Social Affairs Minister: We wouldn’t treat LGBT with “boiling” water and spices, just drug users

“Social Ministry Has Solution to Rehabilitate LGBT By Boiling Them in Hot Water” – it’s a headline that is so insanely scarily ridiculous that it couldn’t be true… except in Indonesia, where high-ranking politicians think the LGBT movement is more dangerous than nuclear bombs and that instant noodles can make your baby gay.

But this time, it actually turned out not to be true. The original story by Redaksi Kota remains up, but the news outlet has also issued an apology to the Social Ministry retracting it.

You see, Social Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa never actually said that LGBT individuals should be rehabilitated by dipping them into boiling water.

No, what she actually said is that dipping individuals into nearly boiling 85 degree Celsius water (with a blend of spices and lime) was a safe treatment for drug users.

“I myself have tried it and it was not dangerous,” Khofifah was quoted as saying by Redaksi Kota in their apology for the boiled LGBT story.

While Khofifah did not explain the mechanism by which immersing a drug user into extremely hot and aromatic water would help them with their addiction, she claims that representatives of other countries have come to Mojokerto (where the treatment is performed) to study it.

We could not find any scientific literature regarding drug treatments involving spicy hot lime water, our theory is that it is something like a spa treatment, and the drug user comes out of the treatment feeling relaxed and so refreshed that narcotics don’t even seem that cool anymore.

As for LGBT individuals, the minister has a plan to rehabilitate them that doesn’t involve hot water or spices at all. Khofifah said she is teaming up with Ary Gina Agustian, one of the founders of the ESQ Leadership Center, to use his “Emotional Spiritual Quotient” method to treat them instead.

You can read more about ESQ on its official website, but it doesn’t go into many specifics about what its programs involve.

One of our good friends (who asked to remain anonymous) actually took as ESQ program and had this to say about it:

“I tried a ESQ program once and I know perfectly well how it works. So essentially they use scare tactics to get you to become devout followers of God. Most of their seminars are just them showing cheap-CGI videos of what it would be like to be tortured in hell. Then it’s one guilt trip after another from there and people actually cry when they’re pushed to recount all their sins”

If you doubt our friend’s description of the ESQ method, you can watch this promotional video about ESQ training for children, which ends with a bunch of children crying their eyes out.

But apparently Minister Khofifah is convinced that ESQ is a suitable treatment for LGBT individuals saying: “After going through ESQ, it appears that men then want to marry women. And so it’s one of the options for redesigning social rehabilitation for LGBT and (drug users),” Khofifah was quoted as saying by Redaksi Kota.

We wonder if there is any scientific studies demonstrating the effectiveness of ESQ in treating LGBT individuals. Because the vast majority of scientific literature says that being LGBT is not something that can or should be cured, and also that attempts to “rehabilitate” LGBT individuals are almost always ccompletely unsuccessful and often end with former patients feeling depressed or suicidal.


Support local news and join a community of like-minded
“Coconauts” across Southeast Asia and Hong Kong.

Join Now
Coconuts TV
Our latest and greatest original videos
Subscribe on