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What a waste of talented people's lives. We really have not moved that far from the 1960's with today's invasion of privacy for the greater good of Homeland Security!
My mail was stamped back in the early '60s, as shown in the film. It was frightening that I was being watched, that I had done something bad, yet all I had done was love other young men with my eyes. I so tried to develop my body, as those I admired. But I was too young, until later, to build my body.
Interesting program, but have to complain that the program says that SMITH COLLEGE is an IVY LEAGUE School. It isn't. How could they not know that?
Frank X. Mahoney
The three principals had skills, resources and support. I can't help wondering what happened to the "four other local men".
Santa Cruz CA
The online autobiography of Joel Dorius ("My Four Lives") was purchased by me from the web hosting company Joel had used until his death. After I secured the rights to post it online, I gave them to the support group, Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons.
His memoirs are now posted on their site at:
It is our hope that no more LGBT Mormons have to suffer ecclesiastical oppression as Joel did, and in fact, as I did.
I just loved the program re the pink scare....what a tribute to 2 very wonderful, brave
men. I was so sad to learn that Joel Dorius died..it is indeed a comfort to know that such
people live on this earth as mentors for us all. Thank you for your sacrifices in bringing
this story to life on PBS.
The Great Pink Scare is an excellent film. Too bad it isn't showing to a wider audiance.
Times and mores do change as time marches on. This might be a non-story if it happened to
day, or would it? I think that if any school administration found out that one of their
teachers was in the posession of pornography of any kind they might be dismissed for
breach of their morals clause. Fear causes administrations to behave in strange ways. Does
anyone know the name of the news caster. I used to watch him all the time . . . George
Putnam! Anyway I enjoyed it.
I was both moved and fascinated by the documentary. While watching, I could not help but
see parallels between Arvin betraying his 2 friends in desperation and some Jewish people
during WWII betraying other Jews to save their families. No one knows how he will react
when "hunted" until it happens. We all hope that we would have the strength to do the
right thing. Even better would be to live in a society that does not tolerate persecution,
legally or morally. We have come a long way in 40 years. We still have a long way to go.
One of the most important films I have seen in the last ten years. It made me reevaluate
some of my conditioned thinking about gay people. It is the incident portrayed in the
film, that created the culture, that allows those attitudes to exist. Some today favor a
return to those oppresive times, albet they have never really ended for those, with an
Those who would favor an assalt on privcy, and campaign against gay civil rights need to
watch this film. It may just give them the compassion to see as I now see.
It is interesting how the cosmos revolves. Some twenty years ago i was discharged from the
U.S. Navy for being Gay. In a Few days My best Straight friend from those days is retiring
from the Military service. I was struck with memories of my own being witchhunted, and
arrested as i watched this program. I am proud that PBS.Org is still free enough to
produce and publish such programs. Thank you sincerely
I was struck by the courage of the two men telling their stories, as well as the quiet
direction of the filmmakers. In trying to tell a friend about it today, I had to stop
myself mid-story because, while I could relay the facts, I couldn�t possibly convey the
emotion and tone captured in the film. Both the story itself and the treatment by the
filmmakers were remarkable. It was truly captivating.
Things have changed considerably since this "incident" came to light so many years ago.
Still, there is entirely too much ignorance about the issues involved--privacy rights and
So many times, I hear people say things like, "Why don't these people just keep it to
themselves? Who cares what people do in the privacy of their own bedrooms?" The sad fact
is that many people apparently DO care, and they see nothing wrong with invading the
privacy of anyone whose life they consider unconventional or "odd".
After viewing this film, people should no longer question why gay/Lesbian/Queer people
MUST come out of the closet...for their own sake and for the sake of a society that
otherwise will remain ignorant of the challenges of growing up gay.
This was an excellent film. It depicts a time when persons who were different were hounded
by the sanctimonious. Are we far from that now? How much longer will it take before it
will be acknowledged that homosexuality is not a choice?
I found myself inspired by the courage of the professors in your film. I find it to grasp
that they were thought to be unworthy of their chosen profession because of their sexual
preference.I wish that i could shake their hand, or better yet, give them a hug. Affection
and love are so much stronger than hate. I feel that they may have started the walk on the
path to acceptance for the Gay,Lesbian, and transgender communities.I salute them for
making my life as a gay man easier ans abit more accepting in society. We have to champion
what they have started.
Santa Clara, CA
In response to one person's query, Joel's book is entitled 'My Four Lives: An Academic
Life Shattered by Scandal.' A limited number of copies was published by Country Press,
Lakeville, MA, but this printing received no distribution. During Joel's lifetime the
entire book was on a website, joeldorius.com, but has since been removed. I am hoping that
one day some publisher will be willing to publish the book, perhaps in a somewhat edited
Your film presents a compelling chronology of a shameful time in American history. During
the film, it was mentioned that Mr. Dorius had written a book about the experience. Could
you please forward the name of this book. I am interested in learning more.
Thanks for your belief that this film should be made and offered to the people of this
nation. It is my hope we will not repeat this type of behavior...toward any group...again.
I was deeply moved by this documentary--outraged by the waste of these three men's lives,
and inspired by Spofford's and Dorius' resilience despite terribly dark days. When are we
going to learn that any and all bias rob our world blind?
As a person who is very interested in documentary filmmaking, I wanted to watch the film
to examine and learn from the techniques used. On this level I thought it was very well
constructed and the story well told. However, I wasn't sure the topic would draw me in. I
was wrong! From the first few minutes I was captivated. I was very moved by the ordeal
these men suffered and the tragic consequences for their lives and careers. I have been
reaching for a deeper understanding of social justice issues in our society. There are so
many issues that are pressing for attention. This film has given me a greater sensitivity
to the challenges faced by the homosexual community. Thank you for telling this story!
Thank you for this thought provoking program. I was especially struck by the fact that
professors who were sleeping with co-eds at Smith were never "outed" but the two charming
gentlemen profiled in this story were. I hope that participating in your piece was
liberating for them.
The progress on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender rights over the past forty odd
years has been remarkable. No longer is the GLBT community living in the shadows, but out
showing their pride in their family, community, state, and the nation. While there are
many obstacles ahead, progress has been made. The sad part that the documentary reveals
the utter devestation of hard working, dedicated citizens. Their lives were destroyed
simply for being homosexual. What a tragedy.
Sierra Vista Arizona
There's a direct link between that invasion of privacy and today's politico/legal climate.
The film achieves its goal for viewers with an open mind, but some will always insist that
homosexuality is a sin and a felony.I never knew about the atrocities perpetrated against
those innocent professors until tonight. The USPS has no right to censor our mail. As a
nurse, I am convinced that sexuality is inborn, not a choice of lifestyle, even though
some psychiatrists of the '30s through the'50s considered homosexuals as possibly
"curable" with psychiatric treatment.I knew one famous psychiatrist with that erroneus
It's funny how stories that seem so far from my own can hit home. I cannot identify with
so much of the torment experienced by these men, but I felt validated when they expressed
their fear of the world, an after effect of the violations to their lives. Diagnosed with
a mental illness several years ago, I finally left my teaching position once I understood,
in horror, the discrimination and ignorance exhibited by my administrators as they
assigned me to an out-of-the-classroom position once they learned of my "condition."
While it may be true, as stated in the film, that homosexuality gains greater and greater
acceptance with the passing of decades, hurdles undoubtedly remain. And while mental
illness is an entirely different identity, in my opinion and experience, it feels as
closeted as ever.