Courage to speak + accountability + taking a stand

This piece by Mercy Survivor Alicia was originally published on her blog, “Beyond Silence: My Mercy Journey” and can be viewed here.

While I was on the waiting list for Mercy Multiplied I remember promising them I wouldn’t act out in my eating disorder or self injury.  The desperation to get into the program lead me to abstinence from my eating disorder and self injury but once I got there and they met me in person.  There were all these promises going into Mercy Multiplied that every girl including myself wanted.  I made a choice to go there but my choice was based on false promises things I thought the program would truly give me.

I wanted so desperately for God to heal me.  Everyone told me Mercy Multiplied was my last hope.  Looking back God gave me more chances even after Mercy Multiplied.  God showed me that a man-made program that isn’t aligned with everything He has for me isn’t going to heal me.  Only God can heal me.  I quickly found that Mercy Multiplied and people were put on pedestals.  They left out that God was one with the power to heal not Mercy Multiplied.  That’s why that any ministry that claims to heal is not going to heal if they look at themselves as the sole part of the healing.  God can use man-made things to help us but true healing comes from God.  Until a ministry realizes this, no one is going to have true healing.  If they claim healing it’s only going to be temporary.

It’s so sad on the flip side watching girls who graduate fall back into their addictions after telling their story saying Mercy Multiplied did X, Y, Z for them… Truly God is above Mercy Multiplied and yeah it was used to change perspective but their whole mindset did not change overnight.  God has to be the one we give glory to not a man-made program.

I went to Mercy Multiplied with this idea of all these false promises in my head.  There were situations that made me question is this really the place for me?  I found quickly if you could not submit to authority, Mercy Multiplied was not for you.  I found that my biggest struggle.  God is my authority but not man I couldn’t bring myself to bow to a ministry.  My heart belonged to God and not to their authority.

I wanted freedom but when I was at Mercy Multiplied I felt like I was chained down with no freedom.  I had to do many things other girls did not have to do.  I know my experience is part of my life journey but sometimes I think that certain things could have went a different way.

I find myself wondering why we had to hold ourselves to so much accountability before going to Mercy Multiplied but yet the ministry itself hasn’t held itself accountable to anyone.  There’s a lot of things that have happened beneath the surface of the stained glass windows, fundraising events, success stories we read.  There’s a lot of pain and a lot of girls that have gotten hurt in this program but its’ all gotten covered up.  I wonder when will they be held accountable.

I left Mercy Multiplied so broken and lost that I had a hard time even trusting God with my life.  I went to Mercy Multiplied with such a positive outlook hope to recover.  My hope was displaced in a man-made program and God quickly showed me my hope had to be in Him.  I was there trying to put my hope in him.  My counselor there often made me feel like I had to speak great of Mercy Multiplied.  Yet on the inside those people were not kind.  I spent most nights trying to hold back my tears.

I remember one morning before class, I was crying my eyes out.  I remember my counselor coming in my room and telling me I didn’t want to be in the program because I was crying my eyes out.  I felt like they were trying to silence me.  Everyone has feelings and emotions and they can’t be silenced.  I think about this moment and everyone after.  I had to meet with the nutrition/fitness person and my counselor for special meetings.  My crying episode lead to more consequences.  Sitting down with the fitness lady and my counselor, they determined I had set goals that I needed to meet to stay at Mercy Multiplied.  I had to shower two times a day.  I had to put stuff in my shoes, I couldn’t go in my room until my roommate was asleep, I had to walk outside laps around the parking lot between class and snack.  There were so many limitations on my life.

On the day I decided I had enough I wanted to go home.  I couldn’t go through anymore crap there.  They said to me you don’t have enough money you can’t leave.  I questioned where all my money was going since my prescriptions were supposed to be purchased and mailed to me.  They had been purchasing all my medications at an out of network pharmacy so I was paying $11 dollars a prescriptions which I didn’t really need to it was more they were shamed to use my insurance card at a local pharmacy so all my money went to medication.  So I had nothing when I went to leave.  I had to borrow money to go home.  It was the best choice I ever made.

Before I left they put a paper in front of me asking me to sign that I’d not speak about my experience at Mercy Multiplied.  I came home and I hid for months.  I didn’t want to go back to church or be around anyone.  I didn’t want people to know I failed at Mercy Multiplied.  Thing is, I didn’t fail.  Mercy Multiplied failed me because it’s a man-made program.  God didn’t fail me but I did see many lessons I could take from the program and apply to my life journey.

It wasn’t until 2014 that I got break through with the Mercy Multiplied stuff.  I had went to treatment for PTSD it was there that I discovered that Mercy Multiplied tried to silence me.  To make me think that if I didn’t make it there I wouldn’t make it anywhere.  They tried to make me think that if I spoke out against them bad things happen to me but that’s not true at all.

We must remember that no one can silence us.  God doesn’t want us to live in fear or live in shame.  We are his children he’s given us a voice.  We can’t let some powerhouse non-profit that claims to heal people bring us down.  They need accountability too!  By sharing our stories we put a big red Stop sign and say No More!  We have to find ways to keep on sharing and Stop them from falsifying claims to heal.  Man-made programs can fail you, even those $30,000-a-month treatment centers can fail us.  True healing comes from God alone.  Yes He uses programs to provide us tools but the healing comes when we make a decision to give it to God.

