Disturbing new footage of gay conversion therapy has been released following an undercover investigation by ITV news
In “one of the world’s biggest churches,” the story begins as an ITV reporter enters a branch of the Winners’ Chapel in Dartford, England. “Winners’ Chapel said it’s aim is to liberate people from every oppression of the devil. That includes homosexuality.”
Wearing a hidden camera, the reporter first meets with Pastor Gbenga Samuel before he is taken to an empty church hall to begin the troubling process of conversion therapy.
REVEALED: The church that claims God can 'fix' gay people. Winners Chapel tells our reporter:
– Satan is controlling parts of him
– God can change him
– Society's acceptance of gay people is like Nazi propaganda
– Prayer can help
First ever broadcast of conversion therapy in UK. pic.twitter.com/yKbFuWKS8Z
— Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) November 12, 2018
As Pastor Samuel explains to the reporter, God did not make him gay. Homosexuality is caused when the devil controls parts of the body but, with faith and prayer, God can fix him.
Samuel then warns the reporter that society will try and trick him into believing homosexuality is okay, comparing acceptance of homosexuality to Nazi propaganda brainwashing soldiers into killing Jews.
“During World War II, how was Hitler able to get boys to gas millions of Jews in the gas chamber,” Samuel asks. “These boys were specially trained in special school where it was played over to them, over and over, during the day and during the night, the propaganda that the Jews are the bad people, and they should be exterminated.”
The reporter is then taken to an empty hall for what Samuel calls “a complete mind reorientation.”
For the next 20 minutes, Samuel hovers over the reporter, praying intensely and speaking in tongues. “Let there be a release! Let the fire come upon him!” Samuel and another pastor shout as they lay their hands on the reporter. The goal is to get the Holy Spirit to enter the reporter and push his homosexuality out.
“His words were along the lines of ‘there’s something inside of you that needs to come out,'” according to one woman ITV interviewed that had undergone the therapy.
The British government estimates that tens of thousands of LGBTQ people have already been offered or experienced the conversion therapy and they are now looking to ban it, but regulating religious behavior isn’t always that simple. Not all pastors share the belief though.
Pastor Paul Bailey denounces the practice and agrees it should be banned.
Bailey told ITV News in an interview:
“Rights come with responsibilities. There are many things we no longer do because we know better. There is clear scripture that says you should beat your children. We ignore that because we recognize that beating children is harmful. This is a harmful practice. Your freedom does not mean you have the freedom to negate and oppress someone who’s different.”
While many are aware that the practice exists, seeing it firsthand was a disturbing experience.
This was just crazy to watch. Never realised how backwards some people are. Speaking in tongues for 20 minutes, what a load of bolony.
— Spudgun 3000 (@spudgun_3000) November 12, 2018
This happened to me at my old church. That was hard to watch.
— Justin O. (@godschild777201) November 13, 2018
Can’t believe this kind of stuff is still rife in 2018
— marc griffin (@marcgriffin2) November 13, 2018
OMG, this is fucking EVIL! #LGBTQ people are just people trying to be themselves and pursue their happiness, like the rest of us. Anyone trying to demonize them is the one with the problem.
— Amy Primeaux (@aprimo224) November 12, 2018
Though some wondered if an undercover investigation was needed to reveal the already open secret of conversion therapy.
No place for these unprincipled practices in the UK, or anywhere else in the world… Christianity should stand for tolerance … Not bigotry…
— Linda (@wordfinga) November 13, 2018
I find it disgusting that people think it’s ok to use religion to discriminate like this and also extremely sad. Religion is surely about love and treating everyone equally.
— Michele Rickard (@MicheleRickard) November 12, 2018
I'm Christian and find these disgusting
— Daniel Rojo (@gamesquad37) November 12, 2018
Most, however, agreed conversion therapy needs to be stopped.
Did you really need to go “undercover” to do this..?
I’m pretty sure he would gladly do this on live tv.
— Austin Horton (@AustinHorton6) November 12, 2018
Why is this ‘shocking’? It’s abhorrent, immoral and wrong but it’s not shocking there are churches that engage in this behaviour.
— Pugilist Specialist (@PugilisticUnit) November 13, 2018
Right, its terrible but not exactly shocking
— Moded_Corroded (@2Old4ThisShizz) November 12, 2018
Probably because the entire practice was flawed from the beginning.
Gay people aren't broken.
— Nancy (@planetscape) November 13, 2018