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LETTERS

Coach Potatoes
Having read the McCartney article by Teri Thompson ("McCartney's Greatest Hits," November 30), it still amazes me as to the amount of fear that she and her ilk are under. One has to wonder whether the half-truths espoused by her will be taken as gospel, or whether the reader will be open-minded enough to see through the closed-narrow-mindedness of the article.

You bet McCartney has had problems and has made mistakes. Since he isn't Jesus Christ but merely human, it's bound to happen, yet he is one of the few individuals trying to build up people rather than tear them down with attractive but devastating "pop" programs that enrich the people who put on the program and destroy the people they are "trying to help."

If Bill is a neo-Christian right-wing male, Teri, are you a neo-liberal, irreligious left-wing feminist?

To me, to say that McCartney said to take control of families through whatever means necessary seems to say that dominance is what you are implying. Were you there for any of the Promise Keeper rallies? If you were, either you missed repeated messages of love and respect for wives and family or you chose to not hear these messages on purpose. If you relied on other sources of info, you got shortchanged.

In conclusion, it's your right to write cheap-shot, half-researched articles. But the question is: Is that your best, or can you rise above mediocrity?

Warren B. Marshall
Denver

Bravo to Teri Thompson! It's nice to see her byline again. While Denver's regular sports journalists are going through mental contortions trying to think of new ways to deify "Preacher Bill" McCartney, Ms. Thompson tells it like it is. I think her description of Promise Keepers as a group to "encourage men to take control of their families" (especially their wives?) "through whatever means necessary" is right on target.

"Preacher Bill" may believe he's being guided by God's light, but it's the limelight he's really after. It was sheer arrogance to demand that players attend prayer session, to make pro-life speeches at a player's funeral and to use the full trappings of CU to condemn all gays and lesbians as a class. It was also sheer arrogance to steal the football team's and Rashaan Salaam's moment in the limelight by the way he announced his retirement.

Make no mistake: "Preacher Bill" will be back. He likes publicity too much. Now that he's a private person, he can wage his war of intolerance and Christian supremacy without any restraints whatsoever. And Promise Keepers is the perfect vehicle for his dreams of greater glory for himself.

Peter Gross
Denver

Mind Over Natter
After reading Eric Dexheimer's "Innocence Lost," in the November 23 issue, I wonder why the parents of one of Spencer Day's victims are suing his parents instead of the psychiatrists and "treatment programs" that actually molded his mind.

The Days were obviously devoted and caring parents, as demonstrated by the fact that they spent over $400,000 for their adopted son's "treatments." As he spent the majority of his life in psychiatric institutions, it was the "guidance" of the psychiatrists, not the neglect of the parents, that turned a young preschooler with only minor problems into a child molester.

Psychiatrists had Spencer on the addictive drug Ritalin before he even reached kindergarten. Per the Physician's Desk Reference, there is no diagnostic criteria for the "syndrome" for which Ritalin is usually prescribed, and it is unknown how or if it works. Among its numerous complications is the fact that its use can cause behavior disturbances and psychosis. Is it any wonder his problems suddenly became much more severe?

The resulting stay at Cleo Wallace served only to teach him sexual perversion. While an official denies that sex occurred between the boys and claims Spencer must have previously had such tendencies, I find it unlikely that a nine-year-old boy would have been contemplating sex with other boys prior to being exposed to it in this facility. Let's face it: Cleo Wallace must deny it--or face numerous lawsuits.

Though psychiatrists themselves state that "aversion therapy" has yet to produce beneficial results, they used it at Northwest Passages. Having Day look at pornographic pictures while administering painful electric shock served only to make him associate violence with sex. Despite knowing he was worse after this "treatment" and a risk to the community, they released him into it--where he violently molested three young boys.

If you became blind after a treatment for the flu, you would sue the doctor who treated you for malpractice. Psychiatrists escape this, hiding their incompetence behind a cloak of authority and claiming that mental "illness" can be treated but not cured and is too complex for anyone other than themselves to understand. But when each of Day's "treatments" so drastically worsened his condition, it's no small wonder his therapists have legal concerns.

 

Mark Stout
Denver

The story about Spencer Day was very chilling but important reading for parents and the rest of society. I want to congratulate Eric Dexheimer for doing such a thorough job and keeping sensationalism to a minimum. These situations are difficult to read about (and I imagine even more difficult to write about), but that is no reason for us to put our heads in the sand and pretend that people like this do not exist.

Maybe the next time a person like Spencer Day comes along, he'll get help sooner because of this story.

Joanne Simon
Denver

I read Eric Dexheimer's "Innocence Lost," and it raised a question. This person, Spencer Day, molested a boy October 19; six days later another boy; ten days later another boy. My question is this: Do you think this boy is homosexual?

