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Bogus therapists tried to ‘cure’ gay teen by forcing her to wear a backpack full of rocks

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A 21-year old gay woman is telling the story of the abuse she suffered as a result of the “conversion therapy” to which she had been subjected as a teenager, in a new book titled Saving Alex: When I Was Fifteen I Told My Mormon Parents I Was Gay, and That’s When My Nightmare Began.

Alex Cooper, a former Mormon, is featured in this new report from the local CBS affiliate in Salt Lake City.

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“It’s like sending you to therapy to change your eye color,” she said. “It’s not going to work. What it’s going to do is damage you.”

The events took place at the home of a couple with no license or training to administer therapy, but who had told her parents (who had initially kicked her out of the home) they could turn her from gay to straight.

The LDS Church itself told the station in a statement: “The Church denounces any therapy that subjects an individual to abusive practices. We hope those who experience the complex realities of same-sex attraction find compassion and understanding from family members, professional counselors and church members.”

Among the torturous practices to which she was subjected at the home, she told Publishers Weekly, was being forced to stand facing a wall for up to 18 hours a day, with a backpack loaded full of rocks.

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She also writes of the reprisals she suffered after attempting to escape: “He made a fist and punched me in the gut, knocking the wind out of me. I doubled over and choked for breath.

As also reported in The Salt Lake Tribune:

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Eight months, at least one suicide attempt and several escape efforts later, Cooper managed to break free and get help to be herself from friends, lawyers and the courts. She reconnected with her parents after they agreed to an unprecedented court order in Utah not to try to change her orientation.

After that, the young lesbian was able to make up her junior year, graduate with her class and earn a cosmetology certificate to support herself.

Cooper told the Tribune that she has reconciled with her parents, and does not blame them for what happened. She wrote the book because, “I want to end conversion therapy.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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‘I’m the one who calls the shots’: Trump rails against Fox News for giving him ‘his worst polls’

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President Donald Trump explained why Fox News has drawn his ire and that they need to realize he's the one in control of them.

In a conversation on the tarmac in Morristown, New Jersey on his way back to Washington, Trump said that Fox News has not been good to him lately.

"Fox is a lot different than it used to be, I can tell you that," Trump said.

In an earlier Twitter rant, the president went off on Juan Williams for being "nasty and wrong."

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Trump explains why he wants to buy Greenland to reporters: ‘It’s a large real estate deal — a lot can be done’

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President Donald Trump reaffirmed his desire to buy Greenland in discussion with reporters Sunday.

The president was returning to Washington, D.C. when he stopped at the airport in Morristown, New Jersey. New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman asked the president about his desire to buy the country from Denmark.

"Greenland, I don't know. It got released somehow," Trump said of the news about his desire to buy the country. "It's something we talked about. Denmark essentially owns it. We're very good allies with Denmark. We protect Denmark like we protect large portions of the world. So the concept came up, and I said, strategically, it's interesting. And we'd be interested. We'll talk to them a little bit. It's not number one on the burner; I can tell you that."

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‘Mental midget’ Stephen Miller absolutely demolished in MSNBC blast at Trump’s ‘misfit’ advisers

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Given the opportunity to discuss two profiles on White House adviser Stephen Miller -- published by the Washington Post and the New York Times late Saturday -- Democratic consultant Don Calloway jumped in with both feet to trash the man he called a "mental midget"."

Asked p on MSNBC about the controversial Miller's outsized influence on Donald Trump, Calloway didn't hold back.

"What goes through your head when you hear how much influence Stephen Miller has on immigration policy?" host Alex Witt asked.

"Stephen Miller is a mental midget, that's the best thing I can say," Calloway began to the sounds of laughter offscreen.

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