Editor's Note: This column is the last in a series of seven. To read the previous parts, please click here to view Mike Adams' archive.
On October 25, 2004, the American Association of Marriage and FamilyTherapists (AAMFT) held a site visit for the purpose of reaccrediting the Purdue University Calumet (PUC) Master’s in Family Therapy Program. The AAMFT officials held a group meeting to discuss student concerns, but Mr. Ford remained silent at this meeting. He was afraid of inviting more retaliation if he spoke.
At the end of the meeting, AAMFT officials offered to hear other student concerns in a confidential setting. That evening, Mr. Ford accepted this offer and called Dr. Tom Smith, one of the evaluators. Mr. Ford explained all of the religious discrimination and retaliation he had experienced at the hands of the faculty. Dr. Smith simply advised him to remain silent so he could graduate without experiencing more trouble.
In April 2005, Mr. Ford first requested that Professor Trepper write a letter of recommendation to accompany his applications to doctoral programs. In May 2005, Mr. Ford received an e-mail from his fellow student and former friend, Ms. Duffy-Greslo. Though she was contacting him on an unrelated matter, she decided to bring up his refusal to change his religious convictions at her demand.
On July 20, 2005, Mr. Ford met with Professor Wetchler to determine whether the faculty would write letters of recommendation on his behalf. Wetchler agreed to do so because Mr. Ford had “grown up.” But he could not answer for the others. Instead, Mr. Ford would have to approach them individually.
In October 2005, Mr. Ford met with Professor Wetchler to discuss his prospects for doctoral programs. At this time, Mr. Ford noted that his top choice was Brigham Young University. Wetchler strongly disapproved. Instead, he encouraged Mr. Ford to attend Kansas State University or Texas Tech University because those schools had LDS faculty members who agreed with the program’s beliefs concerning sex therapy for same sex couples.
Around the same time, Mr. Ford met with Professor Trepper to see if he would write a letter of recommendation, and he promised to write Mr. Ford a “strong” letter. Later in October 2005, several faculty members, including Professor Wetchler, intimated to Mr. Ford that he must be “gay” because he was not “pro-gay.”
According to them, those who oppose the political agenda of the advocates of homosexual conduct do so because they are repressing their own homosexual desires. Professor Wetchler and others repeatedly asked Mr. Ford why someone as sensitive would take a stand on issues relating to homosexual conduct and why he (Mr. Ford) cared about these issues.
On November 2, 2005, Professor Wetchler sent Mr. Ford an e-mail asking questions about the information Mr. Ford had provided to help him in writing the letter of recommendation. A little over two hours later, Mr. Ford responded explaining the purpose for each item he provided Wetchler so as to facilitate the letter-writing process.
On November 19, 2005, Professor Trepper sent Mr. Ford an e-mail asking for additional information in order to write the letters of recommendation and inquiring about some of the programs to which Mr. Ford was applying. Mr. Ford responded within two hours noting that he would supply the needed information.
For Mr. Ford’s application to Brigham Young University, the letters of recommendation were due at the end of December 2005. Professor Trepper’s letter did not arrive until after the due date (some time in January 2006). Then, on January 31, 2006, Mr. Ford learned that Brigham Young University had rejected his application.
Professor Wetchler never sent a letter of recommendation for Mr. Ford to Kansas State University. As a direct result, Kansas State University rejected Mr. Ford’s application in February of 2006.
In May of 2006, Mr. Ford graduated from PUC with a Master’s Degree in Child Development and Family Studies with a specialty in Marriage and Family Therapy.
In December 2006, Professor Trepper, who had previously questioned Mr. West’s sensitivity on matters related to sex, lost his position as professor in the master’s program as a result of allegations of harassment. During the investigation, several students were interviewed about their interactions with Trepper, and these questions focused on issues of harassment and sexual harassment. As a result of this investigation, Professor Trepper can no longer teach graduate students, and can no longer serve on the thesis committees for graduate students.
On August 17, 2007, Mr. Ford filed suit against many of the characters featured in this seven part series. I hope that Mormons and non-Mormons alike will be praying for our embattled plaintiff and friend. Despite all our differences, we do face a common enemy.
Author’s note: I want to thank the Alliance Defense Fund (www.TellADF.org) for giving me the information necessary to defend Mr. Ford in the court of public opinion as they prepare to defend him in a court of law.