Recently, several news sites have picked up on a form of Gay Conversation Therapy that is built upon the assumption that homosexuality is something that can be exorcised from a person’s spirit. The underlying assumption being that homosexuality is more akin to being a form of demonic possession than a character trait that one is born with. This assumption is completely bogus and unfounded but it has a growing following, particularly within conservative religious communities.
Yet, this sort of stuff is still getting airplay. Most recently, a number of news outlets carried a piece regarding a former Navy Chaplain who claims to have performed exorcisms with over fifty individuals with the purpose of exorcising their homosexuality from them.
Note that unlike some who follow this methodology, Klingenschmit had previously not claimed a one hundred percent success rate but recently had claimed a fifty percent success. Note also that he has no longitudinal data regarding his cases in terms of backsliding (studies in regard to other forms of Gay Conversion Therapy have found a very significant backsliding effect among those who reported an initial relief of their homosexual urges . . . do note, that most folks who undergo this sort of therapy belong to very conservative religious communities where there is a high social pressure to repress what would normally be considered natural urges . . . so it is not surprising that some will grasp at straws of this type – in my opinion, those who offer this sort of program are preying upon the insecurities of individuals who would be better served via therapeutic help regarding coming to positive terms as to who they are and self-acceptance, therapeutic approaches with very high success rates).
Here’s the Klingenschmit interview:
Now, keep in mind that Klingenschmit is NOT a current chaplain. He’s getting a lot of media attention because of his Chaplain status but it is his Pentecostal background that leads to the exorcism practice and NOT his military background (the institution of the US military no longer persecutes homosexuals and officers or chaplains may not and certainly should not be allowed to belittle or humiliate their charges due to sexual orientation).
The practice of exorcisms for homosexuality is becoming more common within Pentecostal and similar Christian groups, along with the practice of other exorcism approaches . . . recently, the Jezebel Spirit exorcisms have taken an uptick as more and more conservative groups attempt to exorcise sexual promiscuity and independence from female parishioners. If you’re unfamiliar with the practice, here’s an example of a Gay Exorcism from an actual church practice:
Folks like Klingenschmit may or may not use this same approach, but the practice is fairly typical. Those familiar with hypnosis or directed religious trance will be familiar with the underlying operators involved . . . excite expectancy, intensify imaginative involvement, and more.
Recently, the Huffington Post carried a piece on Klingenschmit here that broke down the interview but I suspect that had he not identified as a former Navy Chaplain his views would have been relegated to a very different section of the paper – although, admittedly, their coverage is less than positive (unfortunately, this is getting more positive play in a few other venues).
A number of religious authorities have argued the possibilities of “praying away the gay,” but now, a former Navy chaplain has come forward with claims that he was able to actually “exorcise” homosexuality out of individuals.
Appearing on “The David Pakman Show,” former Navy Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt engaged in a heated debate over so-called “reparative” or “ex-gay” therapy with Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out, a site which fights “anti-gay” religious extremism. At the start of the discussion, Klingenschmitt recalled the experience of working with a lesbian who came to him wanting to be “cured.”
“When the Holy Spirit moved into her, and she gave permission, we were able to command the devil to depart from her, and there was an exorcism after which she received healing, and she began dating members of the opposite sex,” Klingenschmitt, who cited the since-renounced 2001 study by Robert Spitzer as evidence, noted. “So there was complete repentance, complete healing and forgiveness of sin in Jesus Christ.”
Besen, not surprisingly, wasn’t having any of it, slamming Klingenschmitt’s actions as “crackpot” and “quackery.”
“What I think he’s talking about is absurd,” he added. “They’re not healed, they’re harmed…this isn’t Christianity, this is some kind of cult-like, bizarre notion that has nothing to do with real religion, but has something to do with radicalism and extremism…it just breaks my heart to see people damaged in the name of religion through crackpot programs like this.”
