On July 29, 2000, NewsMakingNews published a link to a article published in the Daily Mail and Guardian of South Africa about Dr. Aubrey Levine. Click. to read article below on this page.

On November 28, 2000, NewsMakingNews responded to Dr. Aubrey Levine's threat of a defamation lawsuit in Canada as follows:  

Dear Dr. Aubrey Levine.

      NewsMakingNews is an independent news agency operating under law of the Constitution of the United States.  The article which was linked and published regarding you was an exercise of free speech on the world wide web.  NewsMakingNews believes in the rights of people to not be subjected to human experimentation without their consent as set forth in the Nuremberg Code. The United States fought World War II, in part, to prevent future human experimentation upon people without their consent. NewsMakingNews has covered other news about human experimentation including the pain experiments conducted by the University of California, San Francisco and Emery school officials and teachers upon school children in Emeryville, California. Regarding your lawsuit, truth is a defense, and free speech is a right.  When you are ready to serve your complaint, please email me the time and place in California that I can meet with your process server in California and accept the complaint against Kate Dixon dba NewsMakingNews.

Mailed, emailed and posted on NewsMakingNews on November 28, 2000.  
from Kate Dixon

For those readers of NewsMakingNews who are unfamiliar with the activities of Dr. Aubrey Levine and other "doctors" in South Africa, Ana Simo in her article entitled, South Africa: Apartheid Military Forced Gay Troops Into Sex-Change Operations, described the experiments: Source:

AUGUST 25. South Africa's apartheid army forced white lesbian and gay soldiers to undergo 'sex-change' operations in the 1970's and the 1980's, and submitted many to chemical castration, electric shock, and other unethical medical experiments. Although the exact number is not known, former apartheid army surgeons estimate that as many as 900 forced 'sexual reassignment' operations may have been performed between 1971 and 1989 at military hospitals, as part of a top-secret program to root out homosexuality from the service.

Army psychiatrists aided by chaplains aggressively ferreted out suspected homosexuals from the armed forces, sending them discretely to military psychiatric units, chiefly ward 22 of 1 Military Hospital at Voortrekkerhoogte, near Pretoria. Those who could not be 'cured' with drugs, aversion shock therapy, hormone treatment, and other radical 'psychiatric' means were chemically castrated or given sex-change operations.

To read more articles about human experiments in South Africa and the involvement of Dr. Larry Ford and Biofem, Inc. of Orange County California and the ongoing trial about the slaying of John Riley, Click. Please use NewsMakingNews search engine on the bottom of the home page to search key words.

On November 26, 2000, NewsMakingNews received the following mail from Dr. Aubrey Levin's lawyers in Canada:

Grant N. Stapon Direct Line: 403.298.3204 e-mail: [email protected] Our File No.: 52-4170

November 15, 2000

REGISTERED MAIL AND E-MAIL ([email protected])


NewsMakingNews (Newsmakingnews-Dom)
1230 Market Street No. 417, San Francisco, CA 94102 US
Attention: The Publisher, NewsMakingNews
Attention: Administrative Contact, Kate Dixon

Dear Sirs:

Re: Defamation Notice


Please be advised that we are Canadian solicitors for Dr. Aubrey Levin. The purpose of this correspondence is to provide each of you with notice pursuant to Section 13(1) of the Alberta, Canada Defamation Act of the intention of Dr. Levin to bring an action in Canada against each of you and NewsMakingNews with respect to the contents of Newsgrids, and with respect to the internet publication associated with that edition.

Our client provides this notice with respect to the following headlined article:

“The South African Military Used Sex-Change Operations, Medical Torture and Chemical Castration on Gay Soldiers During Apartheid Era”.

The headline of this article was presented on the Newgrids webpage along with a picture and a hypertext link to a full-text version of the article.

Our client provides notice with respect to your internet publication of the above-referenced article and headline which was accessed and printed from your website,, on November 3rd, 2000.


This is also to provide you with notice that in our view the international communication of your story to third parties, and the publication of your allegations by way of the internet, has established sufficient grounds for an action to be commenced as against you in the Alberta courts. We urge you to seek competent legal advice with respect to this issue and with respect to your obligation to respond to this notice.


Dr. Levin is a Canadian citizen who is 61 years of age. He has had a long and very distinguished career in South Africa and abroad. He has been a Professor of Psychiatry, has published numerous articles, is a member of the prestigious CINP, is an international advisor to the fourth revised edition of the Diagnostic Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, and is currently on the government appointed southern Alberta Advisory Panel for mental health, amongst many other achievements. He has spent his professional life earning and establishing his reputation.

