Boy Erased (2018) - full transcript

The son of a Baptist preacher is forced to participate in a church-supported gay conversion program after being forcibly outed to his parents.

Subtitles by explosiveskull
Sync by GoldenBeard


Why are you upset, honey?

I want my jersey.

- Well, it's because it's dirty.
- I want it.

You know, today is
your first day of school.


You like to play
something in particular?

- Uh, soccer!
- You like to play soccer. And?

And basketball!

What's your favorite color?


Uh, blue and yellow.

- Blue...
- And yellow.

- and... yellow.
- Yellow.

What would you like to be
when you grow up?

Motorcycle driver!

Bye! Hi!


You should come down
for breakfast.

I wish none of this
had ever happened.

But sometimes
I thank God that it did.

Just repeat after me.

Let your light shine.

Let your light shine.

Now, let me see a show of hands
of those of you

in this room who are imperfect.


That's right.
And a show of hands

for everybody in this room
who is perfect.

- Nobody.
- Amen.

I am blessed

with a beautiful
and deeply soulful wife,

and with a fine...

...and honest son.

I'm a lucky man,

and I'm grateful
for those blessings.

Please don't do that.
You know that makes me nervous.

What if a truck comes along

- and hits your arm?
- It's never gonna happen.

It's happened before.

It has. It has.

Welcome to Love in Action.


- Name?
- Uh, Nancy Eamons.

Oh, um... the boy, I mean.

- Unless you're the one checking in.
- Oh.

- Jared Eamons.
- Jared Eamons.

Jared. Got you right here.


Do you want to say
your good-byes?

- Can I see the place?
- I'm afraid you won't be allowed

- beyond the reception area, Mrs. Eamons.
- Oh.

- But you can pick him up at 5:00 p.m.
- Okay.

- It's okay, Mom.
- Mm.

Well, call me anytime.

I'll be at the hotel
on my cell phone.

Uh, we will be holding
his cell phone.

If there are any emergencies,
we will contact you,

but otherwise, 5:00 p.m.


You'll do great.

Love you.

Newbie. Eamons.

Empty your pockets.

Do you have
any numbers or photos

we should be concerned about?

We'll check it daily
and call any number at random,

so you best be straight
with us on that.

There's nothing. And, yeah,
call whatever numbers,

if you need to.


no smoking,
no alcohol or drugs."

"Off hours...
all clients to remain

within a safe zone area
as designated."

women's skirts must extend

below the knee, and bras are
to be worn at all times."

What's that?

Oh, it-it's, um, I...

I write, I write stories.
Uh, I'm studying it at college.

No journaling.
We're gonna have to read that.


"all m-matters
discussed in therapy

are to remain private."

"Restrooms... members
must be supervised by staff

during restroom visits."

- Your handbook.
- Oh. Yeah.

- Good luck.
- Thank you.

"No viewing
of pornographic material,

"no masturbation,
no physical contact

"with any member at any time

apart from the briefest
of handshakes."

Michael for Aaron.

How many clients
are we expecting today?

Copy, Michael. Hold, please.

Uh, just one second, Jared.

We should have 11 today.

Well, we have
more in the lobby.

It's okay. We should
have another five minutes.

- All right.
- Copy.

Jared, if you just want to go

find yourself a seat and, uh,
make yourself comfortable.

We'll get started soon.

- Hi.
- Hi.

- Morning.
- Hi.

"...sinful, salacious,

"and extraneous materials.

"All reading material
and films and television

are off limits
while inside the program."

I am using sexual sin

and homosexuality

to fill a God-shaped void
in my life.

I am using sexual sin

and homosexuality to fill
a God-shaped void in my life.

But I am not broken,
and God loves me.

But I am not broken,

- and God loves me.
- Good. That is very true.

Now, somebody tell me
what this is.


A dollar.
Now, no matter how much

you crumple up a dollar bill...

you can never take away
its value.

Now, even if you were
to rip it...

which would represent
our being severed from Christ...

well, guess what?

You can always
tape it back together.

Jesus puts us back together.

And even though
there is a scar,

our value does not change.

- You are somebody.
- Sorry.

You are worth something.
That's okay, Jon. Sit down.

And that is a fact.

Don't spend it
all at once, Phillip.

Now, this may be the toughest

but most rewarding 12 days that
many of you will ever face.

But we have just one task:

to bring ourselves back to God.

To invite him back in.

To understand how
he truly meant to create us

before all those pieces
got torn away.

Now, look, I know
the road here wasn't easy

for many of you.

But I promise a smoother ride
now that you're here,

because we are about to go
on an amazing journey together.

So who's ready?

That was a question.
Who's ready? Say "amen."

- Amen.
- Amen.

If you know you're worth
a dollar, say "amen."


Welcome to the Refuge program!

Come on!

That's right, great souls!


Now, I'm gonna tell you
something that's

gonna make you immediately
feel a little better.

People tell you you can be
born gay; that's not true.

You cannot be born
a homosexual; this is a lie.

Now, I'm a counselor
and a pastor,

but was I born that way?


It's behavioral. It's a choice.

Cameron, you-you, uh,
play football?

- Yeah?
- Yeah.

Were you born that way?

- No.
- No.

Now, you chose to be
a football player, right?

It's behavior.

Now, if you... if Cameron
stops playing football,

he no longer is
a football player.

We got to learn for ourselves
where behavior comes from,

so we can cut it out,

and then we can no longer
be labeled that way.