In an earlier appearance on Pakman’s show, Klingenschmit previously claimed to have performed over 50 gay/lesbian exorcisms, and believes he has had a 50 percent success rate in “curing” gayness via these exorcisms. In a separate appearance, he also slammed Obama’s controversial endorsement of same-sex marriage, noting, “People who side with homosexual sin will be judged by God for promoting that sin, including our own president, Barack Obama.”
A major pusher in terms of public exorcisms at the moment is Bob Larson, the self-styled pastor who “trained” the so-called Teen Exorcists above. Larson does a LOT of exorcisms, but that’s not surprising since he makes a very good living
bilking ministering to poor folks who believe they may be troubled by attached entities (especially after taking the handy dandy self-test Larson provides, an exam that makes it pretty damned easy for folks to score as possessed by one demon or another – not that I would imply it’s a rigged exam as that’s pretty much what I’m saying, no innuendo required). The animated gif above is of Larson working on a troubled woman. Larson has spoken long and often on the subject of gay exorcisms (please view with a bucketful of salt for good measure):
Bob Larson on Gay Exorcisms, Part One
Bob Larson on Gay Exorcisms, Part Two
Bob Larson on Gay Exorcisms, Part Three
Yes, I know . . . if I were “Brian’s” acting coach, I’d strongly suggest he go back to some basic instruction as that’s both over the top and off mark in so many ways . . . but, since Brian’s not “acting” and genuinely possessed and not a Larson flunkie or stooge in any way, he need not concern himself with acting lessons. Seriously, though, folks like Larson do NOT need to rely upon stooges for this sort of evangelical public work, the good ones will have excited the crowd well enough that they will be able to elicit phenomena and dissociation from enough folks that stooges are neither needed or wanted, although many of the less savory operators are quite happy to use stooges and there are plenty of documented cases where their flim flams have been called out (check out the amazing work of evangelical charlatan Benny Hinn sometime as he gets hundreds of res ponders based upon his prestige suggestions and imagination intensification work). In all seriousness though, if Brian is not a Larson employee, then I sincerely hope he found competent care later . . . especially after undergoing the royal mind fuck that is a public exorcism and identity humiliation.
As an aside, here’s another video from the folks at Queerty of The Gay Exorcism that went Horribly Horribly Wrong from the Inside Room 334 web series.
Now, don’t get me wrong . . . I am not saying all exorcists are con men . . . some are very good folks who don’t recognize the psychological drivers behind what they do, some are delusional, and some few may even be working with genuine entities. However, many who work in this area are faith-oil salesmen and swindlers, disguising their con beneath a cloth of religiosity.
Nor am I saying such work is always a bad thing. Among hypnotists, there is an area of work known as Spirit Releasement Therapy in which the trance guide takes on some of the function of what in traditional cultures would be considered the exorcist. This is not quite the same thing as a traditional exorcist but some do work as if it were. Some of you are aware that I will be teaching an upcoming webinar on this very subject (albeit, with heaping helpings of my own orientation to such work similar in many respects to my critical yet functional approach to metaphysical or psychic hypnosis methods, you can purchase my video training set on that very subject below if you like). While I disagree with the supposition of some who diagnose others with spirit attachment (in an interview with ABC News, Bob Larson claimed that over fifty percent of the population of the Earth are possessed by one or another demon or spirit), there are contexts where the methods can come in very handy. Hypnotists who work with enough members of the public will eventually likely come upon someone who while undergoing a therapeutic process may spontaneously display “attachment” symptoms. Just as spontaneous “pastlife” material will sometimes occur there are a number of approaches to guide folks through the session and get them back on track to positive healing. The event can be taken as a momentary distraction or used as a metaphor or assumed to be an unconscious manifestation of resistance or even presupposed as a genuine possession (the last being the least likely). There are strategies one can use and protocols that help the client . . . not to reinforce the therapist’s idea of what is or isn’t nor as a means of lining one’s purse with silver . . . but the genuinely help the trance partner actively move forward through to positive therapeutic change.
If you’re in Taipei and interested in genuine beneficial hypnosis, check the services page linked to in the top left sidebar. Not in Taipei, check the store for recordings in the same menu area as well as links to lots and lots of info and goodies.