This piece by Mercy Survivor Christan tells it like it is, and updates us on her quest for access to her own records (previously covered here, here and here). This piece was originally published on her personal blog and can be viewed at Pretty Pink Koolaid.
Let’s get RAW.
I have been requesting my personal records from the 9 months I spent Mercy Ministries since 2008. Yes, you counted right…that’s five years of requests that have gone unanswered. If you follow my blog, you will note that I requested my personal records again last week…this time emailing Nancy Alcorn (which I’ve done in the past) AND cc’ing every Mercy Ministries staff member I could obtain an email on. I just received my “records” from Mercy Ministries for the first time today via Certified Mail.
I kept the envelope in my purse for a few hours – I just wasn’t sure I was ready to see what was in there. You see, here is the reason I requested my records in the first place: (note: this is the very, very condensed version)
While in a counseling at Mercy Ministries of America, during a regression memory therapy type of session that Mercy calls “Soul/Spirit Hurts” – it was “revealed” to me by the Holy Spirit through my counselor that I had been abused. Not just abused by anyone, mind you…but abused at the hands of a close family member.
Now, I didn’t have any memory of this abuse, but since the Mercy Ministries staff knew “by the Holy Spirit” that it was true, I thought it must be also. (See previous posts about how I got to the place where I believed everything Mercy Ministries Staff had to say)
Many months after graduating Mercy, I was encouraged to address these abuse allegations with that family member, which I did. It was agonizing because I didn’t want to damage my relationship with my family, but I was told by the church pastor (whose “authority” Mercy Ministries and Nancy Alcorn, specifically, told me to be under) and Mercy that without addressing the abuse and cutting ties with my family….God wouldn’t be able to use me fully.
Yes, I was brainwashed.
After the abuse allegations were brought to my family’s attention, they begged and pleaded with me to see the truth. They asked me about specifics with the abuse…I didn’t have any, because I couldn’t remember. They pleaded with me to get help for my mental illness (Bipolar), but I was told by Mercy Ministries, and the church I was attending, that my mental illness was healed by Jesus.
Nancy Alcorn even went as far during this time to call the pastor of the church I was attending – and instruct him to tell me specifically not to let my parents have access to my Mercy Ministries records. Nancy then called me to ensure that I didn’t release any authorizations for my records to get into my parents hands.
These events led to me being completely separated from my entire family for almost 3 years. During that time I got married, I became a mom….and my family was never a part of anything. Why? Because Mercy Ministries (and the church I was attending) told me that THEY were my family now. They told me that it didn’t matter that I wasn’t in contact with my parents or my brother or my aunts and uncles…because I was living “God’s plan for my life” by serving Mercy Ministries and the church.
After my family and I reconciled (that’s another long story in itself), I requested my records from Mercy Ministries because I wanted to figure out what the hell went wrong in the program. That was in 2008.
What stirred me to really push for my records this time, 10 years after I graduated the program, are a few things….
1. I am still haunted by what transpired because of the “counseling” at Mercy Ministries. I have nightmares, I have anxiety attacks, I can’t attend church without wanting to throw up – and I’m not sure if I’ll ever believe in a God again. At least not the “God” of Christianity, of which Mercy Ministries claims to me a part of.
2. I have spoken with 9 girls that graduated from Mercy Ministries (3 that graduated from the Monroe, LA home) whom also came out with false abuse claims against their family due to Mercy’s counseling sessions. Like with me, Mercy Ministries told those young women that these “revelations of abuse brought forth by the Holy Spirit” were their key to healing. Also like me, it took being out of Mercy Ministries many years and a deprogramming of the brain to realize that the abuse claims were never true…but that they were planted there by Mercy’s counselors.
3. I am in contact, as are my parents, with at least 7 other families across the US who have no contact with their daughters since they graduated from Mercy Ministries. Why? Because their sweet daughters mysteriously had a realization (I’m guessing “through the Holy Spirit”) that they were abused at the hands of their family.
Can you see why I was wanting to obtain my records? I want to figure out what the hell went on during my time at Mercy that has caused my life to never be the same. I was hoping that as I read through counseling notes, staff notes…as I reviewed the books I was required to read, etc. that I could find some answers. I didn’t expect to find answers for every girl and family who has been damaged by Mercy…but I needed answers for myself.
This is why receiving my records in the mail today was a big deal, and why it took me a while to open the envelope. Ten freaking years waiting for this moment.
When I opened up the envelope I discovered three pages. One was a copy of the fax request I sent to Mercy Ministries last week. The second was a half-page stating “this is confidential information for your eyes only.” The third page …God.
The third page.
That was the moment I lost it.
The third page that “summarized” 9 months of my life while at Mercy Ministries – was NOTHING. It was shit. It’s the most generic thing I’ve ever read in my entire life.
I was so angry, I was so numb, I didn’t know what to do…so I cried. A lot.
What kind of Christian organization convinces a girl she was abused by her family, lets her walk away from her family, uses her to sell books and audio bibles and speak at conferences, let’s her raise money for their organization and then – when she begs and pleads for her own personal records…gives her nothing?
How can they do that? I fought for 5 years for MY information, and they gave me nothing.
How can Nancy Alcorn, who used to call me, who invited me into her home and let me drive her car….the Nancy that told me I was her hero and put me in magazines and let me come to conferences with her…how can the very “Woman of God” who preaches all around the world DO THIS TO ME?
I’ve fought so hard since deprogramming from Mercy Ministries to have normalcy. All I was asking for from Mercy was my personal file to help me maybe figure some things out and have peace…but they won’t let me do that, will they?
No. …and here is the scary part.
Mercy Ministries is still running the same program, convincing girls of the same abuse, and then using their stories, like they have mine, to make money. Not just some money – lots and lots of money.
I don’t understand. I’m hurt. I’m hurt and I’m angry that Mercy Ministries continues to hide behind their “Christian” label and their 501c3 status to damage young girls and their families.
When will it ever end?