Details of gay man’s electroshock treatment endured at Belfast university

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10/20/2019

In a story for The Belfast Telegraph, the man, given the pseudonym “John,” says that while a student at QUB he was referred to the school’s Department of Mental Health, where he underwent electrical aversion therapy. “When I was about 15, I realized I am one of these people who are homosexuals and who are reviled really by the society I grew up in, so it was a big shock to me,” said John, who grew up in a rural Northern Ireland town in the 1950s. “I felt totally alone.” He initially spoke to his doctor, who arranged counseling for him at a local hospital. When he became a student at Queen’s University, he began the electroshock treatments. “I was shown a series of what, I suppose, one would regard these days as mildly pornographic images of naked young men,” said John. “I was given gutties [rubber-soled shoes] and these were connected up with electric wires to a voltage and I would receive the shock in my feet.”

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