The above-referenced publication constitutes a vicious attack on Dr. Levin, replete with actionable malice. The publication has no regard to the truth as it relates to Dr. Levin, and even less regard to the damage which your false allegations would clearly cause him here in Canada and on an international basis.

Dr. Levin qualified as a psychiatrist in South Africa in June, 1969. Between October, 1969 and December, 1974, he was appointed as a psychiatrist at one military hospital. At no time was he ever in charge of any program, nor did he participate in any program involving gays or lesbians for the South African defence force. Dr. Levin has never been involved in any program to hunt, torture, chemically castrate or sexually reassign gays or lesbians as alleged.

During the entire course of his practice (in the military and elsewhere) Dr. Levin has never recommended any gay patient for a sex change operation. He is not even aware of any sex change operations which were performed on gays by the military.

Dr. Levin's treatments of his patients was at all times humane and in accordance with accepted psychiatric practice. During the currency of his tenure in South Africa, there were no complaints whatsoever regarding his treatment of any gay individuals. Any treatment which he provided was undertaken in the context of a very open teaching unit at the hospital. No patients treated by Dr. Levin ever received treatment against their will.


The Alberta Defamation Act also requires that the substance of defamation be outlined before an action is commenced. The above-referenced article and internet publication are so highly inflammatory and defamatory on their face that they are in their entirety (individually and collectively) an odious, reckless, unresearched and actionable slur on the character and reputation of Dr. Levin.

The structure of the headline, the corresponding article, and the mention of Dr. Levin collectively create a common thread linking Dr. Levin to unfounded allegations of monstrous, unethical and unprofessional behaviour. The defamation and defamatory imputations from the publication are manifold. Some of the most blatant libel represented by the Newgrids headline include:

· Maximum attention to this article has been arranged by advertising its issue with billboard posters with a large photograph with the picture of the head and torso of a South African soldier in uniform with naked female breasts stitched garishly on the body to insight reader interest, and by inviting visits to the website;

· Dr. Levin is named following the headline and prior to the hypertext leading to the full-text article implying his involvement;

· Implying that Dr. Levin participated in “chemical castration”;

· Implying that Dr. Levin inflicted “medical torture” on his patients;

· Implying that Dr. Levin was aware of and participated in “sex-change” operations.

The consequence of your publication has been manifold. Dr. Levin has been hounded by media here in Canada and from around the world. He and his family have experienced significant trauma and embarrassment from a personal and professional viewpoint.


In sum, the publication of the above-referenced article with respect to Dr. Levin (both by way of the internet and any hard copy produced) is false, unbalanced and quite horrific. We believe that your publication has been undertaken without regard to the truth and constitutes sensationalistic journalism at its worst. We also suggest that the publication was undertaken with deliberate regard to the significant difficulties that long distance litigation would impose on Dr. Levin in his defence.

Pursuant to Section 15(1)(a) of the Alberta Defamation Act, and pursuant to your moral obligation to do so in the circumstances, Dr. Levin hereby demands a complete, full and unqualified retraction and apology. We would be pleased to receive your proposed form of retraction and apology by immediate return.

Furthermore, Dr. Levin hereby demands the deletion of the above-mentioned articles, along with any other stories which defame Dr. Levin, from your website. Immediate deletion of all offending publications would be appreciated. We also request verification of this deletion by way of written notice.

It is our client’s intention to bring suit against you. This correspondence and your reply will be referred to in any Alberta litigation arising out of this matter. Pursuant to the provisions of the Alberta Defamation Act, the nature of your response may have significant consequence in connection with the quantum of damages recoverable by Dr. Levin for your activities. We urge you to seek competent Canadian counsel to review your position with respect to this.

Kindly govern yourself accordingly.

Yours truly,


Grant N. Stapon


URL:,00.htm July 29, 2000 NewsGrid




Click. 'Freaks' offered a chance to change.

Click.  A painful and dangerous operation.

Mutilated by the military
Daily Mail & Guardian 7/28/00

A new report uncovers a secret SADF project to 'cure' homosexuals by giving them sex changes

PAUL KIRK reports © -- The Mail&Guardian, July 28, 2000

S ex-change operations, medical torture and chemical castration were perpetrated on national servicemen in a bizarre programme to cure "deviants" during the apartheid era.

To this day dozens of victims of the programme are crippled and disfigured, stranded halfway between male and female by incomplete sex-change operations performed by the South African Defence Force (SADF).

Many more are sterile after being chemically castrated. A number of the victims have committed suicide.

