Mercy Ministries: Twist Their Arm, They MIGHT Be Nice

Posted: March 20, 2010 in Christianity, Mercy Ministries, Religion, Religious Abuse
Tags: , , ,

Thanks to Sean The Blogonaut for alerting me to another Mercy Ministries update.

Firstly If you don’t know what Mercy Ministries is or you don’t know about the horrendous ways they deal with people; then check out Ruined By Mercy and Sean has a good overview here.

Last year, in one of the best pieces of news I’d heard all year, Mercy Australia was forced to close it’s doors. The revelations of deception and misleading their clients was the final nail in the coffin.

A number of residents have since written to Mercy requesting that their records be released. This is a basic right under the law of most countries. They attempted to use the Freedom Of Information Act in order to secure the release of their personal information.

Mercy’s initial response was to simply quote their legal counsel’s advice saying:

“The Freedom Of Information Act (NSW) 1989 applies to information held about individuals by a NSW government body/agency and the Freedom Of Information Act (Cth) 1982 applies to information held about individuals by Commonwealth government departments and public authorities. Both Acts also go into detail which government bodies are excluded from application of both the Acts. As a not for profit organisation would not fall within the ambit of the Acts these individuals have no right to have access to their files pursuant to these Acts…The individuals’ records should be disposed of in accordance with the rules under which Mercy Ministries was set up and/or licensed as it is not governed by the State or Commonwealth record keeping laws except for any health information that must be retained pursuant to the law.”

That’s their ‘legalese’ answer. In lay-man terms that translates into:

“using the law you mentioned; we don’t have to give you anything, so we won’t. Plus, now we know you want it we’re going to destroy it.”

Its quite clear the moral thing to do would be to release this information to those it concerns. You’d think an organisation that purports to base it’s dealings on Biblical and Christian principles would recognise they have a moral duty to comply with these requests. Apparently not with Mercy. Their approach was “Can we get away with refusing?…If we can; we will”. What other reason could there be other than Mercy thinking the information might be damaging to Mercy. Otherwise known as Mercy have something to hide.

It’s no surprise, therefore, that the residents requesting the information were not happy with this response. Someone has since logged a complaint with the Information Commissioner, prompting an investigation. The Commissioner then informed the complainant that while Mercy was correct in its assertion that they had no obligation under the Freedom Of Information Act, they were still bound by the Privacy Act and under this Act they had to release the information. I don’t believe Mercy weren’t aware of this which, in my opinion, explains their very specific ‘not-under-this-law’ response.

The most recent update to this story, courtesy of Sean, is that as soon as there is a whiff of an investigation Mercy play ball. They are apparently now prepared to release the information requested by the ex residents.

This story highlights 2 major things that most of us already knew about Mercy. First; their claim that:

“Mercy Ministries is committed to being an effective and well-respected global organization dedicated to transforming lives of generations searching for truth and wholeness”

…is totally false. They may be able to cite examples of ‘success’ stories but these people are clearly responsible for their own ‘success’ and owe no thanks whatsoever to any divine intervention. The sheer number of damaged lives, irrespective of how many ‘Jesus Warriors’ they churn out, means that the program is far from “effective” (Mercy’s distorted, manipulated 90% success rate claim is laughable). Mercy are far from a “well-respected global organisation” (apart from within the Bible belt in the USA which doesn’t count in my book).

The second thing this tells us about Mercy is that they have no regard for anybody who doesn’t leave the program shouting from the rooftops about how good Mercy is. If you leave on a bad note they don’t want to know you, will go out of their way to avoid revealing what they did to you while you were there and will only play fairly when the government force them to.

Mercy Ministries is an evil organisation with a money hungry fame hunter at the helm who are only concerned with their own interests.

  1. No Mercy says:

    Mercy has undoubtedly had some girls exit their facility and not returned to their evil ways. It is questionable as to rather this group of girls could yield a 93% success rate for them. To defend Nancy Alcorn and Mercy Ministries, they truly believe their statics are accurate. To understand how Mercy’s 93% success rate is an accurate static, you have to understand that Mercy believes that the girls that enter their doors would be dead if they had not; therefore, if the girls are breathing when they leave the program, they are a success. Mercy has a 93% success rate of young girls who have left their facility breathing. Kind of scary isn’t it. I wonder what happened to the girls that left not breathing.

  2. I understand the mechanism for how Mercy Ministries works very well and you are right in what you say about their belief that without Mercy the girls would be dead.
    Suicide bombers believe they are doing good and there are countless examples of religious nutters who’ve done something terrible believing it’s a good thing. So it is clear that religious conviction is not a sound basis for deciding how to treat people with psychological problems.

    Part of the strength of Mercy’s ability to keep girls there is that they indoctrinate them with the fallacy that they will be dead if they leave; this is common to cults.

    The girls also have virtually all contact with the outside world cut, leaving them totally dependant on the leaders of Mercy; again, common to cults. Mercy staff even intercept and censor communications from the outside and only allow girls to see things that support the “aims” of Mercy; very cult-like behaviour. They only allow girls to seek medical advice in the presence of a Mercy staff member and they are usually taken to a doctor who supports Mercy ministries goals; this kind of control is usually only found in a cult.

    Mercy’s target group are very, very vulnerable; again, common to cults.

    At the foundation of Nancy Alcorn’s (and therefore Mercy’s) belief system is the ridiculous notion that the psychological problems are not a genuine medical issue but the result of ‘demonic possession’ (whatever the fuck that is). This is a distortion of basic medical fact and even a distortion of Christianity; charismatic leaders with distorted perceptions of reality are common to cults.

    Mercy defend against calls of being a cult by saying they’re simply trying to help people “in the name of Jesus”. But don’t all cults genuinely believe they are doing good?

    Mercy ticks too many of the “dangerous cult” boxes….If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck then there is a pretty good chance it’s a fucking duck!

  3. sherry says:

    we “lost” our daughter to mercy ministries. october 29,2010 we brought to the door of the california home. little did we know that the memory regression therapy (they claim they don’t conduct that form of therapy.. yeah right) would change/shatter our lives forever. she left the program in june 2011 and 8 months later we learned that she alleged her father of sexual abuse from age 3-20 and me of having sexually trafficked her all that time. impossible allegations. nothing confirmed, just a blanket statement we learned through a 3rd party then she rejected us, blocked us from her life, changed her name. we haven’t seen our daughter in over 3 years and we’re not alone – there are MANY other parents with the exact or similar story. some girls (women actually) are then adopted into mm approved families. dear God…

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