the stairs.’” He adds that he was sent to the emergency room “six more times,” and describes the unimaginable physical and emotional torture perpetrated on him by his family.
“Physical therapy was my hands being tied down and blocks of ice being placed on my hands. Then pictures f men holding hand would be shown to be so that way I would associate the concept of the pain of the ice with a man touching me.”
“Then we went into heat. Coils would be wrapped around my hands and you would be able to turn the heat on or off. So now if we had a picture of a guy and a girl hugging,t here was no pain. If we had a picture of a guy and a guy hugging, we had physical pain.”
“We then went into the ‘Month of Hell,’” Brinton explains in the video below. “The ‘Month of Hell’ consisted of tiny needles being stuck into my fingers and then pictures of explicit acts between men would be shown and I’d be electrocuted.”
Brinton says that during an attempted suicide, his mother offered, “I’ll love you again if you just change.”
“Freezing ice cubes were placed in his hands while he was shown pictures of men hugging – so that he would associate pain with intimacy between men,” reports the Daily Mail. “He was then repeatedly burned when shown similar images but untouched when images of men and women together were shown.
“The Month of Hell consisted of tiny needles being stuck into my fingers and then pictures of explicit acts between men would be shown and I’d be electrocuted,” Samuel Brinton stated.
(Hat tip: Towleroad)
New update via Towleroad:
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Astute commenters have pointed out that the video is old, even though it’s suddenly the top story at Europe’s Pink News today. Towleroad covered it in 2010, before I came on board.
Wayne Besen, founder of Truth Wins Out, writes in the comments field below:
“Truth Wins Out has tried verify this story for more than a month. Our phone calls have gone unanswered. We hope that the full range of facts can come to light. For example, who was the specific therapist who performed these abusive actions? We are always pleased when “ex-gay” survivors are brave enough to come foward and share their experiences. We look forward to Samuel providing further information in the very near future.”
And another comment, from Ninong: “Apparently his parents accepted him after that interview because he has a picture of the entire happy family at his college graduation ceremony, May 31, 2011 on his Facebook page.”
None of which changes the original story, yet clearly there may be additional important information. The New Civil Rights Movement has contacted both Nathan Manske of “I’m From Driftwood,” and Samuel Brinton, requesting an update or more information. We will update you as soon as we have more info.
Nathan Manske, the creator of “I’m From Driftwood” was kind enough to respond to our inquiry and offered this statement:
We had previously released Sam’s story in two parts (Part 1, Part 2), but for the sake of shareability, decided to combine the two into one. The Huffington Post’s Gay Voices page wanted to share some of our stories, but didn’t feel the need to only post new ones, rather important ones. We’ll be posting another story on HuffPo this week, and another next week. They’ve both been previously posted on IFD, and nearly all the ones we’re planning on posting on there have already been on IFD as well. We want to share these stories with a wider audience so we’re going through the archives and highlighting the ones we feel are important. There was no mention of an update because the stories on IFD aren’t the most current story of a person’s life, but a meaningful story from their life that they want to share with us. If someone shares a story of a first love, there’s no update of where their love life is now. Sam’s story is still his story, regardless of where it may or may not have evolved to currently.
As for me, let me stress, “Sam’s story is still his story, regardless of where it may or may not have evolved to currently.” For our part, I’ll assume Samuel has worked extraordinarily hard to re-establish a relationship with his family. I wish them the best, and will leave any judgments to those more competent to make.
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