Fred Webber
Denver

A Matter of Time
I could not believe that the same paper that devoted so much space to the wonderful series on Dr. Adam Myers (Steve Jackson's "Buying Time," November 2 and 9) could turn around and do a cover story on Spencer Day. Although there is no scientific link between homosexuals and pedophiles, this is the kind of article that prolongs those stereotypes.

J.T. Salazar
Denver
Regarding Terry Hodson's letter in the November 23 issue, I see no relationship between accepting homosexuality and condemning pedophilia as being hypocrisy. Is there a relationship between accepting heterosexuality and statutory rape being hypocrisy? There is nothing remotely logical or rational that I can see.

How would you explain all the stories in the media about pedophile priests? Is it hypocrisy to accept Catholicism while rejecting sexual abuse?

Terry, please try to feel your feelings about how you would feel being sexual with someone of the same sex. Would it feel good?

I am heterosexual, and when I think about it, it wouldn't feel good to me. So it could not be a choice or decision because of any moral or religious reason but because of what I know I enjoy. I've been close enough to other men in nonsexual ways to know that physical contact in a sexual way is not for me.

Why have you not been paying attention to people who are not relating their opinions but their experience? We are now giving more credit to survivors' stories of incest, child abuse and other experiences of people who would have to hide the truth out of fear.

You are trying to use an outdated form of blame to suppress something you choose to not understand. Make the person you cannot tolerate because of your belief a victim. Just use your magic eraser and make it the way you want it to be in your head, regardless of the reality of what you see or hear every day around you.

Denial is the best tool for you for now. Your lack of self-acceptance is probably evident to those who know you. Through self-acceptance, a normal person develops more understanding and compassion for others.

Be kind to everyone you meet, because you never know the burden another person carries.

Homosexuality is about who you feel sexual toward; pedophilia is about sexual abuse. Consenting adults responding to their needs as opposed to an adult manipulating a child for the adult's pleasure with resulting psychological, emotional or physical damage.

God bless you, Terry, in spite of yourself.
Richard Hart
Denver

I just finished reading "Buying Time," Steve Jackson's November 2 and 9 articles on Dr. Adam Myers that mentioned my partner, Roger. I wanted to let you know that Roger died on November 12. I know he would be very pleased with the article.

Tim
Denver

Three years ago this week my youngest brother died of AIDS. He was 35 years old.

I remember the time Mark showed me the list he had been keeping of all his friends who had died of AIDS. He stopped when he reached number 200.

How many of us have stopped counting, have stopped listening to the statistics? Numbers have lost their meaning for us. We barely blink when we hear about another plane crash, natural disaster, military skirmish. Death on a large scale seems to have become our inevitable companion.

This inevitability, coupled with a tendency in the media to focus on the gloom-and-doom aspects of AIDS, has had a devastating effect on people who are HIV-positive and are trying to learn how to live with the disease rather than die from it.

 

Lark Lands, a Ph.D. nutritionist who has spent the last eight years doing research on HIV therapies, summed up the problem by saying, "People keep looking for a magic bullet and fail to see all the miraculous BBs we have at our disposal." Dr. Lands, herself a long-term survivor of juvenile onset diabetes (which her own doctor predicted she would die from many years ago), suggests that we should begin to think of HIV as a chronic, manageable and ultimately survivable disease. With early diagnosis and intervention, people are not only living longer, but they are remaining asymptomatic far beyond conventional expectations.

So what does this mean for the average person on the street? I think of it this way: The day before Roger Bannister ran the four-minute mile, no one thought it was humanly possible. The day after, everyone was out trying to break his new record. I believe that the prevailing mindset that equates HIV with death does more to kill people than the virus itself. If we could shift this paradigm, I think more people would get tested and more people would undertake an aggressive, holistic approach to managing the disease.

I invite you to become part of the solution. Let people know there is hope, that there are many things a person newly diagnosed with HIV can do to increase the chances of living to see a cure. And most of all, believe it.

Kate Fotopoulos, Executive Director
AIDS, Medicine and Miracles
Boulder

I thank God for Dr. Adam Myers, who does such good work, and for Steve Jackson, who wrote such a good story about him.

Joyce Haskell
Denver

Cut on the Bias
Robin Chotzinoff: I have been reading your stories for some time, and may I suggest you get some help? You are soooooooooo biased. I was wondering--how do you sleep at night?

Maybe you are trying to get a job working with Geraldo or perhaps the National Enquirer.

I really feel sorry for you, but do you ever think about the people you trash? They have to go back to their friends, bosses and lives--all while you have forgotten the destructive path you have left.

In the end, Robin, you really need to take a good look at yourself.
Name withheld on request


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