Letter to the Editor: Conversion Therapy: The Wrong Word

Dear Sir,

Conversion Therapy: The Wrong Word 

Dear Sir,

With regard to the expression “Conversion Therapy,” it needs to be pointed out that, “conversion” is the wrong word. It should be called “Aversion Therapy,” for that is how it was historically described. This is confirmed by the 1984 Reader’s Digest Great Illustrated Dictionarys broad definition of it as “A form of therapy designed to overcome a harmful habit by associating it in the mind of the patient with something unpleasant, such as vomiting”. There was no mention of “conversion therapy”.

 “Aversion therapy” was capable of several applications; and it was highly questionable. Above all, it had nothing whatsoever to do with perfectly proper Christian ministry of preaching, praying and pastoral advice.

It is unclear when and where the modern and historically-incorrect expression “conversion therapy” was coined; but now is the time to put the record straight. Unless this is done, any legislation that follows will quickly gallop out of control, as has happened with the vague term “hate crime”.

Yours faithfully

Peter Murcott

Isle of Man