Mercy’s Newest Mass Letter (From 2008, after an International scandal hit Mercy)
[Article reposted for educational purposes under Fair Use.]
[Article reposted for educational purposes under Fair Use.]
I’ve written almost exclusively about Master’s Commission and Our Savior’s Church here at My Cult Life for almost two years. I rarely mention other groups, with the exception of Teen Mania Ministries, because the amount of abusive groups out there is vast.
Awhile ago, I came into contact with a Mercy Ministries insider. I’ll call her Anne. Anne and I became friends and she shared her Mercy Ministries experience with me. Little did I know, that I would find a kindred spirit in Anne and eventually feel compelled to help her get help with her story.
I’m a writer and I’m an experienced researcher. It didn’t take long to channel my experience as a whistleblower to help Anne on her story. Several weeks after she and I spoke, I found another Mercy Ministries insider who was from Australia (before Mercy’s big scandal, shut-down and legal action taken against them). Weeks after my first article came out about Mercy, a father of a Mercy Ministries girl sent me an email. This father ended up connecting me with a handful of other survivors who wanted to tell their stories.
Now the list of Mercy Ministries survivors is growing larger.
The girls’ personal stories are heart-breaking and awful.
I can’t disclose some of the stories yet, because I’m working on a larger project involving them but I’ve asked some of the girls to share their stories and experiences. They’ve also graciously allowed me to re-post some of their blog posts and personal stories that have been published on the web before.
I share their stories here and welcome the Mercy Ministries Survivors. Please make them feel at home and let’s help them get the justice they deserve.
This post originally appeared on “Sarah’s Collage” a blog written by a Mercy insider who attend the program in Australia.
Since around the beginning of the year, myself and some other fellow survivors have been involved in a struggle to have our respective client files released to us.
(Some coverage of this can be found here, compliments of Sean the Blogonaut).
As this is public domain, I will speak only for the situation involving myself.
When all of this began, I fasted and prayed my heart out, considered scripture and discussed the issue with a few wise friends.
After much delay and Mercy’s subsequent refusal, a bunch of phone calls, intervention of a Lawyer and the Privacy Commissioner and further delay, I received an incomplete file.
Prior to my appointment on Tuesday evening, I did not expect that I would feel troubled by its contents. In fact, I did not expect to feel anything at all.
This was true of most of it, even of the more sensitive material.
Some of it that would have troubled me years ago actually made me laugh out loud.
There was only one thing really that I felt a bit disturbed by. It related to one of the major traumatic events I experienced there, and the account of that event was so twisted and untrue. For a second, I felt that old familiar feeling again of having my sanity put in question.
I was glad to have my Psychologist present to share a good chuckle with.
I just feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to heal from that experience with the help of some safe, wise and discerning women in my world. Not all girls have had that opportunity, but God can use many things to heal an abused heart.
I can see how going through one’s own file with a sane, trusted and qualified person can be a significant healing experience for those who are still reeling from the impact, even several years on.
Having that choice restored to us is healing in itself, validating of our adulthood and our own ability to make decisions that are in the best interests of our healing.
I am yet to receive the remaining documents, and after several delays I have come to expect that I will not be receiving it any time soon, and definitely not before I go into hospital in about two weeks.
So today, I am thanking God for victory, for healing and restoration in the lives of survivors both here and abroad, for the voice He has restored to me, and most of all I am thanking him that my suffering was not in vain.
He works all things together for good.
According to their website:
Mercy Ministries’ free-of-charge, voluntary, faith-based residential program serves young women from all socio-economic backgrounds, ages 13-28, who face a combination of life-controlling issues such as eating disorders, self-harm, drug and alcohol addictions, depression and unplanned pregnancy. Mercy also serves young women who have been physically and sexually abused, including victims of sex trafficking. Using proven methods, a holistic approach and professional counselors in a structured residential environment, Mercy has helped thousands of young women be restored to wholeness. Mercy’s goal is to help these young women find freedom from their issues and empower them to serve in their communities as productive citizens.
Mercy Ministries exists to provide opportunities for young women to experience God’s unconditional love, forgiveness, and life-transforming power.
Mercy Ministries is committed to being an effective and well-respected global organization dedicated to transforming lives of generations searching for truth and wholeness.
