This piece by Mercy Survivor Christan tells of the mind control tactics at Mercy Ministries that operate under the guise of Christian concepts. This piece was originally published on her personal blog and can be viewed at Pretty Pink Koolaid.
I came into Mercy Ministries on an anti-depressant, and even though it was advertised that we would see psychologists and psychiatrists as needed, I never saw anyone for an evaluation. Instead I was given my medicine at the same time every day, and told that modern psychology/psychiatry didn’t work.
In my time at Mercy Ministries, I was taught that God was the healer of all things…and that in order to get better – I simply needed to trust him and the authority he put me under (Mercy Staff). It was stressed through the daily teachings that mental illness was a sign of demonic oppression, either brought on my wrong choices or perhaps another person who had “violated us”. In order to be healed and set free we had to renew our minds daily according to the Word of God.
In order to accomplish the renewing of our minds, all girls entering the program received a small booklet called “Speaking God’s Word” by Charles Capps. Every girl, myself included, was instructed to speak this over herself daily. Every single morning I would hear girls reading from this book out loud in order to “renew their minds”. We were taught not to read the Charles Capps book quietly to ourselves, but rather to speak the Godly words out loud over ourselves daily. There is more power, the Mercy Staff would say, over Satan when we spoke God’s Word over ourselves out loud. And the louder we spoke, the more it worked. This was demonstrated to us by the Mercy Ministries staff each morning, as they could be heard on the opposite side of the home yelling in tongues as they started off their day. This yelling in tongues scared many new residents, but we were quickly taught to believe they were doing this for our protection and for protection against the evil spirits who wanted to enter the home.
Girls in the Mercy Ministries program were instructed to write down things they believed about themselves as a part of the counseling process (following the “Restoring the Foundations” criteria), and I was no different. I remember working for hours and hours…writing everything that came to mind regarding my beliefs about myself. When I was finished, I was instructed to turn this in to my counselor, Beth.
A few days later, I received paper back, only it wasn’t the one I had turned in. Instead, my counselor had replaced my writings with things that “God believed about me” instead. I was told that my perception of myself was wrong, even prideful, and that now I was also supposed to speak these words over myself daily, as well.
I took the piece of paper my counselor handed to me and read it carefully. Everything that I believed about myself was replaced with different versions of how “without Christ I was nothing.”
Without Christ, the demons could enter me and destroy my life.
Without Christ, I would never get better.
Without Christ, nothing in my life mattered.
Without Christ, I was a sinful, horrible person.
Without Christ, there was no hope for me in the outside world.
Without Christ, I would die.
Without Christ, I would be sent to hell and suffer for eternity.
As I followed Mercy Ministries staff’s instructions, I was now speaking the full Charles Capp’s book and the “without Christ I’m nothing” beliefs over myself every morning. After getting up, doing my chores and eating breakfast, it would take me close to an hour to speak everything over myself…but I did it. I did it because I was vulnerable and desperate for healing. I did it because I wanted my mental illness to go away. I did it because I didn’t want to crave alcohol or drugs anymore. I did it…because I wanted to be better than the person I had been before. I sincerely believed this was the path for a better life.
After all, refusal to participate in the renewing of our minds daily, and out loud, would result in an “unwillingness to follow the program.” An unwillingness to follow the program meant that we were in rebellion, and rebellion let to dismissal. If I was dismissed from Mercy Ministries program, I would be outside of God’s protection…and therefore, all hope would be gone. And nobody….nobody in the program wanted that – least of all me.