September 20, 2011 marks the end of the military’s policy of expelling all homosexuals from the service. One part of the military policy, largely ignored and hidden from public view, was a policy formally termed “Indoctrination” that taught new enlistees why homosexuals were evil and a threat to the nation. It is one of the few examples of officially-sanctioned teaching of homophobia to literally millions of Americans.
A script was written to be voiced by the “line officer,” the “Medical Officer” and the “chaplain” to be given during the first weeks to all new enlistees. The script was to be followed without variation.
The script provides a time capsule of common American views of homosexuals, the consequences, the type of constant fear of police reprisals and job loss, and even suggests that the outcome for homosexuals was often murder or suicide.
CitiReport obtained the script through the Freedom of Information Act after several unsuccessful efforts through various government offices. Most often the official channels denied that such a script existed or had ever existed. It is found in Attachment Two of the Navy’s 1957 report prepared under Captain Crittenden that recommended an eventual re-evaluation of the policy.
That re-evaluation took more than 40 years.
What follows is the script for the “Chaplain,” which was the final in the series of three Indoctrinations. It is preceded by the Line Officer and the Psychiatrist. Each script is a separate post in this Special CitiReport on the day that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell came to its end.
The Chaplain’s primary concern with the problem of homosexuality is its relationship to the individual’s social, moral and spiritual life. The following factors often play a prominent role in the involvement of personnel in homosexual activity:
1. The normal desire for social life and entertainment. The practicing homosexual is quite aware that service personnel ashore are often lonely and frequently quite ready to accept courtesies and hospitality even though offered by a stranger.
2. Social drinking is one of the most frequently used techniques of homosexuals and is often the opening ploy of a game that leads to the downfall of the sailor.
At most we hear the familiar refrain: “I got to drinking with this individual and passed out. When I came to, the job had been done.”
The Chaplain is always sorry for the man who gets into trouble. However, the Chaplain’s primary concern with homosexuality is its relationship to the individual’s social, moral and spiritual life.
FIRST OF ALL, HOMOSEXUALITY DESTROYS A MAN’S SOCIAL STATUS
A single act, or even guilt by association, may brand a man as a pervert in the locality in which he lives. To be arrested, booked and have to prove one’s innocence when caught in a raid of a place where homosexuals gather, maybe the basis for general and harmful gossip.
Homosexuals dread detection, social ostracism, and legal persecution. If a man gets snared or entangled in the homosexual web, and is given an undesirable or dishonorable discharge from the U.S. Navy, he finds it highly embarrassing, if not impossible, to explain to his family and friends why he is no longer in the Naval service.
Once it is known, or strongly suspected that a man has been discharged due to homosexuality, people will avoid him and he will be socially ostracized.
To get entangled in the homosexual web means two things:
1. The individual will become the target of other homosexuals, and
2. Decent people who know or strongly suspect homosexuality will shun him.
HOMOSEXUALITY ALSO DESTROYS A MAN’S CHARACTER
Homosexuality is a social offense. It is not condoned by society. It is named a felony by law. Conventional society detests the homosexual. The homosexual lives in a continuous dread and constant fear of detection, social ostracism, blackmail, and economic ruin, and legal prosecution and imprisonment.
Most people who engage in homosexuality suffer a period of fear of exposure, disgust with themselves, and a deep sense of uncleanliness. For a time they seek to adjust themselves to the condition which they have brought upon themselves by their own conduct. It is not possible, however, to live under constant tension and fear, acting out a role through a prolonged period, without seriously weakening one’s moral fiber.
The practice of homosexuality destroys a man’s personal integrity. Little by little the individual becomes more deeply entangled in the homosexual web. At first he wonders how it all happened. He reacts with confusion, shame, and fear. He rationalizes that he was only a passive agent, that he really did not do anything. But really he knows better.
Then he may face blackmail and he continues his acts. He finds that it is easier to submit than to fight against it. He consoles himself that he will break off the relationship later, but he really has little hope of actually doing so. Experience indicates that the odds are heavily against his ever quitting. He slowly deteriorates in character, losing his power of will and his personal integrity.
He therefore often becomes a drug addict, alcoholic, a thief or even a murderer or suicide. He joins the dregs of society. Thus the deterioration and destruction of character and integrity are the end results of homosexuality.
HOMOSEXUALITY ALSO DESTROYS A MAN”S SPIRITUAL VALUES AND SPIRITUAL LIFE
Moral and ethical codes reaching far back into history are unequivocally against any form of homosexuality. It is universally condemned in all religions. Since your body is a sacred temple of God, any misuse of sex is a desecration of God’s holy temple. Therefore, commission of a homosexual act is a sin.
All nations which have given way to the practice of homosexuality have fallen. Homosexual practices have contributed to their moral decay and thus to their downfall. The Scriptures say, “Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”
Today, as a result of scientific progress man is able to do great things. He is able to fly faster than sound. Through television, he is able to see things actually happening thousands of miles away. He is able to speak to his fellow man by radio and telephone throughout the entire world. None of this power, however, can begin to compare with the power given to him by his Creator, namely the power of bringing another human being into the world through the proper use of his sexual drives. Any individual who would use this God-given power in any manner contrary to God’s law not only degrades himself morally and spiritually but violates a most sacred trust. This is especially true of homosexuality.
Both the Jewish and Christian faiths regard homosexuality as abnormal, immoral and as a carnal sin. It must, therefore, be avoided. The most severe condemnation is pronounced by religion on all homosexuality. The breaking of God’s laws in sexual matters is a direct frustration of His will for us and the defilement of our bodies as a suitable abode for his presence.
The Holy Writ or Holy Scriptures condemn homosexuality. The account of the destruction of Sodom in the Bible shows the Scriptural disapproval of the act. There are other references which your Chaplain can give you. Let me emphasize these:
1. It is smart, and part of the wisdom, to recognize danger. It is foolish to expose yourself to danger needlessly. Courage is never proven by taking foolish risks or flirting with danger. Homosexuality is dangerous in any of its forms. Anyone who takes chances with it only proves his own stupidity, never his [..] or his manhood.
2. As we said before, the purpose of this talk is not to frighten you or to delve into your past. Keep up your normal friendships with your buddies in the service. And don’t feel that every stranger, civilian or military who tries to be friendly is out for no good.
Be very careful about making remarks implying or accusing a person of being a homo or queer. Before you make such an accusation think of the harm you can do to a man and his family and think also how you would like that same man to make the same charge about you.
By being alert to the possibility of meeting homosexuals, your common sense will tell you when you do meet a person who is one or very likely could be one. When that situation arises, get away from him quickly and quietly.
If you are actually approached or feel almost certain that you have run into such a situation, talk the matter over with your Company Commander, your Battalion Commander, your Medical Officer or Chaplain. If you wish to discuss this presentation today, feel free to contact any of us who have given it or any of the men mentioned above.
Thank you for your attention.