Willow Arune: words and actions

This is a subpage for the main article on Willow Arune. Please start at the main article for an overview.

Former Northwestern University psychology department chair J. Michael Bailey is like the Jerry Springer of academia, and many of his supporters share Bailey’s eccentricities and “credibility issues.” Since Bailey's book was deemed “not science” by the director of the prestigious Kinsey Institute, [1] the issues of author motivation and credibility are obviously important.
The story below is based on first-hand accounts by Bailey supporter Willow Arune, known as Will O [2] at the time of the incident described below. Given the claims of incarceration and criminal charges, statements by this person should be verified independently, even those repeated by journalists, before being considered factual.
According to self-reports [3], on 25 February 1995, Canadian citizen and self-confessed eccentric Will O traveled to Thailand on a visa to broker a $1 million loan through Citibank for a private hospital. [4] Will O has a long history of making incompetent life choices, and this was apparently no exception. Will O claims to have been arrested with two Americans during the meeting and subsequently incarcerated on charges of forging a bank certificate worth $50 million. [5] Will O was allegedly held for 92 days before getting out on bail. [6] Will O claims that after being released, Thai authorities withheld Will O’s passport and did not return it for over a year. [7] During that time, Will O variously claims “I could not work” [8] or “I worked in a law office” in Thailand. [9]
Will O claims to have been "trapped" in Thailand through 1995 and 1996 with little assistance from the embassy, until Reform Party leader Preston Manning and Alberta M.P. Bob Mills personally took up the case by traveling there. [10] Will O claims to have been formally deported in late 1996, noting “I am now an escaped person under Thai law” [11] and “a fugitive from Thailand.” [12]
According to Will O, the case number is Black 2870/2538 (Southern Bangkok Criminal Court) [13], and it involved a five year trial, with two appeals of four years each. [14]
Will O claims to have endured six weeks of sexual abuse and rape at the hands of guards. [15] Upon returning to Canada in November 1996, Will O sought counseling, and “his therapist suggested becoming a woman.” [16] According to Will O:

“Subsequent therapy helped with the Post Traumatic Stress problems, but out popped transsexuality. In retrospect, this was a blessing - a special talent given to a few to understand and BE both genders. My former ‘personality’ was in essence destroyed, and Willow emerged.” [17]

"It totally destroyed my sense of being… I didn't know who I was when I got out." [18]

If the concept of a female personality emerging from a destroyed male’s sense of being sounds familiar, it’s probably because you have seen the ending of the Hitchcock film Psycho. [19]
Now, if you ask me, if a nudist club [20] former officer [21] gets arrested in the sex tour capital of the world [22] and is then sexually abused while in prison, one begins to wonder if the forgery charge is the entire story, or the story at all. Further, if that same person is deported back to Canada, goes on permanent disability welfare for post-traumatic stress disorder caused by the incarceration [23], and then has a therapist suggest becoming a woman on the government dime, one has to marvel at how generously the Canadian welfare system has benefited this fugitive from Thailand. Perhaps Bailey can write a sequel starring Arune called The Man Who Would Be Welfare Queen.

As far as the claim that “out popped transsexuality,” people like Arune have been described in the medical literature as “transvestic applicants for sex reassignment” [24] who are “aging” [25] and “distressed,” [26] suffering from “pseudotranssexualism,” [27] a “non-transsexual” variant of “gender identity disorder” (GIDAANT), [28] and “iatrogenic artifact.” [29] Therapist Mildred Brown has suggested several non-transsexual motivations that can apply, including:

  • Victims of sexual assault or abuse, who therefore want to distance themselves as much as possible from the bodies in which they were victimized. If one result of the sexual abuse is that they cannot function sexually as the sex in which they were born, they hope that becoming the other sex will put all the trauma behind them.
  • Persons who dislike the behavior they have fallen into in their original sex —e.g. rape, child-molestation, exhibitionism, and other anti-social or criminal behavior. They want to get rid of the parts of their bodies —usually penises—that have led them astray.
  • Individuals with psychiatric disorders, who have delusions that they are the other sex. [30]

Maybe these twelve people who rally around Bailey are (to use his phrase) “fundamentally different” [31] from transsexual women because they are not transsexual women. Maybe they are “eccentrics” who defensively claim to be “real transsexuals” but are in fact, to put it bluntly, kooks. Since Bailey would rather engage in science by press conference [32], and he won’t engage those who have written extensive scientific criticisms of his model [33], terminology [34], methodology [35], and book [36], maybe Bailey’s work is not science. After all, that's what was asserted at the International Academy of Sex Research right before he stepped down from his position with that group. Maybe Bailey is just someone who is into exploiting kooks, gullible students, and sex workers for professional gain and personal pleasure.


1. Conway L. Report from IASR Conference at Kinsey Institute. 19 July 2003. via lynnconway.com.

2. James A. Willow Arune on “autogynephilia.”

Note: Name shortened from William Orobko to Will O throughout for clarity.

