Ex-Gay Torture Chambers In Ecuador

Jim Burroway

May 21st, 2008

Nueva Vida (New Life) MinistryAndrés Duque at Babbleando has provided some valuable translations from two newspaper articles from Ecuador chronicling ex-gay and ex-transgender ministries in that country. According to El Universo, there are more than 140 such unlicensed treatment centers operating throughout Ecuador. Operating under the guise of alcohol and drug rehab centers, these ministries engage in barbaric practices which are nothing short of torture. One transgender “client” describes her experience:

“My father paid $1,000 [approx. $350 dollars] to have them lock me up in a clinic because he wanted me to change. Four men practically kidnapped me on the street. I wore my hair long and, since I had already taken hormones, my breasts had grown. They clipped my hair. Me and another three homosexuals. They would lock us up in rooms of less than a meter wide. So small that we had to stand on our feet, in the dark, with flies.”

The place where she was taken was God’s Paradise, a drug and alcohol rehab center, led by Jorge Flor who some residents call “My Pastor.”

“When I tried to escape,” says Chiqui, “they hit me until they broke my nose. They’d ask if I was a man or a woman, they’d take our pants down, they’d throw water between our legs and would put live cables to shock us with electricity.”

Another former “client,” Jorge, who is now an LGBT activist, described similar experiences:

“They gave me hormones that changed my voice. They would put on videos with men and, if we happened to get an erection, they would hit us. They would wake us up at 5:30 and, if we had not committed an infraction, they would give us breakfast. They applied electric shocks to our private parts and on our hands.”

Jorge also said that the center was led by men who called themselves as pastors and claimed that they would touch “patients” to see if they would become aroused, and if not, declare then “cured.”

El Universo notes that although Ecuador is a predominantly Catholic country, most of the ex-gay ministries are associated with the emerging Evangelical movement in Latin America. And as in America, these ministries are politically engaged. One such leader, Assembly member Balerico Estacio, tried to eliminate constitutional protections for gays and lesbians last March. He described his ex-gay treatment approach this way:

“They are demons that invade the body,” he says, “The natural self does not understand them, even if its psychological. Nothing can be done if it’s not from God’s spirit,” defending these centers.

L. Junius Brutus

May 21st, 2008

Satan has no better servant than the evangelical movement. Worse than simply harming their fellow man, they also give the image of God, Christianity, Christ a black eye with their antics.

Allyson

May 21st, 2008

Thank you for working to raise awareness of this, Jim.

Joel

May 21st, 2008

““They are demons that invade the body,” he says, “The natural self does not understand them, even if its psychological. Nothing can be done if it’s not from God’s spirit,” defending these centers.”

Aw… all the more reason to be agnostic… hell.. even if you proved he existed(and upheld this, and other similir things) i dont think i would, in a sane conscious follow him. Reminds me of human sacrificing to appease the gods.

adam kautz

May 22nd, 2008

L. Junius, not all evangelicals agree with the ex-gay approach, its the fundamentalist (Southern Baptist, Assemblies of God) types that push the ex-gay approach on us. At least half of all evangelicals are either moderate or liberal (United Church of Christ, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) in their view points and even among the conservatives its ignorance on the part of the members is why they support re-closeting homosexuals. Don’t paint all evangelicals with the same brush stroke.

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