Now, who could tell us
what a genogram is?


Well, a genogram's
like a family tree,

only one that shows patterns
of family behavior as well.

Sort of like
an illustrated one.

Yes. Now, we are going to draw
our family tree,

and we're gonna list
next to these people

their behavioral sin.

So, they made us...

and they labeled us,
so we're gonna label them.

Michael, can you read
the behavioral sins?

We use the letters "SSA" or "H"

to label same sex attraction
or homosexuality.

"D" for drugs.

A dollar sign for gambling.

"A," alcoholism.

"P," promiscuity.

"M," mental illness.

Capital "A" lowercase "B"
for abortion.

Capital "P" lowercase "O"
for pornography.

And "C" or "G,"
criminal or gang affiliation.

Forgetting "DV,"
domestic violence.

Capital "D" lowercase
"V," domestic violence.

Okay, guys,
let's dive right in.

Let's grab some cards
and some markers.

I want you to write 'em down...

and put the letters
next to their name.

I know they're family,

but I can guarantee that one
or some of these people

are the reason that
you're at Love in Action.

So, Jared, you must be
the preacher's son.

You know or you don't know.

What's the question mark for?

Uncle Chris is an alcoholic.


Well, this must be pretty tough
on your family, hmm?

"Give ear,
O my people, to my law.

"Incline your ears
to the words of my mouth.

"I will open my mouth
in a parable.

I will utter dark sayings
which we have heard."

- No.
- Sounds good, Dad.

Are you ready?
We got to get going.

Why are we going
to Dallas tomorrow?

Architect's updated the, uh,
remodel plans for the ministry,

and we're gonna take a tour

of two similar churches
right there.

Do you think
I could stay at Chloe's

when you go, instead?

It's okay,
I can stay at Wayne's.

- Or-or I'll just...
- I am okay with that.

In fact, I think
it is a great idea.

You're both mature kids

who know how
to conduct themselves,

and who, by now,
know how the world works.

You know, son,
small steps toward manhood.

That's the way to learn.

That way you don't
get all panicky

when it suddenly arrives.

You do know
what I'm saying, Romeo?

- Yes, sir.
- Okay. Let's go. We're late.

Dear Heavenly Father,

we thank you
for this beautiful day.

And, Lord, we pray
that you look over our shoulder

as we march out onto the floor,

and that we show our customers
the love and kindness

that you show us.

In Jesus Christ's name,
and for his sake...

Morning! Let your light shine!

- Amen.
- Amen.

- All right!
- Have a great day.

"Rebels" on three!
On three! One, two, three!


You did so good.

Right, buddy? Assists,

one of the most underrated
components of the game.

- Congratulations.
- I saw you

setting up all the points.

- Oh! That's victory sweat.
- Dad, I... - Yeah.

I-I played, like, five minutes.

- I think you did more than that. How about you?
- Hey!

- Another underrated component of the game.
- Thank you.

- How are you?
- Congratulations, beautiful girl.

I was worried about you.
I thought they were

- gonna drop you. Oh.
- Oh, no, don't worry.

- Are you kids gonna go celebrate?
- Yeah, some of us,

- I think we're gonna go to the lake.
- Yeah.

All right. The lake.

All right.

Dealership's gonna put me
in an Expedition,

so it's yours.

Wow. Dad.

All right. All right.
It was gonna be

for your birthday, but, you
know, tonight's a good night,

- so congratulations.
- Thank you so much.

- Thank you.
- Go and have fun.

I want to see if your mama
wants to go to the lake.

They're still up.


I-If it's not hard,
I can make it hard.

Don't you think
we should wait until,

- you know...
- Until...

- You know?
- Until what? We get married?

That's what my parents
think we should do.

To keep us together
through college.


Is something wrong?



Ready to pack it up?
We're about done for the day.

Looks nice.

5:00, everyone.
It's home time.

- Bye.
- 5:00. Let's go.

All right, everybody,

pack it up.

Name tag.

- Thanks.
- 9:00 a.m. tomorrow.


hey, y-you tore out the pages.

- Mm.
- They're just stories.

Mr. Sykes will decide that. Michael.

- Go for Michael.
- Are you still in the office?

Are you, are you a soldier?

Were you in the military,
or some...?

- I saw you salute earlier. I thought...
- No.

I'm trying zero contact

- Mm.
- 23 days now.

So... I salute instead.

This group seems good.

Have you been here before?

Yeah, it's my second time
in the Refuge program.

I started a couple days late
last time,

and actually I'm waiting
for a place to open

in one of the houses.

- What houses?
- The-the houses. The...

They have a few houses
behind the property

for the long stayers.

I'm stuck at the Baybrook

with my dad,
which is interesting.

Are you in one of
the local hotels, too?


So, like, how-how long
will you stay for?

It's not really up to me.

Mr. Sykes decides.

- No one explained that to you?
- No, no.

This is just
an assessment program,

until they know
what to do with you.

Hey. Listen.

Just lean into it, man.


Do the work,
and trust me, man...

you're gonna love it here.

Aren't you gonna tell me
about your day?

We're not meant to talk
about it outside of group.

I don't need gossip.

I just...
I just mean generally.

I'm gonna lean into it.

And there are some good people.

And, yeah, I like it.

I'm excited to be here.

That's good.

Do we have people in the family

who had issues
with any of this stuff?




Gang affiliat...

Gang affiliations?
What is this?

I need to know for homework.

Why do they need to know
about the family?

