The “wild psychotherapy” behind Christian gay ‘conversion therapy’ is “very deeply destabilising” for its victims, a French expert has denounced.

Driving the news

Serge Blasko, former president of the French Interministerial Mission for Vigilance and Combating Sectarian Abuse (Miviludes), deplored in comments reported by La Croix the “therapeutic abuses” of Christian treatments designed to ‘cure’ homosexuality.

Gay ‘conversion therapy’ sessions “put people in vulnerable situations with support workers who instrumentalize their fragility”, Blasko decried.

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The French expert was speaking after the screening November 26 on the French-German TV channel Arte of the documentary “Homotherapies, forced conversion”.

The program lifted the lid on the sufferings of LGBT people in the US, Germany, Poland, Switzerland and France forced to undergo Christian ‘conversion therapy’ since the pseudoscientific and pseudoreligious practice was first offered nearly forty years ago.

Sufferings like those of Jean-Michel Dunand, the founder of the Bethany Communion for LGBT Christians who is now married to his partner.

Dunand suffered no fewer than eight exorcisms supposedly to be “freed from the demon of homosexuality”.

Or sufferings like those of the young man captured on the hidden cameras of the Arte channel, during a summer internship at the anti-gay evangelical association Torrent de vie in Lux (Saône-et-Loire).

That young man was forced to cover his head with a black veil in shame, while a therapy leader urged him to “dare to become a man, a real one. There is work to do but you can get out of it. Get up from where you are, start this path!”

Why it matters

There are a multitude of Christian organisations around the world which promise LGBT people ‘cures’ for their affective identity through prayer, psychotherapy and even – horrifically – “corrective rape”.

Those ‘treatments’, however, often leave sufferers with serious depression, fear, social isolation and suicidal thoughts.

Thanks to the efforts of investigative journalists and anti-gay ‘conversion therapy’ campaigners, there is a growing movement afoot to ban the practice worldwide.

Some ‘conversion therapy’ practitioners are even starting to renounce the ‘therapy’ themselves, saying that it is futile and harmful.

In 2013, ‘conversion therapy’ advocate Alan Chambers of the former anti-gay ecumenical group Exodus International famously walked back a thirty year claim that he could “free homosexuals from their deviance”.

“We have perpetuated the myth that God would be happier if we gave up a part of ourselves”, Chambers said at the time, also lamenting the “absurdity” of gay ‘conversion therapy’.

“Some people killed themselves because they were so alone”, Chambers admitted.

Next on Novena:

Meet the British lesbian fighting gay “conversion therapy” with the Gospel

Pope shows “concern” for lesbian Christian survivor of gay ‘conversion therapy’