For anyone that doesn’t believe in God.  It’s your choice but please remember you can’t let them win.  You have to speak out and tell your story.  It may take a few months of blogging to get it out there.  Living in silence just says they win and they are not winners in my book.  We must stand up and fight and hold them accountable for the injustices we have faced in life because of many who had errors in judgement and we must do what is right for those who have lost the battle or who are afraid to speak up.

Courage is action filled with hard work but it makes a difference.

End the Silence

Petition and appeal to government for Mercy Ministries’ accountability

There is much to be said of Mercy Ministries, and much to appeal to the American government and public about.  Mercy Ministries denies it all of course.  They continue to distance their brand from the former Australian homes (which they have since re-labelled an “affiliate”) and attempted to lay the blame on the insidious issues that actually originated at the US homes and continue with the homes today.  I have said, and will say again, that the issues that come out of Mercy Ministries is not a matter of “one bad apple”, but rather, a “sick tree”.

Please join us in appealing to those in US government positions who have the power to act.  They have the power to increase accountability for Mercy Ministries and programs like it which continue to go unregulated, at a very dear cost of their clients and clients families.

Petition to the Attorney General

Please click here to sign the petition calling upon the Attorney General to regulate homes like Mercy Ministries where exorcism, recovered memory therapy and conversion therapy are par for the course (and well documented) behind closed doors.  Please also share with your friends.

Video appeal to Governer Haslam

Please view and share this video which further highlights the issue of how Mercy Ministries’ treatment of vulnerable young women flies under the radar due to Mercy’s not being recipients of government funding.  As noble as this sounds, it seems the clients and their families are left with the cost of the damage because of the nature of treatment Mercy Ministries is able to provide without any form of oversight, accountability or regulation.  This has to stop.

Behind the signatures: Mercy Ministries petition

This piece by Mercy Survivor Christan was originally published on her personal blog, Pretty Pink Koolaid, and can be viewed here.

Why are individuals signing a petition to have Mercy Ministries of America investigated by the Attorney General?  Let’s look at some individuals who are supporting this measure:

Gerry

I have spent years trying to get rid of “Demons” without medication because of Mercy Ministries.  With medication, I have no, “Spirit of Suicide, Spirit, Anxious spirits or of self destruction or mutilation”.  Now that I have completely disassociated myself from them, I live a happy, somewhat normal, life without the fear of going to hell for saying what I think about them.

Lisa

I am a Mercy Survivor!

Christan

I was greatly damaged by Mercy Ministries of America and so was my family.  My counselor at Mercy Ministries didn’t even have her bachelors in Psychology and used “recovered memory” therapy to plant false memories.  I was then encouraged to separate from my family and didn’t see them for almost 3 years due to the mind control I was under.  I’m still recovering from my time there…its been over 10 years now.

Kathy

My daughter attended Mercy Ministries and has cut off all contact with our family and her friends.

Sherry

We lost our daughter to this program.

Shawn

These young women need and deserve real treatment, not what amounts to abuse.

Amanda

My cousin’s life was ruined because of Mercy Ministries.

Joan

Our daughter got caught up in this too.  The counselor ruined her life.  At 22 she is suddenly on disability and 7 licensees ‘treat’ her.  She can no longer play piano, perform in recitals or work; she is too busy in P.T. with a specialist.  MERCY MINISTRIES IS A FRAUD!

Cindy

My husband and I are both Christians and, as you can image, this greatly pains us to speak out against a “Christian” organization. However, after 12 years of dealing with Mercy Ministries, we have come to the understanding that they are not what they claim to be. We lost our daughter for 3 years because of this program. It’s taken her 12 long years of therapy to break free from Mercy Ministries mind control. We are in touch with parents who also have lost their daughters. Please help us stop this damaging program that disguises itself as “Christian.”

Sarah

I spent a year at the now-defunct Sydney facility here in Australia, and since then I have come into contact with dozens of former Mercy clients in the US who have had the same and worse experiences as me.  This issue did not begin and end with the Australian homes as Nancy Alcorn would have you believe.  Those homes were the fruit of an ultimately very sick tree.

I am grieved every time I hear from another Mercy Survivor in the US, another person who has gone through additional and unnecessary suffering and trauma, and has been sold a pipe dream, deceived as to the nature of the program and services, then damned to hell when they do not produce the results that make Mercy look successful.

I strongly and passionately urge the Attorney Generals in each of the four US states in which Mercy Ministries operates to take the time to seriously look into this matter and respond appropriately.

Sandra

I am signing to stop criminal and inhumane treatment of the mentally ill.

I was greatly damaged by Mercy Ministries of America and so was my family.  My counselor at Mercy Ministries didn’t even have her bachelors in Psychology and used “recovered memory” therapy to plant false memories.  I was then encouraged to separate from my family and didn’t see them for almost 3 years due to the mind control I was under.  I’m still recovering from my time there…its been over 10 years now.