3. Arune W. Nightmare in Bangkok. 8 January 1998 via usenet newsgroup: soc.culture.thai

4. Gradon J. Free at last. Calgary Herald. 24 November 1996.

Note: When I contacted the author in 2004, Mr. Gradon noted, “Orobko always was and still is apparently a different breed of cat, of that we are and always were certain.”

5. McDougal I. Ex-local man seeks sex change, citing weeks of Thai jail torture. The Edmonton Sun. 26 September 1999.

6. Arune W. Nightmare in Bangkok. 26 December 1997 via usenet newsgroup: soc.culture.thai

7. Arune W. Nightmare in Bangkok. 8 January 1998. via usenet newsgroup: soc.culture.thai

8. Arune W. Nightmare in Bangkok. 27 December 1997 via usenet newsgroup: soc.culture.thai

9. Arune W. Re: My Post "Don't Move to Thailand". 30 December 1997 via usenet newsgroup: soc.culture.thai

10. Gradon J. Free at last. Calgary Herald. 24 November 1996.

11. Arune W. Nightmare in Bangkok. 27 December 1997 via usenet newsgroup: soc.culture.thai

12. Arune W. Nightmare in Bangkok. 8 January 1998 via usenet newsgroup: soc.culture.thai

13. Arune W. Nightmare in Bangkok. 8 January 1998 via usenet newsgroup: soc.culture.thai

14. Arune W. Re: SPAM attacks on Thai recently. 4 January 1998 via Newsgroup: soc.culture.thai

15. Plant D. Willow sculpts a life. The Kelowna Daily Courier. 27 January 1999.

Opening lines: "Meeting Willow Arune for the first time can be a little unsettling. After all, you don't have to look hard to realize there's a man inside the make-up, dress and heels."

16. Plant D. Willow sculpts a life. The Kelowna Daily Courier. 27 January 1999.

17. Arune W. Transsexuality. 16 April 1999 via usenet newsgroup: alt.religion.mormon

18. McDougal I. Ex-local man seeks sex change, citing weeks of Thai jail torture. The Edmonton Sun. 26 September 1999.

19. Stefano J. Psycho. Screenplay for 1960 film by Alfred Hitchcock:

DR. RICHMOND: You see, when the mind houses two personalities, there's always a conflict, a battle. In Norman's case, the battle is over--and the dominant personality has won.

20. Craft N. Nudist/naturist hall of shame.

21. Van Tan Nudist Club Guestbook, 29 October 2002 entry by Arune:

“Many years ago, in 1971, I joined your club and after that served as Secretary for one year... When I was secretary, I was rather inconvenently male. I now take pride in being female not just in mind, but body as well. It should be fun!”

22. US Department of Justice. Sex Tourism. Retrieved 14 October 2005.

23. Arune W. Willow 22 July 2003. via usenet newsgroup: alt.support.srs.

“My status as disabled is already known.”

24. Wise TN, Meyer JK (1980). The border area between transvestism and gender dysphoria: transvestic applicants for sex reassignment. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 1980 Aug;9(4):327-42.

25. Lothstein LM (1979). Psychological treatment of transsexualism and sexual identity disorders: some recent attempts. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 1979 Sep;8(5):431-44.

26. Wise TN, Dupkin C, Meyer JK (1981). Partners of distressed transvestites. American Journal of Psychiatry. 1981 Sep;138(9):1221-4.

27. Wise TN, Lucas J (1981). Pseudotranssexualism: iatrogenic gender dysphoria. Journal of Homosexuality. 1981 Spring;6(3):61-6.

28. American Psychiatric Association (1987). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM III-R).

29. Moser C, Kleinplatz PJ (2002). Transvestic fetishism: psychopathology or iatrogenic artifact? New Jersey Psychologist, 52 (2) 16-17.

30. Brown ML, Rounsley CA. True Selves: Understanding Transsexualism-For Families, Friends, Coworkers, and Helping Professionals. 1996 Jossey-Bass, ISBN: 0787902713 pp. 106-107.

31. Bailey JM. Academic McCarthyism. Northwestern Chronicle. 9 October 2005.

32. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. New York Times suggests bisexuals are "lying": Paper fails to disclose study author's controversial history. 8 July 2005.

33. Wyndzen M. Everything you never wanted to know about autogynephilia but were afraid you had to ask. Via genderpsychology.org, 2004.

34. Roughgarden J (2004). The Bailey affair: Psychology perverted. via lynnconway.com.

35. James AJ (2004). Plethysmograph a disputed device. and “Autogynephilia”: a disputed diagnosis. via tsroadmap.com.

36. Bockting W. Biological reductionism meets gender diversity in human sexuality. [Review of The Man Who Would Be Queen]. The Journal of Sex Research, Volume 42, Number 3, August 2005: pp. 267—270.

Further reading

Main article on Willow Arune

Willow Arune: Harassment

LINK: Who Is Arune? by Professor Lynn Conway

LINK: I AM ARUNE by Willow Arune via Lambda Literary Foundation

LINK: Willow Arune bibliography via transray.com

LINK: A scam that keeps on rolling by Willow Arune

LINK: Photos of Arune