Our family is so normal.

Big day tomorrow, hmm?

You get some good sleep, now.

Oh, um, I filled out
your homework for you.

I was only in a gang
for a year or so, until I...

went down for drugs,
got sent to prison.


I put your Uncle Vincent
down there.

You've never met him, 'cause
he, uh, moved to Louisiana

when you were little, so...
we just never see him.

We always figured that he...

He was very feminine-like,
you might say.

All right.

Oh. I'm tired.

- Night-night.
- Good night.

What is... a real man?

And what does
a real man look like?

Does anybody know?

Guys, uncross your legs.

Posture. Come on.

Now, perhaps being close

to the flames of hell
and finding your way back

shows a great strength.

And if that were so, then...
if this isn't a real man,

then I don't know what is.

This is Brandon Ellis, guys.

- I want you to say hello.
- Thanks, Sykes.

Make him welcome.
Over to you, Brandon.

Thank you.

God bless. God bless.

A real man, to me,

is a man of God,
first and foremost.

And I'm a man of God, no doubt.

I guess that counts me in.

But I wasn't once.

If I was ever listed
on my own son's genograms,

there'd be so many of these
letters next to my name,

it would look
like qualifications

for some fancy university.

Drugs, violence, gang crime,

prison time,
but I actually believe

I'm qualified to be here.

Not because I've ever had the
types of thoughts and feelings

that y'all are wrestling with

or that your other
guidance counselors

have overcome righteously.

But I've had all sorts
of my own trials

that took me so far away
from the Lord

that it is a true miracle

that I'm standing here
before you today.

But I am.

I am.

Standing, leaning, sitting.

All the same idea.

Triangles are
the strongest shape.

Hand or hands on hips. Go!

Save yourself.

Fingers forward, not back.

Just the way it is.

Think of the shapes
you're making and ask yourself:

Is this a manly shape
I'm making,

or is it a girly
or feminine shape?

Sarah, come on up here.

Come on,
you delicate flower, you.


I want you to arrange
these guys into a line

in terms of masculinity,
if you will.

Go on, you can do it.

Follow your instincts.

Myself and other addicts
and alcoholics

put our faith in AA.

- Get familiar with this phrase:
- Knees up!

- Fake it till you make it.
- Knees up! Body up! Push!

And y'all folks and kids, being
what you're afflicted with,

better learn how to survive.

When you're in prison,

you'd surprise yourself
what you could do to fit in.

Come on, Phillip.

Eye on the ball.

Come on! Okay, next!

Fake it till you make it.

Become the man you are not.

So you think Cameron here

is the big winner, huh?

You think being big and tall

and overeating

immediately puts a guy
at the front of the line.

But it's more than triangles
or postures

and genetics.

Firm handshake!

Let's go! Do it!

You got to pick up the bat.

Hold the bat up!

- Ow!
- Ooh! -

Get back up on that horse!

All right,
just get him out of there.

- Lee, you're gonna be okay.
- Come on.

Jared, you're up next.

That's good.

Military man.

God bless, son.

Who you are on the inside
can be affected by the outside.

Outside in.
Fake it till you make it.

Adapt to survive.

Ah, see,
that's a batting stance.

That's what I'm talking about.


Lesbian, gay, bisexual,

whatever that is...

intellectual sexual.

I mean, what else do you want?

Unicorns? Squirrels?

Cupcakes? I mean, rainbows?

There's so much choice
in this group,

but, hey, think about this.

What are the consequences
to those choices?

Have a look at this.

Rape, abuse, AIDS.

What sinful things
have y'all done?

Moral inventory.

Catalog your sins
and ask God's forgiveness.

Who is ready?


"I would look at other girls

"in the changing rooms
before gym

"and in the showers.

"My biggest sin is one
that I am also thankful for,

because it has led me
to Love in Action."

Doing well, Sarah. Carry on.

"I had run away
from my uncle's house

"and stayed
with some girls I knew

"whose parents were away.

"It was there
that I finally acted

on my homosexual thoughts."

Come on, Sarah.

"I let a girl touch my...

"kiss m-my... vagina..."

Nobody's judging. Come on.

"...and put
her fingers inside me,

"and I did the same.

"I renounce these
sinful thoughts and actions,

and ask God to forgive me
all these things."

Very good.

We love you, Sarah.

All right, repeat after me.
We love you, Sarah.

We love you, Sarah.

Very good.

Do you want some water?

I'm fine, thanks.

- Can I get you anything else?
- I'm... I'm fine, thank you.

How dare you
humiliate a child like that?!

Is that what you guys...
you like that?

Do you like doing that?!

You like humiliating
and abusing children?!

- It's not easy...
- What do you mean it's not easy?!

- Lee's parents.
- His parents are here.

- Listen to yourself!
- With respect,

- we are not running a holiday camp here.
- We paid you $3,000.

I should report you. You could
have given him a concussion!

David, let's go.

That change doesn't come easy.


Y'all find the reason

y'all are here is funny?

Look at y'all!


I'm trying to help you.

So do not waste my time.

Nobody is to discuss the
therapy outside these walls!

Do I make myself clear?!

Yo, I got your back. Whoa!

- Oh, sorry, sorry.
- I got that.

Thank you so much.

Which, uh, which room you in?

I'm in, uh, 317.

Oh, I'm in 237.

You run?

- Yeah.
- I figure.

People who run
know about ASICS, right?

Oh, yeah.

Here, this is me.

