Boy Erased (2018) Script

Jared.

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.

What?

You like to play something in particular?

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

And basketball!

What's your favorite color?

Uh...

Uh, blue and yellow.

Blue... And yellow. and... yellow. Yellow.

What would you like to be when you grow up?

Motorcycle driver!

Bye! Hi!

Jared?

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.

Everybody.

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... upstanding...

...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.


Morning. Welcome to Love in Action.

Hi.

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.

Great.

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.

Mm.

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.

"Sobriety... no smoking, no alcohol or drugs."

"Off hours... all clients to remain within a safe zone area as designated."

"Attire... 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.

"Confidentiality...

"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.

Dollar.

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."

Amen.

Welcome to the Refuge program!

Come on!

That's right, great souls!

Great!

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?

No.

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?

Phillip.

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.

Hmm.

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!

Rebels!

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.

What?

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.

Hey.

Is something wrong?

No.

Jared.

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.

Uh... hey, y-you tore out the pages.

Mm. They're just stories.

Mr. Sykes will decide that.

...to 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 whatsoever.

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.

Meanwhile, I'm stuck at the Baybrook with my dad, which is interesting.

Are you in one of the local hotels, too?

Yeah.

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.

Yeah.

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?

Pornography?

Mom.

Drugs?

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.

Ha-ha.

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.

Okay.

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.

Boom!

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual... whatever that is... multisexual, 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?

Sarah.

"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...

...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.

Unbelievable!

Y'all find the reason y'all are here is funny?

Look at y'all!

People!

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?

Maybe.

Night.

Good night.


Can't sleep, huh?

Probably shouldn't run so late at night.

Are you okay?

Yeah.

Yeah, just...


It's okay.

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

Wait, wait. Shh, shh, shh.

Wait. Wait, wait, wait.

Shh.

Shh. Stop, stop, stop.

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

Ow!

Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!

Ow! Ow!

Oh.

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?

Please.

Keep it between us.


Start with chapter six, please.


What-what a surprise.

Oh!

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?

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.

Jared.

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

What this man says of you... Jared.

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.

Honey.

Son.

Fight!

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.

Okay.

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.

Dad.

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.

Because...

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...

Anyway.

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...

...do you want to change?


Yes.

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.

Amen.

Jared.

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?

No.

Jared?

Morning.

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."

What-what... 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?

No.

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, Lolita, 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.

Honey.

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

Mm-hmm.


Fuck you!

Fuck you!

Fuck you!

Please, please give me strength.

I need your help.

Amen.

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.

Wow.

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.

Cameron... now, you say that you're angry, but, quite frankly, I don't really see it.

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

Huh?

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? Seriously?

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.

What? 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.

Hmm.

Sounds like Morse code.

Sending me a message... faggot?


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, right?

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.

Everyone.

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?

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?

No.

Young man, is this you?

Brother Cameron, is this what you want?

No.

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!

Ow!


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.

Jared.

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?

Well...

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.

Jared!

Who's in the front office?

Jared? Son, let's talk. Son?

Hey. Michael.

Hey, hey! Give it to me!

Michael.

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

Hey!

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.

Jared?

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? Psychologist?

I mean, a proper one? Are you?

No. I didn't think so.

Oh.

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.

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

Yeah. Is he here?

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

Apparently, 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, and-and...

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.

Enough.

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.

Yeah.

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.


Dad...

I've invited Mom to my place for Christmas.

Yeah.

You're welcome to come, too.