#78809 Feb 17, 2013
DELIVERANCE: THE TRUE STORY OF A GAY EXORCISM SOME PENTECOSTAL CHRISTIANS BELIEVE THE DELIVERANCE RITE CAN EXORCISE THE DEMONS THAT CAUSE HOMOSEXUALITY. THE TRULY SHOCKING PART IS THAT GOD-FEARING GAYS KEEP SIGNING UP FOR THE TRAUMATIC RITUAL.
HOLLYWOOD'S NEW GOD SQUAD
MEET THE FEARSOME GAY GANGSTERS OF BASH BACK WOULD YOU REALLY BE OKAY WITH A GAY KID?EUROPE'S BIG GAY NAZI ADVENTURE
The prophet had come up from Georgia. She stood at the front of the Holy Ghost Temple Church and called for parishioners to come forward. On this Sunday in February, roughly 100 worshippers filled the white-walled Pentecostal sanctuary that sits on a wooded hill beside a BMW dealership. Among them was 20-year-old Kevin Robinson. He stepped out from his pew, walked up the lavender carpet, and joined the line in front of the prophet. He wanted to be prayed over, as is common in the Pentecostal tradition, by this powerful preacher. In the eyes of believers such as Kevin, a prophet speaks the very word of God and can divine the future.
"I have a lot on my mind right now—my mind isn't focused," Kevin explained to the woman, whose name was Mary. She was in her late thirties, slim, and wore a black dress. "Could you please pray for that?"
"Are you gay?" the prophet asked him.
In a quiet, gentle voice, Kevin acknowledged that he was.
"Speak up," the woman commanded. "I can't hear you."
Yes, Kevin repeated, he was gay.
"You need to be delivered from homosexuality," the prophet said into a microphone so that all the church could hear. Kevin was embarrassed, but he stayed put. This was no normal preacher—she spoke God's truth. According to church dogma, homosexuality is a sin foisted on humans by demons who take possession of their bodies and compel them to act against God's will. These evil spirits can be exorcised by those trained in spiritual warfare in a ritual known among Pentecostal Christians as deliverance. Perhaps, Kevin thought, this prophet could finally deliver him from his demons.
The prophet placed her hands on Kevin and began to pray over him. "Come out, come out!" she shouted. "In the name of Jesus, I command you to come out! You gonna free him right now!"
Kevin closed his eyes, thinking to himself, "There's something wrong with me; I need to change." A part of him believed this prophet could do what no one else had been able to do during previous deliverance attempts—make him heterosexual. But the prophet was loud and she looked at him with disgust and contempt as her chants became more and more belligerent. Even now Kevin can't bring himself to repeat the most hurtful things she said. He soon began to cry. And then, with the prophet still exhorting the demons in him to depart, he blacked out and collapsed. When he regained consciousness, he stood up and returned to his seat. His shame was turning to rage. He searched his mind and thoughts and found he was unchanged—he was still attracted to men. In the past it had been family members—his mother, his aunt, or his uncle, the church's pastor—who performed deliverance on him. This time it was a stranger, and she had pushed him beyond the breaking point. Never again, he decided, would he allow himself to be treated this way.
It was, by Kevin's count, at least the 10th time since he was 16 that he'd subjected himself to gay exorcism.
#78810 Feb 17, 2013
It's impossible to know how many young gay people have undergone exorcism in the thousands of Pentecostal and Evangelical churches across the country—not all of which, to be sure, condone the practice. However, youth workers say they regularly deal with the aftermath of these rituals. And not just in the parts of the country where Evangelical Christianity is traditionally strong. Kevin Robinson's church is located in West Springfield, Massachusetts, just across the border from Connecticut, where he lives—gay marriage is legal in both states.
Last June a video of a preacher performing an exorcism on a gay teenager in Bridgeport, Connecticut, appeared on YouTube. In it, the pastor and at least three church members press the boy's stomach—sometimes with their hands, sometimes with a foot, sometimes in a bear hug from behind—until the boy begins to vomit. True Colors, a nonprofit support organization for young gay people based in Hartford, reported the episode to the state's department of children and families. The boy in the video later declared that he was unharmed and now no longer gay, and the controversy passed. But it was no isolated incident. "At least once or twice a month I get a call from someone who's been exorcised," says Kamora Herrington, the mentoring-program director for True Colors. "And no one wants to believe this is happening in beautiful, genteel Connecticut."
Peterson Toscano, a gay Christian activist, underwent three exorcisms before coming to terms with his sexuality. One took place in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn, another in an apartment on the West Side of Manhattan owned by Joanne Highley, who runs L.I.F.E. Ministry. During the latter exorcism, Highley had him lie down on her bed, then she sat beside him and began to press on his body, commanding the demons to exit through his mouth and rectum. Before the rite was complete, Toscano, who says he felt increasingly violated by Highley's actions, stopped the ritual and left her apartment. Highley did not respond to requests to be interviewed, but she has previously stated that her process is to "cleanse and bind demonic powers ... out of genitals, of course out of anal canals, out of intestines, out of throats and mouths if there's been ungodly deposit of semen in those areas—we cleanse with the blood of Jesus, and we cast out the demonic powers." Some practitioners of deliverance believe that a demon has a physical as well as a spiritual form and can be purged through the orifices—thus an exorcism can be judged successful if the subject vomits, coughs up sputum, or, in rare cases, evacuates his bowels.
