This piece by Mercy Survivor Chelsea was originally published on her personal blog, The Pink Propaganda, and can be viewed here.
This was an email that I sent to someone that I turned into a post.
There’s this theory in the girls that go to mercy ministries.
There’s three groups of them.
- They go, behaviorally speaking they may get some help, they leave devoted to mercy.
- They go, they get no help and they still leave devoted to mercy. They never really admit on the outside that Mercy didn’t help them, they’re afraid of not being a successful “mercy girl”. Maybe years after graduation they come to the conclusion that it’s okay to not be okay and they start speaking out about their experience.
- They go, Mercy destroys them and they are left in shambles, often with PTSD and years of torment ahead of them.
#2 is probably the most common group. But there is always a risk of #3. And there should never be a risk of #3.
The girls who #3 often happens to are girls with legitimate chemical imbalances. Girls who aren’t easily brainwashed either. Mercy may try to “break them down” more and in the end up screwing them up more.
Mercy Ministries works like this. And maybe you can read up more on this. They use something that mind control groups use called “pseudo identities”. These are basic new identities. You come in as Jane #1 and you Leave as Jane #2.
Jane #1 loved horses, gardening and went to college at Michigan State.
Jane #2 just got out of Mercy, she has been heavily brainwashed and now no longer is even the same person really. Her love for horses is gone, her love for gardening is gone and now she is entering a small Bible College to go work for Mercy Ministries herself. Along with it Mercy has brainwashed away the eating disorder.
You may say “this is a good thing”. But think about that for a moment. Do you love your family? What’s your favorite thing to do in the world? What are some of your hobbies? Because after Mercy, none of that may matter to a Mercy Girl. They have that chance that none of that may matter to them, could you imagine that someday none of that would matter to you?. I know a lot of girls who still have no contact with their families. I know when I was at mercy they asked me to stop talking to all my friends who were not strongly devoted Christians. I eventually mended those relationships after I left Mercy, and went through some deprogramming of sorts and realized who I actually was.
After they’re deprogrammed they not only start to gain back stuff like their love for horses (or whatever, just an example), they start to realize that they were never healed of their eating disorder either or the self harm, drug abuse, etc. And then by this time, two-three-four years have gone by and then they have to start all over. At square one. And they have to deal with the trauma that basically a total stranger has been living in their body for the last three or so years. That stranger might have married someone they didn’t love, had two kids they weren’t ready for and a ton of other stuff.
I read this recently on Charity Navigator, a review from someone who went to mercy and it basically sums up the beginning of the deprogramming.
Went to this place and they tried to convince me that all my problems were because of the terrible parents that I had. I came out accusing my dad of sexually abusing me in some horrific ways! When I finally came to myself-the truth , that my parents have nothing to do with my problems, Mercy Ministries has abandoned me. Now I have no family and , ironically, no mercy.
Eventually though they’ll start to feel relieved that they can breathe again and not put on any shows for anybody. And then that’s when they realize they actually have to start fighting for their life, versus creating a pseudo identity to deal with it.
Pseudo identities make you feel dead inside. They make you feel so powerless. While you’re screaming at everyone on the outside “look how amazing I am, look how amazing this mind control group is”. You are cringing on the inside, deep, deep inside and you’re so heavily brainwashed that you can’t even notice it. It takes a long time to get over that.
I was part of group three. While I recognized immediately what Mercy did to me and I caught on right away and was able to receive help right away, because what they did to me was so clearly wrong and angering and I am not somebody who is easily brainwashed, because of genetics, personality and how I was raised. I feel most sorry for group #2. Because their stress lasts for years. They don’t get to speak out for years. And there is no set time line, sometimes it takes a decade, two decades (I think average 2-5 years) until that pseudo identity looses grip and when it does, because it will, because unlike most mind control groups, you don’t live at mercy forever and they only have so much power while you are away. You are stuck with a big mess to clean up.
And most people are part of group #2. No matter what you say to them, no matter what negative evidence comes out against Mercy Ministries, they are entirely devoted to the ministry. It’s not that they are lying about mercy being “so great”, it’s their truth. it’s what they believe right now. I remember recommending that a girl go to Mercy right after I got out and how much I regret that to this day, because that girl is not doing well right now. But I also understood, because that was my truth then. That’s just what I was taught to tell people. “Mercy is good. I am good.” It’s their truth. You can tell them
“Mercy Ministries had a girl jump off a balcony in 2006, because she was schizophrenic and they weren’t managing it”.
“Mercy ministries doctors testimonies”
“Mercy Ministries uses false memory recollection to cut girls off from their families”.
And a million other things and they won’t listen. They won’t listen because they are devoted to Mercy Ministries. Nobody who is in a mind control group, believes that they are in a mind control group.
These are the basic steps to creating a pseudo identity that mercy ministries may form their treatment around.
Unfreezing is literally breaking a person down, getting him to doubt himself and his reality. (look up BITE model, where they control your behavior, information, thought and emotions.
Changing is the indoctrination process, installing new beliefs, values, ideas, etc.
Refreezing is the strengthening and solidification of the new identity, the pseudoidentity, or sometimes called a pseudopersonality.
You can google “pseudo identity and mind control” or here’s a good page on it.