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In honor of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month, Radio Curious brings you an interview with Professor Robert Dole, who in the 1960's was treated as a schizophrenic in mental institutions because of his homosexuality in the United States. He now resides and works in Canada and is the author of the memoir “How to Make a Success of Your Schizophrenia.”
Barry Vogel, Attorney and Counselor, is the Host and Producer of Radio Curious. Christina Aanestad is the Assistant Producer.
In honor of LGBT Pride Month, this edition of Radio Curious discusses one man’s personal experience in recognizing his homosexuality. Until the mid 1970s many people considered homosexuality to be a mental disorder and/or a crime, as it is still in some personal and political belief systems. Homosexual people sometimes were housed in mental institutions, given medication and suffered an array of treatment methods, including shock therapy and other forms of behavior modification.
Professor Robert Dole, our guest in this edition of Radio Curious, was one of many individuals subjected to behavior modification. In his book, “How to Make a Success of Your Schizophrenia,” he explains how the “treatment” he endured as an attempt to alter his homosexual preference made him schizophrenic. His personal memoir describes his experiences growing up in the 1960s as a gay man, his institutionalization at the McLean Hospital in Massachusetts, the insanity that consumed him as a result of his treatment, his self-led recovery, partially based on a spiritual experience, and his subsequent extraordinary life in academia.
Professor Dole, who is fluent in seven languages, teaches English as a Foreign Language at the University of Chicoutimi in rural Quebec, Canada, where he has lived for 30 plus years. He is the author of several books including, “The American Nightmare.” Robert Dole and I visited by phone from his office at the University of Chicoutimi on November 4, 2011 and began our conversation when I asked him to describe the schizophrenia he experienced.
The books he recommends are: “The Death of Ivan Ilych,” by Leo Tolstoy and any book from Stefan Zweig.
Radio Curious is a half-hour, weekly, long-form interview program, now in it's 24th year. We interview people on a curiously wide variety of topics about life and ideas. Our website is www.radiocurious.org. If your station airs Radio Curious please let us know firstname.lastname@example.org, we will add you to our list of syndicate stations. We also welcome questions, feedback and program ideas. Radio Curious 280 N. Oak St. Ukiah, Ca 95482. (707) 462-6541.