Gay Man Goes Undercover To Expose Conversion Therapy Clinic.

Gay Man Goes Undercover To Expose Conversion Therapy Clinic.

My name is John Becker. I’m from Green Bay, Wisconsin. I knew I was gay long before I knew what word
to attach to it. I knew that the feelings that I was feeling
were directed towards other boys and not to other girls. I didn’t know that that made me gay. I actually found out about – I found that
word out on the playground, where the kids would call me that. Throughout the whole struggle, my prayer,
my thought was just, I was, I would ask god to take it away. I was hurting myself. I was inflicting pain on myself. I was praying rosaries. I was doing everything that, you know, that
the Catholic Church and all these saints’ lives and all these prayer traditions said
to do and nothing was working. It was finally one night when I tried to end
my life, that was what sort of snapped me out of it, to realize that, yeah, I needed
to somehow make peace with it. Over the next 8, 10 years or so, my journey
continued. I came out to my family. That was a little bit bumpy at first, but
ultimately they were very supportive. I started to date guys. I met one whom I fell in love with and we
got married. It was a period of a lot of growth for me
in terms of embracing my sexual orientation. In 2011, we moved out to Vermont so I could
take a job with an organization that fights back against anti-LGBTQ religious extremism. The “pray-away-the-gay” myth, conversion
therapy and things like that. It was also the run-up to the 2012 presidential
election. It was primary season. After one of the debates, the winner of that
debate was Michele Bachmann. She is a very far-right conservative congressman
from Minnesota, or was at the time. A lot of attention started to come to the
quote-unquote Christian counseling clinic that she and her husband ran in Minnesota. That clinic, they’re long been rumors swirling
around that it offered conversion therapy. They’d always denied it and nobody had ever
been able to independently verify whether or not the rumors were true. So we decided that we were going to go in
and and try to verify these rumors ourselves, to see whether or not they were true. So here’s little old 26 year old me in a home
office in in Burlington, Vermont and I pick up the phone and I called this Minnesota clinic
and I tell them that I am, you know, I’m a young man who is struggling because I have
feelings of homosexuality, I’m attracted to other men. “Can you help me get rid of these things
so I can – my life can be in accordance with with my faith tradition?” The reason we did that was because we wanted
to give them an opportunity to respond ethically, and any ethical mental health professional
hearing somebody like me say that to them and ask for that kind of help, quote-unquote,
would say, “You’re asking for something that actually can’t be done and is actually
going to be harmful to you.” They didn’t say that. They didn’t respond ethically. They said, “Oh sure, we can do that for
you. We’ll get you set up with a therapist.” I booked my flight out to Minnesota and I
got on a plane. When I stepped off the plane and got ready
for this experience, I didn’t just step into a new place, I sort of stepped back into
a lot of painful memories in my own life. I pulled up into the parking lot for that
first appointment and I realized that my transformation couldn’t just be in my mind – it had to
be a physical one. I took my wedding ring off and placed it inside
the flap of the messenger bag I had with me. I placed it right next to one of the cameras
that I was going to be using to record the sessions. I had three recording devices on me – one
was that pinhole camera in my bag where I put the ring as sort of a reminder of myself
and of why I was doing this. I also had a spy camera hidden in a wristwatch
that I was wearing. The third recording device that I had was
a sound recorder disguised as a thumb drive keychain. I sat down with this therapist. It was an extended fishing expedition all
through my life to try to find some kind of extrinsic factor on which to pin my homosexuality,
my affliction. They gave me a treatment plan. They said it would take about four to six
months and that, at the least, I could expect to get my homosexuality down to “manageable
levels”, was the word that they used. But at the most, he said that many people
are cured completely. It was over a couple of weeks, five sessions
in total, and during those, I was advised everything from getting myself a gay accountability
buddy to call any time that I felt the gay itch. I was told that every time I saw a woman that
was beautiful, even if I wasn’t sexually attracted to her, to recondition my mind and
to remind myself that her breasts were for me to be attracted to – I was designed to
be attracted to those things. I was given prayers. I was given referrals to churches and to pray-the-gay-away
support groups. After those five sessions was when we realized
that we had enough video evidence to show that conclusively that’s what they were
doing. So that was when I disappeared and hopped
the plane back to Vermont. We worked with a producer for ABC News and
we worked with their team and put it out and it ended up being – it was the lead story
on ABC World News Tonight. This exposé really did help to re-center
the conversion therapy issue in the national conversation and awaken many people to the
dangers of it. In the years afterward, we saw multiple states
passing bans on the practice for minors. We saw President Obama come out against conversion
therapy. The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a groundbreaking
lawsuit in New Jersey and won, suing one of these organizations on the basis of consumer
fraud. On a personal level, it felt like a victory,
too, because after all of that, after all of that time I spent back dredging up all
of those memories and inhabiting that space, that scared, frightened, self-loathing, desperate
14,15-year old, who hated himself and who was cutting himself and who didn’t know
where to turn and who would cry at night and pray to God to make him different. It felt like a way to strike back, it felt
like a way to strike a blow against the religion-based bigotry that had dominated so much of my life. And that was very satisfying. They are still LGBTQ youth all across this
country who live in homes where they hear things like this, where they hear these kind
of anti-LGBTQ teachings, where they hear parents or relatives or preachers tell them that they’re
sick and that they’re twisted and that they’re sinful and that they’re evil and that they’re
going to go to hell for who they are. They need to know that that’s a lie. They need to know that they’re fine just
as who they are.