John

I’ve seen the damage Mercy Ministries has done to friends of mine.  I don’t want to see it happen again.

Roma

Mental health consumers are being harmed by fraudulent therapy and misdirected away from appropriate treatments and therapies which would be of benefit to them. This type of psycho junk therapy that the Mercy Ministries Survivors have endured is harmful to the patients and must be stopped. I am a Canadian survivor of this psycho fraud. If I had been protected from this fraudulent junk therapy and received proper treatment instead I would have been spared years of mental and physical torture and recovered. No one ever recovers with or from this junk therapy; the junk therapy only adds injury to the illness.

Jessica

I was at Mercy Ministries in 2010. They kicked me out of the program because I wasn’t moving through the program fast enough. They make girls and women believe it’s there only hope to get help or they will die. It has taken me 4 years to undo some of the damage they have caused me mentally and psychologically. I still have a long way to go but I am starting to realize I can make it. What this program does is miss leading and wrong. They claim to save young women, however, I know one young lady who died 7 months ago who graduated from there program who they claimed was healed. And another young lady who is fighting for her life. Please stop and ask your self would you want or let your daughter to go to a place like this. Mercy would be a good place if things changed in certain areas.

Gladden

Bogus, non-science-based ‘treatment’ of distressed persons has done tremendous damage over the last two decades. Time to cease and desist… and learn what REALLY helps.

Heidi

It has affected members of my family greatly.  They lost their daughter due to Mercy Ministries for a period of time and will never be the same.  Mercy Ministries is very destructive.

Amy

I went through similar things at Castlewood Treatment Center. My family was nearly destroyed.

Abigail

It took me 9 years to come to terms with what happened to me at Mercy Ministries.  I am finally speaking up.  Signed and shared!

Stephanie

I lost my sister and best friend to Mercy Ministries. They were rude, demeaning, exclusive, and posted lies about my family on the internet. They plastered her photo on the site and a false testimony as a way for people to see how their donations helped her find the love of God. This place is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Let’s bring them into the light. They’ve caused so much pain and are doing their best to cover it up.

Rene

Because a very dear friend of mine has been deprived of a relationship with her only daughter because of this “ministry” due to false allegations.

Ruth

We know a family whose daughter was treated through Mercy Ministries, and it nearly destroyed their family and certainly created many more issues for this young woman.  While I strongly believe in the importance of the spiritual in each person’s life, mental illness very frequently has a chemical basis that needs to be treated.  Mercy Ministries seems to be uneducated in this in their assuming there is always and only a spiritual issue to the women’s problems.  This causes them to be unequipped to effectively treat these women.  Due to these women’s issues, they are vulnerable and can become trapped in the Mercy Ministries program without being able to escape and get the medical help they so desperately need.

Meredith

I have lost my sister to Mercy Ministries.  She has completely disowned her family and has threatened a restraining order.

Greg

Dear friends had their lives ripped open and are just now healing and being restored to their daughter.

Susanne

Why would this not be important to me? I have daughters and nieces.. I care about young people and do not want to see estranged families for no reason when loving families are what these young people need most. I do not want to see necessary medications being withheld. This organization need to be investigated. That is why.

Lori

My friend has left her family for several years now after receiving “treatment” at Mercy Ministries.

Cheri

I went to mercy and left after 3 weeks of hell. I was told day after day that I wasn’t healing fast enough and wasn’t believing in God enough and that was why I had a mental illness.

Barbara

I have friends who have been deeply hurt by Mercy Ministries.

Deanna

I know a family that has been adversely affected by Mercy Ministries.

Sherry J

A beautiful young woman and turned against everything she knew because of “false” memories. It is evil and could not be of the Lord. God does not divide families but brings healing.

Rebecca

We have friends who’s daughter entered Mercy Ministry for treatment at the same time as our daughter went another more professional route for an eating disorder. Our daughter is on her way to full health and loves us more than ever before while they have not seen there daughter for years. My heart breaks for them!! I truly believe that Mercy Ministries is causing damage…much damage. Please, at the very least, do due diligence and listen to those impacted.

Geoff

This issue is hurting good friends of mine…

Nancy

This issue has touched the lives of some good friends of ours. I don’t want any more families to go through what they did.To read more please visit the petition here.

Who is really “unwilling to change”?

 

Another Mercy Survivors video: Mercy Ministries and dehumanization of their clients

Sarah speaks on Mercy Survivors

So…  this has been a long time coming, but I have been wanting to put my face to this cause for a long time.  I have held back for a few reasons – the nature of my non-Mercy related content on my personal blog, camera nerves, and also not really knowing what to say.  It can be a bit of a shift from writing to speaking on camera.  But I finally did it!  And here it is 🙂

My aim here is to really let others know that we are real people with real stories.

If you have any questions or comments you would like us to discuss on video, please don’t hesitate to send us your ideas.  You can contact us on Facebook, Twitter or email, or you can comment on this website.

Enjoy 🙂

 

If you would like to view other content by Mercy Survivor Sarah, click here.

What you should know about Mercy Ministries…

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