A survivor of the conversion therapy at the Parithrana retreat centre in Adichira in Kerala run by the Vincentian Congregation of India has spoken up about the violent methods.
The survivor reached out to the highly secretive gay conversion centre driven by his own homophobia, reported The News Minute. He turned himself for a "correction" through a 21-day course. He also paid a fee of Rs 25,000. He reported being there with 29 other inmates of every religion and gender.
“We were not allowed to interact with or touch each other. We were advised to pray with rosaries in front of a photo of Holy Mary during our free time. Every day, a new pastor held the counselling session — most of them claimed to be qualified psychologists or psychiatrists and claimed that they were formerly gay and had subsequently been 'corrected' when they embarked on the path of Jesus,” said the victim.
“Male inmates were instructed to do 'masculinity boosting and confidentiality exercises' every day between 8.15 and 9.30 am. During the private counselling sessions, they would talk about our sexual preferences, sex positions and would advise us to watch lesbian porn. Lesbians were advised to watch gay porn," reported The News Minute.
Conversion therapy is an illegal practice. These violent and unscientific practices often lead to deteriorating mental health.
The victim tried to live as a heterosexual after finishing the course and suffered from pangs of guilt. He tried to track down other inmates and found that most of them had run away from their homes. A few others had died by suicide and another was in jail for killing his parents. The victim-blamed the trauma caused by the conversion centre for the breakdowns.