Many of those who undergo gay deliverance are minors, and critics like Herrington and Toscano question whether child abuse is taking place. "For a young person, being told that you house evil, that you're basically a mobile home for evil spirits—that is a very, very damaging concept," says Toscano. "It's one of the most extreme manifestations of the anti-gay rhetoric within the church."
#78811 Feb 17, 2013
Even some Christians who are intolerant of homosexual behavior worry about the practice. "It is dangerous," says the Reverend DL Foster, a preacher in Atlanta who defines himself as ex-gay, though he still acknowledges homosexual desires, and preaches against tolerance of the gay lifestyle. "It can fuel lots of self-destructive behavior ... If you have been told that a demon is possessing you and you feel powerless to do anything about it, eventually you're going to accept it."
Prosecutors and child-welfare agencies are reluctant to interfere in any religious ritual, given the protection afforded by the First Amendment. In October 2005, for example, a teenager named D.J. Butler was taken in handcuffs by his father to a controversial Christian camp in Tennessee run by a group called Love in Action that aims to turn young homosexuals straight. The state investigated the incident but decided it could not legally prevent Love in Action from operating the camp.
Jack Drescher, an associate professor of clinical psychiatry at New York Medical College and an expert in sexual orientation, points out that there may be precedent for authorities to intercede. "Some courts have determined that Christian Scientists who withhold mainstream medical treatments from their children for religious reasons may be found criminally negligent if the child dies," Drescher says. "So all religious activities are not protected if they cause harm to children."
#78812 Feb 17, 2013
~ten minute break~
-help yourselves to FREE refreshments and FREE parking in the rear
#78813 Feb 17, 2013
Hey lookie thar folks the J8DSTER in the audience today everybody now yell HALLELUJAH
#78815 Feb 17, 2013
But there appear to have been no cases challenging gay exorcism in the United States to date, nor, apparently, has there been any research into the psychological impact of the practice, without which prosecution remains unlikely. "Before it could be construed as child abuse, some kind of empirical or scientific case would have to be made that exorcisms cause harm," Drescher says.
According to Christians who practice deliverance—and that includes Kevin Robinson's uncle Leroy Stovall, who founded Holy Ghost Temple Church, and Kevin's mother, Vivian Robinson—the critics misunderstand what the rite is all about. To deliver someone of demons is an act of love and care—a noble struggle to save the subject from the clutches of the Devil. "I deal with spiritual warfare a lot," says Vivian, a registered nurse who is a high-ranking elder in the church. "We believe things can be cast out through the blood of Jesus and the faith and calling on God's power ... I have cast the spirit out of Kevin. Oh, my God, it's a lot of work."
The last time she tried to exorcise Kevin was two years ago, in the bathroom of her house. She spread oil on Kevin's head and began to pray, with her hands pressing on his head and abdomen.
#78817 Feb 17, 2013
I, too, went through several years of deliverance ministry for being gay. It started out sane (but spiritually abusive, no less). The minister dealt with my self-esteem issue. Convinced me that I had tremendous shame about my body. His way of ministering to me? We took pictures of my naked body so we could face my shame together. Eventually he wanted to cast the sexual demons of homosexuality out of me by taking pictures of me masturbating. He told me that I would photograph the entire process, and when I ejaculated, the sexual demons would leave. I am so glad he went to such extreme, exposing himself to be a phoney.
My brother is an Evangelical minister and is 17 years older than I am. He performed something like what has been described in this story on me (for being gay.) I asked for this because I was married and was in such fear of losing my family, my children. I survived it but reading these accounts stirs something inside me ... I call it "the old tapes." I have moved on to a happier life and through considerable hardship maintained a good relationship with my children but many family members who should be close are quite distant. Sometimes it seems like a bad dream but what really set me free was the truth. I am gay and accept it. I have faith that I won't burn in hell for it but, like the young man in the story, I cannot say that I am 100% certain.