100 Replies to “Gay Man Goes Undercover To Expose Conversion Therapy Clinic.”

  1. As a lesbian it pains me to see and hear about people in the lgbt community being treated like this well done to this brave young man for doing what he did he is an amazing person

  2. It seems clear to me that the literal interpretation of the Abrahamic God is one who hates all queer folk, incites and even partakes in extreme violence and extreme punishment (the penalty for fucking a man up the arse is unending torture with no second chances), subjugates women, restricts freedom and free thought, has no problem with and even encourages slavery and much much worse.
    On the other hand, someone could commit the worst atrocities and be rewarded with 72 virgins in the afterlife or eternal life with God as long as you accept Jesus’ alleged divinity. It seems obvious that the same people who commit their lives to this god would think that homosexuality is something that could simply be wished away.
    This is not a god I would like to stand for.

  3. Around 1:15 , not only do they try to make them straight through mean ways, but they make them into perverts and sexualize women :/

  4. Bless him for what he's doing. Conversion camps are aweful places that aren't always monjtered due to religious affiliation. If they are going to be allowed to be open they should run under the same rules as regular schools.

  5. Did God ever say being gay was bad, or a sin? I've never really read the Bible…
    But if you were going to start a civilization, wouldn't you want to start with a male and female, so they could procreate?

  6. I can kinda relate to him. I have feelings towards both genders, and I wanted my same sex attraction go away (I still do sometimes) but nothing I tried worked. I didn't want to disappoint God over something I felt like I couldn't control. But through deep prayer and communition with God I realized that God has nothing against me for being from way I was. Committing the act is what God is against, not the people who feel drawn or chained to it.

  7. sings You can't pray the gay away! chorus You can't pray the gay away main no matter what your preacher say! chorus no matter what your preacher say main There's no fighting DNAAAAAA!!!! YOU CANT PRAY THE GAAAYY AWAAAAYY!!!

  8. You really are a hero to millions and ultimately far more. Thank you for being brave and doing this personally disturbing thing that had a profound impact on our culture!. Thanks from just one of the millions!

  9. what about straight to gay conversion therapy? I mean those religious nutjobs try to brainwash people into saying they are straight. Lets send them to straight to gay conversion therapy!

  10. I love this man. I am from Minnesota, and I am Trans, Bisexual, and Panromantic. I fucking DESPISE what Michelle Bachmann does, and how she claims to "represent Minnesota." Hoe, Minnesota is liberal as fuck. Fuck yourself, you salty, frigid cunt. Thank you for fucking her over. Love you, man.

  11. If you're gay please stop supporting the church. Religion is NOT gay-friendly no matter how much you wish wasn't true. Please read the bible, God wants/commands His believers to kill including myself a non-believer/atheist…

  12. I'm not gay I don't ever think I will be but in my opinion I don't care what other people do in their own life as long as they don't hurt any body

  13. Thank you 🙏 I cannot imagine how hard this was for you, but I know you saved lives by putting this conversation in in spotlight. You’re a hero!