The exact number of conscripts who were involved is not certain, but surgeons told the Mail & Guardian that about 50 sex-change operations were performed a year between 1971 and 1989. The number of victims, gay rights campaigners say, could have been hundreds. The National Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Equality is trying to calculate the exact number of those involved in the operations.
In what was a top-secret project during the apartheid years, psychiatrists assisted by chaplains scoured each intake of national servicemen, hunting for suspected homosexuals.

Those identified as homosexuals were quietly separated from their comrades and sent to ward 22 of Voor-trekkerhoogte military hospital for screening and a programme of "rehabilitation". Some of those who could not be "cured" with drugs or psychiatry were given sex-change operations or were chemically castrated.

These details have emerged from an M&G investigation and from a report commissioned in part by the Medical Research Council (MRC). At the time the experiments were conducted, the chief psychiatrist at Voortrekkerhoogte was Aubrey Levine, one-time head of psychiatry at the University of the Orange Free State. Levine was reportedly interested in "aversion therapy" and applied it to the "deviants" he collected.

A percentage of those homosexuals that could not be "reformed" were offered sex-change operations. Many of these procedures were not completed, leaving a number of mutilated conscripts to fend for themselves.

A recent study entitled The Aversion Project: Human Rights Abuses of Gays and Lesbians in the South African Defence Force by Health Workers during the Apartheid Era documents the process in great detail.

The study, which has yet to be made public, was conducted on behalf of the Gay and Lesbian Archives, the Health and Human Rights Project and the MRC, as well as the National Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Equality.

It fleetingly mentions army sex-change operations. The report goes on to explain why the sex-change operations were embraced with such vigour: "The medical profession is reputed for pathologising any form of behaviour.

For example, it is known that the military has a history of doing sex-change operations - many sex changes were done in military hospitals. One has to ask to what extent this was experimental. Although in any medical advancement there is always a cutting edge of experimentation, in total institutions there is a captive audience. The question then reverts to one of 'informed consent' and whether the choices people are given are limited because they cannot say 'no'."

The victims were all conscripts.


Medical association finally says it's sorry July 7 1995
* Call for a doctors' truth commission August 2 1996
* Medics to face the music May 30 1997

Security at ward 22 was tight and few secrets emerged. However, at least one death was reported entirely due to the refusal of medical staff to render assistance to a conscript who had taken an overdose of drugs in an attempt to kill himself.

This death is documented in the Aversion Project report and also in the Health and Human Rights Project's submission to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

Surgeons who served under the SADF confirmed that a number of patients died on the operating table while having their sex changed. The actual causes of their death were never made public. The number of deaths, the sources say, was probably very low.

The operations were performed at a number of military hospitals around the country. One victim contacted by the M&G was operated on at Voortrekkerhoogte, while in another case the bulk of the operation was performed at the Tempe military hospital.

According to gay rights activists and victims of the operations, those given the operations were told to keep quiet about them and encouraged to set up a new circle of friends. They were offered a completely new identity.

One victim of chemical castration, a former national serviceman by the name of Jean Erasmus, took his own life last year after contacting Joanne Muller, at the time a representative of Amnesty International in Pretoria.

Erasmus had been in touch with Muller for some years and had carefully documented his maltreatment at the hands of Levine. Muller told the M&G that Erasmus apparently committed suicide after giving shocking details of his maltreatment to her. Erasmus claimed that, among other things, he had been forced to participate in the gang rape of Angolan women.

Erasmus also told Muller that servicemen were forced to take large amounts of hormone drugs in an effort to "cure" them.

Levine's other tool in his crusade against "deviants" was electric-shock treatment, a name by which he refuses to call his treatment. It was a crucial element in what he termed "aversion therapy".

Although research has shown Levine's psychiatrists did not personally conduct sex-change operations - they were not qualified surgeons - he and his team allegedly referred conscripts who could not be "cured" of their homosexuality to army surgeons who would perform the operations.

The National Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Equality is still fighting to have at least one of the army's sex-change victim's operations completed.

Representatives of the coalition said other victims had made private arrangements for the completion of the operations, while the army had agreed to finish off others. It was not only male conscripts who were targeted - the army also weeded out suspected lesbians from the armed forces and gave them the same treatment.

One of these victims, who was born a female, confirmed this week she had joined the defence force, had been identified by Levine as a homosexual and offered a sex-change operation. This procedure was started - but stopped halfway when the programme was terminated.

The victim has both sets of sex organs, and like several other victims has been attempting to have the army finish the operation for some time. Her efforts have as yet been futile.

