The nephew of a Missouri congresswoman has claimed his parents hired an ‘exorcist’ to expel ‘all the demons’ from his room that they thought ‘were making him gay.’
Andrew Hartzler, who grew up in Kansas City, came out to his family – who were members of the conservative evangelical sect called the International House of Prayer – at age 14.
The now 25-year-old, who was also sent to a conversion camp, recently took to TikTok to share a clip of the ‘exorcism’ that his parents ordered to rid his room of the devil as a result.
Other social media users were left stunned and quickly flooded the comments with supportive words for Andrew.
Andrew Hartzler, who grew up in Kansas City, came out to his family – who were members of the conservative evangelical sect called the International House of Prayer – at age 14
The now 25-year-old recently took to TikTok to share a clip of the ‘exorcism’ that his parents ordered to rid his room of the devil after he made the revelation
Andrew lets the video of the encounter play out as the exorcist wanders around the bedroom and closets with a Bible in hand
In the clip, which has so far been viewed more than 853,000 times, Andrew talks directly to camera as he reveals: ‘Here is when my parents hired an exorcist to get all the demons out of my room that they thought were making me gay.’
Andrew then lets the video of the encounter play out as the exorcist wanders around the bedroom and closets with a Bible in hand.
He says: ‘Devil go in Jesus’ name. You foul spirit, you leave in Jesus’ name. Every evil spirit go now in Jesus’ name. And I pray the conviction of the Lord upon this room…
‘Devil you have no more place, you can never enter this room again. I plead the blood of Christ over this closet, over every piece of clothing in here.’
The exorcist, who is joined by two other adults, then anoints various items in the room with Holy Water as he proclaims: ‘We anoint this bed in the name of Jesus that every person that touches this bed shall be saved.’
And the video left other social media users stunned and rushing to Andrew’s side, as one wrote: ‘It is so painful and at the same time comical in a sad way. OMG honey, I am so sorry.’
Another added: ‘Good lord, I can’t believe this is real life! I am so sorry.’
And a third simply said: ‘I have no words.’
Other social media users were left stunned and quickly flooded the comments with supportive words for Andrew
Andrew has since told Insider that he was sent to a conversation camp after coming out to his parents aged 14.
He said: ‘It was like some of the darkest moments of my entire life. It basically just teaches you learned self-hate, like learning to repress half of your mind. It’s exhausting.’
Andrew was sent to a conversion therapy counselor as well as being enrolled at the conservative Christian Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
He came out to his parents once again during his sophomore year and told the publication that he suspected his parents may go through his room as a result.
So he decided to set up a series of cameras whenever he went away – which is why the exorcism was recorded.
‘My father thought my identity issues were a “demonic stronghold,”‘ he said. ‘He always used that type of language around my sexuality.
‘It was really important for people to see that there are right-wing Christian fanatics who are subjecting their children to this type of practice and that they believe being gay is something profoundly evil that has to be performed away by some ritual.’
Andrew, who no longer speaks to his parents, caused quite the stir last year after condemning his aunt, Republican congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, for bigotry.
Andrew, who no longer speaks to his parents, caused quite the stir last year after condemning his aunt, Republican congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, for bigotry
In December 2022, Vicky cried in the Capitol while speaking in opposition to the gay marriage bill which the House ultimately passed.
The 62-year-old was in tears, her voice quavering, as she told the House: ‘I hope and pray that my colleagues will find the courage to join me in opposing this misguided, and this dangerous bill.’
And Andrew was quick to speak out on the matter as he said she was misguided, and would have to learn tolerance and acceptance.
He came out to her in February last year, despite her long history of rejecting LGBTQ rights, including her decision in 2019 to sponsor an event arranged by proponents of conversion therapy.
He said: ‘So, despite my coming out to my aunt this past February, I guess she’s still as much of a homophobe.’
Andrew told BuzzFeed News at the time that he wasn’t surprised by her performance, adding: ‘I don’t want my last name to be associated with hate. I want it to be associated with love.’
He also sued the evangelical Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma – a university he did not choose, but the only one his father said he would pay tuition fees.
Andrew also sued the evangelical Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma – a university he did not choose, but the only one his father said he would pay tuition fees
Like all students, Andrew had signed a pledge on arrival stating: ‘I will not engage in or attempt to engage in any illicit, unscriptural sexual acts, which include any homosexual activity and sexual intercourse with one who is not my spouse.
‘I will not be united in marriage other than the marriage between one man and one woman.’
The president of the university, William Wilson, preached during one of the mandatory twice-weekly sermons that ‘if a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable, they are put to death.’
Wilson asked the assembled students to close their eyes, bow their heads and raise their hand if they if they needed ‘healing in this area of sexuality.’
Andrew is now part of a federal class action lawsuit in which plaintiffs are suing the Department of Education to stop religious schools from receiving federal funds if they discriminate against LGBTQ students.
Under current law, such schools receive religious exemptions from complying with Title IX anti-discrimination laws.