  14. Conversation is so fucked up like how in your mind can think why let's send my kids away while he is going through a huge part in his life and make him think he is sick hays a great idea like wtf how can you do that you must be bad shit crazy to do that

  15. Thank God for strong men like you.We all need to make who we are known so other young oeople can see we are “Norma” as we are and usually go forth and have rewarding rich lives filled with love and friends.

  16. I live in Minnesota and this is horrifying. I'm thankful I live near the cities. Come to Minneapolis, they love us gays here lol

  17. It's so warped & crazy because being attracted to breasts as a straight man is way less "natural" than being attracted to dick as a gay man 😂
    Attraction to breasts is a cultural fetish, they're not primary sex characteristics.

  18. Good for you! I went through conversion therapy myself and let me tell you … my therapist was gayer than I ever could have been. Praying the gay away didn’t work and I realized that it was a big scam. These so-called therapists know that conversion therapy is a hoax, it’s abuse. Nothing more nothing less. Religion is very dangerous, it leaves huge scars … the opposite of what religion want to accomplish.

  19. Kindness is the best weapon, especially when ‘kindness’ is the brand of a scAR to use on radically conservative homophobes

  20. Thank you, John, for telling us your story, and also for doing that work. I can only imagine how much of an emotional challenge it was to put yourself back in that harmful environment. Such courage, but such important work. Thank you!

    I feel such gratitude to my parents for raising me in a church (which also happened to be Catholic) where homosexuality was never mentioned – for better or for worse. So when I finally did come out, of all my struggles (and there were plenty – lots of self hatred), none of it was related to God or my faith. I never doubted – for even a moment – that God loved me completely as I was.

  21. This man is a hero this therapy is abusive and should be illegal for underage children if a adult chooses to subject themselves to this crap it is there right and unfortunately if we take that right away it opens too many doors to the government getting involved with religion. Same with pray away the cancer if an adult makes that choice it’s stupid, but if an adult makes that choice for a child that’s a crime should be punished with very harshest penalty

  22. this makes me sick, i feel so sick after this. i hate those people, disgusting. we have nothing wrong with us, we just love dick

  23. As a Jehovah wittness(im forced to go) they teach that being a homosexual is just as bad as comitting murder. It destroys me every time they teach those lessons. And as a girl who likes girls it makes me feel so uncomfortable

  24. People claim that conversion therapy is abusive. His experience did not sound abusive at all. I know some of them are bad but this one did not seem that way just sounds like they were trying to help him find his way.

  25. Have you believed the gospel? The gospel is that Jesus died on the cross for your sins was buried and rose again the third day.

  26. I am gay to
    I like your video
    All we can do is pray for our family
    I came out to my family
    My family we’re not Celt me Who I am

  27. This pisses me off
    I went to go visit my uncle in prison. They said I was going to get raped. It never happened. Where are the Gay men when you need them.
    I was all fired up ready for it to happen

  28. LGBTQ, read the entire book of Romans one GOD makes it extremely clear. You can do all these things but the one thing you cannot do is deviate from GOD. We are most certainly in the last of days Repent before it’s to late Jesus loves you more than you know but living a lie is blatant stiff necked sin against GOD and Romans one makes that argument very clear you will stand before HIM without excuse. You can speak great swelling words with craftiness to other ( men) but with GOD he will say depart from me you workers of iniquity into everlasting flames. Joshua 24:15 as for me and my house we will serve the LORD

  29. Well if you're gay – that's completely fine. But if a gay man that is not ok with who he is – and wants to change it, and these conversion therapies can help him, why trash them, why do you think your journey is the only true one? Maybe the therapy can work for some? Maybe if you discovered it earlier you might actually be happily married to a woman now?

  30. Wtf!!! So let me get this clear,a straight man can go out and rape and it's okay because he's justified by being straight? These Bible preaching motherfuckers! And these very die hard church goers are the ones who fucks little innocent kids!

