Thursday, October 21, 2021

Review: the Netflix documentary Pray Away


This post is the second about media describing organizations that practice a hateful form of groupthink. The Netflix documentary Pray Away focuses on gay adult Christians who used to preach and embody gay conversion therapy ideals to other gay adults. They led various organizations with their destructive idea of family, faith, and freedom. (The film is not about gay “conversion” psychotherapy of minors, which is another, even more despicable manifestation of this movement). Many of such people have embraced the idea that homosexual urges are part of a psychological problem, a result of some trauma or of some negative relationship with a parent, rather than something natural.

Many of the people interviewed in this documentary fell hook, line and sinker into these teachings while hiding their own backstories of self hatred. They are given screen time to now confess to how all of it was a painful lie. 

The movie profiles several of those people who and acted as advocates to make people "ex-gay." John was a major public advocate for gay conversion who appeared in Newsweek with his “ex-lesbian” wife—and reveals here that it was all a charade. He couldn’t admit, even to himself, to his continuing attraction to other men.

Michael created Exodus, the first gay conversion organization in the late 1970's. The film showed an auditorium full of smiling young adherents to this group under a poster exclaiming, "Join the Movement!" 

Julie became a public speaker as a young woman, with her highly articulate stories about how she had successfully rid herself of her lesbian feelings, with seemingly logical arguments for her past efforts to do so. She did not stop doing this until confronted by certain misbehavior from her former cohorts, and eventually renounced them and married another woman.

Their institutionssimilar to the ones described in my previous post about the book Stolen, prey upon people's self-loathing, self-denigration, and desires to be accepted by their families and their churches. Prey away!

The irony here is that the parents who previously rejected these children is that, if in fact homosexuality is somehow a bad choice, and/or is a result of a bad relationship with parents, then the parents who rejected them on these grounds are admitting that they were crappy parents who raised a child who made bad decisions! But as we all know, the definition of the word “contradiction” is: something which such people pretend they don’t understand.