First one in gets to choose.

You got a girl?

If so, you might want to think

about applying for a room
without bunks.

Just broke up.

Oh. That's perfect timing.

Before college.

We're a good fit.

Hate running with slowpokes.

I'll tell you what,
I'll race you on the way back.

Last one back has to go
to the other one's church.

Why? What kind of church is it?

You game or not?

- All right.
- All right, one,

- two, three, go!
- Two, three, go!

- Ben. This is Jared.
- Hey, man, nice to meet you.

Did you say your roommate's
not back till tomorrow?

He's on some golf trip.

Do you want to crash?



Good night.

Can't sleep, huh?

Probably shouldn't run
so late at night.

Are you okay?


Yeah, just...

It's okay.

Hey. It's okay. It's okay.

- Wait, wait.
- Shh, shh, shh.

Wait. Wait, wait, wait.


- Shh.
- Stop, stop, stop.

Stop, stop, stop,
stop, stop, stop!


Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!

Ow! Ow!


What the hell is wrong with me?

I'm so sorry.

I'm gonna be
in so much trouble.

I need to confess.

I need to confess.
Will you hear me?

- Please.
- Uh-huh.

Do you remember
the kid from church?

The one in front of us.

Something happened
with me and him.

Something pretty bad.

You wouldn't dare tell anyone,
would you?


Keep it between us.

Start with chapter six, please.

What-what a surprise.


- Hello.
- Is this Mrs. Nancy Eamons?

This is she.

I'm a counselor
at Danton College.

And I'm afraid I have
some disturbing news

about your son's behavior
at school.


What about him?

- Did he give you a name?
- I need you to answer

- my question.
- If-if he gave you a name...

- Please, Jared, just answer me.
- I'm just saying...

Have you been doing
the things he says?

- Why wouldn't he give you a name?
- Come on, son, enough.

- Tell me the truth.
- I'm asking the questions, too.

He didn't, um,
give me a name. I don't...

The guy's full of shit.
He's telling a bunch of lies.

Now you will not talk
like that in this house

in front of your mother.
You just watch your mouth.

Nancy, if-if you could
just give us a moment,

- you know, just to...
- I'm-I'm leaving.

- I'm-I'm...
- Sit down. You will not leave the room.

You will sit down, boy.

- You will sit down.
- It's bullshit, Dad.

- It's bullshit.
- I just asked you to watch your mouth!

I think, um,
he said he was a counselor.

And then...
and I asked for his name,

- and then I asked for...
- Nancy.

- You see?
- ...his number and he didn't...

Nancy, please.

Dad, I-I...

He's made all of this up.

Let's just sit here.
We're just gonna talk calmly.

All right. All right.

No, Dad.


I just need you to tell me
the truth, that's all.

What this man says of you...

Are you a homosexual?

Jared. We are not finished!

- I am, because you won't listen!
- Honey. Honey.

What this man says,
is it true?

What this full-of-shit guy,

- who is not a counselor...
- Answer me!

...who raped a kid
at-at his own church,

and God knows who else!

- Dad, you're hurting me.
- Marshall.

His name is Henry Wallace.
He's-he's not a counselor.

- He's a student.
- All right.

And-and... he told me
he did some bad things.

I think he thinks
I'm gonna tell on him.




Go to war!

Your mother's making dinner.

I'm okay, I'm not hungry.

I want you to write down
this man's name,

his church,
phone number if you have it.

Any information at all.

I don't want you
to talk to him.

I ain't gonna talk to him.

If he's been doing
what you say,

then he needs to be reported.


Now, you know what I did?

I invited Chloe and her parents
for lunch tomorrow.

And I was thinking it'd be fun
if you could join in.

Missing one more day of class
ain't gonna end the world.

You know, Jared...

...far as I can tell,

we've only got
one God-given right,

and that is when a man
and a woman come together,

they may create life.

You think how much God
must love mankind

to give us that
awesome responsibility.


It's really not true.

You know what I think about
these type of games, too.

Be respectful to your mother
when she calls.

You come down and eat.

- Honey.
- All right.

You want me to stop
with the games?

I'll stop with them.

I broke up with Chloe.


We broke up because
I think it's true, about me.

God help me.

I think about men.

I don't know why.

I'm so sorry.

God bless you, Pastor.

Thank you, guys, for coming.

I've had better days,
I can tell you that.

Just a minute. Just a minute.

- Mom?
- Hold on.

All right.

Wh... Why are Pastor Wilkes
and Jim Picard here?

Pastor Wilkes has dealt with
this kind of thing before.

Jim has a son, Eddie, who, um...
y-you were a little boy, but...


What'd they do to him?

Oh, no. You silly thing.

They didn't do anything to him.

They did things for him,
all right?

Just like they're gonna
do things for you.

Your father's wondering...

he's wondering how to help.

Come here.

It's all gonna be all right.

We've got one question
for you, son.

And then we're gonna
let you sleep.

It's been a big day.

I have shared our conversations

with these two
fine upstanding men,

and I have asked them
for their guidance.

I can tell you right now,

we don't have all the answers.

But I do know that you gonna
hold the key to the next step.

Your mother and I,
we cannot see

a way that you can live
under this roof,

attend service
and work at the dealership

if you're gonna fundamentally

go against the grain
of our beliefs.

And against God himself.

I'm gonna ask you
that question now, son.

In your heart... you want to change?


Yes, I want to change.

Come a little closer, son.

