The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 10, 1972, Image 1

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thursday, february 10, 1972
lincoln, nebraska vol. 95, no. 66
Prokop article, homophile book similar
A recent column submitted to the Daily
Nebraskan and the Douglas County Gazette has yet
to fly safely from the spin of a political
merry-go-round.
Just as discussion about NU Regent Robert J.
Prokop's column on homosexuality appeared to end,
a new concern has arisen.
Every paragraph in Prokop's column except the
first and last, is similar to portions of the first 16
pages of a book, "Homosexuality: Disease or Way of
Life." In his column, Prokop did not mention the
book or its author, Edmund Bergler, M.D.
Prokop, in response to first semester Daily
Nebraskan Editor Gary Seacrest's request to write a
"Guest Opinion" column offered an article in
reaction to a four-part series, "Gay Life in Lincoln,"
which had appeared in the campus paper earlier in the
semester.
When the Daily Nebraskan didn't run the column,
it was given to Anne Batchelder, publisher-editor
of the Douglas County Gazette. She printed it, calling
the Daily Nebraskan's failure to do so,
"discrimination at its finest by a paper that professes
freedom of the press."
When approached Wednesday afternoon about
similarities in his column and the book, Prokop called
them "most interesting."
"I don't know the book, and I don't know the
authority," Prokop said. And since he'd had "only
half an hour" on homosexuality in medical school,
Prokop said, he'd "gone back to somebody who's an
authority."
Prokop called the Daily Nebraskan Wednesday
night and said, upon looking over his notes, he
discovered he had used Bergler's book as a reference.
In the earlier interview, he said, specifically, he
had borrowed 10-15 books from the NU Medical
Center library. He later said one of them may have
been Bergler's book because "one of the books I took
out was published in New York"-as was Bergler's.'
He also said Bergler may have been quoted in the
textbooks he'd taken from the library.
"I went through five or six copies," Prokop said as
he described how he wrote the column.
"You don't just sit down and write the manuscript
right away," he said. "It's just too touchy."
Prokop said his intent in writing the column was
to show a view of homosexuality he said he felt the
series left out. He said he felt the series and other
Daily Nebraskan articles have been "very strongly
pro-gay liberation."
"And what I wrote I consider to be my best
opinion of the subject," he said.
A University of Nebraska Associate Professor of
psychology, James K. Cole, said Wednesday Prokop
picked "the worst possible depiction of
homosexuality one can find."
Cole said what he finds most surprising in Bergler's
theories is the contention after he calls gays
"exquisite injustice collectors" and "psychic
masochists" that homosexuality is "a curable
disease."
Cole said psychoanalysts may have a vested
professional interest in mental illness, in that the
more illnesses they determine need curing, the more
patients they gain.
Exerpts from the column and the book are listed
below.
From Prokop's column in the Douglas County
Gazette:
"Every homosexual is an exquisite injustice
collector and a psychic masocist (sic): a neurotic who
constantly creates by means of his own unconscious
provocations, situations in which he finds himself
behind the eight-ball. . .
"Without being an alarmist, I believe that a serious
social problem, so far totally mishandled exists and
that there is an urgent need for public clarification.
Homosexuality is a cureable disease."
From Bergler's book. Homosexuality: Disease or
Way of Life:
"Every homosexual is an exquisite injustice
collector, and consequently a psychic masochist. The
psychic masochist is a neurotic who constantly
creates, by means of his own unconscious
provocations, situations in which he finds himself
'behind the eight-ball'.
"Without being an alarmist, or sounding the alarm,
I believe that a serious social problem, so far totally
mishandled, exists, and that there is an urgent need
Foreign study
includes more
than language
Editor's note This is the second of two articles
dealing with the opportunities for foreign study
available to UNL students.
by Sara Schwieder
When most students think of foreign study, they
think of language study, but an increasing number of
programs in other subject areas have opened up.
For instance, the architecture department sponsors
a semester in London every year from January to
June, with May left free for independent travel. This
year the emphasis is on architectural history and
urban problems.
The sociology department also had a program in
London second semester, so the two departments had
some interdisciplinary courses. Both groups lived in
the same part of London and had informal seminars
combining sociology with architecture for an urban
studies experience.
"It was a terrific experience," said Mark
Reinmiller, a senior yvho participated in the program
last vear. "It was tf good experience to live in a
different culture and really be a part of it. . . to live
under socialism and get a different viewpoint of
America's political processes."
Although the architecture program is limited to
architecture majors, the sociology section was open
to any student taking sociology courses.
"A Heritage of Fashion" course is offered by the
home economics department each summer during the
first summer school session. It includes five and a half
weeks in Europe centered on fashion. Students visit
design houses, couture shops, talk to designers and
preview new designer lines. The tour costs about
$1,900 including room, board and transportation
costs.
The European fashion course alternates every year
with a $350 New York City version. This year the
group goes to New York.
The course is open to non-majors who have had at
least 12 hourse in the textiles, clothing and design
department.
Many interim courses were offered this year,
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NU Regent Robert Prokop
Bergler's book is old, Cole said, for books on
homosexuality. Most research on gay people has been
done since the book was published in 1957, he said.
He stressed that Begler's relationship to
homosexuality was "almost totally with patients. He
dealt only with disturbed people."
Cole said "there are many well-adjusted, highly
productive homosexuals in our society bankers,
ministers, insurance executives, etc. But they're not
very visible to society.
He said he didn't know if most psychologists agree
with him or Bergler. There are many on both sides, he
noted.
Seacrest said Prokop's column did not appear first
semester because, "I received the article late in the
semester and had many letters to the editor and other
guest columns to run."
The article was passed on to the current Daily
Nebraskan editor Barry Pilger, Seacrest said, who
expressed his intent to use it.
"I told Regent Prokop that I'd print it (the article)
but that I wanted to talk to him first," Pilger said.
He said he felt "a new column, rather than a
runoff from last semester" would be best. In any
case, he said, he felt the writing in the homosexuality
column would have to be improved before he could
run it.
including an English theater course in London, an
education course studying British schools and
"British Government and Comparative Politics"
through the political science department.
The architecture department offered a course in
London entitled 'The Philosophy and Development
of English Architecture."
Another architecture group went to Mexico City
to study Mexican architecture, then went to rural
Mexico and Yucatan to study ancient Mayan and
Aztec ruins.
Sixteen business administration students also
began an interim study tour in Mexico City, but
continued to El Salvador and Costa Rica. They
earned six hours credit under the course title
"Marketing in Selected Foreign Countries." The
group had seminars from October to February to
orient themselves to business problems they
encountered on the field trip.
Turn to Page 3
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