'Kidnapped for Christ' exposes horror of youth forced into gay reparative therapy

Published: August 5, 2014

After David – a 17-year-old Colorado honors student – told his parents he is gay, he was dragged out of bed, put on a plane and sent to a “behavior modification” school in the Dominican Republic.

At Escuela Caribe, David endures more horror.

David’s story is told in “Kidnapped For Christ,” which has been airing on Showtime and will be broadcast again Wednesday and throughout the month.

Evangelical filmmaker Kate Logan traveled to the island nation hoping to document the positive effects a boarding school like Escuela Caribe could have on struggling youth. Logan is given unprecedented access and allowed to live on campus, Pamela Powell writes in her review for Reelhonestreviews.

But once at the school, Logan’s eyes are opened to the truth beneath the sunny façade of this remote reform school: Teenages are being taken by force in the middle of the night, rumors of physical abuse, and staff imposing arbitrary and degrading punishments on the young students, Powell says.

From Powell’s review:

“It became evident that as long as the leaders said their punishments and teachings were done in the name of Christ, it was OK. Interviews with these leaders demonstrated their lack of knowledge in basic psychology as well as human compassion. The words of Christ were manipulated and twisted to fit this community’s goals.

“David’s hopes plummeted as he understood that his anger was derived from the rejection from his parents. This happy, loving, intellectual, and creative young man, with the world at his fingertips, was now, as he phrased it, hiding behind a mask; unable to express who he was. Seeing the spiral downward of not only David, but others who were emotionally and physically abused, was gut-wrenching.”

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