Pastor Wilkes,

could you ask Jesus
to shine his light

on my boy at this time?

Heavenly Father, I ask
your blessing for this family.

Give them strength.

Unleash your power
for one of your flock, Jared,

who has lost his way.

We pray, Lord,
that you make him pure

and that you return him
safely back to us

and see that the errors
of his way

are nothing more than
a momentary straying.

We pray that he see
the path of faith

and that he strive to be honest

and that he then find the joy
of a new life.

In his name we pray.



How's college treating you?

Ah, it's going good. Yeah.

- It's good.
- Your father's asked me

to take some of your blood.

He wants me to... to check
for testosterone levels.

I'm in a bit of
a bind here, Jared,

and I-I said this
to your mother, too.

Now, I am a religious woman,
there's-there's no-no question,

but I have also been
to medical school,

and... well, you could say that
I hold science in one hand

and God in the other,
and that is not always

an easy balance.

And I know that everybody would
like for me to say otherwise

and send you down
to the pharmacy for a-a pill

that would magically fix you,
but that's not gonna happen.

But I'm gonna take your blood,
and I know,

I know what it's gonna show me.

That you are
a perfectly normal,

very healthy teenage boy.

Jared, it's-it's not my place

to tell you
that your parents are wrong,

but let's say
that they are wrong.

I understand
your father signed you up

for a program next month.

Whatever happens next,
it is still your choice.

It may not feel that way,
but it is.

You're 18.

Do you have anything
that you'd...

you'd like to say to me?

Any-any questions?




So... I wanted to talk to you
about these.

Uh, your writing?

This, uh,
"Remy and Lucy met at midnight

under the stars
on Willow Street."

tell me about these.

Well, it's-it's just,
it's-it's a story.

It's a love story about
a boy and a girl, correct?

- Yeah.
- But were you

thinking about two boys
when you wrote this?


I mean, be honest.

No. It's just a story.

It's just an assignment
for college.

Jared, I've seen your
reading list for college.

I have it here, and listen,

The Picture of Dorian Gray,

I-I mean, some of
th-these books, Jared,

considering everything that's
going on for you right now,

I don't know that college
is really the best thing

for you to be pursuing at all.

A year with us may be

a much, much better use
of your time.

Given everything that I see.

And everything that's at stake.

And I'm willing to say that
to your parents.

Listen, I've had many
wonderful conversations

with your parents...
lovely people.

So, I know some of the story,

and I know that there is
quite a discrepancy

between what they were told
and what you said.

And you got to understand that

they don't know
what to believe,

and that's very troubling
for them.

But I think that you and I know

that there is a whole lot more
to the story,

and, you know, we're not here
on mere thoughts alone.

Jared, the-the people who get
the most out of this place

are the people that are just
really brave and-and honest

and-and lay everything on
the table, ugly as it seems,

and-and fess up
to what God already sees.

And then I can
really truly assess

what is the best future
for you.

Okay, son?

Yeah. Yeah.

Dear Heavenly Father,

today I ask your forgiveness
for my sins.

For a year, we lived together
under the cover

of being roommates.

But in reality, the whole time,

I was committing
the sin of sodomy.

And then my family
discovered the truth

and brought me back
to my senses.

They helped me realize
that I was fooling myself.

That I was being fooled.

That I was seduced
into a life of sin

by all sorts of sinful people.

And I knew in my heart

that I had forsaken Jesus
for Satan.

But now...

...I am awake to my sins.

I'm enlightened.

I'm here with all of you.

And I am disgusted at
the person that I once was.

I want to ask God
for his forgiveness,

and I want to thank
all of you guys,

especially you, Mr. Sykes,

for helping me get back
on the path to righteousness.

We love you, Gary.

We love you, Gary.

Please don't do that, honey.
You know I don't...

Mom, who did that happen to
and when? Seriously.

Do you know?

Do you actually know
who that happened to?

It never happened.

Parents want to
protect their kids.

So they feed them lies.

I think that they're okay lies.

What? Like not telling me
how long I might be here for?

You know, the whole thing
you and Dad are paying for here

is all about how messed up
we are by our parents.

They want to know about you.

That's why you can't know
all about it,

'cause then they wouldn't
get their money out of you.

What have I ever
done to you? Hmm?

Talk about me all you want.
My conscience is clean.


I'm gonna go for a run.
Is that okay, Mom?


Fuck you!

Fuck you!

Fuck you!

Please, please
give me strength.

I need your help.


I'm reading it. No debate.

I have a right to know
what they're teaching you.

I don't see why anyone
would read it

unless you absolutely had to.

I need to know what's inside.

There are tons of
spelling errors in it.

I almost want to mark up
a copy for them.

But that would take away
the only real enjoyment

you get from reading it,

'cause I guess it's... actually
not much fun to be there.

And I'm starting to wonder

whether it's really
gonna change me.

"We always come back
to Dog's true design."

Almighty Dog.

Welcome to God Versus Science.

Thank you.

Look up there...

Welcome to this exhibit.

Where are you from, Xavier?

I was born in Vienna.

I ended up in Canada,
and now I'm here.

Do you believe in God?

I do, yeah.


I question it, but I still
believe in God, yeah.

Who created the Earth?

You like a little
small talk, huh?

Do you believe in the Devil?

Does he look like me?

I don't know.

Do you know Job from the Bible?

Not personally.

I hear he's not great company,
always complaining.

I-I imagine I'm him sometimes.

