Tuesday, 13 May 2008

God spare us all this Mercy.

Since yesterday I've done a little more reading on Mercy Ministries. Ok: so actually I've read a lot about these scum - I use the word 'scum' in its most theologically-considered sense - and please believe me when I say they're a nasty, nasty organisation.

But don't just take my word for it: here's an article from last month's Sydney Morning Herald. Or even better, jump on over to Sean the Blogonaut's place and download a copy of the Mercy Ministries program handbook.

That way you can see for yourself what these psuedo-Christians inflict on the poor, the ill and the insecure. While the handbook is supposed to be 'secret' (you'll understand why they'd be ashamed of it when you see it), Sean, a fellow Aussie who is unquestionably what we call down here "a bloody good bloke", has been doing everything he can to expose this scam, and to provide survivors of Hillsong's abusive scam with somewhere to share their experiences. One of them has passed on this frightening document, which is given to women after they've signed on the dotted line and entered the program. If the rules look more like those of a medium security prison than a supportive and therapeutic environment to you, just imagine how they feel to a mentally ill person who's come hoping to find help, only to be hit with all 16 pages of this.

Mercy Ministries Program Handbook
Click the cover image above to go to Sean's blog and read what Mercy Ministries are really like. While you're at it have a look around at the other stuff there about these pharisees, and let him know what a great job he's doing. While he mightn't share the beliefs that many of us here have, his actions prove him a lot closer to Christ than many folk I've met sitting in pews (and much more than most occupying a pulpit in my part of the world), and he deserves all the support he can get.

8 comments:

Lindy said...

Good on you Alcibiades for being on top of this. I agree that we are closer to Christ when we are on the side of the poor, regardless of our opinions on anything else.

Doorman-Priest said...

Surely there must be some process of inspection and accountability.

How do they get away with this?

Anonymous said...

I was a MM resident. They truly are deceived if they think they are helping people. I left there far worse than I was when I went there. The way the staff treated and spoke to the patients in there was just horrible, it WAS like a prison rather than a place of healing. They used the Christian label and I automatically trusted them. They also wrongfully told me that the staff were qualified. It was very cult like. I am glad I got out and went somewhere else for real help.

Alcibiades said...

Hi anon - thanks for dropping by, and thank you for your courage in speaking out. If there's anything we can do here to help stop this organisation from preying on people seeking help please let me know - just send me an email anytime at alcibiades@tda.net.au, or place a comment on any post (There's no such thing as "off-topic" in this place ;-)

And well done for coming so far in the battle against your illness. Lots of us here have been down those dark paths ourselves (myself included) and recovery is hard enough without a bunch of pseudo-Christian @#%@&*%!!!wits kicking you to the ground when you most need help. You’re a legend!

DP: the problem here in OZ is that there is no accountability and inspections of such places. Any bastard can hang out a sign and call themselves a counsellor , or open a residential program (as MM proves), and as long as their clients are over 18 nobody can stop them. At the moment the best chance of prosecuting these frauds is for misleading advertising – they claimed that clients would meet with their counsellor every day, when in fact it was weekly; and they claim the program is free of cost to participants, when they actually garnishee all of their client’s welfare benefits.

Anonymous said...

Alcibiades thank you for your kind words.

I just wanted to add that their brochures promised professional treatment from qualified psychologists, dieticians, counsellors, social workers etc but there was none of that.

You have probably already seen these, but I thought I would post them for you
http://blazenewz.com/regular/opinion/gloria-jeans-and-the-mercy-ministries/

and

http://www.democrats.org.au/news/index.htm?press_id=6550

I think something else important, that hasn't really been mentioned, is that they took donations from the unsuspecting public. They advertised the program as providing things it did not (free for girls, treatment by qualified psychs, social workers, counsellors etc), and then said they needed $$$ from the public to fund it, even though they are actually taking centrelink payments from girls. I feel sorry for anyone who has ever donated to them, I'm sure they were just trying to give money to help girls, and they didn't know what kind of program MM really was because they believed the misinformation MM pushed.

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

Alcibiades,

Thank you for your kind words. I try just to be a good human which is my main motivation for helping these women.

Far be it from me to tell Christian's what to do :)

But...moderate Christians need to realise that there are powerful organisations using the "gentle jesus meek and mild" picture most christians have of Christ to slip into places of power and influence - then inflict there narrow doctrine on the unsuspecting.

Alcibiades said...

Sean: You've got it one there mate! Many of the people you'll meet hanging around this place (and other blogs like it) have experienced these kind of people first hand - often a great personal cost. The only point I'd draw issue with you is you that in my experience the fundamentalists don't limit themselves to the 'unsuspecting', but are quite happy to consider the 'unwilling' and 'uninterested' fair game as well - but I suspect you already know that ;-)

I know I'd certainly prefer to live in a society where people embrace your ethic as opposed to, for example, that of Hillsong and MM, irrespective of what they may claim about God - and I say that as both a Christian and an Anglican Priest: in fact I'd also prefer someone of your world view to that of many in the hierarchy of my own church - but then again maybe that's part of the reason I no longer have a parish in Sydney ;-)

Regarding the "gentle Jesus meek and mild" thing, I'm not much of a fan of that either. The character presented in the gospels has little time for those who seek to use their religious beliefs to manipulate, control and oppress others. His primary concern is that we live in a manner which treats others with value and respect; there is little or no mention of the dogmas by which many who profess to be Christian seek to define themselves (and in so doing exclude everyone else).

When it comes to telling Christians what to do – there’s nothing wrong with giving us a taste of our own medicine. The only problem is that most of us are so used to doing the talking that we’ve forgotten how to listen, even when people like yourself are saying the bloody obvious.

Boaz said...

Hi Al

I'm glad you got this article out from the Herald. I had set it aside to blog on and never got around to it.

This paragraph I particularly highlighted, which I wanted to reinforce.

"Mercy, justice, liberty and compassion are concepts that evangelicals view as their own. They believe their God is the author of these values, and that with a monopoly on truth they have an imperative to administer them globally.

But what I also found interetsing a few years ago when I read some of their first pamphlets in Gloria Jean's coffee shops was the thinly disguised Freudian sexual refererences. They probably didn't notice them but they jumped out the page at me.

Sort of double entendres like. "young women who are spreading their wings" We all know what that means. But also the sort of smarmy condemnatory language about "young girls who have gone off the tracks". Lives being ruined and blighted.

No they're just young girls who had a bit of bad luck with no (or faulty) contraception and not enough good friends at the time when they needed them. And so what if they now have a baby? Why is that ruination in any case?

You get the picture. These people are up themselves big-time. I suspect that they feast on other people's "misfortunes". They probably "get off" on the sexual stories if the truth be told. The bottom line is they're looking for opportunities to control and correct vulnerable people.