This piece by Mercy Survivor Christan tells of how staff at Mercy Ministries prioritise abuse of power over the safety of those in their care. This piece was originally published on her personal blog and can be viewed at Pretty Pink Koolaid.
While at Mercy Ministries, I had bonded with a girl that arrived around the same time I did. She and I both had natural questioning/critical thinking natures. One thing we discussed quite a few times were the qualifications, or lack thereof, of the Mercy staff members.
As an Example: One Mercy Ministries staff member, in particular, didn’t seem to have “all the lights on upstairs”. Not only could she not quite carry on a normal conversation, but as our Recreation Director, she became very distracted while driving the bus full of Mercy girls to events.
Her driving was so inadequate, that she would swerve into oncoming traffic and it made all of the girls very, very nervous. We, as Mercy girls, would talk amongst ourselves about our Rec Director and how her driving (the most pressing of our worries with her) was frightening, but no one would say anything to the Mercy Ministries Staff out of fear.
This girl I had bonded with, and I, decided to take a stand in mentioning the Rec Director’s driving to Margaret (Director), and also questioned her general mental capacity. Every time either of us brought up a concern, we were shut down and told not to question the authority that God put over us (authority being the Mercy Ministries staff). The girl I had bonded with, and myself, were soon called into Margaret’s office to sign a “separation contract” with each other. Due to our questioning of a staff member we were not allowed to sit by each other at meals, have conversations alone, or do recreational activities remotely close to one another. This ended up being the first of three separation contracts I was required to sign to stay in the program.
There were intermittent times when I still questioned the Mercy Ministries staff, and do to my questions, they began taking away my “free time.” Instead of watching G or PG rated movies with the girls on weekends, I was having to listen to Joyce Meyer series about “Obeying God’s Authority” and and writing reports instead.
All Joyce Meyer series I listed to during that time-frame spoke of authority. Joyce Meyer talked about how God will never entrust us with riches/greater positions/jobs, etc. in life if we don’t first obey the people he puts over us. It was consistently engrained into my mind that if I didn’t follow the authority God placed over me (the Mercy staff), then I wasn’t following God.
By this time, I had been in the program long enough…that I was fully convinced God was the only one who could heal me, as we were consistently told modern psychiatry/psychology were of the devil. I greatly desired to follow God…and to accomplish this, I had to obey the Mercy Staff and taking their word/advice/actions, as God’s very representation to me. Diverting from the Mercy Staff meant I was walking away from God himself. If I walked away from God, I wouldn’t receive my healing, and therefore there would be no hope. I absolutely could not live a life with no hope and I knew (per Mercy Ministries staff) that walking away from God meant going to hell…so in all my confusion and vulnerability, I pressed on in the Mercy program.