Alabama Preacher Manipulates Gay Demons out of Young People
Where to begin dissecting the manipulation and abuse on display in this video of Pentecostal preacher Damon Thompson casting demons out of young gay and lesbian women? Thompson, who heads up fiery youth ministry The Ramp in Hamilton, Alabama, employs every trick in the spiritual abuse playbook to coax his young congregation into outing themselves as gay and then stepping forward to be exorcised of their demons:
Ashton Elijah, who was at the meeting in the video, describes his experience:
Damon called upon those who were struggling with homosexual demons to come to the front and be “set free from sin.” He and members of The Ramp began to work the crowd into a frenzy as they labored to draw people out of the closet and onto the altar. At first, only a few guys and girls came forth. But, aided by music, the ministry leaders continued to pluck at the heartstrings of every struggling gay kid in the audience, promising that if they would only make themselves known, God would grant them the deliverance they so longed for.
Over a period of forty minutes, kids approached the altar one-by-one — some admitting to same-sex attraction for the first time in their lives. Some fell to their knees in brokenness, rocking back and forth as they prayed for absolution; others stood with their arms spread out as tears spilled from their eyes. By the end of the morning, dozens had approached the altar hoping to lay their burden down.
Thompson’s display is like a tutorial in spiritual abuse. I experienced a similar religious atmosphere time and again during my days in the charismatic movement (which you can read about in my essay “Fantastic Voyage: Surviving Charismatic Fundamentalism“). Thompson hardly tries to hide his manipulation, audibly encouraging the worship band to “pick it up” in order to heighten the atmosphere and get more troubled gay teens to come forward.
The first time I came out was at a similar Christian event — loud music, concert atmosphere, persuasive pleadings and emotional appeals from the preacher. Thankfully, for this extremely fearful 15-year-old, the ministry I received once I went to the front was more low-key. I was taken to one side and, after sobbing my confession, I received a relatively short prayer from a band member. Since homosexuality was just one of the “problems” and “sins” named by the preacher, it wasn’t evident to any of my friends why I was there.
So I wasn’t exposed quite like these young people, many of whom appear never to have admitted their sexual orientation until they were manipulated into coming out in front of video cameras and a live audience of hundreds. As Arni Zachariassen observes, it’s “a terrible way to come out of the closet.”
Not only terrible but disgusting, shameful and abusive.
H/T: Reader Jeremy
i couldn’t watch it all, that kind of stuff just makes me churn inside these days, i would like to swear but you know today, just today ima going to refrain …
Just as when a straight person insists that gay people can and should change, the other most offensive statements that can be made is as if gay people have an option of PRIVACY. There has been a war on the free association between gay people, between parent and child cohesion of gay kids and their parents.
And of course, because of always being suspect, too many people feel it’s their mission in life to make sure to peep through every keyhole, spy on every situation that might seem that person is gay. And then go tell it on the mountain when they find out.
I couldn’t watch this past a few seconds either. Despite being a crime scene photographer, there ARE things that even I find cringe worthy. And that’s this real time, outing of vulnerably young people and pressuring them to put on a show for the benefit of their DETRACTORS.
It’s the same as making a girl rape victim come forward and blaming HER for the assault.
Yeah…JUST like that.
This ministry is a violation in so many ways. So cruel, so opportunistic, so narcissistic on the part of the “Preacher” – it just made me sick.
I’m sorry for the deluded preacher and his deluded backup groupies – I think this is a terrible sin that they are committing – all the more terrible as they are doing it in Jesus name.
God save us from most of the people who claim they are doing God’s will.
Charasmaniacs in training.
Anyone else notice the small kids (6 or 7 years old?) in the front row? Wonder what that’s all about. The whole thing makes me very sad.
This is horrible
It reminds me of a documentary by the popular British illusionist Derren Brown about Faith Healers (essentially the same thing, I think). In it he travels the Southern US veiwing and debunking these people as wholly (not holy!) unscrupulous charlatains, and even trains a scuba-diving instructor in these techniques and fools a lot of people with this guy, thus proving these ‘healers’ and ‘Preachers’ are nothing more than money-grabbing fakes. (there was one ‘healer’ who has a massive mansion/palace ensconsed in thousands of acres and surrounded by guards, who travels everywhere by private jet – has he not read what jesus had to say about the rich?)
I URGE you to find it and watch it, then perhaps distrubute it to as many as possible (it might help?)
These preachers are not interested in god or the people they purport to try to help, but only in lining their own pockets. Disgusting
This is what is wrong with the Church, instead of following what Jesus commanded us, they continue to go down the path of intolerance and hate. After the many gay suicides caused by these same people’s attitude towards homosexuality. They continue to foster the lie that gay is some form of demon possession that one can be delivered from. If you don’t want gays in your church, tell them so, BUT do not go on to deceive them into thinking that who they are is not worthy of God’s grace and so they must develop self-hate and pretend to be someone they are not.
Does anyone ever wonder WHY they are so many inconsistent positions on homosexuality by the church? Some say it’s an evil spirit, some say it’s a choice like adultery, while some accept that it is natural, BUT still insist that the expression of it is wrong. So far, ONLY gays continue to hold steadfast that who they are is who God made them to be.
I can only pray and hope that these youth will not commit suicide after they realize that there is no changing their orientation.
Just absolutely awful. I feel so very, very sad for those victims of this spiritual abuse. I am (seriously) so grateful to belong to an Episcopal church where such outrageous nonsense would never happen.
This is where the rubber hits the road for me. Prove there are %^&*ing demons, give actual evidence, a******s. This was hard to watch.