AA023955Seeking to expose the lies and manipulation behind various ex-gay therapies, writer Harmon Leon decided to go undercover to hear what they had to say firsthand. What he found isn’t anything truly shocking — we all know these groups rely on shame and delusion in order to convince people they aren’t good enough in God’s eyes, but the nuts and bolts of how they get in people’s heads are worth examining.

At one clinic, a pamphlet titled Can Homosexuality Be Cured? The Answer Is YES! read:

Proclaiming Victory Over HOMOSEXUALITY How Should the Church Respond?

  • Do not fear the homosexuals.
  • Recognize that at the core of the homosexual struggle, there is a deep-seated sense of rejection.
  • Ask the Lord to open a door of communication.
  • Pray for them.

A counselor told Harmon that, “if you let Jesus into your life, then he will go right to the trouble area and help you with whatever you are struggling with,” and that he should consider entering into a lifetime of celibacy.

A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality was also lying around the office, which advises:

  1. Masculinity is an achievement. Growing up straight isn’t something that happens. It requires good parenting.
  2. Dad is more important than Mom. Mothers make boys. Fathers make men.
  3. Recognize that most homosexuals were not explicitly so when they were children. More often, they displayed “nonmasculinity” that sets them painfully apart from other boys: They’re un-athletic, somewhat passive, unaggressive and uninterested in rough-and-tumble play. Tip: Single mothers may need to recruit a trustworthy male role model.
  4. Be concerned if you see gender confusion or doubt in your child from ages 5 to 11. There is a high correlation between feminine behavior in boyhood and adult homosexuality.

Harmon asked another counselor if he was a “professional.” He responded:

“No, we are not professional counselors. We’re people who have dealt with same-sex attractions ourselves. Or we are people who have a desire to help people that do.”

But that didn’t stop the phony therapist from giving guidance as if he was actually credentialed. Harmon baited him by asking if people can become gay due to “envy of better-endowed boys.”

“You know, just from reading up,” the counselor replied, “I think it could be envy of other guys, like if they are more well-endowed… that could be an envy trait.

That’s when Harmon told him, “For me, it’s the complete opposite. I was much larger than all the other kids in that department.”

The counselor quickly changed the subject, moving on to another manufactured “cause” for Harmon’s gayness.

In a group session, “held in an office complex that resembled a meth-addict trucker motel,” Harmon observed that most of the men had serious drug and alcohol problems, yet they attributed all their issues to the gay lifestyle.

At one point the leader spoke up:

“It’s not a sexual problem. It’s a relationship problem. Men feed off of each other’s masculinity. It’s a relationship problem! And that’s the key. God, he accepts me with all my frailty in all my screwed-up-ness, but he has the plan, the desire, to transform me into something that is going to bring him glory.”

Harmon told the group that he wasn’t into drugs and alcohol, and that he was in a monogamous relationship. The group called this “cannibalism,” or taking the attributes of another person.

Then another man leaned in and told him:

“An erection put into a woman’s vagina is like going into the paradise of heaven. An erection put in anything else is unnatural, and it’s a sin!”


To read Harmon’s complete story, head here.

Related stories on Queerty:

An Ex-Gay Therapist Was No Match For This Amazing Harvard Law School Student

Former “Ex-Gay” Activist Marries A Man And Finally Finds His Happily Ever After

New York Pursuing Ban on “Ex-Gay” Torture

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