The Aversion Project report quotes Trudie Grobler, an intern psychologist in the psychiatric unit at 1 Military hospital who was forced to observe an aversion therapy session under Levine's guidance. A woman - a suspected lesbian - was subjected to such severe electric shocks that her shoes flew off her feet.

Speaking in Afrikaans, Grobler is quoted as saying: "I know that he did aversion therapy with gay men. And I do not know of a case where it was a success. You know that he showed the gay boys men and then shocked them. Then he showed them women. I presume that the same strength, method and everything was given to the woman. It was traumatic. I could not believe how her body could handle it."

Erasmus, who was chemically castrated, is also mentioned in the study - at the time he was still alive and was called "Neil" to protect his identity. Neil, although he knew he had been chemically castrated, did not know what other drugs he had been given. He suffered severe depression and other mental ailments.

The report notes: "As a result of the research process, Neil has touched the core of his anger and humiliation. He decided to explore litigation. Assisted by a psychiatrist, a psychologist, an internist and a human rights lawyer, they tried to find out exactly what treatment he was given. He was given no information at the time of treatment, and it appears that all records of his treatment have been destroyed. The doctor who treated him pleaded amnesia, so without evidence the case could not proceed.

What are the possibilities of other compassionate doctors trying to reverse the treatment, when no records were kept?" Erasmus is quoted as saying: "It is my personal wish that if I could have my way, to have him scrapped off the roll, even if it is symbolic as he's at the end of his career. But I would like to, if I could achieve anything, I would like ... if I could sue this man, I would sue him for every cent he's got - if I could."

The psychiatrist he refers to is not Levine, but another doctor currently practising in the Cape and whose name is known to the M&G. In a submission to the TRC, the Health and Human Rights Project detailed Levine's shock therapy - but not the sex-change programme.

Levine - with a number of other doctors - was served notice that he had been named as a possible violator of human rights, but by that time he had fled to Canada to escape South Africa's high crime rate.

He did not apply for amnesty, nor was he granted amnesty - meaning he may be prosecuted for his apartheid-era activities. However the truth commission made no effort to serve Levine with a subpoena.

Levine said this week that at no time was electric shock treatment given under his care. Speaking from his office in the University of Calgary, Levine said: "Nobody was given electric shock treatment by me. We did not practise Russian communist-style torture. What we practised was aversion therapy. We caused slight - very slight - discomfort in the arm by contracting the muscles using an electronic device. Some people used elastic bands to shock patients. Nobody was hurt and nobody was ever held against their will. At no time were patients forced to submit to treatment."

Levine also emphatically denied any gender reassignment operations were performed by the military. He claimed that the political atmosphere at the time was such that reassignment surgery was simply not tolerated or even considered.

He also emphatically denied that truth drugs were ever administered. Said Levine: "Narco-analysis was used, I give you that, but it was used in very isolated cases and only to help treat post-traumatic stress. Narco analysis was used to help get victims to talk about the trauma they suffered."

Levine, who works in the forensic department of the University of Calgary, lamented that he was driven from South Africa by the high crime rate. The final straw, he said, was when his daughter was held hostage during an armed robbery at his Johannesburg home. Said Levine: "I want to reiterate, nobody was held against his or her will. We did not keep human guinea pigs like Russian communists, we only had patients who wanted to be cured and were there voluntarily. But anyway I have no doubt the Mail & Guardian will distort all of this."

South African National Defence Force (SANDF) representative Major Louis Kirstein said Levine had resigned from the military some time ago and that the present head of psychiatry at 1 Military hospital had no knowledge of Levine's activities, nor did present staff at the hospital.

Kirstein said: "The South African military health service is more than willing to investigate or assist any investigation into the alleged actions by Dr Levine in the past. The SANDF is bound by the constitution and will not tolerate, condone or conceal any alleged infringements of the constitution by its members. Furthermore the SANDF is an equal-opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any person on grounds of race, gender, religion or sexual persuasion."

'Freaks' offered a chance to change

The victims of the South African Defence Force's (SADF) weirdest experiment - biological, chemical and psychological warfare on conscripts - are many and varied. Few, however, are keen to go public with their stories.

PAUL KIRK reports  © -- The Mail&Guardian, July 28, 2000

F or years dark rumours circulated about how badly homosexuals were treated by the SADF and at least once the army sex-change programme was publicised.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings touched on how poorly homosexuals were treated and also how certain army doctors specialised in torturing prisoners - and even tortured conscripts - while testing out a bizarre theory that troopies could be "inoculated" against torture.

An old issue of Playboy magazine documents how conscript Mark, a former member of the SADF's elite motorbike unit, was sent for psychological counselling when he went Awol.

