Category: Mercy Ministries
Handbooks allegedly used to perform exorcisms
on sick girls at the controversial Mercy Ministries
residences in Sydney and on the Sunshine Coast have been leaked to LIVENEWS.com.au.
The documents, obtained clandestinely by a girl who “escaped” the group’s clutches, shows counsellors how to rid ‘demons’ from girls struggling with anorexia, depression and drug addiction.
Exorcisms to cure mental illness and drug addiction, locking vulnerable people away from friends and family, prayer as a solution to all problems – sounds like psych ward from last century. But actually it’s just the ‘Mercy Way’.
The once mighty ‘Mercy Ministries’, a secretive outfit that purports to treat young women with mental illness, is now in serious trouble.
Mercy Ministries, the Gloria Jeans and Hillsong-supported religious program under investigation for its controversial use of exorcism to treat mental illness, has announced its Queensland home will close.
Sydney Christian group Mercy Ministries has been referred to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) over allegations it misled mentally ill women seeking help.
Mercy Ministries was a godsend for Hillsong. Desperate young women who are violated by the world draw a sympathetic audience. It seemed a simple concept for Hillsong to mimic locally and it was presented as a utopia of female health. Hillsong is an organisation based on recruitment and fund-raising. Mercy Ministries was an opportunity to do both on a new and larger scale.
Further evidence has emerged that Mercy Ministries cuts off young women who fail to comply with its complex web of rules and regulations, as more former residents come forward to detail their time in the conservative Christian homes.
Raphael Aron, director of Cult Counselling Australia, said Mercy Ministries was not a traditional guru or disciple cult but its exploitation of vulnerable people put it in the cult spectrum.
The Christian-based counselling program run by Mercy Ministries has been condemned by psychiatrists, who have labelled it cult-like and warned that it puts the lives of young women at risk.
Instead of the promised psychiatric treatment and support, they were placed in the care of Bible studies students, most of them under 30 and some with psychological problems of their own. Counselling consisted of prayer readings, treatment entailed exorcisms and speaking in tongues, and the house was locked down most of the time, isolating residents from the outside world and sealing them in a humidicrib of pentacostal religion.
Three former residents who have felt the full force of Mercy’s questionable programs are blowing the whistle on its emotionally cruel and medically unproven techniques, detailing abuse including exorcisms, “separation contracts” between girls who became friends, and harsh discipline for those who broke the rules.