Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 8.54.06 AMAt the Journey into Manhood program, gay men fork over $600 for a weekend retreat where they attempt to curb their same-sex ­orientation though exercises and activities administered by a staff whose only qualification is having gone through the program themselves.

Vice was allowed access as Journey into Manhood prepared for a new batch of struggling gays. And you get the sense pretty quickly that they have no idea what they’re talking about. The use the “Jack and the Beanstalk” myth to represent every boy’s journey into manhood. See, Jack is “estranged from his mother a little bit at he goes off and experiences his masculinity.” The beanstalk is obviously a phallic symbol (?), the giant is his shadow, and the gold represents the “gold in him.”

All in all, it’s impossible to even get snarky about. Mostly it’s just sad.

You’ll also hear from Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, who is illegally practicing on minors in the State of California

One interviewee reasons, “I always considered myself a heterosexual man. Just with a lot of…issues.” Right.

Another notable segment is towards the end of the piece when everyone starts to talk about promiscuous gay life, admonishing the sinful lifestyle, all with a little gleam longing in their eyes.

In the following parts, Vice will travel to the annual Gay Christian Network Conference, speak with former “ex-gay” leaders including John Smid of Love in Action, who is now married to his gay partner, and hear from people who’ve survived various programs.

Watch part one here:

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