And that God and the Devil
are having a bet over me.

That one day
God will let-let me in

on the experiment
he was having to test me.

I think we're our own God.

I mean, I think he's in us.

In all of us, not... you know,
somewhere hiding and watching.

Stay with me.

Nothing needs to happen.

I swear.

I'll prove to you
that God won't strike you down.

You wronged me, Dad, and I...

- and I hate the way that...
- Louder, Cameron.

Can't hear you.

Come on. I'll bring him closer.
There he is.

You wronged me, Dad,

and I hate you for the way
that you, that you treated me

since you found out
about my problems.

No, about your sin. Say that.

"About my sins." Go!

"About my sins."
Come on, Cameron.

"My homosexual sins."
Come on, Cameron!

- Cameron!
- I can go.

- I don't, I don't mind...
- No, no, no, no.

Jared, everybody gets a turn.
This is Cameron's turn.

"About my sins!" Come on!

Found out about my sins.

I hate that you never listen
to me or acknowledge me.

And when you do acknowledge me,

it's to make fun of me
in front of my friends.

"It's to make fun of me."

To make fun of me
in front of my friends.

And that, and that time
that you told me

that you wished
I'd never been born?

That really hurt me.


now, you say that you're angry,

but, quite frankly,
I don't really see it.

Well, what's going on
in there, Cameron?


Do you want to change?

Now, you're gonna wish
you hadn't have been born, son,

because God will not love you
the way that you are right now.

Unless you really
want to change.

Well? Come on.

Well, I guess not.

I guess not. Okay.

Let's take a break.

And you are gonna stay here
until you're ready to go!

Everybody but Cameron,
take a break.

I don't care
if you sit there all day, son.

Is this all a game to you?

What do you mean?

Listen, man.

You got to think about
why you went there.

You're trying to bail him out?

And touching him like that?

Do you think no one saw?

You saw him.
He was very upset.

- I didn't mean anything by it.
- I should report you.

True ownership, man. Okay?

This is what moral inventory
is all about.

And you got to quit
staring at me all the time.

These are the urges
that we got to stamp out.

Okay? You got to control this.

- Do you even want this to work?
- Of course I do.

We're all trying
to make this work.

I'm having a tough time, too,
just like you are.

Listen, I'm fine.

Doesn't seem like it.

Hey, what are you
doing in here alone?

You're meant to attend bathroom
breaks with a staff member.

Now you don't have to pee?

Or are you gonna do
something solo?

That's why
they make them rules.

Not to be trusted.

Not at this stage of the game.


Sounds like Morse code.

Sending me a message...


Starting to see it
for what it is?

Are you okay?

I'm fine. I'm fine.

I'm gonna give you some advice.

Play the part.

Show 'em it's working.

You're getting better.

Fake it until you make it,

You don't want to end up

in one of those houses
for any length of time.

I've heard the stories,
and they're not good.

And that's where
you're likely gonna end up.

Sarah's already there.

So, play the part, man.

And then, once you're home,

you got to figure out
what to do next.

If it comes down to it,

you may have to walk away
from everything.


Thank you for today, Michael.

- See you tomorrow.
- Mm-hmm.

You're gonna be
on the podium any day now,

so you should have a plan.

Unless you really think
you can change.

Or even want to.

I don't want
to be here anymore.

It's a trial. It...

- I don't feel good here.
- Nobody feels good

- about you being there, Jared.
- I-I don't, I don't...

I'm not sure
if I feel any different.

Son, son, you're...
you're not even halfway through.

Why didn't you tell me
how long I might stay for?

None of us knows
the answer to that, Jared.

It's kind of up to you.

You know, you just got to
give it a chance.

This is like
the book of Matthew.

The Devil's not gonna
ask you once;

he's gonna ask you
over and over again, son.

And you have just got to find

the strength and commitment
inside you.

You can get through this, okay?


- All right.
- It's late. Get some sleep.

- Good night.
- Good night.

Jared? You're gonna be late.

I had thoughts of men.

Boys at school.

At college, I...

My imagination.

Hey, what's going on?

I have no idea.

- Michael, what's going on?
- Just grab a tie.

Sadly, we are
gathered here today

to say farewell to our son,

- our friend and our brother...
- Okay.

...Cameron Van Heusen,

who, by his own making
last night,

fell prey to Satan's wishes.

Brother Van Heusen, is this
what you want for your son?


Young man, is this you?

Brother Cameron,
is this what you want?


Both of you, come on.

- Bring him down here.
- Let's go.

- Who's gonna strike this demon down?
- I will.

Out, you demon! Hit him!

Get out of him!

That's it.

- Out!
- Leave, demon! Leave!


- Yeah. Wow.
- It wasn't so bad, actually.

Sarah, come on.

Stay with me.

I'll prove to you
that God won't strike you down.

All right, take your seat.
Welcome back, son.

Now, I don't know
about y'all, but today,

whew, I feel invigorated.

And I feel hopeful
and a true sense

that anything is possible today
in this room.

Cameron, how do you feel, son?

I feel great, sir.

Do you feel the true presence
of God in your heart?

Yes, sir.

And that feels great,
doesn't it?

Yes, sir, it-it does.

For sure.

Happy for you, son.

Moral inventory.

Jared, you're up, son.

Come on.

Come on, son.

All right. Michael.

And when you're ready.

I had thoughts of men.

Boys at school.

On TV, on the street,
in my imagination.

At college,
I held the hand of a boy,

and I stayed through the night
in his bed.