During his psychological evaluation the army found out he had gay tendencies and offered him a sex change. Although Mark ultimately became Trayci through the surgeon's knife he refused an army sex-change operation, as the conditions attached - namely that he should sever links with his former friends and associates - were unacceptable.

The Playboy story quoted Trayci as saying: "We can but marvel at the irony of it: Send your son to us and we'll make a man of him. Of course if that doesn't work there is always Plan B." And for many Plan B was the ultimate nightmare.

Only a few weeks passed between Mark being interviewed and offered gender reassignment surgery. Interviews with the two army gender reassignment patients produced two very different stories.

Unlike Mark, Jonathan decided to take the sex-change surgery offered by the army. After being told he was an "incurable" homosexual Jonathan was told he should have surgery to "cure" his ailment. He had been in the army less than five months.

"Those were the actual words they used. I was told in no uncertain terms that I was a freak, and should be locked up for the rest of my life. I was told that, once I was given the operation the army would see to it that all my paperwork was changed to reflect I was a female - birth certificate and the works.

I was told I could keep in touch with my parents, but that I should find a new circle of friends. And of course I would never have to go back to the army. It seemed a good way out."

Jonathan tells a tale of how gay men were seen as diseased and depraved individuals who could be cured by a simple sex change. Jonathan is one of the fortunate ones. The army completed his sex-change treatment, although they never kept him supplied with the expensive hormone treatments he still needs to take. They also offered him no psychological support or counselling.

The story of Mary is rather different. Mary is one of many victims of the military's sex-change programme who is stranded halfway between sexes.

Mary has had some surgery to transform her into a male. But she was discharged from the military halfway through the procedure. Sex-change patients were not allowed to remain in the armed services. A discharge from the defence force was part of the sex-change package.

Then when she went back to have the procedure finished she was told the defence force was no longer performing operations on troopies and she would have to have the procedure performed privately.

Mary, far from wealthy and no longer on defence force medical aid, has been fighting for a number of years to have her surgery completed.

Despite the programme of sex-change surgery being known about for some time gay activists have simply never made an issue of it. Asked why they remained silent activists told the Mail & Guardian there were always more important issues - like trying to fight for a Constitution to ensure the madness of wholesale experimentation on gays is never repeated.

A painful and dangerous operation

Transvestites are almost always men and very often hetero-sexual. They enjoy dressing as women either some of the time or permanently. They may dress up in full female regalia in public or in private. Transexuals, on the other hand, are people - either male or female - who are not satisfied with the gender they are born with.

PAUL KIRK reports © -- The Mail&Guardian, July 28, 2000

They may or may not dress as the opposite sex but are unhappy with their sex organs and may often mutilate themselves. Transexuals frequently suffer from severe anxiety and depression.

A trawl through the Internet reveals a number of hospitals that offer gender reassignment surgery. The operation is not called a sex-change in medical parlance as it cannot completely alter the sex of the patient.

A male-to-female operation will give the patient female organs, but not the ability to have babies or breast-feed. A female-to-male operation will not allow the patient to father a child.

Gender reassignment surgery usually requires the approval of at least three psychiatrists. Potential patients are also usually expected to have been under counselling for at least two years. A number of institutions also expect patients to have lived as a woman for a period of time.

The maximum period of time a national serviceman could have been in Aubrey Levine's care was considerably less than two years - not enough time to even have the necessary counselling.
Expensive lifelong hormone treatments are also needed. These were simply not provided in most cases. Sex-change operations cannot be reversed. If the operations fail the patients are left permanently damaged and asexual.

In a male-to-female operation the testicles are removed and the penis "degloved". In other words, the outer skin is left together with the urethra or urine tract and the innards removed. This skin is then turned inside out and used to line the walls of the female organ that is created by making a hole in the groin.

A female-to-male operation is considerably more complicated and involves the crafting of an artificial penis. This operation calls for skin to be removed from the body, formed into a penis and grafted on to the body to grow.

This leads to the bizarre situation where a sex-change patient must live for some months with a penis attached to their body in an odd place - usually the shoulder. Recovery from both operations is extremely slow and painful.

Patients are typically not able to work for at least three months. Male patients must also undergo breast augmentation. In male-to-female operations electrolysis is often needed to remove excess body hair.

The operations are extremely dangerous and patients run a great risk of developing infections. The sex-change programme at one provincial operation was halted after a number of patients died from complications.

The army sex-change operations in South Africa were paid for by the state. In civilian life, such operations cost more than R100  000 and are not performed at state hospitals.