  31. one of my school counselors when i was 14 tried to get me to go to conversion therapy. I’m a gay transman, and I have to say i’m disgusting with the discrimination against queers.

  32. Conversion therapy should be legal for any consenting adult who seeks it out, but it should not be forced on anyone, including minors. Personally I don't believe it works.

  33. At the age of 13 I realized that I was different than the other boys. They had attraction for girls and my attraction was to towards the other boys.
    I prayed and prayed to God to not let me be gay and then I prayed some more. After my 1st suicide attempt at age 13 I realized two things;

    1st. I'm gay.
    And 2nd

    There is no god!

  34. i was in Green Bay recently (i’m a fellow Wisconsinite) and i found a gay reversion camp.

    i just put a bunch of rainbow flags on myself and stood outside of the place and shouted “LOVE IS LOVE” while having my mom drive me off

  35. “At the most, many people are cured completely!” 😅 Seriously? I’m guessing there was no money back guarantee with that? Lol, how ludicrous. What a bunch of con artists. Any place promising something like this, if they’re being paid by the client or receiving any government subsidy for their services should be shut down for fraud.

  36. I think this is kind of a bad story to choose on thus topic. There are gay teens speaking out about how they were beaten, shackled and psychologically abused so they would be straight. This guy was given strategies on how to be straight. It's still wrong, dont misunderstand, but theres a big difference between poor gay Joe down the street who's Christian mom beat him until he was straight and sent him to what's effectively a concentration camp and this.

  37. What’s the latest story now…that gender is fluid and gender is just a social construct? This man could’ve transitioned into a woman and be a straight woman instead.

  38. Thank you for undergoing all that ugly process to expose them and make the country a little bit better! Thank you to everyone who proactively fights for equality!

  39. He's not really getting to the topic of how the therapy is bad :-/ if someone is willing to call into a place because they feel wrong about being gay what's wrong with that ?

  40. This guy's a fucking hero. This story is strikingly similar to the story of Officer Ron Stallworth, the black detective who infiltrated the KKK. The KKK, which is also a Christian group, hates Jews. Christ was a Jew. Explain the logic in that.

  41. Christians are only slightly less hard-on(pun intended) the sex lives of heterosexuals. The version of Christianity that I was brainwashed into believing as a kid taught that it's bad to look at people you're attracted to, that people cannot have sex with anyone except their spouse, and that divorce and porn and masturbation and contraceptives are bad. After becoming an atheist, I have finally learned to be happy with myself instead of aggravated that I fail to meet the impossible expectations of an imaginary friend(a.k.a., God). People tend to think that atheists are assholes, but we actually tend to not be judgmental like religious people.

  42. Thank you for sharing your story. As I recall CA and couple other states outlawed Conversion Therapy by 80s after years of study. Found it yo be abusive and cause long term emotional damage. It's a sham. Acceptance, self love and activities that enhance real self esteem is the path for everyone to lead healthy life.

  43. Since gender, sexual attraction, and sex itself r social constructions and not fixed, please explain to me by conversion therapy CAN'T work.

  44. When you talked about drudging up old memories I began weeping. I hate how religion filled us with so much self-loathing. Thank you for doing this. ❤️

  45. Of course when the christians see a video about homosexuality in the bible they be commenting all over that, but when they see a video about how they are handling it, they back up. Bruh.

  46. So how much is the Bounty on the heads of people who do conversion therapy? So they targets have to ve brought in alive or are disintegrations allowed?

  47. The founder of this therapy, Joe Nicolosi, is dead, and so is the scam he propagated for big money. Reparative gay conversion therapy was proven in court to be consumer fraud, which healed nobody but harmed many, as every medical expert testified under oath. Nicolosi's books were pulled off major book-selling sites because medical associations warned this scam was doing real harm.

  48. I just love/hate that a "therapist" honest-to-God advised him that, whenever he looked at a lady, to stare at her chest and go "LOOK AT THEM BREASTS. THIS IS WHAT YOU SHOULD CRAVE. THEY ARE JUST FOR YOU! RECONDITION YOURSELF TO SALIVATE WHEN SPOTTED."

  49. Happy to live in Sweden. We don't have these horrible conversion therapy establishments or "treatments" here. At least not as far as I know.

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