For these thoughts
and this action,

for which I felt regretful,

- I'd like to ask for God's...
- Wait. Wait. Hold on.


Come on.

What else?

I never...

I-I stayed through the night
with the boy from college,

but we never did anything more.

Listen, don't even try
lying to God, Jared.

He already sees.

So, come on. What else?


I lied on my genogram.

My uncle Chris
wasn't an alcoholic.

Why don't you tell us
about this Henry boy?

That your daddy told me about.

That's not... that's not fair.

- Why not?
- That's-that's not my sin.

Do you want to waste
these people's time?

I'm not.

No, these people
who got up here honestly

and were brave and...

Well, I could
make something up.

I could make something up.

- Is that, is that what you...
- Yeah.

I-Is that what
you want me to do?

Isn't-isn't that a-a sin, too?

I mean,
if-if thoughts are a sin,

I ask God's forgiveness
for that,

but I'm not,
I'm not making anything up.

Okay, then. Okay.

Lie chair.

I just want to make use
of some of this anger.

Uh, wait.
Guys, just... just sit.

Just stay where you are, okay?

Here he is, Jared.

Your father is sitting here,
and I want to,

I want you to tell him
how affected you are by him

and how angry you are.

Tell him how you hate him

for the things that's he's,
the way he...

- Sit down. Sit down.
- But I'm not angry.

- And-and he's done things that upset me, but...
- Yeah, I know.

But you are. You just...

- You're angry, but you don't...
- He's let me down,

but why-why...
why do I have to be angry?

Just sit.

- Sit down.
- I'm not a dog!

- I know.
- And I don't think anyone is responsible for me,

so I don't see
how it's gonna help

picking someone
to blame or hate.

If you don't hate
anyone, Jared,

then where is all this anger
coming from?

Because you're
making me angry!

There you go!
I want you to use that!

I'm not gonna pretend
I hate my father.

- I don't hate my father.
- Jared, you do.

You don't know me!
You're all crazy!

- Hey! I didn't...
- All of you!

Just... Jared.

You're in my chair!
There you go!

- Jared!
- I hate you!

- But how does that help?!
- Jared.


Who's in the front office?

Jared? Son, let's talk. Son?

Hey. Michael.

Hey, hey! Give it to me!


- I want my things and I want to go.
- Hey, Jared. Michael!


Hey! Michael!
Get out of the room!

Come here, son.

Jared? Hey, hey. Hey, listen.

What you're having is
a natural response, okay?

Just-just breathe.


Hey, I just need a minute!

Be strong.

- Just go away.
- Take a minute, okay?

Please pick up, Mom.

- Jared?
- Mom.

- Jared?
- Mom, I need you to...

- I need you to come get me, please.
- What's the matter?

- What's the matter? What?
- Please, I'm in trouble.

What's happened?

Best thing that we can do is

probably get these guys
back to a session...

- Hey, son.
- I called my mom and she's coming to get me.

Listen, you got to understand

what you're going through
right now is just a moment.

- A moment? A moment?
- Okay? And I-I feel exactly

what you're going through.
I think that you and I

should just get everybody gone,
we just talk.

I don't want to talk.
I want to go.

Well, Jared,
I don't want you to.

I want you to stay.

Well, I-I read the rules,

and none of them say
you can stop me from leaving.

I wouldn't... Can you just check
where Brandon is, please?

And if you or anyone puts their
hands on me, I have witnesses.

Nobody's gonna put
their hands on you.

Why-why would anybody do that?
Come and sit.

We're gonna wait
for your mom, okay?

Jesus, our savior,
please focus on Jared.

Let him see the strength
and courage that he needs.

I want you to fill him
right now with

all the wisdom
of everybody in this room

to show him
how much they love him

and how much
they care about him...

- Be strong!
- ...and his journey into

the fire that
he's walking into

- and what he's willing to face.
- You are a man.

Let him open his eyes to see
the wisdom that you have...

- Jared!
- Mom!

Jared, honey,
what's happening?

- Mom! - What?
- Hey, hey! Sit back down!

Mom, they're not letting me go!

It's not that
we're not letting him go.

- Come on. Open this door.
- Just hold on, okay?

- Who are you?
- Mrs. Eamons, my name is Victor Sykes.

We spoke on the telephone.

I don't remember that.
Open the door.

- Well, I spoke with your husband a couple times.
- No.

Jared's just having
a moment here,

born out of
a role-playing exercise.

- Now be still. - It's fine.
- No, no!

That's not true.
Mom, tell him to open the door.

- You settle down.
- No. Enough. -

- Open the door now, Mr. Sykes.
- Shut up, okay?

- Listen, can we just all...
- I said open the door now!

I'm gonna call the police
if you don't open this door.

- There is no need for that. Listen, please.
- Jared!

Let him go!

- You all right, honey?
- Just let him go.

I just... I just think that...

Jared, come on.

I just... I think
it's more important for his...

development right now
that he...

- he would've stayed.
- Don't even listen to him.

Get in the car.
Get in the car.

You're gonna ruin that child.

What are your actual
qualifications, Mr. Sykes?

I never asked. Hmm?

Are you a doctor? Are you?

I mean, a proper one? Are you?

No. I didn't think so.


Shame on you!

Shame on me, too.

Shame on you!

Can I help you?

Uh, I'm not sure
if I'm staying or going.

All right.
Well, let me know.

I talked to your father.

He wants you to go back.

