This piece was written by Mercy Survivor Chelsea. Chelsea also writes about her time at Mercy Ministries on her personal blog, and her story was also published here. Chelsea is an inspiring member of our network who has really found her voice and writes powerfully about her experience.
After spending many years figuring out the dynamics of Mercy Ministries, I’ve come to the conclusion that this is exactly how they run and get profits. And hence the reason they are labelled as “a money-making cult”.
On the girls’ side…
Promotional video depicts young women who were once sad, laughing with dogs. Video tells you that they are off their medications and doing fantastic. Perfect.
“Girls who had no hope before, NOW HAVE HOPE”
“Girls who were almost dead, WE SAVED”
“We take in the most worst of the worst and turn them into diamonds”
“Secular programs won’t help you, WE will”.
You want that.
Sick yourself and desperate.
“We have 700 girls on the waiting list and if you’re not willing to do as we say, then you can’t come”
“NO I HAVE TO COME. I’ll do whatever you say”.
It starts, even before they’ve reached the doors.
Girls withstand mandatory STD testing and personal questions relating to sexual orientation and sexual experiences, so they can come.
They wait months in which they prepare themselves that Mercy Ministries is their last hope.
“We feel like God is calling us to accept you into our program, free of charge, so make sure you feel bad about that and that you owe us something, okay?”
Girl arrives. Is placed with room mate of somebody who has been in the program for awhile. This is to make sure that weird stuff that goes on is asked of the roommate as normal.
Chasing demons out of the house.
“That’s normal, it’s okay”.
People are speaking in tongues.
“That’s normal, it’s okay”.
They’re listening to my phone call.
“That’s normal, it’s okay“.
I don’t understand why I just got patted down after coming home from the mall.
“That’s normal, it’s okay”
While there, she is given a personal regime of how she is to thank Mercy Ministries for all that she has. She is brainwashed into believing she is healed.
She is separated from the rest of the world. Given few phone calls. All within ears reach of staff. She is dependent upon Mercy Ministries for everything for six months.
She is set to milestones. One month, you still look longingly and sadly at your donors. You’re still very sick. Mercy takes very sick girls. By four months you’re running around giggling, socializing with your peers and doing chores like you’re a pro. You’re a leader now. Two more months and you’ll be ready to be set into the real world. A Mercy soldier.
There is no therapy. The counselors are not trained. Some possessing not much more then a two year Bible college degree. No case working.
They call them”the Mercy Girls”. Girls, because at 28 years old, she isn’t a woman until she’s graduated.
There is a fork in the road. The girl can either accept that Mercy Ministries is the greatest thing that ever happened to her, or that it never healed her and tell the world about it.
At this point, the girl goes on to tell everybody about her story of how Mercy healed her. She will send cards at Christmas, while she silently suffers in the background, because everybody thinks that God has miraculously saved her, through Mercy Ministries. In which they will donate money. And tell their friends about it, who will also donate money.
She will think she is some sort of a failure. Every other Mercy girl made it? And if I go back into treatment, it will prove that I didn’t follow God’s plan for me.
And if Mercy didn’t heal me, then nobody can, because secular programs can’t heal me. NANCY SAID SO. I am all alone and suffering still. Plus how can I afford treatment now anyway?
But what she doesn’t know is that it takes actual therapy to get over mental illnesses. Just like it takes insulin to cure diabetes. Even God will tell you that.
Or the other fork in the road, she can be real, and tell Mercy Ministries she’s not better, in which case Mercy will kick her out, she’s not brainwashed, and this person will not make Mercy Ministries any money, by being there. They’ve made a terrible mistake. She’s not the success story Mercy Ministries wants.
They will make sure to tell her it is her fault, so she doesn’t squeal that Mercy’s program actually wasn’t that great and it wasn’t her at all. It was their lack of services.
“You didn’t follow the Holy Spirit”
“You didn’t follow God’s plan for your life”
They will make sure to tell her family that she screwed up, so that they will continue to discourage the girl from sharing her story.
But what they don’t count on is that ONCE in awhile, they’ll accidentally pick the wrong woman, who will fight for herself.
They will make sure she leaves within hours and refuse to let her say goodbye to any of her friends in case she influences them to stand up for themselves. She will have nightmares about this for years. About running out and screaming “Everybody this place is a cult, get out!”
They will not allow contact during their stay and discourage the girls from having contact with anyone who has chosen “not to follow God’s plan for them” outside of Mercy.
As they set out after their six months, they are encouraged to share their testimonies EVERYWHERE which always includes their stay at Mercy Ministries saving them. This then moves onto the donors side.
On the donors’ side…
“We have really sick girls who need your profits”
“Even human trafficking victims!”
Money comes pouring in. People don’t question it.
Mercy Ministries will censor their Wikipedia page, YouTube accounts outing them, and anything else that will give them away as not a perfect, angelic, Christian organization.
They wouldn’t want the fact that they’ve been accused of abuse on numerous occasions to leak into their sponsors. Their sponsors RUN the show.
Run for Mercy? Why heck yes I will.
What is this Sevenly is sponsoring them? Why not?
They get people like country music stars and even politicians and Joyce Meyer to back them up, so they look legit. But those country music stars are going in blind and the politicians are just as brainwashed and we won’t touch Joyce Meyer. They pick people with weaknesses. Maybe people who suffered from eating disorders, or had a family member with a drug problem. They pray upon the weakness and use it to gain either fame or money from them.
“We do it free of charge, so we NEED YOUR MONEY“
Are you so sure your money is going where it’s supposed to. Did you know Nancy Alcorn has over five different website domains, just for her blog, so that Google doesn’t have her lesbian story on the front page? Are you paying for those domains?
You’re supporting girls to stay in a house and become brainwashed, just to please YOU, so YOU’LL donate. I’ll quote an Australian member of parliament. “Mercy Ministries is a particularly bad example of a MONEY MAKING CULT”.
“We do it in the name of Jesus”.
People don’t question it.
Promotional videos about sad stories about women who found so much hope at Mercy Ministries.
“We have 700 girls on our waiting list! HELP US!”
Ask for the evidence.
“Girls who had no hope before. NOW HAVE HOPE”
“Girls who were almost dead, WE SAVED”
“We take in the most worst of the worst and turn them into diamonds”.
“Secular programs won’t help them, WE will“.
Some donors are paraded around the Mercy homes, as they take a zoo like approach to watching the girls. You can probably tell who’s been there the shortest amount of time. She’s wearing all black and curled up in the corner. You gawk at her.
“That’s the kind of girl we need to help”.
But you’re not helping her. You’re brainwashing her. By then end she’s wearing ribbons in her hair and parading around with devotion to Mercy. Who knows what the underlying problem is. But it wasn’t fixed.
She’ll go home. And it circles back to the girl’s side.