Been having trouble locating a copy of Mercy Ministries’ counselling curriculum? Well, now you can download it here!
We are very frequently contacted by potential Mercy residents and their families seeking accurate information about Mercy Ministries.
Mercy’s website stands in vast contrast to what dozens of media articles and first-hand accounts of former residents testify, which can no doubt be confusing to those seeking information to have to wade through conflicting stories and determine what is true.
There is so much we could explore on this subject, but for now, I would like to present some much sought-after evidence exposing Mercy Ministries’ approach to treating extremely serious, vastly complex and often life-threatening conditions.
Mercy Ministries’ blurb as shown above states their curriculum:
“…combines biblical principles of healing and unconditional love with best-practice clinical interventions”.
However, as you will see from this piece and full copies of both counselling manuals, no trace of “best-practice clinical interventions” can be found in their approach, let alone their entire program.
Furthermore, even if their counsellors were in fact qualified (a piece to be published on this soon ), what aspect of Mercy Ministries’ approach to treatment requires them to draw upon a single aspect of their professional training?
Mercy Ministries’ counselling curriculum is currently called “Choices That Bring Change”. Since its inception in 2008, it has been long suspected that this was merely their previous curriculum “Restoring the Foundations” with a new name.
As at the date of this article, Mercy Ministries’ website says of their counselling approach:
Allow us to interpret the spin for you…
Choices That Bring Change explores issues of:
The part where a non-Christian is forced to become a Christian, despite Mercy Ministries’ admission of girls who identify as non-Christian. For non-Christians, or Christians who have not had charismatic experiences, it may also serve as a process where they are prayed over to speak in tongues, among other things.
This part requires you to forgive any abusers and ask God’s forgiveness for your sin.
Mercy Ministries’ approach to forgiveness is heavily influenced by the teachings of Joyce Meyer that forgiveness is a choice, and that thoughts and feelings of forgiveness will eventually follow. During this module, a girl is not only required to forgive any and all offenders, but is also required to ask that God forgive her for her sins of unforgiveness against those people and any other sins on her part. This can be extremely confusing and distressing in cases of sexual abuse where they have struggled to not take on the guilt and shame of their abuser’s actions.
The part is called “Generational Curses” in the manual, and this is where things get spooky.
They mix the old covenant with the new, and tell you that you must break off generational curses to the fourth and fifth generation. (This module is almost identical to the last, which is known as “Demonic Oppression”).
Overcoming past abuse and hurts
This is spin for a form of theophosic prayer which they call “Soul/Spirit Hurts” where they get you to regress to your past (sometimes to a time or an event that you cannot remember), to seek out some singular event (or maybe two) that is behind your current “symptoms” (aka life controlling issues). Whilst some forms of guided prayer or even guided imagery may be beneficial, the form used at Mercy is highly suggestive and can result in false memories surfacing, which has happened in many cases personally known to us.
General life principles
This is a convenient umbrella term for “the rest of the manual”. I discuss the remaining modules below:
Godly/Ungodly Beliefs involves identifying “lies” and replacing them with truth. This happens by reciting faith-based affirmations to counteract them. This is very much in line with word of faith doctrine and a booklet by Charles Capps called “God’s Creative Power” which girls are required to recite daily.
Whenever a girl comes to staff with an issue or struggle, they are glibly told to go away and recite their godly beliefs.
Demonic oppression is another aspect covered under their statement “general life principles” – an aspect that Mercy Ministries have vehemently denied practicing for years, in spite of surmounting evidence. More recently, they have re-labelled it as “spiritual warfare”.
Demonic oppression involves the casting out of demons. It follows from certain charismatic theologies that a Christian cannot be possessed, because they belong to God, however they can be oppressed. And the determined symptoms of being possessed and oppressed, as well as the practice of deliverance, are exactly identical. Except that it is believed that demons have the authority to remain in/on/around a non-Christian altogether, and in/on/around Christians who have not addressed what they call “footholds” such as unforgiveness, generational curses, etc, allowing them to have a stronghold in or over a Christian.
Like Generational Curses, this involves filling out a comprehensive checklist of various sins, such as “rock n roll”, “little girl” and “Jezabel” in Restoring The Foundations (which has been somewhat condensed in the Choices That Bring Change version). Ironically, “mind control” is among these items.
Upon completion, you then pray through scripted prayers, renouncing each and every aspect, and commanding demons to leave. This is done in the presence of two counsellors who are usually speaking in tongues throughout the process and having you take a physical step forward upon each renouncement.
In many girls’ experiences, some counsellors (and other unqualified staff) like to mix it up and shout at demons to leave, or use physical restraint whilst casting out demons. These variations are not uncommon themes throughout many of our experiences.
Is this hearsay, or is there proof of this? How can you be sure that this isn’t just other misinformation floating around about Mercy Ministries? What proof do we have that the modules of Choices That Bring Change are the same as Restoring The Foundations?
Well, it is now possible for you to judge for yourself:
“Choices That Bring Change” can be downloaded CTBC in PDF;
“Restoring the Foundations” can be downloaded here; and
Comprehensive checklists of Restoring The Foundations regarding ungodly beliefs, generational curses and demonic influences can be viewed here and here, and pages from the counsellor’s manual on performing deliverance (including comprehensive checklists) can be viewed here.
For further reading, you may wish to visit the Restoring The Foundations website. This page discusses the origins of their approach, and this page goes into detail regarding the theology behind each module.