I told him
we'll see him at home.

I told him you're not
going back.

You know that night...

when Pastor Wilkes and Jim
came to the house?

Those men decided what to do
with you, and I just...

I fell into line,
like I usually do.

They say sometimes
you got to hurt a child

in order to help them,
and that may be so

with some things, but...

a mother knows
when something isn't right.

And I knew in my bones...

this wasn't hurting to help.

I was just letting you down,
and I kept my mouth shut.

And I will always regret that.

But I can do
a different thing now,

now that I have a chance.

I'll handle your father.

He can fall into line with me
for a change.

Some folk,
they don't go to church

for the right reasons.

Now, you know the type
of person I'm talking about.

They just turn up.

They don't use every day
of their Christian life...

to praise the Lord

and to help bring others
to his word.

It might be your neighbor,
it might be your friend,

it might be just a face
you only ever see at church.

They just turn up.

I will tell you something
that I know.

Just turning up to church
does not make you a Christian!

- Yes, sir.
- Amen.

Study the Bible.
Study his word.

I guarantee you,
every question you have...

you gonna find an answer
in this book.

- Yes.
- Amen.


um, do you know a boy,
um, Cameron Van Heusen?

Yeah. Is he here?

No. No, no.
That-That's the police.

this-this boy Cameron

killed himself last night.

They want to ask you
some questions.

Thank you.

- Hey!
- Hi!

- How are you?
- Hi. How you doing?

Yeah. Nice to see you!

I'm good.

Yeah, I think
they're in the dishwasher.

Come on, Chris.

Join us.

- Oh!
- Did you call it?

- I didn't hear you...
- Yes!

I didn't hear you call it.

- Mom...
- I gave it to him.

He has it and he'll read it.
He knows he has to.

M-Mom, it's important
he reads it.

Can you just put him on?

Well... I'm calling you
from Little Rock.

- I'm with Aunt Mary, so you...
- Wait. Why?

You should just
call him at home.

What happened?

Nothing. She just needed
some help with the shop,

so I came down here, and I'm
driving back tonight. I'm...

Nothing. Nothing is wrong.

Seriously, nothing is wrong.

Why didn't you tell me
you were coming?

Is he here?

He left. It is Sunday.

If it's urgent, you're
gonna have to go to church.

Why aren't you there?

Why aren't you at church?

I go, sometimes.

I-I support your dad,

Mom, what's going on
with you two?

Jared, it's...

He knows.

I can't be around the...

I love God.

God loves me.

And I love my son.

That simple.

For your father,
it's a little more complicated.

I wish it wasn't, but it is.

Did you hear about
the article I've got

coming out in The Times?

Do you know what it's about?

I don't want to get
into a fight.

- Your mother told me, son.
- It's not a fight.

I'm just...
doing the right thing.

I'm letting you know.

I've written more,
and the publishers are

talking about me putting
together a whole book.

You don't need to read
any of it.

I just needed you to know

that-that it might
be out there.

Well... now I know.

But it might be good
for you to read.

Because you never really asked
what went on there.

You never really knew
the staff or...

- or...
- You're right. You're right.

When the situation came up,

I did what I've often done
in my life.

I sought the counsel
of wiser men,

and I followed their advice.

What would you do now?

Now that you're running things.


Good night.

For me.

Is there something
you need help with?

'Cause, you know,
I got to make my flight.

Yeah, now, this was
gonna be for Christmas,

but, uh, well, you know,
your mother tells me

you like to drive upstate
sometimes to write.

Dad, I live in New York;
I don't need a car.

She also tells me...

you like to write by hand
before you use your computer.

Just like me.

This pen...

is made from a cedar tree
grown in Israel.

Guided me.

I've written every sermon
that I've ever delivered

in this new church
with this pen.

One writer to another.

I don't want
to pretend anymore.

We don't need
to spend time together.

We don't need to speak

unless we're gonna talk
to each other properly.

Like... you-you've done
some things

that have really hurt me.

Like-like you never,
you never asked

if there was more
to my story at college.

You never asked if I was okay.

You were too focused
on how it affected you.

There are so many things
that we've never spoken about.

And I don't know
if we ever will.


You know, all this
was gonna be yours.

I-I mean, it still will be,
but I meant to run and to...

make a living from.

I understand.

We all got our own paths.

The truth is
I want you to do well.

I want you to have
a great life.

I love you.

But I can't pretend, either.

There are things
I disagree with.

And I'll admit,
I'm gonna be honest,

I'm, you know...
I am being prideful

when I resent the fact that
I may never be a grandparent.

Now, that's just the truth.

It's hard for me to admit
that I have hurt you.

And that with my beliefs
and with all that's gone on,

I understand I-I may have
set myself up to lose you.

And I've had to ask myself,
and God,

if I'm ready for that.

I do not want to lose you.

Well, it doesn't feel like that.

I'm sick of avoiding you.

I'm sick of talking
about nothing.

I'm sick of it.

I'm gay, and I'm your son.

And neither of those things
are going to change.

Okay? So let's deal with that.

Or let's call it a day.

Both of us would be okay,
but that would be a shame.

I'm not changing.
There's no changing me.

God knows I tried.

So if you mean it...
if you really mean that...

...and you're not ready
to lose me...

then I'm sorry,

but you're gonna have to be
the one to change.

I understand.

I am gonna try.

I'll try.

I got to get going.


I've invited Mom
to my place for Christmas.


You're welcome to come, too.

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