What makes Mercy Ministries different?
We believe freedom is possible!
We don’t teach methods of coping with life-controlling issues, we teach God’s unconditional love, forgiveness and life-transforming power. Our program gives young women the tools they need to break free! We apply Christian principles and teachings with proven methods and a professional counseling staff. Our approach to healing allows young women to permanently stop destructive cycles and prepares them to take hope out into their communities.
Our program is completely FREE OF CHARGE
We want our residents to know that we genuinely care. They can trust us because we are not making money off of their problems. We raise all the financial support for our programs through private funding.
We have seen thousands of lives transformed
Mercy Ministries International has helped over 3,000 residents in its nearly 30 years of operation. In a recent survey of former Mercy Ministries of America residents, 93 percent of respondents said Mercy Ministries “transformed their lives and restored their hope.” Time and time again we have seen girls who have no hope or will to live develop into strong, passionate leaders. God is using Mercy graduates to impact lives all over the world.
What is Mercy Ministries behind the mask?
Mercy Ministries is a Nashville, Tennessee based group which was accused of misrepresenting their counseling and recovery services to young women in Australia in 2008. The misrepresentation in Australia was two-fold. First, they claimed their services were free but had the girls sign over their government checks. Second, the ministry claimed to be using licensed therapists and professional counseling methods. In 2009, Mercy admitted their guilt in misrepresentation on both counts and paid back $120,000 of government aid it had wrongly taken from the girls who attended—in Australia.
You never know what friending nice people on Facebook is going to do. I found some beautiful Alaskan friends to befriend this week and WAM. All of a sudden I’m a witch! I’m corrupting them! Their “pastor” is emailing them to delete me and stay away or they will be operating in the demonic.
Let me tell you a little something about Alaska–I love it. It’s wonderful. My parents live there a few months out of the year doing the same thing the guys on Bering Sea Gold do. Or, as I like to call it, My dad is a mothafuckenbadass. [Yes, he spends 12 hours a day scuba diving in the Bering Sea looking for gold. That’s the ocean, folks.]
But oh yes, back to Psycho Pastor. His name is Ron Pratt. He’s a graduate of the same Master’s Commission I went to with Lloyd Zeigler.
Now Ron Pratt-ie Poo lives in Alaska and runs “This Generation Ministries.” Translation: he’s bat shit crazy. Well, I don’t know, you be the judge. Here’s his photo.
Note the “John 3:16” hat. No big deal.
So, then there’s this one. Which is fun:
Because clearly, he’s Israeli and the members of their army wear beanies, right? Oh, he’s American. And he’s not Jewish? Hmm, that’s curious. Very, very curious.
Oh right! He’s one of those Christian Fundamentalist TERRORISTS! Gotcha. :0) It all makes sense now, honey.
My favorite pictures, though are these. They really show the love of Jesus.
Getting off track. Because really, it’s way too fun to make fun of dirty assholes. Online.
I heard through the grapevine that Ron was an abusive minister. Bossy, controlling, manipulative, etc. I was concerned. But minded my own business, until he sent THIS message to someone who friended me on Facebook. Again, it’s a friend request sent and accepted. We’re not married. From Ron to ‘friend’:
Hey I don’t expect you to reply, but here goes… I see you became “friends” with Lisa Kerr… do you know her? I would doubt that you really do. I’m not sure where you are spiritually, as I have been disconnected from you awhile, but if you align yourself with people like her, then your name will be aligned with her beliefs. She is full of anger, hate and operating in witchcraft…
I would hope that is not you… If you line up with those attacking the Spirit, then you also will be seen as one who will embrace the demonic.
I believe in your calling and in you!
Emphasis my own, because of course I’d like to point out HOW AWESOME it is that he said I was operating in witchcraft! All the best womenz are! Duh! Burn those bitches! Rush Limbaugh called them sluts! Whores they are!
But I digress 😉 (yes, that one is for YOU)
Here’s what I sent to happy pants, psycho animal KILLER Ron:
I’ve heard some rumor that you have been telling some folks what to do up there in Alaska. I really need you to cut that shit out. That’s not what God has called you to do. That is abusive behavior, controlling and manipulation. Signs of an abuser. You’re on my radar, friend and I know I’m on yours.
After all, I had to live up to my “witch” reputation.