John M. Becker

Adele Makes You Gay, Doc Allegedly Claims in Documentary

Filed By John M. Becker | March 18, 2014 9:45 AM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Living
Tags: Christian Jessen, conversion therapy, ex-gay, ex-gay myth, ex-gay therapy, John Smid, reparative therapy, undercover

UPDATE: John Smid, the pro-LGBT minister to whom the "Adele makes you gay" claim is attributed, denies that this represents his current views.

In "Undercover Doctor: Cure Me, I'm Gay," a documentary being aired tonight on the UK's Channel 4, Dr. Christian Jessen visits a handful of "therapists" -- mostly based in the U.S. -- that falsely promise him they'll be able to "cure" his homosexuality.

From the UK's Telegraph:

[Jessen] certainly picks some easy targets, undergoing a variety of treatments from a bunch of crackpots. But the transparent fallacy of their positions - riddled with hypocrisy and often financially motivated as they are - doesn't make them any less worth exposing.

The names of the treatments are appalling enough: aversion therapy (offered on the NHS well into the Eighties); gay rehab; reparative therapy; deliverance. And if he understandably doesn't try them all, his enquiries strike a neat balance between laughing at the absurdity of the theories and highlighting how dangerous they are when levelled at vulnerable people. As he points out, therapy is usually intended to build up self-esteem, rather than shatter it.

But Jessen is no journalist, and finds it hard to maintain an emotional distance as brainwashed teenagers inform him that homosexuality is caused by demons. There's also a feeling that he lets his quarries off the hook: while unmasking arrant nonsense is easy enough, he doesn't really challenge, or engage, with their arguments face to face. Nevertheless, it's a compelling, sometimes shocking, film.

Of course, as I saw firsthand during my own undercover stint in "ex-gay" therapy, the methods promoted by these quack doctors to help "change" a person's orientation are not just fraudulent, they're often utterly absurd. But one particular example from tonight's documentary is noteworthy, not just for the absurdity of the claim, but for who reportedly makes it.

Details after the jump.

According to several media reports, Dr. Jessen visits a "doctor" in Texas who makes the bizarre insinuation that the music of pop superstar Adele helps make people gay.

From the Daily Star:

Retired doctor John Smid from Texas offers rehab and orders him to strip his life of things that encourage him to be gay. He throws out Jessen's Adele CD and tells him: "Adele is very popular within the gay community. You have to listen to Christian music."

Smid also makes him bin his tight undies claiming they will "stir his sensuality" and make him want sex.

If John Smid's name looks familiar, it's because he's the former director of Love in Action, a notorious "ex-gay" ministry in Tennessee that practiced so-called "reparative therapy." Smid came out of the closet himself in 2011 and renounced "ex-gay" therapy, admitting that it's impossible to change a person's sexual orientation. Smid now runs a gay-affirming Christian ministry.

So it's rather perplexing that Smid would once again allegedly affirm "ex-gay" therapy in Jessen's documentary. (Perhaps the media reported his name incorrectly, or accidentally attributed someone else's quote to him?)

Jessen also visited a Dallas doctor who claims he changes patients from gay to straight with the help of coloring books, and a pastor in London who performs exorcisms on people to rid them of "gay demons."

Watch a preview for "Cure Me, I'm Gay":

Photo: Channel 4.

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