I know and love Kevin personally and am so impressed with the way this article truely represented what he has experienced at his church. I hope being able to speak his experience and feelings in truth is healing. The casting out of demons is all he knows and the fear-based christianity is all he has been raised on. I believe in my heart that the intent of the pastor, his mother, etc. to have him delivered based on his being demon posessed is based on their own fear of him not going to heaven and came from a loving place. However as I witnessed Kevin's experience as I myself was a short-lived member of this church(known for it's deliverance) saw the damage this was having on him. I never understood why if God loves each one of us the same, just the way we are (not necessarily are behaviors)and that you believe as The Bible has stated there is no hierarchy of sins and that God is a loving God, why the Elders and Pastor of this church couldn't see that through practiceing the love of God and acceptance of a man who loves god so much would be a much better approach. I left this church as I realized more attention was often given to the plans of Satan rather than God's love for his children. No one is free from sin. I too have had to recover from my own experience at this church and can't begin to imagine how this perspective has hurt Kevin over his lifetime, a man who loves God with all his heart. I commend him for his bravery and pray for his inner peace. I was glad to read that his mother stated that she was no longer going to try to perform "deliverance rituals to cast out his homosexual demons." God has a plan for each and everyone of us and love, prayer and praising God goes a lot further when it comes to a persons healing and deliverance.
Saw your article---good job! "The truth sets you free". I am a retired journalist and writer with many years of experience, in California. I was th eun-willing participant in one of these affairs. People are killed, if you review the records, often children. The same 'holy' beliefs in Africa today have produced horrors that are hard to describe or imagine, or protect against. They cannot heal the sick, even the common cold, by the same 'deity', and the same scripture verses. It creates far worse emotional and psychological stress than it ever heals or helps, and the very same doctrine 'forgives all things'---thus not even necessary.
#78818 Feb 17, 2013
Truly, a disaster, in my life and many, many others. Even 23-years later, I still have symptoms, nightmares, panic attacks, delusions. "God is love", but the bodies and deaths and bloody corpses, and ruined emotional lives, and superstitious ruins of occultism, pile higher and higher.
#78819 Feb 17, 2013
Hi Jade, where the heck have you been?
#78820 Feb 17, 2013
Even 23-years later, I still have symptoms, nightmares, panic attacks, delusions. "God is love", but the bodies and deaths and bloody corpses, and ruined emotional lives, and superstitious ruins of occultism, pile higher and higher. For any and all similarly mis-treated, I wish the blessing of forgiveness and peace and total acceptance. You can survive, but it is a vey sad and dis-connected way to walk through life. Thank you for the article. "Only the truth is true."
This is absolutely ridiculous. As a devout Christian, this makes me want to puke. This church (I reallllly hesitate to call them that) is nuts and they are not representing what a true Christian believes. I apologize on their behalf - wow. UGH
I don't know, I think I am with Jim, above, on this: It sound like Kevin might need to be delivered more from stupidity - or at least naiveté. Having grown up on this crap, I can understand his situation, to a degree (in my case, the Baptist "indoctrination" just didn't take, thankfully). However, in this day and age, where being gay is in popular culture more and more, and with this kid living where he does (versus, say, Podunk, MS) it's hard for me to understand why he keeps going back (to that church) for more. Something doesn't quite add up.
I am an openly-gay minister and believe we must replace superstition with reason. We must replace hate with love. These exorcisms are not only abusive, oppressive and shaming but just as harmful to the victims as it is to those who are taught to hate. We must harness love’s power to stop oppression, exclusion, and violence by Standing on the Side of Love. Click here for a sermon on how to heal from shame-based religious practices: http://bit.ly/healshame . Peace, Rev. Nate Walker, Philadelphia
Wow seriously, this isn't a joke. Well i guess even bad jokes don't go this far. I don't know if i feel bad for someone who willingly submits themselves to this because they want to be "healed" I mean come on this is like get purified for appreciating women with red hair or guys with brown eyes more then the average person. If you truly believe something this, for lack of a better word, silly maybe you need to be purified for lacking common sense.
#78821 Feb 17, 2013
#78823 Feb 17, 2013
Exorcism is no match for Gay Power
The 100% failure rate of exorcism reveals the fraudulence of evangelical fundamentalism
#78825 Feb 17, 2013
stfu u pos
#78826 Feb 17, 2013
Jerry Sandusky is representative of gay culture (or lack thereof). He's a bvttgoblin in other words.
#78827 Feb 17, 2013
Happy Birthday Abe and George! Too bad we don't have normal leaders like them today. Nooooo, we're stuck with Borat Gaybama.
#78828 Feb 17, 2013
You comb through other threads looking for dirt on me. You start a troll thread on me.
Then you try to tell me you are in my head! You're obsessed son!
#78829 Feb 17, 2013
Why are you always so snooty?
Cheer up! You're supposed to be GAY! I am your friend! Says so in the title of this thread.
#78830 Feb 17, 2013
He's been sulking.
#78831 Feb 17, 2013
No. Jerry Sandusky is not gay. He was married to a woman. He is a pedophile. And pedophiles cannot be gay. You can only be gay if you have sex with a same sex ADULT. Children don't count.
If Jerry Sandusky was molesting a boy in the shower, and that boy turned 18 during the molestation, thus becoming an adult, then Jerry would turn gay at that same moment.
#78832 Feb 17, 2013
Jade is sulking because he was alone on valentines day and has no life.
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