Setting Captives Free, a "non-denominational" Christian ministry named after a verse from the Old Testament, peddles in self-help courses it claims can cure you of all that ails you: Drinking, smoking, pornography. Even homosexuality.
The interactive 60-day course called "Door of Hope" purports to teach users how "to enjoy a newfound relationship with the Lord and how to find freedom from homosexuality."
A mobile version of Door of Hope was recently made available for iPhone through the iTunes App Store and for Android phones through the Google Play Store.
"[D]espite what you may have heard elsewhere, you do not have a ‘homosexual gene,’ nor were you born this way with no hope of freedom," reads the app's description, penned by Setting Captives Free founder and president Mike Cleveland.
A Queerty reader who was exposed to the Door of Hope conversion course as a teen had this to say about the "lessons" contained therein:
They might have changed the structure of the class since I was enrolled (I am now 23 and in college) but at the time I took it there were lessons that said homosexuality was caused by demons, that there was a subculture that exists in the gay community that is a cult that worships male genitalia (I really wish I was making this up. I’m not.), and had graphic descriptions of how anal sex allegedly causes men to lose the ability to hold in feces.
The gist of it is that the course was very traumatic for me and I actually attempted suicide while taking it. The class was interactive and I was assigned a mentor that I communicated with on the phone so it had the effect of being more than something I was just passively reading. He made me report to him every time I masturbated, and if I did masturbate then that was used as blame for my lack of “recovery” and I was encouraged to punish myself by cutting off television, video games, etc. and also wearing a rubber band around my wrist to snap when I had a "homosexual thought."
Happily, the app was pulled from the iTunes store today following a successful awareness campaign by AllOut.
Unfortunately, it is still available for download through the Google Play store, through Google says it is "investigating the complaints made about the app."
Sadly, deleting one nefarious app won't do much to put a dent in the anti-gay movement writ large.